CAMFF 2018: Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot (2018)

Directed by: Gus Van Sant
Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Jonah Hill, Jack Black, Rooney Mara
UK Release Date: 26th October 2018 (Amazon Prime & select cinemas)

Written by Elena Morgan

After a car accident that leaves him paralysed, John Callahan (Joaquin Phoenix) tries to become sober and finds he has a talent for drawing funny yet often controversial cartoons.

The title, Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot, comes from one of Callahan’s cartoons showing some cowboys looking at an abandoned wheelchair and saying they’ll soon catch the guy. This sort of wry, and sometimes near the knuckle, sense of humour is prevalent throughout Callahan’s cartoons, many of which are animated and featured in the film. It’s also very much the sense of humour that’s running through the film, dark and sometimes weird and self-deprecating.

Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot is a biopic that’s told in a non-linear way. It’s a bit jarring really, especially at the beginning as scenes are intertwined with one another with no real reference point or understanding of who any of these characters are. The pacing continues to be uneven with the last thirty minutes or so being a drag.

Joaquin Phoenix is naturally great (even when wearing a horrendous range wig), managing to make Callahan irritating and charming in equal measure. Even before the accident and he becomes a little bitter, Callahan is a rude alcoholic that barely functions. After his accident, he’s not much better until he finally takes steps to become sober. Reading up on the real John Callahan after seeing the film, I did find it is a bit weird that 43-year-old Joaquin Phoenix was cast when Callahan had his accident when he was 21. This age discrepancy also makes his relationship with his nurse turned girlfriend Annu (Rooney Mara) seem out of place. She, like many of the characters surrounding Callahan, are never fleshed out more than the archetypes of their character.

The exception to that is Donnie (Jonah Hill), a recovering alcoholic and AA meeting leader. Hill is brilliant, and at times he even manages to outshine Phoenix, as he plays a wealthy gay hippie who is both hilarious and astute.

Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot is more of a character study than a film with a cohesive and compelling plot, but it manages to be a perfectly serviceable biopic. Phoenix and Hill are great but they’re not enough to make this a memorable film.

 

Elena’s Verdict

3

 

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Hiccup And Toothless Discover Their True Destinies In Brand New ‘How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World’ Trailer

“From DreamWorks Animation comes a surprising tale about growing up, finding the courage to face the unknown…and how nothing can ever train you to let go. What began as an unlikely friendship between an adolescent Viking and a fearsome Night Fury dragon has become an epic adventure spanning their lives.

Welcome to the most astonishing chapter of one of the most beloved animated franchises in film history: How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World. Now chief and ruler of Berk alongside Astrid, Hiccup has created a gloriously chaotic dragon utopia. When the sudden appearance of female Light Fury coincides with the darkest threat their village has ever faced, Hiccup and Toothless must leave the only home they’ve known and journey to a hidden world thought only to exist in myth. As their true destinies are revealed, dragon and rider will fight together—to the very ends of the Earth—to protect everything they’ve grown to treasure.”

Directed by: Dean DeBlois

Cast: Jay Baruchel, Cate Blanchett, Gerard Butler, Kristen Wiig, Kit Harington, Jonah Hill, Djimon Hounsou,

Release Date: February 1st, 2019

First Trailer For Jonah Hill’s Directorial Debut ‘Mid90s’ Released

Written and directed by Jonah Hill, Mid90s follows Stevie, a thirteen-year-old in 90s-era LA who spends his summer navigating between his troubled home life and a group of new friends that he meets at a Motor Avenue skate shop.

Directed by: Jonah Hill

Cast: Katherine Waterston, Lucas Hedges, Sunny Suljic

Release Date: October 19th, 2018

Hiccup and Toothless Return In The First Trailer For ‘How To Train Your Dragon 3: The Hidden World’

“What began as an unlikely friendship between an adolescent Viking and a fearsome Night Fury dragon has become an epic trilogy spanning their lives.  In this next chapter, Hiccup and Toothless will finally discover their true destinies: the village chief as ruler of Berk alongside Astrid, and the dragon as leader of his own kind.  As both ascend, the darkest threat they’ve yet faced—as well as the appearance of a female Night Fury—will test the bonds of their relationship like never before.”

Directed by: Dean DeBlois

Cast: Jay Baruchel, Cate Blanchett, Gerard Butler, Kristen Wiig, Kit Harington, Jonah Hill, Djimon Hounsou,

Release Date: February 1st, 2019

What Makes A Good Remake?

Written by Gillian Finklea

Like many movie purists, I used to despise the dreaded remake. As a believer in originality, I held out hope that we could do more than simply repeat the past. More than anything, it just seems like a waste to pay money to watch the exact same things that have already entertained me years before.

But now, I have learned to accept, and even enjoy movie remakes. Occasionally you get a delightful spin on a property you were never truly familiar with – such as ’21 Jump Street’ – or a modern twist on an old story like ‘You’ve Got Mail’. I’ve learned that remakes can be a welcome event or an unmitigated disaster, and now I’m able to look for signs as to how successful a remake is going to be.

21 JUMP STREET

Let’s use ’21 Jump Street’ as an example. The trailer for this movie was funny, light, and utilised two well-known actors. Compared to the trailer for the TV show, which takes itself very serious despite the outrageous plot, it seems like the two properties are barley related. The revitalised franchise doesn’t rely on similar plot lines or character relationships as foundations for the movie, instead it takes the general idea of undercover cops in high school and spins it out into a whole new world. We have one great cameo from the original television show, and then we don’t really think of it ever again. It is a remake that created its own universe and it’s certainly one worth exploring.

Psycho

Now let’s look at the opposite end of the remake spectrum — Gus Van Sant’s almost shot-for-shot remake of the classic Hitchcock masterpiece ‘Psycho’. For the first 20 seconds, the trailer makes it seem like you are going to get a movie from Norman Bates’ perspective which, while that may not be everyone’s cup of tea, would at least be an interesting take. But then the trailer starts showing very familiar and famous scenes – Marion in the shower and Arbogast running on the stairs. But what else are we to expect? This is a very specific movie with a very specific twist. We get excited to see those famous shots in the trailer because we briefly think that maybe this would be a chance to see more of the the psychological turmoil and expand the horror universe. However, when the movie came out it was literally the exact same as the film which came 40 years prior. The best parts were shown in the trailer and those parts were obviously better in the original.

junglebook

In order for a remake to work, it needs to be updated with its own sense of self and if possible, be better than the original. The trailer for the new ‘The Jungle Book’ movie appears to have its own ideas and themes, at least in the fact that it’s not animated and seems to take itself more serious than the Disney classic. It doesn’t completely rely on familiar songs and has an interesting enough cast that I think it may be a worthwhile remake.

ghostbusters2016

The new ‘Ghostbusters’ trailer however, has left me a little suspicious. Now, I have been a champion of the ‘Ghostbuster’ remake because I don’t think the original is some kind of Holy Grail never to be altered, and I trust Paul Feig with most things relating to comedy. However, that trailer was way too close to 1998 ‘Psycho’ territory. In the trailer there’s a ghost in the library, a funky car and even Slimer; all of which we’ve seen before. And while the actresses seem to have developed fun and interesting characters, the overall feeling is too similar to the original movie and that’s a problem. Remakes that don’t forge their own path are doomed to make viewers wonder why there needs to be a remake at all.

So when you see a trailer for a remake and get an instant rush of nostalgia, take a pause. If the trailer just conjures up reminders of the previous movie or lifts from scenes beat-by-beat, you are probably destined for a disappointing trip down memory lane.

The Martian

Written by Chris Winterbottom
Edited by Nick Deal

Ridley Scott has had mixed results with his various filmmaking projects, during a career which has spanned almost 40 years, from exquisite masterpieces such as ‘Alien’ to the painfully dull ‘Kingdom of Heaven’. His name is synonymous with quality, yet for me, I am always sceptical when a new Ridley Scott film is released. ‘Exodus: Gods And Kings’ was a disappointment with both audiences and critics and ‘The Counsellor’ was highly divisive. There is always the promise of something great with a Ridley Scott film though, and it was no different when ‘The Martian’, with Matt Damon at the fore, was announced.

‘The Martian’ takes Scott back to the familiar territory of the science-fiction genre, something he attempted to do with the recent ‘Prometheus’, which met a luke-warm reception at best. Based on an acclaimed novel of the same name, ‘The Martian’ sees Mark Watney, played by Matt Damon, stranded on the Red Planet after a fierce storm hits and the rest of his crew flee without him. Watney is presumed dead, finding himself alone on this alien land with only meagre supplies, his grit, determination and will to survive keeping him company. Get an idea of what is to come by watching the trailer.

The film seems interesting to me and promises to be a simpler project for Scott, who is more accustomed to directing films that are epic in every sense of the word such as ‘Gladiator’. For a while he was fancied (although I debate this) as the David Lean or John Ford of the modern era, creating huge expansive movies in the epic genre; a genre that was previously dormant in Hollywood. It says a lot about Scott’s portfolio of work, that a movie spanning millions of miles, between Earth and Mars, appears to be a much more intimate and elementary project than he is used to.

The idea of a man stranded alone in a foreign place is not a new concept and the idea reminded me, to some degree, of the plot of ‘Cast Away’. Just replace the island for a planet and you may see the similarities. Although it does promise to be much more than just a simple “lost in space film”. Scott’s movies, particularly those set in space, often have great big philosophical mutterings embedded in the story. ‘Alien’ was concerned with the fear of women and ‘Prometheus’ simply asked “how did it all begin?” I have no doubt that ‘The Martian’ will have plenty of thematic exploration in the film to keep us interested, and will have us talking about it days after we’ve seen it. I love films that ignite the audience’s intellect, making them question what it all means, creating debate between friends and family.

I have not read the source material, written by Andy Weir, although I am now going to pick up a copy in preparation for this movie. It has proven to be very popular and even the one and only Tom Hanks stated he will be first in line when the film is released. The film clearly has some high-profile backing, not to mention a quite brilliant cast ensemble, particularly Jessica Chastain who is one of the finest screen talents working today. It is surprising to see Kristen Wiig on the cast sheet, an actor who we have seen mostly in comedies rather than sci-fi epics. But Wiig is a capable and watchable screen presence and I am looking forward to seeing her in a film completely at odds with anything she has done before. We might see a change in her career, much in the same way Jonah Hill has transformed his. From working in Judd Apatow movies, to being nominated at the Academy Awards twice for his work on ‘Moneyball’ and ‘The Wolf Of Wall Street’, it is clear that Hill was prepared to challenge himself. Perhaps Wiig will have a similar career trajectory, maybe even a nomination or two will come her way. When you consider the cast also includes Chiwetel Ejiofor, Sean Bean, Michael Pena and Kate Mara, it’s impossible not to be impressed.

Matt Damon is another actor I feel is underrated. He doesn’t have the classic leading man look and yet, like Benedict Cumberbatch or Tom Hanks himself, he is insanely charismatic. An important quality of the film is to be focussed predominantly on his character alone; big responsibility indeed. He will have to deliver a terrific performance, and carry the burden of being on-screen for such a long time; much like Hanks did in ‘Cast Away’ or Sam Rockwell did in ‘Moon’. Damon was actually concerned about the role saying that it was too similar to the one he played in Christopher Nolan’s epic ‘Interstellar’. I can see his point, although Scott has been quick to nullify the issue by saying the films are nothing like each other. It’s fair to say then, that on this evidence, ‘The Martian’ will probably have a more existential philosophical tone rather than the hardcore physics exam-like tone that existed in Nolan’s film. 

We get a “lost in space” film annually now, and ‘The Martian’ is undeniably this year’s installment, but I am looking forward to this film immensely. Despite being a fan of all the actors involved, I am somewhat disillusioned by Ridley Scott’s work. I really want this to be as great as it looks, but I have the overwhelming fear that it will be a great big let-down. The film’s UK release is penned in for 30 September, a period that is stranded between summer blockbuster season and the time where awards panels are on the lookout for contenders, which is never a good sign. But with a cast this good, a story so simple and with source material to fall back on, it is the first Ridley Scott film I truly believe, with all my heart, has to be great. Fingers crossed.

Watch This Space: July 20 – 26

Welcome to your weekly go-to-guide – WatchThisSpace – where we give you recommendations of films to watch in the cinema, on the television and those brilliant films hiding at the back of your DVD collection.

IN THE CINEMA

Jake Gyllenhaal is a JumpCut UK favourite, but we are being completely unbiased when we say that his new film ‘Southpaw’ looks fantastic. Dark, powerful and intense, this boxing drama is sure to be a knockout (sorry).

James Franco and Jonah Hill come together again for ‘True Story’ this weekend. Another silly comedy movie right? Wrong! A real life true story of crime and deceit; no gags, no weed and no Seth Rogen. Check out our exclusive review for a better idea of what to expect.

Disney Pixar’s latest release hits cinemas this week and from the look of the reviews from those that have already seen it, ‘Inside Out’ is a real treat. The film addresses the problems facing a young girl in everyday scenarios from the viewpoint of the different emotions inside her head that are characterised into Fear, Joy, Sadness, Anger and Disgust. A story that is relatable for people of all ages, could this become one of the all-time animated greats? The early noise is very promising indeed.

Arnie returns to our screens this week in ‘Maggie’. This horror/action films is based around the onset of a zombie epidemic which Arnie’s daughter falls victim to. This doesn’t look like a classic “shoot ‘em up” Schwarzenegger film, more thought-provoking and subtle, with some definite sub-textual adolescent themes. Should be quite interesting, if Zombie films are to your liking. Check out our review for more.

ON TELEVISION

Friday 10:45 GMT: Set the alarm clock and get ready to pull a sicky because you won’t want to miss ‘The Hunt For Red October’ on More4 on Friday morning. This Cold War action thriller has a brilliant cast in Sam Neill, Sean Connery and James Earl Jones and is the film adaption of Tom Clancy’s debut novel. As far as the action genre goes, Clancy is somewhat of a powerhouse and that much is obvious if this film is anything to go by.

Friday 18:45 GMT: A 90s classic of the rom-com genre, see the late Heath Ledger in ’10 Things I Hate About You’ on Film4.

Friday 22:40 GMT: Johnny Depp stars as the notorious 1930s gangster John Dillinger in ‘Public Enemies’. See if Christian Bale can halt Dillinger’s criminal gang on ITV1.

Saturday 22:40 GMT: If you love your movies dark and mysterious, then you’ll love ‘Zodiac’, the story of a crazed serial killer and the men hunting him down. Watch Jake Gyllenhaal, Robert Downey Jr. and Mark Ruffalo decipher the code on BBC2.

Sunday 15:45 GMT: Our recommended family viewing this week is of the rather large and fluffy variety. ‘Beethoven’ is the perfect way to spend the Sunday afternoon on ITV2. Fun from beginning to end, this film encapsulates everything that you could possibly want from the perfect family film. 

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.

Step Brothers: With the news that ‘Wreck-It Ralph’ will get a sequel, we immediately thought of John C Reilly’s best live-action comedy showing. Alongside Will Ferrell, these two form one of the greatest comedy duos on the big screen and help to make this Adam McKay production one of our all time favourite comedies.

Aladdin: Also in the word of film last week, you may have seen that we reported plans are in place to create a live-action Aladdin prequel, based on the story of the genie in the lamp. We doubt that anyone will ever bring to life this magical story as perfectly as the late Robin Williams did, so enjoy the classic Disney animation and bask in the delightful voice of the legendary actor.

Blood Diamond: Last week saw the release of the first trailer for Leonardo Di Caprio’s new film, ‘The Revenant’. This time Leo is teaming up with Oscar-winning director Alejandro González Iñárritu in his latest bid for that golden statue. One of Leo’s “near-misses” in terms of Oscar awards was the fantastic ‘Blood Diamond’ (he was up against a worthy winner in Forrest Whittaker for his performance in ‘The Last King of Scotland’). Set in Sierra Leone, this is a harrowing story that pits the unrelenting greed of man up against the hope that humanity can triumph in the face of adversity. A must watch, regardless of whether you’ve seen it before or not.

American Gangster: The Ashes are in currently in full flow as England take on Australia. Even though we’re obviously cheering on the 3 lions, why not take a moment to appreciate one of Australia’s greatest living actors. Russell Crowe stars alongside Denzel Washington in this crime thriller. With fantastic performances all round and with Ridley Scott at the helm, this film is exactly as good as you’d hope it to be. Don’t expect all out action from beginning to end, expect something more well thought through, polished and stylish.

This week’s WatchThisSpace was compiled by Jakob Lewis Barnes and Nick Deal

Jump Street – MIB Crossover Will Happen

It has been speculated for months, but Sony have today confirmed that their ’21 Jump Street’ series will intertwine with the world of ‘Men In Black’. After the Sony e-mail hacking, it was revealed that plans were in place to produce a crossover of the two popular franchises, and now the wheels are officially in motion to get it to the big screen. Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill are set to reprise their roles for the project.

Also on the way, is a female-led ‘Jump Street’ spin off, with Lucia Aniello and Paul Downs hired to write the script. Dakota Johnson, who appeared in ’21 Jump Street’ before jetting off to ‘Fifty Shades’ fame, could be part of the female driven project but nothing has been confirmed.

Written by Jakob Lewis Barnes

Watch This Space: April 27 – May 3

 Welcome to our newest feature – WatchThisSpace – where we give you recommendations of films to watch in the cinema, on the television and those brilliant films hiding at the back of your DVD collection.

IN THE CINEMA

Nothing new to report on the cinema releases this week, for the UK anyway. If you haven’t already, get yourself to a screening of ‘Avengers: Age Of Ultron’ and treat yourself to IMAX and 3D. If you’re over in the USA, you’ll have to wait until the end of the week to finally see Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, but it’s worth it.

Last week, the UK became the last country to catch the release of ‘Stonehearst Asylum’, which ironically seems to be a British like-for-like version of  Martin Scorsese’s ‘Shutter Island’. Ben Kingsley heads a stellar cast in this eerie thriller, but don’t expect anything special from this version of a familiar story.

‘Kurt Cobain: Montage Of Heck’ was released a fortnight ago, without the media hype that one might have expected. But nonetheless, this documentary film presents an intriguing balance of art and fact, a must-see film for those remotely interested in the legacy of Cobain, and indeed Nirvana.

ON TELEVISION

Tuesday 18:15 GMT: Continuing the Han Solo buzz from last week, you can catch Harrison Ford in ‘Clear And Present Danger’ on Film4, another classic from his catalogue of fantastic films.

Wednesday 21:00 GMT: Whilst it may not particularly be our cup of tea, ‘The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’ has its fair share of admirers. With the second film released earlier this year, Film4 give you the chance to see what all the fuss is about.

Thursday 21:00 GMT: Now THIS is more like it! On 5*, go back to school with Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill for ‘21 Jump Street’. We promise you will laugh out loud and be thoroughly entertained all the way through.

Friday 22:40pm GMT: From the director of the upcoming Amy Winehouse biopic, comes ‘Senna’. Catch the award-winning story of legendary Formula One driver Ayrton Senna on ITV.

Saturday 17:10 GMT: Keep the kids (and yourself) entertained this Saturday night, with ‘Wall-E’ on BBC1. This Pixar film won the Oscar for Best Animated Feature back in 2009, and deservedly so; a real treat for the whole family.

Sunday 19:10 GMT: Strictly for the females with this pick, Channel 5 bring us ‘Legally Blonde’ on Sunday evening, an entertaining film packed with girl power and feel-good vibes to help you prepare for the doldrums of Monday morning.

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.

Dallas Buyers Club: August 2016 will see Jared Leto adopt the iconic role of The Joker for ‘Suicide Squad’. Arguably Leto’s best character to date is that of Transgender AIDS patient Rayon in ‘Dallas Buyers Club’. Based on a true story, the tale is moving, humorous and harrowing.

The Help: Picking back up with our giveaway competition, this week will see the newly released ‘Birdman’ up for grabs. Best Supporting Actress nominee Emma Stone truly shines in 1960s drama ‘The Help’, challenging racism in the Deep South.

The Social Network: This week, details were revealed for the following two instalments of the ‘Fifty Shades’ series. Dakota Johnson made her first notable silver screen appearance in ‘The Social Network’, a fascinating insight into the story behind the phenomenal worldwide success of Facebook.

Napoleon Dynamite: It’s that time of year when revision is the hot word on everyone’s lips, or at least it should be. Maintaining the scholastic theme, ‘Napoleon Dynamite’ is an independent comedy film focusing on the weird and wonderful ways of Napoleon as he progresses through high school.

This week’s WatchThisSpace was compiled by Jakob Lewis Barnes and Molly Dolan