And so we come to October, and again my stupidly busy life means that I’m getting to October about two weeks after everyone else. Still, that’s not so much of a problem, mainly thanks to the last two weeks in September, when I inhabited the Cambridge Film Festival, my local annual cultural highlight which this year saw me taking in twenty-seven films. That might sound like a lot, but one gentleman I sat next to during Tyrannosaur advised me that he had, one year, seen forty-four films during the eleven days of the festival, yet it wouldn’t surprise me if there were people out there who could better that figure.
But as Mr 44 (for I never actually asked him his name) told me, what I effectively knew already, by seeing such a wealth of films in such a short space of time you’ve effectively denied yourself anything new and decent at the cinema for weeks afterwards. While I saw the September release Melancholia last weekend, I’ve already ticked off a number of the October releases. Last weekend’s Tyrannosaur, Midnight In Paris and Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark? Seem ’em. Also this weekend’s Sleeping Beauty, and still to come this month, the likes of Contagion, The Yellow Sea and The Silence. If you’ve not seen Tyrannosaur or Midnight in Paris yet, then allow me to attempt to convince you as they’re both excellent, and The Yellow Sea and The Silence are both varied spins on traditional genres that are worth seeking out, and Contagion’s a Jude Law performance and a better ending away from greatness. But more on that another time.
Anyway, by my self-imposed rule, which I’ve already broken at least once since I started, I only include films here that I’ve not yet seen. So here’s this month’s fifteen minutes of potential fame.
Everything Must Go
I defy you not to sit and watch this without expecting Will Ferrell suddenly to leap up and exclaim “Great Odin’s raven!” It’s known as the Robin Williams Effect, which has also blighted much of Jim Carrey’s later work, and caused many people to be unable to take Jack Black seriously in Peter Jackson’s King Kong. Although I’m still not 100% sure even Jack Black took Jack Black seriously then…
POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold
The worst thing about Morgan Spurlock’s Super Size Me is it actually made me want to try eating McDonald’s for thirty days. Not because I’m a fan of McDonalds, far from it, but the idea of any kind of challenge suckers me in like a pigeon to a jet engine. There’s something about food, though, because I’ve already been to their website to check whether you can buy POM Wonderful in this country. You can, apparently, so if like me you’re unbelievably suggestible, then this is where you should be heading. Not McDonald’s. (Disclaimer: other fast food restaurants and pomegranate juices are available.)
Paranormal Activity 3
It’s the latest horror franchise that just won’t die. Mind you, I stopped seeing Saw films after the first two, so I might not make it this far. It would also appear that the concept and the direction is going to be inherently limiting, as this is yet another prequel, so I would expect the next trilogy to be a black and white silent horror, a short film only available to watch on a kinetoscope and a series of cave paintings, all of which will continue to add increasingly smaller layers to the mythology.
We Need To Talk About Kevin
Directors, like most of us, work at different paces. Some, like Spieberg or Soderbergh, think nothing of knocking out two films in a year (and both have a film out this month and another early next year), but others prefer the Terrence Malick approach, where he’s managed to work at the tortoise-like rate of five films in thirty-eight years. Lynne Ramsay appears to be favouring the latter approach, as this is her first since 2002’s Morvern Callar, but if she succeeds in being seen in the same light as any of the above, it’ll have been worth the wait.
The Adventures Of Tintin: The Secret Of The Unicorn
Speaking of Spielberg, this is his October entry, and he’s compiled a list top British writers to bring this, er, Belgian icon to the big screen. Based on the previous work of Messrs. Steven Moffat, Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish, this will undoubtedly be humorous and literate but at the same time well paced and finely crafted. It might also be full of pop culture references, filmed on a council estate with Star Wars toys and be just a bit timey-wimey. Or it might not. Let’s just hope that the unicorn’s secret isn’t hidden in the uncanny valley.
The Ides Of March
Finally, for those of you getting Ryan Gosling withdrawal, here’s his latest, and it’s packed with other acting talent. If you truly want to see how you compare in the gorgeous actor stakes, then signing up for the latest George Clooney film is a good start. Quite what we’re going to do during the wait for the next Gosling epic is anyone’s guess; after four films this year, and three in two months, it’s a whole year before Ruben Fleischer’s Gangster Squad is due to hit our screens. Anyone wishing to buy me Christmas presents could do worse than getting me some Gosling on DVD or Blu-ray – no pressure.