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  • marcridley 20:16 on 08/04/2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: James Cameron, Titanic, Titanic 3D   

    Titanic 3D – Why I’m still interested 

    When James Cameron’s ‘Titanic’ was first released, I was five years old. Too young to go to the cinema, my only first-hand experience of the cultural impact the film made was a boy in my class tying his coat around his waist to make a dress, standing with his arms spread wide, crucifixion-style, and belting out ‘My Heart Will Go On’ whilst pretending to be Rose. His friend played the part of Jack, and didn’t look too happy about it; I’ve no idea what became of them and I think that’s probably for the best.

    Now I’m able to put aside distant memories of playground gender confusion and decide on the film’s merits, or otherwise, for myself. Fifteen years might have past but there’s something about the film which still fascinates me.

    Obviously, Cameron had the benefit of having some pretty special material to work with. The story of Titanic’s maiden voyage is gripping for hundreds of reasons that have nothing to do with his filmmaking genius: the nostalgia for a more glamourous era; the angst of a painfully unfair class system; the incredible engineering of Britain at its best and the fact that there were hundreds of Jacks and hundreds of Roses on that ship, each with their own knife-to-the-heart story.

    But a real-life tale, however incredible, doesn’t guarantee a brilliant film. The responsibility for that lies firmly with Cameron, who had the balls to blow millions of dollars of other people’s money, knowing full well that every single penny of it could be lost. In fact, that’s exactly what the studios feared; Cameron had to promise to forfeit his own royalties to minimise the financial damage.

    Thankfully, that was one of only very few compromises. Cameron stretched the story out to over three hours, despite knowing that the average viewer wouldn’t last that long. He spent hundreds of millions of dollars making every last detail perfect. And do you know what? It shows.

    I’ll admit to being soft when it comes to films. They never make me cry, but I’m perfectly willing to let them take my emotions and have their wicked way with them; I’m not one for being cynical. And with Titanic, the clichéd-but-all-the-better-for-it love story, eye-blistering visuals and ‘Crikey, this actually happened’ perspective makes me want to watch it – all three-and-a-quarter hours of it – again and again.

    And I can’t think of many other films which provide a real-life story with such brain-bursting enormity. Sure, intimate little flicks about real people with tragic tales are ten a penny, but few manage to make your jaw drop, your eyes well up and your heart race all at the same time. It’s the combination that works; when that bloke falls from the stern and slams into a propeller you feel every jolt of his every bone – not because it looks impressive, but because you care.

    Obviously, I couldn’t care less how many dimensions its in; 3D isn’t great (although the nude scene could be interesting…) and the whole reissue project just means more money for some already well lined pockets (I can be cynical about some things). But in the end, a second chance to take that terrifying journey on that incredible ship with those beautiful people is vastly more precious than the tenner it’ll cost.

  • marcridley 18:52 on 17/08/2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Movie Review – The Inbetweeners Movie 

    I literally don’t know where to begin with this one.

    For a start, it’s practically unreviewable; anyone who watched and enjoyed The Inbetweeners on TV (and let’s face it, hardly anybody didn’t) will definitely be going to see this film, if they haven’t already.

    You’d have to be an even bigger geek than Will not to know about The Inbetweeners, but in case you haven’t, here’s the general idea: four college students, hardly losers but by no means popular, struggle to get through their teenage years with their dignity intact, and fail tragically in the process. After three series covering their college years, their first movie takes them on that most ill-advised teenage rite of passage: a lads’ holiday abroad.

    As a film, it’s difficult to tell whether it works or not. I mean, it’s a mess; there’s precious sign of a plot for at least the first half – entire characters are given significant introductions only to be forgotten about and never shown again. What’s more, you find yourself asking where else they can go with the crass humour and the attempts at shocking; I guess they could always murder someone, but murder just isn’t funny. Although that doesn’t stop them getting pretty close…

    Don’t worry, though: the laughs are there. There aren’t as many as you might want, but the vulgar language, nauseating toilet humour and questionable approach to the rights of disabled holidaymakers are all present and correct, and you’ll leave laughing regardless of the film’s weaker moments.

    But if you’re just looking for a series of crude insults and casual violence then move on, because whilst there’s easily enough of that kind of thing, there’s just more to it than that. I’d even go as far as to say that there are some tender moments, too; the characters all go through their respective rough patches, and you genuinely end up wanting to know how it all works out for them. And to be honest, that’s where the film’s great strengths lie.

    And the ending. THE ENDING. Well OK, not actually the ending, just the bit at the boat party (you’ll know which bit I mean). You won’t expect that.

    So if you want to know if Simon manages to get back with Carly, whether or not Will finally shakes off his nerdy image (I’ll tell you now: he doesn’t) and if Jay lives up to the string of filthy lies he tells about himself, then go and see it. You’ll get all that and more. Including a naked Mr Gilbert.

  • marcridley 12:58 on 12/07/2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Channel 4, Cinema, , The Inbetweeners   

    Movie Preview – It’s The Inbetweeners! 

    It’s a momentous occasion for anyone even remotely interested in good television in the last couple of years; a full trailer for the upcoming Inbetweeners Movie is out now.

    If for some ridiculous reason you didn’t know, those laddish losers from Channel 4 are going to be coming to a big screen near you this August and we at Fresh Index cannot wait. All we’ve been given so far was a teaser trailer a few months ago showing Will, Simon, Jay and Neil walking down Malia’s infamous club strip, and although it didn’t give us much to go on, it was still bloody exciting to see that the movie was well on its way.

    The new trailer goes into a lot more detail and gives us more than a few hints as to the tone and content of the movie. So far it seems like the Inbetweeners’ saga will continue in typically crude form; as Jay will summarise for you, it’s ‘two weeks of sun, sea, booze, minge, fanny and sex’. Crikey.

    All the key elements of an Inbetweeners show are here: Will moaning about being a virgin, Neil doing his fantastic rendition of the robot, lots of puns based on the female anatomy and some glorious-looking unexpected bits (look out for Greg Davies as Mr Gilbert, drenched in booze).

    Sure it looks like it follows some of the well trodden Inbetweeners comedic paths. We know that Neil is probably going to get the girls, Simon won’t, Jay will make us doubt our faith in humanity and Will is going to remind us a little too much of ourselves for comfort [speak for yourself, Luke – Ed.], but that’s all we ever really asked for from the Inbetweeners. We hope to see you in your local cinema on August 19th ; here’s hoping they won’t mess up a brilliant show.

  • marcridley 10:28 on 12/07/2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Emma Watson, , , Jedward, Kate Hudson, Louis Walsh, Matt Bellamy, Muse, Robbie Williams, Take That, ,   

    Newsmound – The best of what you may have missed 

    Welcome the the Newsmound – our weekly look at the obscure entertainment news stories you might have missed. This week: Harry Potter’s Tom Felton and Emma Watson, Louis Walsh, Jedward and more.

      • Ahead of the release of the final Harry Potter film, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, Tom Felton has announced that he intends to pursue a hip-hop career. Yes really. Speaking to The Sun, he said: ‘I was thinking of doing some N-Dubz style stuff. I am looking to get into the grime rap UK scene.’ Well I think we can all agree we’re looking forward to that. More from NME.
      • Emma Watson hates her younger self. Or, more precisely, she feels embarrassed about her acting skills in the first few Potter movies: ‘It’s somewhat embarrassing to see myself go through all the awkward stages of growing up,’ she told the Daily Telegraph. So much time has passed and so much has happened that it seems that I don’t know her, but it’s interesting to see how the character has evolved and how much I have changed.’ More from 4Music.
      • Robbie Williams is trying to sort himself out so he can become a dad. Writing in his official blog, the Take That star explains that he’s trying to get over his crippling stage fright and social awkwardness: ‘I’m going to be a dad… maybe next year or the year after and I don’t want their dad to be emotionally inept, for my own well-being as well as theirs.’ More from 4Music.
      • Louis Walsh is set to call in Jedward to help him pick this year’s X Factor finalists. According to Holy Moly!, the horrific pop duo will join forces with Louis to help him choose the acts he’ll take through to the live shows in the autumn. Crikey. More from Holy Moly!
      • Actress Kate Hudson and Muse star Matt Bellamy have had their first child. It’s a boy – born on Saturday and weighing in at 7lb 12. We’ve no idea heavy that is, and so we wouldn’t like to comment. In the spirit of the occasion, however, we are willing to plant a tree; that’s how Hudson has asked her friends to congratulate the couple on their new birth. More from 3am.
      • Oh, and the News of the World is in a right pickle. Apparently.
  • marcridley 10:06 on 11/07/2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , music, Peter Andre, , The Wanted, , , TV   

    The Planner – 11th July 2011 

    A week is a long time in pop, so if we stand any chance of getting through the next seven days alive we’d better prepare ourselves. Here’s the Fresh Index Planner – your guide to anything and everything worth checking out in the next week.

    The Week’s Releases

    It’s a quiet week for new albums, but it’s good news if you’re a fan of The Horrors. Us neither. Their third album, ‘Skying’, is out today however, and you can expect a review here on Fresh Index later today. The Wanted’s Glad You Came is also available to download today, and if that’s not worth dragging yourself out of bed for, we don’t know what is. Harry Potter madheads can also get hold of the official soundtrack to the final film as well, so you can hear what Voldemort dying sounds like before it actually happens. We bet it’s pretty grim.

    The Week in TV

    The TV highlight of the week looks to be the premiere of the brand new series of Torchwood, which we previewed a few days ago, but there are also a few smaller new series starting this week which could be worth a watch. BBC Three has a couple of trashy but intriguing reality shows up its sleeve, including ‘Small Teen, Bigger World’ (BBC Three, Monday, 9pm) about a 17-year-old with the height of 9-year-old, and a new series of ‘Underage and Pregnant’ (BBC Three, Monday, 8.30pm) which follows a young mother bringing up a baby whilst working for thirteen GCSEs. Crikey.

    ITV2 premieres ‘Peter Andre: Here 2 Help’ on Thursday at 9pm, in which Andre travels to Solihull to help a working Mum look after her two kids. Yes, it sounds terrible, but it has to be better than his most recent TV work: poor Peter had to turn to shopping channel QVC to sell his new single after radio stations refused to play it. Obscure channel 5* has a new series starting this week called ‘Silent Library’ (5*, Tuesday, 10pm), in which contestants have to undertake a series of challenges in a library without making any noise. We’ll be watching with subtitles, just to see how they get around that.

    Channel 4 have two new quiz shows on air this week. The first is ‘Pop Up Pop Quiz’ (Channel 4, Saturday, 11.30am), which is presented on an inflatable set and stars the cast of The Only Way is Essex. This sounds ridiculous. On thankfully more familiar territory, C4 also have a new series of the actually quite good ‘Chris Moyles’ Quiz Night’ (Channel 4, Friday, 10.30pm), this week starring Ugly Betty’s America Ferrera, Kimberley Wyatt and Alan Carr.

    In Cinemas

    The only movie release of any note this week is ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2’; it looks like nobody dared to tackle the Potter juggernaut head on. Frankly there’ll be no need to see anything else, but if you’re not a Potter fan and need something else to look forward to cinema-wise, check out our look ahead to the new movies hitting cinemas in the coming weeks.

    We hope that all helps the ride through to next Sunday a little easier. Good luck!

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