Wednesday, May 14, 2008
While denouncing his involvement in the Darko sequel, Richard mentioned that he's editing together his next film, horror pic The Box, and that he's going “to work with a very famous band who is honoring us with being the first filmmakers they’ve ever scored a film with”. While I think this news was supposed to have been announced at a later date, Pitchfork Media found out that that very famous band he was talking about is in fact Arcade Fire.
I like Arcade Fire and the prospect of a full film score from them is intriguing. The Box is a 70s-set horror/suspense concerning a married couple (Cameron Diaz and James Marsden) who receive a small wooden box that gives them instant wealth when a button within is pressed. It's based on a short story by Richard Matheson called Button Button.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not a sequel hater by any stretch (see: Indy 4), but there's just no need to continue the story of the Darko family whatsoever. It's plain to see that it's just a sad way of extracting cash from a cow that doesn't need to be milked. ScreenDaily has reported that Chris Fisher (of Nightstalker fame... wait, did I say say "fame"?) will be directing the story of Donnie's sister Samantha (Daviegh Chase) as she embarks on a road trip with her friends at age 18 and are plagued by strange visions. The sequel will be entitled S. Darko.
Richard Kelly and Darko Entertainment have come out and stated that they are "150% not involved" and have tried to stop development on the pic. One of the producers of S. Darko, Adam Fields, was involved in the original and was rumored to have been ordered off set (or at least was told he was not welcome) and could possibly be organizing this as revenge.
Whatever the reasoning or the outcome, I'm not looking forward to this at all. Shooting begins on May 18th.
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
Iron Man has never really had the same audience pre-notion as Superman or Batman. For it to work as a franchise it has to be introduced to the minds of the movie-going public. And that what the current film does. Sure, most other comic book films have had the obligitory origin-based story, but most tend to concentrate (at most) half the film on it and spend the rest giving us a proper film with a villain (or two) and heart thumping set pieces. Batman Begins and Spider Man are prime examples of this method, and Iron Man pales in comparison to them.
First off: there's no real villains in Iron Man. Yes, we have the Terrorists and a bald Jeff Bridges, but neither provide any real threat and only pop up, especially in Bridges case, towards the final few reels.
Second: The direction in Iron Man is very average. The final battle looks like a cut scene from Transformers and most other scenes are blocked like a TV show.
Finally: For all it's worth, the running time of Iron Man could have been cut to just Robert Downey Jr's last line: "I am Iron Man", which is really all that the movie says.
This is nothing but introduction. I admit that it is entertaining, but I find it difficult to come to terms with the fact that to gain all we can from this character we have to buy into sequels and a bigger story. I'm fairly certain that the sequel will be better then the initial encounter, and that it only because in his first outing Iron Man isn't given all that much to do.
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
- The Once Swede won the Be Kind Rewind Contest! It has already screened on Channel 6 and is set to appear on The Last Broadcast on RTE 2 at the end of May and at the Darklight Film Festival in June.
- Interviews about the film have appeared on/in The Evening Herald, The Fanning Show on RTE Radio 1, Film & TV Monthly, Today FM's Ian Dempsey Show and various websites.
- Not resting on any laurels, I'm gearing up a short doc on the recording of Rhob Cunningham's song Good Or A Bad Thing and a short film titled "box" that will hopefully be ready for festivals during the Summer.
- Reviews will be back on-line over the coming days
Thursday, March 6, 2008
LIGHT HOUSE CINEMA TO RE-OPEN FOLLOWING EXTENDED INTERMISSION
Dublin, March 6th 2008: The Light House Cinema has officially confirmed May 9th as the date for the re-opening of the venue at the new location in Smithfield Square, Dublin. The eagerly awaited re-opening comes following an extended “intermission” – the Light House, in its previous incarnation, closed in Abbey Street in 1996. The Light House Cinema team of Neil Connolly and Maretta Dillon continue to be committed to ambitious and adventurous programming, and the new four-screen cinema will act as a cultural hub for the Smithfield area.
The total capacity is 614 seats, with seating configuration as follows: Screen One: 277 seats; Screen Two: 153 seats; Screen Three: 116 seats; and Screen Four: 68 seats. The four screens will allow for enormous flexibility in terms of programming, delivering a greater choice and diversity of films to invigorate the cultural cinema landscape in Ireland.
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
Friday, February 29, 2008
Thursday, February 28, 2008
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Funny Games U.S.
A straight remake of the original German film, Funny Games U.S. is a fairly disturbing look at the hunger and fascination that modern audiences have towards cinema violence. The reason to remake it in such an exact way is to make it's point more direct, tangible and relevant then it was before. I left the cinema feeling horrible, so it did have the effect on me that the director wanted. It's a unique experience, but not one for anyone sensitive.
Rating: * * * * (4 Stars)
For the most part, The Orphanage is a brilliant horror film filled with moments of complete terror and pants-wetting suspense. Very well directed, written and performed, it keeps you engaged and alert with it's story of hauntings and a missing child. It's such a pity that the final 2 minutes of the film tear apart everything that it worked so hard on building. To go into it would be to spoil the film, so I'll just say this: it's denouement is so ethically skewed and uncharacteristic of the story that it actually offends deeply and gives the wrong message.
Rating: * * * * (4 Stars, but it would be 5 if the ending hadn't been such a cop out)
This was the surprise film of the festival. If this is festival director Grainne Humphreys idea of what a surprise film should be then I'll be skipping it next year. The film itself has been done many times before and better too. We never get enough back-story or development from the characters, their motives are either shallow or non-existent, and the final twist is, while clever in some respects, completely hollow and meaningless. A poor effort, and a bad choice.
Rating: * * (2 Stars)
I hope the festival improves next year, as there's most certainly room for it.
Monday, February 25, 2008
I didn't have time to put up my predictions yesterday, but I'd have gone for There Will Be Blood for Best Film (wrong!), The Coens for Director (right!), Day Lewis for Actor (duh! right!), Cotillard for Actress (right! yay!), Blanchett for Supp. Actress (wrong!) and Holbrook for Supp. Actor (wrong again!).
There were no big surprises this year, and it seems that this was one of the few years that The Academy gave the best film award to a deserving film.
Congrats to Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova in winning for Best Song.
Thursday, February 21, 2008
The director of the Oscar-nominated short film Fifty Percent Grey, Ruairi Robinson, has been lined up by Leonardo Di Caprio's production company Apian Way and Warner Bros. to direct 2 live-action films based on the Manga property Akira.
The Akira manga comic books were made into the much celebrated animated feature back in 1988, and in the 90s Sony Pictures made some headway into producing a live-action version but faltered at the projected budget for the effects. Now that CGI has reached a stage where the budget can be shrunk Di Caprio has taken on the story, probably with a view to starring as well.
Aintitcoolnews broke the story here.
You can view the brilliant short Fifty percent Grey here.
Friday, February 15, 2008
Similar to what I've said in the past, he challenges that the added glamor and ceremony over the past few years has cheapened the awards and, even though it promotes shorts and low-budget endeavors, has ended up being nothing more than an opportunity to have a few famous faces on the morning papers.
When the response you get from Aine Moriarty, IFTA Chief Executive, is "Who is voicing this opinion? It is ridiculous" it just shows how closed minded the awards are.
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
With all the hype surrounding this film I was expecting to be let down a good deal, considering that the vast majority of films never meet the expectations built up by a crazy marketing campaign. Turns out the hype was deserved and I throughly enjoyed the hell out of it! It's fast paced, well constructed and feels like some genuine creative thought went into making it what it is. It's a blockbuster with a little more smarts then your usual multiplex fodder. It does suffer from some gaping plot holes but, being a monster movie, you can easily forgive them. A word of warning: try and sit as far back in the cinema as possible! It's not as shakily annoying as some Bourne films, but it comes close the odd time.
Rating: * * * * (4 Stars)
This film, while being quite good, comes across as a missed opportunity for me. What we have is a story that's funny, touching and engaging but is written in a fashion that completely alienates the audience. The quick-witted banter that coats almost every scene (the first 10 minutes are an onslaught of achingly dry punchlines) displays an unsettling need to prove its indie roots. Luckily, once it gets to the half way mark the dialog begins to simmer down and the story takes centre stage. Page is sometimes annoying, but generally fine, as the title character and is supported by a great cast (including Michael Cera who nails his role perfectly). Good but not great, it's amount of awards and nominations seem like overkill. Oh, and I hate hate hate The Moldy Peaches!
Rating: * * * (3 Stars)
I was, not quite dragged, but coerced into seeing this. This year's "released for Valentines" film is light on the schmaltz and heavy on the cute as Ryan Reynolds' tells the story of how he met is soon-to-be-divorced wife to his young daughter. Compared to other rom-coms it has it's moments, tends not to drift into over-sentimentality and has a dark core to its tale. However, it does contain characters and arcs that are beyond belief and reality. Do yourself a favour and watch High Fidelity instead, a film about past and current relationships that surpasses this attempt.
Rating: * * (2 Stars, add another 2 if you like this sort of movie)
Friday, February 8, 2008
(In other news, it's been speculated that Lost will get 6 more episodes in April/May! Good times!!)
CNBC is reporting here that a deal will go before the writers tomorrow (Saturday) for their approval.
Ex-CEO of Disney, Michael Eisner said "It's over, they made the deal, they shook hands on the deal. It's going on Saturday to the writers in general". Once the writers give it the thumbs-up (which everyone seems fairly certain that they will) it will bring an end to the strike that has lasted since November and shut down most TV and some film productions.
Eisner concluded: "A deal has been made, and they'll be back to work very soon," adding, "I know a deal's been made. I know it's over."