So, day 2 of Film Fest and the inaugural event itself has come to a close. Wowsers is about as apt a description as I can think of.
Once more we were treated to three full screenings, one of which a mystery until the opening scenes. All interwoven with sneak peaks, exclusive footage and celebrity introductions taped especially for us.
First up was 30 Minutes or Less from the Diretor of Zombieland, I had high hopes for this one. Basic plot being an average dude (Eisenberg) working in a small town delivering pizzas is kidnapped and forced to commit a bank robbery by two wannabe criminal masterminds, these guys have their eye on an even bigger prize figuring the bank robbery will be fool proof. Nattering Jessie Eisenberg stars and in my opinion won't stand out of the Social Network shadow for some time, there's even a cheeky nod to it included here. Once given several hours to complete this robbery he enlists the help of his recently ex best friend Aziz Ansari. They have to figure out and perpetrate the robbery in very little time, avoiding arrest, a hired assassin and the biggest threat of all strapped to his chest.
To me this film should have been waaay funnier, I found myself shrugging several times, though the lads were engrossed. There are real moments of hilarity and it finishes on a comedic high, (wait till the end of the credits too), but unfortunately just wasn't for me. There was one stand out here though, Michael Pena having seen him in several good movies I had yet to see his comedic talent. He's definitely one to watch. On the whole a disappointing pass from me but two big blue thumbs up from the boys.
No mystery screening could have topped Drive from day one Still there were several gasps and a couple of claps when the titles for Final Destination 5 rolled. The boys punching the air and me thinking 'Really?'. If you've seen any of the previous 4 instalments you'll know how this goes, an attractive group of peeps escape disaster and death based on the hunch of one but 'death doesn't like to be cheated' and the following hour and a half sees them picked off in increasingly more horrific and gorified ways. From the outset this was tongue in cheek horror and the viral released before the movie shows you that that was very much intentional. I have to admit this was some of the best 3D I've seen so far, literally In. Your. Face gore. Chocked full of big fat red herrings so that you never see the manner of horrific death coming.
The entire movie is tense, edge of your seat stuff. FD5 was a huge hit with the audience, laughing right the way through with sudden shouts of 'Nooo' or hands up to faces just in time. I wouldn't have brought the lads to see this by choice but they adored it. Men. My attention was drawn to one character though Miles Fisher, I was convinced he was a Franco, no wait Tom Cruise, hang on, Christian Bale? He's big online for his impression of Tom Cruise for the Superhero Movie and was the brain behind the viral above. My advice? If Final Destination is your bag? Get to the cinema for this one, it's the best instalment of the 5 and has 3D that has to be seen to be believed, just go easy on the nachos beforehand.
There was me thinking that in a year gone mad with remakes, rehashes and plain old re-releases that Cowboys & Aliens was a truly original idea, two genres clashing. Ehh, no. Aaron has informed me that its based on a series of graphic novels. Either way I wasn't expecting brilliant things. There were mixed reviews from the Dublin preview last week (I'm looking at you Ray Foley) so I went in with no preconceived notions. Well, I really, really enjoyed it. Daniel Craig hamming it up as the town's baddest guy with a case of amnesia and a new bracelet with enough force to save the world, maybe. Harrison Ford playing the misunderstood bad guy and big, bad aliens trying to whip them and their kin on board their ships for unknown purposes. This is 'switch your brain off' movie territory, do that and I think you'll really like it too. The score reminded me a lot of the music from August Rush, which I loved. Olivia Wilde, while playing a ridiculous character plays it very well.
This movie is unpretentious and at times intentionally cheesy with comic effect. I've heard critics say this was too unrealistic, Eh, folks, it has ALIENS in the title! How realistic did you expect it to be? We got an introduction from Jon Favereau himself, who has also directed Iron Man, which I think was a nice touch. If you like your movies outlandish and can make peace with the fact that the aliens are 'unrealistic' you'll love this one.
We were spoiled for choice for clips, sneak peaks and exclusive footage on day two:
Straw Dogs, James Marsden, Kate Bosworth & Alexander Skargard need I say any more?
The Amazing SpiderMan We also got exclusive footage & the new villain was revealed!! (Anyone guess who it is?)
Dark Knight Rises We got an extended trailer too that told us absolutely NADA!
Puss in Boots The audience were treated to 13 minutes of this footage and, if thats any representation, this is going to be HILARIOUS!
Total Recall Hugely anticipating this one, our phones were confiscated because we were shown unfinished, unedited footage. It will blow the original out of the water! Coddle introduced this himself and proved once more that when he's not acting he's shy & unassuming (or maybe he was acting?) Loving his work.
Hansel and Gretel Could find nothing on this one to share with you, trust me, it looks great.
I'll finish on that note, there were so many more clips and peaks, this is just the tip of the movie iceberg. There is no doubt we are in for some real cinema gems over the coming year.
Overall favourites of the Fest? For me it has to be Drive, I've already downloaded several of the songs and will be there on opening night to see this again. The boys were in agreement with each other with Fright Night coming out top.
Huge thanks has to go to Movies.ie and Cineworld for allowing us the opportunity to be part of this weekend and congratulations on a fantastic event. Here's hoping this is the first of many years to follow.
Anything from day one or two exciting you yet?