Thursday, 6 February 2014


February seems to be the month you go to the cinema with a serious face and watch serious drama about serious, important issues.  Fine by me, I can do serious.

That said, it's also the month that Lego Movie is released, and I'm pretty sure that isn't going to be presenting us with too much in the way of challenging subject matter, but maybe it's a metaphor for our society's increasing acceptance of plastic surgery...We just don't know. Yet.


Every time we see the trailer for this in the cinema Jeremy whispers, "Is this the one based on that Black Mirror episode?"  If you're not aware, Black Mirror is Charlie Brooker's brilliant series where he creates dystopian versions of the future where humans are dangerously reliant on technology and consumption of viral media.  One episode in the most recent series featured a woman in a relationship with a computer-generated robot version of her deceased husband.  From what I can tell - after a 3 minute Google - Her isn't anything to do with Brooker's story, but it does feature a man falling in love with a computer.  That's not really a new thing; films have had characters falling in love with robots, or statues, or inflatable dolls for ages.  There's the film Mannequin where Andrew McCarthy is enamoured of a store mannequin (played by Kim Cattrall) and somehow wills her into reality and dances around the department store with her.  It's super weird.  Then there's Weird Science, a John Hughes classic in which two greasy teenage boys create their perfect woman - AKA Kelly LeBrock - via a Memotech MTX computer, which I think is a bit like the one I used to play Frogger on as a kid.  Of course the closer we get to actually having fantasies like this become a reality, the more sinister and less "Phwoar Kelly looks great in that cut-off T-shirt" they seem.  Anyway, I'm keen to see what Her director Spike Jonze has to say on the subject.


This is how George Clooney introduced himself on his reddit AMA "Hello reddit, George Clooney here. I'm a filmmaker who's worked on films you may know. I was also a guest star on The Golden Girls." Great.  TMM is the latest film Clooney is directing, co-writing and starring in, the others being Confessions Of A Dangerous Mind, Leatherheads and The Ides Of March.  Reviews for this one have not been great so far, but I'm still pretty keen to see this true story of how this Allied platoon went about recovering artworks from Nazi Germany.  Bill Murray is also in it.  And the always brilliant Hugh Bonneville.  


There needs to be a new definition for actors in Hollywood, one for those - like Bradley Cooper and Michelle Williams - who start out in sclock and end up in brilliance.  We could call them Schlobrills.  (For the record, I love a lot of schlock, Dawson's Creek hello?!)  But to be able to transcend those sickly sweet rom-coms and play troubled, complex, serious characters takes a lot of skill - And an open-minded casting director.  Matthew McConaughey would be in that category.  He first found fame as the tanned, Texan, blue-eyed classic American male lead when we watched him fall in love with Kate Hudson's sassy women's magazine writer in How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days.  It was pretty funny, but also packed with cliches and stereotypes.  Those two re-united for Fools Gold, which I've never seen and have heard I probably shouldn't bother. Then he was the Peter Pan ladies' man who didn't want to move out of his parents' house in Failure To Launch.  Over and over again his type was rougish bachelor who really doesn't want to fall in love but then, oops, meets a woman so awesome that he can't help himself.  Oh and she probably changes him in the process.  But then he slunk away for a while, and now he's crafting this wonderful career for himself in beautiful, clever films like Mud and Killer Joe, and he totally stole the (strip) show in Steven Soderbergh's Magic Mike.  Also, Wolf Of Wall Street - can we all just bang on our chests and hum for a second?  I feel like he'll probably win the Oscar for his portrayal of Ron Woodruff in DBC, and I feel like he'll probably deserve it.


I think the success of this film is going to largely be down to the casting, and they've done pretty well by putting Chris Pratt as the voice of the lead.  I love this Pratt.  He's exceptional as Andy Dwyer on Parks And Recreations (there's a great interview with Michael Schur the co-creator of the show on AV Club where he talks about how instinctive an actor Pratt is, and how naturally funny.  Also apparently he never spits out his food after takes).  I want to watch the film solely for the moment in the trailer where there's a song in the car which goes, "Everything is awesome" and then Pratt's character exclaims, "I LOVE this song".  That really makes me laugh.  It's also getting brilliant reviews

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