Sunday 26 February 2012

Trailer Park: Brave

Film trailers are released online all of the time, with each week giving us a dozen new trailers to ogle over for upcoming releases. As I don't have enough time to post every new trailer on here I have created a dedicated weekly feature called Trailer Park in which I shall select and post the best new trailer release of the week for you to discover for yourself. The first trailer in the spotlight here in the Trailer Park is for Pixar Animation Studios' upcoming release Brave. Here's the synopsis from the official website:
 "Since ancient times, stories of epic battles and mystical legends have been passed through the generations across the rugged and mysterious Highlands of Scotland. From Disney and Pixar, a new tale joins the lore when the courageous Merida (voice of Kelly Macdonald) confronts tradition and challenges destiny to change her fate. Brave follows the heroic journey of Merida, a skilled archer and headstrong daughter of King Fergus (voice of Billy Connolly) and Queen Elinor (voice of Emma Thompson). Determined to carve her own path in life, Merida defies an age-old custom sacred to the unruly and uproarious lords of the land: surly Lord Macintosh (voice of Craig Ferguson), massive Lord MacGuffin (voice of Kevin McKidd) and cantankerous Lord Dingwall (voice of Robbie Coltrane). Merida's actions inadvertently unleash chaos and fury in the kingdom, and when she turns to an eccentric Witch (voice of Julie Walters) for help, she is granted an ill-fated wish. The ensuing peril forces Merida to harness all of her skills and resources - including her clever and mischievous triplet brothers - to undo a beastly curse before it's too late, discovering the meaning of true bravery."
The new trailer for Brave is essentially a short clip from the film itself (full trailers for Brave are available online), but gives a good idea of what to expect. To say that the animation and cinematography in this trailer look nothing short of breathtaking would be an understatement, and whilst many were left feeling disappointed last summer by Pixar's latest release Cars 2 (whilst I actually quite enjoyed it, I do understand I'm in a slight minority here and will admit that it is their weakest film), this film looks like it could see Pixar back on top form once again as the crown jewel of the animated film industry. Don't believe me? Then check it out for yourself...


Did that trailer get you excited for Pixar's next film? Do you think it will be a blockbuster or lacklustre? Leave your comments below!

Thursday 16 February 2012

Beyond Infinity Film is now on Twitter!


I am very excited to announce that Beyond Infinity Film is now officially on Twitter! If you are on Twitter then please follow me @beyondinfinityf to get links to all of the articles posted on the blog, and maybe some few extra surprises too!

Review: Shame


Michael Fassbender proves he has the balls - literally!

Shame follows the life of Brandon Sullivan (Michael Fassbender), a man living in New York and suffering from the problems of sex addiction. When his sister Sissy (Carey Mulligan) comes for an unexpected stay at his apartment, Brandon begins to realise all of the problems that he has and attempts to pull himself together to live a normal life.

Depicting the world through the eyes of a man suffering from the sex addiction, director Steve McQueen (no, not that one...) beautifully shoots a disturbing film that will make you think about the film way after the end credits have rolled. Though the film feels at times long due to it's difficult subject area that is shot to feel awkward through long takes in certain scenes that hide none of the actions or emotions portrayed, and the opposite with fast cuts for some of the more graphic scenes, this is the point of the film: that it does give off this impression and make you feel this way, which is what makes it work so well.

The performances throughout the film are second to none, with Carey Mulligan giving an impressive performance amongst others. However it is Michael Fassbender who truly steals the show through such a powerful performance with great emotional depth as the film follows his story entirely; Fassbender's performance allows us to believe the world we see through Brandon's eyes and sympathise with him in many ways, yet feel just as repulsed as we are charmed by this seemingly normal man in others.

Brandon Sullivan (Michael Fassbender) in Shame

The film deals with a lot of difficult subject issues and does little to hide them in anyway, shape or form. It certainly isn't for the faint of hear - yet at the same time I would recommend that a lot of people do watch this, as it is an incredibly powerful piece of film that skilfully portrays a number of important messages, no matter how hard they may be to watch at times. No matter how bad it may seem, these sort of things do happen in real life, and seeing this is an important part of realising the world we live in. That's why I think that Shame is such a thought provoking and powerful piece of work that will linger with you for a long time.

Every now and then a film is released that really makes you think about what you should think and how you should feel, sticking with you long after you've left the cinema: Shame is one of those films. Despite being at times a very difficult and uncomfortable film to watch, the fact that me and my friends were still talking about it and trying to figure out what we thought for the entire walk home and beyond (I saw it two days ago and I'm still thinking about it!) does go to show just how powerful the film is - thanks to its beautiful cinematography and direction, and its exceptional cast lead spectacularly by an incredible performance by Michael Fassbender. The last film that I reviewed and saw at the cinema was The Muppets - it's fair to say that Shame is the complete opposite (in fact it took a listen of the entire Muppets soundtrack just to cheer me up afterwards!), yet I wouldn't recommend this fantastic film any less because of it (except maybe not for the kids...)

Verdict: 5/5

Shame is showing in cinemas across the UK now.

Agree or Disagree? Leave your comments below!

Monday 13 February 2012

2012 BAFTA Results!

 The winners of the 2012 BAFTA Awards

So the BAFTAs were last night, and if you remember back to one of my first blogs back in January, I made a prediction for each category as to who would win. The idea was to then look back on my predictions and see how close I was! So let's have a look at how well I did...


  • Prediction: THE ARTIST Thomas Langmann
  • Winner: THE ARTIST Thomas Langmann

  • Prediction: TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY Tomas Alfredson, Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Robyn Slovo, Bridget O’Connor, Peter Straughan
  • Winner: TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY Tomas Alfredson, Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Robyn Slovo, Bridget O’Connor, Peter Straughan

  • Prediction: TYRANNOSAUR Paddy Considine (Director), Diarmid Scrimshaw (Producer)
  • Winner: TYRANNOSAUR Paddy Considine (Director), Diarmid Scrimshaw (Producer)

  • Prediction: THE SKIN I LIVE IN Pedro Almodóvar, Agustin Almodóvar
  • Winner: THE SKIN I LIVE IN Pedro Almodóvar, Agustin Almodóvar

  • Prediction: SENNA Asif Kapadia
  • Winner: SENNA Asif Kapadia

  • Winner: RANGO Gore Verbinski 

  • Prediction: THE ARTIST Michel Hazanavicius
  • Winner: THE ARTIST Michel Hazanavicius 

  • Prediction: THE ARTIST Michel Hazanavicius
  • Winner: THE ARTIST Michel Hazanavicius 

  • Prediction: TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY Bridget O’Connor, Peter Straughan
  • Winner: TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY Bridget O’Connor, Peter Straughan

  • Prediction: JEAN DUJARDIN The Artist
  • Winner: JEAN DUJARDIN The Artist 
  • Prediction: MERYL STREEP The Iron Lady
  • Winner: MERYL STREEP The Iron Lady
  • Prediction: JIM BROADBENT The Iron Lady
  • Winner: CHRISTOPHER PLUMMER Beginners

  • Prediction: CAREY MULLIGAN Drive
  • Winner: OCTAVIA SPENCER The Help

  • Prediction: THE ARTIST Ludovic Bource
  • Winner: THE ARTIST Ludovic Bource

  • Prediction: TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY Hoyte van Hoytema
  • Winner: THE ARTIST Guillaume Schiffman

  • Prediction: TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY Dino Jonsater
  • Winner: SENNA Gregers Sall, Chris King

  • Prediction: HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS – PART 2 Stuart Craig, Stephenie McMillan
  • Winner: HUGO Dante Ferretti, Francesca Lo Schiavo

  • Prediction: JANE EYRE Michael O’Connor
  • Winner: THE ARTIST Mark Bridges

  • Prediction: HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS – PART 2 Amanda Knight, Lisa Tomblin
  • Winner: THE IRON LADY Marese Langan

  • Prediction: THE ARTIST Nadine Muse, Gérard Lamps, Michael Krikorian
  • Winner: HUGO Philip Stockton, Eugene Gearty, Tom Fleischman, John Midgley

  • Prediction: HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS – PART 2 Tim Burke, John Richardson, Greg Butler, David Vickery
  • Winner: HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS – PART 2 Tim Burke, John Richardson, Greg Butler, David Vickery 

  • Prediction: A MORNING STROLL Grant Orchard, Sue Goffe
  • Winner: A MORNING STROLL Grant Orchard, Sue Goffe

  • Prediction: ONLY SOUND REMAINS Arash Ashtiani, Anshu Poddar
  • Winner: PITCH BLACK HEIST John Maclean, Gerardine O’Flynn 

  • Prediction: CHRIS O’DOWD
  • Winner: ADAM DEACON

So there you go, in total I got 13 correct guesses and 11 wrong; not too bad I guess!? Overall I am happy with these results and winners of the night, and glad to see The Artist (Click here for my review) clean up as the big winner of the night - just as it deserved to.

Let's end off with some footage from the night itself, hosted from the Red Carpet by the glamorous Miss Piggy, the star of the fantastic new film The Muppets (Click here for my review) as she flirts and mingles with some of the stars.


How well did you do? Did you beat me? Leave your comments below!

Sunday 12 February 2012

Review: The Muppets

And the Oscar for the most sensational, inspirational, celebrational, Muppetational film goes to...

Yes it's true; it's time to play the music, it's time to light the lights, because the Muppets are back! The Muppets, titled so as to clearly reboot the brand, starts off in a modern world in which the Muppets have faded out of popularity and gone their separate ways. In a world without the Muppets, it is up to their biggest fan Walter, his big brother Gary (Jason Segal) and Gary's girlfriend Mary (Amy Adams) to reunite the gang to put on another show in order to save the Muppet Studios from oil baron Tex Richman (Chris Cooper), who wants to demolish the old studio to drill for oil.

Unlike some of the more modern Muppet films (including the fantastic The Muppet Christmas Carol, and Muppet Treasure Island) this film sees the Muppets return back to their roots from The Muppet Show and the first three Muppet films (The Muppet Movie, The Great Muppet Caper and The Muppets Take Manhattan) in order to show them playing themselves in their own unique story; and boy is it good to see them back doing what they do best! The Muppets features all of the old Muppet gang, alongside a number of celebrity cameos reminiscent of the old days of the Muppets when big household names would kill to appear on the show or in one of the films.

Despite the great human characters and cameos, it really is the Muppets who steal the show and we emotionally connect with the most; there were times where I wanted to clap along with the audience in the film as the Muppets made their triumphant return, and even a few moments where I found myself with a small lump at the back of my throat too. When the Muppets finally put on their telethon spectacular in the style of the old Muppet Show, I felt a warm beat of nostalgia as I'm sure too did many of the older viewers in the audience who grew up with the show themselves.

Kermit the Frog, Mary (Amy Adams), Walter, Gary (Jason Segal) and Rowlf in The Muppets 

Alongside all of the many great gags throughout the film, another huge element of the film (as with all Muppet films) is the songs - which here keep up the tradition of a great Muppet soundtrack. I defy anyone to not leave the cinema humming 'Life's a Happy Song', or for anyone not to re-fall in love with Kermit and the gang during 'Pictures in my Head', and if you don't end up singing along to 'Mahna Mahna' then there really is something wrong with you! 'Man or Muppet' of course has received the most attention after its recent Oscar nomination for Best Original Song (which it is bound to win, not only because it is brilliant but because it is only actually up against one other song!), but quite frankly all of the new songs in this film could have been nominated and would have well and truly deserved to have done so too!

Accompanying the film before it starts is also the added treat of a brand new Toy Story Toon: 'Small Fry', created by the geniuses at Pixar Animation Studios. The short opens in a fast food restaurant where Buzz Lightyear is replace by a miniature happy meal toy version of himself and taken home by mistake. Whilst the toys back home are shocked to see the miniature Buzz return in his place, the normal Buzz must find a way to escape the restaurant and the happy meal toy help group for discarded toys. Make sure not to turn up late to the cinemas so you don't miss this hilarious short film.

Like the lyrics from 'Life's a Happy Song' say; "I can't seem to wipe this smile off my face" - and through the entire film (and beyond) I simply couldn't! The Muppets is an absolute pleasure to watch, and enjoyable for everyone; from those who grew up watching the Muppet Show, the big fans who have been crying out for a new film like this (like myself!), right down to those who have never even heard of the Muppets before - the film is a rare family event that everyone of all ages will love and enjoy together. It's not made with expensive cgi effects, it's not in 3D - with lots of laughs and a great songs, The Muppets is a good old fashioned cinematic treat that is not to be missed.

Verdict: 5/5

The Muppets is showing in cinemas across the UK now.

Agree or Disagree? Leave your comments below!

Saturday 4 February 2012

Review: The Iron Lady

Not a budget British sequel to Iron Man (although I kinda wish it were!)...

The Iron Lady is a biopic about the former and first female Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Lady Margaret Thatcher (Meryl Streep), tracking her rise through the political ranks to Prime Minister, through to her fall at the end of her time in power. Alongside this narrative storyline we are also presented with a second parallel narrative of Thatcher today, as she reminisces images of her past and hallucinates conversations with her deceased husband (Jim Broadbent).

Meryl Streep provides the audience with a truly captivating portrayal of Lady Thatcher as to be expected, with her role far and away stealing the show. Supporting roles from the likes of Jim Broadbent, Alexandra Roach and Harry Lloyd are also wonderfully acted out yet unfortunately forgotten in the shadow of Streep's lead role. However these performances are not enough to fully salvage what is certainly a flawed film.

Whilst the interlinking narrative storyline attempts to cleverly freshen up the film by contrasting scenes of Thatcher in and out of power against each other, the constantly changing narratives did little more than to disrupt the flow of the film and take you out of the interesting story of the younger Thatcher in order to show her in her mundane and psychologically challenged life today. Whilst in certain films the use of a similar jumping narrative structure (including the phenomenal films 'We Need to Talk About Kevin' and 'The Prestige') works very well and to the advantage of the film; by raising questions and curiosities within the viewer as they try determine how the story will get from point A to B, and how it will all be resolved and pan out in the end (through the restriction of knowledge and information, etc). However in The Iron Lady we are not made to ask questions, firstly as this is based on a recent and well-known historical figure that so many people already know about, but mainly because when we leap to the present narrative we only see the elderly Thatcher (who strangely resembles the Gran from Catherine Tate a lot!) reminiscing and hallucinating, which in no way raises any questions about the other narrative and what will occur in it - merely slowing down the film and making it longer than it needed to be.

Lady Margaret Thatcher (Meryl Streep) in The Iron Lady

This poor choice of narrative structure is what ultimately lets the film down. A film based on a topic that has so many possibilities as Thatcher's does certainly has the potential of being far better than this turned out to be. Had the film focused on a simpler single linear narrative rather than messing around with the concept that it chose to use then they could have produced a far better piece of filmmaking that could have easily ridden on the back of the triumphant success of last year's 'The King's Speech' (one particular montage sequence during the film when Thatcher decides to run for Conservative leader and takes vocal lessons could have easily been lifted straight from or into 'The King's Speech'). This would have allowed for the film to show Thatcher's story in a far more fluid, engaging and powerful way by focusing more on the far more interesting narrative rather than wasting time by jumping to a second narrative that serves no purpose other than to slow down the film and try to make people who aren't already fans sympathise with Thatcher today (they could have even left some of these scenes in at the end - admittedly one moment during this narrative was actually very effective and emotional, but not enough to justify this poor narrative as a whole). When the film got going in the scenes from the past (the scenes in the Falklands were particularly effective), it proved to be a very engaging film; which is why this structure ultimately lets it down, and I left the theater feeling rather disappointed with how it failed to fulfil its full potential.

Alongside all of this, the theme of Thatcher's dementia in the present narrative comes across as quite controversial and close to the line, especially considering that she is still alive today! Whilst it is clear what the film is trying to achieve and say with the visual metaphors of Thatcher talking to her deceased husband (with certain shots featuring him and others not), it is a large claim to make that Thatcher herself does experience hallucinations and still talks to her departed other half alone in her home. This is incorporated into the film with no apparent evidence or proof that she does actually do this (as far as I'm aware), which could raise moral questions about this as well as questions on how accurate the depictions in this film actually are.

Margaret Thatcher was well known for causing some controversy in her time, so it's only fitting that a film in her name should do the same too really! Whilst the film is by no means bad, and Streep's performance is fantastic, the weak narrative leaps between the interlinking narrative storylines prevented the film from reaching the heights of cinematic greatness that it could have and should have reached; The Iron Lady failed to become half the film that it needed to be.

Verdict: 3/5

The Iron Lady is showing in cinemas across the UK now.

Agree or Disagree? Leave your comments below!