Filmic ISSUE 03 OCTOBER 2010
THE UNDER DOG ISSUE BURIED
THE RUNAWAYS TOWN CALLED PANIC PLUS BACK TO THE FUTURE FILMIC 03 / OCTOBER 2010 / 1
FILMIC 03 / OCTOBER 2010 / 2
1/10 – Absolutely and agonisingly terrible. Consider suicide rather than watch this film. Don't worry, you will never see me give out this score unless they do a limited re-release of Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me in cinemas and Phil forces me to go and see it because he's a sadistic little git at times.
BURIED Ryan Reynolds in a box for 95 minutes…6
2/10 – Really, really bad with no redeeming features other than the fact that it's not as terrible as Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me. Rest assured, if that film didn't exist a film scoring 2/10 would actually score 1/10. Think yourselves lucky 2/10'ers!!! 3/10 – Seriously not worth your time. There might be a tiny glimmer of hope in there somewhere but it's
THE OTHER GUYS Will The Other Guys surpass the tragedy of Land of the Lost?…9
hidden under so many piles of shit that it's really not worth digging for. Avoid. 4/10 – Might be worth seeing with your mates if only to have laugh at. This is the point were a film is bad but almost enjoyable for various reasons. Terrible reasons, but still. Don't watch it on your own as you probably won't get a lot out of it (if anything) but rag it with your mates and you'll have a good enough time. 5/10 – Meh. It's watch-able but you won't want to see
THE RUNAWAYS Can The Runaways Rock and Roll for a new generation?…12
it again. Some good things about it but unfortunately too many flaws to really be anything too decent. Shame. See it if you want but don't expect a lot. 6/10 – Good. If you have an interest in this particular type of film you'll probably get enough out of it to make a viewing fairly worthwhile. It's not going to change your life but it won't exactly be a waste of your life either. Worth considering. 7/10 – Now this is more like it. The official point at
BACK TO THE FUTURE Can Back to the Future do the same?…17
which a film would be worth seeing again at some point and could maybe even earn itself a place in your DVD collection if it plays its cards right. An enjoyable film spoilt by a few things which let it down a bit but which ultimately is a satisfying viewing. If you have any interest in this type of film you should definitely go to see it. 8/10 – Pretty much a 7/10 but with less flaws, resulting in a better overall package. Thoroughly
A TOWN CALLED PANIC
French stop-motion at its craziest…18
recommended! 9/10 - You need to see this film. Very little to complain about and the only things I can really think of are pretty minor niggles. Almost perfection. 10/10 – Heaven. Reserved only for the likes of Pulp Fiction, Fight Club, Toy Story 3 and a few others. I
BURKE AND HARE
Grave robbing fun with Simon Pegg and an all-star cast…21
will only award this score if I feel something really is a true classic! Additionally I will clarify that you will never see me giving '.5' marks. That would basically be scoring out of 20 which is absolutely ridiculous. The scope is far too wide to really mean anything. I mean, how would you clarify the tiny little difference between a 15/20 and a 16/20? It's seriously not worth it. The only time
TOP TEN FILMS OF THE YEAR Have any of this months films made the line-up?…22
'.5' should ever be used is when scoring out of 5. But if your giving half marks in that situation your scoring out of 10 anyway so you may as well just use a 1-10 scale you idiots.
FILMIC 03 / OCTOBER 2010 / 3
A WORD FROM THE EDITOR Omg it’s issue three!! And it’s our most packed issue to date, somehow. We have overcome university woes and work commitments to bring you five whole reviews and a preview, plus our newly updated Top 10 Films of the Year. It’s a high rating issue this month too as *spoilers* there isn’t actually a film that gets lower than a 7 this month. That’s gotta be some kinda record! Shame we’ve only been running three months really... Anywho, despite the size (or more likely, because of it) we are a bit later to publish than I predicted last month so I won’t bother giving you a date for the next issue. Just keep on the look out around this time next month and I’m sure we’ll pop up somewhere. Or, if you can be bothered, you can subscribe! I think it involves joining issuu but I have no idea. Look into it yourselves!! However you find us we should be here again next month so speak to you soon!!
CONTRIBUTORS ADAM MUSGRAVE – Film Critic wannabe who is single-handed keeping Orange Wednesdays going. http://thegroovyguidetofilms.blogspot.com/ http://twitter.com/Muzzy88
HAYLEY MOORE – Graphic designer extraordinaire http://hayleymoore.blogspot.com/ http://twitter.com/design_dream
FILMIC 03 / OCTOBER 2010 / 4
FILMIC 03 / OCTOBER 2010 / 5
BURIED WOW. ALTHOUGH I’D HEARD QUITE A lot of good things about Buried I must admit I did have my reservations. After all, could one man trapped in a buried coffin with no flashbacks, no cut-aways, no sub-plots and no other characters to relate to really carry 95 minutes of film? It sounded unlikely to me. Sure, the idea has cropped up in other films (Kill Bill Volume 2 springs instantly to mind) but never at such length, only for small portions of the story. Could the idea of being buried alive successfully make the transition into becoming the entire story of a film then? Turns out that with a bit of imagination and technique it easily can. If you were to go by the trailers shown before the film (Saw 3D, Let Me In, Paranormal Activity 2) and some of the general marketing of Buried you would be forgiven for thinking it was one of these torture porn horror films, with Reynolds trapped down there for the sadistic pleasure of some mad serial killer. In reality I didn’t really find the film scary at all and his situation is actually the result of terrorists in Iraq. It’s tense, shocking and at times very claustrophobic but, to me, it certainly wasn’t a horror film. Instead what drives the film is the increasing desperation of Paul Conroy (Reynolds) to escape from the coffin, and the feeling of the walls slowly closing in on him as his situation gets ever more bleak. The guy just can’t seem to catch a break. Because, surprisingly for a film set entirely within a box, there is in fact quite a lot of plot development. The way the layers of truth behind what has happened to Paul are slowly revealed is excellent - each new revelation comes just at the right point to keep you interested in the story. And how exactly does Paul find out all of this information? The mobile phone. These little things are usually the bane of scriptwriters everywhere as it gives your character the ability to call for help the second any trouble starts. It takes away from the tension of a situation if you know they can just call someone for help. Usually now you find thrown in lines explaining
the area conveniently has no signal, or the character will lose their phone. Some films just pretend they don’t even exist. Not here. Here the phone is the most important tool in progressing the story and providing drama. Whether it’s calling people for help (specifically people who seem very unconcerned about the situation and constantly put Paul on hold!), Receiving calls from the kidnapper or even using it to make a ransom video, the phone is, after Reynolds himself, the most important factor in the film. Without it we really would just be watching one man alone in a box. And I think that would be pretty boring. Whilst there are a surprising amount of plot developments, the film also gives plenty of time over to just watching Paul try to survive and cope with the predicament he has found himself in. There are numerous occasions where the screen goes black and all you can do is listen to him shuffling around or giving himself a pep talk. It may sound slightly boring here but it’s actually very effective on the big screen with surround sound. Whether it will lose some of its appeal on a smaller television is something that remains to be seen. In all honesty though I can see Reynolds’ performance more than making up for anything that is lost in translation from cinema to front room. He does such a fantastic job of making you believe he really is trapped inside the coffin and shows such emotion over the possibility of never seeing his wife, son and mother again that by the end of the film you are really willing him to escape from his grave alive. Reynolds is hot property now - soon to be starring in DC’s Green Lantern film and, if everything goes to plan, Marvel’s Deadpool film - and with this performance you can really see why. Hopefully Hollywood calling at his door will not stop him from doing some more smaller fare independent films like this sometime in the future as he almost single-handedly carries us through the film, though credit must also be given to Robert Paterson as Dan Brenner, a hostage support worker on the other end of the phone who attempts to talk Paul through
‘HERE THE PHONE IS THE MOST IMPORTANT TOOL IN PROGRESSING THE STORY AND
FILMIC 03 / OCTOBER 2010 / 6
his situation and give him hope, providing a good character for Reynolds to bounce off and become increasingly frustrated with. Finally I have to highlight the amazing work of the director and cameramen. Throughout the film we are consistently presented with technically amazing and imaginative shots that are a joy to look at. Somehow they pull off the effect of having the camera pan around a full 360 degrees, looking around the entire interior of the coffin in one glorious shot. My only theory on how this could be achieved is if they suspended a coffin in the air and cut a hole in the bottom for the camera to go through. Whether this would actually work I’m not sure but however they did it, it was without doubt worth the effort. Another memorable shot is a simple but effective crane shot, where the camera slowly rises up from Reynolds face revealing a prison cell of tall wooden walls with Reynolds lying, now tiny, at the bottom. It plays with perspective - obviously the walls of the coffin are not really this tall but I imagine the idea was to represent how far underground and how far from help Paul feels he is. The only downside to all of this camera trickery is that it actually manages to make the film feel a lot less claustrophobic than you would imagine at times as the camera seems to be able to move freely in as much space as it likes. This is easily forgivable though considering the deal we get in return - a plethora of beautiful and impressive sequences. Buried is a rampant success then. The way it sticks completely to its guns, remaining with
BURIED Released: OCTOBER 1ST Director: RODRIGO CORTES Running time: 95MINS In short: Intense thriller starring Ryan Reynolds taking place entirely within a buried coffin. Completely original and a technical masterpiece.
‘THE ONLY DOWNSIDE TO ALL OF THIS
IS THAT IT ACTUALLY MANAGES TO MAKE THE FILM FEEL A LOT LESS
Paul and the coffin throughout the entire film, is very admirable and ultimately really pays off. Of course, there are only two options when it comes to how the film ends. Paul either gets out of the coffin alive or he dies in there. All I will say is that by the time the end comes you will be willing hard for that last minute escape, as the rescue party on the other end of the phone pleads with him to just hold on for a few more seconds. Does he make it? I urge you to find out for yourselves.
8/10 FILMIC 03 / OCTOBER 2010 / 7
FILMIC 03 / OCTOBER 2010 / 8
THE OTHER GUYS
THE OTHER GUYS Released: SEPTEMBER 17TH Director: ADAM MCKAY Running time: 107MINS In short: A slightly more low key Will Ferrell than many of us are used to leads to one of his funniest films for some time, but it lacks in both story and stamina.
LAST ISSUE I PREVIEWED THIS FILM and expressed my high hopes that it would help us all forget the mediocrity-fest that was Land of the Lost. The signs were promising Will Ferrell seemed to have decided to take on a more toned-down role that was less likely to annoy, Samuel L. Jackson and The Rock were on board in entertaining looking cameo roles, and the backdrop of ‘cops in New York’ gave the excuse to include plenty of decent action sequences. As much as I consider Will Ferrell to be pretty hit-or-miss, I had to admit this looked more hit than miss. Could The Other Guys live up to this promise? Let’s find out… Just to recap, Allen Gamble (Will Ferrell) and Terry Hoitz (Mark Wahlberg) are two cops in New York, constantly overshadowed by their more popular and technically more successful co-workers Danson (Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson) and Highsmith (Samuel L. Jackson). When Danson and Highsmith are killed in the
line of duty, Gamble and Hoitz realise there is a space to fill and attempt to become the new darlings of the city. By chance they uncover a plot by billionaire David Ershon (Steve Coogan) to cover his annual losses by scamming others into giving him the money. Despite Gamble’s resistance to become a gun-toting hero and Hoitz’s frustrated inability to understand his new partner’s attitude, they realise they must get along and work together in order to solve their first big case. Now, over everything else, the most important thing with this type of film is obviously whether or not it is funny. Really it needs to be more than just funny in order to truly stand out from the crowd, but making the audience laugh is certainly the main priority here. Thankfully in this department The Other Guys is without doubt a success. From the early moments in which Danson and Highsmith chase down a guy with a minimal
amount of drugs in a wrecked double-decker bus (causing hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of damage to the city in the process), to an absolutely hilarious (presumably ad-libbed by Ferrell) speech about lion-hunting tuna, you know you’re onto a winner. Other highlights include Gamble being inexplicably attractive to all beautiful women and his dark history as a pimp (providing some great shots of Ferrell strutting around with armfuls of women), and police captain Gene Mauch (Michael Keaton) obliviously spouting song titles of R&B group TLC. The jokes come thick and fast in the first 60 minutes or so and it’s a real hoot to watch. A lot of this is down to some great performances from the assembled cast. I have to start off with Samuel Jackson and The Rock here as they completely steal away the first 15 minutes of the film from Ferrell and Wahlberg. In fact the film purposefully puts pretty much all of the attention on Danson FILMIC 03 / OCTOBER 2010 / 9
and Highsmith at the start of the movie. They know a good thing when they see it. Exuding confidence and cockiness, Samuel Jackson and The Rock are perfect to play the two larger than life cops and there isn’t anything much cooler than seeing these two side by side. Their already legendary ‘aim for the bushes’ death sequence is ludicrous, but certainly hilarious and very memorable. I would love to see a spin-off film based on Danson and Highsmith but, alas, I expect the chances of it happening are very slim. It’s a huge shame as we really need to see more than just 15 minutes of these two together. As for Ferrell his character comes across as unsure of himself, lacking in confidence and afraid to get into a confrontation. This is strange for a Ferrell character, characters who are usually loud, shouty and abrasive. Ferrell plays him well though and it’s nice to see him calm and quiet for a change, whilst still managing to be incredibly funny. Instead, Wahlberg gets the more aggressive character here and plays him with a good mix of anger, frustration, jealousy and disbelief. And then from absolutely nowhere Michael Keaton comes along and shows he has some excellent comedic timing too. The lines are clearly good but when spoken by these skilled performers they are taken to another level. The cast is a massive part of the movies success. Rather unfortunately though, they have to be.
it continues to maintain a humorous spirit and never takes itself too seriously. It’s a sign that director Adam McKay knows how to present his film and understands what the audience is expecting from it, whilst also getting to impress with a few welldirected action scenes earlier in the film. Overall The Other Guys is great fun and does have some truly side-splitting moments. It may not quite live up Anchorman and it has its problems but it manages to do something quite surprising - it makes me look forward to the next Will Ferrell film. And, of course, come that film I will be stuck in the exact same position of knowing I’ll either love it or hate it. Some things never change.
‘FROM THE EARLY MOMENTS IN WHICH DANSON AND HIGHSMITH CHASE DOWN A GUY WITH A MINIMAL AMOUNT OF DRUGS IN A WRECKED DOUBLE-DECKER BUS …TO AN ABSOLUTELY HILARIOUS …SPEECH ABOUT LIONHUNTING TUNA, YOU KNOW
The ‘partners put their differences aside to prevent a greater threat’ plot isn’t exactly original and in this case it ends up being fairly boring. The reveal that Coogan’s character is actually targeting the police retirement fund in order to cover his losses doesn’t have anywhere near the impact that it probably should and not much time is really spent on developing Coogan, his business or how he lost all the money in the first place. In the end we just accept the little scraps of information that we are given, just enough to understand what is going on, and let the film do with that what we are all expecting to happen anyway. It’s pretty mundane stuff but as I mentioned earlier the main objective of this film is to make us laugh, not shock us all with a deep and thought-provoking story. Understandably the jokes do dry up a little towards the end as we start to wrap up the loose ends and race towards a conclusion, and naturally this is the weakest portion of the film. But unlike the other actioncomedy film of the summer, Knight and Day,
YOU’RE ONTO A WINNER.’
FILMIC 03 / OCTOBER 2010 / 10
FILMIC 03 / OCTOBER 2010 / 11
THE RUN FILMIC 03 / OCTOBER 2010 / 12
MORE THAN 30 YEARS AFTER THEIR BR DOWNS OF THE RUNAWAYS, THE ORIGINAL AM FOR A GENERATION THAT
REAK-UP COMES THIS FILM ABOUT THE FORMATION, THE UPS AND THE MERICAN ALL-GIRL ROCK BAND. BUT CAN THE FILM SUSTAIN INTEREST IS NOT OVERLY FAMILIAR WITH THEIR MUSIC? TURN THE PAGE TO SEE.
FILMIC 03 / OCTOBER 2010 / 13
I was not aware of the music of The Runaways before I went to see this film. Seeing the film was mainly a decision based on the fact that I like to see as many new releases as I can and this one in particular had hot girls in their underwear and a few mild lesbian scenes. Plus Hayley really wanted to see it for some reason. Don’t ask me why, she’d never heard of them either. And I’m pretty sure she isn’t that bothered about lesbians but I’ll stop that there before she starts demanding I edit the review. Anyway the point is I now love the music of The Runaways and they have suddenly become probably my favourite girl band. I’m listening to them on Spotify now as inspiration for writing the review. So, if nothing else, the film has done something good, right? Luckily giving me the gift of their music is not the only thing I can praise The Runaways for. It’s actually a pretty good little film in its own right, if a little stereotypical in its portrayal of the band’s ultimate meltdown due to sex and drugs. But hey, if that’s what happened in real life then fair enough. You can hardly hold a slightly obvious story against the film if it’s just trying to present a fairly accurate portrayal of what really happened. Whilst I obviously don’t know enough about the band to say for certain, I’m willing to give the film the benefit of the doubt and forgive it in this department. The involvement of lead guitarist Joan Jett on the DVD commentary leads me to believe there is at least a fair amount of truth to the tale anyway.
Obviously this limits the scope of the story as we only really get the points of view of Joan and Cherie, but on the other hand both Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning put in very interesting and engrossing performances, completely different from anything I’d seen either of them do before. Stewart especially impressed me as far from the rather awkward or bitchy character I have seen her play before, she really connects with the lifestyle and attitude the role requires and makes for a very believable care-free rock chick. I also found the representation of the 70s rock scene very interesting and enjoyed getting a feel for what it would have been like to grow up in that era. Constant references to David Bowie are always going to win me over and so will numerous moments where Kristen Stewart says “bitchin’”. It’s the simple things that get me. Despite my complaints of the sex and drugs turmoil being a bit old hat and predictable it is actually handled quite well and is attentiongrabbing stuff. You do get immersed into the world and it’s somewhat appealing to live the rock and roll lifestyle through the characters on screen. And, really, you can’t complain about Kristen and Dakota having a bit of a snog can you?
‘STEWART ESPECIALLY IMPRESSED ME AS FAR FROM THE RATHER AWKWARD OR BITCHY CHARACTER I HAVE SEEN HER PLAY BEFORE, SHE REALLY CONNECTS WITH THE LIFESTYLE AND ATTITUDE THE ROLE REQUIRES AND MAKES FOR A VERY BELIEVABLE
The first half of the film chronicling the formation of the band is arguably the most interesting sequence of events and here Michael Shannon shines as Kim Fowley, the American music producer who put the band together. He comes up with amusing challenges for the band such as having a prospective rowdy audience throw dog poo at them, and tells the girls that to survive in the male dominated rock scene they must learn to “think with their dicks”. It’s obvious he’s in it mainly for the money and constantly plays the girls against each other to his own advantage and amusement. The band eventually split with Fowley in real life over disagreements about money and his management style, so his portrayal as a bit of a creep here is hardly a surprise.
CARE-FREE ROCK CHICK.’
The band actually lasted for four years but you wouldn’t think so watching the film. It rockets through their time together, never really paying attention to much else other than the problems that Joan Jett (Kristen Stewart) and lead singer Cherie Currie (Dakota Fanning) face and pretty much completely ignoring the other members of the band, who probably get about three or four lines each in the entire run time. FILMIC 03 / OCTOBER 2010 / 14
All in all the film isn’t anything amazingly special but many of the mistakes it makes are fairly minor or forgivable. When it’s strong it’s really worth seeing but if you don’t connect to the music and the lifestyle that the film presents and that the band stood for then there’s nothing in the run-ofthe-mill story that is really going to appeal to you that much. Maybe more than usual with a film, it is purely down to individual taste as to whether you consider this worth seeing. I wouldn’t recommend it to just anyone, but if you like the sound of it or, of course, are a fan of the band, then it is certainly not to be missed.
THE RUNAWAYS Released: SEPTEMBER 6TH Director: FLORIA SIGISMONDI Running time: 106MINS In short: Biopic of the 70s all-girl rock band. Great representation of the 70s rock scene but ultimately too niche to really have wider appeal.
FILMIC 03 / OCTOBER 2010 / 15
FILMIC 03 / OCTOBER 2010 / 16
BACK TO THE FUTURE BACK TO THE FUTURE Released: JULY 3RD, 1985 Director: ROBERT ZEMECKIS Running time: 116MINS In short: Hilarious and astonishingly well made 80s classic. Do I really need to go over the story with you? If you haven’t seen it you’re mad. RIGHT, I’VE BEEN MEANING TO DO A ‘classic’ film review for some time now but I was never sure which film I should do. One of my well-touted favourites like Pulp Fiction, Fight Club, or Shawshank Redemption? Too obvious. Thankfully my mind was made up for me when Universal decided that they would re-release Back to the Future to cinemas in order to celebrate its 25th anniversary. How could I pass up on the opportunity to see Back to the Future on a massive screen? Well, basically, I couldn’t. And I’m very glad that I went as it’s only under such perfect conditions and away from all distractions that I realised what an amazingly well put together film this is… The first, most rewarding thing you realise on repeat viewings of Back to the Future is how clever the film is at intricately setting up the story and giving us all the details we need to know right from the start. The people handing out flyers and rallying to save the clock tower that was struck by lightening, the stories told by Marty’s mom about how she met George when her dad ran him over in the car and then first kissed him at the Enchantment Under the Sea dance, Biff bullying George even as an adult, Doc telling Marty the story of how he invented the flux capacitor. It all comes into play later on in the film when Marty goes back to 1955. Even smaller things, unimportant to the plot are referenced - we see the posters
of the black Mayor in 1985 and then watch as Marty gives him the idea in the first place, Doc mentions the town used to be all fields run by farmer Peabody and then we meet him later on trying to pump shotgun shells into Marty. I could go on for the full review. You can’t say this about many films but there really is not a line that is wasted in Back to the Future. Everything that happens is there to advance the plot or give us vital information about the characters. It’s a hell of a good script.
but it works. They are a truly memorable double act. It’s funny, thinking about it, that the film got away with being a PG, especially in the 80s with the dawn of new censorship rules coming along with the rise of the VHS. After all the film essentially focuses on a love triangle between a teenage boy, his mum, and his dad. It never gets very deep (the kiss between Marty and his mom is quickly negated by the fact she feels weird after doing it), but the fact remains it’s a strange and somewhat uncomfortable issue. Furthermore there’s a surprising amount of swearing in the film. It never gets worse than a few “shit”’s and a “bastard” but it did take me unawares having not seen the film for a couple of years. It has to be said though, the swearing is used to great comic effect, the most memorable being Doc’s “If my calculations are correct, when this baby hits eighty-eight miles per hour…you’re gonna see some serious shit!” You just cannot begrudge a film a line like that.
THERE REALLY IS NOT A
LINE THAT IS WASTED
IN BACK TO THE FUTURE. EVERYTHING THAT HAPPENS IS THERE TO ADVANCE THE PLOT OR GIVE US VITAL
At the centre of it all is Marty and his family. After interfering with the past, Marty has to make sure his parents still get together to ensure his own existence. And he has a time limit, a good device in film for ensuring suspense and getting the attention of the audience - will he be able to put things right and get back to the car in time for the lightning bolt hitting or will he be trapped in the past for good? It’s also a story of good uprising against evil as George the underdog must put aside his fears and stand up to Biff to get the girl. Surely, one of the most heroic moments ever seen in a cinema is George McFly finally saying no to Biff and then smacking him right in the mouth in order to save Lorraine? By triggering this event, Marty does changes history, and on his return the loser family he once had has been transformed into a successful, happy, good looking family, whilst Biff is now pretty much their servant. It’s possibly the only thing that does bug me about the film – is that a good message? We all feel sorry for George as Biff bullies him and gets him to do his work but it’s ok once the roles are reversed? Thinking about it though, New George doesn’t really come across as being that mean and to be fair Biff deserves it anyway… maybe it is ok after all!
INFORMATION ABOUT THE CHARACTERS. IT’S A HELL OF A GOOD SCRIPT.
Let us not forget this film is also the story of an eccentric inventor named Doc Brown, one of the greatest film characters of all time. With the performance of a lifetime (can you believe he initially turned the role down?!) Christopher Lloyd brings so much character, humour and personality to the role of Doc Brown that he will stick in the memory of film-lovers for generations to come. A character that could have come across as being just another typical crackpot inventor becomes so much more than that here. Lloyd’s delivery of his lines is perfect, making anything Doc says sound fittingly important, urgent, sad, or funny. And the weird relationship between Marty and Doc (possible bro-mance?) is intriguing. Why does Marty, a keen guitar player, spend so much time with an old scientist anyway? Why doesn’t Marty appear to have any close friends except for Doc? It’s mental
Stand-out moments? Johnny Be Good, the visit from ‘Darth Vader’ of the planet Vulcan, Pepsi Free, the reveal of Doc’s bullet proof vest as a result of Marty’s warning note… there’s too many to list. The whole film is scene after memorable scene. I never really thought about it before re-watching it at the cinema but upon reflection Back to the Future just is an ultimately perfect film. Sitting there, trying to pull it apart and think of one thing it does wrong, I would be thwarted every time. If you have somehow managed to go through life without seeing Back to the Future (and I can’t for the life of me understand how) then you really do need to. It’s your density.
FILMIC 03 / OCTOBER 2010 / 17
A TOWN CALLED PANIC A TOWN CALLED PANIC
toys, even at its most bizarre.
Released: OCTOBER 8TH
Cowboy and Indian make up one of the silliest double acts I have ever seen, neither of them being any more intelligent than the other and constantly doing anything they can to slack around or generally wind up Horse. Horse meanwhile is very even tempered and cultural, with aspirations to play the piano, the straight man to the idiocy that surrounds him. The dialogue is very fast paced and is of course all in French, but I found this really helped to give the film an extra something. I thought the effect may well be lost with a translation to English and doing some searches on Youtube I found some English dubbed episodes of the TV shorts the film is based on. Horse has a deep, thick Yorkshire accent and Cowboy is Liverpudlian. For me, it completely spoils the atmosphere that is created by watching it in French with subtitles.
Directors: STÉPHANE AUBIER, VINCENT PATAR Running Time: 75MINS In short: Wacky Franco-Belgian stop motion animation. Ridiculously random but very funny and well worth seeing if you get the chance.
I’m going to keep this short and sweet as most of the readers of Filmic will not have heard of this film and will likely have no means of seeing it anyway. It hasn’t been released to any of the big chains such as Odeon or Cineworld, but if you’re lucky enough to have an independent cinema in your area (like me!) then you may be in luck and I thoroughly recommend you check this little gem out. Remember the stop motion Cravendale milk ads? This is made by the same people who did those and you can tell from the off. All the characters look like little plastic toys and waddle and hop around the screen in an amusing manner. The film centres around Cowboy, Indian and Horse who live in one of two houses in the town, the other being occupied by Stephen the constantly shouting farmer, and his wife Janine. There is also a love interest for Horse in Madame Longray (a female horse, natch) who works at the local school, and Policeman and Postman attempt to keep the town running smoothly, failing miserably. The crazy antics begin when Cowboy and Indian decide to surprise Horse by building him a barbeque for his birthday. Unfortunately rather than order 50 bricks they accidentally order 50 million. They build the barbeque and store the rest of the bricks on top of the house. The extra weight eventually causes the ground to cave in and destroys the house. Attempts to build a new house lead the gang through a series of increasingly ludicrous situations, visiting a frozen tundra, the centre of the Earth and the bottom of the ocean. They meet a giant robotic penguin full of slave-driving scientists and strange underwater fish people, one of whom is called Gerard. All the while the film keeps up a brilliant sense of humour and the distinct personalities and charm of all the characters really helps to draw you into the film and forget that they are really just little FILMIC 03 / OCTOBER 2010 / 18
AS IT IS, THE FILMMAKERS
KNEW EXACTLY WHAT THEY WERE DOING HERE
AND I DON’T THINK THEY WANTED TO DO ANYTHING MORE THAN MAKE A FILM
WHICH IS UTTERLY STUPID, BUT VERY FUNNY AND INSTANTLY APPEALING. THEY HAVE SUCCEEDED.
The running time here is short but it’s just perfect for the film. Any longer and the joke could start to wear a bit thin and the random situations could all become a bit blasé with an “Oh, now what?” type reaction. As it is, the filmmakers knew exactly what they were doing here and I don’t think they wanted to do anything more than make a film which is utterly stupid, but very funny and instantly appealing. They have succeeded. One last point, this film would enter our Top 10 Of the Year (to be found at the end of every issue) but it was released in France last Summer so I shall class it as a 2009 film. If I was to place it on that list though it would currently occupy the number seven slot. As I say, very worth seeing.
FILMIC 03 / OCTOBER 2010 / 19
FILMIC 03 / OCTOBER 2010 / 20
BURKE AND HARE BURKE AND HARE Released: OCTOBER 29TH Director: JOHN LANDIS Starring: SIMON PEGG, ANDY SERKIS, ISLA FISHER, CHRISTOPHER LEE, TIM CURRY, RONNIE CORBETT, BILL BAILEY FOR OUR PREVIEW THIS MONTH I SHALL be looking ahead to Burke and Hare, the new offering from director John Landis and his first film since 1998. This is the guy who directed classics such as Blues Brothers, Animal House and An American Werewolf in London, though obviously that was a long time ago. After so long away from the studio, will Landis still have the magic to create something funny and worthwhile? Well, Simon Pegg certainly seems to think so and if the script is good enough for him then its got me interested in seeing it. Pegg is in huge demand at the moment and seems to pop up in something every few months. Its impressive how he’s gone from being a small name in British sitcoms to a huge Hollywood superstar in just a few years. Burke and Hare sees him and Andy Serkis (Lord of the Rings trilogy, Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll) take on the personas of the famous grave-robbers from the 19th century. There’s been a lot of talk whether making a light-hearted comedy out of a rather grim and serious subject is a good idea, or respectful to the families involved at the time. Pegg has pointed out on numerous occasions that the film is actually a lot darker than it appears in the trailers and so on, making neither heroes or villains of the two men, and that the film should be judged only once viewed as a whole. This is of course sensible advice for any film and I’m eager to see just how dark it does end up getting. It has to be said though, if the film does end up being more of a light-hearted comedy, they have a great light-hearted comedy cast to fit the bill! Plenty of great British comedy actors are set to appear, whether just in small cameos or in larger roles. Bill Bailey takes on the role of an executioner and no other than the legendary Ronnie Corbett himself plays the lead villain of the
piece. Then you have the delights of Reece Shearsmith, Jessica Hynes and Stephen Merchant popping up throughout the film. And if that wasn’t enough you can have film legends Christopher Lee and Tim Curry too. Based on that cast it’s hard to see how the film could possibly be anything other than brilliant. They can’t all have a misfire surely? Having said that, I can’t say I’ve been amazingly impressed by what I’ve seen of it so far. The trailer isn’t bad, raising a few smiles, but it doesn’t scream must see. The poster is, I have to say, terrible. The characters (complete with big, cheery smiles) have blatantly been photoshopped awkwardly together onto a boring white background and the whole thing makes it look like it’s a cheery family bit of fun. You start to understand where all the haters of this film are getting their ideas from. To be fair though, the marketing for the film is completely separate from the film making itself. Obviously Entertainment Film Studios haven’t got a clue how to advertise this film or what audience they are trying to interest. Hopefully this confusion isn’t telling of or a result of the film itself and upon watching it we will get a clear sense of the films aims and the message it wants to present us with. Otherwise it could all turn out to be a bit of a mess.
PEGG HAS POINTED OUT ON NUMEROUS OCCASIONS THAT THE FILM IS ACTUALLY A LOT DARKER THAN IT APPEARS IN THE TRAILERS AND SO ON, MAKING NEITHER HEROES OR VILLAINS OF THE TWO MEN, AND THAT THE FILM SHOULD BE JUDGED ONLY ONCE VIEWED AS A WHOLE.
Nevertheless, based on the fact it’s Landis’ first film for twelve years and it has such an amazing cast, I am still very much looking forward to seeing it. I would probably have been even more excited if the initial casting had held though, as David Tennant was initially in place to play Hare, eventually pulling out and being replaced with Serkis. I have nothing against Serkis of course, his performance as Gollum in Lord of the Rings is amazingly inhuman, but it would have been great to see The Doctor himself starring alongside people like Ronnie Corbett. Never mind, eh? Burke and Hare opens on October 29th and we will have a review next issue!
FILMIC 03 / OCTOBER 2010 / 21
FILMS OF THE
5. KICK ASS
Our next comic book entry and our second child star in the making as Chloe Moretz says the immortal C-word and everyone goes BONKERS.
An imaginative, original and very tense film that deserves much more attention than it has had. Impressive performance from new Hollywood darling Ryan Reynolds.
felt like we should have some kind of
ongoing feature here in the pages of and after a bit of consideration
it ’ d be cool to have a constantly updating top
films of the year .
seen new films
good enough to go in it !) so keep an eye out
7. IRON MAN 2 Unfortunately not as good as the original but the amazingly charismatic Robert Downey Jr. is enough to make this very entertaining anyway.
for it in each issue and make sure you ’ ve seen all the films on the list !
the end of the
year we ’ ll have a definitive list of the best
2010. A nd then we can start afresh 2011! R emember , this list contains only films that I have seen . T here are a few other films that I reckon would make it onto the list based on what I’ ve heard about them but unfortunately I haven ’ t seen them yet . H opefully I can rectify this at some point . films of for
1. INCEPTION The first must see film of the year, Christopher Nolan gives us one of the most original and intelligent films for some time. Emotionally gripping and simply superb.
2. TOY STORY 3 The second must see film of the year. The best three-quel of all time and maybe the best in the series. Definitely worth the wait!
3. SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD
The first of a few comic book films on the list, this is the best. Brimming with style it is complete geek heaven.
4. THE KARATE KID
Surprisingly entertaining 80s remake with great chemistry between Jadan Smith and Jackie Chan. No karate to be found though! FILMIC 03 / OCTOBER 2010 / 22
8. THE TWILIGHT SAGA: ECLIPSE
Easily the strongest of the Twilight films, I am going to get absolutely ripped to pieces for including this on the list.
9. THE RUNAWAYS
Well well well. Kristen Stewart now has TWO films in our top 10. She, rather unexpectedly, becomes the first star to be given that honour (I’m sure she would be very pleased!).
10. THE EXPENDABLES Action, action, action!!
FILMIC 03 / OCTOBER 2010 / 23
FILMIC 03 / OCTOBER 2010 / 24