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Easter Rush Almost Here

 

The tidal wave of films that comes with Easter is almost upon us. On April 9, we’ll see 9 new films being released across Brisbane. I’m currently trying to get a head start with some preview screenings so as to give me something to review next week. The Boat That Rocked appears to be getting the most buzz and a few critics I’ve spoken to gave it a resounding thumbs up.

 

I’ll have more in next week’s Film Pie… including a review, hopefully, of The Boat That Rocked.

 

Getting Lazy With Sequels?

 

One thing that has struck me as strange of late is some of the “sequels” being released. Instead of calling the film a sequel, we’re reverting back to original titles. We’ve got Friday The 13th, Star Trek and Fast & Furious (well, very close to the original title – The Fast & The Furious). It irks me because if this trend were to continue, it would make it harder to distinguish the new film from the old one. You’d have to specify the year in which it was made. At least with the Batman franchise, they were creative enough to call the new film Batman Begins, so as not to create confusion. That’s my tirade for the week.

 

Out Of Touch

 

A couple of weeks ago, I gave a strongly positive review to the new Clive Owen / Julia Roberts movie, Duplicity. I had a chance to see it for a second time over the weekend and I enjoyed it just as much. I had a chance to appreciate the little things like the sets, the music, the facial expressions, the witty dialogue. I’m telling you now – this is a great film.

Unfortunately, that isn’t translating at the box office. Duplicity has made just $25.6m in the United States over its first two weeks. That’s well behind the god awful Knowing (which has $46.2m in its first 2 weeks) and I Love You, Man (which has $37.0m from the same period). It’s reality, I know, but it’s still tough to stomach. People would rather go see some Church Of Scientology inspired apocalyptic movie with terrible acting, than a smartly written thriller / drama / comedy / romance with two great actors. How can this be? Am I out of touch? Have I lost my sensibility?

 

Bring On The Germans!

 

The French Film Festival wrapped up last weekend and next on the menu is the German Film Festival. It kicks off on April 22 at the Palace cinemas and hopefully, as mentioned in my Film Pie last week, they’ll be showing some non World War II movies. I do enjoy my German cinema. I’ve had one of their films in my top 10 list for 3 of the past 4 years. The Lives Of Others was my favourite film of 2007. I’ll provide more details on the Festival in the coming weeks.

 

See you next week.

 

Natasha Richardson

 

You would have all heard the news by now but I was very saddened to learn of the death of Natasha Richardson last week. She was a classy actress who always spoke beautifully with her English accent. I remember her clearly in roles such as Evening (2007), The White Countess (2005) and The Parent Trap (1998). Other roles of note included Wild Child (2008), Maid In Manhattan (2002), Nell (1994), The Comfort Of Strangers (1990), Patty Hearst (1988) and Gothic (1986).

 

She didn’t appear in a lot of movies but Richardson made her mark on stage. In 1998, she won a Tony Award for best lead actress in a musical for her role as Sally Bowles in Cabaret. She also appeared in The Seagull, Anna Christie and Closer.

 

She will be well and truly missed.

 

Do We Have A Fetish For World War II Movies?

 

This is a question I’ve been asking myself over the past few days. There have been so many interesting periods of history and yet we make so many movies which focus on World War II? Why is this? Is it because the people making the movies and telling the stories knew people directly linked to the time? Is it easier to make a World War II flick than say, one set in the 18th Century?

 

Already this year, we’ve seen Valkyrie (the awful Tom Cruise movie) and The Reader. Now I know The Reader was directly about the holocaust but there was a connection.

Here’s a look at some of the films being released in April…

 

Good (out Apr 9) - A movie exploring the life of a normal German citizen (Viggo Mortensen) who is embroiled in the Nazi scheme without really understanding the consequences

 

The Boy In Striped Pyjamas (out Apr 23) - Set during World War II, a story seen through the innocent eyes of Bruno, the eight-year-old son of the commandant at a concentration camp, whose forbidden friendship with a Jewish boy on the other side of the camp fence has startling and unexpected consequences

 

Defiance (out Apr 30) - Jewish brothers in Nazi-occupied Eastern Europe escape into the Belarussian forests, where they join Russian resistance fighters and endeavour to build a village in order to protect themselves and about 1,000 Jewish non-combatants.

 

Now that’s 5 World War II movies being released in the first 4 months of 2009.

 

I’m not complaining because these movies are bad but just that I’d like to see something a little different. We’ll see what the rest of 2009 has to offer…

 

See you next week.

 

March is turning out to be a busy month for movies. There will be 19 films released in all and I’m struggling to keep up. Not a lot of great films amongst them but I do like Duplicity (see my full length review) which is out this week.

 

Continuing on from last week’s Film Pie newsletter, I’m going through my favourite movie trailers of the past 10 years.

 

Let’s just to the chase and here then, are the other 10 trailers which I think are super dooper cool (in no particular order)…

 

Ghost World (2001)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rq6AOc0ATnU

 

Hearts In Atlantis (2001)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_WUdCpjOeA

 

Triplets Of Belleville (2004)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6fwM4hnsdSA

 

Evening (2007)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l_mrZiFbglI

 

Atonement (2007)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rkVQwwPrr4c

 

Adaptation (2002)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0HtZ2M4e_AM

 

Fog Of War (2003)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VgA98V1Ubk8

 

The Green Mile (1999)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uDybmxbKf4Y

 

The Talented Mr Ripley (1999)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TPaEkqHlDSA

 

Sin City (2005)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YKFLrTYKIXk

 

See you next week.

 

Over the next two weeks, I’m going to list through some of my favourite movie trailers of the past 10 or so years.

 

I do like a good trailer for two reasons – (1) it created my initial interest in the film, and (2) it provides a neat summary of the film which I can go back and watch after I’ve seen the movie.

 

I regularly download trailers but only keep the ones I really like. On my hard drive are about 100 or so. When I look through them, the one thing that strikes me most is the choice of music. For a trailer to be effective, and generate interest (at least with me), it needs to find the right music to match the film’s overall tone. What many people won’t realise is that the music used in a trailer often comes from another movie.

 

Other qualities of a good trailer include creative editing and some decent catch-words (whether they be spoken by the narrator or written on the screen).

Having gone through my trailer collection, I was able to narrow it down to 20 that I think are the best. I’ll list 10 this week and 10 next week. I’ve listed the Youtube link so you can watch them for yourself (if you’d like to do so). If you haven’t seen the film already, this might be just the impetus to get you to do so.

 

Here we go (in no particular order)…

 

Blow (2001)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R6_B63TfWwE

 

Garden State (2004)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=la53nY41c9M

 

Requiem For A Dream (2000)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6Ay3m4ntxQ

 

Seabiscuit (2003)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8fnYdEGeXbM

 

Magnolia (1999)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S1nYjKphdSk

 

Night Watch (2004)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yMHQsjgQDrA

 

Kill Bill Volume 1 (2003)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-czwy-aVbbU

 

Pride & Prejudice (2005)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zZIiG3Xjn6E

 

Unfaithful (2002)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gvKKuiwkKrc

 

Moulin Rouge (2001)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=82vL1KQDCyQ

 

Until next time.