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Friends with Kids Film Trailer

Posted by: Matthew Turner 15/06/2012 @ 14:15
Subject: Film

Total films seen so far this year: 171
Films seen in the last week: Jackpot, Searching For Sugarman, Polisse, Cosmopolis, El Bulli: Cooking in Progress, Red Lights, Requiem for a Killer, Shadow Dancer, Mission to Lars, Jaws, Rock of Ages, Cosmopolis (again), Seeking a Friend At The End of the World, Cockneys vs Zombies, Chernobyl Diaries, Lawless

Best Films of 2012 So Far
Since we're now over halfway through the year, it is time for the annual Best Films of 2012 So Far list. So far, mine looks like this.

1. The Kid With A Bike
2. The Innkeepers
3. Avengers Assemble
4. Moonrise Kingdom
5. Martha Marcy May Marlene
6. Wild Bill
7. Shame
8. Safety Not Guaranteed (pending a theatrical release)
9. Damsels in Distress
10. The Artist (actually released on 30th December 2011, but still showing now)

The top six are more or less locks and I'd be very surprised if anything manages to dislodge any of them by the end of the year. Also, I may have to drop Safety Not Guaranteed if it doesn't get a theatrical release (PLEASE release this film, somebody), so we'll see what happens there.

Films I'm Dying To See: Friends With Kids
I was a huge fan of 2001's Kissing Jessica Stein when it came out and I remember being excited to see what writer/co-star Jennifer Westfeldt's would do next. Unfortunately, her next film, Ira & Abby   (which I haven't seen) didn't get a theatrical release over here, so we've had to wait eleven years. Her new film is Friends With Kids, which stars basically the cast of Bridesmaids (Kristen Wiig, Chris O'Dowd, Maya Rudolph and Jon Hamm) but actually focuses on Adam Scott and Westfeldt as a pair of best friends who decide to have a kid together but keep their relationship platonic (the Bridesmaids cast play their best friends).

The trailer seems to mostly feature the various characters saying the whole thing will never work and then being gobsmacked when it does, with the complication that Scott and Westfeldt then meet potential partners (Megan Fox and, um, Edward Burns respectively). Given the convention-bucking subject matter of Kissing Jessica Stein, I'm curious to see whether Friends With Kids will go for a non-conventional ending (i.e. one in which Scott and Westfeldt don't actually end up together), but I'm not getting my hopes up.The Bridesmaids-cast-as-supporting-characters thing is kind of genius (it's probably not a coincidence that Hamm is Westfeldt's long-term partner), as it'll give the film a welcome publicity boost. I do have a sneaking suspicion that the trailer leads you to believe the Bridesmaids lot are in it more than they actually are, but Scott is one of my favourite comic actors, so I'm excited to see the film. Not long to wait now, anyway – it opens here on 29th June.

Top 10 Films On Release This Week (as recommended by me):
There was no blog last week, meaning that there are now five new entries into the top ten – The Innkeepers and Woody Allen: A Documentary from last week (sadly, The Innkeepers only had a very small on-DVD-a-week-later release, but it's one of the best films of the year and I urge you to seek it out) and the (ahem) magnificent A Royal Affair, French policier Polisse and feelgood Olympic cash-in Fast Girls for this week. Once again, if you are planning on seeing either A Royal Affair, Polisse or Fast Girls, please make sure you see them THIS WEEKEND, as smaller films really need to make a splash in their opening weekend to have a chance of survival, while rubbish like Rock of Ages will be around for months on multiple screens. (Hashtag: #SSFF – See Smaller Films First).

Interview-wise this week we have an exclusive interview with Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen, star of the magnificent A Royal Affair (one of the most enjoyable interviews I've ever done) and an exclusive interview with Maiwenn, director, co-writer and co-star of Polisse.

Elsewhere you can still read our exclusive interview with The Angels' Share director Ken Loach and screenwriter Paul Laverty; press conference interviews with the stars and director of Snow White and the Huntsman (Kristen Stewart, Charlize Theron, Chris Hemsworth, Sam Clafin and director Rupert Sanders); an exclusive interview with the voice of Top Cat (alongside several other voices) Jason Harris; our exclusive interview with Barbaric Genius director Paul Duane; a press conference interview with Cameron Diaz, Anna Kendrick, Chace Crawford, Matthew Morrison and Rodrigo Santoro, the stars of What To Expect When You're Expecting; our exclusive interview with The Raid director Gareth Evans and star Iko Uwais; and our exclusive interview with She Monkeys director Lisa Aschan.

Come back next week for an exclusive interview with the lovely Nadine Labaki - writer, director and co-star of Where Do We Go Now?

1. Avengers Assemble
2. Moonrise Kingdom
3. The Innkeepers
4. A Royal Affair
5. The Hunger Games
6. The Angels' Share
7. The Raid
8. Polisse
9. Woody Allen: A Documentary
10. Fast Girls

DVD of the Week: A Dangerous Method (out 25th June, online RRP £13.99)
This week's DVD of the Week is A Dangerous Method, directed by David Cronenberg. Adapted from the stage play by Christopher Hampton, the film stars Michael Fassbender as Carl Jung, an up-and-coming psychoanalyst in 1904 Zurich who decides to test Freud's controversial “talking cure” on beautiful, deeply disturbed Russian patient Sabina Spielrein (Keira Knightley). When this proves a success, Jung travels to Vienna and begins a working friendship with Sigmund Freud (Viggo Mortensen), who in turn, comes to see Jung as his disciple and the heir to his ideas.

However, when Freud sends sex-obsessed patient Otto Gross (a scene-stealing Vincent Cassel) to Jung for treatment, Otto's outspoken ideas about desire have a strong effect on Jung and he soon begins a passionate affair with Sabina that involves lots of spanking. As a result, Jung's evolving ideas lead to tension in both his relationships with Freud and his wealthy wife Emma (Sarah Gadon, recently seen as Robert Pattinson's wife in Cosmopolis).

The performances are excellent: Fassbender and Mortensen are perfectly complemented as Jung and Freud and their fiercely intellectual relationship forms the heart of the film as they shift from father-figure and devoted acolyte to rivalry. That said, though their constant debating of ideas is both fascinating and thought-provoking, the most enjoyable moments occur in the little details, such as Freud correcting Jung on the name of his theory or the look on Freud's face when they travel to America together and Jung informs him that he's travelling first class because his wife booked the passage. As for Knightley, she caught a lot of flack for her performance when the film came out, but for my money she's terrific here, delivering an impressively physical, full-on performance that's frightening and heart-breaking at the same time.

Unfortunately, Cronenberg's decision to direct with a formally dry, uncomplicated style throughout only serves to heighten the film's origins as a stage play and it's also fair to say that the plot rather runs out of steam in the middle section, with not enough dramatic weight given to the central affair. In short, this is an engaging and thought-provoking drama but it's not as moving as it should have been and you can't help wishing it had been a bit livelier. Would it have killed Cronenberg to have a Jung vs Freud punch-up?

Extras include: an eight minute Making Of featurette and a director's commentary from Cronenberg. No deleted scenes or out-takes though.



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