Showing posts with label Bill Murray. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bill Murray. Show all posts

Saturday, 30 March 2013


I haven’t seen Ghostbusters since the mid 1990s. I don’t know why this is as I remember liking it as a child, although Ghostbusters II scared me, and I also watched the cartoon The Real Ghostbusters when I was very young. If memory serves me right I also had some Ghostbusters toys. I don’t know then why it has taken me so long (over half my life!) to watch it again. I got the idea to re-watch it before a recent trip to New York as I was in the mood for New York based movies and it was recommended to me on Twitter. Unfortunately I didn’t have the time before I went but I saved it until today and wasn’t disappointed. It’s great fun!

Peter Venkman (Bill Murray), Raymond Stantz (Dan Akyroyd) and Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis) are three misfit scientists working out of Columbia University. When they lose their jobs due to a mixture of incompetence and lack of results they decide to set up shop as Ghostbusters, investigated the paranormal and catching ghosts for the people of New York City. They are initially successful and gain a reputation and celebrity status but something big on the horizon threatens to derail them and the entire city.

Monday, 12 November 2012

Groundhog Day

When arrogant TV weatherman Phil Connors (Bin Murray) travels to the small town of Punxsutawney for the yearly Groundhog Day celebrations he wants the day to go as quickly as possible. Feeling the job is beneath him he is looking forward to a quick piece to camera before heading back to Pittsburgh. Unfortunately for Phil his miserable day in the small town lasts a lot longer than expected as when he wakes up the following morning he discovers that it is Groundhog Day all over again. Phil keeps experiencing the same day over and over desperate for a way to see a tomorrow which seems as though it will never come.

I first saw Groundhog Day about fifteen years ago and have watched it everyday since. In 2006 it was added to the US Nation Film Registry and I’m not surprised. As well as being a family favourite it can also be watched on a different level and raises questions about ones purpose or meaning in life as well as exploring the mental issues around repetition and the feeling of being trapped or held by something beyond your control. Although Connors is trapped by some sort of paranormal force the film could be seen as an analogy for the trappings of poverty and even touches on that aspect in a literal way with a brief inclusion of a couple of drunk characters. Even if you don’t want to read into the film in any great detail, it is still enormously entertaining and ironically the sort of film that you can watch again and again.

Friday, 21 September 2012

Fantastic Mr. Fox

When I first saw Fantastic Mr. Fox at the cinema in 2009 I fell asleep. I think this is the only time I’ve ever slept through a film and although there were mitigating circumstances I still feel bad as Wes Anderson is one of my favourite Directors. I’ve loved all of his pre Mr. Fox films and Moonrise Kingdom is one of my favourite films of 2012 so far. One of the reasons I fell asleep three years ago was because I was bored by the film but due to my love of Anderson’s work I felt the need to go back and reassess it. Unfortunately my first viewing experience was very similar to my second; the film bored me and I consider it Anderson’s worst film by quite some distance.

Based on Roald Dahl’s book of the same name the plot centres upon a fox (George Clooney) who despite promising his wife (Meryl Streep) that he would stop killing farmer’s chickens for a living, can’t resist one final spree in which he goes for three local farms, run by the meanest farmers around.

Friday, 7 September 2012

The Royal Tenenbaums

I first saw this film when I was about sixteen on one of my frequent trips to the cinema with friends. When one of them told me about it I thought it sounded awful. I was used to seeing action and comedy films on a Friday night and didn’t want to sit through a film about some family and an old man dying. In the end the film completely shocked me and helped to introduce me to the joys of cinema, seeing passed the Friday night popcorn movies to which I was accustomed. It was also the first of many Wes Anderson films that I fell in love with. I often site Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver as being the film which opened my eyes to cinema but thinking about it now, this film did the same thing, albeit to a lesser extent, two years earlier.

Royal Tenenbaum (Gene Hackman) is thrown out of his house by his wife (Anjelica Houston) before their three genius children (Ben Stiller, Luke Wilson, Gwyneth Paltrow) reach their teens. This has a far reaching impact on all of their lives and none of the three grow up to fully reach their potential. Playwrite Margot (Paltrow) stops writing, Tennis champion Richie (Wilson) retires ages twenty-six after a breakdown and business guru Chas (Stiller) becomes overly protective of his own children following the untimely death of his wife. After years of being out of the picture, Royal decides he wants to become reacquainted with his quirky children but ends up going about it in all the wrong ways.

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Moonrise Kingdom

"What kind of bird are you?"

It’s 1965 and pre teen pen pals, Sam (Jared Gilman) and Suzy (Kara Heyward) agree to run away from home and meet up a year after meeting for the first time. While the two of them head off into the wilderness of Suzy’s twelve mile long home island a search party that includes Island Policeman Bruce Willis, Scout leader Edward Norton, Suzy’s parents Bill Murray and Frances McDormand and Sam’s fellow Scouts set about trying to hunt the eloping children down in the days preceding a huge storm.

I should say from the outset that I am a huge Wes Anderson fan and have absolutely loved all of his films with the exception of Fantastic Mr Fox so I went in expecting great things. My expectations were matched and even perhaps exceeded. I loved this film. Anderson sets up Suzy’s home life in a fantastic opening sequence which features some exquisite tracking shots through the family home. Before anything is said it is already obvious to the audience that Suzy is a loner who longs for something bigger, something more. Her parents do not get on and are never even seen in the same room, let alone talking to each other. She has three younger brothers who appear to get along very well. Her house is large and well furnished, indicating wealth if not happiness. All of this is established in one long sequence of beautiful camera movements which last no longer than a couple of minutes. Sam’s life with his Scout troupe is shown in a similar manner although it soon becomes apparent that he has already escaped in search of his love, Suzy.