Archive for: June 2012

“…keep the festival going and surviving” An interview with Andrew Doig

Moviescramble had a chance to catch up with Andrew Doig, one of the founders and organisers of the Loch Ness Film Festival. What followed was an honest take on independent filmmaking in Scotland.
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Prometheus (2012)

Prometheus Poster1979′s Alien is a bona fide classic of science fiction cinema and has spawned umpteen sequels, video games, comic books and other media and has since merged into the Predator universe with the advent of the AvP crossovers, so it’s no surprise that Ridley Scott felt there was more tales to tell in this mythology. Instead of continuing with the now well established variety of xenomorphs he looked back to the mysterious huge alien corpse seen in his original movie, normally referred to as the “space jockey”.

Prometheus takes place in 2089, 36 years before Alien, and follows a team of explorers as they attempt to find out more about the origins of humanity as a species. Making a discovery that pre dates other similar ones from other cultures by a hefty margin, the team are sent in stasis across space to the one common theme in all the discoveries – a constellation. The team quickly discover remnants of the aliens, now referred to as “the Engineers” (thankfully – as it gets confusing talking to people about it). The Engineers it would seem are as human as Earth’s humans, and so the questions about the origins of the species begin. Continue reading “Prometheus (2012)” »

Iron Sky

I was going to start this review with a comment on how you wait for a Nazi invasion film to come along… but then realised that we do not wait at all for these type of films. It seems that there is nearly always some form of  low budget release featuring everybodys favorite pesky Ayrians.  Iron Sky is the first of a Nazi double feature that I have just had the pleasure of watching. (review of the second one to follow).

The film starts with a moon landing in the year 2018. It is a publicity stunt to promote the re-election bid for the US president who happens to look and sound very like Sarah Palin. The astronauts do not have long to enjoy the moment as they are shocked to find a swastika shaped moon base in a giant crater. One of the astronauts is killed. The other, the first black man on the moon as we are reminded several times by the Presidents PR company, is injured by suspicious looking moon men.

It turns out that in the dying days of the Second World War the Nazis fled Earth and set up a moon base on the dark side of the moon. Ever since then they have been planning for the day when they can return to Earth as conquerors and bring about the start of the new thousand-year Reich. Among the moon dwellers is the perfect Ayrian couple (97% pure after testing). One is the second in command with ambitions for the top job. The other, a school teacher, believes that Nazis are good and gentle people that will return to Earth in peace not war. Continue reading “Iron Sky” »

Movie Podcasts review part 2: US podcasts

In the second part of our review of movie podcasts, moviescramble takes a trip across the Atlantic to review a couple of US-based movie podcasts. As with the UK ones there are dozens of movie related podcasts to choose from either via the website associated with the cast or, as I was introduced to them, via the corporate wonder that is iTunes. All of the podcasts reviewed below can be found via the iTunes store at no cost.

First up is the /filmcast (slash filmcast). This a weekly podcast from the /film website with nearly two hundred episodes available. Featuring hosts Dave Chen, Devindra Hardawar  and Adam Quigley, the ninety minute podcast is split into three main sections. They begin by discussing what they have been watching in the last week. Continue reading “Movie Podcasts review part 2: US podcasts” »

The Ides of March

American cinema has a long tradition of political dramas. The genre has touched on political intrigue, conspiracy theories and tales of power struggles from the White House and Capitol Hill. A long list of  ‘A’  list actors and directors have been drawn to the subject which can be approached from so many angles.  So it was no surprise when it was announced that politically aware actor George Clooney would be directing the 2011 film The Ides of March.

Based on a play, Farragut North, we follow Stephen Meyers (Ryan Gosling), a media consultant on the campaign to get Governor Mike Morris (George Clooney) the Democratic party nomination to run for president. Continue reading “The Ides of March” »

Snow White and the Huntsman (2012)

Snow White and the Huntsman PosterA few days back John reviewed the first of this years two Snow White based movies, Julie Roberts comedy Mirror Mirror. It seems appropriate then that I take up the mantle and review its darker counterpart Snow White and the Huntsman, a grittier and slightly more authentic take on the original story. It’s not quite true to the original tale, but all the major components are there making for a more serious tone.

Starring Charlize Theron and Kristen Stewart as the two female leads we immediately run into the first of the movies problems in the way it asks you to suspend belief. You are expected from the outset to believe that Snow White – the fairest of them all – is the prettiest most beautiful thing in the land, outshining the beauty of the evil queen herself. Why then do you place the delightful Miss Theron up against the sneering flared nostriled man face of Kristen Stewart?

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I, Alive

The limits of physical ability through injury or illness are not something that is generally tackled by mainstream cinema. The exceptions to this take the form of a passion project of a film star with a great deal of clout or an actor who is trying to legitimise their shot as an Oscar contender.  The more difficult subjects are usually addressed by film makers outside of the major system.  A film that examines this is the 2011 short film I, Alive from Scottish writer / director Thomas Simpson.

The story follows wheelchair bound Kevin (Calum Murray) and his struggle to be understood. Kevin is unable to verbally communicate and the only part of him we ever see move is his eyes. A possible play on the title with eyes alive perhaps?  His brother Paul (Paul Massie) is his carer. It is the day of the big football match. A potential league deciding game or as Kevin puts it, aren’t they all. The brothers support the opposing teams and head off to the pub to watch the game. Meeting up with their friend Eddie (Brian Grassie) they settle in to watch the game. Someone is going to be disappointed by the outcome. Continue reading “I, Alive” »

Mirror Mirror

It shouldn’t come as a surprise in these days of remakes and reboots that Hollywood turns once again to the Snow White fairy tale.  This is the first of the two major releases this year touching on the well-loved tale. With a significantly more sophisticated teen and pre teen audience out there a film cannot be idly thrown together any more and expect to engage with the audience and make a profit. So can a star cast, a familiar tale and the equivalent of a palace full of money turn out something that appeals to the market it is aimed at?

The tale opens with the usual preamble regarding the fairy tale. Snow White (Lily Collins, daughter of Phil) is the eighteen year old heroine of the tale. She is living in isolation in the Palace under the care of her (evil?) step mother (Julia Roberts). Her father went to war several years earlier and is lost, presumed dead.  The Queen rules the kingdom and is, of course, jealous of the young and beautiful princess. Into the Kingdom comes the handsome prince Alcott (Armie Hammer). He is robbed by a band of (seven) giant dwarfs and left in the dark forest. Continue reading “Mirror Mirror” »