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Showing posts from July, 2016

Star Trek (2009) / Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)

Ahead of watching the new Star Trek film, Charlotte and I decided to go back and revisit JJ Abrams’ Star Wars audition and its sequel. The first I knew quite well, but I had only seen the second the once at the cinema, and it became one of many DVDs I have sat on my shelf still in its cellophane.  I’ve never been a Star Trek fan by any stretch. I’ve probably seen a little of the original series, and then the odd episode of Star Trek Next Generation TV series as a kid while waiting for The Simpsons, Robot Wars or Malcolm in the Middle to come on. I was always a big Star Wars fan and seemed to think you could only be in one camp or the other for some reason. As far as I’m aware Trekkie reception to the 2009 and 2013 reboots were largely positive bar the pretty one dimensional villain in the first, and the whitewashed return of a popular villain from the Star Trek canon in the sequel. This film seemed to cater for all though. If you wanted comedy, you got it in abundance with Chris …

What We Do in the Shadows (2014)

During a badly hungover train journey from London back home last weekend I turned to some classic Flight of the Conchords tunes on my iPod to get me through. The New Zealand duo have a back catalogue of parody songs and two HBO television series, and if you haven’t checked them out before then I strongly recommend. When I got home and collapsed on the sofa I began scrolling through Netflix for an easy to watch film to nurse me through the dying embers of my killer headache, and turned to a comedy co-created by one of the pair, Jermaine Clement. He and Taika Waitiki co-wrote, directed and starred in this hilarious horror mockumentary about cameramen granted full access to the house of a Wellington based vampires. What We Do in the Shadows was exactly what I needed.

I missed the film during it’s original release in cinemas. To my mind it wasn’t out for long, and that was a shame as I was huge fan of Clement’s Flight of the Conchords work in particular. He and Bret McKenzie make up …

Ghostbusters (2016)

Paul Feig helms the reboot of the much loved 1984 Ghostbusters classic, directing and co-writing with Katie Dippold. It reunites his Bridesmaids (2011) stars Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy, alongside comedian and Saturday Night Live star, Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon respectively. Ignoring the previous two films, the latest installment again tells the story of four mismatched New York City parapsychologists hunting and capturing ghosts. I’ve loved the original film ever since our mum bought it for my brother and I on VHS one summer to keep us entertained (and quiet). I don’t think she would have got it us had she been aware of jokes about phantom oral sex, and a possessed Sigourney Weaver saying she wants Bill Murray inside her (“It sounds like you’ve got two or three people in there already”), but that tape kept us quiet for a whole summer. I’m also still proud of the ghostbusters fancy dress outfits we did one Halloween at university complete with Corn Flakes box proton pa…

The Secret Life of Pets (2016)

The Secret Life of Pets is a made for kids animated comedy directed by Chris Renaud and Yarrow Cheney, and written by Brian Lynch, Cinco Paul, and Ken Daurio.  The film tells the story of what our pets are getting up to when left alone at home by their parent owners.  Hmmm… Max (voiced by Louis C.K.) is adored by his owner and loves her right back.  Hmmm…
Unfortunately for Max, his owner adopts a newer, bigger, cuddlier dog called Duke (Eric Stonestreet) who threatens to steal the limelight entirely.  Hmmm… The two end up lost, fending for themselves in a scary city.  Hmmm… Eventually they come cross what appears to be an evil gang of animals, hidden away from the rest of the world.  Hmmm… Eventually they see past their earlier grievances and form a team, becoming good friends in the process.  Hmmmmmm… The Secret Life of Pets is an unoriginal 90 minutes of cute animals relentlessly moving from one slapstick scenario to the next without any real care put in to the bits in between.  I couldn’…

The Neon Demon (2016)

Well, I’ve never been warned of strobe lighting while buying my ticket for a film before.  Fair to say that of all the images scorched in to the back of my eyeballs in the following 110 mins, bright lights were the least of my worries.  Nicolas Winding Refn’s latest outing, The Neon Demon, (co-written with Mary Laws and Polly Stenham) stars Elle Fanning as 16 year old Jesse, and our Little Red Riding Hood is thrown to the wolves (and an actual cougar) of the modelling world.  Telling everyone she is 19, she quickly finds that she has “that special something” that all of her older competition are after.  Tensions rise, and the competition gets fierce in a tale of how far people will go to succeed in the emptiest and shallowest of worlds.
I enjoyed Bronson (2008), but I am a huge fan of Drive (2011) when it was released.  I came very close to purchasing a scorpion jacket and looking completely ridiculous, but made do with driving round with Cliff Martinez’s iconic soundtrack on full blas…

Odeon Flashbacks

For quite a few weeks my friend Eve and I had kept our eye on the 4th July.  Not because we’re massive Independence Day fans (although obviously we are), but because Odeon cinema at the Manchester Printworks were going to be showing The Usual Suspects.  It’s a classic that I’ve seen a few times now, but one that had eluded her.  So when I found out she had never seen it, and it was due to be on at the cinema as a one off I was really keen to go with her to watch it.  Bryan Singer's 1995 crime thriller has one of the biggest twists in movie history, and anyone that has seen it will know exactly why I couldn’t wait to see it with someone that knew nothing about it.  I almost wanted to strap a go pro to the seat in front as a reaction-cam.

Manchester’s Odeon cinema does a showing of an older film every Monday for a very reasonable £4.  I believe it’s the only Odeon that does these ‘Flashbacks’, and honestly, I don’t know why more big cinema chains don’t do this more often.  I actually…