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Death of Patrick Swayze

Posted by: Matthew Turner 18/09/2009 @ 16:28
Subject: Film

Films seen so far this year: 318
Films seen this week: District 13: Ultimatum, The Agent, Blind Dating, Je Veux Voir, 9, Heart of Fire, The Cove

RIP Patrick Swayze
Like film fans everywhere, I was saddened by the death of Patrick Swayze this week. (I was also saddened by the death of character actor Henry Gibson, but I guess he's the Farrah Fawcett to Swayze's Michael Jackson). Bearing in mind that (shock confession alert) I've never seen Roadhouse, my favourite Swayze movies were basically the famous ones: Point Break, Dirty Dancing and Ghost, though I liked him in smaller roles too, such as Donnie Darko and the little-seen 11:14. As for his earlier films, I'm not too keen on Red Dawn, but I'm a huge fan of The Outsiders (if you've never seen it, just check out this pre-fame cast list).

However, my abiding memory of Swayze is his effect on a 60-something usherette I used to work with at the Brighton Odeon – you only had to say his name to her and she practically fainted. It was uncanny (and very funny). Thinking about it, it's hard to name another actor who could have pulled off both the twinkle-toed romantic lead in Dirty Dancing AND the ass-kicking tough guys of Point Break and Roadhouse. It's also strange that he was in two films (Ghost and Dirty Dancing) that basically turned him into a global superstar, even if he never really hit those heights again (I haven't seen anyone falling over themselves to praise To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything, Julie Newmar or Tiger Warsaw). Anyway, before you all write in, I shall be rectifying my Roadhouse oversight immediately and watching it tonight in tribute. RIP, Mister Swayze.

Films I'm Looking Forward To: Brief Interviews With Hideous Men
The latest addition to my Dying To See list is Brief Interviews With Hideous Men, directed by My Good Friend John Krasinski and based on the book by acclaimed author David Foster Wallace, who died last year. It stars Julianne Nicholson (who I've liked ever since her tiny bit part in Kinsey, so I'm delighted she's getting a lead role at last) as a woman coping with a recent break-up by interviewing the “hideous” men of the title. The mouth-watering cast includes the likes of Timothy Hutton, Will Arnett, Joey Slotnick (who deserves to be better known than he is, as he excels at playing sleazebags), Bobby Cannavale, Rashida Jones, Krasinski himself and Britain's own Dominic Cooper. The film got terrific reviews at Sundance and, judging by the trailer, it looks like a darkly funny treat – sort of a lighter-hearted Neil LaBute film in reverse or something. No sign of a UK release for it yet, but fingers crossed...

Top 10 Films On Release This Week (as recommended by me):
Only two new entries this week, with the wonderful Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs (3D) and Sam Mendes' delightful road movie Away We Go (also starring My Good Friend John Krasinski both making it into the top ten. Sadly, Moon and Mesrine both seem to have disappeared from most cinemas, but look out for them on the second run circuit. I'd also like to put in a good word for Birdwatchers, which is basically in 11th place. Meanwhile, check out our exclusive (and not-so-exclusive) interviews for (500) Days of Summer, Inglourious Basterds, The Hurt Locker, Adventureland and The September Issue.

1. Fish Tank
2. (500) Days of Summer
3. Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs (3D)
4. District 9
5. Inglourious Basterds
6. The Hurt Locker
7. Big River Man
8. Away We Go
9. Adventureland
10. The September Issue

DVD of the Week: Sounds Like Teen Spirit (out now, RRP £17.99)
This week's DVD of the Week is Sounds Like Teen Spirit, a hugely entertaining British documentary that follows the entrants for Bulgaria, Georgia, Belgium and Cyprus as they prepare for the 2007 Junior Eurovision Song Contest. Directed by Jamie J Johnson (read our exclusive interview here), the film is a welcome addition to the heart-warming competition-based documentary genre and easily one of the best films of the year. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll make a mental note to track down Junior Eurovision 2009 on YouTube. Extras include: deleted scenes, a featurette and interviews with Johnson and producers Stephen Woolley and Elizabeth Karlsen. You can also read our exclusive interview with featured band Trust here. Highly recommended.

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