People love Vampires right? I was blessed with the coming of the Vampire Slayer; Buffy ran the full length of my teenage years. My 12 year old cousin, not so lucky, received the offering of sappy sparkliness that was the Twilight Saga but for those adults who still have a taste for the undead without the poster boys, the 2008 film Let the Right One In resurrected the classic love and death tale with a oddly mature and retro retelling. Its transformation from Swedish book to Swedish film to American remake (with the more manageable title of Let Me In - yes, five words was too much and we like our film titles to be plaintive!) but our thirst for the little girl vampire centuries old did not stop at this medium.
This review contains spoilers, for both Kick-Ass and Kick-Ass 2, so here's the spoiler-free summary: it's a hell of a ride. If you go into the cinema knowing no more about this film than what's in the trailer, it's likely you're going to spend the next 2 hours laughing, gasping and cheering and come out with a grin on your face. I certainly did - having seen it with a group of friends, the first words out of my mouth when we left the cinema were, "how awesome was that?!" The problems come if you start to think about it too much (or as some would argue, at all).
Image: William Warby
I love horror movies. I enjoy the creepiness, the faces I pull and even hiding behind my hands - just a little bit. My favourite cinema in London, cult movie mecca, The Prince Charles Cinema, already had one Horror pyjama party that I missed, so when the John Carpenter All Nighter Came along – my chance to sit back and scream had returned from beyond the grave!
Weirdly as a horror fan, John Carpenter was unknown territory for me, I had managed to miss all the monster movies (is The Fog a monster?) and Kurt Russell laden action he’d had to offer over the years. Halloween was nearly scrapped from the line up and that ultimate teen slasher movies absence was enough to make me wonder: “Do I really want to risk deep vein thrombosis for films I don’t even know?” But I’ve always liked turning up to a film when you don't know too much about it – you don’t know what to expect, a bonus in the horror genre. When Halloween was reinstated to the line-up, opening the night’s event, it was a done deal. Let’s see if I can survive 10 hours in a chair in a red velvet lined basement with my pal Pete as my trusty sidekick. Here is my Horror Movie Marathon Survival Guide...
Director/actor/writer Sarah Polley brings us her first original screenplay in the form the Leonard Cohen song titled Take This Waltz. She does a good job of reminding us why actors step behind the camera. It’s been a long time since the likes of The Adventures of Baron Munchausen and The Sweet Hereafter (I recommend you watch both) but while she still acts - she writes, directs and produces too and here are the fruits of her labour and it’s all about love or is it?
Michelle Williams is Margot, a writer, not the kind she wants to be, lives in Toronto with her hubby Lou (looking good Seth Rogen) and is afraid of being afraid, more specifically being in between things. Cue Daniel, not only a fine name but a fine face to match. Played by Luke Kirby, Daniel is a new neighbour and soon to be the third point of our romantic triangle. As Margot rightly puts it when she figures out the guy she’s been flirting with on the way back from the airport lives across the street: Gah!
Sam and Suzy
My sweet and sprightly title completely reflects my adoration of this film. You can probably expect a rather skewed review from here on out but I will try to incorporate both sides of the Wes Anderson coin.
When a director is so stylistically set in their ways you do find yourself in a sticky situation. You know what you are getting with Wes but maybe you’re not in the mood for twee with a sprinkling of angst. He likes those filmed-from-above still shots of things on tables and letters being read and he likes his wistful music. But you are treated to sexy sixties songstress Françoise Hardy and some little old American song about falling in love with an Indian, it’s nice trust me.
Was the birth of the prequel back in the 1990s? To lay all the blame of the money-grabbing prequel trend at Ridley Scott’s door seems a little unfair. I am having trouble recalling but I think a Mr. George Lucas may have a lot to answer for [the magic of Google tells me the first Star Wars prequel came out in 1999 – Squeamish Kate]. Back in 1979 Ridley Scott directed a film called Alien. It spawned 3 sequels (each with a different director) that were all very different from each other. Let’s not even talk about the Alien Vs. Predator movies, they weren’t Ridley’s fault either.
Now it’s 2012 and Ridley has climbed back in his director’s chair to bring us Prometheus. This film has links to Alien in the fact that it is set in the same universe, however this is a new story. I and a lot of other people are going to see this because it is a ‘kinda’ prequel to Alien, one of the best sci-fi horror movies ever made. It isn’t a spoiler for me to tell you right now, Prometheus is not one of the best sci-fi horrors movies ever made. It doesn’t have the action to project it into the gun wielding league of Aliens either.
I saw the new Ryan Gosling vehicle Drive this week. I suggest you sit back and enjoy the ride….and all the other driving puns I have for you!
Director Nicolas Winding Refn, gives us the classic lit up cityscape opening followed by a pink font title scrawled across a freeze frame of the main character. That mixed with a soundtrack that kisses the feet of eighties electro music and whispers lyrics into my ears like the prayers of sleepy angels, I’m ready, tell me more Mr Director, you have my undivided attention. And we’re off!