Thursday, 23 December 2010

Top 10 Films of 2010

I haven't seen most of the films fellow reviews have, nor have I had the time to get round to watching half of them, so here's my own take on the top 10 films of 2010.

1. Mary and Max

Probably a film that outside fellow reviewers no one will have seen, but it's without a doubt my favourite film of 2010. I'm very pleased to have seen it in other people's top 10 as well as I really want to encourage more people to see this exceptional film. It is a beautiful, honest, and unique portrayal of human connection with brilliant animation and design supported by a fantastic and memorable soundtrack.

2. The Social Network

Another film that made it in to most people’s top 10, and for good reason. The script, the acting, the direction...everything about this film is excellent. The recent Golden Globe nominations see this film up for six categories and undoubtedly will receive Oscar nominations when they are announced.

3. Toy Story 3

Most people have How To Train Your Dragon as opposed to Toy Story listed, but ashamedly having not yet seen the former Toy Story 3 takes this spot. I don't think I need must justification for this choice, but it brought together adults and children, made grown men weep (you know who you are) and ensured that Disney has owned the top two highest merchandised films (Cars is the other).

4. Inception

Another film that's been Golden Globe nominated. There was so much hype surrounding this film that many people felt quite let down when it was eventually released, but I wasn't one of them. I didn't see it on the weekend of its initial release like most, but waited until 3 or 4 weeks later and thoroughly enjoyed it. I hadn't really been a fan of Leonardo DiCaprio going in to the cinema, but I definitely was when I came out.

5. Scott Pilgrim vs The World

The hype, however, did ruin this film for me. Why then is it my number 5 then you ask? While I was slightly disappointed by Scott Pilgrim, I do appreciate that it was stylistically a unique film, with some great dialogue and a fantastic cast, and I'm definitely partial to Michael Cera.

6. Kick Ass

I'm not usually a fan of violent films, or really any film where people get tortured or violently killed, but Kick Ass is my exception. There were parts of this film I enjoyed more than Scott Pilgrim, and others that were worse so I feel like both films are about equal rank in my top 10, but I didn't want to start doing joint places. Although Aaron Johnson had the leading role in the film, Chloe Moretz was definitely the star, and I'm certainly looking forward to Kick Ass 2.

7. The Town

There are a few people out there who felt pretty 'meh' about The Town, but it was definitely one of my favourites of the year so it creeps in at number 7. Although Gone Baby Gone received positive reviews, I really think this film has put Ben Affleck on the map as a great director. It has a fantastic cast - I was very surprised to like Blake Lively's performance - and any film that doesn't make me switch off when the car chase scenes begin is certainly worthy of being in my top 10.

8. The Brothers Bloom

Probably an odd choice and I haven't yet seen it in anyone else's list, but I thought this film was funny, entertaining and brilliant with some fantastic performances from Mark Ruffalo, Adrian Brody and Rachael Weisz. With a sort of 'In Bruges' humour style, The Brothers Bloom is quirky, enjoyable and definitely worth a watch if you haven't already.

9. Whip It

Too be honest I'd almost forgotten about Whip It until I spotted it in View London's list and then I remembered what a brilliant film it is. Drew Barrymore directs and stars in this film alongside Ellen Page, Justin Long and Kristen Wiig about a female roller derby team. It's a shame it never saw wide theatrical release because it's a fantastic and enjoyable film.

10. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1

I know, I know. I'm sorry, but you're dealing with a massive Potter fan here. In fact, 'Potter' and 'Harry' were 5th and 7th place in my tweet cloud which says more than enough about me. The Potter series have a reputation of, validly so, not being particularly good. But I honestly think Part 1 of the Deathly Hallows changed that, it was darker, more mature, with some fantastic emotional and dramatic scenes. The only reason it's not higher up is because, as much as I love him, Daniel Radcliffe still can't act.

Monday, 13 December 2010

Matt Damon in talks for 'Elysium'

Shrouded in secrecy, Elysium is Neill Blomkamp’s upcoming project, so secret that no plot synopsis is known and casting is only just beginning. In a previous interview with Bleeding Cool, District 9 star Sharlto Copley said that he considered Blomkamp “to be the best Director working out there right now, so I would love to be able to continue the relationship” and it looks like he is going to get the chance. Copley is the first actor to be confirmed for Elysium and Deadline today have Matt Damon in talks for a role.

Copley, who has recently starred in The A Team is set to appear in the much anticipated Men in Black III is 2012 prior to Elysium which currently has no production or release date. Meanwhile Damon’s upcoming films include Hereafter, True Grit and The Adjustment Bureau.

Despite relatively nothing being known about Elysium, the director and cast (confirmed and rumoured) ensure this film is going to be surrounded by buzz even from this early on in the pre-production process. District 9 gave Blomkamp seven wins and twelve nominations for writing and direction and Copley who received four nominations for his performance, while Damon holds twenty award wins and fifty-four nominations to his name.

Viral Video released for Neil Burger's 'Limitless'

NZT - The Clear Pill

The marketing minds supporting Neil Burger’s Limitless have released a viral video advertising NZT – The Clear Pill. The film will star Bradley Cooper as Eddie Morra, a copywriter who discovers a drug that gives him supernatural powers and this ad sells that drug.

This clip shows you in less than 2 minutes the fundamental difference in American TV to anywhere else, and why only in the US could a film like this be made. For those of you have un/fortunately not sat through endless hours of American TV, channel hopping for what feels like an age, hoping to find a channel that doesn’t appear to be continuous adverts about miracle drugs, imagine this trailer on repeat.

You know that spam box in your email account that gets filled up with magic diet pills and penis enhancements drug emails? That’s what an American ad break is like. Because of the regulations, these types of drugs can be advertised regularly on TV but the advertisers also have to say what the side effects are, and although the Clear Pill video may seem funny, it is filled with exactly the kind of things you can expect to hear.

With a brilliant cast line up including Bradley Cooper, Robert De Niro, Anna Friel and Abbie Cornish, Limitless looks to mock these adverts by taking the drugs to the next level and supplying superpowers as side effects, and will hopefully be a brilliant and sharply funny film.

Beastly Trailer

Beastly Trailer

Directed by Phoebe in Wonderland‘s Daniel Barnz and starring Alex Pettyfer, Vanessa Hudgens, Mary-Kate Olsen and Neil Patrick Harris, Beastly is a modern day adaptation of Beauty and the Beast.

Pettyfer plays Kyle, who is popular, extremely handsome, and cursed by a witch to be as ugly outside as he is inside, and must find someone to love him within a year or he will remain ugly forever. Enter Lindy, in the form of Vanessa Hudgens. Despite the slightly hypocritical plot premise about accepting beauty is on the inside, yet with a quest still ending with him turning beautiful on the outside again, this adaptation looks very interesting.

With a relatively new director, young cast, and what looks like quite a dark and modern adaptation of a well known story this will hopefully be a unique and different approach to what is essentially a love story. Set to release on the 15th of April 2011, both Alex Pettyfer and Vanessa Hudgens will be seen in more mature and darker films in the coming weeks to the release of Beastly. Pettyfer will be starring in I Am Number Four alongside Dianna Agron, which is released on 18th February, while Hudgens stars in Zack Snyder’s Sucker Punch, released only a few weeks before Beastly on 25th March.*

2010 has seen the release of a few decent rom-coms, and hopefully Beastly will continue to break the mould with this modern adaptation of a dark but classic fairytale.

Thursday, 9 December 2010

The Tourist

I also had the unfortunate occurance of watching The Tourist this week.

While on holiday in Italy, ordinary maths teacher Frank (Depp) meets Elise (Jolie), a dangerous and seductive woman who is determined for their paths to cross. What Frank doesn’t know is that Elise is being hunted by Interpol agent Acheson (Bettany), who is determined to discover where Elise’s partner and lover has hidden £744 million.

Directed by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck (The Lives of Others (2006)) and starring Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp, The Tourist has the potential to be a fantastic espionage film. However in reality the outcome is an absurd plot, a lacking script due to the mixture of three different writers, and two stars that seem to lose their connection with every minute that passes.

Read the rest of my review here:

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

I attended a screening of the new Narnia film last weekend, which is a significantly cast improvement on the previous two films.

Here's my review:

With Susan and Peter away with their parents in America, Lucy (Henley) and Edward (Keynes) must stay with their Uncle Scrubb and annoying cousin Eustace (Will Poulter) in London. Meanwhile back in Narnia, an evil smoke monster takes over a far away island and starts kidnapping Narnians. With Jack Shepherd not around to save everyone, it’s up to Lucy, Edward and Eustace to travel to Narnia where they climb aboard the Dawn Treader ship with Prince Caspian (Barnes) and battle dragons, giant sea creatures and the green smoke monster.

Check out the rest here: