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The Men Who Stare at Goats Trailer

Posted by: Matthew Turner 04/09/2009 @ 17:52
Subject: Film

Films seen so far this year: 302
Films seen this week: Beware the Moon, An American Werewolf in London, The Horde, Macabre, Smash Cut, Millennium: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Giallo, Trick 'R Treat, Salvage, The Human Centipede, Coffin Rock, Night of the Demons, Best Worst Movie, Zombie Women of Satan, The House of the Devil, Case 39, Heartless, The Descent: Part 2, District 9, Seraphine, Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs (3D)

FrightFest Post-Mortem
So, my second ever FrightFest has been and gone and what a fabulous, fun-packed festival it was. A cursory glance at the Films I've Seen This Week list above will give you some idea of how many films I saw over the five days (21, in total, plus I'd seen Colin, Pontypool and Dead Snow beforehand), but there were also lots of little treats scattered throughout the weekend, such as some hilarious, specially filmed American Werewolf in London spoof shorts by directors Adam Green and Joe Lynch, clips from upcoming films (Splice, in particular, looks absolutely brilliant), trailers and even musical performances (The Last House on the Left Star David Hess doing singing Vagabond and playing acoustic guitar; Jim Sturgess singing two songs from the soundtrack for Heartless) plus loads of special guests.

The real delight though, was John Landis, who came to introduce a spanking Blu-ray transfer of An American Werewolf in London and stuck around for the entire festival, watching films, heckling directors and generally just having fun. I didn't get to speak to him though, as literally every time I saw him he was bent over signing something. Film-wise, the highlight of the festival was the Swedish detective thriller Millennium: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, which was the best thriller I've seen in a really, really long time. The rest of my top ten included: Best Worst Movie (a hilarious and ultimately moving documentary about the people involved with Troll 2, officially the imdb's worst movie of all time), horror comic anthology Trick 'R Treat (criminally denied a theatrical release both here and abroad), utterly mental mad scientist flick The Human Centipede (pretty much the film everyone was talking about), note-perfect ‘80s horror pastiche The House of the Devil, offbeat zombie horror Pontypool, French zombie horror The Horde (cops vs gangsters vs zombies in an apartment block), mind-bending time-travel-horror Triangle (which owes a lot to last year's Time Crimes), low budget British horror Salvage (about a largely unseen creature loose in a housing estate) and The Descent: Part 2, which surpassed all expectations and is actually a pretty decent sequel.

Films I'm Looking Forward To: The Men Who Stare At Goats
The trailer for The Men Who Stare At Goats popped up this week and the film's gone straight into my Must See list as a result. Based on the 2004 book by journalist Jon Ronson, it stars Ewan McGregor as journalist Bob Wilton (do you see what they did there?), who gets more than he bargained for when he meets a special forces agent (George Clooney) who reveals the existence of a secret, psychic military unit whose goal is to use paranormal powers to end war as we know it. Cue hilarious scenes of soldiers attempting to run through walls, predict the future and, yes, kill goats with their minds. The fantastic cast also includes Jeff Bridges and Kevin Spacey. Personally, I'm excited to see Bridges and Clooney in the same film, as they're two of my favourite actors. Bridges also has what can only be described as a Lebowski moment in the trailer, which only makes me want to see it more. It's release here on December 4th, which means it's a very good bet for the London Film Festival.

Top 10 Films On Release This Week (as recommended by me):
Three new entries this week, with the wonderful (500) Days of Summer, brilliant sci-fi thriller District 9 and gripping documentary Big River Man all making it into the top ten. The first two of those are both five star movies and easily Top Ten of 2009 material. Also, if you haven't seen them, I'd urge you to catch both Moon and Jetsam before they come to the end of their runs. As for interviews, you can read our interview with (500) Days of Summer star Joseph Gordon-Levitt here and an exclusive interview with The Hurt Locker star Brian Geraghty here, as well as our exclusive interview with Jetsam (and The Descent) star Alex Reid here.

1. (500) Days of Summer
2. District 9
3. Inglourious Basterds
4. The Hurt Locker
5. Moon
6. Big River Man
7. Mesrine: Killer Instinct
8. Mesrine: Public Enemy No.1
9. Orphan
10. Jetsam

DVD of the Week: The Damned United (out now, RRP £19.99)
This week's DVD of the Week is British drama The Damned United, based on the novel by David Peace, centring on football manager Brian Clough (Michael Sheen) and his disastrous 44-day stint as the manager of Leeds United. Sheen is sensational as Clough (you'll find yourself doing impressions of Sheen-as-Clough for days afterwards) and there's terrific support from the likes of Jim Broadbent, Timothy Spall and Colm Meaney as Clough's arch-enemy, former Leeds manager Don Revie.

The film is also beautifully shot and the script crackles with great dialogue throughout. Crucially, it's also highly accessible to non-football fans and the film overall is by turns hilarious and ultimately moving in its portrayal of the friendship between Clough and Peter Taylor (Spall's character). Highly recommended. Extras include: a commentary with director Tom Hooper, Sheen and producer Andy Harries, nine deleted or alternate scenes (with commentary), Cloughisms (extra footage shot to recreate some of Clough's legendary television interviews) and four featurettes, including a 15 minute Making Of. All in all, a superb DVD package. Highly recommended.

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