Friday, 7 March, 2014
If you’re a movie-goer then you’ll have likely seen billing blocks countless times, you just may not know them by that name. A billing block, usually seen at the foot of a movie poster, is almost like the film’s small print, listing the names of those who a major part in its production.
Above is the billing block from one of the movie posters for Thor.
design, movie posters, movies
Wednesday, 5 March, 2014
Disillusioned with her way of life, and drawn to what she refers to as the “purity of the desert”, young Australian woman Robyn Davidson (Mia Wasikowska), decides, in 1977, to walk across Australia, from Alice Springs to the Indian Ocean, in Tracks, trailer, the latest feature by US film director John Curran (“The Painted Veil”, “Stone”).
After finding little support locally for the venture, a prominent US magazine decides to sponsor her 2700 kilometre journey, on the condition she allows a photographer, Rick Smolan (Adam Driver), to meet her periodically and record her progress. While this mostly irritates her, other aspects of the trip more than compensate.
While Davidson’s trek was a remarkable feat, the film adaptation of her endeavour doesn’t always pay the undertaking its due. Often lacking in tension, “Tracks” for the most part feels like a mere recounting of Davidson’s story. Wasikowska however puts in a good performance of the person determined, yet frequently racked with self doubt.
Adam Driver, Jessica Tovey, John Curran, Mia Wasikowska, movies, reviews, Robert Coleby, Rolley Mintuma
Tuesday, 4 March, 2014
As a boy Jiro Horikoshi wanted to become a pilot, but poor eyesight thwarted this ambition. Instead he pursued a career as an aviation engineer, helping the Japanese military develop fighter aircraft in the lead up to World War II, in The Wind Rises, trailer, the latest feature from Hayao Miyazaki (“Howl’s Moving Castle”, “Ponyo”).
Playing out over a ten year period, the story traces Horikoshi’s engineering career and his often arduous work, and also his meeting with Naoko, a girl he meets, and later falls in love with, while helping her injured maid, after the train both are travelling on derails during the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923.
Voiced by a range of actors including Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Emily Blunt, and Stanley Tucci, “The Wind Rises” tells a touching story of childhood dreams and first love. While not entirely accurate historically, and replete with mildly disorientating time line leaps and lurches, this animated feature will nonetheless appeal to audiences of all ages.
Emily Blunt, Hayao Miyazaki, John Krasinski, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Mae Whitman, movies, reviews, Stanley Tucci
Tuesday, 4 March, 2014
US film director Stephen Soderbergh has cut together Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 thriller/horror masterpiece Psycho, with Gus Van Sant’s not so well received 1998 remake, in an effort, possibly, to accentuate the best in both works.
If you have a spare ninety or so minutes take a look and see what you think. I’ve not seen Van Sant’s version, but it looks to be an exact – frame for frame – reproduction, which is a good thing as far as Soderbergh is concerned, his project may not have been possible otherwise.
Alfred Hitchcock, Gus Van Sant, movies, Stephen Soderbergh
Wednesday, 26 February, 2014
Slovakian art director Dusan Cezek has rendered scenes from cult movies such as “Fight Club”, “Pulp Fiction”, and “Shaun of the Dead”, as eight-bit GIF animations. Why? I don’t know, but why should that matter?
animations, film, movies
Thursday, 20 February, 2014
Not wishing to take any chances after learning he has won one million dollars, an elderly man, Woody Grant (Bruce Dern), decides to walk from his home in Billings, Montana, to Lincoln, Nebraska, some several hundred miles apart, to claim his winnings, in Nebraska, trailer, the latest feature by US director Alexander Payne (“Election”, “Sideways”).
While the so-called prize is little more than a marketing ploy, and his effort therefore pointless, Woody remains undeterred. Eventually David (Will Forte), his son, and Kate (June Squibb), his wife, decide to indulge him. What no one counts on though are the unscrupulous responses of certain other of the family, on hearing of Woody’s windfall.
Payne excels at telling human nature stories, and his latest work further entrenches this reputation. Laced with an incisive dark humour, “Nebraska” may be slow burning drama, but there is never a dull moment, as one person’s apparent good fortune turns a family, and community, on its head, bringing out the best, and worst, in people.
Alexander Payne, Angela McEwan, Bob Odenkirk, Bruce Dern, June Squibb, movies, reviews, Stacy Keach, Will Forte
Tuesday, 18 February, 2014
After living very much in a world of her own for the last eleven years, following her divorce, fifty-something office worker Gloria (Paulina García), decides it is time to get on with life in the film that shares her name, trailer, the latest feature of Chilean film director Sebastián Lelio (“Christmas”, “La sagrada familia”).
While her adult children, Ana (Fabiola Zamora), and Pedro (Diego Fontecilla), are time poor, Gloria soon meets a slightly older man, Rodolfo (Sergio Hernández), and for a while they appear to be well matched. Rodolfo however cannot seem to choose who to spend his time with, Gloria, or his overly dependent adult daughters, and ex-wife.
With a subtle humour, “Gloria” takes the uninitiated into the often indeterminate domain of mature age dating and relationships, where the idiosyncrasies of former partners and adult children can have considerable sway. And while we may end up delving a little too far into Gloria’s mind, the purpose of this introspection eventually becomes apparent.
Alejandro Goic, Diego Fontecilla, Fabiola Zamora, movies, Paulina Garcia, reviews, Sebastian Lelio, Sergio Hernandez
Monday, 17 February, 2014
If you want to keep the fires of passion and romance burning after thirty years of marriage, you know what is required, don’t you? You’ll have to be in there, fanning the flames yourself, a point that Le Week-End, trailer, the latest feature by Roger Michell (“Notting Hill”, “Hyde Park on Hudson”), makes all too matter-of-factly.
British couple Nick (Jim Broadbent), and (Lindsay Duncan), return to Paris thirty years after they honeymooned there, to celebrate their anniversary. There is little time for romance however, as they find themselves enveloped in day to day woes, while a chance encounter with an old acquaintance, Morgan (Jeff Goldblum), further unhinges their plans.
“Le Week-End” is an entertaining, if sometimes gritty, even unsettling, portrait of a thirty year marriage, but there is only so long you can look at, and be amused by, the foibles and neurotic tics of another couple’s relationship. Still, Broadbent and Duncan’s depiction of a weary long term couple cannot be said to be without its moments.
Jeff Goldblum, Jim Broadbent, Judith Davis, Lindsay Duncan, movies, Olly Alexander, reviews, Roger Michell
Friday, 14 February, 2014
After trying to bring about racial equality in South Africa peacefully for fifty years, the ANC, with Nelson Mandela (Idris Elba) as leader, finds itself forced to resort to far more violent means, in Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, trailer, the latest feature from British director Justin Chadwick (“The Other Boleyn Girl”, “The First Grader”).
Spanning the years from Mandela’s childhood, through to his election as the first black president of South Africa, “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom” charts Mandela’s efforts to overturn the policies of racial segregation, known as Apartheid, and his twenty-six years in prison after being convicted of trying to overthrow the government.
“Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom” makes a promising start, but as it progresses feels as if it is merely rehashing, with little vitality, events from Mandela’s later years. Elba is a versatile actor, but here sadly his portrayal of the late South African President is devoid of the charm and charisma the man himself displayed.
Idris Elba, Justin Chadwick, movies, Naomie Harris, reviews, Riaad Moosa, Terry Pheto, Tony Kgoroge, Zolani Mkiva
Friday, 14 February, 2014
After dark scenes in movies that are filmed in Hollywood, and nearby areas, will soon look a little different… on account of the LED street lights that are now replacing older, orange glowing, sodium-vapour lamps in the Los Angeles region.
Sure, things may not be what we’ve been used to, but the new lights are less expensive to operate, and are a little easier on the environment.
film production, Hollywood, movies