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The Big Apple and A Very Odd Couple

Posted by: Matthew Turner 13/03/2008 @ 12:01
Subject: Film

Films seen so far this year: 65

My Incredibly Jammy Press Trip To New York
Last week, I went on an incredibly jammy three-day press trip to Marvel Comics HQ in New York, courtesy of the lovely people at Sega UK, who are bringing out an Iron Man video-game to coincide with the film's release on May 2nd. We had a fascinating tour round the Marvel Offices, had a decent interview with Iron Man editor Tom Brevoort and were mightily entertained by editor-in-chief Joe Quesada's Stan Lee impression before seeing a sneak preview of the game itself. It looks great – I really wanted to play it and I speak as someone who doesn't own any kind of console and has only ever played the Spider-Man game and Sonic the Hedgehog. Hopes are high in the Marvel offices that the movie and the game will bring Iron Man the “Q-factor” (a buzzword for street-level recognisability, apparently) currently shared by Spider-Man  and The Hulk and it looks like that's going to be a real possibility – check out the latest Iron Man trailer below. Marvel fans might also like to know that Robert Downey Jr is set to cameo as Tony Stark in the upcoming Hulk movie and that Captain America and Thor projects are both in the offing as a precursor to a possible Avengers movie. Can't wait...

Please Release Me: Neo Ned
This is another terrific film I saw at the 2006 Edinburgh Film Festival that seems to have disappeared without a trace, although given its controversial subject matter, that's a little bit easier to understand. It's incredibly frustrating as a film fan because I keep seeing Jeremy Renner in other films (he's the sympathetic soldier in 28 Weeks Later and he's also in The Assassination of Jesse James) and I really think he deserves to be much more widely known, as he's wonderful in Neo Ned. Essentially, he plays a neo-Nazi who falls in love with a black girl (Gabrielle Union) he meets at a mental institution. Here's what I wrote at the time:

‘Weird little indie film starring Jeremy Renner as Ned, a neo-Nazi who falls in love with Rachael (Gabrielle Union), a black girl he meets at a mental institution who thinks she’s Adolf Hitler. However, it really isn't the film that that summary might lead you to expect - there's no American History X-style violence, for one thing. In fact, it's surprisingly warm-hearted with a very funny script and a bizarre, yet strangely fitting feel-good / feel-bad finale. There are some terrific scenes (e.g. Ned attempting to woo Rachael with a crudely drawn picture of bees and swastikas) and some superb lines – as Ned says, “Just because I’m a racist, doesn’t mean I’m not sensitive.” Renner is a revelation – he’s utterly brilliant and really makes the character his own, right down to his odd little staccato laugh. Ned’s naive and maybe a little crazy but he’s also sweet-natured with a child-like enthusiasm for life – his crushed delivery of the line “What about the zoo?” is heart-breaking. I hope it gets a proper release. Four stars.'

Top 5 Films On Release This Week (as recommended by me):

No change to the top three this week, but new entries for both Out of the Blue and Redacted. Water Lilies would be in 6th place. Maybe I should make this a top ten – what do you think?

1. There Will Be Blood
2. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
3. No Country For Old Men
4. Out of the Blue
5. Redacted

DVD of the Week: Stardust (out now, RRP £19.99)

This week's DVD of the Week is the delightful British fantasy flick Stardust, directed by Matthew Vaughn and based on the novel by Neil Gaiman. Rising British star Charlie Cox plays Tristan, a young man who sets out to capture a fallen star to impress the town beauty (Sienna Miller) and discovers that the star is, in fact, a beautiful woman (Claire Danes). The film has a definite Princess Bride vibe to it and it features wonderful comic performances from Michelle Pfeiffer and Robert DeNiro, although the less said about Ricky Gervais, the better. The DVD features a commentary by the director and screenwriter Jane Goldman, some disappointing deleted scenes, a decent 30-minute Making Of documentary and an unsurprisingly Gervais-heavy blooper reel.

And finally...
This is why I love the internets. Some tech-savvy, movie-loving genius has made a Saul Bass-style title sequence for Star Wars, complete with jazzy theme tune. Wonderful.


by  Anonymous  14/03/2008 @ 14:29
i think you should make it a top 10... although i wonder why you never include juno when i think you gave it a good rating?
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