Author: RachForbes1

Shaun of the Dead

It’s time for me to admit that I’m one of those people who like to maintain some order within theirDVD collection. I’m not so far gone as to alphabetise them, but I do line my shelves in a specific genre order – horror leads into sci-fi, which leads into thriller and drama, then comedies, chick flicks, musicals, and finally, classics. Within each genre you can find certain subgenres; horror is the best, with slasher, torture porn, creature flicks, and Stephen King movies all having a singular section. Zombie movies also hold a place. Which brings me to Shaun of the Dead. Movies like these are hard for me to categorise; is it a zombie flick, belonging to the horror section, or is it simply another comedy, belonging in the Simon Pegg/Nick Frost sub-section of bad bro-comedies. Shaun (Simon Pegg) is an aging salesman, sharing a flat with an old mate Ed (Nick Frost), dating a woman called Liz (Kate Ashfield). Shaun starts noticing odd signs, newspaper stories, news breaks, street scenes, they all add up to a strange sickness plaguing the streets. After getting dumped by Liz, Shaun decides to straighten out his life, reuniting with his mum, winning Liz back, and all round “succeeding”. Unfortunately, a slight problem comes about when the dead start rising. Obviously, if it’s a Pegg/Frost due there’s going to be comedy, but the...

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The Illusionist

The Illusionist tells the story of a man, Edward (Edward Norton), who, at a young age, becomes interested in magic, and starts developing tricks and illusions. He meets a young woman, and kindles a relationship of sorts, meeting over the years to share magic secrets, planning an escape together. The young woman is a Duchess, Sophie (Jessica Biel), and is of course banned from spending time with the peasant boy. When their secret is uncovered, they are forced apart. He leaves, travelling the world with his magics under the name Eisenheim. When he returns to the city, his ventures draw the attention of the authorities, and a chance encounter with Sophie, now much older, earns him even more troubles. Clearly the film is highly researched – based on a book that held many of the illusionists tricks, there still must have been months of preparation into the performance. And it pays off. You never once question the authenticity of the tricks, even though, in this modern day, they’re probably more CGI then anything. You’re compelled to find out more; much like Inspector Uhl (Paul Giamatti), the policeman charged with uncovering Eisenheim’s secrets. Edward Norton’s performance is once again underrated. He has appeared in so many great films, played so many intriguing characters – Fight Club, American History X, The Score. Norton’s continual dedication to his role is apparent across...

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Running on Empty

In honour of Sidney Lumet I decided to review a really fabulous piece of cinema – Running on Empty (1988). The film won a Golden Globe for Best Screenplay, and is my personal Lumet favourite. River Phoenix gained an Academy Award nomination for his part in the film. He unfortunately did five years later outside the Viper Room in Los Angeles. A teenage boy, Danny Pope (River Phoenix), has been forced to live on the run since his parents, Annie (Christine Lahti) and Arthur (Judd Hirsch), blew up a napalm lab during a Vietnam War protest, blinding and mutilating a bystander. The family are fugitives; hunted by the FBI, and forced to change their names and appearance every six months. Danny, 17, tires of the life, and escapes into music, finding release through the piano. The family are faced with a dilemma when Danny falls for his music teachers daughter, Lorna (Martha Plimpton – who you may know from eighties classic, The Goonies). Another problem arises when Danny’s skill finds him auditioning to attend the prestigious Juilliard School, a famous American school for music. Classic music aficionados will appreciate the reference to several influential composers, but it’s not the music that gets you hooked – it’s the way the music tells Danny’s story. His passion for music at once compels him forward, but also pulls him away from him...

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A Guide to Cinema Etiquette

I try to go the cinema at least once a week. I love the excitement before the movie, I love the candy shop, I even love waiting in line for the tickets. But what I love most of all (outside of the movie of course) is the trailers, the previews before the movie. Essentially, these trailers are laying out my future enjoyment, so I want to see them. I’m disappointed to say that at last night’s viewing of Sucker Punch (check out J.C. Simpsons review, hit the nail on the head there), to my despair, other cinema go-ers broke the first rule of cinema etiquette – the dreaded ring tone alert. For all of those who love the cinema experience as much as me, I’ve compiled a simple list of cinema etiquette that even the dullest minded could follow. 1) Seriously guys, turn off the mobile phone! Personalised ringtones might be cool at work, or school, but I don’t want to hear Katie Perry blasting from your pocket once the lights go down. Switch it off guys, or if you’re that desperate to stay updated, put it on vibrate. 2) Cut your chatter as soon as the trailers begin.  Ok, I get it, you don’t care about the trailer for the upcoming Fast and the Furious 5, and guess what, neither do I. But I care less about what...

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Sometimes you just don’t like a movie. You can’t exactly put your finger on the reason, nothing stands out dramatically. Perhaps it’s just the combination of several small details. That’s most likely the case with me and Red (2010). There isn’t any one major factor that I didn’t like; just a few small details. This is less a review, and more an account of how a few details can ruin an entire movie. Red stands for Retired – Extremely Dangerous, which is the case of the lead character Frank Moses, an ex-black ops agent. After living the quiet life, he is forced back into work when a wet team attempts an assault on his house. But remember, he’s ex-black ops, and of course, he fights back, and then runs. On the way he reconnects with old colleague Joe (Morgan Freeman) and Victoria (Helen Mirren) to help him figure out who’s after him, and why. He also picks up a new friend, Sarah Ross (Mary-Louise Parker), a civilian who is in danger due to their new found phone relationship. You can almost see what’s coming before it happens. Of course they’ll fall for each other. Of course she’ll get captured; she’s a civilian, not a CIA agent. Of course, Moses is going to find a way, or force a way to get her back, and they’ll all live happily ever...

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