There are lots of things you can do with Bill Murray if you’re lucky enough to have him appear in your movie. One of the most rewarding, as Sofia Coppola and Wes Anderson have found out, is to place him in the midst of a real feel-good story. St.Vincent, the impressive feature debut from writer/director Theodore Melfi taps into this morish Murray quality with ease and provides one of the most rewarding performances of 2014.
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Richard Linklater’s Boyhood is a quiet epic. By now, anyone with even the vaguest interest in movies will no doubt be aware of the film’s unique gestation, however for those not in the know, here’s a quick catch up. Shot across 12 years, Boyhood follows its lead actor (and those around him) from childhood to maturity. Linklater and his team filmed intermittently in week-long stints from May 2002 to October 2013, revisiting the film’s key players at key points in their lives.
Writer-director team Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett have been ones to watch in the horror genre for the past few years. Their eye-catching segments in anthology series V/H/S and The ABCs of Death alongside their slick features You’re Next and A Horrible Way To Die planted them firmly on the map of astute genre fans everywhere. Their latest is The Guest, a sort of mutant hybrid of First Blood and Halloween that marks the duo’s most ambitious – and most enjoyable – work to date.
Living with your friends is never easy. Flatmates never pull their weight; they don’t tidy and it’s such a pain in the neck when they bring victims home, get blood stains everywhere and then refuse to clean up the mess. Well, maybe that last one is a little niché but it’s certainly accurate of ace Kiwi-comedy What We Do In The Shadows. The new horror mockumentary from Flight of the Conchords’ man Jemaine Clement and his Eagle Vs Shark collaborator buddy Taika Waititi takes a hilariously kitchen-sink look at the day-to-day (or should that be night-to-night?) mundanity of undead Vampire life.
It can be tricky finding place to eat in Manchester city center that’s new and exciting and genuinely good. The struggle isn’t made any easier by the fact that the new cool thing to do with alternative eateries seems to be to make them secret and not that easy to find. Ace burger place Almost Famous probably deserves all the credit for kick starting that craze – and it certainly worked. Now, the quirky diner Dogs N Dough has arrived in the city, also borrowing from the word-of-mouth promotion technique that’s so big at the moment, to provide hungry visitors with a new food spot to Instagram the heck out of. But is it any good?
So now that I’m living in Manchester again I’d like to try and get back on the wagon with reviews. After all, with so many bustling and exciting events going on throughout the city, it would feel like a crime not to. With this in mind, expect a few more gig/stand-up/theatre/restaraunt/product reviews to appear every now and then. I’d also like to start re-posting some of my online freelance work here as well as some ‘just-for-the-sake-of-it’ blogs that I’ve been kicking around. To kick things off however, here’s my review of Russell Brand’s first night in Manchester as part of his Messiah Complex world tour. Spoiler alert, it was dead good. Enjoy!
Say what you want about floppy haired filmmaker Wes Anderson. Whether you think he’s an untouchable auteur or simply obsessed with his own twee humour, there’s no denying the guy can make a gorgeous looking picture. With Fantastic Mr Fox, Anderson takes his obsessive-compulsive brand of movie making into the painstaking realm of stop motion animation, stepping into territory usually reserved for the likes of Tim Burton or Henry Selick. It’s a risky transition for any director to make but one that he manages to pulls off with aplomb.