Movie news, reviews and interviews with Claudia Winkleman and Danny Leigh. Featuring a review of sci-fi remake The Thing and a look at Happy Feet Two.
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Hello and welcome to Film 2011. We are live and if you want to get in
touch the details are on the screen now. Coming up tonight: We go back
to Antarctic as The Thing returns. I think this thing... Life is sweet
in Romantics Anonymous. And the little birds with big
personalities are back for happy Feet Two.
First tonight, The Thing, a prequel to the classic 1982 film of the
same name. 48 hours ago we found something
remarkable. What did they find? structure. And a spesman --
speciman. It's a character piece about a group of people stranded in
a camp and they think they made the biggest discovery in the world,
finding alien life. We estimate this being here 100,000 years.
they find this alien frozen in the ice it's initially extremely
exciting and their first thought is they are going to be rich and
famous. Sander decides he wants to drill into it. I am going to take a
tissue sample. Do you think that's a good idea? Once they do that it's
out. Somebody was attacked. seems everyone is fine. This thing
has probably replicated a person. The original is an all-male cast
and it was cool to see a film that has an all-male cast. We really
want to set ourselves apart from that. It isn't a remake. We are
doing something different and bringing in this different dynamic.
Kate, OK. This is not the time to be yelling fire. Let's stop, gather
our thoughts and discuss this in private. We don't need any private
meetings, Dr. Boo! This is what the fans will want to
see. They'll want to see the dirt, the isolation. They'll want to see
the paranoia and the fear in this Good evening. Hello to you. Scary
or not scary? It's scary-ish. It's interesting, everyone who is
associated with The Thing is keen to point out this is not a remark,
it's a prequel. In fact, I think it's both. It's probably a pre-make.
It does work hard to knit itself into the story John Carpenter told
in 1982. That starts with dead Norwegians. This explains exactly
how they got there and how they got there in a way which will induce
deja vu. What tends to happen in this is more or less exactly what
happened in both. There's a lot of running down the same corridors, a
lot of the same conversations. From The Thing's point of view it must
be in hysterics, it can't believe how stupid these people are, two
lots doing the same thing. My luck's in tonight! It's even
weirder because there is a crafty sort of almost pseudo alien thing
going on. They've taken Mary Elizabeth Winstead and it's a
tribute to Sigourney Weaver. Is it any good? I am going to have to
abstain. As a Friday night movie, for an audience who haven't seen
The Thing it does what it's there to do. I wouldn't go any further. I
am not sure I would recommend it, I wouldn't stop anyone else
recommending it. If you haven't seen the original and you happen to
- I was scared, at one point I bit my hand and jumped up and hid. It
was embarrassing for all concerned. We have moved on. But if you
haven't seen the original then it's probably fine. If you have seen the
original, you are left feeling like you just want more. Also, this is
weird, I much preferred the effects in the original because you didn't
see everything and it was terrifying. It's not as good as the
Carpenter movie. What is interesting is normally when they
remake a movie that's 30 years old the pretext is that effects have
moved on that they're making it more spectacular. Here the effects,
for the most part, it's old-school effects and I think they're kind of
sweet and quantity. -- quaint. It's impressive, I was trying to think
of the best way to describe The Thing, it's gynaecological. It's
not. You see far too much and far too much is explained. John
Carpenter was a master at withholding information. With this
you know where The Thing has come from, what its MO is. Everyone is
stopping to explain what you have just seen, what you are about to
see. Presumably The Thing has a tea in its trailer at that point. It
doesn't help the film. It doesn't have the same amount of suspence,
that's what you are missing. Absolutely. It would be easy to
jump up and down and say this is a travesty and shouldn't have been
made, I don't feel that. But at the same time it's not a patch on the
original. Next Roman Ticks -- Romantics Anonymous, a story of
Apology for the loss of subtitles for 70 seconds
love, chocolate and crippling I loved this film. Be bold. I know,
I want to be bold. It's incredibly slight. It's wafer thin. You feel
like it could dissolve in your hapb. That doesn't mean it's bad. I
thought it was adorable. The leads were great. What I almost loved
more were the factory workers and herself-help group that acted like
two Greek horses, if you like, I thought it was an adorable sweet
little film. It is, I have to emphasise how slight it is. This is
the only time I have seen a film which is 76 minutes long and it
feels overstretched at that. There's one joke here and it's a
good joke, it's all about this pair of anxiety-riddled social-phobic
neurotics. It's sweet. In a good sense and bad sense. There are
moments which are sweet and touching, there are also moments
it's so sweet you feel your teeth are about to fall out. It makes
Ameile feel like scum. The lead actors are both great. Isabelle
Carre, you can see why he falls for her and he is great as well, he has
this brilliant expression going on, the lead actor. Benoit Is known for
a movie 20 years ago. Would you recommend it? For fans of
incredible slight whimsical... divine. The weird thing was this
one moment where she bursts into song and the film comes to life at
that point. You think it's strange to say given the musicals
conversation we had the other week, I could have done with more singing
because it's reminiscent of the Umbrellas of Cherboyl. It's on
limited release on Friday. Now it's time for the top five. This week
Catherine counts down her favourite John Carpenter moments of mayhem
and horror. When you love a director's work as
much as I love the work of John Carpenter picking just five
favourite moments is a nightmare. With massive apologies to the many
fantastic moments that didn't make it into this top five, here are my
favourite bits of John Carpenter's back catalogue. At number five,
it's assault on Precinct 13, considered by the director himself
to be his first proper piece of film-making and a nasty piece of
work it is, too. Can I get an ice- cream? Sweetheart, I am closed.
took the structure of one of his favourite westerns, Rio Bravdo and
reimagined it as something bleaker. We all know that in a western the
cute kid is going to survive. Not so much in Carpenter's world.
I want a Vanilla twist. At number four it's They Live. It's
in some ways an extremely silly film indeed. Hur hero is -- our
hero is played by a pro-wrestler. A drifter with a mullet, a shotgun
and pair of magic sunglasses that enable him to see the aliens who
walk among us for who they really are. Plus, he gets to adlib one of
the coolest lines in action hero history. I have come here to chew
bubble gum and kick ass. And I am all out of bubble gum.
At number three, Dark Star. On paper it sounds like a potential
disaster. It was begun by students as a 45-minute film about a bunch
of slobish astronauts on this spaceship in the middle of nowhere
and it was extended to full feature length after a producer saw it and
decided there might be money in it. You could have killed me.
The debut is not the most polished film in the world but there are
moments of genius that shine through. And none more so than when
the crew use philosophy to reason with a superintelligent bomb that's
become convinced it is to explode. Hello, bomb, are you with me?
course. Are you willing to entertain a few concepts?
At number two, Hallowe'en. In the hugely influential Hallowe'en John
Carpenter pretty much writes the rulebook for the slasher movie. He
use us unsettling composition and eerie, roving steady-cam and
minimal score he composed himself to ratchet up the tension to almost
At number one, it's The Thing. It's John Carpenter's masterpiece.
It's horror stripped down to the It doesn't simply want to kill you,
it wants to become you. And that's precisely what makes it so
terrifying. Forget CGI, the practical creature effects in this
scene are a viseral and grisly affair.
You see those effects, you see that! I am not arguing. OK. I love
Catherine, and that top five, did you want to add anything? Catherine,
The Fog. That's all. Let's move on. Never
having an argument with you. Next the big year, a comedy about bird-
watching, indeed. Starring Steve Martin and jack Black and Erin
Wilson. What drew me to the story was the
intelligence competitive nature of man. Let the explorers through.
Even in something as seemingly insignificant as bird-watching. The
stakes are so low, there's no money in it, no glory or fame really. But
to be the best. Sorry to disappoint you boys again.
Kenny, my character, is holding on to his record of 732 birds spotted
over the course of a year. many? You might want to sit down.
707 you? 715. How many? 715. Wow, welcome to the 700-club kid, of
course it's this old-timer we got to worry about, what's your number.
You don't want to know. I do, scare me. 730. Really? All right, have a
Excuse me, did our friend say where he was going? He wanted directions
to the area. You see this obsession and passion that these guys bring
to it, and there is something kind of life affirming and funny about
that. Competition is a metaphor for trying to achieve great ambition.
want to do something big, you know. We needed a venture. It is about
the pursuit of excellence, and it is about three guys who are trying
to get outside of their normal every day existence and achieve
something they have dreamed of. Yeah. This is my year. I am going
to make my mark. Most people wake up one day and realise they didn't
do everything they wanted to do. I nuts? Are you asking me as
therapist or a wife? Which is cheaper? I shouldn't have said
there is going to be a freak bliz zard.. That is the experience that
is the big year. There is one screening of this, I couldn't make
it. Please tell us all. How is it? Possibly funnier than anything.
have seen the trailer 19 times. It doesn't look funny. Am I being
unfair? A people are saying comedy about bird watching, how funny can
it be? Not funny. Selling it as a comedy is a mistake. You expect a
comedy because of the people who are in it. For the first half hour
there is a zany soundtrack and close ups of Jack Black gurning. It
gives it up and it is a film about bird watchers or as they are called
birders. You could try and justify it as a film about the male urge to
competition or whatever. I don't know how well that would stand up.
It is one of the most gentle films I have seen in my life. That sounds
lovely. I have seen harder core episodes of Last of the Summer Wine.
As soon as you see Steve Martin, you think this may go either way.
But maybe this is Planes Trains and Automobiles. You wait for the
stripper or something to catch fire. It doesn't happen. You have another
bird. Are, are there beautiful birds in it? Are they true to
birders? Yes and know. There is a lot of bird action but some of the
birds at least are digitally created which seem like a cheat. If
you want to see wonderful birds there are documentaries. It pains
me a bit, because Steve Martin was, still is the funniest man on effort.
You go back to the Jerk, I don't know why he has had to have this
campaign, to campaign against comedy, but it is still going on.
He is still marching on. Good luck with that Steve and leave the rest
of us in tears. I am going to weep. Fee things arouse such controversy
as remakes but they keep getting made. The worst remakes of all time
are notorious. Godzilla. The grand tragic monster movie turned into a
Masterclass of CGI gormlessness. The Haunting. One of the most
terrifying films made, exhumed years later as an excuse for
Catherine Zeta Jones to dress up as captain cave man. The remake of Get
Carter allowed Sylvester Stallone to deliver the line, your a big man,
you're out of shape. Sit down. Blandly botching everything that
was special about the original. Witness Tim Burton's cack-handed
molestation of Charlie and the chocolate factory. The remake is
the definitive simple of the film industry's greed and creative
collapse. And yet, look past the famous clun Kerrs and there is a
different story with some attracting huge acclaim. Like The
Departed.. You got something you want to ask me? Done right a remake
can introduce great stories to a new generation and allow to see
them in a new life. Look at how Brian deParma turns an old film
into Scar Face. Or how a B-movie was turned into The Fly. And one of
this year's most acclaimed films tinker tailor soldier spy with its
previous life as a BBC drama. has been helping us. He has been
telling us about his adventures. With films like this delighting
audience, are we being too unkind to the poor, misunderstood remake?
And joining us is film king Zan Brooks. We have had so many tweets
it would be rude for me not to mention om of them. This one from
Jez, he says "We need money to be put into new talent to allow the
industry to grow." When you hear Hollywood is remaking scar face do
you want to openly weep or do you go yes, it is getting another shot?
I would have a prejudice. I think if it ain't broke don't fix it and
a remake very rarely trumps the original. I think that is a great
point, if you reach the point where a good idea, a fresh idea a new
idea is greeted not with excitement but with fear, trepidation, disdain,
then that is depressing and it suggest there's is a lot of great
scripts that maybe will never see the light of day because Holt wood
is too busy remaking weekend at bernies. Because they are lazy or
they want a safe bet? I don't want to say you love a remake, you are
not as ante. I am not going to say I am pro. In the right hand, it is
a question of whose hands it is in, they can work beautifully. If
Hollywood is remaking something I listen closely, because The Fly.
That was a Hollywood movie. Jeff Goldblum was a big star. Another
example was the French movie from 1961, beautiful movie, but for film
buff, the cinema lovers they will worship that film. What Terry
Gilliam did was turn that act of subversive brilliance into a
blockbuster. He brought Brad Pitt and Bruce Willis into it. There is
a lot of heat and light about Old Boy, and people are getting angry,
you know, in anticipation of that. But it will be remade by spike Lee.
It is not being made by a 23-year- old fresh out of school. He is one
of the greatest directors of the last 20 years. If he wants to, go
ahead. Some things can be better. Can I use the words True Grit? So
you think I am pleased they made that. Don't be irritated. I am
nervous you are going to kill me. Joe Cunningham says I find remakes
are a great way to introduce myself and others to the originals. Is
there a place for them? That is the intelligent audiences response, to
go further back, go through the Rabbit Hole in a way. You have got
this weird thing of Hollywood remaking foreign film, on the
understanding that most audiences aren't going to see a foreign film
because it is subtitled. You see a lot of that, and yet, a lot of the
time these films are delicate animals that have grown up in one
habitat and you are shunting them to another where they might not
thrive. I can read this to you. Carl says "I hate it when foreign
classics are remade. Hollywood are arrogant to think they can do bet."
Should we talk about Let the Right one In. I didn't mind the new.
me in was described as travesty. I would be interested to know, I hope
they went to see it, I have a suspicion some people didn't
because they took the fact here was this beloved Swedish movie and
Hollywood had stamped all over it. It hadn't. Matt Reeves directed it
intelligently. It was a different interpretation. He went back to
screenplay and put a different spin on things. It wasn't a glossy
Hollywood version of people running off into the sunsets. Or the sun
rice. In some ways it was a much darker and cynical film, cynical in
the best sense. It is about films that we feel personally attached to.
My husband for example, loved The Thing so much he thinks it is has
been hornt that anybody has gone to make a prequel or remake. Even made
eye contact with it. I feel the aim way about ET. Are there films you
go go on, like footloose, but don't touch my whatever it is. Of course,
everyone has their sacred cows. Apartment. Can you imagine...
will never remake that. The Third Man. A film of its time. You can
got not go back to fame like that. One of the films I would think of
as a favourite and something where it would be pointless to remake it
would be the Shining. That was about Kubrick, what is the point in
redoing that, Stephen King who wrote the novel December pieth
piesed what Kubrick had done to it and remade his own version. There
is that question of author ship. To me, you though that story belongs
to the novelist, Let The Right One In. We have to tell you we haven't
talked about Hugo, they didn't want us to go to a screening because
they didn't like the way we reviewed the Rum Diary. I wanted to
mention it. The trailer looks brilliant. Is it? It looks
brilliant. The film looks brilliant top to tailful all the way through.
It is Marty. It is Martin Scorsese, making a kids film, I guess, kids
film for the first half, kid running round a station in Paris,
then it turns into a heartfelt earnest lecture on the magic of
cinema, which is fine but I don't go to Martin Scorsese for a lecture
on the magic of cinema, I go for the magic of cinema, that is the
only problem I had with Hugo but it looks great. I am going Saturday.
We will go together. Snuggling. That would be weird. Happy Feet two
the sequel to the Oscar-winning animation Happy Feet. Five, four,
three, two... We are the part of the rhythm nation. There are many
of reasons to dance. What is mine? The only way the find out is to try
it. Let's shake this world.. Happy Feet Two is picking up not long
after the last film. We find a community of emperor penguins,
vibrant, happy, all of them dancing and singing. And we are introduced
to Mumble and his son, and the crux of the story telling follows Mumble
and his struggle with his relationship with his son. Come on,
it is one big old foot after the other. No-one will laugh at you. I
# I don't care where the people say And then there is this ultimate
conclusion which is the fact that the emperor penguin land is trapped
by a massive iceberg. And the struggle of how to get them out.
The population is trapped by huge walls of ice and snow. What can he
do. He is an ordinary penguin. is this? The wave of change We are
following the two Krill who are almost providing a commentary of
the larger issues.. Brad Pitt is playing a Krill. I am going to kill
something that has a face. anybodyed on its butt. I am
leaving.. I was Australia? Must we. It seems silly. I have shot movies
that were settle in Australia. forgot when I do other animations
you are alone. I thought that is right. You normally do your lines
and... What? When you in the same room you get it going. And with
Hank, if you are heckling him you can build off like, comic response,
it just makes it so much easier. You have confused me up close you
don't make sense. # Shake your body down to the
ground # Sing, dance
# Let's dance # OK. I mean, amazing. I was woo! I
was full of; I don't get the story they bring in a puffin, I don't
like it, here is the bottom line, they are penguins, they are dancing,
they are dancing to Justin Timberlake. There is a baby penguin
called Eric. I took my kids. They have said every morning can we see
Happy Feet Two. It is the Film of the Year. They dance. Under
pressure. The dancing to understand der pressure. The dancing is great.
Everyone talks about Happy Feet in terms of this all star cast. Think
the real star of Happy Feet Two and one is the tap dancer
extraordinaire, who choreographed the penguins. So hats off to him. I
am going to have to pick you up on the story thing. I think the story
should be more important, the problem with the story is no-one
cares about it, George Miller doesn't care about it. They are
dancing. Doesn't matter. He is like a nine-year-old boy. Wandering off.
Let us have another dance. Let us go bah to Krill. I understand that
because the Krill are great. I could have watched more of the
Krill. The Krill is this story and it is nicely animated. So I see why
he is dris tracted but at the same time do it whole heartedly. But I
I don't like penguins, Claudia. I find them self-important. Really!
Who are you. Let's move on. I have to speak to your parents. Next, a
Pope, a newly elected Pope has a crisis of confidence and seeks help
from a psychoanalysis but the notion of of patient-doctor
Apology for the loss of subtitles for 70 seconds
confidentialality makes on a new It's the story of a reluctant Pope.
It's this slight curse, which is the curse of the brilliant opening
scene, we open in the Vatican and the Cardinals are assembled to
elect the new Pope. You get this behind the scenes glimpse of a life
of a Cardinal. They're praying for the Holy Father it's not them. It's
a funny nicely handled scene. The rest of the film doesn't work so
well. You have to cherish the memory of that scene. It's
occasionally very funny. The weird thing about it is you could almost
tell the story in split-screen. Half the story is the comedy
business in the Vatican and this psychoanalyst attempts to cure the
Pope, essentially. The Pope has done a runner. But the Pope as
would be, played by Michel Piccoli, when the story follows him him, he
has this crisis of faith, it's a different story. -- movie. The two
never match up. It's two interesting sweet movies, but it's
not one whole. I agree. I loved the beginning. I loved some of the
shots, absolutely beautiful. I also loved the end. Absolutely. It's
fabulous. It's the middle somewhere it loses its oomph. Best beginning
and ending. In terms of film of the week, for me, watch The Thing and
then watch the DVD of John Carpenter's thing and watch the
1950s produced by Howard Hawks as well. A weekend of The Thing.
Yours? Romantics Anonymous. On Sunday director Ken Russell died
aged 84. Here is a reminder of some of his work. Ken Russell was a true
British original a maverick who took cinema to new exhilarating and
sometimes uncomfortable places. His first major film, Women in Love,
called the kind of controversy he thrived on.
-- caused the kind of controversy The Devils, a tale of sex, nuns and
demonic possession established him as the enfant terrible of British
cinema. The first time I really think got an idea of how I could
turn something into a film is when I heard Romeo and Juliet and I was
in the airforce then, away in the country and I heard this fantastic
music and I felt I can put pictures to that and I must put pictures to
that. From that moment I decided that's what I just had to do.
Russell was a passionate music lover, making films about Elgar and
Delius. With Tommy he turned it into a garish and brilliant rock
opera. He took on science fiction in 1980
with Altered States, a extravagant adventure into the world of mind-
altering experiments. By the mid-80s he was finding it
hard to get funding for his kind of cinema and turned to music videos.
Your left arm, it was against your body and I didn't see your hand
hrpts. Nowadays you get more far freedom in music videos than in
features, because the concepts are usually left to the director.
Obviously, it has to be approved by Elton in this case, and one works
together with Elton. But they want imagination and in the cinema, you
know, I mean, they seem to want less of it and more talkies and
less pictures and exuberance. 1988 he was back on mischiefous
irrepressible form with The Lair of the White Worm which went on to
become a cult classic. In later life he described himself
as as making films in his garage, he will always be remembered as a
man who liked to do things in his own way. I like people I get on the
same wavelength and can almost instinctively know what I want to
do. The more you can do that throughout life, apart from films,
without going into great long verbage, the more you can
communicate through there, than And that's all for tonight. Next
week we will be reviewing Another Earth, New Year's Eve. Playing us
Film news, reviews and interviews with Claudia Winkleman and Danny Leigh.
The programme features a review of sci-fi remake The Thing, and Robin Williams is back on the dance floor in Happy Feet Two. Plus, Tom Hooper, the Oscar-winning director of The King's Speech, answers the Film 2011 Questionnaire.