Saturday, June 30, 2007

4: Rise Of The Silver Surfer

Ho-hum... that pretty much sums up the sequel to the rather entertaining Fantastic Four movie of 2005.

I've never really been an FF fan, didn't really get into the cartoons, never really read the comics, but thoroughly enjoyed the first of these two films, it was funny, energetic, and a good dvd night. cheers. The sequel however, is pretty boring, the best bit's probably in the trailers, the rest of the film, nothing much happens. This, funnily enough, makes the film drag a fair bit.

Mr S. Surfer is underused I feel and definitly not enough internal stuff going on with him. Of course I'm not looking for "Batman Dark" for this, it wouldn't be right, but just a little more depth would be nice.

Some of the same jokes are recycled and it's all a bit of a mish mash.

FF4 1 - Entertaining
FF4 2 - Disappointing :(

4: Rise Of The Silver Surfer - 4/10

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Children Of Men

Everyone kept telling me that this film was amazing, Oscar nominated, directed by Alfonso Cuarón who did a pretty good job of HP3 and apparently some other good films. I was told it's technically brilliant, some revolutionary techniques used for filming certain sequences, lots of nice long takes, blah blah blah.

Well I was intrigued at least, even if it did have Clive Owen in it, which is rarely a good sign. Picked it up on DVD (see how good a movie at home can be) for £8 I think it was, 2 disc, cheers.

The car scene that everyone raves about, justly so, very clever, very well done and dramatically a very good scene. The Bexhill fight near the end, very Saving Private Ryan (as most war-esque scenes are now), but pretty good, could've been a little more tense tho. But overall, a pretty dull film. I was more engaged by the special features telling me how they did the car and cafe shots (ok I'm a geek for special features), but even so, what does that say about the film. Within the first 5 minutes my mind was crying out for them do go hire a Steadicam, ok handheld's the new black but handheld in a scene that's pretty flat, just don't work, it just serves to distract even more, the camera can't add energy to the performance.

Clive Owen wasn't that bad, but then nothing else really rose to much of a level, Chiwetel Ejiofor was better in Serenity and Michael Caine was just Michael Caine...again...amigo.

The rest of the film was technically ok, Cuaron has a pretty good vision, as he's already demonstrated, the production design was pretty much spot on for a dystopian near future I think and there were some nice visual touches in it.

Apart from that, as I say, it was just a bit dull, not as mind-numbingly dull as Wolf Creek mind, but still, the bottom of their school report echoes mine... Could do better.

To console myself, I'm gonna get a sandwich and watch the special features for John Carpenter's The Thing. Cheers.

Children Of Men - 5/10

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Perfume: The Story Of A Murderer

I can't remember what this was a choice between at the video shop, something worse I believe, although Perfume is pretty disappointing.

The story of Jean-Baptiste Grenouille (Ben Whishaw) an orphan born in the slums of (ye olde) Paris with essentially a superhuman sense of smell, he grows up, discovers perfume and decides that he must (after a tragic accident) learn how to preserve scent, in the primary case, of beautiful young women.

That paragraph is a good half the film, mostly with incessant voice over courtesy of John Hurt.
The end of the film is, well, plain ridiculous and the, shall we say, third quarter, basically from the point where Alan Rickman turns up to before it goes all odd, could've made a bloody good film.

The first half, is all backstory, boring, drawn out backstory, with added voice over (not-so) goodness. Dustin Hoffman is quite funny at times, but ultimately his part could've been cut down to a non-sync scene as part of a montage. Mr Rickman does Mr Rickman very well (to the point of both myself and my girlfriend quoting Prince Of Thieves lines whenever he was on screen), but his character is woefully un-explored as is the whole situation in their village/town when all the decent thriller/mystery bits could have happened.

Perfume is set in France, however, no-one is french, the Parisians are London/Cockney (especially cor-blimey-smell-that-Jean-Baptise), the rural people have a distinct West Country accent, apart from Mr Rickman of course, and Dustin Hoffman plays an Italian.... American Italian I'm guessing.

It's never good when you get to the end of a film thinking "that could've been so much better", not even that it was outright toss, that it had untapped potential and every time that happens a kitten dies.

That's it then. Cancel the kitchen scraps for lepers and orphans, no more merciful beheadings, and call off Christmas.

Perfume: The Story Of A Murderer - 4/10

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End

A cocking intermission! The last time I went to the cinema when there was an intermission was when I was a small child, and I went with a friend (Howard fyi) to see a double feature of Disney's The Fox And The Hound and Jungle Book. LORD OF THE RINGS DIDN'T EVEN HAVE AN INTERMISSION IN ANY OF THE THREE (we won't count changing of discs on the SE's).

168 minutes apparently, add to that 25 MINUTES of adverts and trailers, before it starts, 10 minute intermission overall +/- say 2 minutes that' on... 205 minutes! 3 hours 25 minutes!!! Went in just before 2, came out around half 5!! for Pirates of the cocking Caribbean!

The 25 minutes of adverts were mostly made up of ones advertising Odeon cinemas and services....I'M IN THE COCKING ODEON YOU DAMN NUTSACKS!

Today is Father's Day, and I had my daughter, she wanted to do something and suggested Pirates 3 at the cinema (she's 9 btw), I though, ok, it'd be nice to have a day out with her (doesn't happen often) and especially on Father's Day. You shouldn't come out of the cinema with pent up aggression, which is essentially what Pirates 3 does to you.

It's toss. It's 3 hours of overloaded, non-descript pirate toss. The whole thing builds up to what what purported to be as the massive action finale, which is large, but by no means massive.

You want CG?? HO HO We got CG, lots of it, plus loads of composited rain and splinters, plus Captain Jack fighting Davy Jones atop one of the masts (not sure on the technical term for the cross bits), at which point I was thinking, it'd look so much better if they did it for real, or at least with wires, but no, you got CGI swashbuckling.

I don't care about any of the characters, Captain Jack is just annoying as everything he does seems pointless, none of the others are really worth giving a shit about (except maybe the monkey), but... my daughter enjoyed it, so she says anyway, there was no "WOW did you see that bit?!?!" or "wasn't that cool!!!???!", I had to actually ask if she enjoyed it or not, to which the response was "Yeah", later there was mention of Captain Jack with his shirt off, I let that go as she's 9 and I don't want to go there!

Flaccid, that's the word that's just sprung to mind for this one. Flaccid.

There's a couple of laughs, some reasonable effects here and there, but overall it just reminded me as to why I never bothered to watch the second one and part way through the battle I was thinking that Master and Commander: On The Far Side Of The World, did a far better job.

Top day with my daughter tho, happy fathers day to me.

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End - 4/10

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Dead Or Alive 2 (Dead or Alive 2: Tôbôsha)

Hurrah! Another Takashi Miike film to add to my collection (I also picked up Agitator recently but haven't watched that yet).

Hurrah! Another Takashi Miike film that doesn't make any sense to me what-so-ever!!

I'm not gonna try to explain the plot in much details, suffice to say it revolves around a couple of hitmen, with history, who team up and the rest is pretty damn weird. (as expected)

Now I'm not saying this film doesn't make any sense, the very basic elements of the plot are easy enough to follow (as with the first of the DOA trilogy), however as with pretty much all Mikke's films, they're loaded with metaphor and unfortunately, that's just something I'm not good on, especially when they're Japanese metaphors! Maybe I should've done a film studies degree and spent two years writing essays on metaphors in films!?

Takashi Miike is one of my favourite film makers, I love his style and whole attitude towards things and DOA2 doesn't disappoint in that department. With DOA 1 it was pretty much standard gangster fare for most of the way through, however with the sequel it's full on weird from the outset, god knows what 'Final' will be like, especially as it's set in a post-apocalyptic future!! Should be good!

Anyway, it's a good film and will make a lot of sense to people other than me.

Dead Or Alive 2 (Dead or Alive 2: Tôbôsha) - 8/10

The General's Daughter

Watched this on telly the other night, I've seen it a couple of times before, but never all the way through, so this was a first for me ;)

So.. what we got here (cue G'n'R fans) is John Travolta playing a US army criminal investigator (stick with me now!), a young woman's body is found on the base, naked, apparently raped, and tied spread-eagle in the mud. This young woman turns out to be the afformentioned General's daughter.

Cue investigation by John T and his estraged girlfriend/wife person played by Madeline Stowe (who convieniently is a rape investigator) (just noticed the tagline on IMDb... "Go Behind The Lies".. brilliant!)

What follows is a pretty much run of the mill crime investigation flick, nothing special, throws in a couple of token taboos every now and again, and ends up a bit too worthy and not entirely wrapping things up for itself.

What keeps you going (although clearly it took me several watches to get here) is Mr Travolta and his dry wise-cracking persona, that makes him likeable enough to make you want to see where he's going next. Bear in mind this was on five so it had ad breaks..that probably helped.

It's an entertaining enough film, definitly one for an evening's TV when you don't want to watch Big Brother or some other crappy reality show about nothing of that much consequence and you can't be arsed to pick out a DVD or go to the video shop.

The General's Daughter - 6/10