Infrequently Asked Questions 2012

Shame Full Frontal

People of the internet find Mild Concern through a wide variety of search terms and one of the more curious ways I spend my time is keeping an eye on what people Google to end up on this humble blog. I do feel sorry for a large number of Googlers when I can see that they aren’t going to find what they searched for here.

By far the most popular unsuccessful search the film fans of the world embarked on was trying to find some images of the nudity in Shame. They wanted to see Michael Fassbender and, to a lesser extent, Carey Mulligan in the all-together and were surely disappointed to find not a single bit of genitalia on display. I apologise to you, the internet, and to make it up to you I will now answer a selection of questions people entered into Google in 2012 which led them erroneously to Mild Concern. Now if they do their search again their questions will be answered.

All of these questions are genuine, and tell you a lot about the world today…

Is The Skin I Live In in English? No, it is in Spanish and is not for the squeamish.

How old is Yoda’s actor now? Frank Oz is 68.

Is that a wig? No, my hair is all natural.

Is there nudity in 388 Arletta Avenue? No. It does contain “one scene of strong gore and horror”.

How many times is “Harry Potter” said in the movies? I counted 107 but then I did fall asleep a lot.

Is Die Hard a survival movie? I guess so… although I’d say a survival movie would be someone battling against nature or the supernatural not Alan Rickman with a dodgy accent.

Is Cool Runnings a Christmas film? It is in my family.

Why is Rupert Giles called Ripper? Giles gained the nickname Ripper in his younger days when dabbling in the dark arts with five friends. Presumably it is an allusion to Jack the Ripper.

When is Fast Girls out on DVD? It’s out! Sorry we didn’t get to this question sooner.

Where was We Built a Zoo filmed? We Bought a Zoo was filmed in California.

Heroes Season 3 what is with Claire’s hair? Hayden Panettiere cut her hair and so had to wear a terrible, terrible wig.

What is the twist in Cabin in the Woods? There isn’t one.

What episodes of Misfits have sex in them? A lot of them so I wouldn’t watch if you’re too prudish nor skip any episode for fear of a sex deficit.

What football team does Nicholas Hoult support? I don’t know. I’m really sorry.

Who is on the front of After Porn Ends? Mary Carey

Why do people like Doctor Who? It is scary, funny, and has a lot of heart. Also, Karen Gillan is hot.

Is the Life of Pi film made not in non 3D? It was made in 3D so… yes? 3D is not in non 3D.

Why don’t people like Dr Who? They find it childish, silly, and irritating? Stephen knows.

Does After Porn Ends have nudity? Yes. Not one for the family.

How big is Kevin Smith’s fan base approximately? He has over 2 million Twitter followers and one fan who thinks I am a parasite.

How violent is Sightseers? Violent in short bursts with plenty of blood and caved-in skulls. All the deaths are swift though, this is no Hostel.

What happened to Cameron Crowe? He returned! With We Bought a Zoo and Pearl Jam Twenty. I saw neither.

How accurate is Lawless movie? It doesn’t matter, the film is boring as hell.

Is Ethan Hunt married in Ghost Protocol? Yes, to Julia Meade played by Michelle Monaghan.

Is Michael Cera mean? He seems lovely.

Is NOW TV worth it? Certainly not. Though they provide lots of lovely cocktails.

What is the guy’s name from Footloose that plays on Third Rock from the Sun? John Lithgow

Where can I see the complete pilot episode of BBC Lizzie and Sarah? Nowhere legal I’m afraid. Ask your most internet savvy friend and see if they can help.

Is there a disorder consisting of rape, dismembering, necrophilia, and cannibalism? I don’t think that is a disorder. That is you doing unthinkable sexual things to someone before and after killing them and then eating the remains. GET HELP!

How violent is the film I, Anna? “In one scene of violence a man and woman fight before a heavy ornament is used to strike a blow to the head. In another scene the victim of a violent death is found lying on a heavily bloodstained carpet with a bloodied face.”

What is pyjamas party? Attractive young women spend the night together gossiping, playing games, and fighting with pillows in slow motion and skimpy pyjamas. That or you stay up all night watching films at the Prince Charles cinema.

What’s the film about couple gets handcuffed together at a music festival? You Instead

I hope that clears things up. (If you want to see Fassbender’s penis Google will show it to you. The thing terrifies me.)

The Ultimate Christmas Film(s)

Tomorrow is Christmas Day (don’t look so surprised) and with the TV schedule filled with plenty of holes it’s important to know what film to put on once everyone has surrendered to a turkey induced coma. As we don’t trust you to think for yourselves we’ve each picked our ultimate Christmas film, both of which you are now obliged to watch. (It is important to note that Kat was too busy watching ballet to make her pick).

As Joey of Friends (who also happens to love Die Hard) once said; “if you’re going to do something wrong, do it right.” Die Hard is the embodiment of this statement. Die Hard is an action film released during July – not so unusual – but is possibly the best Christmas film ever.

Die Hard has it all; terrorists, snow, Alan “Professor Snape” Rickman, Bruce “Bruce Willis doesn’t require another name” Willis, a love story, explosions, a very festive soundtrack, product placement and the office jerkoff getting shot. Far better than any Charlie Brown Christmas Special I ever sawed.

On the face of it a balding Joe Everyman running around a building shooting Germans doesn’t seem very Christmassy but let’s look at what the actual story is about. John McClane’s marriage is a little on the rocks but he’s a good guy committed to trying to make it work. He wants to be with his family over the holidays – maybe even patch things up and get back together. Really, Die Hard is about a poor bloke who drew the short straw trying to be nice to his wife when a bunch of lunatics came a running with guns and C4.

Surely though, this only helps the guy? Some women (*insert ‘I’m no anti-feminist’ sentence here*) just bang on about how chivalry is dead – so wouldn’t you say that your estranged husband barefoot running through broken glass, dodging long-haired krauts shooting at him with AK47s and doing his best to get you back home to your children is a bit nicer than, say, a film about bastard parents who forget their child, leaving him to calamitous albeit still psychotic home invaders?

Die Hard is all about family, their importance, their safety and preserving the peace during the festive period. We all have our quarrels, but during Christmas doesn’t everyone’s family do battle just to be nice to each other? Going back to quote in the first paragraph; Die Hard is definitely not your conventional Christmas film, but it has the heart and ruddy determination to be the best, and if you don’t think so I only have one thing to say to you – Yippee ki yay, motherfucker.

When picking the ultimate Christmas film it’s hard not to get swayed too much by sentimentality, childhood memories or the presence of Zooey Deschanel. The best film to watch at this time of year needs to be one that has more to offer than just good cheer, there needs to be moments of terror and a few songs to sing along to too. Obviously The Muppet Christmas Carol fits this bill precisely (for some reason the door knocker becoming a screaming face has always given me the creeps) I’ll be Blogalongamuppeting about that soon, so it’s got to be The Nightmare Before Christmas.

While set in the town of Halloween, Nightmare is ultimately the story of one man’s discovery of Christmas and what it really means. Clearly Jack doesn’t always go about Christmas in the right way, kidnapping “Sandy Claws” was a questionable move, but he gets there in the end and his heart, if he even has one, is definitely in the right place.

If there’s one moment in Nightmare that will give you the Christmas spirit it will be Jack Skellington arriving in Christmas Town and singing “What’s This?” dazzled as he is by all the sights that Christmas brings. It’s enough to warm the cockles of the most Scrooge-like individual. And to ensure that it doesn’t get too schmaltzy we have Oogie Boogie, a humanoid sack of bugs with murder in mind, terrifying.

All of this, combined with Tim Burton’s unique style and the inherent charm of stop-motion animation, makes for the perfect Christmas film. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and ultimately you’ll spend Christmas Day singing “This is Halloween” which is a novel way to celebrate the birth of baby Jesus. If you’re not convinced here’s a song to convince you:

Die Hard and Attack the Block Double Bill or How to Survive Somerset House

On Saturday night we headed down to Somerset House for the first time to experience one of London’s most popular and unique film-viewing events: Film4’s Summer Screen with a double bill of Die Hard and Attack the Block on the cards.

We were reasonably early and so got a good spot in the beautifully roped off Guest area, allowing plenty of time for drinking cider, buying pick and mix, eating nuts and people-watching. Sitting on thin blankets was surprisingly comfortable, though the ankles suffered the most on the hard stone floor.

At half seven Alan Rickman was revealed and the relaxed crowd went wild. Gradually the cheering crowd got to their feet and applauded the great man. While I know his performance as Hans Gruber is incredibly popular, I’d like to think I wasn’t alone in giving Snape a personal standing ovation. After a few remarks on how young we all looked (what a charmer), how Die Hard was his first film and he had to do the fall without CGI, we were on to the first film.

Die Hard was as fantastic as ever and two of the fastest hours I’ve experienced. Sound and picture were perfect, something I was surprised at considering I was sitting in the courtyard of a neoclassical building. There were plenty of cheers and laughs throughout the film and a few heckles at appropriate moments. With everyone gradually moving from sitting to lying down it became one big outdoor sleepover, lovely. Unfortunately we hadn’t claimed a long enough plot, and were stuck in an awkward lying position, trying not to kick the people in front, or rest our heads in the laps of those behind.

After Die Hard there was a brief interval during which a small proportion of the audience bailed, before Joe Cornish came on to introduce his debut feature. As a veteran of the Summer Screen, Cornish seemed really excited to have his feature shown at Somerset House. One by one he was joined by a huge number of the cast who each got a quick go on the mike. Their messages to the audience varied greatly, from, “Anybody wanna play Fifa?” to “FUCK!” An adorable bunch.

With the people behind us having deserted the area we could enjoy Attack the Block exactly as was intended, flat on our backs, this time under our blankets, in a Grade I listed building. The film was just as brilliant as before, though I found I couldn’t really forgive the kids this time, despite them sitting mere metres away. Jodie Whittaker’s friends went mental for her during the closing credits, Summer Screen definitely provides a unique experience.

Stumbling home at 1:30am we were a happy bunch, though had learnt a few valuable lesson which we can implement when we return as a larger group for Princess Bride next Sunday:

1. Arrive Early: To get the best spot you want to arrive way before the film starts. Don’t complain about having to wait hours for the film to start, you’re with your friends in a beautiful setting and there’s a bar. Shut up and enjoy yourself.

2. Claim a Space as Long as Your Body: At some point during the film you will want to lie down and if you haven’t marked your territory properly this will be difficult and slightly uncomfortable. You have been warned.

3. Bring a Picnic: You can buy wraps, brownies and the traditional popcorn or pick and mix on site, but bringing an impressive spread will help wile away the hours before the film starts and stave of food envy when your better-prepared neighbours are spreading humus on brioche.

4. Pack Layers: It may be a glorious summer’s day but you are sitting still on cold stone flooring so will get gradually colder and colder. This goes double for anyone going to the triple bill on Saturday night. Nobody should die for the love of cinema.

5. Bring Lots of Cushions etc: A blanket to sit on and mark out territory is essential but so is a big, soft cushion. It will keep your ankles from agony when cross-legged and lift your head into the prime angle for film viewing when lying down.

Follow these five tips and you too can have a memorable and unique evening at the Film4 Summer Screen at Somerset House. You won’t get Joe Cornish and Alan Rickman though, sucks to be you.

Film4 Summer Screen at Somerset House 2011 Line-up Revealed

Yesterday Somerset House released the list of films in this year’s Film4 Summer Screen. We missed out last year and frankly I can’t figure out why. With the amazing line-up this year I can imagine a fair few trips will be made.

Things worth getting silly about are a Die Hard and Attack the Block double bill, Scott Pilgrim vs The World and The Princess Bride. Possibly most exciting of all is a Gremlins, Troll Hunter and Tremors triple bill. Watch this trailer if you aren’t excited by this idea.

Before each screening is an hour-long talk from the Behind the Screen series, well worth a look as they have the likes of Joe Cornish in attendance.

The full schedule of films is below and we’d love to see you there sitting on the floor, outdoors and at night, among fellow film fans and quality cinema.

The Skin I Live In: UK Premiere
Wednesday 27 July 2011

The Spy Who Loved Me
Thursday 28 July 2011

The Big Blue
Friday 29 July 2011

Die Hard / Attack The Block
Saturday 30 July 2011

The Apartment
Sunday 31 July 2011

Thelma & Louise
Monday 1 August 2010

Chinatown
Tuesday 2 August 2011

In The Mood For Love
Wednesday 3 August 2011

Scott Pilgrim vs The World
Thursday 4 August 2011

Serpico / Shaft
Friday 5 August 2011

Gremlins / Troll Hunter / Tremors
Saturday 6 August 2011

The Princess Bride
Sunday 7 August 2011

Tickets can be bought online from Thursday 9th June and will sell fast.

15 Christmas Films You Must Watch This Weekend

As this is a movie blog we are obligated to list our favourite Christmas films so I’ve rooted out my carefully crafted DVD collection that will be with me every Christmas. You may notice that this list does not include many favourites and has a few non-Christmas films. There is no real order to the list, sorry.

Elf
A modern classic! Heart-warming and funny in the right measures. The cherry on top is a combination of Zooey Deschanel and Peter Dinklage.

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
Chevy Chase back in his prime with a hit and miss comedy about family getting together for Christmas. The cat in the box always gets me.

Die Hard
hey, it is set at Christmas. “Now I have a machine gun. Ho ho ho.” Anyone?

Scrooged
Our first Bill Murray performance on the list and a warped take on A Christmas Carol. At times irritating, with plenty of laughs this film ends with a monologue to warm the cockles of your heart. Do hearts have cockles?

The Santa Clause
Surely Tim Allen’s best work? Lovely seasonal tale that helps make sense of Santa. I have not seen the sequels so lets pretend they don’t exist.

Black Christmas
The original Canadian version isn’t great but brought us the original “the call is coming from inside the house.” The remake is even worse but has some sexy ladies, a Trachtenberg and Winstead to be precise.

The Snowman
The shortest of the list but a Christmas essential. With a sad, sad ending.

Home Alone
One I haven’t seen for years but I’m sure the comedy still stands up today, right?

Gremlins
Funny, moving and adorable creature feature. The love interest’s story of her dad in the chimney will always bring about an inappropriate Christmas chuckle.

The Muppet Christmas Carol
Some of the finest Christmas songs come from this and Michael Caine’s best performance.

Cool Runnings
Not set at Christmas but the abundance of snow and family friendly laughs make this a must for a lazy afternoon at Christmas.

Groundhog Day
Again it’s not Christmas exactly but it’s so damned Christmassy! It’s all about learning to not be selfish and to love one another. Also hilarious.

The Grinch
A controversial choice, either hailed as genius or rubbish. hard to believe that little girl is now Taylor Momsen, a 17 year old who dresses like an oversexed tramp.

Edward Scissorhands
Do I need to justify this? It is undeniably Tim Burton and undeniably filled with the Christmas spirit.

The Nightmare Before Christmas
Perfect for either Halloween or Christmas though with a message of Christmas cheer and some great Christmas songs there’s no better time to watch.