Wednesday, February 29, 2012

QUESTION: What is Denzel Washington's best film?

Tying in with Denzel Washington's latest film Safe House, I thought I'd put forward some choices for his best film. What do you guys think is his best film? I've put five up that I think are strong contenders but of course there are other good ones out there. Let us know what you think.

1. AMERICAN GANGSTER - Here he plays Frank Lucas who is a small time crook who grows into a big time gangster, importing drugs into the country from the far east.

2. INSIDE MAN - Playing a cop in this one where he is placed in charge of negotiating for hostages being held during a bank robbery. He looks very different in this film.

3. MAN ON FIRE - The mean Creasy is set loose here. A former alcoholic who is in charge of protecting a young girl, but when she goes missing he goes after revenge and all hell breaks loose.

4. TRAINING DAY - Alonzo Harris won Denzel a well deserved Oscar. In this he is a corrupt cop who is teaching his new partner his way of policing.

5. PHILADELPHIA - In Philadelphia he plays a homophobic lawyer who is put in charge of a law suit filed against a company for firing a man with aids.

There are 5 contenders but what is his best film? And what is his best performance?

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

New on DVD this week: The Three Musketeers

2 main stream releases this week. One which I haven't seen and haven't really had much interest in, and one which I was very interested in and then was a little disappointed with. Have a look what they are and see what you think of them.

THE THREE MUSKETEERS - A hot headed D'Artagnan teams up with the down on their luck Musketeers to defeat a villain attempting to seize the French throne and beginning another war.

The Three Musketeers trailer

IN TIME - Time is currency in this hi-tech thriller. Justin Timberlake is poor so ultimately will die young so must steal from the rich who have the potential to become immortal. Robin Hood meets Sci-Fi.

In Time trailer

Monday, February 27, 2012

SAFE HOUSE - You'll need your ear plugs for this one!

This is the first time in a few weeks that we have been to see a film that was actually released on that weekend. I'll be honest I was quite intrigued to see Safe House. One because it looked like it had mindless action, which is always great for a Saturday night cinema trip. Two  because most films that Mr Denzel Washington stars in is generally pretty good. This film is one of these two things, and if you read the blurb I wrote at the top you will know which one.

It is a completely loud, over the top action fest. This isn't a bad thing but it can be debated as to whether it is a particularly good thing. The film is fun. It is mind less. Do not see this film if you are expecting anything with any real depth or character background. It is a very typical corruption, rogue agent picture and you will have guessed the outcome right at the beginning, especially if you are a keen movie goer. I recommend you only see this movie if you want to be entertained by action.

If I'm honest I believe Ryan Reynolds outshone Mr Washington here. You can really see and feel confusion and sadness in Ryan's face. Denzel on the other hand starts very promising. The trailers show him as a calm, cool villain with an afro and a goattee, and at this point he is good, however halfway through he has to change his identity, obviously being on the run, and all of a sudden he has changed from Tobin Frost to Denzel Washington. His character seemed to lose a lot of intrigue and I didn't care for him much after that. Vera Farmiga's character is pointless and I have no idea why she even bothered to take the role, and also Brendan Gleeson and Sam Shepherd are very underused. Shame really for such good actors.

The action in the film is great. There is a hell of a lot of it, despite most of it not making any sense mind you, and it is shot fairly well. The shaky camera is distracting in the talking scenes but in the action scenes it puts you right in the frame. The action is very loud and very frantic. My problem with the action though is that it wasn't very believable. If they were trying to take out a target I couldn't imagine them just firing off loads of rounds at random people and instead would be trying to do it in a subtle way to not draw attention, but here we have people armed with machine guns blowing the hell out of a poor shanty town on the outskirts of Johannesburg. I don't understand how six people turn up with huge guns to kill one person. It was all very set up for entertainment only, and the script really fell flat on the top acting talent that was on show.

I was entertained by this film but not for it being a good film. It isn't one I would make a point of seeing again but it was one that I enjoyed for two hours. It does become very silly with lots of guns ablazing and it is as a woman shouted out after laughing during an intense scene 'ridiculous', but hey at least some of the chases will keep you entertained.

Pros: The action scenes are fast and frantic and Ryan Reynolds puts in a shift.

Cons: Top class actors wasted on pointless characters and a fairly predictable story.

                                                                                                     6 / 10

Films of 2012 so far:

1. Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol     7 / 10
2. The Grey     7 / 10
3. Safe House     6 /10
4. Man On A Ledge     5 / 10
5. J. Edgar     4.5 / 10
6. The Iron Lady     4.5 / 10
7. Shame     4 / 10
8. Chronicle     4 / 10

Friday, February 24, 2012

TWILIGHT movie review


Starring: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Billy Burke, Sarah Clarke.

Running time: 122 minutes

Year: 2008

Directed By: Catherine Hardwicke.

Written By: Melissa Rosenberg.

Everyone has a different take on movies. Some people will think one film is miles better than what someone else thinks of it. Twilight however seems to fall into a different category all together, where most will despise it and anyone female and in their teenage years will absolutely love it. A teenage girl could watch a classic love story, such as Casablanca and find it utterly boring, but with Twilight they are enthralled beyond belief. Now is that the story or the actors? I know the answer to this but it is one hundred percent the wrong choice. The story is by far better than the actors.

This film isn't a great film by any means but the story is slightly intriguing. Bella (Stewart) has moved to her Father's house in a place called Forks, the wettest place on the continent of the U.S. On her first day at her new school she becomes curious towards the pale faced, good looking weirdo in Edward Cullen (Pattinson). From there an infatuation starts from both parties. Throughout the opening half an hour we get lots of smouldering looks in the other ones direction.

As the infatuation continues, Edward beings to warn Bella that he is dangerous and that she should stay well away, but she has already began to fall in love with him and refuses to leave him alone. After spending long periods with each other, Edward feels enough trust to let her into his little secret: he is in fact a vampire. The signs were already in place, he is ghostly white, has shiny eyes and is cold to touch, however sunlight doesn't seem to harm him here and instead makes him glisten like diamonds, which is slightly weird considering people believe vampires to be burnt in sun light. Obviously this is a different type of vampire.

Edward explains that his family are 'vegetarians' and don't eat humans but other vampires out there do, so she must be aware of what she is getting herself into. Her acceptance into his life quickly turns to regret though when a dangerous trio of vampires smell her scent and one makes it his challenge to have her, causing Edward to do all he can to save her.

The story is quite interesting. We usually see vampires as evil creatures and here we get a different take on it, although he does state that in fact he is the 'bad guy'. It is different to see a vampires different kind of struggle. What happens if they fall in love with the creature they intend to eat? It is kind of a mix of Romeo and Juliet with bestiality really. Coming away from something not in tone with the film, it is good to see a different side to a creature we are supposed to be frightened of and how love allows someone to take the risk of getting into a relationship with a vampire. The story is nice but now to the rest.

The dialogue is poor. At times it is worse than poor. It is as if it is lifted straight from a source which is known to be expositional. Film is supposed to be visual and at times the dialogue explains too much. It also can become a little dull where we spend a lot of the time listening to Bella and Edward talking. The dialogue at the beginning of their relationship is slightly laughable and makes you wonder how they even fell for each other. At times as well the film seems to be very set up, like the line of dialogue is telling us that in a minute something is going to happen. In the part of the film when complications should arrive we get Edward look in a direction and state, 'there is a complication'. This is just cringe worthy. It tells us too much. The acting as well is not great. Stewart is possibly better than Pattinson here but it is obvious they were cast on their looks and suitability together as opposed to their acting abilities. They do look good together but it isn't really enough to believe the characters.

To be fair the film isn't the worst. Many completely slate it, which I can understand why, but I don't think it is quite that bad. I did enjoy parts of it, mainly the story side, but some of the filmmaking and acting let it down. By all accounts this is the best one of the entire saga and if that is the case they can only get worse from here.

2.5 / 5


Next film to review: ASSASSINATION GAMES

In Cinemas This Weekend: A Safe House that isn't very safe!!

There are 5 new cinema releases out this week. Some very typical and 'we've seen them all before' films, and a couple which I can imagine will get overlooked. It is good to see however that one of them is packed with legendary British stars. Does that make it worth a watch? Take a look at the films and see what you will view this weekend.

1. Ryan Reynolds is left in charge of Denzel Washington's rogue CIA Agent in SAFE HOUSE. When the safe house is attacked Reynolds must stick to protocol and protect Washington at all costs. Expect loud explosions, car chases and a charming villain in Washington. Also starring: Robert Patrick & Vera Farmiga. Got to be fun, doesn't it?

2. A typical chick flick attempting action in ONE FOR THE MONEY. Katherine Heigl, of Knocked Up, becomes employed at a bail-bond business, where her first assignment puts her on a man from a romantic past. Have we seen all this before with Jennifer Aniston? Also starring: Jason O'Mara, Daniel Sunjata & John Leguizamo. Will this be one for the money? Ooops.

3. A crime drama next starring Woody Harrelson as a cop in 1999, who works to take care of his family, and struggles for his own survival. In RAMPART Harrelson is a corrupt cop from the past struggling to fit in with a new generation of coppers. Also starring: Ben Foster, Sigourney Weaver & Jon Bernthal. Fancy a good crime drama?

4. THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL is the film starring several members of the older generation of British talent. The film sees Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Maggie Smith and Tom Wilkinson, plus many others, taking an opportunity in India at an exotic retirement home, only to get there and see that it isn't quite what the brochure had advertised. Some great acting talent to cheer you up?

5. Finally we have RED DOG, based on a true story of the red dog who united a local community whilst roaming the Australian outback in search for it's master. Starring:Josh Lucas, Rachael Taylor, Keisha Castle-Hughes & Noah Taylor. Follow a journey of a loved animal?

So there you have it a few films out this week. Any there that suit your fancy? Safe House is top of the Box Office in the U.S at the moment, could that make it the one to view this week?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

NEWS - Safe House, The Avengers and Die Hard 5

There hasn't been any stand out news for this week, but a couple of things have sprung out at me each time I have done a little research.

Safe House Tops Box Office Chart

This may seem like a small piece of news but after the average reviews it has been recieving, it is good to see that it has emerged as the one to beat, over taking The Vow into top spot. Denzel Washington obviously still has the pulling power and I'm pretty sure Mr Ryan Reynolds had a big part to play in that aswell.

Another thing that was interesting in the U.S Box Office was that Ghost Rider 2 has horribly plummeted down the charts, which doesn't surprise me considering the poor reception any Nicolas Cage film seems to receive at the moment. Read up tomorrow where I will be discussing this weeks releases and Safe House is one of them.

New Images For The Avengers

I thought this new image may be good to show you, seeing as The Avengers is a film highly anticipated by audiences world wide. I'm still not sure whether or not I am overly excited considering it seems like they will be trying to cram too much into a single movie. Hopefully Joss Whedon can pull it off and bring through something all comic book fans will love.

The image shows Captain America (Chris Evans), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) heading off to take care of business. Lets hope it is something big and explosive.

Die Hard 5 Gets A New Lead

Have no fear Die Hard fans, Bruce Willis will be returning, however in a new twist we will see his son, who is just as much an adrenaline action junky as his Father himself. Cast in the role is Jai Courtney, best known for TV drama Spartacus: Blood and Sand. Do we need another Die Hard? Was number 4 enough to tell us to not retread on the franchise? Obviously not. Let's pray they change the title though: it is going to be called A Good Day To Die Hard!!! Oh Christ.

                                                This picture is from the actors screen test this week.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

BACK TO THE FUTURE movie review

Back To The Future

Starring: Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Crispin Glover.

Running time: 116 minutes

Year: 1985

Directed By: Robert Zemeckis.

Written By: Robert Zemeckis & Bob Gale.

Back To The Future was a film I grew up on. It is one of those that I always remember watching as a child and one that never failed to entertain me. I was completely shocked however when I watched it recently and couldn't remember most of it. That being said I was right in remembering one thing, it is a damn great film.

This is one of the only roles I really remember Michael J. Fox doing. Here he play Marty McFly, an iconic name to many out there today. He is a typical teenager, running late for school, eyeing up the girls and hating his family life. His father is a wimp, who is bullied by his boss, Biff and his mother is an alcoholic. His siblings also hold down poor jobs and aren't particularly lookers. Due to this Marty chooses to spend his time with Doc (Lloyd), a mad scientist who is planning an experiment at a shopping mall car park in the middle of the night and needs Marty's help to film it. The experiment is to do with Doc's latest invention, a time travelling DeLorean, much to Marty's shock and amusement. However during the experiment a group of Libyan terrorists barge in and shoot Doc for stealing their plutonium. Marty jumps into the DeLorean and drives at speed to get away but ends up blasting thirty years into the past.

Once in the past Marty comes across his parents, and accidentally prevents them from meeting, meaning his own existence would eventually cease to exist. He enables the help of the younger Doc who sets out on finding a way to get Marty back to the future whilst he must find a way to make his parents meet and have that all important first kiss.

The premise is fairly simple but has a lot of depth, the writing is just brilliant. The film drops in hints all over of everything that is going to happen. The opening ten minutes alone references the past constantly and ultimately sets us up for what is about to happen. Everything is sewn together at the end also and nothing is left loose, except for of course the very end but you will see for yourselves. All tiny plot lines are relevant and everything that is said has huge relevance, even the repetition of dialogue which mimics the characters in different eras of their lives. The dialogue at times is great and there is a fantastic reference to Star Wars and Star Trek. The writing, and the direction are a large reason to the great success of the film.

The acting is also a big reason. Fox is great as the teenager we all will on to win. He is a character we can all relate to and all want to be. Right from the offset we want Marty McFly to succeed. Christopher Lloyd is also great, it is as if the role was specifically designed for him. He plays the crazy scientist with ease and he is a loveable character despite his tendencies to do the wrong thing. Marty's parents (Thompson and Glover) are excellent, Glover maybe more so. They both portray the elder parents and the teenage versions of themselves as if they are the age of the role they are playing. In fact they are the same age as Fox and were cast based around the story in the past and made up for the story in the future. Glover is just brilliant as the bumbling nerd and the hair style just works on Glover and Glover alone. We also get a bully in Biff, played by Thomas F. Wilson, who is also so pivotal. The acting for Biff is also top drawer and you really do hate him.

The film has everything; humour, action, family fun, love, you name it, it has got it: even the creepy thunder storm and lightning strike. It will please any sort of movie fan whether it be the typical movie buff or the guy who only tunes in every now and again. It is a film not to be missed.

My slight negative about it though is the relationship between Doc and Marty within the past. In the present we really believe they are friends but they don't spend too much screen time together in the past and I didn't quite believe that they were going to 'miss' each other like they said they would. I would possibly have liked to have seen a few more minutes of them two together. Maybe that is just me but it is my only negative with the film.

I understand that this will probably make little sense. The referencing to past, present and future within this review is confusing. One thing I have thought about though is this: surely if you are watching the film Marty is always in the present? If there is a continuing time line on a constant loop will you ever be in the past or future? Wouldn't you just always be in your present? Just one to think about but do it before or after the film as it is one you just need to kick back with and enjoy.

4.5 / 5


Next film to review: TWILIGHT  

QUESTION: What is the best hand held camera movie?

With the release of Chronicle and the soon to be released The Devil Inside Me, I want to know what the best movie is that is shot on a hand held camera or camcorder. I've listed some below to choose from but also let us know if your favourite isn't on there. So what is your favourite hand held camera movie?

CLOVERFIELD - A giant godzilla like monster wrecks havoc on New York, interrupting a leaving party that was being filmed on a hand held camera.

PARANORMAL ACTIVITY - A camcorder set up in a house to explain spooky goings on at night.

QUARANTINE - A reporter and cameraman record a mystery virus contaminating people inside a block of flats. The american version of REC.

REC - Same as above but the original Spanish version.

THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT - Three students document their venture in the words on a search for the Blair Witch. Is she real?

                                                                                                              What do you think?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

THE INTERNATIONAL - movie review

The International

Starring: Clive Owen, Naomi Watts, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Ulrich Thomsen.

Running time: 118 minutes

Year: 2009

Directed By: Tom Tykwer.

Written By: Eric Singer.

This is  a conspiracy filled action thriller involving problems with banks and bankers, released in 2009 during the break down of American banks, causing the world wide recession. The film is as dull as what the politics behind the recession really are. I can imagine it involves people sitting in a room talking about things I am really not interested in. Well I don't have to imagine anymore because I have just watched a two hour version of something that is very uninteresting.

Clive Owen is Interpol Agent Louis Salinger, teaming up with District Attorney Eleanor Whitman (Watts). They are investigating the conspiracy involved within the IBBC (International Bank of Business and Credit), headed by Jonas Skarssen (Thomsen). They are selling weapons to countries either side of a potential war in the hope that it will cause conflict and ultimately they can control the debt riding high between the two countries. Control the debt, control the war, control the country. Salinger and Whitman believe that this is going on but must attempt to prove it and find themselves travelling from Berlin to Milan to New York to Istanbul to do it.

The film opens with Salinger's partner being killed during an interview with a potential mole in Berlin. Once he discovers who the meeting was with, Salinger travels to Italy to speak with a politician who is also an weapons manufacturer potentially selling his weaponry to the bank. Once he is killed by an assassin from IBBC, Salinger follows the lead to New York, where he partakes in a giant shoot out inside the Guggenheim Museum (a brilliantly shot piece of cinema). By spying on the assassin he manages to bring in the investigator from the bank, which then leads him to Turkey where he can finally confront the head of the entire organisation, who seems to have no remorse for his actions. This part is very contrived.

A huge problem with the film for me is exactly what I have just explained above. The film jumps around from location to location as if it is the only way to keep the film exciting. They travel but end up sitting in an office talking to one another. By half way through I was bored of all this and wanted something to spring the film into life. Finally we had the bit that I had been waiting for since the trailers. The brilliant shoot out inside the Guggenheim Museum. I'm telling you now this is the only reason to see this movie. The shooting of it is brilliant, the direction and the effects are great and the camera work, spinning like the floors of the museum, makes you dizzy and within the action. This fifteen minute segment is the only good thing about this film and is possibly the reason Clive Owen agreed to do it.

It must be the only reason that he chose to do it because his lack of enthusiasm within the role is obvious. He brings nothing new or exciting to the role and his character has nothing about him. He didn't interest me with no back story or relationships or any real reason for his actions. His lines towards the end also came from a poetry book and became very clich├ęd. He is just a one dimensional character and isn't likeable. Clive Owen may have done the film due to the museum scene, hell I would have done it for that scene, but I don't understand why Naomi Watts agreed to be in this film. Her character is completely underused and only pops up in a few talky scenes, where she brings nothing to the scene at all. She also brings nothing to the character either, as if half way through she realised this film is not good for her and she gave up. The acting and script are poor, and the dialogue is far too expositional at times.

The best bit of the film is that shoot out and I keep referring to it as it is the only thing that I really enjoyed about it. Bullets fly around the spiral floors as each set of shooters run counter clockwise from one another. Blood splatters, glass flies, it really is an entertaining sequence, even more so knowing that it was done on a sound stage, but it has very little relevance to the film. It is as if the writer put this scene in to make sure the film wasn't boring because without it, it really would be. I don't know why it was in the Guggenheim and why it was so overblown as they could have taken each other out silently on route to the museum.

The film just seems very set up. It is obvious actors have been placed and dialogue is used to explain too much. It doesn't flow and doesn't feel like a world we can delve into. I was hoping for a little more especially from the trailers action packed activities. If it wasn't for the Guggenheim this film would be terrible so thank God Tykwer decided to put it in.

1.5 / 5


Next film to review: BACK TO THE FUTURE

New on DVD this week: Warrior

Few movies out to buy and rent this week. I'm sure one will suit your fancy, we've got tension, horror, light hearted action and demons!! Have a look at what they are and have a watch of them. One this week was my film of 2011.

Highly Recommended
WARRIOR - Two brothers enter a mixed martial arts tournament to become the 'World's toughest man', with a $5 million prize at stake. The brothers must fight for the ultimate win but also to rebuild what has become a broken family. My film of 2011.

Warrior trailer

REAL STEEL - Rocky meets Robot Wars where in the future people build robots to compete in boxing fights. Hugh Jackman and his son build one from scrap metal and enter it as the underdog in the 'World's' biggest tournament.

Real Steel trailer

FRIGHT NIGHT - Anton Yelchin believes his new neighbour, Colin Farrell is a vampire after some recent disappearance's in the neighbourhood. Once he is proved right he must take the new neighbour down before he gets to him and his family.

Fright Night trailer

DON'T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK - A haunted house story with Guy Pearce and Katie Holmes moving into a new home with his daughter hearing strange voices there when she tries to sleep. Is the house trying to claim her as it's own?

 Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark trailer

DEMONS NEVER DIE - A group of teenagers forge a pact to kill themselves but when they all begin to die earlier than planned they realise a serial killer is using there plan as a reason to stay detected. Do they run or die?

Demons Never Die trailer

Monday, February 20, 2012

CHRONICLE - Superhero powers = pranks on unsuspecting victims

Due to another week of poor releases at the cinema we went to see a film released a few weeks ago. A film that I had heard so many great remarks about but a film I left the cinema a little cheesed off with. I didn't mind the film, it was alright but my girlfriend on the other hand hated it. I was surprised at how much she despised the film.

Some of her issues I did agree with. Her problem with it was that it was boring. Granted within the opening hour I, at times, was a little bored. The opening hour is about the three school boys finding something hidden in the ground, something that is never explained, and gaining superpowers. They then spend the time of the film pulling pranks on people. Yeah some of them were fun but after a while I just wanted this part to end and the story to move forward.

The story finally moved forward at the hour mark, where one of the boys turns evil due to the bullying he has received from people at school and his abusive father. It also doesn't help that his mother has just died. Here the film gets going as one of the other lads has to stop him from killing people. Police cars fly through the air, the two lads crash through buildings, suddenly I was getting into it, however before you know it it was over!! The film is so short. That's another reason why it is so annoying that so little happens in the opening hour, other than them having a laugh. I wanted the guy to turn evil a little earlier and then see a film of them using their powers to stop one another. I left the cinema not feeling like I had seen a film, I didn't really know what I had seen.

The shaky cam technique does become really annoying, especially when they drag other peoples cameras through the air with them just to justify the use of different cameras angles. I don't know why they didn't just use normal cameras for it. There is also a pointless scene with a woman that video blogs her entire life, it is obvious she is in there so we can see the action from a different angle. It all seems a little too set up on the camera front.

I disliked the opening hour, the start was OK but for me it became a little dull, others I have spoken to though thought the first hour was the best bit. Maybe it is a film which is going to split audiences with which part is the better bit. For me it is the exciting final ten minutes, for others it is the prank filled first hour and for my girlfriend it is none of it!!

Pros: The final ten-fifteen minutes and some of the effects.

Cons: Too short and not enough story development through the short running time.

4 / 10

Films of 2012 so far:

1. Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol     7 / 10
2. The Grey     7 / 10
3. Man On A Ledge     5 / 10
4. J. Edgar     4.5 / 10
5. The Iron Lady     4.5 / 10
6. Shame     4 / 10
7. Chronicle     4 / 10

Friday, February 17, 2012

In Cinemas This Weekend: The surprise nomination for the Oscars

Only 2 films released today. Maybe it due to one of them being the shock nomination at the Oscar's for Best Picture. To me the film doesn't really draw me in so perhaps this is why they are releasing it as one of two this week. Will that make you see it though?

1. The film I am talking about it EXTREMELY LOUD AND INCREDIBLY CLOSE. It is the story of Thomas Horn, who searches New York to find the lock for a mysterious key that his Father left to him just before he died in the 9/11 terror attack. The cast includes Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock as the parents, so their appeal may pull you in. Also starring: Max Von Sydow. Want to explore New York?

2. The second, and other, release of the week is GHOST RIDER: SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE. The unwanted sequel of Ghost Rider, starring Nicolas Cage as the rider whose face turns into a blazing skull. In the sequel he must stop the devil from taking human form and residing on Earth. Also starring: Ciaran Hinds, Idris Elba and Violante Placido. A blazing skull to warm you up?

Only 2 released this week. So far we seem to be receiving very little from the studios and hopefully once the Oscars are over we can begin to look forward to seeing the films we are all anticipating. Until then though take a look at the surprise package of the Oscars.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

NEWS - Director confirmed for Transformers 4.

I'm not sure if the news of this week is good news or horrifically bad news. I am swaying more towards horrifically bad news and nowhere near good news if I am completely honest.

The news of the week is this. Mr All action and no story Michael Bay has signed up for another installment of the Transformers franchise. After the third one I think most were hoping that it would be the end of something that started off with so much promise. The first one is pretty good but the follow ups have been nothing short of poor. Will this be a reboot, a sequel, a piss take? I'm hoping for the latter but I doubt it.

No news on cast has followed but rumour is Jason Statham may be the new lead man. Does that make it more appealing? To be fair I'm sick of giant robots fighting on screen so seeing Statham doing it as well might be a little old hat, unless of course he is fighting the Transformers himself. With the way the franchise turned. Nothing would surprise me.

Please stop making these movies!!!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

MISERY - movie review


Starring: James Caan, Kathy Bates, Richard Farnsworth, Frances Sternhagen.

Running time: 107 minutes

Year: 1990

Directed By: Rob Reiner

Written By: William Goldman

          Misery trailer

Stephen King has written many novels that have made it as feature film productions. Granted some of them are bad, but for every bad one we get a good one. Look at The Shawshank Redemption or The Shining, both brilliant. Misery will have a bad Stephen King adaptation out there because it is one of the good ones, and probably one of the most frightening.

Misery is about an author named Paul Sheldon (Caan). He is famous for his books about the lead heroine Misery Chastain. The only thing is he is bored of her and wants to write more darker and deeper stories. The Misery novel just about to be released, will be his last. He has made sure of this by killing her off at the end of the book. Determined to upgrade his writing credentials, he works on and finishes a new novel up in a secluded cabin where he writes all his novels. On his way to taking the finished novel to his agent he crashes during a freak blizzard. As he lays dying he is rescued by a random woman who happens to find him in the middle of nowhere. When Paul wakes a few days later he finds himself in a strange house with his arm in a sling and his legs boarded together. He then meets his rescuer, Annie Wilkes (Bates), 'his number one fan'.

Annie is a former nurse and begins to nurse him back to health, even giving him criticism on his new book which hasn't been read by anyone but her. She deems his new book as garbage and tells him to stick to his Misery novels. The following day the new Misery novel is released and Annie heads out to buy and read, although when she finishes it and realises her favourite heroine is dead she loses control, blaming Paul for her murder. With Paul unable to walk, he finds himself forced to write the next novel, bringing Misery back to life with the threat of his life if he doesn't. Paul must find a way of getting himself out of this house before Annie's temper becomes worse and worse.

The premise is very simple but it works so well. It does start off quite slow, with Annie's mental state slowly being revealed. It is really the last half an hour where the film really grips you and becomes horrifying. One scene towards the end had me clutching my fists together in pain and one had me yelping out loud. It brings a strange horror to the screen as there are no aliens or monsters, just this woman obsessed. Any of us could be this woman's victim and it is scary.

The acting in the film is brilliant. Caan spends most of his time bed ridden or in a wheel chair but still manages to show pain and fear through his eyes. You will be clutching your legs throughout this film, he is someone you highly sympathise with. Strangely you do with Annie Wilkes, at the start that is. Kathy Bates manages to bring a calmness to the character at the beginning and you genuinely feel she is there to help. Slowly though she begins to turn and Bates manages to show Annie's psychotic behaviour spot on and all sympathy is quickly removed from her. At first she is a disillusioned fan but becomes a psychotic monster. She really is two characters in one, and when she is angry she really is scary. She may seem like someone we all believe we can beat in strength but she is more clever than us and has already beat us to that thought. You will see what I mean at the one scene that had me squirming. I really can't get that part out my mind.

There isn't many negatives in the film. Perhaps the first hour is a little slow, but it is all worth it when the final half kicks in. The beginning shows you her layers slowly unravel and the crazier she begins to become. Bates plays the character with such believability.

It is a very good film and will have you on edge throughout. The tension is filmed brilliantly. I don't think it is the best film to have been made from a Stephen King book, The Shawshank Redemption gets my vote there, but it is definitely one of the better ones.

3.5 / 5


Next film to review: THE INTERNATIONAL

QUESTION: What is the best height-mare movie?

Tell us what you think is the best movie which involves heights. Many films involve heights at some point throughout it but other solely rely on the use of heights to drive the story. Which is the best film that involves height then? I'll give five below but let me know others.

CLIFFHANGER - Sylvester Stallone finds himself dangling off a snowy mountain in search of suitcases full of cash.

JURASSIC PARK - A few times we see Sam Neill and the children up high in the trees. Also that T-Rex is pretty tall.

KING KONG - One giant monkey and a T-Rex fighting! Naomi Watts in King Kong's hand on top of the Empire State Building.

VERTICAL LIMIT - Chris O'Donnell battles the heights of K2 on route to rescue his buried sister.

VERTIGO - James Stewart suffers a serious case of Vertigo as he follows an old friends wife.

What do you think?