Film Blog

Blog Entry

Man of Steel Trailer

Posted by: Matthew Turner 27/07/2012 @ 12:34
Subject: Film

Total films seen so far this year: 247
Films seen in the last week: When The Lights Went Out, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, The Devil's Business, The Man Inside, Sightseers, Room 237

FILM OF THE WEEK: Searching for Sugar Man

Review Footnotes
Sometimes 450 words just aren't enough to say everything you want to say about a film. Other times you want to make jokes or comments that don't really belong in the review, no matter how hard you try to shoe-horn them in. And other times, you find yourself slapping your forehead after you've sent off the review and thinking, “DAMMIT! I forgot to mention something or other.” Also, there are times when you want to comment on something several weeks after the film has already been on release. Fortunately, for all those times, we have the very occasional Review Footnotes segment of this blog. However, it requires a SPOILER ALERT – please don't read the footnotes for any of the films below if you haven't already seen them (especially The Dark Knight Rises and Prometheus).

1. Prometheus
There isn't really a great deal I wanted to add about Prometheus, except for the fact that they completely wasted both Rafe Spall and Sean Harris as the other crew members (and Benedict Wong and Kate Dickie, for that matter). That's one thing that Prometheus really got wrong compared to Alien and Aliens – a real sense of the crew living and working together and their various personalities. Can anyone even remember what Kate Dickie's character does in the film or how she dies? I suspect not. Does everyone remember Veronica Cartwright in Alien? Of course they do.

Other Prometheus-related things:
1. I wanted to call the medi-pod an “Abort-o-tron” but thought that was maybe too much of a spoiler and
2. I mentioned on Twitter that I had a great DM-only spoils-the-end-of-Prometheus comment and it got somewhat out of hand – on the Saturday after it came out I must have DMed that bloody thing about 100 times. Anyway, to save me ever having to do it again, it was this, so look away now if you haven't seen Prometheus:
The “joke” is basically about wanting to see the spin-off sitcom/TV show, in which Noomi and Fassbot's severed head fly around the universe, arguing and having adventures. Suggested theme tune: the theme from Bewitched. Alternate theme tune: Pinky and the Brain.

2. The Dark Knight Rises
I wrote the Dark Knight Rises review before seeing the film in IMAX, so the main thing I wanted to add is that you really should see the film in IMAX if at all humanly possible, as it makes a huge difference; over an hour of the film was shot in IMAX and the results are jaw-dropping on the big screen. Also, the sound in IMAX theatres is immeasurably better, particularly compared to the larger screens in the West End. Seeing the film a second time was interesting, because there were things I liked a lot more on second viewing and things I liked a lot less, though I'm still happy enough with the four stars, as they more or less balanced each other out. There's also a great spoils-the-end joke (which actually came from Kim Newman) for that too, which is that a famous line from the 1966 Adam West movie could easily apply to the end of Nolan's film. (I won't spoil the line, but if you've seen both films, it'll come to you).

3. The Amazing Spider-Man
There's not a great deal I wanted to add about Spider-Man, except that a friend recently pointed out a giant flaw in the film, which is if that there were hundreds of radioactive spiders in that room, why aren't there hundreds of spider-people out there? The answer appears to be that the filmmakers apparently drastically reduced the subplot about the mystery of Peter's parents (i.e. that his father may have experimented on him) and that they may or may not address that in the second film. Also, for the record, I think I prefer Garfield's Peter to Maguire's. Oh, and that the reboot is hugely in line with Marvel's own Spider-Man reboot in the “Ultimates” universe. Also, when are Betty Brant and Liz Allen (Peter's first official girlfriend and his first school crush) going to get their due in a Spider-Man movie, eh? Eh?

4. Top Cat
Not much to add here either, except that I stand by my positive review and would urge people complaining that it wasn't all that funny to watch the original cartoons – the humour here is very much in line with the jokes in the show. Making it zappier (or whatever) would have changed the tone and characters too much. Hell, they ruined Spook as it is...

5. Tiny Furniture
And finally, less of a footnote and more of an added plug. Fans of Lena Dunham's fabulous TV series Girls (a collaboration with Judd Apatow that recently finished on HBO and is due here soon) should check out the writer-director-actor's first feature Tiny Furniture (which features at least two future Girls cast members) and vice-versa. I can't wait to see what she does next. Also, Tiny Furniture is now top ten of the year for me.

Trailerwatch: Man of Steel teaser
I've watched the Man of Steel teaser several times now and I still can't decide how I feel about the film. On the one hand, Superman Returns proved that doing a more or less straight remake of Superman suffers too badly from comparison to the original and didn't really work, so there's room for a new interpretation of the character. On the other hand ... Zack Snyder. It's interesting to note that they've dropped the much-derided “visionary director” tag after the comprehensive failure of Sucker Punch.

It's also kind of embarrassing how keen they are to stress Christopher Nolan's involvement as producer, as if Nolan's influence will magically make the film almost exactly like The Dark Knight and erase all traces of a Snydering. That said, I like the teaser – I'm looking forward to Kevin Costner's involvement as Pa Kent (he's on voiceover duty here and briefly glimpsed in a photograph) and Henry Cavill looks promising. I also can't wait to see Amy Adams as Lois Lane, but there's no sign of her in the teaser trailer, sadly. I'm not quite enough of a Superman purist to complain that they seem to have transposed the Kents to a cloudy Alaskan fishing town instead of sunny Midwestern Smallville (although maybe Clark's stint as a fisherman is only a small part of his finding-yourself pre-superhero walkabout thing). I do like the little hint of the scene where Clark first decides a cape might be a good idea though. Not quite so sure about the dodgy vapour trail effects on the flying bit at the end though.

Basically, I still fear The Snydering. Also, trailer needs more Zod (especially as General Zod is played by Michael Shannon). Ages to wait, anyway, as the film isn't out until June next year. Oh, and if you like that sort of thing, internet wags have already recut the trailer with the classic Superman theme – it's out there on YouTube if you care to look for it.

Top 10 Films On Release This Week (as recommended by me):
Only one new entry into the top ten this week, with just Malik Bendjelloul's terrific documentary Searching For Sugar Man making it onto the list. I'm dropping The Giants because it's only playing at one cinema in London (the Lumiere), but you should still try and catch that if you can. Also, if you are planning to see Searching For Sugar Man, then please try and see it this weekend (See Smaller Films First, #SSFF etc), as smaller films require a significant opening weekend figure to survive and obviously, with the Olympics and Batman both out there, cinema attendance figures are likely to be very low, especially if the weather holds.

Interview-wise, this week we have a semi-exclusive interview with Searching For Sugar Man director Malik Bendjelloul and the film's subject, Mexican-American singer-songwriter Sixto Rodriguez.
Elsewhere, you can still read our exclusive interview with Rebecca Foster, who did the animations for Tony Kaye's Detachment; our exclusive interview with Nadine Labaki, writer, director and co-star of Where Do We Go Now?; our exclusive interviews with director William Friedkin and star Gina Gershon for Killer Joe; an exclusive interview with Eduardo Sanchez, director of Lovely Molly; an exclusive interview with Jeremy Jordan, star of Joyful Noise; an exclusive interview with Bobcat Goldthwait and Joel Murray, director and star of this week's God Bless America; and our exclusive interview with Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen, star of the magnificent A Royal Affair.

You can also read an exclusive interview with Maiwenn, director, co-writer and co-star of Polisse; and our exclusive interview with The Angels' Share director Ken Loach and screenwriter Paul Laverty. Come back next week for exclusive interviews with director Mark Andrews and the cast of Pixar's Brave. Well, Kelly Macdonald, Robbie Coltrane and Kevin McKidd, anyway.

1. Searching For Sugar Man
2. Moonrise Kingdom
3. The Brooklyn Brothers Beat The Best
4. The Dark Knight Rises
5. Electrick Children
6. Seeking a Friend for the End of the World
7. Magic Mike
8. A Royal Affair
9. The Amazing Spider-Man
10. Revenge of the Electric Car

DVD of the Week: Wild Bill (out now, online RRP £9.99)
This week's DVD of the Week is British drama Wild Bill, which for my money is still the best British film of the year. Co-written and directed by Dexter Fletcher, Wild Bill stars Charlie Creed-Miles as 'Wild Bill' Hayward, an ex-con who gets out of jail after an eight year stretch to discover that his two young sons – 15 year old Dean (Will Poulter) and 11 year old Jimmy (Sammy Williams) – have been abandoned by their mother and left to fend for themselves. Initially, Bill only wants to leave town, while Dean makes it clear that he isn't wanted or needed but his arrival has attracted the attention of social services (Jaime Winstone and Jason Flemyng), so Bill agrees to stick around until the authorities are satisfied. Meanwhile, Bill's ex-cohorts (including Leo Gregory as Terry and Kill List's Neil Maskell as Dicky) are both wary of his former reputation and anxious to draw him back into a life of crime. Knowing that the slightest violation will see him back in jail, Bill only wants to go straight, but when his youngest son gravitates towards Terry's gang, Bill knows he has to take action.

Charlie Creed-Miles delivers a terrific performance as Bill and is utterly convincing as a man gradually rediscovering his place in the world; his interactions with all the other characters are a joy to watch and he generates touching chemistry with both Sammy Williams and Liz White (as kind-hearted prostitute Roxy). Will Poulter is equally good as Dean and there's superb support from Gregory, Maskell and Charlotte Spencer as Dean's would-be girlfriend Steph. Essentially, this a council estate Western fused with an emotionally engaging father-son story and the brilliantly written script does an excellent job of dovetailing those two elements in a way that feels natural and organic.

Similarly, despite the gritty subject matter there's a lot of humour in the film and the sharply written dialogue is packed with funny lines. Fletcher's direction is assured throughout, making great use of close-ups and displaying a confident style that pays off brilliantly. Similarly, George Richmond's cinematography makes great use of the authentic council estate locations and there's a fantastic soundtrack to boot. In short, this is an impressively directed, superbly written and hugely entertaining directorial debut from Dexter Fletcher that's by turns gripping, heart-warming and laugh-out-loud funny.

Extras on the DVD include: a handful of deleted and extended scenes; a short Making Of featurette; and a sweet featurette entitled Favourite Films with the actors talking about their favourite films. Highly recommended.


Add A Comment
Write your comment here:


Film Archive

Latest Comment
02/12/2015 @ 22:34
Other Subjects
Clubs (229)
Film (235)
General (2)
Whats On (25)
Recent Entries
by Steve


Tell Us Your View

Seen or know something you want to tell us about? Get in touch with us here.