Monday 23 February 2009

Watching Watchmen

I'm seeing Watchmen today and this afternoon I will be hosting the first ever filmmaker Q&A in PlayStation Home with Zack Snyder and Dave Gibbons.

Here's the release:
At 4pm GMT on 23rd February, Paramount Pictures International (PPI) will be staging the first ever filmmaker Q&A to take place in the groundbreaking new virtual world PlayStation Home, promoting the international release of WATCHMEN on March 6th 2009.

An audience of ten guests – made up of journalists, bloggers and fans from around the world – will be given a unique opportunity to put questions to WATCHMEN director Zack Snyder and the graphic novel’s artist Dave Gibbons as part of this ambitious invitation-only event.

The event will be streamed live across the Internet, commencing a comprehensive WATCHMEN webcast which will include integrated film footage and a post event edit with coverage of the red carpet at the World premiere in London’s Leicester Square.

The Q&A forms part of a broader initiative promoting WATCHMEN within PlayStation Home. This comprises opportunities to watch exclusive footage in Home’s cinema, and, from February 27th, to choose from a variety of WATCHMEN virtual merchandise including character costumes, t-shirts and even your very own Doomsday clock, from the Home store.

As a first of its kind in PlayStation Home this activity signals PPI’s continuing commitment to innovative and experimental film marketing. It is being co-ordinated by specialist film marketing agency Picture Production Company and Deluxe Corporation, who previously worked with PPI to give films including IRON MAN and TRANSFORMERS an extra dimension in virtual world Second Life.

Heath Tyldesley, Director, Interactive Marketing, Paramount Pictures International, commented: “WATCHMEN’s presence in PlayStation Home is a continuation of our commitment to using cutting edge platforms as media to bring fans and film-makers closer together and create a deeper engagement with movie audiences”.

Visit the Picture Production Company Silverscreen blog ( for up to date information about this initiative as it unfolds.

Monday musing

Rourke was robbed. That's all I have to say.

Sunday 22 February 2009

And the Oscar goes to...

Tonight, for the first time in years, I shall not be watching the Oscars live. Not that I'm boycotting them. Rather, I no longer subscribe to Sky Movies and that's the only way one can watch them at home in the UK. Not that I mind too much. I am, as I have mentioned here before, somewhat apathetic about this year's event which looks to be too predictable for its own good. What's the fun, if you already know who's going to win what. In fact, the only nominee I'm really rooting for is Mickey Rourke whose speech at last night's Independent Spirit Awards was priceless...

Monday 16 February 2009

Monday musing

I'm going to be offline for the next three or four days dealing with family matters, but I hope to be back here by the end of the week. Normal service will, as they say, be resumed as soon as possible...

Tuesday 10 February 2009


According to this article by Kim Masters on the Daily Beast: "Since 1984, Spielberg has collected 2 percent of the money from all Universal theme parks outside Southern California—Orlando, Japan, Hong Kong, etc. An executive familiar with the terms says this is a “humongous deal” for Spielberg, who is very involved with the parks and visits them and provides his notes on the attractions. The deal also includes a provision allowing Spielberg to demand that Universal buy him out altogether—meaning that Universal would have to cough up hundreds of millions of dollars."

Just think about that for a moment...

Two per cent.

Of all money taken.

Monday 9 February 2009

Monday musing

Off to interview Ron Howard in a moment so not much time to get into last night's BAFTAs. All in all it was a fine evening's prize-giving with Slumdog taking home the majority of the masks. But there was enough of a spread to make it feel like a truly democratic event.

For me, it was gratifying to see Button not leave empty handed (although I'd like to have seen it pick up one or two of the "big" awards), although I probably cheered loudest at Man On Wire scooping Best British Film and comeback kid Mickey Rourke winning Best Actor for The Wrestler. Loved Rourke's acceptance speech; it'll going to be interesting to see what he says, should he win the Oscar, it being live and all.

Happy too that Steve McQueen (nice kilt!) picked up the Carl Foreman Award for the remarkable Hunger and Martin McDonagh won Best Original Screenplay for the riotously funny In Bruges. And what a wonderful speech from Danny Boyle.

The full list of winners can be found here.

Sunday 8 February 2009

BAFTA rambling

It's the BAFTAs tonight and expect lots of homegrown love for Danny Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire on its ways to Oscar glory in a fortnight's time. I am, I must admit, ambivalent about Slumdog's success. On one hand, I'm a huge fan of Danny. He's enormously talented and a genuinely nice guy to boot, but as try as I might I can't muster the sense of national pride to totally cheer Slumdog on. Don't get me wrong, it's not that I don't like Slumdog. Far from it. I've seen it twice and it's a terrifically entertaining, well-crafted piece of cinema. It looks great, has the energy and propulsive drive associated with Boyle's work, a gripping narrative, and a great story behind it (I'm talking about it being dumped by its original US distributor Warner Independent, being picked up by Fox Searchlight etc). So why am I not feeling the love? Perhaps it's simply because I don't think it's Danny's best film. (A similar thing happened with The Departed which, as good as it was, wasn't the film Scorsese should have won his Oscar for.) Not that I begrudge him any of the acclaim or awards he's picked up thus far, and will continue to get tonight and on February 22. I'm thrilled for him. After all, it's proof that good guys do triumph. Which, I suppose, is the the theme of the film...

Friday 6 February 2009

Total Film

The new Total Film is out now with a massive comic book movie preview to which I contributed.

Thursday 5 February 2009

Even more Watchmen

Every day brings us a day closer to Watchmen. And every day, it seems, brings another Watchmen related treat to get us in the mood, if we weren't already.

Zack Synder's already promised us a director's cut Blu-ray/DVD down the line that will feature all the stuff he's had to cut from the theatrical release, including the animated The Tales Of The Black Freighter comic-within-the comic which features the voices of 300 star Gerard Butler and Jared Harris and which will be available on disc from March 24 along with the faux live-action documentary Under The Hood, based on the memoirs of Hollis Mason, the original Nite Owl.

Also available on DVD and Blu-ray from March 3 will be the complete Watchmen Motion Comic.

Titan Books have just published three delectable Watchmen tie-ins books, all which turned up in the post the other day making this Watchmen fan very happy indeed. The three are Watchmen: The Official Film Companion, Watchmen: The Art Of The Film and, my favourite, Watchmen: The Portraits, a collection of glorious black and white character shots by photographer Clay Enos.

And if that wasn't enough Watchmen, check this out.

Wednesday 4 February 2009

Who's that girl?

It's Jude Law, actually. As he appears in Sally Potter's latest, Rage, which premieres at the Berlin Film Festival this month.

David Fincher Guardian Interview

The transcript of my onstage interview with David Fincher is now online. Check it out here.

Monday 2 February 2009

Favourite Film

Now available on DVD for US viewers as part of a Michael Powell double feature, A Matter Of Life And Death is a life-affirming masterpiece and should be essential viewing for everyone, committed film fan or casual viewer. I first saw it on TV as a very young boy and for years thought I'd dreamed this film that was partly in black and white, partly in colour, and it was only in my teens when I realised I hadn't, although it does have a very dreamlike quality. If you haven't seen it, shame on you. Get yourself a copy immediately. 

Sunday 1 February 2009

From the director of The Mummy

Normally the above phrase would send me running for the hills. I hated The Mummy so much that I went directly home after seeing it and watched Raiders Of The Lost Ark to eradicate the experience from my memory. Didn't bother with Mummy 2 and the less said the better about Van Helsing which I couldn't bring myself to watch so put off was I by the CGI inflated trailers and clips. (I did try when it ended up on free TV but gave up after around six minutes.) 

But, I have say, the Superbowl teaser for the Steve Sommers-directed GI Joe looks bleedin' awesome. Finally, though, it looks like Sommers has found a subject that completely suits his hyper approach. Damn, if I'm not incredibly excited to see the final film having repeatedly watched those 30 odd seconds this morning. 

Check them out here.