Saturday, July 31, 2010

Inception Discussion – ‘Spoiler Warning’

Inception is the new film by Christopher Nolan, who also directed of Dark Knight, The Prestige, and Memento. This new film has sparked many debates amongst the general populace, on Facebook, Twitter and blogs. These Discussions all deal with the same thing, the end, dream or reality. With so much discussion already, one wonders why you would need another blog, tweet or status update. I would say one does not need one, but then again I am one of the very few who I know that believe the end was real. So I would just like to see if I can convince a few people otherwise.

Let’s be clear, no one can understand or argue anything for or against the film Inception until you understand the rules of the world in which it’s based. They are few but they are very important.
So let’s begin with the basics…


Nolan’s Characters throw about some pretty fancy math when they begin planning the Inception but all of it trivial. All you need to really know are the basic concepts:
The dream within a dream process puts you into a deeper state of sleeping and thus also dreaming. The deeper you go, the further removed your mind is from reality. We all know what that’s like: the deeper you sleep, the harder it is to be woken up and the more vivid and real-feeling a dream becomes. If you’re in a deep enough sleep, not even the usual physical cues to wake up effect you, such as the sensation of falling (“the kick”) or even, say, having to go to the bathroom.

2.       DREAM TIME
Time is the other factor. The deeper you go into a dream state (according to this film), the faster your mind is able to imagine and perceive things within that dream state. We’re told the increase is exponential, so going deeper into dreams turns minutes into hours, into days, into years. This is why Cobb and his team are able to pull off the Fischer job while the van is still falling through the air, before the soldiers break into the snow fortress, before Arthur rigs the elevator, and all within the span of a flight from Sydney Australia to LA lasting a total of ten hours.


THE EXTRACTORThe extractor is a master con man, a person who knows how to manipulate a dreaming subject into revealing their deepest mental secrets. At heart, an extractor is a classic con man – he creates a false set of circumstances that manipulate the mark into revealing his secrets. Cobb (Leo DiCaprio) only knows how to literally do his work on a subconscious level. Fancy premise aside though, the extractor (as I said) is basically your classic con man.

THE ARCHITECTThe architect, Araidne, (Personally the best name for any character in a film) is the designer of the dream constructs, i.e. cities, buildings interiors and exteriors, into which an extractor brings a “subject”. They create the “levels” within a dream, complete with all the aesthetic and tactile details to perfection. The subject is brought into that dream construct and fills it with details from their own subconscious (Secrets are kept somewhere secure Banks, safes or ‘Fortress) and memories, which convince the subject that the dream the architect built is real – or at the very least, is the subjects own dream.

THE FORGER – As in “forgery,” Eames (Tom Hardy) is a master of imitating people’s handwriting, mannerisms – and in the dream world, even their very appearance.  This is the key to Cobb’s plan.

MAL (SHADOW) – Mal is the character who plays a major role in Cobb’s emotional journey, but she also serves as a problem. Mal is Cobb’s manifested guilt as a subconscious projection and therefore she is aggressive and violent whenever Cobb enters the dream world, primarily she makes it her job to ruin Cobb's jobs and even kill him and his associates such as Arthur.

4.       THE DREAMER
The architect and the dreamer are not always the same person. The architect designs the dream world and can then teach that maze to a separate dreamer. The dreamer is the person whose mind actually houses the dream and it is the dreamer’s mind that the subject is ultimately brought into in order to be conned by the extractor. The dreamer allows the subject to fill their mind with the subject’s subconscious, and unless the dreamer maintains the stability of the dream, the subject’s subconscious will realize it’s been invaded by foreign mind(s) and will try to locate and eliminate the dreamer to free itself.
The dreamers become difficult to identify once the Job begins, but it’s actually simple the last one awake within the dream level is the dreamer. But for those who can’t remember:

The Rainy City – Yusuf, chemist (Dileep Rao) is dreaming this level
The Hotel – Arthur (Joseph Gordon Levitt) is dreaming this level.
The Snow Fortress – Eames (Tom hardy) is dreaming this level.
LimboUnconstructed dream space or something of that description, no dreamer.

Well, now with that out of the way and we are all on level playing ground (You are free to disagree with any of my interpretations of the dream world rules) we can get to the good part, the part that’s cause all the commotion, the end and who is really dreaming. I have heard and read many facts, theories and interpretations for both sides, dream or reality. I will hope to argue both sides, and in doing so you might even see and believe that the end is reality.

From the moment Cobb and Saito wake from the job, there is no more dialogue between the characters and few shots or images that would concretely explain or prove one interpretation. Is Cobb still dreaming and his team and family (and maybe Saito) are all projections? Or is it the job completed, everyone is back in reality and everything is happily ever after? 

Well I think we all can agree that before we can argue a case for either side, reality or dream, we must decide on one reality (not this nonsense that the entire film is a dream world, ‘nothing will come of nothing’ you crazy people) So if you will agree with me I believe that the original reality, believing there is one, is the one Arthur and Cobb awaken to on the train, the same reality in which Dobb accepts the mission of Inception from Saito and the very same reality in which he recruits Araidne and Eames and plans the job. (Feel free to disagree)

If you do agree then we can get down to the few pieces of “evidence” that we can certainly argue. The following points are questions found on the internet regarding various questionable aspects of the film from various sites and issues/details I raise myself about the film in order to argue, dream or reality? 

·         THE DEAL - Was Saito truly powerful enough to make one phone call and end Cobb’s problems or was that just Cobb in limbo projecting his subconscious wish to go home? You can argue logistics all you want, but I believe if it’s said that Saito is a powerful and wealthy man and bought an entire airline on a whim (Which is done in our agreed reality and not dream world), then there’s reason enough to infer that he could bend the legal system for Cobb. Rich powerful people bend laws all the time all it takes is money which he shows us he has a lot of if you can just buy an airline.  

·         WHERE AM I? – Early in the film, when Cobb and Araidne are in a dream; Cobb says to Araidne ‘’ You always end up in the middle of events but can’t quite remember how you got there’’. Now I have brought this up for a perfectly valid reason. You see when people discuss the end of Inception they narrow their vision to simply the scene in the house with the two children and the Spinning top (Which I will address later). However they forget that if the house scene was a dream, if the children weren’t really there and the spinning top never stopped then how come we know how Cobb got there, it’s an inconsistency. Araidne couldn’t remember how she got to the Café, but Cobb came from the airport picked up by his dad Miles, remember?

·         THE PICKUP - Did Cobb’s father (Michael Caine) arrange to meet him at the airport or is he there because he’s Cobb’s projection? I’ve heard this argument and it’s pretty weak or you’re just reading too much into it. There is a phone on the plane Cobb could of call from, but more importantly Cobb and his team spent 3-6 months (If I remember correctly) planning an intricate heist of planting an idea in someone’s head via a series of dream levels so Saito could arrange for him to get back into America  . So arranging for airport pickup would probably be on the to-do list.

·         TILL DEATH DO US PART - In early dream scenes Cobb is wearing a wedding band that doesn’t appear in the “real world” scenes or the end scenes in the airport – does that mean the ending is “reality?” I believe that this fact is a strong indication that  a real world and that Cobb does live in it at times – such as when he isn’t wearing a wedding band.

·         TOTEM DOES IS AS TOTEM DOES - Does the fact that Cobb uses Mal’s totem mean It’s ruined and doesn’t work as a totem and therefore he never knows if he’s in reality or not? Crazy people, you cannot possibly know the answer to that question as it isn’t hinted or mentioned anywhere in the film that it possibly could happen. But I will justify it with an opinion in the form of an answer; the only people who know the weight and feel of that totem (Spinning Top) are Mal and Cobb, and since Mal is dead, Cobb is the only one left who knows the totem’s tactile details. So yes, he could certainly use it as a measure of reality, the totem was not “ruined” by him using it.

·         SPOT THE DIFFERENCE – This is definitely one of my favourite facts to prove my case, so listen up. At the end of the film Cobb’s kids seem to be the same age and are seemingly wearing the same clothes as they were in his memory (dream) of them – is it “proof” he’s still dreaming? Well for those of you who were paying close attention (And few of you there were) the end of the film Cobb’s kids are wearing similar outfits to the ones he remembers in his dream of memories, but their shoes are different. As for their ages: if you check IMDB, of course not that you would, there are actually two set of actors credited with playing Cobb’s kids. The daughter, Phillipa, is credited as being both 3 and 5 years old, while the son, James, is credited as being both 20 months and 3 years old. Which validates the 2 year gap Dom Cobb has been on the run from the law, while it might be subtle, there is a difference between the kids in Cobb’s memories and the kids Cobb comes home to. That would suggest the homecoming is in fact “reality”. Inception - IMDB

·         LIMBO, LIMBO, LIMBO! – Another argument I have seen is ‘Limbo’ (earlier explained as unconstructed dream space). People pose the question ‘’how did Dom and Saito get out of Limbo?’’. I find this sort of silly a question, as it is explained clear enough in the Dom and Mal train death scene. You kill yourself, simples! The problem with Limbo is you don’t know you’re in Limbo (Dreaming). Thus the place feels real even if it looks bizarre, to you it feels real and so you are very unlikely to commit suicide if you feel you are alive in reality. We know this because Dom had to go through the trouble of inception just to convince Mal they were in limbo (The spinning top in the safe). But they had no gun like Dom did at the end with Saito and so they used a train. The dialogue we hear with Saito and Dom is what reminds each other they are dreaming. "You remind me of someone... a man I met in a half-remembered dream. He was possessed of some radical notions." - Saito

·         THE TOTEM (SPINNING TOP) - Will the spinning top keep spinning or was it about to fall over just before Nolan cut to black? ‘’Sorry, we will never know for sure.’’ Not much of answer so here is my opinion.  For those of you who paid close attention the spinning top was talked about quite often, the most important discussion (Which took place in our agreed upon reality) was between Araidne and Cobb. Cobb said that when the Totem was spun it would slow down and fall over eventually, but in the dream world it would spin endlessly. He specifically uses the words ‘‘perpetual’’ and ‘’never falter’’ which means to say the Totem/Spinning top will continue to spin without wobbling, moving or even a shift of weight on any axes. At the beginning of the film, after the first job Cobb’s team tries to pull on Saito, we see Cobb sitting in his hotel room alone, spinning the top and watching it intently, gun in hand, ready to blow his brains out at the first sign of perpetual spinning, in order to “wake himself up.”.

But even still, even though I feel I have put up a top notch argument, each of us will take away a guess of some kind – But that’s the whole point of that final shot isn’t?

I hope you have found my analysis entertaining if not convincing. I believe I have covered a lot of the possible arguments one can make for the ending and the overall films nature. If there is anything I might have over looked or a different angle to which one can approach this film please do comment. I believe Dom made it back to reality and made it home to his children, do you?

‘’You mustn’t be afraid to dream a little bigger darling’’ – Eames

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Wednesday Night Quiz

Tonight I thought I’d swing back into action with a quiz, I think I will go with ‘Mr(s). X’, the quiz is simple, from the list of ten hints you have to guess who I am talking about, male or female, got it? Place your answers and the hint number you got it on as a comment. The objective is, obviously, to guess the answer in the least amount of Hints. There hints do not vary in difficulty they’re just facts, simple as that. You should by right get the correct answer after the tenth hint Good luck!

1) X was born in Burnley, Lancashire, England, though X spent most of early life in Wigan.

2) X won a scholarship to St Catharine's College, Cambridge and X’s first serious partner, Brian Taylor, a history teacher from Bolton.

3) X has starred alongside Stockard Channing, Donald Sutherland, Will Smith, Cate Blanchett, Orlando Bloom and Christopher Lee.

4) X’s breakthrough role for mainstream American audiences came with the modestly acclaimed Apt Pupil, based on a story by Stephen King

5) X received a 2007 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor - Comedy Series nomination for X’s performance.

6) X appears on the Scissor Sisters track "Invisible Light", from their 2010 album "Night Work".

7) X was a vampire in the music video "Heart" by Pet Shop Boys.

8) X was knighted in the 1991 New Year Honours for X’s outstanding work and contributions to theatre.

9) X won an Annie Award for Best Voice Acting in an Animated Feature Production in 2007

10) X's latest feature film is a comic book adaption

Google search is not allowed and no aids of any kind, and although I obviously can’t stop you, you will be lying to yourself (I couldn’t care less) and a film buff you are not. The answers will be revealed next quiz night.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Monday Review

Now that the Leaving Cert is behind us and my Summer is free due to the lack of jobs going, I thought it best to keep myself busy. Which is why I am glad to restart this reviewing blog. Anyone who has read my blog before, knows what it's about. I review films of my discretion at my leisure. To start my blog off I thought I'd post my review which won 'Cinemagic's Young Critic Competition'. Enjoy...

Fantastic Mr. Fox Review
Today, in an era of jaw-dropping special effects and larger-than-life tales of Greek Gods, superheroes and 3D creatures who oddly resemble Smurfs, we find a man called Wes Anderson. Wes, in his first sole venture into an animated universe, is having none of it. Wes instead, invites us to join him in his newly settled den, where old style stop-motion magic has occurred and tells us a story from our childhood, of three mean, old and cowardly men and a creature, a fantastic creature called Mr. Fox.

The Official Review On Film Irelands Website

The first time I read, the beautifully descriptive and creative ‘Fantastic Mr. Fox’ by Roald Dhal was in primary school, as part of world book day and my class had a read-a-thon in which everyone in my class had to read a book for each week of the read-a-thon to earn sponsorship. I’ll be honest; I only read one book, ‘Fantastic Mr. Fox’. But I read it every week. As a child, I never dreamt it would become a living filmic creation. On hearing that this would soon be made true by Wes Anderson, my heart soared at the thought and my head doubted the reality. It has taken him ten years to reach this point and so we shouldn’t be surprised that Wes has, with his pipe-cleaner animals, achieved a result that is so unique, charming and funny.

Fantastic Mr. Fox Official Trailer

The story starts and finishes with Mr. Fox’s (George Clooney) inability to settle down, in his ‘’mid-life crisis’’, as he — roping in his fool of a best friend, Rickity — plots a series of foolish raids on nearby farmers Boggis, Bunce and Bean (And Roald Dahl’s rhyme “one short, one fat, one lean”, that I sang for days on end). The consequence, and there are many, is that Mr. Fox will lose his tail (Terrifying thought when your eight) and the animal community will be left in disarray. Meanwhile, and here comes the Wes stuff, Mr. Fox also can’t connect with his self-centred cub, Ash (Jason Schwartzman), a situation made worse by the arrival of nephew and all-round top-fox at everything, including chicken robbery.

Such storytelling delight is not created by the technique of stop-motion animation. It is in the fusing of script and style that ingeniously conveys character, humour and a hint of nostalgia. Anderson and his astuteness along with his talented animators, make the carefree see-the-joints styles possess a finery of subtly about it. The creepy movement of the human characters Boggis, Bunce and Bean is visualised with wicked élan. Wes infuses the script effortlessly with the technique. George Clooney’s Mr. Fox is smarmy both in the actor’s unhurried delivery of his mid-life crisis and in silky texture, while Meryl Streep’s Mrs. Fox on the other hand, gentle with a softness in her voice even when her husband’s endeavours lead a never-ending tribulation of tricky situations. Although it is subtly old-fashioned and provoking for Dahl fans, but for a film so seemingly daft, it’s just as I dreamt it.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Amateur Filmmakers Guide

Welcome back, come to learn a little more about Filmmaking? It’s ‘The Amateur Filmmakers Guide’ Wednesday where I a long time amateur filmmaker who has made all the silly mistakes one has to do to get any good, ‘’learn from your mistakes’’ and that old saying. But what if you didn’t have to? What if someone could mark all those pitfalls with a big X, wouldn’t that be pretty handy, no?
If you answered yes to the following then listen up and listen well because if your serious about starting into filmmaking you got to nail the basics otherwise it’s like trying to learn French but not bothering to know the verbs and tenses.
This week we’ll be explaining all the basic film camcorders and their formats, avoiding those you won’t come across for at least a few years such as 16mm and 35mm (35mm is the God of film cameras and can cost over a hundred grand). But Have no fear if you pay close attention you won't be confused any longer!

Camcorder? That’s what records film, right?
Buying a camcorder can be a tough decision when you take into consideration all the options; price, quality, design, features and specifications, recording format and optional extras are all key factors to compare when deciding which video camera suits your needs best.
First up is the price. This is greatly affected by the specification of the camera and generally, is relative to the video quality captured by the camera. Video cameras can range from a few hundred dollars up to 2000+; the more you pay the better quality you are likely to get. But let’s face it; you haven’t got that kind of cash.
Specifications that greatly affect video quality are the size of the image sensor (the bigger the CCD or CMOS imager, the better but don’t worry yourself about that yet) and the effective video resolution. Other spec’s to note are the optical zoom range and whether or not the camera has image stabilization.
Many video cameras also produce decent digital stills. But are unfortunately rather expensive and a cheap digital camera would do just as well in its stead. Remember the camcorder should be chosen for its film recording capabilities
The design of the camcorder is also an important factor for most, and not just for aesthetics. Some camcorders, bulky or small may be easy to use, whilst other designs may simply be too difficult to navigate. Touch screens and small buttons help keep designs minimal but they may not be the most comfortable way to access menus and options. Some models compromise the size of the LCD in favour of more compact camera; others may completely do away the viewfinder.
Recording format and connectivity are also important; some video cameras come with a USB port for a direct connection to your PC, some record direct to DVD, others to hard drives, flash memory cards or older formats like MiniDV and Digital 8 tapes (A format I despise above all else). High quality video can be achieved with all of these formats however there are pro’s and con’s for each type.

Recording Formats
Probably the most popular recording medium, MiniDV’s are small tapes that measure 2.5 by 1.5 by 0.5 inches. They are relatively inexpensive and produce high quality video (Quality is debatable in comparison to the new digital camcorders). Depending on the quality of the camcorder, the video image can be more than 500 lines of horizontal resolution. It can also support High Definition, consumer and semipro camcorders that capture HD do so using MiniDV cassettes.
These cameras are equipped with, view finders, touch screen, and high quality in-built microphone along with the function for external mics (Two is the standard) and are considered superior for that reason.
However, Editing MiniDV requires a PC with a Firewire connection (not USB as is the more common these days), some editing software and a bit of patience. Despite the time consuming method of re-capturing your footage into the editing software (A long and time consuming process), MiniDV is widely supported by many video-editing and effects software. There is also a whole host of editing decks and other hardware products available to aid you’re editing.

Digital8 and Hi8
Digital8 models record high-quality DV-format video on analogue 8mm and Hi8 cassettes as well as dedicated Digital8 tapes. The Hi8 tapes are slightly bigger than MiniDV so they tend to be more bulky.
Digital8 enable digital video to be recorded on an analogue tape, however this cut recording time in half. A 120-minute Hi8 tape captures only 60 minutes of Digital8 video.
Like the MiniDV they can also deliver more than 500 lines of horizontal resolution producing high quality video; however as an obsolescent format there is a small and shrinking selection of camcorders available. But can also mean you’d find one for a cheap price.
MiniDVD records video direct to DVD and lets you take the disc and instantly view it on your DVD player. This is a great simple way to record and watch your home videos. You get easy searching and random access to video segments, a convenient and stable format for archiving and selectable image-quality levels including high-quality variable-bit-rate recording.
Mini-DVD camcorders record high-quality MPEG-2 footage directly to a mini DVD-R or DVD-RAM and can also deliver more than 500 lines of horizontal resolution. The downside is that the video recorded on DVD-R cannot be edited on a computer. MPEG-2 encoding generally compresses the footage so much that when you try to edit the resulting clips in a video editor, you risk adding artifacts (Bad Computer codes) that can degrade your video’s quality.
Recording times can be unpredictable using variable bit rates and also less reliable for live recording; as a single bad bit can render an entire disc of video unrecognizable.

Flash Memory and Hard Drive Camcorders

SD Flash Memory
Flash media cards (most commonly SD) have enabled manufacturers to design ever smaller camcorders. With cards ranging up to 4GB, it is now possible to record longer and better quality video than ever before using flash memory.
Hard Drive video cameras or better known as HDD may be slightly bigger than their flash memory brothers but they have the longest record times, 6 hours or more of video with better quality.
Unlike MiniDVD camcorders they store video using in a various encoding allowing simple drag and drop system and connect via USB. Because of this there is wide support from advanced video-editing and video-effects software.
The image-quality is selectable; there is increasing models for recording in High Definition but can cost in the thousands, clips are also easily archived and accessed and both video and still images can be recorded on one card/hard drive (instead of on a cassette and a memory card).
HDD and SD camcorders are the most commonly sold camcorders nowadays in shops such as Argos, Currys, Tesco and many more. They produce high quality images even at their low cost. If you intend to buy a MiniDV or Digital8 you will struggle to find ones on open market and will most likely have to buy online or second hand from EBay and such. Whatever your decision I hope you have at least a basic understanding of camcorders.

It’s a lot to take in and in an age of technological takeover it’s not a pleasant feeling knowing your new buy will be next week’s out of date model. I myself own a Sony Handycam HDD digital camcorder. It produces a high quality and is compact. It's a very nice start for any serious amateur filmmaker but lacks however in it's sound capabilities. The information is all there and I hope you enjoy searching for your camera.
Competitions for Young Filmmakers and Film
You could be the Cinemagic Young Film Critic of the Year. To enter the competition all you have to do is send a film review (not more than 500 words) on one of the films screened during Cinemagic 2010. There are a number of wonderful prizes to be won.

As part of Cinemagic Dublin we will be programming a short film competition that will see a young jury reviewing and critiquing new films from all over the world.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Big Tuesday Night Review

Alright everyone, let’s quit the chit chat and get down to business. Under the microscope this week; the new film release, Hot Tub Time Machine, a laugh out loud comedy, or so it says. Three DVDs I think would be best when curling up and chilling out on a Friday or Saturday night and if that’s a little too expensive you can find out what film I deem the best of what happens to be on TV that night as well. Up first though it’s:
The Film Review
Hot Tub Time Machine
Former best buds Adam (Cusack), Nick (Robinson) and Lou (Corddry) are reunited after Lou’s drunken antics are mistaken for a suicide attempt. To cheer themselves up they venture, along with Adam’s nephew Jacob (Duke), to the party town of their youth, but after a drunken night in a hot tub, wake up in 1986 (Shock and Awe!).

If you happen to have gone to the cinema last weekend, you would have been stuck with the Hot Tub Time Machine for comedy, a near two hour long piss-take of the genre of eighties feel-good films that is all but dead that you'll either be onboard with from the title alone, or dismiss it and see the latest Iranian drama about emotionally scarred goat herders (Four Lions). These R-rated comedies are spreading like wild fire (Hangover being the most successful) and Hot Tub is no different. Throwing out the stereotypical hook: the lovable college misfits are now middle-aged and get a little nostalgic. In this case, it’s depressed Adam (a well-cast John Cusack) and henpecked Nick (Craig Robinson), while ass of the group Lou (Rob Corddry) brings them all together when he winds up in A&E.

With that, they decide to head for the place of their happiest memories, dragging along Adam’s basement-dwelling, technology-obsessed teenage nephew, Jacob (Clark Duke, A character to lead those who happen to be born on the later side of the ’80s) along for the ride. The town they once spent their wildest nights, now lacking so much in life it couldn’t host a funeral. The go off the deep end in a night of irresponsible drinking, only to awaken on a date in 1986 that was crucial to all of them. (Go figure!)

A concept that would have been, and on hearing it myself, should have been rejected hands down to be sure, but it works beautifully up on screen, which you should almost expect given Cusack and director Steve Pink’s previous collaborations are Grosse Point Blank and High Fidelity. Of course, they’ve made sure Hot Tub’s story has heart while playing effortlessly with its own impossibility, and amazingly the jokes are even funny enough and bountiful enough to keep you laughing right through.

Hot Tub Time Machine R-rated Trailer

The big win, though, is the foursome’s terrific energy, which holds all of the script’s wildly disparate ideas together and even make the most obvious jokes funny. Robinson and Duke are well casted, and while it’s fantastic to see Cusack back doing all-out comedy, and Rob Corddry, who has to make horrible jerk Lou likable and funny.

Of course, they can’t all be winners, and the jokes every now and then miss the mark and are meet with awkward silences from the audience. It’s also, quite understandably, that being a eighties style film it is slanted towards a particular generation or two — if you’re too young to see the gag potential in an energy drink called Chernobyl carelessly left lying around, then you might miss a few gags and then again if your well informed enough on your history you just might catch them all. But despite the eighties jokes here and there, Hot Tub miraculously manages to survive this without leaving anyone behind; this is a comprehensive comedy for all ages but will of course suit those from 1990 back.

It’s bizarre to think that such a bluntly named film with a stereotypical script, even with its imaginative high concept, can make you laugh throughout. I believe it is the foursome of leads on electric form that makes this the best-blunt-dumb-fun-film of the year (now that is a mouthful).

The DVD Choices of the Week
-          Where The Wild Things Are (PG)
        The story follows Max, a young boy who wears his wolf suit, behaves badly and is sent to bed without any supper. Once there, he escapes to a forest where he is joined by the monstrous-yet-cuddly wild things for their wild rumpus.

A film that will bring out the inner child in even the most hardened of hearts, and let it run wild. 

-          A Scanner Darkly (15)
Anaheim, California, the near future. Bob Arctor (Reeves), an addict to the drug Substance D, is actually an undercover cop out to bust the D network. Bob’s bosses, who don’t know his cover story, order him to spy on himself, causing his grip on reality to be shaken by his schizoid way of life.

Although its clever posterizing effect is bizarre looking and curious it can become a series of dizzy pictures to the viewer so beware. However, its intelligent writing and cinematography makes it near-essential viewing.

-          Nowhere Boy (15)
        Liverpool, 1955. When teenage rebel John Lennon (Johnson) learns that his aunt Julia (Duff) is actually his biological mother, he finds his loyalties divided. He finds an escape from domestic pressures in his growing passion for music.

Nowhere Boy finds relative entertainment and drama, in Lennon’s legend. It’s not essential viewing and but entertaining nonetheless.

The TV Film choices For Friday/Saturday
Friday 14th May
-          Red Dragon – TV3, 22:00
(2002, Detective/Thriller) The FBI agent who first captured Hannibal Lecter is called out of retirement to catch a demented murderer dubbed the Tooth Fairy, who slaughters a family whenever there is a full moon - forcing the detective to draw on the imprisoned cannibal's expertise. Thriller prequel adapted from the first of Thomas Harris's Lecter novels, starring Anthony Hopkins, Edward Norton, Ralph Fiennes and Philip Seymour Hoffman.

-          The Island – ITV2, 21:00
(2005, Science Fiction) The naive survivors of an apparent ecological disaster work, rest and play inside their utopian sealed community in the year 2019, each hoping to win a ticket to an idyllic island in a regular lottery draw. However, a curious inhabitant discovers the restricted society is a facade shielding a sinister cloning operation and is determined to escape. Sci-fi thriller, starring Ewan McGregor, Scarlett Johansson, Sean Bean and Steve Buscemi. Including Entertainment News Update.

Saturday 8th May
-          Die Hard – Channel 4, 21:00
(1988, Action) New York cop John McClane is in LA to visit his wife and kids over the Christmas holiday. Stopping off at his wife's place of work - an office in a Japanese-owned skyscraper - he finds the building hijacked by terrorists, who are holding the corporation's staff to ransom - and only he has the ability to fight back. Action thriller, starring Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman and Bonnie Bedelia.

-          Saturday Night Fever – Channel 4, 23:35
(1977, General Movie/Drama) A streetwise Brooklyn teenager struggles to cope with a dead end job and a dysfunctional family, but finds an escape in the disco scene, where he falls in love with a girl dreaming of breaking free from her equally poor background to pursue a brighter future in Manhattan, Drama, starring John Travolta, Karen Lynn Gorney and Paul Pape, and featuring songs by the Bee Gees.

-          Armageddon – TG4, 22:00
(1998, Space/Thriller) NASA discovers an asteroid the size of Texas is on a collision course with Earth, so a drilling expert is recruited to train up a team of misfits, who will transport a nuclear device into outer space to destroy it - but having had no training in space travel, the reluctant astronauts find themselves seriously out of their depth. Sci-fi thriller, with Bruce Willis, Ben Affleck, Liv Tyler, Michael Clarke Duncan, Billy Bob Thornton and Steve Buscemi.

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Monday Night Quiz

It’s Monday and the quiz just gets that little bit harder every time. This week’s quiz is ‘What the Blank!’ and as its name suggests its famous lines and quotes from famous films with one or more words missing. It will test your film knowledge as you try to solve them. Don’t try judge the size of the word missing by the size of the blank because as you will quickly notice, they’re all the same size.  Listen very carefully to the rules and enjoy.

The Rules & Scoring System:
1. There is no use of Google, visual aids or referring to books etc. All answers must come from your own general Knowledge.

2. There is 60 points on offer; 10 films and 15 blanks. The film is worth 3 points and each individual blank is worth 2 points.

4. Scoring goes as so:  0-15  Poor, 15-25  Pretty bad, 25-35  Alright/Room for improvement, 35-45 Decent, 45-55 Know your stuff, 55-60  Film Buff.

1)      "All right, Mr.                       . I'm ready for my close-up."

2)      "It wasn't the                         . It was Beauty killed the                       ."

3)      "Goooood morning,                       !"

4)      "Get your                         ' paws off me, you damn dirty                       !"

5)      "That's mighty brave talk for a                     -                     fat man."

6)      " Kid - the next time I say, 'Let's go someplace like                    ,' let's go someplace like

7)      "Love means never having to say you're                        ."

8)      "A                           taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice

9)      "Here's looking at you                        ."

10)   "Forget it,                        , it’s Chinatown."

The answers will be posted next Monday night.
Last Mondays Answer: Wes Anderson