Hello all. Welcome to the weekly flix roundup.
So once again the weekly allure of celluloid is a proven elixir and escape from the real world.
This week, we have a busy film schedule including the latest big Disney animation, some Beat Generation with the man Radcliffe, a Stallone penned action flick with The Stathe, a slab of Alexander Payne’s unique philosophy with Nebraska, and Hollywood remake of a Korean classic with a man, er Oldboy.
Disney’s latest animated film, Frozen, looks like a return to the sort of films people of my age grew up on. Many reviewers Stateside have commented on this, and that despite the CGI and 3D elements, the films main instigators Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee are tapping into their love of Disney’s classic late 80s/early 90s output like The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast and The Little Mermaid.
For people of a certain age, this will be great! A story of love, the relationship between two sisters and some cute animals (and a reindeer!), there’s, no satire, no clever twists or sci-fi elements. So, all in all there’s something gloriously old-school about a bit of singing, dancing and any plot device involving “true love’s kiss”. In fact, it’s ideally festive, and not done in an ironic way which many ‘knowing’ Pixar and Dreamworks films have employed from time to time.
Kill Your Darlings (15)
The film focuses on the Beat Generation poets when they first came together in the mid 1940s.
A number of critics have picked up on the film’s love of the Beat Generation, a love story and a murder story and how director John Krokidas either grasps or fails to negotiate a path between them all. A film with any of Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac and William Burroughs would arguably be material enough, to interweave to a murder plot and love tale within all of this is quite the undertaking.
I think it’s great to see Daniel Radcliffe taking on a real variety of roles post-Hogwarts. As is well known, he’s a poet himself, so there’s no doubt a lot of appeal to take on a role as Allen Ginsberg and to embrace the Beat Generation who represent figureheads for young creative rebels everyone.
Alexander Payne‘s films are always relentless in dark humour, passing judgement on large swathes of society, but also not towing the line in terms of film conventions or characterisation.
This looks like being no different with Nebraska. Payne’s male characters are usually deeply unhappy or flawed. He takes great pride in showing regret and disappointment and definitely no sentiment.
He does bittersweet though and in Bruce Dern and Will Forte‘s performances as Woody and David, I am hoping you have this in droves. Woody, an elderly father, and David, his son going on a very uncomfortable road trip to pick up a flyer telling him he has a become a millionaire. Obviously it’s a scam but the wealth of characters and encounters are what will make this movie memorable.
Whilst in black and white, it’s a movie hopefully brim full of classic indie conventions that I hope will be richer in colour with its characters, far more so than many other films you will see this year.
An average Jason Statham action B movie is nearly always better than any other average action B-movie. Fact. Jason Statham is awesome.
Statham’s delivery in action from the hilariousness of The Transporter series to craziness of Crank to The Bank Job, manages to be likeable, commanding the screen in that way that only The Stathe loves to. He can actually act, a bit, and his fighting skills are second to none.
A little of that is due to something that Stallone (scriptwriter for this film) would I’m sure appreciate. He can do the action hero thing in a way that appeals to fans of 80s action flicks as much as it does to 21st century action fans.
Back to Homefront, the story sounds like typical Stallone fair with Statham playing a former DEA agent who moves his family to a quiet town, but he soon tangles with a local drug lord and a number of unfriendly characters.
Rumour has it Stallone’s script has done the rounds for a number of years before a director was attached to it. I am hoping its action zing hasn’t been diluted because that’s what we want to see!
The remake to Chan Wook-Park‘s classic 2003 film has been talked about for a number of years. I love the original. It’s amazingly poetic, beautiful, strange and at times grueling, a revenge flick with a strong oedipus tale at the heart of it, and a film with lots of pathos.
In fact, the original Oldboy has a level of detail and care which deserves repeat viewing. Look behind the violence and you have something which is both complex and classically Korean with its horror conventions and unerring sense of ambition.
With Spike Lee directing the remake, you have a most talented director at the helm, and in Josh Brolin, a more than capable lead. And yet, reviews have not been praiseworthy. I am not against a remake, for example, look at how Infernal Affairs became remade as The Departed.
If you’re going to remake a classic film such as Oldboy, you have to be doing something just as classic and if it falls just a tad short, it will be a disappointment.
Lee’s film will be free of live octopus eating though! If you’ve seen the original, you’ll know what I mean.
My question of the week – what’s your favourite Statham flick and why?
Until next week ladies and gents!!
Do comment below or tweet Tim on @Timmy666