Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Framerate Show 19 - August 24th

On this week's show we get super geeky (in a good way) with 'Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World' and super manly (in a less good way) with Sly Stallone and 'The Expendables'.

Framerate Show 19 by Framerate

Monday, August 23, 2010

In Defence of... Big Trouble in Little China

When myself and Barry first came up with the idea of doing this strand – defending movies that we like that others, well, probably don’t –there was one film that jumped to the top of the list and that was John Carpenter’s cult classic Big Trouble in Little China. Now, it has to be said that I’m an unabashed Carpenter fan-boy, I love his sense of framing, particularly his Hitchcock-like approach to widescreen material as seen in (arguably his best film) The Thing. But it’s this curious little film that I keep coming back to. Big Trouble tanked at the box office when it originally came out in 1986, though it quickly found an audience in the burgeoning home video market. And that’s where I first discovered it. I have fond memories of watching that old VHS to the point where it had warped beyond the point of watch-ability when I was a kid.

Read the rest after the jump

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Framerate Show 18 - August 17th

On this week's show we come face to face with bending elements and Russian spies in M.Night Shayamalan's 'The Last Airbender' and the Angelina Jolie vehicle 'Salt'.

Framerate Show 18 by Framerate

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Framerate Show 17 - August 10th

This week Barry subjects himself to a double helping of films of incredibly questionable value in THREE DIMENSIONS!!!! Yes thats right, it's 'Step Up 3D' and 'Cats and Dogs: the Revenge of Kitty Galore 3D'. Also reviewed this week is Disney's latest action adventure, 'The Sorcerers Apprentice'.

Framerate Show 17 by Framerate

Monday, August 9, 2010

Framerate Show 16 - 3rd August

This week we take a look at a couple of bumper box-office vehicles. Following the recent release of the rather awful Karate Kid, the 80s is remade again in The A-Team with Messrs Neeson, Cooper, Coply and, er, "Rampage" Jackson at the helm, ably abetted by Ms Biel (lest we forget). That and the inevitable paring of marquee names Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz in the action comedy Knight and Day.

Framerate 16 by Framerate

Anatomy Of...His & Hers.

Michael Lavell accepting The World Cinematography Award for His and Hers at Sundance 2010

In the first of a series designed to take you behind the films we all watch, Cinematographer and award winning short film-maker Michael Lavelle gives us an insight into the shoot of this year's Irish hit His and Hers. Michael was joint Cinematographer with Kate McCullogh on the project. We gave it an assured 3 1/2 stars back in June, check out the review here.

Anatomy of His & Hers, By Michale Lavelle

While shooting His & Hers was an exciting venture it was also a daunting prospect for a cinematographer. One of our greatest fears was that as a film featuring the voices of 70 women it would become a series of talking heads. Another was that it would feel like a string of 70 short films back to back.

Very early in the preplanning stage the director (Ken Wardrop) and the 2 directors of photography (Kate McCullough and myself) had a number of brainstorming sessions on how to overcome these potential pitfalls.

We knew that the heartbeat of the film would be the women themselves so it was important to frame them in a way that was as non-restrictive as possible. Aesthetically Ken was intent on the idea that the film would feel very natural. We used minimal lighting and any time a light came out of the van it really had to be justified. On ‘soft’ Irish days we often got a beautiful quality of light from the windows.

To sidestep the ‘talking heads’ issue we felt that by searching for interesting frames on the interviews and breaking with some standard conventions of interview framing we would be able to maintain an intriguing visual.

To unify the separate vignettes we established a series of formal conventions and used them like recurring motifs to bridge the narratives. The takes are quite long and it gives the audience time to absorb the space. The camera is inside for the whole film except at the very end where we step outside for the first time. Characters seen outside are always framed through windows.
We shot over a period of about 3 months, shooting 2 characters a day in a four hour window. One of the enormous priveleges was to shoot a documentary on film. Following tests we oped for Kodak Vision 3 (500T) which provided good possibilities for shooting in available light combined with a relatively fine grain structure.

We shot roughly one can of 16mm film per interviewee. Ken sat with a remote under his arm during the interviews and had the unenviable task of having to select the precise moment to roll the Arri SR3 camera. Ken had only about 7 minutes of film per interview. The remaining 3½ minutes of footage was subsequently used for the cutaways.

Kate and I swapped lighting and camera roles every week and if the lighting conditions were variable one of us would crouch under the camera and pull the aperture during the interview.
It was a privelege to work on such a challenging film and it’s immensely rewarding to see the Irish cinema going public taking it into their hearts.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Framerate Show 15 - July 27th

This week we look at The Karate Kid, Splice, and Baaria. So that's undramatic Hollywood remake, post-traumatic genetic meddling, and melodramatic Sicilian historical drama in precisely in that order!

Framerate 15 by Framerate

Monday, July 26, 2010

Who Like Short Shorts? July 2010

Welcome to another new feature we hope to continue here on the blog over the next few months. Every month we'll be compiling a series of shorts that have caught our eye. On this, our inaugural posting, we see 35 films condensed to their bare essentials in the 2 minute animation in '35mm', we get a look at what a Wes Anderson directed adaptation of video game 'God of War' might look like, Joseph Gordon-Levitt goes on a date to the zoo in 'Morgan and Destiny’s Eleventeeth Date' and Irish director/animator Gavin Kelly interviews several World of Warcraft players about their obsession with the ubiquitous game in 'Avatar Days'.

Vids are embedded after the jump.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Frame Show 14 - 20 July 2010

This week Barry takes a look at The Concert, the little foreign film that dares goes against the combined might of the other big, big releases we review this week; Christopher Nolan's Inception and Pixar's Toy Story 3.

Framerate Show 14 by Framerate

In Defence Of...Minority Report.

In Defence Of... is the first of various new weekly strands designed to bring you closer to the films we love, the people who make them and the stars who front them. Barry kicks off a series defending the overrated, unloved or just plain misunderstood movies that for we think need to be stood up for by championing Stephen Spielberg's early noughties sci-fi flick Minority Report. Question is...do you agree?

Minority Report is a movie that doesn’t need a defence. It portrays a not too distant future with plausible accuracy and just the right amount of realism. Its world is totally inhabitable and instantly believable. The film’s reality isn’t that far removed from our own and there is enough integrated futurist technology that all the best sci-fi since Blade Runner has borrowed. It doesn’t just feel real, for all intents and purposes it is real. Dystopia with a box-office sheen. Noir with a Spielberg twist. The washed out, beautifully realised visual style perfectly complements the atmosphere. We buy into this world. Immediately. How can we not when it looks this good.

What tickled me about Minority Report was the slow realisation (on perhaps my third viewing) that I actually really – no really – liked it. Having seeing it on initial release I brushed it off as a watchable, entertaining slice of Spielberg effortlessness – much like his other 2002 effort Catch Me If You Can. I could not have been more off the mark – credit where due – this is a substantial slice of modern Hollywood box-office. Perhaps one of the best of it’s kind in recent years.

Colin Farrell goes toe-to-toe with Tom Cruise in screen performances that (once you get over the fact that you’re too cool to admit it) are actually very good. Tom manages to subdue his, well, overt “Tomness” – even if it surfaces occasionally throughout. Farrell does the young pup to a tee, Max Von Dydow is gleefully malevolent and Lois Smith has a wonderful turn as Dr Iris Hineman, a retired pioneer of the Pre Crime Program.

Above all, the involving, satisfyingly complex story is absorbing and, although it flags a little towards the end, the pace is cracking throughout.

Spielberg’s status and iconic early output will always leave his most recent efforts wide open to backlash, but with Munich and Minority Report (and to a lesser extent the underrated War of The Worlds) he has crafted a fine body of later period work. Here, he is firing on all cylinders. It is undoubtedly his best cinematic exercise of the last decade and is his most fully realised vision since Saving Private Ryan. As such I find myself in the odd position of championing a Tom Cruise fronted blockbuster. But ask yourself this – if all blockbusters were as big, clever and involving as this would any of us care who fronted what? Of course not.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Frame Show 13 - 13 July 2010

Can Chris Rock decipher the mystery of 'Good Hair'? Can the unfortunately named director Nimrod Antal breathe some life into the long suffering 'Predators' franchise? And more importantly, do you want to know how you too can smell like Bruce Willis? The answers to all this and more await in this week's Framerate...

Framerate Show 13 by Framerate

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Framerate Mid Year Review

Hi Folks

Yes it's our Summer Solstice as such. We look back on the best and worst of the year's films to date and cast our eyes forward to recommend the best of those yet to come. Not only that, Kate McEvoy joined us in studio for a half-hour special - enjoy!

Framerate Mid Year Special by Framerate

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Framerate Show 11 - 29th June 2010

On this week's show we bid a not so fond farewell to the big green guy in 'Shrek Forever After' and see if Woody Allen has finally returned to form with his latest, 'Whatever Works'.

Framerate Show 11 by Framerate

Friday, June 25, 2010

Framerate Show 10 - 22nd June 2010

On this week's show it's very much a case of two turkey's and a semi-decent comedy. Peter fails to recognise The Collector as a piece of cinema let alone a watchable movie, Barry doesn't quite get the post-modern pastiche of Zonad and both of them agree Get Him To The Greek is funny but somewhere between Knocked up and Pineapple Express on the scale of Apatow comedy's.

Framerate Show 10 by Framerate

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Framerate Show 9 - 15th June 2010

Now a whole 2 minutes longer! In this week's show Ken Wardrop's debut feature 'His & Hers' comes under scrutiny as it gets it's general release... Also up this week - Barry gets a pleasant surprise in the form of 'Please Give' while Peter gets a somewhat less pleasant surprise in the form of rom-com 'Our Family Wedding' .

Framerate Show 9 by Framerate

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Framerate Show 8 - 8th June 2010

This week Barry sees if 'Brooklyn's Finest' are really all that, while Peter bangs his head against the rosy coloured wall that is 'Letters to Juliet'. And finally, we see if director Rian Johnson's eagerly awaited 'The Brothers Bloom' was worth the wait.

Framerate Show 8 by Framerate

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Framerate Show 7 - 1st June 2010

In this week's installment, Peter weighs in on Michael Winterbottom's The Killer Inside Me while Barry gets a pleasant surprise from rom-com She's Out of My League. And to cap it all off, we see how recent remake Death at a Funeral holds up against the original.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Framerate Show 6 - 25th May 2010

On this week's show Peter comes face to face with the Spanish undead in the POV zombie sequel Rec 2, Barry wonders how Kevin Smith can so consistently get things wrong with his latest comedy Cop Out, and last but not least we see if The Losers is worth a look in before the very similar 'A-Team' rolls out next month...

Monday, May 17, 2010

Framerate Show 5 - 18th May 2010

On this week's Framerate we both take a look at the biggest release of the week, Ridley & Russell's peculiar stab at the Robin Hood legend. Peter grapples valiantly with the weirdness that is Werner Herzog's Bad Lieutenant and Barry very much likes Nowhere Boy, the British drama about the early years of a certain John Lennon.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Framerate Show 4 - 11th May 2010

This week on Framerate: Peter assesses the merits and (significant) demerits of Jennifer Lopez's latest rom-com The Back Up Plan, Barry checks out American: The Bill Hicks Story, a brand new and rather unique documentary on the late great comic and we both take a look at animated feature The Secret Of Kells - Ireland's surprise 2010 Oscar nominee - as it's re-released on DVD.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Framerate Show 3 - 4th May 2010

On this week's Framerate Barry discovers the difference between a hot-tub and a jacuzzi, time-traveling and, well, not. Peter tries not to fall asleep as Freddy Krueger gets busy and we both tackle the first of the Summer's blockbusters.

Ladies and gentlemen we proffer Hot Tub Time Machine, A Nightmare On Elm Street (2010) and Iron Man 2 for your listening pleasure.

Framerate Show 3 by Framerate

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Framerate Show 2 - 27th April 2010

This week we review Mike Judge's Extract, Michael Fassbender and Olga Kurylenko get bloody (and we mean bloody) in Neil Marshall's Roman action epic Centurion, and finally we look at Four Lions, the debut feature from Chis Morris of Brass Eye infamy.

Framerate Show Two by Framerate

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Framerate Show 1 - 20th April 2010

Hello and welcome to the first ever Framerate.

Yes RTE Digital Radio has gone and got itself a dedicated film news and review show. So join Barry Bracken and Peter Grogan every Tuesday on RTE Choice from 11.45am. If you miss us we're repeated Saturday at 5pm and, of course, this here blog will have all our past shows archived for your listening pleasure.

To start us off we review Date Night, The Joneses and It's A Wonderful Afterlife.

Framerate Show 1 by Framerate