All posts by Matthew Turner

About Matthew Turner

Matthew Turner (@FilmFan1971 on Twitter) is a freelance film journalist. His favourite film is Vertigo and he hasn't missed an episode of EastEnders since 1998.

Comics to Screen: Ant-Man

The latest in the occasional series in which Matthew Turner traces the journeys of Marvel superheroes from four-colour panel to shiny DCP.

antman comic - lang

Spoilers for Ant-Man, after the jump, obvs. Come back after you’ve seen the film.

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Comics to Screen: X-Men Days of Future Past

Once again, Matthew Turner takes a detailed look at the work put in to translating comic books into comic book movies. Today’s subject is X-Men: Days of Future Past. Warning: This post contains spoilers for X-Men: Days of Future Past and is intended to be read after you have seen the film.

Uh... spoilers, I guess?
Uh… spoilers, I guess?

Continue reading Comics to Screen: X-Men Days of Future Past

San Sebastian Diary 2013

Matthew Turner went to the San Sebastian Film Festival in 2011 and has vowed to return every year until death. Well, so far, so good.

The Kursaal in San Sebastian, where people watch films - sometimes having paid money to do it
The Kursaal in San Sebastian, where people watch films – sometimes having paid money to do it

Thursday 19th September – Day One

Arrive in San Sebastian the day before the festival begins. Check in at the lovely pension I stayed in last year (Pension Edorta, pension fans – in the old town and very reasonable at 60 Euros a night) and immediately head to the press centre in the Kursaal to pick up my accreditation and the screening schedule. My girlfriend is with me for the first five days so I’m having to choose the films very selectively rather than basically see everything. Sit down in wi-fi equipped Cafe Kursaal to start going through the schedule (cross-referencing with the LFF guide) but get distracted by the arrival of friends and next thing you know, it’s 2am and several cañas (beers) later. Decide cross-referencing of screening schedule can wait. Continue reading San Sebastian Diary 2013

Ten of the Best Films From the 2012 San Sebastian Film Festival

by Matthew Turner

As regular readers of Europe’s Best Website may remember, this time last year I attended the San Sebastian Film Festival and had such a great time that I vowed to go back every year until death. Well, so far, so good. For the truly curious, pictures and a tweet-by-tweet account of the entire festival can be found here and here respectively, but let’s keep this blog post mostly about film. Here, then, are some  notes on the ten best films I saw at San Sebastian this year (out of a total of 35). Note that a) I would have included The Imposter on this list if I hadn’t already seen it at Edinburgh and b) I deemed retrospective films ineligible for the top ten, otherwise Franju’s Judex would have been on the list too.

Continue reading Ten of the Best Films From the 2012 San Sebastian Film Festival

Comics to screen: Marvel Avengers Assemble

by Matthew Turner

Warning: This post contains SPOILERS for Marvel Avengers Assemble (or The Avengers, if you live anywhere other than Britain) and is intended to be read after you’ve seen the film.

With the recent release (and what already looks like phenomenal box office success) of Marvel’s The Avengers, it seems only fitting to mark the occasion with a final Comics To Screen post. This will examine how writer-director Joss Whedon, closely supervised by Marvel Studios, has blended the now established movie universe (referred to, annoyingly but conveniently, as the Marvel movie-verse) with the classic comics themselves. Arguably, with the enormous success of the  three key movie franchises (Iron Man, Thor and Captain America), it’s no longer really that important to cater to old-school comics fans, but it’s nonetheless interesting to look at just how much of early Avengers history survives into the new movie and to see which elements have been drawn from elsewhere.

Continue reading Comics to screen: Marvel Avengers Assemble

MostlyFilm’s Best of 2011 – True Grit

by Matthew Turner

My favourite film of 2011, hands down, is True Grit, the Coen Brothers’ Oscar nominated adaptation of the novel by Charles Portis. I’m a huge Coen Brothers fan (they’re my favourite current directors and only Michel “The Artist” Hazanavicius is their equal when it comes to pastiche) but when I heard that they were doing True Grit, I initially wondered why they’d want to do that rather than come up with an original western of their own. My doubts were quickly quashed as soon as the official trailer was released. I haven’t read the source novel, but by extrapolating from the overlap between the 1969 film (directed by Henry Hathaway and starring John Wayne as Cogburn) and the Coens’ version, it’s easy to see what attracted them to Portis’ novel in the first place, not least because it combines the two elements the Coen Brothers are most known for: jet black humour and moments of shocking violence.

Continue reading MostlyFilm’s Best of 2011 – True Grit

Ten Highlights of the 2011 San Sebastian Film Festival

by Matthew Turner

Be still, my beating heart!

I’ve been going up to Edinburgh every year for the Edinburgh Film Festival since 2001 but until four weeks ago I had never been to an international film festival. Every year, when the San Sebastian Film Festival rolls around (just a few weeks before the London Film Festival but, crucially, not clashing with anything else) and fellow film reviewers come back raving about it I am consumed with jealousy, so this year I thought I’d take the plunge and go. I left it all till the very last minute (including a nail-biting emergency passport renewal) but I got a great hotel  recommendation from a friend, and the nice lady at the festival’s travel bureau sorted me out with a cheap flight, so I was good to go. Needless to say, I’m glad I did. It’s a wonderful festival in a beautiful city and I will be going back every year for the rest of my life. After the jump, my ten highlights from this year’s Donostia (that’s what they call San Sebastian in San Sebastian).

Continue reading Ten Highlights of the 2011 San Sebastian Film Festival

Comics to Screen: A Look at Captain America – The First Avenger

by Matthew Turner

Our reviewer denies being paid by Marvel

Warning: This post contains SPOILERS for Captain America: The First Avenger and is intended to be read after you’ve seen the film.

Having written comics-to-screen pieces for this blog on both Thor and X-Men: First Class, it seemed only fair to give Captain America the same treatment. I talked at length in the Thor piece about the challenges faced by filmmakers in transferring a lesser-known superhero to the big screen for the first time and, in my opinion, Captain America director Joe Johnston (who made The Rocketeer, which is very close to my heart) has done the best possible job, both in terms of introducing the character to a new audience and in giving pre-existing fans everything they could possibly want from a Captain America movie. Continue reading Comics to Screen: A Look at Captain America – The First Avenger