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The Tourist Trailer

Posted by: Matthew Turner 27/09/2010 @ 15:56
Subject: Film

Films seen so far this year: 355
Films seen this week: Eat Pray Love, Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale, Peepli Live, Dragon Hunters, The King's Speech, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, The Secret of Kells, The First Movie, Disturbing Behaviour

Four Random Things
This is something of a mop-up edition of Four Random Things after last week's Darth Vader Special. Anyway, here are four random things I have found on the internets recently.

1. Six Romantic Movie Gestures That Will Get You Jail Time. can always be relied upon for impeccably researched, often very funny pieces like this and this is one of their best. A friend pointed out that they missed off “Slapping a man in the face”
which always leads to TRUE LOVE in the movies. The real life examples are pretty disturbing and should serve as a warning to all would-be Romeos.

2. This fabulous photo of Marilyn Monroe on crutches. I really like a) her sulky face and b) the fact that she's still wearing high heels.

3. The excellent Suicide Blonde photo blog, which has quickly become my second favourite photo blog after this one. It is occasionally Not Safe For Work (steer clear of the Dita Von Teese photos, for example) and is admittedly weighted towards photographs of gorgeous actresses women but it throws up several gems a day, including this terrific photograph of Winona Ryder which I had on my bedroom wall during my formative years.

4. And finally, the wonderful Hungover Owls blog, in which wols bring lols. There isn't much of a film connection there, strictly speaking, though you can just about tie it into the imminent release of Zack Snyder's animated owl adventure Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole (owls are, like, so hot right now) if you try hard enough. Trailer below.

Trailerwatch: The Tourist
Unlike in previous weeks, I had been aware of The Tourist, because Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie making a film together is going to guarantee lots of coverage, both tabloid and otherwise. I've only just seen the trailer though and to me it looks like something of a mixed bag. The plot seems vaguely Hitchcockian at first glance – hapless and not-too-bright tourist Frank (Depp) is seduced on a train by a mysterious woman (Jolie, apparently reprising her British accent, though it's difficult to tell), is tricked into posing as her husband at a Venice bank and soon finds himself pursued by vicious gunmen and wanted for a crime he didn't commit or something. The supporting cast includes Paul Bettany (as an Interpol agent?) and Steven Berkoff (as the Mr Big figure Jolie seems to be ripping off) as well as Timothy Dalton and Rufus Sewell, neither of whom appear in the trailer.

It's co-written and directed by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck (making his first American film after winning Best Foreign Film with The Lives of Others) but the more telling contributor may be screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie, who wrote The Usual Suspects. Jolie looks a bit plasticky in the trailer (to be fair, she always looks like that) and doesn't seem to be doing all that much but Depp looks like he's having a lot of fun as the schlubby Frank, so it'll probably be worth seeing just for his performance. Still, the photography looks impressive and it does seem to promise a few decent action sequences. I also like the following exchange: “Attempted murder? That doesn't sound so serious.” // “Well, not when you downgrade from murder, no. But when you upgrade from room service...” Opens here December 10th, which, shockingly, is less than 11 weeks away.

Top 10 Films On Release This Week (as recommended by me):
It's all change this week with an unprecedented (or at least highly
unusual) five new entries into the top ten. Topping the list is Gaspar Noe's astonishing Enter the Void, which joins both Winter's Bone and Toy Story 3 on my list of the best films of 2010. In at number 4 is World's Greatest Dad, Bobcat Goldthwait's excellent follow-up to his highly recommended Sleeping Dogs Lie (also known as Sleeping Dogs), starring Robin Williams as a high school teacher who finds unexpected fame after a tragic accident – don't let the generic Robin Williams movie title put you off, as this is anything but.

The other entries include: Ben Affleck's Boston-set thriller The Town (confirming his talent as a director after Gone Baby Gone), Adam Green's three-people-stuck-on-a-ski-lift horror Frozen and Joe Dante's child-friendly 3D horror The Hole. Elsewhere we have exclusive interviews with both Enter the Void director Gaspar Noe (here) and genre maestro Joe Dante himself (Gremlins, Innerspace, Piranha) here. You can also still read our exclusive interviews with Winter's Bone star Jennifer Lawrence and director Debra Granik.

1. Winter's Bone
2. Enter the Void
3. Toy Story 3
4. World's Greatest Dad
5. Inception
6. The Town
7. Scott Pilgrim vs the World
8. Tamara Drewe
9. Frozen
10. The Hole (3D)

DVD Of The Week: The Killer Inside Me (out now, RRP £17.99)
This week's DVD of the Week is Michael Winterbottom's The Killer Inside Me, based on the 1952 thriller by pulp novelist Jim Thompson (see also: The Grifters, The Getaway). Casey Affleck stars as squeaky-voiced Texas deputy sheriff Lou Ford, who just happens to be a cold-blooded killer. Kate Hudson and Jessica Alba both co-star as the women in his life and there's strong support from a great supporting cast that includes Ned Beatty, Elias Koteas and Bill Pullman. The performances  are superb (yes, even Hudson and Alba, both of whom give their best onscreen performances to date) and the script is extremely faithful to Thompson's novel, retaining Ford's narration and allowing for some enjoyably pulpy dialogue. It's also beautifully shot, courtesy of cinematographer Marcel Zyskind, while the production design work is impeccable, convincingly recreating 1950s smalltown Texas.

As for the much-publicised violence in the film (Ford basically beats Alba's character to death), it is genuinely sickening and that is sort of the point, though at least the DVD gives you the option to fast-forward through that bit. Still, if you can stomach the violence, this is an impressively directed, superbly written noir thriller with a pitch-perfect performance by Casey Affleck. Highly recommended. The extras package is a little disappointing though – it only includes a 24 minute Behind The Scenes featurette (which is just 'B' roll, so no
interviews) and three very short interviews with Affleck, Hudson and Alba.


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