When encountering low budget films from unknown film-makers certain allowances have to be made. Without the expensive post-production process these often young newcomers to film have to find ways to become creative in the way in which they construct their films. Those now considered ‘great’ in the lexicon of directors all started with small, personally-charged pieces of work that somehow transcended their low-budget surroundings to present something unique, interesting and ultimately memorable.
After the nasty second instalment of the $1b franchise of The Hangover films, fans of the Wolfpack would be forgiven for feeling some trepidation before the release of The Hangover Part III. Gone is the ‘morning after the night before’ premise that underpinned all the events of the first two films and instead we are given what is effectively a coming-of-age tale for the 42-year-old stand out character of the films, Alan.
Teen movies have not exactly had the best of reputations in the past. Sure, there are some genuinely brilliant ones like Mean Girls or Clueless, but for every great teen movie there seems to about a dozen bad ones. The one we’re looking at today firmly fits into that category, as it’s a remake of an already not very highly regarded French film, and it stars Miley Cyrus. Now I don’t know about you, but when I first read that I rolled my eyes so hard they flew out of my skull. However, I’m never one for pre-judging, and I try to go into everything unbiased. So is LOL the push Miley Cyrus’ career needs to get her accepted as an actress by the mainstream public?
Director Edgar Wright and actors Simon Pegg and Nick Frost reunite for a third film following the successes Shaun of the Dead (2004) and Hot Fuzz (2007). In “The World’s End,” 20 years after attempting an epic pub crawl, five childhood friends reunite when one of them becomes hellbent on trying the drinking marathon again. They are convinced to stage an encore by Gary King (Simon Pegg), a 40-year-old man trapped at the cigarette end of his teens, who drags his reluctant pals to their hometown and once again attempts to reach the fabled pub – The World’s End. As they attempt to reconcile the past and present, they realise the real struggle is for the future, not just theirs but humankind’s. Reaching The World’s End is the least of their worries.
The World’s End Trailer
The World’s End Poster
For a franchise that latterly revolves around huge international heists and globe-spanning adventures it’s sometimes easy to forget that The Fast and the Furious started as a simple street racing film. Proving an unqualified success, it is now one of the longest-running and multi-parted film franchises that continue to draw people into cinemas with the promise of high-octane action, car chases and soap opera melodrama.
Directed by Don Scardino, The Incredible Burt Wonderstone is a magic-based comedy that pokes gentle fun at the old-style Vegas magicians as well as the modern stunt artists. In Las Vegas, magicians Burt Wonderstone (Steve Carrell) and Anton Marvelton (Steve Buscemi) are successful headliners, who appear to have lost the passion for magic. After the arrival of growing global superstar Steve Gray (Jim Carrey) whose unique form of magic involves self-abuse on a dramatic scale, the old school pairing split-up and go their separate ways. Having hit rock bottom, Burt goes to do a show in a retirement home and stumbles upon legendary magician Rance Holloway (Alan Arkin) and with the help of former assistant-turned-magician Jane (Olivia Wilde) they attempt to win back their audience.
After what was a thoroughly enjoyable performance by the Lyric players, I decided to explore the growing world of amateur dramatics, setting my sights on another group of high-calibre performers. My focus in this case is Mayhem Musical Theatre Company’s performance of The Wild Party, which is running from the 16th-18th May at Lost Theatre near Vauxhall.
Arguably the greatest American literary work, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s jazz-age love tale The Great Gatsby has seen four previous film adaptations all of which failed to capture the essence of the famous novella. These bring us to director Baz Luhrmann and his attempts brings his undoubted eye for style and excess to this latest version, reuniting with Leonardo DiCaprio for the first time since he’s imaginative take on Romeo + Juliet.
There are elements of misfit horror thrillers that are strangely comforting. Sure the outsider has a tough time at school/college/home and never quite fits within the cookie-cutter mould of normality, but eventually, after some dramatic changes to their life they’ll find their niche, they home, their comfort. Excision is not that kind of film. At all.
“From the makers of Ice Age” blazoned the poster for Blue Sky’s new animated film Epic and much like their previous global box office success, this is a mixed bag in terms of quality. Following the success of Brave, it is to no surprise that lesser quality incarnations would follow. What Epic does have going for it are its visuals. Lush, rich and mesmerising to look at, if there’s a better looking animated film in 2013 I’ll be surprised. Sadly as anyone who has grown up watching animated films will tell you, looks fade. It won’t be long before this level of technology seems ordinary and the legacy of films like Epic relies on the depth of character and strength of story-telling. This is where it all falls apart.