The film from Cameron Crowe, the acclaimed director of Jerry Maguire and Almost Famous has been in the dark since Elizabethtown. Well, he’s back with a big shout that looks to take Maguire to the next level. It’ll be tears all round this Christmas I think.
Morning folks! I saw a few films this week so thought I’d post some some reviews as well as another segment to my Kubrick Season. Firstly, I saw One Day this week. I’d read the book earlier this year - and cried like an absolute child.
Like most people, I’m quite wary of film adaptions of books and am usually quite right. Books usually feel like they are made for cinema but really they are very difficult to translate. What you can read on the page cannot always be put onto screen. There is often beauty in that, what could take pages of explanation on page could be a mere look on the screen. However, when we read, we tend to know what the characters are thinking as well as feeling and this does not always work on screen.
One Day translates reasonably well. David Nicholls clearly thought of this for the screen and there are certain moments that work perfectly. The problem lies, though, in the bond between the two characters. Through the earlier years when we really find out about their relationship, in the film it just feels rather episodic. Understandably, they could not have everything in the book within the movie, but this seems to hinder the relationship. That being said, the story really does shift into gear in Paris.
I have read several reviews online putting the issues of the film down to the acting but I have to disagree. Although Anne Hatheway’s somewhat wooden performance as the slightly uncomfortable Emma Morley is quite odd, let’s remember that Emma is meant to be wooden, if not cold at points and very much uncomfortable. What is difficult to grasp within that side of her is made up in the fact that when she is at her best she is clearly and unconditionally charming, enchanting and enigmatic.
Jim Sturgess’ Dexter is a whole different beast. Whereas in the book we are meant to hate to love him, I simply did not care for him until after they are married and well, you know the rest. That is when you truly care and sympathise. Yes, he is charming and forward but there is simply not enough time to understand the character and so he appears rather one dimensional.
The film itself is well put together and shot, edited and directed well. It feels slightly episodic but realistically, so does the book. The real story does not kick in until Paris, but along with the story is also the waterworks.
Just what the Doctor ordered. A nice mix of Jurassic Park, Close Encounters of the Third Kind and E.T: The Extra Terrestrial. I hope Spielbergian becomes a genre.
So here it is, the first part of Burn After Playing’s very own Kubrick Season. First on the list is his seminal horror/psychological thriller The Shining. For those of you who haven’t seen it, I’d recommend it to understand a huge amount of references from music videos and cartoons.
Lets not only appreciate the movie but also the making of it. Within most DVD copies of it and in the blu ray you can find a Making of shot by Vivian Kubrick, the directors daughter. Shooting of the film lasted for almost 12 months - most films shoot for a maximum of around 3 months but usually wrap in around 6 weeks. The locations moved around the world and even the infamous baseball bat scene was done in 127 takes. 127. That’s one 5 minute take, done 127 times. Do the math. That’s over 10 and a half hours. Not counting the time to rehearse the scene with the actors and the crew (which is usually done separately) and to light the entire room.
Skip ahead to the actual story. We meet the Torrence family. Jack, Wendy and Danny. The Torrences move to a remote hotel to maintain it whilst it is closed for the winter season. The Overlook Hotel has a strange power over it’s secluded inhabitants. We discover that seven years prior to the Torrences accommodating The Overlook, a man went upon a crazed attack and butchered his family with an axe. What then follows is the odd and quite frankly terrifying occurrences that plague the Torrences stay.
The Shining is not only a milestone in contemporary filmmaking but also a major influence in all subsequent horror films since. The very few actors all surpass many roles that they had already done and were arguably better than they would ever be. The fallen hero, Jack Torrence, played by Jack Nicholson, is cold, frightening and unhinged. Certainly somebody you or I would appreciate being stuck in an abandoned hotel with!
I hope you’ve all had a lovely bank holiday. I was rooting around on the internet a few days ago and came across a trailer for the More4 Kubrick Season from 2008. I didn’t see it when it aired originally and I’m glad I came across it recently. It got me thinking about having my own private Kubrick Season, so what I’ll be doing is watching all Kubrick’s films in the coming weeks and posting my thoughts on them.
As the trailer is set around The Shining, I’ll watch that first. Until then, check out the trailer below. It’s a great trailer, going around the back stage of a set from The Shining, all in the point of view of the director - moving the camera in a way very similarly to how he would’ve done it in a film of his own. I love the iconography and the symmetry used - it’s all very Kubrickian!
Read the book? Now play the Snes Game- greatgatsbygame.
A bit of Friday fun for y’all. Enjoy and have a great weekend
The Gary Hudson Project- A proposal of awesome proportions. I urge you to watch this video all the way through. Best marriage proposal ever, hands down.
(Source: Boing Boing)
I got my N64 out of the loft to play Fighters Destiny this week, so I thought I might as well replay some of the best games of my childhood. There were so many great games on the N64 so I figured it’s about time some of my beloved games get the recognition they deserve.
One of these games is Space Station: Silicone valley. If you don’t know already, the premise of Silicone Valley is this: You were a robot but after a crash onto the space station, only a chip works, the whole space station is inhabited by animals- which are robots. Ok now this sounds a bit silly (maybe that’s why no-one played it), but basically you had to kill animals, take their bodies and complete puzzles and tasks.
Damn it was hard. I remember one of the first missions was trap a speedy mouse (complete with wheels and a pointy tail) then use the mouse to race a rocket dog around a river. Sounds odd as hell, and I guess it is. Rocket penguins, yeah its got them, flying foxes, yeah it will throw those out too. It’s a wacky game, but there is literally nothing else like it available.
It’s flawed as hell, but its fun as fuck. Have you played it or are there any other ‘bad’ games you enjoy playing? Let me know.
Firstly, let me apologise for the severe lack of updates. I’ve been finishing off my Masters degree and it’s been a very busy time. Luckily my heterosexual life partner, Dave has kept the ship sailing smoothly. We just recorded a podcast for you fine lovely people and it was all about fighting games and films - I hope you enjoy it.
There’s a few things I’d like to talk about and some of them are linked. Recently I was reading heyUGuys.co.uk - which is a great blog if you haven’t read it, and I was reading about a new remake, sequel or prequel unknown to Blade Runner. Let’s go back a few months and talk about Ridley Scott’s Alien prequel/spin-off Prometheus. The film began filming shortly after Christmas last year and from what I gather is regarding the ‘Space Jockey’ which we see in the original Alien movie. We see a team of scientists searching for Alien DNA and we all know what happens then - absolute doom via the Xenomorphs (the aliens). So, Prometheus feels a lot more than just a prequel, or a sequel. Lord knows we don’t need another sequel, but what we’re getting feels like much much more. It’s a whole new beast.
This is where I’ll begin with Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner. Nobody is really sure whether it’s a remake/sequel/prequel (more information as it comes though) as it was all announced at the final parts of last week. I’ll let you know a secret - I don’t understand the hype with Blade Runner. I don’t see why everybody loves it, but thats cool. The world doesn’t need me to love it. What appears to be happening now is that the filmmaker responsible for influencing the last 30 years worth of science fiction is now going back to those early films and not rehashing them for a newer generation (like Wes Craven with Scream 4). He’s taking two projects that really, weren’t broken in the first place, and giving them a 2.0, a newer, fresher, cousin. Think of it as an iPad with a iBook G3. Looking at more recent films such as Battle: Los Angeles, Skyline and other such travesties, we’re in good need of something that’ll reinvent and redefine the genre once more. I, for one, can not wait.
Finally, let’s talk about a trailer I posted a few weeks ago, and if you missed it, it’s below. It’s for Kill List. The British thriller currently being marketed around the country. There’s something quite fresh to their approach and I really like it. It’s nothing particularly new but it’s something British films rarely have the money to do in their marketing budget. You have to search for the Kill List logo (below) and tweet or facebook the image and location in order to win tickets to see the movie at its UK premiere! Below is an image, have a look and let me know what you think!
Kill List Trailer:
Kill List Marketing Images:
Oh and I now have an about me, stalk me at about.me/MichaelMiddletonDowner
Just to share with y’all the newly released intro video for Gears of War 3. Get excited bitches!