In the words of Rakim and Eric B, “It’s been a long time, I shouldn’t have left you, without a strong rhyme to step to”. Well, maybe not “rhyme”, but “insightful, occasionally humourous, entirely unedited movie opinion” to step to. So after almost a full year away, we’re back. Like The Dark Knight, bread in the oven and my penis when I see Anne Hathaway, ThisFilmIsOn will rise once more.
And quite frankly we couldn’t be back for a better year. 2012 may not provide the culmination of all human history but if it did, and as long as the big movies of the year live up to expectation, it wouldn’t be a bad way to go. Prometheus, The Amazing Spider-man, The Hobbit, The Avengers, The Dark Knight and that’s just the multiplex nomming blockbusters.
Elsewhere we’ll have new Coens (Gambit), new Pixar (Brave), Cameron Crowe’s latest (We Bought A Zoo), hopefully some more Charlie Kaufman and a film based on an internet meme about a time-travelling nutjob. If that’s a success then it won’t be long before Missing Missy makes the bigscreen. To start the year you also get The Muppets. Which I’ve seen and can confirm is as heart-tuggingly lovely as a furry, felt aorta massage.
But right now, It’s all about one thing…Batman! Enjoy the latest trailer below. Just don’t think about the half a year you have to survive before you get to see the damn thing.
As the red carpets are rolled up, smashed champagne flutes are swept away and the giant cock and balls complete with hairy sack which a dejected Banksy tagged onto the side of the Kodak theatre is covered with something less offensive, it’s time to reflect on the 83rd Academy Awards. And time once again to point out where the voters went wrong.
In this humble writer with a big dicks opinion The King’s Speech was an undeserved victor. The film, while joyous and more than an accomplished piece of film-making, did not exemplify the best of what this little blue planet as to offer. It was ‘the film of the moment’ not ‘a film for the ages’. In my mind that honour goes to The Social Network.
How’s this for a plot synopsis to make Ed Wood, Russ Meyer and Garth Marenghi weep; When his daughter is killed by Satanists, who then kidnap his baby granddaughter to sacrifice her and bring about the end of the world, Milton breaks out of hell and hits the road in an attempt to save her life. He’s accompanied by a sexy waitress and pursued throughout by The Accountant, the Devil’s right-hand man… In 3D!!! (Synopsis written by Empire’s Chris Hewitt)
I don’t know about you but I’m already standing in line with my popcorn and specs.
Say what you want about Hollywood and their dire output but the studio heads still have plans, ideas and rules. One such rule would be never greenlight anything like the batshit craziness of above, unless, unless you have a star attached. Thank the maker then for one Nicholas Kim Coppola.
In Sir William Goldman’s book of essays on Hollywood, The Big Picture, (I added the Sir) the screenwriter repeatedly eschews the virtues of the Academy Awards. Happy to admit they are tacky and crass, it’s the importance of them that must not be forgotten. They are after all, “the lead phrase in most obituaries.”
They also, always, provoke rage and bile like no other awards (the comical Globes just provoke distain) but most importantly, they get people talking about movies. And if you’re on this site, either as a first timer or repeated reader, you’re here because you love talking about movies.
Today you don’t have to just talk. Today you get to vote. And in a move tantamount to the most charitable piece of giving since Mother Teresa invented text message donations we’ve given you the option of adding your own opinion. Please use it carefully, all votes for The Bounty Hunter will not only be ignored but we’ll also send ‘Dog’ round to your house.
Results will be announced Oscar Night so hit us back, in the meantime. Let the voting commence.
Cinema Comedy is dead. May it Rest in Peace. But before we order a 211 Terrace shaped wreath, let’s consider the evidence. Is there a single film in the last 12 months that stands up as pure Comedy Gold? The short answer is No. Four Lions was great, but not solely for the gags. Easy A was more memorable for being touching than for guffaws. Was Kick Ass action/comedy or comedy/action? There are arguably as many laugh out loud moments in The Social Network as in any of the above. Can we label that a comedy? Mark Zuckerberg might try.
And every straight out comedy, The Other Guys, Hot Tub Time Machine, Date Night fell well far off the mark. So can 2011 revive comedy’s carcass? Surely Paul, the new Fregg and Post film will turn the tide? Nope, nope and nope. Again the Facebook film has more genuine laughs. But by no means does that make Paul a bad film. Just one that is not as funny as you’d hope.
If you didn’t see last night’s British Academy of Film and Television Arts awards (without the Television bit) join us for a recap of the evening’s entertainment. If you did, join us anyway and see if you learnt as much as we did.
We Can Love Ourselves.
Winston Churchill once said, “The British nation is unique in this respect. They are the only people who like to be told how bad things are, who like to be told the worst, and like to be told that they are very likely to get much worse in the future.” Not many Brits would argue with the man, least of all because we don’t argue we discuss, but mainly because one of our defining characteristics as a nation is that we romanticise failure to the point of absurdity. So how nice it was to see us pat ourselves on the back at last night’s ceremony by giving every other award to the very British The King’s Speech. Three for acting, two for Best Film and a few more for technical achievements, if we could have nominated it for animation it probably would have won that too.
Love and Death. They really are the biggies. Mr. Woody Allen hypothesised this on the subject, “It’s best not to look on death as the end, but as more of a very effective way to cut down on your expenses. As for love, it’s the quality not the quantity that counts. Although if the quantity drops below once in eight months, I’d look into it.”
There are, of course, a million more takes on the coupling, (the Iron and Wine ditty ‘The Trapeze Swinger’ is the one that resonates for this writer) but if you take the bulk of things that move any of us, you’ll find one or the other present. Love and Death.
With its tragic subject matter etched into every frame, Never Let Me Go promised to add to the list. It not only achieved this with admirable finesse but surpasses the marker and is elevated, instead, to one of the more important takes on both subjects for quite some time.
“The fact is,” Bill Bryson said, “Britain is still the best place in the world for most things – to post a letter, go for a walk, watch television, buy a book, venture out for a drink, go to a museum, get lost, seek help, or stand on a hillside and take in the view”.
Fair play to you Bill but you neglected a few other choice articles. For example, few people in any civilised society would tolerate, let alone promote, the existence of Jordan and Peter Andre and no-one but no-one would proudly display their national flag with the name of the country inscribed upon it (actually that one is exclusively the cry of a few demented English).
He also, one would assume completely purposefully, neglected to praise how we as The British ‘make movies’. That would, more than likely, be down to the phrase, ‘the best place in the world’, for as patriotic as you may be, it’d be a foolhardy cineaste who believes this little Isle produces the best films in the entire world. And besides, even if we were, no true British person is that arrogant.
But every now and again we have a bloody good try and so, in honour of Time Out’s exhaustive compilation, available here (http://www.timeout.com/london/bestbritishfilms/) I decided to throw in my two pennies. Hope you do the same.
Darren Aronofsky, it has to be said, is something of a masochist. From the mathematicians headaches of Pi, the drug addicts cold turkey despair in Requiem For A Dream, to the self abuse double-bill of The Wrestler and Black Swan, the visualist seems intent on making his characters travel through Satan’s lair in a weaved carry all. Hell for them, perhaps, but cinematic heaven for us.
Opening this weekend is the truly ruddy wonderful The King’s Speech. The truly ruddy wonderful Lewis Swift reviewed it on this here site, so take a peak around, read his critique then follow his advice; Go see it. There are a number of reasons why, great performances, a lovely central friendship, fantastic production, Guy Pearce brief spell ‘King-ing’ and the wee ickle girl from Outnumbered as a young Princess Margaret but its main pulling point; the power of words.
As the deeply irritating, helium voiced muppets, The Bee Gees sang “It’s only words, and words are all I have, to take your heart away.” Whilst the end result of The King’s Speech is that he managed to get the words over his tongue, ultimately if he was just dictating a recipe for a cracking Toad in the Hole the film wouldn’t be worth a damn. Those words helped scared British residents feel a little less so.
As celluloid speeches go, however, it’s not quite up there with these humdingers. And no, there is no Braveheart.