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Battleship Film Trailer

Posted by: Matthew Turner 16/03/2012 @ 11:19
Subject: Film

Total films seen so far this year: 72
Films seen in the last week: Booked Out, How To Re-establish A Vodka Empire, Vampyr, Even the Rain, In Darkness, Buck, The Source, Streetdance 2 (3D)

FILM OF THE WEEK: 21 Jump Street

Five Random Things

It's been a while since I've done Five Random Things, hasn't it? Yes, it has. So without further ado, I present Five Random Things that I recently found on the internets.

1. This amazing photograph of Orson Welles (in full Mister Rochester garb) jamming with Laurel & Hardy.

2. These hilarious compilations of Arnold Schwarzenegger completely missing the point of a DVD commentary on both Total Recall  and Terminator 3 (with thanks to Emma Green.

3. This ongoing photo series detailing the many unfortunate fates of characters played by Elisha Cook Jr (the fact that he almost never made it to the final reel became something of a Hollywood in-joke, to the point where he even got killed off in parody movie Hellzapoppin' when he appeared as himself).

4. This amusing tumblr of Batman and Robin running away from things. (Also thanks to Emma).

5. And finally, ending as we began, with Orson Welles again and almost four hours of him being interviewed by director Peter Bogdanovich between 1969 and 1972. (With thanks, um, again, to Emma).

Trailerwatch: Battleship
During the John Carter interviews last week, Taylor Kitsch talked a fair bit about Battleship, which is a) based on the popular Hasbro game and b) directed by Kitsch's friend and Friday Night Lights director Peter Berg. I'd heard good things about the trailer but hadn't actually checked it out until just now and I have to say, it looks like it could be pretty good. The plot couldn't be simpler: a bunch of aliens (robo-clad reptiles, by the looks of things) attack the earth and a fleet of, um, battleships seems to be the earth's last defence. Or something.

The effects look pretty amazing, at least and the film has a few standard destructo-effects money shots, such as a car-loaded freeway collapsing, a helicopter blowing up and a well known building being sliced in half. The cast is promising too – Kitsch looks on solid ground as the male lead (“That's not good ...”), while Neeson, amusingly, delivers his “They've created a barrier” line in the matter-of-fact way he delivers his “I have a particular set of skills ...” speech in Taken. There's also equal opportunity eye-candy in the form of Alexander Skarsgard (for the ladies) and Rihanna (for the gentlemen). I doubt Brooklyn Decker (as Kitsch's fianceé) gets much of a look-in though, as she seems to be watching it all on TV. I'm also curious to see if Alexander Skarsgard survives whatever wobbly-faced thing seems to be happening to him at the 1m12s mark.

Anyway, Berg is an excellent director of actors, so this looks like it'll have more in the way of character and emotion than, say, the Transformers franchise. As for basing the film on a game thing, all I know is that if someone doesn't say “You sank my battleship!” in a whiny, petulant voice at some point (in reference to the 1980s TV commercial), I will be very disappointed. At any rate, it opens here on 11th April, so not long to wait now.

Top 10 Films On Release This Week (as recommended by me):
Three new entries this week, with surprisingly funny comedy 21 Jump Street (ignore the dreadful trailers – it's a lot better than you might think), harrowing Oscar-nominated Polish wartime drama In Darkness and Turkish police procedural Once Upon A Time In Anatolia all making it into the top ten. I've dropped Young Adult from the list because it's currently only playing at the Empire Leicester Square and is likely to be gone very soon, but it's well worth checking out, even at ELS prices. Disappointingly, Hunky Dory seems to have also disappeared from cinemas, but if it shows up in a second run near you, then that's worth catching too.

Interview-wise this week, we have a semi-exclusive interview with Andrew Haigh and Chris New, director and star of the excellent Weekend (see DVD review below). Elsewhere you can still read: our semi-exclusive round table interview with John Cusack for The Raven here; our exclusive interview with John Carter star Taylor Kitsch; our exclusive interview with Lynn Collins (playing scantily clad space princess Dejah Thoris); our exclusive interview with Willem Dafoe; an exclusive interview with director and Pixar supremo Andrew Stanton; our exclusive interviews with the lovely Minnie Driver and director Marc Evans for Hunky Dory; our exclusive interview with Blood Car director Alex Orr, our exclusive interview with My Summer of Love director Pawel Pawlikowski for The Woman in the Fifth, and our press conference interview with Kermit, Miss Piggy and director James Bobin for The Muppets.

Come back next week for exclusive interviews with Wild Bill director Dexter Fletcher and star Will Poulter.

1. The Artist
2. The Muppets
3. 21 Jump Street
4. The Descendants
5. John Carter
6. Martha Marcy May Marlene
7. In Darkness
8. Michael
9. Once Upon A Time In Anatolia
10. The Raven

DVD of the Week: Weekend (out Monday, online RRP £8.99)
This week's DVD of the Week is Weekend, the critically acclaimed low budget British drama from writer-director Andrew Haigh. Tom Cullen stars as Russell, an out-to-his-friends gay man who picks up Glen (Chris New) in a nightclub and takes him home for a one-night stand. The next morning, Glen asks Russell to speak about their experiences on tape for an art project and the two men gradually get to know each other and wind up spending most of the weekend together. However, though both men develop unexpectedly strong feelings for each other, their burgeoning relationship is hampered by the fact that Glen is meant to be leaving the country on Sunday evening.

Cullen and New are both terrific, generating strong chemistry and creating believable, well rounded characters; their interaction is extremely engaging, whether it's their initial awkward morning-after conversation or their shared piss-taking sense of humour as their relationship develops. The film is beautifully shot, courtesy of cinematographer Ula Pontikos, who adopts an extraordinarily naturalistic, documentary-like style that works perfectly. This is heightened by the exceptional, sharply observed dialogue, which, though scripted, feels completely organic and true throughout. In addition, the film is both achingly romantic (the final scene is superbly well directed) and there are some extremely moving scenes, most notably Glen offering to role-play a coming-out scene for Russell (a perfectly judged, wonderfully sweet moment that could have gone badly wrong). In short, this is a powerfully emotional, warm-hearted and stunningly naturalistic romantic drama that deserves to be seen by both gay and straight audiences alike. It also marks out writer-director Andrew Haigh as a talent to watch. Highly recommended and one of the best films of last year.

Extras include a 15 minute interview with the director and stars and 10 minutes of behind the scenes footage, though sadly no commentary or deleted scenes.


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