Benjamin Button Shoot: Clearing the Roof
Originally uploaded by ultrahi.
Brad Pitt’s latest movie “Benjamin Button” is being shot in Montreal just down the road from us in Montreal. I was watching them shoot the scene when about 50 minutes ago there was an almighty crash. Part of the roof from a building alongside the shoot had just fallen down! Luckily it appears that no-one was hurt. The police and fire brigade were along quickly and cordoned off the road. Thankfully the roof was just off the road where they were shooting.
“Benjamin Button” is directed by David Fincher, he of Fight Club fame, and stars Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett, as well as Tilda Swanton. I’ve no idea if any of them were on the set for this shoot as I’ve not seen any of them.
See more photos here.
Well I’m now up in Montreal and it turns out that Brad Pitt & Cate Blanchett are filming in the Old Port this week. In fact, not only are they filming in our neighbourhood, they’re actually filming about half a block away from us opposite our regular dep (that’s short for ‘depanneur’ which is long for ‘deli’ which is short for ‘newsagent’). So from 5am tomorrow, till 11pm at night, we can expect fun & games in a movie stylee. I’ll try and get some pics from our balcony if anything exciting happens, but we don’t have a great angle onto where they are as they’re on a side street.
Last night we finally got to see Hot Fuzz, the latest comedy masterpiece from the geniuses behind Shaun of the Dead, and it was hilariously good. Where Shaun focussed on zombie movies (with a dash of romantic comedy), Hot Fuzz focuses on cop buddy movies to great effect – lampooning classic English thrillers such as The Wicker Man and modern high octane offerings such as Bad Boys II. This blend of small town hidden cult, buddy movie and loud explosions is executed with the usual brilliance from Simon Pegg in the lead, Nick Frost as his buddy and Edgar Wright behind the cameras.
I won’t go into the plot, but my highlights include the roles from many great British actors; including Edward Woodward (the good guy in the original Wicker Man) as one of the bad guys, Timothy Dalton as the apparently too evil supermarket owner and Jim Broadbent as the friendly Superintendent. The humour is subtle but laugh out loud funny, and the interaction between Pegg and Frost is outstanding. Plus you will jump with fright at some points. An amazing blend.
One thing… If you don’t like gory deaths, don’t go see this film! No CGI effect was spared to make the deaths as bloody and shocking as possible, with the highlight being the death by falling church masonry – hilariously disgusting.
Go see it now!
There’s a new movie coming out in a few weeks based on Philip K Dick’s ‘The Golden Man‘, one of his longer short stories. Of course the big question is: is this another Blade Runner, or is it more of a Paycheck?
We’ll have to wait and see whether Next is any good. It has the potential to be interesting, with Nicholas Cage playing a Las Vegas magician who can see the future and hence change it, but it’s definately more ‘based on’ the original story than faithful to it. In the original, the Golden Man was the next stage of human evolution – unable to communicate, but with the ability to see the future and a huge threat to mankind due to his extreme fertility and attractiveness to human females. Oh, and he was gold. Dick wrote a story that discussed the possibility of mankind being replaced by a species better suited to the world, but less intelligent – an animal in human form. The movie takes just one of this mix of ideas and puts together a pre-summer epic involving terrorism plots and lots of running away. So it won’t be considered a ‘Dick’ film by anyone other than the marketing folks who get more attention through using his name, but if you want mindless action I’m sure it’ll be just perfect.
Just finished re-watching Groundhog Day. Wow. I remembered it as being good, but didn’t realise quite how amazing it actually is. For a romantic comedy, not the most subtle of vehicles at the best of times, it addresses some pretty deep issues in a complex framework, while managing to be laugh out loud funny all the way.
For those of you who haven’t seen the movie, it centers around a self-centered, cantankerous weatherman played by the ever amazing Bill Murray who goes to cover the groundhog day festival. All goes well for him, and badly for everyone else, until the next morning when, for some never explained reason, Murray wakes up on Groundhog day again. Everything is the same as the day before, and noone else seems to realise what he’s going through. This happens the next day, and the next, and so on..
The framework is based around an old Greek fable of an eternal idiot who never learns, and can’t die, but Harold Ramis (of Ghostbusters fame) does an amazing job of re-writing the story in a modern way. Murray is of course amazing, and is totally believable as he goes through the roller coaster emotions of happiness, despair and then acceptance. Along the way he learns many important life lessons and, of course, ends the film a better person. In the hands of these two masters, and a great supporting cast, the film never seems trite or preachy as it shares Murray’s learnings with us about how to best live your life. Plus it has a cute groundhog! So go watch it today. It’s perfect winter watching, and Groundhog Day is only a few days off now on February 2nd.
Sadly Sacha Baron Cohen didn’t get a Best Actor Oscar nomination for the wonderful Borat movie, however they did get a nod for Best Adapted Screenplay. Hmm. Guess the Academy would have found it hard to put a mix of real people’s reactions and scripted segments into any other category.
Well it’s a grey, wet day in London so thought I’d bring you a few movie reviews from the last few days of lounging around chez t’other Matt (thanks Matt!)
First up, Serenity, the movie spinoff from the cancelled Firefly series from genius Buffy creator Joss Whedon. This highly entertaining, action packed science fiction movie is actually a western in disguise – filled with wise cracking dialogue, a shady governing empire and a martial arts expert psychic with a hidden secret. All good stuff, and it’s definately made me want to go check out the original series as well.
Next, Transporter 2. Jason Stratham reprises his role as the calm, quiet, expressionless martial arts expert driver – this time in his new job picking up a kid from school in Miami. Of course, it turns out this kid is a target for the ‘bad guys’ (including a semi naked supermodel with a penchant for shooting things and the requisite European accents) and the usual chase/fight mayhem ensues. Definately not a brain strain, and not as good as the original, but it has a few good moments.
Finally, Peep Show, a UK comedy show in three short series about two housemates with confused social skills. What makes this series so amazing is that it’s shot from ‘behind the eyes’ of the protaganists, and you also get to hear their, often bizarre, mental ramblings. Failed dates, housemates tiffs and just day to day work are all amplified into wonderful comedy fuel under this model and the talents of the two actor/writers Mitchell and Webb. Go check it out – it’s also currently on BBC America.
“The Greeks never wrote obituaries. When a man died, they asked only one question, ‘Did he have a passion?”‘ – Dean, at the end of Serendipity
Went to see Amelie last night. This is a truly wonderful movie and unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. It’s done by the same guy who did Delicatessen and The City of Lost Children, so it’s visually stunning and very much a modern fable. So wonderful indeed that I didn’t hold the fact that Pam had not bought cup cakes for Ann and myself against her for very long… honest, Pam. Anyway, the colours were amazing, the shots beautiful and the story was captivating – go see it now.
Succumbed to the dark side (of George Lucas’ bank balance) and bought the Star Wars I DVD set.. Sat and watched the movie with Andy and Sarah, this being the second time since I saw it about 12 hours after it was first released. Seemed a lot better this time, more sensible – but it still needed to cut back on the cartoonish pod race shite (which Lucas added more into) and also that frikkin’ pointless underwater sequence. The ‘making of’ bits were quite amusing – watching Ewan get all enthusiastic about his Jedi role. Ah, bless.
Lunch: Japanese place on the corner of 9th Avenue and 43rd. Quite nice.