A trailer, but for what?

Tuesday, 27 January, 2015

What does this… trailer, that was cut together with excerpts from three hundred films, tell us about contemporary film production? Are movies, especially action titles, becoming increasingly homogeneous, or are trailers?

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For best results see films that suit your personality

Tuesday, 27 January, 2015

We all know that when it comes to film, everyone’s tastes, or preferences, vary. Different strokes for different folks, and the like.

Might it be useful then to assign a personality category to movies, such as say, activist, technophile, contrarian, or fashionista, as the New York Times has to some Oscar nominations, to help film-goers choose a feature they are more likely to enjoy?

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On escaping from a moving car… well, you never know

Tuesday, 27 January, 2015

Adam Kirley, a stunt double who once worked with Daniel Craig, explains how to escape from a moving car, should the need arise. Hopefully of course it won’t.

Obviously the best way to survive these situations is to avoid them completely, but you might one day find yourself in a car that experiences a brake failure. Or be in the back of a dodgy cab where you think, Sweet Jesus, I may never see my loved ones again. A quick calculation reveals that an unconventional exit is your best option. How to do it?

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“Back to the Future”, we’re taking you back to the past, not the future

Monday, 26 January, 2015

Being twenty-fifteen, we’re probably going to be hearing about Back to the Future Part II, since part of the story is set in this/that year. And some of that chatter is likely to focus on the accuracy, or otherwise, of the predictions, if you like, made in regards to the way the world would be today.

But doing so is pointless, says Tim Carmody, writing at Medium:

I’ll tell you a secret: the Back to the Future movies aren’t about the future. They’re obsessed with the past.

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It’s twenty-fifteen, the time since is greater than the time prior

Tuesday, 13 January, 2015

Happy New Year, and welcome to twenty-fifteen. I hope the holiday break, if you had one that is, was relaxing and enjoyable. Before charging headlong however into the next twelve months, let’s pause for a minute shall we, and reflect on our place in time, fifteen percent of the way into the twenty-first century.

From here, familiar movies such as Wayne’s World, Silence of the Lambs, and Home Alone, were released closer to the 1969 Moon landing than they were to today.

Meanwhile, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Field of Dreams, and Back to the Future Part II, a title I watched again over the break by the way, were showing in cinemas closer to John F. Kennedy’s time as US President, than they are to the present.

But enough of that, I think. The new year may not have flying cars, hover boards, ready to wear self-drying clothes, or hydratable pizzas, but I dare say there are one or two 1980s style cafes out there somewhere… not that you’d find me anywhere near them. Whatever, here’s hoping twenty-fifteen is a good one.

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The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

Friday, 19 December, 2014

2 and a half stars
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies scene

Two years after the release of An Unexpected Journey, and the third installment in the elongated series of films based on British author J.R.R. Tolkien’s novel The Hobbit, The Battle of the Five Armies, trailer, directed by New Zealand filmmaker Peter Jackson (“Heavenly Creatures”, “King Kong”), finally reaches cinema screens.

Having spent what seems like an inordinate amount of time travelling through Middle Earth to reach Lonely Mountain, Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman), a Hobbit, and his Dwarf companions, commence fortifying its cavernous interior, under the directions of Thorin (Richard Armitage), as a number of armies advance towards them.

Fans of Tolkien’s book will no doubt enjoy seeing the film adaptation of the story come together, but for those with a more casual interest, there’s really not all that much to focus on. Indeed, there’s spectacle and splendor aplenty, but as with the previous two titles, so little substance. One, rather than three films, would have been the idea.

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If you only make one film, may it be considered excellent

Wednesday, 17 December, 2014

The list of filmmakers who only ever made one movie is probably as long as the reasons why said filmmakers chose not to pursue careers as directors. For some it wasn’t because their efforts were poorly received, at least not the twelve directors whose work is considered excellent by A.V. Club writers.

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Movies set in space, take a bow

Tuesday, 16 December, 2014

Set to the music from the Interstellar soundtrack, “Mountains” by Hans Zimmer, and the words of Dylan Thomas’ “Do not go gentle into that good night”, recited by Anthony Hopkins, Max Shishkin has produced an impressive tribute to movies set in space.

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The typography of Ridley Scott’s “Alien”

Wednesday, 10 December, 2014

I linked to Dave Addey’s analysis of the typography of “2001: A Space Odyssey”, earlier in the year, and since that time he’s written similar articles on “Moon” by Duncan Jones, and now Alien by Ridley Scott.

This title card from Alien is an example – possibly the Ur Example – of a popular sci-fi trope, the Foreshadowing Inventory. Seven crew, you say? Hmm. Seven. Let’s hope nothing disastrous happens to them, one by one. And their course is set for a return to Earth, eh? Well, I’m sure that’s the likely outcome for this particular story.

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Paddington’s voyage, as seen by an immigration lawyer

Tuesday, 9 December, 2014

Paddington, as directed by Paul King, opens in Australian cinemas on Thursday. For those who came in late, Paddington is a teddy-bear like bear, who travels from Peru to the United Kingdom, where he is taken in by a boy who finds him at London’s Paddington railway station.

There’s one problem however, the world wandering bear is an illegal immigrant, at least in the UK. Hmm. I don’t recall that ever being a problem in the “Paddington” books I used to read, but then again that was some considerable time ago now. So what’s an orphaned young bear to do?

Colin Yeo, a London based immigration lawyer, offers a legal perspective on Paddington’s plight… put it this way, it’s no walk in the park, that’s for sure:

There are some obvious obstacles to Paddington’s reliance on the Human Rights Act 1998. Let us for the sake of argument extend its application to bears, though. Paddington quickly settles into the Brown family, who open their hearts and love him as one of their own. With his Aunt Lucy unable to care for him any longer, they are his only family. You might think, therefore, that the right to private and family life under Article 8 of the European Convention on, er, Human Rights would help him.

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