Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Film Poster of the Week: The Thing With Two Heads

In some rooms men meet together to change in the world. In others, they meet to produce some of the most gloriously awful B-Movies ideas of all time. With a concept to rival that of Surf Nazis Must Die! comes The Thing With Two Heads.

The film is a relatively simple idea that is easily summarised by the tagline:

They transplanted a white bigot’s head onto a soul brother’s body!

It stars Rosey Grier, a former American football star, as a death row inmate who takes up an offer to participate in a secret medical experiment to avoid the electric chair. It has everything that can be expected from a B-Movie horror with a blaxploitation twist. There is no end to the jive, choppers, guns and puns!

“More power to you, brother!” says a black prison guard, as he is about to flick the switch on the electric chair, being one of the finer moments. Though whilst other moments of racial banters may seem ill judged, particularly when the bigoted head cries “What are you gonna have for dessert? Watermelon?!”. It is hard not to say that this film is incredibly entertaining (and disturbingly surreal for a Wednesday morning). It is worth a watch alone for the seamless switches between the prosthetic heads and the actors squeezing alongside each other in their costume.

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Actors Against Gravity: Condition of Sandra Bullock Improves

Sandra Bullock – one of the biggest names to suffer at the hands of Newton’s discovery – has seen a marked improvement in her condition.

Having previously been seen at a near 45 degree angle in the poster for Forces of Nature, Bullock is now close to an upright angle. Something that still remains elusive for many of her colleagues.

However, the news is tainted with sorrow. Hugh Grant, a man who had seemingly avoided the disease intrinsic to romantic comedies despite making a career out of them, has finally succumbed to gravity. Possibly in an attempt to add some artistic value to Two Weeks Notice, praised by critics as “something of a disaster”, Grant and Bullock try too hard to add weight to their performances.

The resulting imbalance in acting gravity has caused them to resemble the top of a house of cards.

Scientists at NASA have been asked to look into the problem after concerns were raised that unnecessary leaning and excess gravity could spread to the general public.

Have you seen actors struggling with their deadliest foe? Spread awareness by emailing so we can highlight their plight.

Together we can overcome gravity.

Monday, 18 April 2011

Actors Against Gravity: No Reservations

Full marks to Catherine Zeta Jones for overcoming the stigma that surrounds mental illness and announcing that she had been receiving treatment for bi-polar disorder.

Sadly her one time co-star Aaron Eckhart chooses to suffer in silence.

The list of actors suffering from the Earth's gravity continues to grow. The condition first diagnosed in Matthew McConaughey is becoming endemic to weak Hollywood romantic comedies. Steve Carell, Ben Affleck, Sandra Bullock, Richard Gere have now all joined McConaughey in his semi-horizontal life.

Eckhart's problem may go unnoticed at first in the poster for 2007's No Reservations - a film lauded by The Independent as "fantastically smug and boring". However, if you crack out a ruler, draw a completely vertical line through the centre of his legs to the top of his head and then use a protractor to measure the disturbing angle at which he was standing.

By my own calculation, he is about 8 degrees from standing vertically.

An insignificant amount that many will sneer at but that kind of ignorance will mean that actors in romcom posters are eternally destined to struggle at the hands of gravity.

Have you seen an actor suffering from gravity? Perhaps they have too much or too little - either way it is a serious problem. If you do then email us at

Together we can overcome gravity.

The 30 Words or Less Review of a Modern Classic: Heat

De Niro and Pacino share coffee in Mann's tense crime classic. De Niro teeters on ice cold professionalism while Pacino provides warmth.

Direction and soundtrack provides near perfect backdrop.

Friday, 15 April 2011

Review - Source Code

It has become all too popular in the last year to describe any action film with an ounce of intelligence as "Inception meets [insert ridiculous comparison here]". The quote is then plastered all over the poster of said film and the studio reaps the financial benefits of a misled audience. Luckily, the Source Code poster has managed to avoid this particular pitfall. Despite being labelled "Inception meets Groundhog Day meets Final Destination", the marketing fellas decided against whacking that on but there is always hope for the DVD cover. That is not to say however it has not attempted to disguise itself as something it is not.

On many of the posters is the statement, "From the director of Moon". For the cineliterate then this would no doubt immediately tick a box. Duncan Jones' piece was one of the finest directorial debuts in years in terms of creativity, vision and producing miracles on a budget. But for the cinecynic, the phrase "From the director of...." is an immediate red flag. An attempt to cash in on former glories perhaps? To move the film away from popcorn action film and towards the philosophical?

Having watched the film, it has hard to say what Jones' input is. The film works perfectly well for the run time. It is not overly long and never seems tedious despite the script requiring that it replay the same moment again and again and again. The performance by Jake Gyllenhaal does the job and as usual he is a likable screen presence. Though it seems as though it is a directing by numbers exercise and what creative input Jones has seems to be limited in this well rounded bit of Hollywood action fluff.

The problematic issue that lies at the heart of the film is that in many ways it is just a Tony Scott film without the blurry slo-mo action shots. A well-built and personable hero? Check. Numerous large set piece disasters? Check. Explosions? Check. Denzel Washington? No. Wacky government science programme a la Deja Vu? You better believe it. The audience are convinced not to question the sheer lunacy of the script because it's all "metaphysics/metamechanics/metanonsense...basically you would not understand". Pseudo-science so beyond belief is used to sellotape together a ludicrous story. Though it does allow for some intriguing questions to be asked about life and death, as soon as the bright lights of the box-office hit then you will be wondering how you did not end up chuckling at the daftness unravelling on screen.

Jones will no doubt be unharmed though. The film has picked up a range of four star with a rather impressive 71/100 on Metacritic. Whether that may be down to the attachment of the appealing pairing of Jones/Gyllenhaal, the fact that there is little to complain about in terms of visual realisation or maybe it just caught the critics on a good day. As with a Tony Scott film - turn your mind off and you will probably have a good time.