Adam McKay unveils Oscar-tipped ‘The Big Short’ trailer

‘There’s some shady stuff going down.’

The director of films such as Anchorman and Step Brothers has turned his eye to finance, Wall Street and the housing crash of 2008. 

Watching this trailer posits the questions ‘what’s the difference between this and Scorsese’s Wolf of Wall Street?’ From the trailer alone, the two films look like they have been shot in the same way with the same comedic breaks, financial dramas, and the apparent glamorisation of bankers and strippers.

But, when you look at the writer and cast of McKay’s new film the glass shatters and its Oscar-winning potential presents itself. Written by Michael Lewis, author of Moneyball and The Blind Side, Ryan Gosling marks his return to film following his directional debut Lost River, Brad Pitt stars alongside him joined by Steve Carrell, Christian Bale, Melissa Leo and Marisa Tomei. Every single one of these actors have either won an oscar or been nominated.

The Big Short has a US release date of 11 December and is bound to be nominated at the next Academy Awards.

Check out the trailer below:

Samuel Abrahams’ Offline Dating ★★★★

‘Nice lamp…Would you like to go on a date with me?’

In the space of 6 short minutes, Samuel Abrahams’ film beautifully captures the romantic intricacies attached to the old-school ways of dating, making us question whether dating technology has taken a large chunk out of traditional romance?

Offline Dating is an endearing, romantic and heartwarming short-film documenting the whimsical attempts of the protagonist Tom to ask a girl out on a date completely offline. The film attempts to topple the recently manifested view that asking a girl out in the middle of the street is ‘taboo’.

In fact, in an interview with Vimeo, Abrahams said that the film was an attempt to show “the difference between the ‘us’ we present online and the ‘us’ that exists in real life.” As Tom is rejected time and time again, started on by a boyfriend and lulled into exposing a sense of his endearing vulnerability, the optimism of Abrahams as a filmmaker shines through – it is not an attack of online dating, but more a plea for a return to the fun nuances associated with face to face interaction.

Not only is the concept of this film superb, but the way in which it is shot and edited should be a lesson to all prospective filmmakers. The observational point of view coupled with the fact that the camera is constantly moving, pulling in and out of focus but maintaining smooth tracking shots, creates beautifully shot sequences. During the 6 minute film, the camera compliments Tom’s charming efforts as it doesn’t force interaction with the people it is filming. Instead, Abrahams naturally captures the small gestures and heartwarming intimacies that all contribute to making this film authentic, funny and inspiring.

Although a film itself, Offline Dating demonstrates how these romantic stories don’t just happen in fictional films. This just might be the film that cultivates a returned wave of actual romantic gestures through real encounters…and a movement away from creepy GPS systems and misogynistic messages over a phone.

You can see the film below:

Wes Anderson’s Fantastic Mr. Fox. ★★★★★

‘That was pure wild animal craziness!’

NEIGHBOURHOOD NOISE takes you back to 2010 in our version of #tbt….although we didn’t watch this film on a thursday, and although it is far from a new release, neighbourhood noise are recalling films that have changed the industry for better or for worse. We start with Wes Anderson’s adaptation of Roald Dahl’s classic ‘Fantastic Mr. Fox’.

With the London Film Festival looming, I see it as apt to look back to the film that opened the 53rd London Film Festival all those years ago. Fantastic Mr. Fox was a bold entry into the stop-motion animation world by Wes Anderson. Stop-motion films do notoriously average at the box office, are infamously difficult and stressful to create and generally take the worst and most laborious elements of live and stop-motion in order to produce a film. However, the end product is the apotheosis of pure art rendering the previous concerns as somewhat irrelevant. Fantastic Mr. Fox beautifully used stop-motion to pay homage to a timely classic.

Like the book, this is a film that can be easily enjoyed over and over again. Anderson’s precise yet humorously quirky take on the novel creates an Ocean’s Eleven coolness about it (abetted by George Clooney who voices the insecure yet arrogant fox). The familiar Anderson cast all play a role in this film from Owen Wilson as an apathetic sports coach, to Bill Murray..as a badger, enabling Anderson to have a stamp of ownership over his adaptation through his casting choice. Furthermore, much a tune to a recent jaguar ad, all of the villains in this film are British, aesthetically displeasing characters; all of the heroes are american; and then there is a safa…who must have been cast for some reason. The more times you watch the film, the more the accents become a prominent part, causing the audience to question Anderson’s motives. Not only that, but the soundtrack, containing a substantial amount of ‘The Beach Boys’, adds to an altogether brilliant portrayal of a childhood classic with multiple, timeless themes intertwined throughout the film.

With movies such as the The Boxtrolls being released this month, stop-motion animation appears to have become more and more popular, but the stresses of this film making technique are not sugar coated. It is hard, it is stressful, and it is not very financially rewarding. At the end of the day, however, stop-motion animation creates an enduring beauty that is the epitome of art-in-motion as seen with Fantastic Mr. Fox. That achievement of enduring beauty is what film is all about.

1st watch 7/10

2nd watch 8/10 (ages like a fine wine)