JUMPSCARECUT: From Dusk Till Dawn (1996)

Year: 1996
Directed by: Robert Rodriguez
Starring: Harvey Keitel, George Clooney, Juliette Lewis, Quentin Tarantino, Salma Hayek, Danny Trejo

Written by Elena Morgan

Criminal brothers Seth and Richie Gecko (George Clooney and Quentin Tarantino) and their hostages, a faithless preacher (Harvey Keitel) and his two children, are on the run to the border. They stop at a popular bar, not aware that it’s run by vampires, and soon they are unlikely allies as they fight to survive the night.

Directed by Robert Rodriguez with a screenplay by Quentin Tarantino, ‘From Dusk Till Dawn’ is an interesting film. The first hour is like a crime thriller and then when the motley crew encounters the vampires, it turns on its head and becomes a horror film. Both Rodriguez’s and Tarantino’s fingerprints are all over this film. Danny Trejo and Salma Hayek, two actors who appear in a fair few Rodriguez films, both make appearances and the script is full of fast-talking characters courtesy of Tarantino, and there’s plenty of bloodshed courtesy of both of them.

Clooney is equal parts cool and dangerous as Seth, while Tarantino’s Richie is a loose cannon, and his infatuation with women is not only alarming for the audience, but it’s something that causes problems for Seth. Personally, I couldn’t stand Richie. His attitude towards women was awful, leering at the preacher’s presumably teenage daughter, and based on odd lines from Seth, it seemed like he was prone to attacking/killing women. He comes across a lot younger than he is, like he needs Seth guidance or else he acts out, which then makes his actions even more disturbing.

The makeup and combination of practical effects and CGI on the vampires is fantastic. They are horrible, disgusting looking creatures and the mix of make up and computer effects when a person transforms into a vampire is unsettling. They look more like demons than the “classic” and almost sophisticated vampires you think of.

The showdown with the vampires is fun, gruesome and exciting. The innovative ways the gang make the typical vampire killing devices like holy water, crosses and stakes, is a lot of fun. As is when everyone decides unanimously that while it’s unbelievable, they are indeed dealing with vampires. It’s an interesting twist that instead of being in denial about what they’re seeing and experiencing, they just get on with it and get on with trying to survive any way they know how.

I kind of wish I’d gone into ‘From Dusk Till Dawn‘ not knowing this crime film turns into a horror film with vampires, as I was just waiting for the vampires to appear and was surprised by how long that took. But as the genre shift seems to be the films unique selling point, the reveal is in the trailer and on the DVD case, that’s unlikely ever to happen. But I’d be interested to hear from anyone who went into this film completely blind.

From Dusk Till Dawn is an interesting blend of crime and horror, it’s unpredictable, gory and George Clooney has probably never been cooler as he is here as Seth Gecko.

ELENA’S RATING:

3-5

 

Advertisements

Jumpcut’s Favourites: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Year: 2014
Directed by: Wes Anderson
Starring: Ralph Fiennes, Tony Revolori, Jude Law, F. Murray Abraham, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Edward Norton, LĂ©a Seydoux, Harvey Keitel, Bill Murray, Owen Wilson.

WRITTEN BY COREY HUGHES

There are two rules in life that I have come to understand within my 21-years on Earth. Number one; don’t talk about Fight Club, and number two; never ask a cinephile what their favourite film is. By breaching the second rule, not only will you be met with a disapproving grunt, but also a 30-minute rant on which film is their favourite; taking into consideration how different moods influence their choice.

Yet I’ve never had this problem. I relish the opportunity to gush about my favourite film, expressing my adoration for it whilst simultaneously trying to make others love it as much as I do. The film I’m talking about here, of course, is Wes Anderson’s wonderful ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’.

Now, I believe there are two ways that you can approach this area of discussion. You can either talk about what you think is the best film, or explain the reasons why a particular film is your favourite, as, after all, your favourite doesn’t necessarily have to be good film. Yet, for me, my experience with ‘The Grand Budapest’ is a mixture of both.

There are a variety of reasons why I’d argue that ‘The Grand Budapest’ is a bona-fide masterpiece. The most obvious is Robert D. Yeoman’s delightful and completely mesmerising cinematography. Wes Anderson’s symmetrical framing and composition is in full effect here, but adding to that, Anderson and Yeoman’s choice to use three different aspect ratios for each of the three time periods in the film is nothing short of extraordinary, adding to the storytelling aesthetic that Anderson hoped to achieve.

Yeoman’s exquisite camerawork, especially the fluidity of the 90-degree and 180-degree whip-pan movements, is surpassed only by Wes Anderson’s trademark use of vibrant colour palettes; adding to the exoticness of the locations and buildings that Anderson has placed in the shop window.

Written with such extravagance by Anderson himself, ‘The Grand Budapest’ also boasts a tremendous cast, bringing back the usual suspects of Bill Murray, Jason Schwartzman, Adrien Brody and Owen Wilson; accompanied by the terrific talents of Jeff Goldblum, Tilda Swinton and Willem Dafoe.

Yet it is Ralph Fiennes as the legendary hotel concierge Gustave H. who steals the show. Played with such charisma, intelligence and total narcissism, Gustave is perhaps the most iconic and memorable character that Wes Anderson has to offer, a real compliment with Anderson’s catalogue of superbly written figures such as Max Fischer in ‘Rushmore’ and Royal Tenenbaum in ‘The Royal Tenenbaums’. Fiennes brings so much flair and humour to the role, bringing the audience and his lobby boy Zero (Tony Revolori) on his remarkable journey filled with murder and conspiracy. We really shouldn’t sympathise with him, but somehow we do. He’s just a loveable asshole, really.

But above all its glitz and glamour, ‘The Grand Budapest’ earns its title as my favourite film for its huge influence on my life. It’s the main reason why I started to look at films in a different way, the reason why I was eager to study the medium in greater depth. It is essentially the reason why I started to review movies, which is something that I love doing.

And when it comes down to it, ‘The Grand Budapest’ is the film that springs to mind when the harsh realities of life become prevalent. As soon as I pop my copy of the Blu-ray in the player, everything exterior to my screen becomes irrelevant. The only thing that matters within that 99-minutes of runtime is my experience with Wes Anderson’s delightful masterpiece.

Isn’t that what films are for?

 

Top 10 Movie Characters of All Time

Written by Daniel Chadwick

It’s the age old debate – who is the best character to ever grace the silver screen. In my introduction to JumpCut UK, I will try to tackle this tricky question and offer some insight into the ultimate form of art. For every Han Solo, there is also an Atticus Finch, and this list tries to find the balance between the nerdy and the dramatic. So here we go…


nightcrawler

10. Lou Bloom (Nightcrawler) – Jake Gyllenhaal

Jake Gyllenhaal is without a doubt one of the greatest actors of our time. It’s honestly a shock that the man only has one Oscar nomination, especially considering his turn in this underrated crime-noir masterpiece. In ‘Nightcrawler’, Gyllenhaal stars as Lou Bloom, an ambitious man who will do whatever it takes to find success in this crazy world. So he decides to become a nightcrawler; filming crimes and accidents, and delivering them to the local news station for a sweet fee. Gyllenhaal not only transformed drastically for the role, but completely captures the sociopathic tendencies of this character. He’s creepy, darkly funny and delivers the performance of his career. For us, he was much more deserving of an Oscar win than Eddie Redmayne, and worse still, he didn’t even get nominated for this performance.


-iron-man-

9. Tony Stark AKA Iron-Man (Marvel Cinematic Universe) – Robert Downey Jr.

Iron-Man is pretty much the reason the Marvel Cinematic Universe exists and thrives today. This special character is the reason so many comic book movies have been made, and studios have taken risks on movies like ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ and ‘Deadpool’ have been made. This character also jump-started Robert Downey Jr.’s career. As Tony Stark, he’s suave, charming, funny and a lot of the time is the best part of any Marvel movie. We have a lot to thank Iron-Man for, and he definitely earns his spot in this top 10 movie characters of all time.


reservoir_dogs_harvey-keitel

8. Mr. White (Reservoir Dogs) – Harvey Keitel

Quentin Tarantino writes so many instantly memorable characters, that the perpetual debate as to which is the best still rages on today. Some cite Hans Landa (Christoph Waltz) from ‘Inglorious Basterds’, others might say The Bride from ‘Kill Bill’. But for me the one character that always stands out is Mr. White from Tarantino’s first (and in my opinion his best) film, ‘Reservoir Dogs’. Harvey Keitel portrays a cool, collected criminal and is by far the stand-out star of a movie filled with talent. Somehow he makes Tarantino’s script even better and that’s no mean feat. He’s one of the only Dogs that you connect to, considering most of them are sociopaths (or psychopaths) and his father-like love for Tim Roth’s Mr. Orange is visibly moving.


s.connery

7. James Bond (Bond Series) – Sean Connery

People constantly argue about who the best James Bond is, with many millennials claiming that Daniel Craig’s Bond is the best, but that’s far from the truth. The man who brought Bond to life on the screen for the first time, Sean Connery, was the definitive Bond and is by far the most faithful adaptation of the ultimate spy. Bond was always supposed to be a little corny, and Connery embraced that completely. He had an abundance of fantastic one-liners – way before Arnold Schwarzenegger came along – and he completely captured the cool, suave characteristics of the greatest spy to ever grace the screen. Long live the one true Bond.


HAN-SOLO

6. Han Solo (Star Wars Franchise) – Harrison Ford

Han Solo has slowly but surely become the epitome of ‘Star Wars’ nerdendom. Fans, whether they be nerds or just part of the mainstream audience, adore Harrison Ford’s iconic character, and the beloved character is one of the major factors in ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ being so popular. He’s the ultimate hero, has quotes that are so memorable they are immortalised on posters and t-shirts the world over, and is just an all-round awesome movie character. If there’s one thing you can thank George Lucas for, besides bringing us ‘Star Wars’, it is creating this loveable rogue.


sarahconnor2

5.  Sarah Connor (Terminator Franchise) – Linda Hamilton

Sarah Connor lives on in action folklore as one of the most kick-ass women to ever hit the big screen. James Cameron created a character that was not only good with a gun, but also interesting, layered and brave. There’s a lot of people who would not even consider fighting a Terminator on this list, but she is not one of them, that’s for sure. Forget ‘Terminator Genysis’, if you want the real Sarah Connor go no further than Linda Hamilton in the first two ‘Terminator’ movies.


The Joker

4. The Joker (The Dark Knight) – Heath Ledger

With Jared Leto starring in ‘Suicide Squad’ as the Joker, it’s inevitable that everyone is talking about how he’ll compare to Heath Ledger and Jack Nicholson. I’m going to come out and say the honest truth that we are all thinking – no one will ever come close to Ledger. His bloody, crazy performance as the Joker will never be topped ,and I stand by that fully. He may be a full-on psychopath, but that doesn’t mean he’s not a seriously cool depiction of the most infamous comic book villain. Ledger completely transforms in the role in a way that I’ve never seen before on film (and I doubt I will ever see again). Rest in peace Heath Ledger, because you will be remembered for decades to come.


Indy

3. Indiana Jones (Indiana Jones Franchise) – Harrison Ford

There are probably some of you in shock right now, wondering how Indy is not sitting pretty at number one on the list. ‘Indiana Jones’ is one of the best adventure stories out there, and the leading man would easily have been number one on the list if it hadn’t been for the pretty average ‘Kingdom of the Crystal Skull’. Indy is smooth with the ladies, knows how to use his whip and beats Nazis like it’s nobodies business. Here’s hoping for a brilliant ‘Indiana Jones 5’.


Gandalf

2. Gandalf (The Lord of the Rings & The Hobbit Trilogies) – Ian McKellen

It was always going to be hard to find an actor who could live up to the greatness of Gandalf in ‘The Lord of the Rings’ adaptations. But in Sir Ian McKellen, they found a brilliant Gandalf and someone who did so well with the character that he got an Oscar nomination for his portrayal. This wizard is as mysterious as he is awesome, and McKellen translates that perfectly. He’s also brilliant in ‘The Hobbit’ series, even though those movies were not close to the brilliance of ‘The Lord of the Rings’.


Gregory-Peck-as-Atticus-Finch

1. Atticus Finch (To Kill a Mockingbird) – Gregory Peck

The great Gregory Peck played many brilliant characters throughout his legendary career, but none as effective and brilliant as Atticus Finch, a man who fought for what was right, even when it meant going against the norm. This character is firm, righteous and has so many memorable monologues that it’s hard to keep track. It’s unbelievable to think that Peck’s performance made Finch even better in the movie than he was in the book; a worthy winner for me.


hon mentions

Honourable mentions have to be given to Neo (Keanu Reeves) in ‘The Matrix’ and Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale) in ‘American Psycho’; close, but no cigar guys. What do you think of my list? If you think I missed anyone out, or just want to congratulate me on a job well done, find me on Twitter @GetReelMovies and let’s have a good ol’ debate.

Watch This Space: November 16 – 22

Welcome to your weekly go-to film guide – WatchThisSpace – where we recommend what to watch in the cinema and on the television, and remind you of those brilliant films hiding in your DVD collection.

IN THE CINEMA

Out this week is the final installment of ‘The Hunger Games’ franchise, with ‘Mockingjay Part Two’. The film will see the civil war of Panem reach its climax, as Katniss Everdeen (played by the perfectly cast Jennifer Lawrence) leads a group of rebels to the Capitol to assassinate President Snow. It’s also worth mentioning that this is the last film of the exceptional Philip Seymour Hoffman, after tragically passing away last year. The franchise finale is set to be a box-office smash, and for fans of the series this is definitely one to watch.

ON TV

Monday 22:45 GMT: Had a tough Monday? Unwind with the simple but brilliant comedy ‘Meet The Parents’ on BBC1. Easy-watching doesn’t come much easier than this, with slapstick humour aplenty from Ben Stiller and Robert De Niro.

Tuesday 19:00 GMT: Okay so it might feel too early to get into the Christmas spirit, but Film4 certainly think it’s time. Watch the classic story of Ebeneezer Scrooge, in the modern adaptation ‘Scrooged’, starring Bill Murray as the main miser.

Thursday 21:00 GMT: Have an excellent Thursday with the weird and wonderful adventures of ‘Wayne’s World’ on 5*. Check out our review if you need any more persuading. Alternatively, newbies to ‘The Hunger Games’ franchise can see where it all began on Film4.

Friday 23:35 GMT: Loosely based on true events, ‘Badlands’ is all about James Dean lookalike Kit, played by Martin Sheen, and the much younger lady he falls in love with, as they embark on an unfortunate road trip through the South Dakota badlands. Filled with violence and murder, this fantastic Bonnie-and-Clyde-esque film makes BBC2 the place to be this Friday.

Saturday 21:45 GMT: With an outstanding ensemble female cast, including Emma Stone, Viola Davis, Jessica Chastain, Bryce Dallas Howard and Octavia Spencer, ‘The Help’ is one of those films that everybody should see at least once. Luckily, BBC2 are on hand to deliver a movie which will make you laugh and break your heart in equal measure.

DIG IT OUT

This is our favourite part of the WatchThisSpace section. We delve into our own DVD collection and pick out some amazing films, that may not instantly spring to mind when you’re stuck for inspiration to make your movie night a success. Maybe you’ve never seen a film that we pick – or even heard of them for that matter – but you’re gonna have to trust us on this one, and Dig It Out.

The Artist: How can you describe one of the best movie experiences of one’s life?  How can you make a black and white, silent movie set in 1927 (but made in 2011) sound appealing? Would a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 97% swing it? How about the exemplary French and American cast, including Jean Dujardin and John Goodman? Maybe the quirky plot piques your interest, as silent movie star George and young dancer Peppy’s lives drastically change as the pioneering ‘talking pictures’ take over Hollywood. Reams and reams could be said on behalf of this modern film which says nothing at all, but truth be told, seeing is believing. Beautiful, uplifting and inspired by simpler times, this is one you should definitely seek out.

Mean Streets: It’s Mr Martin Scorsese’s birthday this Tuesday, and whilst this man should be celebrated on a daily basis, now would be as good a time as any. Last week, our Twitter debates focused on the legendary director, with ‘Goodfellas’ crowned his finest work. One film which didn’t feature in the discussions was ‘Mean Streets’. This beautifully crafted crime movie is one of Scorsese’s earlier works, but with the familiar faces of Robert De Niro and Harvey Keitel in leading roles, its appeal still resonates with today’s audience. Fans of Marty, and the crime genre as a whole, should check this out as a priority.

The Nightmare Before Christmas: It’s not quite the most wonderful time of the year, but the spookiest time of year has officially passed. What better film to settle you in for the transition between holidays than Tim Burton’s classic stop-motion film about Jack, the Pumpkin King of Halloweentown, as he decides to take over Christmas for one year. With a catchy soundtrack by Danny Elfman, a love story between Jack and Sally, the rag doll, and a heart-warming conclusion, this is the perfect film to watch now those darker nights are settling in.

A Scanner Darkly: Based on the novel by Philip K. Dick, this surreal, futuristic film is interesting for many reasons. First of all, the whole thing is shot in a quirky, animated style which gives it a strangely fun feel, which is cleverly contrasted against a narrative focusing on identity, law, surveillance and drug use. Starring Keanu Reeves, Winona Ryder, Woody Harrelson and a brilliant performance from Robert Downey Jr, as well as being directed by Richard Linklater (Boyhood), this crazy film is executed brilliantly. ‘A Scanner Darkly’ has achieved something of a cult status since its release in 2006, and now is the time for you to find out why.

This week’s WatchThisSpace was compiled by Sasha Hornby and Jakob Lewis Barnes