22 January 2010

There is a film that will never go out...

(500) Days of Summer – Marc Webb

With the reference to The Smiths in the title, you know this film has had impact on me. So much so where i can safely say i will be buying the soundtrack and the DVD when it comes out. I’ll tell my friends to buy them both. I’ll tell my family to buy them. I’ll even tell total strangers about (500) Days of Summer because it deserves it. It deserves to be known. It’s a romantic comedy made for any audience. It’s not catered just for women, it’s for men too. And for that, i salute it. It has the balls to say no to the stereotypes, yeah, sure it may have good looking leads in typically situations and everything, there is the loving part and then there is the hate or the chase, but it does it in the perspective of the man. It’s rare. It’s on par with The Notebook. Yeah, it’s that good.

So the story is of a intelligent, geeky writer in a greeting cards company, played by the immensely talented Joseph Gordon Levitt, named Tom Hansen. The film’s structure is very linear and follows throughout the relationship of Tom and Summer in 500 days. The plot switches to different times in the relationship from day 26 to day 450 and so forth. Summer Finn, played by the gorgeous Zooey Deschanel, is introduced into Tom’s life as his boss’s new assistant. After an instant attraction for her, he begins to woo her. The film tells the story of the relationship, through the highs and lows. It may be a very simple plot. But it’s cleverly told with parts that haven’t been used before in romantic comedies. It stomps on those clich├ęs and delivers an honest piece of American filmmaking.

The influences from the music is clearly shown throughout, using references to popular culture and featuring a soundtrack full of a mix of emotional songs throughout the ages including new hits such as The Temper Trap, a song that was my song of 2009. It fitted perfectly. Marc Webb, an unknown name to many people, but his work is mainly based in music videos from the Used to Yellowcard to many, many names. He recently has been snapped up for the reboot of Spider-Man, something I’m shocked about, but if there was anyone who could capture the teenage angst with being a superhuman and having to let go of his personal life, Webb could be the one to do it. More based on the recent Spider-Man animation and comics involving Peter Parker in his younger years, it could well be a surprise hit. I hope he takes the wonderful and delicate film that is (500) Days of Summer and turns into Spider-Man, the less emo version.


Simon Childs

Trailer Watch IV

22nd - 29th January

Here is another batch of worthwhile trailers, hopefully in the next couple of weeks, this summers blockbuster films should release some new stuff along with film festival choices from Sundance too.

1. The Karate Kid

2. Valentine's Day

3. Repo Men

4. She's Out Of My League

5. Greenzone

20 January 2010

Defiantly more than a “plane” film! (Plain spelt like plane, comedy genius)

Up In The Air - Jason Reitman

Instantly after watching this film, you can understand the amount of awards it got in a wide range of categories. It’s a great film with a clever, twisting, and unique story and structure. The performances are world class, which you will expect from the likes of George Clooney, the recognisable Vera Farmiga and the unrecognisable Anna Kendrick, all three put in performances of their career but it’s the direction that is top here. Jason Reitman, a name now which should be familiar to everyone in the film business and who have an interest in cinema. This being his third feature length film, it’s an evolution that was obvious from his amazing first film, Thank You For Smoking, which lamented his skill and precision of the camera work and editing. Juno was his next film, which was funny and charming and directed perfectly, getting performances from Ellen Page, Michael Cera and Jennifer Gardener to create a realistic tale of pregnancy and growing up. Up In The Air is the combination of his last two efforts, combining a political message, with humour, romance, and a style which we can all now call Reitman’s.

Up In The Air is the story of George Clooney’s character Ryan Bingham, a travelling employee of a company which travels to different companies and fires staff for them. In his spare time he is also a motivational speaker which helps with the job. He travels a lot, and it’s an underestimate, nearly 10 million miles, and he’s proud of the fact he is always hoping off planes and airports and not having one place to live. After many years of working this young, a young female rookie, fresh faced from university generates a new way to fire the employees in a quicker and easier manner, which involved getting rid of Ryan’s flying and his style of doing the job. The new structure would use computer technology and eliminate the personal touch. Ryan asks to show the young woman who thinks she can take away Ryan’s job, a few weeks on the job, going from city to city firing people. Natalie Keener played excellently by Anna Kendrick, goes about seeing what Ryan does. It’s tough to sit through and she soon realises that Ryan’s job is difficult and having that personal touch would be better. Along the way Ryan meets Alex, played by Vera Farmiga, a great pairing and a clear connection between these two actors, Alex is also a frequent flyer, they begin a casual relationship, which throughout the film becomes more. Along the way Natalie becomes more connected to Ryan, opening up to him about her latest break up and showing emotions and Ryan also attends his sister’s wedding. It has a beautiful ending, which is not predictable which I found refreshing. The film could have gone in several directions, but it’s tied up nicely at the end.

I highly recommend this film, I really do, it’s something different, something that will defiantly be remembered in the future, if not for George Clooney’s finest performance or for the start of Jason Reitman’s career from being an indie director to being a Hollywood legend. Look out for his name in the future, clearly the new Martin Scorsese, but less about gangs, more about real people in real situations.


Simon Childs