Film reviews. Claudia Winkleman and Danny Leigh are joined by Catherine Bray to review the second film in The Hobbit trilogy, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.
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Hello, and welcome to Film 2013. We're live, and if you want to get
in touch the details are on the screen now. Coming up on tonight's
show. Baggins is back! Martin Freeman leads the cast of The Hobbit
Part 2. Good. You will need it. Robert Redford is all at sea in All
Is Lost. SOS call, over. And love hurts in Israeli drama Fill
The Void. Plus, Sir Alan Parker talks about his classic film Angel
Heart. And we take a look at the fully restored Cinema Paradiso.
Danny is here, and we're joined by guest critic Catherine Bray. First
up is The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. In the second film in Peter
Jackson's trilogy, Bilbo Baggins continues on his quest to reclaim
the Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor. Where does your journey end? You seek that
which would bestowdown the right to rule.
The quest to reclaim a home land, and slay a dragon.
The great thing with a middle movie, in a trilogy is after the first
movie, you say, OK, everybody knows everything they need to know, we
have two more, let us slam on the gas, and go for it.
When we pick it up, they are still on their way to the Lonely Mountain,
as they get fur into the journey, Bilbo's usefulness increases. You
must trust me. He saves the company more than once. What do we do now?
Hold your breath. Hold my breath? S the main characters in the stories
develop and they literally don't end up being the same people at the end
as they were at the beginning. I found something in the golden
temple. The journey is one of self revelation. What did you find? My
courage. Billow, he has developed a bit more of a backbone and he has
developed a bit more confidence, you know. You are not the same hobbit as
the one that left the shire. Playing the wide eyed thing, is great. But
not after a while, you know, you want to, express something else.
He has a bit of cockiness in his step, and tries his hand with a fire
breathing monster the size of the Empire State Building and something
of an atomic bomb. Yes. It happens. Was that an
earthquake? That my lad was a dragon.
Everything we kind of, it has been a long time devising and Benedict
walked in and he knew. It was sensational, while it is my voice
and my movement, it is such a huge leap on from that they they did
impose. I sat there marvelling at it. Come now, don't be shy. Step
into the light. It is not just about hobbits and it
is not just about elves. Don't think I won't kill you dwarf. There is
enough universal stuff in Tolkeins work, loyalty and love and bravery
and trust. It is about us, it is about now.
It is not our fight. It is our fight.
I fieg find the second and third movies to be exciting, I know the
gauntlet has been thrown down. Now we have to deliver.
Dragon fire and ruin. That is what you will bring on us. He cannot see
beyond his own desire. Danny. It has ban year since the
first hobbit. You spend six month watching that film and six months
regretting you have. This is a better hobbit. There is a lack for a
start of half hour scenes of washing up. There is the hedgehog who was a
low for me and you have an action romp. It is spectacular and I think,
at last there is a sense of energy and momentum and the story getting
somewhere. There is supposed to be a journey. Last time it felt like you
were stuck on a hard should we are in a minibus with a tribute band.
The first has its fan, you look at the second film if two way, you can
say it is better than the first hobbit or it is much less terrible.
OK. There is that. Catherine? I mean I am totally with Danny on the whole
Christmas fun spectacular take the kids, there is brilliant scenes with
giant spiders and barrels and all this stuff going on. I am a big
Tolkein nerd and I I think there will be a lot of people with me
thinking this is Peter Jackson's film not Tolkein's whereas the Lord
of the ring, which I love. I went to see the first one eight times and I
wish I could say the same of this. It doesn't compare, I mean those
films were epic and brilliant. This is just a kind of fun trip out for
the kids. Can I tell you what I thought it
was, and I never use this word. Tremendous. I do. It pop into my
head. I am happy for you, I want to dry I didn't have that. I watched
the first one and I had to go twice. The first time I had two naps. When
I woke up from the second they were still washing up and they had broken
into song. They were never leaving the shire. In this one they go down
barrels. It like the love story, I mean... You like the love story. Did
you not? It is terrible. Peter Jackson is best when he is
tasteless, when he allows himself on this tasteless. There is some bad
taste where you have arrows going through orbings heads, but I am with
Catherine in terms of the romance, maybe a bit of sex, because it feels
very adolescent. It feels like they are going to nip off to the park and
give each other love bites. That is why I loved it. There is a bit of a
double entendre, about what a dwarf has down his trousers, I don't think
many of us read The Hobbit and thought it needs more knob gags. It
is not Tolkein. I don't know it nearly as well as I do. I look at
this as $200 million fan fiction. If you o are going to make something
Tolkein would love, I am not sure you would make a movie with 50,000
people slaving away. My understanding is it was about, you
know, pining for pre-Industrial Revolution England. So what you
would do for a proper adaptation is take 17 blokes out in the same
minibus, take them to Stroud and stage something in a field. I am not
against fan fiction. You loved the Lord of the Rings films. If you were
going to write alert to Mr Jackson with here are my issues. Number one,
what would the problem be? Was it the love story? Number one maybe the
knob gag and the love triangle lean Legolas and an elf lady you have
made up and one of the dwarves. OK, so we have this dragon who is one of
the greatest villains in children's literature, he is supposed to be
smart and in this he is kind of like one of nose bond villains who sits
round making chatty threats and never killing anybody. Anot
criticising Benedict couple batch. But he doesn't seem to be able to
detect 13 dwarves clattering about where they shouldn't be. They are
only little That is my problem. The orcs are inept and can't kill the
dwarf who has the ginger beard, the dwarves are greedy, I would eat the
gaver, the elves are kind of, I don't know, the awful Ocado delivery
kind of people. But I am going to put my hand in the air for the set
pieces. It is about the set piece, it is like raiders of the lost lath
ark. That is what he is aiming for I think. You are supposed to come out
and say I love the built when, you may love the bit where Gandalf meets
the necromancer. I love Martin Freeman as well. He is gorgeous in
this. I want more of him on his own, doing Bilbo stuff. It is called The
Hobbit. Less titting about in the wood with random elves and more of
Martin Freeman. But more titting about with the giant spider, they
present a convincing case why every movie should have giant spiders in.
I am accept my converted. They are as good as anything in the Lord of
the Rings. We have to move on otherwise I will get fired.
Next, Director JC Chandor follows up Margin Call with All Is Lost. Robert
Redford stars as a man stranded alone in the Indian Ocean, after his
boat collides with a shipping container.
All is lost is a film where you join the main character what we in script
writing called the initiating incident. That normally happens
quarter of the way through the film, but here it just begins with this
accident. The next hour-and-a-half you are
watching this guy deal with this series of events and hoping he can
make it through. I like the challenge it gave me as
an actor, to occupy a character alone, with just his own thinking
and behaviour was all you could be with.
. Like the fact there was no dialogue. Those are all reasons why
it was exciting for me, because that doesn't exist much, there is not
much opportunity like this in a film. Where it is such a pure
cinematic Mr Eed for is a pretty -- Redford is
a non-verbal storyteller, he is able to do complex emotional transition
fear to performances veer rans or happiness to tragedy.
The film feels exciting and is a thriller, kind of almost a horror
movie in a way, as it is happens and feels tense and exciting. SOS call.
Over. This is Virginia Gene. This is an
SOS call. When you are shooting in water like that everything takes
longer than it should. Since I did my own fiscal stuff, I think it
speaks for itself. It was very challenging.
And action. The fact you knew you were going to be wet for 12 hours,
sort of every day for two-and-a-half months while it was kind of slowly
happening, with a 75, 76-year-old man, doing it, it was a terrible
concern, you know, I am glad we made it through.
He could quit but he doesn't, he keeps moving, that because that the
only thing he has left to do, is to keep moving.
Help! Help! Catherine? I love this film. And I wasn't necessarily
expecting to, you hear, OK, it is a film with no dialogue and it is
going to be very sort of compelling and you think OK, is that is a bit
of beard stroking way of saying I am board, but it is well made. It is
properly edge of your seat stuff, is he going to survive. It is an
incredible performance from Robert Redford, I was expecting also he
might be a big show off performance but it is so subtle, you can see the
cogs turning the whole time, you can see what he is thinking and what he
is going to try and try to get out of yet. I'm not often left
speechless but I was by this film. The comparison I would reach for.
Gravity. It is an old-fashioned story. All is lost has got the
oldest trick in the movies, less is more. It is all about showing and
not telling. Because you just have Robert Redford you think it is like
a party piece. After a couple of minutes you forget that aspect of
the movie even exists. You're just absorbed. And the last few minutes,
it is one of the most indelible things I have ever seen. That is
high praise. We should talk about the direct. -- director. It is tense
to watch it. It is not stressful perhaps but it is tense. It is like
watching gravity. I cannot wait to see what he does next. We have
already had the out of space epic. It is just talking. We have two talk
about Robert Redford. It is such a stunning performance. He has to
carry every second of the movie. In a way it is almost a risk casting
him. He has been so underplayed throughout his whole career. Ryan
Gosling, younger viewers would think he invented staring into space. But
this is genuinely a career defining performance. You could not imagine
any other actor doing this. It is his movie. If he does not get
nominated for an Oscar that would be criminal. A lovely role for an older
actor as well. You would not often get the lead. It is a good season
for it with Nebraska as well. Older guys exploring their mortality. He
is a man of 77. There is a kind of gravity and wait that comes with
that. You would not have that with someone younger. Gravity I think
needed Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, for their familiarity which
makes the movie stronger. And we have that history with Robert
Redford, perfect casting. Please go and see it. All is Lost will be in
cinemas on Boxing Day. Now Alan Parker relives the making of what
remains a 1980s classic - his dark movie Angel Heart. The film caused a
stir with the American censors before its release, due to an
extended, graphic, blood-drenched sex scene which had to be cut in
order to secure an R rating. I remember the dust cover, falling
Angel was the title. And at the back it had raiment chanter meets the
excesses. I thought, it sounds right up my street. To make it accurate
for 1955 we repainted almost 50 different buildings along the
street. People go and say it does not look like it does in the film.
It is almost like a film set. I wrote most of it sitting in a corner
cafes and bars. Then you go to look at locations and I would adapt the
script almost to what I found. That whole descent into hell, it took on
graphic imagery. I went to see Jack Nicholson first. He was interested
but not interested enough! And at the same time I met with Robert De
Niro. He was the hottest actor at that moment in time. He surprised us
all by saying he did not want to play that role, he would like to
play the part of the devil. Allow me to introduce my client, Louis
Cyphre. The physicality is hugely important. He has long hair in the
film. He wanted to have false nails. And they grow a millimetre
every time you see him. That was his idea. And in the film they do
imperceptibly get longer. But it was so important to him. The opposite to
Mickey who did not really care too much! Between the two of them there
is a wonderful electricity that you can see on screen. They wanted to
score points of one another. Mickey was so determined to do better than
the master. Robert De Niro at the end is almost cracking every bone in
Mickey's body. Almost reminding him the actor that he is compared to the
actor that Mickey might think he might be. No thank you. I have got a
thing about chickens. I think Mickey loved being naughty. In one scene it
is a horse race and he is watching these horses come towards him. He
had written all these lines originally. He was looking at the
polls because he had written them down there. Then we moved him so his
lines were about two feet away and he could not even see them! When
you're writing a scene, normally it is to people talking. But I try to
give it layers, other things that the curve. I tend to put in animals.
In one scene he is running through a stable with horses. The first time
it was incredibly impressive. When you have done it 20 times, the
stuntman is then wafer thin! And you wonder why you ever wrote that. No
animal was ever harmed in the making of the film! Only people! The scene
that I love is the lovemaking scene when it is raining. It is hard to do
any kind of sex scene. The bearer -- I remember saying, I am there to
help you. But it turned out that Isabel Bonnie was much more
confident. There is a piece of music that goes with the scene which is a
beautiful soul number. I played that very loud which I found to be
helpful. It is one of the most powerful scenes I have ever filmed
and I am proud of that. I think you can look back on your work and of
course you improve on everything that you have done. But looking at
Angel heart, it has affected a lot of people. Depending on which
country I go to, it is the one film which people particularly in Europe
have liked. And I am still proud of it.
Thank you so much for chatting to us. Next up, Fill The Void - a film
from Israel which is set amongst its ultra-orthodox Jewish community.
When her sister dies, an 18-year-old girl is strongly encouraged to marry
her widowed brother-in-law. You expect Fill The Void to be a
slightly different movie. You have this 18-year-old girl in this movie.
In coming-of-age movies that character would rebel and run away.
But the director is from the Hasidic Jewish community herself. So making
a film about her religion. It is not propaganda, not an Expose but
something in between. It is one that I would recommend to Mel Gibson!
Technically it is a very accomplished film. She has coaxed
incredible performances from her actors. I would like to see her next
thing being something not necessarily about Orthodox Judaism.
I think she is so within that world it would be nice to see her talent
brought to bear on something outside of that. It was incredibly
claustrophobic to watch. You felt, just run. It was that horrible sense
of being in this character's very enclosed worlds. It is like a Jane
Austen character. Living in this rigid society. Not as funny as Jane
Austen! It is all about tradition. This ancient tradition yet at the
same time shot in this European contemporary setting. The
director's background is fascinating. In the Hasidic
community you cannot have men and women in the same frame together. So
that is interesting. Jane Austen is a decent comparison. Birth,
weddings, death. So a romantic comedy is the next thing that she
should do! Your favourite? All Is Lost by a long margin. It is a
future classic. I wish it was the Hobbit but it is always lost. I
would say All Is Lost. But for the barrel ride, the Hobbit. That's all
from us. We'll be back next week on Tuesday at 11:15pm when we review
Anchorman two and Ben Stiller in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. To
celebrate its 25th anniversary, Cinema Paradiso has been beautifully
restored and is back in cinemas this weekend. Thank you very much for
watching. Here's a glimpse. Good night.
Film 2013 hosts Claudia Winkleman and Danny Leigh are joined by guest critic Catherine Bray to review the much anticipated second film in The Hobbit trilogy, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, with Martin Freeman recreating his role as Bilbo Baggins.
Also under consideration is Fill The Void, a film from Israel about a devout Hasidic Jewish 18-year-old girl who is pressured into a marriage with the husband of her late sister.