Category Archives: Films

Film reviews

Baby Driver by Edgar Wright

I keep meaning to post fewer trailers but then great looking trailers keep coming along. If Baby Driver wasn’t by writer/director Edgar Wright (Spaced, Shaun of the Dead, etc) I would probably just think it looked quite fun and has a great cast –  Ansel Elgort, Kevin Spacey, Lily James, Jon Bernthal, Eiza González, Jon Hamm and Jamie Foxx. But it was directed by Edgar Wright, so hurrah.

The film is due out in August 2017 but has actually already premiered at the South by Southwest film festival the other day. Even more excitingly, those who saw it have rated Baby Driver incredibly well. It’s a bit frustrating that the rest of us have to wait so long.

I could waffle on more but there is no need. Here is the International trailer for Baby Driver:

 

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All Pixar movies are connected

Pixar is all connected

There have been loads of weird theories about Pixar movies. (Well loads of movies actually, people are bored.) I read one that suggested Toy Story 3 was about the holocaust, for a miserable example. There was another floating around that all their movies all exist in the same universe and are linked somehow. There are certainly plenty of easter eggs – most notably the Pizza Planet Truck:

Pizza planet truck

But there are tons more and you probably missed them. I love Pixar and have watched their movies repeatedly and was nowhere near spotting most of these references. Well, Disney got in on this theory and basically confirmed it. All Pixar movies are linked – sometimes it is vague and tenuous but there are references to other films in all the films. If you get what I mean. If not, or you want proof, watch this video. Enjoy.

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The reason Thor and Hulk weren’t in Civil War

thor-funnyNormally I would post this on Scifiward but it is pretty funny and not really science fiction – barring the fact that it features a god, obviously. The clip explains what Thor, and to a lesser extend Dr Banner (aka Hulk), have been up to and why they weren’t in Captain America Civil War. He has basically been chilling out in Australia trying to be normal. It feels like the British version of the Office but with Thor instead of Gervais.

It also shows the Chris Hemsworth is actually pretty good at comedy. I could easily watch a half hour of this, there are some great lines. (There is more humour in this clip than all of DC’s recent outings.) Enjoy.

 

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Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World

Lo and Behold

Lo and Behold

Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World is a new documentary from Werner Herzog. Apart from having an awesome voice, Herzog generally makes a pretty decent documentary. I remember seeing Cave of Forgotten Dreams in 3D and loving it.

I am a big fan of technology and the fact that it allows me to, for example, write this in Bangkok and have it read all over the world by bored people at work. Or that I can experience Star Wars VR using just my phone and a piece of cardboard. Or a thousand other things. It’s obviously not all great – if I was allowed to taser people walking slowly along looking at their mobile phones then there would be 100s of prostrate twitching idiots wherever I happened to be (just walk where you want to go and then text your stupid friends when you arrive). There are also moral and ethical dilemmas about what should be shared and issues such as the psychological effects on generation Zzz (or whatever the current bunch are) and kids of the future. I was watching Stranger Things last and was reminded how different life was in the 80s before the internet and mobile phones. I was born in 1972, so was the same age as those kids and spent a lot of time on bicycles outside with friends. The fact that I was watching in HD on a 42″ TV streaming on Netflix through my Playstation was not lost on me however.

Herzog is (allegedly) a bit crazy, but mix that in with the fact that he is also smart and inquisitive and it should mean that Lo and Behold will be an interesting and novel look at technology. If you want more info, you can check out the film’s Facebook page. The film comes out in a lot of places, including the internet obviously, on the 19th August. Here is the trailer:

 

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Loving Vincent

LovingvincentLoving Vincent is the only film of its kind and it hasn’t even been finished yet. It has been all over social media recently as they are finally getting close after a mere 6 years and have released a trailer.

The idea is to make a film made entirely out of paintings. As in a painting in the style of Van Gogh for every single frame. Hence the 6 years and 85 exhausted artists (and counting). The result, as you can see in the trailer below, is pretty astounding.

Loving Vincent is a project that was begun by Hugh Welchman, the Oscar winning animator of Peter and the Wolf in 2006. He saw the Royal Academy’s van Gogh show in 2010 and decided he really needed a ridiculously long and involved project to sink his teeth into.

Here is an intro that has some more information and several scenes from the trailer (which is at the bottom):

I love Vincent van Gogh’s work and I’m not just saying that to impress hot art students. (Although I may have been guilty of that sort of thing in my youth.) I saw his show in London and have also been to the van Gogh museum in Amsterdam. If that isn’t enough, I have also been to the house at St Remy that used to be an asylum where he lived and did a ton of paintings. It’s a pretty amazing place if you happen to be in that part France. They have van Gogh pictures in the locations where he painted them, which is a pretty nifty idea. Also, the entire setting is bloody lovely and has lavender at certain times of year. We went in May and here is a picture:

Where Vincent van Gogh lived in Southern France

Where Vincent van Gogh lived in Southern France

Good memories and I am sure it will feature in the film. Loving Vincent is due to come out in the autumn and will star Saoirse Ronan and Aidan Turner. I hope I get to see it in the cinema, because it looks incredible. For more information, check out the website: http://www.lovingvincent.com

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Temple of Art

templeofartThe Temple of Art is a documentary (and website) about what it is like to be an artist. Although not just an artist, just generally creative. There are lots of writers, musicians, directors and actors, etc, featured, and the end result is damned inspiring.

Although I work as a writer for my day job, it is a non-fiction / journalism type of scribing, not really all that creative. As you can see at the top of your screen however, I am starting to publish some fiction and travel writing. It is surprisingly nerve wracking releasing something you have created out into the big wide world. You open yourself up to criticism and possibly even ridicule.  There has not been a book written that hasn’t got some ass-hat on Amazon giving it a shit review. (Seriously, search any well-known novel.) On the other hand, as Ricky Gervais said on Twitter: “It’s better to create something that others criticise than to create nothing & criticise others. Go create! Have fun :)”

So create stuff and screw everyone.

Temple of Art

templeorartteamHere is the blurb from their website:

“Temple of Art is a documentary that sets out to explore the questions around the people who dedicate their life to art. The film looks at what it means to be an artist, how to fail beautifully, and proceed with courage. Coming 2016.

From Good Bully Collective (Co-creators Allan Amato & Olga Nunes), score by Jason Seigler. Featuring Neil Gaiman, Grant Morrison, Dave McKean, Amanda Palmer, Kevin Smith, Chuck Palahnuik and over forty more artists.”

For more info and to pre-order the documentary, look here: http://templeofart.net/shop/

Here is what got me all inspired in the first place. It is one of many ‘Temple of Art’ trailers and features Ben Folds, Neil Gaiman, Amanda Palmer, Grant Morrison, Chuck Palahniuk, Kevin Smith, and Billy Bob Thornton.

Temple Of Art: Permission from Olga Nunes on Vimeo.

 

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Salt of the Earth – Sebastiao Salgado

Salt of the Earth

Salt of the Earth

Salt of the Earth is a documentary movie about the life and photography of Sebastiao Salgado. It is astounding. If you are into photography, adventure, nature, films, etc, you will love it. Frankly, if you have a hint of a soul, you should see it. I was pretty blown away.

The film begins with a voice over talking about how photography means “drawing with light” and I started to get concerned this would be a two hour arty borefest. I don’t mind some art films but the linguistic pretension and false intellectualism they often employ, seem like they are trying too hard to impress. Thankfully, Salt of the Earth isn’t like that.

Soon after that opening statement there was a series of photos that made me realise I was seeing something that might change me. They were images of a gold mine / pit from hell, called Serra Pelada in Brazil, and were powerful, especially on a big screen. The imagery and photographic skills are awe inspiring and a great introduction to the abilities of one of the greatest photographers of all time. See it on the biggest screen you can find. Salgado captures the staggering sight of 100,000 men toiling in a colossal hole (see below), as well as capturing the people involved on a more personal level. As Salgado points out, this is a scene from history – this is what the building of the pyramids would have looked like. Thousands upon thousands of people working in heat without a piece of machinery in sight. Amazingly, none of them were slaves. This was a gold rush.

Brazilian gold mine

Brazilian gold mine

I started to think that maybe that maybe Salt of the Earth was simply going to be about this mine, but then we are off on a modern adventure with Sebastiao and his son Juliano (who partnered with the Wim’s to make the documentary). They are trying to take photos of walrus at the north pole but they get pinned inside their shelter by a polar bear. Then a trip to Papua New Guineau to see those tribespeople where the men but their todgers in rolled up bark. And then… You get the picture.

While this is happening, you also learn about Salgado himself. The documentary shows his family, what shaped his life,  his work, how his major projects came about. It is always fascinating but it is when he started to photograph humans and the mass escape of people from conflict and famine (frequently linked) that things get pretty dark. There are some horrifying images of the famine in Ethiopia and some incredible scenes from the burning oilfields of Kuwait.

Kuwait's burning oilfields

Kuwait’s burning oilfields

It was the atrocities in Rwanda that finally seemed to really get to Sebastiao Salgado. Then the war in Yugoslavia causes him to realise he has had enough. Even as a documentary viewer you have to admire how he survived such horror for so long. The way Salt of the Earth is structured, running in parallel with Sebastiao’s life, you can see why he returns home to plant trees and go a bit introspective. He is pretty disgusted with humans and you can see why. We really suck.

This, basically, is the lead up to his most recent work – Genesis. He goes to places that haven’t been royally fucked by humanity. His friends express concern that he is not a ‘nature’ photographer and he simply says that it is something he will have to learn. And he does. Like this:

selgadoAnd this:

fo_salgado_genesis_int-2b1There are other photos in jungles, deserts, snowy wastes; of exotic animals and rare tribes and more. He went pretty much everywhere and photographed everything and the pictures are consistently staggering.

sealsI have always been a fan of Ansel Adams and Cartier Bresson, and Sebastiao Salgado is a mixture of the two and by far my favourite photographer of all time. Seeing his work introduced and discussed by Salgado himself, along with a variety of others, is a great way to get to know his work and the thought processes behind it. I saw Salt of the Earth in the cinema and the way the documentary is structured, coupled with seeing the pictures on a big screen, made it a pretty emotional experience. Both my wife and an unknown lady on my left were weeping at the end. I, manfully, was fine but had a slightly itchy eye. A mixture of the documentary’s journey coupled with unbelievable imagery, made it pretty hard not to be moved.

As I said, I was blown away by this film and have waffled on way longer than normal. I kind of want to be a photographer as well as a writer now.

Here is a trailer:

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Spectre trailer

007-spectreThe latest Bond trailer is here and predictably I like it. Basically, if you like Bond movies, you will like this trailer and probably the film. If not, good for you but feel free to not act like this somehow makes you superior. This Spectre trailer has all the elements in place for a better Bond and I am excited. It also has Christopher Waltz (who is presumably Blofeld) and Monica Belucci (who is presumably an incredibly hot woman who gets in on with Bond). My favourite Daniel Craig Bond outing is still Casino Royale, so fingers crossed for this one. Here is the trailer for Spectre.

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Mad Max Behind the scenes

hqdefaultI assume you have seen Mad Max: Fury Road by now. If not, just stop reading and go and see it. It is absolutely superb. As well as being ridiculously entertaining, it is without a doubt one of the most visually spectacular movies ever made. That is quite a lot of hyperbole but I stand by it. Definitely see it in a cinema if you can.

If you have seen the film, I’m sure you’ll have assumed a fair amount of blue screen. There was some blue screen, but not as much as I initially thought going by the behind-the-scenes clip below. The clip is 18 minutes long but is pretty damned interesting. It is the B Roll and contains some interesting scenes showing how certain parts were made. It turns out there are a lot of brave stunt men, George Miller is a superb director, and the variety of ways you can shoot with a camera these days is highly creative. I feel I should reiterate at this point that you should go and see Mad Max: Fury Road, if you haven’t already.
(*Please note that there is no audio until about 50 seconds in, but it doesn’t matter much.)

 

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Hawkeye sings about his powers

Hawkeye Avengers

Hawkeye Avengers

I was fresh from watching the Avengers: Age of Ultron (which was superb) when someone showed me this. When watching the Avengers I always think it is pretty cool that Hawkeye and Black Widow are basically just really incredible humans.

In this clip from the Tonight Show (with Jimmy Fallon), Jeremy Renner aka Hawkeye sings about his powers to the tune of Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud”. It is genuinely funny and Renner/Hawkeye sings pretty damn well. Below the clip are the lyrics. Enjoy.

The lyrics:
When you’re on a team with the Hulk and Thor
And we’re all up there on the movie screen,
Will the people believe that I’m not quite as tough?
Will anyone even notice me?

But listen I’ve got powers too, they’re pretty sweet.
I promise I can do so much more than just archery.

I’m serious guys.
I’ve got a collection of scarves and berets.
I play trombone in a ska band.
I once got to second base on my Tinder date.
And my cat has got its own Instagram.

I tell you now
I kick ass at Mario Kart.
This year I played an extra in Paul Blart.
I can open a pickle jar.
I’m friggin’ Hawkeye.
Maybe I’m as super as they are.

So maybe I still haven’t lost my virginity.
But when I bowl I always score at least 70, after six beers

Yes I know ’bout Captain America’s strength.
Hulk becomes a towering man.
But I got seventh place in my fantasy league.
And I once butt-dialed Jean-Claude Van Damme.

When I go to Chipotle I get free guac.
I flirt with the cashier and she says I rock.
I own water-resistant socks.
I’m friggin’ Hawkeye.
Maybe I’m as super as they are.

Maybe I’m as super as they are.
Maybe I’m as super as they are.

 

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Sin City: A Dame to Kill For trailer (Red Band trailer)

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

Here is the extended red band trailer for Sin City: A Dame to Kill For. If you have seen the first Sin City film and liked it then this looks absolutely brilliant. It is very much Frank Miller’s Sin City, right down to the near identical frames (compared to the comics) with its highly stylised violence and quirky film angles. If you didn’t like the first one then you might as well just ignore this and get on with your life.

I loved the first one and this not not only has more Jessica Alba, it also has Eva Green. Plus some other famous people doing, you know, whatever. (Be warned – a red band trailer means it is unsuitable for kiddywinks or work but is awesome if you like violence and semi clad people.) Enjoy.

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A Million Ways to Die in the West

A Million Ways to Die in the West

A Million Ways to Die in the West

I just saw this trailer and thought I would share. It’s the new film by Seth MacFarlane – the fellow who brought you Family Guy and Ted. So expect some bad language. Also a surprising bit of blood. It made me laugh though, so if you are as psychologically damaged as I am you might like it. Enjoy.

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Devil Baby prank

I saw this all over the interweb and thought I would share just in case you missed it. I have previously posted a prank that was actually a viral promo for the horror film Carrie. Well here is another one for a horror film called Devil’s Due – which as far as I can tell is like Rosemary’s Baby but without the eeriness or tension. I suspect it will be just full of ‘jumpy’ moments. So this prank is pretty apt. (Please note: I haven’t seen Devil’s Due, it might be brilliant.) Enjoy.

 

Telekinetic Powers in a Coffee Shop

This is pretty damned funny. I can only assume the people involved were brought up to speed afterward or they will now be gibbering wrecks curled up under their beds.

It was all done to promote the new Carrie film where a girl gets some stuff spilt on her and then massively overreacts. So it’s like a mini trailer. Enjoy.

In Saturn’s Rings

This is pretty cool. Some obsessed young fellow, probably single, has spend the last 6 years splicing together actual photos from space missions to make a kind of animated photo flipbook thing so that looks like a movie. Got that? The amazing thing is that they are real pictures and are of an awesome quality. There are a lot from the Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn, plus some others of galactic bodies which are basically space porn. In case you keep forgetting that these are real there are some handy, if slightly annoying, reminders.

Make sure you click original quality to get the full 4k experience! (The cog thing on the lower right of the video’s screen.)

Pretty cool huh? I know it’s shallow but all of could think of was the title sequence of Star Trek Voyager. Click to about 1:05. Sorry.

 

 

The World’s End Trailer

The World's End

The World’s End

The World’s End is the third film from the guys who brought you (and me), Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. Two superb movies I can watch repeatedly. And have done. I live in North London and wonder if the idea came from two pubs in the area both called ‘The World’s End’ and both in areas that I know the stars and writers frequently hang around. (Camden and Finsbury Park.) Or maybe, also like me, they are obsessed with the apocalypse.

The World’s End is going to be great, I can feel it.