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Posts Tagged ‘Mud’

If you take a look at the top ten grossing movies of the year so far there are seven sequels (Iron Man 3, Despicable Me 2, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Monsters University, Fast & Furious 6, Oz The Great and Powerful, Star Trek Into Darkness) and a reboot (Man of Steel). World War Z (based on a book) will probably be knocked out of the top ten by The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smug leaving Gravity as the only original property to bother the top ten. Do audiences only go in large numbers to see sequels of franchise movies or do studios only commit large amounts of money to existing properties that a ready made audience? The $825million taken by Christopher Nolan’s Inception proved that a totally original movie could make money, however it would probably never been given the green light if not for the $1billion The Dark Knight took. As cinema prices creep up and audiences become ever more selective, studios become more cautious making it a self fulfilling prophesy relegating most original ideas to smaller films. With this in mind, here are my top five original movies of the year. Original movies, not a sequel, prequel, remake, re-imagining or reboot. Also, not based on a book, comic book or true story.

Stoker: In the year that the remake of Chan-wook Park’s masterpiece Oldboy limped onto cinema screens Stoker proved to be Park’s best film since Oldboy. The original screenplay was written by actor Wentworth Miller. A weird, beautiful and sublime blend of melodrama, psychological thriller and coming of age drama. Budget: $12,000,000 (estimated)stoker

Gravity: Alfonso Cuarón’s space adventure about a pair of astronauts trying to find a way home after a collision in space is a truly stunning film and the first film that should be seen in 3D preferably IMAX 3D. Budget: $100,000,000 (estimated)GRAVITY

Prisoners: Great acting from ensemble cast and stunning photography from Roger Deakins combine with taught direction French-Canadian director Denis Villeneuve making his English-language debut elevate this from a genre movie with an overt subtext to a really good film. Budget: $46,000,000 (estimated)Prisoners

The East: An original story of the murky world of private intelligence firms and an environmental anarchist collective. Written by director Zal Batmanglij and star Brit Marling. It is notable for great acting and its dark melancholic tone. Budget: $6,500,000 (estimated)The East

Pacific Rim: To call Guillermo del Toro’s monsters vs. robot movie original would be a stretch as it appears to be based on every other monster movie/comic book to have gone before it, however it isn’t directly based on any other previously produced work. It makes the list ads it is just great fun, pure and simple. Budget: $190,000,000 (estimated)PACIFIC RIM

Mud – the continuing renascence of Matthew McConaughey.
The Counsellor – Cormac McCarthy’s first screenplay is far better than has been reported
About Time – Charming and funny time travel comedy from Richard Curtis.
Blue Jasmine – Cate Blanchett, deserves an Oscar.
Elysium – Neill Blomkamp’s Sci-Fi action drama lacks subtlety but is still good

Check back at the end of the month to see how many of these movies make my top ten of the year.

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Dead Man DownStar Trek Into DarknessMan of SteelFast and Furious 6The Great GatsbyOblivionMudByzantiumThe PurgeSpring Breakers

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Movies seen in May:

Dead Man Down: Two damaged people (Colin Farrell and Noomi Rapace) looking for revenge find each other. A disjointed crime thriller that has its problems but gets away with them because they are outweighed by the charms of the leading actors.IMG_5538.CR2

Star Trek Into Darkness: Kirk, Spock and the crew of the Enterprise go after a terrorist (perfectly played by Benedict Cumberbatch). Lots of well placed nods to the original series but the movie feels a little hollow and undoes some of the great work of the excellent first reboot movie.Star Trek Into Darkness

Mud: Two young teenage boys find a fugitive living in a boat stranded in a tree on a river island. They agree to help him despite the obvious dangers. Further proof that given a decent movie Matthew McConaughey is one of the most underrated actors of his generation coupled with the emerging talent of Tye Sheridan who you may have seen in The Tree of Life.Mud

The Great Gatsby: Baz Luhrmann’s take on the classic F. Scott Fitzgerald novel is as good as it can be for a story that belongs on the page not the screen. The best things about it are the visually stunning party scenes and the stunning performance from Leonardo DiCaprio. Sadly the best things about the film work against each other not with each other making a good and stunning film but not a great and mesmerising one.The Great Gatsby

Fast and Furious 6: Dominic Toretto, Brian O’Conner (Vin Diesel & Paul Walker) and their crew are once again hired by Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson). This time they are after British thief Shaw (Luke Evans) who is working with (back from the dead) Letty (Michelle Rodriguez). The story is rubbish leavening the film feeling flat after the surprisingly good previous film. There is enough car action for fans of the series and the fight between Michelle Rodriguez and Gina Carano is good.Fast & Furious 6

Byzantium: After being discover by a mysterious organisation who is tracking them a pair of female vampires (Gemma Arterton and Saoirse Ronan) flee and end up in a rundown English seaside town. Neil Jordan returns to the vampire movie in the atmospheric and melancholic British horror that may just be the antidote to twilight.Byzantium

The Purge: Set in a near future America where on one day every year there is a 12 hour window when murder is legal. A suburban family get caught in the crossfire when the son decides help a man fleeing from a mob. What could have been a great sleazy B movie or a classy allegoric tale tries to be both and ends up being neither. Interesting and fun but flawed.The Purge

Byzantium Just misses out as movie of the month to Mud:Mud Poster

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Three weeks to go until the Mixtape Movies blogathon as promised I plan to post one Mixtape of my own each week until the 22nd, here is number two.

Mixtape Movies Image 2

A group of films that are vividly beautiful in their own way but share an unreal otherworldliness, sometimes because of their setting others because of their dreamlike quality. Some of the movies you will all know, hopefully like all great mixtapes there will be a few surprises:

Mixtape Movie - Trouble in Mind

Streets of Fire (1984) directed by Walter Hill: Singer, Ellen Aim (Diane Lane) is kidnapped by a biker gang (led by Willem Dafoe) while performing a benefit concert in her rundown hometown. The police won’t do anything so its left to her ex Tom Cody (Michael Paré) and her nerdy manager (Rick Moranis) to rescue her.

The Dead Can’t Lie aka Gotham (1988) directed by Lloyd Fonvielle: New York detective Eddie Mallard (Tommy Lee Jones) is hired by a wealthy businessman to stop his ex-wife (Virginia Madsen) from harassing him, things get weird why he discovers she has been dead for ten years. It was actually made for TV but don’t let that stop you, it’s a great atmospheric noir thriller.

The Isle original Korean title “Seom” (2000) directed by Ki-duk Kim: A man on the run hides out on a floating fishing hut in the Korean wilderness. He forms a difficult relationship with the mute woman who rented the hut and looks after the fishermen.

Mud (2012) directed by Jeff Nichols: A newer pick than the others, so new you may still catch it in UK cinemas. Two young teenage boys find fugitive living in a boat stranded in a tree on a river island. They agree to help him despite the obvious dangers.

Trouble in Mind (1985) directed by Alan Rudolph: Rather than a plot synopsis I will just tell you a little about the cast: Hawk (Kris Kristofferson) a former cop fresh out of prison for murder, Wanda (Geneviève Bujold) a diner owner and Hawk’s ex-lover, Coop (Keith Carradine) and Georgia (Lori Singer) a penniless young couple with a baby, Hilly Blue (a rare none drag performance from Divine) a mob boss.

Wildcard pick – Lost In Translation (2003) directed by Sofia Coppola: All the movies have an underlying story involving crime except the wildcard: What is left to say about Lost In Translation? Well firstly, as hard as is to believe, it will be ten years old later this year. If you love it as much as I do, its time to watch it again. If you don’t like it, its time to give it a second chance.Mixtape Movie Trouble in Mind posters

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