film

3Nov

Ghostbusters 3?

As reported in the Guardian:

Bill Murray recently donned a proton pack and appeared in character as Peter Venkman at the 2010 Scream awards, while Dan Aykroyd has been talking up the script. But today there was more evidence that Ghostbusters 3 could soon be on its way to the big screen after Production Weekly said it expected the film to shoot in May next year.

The usually reliable magazine tweeted: “We’re hearing that Sony Pictures is planning to put Ivan Reitman’s Ghostbusters 3 into production in May 2011.” That would mean the new movie arriving 22 years after Ghostbusters II.

Aykroyd, who has been revising a screenplay by Gene Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg, who worked on the US version of The Office, said earlier this month that there was a “comic role of a lifetime” for Murray in the new movie, and confirmed it would concern handing over ghostbusting duties from the old team to a new generation.

“My character’s eyesight is shot, I got a bad knee, a bad hip – I can’t drive that caddy any more or lift that psychotron accelerator any more, it’s too heavy,” Aykroyd said. “We need young legs, new minds – new Ghostbusters; so I’m in essence passing the torch to the new regime, and you know what? That’s totally OK with me.”

Let’s be honest, sometimes you never want your favourite childhood movies to be ruined by the addition of a sequel (I’m looking at you, George Lucas). But maybe because of the pure sillyiness of the franchise (or simply because I believe Bill Murray to be a god and when I grow up I want to be just like him), I hope they do make this film.

24Oct

Made in Dagenham – Some Thoughts

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k0LF-F1QNAw]

Made in Dagenham is based on the true events of the Ford sewing machinists’ strike of 1968, which eventually led in 1970 to the Equal Pay Act.

Okay, so it’s a little simplistic over the core issues, but its head and heart was in exactly the right place for a mainstream audience. It’s a feel-good film – and demanding equal pay for women in the face of corporate lies (“We’ll have to move production”; “We’ll have to reduce everyone’s wages just to make up for it”) is precisely the kind of thing everyone can feel good about (unless you’re a Tory MP). The women’s movement in the film does a very good job of navigating not only the kinds of right wing propaganda used to keep them in place, but also shows the women resisting the pressure from union bosses and the media. It does all this without a hint of misandry, too, which would have been easy to slip into (and understandable, in fact).

The film is seen through the eyes of Rita (Sally Hawkins) who rapidly goes from working mother to leading the women’s movement. She was incredibly charming and the audience could warm to her instantly. Her change from shyness and timidity to strength and determination was admirable. There was plenty of tongue-in-cheek British humour, and a wonderful cast – notably Miranda Richardson as Barbara Castle; Rosamond Pike as the under-appreciated wife of one of the Ford bosses; and the sensitive Bob Hoskins, playing a minor union official who lends his support to the equal pay movement.

As Rita tells her husband: “It’s rights not privileges. It’s that bloody easy, it really is.” There should be no reward for men doing the right thing with regards to women – it’s the bare minimum.

2Aug

Inception – A Quick Musing

I’m not going to add to the numerous posts that can be found throughout the Internet. I’m not going to review Inception; suffice to say I enjoyed it; I enjoyed the emotionally flat tone, and enjoyed the how-the-fuck-did-they-film-the-hotel-corridor-scene assault on the mind (I don’t want to know the answer to the latter, thanks). And I was impressed by the fact that a cerebral thriller could be mass marketed so effectively. To have dream-within-a-dream-within-a-dream plots running simultaneously, and to have it work, was satisfying, of course. But I mostly felt as if I might be part of a cinematic paradigm shift: Dear public, these moving pictures can be rather clever, too.

Each time Hollywood unleashes a major SF film, the SF literary blogosphere – in a fine, good-spirited and sub-conscious manner – lurches above the foliage to begin thumping its chest in any number of ways to symbolise a marking of genre territory – that there is much good to be found in our books. And quite right too, it’s all part of the fun. Here are a few interesting chesty-thumps.

More than I’ve noticed for any prior genre movie blockbuster, each of the reviews I’ve seen – from newspapers to blogs – are almost talking about different films from each other. That is to say, each review has interpreted things in a very different way, or found something else on which to hang itself. The opinions are much more disparate than the collective trouncing of the prog-rock-cover-art-inspired Avatar. Perhaps because of the deliberate ambiguity of Christopher Nolan’s script, perhaps his execution (“It’s clever!”; “No, they’re such cheap tricks!”) or perhaps because of the nature of the subject of the film, dreaming, and what it means to each of us. Though, surprisingly, I found one of the best dissections of the reality/dream debate to be found on Yahoo Answers.

That a piece of art invites such a level of reaction says much about the content. This, then, means Inception is good art.

9Mar

MicMacs

Last week I saw MicMacs. First, watch the trailer.

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CYVGkjgNEU8]

Finished? Good.

It was easily one of the most charming films I’ve ever seen. Jean-Pierre Jeunet directed, among other films, Amelie, but I felt this was more fun, more visually impressive, and Dany Boon played a truly engaging lead. As the trailer points out, it’s all about a revenge on the arms manufacturers who killed Bazil’s father (with a land mine) and made the bullet that entered his head. (It is the theme of the orphan versus the giant evil monster corporation.) As a result of his injury, Bazil loses his job and ends up homeless. It is there, on the streets, where he is taken in by the MicMacs – the rest of the cast – who are made up of a contortionist, human cannonball, a strange contraption maker, and so on, and they were as eccentric as you could hope for. The despicableness of the two arms manufacturers are also acted out in that marvellous comic villain style.

Great performances all round, self-referential moments (a poster for MicMacs within the same film), circus-style tomfoolery and beautifully choreographed set-pieces ensue. I challenge anyone not to walk out of the cinema with a very European smile.

12Jan

Robin Hood Trailer

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KSqL9ygBCck]

You see, it’s all well and good having a Robin Hood that’s nails, and significantly more grown up than the BBC series. And it’s all well and good making it look visually stunning.

But can they ever recreate or improve upon one of the finest pieces of casting in cinema history, that of Alan Rickman as the Sheriff? I think not!

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S6I_8HXcO54]

Will it be the same taking a more direct route to Nottingham this time – i.e. not Dover to Nottingham via Hadrian’s Wall, as was vogue in Prince of Thieves?

And where’s your rock ballad, Ridley Scott? Finally, I suppose at least it doesn’t matter if he’s as creative with history in Robin Hood like he was in Gladiator.