Kristof Kiraly: VFXtraordinaire

Kristof Kiraly may not be a household name, but as a visual effects artist, Kiraly has played a part in making some of the biggest films of recent years. From ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ to ‘The Jungle Book’, mass explosions to vast landscapes, Kristof Kiraly is the man with the magic touch who, along with his team at Double Negative Visual Effects, gives your favourite films that extra kick.

Interview by Jakob Lewis Barnes

tgotg

JLB: Working in visual effects seems like a very specific and technical field of filmmaking, was there a particular moment where you realised that was what you wanted to do?

KK: From a very early age, I was obsessed with creation. I spent hours drawing, sculpting or playing with Lego. I’ve always wanted to understand how things work under the surface. I think it’s this kind of curiosity which led me to the world of computer graphics.

Like many other artists, the big blockbusters were the real push for me; I remember watching behind-the-scenes documentaries of ‘Star Wars’, ‘Jurassic Park’ etc. and realising that people do this for a living was a life-changing experience. Of course I had no idea how I could break in to the industry, but I dived in deep and spent all my time learning VFX on my own (this was a time before YouTube tutorials). With that knowledge, I was fortunate enough to secure a job with a small VFX company where I really started growing, and after six years I got invited to MPC (Moving Picture Company) in London.

JLB: I imagine visual effects to be an extremely challenging and painstaking task, so what, in your opinion, does it take to be a top visual effects artist?

KK: In my opinion, a good VFX artist has to be a good problem solver, because that is essentially what we’re doing most of the time. In this very technical world, things go wrong all the time and you have to figure out how to fix them. The ability to work under pressure is a must-have skill too; time is always compressed and the number of tasks can often be overwhelming.

Also you have to be open to learning new things all the time, because the industry is rapidly evolving and if you stop learning you’ll get left behind. And finally, learn to leave your ego at home. A movie is a team effort where your work is always open to criticism, changes and sometimes it can even be completely thrown out. That’s the nature of the beast, but that is also why the end result is usually much better than the first version.

maleficent

JLB: On IMDb you’re credited as “Environment Technical Director” – can you clarify exactly what that entails on a day-to-day basis, and on a larger scale in the filmmaking process?

KK: Environment Technical Directors are responsible for creating environment scenes, that match the photographic quality of the plates they are dealing with. In simpler terms, everything that isn’t a character, vehicle or prop is environment. Creating environments requires both technical and artistic knowledge, as it involves everything from matte-painting to modeling, texturing, projections, lighting, rendering and even composition. As I said earlier, it is creative problem solving on every level.

JLB: Your filmography includes quite a few superhero movies such as ‘Thor: The Dark World’ and ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’, but who is your favourite hero (or villain) and why?

KK: To be completely honest, I’m not a huge superhero or comics fan. I personally prefer movies that are closer to reality; I am more excited about everyday superheroes like the journalists of ‘Spotlight’, or the computer scientist Alan Turing, who helped Britain win WWII. But if I had to pick a superhero movie it would be Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, with its dark atmosphere and Hans Zimmer’s unforgettable score.

JLB: Recently, films like ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ and the upcoming ‘Assassins Creed’ have opted for more practical effects rather than CGI – can you see this becoming a common trend?

KK: I think everyone agrees that going practical is the proper way of approaching any shot. It gives the film crew a physicality they can relate to. The actors can feel that they are part of the environment, the DOP can set the lights up properly and figure out what lens and camera movement works. Of course, practical effects are very costly, harder to control and have their limitations. That’s where VFX comes into play – to extend those boundaries, but it should be used sensibly and be based on reality. That’s why it’s good when we have the practical elements.

To be honest, my only problem with this new wave of “practical effect based” movies is their marketing and the way they treat visual effects publicly – as though VFX is just a negligible thing, and practical effects is the holy grail. The fact is that these modern blockbusters have almost no frame which has not been digitally enhanced in some way.

Ex-Machina

JLB: Your company – Double Negative Visual Effects – was part of the VFX Oscar winning team this year for ‘Ex Machina’. Where would you say Ava – the artificial intelligence at the core of the story – ranks among your studio’s creations?

KK: I was extremely pleased to see ‘Ex Machina’ winning the Oscar for Best VFX. Especially since everyone was pretty sure that it would go to either ‘Star Wars’ or ‘Mad Max’. I think the movie in general was a massive achievement, and the effects served the story well; it wasn’t just a mindless visual orgy but a very organic piece. ‘Ex Machina’ is a great example of why I love to work for Double Negative – it is very much a technology-driven company with some insanely-talented artists.

JLB: For you personally, what is your proudest moment/favourite piece of work in the VFX industry?

KK: I’m extremely thankful that this is my nine-to-five. Working on movies that millions of people will go and see (and hopefully enjoy) is very rewarding. I’m proud of everything I’ve been working on, but my personal top three would be ‘The Jungle Book’, ‘Mission:Impossible – Rogue Nation’ and ‘Spectre’.

Mission Impossible

JLB: And finally, what is the best piece of advice you’ve been given throughout your career?

KK: I’ve been given lots of great advice throughout my career, but two of those stand out as the most influential. The first, is from my late grandfather who told me that you have to learn new things so you have more legs to stand on and that will give you stability.

The other is from my former MPC leader, mentor and friend, Marco G, who told me that in VFX you have to have three things to survive: reputation, connections, and savings.

Athlete To Actor

Written by Dalton Brown
Edited by Jakob Lewis Barnes

Let me start off by saying this, I’m not a fan of sports. Shocking, I know. It’s just that I could never get too excited about them, no matter how hard I tried. That’s not to say I’m completely oblivious when it comes to sports. I know of a few athletes, but the few I do know of are not because I’ve seen them play, but because I have seen them act. Pretty poorly, I might add. Whilst most athletes would probably be better off sticking to their day job, there are a select few that are actually decent actors too.

San Andreas

One actor that immediately pops into my mind – who is arguably a better actor than he was an athlete – is Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. For those of you that don’t know, he was once a professional wrestler. Yeah, wrestling is a sport. Now he’s an actor. I’m pretty ambivalent when it comes to this guy, but when he’s given the right role he’s golden! For example: I thought his character in the movie ‘Doom’ was awful, while his character in the ‘Fast and Furious’ franchise is actually quite enjoyable. Last year, Johnson starred in the surprisingly entertaining disaster movie ‘San Andreas’, and with plenty of projects coming up, including work on a ‘Baywatch’ reboot, The Rock is cooking up quite the acting career these days. 

Following in Dwayne Johnson’s footsteps is former wrestler Dave Bautista. After playing the role of Drax the Destroyer in the hugely popular ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’, Bautista nabbed a role in the latest Bond movie, ‘Spectre’, as brutish henchman Mr. Hinx. Whilst this was a role with very little dialogue, the big guy did what he does best; look tough and smash shit up. We look forward to seeing Bautista stepping in front of the cameras again for the ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ sequel in 2017, and hopefully plenty more projects in the future.

Drax the Destroyer

Arnold Schwarzenegger is another athlete turned movie star. He was once a professional bodybuilder, before he turned into a Terminator. Recently, the Austrian muscle man has joined the ‘Expendables’ franchise. He’s also been in some pretty shoddy productions like ‘Escape Plan’ and ‘Sabotage’. Although he’s been in a lot of movies, he is – and probably always will be – most famous for the ‘Terminator’ franchise. My point being, he’s sort of a one-hit wonder. He was in one great movie, ‘Terminator’, and then it just sort of stumbled downhill from there. Even the latest sequel in that franchise, ‘Terminator Genisys’, was damn awful. 

Then there’s Michael Jordan, one of the greatest basketball players to ever grace the court, who decided to play himself in a movie called ‘Space Jam’. Luckily for Jordan, he had the likes of Bugs Bunny and Bill Murray to save his ass, as his acting skills are far from world class. Michael Jordan then, is a perfect example of what not to be; a man who managed to roll his Hollywood debut and farewell into one film, thanks to cheesy, uncomfortable acting. The latest basketball king however, LeBron James, has recently found success in front of the camera in last year’s comedy hit ‘Trainwreck’. The Amy Schumer production gave LeBron the chance to allow his theatrical side to flourish, and boy did he deliver, surprising us all with his comedic talents.

TRAINWRECK

We are seeing more and more athletes taking on these cameo roles, mainly in comedies where they play themselves. Last summer, Ronda Rousey popped up in the ‘Entourage’ movie, and to be honest she was terrible. But at the time, she was one of the biggest sports stars in the world so we forgave her. Hell, the world even let her dream of playing Captain Marvel. That is, until she got her head kicked in by Holly Holm and now we don’t really trust her to be a superhero. Maybe Holly could suit up and save the world instead?

In conclusion, there are plenty of athletes who have tried acting, but only a handful have managed to reinvent themselves successfully. Dwayne Johnson has cemented himself as one of Hollywood’s top action heroes at present, and he certainly earns enough money to suggest he’s doing a good job. Everybody loves Schwarzenegger too, despite the long line of shit movies he’s performed in on the back of the success of ‘The Terminator’ in 1984 (yes it’s been that long since he actually did anything credible). More often than not, this transition from athlete to actor is probably going to be an epic fail, but we hope they keep trying. Team talk time for all you sports stars with dreams of the red carpet: just be yourself and don’t be afraid to fail, you will get that knockout eventually. Or that three-pointer. Or whatever sports metaphor is appropriate here.

Can you think of a sports star who would make a great actor? Or maybe one who wouldn’t be so great, but who would be fun to watch trying? Let us know!

Watch This Space: October 26 – November 1

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. This week, it’s all about spooks and scares, as we celebrate Hallowe’en!

IN THE CINEMA

It’s seemed like an eternity since the cinematic release date for ‘Spectre’ was announced, but the time is finally here! James Bond’s return to the big screen promises to be fantastic. Cast and crew have all claimed that this is the most ambitious Bond film of all time, in terms of scale and stunts. This may also be the final time that Daniel Craig will be starring as Britain’s best suave, super-spy, so we’re hoping this will be a fitting end to arguably the best Bond era there has ever been.

ON THE TV

Seeing as though it’s Hallowe’en this week (and given the fact that this is an awful week for films on television), we’ve decided to give you a run down of the best spooky films on offer on the 31st.

16:55 GMT: They’re creepy and they’re kooky, mysterious and spooky. They’re altogether ooky. The Addams Family! At least that’s all I needed to get in the mood to watch this one! Watch the playful, family friendly, ‘The Addams Family’ on Film4 this afternoon.

18:00 GMT: Simply a classic in the genre of all things ghoulish, ‘Ghostbusters’ is a must watch this Hallowe’en on Comedy Central. It will make for some pleasant family afternoon viewing before the really scary stuff starts later on at night. So make the most of it whilst you can!

21:00 GMT: One of many adaptations of Bram Stoker’s famous fictional vampire, but 1992’s ‘Dracula’ is regarded by many as one of the best. Starring Gary Oldman, Anthony Hopkins, Winona Ryder and Keanu Reeves under the direction of Francis Ford Coppola, this star studded adaptation hits all the right notes for a spooky night in. Tune in to Film4 for this classic horror/romance.

22:00 GMT: Undoubtedly one of the “big three”, ‘A Nightmare On Elm Street’ is more than a match for the ‘Halloween’ and ‘Friday the 13th’ franchises, in definitively classic Halloween Horror movies, with plenty of sequels out of which to make a malicious movie marathon. Don’t miss Freddy Kruger at his filthiest on Dave and make sure to tuck in the covers extra tight! A near-perfect Halloween weekend picture.

22:25 GMT: Drew Goddard’s ‘The Cabin In The Woods’ is a film which has really divided audiences down the years. Some praise the originality, whilst others call it completely ridiculous and nonsensical. It’s a film that certainly ticks the boxes in terms of scares, gore and monsters but the plot is pretty far fetched. If you can open up your imagination and get involved in the narrative, head to Channel 5 tonight and get behind the sofa!

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.

Creep: Not the Radiohead documentary we’ve all been craving. Instead, a delightfully dark, found-footage thriller, starring the terrific two man duet of Mark Duplass and Patrick Brice. When a videographer answers a Craigslist ad for a one-day shoot in a remote mountain town, he finds his client is not at all what he initially seems. A tremendously unnerving indie picture, that debuted out of 2014’s SXSW Film Festival, ‘Creep’ is a must-watch for anybody who likes Duplass’ work, and is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat!

Phantom Of The Opera: The 2004 film adaption of the masterpiece musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber and French Novel, Le FantĂŽme de l’OpĂ©ra. A tremendous box-office success, ‘Phantom Of The Opera’, is delightfully mysterious, spooky, and musically inclined. Although panned by critics, this horror drama, directed by Joel Schumacher, is entertaining nonetheless for fans of the classic tale. Catch Gerard Butler in his best pre-spartan role, and dwell in the fantastic sets, magnificent costumes, great art direction, and imaginative camera work that will immerse you in such a dangerous time!

The Purge: You know the annoying guy in your office who’s always bragging about how great life is? Or the jerk that cuts you off in traffic with a stupid smirking face? Well, it’s time for payback. Release your vicious angst and vengeful thoughts with this horrifyingly wicked, mischievously original concept – for 24 hours, once every year, there is no law. Find out how truly terrifying it can be when there is no way to protect yourself and your family with this underrated hit.

Slumdog Millionaire: Danny Boyle’s new biopic, ‘Steve Jobs’, premiered in London this week, to a widely warm reception, with it already being tipped for academy awards. One of Boyle’s most celebrated films, by audiences and critics alike, was the 2008 smash hit, ‘Slumdog Millionaire’. If you’re done with frights and trick or treaters, this winner of 8 Academy Awards, is perfect. The film follows Jamal (Dev Patel), who is arrested under suspicion of cheating his way to a fortune on India’s favourite game show, Who Wants to Be A Millionaire. The film takes you on a journey through every walk of life across India, from the grand palaces and the Taj Mahal to the criminal undergrounds where human traffickers rule the cities. This moving and breathtaking film is an absolute must see if you haven’t already.

This week’s WatchThisSpace was compiled by Nick Deal and Patrick Alexander.

Watch This Space: October 19 – 25

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

To be completely honest with you, this week isn’t the greatest for cinematic releases, so here we are with yet another instalment in the ‘Paranormal Activity’ franchise. This latest effort sees first time director Gregory Plotkin helming the project, a film which focuses on a family attempting to protect their young daughter from an evil spirit. Catch ‘Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension’ in cinemas from Wednesday October 21st, if you are willing to sit through 90 minutes of loud noises, lazy acting and predictable events. 

One which could go either way, though we would put our money on it being a stinker, is ‘The Last Witch Hunter’. On the back of the huge success of ‘Furious 7’ earlier this year, Vin Diesel is apparently hoping to get this fantasy flick all the way to a trilogy to keep himself busy. We may be wrong, but we can’t see this one filling too much of his time in the future, but with Michael Caine and Elijah Wood in support, who knows what will happen.

The week could be rescued by the release of ‘Mississippi Grind’ though, which looks a whole lot better than the previously mentioned films. Starring Ryan Reynolds and Ben Mendelsohn, the film sees down on his luck Gerry (Mendelsohn) teaming up with the dynamic poker player Curtis (Reynolds). This certainly seems like the best bet of the cinematic releases this week, and may be worth the gamble of a trip to the cinema.

ON THE TV

Tuesday 21:00 GMT: Where exactly did the McConaissance start? Well, it’s very possible that if you tune in to Film4 for ‘Mud’, you will witness the moment when Matthew McConaughey started to give a shit.

Wednesday 21:00 GMT: You’d be forgiven for thinking that ‘Magic Mike’ was a return to the realms of cheap chick-flicks for Matthew McConaughey and Channing Tatum, but that is not the case. Prepare to be pleasantly surprised and entertained if you switch to Film4 this Wednesday night.

Thursday 21:00 GMT: If it’s thrills you’re looking for, look no further than seven-time Academy Award nominated ‘The Fugitive’ on ITV4, starring the ever enjoyable Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee Jones, in an action packed thrill ride that will have you on the edge of your seat.

Friday 21:00 GMT: Daniel Craig stars in his most recent outing as 007, in the high-octane, thrilling ‘Skyfall’. Refresh your memory with Bond’s latest adventure on ITV, before what is potentially his last performance as the iconic character in next weeks release of ‘Spectre’.

Sunday 17:30 GMT: The recent release of ‘Pan’ has been underwhelming, to put it kindly. What were they thinking? Nothing would ever come close to the original ‘Peter Pan’, and you can see this animated classic on Channel 5 this Sunday evening.

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.

Grave Encounters: The found footage sub-genre of horror is often much-maligned, even by a fair few lovers of horror. But this time around, The Vicious Brothers excelled in bringing another level to a very over saturated genre. Working with a tiny budget and a relatively unknown cast, they managed to produce a hauntingly brilliant film, especially with the asylum they used, which will give you goosebumps! The film centres around a ghost hunting reality show, whose cast lock themselves inside an abandoned mental hospital that is rumoured to be haunted in an attempt to prove the existence of the spirit world; perfect with Hallowe’en coming up!

A Most Violent Year: I can’t technically recommend this film to anyone, but not because it’s below par. Actually, I’m still yet to see it myself, but it sits at the top of my watchlist and I shall be watching Jessica Chastain and Oscar Isaac in action this week, so please join me. What better time to judge the credentials of Jessica Chastain in a criminal environment, as she looks to land a role as a Bond villain, and Oscar Isaac is always a joy to watch. Two of the best in the business today come together in what should be a thrilling insight into 1980s corruption and violence.

District 13 (Banlieue 13): Starring David Belle, the son of the man credited with developing the modern craze of parkour, David himself is also very well versed in the art of parkour so you know the action is of the highest standard. The film is a wonderful mixture of European and Asian style martial arts, with a nice dashing of character development and a fun plot. The film admittedly has a ridiculous sounding plot, where a cop and a ex-criminal team up to infiltrate a gang in order to defuse a bomb, but I can assure you it is a very fun 90 minutes. The film itself is French, so there is a bit of reading of the subtitles, but a little reading never hurt anybody, right?

Godzilla (1998): You look on IMDb or Metacritic, and you’ll see this film getting absolutely slaughtered. It was cheesy, sure; they took the plot of a classic and made it fun, theatrical and romantic. A monstrous lizard the size of a skyscraper, terrorising New York City isn’t supposed to be fun, but I have nothing but positive memories of this film from my viewing as a child. I loved this Roland Emmerich effort, so much so that I would say I favour this version to the 2014 imagining, which was a huge disappointment for me. With the news that Godzilla will be squaring up to King Kong in 2020, now is as good a time as any to divulge in this guilty pleasure.

This week’s WatchThisSpace was compiled by Jakob Lewis Barnes and special guest Chris Wilson of Chris’ Movie Corner.

Chastain Eyes Bond Villain Role

Everybody is eagerly anticipating the cinematic release of ‘Spectre’, but whilst Daniel Craig continues to be moody, and everyone continues to speculate as to who will fill his suit for the next installment, some of you may have missed a little quote from a certain actress regarding future Bond films.

Jessica Chastain is one of our favourite actresses here at JumpCut UK, so when her name was linked with 007 on our newsfeed today we immediately got excited. In a recent interview, the American actress revealed that her life’s ambition is to play a Bond villain. She has however dismissed the possibility of ever playing a Bond girl in the future, when she said: “people ask me if I want to be a Bond girl, and I say, no, I want to be the villain. I’m waiting for that call”. There have been plenty of female Bond villains in the past, but it’s been almost two decades since Sophie Marceau played Elektra in 1999’s ‘The World Is Not Enough’. So we can all agree that it’s about time that another female stepped into the role of Bond villain, and here at JumpCut UK we can think of no one better for the role than Miss Chastain.

Written by Nick Deal

Spectre [Preview]

Written by Nick Deal

It is very likely that many of you are already willing it to be December so that we can enjoy another journey to a certain far, far away galaxy. However, in between now and what is certain to be the cinematic event of recent years, lies the small matter of the 24th installment of another iconic cinema franchise by the name of Bond, James Bond. ‘Spectre’ is scheduled for release in UK cinemas on October 26th, and there is much to be excited about, although we actually know very little, with many details being kept top secret. Here’s what we know so far, and my own conspiracy theory as to who I believe the real villain of the film will be


Click here to read the full preview

Lea Seydoux Joins Gambit

Reports out of Hollywood today confirm that LĂ©a Seydoux (Blue Is The Warmest Colour, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol) is set to star in 2016 feature ‘Gambit’. No, we’re not talking about terrible Colin Firth films here! We are talking the latest X-Men Universe spinoff! Seydoux, also soon to be featured as the newest “Bond Girl” in the upcoming ‘Spectre’, has been the role of mutant Bella Donna Boudreaux – the skilled assassin and hand-to-hand combatant capable of astral projections. Seydoux reportedly beat out Abbey Lee and Rebecca Ferguson for the role, and will star across from Channing Tatum playing the film’s namesake.

Rupert Wyatt is set to direct the stand-alone ‘Gambit’ feature, a re-imagination of the Gambit character from 2009’s ‘X-Men Origins: Wolverine’. Wyatt notably directed ‘Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes’ and more recently the Mark Wahlberg led ‘The Gambler’. The plot details are currently unknown, but ‘Gambit’ will develop the previously underplayed character Remy LeBeau, a notoriously cocky, card-throwing, degenerate gambler. Look forward to another chapter in the highly successful X-Men series next year.

Written by Patrick Alexander

Watch This Space: August 3 – 9

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

A decade has passed since the debacle of the original ‘Fantastic Four’, and a lot has changed in that time for the superhero genre. With an exciting new director and a cast of young stars, this version of ‘Fantastic Four’ promises to be much, much better.

Not to be confused with this year’s highly popular action flick ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’, ‘Max’ tells the story of a four-legged hero of the same name; a canine who helped the US Marines in Afghanistan. Dog lovers sit up and enjoy.

For something a bit more intense, there’s psychological thriller, ‘The Gift’. In Joel Edgerton’s directorial debut, a young married couple have their lives turned upside down when a surprise encounter from the past brings much more than just old memories.

ON TELEVISION

Tuesday 21:00 GMT: I watched ‘The Five Year Engagement’ a few months ago on a whim, and was pleasantly surprised. See Jason Segel and Emily Blunt on top form on Film4 – make sure you stay with Film4 after, because you can also catch ‘The Breakfast Club’.

Wednesday 17:10 GMT: Gaining cult status after its release in 2008, ‘Angus, Thongs & Perfect Snogging’ is a fantastic, romantic-comedy starring ‘Godzilla’ man Aaron Taylor-Johnson. Catch this teen favourite on Film4 – again, stick with Film4 because ‘Napoleon Dynamite’ is on straight after.

Thursday 21:00 GMT: A couple of weeks ago Marvel named their new Spider-Man as youngster Tom Holland. Unknown to many, and if you still aren’t too sure who he is, check out what is probably his biggest role to date in the emotional disaster drama, ‘The Impossible’ also starring Ewan McGregor and Naomi Watts on Film4.

Saturday 21:00 GMT: Viewed by many as the best film of all time – and ranked number 1 on the IMDb top 250 – ‘The Shawshank Redemption’ is a must see prison drama on ITV2.

Sunday 13:30 GMT: As unpredictable as the British summer, ‘Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs’ puts the spotlight on a town where food rains from the sky! Grab the kids and make the most of some family time on Channel 5 before school starts up again.

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.

Warrior: If you saw ‘Southpaw’ last week and it’s wet your appetite for more emotional, sports-drama, look no further than ‘Warrior’. This MMA drama is the leader of the pack in this genre and also stars Joel Edgerton, director of ‘The Gift’, released in cinemas this week.

In Bruges: The recently released ‘Spectre’ trailer sent the internet and Bond fans alike crazy. We got a glimpse of Ralph Fiennes in a few clips, hopefully having a more fleshed out role than last time. To tide you over until ‘Spectre’, check him out in a less serious but wildly entertaining role in dark comedy ‘In Bruges’. It never disappoints.

Space Jam: Basketball star LeBron James made a couple of surprise appearances on JumpCut UK last week, for his performance in new comedy ‘Trainwreck’, and most notably for the rumours that The King would star in a proposed ‘Space Jam’ reboot. The 1996 Looney Tunes classic is a film which everyone should see in their life, starring Bugs Bunny and the gang, and basketball legend Michael Jordan. Whether you’re an 8 year old child or a slightly childish adult, get watching!

The Cider House Rules: Charlize Theron turns 39 on Friday, and amongst the fantastic repertoire of work she has built over the years, it was hard to pick just one to advocate this week. In the end, we plumped for this riveting drama about life and love – based on the John Irving novel – where Theron stars alongside Tobey Maguire, Michael Caine and Paul Rudd. An Oscar-winning film with a great cast, no brainer right?

This week’s WatchThisSpace was compiled by Jakob Lewis Barnes and special guest Hamish Calvert. Get more from Hamish by visiting his website.

Sam Mendes To Quit Bond After ‘Spectre’

It has been a big week of news for 007 fans. We’ve been treated to a new trailer that reveals a lot more about the plot of “Spectre”, which is set to crash onto cinema screens this October. ‘Skyfall’ was a personal favourite of mine and “Spectre” looks like it will continue in the same vein, which is very promising indeed. The film looks to continue the darker side of Bond, Craig looks like he is on top form again and the film certainly looks like it includes it’s fair share of explosions and fight sequences.

As exciting as this new trailer is, it was undermined by the news that Sam Mendes has announced that he will not be continuing his involvement with the James Bond universe once this latest film is released. In an interview with the BBC, he stated “I said no to the last one and then ended up doing it, and was pilloried by all my friends. But I do think this is probably it.” He continued in saying that being part of the Bond franchise is not just a job, “it’s more of a lifestyle choice”, and he simply could not imagine himself getting behind the camera again. “I don’t think I could go down that road again. You do have to put everything else on hold.”

It seems that Mendes wants to pursue other projects, which an involvement with Bond simply does not allow. He can look back fondly at his time with Britain’s best secret agent. Skyfall smashed “Bond” box office records and revitalized the franchise after the dismal “Quantum of Solace”. And if the new installment lives up to expectation, Mendes will have a left wonderful legacy that he can look back on proudly. Roll on October.

Written By Nick Deal