Monday, June 30, 2008

Batman: Gotham Knight

An interesting one this, what is essentially an animated prologue to The Dark Knight (no spoilers in it afaik), there's several short stories, all slightly different styles, all slightly different animation/art styles, but all with a common thread.

The animation is pretty Anime-esque, slightly heightened from Batman: The Animated Series (which stands as one of the best cartoons out there), the stories are written by various writers including David S. Goyer, Josh Olsen and Brian Azzarello.

While it's good, it doesn't quite have the tension or action levels to compete with the movie versions, not that it's trying to 'compete' per se, that was a bad choice of words, but it struggled to keep me totally engaged at times.

Essentially though it's pretty well done and a nice bridge between Begins and TDK.

Batman: Gotham Knight - 7/10

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Vantage Point

I thought this looked cool when I first saw the trailer, it seemed to be a pretty full on action film, and for the most part, it's just that.

You have to get past the first half or so of the film, which is where it gets it's "Vantage Point" title from (well, you know what I mean). We kick off in Spain, big event with the US President in attendance, there's a big news OB crew, secret service guys, an odd Forest Whitaker with a camcorder (NB: keen eyes will notice that the camcorder footage isn't the ACTUAL footage, or even close) and a whole load of the public.

The first segment opens with the POV of the news team covering the event for the viewers back home, all goes well until the President is shot, the shit hits the fan and then... rewind and we follow someone else's POV. This happens a few times, and I think just one too many, where you start to think "Again?? Can we not move on yet?"

Eventually it does move on and becomes a more traditional chase thriller, and a bloody good one at that, full on pulse racing, edge of seat stuff, even with Dennis Quaid at the helm, saying that I think he does a bloody good job in his role.

Now there are plot holes, and to be honest, I would've liked a bit more depth to it as it's more of a snapshot event rather than a long term story, but as a single event, it's able to keep the pace up and layer the action on.

I'm not entirely sure whether it would've been better or not with a more traditional structure, rather than the numerous rewinds, it would be trickier to cover all the angles effectively and still keep the pace of the ending. A damn good watch tho.

Vantage Point - 7.. no sod it 8/10

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Incredible Hulk

Saw this at the cinema today, the girlfriend wanted to see The Happening, but we would've had to wait around for and extra hour, so we went with The Incredible Hulk.

She wasn't happy at the end of it. 

Vicky: "Well that was a load of old crap wasn't it?"
Matt: "It wasn't that great, no."

Why wasn't it that great? Well if you ignore the fact that Iron Man came out recently and was awesome, I'll tell you..

Firstly, Edward Norton is a crap Bruce Banner, in fact, he's just crap, overly wimpy, wet, weak sack of dead poodle.

Secondly, Liv Tyler is mind-numbing as Betty Ross, literally mind-numbing, but as a couple, they suit each other as the scene where they practically melt into the rain demonstrates.

The combo of Eric Bana and Jennifer Connelly was much better in my view.

Apparently Edward Norton started revising the script when he came on board, I'm guessing he did all the wimpy dialogue bits.

There's too much wimpy bits and not enough Hulk. Yes I know the character has two aspects, but I wasn't at all sold on the Bruce Banner side and when Hulk was on screen, he didn't really have the presence he should've done, no weight to him (physically).

The fights were almost pretty good, Tim Roth was pretty good as Emil Blonsky, but much like the Scarecrow in BB, underused, and I kinda lost interest in him when he turns into Abomination (that's in the trailer btw). In fact, I didn't really care about ANYONE in the film, none of the characters really had any merit to them, I was just sat there thinking, yeah yeah, blah blah, let's see Hulk kick some ass...

...Oh no, it's become Peter Jackson's King Kong. Damn.

There are elements of this one that are good, there are elements of Ang Lee's Hulk, that are also good, if you stick the two together, you're on your way to a decent Hulk movie, but then at the end of the day this is just a setup for The Avengers, at least Iron Man had some substance to it.

So a couple of good Hulk Smash! scenes and not much else.

The Incredible Hulk - 6/10

Batman Begins

After Mr. Schumacher officially killed the Batman franchise, along came David S. Goyer and Christopher Nolan to give the series a good solid kick up the arse.

David had previously given us the Blade films and Mr Nolan had made it big with Memento. Things were looking interesting, despite many people thinking there was no way they could top the Tim Burton films, but look, they did!

By steering away from the more fantastic side of the Batman stories and focussing on (or tweaking to) reality based ideas he gave us a more believeable, grounded and hardcore Batman. He also delved into the origin story, something that hadn't really been done anywhere before. The existing story being, Bruce sees parent's killed, grows up becomes Batman. Not terribly detailed. Various stories eluded to training and such and Nolan goes all out on showing Bruce Wayne's transition to Batman and indeed where he get's those wonderful toys.

He also gives us (an underused) Scarecrow and a clever Ra's Ah Ghul (I've probably spelt that wrong, I may check later), who unfortunatly ends up being a bit of a Qui Gon Jin (probably spelt that wrong too), for the first part of the film.

We also get Christian Bale as BW/Batman, and apart from Bale's American accent, he's pretty much perfect as a Year One Batman, being that he's unhinged an' all ;)

The film's bloody good, a little slow, but then it IS an origin story, and they're always a little slow because they've got to cover that initial ground before the meaty action starts. Although to be fair, Mr. Nolan does a good job of giving us some action in the lead up before the suit comes out.

Now this is clearly a re-watch for me, I saw this in the cinema when it came out, but as pretty much everyone on the planet is aware, The Dark Knight is pretty close now (July 25th in the UK) and I'm damn sure I'll be trotting up to the IMAX for this one!!! Anyway, I thought that Begins was due a re-watch to refresh my memory and attempt to satisfy the hunger that's going to eat me up for around another month yet!

Batman Begins - 9/10

Monday, June 16, 2008

Transporter 2

As you may have seen, I LOVE the first one, the sequel here is pretty good, but doesn't live up to the first one.

Here's why...


Yep, basically they try to make it bigger and better and they fail, too much CGI really, they should've kept it real, if they made transporter more like Bourne but less serious it would rule! It does have a Milla Jovovich a-like, scantily clad female villain though ;)

It's still worth a watch, lets see what number 3 brings ;)

Transporter 2 - 6/10

The Transporter

I Fucking love this film! In the grand scheme of things, it's a bad film, but at the same time, it's AWESOME!

Why? Jason Statham, car chases, awesome fights (yes, ok it has the most homo-erotic fight scene this side of porn or Top Gun, but that's ok)

Some of the dialogue is terrible, the plot's pretty flimsy, but who cares, it's fucking awesome!

The Transporter - 8/10

Friday, June 13, 2008

16 Blocks

An interesting little movie this one, Bruce Willis starts acting his age (more so than in DH4.0), he plays an old, washed up, alcoholic cop in NY, who at the end of his shift it told to escort a prisoner witness "16 blocks" to the courthouse.

Reluctantly he moseys on down to the cells and picks up Mos Def, who is putting on one of the most annoying voices in the history of cinema.

Now this little escort trip should be a piece of cake... if it wasn't for DAVID MORSE!!! (dum dum duuuuuum!) and a load of other cops who don't want Mos to make it.

Another interesting point with 16 Blocks is that it's directed by Richard Donner! Yes that Richard Donner. So should you expect big things? Yes, but then he also did Timeline (awesome book, shite film) and Maverick (gee, thanks).

Overall, it's not bad, it's not great, it's a bit slow and doesn't have as big of a climax as it feels it should have, but at the same time it's a pretty good watch. (It ain't no Goonies or Lethal Weapon though)

16 Blocks - 7/10

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


A lot of people have totally slated this film, partly because it's got Hayden "NOOOOOOOOOO!"*Christensen in it, and partly because apparently, it's rubbish.

So, what's the background? Well it's an adaptation from a book (which apparently a lot of people like), it's scripted by David S. Goyer (Dark City, Blade, Batman Begins), Jim Uhls (Fight Club) and Simon Kinberg (XXX 2...DOH!) and it's directed by Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity), so based on those bits, you should expect a pretty good film yes??

Well let's say it's an okay film, it's not great, old Annie can't really keep it up as far as leading man is concerned, it's got a really weak end in my view, it's left wide open for a sequel, but that doesn't mean you can't have a strong ending, for a first film (which should potentially stand alone as well) it shouldn't be a cross between an origin story and The Two Towers.

Samuel L. J is his usual self, this time with funky white hair, Jamie Bell is great but needs to be let off the leash a little more, Rachel Bilson is YAWN and the mish mash of story elements is a bit of a let down (especially from Goyer).

There's simply not enough jeopardy in the film, pretty much throughout David (HC) is supposed to be being hunted by SLJ's Roland, however apart from a bit of squinting he seems to be pretty much taking it in his stride, which when you look at how they're trying to define the character...doesn't work.

Overall it's reasonably entertaining, just feels like there should be more to it.

Jumper - 6/10
*(Yes I know he didn't do the voice, but he was in the suit and pretty bad out of it)

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

The Warriors

Had this hanging around for a while (must give it back to Simon!!), finally watched it and...

It's not bad, oddly enough! Fair do's it's not the greatest film ever made, but overall it works pretty well.

It is a tad disjointed but then, it's The Warriors having to make their way back home to Coney Island, but having to pass through various other gang's turf.

During the opening scenes, you get a selection of the various gangs from the New York area (apparently), I could immediatly see that Joel Schumacher watched this film before making Batman Forever and Batman & Robin!!

What makes things worse for our 'heroes' is that all the other gangs (and the police) are specifically out to get them, thus, some bad fight choreography and "kung-fu-cos-it's-hip" scenes must crop up with some more of the craaaazzzyy street gangs.

Apparently there's a remake on the cards, I'm hoping that a certain original cast members could return and in some cases, a big name may work quite well!?