Top ten alternative Christmas movies

Now is the time of year when a lot of people become insufferable, spouting their Christmas cheer all over the place. And I bet there was a good chance you reacted negativel to me saying that, right? Probably with something like, ‘Don’t be a scrooge! Cheer up, it’s chriiiissstmaaas!’ Well, this is exactly the sort of thing that drives me mad. To be honest, I’d … Continue reading Top ten alternative Christmas movies

Top 10 elevator scenes in movies

Is your screenplay complete without a good elevator scene? Probably not. As a director can you forgive yourself for not including one? No. So there’s the argument, an open-and-shut case. Any film worth its salt has an elevator scene, so here are a few I’ve picked out I rather like. What would make your list? Drive Oddly tender yet completely brutal, here Ryan Gosling’s character … Continue reading Top 10 elevator scenes in movies

Spy: McCarthy prods buttock

After lengthy success in TV (Gilmore Girls, Mike & Molly), Melissa McCarthy finally broke through to film in 2011’s Bridesmaids, almost stealing the whole thing from the rest of the cast. In 2013 she received critical and commercial acclaim for The Heat with Sandra Bullock and, last year, starred opposite Bill Murray in quirky comedy St. Vincent. So she’s been building to a big project … Continue reading Spy: McCarthy prods buttock

Frank: what doesn’t kill you makes you stranger

A man wearing a giant fake head. A band full of oddballs, real oddballs. Is this a film about those characters we meet in life – if we’re lucky enough – that exist at the edges of normal? Based on the real life experiences of writer Jon Ronson, Frank starts with Jon (Domhnall Gleeson), a talentless wannabe musician who, through a chance encounter with a … Continue reading Frank: what doesn’t kill you makes you stranger

Walter Mitty: has Ben Stiller come of age?

Apparently Ben Stiller has been trying to get The Secret Life of Walter Mitty to the screen for the best part of two decades. Something you notice as it unfolds, at least in terms of slightly odd events taking place. But then, the film is slightly odd. And I mean that in a good way. As Winona Ryder’s Lydia says in Beetlejuice, ‘Live people tend … Continue reading Walter Mitty: has Ben Stiller come of age?

Ron Burgundy – how’s the legend holding up?

Sequels. Comedy sequels no less. The hardest of all in the sequel kingdom. Do they ever work? Hmm… more often than not they don’t; at least not to the extent of the original. Casting your mind back for a second: it’s been almost ten years since the original Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy came out; a film which took many by surprise. At the … Continue reading Ron Burgundy – how’s the legend holding up?

The World’s End and a marmalade sandwich

Just one Cornettoooo, give it to meeee! Is what I imagine fans have been singing outside Edgar Wright’s door for the last six years, demanding the final chapter of the Cornetto trilogy. God, has it been that long? We had a mere three years between Shaun of the Dead (2004) and Hot Fuzz (2007), yet it’s been twice that wait for the final instalment. Was … Continue reading The World’s End and a marmalade sandwich

Silver Linings Playbook – smart, edgy rom-com

Seems David O. Russell is on a bit of a roll. Following a six-year break after I ♥ Huckabees, the Writer/Director returned in 2010 with a film which bagged him an Oscar nomination for Best Director, critically-acclaimed boxing tale, The Fighter. His latest effort, Silver Linings Playbook, is another triumph – dramatic, touching, funny and heart-warming. This is down to a smart script, assured direction … Continue reading Silver Linings Playbook – smart, edgy rom-com