Tag Archives: steve mcqueen

Not Quite A Haiku Review: The Raid 2 (2014)

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In life outside the block,
Everything is bigger but just as intense.
We’re back in Jakarta, bitches.

Fists, hammers, guns, glass, baseballs.
Nicolas Winding Refn wishes he made this.
Try keeping your mouth shut…

Choreographed beyond actual human comprehension,
‘Are you not entertained?!’ Gareth Evans cries?
Punch walls – they don’t retaliate.

‘Berandal’ means ‘badass’ or ‘scoundrel’.
Suck it up, don’t fuck it up.
Indonesian police corruption really blows.

My favourite film of 2014,
Soz McQueen, this is my new jam.
GO ON RAMA, MY SON!

VERDICT: 5/5

Review: 12 Years A Slave (2013)

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Director: Steve McQueen.

Starring: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Lupita Nyong’o, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano, Adepero Oduye, Brad Pitt, Garret Dillahunt, Sarah Paulson, Alfre Woodard, Paul Giamatti.

Running Time: 134 minutes.

Certificate: 15.

Synopsis: Based on the true story of Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a free Black man who was captured and sold into slavery. His struggle to keep his identity and stay alive are made even more difficult when he finds himself bought by slaveowner Edwin Epps (Michael Fassbender).

Following on from haunting, visceral Fassbender machines, HUNGER and SHAME, Steve McQueen’s latest, incredibly raw triumph grabs you by the scruff of the neck and demands your heart and soul. 2013 delivered two very different tales of Black oppression courtesy of Tarantino and Spielberg, but this nigh-on flawless retelling of Solomon Northup’s plight is the one to beat in 2014.

Finding art in the smallest of things, McQueen’s proclivity to linger where others would call cut fascinates and enchants – notably in an incredibly tense scene that finds Solomon’s life hanging in the balance whilst others go about their daily tasks. Cinematographer Sean Bobbitt once again melts into the director’s vision, creating numerous iconic moments from the spraying of fresh blood at the hand of Edwin Epps’ whip to a journey following Solomon through the woods. Malickian interludes serve to measure the years passed, but refrain from self-indulgence, instead letting us appreciate minor details and transforming 12 YEARS A SLAVE into a transcendent, necessitated rewatch. Continue reading

What I’m Watching – January 2014

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

The Croods (Dir: Kirk DeMicco, Chris Sanders, 2013) **

Inside Llewyn Davis (Dir: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen, 2013) ****

The Wolf Of Wall Street (Dir: Martin Scorsese, 2013) *****

Only Lovers Left Alive (Dir: Jim Jarmusch, 2013) ****

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (Dir: Kenneth Branagh, 2014) **

Out Of The Furnace (Dir: Scott Cooper, 2013) ***

Dallas Buyers Club (Dir: Jean-Marc Vallée, 2013) ****

12 Years A Slave (Dir: Steve McQueen, 2013) *****

American Hustle (Dir: David O. Russell, 2013) *****

The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty (Dir: Ben Stiller, 2013) *****

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (Dir: Adam McKay, 2013) ***

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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2012 European Film Award Nominations

Marion Cotillard, where art thou?

Michael Haneke’s Amour, Steve McQueen’s Shame and Tomas Vinterberg’s The Hunt lead the pack for the 25th Annual European Film Awards.

With Amour winning Haneke the Palme d’Or in Cannes earlier this year, his chance at a spot in Oscar’s Best Picture category is looking rather positive. But even with its prime November UK and December US release dates, with two months to go, we all know that anything could happen.

As a huge fan of Untouchable, its strong presence here is great to see (that’s the Weinstein effect for you), but I definitely wasn’t expecting Kate Winslet to pop up or to find The Angels’ Share score in the mix. Brilliant film, but completely unmemorable music – aside from The Proclaimers, of course.

Oh, and if you were wondering, Holy Motors wasn’t eligible.

Check out the full list of nominees below: Continue reading

Let’s Get The Top Ten Of 2012 Underway, Shall We?

You know the drill by now. I update this list (in accordance with UK release dates) throughout the year and then publish my final Top Ten after the Oscar winners receive their statues. It’s only April and there’s plenty more to be seen and plenty I haven’t yet watched, but it’s time to get the ball rolling and keep this list in order:

Continue reading

Ten (Well, Twelve) Things I Would Like To Say To BAFTA

#1 – I’m proud of you for nominating Drive for Best Film and Best Director. ACADEMY TAKE NOTE.

 

 

 

 

 

#2 – Why did you put Mulligan on the longlist for Best Actress for Shame? She quite obviously should have been nominated for her work in that as opposed to Drive in the Best Supporting category.

#3 – Your Outstanding British Film category is a bit of a shambles, to be honest. Where’s the likes of Tyrannosaur, Submarine, The Guard or Weekend? They were all considerably more ‘Outstanding’ than My Week With Marilyn. But at least you didn’t nominate The Iron Lady.

#4 – Would it have been too much to ask for some love for 50/50?

 

 

 

#5 – TINTIN IS NOT ANIMATED!!!! I’ve lost complete sense of where the lines blur in this category, now, to be honest….

 

#6 – Bejo should not be up for Best Actress. You should have put her nicely in the Best Supporting category instead of Dame Judi and given some room for the thoroughly deserving Olivia Colman.

 

 

 

#7 – What makes you think you’re cool enough to buck the Brooks trend?

 

 

 

 

 

#8 – While we’re in the Supporting categories, you seem to think McCarthy will be Oscar nominated for Bridesmaids. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

 

#9 – This year’s soundtrack category has been an interesting one and the choices here are pretty stellar, but being BAFTA, you could have thrown some love Hanna or Attack The Block’s way. And yet again, what about continuing that love for Drive?

 

#10 – Broadbent and Dench. Yes, I appreciate they’re national treasures and I love them dearly. But there were far better choices that got left out because of their respective nominations.

 

 

#11 – I’m still confused over the people left out of this Rising Star category…

 

 

 

 

#12 – YOU DIDN’T VOTE THE TREE OF LIFE FOR ANYTHING?! NOT EVEN CINEMATOGRAPHY?!! We’re going to fall out, BAFTA.

Anyway, see below for the full list of nominees: Continue reading