Tag Archives: Jessica Chastain

Ones to watch in 2013…

5 Jan

Happy New Year Film Fans!

So it’s been a great 2012 in the world of film, and to properly finish it off, I was lucky enough to feature on Channel 5 News at the end of December to chat about my favourite Christmas film to watch over the festive period. I decided that my top two films had to be those that were most nostalgic and memorable to me rather than those that were just critically acclaimed, and I’m sure a lot of twenty-somethings who grew up with these films will probably feel the same.

Screen Shot 2013-01-04 at 14.02.15

So, I chose, first and foremost, Home Alone – the star making turn from Macaulay Culkin. I remember everything about this film, from the opening musical score to the amazing traps Kevin McAllister managed to set for bungling burglars Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern. This is a film, which turns aScreen Shot 2013-01-04 at 14.03.19potentially tragic circumstance into something that becomes one of the most well remembered modern slapstick Christmas comedies of all time.

The other film that is important to me, but not always remembered as a Christmas film (but most certainly is), is Hook. Robin Williams plays the boy who actually did grow up, and it’s a tale of self-belief and acceptance with a lot of fun thrown in. Again, it’s a star-studded cast with Julia Roberts, Bob Hoskins and Dustin Hoffman easily putting any panto Captain Hook to shame. It’s a film that I have always returned to and watched, again, and again and again, and will probably always continue to do so.

Screen Shot 2013-01-04 at 14.04.02 Anyway, if you managed to catch these two films over the Xmas period, well done you… you took my good advice, and if you don’t have these in your Blu-Ray or DVD collection, go get them in the January sales – they should be staple additions to your collection! But its 2013 now, and what a year of films we have ahead.

Hope you’re excited, if not, I wanted to share a list of my most anticipated films for the first half of the year, so you know what you have to look forward to over the next six months:

Les Miserables

Musical Theatre fans need wait no longer for this luscious retelling of the Victor Hugo book/Cameron MacKintosh stage phenomenon. I’ve seen it, and as a massive fan of the show liked it, but never the less managed to still pick holes in the fact that its never quite going to live up to the musical that I love and admire so dearly.

This film will be a must see for any fans of the show, and for anyone new and intrigued about this concept, you’ll be viewing an almost certain Oscar winning performance from Anne Hathaway as Fantine, and will hopefully enjoy this star-studded cast lead by Hollywood favourite Hugh Jackman. But be prepared, it’s verging on the three-hour mark, with little spoken dialogue and no interval!

For my full review check out my earlier blog post:  https://rebeccaperfectfilmpresenter.wordpress.com/2012/12/18/476/

Les Miserables hits cinema screens 11th January 2013

Django Unchained

It may contain a silent “d” but Django Unchained is causing plenty of controversy over its extensive use of the “N” word in this  American slavery based story. Starring firm favourites Leonardo DiCaprio, Jamie Foxx, and Christoph Waltz, this most certainly should be a must for any Tarantino fans – and I will be front of the queue.

Hailed as one of Tarantino’s best films by those who have seen it, it’s probably not for the faint hearted but will be an interesting and daring take on a very difficult subject matter.

Django Unchained hits cinemas 18th January 2013.

Zero Dark Thirty

Remember when The Hurt Locker came out and the Oscars hosted the biggest David and Goliath showdown between Avatar director and “King of the World” James Cameron and ex-wife Kathryn Bigelow? Well triumphant Bigelow is back with a bold production looking at Al-Quaeda terrorism and the hunt for the most dangerous man in the world.

Starring Jessica Chastain and Joel Edgerton, Zero Dark Thirty is already causing considerable awards buzz and as the critics screenings have just started we are starting to see the influx of glowing reviews as well as some further questioning from government forces into the level of  information exchanged between Bigelow’s team and the CIA – which probably means this film is verging more on fact than fiction and that we should probably keep a keen eye out when watching.

If you remain intrigued, then you only have to wait until the end of the month as Zero Dark Thirty hits cinema screens on 25th January 2013. Watch out Homeland…

Warm Bodies

I really hope this doesn’t turn out to be a big, fat, zombie turkey, because the trailer looks lots of fun. Nicholas Hoult moves on from Skins, About a Boy and UK territory altogether as he takes on this lead in this adaptation from the popular Issac Marion book of the same name.

The basic premise is that a zombie manages to prove that he’s not all gore and stunted walking as he falls in love with a human girl and gradually cures himself as a result – what will happen to the rest of the human race? We’ll just have to see…but rest assured it will probably be better than Hoult’s other 2013 film – Jack and the Giant Killer!

Warm Bodies ventures on to our cinema screens on the 8th February 2013.

The Great Gatsby

Speaking of book adaptations, F.Scott Fitzgerald’s classic has had a few re-tellings, but if Baz Luhrmann is anything to go by, this is going to be a Moulin Rouge visual feast…lets just hope it has substance to its style.

The trailer looks magnificent, and with a star-studded cast such as Leonardo DiCaprio in the titular role, Tobey Maguire as Nick, Carey Mulligan as Daisy, we’ll have to wait and see whether or not this takes its place as the biggest film of Summer 2013.

The Great Gatsby swings onto cinema screens ever so stylishly on the 17th May 2013.

Star Trek: Into Darkness

If you, like me, were pleasantly surprised by JJ Abrams re-versioning of this sci-fi series, then you’ll be just as excited to see what the directors next installment has in store for us all.

With the ever cryptic addition of British actor Benedict Cumberbatch (yes Sherlock fans get excited) as one of the baddies, it will be great to see what happens as Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto once again feed into the “Captains log” (sorry!) with their next adventure.

Star Trek into Darkness hits screens on 17th May 2013

Man of Steel

We’ll sort of forgive Zack Snider for Sucker Punch, now that he’s under the close watch of Christopher Nolan for Man of Steel. The trailer looks Batman Begins esq – so I can’t help but feel uber excited for this. Superman isn’t one of DC Comic’s best superheroes in my opinion, but over the years most of the films have done ok…

Hopefully Man of Steel will launch Clapham boy Henry Cavill to the A-List and no longer will he be losing out as one of the last two at every audition he attends (this happened apparently in Bond and Twilight amongst others – poor boy!) Plus the ever diverse Amy Adams steps up as Lois Lane – cannot wait!!

Man of Steel flies into action on 14th June 2013.

 

So just a few snippets of big ones to watch over the next six months. There’s also lots of offerings from World War Z through to Pacific Rim, Oblivion, Evil Dead and Welcome to the Punch – 2013 is shaping up to be a very strong year for films, so as ever, enjoy watching all is on offer, I know I will!

 

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Oh Spielberg sometimes you just blow my mind…

13 Nov

So what does one do when they’re exhausted, overworked and feeling downright lazy? Well many of my lovely friends probably turn to some retail therapy, however I have to say I’m glad I head to the cinema. This weekend was no exception. Firstly lets get some admin out of the way…

Huge apologies in the first instance for my tardiness this month in terms of blogging. Following my fantastic stint at the London Film Festival, I’m afraid exhaustion and lack of money somewhat took over and I’ve been back to the daily grind trying to pull in some pennies. Having a rare day off like today, I’m happy to report that in the last week I’ve been lucky enough to watch not one but two fabulous films: The Help (Emma Stone, Jessica Chastain) and The Adventures of Tin Tin – The Secret of the Unicorn. So where does one begin? Well after that turkey of a film A Dangerous Method, which was my last review, I’m happy to report that I have some uplifting content for you – the Hollywood studios haven’t gone completely to pot, even if David Cronenberg does seemed to have stumbled into a very large pot hole with that latest offering…lets move swiftly on shall we?

THE HELP

Its the time of the civil rights movement of the 1960’s, and where the class divide is at its most evident we follow the story of a tenacious young female writer (“Skeeter” – Emma Stone) as the unconventional middle class Jacksonville daughter who sees straight through the Stepford lifestyles of her friends and finds wonderful compassion in the stories of those who help make the households the show homes that these women and their families live in. Convincing the black community of maids to start telling their stories, she unveils the mis treatment, inequality and narrow mindedness of not only women but men in that period of time.

This film for me sits a staple piece of fantastic storytelling – much like The Green Mile and The Shawshank Redemption. It made me laugh, made me cry and most importantly it made me learn from the film. I would like to class it as one of those films which you would quite happily keep in your collection and refer back to year upon year for a pleasant watch with great performances and a morality tale for the last century.

The performances as I previously mentioned are wonderful, Emma Stone leads the pack with her ugly duckling heroine Skeeter who is not afraid to be who she really is and cross boundaries to allow other people to try and live a better life. I couldn’t think of a better actress than Stone to play this part. We also have the almost unrecognisable Jessica Chastain as Ceelia Foote, the outcast ‘hussy’ who really puts dumb blonde on another level. Her versatility in her roles demonstrates her to be one of the most exciting new actresses in Hollywood at the moment. The one who really stands out for me however, is Bryce Dallas Howard who plays the ‘villain’ of the piece Hilly Holbrook. So desperate to be the perfect wife she reminds you of the prettiest but meanest girl in school with her posse of dimwitted followers at her feet. Howard expertly portrays this character with such a fine balance that audiences really begin to hate everything she is and stands for (she throws her own mother ‘Sissy Spacek’ into a nursing home for laughing at her!) but at the same time you can’t help but warm to her lack of awareness and education and although her comeuppance is comedic, it still brings forth the overall messages of the film.

A wonderful film, great performances and if you haven’t yet read the book, I’m pleased to say that its not the be all and end all, you can still enjoy the film regardless and if you’re anything like me, make sure you bring a box of tissues for the second half of the film – its a weepy!

THE ADVENTURES OF TIN TIN – THE SECRET OF THE UNICORN

Where do I begin with this one? Well lets start with a bold statement – this film hosts possibly the best animation in a film I have ever seen!!! There you go, how d’you like them apples?! From start to finish I was gripped. I usually don’t like 3D movies a hell of a lot, my eyes start to hurt and I hate how the glasses make the screen just that tad darker. But never the less, I can safely say that I was lost with this film. Lost in a fantasy world where Indiana Jones meets Pirates of the Caribbean and everything you’d want from a great family film adventure was handed to you on a plate… Oh if only it was real…wait a minute, it is isn’t it? I certainly got lost for a good few moments forgetting that what I was watching was an animation. Although different in form, whatever hype there was around the skills of Avatar, here Spielberg blows Cameron out of the water!!!

So the story follows the journalist Tin Tin (Jamie Bell), who by buying a model of a 16th Century boat (as you do) lands himself in the middle of an age old rivalry between a pirate (of course) and a Captain Haddock – (Andy Serkis, pure genius). On his quest to uncover the story of this rivalry and inevitable hoard of treasure, we follow Tin Tin’s journey around the seven seas as he pieces together the puzzle.

The detail in the animation is just phenomenal, my particular highlights are when one scene merges into the next and like a wave magicians wand we are transported to a flashback of a land far and wide! Now there are a few minor faults, it does take just a pinch too long to get going in the beginning, but you’ll quickly forgive that. This film is smart, funny, and the chase scene towards the end is just exquisite. Like the Goonies is for me now, if I was ten years old, this would be the film I would take through with me to adulthood as my keepsake. Its just an absolute gem, and without giving too much away I would urge you to see it on the big screen before it’s too late.

Oh and just one last comment – its quite clear from this film, that Tin Tin wouldn’t be half as famous as he is if it wasn’t for his genius dog Snowy! Why can’t all pets be that clever!!

Finally to help you on your way to the cinema, here’s my LSQTV colleague Michael Kern getting all the film’s gossip at the premiere of Tin Tin last month…enjoy!!

 

 

BFI Day 5 – Coriolanus – Ralph Fiennes sits in the directors chair for this Shakespeare Adaptation

17 Oct

Lining up a stellar cast for not the easiest of Shakespearean adaptations must have been daunting for Ralph Fiennes, but as he put it at  the press conference, he was obsessed with this character and how relevant the play is to our modern society. That is the beauty of Shakespeare, its adaptability and ability to impact audiences around the world year after year and in so many different forms.

I wonder how difficult it must have been for Fiennes to pitch this to the financiers though, as on paper its not a well known play, its dark, aggressive and political. However when you know that Vanessa Redgrave is on board as well as Brian Cox and the then unknown Jessica Chastain – you must be on to a winner. Gerard Butler may have been somewhat of a wildcard in the first instance due to his action and rom-com notoriety however if you watch the film, you’ll notice how he holds his own just fine amongst these distinguished thesps!

The setting is Serbia, Belgrade in the midst of political turmoil and uprising against Coriolanus. The Serbian actors in the film adapt to the prose expertly and provide small but valuable parts in the film. The action, particularly at the beginning of the film is electrifying – particularly in a cinema surrounding and you feel like you are a part of the warfare yourself. You get inside the skin of Coriolanus, brilliantly portrayed by Fiennes.

However, it may have been the time of day in which the film was shown, but there was a considerable lull in the middle of the film. For wider audiences this is no Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo and Juliet, it was never an easy play to take to, and despite Ralph Fiennes valiant attempt – it just misses the mark. The real star of the show is Vanessa Redgrave, there have to be Oscar bells ringing, this performance is one all actors should watch and aspire to emulate in their careers, a real master at work – particularly in her closing speech. This film has all the right tools to make it magical but is just a very near miss. Die Hard Shakespeare fans may love it, I’m not sure, but for the wider cinema going public, I’m not so sure.

It still however managed to successfully pull in the crowds at the premiere and hopefully thats a reflection of the same level of people that will support this film. We’ll have to wait and see. Its out on UK general release on the 20th January 2012.