Film: The Breakfast Club

1985, Written/directed by John Hughes, starring Emilio Estevez, Anthony Michael Hall & Judd Nealson

The Breakfast Club is one of the best-loved films of all-time. For one reason or another, the 1985 ‘brat pack’ feature has seeped into the public memory. While other ’80s school dramas have died and gone to bargin bin heaven, The Breakfast Club continues to be pushed in luxury Blu-Ray packages. It makes favourite list after favourite list, constantly peddled as a ‘classic’, or a ‘film to see before you die’. While it would probably be worth sliding it in somewhere if you’ve got another 60-odd years to go, if you’re planning on jumping into a river this evening, I wouldn’t go wasting your final few hours on what, in the modern light of day, is little more than a fairly solid teen drama. Continue reading

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EverBirdd’s Top 10 Films of the Year

EverBirdd

It’s time. It’s reached the end of EverBirdd’s first calendar year on the internet. In the tradition of the sites that have come before us, it’s time for us to unveil our Top 10 Films of the Year, obviously counting down backwards. This is, for disclaimer purposes, all done from UK release dates, so there is at least one film on the list that was out in other territories prior to the 1st of January 2012, but we’re not going to let that get to us.

You’re also more than welcome to disagree. Please argue with us, either in the comments below or tweet abuse to us, @EverBirdd, and we’lll try our best to explain why we’re right and you’re wrong. Continue reading

Film: Pitch Perfect

Pitch PerfectThe cast/crew bit: written by Kay Cannon, directed by Jason Moore, starring Anna Kendrick, Brittany Snow & Rebel Wilson

The ten-word synopsis: Girl ends up on all-female singing troupe. Love ensures.

It’d be easy to dismiss formulaic pictures as being easy to make and lazy. However, that’d be to undermine the craftsmanship needed to successfully slot what is, essentially, a pre-prepared film together. Some of the upbeat, school-set bubblegum musicals that have plauged cinema and TV alike over the past five years have been able to do this. High School Musical is such a good example of assembly it’s now used as an instructional manuel for all others. Pitch Perfect chooses to ignore the manuel and put the flat-pack musical together by simply looking at the front of the box. Pitch Perfect also happens to be the best example of the genre I’ve seen to date. Continue reading

Film: So Undercover

So UndercoverThe cast/crew bit: directed by Tom Vaughan, written by Stephen Pearl & Allan Loeb, starring Miley Cyrus

The ten-word synopsis: PI is sent undercover in a high school. Not sure why.

Well, Anne Hathaway did it. There’s still hope lingering somewhere that Disney Channel star Miley Cyrus might, somehow, pull off a fitting Cinderella-like transformation into a good actress. If we’re going on the basis of Hannah Montana’s latest film, though, that hope is slipping away with every passing second. Continue reading

Film: End of Watch

The cast/crew bit: written & directed by David Ayer, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Peña & Anna Kendrick

The ten-word synopsis: Two cops live their lives whilst uncovering a human trafficing ring.

My critical mentality when it comes the most important aspect of a film is clear enough. Nail your central characters and you’re just one step away from nailing the film. End of Watch also adopts this mentality. In fact, the best bits in End of Watch aren’t the shoot-outs and punch-ups shot with such intensity you’ll lose the function to blink, but the scenes in which our two leads simply drive around in their car, chatting. Continue reading

Film: Beasts of the Southern Wild

The cast/crew bit: written & directed by Benh Zeitlin, starring Quvenzhané Wallis & Dwight Henry

The ten-word synopsis: Half naturalistic drama, half daylight hallucinations of a young girl.

The hairs on the back of my neck stood up. My arm, for so long hovering in and around my chin, stroking the unkempt mess I call a beard, dropped unequivocally to my lap. My lungs took a deep breath in. My eyes widened and, oh, hello, looks like my tear ducts have opened for production. There’s a moment in Beasts of the Southern Wild that conjures this reaction. The most innate, heartfelt reaction that I’ve felt towards any film this year. And for this scene alone, it must be applauded. Continue reading

Film: Fun Size

The cast/crew bit: directed by Josh Schwartz, written by Max Werner, starring Victoria Justice, Jane Levin & Thomas Mann

The ten-word synopsis: Babysitting sister loses her younger brother on Halloween. You guess.

I strolled in to see Fun Size on a Monday afternoon, and was greeted with an auditorium positively heaving with a grand total of one other person. So, the two of us sat down and looked on as the films’ certificate came up. It’s a 12A. I shall come to this later. Then two blokes, who both appeared to be quite comfortable going to the cinema on their own and therefor sat within a certain category in society, were subjected to the hoppy, middlingly-energetic music video from Call Me Maybe singer Carly Rae Jepsons’ new single. Personally, I’m an advocate of catchy pop nonsense, but as the other man, who was probably about 40, turned to look at me, hoping to catch a glance of bafflement that was almost equal to that of his own outward demeanour, I experienced the least awkward moment of the 90-odd minutes in which I was inside that screening. Continue reading

Film: Punch-Drunk Love

The cast/crew bit: written & directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, starring Adam Sandler & Emily Watson

The ten-word synopsis: Shakey but pleasant man experiences love, threat, disappointment and anger

Jack and Jill is a movie with stupidity so deeply engrained in it’s DNA that even if the Deoxyribonucleic acid could think itself, it wouldn’t work out that it had a double-helix structure. That’s My Boy is a film so painful to watch that the NHS had to begin employing expertsin diagnosing ‘Adam Sandler fever’- A condition that makes you want to bash yourself over the head repeatedly until A). you die or B). the film is over. Most patients claim A is preferable under the circumstances. Basically, if you hate Adam Sandler, you’re more than entitled to do so. However, before you go off on any rants about what a hateful human being he is, (As I for one certainly have done in past) you’re probably best watching Punch-Drunk Love, a movie so good you’ll almost forgive Sandler for his apocalyptically bad career. Continue reading

Film: Paranormal Activity 4

The cast/crew bit: diected by Henry Joost & Ariel Schulman, starring Kathyrn Newton, Matt Shiverly & Katie Featherson

The ten-word synopsis: More quiet-quiet-quiet-quiet-quiet-quiet-quiet-BANG nonsense.

If you were woken by an alarm clock this morning, then you’ve pretty much already experienced Paranormal Activity 4 today. A long period of nothing happening, followed by a loud noise that may startle you, but more than likely just makes you grumble as you turn over and hope it goes away.

Continue reading

Film: Liberal Arts

The cast/crew bit: written & directed by Josh Radnor, starring Josh Radnor & Elizabeth Olsen

The ten-word synopsis: 30-something goes back to University; falls for 19-year old.

There’s a central theme running through Liberal Arts of whether or not something is worth reading just because you like it. This stems from an argument between our two leads over whether Zibby (Elizabeth Olsen) was justified in her reading of an unnamed vampire romantic fiction (Read: Twilight) just because she enjoyed it. While Josh Radnors’ character, Jesse, argues otherwise, (Prompting a wonderful line that all but instigates the grandest of debates: Twilight or Chaucer?) Liberal Arts is a fine example of Zibby’s point. If everybody enjoys the film just as much as I did, it’s certainly worth seeing. Continue reading