Outside the Frame

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Archive for the ‘Films’ Category

On the eve of Watchmen

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With only one week to go before the release of Watchmen in cinemas across the globe it is definitely time to get excited, very excited. 

By all  accounts from those who have seen the early previews, the film lives up to expectations. With it being possibly being the most anticipated film adaptation of a comic ever, especially amongst hardcore fanboys, the anticipation of whether it will live up to the legendary graphic novel of industry-god Alan Moore has been felt by fans and the film’s creators alike. At this point, things are looking good. Just by reading any interview with Zack Snyder (director of 300 and the 2004 remake of Dawn of the Dead), you certainly get the feeling that he is a true fan of the source material and that this film is a labour of love. 

For more tangible evidence that the film is in good hands, just check out the all promotional stuff that is available online. The official website http://watchmenmovie.warnerbros.com/ is full of posters, videos and other cool shit that makes you wish you were watching the movie right now damn it! Make sure to visit the site of The New Frontiersmen, based on the fictional right-wing newspaper from Moore’s novel, as it is full of really interesting viral-style articles and other media based on the world of Watchmen.

Who will be watching the Watchmen next week? Well I am for sure, and I guess a whole lot of other people will be too. Will you?

Written by Dale Weber

Thursday, 26 February, 2009 at 5:43 pm

Terminator Salvation Trailer

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The next film in The Terminator franchise could either be very good or very bad. Considering what most fourth installments of a film series usually are, history is not with Terminator Salvation. Adding to any fan of the original two Terminator film’s scepticism is that the director, McG’s (yes, apparently that is his credited name), most famous films to date are the two Charlie’s Angels films. Not exactly the director who would first pop into your mind when thinking about the legendary Terminator films. 

However, there are some good things going for Terminator Salvation. The first and by very much foremost is the casting of Christian Bale as John Connor. Bale is with out a doubt one of the best actors working today, and his mere presence gives this film a whole lot of credibility. Add to that the information coming from the production camp. They are looking at this film as a kind of “rebooting” of the series. Now the term “reboot” is thrown around a little too much these days, ever since Christopher Nolan’s “reboot” of the Batman series (also starring Christian Bale), but in this case seems like a valid vision. With the film now focussing on the actual war between mankind and the Skynet robots, there is also an opportunity to take the franchise in a new direction, one that could continue for a few more films. Also, McG, has apparently conferred with Mr. Terminator himself, director James Cameron, as to the direction where the next film should head. 

Anyway, the new trailer for Terminator Salvation is out, and it actually looks pretty damn cool. It certainly looks like a lot of action will be involved and add to that the acting chops present, and this fourth film just might make up for the travesty that was Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines. Sure it doesn’t have Arnie,  but it just might be worth a look.

Check out the trailer here:

http://www.apple.com/trailers/wb/terminatorsalvation/

Written by Dale Weber

Wednesday, 10 December, 2008 at 7:51 pm

THE WORD

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Old School, is a fan-favourite film for a whole generation. Filled with endless comic quotability, anyone who has seen and loved the film will be able to spill forth the favourite line from Frank the Tank and company. Almost every line said in the film makes me laugh in one way or another, but I have to be ruthless and choose one. So for this week’s THE WORD I have chosen something from Frank the Tank, which is in my opinion Will Ferrell’s best role to date. It is said at the first party thrown at Mitch’s new house, The Mitch Martin Freedom Festival. Frank has promised his new wife not to drink and is trying to explain to some college guys why he can not do a beer-bong with them as he has plans with his wife for the next day:

 

Frank: I told my wife I wouldn’t drink tonight. Besides, I got a big day tomorrow. You guys have a great time. 

College Student: A big day? Doing what? 

Frank: Well, um, actually a pretty nice little Saturday, we’re going to go to Home Depot. Yeah, buy some wallpaper, maybe get some flooring, stuff like that. Maybe Bed, Bath, & Beyond, I don’t know, I don’t know if we’ll have enough time.

 

From the film Old School, directed by Todd Phillips.

Written by Dale Weber

Thursday, 20 November, 2008 at 11:01 am

THE WORD

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Corresponding with this weeks The Big Lebowski review, this segment of THE WORD comes from that very film.

As with any film by the Coen Brothers, The Big Lebowski is filled with some of the funniest and witty dialogue in cinema. Basically anything The Dude or Walter says is ripe for endless quoting by fanboys. Anyways, this weeks chosen word is the opening passage of the film narrated by Sam Elliott’s The Stranger. For best effect, one should listen to it spoken with the deep tumbleweed-sounding gravelly tones of Sam Elliott. But seeing it written is pretty darn good too:

 

Way out west there was this fella I wanna tell ya about. Goes by the name of Jeff Lebowski. At least that was the handle his loving parents gave him, but he never had much use for it himself. See, this Lebowski, he called himself “The Dude”. Now, “Dude” – there’s a name no man would self-apply where I come from. But then there was a lot about the Dude that didn’t make a whole lot of sense. And a lot about where he lived, likewise. But then again, maybe that’s why I found the place so darned interestin’. See, they call Los Angeles the “City Of Angels”; but I didn’t find it to be that, exactly. But I’ll allow it as there are some nice folks there. ‘Course I ain’t never been to London, and I ain’t never seen France. And I ain’t never seen no queen in her damned undies, so the feller says. But I’ll tell you what – after seeing Los Angeles, and this here story I’m about to unfold, well, I guess I seen somethin’ every bit as stupefyin’ as you’d seen in any of them other places. And in English, too. So I can die with a smile on my face, without feelin’ like the good Lord gypped me. Now this here story I’m about to unfold took place in the early ’90s – just about the time of our conflict with Sad’m and the I-raqis. I only mention it because sometimes there’s a man… I won’t say a hero, ’cause, what’s a hero? Sometimes, there’s a man. And I’m talkin’ about the Dude here – the Dude from Los Angeles. Sometimes, there’s a man, well, he’s the man for his time and place. He fits right in there. And that’s the Dude. The Dude, from Los Angeles. And even if he’s a lazy man – and the Dude was most certainly that. Quite possibly the laziest in all of Los Angeles County, which would place him high in the runnin’ for laziest worldwide. Sometimes there’s a man, sometimes, there’s a man. Well, I lost my train of thought here. But… aw, hell. I’ve done introduced it enough.

 

From the film The Big Lebowski, by Joel and Ethan Coen

Written by Dale Weber

Friday, 7 November, 2008 at 4:02 pm

Film Review: The Big Lebowski

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The Coen brothers are anything but your standard directors. But of course that is what makes them so good.

And The Big Lebowski is anything but your ordinary film. Nailing down what the film is about is quite a slippery task, but then that really is the point. The film tells the story of Jeffrey “The Dude” Lebowski, an ageing unemployed hippy living in Los Angeles, who through a case of mistaken identity, gets caught up in a confusing ordeal involving kidnapping, extortion, the porn industry, and of course, bowling. Confused for a much richer Jeffrey Lebowski by some dim-witted thugs seeking money owed, who end up soiling his beloved rug, The Dude embarks on a crusade to be compensated for said rug that “really tied the room together”. Along the way The Dude finds himself mixed up with German nihilists, porn stars, a feminist artist, a severed toe, a sexually perverted rival bowler and the Malibu police department.

Within this twisting narrative, it is really the characters that shine through. And that is what they are: “characters”. The whole film is a heightened example of the absurd, and each character is more absurd than the next. From the three German nihilists who are a mix of Nazi’s, sadists and Kraftwerk, to Julianne Moore’s peculiar feminist artist Maude Lebowski, to John Turturro’s briefly seen but delightfully crazy Jesus Quintana, they are like nothing you have ever seen, and utterly Coenesque. Perhaps the most memorable is John Goodman as loose cannon Walter Sobchak, The Dude’s bowling buddy. Here Goodman puts in the best performance of his career, a highly-strung barrel of nerves, rage and delusion that leaves you laughing with glee and shaking your head in shock.

And then there is The Dude. As Sam Elliot’s narrator tells us, The Dude is a man of his time: An ex-radical hippy, who is simply passing the time through Los Angeles in the early 90’s. And Jeff Bridges IS The Dude. His shuffling performance is accomplished with such ease, and executed with great comedic nuance. From his shabby wardrobe and taste for White-Russians to his mumbling speech and exasperated response to the burdens imposed upon him, The Dude is one of the greatest comic film creations in recent history, and one the collaboration of Bridges and the Coens should be proud of.

It is also the filmmaking talent of the Coen brothers that have made The Big Lebowski into a cult-hit phenomenon. The unravelling of this muddled narrative is a joy to follow, and it is the comedy found within this unfolding, that keeps the audience wanting more. The surreal quality of the film is cleverly handled and the two dream sequences of The Dude are an inspired mix of events from the story and drug-addled insanity. The music in the film is much more than just background noise but plays an incorporated part in the telling of The Dude’s story. And the narration by Sam Elliot’s character at the beginning and end of the film is a nice touch.

The Big Lebowski is an absolute must-see for any fan of the Coen brothers, as well as for anyone who is bored by typical modern film fare. It is worth the watch just to see how an intriguing narrative, wonderful characters, fantastic dialogue and brilliant filmmaking are present in a film of utter irreverence and absolute absurdity, but one that works. You just have to remember one thing: The Dude abides.

Written by Dale Weber

Friday, 7 November, 2008 at 11:19 am

New Watchmen Poster

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Here is the latest poster for the film adaptation of graphic novel Watchmen as reported by SuperHeroHype:

http://www.superherohype.com/news/watchmennews.php?id=7756

Written by Dale Weber

Thursday, 6 November, 2008 at 6:57 pm

Who will watch the Watchmen? I know I will!

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For any Watchmen fans out there who might be anxious about Zack Snyder’s films adaptation should check out this SuperHeroHype.com report on the latest footage revealed at a Warner Bros.’s studio. 

From the description, I would say this is definitely a film to look forward to, for fans of Alan Moore’s graphic novel, as well as newbies. There is always going to be trepidation when adapting such a complex, and well-loved source material to the screen. And certainly according to some of the comments being left at SuperHeroHype by fans, there is no way the film-makers can please everyone. A little bit of creative license is always going to happen when fitting a story into a new medium. From the trailer, the posters, the comments from Snyder himself and of course the description of this latest footage, I get the feeling that the film will not only look fantastic but will succeed in capturing intricacies of narrative and the mood of the graphic novel as a whole. At least we can all hope!

And here is the trailer if you have not seen it yet:

http://www.apple.com/trailers/wb/watchmen/

Written by Dale Weber

Tuesday, 14 October, 2008 at 5:56 pm