Thursday 30 December 2010


Obscurity Files #34 - Jack Frost

As it's still slightly dodgy weather conditions, I thought I'd bring this festive season to a close by looking at a film that celebrates the joyous times snow can bring us. Today lets look at the killer Snowman movie, Jack Frost.
More after the jump...

Friday 24 December 2010

Merry Christmas!!

Merry Christmas! As the great Clark W. Griswold once said...

"We're going to have the hap, hap, happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny fucking Kaye. And when Santa squeezes his fat white ass down that chimney tonight, he's going to find the jolliest bunch of assholes this side of the nut-house."

I'll be back in a few days, but until then I hope you all have a nice Christmas.

Thursday 23 December 2010

Question. When Are They Making Taken 2? Answer. Unknown

We've just been blessed with another new poster for the upcoming Liam Neeson thriller, Unknown. Why they're still keeping up any pretense that this isn't basically just Taken 2, I don't know.

Seriously, if in Unknown, Liam Neeson ends up running around Europe when his daughter goes missing whilst following U2 on tour, leading to a cat and mouse game that uncovers many truths about the practice of human trafficking and the sex trade, I'm going to be pretty pissed off.

YOUR HIGHNESS trailer review

Here's the new cleaner version of the recent Your Highness trailer, minus a couple of buttocks but still with a major ass in it.
I just don't know what to think of this film. As you'd expect from the follow up to Pineapple Express, it's going for the stoner comedy crowd, but also clearly has some money behind the effects and costumes. Danny McBride is certainly an acquired taste, but I've liked him in most of his big screen roles. I've not been able to see much of Eastbound and Down (his TV series where he plays a washed up ex-Major Leaguer), but I've heard good things. I'm not so sure on the role he's playing here, as McBride's cutting one liners just won't work with this type of line delivery.

There's a variety of flawed English accents on show here, with McBride's being the most distracting of all. It rivals Dick Van Dyke in awfulness, and I just don't know if I'm going to be able to sit through two hours of that. With a name like Your Highness there's probably going to be plenty of stoner sight gags from pratfalls to special effects showcases, of which this trailer hints at a few; although I've no idea what the hell that weird, squid-person thing from the end of the trailer was.

James Franco is already a fairly big name from his appearances in the Spider-Man franchise and Pineapple Express, but is about to hit super fame following the release of 127 Hours (perhaps with some award nominations attached). He's also presenting the Oscars this year, so he must be keen to keep flexing those comedic muscles of his. Natalie Portman, his co-star here, is also odds on for an Oscar nod, so who knows what kind of crowd is going to end up watching this film. I wouldn't expect it to deserve more than a niche audience, as it's basically Harold and Kumar go Medieval.

If you saw the previous version of the trailer, you may notice that this time Natalie Portman's been given a fetching pair of airbrushed on pants to protect her modesty whilst bathing. Why they'd bother doing this prudish behaviour, I don't know. If you're making a film packed with the consumption of drugs, masturbation gags and that scary squid bloke, a bit of rump's not going to do any harm.

Zooey Deschanel and Justin Theroux also make brief appearances in this trailer, but it looks like they're out of the picture for most of the story, leaving Franco, McBride and Portman to quest along nicely. I'll be honest, I'm just not sold on this idea, and it's with much trepidation that I'm going to have to say that I'm not particularly looking forward to this Zooey Deschanel, Natalie Portman starring comedy.

I never thought in a million years I'd say that.

Due June 2011
Anticipation Level

Tuesday 21 December 2010

Hoppy Christmas from the Marketing Executives

Everyone's heard about the upcoming kid's movie Hop, right? It stars Russell Brand as the Easter Bunny, although they've gone down the CGI critter route rather than using the much preferred 'Ex Heroin Addict in a Giant Bunny Suit' method. It may only be voice acting, but is this the moment Russell Brand arrives screaming into the mainstream? It's brought to us from the guys who made Alvin and the Chipmunks and its sequel (or Squeakquel if you're a pedant), so that should tell you what to expect.

In a slightly confusing and desperately crass marketing step, they've just released this new poster to tie in with the Christmas holidays. To verify, they're using the season of goodwill we call Christmas to advertise a film about the Easter Bunny. Classy.

Can't believe they didn't put Hoppy Holidays though.

Sunday 19 December 2010

CATFISH review

Now in cinemas is this intriguing documentary/love story about the relationships we form through the internet and social networking, and of the potential risks involved. Find out more, next...

Friday 17 December 2010

Obscurity Files #33 - The Lawnmower Man

With Tron: Legacy finally hitting our screens this weekend, I thought we could take a look at another film that's at least partially set inside a computer mainframe. Today, it's 1992's Pierce Brosnan/Jeff Fahey starring cyber wet dream that is The Lawnmower Man.

Thursday 16 December 2010

TAKE ME HOME TONIGHT trailer review

The trailer for this new 80's set film starring Topher Grace and Anna Faris has just been released. Watch it here.

As anyone who was a fan of That 70's Show will attest, the arrival of Topher Grace as a movie star has been a long time coming. He was quite possibly the best thing about that show, and deserves to have a more prominent career on the big screen. He was okay as Venom in the slightly crap Spiderman 3 (I blame the role rather the actor), and was quite watchable earlier this year in Predators. They we're both quite stern faced roles, but it looks like this film might give him a real chance to flex his comedic muscles.

Yeah, it does look like it could be a continuation of That 70's Show, jumped ahead by a decade. We're now in the tail end of the 80's nostalgia films, and it'll not be long before it's all about the 90's. For now though, this appears to be succeeding where Hot Tub Time Machine failed. That film (although with some high points) didn't seem to realise it had and capitalise on the two trump cards it was holding in the casting of John Cusack and Crispin Glover. It was the kind of film that should have had more nods to forgotten classics of the 80's.

Take Me Home Tonight looks to have the right level of nostalgia for the 80's. The clothes look awesome, the hair looks just as good/bad, and the story appears to be a slight retread of one of my favourite lost 80's films, License To Drive. If you're going to set a film over one night, the 80's seems to be the perfect era to do it in. There's Blind Date, Adventures In Babysitting, etc. This film is in good company.

The presence of Dan Fogler gives me mixed feelings. I liked him in Fanboys but hated him in Good Luck Chuck, one of the most disgustingly puerile films I've ever had the misfortune to see. However, he tends to play quite brash characters, and I can see that fitting in with a take on Bret Easton Ellis excess. There's not a lot of Anna Faris in this trailer, but she appears to be just a supporting character. Take Me Home Tonight is quite a terrible title for a film really, although it's the kind of easy title option they would have took in the 80's (I'm looking in your direction Can't Buy Me Love), so maybe it'll grow on me.

It's not going to be the best film of the year by a long shot, but it looks like a fairly good fun comedy with a nostalgia kick. I'll be checking it out.

Due March 2011
Anticipation Level

Tuesday 14 December 2010


Out now in cinemas is Gareth Edwards' low budget sci-fi road movie. Read my review, next...

THE WALKING DEAD - Every Zombie Death

The first season of The Walking Dead may have come to an end this week, but at least now we can look back at the series and assess its merits. Whilst the series was certainly more about the survivors than the zombies, it still had its fair share of zombie action, as proven by this fan video compiling all of the zombie deaths in chronological order.

Even when compiled this way, a lot of the kills still seem quite brutal and shocking. I'm in a slight mourning process for this series at the moment, and it's going to be almost a year before the second season starts (hopefully another Halloween debut), so thanks to Eric Linn for making this compilation video, as it should tide me over for a while.

Roll on October 2011. It can't come soon enough.

Monday 13 December 2010


Out now in cinemas is Sofia Coppola's new film, Somewhere. Read my review, next.

Sunday 12 December 2010

THE WALKING DEAD episode six

The season finale of this zombie epic's first season aired in the UK this week. Check out my review, after the jump...

Friday 10 December 2010

REAL STEEL trailer review

Continuing this week's trailer trend of having big bloody robots punching each other, here's the trailer for Hugh Jackman's Real Steel.

So, it's Robot Wars, except instead of Craig Charles, we've got Anthony Mackie from Hurt Locker. I guess that makes Hugh Jackman that nerdy kid who's never going to get a girlfriend, constantly adding new features to his robot to stave off the desire to kill himself. Look! It can flip itself the right way up again! Cool!

The Transformers comparisons are obvious, but the robots here look a lot crappier, like they're straight from the junkyard. They look nicely customised (my money's on the dude with the yellow mohawk), but perhaps wisely haven't been given creepy metallic faces like the Transformers. They're still painfully obvious CGI creations, but that's to be expected.

I'm not quite sure how this is going to compare to the new Transformers film, but something tells me it'll look tame in comparison. It may be boiling down those films to the basic action scenes, but the constant robot on robot fighting was what really spoilt the second film for me. Well, that among other things.

Here's hoping Hugh Jackman's character has got a compelling story to back up all the fighting, and that Anthony Mackie does more than just shout a lot. Real Steel's not out until October next year, clearly wanting to avoid a literal (not literal) robot smackdown with the Transformers franchise, but it shows some promise within its limited setting.

Due October 2011
Anticipation Level

Thursday 9 December 2010

TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON teaser trailer review

The teaser trailer for the third Transformers film has just been released on the web. If you thought the second film was terrible (like me), prepare to be pleasantly surprised.

Well, who'd have thought it. After seemingly ruining the franchise with the second installment, this teaser trailer for the third outing actually looks quite promising. I quite like the idea of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin being super spies, sent to the Moon on a secret mission. Government conspiracies have always played a part in the Transformers films, but this appears to be the biggest one yet.

Of course, what this trailer doesn't show us is any of the present day shenanigans with Shia LaBeouf and Josh Duhamel, and that's where the bulk of the story is going to lie. Little is known about the plot for this one, only that Megan Fox won't be returning and Patrick Dempsey's been added to the cast. Not as a replacement for Fox, obviously. 

I don't know who that robot on the Moon was, but I'm sure he'll turn up at some point to stir things up, hopefully without any cringeworthy racial profiling. Michael Bay took some horrendous missteps on the second film, and I only hope that Steven Spielberg has been able to set him on the right path this time. As for it being in 3D, I'm slightly looking forward to it. The robot on robot fights will be as predictable as ever, but if they use some real outer space photography as backdrops, it'll at least look nice.

I still think this third film has an awful title, but then so did the second film and that turned out to be... oh, wait. It was terrible, wasn't it.

Mr Bay, this is your last chance.

Due July 2011
Anticipation Level

Obscurity Files #32 - Dreamscape

With Inception arriving on DVD and Blu-Ray this week, I thought I'd take a look at another film that travels into people's minds. Today it's the 1984 Dennis Quaid starring Dreamscape...

TRON: LEGACY - The Soundtrack

We may have to wait just over a week to see how Tron: Legacy has turned out (I got to see the 20 minutes of preview footage and was very impressed with the visuals), but we can experience the soundtrack in all its glory now.

The music for the film was created by Daft Punk, who are themselves life long fans of the original Tron and have sneaked a cameo in this sequel. This soundtrack is pretty awesome stuff that meshes well with the electronic world created by Jeff Bridges Kevin Flynn. Here's the video for 'Derezzed' as a taster. See if you can spot Daft Punk.

If you fancy catching yourself a bargain, you can currently download the whole album for just £3.99 from Amazon's MP3 store. It's a limited time offer that runs out this Sunday (12/12/10), so don't hang about on this one folks.

Tuesday 7 December 2010

THE BEAVER trailer review

Tut, tut. Mel Gibson's been a naughty boy recently if the tabloids are to be believed. He's certainly in need of a serious hit if he wants to continue his acting career and deflect some attention away from his recent 'outburts'. Perhaps this bizarre story can offer him sort of cinematic redemption?

Firstly, let me make it clear that I do not in any way condone or endorse the things Mel Gibson's been caught saying to his wife/girlfriend/arresting officer. They may be impressively vulgar statements, but they're the words of an arrogant fool. However, I do think that star's private lives should have some separation from their big screen work, otherwise we're going to end up watching 'faux-reality docu-soap re-enactments of things that might not have really happened, but we'll say they did for dramatic effect' in the cinema soon.

Now, onto this film. As you'd imagine, this tale of a broken man going through a mid-life crisis and saying some stupid things has been mentioned a fair bit over the last year, as it sounded like a ridiculous concept for a film, showing Mel had gone a bit mad by signing on for it. The script for The Beaver was actually on 2008's black list (a list of the year's best unproduced screenplays), so obviously showed some promise. But then, that year's list also included the script for Kevin Smith's stinker Cop Out, so it's not always a guaranteed winner.

Tired of his regular life, Walter finds a raggedy old hand puppet in a dumpster, and decides to use it as the mouthpiece for his internal frustrations. The Beaver (complete with a peculiar Ray Winstone-y accent delivered by Mel), starts to take over all aspects of Walter's life, and may help him to reconnect with his estranged wife (played by the director, Jodie Foster). His angsty son (Anton Yelchin) is far from pleased with his dad's new friend, and just wants him out of his life.

Far from the screwball comedy some were expecting, the film The Beaver seems to have the most in common with is Mrs Doubtfire. Okay, so there's no cross dressing to 'Dude Looks Like a Lady', but both films show a desperate man using a mediator to reconnect with their own family. He gets back into the family home and is able to spend time with his kids again; all the things he should have been doing this whole time.

I for one hope this film does see the light of day (there have been rumours of a permanent delay), as there's more talent on show than just Mel. Anton Yelchin and Jodie Foster appear to have put some good performances in, and I'm keen to see Jennifer Lawrence in another role after impressing so much in this year's Winter's Bone.

The Beaver appears to show a laid back, melancholic and bittersweet look at life. Perhaps Mel needs to see this film himself.

Due February 2011
Anticipation Level

Monday 6 December 2010

Hooray!! It's Nearly Mac and Me Monday!!!!!

Yippee! There's just one week to go until the 80's "classic" that is Mac and Me arrives on DVD in the UK for the first time! Rejoice!

What's that you say? You don't know what Mac and Me is? Well, you've been missing out. Essentially it's the same story as E.T., but told from the perspective of a small wheelchair bound boy, enhanced by the use of constant product placement by McDonald's and other well known brands!

It might sound like an blatant attempt to cash in on an existing property using the powers of SYNERGY, but there's more to it than that. I think. Here you go, I know someone who might be able to explain it better...

Actually, on second thoughts I don't want to watch the film that's promoted by the scary ass clown. Makes you wonder how the little boy ended up in the wheelchair. Maybe he bad mouthed the burgers. 

Just to be safe, I'm off fast food for life.

Sunday 5 December 2010

THE WALKING DEAD episode five

This week saw the penultimate episode of the zombie epic's first season. More after the jump...

Saturday 4 December 2010

Obscurity Files #31 - Repossessed

To commemorate the life of Leslie Nielsen who sadly died this week at the age of 84, we thought we'd look at one of his lesser remembered films. Today it's the turn of Repossessed.

Thursday 2 December 2010

FRED: The Movie

Now that it's December, it's time to start rounding up the contenders for worst film of the year. Well, I'm pretty sure I've found it, and it's not even been released in cinemas yet.

Wednesday 1 December 2010

Happy Birthday Woody Allen

In honour of the great comedy director and actor's 75th birthday today, here's his opening monologue from Annie Hall, followed by the ultimate scene of eavesdropping wish fulfillment. Enjoy.

I can't tell you how many times I've wanted to do that.

Happy Birthday Woody.