6 items from 2015
Thanks to video-on-demand, films never go away any more – so when I tell you to watch a weird Austrian cowboy movie, I expect you do it. This week
Netflix and video-on-demand and Hulu have created immense new pressures on hardcore movie lovers. In the olden days you could tell a friend, “You just have to see House of Games; it’s the best scam movie of the year!” or “I will not stop badgering you until you see Nine Queens! It’s the best South American scam movie of the year!”
And back in the olden days people would reply: “Yeah, sure, I’ll get to it when I get to it.” But then the film would end its theatrical run, so your friends had a legitimate excuse to ignore you. They would assure you that they would get around to seeing that Argentine movie about the bank robber with »
- Joe Queenan
Yesterday was the Super Bowl, that annual sporting event designed for superheroes to make friendly wagers between themselves for charity, and for the showcasing of movie trailers.
One of the very best of this year's crop of trailers (taking the top spot of the Super Bowl spots) was the action-packed trailer for Furious 7, the latest instalment in the Fast and Furious franchise.
Vin Diesel's voice-over informs us that "The most important thing in life will always be family" (which is totally what his vocabulary-limited character Groot was saying, albeit more concisely, at a certain moment in Guardians of the Galaxy). Of course, as the montage shows, he's talking about found family, a group of people who care deeply for each other, despite often not being related. This could also be a thematic statement about the emotional core of the franchise, which has arguably endured so long because the audience cares about the characters, »
The latest big screen adaptation of Mark Millar's work, Kingsman: The Secret Service, arrives in UK cinemas this week. It follows the likes of Kick-Ass, Kick-Ass 2 and Wanted to the screen, and Millar also advises Fox on its series of Marvel films. He spared us some time for a chat about his films, storytelling, auctioning names off for charity, and specifically about Kingsman itself.
Here's how it went...
To what extent would you say this is a political story?
Funny you should say that. We were chatting about this earlier, and my friends who are left-wing so it as a left-wing political story about a guy from nothing showing that he’s just as good as people who had everything, and he’s even being better than them by the end. »
One of the movies that has a ton of heat already focused on it even before the Sundance Film Festival begins is "Z For Zachariah." Chris Pine, a brunette Margot Robbie, and Chiwetel Ejiofor co-star in this story that takes place "in the wake of a disaster that wipes out most of civilization," according to the official synopsis. "Two men and a young woman find themselves in an emotionally-charged love triangle as the last known survivors." Craig Zobel's last film that played here, "Compliance," was a cold-blooded and intensely well-made look at a true story that still gives me chills when I think about it. I am a huge fan of his first feature film, "Great World Of Sound," as well, and I am excited to see anything Zobel makes. Today, we've got an exclusive debut for you of the first clip from the film. In it, we see »
- Drew McWeeny
When "Taken" was first released, nobody thought that it would lead to anything, much less an insanely lucrative franchise. It was a modestly budgeted thriller ($25 million) that was first released overseas, in France, where its core creative team was from and where the film was mostly set. It starred Liam Neeson, who at the time was not much of a box office draw, and had a grippingly simplistic story, the kind of stuff compulsively readable paperbacks novels are made of. But then it came out and connected with people in a big way, making more then $225 million and leading to a sequel that made even more. In an era when studios are trying to artificially manufacture franchises and entire universes, "Taken" came out of nowhere and lasted much longer than anyone could have guessed.
But just because something is a franchise, doesn't mean that it necessarily should be one. This »
- Drew Taylor
It’s a great twelve-month stretch when my enthusiasm for the best films of the year outweighs my anger at its most awful, and so in recognition of that, I’m about to count down my top 20 best films of 2014, having added a highly deserving extra five titles on top of my previously planned top 15.
2014 was a year in which the movies provided a rare surplus of optimism, standing in much-needed contrast to the grim headlines that demanded our attention. Beheadings and bombings, missing airplanes and Middle Eastern massacres, heightened racial tensions and heated protests – 2014 was in many ways a depressing year for humanity. Even Hollywood was effected, between the unexpected deaths of Philip Seymour Hoffman, Robin Williams and Joan Rivers (among others) and shocking moments like the nude photo leaks and the more recent Sony hack. So, it was relieving for many to be able to escape the world »
- Isaac Feldberg
6 items from 2015
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