Interview: I’m Having an Affair With My Wife

Recently, I got a chance to pose some questions to screenwriter Jen Finelli about her and Samantha Aiken‘s upcoming film I’m Having an Affair With My Wife, a romantic comedy about a Black and Asian (#blasian) married couple who become fed up with their marriage and seek out an affair, only to accidentally start an internet affair with each other. There certainly aren’t enough female driven projects out there and I’m happy to help introduce you to one of them, so check out what Jen had to say: Continue reading “Interview: I’m Having an Affair With My Wife”

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World War Z 2

News has emerged that Brad Pitt is currently in talks to persuade David Fincher over to his World War Z sequel. The first film which was released in 2013 may not have worked for everyone but it still stands with solid scores of 7/10 and 67% on IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes respectively, which are more respectable when you again consider we are talking about a zombie film. Though the sequel was quickly announced after the original brought in 540 million dollars at the box office, it has not quite found its feet, most notably losing director J.A. Bayona to the Jurassic World sequel, but if Pitt could convince someone with the weight that goes behind a director like Fincher, the ball could really get rolling. Although when it does it will be probably a year behind the original plan of a June 2017 release, but better late than never. For those of you that never saw the original or need a quick reminder:

The Flash 2018

With the recent news that the team in control of DC’s current projects is receiving a shake up, following the very mixed reception of Batman v Superman (BvS) this feels like a good time to take a look at one of the projects that’s in limbo, The Flash. The film currently has no director attached after Seth Graham-Smith’s departure, which was probably for the best, so here’s a run down of my top 10 potential (and some just wishful) directors that could take the helm. Continue reading “The Flash 2018”

The Oscars 2016

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In a year of a fair amount of controversy surrounding the ceremony, it didn’t really seem to have much of an affect on the atmosphere though it certainly became the majority of material for Chris Rock throughout the night, regardless of that it was one of the best ceremonies of recent years and a huge step up from last year’s disappointment. Mad Max: Fury road came out on top of course, with 6 overall wins, which was interesting with it not exactly being what we’ve known as Oscar bait, but Brooklyn and The Martian sadly missed out on the prizes this year. My personal highlight? Lady Gaga’s performance, it was phenomenal and powerful with half the audience tearing up with 50 survivors of sexual assaults joining her on stage, it was genuinely moving. Although my other highlight has to be Leslie Jones added into The Revenant, and Chris Rock added to The Martian, the whole bit was hilarious but poignant. My low point? Sacha Baron Cohen appearing as Ali G to introduce Room as nominee for Best Picture, whoever allowed him to pull off an idiotic stunt like that should be sacked immediately, it was a deep insult to such an exceptional film. But here’s the complete list of winners and whether it met my predictions, starting with the big prize of the night.

Best Picture:

Winner: Spotlight

Prediction: Spotlight, it wasn’t my favourite of the list and I would have loved to see Room or Brooklyn take it but given it’s traction with the other ceremonies, for me this was more of a logical choice and it’s a great film but it doesn’t top my list.

Best Director:

Winner: Alejandro G. Inarritu, The Revenant

Prediction: Alejandro G. Inarritu, The Revenant, this one was utterly predictable and the film is quite breathtaking but I really would have liked to see Lenny Abrahamson or George Miller take the prize because their films were a much more thrilling experience in cinemas than The Revenant.

Best Actress in a Leading Role:

Winner: Brie Larson, Room

Prediction: Brie Larson, Room, of course she was going to win, she followed Julianne Moore’s lead last year and took every award going this season and for good reason because her performance in Room blew away all the other actresses, although a small part of me would have enjoyed a surprise Saoirse Ronan victory.

Best Actor in a Leading Role:

Winner: Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant

Prediction: Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant, there’s not a single person who didn’t predict this, if asked who else was nominated most people probably couldn’t have even told you. This was Leo’s year and from the sheer hell that The Revenant looked like it was to film, it was well deserved.

Best Actress in a Supporting Role:

Winner: Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl

Prediction: Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs, now Vikander was my personal choice but I honestly didn’t think that the Academy would go for it, it seemed as though Winslet would be the safe and likely choice given she also won some other awards this year but this is one occasion where I’m happy to be wrong. The Danish Girl would be nothing without Vikander’s powerful performance, I still debate she should have been nominated for lead and not support but then she probably would have lost so I suppose it works out.

Best Actor in a Supporting Role:

Winner: Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies

Prediction: Mark Rylance, Bride of Spies, this was more a choice out of hope than of actual belief he could win, up until the Baftas his amazing performance had been completely overlooked and though this was a surprise win for many, I think it was dead on. None of the other choices for supporting actor really were a choice for me, though Ruffalo I would have been content with but Hardy, Stallone and Bale didn’t stand out in my opinion.

Best Animated Feature:

Winner: Inside Out, Pete Docter & Jonas Rivera

Prediction: Inside Out, Pete Docter & Jonas Rivera, when the film came out it blew people away and for good reason, with a fantastic choice of actors to voice the characters and this is a story that even managed to get a nominated for original screenplay which is not something that happens. Anomalisa was almost prepared to edge it out but with a wider reaching appeal Inside Out was always the safe bet and really what would have happened if Shaun the Sheep won?

Best Original Screenplay:

Winner: Spotlight, Josh Singer & Tom McCarthy

Prediction: Spotlight, Josh Singer & Tom McCarthy, again this was more of a strategic choice because I had no faith in the Academy to give Ex Machina its fair due, when it really should have been up there for best picture, but having said that it was written unbelievably well.

Best Adapted Screenplay:

Winner: The Big Short, Charles Randolph & Adam McKay

Prediction: The Big Short, Charles Randolph & Adam McKay, again if I only chose the films I wanted to win, I’d have guessed a lot more incorrectly and I’m genuinely saddened that I was right with this one because for me, of all the nominees this year I was least impressed by this film and think all the other four nominees (Carol, The Martian, Room, Brooklyn) were much more deserving.

Best Cinematography:

Winner: The Revenant, Emmanuel Lubezki

Prediction: The Revenant, Emmanuel Lubezki, this time around I actually think it deserved the win, it was a striking film with such beautiful wide open shots of the landscape and such harsh conditions that came across well on screen.

Best Visual Effects:

Winner: Ex Machina, Andrew Whitehurst, Paul Norris, Mark Ardington & Sara Bennett

Prediction: Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Roger Guyett, Patrick Tubach, Neal Scanlan and Chris Corbould, I truly thought that they would be a shoe-in for this one, with Mad Max: Fury Road being the back up to that, I honestly, as I mentioned already had no faith in the Academy to choose a smaller but brilliant film, and I’m so pleased I was wrong.

Best Film Editing:

Winner: Mad Max: Fury Road, Margaret Sixel

Prediction: Mad Max: Fury Road, Margaret Sixel, how could you possibly not predict this one? The film was put together so well, it’s such a great experience to watch and a terrifically fast paced, adrenaline fuelled film.

Best Costume Design:

Winner: Mad Max: Fury Road, Jenny Beavan

Prediction: Mad Max: Fury Road, Jenny Beavan, this was another easy choice with such intricate designs that help pull the film together so perfectly and though the other nominees, especially Carol had some beautiful pieces, this was a different animal.

Best Production Design:

Winner: Mad Max: Fury Road, Colin Gibson, Lisa Thompson

Prediction: Mad Max: Fury Road, Colin Gibson, Lisa Thompson, the same goes for this award, every element of the film was fantastic but taking a closer look all the different aspects shows you straight away they were the outright winners.

Best Makeup and Hairstyling:

Winner: Mad Max: Fury Road, Lesley Vanderwalt, Elka Wardega and Damian Martin

Prediction: Mad Max: Fury Road, Lesley Vanderwalt, Elka Wardega and Damian Martin, exactly the same again, taking a closer look at everything especially Immortan Joe’s whole style, it’s a clear winner.

Best Sound Editing:

Winner: Mad Max: Fury Road, Mark Mangini, David White

Prediction: Mad Max: Fury Road, Mark Mangini, David White, despite winning this is the point where the film got let down slightly with what was a very much over the top and perhaps drunken speech from two men who are surprisingly loud for people who mostly likely work in close quarters.

Best Sound Mixing:

Winner: Mad Max: Fury Road, Chris Jenkins, Gregg Rudloff and Ben Osmo

Prediction: Mad Max: Fury Road, Chris Jenkins, Gregg Rudloff and Ben Osmo, how could such a wonderfully loud and brash film not win these awards? Any other prediction was highly unlikely.

Best Documentary Feature:

Winner: Amy, Asif Kapadia & James Gay-Rees

Prediction: Amy, Asif Kapadia & James Gay-Rees, this I thought was a risky choice and I was mostly crossing my fingers for the Brits but they pulled off a great film and deserved the win.

Best Documentary Short:

Winner: A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy

Prediction: Body Team 12, David Darg & Bryn Mooser, I confess to not having seen any of these and was going purely by what I’d heard and seen of the nominees but after having heard the wonderful acceptance speech, I will be giving this one a watch. It has to also be said that Louis C.K. presenting this award was another highlight of the show.

Best Live Action Short:

Winner: Stutterer, Benjamin Cleary & Serena Armitage

Prediction: Day One, Henry Hughes, this was a choice based on that I thought the Academy would pick something with a more hard-hitting subject and I’m surprised Stutterer took home the win.

Best Animated Short Film:

Winner: Bear Story, Gabriel Osorio & Pato Escala

Prediction: Bear Story, Gabriel Osorio & Pato Escala, again I have to say this one was more of a lucky guess.

Best Original Score:

Winner: The Hateful Eight, Ennio Morricone

Prediction: Star Wars: The Force Awakens, John Williams, with this beloved franchise having one of the most recognisable scores, it seemed like a dead cert to get the Oscar but pretty much all Tarantino films have great scores so this is not exactly a surprise.

Best Foreign-Language Film:

Winner: Son of Saul, Hungary

Prediction: Son of Saul, Hungary, I slightly hedged my bets on this one and had difficulty picking between this, Mustang and Theeb.

Best Original Song:

Winner: Spectre, “Writing’s on the Wall”, Sam Smith & Jimmy Napes

Prediction: Spectre, “Writing’s on the Wall”, Sam Smith & Jimmy Napes, another example of nominees that had basically done the rounds this awards season and grabbed up everything that was on offer so their win was no surprise but after the Gaga performance it was a shame to see her lose.

Overall the ceremonies were much better than they have been in recent years, with Chris Rock doing a fantastic job hosting and making it tonally on point, not all the jokes landed perfectly but it’s rare for that to happen. For the most part the winners were predictable but some decent wins and a fantastic night for the Mad Max team reminiscent of the Grand Budapest Hotel with last year’s show. Some great appearances from not only Lady Gaga and The Weekend, but the Minions, Buzz & Woody, C-3PO, R2-D2 & BB-8 but also TV favourite Sofia Vergara. In general, a fairly good night for film.

Girl With The Dragon Tattoo Update

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It has been announced that the Girl With The Dragon Tattoo series will not in fact be receiving another instalment of Rooney Mara and Daniel Craig tackling The Girl Who Played With Fire but will in fact be rebooted with none other than current rising star Alicia Vikander (Ex Machina, Man From U.N.C.L.E, Burnt). A change of cast is not highly surprising given that the first film was several years ago and a sequel has taken an unusual amount of time to arise, but Sony deciding to get the franchise back on track is a clear consequence of the success of David Lagercrantz addition to the books with The Girl In The Spiders Web. Vikander is not a choice I would say is from far left field, the tragectory of her career is clearly on its way up and she’s of the right age and also not currently attached to any other franchise. The question is, is she up to the task?

Vikander has proved that she can do cold and calculating with her role in Ex Machina but it’s hard to imagine her with Salander’s signature look. It’s hard to judge until there’s more information and the project actually goes into production but of course she has the potential to take on the role without problem. The one definite positive is it will be good to have another Salander who is in real life Swedish, and possibly take us back to the days of Noomi Rapace as the Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.

There are just so many negatives with this news, the film may not have completely smashed it at the box office but it definitely lived up to the books, which is not an easy thing to achieve. Not only is Mara being replaced, but also Daniel Craig will not be returning as Mikael Blomkvist as well as the fact that David Fincher will not be directing the next film. With the majority of things that made the first film good being removed from the next it’s hard not to have some trepidation of the project. Realistically time will only tell how this will pan out, once it’s announced who will be attached to direct and who will be taking over as Mikael it will be more clear.

I am a big fan of this series, both the English and Swedish adaptations and all of the books, Lagercrantz Girl In The Spiders Web was a decent attempt to live up to Larsson’s original trilogy, though it did not completely follow the original style, not quite reaching the darkness the originals had that made them so compelling.

It seems too often these days the solution of getting a film into production and onto the big screen quicker is to replace everyone and everything and just do it a different way, just to throw out a quick sequel or a too soon reboot, and it definitely doesn’t always work. With this franchise however it’s been a few years, and it is possible if done the right way that this could be a successful change, I am just sincerely hoping that these changes are not being made to change Girl With The Dragon Tattoo into a franchise for the mainstream and take away from the not so much bright and bubbly tone. As I’ve said, only time will tell.