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.)

Out Now – 21st December 2012

Life of Pii

Life of Pi
Glorious demonstration of visual storytelling and using 3D properly from Ang Lee as a boy finds himself stranded at see with four zoo animals including a Bengal Tiger. I bloody loved it.

Pitch Perfect
A mixture of Glee and Bridesmaids makes for a comedy about singing that is apparently quite good. Something about mash-ups… Singing… The tagline is “Get Pitch Slapped”… As I say this is apparently quite good, not sure I trust them though.

Boxing Day (limited release)
Six films are release on Boxing day this year, Boxing Day is not one of them. “Based on Master and Man by Leo Tolstoy, Boxing Day follows Ivans XTC and The Kreutzer Sonata as the third film in a loose trilogy of modern day interpretations of Tolstoy stories.” Eh?

West of Memphis (limited release)
Almost Hobbit-length documentary covering every inch of the case against the West Memphis Three who were convicted of killing young boys on little to no solid evidence. According to me: “Whatever you know already about the case West of Memphis is a gripping documentary about justice that makes the most of its two and a half hour running time and was equally uplifting, frustrating, and fascinating.”

Dabangg 2 (limited release)
A Bollywood film with a plot too confusing for me to battle through my cold to reinterpret for you. Sort yourself out.

Let’s Plan A Robbery (limited release)
According to Google translate: “In the film, played by Hakan Y?lmaz Honor, one day at the end of the trip is to deliver a box of safety. Leyla Onur boyfriend who cheated the same day the entrust all your stuff in the box, and poured petrol burns. But honor, he will learn a lot of pain what is in the box. Honors, including friends later in the vortex o ‘entrusted’ to robbery to pay back even think.”

Life of Pi – Film Review

Life of Pi

In this adaptation of Yann Martel’s 2001 novel a young boy called Pi (short for Piscine) is struggling with his spirituality. At the same time his father is struggling to keep the family zoo afloat after getting into a land dispute with the Indian government. His father decides to sell the Zoo’s animals in America and transplant his family to Canada. Pi soon finds himself aboard a freight ship with a surly crew, numerous animals, and a brewing storm. As that brewing storm breaks the ship sinks and Pi is left on a life boat with an orangutan, hyena, zebra, and Bengal tiger called Richard Parker. From here Pi must learn to coexist with his new cohorts and try to sail his way back to dry land.

For a two-hour film mostly set on a life boat with one speaking character Life of Pi is a consistently engaging film that never bores and strays close to pretension without ever falling in. Despite the narration this is a film told through images not through words and what gorgeous images they are. My eyes have never been treated to such exquisite visual excitement before. Whether the sea is raging in a storm, still and reflecting a sunset, or glowing with bioluminescence at night it is a glorious canvas on which the film is told. With Pi’s cohorts being wild beasts there is extensive use of CGI to flesh out the cast but the animals are without exception photo-realistic and wholly believable. So much care has been taken with the visuals this film makes Avatar look like a rough sketch in comparison.

Life of Pi 2

With such a heavy reliance on imagery the choice to use 3D was a risky one. So often 3D is used in a distracting or unnecessary way and while Life of Pi does not have the smooth 3D of The Hobbit director Ang Lee has used the extra dimension to greater effect. My major problem with films using 3D is that they don’t seem to shoot the film with the medium in mind. Shots are too short, the camera is all over the place, and objects are rarely completely in frame or coming out of the screen. So often with 3D the fear of being seen as tacky overrides the desire to utilise effects that can be achieved. Lee does not make this mistake; even as the freight ship is sinking he manages to keep control of the camera and uses bold sweeps rather that shaky edits.

In numerous scenes Lee keeps all the objects, be it a person swimming underwater or a boat sitting on a calm sea, fully inside the frame. This allows the eye to see them as fully 3D objects without various bits being cut off at the edge of the screen. Lee is also bold enough to have animals occasionally peer out of the screen. The last time I saw this was as a child at Disneyworld in Florida. This was a time when 3D was a spectacle – something to take notice of amd an effect worth having as an integral part of the film rather than just as an aside. The reason horror films are normally the place I allow for 3D is because they aren’t afraid to seem gimmicky and it is refreshing to see a similar approach in an Oscar-worthy film. There’s a lot to learn about how to shoot for 3D here.

Life of Pi 3

This is a beautiful film with a big emotional journey at its heart. All the visuals would be for nothing without the amazingly strong performance at its core by Suraj Sharma as Pi. We see Pi at various ages but it is Sharma’s portrayal as a young boy all at sea with a small zoo that holds the film together and is the one vital component. Sharma has no other roles to his name making this possibly the best debut I have ever seen. And he’s five years younger than me. The bastard.

Where the film could do with losing some excess baggage is with adult Pi (Irrfan Khan) and his conversation with an American writer (Rafe Spall). While it is their conversation that forms the film’s narration when the film cuts from the endless aching beauty of the sea adventure back to their conversation in suburbia I found myself painfully pulled out of a cinematic trance and my disbelief struggled to remain suspended. Spall’s character also acts a little too heavy handedly as the voice of the audience when he spells out the film’s message in its closing scene. We got the point without being shown it directly.

Your eyes won’t get a better treat in the cinema for a good long while and 3D have never been used better.

Life of Pi is on general release in the UK from 20th December 2012. Go see it.