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russell brand Archives - Page 2 of 2 - Funerals & Snakes

Online reading and listening tips

By Asides

Time to draw your attention to a couple of bits of media that I’ve enjoyed recently, namely an excellent article by William Langewiesche in Vanity Fair about Captain “Sully” Sullenberger and the ‘miraculous’ landing on the Hudson River back in January. Langewiesche tells the story of the specific flight adroitly but also manages to tie it to modern aircraft manufacture, pilot politics and even has a hint of a Right Stuff “what makes a pilot” going on too. Superb and engrossing.

In a different arena entirely, I can recommend you download and listen to Elvis Mitchell’s interview with Rusell Brand, a famous West Ham fan and sometimes annoying presence as an actor who I had thought was inexplicably popular. Well, now, thanks to Elvis, it is explic’d. I get it. In the interview Brand is promoting the US edition of “My Booky Wook” and he is funny, supremely intelligent, spirited and self-aware. And he talks at 100mph. Download the interview from the KCRW site here, or download to the regular podcast via iTunes here. Mitchell is a former critic for The New York Times and his programme The Treatment is the most consistently intelligent half hour on cinema on the web.

Review: Young @ Heart, Max Payne, Rise of the Footsoldier, A Journey of Dmitri Shostakovich, Brideshead Revisited and Irina Palm

By Cinema, Conflict of Interest and Reviews

Young at Heart posterThe most purely emotional experience I have had in a cinema this year was watching the delightful documentary Young @ Heart during the Film Festival. It’s a life-affirming (and by its very nature death-affirming too) portrait of a group of Massachusetts senior citizen choristers who tour the world with a programme of (often consciously ironic) rock and pop classics and it starts out like the quirky British tv programme it was originally intended to be. But then these remarkable, loveable, buoyant characters take control and by the time they get to Dylan’s Forever Young, I may as well have been a puddle on the floor of the cinema. Young at Heart is so successful I even fell in love with Coldplay for about five minutes. It’s that good.

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Review: Forgetting Sarah Marshall, The X-Files: I Want to Believe, Closing the Ring, Smart People, Married Life, Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day and Journey From the Fall

By Cinema, Conflict of Interest and Reviews

Forgetting Sarah Marshall posterForgetting Sarah Marshall is an ideal post-Festival palate cleanser: a saucy comedy fresh off the Judd Apatow production line (The 40 Year Old Virgin, Knocked Up). Here he gives the spotlight to one of his supporting players: Jason Segal (Knocked Up) plays tv composer Peter who within two minutes of the start of the film is dumped by tv star Sarah M. (Kristen Bell from “Veronica Mars”). He goes to Hawaii to recover only to discover that his ex is also there – with her new English rock star boyfriend. Very funny in parts, surprisingly moving at times thanks to a heartfelt performance from big lump Segal, FSM gets an extra half a star for featuring professional West Ham fan Russell Brand, playing a version of his sex-addicted stage persona.

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Review: U2 3D, Nim’s Island, Street Kings, St. Trinian’s, College Road Trip, Hunting & Gathering, Blindsight, I Have Never Forgotten You and The Real Dirt on Farmer John

By Cinema, Conflict of Interest and Reviews

U2 3D posterEarlier this year I arbitrarily decided that the Hannah Montana 3D concert movie was not cinema and chose not to review it. Now, a few short weeks later, I exercise my right to indulge in rank hypocrisy by stating that the U2 3D concert movie is cinema and, thus, belongs in this column. Pieced together from concerts in soccer stadia across Latin America (plus one without an audience for close-ups), U2 3D is an amazing experience and truly must be seen to be believed.

I hadn’t expected the new digital 3D medium to be used so expertly so soon but creators Catherine Owens and Mark Pellington have managed to make the entire stadium space manifest with floating cameras and intelligently layered digital cross-fading, giving you a concert (and cinema) experience that can not be imagined any other way. Even if you are not a U2 fan this film deserves to be seen as an example of the potential of 3D to transform the medium.

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