Content: 3-15: 4-5: 6-7: 8-9: 10-11: 12-13: 14-15:
Reviews of this months film...
The Rum Diary 50/50 Immortals The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1 In Time Dreamhouse
16-17: On DVD this month... 17:
A list of DVDs releases this November
18-19: Whatâ€™s on next month? 19:
A list of films to be released in December
Creators: Journalist and Editor: Charlie Derry: http://charliederry.wordpress.com firstname.lastname@example.org Designer and Art Director: Mikie Daniel: http://mikiedaniel.wordpress.com email@example.com
Creators Notes: Just a quick message this time as we have lots of other work to be getting on with this month. But we love this issue, so we hope you do too.
Reviews of this months films...
The Rum Diary The Rum Diary, directed by Bruce Robinson, follows journalist Paul Kemp (Johnny Depp) who travels to Puerto Rico to escape the American life. Here, he starts writing for a rundown newspaper, The San Juan Star, with stressed out editor Lotterman (Richard Jenkins), fellow journalist Bob Sala (Michael Rispoli) and office drunk Moburg (Giovanni Ribisi). After disagreements with his boss, Kemp picks up his own habit of drinking rum and falls in love with the beautiful Chenault (Amber Heard), fiancée of businessman Sanderson (Aaron Eckhart). But will a proposition from Sanderson pull Kemp away from backstreet cock fights and into a life of luxury and private beaches? It seems unlikely when the proposition revolves around exploiting the island, something which Kemp has already found inspiration for his writing in.
11th November 2011
Johnny Depp, Giovanni Ribisi and Aaron Eckhart
Based on a novel by American journalist Hunter S. Thompson, The Rum Dairy was written in the early 1960s but it wasn’t published until 40 years later. It took nine years for the film adaptation to get off the ground, which began filming in 2009, and then another two years for it to reach our cinema screens. In total, it took 51 years in lag time for the film’s release this month. To Thompson’s dismay, the film regretfully suffers from reflecting upon this lengthy process, becoming a drag itself. The Rum Diary is director Robinson’s first film in 19 years. Whilst the film is visually attractive, with a lot of the focus on the 1950s Caribbean setting, the film is also quite dark. Some parts of the film make you laugh, all of which can be seen in the trailer, but in between the pretty back drops and humour derived from Depp, the story is dull and deeply uninteresting. I expected a light-hearted, tropical drama about a journalist who drinks a lot of rum, but this isn’t what I got. I haven’t read The Rum Diary book, so it was easy to be wrong in my expectations. But when discussing the film on Twitter John Riley told me that, “The book is short, light and breezy.” Yet this is quite the opposite to the film. As opposite as you can get, actually. It wasn’t short, in fact the 120 minute run time
seemed double that, and it definitely wasn’t breezy. This is the only film with Johnny Depp as the lead in that I haven’t enjoyed, yet Depp has starred in another of Thompson’s novel adaptations too. Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas was directed by Terry Gilliam and released in 1998. Here he played the cynical Raoul Duke, who is often the main character and narrator of Thompson’s stories and novels. Obviously Depp was the right choice for the role, even though the novel’s character is some 20 years younger, and he portrayed his character proficiently. Unfortunately, the story around him was so uneven that even Depp couldn’t help pull it off. A main weaknesses in the film was the use of Chenault’s character. John comments that, “For some reason, though many of the details are blurry, I always remember the book’s initial description of her, ‘She had a hard little body and a way of walking that indicated a mass of stored up energy.’ In the book she’s clearly portrayed as a tease.” Whilst the film reflects on this well enough, it is also quick to forget about her character at the end of the film. She flirts and teases throughout, but after coming close to finally bedding Kemp, she isn’t seen again until briefly being mentioned in the epilogue.
*Thanks to John Riley (@ BrickVanDee) for helping with my discussion.*
John continues, “It’s a flaw of the book that she’s less a character in herself than an object of desire and exchange to all the male characters.” And maybe that’s the only reason we need to why we don’t see more of her. If she was purely an object of desire, her character isn’t important when her teasing has stopped and she falls for Kemp in return. But whilst that makes great literature, the film needed to see more of this lust and it needed to end with romance. For that reason alone, she didn’t serve as an important character in the film, losing her integrity and thus closing the film unsuccessfully.
As John Riley proposes, “I might skip the film and keep my memories of the novel.” I’d suggest to at least wait until the DVD release and give it a rent, but I wouldn’t push it any further.
“The book is short, light and breezy, but the film is quite the opposite. As opposite as you can get, actually.”
50/50 Directed by Jonathan Levine, 50/50 is a comedydrama loosely based on the life of screenwriter Will Reiser. When 27-year-old Adam (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) goes to the doctors about back pain, he finds out that he has a rare type of spinal cancer, and must undergo chemotherapy in order to reduce the tumour. His best friend Kyle (Seth Rogen) attempts to take his mind of his life-threatening illness with alcohol, medicinal weed and sex, whilst his girlfriend Rachael (Bryce Dallas Howard) slowly starts becoming detached. As part of his recovery, Adam must also see an inexperienced psychologist Katherine (Anna Kendrick), and befriends two older chemo patients receiving treatment alongside him. But will his struggles overpower his determination to beat cancer? Or will the help of a
seemingly irrelevant part of his treatment convince him to stop being selfish? 50/50 is brilliantly written, and it’s no wonder everybody is talking about it. Deceptively simple, the film is very confident and the dialogue unfolds in a largely improvised style which makes the conversations natural, and
“The dialogue unfolds in a largely improvised style which makes conversations natural.” everything else feel authentic. It’s more drama then comedy, but too many jokes would have desensitised the plot, and whilst it never pushing for laughs, it is funny in all the right places. Based loosely around the true story of writer Will Resier, friend of the film’s
co-lead Seth Rogen, 50/50 dealt with story’s theme with a brilliant honesty. For the most of the film there is a great sense of awareness towards the negative subject, but in places it felt that it did need a bit more. For example, the scenes with Adam and the two older chemo patients were great and they provoked real emotion. But these were then contrasted against more heartless scenes like when Adam and Kyle destroyed his ex-girlfriend’s painting. For me, this unnerving contrast was largely because of Seth Rogen‘s character who, yes is a great comedic actor, but for the first time I also found him rather unlikable. When Adam snaps at him near the end of the film, all for good reasons, nothing comes out of his lack of sympathy except that he had supposedly flicked through a book when
nobody was looking. Rogen may have genuinely gone through this with Reiser at the time, but this friendship didn’t shine through in the film. Maybe it’s a man thing though, as my male friends disagreed with me and thought that he offered great support to his best friend. Unfortunately I didn’t see his rationality, I saw a misogynistic ignorance. Anna Kendrick, as well, wasn’t amazing in her role. I understand that she was supposed to be young and inexperienced, but I have seen this irritable characteristic from her too far much already from her role in Twilight, in which she played a much younger character. For 50/50, I hoped that she would have portrayed more of an adult role, which you are even at 24, but unfortunately it still came off quite immature and therefore disengaging. However, it was all about Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and he was superb. Still, I’m not standing beside the substantial critical admirers. It was a good film, but I have seen better this month. Release Date: 25th November 2011 Director: Jonathan Levine Famous Faces: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen and Anna Kendrick
r ta l s Release Date: 18th November 2011 Director: Tarsem Singh Famous Faces: Henry Cavil, Luke Evans, Mickey Rourke, Stephen Dorff and Freida Pinto
From the producers of 300 and directed by Tarsem Singh, Immortals is a 3D fantasy action based on the Greek myths of Theseus and the Minotaur. Taking place in 1228BC, Theseus (Henry Cavill) is chosen by Zeus (Luke Evans) and the Greek Gods to lead a fight against the barbarous King Hyperion (Mickey Rourke), who declares war on Olympus after the Gods fail to answer his prayers. Hyperion, who is now on a rampage across Greece, seeks the magical bow of Epirus in order to free the Titans, defy the Gods and destroy all of humanity. Whilst in prison, Thesues befriends a prisoner named Stavros (Stephen Dorff) and they later escape the beautiful oracle Phaedra (Freida Pinto). Thesues finds the Epirus Bow, but is attacked by Hyperion’s soldier, the Minotaur (Robert Maillet). After somehow fitting in a sex scene between all of this brutality, Hyperion’s soldiers attack Phaedra’s temple and, after stealing the bow for himself, Hyperion releases the Titans, forcing his army to face a war against the Gods. Full of epic and brutal fighting scenes, the film really reflects on the producers unique style.
Without these action sequences of brilliantly played out violence, the film wouldn’t have been nearly as successful. At the same time though, if you have seen 300 then you have already seen all of this before. Whilst it is a style that I enjoyed and hoped to see more of, the plot line of Immortals came too close to other films for it to be distinguishable, and had too many similarities to take this style to another level. A lot of the time, the film felt like a mix between 300 and Clash of the Titans due to its heavy reliance on magical and powerful beings and mythological creatures. But whilst Immortals could be compared to a number of films, it was still of a lot higher quality and managed to pull this off; it was just a shame that everything felt so familiar, which in this case didn’t serve as an advantage. Although Immortals has these similarities in terms of story line, it showed many strengths and improvements in other aspects. With a fantasy, myth-fueled film like this, it’s often easy to get lost in what is happening and you need to pay close attention for everything to make sense. Whilst many have criticised the film’s lack of rich narrative, everything flowed in a fast and linear pace, which kept you from getting confused by meaningless characters and exaggerated scenes.
There wasn’t only constant scenes of bloody brutality either. The creative visual effects are stunning which contrast amazingly against the scenes of violence and is what makes the film take precedence of others in its genre. The CGI is extremely pretty, with one scene at the end of the film, which can be seen in the trailer, really standing out when the camera pans out to show thousands of soldiers fighting as if standing on a perplex surface in the clouds. The cast of the film was also an interesting one too, and is again why the film had a much higher quality. Henry Cavill, who will be playing Superman in 2013’s Man of Steel lacked inspiration in places, but he really fit the part and gave us a glimpse of what we are in for next year. Mickey Rourke plays a character similar to his role in Iron Man 2, but there is no denying that he makes an incredible evil man. I also enjoyed Luke Evans‘ performance as Zeus, who last month played one of The Three Musketeers and also played a slight change in roles as Apollo in Clash of The Titans. Overall, Immortals is a stunning piece of filmmaking, but it won’t be remembered for anything else. Whilst it is a good film, it has far too many similarities to make it stand out enough from the look-a-like crowd to define it as anything more.
The Twilight Saga: Br Directed by Bill Condon, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 is the first part to the final instalment of Stephenie Meyer‘s Twilight Saga novels. The first part of Breaking Dawn follows Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) and her now vampire fiancée Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) through their marriage and honeymoon to the lifethreatening consequence of Bella falling pregnant. Now, with the Volturi coven waiting for Bella to be turned immortal and the Quileute werewolf pack keeping guard, Bella must prepare to say goodbye to the ones she loves as she weakens from the thirst of the blood-sucking baby inside of her. Whilst this is the most love-struck chapter yet, Breaking Dawn is also the scariest, sexiest and most violent novel out of the franchise. As a fan of the books, I was really
worried about how this adaptation would work on the big screen. I’ve grown tired of trying to explain to ‘Twi-haters’ that the novels are much better than the film, because, let’s face it, why would anyone take my word for it? Personally, I feel that Breaking Dawn is the worst novel out of the series as well. The book is set out differently from the other three, looking at the situation from Jacob’s point of view as well, which was a small positive. However, I read the book within hours and felt there wasn’t enough of anything to keep an audience engaged, especially with the first half that is the focus of the film. I read a lot of reviews beforehand that said the film was very melodramatic, which was completely what I expected with the main story line revolving around marriage and babies. There is already a huge dislike against the franchise if you’re not a 14-year-old girl,
even my synopsis above doesn’t do it any favours. However, I didn’t feel this way at all. In fact, the film was a very good adaptation of the novel and it worked a lot better on-screen then I imagined it could. This is because of one reason; it wasn’t tamed down for a PG audience. Twilight was a great adaptation, but New Moon and Eclipse fell short because they began to put their focus on the younger audience, as they knew this is where a majority of the audience was coming from. This was my main concern for Breaking Dawn, thinking the adaptation would surely miss out the sexual scenes and romanticise the birth scene which, in fact, was quite brutal. Fortunately, the film didn’t go this way and it included the sex, with a large emphasis on Bella’s lust for it. It also put a focus on the threat of Bella dying, and emphasised the violence and terrifying nature of Bella giving birth to a child that
reaking Dawn - Part 1 would of happily sucked her blood dry. It even scared me a little, especially the way Bella seemed to look like a skeleton for most of the film. Whilst this put a dampener on the film’s love-filled setting, it was what was needed for it to be a bareable film out of the Twilight Saga context. It worked well as a standalone film, and would have even worked as a great end to the franchise. The only part of the film which was badly adapted was the wolf pack scene. If you’ve seen the film you will know what I am talking about straight away. If not, there is a scene in the film which explores the inclusion of the werewolf tribe communicating telepathically. Somehow the werewolves sounded like Transformers, and it was far too laughable to take seriously. There were reasons to laugh that weren’t out of
disapproval as well though. Bella’s father Charlie (Billy Burke) has been the main source of ‘comedy’ throughout the franchise, which is great because he is one of the more relatable characters, not liking Edward. His sarcastic comments made the film easier for non-fans to watch, breaking away from the focus of Bella and Edward to give more of a believable reaction to their human-vampire relationship (not that he knows, yet!). The rest of the cast, also, were at their best in this instalment. Kristen Stewart, when not looking like a sack of bones, smiled more than usual, Robert Pattinson gave a much stronger performance having to stand against Bella at one point in fear of losing her. Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner) had a better role in this instalment as well, and one that didn’t involve him having to take his top off every five minutes. It was obvious
that Lautner had a lot more experience in acting since Eclipse too, which paid off quite a lot for him. In the end, Breaking Dawn managed to be my favourite adaptation since the franchise began with Twilight in 2008, even if the plot doesn’t seem like the most appealing of stories. And now I’m more excited for the film’s final chapter, Breaking Dawn – Part 2, which is set to be released next year. Have I managed to persuade any Twi-haters to give it a try yet?
Release Date: 18th November 2011
Director: Bill Condon
Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner
In:Time Written and directed by Andrew Niccol, In Time is set in the year 2161, a future where time has taken over as the world’s currency. At the age of 25 a person stops ageing, but the fluorescent green clock fitted into their arm starts ticking giving them only one more year to live. From then on they must work for more time if they wish to carry on living, but it’s not as easy for those outside of New Greenwich who live off hours rather than years. Will Salas (Justin Timberlake) lives in the ghetto, a time zone where people live day-to-day, working their hardest to make it even through the night. When a stranger gives Will over a century of life, he becomes determined to change this way of living and heads to the richest timezone in a Robin Hood fashion – he must steal from the rich and give to poor. However, timekeeper Raymond (Cillian Murphy)
Release Date: 1st November 2011
Director: Andrew Niccol
Justin Timberlake, Amanda Seyfried and Cillian Murphy
is on his trail accusing him of murder, forcing Will to kidnap millionaire and time-loaning businessman Phillipe Weis’ (Vincent Kartheiser) daughter, Sylvia (Amanda Seyfried), and take her hostage to protect his own life. Full of roof top chases, car flips and gun fights, In Time sets itself up to be an action film, but it doesn’t quite hit the nail on the head. Car flips are flimsy, and the roof
Timberlake and Seyfried, as well, play really strong roles. Seyfried especially prevails, as I didn’t expect her to fit into this type of film at all. Unfortunately the script was a little amateur in places though, which meant that neither of them lived up to their full hype, with Timberlake lacking the usual charm that he gives off when we remember he was once a member of N*Sync. In Time is an undoubtedly smart film, but one of its “In Time sets itself up to be an main downfalls is a lack of explanation. Placing itself action film, but in the future, the film’s it doesn’t quite setting has somehow derived from the world as we know hit the nail on it, yet we are given no the head.” background story to how it has evolved to be this way. top often compromise of The film doesn’t reflect on Timberlake dragging around its futuristic setting either, an impressionable Seyfried which asks us to accept an who’s trailing behind. That undeveloped future. In this doesn’t prevent In Time from sense, the plot doesn’t work being a good film though, at as it seems to have been least in the sense that the given no more thought then, story around these characters “let’s swap money for time.” is constantly interesting. The film would have worked The film has a good a lot better if it was set in cast too, more so with the a present yet alternative smaller roles including world, as then we could have best friend Borel (Johnny more easily accepted this Galecki) and Will’s mother premise. But setting itself a (Olivia Wilde) who both hundred years from now, we played engrossing roles, must consider it as a possible far from the ones that are world, which a good writer expected of them; Galecki would have expanded upon. doesn’t live up to his geeky Up until writing this stereotype and Wilde plays a review I highly enjoyed character twice her age, and the film. Unfortunately, for this they both exceed. critiquing a film means
thinking about the film in-depth, and this has led me to see such many flaws. Again, a lot of these come from a lack of detail. The main question that needs to be is asked is why are the residents of the ghetto so ready to accept their fate of running out of time? Accepting death means a lack of threat, with people willing to fall down dead then to steal a couple of minutes from a passerby.
“The characters of the film are very naive, which to an audience only weakens any engagement that we have with the story.”
The characters of the film are very naive, probably because they don’t know any better, but to an audience this only weakens any engagement that we have with the story. Despite all of this, I would recommend to go and watch this film and enjoy it. None of these points effecting my viewing, and until I was made to think about these minor issues in detail, I wouldn’t have had anything bad to say at all.
m e a s e u r o
Release Date: 25th November 2011 Director: Jim Sheridan Famous Faces: Daniel Craig, Rachel Weisz and Naomi Watts
Dream House, directed by Jim Sheridan, follows Will Atenton (Daniel Craig), a publisher who quits work to move his wife Libby (Rachel Weisz) and their two daughters into their dream home. The family soon discover, however, that their seemingly idyllic house was once the murder scene of a mother and her daughters, and that the crime was supposedly committed by the father who is now being held at a psychiatric hospital in town. Will begins to investigating the murder after strange things start happening around him, but his only lead comes from his neighbour Ann (Naomi Watts) and her ex-husband Jack (Marton Csokas), whilst everybody else keeps what they know to themselves. Dream House has the makings of a horror film, which is one of the main reasons it is interesting. When you explain that a family move into a new house and that the previous tenants were murdered, it’s only too easy to presume that either one of the children will become possessed or that the house is built in an ancient burial ground. Beginning just as The Amityville Horror did, the film could have easily concluded in the same way. Thankfully, it doesn’t, and the film takes another road in a twist of genre. Dream House is a
thriller, and whilst it has an essence of ghosts and creaky stairways, it plays on such clichéd scares to build itself up. The outcome of the film is a lot better thought out than any typical horror has to offer, and when you come to terms with the truth, you can see how everything links together from the film’s rich texture and well written plot. Despite sometimes having a weak script, Dream House has an ever-shifting plot and this is what keeps you engaged. With a couple of incredible twists and a really good cast backing the
“Dream House has an evershifting plot and this is what keeps you engaged.” story up, Dream House is more of a successful drama than anything else; whilst sometimes episodic, it is always intriguing and this is why the combination of genres works. Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz are a brilliant leading couple, as well, with an obvious chemistry between them on show throughout the film. This relationship is really worth mentioning, even more so when the family is considered as a whole. The two daughters (Claire and Taylor Geare) put on a brilliant performance for their age too. It’s often that a young
child’s performance in a film is cringey, especially in a horror, but the fact that the two girls are sisters in real life really helps. These four actors together give the film strength, giving a believable performance that provokes emotion when needed. For some reason, however, Dream House has received an overall bad review from critics, with Rotten Tomatoes reporting an average rating of 3.7 out of 10. These bad criticisms may reflect on news that the director supposedly fell out with the production team over the shape of the script and production of the film though. He and the cast also disliked the final cut of the film so much that they refused to do any press for it, and the film wasn’t screened for critics in advance either. Whilst it was occasionally easy to see that Sheridan lost control of his directorial roles, overall I felt that his aims shone through and that film managed to pull itself off. The worst part about the film’s production is that trailer gives away the whole story line, including the film’s twist. If you plan on seeing this film I would warn you not to watch it or read anything else about it. Dream House is a very good film, but if you know the twists beforehand it will not have the same effect. I would highly recommend it, so let that be the only encouragement you need.
On DVD this month...
November DVD Releases: Zookeeper
Date: 21st November A group of zoo animals decide to break their code of silence in order to help their lovable zoo keeper find love -- without opting to leave his current job for something more illustrious, starring Kevin James and the voice of Adam Sandler.
Date: 21st November
Date: 14th November
Comedy following three friends who conspire to murder their awful bosses when they realize they are standing in the way of their happiness, starring Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, Jason Sudeikis, Colin Farrell and Jennifer Aniston.
A romantic comedy written by Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo following a group of females, which leads to a competition between the maid of honor and a bridesmaid over who is the brideâ€™s best friend.
Transformers: Dark of the Moon Date: 28th November
Directed by Michael Bay, he Autobots learn of a Cybertronian spacecraft hidden on the Moon in the third instalment to the Transformer franchise, who race against the Decepticons to reach it and to learn its secrets.
Date: 21st November
Star race car Lightning McQueen and his pal Mater head overseas to compete in the World Grand Prix race. But the road to the championship becomes rocky as Mater gets caught up in an intriguing adventure of his own: international espionage starring the voice of Owen Wilson.
Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts star in a romantic comedy, following a middle-aged man (Hanks) who reinvents himself after losing his job by going back to college and also falls in love with an unhappily married teacher, Mercedes (Roberts).
Date: 14th November
Whatâ€™s out next month?
December’s Cinema: Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows Date: 16th December
Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law return as the detective duo Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson to join forces with a mysterious gypsy woman, Noomi Rapace, to outwit and bring down their fiercest adversary, Professor Moriarty.
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
Date: 2nd December
Date: 26th December
At an Antarctica research site, the discovery of an alien craft leads to a confrontation between graduate student Kate Lloyd and scientist Dr. Sander Halvorson. Directed by Matthijs van Heijningen Jr, this is a prequel to the 1982 film of the same name by John Carpenter.
An English adaptation of the first film in Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy, following Journalist Mikael Blomkvist and young computer hacker Lisbeth Salander in his search for a woman who has been missing for forty years.
Mission Impossible 4: Ghost Protocol Date: 26th December
Tom Cruise returns to another impossible mission when the IMF is shut down, implicated in the bombing of the Kremlin, causing Ethan Hunt and his new team to go rogue to clear their organization’s name.
Date: 2nd December Martin Scorsese’s child fantasy set in 1930s Paris and based on Brian Selznick‘s award-winning bestseller. Hugo is a young orphan who goes on a magical adventure with an automaton to unlock a secret that will transform his life. Starring Asa Butterfield and Chloë Grace Moretz.
A Very Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas Date: 9th December
John Cho and Kal Penn return as Harold Lee and Kumar Patel. Six years after their Guantanamo Bay adventure, the stoner duo cause a holiday fracas by inadvertently burning down Harold’s father-inlaw’s prize Christmas tree.