Tuesday, 22 April 2014

The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)

If I absolutely had to pick on director as my spirit animal then I’d probably go for Wes Anderson. That’s not to say that I, hands down, consider him the best director of all time (we all know his had his fair share of misfires) but, out of everyone, it is his cinematic vision that always has the ability to make my heart leap with joy. He also happens to be a very divisive director and I often find myself having to justify my Anderson appreciation to one of my closest friends who often dismisses him as hipster pretentiousness. She also happens to be the friend who has spent years trying to convince me that her love of Ralph Fiennes is anything other than madness. To her dismay, I’ve never really got over his insistence on pronouncing his name “Rafe” or been able to forgive him for Maid in Manhattan. However, post Coriolanus and Skyfall I found myself coming round to her way of thinking and if any man could prove my friend to be correct it’s Anderson.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Muppets Most Wanted (2014)

I, as you probably know, am an unashamed Muppet maniac. I vehemently defy anyone to tell me they aren’t funny. It was a bleak world when the Muppets ceased to appear on the big screen. Thankfully I was not the only person who thought so and back in 2011 Jason Segel and his co-writer Nicholas Stoller set out to reintroduce the Muppets to a modern family audience. Their resulting film proved to be a hit with both critics and audiences alike and Disney swiftly signed up the furry stars for a sequel. This sequel has been hotly anticipated and, for a time, it seemed that a week didn’t go by without another big name star signing up for to play a role in the second part of Kermit and co’s comeback. The first real piece of news was that Jason Segel wouldn’t be returning and, to be honest, I couldn’t be happier. Don’t get me wrong Jason Segel did a great job with the script and is a decent enough actor but I was kind of bored by his whole romantic plot. I’m a bit traditional when it comes to my Muppets and I prefer hilarious chaos rather than romantic comedy. However, I did enjoy the film and felt it was as successful a comeback as everyone else. Unsurprisingly, I have spent the year eagerly awaiting the release of the follow up: if only to experience more of Bret Mackenzie’s sensational compositional work.

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Frozen (2013)

When the first teaser trailers appeared for Frozen way back when, I wasn’t convinced it would be my kind of thing. When it comes to animated films I’m not likely to get as excited about Disney’s offerings as I am about the work of other studios. Though I’ve been a fairly loyal fan since my childhood there can be no denying that they don’t always offer the animated prowess of their sister studio Pixar or the originality and intelligence of Ghibli. However, these days you can’t really go anywhere on the internet with somebody mentioning this supposed ‘game changer’ and its Oscar nominated song ‘Let it go’. So, once again, I bowed to peer-pressure and checked it out.

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Oscar Predictions 2014

In the few years that I’ve been writing this little blog I’ve always meant to write something pre-Oscars. However, this is the first year in which I’ve managed to watch all of the major contenders before the winners are announced. There have been some significant and absolutely breathtaking films this years and a great deal of well-deserved nominations. Of course, on the other hand, there have been a few ‘par for the course’ nominations that perhaps should have been distributed elsewhere. As there’s nothing that can be done about it now I’ve decided to put my unblemished reputation on the line and offer my predications for Sunday night.

Friday, 21 February 2014

12 Years a Slave (2013)

We will constantly be told that 12 Years a Slave is groundbreaking and necessary filmmaking and it is true. A year after Quentin Tarantino placed the slave trade under his uniquespotlight; Steve McQueen takes a more sombre look at that bleak part of American history. Comparisons can and will be made to Tarantino’s revenge Western but, aside from the theme that unites them, there is little to be drawn from such an association. Tarantino locks his slaves inside a cartoonish world where the damaged Django is able to gain some sort of catharsis through his violence.

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Philomena (2013)

So whilst I’m planning a romantic valentine’s day with vampire Tom Hiddleston, a friend of mine is arranging to take her fiancĂ© to watch the significantly unromantic Philomena: the adaptation of Martin Sixsmith’s book about an elderly woman’s journey to find the son she was forced to give up as a teenager. Not a terrible film but hardly the kind of film you’d consider for a romantic night out.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Only Lovers Left Alive (2013)

I like the idea of vampires. Not romantic and sappy Twilight vampires but back to basics vampires. I’m thinking those who build on the foundations laid out by John Polidori (let us not forget the true father of the literary vampire) and Bram Stoker: basically Lord Byron but with a bigger appetite for blood. So vampires: tick. As you probably also know, I really like Tom Hiddleston (I’m talking worry proportions here). Therefore, after finding myself alone on Valentine’s Day, I made the best of the situation by watching a preview showing of Jim Jarmusch’s vampire love story with friends. I ask you, dear reader, if you can think of a better Valentine’s companion, than sexy vampire Hiddleston. No, thought not.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Dallas Buyers Club (2013)

It’s 2014 and the world has become a strange place. Matthew McConaughey is fast becoming an incredibly talented actor. Yes, the same man who fronted limp rom-coms How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days and Failure to Launch is steadily making waves in the industry. After critically acclaimed performances in Mud, Killer Joe and The Paperboy, McConaughey now finds himself nominated for his first Best Actor award. I still find it hard to connect these two people but, as we know, I eventually adapted to proper actor Marky Mark without much emotional upheaval. Maybe I could even get used to the serious but probably still shirtless Matthew McConaughey.