Harry Potter is back but then, we suspect you already knew that...
by Andy Gibbons
There’s really only one film that will be making headlines this week and that’s Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 1 (4/5). Easily the most measured and ‘grown up’ film of the franchise, this adventure sees Harry, Ron and Hermione on the road, trying to find and destroy the Horcruxes that contain fragments of Voldemort’s soul. And if that last sentence means little to you then let’s face it, you won’t be going to see HPATDHP1 (it’s much easier abbreviate) but if it does, then prepare for a very satisfying ride. With more characterisation than most of the other Potter films put together, its not-so-young-anymore stars take their chance to shine with glee while setting the action away from Hogwarts appropriates a far more grown-up tone than before. I’ve heard a few people criticise the film for ‘not going anywhere’ but it serves as the perfect appetiser for the epic climax that’s coming our way next July.
Film club member and Harry Potter enthusiast Ben Angus (13) - from Boswells School in Chelmsford - gives us his review of Deathly Hallows Part One.
By Ben Angus
As a huge fan of the Harry Potter films, I was very excited to be asked by FILMCLUB to attend the film premiere of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1. I know my friends are really jealous, so I can’t wait to tell them that the film did not disappoint!
The story follows Harry and friends as they go on the run from the evil Voldemort and his followers. Voldemort is slowly but surely gaining power and more people are turning to the dark side, including the ministry of magic.
The only way that Harry can try and defeat Voldemort, is to find Horcruxes as they are the secret to Voldemort’s immortality. However, as Harry is tracking down the Horcruxes, he uncovers the tale of the Deathly Hallows - objects that when put together, make up Death. To the horror of the three friends the Deathly Hallows could possibly give Voldemort the devastating power he seeks – and so the battle to defeat Voldemort REALLY begins…
There's a surprising derth of 'big' movies this week. Still beggars can't be choosers...
Despite its potential as a big Saturday night movie, the folks behind Skyline haven’t given critics an advance view of the alien invasion thriller (mmake your own mind up as to why...) so instead we’re going to start with You Again (3/5), the latest family friendly comedy from Disney. Kristen Bell stars as Marni, a PR hotshot whose high school life was made hell by evil cheerleader JJ (Odette Yustman). So when Marni heads home for the first time in a while for her brother’s wedding, who do you think he’s tying the knot with? I’m not the world’s biggest Kristen Bell fan and I don’t think she’s especially great here but Yustman shines as her teenage nemesis. However it’s the likes of Jamie Lee Curtis and Sigourney Weaver (as another feuding generation) that give You Again something fresh. You’ll also have fun ticking off the long list of star cameos. In short, You Again is entertaining if somewhat forgettable.
This week we’ve got juvenile pranks, a road trip to forget and a remake of a modern Swedish classic.
Johnny Knoxville and his band of reprobates are back and this time they’re going three dimensional (it’s probably the first time many of this lot have been described as that) as Jackass 3D (3/5) hits the screen. Most of the team are back to indulge in their usual brand of gross-out stunts and pranks and many hit the mark – I did laugh very hard at times – but some, as usual, are just plain unpleasant. As for the 3D, it doesn’t really add much but the hyper-slow mo employed for some of the stunts is brilliant. Why it’s so good can’t really be described here but when you see it, you’ll know. The finale gives the impression that Knoxville and co. are bringing down the curtain on their juvenile antics with this outing so enjoy (bits of it) while you can.
Find out what our highlights of this year's festival were
By guest blogger Emma Roberts
It’s official; no one throws a party like the BFI. The Closing Gala after-party of this year’s London Film Festival was an exceptional evening and a terrific climax to hugely successful festival.
The director of the BFI, Amanda Nevill, opened the Closing Gala by commenting on the growing strength of the British film industry and that this year’s festival had seen bigger audiences than ever.
But what were our highlights of this year’s festival?
The Black Swan made a dramatic impact on the audience and for MSN movies editor, Ed Holden, stood out against the other films. He said:
“Black Swan stands out for me. It’s amazing that a movie about ballet could be a “partner movie” to The Wrestler. Darren Aronofsky takes Natalie Portman beyond anything he did with Mickey Rourke though. I still feel slightly shell-shocked just thinking about it. It’s an incredibly powerful, dark piece of cinema and Portman deserves awards.”
Justin Chadwick’s The First Grader also left a lasting impression with audiences. A true-life tale that pierces right down to the core of humanity, Chadwick works with an exceptional cast to bring the tale of 84 year-old Kimani N'gan'ga Maruge to life. It was my personal highlight and I can’t wait for its cinema release.
Another Year also demanded our attention. Contributor to MSN movies, Anna Smith said:
“Mike Leigh's on classic form with this bitterly funny, insightful comedy-drama with an Oscar-worthy performance from Leslie Manville.”
But it wasn’t just Another Year that impressed Anna. She also considers The Arbor to be one of this year’s highlights. She said:
“It was totally weird but utterly involving, this dishes the dirt on the tragic writer of one of my favourite 80s films: Rita, Sue and Bob Too.”
Of course, The London Film Festival involves plenty more than just films – there’s the parties too.
Jon Crocker, who contributes to MSN movies, thoroughly enjoyed The Black Swan after-party (and the Jameson’s cocktails) at The Royal Opera House.
Film wise, Jon enjoyed Catfish. He said:
“The one film no one is allowed to talk about turns out to be one of the best films of the year. Ssh. Don't watch the trailer, don't read about it, just watch it.”
This year’s festival was closed once again by Danny Boyle and his tension packed film, 127 hours. James Franco delivered a fantastic performance in this nail-biting film and Boyle had the entire audience in the cinema in the palm of his hand
In short, next year’s festival has a lot to top if it wants to improve on this year’s. We can’t wait.
It’s nearly Halloween so cinemas are full of murderous ‘businessmen’, 3D gore and lesbian dramadies. So, just like every other week then...
by Andy Gibbons
Firstly, apologies that things are a bit late this week – of the three movies I’m looking at, Burke & Hare wasn’t allowed to be reviewed until today while Saw 3D was only screened for the first time this morning! Welcome to the wonderful world of movie PR politics.
So Burke & Hare (2/5) stars Simon Pegg and Andy Serkis as the 19th century Edinburgh killers who sold their victims bodies to medical science. Directed by John ‘An American Werewolf In London’ Landis, B&H certainly comes with a great pedigree and, as befits it’s cast, is largely played for laughs – it’s just a shame the writers forgot to include many jokes. The movie certainly looks great – much was shot on location in Edinburgh’s old town - and the cast, which includes more celebrity cameos that I could count, do the best they can with what they’ve got. But perhaps if Landis, Pegg and Serkis had been allowed to give the script a bit of a comedy polish, things would have worked out better.
When we say, "it looks really REALLY good" we are not just trying to get ourselves on the poster. Seriously. It REALLY LOOKS GOOD!
By Ed Holden
I'm not a 3D convert. Everyone I speak to really wants me to be though. Why? Because Avatar made more money then anything ever, jacking up its ticket prices with 3D which, thankfully for the studios, is really hard for pirates to get their hands on. It's the new blockbuster template and there's been a lot of weak uses of the technology since, all trying to grasp some of the same dollar.
Tron: Legacy might just be the movie to convert me. I caught 20 minutes of footage last night and it blew me away.
Director Justin Chadwick introduced the winners of the Windows 7 'Seven Second Movie' competition at the London premier of his new film 'The First Grader.'
By guest blogger Emma Roberts
You can’t really do a lot in seven seconds. It’s not enough time to brush your teeth, make a cup of tea or even go to the loo, so imagine taking up the challenge of cramming an original, eye-catching movie into seven lightning-quick seconds.
Well, Windows 7 set this challenge to ambitious film makers across the country in its ‘Seven Second Movie’ competition, seeing if they could produce a jaw-dropping film that was just seven seconds long.
Budding film makers frantically filmed and submitted their efforts, but in the end only two won the prize of being shown to a live audience at the 54th BFI London Film Festival Windows 7 Gala on the 26th of October, before Justin Chadwick’s The First Grader was shown.
And as if directing the inspiring true life tale of The First Grader wasn’t enough, Chadwick, who also directed The Other Boleyn Girl and Bleak House, took the time to judge the entries.
He was joined on the judging panel by actress Michelle Ryan and film critic James King.
As expected, the standard of films was extremely high, Michelle said:
“It was really difficult to pick out two, but the winners managed to capture something that could have been taken from the big screen. They were magical and intriguing and I think that’s what film’s about.”
Michelle made her own seven second film for the competition, which was inspired by The Godfather. So will Michelle be stepping behind the scenes to make films in the future?
“I’ve always been really passionate about movies, I go to screenings all the time especially obscure ones. It was fun making the film but I guess we’ll have to see what happens.”
James King also found it hard to choose the two winners, he said: “Seven seconds is just so quick, we put on the DVD and they were gone in the blink of an eye, so we had to watch each film five or six times.”
James also revealed that there were a complete mix of genres among the entries: “There were some really funny spoofs of existing films that were really good but in the end we chose two originals. One was really beautifully filmed and the other just slapped us around the face and grabbed our attention.”
In the end it was George Kyris and Galina Chakarova that were introduced by Chadwick as the winners and their films flickered proudly across the big screen before The First Grader.
Kyris’ film, called “Numbers, Predictions and Clairvoyants” was described by Chadwick as impressed with the “imaginative portrayal of life” created. Chakarova’s film, “Film Noir, Double Indemnity and Wine” also captivated Chadwick, who claimed it was “intriguing and beautiful, where a total world is created.”
The winning films of the Windows 7 ‘Seven Second Movie’ competition can be seen here.
To celebrate the upcoming release of Iron Man 3 we ask - who's your favourite superhero?
Thanks for being one of the first people to vote. Results will be available soon. Check for results
- Iron Man
- The Hulk
- Wonder Woman
- Captain America
- Black Widow