Monday, 27 October 2014

Jim Carrey vs Matthew McConaughey

First of all: what in the name of the good Lord is Matthew McConaughey doing in a car commercial so soon after winning an Oscar? I know Halle Berry did Catwoman and Charlize Theron did Aeon Flux right after snagging Academy Awards but this is surely some kind of new low isn't it?

Secondly, Jim Carrey sadly just keeps getting older. I wish this could stop. He got famous too late in life and I feel like we're owed more years of him in his prime. But hey at least he's still got his funny bones sometimes.

So here he is taking the piss out of the car commercial the McDaddy has done for Lincoln cars. 'Sometimes you got to go back to actually move forward' MM says in the commercial. Well Jim Carrey has gone back to SNL for this little skit and it's pretty funny. Check out the real commercial and then the parody below:

The real deal:

Jim Carrey's version:

Did it make you LOL so much you ended up ROTFL?

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Fast and Furious 7 Teaser Posters Arrive

The countdown is on until the first Fast and Furious 7 teaser trailer screeches onto the net. To mark the last seven days before we get some quality footage, Universal is releasing something special each day for fans.

So here it is: the first real poster for Fast and Furious 7, thankfully with the 'Fast and' intact after yesterday's banner (below) that only read 'Furious 7'.

Seeing as how Fast Five was called Fast Five and most people just referred to the sixth as Fast Six, it would be a bit weird to have to start calling it the 'Furious' franchise suddenly. On the other hand, I suppose the Furious is in keeping with the idea of vengeance which apparently, according to this poster, is about to hit home.

Lest we forget, this will be our last chance to see Paul Walker doing his thing in these films. It is only a month until the first anniversary of his death and I'm sure this film will give him a fitting send off. RIP.

I'm also hoping for big things from this film as Saw director James Wan took the wheel for this installment. Let's hope he steers the franchise in a thrilling direction with newbies Jason Statham and Kurt Russell on board!

Like the posters or had enough of this franchise?

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Nightcrawler Review

Don’t be fooled by its poster or its trailer; Nightcrawler, as its ghoulish title suggests, is definitely a straight up horror movie. Like all the best films in the genre, it has a terrible monster at its heart; one who is instantly recognisable, terrifyingly understandable and has the hollowed out face of a slimmed down and spooky Jake Gyllenhaal.

However, unlike most movie monsters, Gyllenhaal’s Lou Bloom doesn’t go around murdering people, slashing them up himself or hunting and stalking them through their houses. Instead, the entrepreneurial Bloom starts driving around at night, listening to a police scanner and waiting for a crime to be committed or for a car to be in a fatal collision. Like an anti-Batman, he prowls the shadows of the night, waiting for the villains to strike. Instead of saving the day like a superhero, Bloom rushes in on the worst night of your life, stabbing a camera in your face and makes sure you end up all bloodied on the morning news.

It’s nothing personal. Bloom is just an enterprising guy who wants to make a buck and isn’t afraid to work for it. When we first meet him, he is selling stolen copper and scrap metal, haggling over prices and hustling for a decent job. After seeing what these film crews can do at the scene of an auto accident, Bloom gets himself a camera and scanner, soon hires himself a navigator and assistant and hurtles around the city in the search for blood. 

Of course, Lou wouldn’t have a business if there wasn’t someone to pay him for his real-life video-nasties. Rene Russo is the vulture waiting to taste the bloody meat he brings in, depending on shocking images to grab ratings and keep her job. Lou knows exactly what it is the networks want and exactly how to get it. He is an infinitely determined individual; the perfect product of our individualistic, selfish, success driven sick society. Bloom provides a service that is in demand. No matter the ethics of filming the dead or dying; Bloom has the tools to capture what the people want. And Russo’s TV exec knows that fear sells. 

This might be the directorial debut of screenwriter Dan Gilroy but it is a film completely focused on Gyllenhaal’s character. It's a fantastic script but nothing can distract from Gylenhaal's sinister performance at the heart of the movie. Gifted with a wonderful character, Bloom is an oily creep, morally reprehensible but magnetic all the same. He is hard working, driven and knowledgeable; and every bit as ruthless as society requires him to be in order to get ahead in this world. Constantly crossing boundaries, both physical (police lines do not cross!) and metaphorical, Bloom is an opportunist and chameleon. 

Nightcrawler offers both thriller and biting social satire. When Bloom is shooting crime scenes, there is an element of the stalk and slash film. Bloom lurks through houses like a predator, ready to shoot his prey with his camera. Later, as he really starts to cross ethical lines, it becomes an action film as Bloom and his assistant follow car chases and shootouts. All the while, Bloom’s relentless attempts to expand his business and exploit anyone in his path become the real horror of the story. Driven to extreme measures by a simple demand and supply mentality, Bloom is a monster waiting to happen.

Gyllenhaal turns in the performance of a lifetime. While the city of Los Angeles sleeps, he plays the man willing to get his hands dirty for the good of our fear mongering media. Lou Bloom will probably be heralded a hero by many; a man whose confidence and business sense make him a success; no matter what the cost. Make no mistake; Nightcrawler is a monster movie; but he’s a monster we made, we implicitly endorse and arguably we need

Here is the trailer:

Top 5 Jake Gyllenhaal performances

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Friday, 24 October 2014

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Epic Hobbit Inspired Air New Zealand Safety Video

What on Middle Earth is this now? Peter Jackson, Elijah Wood, Sylvester McCoy all pop up in this slightly baffling safety video from Air New Zealand. Telling you the best way to stay safe on one of their planes while selling the crap out of The Hobbit and New Zealand as the ultimate Middle Earth adventure, it sure is pretty epic.

It's also completely unnecessary and still just a safety video. Nothing is personally ever going to stop me thinking about all the disasters that could befall us passengers as they tell me to count the number of rows between me and the exit. Sorry Tolkien fans but all I want from a safety video is to know how and where I can get off the plane in an emergency if I'm lucky enough to survive a crash!

Anyway check out the video for yourself and just be thankful that you're not currently having to brace yourself for any impending disaster:

Like it?

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Radio 1 Rescores Drive, Curated By Zane Lowe... Are they nuts?

Radio 1, led by super-cool Zane Lowe, have decided to rescore the movie Drive with an all new soundtrack. The film will be screened on BBC3 on Thursday 30th October. 

New music will be included from the likes of Banks, Baauer, Jon Hopkins, SBTRKT, The 1975, Bastille, Bring Me The Horizon, CHVRCHES, Eric Prydz, Foals, Laura Mvula, The Neighbourhood and more. I've got to say I haven't heard much of any of these but they will have to be pretty damn good to beat the likes of Cliff Martinez, College and Kavinsky.

I love the idea, the ambition and the boldness of going for a film so loved for its film score but I can't help but suspect that this can't be totally successful. It's got the blessing of director Nicholas Winding Refn but surely he knows they can't beat the original music? If Zane Lowe and Radio 1 had decided to tackle something with a less distinctive and iconic score, that would be more understandable.

I guess the point is that this is an experiment and therefore, whether it's better or worse is irrelevant. I for one am looking forward to seeing the new version. If it sucks, we've always got the original to go back and watch. And if it's awesome, I can't wait to see what they dare to tackle next! Here's the trailer for the re-scored version:

What do you think? Reckon this can work?

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Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Why I Love Jake Gyllenhaal: Top 5 Films

Ahead of the double whammy of Nightcrawler and Enemy, I thought I'd have a quick peek back at the fine work of Jake Gyllenhaal in his previous films. From the sound of things, Nightcrawler might just be his best yet but it will take something impressive to top this lot. He's worked with the likes of David Fincher and Ang Lee, shaved his head and gone boldly gay for a town still terrified of homosexuality. Here's my favourite performances of his 23 year career so far:

Update:  Here is my review of Nightcrawler

5. Zodiac

From political cartoonist to obsessed detective and author, Jake Gyllenhaal's character in David Fincher's strange serial killer flick loses everything, including his wife and kid. His determination is painstakingly captured by Fincher who commanded up to 90 takes to get the performance he wanted from the stressed out star.

4. Prisoners

This time playing a real detective and up against a seriously unhinged Hugh Jackman, Gyllenhaal still more than holds his own in Prisoners. Some might consider his constant blinking a bit of an obvious trait, but it adds a brilliantly nervous tension to a character who is caught up in a hideously tense case.

3. Donnie Darko

Gyllenhaal finally got a decent break as disturbed teen Donnie Darko after the abominable likes of Bubble Boy. Moody, dark and funny, Donnie became an instant icon of teen angst.

2. Brokeback Mountain

In a way, the late Heath Ledger had the easier role here. He was a repressed ball of rage, ready to lock down his homosexuality into a dark hole within himself. Gyllenhaal had to be the believable gay cowboy; the guy that was open to his feelings and willing to take a chance with another man.

1. End of Watch

David Ayer's film is a blistering found footage cop thriller set on the mean streets of LA. Gyllenhaal is our guide; a cocksure cop hitting on Anna Kendrick while catching the bad guys on camera. His banter with Michael Pena is awesome, his swagger and bravado only brought down by the gut wrenching finale.

What are your favourite Jake Gyllenhaal performances?

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PS Here is the trailer for Nightcrawler which looks like a whole bag of awesome:

My Top 10 of the London Film Festival 2014

Quick disclaimer: some of these I saw at Cannes earlier this year but they were still playing at the LFF so I have included them here even if I didn't get a chance to see them again. I should also mention that I didn't get to see loads of films at the LFF such as The Imitation Game, It Follows, Whiplash or Men, Women and Children to name a few. Sounds like Whiplash may be many people's favourite of the festival but I'm afraid I will have to wait to see it like everybody else!

Anyway, here is my top 10. Click the titles for my reviews:

10. A Hard Day

9. Son of a Gun

8. Timbuktu

7. '71

6. Fury

5. Foxcatcher

4. A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night

3. Monsters: Dark Continent

2. Wild Tales

1. White God

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Monday, 20 October 2014

London Film Festival Day 6: White God Interview and Serena Screening with Jennifer Lawrence

On Monday, I got out of work, realised I’d lost my memory stick and that I would have to rewrite all my questions for White God director Kornel Mundruczo and writer Kata Weber again. The interview was at the Mayfair Hotel which was disgustingly posh and I got half an hour to sit down face to face with the talent. This was huge for me as 1. I’d never done a face to face interview and 2. I absolutely love this film.

I tried my best not to gush at them both and had way too many questions to get through in the allotted time but it went well. I figured I should take 30 questions just in case they give really short answers! The interview will be up at Starburst Magazine when White God gets its UK release. I urge you to go see it! Here is my review for Starburst Magazine.

Then I hung around for a screening of Serena. If all the tickets don’t get sold out for the public screenings in the evenings, then they dish them out to press if they want them. While I was sitting around waiting for the screening to start, there was a lot of security around and a whole big area of the cinema had been cordoned off for a ‘private party’. Somebody on Twitter had already told me that there was a rumour that star of Serena Jennifer Lawrence would be in attendance and lo and behold as the lights went down for the film, Lawrence and director Susanne Bier showed up to briefly introduce the film. 

Lawrence had to jet off back to LA but Bier and Toby Jones hung around afterwards for a QnA session after the film. 

Here is the trailer for Serena and my review:

Starburst Magazine: Hunger Games Mockingjay Preview and Reviews

In the latest issue of Starburst Magazine, I have written a preview of Mockingjay Part 1 detailing everything we know about the upcoming blockbuster. I also have a review of The Equalizer and Kidnapped in there if you fancy picking up a copy from here or WHSmiths or HMV or many other places. Or you can subscribe here and never miss an issue!

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