I managed to avoid anything discussing Simon Pegg’s new film, A Fantastic Fear of Everything and entered the cinema with only the memory of the poster and a basic notion of the plot: Jack (Simon Pegg) is a children’s fiction author who, after doing research for a book on Victorian serial killers, becomes paranoid about being murdered.
The narrative manages to be the weakest element of the film if only because it gets too jumbled up in what it wants to be. There is a good story in it, in fact there are a few of them, but together they make an average film. This jumbled mess seems to become a theme since its repeated in almost every element of the film.
The Angels’ Share is a Scottish film by director Ken Loach and written by Paul Laverty set in Glasgow following a ragtag group of young offenders who meet through community payback. The protagonist, Robbie (Paul Brannigan) is in need of a change in lifestyle away from the thug background of Glasgow’s eastend to a quiet, respectable life with his young family. Just as Robbie is seen to struggle between his past and desired future, the film is a mix of brutality and comedy, a balance that is sometimes jarring but mostly works well to create a sense of realism.
The main cast is mostly unknown young actors, some of whom were young offenders in real life. In this respect, the film manages to act on its message of second chances through its casting and it appears to have worked well. The unknown faces allows the audience to more easily believe in the actors performance, and the more cringe-worthy dialogue and acting is likely intentional for the development of the different characters. However, there are moments in the film where the inexperience shows as a line might be delivered awkwardly or a little wooden but not more so than some of Hollywood’s finest.
I went to see Snow White and the Huntsman still unsure of what to expect. The trailers had failed to win me over, though Charlize Theron looked to be giving the best performance and I’m generally a big fan of alternate “histories” for fairy tales. However, the military element looked too heavy for what I’d want from this film and the casting of Kristen Stewart in the title role left me a little cold.
I decided to give it a go after hearing positive feedback from both critics are friends. So here are my thoughts, both pro and con.
The costuming was generally well done. I liked how they managed to maintain the impression of Disney’s Snow White, just a darker, grittier version. More effective, however, was Ravenna’s costuming. Most of her outfits appeared to be made from or resemble dead things – the bone effect on her wedding dress, the raven dress – a seemingly ‘done’ idea but utilized to great effect in the film.