Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The 50 Word Curse

I’m approaching my 200th review on the 50 Word Film Reviews Blog, and if you add reviews published on this blog, far more than that. The blog is boasting, on average, a hundred hits a day, which is not bad for something I have no idea how to promote, and has a dedicated 16 – 18 daily readers (woo-hoo). And in terms of ad revenue I have earned an estimated 7 pence (that’s estimated, not confirmed)

In order to keep the blog supplied with daily reviews, I have been putting up 5 a week. Now I have of course been reprinting the reviews featured on this blog, but they can only last so long. And for the past month and a half I’ve been trying my best to not use the remaining old reviews, which are not many in number. I’ve been using new reviews, brand-spanking new reviews from films I’ve newly sat down and watched.

Now just try and think about this logistically. 5 films for 5 entries – every week. Now as the average film is 90 minutes in length we are talking about roughly, 7 and a half hours every week spent watching films, minimum.

I don’t have to tell you how f*****g difficult that is. Believe it or not, I do have a reasonably active social life and also have French lessons* currently biting away at my time. This is quite a commitment and one I’m not fulfilling with ease.

One might wonder whether, considering the results, it’s really worth all this effort. Not that I couldn’t do with the occasional additional seven pence or so. Oh well, I’m up for a challenge. Let’s see how long I can keep this up.

*I shit ye not. Can’t say as I’m doing very well either.

Monday, November 22, 2010

For the Love of: Proper Movie Trailers

Whether the output of Hollywood today is better or worse than it has been before*, one thing is for certain, and that is that the quality of film trailers is most definitely in decline. If you needed proof, take a look at this trailer for the new George Clooney movie. I wonder if the hunter is going to become the hunted....

Not so long ago I blogged about horror movie trailers. They were pretty silly, but they illustrate how a movie trailer can make a film look and appear exciting, even when the film itself is probably dreadful. Think to yourself, when was the last time you saw a film trailer that made you really excited about seeing film?

And I don’t mean that film that you were excited about seeing already; it doesn’t count if you wet yourself watching the new Harry Potter trailer, you were excited about seeing that anyway. But when was the last time you heard about a film you’d never heard about and were persuaded by the trailer to see it. I can’t think of many.

Here are a few examples of the lost art of the movie trailer. Yeah, they’re a bit long, but they weren’t just out-sourced to some lousy marketing company, filmmakers took proper time to make them and even film special footage for them....

*Well it's certainly not better is it? Just arguably not worse.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Album review

I wrote this album review a short while ago....

It's for Clinic's most recent album Bubblegum. I didn't care for it much.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

October Film Highlights

The obligatory link to the blog.

The Illusionist (2010) Dir: Sylvian Chomet.

A musical hall magician struggling to find work in the 60s meets a girl in Scotland who believes in magic. A film so beautiful (the Edinbugh scenes are stunning), yet so heart-wrenchingly tragic - it deals with the casualties of the changing times. It’ll put a tear in your eye.


Cat People (1982) Nastassja Kinski, Malcolm McDowell, John Heard, Annette O'Toole. Dir: Paul Schrader

An orphan finds her brother, who believes they are were-cats that can only mate with each other. The subtly of the original is lost on this tawdry and lurid remake. The story, now more erotic than horrific, has potential, but it’s undermined by melodramatic direction and some laughably gratuitous nudity.


Scott Pilgrim Vs the World (2010) Michael Cera, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Kieran Culkin, Brandon Routh, Jason Schwartzman. Dir: Edgar Wright.

A slacker kid falls in love with a mysterious girl, but must battle her seven evil exes before he can win her heart. Hilarious teen romance transformed into an action comic book and pop-culture piss-take. A little long perhaps, but consistently funny and imaginatively brought to life on screen.


It Happened One Night
(1934) Clark Gable, Claudette Colbert, Walter Connolly, Roscoe Karns Dir: Frank Capra

An heiress on the run from her father gets help from a willing journalist as she tries to reach her new husband. One of the first and best road-trip comedies. Gable and Colbert are the perfect double act, the screenplay is virtually laugh-a-minute, and Capra never lets the pace drop.


She (1965) Ursula Andress, Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, John Richardson, Bernard Cribbins. Dir: Robert Day

A former soldier is lead to a lost city by ‘she who must be obeyed’ as she believes him to be her reincarnated lover. Much more lavish than the average hammer horror, but pretty dull otherwise. The pace is languid and the leads have no chemistry. Lee is completely wasted.


The Seventh Victim (1943) Tom Conway, Jean Brooks, Isabel Jewell, Kim Hunter. Dir: Mark Robson.

A girl comes to the city in search of her missing sister and uncovers a sinister conspiracy. With excellent cinematography and a great build-up, it’s a real shame that this one doesn’t quite deliver, due to a vague expurgated script and cinema’s dullest cult of Satanists.


W (2008) Josh Brolin, Elizabeth Banks, James Cromwell, Ellen Burstyn, Richard Dreyfuss. Dir: Oliver Stone.

A look at George Dubya’s rise and time in power. Starts off with a balanced portrayal but slips eventually into parody. The needlessly non-linear storyline only emphasises the lack of focus, taking chunks of Ws life without really providing an overarching thesis. The supporting cast are all one dimensional.


A Bucket of Blood (1959) Dick Miller, Ed Nelson, Bert Convy, Antony Carbone. Dir: Roger Corman

A young artist becomes a success after creating a series of very life-like sculptures... Amusing Corman cheapie which has some good pops at pretentious artists and their world. Naturally the sets are few, and it’s not exactly thrilling (there’s no bucket or blood), but it’s a pleasant 60 minute distraction.