Saturday, 23 November 2013

Framing FIlm - Filip Tegstedt - Interview

Hi everyone! 

Today's post is another framing film and this time we have an interview with Filip Tegstedt from Jamtfilm!

Make sure to check out his current project, after reading the interview, you can find all about it here!

Ferenc Igali: Hey, thank you for agreeing to an interview, it's brilliant to have you with us. Our series targets the process behind filmmaking as well as filmmakers and their independent journeys.

You have said in a Tweet recently that, “If you keep a closed mind and confuse what a film is supposed to be with what you think or want it to be, obviously you won't like it.”

Filip Tegstedt: Yeah, my new philosophy going back about a year or so is that there are no "bad" movies. Sure there will always be movies you don't like or that don't appeal to you because you're not the intendend audience, and while no movies are for everyone, every movie is loved by someone. I think it's important to keep an open mind about what you're watching and try to enjoy it for what it is and not hate it for what it's not supposed to be anyway.
A lot of my favorite films like Office Space, The Big Lebowski or American Beauty, I hated on first watch. It wasn't until revisiting them on a different day that I appreciated them. 

FI: How did you form your production company?

FT: It was just me, and I was working on putting together my first feature film, MARIANNE. When I couldn't recieve funding, I decided to start a production company and fund, produce and market as well as write and direct. A lot of hats, but it worked out.

FI: As you are a Swedish production company, do you exclusively film in Sweden, or have any of your projects taken you further afield?

FT: So far I've only filmed in Sweden because this is where I live and I don't really have any money, but I'm trying to make films for a global market. If I'm able to in the future, I'd love to shoot abroad.

FI: In light of that, how have you used the internet/social media to your advantage when sharing films? For example, we have seen on your Marianne Movie website (link) that your audience can rent your film.

FT: I'm mostly on Twitter (@Jamtfilm @MarianneMovie @FilipTegstedt) and Facebook ( ) but recently I've also started looking into Instagram (MarianneMovie) and I've also got a making of MARIANNE blog on tumblr ( )

FI: What was the inspiration for Marianne and how did you produce this film?

FT: This is kind of a tricky question because it requires a long answer, but in short a lot of it's inspired by the place I grew up in and Swedish folklore. You'll find a lot more information on the extensive tumblr blog.

FI: As a production company, how do you produce independent films? Can you please tell us a bit more about the production company's side?

FT: A few years ago, it used to be the problem was distribution. Now it's a lot easier to self distribute via VOD, but now the problem is marketing. These past 3-4 years there's been huge tsunami like rise in how many films are produced each year, like probably three times as many films produced this year compared to 3-4 years ago, and it's still rising. There's never been this many films produced ever, because the technology is so cheap now.
At the same time, piracy is still rampant, so selling a film is pretty much impossible.
As far as producing though, it's never been easier. It's just getting people to find your film among the ten thousand other films produced that year that's difficult.

FI: How do you go about finding funding? Since crowdsourcing through websites such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo, has become ever popular, has this changed the way that you fund the films you produce?

FT: Not really, because when I started pre-production on MARIANNE in 2009, Kickstarter was just starting out, and DSLR filming was brand new too. If I was to start another feature now, maybe I'd use Kickstarter or IndieGoGo, but I don't have anything like that planned at the moment.

FI: What is the typical equipment/cameras/lights that you use for your films? What sort of set up do you work with?

FT: It really depends on the project. With MARIANNE, I wanted a naturalistic almost documentary feel with a lot of hand held, a lot of steadicam, and natural lighting because MARIANNE is very much a kitchen sink realist horror film.
With our ABCs of Death 2 contest entry M IS FOR METALHEAD, we were trying to go for more of a retro/80's feel with lighting and cinematography, although we were limited to using what we had on our budget, which was a camp fire and some strong flash lights. On other projects, like a music video we did for the Swedish rock band LIZETTE &, called "Golden Shower" that I was DP on and Johan Bergqvist (the film AMBER) directed, we used more of a classic set up. Most of the stuff Johan and I have done together have been shot on DSLR (Canon 7D) but if we'll find the budget for it, we'd love to work on REDs and Alexas.

FI: Do you own equipment or rent? 

FT: Both.

FI: Talk us through how you source actors to be in your films. Do you have favourite thespians, who you go back to time and again? Who stars in your latest film?

FT: Dylan M. Johansson has been in everything I've directed since a web series I made in 2007, but there's no "rule" for me. It depends on the project.

FI: Why horror? Has this always been something you’ve been interested in and are you going to explore other avenues?

FT: It's easier to sell than melodrama or arthouse films. It's got a niche audience. I'm hoping to do other things though. Actually, I've only made two horror projects, MARIANNE and M IS FOR METALHEAD. I think I've done more mocumenatary stuff, with my web series and a few shorts, than horror.
Like with anything else, it just depends on the project, I'd love to do straight drama too, or scifi.

FI: You are currently in a competition called the ABC’s of death, tell us more about the short film that you have entered, M is for Metalhead and where the inspiration for it came from.

FT: It was an idea that's been floating around in my head for a few years. What if Jason, Freddy and Michael Myers went to a summer camp and told an urban legend around a camp fire about a "final girl" who's out for revenge on all slasher killers.
When I brainstormed our ABCs of Death thing with Johan Bergqvist, who was DP on Metalhead, the idea came up and we went with it. We talked about other ideas, but that one was easy to make and we didn't have any money.

FI: As we ask everyone we interview; what film would you have worked on, if you had been given the opportunity? Can be any film in production or already made!

FT: LET THE RIGHT ONE IN. I was working at that production company as a production assistant on a television documentary series when that was in pre-production, and tried desperately to get hired for that production when the series ended, but didn't. 

FI: Could you name your top 5 favourite, producers/production companies, if you have any, please? 

FT: Probably, (in no particular order), Kathleen Kennedy, Frank Marshall, Steven Spielberg, Gale Anne Hurd, George Lucas.
I was born in the late 70's, and it seems anything these people touch as a producer is worth watching.

FI :And finally, what’s next?

FT: I've no idea. I have a lot of feature film ideas and some short film ideas.
Whatever I start on, it'll probably involve writing, worrying about what can be financed.
Me and Johan Bergqvist have talked a lot about writing something together though, so at least that'll be fun.
We're also trying to get his newly re-edited feature debut AMBER (original title "Jag Är Min Egen"), which is a Swedish crime drama, out in distribution.

We just want to say a big thanks to Filip for the interview and we wish him the best of luck with his current project!

But You Didn't Hear it From Us,

Mr & Misses

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Framing Film - Two Guys and a Film - Update Interview

Hey everyone,

Today we're bringing you an update interview with the wonderful Canyon and James from Two Guys and a Film. If you haven't seen the first interview we did with them, make sure you check it out too, the first part is here and the second part is here

It's really exciting to see how far they have come and now that they have made two films, they are now making five films (yes five!) at one time to add to their slate. 

You can find out more about their project, but also help support them by visiting their website. Just click here!


Ferenc Igali: So you're taking the big leap after having completed your first two feature films - what does it feel like now that you have that experience under your belt?

Two Guys: It's always exciting when we're talking about making new movies. Canyon and I have a kind of company mantra "Get back on set!". If we set that as our goal, then everything else becomes all about achieving it! 

FI: What have you learned so far that you hope to use in this next stage?

TG: We've learned a lot more about the business side of filmmaking, something we were more naive about going into the last films. We really feel like were better equipped on these films which will ultimately lead to bigger success!

FI: Obviously you guys are expanding, adding more projects to the slate - what's the general plan here and where does the company go from here on out? 

TG: The next five films is just the next step in our progression as filmmakers. We've done the slate model with two, and proven that we can handle multiple projects at the same time. Now it's time to up our game and go for five! Looking to the future of the company long term, we aim to build an independent studio that allows us to keep creating awesome films as well as bringing up other first-time directors.

FI: You advocated combining sources of funding previously  - what made you return to the crowdfunding model for this endeavour and how does it combine into the overall plans?

TG: Well, our approach to crowdfunding is different than most, meaning we aren't relying solely on it for the films budget. It has to be considered in your budget as an indie filmmaker, but you can't stop there. We really believe that you should explore every avenue available, which is what we are going to do. We are turning to crowdfunding to raise the development funds only for the next slate, and like I said not the entire budget. The larger portion of the budget will come from Private Equity, Tax Incentives, and Gap Financing. 

FI: Where will the money you raise go?

TG: There are a lot of development costs that we need to cover before we can go out and raise the full budgets. Things like hiring a Casting Director to start casting the films, a legit Line Producer, Legal and Start Up fees.  These are all costs that we need to pay for before we can really start moving forward. We also have investors around the country interested in investing, however we need to travel to meet and close these deals, which also costs money! Development is often thought of as playtime money, but it's not. We actually need this money to move this slate forward.

FI: What can we expect from this next slate of films? 

TG: Five awesome action packed stories in genres that we all love. Sci-Fi and Horror!


Canyon and James have sent us their press release with details all about their five films. While the majority are horror based, such as 'Extinction' which "is about a group of military elite who travel deep behind enemy lines to investigate a viral outbreak" and to us sounds like a rather good zombie film (Don't we all love a good zombie film!?) 

And if you don't know this about the misses...well you do now, she hates films based around sharks. They freak her out! However Two Guys' found-footage film, 'Beach Day Massacre' which "follows a group of marine biology students as they document a series of fatal shark attacks" might just sway her!

Among the five films is also a Sci-fi thriller titled, '68 Minutes' "about a former scientist who breaks out of a mental institute in order to stop a device that could potentially create a universal time crisis" 

To find out about the other two films and more details about their project, make sure to check out their website, just click right here!

But You Didn't Hear it From Us,

The Mr and Misses

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Framing Film - Joe Gazzam- Interview - Part Two

Hello and welcome to the second part of Joe's interview! If you have yet to read the first half (which was so good, I promise you!) click right here and read it before continuing with this part.


Ferenc Igali: I'm an aspiring writer myself, and I read your writing routine that you mentioned; but do you have any special conditions to set yourself up to write? Or can you write comfortably in any situation?

Joe Gazzam: I don't have any special conditions, other than I have an office in my back yard. I've tried to arrange it, in a creative fashion as possible. It looks like Indiana Jones' museum. There's a lot of crazy stuff in there, I'm just trying to surround myself with the right vibe. But in terms of a process it's literally just forcing myself into the office, sitting down and just staring at the screen, till something clicks. That's the hard part, the gut wrenching part! You can really get side tracked with the internet and a million other things. 

FI: Do you use any particular software or just the industry standard of Final Draft?

JG: I just use Final Draft. I think most people do, I don't know any writers that don't. I've never asked any studio people if they take any other formats, I'm assuming they probably do. It's just so prevalent and it works. Once you become a professional writer and you've been doing it for a long time, you don't really need much out of a screenwriting program, just the basics. You're not really using all the tools and the wacky stuff they have on there, so Final Draft works well for me.  

FI: How do you go about building up an idea into a full fledged script? Do you use outlines, beats? Perhaps a large map of sticky notes on a wall or index cards?

JG: I use a very detailed outline. What I do is start off with the big, big points; my opening, my first turning point, my midpoint, my second turning point and the end. Literally as four or five different lines. Then I start working in between those lines, so I start with the first act and I say, "Okay, how am I going to fill in from the start and how am I going to get to my turning point." I sort of start putting beats in there and I do that for all of it and it starts to balloon out, a little bit and then once I have that I go through it again and it fills up and fills up until some point every scene is accounted for. And then I'm pretty much ready to go! 

FI: Obviously moving to places that are the epicentre of filmmaking, like LA, becomes a strong advantage, but in today's digital age and with the advent of sites like the Blacklist - would the necessity of moving to one of these hubs of film still outweigh the benefits of working online? What about international screenwriters attempting to break into the industry?

JG: In terms of being in LA, it has some advantages. You can go to a lot of meetings, you can run into people who are developing stuff. It definitely has its advantages. But if you have a good script, no one cares. The key is just getting it to the right hand. So really I would think that the biggest hurdle, being international, is just getting an agent. If you can get an agent and write a good script, you're pretty much done! Things like the Blacklist, certainly help and all the different contests, you can enter those because the agents do scan those things. But with the internet you have a much better access to agents, then I ever had when I came out here. It's definitely not a necessity to live out here. You could totally make it without living here. 

FI: Independent film, and so independent screenwriting is thriving today; crowd funding, cheap(er) pro-sumer cameras and growing film schools/courses mean that there are more chances than ever before for new writers. Do you think that the direction we're heading in will make life easier for the novice screenwriter? More projects will equal opportunities, but there is also growing competition.

JG: I think it will make life a lot easier for the novice screen writer. You can shoot your own film these days and there are a million more opportunities to get your stuff out there and to have some job opportunities. Like the studios now are making less films than they ever did, they are developing less films, the assignments have shrunk. Everything is sort of shrinking because they are only making a few big movies a year. So this is exactly what we need, the independent aspect of this to get more stuff going. So I think it's great and that it will provide a ton more opportunities because the studios are harder to break into than ever but screw them! Go do Kickstarter, do whatever you want. You don't need them anymore if you have something you want to get off the ground.    

FI: You mention that you may want to adapt a series from fiction to screen - have you worked on any adaptations before? If so, any advice to offer about the experience?

JG: I have not gone from a novel to a script! I've gone from a tv show to a script, an existing movie to a script but never from a novel. I don't have much to lend there!

FI: Your novel is out soon - how was the process of writing a novel compared to the process of writing a script? Did you have to adapt any working habits or particulars?

JG: It was actually pretty freeing, to be honest with you. I've done scripts for so long and it's five people looking over your shoulder telling you how to do it. Giving you notes, pulling you in every direction. So getting to work on something like a novel was great, because no one could tell me what to do, I could write what ever I want and I was not limited. There are so many limitations in script writing; page count, set structure. This you can just go off and tell your story! I honestly couldn't imagine a situation where I didn't do both from now on. I've really grown to love both! That's the thing with Hollywood, what they always say, if you don't want to get notes, if you don't want to collaborate on your writing, go write a novel! 

FI: Time for our final two questions; first up - if you could have worked on any production, in any capacity (including that of being a writer or co-writer), from any era of film, what production would it be and why?

JG: This may be the geek in me coming out! But I would have loved to have written Terminator! In the crazy 80's, with Cameron at the helm, I just think that would have been pretty cool. I know you probably want me to say Casablanca or something, but that's what I would choose!  

FI: Lastly, and this is our reader favourite; what are your favourite films (or screenplays in this case) - and do you have any professional idols or heroes? And do you have any tips for novice screenwriters?

JG: In terms of favourite films it's probably going to be the same ones you guys like!
Indiana Jones, Jurassic Park, all the Spielberg stuff. Terminator! Tarantino's True Romance is one of my favourites of all time. Cohen Brothers - pretty much everything they have written! 

In terms of idols, Shane Black, I love his voice. Robert Towne, William Goldman - there's so many! I love the guys with the real unique voice; like the Cohen Brothers. That's always inspiring. 

And advice for novice screenwriters, I would say just write, write, write! I know that's stuff you're always hearing because it's true. If I look back on my early stuff I want to vomit! I had no idea what a craft writing was when I first started, I was just writing and really amused with myself. But it really is a learned craft, there's structure, characterisation, there's all these things that you really only get a hold of in your brain after you've been hammered.  When someone reads a script and goes "This doesn't make sense or this doesn't work!" and having to confront that and realise why and learning that craft of why it doesn't work and what you should be doing. All that stuff just requires doing it and a lot of it! The chances are you're going to throw away your first couple screenplays, there's no way around it! I think that's the key, just write it and don't be really precious with it. Get feedback and be willing to figure out the note behind the note. That's what they say out here. What are they really trying to say? 

FI: Thank you very much for 'sitting' down with us in this transatlantic chat and taking time out of your day to do so!

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Framing Film - Joe Gazzam - Interview - Part One

Hey everyone!

Today we are bringing you another installment of Framing Film. This has to be one of our favourite parts of our blog; talking to independent film makers and creators about their passion! We find it so interesting to learn from each person we interview and we hope that you do too!

So without further delay, keep on reading for our interview with Joe Gazzam!


Ferenc Igali: Hey Joe, thank you for agreeing to an interview, it's brilliant to have you with us. Our series targets the process behind filmmaking as well as filmmakers and their independent journeys. You said that you had written a script that sent you from Atlanta to California.

What was that first script like?

Joe Gazzam: The first script was pretty much a Tarantino rip off! It was right around 2000-ish and you know, he had sort of blown up and caught my imagination. It was somewhere in between Cohen Brothers and Tarantino, a lot of dialogue and some crazy stuff going on. 

Plot wise it wasn't very good but I think it had a voice and a style that responded to that first agent and for some ungodly reason he found a glimmer of talent in there.

FI: How hard was it writing that first script that got you the representation?

JG: It was easy, actually. 

I was desperate, I was working a bunch of horrible jobs and I knew that was what I really wanted to do. So it was easy writing it. Getting the representation was hard because everyone out here has got a script and everyone is trying to get it to agents. I just got lucky and one of my buddies was dating a girl, that was represented. We basically brow-beat her into giving my script to her agent and he liked it! So that sort of got the ball rolling. 

FI: What was it like, writing up that first speculative script?

JG: Again it was clunky writing that first one, just because I wasn't quite sure what I was doing. I was completely just doing it for the fun of it! I was completely amused with myself, probably unduly! It was a bit of a train wreck and meandering. But it was a lot of fun to do, considering I had no one giving me notes and for better or probably for worse actually, I wasn't really paying attention to structure. It was actually a lot of fun, it just turned out to be something that probably could never be shot. 

FI: You said that you've written a project each for Disney and Universal, as well as having sold a show to Syfy - what kind of genres and ranges do you work in? And do you have any preferences?

JG: The project for Disney is Untitled but it is in a Hawaiian adventure movie and it's basically an Indiana Jones for the family, set around mythology, so it's broad comedy action, sort of world building. 

The Universal was a little bit more grounded, it was based on the TV show 'It Takes a Theif' and that was just a sort of, big action-y movie. 

The Syfy show was sort of like an updated take on that old show 'Greatest American Hero' except a little more grounded, but it was sort of scifi action. 

I guess in terms of genres, that's sort of always been the constant. I've done literally everything with a word before action! Romantic comedy action, dark thriller action, scifi action. One common component is action!

FI: You've had some great support along the way - just how crucial is that to the emerging screenwriter? Some go at it alone and some have family or friends to help prop them up; is it a make or break factor?

JG: I have had some great support along the way and you do need that because it's crucial. This is a brutal, unforgiving town, that no one really cares about you. When you really start getting support is when you probably really need it the least! So having some friends, family to support you is important.

 My own wife, when I was writing my first real spec script, I got fired from my job, so I was making no money and she read half my script and said "I think you're going to sell this, I believe in you, so I'll pay the bills, you just keep writing!" and it ended up selling, so something like that is just vital. 

FI: As a writer, sometimes you work on rewrites; how hard is it to approach material from another writer and attempt to morph it into what's needed? Do you follow certain notes that people want to emphasise or do you try and attach your own voice in a rewrite?

JG: It is hard, a lot of times when you get sent a rewrite it is because it is a train wreck, it's just a horrible mess. So a lot of times your pitch may be, I'm just going toss this in the garbage and start fresh. I've done that a number of times. But every now and then you'll get a good one, where you can sort of tell where they are going and where the mistakes are. I haven't really had a big problem with that. It's sort of fun when a lot of it's working and you can fill in the gaps. Really it's just matching the voice and you're just trying to make it work, not worrying about what they wrote or what you wrote but just trying to please the studio. 

In terms of attaching your own voice, I think it's sort of unavoidable! People just have a natural style, I think, unless it's something very specific. 

FI: In terms of rewrites; we've all seen horrible lines of movie dialogue or entire films at one point or another and thought; "I could do better". Do you believe that the rewriting process adds to, or even defines this effect as writers attempt to take the story in their own way with each rewrite?

JG: The rewriting process can add to it, I've seen it add to it and hopefully I feel that I have in a lot of cases. But there's also a weird mentality out here, where they are just churning and burning writers and then it really becomes a mess. The longer something stays in development and the more rewrites its had, the more time the executive and the producer put in on it, so their brains are scrambled. By the time you get to it, if you're the fourth or fifth writer in, it's a big giant mess, so getting anything to work, even if you have something similar to a road they have gone down, they don't want to do it. It can be a real bad experience at times! 

So everyone, that is the end of Part one of Joe's interview! Make sure to check back in a few days when the second half will be posted! Thank you again to Joe.

But You Didn't Hear it From Us,

The Mr & Misses

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Rush - Review

Directed by: Ron Howard
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Daniel Brühl, Olivia Wilde, Alexandra Maria Lara, Christian McKay
Written by: Peter Morgan

Rating: 9/10

Rush is a roaring, spinning triumph of a film. Ron Howard has taken the already high stakes story of the rivalry between James Hunt and Niki Lauda from the perilous world of 1970's F1 racing - and turned the dial up to 11. The brilliance of this film other than the crystal clear direction comes two-fold; the leads are ingeniously believable as well as mesmerising, and the cinematography is a visual treat. It's a film that capitalises on the reasons that most people got behind the sport; the danger, the passion and the bitter rivalries. There's no single one character to root for - the film is as divisive as the leads. 

Rush is the story of this world enveloping rivalry brought to the screen. Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) is the over-the-top Brit with such a joy for life and passion that he is the textbook definition of a 'hot-head'. He attends all the clubs, sleeps with different women, constantly shown drinking and showing hints of vulnerability - but doing nothing by half measures. Lauda (Daniel Brühl) is the other end of this spectrum - clinical, precise and routine. However, the same full-throttle approach to life and attitude to dealing with others pervades his personality - setting both for a crash course. Niki expects all from himself - he has to buy his own way into the world, but once his foot is in the door, he doesn't relent. He likes being in total control of every aspect of his 'drive' - he refers to himself as 'rat-faced' and thinks himself unlikeable, but that 'doesn't matter' to him. Hunt is envious of the brains of Lauda, but is supremely confident every time they lock horns that he could beat him in a race - it is this enduring trait that Lauda respects in him. 

The story starts out with their initial risings in lower divisions of the sport with Lauda racing for other teams, while Hunt is backed by the exuberant Lord Hesketh (Christian McKay). The story follows them all the way up to tragic events later in the season - as well as the final showdown. 

They are accompanied by their stunning wives, who equally complement their personalities - Olivia Wilde plays Suzy - a wildly impassioned model whose precarious attitude suits Hunt, while Alexandra Maria Lara plays Marlene Kraus, the down-to-earth but equally beautiful partner of Lauda. 

Every time they get into their cars - despite the race sequences, individually not accompanying much of the screen's 122 minutes - is exhilarating. Every race, every confrontation - every argument is showstopping. There's quite a lot of spectacle and pomp on display - which is representative of the inner state of the two men. They both share similar weaknesses and they both envy the other, in some way. It's a brilliant dramatisation of their story because Howard and Morgan try to get at what truly pushes someone to become great, to have this unending ambition to win. 

Morgan's screenplay doesn't feel as well developed as some of his other works, namely Frost/Nixon, lacking some of the verve of scripts from The Queen and The Deal. Morgan seems to enjoy depicting complex relationships though - this rivalry is depicted in such a thrilling fashion that the lack of gravitas that his previous works have carried is almost unnoticeable. Both Hunt and Lauda are polarising on screen, as they were in life - the film will split the audience. That 1976 run left a lot of questions about the 'true' winner of that season - something that the film carries across extremely well. 

Zimmer brings his usual excellence to the score - making the soundtrack just as rousing and combative as the two leads. Cinematography, by Anthony Dod Mantle, is a pure nirvana as usual - his last outings (Slumdog Millionaire, Trance, 127 Hours, The Last King of Scotland) were all similarly brilliant. Dod Mantle has a unique eye and his work will envelop the entire experience. 

Hunt left F1 soon after the 1976 season and went onto other pursuits to just enjoy his life - something which Lauda laments about later. Lauda carries on with his discplined and structured approach, winning more races but retiring not too long after Hunt as well. But we can't help but feel a sense of longing for something else - something more. Lauda says that to have an enemy, especially one like Hunt, is a blessing. Once Hunt leaves, a large part of Lauda goes with him. That championship race of the season seemed to define the lives of both men in every shape and form.

As the Hunt elegantly puts it; F1 is just a bunch of men, 'racing round and round in circles'. In the end, it's impossible to say whether Lauda or Hunt walked away the better from their match ups, but one thing is for certain;

Howard leaves that choice up to you.

What the Mr. Thought:

I'll keep it brief - go see this film. Even if you're not an F1 fan, this is a film that is well worth watching. I implore you - go see it. It's not your typical sports biopic film - and it's all the better for it. 

What the Misses Thought:

There was one thing that I didn't like about the film, so I'm going to get that out of the way first.
The pace was very much off. When it was at its highs, it was high but then it slowed down and seemed to drag slightly.
However overall, Rush, was brilliantly acted (so subtle and full of emotion) and the best part...the cinematography. Stunning colour, feel and angles, are what made this film just right. Shame about the pace, but the rest of the elements certainly make up for it.

But you didn't hear any of that from us!


Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Riddick - Review (First one by The Misses!)

Directed by: David Twohy
Starring: Vin Diesel, Jordi Mollà, Matt Nable, Katee Sackhoff
Written by: David Twohy, Oliver Butcher, Stephen Cornwell

Rating: 4/10

Hi guys! Today you're in for a treat, because it's the Misses turn to take control of But You Didn't Hear it From us, for my first full review. Rather than ramble about how the Mr is a lot better at writing, constructing reviews and just generally better at using words than me, I'll just jump straight into the review!

Thanks for reading :)


Vin Diesel. Oh Vin. We thought you could do no wrong, but how wrong the Mr and I were. If you know anything about us or listened to our first podcast about Fast & Furious 6 we love Vin...a lot. This film, unfortunately let him down. Where 2000's Pitch Black and it's sequel The Chronicles of Riddick were received fairly well (and we enjoyed them thoroughly) the latest instalment has not faired as well, and it is completely understandable why.

Riddick, starts with the film's name sake alone, after having been abandoned, due to deceit, on a barren planet. Being alone turns out to be a common theme throughout the beginning scenes, making for a lonely, desperate and broken Riddick fighting for his life...not that dramatically, through a backdrop of barren lands. Eventually Riddick finds a hint of salvation, in the form of an abandoned outpost, where he sets off the emergency beacon.This leads to Santana (Jordi Mollà) and his team of bounty hunters being drawn to the planet due to the price that has been placed upon Riddick's head. This team is followed by a more refined and shaped team lead by Johns (Matt Nable).

 After this point, not a lot happens in terms of interesting, fast paced or dramatic story. It feels almost as slow as Riddick's struggle seen at the beginning of the "story". And that is what killed the film for me, its slow pace, lack of full story and it never reaching its full potential set by the previous films.

Another strikingly bad point for me about this film was the place in which it was set. The backdrop to me felt so static, compared to the foreground which had texture, life (or where it was meant to, the great sense of lack of life) and was much more believable than the background. While I know it is a sci-fi film, it is not based on truth, but with the power of animation, computers and technology, I expected a lot more.

But enough of the negative. One redeeming point about the whole film was of course, Vin Diesel. While he wasn't overly outstanding, he was true to the character of Riddick that was forged in the previous films and for that I am glad.

What the Mr Thought:
I'll keep this simple and short - Vin Diesel turns in another Riddick performance that is a semblance of the title character. The rest of the film - not even worth watching. It's literally elements from the first and second films combined in a traditional concluding arc - but the pace feels dastardly slow and you'll start wondering where the exit is for the entire time

What the Misses Thought:
I loved the first two, and more importantly I love Vin Diesel. But this film let me down. It seemed to drag at the start, but that continued to the middle and surprise, surprise, right till the end. Which is such a shame because both the Mr and I were looking forward to it. And if you are too...Simply put, you'll be disappointed too.

But you didn't hear it from us!

The Misses & Mr

Friday, 6 September 2013

About Time - Review

Directed by: Richard Curtis 
Starring: Domhnall Gleeson, Rachel McAdams, Bill Nighy, Margot Robbie, Tom Hollander, Vanessa Kirby
Written by: Richard Curtis

Rating: 7/10

Curtis' film reads like a play-by-play of his best moments. His film is the personification of the British gentry's politeness. Curtis - famous for inventing the bumbling English gentleman stereotype that he created for Hugh Grant and for coming up with the worst possible responses to any situation for his characters - even Gleeson appears to be the next model of that bumbling, lovely fool.

Curtis' films are known for their extraordinarily niceness - an aspect of filming that doesn't seem to fall beside the way side for this outing. To paraphrase a popular animated film involving an alien and the residents of Hawaii - 'It's so fluffy I think I'm going to die'. 

About Time follows the inept, but disarmingly charming and affable Tim (Gleeson) as he discovers from his father (Nighy) that the men in their family can travel through time, with certain limitations - such as only being able to travel back to a moment in your own life. Certain grand notions aside - Tim's main interest is in using the power to help him secure the love of a good woman. Of course - what else could you use it for? What follows are Tim's adventures as he moves to London to live with the most condescending and misanthropic playwright Harry (Hollander), his outings with friends as he has several chance encounters with an effervescent American, Mary (McAdams) - and his attempt to make sense of it, as he discovers what life is truly about - in a typically Curtisian fashion. Tim quickly goes back to relive certain days, to correct small mistakes like a slip on the stairs or not knowing that the bra unhooks from the from - the usual, for time travellers. 

The locations are stunning - the constant seaside shots, the cobbled streets - it's exactly as it would be if it was a great indie charming romance (which, you know, it is) - the cast, many of whom are old hands in this genre, are brilliantly on form. McAdams and Gleeson are so unnervingly charming that you would have to have a heart of stone to hate this pairing - similarly, Nighy and co. deliver engaging, if somewhat typical, performances.

The weaknesses, as in any Curtis film - are the script - "Oh my Arsing God", remiscient of the line "I bet James Bond doesn't have to put up with this shit" from previous films - and aspects of the story. Gleeson's "Tim" already lives a rather charmed life on the coast, is by all accounts a rising success in his field of law, albeit slowly - and has a middle class family that would put most who ascribe that moniker to shame. The characters are charming, the story is heartwarming and the piece flows along nicely - it's just a shame that the characters aren't developing well as the story goes - which may be partly down to the lack of actual climaxes put in Tim's life. What's the point of having an obstacle if he can just go back and change it? 

Groundhog Day was a brilliant piece because it gave it's central Murray acted character a task - a goal. With this film, Tim achieves his own goal after about the end of the first act - after which, it's just him and the rest of his family/the love of his life trundling through the rest of their lives - learning, with the help of his power, small life lessons along the way. The lack of a central pulling theme is the one big failure of this vehicle - but, to be honest, it makes little difference in the way of enjoyment. 

What the Mr. Thought:
You don't watch Richard Curtis' films for the critical acclaim - you watch them for the feel-good factor, to fall in love with the story and the characters. Just like love is blind - so too are the audience in such films, metaphorically speaking - any small imperfections turn into charming moments by Curtis' hand. 

Don't expect art - but expect to have a good time. We recommend this film, highly - to round out the summer and to have you feeling all bubbly for the coming autumn. 

What the Misses Thought:
What a film! What a lovely film. What a lovely, sad, amazing, funny, beautiful and inspiring film! 

I love a good rom com, but this was so much more! It was snappy, the pace was spot on and while it could have been boring to see a scene replay again (you'll understand if you watch the film) the film makers didn't let it do anything of the sort. 
I loved everything about this film, from the actors, the locations, the soundtrack, the script and the list goes on! 
In short; please see this film!

But remember - you didn't hear that from us,

The Mr. and the Misses