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The Wonders of the Internet and Burn After Reading

Posted by: Matthew Turner 05/06/2008 @ 15:12
Subject: Film

Films seen so far this year: 168
Films seen this week: The King of Kong, Baby Mama, In Memory of My Father, Harold and Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay, Skidoo, The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, Gone Baby Gone, Prom Night, Paris, Kamikaze Girls

Five Random Things I've Seen On The Internet This Week
Brought to you (okay, to me, but then to you) by Google Reader. Admittedly, some of the things on this list are probably old news to seasoned film fans but I thought I'd share them anyway.

1. Polish Film Posters
I attended a film quiz recently and they had a picture round on Polish film posters, which sent me off in search of online galleries. I found two good ones, here and here. The world of Polish film posters is both rich and strange, as they are independently designed and frequently hand-painted. Some are really beautiful, some are just plain weird and some are just plain cool. Check out this Star Wars poster, for example or the one for Airplane at the bottom of this page. Careful though – you could end up browsing for hours.

2. 30 Upcoming Movie Sequels
The Den of Geek website put up this incredibly depressing list of upcoming movie sequels. There's only one film in this list of 30 that I'm even remotely excited about and that's Crank 2: High Voltage. (This time, instead of needing to keep his heart rate up, Chev Chelios keeps having to give himself an electric shock to stay alive. Brilliant.)

3. Poletti's film stills on Flickr
Flickr user Poletti has devoted several hours to capturing images from movies and old TV shows and he's really rather good at it. The results are here. Aside from documenting every woman that Captain Kirk ever kissed and creating a Patrick McGoohan gallery, he's also created a set on all the women ever to star in a Hammer Horror movie. I also really loved his set on the guest stars of The Invaders but that might be just me.

4. Space Nazis Attack!
Well, sort of. I found this trailer via Mark Kermode pimping it on his video blog. It's a teaser trailer for an as-yet-unmade film. Let's hope they get the financing they need, because who doesn't want to see a film about Space Nazis? I know I do.

5. Hulk Smash!
Apart from the brilliant news that Lou Ferrigno will be voicing the Hulk in the new movie (somewhat ironic, because Ferrigno never spoke when he played the Hulk on TV) this retro Hulk trailer surfaced on the net recently. It uses the TV show theme and appears to have ditched the caught-in-a-gamma-bomb-blast origin for the one from the TV show.

Films I'm Looking Forward To: Burn After Reading
A new Coen Brothers movie is always something to look forward to, but Burn After Reading (sadly not due here until October) looks utterly brilliant. It stars a pompadoured Brad Pitt (looking like he's really enjoying himself) and Frances McDormand as two personal trainers who find a CD belonging to CIA agent John Malkovich and attempt to sell it to the highest bidder with, from the looks of things, disastrous results. It also has a typically brilliant supporting cast that includes George Clooney, Tilda Swinton, J.K. Simmons and Richard Jenkins. The Coens have had great success with the Big-Scheme-Going-Horribly-Wrong plot before (Fargo, The Big Lebowski) and Burn After Reading looks very much like a return to familiar Coens territory. I can't wait.

Top 10 Films On Release This Week (as recommended by me):
A few more changes this week, with There Will Be Blood disappearing again and new entries for The King of Kong, Gone Baby Gone and California Dreamin'. This could also be your last week to catch Charlie Bartlett.
1. Persepolis
2. The King of Kong
3. Iron Man
4. Gone Baby Gone
5. Charlie Bartlett
6. Caramel
7. Sex and the City
8. California Dreamin'
9. The Orphanage
10. XXY

DVD of the Week: The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (released 9th June, RRP £19.99)

This week's DVD of the Week is Julian Schnabel's The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, based on the true story of Jean-Dominique Bauby (Mathieu Amalric), who suffered a debilitating stroke and learned to communicate by blinking his left eyelid. Beautifully shot and superbly acted, this is a deeply moving film that's one of the best films of the year and quite possibly Julian Schnabel's masterpiece. Extras include a commentary by Schnabel, two short Making Of featurettes, a filmed interview with Schnabel, the trailer and some stills.


by  Anonymous  05/06/2008 @ 15:32
Ooooh good spot RE the upcoming movie sequels - it's so interesting! But oh dear God why can't they come up with something new instead of cashing in? (That said I LOVED Indie 4!). Can't wait for the new Coen movie - Brad Pitt, George Clooney and the Coens... Amazing.
by  will  09/06/2008 @ 10:06
Those Polish posters are really good! A few of those could certainly adorn my wall.

Surely they missed "Snakes on plane 2: this time it's personal"?? I'm being sarcastic but it is probably in the pipeline
by  Anonymous  11/06/2008 @ 16:04
Can't wait for the new Coen brothers film. The trailer looks great. Loved Frances McDormand in Fargo.
by  Anonymous  06/09/2008 @ 10:38
Saw Burn after Reading at this years film festival in Venice. What a disappointment!

The worst thing is the writing. The plot is horribly contrived without any clever twists or invention.The idiosyncracies of the characters fizzle out as the movie progresses and serve no purpose. The humour relys on crudity with a great deal of 'effing' which soon loses impact and makes the characters even less believable. There's a furniture design that will get the sixth form boys in stitches but it comes across as a desperate ploy to inject (pun intended) a comedy moment when genuine wit has deserted.

The bizzarely different characters fail to gel and the the use of unfortunate circumstance as a device to create situations fails to be convincing. I couldn't help wondering if the authors were trying to do a sort of 'Fish called Wanda' (which, by the way,you don't need me to tell you is brilliant) but got lost very early on. The movie has a confused feel to it as it struggles to assert what sort of a comedy it is trying to be. Is it 'black humour or'bitter/sweet' or 'cookie'. The actors give it their best shot but I got the impression they were having to dig deep into their undoubted professional abilities to try and 'fill in the gaps' of such a weak. incoherent script.
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