Monday, 30 January 2012

What a Couple of Bitchy Agents

Yes, I am talking about J. Edgar Hoover and Clyde Tolson. And I loved how bitchy they were.

Not the best poster. Its just a tad odd with his mouth open, but it does capture what J. Edgar Hoover is like in the film, an angry ranting little man.

For those who don't know who J. Edgar Hoover, he was appointed director of the Bureau of Investigation which was a predecessor to the FBI, in 1924, he was crucial in the founding of the FBI in 1935, where he remained director until his death in 1972. He was also responsible for  'a centralised fingerprint file' which the police and FBI use today.

But on another note he was also known as a 'mama's boy' and a closeted homosexual. The latter being more controversial, some people don't believe this to be true, even people Hoover used to work with believed this, but then later said that he wasn't gay to save his reputation. Having looked Hoover up before and after the film, I think he was. Mainly because his life long Deputy, Agent Clyde Tolson, never left his side. They ate every meal together, they went on every holiday together and Hoover left everything in his will to Tolson. There just had to be something there.

Back to the film. I expected this film to be deadly serious, after all it is an Eastwood film, but it really wasn't. Edgar came off as a moody mama's boy who got angry with the slightest thing. He fired a man for having a moustache and if he didn't get his way, he went and held a conference/meeting. It was amusing in places and I'm not quite sure if it was meant to be but overall I really enjoyed it. As always Leonardo DiCaprio was great as Hoover even if he did look a little odd when he got older and had lots of extra make up applied. Armie Hammer was also brilliant as Agent Clyde Tolson, Hoover's alleged lover. They made quite a bitchy pair. Didn't matter what scene they were in together, they always managed to make fun of someone and or have a snide comment ready. It was great! But there were a few scenes where it turned darker. There is a scene where the two men are at the Races in California, they have just finished bitching about some woman, when Hoover says how much he likes Tolson, and he replies 'I love you Edgar'. Its incredibly sad, because Hoover then begins to talk about a woman who has met up with and 'got physical with' (but hes not convincing anyone). Tolson is heartbroken. They fight and Tolson goes to storm out, Hoover begs him to stay and as Tolson walks out in a very camp huff, Hoover whispers 'I love you Clyde' and breaks down into tears. As I said it really is sad at this point. But if you watch the film there are a few reasons why he doesn't go further. Hint: Mother issues, she's a homophobe.

In case you are screaming at me, 'You've just given everything away!' I really haven't. History has beaten me to it. There are countless books about him and there is plenty of info on the internet, so don't yell at me yet. I really did enjoy the film and if you're curious about this man, go see it but if not, just read about him at least.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Its A Scandel, Its An Outrage!

I was going to write a simple post about how I really don't like women with prams trying to run me over when I'm trying to catch the bus BUT when I saw the list of nominations for this year's Oscars, I was more outraged.

I have to say though, most of the awards worthy films were released from September but only the ones that come out in December and January or haven't even been released yet get nominated. I know may people reading this will get annoyed me and tell me that the Oscars are always like this, and deep down I know, it shouldn't let all these awards get to me. BUT when I see a really good film, I think it should at the very least get a nomination because it deserves recognition. Then I see the list of nominations for Best Picture, 6 out of 9 of the films are either terrible and over blown or just simply (in my opinion) don't deserve to be there. This list is as follows:

The Artist - yes its deserving and I think it should win. The entire film is amazing, I have nothing bad to say about it (as you can read in my post about it)
The Descendants - WHAT??? REALLY? I've only seen bad reviews or negative comments. The only reason it is here is because George Clooney and people love that guy. Also the director Alexander Payne, made a nominated film a few years back (Sideways).
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close - Urgh. Mush, pure weepy mush. There's one every year.
The Help - I approve! But not enough to have it in this list.
Hugo - WHAT! Don't get me started on how much that boy actor can't act. Sorry but the first time I saw him was in an episode of Ashes to Ashes and he almost ruined a really great episode, now he ruins films.
Midnight in Paris - Again, I approve because I love the 20's and the twist. But not enough.
Moneyball - THIS IS THE WORST! Another sports film, another sports film that is dull and does not make me interested in the sport.
The Tree of Life - I knew this would be on the list, so I'll let them have this one.
War Horse - I don't care what people are saying about this film, it was beautiful to look at, the story was engaging and the best part, all British and European actors, with their own accents. This deserves to be here.

That is just one list. But don't worry I'm going to complain about every list. On the other hand, there have been plenty of snubs. Such as that amazing film, the film as has been named film of the year by countless publications and by people, that film, Drive. Snubbed. And the Oscars think that (laughs) Moneyball, is more worthy!!!!! Another snub, The Adventures of Tintin. Pure genius and it got pushed over for what? Rango. Tintin was amazing (already wrote everything in a previous post). Complete outrage.

I have a few other gripes about lead actress nominations such as Rooney Mara for The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. She was ok but Noomi Rapace was the only Lisbeth that should have been nominated, but because David Fincher directed the new film, the lead gets a nomination.

Another disappointing Oscar year, that can only be redeemed if The Artist sweeps the board and The Muppets win original song.

Here is a link to the list so you can judge for yourselves:

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Rock n Roll & Burgers!

So everyone who reads this must know I love film and my logic is that people who know this must love film too as I write about film a lot of the time.

I am currently helping out on the awesome short film 'Rock n Roll & Burgers'. Set in Chicago in the 80's: The rain pours down hard outside a city diner on a dark night, two strangers escaping the weather strike up a conversation about strange eating habits. "Cowgirl" remembers an old memory she has about her father. Lionel explains to her how the few moments before that something you've been waiting for is the best feeling in the world. As Lionel says, "The anticipation is indescribable."

We have two wonderful actors, Ben Keenan who is playing Lionel and Ailbhe Buckley who is playing Cowgirl.

We are crowd funding at the moment and looking for plenty of support (and donations, a little goes along way). Please check out our IndieGoGo page:

Keep up to date with whats going on by Liking us on Facebook and following us on Twitter.

Twitter: @RnRBurgersMovie

Please spread the word about our film!

Silence is Indeed Golden but in Black & White

I recently saw for the first time OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies and really enjoyed it. I watched it for two reasons, first I just really wanted to see it, french film like Bond but humourous. Secondly, both lead actors from The Artist play the leads. I have to say I didn't think much of Berence Bejo in the film and fell in love with Jean Dujardin, but to be fair she was playing the straight part to his comedic spy. By the way go and rent/buy/borrow the film, its well worth a watch.

I had first heard about The Artist in the summer when it was at Cannes and how it had been nominated for awards, and Dujardin actually won best actor. I was annoyed at first because I didn't know anything about it, then after some research, to my delight it was a completely silent film about a silent film actor. The concept alone won me over. Then with every article, photograph, trailer seen/mentioned anywhere I was got more and more excited.

The film is immense. Completely silent except for the fantastic score and two moments of well used sound. Title cards included plus one amazing dog played by Uggie the Dog. For those who don't know the story is follows the successful career of silent film star George Valentin, a matinee idol in Hollywood before the dawn of talkies. His marriage is far from perfect, and one day he meets ambitious chorus girl Peppy Miller and is smitten. Very quickly thereafter, sound comes to the studios and George refuses to make films with sound. So while he sinks all his money into one last epic silent film, Peppy Miller becomes a star in the new era.

Described as a comedy-drama but that's putting it lightly. There is dancing and music (the score) and in some parts, the story turns dark, but thanks to Uggie the dog, never too dark as he saves the day. Whether you're a fan and enthusiast of silent films or you enjoy stories about Hollywood in the 20's or you just love a good film, you will enjoy it. There is NEVER a dull moment. And finally, I usually dislike films where the animal has a major role but this is an exception, Uggie is awesome. The human cast are also beyond brilliant. Go see this film!

To round this off, here is a picture of Uggie.

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Five Courses of Tea and the Long Awaited Musical

For Mum's birthday, my Dad organised a few surprises. First, Afternoon Tea at the Savoy, then tickets to see The Lion King on stage.

But before we surprised Mum, we went for a wonder around Covent Garden and oh what a surprise I had there. We found The Moomin Shop, the most amazing Moomin Shop. I was spoilt for choice, I felt like a child in a candy/Moomin shop!

We climbed up the amazingly designed staircases, past all the regular characters and went into the attic like store. No photos of that I'm afraid, but I'm sure you can find one on the internet. They literally had every kind of product but I settled for a Moomin biscuit cutter, so expect some biscuits to appear in the near future.

At 3:30pm promptly we went for our Afternoon Tea at The Savoy. The room was beautiful, paintings on the wall, a gazebo type structure in the centre of the room, with a pianist playing music from all kinds of films, musicals and pop culture. Everything was so elegant, especially the staff. All smartly dressed and pouring our tea whenever we were running low. We each got to choose our own tea, Annie and me both went for the Lychee Red tea, an amazing tea! Then we enjoyed delicious finger sandwiches (I'm getting hungry just thinking about it) and they said 'don't be shy to ask for more if you want'. But, they brought out plates more anyway. With the sandwiches we had a scone each with clotted cream and a choice of raspberry jam or lemon curd. Of course I tried both and they were amazing. Straight after that, a plate of pastries was placed in front of (the nut free ones) and I finally got to try a whoopie cake thing. All the pastries were very dinky but oh so rich in taste. And then to top it all off, as well our third pot of tea (each) they brought a selection of cake! I and everyone else could only manage one slice of Apple & Cinnamon cake. When our server told us about what each course was I thought cake and pastry were the same course. It was an amazing tea! Just before we left, my Mum said to us, 'I know I'm going to regret saying this but, I've just realised where the pianist was."

We went for a walk around The Savoy as my Dad claimed we could leave through the Riverside entrance, but no, it was locked so we dashed back, past all the Gilbert & Sullivan production names and left with dignity, always dignity.

After climbing many staircases, we got to the upper circle of the Lyceum Theatre. We were sitting in the front row so we had an amazing view, but it was very high, very very high. I kept clinging to the railings on the walk to my seat as well as clinging to the wall when we had to leave. I don't do heights very well, not at all. Once in my seat I was able to enjoy the beyond amazing production. I had waited years to see it and it didn't disappoint. The music was just like how it was in the film, with added songs. The costumes and set were brilliant, and the puppets great. I forgot how much I love puppets!

The entire day was amazing!! I recommend both The Savoy and The Lion King, but just watch out for the balcony in the theatre if you're not fan of heights.