Thursday, 25 October 2012

Chloe Moretz, Julianne Moore and Kimberly Peirce Talk 2013's Carrie Adaptation

There are a few adaptations coming up in the near future that have got me more than a little excited recently. I was excited about the film musical adaptation of Les Misérables the second I discovered Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway were going to be in it. I scoffed when I heard David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas was being adapted. It seemed impossible! Then my lovely friend Hillary saw the film at the Toronto International Film Festival and sung its praises so highly I finally started to believe it might actually be more than a little bit brilliant. None have got me quite as excited though as the short trailer for Carrie - based on the fantastically sinister book by Stephen King and starring Chloe Moretz.

At the recent New York Comic Con, stars Moretz and Julianne Moore joined director Kimberly Peirce to discuss this new adaptation - which looks to be closer to the original source text than the 1970s Brian De Palma, thanks to the teaser trailer which swept over a burning town and had the voiceovers of the town's inhabitants.

Peirce said that she adored De Palma's adaptation but clarified: "I took a lot from reading Stephen King's fantastic novel - Carrie's plight, Carrie's mother, and thinking 'My god, this is a fantastic story.' That was always what I went back to." The cast were behind her on this as, Peirce said, they all loved the book.

When discussing the on-screen relationship between mother Margaret (Moore) and daughter Carrie (Moretz), Moore stated that "we were able to push it pretty far" as they felt so comfortable together off screen. What the pair will have made of the rather nasty scenes of abuse and punishment remains to be seen but it certainly seems to have the potential for the same level of darkness found in King's novel.

The panel debate seemed to suggest that the two key elements of the story are going to take centre stage for this film - that of the mother/daughter relationship and Carrie's bullying. Moore said she felt King was ahead of his time for addressing the bullying issue, adding that "one of the great things about Stephen King and this story is [that it] allows us to participate [in] many different ways." Peirce also said added: "I certainly think in some of the scenes there's an awareness of the teacher and the school...There's also a subplot about what one of the characters does in social media."

Those elements aside though, let's not forget that Carrie is - at it's heart - a horror of epic proportions. Those who know and love the story of Carrie White - in either book or film form - will understand why it was entertaining that director Peirce attempted to figure out a rough idea of just how much fake blood had been used during the shoot. Her final answer?  "1000 gallons of fake blood!"

Roll on 2013!

Source: Indiewire

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

First Teaser Trailer and Poster for Carrie Remake

The first teaser trailer and poster have arrived for the new Carrie remake starring Chloë Grace Moretz. And if the town's burning destruction is anything to go by, this adaptation might just stick a little closer to the original book, written by the master that is Stephen King.

Who's excited?

Source: Yahoo! Movies

Sunday, 14 October 2012

The Motorcycle Diaries: Book vs Film

In January 1952, two young men from Buenos Aires went on an immense road trip on their motorbike 'La Poderosa' with the idea that they would explore as much of the continent as they could. One of these two men would become the face of the Cuban revolution. His name was Ernesto 'Che' Guevara

The Motorcyle Diaries, Guevara's diary kept on this lengthy journey, takes him across the continent as he meets people of all cultures and classes, sleeps on floors, struggles to find shelter, food and transport. More fascinating than all of this, though, is Guevara's search for purpose, his search for meaning.

The diaries are written eight years before the Cuban revolution but this is when Guevara's sense of injustice began, it seems. Alongside friend and travel companion, Alberto Granado, the diaries show the major class differences across the continent, the feelings toward those indigenous populations who are judged to be inferior by so many and the lengths many go to just to provide for their families - the section where the pair meet people waiting for work at a mine is particularly upsetting. The work is extremely dangerous and the pay is ridiculously low. But, sadly, these people have no alternatives.

On the journey, both Guevara's and Granado's eyes are opened to the world around them. They have led fairly middle-class 'normal' lives in Argentina, studying and socialising - so this is the first time they really experience the world beyond that to which they have become accustomed. They use their trainee medical skills to get letters of recommendations from doctors and medical staff. They stay at leper colonies and meet those unable to get medical attention. Mirroring this, Guevara himself struggles with his severe Asthma - which on occasion grounds him for days on end. The pair are shown great hospitality and care by some but are also scorned and rejected by others.

As well as meeting people from all walks of life on their journey, the pair also experience all the highs and lows of mother nature and witness some stunning, breathtaking sights along the way. Guevara is an incredibly evocative writer, even here in his diary, as he describes in great detail not just what he is seeing but the impact such sites have on him. His reaction when they arrive at Machu Picchu is intoxicating.

The book is relatively short, with a forward written by Guevara's daughter Aleida Guevara March and a chronology of his life. It is choppy to say the least, but this is to be expected from a diary.

The film, on the other hand, is compelling from start to finish and flows with stunning beauty, thanks to two incredible leads, stunning landscapes and flawless directing from Walter Salles (who recently directed another coming-of-age road movie 'On the Road'). Gael Garcia Bernal is perfectly cast as the young idealist Guevara and pulls off a performance all the more powerful for its subtlety and control. Rodrigo De la Serna also captures all the passion and humour of Granado. Salles has strayed slightly away from the overly political elements of the text, allowing the experiences to speak for themselves and affect audiences as much as they do Guevara and Granado.

The Motorcycle Diaries is a fine example of taking a powerful, evocative text and making a simply stunning film that conveys to audiences what the text can only imply.

Book - 4/5 FOBLES
Film - 5/5 FOBLES


Friday, 12 October 2012

Douglas Hodge Cast as Willy Wonka For New Stage Musical


Only days before tickets go on sale for 2013's new musical stage production of Roald Dahl's much-loved book, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, it has been announced that Olivier and Tony Award®-winning actor Douglas Hodge is to play the infamous role of Willy Wonka. The production will be directed by Academy Award® winner Sam Mendes.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Summary/Plot

When Charlie wins a golden ticket to the weird and wonderful Wonka Chocolate Factory, it’s the chance of a lifetime to feast on the sweets he’s always dreamed of. But beyond the gates astonishment awaits, as down the sugary corridors, and amongst the incredible edible delights, the five lucky winners discover not everything is as sweet as it seems.

Tickets for the production go on sale next Monday 15th October. The World Premiere is set to be held in June 2013 with previews from 18 May 2013.

Here is the official press release:

Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures, Neal Street Productions and Kevin McCormick today announced that Olivier and Tony Award®-winning actor Douglas Hodge will play Willy Wonka in Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which opens at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane on 25th June next year.

Tickets for the new musical go on public sale on Monday 15th October, for performances from 18th May 2013 until the end of the current booking period on Saturday 30th November 2013.

Douglas Hodge is a four time Olivier-nominated actor/director, who has worked at the National Theatre, the RSC, Shakespeare’s Globe and the Royal Court Theatre. On Broadway, he is currently starring at the American Airlines Theatre in the title role of Cyrano de Bergerac, for the Roundabout Theatre Company. He won the Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for his Broadway debut in La Cage Aux Folles, having already won the Olivier Award for the same performance in London. For ten years he worked closely with Harold Pinter, and he was Associate Director at the Donmar from 2007 to 2009. He has released two albums of his own compositions 'Cowley Road Songs' and 'Nightbus', and won the Stiles and Drewe 2012 Best New Song Award for ‘Powercut’. Alongside numerous television credits, his feature films include Vanity Fair, Robin Hood, the soon to be released Serena, and Diana – in which he plays Paul Burrell, butler to Diana, Princess of Wales.

ROALD DAHL’s deliciously dark tale of young Charlie Bucket and the mysterious confectioner Willy Wonka comes to life in a brand new West End musical directed by Academy Award® winner Sam Mendes.

Featuring ingenious stagecraft, the wonder of the original story that has captivated the world for almost 50 years is brought to life with music by Marc Shaiman, and lyrics by Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman (Grammy® winners for Hairspray; Smash), a book by award-winning playwright and adaptor David Greig (The Bacchae; Tintin In Tibet), set and costume designs by Mark Thompson (Mamma Mia!; One Man, Two Guvnors) and choreography by Peter Darling (Billy Elliot; Matilda).

This world premiere musical is produced by Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures, Neal Street Productions and Kevin McCormick.

Further information is available from the website:
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Wednesday, 10 October 2012

The Prince Charles Cinema Horror Movie Marathon

What's better than watching some great horror films in your PJs? Watching them on the big screen... in your PJs. Oh and in a room with 200+ other film fans to keep you company.

Last weekend I did just that at the fantastic Prince Charles Cinema in London's Leicester Square. Ahead of Halloween, they put on a pyjama party with a difference - scary costumes were allowed (actively encouraged really). The film list was as follows: Scream, The Faculty, The Craft, Carrie, Fright Night (original) and The Lost Boys.

So, big sis and I dressed up like schoolgirls from The Craft, packed some snacks (the cinema only had popcorn and we figured something a bit more substantial might be needed if were going to make it till the morning...) and headed into town.

With a packed-house full of vampires, people hiding behind the Scream mask, schoolgirls and a plethora of onesies, we settled in to watch film number one - Scream. Scream had special significance to me and big sis. When the film first hit cinemas back in 1997, I was too young for its 18 certificate. But big sis relished the opportunity to recount the film - almost in its entirety - to me, so I felt like I had been right there with her watching it. Fifteen years, three sequels and a Scary Movie later, the mask no longer had the same terrifying impact it once did. The inherent comedy in the film, though, went down well and there were cheers and applause for the appearance of Henry Winkler AKA The Fonz. With lines like "What are you doing with a cellular phone, son?" from the sheriff and the classic "My mum and dad are gonna be so mad!" at the end, the film that had once terrified audiences across the globe now provided hilarity and a few jumps.

The biggest shock for me came from just how enjoyable The Faculty was. Having seen the film a few years ago - and been more than a little underwhelmed by it - it was the only film on the list that didn't appeal. But with the crowd around me and the surprise realisation of just how many famous faces were actually in the film, it proved to be one of the highlights of the night. Did you remember Usher was in it? Yeah - neither did I. There's also a young Josh Hartnett, the hilarious Jon Stewart, Salma Hayek, Famke Janssen and Terminator 2 himself, Robert Patrick.

Next up was the dark magic of The Craft which proved far darker on second watch than I remembered. It did bring Neve Campbell and Skeet Ulrich back to the screen for the second time of the night though and remembering the fun of the magic the first time round was great fun. It was Fairuza Balk's brilliantly OTT performance that stole the show for this audience though, with lots of laughs and cheers.

Our fourth film of the night finally answered a question I had been unsure of for years - had I actually seen Carrie from beginning to end? Turns out - I hadn't. I could've sworn I had but my stunned expression for the opening scene made it perfectly evident that I had not. I had no memory of all the nudity, all the close-ups, the bizarre romantic score. I only remembered death and destruction and the crazy mother. The film was presented in all its hazy, jumpy, original quality like we were back in the 1970s.

The audience really feels for Carrie, a struggling teen unable to talk to anyone about what is happening to her body or going on in her head - with a crazy religious and abusive mother and no friends. A girl's first period is traumatic enough without thinking you're dying or being told you brought it on yourself for being such a sinner. Poor Carrie. Sissy Spacek is incredible in the role. The ending is spectacular and more theatrical than the calmer, more sinister ending of the book by Stephen King. But I am very excited now to see what the remake is going to be like...

5am and the start of film number five - the original Fright Night. This was another film I hadn't seen, but I had seen the remake so had an idea of the plot. This was wildly different to the remake - not so much in plot, but in style. It is a far more camp, silly tale and utterly ridiculous - but oh so enjoyable on the big screen.

By film number six, I'm afraid I was desperate to head home to my bed so I'll just have to check out Lost Boys some other time.

Thanks to the PCC for a great, fun-filled night and to big sis for lasting as long as you did with a stonking cold!

And remember... don't answer the phone, don't tell the vampire next door he can come in and don't invoke the spirit unless you can handle it...