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Dream House Trailer

Posted by: Matthew Turner 30/09/2011 @ 12:18
Subject: Film

Films seen so far this year: 374
Films seen in the last three weeks: The L-Shaped Room, Crazy Stupid Love, Atrocious, I Don't Know How She Does It, Real Steel, Intruders, George Harrison: Living in the Material World, No Rest for the Wicked, Miss Bala, Silver Tongues, Where Do We Go Now?, Martha Marcy May Marlene, Shame, Albert Nobbs, Take This Waltz, Les Demoiselles de Rochfort, The Deep Blue Sea,  Arrugas, Crazy Horse, Donkey Skin, Le Skylab, Either Way, La Voz Dormida, Happy End, Wild Bill, Rampart, Las Acacias, Americano, The Three Musketeers (3D), Abduction, Bernie, Junkhearts, Oslo 31 August, Contagion, What's Your Number?, Johnny English Reborn, Coriolanus, Black Power Mixtape 1967 – 1975, Nobody Else But You, We Need To Talk About Kevin, Cane Toads: The Conquest, This Must Be The Place, Curling King, Dolphin Tale

FILM OF THE WEEK: Melancholia

Rewatching Films
As the huge number of still-in-their-cellophane-wrappers DVDs on my shelves will attest, I would usually much rather watch a new film than rewatch something I've already seen. I like to own copies of my favourite films JUST IN CASE I ever feel like rewatching them but for the most part, as I've said, they stay in their cellophane wrappers, no matter how many mouth-watering extras they may or may not have.
(Actually, I have recently started listening to DVD commentaries while doing the washing up, but that's a subject for a different blog post).

That's not to say I don't rewatch certain films, however – I've seen all-time favourites like Vertigo, Casablanca, Double Indemnity, Withnail & I, The Big Lebowski, Play It Again Sam and Dangerous Liaisons (to name just seven) multiple times each – but I tend to stick to specific films, often because I'm forcing them on friends who haven't seen them. That said, there are certain films that demand to be watched a second time and I will quite often attend a second press screening of something if that happens, particularly if I see the first screening early enough, say, at a film festival. There have been two very different films recently where a second watch has paid off enormously, though both, primarily, for the same reason, in that on a second watch you can relax about where the film is going and enjoy different aspects.

The first recent example, for me, was Tree of Life, which I got much more out of the second time (despite not seeing all of it) when my brain was relieved from attempting to impose plot and structure and I could relax into the beauty of the images – I was actually even more moved by it on a second viewing, despite the fact that I'd already been sufficiently moved to give it a five star review in the first place.

The second recent example was Ben Wheatley's Kill List (and please look away now if you don't want to know how it ends because there are spoilers coming). Several friends have complained about the ending to Kill List being “a bit too Wicker Man” and essentially turning a deeply original, highly atmospheric  horror into a derivative mash-up of The Wicker Man and A Serbian Film. However, having seen the film twice, my argument is that the ending is actually much, much darker and more effective than it first appears. For one thing, it's doing something fundamentally different to the end of The Wicker Man, because rather than being sacrificed, Jay is actually being crowned (exactly what he's being crowned, we're not sure, but we know it's not good) and the entire film – hinted at throughout in the dialogue – has been about him embracing the darkness he carries inside him.

On a similar note, I recently caught the last half hour of Melancholia for a second time and I'm already desperate to see that film again. I also recently rewatched Tucker and Dale vs Evil (see below), although that was more about wanting to see it with the FrightFest audience than about rewatching it per se.

Trailerwatch: Dream House
I'd been vaguely aware of Dream House because of its gossip-worthy notoriety regarding the two leads (Daniel Craig is now married to co-star Rachel Weisz) but I hadn't seen the trailer until just recently when it was plonked in front of a press screening of something else. Now, is it me, or does the trailer give away THE ENTIRE FILM? I mean, at the very least you're going to spend the entire film waiting for the house to explode like it does at the 2m17s mark and that presumably happens towards the end of the film. Quite apart from that though, it also gives away what I assume is meant to be the film's big twist (1m16s, spoiler fans), unless the complicated set-up is actually less important than the action and that it's really just a dressed-up psycho killer story.

That said, it's an intriguing foray into horror for director Jim Sheridan (In The Name of the Father) and it all looks dark and moody enough. My interest is also piqued by the casting of Rachel Weisz and Naomi Watts and it'll be interesting to see which of them gets the most screen time, especially given the central conceit. Also, this early poster concentrates on the two young girls (one of whom is Taylor Geare, who was brilliant in Brothers) rather than the three adult leads, so perhaps there's more to the film than meets the eye after all. At any rate, it opens here on 25th November, so we can find out then.

As a side note, I was childishly amused by this comment on the trailer's YouTube page: “PG-13? Seriously? Who else is in the house? Spongebob?”

Top 10 Films On Release This Week (as recommended by me):
The absence of the blog for three weeks (owing to my trip to the San Sebastian Film Festival – see next week's blog) means that it's all change once again, with an unprecedented eight new entries into the top ten. These include: Lars von Trier's unmissable Melancholia (my controversial view on it is that it actually, perversely, works as a cure for melancholia, because it gives you the mother of all cathartic releases); wonderful French coming-of-age drama Tomboy (which I really should have given five stars to, as it's a lock for my Best of 2011 list); super-cool thriller Drive; Brief Encounter-style French drama Mademoiselle Chambon; Scorsese's exhaustive George Harrison documentary (three and a half hours long but worth every second) George Harrison: Living in the Material World; likeable Anna Faris romcom What's Your Number?; fascinating state-of-the-media doc Page One: Inside the New York Times; and complex spy thriller Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, which just pips Warrior to 10th place.

We have also have a number of new interviews, including: semi-exclusive interviews with Tinker Tailor director Tomas Alfredson and star Colin Firth; a semi-exclusive interview with Warrior stars Tom Hardy and Joel Edgerton and a press conference interview with Abduction (or rather Twilight) star Taylor Lautner. Elsewhere you can still read our exclusive interview with A Lonely Place to Die star Melissa George (pic), an exclusive interview with André Øvredal (pic), writer-director of TrollHunter, our semi-exclusive interviews with Kill List writer-director Ben Wheatley – something of a must-read if you've seen the film - and Kill List actors Neil Maskell and MyAnna Buring; and an exclusive interview with My Good Friends Anton Yelchin and Christopher Mintz-Plasse (pic) for Fright Night.

Come back next week for interviews with Tyrannosaur star Olivia Colman, Perfect Sense star Ewan Bremner and Morgan Spurlock, director of the upcoming product placement doc The Greatest Movie Ever Sold.

1. Melancholia
2. Tomboy
3. Kill List
4. Jane Eyre
5. Drive
6. Mademoiselle Chambon
7. George Harrison: Living in the Material World
8. What's Your Number?
9. Page One: Inside the New York Times
10. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

DVD of the Week: Tucker and Dale vs Evil (out now, RRP £8.99)
This week's DVD of the Week is Tucker and Dale vs Evil, which, eagle-eyed readers may be aware, only came out in cinemas last week.
This is known in the trade as a platform release, essentially ensuring that a film destined to go straight to DVD receives the promotional boost of a theatrical release and the subsequent mainstream reviews.
Most often (it tends to happen a lot with Danny Dyer movies, for some reason), the films aren't really worth that extra attention, but once in a while it happens with a really great film, such as The King of Kong or Tucker and Dale vs Evil.

Co-written and directed by Eli Craig (who, on this evidence, is a talent to watch), the film stars Alan Tudyk and Tyler Labine as Tucker and Dale, two happy-go-lucky hillbillies intent on fixing up their run-down holiday cabin in the woods, unaware that a group of college kids are camping nearby. When one of the girls (Katrina Bowden) accidentally falls into the water and doesn't come up, Tucker and Dale rescue her and bring her back to their cabin to recover, only for her friends to get the wrong end of the stick and think that Tucker and Dale are a pair of murderous psychopaths. Tudyk and Labine both deliver terrific comic performances and the witty, cleverly written script delivers a steady stream of quotable lines and brilliantly inventive, laugh-out-loud sight gags.

Crucially, for this sort of film, Craig gets the tone exactly right, striking the perfect balance between humour and gory moments and exploiting his brilliantly simple premise for maximum laughs. In short, this is a smartly directed, brilliantly written and thoroughly enjoyable comedy-horror that's laugh-out-loud funny from start to finish. Highly recommended.

Extras include: trailers; a photo gallery; and an 11 minute Making Of featurette, featuring interviews with cast and crew. No commentary, deleted scenes or blooper reel though.


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