Moonrise Kingdom Review

Words by Oliver Morris

Moonrise Kingdom is the new film by director Wes Anderson, that Premiered this year on limited release in cinemas and, much to my hipster friend’s chargrin, I failed to see it. It sounded cory, I didn’t know who Wes Anderson was and I let it float by.

Then someone told me that Wes Anderson was the same guy who directed ‘Fantastic Mr. Fox’. Now, I loved that film because it felt intensely real and completely surreal at the same time. And George Clooney. Jesus, I love that guy.

So finally I allowed myself to be persuaded to watch ‘Moonrise Kingdom’, popcorn and beer in hand.). The film was a new film experience. Set in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the sixties, ‘Moonrise Kingdom’ charts the epic, Hollywood, Bonny-and-Clyde-esque love affair between two preteens.

However, every other inhabitant of this small island, with everyone from Scout Leaders, parents to the actual police force are determined to keep them apart. What results is a love story of epic proportions.

What I found truly remarkable in ‘Moonrise Kingdom’ was how committed the two main characters were to their narrative. They are kids bought up on Pulp Romance and Action Fiction, and are playing the roles of star-crossed lovers to perfection.

Also, Anderson’s aesthetic forces the view to accept they’re observing a performance. Whether it be the owl eyes of the binoculars, or constant framing, or the frankly bizarre nature of the island.

What will stick with me however, is how the adult characters are sucked into this epic romance. Their issues take a back seat, all their attention channelled into these Star-Crossed lovers. And I was drawn in to. And so will you. Go watch it.

Looper Review

*****

Words by Benjamin Pinsent

Science fiction is an interesting genre, it is based around actual science but it is a science that must be explained in the logic of the diegesis of the film. This enhances the reality of the film, even though things like warp drives, teleporters and time travel don’t exist in our reality, the film makes it appear that these fantastical technologies could be created.

Time travel is a whole different kettle of fish: the actual invention of time travel is one thing but keeping track of the separate timelines and paradoxes is something else. If a film does this poorly it can feel bogged down in what seems to be needless complexity. But if it is done right, the result can be a mind-bending ride through the fabric of causality.

‘Looper’ is set in the not to distant future of 2044; 30 years down the line time travel is invented, immediately outlawed and is only used by high level criminal organisations to dispose of a body. These gangs recruit people from their past to kill their enemies: to truly make them disappear, as we are told that due to tagging in the future evidence always floats to the surface. Joseph Gordon Levitt plays Joe Simmons a Looper, who comes across his future self (Bruce Willis) who won’t lay down and die, because his life has become too comfortable to let go.

The basic premise is just that, basic. High concept things are mentioned and never explained, 10 percent of the population have telekinetic powers that they use to impress the opposite sex. There are drugs that can be used like eye drops. And last of all there is time travel, which the film goes out of its way not to explain. The weird thing is that the film does not suffer for it, the rest of the story is so absorbing that the audience is left not caring about the many paradoxes and temporal anomalies caused by Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon Levitt.

The cast is brilliant; Gordon Levitt himself is perfectly transformed into Bruce Willis, in look and mannerism. Young Simmons is a party boy, only focused on the now like his fellow loopers. Seth (Paul Dano) who is only on screen for the first part of the film leaves a lasting impression as an example of what happens when you let your “loop run”.

Willis gives his all as old Joe, who in his old age has simmered down, showing the lengths a man is capable of going for the one he loves. But the stand out of the piece is Emily Blunt, who after all her years in America finally pulls out a convincing accent.

Jeff Daniels also makes an appearance as the boss of the loopers, mixing that sense of humour with violence and anger that Albert Brooks did for ‘Drive’. All the characters play off each other wonderfully; each interaction deepens the character and advances the plot at the same time.

This film is a gift to watch. Cinematographer Steve Yedlin, places everything in a really tight plane of focus. The contrast between the foreground and background gives the film an extra edge. That, coupled with the use of colour, adds layers of meaning to an already thematically heavy movie.

The film represents an advance in the careers of everyone involved: from Levitt to Johnson, who previously worked together on ‘Brick’, to Blunt and Willis, who try things that they aren’t really used to.

It also shows us that a blockbuster can still have something deeper than just great visuals, it can have something to say with out giant robots and explosions every thirty seconds.

From this review and the others that have been written by the likes of the Guardian, one can assume that this is a film that every one must see this year. Rian Johnson promised us adventure with the trailer and he delivered with brilliant visuals, witty writing and a score that can “wub wub” harder than anything Skrillex will put out.

Summer Releases Part 1

 

The summer time is almost here: it brings with it sun, bbqs, out door fun and well, exams. We can’t have it all can we! But we can have a mass of summer time movies that some of us have been waiting a very long time for. With over 40 films set to illuminate our screens it is important not to waste you well earned money on those titles which can be classified as crimes against humanity. Over the next few weeks I will be presenting all the forth coming titles so you know what to expect, look forward to and to steer clear of. Enjoy film fans.

 

Summer Films 2012 Part 1

Looper

Joseph Gordon-Levitt is the traveling assassin in 2042 working for the mob; killing criminals in the past so they do not become problems in the future.

He has no problem with the job he has until one day the target he is presented he recognises as his future self. This looks like a top notch science fiction thriller with well-choreographed gunfights and hand to hand combat. It has a futuristic yet realistic feel to it.

 

Total Recall

Colin Farrell and Jessica Biel play the protagonists and Kate Beckinsale and Bryan Cranston play the antagonists in another massive sci – fi title to hit the screens this summer. In a dystopian future of 2084 Euroamerica and New Shanghai fight for political power. Farrell’s character soon starts to believe he is a spy but is not sure which side he is on. Looking at the trailer: the cast, set, effects, and action all seem of the highest production value (it should be with a budget of $200 mil), It looks super slick and futuristic.

 

This film is NOT a remake of the 90s Arnie version even though they share the same name but rather based on the same novel that inspired the original film. The 90s version was only loosely based on the novel “We Can Remember it for You Wholesale” and this new version is supposed to be more true to the original story. This means we are in for more action packed, intriguing but a less fantastic picture.

 

Battleship

Peter Berg produces and directs this epic scaled action flick which unfolds across land, air and sea. Inspired by the classic Hasbro game it seems after the success of the Transformers franchise the toy to film concept it was only a matter of time.

 

Taylor Kitsch starts with a well-known cast hope to thrill and deliver an entertaining smash. The effects look top class and you can see the influence from Transformers in the detail and design of the alien technology and weaponry. Let’s hope it doesn’t inherit the horrific plot holes Its Hasbro cousin suffered with.

 

Chernobyl Diaries

A group of explorers encounter some alarming moments while exploring a town close to the nulclear disaster. Oren Pelt with titles such as Paranormal Activity, Saw, Insidious is on board with this film as a writer/producer so it has some pedigree. It is being directed by first timer Brad Parker who seems to have delivered us a bag of familiar elements and camera tricks to make us jump.

 

It’s the old ‘zombie type creatures’ preying on a ‘small group of humans’ routine. Think the Hills Have Eyes but with Eastern European evolved flesh eaters. From the trailer it looks like a typical one by one gotcha film until the two most popular/coolest/nicest humans are left and escape…let’s hope it’s better than that.