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Seven Psychopaths Film Trailer

Posted by: Matthew Turner 31/08/2012 @ 16:11
Subject: Film

Total films seen so far this year: 297
Films seen in the last week: Total Recall, The Myth of the American Sleepover, [REC 3]: Genesis, Keith Lemon: The Film, Eurocrime, Paura 3D, Under the Bed, Tulpa, Maniac, The Thompsons, Sleep Tight, American Mary, After, Chained, The Possession, Dredd, The Sapphires, Hysteria


Top 10 Films On Release This Week (as recommended by me):

Four more new entries this week, with Peter Strickland's brilliant chiller Berberian Sound Studio, arthouse teen movie The Myth of the American Sleepover and two zomcoms (Cockneys vs Zombies and [REC 3]: Genesis all entering the top ten. I'll also put in a good word for The Possession, which is, admittedly, a fairly standard Hollywood possession thriller, but one that does its job well. It did for me, anyway.

There now follows the weekly plea to See Smaller Films First (#SSFF) – if you are planning to see either Berberian Sound Studio, The Myth of the American Sleepover or either of the zomcoms, then please, please, PLEASE see them this weekend, because the longevity of smaller films is entirely dependent on how they do on their opening weekends and the likes of Total Remake (sic) are going to be around for a good while yet.

Interview-wise this week, we have an exclusive interview with Kris Marshall and Kevin Bishop, stars of A Few Best Men (selected highlight: “Are you saying this film is subtle? I don't think it is...”); an exclusive interview with Cockneys vs Zombies stars Alan Ford and Ashley Thomas and an exclusive interview with Cockneys vs Zombies director Matthias Hoene and writer James Moran.

Elsewhere you can still read our exclusive interview with The Imposter director Bart Layton; our exclusive interview with the legend that is Charlie Parker, P.I. (the private detective who plays a key part in The Imposter); our exclusive interview with Shadow Dancer director James Marsh; our exclusive interview with Richard Coyle and Ruth Bradley (stars of the excellent Grabbers); our exclusive interviews with Brave director Mark Andrews and producer Katherine Sarafian; our exclusive interview with Brave star Kelly Macdonald; an exclusive interview with Brave co-stars Robbie Coltrane and Kevin McKidd; our exclusive interview with Sean Hogan, writer-director of The Devil's Business; our exclusive interview with Offender star Joe Cole; our exclusive interview with Matt Kane and Natasha Loring (Beaver Falls), stars of The Dinosaur Project; and our semi-exclusive interview with Searching For Sugar Man director Malik Bendjelloul and the film's subject, Mexican-American singer-songwriter Sixto Rodriguez.

Come back next week for interviews with Dredd star Karl Urban, Dredd writer Alex Garland, Lawless director John Hillcoat and the cast and director of Anna Karenina.

1. The Imposter
2. Searching For Sugar Man
3. Brave
4. Berberian Sound Studio
5. The Myth of the American Sleepover
6. The Dark Knight Rises
7. The Three Stooges
8. Cockneys vs Zombies
9. [REC 3]: Genesis
10. Petit Nicolas

Trailerwatch: Seven Psychopaths (Red Band trailer)

Seven Psychopaths is writer-director Martin McDonagh's long-awaited follow-up to In Bruges. It stars Colin Farrell as screenwriter Marty, who gets drawn into the Los Angeles underworld after his dopey small-time crook friends (Sam Rockwell and Christopher Walken) kidnap a Shih Tzu dog belonging to a vicious gangster (Woody Harrelson).

Clearly there's a lot more to the film than is on display in the trailer, because, for one thing, I only count four psychopaths (Tom Waits' Zacariah Rigby is one of them), assuming that Colin Farrell's character is exempt from psychopath status. Still the trailer makes it look like a lot of fun and it's good to see a film finally putting Sam Rockwell's comedy skills centre stage again – he's been stuck with thankless support roles for too long now. The trailer isn't full of quite as much quality swearing as its NSFW red band designation would have you believe, but it's worth watching for Walken's twitchy outburst of “No fucking cops!” at the end and Farrell's “Well, that's just FUCKING GREAT!” freak-out at the 1m18s mark.

The imdb cast list promises that both Abbie Cornish and Olga Kurylenko are in the film (perhaps they are psychopaths five and six?), but you'd never know that from the trailer – I can't quite tell if the woman at 0m18s is Cornish or not, but I'm guessing it isn't. Also conspicuously absent from the trailer is everyone's favourite psychopath Zeljko Ivanek and if I was a betting man, he'd be my guess for psychopath number seven. (Highlight of the latest Bourne movie: the surprise reinforcement of the adage “Never trust Zeljko Ivanek”).

No confirmed UK release date for Seven Psychopaths yet, but hopefully it won't be too far away. Is its inclusion at the London Film Festival too much to hope for? We'll find out on Wednesday, when the programme is announced.

DVD of the Week: The Hunger Games (2 disc edition, released September 3rd, online RRP £10)

This week's DVD of the Week is The Hunger Games, based on the best-selling novel by Suzanne Collins. Directed by Gary Ross, the film set in a dystopian future where, each year, the Capitol (under the auspices of President Snow, played by Donald Sutherland) selects a boy and a girl from each of the twelve districts to fight to the death on live television in an event called The Hunger Games.

When her 12 year-old sister Prim (Willow Shields) is selected to participate, teenager Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) volunteers to take her place and finds herself paired with ex-classmate Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson). When they arrive in the Capitol, Katniss and Peeta are trained and coached by a team that includes world-weary ex-contestant Haymitch (Woody Harrelson), skilled stylist Cinna (Lenny Kravitz) and twittering PR flack Effie Trinket (Elizabeth Banks), who pitch them as “the star-crossed lovers from District 12” in order to make them stand out amongst the other contestants. However, once in the arena, several of the contestants band together to form a gang and Katniss has to use every survival instinct at her disposal in order to stay alive.

Jennifer Lawrence is terrific as Katniss, delivering a complex, compassionate performance and managing to convey a huge amount of the book's first-person monologue with just the look in her eyes. Despite the lengthy running time, Ross maintains a decent pace throughout and orchestrates some genuinely thrilling set-pieces, faithfully recreating all the key moments from the book. The film also gains points for its timely theme of an oppressed populace kept diverted and docile by a reality TV show (cough, X-Factor, cough). However, the film isn't entirely without problems: Ross overdoes the shakey-cam and the script is occasionally guilty of assuming that everyone has already read the book. That said, this is an exciting, intelligent and beautifully designed sci-fi thriller with a terrific central performance from Jennifer Lawrence. Recommended.

Extras on the DVD include: a two hour Making Of documentary (The World is Watching:
Making The Hunger Games), a short featurette on Suzanne Collins (Game
Maker: Suzanne Collins and The Hunger Games Phenomenon), a short featurette of Donald Sutherland talking about playing President Snow (Letters from the Rose Garden), a featurette about the creation of the film's Control Centre (Controlling the Games), a short conversation between director Gary Ross and critic Elvis Mitchell; the film's Propaganda Film (in its entirety) and a gallery of posters and photos.

No deleted scenes, bloopers or commentary though. Frankly, you shouldn't be allowed to put out a 2-disc DVD if one of those discs doesn't have deleted scenes, bloopers or a commentary on it.

FrightFest Post-Mortem

So, another FrightFest has come and gone (FrightFest the 13th, no less) and it's time for the annual post-mortem and general round-up. While the general feeling was that the overall line-up wasn't quite as strong as in previous years, they did at least manage to get in a good balance of material (FrightFest 2010, for example, didn't have a single comedy), with several comedies and documentaries scattered amongst the more traditional nasty stuff.

I actually only saw eleven films at the festival this year (twelve if you count the press screening of [Rec 3]: Genesis, which was on the Friday), which is rather poor compared to the seventeen I saw last year. However, my overall FrightFest total is 20, if you count the four films I saw in Edinburgh (Berberian Sound Studio, V/H/S, Grabbers and Guinea Pigs), as well as the five films I saw at press screenings beforehand (Cockneys vs Zombies, Stitches, Sinister, Tower Block, REC3).

I count myself rather lucky this year in that, not having a pass or tickets for everything as I've had in previous years, I ended up missing out on some of the worst films there – nothing I heard about films like The Seasoning House, The Inside or Hidden in the Woods has persuaded me to check them out in the future, for example, with several people citing them as some of the worst films they've ever seen (and not in a good way).

There was also a general feeling that perhaps there was a little too much misogyny and general nastiness up on screen this year and, for FrightFest, that's really saying something. Still, the festival did throw up its usual diet of treats in the form of trailers (I can't wait to see Bait 3D), specially filmed promos and on-stage interviews.
Highlights included Paul Davis' very funny short Him Indoors (starring Reece Shearsmith) and a great on-stage interview with effects guru Greg Nicotero, who was given a FrightFest Lifetime Award.

The guest line-up was pretty impressive this year too, with several film-makers sticking around to watch other people's films (this almost never happens at festivals). However, the undisputed highlight of FrightFest 2012 – for me and pretty much everyone who met them – was the attendance of Jen and Sylvia Soska (aka The Soska Twins), whose film American Mary was one of the undisputed hits of the festival. I also got to meet American Mary star Katharine Isabelle (Ginger Snaps), so that was nice. As for the film's themselves, my FrightFest Top Five is as follows:

1. Sleep Tight (terrific Spanish stalker chiller starring Luis Tosar)
2. Berberian Sound Studio (out 31st August)
3. American Mary (the Soska Twins)
4. Grabbers
5. A tie between documentary Eurocrime and Jennifer Lynch's Chained

Special mentions to: Cockneys vs Zombies, [REC 3]: Genesis, V/H/S, Maniac and The Possession. I've also heard brilliant things about We Are The Night, which I intend to watch very soon indeed.


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