Monthly Archives: March 2008

The Moviebarn Farm-a-riffic April Preview…

Persepolis, one of the good ones this month; copyright Optimum Releasing

Well March was a bit of a damp squib. A wetty even. A series of not-great films coupled with some not-great weather. I liked the Creme Eggs though. Hopefully April will be better, here’s what’s a-coming;

April 4thSon of Rambow; has provisional role as ‘Peter’s favourite film of April’ already courtesy of a screening last week. Touching but funny tale of children making low-budget action film. Features flying dog.

I’m a Cyborg; asylum-based mentalism from the Korean director behind the ‘Vengance’ trilogy. About a woman who thinks she’s a robot, and a man who thinks he can harvest souls. Feat. a man called ‘Rain’. No bullshit, that’s the actual name I have in front of me.

April 11th21; card-counting-ahoy in the film adap. of ‘Bringing down the House’. About a group of university students “up against the Vegas elite”. Could be OK. Could be so smug it’ll hurt to watch it. We’ll see.

Leatherheads; American Football-based comu-drama starring George Clooney. UK press material makes hardly any mention of the Yankeeball element. I wonder why?

REC; (en Espanol) “What’s that in the corner of this burnt-out building?” “OHMYGAWD! AAAARGH! AAAAGH! AAARGH! AARGH! AAAGH! AAARGH!”

Shine a Light; The Rolling Stones, playing some musics. Scorcese is directing. Sadly, there will be no Raging Bulls. Not even a little one.

April 18thFool’s Gold; WARNING, THIS IS NOT A JOKE, THIS IS THE ACTUAL PLOT OF THE FILM: Matthew McConaghey and Kate Hudson play a married couple, both of whom are treasure hunters. Their marriage is on the rocks, but they are brought back from the brink of divorce, by the discovery of sunken Spanish gold.

In Bruges; Colin Farrell and Ralph Fiennes in Belgium-based TV/Film project that isn’t Poirot. Far from it. This has midgets. And swearing. And guns.

Street Kings; Double-cross, double-double-cross, bent (not in that way) cops, and more excellent Hugh Laurie accents. Looks like a good’un, and has pedigree (directed by the writer of ‘Training Day’).

25th AprilPersepolis; Reviewed this for the coming issue of The Skinny, so will post review when it hits the street. It’s a French-Iranian black-and-white animation. Stylish, funny, and enthralling. If you can find it, go and see it. When it’s on, obviously.

So that’s April. Out of that lot I’d recommend Son of Rambow and Persepolis, both terrific. And I’m curious about Street Kings. So there you go, 3 good films for the next 5 weeks. Roll on May…


Horton Hears a Who: Review

As I’ve said before on this blog, Hollywood’s previous dealings with the work of Dr Seuss have been akin to pressing a large red button marked ‘SELF DESTRUCT’. If you took the last 2 Seuss films as gospel, then the fair Doctor wanted to scare the pants off kids, with really creepy characters that wouldn’t look out of place in an episode of the League of Gentlemen. Continue reading

Son of Rambow: Review

‘Sweet’ is a hard quality to get across in a film – go in too heavy and the audience just feels violently sick. It’s a dangerous game to go playing, but luckily Garth Jennings’ follow-up to HHGTTG manages to just about nail it. Continue reading

The 5 Worst Number Ones Ever…

To honour the UK release of HIT US COMEDY/Critical clusterfudge Meet the Spartans, I’ve compiled a chart of the worst films to hit the top of the US Box Office in the last 20 years. Yes America, while the British may take your Jason Bournes and Rex the Dinosaurs we’ll still openly mock your somewhat ‘interesting’ choice in movies from time to time.

5 – Big Daddy (27 June – 3 July 1999)
I can’t stand this film. Maybe it’s the annoying kid from Friends. Maybe it’s Adam Sandler. Maybe it’s the whole “you can’t take my kid away, Oi’m ADAM SAANDLER!” thing, but whatever it is, this film annoys the hell out of me.

4 – Pokemon: The First Movie (14-20 November 1999)
Oh great, pokemon. In a film. Just perfect. Low-rent animation, annoying “yeah, let’s go!” chirpiness and odd slave-tastic subtext aren’t the best way to endear yourself to this reviewer.

3 – Jackass:Number Two (24 – 30 September 2006)
A film so stupid that the title is a reference to shit. Yeah, look, it’s right there. A “number two”. You try warning people and yet they still flood in.

2 – The Cat in the Hat (23 November – 6 December 2003)
Dr Seuss – quirky, quitty, quintesentially American. Can’t go wrong with that. Oh, wait, you want to make it a live-action version starring Mike Myers dressed like a member of a Death Row production of ‘Cats’? And you want Dakota Fanning to be in it? And you want the whole thing to appear in a horrible day-glo wash that gives your retinas diabetes? OK, I’m out.

1 – Norbit (11-17 February 2007)
A film so bad it arguably cost Eddie Murphy an Oscar for Dreamgirls. A film so bad that Eddie’s consolation prize(s) were 3 Razzies. All for acting. All for him. And yet, NUMBER ONE!

Check out wikipedia’s full list of Number Ones from ’88 – ’08, and if you’ve got any better suggestions, let’s hear them.

Norbit though. Come on.

 Oh, Meet the Spartans is out on Friday. Don’t go and see it. Please.

Life on the floor…

As I mentioned once before, I work in a cinema, watch films a lot, and am a (sometime) film journalist. A triple threat, if you will. This post is all about my weekend in the cinema. Its content is fairly self-explanatory, you’ll see it if you read on. Well, go on then. ***Warning – this contains what could be seen as a spoiler for 10,000 BC. But only if you thought the ending wouldn’t involve a Mammoth in one way or another.***

Working in a small city-centre cinema, the reactions we get to films are a bit, well, they’re not what you might expect. Absolutely nobody went to see Vantage Point last week, yet a good 50 people nearly filled the tiny screen it was in Sat. and Sun. Nobody really bit on the previews for Horton, despite him clearing house in Amewica, and apparently there are still plenty of people who haven’t seen Juno.

 It just goes to show that there’s no accounting for people – plug the hell out of a film pre-release and nobody comes to see it; try and drop it like a stone and they’re on it like hobos on a bindle. Mind you, our cinema was still showing Atonement the week after it came out on DVD.

 At least there was one thing that everyone could agree on – 10,000 BC. “Total shit” is what I’m hearing from the punters, shit with an nonsensical ending involving a heart-to-heart with a mammoth.

Oh, and I hit my head on an ice-cream cabinet, due to hitting it on a poster case. That was a sore one.

Rambo: Review


Originally published in The Skinny, a free magazine distributed in Edinburgh and Glasgow.

In a nutshell…

This is movie news. But done pretty quickly, so as not to waste anyone’s time. A plan…

Semi-Pro failed to hit the top spot at the UK box office this week, taking just over 3/4 of a million quid. Which, although the US takings were lower than projected, is still a surprise, given the paucity of the competition, with only The Bank Job to contend with. Jason Statham 1, Will Ferrell 0. Read More…

You wait ages for a Bob Marley biopic, then two come along at once. Martin Scorcese’s flick with Bob’s son Ziggy has had its thunder properly stolen by the Weinstein’s, who have bought the rights to Rita Marley’s book No Woman No Cry. Odds on the Weinsteins releasing both films back-to-back? Anyone? Read More…

Speaking of biopics of tortured geniii, Paramount is developing a movie based on the life of singing walrus/talent show contestant Paul Potts, according to Variety. Cowell says “(Paramount) got that it’s another ‘Billy Elliot,’ a story anyone in the world can understand”. No need for a joke, is there? Read More…