Talking Movies

January 31, 2020

The Hateful Eight

So today’s the day. Margaret Thatcher campaigned for Britain to stay in Europe in their first referendum, and was instrumental in creating the Single Market, and then balked at the idea of a single currency, and started muttering that the whole thing had been a huge mistake. And after being drip-fed poison for thirty years surprise surprise but enough people agreed with her to leave.

Margaret Thatcher

Rupert Murdoch

Paul Dacre

Nigel Farage

David Cameron

Dominic Cummings

Jacob Rees-Mogg

Boris Johnson

 

*Michael Gove gets a highly commended for his still astonishing assertion, “I think the British people have had enough of experts”

January 20, 2020

Hopes: 2020

The French Dispatch

Wes A writes solo

50s expats en Francais

Whimsical New Wave?

 

Bergman Island

Mia Hansen-Love

mixes art and Scandi-life

Her English debut

 

Tenet

C Nolan bends time

Even more than usual

This could get trippy

Fast & Furious 9

Hmmm, no Rock, no State

Theron is back, Cena new

Can this hit the mark?

 

Bill & Ted Face the Music

Dude, at last it’s here

Wyld Stallyns write cosmic hits

Rufus promised us

 

Top Gun: Maverick

Tom Cruise feels the need

The need for speed, and danger

Who needs damn stuntmen?

Last Night in Soho

Edgar Wright does horror

But it’s also time travel

Which means Mrs Peel!!

 

The Trial of the Chicago 7

Trials are short, talk fast

Sorkin tackles ’68

Mayor Daley rolls

 

Wonder Woman: 1984

Gal Gadot returns!

Chris Pine returns! Wait, what?! But…

Day-glo fun nonsense?

Free Guy

Ryan Reynolds is…

An NPC in a game?!

Pikachu 2 much?

 

A Quiet Place 2

Clap your hands, say yeah!

Wait, don’t do that – certain death

Silent excitement

 

The King’s Man

Where it all began

Ralph Fiennes is M, his own alpha

World War Silliness

Death on the Nile

H. Poirot returns

But will the plot stay bloody?

Watch this moustache

 

The Call of the Wild

Jack London’s classic

Harrison Ford with a beard

What’s not to like here?

 

Ghostbusters: Afterlife

Save us, Reitman’s son

You’re our only hope. Well, plus

Egon’s grandchildren.

Purge 5: Final Night

We saw things kick off

Now we’ll see how it melts down

Go Cady Longmire!

 

C’mon C’mon

Mike Mills rides again!

(Not the muso) We know nawt,

Save Joaquin P stars

 

Mank

Fincher’s not done yet

Netflix bankroll Welles epic

Gary Oldman the star

The Nest

Jude Law, Carrie Coon

Get some bad cabin fever

Sean Durkin returns!

 

Loveland

Ivan Sen sci-fi

Hugo Weaving back in fold

MegaCity, not Outback

Fears: 2020

Godzilla v Kong

Wingard blockbuster!

But will he get lost in fog?

Does shroud Godzilla…

 

The Love Birds

Stuber does throwback

Almost a Thin Man for now?

But less elegant…

 

Birds of Prey

Harley Quinn gets woke!

But MEW is the Huntress, yet…

This screams disaster

 

Fantasy Island

Why is this horror?

What would R Montalban say?

For shame Maggie Q!

 

Mulan

Another remake…

Disney can make huge money

But still be bankrupt

 

Black Widow

She’s already dead!

Talk about your bad timing

A badly missed chance

 

Artemis Fowl

Ken Branagh directs

But this was shot years ago

Unwise for child stars

 

The One and Only Ivan

Mike White writes for kids?!

Sam Rockwell: gorilla voice

This could be damned odd

 

No Time to Die

“Bond’s too old” – AGAIN??!!!

Rami Malek has a mask

Does script have a clue?

 

 

Onward

Pixar elf movie

Spider-Man and Starlord star

Dubious premise…

 

The Witches

Zemeckis remake

Why? Anne Hathaway cannot

outdo A Huston

 

The New Mutants

Fox does X-horror

X-Men that is, obscure ones

They’re affordable

 

Chaos Walking

Doug Liman’s folly

Is it unreleasable?

Daisy Ridley ‘stars’

 

The Many Saints of Newark

Sopranos Begins

But so long since that hard black

Does anyone care?

 

Morbius

Jared Leto’s back

As comics supervillain

They can’t cut the lead!

 

Coming 2 America

Now a twice told tale?

After 32 long years

Who wanted sequel?

 

West Side Story

Spielberg musical!

Of Bay’s fave, but why did Steve

cast Ansel Elgort?

 

In the Heights

It’s Hamilton man!

But not doing Hamilton

Odd, eye on China?

 

An American Pickle

Seth Rogen in brine

Thaws out, meets hipster grandson

Can this equal book?

 

Dune

Its Achilles Heel?

Lead Timothee Chalamet…

Not a patch on Kyle!

20:20 on 2000

Filed under: Talking Movies — Fergal Casey @ 3:41 pm

1999 the miracle year of modern Hollywood as some would have it of course extended into 2000 here as many of its films, delayed for Oscar consideration, never reached our shores until as late as March and April 2000.

In any event in reality people experience years much closer to a 1999/2000 football season or academic year than the sharp splits preferred at New Year’s Eve beloved of journalists desirous of spurious copy. So we shall check in periodically on how the year 2000 played out.

That Was The 2010s

The first Sunday Breakfast with Patrick Doyle of 2020 unveiled the pick for best film of 2019 as well sober reflections on the changing meaning of cinema in the 2010s.

511ec57c414ae_gandalf_green

I remember when this was all forced perspective sets

If you regard The Dark Knight as being the last great film of the 1990s, owing to its use of CGI as building upon spectacular practical special effects shot in real locations, then there are few better indicators of how the 2010s shook itself free from the 1990s than comparing The Lord of the Rings with The Hobbit.  The Lord of the Rings began production in the 1990s and so had location shooting, armoury and costumes and prosthetics by the truckload, and huge miniatures to complement CGI on top of these practical special effects. The Hobbit did not, as the above picture shows.

As the decade wore on the voice that spoke up for practical effects disappeared. It was unusual when George Nolfi decided to build a men’s bathroom in a baseball stadium in The Adjustment Bureau rather than use a CGI backdrop for when Matt Damon and Emily Blunt use a magic fedora to transport from one location to another. By the time we got to the fiasco of Cats there was no left to ask – why can’t we just use make up and costumes like the stage show?

As cinema ceased to be photography of actors in real locations or dressed sets with practical effects to be projected on a big screen in the dark for a communal experience with an audience of strangers gathered for a two hour experience did the term cinema cease to exist in continuity with a century of development?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Fergal Casey @ 3:33 pm

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January 19, 2020

Top Films of 2019

Filed under: Talking Movies — Fergal Casey @ 9:29 am
Tags: , , , ,

5) Free Solo

4) Non-Fiction

3) The Mule

2) Apollo 11

1) Balloon

Top Performances of 2019

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Michelle Quance/VARIETY/Shutterstock (10404629aa)
Noah Baumbach and Adam Driver
Variety Studio at Toronto International Film Festival, Presented by AT&T, Day 3, Canada – 08 Sep 2019

Any Other Business: Part XLII

Filed under: Talking Television — Fergal Casey @ 9:19 am
Tags: , ,

As the title suggests, so forth.

 

Alas, poor Dave

It was upsetting at the end of Rick Stein’s Secret France to discover that his longtime director/producer David Pritchard had died during the making of their latest series of being galloping gourmands. His off-camera snarks, his occasional appearances beside Stein to question him about some dish, his resolute stick-in-the-mud approach to exotic cuisine, all made him a sort of stand-in for the audience.

January 13, 2020

From the Archives: Top 10 Films of 2007

From the pre-Talking Movies archives.

[10] 300

Bloodthirsty, outlandish, stupid, just macho to the point of insanity and altogether great quotable fun. I don’t know if this film is objectively any good I just know it’s deliriously entertaining, especially if viewed from the perspective of Irish actor Michael Fassbender who romps his way through it.

[9] Control

Director Anton Corbijn made a fine film debut with this biopic of troubled Joy Division singer Ian Curtis. Control combined thrilling live music performances with kitchen sink realism. That mix between humorously observed period setting and a deep emotional engagement with a rock star’s normal life simply dazzled.

[8] I’m Not There

Deeply crazy not-biopic of Bob Dylan which reinvented a number of Dylan’s greatest songs by using different actors for different aspects of his career set against changes in American culture. Cate Blanchett was disturbingly accurate in her impression of Dylan touring Blonde on Blonde in England.

[6] 3:10 to Yuma

Hats off to director James Mangold who remade a Western classic and actually improved on the original. The acting is uniformly superb with the human substance of the story showing there’s space for drama as well as suspense and bloody gun-battles in the slowly reviving genre.

[6] Enchanted

A hilarious self-parody by Disney which threw their animated characters into the rather different conventions of New York City, this was joyful, sweet and damn near flawless. Everyone involved is clearly having a ball but James Marsden steals every scene he appears in and finally gets the girl.

[5] Hot Fuzz

Less of a straight parody than Shaun of the Dead, but far, far funnier. Simon Pegg and Nick Frost’s double act is a joy to watch and the rip-offs of Michael Bay and his ilk becomes ever more absurd and deliriously enjoyable as the action parodies escalate.

[4] Sunshine

Absolutely meaningless despite its promotional claims, this said nothing about the purpose of existence or religious belief. What it did do was offer a gripping white knuckle ride through an escalating series of catastrophes onboard a claustrophobic space-ship in the hands of a masterful director and committed cast.

[3] Transformers

The feel good hit of the summer was a Michael Bay film for people who hate Michael Bay and far funnier than anyone expected. The CGI robots were dazzling, the action unrelenting and Peter Cullen’s return as the voice of Optimus Prime heart-warming for all us 80s kids.

[2] Atonement

Pitch perfectly played by a terrific ensemble, this was an incredibly structured film that is among the saddest love stories which cinema has ever produced. Director Joe Wright proved through small details as well as the Dunkirk tracking shot that he is a coming force in British film.

[1] Zodiac

David Fincher’s gripping procedural epic followed three characters as they destroyed their lives in an obsessive hunt for 1970s San Francisco serial killer The Zodiac. Eschewing his usual Fincherisms for the most part this was All the President’s Men for a new generation, but with a serial killer.

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