Monday, September 29, 2008


(SPOILERS!! more for previous films though)

Although I've seen both versions of this, for the purposes of this little post I'll be focussing on the theatrical cut which I re-watched recently. For the record, I also prefer this cut.

The first three Alien films, literally follow on directly from one another. Following Ripley's story to it's conclusion.

In this one, the EEV containing Ripley, Hicks, Newt and Bishop, crash lands on Fiorina (Fury) 161 a prison planet. They're found by the resident inmates and taken in. The reason for the crash is a fire that broke out onboard the EEV (guess what started that! It's in the opening credits and pretty obvious!!).

After Aliens' whole hive, we're back to just the one, not that that's a good thing for the characters as one's bad enough!

A lot of people don't like this one (or Resurrection for that matter, but that's a different post!), I do! I really like it, I love the premise of the prison, the characters that fill it and general plot. The only bad thing for me is the hokey (using that too much) CG Alien, the tech wasn't quite there at this time, probably could've done with more man-in-suit-in-shadows.

Despite all the trials and tribulations, David Fincher pushes the envelope to create a beautifully atmospheric film and worthy addition the the Alien line-up.

Alien3 - 9/10

Black Rain

Black Rain is a quintessentially 80's thriller, so 80's in fact I almost aged backwards (?!), it's also a cracking Ridley Scott film, very Blade Runner esque with it's oriental backdrop, but not as heavily stylised.

Michael Douglas is a totally out of place cop, trying to track down a vicious Yakuza killer, Andy Garcia is his partner and Kate Capshaw reprises her singing in an oriental club role.

It's pretty much by the numbers, but it's got Ridley's signature stylings and once you get past the tad hokey script (especially at the start) it's pretty good.

Black Rain - 7/10

Speed Racer

You've gotta wonder about the Wachowskis, did they only have like 2 good films in them??

Speed Racer is pretty bloody bad, okay so it's aimed at kids, but it's still bad, it's just lots of lights and noise, and the whole film is pretty much just the podracing sequence from The Phantom Menace with lots more colour and slo-mo.

It's another one of those films where you can somewhat admire what they were trying to do on a technical level, but as a film, it sucks.

Speed Racer - 4/10

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Hidden

Literally a "Hidden" gem, a really entertaining scif-fi film.

A mix of Bodysnatchers, Terminator, Species etc there's an alien running amok and only two men, namely Kyle MacLachlan and Michael Nouri can stop it!

Basically there's cops and FBI, chasing an alien around whichever US city they're in, it's funny, cheesy action and a bit creepy, overall it's brilliant.

Apologies for the crappy type up (like I apologise for the others!!) I'm technically working, but got a little down time, so trying to catch up!

The Hidden - 7/10

Monday, September 01, 2008

The Kingdom

It begins, pretty harshly, with a terrorist bombing of  American families in Saudi Arabia and a group of FBI investigators making their way over to find out what's what.

For about half the film, it's very much a 'procedural', following the steps they need to take and the barriers they encounter while in Saudi, then it becomes more action orientated, guns RPGs and car chases.

It's fun and I was also genuinely shocked by the start, but it's hard to know where it sits politically. It's clearly a film about issues that are high up the political importance scale at the moment, but at the same time it's very Hollywood spin on it all, being rather one sided, not totally, but a fair amount, heaving around stereotypes and possibly not being as clever and worthy as it thinks it is.

The Kingdom - 7/10


Despite what is a reasonably interesting premise, or at least plot device of Nic Cage's character being able to see 2 minutes into the future, Next falls a little flat.

One of the major flaws is we as viewers are asked to believe that Jessica Biel would fall for Nic "Lank Mullet" Cage, no sorry, suspension of disbelief only goes so far! The writers also cop out a little bit, by going past the 2 minute mark (as well as bend the interpretation of that a tad), it would've been more interesting and tense to see them stick to this restriction all the way through.

There's some ok actiony bit's in, particularly the casino scene, which is how the movie should really have continued. It's mildly entertaining but ultimately it's let down by "playing it safe."

Next - 6/10

The Monster Squad

Happy birthday to me and cheers to my girlfriend for getting The Monster Squad for me as a present!

I remember watching this some years back (probably around 1987/88 to be fair) and loving it! Although when we watched it recently, there was practically none of it that seemed familiar, which was pretty cool as I was coming in nice and fresh to it. It didn't disappoint!

The film is an unabashed homage to the classic Universal Monsters, although due to licensing they're redesigned for this film, which is a good thing.

The very basic plot revolves around an amulet that can unleash all evil or banish it for another 100 years, thus the monsters, led by Dracula, want it and the small group of outcast misfit Goonie-lite kids (The Monster Squad) are out to stop them.

It's brilliant fun, the Stan Winston workshop creatures are great and the nerds can enjoy spotting all the in-jokes and references (I got a couple), well worth getting, although mine's Region 1, I'm not sure on the Region 2 situ.

The Monster Squad - 8/10