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Non-Review Review: A Simple Favour

At one point around the two-thirds mark of the film, an insurance claims investigator offers a recap of all the twists and turns of A Simple Favour to that point. “It’s bananas!” she observes.

She’s not wrong. A Simple Favour is modern film noir with a pitch black sense of humour, populated with two femme fatales and driven with an infectious enthusiasm. It is not a parody or a deconstruction of the genre, but instead a demented celebration. This is a film that revels in the tropes and the conventions of these sorts of layoured labyrinthine narratives, processing all the sharp turns and wacky reveals with an eager (and effectively disconcerting) smile on its face.

Picture perfect.

A Simple Favour often feels like an extended homage to the work of Gillian Flynn, filtered through the lens of Paul Feig. This combination works very well, going down like the kind of martini served in a freezing glass with ice-cold gin. Both Flynn and Feig share an acerbic sense of humour, and tendency to pick at the gender roles usually assigned by society. A Simple Favour might share some of its DNA with Gone Girl or Sharp Objects, but it also feels like the vicious and biting younger sibling of Bridesmaids or Spy.

A Simple Favour does suffer a little bit from the comparisons to Flynn’s work, and occasionally veers slightly too far into broad comedy, but it is powered by a sophisticated charm threaded with a pitch black sense of humour.

Red flags.

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12 Movie Moments of 2012: “You’d Love My Boyfriend, He’s a Total Chick Flick Nut” (ParaNorman)

As well as counting down the top twelve films, I’m also going to count down my top twelve movie related “moments” of 2012. The term “moment” is elastic, so expect some crazy nonsense here. And, as usual, I accept that my taste is completely absurd, so I fully expect you to disagree. With that in mind, this is #7

I’m normally hesitant to involve politics in this blog. It is, after all, a blog about popular culture. Indeed, I am the first to complain about obnoxious celebrities standing on their soapbox espousing their political beliefs. It’s not that I disagree with them, or that they aren’t entitled to their opinion, I’m just uncomfortable with the idea that being famous makes you an expert to speak on a particular cause or issue. Still, in the spirit of Christmas, allow me one small digression.

That said, I couldn’t help but smile at the climax to ParaNorman, a solidly entertaining family adventure that took its own message to heart. Embracing the idea that there’s nothing scary about something just because it’s different than you, it earned the wrath of the extreme right because it dared to suggest that one of its character might be in a loving and stable homosexual relationship. It’s great to see a family film actual acknowledge that sort of diversity, particularly in a way that doesn’t sensationalise the matter in hand. It’s a damn funny one-liner to boot, and the fact that it’s willing to call the audience on their assumptions is particularly endearing.

paranorman7

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Clip for Pitch Perfect…

Pitch Perfect was the first mystery film at Movie Fest, and it was actually a surprising treat. A fairly conventional coming of age story, filtered through a charming and astute wit, it’s a movie that makes the best of a great cast and a strong script. It’s well worth a look when it gets a release over here, at the end of October. In the mean time, Universal Pictures Ireland just sent over this clip from the film. Have a look.

Non-Review Review: Pitch Perfect

This movie was seen as part of Movie Fest, which is as much of a joy this year as it was last year.

Pitch Perfect seems like a recipe for a disaster. It’s a college pseudo-coming-of-age comedy set in the competitive world of acapella, with a women’s group fighting to break “the acapella glass ceiling.” (We’re told – by a commentator described as “a misogynist at heart” – that “woman are about as good at being acapella singers as they are at being doctors.”) However, the film is a joy to watch, a light feel-good film with a wonderful charm and a bright wit about it, brought to life by a fantastic cast working off a wry script. It’s never too heavy, and it never insists upon itself, but it’s engaging and fun in a way that makes it hard to resist.

Anna-phonic sound…

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New Pitch Perfect Featurette…

Universal Pictures have just sent on this inside look at Pitch Perfect, the acapella-themed musical comedy that will be arriving in cinemas in October. We’re big fans of both acapella and Anna Kendrick here at the m0vie blog, so it’s pretty safe to say we’re on board for it. Check out the feature below.

New Pitch Perfect Trailer…

Universal just sent over the trailer for Pitch Perfect, the upcoming comedy starring Anna Kendrick. That alone makes it well worth a look, but I have to admit I am intrigued by the idea of a comedy set in the world accapella. I am not even being sarcastic – I adore that sort of music. I am not even kidding or being ironic. Check out Mike Tompkins’s work. Anyhaw, Pitch perfect is opening in October and is from director Jason Moore, who gave us the awesome Avenue Q. Anyway, here’s the trailer.

Non-Review Review: Twilight – Breaking Dawn, Part I

Twilight tends to generate a great deal of controversy on the internet, which is something I’ve never really understood. After all, all aspects of fandom – movies, television, comic books, video games – tend to suffer from a mainstream prejudice, so it seems strange that Twilight should attract such a harsh response from fans of other niche culture. In fact, I’d subscribe to the argument that Twilight: Breaking Dawn, Part I is just like any other major franchise film, like The Expendables or Transformers III. The only major difference is that it’s aimed at the female demographic rather than a male one. Keep in mind this isn’t a defense (it has many of the same weaknesses as those two films), but rather an observation – it’s something I’ve always found strange.

To have and to hold...

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