Monthly Archives: May 2012

Review: Dark Shadows (2012)

DIRECTOR: Tim Burton.

CAST: Johnny Depp, Eva Green, Michelle Pfeiffer, Bella Heathcote, Chloe Grace Moretz, Gulliver McGrath, Helena Bonham Carter, Jackie Earle Haley, Jonny Lee Miller.

SYNOPSIS: After breaking the heart of witch Angelique Bouchard (Green), rich and powerful Barnabus Collins (Depp) is doomed to spend his life as a vampire – and then buried alive. When he is accidentally freed two hundred years later in 1972, Barnabus faces a very different world and a very different family.

Based on the American television series that ran from 1966-71, Dark Shadows is yet another excuse for Tim Burton to dabble in the supernatural and unconventional. But even with an immaculate performance from Johnny Depp, this new film from the duo (with Bonham Carter in tow, obviously) will have you begging for a time when they were joining forces for original projects like Edward Scissorhands. Continue reading

Review: The Lucky One (2012)

DIRECTOR: Scott Hicks.

CAST: Zac Efron, Taylor Schilling, Blythe Danner, Riley Thomas Stewart, Jay R. Ferguson, Adam LeFevre.

SYNOPSIS: While serving in Iraq, Logan Thibault (Efron) survives an attack after stooping down to admire a photo. Crediting it for saving his life, Logan heads out to find the girl, Beth (Schilling), in the picture that became his good luck charm throughout the conflict.

It’s hard to believe Scott Hicks was nominated for practically every Award under the sun for 1996’s Shine, when The Lucky One is such a messy jumble of screenplay, direction and, unfortunately, source material. With underwhelming surprises scattered throughout, The Lucky One sticks to a very basic and predictable formula for the most part, with the only real moment of threat and suspense tossed away with barely a second’s afterthought. With more checked shirts than your average Superdry, this adaptation of Nicholas Sparks’ novel is pretty to look at and charming enough, but unfortunately lacks much underneath. Continue reading

Killer McConaughey

Let me warn you – this will not be the last time I explain how much I am looking forward to attending the 2012 Edinburgh International Film Festival. And when a trailer like this is released for what will be the Festival’s opening film, it’s a little hard to suppress my excitement.

Kicking off the Festival on June 20th, William Friedkin’s ‘shockingly cool and blackly comic noir thriller’ (as the EIFF’s website calls it) stars Matthew McConaughey as the titular Joe, alongside Emile Hirsch, Juno Temple, Gina Gershon and Thomas Haden Church.

McConaughey is proving a constant surprise of late, with an affecting turn in The Lincoln Lawyer and some very interesting films coming up in the form of Mud and The Paperboy. I’m genuinely glad to see him working on such diverse films – Magic Mike, anyone?! – and he’s definitely getting the chance to channel his best inner-Texan in his studded boots, here. But it’s his relationship with Juno Temple’s Dottie that has me fascinated, on the wrong side of appropriate and bizarrely haunting. And as for Temple, well, there doesn’t seem to be anything the little Brit isn’t prepared to throw herself into.

It’s also a relief to see Hirsch in this after Speed Racer and The Darkest Hour, as I was genuinely convinced he was on the fast track to becoming the next DiCaprio after Into The Wild. But, with Savages and A Long Way Down in the pipeline, I’m remaining hopeful.

Killer Joe gets a UK release on June 29th, with the USA getting it two days earlier after it previewed at both SXSW and the Seattle International Film Festival. So, check out the trailer below and bring on the Red Band!

What I’m Watching – May 2012

This list only includes films I watched for the first time this month. My most recent viewing is the top entry:

Moonrise Kingdom (Dir: Wes Anderson, 2012) *****

What To Expect When You’re Expecting (Dir: Kirk Jones, 2012) ***

Men In Black III (Dir: Barry Sonnenfeld, 2012) **

Men In Black II (Dir: Barry Sonnenfeld, 2002) **

Rushmore (Dir: Wes Anderson, 1998) *****

An Education (Dir: Lone Scherfig, 2009) ****

A Dangerous Method (Dir: David Cronenberg, 2011) ***

The Dictator (Dir: Larry Charles, 2012) **

The Raid (Dir: Gareth Evans, 2011) *****

Citizen Kane (Dir: Orson Welles, 1941) *****

Dark Shadows (Dir: Tim Burton, 2012) ***

Martha Marcy May Marlene (Dir: Sean Durkin, 2011) ****

Safe (Dir: Boaz Yakin, 2012) ***

The Lucky One (Dir: Scott Hicks, 2012) **

Welcome To The Bathtub

After winning both the Grand Jury and Cinematography Prizes at Sundance 2012, it’s fair to say that Benh Zeitlin’s Beasts Of The Southern Wild garnered a fair bit of attention. Having found distribution under the Fox Searchlight banner, the first trailer and poster have been released for what can only be described as one beautiful looking film.

Focusing on central character, Hushpuppy (who I’m already dubbing Little Miss Magnetic), Quvenzhané Wallis plays the six-year-old who lives with her father, Wink, in ‘the bathtub’, a southern Delta community at the edge of the world. Sundance’s description goes on to tell us the following:

‘Wink’s tough love prepares her for the unravelling of the universe; for a time when he’s no longer there to protect her. When Wink contracts a mysterious illness, nature flies out of whack – temperatures rise and the ice caps melt, unleashing an army of prehistoric creatures called aurochs. With the waters rising, the aurochs coming and Wink’s health fading, Hushpuppy goes in search of her lost mother.’

With no UK release date as of yet, Beasts Of The Southern Wild will hit the US on the 27th June. Check out the trailer and poster below. The wait for an international release is already hurting me.

Thanks For The Shivers, Mr. Nolan

With The Avengers already a success story both critically and commercially, this summer is once again chock-full of superheroes – we mustn’t forget Sony’s Spidey reboot due in July. But out of the three, it is only this new trailer which gives me goosebumps. Yes, I adored The Avengers and came out feeling like a giddy three year-old who had eaten too many blue Smarties, and sure, the Spidey trailer has its moments, but they’re not a patch on the feeling of dread and stunning silence that enshrouds Nolan’s latest puzzle piece.

Far quieter than the viral run up to 2008’s The Dark Knight, Bane still feels almost entirely alien – a stark difference to the vast use of the Joker’s face. We have barely seen anything of Selina Kyle in either guise other than photos and, as for Marion Cotillard and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, well, what they’ll be up to beyond the allusions of their character names is anyone’s guess.

But where Nolan succeeds is with his phenomenally loyal fanbase. Though the viral marketing may seem sparse and cryptic and only readily available to those ‘in the know’ (yep, that’s us, fellow nerd), he never needed to present a trailer that provided any explicit storyline or character info. And this makes me so much hungrier for July 20th.

Rewatching the trailers for The Dark Knight, they may seem significantly more epic, but I have no doubt this third and final trailer for Nolan’s Batman bow out is only a meagre taste of the impact Bane and co. will have once they hit our screens.

In Nolan We Trust.