Marvel is reportedly distancing itself from upcoming animated film Big Hero 6, which will leave Disney to shoulder the burden of marketing it on their name alone. Not that that'll be particularly difficult for them. Though don't expect Frozen-style numbers from this, since it's clearly being aimed toward fans of Disney's recent Wreck-It Ralph. Out on the 7th of November in North America, and then, in a typically long wait for animated films in this corner of the globe, on the 30th of January in the UK.
Monday, 22 September 2014
I know it's good that the industry is gradually learning to make films for demographics outside of the usual, teenagers and young adults, but do they rly have to be as inane as this looks? Is there anything even remotely surprising in the trailer for Michael Radford's Elsa & Fred? Actually, yes, there is: George Segal's still alive. The film is looking at a 6th of November release in the US.
Woody Allen's latest film opens on stage. Would that that were actually true - his 'style' has 'evolved' into something so absurdly theatrical that it has no place on a screen. The problems with this exaggerated artificiality in Magic in the Moonlight aren't confined to the dialogue, they're in Allen's directing too. He favours long shots of actors all facing the camera, (a number of prominently featured locations are only ever viewed from one position) apparently loathe to resort to a standard shot / reverse-shot format - even these are handled poorly when featured; this is an atrociously edited film. One hopes at least for technical competency from someone with so much filmmaking experience, not least because the action being depicted is frequently questionable in nature and execrable in execution. Allen's scenario obliges a cast of accomplished performers to wither in the background as pathetic comic relief, gifted the occasional line for our amusement and their humiliation. The leads are lavished an unfortunate degree of attention, their nauseating repartee defined by deception and downright offense, and that's more directed toward us than each other. Allen's toying with nostalgia - something he achieves with some success in his period recreation, though one could attribute that to the ease with which this is possible. But is there truly any genuine nostalgia for plots like this any more, where the crusty old fart belittles the unattainable object of his lasciviousness into falling in love with him? It's a rotten set-up, which Allen drags out reprehensibly; the film is stripped of all tension and drama as it unfolds, one wordy, inconsequential scene following another. It's also blighted with continuity mistakes and narrative inconsistencies. Magic is, however, blessed with beautiful visual design (Darius Khondji's cinematography is particularly pleasant), and the irreplaceable Eileen Atkins, who has the distinction, predictably, of being the only cast member to be able to make Allen's laboured dialogue sound as natural as he intends.
Sunday, 21 September 2014
Another multiple festival selection, Daniel Barber's Western The Keeping Room debuts a clip online, with actors Brit Marling, Muna Otaru and Hailee Steinfeld. The film has received acclaim for its depiction of a female perspective on the Western genre, though reviews overall from TIFF have been mixed.
Saturday, 20 September 2014
Although the overall critical reception for Abel Ferrara's Pasolini at the festivals so far has been somewhat mixed, the film remains a highly-anticipated product by audiences willing to see Ferrara and star Willem Dafoe's take on Pier Paolo Pasolini's last few days alive. Here's a trailer for the film, which as yet only has an Italian release on the cards, as well as extensive continuing festival coverage: it has San Sebastian, NYFF and LFF on the way.