Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Underworld 3: Rise of the Lycans

To close the week I'll be producing this Friday's Cinemascape show on Eastside 89.7FM. The show features lively discussion on two Oscar contenders: Doubt starring Meryl Streep and Philip Seymour-Hoffman and Gus Van Sant's fabulous Milk, along with my review of a film that won't be making too many appearances during the award season; Underworld 3: Rise of the Lycans. Tune in at 6pm to hear my thoughts.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Wrestler

This Friday I'll be reviewing Darren Aronofsky's The Wrestler on Eastside 89.7 FM's Cinemascape show. I was always a fan of Mickey Rourke's earlier work, in particular Diner, Rumble Fish, Angel Heart and Year of the Dragon so when the buzz started that this was his great comeback picture my interest was aroused. Playing Randy 'The Ram' Robinson, the actor gives the performance of a lifetime. The role was made for him. A down on his luck star who's career reached huge heights but now is in the doldrums. One minute he was headlining Madison Square Garden, the next his local town hall. The parallels with his own acting career are obvious and it takes the film to heart wrenchingly emotional levels. Anyone expecting the poster boy looks that launched the career of the 'next Brando' will be in for a shock, his physical transformation is shocking, his body ravaged by age, steroids and peroxide abuse. This is a sport movie that doesn't rely on the sport. It relies on the frailty of the human spirit when it is at it's lowest ebb and the desperation people feel when they are totally alone. Aronofsky, using hand held camera work and indie film aesthetic, has made a modern masterpiece. To hear my full review tune in at 6pm.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Let the Right One In

This Friday I’ll once again be appearing on Eastside 89.7 FM’s Cinemascape show. As well as discussing the new Wil Smith film Seven Pounds and the animated tale of mice and soup The Tale of Despereaux I’ll be passing judgement on the fabulous Swedish vampire film Let the Right One In. Based on the novel by John Ajvide Lindqvist the film portrays the trials and tribulations of a twelve year old boy dealing with bullies, his parents divorce, school and living next door to a vampire. Subtlety using ideas and motifs from many classics of the genre, in particular Salem’s Lot, but redefining them against the chilling, snow covered vistas of the Swedish countryside. The film brings fresh blood to the often staid and predictable vampire genre. Visually the film is stunning, from the nocturnal vampiric attacks to the final swimming pool massacre, director Thomas Alfredson shows a sure hand during even the most uncomfortable moments. The fact that it is two twelve year olds discovering love and dealing with an uncontrollable thirst for plasma only adds to the frisson and the two young leads are outstanding. One of the best horror films of recent times and terrifyingly enough already lined up for the dreaded Hollywood remake. One shudders to think who would be cast in the lead roles. Tune in at 6pm to hear my thoughts.