Out Now – Good Friday 2014

We Are Amazing!

The Amazing Spider-Man 2
Andrew Garfield’s version of Spider-Man is back along with his wide-eyed love interest Emma Stone. Lots of people had less than enthusiastic things to say about the first in this series but I enjoyed it, the cast are great, and if we’re really honest with ourselves the Tobey Maguire weren’t exactly Shakespeare either. Count me in for more from Garfield and friends.

The Love Punch
This heist film starring some of Britain’s older (but not old) actors is being hailed by some as another film for grey haired fans of the silver screen but the film’s star Emma Thompson disagrees. Thompson sees this comedy as not being for the elderly but for being for everyone and I agree. Just because a comedy doesn’t star people in their twenties doesn’t mean it can’t be enjoyed by that demographic. I am a twenty-something and I love a bit of Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.

We Are the Best!
Hugely enjoyable period film set in 1980s Stockholm in which three young girls start their own punk band. In my review I describe the film as being like a “warm, slightly baggy, jumper” and frankly there’s nothing better to watch on a long bank holiday weekend.

Magic Magic
Sharing a writer, director, star, and location with this year’s earlier release Crystal Fairy & the Magical Cactus (a film I will get round to watching any day now, promise) Magic Magic is an independent thriller set in Chile with a cast of bright young things including Michael Cera, Juno Temple, and Emily Browning. I’m curious.

Wrinkles
Traditionally animated Spanish drama about life in a retirement home. This looks quite intriguing as it tackles the issues of growing old and fearing both death and losing quality of life long before death. With a 15 certificate this is definitely not a kid’s cartoon.

The Sea
A widower returns to the seaside town he frequented in his youth as he tries to come to terms with his wife’s death. While not exactly laugh a minute this film does serve to answer the question of what Bonnie Wright has been up to since the Harry Potter films ended.

Locke
British drama comprised of nothing but Tom Hardy in a car driving home from London to Birmingham. Over the length of the film Hardy as the titular Locke takes a series of phone calls that apparently change his life as he juggles a work crisis with trouble on the home front. Something a little different and a most intriguing premise.

2 States
Indian romantic comedy about a couple from opposite cultural ends of India who fall in love but can’t get married until their families give their blessing. A 100% Indian version of Guess Who’s Coming Together.

Reaching for the Moon
“A chronicle of the tragic love affair between American poet Elizabeth Bishop and Brazilian architect Lota de Macedo Soares.” Brazilian!

East of Eden / Rebel Without a Cause / Giant
A triple bill of James Dean re-releases from 1955/1956. A gluttony of delight for any James Dean fan or an education for a James Dean virgin. Probably a hard line-up to find so head down to the BFI if you can.

We Are the Best! – LFF Film Review

We Are The Best

“Fun” is not a word I use a lot when talking about the film festival experience. Often films are better described by words such as “worthy”, “important”, “dull”, “oscar-worthy”, “impenetrable”, or “borderline pornographic” but with We Are the Best! there really is no better word to apply to it than “fun”.

It is Stockholm in the early 1980s, everyone is wearing amazing jumpers, and punk is dead. Or is it? Two young girls, Bobo (Mira Barkhammar) and Klara (Mira Grosin), team up to form their own punk band purely to spite a group of boys who want to use the same rehearsal space. With no musical skills to speak of they recruit friendless guitar-playing Christian Hedvig (Liv LeMoyne) and a new punk band (NOT a girl band) is formed.

The film focusses on the trio as they rehearse their only song (an angry tirade against sport and other less important issues like poverty), punk up their hair, and grow together, and occasionally apart, as friends. Incidents and plot points that might otherwise be taken too seriously are handled with a lighthearted touch as the girls experiment with alcohol, flirt with punk boys, and get ready to perform at a Christmas rock concert.

This is a film with no deep message, that doesn’t ask you to feel anything but joy at the antics of three excitable young punks as they try to rebel against a world that isn’t very oppressive. The film is gorgeously shot by director Lukas Moodysson; the colours are vibrant and one rooftop view of a wintry Sweden is breathtaking. My only criticism is that without a strict plot to adhere to the film runs roughly 10 minutes too long and feels a little baggy in the middle.

Like putting on a warm, slightly baggy, jumper We Are the Best! is good clean fun and a real treat when sampled in amongst some of the London Film Festival’s grittier offerings.

We Are the Best! is in UK cinemas from 18th April 2014.

BFI London Film Festival 2013

The Blog is Dead, Long Live the Blog!

Jeff Goldblum's Laugh

Three months ago I announced that I would be contributing to the new film blog hosted by The Prince Charles Cinema; Jeff Goldblum’s Laugh. Now with mixed feelings I am here to say that the blog is no more. Jeff Goldblum has no laughs left. The reasons are numerous… let’s just say that there were commercial goals to be met and initial success was followed by a creeping malaise. Regardless Mild Concern is still here and we have no commercial goals to meet or management to keep happy. There’s nothing like writing for someone else to make you appreciate the freedom your very own website can afford you.

So long as I am still physically able to type this particular film blog will live on. And with this blog we mourn the passing of Jeff Goldblum’s Laugh and do so using a particularly cinematic poem with a few minor tweaks:

Stop all the blogs, cut off the internet,
Prevent the fan from blogging with rumours from the set.
Silence the keyboards and with double-click
Close down the website, save on memory stick.

Let readers circle moan in comment thread
Tweeting on the web the message Jeff is Dead,
Put celluloid bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the cinema ushers wear black cotton gloves.

He was my Dr. Ian Malcolm, my Jeff and Goldblum,
Weekday evening and my Sunday afternoon,
My noon, my midnight, my dialogue, my song,
I thought that blog would last forever: I was wrong

The stars are not wanted now, put out every one;
Pack up J-Law and dismantle Portman;
Pour away the champagne and scoop up the popcorn.
For no film now can ever come under our scorn.

Out Now – 11th April 2014

Calvary

The Raid 2
I haven’t seen the original (I know, I know, I’ve been busy) but by all account it is an amazing action film relying on skilled stunt performers over CGI and is the best of its kind since forever and of all people it is directed by a Welshman and this sequel is even better and you should definitely go and see it right now.

The Quiet Ones
Hammer are back following the success of their mediocre but quite scary The Woman in Black with another ghost story about a professor investigating the paranormal. He discovers “unexpected forces” which frankly I think he should have expected.

Calvary
The team that brought us the wonder The Guard return with a comedy drama about an Irish priest. I know what you’re thinking and yes is does touch on THAT subject. With the words and direction of John Michael McDonagh and the acting of Brendan Gleeson this has to be a good film. Has to be.

Pioneer
Norwegian thriller about oil and such. Expect unusual vowels.

Khumba: A Zebra’s Tale
3D animated adventure made in South Africa about a zebra who is only half striped and so is rejected by his herd. In a search for acceptance he for some reason has to save all the animals because it takes that big an act for people to stop being so bloody prejudiced.

The Last Days on Mars
Liev Schreiber stars in a space horror we’ve all somehow not heard of in which things go bump on Mars. British film! Yay! Support local industry!

The King And The Mockingbird
French animation from the 80s. Isao Takahata from Studio Ghibli says “If I had not seen this film, I would have never imagined entering the world of animation” so there.

Half of a Yellow Sun
Chiwetel Ejiofor is no longer a slave but is now fighting to establish an independent republic in Nigeria. Ejiofor is quickly becoming one of those actors that we never see in simple contemporary roles… apart from in Love Actually of course.

The Lunchbox
A man and woman connect in Mumbai over notes left in a misdelivered lunchbox. Besides looking like a wonderful film this leaves me wanting to know why nobody is couriering me curry every lunchtime. AM I NOT LOVED?!

The Strange Color of Your Body’s Tears
I saw this last year at the London Film Festival and found it to be an intense and unpleasant experience. I was completely unprepared for what I saw. A kind of sexual horror film that beat the audience into submission with loud noises and images I can’t quite shake. Be careful kids.

Sue Townsend 1946 – 2014

Sue Townsend

2nd April 1946 – 10th April 2014

“I’ve always loved books. I’m passionate about them. I think books are sexy. They are smooth and solid and contain delightful surprises. They smell good. They fit into a handbag and can be carried around and opened at will. They don’t change. They are what they are and nothing else. One day I want to own a lot of books and have them near to me in my house, so that I can stroll to my bookshelves and choose what I fancy. I want a harem. I shall keep my favourites by my bed.”

- Sue Townsend, Rebuilding Coventry