In Retrospect - Issue 21

Page 1

Contents: 3-19:

Reviews of this month’s film....










On DVD this month...


What’s being released on DVD this April


In cinema next month...


What’s being released in cinemas next May



Charlie Derry @charliederry

Daniel Prinn @DanielPrinn

Editor’s Note: Here it is!


Paul Weedon @Twotafkap

Reviews of this month’s film...


The Place Beyond The Pines Directed by Derek Cianfrance, The Place Beyond The Pines follows a motorcycle stunt rider, Luke (Ryan Gosling) who turns to robbing banks when he finds out that he has a new-born child with his old lover Romina (Eva Mendes). Whilst everything goes to plan for a while, as his heist partner Robin threatens, “If you ride like lightning, you’re going to crash like thunder.” Luke’s decision soon renders him the target of an ambitious rookie cop, Avery (Bradley Cooper), and a department ruled by the corrupt detective Deluca (Ray Liotta), as the two become locked on a tense collision course which will have a devastating impact on both of their families in the years following. Split into three acts, The Place Beyond The Pines spans two generations with Act 1 focusing on Luke (Gosling), Act 2 focusing on Avery (Cooper), and Act 3, set 15 years later, focusing on Jason (Dane DeHaan). If there’s one thing for certain it’s that Derek Cianfrance knows how to tell a story. Just like his directorial predecessor Blue Valentine, one of my favourite films of all time which also starred Gosling in the lead role, The Place Beyond The Pines has a powerful, ruthlessly realistic and deeply detailed plot, this time focusing on the relationship between


fathers and sons. Each act has its strengths, but this somewhat fragmented approach is what prevented me from giving the film the five stars I gave Blue Valentine. The Place Beyond The Pines just isn’t as coherent, peaking in its first act, ending with a bold turning point you wouldn’t have predicted from the trailers alone, and moving into the middle act at too slow of a pace to keep the same impact that it was building up to. Instead, this middle act is what bridges the gap between each of the three stories. Albeit proving that script for this film would have been detailed down to every last breath of air, it also leaves you worrying where the story will go from here. I guess it was always going to be hard to follow Gosling’s lead as he is what would have enticed most of us into seeing this film at all, so for me, without giving away any spoilers, this is what breaks the story up so adversely. Fortunately, Act 2 picks up towards the end and the third act concludes the film just as well as the first act opens it, but the small pit stop in the middle does put a momentary pause on Cianfrance’s brilliant filmmaking approach. What prevents this from becoming too much of a distraction, however, is the brilliant performances given throughout. Having worked

with Gosling before, Cianfrance certainly knows how to get the best out of him as an actor. His brutally honest performances are constantly heart breaking and, even though he has a similar character to the one he did in Drive, with a role and jacket just as iconic, it’s amazing how he still manages to create a completely different persona. I haven’t met anybody that hasn’t been blown away by one of his performance over the past couple of years, and if you’re yet to be impressed then this is definitely the film to see. Especially as it’s one of the last appearances we will be seeing from Gosling his acting for a while to come. *holds back the tears* Surprisingly though it isn’t all about Gosling, and the film holds up just as well when his handsome face isn’t the focus of the camera. Eva Mendes, especially, is sensational, more than I could have ever imagined (it’s no wonder Gosling took a fancy to her whilst filming), and Dane DeHaan gives a performance just as powerful. DeHaan is definitely one to watch, but we knew that after last year’s Chronicle, but I think the same can also said be Mendes now, as I hope to see some better roles from her to come out of this. Another quality to Cianfrance’s work is that his films always look stunning.

The camera work is fantastic throughout, beginning with an over the shoulder shot scene of Luke entering his motorcycle show room to introduce his character perfectly. The camera work does get a little shaky at times but this works incredibly when Luke is on his bike, as the contrasts of the camera movement help to adjust the tone. From the colour pallet to the intersected location shots, this time around the film also has a lovely soundtrack. With a subtle score running in a few of the most memorable scenes, the film also uses a great selection of songs, leaving me sat unmoved in my chair when the final credits start to roll as it ends beautifully with Bon Iver‘s

The Wolves (Act I and II). Whilst I was, at first, left with doubts as to whether I fully enjoyed The Place Beyond The Pines or not (it was always going to be 4 stars, at least, but I didn’t know how much that middle act influenced my overall view), after sleeping on it I have to agree that this is another masterpiece by Cianfrance. That final half a star may be missing in my rating but this is still a film I can’t wait to own.

Written by Charlie Derry @charliederry

Release Date: 12th April 2013


Derek Cianfrance

Famous Faces:

Ryan Gosling, Eva Mendes, Bradley Cooper and Dane DeHaan


Oblivion Jack (Tom Cruise) is one of the last drone repairmen remaining on Earth. All other survivors have evacuated, after a decades-long war with an alien race called the Scavs, where now the only threat are the remaining Scavs on Earth. After a disturbing find, Jack begins to question what he knows about his mission and himself. The movie has a lot of good going for it. The characters are intriguing, where they make us ask who some of them really are. The characters of Julia and also Beech, portrayed by Olga Kurylenko and Morgan Freeman, respectively, are the characters wrapped in the most mystery. Sally (Melissa Leo) is the head honcho up at the space station, the


Tet, who basically delivers and authenticates orders. Victoria (Andrea Risenborough) is on the mission with Jack, and she monitors him while he’s on missions to fix drones. Her philosophy is strictly business during the day, and fun in the evening. Jack often maintains that mind-set while on missions, even though the curious Jack tends to go off monitor and do his own thing. He still believes Earth is his home, while Victoria cannot wait to go to the Tet and join the others. Jack’s search for meaning gives the film a solid narrative and makes it an effective character sci-fi drama, where all the dots are connected in the end. He has to find his way through basic man vs. man conflicts, man vs.

technology conflicts, and most of all, man vs. self conflicts, as he is haunted by his own memories. The cast that portrays these characters is top-notch. The other highlight of the movie are the solid action sequences, the breathtaking landscapes and fantastic cinematography. This will be one of the most beautiful science fiction films to hit theatres this year, and is the nicest scifi to look at since last year’s Prometheus. It’s stunning when the camera is sailing over Iceland or when Cruise is just flying about; and that magnificent cinematography is the film’s strongest aspect. It’s one of the most gorgeous post-apocalyptic films you might ever see. The film also has a great score, and the technological gadgets are sh-weet. The movie’s main problem is

the storyline. The narrative all makes an admirable U-turn by the end of it all, but its road there can be hard to follow. Especially if one overthinks it during. (You’d be thinking about the previous scene when a new, sometimes more complex scene is going on.) It’s also one of those sci-fi flicks that’ll be easier to understand on second or third viewing. The story also makes us question who the true villains are: Those on Earth (the Scavs, who look a bit too much like the antagonists from Predator), or whoever else is keeping secrets from almost everyone involved? The story is intriguing but it loses its pacing and its initial great spark in the middle act. It aspires to be something grandiose in scale with its complex storyline, but comes out to be unoriginal and quite familiar because of all of its homages.

The writers’ ambitions get in the film’s own way. The thing is, with all of its plot twists and turns, it feels like it’s striving to be something out of an M. Night Shyamalan or Christopher Nolan handbook. The twists aren’t magnificent, because it feels like it’s striving to find the next new masterful twist that will never be forgotten. You might not be able to see them coming from the beginning of the movie, but many times during, you’ll probably be able to predict the basics of what will happen next a minute in advance. This disappointing sci-fi feature will only receive a halfhearted recommendation; there’s just too much to be desired. There are effectively thrilling action sequences, breathtakingly beautiful cinematography, intriguing characters; but because of the highly ambitious storyline, the end product is an entertaining action movie, an intriguing sci-fi character drama, but a thinly-written mystery.

Release Date: 19th April 2013


Joseph Kosinski

Famous Faces:

Tom Cruise, Morgan Freeman, and Olga Kurylenko

Written by Daniel Prinn @DanielPrinn


Written by Paul Weedon @Twotafkap

g n i r p S s r e k a e Br 8

What do three former teen stars, a Britney Spears power ballad and rapper Gucci Mane have in common? It might sound like the setup for a ridiculously indulgent pop culture joke and, had you asked that question two years ago, you’d have been rightly laughed out of the room. Ask it today, however, and the answer, bizarrely, would be a luridly titillating slice of maverick cinema. This is, after all, a Harmony Korine film – a man whose entire output up to this point has been anything but conventional and a director who steadfastly refuses to play ball with Hollywood, abiding entirely by his own warped vision. Spring Breakers is, if anything, the ultimate ode to party culture: a colossal “fuck you” to typical teen movie tropes, audience expectations and Hollywood conventions in general. By turns, it also happens to be its director’s most accessible film to date, partly because of its A-list cast, which boasts the finest performance James Franco has given in years, but also by virtue of its ostensive conceit. What initially sets the tone as a mere a celebration of hazy debauchery – something that those lurid establishing frames do with effortless zeal – soon veers wildly off message, descending in to something

that represents more of a nightmarish existential crime caper than a simple advocation of teenage rebellion. Korine’s film is littered with ironic sentiment from the outset, playing up to the glossy have-it-all excesses of Generations Y and Z, whilst simultaneously lampooning them altogether. It’s difficult to tell whether Korine is using his film to admonish the party scene or explore the experiences he openly admits to having missed out on in his youth. Whatever his intentions might be, Spring Breakers never once gives way to scathing critiques or in depth analysis of social ills as its party loving characters are suddenly plunged into a seedy criminal underworld. Korine is far too busy having a blast to care about subtext, and the experience is all the more enjoyable because of it. With its social commentary languishing somewhere at the bottom of a bottle of Jack Daniels and its brash aesthetics likely to split audiences down the middle from the outset, Spring Breakers is a film unquestionably destined for cult status. Meanwhile, the bold casting of Vanessa Hudgens, Selena Gomez and Ashley Benson, alongside with Korine’s wife, Rachel, further compounds the chaos - three

clean-cut Disney Channel poster girls laid bare (quite literally, for the most part) ready for the expectations of their naïve teenage fan base to be exploited and wildly subverted for maximum effect. The end result is an inexplicably effective cocktail of sex, violence and bubblegum pop. Brash, provocative and utterly unashamed of everything it represents, Korine has crafted a film that may very well come to be the definitive party movie of a generation – one that makes no apologies whatsoever for its inexorably cynical depiction of youthful excess and one that Disney execs will likely shudder at the thought of. Korine may be drunk, but if he’s buying the next round we’re not going anywhere.

Release Date: 5th April 2013


Harmony Korine

Famous Faces:

Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens, and James Franco


Iron Man 3 The latest superhero film to be released by Marvel Studios and directed by Shane Black, Iron Man 3 is the seventh instalment in the Marvel Cinematic. Sequel to both the Iron Man films and the recent Avengers Assemble, the film picks up after the events of Loki’s invasion with a haunted Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) who, struggling to sleep, is having problems with his girlfriend Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) and is forced to sit back and watch his friend Colonel James Rhodes (Don Cheadle) take on the responsibilities of America’s iron-suited hero. When two old scientist associates, Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce) and Maya Hansen (Rebecca Hall), come back into his life, however, his personal world is destroyed as a threat from the terrorist The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley) means that Tony must embark on a harrowing quest to find those responsible, leading him


to answer the question that has secretly consumed him: does the man make the suit or does the suit make the man? The first major release since Joss Whedon’s hugely successful crossover film Avengers Assemble, it was always going to be interesting to see how these individual stories would follow, and, in the end, whether we would miss the rest of The Avengers team or not. Personally, The Avengers didn’t even cross my mind, so much so that the constant references to an alien invasion in New York city last summer confused me. Iron Man 3 is a perfect followup to both of its predecessors, working as a confident solo return for Tony Stark but also as a step back to get us interested in the individual characters themselves again. A large part of Iron Man 3‘s success is because of director Shane Black. As only his second film behind the camera, with his directorial debut Kiss Kiss

Bang Bang, also starring RDJ, being one of my favourite films, Iron Man 3 consists of many of Black’s brilliant film-making traits, the biggest being the way he combines action and comedy. Having co-written the script, Iron Man 3 is by far the funniest yet, probably even more so than The Avengers. Full of the sarcastic wit that we find so lovable about Tony Stark, the film is constantly hilarious, but another quality that Black manages to develop better is some of the relationships. By this, I especially mean Stark’s friendship with Rhodes, which was definitely something that needed to be worked on with the change of actors in the first two films. Just like the bromance Black directed between RDJ and Val Kilmer in KKBB, there was finally a relationship to enjoy between the two characters, which is what helped to bring a lot of the final scenes together. The biggest way that Iron

Man 3 differs, however, and a big contrast to Iron Man 2, which was seen as a bit of a flop to many superhero fans, not that I would agree, is that it puts more of a focus on Tony Stark himself rather than Iron Man. Whilst we’ve seen Iron Man fly confidently around in his iron suit for the first two films, this time around the billionaire playboy has taken a bit of a kick in the self-esteem. With his character stripped bare, we’re now made to feel sorry for Stark, something that seemed impossible to do beforehand. Not only because of the writing, this was also made possible because RDJ has taken on the role of Iron Man better than any other superhero, as it definitely seems like a character he was made for. This change of focus meant that we could better engage with the film, and it’s what also puts it back on par with the efforts of the first film. More so, this third instalment also sees one of the best villains in the Marvel Universe. It’s hard to go into detail without giving away any spoilers, but both Guy Pearce and Ben

Kingsley are incredible in their own ways. Kingsley’s character, especially, gives the films one of its better twists. The way the story progressed was one of the qualities that impressed me most; at first I was worried that the trailers had ruined too much, but after seeing the film it was hard to believe how little they actually showed. There was so much that wasn’t even hinted at, as the film takes many different turning points to avoid being The Dark Knight Rises rip off that the trailers made it out to be, that the run time runs smoothly with how much actually happens. Taking more of a sci-fi turn, as well, this was something I struggled with at first as it was a huge difference compared to the somewhat believable first two films, but after Avengers Assemble, this latest instalment definitely needed to go that little bit further. This also allowed for some brilliant CGI moments, as the action scenes were some of the best in the franchise. As always, these scenes were also accompanied by a fantastic soundtrack, opening with a

song that reminds you why the Iron Man films are probably the best of the Marvel Universe straight away. The films have always been known for its rock anthems rather than its impressive score, but there’s a decent combination of them both this time around. All in all, it’s definitely the best Iron Man film yet, and my second favourite Marvel film after Avengers Assemble itself. But will there be an Iron Man 4? We can only hope.

Written by Charlie Derry @charliederry Release Date: 25th April 2013

Director: Shane Black

Famous Faces:

Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Guy Pearce and Ben Kingsley


Promised Land A salesman for a natural gas company experiences lifechanging events after arriving in a small town, where his corporation wants to tap into the available resources. This environmental drama reunites Good Will Hunting star Matt Damon and director Gus Van Sant. While it has the same good acting and fine direction, it doesn’t quite have the best characters or writing. Thus proving Ben Affleck’s writing was one heck of a contribution to Good Will Hunting’s screenplay. The characters in this feature are simple and generic. Damon’s character of Steve Butler is decent, but his beliefs are distorted throughout the feature. He goes through a roller coaster of emotions where he tells the people one thing, but he thinks something else. However, that character

change is necessary for the screenplay because his soul is supposed to be changed and touched by the people themselves. Sue Thomason (Frances McDormand) is a fairly uninteresting character merely established as a mother on a business trip who just really wants to be back with her son. Krasinski’s Dustin Noble is playing the nice guy routine, trying to convince the people of the town that Global will ruin the local economy instead of helping it. Global is a natural resource mining company that uses a method called fracking to go underground and retrieve the valuable resources. This method is actually dangerous, and this is a film that makes the general population more aware of its dangers. This is also an analysis of how big companies don’t care for the environment or

Written by Daniel Prinn @DanielPrinn


the people themselves, they only care for making money. But this town has something to say about that. The only other 2012 film that has a louder message of the environment is Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax. But really, that is tailored for children, and many aren’t clever enough to realize when an idea is being hammered down their throats. However, this is an adult drama and the majority of adults know when an idea is loud. The only things that set this film apart is the rather loud message and Steve’s change of heart throughout. Though, it really doesn’t stop it from being generic and often bland, and usually pretty boring. Some redundant plot points that do not do anything for the story whatsoever are less interesting than a man snoring loudly. It is also a very by-the-book feature that goes through the motions.

Release Date: 19th April 2013


Gus Van Sant

Famous Faces:

Matt Damon, Hal Holbrook, Frances McDormand, and John Krasinski


Evil Dead Evil Dead might not be the most terrifying film you will ever experience, but it is one of the bloodiest, most exciting and satisfying horror flicks in quite some time. After a stellar opening scene of a young possessed woman being burned alive, five friends soon drive up to that exact cabin where a woman was exorcised. It’s the cabin where they’d have a good time at when they were younger, but now they’re there for more serious purposes. Mia (Jane Levy) is a junkie who had once overdosed and was legally dead. To help her, lifelong friends Olivia (Jessica Lucas), Eric (Lou Taylor Pucci), Natalie (Elizabeth Blackmore), and her brother David (Shiloh Fernandez) who is there to offer some support, deem it necessary to keep her at the cabin to beat the addiction. Another force soon keeps them at the cabin, when the friends find the Book of Dead (left by witches and father of the girl who was burned alive) and unwittingly summon up demons living in the nearby woods. When this evil is unleashed, the friends get possessed one by one until one is left to fight for survival. Cue the quick-paced plot, chainsaws, grossout gore, gallons of blood, dismemberment, heroism and total awesomeness. The wickedly amazing good news is: It’s a great remake. It’s also a great individual horror film that stands well on its own two


feet (and sometimes, one). It also stands fairly well being inevitably compared to Sam Raimi’s original 1981 cult classic. This stays faithful to the original, but even when we think we know how this all plays out -- there’s an admirable amount of wiggle room for surprise, and amazing plot twists. The original opts for simplicity where the central characters are merely taking a vacation for the shits and giggles, while these guys have a real purpose. They’re leading one of their best friends down a dirt road to sobriety, but little do they know they’ll be leading her down a road of demonic possession. One thing that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, and why this proves sometimes being simple can be better, is... Why choose that one childhood shaky cabin in the woods to help a friend get sober? Why not take her to a more secure friend’s house, a nice four-star hotel in the tropics, or, hmm... A rehabilitation facility? Some of the decisions of the characters are really rather silly, but that’s expected in this day and age. Some decisions aren’t as silly as some of the characters in the original, like when the gal who was molested by the tree willingly went outside to ask “Who’s there? I heard you!” The way the demons were actually summoned is a very idiotic decision on one of the characters parts. Eric

can hardly resist opening up the book because curiosity is just strangling him. Despite the multiple warnings from the book like probably a spell that was designed to give him a nasty paper cut, or actual warnings on the very page he reads a passage from, he still says the coveted words. Eric, if you’re so goddamn curious, just read the Latin in your head. It isn’t the time to practice a foreign language, especially not that of an ancient book with strange writings and demonic rituals in it. Granted, if he doesn’t commit the silly actions he does, none of this great modern horror would happen. This decides to take the terror trail and sometimes treads on some gross-out campiness. Fans of the original might think blood spewing all over the screen is just hilarious (one has to laugh at the hilarity of it all, it’s just awesome), but others could be grossed out. Though, the really funny parts is the witticism of the demons, and when the possessed friends try to convince the unaffected that they’re okay and they’re harmless -- it’s funnier when the unaffected actually fall for the conniving demons, hook-lineand-sinker. Fan of the original or not, one should not trust any false sense of security, even when it sometimes comes to great effect. This doesn’t mean to be campy, this is a remake and it stands proudly on its own. Some of it is terrifying when the

more primary characters’ lives are at stake, or like when one of the gals is being raped by a tree. It’s one of those horror movies that relies both on some effective pop-out scares and a wicked atmosphere. The sound of speeding wind when the camera is rushing through the forest is still very spooky and effective, and it gives a chill to the bone. One thing that is admirable about this is the director’s choice to use practical effects instead of CGI-effects. This rarity is great because this is an age with movies like Life of Pi or even Mama, where the latter’s villain is entirely CGI. The effects that the filmmakers achieve here are endlessly impressive, all under the guidance of the great Fede Alvarez, who everyone should keep an eye on. The characterization is good, where it focuses mainly on the brother-sister dynamic between David and Mia. She feels like David has not been there for her the past few years, and this sometimes anti-hero uses this to her effective advantage throughout the feature. The petite central cast of five people carry the film well. Jessica Lucas and Elizabeth Blackmore don’t shine vibrantly, but the real carriers of the film are the other three. Pucci’s good as the brain of the operation, Eric. Fernandez has some scenes where he acts terribly, but he has other scenes where he is able to do a good job of portraying a concerned older brother. Because of this, he evens out to be just kind-of forgettable. Jane Levy gets her chance to shine in every aspect of the word as a sometimes

anti-hero, and always an allaround bad-ass, who even Ash would dub “groovy”. As far as horror remakes go, this is one of the finest in quite some time and one of the best since, may I be so bold, John Carpenter’s The Thing. This film has cool effects, a woman being sexually assaulted by a tree with a sex drive (try telling that one to a therapist), demonic possession, beatings, stabbings, and the usage of sharp objects of all sorts, nail guns, and, of course, chainsaws. If that all sounds like your idea of a good time, check this out; it’s one of the best 80’s horror films made in the past five years.

Release Date: 18th April 2013

Director: Fede Alvarez

Famous Faces:

Jane Levy, Shiloh Fernandez, and Lou Taylor Pucci

Written by Daniel Prinn @DanielPrinn


Bernie Written by Daniel Prinn @DanielPrinn


Oscar nominated writerdirector Richard Linklater (Before Sunset, Dazed and Confused, School of Rock) is back in the directing chair after a three-year hiatus and back in the writing chair after five years, with this clever dark comedy. Bernie Tiede (Jack Black) is the nicest closet killer you’ll ever know. Bernie’s the local funeral director in a small town in Texas, called Carthage. He’s the nicest man around town, as he has a great ability to make you feel like you’re the most important person in the world. The charming man is the best at what he does, he has a great singing voice, and he’s practically a town legend. After Bernie strikes up an unusual relationship with the town female Scrooge and recent widow, Marjorie Nugent (Shirley MacLaine), he temporarily changes her

for the better. When she becomes bitter to even Bernie; he reaches a breaking point and must put on a hilarious charade to hide his dark secret from the town. It’s a well-made little comedic docudrama, even if it does drag at times. Some of its funniest scenes are the comments about Bernie from the townspeople. There are also a few laughs produced by supporting actor Matthew McConaughey. It’s funny in the worst of situations, but that’s what makes the usually entertaining black comedy so strong. The movie’s low-key and docudrama style make it a fairly unique experience. Jack Black gives one of his greatest performances, bringing out his dramatic and endlessly charming side, and the comedic side we all know and most of us love. The true story appeal is

the movie’s most interesting aspect, but it really is a bizarre little film. Somehow, the audience is able to care for the kind Bernie; mostly because he’s so charming. It’s made controversial because some might feel compassion for a criminal, but the witty, dark comedy offers low-key crime entertainment and solid performances (from Black, McLaine and McConaughey).

Release Date: 26th April 2013


Richard Linklater

Famous Faces:

Jack Black, Shirley MacLaine, and Matthew McConaughey


S c a ry M o v ie 5 This Billy Madison quote, said by the Principal to Madison, sums up my thoughts on this film really well (I have paraphrased it extensively), “Mr. Zucker, your movie is one of the most insanely bad films I have ever seen. At no point in your god-awful excuse for a comedy were you even close to anything that could be considered a hilarious joke. Everyone who sat through this is now dumber for having seen it. I award your movie no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.” In the parody sub-genre that’s already standing on a thin wire, Scary Movie 5 comes into play and curses the world. It’s not refreshing or witty. It’s sophomoric,


tedious and, worst of all, painfully unfunny. The filmmakers reach to the very bottom-of-the-barrel for laughs. There are many fart jokes, and every joke you’ll forget one minute after they say it. The jokes are everything a ten year-old boy might find hysterical. The vast majority of the jokes are unfunny, they don’t conquer any punch-line because there isn’t one, and they’re so, so predictable. If a man stands under a frying pan, what should one expect to happen? There’s also a scene shared

between Snoop Dogg and Mac Miller where they are escaping from pot farmers after they steal a giant blunt from their harvest. As a hiding place, Dogg sees a cabin in the woods in the distance, and suggests they go there. Miller replies, “I don’t know, that reminds me of a horror movie I once saw...” Dogg would suggest a title, “Texas Chainsaw Massacre?” To which Miller says, “No, the one with the cabin in the woods!” This goes on for what feels like ten minutes, until Dogg gets fed up. He seems like a saviour to the audience for stopping this nonsense, but he’s still the one who’s in the movie. We get that, yes, there are 30+ horror movies that have a cabin in the woods in

it. Thank you, Zucker, but do you have to show us that in this predictable, lazy and endlessly tedious exchange? This is such an embarrassment, so much that, everyone involved should move to a country where movies are unheard of, change their name and live the rest of their lives there. Mostly because when this is as bad as Disaster Movie or Meet the Spartans, one knows their movie won’t be a success. When you request more Lindsay Lohan and Charlie Sheen, your movie is terrible. It’s also terrible if the strongest scene is a poor “comedic” sex scene shared between those two, where they inexplicably rustle around under the covers, and soon enough midgets and even a small horse join the fun. Whoever thought “Haha, hey, this is going to be really funny!” should be hit by a car, or, if that’s too extreme, fired. Following the norm, spoof movies always have meaningless characters and a haphazard plot that just makes fun of movies that are way better than it. Some of the movies that are spoofed include: Black Swan, Mama, Evil Dead, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Inception, Paranormal Activity 4, The Cabin in the Woods, and Insidious, among others. This takes seventy minutes to get to the end, and it feels like a two-hour runtime. This is what torture feels like. The fact that the ten-minute blooper reel is miraculously more painful than the movie itself, is baffling. There’s very little that this has to offer. It spoofs movie after movie, and

even ones the writers aren’t smart enough to understand. One of these titles include Black Swan. Darren Aronofsky’s style of cinematography is mocked by filming Tisdale walking to an audition, and she just begins to walk in reverse. It’s not funny. It’s indubitably stupid. It’s no wonder that none of the original cast members are a part of this, and to make it even more offensive... They make a character that is an obvious knock-off of Regina Hall’s Brenda Meeks (this character is called Kendra Brooks). Simon Rex is from the third and fourth Scary Movie, and he’s even worse now. No one in this movie is funny. At all. Especially not Ashley Tisdale. Who would have thought one person could miss Anna Farris so, so much? There’s little good that can be said about this movie. It’s in focus, there’s one. It’s the first spoof movie (and hopefully the last) that mocks 2013’s Mama and Evil Dead. However, that’s also one of the movie’s most idiotic choices. Evil Dead might be a remake, but it’s more of a reboot and since it was only released April 5, that means the filmmakers have to do a few lastminute, amateurish adjustments to fit it into the storyline. Also, if Evil Dead is still in theatres, wouldn’t it only be logical to go and watch the real thing and not this piece of crap? Mama is also not a prominent horror movie in popular culture just yet, and it isn’t nearly as popular as Insidious or Paranormal Activity. These are some of the filmmaker’s biggest screw-ups because the audience likes to know which movie exactly is being mocked. The fact that this movie is not

R-rated is an absolute farce. There is one f-bomb and non-stop sexual humour throughout. (Even some of the swear words throughout are bleeped, which is RIDICULOUS for a Hollywood production.) The movie’s masterwork could be the narrator, who might or might not be Morgan Freeman. It isn’t. It’s an impersonator. It’s really stupid. Filmmakers, if you can’t get Morgan Freeman to narrate your movie, either follow Seth MacFarlane’s decision and settle for Patrick Stewart, or, I don’t know, don’t have a narrator at all! This is not only the worst addition to the Scary Movie franchise, Worst Movie of the Year Contender, but a Worst Film of All-Time Contender. I also sincerely hope this is where the franchise ends. This movie makes me want to find the Book of the Dead, recite every phrase in that book, and unleash spirits onto the world. I’ll read it in Latin, English, Greek, French, Clik-Clak, Japanese, Italian, Spanish, Cherokee, Taushiro; all languages so it wakes up foreign demons, and it stops at least some of the world from experiencing this lazy and dreadful movie.

Release Date: 12th April 2013


Malcolm D. Lee

Famous Faces:

Ashley Tisdale, Simon Rex, Charlie Sheen, and Lindsay Lohan

Written by Daniel Prinn @DanielPrinn


On DVD this month...


April DVD Releases:

Pitch Perfect Date: 15th April

The Man with the Iron Fists Date: 1st April

Beca, a freshman at Barden University, is cajoled into joining The Bellas, her school’s all-girls singing group. Injecting some much needed energy into their repertoire, The Bellas take on their male rivals in a campus competition.

On the hunt for a fabled treasure of gold, a band of warriors, assassins, and a rogue British soldier descend upon a village in feudal China, where a humble blacksmith looks to defend himself and his fellow villagers.

Jack Reacher Date: 22nd April

I, Anna Date: 15th April

Tom Cruise stars as a homicide investigator digs deeper into a case involving a trained military sniper who shot five random victims.

A noir thriller told from the point of view of a femme fatale, who falls for the detective in charge of a murder case, starring Charlotte Rampling, Gabriel Byrne, and Hayley Atwell.


10 Years Directed by writer Jamie Linden and serving as his directorial debut, 10 Years follows a group of friends who come together for their 10 year high school reunion. Jake (Channing Tatum) is preparing to propose to his girlfriend Jess (Jenna Dewan-Tatum), his ex high school flame Mary (Rosario Dawson) has already married, husband and wife Cully (Chris Patt) and Sam (Ari Graynor) are stressed from their family routine, Marty (Justin Long) and AJ (Max Minghella) are trying to impress the hottest girl in class (Lynn Collins), and rock star Reeves (Oscar Isaacs) is hoping to finally talk to his high school crush Elise (Kate Mara). As tensions run high and the night progresses, the group are made to contemplate what their own lives have become as well as what they might have been. Inspired by the director’s own reunion, 10 Years is a realistic drama with genuine characters. Only using the script as a guideline, with actors incorporating their own experiences into the story, everything feels authentic and unforced because, well, it is. This realism is 10 Years biggest quality. Whilst some of what we see is familiar, it never feels like we have seen any of it before. What the story does best is avert itself from the clichés of living happily ever after; some people aren’t happy with their married lives, others with their perfect jobs, and the popular girl isn’t living the dream.


Although there are a couple of happy endings intertwined, reconciling relationships with ex lovers and people some used to bully, there is a good balance of embarrassments, surprises, accomplishments and forgiveness to not leave you feeling depressed because it never works out or disappointed because you know that real life pans out very differently. Instead, 10 Years feels like that for 100 minutes we could be at an actual reunion with these people. There isn’t a huge amount of story, as 10 Years comes off as quite a low-key drama, but life is not always full of melodrama so it still works incredibly well. With a few poignant moments, everybody still has a story to tell. This observational approach means that if you can connect with the characters then you will enjoy the bitter-sweet story it follows, as most of the audience will find something to relate to with the characters all having something to achieve over the night. It may not be overly compelling or deep, but it will fill you with a warmth, and maybe even a little hopeful about your own future. After receiving the DVD at the beginning of last week, I’ve watched it every night since, sometimes even twice, because it really does have that feel good factor. Another strong quality of 10 Years is its ensemble cast. Channing Tatum leads the drama brilliantly alongside his real-life wife Jenna Dewan-Tatum, who plays his girlfriend. With Tatum

starring in Linden-written Dear John and the couple already having worked together in Step Up, it’s obvious that Linden put a lot of thought into pulling this cast together. Tatum has certainly given some diverse performances over the last year, but this has to be one of my favourites from him. With excellent supporting roles, too, the cast of 10 Years constantly feels very comfortable. The biggest surprise for me though was Oscar Isaac, who performs a lovely song mid way through the film which adds another heartfelt layer to the film that you probably wouldn’t expect from him. With most of the actors having worked together before, as well, each of the characters have a great chemistry, especially between the couples who are all very likeable.

Written by Charlie Derry @charliederry Release Date: 8th April 2013


Jamie Linden

Famous Faces:

Channing Tatum, Jenna Dewan-Tatum, and Chris Pratt

The Hobbit Written by Daniel Prinn @DanielPrinn A younger and more reluctant Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins, sets out on an “unexpected journey” to the Lonely Mountain with a spirited group of Dwarves to reclaim their stolen mountain home from a dragon named Smaug. Mostly everyone knows that Peter Jackson is a fairly innovative director. He shows us his innovative side by introducing 48 frames per second, that makes the visuals distracting at times. Everyone knows that Jackson’s movies are really lengthy (LOTR Trilogy, King Kong). He gives another awesome adventure to Middle Earth. The writers admirably write some silliness and foolishness into a great fantasy story. The funniest scene is shared between Gollum and Bilbo, Gollum’s always been a true scene-stealer. The action scenes could be familiar, but the movie is a really fun new adventure. There’s never a dull moment in this feature, but there are some scenes that could have been so not over-the-top. When Bilbo, Gandalf, and company, visit the land of Rivendell, the introduction of Galadriel (Cate Blanchett) is over-dramatic. Sure, she’s beautiful as anything, but it didn’t have to be over-done like that. This movie opens the door for a potentially great trilogy, but the new characters are harder to become emotionally-invested

than we did with the new characters the first time around with The Fellowship of the Ring. Gandalf and Bilbo are still great as ever, though. The first installment of a new Middle Earth trilogy is much like The Fellowship of the Ring; not a lot happens. They only complete a small amount of the journey, and upcoming antagonists and ones that are going to appear again in the series are established. However, please don’t forget that the story will all come together in the end of the trilogy. For what it is, it is a great experience, and there are enough action scenes to keep many satisfied. The cinematography, the visuals, the writing and the performances are stellar. The silliness is very enjoyable, especially the scene shared between Bilbo and Gollum (and Precious, of course).

Release Date: 8th April 2013


Peter Jackson

Famous Faces:

Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, and Richard Armitage


Silver Linings Playbook Written by Charlie Derry @charliederry

Directed and adapted by David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook is based on the novel of the same name by Matthew Quick. Examining a number of relationships and mental illnesses, the film follows Pat Solitano (Bradley Cooper), an ex-teacher with bipolar disorder who moves back in with his parents (Robert De Niro and Jacki Weaver) after being released from a psychiatric hospital. Determined to win back his estranged wife and rebuild his previous life, things get more challenging when Pat meets Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence), a mysterious girl with her own problems, who tells Pat that she will help him get his wife back if he enters a dance competition with her. As an unexpected bond begins to form between them, silver linings appear in both of their lives. Silver Linings Playbook was a surprising hit at this year’s award ceremonies, being nominated in all four acting categories, with Lawrence winning four awards for Best Actress, and winning the BAFTA award for Best Adapted Screenplay and four Independent Spirit Awards including Best Film. Why? Because it was undeniably the best romantic drama that 2012 had to offer.


Both funny and emotionally honest, Silver Linings Playbook is a completely lovely romantic dramedy that gives a heartwarming look at mental illness, without being patronising or throwing anything too serious in your face. SLP may be more romance than comedy but it’s not your typical boy-meets-girl. This film is about its two characters, both separately and as a couple. Whether they come together at the end or not never becomes the main focus of the plot, rather how they and their families learn to deal with their own issues. Its focus on something much more important is why it is so compelling. It may be quite simple in terms of narrative structure and plot but because of this it all feels natural. With its focus on finding a silver lining in life when things don’t quite work out also means that it’s quite easy to identify with some of the situations, if not the characters themselves. The cast is a massive quality of the film, with Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, and Robert De Niro, especially, giving excellent performances, each playing their characters perfectly. For me, it was Lawrence who

stood out the most, however, as it’s been a while since we’ve seen her in such a genuine role; she’s definitely done better (I love her in Winter’s Bone), but it’s a brilliant contrast to her more adolescent role in The Hunger Games. Both her and Cooper, who gives one of his best performances yet, portray their slightly crazy characters flawlessly, and they make such a great on-screen couple, as well. I found myself relating to Tiffany in many aspects of her life (mainly her slightly delusional feelings involving males!) so I was really able to engage with the film on a personal level, making me love it that little bit more.

Release Date: 1st April 2013


David O. Russell

Famous Faces:

Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, and Robert De Niro

Room 237 Written by Charlie Derry @charliederry

Directed by LA filmmaker Rodney Ascher, Room 237 is a subjective documentary that explores the numerous theories about the hidden meanings within Stanley Kubrick‘s film, The Shining. Giving voice to the fans and scholars of a film that continues to inspire debate, speculation, and mystery, even 30 years after its release, the documentary looks at five very different points of view and far-reaching theories from those who have decoded the apparent hidden symbols and messages buried in Kubrick’s classic. Cut into nine segments, each segment focuses on different elements within the film which “may reveal hidden clues and hint at a bigger thematic oeuvre.” Featured at the 2012 Sundance, Cannes and Toronto film festivals, if you like The Shining (who doesn’t?) this is a bit of a must watch. We all

have our own interpretations of the film but these are some of the biggest theories out there, some of which are believable, others which are bordering on ridiculous. Despite what you think about any of the theories individually, they’re all interesting and well detailed. It’s the great thing about film, though; everybody sees film differently and who’s to say they’re wrong? Asserting that The Shining is evidential proof that Kubrick staged the moon landing does go a little too far, but the documentary brings Kubrick’s filmography together well to explore a number of things he may or may not be secretly doing. The documentary itself, however, is slightly poor, it was more like a Microsoft Powerpoint than an actual film. Not seeing any of the interviewees themselves means that it’s hard to tell some of the

voices apart, and it could have been edited a lot better to skip out their personal lives (who needs to hear a man go stop his kid from crying?). Seeing the interviewees would have also meant that the use of certain clips from the film wouldn’t have become as repetitive, although they were well-used for the best part of it. It is a bad-looking documentary, but the research is obviously there so it’s still very watchable.

Release Date: 1st April 2013


Rodney Ascher

Famous Faces:

Bill Blakemore, Geoffrey Cocks, and Juli Kearns



Seven Psychopaths Written by Paul Weedon @Twotafkap

Blending a potent mix of profane dialogue, brutal violence and the oddly unsettling sight of a Tom Waits fondling a rabbit, In Bruges director Martin McDonagh’s sophomore effort is nothing if not an indulgently silly venture in criminal ineptitude. With a track record for shaping sweary tirades in to prose that even Wordsworth would likely be proud of, Seven Psychopaths marks another slick exercise in clever wordplay as Colin Farrell’s beleaguered screenwriter, Marty, slowly unravels following the poor decision by his friend, Billy (a typically batshit performance from Sam Rockwell), to steal a beloved shih-tzu from Woody Harrelson’s volatile mob boss. Naturally, chaos promptly ensues and McDonagh excels in breathing life into the tried and tested buddy genre formula, injecting an effective undercurrent of meta-cinematic wit to proceedings without ever bordering on pretentiousness. Farrell and Rockwell, meanwhile, both turn in effortlessly madcap performances respectively as

the duo unwittingly lured in to a game of cat and mouse by a menacing Harrelson, who remains on top comic form throughout. However, it’s ultimately Christopher Walken’s scene stealing performance as Hans, the duo’s world-weary, dogthieving accomplice, that steals the show. Walking a fine line between subtle self-parody and understated menace, McDonagh deftly crafts a slew of memorable, endlessly quotable Walkenisms that guarantees the film a life well beyond a solitary viewing.

Release Date: 15th April 2013


Martin McDonagh

Famous Faces:

Sam Rockwell, Colin Farrell, and Christopher Walken


In cinemas next month...


May’s Cinema: Star Trek: Into Darkness Date: 9th May After the crew of the Enterprise find an unstoppable force of terror from within their own organization, Captain Kirk leads a manhunt to a war-zone world to capture a one man weapon of mass destruction.

Byzantium Date: 31st May

The Great Gatsby Date: 16th May

Residents of a coastal town learn, with deathly consequences, the secret shared by the two mysterious women who have sought shelter at a local resort.

Based on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel, a Midwestern war veteran finds himself drawn to the past and lifestyle of his millionaire neighbour.

The Hangover Part III Date: 24th May This time, there’s no wedding. No bachelor party. What could go wrong, right? But when the Wolfpack hits the road, all bets are off.

Epic Date: 22nd May

Mud Date: 10th May

A teenager finds herself transported to a deep forest setting where a battle between the forces of good and the forces of evil is taking place. She bands together with a rag-tag group characters in order to save their world.

Two teenage boys encounter a fugitive and form a pact to help him evade the bounty hunters on his trail and to reunite him with his true love.