Little Favour (2013)
I don’t normally watch short films unless they’re referred to me or nominated in that specific category at the Oscars…and even then it’s just to stay calibrated with the goings on in the film industry. It’s not that I find them to be a lesser form of filmmaking or anything like that, far from it. Simply put, they don’t interest me or catch my attention is what I guess I’m trying to say. Off the top of my head I couldn’t name you more than a handful of vignettes, let alone those that I rather enjoyed, and to be honest a lot of those that I do recall are made by Pixar. On the other hand, I do like to dip into the occasional anthology, but I don’t think they’re considered the same thing. I can’t grasp the concept of them. I feel it’s too much like jumping into a story at the climax. To their credit though, as the evolution of the short continues to progress, they tend to contain more and more effort into establishing a thorough, relative perspective. I don’t know, am I missing something? Please comment below with your thoughts and some references if you’ve got. Now, enough of my blabbering, onto the review.
Not to be brash, but the only reason I watched “Little Favour” was for the same reason I think anyone will, Benedict Cumberbatch. Everything that man touches, I must witness. I’ve been an obsessor of his for a good long while now, as I’m sure many of you will attest to. And as I do with anything I post containing Cumberbatch, I implore you to watch his earlier work, specifically “Stuart: A Life Backwards” and “Hawking,” but I digress. ”Little Favour” directed by Patrick Viktor Monroe, begins with Wallace (Cumberbatch), a war veteran dealing with PTSD attending a meeting with an old friend, James (Colin Salmon), whom Wallace owes a great deal of debt .Upon agreeing to babysit James’ little girl as a little favour, Wallace returns home with his new found responsibility and is viciously attacked and subjected to questioning by a group of thugs searching for James.
The premise really is quite something, extremely intriguing. Nevertheless, I found it too short to absorb fully, I just couldn’t get into it like I would have preferred to. To its credit though, for its length, “Little Favour” did manage to grab me significantly, more than any previous short film anyway. Now, I don’t know if I’ve been spoiled by such rich, powerful performances recently, but I couldn’t help but want more from the ensemble. Or it could be that alongside Cumberbatch, it’s simply impossible to measure up. Salmon really is terrific, the shining star apart from Benedict himself. Other than that however, the performances left a lot to the imagination. What surprised me the most was Monroe’s camerawork, just superb. Hopefully in the near future he can helm a full-length feature, cause I’d really like to see what he can do. I’m sure it’ll happen because this little short will definitely spike his popularity.
It never fails to astound me how Cumberbatch, one of the busiest, most sought-after actors working in the industry currently, continues to churn out gem upon gem without faltering. Then it hit me, when you’re this talented and love what you do as much as he does, is it work? I mean, I know it takes a strenuous effort to do what he does, it just appears impossible that he can steadily reach such a height without stumbling. But I guess that’s why he is who he is. While Cumberbatch’s performance here doesn’t measure up to his illustrious standards, it’s still fairly entrancing. I’ve come to the conclusion that his portrayal here is hampered by the film’s length and premise. It doesn’t hit him or orbit him as it should. He gives it his all, it’s just too small a sample size to deduce any effect, so not to any extent is this his fault. For its entirety, the performance of Cumberbatch is still very poignant, and considering how compacted the story is, the output of Cumberbatch is all the more potent.
For all my unbalanced ramblings and flip-flopping, I’d still recommend “Little Favour,” if only for Cumberbatch’s performance. It is quite good, and I don’t know, I’d watch it again…
Little Favour: 8 out of 10.
The Gushing Cinephile: September 30, 2013
Now that TIFF has come and gone and my reviews are all wrapped up. Things should be getting back to normal here at The Cinema Monster…starting with The Gushing Cinephile. Speaking of, welcome to the segment’s latest edition! Oh, and just so we are all clear, by “wrapped up” I mean I’ve finished scribing them, not posting. You can expect my final three reviews this week. Now, without any further ado, let’s get started!
“Mad Men” Final Season Split
Much like the highly successful AMC series “Breaking Bad,” “Mad Men’s” final season will be split into two halves. The first 7 episodes of the seventh and final season of the award-winning series is set for release early in 2014, while the second part, also featuring 7 episodes will be airing early in 2015. Personally, I don’t mind having to wait an extra year. I am madly in love with “Mad Men” and quite content that the show will be running longer than anticipated. Having to wait in agonizing anticipation for the conclusion is a small price to pay.
First Images From “The Imitation Game”
Below you’ll find the first official images from the set of Morten Tyldum’s World War 2 biopic “The Imitation Game” starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightly, and Mark Strong. The film surrounds mathematician and logician Alan Turing as he assists in cracking the enigma code during world war 2. The film is slated for release sometime in 2014.
First Image of “Fury”
Starring Brad Pitt and Shia LeBeouf, David Ayer’s “Fury” is another world war 2 flick about a group of Americans who embark on a dangerous mission. Check out the image below. The film is set for release on November 14, 2014.
Neill Marshall Planning “Troll Hunter” Remake
It looks as if cult-hit “Troll Hunter” will be getting a makeover at the hands of Neil Marshall. The director of “The Descent” is reportedly attached to write and direct the remake with an early 2014 shoot date targeted.
Hugh Jackman Joins “Chappie”
Neill Blomkamp’s follow up to “Elysium” added Hugh Jackman this past week. “Chappie” already locked up the amazing Sharlto Copley earlier and is set for release in 2015. The film is a mix of science fiction and comedy dubbed robo-com.
“Under the Skin” Trailer
Soon after the release of a brief teaser, Jonathan Glazer’s “Under the Skin” let loose a full-length trailer. The film stars Scarlett Johansson as an alien sent to Earth to abduct weary hitchhikers. The film just recently finished its film festival swing and I was fortunate enough to catch it at this year’s TIFF. I will be posting my review tomorrow so be on the look out for that.
“Little Favour” Teaser
This brief little teaser of Patrick Viktor Monroe’s short “Little Favour” starring Benedict Cumberbatch packs quite the wallop. The film is about a man who is contacted by a former colleague to assist in a deal gone wrong.
“12 Years a Slave” Clip
The first official clip of Steve McQueen’s slavery epic “12 Years a Slave” was officially released recently. The film stars Chiwetel Ejiofor, Brad Pitt, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Michael Fassbender. You can check out my review of the film from TIFF 2013 by clicking here.
New “Nymphomaniac” Clip
Lars Von Trier’s long-awaited, sex addiction epic “Nymphomaniac” released another short clip this past week. The film stars Charlotte Gainsbourg, Shia LeBeouf, and Stellan Skarsgard. The film itself does not have a domestic release date as of yet.
Bryce Dallas Howard Headed to a “Jurassic World”
Not long after confirming an official title and release date, it appears as if the fourth instalment into the successful dinosaur series has found its leading lady. The immensely talented and easy on the eyes Bryce Dallas Howard is set to take on the long-extinct species in 2015. As of now, there are no further details into her character, but I’ll keep you posted.
“The World’s End” and “Europa Report” Headed to Blu-ray
The final instalment into the “Cornetto” trilogy, “The World’s End” is hitting home video on November 19, 2013. Check out the specs and artwork via the Daily Dead. Check out our review by clicking here.
Indie sci-fi thriller “Europa Report” will be blowing up your TV screens when it comes to Blu-Ray on October 8, 2013. This is one of my favourites of the year. Be sure to check out our review here.
That’ll do it for this week’s edition of The Gushing Cinephile, hope you all enjoyed it! Have a great week!