Friday, 27 December 2013

FSF #17 - New Years Eve Special: How To Party Like Gatsby


Last week, I took the week off from Film School Friday because of family issues. The truth is, I'm always too busy with my job and I felt that I was constantly disappointing my son through neglect. The last straw came when I missed his karate exposition the other day. To make it up to him, I tried to buy his favourite action figure, Turbo Man, for Christmas. Stupidly though, I waited until Christmas Eve to get it and of course, the bloody thing was sold out. After a number of hilarious hijinks involving the police, an angry postman and Father Christmas, I finally managed to get hold of the last action figures left after accidentally becoming the 'real' Turbo Man in a Christmas parade. Man, life is never easy when you're Arnold Schwarzenegger.

A word of advice. Don't mix eggnog with a Jingle All The Way marathon. Awful things can happen.

Monday, 23 December 2013

The Drama Lama's Alphabet Movie Meme

It's two days before Christmas. There's presents to be wrapped, food to be prepared, friends to catch up with... so now's the perfect time to dive into another film blogathon! The Drama Lama has an awesome Alphabet Movie Meme going on right now where each blogger has to answer 26 film related questions which start with every letter in the alphabet. To read more entries, click here, but make sure you stick around to read my answers first. You're formally obliged now.

Sunday, 22 December 2013

First Trailer For Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Those damn dirty apes are back!

After Tim Burton’s failed reboot, Rupert Wyatt revitalised the Planet of the Apes franchise back in 2011 with his prequel, Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Both critics and audiences alike responded well to Wyatt’s effort, so it’s a shame to see him being replaced for the sequel, although I’m sure Matt Reeves, the director of Cloverfield and Let Me In, will do an excellent job continuing the series.  

Monday, 16 December 2013

Oscars 2014: Will Gravity Pave The Way For Science Fiction At The Academy Awards?

I just don’t get it.

For decades, the Academy Awards have claimed to celebrate the best cinematic achievements of the year but unfortunately, this only applies to the golden few. If your film is a historical drama based on real events and happens to feature a transformative performance from Meryl Streep, then you’re in luck. However, if you deviate from this tried and tested Academy formula in any way, your chances of even being nominated for an Oscar diminish greatly.

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Be Careful! Your Hand! Top 10 Films of 2013

What's the best thing about Christmas? Mince pies are AWESOME but what I look forward to most in December is the end of year lists that you can find on every critic's site. My turn bitches!

Some people say 2013 was a poor year for cinema but I think that's an absurd thing to say. Sure there were some disappointing blockbusters out this summer, but with the sheer volume of movies created every month, it's impossible to ever claim one year is worse than another.

Before I count down my top 10 films of the year, it's worth noting that unfortunately, I missed some of the biggies. I'm still kicking myself every day for not seeing The World's End, Pacific Rim or Blue Is The Warmest Colour as I'm sure they would have had a fighting chance of making it into my top 10. Also, a couple of my choices may have been released in other territories the year before but I'm going with UK cinematic releases from 2013.

Finally, anyone who actually cares about this list may be surprised that Gravity hasn't been included and there's one simple reason for that; I didn't think it was good enough. I know that flies in the face of almost every other film critic out there but despite some impressive moments, Gravity left me feeling more disappointed than anything else. Don't hate and read on for my top 10 picks. 

Friday, 13 December 2013

FSF Lesson #16 - Xmas Special: How To Be The Best Grinch You Can Be


Last week, Film School Friday surprised readers with a little pop quiz to keep people on their toes. Congratulations to those who passed the test with high marks. For those who failed, years of shame and ridicule await you. Today, I thought I'd keep the surprises coming...WITH A TERRORIST ASSAULT ON YOUR FAMILY!!! ...Just kidding. Instead, I thought I'd mix things up towards the end of December with... a surprise Christmas special. Ok, I know what you're thinking. How left-field is this guy? How does he continue to dazzle us at every turn with his bizarre, almost schizophrenic approach to film writing?... What can I say? It's a gift.

For our Christmas special, I considered celebrating the joys of the festive season, explaining to readers how to make the perfect Christmas film or how to be the best Santa Claus you could be, but then I thought better of it. Everywhere I look, there's Christmas advertising, annoying jingles and too many damn reindeer jumpers so forget It's A Wonderful Life, bin your copy of Elf and throw Love Actually in the fire... 2013 is the year of The Grinch

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Disney's Frozen Review (2013) Has Disney Finally Reclaimed Its Crown?

Home On The Range, Treasure Planet, Atlantis: The Lost Empire... all is finally forgiven Disney.

Since the 1940s, the world's most iconic animation studio has tried it darndest to adapt Hans Christian Andersen's classic fable The Snow Queen, but not even the great Walt Disney could get it right. Finally, in 2013, the Magical Kingdom has nailed it with their 53rd animated classic Frozen, which had the largest ever opening weekend for a Disney animation in the studio's history.  

Friday, 6 December 2013

Film School Friday Lesson #15 - End of Term Quiz!


Last week, Film School Friday taught loyal readers how to invade the planet earth in a misguided attempt to defend the human race from invasion. Fingers crossed, angry alien forces didn't read that feature because if they did, then we're screwed. Oh and by the way, my alien overlords wanted me to let you know that you shouldn't worry. Enforced slavery won't begin until at least 2015 as they need to work out some kinks in their mind control technology. Reassuring news I'm sure you'll agree....

It's coming towards the end of our first term together here at Film School Friday, so I thought it was time to give all my loyal readers (hey Mum!) a treat. A film themed party would be great right?... except I'm not dealing with the clean up. What about a M Night Shyamalan marathon?... The first few hours would be awesome but then I'd have to mercy kill each and every one of you by the time The Happening comes on. Now what does everyone love most about the end of term? It can't be the holidays... I got it, a pop quiz! So sharpen your pencils, pick holes in your rubbers and get your paper airplanes ready for today's lesson.

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013) Review - Does It Live Up To The Hype

Why is it that all the best blockbusters are being released now in the run up to Christmas? Thor: The Dark World, The Hobbit: Desolation Of Smaug, Hunger Games: Catching Fire... And since when did the number 2 get replaced by the almighty colon? It's hard to say but what is clear is that The Hunger Games franchise is quickly shaping up to be one of the most successful book adaptations of the past decade. My question though is this (hello colon!): does Catching Fire live up to the hype or is it coasting on the success of the first film?

Monday, 2 December 2013

The Butler Review (2013) Has Lee Daniels Sold Out?

After dividing critics with his previous two outings, Lee Daniels has returned with The Butler, a mainstream historical drama that features more stars than the American flag. Fans of the seedy Paperboy or the hard-hitting Precious may leave cinemas somewhat disappointed but what about the commercial crowd Daniels is aiming for?