Reviews

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Written by Phil Robinson Wednesday, 07 September 2011 21:54
Features - Reviews
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Fangs but no bite
Directed by relatively unknown Craig Gillespie, Fright Night stars Anton Yelchin  as geek turned young vampire hunter (‘Charley Brewster’), squaring off against an over sexed Colin Farrell as ‘Jerry’ the blood sucker in question, and trying to protect his girlfriend ‘Amy’ (Imogen Poots) from becoming Jerry’s vampire bride to be. We know the formula and have seen it countless times before, but if you’re a fan of the 1985 original then you will probably appreciate this reworking.
Farrell seems a perfect choice for the pale skinned sexual predator role and he seems to really enjoy himself playing Jerry, and it’s refreshing to see a vampire minus the angst and heartache that we have come to see with other recent fluffy vampire films. Tennant is also fun to watch as an eccentric, bad mannered Peter Vincent, and Christopher Mintz-Plasse is perfectly chosen as ‘Evil Ed’ the vampire obsessed nerdy best friend of Charley. It’s a good job that these performances are entertainingly flamboyant as without them the film would seriously fail to deliver. The rest of the cast seem to totally transparent and pointless especially Toni Collette as Charley’s mum who seems to be there one second then gone for the remainder of the film, and doesn’t seem at all phased that her new neighbour is a creature of the night.
Although there are some mildly suspenseful points and clever action sequences, the film is lacking in genuine suspense, thrills and frights and missing much in the way of plot or backstory to the main villain who is really just an evil alluring stage presence. The emphasis of this film seems to be the fact that another old cult classic has been given the contemporary treatment with an eclectic cast (much in the same vain as the rehashed Disturbia film), shame as the concept for this remake had a lot of potential. Fright Night will probably be a hit with a younger generation rediscovering the tongue in cheek vampire-thriller genre, similarly to how the original became a cult hit in the eighties. But for the rest of us this film will be easily forgettable with nothing new to offer.
Having all said and done this is still an enjoyable film to watch that remains true to the original version and films of this genre where the vampires are actually evil killers without remorse. With some nice camera work, special effects and score, you will probably enjoy this for what it is; a slick trendy but shallow comedy horror that delivers exactly what you would expect but not a great deal more.
Fangs but no bite..
Directed by relatively unknown Craig Gillespie, Fright Night stars Anton Yelchin  as geek turned young vampire hunter (‘Charley Brewster’), squaring off against an over sexed Colin Farrell as ‘Jerry’ the blood sucker in question, and trying to protect his girlfriend ‘Amy’ (Imogen Poots) from becoming Jerry’s vampire bride to be. We know the formula and have seen it countless times before, but if you’re a fan of the 1985 original then you will probably appreciate this reworking.
Farrell seems a perfect choice for the pale skinned sexual predator role and he seems to really enjoy himself playing Jerry, and it’s refreshing to see a vampire minus the angst and heartache that we have come to see with other recent fluffy vampire films. Tennant is also fun to watch as an eccentric, bad mannered Peter Vincent, and Christopher Mintz-Plasse is perfectly chosen as ‘Evil Ed’ the vampire obsessed nerdy best friend of Charley. It’s a good job that these performances are entertainingly flamboyant as without them the film would seriously fail to deliver. The rest of the cast seem to totally transparent and pointless especially Toni Collette as Charley’s mum who seems to be there one second then gone for the remainder of the film, and doesn’t seem at all phased that her new neighbour is a creature of the night.
Although there are some mildly suspenseful points and clever action sequences, the film is lacking in genuine suspense, thrills and frights and missing much in the way of plot or backstory to the main villain who is really just an evil alluring stage presence. The emphasis of this film seems to be the fact that another old cult classic has been given the contemporary treatment with an eclectic cast (much in the same vain as the rehashed Disturbia film), shame as the concept for this remake had a lot of potential. Fright Night will probably be a hit with a younger generation rediscovering the tongue in cheek vampire-thriller genre, similarly to how the original became a cult hit in the eighties. But for the rest of us this film will be easily forgettable with nothing new to offer.
Having all said and done this is still an enjoyable film to watch that remains true to the original version and films of this genre where the vampires are actually evil killers without remorse. With some nice camera work, special effects and score, you will probably enjoy this for what it is; a slick trendy but shallow comedy horror that delivers exactly what you would expect but not a great deal more.
Written by Phil Robinson Tuesday, 16 August 2011 22:40
Features - Reviews
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With banners advertising J.J Abrams and Steven Spielberg above its title, and hailed as an instant classic who can blame you for feeling the hype at the Release of Super Eight? However the film just doesn’t quite hit the spot in claiming its place amongst the classics.
Set in a sleepy suburban American town in the late 70s, super eight follows the events after a group of young ambitious film makers witness a terrible train crash, and start to unravel the mystery of what exactly was on the train along with investigating a series of local disappearances.
After riding the success of films such as Star Trek and Cloverfield, Abrams is here taking the helm as writer and director of this sci-fi, almost B movie type of adventure and definitely has some of his trademark style. However if you are familiar with producer Spielberg’s classic films from the eighties, then you will most certainly find yourself experiencing a major case of déjà vu. Super Eight suffers from the ‘seen it all before’ syndrome and rarely offers us up anything new to get our jaws into. The theme of ‘young boy meets supernatural force and military figure bent on claiming it as his own’ is iconic, but here becomes repetitive with nothing to set it aside from such classics as the iron giant or ET.
That is not to say this is bad film. The acting is some of the finest I have seen amongst a cast primarily made up of youngsters (often outshining the talents of the older actors). Newcomer Joel Courtney does a fantastic job in his part as ‘Joe Lamb’; a boy struggling to connect with his ever distant father, whilst Elle fanning as ‘Alice Dainard’  steals the spotlight as the object of Joe’s schoolboy crush who gives us probably one of the most heartfelt and convincing crying scenes I have seen from someone so young. The rest of the supporting cast are all excellent fun to watch; they have a natural flow of interaction with each other and witty/punchy dialogue that is reminiscent of the group of kids in The Goonies.
This film also looks stunning, from the seventies style and setting to the cinematography and special effects, which pay homage to films such as ET and close encounters of the third kind. I personally loved the flared lens effects throughout the film which you may recognise as being a favourite lighting effect of Abrams in the recent Star Trek film and gave Super Eight a stylised glossy feel. There are also some real standout sequences such as the initial train crash which had my eyes glued to the screen as train carriages were mercilessly thrown off the tracks towards our young main stars running for shelter.
With so much to fall in love with in this film it is a surprise and a disappointment that there was such a feeling of dissatisfaction at the credits.  Abrams seems to be juggling several different sub plots here whether it be a strained father son relationship, a childhood romance, a malevolent alien force or a military threat, none of which seem to sit comfortably with each other. Constant shifts in the films main focus leaves you struggling to reconnect and keep up with what is happening, and as a result the films pacing becomes disjointed. I thought I had missed something when all of a sudden the actors seem to jump into action mode rushing to get to the films over clichéd and predictable climax. Although sweet and sentimental at times this film doesn’t know what it wants to be or tries to be everything we loved in Spielberg’s old films all at once.
If it wasn’t for the fact this film has charm oozing out of every scene it could easily be dismissed as just another sci fi adventure flick for the kids. Entertaining? Yes, ground-breaking? Definitely not. Some may argue that it’s a classy homage to an era and style of film we came to know and love as kids; others would say complete money making rip off of old favourites, which anyone over a certain age would yawn at. I tend to agree with the latter. Super eight is more of an average eight!
With banners advertising J.J Abrams and Steven Spielberg above its title, and hailed as an instant classic who can blame you for feeling the hype at the Release of Super Eight? However the film just doesn’t quite hit the spot in claiming its place amongst the classics.
Set in a sleepy suburban American town in the late 70s, super eight follows the events after a group of young ambitious film makers witness a terrible train crash, and start to unravel the mystery of what exactly was on the train along with investigating a series of local disappearances.
After riding the success of films such as Star Trek and Cloverfield, Abrams is here taking the helm as writer and director of this sci-fi, almost B movie type of adventure and definitely has some of his trademark style. However if you are familiar with producer Spielberg’s classic films from the eighties, then you will most certainly find yourself experiencing a major case of déjà vu. Super Eight suffers from the ‘seen it all before’ syndrome and rarely offers us up anything new to get your jaws into. The theme of ‘young boy meets supernatural force and military figure bent on claiming it as his own’ is iconic, but here becomes repetitive with nothing to set it aside from such classics as the iron giant or ET.
That is not to say this is bad film. The acting is some of the finest I have seen amongst a cast primarily made up of youngsters (often outshining the talents of the older actors). Newcomer Joel Courtney does a fantastic job in his part as ‘Joe Lamb’; a boy struggling to connect with his ever distant father, whilst Elle fanning as ‘Alice Dainard’  steals the spotlight as the object of Joe’s schoolboy crush who gives us probably one of the most heartfelt and convincing crying scenes I have seen from someone so young. The rest of the supporting cast are all excellent fun to watch; they have a natural flow of interaction with each other and witty/punchy dialogue that is reminiscent of the group of kids in The Goonies.
This film also looks stunning, from the seventies style and setting to the cinematography and special effects, which pay homage to films such as ET and close encounters of the third kind. I personally loved the flared lens effects throughout the film which you may recognise as being a favourite lighting effect of Abrams in the recent Star Trek film and gave Super Eight a stylised glossy feel. There are also some real standout sequences such as the initial train crash which had my eyes glued to the screen as train carriages were mercilessly thrown off the tracks towards our young main stars running for shelter.
With so much to fall in love with in this film it is a surprise and a disappointment that there was such a feeling of dissatisfaction at the credits.  Abrams seems to be juggling several different sub plots here whether it be a strained father son relationship, a childhood romance, a malevolent alien force or a military threat, none of which seem to sit comfortably with each other. Constant shifts in the films main focus leaves you struggling to reconnect and keep up with what is happening, and as a result the films pacing becomes disjointed. I thought I had missed something when all of a sudden the actors seem to jump into action mode rushing to get to the films over clichéd and predictable climax. Although sweet and sentimental at times this film doesn’t know what it wants to be or tries to be everything we loved in Spielberg’s old films all at once.
If it wasn’t for the fact this film has charm oozing out of every scene it could easily be dismissed as just another sci fi adventure flick for the kids. Entertaining? Yes, ground-breaking? Definitely not. Some may argue that it’s a classy homage to an era and style of film we came to know and love as kids; others would say complete money making rip off of old favourites, which anyone over a certain age would yawn at. I tend to agree with the latter.
Super eight is more of an average eight!
Written by Anna Lucas Tuesday, 09 August 2011 16:49
Features - Reviews
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Picture the scene: a storm over the small fishing village of Petrcane in Croatia brought Soundwave festival’s outdoor music to a close for a couple of hours, and acts from the main stage were moved into Barbarellas nightclub on site.  Once it was safe to start everything up again, people emerged from the club slightly subdued and took shelter from the drizzling rain in Tiki bar, situated next to the beach.  From the Beach Bar DJ box, some slow soul started up, courtesy of Floating Points, prompting people to move out onto the rain soaked dance floor overlooking the beach.  As the weather cleared, Floating Points began to pick up the pace and sneak in some seriously funky beats, while festival goers danced down to fill the floor and beach below.  What followed was a kaleidoscope of music that subtly incorporated deep and boogie house plus much more besides; Floating Points placing layer after layer of sound upon an ever-changing bouncy then dirty bass.  After the disappointment of the afternoon’s washout, an overwhelmed crowd became lost in this amazing eclectic set, whilst Floating Points danced round the DJ box selecting his next records (major respect to a DJ dedicated enough to bring his beloved vinyl all the way to Croatia).

Floating Points, aka 24 year old Sam Shepherd began his DJing career when he won a competition based on a mix he had done, the prize of which was to DJ with Andy C at the fantastic London club The End, which sadly closed in January 2009.  These days when he’s not DJing worldwide, you will find Floating Points at his monthly residency at Plastic People in London, where he has recently played sets with Mr Scruff and DJ Nature.

Shepherd is a trained musician, having studied jazz piano and composition, and fronts 14 piece live band the Floating Points Ensemble, who released their debut single ‘Post Suite’ on Ninja Tune in December 2010 after winning ‘Maida Vale Session of the Year 2010’ at Gilles Peterson’s prestigious Worldwide Awards.

Shepherd has also produced guest mixes for Gilles Peterson, Benji B and Mary Anne Hobbs and his work has been on playlists worldwide since his debut release in February 2009 of a remix of Reel 2 Reel’s ‘Love Me Like This’.  Other work includes the ‘Vacuum’ EP, an electronic, synthy mix of sounds (including his parent’s hoover) and this year the funky, wonky beats of ‘Marilyn’ and cool mix of soundscapes in ‘Sais (Dub)’.  Shepherd’s ‘Vacuum Boogie’ also won Track of the Year 2010 at Gilles Peterson’s Worldwide Awards.  On top of all this, Shepherd is currently studying a PhD in Neuroscience at UCL (University College London).

Shepherd was at Soundwave as part of Eglo Records, which he co-founded with Rinse FM DJ Alexander Nut and has also produced for Eglo family member and gorgeous voice Fatima.  All in all, Floating Points is one bright spark worth watching and listening out for.

Written by Anna Lucas Sunday, 31 July 2011 18:50
Features - Reviews
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An experience you must not miss whilst at the Soundwave Festival in Croatia is one of the boat parties. Organised by independent providers, be sure to book your boat party when purchasing your festival tickets, as they sell out quickly. This year extra ‘Miss the Boat parties’ were organised for the Tuesday due to high demand. Unfortunately, the Soundwave website fails to highlight the fact that the festival runs from Wednesday to Wednesday resulting in a few disappointed people leaving before the end.

Freeq set sail Friday evening with the Manchester based Hoya:Hoya crew – a collection of DJs including Jonny Dub, Illum Sphere, Jon K, Krystal Klear, and their host on the mic Chunky. Hoya:Hoya’s club night is produced by Jonny Dub and Illum Sphere and began life at the music box Manchester. Hoya:Hoya was then relaunched at Manchester’s Roadhouse and takes place every last Saturday of the month, celebrating its third birthday in Feburary 2011.

Whipping a truly appreciative crowd into a dancing party frenzy, these guys delivered an eclectic set which expertly moved through Deep House, Techno, and Electro to Dubstep, Reggae, Hip Hop and back, dropping in tracks that raised cheers from the revellers, whilst Chunky kept the party vibe high with his skills on the mic and crazy shoulder dancing.

Boat parties take place in the day or evening and last for approximately 5 hours. The only niggling point of this journey is the lack of toilet facilities – 2 toilets for a 200 crowd meant that much time was spent in a queue – wasted party time. Overpriced alcohol is another grievance, but I guess this comes with festival territory. All in all, watching the sunset over the sea whilst dancing to the funky boogie beats of Hoya:Hoya was definitely the highlight of the Summer.

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