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Showing posts from October, 2015

Halloween

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John Carpenter's horror classic remains as sickeningly brutal today as ever and is considered quite rightly as a highly influential film by many. Halloween is paced almost sickeningly slowly, with the tension climbing to ghastly levels for over an hour before unleashing the ever mysterious but brilliantly realised Michael Myers.

Jamie Lee Curtis plays the terrified teen Laurie to perfection, depicting the perfect balance between sheer terror and bravery, but the real star is of course Myers who we ironically see very little of for most of the film. Foreboding shots of him from a distance combined with the subtly chilling soundtrack, composed by Carpenter himself, and Myers' heavy breathing are enough to haunt many a bold viewer. 
Halloween succeeds largely through its subtle nature, with a simplistic plot and an unexplained killer creating more and more unease as Myers edges ever closer towards Laurie. As mentioned, the soundtrack plays a large part, and, as with the plot, is ch…

Spectre

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The conclusion to the Daniel Craig helmed reinvention of the 007 series looks to end the series on a high. So is it full of British bravado or just brainless Bond bluster?

The narrative begins with the typical efficiency that the series has become known for, with Craig's pursuits centered around locating the elusive Franz Oberhauser (Christoph Waltz). However the film soon escalates rapidly into an expansive plot that involves characters both new and old. It was pleasantly surprising how well Spectre drew together the previous three films and it often felt like a greatest hits compilation of the modern reincarnation of Bond in the best possible way. 

The combat is just as brutal and Borne-inspired as ever courtesy of Dave Bautista's Mr Hinx, who is essentially Oberhauser's one man team of henchmen. Action sequences were never dull or overly familiar, with a well struck balance between vehicular and on foot action. 

The return of Skyfall director Sam Mendes means that these sc…

Countdown to Spectre

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Late last year, the next James Bond film was announced at Pinewood Studios in the UK and the wait since has been agonising. Finally, after almost a year of set news and teaser trailers, the latest in the long-running spy thriller series is days away from release. So what will make Spectre worth the anticipation?

Hopes have been high for the series since the last installment Skyfall which impressed with its breathtaking action set pieces (including an excellent introductory sequence), impressive cast and all-round fast-paced directing. If Spectreis anywhere as good as the previous film then it will have achieved highly. Considering that much of the same team worked on both films, my hopes are high. 

The vital difference between Skyfall and 2008's Quantum of Solace, it's highly disappointing precursor, was that the latter lacked any real pace aside from a small handful of moments. It felt largely disjointed, with a collection of action scenes held together by dull and convoluted s…

Blumhouse and the Death of Modern Horror

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Cast your mind back to 2009 when a tiny horror movie on a shoestring budget of $15,000 named Paranormal Activity shocked the film world by making over $190 million through an ingenious marketing campaign and going on to become the most profitable film of all time. The original was an incredible success and a welcome spin on the horror formula but no-one could have predicted the impact it would have on the genre.

Skip forward to now and producers of the original movie Blumhouse Productions have overseen the creation of five more Paranormal Activity films, turning them into almost yearly releases. By completely over-saturating the series of the original, the studio have completely lost touch with the reason why the first movie was such a success.

Found footage was still relatively untouched, having been first made famous by the Blair Witch Projectway back in 1999, and the idea of a CCTV style/camcorder film had never been done before. The fact that the spirits that tormented the lives of…

The Highs and Lows of the new Dad's Army Trailer

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The recent news that a film remake of the famous British comedy series Dad's Army was in the works sparked equal amounts of optimism and fear. TV series adapted to the big screen have had a long history of failures, with recent examples including Entourage and The Inbetweeners 2. Even more worrying is the fact that Dad's Army hasn't been touched for well over 40 years and makes it more likely that the new film may completely lose touch with the comedy of the original series.

The new trailer is filled with promising moments and some fairly excruciating parts too. The cast is impressive on paper, with Toby Jones and Michael Gambon very similar to the character's of the original. Gambon provided many of the high points of the 2 minute trailer, portraying the hapless Godfrey with near identical mannerisms to Arnold Ridley in the original. Jones is also one of the finest British actors at the moment and hopefully is given enough material to work one as Capt. Mainwaring.

More …

Crimson Peak

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Crimson Peak often feels more like a play than a film. The settings outgrow the screen with their incredibly imaginative design and at times awe-inspiring scale, characters confront the camera and are thrust right to the center of the piece while the ghosts and apparitions lurch terrifyingly towards the audience. Director Guillermo del Toro, whose works are known for their unsettling atmosphere and meticulous attention to detail, has crafted a masterpiece that draws upon often covered ideas to create a piece so equally enticing, nightmarish and eerie that it left me breathless.

Tom Hiddleston and Mia Wasikowska portray the lovers Thomas Sharpe and Edith Cushing (a reference to the Hammer Horror star Peter Cushing, the first of many homages) and their relationship is very convincing, with the chemistry between the two spot on. 

Following the death of her father, Edith is whisked away to England by Thomas to live in his family home, a sprawling place that is once both enchanting and haunt…

Quick Flick: Youth in Revolt

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Michael Cera has for years been dangerously close to being typecast as the "awkward, quirky teen" that he has played in Juno, Scott Pilgrim and Superbad, to name just a handful. But Cera is so good in these roles it is easy to see why he has been so often cast in them. Youth in Revolt is perhaps the best example of the prime Cera role: Nick, a lonely teenager who meets the "perfect girl" Sheeni, and is on a relentless quest to ensure they are together forever. It may not sound like the most original plot but Youth in Revolt is so deliciously quirky and often downright hilarious that it presents itself as a fresh and untouched idea. The central idea of the film is that Nick adopts a French alter ego named Francois, which perfectly shows off the surprising scope of Cera's talents, and it works well, providing a centre point for much of the film's humour. 



The amount of ideas contained within Youth in Revolt can be seen as both what sets it apart from other sim…