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A Movie A Week #27: Philomena

Philomena

Philomena is the sobering tale of one mother’s quest for closure and the cold brutality of religion. In alternative hands, its rich, real-life subject matter would have no doubt made for a compelling documentary, complete with unexpected twists, turns and plenty of tears. Instead, Philomena Lee’s story is presented to us through the filter of comedian Steve Coogan, whose ability to coerce droplets of delicious dry humour out of this most shocking of stories is a welcome relief. It’s Coogan’s screenplay – and Stephen Frears’ warm directing skills – which transform this story from a heartbreaking drama into something funny, thought provoking and oddly heartwarming.

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A Movie A Week #26: Rush

Rush

Ron Howard’s Rush draw you in faster than one of its finely tuned Formula One racecars. The movie’s ability to keep you on tenterhooks in spite of its arguably niché subject matter is admirable to say the least. However, in terms of captivating real-life dramas, Howard and his cast couldn’t be working with a juicier tale. This is a dark re-imagining of the classic rabbit and hare parable made all the more tense by its reality-based stakes. With glory or failure and life or death hanging in the balance, this fast paced duel-biopic is enough to get even the most flat tyred racing fan revved up.

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INTERVIEW: Alter Egos Director Jordan Galland

Alter-Egos

At the tail end of 2012 I was lucky enough to chat with newcomer director Jordan Galland. It was an exciting time for him, he’d just put the finishing touches on his new movie Alter Egos, a down-to-earth tale following a group of not-so-super superheroes struggling with the pressures of everyday life. He’d also just secured distribution by Red State director Kevin Smith’s brand new company, SModcast Pictures.

The chat was due to appear in a 2013 issue of SFX, however due to the complex timing that sometimes comes with long-lead print deadlines and the film’s blink-and-you’ll-miss-it UK premier and cinema run, the piece sadly fell through the cracks. I had a great time talking to Jordan however and always hated the fact that the piece never saw the light of day. After contacting Jordan’s PR people I was recently given the go-ahead to publish the Q&A in full right here on my blog. By now the film has been available on various streaming outlets and DVD for a while, so some of you should have had a chance to see it. If not, go check it out!

Did you watch it? Are you back? Great stuff, right?

In the meantime, here’s my full interview with Jordan Galland where we discuss filming super powers on a budget, composing a score with his buddy Sean Lennon, working with indie-movie king Kevin Smith and talk of an Alter Egos TV show…Enjoy!

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8 Reasons Why Ron Burgundy is The American Alan Partridge.

Ron/Alan

Knowing you Ron Burgundy, knowing him Alan Partridge. AH-HAAAA! Ahem…

As Will Ferrell powers through the momentous PR push for Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues it’s hard not to be reminded of another recent publicity trail that blurred the lines between reality and fiction. This got me thinking: Is Channel 4 News anchor and pub-time quote God Ron Burgundy the closest thing America has to our very own Alpha Papa, Alan Gordon Partridge? After all, the two guys have a heck of a lot in common. For example, they’ve both…

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7 Things Bob Dylan Should Do While He’s In Blackpool

Bob Dylan Blackpool

Bob Dylan has had an interesting life. He was forged in the fires of folk and bore witness to its transformation into protest, leaving Zimmerman back in dusty Duluth.

He was present at the March on Washington, singing about change not long after Martin Luther King Jr had delivered his earth shattering ‘I have a dream’ speech.

It was Dylan who introduced The Beatles to weed, inviting a whole generation to take a musical trip, for better or for worse.

He was the guy on stage that night in Manchester, branded a ‘Judas’ by the crowd only to fire back his ‘sing it loud’ rendition of Like A Rolling Stone; providing a ‘fuck you’ to the past and showing just how raw and powerful rock and roll can be when used correctly.

He preached to the (confused) masses during his Saved period and helped clear the name of a Hurricane whilst rambling along The Rolling Thunder Review.

Bob Dylan has been many places and done many things…

But he’s never been to Blackpool.

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5 Foreign Frighteners For Halloween

Let The Right One In

Bored of the same old Hollywood horrors? Well here are 5 international gore-fests that offer a little more than cheap scares and bad acting. So without further ado. . .

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A Movie A Week #25: Room 237

room237

Some people never leave The Overlook Hotel. Anyone doubting that need look no further than Rodney Ascher’s compelling new documentary Room 237, a delirious dissection of Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining. That’s right, Kubrick’s The Shining. Stephen King may be responsible for the source material but the mesmerizing Nicholson-starring horror released back in 1980 is Kubrick to the core. King’s dismissal of this now-iconic rendition is well documented, however by delving deep into the fabric of the movie we see how irrelevant this disagreement is. If Room 237 does anything, it shows us just how much of a Kubrick creation this adaptation really is, and it’s frightening.

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