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Black Swan Trailer

Posted by: Matthew Turner 20/08/2010 @ 11:39
Subject: Film

Films seen so far this year: 299
Films seen this week: Mother (again), The Human Centipede (again), Escape to Vampire Island, Scott Pilgrim vs The World (again), Despicable Me, Cyrus, Salt, Piranha 3D, Pianomania, The Split, Another Year

Movie-Con: The Aftermath
Last weekend I attended Movie-Con at the BFI, hosted by the good people of Empire Magazine. Essentially an attempt to bring the movie-related bits of San Diego's Comic-Con to London, Movie-Con consists of presentations by each of the major film distributors, which in this case means clips and trailers for upcoming films followed by Q&As with special guests. There's also an opening night screening (The Expendables this year), one normally secret screening (Scott Pilgrim, loudly trumpeted ahead of time) and four screenings you had to pay extra for (22 Bullets, The Hole, Cyrus and Despicable Me). I'll admit, I was sceptical – after all, trailers can be found on YouTube and so can all the Comic-Con footage if you know where to look. However, what made it worthwhile was the excited atmosphere and the sheer number of invited guests. Oh, and the fact that I won a Nintendo Wii in Kim Newman's “bastard hard” film quiz.

Aside from the afore-mentioned Wii-winning, highlights included: Kenneth Branagh's Q&A for Thor (the man has balls of steel, at one point telling an anecdote about bonding with Jon Favreau, Joss Whedon and Joe Johnston over Marvel studio interference...with Marvel Studio head honcho Kevin Feige sitting right next to him); Carey Elwes being visibly moved by the amount of love in the room for The Princess Bride (even though he was there to promote Saw 3D); a Making Of clip of the latest Resident Evil movie receiving no applause at all (the Movie-Con equivalent of a booing); the Cowboys and Aliens clip (Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford as cowboys... fighting aliens – Bond and Indy fighting aliens, it's like someone dreamed it); chatting to director Gareth Edwards about Monsters; Chloe Moretz giving a very entertaining Q&A for Let Me In (and effortlessly pwning host Chris Hewitt – the only time I've ever seen him speechless); a very funny Q&A with Rodrigo Cortes (director of the upcoming Ryan-Reynolds-in-a-box movie Buried); some terrific-looking clips of the Brighton Rock remake (plus an excellent Q&A with director Rowan Joffe); Simon Pegg and Nick Frost showing up to talk about Paul, which looks hilarious); Michael Apted answering my question about when the next instalment of his Up series is due (next year, Up fans); and a superb Q&A with Edgar Wright and Scott Pilgrim creator Bryan Lee O'Malley, although both of them dodged questions about Ant-Man and whether O'Malley would do another Scott Pilgrim series, respectively. All in all, an exhausting but rewarding weekend. Sign me up for Movie-Con 4: The Revenge.

Films I'm Dying To See: Black Swan
I don't tend to follow film news all that slavishly, so, despite its staggeringly high profile, this is yet another film that I wasn't aware of until people started talking about the trailer on Twitter this week. As such it's already rocketed into my Dying To See list. The latest film from Darren Aronofsky (The Wrestler, Requiem For A Dream), it stars Natalie Portman as Nina, a featured ballet dancer who finds herself psychologically threatened by rival dancer Lily (Mila Kunis) when they are cast as the White Swan and the Black Swan in Swan Lake. The top-notch cast also includes Barbara Hershey as Nina's pushy mother, Vincent Cassel as artistic director Thomas and Winona Ryder as prima ballerina Beth.

There's a lot to be excited about here – I'm a huge fan of Aronofsky's films (even when I don't quite understand them, like with The Fountain) and there are several intriguing shots in the trailer, notably Natalie Portman walking past her own doppelganger at the 1 minute 20 second mark. I'm also delighted that someone's finally cast Mila Kunis in a serious drama (or a pedigree psychological thriller – either way, it's a step up from wisecracking comedic roles). Shame there's no glimpse of Winona Ryder in the trailer, but you can't have everything. There's no official UK release date yet, but I would expect that to change in the very near future. If I hear of one in the next few weeks I'll add it in the comments section below that none of you ever use.

Top 10 Films On Release This Week (as recommended by me):
It's all change this week with a record-breaking SIX new entries into the top ten. Straight in at number three is Mother, the latest film from The Host director Bong Joon-ho (actually Joon-ho Bong but everyone knows that, right?) and, for my money, one of the best films of the year. The other new entries include: animated Jacques Tati comedy-drama The Illusionist (from the director of Belleville Rendezvous), bonkers Angelina Jolie action-fest Salt, 3D creature feature Piranha 3D (featuring Britain's own Kelly Brook in 3DD, as someone quipped on Twitter), '80s action throwback The Expendables and, yes, not-for-the-squeamish horror flick The Human Centipede, which, despite its horrific and repulsive premise is actually nowhere near as gory and disgusting as its marketing campaign wants you to believe.

You can also still catch the excellent Splice (though given the only cinema it's still playing at, I wouldn't bother) as well as Gainsbourg, The Sorcerer's Apprentice and Black Dynamite, which seems to have hit second run cinemas already, despite only being in its second week. Elsewhere, you can check out our press conference interviews with both Sylvester Stallone and Jason Statham for The Expendables, as well as our exclusive interview with Charisma Carpenter.

1. Toy Story 3
2. Inception
3. Mother
4. Heartbreaker
5. The Secret in Their Eyes
6. The Illusionist
7. Salt
8. Piranha 3D
9. The Expendables
10. The Human Centipede (First Sequence)

DVD Of The Week: Whip It (out now, RRP £17.99)
This week's DVD of the Week is Whip It, a hugely enjoyable coming-of-age comedy-drama directed by Drew Barrymore. Ellen Page stars as Texan teenager Bliss Cavendar, whose ex-beauty queen mother (Marcia Gay Harden) is obsessed with entering Bliss in beauty pageants. However, when Bliss sneaks off to the Austin roller derby she finds herself utterly hooked and it isn't long before she's secretly auditioning for a place in a team of scrappy underdogs led by coach Razor (Andrew Wilson), team captain Maggie Mayhem (Kristen Wiig) and fellow team member Smashley Simpson (Drew Barrymore). The performances are terrific: Page is perfectly cast as Bliss and there's wonderful support from Harden, Alia Shawkat (as Bliss's best friend, Pash), Wiig, Wilson (brother of Owen and Luke), Daniel Stern (as Bliss's beer-swilling dad) and Juliette Lewis as the aggressive leader of rival team the Holy Rollers.

The script is equally good, cleverly tweaking the expected clichés so that the film feels realistic and original. It's also a terrific female role model movie (I have at least two friends who have joined female roller derby teams as a result of the film), particularly in its treatment of the romantic relationship between Bliss and her guy-in-a-band boyfriend. For some reason, Whip It failed to find its audience at the box office, so here's hoping it does well on DVD. For my money it's still one of the best films of the year. Great soundtrack too. Extras include an impressive 15 minutes of deleted scenes and 33 minutes of interviews with Drew Barrymore, Ellen Page and the rest of the cast. Shame there's no commentary though – that could have been a lot of fun.


Comments

by  Yojimbo  25/08/2010 @ 12:04
Winona is glimpsed at 1.26... AND someone writes a comment! Lucky you!
by  Matthew Turner  13/02/2011 @ 16:22
So she is! Well spotted. I completely missed that at the time. Thanks, Yojimbo!
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