Filmstalker's Films for September 2011
There's a real mix of films this month, even in my selections as I range from British thrillers to American comedies, yes I am actually suggesting a couple might be worth looking at this month, and from the intellectually challenging to the sheer straight entertainment.
You do have to remember that there are many different audiences going to see many different types of films for many different reasons, the cinema is not all filled with intellectual critics, and that's why there are comedies like Friends with Benefits next to entertaining action like Colombiana and challenging thrilers like Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.
There's a good British showing in my list too, so find out what you should have seen, what you can still see and what there is yet to see this month, and that's still quite a lot.
There are two sides to this film, first it's really intriguing that it's set in space and it feels like it'll be a very claustrophobic film with the trailer promising a lot more psychological than straight out horror, but then there's the whole found footage and the stigma that these kind of films now carry with them. Did it turn out to be something a cut above the rest or was it just an average horror film that happened to be in space, and did those final trailers reveal a little too much?
UK Wide - 2D/3D
The remake came and, well it's still around. I haven't dared to see it yet as I'm too scared it's going to fall way short of expectations and of the original which I love so much. With a cast to rival the previous, filled with big names and some surprisingly cast actors such as David Tennant and Colin Farrell, who I have to admit to actually liking in the role, is it all a little too light, action orientated and 3D compared to the original? Or does it really matter and can it stand on its own two feet as a good action comedy?
There have been quiet rumblings about this film and it received a lot of good press at Fright Fest, scary with some pretty terrifying moments particularly at the end. I'm not hugely convinced that those things make a film, I'd prefer to hear something about the psychological horror and how it fares throughout the rest of the film, and other comments are suggesting it does well in those areas too. Did you see it? What did you think?
A Lonely Place to Die
Filmed in Scotland which makes me proud and gives me the reason to go and watch it, that and of course the fact that Melissa George stars in the lead and she's a superb actress who isn't given enough of the bigger roles. It seems a pretty straightforward story but from what I've heard the usual Hollywood style and format hasn't crept into the film and there are some unique feeling moments and sequences, and that certainly excites me. I'm rather keen to see the film that carries a very strong and recognisable supporting cast too.
Colombiana (Filmstalker review)
Some of you should have now seen the film as I have and I had a lot of positive things to say about the film. It's still a bit of enjoyable action fare, but there's more to it than the usual action film you'd expect from Luc Besson's production company, this isn't s series of great action sequences threaded together with a story, there's far more concentration on the characters and relationships, but those trademark stylish action sequences are still there, just a little toned down I felt.
Friends with Benefits
I realise what this film is and yet I still have a little harbouring of desire to see it. I think it's because it's down to Justin Timberlake and XX and how much fun they seem to bring to the trailers, there's just that little extra bit of fun in the trailers that might make this a funnier than average film, and then there's that poster with the hand gestures that just rips it all down. Fun or fluff?
Bizarre and strangely compelling, that's the trailer for Troll Hunter, and it's managed to raise a few laughs at the same time. It hasn't received half the press over here that most of the other films have and yet after watching that trailer my wife and I both found ourselves thinking that it was so strange that we had to see it.
A new version of the classic story starring Mia Wasikowska, Jamie Bell, Michael Fassbender, Sally Hawkins, Simon McBurney, Cary Fukunaga, just a few of the reasons to see this new film on the classic Brontë tale. It's a very interesting choice for Fukunaga to direct, especially after Sin Nombre, but word is that he's delivered it well, it's certainly gained some good names behind it.
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
Have you seen the trailers? Whether you've seen the original or not and realise how much Alec Guinness is being channelled through Gary Oldman for the film version of the television series, it's Gary Oldman in the lead with Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, John Hurt, Toby Jones, Mark Strong, Benedict Cumberbatch and Ciarán Hinds as well as a strong supporting cast including Kathy Burke, Stephen Graham, Konstantin Khabenskiy and Simon McBurney. With Tomas Alfredson directing the John le Carré novel this is a must see for the month.
West Side Story
Key Cities - Re-release
Classic musical which is much more worthwhile going to see than next month's Footloose remake. Great to see the re-release, just a shame it's only in key cities, watch out for it and go and see a classic musical.
30 Minutes or Less
The concept sounds interesting, a pizza delivery guy is strapped with explosives and forced to rob a bank or he'll be blown up, a seemingly foolproof way of robbing a bank for those behind the plan. It does star some of the usual suspects but the plot suggests something more than just the usual Hollywood comedy.
Pearl Jam Twenty
Cameron Crowe has made a documentary about the twentieth year of Pearl Jam with some leading names in music appearing, obviously including Jam and their music, is it going to grab as much attention now as it did when they were at their career high?
God Bless Ozzy Osbourne
While we're talking about musical documentaries this one's about the legend that is Ozzy Osbourne from first time directors Mike Fleiss and Mike Piscitelli. Piscitelli is also directing another documentary about the legend, Wreckage of My Past: The Story of Ozzy Osbourne, perhaps there was so much footage from the first that they had to make two? This documentary promises previously unseen footage and a look into the man himself with some huge stars of the industry to offer their insights too. Unfortunately I can't find information on the release.
Crazy, Stupid, Love
When I first heard about this film I labelled it with the usual tarring brush I do with most American comedies, and in 99% of cases it's not an unfair labelling, however when I saw the trailer I was rather surprised, it looked funny and at the same time keeping a dramatic core and that's something reflected in the cast - Steve Carrell, Ryan Gosling, Julianne Moore, Emma Stone, Marisa Tomei, Kevin Bacon, John Carroll Lynch.
Wow. The trailers look fantastic and since I love cars this just went on my top list, but the shallow choices aside a film that Nicolas Winding Refn directs is one worth watching and there's an interesting cast to watch with this too, Ryan gosling, Carey Mulligan, Bryan Cranston, Albert Brooks, Christina Hendricks and Ron Perlman. This looks tough, dark, stylish and hard hitting, and the soundtrack for the latest trailer was the cheese on top of the omelette. No I have no idea why I chose that metaphor, but I know why I'll choose to see Drive.
The word is that the story isn't going to deliver anything too surprising and there are some strong comparisons to Rocky, although the angle of the brothers fighting for the top title does seem to offer something a little more. Tom Hardy, who can not want to see him on screen? Plus Gavin O'Connor is directing and he's worth keeping an eye on, I think he's going to have his biggest film so far.
Oh come on, Jason Statham and Clive Owen pitched against each other back in the seventies? What more do you need? Oh yes, let's add in Robert De Niro, Yvonne Strahovski, Dominic Purcell, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje and it all comes from a novel by Ranulph Fiennes based on a real story. I'm totally sold and the trailers look fantastic, and that's not just for the Scorpions soundtrack. Please, oh please, live up to everything I've seen so far.
Page One: A Year Inside the New York Times
There are two films that stick in my mind about newspapers, the first is A Few Good Men, the second is The Paper, both great films and for very different reasons. I'm interesting in this film to see what really goes on behind the scenes in an area we never really get inside of, and it just happens to be one of the biggest newspapers there is.
To be honest this would normally make me run a mile, but John Singleton is directing and behind the Taylor Lautner and Lilly Collins lead there's Alfred Molina, Jason Isaacs, Sigourney Weaver, Maria Bello and Michael Nyqvist. Seriously, that doesn't sound like a Lautner led film, or am I guilty of labelling him on Twilight, for the rest of the cast look good and even if this is a reinvention of Bourne for the yoof, but I'm interested to see where it goes and maybe Lautner could pull it off, after all there's that cast and Singleton.
Is there anything more to say? This is written, directed, marketed and distributed by one Kevin Smith. Sold. The story of a group of teenagers thinking they are heading for a getaway of sexual frolics and finding a group of fundamentalists who have an agenda that is far less fun and much darker than they had hoped. Did I say Kevin Smith was behind it and that it's a horror/thriller? Oh and John Goodman, Melissa Leo and Kevin Pollak are in there too.
Lars von Trier's latest film is about the end of the world, and there's no doubt that it is the end, but it's all about the people and how they get there, and the people involved make for a great list of names - Kirsten Dunst, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Kiefer Sutherland, Charlotte Rampling, John Hurt, Alexander Skarsgård, Stellan Skarsgård, Udo Kier. It'll be fascinating to see how the characters stories play out and to watch the visuals, above all to see what Trier brings.
Jane Goldman, Matthew Vaughn and Peter Straughan delivered the script for this film which John Madden directed and Helen Mirren, Tom Wilkinson, Ciarán Hinds, Sam Worthington, Jessica Chastain and Marton Csokas star in. It tells the story of three retired Mossad agents who are called to look back in their past when a Nazi, who was previously thought to have been murdered by them, is found alive.
Specialised - which, according to Axiom Films means Empire Cinemas in Leicester Square
Now here's something that's a little bit of a surprise, starring Paul Bettany and Olivia Williams it tells the story of two people whose lives have been upturned by separate family tragedies. It's directed by Sallie Aprahamian who before this directed a lot of British television. It doesn't get a glowing IMDB rating, but then it only has forty seven votes and while IMDB claims the film was made in 2008, the production company say 2010, and hasn't seen a release outside of four film festivals and a Hungarian television broadcast. Good leads though.