Wednesday, 31 October 2012 Written by Ivan Radford
It's Halloween - an odd time of year that sees people dressing up in shabby clothes, drinking, and asking other people for food. But while people play hobo for the night, I treat the macabre occasion the same way I treat the rest of life: as an excuse to watch more films.
But everyone already knows that The Exorcist and The Shining are probably the two scariest films ever made, so who needs to read yet another list of the "top horror films of all time"? Instead, I like to play Scream: The Video Game or something equally gruesome.
But if point-and-click MS-DOS games based on Wes Craven films aren't your thing, here's something a little more old-school: some actors doing what they do best when they're out of work in the winter season: reading terrifying ghost stories.
Inevitably, most of these are by Edgar Allan Poe, but there's a special treat in there for vampire fans: Dracula read by Michael Fassbender.
Wednesday, 21 December 2011 Written by Ivan Radford
The Hobbit trailer has hobbled onto the internet. And Martin Freeman has never looked happier.
"I am a Baggins! Of Bag End!" he huffs, refusing to go anywhere.
Two minutes and thirty-two seconds later, and he's upped sticks, left The Shire, met a company of plate-throwing dwarves, picked up a sword and crossed paths with... well, you know who. (No, not Voldemort, silly.)
And the best bit? Not the wonderful set design that looks completely consistent with Lord of the Rings, not the nifty camerawork of Peter Jackson, not the return of Ian McKellen's Gandalf, Richard Armitage singing or the promising visual effects - it's the fact that Jackson knows just how much to reveal.
There's internet fan hype. There's pointlessly dissecting The Dark Knight Rises trailer. There's releasing previews of previews of teasers of trailers for films that aren't out until 2012. And then there's the perfectly judged first trailer for The Hobbit.
Read on to see the full video - you can see the actual film this time next year.
Tuesday, 25 October 2011 Written by Ivan Radford
It wasn't the London Film Festival Surprise Film, but it was still an unexpected pleasure to be sent the new 90 second trailer for Martin Scorsese's Hugo.
The live action take on Brian Selznick's novel, The Invention of Hugo Cabret, is Scorsese's first 3D film - something that a lot of people are going on about. But you know what's more exciting than that? It's set in the early 1900s during the birth of film. And one of the main characters is pioneering cinematic legend Georges Méliès (the man who created the groundbreaking and endearingly cute A Trip to the Moon). And he's played by Ben Kingsley.
Chloe Moretz, Sacha Baron Cohen and Christopher Lee also make an appearance, but on the plot alone of Selznick's book, I'm already hugely excited - and so is Scorsese, judging by the way he talks to the camera about recreating a period Paris train station.
Hugo is out in cinemas on Friday 2nd December. Read on for the new trailer.
Saturday, 24 September 2011 Written by Ivan Radford
BlogalongaBond. One Bond film a month until Bond 23 turns up next year.
It's 1974. Moonraker doesn't exist yet. But Guy Hamilton doesn't let that stop his own attempt at making the worst Bond movie of all time. And he's astonishingly successful, producing a solid gold piece of turdy cackwaffle. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you The Man with the Golden Gun - The Moonraker of 1974.
The worst part of watching the film? Knowing that they had a great book to base the whole thing on. Adaptations don't have to stick to the words on the page, but when a novel is ready-made for a film treatment, why create something inferior from scratch?
Published posthumously in 1965, Ian Fleming's thriller was a proper old-school spy yarn. It saw an old, out-of-shape Bond return from his MIA status after You Only Live Twice's failed mission. Dazed, confused, and convinced he was a Japanese fisherman, Bond was swiftly taken in by the KGB, brainwashed and sent back to London to assassinate M.
Whether Fleming finished it before dying or not, it's a corker of an opening that begs to be made into a film - why Richard Maibaum and Tom Mankiewicz chose to leave it out of the script is a source of constant bafflement. His brain unscrambled, Bond is assigned to track down Francisco Paco "Pistols" Scaramanga, last seen somewhere in the Caribbean. Not because Scaramanga sent a bullet to MI6 (NONSENSE NONSENSE NONSENSE) but because M reckons he's the right-sized kind of target for 007 to get his mojo back.
What follows is 150 pages of 007 sitting around a half-finished hotel, working his way into Scaramanga's inner circle and waiting for the chance to shoot him. With this ridiculously brilliant source material in mind (perhaps my favourite of Fleming's Bond books), I was unsurprised to find this informative pamphlet addressed to Albert R. Broccoli in my DVD case...
Friday, 15 July 2011 Written by Ivan Radford
As if there weren't enough trailers flying around this week already, Martin Scorsese's Hugo Cabret trailer has turned up as well. And it's interesting, if a little odd. Not least because (for some unknown reason) it's now just called Hugo.
Telling the tale of Hugo (Asa Butterfield), an orphan who lives in a Paris train station, it follows him as he befriends a young girl (Chloe Moretz) and her godfather, early cinema pioneer Georges Méliès (Sir Ben Kingsley).
And so as Sacha Baron Cohen, Helen McCrory, Emily Mortimer, Christopher Lee and Michael Stuhlbarg run around Hugo's adopted home, the world of moving pictures gradually comes to life in the background.
The result is a curious mix of adventure, trains, Jude Law, and that music from Zack Snyder's 3D owl movie. In other words, it's not very Martin Scorsese. Or, to put it simply:
WHERE'S THE BIT WITH GIMME SHELTER?
Hugo Cabret is out (in 3D) on Friday 2nd December. Read on for the full Hugo trailer as well as the Hugo poster.
Thursday, 10 March 2011 Written by Ivan Radford
With The Resident moving in this weekend, we see the reunion of two of the most mythical forces in cinema history: Hammer horror and Christopher Lee.
Most recently seen as Saruman in Lord of the Rings or – whisper it quietly – Count Dooku from Star Wars, it’s great to see the return of Christopher Lee. He's one cool Mo Fo. He makes Shaft look like a black man without a beard. Oh yes, there's no-one quite like Chris. I knew a Chris once at school. He was a turd. So what makes BAFTA Fellowship Award-winning Christopher Lee such a bonafide cool cat?
There are literally A BILLION reasons, but here are seven...
Saturday, 29 January 2011 Written by Ivan Radford
BlogalongaBond. One Bond film a month until Bond 23 turns up in November next year.
Mr. The Incredible Suit's evil scheme sounds like a great idea as long as you don't think about Roger Moore (ha, now you're thinking about Roger Moore).
But where to start? Well, how about with this exciting letter that I found lying in the skip behind Argos last night:
Dear Dr. No,
I've always wanted to be a Bond villain, ever since I was voted most likely to be a megalomaniacal nutjob in primary school. But how do I start? I could always get round to hollowing out that volcano in the back yard, but my cat is very needy and takes up a lot of time. As a leading evil genius, any advice you can give to an ambitious criminal like me would be really nice. Perhaps you would like to be the first member of my new club, SPECTRE? We meet every Tuesday in my treehouse. Like The Famous Five. But evil.
Brian Oliver Blofeld.
PS. Do you think I should change my name?
By an amazing coincidence, this highly educational pamphlet was also in the rubbish:
On the Carpet: Let Me In
Thursday, 14 October 2010 Written by Ivan Radford
Vampires and children and hammers, oh my! Not your average Thursday night out, unless you're off to shout things at the people who remade Let the Right One In. But Let Me In stands up well against its Swedish original (despite their shoddy CGI decision), and Matt Reeves, Simon Oakes and Kodi Smit-McPhee were proud of what they've achieved. Namely bringing Tomas Alfredson's superbly sinister romance to a subtitle-fearing audience.
So naturally the topic of remaking such a highly regarded movie came up. But so did Daniel Radcliffe, Christopher Lee and an extraordinarily bright green suit.
Tuesday, 05 October 2010 Written by Ivan Radford
Pegg and Serkis were always a promising line-up for Burke and Hare, the body-snatching/corpse-selling duo of the 1820s. And now that promise has been firmly delivered upon with the film's first trailer.
Burke (Simon Pegg) and Hare (Andy Serkis) went from Northern Ireland to Scotland in the 1800s, promptly setting themselves up a business of selling off cadavers to Edinburgh's brightest medical institutions. But when grave-robbing ran dry, they had to turn to other, more murderous means of supply. Like murder.
Packed with talent as varied as Jessica Hynes, Isla Fisher, Tim Curry, Christopher Lee, Stephen Merchant, Jenny Agutter, Bill Bailey and Ronnie Corbett, Burke and Hare is shaping up to be a blood-soaked fest of daft humour and over-the-top gore. Which is exactly what you'd expect from director John Landis.
Burke and Hare is out in UK cinemas on Friday 29th October. Read on for the full trailer.
Saturday, 31 October 2009 Written by Ivan Radford
Happy Halloween folks! No doubt you're planning an orgy of drink, sex and fake blood, but if trick or treating with the kids ain't your style, maybe you've gone for the alternate route: a movie marathon. But this a tricky minefield of mistakes - fangs or fur? Zombies or vampires? These are tough choices to make.
Of course, if you know what you're doing, you'll have dragged in some other poor soul to keep you company in the dark. But, if you're really smart, you'll be looking to score something other than novelty-shaped sweets. Why not get a girl to come over? Halloween is the perfect time to take advantage of that classic emotional response: fear. In the right circumstances, it's more powerful than good looks. So dim the lights, grab a glass of chianti and plan the perfect movie marathon - this Halloween, learn how to seduce a girl in 10 films.