Sunday, 24 March 2013

Jameson Empire Awards: The Red Carpet

This post marks the end of awards season for another year (sob). Here are a couple of pictures from the Awards which have literally just ended over in London. Stay tuned, there's more to come!

The ever dapper Tom Hiddleston 

Looks like Martin Freeman may have retained some of Bilbo's knit wear...

Daniel Radcliffe - Hero

Sam Claflin 

Sir Ian McKellen 

Samantha Barks 

Reunited: Sam Mendes and Kevin Spacey 


Jameson Empire Awards: The Winners

Best Male Newcomer 

Domhnall Gleeson (Anna Karenina)
Rafe Spall (Life Of Pi)
Steve Oram (Sightseers)
Suraj Sharma (Life Of Pi)
WINNER Tom Holland (The Impossible)

Extremely worthy winner, I had voted for him after the short list was released in that post.

Best Female Newcomer

Alice Lowe (Sightseers)
Alicia Vikander (Anna Karenina)
Holliday Grainger (Great Expectations)
Quvenzhane Wallis (Beasts Of The Southern Wild)
WINNER Samantha Barks (Les Miserables)

Two out of two so far, as predicted!

Best Comedy 

21 Jump Street
Moonrise Kingdom 
WINNER Ted
The Pirates! In an Adventure With Scientists 
Silver Linings Playbook 

There's no disputing Ted was hilarious. Maybe 21 Jump Street was funnier...




Best Horror 

WINNER The Woman In Black 
The Cabin In The Woods 
Sinister 
Sightseers 
Dark Shadows

Happy this won, this was my pick for the category 




Best Thriller

Argo 
Skyfall
Zero Dark Thirty 
The Raid 
WINNER Jo Nesbo's Headhunters

Definitely a tough category, I had chosen Argo for this - Headhunters definitely bucks the previous award season trend.


Best Sci-FI/Fantasy 

Prometheus 
Looper 
Avengers Assemble 
Dredd 3D 
WINNER The Hobbit

I had chosen Avengers for this nod, but The Hobbit makes for a very worthy winner 

The Art Of 3D

Avengers Assemble 
WINNER Dredd 3D
Life Of Pi
Prometheus 
The Hobbit

Had predicted the Hobbit, but there wasn't much in it 

Jameson Best Actor

Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained)
Daniel Craig (Skyfall)
Daniel Day Lewis (Lincoln)
WINNER Martin Freeman (The Hobbit)
Robert Downey Jr. (Avengers Assemble)

I threatened to eat my hat if Daniel Day-Lewis didn't win. I'll let you know how it tastes...


Best Actress

Anne Hathaway (The Dark Knight Rises)
Naomi Watts (The Impossible)
Dame Judi Dench (Skyfall)
Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty)
WINNER Jennifer Lawrence (The Hunger Games)

Thought Watts deserved this, but happy to see J-Law's winning streak continue. 


Best Director 

Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight Rises)
Joss Whedon (Avengers Assemble)
WINNING Sam Mendes (Skyfall)
Quentin Tarantino (Django Unchained)
Peter Jackson (The Hobbit)

Unsurprisingly I had wanted this one to go to Nolan, but Mendes is definitely a hugely talented director, no qualms here.



Best British Film 

Dredd 3D
Les Miserables 
WINNER Sightseers 
Skyfall 
The Woman In Black

Bit of a curve ball don't you think? Over Les Mis and Skyfall though, really?!


Best Film 

Django Unchained
Avengers Assemble
WINNER Skyfall
The Dark Knight Rises
The Hobbit 

I wanted The Dark Knight Rises, but it sort of had to be Skyfall didn't it?

Check out Amateur Review's prediction post and also the Red Carpet post still to come. 

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Side Effects - Review


SIDE EFFECTS 


2013

15

Directed by Steven Soderbergh

Starring Rooney Mara, Channing Tatum, Jude Law and Catherine Zeta-Jones


Emily Taylor (Mara) welcomes the release of her husband Martin (Tatum) after a spell in prison. As the couple get back to their old life, she struggles with depression and falls into a downward spiral. When psychiatrist Jonathan Banks (Law) is assigned to her and prescribes a new drug Ablixa, Emily’s behaviour takes a startling turn.

If this is to be Steven Soderbergh’s last splash on theatre screens, Side Effects goes out with an unsettling yet exhilarating bang. It’s hard to talk in too much detail about the finer plot nuances given the fact the cast have done so much to keep it under wraps on the press junket. And actually in an age of the internet, it’s rare to enter a screening being more or less unaware of the direction a film will take. So if you are thinking of going to see Side Effects – do yourself a favour and keep clear of any literature on the film.

With that said, Soderbergh structures this picture with impeccable and clinical precision. The way in which your allegiances towards characters changes almost undetectably is bracing and even surprising by the end of the movie. Victim turns mastermind, the profiteered becomes duped. Each piece in this epic chess game of a film settles into their shifting characters with ease that can only be expected from a talented cast such as this. There is a nerve-jangling yet oddly beautiful score by Thomas Newman that commences from the opening scene that just enhances the unnerving nature of what you are about to witness.

In Mara’s first leading role since The Girl With The Dragon tattoo she evokes vulnerability and a chilling detachment that is poles apart from any thing we have seen from her previously. It’s quite sinister actually. Jude Law is the beating heart and glue which holds this film together. Act one is Mara’s, by act 3 there is a seamless perspective shift and the story becomes his. Every time you think you've got a hold on the plot and think you can predict the direction of the next part, you probably can’t.  I don’t say this often, but Side Effects in a must see.








Kick Ass 2, Hangover Part III - Trailer

Bit late on the uptake with this, but here it is for any people who live under a rock (such as myself). Also, maybe pop back later today to read my review of Side Effects starring Jude Law, Rooney Mara and Channing Tatum.



Wednesday, 13 March 2013

The Impossible - Review

THE IMPOSSIBLE 


2013

12A

Directed by Juan Antonia Bayona 

Starring Naomi Watts, Ewan McGregor and Tom Holland 


This film chronicles the impossible account of one family that became caught up and then separated in one of the worst natural catastrophes of all time. 

I first saw the trailer for this movie before the showing of The Hobbit in December and it didn't exactly take my fancy. For no reason other than it felt like Hollywood was cashing in on tragedy and that it was too soon to make a disaster movie on the subject of the 2004 Tsunami. After watching The Impossible, it is unfair to call this film 'a disaster movie'. Stories like this about human courage, spirit and miraculous eventualities do need retelling. What I thought was going to be exploited and hammed up became to be a respectful, sensitive and immensely harrowing treatment of the story about one family overcoming the impossible.

This has got to be truly one of the most emotional films in recent years; emotions ranging from horror and distress to relief and happiness. Immensely powerful and heart wrenching performances from McGregor and Watts, in particular, are the heart of the film. This is a film about people and the performances across the board managed to stand up to, and overpower, some potent and breath taking special effects. The Impossible makes dire straights, that most of us thankfully struggle to comprehend, become a visceral and audible reality. There is little awareness in the audience of this being a CGI tsunami, and the horrendous fact of the matter is, in reality it certainly was not CGI. While this film is by no means 'entertaining' it is a must-see just to appreciate the overwhelming power of mother nature, and the remarkable odds one family beats in order to be reunited.

Rating: 6.5  





Sunday, 10 March 2013

Modern Classics - There Will Be Blood



THERE WILL BE BLOOD


15

2007

Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson

Starring Daniel Day-Lewis, Paul Dano and Ciaran Hinds




It has been a long time since I reviewed a modern classic so today's effort is the 2007 Oscar nominated There Will Be Blood. This is a story about family, greed, religion and oil, centred around a turn of the century prospector in the early days of the business. Not a great deal happens in way of plot but this is definitely one of those films that showcases incredible directing and believable acting in every single frame.


It's not an easy watch. The soundtrack is almost sickening, it creates a mounting feeling of unease throughout the movie. It's almost as if Daniel Plainview becomes a high pressure canister and you spend a great deal of the movie on the edge of your seat waiting for him to lose the plot. To blow up just like the glorious oilrig explosion; and when he does eventually hit the roof, it is legendary. The beginning and the end of this movie could not be at greater odds with each other, but that's what makes There Will Be Blood so stand-out and memorable, it will linger in your thoughts for days after..

Plainview is the silver miner turned oilman, a salesman and a grafter with an insatiable desire for power. Day-Lewis' performances is theatrical but it had to take a character with that much presence to inhabit and fill the immense space this film creates. Similarly Eli Sunday is equally dramatic and charismatic for different purposes but ultimately the same reason. Eli assures a better life and redemption from hardship through religious command whereas Daniel seeks to appease the masses with capitalist promises of wealth and prosperity in this life. Although Eli's faults are nowhere in the league of Daniel's, they are both corrupt individuals whose egos are at constant loggerheads. Each man exploits the opportunity to attack whenever he has the upper hand. Their characters clash in that same way religion and capitalism do throughout the movie. Both leads are convincing and awe inspiring; it's a lethal combination. With Dano and Day-Lewis’ dominance throughout the movie, it’s like an impressive two-man-show in the middle of a desert. 

Anderson shoots brilliantly, feverish, bitter and bleakly beautiful. There Will Be Blood is up there with the best of western-set dramas along with the likes of No Country For Old Men. This is still a fresh genre with plenty of room to be intelligent, thrilling and stunning. 



Friday, 1 March 2013

Jameson Empire Awards Shortlist

Best Male Newcomer 

Domhnall Gleeson (Anna Karenina)
Rafe Spall (Life Of Pi)
Steve Oram (Sightseers)
Suraj Sharma (Life Of Pi)
Tom Holland (The Impossible)

Tough category but the Amateur Review vote goes to Tom definitely.


Best Female Newcomer

Alice Lowe (Sightseers)
Alicia Vikander (Anna Karenina)
Holliday Grainger (Great Expectations)
Quvenzhane Wallis (Beasts Of The Southern Wild)
Samantha Barks (Les Miserables)

Samantha Barks seems to be the best shout for this title.


Best Comedy 

21 Jump Street
Moonrise Kingdom 
Ted
The Pirates! In an Adventure With Scientists 
Silver Linings Playbook 

Where was American Pie Reunion!? In that case it must have to be 21 Jump Street because Silver Linings Playbook seems to be more dramatic.




Best Horror 

The Woman In Black 
The Cabin In The Woods 
Sinister 
Sightseers 
Dark Shadows

The Woman In Black, I'm not the biggest fan of horror films and basically this is the least scary.




Best Thriller

Argo 
Skyfall
Zero Dark Thirty 
The Raid 
Jo Nesbo's Headhunters

ARGO for the win!



Best Sci-FI/Fantasy 

Prometheus 
Looper 
Avengers Assemble 
Dredd 3D 
The Hobbit

Opting for Avengers purely for the whole scale of it


The Art Of 3D

Avengers Assemble 
Dredd 3D
Life Of Pi
Prometheus 
The Hobbit

All beautifully done but probably The Hobbit 


Jameson Best Actor

Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained)
Daniel Craig (Skyfall)
Daniel Day Lewis (Lincoln)
Martin Freeman (The Hobbit)
Robert Downey Jr. (Avengers Assemble)

Oh Captain, My Captain! If Abe Lincoln loses this one I will eat my hat.



Best Actress

Anne Hathaway (The Dark Knight Rises)
Naomi Watts (The Impossible)
Dame Judi Dench (Skyfall)
Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty)
Jennifer Lawrence (The Hunger Games)

Before watching The Impossible yesterday I would have said Jessica Chastain, however Naomi Watts was incredible.



Best Director 

Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight Rises)
Joss Whedon (Avengers Assemble)
Sam Mendes (Skyfall)
Quentin Tarantino (Django Unchained)
Peter Jackson (The Hobbit)

No surprises here, Christopher Nolan.



Best British Film 

Dredd 3D
Les Miserables 
Sightseers 
Skyfall 
The Woman In Black

Was absolutely astounded by Les Miserables, singing, acting, cinematography was all stunning.



Best Film 

Django Unchained
Avengers Assemble
Skyfall
The Dark Knight Rises
The Hobbit 

Again, this will come as no surprise, but The Dark Knight Rises was my vote here too.