June 2012 – A lady does not place her weapon on the table

I know, I know: I’m late. Two days late, to be precise – but my laptop broke and I didn’t have internet and please let me explain.

It’s been a busy month, and not just in terms of film releases. In addition to the tens of hours I have spent in my local Cineworld, I have also endeavoured to start a new blog (the still work-in-progress Finding A Neish), write for a new website (Caroline O’Donoughue’s excellent Work In Prowess), go on holiday (to Corfu, thanks for asking – it was incredible) and see as many films as possible at the 66th Edinburgh International Film Festival despite having nowhere permanent to stay, no money whatsoever to spend, and having inadvertently brought Satan’s own shoes.

I haven’t even had a chance to review every movie I’ve seen. Catching mainstream releases whenever and wherever I could, I have reviewed the fraught but ambitious Prometheus, the cheesy but entertaining Red Tails, the engaging but unsatisfying The Innkeepers, the brilliant but over-long iLL Manors and Stephen Frears’ utterly indefensible Lay The Favourite. I have also seen Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter 3D, Cosmopolis and Lawless (the EIFF’s Surprise Movie), which I will review once everything is back to normal.

In between films, I also produced a number of features. For HeyUGuys I wrote about ten sequels that I’m beginning to worry will never get made, for BestforFilm I noted the best and the worst of the fairytale reimagining trend, and for my own interests I posted a retrospective of my favourite superhero movie to have been released so far – Hellboy II: The Golden Army.

At the film festival itself, which I appear to be alone in thinking was inferior to the year before’s (in terms of content, at least), I was able to see 15 films in the week I was there: Tokyo Drifter, King of Pigs, MNL 143, Unfair World, Tabu, Eddie – The Sleepwalking Cannibal, Sexual Chronicles of a French Family, California Solo, Small Creatures, The Lifeguard, Guinea Pigs, Unconditional, Grabbers and Disney-Pixar’s Brave. Attending on behalf of HeyUGuys, I was able to meet a number of fellow critics from around the country, raid the Traverse Bar for every free drink they were willing to give me and chat with the director and producer of Brave, in addition to Robbie Coltrane and Kevin McKidd.

So, with the cyber ink slowly drying on this last month’s edition of BlogalongaBond, Tomorrow Never Dies, that’s it for the month of June. It’s been a busy one, but a hugely rewarding one at the same time.

As for July? I don’t know about you, but I’m seeing The Amazing Spider-man tomorrow night and I can’t bloody wait.

Film of the month: iLL Manors.

Red Tails (2012)

It’s 1944, and pervasive racism is jeopardising the future of America’s first (and at this point only) regiment of African-American fighter pilots. Under the tutelage of Major Emanuel Stance (Cuba Gooding, Jr.), the Tuskegee Airmen are left to fly second-hand planes and carry out the missions that nobody else wants to do. When Col. A.J. Bullard (Terrence Howard) comes through with a mission worthy of their abilities, then, namely to escort a squadron of bombers until they can deliver their payload, Joe “Lightning” Little (David Oyelowo), Martin “Easy” Julian (Nate Parker), Samuel “Joker” George (Elijah Kelley) and Ray “Junior” Gannon (Tristan Wilds) lead their fellow pilots in rising to the challenge. Read more of this post

FILM NEWS: Summer of Cinema tease the months and movies to come

While the marked improvement in weather and later nights might indeed be some indication, nothing heralds the onset of summer with quite as much occasion as Summer of Cinema’s annual trailer for coming attractions.

True, there are a number of highlights (and, unfortunately, lowlights) that have already been and gone, the likes of The Lucky One, Dark Shadows and Marvel Avengers Assemble still making waves (and humping pies) in cinemas around the country, but for the most part the assorted footage sets out the road ahead for some of the most anticipated movies of the season. And, I suppose, The Dark Knight Rises, too.

With teasers for 51 films condensed into just one super-trailer, Summer of Cinema have effectively planned the next few month’s viewing with glimpses at Men in Black 3, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, The Amazing Spider-man, Brave, The Bourne Legacy and film to beat Prometheus, to name but a few. As for the trailer itself:

So what are you most looking forward to? As long as it’s not Top Cat – The Movie, feel free to leave your picks in the comments section below.