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Guy Ritchies Sherlock Holmes

Posted by: Matthew Turner 04/06/2009 @ 16:19
Subject: Film

Films seen so far this year: 163
Films seen last week: Sin Nombre, Summer Scars, The Proposal, Max Manus: Man of War, The Hide

Scott Pilgrim vs Nick Twisp
There are no trailers or UK release dates for either film yet, but I am really looking forward to both Edgar Wright's Scott Pilgrim vs The World (based on the graphic novels by Bryan Lee O'Malley) and Miguel Arteta's Youth In Revolt (based on the wonderful cult novel by C.D. Payne - subtitle: The Journals of Nick Twisp -  which reads like Adrian Mole on acid). I'm a relative latecomer to Scott Pilgrim – I recently bought and read all five novels - but if Wright can get the tone right, it could be brilliant. There's an excellent website for the film here and the first poster for the film showed up on the internet earlier this week.

However, I feel much more strongly about Youth In Revolt, as I've been a huge fan of the novel since I first read it back in 1996. Apparently there's been a test screening in the States (Twitter is invaluable for this sort of thing) and the early reports are good. I also think Miguel Arteta is an excellent choice for director, based on his underrated Chuck & Buck, which has a similar tone. However, as much as I love Michael Cera I do think it's a little unfair that he gets to play both Scott Pilgrim AND Nick Twisp. For the record, I think Emile Hirsch would have made a better Twisp. I hope Cera at least gives both characters distinct personalities rather than doing his usual schtick, which would render them interchangable.

Films I'm Looking Forward To: Guy Ritchies Sherlock Holmes
This is a fairly unpopular opinion amongst other film journalists I've spoken to, but based on the trailer for Guy Ritchies Sherlock Holmes, I actually think it looks like a lot of fun. I don't feel any outrage at the “rebooting” of Holmes (post Star Trek, rebooting is all the rage right now), I'm not weeping for the ditching of the deerstalker and it also wouldn't be the first film to mess around with the Holmes / Watson dynamic. Maybe Basil Rathbone or Jeremy Brett wouldn't be seen dead in a bare-knuckle boxing match, but I've a feeling Robert Downey Jr can pull it off. Also, I normally can't stand Jude Law (with a couple of obvious exceptions, such as The Talented Mr Ripley), but it looks like he might be okay as Watson. Plus, as noted in previous casting news blogs, Mark Strong makes an excellent Moriarty (the name's not mentioned in the trailer, but we all know that's who his character will turn out to be) and Rachel McAdams looks smoking hot as...well, as whoever she's playing. I particularly like her sideways intro at 1m33s. That said, the trailer doesn't hint at too much of a plot and that's never a good sign, but I'm cautiously optimistic nonetheless.

Top 10 Films On Release This Week (as recommended by me):
Three new entries this week with immigrant / baseball drama Sugar, French thriller Anything For Her and Jump Tomorrow director Joel Hopkins' long-awaited second feature Last Chance Harvey all making it into the top ten. (You can read our exclusive interview with Hopkins here). For what it's worth, Sugar is my favourite film of the year so far and is a lock for the number one spot in my Best of 2009 list.
I'll also put in a good word for Norwegian resistance thriller Max Manus: Man of War, while pointing out that Sounds Like Teen Spirit and Let the Right One In are both coming to the end of their second runs so catch them now while you still can.

1. Sugar
2. Drag Me To Hell
3. Sounds Like Teen Spirit
4. Star Trek
5. Synecdoche, New York
6. Let the Right One In
7. Anything For Her
8. Coraline (3D)
9. 12 Rounds
10. Last Chance Harvey

DVD of the Week: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (released Monday 8th June, RRP £19.99)
This week's DVD of the Week is The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, directed by David Fincher. Based on a short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald, it stars Brad Pitt as Benjamin Button, a man who's born an old man and ages backwards, getting physically younger as the years go by. Unfairly dismissed on its release as “Fincher's Forrest Gump”, it's undeniably flawed (Pitt's character is much too passive, the central message doesn't quite work), but it's still a beautifully made, superbly acted and ultimately moving drama with state-of-the-art special effects and an engagingly weird love story. Definitely worth catching if you missed it at the cinema. The only extra on the DVD is an informative commentary by David Fincher (so no featurettes on the extraordinary special effects, for example), which suggests there may well be a two-disc special edition in the offing.


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