Monthly Archives: March 2013

Review: Maniac (2012)

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***THIS REVIEW WAS ORIGINALLY POSTED ON THE HOLLYWOOD NEWS, HERE***

Director: Franck Khalfoun.

Starring: Elijah Wood, Nora Arnezeder, Megan Duffy, America Olivo.

Running Time: 89 minutes.

Certificate: 18.

SynopsisFrank (Elijah Wood) is an attractive yet awkward shop owner with a fetish for scalps. As his mental state worsens when a young artist, Anna (Nora Arnezeder) enters his life, his potent thirst for blood threatens to ruin any chance of a normal friendship.

Opening to slick city streets and electronic beats, Franck Khalfoun’s remake of William Lustig’s 1980 cult horror is reminiscent of the Los Angeles presented in Nicolas Winding Refn’s Drive. But don’t be fooled, as the contemporary city setting is soon unveiled as a dirty, dangerous place where the days are bathed in claustrophobic greyish hues and not even an apartment corridor or parking lot is safe. Continue reading

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Review: The Incredible Burt Wonderstone (2013)

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***THIS REVIEW WAS ORIGINALLY POSTED ON THE HOLLYWOOD NEWS, HERE***

Director: Don Scardino.

Starring: Steve Carell, Steve Buscemi, Olivia Wilde, Jim Carrey, James Gandolfini, Alan Arkin, Jay Mohr, Michael Bully Herbig.

Running Time: 100 minutes.

Certificate: 15.

SynopsisAfter spending years at the top of their game on the Las Vegas strip, childhood friends Burt Wonderstone (Steve Carell) and Anton Marvelton (Steve Buscemi) are losing their audience to outrageous street magician, Steve Gray (Jim Carrey). With the help of their assistant Jane (Olivia Wilde), the duo search for the ultimate illusion to win over a new generation of fans.

Having directed nearly forty episodes of 30 Rock, Don Scardino is no stranger to offbeat comedy, but The Incredible Burt Wonderstone is a refreshing surprise for an audience who have become increasingly comfortable amongst the current run of Apatow-schtick. Penned by two of the writers behind Horrible Bosses, there are some thigh slapping one-liners, but the film is all the richer for not completely saturating itself with jokes, instead becoming a master class in how to keep repeated gags consistently funny amidst cameos and satirical jabs. Continue reading

Nic Cage Had A Dream

‘That night, I had a dream. I drifted off thinking about happiness, birth and new life, but now I was haunted by a vision of… He was horrible. The lone biker of apocalypse. A man with all the powers of Hell at his command. He could turn the day into night and lay to waste everything in his path. He was especially hard on little things – the helpless and the gentle creatures. He left a scorched earth in his wake befouling even the sweet desert breeze that whipped across his brow. I didn’t know where he came from or why. I didn’t know if he was dream or vision. But I feared that I myself had unleashed him.’

Nic Cage can predict the future.

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Anyone fancy a trip back to 1987?

Yes, Yes, Well Done Affleck, But…

Don’t get me wrong, I liked Argo – I really, really liked Argo – but it wasn’t my favourite film of 2012. That title belongs to Shame, with Beasts Of The Southern Wild in second place.

So thank you Steve McQueen for using Twelve Years A Slave to bring this little one…

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…and this, err, not so little one together.

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Oz The Great And Powerful Press Conference

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Yesterday, I headed to Claridge’s for the Press Conference for Oz The Great And Powerful for The Hollywood News. Aside from hearing about the film, it confirmed two things – that Zach Braff is hilarious and Rachel Weisz may be the most beautiful person I have ever laid my eyes on. I live blogged the whole thing with some short and sweet Twitter soundbites and you can read it all back here. Oh, and here’s a few of the photos I took. I spoil you, I know.

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DVD Review: Rust And Bone (2012)

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***THIS REVIEW WAS ORIGINALLY POSTED ON CINEVUE, HERE***

Based on Craig Davidson’s short story collection of the same name, Jacques Audiard’s Rust and Bone (De rouille et d’os, 2012) is a tender, yet visceral piece about the nature of being human. Starring Marion Cotillard as young amputee Stéphanie, and Matthias Schoenaerts as troubled single father Ali, Audiard’s latest may boast incredibly moving performances, but never quite grants us the ability to truly get under the main protagonists’ skin. Continue reading

What I’m Watching – March 2013

This list only includes films I watched for the first time this month. My most recent viewing is the top entry. Embargoed films get their respective star ratings when allowed.

Rock Of Ages (Dir: Adam Shankman, 2012) ***

Silver Linings Playbook (Dir: David O. Russell, 2012) ****

Salmon Fishing In The Yemen (Dir: Lasse Hallström, 2011) **

Dan In Real Life (Dir: Peter Hedges, 2007) ***

Trainspotting (Dir: Danny Boyle, 1996) *****

Stoker (Dir: Park Chan-Wook, 2013) *****

Les Miserables (Dir: Tom Hooper, 2012) ****

Side Effects (Dir: Steven Soderbergh, 2013) ****

Robot & Frank (Dir: Jake Schreier, 2012) ***

Paper Man (Dir: Kieran Mulroney, Michele Mulroney, 2009) ***

Morning Glory (Dir: Roger Michell, 2010) ***

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone (Dir: Don Scardino, 2013) ****

What’s Eating Gilbert Grape (Dir: Lasse Hallström, 1993) ****

Adaptation. (Dir: Spike Jonze, 2002) ****

Raising Arizona (Dir: Joel Coen, 1987) *****

Jeff, Who Lives At Home (Dir: Jay Duplass, Mark Duplass, 2011) ****

Safety Not Guaranteed (Dir: Colin Trevorrow, 2012) *****

The Grey (Dir: Joe Carnahan, 2011) ***

Margin Call (Dir: J.C. Chandor, 2011) ****

The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest (Dir: Daniel Alfredson, 2009) ***

Oz The Great And Powerful (Dir: Sam Raimi, 2013) ***