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REVIEW: Remember Me March 31, 2010

Posted by Patrick in Cinematics.
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If there’s one thing that put me off Remember Me initially, it was that it starred Robert Pattinson in what seemed to be a run of the mill romantic drama – not exactly a million miles away from Twilight. But thanks to a multi-layered story and likeable characters, Remember Me shines as a character study that you won’t soon forget.

Robert Pattinson stars (and executive produces, you’ll note) as Tyler Hawkins, a 21 year old auditing classes and working in the book shop of NYU. Lost‘s Emilie de Ravin plays Ally Craig, a student at the same university. After Tyler is arrested by Ally’s father, Tyler’s roommate Aidan (Tate Ellington) encourages him to pursue Ally and dump her in revenge.

Rather predictably, the two hit it off after a series of dates. De Ravin and Pattinson are very convincing as a couple, and Pattinson seems a lot more comfortable here than when he plays his vampire alter-ego Edward Cullen. If you doubted his acting ability post-Twilight, his turn as chain-smoking, troubled Tyler should prove you wrong.

It’s nice, too, to see Emilie de Ravin in a role where she isn’t constantly screaming about her “baaaybee” or “Chaaahlie”. Her character’s quirks, like eating dessert before her main course or stopping herself in a ‘water fight’ scene from letting the whole thing become a cliché are likeable rather than irritating.

From the harrowing opening scene, it becomes clear that the film’s focus is not just on the couple’s relationship, but why they are the way they are. They both have daddy issues, Ally living with her overprotective, alcoholic single father (played by Chris Cooper), and Tyler with his father, a divorced distant and uncaring businessman (played by Pierce Brosnan). They’ve both also suffered major losses in their life, with Ally losing her mother as a child and Tyler’s brother having committed suicide years earlier.

Pierce Brosnan is a revelation here, with a Manhattan accent and doing everything in his power to make the audience hate him. At the same time, however, he lets us see some vulnerability in the character, and by the closing credits he’s completely three-dimensional. The showdown between Brosnan and Pattinson in a crowded boardroom is a particularly well-acted, memorable and extremely excruciating scene.

The rest of the cast are all more than capable in their roles, with Lena Olin as the Hawkins family matriarch, and Ruby Jerins, an Abigail-Breslin-in-the-making as Tyler’s younger sister Caroline. Tate Ellington perhaps is the one weak link, playing an annoying character with an extremely grating voice. The subplots of the Hawkins family dealing with the death of their oldest child six years earlier and Caroline’s exclusion from her peers at school get ample screen time and are extrmely compelling in themselves.

The final twist of the story will be seen by many as offensive and unnecessary, and on paper it definitely sounds like it. But in the context of the rest of the film, where characters deal with tragedy after tragedy, the ending underscores the theme of grief quite plainly and undeniably – memorably.

Remember Me hits cinemas this Friday

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I don’t want to be bailed out of anything. January 12, 2010

Posted by Paula in Cinematics.
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It seems Robert Pattinson has been advised to take action lest he be forever typecast as an other-wordly being. Remember Me, released here this April, stars Pattinson as, wait for it…a human. No Quidditch, no fangs, and sadly no shimmering upon exposure to sunlight. Pattinson is a little less superhuman and a little bit rougher around the edges this time around.

Remember Me is a love story with a handy little bad-guy-gone-good plotline thrown in too. Pattinson plays Tyler, a defiant young man who thinks nothing of getting into scraps and being bailed out of jail by his father (Pierce Brosnan). That is, of course, until he finds his soulmate (Lost‘s Emilie de Ravin).

The film seems to be directed more to those members of the Twilight/New Moon audience who are not pre-teens, given that it contains a bit of excess raunch and debauchery. Whether it will fare well at the box office without the suport of the younger Twi-hards remains to be seen.

We like contradiction, anything that contradicts December 30, 2009

Posted by Patrick in Muzak.
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Did you know that Miley Cyrus has a sibling who also makes music? No, not her over-tattooed brother with a weirdly long face, but her sister, Brandi Cyrus? No? Didn’t think so.

Brandi is part of all-female band Frank and Derol, which also includes Megan Park (star of the ABC Family show The Secret Life of the American Teenager. I’ve never watched this so I can’t really say how good or bad it may be) on synth, tambourine and backing vocals, and Codi Caraco, another musician who plays piano and does lead vocals. The band originally didn’t even include Cyrus, but obviously her guitar playing skillz and backing vocals were needed in the mix.

She’s not, I was surprised to learn, a stranger to the music world, as she played guitar in her sister’s TV show Hannah Montana as well as on one of Miley’s tours. How impressive.

The first song the group wrote together was a Twilight-inspired track called Lights Out, with the hopes of getting it on to the New Moon soundtrack. But, as well know, that didn’t exactly pan out.

Wondering what exactly the name Frank and Derol means, I stumbled upon an interview with the band on Acid City. Lead singer Codi’s answer didn’t exactly shed any light on this:

“we like contradiction, anything that contradicts. and that name does. derol is also my dads name.”

Ah right. It’s a contradiction. Because everybody knows that the name Frank contradicts the name Derol.

They haven’t actually released anything and are still pursuing a record deal, but have toured with Brandi’s dad Billy Ray Cyrus. So, only having access to what’s up on their MySpace page (two and a half songs), I’ve picked out their track Back and Forth. Surprisingly, it’s actually quite good (and a million miles away from any of Miley’s stuff), with a sound that my friend Anna describes as “ethereal”. Judge for yourself below.

Frank and Derol – Back and Forth (download)
http://kiwi6.com/uploads/hotlink?id=vpd1g4kw

[Image: GaryLivingston.com]

It’s all very Up in the Air December 19, 2009

Posted by Patrick in Cinematics.
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I was lucky enough to go along to Paramount’s press screening of Up in the Air on Thursday, which has been getting a lot of buzz this week following its six Golden Globe nominations.

Generally a George Clooney movie is a safe bet (unless it’s Leatherheads), and after hearing good things my expectations were high. Due to some miscommunication, Cineworld started the film 20 minutes ahead of schedule, so I’ll have to wait til next month to see the opening, but what I did see of the film was amazingly good.

Based on the book by Walter George Clooney plays Ryan Bingham, a corporate downsizer whose job essentially involves jetting around the United States to tell people they’ve been fired and make them think it’s a good thing. When Natalie Keener (played by the wonderful Anna Kendrick), a naive but idealistic young associate who pioneers the firm’s new system of downsizing – firing people over a webcam chat – comes on board, Ryan shows her how to fire people and tries to prove that the face-to-face approach works best.

George Clooney is predictably good in the film, but the role isn’t really out of his comfort zone at all – a just about-middle aged charmer who can’t be tied down by marriage and the like. Anna Kendrick is the real revelation of this film however, and deserves every bit of her Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actress. Previously seen as Jessica in Twilight and its sequel New Moon (and given a grand total of about 5 minutes screen time combined), she finally has a chance to shine here as the hilarious and clueless but loveable Natalie.

Vera Farmiga (who has also received a Golden Globe nom for Best Supporting Actress) is excellent as Alex Goran, Bingham’s regular ‘booty call’ who lives a similar jetset lifestyle. As she says, she’s like Ryan, “but with a vagina.”

The film is a good companion piece to this year’s also-excellent Away We Go, asking questions about what makes a home and what makes a good relationship. The changing landscape of different parts of the United States keeps things visually dynamic for the duration.

Jason Reitman directs and co-writes the film, best known for his previous work on Juno and Thank You for Smoking. It should also bring his reputation back from the knock it got after he produced this year’s Jennifer’s Body, which was slammed by critics but loved by me.

There’s an unexpected twist at the end of the film which caught me by surprise, although I won’t spoil it here. The ending is quite a fitting one, although there’s a lot of loose ends left untied, and a lot of things left (pardon the pun) Up in the Air. Now, just to see those pesky opening 20 minutes…

Up in the Air comes to Irish cinemas on 15th January 2010

[Images: 1 2]

A Leak on the New Moon October 12, 2009

Posted by Patrick in Cinematics, Muzak.
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The New Moon soundtrack has leaked online, and as the roster of bands announced before its release suggested, it’s really quite an exciting one.

I’m not sure how the soundtrack producers managed to get so many talented names on board, but somehow they did. Improving quite vastly from the first soundtrack’s collection of artists, the tracklisting name checks every indie artist from Grizzly Bear to Death Cab for Cutie.

Even more outstanding is the fact that every song is original and exclusive to the soundtrack, although I have my questions about Muse’s I Belong to You, which is labelled here as a “New Moon Remix” but is really just a shortened version, omitting the Mon Coeur S’ouvre a Voix portion.

The major difference with this soundtrack in comparison with the first is that it’s a lot more sombre and downbeat, which (groan) in some ways reflects the tone of the second book.

The stand-out tracks, predictably, are Bon Iver and St. Vincent’s Roslyn, Thom Yorke’s Hearing Damage, Grizzly Bear’s Slow Life and Editors’ No Sound but the Wind. This could change for me, however, as I haven’t had a good listen to some of the tracks. The good news is, however, that there doesn’t seem to be any duds.

Listen to Bon Iver & St. Vincent and Grizzly Bear’s contributions below.

Bon Iver & St. Vincent – Roslyn (download)
http://kiwi6.com/upload/hotlink?id=x4xfpe84

Grizzly Bear (feat. Victoria Legrand) – Slow Life (download)
http://kiwi6.com/upload/hotlink?id=bre84gj8

View full post for the complete tracklisting >>

(more…)

Not Another Vampire Movie June 30, 2009

Posted by Patrick in Cinematics.
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Daybreakers

If “Twilight” doesn’t float your boat, maybe “Daybreakers”, a vampire film without glittery vampires, teen angst and long romantic stares between humans and vampires, will. The cast is pretty impressive, with Ethan Hawke headlining alongside Sam Neill, Willem Dafoe and eh…Tasha from “Home and Away”.

The plot, in a nutshell, is that Ethan Hawke is a researcher in 2019 when a plague has turned (most of) the world’s population into vampires. But since everybody’s a vampire, there’s not much to eat. Remaining humans are hunted and farmed while the vampire population struggle to find a substitute food source.

The film is directed by Peter and Michael Spierig, who I’ve never actually heard of, but apparently directed a low budget horror in 2003 called “Undead“. Despite this, it looks like a genuinely good horror/thriller and the visuals and strong premise will probably make for a satisfying watch.

Also, how terrifying does Sam Neill look with those weird vampire contacts? Check out the trailer below…

I almost don't want to watch it, so I can, ya know, watch it again later June 3, 2009

Posted by Patrick in Cinematics, Webshite.
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Obsessive Twilight fan watches the “New Moon” trailer for the first time. A lol attack ensues…