Sunday, 21 March 2010
The interior monologue of Nick Twisp is the main guiding light through the simple narrative, until Dillinger appears and releases his inner madness. Francois is the love child of Twists loneliness and vivid imagination and, in a scene reminiscent of the Nutty Professor, Twist and Dillinger run riot in Berkley, eventually blowing half the street apart. The relationship that the two characters seems to have is be strained at best; Twist gives the impression of not approving of his alter ego, even though he created him. This raises the question whether Dillinger is an alter ego, or just a psychiatrist’s wet dream. It’s not a Gollum/Sméagol relationship though; it feels as though Arteta is trying to suggest that we all have a bit of crazy in us somewhere.
The film imitates Cera’s split personality; while some of the film has fun, quirky elements, overall Youth has a very slow pace, and taking away any humour Arteta tries for. While the acting is good, the cameos certainly add to the film, the portrayal of Dillinger doesn’t so much say youth in revolt, more like Twisp with a hangover. Doubleday’s convincing character makes the relationship between the two teenagers feel all the more real, but the story certainly has room to develop.
Thursday, 18 March 2010
Tim Burton has become known for his gothic and dark style, most recently with the 3-D spectacular that is Alice in Wonderland. The use of the 3-D, now recognised as a decent art form thanks to Avatar (cough) finally realises the scope of Burton’s often peculiar and sometimes downright creepy aesthetic and although the film is visually pleasing, it also relies heavily on its soundtrack, composed by Danny Elfman. He has collaborated with Burton on the majority of his films, with only a few exceptions, one of which Ed Wood, and most notably Sweeny Todd: the Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007) which was orchestrated by the original composer of the musical, Stephen Sondheim. Burton is well known for constantly teaming up with old cast and crew members, Johnny Depp, Danny DeVito and Helena Bonham Carter to name but a few. Elfman suggests that this constant collaboration is perfect for a film composer. “It’s a very elitist community, much more so than any other aspect of film.”
Alice in Wonderland goes back to the traditional Elfman style, where films like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005) had an almost Howard Shore/The Fly quality, full of electronic, jagged beats, the new alliance has a much darker edge, perfectly complimenting the baron wasteland Burton portrays. Elfman implies that this approach is an outlook on life. “I’m not a doomist. My attitude is always to be critical of what’s around you, but never to forget how lucky we are.” This way of thinking has produced some of the most memorable scores; the best known is The Nightmare before Christmas (1993). Elfman has developed this gloomy and cheerless fashion of music writing from being completely in love with Halloween.
As well as the original scoring of the film, the album Almost Alice gives the film a rocky, modern edge that helps distinguish it from the Disney classic of 1951. Bands that almost everyone has heard of, unless you happen to live in a cave, contribute. The best known of these is Avril Lavigne’s inspirationally titled ‘Alice’. Of course this raises the question of whether original scoring or the use of source music makes a better contribution to films. In this case the original score wins out; the album is at best another advert for the film. Overall Elfman’s score helps Alice in Wonderland’s overall portrayal of a dark and twisted world come to life.
Quotes taken from the Music Connection article/ New York Times article
Wednesday, 10 March 2010
Sunday, 7 March 2010
Saturday, 6 March 2010
Right so here we go, my first game review. I thought I'd start with Brutal Legend since its one of the easiest games i've ever played. The story is pretty basic: save a medieval rock world from an evil guy with a stupid haircut, while trying to get with your best friends Mrs (which happens pretty early on). The game does have some good cameos; Ozzy Osbourne appears and a heavy metal mechanic, and while the graphics are a tad shoddy, they work well enough with the voice acting. The game play is pretty basic too. The game tries to introduce the idea of sending hoards of groupies and head bangers off to do your bidding, and while this is sometimes useful, it's far easier and saves a lot more time if you just run around and bash the crap out of anything that moves. The levels are pretty simple too, Brutal Legend tries to be a sandbox, but the world is far too small and there is nothing to do outside the main story apart from drive around in a super car and bash into goats. At the beginning of the game you're encouraged to go around and help people lost in the fields, but these side missions are so dull, you whizz through the story line at a ridiculous rate. It doesn't help that if you click the left trigger (xbox 360) your car moves so fast everything becomes a blur.
Jack Black has now be typecast as the 21st century rock clown, and nothing has changed in Brutal Legend, he pretty much plays the same character he did in School of Rock, but with a different name and a guitar that kills fairly weak enemies with a lightning bolt. When the game opens, it feels more like a scene from Pick of Destiny than a game. Overall Brutal Legend has a lacklustre appeal, a shame since Tim Schafer has had great success with previous games, most notably the fun point and click game Secret of Monkey Island.
Arteta’s portrayal of a love sick teenager comes full circle in Revolt. The film journeys through the life of Nick Twisp, a character with whom many young people can associate with. What gives the film its original twist is the way in which Arteta takes and ordinary premise and develops into an entertaining and engaging film, with the charismatic Frenchman, Francois Dillinger. Adding to this Michael Cera’s performance as Twisp gives the film an indie vibe that Cera is well known for; his previous performances in Juno and Superbad give the film an automatic indication to the audience that this is a film showing what Cera does best. His sarcastic charm shines through in the film.
The interior monologue of Twist is the main guiding light through the narrative, until Dillinger appears and releases his inner madness. Francois is the love child of Twists loneliness and vivid imagination and, in a scene reminiscent of the Nutty Professor, Twist and Dillinger run riot in Berkley, eventually blowing half the street apart. The relationship that the two (or maybe one, depending how you look at it) characters seems to have is be strained at best, Twist gives the impression of not approving of his alter ego, even though he created him. This raises the question whether Dillinger is an alter ego, or just a psychiatrist’s wet dream.