Thursday, 24 February 2011
But here's the thing. When I look at some of the other films up for winning Shiny Trinkets, then I wonder how this has ever got a look in. The Social Network, Toy Story 3, Inception - at least three films that deserve the prize for Best Picture more (and, er, the only other ones I've seen). The Social Network is literally inspirational, it makes me feel excited about filmmaking. Toy Story 3 is a masterpiece of animation. Inception is surreal, confusing, and a little bit wonderful. The King's Speech did not make me feel much of anything. It's fine, give Colin Firth all the acting awards you want, he deserves it, but let's not get confused about what the really great films look like.
Monday, 21 February 2011
It's a film filtered through technology, where everything is analysed and deduced through the internet. Google Street View gives a glimpse of places before they go there. Emails hide clues that can be worked out through YouTube, Facebook, Twitter. The technology is useful but cold. Everyone is hiding behind it until they go to confront the real world. This is a story about right now, a bit scary and a bit exciting.
Sunday, 20 February 2011
It prides itself on being 'from the producers of Taken'. Another film that's from the producers of Taken is, er, Taken 2, which seems to be in production. This sounds like a brilliant and slightly rubbish idea. Somebody is going to have to be taken. But who? He's probably keeping a better eye on his daughter, so that won't happen again. Maybe somebody else's daughter? But nobody cares about that. And terrorist's wouldn't work, even though Liam Neeson could hunt them all down in five minutes. Somebody he likes will need to be abducted and shipped to a different country. I'm sure they can sort it out. Whatever happens, it'll be entertainment.
Tuesday, 15 February 2011
Elsewhere the show is really going for the 'old society' thing. Racism and sexism are a big part of it. We look in from the outside, with a bunch of sympathetic characters around to stop us going mad. There's the bad gangsters, who are okay really, then the really bad gangsters who say mean things about everyone. Though, in the case of some of these women, they may have a point. The majority of the female characters are completely pathetic, sitting around on their husband's laps being apocalyptically stupid. It's there for a point, to show a contrast to the pleasant Mrs Schroeder, but it's overdoing it a bit. The fact that Margaret actually has opinions on things impresses Nucky, when she puts forward some thoughts on women's right to vote. It might not sound like much, but his current girlfriend can hardly string two words together.
And there's a thing going on with Jimmy, who always looks like he's about to start singing Arcade Fire songs. Gangsters have meetings in big coats and hats. I'm not really sure who most of them are, but it'll become clear eventually. It's going for the slow build-up approach, and I'm more than happy to see where it goes. There are moments of brilliance here. Moments that are getting more frequent as the series goes on.
Sunday, 13 February 2011
The quiet flow of it is hypnotic, full of ticking bombs that could go off at any moment. It's a sturdy thing that knows exactly what it wants to do and does it well. This is a serious film but also one that's a lot of fun. It only occasionally throws messages at you, but doesn't overdo the psychological trauma angle. As a suspense thriller it is excellent, as a drama it's pretty good. As a film it's solid and watchable.
Friday, 11 February 2011
It's not very pleasant then, so why would you want to watch it? The thing about REC, as with most horror films, is that it's nonsense. Over the top, entertaining, ridiculous nonsense. To be physically scared or effected by it is to take it seriously. And nobody's doing that. It's putting yourself into a compelling nightmare while you eat biscuits. It's way beyond the line of fantasy and doing all the right things to keep you watching. It's a story you've seen before, but still fun.
Wednesday, 9 February 2011
This is a scene from early in Big Moon Forest. After walking for miles, Rhys is finally able to show Tom what he's found in the forest. It's also a lesson in how not to format a screenplay. Click on the fancy 'read more' link to see the rest.
EXT. FOREST EDGE - DAY
RHYS and TOM have arrived at the forest's edge. The tall trees are just brown sticks without their leaves. Dead spikes from the ground. RHYS - Can you hear it? TOM - No. RHYS - I can't either. They listen but can only hear the breeze and their own breath. TOM slaps RHYS on the back of the head. TOM - Can you hear that? RHYS - Be quiet. Another slap from TOM. Harder this time. RHYS - You need to be quiet. TOM doesn't respond, and they wait again. Listening to the breeze and staring into the forest. TOM- I come all the way out here for what? RHYS walks forward into the –
EXT. FOREST - CONTINUOUS
- and onto the crunching dead leaves. He can hear it straight away. A distant noise: like wood grinding and splintering, thundering and screaming. It's coming through the forest. After a moment TOM joins him. He can hear it too. They are both frozen, shivering, listening. It's thumping through the forest but still distant.
Saturday, 5 February 2011
The most effective part of the film is the opening scenes. The town is idyllic. Quaint. The word 'foreboding' is written across the sky in big letters. They needed to get more out of this, because pretty quickly everything explodes and the tension is lost. The Crazies is a film that has its moments, but for anyone who's seen more than one horror film, it must try harder.