Thursday, 21 May 2015

Cannes Film Festival Day 6 and 7: Inside Out, The Chosen Ones and Sicario

On my last two days at the Cannes Film Festival, I saw 7 films, taking my total over the 7 days to 21 films.

Check out links to all my writing on Cannes here.

The films I saw on Monday and Tuesday were:

The Measure of a Man (La Lois du Marche)
Inside Out
The Chosen Ones
Marguerite and Julien

Trap (Taklub)
Office (O Piseu)

That's it from Cannes for this year.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Cannes Film Festival Day 4 and 5: My Mother, Amy and Louder Than Bombs

I saw six film over the weekend at Cannes but have only reviewed three so far. Click the titles tp check out the reviews.

My Mother

My King
The High Sun
Louder Than Bombs

The highlight of the weekend was definitely Asif Kapadia's documentary Amy, which I called 'a heart wrenching reminder of the deceased star’s enormous talent, and an early contender for Best Documentary at the Academy awards next year'.

Box Office Report on Mad Max Fury Road and Pitch Perfect 2

It's not all an endless cycle of watch movie, review movie, watch next movie, review next movie at Cannes. Over at Tastic Film, I'm also keeping an eye on the box office at home, particularly because Mad Max Fury Road came out on Friday and it was a film that took Cannes by storm.

Surprisingly though, it hasn't done as big business as Pitch Perfect 2, the aca-sequel that seems to have got even more fans since the original film debuted in 2012.

Here is a snippet from my box office report at Tastic Film:

Mad Max Fury Road and Pitch Perfect 2 had the mother of all smackdowns at the box office this weekend, with Pitch Perfect 2 managing to crush its nearest competition with an opening weekend figure of just over $70 million. Anna Kendrick and her aca-tastic co-stars clearly managed to mobilise fans of the first film, which was a surprise success back in 2012. The lure of more energetic sing-offs than you can shake a stick at, proves once again that there is an audience for musicals, even in the age of another superhero blockbuster being released every five minutes. With a worldwide total of over $100 million, Pitch Perfect 2 will most likely end up in the top 10 biggest films of 2015.

Read more of this box office report at Tastic Film.

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Cannes Film Festival Day 2 and 3: Mad Max Fury Road, Son of Saul, The Lobster

I have seen a further six films over the past couple of days after catching my first two films at the 68th Cannes Film Festival on Wednesday. On Thursday and Friday, I saw:

Mad Max: Fury Road
One Floor Below
Son of Saul
The Lobster
Irrational Man
The Fourth Direction

Click the titles for reviews that I have gotten around to writing.

I also met Jamie Graham from Total Film and he actually knew who I was from Twitter which was pretty incredible to me. Unfortunately he didn't offer me a job right then and there on the spot, funnily enough.

Come back for more updates from the festival soon or check out my Cannes page here.

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Cannes Film Festival 2015 Day 1: Standing Tall and Tale of Tale Reviews

Just two films today. I saw Standing Tall and Tale of Tales. Click the titles for my reviews.

I also saw Jake Gyllenhaal and Sienna Miller who are on the jury.

Check out my instagrams here.

Countdown to Cannes: My Ideal Film List

I’m back at the Cannes Film Festival for my second year running. I’ve been invited back to review films for Tastic Film so expect all my coverage to be up there over the next couple of weeks. The press screening schedule has been released and as usual it’s packed with potential!

Ideally, I’m going to try and see every film I possibly can. There are a few fancy parties we might be going to and there may be the odd screening I can’t get into with my blue badge but in an ideal world, this is going to be the list of films I see over the next seven days!

I’ll be settling in to the press room between screenings to try and write up as much as I can and keep these reviews flowing as quickly as possible but I’m sure the odd film may slip by the wayside eventually. 

I’m a little ashamed to admit that despite all these worthy films on display, the film I’m most looking forward to on this list is Mad Max: Fury Road. Sorry world cinema, I’m a sucker for some action!

Unfortunately, I have to leave on Wednesday so I’ll be missing the last few days of the festival but hopefully before I leave, I'll have seen these 31 films:

La Tete Haute (Standing Tall)
Il Racconto Dei Racconti (Tale of Tales)
Un Etaj Mai Jos (One Floor Below)
Saul Fia (Son of Saul)
Irrational Man
Chauthi Koot (The Fourth Direction)
The Sea of Trees
Mia Madre (My Mother)
Mon Roi (My King)
Zvizdan (The High Sun)
Louder Than Bombs
La Loi Du Marche
Marguerite and Julien
Las Elegidas (The Chosen Ones)

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Writing for The Daily Heckle... and Getting Paid!

Do any of my talented blogging buddies want to get paid for writing? I know we all do it for the love deep down in our hearts, but sometimes it's bloody nice to get a bit of cash for pouring out all these words into the blogosphere!

I've been writing for The Daily Heckle for a while now and I'm racking up a nice bit of cash towards a summer holiday by publishing articles over there. I've mostly been talking film, as quite frankly I'm not qualified to talk about much else in life! But The Daily Heckle is a place where bloggers unite and heckle the world about anything they wish.

Once you sign up to become a heckler, you will find that there are loads of topics constantly being added in The Heckle Workshop and you can pitch your own ideas for how to write an article. Or if you don't suffer from writer's block, then just pitch some ideas of your own! Lots of lists, lots of opinions, lots of fun, and lots of money! They are really quick and efficient at paying over there too, so as soon as you're article is ready to go, you will be notified that you have been paid.

I assume most people that read this will be into movies and there are always loads of movie lists that need writing, but if you are into other stuff, then there is always that too. Want to slag off the royal family for instance? Well there's a job going that pays £10 to do just that... actually hold on I think I want that one! (Just kidding... sign up and take it now before I say something that will get me into trouble!)

These are all the articles that I have written for The Daily Heckle so far. Please give them a read, then head on over and get signed up to become a heckler yourself!

Furious 7 and the Movies That Make a Billion


What's new in the latest Terminator Genisys trailer?


Furious 7, M:I 5 and the Movie Franchises That Refuse to Die 


Mad Max, Mission Impossible and the Return of Real Movie Stunts


7 Music Videos That Changed the World


Top 10 Must See Movie Sequels in 2016


Top 10 Must See Superhero Films and Videogame Adaptations in 2016


Top 10 Must See Films of 2016: No Sequels, No Superheroes


Top 10 Most Shocking Moments from Game of Thrones


5 Scary Movies That Kids Will Enjoy

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

A Little Chaos Review

Set in France in 1682, Kate Winslet plays a talented landscape designer, who is tasked with building a garden at Versailles for King Louis XIV. Struggling to overcome a great loss in her life, Winslet’s Sabine is closed off to the ideas of chaos in the world, even as those around the king believe that inviting a woman of low birth into the gardens is madness and destined for disaster.

Sabine is given the royal assignment by the handsome Andre Le Notre, played by Matthias Schoenaerts, a man who is trapped in a thankless marriage to a woman who believes he is beneath her. Sabine is thrust into the midst of the court of the king but jealousy threatens her standing, her ability to complete the garden, and a burgeoning romance with Andre.

Despite playing the king, Alan Rickman directs but does not step in front of the camera quite as much as you would expect, instead letting Winslet and Schoenaerts take centre stage in this period romance. It’s a shame as the love story barely simmers while Winslet and Rickman’s few scenes together actually start to sizzle with something a little more exciting.

The romance feels as though it has been played out a thousand times before and the less said about Sabine’s tragic back story, the better. However, A Little Chaos comes to life, particularly towards the end in a pair of scenes, one delivering some heart warming female bonding and the other offering a rousing climax.

In amongst all this though, is a lot of talk of gardening. There is little danger and far too little conflict. Winslet seems subdued, leaving it up to Stanley Tucci to steal his too-few scenes and Rickman to swan in and save the film from becoming utterly boring. It’s a stately, occasionally quite beautiful film but unless you are a fan of gardening or mostly chaste romances, you will yearn for something more.

Overall, A Little Chaos could have done with a lot more conflict, danger, excitement and yes... chaos.

Watch the trailer:

Recent reviews from I Love That Film:

John Wick

Lost River

Wild Card

Still Alice

White God

Wild Tales

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

John Wick Review

Sad Keanu is ex-hitman John Wick, mourning the loss of his wife whose parting gift to him was a cute little puppy. Rolling around in his beloved Mustang 69, he has the misfortune to bump into the son of a dangerous Russian gangster. Played by Alfie Allen, aka Theon from Game of Thrones, this nasty little man proceeds to take everything Wick loves, meaning Wick is forced to come out of retirement in order to get revenge.

Luckily, Wick’s skills in the hitman department have far from deserted him and he is more than happy to bring the hurt on anyone who stands in his way of getting to the man who killed his pooch. Formerly known as The Boogeyman, he’s the kind of guy who can take out three guys with just a pencil. With the firepower he now has, it doesn’t matter how many goons get thrown in his direction, Wick has a wonderful way of killing them all.

Directed by two stunt experts, Wick is action packed, stylish and blood thirsty. This is a film for people who don’t mind how slight the story is, as long as the action gets your blood pumping and the blood keeps spilling. It’s a very simply revenge tale, but it’s also well worth noting that John Wick has some really interesting (and bizarre) touches thrown into the mix.

Wick knows a lot of the people he has tasked himself with taking out. This leads to some very amusing exchanges and also makes Wick a pretty murky character himself. The world of the film is also unique with a hotel for hitmen that lives by its own rules, where all assassinations are off under the roof of this supposedly safe haven. Little touches like this make the recently announced sequel an interesting prospect, even if mostly all anyone will want to see is the brutally stylish and kinetically directed fight scenes, excitingly mixing gunplay with martial arts.

John Wick is no Matrix, but it’s certainly one of Reeves’ best since.

Watch the trailer:

Lost River Review

Fair play to Ryan Gosling for beginning (and possibly ending if some critics are to be believed) his directing career with Lost River. His debut behind the camera could have taken the Mel Gibson route and had him playing a Scottish hero riding into battle for freedom or it could have favoured the Joseph Gordon Levitt approach and featured him snogging Scarlet Johansson every few minutes.

However, Gosling has chosen to do neither of these things and does not star in his own film, instead remaining firmly behind the camera on Lost River. His influences however, are all up on the screen for cinephiles to see, and it’s an eclectic mix that ranges from Malick to Lynch to Refn and is bound to alienate a lot of fans of even his most out-there acting work.

Lost River follows a family on the outskirts of recession-hit Detroit who are struggling to make ends meet as the poverty-stricken population desert the place. A single mother (Christina Hendricks) and her two sons have fallen behind on the mortgage payments so she takes a job offered to her by her creepy bank manager (Ben Mendelsohn). The new job is in a terrifyingly Lynchian nightclub where faked stabbings and all manner of weirdness is on the menu for those who seek an escape from the crushing poverty outside.

Meanwhile, the woman’s oldest son (Iain De Caestecker) begins a relationship with a girl (Saoirse Ronan) who has a pet rat and a mute grandmother. Their budding romance is threatened by Matt Smith’s thug Bully who roams the empty streets like a savage beast, looking to hurt anyone in his path.

It is a very brave debut from a star who could coast by on his looks but has chosen a far darker path in both his acting and now his directing. It looks stunning, makes little narrative sense, but is so arresting in its imagery, ideas and atmosphere, that the desire for a story slowly disappears. Lost River could be the pretentious brain fart of a spoiled A-lister with too much money to play with but the beauty, mystery and all round oddness of it make it one that is likely to be studied in years to come. Gosling may have nicked a lot from his idols, but he's done it with style. 

Here is the trailer: