Ready Player One

After perusing through IMDb this morning whilst I was supposed to be doing college work (it still counts as research, right?) I made my first stop at my favourite (living) directors page and was completely taken aback by the amount of work this man has lined up. Steven Spielberg has been my favourite director/producer since I first found out what a director/producer was, his work has inspired me, and continues to do so every time I watch one of his masterpieces. Because, in his world, everything IS a masterpiece.

He has 18 producer jobs in the works, 5 of which he is directing himself. And although the hype seems to be focusing on the “Untitled Steven Spielberg Project” formally known as “Posts” being given an awards season release date, my heart and eyes are set on Ready Player One. I recently read the book, and it has shot straight to the position of my favourite book I’ve ever read (Harry Potter doesn’t count on that list, it has a list of its own, for obvious reasons). RPO follows the story of Wade, played in the film by Tye Sheridan who I adore and I had the honor of meeting at the X-Men Apocalypse premier, Wade lives the world we know, only different, it has been completely destroyed by the ever-marvellous human race, and now practically everyone lives within a VR video game called the Oasis. Wades mission is to complete a game set up by Oasis inventor James Halliday, played in the film by SIR Mark Rylance (anyone who knows me, can now see why I am so excited about this film). Completion of the game will result in Wade being a multi-millionaire, give him the chance to escape his horrible family life, and be free of the horrors of the modern world.
James Halliday is obsessed with 80’s pop culture, something I am also quite the fan of, and throughout the book there are constant references to films, books, music and comics that rose to fame in the 80’s.

As I was reading the book I couldn’t help but imagine seeing this incredible story, written by Ernest Cline, on the big screen.

I don’t doubt for a second that the 18 films that Spielberg is currently producing will be wonderful, incredible and as always masterpieces, but for me, the excitement lies in Ready Player One.

And so, the countdown begins.

351 days to go.

 

(also – read the book. do it.)

Ready Player One

Yes, I finally watched Trainspotting

It’s only taken me like, 10 years since I first heard about this film to get round to watching it. It’s been sat on my DVD shelf for the last 2 gathering dust. I’ve actually been putting it off for ages because I don’t like films about drugs, but, it’s a classing, a cult favourite and as a media/film student I felt like it was something that had to be ticked off the list.

As anyone who knows me will be aware, I’m not the biggest Danny Boyle fan although I agreed with the Academy when he was awarded the gold statue for Slumdog Millionaire, because I absolutely loved that film.

Trainspotting, where do I even start? Everyone knows it, even if you haven’t seen it, you know it, you can picture that awful photo of a very underweight Ewan McGreggor and you just know it’s not going to be the easiest watch. No, I didn’t like the narrative, the script lacked umph, but the shooting techniques used were beautiful and the cast were completely perfect. I love Kelly McDonald to the moon and back, and seeing her in this completely different role to what I’m used to was great.

I’m still a bit, unsure of what I think about the film as a whole, but technically it was perfect and I am very glad I’ve finally got round to watching it… I won’t be rushing to Cineworld tomorrow to catch T2.

I didn’t love it, I didn’t hate it. It is what it is and that’s that.

 

Yes, I finally watched Trainspotting

2017 …so far

Yep, as always, I’ve left it ages since writing here but I guess that’s mostly because I don’t think anyone reads it haha! So what’s the point?

2017 has begun with a bang for me in the film world, I’m loving almost everything I see at the cinema at the moment. That time of year is here again, awards season, I live for this period of the film calendar! There’s so much to be excited about and so much I’ve already enjoyed.

My top film for 2016 was Arrival, the script, the acting, the production design, the direction, the narrative was all phenomenal. I loved love loved it. And having Jeremy Renner to look at for the duration of the film was also a nice treat. I really do love that man! I was luck enough to get a glimpse of him and Amy Adams at the Arrival premiere back during the BFI Film Festival here in London. Another highlight of the last 6 months for me, unfortunately I didn’t get to view any films at the festival but I went to a lot of the red carpet events and it was so much fun! I saw some real idols and had the chance to be involved in the celebration of the industry I know and love so much. It was great!

So back to the present, 2017, what a year so far and we’re only 31 days in! I am keeping a handwritten journal of all the films I’ve seen at the cinema this year so I can have a final headcount of how many I watch because I have no idea how many I watched last year and I would be so interested. I’m looking forward to looking back over it this time next year to reminisce on some of the films I’d forgotten about.

So, I’ve seen 6 of the 9 best picture nominations for this years Academy Awards. Arrival being the highlight but, saying that, I’ve loved them all. La La Land is beautiful and wonderful and deserves all the recognition it gets, it’s so exciting to see the old art form from the Golden Age back on the big screen where it belongs. Emma Stone is a sure win for the leading actress category. Hacksaw Ridge, although a tough watch, a very tough watch, I really did love it. I have a lot of love for war films anyway and Andrew Garfields performance was great. He’s really growing into a serious actor. It’s very exciting to see. Manchester by the Sea, I really don’t know how I can put into words how much I loved this film. Casey Affleck is just incomprehensible, his performance was chilling yet beautiful, cold yet so warming, hard to watch yet addictive. I don’t know how else to say it, I really don’t. I can see him picking up the golden man on February 28th. Lion, also amazing, held together wonderfully by Dev Patel and his wonderful youngerself Sunny Pawar, a brilliant young actor who we can only expect great things from in the future. It was a beautifully heartwarming true story and I really loved it. (I’ve said that a lot so far, I told you, I have loved everything so far this year!)
So what have I got left? Moonlight, Hidden Figures and Fences. All award favourites so far this year and I’m really looking forward to seeing them all. Bring it on!

On a personal note, I have set myself the task (with my best friend, whom I will be attending the BAFTA red carpet with in 12 days!) to watch every film that’s ever won the “Best Picture” gong at the Academy Awards, it’s a heck of a challenge with 89 films to watch, one a year since 1928. I have watched 18, so I have quite a way to go. But I will start a new thread and keep you all (ha ha) updated with my progress.

So, until then, I bid thee a farewell.

May the force be with you, always.

2017 …so far

Inferno

I’ve just watched Inferno, the third instalment of the Ron Howard film trilogy based on the Dan Brown series of books. The story of Inferno follows another puzzle filled adventure for Professor Robert Langdon as he tries to figure out why there are signs of the inevitable Dantes Inferno.
The film is full of twists and turns and clues that lead Langdon to eventually figure out why he is having so many hallucinations and what they mean.

Inferno stars the flawless Tom Hanks in the lead role with a very strong support cast lead by Felicity Jones who portrays the role of Langdons wing-woman, Dr. Sienna Brooks, incredibly well. The film is directed by the great Ron Howard who had found a real niche in these films and does the great works of Dan Brown real justice.

I really enjoyed it, I think it held on to a really gripping story well without straying too much from the core plot points. It also gives the audience a beautiful portrayal of Florence, Venice and Israel with some stunning locations and an insight to the history of these beautiful cities.

Very good, worth a watch and a truly compelling story.

Inferno

Swiss Army Man

Oh my, i really don’t know where to start with this film. I have actually just re-written that first sentence like 10 times because I just don’t know what to say.

Swiss Army Man follows the story of Hank, played incredibly well by Paul Dano, a young man who is stranded on a dessert island close to taking his own life due to loneliness and hunger. As his last few minutes flash before his eyes a dead body washes up on the shore and he stops to look and check him out. He notices the body has severe flatulent issues and therefore decides to use him as a….dare I say it….speed boat.
At this point we are watching Paul Dano ride Daniel Radcliffe across the sea with the power of bodily wind.

Yes, really.

So I’m not going to tell you much more of the story because I really can’t go into too ┬ámuch detail without filling this article with spoilers. However, I will say this, it’s weird, beautiful, crazy, addictive and above all, fantastic.
I genuinely came out of the cinema with no idea what I had just witnessed and if I even liked it, because anyone who knows me, knows I don’t handle “weird” very well. But this one, I just can’t stop thinking about it. And for an hour or so after we came out of the cinema me and my friend were trying to work out what the narrative even was? Did it all happen? Or was Hank insane? Had he imagined it all? Did Manny (Daniel Radcliffe) even exist? It’s a real question mark and I am so so glad I have seen it. My whole outlook on the world of motion picture has changed thanks to this film.

Some real highlights for me were the screenplay was incredible, so beautifully written. Paul Dano was great but we can finally see Daniel Radcliffe as a great actor, he has talent and this film really shows it. And I can also see some award nominations coming its way.

If you haven’t already, go and see it, just because it’s so weird! Haha!

Also….it’s good to be back.

Swiss Army Man

Double Feature

Well I’ve just done my first double feature at the cinema. London has blessed us with a beautiful 8 screen cineworld (used to be the empire in Leicester Square) so I thought I would take full advantage of it as I have some time off work.

The first film I went to see was a long anticipated one for me so I’m going to discuss the films I saw in reverse order.
So I will start with me second film of the day, Sausage Party.

I was actually left practically speechless after this film finished. If you’ve seen the trailers you will know this is an animation about food and absolutely not for kids. With a disrespectful 15 rating this film is full of awful innuendos and horrendous sex scenes. Also very graphic drug taking scenes which, call me a prude, I wouldn’t want 15-17 year olds seeing.
It’s full of gags, some of which I found fairly amusing but then I realised it was because they were all stollen, recycled jokes from other films. (Although the Star Wars reference really did make me laugh)
The cast was predictable but it worked. Kristen Wiig and Seth Rogan go together like…a hot dog and a bun, sorry I couldn’t resist.

For the right audience (ie the 4 19/20 year old lads in front of me) this film is perfect. For people like me that live by Disney/Pixar animation, it’s really not my thing.

The animation was good, although the use of 2D in the flashback scene was a bit lazy. And there’s a huge amount of diversity in the characters, well done Apatow.

With a catchy opening song and some lovable characters there’s no doubt this is going to be a huge hit.
Now, the first film I went to see was basically a dream come true for me. Woody Allen, Jesse Eisenberg and Steve Carell. Cafe Society.

I mean, really, it was going to be a winner from the start. Narrated by the man himself, Woody Allen bring this beautiful story set in the golden age of Hollywood about a young boy from New York travelling across country to find his happy ending in tinsel town whilst working for his uncle.
The narrative has an addictive quick pace and keeps the audience completely hooked from the opening image. If you’ve read any of my reviews before you will know I can’t say anything bad about Jesse. His talent is so raw and compelling. I am completely addicted to his talent and his ability to portray such versatile characters.
I also have a lot of respect for Woody Allen in that this is a male dominant film, sure enough, but the female characters in it were also great. I wouldn’t say I’m a Kristen Stewart fan, but she did this role justice.

The film is stunning, completely beautiful, the set designer deserves a pat on the back and the enchanting use of lighting helps you feel the scene before anything has even happened.

I was very very impressed and I will be going to see it again.

Woody Allen has done it again.

What’s next? Hmmmm

Double Feature