Mortdecai (David Koepp, 2015)

This piece was originally published at Sound On Sight, which is no longer active. The below is an edit from 7 May 2018.

***

Seemingly late in the game of David Koepp’s Mortdecai, the eponymous character (played by Johnny Depp) asks his wife, “Are you quite finished with your barrage of insults?” It’s an apt question for the film itself, a cataclysmically unfunny, unbelievably tedious disaster of baffling misjudgments and multiple career lows that feels as long as Shoah, and only a little less harrowing. No such luck, though, as the film goes on for another 25 minutes. It then ends on people about to throw up. Also apt. Continue reading Mortdecai (David Koepp, 2015)

Advertisements

The Place Beyond the Mines: Writer-director Sara Colangelo on ‘Little Accidents’

This piece was originally published at Sound On Sight, which is no longer active. The below is an edit from 7 May 2018.

***

The feature debut of writer-director Sara Colangelo, Little Accidents is an intense small-town drama that premiered to positive notices at the 2014 instalment of the Sundance Film Festival, and is now seeing a release one year on. Starring Elizabeth Banks, Boyd Holbrook, Jacob Lofland, Josh Lucas and Chloë Sevigny, it concerns several players in a town recently devastated by a fatal mining accident. There’s Amos (Holbrook), the sole survivor of the accident that killed ten of his colleagues; Owen (Lofland), whose father was one of those who perished; Bill (Lucas), a mining company executive whose role in the accident has made his family a target of contempt for the town’s anger and sorrow; and Diane (Banks), Bill’s mostly housebound wife, who finds herself drifting away from her partner, and not just because their teenage son has gone missing.

In the week leading up to the film’s debut in American cinemas, Colangelo was kind enough to speak to Sound On Sight about the story’s roots, her cinematic inspirations and intentions, and her experience with the Sundance Institute’s famed Screenwriters and Directors Labs. Continue reading The Place Beyond the Mines: Writer-director Sara Colangelo on ‘Little Accidents’

Aubrey Plaza and Jeff Baena discuss zombie comedy ‘Life After Beth’

“Yes, breaking shit was very interesting to me; I really wanted to break some shit.” Aubrey Plaza has just been asked whether the physical aspects of her role in horror-comedy Life After Beth were of particular interest. Her response also reflects the go-for-broke nature of director Jeff Baena’s messy but fun feature debut…

Full interview for The Skinny

Scotland Loves Anime 2014

With any hopes of Disney making a 2D feature animation again looking increasingly unlikely, and even SpongeBob SquarePants venturing into CGI territory for a forthcoming movie sequel, it’s primarily left to the East nowadays for more traditional animation to thrive. Returning to Edinburgh and Glasgow this October for a fifth year, the Scotland Loves Anime festival showcases some of the best of contemporary and classic Japanese animation, mostly of the hand-drawn variety, on the big screen where so much of it belongs but is rarely seen by Western audiences (unless it’s another Miyazaki masterpiece picked up by a big distributor).

The festival features many UK or Scottish premieres, and the most high-profile of these is Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods, the first theatrically released spin-off in years for one of anime’s most well-known and commercially successful properties worldwide. Any twenty-something who came of age during the anime on UK TV boom of the early 2000s (thanks, Cartoon Network) will want to get themselves to either GFT or Filmhouse to catch the gloriously daft super-powered fights, slapstick and general shoutiness through cinema speakers…

Full feature for The Skinny

Godzilla (Gareth Edwards, 2014)

Gareth Edwards’ Godzilla revival is a beautifully directed, perfectly paced blockbuster that effortlessly veers between enormity and quieter, almost transcendental, moments. It inherits more than a trick or two from prime Spielberg and fully earns favourable comparisons to the likes of Jurassic Park and Close Encounters of the Third Kind in its balancing of awe-inspiring spectacle and the accompanying terror induced by its world-altering premise…

Full review for The Skinny

The Raid 2 (Gareth Evans, 2014)

Gareth Evans’ The Raid took place over one day in a single locale; its narrative had an economy akin to old-school John Carpenter. For the sequel, written, edited and directed by Evans, the filmmaker’s vision expands to the infiltration of a criminal network over several years. It is a sprawling, convoluted 150-minute saga built on a story framework that’s simultaneously simple and impenetrable, wherein most of its kinetic choreography is transformed into arduous onslaughts that numb rather than thrill…

Full review for The Skinny

Muppets Most Wanted (James Bobin, 2014)

A musical nod to diminishing returns for sequels opens Muppets Most Wanted, and while this is an overall inferior product compared to its immediate forerunner, as well as other earlier films starring the felt motley crew, there’s enough entertainment here to separate it from nadirs like Muppets from Space and that Wizard of Oz TV movie with Quentin Tarantino.

Full review of The Skinny

Writing by Josh Slater-Williams