Monday, 11 April 2011

Beda #7 Things Twitter has Taught Me.

I felt like writing something 'newsy' today so instead of going to the trusty BBC, I turned my attention to Twitter to see which interesting stories were floating around. 

Let's start with the bad. YouTube piano man Mike Lombardo posted earlier; "Here's your daily dose of stomach-churning hatred and bigotry. Enjoy." Of course I had to click on it and it was as horrible as I expected.

I haven't posted this quickly enough for you to be able to watch the video as it has been removed but you can read the news story here.  There was a conference happening this weekend at an American university called The Awakening. It was a political conference for 'Christians'. You must excuse my punctuation here but it really is necessary.  There was a panel called Religious Liberty and the LGBT Agenda: A Zero Sum Game in the Military and Beyond. In it was a discussion on semantics and how rebranding 'gay' will help in 'the war'. Apparently "‘Gay’ is a left-wing socio-political construct designed to create grounds for fundamental rights [based on] whimsical capricious desires,” said Ryan Sorba, chairman of the Young Conservatives of California. “Gay identity does not exist.” If the war is to be won then 'gay' should be replaced with terms such as "same-sex attraction', "same-sex intercourse", "sodomy", "unnatural vice" or "anti-Christian".

All of these terms are despicable as they attempt to dehumanise the owner of the label. Particularly "anti-Christian". Shouldn't we be approaching the point where we feel sorry for these people? They seem to believe that the biggest threat to their religion are people who like members of the same sex. Apparently homosexuality is the biggest threat to the criminalization of Christianity. Again, really? For an intensely religious country like the USA, that seems mildly ridiculous. That the religion of the founding fathers would be banned is absurd and a few people in a university conference room surely aren't going to make the rest of the country think otherwise. I hope.

***edit - Mike informs me that the idea that the US is a Christian country is a pretty simplified view and one that people like this cling to. This will be pretty interesting to investigate as the amount of religious rhetoric that comes out of the US (or is reprted at least...) would definitely lead an outside observer to a different conclusion. I guess The West Wing can't teach me everything!***

In a way we should be glad. Without intolerance there would be no tolerance. I think people like this do more good than harm. They show us what we don't want to become. 

Another America story then I promise I'll stop... I love you guys really!

The Modern Library has released it's top 100 books. Compare the "official" list to the reader's list. The differences are pretty obvious. Would it worry you if I said that 7 out of the 10 books in the reader's list were by Ayn Rand or L. Ron Hubbard. I hope so... And my beloved Gatsby is relegated from 2 to 12! 
Have a look here.

Now to a story from right here in the UK. This comes from The Daily Star: Sunday, courtesy of Jon Swaine and DeevUK.  For all the international readers out there, this is a publication that calls itself a newspaper. It's not. It's celebrity gossip and boobs. They printed this picture.

Yep, that really happened. Apparently it's a good job Ricky Gervais isn't gay because if he was then his weight loss MUST mean he has AIDS. Really Daily Star? Oh and starting a sentence "Not being bad but..." is just crappy writing. 

Finally some nerdy reading for anyone who's interested... I'm currently reading this book.

It's fab. I'm finding it really interesting which is strange as I have no design skill or even knowledge. Just "I know what I like" opinions. I really recommend it because I read this Salon article about Helvetica on the NYC subway today and enjoyed it. I blame the book.

Let me know what you think of any of this in the comments!

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

BEDA #6 Present idea...

Forgot to blog today and no time! Sorry...
But look!  I would very much like this. The fact that it exists makes me happy.

Read all about it here.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

BEDA #5 A blogging milestone... The Sweeney

So I was sent my first press release today.  This feels like a big deal. Feel free to put me straight film bloggers of the world!

It's from Vertigo films who are responsible for good stuff like Monsters and slightly less good stuff (to me anyway) like Streetdance 3D. The film is The Sweeney and it's a remake of the 70's British TV show.

It looked like this.

It looks a bit funny but it was the coolest thing on TV at the time. It was pretty violent, had loads of action scenes, a cool car and cool actors. Honestly. It was the 70's!

Nick Love (The Football Factory) is directing and the casting has been announced. Ray Winstone will play Jack Regan and Ben Drew will play George Carter. Ben Drew is the man behind Plan B who sound like this.

Here they are...

Sorry guys but I really hate this picture. Drew is just looking at the camera with a slightly confused look on his face, Ray is giving it attitude!

This project's been around for a while and Ray Winstone has been attached all along. Some bigger names had been thrown around to play Carter though. Like Daniel Craig, Tom Hardy and Ewan McGregor.

I'm not overly worried. Ben Drew had roles in Adulthood and Harry Brown and, from his music videos, seems to have some charisma. It's his first starring role though so fingers crossed. Ray Winstone can always be relied on for an entertaining performance.

On to the gushing quotes...
Director and co writer Nick Love states, "I'm very excited about Ben playing Carter - he brings an intelligence and sensitivity that is crucial for THE SWEENEY.  Ben is also one of the most promising and multi-talented young performers around.  For me, Ray (Winstone) and Ben are the ultimate casting for a character driven action thriller set in London today."

Ben Drew adds. "It's a dream come true for me to be in a film with Ray Winstone who is one of my favourite British actors of all time and I’m really excited about working with Nick Love in what I feel will be a challenging role for me to play"

Ray states, “I cant wait to work with Nick Love on The Sweeney, it was an inspired casting to have Ben Drew as George Carter, I’m a huge fan of his.

Finally, here's the better photo...

So there you go. What do you think? Are you looking forward to this or are you going to give it a miss. I think I'll hedge my bets until the trailer appears.

Monday, 4 April 2011

BEDA #4 Cheating

So tired.  So this will have to do. To be honest I would have talked about these videos today anyway. You'll just have to imagine the witty commentary!

First, the trailer for 'The Governator', Arnie's new cartoon...


Then there's Meatloaf freaking out at Gary Busey over some paint on Celebrity Apprentice. Gary Busey is calmer than I've ever seen him... he's worrying me more than Mr Meat.

People are weird.

Sleep time!

Sunday, 3 April 2011

BEDA #3 Things What I Like

Since we'll be spending a lot of time together this month I thought I'd do a little round up of some of my favourite things.  I'm going to limit them to internety things for this post so expect loads of links and videos to explore. Tell me the things you like in comments.

Vlogbrothers!  These guys have to be my first choice. I was really unaware of the sense of community the internet could have before I found these videos. I had a YouTube account but wasn't subscribed to any channel. I didn't understand how it worked and how to get the most out of it. After realising that they communicated almost exclusively through written forms (texting, instant messaging & email) two brothers pledged to alternate making a video a day for the other. This started on January 1st 2007. They're down to 3 times a week now but still make great videos and a whole community has grown around them that has done some amazing things. I think I secretly like John better (shh, don't tell Hank!) because he's a writer who's actually really good. Here's a favourite recent video.

And the amazing thing is there is a follow up to this because the people who liked the video worked together to find out what happened to Gussie Manlove after her husband died...

My next choice feels like more of a confession. I really love watching some make up artists videos. I think the beauty guys get a bad rep on YouTube. Some people are just showing how much disposable income they have but there are a couple of professionals on there who are amazing to watch. I love that it can be art when it's done well. Like this video from pixiwoo.

Sam Chapman transforms herself completely to look like Pamela Anderson when she's finished. You might not want to walk around with Pammy make up but it's fun to watch!

Lisa Eldridge is amazing too. She's one of the most highly regarded make up artists in the world so it's amazing that she does YouTube videos too. She works on celebrities as well as high end editorial stuff.


Hopefully you're still with me! On to blogs!

I LOVE Hyperbole and a Half. I realise most of you have already come across this blog at some point because it's just so wonderful but if not... go now!

Margaret and Helen is hilarious. Posts are few and far between but worth waiting for. Margaret and Helen are two old friends in their 80's who write to each other. Commenters seem obsessed with proving that Margaret and Helen are just characters and someone else actually writes the blog. I refuse to believe it. They talk about American politics mostly and when it includes lines like this who can resist...

"Dear readers, In case you are new to my web page blog, I'll give you a little background. I told my friend Margaret that I thought Sarah Palin was a a bitch." and of course the infamous annual 'Thanksgiving letter to the family'

Hooters According to Sauce is a really entertaining blog. I don't live in the US so I don't have first hand experience of Hooters but that's not an issue for me. I think anyone who's worked in the service industry will find something to relate to here plus the fact that Sauce is a girl with obvious intelligence and wit
make the blog incredibly readable.

And last but certainly not least there's The Intermittent Sprocket. My very favourite film blogger who's recently branched out to show off his considerable song-writing talents. His latest offering is a Damien Rice-esqe ballad about an imagined romance between James Bond and Oddjob in Goldfinger. Yep. That song exists.

These are just some of the internety things I like... there are too many more to mention. What are some of your best finds?

Saturday, 2 April 2011

The film I always go back to: 10 Things I Hate About You. (Beda #2)

This post is part of Kid In The Front Row's Blogathon. Read all about it here!

This one was easy. A no-brainer. So easy that it might be really obvious and boring so apologies in advance if that's the case.

10 Things I Hate About You is the film I have seen more times than any other.  If I'm sad, it cheers me up. If I'm happier, it makes me happier. If I find myself staring at my DVD collection and feel uninspired, this is the film I reach for.

Now that I've started writing this though, I'm not sure I can put into words exactly why this is.

Maybe it's the time it came out.  I was 16 in 1999. I'd just left school and deciding what to do next. I must have identified with Julia Sitles' character Kat.

I remember I read The Bell Jar after seeing this. How predictable am I? Although the font in that book must be MASSIVE. It's a really short novel...
At that time I imagined myself to be pretty cool. I liked the right music and was interested in politics and liked to think I was well read and intelligent. I really wasn't, but the fact that I aspired to be helped me to become more that way. The desire to look like I knew some stuff forced me to go out and find out the stuff.

But that's the pretentious reason why I like the film.  The real reason, and the reason I revisit it so often is because it's funny.  It's got a clever script, a heart-warming ending and wonderfully charming and natural performances.

It was Heath Ledger's breakthrough role and it's really not surprising when you remember that he looked like this.

He was cheeky and realistic and very different to the typical Hollywood leading man and this makes the film even more charming.

JGL, David Krumholz and Larisa Oleynik are a perfect triad of cuteness, Krumholz providing some of the biggest laughs.
"There's a dick on my face isn't there?"

Oh, and also, ALISON JANNEY. Say no more.

Sorry I can't be more insightful. It's just great. Brilliant performances, a clever script, a lively soundtrack and interesting, likeable characters. It's just fun.

Friday, 1 April 2011

BEDA #1 Here we go...

I'm attempting to do BEDA (Blog Every Day in April) this year. "But Jess, you're rubbish at posting regularly!" I hear you cry.  Yep. That's true but if I've got a challenge I really try to stick to it so we'll see how it goes.

A short one to start... Here's my favourite April Fool's joke of the day.  I say favourite but I really wish it was real.

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Thoughts on a train

This is the first post I've ever done that isn't commenting on something else. On someone else's work or life. I imagined it as a short story and it's sort of turned into something else.  Anyway, enjoy!

I hate trains.  Well that’s unfair. I hate little trains.  Crappy commuter trains where your journey is too long to stand up but too short to have a good read or get comfy. 

Big trains that go on a big journey are great.  They’re exciting.  A journey where it’s acceptable to take off your shoes is the kind I like. 

Every now and then though on these small journeys you spot things.  You don’t mean to. You’re not being nosy or listening to people o purpose, they just stick out.  Things that intrigue you.  Things that make you smile or even worry. 

Like the girl sobbing quietly into her phone to her mum.  Apologising for some unarticulated wrong.   That stays with you.  Did they make up quickly, or at all? Who made the first step? 

Then there are the things you spot when you’re not even trying.  The guy in the seat in front watching home-made porn on his phone because there’s no one next to him, so nobody can see right?  How would the girl in the video feel if she knew I’d seen any of it?  You try to ignore it but it’s right there. 

And the details you can learn about people without even trying… the woman next to me is texting.  Her phone has a massive screen and she’s texting someone called Ian Porter (work).  I didn’t read the message I promise.  I just happened to see it and caught the gist.  Meet me at the station blah blah blah.  Next time the phone caught my eye the woman was looking at her profile on Facebook.  There she was in her photo in a wedding dress.  Her name at the top was Sophie Porter.  Porter?  I’ve just seen that name.  Is Ian her husband?  He could be her brother except the (work) detail on her message would make no sense.  It could be a coincidence.  They just happen to have the same name.  But no.  That’s not a good story.  They met at work and fell in love and got married.  In my head that makes sense and in a couple of accidental glances at a stranger on a train I’ve figured out part of someone’s life.  An important part.

I’ve just realised that this isn’t really a story.  But these are the things that form them. It’s a collection of beginnings, middles and endings that make up our daily lives. To the people involved these aren’t interesting things; they’re just life. A little moment in their day which is completely ordinary. For me though they’re fascinating. A snapshot of who these people are. I wonder if people look at me on the train and see a small, brief window into my life. I wonder what they’d think.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Bafta Results & Reactions!

So it's 9pm here & I'm settling in to watch the BAFTA's.  There's a 2 hour delay between the actual ceremony & the TV coverage so I had to detach myself from Twitter so that the results will be a lovely surprise.

I apologise in advance for what follows.  This is just what pops into my head as it happens...

The cast of Street Dance opened the show.  Yes this really happened.  Something to do with the awards taking place at the Royal Opera House prompted a ballet/street dance combo.

Jonathan Ross & his ridiculous facial hair cracked some jokes that actually made me laugh. A good comparison between 127 Hours & Mr Potato Head of Toy Story 3 made me giggle more than is probably acceptable.

Paul McCartney was on stage at one point and DIDN'T lead everyone in a rendition of Hey Jude... never thought I'd see the day.

Original Music - The King's Speech - Boo!  I love the film but AR Rahman should have won for 127 hours.

Jesse Eisenberg is very small.

Special Visual Effects - Inception - Woo hoo!  Had to be.

I wonder if James McAvoy would be as adorable without the Scottish accent?

Best Supporting Actress - Helena Bonham-Carter.  I hope she doesn't win the Oscar but it seems right for the BAFTA's. Her acceptance speech was fabulous.  She just seems like an awesome mental lady. Love her.  Also, Miranda Richardson looked pissed!

Outstanding Debut by a British guy doing writey, directory stuff - Chris Morris for 4 Lions. Chris wasn't there which is a shame but not surprising.  I've not seen Four Lions yet which is a problem as I promised my year 9 class I'd watch it this weekend. Just remembered.  Whoops!

Outstanding British Film - The King's Speech.  Of course.  And it deserved to win.  Moving, funny, superbly acted and as British as you can get.

Best Supporting Actor - Geoffrey Rush. He really is brilliant.  Although a little part of me wanted Andrew Garfield to get it.

Oh. My. God. Rosamund Pike & Dominic Cooper totally stuffed up their intro.  Painful.

Best original screenplay - The King's Speech

STEPHEN FRY!!  Thank goodness for that.  Was getting bored.

Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema - The Harry Potter Films. Made shed loads of cash, created jobs, stimulated the economy blah, blah, blah.  I love them & I'm not ashamed.  David Heyman is a prat though.

Best Animated Film - Toy Story 3.  I love Toy Story but I really had my fingers crossed for How to Train your Dragon.  Oh well...

I LOVE Tom Ford.

Rising Star - Tom Hardy. Wooh!  Tom wasn't there which is a great shame. Ahem, anyway the other nominees were Gemma Arterton, Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone and Aaron Johnson. Would've been ok for any of these guys to win - except Arterton of course.  She's pants.

In memoriam - yeah some sad bits. Pete Postlethwaite!  Corey Haim! Sad.

Emma Stone's there with Macauley Culkin!  Eh?!  He's only just broken up with Mila Kunis.  And he's all odd.  Oh well, they might be just friends.
*EDIT* It was Kieran Culkin.  Can't believe I got them confused.  Also can't believe it was my mum who put me right!

Julianne Moore looked beautiful but she seemed mega nervous.

Adapted Screenplay - The Social Network. Yey!  I'm such a Sorkin nerd. And his speech was lovely.

Tilda Swinton is so unbelievably stylish.

Best Director - David Fincher.  Wooh!  Loved The Social Network - plus Andrew Garfield got a moment on stage.

Gerard Butler has mad crazy hair.  But it's lovely to see him speaking like a person with a real accent for a change.

Leading Actress - Natalie Portman. But she wasn't there. Can't argue.  She was ace.

Leading Actor - Colin Firth. Woop!  He's so gentlemanly and British.  Love him. Brilliant speech.

Best Film - The King's Speech. Yeah I know it's not a surprise but it really is a great film.  Big cheers for the UK Film Council too which is interesting as the Government are getting rid of it...

BAFTA Fellowship for Christopher Lee.  He really has aged though.  I know he's like 103 or something but he's starting to look it.  It was a really moving moment.  Lots of shots of crying celebrities.  I joined in.  Lovely way to end though. He's a legend.

The dresses!

Since watching Black Swan Barbara Hershey terrifies me.

Emma Stone was wearing the Lanvin dress I really REALLY want. And she looks great in it.

Thandie Newton never ages.

J.K. Rowling can look a bit librarian and boring but not tonight.  She looks fab!

And Tilda Swinton is just her crazy self. 

There are probably loads more fab (and not so fab) outfits but the photo's haven't appeared yet so this will have to do!

So let me know your thoughts in the comments.  Good decisions, bad decisions, fashion opinions... anything!

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Oscar Nominations - My Predictions!

Well the nominations are out so it's time to make some (mostly) unfounded predictions so we can laugh at how many I get wrong in a few weeks.

I actually love the Oscars.  Yes I know they favour a certain 'type' of film. And yes it's a shame Christopher Nolan hasn't been nominated again. And I know comic book/fantasy films are enjoyed by the mainstream but not recognised by the establishment at awards time and that's rubbish.  But I honestly don't think I care that much. I want to watch a bunch of people in nice dresses prentend to have a good time and be happy for each other while they make ridiculous self-important speeches. It's fun! There are some great films, actors, directors and the rest of them nominated this year... and James Franco's presenting, so roll on the 27th February.

Best motion picture of the year

127 Hours
Black Swan
The Fighter
The Kids Are All Right
The King's Speech
Winter's Bone
True Grit
The Social Network
Toy Story 3

I really think The Social Network will get this one.  I know that the film with the most nominations is usually the favourite in this category but I'm bucking the trend.  It's great to see Toy Story 3 on the list.  I loved 127, Black Swan, Inception and The King's Speech. True Grit hasn't been released in the UK, I think Winter's bone got a tiny release and I can't help but think that The Fighter looks a bit crappy... has anyone seen it?  Leave me a comment and let me know.

Best Director

Darren Aronofsky - Black Swan
David O'Russell - The Fighter
Tom Hooper - The King's Speech
David Fincher - The Social Network
Joes & Ethan Coen - True Grit

I think it's Fincher's time... He missed out in 2009 with Benjamin Button, the Coens have won loads and I don't think The King's Speech will get many of the big awards. I think I secretly wish Aronofsky would win though, just because his film is so totally mental. But no, it's Fincher's time plus, look at his little face!

I'm gonna stop typing the other nominees now...

Best Actor

Colin Firth.  See that was easy. No point in writing the other guys down bless 'em. Jesse Eisenberg was great, James Franco was awesome and I'm sure the other two were great too but they've no chance.  I really do think Firth deserves it though. Yes he's playing a King with a stutter and a lisp - it's got 'Oscar' written all over it - but he does it brilliantly, never going too far.

Best Actress

Natalie Portman. Another easy one!  It doesn't help that I've not seen any of the other films in this category but Nina Sayers was the role of a lifetime and she didn't waste it.

Best Supporting Actor

Geoffrey Rush - I know the smart money is on Christian Bale for this one but every time I've watched The Fighter's trailer he looks like he's playing 'the wayward brother' stock character in a pretty over-the-top way.  I'd love to be wrong about that though.

Best Supporting Actress

I don't know!  Helena Bonham-Carter won't get it; although she's excellent, she doesn't have too much to do.  I've got to pick though so I'm going with Hailee Steinfeld. She looks like a good little actress, plus she's teeny she's got a chance. Love Amy Adams though.

Best Foriegn Language Film - Biutiful
Best Original Screenplay - The King's Speech

Best Animation

Aaargh!  I LOVE all the Toy Story films so I'm torn but I'm going with How to Train Your Dragon. It's funny, gorgeous too look at and incredibly moving. Pixar have enough already! 

Best Adapted Screenplay - The Social Network (I'm a Sorkin nerd - plus he's the best)
Best Art Direction - Inception
Best Cinematography - Black Swan
Best Sound Mixing - Inception
Best Sound Editing - Inception

Best Original Song - Just tracked these down and had a listen.  The thought of  having to watch Gwyneth Paltrow sing makes me feel a bit ill. I nearly went for the one from Tangled because I've got an irrational love for Mandy Moore but it's got to be We Belong Together from Toy Story 3. Randy Newman's voice makes me happy ok!

Best Original Score - AR Rahman for 127 Hours
Best Costumes -The King's Speech (If Alice in Wonderland gets it I'll be mad)
Best Documentary Feature - Restrepo (not seen it but Kermode says it's good)
Best Film Editing - 127 Hours (maybe??)

Best Animated Short - The Gruffalo!! A little British cartoon featuring the voices of Rob Brydon, James Corden would be pretty funny.  And now that's 3 nominated things with Helena B-C in...

Best Visual Effects - Inception

So that's it. A month till we find out how many I got right.

Apologies if this became less and less coherent towards the end. Do you agree, disagree, think I've gone mental? Leave me a comment and let me know.

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Black Swan - Holy crap!

So it's about 24 hours since I settled down into the front row of a lovely, quiet cinema screen to enjoy Black Swan.  2 hours later I staggered out, feeling as though I needed a nice lie down.  I just about feel ready to try and organise my thoughts.  I hope they make sense!

Ballet is all about balance. You must be sure-footed. Darren Aronofsky makes sure his audience is the opposite, throwing us off balance and out of our comfort zone at every opportunity.  The result is a stunning, satisfying and unexpectedly funny film.


Natalie Portman is Nina Sayers; a ballerina with the determination to be 'perfect'.  Portman apparently trained for 10 months for this role and it shows.  She has always been graceful and fragile-looking but now she looks as though she could snap at any moment. Every bone protrudes, every muscle is lean.  Right or wrong, this is what dancers go through and the commitment she has shown to get there really shouldn't be underestimated.  She should win the Oscar. It'd be a crime if she didn't.  Her performance is the thing which grounds Black Swan. It gives it it's realism. It stops it from leaping, head first,  over the top of plausible.

So Nina is cast in Swan Lake, playing the White Swan Odette and the Black Swan Odile. She's great at dancing Odette cos she's all boring and sexless but Odile is more of a challenge... Enter Vincent Cassell!

He's the slimy French choreographer and he's brilliant.  Smarmy and calculated. Nina falls for every line.

Barbara Hershey plays Nina's mother and this relationship is the most interesting in the film.  Hershey switches brilliantly between Erica's attempts to be pally; all sorority girl sharing and hair brushing; and an ultra-controlling matriarch.

Nina's real-life opposite is Lily, a new dancer from (gasp) California!  She is everything Nina isn't; relaxed, sexy and independent. An uneasy friendship is formed, with the undercurrent of competition never too far away.  Mila Kunis seems to relish this role and she can do sexy with her eyes closed.  Lily is the catalyst for Nina finally losing her cool. Kunis is, on the face of it, the opposite of Portman but they are facially at least, similar enough for us to be freaked out now and then!

As the film progresses Aronofsky really starts to have fun.  Throwing the audience completley off balance with Cronenberg-esque body horror to make you (well me anyway) squirm in your seats. The omnipresent mirrors become more and more integral to Nina's crumbling psychosis and are the basis of some great shocks. And how do you not see the cameramen?!  And a scene involving Winona Ryder (who's pretty good) will have you wondering if you've wandered into an actual horror film.

Sound is used to great effect and the realism of the film stock and camera work really offsets the seeming unreality of the events of the final act. The dance scenes are excellent.  Filmed close to show the agony and the effort rather than the grace and elegance of the finished product.

And what of the ending?  I really can't tell you about it cos it's a pretty massive spoiler which is a shame cos I had some good clever words lined up but join me in comments and we'll argue it out!

I can't recommend Black Swan highly enough. It won't be everyone's cup of tea and I'm not sure I found it totally satisfying but it's the most exciting and thrilling films I've seen in a while. The performances really do make it.

Also... aren't these posters gorgeous?  The designers hadn't seen the film when they made them but they've really captured the tone I think. I'd happily hang all of them in my house.

Monday, 10 January 2011

Pete Postlethwaite

He died over a week ago now but it's never too late to think about somebody awesome.

I remember how amazing he was in In The Name of The Father when we watched it in Law class at college.

I remember when I saw Romeo & Juliet 3 times at the cinema...and all the times I've watched it with my classes since.

I remember how lucky I felt to see him play Prospero in The Tempest at the Royal Exchange in Manchester a few years ago.

This is how I think I'll always remember him though. If you've never seen Brassed Off it's worth a look. It's very British - think of The Full Monty with brass bands - but how can you resist a performance like this...

He'll be missed.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Happy New Year!

I know, I know, I've been gone for a really long time.  No excuses, just a gift by way of an apology.

See, that's better! You can't beat a good Inception/Mean Girls combo.
I've made a blog resolution for the New Year - AT LEAST one post per week.  Promise.

So I thought I'd do a mini-recap on 2010 and look forward to the new year a little bit.

Favorite film of the year - The Social Network

I should confess first that I am a bit of an Aaron Sorkin groupie - and that David Fincher's not bad either, so this isn't a very surprising choice. I loved the script (obviously). I loved the momentum of it - you get the sense that in the hands of another creative pair it could have been incredibly boring. But the thing I think I really liked the most were the performances. Jesse Eisenberg's Mark Zuckerberg could just be an unsympathetic arse, but he's not. Andrew Garfield's Eduardo Saverin could be a whiney sore loser, but he's not.  The Winklevoss twins could become the comic relief, but they don't.  It's fab.

Honourable Mentions
Toy Story 3
Kick Ass

Worst film of the year - Sex and The City 2

This really shouldn't come as a surprise to you if you've read my review here. The first film wasn't great but I was unprepared for the level of awfulness that occurred during what felt like the 7 hour running time. And the most depressing thing is that it made so much money that a 3rd film is inevitable. Great.

Favorite performance - Nicholas Cage in Bad Lieutenant

I really enjoyed this film. Review is here.  It's a pitch black comedy that's just brilliant fun to watch and that's mostly because of Mr Cage. Check out the video below for some of his 'best' moments!

Now let's look ahead to 2011...

Already it's shaping up to be a pretty exciting January.  I've seen 127 Hours and The King's Speech this week (reviews to come!) and with Black Swan and True Grit on the horizon, things are looking good.

The year in which I'm excited about a film featuring an animated lizard

What's not to love about this?

The year in which Andrew Garfield becomes a household name

I saw Andrew Garfield playing Romeo at The Royal Exchange in Manchester in 2005. I was on the front row and he was a pretty shouty Romeo.  Yep, Spiderman once spat on me.  That's a pretty good claim to fame.  He was brilliant and I spent the next few years wondering when he'd appear as I'd told everyone I knew how great he was.  I think he's chosen really good roles, starting small and working up to The Social Network.  Who knows what the new Spiderman film will be like but I'm pretty sure he'll be great in it.

The year in which we worry about Clint Eastwood's sanity...

Clint Eastwood & Matt Damon team up - it's got to be great right?

Erm... maybe not.  What was that?!  Is it a character piece or an action film?  Whatever it is, that trailer is terrible!  Here's hoping it's just some unfortunate editing...

The year in which Harry Potter ends

Ending the post on a sombre note... Harry!  Sob!  I make no apologies for how dramatic I seem here.  It's the end.  And that is pretty sad. The only thing sadder is if the end turns out to be a little bit rubbish.  But that can't happen right?  It's going to be the best film ever right? Oh god.

What films are you most excited for in 2011?