Catch Life of Pi while you can
My movie week with Mike Shaw
» Despite all the money and groupies, there are
downsides to writing newspaper columns. Among them are the strict
deadlines enforced over Christmas and other holidays by terrifying
Take, for example, my Top 10 films of 2012 list, published at
the end of the year. Due to the print schedules, the piece had to
be in quite a while before the end of the year, which meant I
hadn’t yet seen the gorgeous, gorgeous Life of Pi.
Let me set the record straight now – if you still have the last
What’s On of 2012 kicking around your living room, open it up to
the cinema page, find my column, scribble out where I listed The
Dark Knight Rises and replace it with Ang Lee’s glorious adaptation
of Yann Martel’s book. The acting from first-timer Suraj Sharma is
remarkable, while the direction and cinematography are simply
With some of the best 3D I’ve ever seen, this film begs to be
seen on the big screen, so if you haven’t caught it yet do so while
it’s still in cinemas.
» Quentin Tarantino’s latest film, Django
Unchained, hits cinemas on January 18, but you can warm up by
watching his first feature on the big screen again.
On Tuesday, January 15, Ashford Cineworld has a special
screening of the bloody, controversial heist film Reservoir Dogs.
Watching 20 years later (20 years!), it’s hard to understand why
such a huge fuss was made when this film was released back in 1992
but, for a long time, Reservoir Dogs was the tabloid “video nasty”
bogeyman of choice. It’s certainly no longer shocking, but it’s
Click through to Cineworld’s website for more details.
» Last week a trailer for the Evil Dead remake
landed and shocked even hardened horror fans with its gore
Since being announced as director, Fede Alvarez has promised to
take the Evil Dead series back to its filthy, lo-fi roots, and from
the short clip released, he seems to have been able to do that –
and he’s done it by completely avoiding CGI.
Alvarez said: “We didn’t do any CGI in the movie. Everything you
will see is real, which was really demanding. This was a very long
shoot, 70 days of shooting at night.”
“There’s a reason people use CGI,” he continues. “It’s cheaper
and faster. I hate that. We researched a lot of magic tricks and
illusion tricks. We really pushed the boundaries, trying to create
The trailer is surprisingly brutal, and Alvarez promises that
the teaser represents the finished product: “It has a particularly
bloody ending,” said the director. “The last scene… I want it to be
the bloodiest scene ever. And I think it is.”
Most filmmakers today take the easy route and go for CGI when
they need something out-of-the-ordinary. Hell, most dramas and
comedies have digital elements added in, when the sky doesn’t look
right or the leading man is too drunk to stand up straight.
These days, the only times we really encounter films without any
computer trickery is when they are very, very low budget. So it’s
refreshing that we have a movie with a proper budget, and big
things expected of it, where the director has chosen to make things
look as real as possible. While this looks a little too close to
the silly torture porn that I thought had died out a few years ago,
I respect what Alvarez is trying to do. The film’s out in April… if
it’s your kind of thing.
» They say things come in threes, and that
certainly seems to be the case with movie adaptations of hugely
popular mega-selling video games. Assassin’s Creed is being made
into a film, starring Michael Fassbender; Splinter Cell is coming
soon, with Tom Hardy in the lead; and now, Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon
is being prepped for multiplexes.
Studios have a lot of faith in these releases. Assassin’s Creed
and Splinter Cell both have budgets in excess of $100 million, and
will be released no earlier than 2014.
So far there have been 12 Ghost Recon games, so there’s a lot of
material to choose from, although the franchise is less story-based
than Assassin’s Creed and Splinter Cell – preferring to focus on
combat and hi-tech weapons.
There has actually been an attempt to dramatise Ghost Recon
previously, with a 25-minute short film called Tom Clancy’s Ghost
Recon: Alpha. Catchy title, right? No dates have been set for any
of these films, but the Ghost Recon short film is on YouTube if
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