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27 March 2009
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Transformers 2 Trailer

Posted by: Matthew Turner 27/02/2009 @ 17:31
Subject: Film

Films seen so far this year: 54
Films seen last week: The Unborn, The Burning Plain, New In Town, Gun Crazy, The Uninvited, Marley and Me, Watchmen, The Damned United, Cheri

The Oscars: A Post-mortem
So, the Oscars have been and gone once again, with no real surprises this year, despite what the papers said. It's true that many people expected Mickey Rourke to win Best Actor, but Sean Penn won the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Award and if the Oscars has taught me anything over the years it's never bet against the SAG. Awards-wise, I was delighted for Danny Boyle and Slumdog's clean sweep and I thought Kate Winslet's dad and his awesome whistling skillz stole the entire show (she asked him to whistle so she could pick him out of the crowd). I was also thrilled for Penelope Cruz and loved Sean Penn's speech, in which he called the crowd “a bunch of Commie, homo-loving sons of guns” and acknowledged how hard he often made it for people to actually like him before launching into a moving attack on the people who voted against Proposition 8 in California.

Other than that, though, the ceremony itself was desperately dull this year, with only three big laughs: Steve Martin commanding Tina Fey not to fall in love with him; a clip of Seth Rogen and James Franco - in character from Pineapple Express - watching the nominated films and pissing themselves laughing at The Reader; and Robert De Niro's intro for Sean Penn. Also, they bungled all the montages (only Paul Newman got a clip with a line and we had to watch the camera panning all over the stage while it played) and the five-previous-winners-introducing-the-nominees thing was often flat-out embarrassing (Alan Arkin getting Philip Seymour Hoffman's name wrong, Adrien Brody's half-hearted introduction for Richard Jenkins), to the point where you longed for them to just show clips from the films instead. Hopefully, next year, they'll drag Billy Crystal out of retirement and things can go back to normal. Only other good bit: Winslet telling Meryl Streep to “Suck it up”, because all the other nominees were in awe of her.

Films I'm NOT Looking Forward To: Transformers 2: Electric Boogaloo
If Indiana Jones and the Perspex Skull was one of the biggest disappointments of last year, then Transformers was definitely one of the biggest disappointments of 2007. With that in mind, I just can't bring myself to work up any enthusiasm at all for Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen. The Transformers 2 trailer doesn't do itself favours either. Are we supposed to be impressed by robots that can transform into giant mechanical tigers? Is that thing with the wheels supposed to look really cool? There's also no hint of plot beyond Even More Evil Robots Show Up And Start Smashing Shit Up, though we can at least hope they've ditched all that “Protect the Cube” nonsense. They played the Transformers 2 trailer before the Watchmen press screening this week and you could practically hear the yawns – the audience didn't make a sound, and with that crowd, that's probably a bad sign. Now, the Giant Freaking Robot in the Terminator: Salvation trailer (see previous blog), that's a different story... Check out the Transformers 2 trailer below and see for yourself.

Top 10 Films On Release This Week (as recommended by me):
Only one change this week, with just Best Foreign Film nominee (and Palme D'Or winner) The Class making it into the top ten. Of this week's new releases I also liked both Franklyn and The International, though not enough to kick out any of the ten films below. Also, Anvil! The Story of Anvil retains the number one spot, because it's easily the best film on release right now. If you haven't seen it, go this weekend and if you have, then please sign this petition so they can play at Glastonbury this year.

1. Anvil! The Story of Anvil
2. Slumdog Millionaire
3. Revolutionary Road
4. The Class
5. The Wrestler
6. Vicky Cristina Barcelona
7. Milk
8. Frost/Nixon
9. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
10. Gran Torino

DVD of the Week: The Visitor (out now, RRP £15.99)
This week's DVD of the Week is writer-director Thomas McCarthy's The Visitor, which was one of my favourite films of last year and earned Richard Jenkins a richly-deserved Best Actor nomination. He stars as a widowed college professor who becomes embroiled in the lives of two immigrants (Haaz Sleiman and Danai Gurira) when he discovers them living in his disused New York flat. As with his previous film, The Station Agent, McCarthy's warm-hearted script script is laced with gentle humour throughout, while also exploring the strongly political themes of detention and immigration from a human angle that we can instantly relate to. This is a superbly written, beautifully acted and thoroughly engaging human drama that is ultimately both deeply moving and unexpectedly romantic. Extras include interviews with cast and crew, a photo gallery and the trailer. If you missed it at the cinema you can now stop kicking yourselves and check it out on DVD instead. Hell, buy copies for your friends.


by  Anonymous  13/03/2009 @ 11:40
perspex skull! lol
by  Matthew Turner  13/03/2009 @ 22:13
Thank you, Anonymous! You are too kind.
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