Stuff To Look At

A profusion of film-related goodness, including clips from Runner Runner and The Counsellor, trailers for Saving Mr Banks and The Monuments Men, and Loki…

Runner Runner

New Batman Ben Affleck shows a dark side in the above clip from upcoming crime thriller Runner Runner. This is why crocodiles are a bad idea generally. Runner Runner hits UK screens on 27th September 2013.

Nebraska

Nebraska is director Alexander Payne’s latest. Starring Bruce Dern and Will Forte, Nebraska is a father and son road movie. The film is being screened at the BFI London Film Festival in October and is on general release from 6th December 2013.

The Railway Man

Here is the trailer for period drama The Railway Man. Starring Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman, the film is based on Eric Lomax’s memoirs. The Railway Man is released in the UK on 3rd January 2013.

We Are What We Are

We Are What We Are is a remake of the 2010 Mexican film of the same name. It has one of those settings that feel disconcerting. We Are What We Are is out in cinemas on 25th October 2013.

The Monuments Men

The Monuments Men reunites George Clooney and Matt Damon as members of a World War II platoon tasked with rescuing masterpieces from Nazi thieves. The film also stars Bill Murray and Cate Blanchett. The Monuments Men is due for release on 9th January 2014.

Thor The Dark World

Thor The Dark World Loki

Loki! Let’s just be honest; he is the real reason everyone wants to see Thor The Dark World. That look on Loki’s face – so determined. Sequel Thor The Dark World is released in UK cinemas on 30th October 2013.

The Counsellor

The hair in the above clip is something else. In fact, Javier Bardem’s whole look is something else. With an all-star cast including Michael Fassbender, Cameron Diaz and Brad Pitt, The Counsellor hits UK screens on 15th November 2013.

Ender’s Game

Ender’s Game is based on the best-selling novel of the same name. Starring Harrison Ford and Ben Kingsley, the film is set in a dystopian future. Ender’s Game is released on 25th October 2013 and there’s a trip to NASA to be won here.

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues

The sequel everyone has been waiting for! Above is San Diego’s finest newsman Ron Burgundy delivering the news on the Goodwood revival. Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues hits UK screens on 20th December 2013. What a Christmas treat.

Saving Mr Banks

Here is the first trailer for Saving Mr Banks. The film tells the story of how Walt Disney brought Mary Poppins to the big screen. Saving Mr Banks is closing the London Film Festival on 20th October 2013 and is out on general release on 29th November 2013.

RoboCop

Nothing is going to match the perfection of the director’s cut of 1987’s  RoboCop. Nothing. However this new version features Michael Keaton, so it gets plus points for this alone. RoboCop is due for release on 7th February 2014.

Mandela Long Walk To Freedom

Idris Elba and Naomie Harris star in biopic Mandela Long Walk To Freedom. The film is released on 3rd January 2013; ripe for awards season. Let’s see how it fares.

Film Review: We Are What We Are

Part drama, part horror, Jorge Michel Grau’s film is macabre, but lacks a feeling of terror. We Are What We Are is more effective in its attempts at gritty realism than it is when trying to generate apprehension.

When their father passes away, it is up to Alfredo and his two siblings to look after the family and continue its rituals. This includes hunting for meat. In the densely populated city, the family are looking for the human, rather than the animal, kind of flesh…

Although they occupy much of the screen time, little is revealed about the family. This works to create a sense of mystery surrounding these characters. Nevertheless, they are never fully engaging without any real exposition. Although the family dynamics are made clear, the history of the family, and the specific reason of the cannibalism are never identified. None of the characters, therefore, are easily related to; in their separation from normal society it is difficult to empathise with them.

We Are What We Are functions successfully as social commentary more than anything else. The film’s focus on vice and corruption suggests a despair with this kind of activity in Mexico City. There is an implication throughout of an indifference to violence and crime, unless there is a personal benefit from becoming involved. The police officers are only interested in solving the case when they believe it will benefit their careers. Interestingly, the only suggestion of camaraderie in the film comes in the form of the prostitutes, who seem genuinely concerned in looking out for one another.

The narrative follows the two parallel strands of the family coping for the immediate future without their patriarch, and the police attempting to solve the cannibalism case. Pace starts to build only in the final third, coinciding with an acceleration in violence. For a film concerned with cannibalism, it is perhaps surprising that violence and gore is only depicted in detail in the final part of the film. With a subject matter such as this, the film could have been far more graphic.

Francisco Barriero offers a subtle performance as Alfredo, an unlikely character thrust into a position of leadership. Carmen Beato injects menace and aggression into the film with her portrayal of Patricia, the mother of the family. Her fiery outbursts appear surprising in contrast to her earlier dismay.

Grau’s directorial debut is an interesting watch, but could have been more captivating. Like many horror films, We Are What We Are attempts to offer social commentary through a macabre guise. This is effective, but a little more exposition and heightening the sense of trepidation would have made for a more entertaining film.