Saturday, 30 March 2013

Dr Who and the blog post of doom.

You can tell that I'm supposed to be something important because I'm writing a new post. One thing you can say about Murdocal is that the height of her motivation comes when she has a big deadline approaching. Anyway, here I am and I'm not going to be able to achieve my goal until I get this out of my system. Tonight is the BBC1 premiere of the second half of Season 7 of Dr Who. This starts the journey to the end of Steven Moffat's third series as head writer of the popular science-fiction show and, if recent reports are anything to go by, perhaps the journey to the end of his reign. I would personally relish this decision as I'm one of the ever-growing group of people who are becoming tired of Moffat living out his boyhood fantasy and creating a show his younger self would love. 

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Top 5 Female Role Models in A Song of Ice and Fire

(Beware of any possible book related spoilers guys.)

My life if pretty full of the people of Westeros right now. I've just rewatched season 2 of the hit HBO show, I'm once again making my way through George RR Martin's Feast of Crows and, as we should all be aware, the new series of Game of Thrones starts in a matter of days. As usual in these situations I have become so deeply immersed in this fake word that it's the only thing on my mind and I felt I had to address it here. One of the things I enjoy most about Martin's series is the great selection of strong female characters. Yes, Martin may not be the writer that Tolkien was but he's much more aware of the general awesomeness of women. The women in LOTR are generally pretty overlooked. I mean there's Galadriel the powerful elf but she has that whole temptation thing to contend with. Then we have Eowyn, who is an undeniable badass warrior but, I for one, can't forget the flirting with another woman's man situation. Yes Arwen had a bigger part in the film but in the books her main task it to sit in the corner looking pretty and elfy. It's all a big yawn in terms of 'girl power'. This is where Martin takes a step ahead of the granddaddy of fantasy.

Monday, 18 March 2013

The Paperboy (2012)

The story of The Paperboy's world premiere is now infamous within the world of film. Lee Daniels' adaptation of the novel by Pete Dexter opened at the 65th Cannes Film Festival in May 2012 to boos and utter contempt from critics. For some reason the people who had loved Michael Haneke's beautiful and heartbreaking Amour didn't feel quite as strongly about a film that sees Nicole Kidman pissing on Zac Efron's face. They dismissed Daniels' film as mere trash that sits mostly in the camp, er, camp. I can sort of understand where they were all coming from. After my first viewing of The Paperboy I couldn't quite believe what I'd just seen. Although, I've thought about it a lot since and I think I'm coming round to this outlandish and darkly comic film noir.

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Oz the Great and Powerful (2013)

There have been a great number of attempts to make money from L. Frank Baum's series of novels set in the magical world of Oz. Dating back to well before the insanely popular 1939 film starring Judy Garland. Although none of the films released before or after Victor Fleming's family favourite have ever captured our imagination in quite the same way. The Wizard of Oz is one of those sacred classic films that has a firm place in many people's hearts and the idea of trying to top it would bring fear into the heart of most filmmakers. If there's one thing you should never do, it's fuck about with MGM's Oz spectacular. Although, in more recent years audiences have been embracing Gregory Maguire's book Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West and its subsequent hit Broadway musical. With narratives looking back at the land of Oz before it was discovered by Dorothy and her little dog too, they gave Disney more than enough excuse to delve into the untold history of another key figure. So it is that we find ourselves here in 2013 pulling back the curtain a little further and shedding more life onto the mysterious wizard himself.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Identity Thief (2013)

Jason Bateman is another one those frustrating actors who will agree to appear in any old piece of shit despite being incredibly good. It's finally getting to the point where the high points don't mean as much and might as well be flukes. Watching him in films like Horrible Bosses (2011), The Change-Up (2011) and The Switch (2010) it is hard to believe it is the same man who excelled in the likes of Juno (2007) and Arrested Development. The major problem with his latest film, Identity Theft is that it appears good on paper thanks to Bateman's presence and that of his co-star Melissa McCarthy. After her scene stealing role in Bridesmaids (2012) McCarthy is pretty hot Hollywood property and any film starring this much comic potential sounds as though it can't fail.

Thursday, 7 March 2013

A Fantastic Fear of Everything (2012)

Simon Pegg has an annoying habit of making truly terrible films and, because he's Simon Pegg and so fucking likeable, we're all expected to ignore the fact that he's making utter shit. I'm not one of these crazy Spaced fans who thinks the fact that he's making big Hollywood films like Mission Impossible 3 and 4 shows that he's sold out. However, I'm a fan who thinks he has more talent than he's actually using. I thought we'd reached a low with the likes of Big Nothing (2006), Run, Fat Boy, Run (2007) and Burke and Hare (2010) but then along comes A Fantastic Fear of Everything (2012).

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Argo (2012)

I’ve never really seen the point of Ben Affleck as an actor. For a considerable amount of time he was nothing more than the friend of the much more talented Matt Damon. Whilst he is not always awful but he was, more often than not, forgettable. However, like Clint Eastwood and George Clooney, Affleck has made a much more noticeable step into the world of directing. Gaining critical acclaim for his previous efforts Gone Baby Gone and The Town, Affleck now tackles Chris Terrio’s script based on a strange but true part of American and Canadian history. For his third time in the director’s chair, Ben Affleck moves away from the familiarity of his much loved Boston to tackle the wider world and bigger issues.