Month: July 2013

The Heat

 

They're coming for you

The Heat is the latest movie from Paul Feig, director of the acclaimed and universally adored Bridesmaids. Starring Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy (also in Bridesmaids), The Heat is about an over-dedicated FBI agent teaming up with a no-nonsense local cop in order to take down the city’s biggest and nastiest drug dealer.

The movie is all about the relationship between the two leads. On the one hand, an uptight, pretty, slim, smartly dressed, ambitious and emotionally detached FBI agent (Sarah Ashburn) and the other a badly dressed, over-weight, insubordinate and slobbish police detective (Shannon Mullins). Both roles are perfectly cast and thankfully not too much of the Miss Congeniality from Sandra Bullock. There are some good support turns too, from Michael Rapaport, Tom Wilson and Marlon Wayans. I’m really not the biggest fan of Marlon Wayans’ contribution to movie history, but he’s used well here.

Things I loved about this move…well, you think it’ll go one way and then it doesn’t happen – particularly the tooling-up scene! This is important when we consider the genre and how often the buddy-buddy movie, with all its incarnations, has been done: Lethal Weapon, Bad Boys, Midnight Run…the list is endless. Sandra Bullock. Yes, I do love her in this one and quite possibly I think I fancy her for the first time since the age of 15 (when you really don’t care too much who you fancy). There is less of the Congeniality thank God and just well-acted “straight man” style comedy. And of course Melissa Mcarthy is on top, top form. She has some absolutely cracking one-liners, whilst leaving the physical humour mainly to Sandra.

One thing that did strike me was the seemingly obvious resolution of Sandra Bullock’s problems (too uptight, follows the rules too strictly, no boyfriend etc) but not the same for Mcarthy. She is also overly dedicated, has alienated her family because of this and eats 2 week old sandwiches. But Sandra seems to have the moment of catharsis and the penny dropping and not Mcarthy. Other than that, I’m sure if you wanted, you could pick many holes in things – such and such would never happen, the FBI doesn’t work like that, blah blah. But then bridesmaids (I hope) don’t act like that in real life either.

So then, so far I make this the 2nd funniest film of the year/summer. No shame in being 2nd to the World’s End, none at all. I’ll have to wait and see what This is the End delivers of course, but doubt it will have the charms of The Heat. In some ways, this is almost the ideal date movie: plenty in it for both him and her, neither too girly (e.g. any comedy with la Anniston except Office Space) nor too boy-ish (e.g. any Bruce Willis film). Go to the cinema, get out of the heat and see The Heat. And do look out for the knife scene – truly excellent.

Enjoy this clip that mocks regional accents!

 

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LIFF Review Monsoon Shootout

 

 

Monsoon Shootout was the perfect opening film to the wonderful yearly non-Bollywood Indian film Festival LIFF. Not only was Amit Kumar’s 10 years in the making debut still riding on it’s praise from Cannes, it was a movie exclusive enough that wasn’t available to UK audiences but also had the cachet of a well known name attached to most of it’s marketing in critical darling Nawazuddin Siddiqui.

 

We follow Adi (Vijay Varma) who starts his day with his mother’s advice that life is basically Goldilock’s porridge, to be eaten just the right way. Armed with a Ganesha round his neck and the realization that his supervising officer (Neeraj Kabi) has watched Denzel Washington’s Training Day one to many times, he is assigned to chase down the Shiva, the Ax killer (Nawazuddin), who has been extorting money from builders for an underground Slum Lord who is preparing his entry for the world wrestling federation old timers division.

Adi and Shiva come face to face under on a rainy night which sets us up for the 3-way split narrative where we see what can happen if Adi eats his porridge too hot, too cold or just right.

 

It is clear to see that director Amit Kumar has poured in his personal vision in every frame of the movie, the movie is gritty, dark supported by some wonderful performances both by the leads Vijay Varma and Nawazuddin as well as the supporting cast of Neeraj Kabi, Tannishtha Chatterjee and the little dude that was playing her son. Monsoon Shootout clearly wants to distance itself from any conventional Bollywood film by its subject matter, casting choices and narrative flow.

 

Unfortunately this is not Tomas Twyker’s Run Lola Run, which had the visuals to support its structure forcing the movie to move at a relentless pace and never get boring.  Monsoon Shootout has none of those visual flourishes and keeps it dire and gritty vision until the end, whilst still managing to cut away from any impactful gore. From the 2nd narrative possibility things start to slow down and the aversion to Bollywood conventions seem a bit forced. Like most Hindi Independent films it remains in cinematic adolescents, rebelling against its Bollywood lineage but not grown up enough to play with global filmi big boys who have done this before and better.

 

Since Amit Kumar has been working on this story for a decade this are things he could have mended if he hadn’t been as close to the story as he was. I also think he had no idea that Nawazuddin would break out to become the start he is now. A savvier director could have padded up his scenes but this didn’t seem the case in Monsoon Shootout, so we miss out some of the fire that we know Siddiqui can bring to the screen as in Kahaani or Gangs Of Wasseypur.

 

But these are small issues with an overall positive cinematic experience and a great opener to one of the most unique cinematic festivals in London, which we hope to be covering in the next few days.

@asimburney

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Girish Kumar Talks to Upodcast About Ramaiya Vastavaiya

Is he a star in the making or just another producer’s son getting a huge launch? Girish Kumar talks to Upodcast with the release of Ramaiya Vastavaiya which is in theaters today!

Truth be told we give him quite a few tough questions to answer and he keeps his charm and smile which wins him points in our books. So I hope you enjoy our podcast interview you can find below.

The movie is out in theaters and if you haven’t yet seen Girish in action here he is shaking his money maker.

 @asimburney

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The World’s End Upodcast Review

Any new feature by Edgar Wright is guaranteed to get us excited here at Upod and with the concluding part to the Cornetto trilogy, we have not been disappointed.

The action takes place in a sleepy English town when 5 friends (Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Paddy Considine, Eddie Marsan & Martin Freeman) re-enact a monstrous pub crawl around 12 of the local hostelries.  1990s British indie music provides the soundtrack and beer, several chasers and blue blooded robots provide the action.  Those of us familiar with Spaced or other Edgar Wright films, won’t be let down – there are plenty of references and appearances to whet our appetite – and for those of us less familiar with the genius, it’s just a plainly funny film, you don’t need the references.

Upod remains tight-lipped (at the director’s insistence) about plot and acting spoilers so even after listening, you’ll still be watching it as fresh as we did.  We will however let you know where this one stands in relation to the other two of the trilogy, how funny it REALLY is and what we think a bit more budget means for all concerned.  There are surely, no more fence-jumping jokes left to play!

The World’s End hits UK theaters today!

You can download/Listen to or subscribe to our episodes here:

@martincawley

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Madras Cafe Trailer Breakdown

During Part 2 of Our Bollywood catch up Upodcast ft FilmiGirl and Getfilmy (click here if you haven’t listened to it yet), I accidentally mentioned Madras Cafe as one of the movies I was looking forward to. Luckily enough my co-host corrected me that I had in fact confused Shoojit Sircar (Vicky Donor) for Shimit Amin (director of Chak De India) and that Vicky Donor was one of my most hated movies of the year.

But looking at the trailer for Madras Cafe it looks like this definitely has the potential to be something to look forward to.

John Abraham’s production company is teaming up again with Shoojit after the massively successful Vicky Donor to bring audiences, what looks like a Military/Spy Thriller shrouded in mystery looking at the set up of the facebook page and website of the movie.

Johnny BamBam might be a producer than actor (even though this must be the best phase he has ever been). Casting Nargis Fakhri might be a risk but unlike most people I felt her appearance wasn’t grating in Rockstar. The poor girl had to bear the brunt of an overzealous producer and actor who after hyping her, dumped her pretty bad. It’s never a good idea to dub voices and Nargis’ voice and the disconnect with her mediocre acting ability was something that should have never passed the rushes by Imtiaz Ali. She was fine as the girl you fall in love with in high school but playing a globetrotting journalist might be something more up her alley, if those horrible interviews of her in glamour magazines are to be believed.

I despised Vicky Donor much more than Nargis Fakhri’s performance in Rockstar but Madras Cafe looks like it’s much more dynamic and engrossing as a movie. The genre classically doesn’t do too well in Hindi Films but maybe Abraham and Shoojit have honed into an angle we haven’t seen yet.

Here is the trailer for Madras Cafe and the poster. (the Trailer is from Yahoo! India which has a very annoying Vicky Donor Style ad inserted, I wonder it’s an annoying meta tie in)

 

Madras Cafe Releases in August, Let us know what you think of the trailer in the comment section below!

@asimburney

 

 

 

 

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New Poster Pain & Gain flexes it’s muscles

Released back a couple of months ago  and quite a success in the US, Michael Bay “smaller personal” movie Pain & Gain is set for a UK screens on August 30th.

Starring along Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne The Rock Johnson, we also have Anthony Mackie, Rob Corddry, Tony Shaloub, Rebel Wilson and Ken Jeong.

Based on a true story Walhberg and Johnson play a set of Miami bodybuilder that come up with a quick rich quick scheme involving a rich business man that goes horribly wrong.

Probably one of the best reviewed Michael Bay movies in a long while, and defintely one we are looking forward to.

We will most likely have a review for you when the movie comes out but until then, enjoy the new clip and the poster!

 

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Man Of Steel Upodcast Review and Criticism surrounding the movie

Maybe a bit late out of the gate but our geek hearts were still aching to talk about Zach Snyder’s Man Of Steel. Together with Paresh from the CurrySmugglers (check out their latest awesome episode by clicking here) and Sujoy AKA @9e3k we finally get to discuss this new version of the son of Krypton, after Bryan Singer’s failed attempt.

Although the movie has had a massive box office draw, there is talk of sequels, rebooting other DC properties to eventually come to a Justice League movie.

As most Snyder movies Man of Steel has been surrounded by quite a bit of criticism coming understandable as the character is one that we all have grown up with and are quite attached to.

So we specifically wanted to adress some of the major complaints about the movie and what we thought about them.

Hope you enjoy our Chat!

Check out our episode by clicking below/or download/ subscribe in iTunes.

 

 

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New Trailer Filth: Welcome to the world of Bruce Robertson

 

When I read Irvine Welsh original novel just after seeing Trainspotting, there was not even the possibility that this could be made into a feature just as most of the content was just plain shocking.

Now more than 15 years later the world finally seems ready and have even found a very capable Bruce Robertson in the surprising casting of James McAvoy.

I still dont know how they’ll manage to fit in all the twists in the book but looking at the trailer it looks like they are being wuite faithful to the book.

Martin got to see the movie a while back and will be dropping his review closer to the theatrical release in September.

Probably not suitable for young audiences, here’s the trailer:

 

Scheming Bruce Robertson (James McAvoy), a bigoted and corrupt policeman, is in line for a promotion and will stop at nothing to get what he wants. Enlisted to solve a brutal murder and threatened by the aspirations of his colleagues, including Ray Lennox (Jamie Bell), Bruce sets about ensuring their ruin, right under the nose of unwitting Chief Inspector Toal. As he turns his colleagues against one another by stealing their wives and exposing their secrets, Bruce starts to lose himself in a web of deceit that he can no longer control. His past is slowly catching up with him, and a missing wife, a crippling drug habit and suspicious colleagues start to take their toll on his sanity. The question is: can he keep his grip on reality long enough to disentangle himself from the filth?

James McAvoy (X-Men: First Class) gives the performance of his career and he is joined by a fantastic cast, including Jamie Bell (The Adventures of Tintin), Imogen Poots (Fright Night), Oscar winning actor, Jim Broadbent (The Iron Lady), Joanne Froggatt (‘Downton Abbey’), Shirley Henderson (Trainspotting), Eddie Marsan (The Illusionist), Emun Elliott (Prometheus), Martin Compston (Sweet Sixteen), Shauna Macdonald (The Descent) and Gary Lewis (Gangs of New York).

Written by Irvine Welsh and Jon S. Baird who also directs, Filth is produced by Ken Marshall, Will Clarke and Irvine Welsh.

FILTH hits Scottish cinemas on September 27th and UK cinemas on October 4th.

 

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The Way, Way Back Trailer

Coming of age stories are a dime a dozen, and especially coming from the team that brought you “Little Miss Sunshine”, you might have a good idea what the story beats might be.

But the directing duo Jim Rash and Nat Foxon collaboration was picked up at the Sundance Festival bringing together quite an eclectic cast, following up their oscar winning The Descendants (check out our Upodcast Review here) with Steve Carrell  playing a bit of a doucebag and Sam Rockwell who is supposed to be Pool Side Yoda.

From the Press Release:

THE WAY, WAY BACK is the funny and poignant coming of age story of 14-year-old Duncan’s (Liam James) summer vacation with his mother, Pam (Toni Collette), her overbearing boyfriend, Trent (Steve Carell), and his daughter, Steph (Zoe Levin).  Having a rough time fitting in, Duncan finds an unexpected friend in Owen (Sam Rockwell), the carefree manager of the Water Wizz water park. Through his friendship with Owen, Duncan slowly opens up and begins to finally find his place in the world – all during a summer that will change his life.

 

The Way, Way Back, is out in UK cinemas on Wednesday 28th August

 

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The Counsellor Trailer and Images

Ridley Scott is back on earth directing what seems to be one of the best ensemble cast we have seen in a while!

The movie stars Michael Fassbender who plays  a lawyer, who finds himself in over his head when he gets involved in drug trafficking. Written by Cormac Mcarthy , this might be quite a good gritty little thriller.

Especially when you have The Fass accomanied by Penélope Cruz, Cameron Diaz, Javier Bardem in a crazy get up and Brad Pitt

No release date yet but there is the trailer and some pretty good looking people looking cool!

 

 

@asimburney

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A Ronin Story- The Wolverine Featurette

A short featurette about Hugh Jackman’s 6th* reprisal of The Wolverine character gives us a peak into the story and some new images that weren’t in the trailer.

It really looks like they went back to what audiences like about the character to make this movie and I never thought i would be so psyched to see this.

 

Synopsis:
Based on the celebrated comic book arc, this epic action-adventure takes Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), the most iconic character of the X-Men universe, to modern day Japan. Out of his depth in an unknown world he faces his ultimate nemesis in a life-or-death battle that will leave him forever changed. Vulnerable for the first time and pushed to his physical and emotional limits, he confronts not only lethal samurai steel but also his inner struggle against his own immortality, emerging more powerful than we have ever seen him before.

*Cameo’s included

Thw Wolverine is out in theaters 25th July 2013.

 @asimburney

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