A few thoughts

For a project that spiked my interest from the start of production, it has taken me an strangely lengthy time to in fact get around to watching Kill Your Darlings. I can trace my fascination with the Beat Generation very specifically, to the point that I suppose I have to thank the casting director of Chronicle for bringing the literary movement into my life, by casting Dane DeHaan as Andrew Detmer.* Let me elaborate...

In February 2012 Chronicle was released and Dane DeHaan impressed me to the point that I knew I would follow him as an actor because, wherever his career took him, it was sure to be interesting. So to IMDb I went and saw that Dane was set to be starring in a movie called Kill Your Darlings alongside Daniel Radcliffe. In order to add some detail to a blog post I was composing on the upcoming film, I engaged in some preliminary and very rudimentary research into just which real life people the various actors were supposed to be depicting. At this point I had never heard of the Beat Generation, let alone any of the authors or works.

But I did like the thought that in the early 1940's there was a gang of young intellectuals running around New York and Columbia University reading classic literature, creating a New Vision, dabbling in banned substances and consuming plenty of liquor.

Kerouac and Burroughs
In the past three years since then, I have been reading within this literary movement and can't imagine a time when I didn't know about all it has brought to me. Ginsberg's poetry. On The Road, Big Sur, The Sea is My Brother, Maggie Cassidy by Kerouac. And Burroughs' Junky, Naked Lunch and The Western Lands. I read all about Neal Cassady and watched any number of films on those men.

Ginsberg and Kerouac
Kill Your Darlings is a film that I have been looking forward to since its inception. Not just because it is a film about all those cherished favourites of mine. But because it was my research into KYD that made them become said cherished favourites.

Burroughs, Ginsberg and Carr. I love this photograph.
Not sure why I felt the need to share this with you prior to my review, but I thought it would set the scene. I can't imagine coming at this film blind with no prior knowledge, but I wonder if I would have enjoyed it so thoroughly if I didn't know what happened during the film and hadn't known the literary figures that they would one day become... A review will follow shortly.

Lou and Ginsy
*I have done some research, and Ronna Kress, I thank you for your inspired casting of Dane DeHaan as it has indirectly set me off on a great literary adventure.

Interstellar - Review




Directed by Christopher Nolan

Starring Matthew McConoughey, Jessica Chastain and Anne Hathaway

To those who haven't seen Interstellar; I would leave this page. To those who have, please humour my musings but only if you feel so inclined.

Blight, depleting food sources, almighty dust clouds. The movie opens in a not so remote future. A future that can put a certain and imminent expiry date on the life of its inhabitants. We meet Cooper (McConaughey), a stoic throwback to an age gone by who is cut out to be a man of science, an engineer, an astronaut. Instead, he is reduced to an arcane existence of agriculture and attending parent teacher evenings. This is until, with the help of his sharp minded daughter, he stumbles upon the modern day equivalent of NASA. A team of explorers are then sent into the ether in an attempt to find a new life sustaining planet and save the human race. No mean feat then.

Interstellar is visually awe inspiring and I should have viewed it in IMAX to fully appreciate the spectacle. The future planet which opens the movie, though barren, is beautiful and expansive. Tired fields of corn and dirt-track roads in an earthy colour palette evoke the sense of a warzone, but not in the sense of a world war. The people are not fighting against each other anymore, they are engaged in conflict with a world that has been ravaged and exhausted by 7 billion souls. The very thing that sustained us is giving up the gun and no longer cooperating. And so we look to space. Set against a spellbinding backdrop of esoteric opera, the tidal waves of biblical proportion and imposing black holes which are already striking become even more so. Hans Zimmer has composed an incredibly gothic score with soaring strings and organs contrasted shockingly with moments of heavy, dead space silence.

It's not as if we don't know that this level of population growth is inversely proportional to the available resources on earth and our way of living cannot be sustainable for infinite generations. A film like Interstellar could scare the living daylights out of everyone, and it really should. But Christopher Nolan is not in the market for preaching, scaremongering and pretending like he has the answers, he's not trying to put the fear of God into viewers. The message in Interstellar is not pushy or aggressive, he's too sophisticated a film maker to lecture. But it's enough of a glaring siren to remind us of the chilling inevitability that one day, as a race, we will be on our way out.

Cooper's son is a man of tradition and convention whereas the daughter embodies dynamism and truth. There is a constant interplay between farming and engineering, indifference and curiosity. It reminded me of The Tree of Life and the constant power play between a draconian father (the way of nature) and the way of grace exhibited by the mother. 'Nature only wants to please itself' while grace doesn't. It is even, to certain extent, evocative of the tension between capitalism and religion which underpins There Will Be Blood. The differing attitudes of Cooper's children, especially when fully grown, present a well trodden question. Do we turn a blind eye to the alarming reality of our way of life and bury our heads beneath the sand in the full knowledge that this toxic issue will not resolve itself? Or do we engage with the reality of the situation and endeavour, in whatever way, to fight until the very end? This mentality is embodied quite beautifully by the reoccurring motif of a poem by Dylan Thomas. If old men should leave this world resisting death with all their might, perhaps the human race should try to go kicking and screaming instead of peacefully when the time comes. 

According to Interstellar, our life line is to be found in the stars. In terms of the accuracy and of the science, the content goes far, far beyond my rudimentary knowledge of physics. I don't know if Interstellar is theoretically on the money, if space was depicted accurately or if there are any laughable plot holes from a purely academic standpoint. But it's certainly ambitious. Initially it seemed overly, but this is why I have the desire to watch it over and over. How can elaborate and challenging content ever be a qualm? The main aspect however that I cannot seem to get my head around is how did the future humans survive in the first place to make the Tesseract that ultimately saves earth, given that there would not have been such a Tesseract to save the world first time round? A paradox, surely?

Nolan tries to place human emotion and the complexity of love on an even footing with something like quantum physics. We look to sciences to save us, but maybe love is just as potent. Personally I'm not sure how far I can go with that notion, although quite frankly I don't understand enough about physics, nor love to comment critically. Placing raw human passion, sentimental love and affection (something that is often discouraged for clouding judgement and reason) against the very pressing and real demise of the human race is powerful. Far from belittling Cooper's love for his children as something which would tempt him to make selfish and damaging decisions, Nolan almost postulates that love is something far from detrimental, and on par with logic. It is clear that people care for their loved ones, and they also are troubled by humanity. But they become mutually exclusive in this film and best articulated when Amelia Brand tells Cooper 'you might have to decide between seeing your children again, and the future of the human race.' From an objective and utilitarian perspective the survival humanity should indeed take precedence over the mere desire to see a loved one again. But we all know that subjectivity plays a role and a selflessly sacrificial mentality does not necessarily come instinctively to humans.

Nolan has a penchant for examining the human condition. It's probably no coincidence that Matt Damon's character was called Mann. The ravages of time and the maddening effect of seclusion turned a once brave astronaut into a twisted and selfish monster who seemed blind to the wider aim of the mission. And yet this disloyalty, though infuriating, is understandable as humans are guilty of becoming self interested and malevolent. It's as if Mann is a personification of the flaws, weaknesses and principle defects of man. Of mankind. McConaughey plays Cooper with a smouldering intensity that is second to none. The emotional range he conjures up is remarkable and his moving performance could bring even the most usually indifferent viewer to tears.

Despite the amount of enormous, meaty topics that Nolan is daring to raise and delve into, it oddly does not feel like he's giving anything inadequate treatment. Interstellar could have easily been a hodgepodge of unfinished themes that hadn't been satisfactorily dealt with. Questions could have been left hanging there in the minds of the viewers after being so boldly raised and then swiftly forgotten. But it isn't at all like that. Gargantuan (see what I did there?) propositions and explorations of love, quantum physics, relativity and human nature are easily within Nolan's command. He doesn't profess to have all the answers because if he did, it would be utterly nonsensical. But what he does do is place love in a cosmic context. And instead of this belittling and diminishing human emotion as unhelpful in the face of cold hard science, it upholds it.

Though Interstellar flirts with art, and genuinely does have art house qualities, there are occasional commercial undertones that pull you back to the knowledge that it is a blockbuster for the mass audience. Which is fine. But I was disappointed in Nolan for certain naff and commonplace aspects such as the moment Jessica Chastain kisses Topher Grace and then throws her life work victoriously into the air. This, along with Amelia Brand's monologues on love, could have been drafted in way less likely to make me wince. I'm splitting hairs but this film is in no way made better by the fact there are some allusions to romance, if anything it detracts from the female characters - but hey Hollywood can't get enough of a good kiss, so let's just throw one in there even though it may be unnecessary. But with a more ruthless edit and stronger dialogue in parts my slight disillusionment could have be nonexistent.

It's no secret on this blog that Christopher Nolan is my favourite visionary. And after Interstellar he not only retains that accolade, he cements it. Granted, Interstellar is not quite perfect, but I'd rather watch a director try and fall just short of executing the lofty heights of such a dizzying vision than not try at all. Because what he has created is something provocative, beautiful and unreservedly mind-blowing.

21 & Over - Review

21 & Over



Starring Miles Teller, Skylar Astin, Justin Chon

Directed by Jon Lucas and Scott Moore.

A friend remarked that this film is essentially 'The Hangover meets Project X'. I am always wary when people compare one movie to a hybrid of two other solid films. I distinctly remember the film The Adjustment Bureau being shopped as 'Bourne meets Inception'. Logically, this filled me with much anticipation, though alas, the only relation to the Bourne Trilogy was Matt Damon, and similarly the comparison to Inception was unsubstantiated (and quite frankly offensive to Chris Nolan). However, in this case 'The Hangover meets Project X' fundamentally hits the nail on the head. Though it must be said 21 & Over is less funny than The Hangover, and a great deal less raucous than Project X - it is pretty much their lovechild.  

It's Jeff Chang's Birthday, he has just turned 21 and his friends from home Miller (Teller) and Casey (Astin) show up on his door step. Only Jeff Chang has an important med school interview the following day and his father makes it clear that his son should probably get a good night sleep in preparation for his once in a lifetime big day. Miller persuades Jeff Chang, in a brilliantly persuasive monologue, that he should definitely go out for a few beers though. Naturally; you only turn 21 once after all.

Two beers spirals into two dozen and next thing you know Jeff Chang is passed out in a toilet cubicle of a sorority house. However not before frequenting countless bars and clubs, and riding on a rodeo bull (in slow mo, obviously...)  21 & Over goes for unapologetic slapstick humour, crude laughs and plays on every politically incorrect  stereotype you can possibly imagine. It is funny but probably shouldn't be allowed. That said, the barrage of laughs and plot twists keep coming thick and fast. Just like the drinks the boys are seeing off.  

And the thing is, 21 & Over can get away with shamelessly playing each exaggerated caricature and every cliché plot twist going. It's textbook teen comedy, you would never watch this film unless you wanted and expected precisely that. Miles Teller's character is witty and charming enough to keep the audience engaged right till the very last predictable laugh. I don't mind it though, movie snobs and serious film fans would roll their eyes and shake their heads no end - but that's fine, it was not produced for them anyway.

If you are searching for a fun and facetious comedy? You won't go far wrong with 21 & Over. Especially if you have watched (and enjoyed) both Project X and The Hangover...

Rating 4.5/10

Gone Girl - Review




Directed by David Fincher

Starring Rosamund Pike, Ben Affleck and Neil Patrick Harris

Intricacies of the plot shall be mulled over in this review, so please don't get sad if you continue reading and ruin the whole thing for yourself. You have been warned!

With his wife's disappearance having become the focus of an intense media circus, a man sees the spotlight turned on him when it's suspected that he may not be innocent. In a non linear hash of flashbacks and diary entries we are introduced to the most toxic of all couples. From their blissful beginnings and engagement, all the way up to the day of their fifth wedding anniversary where things start to get a bit strained to say the least. 

“What are you thinking? How are you feeling? What have we done to each other?” As Nick Dunne's voice addresses the beautifully blonde tresses rested upon his chest we are introduced to the deadpan eyes of 'Amazing Amy'. And from the outset this film strikes an unrelenting chord of unease that does not diminish one iota until the credits roll. Even then, the themes and imagery linger in the mind for days to come. Gone Girl is a searing study of long term relationships, gender roles and the modern media furore that is prevalent in today's society. 

What's so beautiful about Fincher's latest directorial effort is the transition between the three acts. The opening of the movie follows a archetypal mystery, then at the halfway point Gone Girl becomes a  perverse thriller and then it all ends on a note of satire. To a certain extent the third act does power down quite significantly. Once crisp and clinical pace becomes foggy confusion, like a train slowing as it pulls into the station. But just like Se7en and Fight Club, this masterpiece ends with a arresting final scene. Not striking in an Inception moment of revelation way, but in a subtly shocking and thoughtful way that is just as mind blowing. You can literally feel the reception of it reverberate throughout the very souls of the viewers.

In terms of production there is so much right with this film. After the success of The Social Network score, Fincher understandably came knocking once again on the doors of Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. The soundtrack is a perfect accompaniment to this story. I read that they wanted it to sound like the relaxing music of a massage parlour that is so tranquil it actually become uneasy and  anxiety inducing. Edge of your seat stuff. There is bound to be Oscar buzz surrounding Gone Girl but right now I'm calling Cinematography and Best Actress. Cinematography because the entire movie is stunningly immersive and creates a bleak yet handsome view of the Midwest. An icy aesthetic, much like The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. The house is cold and clinical, the loneliness pours from the screen. Best Actress because this is the best I have ever seen Rosamund Pike, her performance truly floored me. Flynn's characters have been portrayed as these venomously deceitful yet transfixing creatures who make you feel and reflect upon their every word and action. The poise with which she executes her Amy is utterly iconic and captivating. She's like a python. A chillingly vacant, dangerous and yet oddly beautiful snake.

Fincher has weaved a rich tapestry of plot twists, unreliable narrators and I can't help but feel there is a spectre of misogyny seeping into this collection of threads. Undoubtedly Amy is deranged and that is everyone's first thought; not that Nick may have driven her to it. Provocation can never be a justification nor an excuse for Amy's depraved acts. But, if she's a crazed psycho, he's an adulterer and a domestic abuser. He even articulates that he's not even sure if he wants his wife to come home so she can resume her position as trophy wife gathering dust at home. Rightly or wrongly, Fincher (and subsequently the audience) seem somewhat more partial to Nick's side of the coin as opposed to Amy's. Her fragile mindset caused by years of failing to live up to the illustrious life of 'Amazing Amy', her failed marriage, her loss of profession and the fact that the man she loved is entirely indifferent to her presence are bound to make anyone slightly crazy.

Similarly, none of the women depicted (with the exception of Margo) seem 'ideal' for Nick. Amy faked a pregnancy in order to incarcerate him in marriage further by carrying his unborn child, she also lied about being abused. The female news reporters were the ring leaders of a witch hunt with the intention of turning the entirety of America against him and landing him on death row. Boney seemed equally certain of Nick's guilt despite not even having a body. And Andie stabbed him in the back by going public with the facts he had been having an affair with her thus screwing up his media persona to an even greater degree. But he himself  is the root of all of this. He was the trigger that started the  chain of events. With that said, it is refreshing to see a character like Amy Dunne.

This movie also does not sing many praises for relationships in general. If the courting stage is all an act of pretence, with the woman conjuring up a representation of the Cool Girl and the man feigning a Charming Guy. And then during marriage men apparently turn into performing monkeys intending to please their patrolling nagging wives - can you ever truly be yourself in a relationship? Or does this deceptive crafting chip away at the individuals until all that's left is resentment because the smokescreen clears and facade cannot be kept up anymore. Gone Girl depicts the emotional demise of two souls individually, yet still the 'relationship' survives as this horribly twisted, contorted and dysfunctional ruin. It's daring, smart and deeply unsettling. A must-see.

Rating: 8.5

The Riot Club - Review




Directed by Lone Scherfig 

Starring Max Irons, Douglas Booth and Sam Claflin

The Riot Club is an adaptation of Laura Wade's 2010 stage play Posh which was inspired by the infamous Bullingdon Club. Historically the society, inextricably linked with Oxford University, hosts lavish dinners often followed by substantial damage to the host dining establishment with the knowledge that reimbursement will not be an issue. Alumni include Cameron, Osborne and Johnson and the club seems to be a stomping ground for the future movers and shakers of the upper stratum of our society. The movie depicts Miles' (Irons) and Alistair's (Claflin) rise to glory in the Club and their subsequent fall from grace (though perhaps not...)

The movie centres around the dinner itself at a family run gastropub in the middle of nowhere. We are introduced to the meticulously proud owner who unwittingly accommodates the boys under the pretence they are a club of young entrepreneurs. As the dinner progresses the juxtaposition of the activity in the private dining room contrasted with the pub is excruciating. Birthday celebrations, families and normal people having a meal out is set against a seedy backdrop of hookers, wealth and debauched behaviour metres away in the back room. It's a sad watch and the climax is quite horrific.

The members of the club are superbly unpleasant. Pacing in the first and second acts is incredible, whilst the third loses a touch of momentum. We are introduced to these entertaining, sexy and glamorously fun young men, everyone laughs and you can see how someone like Miles could be drawn into the Club. Then the tone changes, it gets out of hand and escalates to a point that the previous laughter feels inappropriate and something to feel guilty of. The Riot Club may be a little heavy handed, deliberate and farfetched but at its core is a message that may be based on more than a unfair stereotype.

It's not entirely a political satire and as a project seems unsure whether it wants to be a teenage comedy or a cutting portrait of the ruling elite. Though perhaps that is the point; as a university student, the banter, socialect and repartee are believable and the initial humour created shows how these boys can be charming, lovable 'toffs' - not these vile caricatures that I expected.

However, The Riot Club does lack depth and insight. If the director's intention was to perpetuate the class divide and rile up the electorate prior to the next general election, the opportunity was missed. The film will certainly raise eyebrows and bring light to the darker side privilege but this is not revolutionary or shocking enough to enrage the cinema audiences. Still, it got under my skin and made me agree with a sentiment vocalised by Max Irons - if what the Bullingdon Club get up to is true, they're are just doing the same thing as the rioters did in London. The difference is, the rioters in London got a prison sentence and made an example of whereas the boys in the movie have been given every advantage, privilege and opportunity - yet do the same thing and can just pay for it while it all gets swept under the rug and forgotten about whilst they forge distinguished careers. This notion is reflected in the final scene; a clinical, accusatory snapshot of Britain's class system. It is indeed political, theatrical and shockingly entertaining but it just lacks a bit of  much needed bite. 

I don't quite predict a riot...

Rating: 7

The Spectacular Now - Review




Directed by James Ponsoldt

Starring Miles Teller, Shailene Woodley and Kyle Chandler 

Sutter Keely is a popular high school senior. He loves to party, has a job, a car, a drink in his hand and a pretty girlfriend who thinks he's hysterical. Aimee Finecky is a sweet girl who loves sci-fi and doesn't think any guy would like her. Although she has ideas and aspirations for the future, he appears to be content living for each day, in the spectacular now.

As a project The Spectacular Now had come to be without much fanfare and hard sell. Its limited release and lack of marketing in the UK particularly meant no preconceptions or expectations as to the films quality; taking a film at face value, independent of hype, is rare. It was however certifiably fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, doing well on metacritic and at a strong 7.2 on IMDb. And rightly so, because The Spectacular Now is wonderful.

It is a coming-of-age romantic comedy but it is far more subtle and sincere than expected. Films of this ilk are perennial and often if you've seen one, you've seen 'em all. Yet The Spectacular Now does accurately embody the attitude of young adults and shows how much a strongly held attitude towards life can change as a result of who you meet. It's soulful, authentic and captures that age where you are on the cusp of shaping yourself and it could go any which way. The dialogue and set up is so unembellished and normal that it becomes something very special. Especially by comparison to the overtly sexed up, stilted and formulaic foolishness such as The First Time (and to a certain extent Project X, which however is good, but for entirely different reasons.)

Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley are a delight to watch: charming, realistic and natural. There was some lovely long takes with exchanges between the two that are so well scripted and executed. The late and great Roger Ebert said that 'being young is a solemn business when you really care about someone' and I couldn't put it any better. Both Sutter and Aimee are wonderful characters because they are funny and likeable, multifaceted but also flawed. Under all of Sutter's bravado is someone who isn't quite sure what he wants and perhaps isn't that confident after all. The Spectacular Now is gripping and engrossing but in a non flashy way. It's not showy and gaudy, it's restrained and venerable. 

Rating: 7

Into The Storm - Review




Directed by Steven Quale 

Starring Richard Armitage, Sarah Wayne Callies and Matt Walsh

As far as disaster movies go, Into The Storm was undeniably disastrous. The film chronicled the impact a storm of epic proportion made on the inhabitants of the town Silverton and its visiting storm chasers.

Into The Storm firstly falls flat where the cast is concerned. The actors are grappling with exceeding stereotypical characters: the Dad who is so consumed with his work he doesn't see how wonderful his two teenage boys are, the weather analyst who is that dedicated to her work she has not seen her young girl in three months, and the storm fanatic who will risk it all just to be in the 'eye of the storm.' You can probably tell where all this is going... It's predictable, a little bit cliché and formulaic.

The special effects weren't polished enough to be truly believable and breathtaking. Given the modern standard of CGI it could have been a great deal more immersive - though presumably with a few more million pounds thrown at the project. The found footage element was also half baked and not executed fully. You've either got to go the whole hog (a la Chronicle and Cloverfield) where every single shot is from the perspective of handheld or CCTV, or just shoot normally because the constant transition was a bit jarring. There's definitely a market for documentary style movies, I'm just not sure whether Into The Storm was best served by it because it merely covered the familiar ground of the likes of Twister.

And yet there's something guilty pleasure about it, because as much as I rolled my eyes ultimately I must have been invested because there were some edge-of-your-seat, heart pounding, stressful moments. It was interesting having essentially an action blockbuster with the weather as the villain as opposed to a person or some sci-fi creature, that made it genuinely unsettling thinking 'what would I actually do.' However, the occasional breathless scenes aren't enough to push this rating up to a solid 5.

Rating - 3/10

BAFTAs 2014 - The Winners

Sadly BAFTA is over for another year; and what a show it was. Every year this commemoration of film serves to reignite my passion and appreciation for this great art form and reminds me of the importance of stories, imagination, creation. We need individuals to be inspired to pursue their fantastical visions, to become the actors, directors and writers of tomorrow. Actors who reflect and project others as believably as if it were actually them. Directors who envisage a concept and pin it down for the world to view. Writers who speak to us with words that generate compassion, that educate and entertain. I love every aspect of this industry, from the initial thought, all the way through to celebrations like last night. Here's hoping to another incredible year of film...

Best Film 12 Years A Slave

Leading Actor Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years A Slave

Supporting Actor Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips

Leading Actress Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine 

Supporting Actress Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle

Outstanding British Film Gravity

Director  Alfonso Cuarón, Gravity

Original Screenplay American Hustle

Original Music Gravity

Cinematography Gravity

Outstanding Debut by a British WriterDirector or Producer Kieran Evans (Writer/Director), Kelly + Victor

Special Visual Effects  Gravity 

Film Not in the English Language The Great Beauty

EE Rising Star Award Will Poulter 

Adapted Screenplay Philomena

Editing Rush

The Fellowship award went to Dame Helen Mirren who ended the evening on a fitting verse from Shakespeare's The Tempest:

Our revels now are ended. These our actors,
As I foretold you, were all spirits and
Are melted into air, into thin air:
And, like the baseless fabric of this vision,
The cloud-capp'd tow'rs, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve,
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are made on; and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2561138/Lupita-Nyongo-makes-bag-main-accessory-stars-pose-fun-snaps-BAFTA-selfie-booth.html#ixzz2tbAVXFqd 

BAFTA 2014 - Red Carpet

The show is yet to begin but here are a few snaps from the red carpet to get us in the award show spirit. 

Brangelina looking dapper and classy

Lupita Nyong'o injecting some colour to the carpet

American Hustle's Amy Adams

The Wolf of Wall Street - Mr Leonardo DiCaprio

Be still my beating heart - Michael Fassbender and Bradley Cooper

Eddie Redmayne and his girlfriend Hannah

The great Christoph Waltz

Favourite Soundtracks Part III

I would like to apologise for my half year hiatus from this very blog! My absence can be explained by the fact I have just started studying at university so have been busy settling in, meeting new people and finding time to bury my nose in Law books on occasion... But fear not and rest assured that I am back and ready to reignite my passion for film. 

Actually, it's rather presumptuous to assume anyone has actually missed activity on Amateur Reviews but I have certainly missed writing it...


1. Les Miserables I Dreamed A Dream - Anne Hathaway I love this musical but the stand out track as cliché as expected is Anne Hathaway's portrayal of the musical theatre great. Ideally my favourite song from the musical is One Day More, however something about the movie version did not quite gel for me as much as some of the stage versions.

2. Great Gatsby Back To Black Beyonce and Andre 3000 This was one of my most listened to CDs of the summer so I was torn between a great many of the tracks. The hip hop edge of the sound track is to our ears what jazz was to Gatsby and co. in the 1920's. Genius from Baz. And as a side note, my second favourite would be Together by The XX.

3. The Vow England The National Yet another track by The National makes it onto one of my favourite lists (About Today from Warrior being the other). This is the instrumental version which ends the movie, however the original with lyrics is beautiful also.

4. Flight Gimme Shelter Rolling Stones Now I know that this song features in so many films other than Flight, but this is the most recent use of it that I am aware of therefore I decided to pick Flight as the soundtrack from which it's from. The intro of this song is summer personified in a song.

5. Social Network In Motion Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross Incredible Oscar worthy soundtrack, the movie would not be what it is without it. I also particularly enjoyed the choral cover of Creep by Radiohead which accompanied the trailer too though is not part of the score.

6. Inglourious Basterds Cat People David Bowie Great song to accompany an even greater tracking shot by Quentin Tarantino.

7. Romeo + Juliet Talk Show Host Radiohead Another inspired Baz Luhrman soundtrack. The modern music in the modern take of Romeo and Juliet keeps the movie feeling fresh and relevant nearly 20 years on. Impressive film making.

8. Requiem For A Dream Lux Aeterna This song is used in so many other contexts nowadays that I sometimes forget that it is from this movie by Darren Aronofsky. I believe it was used for a Lord of The Rings Trailer? Either way it is a cracking piece of soundtrack to a cracking movie.

9. There Will Be Blood Convergence Johnny Greenwood I actually struggle to listen to this. It is not something that you'd put on for a bit of easy listening, or at a party for that matter. But I included it in the post just for the sheer fact that it encapsulates the urgency and unease of the movie ridiculously well. There Will Be Blood is truly brilliant but an undeniably hard watch; this soundtrack contributes to quality. 

10. Silver Linings Play Book Buffalo Alt-J Feat. Mountain Man And finally to round off the list... Alt-J is one of my favourite bands so when I heard their distinctive sound on the Silver Linings OST I was very happy indeed.

So that rounds off Part III. There will probably be a Part IV as I have always got my ears trained on the songs that come from some of my favourite films. Until then you can by all means check out Part I and Part II via the links below if it takes your fancy (or perhaps not if you hate my music/film taste!) 

Part I
Part II