Though written with ages 9 -12 in mind, UK author S.F. Said's new graphic novel Phoenix has been one of my best reading experiences this year. A science fiction story with amazing and real characters, dramatic action, a fascinating mythology and incredible artwork by Dave McKean, I can't recommend this enough to any readers either with children of said age in their life, or for themselves.
Author SF Said talks about writing for young people, the wonders of stars, Pixar, Rio Bravo and space adventures in his new book Phoenix.
Now in its second year, Kapow! Comic Convention converged on London UK this past weekend. While a bit of a comic novice, I've been seeing more films of late either based on comic books, or inspired by the format. So I spent an afternoon at the convention, wandering the aisles, attending panels, and getting a sneak preview of an upcoming film.
It is rare that a film is released in Europe before North America, unless it is a European production. And while The Adventures of Tintin is technically not European, its roots are, and so its release here in the United Kingdom last week was appropriate.
Juan Carlos Fresnadillo’s new horror film Intruders seems to be an attempt to bridge British and Spanish horror motifs: the haunted house of the former, and the significance of children of the latter. Unfortunately, it doesn’t quite succeed. The premise is fairly strong: parallel stories are told, one of young Juan in Spain, who invents […]
Yorgos Lanthimos’s film Dogtooth disturbed and impressed a lot of people, and I doubt his new film ALPS will receive a different reaction. Following a similar narrative line, about a strange situation between a group of people that is revealed and observed during the film, it stands as farcical comedy where the previous film was […]
Andrea Arnold’s Wuthering Heights is going to anger a lot of people. Which is a shame, because it is brilliant. As an interpretation, not an adaptation, Arnold take a different route, exploring certain themes and characters within the text from a different perspective. And what a perspective – this is raw, gritty, melancholy and visceral in […]
We Canadians are often stereotyped as nice and polite, and even our bank robbers follow this pattern. Edwin Boyd is a biopic of Canada’s most famous thief, and it is a solid first feature, written and directed by Nathan Morlando.
Everyone, from the most devout Catholic to effusive evangelist, has a concept of Jesus and Satan, and what he or she would look like if they ever manifested in human form. But there is no concept, and the devil, or Jesus, could be a rich man or a strange drifter. Award-winning French director Bruno Dumont ‘s new film Outside Satan is a strange, disquieting and disturbing film about a drifter who could be Jesus or Satan, or perhaps both.
The Torchwood team returns and heads stateside in the fourth series of the BBC sci-fi show. A mix of British sci-fi geekiness with US action, it's a solid follow-up to the brilliant 'Children of the Earth'.
Although Disney seems to have a financial lock on the characters and their escapades, the fact that original muppeteers such as Frank Oz, and Jim Henson's son Brian, are still at the helm means that the new film should be keeping in the original spirit of the brilliant series and early films. The script is written by Jason Segel, a solid actor and singer despite some questionable film choices, and also stars Amy Adams, who I maintain is an amazing talent.
Tintin is not just a comic series; for many, it's a religion. The Adventures of Tintin has been in works for a while, and finally we have a trailer. With Steven Spielberg directing, Peter Jackson producing, Edgar Wright, Steven Moffat & Joe Cornish writing, and Jamie Bell, Nick Frost and Simon Pegg (among others) acting, I have high hopes for this film.
I didn’t know it until I saw it, but I have been waiting for a summer movie like Thor for a long time. It is fun, far more fun than any comic adaptation I have seen in years. Its director brings to it a distantiation that allows for investment in the fun of it all: the outrageous narration, exaggerated and impossible action sequences, and actors who can just let go and enjoy the ride without any pressure while still maintaining their integrity and talent. This, my friends, is what a summer movie should be: exciting, clever, comedic, and a joyride.
I'll admit, I've never been a great fan of the Planet of the Apes series, beyond the original film. And certainly it's getting quite tiresome to see remakes, reboots and the like coming out of Hollywood rather than more original material. But the first trailer for Rise of the Planet of the Apes looks rather promising.
The new season of Doctor Who begins in a little over two weeks on April 23. I don't think I've quivered with this much anticipation since the new series began five or so years ago. I went into the last season with mixed feelings. I had full confidence in new head writer Stephen Moffat, but was worried about the loss of David Tennant. All I can say now is, David who (yes, pun intended)?
The masterful cinematic combination of Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg, and Nick Frost have oodles of talent on their own; but bring the three of them together, and they hit a whole new level of brilliance. Separate the trio, and while the work is still very good, it doesn’t quite reach the same peak. Scott Pilgrim is one example of this; and now Paul is another. Not a great film, but a very good one.
Simon is not an ordinary young man. His seemingly innocuous job, as a high-school biology teacher, is an odd a cover for his strange existence as a serial killer. The women he murders are intent on suicide; he just gives them the option of dying quickly and painlessly - by exsanguinating them, and then drinking their blood. While this might sound like the outline of a horror film, director Iwai Shunji’s remarkable film Vampire is in truth a quiet, dark, and intense drama, a strange take on the vampire myth, and an oddly compelling love story.
I'll admit I have never been a fan of Kevin Smith. I wouldn't necessarily call him a bad filmmaker; more that the worlds he creates and the characters that inhabit them have never held any interest for me. So when the teaser trailers appeared for Red State, I was intrigued. It neither looked nor sounded like a typical Smith film. And it isn't, and that is entirely in its favour. Smith has proven he can create a dark, intense film that is riveting and raw, and unabashed in its examination of the serious threat of the religious right in America.