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Scott Pilgrim vs The World Trailer

Posted by: Matthew Turner 01/06/2010 @ 17:20
Subject: Film

Films seen so far this year: 176
Films seen this week: Fish Story, Good Hair, Tooth Fairy, Death at a Funeral, Baaria, The Time That Remains, Shed Your Tears and Walk Away, The Happiest Girl In The World, The Illusionist, Journey to Mecca, Shrink, Ajami, Sex and the City 2, Girl on the Train, Space Chimps 2: Zartog Strikes Back

RIP Dennis Hopper
Like film fans everywhere, I was saddened to learn of the death of Dennis Hopper over the weekend. It had been reported previously that Hopper was terminally ill, so his death didn't come as a shock in the same way as other recent movie star deaths, but it's still a sad loss and he'll be greatly missed. He's probably best remembered for his roles in Easy Rider, Apocalypse Now and Blue Velvet but I'd like to put in a good word for some of his lesser-known films such as Curtis Harrington's Night Tide (where he falls in love with a woman who might be a mermaid), Ozploitation classic Mad Dog Morgan and Wim Wenders' version of Patricia Highsmith's Ripley's Game, The American Friend.

I also love him in John Dahl's thriller Red Rock West, which leads into the closest thing I have to a Dennis Hopper anecdote of my own – around the time that Red Rock West came out (1993), I was on the same flight as Dennis Hopper. The plane (a domestic flight to
Atlanta) was delayed and Hopper was sitting in the waiting area like everyone else. I happened to have a copy of Empire with a full page photo of Hopper in it (promoting Red Rock West) but just as I'd worked up the courage to go over and ask him to sign it (it was my birthday – I'd figured he couldn't possibly refuse me on my birthday), he got accosted by a gushing fan and didn't look too happy as the guy chattered away at him, so I decided I didn't want to bother him after that. I bottled it, in other words. Speaking of bottles, Hopper also has the distinction of starring in the only film I've ever seriously considered walking out of – Paris Trout. (Well, I also considered walking out of Wild, Wild West, but Hopper's not in that). Incidentally, the awesome photo of Hopper, John Ford and John Huston above is courtesy of my friend Paul Duane, who explains the story behind it in the first comment on this excellent blog post. There are plenty of other superb obituary pieces doing the rounds, but this one from the LA Times is particularly worth reading. RIP, Mister Hopper.

Films I'm Dying To See: Scott Pilgrim vs The World
I posted the teaser trailer for Edgar Wright's Scott Pilgrim vs The World a few months back, but they've finally released the full-length version and it's a thing of beauty. The film looks extremely faithful to Bryan Lee O'Malley's wonderful comic book series – Wright's use of computer animated comic book effects is inspired (you'd expect it on the fight scenes, but check out the effects on the drums and the kissing scene) and I love that he's incorporated the video game effects from the comic without the two styles jarring (“What are you doing?” / “Getting a life” is an excellent visual joke that justifies the video game stuff on its own). At any rate, the clips certainly seem to bear out the opinion that Wright's work on Spaced makes him the perfect choice for Scott Pilgrim. The full-length trailer also contains the first glimpse of cult favourite (and username of choice for teenage comic geeks everywhere) Knives Chau (Ellen Wong) as well as brief character moments from the lovely Aubrey Plaza (as Julie Powers), Anna Kendrick as Scott's sister and Kieran Culkin as Scott's roommate, Wallace Wells. Quite apart from anything else, it looks very funny - I laughed out loud at the “Do you know this one girl with hair like this?” joke. Opens here August 13th and I think it's fair to say that this is currently top of my Films I'm Dying To See list.

Top 10 Films On Release This Week (as recommended by me):
Another week of underwhelming Hollywood flicks (Tooth Fairy, The Losers) and disappointing (REC 2) or downright terrible sequels (Sex and the City 2, Space Chimps 2) means that there are only two new entries to the top ten this week and they're both arthouse releases: Japanese rock 'n' roll fantasy drama Fish Story and Romanian New Wave film-making-slash-family-drama The Happiest Girl In The World. Both of these are set to be pushed out by three of this Friday's releases though (Brothers Bloom, She's Out Of My League and The Killer Inside Me, all of which I loved), so catch them while you can. Interview-wise you can read our exclusive interview with 4,3,2,1 star Tamsin Egerton here (even though she's mostly talking about St Trinian's 2) and you can still read our interviews with Alice Creed star Gemma Arterton and Date Night stars Steve Carell and Tina Fey

1. Dogtooth
2. Bad Lieutenant
3. Kick-Ass
4. The Disappearance of Alice Creed
5. Four Lions
6. How to Train Your Dragon (3D)
7. Date Night
8. American: The Bill Hicks Story
9. Fish Story
10. The Happiest Girl In The World

DVD of the Week: A Prophet (out Monday 7th June, RRP £19.99)
This week's DVD of the Week is A Prophet, Jacques Audiard's BAFA-winning French prison drama. Newcomer Tahar Rahim stars as Malik el Djebena, a young French-Arab convict who gets six years in a brutal French prison and decides to try and keep his head down. However, his intentions are quickly scuppered when he's taken under the wing of Corsican gang leader Cesar Luciani (Niels Arastrup) and forced to murder a fellow inmate (Hichem Yacoubi). With its story of a low-level thug rising through the criminal ranks, A Prophet resembles a French prison version of Goodfellas and the comparisons are apt, because this is as much a gangster thriller as a prison drama. Brilliantly directed, superbly written and terrifically acted, A Prophet is by turns suspenseful, shocking and thoroughly gripping throughout – it's also one of the best films of the year. The 2 disc DVD comes with a pretty decent package that includes: two documentaries (70 mins, 26 mins), rehearsal footage, a 20 minute cast and crew featurette, Tahar Rahim's screen tests, the trailer and 10 minutes of deleted scenes (with optional director's commentary), though it's a bit frustrating to have director's commentary on deleted scenes and not on the feature itself. Highly recommended, anyway.

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