Retro Review: A.I Artificial Intelligence

AI movie posterIn the early 1970s, Stanley Kubrick acquired the rights to the 1969 short story by Brian Aldiss titled ‘Supertoys Last All Summer Long.‘ Intellectually obsessed, Kubrick began working on a screenplay to turn Aldiss’ short story into a modern-day Pinocchio, hiring a team of writers to work on a script for over 20 years including the original author, sci-fi author Bob Shaw and eventual screen-story credit Ian Watson.

The film stagnated in development for years. Kubrick felt that a child actor would make David too human and that the CGI capabilities of the day weren’t quite up to scratch. Rather than give up on the project, Kubrick chose to wait for technology to catch-up with the demands of the film. Attempts were even made to create automated, robotic version of David, though efforts were quickly stopped as the robot was described as ‘too creepy’ by the production team. Continue reading

Exclusive: Interview with Overlord actor Erich Redman

Interview with Erich RedmanJ.J Abrams has always had a knack for injecting his films with a jarring dose of body horror. Cloverfield (2008) had the infamous exploding woman, 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016) had a melting John Goodman after he got soaked in acid, and The Cloverfield Paradox (2018) had, well, a truly horrifying script. Whilst Overlord (2018) is a firmly stand-apart feature from the Cloverfield franchise (despite the rumours), there’s definitely enough body shock and gore to feel like an Abrams production.

There are so many descriptors one could attribute to Overlord; delightfully nasty, bloody and nauseatingly tense are but a few. This film is a grungy B-movie horror disguised as a slick WW2 drama and boy, is it fun. Continue reading

Exclusive: Interview with director D.R Hood

Interview with D.R. HoodD.R Hood’s debut feature film, Wreckers starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Claire Foy, was met with critical acclaim. For me, Wreckers was a film that clung to me weeks, even months after I watched it; simply put, it was an emotional sucker punch that blindsided me with just how powerful the story was. D.R Hood focused her directorial eye on the fractious nature of human relationships and kept her finger on zoom until watching each scene unfold became unbearable, yet I was unable to look away.

Her latest feature film, Us Among the Stones promises to be a brooding, raw tale about family and the significance of history and place. Movie Metropolis spoke to Dictynna Hood to talk about Us Among the Stones, what it takes to make a feature film and how she creates her characters. Continue reading

The Spy Who Dumped Me review “Full of wasted talent”

The Spy Who Dumped Me posterI went into this film optimistic. Yes, the trailer looks terrible, and the script is weak and the plot is cheesier and holey-er than a slice of Emmental, but, Kate McKinnon. Aside from being the biggest, best and funniest in her regular slots on SNL, her big screen debut in the all female reboot of Ghostbusters (2016) firmly cemented her reputation for being a sparkling comedic presence. Sadly, even McKinnon couldn’t save this bland, unfunny, girls-gone-wild caper, delivering poorly-scripted lines by yelling and sticking out her tongue.

The comedy, or lack there of, isn’t the only problem with The Spy Who Dumped, a title that may have duped many an unsuspecting cinema-goer by being smarter than the film itself. The problem with this movie is that it strives to be so many things and doesn’t do any of them right. The violence is extreme and goofy, the kind you might see in an Edgar Wright movie except this isn’t an Edgar Wright movie and the gore just seems out of sync when set against the attempts of spoofy comedy. The film also takes tentative steps into rom-com territory that leads onto a number of bizarrely unfunny series of vagina gags. Director Susanna Fogel clearly had big ideas for this girl-power spy spoof romp, but ultimately fails to see them through. Continue reading

Anime review: Perfect Blue

Perfect Blue movie posterIn the late 70s, the heady buzz surrounding anime that had been ushered into the West by titles such as the 1963 TV series Astro Boy and the 1965 Kimba the White Lion had started to fade. Video store shelves had begun to bulge with violent, gun-toting Lolita’s and cult followings of the hyper-sexual tentacle porn (hentai) had soured the reputation of the genre.

Then came Akira (1988) and with it a swath of landmark films that would guide the genre into a Western renaissance. The release of Perfect Blue by director Satoshi Kon in 1997 showcased a brash, gaudy, visually haunting feature that, in true Kon style, provided us with an uncomfortably accurate prophesier to the erosion of private life in the internet age. Continue reading