Films to watch out for this week – 25th April – 1st May 2016

Good Morrow fellow film lovers!

Yes, you may notice a Shakespeare reference or two in this weeks column/article/post whatever you would like to call it.

Well we couldn’t let his 4ooth Anniversary of his death float by without a mention could we? No that would be wrong of us.

Now, to mark this occasion, I will be using a few of his quotes and lines from a few of his works, so watch out! (I will underline them for those of you who are not familiar with him)

He was an alright Gent was good old William!

Wasn’t he?

I mean he has provided us with pages of text written in a language that most of us don’t really understand! We should be grateful!

I would be the first one to admit that I do find his works quite complicated at times! Although I am getting into the swing of things on that front!

Right! Are we ready?

Let’s go…..

Scream Park –Released in the UK Monday 25th April 2016

I’m jumping straight into this week and starting with a Horror. I haven’t heard of this one before as it was originally released into the public domain in 2013. Why it has taken forever and a day for it to be released in the UK I don’t knhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2uLgH__wZVAow but, well, thats a topic for another day.

With a budget of $3,000,000, Cary Hill has written and directed this supposed scare – fest of a closing down amusement park that is struggling due to lack of ticket sales. Wanting a media stunt to spark interest, Mr Hyde (I wonder where they got that name from!) hires two henchman to dispatch the employees one by one.

From reading the synopsis and watching the trailer this looks very interesting. With a limited budget, it has a local feel to it. I’m not the biggest fan of horrors, however I am very intrigued as to see what this may be.

Unfortunately it may be a little difficult to source this film straight away as I don’t think it is released into the big cinema chains.

If you would like a little bit of a jump in your seat, yell off with his head and have a gander at this:

 

Capsule – Released at the Sci-Fi London International Film Festival on Wednesday 27th April 2016

I am always at the front of the queue to protest when it comes to Sci-Fi films. In my opinion the majority are just plain boring! However, I am prepared for the good of the Filmnight podcast to reserve judgment on this next one.

Capsule was released in the UK on 23rd December 2015 and stars Edmund Kingsley as Guy Taylor. The film follows Guy, an experienced British fighter pilot, who is in charge of the first British manned mission to space. Pretty similar to The Martian then?

And we all know what we thought of that!

Please Sci-Fi creator! That it should come to this?

The same old film recycled time after time? Please can we have a little originality?

No?

Ok then!

I think I should leave this here before I get on my high horse again! A horse! A horse! A kingdom for my horse! (Do you like that! I thought you would!)

Anyway……… here is the trailer:

Err….. I think we may have a problem! I can’t seem to be able to find trailer link. Perhaps this is telling us something about the film! Who knows!

Well this is a first!

You can find one, should you nosey onto another famous film website. I won’t go any further that that!

Golden Years –Released in the UK Friday 29th April 2016

Next up, it’s a comedy. With everything going on in the UK at the moment, what with the retirement age increasing year after year, why not create a comedy about it? Yes! That’s an idea.

Staring the likes of Simon Callow (A Shakespearian Actor did you know?) and Sue Johnston, this British production leads a well to do retired couple into a life of crime. Arthur and Martha Goode, annoyed with the fact that they are losing a percentage of their pension, decide to start robbing banks.

The question I ask is this. Is it so bad that it’s funny? Who can deny Zimmer Frames (walking frames for our american cousins) that turn into paintball guns or actors in their 70’s running around town wearing clown masks?

‘True is it that we have seen better days’ may be what I say when I leave the cinema after watching this but then again I may be saying ‘though this be madness, yet there is method in ‘t’.

If you would like to see Gangsta Grannies and Granddads hatch their next crime of the century, then please take a look at this:

 

Right, that concludes this weeks pick of films of you to keep your eye on.

Also before I sign off. If you can come up with an good name for this segment, please let me know. I’m all ears.

Ok! it’s time for me to go, but I will leave you with this……..

 

“The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool” – Hamlet

 

Till next time…………

 

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DVD Review Of The Week – Barton Fink (1991)

Barton Fink DVD

The following review is completely spoiler free!

As a so called ‘film fanatic’, I suppose it is a bit of crime to say that until very recently, I really didn’t know much about the Coen Brothers at all. Yes, yes. Get it out of your system. I can almost hear the condescending gasps raining down upon me.

I mean, it’s not like I hadn’t seen any of their work. I have for example, seen their 2008 film ‘Burn After Reading’ and thought it was truly excellent. Even more recently than that, ‘Bridge of Spies’ and ‘Hail, Caesar!’ were the subject of a couple of our episodes. Episode 30 and Episode 44 respectively. Go on, give them a listen.

Despite that, it’s still no secret that I have a lot of catching up to do. So I decided to do something about it, and bought one of their earlier films, ‘Barton Fink’. Boy am I glad I did, what a truly fabulous piece of work.

Barton Fink (John Turturro) is a playwright who has just had enormous success on Broadway with his latest play. Naturally, Hollywood decides it wants a piece of the action and offers Barton the chance to write not for plays, but for pictures.

What follows is a fascinating story of what the film industry is really all about, and the incredibly unenviable life of a Hollywood script writer. From the moment Barton arrives at his eerily lifeless hotel, it is clear that this is not going to be the dream job he hoped it would be.

Turturro plays the socially awkward, mentally fragile role of Fink absolutely impeccably. Truly stellar acting. Somehow though, John Goodman manages to match him with his outstanding portrayal of Fink’s characterful neighbour Charlie Meadows. So delighted is Fink to have a friend he can talk to openly in this otherwise alien city, he is unable to see that Charlie isn’t perhaps all that he says he is…

Charlie Meadows
John Goodman captivates as Barton Fink’s neighbour, Charlie Meadows

 

Suffering from a severe case of writer’s block and coming under increasing pressure from the head of Capitol Pictures Jack Lipnick (Michael Lerner) to deliver the goods on the wrestling film he has been tasked to script, he reaches out to Ben Geisler (Tony Shalhoub) in the hope he can put him on the right track.

He runs into his writing idol W.P. Mayhew (John Mahoney – born in Blackpool would you believe!) along the way and his wife and personal assistant Audrey Taylor (Judy Davis). It is upon meeting these characters that the film takes a turn so unexpected and against the grain that it will leave you begging to know more.

There are certain films that you simply cannot take your eyes off and this is most definitely one of those. The 1 hour and 56 minutes is gone in a flash.

Not only is the film full to bursting of incredible performances from its cast, but it has this wonderful uneasy tone about it which runs all the way through. Fink’s hotel room is the site of many fantastic scenes, whether he’s alone or whether he’s drinking and chatting away to Meadows, it always feels as though there is a lot more happening than simply what your eyes can see. His hotel room is almost a character in itself, its four walls with its drooping wallpaper casting a watchful eye over everything Fink does.

As you’d expect with a Coen Brothers film, there are plenty of surreal moments and some eye-catching camera work. As the film reaches its fiery climax, the line between fantasy and reality becomes increasingly blurred.

For me though, the standard of the acting is the most impressive element. Special mention must go to Michael Lerner who puts on an extremely memorable performance as the head of the studio. He is the highlight of every scene he is in, a real scene-stealer if you will.

Jack Lipnick
Michael Lerner stealing yet another scene as Capitol Pictures boss Jack Lipnick

 

The Verdict

What a cracking way to kick off this new weekly feature! Among many things this film has done for me, one of them is to fuel my hunger for more Coen Brothers. Superb acting, a truly engrossing story, and a wonderful tone all add up to a gem of a film.

Very easy this week, 5 stars.

5 Stars

DVD Extras

Not a huge amount of bonus features available, however there are some pretty interesting deleted scenes to flick through and also a gallery of stills from the film. It’s a shame there is no commentary from the cast or the Coen brothers though, that would have been fascinating I’m sure.

2 Stars

 

Line of Duty, Undercover and four other British dramas you NEED to watch

 

Vicky McClure, Daniel Mays and Martin Compston star in  Line of Duty. Image credit: http://www.digitalspy.com

There are so many strong British dramas on TV at the moment that it’s frightening.

BBC and ITV are fighting tooth and nail in the battle of viewing figures, meaning a lot of quality broadcasts coming out. But with so much out there you might end up missing a series due to the sheer volume of content on offer.

So, with me being Film Night’s resident British TV Drama Correspondent (I’ve just made that up) here’s six shows that you need to be watching over spring.Read More »

Marvel’s Jessica Jones – the latest epic Netflix series

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Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter) and Kilgrave (David Tennant). Image credit: Netflix

This review is completely spoiler-free!

Once again, Netflix have teamed up with Marvel to deliver another stellar series.

Following the success of Daredevil last year, Netflix are back with a new take on Marvel’s Jessica Jones. Krysten Ritter, of Breaking Bad fame, plays our heroine who possesses superhuman strength.Read More »

Selma – I may be a little late to the party (by one year) but who cares!

 

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If you listened to Episode 39 you will know that I have recently watched the 2014 Oscar winning film Selma. Yes, ok, I know it was released over a year ago, but well I’m a very busy gent! You know the score, things to do, people to see and all that. Anyway, Selma is a biodrama based on Martin Luther King’s campaign to gain equal voting rights for all American citizens by organising a march from Selma to Montgomery in Alabama 1965.Read More »

Ghostbusters – Will They Deliver?

Ghostbusters
Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, Kristen Wiig & Leslie Jones strike a pose

 

The same thing is said at the beginning of every year, but really, 2016 is going to be a huge year for film. There’s Deadpool, Captain America: Civil War, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Creed, Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice, Suicide Squad, and yes, even Zoolander 2.

But there’s one film that really stands out for me, and I wait in nervous anticipation for its release this Summer, Ghostbusters.Read More »

Teaser Trailer: Judd Apatow’s ‘Love’

Love_Pic

We’ve talked before about Netflix efficiently taking over the World of film & TV, some examples are better than others. After Netflix’s pretty successful year in 2015, I would think it’s safe to say we’re all excited to see how they top it this year. One of the first New Netflix originals of 2016 will be Judd Apatow’s Love, a series comprised of 10 episodes based on a (presumably) romantic relationship between Gus, played by Paul Rust (I Love You, Beth Cooper & Inglorious Basterds) and Mickey (Community).Read More »

Zoolander 2: Trailer Thoughts

Earlier today, the first full trailer for Zoolander 2 was released and I have to say, I’m a lot more optimistic than I was when I first found out about this film. It was probably pretty inevitable that this was going to happen but, I think most people are at a point now where they hear that a film they liked years ago is getting a sequel or a reboot and immediately let out a sigh of exhaustion. I know I am.Read More »

Master of None Season 1 Review

Master of None

This review is completely spoiler-free!

Netflix are hitting it pretty hard and fast with their original programming and, let’s face it, they’ve had some pretty unprecedented success since they started with Lilyhammer back in 2012. Throw a stone in a public place and you’ll hit a die-hard fan of House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, BoJack Horseman or Narcos. As of yesterday, Netflix have a brand new sitcom to binge, Master of None.Read More »

New Bond Theme Is Slightly Underwhelming

Bond Theme

So, as I’m sure you’re aware, the theme song for the latest James Bond film, ‘Spectre’, was released today.

It is performed by 23 year old Londoner Sam Smith, who has already achieved incredible success in his short career.

In February this year, he walked away with four Grammy Awards, having been nominated for six. Best New Artist, Record of the Year and Song of the Year for ‘Stay With Me’, and Best Pop Vocal Album. It is fair to say therefore, that when it was announced he would be releasing ‘Writing’s On The Wall’ as the 24th official Bond Theme, expectations were pretty high.Read More »