BYZANTIUM Review

by     Posted 1 year, 62 days ago

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[This is a re-post of my review from the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival.  Byzantium opens today in limited release.]

The possibilities of the vampire story have become increasingly limited. The story has been around for so long, and has been done so many ways, especially of late, that it’s difficult for a storyteller to come in and find a new spin within the predefined parameters of what we all agree is a “vampire”: a bloodsucking immortal. In his new film Byzantium, director Neil Jordan has seized upon the “immortal” part and how a vampire would always be, in a sense, frozen in the past and unable to move forward. Consequently, Byzantium has trouble gaining any momentum. As its protagonist moans about telling a story hundreds of times but never finding anyone to listen, the film struggles to find a rhythm and gets bogged down in some cringeworthy dialogue. But the most frustrating aspect of Byzantium is how it fails to pursue a thoughtful, gender-related idea that holds far more potential than another exploration of how vampires are accursed creatures sentenced to wander the earth alone forever and ever anon.

First Trailer for Crime Thriller WELCOME TO THE PUNCH Starring James McAvoy and Mark Strong

by     Posted 1 year, 260 days ago

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The first trailer for the British crime thriller Welcome to the Punch has landed online.  Directed by Eran Creevy (Shifty), the film stars James McAvoy as a cop whose nemesis, played by Mark Strong, suddenly reappears after having eluded capture years earlier.  The trailer plays like a mash-up between Heat and Snatch, with less comedy and 1000% more bullets and explosions.  I’m not exactly sure how everything comes together plotwise, but I’m sufficiently intrigued by the talented ensemble and Creevy’s impressive visuals.  This is a British thriller through and through, which is something we’ve seen far too little of lately.  Fans of The Walking Dead will also be happy to spot one David Morrissey in the cast, who plays The Governor on the AMC series.

Hit the jump to watch the trailer.  The film also stars Andrea Riseborough, Daniel Mays, Elyes Gabel, and Peter MullanWelcome to the Punch opens on March 15, 2013.

TIFF 2012: BYZANTIUM Review

by     Posted 1 year, 352 days ago

byzantium-saoirse-ronan-slice

The possibilities of the vampire story have become increasingly limited.  The story has been around for so long, and has been done so many ways, especially of late, that it’s difficult for a storyteller to come in and find a new spin within the predefined parameters of what we all agree is a “vampire”: a bloodsucking immortal.  In his new film Byzantium, director Neil Jordan has seized upon the “immortal” part and how a vampire would always be, in a sense, frozen in the past and unable to move forward.  Consequently, Byzantium has trouble gaining any momentum.  As its protagonist moans about telling a story hundreds of times but never finding anyone to listen, the film struggles to find a rhythm and gets bogged down in some cringeworthy dialogue.  But the most frustrating aspect of Byzantium is how it fails to pursue a thoughtful, gender-related idea that holds far more potential than another exploration of how vampires are accursed creatures sentenced to wander the earth alone forever and ever anon.

Teaser Trailer for THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN: THE SECRET OF THE UNICORN

by     Posted 3 years, 104 days ago

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The first trailer for Steven Spielberg’s The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn has gone online.  While the teaser does a good job of selling the action, it doesn’t overcome two major hurdles the film is facing.  First, US audiences aren’t familiar with Tintin and they need an introduction.  The book may be acclaimed in Europe, but the books simply haven’t gained mainstream recognition in the states.  Second, moviegoers have an aversion to fully mo-capped features because of the way that characters fall into the uncanny valley.  The teaser tries to dodge that problem by showing as little of the characters’ faces as possible (except for the final shot of Tintin) but they’ll have to show us eventually.

Hit the jump to check out the trailer.  The film stars Jamie Bell, Daniel Craig, Andy Serkis, Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Cary Elwes, Toby Jones, Mackenzie Crook, and Daniel Mays.  Steven Moffat (Doctor Who), Joe Cornish (Attack the Block), and Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead) wrote the script; Peter Jackson co-produced the film.  The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn opens in 3D on December 23rd.

Sweet UK and US Teaser Posters for THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN; Trailer Hits Tomorrow

by     Posted 3 years, 105 days ago

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It seems like the fully-animated motion-capture craze has come and gone with the shuttering of Robert Zemeckis’ ImageMovers Digital and the box office bomb Mars Needs Moms.  However, before that bomb exploded, directors Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson decided to do a mo-cap trilogy adaptation of the internationally popular comic book series, The Adventures of Tintin.  The cast includes Jamie Bell, Daniel Craig, Andy Serkis, Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Cary Elwes, Toby Jones, Mackenzie Crook, and Daniel Mays.

But how do you market a mo-cap adaptation of a Belgian comic that isn’t widely-recognized by the American mainstream?  With airplanes, flaming ships, and a silhouetted figure in a trenchcoat.  That’s what you’ll see on the UK poster for the flick along with attention paid not to the cast, but to screenwriters Steven Moffat, Edgar Wright, and Joe Cornish.  Hit the jump to check out the poster.  The first trailer for the film is set to go online tomorrow.  The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn (a subtitle that was left off the poster) opens in 3D on December 23rd. [Update: The US teaser poster has also gone online. I slightly prefer the UK version, but the US teaser is no slouch and it shows off the ship, "The Unicorn"]

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