Wednesday 30 October 2013

CREEPSHOW Blu-ray review

Newly released on high definition format, Stephen King and George A. Romero's Creepshow is a cult classic just waiting to be discovered.

Thursday 24 October 2013

London Film Festival: THE BOUNCEBACK review

Shown at this month's London Film Festival, here's my review of the Austin, Texas set romantic comedy, The Bounceback.

Saturday 6 July 2013

9 reasons why Duffy: The Talking Cat should be the most talked about film of the year.

1) It stars the voice of Eric Roberts, who sounds like he has literally phoned his role in.

2) If the quotes listed on IMDb are anything to go by, the dialogue will be amazing.

3) The director of this family friendly comedy started off directing porn films starring Ron Jeremy.

4) Although David DeCoteau is the director's real name, he has also been credited as David McCabe, Julian Breen, Joseph Tennant, Richard Chasen, Jack Reed, Martin Tate and in a curious case of gender confusion, Ellen Cabot, Victoria Sloan and Mary Crawford.

5) DeCoteau has an impressive eight films due for release this year.

6) Three of those films have !?! in the title.

7) I'm not sure that the positive quote on the cover is from a reputable source.

8) The cat on the cover looks like this...

Whereas the cat in the actual film looks like this...

9) The special effects for the talking cat are rubbish.

Duffy: The Talking Cat is released on DVD on 15th July. 

Here's the full trailer for your enjoyment.

Friday 7 June 2013

I GIVE IT A YEAR - How to sell a romantic comedy to foreign audiences

Did you know that studio marketing departments often have to make major cosmetic changes to a film's poster in order to promote it effectively in other countries? Take I Give It A Year, for example...

Did you know that Jason Flemyng was removed from the Australian version of the poster due to an incident at a party in Sydney where he went around making everyone tell him that he was their favourite Jason to appear in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels?

Or that Belgian audiences find an abundance of unused white space to be more entertaining than Stephen Merchant's gangly frame and have always had a dislike of Minnie Driver ever since they found out that she actually prefers to drive a Volvo?

How about the fact that audiences in Germany also carry a dislike of Jason Flemyng stemming from a different incident, but are big fans of exclamation points and anachronistic, poorly hidden sofa bombs?

Well now you know. Or maybe some international marketing departments like messing about with posters just for the sake of it.

Saturday 1 June 2013

I hope you're paying attention, Kevin Bacon. This is how pre-film announcements should be made.

Starring Before Midnight's Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke, this new public service announcement for the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin, Texas sees the delightfully snooty pair (notice Hawke name-dropping Tolstoy with great ease) lambast a member of the audience for using their phone while they are talking.

It's a fun little short that serves as a nice warm up for Before Midnight, and as a reminder that The Alamo Drafthouse knows how to expertly belittle people into behaving in their screens. Seriously, imagine how peaceful it would be if a major cinema chain was brave enough to show a video like the following one before each film? The campaign starts here.

Thursday 30 May 2013

World War Zombies VS Zombies of War - What a difference a swastika makes.

Once again proving that I'm quite good at spotting these things before they happen, it appears that the distributors of the upcoming DVD re-release World War Zombies have had a change of heart and decided to revert back to the film's original, less lawsuit baiting title of Zombies of War; the one it had back in 2006 before Brad Pitt decided to make a vaguely similarly worded action film that they could try and piggy back on.

To further distance themselves from the soon-to-be-released big budget World War Z, they've also made a few subtle changes to the design of the DVD cover, swapping out the overturned van for a tank, increasing the devastation around them and replacing the modern, US flag adorned soldiers with old school World War II soldiers with swastika's on.

So wait... are we supposed to be rooting for the Nazis now?

Thursday 23 May 2013

DON JON - Trailer for Joseph Gordon-Levitt's directorial debut

His star may be in rapid ascendence following his role in The Dark Knight Rises, but as we all know, JGL has been working away on his film career for quite a while now in the likes of Mysterious Skin, Brick and last year's time travel head-scratcher Looper. What most people don't know about is his career behind the camera, honing his skills as a filmmaker via his crowd/talent-sourcing website hitRECord for the past few years.

We now have the first widely released feature to spring from Gordon-Levitt's imagination and hitRECord's fertile loins in the form of the Sundance hit Don Jon (formerly titled Don Jon's Addiction for reasons that become apparent when you watch the trailer). Starring Gordon-Levitt in the title role as a Jersey boy falling in love and learning to balance his vices, whether the underlying subject matter is to your taste or not, there's no denying that this directorial debut for Joseph Gordon-Levitt looks fun.

With a supporting cast that includes Scarlett Johansson, Julianne Moore and Tony Danza, from the trailer it's a hard story to peg down, in parts reminding of Fight Club, Taxi Driver and American History X whilst also seeming like none of those films.

Don Jon has a release date of October 18th on the other side of the pond, so expect to see Don Jon arrive in the UK before the end of the year.

Wednesday 15 May 2013

The Good, the Bad and the Blu-rays

There's only one major release this week that won't be to everyone's taste, so why not check out one of the smaller titles or documentaries that have been released this week too?

Monday 13 May 2013

ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT - Season 4 Netflix trailer

Seven long years after its cancellation, it's now less than two short weeks before we see the return of the Bluth family, this time online via Netflix. Despite all the main players returning, there is a worry that somehow they won't be able to recreate the magic that the original series had. There's reportedly been some changes to the format of the show that might seem a bit alien at first, but this trailer shows some moments that are destined to become fan favourites. 

All  15 new episodes of Arrested Development debut on Netflix on Sunday May 26th. One more time just for fun, let's see Buster enjoying his juice.

Friday 10 May 2013

EVIL DEAD 2 MONDO POSTER - Now that's how you pay tribute to a classic horror film.

There was never any rule written down that old films couldn't get new posters, and quite often very good new posters. Perhaps the leading example of this is the work released by Mondo, taking cult favourites and delivering a never ending gallery of related artwork, all by different designers. One new poster has surfaced this week for Sam Raimi's Evil Dead 2, showing Bruce Campbell's Ash within the woods and in the grip of a demonic possession. An undeniably beautifully composed image, this is how you pay tribute to a classic horror film.

Designed by Jason Edmiston, a limited number of prints were made available today and have since sold out, so expect this to become a hard to find collectors item immediately. If there's any mysterious benefactors out there looking to make me happy... this.

Thursday 9 May 2013

Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa - First teaser poster

The first teaser poster for Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa has hit the net and rather than showing off Steve Coogan's mug, it shows one of North Norfolk Digital's as a bullet passes through it, reaching colossal velocity.

Although the freeze-frame bullet is an oft used gag, it works for this teaser poster and references the siege aspect of the film's story; but unless this is just the first in a series of bullet related posters showing the tranquility of Alan's way of life disturbed, they need to get Coogan's grimace on to make a long lasting impact and a poster that students might want to put on their walls as they wear t-shirts that say Crowded House, spending their Saturday afternoon in bed with a girl, wasting their life. It's a beautiful day. They should take her out to a local fort or Victorian folly.

Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa is released in cinemas on August 7th.

Wednesday 8 May 2013

THE WORLD'S END - Poster and first trailer for the final chapter in the Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy

After Edgar Wright revealed the first UK quad poster for The World's End via his Twitter account a couple of days ago, today sees the release of the first trailer for the final part of what has become known as the Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy (or the Blood and Ice Cream trilogy).

Following 2004's Shaun of the Dead and 2007's Hot Fuzz, it has been a while since all three  worked on a project together, what with Hollywood calling and pulling Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost in different directions. But they are now reunited for what may be their grand finale, as a nostalgic pub crawl turns into a race to save the world.

Although some things change, others stay the same, with the brand of comedy the threesome established in Spaced clear to see in this trailer. There's the familiar themes of friendship and male bonding mixed with Wright's kinetic direction; a big reveal that society is not what it first appears (the faces of the the possessed townsfolk look great) and a man failing miserably at jumping over a fence.

The World's End is released in the UK on July 19th followed by the US on August 23rd. It seems like an age away, but luckily the sight of Nick Frost using bar stools as boxing gloves will keep me going until then.

Tuesday 7 May 2013

WORLD WAR Z - It's not just the zombies that are rising from the grave

I would never claim to be a fan of Mockbusters, the often shoddily made knock offs of Hollywood blockbusters that get released on DVD to coincide with the main theatrical release in order to confuse idiots and grandma's out doing their shopping in Tesco. I've never understood how people could get them confused with the genuine article, but as past experience has shown, they are a cottage industry now.

Still, at least the producers of such tat (usually The Asylum) have gone to some effort to actually go out and film something, rather than just change the name of an existing film to make it sound like a bigger, better and much more potentially profitable film. The latest film to suffer this treatment is Brad Pitt's World War Z, based on the book by Max Brooks, with 2006's Zombies of War becoming World War Zombies and 2013's Infected becoming Infection Z.

I just hope the irony of these films unwillingly rising from the grave and shuffling back to life isn't lost on the producers.

World War Z is released in cinemas in June. Expect to see Infection Z and World War Zombies gracing the shelves of your local supermarket's DVD aisle around the same time.

Monday 6 May 2013

The Good, the Bad and the Blu-rays

The slowest week in a while with no big titles getting released, there's still one or two possible rentals mixed in.

Sunday 5 May 2013

Derby ID Fest 2013 - Preview

Following on from my visit to last year's festival, next week I will be returning to the Derby Quad for their annual ID Fest, which this year is looking at the theme of family in film.

Saturday 4 May 2013

The Cineworld Questionnaire: An exercise in how not to do market research.

This week UK cinema chain Cineworld decided to perform a bit of market research by sending out a questionnaire to all of its Unlimited Card subscribers, asking them a few questions about their moviegoing habits. That doesn't sound too ridiculous, does it? Well, wait until you've read the questions.

Friday 3 May 2013

How to destroy the box office chances for Jason Statham's Hummingbird in four easy steps.

Hmmm. I'm not sure what it is, but there's something about the poster for Jason Statham's upcoming London based thriller Hummingbird that's not filling me with confidence. But what can it be?

Let's see. If we do this...

and this...

and this...

Uh oh.

Thursday 2 May 2013

Okay, Christopher Nolan, you can stop it now. I think we all get that you like doing the bottom bit of your posters that way.


which in turn begat...

and now we have this...

Having said that, the new poster for the Zack Snyder directed (yeah, right) Man of Steel does look pretty and in Christopher Nolan's defence, he's Christopher Nolan and can therefore do whatever he likes.

Wednesday 1 May 2013

The Good, the Bad and the Blu-rays

Not a stellar week by any stretch of the imagination; this week's most notable releases sees dangerous aquatic creatures taking over.

Saturday 27 April 2013

Obscurity Files - Jake Speed

Never heard of the literary hero Jake Speed? Let me tell you why...

Wednesday 24 April 2013

THE BLING RING - New trailer for Sofia Coppola's latest film

She may have her detractors out there, but this is a house in which any new Sofia Coppola film is met with excitement, and so here is the new trailer for her Hollywood Hills Burglary film, The Bling Ring. Based on real events that saw celebrities such as Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan burgled when they were out of town, The Bling Ring stars Emma Watson as she continues her evolution from cutesy child actress to rebellious twenty-something.

Coppola is known for directing female actors well and has gotten some stand out performances from unexpected places (Scarlett Johannson and Elle Fanning spring to mind), so the pairing of Coppola and Watson could turn out to be a great move, particularly for Watson who is trying to move on from her schoolgirl wizard past.

It's interesting that this is coming out in the same year as Harmony Korine's Spring Breakers, as there's some clear similarities between them. Both show a generation who are willing to settle for infamy when fame isn't available and assume that they are entitled to privileges that they haven't earned. The fact that the film features burglary victim Paris Hilton as herself lends it a new level of irony that I doubt she can appreciate.

The events depicted may be fresh in the minds of a lot of people and the trailer gives away far too much to those susceptible to spoilers, but it looks stylish, hip and a lot of fun. The Bling Ring is released in the US in June and the UK in July.

Tuesday 23 April 2013

The new trailer for THOR: THE DARK WORLD presented to you in graph form because I felt like it.

If you insist, here's the actual trailer for reference.

Thor: The Dark World will be arriving in cinemas this October in the UK and November in the US, and yes, I did "borrow" the basic idea for this from Total Film. Whatya gonna do, sue me*?

(*Please don't sue me.)

Monday 22 April 2013

Sunday 21 April 2013

EVIL DEAD review

Re-imagining the trip into the woods for a new generation, Evil Dead sees a whole new group forced to suffer through a terrifying ordeal in one night of madness that few will survive.

Obscurity Files - Up The Creek

Picking up where Animal House left off, here's my thoughts on the Tim Matheson led campus comedy, Up The Creek.

Thursday 18 April 2013

MADE OF STONE - New trailer for Shane Meadows' documentary about The Stone Roses

The importance of the Stone Roses to legions of fans is obvious, and from this first trailer for the upcoming documentary about them, it's clear that director Shane Meadows is one of those fans. Although this documentary follows the band's 2012 re-emergence and subsequent live shows, it looks like with this film getting released and the Stone Roses related narrative feature/nostalgic love letter Spike Island arriving in a couple of months time, 2013 might be the year that their legacy is felt cinematically.

From the trailer it looks like an opportunity for Ian Brown, John Squires and company to shed some light on what caused the breakdown of the band and what prompted them to return after 20 years, as well as something of a personal journey for director Shane Meadows, here making his first documentary feature.

The Stone Roses: Made of Stone is premiering in Manchester (where else?) on 30th May before general release on June 5th.

Wednesday 17 April 2013

Only God Forgives - New poster for Ryan Gosling's reunion with Nicolas Winding Refn

Derek Cianfrance's The Place Beyond the Pines isn't Ryan Gosling's only re-pairing with a director this year; he also has Only God Forgives, the follow up to Nicolas Winding Refn's Drive. The first poster has been released today, and it's suitably striking and more than a little bit ugly. But that's kind of the point for a film that will be known, at least a little bit, for its more shocking aspects.

Emblazoned with a garish neon Dragon that can be attributed to the film's Thailand setting, Only God Forgives sees Gosling star as Julien, a Bangkok drug trafficker seeking to avenge his brother's death in the criminal underworld, and as can be seen in the red band trailer, taking a few knocks along the way.

It's a poster that is certainly a talking point to generate interest in the film, but considering Gosling's current megastar status, I expect to see this poster usurped by one with his face on sometime in the near future.

Tuesday 16 April 2013

Just in case I haven't persuaded you to watch Pitch Perfect yet, here's a video that should change all that.

Along with the excellent news that there will be a Pitch Perfect sequel arriving in 2015, today also saw the release of this music video for Anna Kendrick's When I'm Gone, more commonly known as Cups for reasons that will become apparent when you watch it. If they don't become apparent I don't quite know what to suggest, really.

Based on one of the most memorable scenes in the film and showing off the vocal talents of Anna Kendrick (who appears to have a music career now); I doubt it's all one shot once the cups start to move, but I sure as hell can't see the edits. Either way, it's an impressive piece of choreography that propels it beyond its current party trick status.

Monday 15 April 2013

The Good, the Bad and the Blu-rays

You want comedy? I got it. You want horror? I got it. You want horror-comedy? You better believe that I got it.

Sunday 14 April 2013

FILTH - New trailer and poster for the latest Irvine Welsh adaptation

Starring James McAvoy and based on the novel of the same name by Trainspotting writer Irvine Welsh, Filth sees McAvoy as a member of the Lothian Constabulary investigating a murder whilst engaging in all manner of debauchery and hedonism.

It's of no surprise that this originated from the pen of Irvine Welsh, as he depicts Scottish misery and drug addiction better than anyone. Of course there will be the obligatory harsh comedown and important life lessons to be doled out but, more than anything, Filth looks like a lot of fun. I've always found McAvoy to be a great screen presence, but he's still without that one defining role that people immediately associate him with. Using his own accent and sporting an unmistakably Scottish beard, McAvoy appears to be enjoying being back on home turf.

Sure to go down as one of the most exciting trailers of the year (not to mention the poster which is original and immediately iconic), its breakneck pace and montage of sex fuelled mayhem does a grand job of selling the title.

Saturday 13 April 2013


Released this week in fancy new steelbook packaging, it's David Cronenberg's 1981 body horror classic, Scanners.

Friday 12 April 2013

Obscurity Files - The Heavenly Kid

A movie released in 1985 that concerns a cool kid from one time travelling to another to teach a nerd how to get the girl? No, not that movie, this one.

Thursday 11 April 2013


A funny thing happened at last year's Oscar ceremony, when the man previously known as "the guy who plays the creepy Dean in Community"  stood up, collected his Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar for The Descendants and flashed a bit of leg. A star was born.

As well as returning to his signature role on Community, the Dean, AKA Jim Rash, has kept busy (along with his creative partner Nat Faxon who bagged an Oscar along side him) by directing The Way, Way Back; a coming of age tale starring Steve Carell and Sam Rockwell.

Nothing to do with The Way Back, the Colin Farrell/Jim Sturgess prison escape drama from a few years ago, this film tells the story of Duncan, a typically shy teen who is forced to accompany his mother to her boyfriend's beach house where he meets pretty, cool girl AnnaSophia Robb. So far so Youth in Revolt, but the trailer also shows a healthy dose of Adventureland and Dazed and Confused in the mix too.

With appearances by Allison Janney, Maya Rudolph and Rob Corddry; not forgetting writer/director's Nat Faxon (as a creepy lifeguard) and Jim Rash (as a creepy... well, I don't know what he is but he looks creepy), when it gets released later this year, The Way, Way Back is sure to offer up many awkward reminders to those of us who spent their teenage summers wishing Sam Rockwell would turn up to act as their spirit guide and help them get girls.

Wednesday 10 April 2013

Obscurity Files - Return to Horror High

Backing up the argument that you should never judge a film on the quality of its poster, let's take a look at George Clooney in Return to Horror High.

Tuesday 9 April 2013

Carrie Trailer

There will come a time when horror remakes are bold enough to state that that is what they are. Until then, we have the likes of Carrie, which is of course based on the acclaimed novel by Stephen King and the well regarded Brian De Palma big screen version need not be mentioned here (nor the less well remembered 1999 sequel Carrie 2: The Rage which I still reckon should have been called Carrie 2: Carrie On Regardless).

This isn't something I'd say often, but I don't think the idea of remaking Carrie is completely redundant. The themes of adolescence and coming of age are timeless and De Palma's version has dated horrendously in some areas. It's still a classic of the genre, but an updated version isn't going to change that.

The core moments from the previous adaptation are all here and well displayed in the trailer (Prom, crazy mother, awkward communal showers, but now with added camera phones), with all of the effects given the requisite Hollywood makeover needed for 2013. The trailer does recall the attention given to Let Me In, another remake that starred Chloe Moretz in a central role.

Sissy Spacek is a tough act to follow, but I think that Chloe Moretz is a great screen presence and Julianne Moore looks to have nailed the role occupied by Piper Laurie in the original. The trailer does give away a little too much about the ending, but then "socially awkward teenager goes to prom" doesn't really get the crowds in; revenge fuelled shit fits do.

Directed by Boy's Don't Cry's Kimberley Peirce, Carrie arrives in cinemas at the end of November.

Monday 8 April 2013

The Good, the Bad and the Blu-rays

This week's new releases are dominated by the return of Middle Earth, but there's still a classic Cronenberg film and a documentary about an obscure punk poet to contend with.

Sunday 7 April 2013

Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2 - The Motion Poster

It's safe to say that I'm not a fan of the recent trend for motion posters. I mean, what exactly is it meant to be, a trailer or a poster? It's in contention (along with the trailer for the trailer) for being the most useless piece of modern movie marketing. Having said that, what I do like is Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs, so anything related to that is okay in my book.

After seeing the original on Blu-ray I instantly regretted not catching it during its theatrical run, as this charming, witty, brightly coloured food extravaganza was meant for the big screen. Yes, it's technically aimed at kids, but it helped make the point that Pixar don't have a monopoly on great animation anymore. Well, I don't plan on making the same mistake twice, so when the sequel (where the food created in the first film has evolved into "foodimals") arrives at the end of the year I'll be first in line. Okay, I might not be first in line, but I'll be pretty close to the front. Definitely not near the back.

Scheduled for release in late October and directed by Cody Cameron and Kris Pearn (after the directors of the original, Phil Lord and Chris Miller moved on to live action with 21 Jump Street), this very welcome sequel sees original cast members Bill Hader, Anna Faris, Andy Samberg, and Neil Patrick Harris as the voice of Steve the Monkey returning, as well as Terry Crews and Kristen Schaal being new additions to the cast.

Saturday 6 April 2013


Starring Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens as bikini clad bandits and James Franco as a gangster rapping drug lord, Harmony Korine's Spring Breakers is now in cinemas.