Tuesday, January 31, 2012

W. movie review


Starring: Josh Brolin, Elizabeth Banks, Ioan Gruffudd, Colin Hanks.

Running time: 129 minutes

Year: 2008

Directed By: Oliver Stone

Written By: Stanley Weiser

Lately I seem to be watching a lot of biopic movies. Recently I have seen the Margaret Thatcher film and the J Edgar Hoover movie, both being poor. I can tell you the George W Bush one is no better.
As you can imagine, there is no story. It is solely about Bush as he graduates from college drunk to head of a super power country. The film doesn't know whether it is supporting him or opposing him throughout. The film is like watching a yoyo as it goes back and forth.

The narrative dips in and out of the past and then comes back to his decisions around the Iraq War. The flashbacks are not done in a way where Bush is giving his memoirs or even dreaming of his past, the flashbacks just sort of happen. No point to the narrative at all. Why wasn't it just played linear?

We see Bush attempting to break into a fraternity by passing a questions, alcohol and ice bucket test. We then see his struggle with alcohol and his run ins with the law and his father, George Bush Snr. Moving on we get his days working on an oil rig and then quitting every job he has. Next he runs for Governor and meets his future wife Laura, eventually helping him to run for Congress and then President. I think that's how it all went, I'm not sure on all the political points and I was also drifting in and out of the film as it struggled to keep me interested.

The beginning of the film is quite intriguing. It is a strange story to see how a future President started as a screw up at college and became a raging alcoholic. I wish the film stayed in this area for longer but it spends more time on his decision on going to war with Iraq. I know this was a pivotal point of his Presidency but as a film it was just dull. We kept viewing a group of people sitting in a room discussing. That is boring.
I'm not going to racket on about politics. I'm not sure on American politics and being English removes me from really knowing the story of Bush, without doing some research of course. His story is intriguing, especially with his background as being a mess and rising from his Father's shadow to prove him wrong. What I mainly know about Bush is that he was not loved by his country and most people believe he shouldn't have made the decisions he did. He was the country's most hated President.  

I feel like I shouldn't be writing this review. It is turning into a political chat rather than a film review and I just don't know what to say about this film. The acting is ok, although I hear that Brolin had some criticism for his over the top portrayal of Bush. I thought he was alright but having him play the nineteen year old Bush and the fifty old one just did not work. He does not look like a college kid. Elizabeth Banks on the other hand looks too young to be an ageing First Lady. In my opinion she is very miss cast. James Cromwell as Bush Snr was good but apparently nothing like the man he was playing. There are also decent performances from Richard Dreyfuss, Jeffrey Wright, Thandie Newton, Toby Jones and Scott Glenn. They seemed fine by me but again I don't know much about the people they were playing. Perhaps I should have done some research before I watched this as I am finding it very hard to discuss any issues with it.

I'll wrap it up I think as I just don't know what else to say. The film is dull. Some of it, particularly the beginning, is quite good but it snow balls downhill with pace after that. It is as if they are highlighting a career of a man many disliked, so I don't really understand why they felt the need to make a film about him. Is he a good man or evil? Being a Brit I suppose I don't really know and maybe American's will understand this a lot more than me. It is highly patriotic and for me highlighting something that many will be trying to erase.

2 / 5


Next film to review: THOR

New on DVD this week: DRIVE & TINKER, TAILOR

A couple of big films released on DVD this week. See below if they come recommended and then go pick them up and give them a watch.

DRIVE - Ryan Gosling plays a stunt man who doubles as a get away driver at night. When he meets Carey Mulligan he is thrust into a gang war and must get himself out of it as well as the woman he has fallen for.

Drive trailer

TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY - Gary Oldman plays a semi retired spy who is brought back into the 'circus' to uncover a hidden mole.

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy trailer

PERFECT SENSE - Ewan McGregor falls in love just as an epidemic begins to remove people's senses.

 Perfect Sense trailer

Monday, January 30, 2012

SHAME - Fassbender and his penis do not make this a great film.

Shame was not released this weekend. In fact it was released a few weeks ago but we decided to see it as it was only released in my local cinema this weekend, for some unknown daft reason. I had this same issue last year with the film Drive, where it was released a week later in the Wolverhampton Cineworld and then disappeared after a week. As we had had this problem before, we decided to see Shame this week just in case it disappeared after a week. I admit that I was pushing to see Shame over the newly released The Grey  and The Descendants, especially since I had heard so many good things about it and how good Fassbender is in it. However I left feeling absolutely disappointed and felt that is was a waste of a movie.

The film is aimed towards a strong theme of addiction and it does show addiction in a rather disturbing way, but Fassbender was generally watching pornographic films at home, getting in a sneaky tug in the work cubicle or having sex with a woman in an underpass of a motorway. Is this an addiction or something most men do or want to do?

The introduction of his sister shows a strange background story developing, especially with them both craving attention in different ways. I didn't pick up on anything about their background and I only gather this from my girlfriend's opinions after the film. They don't develop the backstory, it is a film of him in the here and now struggling with wanting a lot of sex. I just don't get that. What does all that mean? Perhaps the siblings had a disturbing backstory, and if so then tell me about it. I know the director may want us to interpret it ourselves but give us something to chew on. Considering I left the cinema completely unaware of their past makes me think there was nothing to get our teeth into.

If I watched it again I may pick it up but the reasons I didn't was because the director refuses to change camera angle and we end up watching the same image for a good few minutes and instead of listening I found myself willing the camera angle to change. It was uncomfortable to watch and was causing me to become aggitated. At one stage we have a tracking shot of his running through New York. No cuts just one tracking shot which leads to nothing. What was the point? Another time is a close up of Carey Muligan as she sings an entire rendition of New York, New York. It was frustrating to watch. The sex scenes were also awkward as they became too graphic when they didn't need to be. It was as if Steve McQueen (Director) was trying to be too artsy and pretentious. The sex scenes were so much that out of seven people in the cinema, three walked out. I think that says something.

A few good points are the acting from Fassbender is good and the opening ten minutes, acting and music especially, are good and maybe the final fifteen but other than that it was thoroughly disappointing and it made me wish I had taken my girlfriend's advice and seen The Grey or The Descendants  instead.

Pros: The acting is decent and one or two short scenes. The score is pretty good also.

Cons: Slow pacing. Long camera takes. Over use of unnecessary sexual images. Watching Fassbender's penis flap across screen before watching him take a piss. Why?!

4 / 10

2012 so far:

1. Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol     7 / 10
2. J. Edgar     4.5 / 10
3. The Iron Lady     4.5 / 10
4. Shame     4 / 10

Friday, January 27, 2012

In Cinemas This Weekend: Oscar nominated Clooney in Oscar nominated The Descendants

There are 5 new films released today in cinemas across the UK. Have a read of what they are and head out and see one, or two, or three. I'll be seeing one and will review it on Monday.

1. George Clooney is first up in what is being stated as his best performance to date in THE DESCENDANTS. It's the story of a father attempting to reconnect with his daughters after his wife has a boating accident. Clooney must bring himself up to speed with his family and stop living in their shadows. Like he says Hawaii isn't always paradise. Also starring: Shailene Woodley, Amara Miller and Nick Krause. Want to see what all the fuss is about?

2. A welcome return to the screen from Liam Neeson in THE GREY, where he straps broken miniature alcohol bottles to his fists and takes on a hungry pack of wolves after his plane crashes down in Alaskan wilderness. Expect running, screaming and a lot of snow. Oh and of course Liam's brilliant delivery of iconic dialogue. Also starring: Dermot Mulroney, Frank Grillo and Dallas Roberts. Taken vs wolves excite you?

3. Changing the tone we get a love story in LIKE CRAZY. The story of Anton Yelchin and Felicity Jones as they attempt a long distance relationship across the big pond. Will there love last as they move on with their lives and meet new people who they ultimately will fall for. Also starring: Jennifer Lawrence and Charlie Bewley. Fancy a weepy?

4. A new cartoon which doesn't seem to have had much press. It is the story of something obscure arriving in wee Paris. The film is titled A MONSTER IN PARIS and of course it is in 3D. It seems to be another take on the Hunchback of Notre Dam, where a monster lives hidden in a back yard and falls in love with a local singer. Starring: Mathieu Chedid, Vanessa Paradis, Gad Elmaleh and Francois Cluzet. Want to see how this one turns out?

5. Finally we have Clive Owen, hopefully in a film that works this time and not one that is disregarded from cinemas or just plain rubbish. Here he starts in INTRUDERS. A horror based on the birth of monsters and then passed on by the family. Let's hope it is better than it sounds. Also starring: Daniel Bruhl, Clarice Van Houten and Kerry Fox. Can Owen bring something to our attention?

There you have it this weeks big releases. Clooney the family man, Neeson against hungry wild wolves, Anton and Felicity missing each other like crazy, a 3D monster adventure or Clive Owen trying to stop the intruders. What will you see?

Head out have a look at one and tell us what you think. I'll be honest I can't make my mind up. A good week for cinemas me thinks.


Thursday, January 26, 2012

V.I. WASHAWSKI movie review

V. I. Warshawski

Starring: Kathleen Turner, Jay O. Sanders, Charles Durning, Angela Goethals.

Running time: 89 minutes

Year: 1991

Directed By: Jeff Kanew

Written By: Edward Taylor, David Aaron Cohen & Nick Thiel

I had a problem with this film right from the start. It is a problem that I would not have noticed if I had watched it in 1991 when it was released, but being four years old at the time there was not much chance that I had watched it. Watching it in 2012 however may be a problem for some people and it is a problem that will have your mind wandering from the so called plot and onto something else entirely. Those 'some' people though would have to be Friends fans and that is because Kathleen Turner, the lead of this movie, plays Chandler Bing's Dad, yes Dad, in the hit US comedy show. This to me was a major issue as I just couldn't take the actress seriously. When she kissed her on-off boyfriend I couldn't help but think it was two men kissing. Not that it would be an issue if it was two men but I couldn't take the character of VI Warshawski seriously.

Before I dig a hole with the stereotype of Mr Kathleen Turner, sorry Mrs Kathleen Turner, I will mention that she is also the voice of Jessica Rabbit from Who Framed Roger Rabbit? This created another problem because she has a really sexy voice. If I closed my eyes I could hear a sexy, long legged, red headed cartoon with huge breasts and when I opened my eyes I would see Chandler Bing's Father. This was a confusing time for me.

I'll move on with the film, it isn't good. In fact it is so poorly directed and written that it would have been better doing the Jessica Rabbit, Chandler Bing's Dad cross character, as it would have made this film much more interesting. It was corny and cheesy and most of the acting was absolutely dreadful which made lines that possibly weren't intended on being corny even more corny.

The film is about Private Investigator Vicky Warshawski. She meets a man in a bar and later on that night he turns up at her door asking her to look after his daughter.  Is that normal behaviour towards someone you've just met? She agrees, he goes off, is murdered and Warshawski intends on solving the mystery. She involves the daughter and they head off on a girl beats man mission. Every line is a comment to chauvinistic men. 'Us girls should stick together', that kind of poor dialogue.

The plot is a complete wash over and everything is just far too easy. There is no investigating what so ever and the first clue they receive seems to be the only one they need, as the case was obvious from the very first minute. I thought an investigation film needed to keep the viewer in the dark and spring an unbelievable surprise right at the end. Obviously not. The action scenes are dull. A boat chase where nothing happens and a final shoot out which just sucks.

The only good thing from the film was the array of actors that you will see in films and programmes of today. We have a scientist from The Day After Tomorrow, a cop from Dog Day Afternoon, the small stupid pirate from Pirates Of The Caribbean, the caretaker of the building in Friends and Wayne Knight, the man who gets spat in the face by a dinosaur in Jurassic Park. There is also a cameo from the Ghostbusters's building, I'm sure of it.

At least this review has come to something. It has reminded us of all the other decent films out there that are a hundred times better than this one. I seem to have mentioned more films unrelated to this one than I have the one I'm reviewing. By all accounts Warshawski was a series of detective novels that portrayed the character completely differently to how she is portrayed by the film makers. Perhaps it could have been a better film if some reading of the novels had been done, but that clearly hadn't happened. I'll sum up V.I. Warshawski in three words; don't bother watching.  

1 / 5

Next film to review: W.

New Trailers

Just thought I'd post a few trailers that have been released over the last couple of days. All films to be released this year and most of them don't look half bad. Have a look at them and tell us which one you think looks best.

Jeff Who Lives At Home

Project X


Moonrise Kingdom

Friends With Kids

Casa de mi Padre

Silent House

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

U TURN movie review

U Turn

Starring: Sean Penn, Jennifer Lopez, Nick Nolte, Billy Bob Thornton.

Running time: 125 minutes

Year: 1997

Directed By: Oliver Stone

Written By: John Ridley

U Turn is a very strange, weird and unusual film. I have recently finished watching it and I am really unsure on what to make of it. Urm, is it good? Not really. Is it bad? Not really. I just don't know what to say about it.

The story is about Sean Penn's character, Bobby. He is driving through the desert on route to Vegas to pay off a gambling debt. A debt that has already cost him two fingers. Whilst driving, his radiator hose bursts and the closest place to get it fixed is a little town called Superior. He pulls into a typical looking garage for a deserted town such as this, and is greeted by a fat, hillbilly which is Billy Bob Thornton (who is actually pretty good). Bobby leaves the car in the mechanics hands and heads off to get a drink. Whilst walking through the town he meets Grace (Lopez) and an instant sexual attraction takes place. He ends up helping her put up drapes back at her home but when things heat up her husband (Nolte) arrives home and punches Bobby in the nose.

Bobby then leaves the house but is tailed by Jake (J Lo's husband) and is offered money to kill his wife as he can't stand her. Bobby is unsure but when his bag of money is stolen in a grocery shop robbery, he realises he needs the money to pay off his debt or lose more of his fingers. However as he is about to kill her she offers him another proposition, kill her husband and steal his stash of cash he keeps under the floor boards. From here on Bobby must contemplate which route to take. He tries the easy option, to leave the town but the mechanics ridiculous charge for a radiator hose leaves Bobby's beloved Mustang in the mechanic's compound until he pays up. Bobby has no choice, but what will he do to get the money.

The story does sound quite intriguing but everything just seems to fall in place far too easily. The characters don't force the plot twists, they just seem to randomly happen and Penn is left turning backwards and forward within this town. We also meet four other characters that seem to have very little to do with the plot other than to show the obscurity of this town. We have a Sheriff (Powers Boothe), a young couple (Claire Danes and Joaquin Phoenix), him always wanting a fight and her willing to run away with any man possible, and we are also given a blind tramp (Jon Voight) with plenty of wisdom to go around. All of these are just potential obstacles or aids and have very little usage. A debt collector comes into town at one point, on a mission to catch Bobby, but within thirty seconds he is arrested. No tension with him then as he is removed far too quickly.

We find ourselves re-treading old ground as this film goes on. Each twenty minute segment just seems to repeat itself up until the strange climax. We are just shown how unlucky one man can be, and how strange this little town seems to be.

The stars aren't bad with Penn giving a decent performance, I'm sure this wasn't a tough role for him. Lopez is typically her, not great and Nolte is just gruff. The star is perhaps Thornton in his unrecognizable role, it is definitely against type cast and I was fairly impressed with him. The direction isn't bad but the setting is very typical and something we've seen all too often. I was impressed with the editing and felt that there was a trippy feel to the entire film. Several camera movements and points of view shoots were stitched together well and gave a great feel to the movie. That still doesn't make it a good movie though.

I was never really engaged with this film. Not once was I hooked and desperate to know what's going to happen next, in fact I didn't really care. The ending was poor and left you with a poor impression of this film. The theme seems to be about being lost and alone and the theme works as the whole way through that was exactly how I felt.

2 / 5

Next film to review: V.I. WARSHAWSKI

Discussion: Who do you think should win the main Oscar awards?

The Oscar nominations were released yesterday and after my little rant yesterday I see that Mr Oldman did receive a nomination for Tinker Tailor. Perhaps they all read my blog and put him on the list. Only way I can see it to be fair!!!!

Right I want to know who people think are going to win the main categories at the Oscars. To me the main categories are: Best Picture, Director, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actress and Supporting Actor.

Take a look at the nominations below and write a comment to tell us which you think should win each award. After a week we can see between us who would win.

The nominations are:

Best Picture: The Artist, The Descendants, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, The Help, Hugo, Midnight In Paris, Moneyball, The Tree of Life, War Horse.

Best Director: Woody Allen (Midnight in Paris), Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist), Terrence Malik (The Tree of Life), Alexander Payne (The Descendants), Martin Scorsese (Hugo).

Best Actor: Demian Bichir (A Better Life), George Clooney (The Descendants), Jean Dujardin (The Artist), Gary Oldman (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy), Brad Pitt (Moneyball).

Best Actress: Glenn Close (Albert Nobbs), Viola Davis (The Help), Rooney Mara (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo), Meryl Streep (The Iron lady), Michelle Williams (My Week With Marilyn).

Supporting Actor: Kenneth Brannagh (My Week With Marilyn), Jonah Hill (Moneyball), Nick Nolte (Warrior), Christopher Plummer (Beginners), Max Von Sydow (Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close).

Supporting Actress: Berenice Bojo (The Artist), Jessica Chastain (The Help), Melissa McCarthy (Bridesmaids), Janet McTeer (Albert Nobbs), Octavia Spencer (The Help).

Those are the nominations. Let us know what you think.

Who should win each category?


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

SEVEN POUNDS movie review

Seven Pounds

Starring: Will Smith, Rosario Dawson, Woody Harrelson, Michael Ealy.

Running time: 123 minutes

Year: 2008

Directed By: Gabriele Muccino.

Written By: Grant Nieporte

                                                             Seven Pounds trailer

When this film was released many compared it to the previous film starring Smith and directed by Muccino, The Pursuit Of Happiness. I can tell you it is not like that film at all. Yes it is a bit of a tear jerker and yes Smith perhaps does play the same kind of role, but the themes and issues of Seven Pounds are completely different. This film is about guilt and how one man shows his way of erasing the guilt that is eating away at him from the inside, and how he must alter himself when obstacles get in the way of his plan.

The film centres around the life of Ben Thomas (Smith), an IRS agent who is with holding a secret. A secret that is slowly unravelling as Ben meets seven complete strangers throughout the beginning of the film. With erratic behaviour, he seems to test each character into seeing if they are a genuine good person. Once he is convinced they are the wheels of his plan are set into motion, until he begins to spend more time with one of the strangers, Emily Poza (Dawson), a woman suffering a heart condition. He begins to fall for her and the questions arise as of whether or not he continues with his plan for the sake of this woman.

The big reveal is good. Some people will guess the secret and the plan before it is revealed but that doesn't make it have less of an impact. It is very emotional. It is a good reveal at the same time as being sad and a very good way to bring the intertwining relationships, characters and secrets together. It will probably bring a tear to your eye. Not saying I cried but some people will. I swear I didn't cry!

Smith is very good in the lead role. He manages to bring a range of emotions to his character and you utterly believe him when he cries, screams or just remains totally silent. He plays the character awkwardly and it makes you feel awkward to watch but it keeps you away from his secrets and makes you want to know more about him. His performance does pull at the heart strings but it is his relationship with Dawson that really is a tear jerker. As they slowly fall for each other the stakes raise, with her closer to death and him re-considering his perfect plan. The chemistry between the two seems real and their performances really bring the sadness out in this film.

However this area of the plot is where the film really slows down. We start seeing Thomas tracking down his targets and treating them with little respect, even smashing ones head into a window, but when he meets Emily we seem to sidetrack and spend a lot of the time focusing on them two developing into a relationship. I began to forget the entire beginning of the film and that he was actually on some kind of secret mission. I suppose he is feeling like this within himself and that is why we are left to feel like this as well, I just didn't think it worked and found myself wanting the plot to go back to the same pace it had at the beginning. The film is just over two hours and perhaps they could have cut twenty minutes of this part from the film.

Despite slowly beginning to fade out of the movie the ending drew me straight back in. The final act is sad and threads the entire plan together nicely and we are brought back to the same tone as we were experiencing at the beginning of the film. I was back to thoroughly enjoying it again.
Smith really is great in this film and I was drawn into character well. His relationship with Dawson is believable and develops nicely. The overall plot and narrative of the film is intriguing, especially with the slow unravel of Smith's secret mission. Other than a mid second act lull this is a good film that I recommend to all.

3.5 / 5

Next film to review: U TURN

My problem with the Oscars!

The Oscar nominations are due out later today and of course many films, actors, directors have been rumoured to be nominated or even win. I enjoy the Oscars but the problem I have with them is that it seems very political. For starters War Horse WILL be nominated and it isn't because it is an overly brilliant film, it is because it is a war film directed by Mr Spielberg. If Spielberg makes a film that is released at this time of year and it involves the war he WILL be nominated.

Scorcese is another one. Don't get me wrong I admire his work but he WILL be nominated as he has made something out of the ordinary in Hugo. It seems to be the same people every year and also seems to be the same types of films that win it.

I don't want to stipulate too much about what is going to be nominated as we won't know till later today and I may be completely wrong, but the predictions are all your typical Oscar film.

Drive isn't rumoured to be nominated! Nor is Ryan Gosling when he was in three films this year and he was ace in Drive. Gary Oldman isn't even rumoured for a nomination and he was brilliant in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. As a matter of fact the film isn't even a prediction.

I personally feel Andy Serkis deserves at least a nomination for his work on Rise of the Planet of the Apes. I watched the special features of the Blu-Ray and his performance in the motion capture was unbelievably ape like. He was brilliant. But don't be silly we can't have a man playing an ape be nominated for such a prestigious award.

This is my problem with the Oscars. Like most awards they seem very political and it means smaller movies that were just as brilliant won't have a chance of winning. However. don't get me wrong, some of the nominations are fully deserved.

Rumours are:

BEST PICTURE: War Horse, The Help, The Artist, Moneyball, Tree of Life, Hugo, The Descendants.

BEST ACTOR: Clooney (The Descendants), DiCaprio (J. Edgar), Fassbender (Shame), Pitt (Moneyball).

BEST ACTRESS: Streep (The Iron Lady), Swinton (We Need To Talk About Kevin), Davis (The Help).

SUPPORTING ACTOR: Brookes (Drive), Nolte (Warrior), Hill (Moneyball), Plummer (Beginners).

SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Chastain (The Help), Spencer (The Help), Woodley (The Descendants).

BEST DIRECTOR: Allen (Midnight In Paris), Malick (The Tree of Life), Scorcese (Hugo), Hazanavicious (The Artist).

Find out the nominations tomorrow.

Monday, January 23, 2012

J. EDGAR - Leo makes this drab film slightly better. Another disappointing product from Eastwood.

I am a massive fan of Mr DiCaprio. So much so that I am very biased towards his work and i will see a film he is in even if I am only slightly interested in the premise of the story. J. Edgar was one of these stories. I thought with Eastwood directing DiCaprio could only produce brilliance but then I looked back at his last film, Hereafter, and thought perhaps it could be a car crash.

The reviews for it weren't great but we decided to go see it anyway as it was starring that man Leo, but other than him the film is dull and plods. The first 45 minutes is boring, the middle half hour is a little more intriguing with the introduction of Armie Hammer, and the ending just drags on and on until it finally ends. I was hoping for something pretty good with Eastwood and DiCaprio but just like Hereafter I was fairly disappointed.

The acting is solid that is fair to say, but there isn't much story other than him dictating his memoirs and we keep flashing back in time with him. It was The Iron Lady all over again, a film that didn't really work as it kept jumping back and forth in time and glossed over any pivotal decisions the powerful figures made.

I preferred this to The Iron Lady, but my girlfriend did not. In fact she even fell asleep half way through. Not good for a movie that is putting its viewers to sleep. I have to say I was utterly disappointed with Eastwood yet again. I will not be rushing out to see his films again. I will do DiCaprio though as he works well with what he is given and I also think Armie Hammer is very good as his partner/lover/friend, whatever you want to call him.

It's a shame to say it but other than a couple of decent performances, this is a film best avoided.

Pros: DiCaprio still maintaining his great acting skills under layers of prosthetic, despite them looking a little plastic.

Cons: The story in general, and the final five minutes where we here the same piece of typical, cheesy, Eastwood-esque music that drove me out my mind.

4.5 / 10

2012 so far:

1. Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol     7 / 10
2. J. Edgar     4.5 / 10
3. The Iron Lady     4.5 / 10

Friday, January 20, 2012

In Cinema's This Weekend: Fassbender brought to his knees.

This week there are 6 new films to be released in cinemas across the UK. Have a read of what they are and see which suits your fancy. Head out and see it and let us know what you think.

1. First we have the film where we will witness Michael Fassbender and Channing Tatum both getting their asses kicked in HAYWIRE, where a betrayed CIA agent decides to take revenge on her bosses who set her up. Also starring Gina Carano, Ewen McGregor and Michael Angarano. Fancy this?

2. We also get another sequel to the over run vampires vs werewolves sage. No not twilight but UNDERWORLD: AWAKENING. In this one we see the vampires and lycans (werewolves) fight against human kind when they threaten their existence. The only thing that gets me up for this is Kate Beckinsale but other than that nothing else. Also starring Michael Ealy, India Eisley and Stephen Rea. Like a werewolf battle that isn't Twilight?

3. Leonardo Di Caprio comes back to the big screen and this time is directed by Clint Eastwood. Award winning partnership? Let's hope so. This film is J. EDGAR which is the story of the founder of the FBI, J. Edgar Hoover. Looking at his uprising to law enforcer and how his secrets destroyed his image. Also starring Armie Hammer from The Social Network, Naomi Watts and Josh Hamilton. Another biopic wet the whistle?

4. Another typical comedy which pits an incompetent man in a position which he is not best suited and everything goes wrong. This time it is Jonah Hill in THE SITTER. He plays a student on suspension who has to babysit the kids next door and all goes horribly wrong. Also starring Ari Graynor, Sam Rockwell and Max Records. Not bored of this style of comedy?

5. Ralph Fiennes makes his directorial debut in Rome epic CORIOLANUS. Fiennes not only directs but also stars alongside Gerard Butler in a film about two sworn enemies joining forces to take revenge on Rome for banishing them. Sounds like it could be either up for awards or forgotten like Troy. Also starring Brian Cox and Lubna Azabal. Fancy an epic?

6. Finally we finish with a film directed by Madonna. Yes that is right Madonna!! Does this put you off or intrigue you? The film is W.E. and is about the romantic connections between two couples, both ion an era where their relationships will be frowned upon by their families and the public. One of these couples is King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson. Starring Abbie Cornish, James D'Arcy, Andrea Riseborough and Oscar Isaac. Madonna get you excited?

So there you go, a lot of films out this week. Fassbender being battered, Beckinsale in lycra, Di Caprio back on the screen, an incompetent Hill, an epic from Fiennes and Madonna's directorial debut. What will you see?

I will be heading to see one this weekend but will let you know on Monday and tell you what I thought of it. If I'm honest J. EDGAR is swaying it for me.

Give us a comment.


Thursday, January 19, 2012

T-FORCE movie review


Starring: Jack Scalia, Evan Lurie, Erin Gray, Bobby Johnston.

Running time: 95 minutes

Year: 1994

Directed By: Richard Pepin

Written By: Joe Hart & Lenore Kletter

Lately I have been renting some relatively unknown B movies due to the fact that some of them star actors who have managed to break into A movies out today. I am also intrigued to see what can be done on a small budget and above all I feel it deserves the watch that a Hollywood blockbuster also deserves. I have to say though that after watching this film I have decided that B movies are an absolute no-no.

This monstrosity of a movie is called T-Force standing for Terminal Force, which is a group of cyber naughts (not robots) that look completely human and work for the LAPD. They are sent in on dangerous missions when it is unsafe for humans. The story opens when a skyscraper is taken under siege by a man who demands some prisoners are released. When the hijacker proves that he isn't afraid to throw his weight around, the police send in the T-Force with orders to kill the kidnappers. These orders however are bought into question when one cyber naught kills the lead terrorist at the expense of six hostages, something the Police Chief and Mayor are extremely unhappy about and decide to have the T-Force programme terminated.

When the cyber naughts are bought in to be deconstructed, they turn on their maker, demanding that their 'self-preservation' takes priority. I put 'self-preservation' in quote mark as it has to be word of the film as one character must say it a hundred times in ten minutes. That's ten times a minute. That's once every six seconds!! It is so annoying.

Right to carry on, three of the four cyber naughts (another word completely over used) go on a rampage to defend themselves, one however remains behind believing that he should obey orders. He has human individuality apparently. As he is willing to track down his fellow T-Force he is partnered with a man who hates robots!! Shock, didn't see that one coming. They then set off to find and destroy the rogue 'cyber naughts'. Lost interest in a plot that has been done so many times yet? I have.

What we actually get here is a film that rips off any Hollywood film that was made just prior to this was. We start off with Die Hard (skyscraper being taken hostage), moving on to Die Hard 2 (demanding prisoners are released), to The Terminator (a carbon copy of the police station massacre), then moves on to a dodgy porn segment (typical porn music played over the top of a male and female robot stripping each other!!) and then the finale is just like Mad Max, the vehicles are identical. Seriously is there no originality out there?

The acting also doesn't help the film as it is seriously dreadful. The dialogue is corny, cheesy and any other word you can think of that describes lame and tacky. The action scenes seem  very set up with explosions just happening anywhere and everywhere. We get cyber naughts that can't shoot the lead cop for love nor money but can take out five men in five shots and robots that seem to be as human as anyone else other than the fact that they can strip off their skin and show their robotic hand (and yes one of them does give the finger!). One of the best bits is when a terrorist points a rocket launcher at a police car and the policeman jumps inside it to protect himself! What is that all about?

You know I wasted an hour and a half on this movie and now I feel like I am wasting my time in writing a review for it, so I will leave you with this one comment, do not watch this movie it is dog s***!

0.5 / 5


Next film I'll be reviewing: SEVEN POUNDS

To start the New Year!!

This year is going to be pretty big for movies!! Lots of ace reboots, sequels, prequels, remakes and original ideas all coming to the screen soon. It's a shame the New Year has started off quite slow then. I've already been to the cinema twice, one to see a film released last year and the other which was disappointing to say the least.

The first week of the year I went to see:

Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol

I have to say this was quite a surprise and actually pretty good. Starring Tom Cruise again but this time he lets his team take part in as many stunts as himself. The film needs to be watched for the set pieces alone. Breaking into the Kremlin is a great scene but an even better one is the climb on the outside of the tallest building in the world. Trust me the whole sequence is brilliant, definitely worth watch for that.

The film does slow down towards the end and found myself losing a bit of interest but once again the final scene is another good fight in a moving car park. The action scenes are great but only really see it for that, don't expect something deep thinking. Cruise is his usual self but the rest of the cast aren't great and just seem to slip into the film without really shining.

Pros: Action scenes, especially the whole sequence in Dubai.

Cons: Lack of character development for Jeremy Renner and Michael Nvquist.

7 / 10

I've also been to see:

The Iron Lady

This was utterly disappointing. The film bases itself mainly on Margret Thatcher's mental state at the moment and glosses over any of the famous, historical or important decisions she made during her role in politics. I thought the film would be controversial and I never really wanted to see it as I am aware she was not loved by everyone during her reign. I don't know too much about her as she was before my time but I am aware of some of her choices and that she is named 'Margret Thatcher the milk snatcher', after removing milk from schools. This wasn't even mentioned but hinted at.

The film didn't make me like the woman and actually made me dislike her. The only sympathy she received was when she was imagining her dead husband. Maybe that is why they presented her mainly in the present to gain sympathy from the people who opposed her. Also the supporting cast, Richard E Grant in particular is seen three times. What a waste of talent. I have to say this entire film is, it is only half decent because of Streep.

Pros: Meryl Streep doesn't just act as Thatcher, she becomes her.

Cons: The glossing over of all pivotal moments during her career.

4.5 / 10

So far for 2012 then my favourite films seen in cinema are:

1. Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol          7/10
2. The Iron Lady                                          4.5/10

Of course there will be many more to follow.


Seen these film? What you think?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Lucky Number Slevin

Starring: Josh Hartnett, Ben Kingsley, Morgan Freeman, Lucy Liu.

Running time: 110 minutes

Year: 2006

Directed By: Paul McGuigan

Written By: Jason Smilovic

The title of this film had put me off seeing it, also the fact that Josh Hartnett is the lead didn't do it much favours. I don't have much against the guy but he seems to make every character he plays turn into Josh Hartnett and that is why it seems that he brings out a movie every few years or so. Saying that, once this film got going he had drawn me into his character rather well and I actually believed I was watching a guy with the weirdest name, Slevin and not Josh Hartnett.

The film is based around mistake identity. Slevin has come into town after losing his job, flat and girlfriend all in one day. He has come to New York to stay with his friend Nick Fisher, such a good friend that when he arrives he isn't there and still hasn't returned the following morning, leaving Slevin to make himself at home. Slevin then meets Nick's neighbour Lindsey (Liu), who instantly falls for Slevin's charm, and I'm sure manhood considering she gets a complete eyeful with him only wearing a bath towel. Moments after she leaves another knock at the door produces two heavies, both of whom work for the Boss (Freeman) and have orders to bring in Nick Fisher. Despite not being Fisher, Slevin has no way of proving otherwise and is dragged in front of the Boss who is demanding the ninety-six thousand that he/Fisher owes him, or kill his arch nemesis, the Rabi (Kingsley)'s son to wipe off his debt. Slevin leaves to ponder and almost instantly is dragged in front of the Rabi, who also believes he is Nick Fisher. Nick Fisher happens to owe the Rabi thirty three thousand and Slevin has forty eight hours to pay up. What to do next?

The narrative is very jumpy and the story twists and turns throughout and you find yourself guessing and then second guessing what is going to happen to this poor guy, who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. He must somehow come up with a plan to worm his way out as he is no killer and has no money to his name. I won't let you in on anymore as you won't know which way this film is going and it will have you confused until the very end, where every little seed of detail falls into place, and I have to say it works bloody well.

The cast is full of A-List stars and not one of them disappoints. As well as the leads we are treated to a bit of Bruce Willis and Stanley Tucci, both of whom are very good in their roles. It isn't only the plot that takes surprising turns, it is also each character, all of which seem to have a trick up their sleeve at some point and all the actors present their tricks with surprise and intrigue. It is a thinker and if you are not really watching you will become confused.

It isn't a crime thriller, more of a dark comedy. The first half is very quirky and the dialogue is sharp and snappy and some of the best pieces of dialogue I've heard in a while, all delivered with great punch from each actor, including Hartnett. It was a film that had me thinking but also had me laughing. What more can you ask for?

One minor fault I have with it however is the lack of direction shown in a few very poor shots. There are also a few jump cuts which make very little sense and there wasn't much point of them. At times they make you notice several continuity problems and to be fair they needn't have done it. So for me the choice of shots and some of the editing does let it down but the acting, story and dialogue do make up for that. The first half is quirky, showing some poor filmmaking and the second half becomes dark, a complete change of tone, and shows some great filmmaking, especially in the editing. It is like two different films and both were very good.
Let it all sink in and laugh along and I tell you, you won't be disappointed.

4 / 5  


Next film I'll be reviewing: T-FORCE


The Great Dictator

Starring: Charlie Chaplin, Paulette Goddard, Jack Oakie, Reginald Gardiner.

Running time: 125 minutes

Year: 1940

Directed by: Charlie Chaplin

Written by: Charlie Chaplin

In his time, Chaplin has made some great films. Compared to lacklustre comedy of today it is still a masterpiece, despite still being completely out there. His comedy is not for everyone and at times is very subjective, especially with it being repeated from film to film, however with The Great Dictator we find something completely different, this is a comedy but one with huge themes and a giant message.
The film is based around the beginning of the Second World War and pokes fun at the tyrant that is Adolf Hitler, before he had even become his most evil. The film brandishes him for all of his sins before he has even committed them. After doing a little research, some believed that this film could have been the tipping point for Hitler himself!

We start off following Chaplin during the First World War, where he accidentally saves a man's life on the eve of its end. This man ends up rising high in the new government where as Chaplin suffers memory loss from his exploits during this war and ends up being hospitalised. When he finally returns to his home in the Ghetto, where he is a barber, he sees that a new Dictator has taken over and his town is being terrorised by Storm Troopers. This new Dictator is Henkel, a portrayal of Hitler himself, also played by Chaplin. He is the leader of Tomania and is deciding whether to issue war or a truce against fellow Dictator Napaloni, leader of Bacteria. If this isn't taking the mick I don't know what is.

In the Ghetto the Barber , on several occasions, attacks the Storm Troopers for racially abusing him as a Jew, and upon capture is save by the man he saved years before in the war. The Barber is then deemed untouchable and continues his life whilst wooing the woman next door. However his luck changes when the man he saved is outcast as a traitor and the Storm Troopers cease their chance to get their own back on the Barber, leaving him in a Concentration Camp.

The film is hard to believe considering it came out before many of Hitler's war crimes took place, especially with on watching you see how true all this seemed to become. At the time the film was tarnished as unwittingly brandishing the Jews. Little did Chaplin know that in hindsight he was right on the money.

On reading this you will think the film is very unlike Chaplin and to be fair it is, but we are still treated to the very same Chaplinesque moments, all which break the tension when it is needed. At one point Henkel shoots a guard dead before walking off and tripping up his own feet. You get his evil brandished with his stupidity. However Henkel is portrayed in a way that you never sympathise with him and in fact always hate him. You laugh at him, not with him and I can only imagine how hard that must have been to do at the time of this film. In hindsight we can happily laugh at the man that attempted to destroy the majority of the planet but back then, on the eve of the beginning, this must have been seen as a step too far.

It is deep considering it is Chaplin and upon watching I found myself enjoying it but not for all the typical Chaplin reasons. Yes it made me laugh but it is nowhere near as funny as some of his previous work. On the other hand there is a much deeper plot and narrative and ultimately a real meaningful message. The only thing that keeps this in keeping with previous Chaplin is the horrible continuity problems, but I'm starting to expect that from old films. It's just something though I can't allow my eye to miss.

It is a decent film and you will be engaged,  however you will find yourself at times thinking that the comedy elements are completely out of place, especially when it is not seen in hindsight by Chaplin himself. Not one of Chaplin's best but I'm sure the film he will be most remembered for. His final speech, spoken out of character by Chaplin himself, is a message to all those out there during the war and does put a lot of their pains into perspective.

3 / 5


Next film I'll be reviewing: LUCKY NUMBER SLEVIN