We were going to call this this section the 'flog' (see what we did there), but thought we might bring in the wrong crowd. This is where the house reviewers regularly post to their random thoughts vaguely on the subject of film.
UWE Boll Fight Paul
Last updated on 20th May, 2009
In light of Robin's blog post, here's one of the fights!
There have been a few directors over the years consistently putting out pretty terrible movies. Ed Wood years ago, Michael Bay today perhaps? One director whose name just keeps cropping up these days is Uwe Boll, he of Bloodrayne, House of the Dead, Alone in the Dark, In the Name of the King and more recently, Postal.
I've seen a couple of these and yes, they did suck. Boll often chooses video game projects, and we know from previous examples that its never been a successful area for anyone. But, I have an admiration for this guy. He keeps toiling away, ignoring the critics and still working with some fairly big names in Hollywood. Well, maybe not all of them. Boll challenged five critics to a boxing match, and beat every single one.
You've got to give the guy props for that. He keeps getting investors for these potential video game movies, and Jason Statham, who is making a lot of movies right now, chose to star in In the Name of the King. I checked the trailer for Postal, and it looks hilarious.
Finally someone with the balls to poke some fun at 9/11.
Tags: Postal uwe-boll jason-statham bloodrayne 9/11 house-of-the-dead boxing hollywood alone-in-the-dark
There's no such thing as bad publicity muz
Last updated on 26th July, 2008
So Christian Bale, the Dark Knight of the film’s title has asked for privacy after being questioned over allegations that he assaulted his mother and sister in a London hotel last week. This privacy was asked for at a press conference which was supposedly to launch the movie, but seems to be the only part of that press conference being reported in the press.
Isn’t it peculiar that these days there always seems to be a “news story” accompanying the launch of a major new movie? With Bale this time it’s allegations of violence. With Cruise it might be the launch of a new wife/baby/religion (take your pick). I can’t help but be suspicious that movie makers and press collude in order to create these stories. I’m probably being cynical: one can’t imagine it’s in Bale’s interest to agree to participate in such a story since it’s hardly going to do him any favours. Unless of course he’s about to take the lead role in another remake of Hitchcock’s Psycho (as opposed to the American one, which of course he’s already done), in which case a spot of domestic assault may be good method acting practice for the matricidal Norman Bates.
One UK news agency reported of the Bale incident that “it is claimed the alleged incident took place in his suite at the Dorchester Hotel on Sunday evening”. Claimed and alleged? That’s two participles which cast doubt upon the veracity of the story in one sentence. Makes you think, doesn’t it?
With empire giving full marks for two films - Wall-e and The dark knight, we should appreciate that right now is a great time for cinema lovers! But it begs the question, do we need an extra star? 5 stars is now attainable, clearly, so what about an extra special 6th star?!
After watching a great movie, I often wonder what it is about that movie that I loved so much. Spielberg and Lucas once said that if they knew what made a film great, they would knocking out one or two huge money-making films a year...So whilst we can't pinpoint the exact formula, here's my two cents on what really makes a cracking film.
1) Fully developed characters that you can empathise with....You know their thoughts, their feelings and how they react to things. This is what let the Blair Witch Project down big-time for me...
2) Scenes where the music and visuals are married together perfectly to provoke an emotional response. I can't really describe it in as much as give you an example - Gladiator - where he's walking through the fields with his hands touching the crops (the Hans zimmer music marries perfectly with the scene)!
3) A compelling and interesting storyline that is backed up by a great cast, of which all are correct for their role! Mis-casts are always highly frustrating, especially when the storyline is top notch.
4) Timing obviously plays a role - if a film is launched just when the audience is ready for it....
To be updated as and when I am inspired to add to this list!!!
Do you ever worry that you don't seem to agree with others very often? All the time I find that I love/hate things that people entirely disagree with. For instance, I don't like Scrubs, but have yet to meet someone who doesn't love it. My friends all watch it. Same with Ang Lee's Hulk - I love it, I think it's one of the best Marvel adaptations so far. Most people I know think its terrible - too talky, not enough oomph. Sometimes it bothers me that I disagree so strongly, other times I think "Thats it Robin! Stick to your guns!"
But then I think about Teeth. Maybe I'm too positive. As I've said before, I appreciate films for their individual merits. If something is done differently then I will be drawn to it. Check my review - Teeth - you can tell I liked the film and it had an effect. Here's the thing - 2 of my closest friends, both hardcore movie fans, hated it. Thought it was weird.
Am I mad? Am I subconsciously playing devil's advocate? Do some of the films I like not deserve my praise? How thick is wall?
Speaking of Devil's Advocate, I hated that movie - dumb Keanu, overacting from Pacino. But again, I am the only one. It seems to be a huge cult favourite with my friends. They'd say "Devil's Advocate? Love that movie!" I just don't get it.
I'm quite surprised this function isn't used on more film web sites..many people have positively fed back on it (even though it is still very much in development and there aren't really enough film reviews to make it a feasible tool yet).
A lot of my friends enjoy a good film but they don't know enough about what is around to find a decent film for any given occasion. The ideal is that you come onto Spittinflicks.com, you can instantly choose what type of occasion you have and we will suggest titles....We will also try to incorporate top 10's for each occasion...Watch this space.
To view the current 'search for occasion' go to the Film Reviews page.
Tags: occasion right-occasion
France and Movies Robin
Last updated on 23rd July, 2008
So I'm off to France on Friday! To stay in the ruralest of rural places - Boussiere Boffy, surrounded by dreadlocked hippies, grumbling Northerners and an actual real French person or two. I'll be there with my Dad - the first person to give me a real taste of decent movies, and my 4 brothers, who age from 10yrs and under. It's an 8 hour drive from the ferry, along the way passing through avenues of trees lining the roads, reminding me of Jean-Luc Godard's Weekend, a bizarre pseudo road movie filled with murder and animal sacrifice. It's a classic. It must be, I saw it during a film course!
Last year I took with me a bunch of movies with me - Die Hard 4.0 and Transformers - my brothers wanted to see Bruce throw a car at a helicopter, and Optimus Prime and Megatron battle it out. I even took This Is England, thinking that my Dad could do with a bit of class from Shane Meadows. I had recently shown him Dead Man's Shoes, one of my favourite films, top 5 easy. But, he was too busy chatting on the blower to bother watching it, so my brother Luca, who was 7 at the time, took his place. Before you cry "How could you Robin? Show a violent film to a child?" please know that I got the all clear first. The film is a 15 certificate and I felt fairly confident that Luca wouldn't get scared or upset. I'm not trying to say I made a judgement call but I proceeded with caution. This Is England is a very relevant film, filled with genuine humour, great performances and topical subjects.
Bearing in mind I had a Grade 1 haircut at the time, it was probably not the best decision to show a movie about skinheads to my 7yr old brother. But, he enjoyed it, didn't get scared, and ultimately I think found it easy to watch a film about a 12yr old boy in a very adult world. Sure, there was bad language - he will hear that wherever he goes, whenever he is in the street or watching TV after 9pm. To put things into perspective my brothers know the script of AVP off by heart.
So this year I am taking with me Hancock for them to watch. Is it suitable?I think so. I want them to see a superhero movie that shows an alternative side. They have seen most of the Marvel adaptations so far. Superman Returns, GI Joe (the feature length cartoon - Action Force to us in the UK), Fantastic Four, X-Men - all going along. As for my Dad, it'll be a crime movie-fest - The Magician, A Bittersweet Life, Sonatine - all movies that I want his opinion on. Reviews to come on the latter two.
I'm incredibly excited to hear that Stephen Spielberg has agreed to direct the heavily debated Lincoln biopic after he has finished 'Tin tin'.
Details about this film are scarce but this is a storyline you can really make something out of. For those of you unaware, Lincoln was American's 16th president, but it was an incredible rise from nothing to get to the white house.
Here's a few lines about Lincoln (aka. The Great Emancipator)
In the cold dark months of winter, Lincoln was born in a shack with only three walls in the middle of the woods. His early years were spent in extreme poverty as his family (soon to be only his father as his mother died while he was still very young) worked day and night just to survive. However, it was in these conditions that he discovered his extreme fascination for reading - he would read anything, Aesop's fables, the bible - he used to walk for miles to the local village to borrow these books from locals. He would lie awake at night with a candle wrapped up in a rug trying to stay warm with a book in front of him.
As the years passed he worked his way from job to job eventually becoming a lawyer - not a very successful one, however. He fell in love, but she died shortly after. He ended up marrying a woman - Anne Mcginty (I think), who virtually drove him to the point of insanity (but that's going off topic)...
This film has the potential to be really fantastic - I have studied Lincoln through the work of the late Dale Carnegie (author) and am absolutely fascinated by him. Abe was a tall ungamely character, with trousers that were too short for him, and from whom melancholy dripped as he walked. He was a man with great sadness - he even described his time in the White house as being the loneliest of his existance - he never really recovered from the death of the love of his life.
This will be an emotional journey and if Spielberg gets it right, I predict this film will be an absolute classic.
You can expect:
1) A journey from nothing to the most powerful man in America
2) Lots of racial tension from the American civil war
3) I am certain there will be multiple occasions where his speach giving capabilities will be highlighted (most notably the Ghettysburg address). He was deemed to be the 'most talented public speaker the world has ever seen'.
4) An emotional performance - he was renowned for being incredibly sad a lot of the time. "Melancholy dripped from him as he walked".
5) And of course the assassination from Johnathan Wilkes Booth in 1865 after four years in the White house.
I don't know anything about this film yet - but I'm predicting classic. I am extremely interested to know who will be playing the great man himself. Robin mentioned Tom Hanks, perhaps...Sounds plausable to me.
Physical Transformations Paul
Last updated on 8th August, 2008
It seems nowadays that it is becoming increasingly frequent for actors and actresses alike to transform themselves physically in order to match a particular role/steroetype. For example, Christian Bale - Ripped and buff in American Psycho, dropped an incredible 60 pounds (to look like a borderline anorexic) in The Machinist and subsequently gained over 100 pounds to play the role of Batman. His transformations during such a short time frame are nothing short of amazing. I knocked this image together to show you the incredible transformations:-
Another noticeable 'bulk up' - Will Smith from his time in the Fresh Prince of Bel Air to his staggering 217lbs heavyweight as Mohammed Ali (incidently the exact weight of the heavyweight competitor when he was in his prime - to the pound!).
On the one hand it does add realism, I mean I don’t think I could have taken Will Smith seriously if he pranced about in a boxing ring pretending to be Ali when he was 160lbs sopping wet.
I worry that the youth of today may become engrossed in conforming to the image that they need to go on an endless pursuit for physical perfection, bulking their bodies up to reach 18” arms or cutting down to an Ethiopian-like bodyfat percentage.
It seems common place for the men to bulk up and become more muscly, while the women are losing as much weight as possible.