Song Of The Day
Twitter Bio of the day: The real life Tony Stark is finally on Twitter, and his account bio is suitably droll. Now, let’s see if we can get him to follow us on there…
New: Images From Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes: Cesar with a sawn-off! Apes on horses! Gary Oldman! DOTPOTA actually seems like it might be that rarest of beasts; a franchise follow-up that’s actually decent.
Photo of the day: Marlon Brando before and after his Don Corleone makeup for The Godfather in 1973. Is it just us or does he look a little bit like Brad Pitt in the ‘before’ pic? Or, at least, Brad Pitt’s older, unsuccessful brother?
Lucy - Trailer
ooh my jesus fucking christ this looks like the best film in the fucking world
As a very big fan of the last Muppets movie I admit that I was a little apprehensive going into this one. My concern, really, was that without Jason Segel (who was a major force in the production of the first film) on board the movie might not be so good - admittedly the film does addressed these concerns within the first minute breaking into “We’re Doing A Sequel”, admitting that sequels don’t tend to match up to their originals. Segel’s absence was not my only concern however as the plot - Kermit has a dangerous criminal doppelgänger who switches places with him - didn’t really grab me. Despite these concerns I was still very excited to see Kermit & co back and I left the cinema ten times more excited than I went in.
The movie was great! Yes, there were a lot of star cameos but… so what? There were still just as many of the Muppet brand humour jokes as you’d expect! The opening song was perfectly catchy and funny; by its end I had no doubts about how this film would measure up to the last. The music throughout was incredible and comparing it to the music in the original, I’d say it’s better (as the song quality is more consistent). Bret McKenzie writes perfect Muppets music, fun songs which draw from a range of genres with lyrics which match so well the humour in the picture. Jemaine Clement was involved this time too, playing a Russian convict in a Serbian gulag; it was nice to have both Concords.
The only criticism I can think of is: Muppet babies. Muppet babies being puppet human babies which are exactly as creepy as they sound. Constantine, the “Bad Frog” impersonating Kermit, was hilarious. His lines were delivered perfectly and with very comic contortions of his little felt face. The film was packed with great puns, the stand-out one being Constantine’s “It’s Not Easy Being Mean”.
This second Muppets instalment is very different to the first with a plot driven by action rather than emotion however it met (and surpassed) all of my Muppets expectations and, like the 2012 release, it was fun with a capital F. Fun.
Highlights include: Christoph Waltz waltzing, Usher ushering, Tina Fey’s Kermit shrine, Constantine calling Gonzo ‘Zongo’ and watching Ricky Gervais be humiliated by a frog in the “I’m Number One” number.
Brand New: This Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes one-sheet, just unveiled on Collider, is pretty restrained but still excellent. And if our Media Studies classes taught us anything, that baby chimp probably won’t make it to the end of the film…
Just when I thought that the damp cloth of vampire mythos couldn’t be wrung out any more, it turns out there were a few more droplets to fall before we could write off the whole genre for another couple of years. Here we have Only Lovers Left Alive, a slow-burner directed by Jim Jarmusch, which promises to either bring new life or mark an end to the flood of vampire films that seem to have been the wave for the past several years. The film centres around Adam and Eve, a pair of soft-spoken vampire lovers (or more accurately, lover vampires - them being vampires isn’t perhaps their most important aspect) living on opposite sides of the world. Eve (Tilda Swinton) lives in Tangier, while Adam (Tom Hiddleston) lives in Detroit.
It’s hard to figure out the angle to use when talking about this film, because as somebody who isn’t particularly well versed in cinema and who’s previously only ever seen one Jarmusch film - and several years ago at that - I’m not quite sure how to approach a discussion of his style of directing. It’s very much a film of style over substance, but given that this film oozes style, that’s not necessarily a criticism or condemnation. The plot is simple, and sprinkled with snappy and dryly funny dialogue. Adam, who is a gloomy and withdrawn musician and apparent anonymous big name in underground music, suffers a particularly bad episode of apathy with the human race and a feeling of being lost. He calls Eve, his partner of several centuries - possibly even millennia - and expresses that he needs her to fly to Detroit to be with him. This sets the path for a soft ride, in which little that could be called ‘exciting’ happens, but which follows the gentle abnormality of the rather plausible events of two ancient, incredibly mature vampires in a world where human blood is becoming increasingly poisonous.
The take on vampire lore that Only Lovers presents is rather lovely. The vampires in this world appear to be growing fewer and fewer, and rather than needing to feed directly from the vein Adam and Eve prefer less violent means of obtaining their blood (Adam has a deal with a hospital worker, for example). The blood has an almost narcotic effect on them, sending them reeling slowly backwards to sink into whatever comfortable furniture is nearest. The comparison of vampires to drug addicts has been done before, but as far as I’m aware, not in such a casual and almost offhand way. It gives a sense of comfort, rather than a sense of contempt (for either vampires or drug addicts,) vampires aren’t dangerous junkies as some terribly bad poetry would have you believe, they just need to get high once in a while.
OLLA quietly marries the conceptual and the visual, and does so incredibly well. As I heard one person put it, it’s interesting seeing two lovers who will be young forever inhabiting a city that’s been crumbling for a long time. The distinct visual style of this film would likely be described as “darkly lit, grungy, and yet oddly clean-feeling”.. or at least, that’s my interpretation. Seeing Adam clad in black and Eve clad in white, driving around the largely abandoned and empty streets of Detroit late at night, stopping by to look at Jack White’s childhood home and really, just affectionately conversing in a manner you’d expect of terribly romantic vampires trying to avoid humans.
I’ve been patient and waited until the very end of my rather haphazard review to discuss my favourite part of this film, and that is the soundtrack. It’s been a very long while since I downloaded anything from iTunes, but I was so excited and impatient to sit down and experience the soundtrack again at my own pace that I gave in and threw my money at the computer screen. Every single part of the soundtrack is fantastic and absolutely suited in mood and tempo to its corresponding scene, yet each song also stands on its own. A perfect example is the film’s opening song “The Taste of Blood” which drones heavy and hypnotic, accompanying the spinning, almost nauseating ceiling shots of Adam and Eve laying down in their respective residences, each having recently fed. It’s no wonder that the soundtrack matches the film perfectly, when the band responsible for much of it is Jarmusch’s own project SQÜRL (although, credit where credit is due, Josef Van Wissem’s contributions were also significant.). Near the film’s close, in a Tangier cafe late at night, we see and hear a song performed by a Lebanese singer named Yasmine Hamdan, and if nothing else, OLLA is worth sitting through just for that one song.
Only Lovers Left Alive is a film that I would happily watch again, but I think that I will wait until I have access to a large-screen TV with surround-sound speakers. One couldn’t hope to get the full effect of each aspect otherwise, and the full effect is absolutely necessary. If the phrase “more than the sum of its parts” applies here, OLLA is certainly set to be a slow-burning cult classic.
Trailer: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Well… it doesn’t as bad as it potentially could have been. At least Michael Bay’s desire to turn our heroes in half-shells into aliens hasn’t come to fruition. At least the CGI looks decent. At least Will Arnett is in it. But Megan Fox as April O’Neil is just wrong. We await this one with cautious optimism, sort of.