Only Lovers Left Alive – Review

It is safe to say that recently we have entered a world where vampires are creatures that are meant to be adored and obsessed over, and personally I feel that this should not be the case. The vampire is not something that teen girls can swoon over and want to become. Everlasting life is not something to be sniffed it, it can become quite tedious after a while.

This is certainly something that Jim Jarmusch has touched upon along with a whole host of other ideas in his latest film, Only Lovers Left Alive.

The films star Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton as vampiric lovers, Adam and Eve (don’t be too hasty to jump on the religious bandwagon though, because Jarmusch did not intent to have that connection with the characters when he first set out to make the film. The two are named after characters in a Mark Twain novel) who whilst being married carry on their separate lives in Boston and Tangia.

OLLA adam and eve

The communicate with one another in much the same way that any long distant couple would, via the use of Facetime on an iPhone and a slightly more archaic version including a laptop, a television and hell of a lot wires. This just goes to show how different the two members of this relationship are.

It carries on further as we are shown more of the characters of Adam and Eve. Eve embraces her life in Tangia and enjoys all the joys that the city has to offer, whilst Adam hides himself away in his cavernous house and is content with making his music; just as long as no one knows who he is or where he lives, apart from his friend Ian who acquires things for him.

Only Lovers Left Alive really is breath of fresh air when it comes to contemporary vampire movies. This is is movie that people have been waiting for without even knowing it. It is wickedly smart, devilishly funny and manages to have a huge heart in it as well.

Not only do Hiddleston and Swinton bring life to these roles they have excellent supporting cast from John Hurt who plays William Marlowe (YES! That Marlowe), you also have Mia Wasikowski as the impulsive, childish ‘sister’ of Eve.

OLLA avaOLLA marlowe

At times the film seems almost too clever for its own good, managing to bring traditional vampiric folklore into a very comtemporary setting and story, and the back drop of Boston couldn’t be better. A once prospering city that is not just managing to grasp onto its own civilisation is the perfect allegory for the character of Adam. He was once such a powerful thing and now he is contemplating suicide and has locked himself away from the rest of the world.

This film manages to cover so many different topics and themes it is a shame to just place it under the title of a vampire movie, even though the word is never mentioned once throughout the movie. It is a film about romance, family, death, music, science and nature, the human condition. It is so simple in its complexity that I hope you will be as blown away by it as I was.

Only Lovers Left Alive is set to be released on Blu-Ray, DVD and limited edition steelbook (through Zavvi) on September 15th and I cannot highly recommend enough going and picking up a copy. Even if you are not a fan of supposed vampire movies, you will be pleasantly suprised from this offering by Jarmusch

 

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Richard Donner Confirms Goonies Sequel

the goonies

It is safe to say that a vast majority of people grew up with The Goonies and it stuck with them into their adult years, well brace yourself because your world is about to be rocked!

Over the weekend, Richard Donner, who directed the original film, along with the Lethal Weapon franchise and Superman,  came out and confirmed that a sequel would be happening. He was asked the question of whether you he direct a comic book movie, to which he replied:

“If you call Goonies a comic book…We’re doing a sequel”

Some may be excited by this news, and I hate to say but I think they may be in the minority here. The Goonies is one of the quintessential 80s movies and a whole generation has taken it to their hearts. To try and create a sequel for it 29 years after it originally came out is pushing it a little bit.

Donner apparently wants to try and get as much of the original cast back for this film as well, so it will be interesting to see who actually comes on board this time around.

Lucy – Trailer

So here is the trailer for the latest offering from Luc BessonLucy and it looks rather awesome!

Now I know that the whole “we only 10% of our brains” plot idea isn’t the most original, but once you put that aside it seems like Besson is taking the story in a nice direction and throwing plenty of action at us.

The plot follows Lucy, played by Scarlett Johansson, was becomes mixed up in a drug smuggling scheme, but when the drugs start to leak into her system, they have some rather interesting results. Whilst the initial reaction to the leak looks like a rather uncomfortable one, as her body becomes used to the new substance and it is absorbed into her brain, she starts to develop a whole host of new abilities.

Starring alongside Johansson is Morgan Freeman, who plays a professor with his area study focussing on the brain, so it seems like the two of them will definitely have something to talk about; although I don’t know how happy he will be about her hacking into his video calls!

It will be interesting to see how the whole film plays out and whether Besson has managed to create another new strong female science fiction character or if the trailer has just shown all of the good bits!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – Trailer

Add this one to the pile of unnecessary franchises!

I have to admit that I do have a soft spot for the original TMNT films and so I don’t know how I feel about this new film. With Michael Bay acting as a producer you can see where he has had an influence in the overall style of the filming, but hopefully it won’t be as unwatchable as some of the later Transformers movies.

The CGI seems alright in the trailer but how it will look for a whole movie we will have to wait and see when it is released later on in the year.

I did have a little chuckle to myself over the “it’s only a mask” line, so it nice to see that some of humour hasn’t been completely lost.

The Raid 2 Deleted Scene

Earlier today, Gareth Evans, director of The Raid and the upcoming sequel released this deleted scene from the new movie with the following statement:

“This is one of a few deleted scenes taken from the film. Reasons to cut were entirely down to pacing issues. This was probably the hardest for me to cut due to the fact that the production on this scene lasted around 6 days of shooting, it cost us a fuck load to make and it served to escalate the gang war out onto the streets involving people outside of the closed off inter-gang politics.

At the end of the day though, after discussing its worth it took us away from the central theme for a little too long with characters that would only exist in this scene alone.

Whenever I edit a film – every scene feels like a precious moment. “No fucking way can I cut this” is a regular phrase I utter at Aram (one of the producers at XYZ Films who patiently worked with me to get the film to it’s final cut) but his patience was always a virtue and it’s when you make a cut and no longer miss it from the bigger picture a few days down the line that you realise it was the right decision to make.

But I still want you guys to see the chaos and the mayhem we had in store, and so with the release of the film coming in a few days time – here’s a sample of one of the action scenes that simply didn’t make it.

Enjoy.”

If this is the kind of footage that Evans is having to cut of the final run of the film, it certainly looks like the finished version is going to be incredibly insane!

The film is released on the 28th March in the States and April 11th in the UK. Hopefully this deleted will keep everyone happy till then.

 

American Interior – Review

Coming from a Welsh background I couldn’t help but be interested in the latest film from Gruff Rhys (lead singer of The Super Furry Animals), American Interior.

The film focusses on the life of a young Welshman, by the name of John Evans, who decides to travel across to America in 1792 in search a fabled tribe of Welsh speaking Native Americans. Whilst from the outside this may not seem like the most interesting of premises for a film, the finished product is actually a brilliant mix of American road movie, history lesson, and concert/PowerPoint show.

Whether or not Evans is actually a distant relative of Rhys is something people can discuss in their own time, but his story is one that has stuck with Gruff for years since he heard about it and in this he takes it upon himself to follow in Evans’ footsteps across to the States to see how much of story is actually true and how much has just become legend over the years. He manages to bring in experts from both side of the pond in to discuss the life of John Evans and what his life was actually like at the time. It is through these interviews that we learn that this poor boy from a religious family managed to get caught up in all sorts of adventures during his short life; from trying to map the Missouri river by boat to dueling for his life against a Canadian and almost single handedly making sure that the Spanish kept control of America.

The film really is a love letter to the life of John Evans and whilst his name may be the thing of legend to some Welsh families, he is often forgotten by many. It just goes to show the power and determination some individuals have when they put their mind to task, whether that is something as crazy as travelling to a whole new country to try and track down a race of people that may or may not have existed 5 centuries ago. Saying that, during the course of the movie, we are introduced to a whole host of other characters who are trying to keep their own cultures alive, in particular the last native speaker of the Mandan tribe; this was a tribe that Evans thought he was supposed to find.

The whole thing is beautifully shot in monochrome with the occasional highlight and splash of colour in certain shots and as I mentioned before it is intercut with scenes from different shows that Rhys played whilst travelling across America researching his story. It is nice to see how the story evolves as his show does, and it is all presented with Rhys’ own style of deadpan approach. Fans of his music will love the new songs, and I’m sure it will encourage a whole flock of fans to his musical stylings.

I really cannot praise this movie enough. It is funny, moving, passionate, and above all highly entertaining. I really do recommend going to check it out when it is released in cinemas in the UK on May 9th, the US is still waiting for a release date (sorry!)

For more information about the film, which is being released in conjunction with a CD, book and mobile app, go check out the website here

Cabin Fever 3 – Review

Cabin Fever 3

The horror genre is so popular because during the film, it allows the audience to have some nail biting, scary escapism for a few hours and then they are returned safely to their own lives knowing that some crazy axe murderer or in the case of Cabin Fever, a flesh eating virus is going to run amok and destroy their cozy day to day living. However, when something becomes popular and an unexpected hit with the fans, people always want more, and so the franchise is born.

Cabin Fever 3: Patient Zero, to give the film its full title, is the latest film to come under the Cabin Fever umbrella and I was sceptical to give a viewing, considering I am such a fan of the first movie. I have to say I hadn’t even considered watching the second one because I felt it couldn’t live up to the first. The reasoning behind me giving into this film is that it was marketed as a prequel and so I was curious as to how the story started.

First off let me just say in my opinion that this film is by no means an official prequel. It may carry the Cabin Fever title, yet it brings nothing to the story that was set out in the first film made by Eli Roth; that isn’t to say that it doesn’t work. It seems more like a companion piece to the franchise, but could quite easily be happening at the same time as the events in the first film or even be a sequel. The whole ‘patient zero’ part of the film is interesting, but it brings nothing else to the story; it just seems to bring in another element to the mythos in the films about how the virus affects everyone it comes into contact with.

The plot is two stories that concurrently to one another. The first follows the life of ‘patient zero’, played by Sean Astin, (oh, how times have changed since Lord of the Rings) and his time in quarantine, where doctors are trying to understand the virus and possibly create a vaccination and find a cure. Much like any doctor in a horror film, the main behind the facility has his own plans, but these don’t come to light until later on in the film. The second story line, focusses on three brothers and a female friend heading off to a secluded island to celebrate the eldest brother’s last night as a single man, before his wedding. As you can most probably expect, things don’t go to plan and soon the happy campers end up infected with the virus. As the film progresses, the two groups come into contact and the story then follows the both of them together as they realise the full impact that the viral pandemic will have on the world.

Cabin Fever 3 is by no means the most original film, but it was certainly better than I expected it to be. The effects are really rather well done and it is nice to see some practical effects still being used in horror these days. The overall tone is certainly reminiscent of the first film and the script, written by Jake Wade Wall, really tries to bring in some of the humour of the first. The cat fight involving the two infected girls towards the end is one the highlights of the film, and I have never seen someone beaten to death by a giant black dildo before. Kaare Andrews, certainly looks like he can handle horror directing well, and it will be interesting to see what his next project is going to be.