Thursday, July 29, 2010

In Cinemas This Week

The Girl Who Played With Fire - Sequel to last year's hit The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, based on Stieg Larrson's second book in his "Millenium Trilogy". Action-packed, thought provoking and at times quite gruesome, this story takes the characters from the first story further and expands on a few ideas in the book itself with a cat and mouse tale of high intrigue. I saw this at a preview a couple of weeks ago and, while it is a pretty interesting watch, seems to suffer from a bit of "second-film-itis" by not really coming to any satisfying conclusion (cliffhanger, much?). Still, a classy bit of action to get you hyped up for the climax of the series.

Killers - Take a look at the above photo. If it looks interesting to you, then you should probably check out this "action comedy" about a married couple being pursued by hired assassins. The only reason I can think to go see this is because Katherine Heigl is in it - I like her a lot. Ashton Kutcher, unfortunately, doesn't do it in quite the same way for me, so I guess I'll be avoiding this one.

Not The Messiah - The live musical adaptation of Monty Python's brilliant The Life of Brian comes to selected cinemas for a short run this week. A fun, surreal orchestration with Cleese, Palin, Gilliam and all the other much loved characters. Filmed at the Royal Albert Hall in London late last year to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Python. One for fans of surreal British comedy and stage musicals.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Jane Austen's Fight Club

I really like a good fan parody/homage. This is one of the funniest I have seen in AGES!

Monday, July 26, 2010

For the Star Wars Fan with Everything... #9

Armed robbery isn't funny, but it's hard to not to crack a smile at this. Expectedly, news reports everywhere are having a field day with Star Wars-related puns ("The Empire Strikes Bank", hur hur).

Friday, July 23, 2010

Dead in the Water

I'm not gonna trash M. Night Shyamalan at length here, but I have to admit the guy's plummeting career trajectory fascinates me like the best (or worst) of celebrity trainwrecks. Has he become the Michael Jackson of filmmaking? It seems like whatever he says or does these days is ammo for derision, though not undeservedly so. His latest blockbuster The Last Airbender, a big-budget, CGI-laden adaptation of the popular Nickelodeon cartoon series, is one of the worst reviewed films of the year, even worse than his last film, The Happening, which was already bloody awful. The steady promise he showed with his earlier work, such as The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable, has all but evaporated - check out this graph put together by Marginal Revolution from ratings sourced from Rotten Tomatoes:

It's hard to see his name getting anyone excited anymore. Will "from the director of The Sixth Sense" still put bums on seats? (I doubt anyone will rush out to see Airbender because it's another M. Night movie...)

A couple other related things...

Shyamalan trying to defend his career at a press conference:

Trailer for Devil, an upcoming high concept thriller he's produced:

Trailer Mash-ups: Inception

They're popping up everywhere. Three good ones:

Thursday, July 22, 2010

In Cinemas This Week

Inception - Writer/director Christopher Nolan's (Memento, The Dark Knight) new cinematic cryptic puzzle-box has been startling critics and fans alike when it opened last week in the US. Massively sprawling in scale and execution, this complex "sci-fi action thriller" plot-line revolves around special agents who can shift through dreamscapes and steal ideas. The tables are turned and instead the agents must plant a concept in an original twist on the heist movie genre. Stunning cinematography, jaw-dropping art direction and high-brow concepts abound, as well as a massive cast of incredible talent - Leonardo DiCaprio, Marion Cotillard, Ellen Page, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Caine, Ken Watanabe. Expect your brain to get a good workout from this one!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

In Cinemas This Week

Knight & Day - The tent-pole blockbuster to start summer in the US, tanked at the box-office and has been lambasted by critics everywhere. The trailer look like a fun piece of trash, but this comical action spy chase flick seems to be failing to deliver on almost every level. Stars Cameron Diaz and Tom Cruise, who just look embarrassed to be there, even for them! Save your money for the Film Festival...

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Polanski Free + NZFF: The Ghost Writer

So Roman Polanski was declared a free man yesterday... without getting into the thorny moral/ethical issues that come up every time he gets mentioned, I'm just relieved this whole circus over. To echo Anne Thompson's sentiments, I'm a fan of his films, I'm not a fan of what he did. I want to see the guy make more films before he croaks it. Does that make me an "apologist"? I don't think so. Anyway, this is all kind of a long-winded way to say you should go see his latest thriller The Ghost Writer which is playing the New Zealand Film Festival tonight at the Civic in Auckland. It's a sleek, elegantly made, and surprisingly witty old-school political thriller that shows Polanski, at his ripe old age, still has what it takes to deliver a solid paranoid suspenser. Here's the trailer:

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Me and Orson Welles... 50 Years Later...

There's a nice little period pic called Me and Orson Welles playing in theatres at the moment which shows Orson Welles at the start of his career, all full of youthful vitality and creative prowess - the kind of man who would go on to make Citizen Kane and Touch of Evil. Now fast forward 50 years later... 

Boy did Orson really let himself go...

A-Void at Your Own Peril

July 25. 8:15 pm. Civic Theatre in Auckland. This:

Flying High

I just got back from a Cathay Pacific flight from Hong Kong and felt like I need to rave a little about Studio CX, their in-flight entertainment system. Of all my long distance flight experiences, their's has probably been the most impressive (their service ain't too shabby too) in terms of the design, navigation and range of content on offer. Who would have thought I'd be watching John Woo's Hard-Boiled 40,000 ft in the air? 

Maybe I'm still high from watching this killer film on a plane - the last place I'd imagine watching it... It certainly made the journey better, I only wished I had stayed awake long enough to catch more of the films (kinda bummed I missed Donnie Yen's 14 Blades and the Korean thriller Secret Reunion). Another good thing is they seem* to preserve the original aspect ratio of the films rather than cropping them as many airlines do. I'm looking forward to my next Cathay Pacific flight already...

(*judging from a quick glance around people's screens, i.e. I could see that Clash of the Titans was shown in scope etc)