Posted by Ali Gray
at 23:30 on 11 Feb 2016
You like to talk about tough superhero gigs. Thor
was a tough gig. Mixing magic and mythology with grit and realism. Not easy. Guardians Of The Galaxy
was a tough gig. Introducing an entirely new bunch of rogues unrelated to any existing properties. Tricky. Deadpool, however, is quite literally a tough gig: stepping up on stage to make with the laughs after being designated the 'funny' superhero movie. Like it's the one movie that has special dispensation to say what we all really think about superhero movies. That's a tough gig. What we ask of Deadpool is the movie equivalent of people who ask comedians to tell them a joke: a request to be funny on demand, on on our terms.
A sunset bears down on an open field. Cloth rags blow in the wind. Two children run in slow motion through the long grass. A snag of material on a twig blows in the wind again. Oh, we're back to the sunset again, ok. Now some sheep are milling around for some reason. And now those children are running again. Aaand we're back to the sunset. Jesus Christ, Michael Bay, I get that you're using these establishing shots to build tension but it’s no wonder this film is 144 minutes long. This film should be 6-7 Hours: The Secret Soldiers Of Benghazi. 8 Hours: The Secret Soldiers Of Benghazi max.
Posted by Ali Gray
at 23:50 on 26 Jan 2016
"I have a feeling that in a few years, the banks are going to be doing exactly the same thing," says despondent financier Mark Baum (Steve Carell) as the world teeters on the brink of economic meltdown. "They're going to blame it on immigrants and poor people." The financial crisis of 2008 is mired in so much Wall Street-patented obfuscatory bullshit you need a shovel to get down to the nitty gritty, but Adam McKay's A-list crib sheet The Big Short boils it down to the essentials: the US banks committed the largest and most audacious case of fraud ever perpetrated at the cost of every man, woman and children in America - and they got away with it.
Poor Oscarless Leo. Just imagine the soul-crushing frustration that must come after enduring unimaginable feats of survival in the making of this film, only for everyone instead to talk about the (false) rumour that you get raped by a bear in it. Imagine having the fortitude of character to eat raw bison liver and climb inside a dead animal carcass for the sake of your art and then have all your efforts overshadowed by the collective public thinking that, at one point in the movie, a horny grizzly surprises you with a sexual ambush. And the worst part is, with all attention on that ridiculous story instead of Leo's dedication to his performance, it might actually cost him the Oscar. That bear might just end up fucking Leo after all.
No internet and a TV that can only pick up a few analogue channels….no, not Christmas at my parents, but the world in which five-year-old Jack and his beloved Ma live. There’s also Bed, Lamp and Rug – the bits of furniture that Jack greets fondly every morning as most five-year-olds would greet their little mates at playschool, making his way around his 10 square-feet room, a space which would probably go for a premium price if it was in the right spot in London. To Jack, it’s the grand sum of his universe, but to Ma it’s the claustrophobic prison where she’s been kept captive as a sex slave for several years by a serial rapist. If you’re easily upset and/or of a sensitive disposition, you’re probably best off seeing Alvin & The Chipmunks: The Road Chip instead.
Spotlight appears to tick all the boxes as far as the true-life awards-season investigation drama goes. All-star, mainly male, ensemble cast to demonstrate serious dramatic heft; weighty subject matter in dealing with the cover-up of institutional child abuse. It makes a few choices you aren't expecting, though, and I can't figure out whether or not this elevates it.
Tarantino movies are primarily known for two things: long, wordy dialogue and extreme, bloody violence. However, the difference in this new drawling epic, is that the two are kept almost entirely separate, with viewers forced to sit for over 90 minutes of bum-numbing scenery-chewing before a first shot is even fired. Still, pacing issues don’t exist in a Tarantino film, do they? Not when every smug, showy word is delivered with all the prestige of a gift-wrapped masterclass in filmmaking, complete with nods to classic films, winks to the audience and middle fingers to the fainthearted. Throw in some cool music, offbeat humour, iconic character moments and some controversial racist themes, and this film delivers everything you expect - and want - from a Tarantino movie. It is quintessential Quentin. It's Quentinssential.
Put down the plastic lightsabers and sweep the Kylo Ren and Captain Phasma toy figures from your desks. Unfortunately, we can no longer simply indulge in the delightfully familiar screech of a new TIE Fighter, or marvel at the warm, welcoming visual hug of grizzled wookiee hair. No, now we have to consider character arcs and nuanced acting and fucking lighting
, because there's no escaping it: awards season is all we have for the next couple of months. So let’s try to move on from Star Wars if we can. I know it is still all anyone is talking about and it looks set to be the highest grossing movie of all time, etc, etc but let's try to refrain from thinking about it at all for now and instead talk about Eddie Redmayne’s er… new hope for Oscar success.
I actually watched Mad Max: Fury Road in its week of release, but it was such an overwhelming experience it's taken me all of seven months to mentally unpack it all, like when someone emails you a crazy big zip file which basically nerfs your inbox and you can't do anything until it's properly downloaded. That, with writing. Anyway. This is the best film of the year by a very long stretch, I'm off to watch it again because it got it on Blu-ray for Christmas and oh you've already stopped reading.
Posted by Ali Gray
at 00:00 on 31 Dec 2015
I have it. The secret of comedy. That which even the greats could not bottle and sell. Get a comedy actor guy, right, and stick him in a film with a serious actor guy, right, but then the SERIOUS actor guy says funny things too. See, Spy! Ride Along! 21 Jump Street!
And now ... oh, wait.