Friday, August 31, 2007

Blades of Glory

Unfortunatly I've seen Stranger Than Fiction, so until Will Ferrell does something along those lines again, nothing will be as good.

Blades is the sort of comedy you'd expect from a Will Ferrell film, along similar lines to Anchorman and presumably Talladega Nights (haven't seen that yet), cocky arrogant Ferrell finds new humility etc.

In this he's paired with Napoleon Dynamite, sorry Jon Heder (does he play anyone else?) as two rival figure skaters who are banned from the sport only to find a way back in by forming a pairs team. Cue homo erotic jokes and.. well thats' pretty much it. There's some love interest between Heder and Jenna Fischer's character, sister of the scheming Van Waldenbergs, there's the usual amount of comedy commentary from the sports commentators, and general slapstick.

It's not great, but that said, there are some pretty funny moments.

Blades of Glory - 6/10

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Hellboy Animated: Blood & Iron

Apparently this is the second full length Hellboy Animated, the first being Sword of Storms, that I have yet to see and apparently isn't as good, but I'll find out at some point.

The animated version of big red uses the voices of most of the same actors from the movie, notably Ron Pearlman and Selma Blair, the actual animation doesn't have quite the same atmosphere as the comics, but does a pretty good job, bear in mind a lot of what's in the comics is just black.

We have a mix of a non-traditional vampire story, mixed with some good old fashioned god bashing and a Memento style flashback sequence showing the background to the vampire story and Professor Broom's first adventure.

Basically it works really well, the pace lacks occasionally but overall, it's Hellboy through and through, perfectly capturing the spirit of the comics and as in the live action (which took me a couple of viewings to come around to) Ron Pearlman IS Hellboy.

Hellboy Animated: Blood & Iron - 8/10

Flushed Away

While Flushed Away didn't receive a lot of acclaim when it was released and many felt that the CGI characters don't capture the same sort of atmosphere or charm as their claymation counterparts, it's still a very entertaining and humorous film.

It follows Roddy, a pet rat, who gets flushed down a toilet and ends up in the sewer, discovers some new friends and blah blah blah etc. The usual stuff.

The real stars of the show are the many slugs that loiter around, Le Frog and is Hench Frogs and Whitey. The main characters are fine enough but at the end of the day the background stuff is far more entertaining.

Flushed Away - 8/10

Sunday, August 26, 2007

The Evil Dead

It's about time I got around to typing up something on this (and the other two, which will come).

The Evil Dead trilogy is an all time classic, it's up there with The Godfather Trilogy, The original Star Wars, it's iconic, and not even a proper trilogy.

This one's the original, the actual horror film, one of the original "Video Nasties" and still damn scary. It's very rare that one of these older horrors actually scares me but Evil Dead does, it's one nasty, horrible, grotesque film that really hits the spot, until the plasticine comes in that is, then it kinda loses it's edge.

There's none of the slapstick humour of the subsequent two (although there's a couple of points where Bruce almost goes three stooges), it's made as a pure horror film and it does it's job.

Ash is also a different character in this one, not so kick ass, it's good to watch even if just to compare to '2 and oh how they'll ruin the heritage with the new remake.

The Evil Dead - 9/10

Thursday, August 23, 2007


Bit of a spoiler here, but had to be to illustrate my point. I recommend watching this tho, so feel free to before you read this if you're sensitive to the whole spoiler thing.

Literally out of nowhere came this, I think there was a trailer for it on The Contract DVD, my girlfriend pointed out that it had Elliot in it, and then randomly i read something about it on a website (linked from Digg I think) that said it was actually pretty good, we saw it in the video shop (why aren't they DVD shops? or do kids of today call them that?) and hired it out (over The Messengers and Blades Of Glory).

Surprise surprise, it IS actually pretty good, it's really entertaining, all the cast put in really good turns as each of the quirky characters and it's got quite an interesting plot, looking at pretty much one moment in time (11:14pm) and the events leading up to that from the different people's perspectives.

Then it ends.

What I mean by that is, everything's ticking along nicely, various things are left around and then tied up with the other characters, things cleverly link together to create the overall story, but then all of a sudden it ends, once all the stories are linked, it just ends, nothing is really resolved from a "why is it happening" stance and you're left feeling thoroughly entertained yet a little empty.

For Greg Marcks ' debut feature, it's pretty good, he writes characters well andknows how to cleverly link stuff, he just needs to figure out why and he should be pretty damn good. Watch it anyway, it's pretty entertaining.

11:14 - 7/10

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Sense and Sensibility

Here goes...

I really like this movie.

There I said it, call me a weeping girl pansy if you will, but this was a highly entertaining film.

Clearly it's not something I'd ordinarily choose to watch, after all it's an English Period Drama, basically a Rom-Com and features Hugh Grant in it's leading credits. In other words; Hell.

I'm watching it for work, hence why I've arrived at it, picked up the Collector's Edition (I'm sure the re-release will be better nudge-nudge), got home and sat myself down ready to have my mind numbed.

Of course, that didn't happen, it's not Hell, far from it in fact. It's a delightful (I said I'm not a girl) and touching piece that made me laugh, cry and place a seed in my head to watch Pride & Prejudice and not just the special features this time.

Hugh Grant was actually quite good, Alan Rickman was brilliant as usual, the twee Englishness of it all wasn't annoying (although some of the editing was) and to be fair I can see why it earned those 7 Ocsar Noms. It's not everybody's cup of tea, my girlfriend won't be tempted for example, but an eye opener and a fresh departure from the usual stuffy period fare. (Apparently that's what Austen's like, but I'm more of a Crichton/Koontz man myself)

Sense and Sensibility - 8/10

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

One of the good things about the pre-TNG films is that, from 2 to 5, they carry on directly from one another with narrative points carrying over from one to the other and a relatively close timeline. The main examples of this are 2, 3 and 4 and even though the main plot of The Voyage Home is completely detached we start and wrap up directly following the Search For Spock and Spock's return is touched upon throughout.

Basically, it's a stupid film, sending up themselves and everything about Trek, and they love it. So do I.

They fix up their beat up Klingon Bird Of Prey and head back to Earth, unfortunately there's a big old probe emanating high frequency whale song that's vapourising the oceans, time to slingshot around the sun, go back to the 80's and pick up a couple of Humpback Whales to bring back to the future, say Hi to the probe and save the world.

The film is funny, entertaining, has some classic moments, throws in some ludicrous "science" and is one of the best Star Trek films you can watch, whether you like Trek or not.

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home - 8/10

Star Trek V: The Final Frontier

One of the worst of the series and probably the worst of TOS cast ones (although it's been a while since I've seen The Motion Picture).

The Enterprise is hijacked by Sybok, Spock's half-brother and sets out to find God, which could be quite good, but in fact is a bit shit. There's a couple of good moment with the key crew, but overall the comedy elements feel forced (even the classic "I know this ship like the back of my hand") and the narrative is just too flimsy.

Oh and Shatner directed, so not the best.

Star Trek V: The Final Frontier - 4/10

Friday, August 10, 2007

Star Trek: Nemesis

Well this one's got a bit more meat to it, more than Insurrection at least. Apparently this was the least successful film in the Star Trek franchise, considering what poor efforts both Insurrection and The Final Frontier are this is actually rather surprising.

It's officially the final outing for TNG crew and they do try and go out with a bang. The Nemesis of the title is Praetor Shinzon, and the focus shifts towards the Romulans/Remans as the prime enemy for the film.

The Enterprise is sent to Romulus under false pretenses and soon discovers a sinister plot to destroy Earth, well at least all organic life on it anyway.

There's a few crappy plot devices and again too much time is spent dwelling on aspects of the main characters that aren't really of any consequence, sometimes combining the both.

And again I wish that Trek would go just a little darker, they set up quite an interesting plot with Shinzon, but fail to insert any real sense of jeopardy for those involved and one of the main character related events is not left on a down beat, which it could've done.

But overall, better than over-worthy (I know it's Trek) Insurrection and left me wondering about the accuracy of the people flying around the bridge when the ship gets shot. (think about the artificial gravity...geek)

Star Trek: Nemesis - 6/10

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Star Trek: Insurrection

With this one Jonathan Frakes takes the helm again (both off and on screen) and as with The Undiscovered Country they try to throw a bit of conspiracy into the mix, unfortunately it doesn't do as well.

Too much emphasis on the Enterprise crew and not enough on creating a well written conspiracy thriller, which, despite being Star Trek, it could've done.

A couple of minor twists, a big scoop of gung-ho and too much faffing about with crew relationships and Data's pseudo-emotions.

Star Trek: Generations

The 7th Star Trek movie, 5 years after number 6 The Undiscovered Country, designed as a hand over to bridge the original cast and the Next Generation in the movie territory, and what a hand over!

A distinctly minimalist film compared to previous Star Trek fare, we kick off with Kirk and co handing over to a new crew of a new Enterprise (B), they pick up a distress call and during the rescue mission Kirk is lost.

Jump forward 78 years and we're on the Enterprise D with Picard and co, another distress call and another rescue mission. Please welcome to the party Malcolm McDowell and then a bit of time shifting craziness.

Turns out Kirk ended up in this thing called the Nexus which is "like being inside Joy", bit of stuff and now Kirk and Picard together!

More fighting then probably the best moment in Star Trek history, for those who know, well you know, for those that don't, where have you been and watch it.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

The Castle Of Fu Manchu

Did ANYONE get what the hell was going on in this prime example of 60s/70s classic <ahem> cinema?? 

Christopher Lee as the Fu Manchu of the title, a diabolical villain hell bent on taking over the world and all that has a plot to freeze the oceans or something like that. The film's chock full of general stuff going on that could be summed up in considerably less time, loads of not very interesting characters, random exposition and all very proper English accents. Pure shite.

At does have some minor comedy cheese value, albeit very minor.

The Wasp Woman (1960)

Cheers Zone Horror, need something to watch? You're pretty much ensured to find something here, well if you're ok with shit-good horror films anyway.

This afternoon's viewing was The Wasp Woman, a 1960 Roger Corman effort that wasn't brilliant, but wasn't the worst B&W horror I've ever seen. 

The film revolves around Mr Zinthrop's efforts to harness enzymes from Queen Wasp's royal jelly. When he's fired from his job he gain new employment with a failing cosmetics company and carries on his research with dire consequences!!!!11!

It was a little slow, but acceptable when you consider that it's an old film and directed by the almost Ed Wood like Roger Corman.

Now, when is Zone gonna repeat Humanoids From The Deep!?!

The Contract

I saw this advertised on the telly the other day, along with "Gone", I think anyway, two reasonably major stars, yet straight to DVD it seems, over here at least.

Well we hired it out as my girlfriend refused to watch The Hills Have Eyes 2 :( and I wasn't in a Blades Of Glory mood, I wasn't expecting much and it certainly lived up to my expectations.

The Contract , apart from having a pretty flimsy story line, is cliche world, a pretty much by the numbers 'thriller' barely scraping through on it's straight to DVD release.

And the acting... oh God the acting, I've seen school plays that have better acting than that of most of supporting cast in this film, and Morgan Freeman as a bad guy? Sorry he drove Miss Daisy (any MF bad guy recommendations in the comments pls).

One notch below mediocre.

The Contract - 4/10

Saturday, August 04, 2007


It's a TV movie trapped in a cinematic release. Just a bit shit, not really terrible, but a bit shit and dull.

Story is Elektra (who died in Daredevil) is still with us and is an assassin for hire, she gets a new job, has second thoughts ends up having to protect her marks from The Hand, who are all supernatural classic martial arts type people.

Not a lot really happens and thankfully it's only 97mins, feels it too, as it's over pretty quickly, mainly cos not a lot happens, but not in a Wolf Creek way. (Have you figured out how bad I think that film is yet?) The acting is pretty mediocre, the characters dull and overall both Daredevil and Ghost Rider are better, possibly down to the direction I would guess (not thaty they're masterpieces by any stretch).

The best thing to sum up Elektra is "Feh." end of.

Elektra - 3/10

Y'know I could've swore I typed up Daredevil, apparently not, will do that one soon.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Switchblade Romance (Haute Tension)

Most of the way through the film I was thinking that it was a pretty run of the mill, bog standard slasher flick, better than Wolf Creek (although pretty much every other film ever made is better than Wolf BOOOORRRING Creek), but not really doing anything that original apart from making the lead a lesbian that doesn't get naked and get it on with another lead female (had Eli Roth directed it could be a different story).

Then it reaches it's climax, and I was caught unawares. Apparently there are clues throughout, although clearly not in a good Sixth Sense way, as I didn't really pick up on them, there was a bit of one at the top but that's it.

Unfortunately the latter part of the film doesn't really work for me, mainly because when you look back very little of what's happened previous makes any sense in this new context and by the end it still hasn't really done anything that I haven't seen before in other films (I'm not gonna say which cos that'll give it away) and to be perfectly honest the end of Aja's The Hills Have Eyes dicks on this, which it shouldn't.

And thank Christ it's called "Switchblade Romance" over here 'cos "High Tension" sounds like a Van Damme movie!