Director: Gilles Bourdos // Distributor: Soda Pictures // Release Date: June 28th // Starring: Michel Bouquet, Christa Theret, and Vincent Rottiers.
Review: The sumptuous Côte d’Azur setting of Renoir may suggest a languorous tone, but Gilles Bourdos’ story of a precocious teenager reigniting the passions of both of an aging artist and his convalescent son boasts a satisfying sense of momentum.
Director: Evan Goldberg & Seth Rogan // Distributor: Sony Pictures // Release Date: June 28th // Starring: Jay Baruchel, Seth Rogan, James Franco, Danny McBride, Craig Robinson, and Jonah Hill. // Plot: A group of celebrities and their entourages flock to James Franco’s house for a massive party, only to the face the arrival of the apocalypse.
Review: Let it be known that This Is The End is a great film. Eventually. The messy first half of this Rogan/Goldberg comedy alternates between genuine hilarity and pitiful self-indulgence. But when it finds its feet, there’s a lot to enjoy. Security was tight at the screening I attended, obviously in the aim of preventing the film’s many surprises from hitting the net. And we’re not just talking about celebrity cameos – although there are plenty of those to go around – but nerve-shredding sequences, solid scares and some brilliantly realised monsters.
Her ivory fingers took hold of the glossy wine bag that sat on her lap. It was too late to say anything; the taxi driver had very clear intentions to take on the first speed bump into Sandymount. Both her and her partner were jolted forward upon impact. The handbag that sat on her side took to the air and smacked against the back of the passenger seat.
“Idiot!” she barked. She shoved their housewarming gift into Mervin’s lap before scrambling to the floor to find her beloved Dior. The driver eyeballed her from the safety of his rearview mirror. Her husband squirmed.
“I’m sorry, sir. It’s been a long day. Don’t mind her.” The taxi driver nodded and pursed his lips into a weary smile. She retrieved her bag and glided her fingers along the cubic zirconium-studded trimming to make sure everything was in check. She surveyed the driver. There was no ring on his finger. She turned to hiss at Mervin.
“‘Don’t mind her’? What is wrong with you?”
“What’s wrong with you? It was a speed bump.”
“Yes, it was a speed bump, Mervin. Good observation! Because thanks to this tosser, I’m guessing it’s a pile of rubble now.”
Mervin looked out of his window. The serenity of the suburbs reassured him. His heart sank at the sight of a woman with a pram. Fortunately, his wife was busy degrading the taxi driver.
“And you, sir. I’m aware people of your status don’t get come to Sandymount very often so I can understand your excitement. But you know that stunt you pulled back there? That was not acceptable behavior. You are in Dublin 4. This isn’t Crumlin.”
Mervin was trying to restrain his laughter. He knew his girlfriend to be an elitist, but the truth was he shared many of the same values – she was simply more adept at expressing them. He enjoyed appearing to most people in their circle as the mellow yang to her volatile yin, and for Mervin, it was the perfect relationship.
The driver took the last turn into Gilford Park. Eleanor and Ben’s house was a semi-detached Edwardian gem. She watched the fire in Mervin’s eyes ignite as the taxi pulled up outside their dramatically sculpted gate. The lovingly paved driveway made the pair thankful that they had worn the finest footwear at their disposal. He wore leather Armani lace-ups; she wore strappy Dolce & Gabbana sandals with a dark iguana print. They treaded the grey brick with haste to meet Eleanor at the door. She was shamelessly eager to show off her new home. She took them to the kitchen where Ben greeted them with a one-armed hug. He was shaking a cocktail mixer. He quickly dispensed four mojitos. Eleanor may have been bland as hell but no one could say she didn’t find her calling as an interior designer. Her kitchen was painstakingly coordinated. A warm creamy colour dominated the room, complimented by sky-blue furnishings. Mervin wandered around with an open mouth, ignoring his drink. His wife took a sip. Ben caught her grimace.
“Uh oh. I know that face.”
“Oh Ben, I’m sorry. Mixing just isn’t your forte.”
“I know. I just thought I’d give it a try. Call it part of my mid-life crisis.”
“Would you like some wine instead?” Eleanor chimed in. “We received a wonderful Shiraz from a very happy client of mine.”
“Oh no, don’t trouble yourselves. I’ll make a new batch!”
Eleanor and Ben didn’t need much convincing. Their guest was renowned for her cocktails, and mojitos were her specialty. They all happily took to the verandah while she diced the limes, crushed the ice and ground the medication.
If there’s one thing I can take from the Film Distributors’ Association showcase I attended this week, it is that I am a man of simple pleasures. Even before the suits from Twentieth Century Fox insisted on confiscating our phones for fear of snatches of coming-of-age comedy The Way, Way Back being plastered across social networking sites (Oh, how I longed to wield an innocent Nokia 3210 in their faces…), I was in my element. There were contracts, free coffee and a lanyard with my name on it. It was about as close to Heaven as I ever plan to get.
Now, perhaps my favourite thing about writing, as opposed to merely ‘talking’, is that you cannot see my face. This isn’t to say I consider myself ugly (after all, some people say I remind them of a young Glenn Close), more to point out that I am a terrible liar. I am also legally obligated to wait until each film’s respective embargo expires before I can publish my thoughts, and if I was to be talking to you in person, my face would simply give everything away. However, I can reveal that the line-up (picture after the jump) certainly gave me a lot to think about, and I must thank IdeasTap profusely for granting me this wonderful opportunity.