Out Now – 7th December 2012

Seven Psychopaths
Meta-comedy about a man writing a film about psychopaths of a surprisingly indeterminate number. As my friend Jon said, “It’s a dumb glossy action film with one-dimensional characters that ultimately lacks any heart or soul.”

The Man with the Iron Fists
“On the hunt for a fabled treasure of gold, a band of warriors, assassins, and a rogue British soldier descend upon a village in feudal China, where a humble blacksmith looks to defend himself and his fellow villagers.” Respect to any film with a crazy synopsis like this which uses the Oxford comma.

The Oranges
Gentle comedy about a man (Hugh Laurie) who starts to date his friend’s daughter (Leighton Meester). With the rest of the cast filled out by Catherine Keener, Adam Brody, Oliver Platt, Alia Shawkat, and Allison Janney there isn’t a dud in the box.

So Undercover
Miley Cyrus is a private eye hired by the FBI to pose as a college student. Imagine Veronica Mars but without anything good in it. Imagine Miley Cyrus trying to act. Imagine a “steet-smart” girl forced to join a sorority. Imagine hitting your face against a wall until you are no longer able to remember that this film exists. There, that’s better.

Celeste & Jesse Forever
Disarmingly charming non-romantic comedy about trying to stays friends with your ex and all the pain and struggles that can bring. Three Mild Concern writers accidentally saw this film at the same screening and we all loved it. So there.

I, Anna (limited release)
“A noir thriller told from the point of view of a femme fatale, who falls for the detective in charge of a murder case.” I quite liked it.

Confession of a Child of the Century (limited release)
Pete Doherty (oh yes, him) stars as Octave in 1830s Paris – a man who is betrayed by his mistress and falls in love with an elder widow (Charlotte Gainsbourg).Pete Doherty acting? Bloody hell.

When Santa Fell to Earth (limited release)
German children’s film in which Santa falls to Earth. Presumably. The full synopsis looks ridiculously complicated, is five paragraphs long, and contains phrases like “Goblynch also wants to force Santa Niklas Goodfellow, the last real Santa, to work for his commercialized Christmas company and forces him to do hard labour in the ordering department of the Christmas Palace.”

You Will Be My Son (limited release)
“An Oedipal tale set in a world of oenophiles.” I take my hat off to you anonymous Independent film critic.

Gremlins (limited release)
One of the best Christmas films ever ever ever is back in some cinemas. Go see it. NOW!

Life Just Is (limited release)
“Pete, Tom, Claire and Jay are university graduates having trouble making the move into adult life. Beneath the hanging out and the daily routines simmers Pete’s desire to find a spiritual answer to life’s meaning, Jay’s desperate need not to get hurt again, and Tom and Claire’s ever increasing mutual attraction.” It’s about me! I am a graduate struggling to make the move into adult life. I seek the meaning of life. I don’t want to get hurt. I have an increasing mutual attraction with myself.

Seven Psychopaths – LFF Review

Colin Farrell plays Marty a screenwriter struggling with his latest screenplay. His best friend Billy (Sam Rockwell) runs a dog-napping with Hans (Christopher Walken) and wants to help Marty with his screenplay any way he can. Events take a turn for the worst when Billy kidnaps the dog of local mob boss Charlie (Woody Harrelson) and all manner of shooting ensues. Throw in a serial killer, quaker, and Tom Waits and you have Seven Psychopaths.

Martin McDonagh has moved on from In Bruges, a relatively small film with one location and three characters, as he now deals with a cast of dozens in a film that roams from inner-city to outer-desert and incorporates many intertwining stories both factual and fictional within the film’s universe. The result is a bombastic film constantly trying to simultaneously shock you and make you smile. Seven Psychopaths desperately wants you to think it is cool and won’t stop shooting people and swearing until you are rocking in your seat laughing and giving an approving clap.

On the surface I really enjoyed Seven Psycopaths. It was funny and contained enough fodder to stop me from becoming distracted. It felt unpredictable, fun, and… Well. Then I spoke to my friend Jon (the one with the beard, not the other one):

“I didn’t really enjoy Seven Psychopaths. I was hungry at the time and I don’t cope well with being hungry so I think that factor may have biased my experience somewhat. Seeing the Jeffrey Dahmer Files about a real psychopath hours before may have also not really put me in the mood.

Is it wrong to expect a film called Seven Psychopaths to have seven psychopaths in it instead of a bunch of characters with a penchant for being violent? Of the three main characters in the film, one is a typecast stereotype, one is contrary with their actions ultimately becoming in no way believable, and it turns out the other guy used to be interesting but is now just a thief. There are two or three interesting ideas in the film but I don’t feel like they’re really explored. Instead, they’re clumsily mashed together along with copious uses of terms such as ‘fag’, lots of throw away violence, cheap laughs, and attempts at being clever that just fall too short of the mark. It’s a dumb glossy action film with one-dimensional characters that ultimately lacks any heart or soul.

Go read The Psychopath Test, watch No Country for Old Men or In Bruges instead.”

Seven Psychopaths will reach UK cinemas on 5th December 2012 and you’ll most likely love it. Just don’t go thinking about the film afterwards.

56th BFI London Film Festival

And we’re off! The 56th BFI London Film Festival is in full swing and as is tradition Mild Concern will be turning into full festival mode for at least the next week. Armed with a press pass, a week’s holiday, and a small amount of disposal income we will be watching as many films as we can in an effort to breach the 30 film mark having successfully reviewed over 20 films last year.

To help make this deluge of reviews more manageable links to all the films we’ve watched will be placed below in a beautiful wall of hyperlinked images. Have a click around, it does wonders for our stats.

Films reviewed:

The SessionsHyde Park on Hudson

56th BFI London Film Festival Line-up Announced

It’s that time of year again. Yesterday was the line-up for the 56th BFI London Film Festival was announced. The festival runs from 10th – 21st October 2012 and we will be covering it more than you could possibly want. I will be trying to beat my personal record of 20 festival films and living off Starbucks and quiet cinema snacks for a week.

The full list of films can be seen on the BFI website but who needs that when below is my initial pick of films that might be worth a look along with a five word summary for each. It may not be comprehensive but this list is at least alphabetical:

The Body Corpse goes missing. Hitchcockian thriller

Celeste and Jesse Forever Can exes become best friends?

Frankenweenie Tim Burton animation – re-animated dog

Hyde Park on Hudson Bill Murray is Franklin Roosevelt

Kelly + Victor Passionate and transgressive love affair

Kiss of the Damned Estranged contemporary vampire sisters reunite

Love Story Documentary/fiction blur for love

My Amityville Horror Exploring the truth about Amityville

Paradise: Love Middle-aged sex tourism in Kenya

The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology Documentary essay on cinema’s ideologies

The Road: A Story of Life and Death Stories of London’s many immigrants

Robot and Frank Jewel thief and robot butler

Room 237 What does The Shining mean?

The Sessions Iron lung hires sex surrogate

Seven Psychopaths In Bruges in Los Angeles

Sightseers Perfect holiday: caravanning and murder

West of Memphis Documentary about teens killing kids