Category Archives: Film

Michael Fassbender Shines as David

Here’s the latest viral video for Prometheus featuring a sublime performance by Michael Fassbender as David, the film`s artificial protagonist or antagonist – can`t be certain which side David will lean towards just yet. If you are familiar at all with the Alien franchise, you would know that robots have either been a technological blessing or an astronaut`s worst nightmare (2001`s Hal 9000 rings-a-bell). In the past, the franchise`s artificial counterparts have been played brilliantly (Ian Holm as Ash in Alien; Lance Henriksen as Bishop in Aliens) and Fassbender`s performance in this clip proves that Alien fans have nothing to worry about – this robot is in good hands!

Someone has a splitting headache...

 

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Let the Right One In – Pool Scene

As promised in a previous post, here’s the pool scene from Let the Right One In (Tomas Alfredson, 2008). For me, this scene exemplifies one of the greatest explorations of mise en scène that I’ve seen in cinema in the last five years. The clip below is a tad long but if you toggle between the 5:30 – 5:40 mark, you will not be disappointed!

I highly recommend you see this gem of a film and even the recent American remake by Cloverfield director, Matt Reeves’ Let Me In (2010). Enjoy! Oh did I mention that the scene below is a bit graphic…just a little FYI.

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International Prometheus Trailer

The Origin of our Species?

Is it just me or do the trailers for Ridley Scott’s upcoming sci-fi spectacular Prometheus keep getting better and better? And this one definitely takes the cake. We are given more narrative hints as to what the film is really about. I find it pretty funny how Scott, producers, and writers keep denying that this is not an Alien prequel, but as each trailer has been released, greater ties to the Alien franchise are evident. For instance, in the latest International trailer, if you pay close attention, you actually see what appears to be a full moving figure that uncannily resembles Alien’s space jockey. I haven’t been so pumped for a science fiction film since probably District 9.

What do you think? Will Prometheus live up to the hype?

 

 

 

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Ridley Scott meet TED

I like viral video campaigns as much as the next person, but really enjoy the cleverness of this teaser for the much anticipated ‘unofficial’ Alien prequel, Prometheus. Watch this video and you’ll realize that the connection of this film to the Alien series is much clearer than what has been previously disclosed. The last moments should spell it out for you.

I think the constant need to remind people that this isn’t an Alien movie has worked in their favour of creating a lot of buzz around its release. However, what the trailers and this video are really saying is that, “Okay, you got us! It’s definitely an Alien movie”.

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One Generic Movie Poster Coming Right Up!

so you want to be a modern poster designer?

Came across this very telling piece of imagejournalism (has that term been used before? meh I’m using it anyways!). I’m always fascinated by poster designs in general and this image says it like it is. Look at each one independently and think to yourself, “what movie poster does this remind me of?” What’s the first title that pops in your brain?

I’d love to hear what others have to say. Here’s mine:

Wacky Comedy -> Wedding Crashers

Romantic Comedy -> How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days

Dramatic Suspense -> Double Jeopardy

Action -> The Bourne Identity

Powerfist -> Green Lantern, Superman Returns, Batman (Tim Burton’s, and definite textbook example) – Can’t help it, all 3 came to me at once.

Children’s Movie in 3-D -> Garfield (*this one’s uncanny)

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Coming to a Theatre Near You: YouTube

“Suddenly one day some little fat girl in Ohio is going to be the new Mozart… and make a beautiful film with her father’s little camera-corder, and for once this whole professionalism about movies will be destroyed forever and it will become an art form.” – Francis Ford Coppola

Alright, YouTube isn’t actually coming to a silver screen near you, but a video that has gone viral via YouTube is!

According to Variety, Paramount has recently recruited some writers of Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm fame to help pen a script for a feature-length big screen adaptation of a YouTube viral sensation.The lucky video to be given the silver screen treatment is “Ultimate Dog Tease”, a video just shy of one in a half minutes featuring a comedic (I don’t know, didn’t think it was that funny) voice over actor uttering lines as if he were narrating the thoughts and ideas of his German Sheppard (Look Who’s Talking Now anyone?). I’m sure this wasn’t the direction Mr. Coppola had in mind for his “art form”.

I know, sounds like a train wreck right. Obviously, not the first time Hollywood has chosen to adapt the strangest of pop culture fodder i.e. Battleship (I didn’t realize gigantic alien ships were hidden beneath the transparent blue plastic surfaces of the board game, huh?!), Julie and Julia (I know the film was adapted from some books, but inspiration was derived from a blog), and apparently the gel-filled action hero, Stretch Armstrong (I’m pretty sure this is already the title for some porn flick).

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“Lights, Camera, Dujardin?”

What can’t The Artist star, Jean Dujardin do?! In this clip from Funny or Die, Dujardin struts his acting abilities for what is likely to be an onslaught of movie offers when he wins Best Actor later this month at the Academy Awards. And of course he’ll be a villian. As he demonstrates here, there really is no action movie villian too evil or too complex for this charming French gentleman to play. And I love the opening credits for this clip à la Jean-Luc Godard, Une Femme est une Femme (1961). It is how they say, “fantastique”!

“Lights, Camera, Action!”

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Spider-Man Begins? Maybe

Well what do you think? I am actually quite impressed with what I’ve seen so far. Definitely appears to follow in the footsteps of Christopher Nolan’s Batman reboot with it’s much darker and unschlocky tone demonstrated in Sam Raimi’s Spiderman trilogy – which I don’t believe was that bad. Sometimes wish that Spider Man 3 had never been made. I mean really, the whole constant reminder that “Hey Topher Grace is Venom!” was ridiculous. At the end of the day, if any stunt people seriously injure themselves, at least it’ll end up on the cutting room floor.

"Hey kids, remember me from That 70s Show - don't do drugs, look what happened to me."

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The Artist, Silent Cinema and De Sica

In the previous post, I discussed Scorsese’s longtime love affair with film history, notably in his latest cinematic effort , Hugo. Now, I want to shift focus to another film from 2011 that lends much (much is a tad of an understatement) of its narrative direction to cinema’s past, The Artist (the 2nd most nominated film this year with ten, one shy of Hugo‘s eleven).

The Artist has been praised by critics and fans alike for Michel Hazanavicius’s pure homage to silent film. In a period where studios are cranking out the latest overblown 3-D CGI epic, a film that is virtually silent besides an accompanying score is a bold move to say the least (and happy to report that it works well here on every level).  The Artist has been compared by many to Singin’ in the Rain, Sunset Boulevard, and Citizen Kane. These three films deal with the fragility of fame and the consequences of living under the microscope of the public to varying ends (a much more positive end result in Singin’ in the Rain than the other two) and The Artist is no exception. However, most writings that I’ve come across on The Artist fail to mention influences that extend beyond the aesthetic borders of silent film and Hollywood; notably Italian cinema.

While watching The Artist I could not help but be enthralled with how much of an uncanny resemblance it had to Vittorio De Sica’s Umberto D (1952). For those of you who have seen and remember Umberto D, I’m sure you will agree with me. The relationship between the two films hit me on less of a stylistic level and more in terms of story. Not sure if there is a strong argument comparing The Artist to Italian Neorealism, although, if someone can please let me know.

Firstly, both films feature some of the best canine acting I’ve ever seen – seriously! And now that I think of it, Hugo featured a very clever canine as well named Blackie. Maybe this year’s Oscar race should have been touted as “The Year of the Dog”.  *SPOILER ALERT*

The last scene of Umberto D unfolds similarly to the moments where George Valentin (Jean Dujardin) contemplates the the ‘big sleep’ much to the surprise of his canine sidekick, Jack (Uggie) and gal pal, Peppy Miller (Bérénice Bejo). Flike, the dog from Umberto D, gives such a convincing performance on-screen that you’ll be brought to tears (and if you don’t, then someone needs to check their pulse). You have witness it for yourself.  But, before you do, a little narrative context can’t hurt. And since I’m lazy and Wikipedia has done such a great job of summarzing…

“Umberto contemplates suicide by stepping on (an) electrified trolley rail until (he’s) discouraged by the fate of his dog asleep on the bed. Umberto then leaves the apartment and attempts to find a place for his dog to stay before finding where he himself will live (or die). Despite Umberto’s attempt to hide from Flike, the dog  finds Umberto hiding under a footbridge. Umberto decides to take the life of both. In desperation Umberto walks towards a train track where a train is about to pass. Umberto holds Flike and walks under the protective barrier towards the oncoming train…”

*And as I may have you know, I am man enough to admit that I actually teared up previewing this video before I posted it.*

Hope you enjoyed that little clip. If you ever get a chance to catch this film, I highly encourage you to do so.

Thought I’d share this fun little clip posted by a fellow blogger who just so happens to be a boy genius, but just don’t tell him I told you that: http://hidefsheep.blogspot.com/2012/02/short-film-friday-artist-blooper-reel.html

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Sa-weet Credit Sequence: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)

I know I said that I’d post something on A Dangerous Method, Steve Jobs’ Biography, and Radiohead’s latest remix album – and I will – but had to write something about one of the coolest opening credit sequences I’ve seen in cinema in the past 10 years or so. I believe that Hitchcock and Bond films hold much of a ‘popular opening credit sequence consciousness’ for many cinephiles (any of Saul Bass’ design work on Vertigo (1958), Psycho (1960) come to mind), but David Fincher’s opening to his recent remake of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo really exploits the artistry of the opening credit sequence with one heck of a score and mind-bending surreal imagery to match. It’s a definite assault on the senses and I love it!

I wasn’t oozing praise for the film shortly after seeing it. I mean, it’s good, but so was the original Swedish version and found the two to be very very similar. That comparison may be worth another post, but if you haven’t seen the film, at least watch the opening credits below. Enjoy!

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