Moon - Reviewed

It's ironic that the first feature film from the son of "The man who fell to earth" heads back up towards the stars. Duncan Jones or Zowie Bowie (son of David) as he was previously known, provides not only a strong film making debut, but an impressive homage to all the low-key sci-fi films of the 70's and 80's.

Moon's gripping story is matched only by its aesthetically pleasing set pieces, full of retro space suits and sterile white space stations.
Borrowing from films such as 2001: A Space Odyssey and THX1388, Moon references the paranoia fiction that came before it. The final product is an authentic feeling genre pick and mix that avoids feeling like a cheap rip off or copy.

For the past three years company man Sam Bell has been living on a lunar base mining Helium-3, an energy source which the earth has become dependent on. His only contact with home is through pre-recorded video messages and his sole companion is the ship's computer GERTY superbly voiced by Kevin Spacey.

He's down to the final two weeks of his gruelling shift and...well you wouldn't be reading this if he got home without a hitch. After making a chilling discovery, he's forced to question his sanity and humanity, all the while desperately longing to return home to his wife and young daughter.

Of course, the make or break aspect of Moon is Sam Rockwell's performance which reminds us all of his severely underrated talent.

Bouncing off the walls of his claustrophobic ship, Rockwell is great. Whether you're watching him talk to his plants or emotionally breaking down, there's not one moment where you feel the film would benefit from the presence of another actor.

Having said that, Kevin Spacey's vocal contribution is equally exceptional. Displaying emotions via various smiley faces; does GERTY actually have Sam's best interests in his digital mind? You're never quite sure.

By going back to basics, Duncan Jones has fired himself onto the list of directors worth paying attention to. Proving that less is definitely more, Moon is the most compelling sci-fi film of recent years.

Christmas In Disguise.

Well, it's that time of year again. The presents have all been opened, the family's full of turkey and you've plonked yourself in front of the TV in an attempt to sift through all the cheesy holiday specials and re-runs of E.T for something worthwhile to watch.

Sometimes you can be overloaded by the warm fuzzy feeling Christmas movies like It's a Wonderful Life or The Muppet Christmas Carol provide. Sometimes all you need is a little of that dark Scrooge sentiment to counter balance the abundance of good will.

You know what they say, the best things can be found in the most unlikely of places. Here are five seasonal spectaculars that have a little more to them than a fat bearded man and some dodgy child acting.

Gremlins - Joe Dante - 1984

Most people remember this Joe Dante B-movie for its little green monsters - and that's fine, but it's also important to remember it as a silly seasonal scare.

Billy Peltzer has a Christmas-crisis on his hands after receiving an unusual present from his father. We all know the rules: don't get them wet, don't feed them after midnight, no direct sunlight, but we didn't tune in to see a yawn inducing Yule-tide movie.

Pretty soon Billy finds his small town overrun with mini mischief makers. Smoking, drinking, terrorising residents - a silent night, it's not.

A Christmas film with bite. Perfect for all those who enjoy dark comedies or just want to scare the kids.

Die Hard - John Mctiernan - 1988

Who said exchanging presents and terrorism can't be mutually exclusive? One of the best action films ever made is also one of the most unlikely Christmas films.

When you think of memorable quotes from Die Hard you probably think of "Yippie Kay Ay mother-fucker" but what about the gem "Now I have a machine gun, ho ho ho"?

That's right, surrounding this gun-totting blockbuster are all the trimmings of a holiday special.

Officer John McClane must saves hostages from Hans Gruber, the slick German thief who's intent on ruining Christmas for all inhabitants of the Nakatomi Plaza Building.

So don't settle for the usual quiet BOxing Day watching Wallace and Gromit, lock and load with Bruce Willis instead.

Batman Returns - Tim Burton - 1992

With Batman Returns, macabre director Tim Burton chose the season of good will to accompany Bruce Wayne back onto the screen. There's something special about Burton's representation of Christmas; his expressive use of black and white contrasted against the garish candy colours creates a spectacular experience.

As Christopher Walken's hardnosed mogul Max Shreck prepares to switch on the holiday lights, Gotham gets one Christmas present it could do without - a reject circus act terrorising the city, courtesy of The Penguin. Cue the Dark Knight.

With so many outlandish characters and extravagant set pieces, it's easy to forget the Christmassy qualities of Batman Returns, but make no mistake, it's a holiday must.

Trading Places - John Landis - 1983

When thinking of Trading Places in the Christmas category, most people will only remember Jamie Lee Curtis exposing her baubles, but think a little harder and the image of a disheveled gun wielding Santa should spring to mind too.

This often overlooked seasonal tale sees Dan Aykroyd as a snob and Eddie Murphy as a petty criminal forced to swap roles due to a bet between two wealthy businessmen.

There's no better way to show the full extent of Louis Winthorpe III's fall from grace than seeing his deprived, dirty Santa Claus desperately trying to regain the life he once had.

Although Christmas is not integral to the plot, its presence in background adds weight to this rags to riches story starring two comedy greats in their prime.

The Star Wars Holiday Special - Steve Binder/David Acomba - 1978

Okay, so there's no hiding the fact that this is a holiday special - it's in the title after all - but it's also one installment the Star Wars franchise could do without.

George Lucas used everything short of The Force to pull all copies of The Star Wars Holiday Special from the shelves due to its cringe-worthy poor quality.

Based around Lifeday, a Wookie holiday suspiciously simulating Jesus' birthday, Han Solo has the job of accompanying Chewbacca home to the planet of Kashyyyk so he can celebrate with his hairy family.

Surprisingly the entire cast make an appearance, alongside some bizarre segments including dodgy musical numbers, bad comedy skits and even circus acts.

It may not be in disguise, but you can guarantee cast and crew wish it was.

Up In The Air

From voicing a fantastic fox to staring at goats, cinema has had a brief Clooney overload, however he may have saved the best for last with Up In The Air.

Ryan Bingham's job is to tell other people they're out of a job. Travelling from company to company, building up his frequent flyer miles and occasionally giving self help speeches about how to simplify your life - he's happy.

However, behind the fast paced lifestyle lies a hollow man with no real connection to anyone.

When Ryan's cushy existence is threatened by Alex, (Vera Farminga) a career-driven rookie who suggests that the travelling aspect of his job could be cut out, he is forced to take her on the road and prove to her that it's necessary.

With a impressive supporting cast consisting of Jason Bateman, Danny McBride, Zack Galifianakis and J.K Simmons, Juno director Jason Reitman once again proves to be a film maker worth paying attention to.

Up In The Air is released on 15th January 2010.


Watchmen may have beaten them to the punch, but that's not going to stop this group of angst ridden youngsters suiting up and serving out some homemade justice.

Kick-Ass directed by Matthew Vaughn (Stardust) is adapted from the Mark Millar/John Romita Jr Marvel comic book of the same name.

Enthusiastic teenager Dave Lizewski takes his love for comic books to the next level by becoming a superhero. Designing a costume and elegantly naming himself Kick-Ass, he begins patrolling the streets - despite having no super powers at all.

Attracting some violent criminals and starting a trend in the process, he soon encounters other heroes including the father daughter vigilantes, Hit Girl (Chloe Moretz) and Big Daddy (Nicolas Cage), who are trying to bring down a New York drug lord.

Also starring Superbad's Christopher Mintz-Plasse, it's shaping up to be a pretty fun action comedy, plus you can laugh at Nic Cage because he's in tights as appose to his acting this time around.

Buzz can often boost the status of a film considerably, and so far the buzz surrounding Kick-Ass is pretty impressive. Definitely one to keep an eye on.

Kick-Ass is released 16th April 2010.


So for the UCLAN local culture magazine PR1, i had to write an anti Edward Cullen rant to go up against a Pro Twilight rant from a Stephenie Meyer lover who'll be defending Ed's corner.

It wont actually be in print until later this week but i thought i would put it up here early. I don't really feel all that strongly on the subject, although saying that, this was kinda fun to write and i was able do it way quicker than most other things. Anyways, check it out below!

So what happened? Since when did returning from the grave make you resemble some boy band pin up? Somewhere between life and death things took a turn for the lame.

Don't get me wrong, Twilight did the impossible; it created a geeky movie franchise just for girls. Thanks to Stephenie Meyer, common household geekery is no longer solely assosiated with guys who can recite The Empire Strikes Back verbatim and spend perhaps a few too many days playing Warcraft.

Now we have hoards of so called Twi-Hards - Team Edward and such - who would literally rape Robert Pattinson's face if they were given half a chance.

A girly, geeky franchise is cool, but did it really have to come at the expense of one of Hollywood's coolest characters - the Vampire?

I don't think things will ever be the same. Earlier this year pretty boy Edward Cullen topped cinema advertiser Pearle and Dean's 'Most Popular Movie Vampire' list. Wait; let's think about that for a second.

Did people confuse stony glares and a fancy hairdo for un-dead badassery? What happened to the Lestat de Lioncourts? There's nothing cooler than Tom Cruise's rotting body playing the piano in Interview with the Vampire while he mutters "Claudia, you've been a very naughty little girl".

Or what about The Lost Boy's David with his gang of bloodsucking bikers? Sure, they have mullets and hang out around a greased up sax player, but they guzzle blood and hunt teens like there's no tomorrow.

These are fine examples of neck chomping nasties that aren't afraid to show some teeth or bite some wrists. Has Edward "I only kill animals" Cullen usurped their throne? He doesn't even have his own spooky castle; even Count Duckula had one of those.

Vampires don't glisten when exposed to sunlight; they burst into a horrific orgy of flames and screams, that's just what happens. It's simple Vampire science. Vampires don't watch you sleep; they kill you in your sleep. Never has a walking corpse had such a hard on for girls since Hugh Hefner.

It makes you ask yourself, if these guys were real, how long would this Twilight poster boy survive? Not long i bet. Putting all your supernatural, otherworldly abilities to work by playing a family game of baseball instead of kicking arse are we Cullen? I think Blade wants a word.

Roger Rabbit Returns?

Waiting 21 years for a sequel isn't too long right? This week director Robert Zemeckis confirmed to MTV that the long awaited sequel for 1988 film Who Framed Roger Rabbit? is finally moving forward.

Whilst on the publicity trail for his latest film A Christmas Carol which opens this Friday, the film maker revealed that the guys who penned the original Peter Seaman and Jeffrey Price are currently churning out a sequel screenplay.

Zemeckis, a director known for his love of motion capture technology was quick to reassure devoted fans that this new craze wont interfere with the follow up.

The director explained to MTV News that "The 2D characters from the original movie will remain 2D. They will not be dimensionalized. Not to say there wont be 3D". Adding that performance capture may be used for characters to interact with the 2D toons, "It would be really fun" Zemeckis enthused.

Despite Bob Hoskins claiming he's too old to return as Toon-hating alcoholic Eddie Valiant, Zemeckis tells a differnt story: "He loves Eddie Valiant and he would love to do it" he added to MTV.

This is not the first time talk of a Roger Rabbit sequel has made the rounds. In the early nineties work began on Roger Rabbit: The Toon Platoon a war film set in 1941 involving Roger searching for his mother, encountering cartoons of the Golden Age of animation and his future wife along the way.

A similar treatment resurfaced in 1997 under the title Who Discovered Roger Rabbit? chronicling the bunny's rise to stardom. However both direct-to-video ideas were eventually shelved after some shaky CGI footage and producer Steven Spielberg lost interest.
Should we expect these story lines to crop up in the new film?

MTV claim claim to have more information on the topic and will unveil it bit by bit throughout the week. Watch this space.

In the mean time check out the Roger Rabbit short "Roller Coaster Rabbit"

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

The first trailer for Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time hit the internet today, check it out below!

The computer game adaptation directed by Mike Newell (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire), see's Jake Gyllenhaal as Prince Dastan, a rogue who is trying desperately to protect The Sands of Time - a mysterious dagger which has the ability to reverse the flow of time.

The Jerry Bruckheimer produced blockbuster also stars Gemma Arterton as Princess Tamina, a reluctant love interest for Dastan and Ben Kingsley as Nizam the evil nobleman who is also chasing the time altering McGuffin.

The trailer suggests that Newell has remained pretty faithful to the source video games - there's plenty of aerobatic manoeuvres and swordplay. Gyllenhaal certainly looks the part, however is it me or can you sense the powers that be attemptnig to recapture some of that Pirates of the Caribbean magic?

It could go either way - really good or really bad. Guess we'll just have to wait for May 28th 2010 to find out.