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Smurfs Trailer

Posted by: Matthew Turner 03/12/2010 @ 16:07
Subject: Film

Films seen so far this year: 448
Films seen this week: Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen, The Be All and End All, Fair Game, The Way Back, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Tron: Legacy, Gulliver's Travels

Oscarwatch: Independent Spirit Awards
Regular readers of this blog (both of you, etc) will hopefully know
that my favourite film of the year so far is Debra Granik's independent thriller Winter's Bone, starring Jennifer Lawrence. As a result, I'm keeping a close eye on its Oscar chances, so I was delighted when it picked up seven nominations in the Independent Spirit Awards this week, including Best Picture, Best Actress, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay (it's based on a terrific “country noir” novel by Daniel Woodrell), Best Cinematography and Best Supporting Actor / Actress nominations for John Hawkes and Dale Dickey.

I'm no awards expert, but I'd say this is pretty good news, potential Oscar noms-wise. I'm actually pretty certain Jennifer Lawrence will win but I'd love to see Debra Granik get Oscar nominated too. (Incidentally, you can still read our exclusive interviews with Lawrence and Granik). I'm also very pleased to see that Michelle Williams has picked up a nomination for the wonderful Blue Valentine, because it means that the controversial (and deeply unfair) NC-17 rating for the film might not have affected its award chances after all. The full list of awards is here and the ones that stand out for me are Ashley Bell (for The Last Exorcism), Greta Gerwig (for Greenberg) and Lance Daley's Kisses (for Best Foreign Film).

I am also officially starting the Julianne Moore Was Robbed campaign – Annette Bening and Mark Ruffalo both got nominations for The Kids Are All Right, but Moore's was the better performance, in my opinion. Also, it has to be said that the Best Male Lead category is fairly uninspiring this year. I haven't seen Daddy Long Legs but I'd pick James Franco as the obvious front-runner there. The only other Oscar news of note this week is that James Franco and Anne Hathaway will apparently be co-hosting the Oscars, which seems like a strange decision, not least because both are likely to be in line for Best Actor / Best Actress awards. Come back, Billy Crystal, all is forgiven, that's what I say ...

Trailerwatch: The Smurfs
Okay, so this isn't much of a trailer, but what the hell, it's a slow week, trailer-wise. I suppose I could have done the Green Lantern trailer, but Ryan Reynolds going “I KNOW, right?!?” just depresses me whenever I think about it.

So, anyway, The Smurfs. The teaser trailer for The Smurfs has been on the internets for a couple of weeks now but I only just got round to checking it out. There isn't really much to it – there's a gravelly-voiced build-up with a bunch of famous monuments (Easter Island statues, Eiffel Tower, Sphinx) getting “Smurfed” (i.e. turned blue with a bit of white) and then three Smurfs appear (Papa Smurf and, um, two others) very briefly, twice – once popping up in Times Square and then hanging onto a New York taxi cab for dear life. In long shot. So right away we know that the Smurfs are going to be in New York which is already all kinds of wrong.

The cast list does at least promise Katy Perry as Smurfette and Hank Azaria as the Smurfs' arch enemy Gargamel (the Hooded Claw to the Smurfs' Penelope Pitstop, if you will) but the rest of the voice cast list is less than inspiring. I can't in all honesty say I'm that excited about a Smurfs movie and I'm not greatly invested in them for nostalgia reasons (we never seemed to get the cartoon over here and I only ever saw a handful of Smurf comics) but, full confession, I did go through a phase as a child where I amassed quite a large collection of Smurf figures (Smurfigures) and I'm hoping that the film is a big hit so I can sell them all on e-Bay. (Well, maybe not Smurfette. Smurfette can stay). The film opens here next August though, so I'd better not start spending my imaginary Smurf-based millions just yet.

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

Four new entries this week with indie drama Easier With Practice
(starring My Good Friend Brian Geraghty), DreamWorks' very funny supervillain comedy Megamind, Gareth Edwards' indie road movie (with added aliens) Monsters and gripping French drama Of Gods and Men all making it into the top ten. Elsewhere, we've got an exclusive  interview with the lovely Carice van Houten (star of this week's Love Life) and you can read our interview with Easier With Practice star Brian Geraghty here (though he's mostly talking about The Hurt Locker) as well as our exclusive interview with Dream Home star Josie Ho here (though Dream Home itself has sadly disappeared from cinemas now).

1. The Social Network
2. The Kids Are All Right
3. Easier With Practice
4. Megamind
5. Monsters
6. Another Year
7. Of Gods and Men
8. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part I
9. Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives
10. Leap Year

DVD Of The Week: Metropolis (out now, RRP £22.99)
This week's DVD of the Week is Fritz Lang's 1927 silent sci-fi classic Metropolis, which is now available in a newly restored 150 minute version with 25 minutes of footage that were previously thought lost to the world (I have my own theories about where they found the extra  footage, but let's brush over those, although, clue, they were discovered in South America). I saw the new version of the film at a press screening recently and although the restored footage is in pretty bad nick, the film still looks remarkable and the extra minutes make a big difference to the finished film.

The plot is as follows: in a futuristic city divided between the exploited working classes (who live and work underground to keep the city going) and the upper class city planners (who live in blissful utopia), the son (Gustav Frohlich) of the city's mastermind falls in love with a beautiful working class prophet named Maria (Brigitte Helm) and follows her into the city's underworld. The son decides that he wants to help Maria in her cause to unite the “hands” (workers) and the “head” (planners) of the city. However, evil inventor Rotwang (Rudolph Klein-Rogge) is also obsessed with Maria and implements sinister plan that involves making a Robot Maria of his own. It's incredible to see how far ahead of his time Lang was with his vision for the film and its influence on films like Blade Runner and pretty much every sci-fi movie you can think of are immediately obvious. (Also, no Metropolis, no opening credits sequence for Futurama – and maybe even no Futurama).

If you've never seen this and missed the recent cinema re-release, now's your chance to catch it. The excellent extras package includes: a wraparound embossed sleeve (if you like that sort of thing; note to DVD producers – packaging is important); a recording of the original 1927 Gottfried Huppertz score; a full-length audio commentary by David Kalat and Jonathan Rosenbaum; a 53 minute documentary about the film (Die Reise nach Metropolis); the 2010 re-release trailer; and a 56-page booklet featuring archival interviews with Fritz Lang, a 1927 review by Luis Buñuel, articles by Jonathan Rosenbaum and Karen Naundorf, and restoration notes by Martin Koerber. Highly recommended.


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