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Non-Review Review: The Creature From the Black Lagoon (1954)

In many respects, The Creature From the Black Lagoon feels like a brass band funeral for the golden age of the Universal monster movies. The subgenre would continue ticking over for quite some time. Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy would be released the following year, The Creature From the Black Lagoon would spawn two sequels for the two years following, and Universal would try a spate of monster movies up until The Leech Woman in 1960. However, it’s clear that – by 1954 – the golden age of the Universal monster movie was well over.

And I think that part of the reason that The Creature From the Black Lagoon works so well is because it’s almost a mournful eulogy for the genre.

Out of the depths…

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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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Snow White & The Huntsman Trailer

Hi there. Just a quick one. The guys at Universal sent over the new Snow White & The Huntsman trailer earlier, and I’ve included it below. It’s certainly a bit darker and grittier than the other Snow White reimagining being released this year, Mirror Mirror. I’m actually looking forward a bit to both films, if only because they have two very distinct visual identities, and I am interested in fairytale reimaginings and deconstructions. I have to admit to quite liking the imagery with Charlize Theron in the bath of milk. While some might argue two Snow White films within the space of a month is over-saturating the market, I suspect make an interesting comparison. What do you guys think? The trailer’s below.

American Pie: The Reunion Trailer

Universal have sent over their latest trailer of their American Pie: The Reunion film, that will be released shortly. I’m going to be entirely honest here, and concede that I think the franchise fell apart after the first instalment – much like the Saw series. Still, that said, the original American Pie was a randy teenage sex comedy for an entire generation, and bringing most of the original ensemble back is probably a smart move. After all, there are any number of iconic gross-out moments to be found in that first film. I’m not a huge fan, but I recall that original film with a wry and amused grin. I’ll let you make up your own mind, but here’s the trailer.

A Despicable iPhone Gimmick…

Animated film Despicable Me was released Stateside at the weekend and it had a rather wonderful gimmick. An iPhone app. It was basically an app which translated what the adorable little yellow minions were saying, so that they could be understood by the audience. I’m on the fence about the idea, but you have to give credit where credit is due – it’s an absolutely ingenious idea, and one I can see slowly catching on.

These yellow guys are (i)phoning it in...

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Are Publishers of Embargoed Reviews Public Enemies?

Damn you, Billy Joel! No I’m stuck humming Leningrad! (Cold War kids are hard to kill, under their desks in an air raid drill!)

Anyway, it looks to be a relatively quiet week, cinema-wise. The calm before the proverbial storm when Transformers 2 arrives at the American Box Office. Us Europeans got it first and trust us – it ain’t that great. The real movie we’re looking forward to next weekend is Michael Mann’s Public Enemies. The king of crime dramas working with both Johnny Depp and Christian Bale on one of the most compelling true-crime stories in American popular history – what’s not to like? We’d tell you, but Universal is taking down all those early reviews, so we best be careful. I guarantee half the people reading this post will be lawyers from Universal.

Universal have a novel approach for dealing with reviewers breaking the embargo...

Universal have a novel approach for dealing with reviewers breaking the embargo...

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