Monday, November 30, 2009

The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3

Ok, so there's not been any posts for a while, I've been busy and frankly not in the mood to be typing lots after a days work of late, then the films get backed up, I've got a load of Stickies on my dashboard with titles and ratings, so I'll catch up eventually, but I digress...

The Taking of Pelham 123, a Tony Scott remake of The Taking of Pelham One Two Three, I
haven't seen the original, but I'll try to catch it at some point, just out of curiosity.

For the most part it's a reasonably entertaining action thriller, by the numbers stuff really, but engaging enough, John Travolta comes across suitably ruthless and unhinged, Denzel Washington doesn't show too much of his teeth until the end and maintains a reasonable 'everyman' persona.

The hostages on the train are essentially box-tickers and the rest of the police and MTA staff equally as non-descript, a lot of tightening up could've been done buy losing some of this peripheral fluff and focussing more on the Garber/Ryder relationship. Another thing that could've been lost is the wacky vision effects and crazy fast cuts during the opening sequence (which almost put me off watching the rest) and the movie's main action sequences, fine ramp up the cut speed to build the pace, but they went way over the top, especially as the action sequences were intercut with slower paced control room or train scenes, too jarring.

It's not great, but it's not utter shite either.

The Taking of Pelham 123 - 5/10

Monday, July 20, 2009

The International

Lone maverick vs the big corporation, stuff that's been done before, the corporation in question in this case, is an enormous bank who's interests lie beyond simply making phat amounts of bonus, and the lone maverick in question? Clive Owen, a man who's emotional range is only a notch above that of Steven Seagal.

It's okay though, we've got Naomi Watts to lend her superb acting talents

SO! Clive Owen vs a Bank. Yeah, that exciting. Well, when it gets to the Guggenheim, that's quite good, then it drops back into it's dull procedurals again. I'm not saying procedurals are dull, Zodiac for instance is awesome, this one, however is no Zodiac.

It goes a little bit Bond towards the end, with a stonking lair (I have to admit the location dept. found some cracking locations). Only a little bit though, then it get's dull again. Kind of disappointing ending, but lives up to the rest of the film.

The International - 5/10

Thursday, July 16, 2009


I seem to recall this got pretty poor reviews in general when it came out, lack of actual Germans, lack of even attempts at German accents (which could've gone horribly wrong let's be fair), Tom Cruise in an eye patch.

Well, I finally got around to watching it and it's not that bad, it's a tad slow, I don't really care about any of the characters, but it was interesting enough to want to see how things turned out. Without wanting to spoil anything, it's not exactly an upbeat ending.

With all the names in this (Cruise, Branagh, Nighy, Stamp, McNally, Wilkinson etc), no-one really seems to be pushing themselves, in fact, considering the nature of the story; a complex plot to assassinate Hitler and his key staff, it's all a bit sedate.

Valkyrie - 6/10

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Yes Man

Or rather, Not So Much Man, It's a pretty lame attempt, I'd suggest watching Chaos Theory instead, similar principal, MUCH better film!

Yes Man - 3/10

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Disaster Movie

They explain every "joke".

A "joke" is a celebrity "impersonator" or film "spoof" or combo of the two.

1/10 for "Like Dolph Lundgren in Rocky IV, I must break you" if only that was in a better film.

I lost count of the amount of times I shook my head at it tho.

Disaster Movie - 1/10

FYI Scary Movie 5 is on the way.

(No amazon links, I wouldn't do that to you)

Paul Blart: Mall Cop

To be honest, it didn't look that great from the trailer. Less than 10 minutes into the film and I wanted to turn it off, but I stuck with it out of principal. I should change my principals.

It's an odd film, well the film isn't odd as such, it's a basic comedy crime caper/underdog story set in a shopping mall, the thing is that it isn't funny, yet still has a reasonably satisfying resolution. It's straight out of the '80s in it's plot style and has a cracking soundtrack, but ultimately it's just not that good.

Best thing about it is Keir O'Donnell, and the only real smiles came from Kevin James running into things and rolling over his shoulder as only a fat man can. Hardly top notch comedy.

Will Observe and Report be any better or will it be another let down like Pineapple Express?

Paul Blart: Mall Cop - 2/10

Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Wrestler

A lot of fuss has been made about Darren Aronofsky's fouth feature, especially after the flop of The Fountain, couple that with the 'comeback' of Mickey Rourke, in to be fair a very good performance, and you could possibly see why people were interested (myself included).

So what of it?? First impressions from the trailer... it's Rocky but with wrestling. After watching it... it's Rocky Balboa but with wrestling. Basically Rourke plays Randy "The Ram" Robinson and ageing pro-wrestler, well past his prime, still wrestling on the smaller circuits and fan events. He's just scraping buy, has an odd slightly more than customer relationship going on with a bar stripper in the shape of Marisa Tomei and no relationship with his estranged daughter, played by Evan Rachel Wood.

When things start to go south, he tries to make a go of things without wrestling, needless to say that doesn't go so well and he heads back to the ring, for a rather upbeat/downbeat ending.

It's a good film, but it's a character study, so with that, not a lot actually goes on, there's sequences made up Ram just going somewhere, seeing his daily life, self reflection and all that. I watched it through, although interest did wander occasionally, but I can appreciate the filmmaking, which leads me onto the special features, something I don't usually comment on, but I'm a big DVD extras guy and while the rental copy only had 3 video extras (trailer, on set featurette & interview with Mickey Rourke), the featurette was brilliant, more interesting than the film to watch how Aronofsky went about making the film on a comparatively small budget of around $7m (£4m) and a shoot schedule of 35 days.

Worth watching, but an "in the right mood" film.

The Wrestler - 7/10

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

X-Men Origins: Wolverine

Wolverine is currently one of Marvel's biggest characters, after starting out life as a bit player with the X-Men, he's now heading them up it seems in comic land. As far as I can gather, this is largely down to the success of the X-Men movies (which I'll cover in a separate post, probably all three on one post, which I've been meaning to do for AGES!).

Now, we have our first X-Men spin-off movie, and obviously they came out with their big hitter, Logan, Wolverine (I keep typing Wolverinie dammit). Now despite it coming off the back of the big X-Men trilogy, and still being a 20th Century Fox property rather than from the Marvel Studios like Iron Man, they still went for a more indie-esque director in Gavin Hood (of Tsotsi fame) and while I can see what they're trying to do, I don't think he was quite up to the task (compared to Jon Favreau's efforts on Iron Man!).

This IS (or supposed to be) the origin story of Wolverine, how he became who we see in the X-Men films. I have to say, not having read any of the Wolverine Origins, or Weapon X comics (currently reading the Old Man Logan storyline in Wolverine tho, AWESOME!) there were a few surprises in there, the length of time he's been about, his real name, bone claws?!? Fair enough. However one of the things that made Wolverine interesting was his LACK of backstory, nevermind, it was in the comics first I guess.

So in the film we see the process of the Adamantium bonding, his apparent reasons for having it done in the first place and a lot of roaring and running about with a snarly look on his face. For someone who's invested in his character as much as Hugh Jackman (producing this outing), and the fact this is his origin, it certainly felt like there was less to the character in this film than the X-Trilogy!

Liev Schrieber does lend a bit of gravitas to Victor Creed (Sabretooth, although he's never referred to as such), but the PG-13 friendly script loses some of the edge off the character.

Speaking of characters, X-M O:W is chock full of them and could pretty much do without most of them. It seems like they just wanted to throw in as many references as they could, ideally to characters as yet unused, such as the much loved Gambit, who was left out of the X-Trilogy for various reasons, yet crops up here as Gambit the MacGuffin, we also get Blob, for a comedy fight, John Wraith, for no real purpose, Bolt, for even less purpose, Agent Zero to die and a whole host of teen mutants, presumably setting up the X-Men: First Class movie that's in development (I could see Gambit being brought back in for that).

One character that definitly wasn't in it enough, was Wade Wilson, who is basically Deadpool (although not quite yet in the film), played by Ryan Reynolds, he OWNS the role and despite me not really getting into the character in the comics, I can't wait to see the announced Deadpool movie.

For an origin story of a major tortured hero, it severely lacks in depth and emotion, I made it all the way through, I kind of enjoyed the ride, it's an enjoyable romp around, a kids movie, but as regards any serious plotting or real character engagement... nope.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine - 6/10


Pretty much Kiefer Sutherland's big screen comeback, Mirrors, as I recall, got panned by critics and didn't perform too well either. Sorry Kiefer.

It's directed by Alexandre Aja, who previously directed the enjoyable The Hills Have Eyes remake and the ridiculous Switchblade Romance/High Tension/Haute Tension.

Keifer plays Ben Carter, an alcoholic ex-NYPD cop who takes a job as night security at the burnt out Mayflower department store, curiously the mirrors in the store are in pristeen condition. Soon enough some spooky goings on start occuring where the mirrors are concerned and people think Jack, sorry, Ben is going mental, but he's not, no! There is crazy stuff going on with the mirrors and only Jack, sorry again, Ben can solve the riddle.

Okay, so it's not a great film, my girlfriend thought it was "a load of crap" for instance. I however quite enjoyed it, sure it's a tad slow and disjointed, but it falls in well with films of a similar ilk and kept me interested for a couple of hours.

Mirrors - 6/10