Thursday, 27 November 2014

23:05

Kissing as if no-one is watching
having your picture taken by a stranger
Walking in a straight line
straight to you
while you bump into anything that moves.
Wiping water away from your eyes
is it sweat or sun tan lotion melting
Riding the Bakerloo or Central
at Tottenham Court Road
on a Monday night
just like any other night to some
to those who take this step everyday
to the drunk who sleeps on the step
you step over

Dancing with your iPod to the sound
while you tip toe avoiding the lines
every step could be your last
every step could be your first
The first for the rest of your life
the life that doesnt have a course
My course is following the red line
on a Monday night

Its 23:05
55 minutes to tomorrow
55 left of today
Can you still make a first impression
or should you put it to bed
Gonna go to sleep tomorrow
and wake up in the same day
No drawing board
to go back to
I know what must be done
just like any Tuesday morning
but for now its still Monday night.

Pan - Preview


Released today from Warner Bros. this is the first offical teaser trailer of Pan, a live-action origin story of the fabled Peter Pan, how he became the boy who could never grow up and how he became a part of Neverland.

../assets/warner/pan/images/PAN_Blackbeard_INTL.jpg ../assets/warner/pan/images/PAN_Hook.jpg ../assets/warner/pan/images/PAN_Peter_INTL_72.jpg

Directed by respected Brit, Joe Wright, the teaser introduces us to many a character and the fine ensemble Wright has assembled. From Hugh Jackman as Blackbeard calling upon his theatrical background, in playing the pantomine villain, to Garrett Hedlund as James Cook with both hands in place. Along with spirited newcomer Levi Miller as the eponymous Peter and Rooney Mara as Tiger Lily.

After a brief foray into Oliver Twist territory, the film shows Peter being kidnapped from an orphanage and being taken aboard a ship in the sky towards the second star to the right. There he embeds with the tribe before battling Blackbeard and his tyranny. 

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The film will be released in both a 2D and 3D format, the footage seen thus far makes this reviewer believe that the combination of fantasy, flight and action may make it a suitable film for the transfer to the third dimension much in the way Avatar set the bar for.

Pan is released in UK cinemas in July 2015 and promises something for all the family.

www.facebook.com/PanOfficialUK
Twitter: @PanOfficialUK
https://www.warnerbros.co.uk/movies/pan

Birdman - Hammer

Out on 1st January 2015, the much touted Birdman is released by Fox Searchlight UK and here is another clip from the film starring Michael Keaton, Edward Norton, Emma Stone and Zach Galifinakis, the film is directed by Alejandro G. Innaritu.


You have had exclusive access to great clips already, here are the clips again:

Does She Talk?
Levels Upon Levels

The film is out on January 1st, and should be seen to be believed.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Let's Talk About Robert

We are going to talk about an NFL player who in his third season in professional sport is quickly becoming one of the most troubled young stars not through off-the-field issues for once, but for his conduct and lack of performance on the field.

Robert Griffin III was drafted by the Washington franchise three years ago with the second overall pick, in a trade deal where they went all in on the Baylor quarterback who had won the Heisman Trophy at a canter following his scintillating play in Art Briles' system.

Behind Andrew Luck, RG3 was considered to be one of the future elite signal callers in the game. However, not all has gone to plan for the QB as serious injury led to him failing in his first play-off game and then repeated injuries has led to a quarterback contest with Kirk Cousins, his back-up and now his continued poor play upon return from a dislocated ankle has led to calls for the team to drop him and play Colt McCoy.

Now playing McCoy would be the wrong thing to do and a cry for help, however, RG3's play has been absolutely woeful in recent weeks. The failure to make plays down the field with his arm, failure to extend plays with his legs due to a fear of re-injurying himself, the failure to protect himself from constant pressure has led many to call him a deer in the headlights.

Nevermind that, he is a very big deer. He cannot read defences, he does not throw away the ball quickly to avoid a hit, he has talented receivers who do not get the ball. You could question the offensive line for failing to defend their franchise man under centre, much like the Carolina Panthers are failing to protect Cam Newton this season.

Both men look like shadows of their former selves yet it should not be forgotten that neither of them came into the league as renowned passers, this has not improved for either of them. Whilst Cam has improved in the pocket, for RG3 it sometimes resembles a heave and hope format, whereas Luck's mechanics are second to none. Cam is helped by his height, RG3 is short in comparison - yet Russell Wilson (drafter in the third round by Seattle in the same draft as Luck/Griffin) is the best passer on the run in the league and is even shorter than both of them.

Griffin is guilty of having a meteoric rise far too quickly and guilty of cashing in on his own talent. He trained for the combine and impressed a lot of people and had a televisual charm in abundance, however, he is being spoilt by an owner who will bend to his every wish.  You can change the coaches, the co-ordinators but sometimes you have to expect better results from a starting quarterback who should be maturing by now and instead this week has been involved in a back and forth tittle tattle with his coach Jay Gruden via the national media.

Don't worry though it should be easier for Griffin this week on the road in San Francisco against a rejuvenated defence who will be salivating at the thought of getting to Griffin numerous times. Then they face the porous Colts so some respite might arrive, before a home game versus the St. Louis Rams who made Peyton Manning's life a misery on Sunday gone.

This is before the NFC East stretch at the Giants and before two home games versus the Eagles and Cowboys. All teams are built on having a capable pass rush, my prediction is the Rams game on 7th December may be the final coffin for the team, as it is at home where the fans may be their most vocal in asking for Griffin to be sat for the rest of the season. They are 3-7 meaning the Raiders will not win that many to make the Redskins get the overall first draft pick with Marcus Mariota earmarked to be the first quarterback off the board.

So what is the solution for the Redskins?  Oh god, lets talk about Jameis

Birdman - Does She Talk?



Fox Searchlight UK are pleased to release another new clip from the highly anticipated release of Birdman (or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) directed by Alejandro G. Inarritu starring Michael Keaton, Emma Stone and Edward Norton.


Keaton plays a former blockbuster film actor who cannot shake off the pigeon holing of playing an iconic comic book character, whilst mounting a Broadway return. Sound familiar, considering Keaton famously played Batman twice in both of Tim Burton's imagining of the DC Comics hero.

In this clip, Mike (Norton) who has been handed a role in Riggan's (Keaton) new play meets his daughter played by Emma Stone for the first time. The clip shows you the manic energy of the walk around cinematography and the energy being used by both Norton and Keaton, two livewires seemingly let off the leash in their roles.

Birdman is out on general release on 1st January 2015


Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Electricity - Trailer preview


Soda Pictures is proud to release a new UK trailer for the forthcoming release of Electricity directed by Bryn Higgins and starring Agyness Deyn, in a breakthrough role.

 ELECTRICITY_QUAD_LOW-2

Based on the novel by Ray Robinson, Deyn plays Lily a young woman from Lancashire who whilst on medication for her epilepsy experiences a wealth of hallucinations when looking for her long lost brother in London, in a modern twist on Alice in Wonderland.

The trailer starts with Deyn walking along a sea-front promenade with the camera cutting between close-ups and point of view shots of Alice as she stumbles whilst walking. Then we flit from other characters, when we first encounter that who we know to be her brother, the trailer does not make that so clear. She asks, 'Does he think of me?' meaning we think this is a romantic tryst she wishes to rekindle. Another man tells her to forget about the past.

Borrowing from the visual strength of Kieran Evans' startling Kelly + Victor - a criminally underrated film - Electricity will be helped by what looks to be a mind-blowing lead performance by former model Deyn, who has a role where she is in every shot of the film.  Her strength and also her vulnerability in the role will lead to many plaudits for her. Here is hoping the film can create a spark with an audience.

Electricity is out from Soda Pictures on Friday 12th December

The Thief Of Baghdad

As part of the continuing Masters of Cinema series from Eureka Video, The Thief of Baghdad is released on a special Blu-ray edition and brings to the small screen in a new print one of the great films in the career of the hugely admired Douglas Fairbanks.


Directed by Raoul Walsh, but produced by the highly independent Fairbanks, Thief tells the story of Ahmed (Fairbanks) who encounters danger and adventure in equal measure in a purely studio based film.  Featuring ahead of its time special effects such as the famous climatic flying carpet ride, the film is indicative of one man's vision. In stark contrast to the stringent Hollywood studio system that was still 10 years away from its heyday, this was a film full of invention and imagination.

We are still ten years from Capra's coming out party with It Happened One Night, 15 years from John Ford's Stagecoach in 1939, the same year as Hitchock's final UK film before he came to America in 1940 under David O. Selznick to make Rebecca. In the mid 1920s three years before the advent of sound in cinema, the art form was following theatre by making the actor the star.  The stars knowing this wanted more creative control of their final product.

Fairbanks was a contemporary of the other two Hollywood darlings of the mid to late 1920s, Mary Pickford and Charlie Chaplin. The three of them helped form United Artists; the independent production company that allowed the three stars to make what films they wanted and give them the power to produce and in Chaplin's case ultimately direct.  It gave them the freedom to pursue artistic endeavours of their own volition.

In Fairbanks case it was a chance to do something of this scale, a film with vastness of a Cecil B. DeMille film but with the imagination of Melieres whilst embracing a key central performance by the featured actor.  In a way you could say Thief is the first actor led film who was not reliant upon the name of a director be it Griffith/Lubitsch above the title.

 

If that's the case the Thief of Baghdad is an amazing Hollywood product - larger than life, fantastical, amazing and hugely entertaining. The reason a silent cinema featuring the problem of a white man play a Muslim is accepted due to the sheer photogenic presence of Fairbanks himself. Like his contemporary Chaplin, there is a magnetism about his performance the way he moves and does his own stunts all with a charm burning from his shirtless torso and a smile beaming from whiter than white teeth set against the vast production and set design.

While the case this could be made as an actor's auteur film, the work of Walsh who would go on to direct such classic Hollywood fare as High Sierra and White Heat, should not be ignored. Coming to the set as a somewhat novice, this was his first major production and he does a great service to the film by keeping the tempo and tone throughout the work.

From shimmering up a rope out of a basket to the carpet ride, there are thrills and spills a plenty in this brisk 140 minute running time. It would be a great introduction for many to the joys of silent cinema, helped by the sprightly new score by Carl Davis and the London Philharmonic Orchestra. The dual format Blu-ray/DVD edition has an accompanying 40 page booklet by Laura Boyes from the North Carolina Museum of Art.

The Thief of Baghdad will be released on Blu-ray/DVD dual format on Monday 24th November at £14.99 rrp

www.eurekavideo.co.uk