Erstwhile funnyman Seth MacFarlane — who in recent years has been tediously flogging that perennial dead horse “Family Guy” into the ground — has redeemed himself somewhat with his directorial feature debut “Ted.” Perhaps conscious of where his success stems from, MacFarlane dips his toe into live-action film while maintaining the core facets of what has made him such a star: namely, a razor-sharp script and quirky animation.
No sooner has US movie giant Netflix arrived in the UK and pissed all over Amazon’s LoveFilm scented bonfire than veritable broadcasting behemoth Sky enters the fray with the launch of the much vaunted NOW TV.
Any picture associated with directorial visionary Terry Gilliam is always going to rouse the public’s attention, yet the tragic death of Heath Ledger midway through filming has ensured that the name “Doctor Parnassus” has been on everyone’s radar for more than 18 months. Much has been made of Gilliam’s fervent determination to finish the film and particularly the ingenious casting of Johnny Depp, Jude Law and Colin Farrell to fill Ledger’s void. Gilliam executes it with gusto, and — as should be expected from such an auteur — transports the audience into a visually fantastical world tinged with a didactic message about the importance and power of the imagination.
“Riddle me this, riddle me that, who’s afraid of the big, black bat?”
The year is 1995 and thus spake The Riddler (a maniacal Jim Carrey) in Joel Schumacher’s utterly bonkers take on the Batman universe, Batman Forever. Well, the answer was of course absolutely nobody. Taking over directorial duties from he of the inky heart Tim Burton (who moved into the Producer’s chair), Schumacher, presumably in thrall of nervy Warner Bros execs, instead applied a neon polish to Burton’s grimy Gotham and discarded the brooding tone of Bat instalments one and two in favour of camp, vampish comedia. Continue reading