Tag: movies

This week Joe West succumbs to the obvious and writes about awards shows. Sort of.

It’s quite annoying that the purest form of humility requires that you don’t seek or expect any recognition for your actions. Most of the things we do are executed in the expectation that someone else will find out and respond favourably. Altruism is as real as Father Christmas or love.

For example, this morning I overheard two builders who were working in the flat above mine loudly discussing the fact that they’d love it if a little red car could move and allow their massive van to park less illegally on the street outside. Since it was my little red car they were talking about, I realised that I’d been endowed with a major responsibility.

Out I went, moving it to a different space and giving them room. Then I came back inside. Then, after standing in thought for a few seconds, I left the flat and went upstairs to alert them to my good deed in person. I didn’t need to do this, but I knew that if they learnt that I’d acted kindly on purpose, rather than finding the car gone and assuming it was a coincidence, they’d heap praise upon me.

I was right, and I left with their jubilant thanks ringing in my ears. I wore that fuzzy feeling of appreciation like a gentleman’s cloak, humble in my acceptance of the plaudits and yet buzzing with selfish glee on the inside.

That, I imagine, is how it feels to win an Oscar. So it’s entirely hypocritical of me to hold awards shows in such contempt, while knowing that if I won at one, I’d become a massive, self-congratulatory twazzock.

It’s equally preposterous of me to think, as I do, that the nobility of working hard in obscurity outweighs the breathless rhetoric of adoration heaped at the feet of internationally renowned actors. How convenient that I, a nobody, would judge my own state of insignificance to be superior to that of talented, beautiful multimillionaires. And how pompous. Yet here we are.

So what if they did away with the shows, but kept the awards? Aren’t these glitzy galas just an admission that even the rich and powerful of Hollywood need that money shot moment of climax to legitimise their improbable successes? If not, wouldn’t the stars be happy to get their baubles in the post, or even turn them down, as I pretend I would do in the event of being offered an OBE?

Infuriatingly, this year’s Oscar winners were, for the most part, a likeable, unassuming bunch. Jennifer Lawrence is quickly outdoing Emma Stone in the Hollywood girl-next-door stakes, while Christoph Waltz is charmingly self-effacing and humble. This alone is enough to make me consider watching them next year. If I can get over myself.

Vin Diesel and Michelle Rodriguez can be seen discussing the tenuous links between the Fast & Furious franchise and some of the underlying themes which it apparently deals with in this new featurette for the upcoming sixth instalment.

Fast & Furious 6 is another globe-trotting adventure that will see a lot of the action taking place in Europe. In fact London will be one of the movie's key locations and you can catch some behind the scenes footage of the cast and crew in the capital during this brief clip, with Sung Kang and Elsa Patakay scuttling for cover behind the distinctive red pillar box used by our very own Royal Mail.

To the casual observer it may look like they've made essentially the same film for the sixth time in a row, but then that's kind of the point. Audiences clearly like car chases and uncomplicated/stupid crime caper plots. And why deny them their fun?

Fast & Furious 6 will be out in the UK on May 24th.

monsters university poster
Monsters University poster

We're getting pretty excited about Monsters University, Pixar's upcoming prequel to the original 2001 hit.

Although the studio has shown an increased willingness to raid its back catalogue in recent years, the Monsters, Inc. universe is definitely one that most fans will be happy to revisit.

Although Mike and Sulley were good pals in adulthood, this movie looks at the early days of their relationship when they were rivals in higher education rather than bosom buddies.

The latest Monsters University poster packs in plenty of colourful characters and as you can see from the trailer, the film really looks gorgeous.

UK cinemas will be showing Monsters University from July 12th.

The lovely chaps at Total Film have nabbed themselves a brand new clip from upcoming UK crime thriller Welcome to the Punch.

Mark Strong stars as an ex-pat criminal who has no choice but to return to London to help his son, even if it means risking arrest. Although a detective played by James McAvoy is hot on his trail, it soon becomes apparent that the pair will need to work together in order to fight a conspiracy that's bigger than their personal feud.

Welcome to the Punch is out in the UK on March 15th and it'll be good to see Strong back in a role that allows him to use his native accent.

The American tradition of 'spring break' is awful and irresistible in almost equal measure. A bit like dubstep, or Krispy Kreme donuts. And the new international trailer for Spring Breakers features plenty of the former and none of the latter.

Starring a selection of former Disney starlets and an almost unrecognisable James Franco, the film charts the excessive exploits of four college girls who get entangled with a sun-drenched crime spree that inexplicably requires the perpetual wearing of bikinis.

We'll be able to catch Spring Breakers in the UK from April 5th. Hopefully its blend of bubblegum teen idols and gun-waggling violence will be unusual enough to make it worth watching. On the other hand, it could be another Sucker Punch. *shudder*