Archive for the ‘Forthcoming Release’ Category

Gran Torino – coming soon

Friday, March 6th, 2009

gran-torinoI first heard about Gran Torino in a New York Times review, in which it was billed as “a sleek, muscle car of a movie made in the U.S.A.” which presented life in the “industrial graveyard” of real America – run-down shells of once grander houses in suburbs ruled by the same vicious gangs you would expect to find in tough, inner-city ghettos. This is a far cry from the aspirational, model-village setting of American Beauty or Desperate Housewives. But while the film’s premise is a promising one, a starchy script and wooden acting fail to deliver.

Clint Eastwood plays Walt Kowalski, an embittered Korean War veteran who spends his days sitting out on his front porch, rifle by his side, gulping back beer and snarling at his troubled neighbourhood which has gradually slid down the monopoly board and is now largely inhabited by impoverished immigrants.

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Watchmen – coming soon

Tuesday, November 18th, 2008

It’s ten minutes to midnight.

Released over twenty years ago between 1986 and 87, to say that Watchmen was an influential success would be a pretty epic understatement. It cemented Alan Moore’s reputation as a writer in the graphic novel medium and since then, more than a fair few of his graphic novels have (much to his chagrin) been adapted for the big screen, most notably V For Vendetta, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Constantine, and Jack the Ripper conspiracy theory yarn From Hell. His treatment of the Joker in his celebrated Batman one-shot The Killing Joke, is widely cited as being a major influence on both Tim Burton’s 1989 movie, the subsequent Batman animated series, and recent outing The Dark Knight.

No Watchmen, no Heroes. Simple as.

The comic book is set in an alternative universe where superheroes exist – it is 1985, and the Cold War is on the verge of becoming a very, very hot one.

In this universe, the USA won the Vietnam War, and Watergate never happened – Nixon is still the President. The West is defended by a small elite corps of licensed superheroes, the most powerful of which, Dr. Manhattan, has given the States an edge over the Soviets. However, things take a turn for the worse – the story begins with the discovery that The Comedian, an ultra-patriotic American superhero is found dead, having been hurled several stories from his apartment.

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“…and all the pieces matter.” – The glory and majesty that is The Wire – out now

Wednesday, August 6th, 2008

Every so often a film or television series manages that most rare of feats, it becomes more than its medium and it is ranked alongside the pillars of culture that prop up our conversions and language for years to come.  The Wire is one of those works of art.

To dismiss it as a mere cop show does not do it justice but the show is set in Baltimore and chronicles the struggle of a detail of cops trying to trap a high end drug target, whilst dealing with the vagaries of bureaucracy that are present in all areas of public service.  The cops and the dealers are treated as part of the same puzzle and equal weight is given to both in the program.  The Wire has a high level of characterisation not seen in any other TV show going at the moment.  You will feel for the dealers and hate some of the cops as the line between what’s good and bad becomes increasingly greyed and dependant on context.  There is comic relief combined with searing tragedy and a majestic charm arises from even the most hopeless of situations.

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