Ghost-busted? How Sony sunk their summer blockbuster in more ways than one

(Published in The Galleon, available to view online here.)

Sorry, everybody. I know you thought that the dust had settled, but I’m dragging up the controversy surrounding the notorious Ghostbusters remake just one more time. Seriously, who would have thought that the most politically divisive film of the year would be a Ghostbusters remake?

Before I talk about the storm that the movie created, I should first give my thoughts on the film itself. Unfortunately, I thought it was awful. Although I don’t consider myself to be a fan of the original, it’s easy to see why anybody who holds the 1984 classic dear to their heart would be appalled with what has been created.

The scripted jokes were cringe-worthy, and the improvised jokes were even worse. All four of the film’s female stars are naturally funny, especially Melissa McCarthy, but you can’t just plonk them in front of the camera and tell them to “do their thing”, because the result is 116 minutes of what feels like an insufferably long Saturday Night Live skit that wouldn’t make the final show. Continue reading

Interview with ‘Pay the Ghost’ author Tim Lebbon

Ever wondered what it would be like to have your idea turned into a film starring cult hero Nicolas Cage? That’s exactly what happened to author Tim Lebbon, whose horror novel Pay the Ghost was adapted for the big screen by director Uli Edel in 2015.

In the past, authors have generally disapproved of Hollywood re-tellings – Anthony Burgess, Roald Dahl and Stephen King have all condemned big-screen adaptations of their books – but Lebbon admitted that having one of his works on the big screen was always an aspiration.

“I’ve always hoped it would happen one day. Before Pay the Ghost I probably had a dozen options. Every time it happens I get excited because, of course, the person or company optioning always say it’s definitely going to happen. Continue reading

‘Victoria’ Review: A Single-shot Success

(Full article available online at Movies with Marsh)

Sebastian Schipper’s acclaimed Victoria boasts one of the most ambitious and ballsiest directorial decisions imaginable: the whole 138 minute film is shot in one continuous take.

When I first heard about Victoria, it made me cast my mind back to Richard Linklater’s Boyhood. Both claimed to be “revolutionary” – Boyhood with its ‘filmed in 12 years’ USP and Victoria with its single-shot USP – which made me eager to see them, but Boyhood turned out to be a massive disappointment. Continue reading