In Retrospect - Issue 11

Page 1

Contents: 3-9:

Reviews of this month’s film....


6-7 10-11:

On DVD this month...


A list of DVD releases for this June


In cinema next month...


A list of films set to be released in July



Editor’s Note:

Journalist and Editor: Charlie Derry:

Just a couple of reviews this month as life seems to have gotten in the way. But with university now over, hopefully these issues will start getting a bit thicker again!

Designer and Art Director: Mikie Daniel:


Reviews of this month’s film...


Snow White And Directed by Rupert Sanders, Snow White And The Huntsman is the latest in a series of childhood fairytale re-imaginings. Based on the classic Brothers Grimm tale Snow White and The Seven Dwarves, the film follows the story of a Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) who is ordered to find and kill the princess of the realm, Snow White (Kristen Stewart), who has run into the haunted woods after escaping being locked up by the Evil Queen (Charlize Theron), a sorceress whose dark magic has immersed the kingdom into complete despair. The Huntsman, however, finds himself becoming Snow White’s protector, as they meet seven dwarves on their quest through the forest and begin to conspire a plan to defeat the Evil Queen for good. As the second re-telling for the Snow White story this year, Snow White And The Huntsman

Release Date: 30th May 2012


Rupert Sanders

Famous Faces:

Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth, and Charlize Theron


is undoubtedly the better of the two. A much darker and less child-friendly take on the story compared to Tarsem Singh‘s family adventure Mirror Mirror which was released in April earlier this year, Snow White And The Huntsman comes much closer to the original and legendary Brothers Grimm tale. As Sanders directorial debut, this epic film is a big step for the director but he pulls it off superbly. The most noticeable quality is the brilliant special effects that have a great contrast from nightmarish scenes to ones of pure fairytale elegance. Reminding me in places of Guillermo del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth, everything from the costumes to the man-made sets are impressive and it really does bring the story alive. At first I was worried that the film

would come close to Tim Burton’s Alice In Wonderland retelling, which for me didn’t work despite its great casting, but fortunately it is far from it. One of the main things that didn’t work, however, which can be said for the other Snow White re-telling too, was the romantic undercurrent of the film. Whilst the romance could have worked in two ways here – first with the Huntsman himself, and then secondly with Snow White’s childhood friend William (Sam Claflin) – the film only attempted to make it work with these male characters, and ultimately


The Huntsman didn’t with either of them. For me it was the character of William that messed this romantic possibility up. Whether or not this was a complete misjudgment on my part, I found myself thinking that William was actually Snow White’s brother, which left me feeling like I was watching some rather uncomfortable scenes of incest. Again, I may be alone in missing the detailing of their relationship, but I felt that his character was too underwritten to fit into the story well enough as a whole as well as to form a romantic connection that the audience would care about.

Creating further problems, his character then got in the way of a possible romantic connection to blossom with Snow White and the Huntsman, which was the film’s biggest missed opportunity. Stewart and Hemsworth getting together was something all of the audience were hoping for, I think, but there was a huge lack of sexual chemistry between the two characters and it was all left very much unresolved. It’s a shame that this development was wasted as this would have given the film some well-needed sexiness. As for Kristen Stewart herself, she filled another great heroine role here, and even

pulled off a decent English accent. For many viewers her casting probably wasn’t appreciated by all due to the controversies of her role in Twilight, but I have always enjoyed her acting abilities. My only criticism would be that in places her character did come close to that of Bella Swan so it was a little cringe-worthy, but on a whole she did manage to play Snow White rather well. Chris Hemsworth was also great for the hunky male protagonist, although his Scottish accent was a bit dodgy in places. Still, they made a great casting combination, aside from the lack of sexual chemistry mentioned, and it’s this that makes this latest re-telling stand out. However, it was Charlize Theron that stole the show. Giving a much less panto performance than Julia Roberts in Mirror Mirror, Theron instead gives a real evil portrayal of the Queen who is strong and powering throughout. For me, it was the casting of Theron that made the film work so well. The dwarves, too, were brilliantly cast, consisting of Ian McShane, Bob Hoskins, Johnny Harris, Toby Jones, Eddie Marsan, Ray Winstone, Nick Frost and Brian Gleeson. This bundle of great British talent was a great inclusion, and it is sure to get you excited for Peter Jackson‘s The Hobbit later this year.


P rometheus 6

Directed by Ridley Scott, Prometheus follows a pair of archaeologists, Dr. Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and Dr. Charlie Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green), who discover a star map to the origins of mankind on Earth. Boarded on a ship called Prometheus that is run by Captain Janek (Idris Elba), android David (Michael Fassbender) and Meredith (Charlize Theron), a team of explorers are lead a journey to the darkest corners of the universe where age-old questions are answered and new horrors force the team to face a terrifying battle to save the future of the human race. A sort-of-prequel to Scott’s 1979 classic sci-fi horror Alien, Prometheus is the fifth film in the Alien franchise but the first in linear terms. Whilst not a direct prequel, leaving room for more prequels to continue, the film is set in the same universe and it does explain some of Alien‘s premise. Still set in the future, Prometheus has a brilliant design. With new technologies and better effects we can now explore this at a much better quality. And this is the great thing about the film – it is absolutely visually stunning. The first half an hour of the 3D at least are incredible, and the CGI is pretty seamless throughout. Including many nods to the original film that fans will be able to take note of, Prometheus is also able to work as a stand-alone film which means that you don’t need any beforehand knowledge to enjoy it. One of the main criticisms, however, has been the poor script, but this wasn’t something that I even picked up on. Scott really does immerse

you into this universe and because of this I wasn’t trying to find any faults, I was just enjoying the journey. From a non-Alien fan point of view, the film was really fluid in terms of story line and detail and whilst I was left a little confused it wasn’t too difficult to piece it altogether afterwards. It wasn’t enough to ruin the experience, anyway, and as we all already know, the blu-ray release of the film will be the director’s cut which will have an additional 30 minutes runtime, so if you’re a little confused about something or distressed that something significant was missed out, then just wait for the blu-ray release to fill in the gaps. What I enjoyed most was the suspense, and it’s this fear that Scott has always managed to create with his Alien films. Whilst nothing was particularly scary about the film, though it should have definitely been more than a 15, I found myself constantly squirming in my seat, and this is what I love about the Alien franchise. The cast was the first thing that attracted me to the film, however. Noomi Rapace is brilliant as Dr. Elizabeth Shaw, as she really expresses the intense admiration that her character has. Is she the franchises new Sigourney Weaver? It seems that she will be ready to lead another prequel if there were to be one, and I would look forward to seeing that. Her relationship with Logan Marshall-Green’s character is another strong part of the film, as this creates a great background story that adds another layer to the film. Charlize Theron and Idris Elba

are brilliant leads too. Elba, especially, added a personality to the film and he was great as the ship’s captain, whilst Theron, as always, excels with her fiery presence. It was Fassbender’s role that elevated the film though. His role as robot David was magnificent and his acting really carried the film through. There was a decent backing cast too, including Sean Harris, Rafe Spall, Emun Elliott, and Benedict Wong. A personally favourite was the inclusion of Emun Elliott who is currently known for his role in BBC Three’s lesbian TV drama Lip Service. It was great to see the actor in a feature film in comparison to this fairly small and not very well-known drama, whilst he did also appear in season one of Game Of Thrones. Despite all the criticisms, Prometheus is one of my favourite films this year. We all went in with very high expectations and I was fortunate to be one of few that wasn’t let down by what I saw. The story was intriguing, the actors were all brilliant, and the film managed to captivate me both with fear and memorisation.

Release Date: 1st June 2012

Director: Ridley Scott

Famous Faces:

Noomi Rapace, Logan Marshall-Green, Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron, and Idris Elba


Friends With Kids Written by, produced by, directed by and starring Jennifer Westfeldt, Friends With Kids follows two best friends – Jason (Adam Scott) and Julie (Westfeldt) – who decide to have a child together while keeping their relationship platonic. Their aim is to avoid the toll kids can take on romantic relationships, as witnessed with their best friends Ben (Jon Hamm – Westfeldt’s real-life partner) and Missy (Kristen Wiig), and Leslie (Maya Rudolph) and Alex (Chris O’Dowd), but will it be as easy as they had planned? When Jason meets Mary Jane (Megan Fox) and Julie meets Kurt (Edward Burns), it seems like it may just work out for the couple.


As Westfeldt’s directorial debut, Friends With Kids is a solid and very pleasing comedy that hits the nail right on the head. The film is very real – the script, the acting, the relationships, and the emotions are all relatable and believable – and whilst

“Westfeldt’s script brings some real originality to the scenario.” it is a typical adult rom-com, it deals with a subject that is often questioned but rarely looked at in film. I’ve not many read good

reviews about this film yet but there was something about it that I personally really enjoyed. I liked that we were given a number of different relationships to focus on rather than just the main couple, which reminded me of one of my favourite rom-coms, The Last Kiss. Because of this, we were given three different couples to get to know and understand and we could see the different ways that they dealt with starting up a family. I also liked that it wasn’t cliché. Whilst it contains a plot twist that you would guess from the trailer alone, Westfeldt’s script brings some real originality to the scenario.

The cast, as well, is brilliant. Starring four actors from the Bridesmaids cast – Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Chris O’Dowd and Jon Hamm – it’s fair to say that they know how to work together and get a reaction from the audience. Chris O’Dowd was my favourite addition to the cast, but it was the main couple, Westfeldt and Scott, that I really came to enjoy. The duo have a really good chemistry on-screen together which appears unforced and natural, and because of this you do find yourself rooting for the inevitable twist in plot and a final happy ever after. Westfeldt didn’t have the most solid performance and it was quite difficult to relate to her character in places, although I am now a fan of hers after

this film, but Scott was always there to pick things up again. His character was by far the most enjoyable in the film and it was through his role that came most of the laughs. There were a few surprises in the casting as well. Kelly Bishop, the grandmother from Gilmore Girls, was the first. Whilst her role was very small role, I felt that she really fit in with the rest of the cast. The biggest surprise, however, was that Megan Fox fit into her role really well too. From seeing the film’s trailer month’s ago I never imagined that her inclusion would have done much for me, but she was actually pretty brilliant and her role added a sense of seriousness to the film on a whole. The only one annoyance I have is that there is a lot

of baby talk, which at times can get quite irritating, but other than that I found myself laughing along and feeling for the characters all the way through. Friends With Kids may not be a ground-breaking comedy but it is thoroughly enjoyable, and it’s a great first work all-around by Westfeldt.

Release Date: 29th June 2012


Jennifer Westfeldt

Famous Faces:

Jennifer Westfeldt, Adam Scott, Maya Rudolph, Jon Hamm, Kristen Wiig, Chris O’Dowd, Megan Fox and Edward Burns


On DVD this month...


June DVD Releases: The Woman In Black Date: 18th June An adaptation of Susan Hill‘s novel of the same name, Daniel Radcliffe plays Arthur Kipps, a young lawyer in the 1900s who sets about to uncover the truth of a mysterious ghost set on vengeance dressed all in black.

Young Adult Date: 25th June

Carnage Date: 18th June

Charlize Theron is a writer of teen literature who hasn’t quite gotten over high school, as she returns to her hometown after her divorce to try to rekindle a romance with her ex-boyfriend, who is now married with kids.

Based on the critically acclaimed play God of Carnage by French playwright Yasmina Reza, two pairs of parents discuss their sons’ behaviour after being involved in a fight at school.

The Vow Date: 15th June A car accident puts Paige (Rachel McAdams) in a coma, and when she wakes up with severe memory loss, her husband Leo (Channing Tatum) works to win her heart again.

A Dangerous Method Date: 15th June A look at how the intense relationship between Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud gives birth to psychoanalysis, starring Michael Fassbender, Keira Knightley and Viggo Mortensen.

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel Date: 25th June British retirees travel to India to take up residence in what they believe is a newly restored hotel. Less luxurious than its advertisements, the Marigold Hotel nevertheless slowly begins to charm in unexpected ways.


In cinemas next month...


July Cinema: The Amazing Spider-Man Date: 3rd July Featuring Andrew Garfield in the lead role, Marc Webb’s reboot of Marvel’s web-slinging superhero follows Peter Parker’s journey to put the pieces of his past together he uncovers a secret that his father held.

The Dark Knight Rises Date: 20th July

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World Date: 13th July

Seeing the return of Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne, aka The Batman, we see the dark-suited superhero take on his biggest and fiercest nemesis yet, Bane (Tom Hardy).

Neighbours Dodge (Steve Carell) and Penny (Keira Knightley) with only three weeks to live due to an impending asteroid head on a trip to find Dodge’s high school sweetheart.

Magic Mike Date: 11th July Centring on a cocky nonentity (Alex Pettyfer) after finding a job at risqué club Xquisite, he is taken under the wing of a more experienced colleague (Channing Tatum) and taught the art of stripping.

The Lorax Date: 27th July

Ice Age: Continental Drift Date: 13th July

a computer-animated 3D film based on Dr. Seuss‘ children’s book of the same name. A 12-year-old boy searches for the one thing that will enable him to win the affection of the girl of his dreams.

Manny, Diego, and Sid embark upon another adventure after their continent is set adrift. Using an iceberg as a ship, they encounter sea creatures and battle pirates as they explore a new world.