Monday, November 30, 2009

The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3

Ok, so there's not been any posts for a while, I've been busy and frankly not in the mood to be typing lots after a days work of late, then the films get backed up, I've got a load of Stickies on my dashboard with titles and ratings, so I'll catch up eventually, but I digress...

The Taking of Pelham 123, a Tony Scott remake of The Taking of Pelham One Two Three, I
haven't seen the original, but I'll try to catch it at some point, just out of curiosity.

For the most part it's a reasonably entertaining action thriller, by the numbers stuff really, but engaging enough, John Travolta comes across suitably ruthless and unhinged, Denzel Washington doesn't show too much of his teeth until the end and maintains a reasonable 'everyman' persona.

The hostages on the train are essentially box-tickers and the rest of the police and MTA staff equally as non-descript, a lot of tightening up could've been done buy losing some of this peripheral fluff and focussing more on the Garber/Ryder relationship. Another thing that could've been lost is the wacky vision effects and crazy fast cuts during the opening sequence (which almost put me off watching the rest) and the movie's main action sequences, fine ramp up the cut speed to build the pace, but they went way over the top, especially as the action sequences were intercut with slower paced control room or train scenes, too jarring.

It's not great, but it's not utter shite either.

The Taking of Pelham 123 - 5/10

Monday, July 20, 2009

The International

Lone maverick vs the big corporation, stuff that's been done before, the corporation in question in this case, is an enormous bank who's interests lie beyond simply making phat amounts of bonus, and the lone maverick in question? Clive Owen, a man who's emotional range is only a notch above that of Steven Seagal.

It's okay though, we've got Naomi Watts to lend her superb acting talents

SO! Clive Owen vs a Bank. Yeah, that exciting. Well, when it gets to the Guggenheim, that's quite good, then it drops back into it's dull procedurals again. I'm not saying procedurals are dull, Zodiac for instance is awesome, this one, however is no Zodiac.

It goes a little bit Bond towards the end, with a stonking lair (I have to admit the location dept. found some cracking locations). Only a little bit though, then it get's dull again. Kind of disappointing ending, but lives up to the rest of the film.

The International - 5/10

Thursday, July 16, 2009


I seem to recall this got pretty poor reviews in general when it came out, lack of actual Germans, lack of even attempts at German accents (which could've gone horribly wrong let's be fair), Tom Cruise in an eye patch.

Well, I finally got around to watching it and it's not that bad, it's a tad slow, I don't really care about any of the characters, but it was interesting enough to want to see how things turned out. Without wanting to spoil anything, it's not exactly an upbeat ending.

With all the names in this (Cruise, Branagh, Nighy, Stamp, McNally, Wilkinson etc), no-one really seems to be pushing themselves, in fact, considering the nature of the story; a complex plot to assassinate Hitler and his key staff, it's all a bit sedate.

Valkyrie - 6/10

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Yes Man

Or rather, Not So Much Man, It's a pretty lame attempt, I'd suggest watching Chaos Theory instead, similar principal, MUCH better film!

Yes Man - 3/10

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Disaster Movie

They explain every "joke".

A "joke" is a celebrity "impersonator" or film "spoof" or combo of the two.

1/10 for "Like Dolph Lundgren in Rocky IV, I must break you" if only that was in a better film.

I lost count of the amount of times I shook my head at it tho.

Disaster Movie - 1/10

FYI Scary Movie 5 is on the way.

(No amazon links, I wouldn't do that to you)

Paul Blart: Mall Cop

To be honest, it didn't look that great from the trailer. Less than 10 minutes into the film and I wanted to turn it off, but I stuck with it out of principal. I should change my principals.

It's an odd film, well the film isn't odd as such, it's a basic comedy crime caper/underdog story set in a shopping mall, the thing is that it isn't funny, yet still has a reasonably satisfying resolution. It's straight out of the '80s in it's plot style and has a cracking soundtrack, but ultimately it's just not that good.

Best thing about it is Keir O'Donnell, and the only real smiles came from Kevin James running into things and rolling over his shoulder as only a fat man can. Hardly top notch comedy.

Will Observe and Report be any better or will it be another let down like Pineapple Express?

Paul Blart: Mall Cop - 2/10

Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Wrestler

A lot of fuss has been made about Darren Aronofsky's fouth feature, especially after the flop of The Fountain, couple that with the 'comeback' of Mickey Rourke, in to be fair a very good performance, and you could possibly see why people were interested (myself included).

So what of it?? First impressions from the trailer... it's Rocky but with wrestling. After watching it... it's Rocky Balboa but with wrestling. Basically Rourke plays Randy "The Ram" Robinson and ageing pro-wrestler, well past his prime, still wrestling on the smaller circuits and fan events. He's just scraping buy, has an odd slightly more than customer relationship going on with a bar stripper in the shape of Marisa Tomei and no relationship with his estranged daughter, played by Evan Rachel Wood.

When things start to go south, he tries to make a go of things without wrestling, needless to say that doesn't go so well and he heads back to the ring, for a rather upbeat/downbeat ending.

It's a good film, but it's a character study, so with that, not a lot actually goes on, there's sequences made up Ram just going somewhere, seeing his daily life, self reflection and all that. I watched it through, although interest did wander occasionally, but I can appreciate the filmmaking, which leads me onto the special features, something I don't usually comment on, but I'm a big DVD extras guy and while the rental copy only had 3 video extras (trailer, on set featurette & interview with Mickey Rourke), the featurette was brilliant, more interesting than the film to watch how Aronofsky went about making the film on a comparatively small budget of around $7m (£4m) and a shoot schedule of 35 days.

Worth watching, but an "in the right mood" film.

The Wrestler - 7/10

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

X-Men Origins: Wolverine

Wolverine is currently one of Marvel's biggest characters, after starting out life as a bit player with the X-Men, he's now heading them up it seems in comic land. As far as I can gather, this is largely down to the success of the X-Men movies (which I'll cover in a separate post, probably all three on one post, which I've been meaning to do for AGES!).

Now, we have our first X-Men spin-off movie, and obviously they came out with their big hitter, Logan, Wolverine (I keep typing Wolverinie dammit). Now despite it coming off the back of the big X-Men trilogy, and still being a 20th Century Fox property rather than from the Marvel Studios like Iron Man, they still went for a more indie-esque director in Gavin Hood (of Tsotsi fame) and while I can see what they're trying to do, I don't think he was quite up to the task (compared to Jon Favreau's efforts on Iron Man!).

This IS (or supposed to be) the origin story of Wolverine, how he became who we see in the X-Men films. I have to say, not having read any of the Wolverine Origins, or Weapon X comics (currently reading the Old Man Logan storyline in Wolverine tho, AWESOME!) there were a few surprises in there, the length of time he's been about, his real name, bone claws?!? Fair enough. However one of the things that made Wolverine interesting was his LACK of backstory, nevermind, it was in the comics first I guess.

So in the film we see the process of the Adamantium bonding, his apparent reasons for having it done in the first place and a lot of roaring and running about with a snarly look on his face. For someone who's invested in his character as much as Hugh Jackman (producing this outing), and the fact this is his origin, it certainly felt like there was less to the character in this film than the X-Trilogy!

Liev Schrieber does lend a bit of gravitas to Victor Creed (Sabretooth, although he's never referred to as such), but the PG-13 friendly script loses some of the edge off the character.

Speaking of characters, X-M O:W is chock full of them and could pretty much do without most of them. It seems like they just wanted to throw in as many references as they could, ideally to characters as yet unused, such as the much loved Gambit, who was left out of the X-Trilogy for various reasons, yet crops up here as Gambit the MacGuffin, we also get Blob, for a comedy fight, John Wraith, for no real purpose, Bolt, for even less purpose, Agent Zero to die and a whole host of teen mutants, presumably setting up the X-Men: First Class movie that's in development (I could see Gambit being brought back in for that).

One character that definitly wasn't in it enough, was Wade Wilson, who is basically Deadpool (although not quite yet in the film), played by Ryan Reynolds, he OWNS the role and despite me not really getting into the character in the comics, I can't wait to see the announced Deadpool movie.

For an origin story of a major tortured hero, it severely lacks in depth and emotion, I made it all the way through, I kind of enjoyed the ride, it's an enjoyable romp around, a kids movie, but as regards any serious plotting or real character engagement... nope.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine - 6/10


Pretty much Kiefer Sutherland's big screen comeback, Mirrors, as I recall, got panned by critics and didn't perform too well either. Sorry Kiefer.

It's directed by Alexandre Aja, who previously directed the enjoyable The Hills Have Eyes remake and the ridiculous Switchblade Romance/High Tension/Haute Tension.

Keifer plays Ben Carter, an alcoholic ex-NYPD cop who takes a job as night security at the burnt out Mayflower department store, curiously the mirrors in the store are in pristeen condition. Soon enough some spooky goings on start occuring where the mirrors are concerned and people think Jack, sorry, Ben is going mental, but he's not, no! There is crazy stuff going on with the mirrors and only Jack, sorry again, Ben can solve the riddle.

Okay, so it's not a great film, my girlfriend thought it was "a load of crap" for instance. I however quite enjoyed it, sure it's a tad slow and disjointed, but it falls in well with films of a similar ilk and kept me interested for a couple of hours.

Mirrors - 6/10

Monday, May 18, 2009

Eden Lake

A British horror/thriller from the writer of My Little Eye (which everyone tells me is crap). For Eden Lake, take one part "horror-in-woods-slasher-flick" add one part Deliverance and a whole lot of chav.

I'm not sure if it's even attempting to make any sort of intelligent comment on chav culture in the UK, or whether it's just using it to try and give us a slightly different take on things, although in the grand scheme of things it's no different to the various American redneck slasher type movies that have come before.

It possibly would've been ok, after all there's not many decent british horror/thrillers out there, however it takes too long to get going (as I've said before, I'm all for slow builds, if they're done right), or maybe it's more that it feels like it takes too long, I don't really give a shit about the couple introduced as our leads and thanks to her whining and their joint decisions, I fail to care about them throughout.

The writing could be tighter, although, credit where credit's due, he sure can write chav, and the kids sure can act it.

When it does get going, it's not too bad though, there's kids committing violence (as much is explained on the back of the DVD), a fair bit of gruesomeness and a reasonably interesting end. However, because it's not totally clear as to where it's coming from, I'm not sure if it packs the punch it should.

Eden Lake - 5/10

Monday, May 11, 2009

Star Trek

This is gonna be rather spoilery, so be warned.

"Not your father's Star Trek" is a phrase that's being banded around about the franchise reboot from J.J. Abrams and it's an apt phrase in more than just the fresh faced cast and lens flare heavy lighting.

Let's start with the cast; Chris Pine is brilliant as Kirk, I agree with the general consensus, he should be BIG in the next few years, he can clearly balance the humour and action with a massive on screen charisma, strong possibility he's our next Harrison Ford (Sorry Nathan). Zachary Quinto steps in as younger Spock. I've followed Heroes since season 1 (glutton for punsihment?) and knew he'd be perfect as soon as it was announced, he doesn't disappoint. Karl Urban is also brilliant as Dr Leonard McCoy, while Pine goes to firmly stamp his own mark on the iconic James T. Kirk, Karl Urban happily homages-the-crap out of DeForest Kelley and with great effect. I'll be honest Zoe Saldana, John Cho & Anton Yelchin, as Uhura, Sulu & Chekov respectively, are pretty throwaway, ok Uhura's got some stuff going on with Spock and gives us our initial intro to an adult JTK, but overall, they just feel like they're being given their token screen time. That brings us to Simon Pegg as Montgomery Scott, who doesn't come in until some way through the film and doesn't really do anything except be Simon Pegg putting on an accent, he also gets some terrible "comedic" moments courtesy of his spiny sidekick thing.

Eric Bana chews his way through the film's resident villain, Nero, nothing special, but ok.

The casting refresh is one thing, the look and feel is another and this is where it shone for me, a tad too much lens flare maybe, but the look of the sets, the updated ship design and all the general space stuff was pretty damn cool, more energy, more intense, yet clearly updates on the previous versions as opposed to a total re-imagining. I'm not a Star Trek geek, I'll watch it, but I don't get all fanboy over it, I also preferred the movies (not mentioning TNG ones), but the updates hit the right notes with me.

What also makes this "not your father's Star Trek" is the plot. This is NOT a prequel, they even go to writing-hack level lengths to point this out in the exposition, this is an "alternate reality" [Uhura], so how the crew of the Enterprise comes to be in this film is not how it did for the series.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not getting all worked up over this, as I said, I'm not a Trekkie fanboy, but the film's pitched as an origin story, and while it IS, it's not quite the one I went in, and I expect many others were, expecting. That doesn't take anything away from it, just simply an observation... sorry, not an observation, there was a whole sequence devoted to making sure I damn well knew it.

Without going into the convoluted time travel plot, it basically sets up the new Enterprise crew with Old Spock lending a guiding hand along the way.

What stops this reboot from being amazing then? The comedy, that's what. Once you lose some of the language and maybe the brief "sex" scene, it's basically a kid's film, it's full of one liners, some good, plenty bad and stupid slapstick (see: Simon Pegg in coolant tubes) and set against the backdrop of what should be impending doom for all involved, it all feels like they're having a tad too much fun.

I'm not saying this needs to be all doom and gloom, the original movies all had humour, with The Voyage Home being the prime example of this, but that was in context, the humour in this one felt, for the most part, forced and unnecessary. Kirk's son get's marooned in ST2 and we get Kirk wigging out on a revenge trip, the whole of Vulcan gets wiped out in this one and we get Simon Pegg saying how exciting everything is. A bit of balance is what's needed.

So when it comes down to it, the re-boot shows a lot of potential on all fronts (less slapstick though please), there's already a sequel in the works, it looks like Kurtzman and Orci are lined up to write again, let's hope they move a little away from the Transformers style script and give it a little more meat! They came up with Fringe which I'm loving, so I hope they deliver the goods for Trek.

Star Trek - 7/10

Tuesday, May 05, 2009


I've decided recently that I need to watch more films that i wouldn't normally choose to watch. Twilight is one of them, after all Twilight (based on the book), is aimed squarely at, to use a cliche here, overweight, single women with too many cats. Or soppy teenage girls, of which I am neither.

So for those who don't know, Twilight is a vampire flick, takes some classical vampire notions, mixes them up a bit with a couple of new takes, which in a similar way to Being Human, allows for more EXT. DAY scenes and throws in a generous helping of teen angst and token Scream-esque school friends.

Now I'll be honest here, plot wise, character wise, even acting wise, it's not bad. The secondary characters are more interesting than the main couple, but the combo of Bella (Kristen Stewart) and Edward (Robert Pattinson) is bearable, despite him looking like he's been smacked in the face with a cartoon frying-pan yet everyone thinks he's hot. Go figure.

The story pulls from various sources, there's the classic forbidden love story, and there's the new kid in town story. What is it with vampires and high school outcasts eh? It's not Lost Boys, but at the same time, it's this decade's answer to it.

The script is a tad ropey in places, some clunky dialogue, but that's kind of expected, what let's the film down and I think seriously holds it back, is the APPALLING camera direction by one Catherine Hardwicke, I mean, REALLY BAD, not helped by the editing. Whether the film's editor Nancy Richardson was beaten down on suggesting that maybe less cuts should be used or whether she pushed them through, I don't know, either way, it's crap! For instance, one scene where Bella & Edward are in the woods, she's sussed what he is and building to that point, in less than half a minute, one short piece has at least ten cuts, with different angles, handheld, undercranked steadicam, normal steadicam, swooping crane AAAARRRGGHH!

ONE SHOT, the whole scene could've been done in ONE SHOT and been a hell of a lot better.

Effects, well they're a bit hokey, fine it's a relatively low budget film but hollywood standards, maybe if they'd done less setups on the above scene, they could've squeezed a little more for effects (and maybe re-shooting the soft focus shots.. I mean really, c'mon!)

It's a soppy film, but once you get past the inept camera work, not terrible. Let see if someone can direct the sequels better.

Twilight - 6/10


This is possibly one of the most original and interesting British films to come out in a long time. It does riff on some familiar themes, but it does so in a very refreshing way.

Although by the end of the film I, just about got where it was coming from, I was totally gripped and genuinely intrigued throughout, I sussed the general direction of the film pretty early on, but what kept me interested was just how it was all going to tie up, constantly speculating on the different characters' connections and figuring out who's who.

It's not perfect, but I thoroughly enjoyed it! It also looks wonderful, it's very well shot (a quick butchers at IMDb reveals the DP to be one Ben Davis, who's also on Kick-Ass, cannot wait for that one!!!)

The cast aren't brilliant, Eva Green's voice irritates me, as does her waifness (!?), Sam Riley, while apparently brilliant in Control, was rather wet, Ryan Phillippe was behind a mask most of the time, but does a very good english accent and Bernard Hill, while good, could've done with more development and screen time. Despite this, the plot keeps it going.

So, written and directed by Gerald McMorrow, a promising debut feature, I for one certainly look forwards to more stuff from him and hopefully he won't let us down like a previous certain person...

Franklyn - 8/10

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Untouchables

I hadn't seen this in ages, but a recent (well not very recent as I'm catching up here!!) re-watch re-aquainted me with what is a classic movie and one of Brian De Palma's better ones in my view.

We've got Kevin Costner as Elliot Ness, Robert DeNiro as Al Capone and Sean Connery attempting an Irishman, what's not to like there?!?

It's an underdog story, set against the American era of prohibition, there's a lot of shooting and the iconic scene with the pram and the stairs. Not only one of De Palma's better films, but also one of Costner's best, if you haven't seen it you must!

The Untouchables - 8/10

Punisher: War Zone

Much to my surprise, this wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. Based on the trailers and various self absorbed postings from Lexi Alexander, I thought this was going to be a total and utter mess. It's no masterpiece and it pales in comparison to Iron Man, Marvel's biggest success of 2008 (and so far really!), I did however find it reasonably entertaining, certainly more entertaining that The Incredible Hulk (the other big Marvel 2008 release), although overall a similar standard.

It's a grim film, going for a big tick in the violence box, which fits, as Punisher is pretty damn violent, but with all the violence going on and Ray Stevenson's portrayal of the character, you feel a little detached form it all. I don't care about the kid or his mum, or anyone else for that matter, and I don't care about Punisher's reasons for his actions, or have any sympathy for him, I'm just indifferent waiting for him to go shoot some more shit.

I don't know if I'm supposed to sympathise with Frank Castle, the film's certainly set up as such, throwing in a cheeky flashback to the killing of his family, but it's all a bit token gesture for reboot's sake. When it comes down to it, the man's a killer vigilante, out for revenge, that's not really the sympathy type.

I'm also a little torn, as I only gave The Punisher (the most recent previous version 4/10), yet after watching War Zone, I wanted to see Thomas Jane in the role instead, there's no man crush going on, I think I just preferred his Punisher to Ray's. I think I need to rewatch the other two again.

Villain wise, I think Dominic West's 'Jigsaw' is a better one than John Travolta's 'Howard Saint'

Punisher: War Zone - 6/10

The Day The Earth Stood Still (2008)

On the cutout in Blockbuster it says that The Daily Star (yeah) gave it 10/10 and said "spectacular special effects" or something very similar. I'm guessing that was the best review this remake had.

Let's start with the effects (they're as good a place as any with this one!), they're not spectacular, they're pretty MEH actually and contribute towards highlighting the various script issues. The filmmakers made a big deal out of keeping their version of GORT a secret, so they could have a big reveal when the film was released. I can reveal that it's rubbish and just looks like a big chunk of CGI.

So what about the film, the story, the drama, the sheer lack of emotion pouring out of Keanu Reeves... to be fair, this is probably the perfect role for him, as there's supposed to be no emotion, so I guess on those grounds, he's pretty damn good in this. Everyone else ambles along, various token characters crop up all over the place with no development and thus no engagement. It's too long and dull... it's just not very good, just about watchable, but not really entertaining.

The Day The Earth Stood Still (2008) - 4/10

Monday, April 20, 2009


I really can't decide if I actually liked this movie.

It's a reasonably interesting concept, but they do kind of spoil it, buy making a point of it rather blatantly several times throughout the movie.

So the monster's an anthropomorphic rat...

No, I really don't know. It wasn't a bad movie, it was pretty well shot, nice and short, I think I wasn't totally satisfied by the end, which I won't spoil here, but needless to say I didn't feel it had the impact it needed for me to come away feeling the way you should after a really good gore fest.

There are a couple of nice touches in there gore wise, the script's a tad expositional, but for what is essentially a small, low budget horror, it's ok I guess, worth a watch.

Splinter - 7/10

Lakeview Terrace

Overall, not great, it's a by the numbers nasty-neighbour film, Samuel L Jackson, strolling through the performance of him playing himself and any attempt to get the audience to sympathise with him fails big time. Interesting to see Patrick Wilson in something else, I'd only seen him in Watchmen... he's roughly as downtrodden in this.

It's also a slooow film, it's set against the backdrop of the recent California wild fires, but apart from a bit of smoke they don't really show up til the end, more could've been made of this I feel, it certainly needs something to ramp up the tension a little.

(this was a recent watch, but I've got a load that I haven't typed up, so trying to catch up as well!!)

Lakeview Terrace - 5/10


Now I saw Watchmen around opening weekend over here in the UK, so it's been a good few weeks since then and I'm only just getting around to typing something up on it. To be honest, I did try pretty soon after but I couldn't figure out what to write about it...I still can't really, but here goes.

I'd read the graphic novel a while before seeing the film and, while I can see what all the fuss was about, it's not one of my favourite comics, it's a laborious read, weighed down with a lot of metaphor and waffle (yes I'll probably get flamed for that), and for once I actually agree with Jonathan Ross' view on the movie, in that it stayed TOO faithful to it's source material.

Whilst trying to satisfy the book's hardcore fanbase (and possibly Alan Moore as well..good luck) and depsite the changes that were made and the stuff that was left out, it's still a very heavy going film, very wordy and slow, with A LOT going on, I came out feeling that I possibly would've rather seen a stripped down plot, even adapted more for the film format, cos as a FILM, it's not the best narrative.

On the technical side of things, yet again Zack Snyder pulled out all the stops, he's clearly geeky about the technical side of things and pushing new technology, visually Watchmen is great, a real feast if you will, even if the speed ramped fights feel a little cliched now.

Watchmen - 7/10

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Spirit

Once you get over the fact that the trailers sold it as a reasonably serious action based comic book adap and realise that it's actually a very hammy comedy, it's not too bad.

Of course you also have to get over Frank Miller's ham fisted directing and the fact that he still think's he's writing a comic rather than a film, but all in all, it was okay, there are certain things that saved it though.

Gabriel Macht has got a certain amount of presence to him, depsite having some seriously bad dialogue and directing. Sam Jackson is loving it as The Octopus, and once you indulge him he takes you right along with him, along with, bizarrely, Scarlett Johansson is great as Silken Floss, an understated role, but compliments The Octopus brilliantly, which makes a change as she usually bores the hell out of me.

Skipping over the Sin City stylings (go-on original Frank!) (I was also surprised that Troublemaker Studios didn't pop up at the start), and some of the utterly rubbish animation/wire-work/whatever stuff, there are a couple of really good scenes. There's a nice one between the doc and her dad, and pretty much everything with the kids in is brilliant, I was genuinely surprised at how natural their stuff felt, and how much more mature their scenes and performances came across.

The Spirit - 5/10

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Death Race

Good old Paul W.S. Anderson is back with another cheesy sci-fi movie, but then this is where he belongs. I remember enjoying Mortal Kombat, I remember feeling sick about AvP (I need to re-watch Event Horizon), so as long as you don't give him a well loved franchise, he should be able to pull off a reasonably entertaining action movie.

Add The Stath to the equation, especially Stath in a car, and things are looking up. Take this film at face value, it's a Paul W.S. Anderson remake of a Roger Corman (prod.) movie, it's not Citizen Kane.

It's stupid, cliched, stuffed full of the crappy 'reality tv' message that seems to be popular at the moment (do people forget The Running Man??), but at the end of the day, it's a big car chase, cars with big guns, that'll do me!

Death Race - 7/10

Eagle Eye

I heard a fair few people slagging this off when it was in cinemas, frankly I think they were too hard on it.

Sure it's not the best action flick in the world, but it's just an action flick just the same, and you can realistically only expect so much from that genre. Okay yes there are some that exceed those expectations, but you shouldn't start out that high.

Eagle Eye has kind of a good premise, ordinary guy and ordinary girl, plucked from their everyday lives by a sinister woman on the end of a phone who can track their every move and influence things around them, forced into doing things against their will etc. (all in the trailers)

One comment that's consistently popped up is that "it gets ridiculous" I kind of agree, it's been seen before though in some form or another, and to be fair it's no more ridiculous than most other big budget action movies.

Suspend your disbelief and just go along for the ride.

Eagle Eye - 7/10

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Friday the 13th (2009)

Mediocre, Samey, Nothing Original, Just another slasher flick etc etc etc.

It's not very inventive, it doesn't do anything new for the genre, it's mildly entertaining yes, but mildly.

Watch it if you like, but if you don't, it's not much of a loss.

Friday the 13th (2009) - 5/10

Saturday, February 14, 2009


This looked AWESOME in the trailer, and overall, it was pretty good, fell slightly short of being truly awesome though.

To sum up the movie in one of those "meets" sentences.. it's Predator meets Alien meets The 13th Warrior, all three of those I love, so this should've been pant wettingly good.

The concept is pretty solid, spaceman (Cavieziel) crashes his spaceship on  medievil Earth, somewhere in Norway, also on his ship is a big-ass-alien-killing-machine of a monster, now said spaceman must team up with (fucking-)Vikings to defeat the thing. Along the way friends are made, love is found and we find out a little bit about our own humanity. (So not enough action then yeah?)

Yeah, not quite enough, the alien or Moorwen as it's called is great, although somewhat distractingly looks like it could've been built from the Godzilla CG model, it's a good approach though, very animalistic yet still conveys a sense of sentience.

The humans on the other hand could do with some work, a good mix of accents doesn't help, some of the acting and dialogue leaves a fair bit of room for improvement and all the mushyness, while within the scope of the plot, does slow the pace down a tad much for what I feel it should've been.

There's some nice touches though and all in all it was an enjoyable film.

Outlander - 7/10

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Burn After Reading

I'm not going to start prattling on about this being "a return to form" or anything like that, everyone said that about No Country, which was okay in my view. Burn After Reading is more along the lines of Fargo or The Big Lebowski in that it's a comedy, a black one yes, but nowhere near the sheer bleakness of No Country.

It's also not quite as good as Fargo or The Big L, but I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would based on everything I'd heard about it. Let's be perfectly clear, this isn't another Intolerable Cruelty (thankfully!)

This is also one of Brad Pitt's better roles, hamming it up to great effect alongside Cloony and Malkovich, both of whom also appear to be thoroughly enjoying the ridiculousness of it all!

The ending is a tad abrupt, but it suits what's been going on. It's an enjoyable romp (crap word I know), which is all I really wanted from it and it delivered. 

Burn After Reading - 9/10

Friday, February 06, 2009

The Fall

I was intrigued in this from the moment I saw the trailer ages ago, partly because it looked visually incredible, partly because the actual story seemed interesting and partly because I hated The Cell.

The film does look amazing, he colours are out of this world, every now and again the framing's just a tad too 'stylised' for my tastes, Tarsem does follow themes here and there, certain stuff he's almost fetishistic about (see: slo-mo horses in desert), visually, everything about the film is an icing coated treat.

Story wise, it's not bad, it's a guy in a hospital telling a story to a little girl. The story reflects the events of the real world and it's pretty dark and emotional, and this is primarily sold by the performances of the little girl and the injured guy interacting with her, which is nothing short of charming and totally engaging.

It's a beautiful tale, not perfect, but a great watch.

The Fall - 8/10

Saturday, January 31, 2009


Yay for Joost!! I've recently rediscovered Joost. I signed up yonks ago, near when it first launched and was still using it's own desktop client rather than being web based, I remember it had Bridezillas, some random Jackass type stuff and Total Recall 2070, which was the first programme I looked at and had a surprising amount of nudity within the first few minutes.


Joost is growing, there's still A LOT of crap on there, but there's enough to find something to watch every now and again, and "Creature" was what I randomly picked last night to see what it was, and my girlfriend and I ended up watching the whole thing!! (we've turned off "better" films!)

There's an easy way to explain "Creature"... "Alien". It's quite simply an Alien rip-off, the details of the plot are different enough, but there's still a similar looking alien, a dark, windswept, inhospitable planet, a crew of civilians, an alien craft that's been there for a long time and Klaus Kinski... ok he wasn't in Alien.

The dialogue is terrible, it feels looonng, the effects are average (despite it being nominated for an award), the sound effects are taken from Star Wars and all in all this is a proper Shit-Good film. I've given it 4/10, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't watch it, quite the opposite in fact. If you like watching a really bad film every now and again, this is one you should watch! (it's on the Really Terrible Film Channel on Joost)

Hopefully if the code works, it's embedded below!!! ;)

Creature - 4/10

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Pineapple Express

Apart from two moments when I chuckled, one involving an ear, I can't remember the other, it's just plain rubbish.

I'm not a fan of the Apatow camp, when I first saw the trailer I thought it could be quite good. I was wrong, it's the same old Apatow-style shite. Most of the characters talk like Seth Rogan, which is annoying, much like Seth Rogan.

Okay, I'm typing this as I watched the end, third chuckle involving a car.

If you liked Knocked Up, Superbad etc al, you'll like this.

Pineapple Express - 2/10

The Exorcism of Emily Rose

Looked interesting, was mildly interesting, but was kinda lacking in something.

Not sure what though, it was an interesting concept, apparently based on true events, however it's clumsily executed, too much voice over and the different testimonies, make it a bit of a slow watch, it's almost two films mashed together in a bad way.

The Exorcism of Emily Rose - 5/10

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Bangkok Dangerous (2008)

As a movie, this is pretty badass! Unfortunately, Nic Cage... not so badass.

From what I can gather (from just watching the trailer), this remake is quite different from the original 1999 film by the same directors. There seems to be a few similar set pieces, but that's about it.

Cage is an assassin, who goes to do a job in Bangkok, needless to say, said job doesn't go to plan and gunfights ensue. Throw in a ladle or two of sentimentality and the odd bit of dodgy camera work/choices and you've got a fresh new remake on your hands.

It's okay, not brilliant, I think it would've been better with someone more convincing as a badass assassin, or alternatively, played up on the ageing pro type thing. Worth vegging out to of an evening if there's nothing else tho.

Bangkok Dangerous - 6/10

The Nines

I still maintain that Ryan Reynolds can be a good actor, 'The Nines' shows him trying, unfortunately it's got a highly convoluted plot, the structure's all over the place and by the end of it I was left kinda Meh.

Is it about religion, is it about Sims, is it about too many people thinking they can write the next Donnie Darko?!?!

The Nines - 4/10