Wednesday 30 June 2010

Tuesday 29 June 2010

Ray Harryhausen at 90

Ray Harryhausen's BAFTA/BFI Birthday TributeI couldn't make Saturday's BAFTA/BFI Birthday Tribute to stop-motion/visual effects legend Ray Harryhausen who is 90 years old today. But Empire's Ian Freer has written such a glowing report of the celebration, hosted by John Landis and featuring such luminaries as Rick Baker, Phil Tippett and Peter Jackson, that I feel like I was actually there.

Monday 28 June 2010

Heeere's Johnny UPDATED!

Rango Poster

Empire has the exclusive on the trailer. Click here.


Miroslav Klose, David James
How much do they get paid a week and yet they can't do basic stuff like pass and retain the ball. And defend.

Saturday 26 June 2010

Now that's what I call a teaser

This teaser for David Fincher's The Social Network popped up online last night. It's a brilliant example of the art of tease, very old school in its approach, and most welcome in this age of shouty trailers. It's so good it could be a marketing masterclass: How do you make a film about Facebook interesting to audiences? Here's how...

Friday 25 June 2010

Nolan Fest, Week Three: Insomnia

“White nights getting to you?” 

Christopher Nolan’s third feature was a reworking of Erik Skjoldbjaerg’s 1997 Norwegian thriller Insomnia, starring Stella Skarsgård. It was his first experience of working for a major Hollywood studio, namely Warner Bros which has become his home for every movie since.

Nolan had begun work on Insomnia even before Memento was released, having been recommended to the studio by the film’s executive producer Steven Soderbergh. “I saw Memento months and months before it came out, when they were in the midst of trying to find a distributor, [and] was totally blown away by the movie,” Soderbergh told me back in 2002 when I interviewed him for a Nolan profile for Premiere. “When I found out Chris was interested in [directing] Insomnia I made one of those calls to Warner Bros saying that they would be, how can I put this, unwise to pass up the opportunity to work with Chris who had a take on the material and who’s extremely bright and capable and just kept badgering them.”

For Nolan, Insomnia offered the chance to tell a story simply and chronologically, after the fractured narratives of Following and Memento. “In Memento there were a lot of debate questions around the plot, and much less on the thematic questions,” he recalls. “I was interested in making a plot much more transparent in its structure so that the thematic concerns would be much more directly approached; ambiguity and questions at the end are much more available and approachable. In Memento there was a constant manipulating of the audience. This time I wanted something where that was more in the background.

“I think it has a fascinating and very evocative psychological situation,” Nolan continues. “A great moral dilemma that is taken one direction in the original movie, and I think it’s a great movie, but as I saw it, it occurred to me that you could by changing the characters take the same situation, the same intense psychological relationship between the two main characters and take it in a rather different direction and create a different kind of moral paradox.” 

Although a fan of Skjoldbjaerg’s film, Nolan tried to put it out of his mind once he committed to directing the remake. “I didn’t watch the original myself once I committed to the project because we didn’t want to be doing stuff either because it was in the original or not doing stuff because it was in the original. I didn’t want to make any kind of a reactive film. It’s a film that has to work dramatically, totally independently of the original film and particularly when it comes to characterization the key differences in what we tried to do as opposed what the original tried to do evolved from differences in characters, so as far as the actors were concerned I was very happy for them to just work from the script.”

Insomnia begins with Los Angeles homicide and robbery detectives Will Dormer (Al Pacino) and Hap Eckhart (Martin Donovan) flying to the small costal town of Nightmute, Alaska (“the Halibut fishing capital of the world”) to help investigate the murder of a local teenage girl. For local cop Ellie Burr (Hilary Swank), assigned to babysit Pacino’s veteran detective, Dormer’s both a legend and her hero (she wrote her thesis at the academy on him). But all’s not well with Dormer, who’s being investigated by Internal Affairs over an allegation that he tampered with evidence in order to gain a conviction. Hap, meanwhile, is prepared to cut a deal with IA to save his own skin, at the expense of his partner, putting a huge strain on their relationship.

As Dormer swiftly begins to get to grips with the murder case, but disaster soon strikes, when stakeout at a beach hut goes horribly wrong. With the killer fleeing the scene, the police give chase. In the confusion and the thick fog shrouding the beach and surrounding area, Dormer shoots Hap dead. Was it an accident? Or did Dormer kill his partner to prevent him testifying? Dormer, who’s having trouble sleeping thanks to the constant daylight, doesn’t even know for sure. As his guilty conscience rears its ugly head (he sees Hap in his room and in his waking dreams), his judgment clouds, and the veteran detective tries to cover up his mistake. But worse is yet to come for Dormer, when, one night, he receives a call from the girl’s murderer and Dormer’s prime suspect, crime novelist Walter Finch (Robin Williams), who says he saw what really happened on the foggy beach with Hap, and starts to blackmail Dormer into helping him. “We’re partners on this,” Finch tells him.

This is one remake that actually improves on the original, the script by Hillary Seitz reworks the story to push the characters into darker, more morally and ethically ambiguous territory, with Pacino accentuating the physical strain of sleep deprivation on Dormer, as his cop suffers through many nights unable to sleep and loses his grip on both reality and right and wrong. The character of the killer, too, is transformed into someone less predictable and much more interesting, not least because of who plays him. Credit Nolan with keeping his heavyweight, Oscar-winning cast in check, and extracting such strong performances from all three leads, even coxing what is, arguably, Pacino’s last, truly great performance.

The opening sequence is a dazzling plane journey across a breathtaking Alaskan landscape, with jagged blue ice fields and green pines, and, in addition to the beach hut shootout, there’s also a gripping chase between Pacino and Williams across a log-strewn river. But while Nolan isn’t adverse to pretty images, he’s more interested in what’s happening inside his characters’ heads. Working again with Wally Pfister as his DP, he creates an atmosphere of paranoia and dread during daylight.

“It occurred to me, and I discussed this a lot with Wally, that having daylight constantly present in the background of scene actually allows you to create even darker images than if you would if you were shooting at night, cause if you are shooting at night you are effectively having to use artificial illumination, you are having to put lamps on in the room. Whereas what we were sort of trying to create was these dark interiors where somewhere in the back of the room there is a window with some sort of light peeping in and that allows you to create very dark silhouettes, and forms, interesting textures and depths. So in that way there are all kinds of senses you can create a darker film during daylight hours than you can at night.”

Insomnia was a sizeable hit, commercially and critically, and within Hollywood it firmly cemented Nolan’s place as a rising star, the film drawing him Hitchcock comparisons, and giving Warner Bros the faith in the 31-year-old filmmaker to hand him the reins to a major comic book movie franchise.

“Because I was shooting at almost the same time I went up just before they wrapped Insomnia and spent a couple of hours on the set, just saying hello to everybody,” recalled Soderbergh. “And I said to Chris, the great news is you’ve withstood the most difficult situation a young filmmaker can find themselves in, making a studio movie with movie stars in it, on a pretty tight schedule, having never operated in that world before. You’ve not only survived, you’ve excelled, and that means that from now on, the only thing that will limit you is your ideas of what you can do.”

Thursday 24 June 2010

Trailer: Red

It's based on a comic book by Warren Ellis and features Dame Helen Mirren totting a machine gun. What else do you need to know.

Tuesday 22 June 2010

Oh. My. Gawd.

For some, this might be a little too spoiler-ish... Me, I just can't flippin' wait.

Mad for it

Season three of Mad Men ended on such a high I'm counting the days until season four begins. American audiences get the show next month. Here in the UK we're always way, way behind. So much so that I have to bury my head in sand (metaphorically speaking) for months so I don't inadvertently pick up spoilers...

Trailer: The Green Hornet

I'm not sure this necessarily needs to be seen in 3D but it looks fun enough. Doesn't feel very Gondry, though.

Monday 21 June 2010

Film review: Toy Story 3

Toy Story 3
It's as good as you've heard. In fact, it's quite brilliant. It's as hugely satisfying, eminently enjoyable, and as expertly crafted as you'd expect from the folks at Pixar. You will laugh. You will cry. You will feel warm and fuzzy on the inside. You will wonder why all films can't be like this.

I could go on and on about the exquisite detail in the animation and how the script is so beautifully layered and nuanced that it scores on every level and for every age group. I could, but I won't. All I will say is this, if you haven't seen it, see it. And if you have, well, see it again. I know I will.

Saturday 19 June 2010

Teaser poster: The Social Network

Missing four vital words as far as I'm concerned, those being: Directed. By. David. Fincher.

Friday 18 June 2010

Nolan Fest, Week Two: Memento

I can still remember the first time I saw Memento. It was in a small London preview theatre in 2000. There were only five of us present at the screening, and from the opening image of the Polaroid undeveloping and then being sucked back into the camera, I was hooked. When the film finished, I wanted to see it again. Immediately.

I interviewed Christopher Nolan the very next day, the first of several conversations I had with him about Memento which opened in the UK a couple of months later, and the US early the next year, eventually earning him and his younger brother Jonathan a Best Original Screenplay Oscar nomination and launching the filmmaker in Hollywood.

Here's the article on Memento I wrote for Premiere magazine back in 2001. It's not online, so unless you read it back then, you wouldn't have seen it.

January 2001: Bright Lights, Park City
By the time Christopher Nolan’s Memento screened at Sundance, it had already been “discovered” at the Toronto, Venice, and Deauville film festivals and opened to wildly enthusiastic audiences in England. But there’s nothing quite like the white-hot media glare of Robert Redford’s independent-film showcase to generate excitement for a movie, as Steven Soderbergh, Kevin Smith, and the makers of The Blair Witch Project would attest. For ten days this past January, moviegoers on the streets and slopes of Park City, Utah, debated Memento’s plot points and urged those who hadn’t seen the twisty thriller to rearrange their schedules accordingly. “We had a great screening early one morning,” said Nolan, who got in a little skiing before attending the festival’s closing ceremony (at which he won the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award). “I had trouble getting up myself, so I thought, ‘Who the hell is going to be there?’ But it was packed—for a mind-fuck at 9 o’clock in the morning!”

A mesmerizing meditation on memory, identity, and loss, Memento (in limited release in March) is a revenge thriller that plays out backwards, beginning with the end and ending with the beginning. Guy Pearce (L.A. Confidential) portrays Leonard Shelby, a former insurance investigator with short-term memory loss, a rare (and real) condition brought on by his wife’s rape and murder. Since Leonard is unable to form new memories (his attention span is 10 to 15 minutes) and can only recollect events from before the incident, he must rely on Polaroids, hastily scribbled notes, and other people — including barmaid Natalie (Carrie-Anne Moss) and a cop named Teddy (Joe Pantoliano) — to tell him everything from which motel he’s staying at to whom he can trust. As he looks for the person responsible for his wife’s death, Leonard tattoos his body with the most vital pieces of information regarding the killer’s identity.


“It’s very much about the futility of revenge,” says Nolan, 30, who’s half-English, half-American and has a preppy, professorial air about him. “Leonard can’t identify himself in the present tense — he knows who he was, but he can’t connect that with who he is — and revenge seemed an excellent jumping-off point for an examination of the subjective nature of reality.”

From its startling opening image of a Polaroid photo undeveloping and being sucked back into the camera, to its intriguingly oblique website (, designed by Nolan’s younger brother, Jonathan, who wrote the short story on which the film is based, there’s little about Memento that’s conventional. None of the characters are who they initially appear to be; nothing is quite what it seems. Only one thing is certain: Everybody is manipulating Leonard — Teddy, Natalie, the motel receptionist, even Leonard himself. Moreover, the deliberately ambiguous ending (or, more accurately, beginning) has had audiences returning to unlock the movie’s secrets, as they did with The Usual Suspects and The Sixth Sense.

“I was very concerned about making a film that people could come back to a second time and it wouldn’t fall to pieces,” says Nolan. “It’s all internally consistent if you see it enough.” Even so, each viewing is likely to elicit something new. “I’ve seen it about five times,” says Moss, “and each time I feel differently about what it’s about.” Many viewers find it hard to believe what they see — particularly during a key expositional scene late in the film. “[It’s] the one you get in a million movies where the bad guy, the untrustworthy one, lays it on the line,” Nolan says. “In every other film you always believe him. Why? ’Cause you’re supposed to — because film grammar tells you to, because that’s comfortable. In this film, it’s not. People won’t accept it, which is really cool.”

September 1999: The Shoot
With a budget of around $4.5 million, Memento was shot on locations in and around LA in a swift 25 1/2 days. Like most movies, it was filmed out of sequence, but, says Nolan, “this film was probably shot more chronologically than most because it simplified things. If we were in a particular location, like Natalie’s living room, I would say to the actors, ‘How do you want to do this? Timewise or scriptwise?’ Most often they would say timewise — chronologically from the earliest scene, backwards from how you see it in the finished film.”

While Memento’s timeline inversion is not a unique conceit — both playwright Harold Pinter (Betrayal) and novelist Martin Amis (Time’s Arrow) have employed it before — it is also far more than a gimmick. Nolan uses it to subvert the familiar noir conventions of voice-over, flashback, femme fatale, and unreliable narrator. The classic femme fatale, for example, reveals herself to be more dangerous as the plot thickens; Natalie, says Moss, “starts out horrible and becomes a better person.” More important, the backwards structure and the subjective camerawork put the audience inside the mind of the film’s protagonist. We know as much (or as little) about what’s happening to Leonard as he does. Almost every scene begins inside, and there are no establishing shots to give a sense of time or place. “Where you put the camera is crucial,” Nolan says. “Every time [Leonard] comes into a room you want it just over his shoulder, discovering the room as he does. You use all sorts of close-ups to achieve texture through little details, because that’s the scope of his world.”

As the film progresses, Leonard’s suit gets cleaner, the cuts on his face disappear, and there’s less dirt on the car he drives. “It’s a really meticulous piece of work,” says the obsessively detailed Pearce, who thrived on the experience. “I’m one of those actors who’s in the continuity lady’s [face] all the time about the specifics of whether this was pulled up this far or down this far, so this was a joy to work on because we had photos and notes.” The actor took the Polaroids seen in the film, and it’s his writing that adorns them. “He wanted to do all those things himself,” Nolan says.

Autumn 1998: Casting
It was Jennifer Todd (coproducer, with her sister Suzanne, of Memento and the Austin Powers films) who first suggested Pearce to Nolan. “I wasn’t that familiar [with him],” Nolan says. “I, like a lot of people, don’t put together the Guy from Priscilla, Queen of the Desert with the Guy from L.A. Confidential. They’re so different. Within 30 seconds I thought, he’s perfect. He has an incredibly logical mind. His script looked eerily similar to Leonard’s file in the film, because he had all kinds of notes, and had taken it to pieces and put it back together.”

“You want to be completely inspired by the tone and style of a picture,” says Pearce. “I’m not a literary actor; I don’t know my Shakespearean characters, I do not know anything about playwrights. I sit there like a raw nerve andif I read something that gets me going it gets me going, and if I don’t, I don’t.” In fact, Pearce was so caught up in Leonard’s plight that when he first read the script he didn’t notice its unusual structure.

Pantaliano, who was recommended for the role of Teddy by his Matrix costar Moss, says he had to read the script five times to get it clear in his head. “I’m still trying to figure out the red pill, blue pill thing in The Matrix,” he laughs.

February 1998: The Write Stuff
“We were going to breakfast and [Nolan] said, ‘I’ve just had the most amazing idea how to structure a film,’ ” recalls executive producer Aaron Ryder of Newmarket Capital Group, a company hitherto known for financing indie movies like The Usual Suspects. “I’ll have to admit I was a bit confused. But once I saw a script it became apparent that this guy was a serious talent.” Ryder convinced his colleagues at Newmarket to option Memento as their first production; they are also distributing it themselves.

From the beginning Nolan was convinced that the only way to tell Leonard’s story was in the first person, though he didn’t quite know how to do that. Eventually a solution presented itself. “If you tell the story backwards you’re withholding the appropriate knowledge from the audience. That’s the only way to have the audience meet a character and not know whether they should trust them or not. Once I had that, I was able to write the script pretty quickly.” He did not, as one might reasonably expect, map out the scenes from start to finish and then reverse them. “I wrote it from page one to page 125. I had a lot of notes and diagrams. You work it through and say, ‘Does that hold up logically?’” He feels that today’s audiences are more receptive of dense, unconventional narratives because of the way videos and DVDs have changed our viewing habits. “As soon as you can stop [a film] and control the timeline, then it becomes like a book on some level. People are more accepting of the idea of jumping around and putting the story together in a fresh way. The supreme example of that is the trailer: You take different scenes, chop them up, stick them together, and allow the audience to reassemble the linear narrative.”

July 1997: On the Road
Memento comes full circle with the tale of a cross-country car trip. Nolan was moving from London to Los Angeles to see if he could drum up interest in his debut feature Following, a no-budget psychological thriller he’d shot one day a week over the course of a year. Together with his younger brother Jonathan (known as Jonah), he decided to drive from Chicago, a four-day journey. “By the time we got to Minnesota I had nothing really left to say, so I figured I’d tell him about this story I was working on,” laughs Jonah, 24. Entitled Memento Mori, the five-page story was inspired by Jonah’s rereading of Moby Dick (“the archetypal work on revenge”) as well as a real-life case he’d learned about in psychology class. “[Chris] took a shine to it pretty much immediately. I knew I was on to something because he usually doesn’t listen to anything I have to say.”

“He sent me a rough draft and I worked from that,” Chris says. “It had the key elements, the guy looking for revenge who has this short-term memory loss and is tattooing things on his body.” Jonah, who worked on the movie as a production assistant, says he’s in awe of his brother’s film but, like its protagonist, seems a bit removed from the whole experience. “The funny thing about Memento at the end of the day — the short story, the film, my participation in it — it’s really not my kind of story,” he says. “It’s way too dark.”

Scott Pilgrim international trailer

For completists...

Wednesday 16 June 2010

Trailer: Never Let Me Go

I was on set of this a couple of times, and I've read both book and script. Believe me when I say this is going to be something special.

Monday 14 June 2010


Saturday's football match between England v USA didn't go quite as planned but in amongst all the subsequent media coverage (mainly centred around the "unfortunate" England goalkeeper Robert Green), I found this to be highly amusing.

Friday 11 June 2010

Poster: Somewhere

I am very much hoping that Sofia Coppola's Somewhere plays Venice this year, having seen Lost In Translation there a few years back. Here's the first poster I've seen for the movie, although there's some issue over its authenticity. Either way, it's a lovely image.

EXCLUSIVE: Roland Emmerich on Independence Day 2

A month or so ago I visited the Berlin set of Roland Emmerich's Anonymous. My article is in the latest issue of Time Out magazine. For now, the piece isn't online; but when it is, I'll link to it.

At the end of my chat with Emmerich, I asked him about the status of Independence Day 2. Here's what he said:

"I came up, with Dean Devlin, with a story which we really liked. We ran it by Will [Smith], he liked it and we went to Fox and they liked it. And now it’s only like, 'Will there be a deal possible?' That’s all it’s down to now. But I would love to do it."

Ok, it's not much, but at least it indicates things are moving forward with ID4:2 or whatever they end up calling it.

Thursday 10 June 2010

Nolan Fest, Week One: Following

Made for a shoestring on weekends over the best part of a year, Christopher Nolan's stunning debut feature with its fractured narrative, ingenious editing, and dark, twisty core, laid out the narrative and thematic template for everything that was to come from the young filmmaker who is probably closer to Stanley Kubrick in terms of methodology and output than anyone else working today. 

The plot is a simple one. A young man who calls himself "Bill" (although on the DVD commentary track Nolan says he doesn't believe him when he says it), played by Jeremy Theobald, spends his days shadowing — following — random strangers on the streets of London. A wannabe writer, Bill uses these "encounters" as a way to stave off boredom, to satiate his voyeuristic tendencies, and, perhaps even more importantly, in an attempt to connect with those around him. 

One day, while following a man in a suit carrying a sports bag, Bill finds the tables are turned on him when his latest target, Cobb (Alex Haw), calls him on it. Cobb, it transpires, is a burglar and the pair partner up, as the enigmatic thief schools Bill in the finer points of his profession. But after breaking into the flat of a blonde femme fatale (Lucy Russell), Bill decides to go it alone, finding himself increasingly drawn to his victim, following her to a bar, and asking her out. The pair swiftly becoming romantically attached and Bill is only too willing to break into the underground bar of her ex-boyfriend, a psychopathic pornographer and club owner, to retrieve some incriminating photos. Only things and people aren't what they seem and Bill discovers he's been set up, like every other patsy in the history of film noir.

"The script was written along the lines of what I see as the most interesting aspect of film noir and crime fiction; not baroque lighting setups and sinister villains, but simply that character is ultimately defined by action," says Nolan. "In a compelling story of this genre we are continually being asked to rethink our assessment of the relationship between the various characters, and I decided to structure my story in such a way as to emphasize the audience's incomplete understanding of each new scene as it is first presented.

"We rehearsed for a very long time beforehand, about six months, because I could only really afford film stock for one or two takes," continues Nolan who shot the film using a handheld Bolex 16mm camera. "The actors had to know the film like a stage play so that we could find a location at the last minute, go there and just do it." Locations included Nolan's parents' house while Bill's flat was Theobald's. The Batman sticker on the door was his and already there, and not some prescient art direction by Nolan. 

A smart, assured, film noir shot, appropriately, in black and white, Following shares a similarly fractured (if not similar) narrative structure to Memento as past, present and future events are revealed in parallel timelines, although Nolan originally conceived and indeed cut the movie in more a linear fashion (you can see that version as a DVD extra). The structure clearly adds to the film's success, engendering a remarkable and mounting sense of unease. 

In a 2002 interview at the BFI, Nolan talked about his fondness for non-linear narrative structure:

"The thing that fed into that was probably my time at college, I studied English Literature. I wasn't a very good student, but one thing I did get from it, while I was making films at the same time with the college film society, was that I started thinking about the narrative freedoms that authors had enjoyed for centuries and it seemed to me that filmmakers should enjoy those freedoms as well.

"When I look back at film history and wonder why that hasn't happened yet, well, it's a young medium, a hundred years old, and the significant reason is television coming along in the Fifties. As soon as television became the only secondary way in which films were watched, films had to adhere to a pretty linear system, whereby you can drift off for ten minutes and go and answer the phone and not really lose your place.

"I think my generation of filmmakers is the first to have grown up with home video, and as soon as you have VHS — we got our first one when I was eleven — you can stop the film when the phone rings, and suddenly viewing films in the home become more like books. I think with things like DVD this will carry on. So I think there is more freedom and potential for filmmakers working now to create more dense and structurally complex narratives.

Trivia note: Leonardo DiCaprio's character in Inception shares the same last name, Cobb, as the antagonist in Following.

Following is available on DVD. 

The Man Who Heard Voices Or How M. Night Shyamalan Risked His Career On A Fairy Tale

I know I'm late to the party in regard to this particular book but I only just got round to reading it. Alongside The Devil's Candy this is the best "what went wrong" behind-the-scenes books I've read. It's an extraordinary insight into one man's ego, his creative process and the dreams/demons that haunt him, as well as the unorthodox methods of Australian DP Chris Doyle.

I actually watched Lady In The Water for the first time after finishing it. What a strange, strange film it is, more arthouse than studio in spirit and tone and execution despite it's hefty budget, and infinitely more interesting and successful than The Happening which I hatedbut, for me, deeply flawed nonetheless. After The Sixth Sense, Shyamalan was being lauded as the "next Spielberg", although that mantle has been tarnished of late.

For the longest time, people have been suggesting that he should direct a script that's not his own and for that reason, plus the trailers, I'm actually looking forward to The Last Airbender (although I fear the effects of the last minute 3D conversion.)

Teaser trailer: Rango

You've got to admire the cojones it takes to put out something that bonkers in today's marketplace.

Wednesday 9 June 2010

Dennis Hopper and brown sauce

In May 1995 I interviewed Dennis Hooper at the Cannes Film Festival for Empire magazine's How Much Is A Pint Of Milk? feature. Dennis, as we suspected, played ball and took the odd line of questioning with good humour and grace. Then it came to the query about "ketchup or brown sauce?" "What's brown sauce?" asked Dennis. I told him it was like ketchup but brown and spicy. "Like gravy?" inquired Dennis. Not really, I replied, and again I found myself in the somewhat surreal position of having to explain the taste sensation that is brown sauce, a condiment that clearly hadn't crossed the Atlantic at that time. (I'm not certain it has now, to be honest.) Dennis looked at me and offered an answer which I believe was ketchup (my memory fails me on this part) and we carried on. (I wish the piece was online, I'd link to it if it was.) After the interview I asked Dennis if I could take his photo with my Polaroid camera. He said yes and signed it too. I think he's one of only two interviewees I've ever asked to take a photo of — I don't approve of the practice personally, and I only asked in this case because I'd just got the camera and he was a photographer, so it seemed appropriate somehow.


Saw this at the cinema the other night and, apart from the bland title that I can never remember (to the point I had to look it up via Emily Blunt's imdb page), it looks kind of fun. Particularly love the Rembrandt gag. It opens in the UK soon and in the US on October 8.

Tuesday 8 June 2010

Nolan Fest, a preamble

In view of the fact that we have now just six weeks to wait until the release of Inception, I thought it might be a nice idea to take a look back at Christopher Nolan's past movies which just so happen to number six, making it a nice movie a week. And so, reel world matter's very own Nolan Fest — must think of a better title — will begin later this week with a look at Following. In the meantime, here's a behind-the-scenes peak at Inception.

And if you haven't yet picked up a copy of the latest Empire, now might be a good time.

Empire Inception Cover

Short takes: The Losers and [REC]2

The Losers
For the most part a hugely enjoyable adaptation of the Vertigo Comic penned by Andy Diggle and drawn by Jock, with some cool visuals, a terrific ensemble, and the smoking hot Zoe Saldana. It's great, too, to see Jason Patric back on form, and for once, they left the door open for a sequel that I actually want, although, alas, the mediocre box office performance probably makes that unlikely.

Not as good as the first one, which I loved. A case of familiarity breeding boredom, despite several jolts and one wonderfully black moment when a teenager wastes the wrong guy. That said, the film is as aimless as its characters, trapped in a cool conceit and unable to find its way out. The "it's a virus, no it's demonic possession, no it's a slug-like creature..." didn't help either. They're already planning parts 3 and 4. Here's hoping they get things back on track.

Monday 7 June 2010

Catching up

New Scott Pilgrim trailer. Me like.

More Pixar. Me like lots.

Sunday 6 June 2010

Back back back

Posting will resume from tomorrow, with the usual diet of trailers, news, and cinematic musings. Plus, at some point in the coming week, my recollections of the time I met Dennis Hopper who sadly passed on to the great movie palace in the sky while I was awol...