David Fincher as an Auteur #2

My second post discussing David Fincher as an auteur will focus on his depressing and negative endings which often show failure, sacrifice or suicide. It is a common thing for Fincher to involve himself with a film that is actually gritty, grim and dark such as Se7en, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and even The Game; however the endings and climax are always very important.

Fincher’s first directing role in Alien 3 shows this, it’s a cruel horrible world inside this prison where you are only waiting for your imminent death which is slow and tiring. An alien creature invades along with a lost and injured Ripley, a female isolated in this male dominated society and world which sets up a very harsh storyline. However at the end of the film there is no victory or success for either the prisoners or Ripley who we follow throughout, following a spray of guns the prisoners are shot and Ripley commits sacrificial suicide as she jumps into a pit of burning flames. As an audience we have nothing to be happy about, our main characters are all dead and with no victory showing how rubbish and cruel the situation was.

The same feeling is portrayed in the ending of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo; throughout the film we follow the subplot which shows the growing relationship between our two main characters Mikael and Lisbeth. Lisbeth is someone who we feel very attached too and sympathetic towards, however at the end of the film dressed up and ready to meet Mikael she witnesses him leave with another woman leaving her distressed and upset. It is heart-breaking to watch, again there is no positive ending for the film or our character showing just how cruel this world is and society is.

Se7en and Fight Club two of Fincher’s big classics and all-time greats also follow this same outlook and perspective, mainly focusing on suicide. At the end of Se7en our main character witnesses his wife’s head decapitated in box and then gets himself arrested for shooting her murderer which is the serial killer being chased throughout the film. We can only assume that Mills is going to spend the rest of his life in a prison cell, alone and hopeless yet he knew this would be the chosen path when he pulled the trigger on John Doe therefore technically committing suicide as he kills of his future. Fight Club has the similar ending after an emotional and somewhat crazy journey our main character stands with a gun in his mouth ready to end it all, the same situation in The Game. Fincher creates this very depressing feeling of injustice, giving the message that the good guys don’t win in society. Se7en even ends with Somerset’s lines “The world is a fine place and worth fighting for.” I agree with the second part.” This sums up the films and in a way Fincher’s message.

It is fair to say that Fincher has a negative look on society and life in general especially in his first set of directing roles. It seems that if you want Fincher behind your film, you better make sure there are no happy endings and it isn’t a romantic comedy.  Negative films and depressing endings are definitely and unarguably a trademark of David Fincher, if you didn’t see my last post on his representation of women click here.

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Screenplays “Writing Movies”

Not so long ago I thought about the task of writing a screenplay, being amazed at the thought of potentially seeing my original idea flourish as a moving image on a big screen. Writing a screenplay isn’t a simple task though for many reasons, its time consuming, detailed and very precise.  I don’t know if many of you have ever written, or maybe you have written loads and it’s your profession however if you’ve ever considered the thought or idea I have one firm recommendation. Seeking help to write a film I somewhat ironically turned to a library, eventually picking Gotham Writers Workshop “Writing Movies”.  It has been credited as by far one of the best books and guides in writing screenplays; being half-way through so far it has helped me firmly map-out my ideas and has given a real structure and order in what to do. It’s simple reading, straight to the point and very laidback.

I am firmly focused and committed to my idea at the moment and hope that sticks, spending a lot of time on development I have possibly neglected the reviews so for that I apologise. However I couldn’t resist in sharing such a great find and one so useful. I was also wondering if anyone has written a screenplay? Also if they could share their tips or experience it would be useful and hopefully give me a further insight.

On a more different note I would also like to take this opportunity to say my thanks for such a successful month in terms of my blog. My highest ever views (more than half of what I achieved in the whole previous six months), likes, comments and posts published. Thanks for always commenting and sharing opinions, I do really appreciate it. – Liam

10 Worst Films of 2013

So I’ve decided my 10 Favourites and the Most Surprising films of 2013 but now it’s time for the worst and disappointing releases. Although in my eyes I believe that 2013 was a good year for films and the industry itself you cant escape from those terrible films that needed a complete re-vamp!

#10

The Lone Ranger was at first funny and interesting but eventually became tiring!

#9

Everyone loves the Die Hard franchise, just please, please stop now!

#8

Could have been so good but instead it brought shame to a real cult classic!

#7

What’s that? Another average romantic comedy.

#6

So disappointing and slightly tasteless!

#5

At first they were funny but now they’re becoming a laughing stock for the wrong reasons.

#4

The first Machete was a bit of fun, they should have quit whilst they were ahead!

#3

Maybe acting isn’t a genetic trait.

#2

Need I explain…..

#1

Pointless, Vain and Tasteless!

Please comment below your flops of 2013 or feel free to debate my bad decisions!

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Genre: Fantasy, Adventure, Action

Director: Peter Jackson

Writers:  Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Peter Jackson, Guillermo Del Toro and J.R.R. Tolkien

Starring: Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Orlando Bloom

Rating: ★★★★

The much anticipated sequel and the long awaited second in the Hobbit series, The Desolation of Smaug had very high expectations. It had to capture the fun fantasy world and feeling An Unexpected Journey achieved, alongside living up to the action packed visual entertainment it promised. It is impossible to dislike the Hobbit films or even The Lord of The Rings Trilogy that the current series plays prequels to, in my perspective it’s due to its luring story that you get so attached. I went into the cinema knowing full well I would enjoy this film but yet with an element of anticipation and eagerness to see what was so new and different.

Many have criticised not only the second installation of The Hobbit series but the whole concept itself due to its lack of ability to recreate accurately J.R.R. Tolkien’s novel. However I haven’t read the novel nor looked into how the films make a comparison, I take on The Hobbit series as a set of films and those that are made to recreate the story for greater entertainment.

In An Unexpected Journey we follow Bilbo Baggins’ (Martin Freeman) adventure as the Hobbit burglar on the quest to reclaim former homeland Erebor, with the Dwarves and Gandalf the Grey (Ian McKellen), as they battle the powerful and great Dragon Smaug. After some back-logging we continue the group’s quest once again and straight back into action as they continue to be hunted by the Orcs. Seeking shelter in a skin-changers house, a being that changes from a hairy man to a slightly hairier bear they escape the Orcs briefly. They then head towards a mysterious and dangerous forest alone, due to Gandalf’s personal quest of regaining peace in middle earth. The film then fuels from entertaining battles and action as well as giving important plot development for the latter scenes and the final film.

The Desolation of Smaug also sees the arrival of a few new and entertaining characters as well as the focus being turned on a few that were in the shadows in the previous instalment. Whilst travelling through the forest containing controlling illusions and haunting spiders the Dwarves get captured by on duty Elves, a familiar Legolas (Orlando Bloom) alongside most entertaining and impressive the “she-elf” Tauriel (Evangeline Lilly) who take the angered Dwarves back to their Kingdom. There is also much more focus on dwarf Killi (Aidan Turner) who strikes a relationship with the feisty she-elf which also results in striking up more conflict.

Half an hour of Orc bashing and barrel-riding later the focus then turns on another new character, Bard (Luke Evans) who not only plays hero and smuggler for the Dwarves and Bilbo but could play hero for the whole of middle earth after it is revealed he has common enemy with the Dragon Smaug. In the final scenes the focus switches from Bilbo to Gandalf, who battles and fights with a foe whose evil and darkness forebodes a great war. Confronting the Dragon in the meantime Bilbo awakes more evil and danger which puts the whole city in extinction.

There is so much happening in The Hobbit it does take some working-out and reflection however this is not a criticism but a positive, with much entertainment and action balanced out with important plot developing dialogue it makes the full running time important and worth-while. The action scenes where so varied and different it was refreshing and clever, the opening scene was tense and thrilling whilst “the barrel scene” was comedic. The comedy didn’t stop there as the dialogue included some witty lines especially from Dwarves Killi and Bifur.

Admiration away from the action and script, The Desolation of Smaug as expected and once again provided flawless visuals and effects alongside make-up which I would guess will be nominated for an Oscar. The achievement of creating such terrifying looking Orcs is amazing, whilst the Dragon was stunning. The scene that glorifies The Hobbit’s effects is one of the highlights of the whole film, near the closing scene Smaug dripping with gold breaks free and shakes in the sky scattering gold everywhere, visually looking flawless.

The cast and cameos The Hobbit has is also incredible, with a long list of world famous and popular stars hogging the credits list. This time round most notably Stephen Fry is centre stage playing the role which sees him Master of Laketown whilst we finally hear the voice of Benedict Cumberbatch as Smaug. My favourite performance however comes from Evangeline Lilly playing Tauriel, the “she-elf, she captures such an entertaining and powerful performance which is simply great to watch, another pick for an Oscar.

My only criticisms of The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug are aimed at its frustrating ending and slightly confusing mixed plots that also have very expected climaxes. In general the film was very entertaining and fun to watch, the expectations were met. The entertainment and success achieved from this film were mainly due to the fights and new characters. The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug has now only created a huge amount of anticipation for the finale of the series which is certainly going to be the biggest and the best. Peter Jackson’s second instalment of The Hobbit series is by no means perfect or a classic, but it’s really one you have to see.

 

CHRISTMASSSS

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and the same for the New Year! I’m sure many of you got the box sets and films you wanted! I managed to watch so many films this Christmas so maybe expect some reviews, especially for The Hobbit Desolation Of Smaug and Disney’s Up! Finally…. although belated Merry Christmas guys!

Hello Again!

Since starting college again  I have some what neglected my blog 😦 but I have decided to start again with my film reviews. I’ve decided that working in the film industry is something I hope to do as a future and that starts next year. So hopefully writing reviews will get me somewhere, you don’t have to agree with my reviews or love them but reading them would be great and so would feedback. I also want to take requests of films you want to see me review. Thanks for following my blog too, and for the many likes and comments I got over the summer. – Liam

Luxo Jr. (1986)

Genre: Animation, Short, Family

Director: John Lasseter

Writer: John Lasseter

Rating: ★★★½

The second ever Pixar Short and now the iconic logo. Luxo Jr. is just another simple animation with no adventuress storyline or lots of characters but nevertheless it’s rather funny and quite magical. John Lasseter’s creation features a two minutes animation of a baby lamp trying to play with a ball all under the watch of his father, a bigger lamp. The way the movement is captured is brilliant and how obvious it is to see the emotions displayed by the lamps are remarkable considering they’re just everyday objects. Bearing in mind this is a 1986 production the animation  quality is outstanding.

In 1986  Luxo Jr. was the first film released by Pixar and this is now to the present day the hopping lamp that is in the logo and opening titles. No wonder it got so popular with its cute behaviour. The noises he squeaks and the body language portrayed really does make you get attached to this lamp and you find yourself smiling and laughing. This was at the beginning of Pixar but from this you could have easily predicted a mountain of success was on its way. John Lasseter writer and director deserves credit for such an inventive idea and brilliant execution, Luxo Jr. also went on to get nominated for an Oscar and eventually got released with feature film Toy Story 2 (2000). Simplistic but quite simply fantastic all once again with that magical “Pixar” feel.

Let me know what you think of Luxo Jr. and check it out here – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmhZm5FRV4s