Showing posts with label Jeff Goldblum. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jeff Goldblum. Show all posts

15 November 2013

Blu-Ray Review - Invasion Of The Body Snatchers (1978)

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Sci-fi, horror, cult
Release Date:
18th November 2013 (UK)
Philip Kaufman
Donald Sutherland, Leonord Nimoy, Brooke Adams, Jeff Goldblum, Kevin Mccarthy,
[Blu-ray] or [Blu-ray SteelBook]

Philip Kaufman unwitting started the trend of remaking classic horror films with his 1978 reimagining of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. It started this trend because it was actually really good and similar remakes followed like The Thing and The Fly. Body Snatchers started life as a novel by Jack Finney and have been adapted 4 times to the silver screen. It was first made in 1956 by Don Siegel and remains the best, the aforementioned 1978 one, the underrated Abel Ferrara take in the early 90s and more the recently the version with Nicole Kidman but let’s try to forget that one.

The film’s protagonist in this take is Matthew Bennell (Donald Sutherland) a San Franciscan heath inspector who hears from a friend Elizabeth (Brooke Adams) that her boyfriend is acting strange around her. Matthew gets his friend in touch with Dr. Kibner (Leonard Nimoy) a psychiatrist. At the same time two of his friends discovered a body that resembles one of them Jack (Jeff Goldblum) that appears to be browing. They call Matt to have a look at it and if he can help

Matt comes down to examine it and heads back to see Elizabeth and finds a pod person version of her growing. Matt gets the real Elizabeth to safety and contacts the police but soon realizes they are pod people. The invasion has started and Matt and his friends can’t fall asleep or they will become pod people as well.

Kaufman’s take is very much of its time it’s set in a post-Watergate world. It has that great 70s paranoia feel and you know from the extremely creepy opening scene something is amidst. This is refined with the inclusion of Robert Duvall’s unsettling cameo as a priest in a playground. It also includes fantastic cinematography from Michael Chapman who also shot Taxi Driver.

It’s one of the finest film remakes of its kind with only The Thing or The Fly surpassing it in quality. Kaufman is a very versatile director who has director stuff like The Wanderers and The Right Stuff and casts the film impeccably. Sutherland feel adds some gravitas to his role, which is rare in the genre. The film also features a cameo by the original film’s lead actor Kevin McCarthy which begs the question is it a remake or sequel.

The blu-ray Arrow has complied is packed to the gills with material; the real highlight is the roundtable discussion with Kim Newman, Ben Wheatley and Norman J. Warren who discuss the film at quite length. The disc also includes a really pretentious interview with Kaufman’s biographer Annette Insdorf along with an interview about Jack Finney from Jack Seabrook and some featurettes from the American MGM blu-ray and a director’s commentary.


Ian Schultz

17 October 2013

Time To Check In And Watch Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel Trailer!

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Say what you like about Wes Anderson personally he is one of the many reasons why I love Arthouse/Independent film. Colourful, vibrant, off-kilter, witty most off all charming and tonight we finally get our first look at his next chapter of his visual journey into film The Grand Budapest Hotel!

The Grand Budapest Hotel recounts the adventures of Gustave H (Ralph Fiennes), a legendary concierge at a famous European hotel between the wars, and Zero Moustafa, the lobby boy who becomes his most trusted friend.

All the trademark Wes Anderson traits are here as expected, same with many of the regular cast as well as many new faces, but most of all its essential Anderson and that's all cinephiles need to know!

No official UK release date has been confirmed however US date is set for Easter 2014 so expect the same or late Spring.

The Grand Budapest Hotel also stars Jude Law, Bill Murray, Jason Schwartzman, Saoirse Ronan, F. Murray Abraham, Jeff Goldblum, Willem Dafoe, Adrien Brody, Owen Wilson, Edward Norton, Harvey Keitel, Léa Seydoux, and Mathieu Amalric.

11 October 2013

Le Week End Review

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15 (UK)
11th of October 2013
Curzon Film World
Roger Michell
Lindsay Duncan, Jim Broadbent, Jeff Goldblum

Jim Broadbent and Lindsay Duncan starring in a classy drama about the ever-changing relationship of two married sixty-somethings sounds like a must-see with more than a little allusion of Richard Linklater's Before... series. Whilst the lead performances are quite excellent, what exactly director Roger Michell has to say is never quite clear.

Le Week-End follows Nick (Broadbent) and Meg (Duncan) - a long-married British couple who travel to Paris for a weekend break. However, this is not plain sailing as the couple's relationship problems come to the forefront.

Nick and Meg are not likeable protagonists - which is by no means a bad thing, it simply results in a lack of compassion and engagement towards the pair. Both characters key attribute is their overwhelming sympathy for themselves - Meg feels unfulfilled (and has no issue about letting it be known) and Nick is a man plagued by demons of self-doubt and fear of abandonment. Both Broadbent and Duncan ensure that Le Week-Ending is watchable and strip back the veneer of faux-sentimentality that we traditionally see in the romantic drama. However, it is Michell's depiction of the couple's relationship that proved truly troubling to this reviewer.

Perhaps as a younger viewer, Le Week-End is alienating in that the complexities of a twenty-five year plus-marriage are not something that tends to be thought about a lot. Apologies for using that old cliché, but is love not supposed to be a universal language - regardless of what age or stage it is at? Le Week-End as a representation of how relationships can yo-yo is a fine one, but an extreme one: Nick and Meg can go from the height of intense love to threatening each other with divorce in the space of one short scene. It is this extreme change in dynamic that means it is never easy to grasp what exactly Michell is trying to say - other than people and relationships change and are not simple.

This results in a watch that is not particularly compelling to the average viewer. Yes there will be occasions where we can all relate to the impromptu moments of fun, blood-minded arguments, self-doubt, and unhappiness - although in this high volume it feels somewhat erratic and ultimately draining. The introduction of Jeff Goldblum's character Morgan - Nick's old university pal - perks things up through a spirited performance that only he is capable of. However like Goldblum's character, it is hard not to think that Le Week-End is slightly full of itself and smug about its own complexities.

Fortunately, cinematography from Nathalie Durand, captures the blustery Autumn of Paris and fits the tone of Michell's bittersweet feature, often resulting in a picturesque watch.

It is the stellar performances from Broadbent and Lindsay Duncan that dominate bitterly complex, and often alienating Le Week-End which may prove more of a hit with older audiences.


Andrew McArthur