Let the speculation begin as it has finally been announced that the title of Star Wars Episode VIII is indeed, The Last Jedi.
What exactly does this mean!? Obviously the names on the tip of everyone’s tongues are Luke, Rey and Kylo Ren. Will there be another death in the Skywalker family? Is Rey in fact a Skywalker? Will Kylo Ren be the last Skywalker? Who knows at this point, but it’s super hard not to believe that there will be some sort of a death, especially since the new Star Wars logo is red.
Directed by Rian Johnson, Star Wars – The Last Jedi is released in cinemas December 15, 2017.
Christopher Nolan is well known for his imaginative, complex but worthy puzzles where he creates this new world and the only way we’ll be able to understand and appreciate his constant growth of wisdom is to actually sit down and engross ourselves into a film close to the 3 hour mark. Inception will always be the film that everyone refers back to when having a conversation about Nolan’s work because it was just that classy and mind bending, not to mention the outstanding cast. We do now on the other hand have a new contender.
Interstellar has been the most anticipated film this year, starting it’s campaign exactly a year ago from it’s release date. This is one film where the trailer doesn’t tell you enough so the only way you’re going to know what it’s all about is to simply cosy up in the cinema screening with a large bag of popcorn and a good sized beverage because it’s one hell of a ride.
The story of Interstellar takes places on an earth we’ve never known. Crops are dying and turning into this brown dust that is just being blown around like a storm day in and day out so starvation is on the cards. After being summoned by what Murph (Mackenzie Foy and later played by Jesscia Chastain) believes is a ghost, Coop (Matthew McConaughey) aka Murph’s dad who is also a former NASA pilot, ends up at a restricted airbase where he is informed that the ‘Lazarus Project’ is in place to find a new habitat for the human race. Rekindling his old roots with his former boss Dr. Brand (Michael Caine) he accepts to pilot the mission with Brand’s daughter Amelia (Anne Hathaway), a few engineers and 2 very intelligent robots TARS and CASE. Unfortunately for Coop, while he’s on the mission, the idea of relativity becomes a reality as time may be going by at a slow pace for him, but it’s actually going by in years, even decades on earth.
Nolan and his brother Jonathan had a field time exploring and playing around with black holes, wormholes, gravity, quantum physics and all of the above. Visually, Interstellar is stunning. The framing of each scene and the different angled shots were typical Nolan directing which makes him stand out. It’s quite like Michael Bay’s work. You know when it’s his movie. The shots in space and the audio to go with it really engrosses you into the film, making you feel what the characters are feeling, whether it’s cold, hot, empty, breathless. Every emotion is captured very well. Not to mention the silence that is present in space was perfectly pitched.
It is a very emotional film, especially in the moments before Coop gets sent off to space but it does carry on throughout the film. McConaughey’s on-screen father/daughter relationship with Mackenzie Foy is so touching, it really pulls on those heart strings. From the moment she gets into trouble at school and Coop goes in for a parent/teacher conference, you know straight away she’s daddy’s little girl. Progressing into the film, there is a glimpse of an Armageddon moment where Liv Tyler speaks to Bruce Willis before he has to blow himself up to save humanity. It’s not as dramatic, but the whole talking to a screen is present and its very moving.
Now it wouldn’t be a Christopher Nolan film without having the legend himself, Hans Zimmer gracing us with his presence for the score. The score is absolutely beautiful. Unfortunately, the audio mixing wasn’t as gracious. Having this problem before with The Dark Knight Rises, certain scenes the score really overpowered the dialogue so it became a little difficult to hear what was being said. This was a little frustrating especially when you have an actor like McConaughey who is known for his very attractive deep southern twang and “mumble” as some call it. Hopefully his will be fixed when released on Blu-ray and DVD. Also whether this was to do with the make-up or final editing, McConaughey did happen to look very orange in certain scenes compared to everyone else.
Christopher Nolan is the master of taking you on a mind bending journey into the unknown and you always feel satisfied yet blown away with the result. Interstellar is Nolan’s most innovative story since Inception. It’s time he won the Best Director Oscar.
Continuing with Film 4’s Fright Fest Season, Splice is Warner Bros. visual warning as to why we shouldn’t mess with the forces of Mother Nature.
This Sci-Fi horror follows the story of a pair of genetic engineers who work on splicing a wide range of different animal DNA together to create their own hybrid for medical use (and to prove that it is possible to do so). However, without consultation, Elsa (Sarah Polley) decides to also splice human DNA into the mixture… Can you see where this is going? The “thing” happens to be born and partner Clive (Adrien Brody) is oblivious to Elsa’s secret to who’s human DNA was used. As it is an experiment, Clive is willing to try to kill the mutant. With too much maternal and emotional connection to the creation, Elsa forces Clive to agree on letting it live, where evidentially the film begins.
It must be said that the whole idea of the film sounded quite creepy, however the baby version of Dren (yes they gave it a name) is actually quite cute, although she has a tail with a stinger, legs that bend like an animal and eyes far apart that the distance just seem uncomfortable. As she gets older and smarter, she actually grows into quite a dashing young lady (with the exception of these animalistic features).
The story does take an interesting turn and turns everything we’ve learnt from the first half of the movie literally upside down. Director Vincenzo Natali consistently mixes the batch of sympathy we have for each character, switching the arrow at every turn and while Dren may be the victim, she slowly becomes the villain. But the film does keep you in the loop that they created Dren, so why should you have any sympathy towards their naivety? Especially in the scene when Clive’s dislike for the creature unintentionally develops into an awkward sexual attraction. He obviously can’t make up his mind whether he’s the hitman or the father or the lover. This definitely pushes the story into another direction to correlate with the end, but it just feels morally wrong in every way possible making the film even freakier than what is on the cover. The whole film is the definition of Taboo.
Unfortunately, the main downfall for the film was the ending. Although it leaves us room for a sequel, the finale beforehand felt quite rushed, even though it was creepy. You sit through a weird yet interesting plot, to walk into a bit of a weak ending. On the other hand, the high point was definitely the creation of Dren. Her character looks awesome and the imagination of what something like her would look like is very intriguing. It’s quite believable if you put your mind to it, plus the CGI was really good. It’ll be very interesting to watch a “The making of Dren” featurette which should hopefully be on the Blu ray or DVD.
Excluding the unfortunate ending/finale, Splice is quite the Sci-Fi horror that will keep you interested. It really does deserve a more glorious ending, but hey, we can’t always win both ways.
3 out of 4 stars
For a line up of what else is on Film 4’s Fright Fest Season, visit the link below…