Wednesday, July 26, 2006


This film has been regarded as one of the best comedies of last year, it won several awards and recieved critical acclaim.

It's boring, it's sooooo long, yes there are some funny bits in it, Thomas Haden Church is quite good and I'm now even more curious to see what he's like in Spider-Man 3, but overall I was distinctly underwhelmed by what I was expecting to be a highly entertaining film.

It's just dull and far far too long. Which kinda contridicts this rather short comment on it.

Sideways - 4/10

Monday, July 17, 2006

Over The Hedge

Hey, SUPERMAN'S OUT! So I went and saw Over The Hedge with my grilfriend :/ well I did agree weeks beforehand and to be fair, it wasn't a total loss.

OTH (as it will now be referred to as) is an animated feature from Dreamworks, creators of Shrek, Shark Tale et al. It's about RJ a racoon (voiced by Bruce Willis), who in his racoony ways, upsets a big old bear (Nick Nolte) and ends up having to get all the bear's stuff back or he'll get eaten. So he comes across a group of woodland creatures who awake from hibernation to find that their woodland has been developed into a housing estate (or whatever the American term is), struggling to find food for the coming winter, RJ offers a "solution"...

So, as most people know, depsite the success of Shrek, Madagascar (say it like an American), they're still no Pixar, why?

Well the thing that really struck me with OTH was that it's technically really good, technically in the sense of achieveing really good depth of field, nice virtual camera movement, fluid animation (bear in mind I'm not an animator here!), the humans looked a bit ropey, but all in all it had a good cartoon feel and looked a hell of a lot better than the afformentioned square-fest that was Madagascar.

But then that's the point.

I didn't watch Finding Nemo and marvel at the CGI water, I didn't watch Monsters Inc. and fawn over Sulley's fur (although both of which were duly admired on a second viewing), I was too busy being wrapped up in the characters and the story, this is where Pixar has the edge (I have yet to see Cars and have heard mixed views).

OTH has some good laugh out loud funny bits, mainly down to Hammy, who's your token funny guy for the film (much like Scrat in Ica Age), but I found myself slouching in my cinema seat, admiring the focus pulls rather than being involved in the story.

Mark Kermode said of Ice Age 2, that it signified the death of narrative cinema, OTH has a narrative, it's just not that great. Fun but forgettable.

Oh yeah, who the hell is Garry Shandling?!?

Over The Hedge - 5/10

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

The Hills Have Eyes (1977 & 2006)

Science fiction double feature!!...well horror double feature actually.

Yesterday I watched the remake of Wes Craven's "The Hills Have Eyes", what i thought I'd do here is give my views on both that and the original that I watched just before I started doing this blog. Talk about value for money eh?!

The Hills Have Eyes (1977)

This is one of THE iconic horror movies of the 70's. Written and directed by one of the new wave of horror directors, Wes Craven.

Being that this film is so iconic, I was hoping for a damn good ride, however having not been that impressed with the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre, I was preparing myself for a let down.

Where id it come in? About half way I guess. It was a reasonable film, you can see the influences it has had on subsequent horror film makers (Wolf Creek for example), but at the same time it was just a bit dull. I can see how it would've shocked people when it was released, it has a bit of gore, deformed inbreds, cannibalism, etc. but it just doesn't have the impact any more, at least not with my "desensitized" upbringing.

The boy of the family comes across as a whiney over-actor, which is slightly off putting, the best characters being the unlikely protagonist of the big-brother-in-law and of course the always wonderful Michael Berryman.

Overall, depsite my trying to be prepared for the worst, I still felt a bit let down by another of these classic horrors, when am I going to be scared, when am I going to be unsettled and freaked out by one of these?

Suggestions on a postcard (or comments below) please.

The Hills Have Eyes (1977) - 5/10


The Hills Have Eyes (2006)

Right, now with the remake. Any better, Any worse?

To be perfectly honest with you, I actually preferred this one. (now ready to receive the abuse from purists and Mark Kermode)

Don't get me wrong this isn't a masterpiece and I still wasn't scared and I also agree with Dr Kermode on the fact that the whole new backstory isn't nessecary.

It goes on too long, I missed the family aspect of the "savages" which didn't seem as prevalent in this version, mostly though, it's a shot for shot remake of the original.

It maintains much the same pacing, the main story's the same, the family characters remain pretty much the same except the boy is much less whiney and big-bro..well, he's why I prefer this version.

The sheer amazing cheesyness they've injected with his character is nothing short of entertainment brilliance! When he gets going, leading up to the "climax" (it's not that big a crescendo), her undergoes a radical change, partially justified, but also a tad out of place, however, that makes the movie for me, forget the gory deaths of the family members, forget the underlying message about the savagery of man (not so subtly delivered in this version), Big Bro + end sequence, that's what this film is all about. Than and a bit in the opening sequence, which while still doesn't match Ghost Ship as an opening, is still pretty fun. Well done Mr Aja!

The Hills Have Eyes (2006) - 6/10