Friday, February 29, 2008

Once Swede update...

The Internets are beginning take notice of our Once Trailer that we mentioned yesterday.

So far it's been mentioned on blogs...
- The Chancer
- Unarocks
- Rick O'Shea

And made the Phantom 105.2 news (sound clip).


Thursday, February 28, 2008

Shameless Self Promotion...

As an entry to the Be Kind Rewind Sweding Contest, me and a few friends re-made the trailer for Once. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Something DIFFerent

The Dublin International Film Festival wound up on Sunday. I managed to get to 3 films....

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)

The Orphanage
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)

The Escapist
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

Cinema is the real winner...

You can find out all the Oscar winners and losers (aka: nominees) here.

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

Irish director to make Akira


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

Miffed At The IFTAs

Film journo and all-round intelligent bloke Donald Clarke has an article in Today's Irish Times that asks questions on the credibility of some awards in this year's IFTAs. You can read that article on-line here.

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

Review Roundup

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)

Definitely Maybe
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

Writers' Strike Over! (almost!)

UPDATE: East and West Coast branches of the Guild will vote on Tuesday for the acceptance of the new terms. It's suggested that the writers will be back to work on Wednesday.

(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."