Monday, 28 February 2011

Africa United


On paper Africa United doesn’t work: just think about a kids movie where a group of children are travelling across Africa to make it to the World Cup in South Africa. On their way they deal with among other things; HIV, child soldiers and of course, the wilderness of Africa itself. Think how you could turn all of that into a heart-warming tale of going for the dream through impossible odds, all the while trying to keep it funny, tense and child friendly. It’s a balancing act for certain, and in the end, is Africa United accessible enough for its target audience?

To read the rest, click here

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Astro Boy



It’s only good for one thing!

Lover: Taken from IMDB
“Before going to see Astro Boy I decided to read some of the comments that were posted here. I read reviews by some who liked the movie as well as by some who did not like the movie. With an average score of 6.4 I went to see the movie with relatively low expectations although I got the feeling that those who did not like the movie were mostly upset about the movie not being "true" to the original TV series and were having some issues with certain characters reminding them of other characters such as Pinocchio. Well, I did not see the original TV series so I did not care whether or not the movie and the TV series were similar enough. I also did not mind that some of the side kicks may have had some resemblance to characters from other movies. The bottom line is that my 5.5 year old and I loved Astro Boy!”

A correct review, all that matters is that you’re kids love it, my boys have been quoting the line about machine guns in my butt for days after! I’d say the film did its job!

Hater: Taken from IMDB
“One of the few advantages of having a robot child, as opposed to a human one, is that it can process the concept of divorce faster and with less emotional scarring. Fortunately, the little boy in this computer-animated adventure doesn't have to worry about parental separation, because he's dead. When his son Toby (Freddy Highmore) is accidentally killed by a military robot powered by malevolent red energy, Dr. Tenma (Nicholas Cage) re-creates him in a robot form, powered by benevolent blue energy. But when the military becomes interested in his circuitry, Toby must hideout in the old city, where robots participant in gladiatorial games.” Based on the Japanese anime, Astro Boy falls far short of its Asian influence: the character designs are flawed, the voice acting is patchy and the story is unexciting. What's more, uptight North American movie makers didn't even bother selling Astro Boy's used underwear in vending machines.”

Cleary pissed off at the fact it doesn’t stay true to the original, I think it’s safe to say that the people adapting Astro Boy decided to use it as perfect kiddy fare. This means it does away with most of the adult themes to make it easily digestible (not everyone can do it like pixar). I do agree very much with the voice acting criticism though but I’m not too sure what they mean about the underwear comment?

What I thought:
There isn’t much to be said about Astro boy to be honest other that it is simply good fun for kids, my 4 year old went round for days after, wanting to be called Astro boy and saying he had machine guns in his butt. For any parent that’s all you need to know, its in-offensive material even deals with the death of a child and a father replacing him with a robot almost nonchalantly.

However it’s not up there with the Pixars of this world, simply because for adults the comedy might make you giggle but it won’t stay with you, the issues aren’t thick enough for anyone older than 12 to get their teeth into and the voice acting is well below par. Nicholas Cage once again delivers a howler and this time he’s not even on screen. Thank god he did Kick Ass recently as I was losing faith but he does literally sound like he’s phoning this one in!

It’s just a great kid’s film to put it simply.

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Anchorman



Great Odins Raven!

Lover: Taken from IMDB
“My favorite movie ever. Its Will Ferrel up to his usual shenanigans. I laughed the entire way through this movie, so much that I had to see it a second time to catch all of the jokes. The reason I like it so much, is that its such an easy movie to quote. If you like low level humor that can be crude at times, this one is for you. Do not expect a super plot or a twist, its a comedy. You will laugh so hard you will get that feeling that you cannot breath. The movie features comedy all stars like Will Ferrel, Paul Rudd, Steve Carell, and David Coechner who team up together and make a perfect comedy team in this classic comedy.”

Very true, it is one of the most quotable comedies I have ever seen.

Hater: Taken from IMDB
“Doesn't even qualify as a bad SNL sketch because you only have to sit through about 5 minutes of a bad sketch. However, in this case, you have to sit through 2 hours of waiting for a punchline or even a funny moment. I'm a big Ferrell fan, but, this is way off the mark and could of spent those 2 hours on a better movie. The character of Ron Burgundy is poorly developed and his rival/love interest of Christina Applegate is played as well as possible given the material she has to work with. Cameos by Jack Black, Luke Wilson, Vince Vaughn and others can't save this dying movie. I really feel misled by so many of the people who interview the actors for this film and not a one of them confronted any of the actors on the poorly written script. Definitely one of the worst movies I've ever seen.”

One of the worst films they have seen!? Really? The bit I don’t understand the most is how a “big Ferrell fan” doesn’t get this film? This is one film where the actor as really let off the leash and is fantastically funny. The clearly improved lines of comedy that come into the film are the funniest, so random but so damn quotable and funny.

What I thought:
Let’s face it Will Ferrel was around before this film but this one made a lot of people take notice. His performance is second to none, it’s just a shame that the same type of comedy has not really been pulled off since.

Anchorman is the story of Ron Burgundy (Ferrel), a misogynistic anchorman who is incredibly popular in Sad Diego. He loves his job but when the TV execs decide to hire a co-anchor, storm clouds begin to gather and the thunder really starts when it is revealed that it is a woman. The rest of the film is self-explanatory but hilarious in its delivery!

This type of gross out comedy has always been considered as a more immature way of getting laughs and it is, but Anchorman's humor comes from the fact that all of the characters perform their lines as if they are in a straight talking film. Even the trippy sequence that should seem absurd is totally acceptable.

The most important and indeed funniest thing in this film is Will Ferrels complete immersion in Ron Burgundy. The character is one of the finest comedy characters, that hair, that moustache, those looks to camera and almost everything that comes out of his mouth is quotable. Everything else falls into place around him, along with fantastic cameos, clearly improvised dialogue and some of the silliest sight gags to make its way onto film since Mel Brooks in his heyday.

Friday, 25 February 2011

Paul



Want to know the best thing in this film? Clues in the title…

Lover: Taken from IMDB

“Just got back from the cinema and I am so pleased with how this movie turned out. I was honestly laughing out loud for the first time since I saw pineapple express back in 08. The only reason I haven't given it a 10 is because that would mean it was perfect and there were a couple of minor insignificant down falls to the film the first was Sigourney Weaver's acting which seems to have gotten worse and worse since alien but saying that she is the perfect person for this role no one could have fulfilled the cameo role any better. A little more flashbacks of Paul's time on earth would have been awesome I would have liked to see Paul in the 80's to be honest and a little change to his appearance would have given a little giggle but the film didn't need it. Jason Bateman played the perfect part as usual. Seth Rogan was yet again amazing. As I said this was an amazing movie and I can't wait for it to come to DVD.”

A good review and very telling that Pegg and Frost weren’t even mentioned.

Hater: Taken from IMDB
“'Paul' an alien, who's spaceship crashed etc....found by two complete non-entities go on a journey to aid Paul in returning to his motherland. As fugitives... With all the ideas, opportunity and creativity in this world relating to UFO and sci-Fi, Paul was produced.... the movie is a complete dismal. yes in the beginning there were elements of humour - not witty but i admit, it could evoke a smile or a subtle snigger, but that was all you will get from it. The movie was just horrible and half way through i found refuge in my Ipod. There was no build up of the characters; of the relationship between Paul, the internal characters & certainly not with the audience. When Paul had suggestively 'died' i felt no sympathy for the thing; in fact...good riddance. British comedy...actually, that was English comedy- it varies. it has it's moments (depending on how it is executed)when it can make you laugh until you cry & other times, when it's being forced it's just a horrific encounter. in this movie, it wasn't executed naturally: The acting was horrific, the script was unconvincing and stupid, the story was just cliché and embarrassing. To conclude, it has to be known that it wasn't my idea to watch the film- in fact i protested against it but i was out-voted; 3 against 2. such is life i guess..."

A lot of opinion and no points from a person who was using their i-pod half way through a film, need I say more?

What I thought:
Paul was always going to be a different beast from pervious Pegg and Frost efforts, the first is the character the film is titled after. The titular Paul adds an element to this usually very dependable double act that waters down its usual shtick. It creates a kind of bromance love triangle where the funniest scenes are when Paul is talking to either of our heroes. This could be a bit of a problem for die-hard fans (me included) that have followed the paring since Spaced. Going in to watch it you want pure Pegg and Frost, sharp dialogue and near perfect observational comedy and to begin with that’s what you get.

It’s like their tip of the hat to geeks who have followed them and loved them for years, the opening sequence and indeed then rest of film is filled to the brim with references of science fiction movies. The opening and ending sequences for instance are pure Spielberg and Close Encounters, my personal favourite however is Jason Batemans line when shooting the radio. However this is where the appeal for the Spaced elite will end.

What picks it up is pure mainstream comedy with a foul mouthed Alien voiced by Seth Rogan. To say its mainstream is not to say it’s bad, in fact he has some of the funniest lines in the film. It just might be a bit disappointing for people like me who were expecting another Shaun of the Dead or Hot Fuzz. Silly really as Edgar Wright Is nowhere to be seen but there was hope. Jason Bateman is on superb form and all other cameos are great and with a good touch of tongue in cheek. So apart from a silly long running joke about three tits, Paul is a very good mainstream comedy from the British duo just don’t expect Shaun of the Dead.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Alien Resurection



Not a bad idea just executed terribly wrong!

Lover: Taken from IMDB

“I think that I am one of the few people that really loved this movie. I love this movie because of the great Special Effects, the great story and the cool characters of the movie. The way they bring Ripley back to life is brilliant, I mean.... I would have never thought it up. I also think that Jean-Pierre Jeunnet really shows his talent with this movie. The visuals in this movie are awesome. And I even think that the Newborn was a great idea too, and I also think it looks great too. And don't think I never saw an other Alien-movie because I saw and own them all. I'm a real Die-Hard Alien-fan. I mean... Aliens is still the best one(I don't think that will ever change), but I think that this movie is much better as Alien 3 and maybe even a little better as Alien.(although that is a Classic of course) But I think Alien Resurrection is a must-see for every Alien- and Sci-Fi Fan.”

While they are welcome to their opinion I’m afraid it’s wrong. There are two reasons why, they say that this film is “even a little better” than Alien and that the ‘Newborn’ was a good idea!? All wrong!

Hater: Taken from IMDB
“I feel sorry for Jean-Pierre Jeunet. Obviously a talented director with an eye for spectacle, he has been saddled with one of the most hackneyed and downright groan-inducing scripts ever. Basically a haunted house movie set inside a spaceship (two, actually) full of the eponymous Aliens, writer Joss Whedon scraped the bottom of the cliche-barrel, bringing us not-at-all-lame scenes of people wandering down dark hallways and sticking their heads into acid-burned holes for no particularly good reason (other than to be eaten, of course). The movie liberally steals ideas and scenes from Jim Cameron's Aliens, which is okay, I guess, in an incestuous and cannibalistic kind of way. The sets, the characters and the banter are all pale, inept imitations of stuff we've already seen in the series. Too bad they couldn't have stolen a speck of intelligence from the previous three Alien movies. This is a noisy, ugly and boring movie... but like a train wreck, it's worth seeing, if only to awe in how someone could manage to louse up a movie about shooting aliens and wearing leather pants. But my hat's off to Whedon, Jeunet & co.; they loused it up royally.”

This is absolutely right on one point, Joss Whedon as great as the man is, should not have been the writer of an Alien movie. This is not a comic book movie, or some adolescent sci fi franchise, it is Alien. Established as a bleak franchise where you have no chance of winning, Resurrection puts it finger well and truly up at the other movies. The film is full of clichéd scares and wise cracks that come across as silly; the director is as much to blame though. Jeunet’s trademark visual flare does not belong in this universe and don’t even get me started on that bloody stupid Alien Queen with a womb and the Newborn!

What I thought:

Perhaps it is a statement to how bad the fourth Alien instalment is that Director Jean-Pierre Jeunet has never returned to big budget filmmaking. No doubt Amelie is a beautiful film but Alien Resurrection is about as far from a resurrection as you could have made.

Joss Whedons wise cracking script is too comic for the Alien series, you just get the feeling that no one was taking it serious enough. That’s a big flaw, yes we are aware that this is science fiction but the fear is very real. In all three films before it this was taken very seriously. It created some very effective films and is a statement to all three directors that they all went through such a bad time trying to get it onto the screen.

Though just one more thing, how rubbish was the newborn! Maybe in a film of its own it could have been quite a scary creature but it was just so stupid looking!

Monday, 21 February 2011

Alien 3



David Fincher fought a losing battle and won

Lover: Taken from IMDB

“When i first saw Alien 3 i was sad. They killed my favourite characters, inclusive of ripley at the end, it left me hollow and a tad upset! upon repeat viewings i found the tone and atmosphere to be unmatched in any film I've seen since, coupled with the most perfect musical score I've heard (which i still listen to even today) makes for a hard to stomach film which is actually the best in the series. Why do i think this? the character of ripley is really fulfilled, we see her grow from the first film into a strong female character. Such additions as the alien 3 life cycle and alien design just add to the creepy atmosphere, this film i remember more for its tone and new direction it took the series in. Its a sad film, depressing and very dark indeed. Its just like the alien, without remorse or answers. This film restores what the alien is: scary. In aliens they weren't as scary because they seemed to be rather weak? though it still stands as a wonderful film in its own right (action). For me alien 3 is superb, worth watching and studying.”

This review is right, Alien 3 is a film that grows on you, when you first watch it with the two films before it in mind; it’s a disappointment. However the film is a very brilliantly crafted film, dark and sinister with real sense of melancholy and why not? Ripley has lost everyone again and now must stop the company getting the alien. The Directors cut is especially brilliant and adds an element that fills out the story better, the chest bursting scene at the beginning.

Hater: Taken from IMDB

“This one is really horrible. It messes up everything that made Alien and Aliens great movies. The transition from the end of Aliens to the beginning of this crap makes no sense at all. The survivors of Aliens are simply killing off, probably for no better reason than that the script simply doesn't fit into the Alien series at all. A military ship jettisoning its crew after a tiny fire (don't they build warships to stand a little damage anymore?). An "escape pod" crashes headlong into a planet with not even an attempt at steering or breaking (wasn't there something called "landing")?. And all of a sudden two Aliens pop up out of nowhere. The nice high-tech environments and cool hardware are exchanged for a prison that more reminds of sewers than anything else. And from there it's just a boring matter of watching the Alien doggy eat all of those feeble, uninteresting characters (good that suddenly humans can outrun the doggy). I have seen this one once and being a fan of Aliens, I regret it. If you liked Alien and Aliens, do yourself a favor and stay away!”

It’s not that hard to believe what happens between the ending of the second and third films, we’ve seen what these Facehuggers are capable of why was it hard to believe the queen laid a few eggs before her little trip in outer space. The few other points they’ve made here are knit picking, Alien 3 is not as good as its predecessors by a long shot but in no way is it a bad movie.

What I thought:
Continuing the Alien films I watched Alien 3 very recently, although I did watch the Directors cut which is much superior to the theatrical cut. I think it every time I see it but it is extremely underrated, Alien 3 had to live up to two incredibly good and influential movies. Perhaps that’s the reason most people bring it down, well not today! Today I shall be singing its praises, David Fincher was a perfect Director for this, his directing took Alien back to the one stalking Alien format of the first one. As a director who’s not afraid to spill a bit of blood and shock an audience he made it more visceral than its predecessors, showing a side of the Alien we hadn’t seen. With an almost over whelming feeling of misery surrounding it all it’s easy to say why some people don’t like it.

For me the only downfall is that the two characters who survived with Ripley for so long were taken from her, but then again having Newt dead is vital to one of the best scenes in the film; The Autopsy. As Ripley desperately try’s to find out how she died, Sigourney Weaver does a top notch job of showing the fear of the thing and the fear of the truth not being believed. It’s scenes like that where the director also shines; his use of sound effects and shots of bloody utensils is dark and very effective.

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Aliens



A Blueprint for making a sequel

Lover: Taken from IMDB
“THE sci-fi movie. It's nearly perfect in every way: storyline, characters, menacing threat, suspense, action, direction, music, emotion, etc... It's always been a favorite of mine and still is. To me this is not just a film, it is an experience. The adrenaline pumps like in no other film and rarely have we had the chance to see a heroine as compelling as Sigourney Weaver. She can kick anyone's ass and still keep a heart and soul. (Why she didn't win the Oscar back in 1986 is beyond me.) When the action starts, you're in for the ride of your life. Truly a milestone in movie making. Now if they could only release it on DVD...”

Completely agree, even if they are a bit dramatic.

Hater: Taken from IMDB
“I'm sorry to disagree with about 90% of this website, but I did not find this sequel to be anything but a rehash of the first. Not only is it a rehash, but it also brought to life, some of the really dumb stereotypes that exist in movies today. Crummy dialog that is fixed to sound 'cool' and 'awesome' or 'in with the times' and you know what? It isn't. Now, before you dismiss the rest of my review, I want to add that I tried to like this film. For a long while I tried to find some cool ways to see it, and you know what? I thought I had for a while. But you know, the thing s that so many people hold it up higher than the first, and I just can't see why. I guess I would be more open to give it a second chance, but people keep saying it is better than the first, and I just don't agree. I think the opening was alright, until the shock sequence when...uh-oh! She might have something in her stomach and.....oh, just a dream. HOW CHEAP! Why would they even rely that much on the first? Especially since it had been a good 6 or 7 years already? Jeez! I just thought that was mistake #1. Next, the film was quite intriguing, but that was because they discussed the originals damages. I just can't say when I lost it. Most of Sigourney's dialog was pretty awesome, and of course, Sigourney was GREAT. I'll give it that, but the rest, it just seems to imposed and buffed, and for what? It just crashes into all the rocks on LV-426.-Oops! There's another problem right there! They just HAVE to bring us to the scene of the crime, and...57 years later! UGH! Why not have the original beast find it's way to earth? Why not make a new type of disaster happen? Taking back to the original scene of the crime was unnecessary! My final word is that this film needn't have been made, but it was, and I watched, actually thinking it would be good. It could have, and should have been, but I just don't think it was. How do you follow the act of the original Ridley Scott classic? You don't! Sorry.”

A really long review here I’m sorry, but for those who can’t be bothered to read it I’ll give you a synopsis: This guy loves the first one so much that he was never going to accept a sequel. Pure and simple that’s it, this film is just as good as the first one, in fact this sequel should only impress the audience enough to watch what lead up to it.

What I thought:

My brother once said that you can’t pick any holes in Aliens, whilst I’m sure you could if you wanted to, why would you want to!? Aliens is up there with one of the best examples of a perfectly executed sequel, it completely respected the original whilst changing the genre, making it Horror Action “this time its war”. It’s a balancing act to be precise, add enough very cool things from hard as nails colonial marines, snappy quotable dialogue and fast paced action set pieces. Balance this out with enough from the first: Strong female lead (stronger when in a motherly role), jumpy scares mixed with impending doom and above all else The Alien design itself. Fair enough all of things kept in are turned up to Hollywood degrees but they still work.

Aliens really sparks into life when the colonial marines enter the film and I defy any man who has watched this and didn’t want to be a colonial marine, though if you knew you were going to fight the “Xenomorphs” you may have had second thoughts. It’s that downfall that is most effective; the marines are built up to and though you know it must all go wrong you still route for them. Then they are set upon in what is the stand out Alien Attack of the quadrilogy, for me anyway. When you add to these great performances from everyone involved and the effects of which a vast majority still stand up to today’s standards you have one hell of a movie, not to mention one of the most quotable!

Saturday, 19 February 2011

The Crazies



It’s crazy I know but it’s not half bad

Lover: Taken from IMDB
“I love the zombie/virus genre and I can just use those two words "Instant Classic" ! If you enjoy this type of movies - you won't be disappointed, this movie delivers from all perspectives - good actors, very very well played, great pace, gore and yeah - more GORE, last but not least - pressure builds up all the all way through the movie to reach an absolute beautiful ending.. The genre has seen some titles lately, including Romero's other new installment - Survival Of The Dead, but I feel this as the best and certainly delivered the most of everything. Some people compare to "28 days later", which was by all means a great move, but one must not forget, Romero created the genre, he's not competing, he's in a class of his own. And this movie proves it once more. So basically - if you like the typical virus outbreak / zombie scenario - you're surely gonna love this movie.”

They are right; if you like this type of horror then The Crazies is a stand out feature for you. However this is only based on Romeros original work so not quite sure he’s “competing” with it?

Hater: Taken from IMDB

“A murky and unnecessary remake of George Romero's Vietnam-era original that could have improved upon Romero's talky gore fest, but it quickly becomes a long- winded and repetitive chase without much suspense and even less originality. All too often, the music cues up, something leaps out and so it goes and goes and goes. The film would have benefited from a slow, eerie build-up where things are gradually revealed to be off kilter, but the film pretty much plunges into the action with minimal characterization providing little reason to care. The script might make a decent Twilight Zone episode, but as a feature film it becomes tiring long before the end. Unfortunately, The Crazies wastes a good premise and decent actors. You'd be crazy to waste your time and money on it. There's not a single original or memorable moment in the entire forgettable mess.”

This is a very good review, well written and some great points I can’t argue with, however…

What I thought:
This is going to be a short one as there really is only one thing to say about the Crazies. As a genre film it does what it sais on the tin and it does it well enough, it’ll make you jump and delight at the amount of gore. It may not be an original but firstly it’s a remake, it was never really going to be. Secondly most of these films are stuck in the same gene pool, all of them are a mish mash of each other, what The Crazies does have is guts. I don’t mean literally (though there is a lot!) it’s the speed at which the film moves and the characters it dares to hurt (hurting kids always hits the right note). The horror starts almost straight away and doesn’t really let up not leaving any time for you to connect with the characters, it’s a daring strategy but it somehow works.

That was more than one thing I know, and I have just one more thing to add; the ending was not beautiful it was stupid! SPOILER warning but the Nuke at the end!? Just a bit silly almost as bad as Indiana Jones in the Crystal Skull hiding in a fridge!? Preposterous!

Friday, 18 February 2011

Alien



“The Perfect Organism”

Lover: Taken from IMDB
“Three words perfectly describe ALIEN: Long, dark and ominous. You know you're in for a good time when even the opening title gives you a shiver. The music plays perfectly as the word 'ALIEN' slowly appears, line by line. Then there are the establishing shots of the ship; poorly maintained, claustrophobic. And then there's basically forty minutes of people in a ship pondering and eating and getting along (or not). The film has one little thing that allows it to draw you along so slowly - a promise. A promise made by the advertisements and hype that this was going to kick your ass. You just had to wait. But when it happens, it happens. Though the film doesn't speed up per se, there's a lot more happening in front of the screen to make it at least look like stuff's going on. The first half crawls almost depressingly, but the second half catches your eye and refuses to let go. I suggest everyone sees this film. Even if you skip through the beginning, you need to see this. It defined sci-fi and horror all in one. It's perfect.”

Despite loving the film they still sound Dubious about the first third of the film itself, I’ll go into it more with the hater review…

Hater: Taken from IMDB
“What do people see in this film? I am not one for horror films, though I do like this alien stuff. Nothing happens in the film. Nothing. We spent most of the time waiting and waiting for something to happen. This movie could have been cut to half an hour, easy. There is a saying that says that fear is being scared of the unknown, something that the X-Files has done really well. Unfortunately, this film has tried to do this too and has gone too far. Rather than waiting for something to happen, while on the edge of our seats, we wait and wait and wait and wait. We barely get to see the alien and the special effects are pretty poor. Sure it was a long time ago so we can't expect too much, but look at Star Wars which came out around the same time. They were much better than alien and Lucas had half the money. Alien is simply a boring movie that deserves no credit.”

Well there you have it, that slow fist third where apparently “nothing” happens!? The small matter of establishing the claustrophobia in space, the “signal”, establishing the relationship of the crew, arriving and landing on an alien world. I could go on however I won’t, I’m with them on the fear of the unknown and then they go and complain they barely see the alien and then compare the effects to Star Wars? They must have been watching the rubbish special edition or something!? Alien deserves a lot of credit, not just for redefining the sci-fi genre but for creating what is one of the most endearing and scariest Hollywood monsters ever committed to celluloid!? A horribly exaggerated review for what is a timeless masterpiece.

What I thought:
In 1979, science fiction was either squeaky clean or dirty fairy-tale land where the farm boy wins. That was until a script titled star beast got some serious re writes and became Alien, a sci fi film unlike any other. Despite the fact that horror and sci fi had met before, Alien did it like no other first and foremost because it was scary.

Ridley Scott described Alien as “Jaws in space”; he was quite right Jaws like the Alien is a perfect killer and their environments are just as scary, the ocean and space (where no one can hear you scream, arguably the best tagline for a movie ever). Ridley Scotts directing is divine, choosing silence over music with most scares and only showing just enough of the Alien till the end reveal. The Alien itself is one of the best creature designs ever to grace celluloid, it’s a totally inhuman thing that will hunt you without fear or prejudice and it will kill you.

Think of all the other horror monsters and killers, all are a clichéd model of each other. Knives and Chainsaws to Fangs and Rotting Corpse, all work well when they are used to a high quality but compare it to the Alien, how more original can you get? A facehugger that looks like a spider hooks onto your face and impregnates you; the Alien then grows and bursts out of your chest to feed again. Of course the design itself is what’s special and we have H.R Giger to thank for that.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

American Pie: The Wedding


Perhaps one or two steps too far


Lover: Taken from IMDB
“American Wedding is the funniest film in the American Pie series. Most of the original gang is back to see Jim and Michelle tie the knot. But, the two characters have to overcome a couple of obstacles. One obstacle is making sure Stifler behaves himself. Does he... not really. Stifler throws a bachelor party when Michelle's parents are supposed to turn up, eats dog crap while saying it's chocolate, losing the ring, and having sex with Jim's grandmother. Stifler is by far the most funniest character in the film, especially when he plays nice boy. Jim and his father are funny, too. I liked the part when Jim shaves his privates and throws the shavings out the window and into people's mouths and wedding cake. The characters are original and hilarious. The acting was great, so was the directing. As with the first two films, there is a great soundtrack. I recommend seeing this grand finale. I rate this film a 10/10.”

A little over the top with the 10/10 rating but right about one thing Stifler takes over from everyone in this part of the Pie series. It seemed only natural as his presence started taking over in the second. However have all these gross out bits really gone a bit too far?

Hater: Taken from IMDB
“Hopefully, this awful movie will put an end to this mediocre series that has gotten worse with each sequel. Almost watchable until Stifler shows up. So tell me, you're in a restaurant getting serviced under the table when your Dad walks in and you jump up with your pants around your ankles and your girlfriend still under the table. Not only doesn't the restaurant throw you out on your a**, but the patrons give you a standing O when you propose to her, with your pants still undone? How charming! Funny? Not in the least! But I hang in there for a while until stifler shows up,ranting neverending curses like he was Joe Pesce in Casino. Whatever was appealing in the first two incarnations of this series is certainly missing here.”

Clearly not this persons sense of humour, that’s what it comes down to. If you laughed loudest at the ‘pale ale’ joke in the first one and the ‘urine shower’ in the second then you’ll probably love this. For me American Pie was more for the characters and the way they acted, sadly on this point the third instalment let me down.

What I thought:
To complete the viewing and see our characters progress further, I watched American Pie the wedding. A somewhat large jump, from their college years to a wedding but then I had kids at 23 how can I talk. Jim has fallen in love with his band geek and proposes with his trousers down rather than down on one knee, typical American pie formula follows but despite some stand out moments and sentimentality an ultimately disappointing film.

Sean William Scott as Stilfer continued to gross out and amuse the audience in equal measure; in one scene in particular he follows his own advice and literary does “eat shit”! It would appear these American gross out comedies know no bounds, its not that they shouldn’t do it and that it’s wrong it’s just not that funny. It’s a real shame also that the four main characters couldn’t be reunited I don’t know why Chris Klein didn’t return for his instalment but it felt like betraying an old friend watching these guys celebrate together without their long time buddy Oz.

They have progressively gotten worse while the studio milked this cash cow for all it’s worth! There are 7 now and none recreate what was done in the first.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief



How to teach kids Greek Mythology

Lover: Taken from IMDB
“I had read the original series, and I love it...I would choose both Percy and Harry Potter, for my top 10 fantasy series. I had wanted to see the movie when it was in theaters, but it went out, so I'd waited 'til it came out on DVD. I'd watched it and I thought it was really awesome; I did not like some of the negativity on it. The film (as you all know), is about teenage Percy Jackson who seem to be an ordinary teen; until after a monster attack at the museum (a Fury disguised as his English teacher), he found out he is a son of the sea god Poseidon. And have been accused of stealing Zeus' master lightning bolt, he finds himself caught between angry and battling gods, he and his friends embark on a cross-country adventure to catch the true lightning thief, save his mom, and unravel a mystery more powerful than the gods themselves. So anyway I really love this film; even if there were changes to the characters.”

Not really a review, not sure why I picked this one now…

Hater: Taken from IMDB
“The first question I must ask myself is if Chris Columbus can even read... Because obviously he never read the books. Well maybe he read the back cover summary, its the only reference to the book in the movie. As for the book, Rick Riordan should be ashamed for letting anyone slaughter, I take that back, Massacre, his artwork in such a way. Not only were critical details left out of this story but the entire story was altered in such a way that a remake and an refund should be in place for all readers. The story line itself may have needed a little touching up for the big- screen but leaving out Kronos, Mr. D, Clarisse, The Oracle, blaming Hades, and everything else (I can go on for 375 pages) is unforgivable. If the plan was to make one lone movie and never touch Percy Jackson again, they were successful. I will never again be able to attend a Chris Columbus movie. Not even a free one.In their defense, if you had never read the books the cast did a good job on a kids movie. The amount of money spent to screw up a story this awesome is mind boggling. Please do not support the future career of the screen writer and director by spending your money. They should both be banished to Tartarus for such a crime! Long story short It is difficult to even write a review as it makes my blood pressure skyrocket to unhealthy levels. Signed, Devoted, Story loving readers of Rick Riordan.”

Oh yeah this is why, both these ‘reviews’ are from people who have read and liked the books. Just look at their contradicting opinions, it just goes to show that when you adapt something your bound to have people who hate and love you for it in equal measure. The first review admits some characters have been changed however he still enjoyed it!? The other guy makes it sound like he’s eyes have been raped, it’s all a bit over the top but see it for yourselves before passing judgement.

What I thought:
As a stand alone kid’s film Percy Jackson does what it says on the tin, it entertains the kids. It has a simple episodic plot of trying to find pearls, rescue Percy’s mother and find the elusive lightning thief. It’s easy to follow the action is cartoon but thrilling enough for a younger audience. It’s just a pretty good kids film and not else more.

Of course it’s adapted from a book so for a lot of people like the Harry potter books before it were divided. Some didn’t mind the cut backs to the book to make it convertible; others can not contain their anger. Whichever way it must be recognized that there is a reason these films are called adaptations, the original work has been adapted and in some cases completely ripped to shreds. For me the important thing for an adaptation is: does it capture the feel of the source material?

That of course is up to the reader but I treat Percy Jackson just as a film and as just a film it’s not too bad for kids. Our young cast are likable enough and they are joined by some thespian greats; Pierce Brosnan, Shaun Bean and Uma Thurman to name a few. The latter I have to say does not convince as Medusa at all, but I think that has something to do with her choice of costume, she looks more like a bad guy in the Matrix than a Demi-God. The effects work well and there are some childish giggles along the way, it makes for a great film for younger eyes.

It does however feel a bit like a School lesson in Greek Mythology, now they cant really be blamed for it; its basic exposition to help the audience understand the film. However this exposition does fell a bit forced, when every God and Demi-god spends most of their time on screen explaining who they are and who cursed who etc. You begin to ask is it all needed, most people have a basic knowledge for Greek Mythology and even if you don’t the film would only inspire kids to read up about it if they want to know more, I think they missed a trick.

Ninja Assassin



Wish Fulfilment for gore obsessed teens

Lover: Taken from IMDB
“Ninja assassin was an excellent action movie. It reminded me of Aliens, Predator or other horror-action movies. Brutal, hardcore, dark, crazy action... It is not a super hero movie such as X-men or Spiderman. I have read some complaints and bad reviews by other people. Here are my responses: (1)"Movie was too dark. It needed more lighting." It's a ninja movie. I thought that the old ninja movies in which Ninjas fight during day light was absurd. I thought the movie was rather stylishly done with very dark background. (2)"Acting was bad." Acting is bad in majority of Hollywood movies these days. Harry Potter, Twilight, X-men, Spiderman, and so on... Do you honestly think the acting in those movies was good. It's a ninja movie. Be realistic... (3)"Story was bad." Again....I have not seen that many Hollywood movies with great stories in past decade. All of sudden, some people want a great storyline from a Ninja movie. Give me a break. (4)"Movie was rushed" I know that Rain(Raizo) prepared for this movie for 6 months working out 6 hours a day. He looked awesome. The whole stunt team looked awesome. I don't think movie was rushed. In conclusion, it is what it is. It is an action-horror-fantasy movie based on the myth of Ninja. Again, it is the myth based on some truth. The director did good job bringing the myth to the screen. So enjoy the movie as the action-horror-fantasy movie that it is. Or you can go watch Ninja Turtle if you prefer that.”

In no way is this movie anything like Aliens or Predator, this is a ridiculous comparison! Here are my responses to they’re responses..

1. I agree with him, its am movie about ninja assassins who quite cleary do most of their work in the DARK!
2. It’s the last point about being realistic? So just because this is some brainless gore fest means that it can get away with sub standard acting? The answer of course is no!
3. The story wasn’t that bad and without the hammy acting probably would have been really gripping especially the flash back to the training.
4. I’m not to sure about a rushed movie, can you rush choreography like this?

Please take no notice of the horror part, sure there is a bit of fantasy but this is a balls to the wall action move and nothing else!

Hater: Taken from IMDB
“I have always relied on IMDb. I have found that any movie receiving a 7 or above has something to offer. Whether that be solid acting, a great plot, or tremendous cinematography a 7 or above meant it had something. This movie had nothing. If you really like pointless violence then by all means go see this movie. There is plenty. The acting is beyond terrible. There are line after line of poorly delivered material waiting for you as you enjoy the only good thing about this movie, your drink. One line in particular (I cannot say what it is because it may be considered a "spoiler") brought the entire audience around me to laughing out loud. The only good part about this movie was the big guy next to me who lost it at the end of the movie because of how corny and cheesy it was. Perhaps I should have waited for the weekend to end before seeing this movie to allow IMDb to get votes from people other than the 13 year old boys who can't get enough blood. 7.7? Hahahahaha. I don't think so. 1/10 for being the first bad movie I have seen in a very long time. IMDb has be solid until now. It wasted my money and my time. Save your money and watch College Football this weekend.”

Well apart from his doubts in his faith in IMDB user reviews, he’s pretty right the story which could have been used too much better use was ruined by really hammy acting that spoils all credibility. He’s also right on the crowd that will get a kick out of all this gory violence but then everyman has a 13 year old buy inside that loves this stuff, don’t they?

What I thought:
Everything above covers a lot of what I thought about this movie, it’s not really a tough film to define. A ninja who gets a conscious tries to leave and ends up (in a round about way) being hunted by his own clan. What ensues is the kind of Violence you would expect from a film like this, albeit with CGI throwing stars, decapitated heads and even blood. It’s just pure wish fulfilment for boys who grew up watching violent Anime, in this case the films does have a pro. The violence is brilliantly choreographed and dare I say cool!

It’s certainly not for everyone but the people who will like this movie know who they are when they see the cover of the DVD.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

My Top Ten…




Romantic Movies (belated Valentines Special)

10. (500) Days of summer
Ok so it’s not that romantic but it is a brilliant reminder of just how cruel Love can be.

9. Forrest Gump
Again not that romantic and yes it’s more a history lesson spread over four decades but Forrests’ love for his “Jenny” is unwavering and heart warming.

8. Four Weddings and a Funeral
This Richard Curtis penned movie triggered off the rise and rise of Hugh Grant and kicked off a whole new craze bumbling English leading men (mainly all Hugh Grant!). It did break UK Box Office records and is actually very funny.

7. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
This unique film by Michel Gondry is again a journey into the grimier side of love, but it’s funny, strikingly original and showed the world Jim Carrey could act!

6. Moulin Rouge
This musical extravaganza that mixed 21st century music into turn of the century Paris is a wonder to behold, mixing new modern music with old styles was pitch perfect. Of course at the heart is a love story that is as tragic as it is lovely, who knew Ewan McGregor could sing?

5. Amelie
Back to Paris the ‘City of Love’ for Amelie, a beautiful looking film that oozes love and romance and all with a cheeky grin.

4. High Fidelity
This film is basically the boys guide to love and relationships, as commitment phobe Rob Gordon guides you through his past mistakes and blaming everyone but himself. It’s funny and touching when he finally realises what he’s been missing.

3. Casablanca
Nothing from me, just two quotes: “If you don't get in that plane you'll regret it. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of your life.” And “Here's looking at you kid.”

2. When Harry met Sally
A shame that this is best known for the fake orgasm scene for as good as it is, this film really is a delight form start to finish with the chemistry between the two leads brimming with charm.

1. Gone with the Wind
This is a sweeping romantic epic that would be a crime to leave off a list let alone not place it first. Vivien Leigh and Clark Gable shine in glamour and are the epitome of a Hollywood couple, all the while being swept up in what is a vintage Hollywood classic that consistently appears in critics top ten and movie lists.

My 500th post: The Social Netwrok



You like me, you really like me!

Lover: Taken from IMDB
“I have been a fan of David Fincher ever since I saw Se7en when I was 13. I saw all of his films the following week and not one of them disappointed me. That was back in 2003. I loved Zodiac and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button as well, but he really knocked it out of the park with this one. I was fortunate enough to see The Social Network at a screening on 9/16/10 for my college. Eisenberg, Hammer and Sorkin were there and did a Q and A after the film. It was a GREAT experience. All of them seemed excited about the film and rightfully so. The film brilliantly tells the story of college students who go through hell with each other over the credit for Facebook and the damage that comes to all of them because of it. The acting and dialogue were flawless. Eisenberg, Garfield and even Timberlake churn out performances that should get them serious attention come award time. Fincher's direction is also perfect. you can always tell a Fincher film when you see it because his visual style is so striking and The Social Network is no exception. When this is released, please go see it and watch a film that defines a generation and what the world has become.”

A good review, couldn’t agree more on acting and dialogue. I think that stylistically this is no where near as visually impressive as Finchers other films, but The Social Network is a power house of a movie and make no mistake.

Hater: Taken from IMDB
“The social network to me is just another proof of recent mass hysteria where we can't distinct good from bad. This cheap drama-soap dramatically rewrites the history and I guess that's what made me angry. This is too much of a recent history and they're using real names in a docudrama setting. To me, this is history manipulation and not dramatization of a real story! 1)How lame that the Napster founder is played by the girls idol Justin. 2)How lame that he's talking about social networking as if he discovered it! Geez! Facebook just added a few very smart add ons, the social networking is certainly not their idea! I'd rather see a movie about the guys who actually did come up with the social networking idea i.e. profiles not for dating, but for friends. 3)Facebook is based mostly on cheating, lying, copying and misleading (i.e. Did u forget that back in the days we all used to receive this "friends invitations to join facebook?" Do u remember that facebook once u joined misled u on entering Ur e-mail password and then hacked into Ur address book and sent ALL of them an invitation to join face-book without our permission??) This film is a horror film about how horribly well things work if Ur smart and unethical. As far as the film goes it technically work fine, it's interesting that Mark is somehow honest about himself not being such a nice person, but under my humble opinion this whole film is made to fill Mark's vanity issues and wanting to stay in history as the founder of social networking, which is simply a lie.”

I think this person’s problem is with facebook not this movie, so really this review is a bit defunct. Who cares if the writers have taken some liberties if it makes the films better, it’s been done countless times before!

What I thought:
I was as I think everyone was; a little dubious about this film, say it out loud “a movie about Facebook” it sounds terrible! This could not be further from the truth, The Social Network is actually more gripping than you would think. Put it into context, Mark Zuckerberg is ‘that’ friend, every group must have the person that says and does unbelievable things without really noticing they’ve done anything or hurt anyone. The only difference, Zuckerberg just happens to be the genius behind Facebook! So the usual friends falling out that happens to all of us and forgotten within month’s maybe weeks is escalated into a major law suit. Very much in the public eye this feud over the creative rights of Facebook put in stark reality the nature of Social Networking and just how important it has been.

Now it sounds riper for a film ah? David Fincher captures this and what I like most about it; he captures without his usual visual flairs. The Social Networks main feats are in its dialogue and cool as you like acting! The screenplay oozes with sharp tongued wit for almost all characters but Zuckerberg most of all, played by Jesse Eisenberg to perfection. The casting is perfect and that’s even with the left hook of casting Justin Timberlake who is unbelievably good in this! Andrew Garfield making you feel genuinely sorry for the guy who was gradually pushed out and the Winklevoss Twins played brilliantly and very funnily by Armie Hammer.

Back however to Eisenberg who’s performance as the founder of Facebook is utterly compelling, throwing off the Michael Cera comparisons to give us a character that before he knew it was caught in a whirlwind had last everyone he actually cared for. It’s important that you feel conflicted about him, some hate him and some will feel sorry for the guy, as in the end he was a young man who (with little help) came up with an idea that revolutionized the way we communicate.

The Social Network is everything you have heard, it is a landmark film in many ways and it is a film of our times. More importantly it’s actually just a really entertaining bit of cinema.

Saturday, 12 February 2011

American Pie 2



Growing pains

Lover: Taken from IMDB
“To make things blunt, I laughed my butt off. I went and saw the movie downtown Seattle the night it opened at the Cineplex Odean at midnight...that was the best crowd I've ever seen a movie with. I could usually tell what was coming, but I was still shocked when it actually happened. I'm usually pretty conservative when it comes to movies, but the American Pie movies have been two of my favorite movies ever. The second movie takes over at the end of the first year of college. The first scene can be figured out by seeing the previews, but there were still a lot of surprises in the movies. There are a lot of great scenes at Stifler's party, and I was surprised to see that not only were the main characters back, but most of the supporting characters were back as well (remember the two guys from the M.I.L.F. scene?....they were in the second movie as well). Even Stifler's brother is in the movie. The movie is pretty shocking, but still very funny, I think my favorite part involved Petey. I think everyone needs to see this movie, from junior high aged and older...its destined to be a classic.”

It’s not a classic by a long shot but it does have something over the first: the whole plot is not about teenagers losing their virginity.

Hater: Taken from IMDB
“A really lousy sequel to the original dud. The first film is essentially reprised here, with similar jokes (bodily fluids disguised as other liquids, intercourse being interrupted by parents) and with the same unusually bogus characters, a bunch of rich white frat boys. Everything seems so contrived and convoluted that it's impossible to sympathize with actors like dweeby Jason Biggs, who can't get laid properly but still has the most gorgeous woman trying to bed him. And the other principals are either so outsized (like Seann William Scott as the obnoxiously unfunny Stifler) or lame (the impossibly good Oz, played by Chris Klein) that there's no possibility to connect and no reason to try. Only Eugene Levy, as Biggs' father, has some mildly humorous moments, but they're in his appearance and not in his lines. Teens will like the gross-out humor--this is who it's designed for--but it's a case of `been there, done that' and even they probably won't be clamoring for a trilogy.”

Well there are a lot of things I could say about this review but I can round it up to one point: “they probably won’t be clamouring for a trilogy.” Sure about that?

What I thought:
Teen comedies don’t so sequels very well, this is probably to do with the age of the average person seeing them. Could you imagine a Breakfast club sequel? Of course not, it would be murder! Most people who see teen comedies and like them are the people of that age group, they become a film for that age, and of course now the core group of fans of that film start growing up, what happens then a sequel comes out. It doesn’t have the same effect; it doesn’t activate the nostalgic gene of so many adults. American Pie 2 is not a bad sequel the characters are growing up if not in some rather unrealistic ways!

Pure and simple it’s just not as funny; most of it is too damn sentimental! The story does continue and the result is somewhat realistic, our heroes have realised that’s things change and that growing up must be done. That is of course till the third American Pie!

American Pie



The first slice of pie was the sweetest

Lover: Taken from IMDB
“Where do you start... from flutes to pies, this pioneer teen movie has it all. I'm pretty sure this was the first DVD I ever saw, back in 2000. I do remember owing $20 in late fees to blockbuster video for keeping it so long after it was due back. It was worth it! This has classic written all over it, I think it's safe to say that anyone that was involved with this movie has a great career now because of it. American pie has an absolute all star cast led by the Great Jason biggs Anyone who enjoys comedy, teen comedy must see this movie! honestly you need to watch more movies if you haven't sen this one!!!”

Not too sure about the careers of the actors comment, however anyone who loves their teen comedies this is essential viewing.

Hater: Taken from IMDB
“This was the first film of its kind and has done nothing to discourage filmmakers putting random unnecessary female nudity and sexual content in so called teen 'comedy's'. The film rely's heavily on unrealistic sexual scenes and nudity. The most extreme being a female character visiting a lad from school she barely knows, being left for 2 minutes in his bedroom and returns to find that in his absence she's stripped off and started masturbating over female pornography that she found in his dresser draw. Reality check anyone? This film could have been greatly improved by removing a few ridiculous scenes so that it was male AND female friendly. Unfortunately this was made purely for testosterone fuelled teenage boys to watch (alone)in their bedrooms with a box of tissues.”

There’s not doubt that American Pie was one of the first teen movies to shamefully have nude shots of what are supposed to be pubescent girls to pull in a young male audience. Thankfully these usually more “extreme or previously unseen” versions are usually restricted to DVD release. So I see they’re point but American Pie is so much more than just wank material for pre-pubescent teens.

What I thought:
I think when I first saw American Pie I loved it but there was a problem, I had always seen it as a shameful film just about boys wanting to get laid! It is of course like this but I think I wasn’t taking in the bigger picture, I watched it the other night and realised something. Only when our four heroes give up and realise that sex doesn’t matter do they finally get laid, a good message?

You could argue it’s not but then the film is funny, maybe because it makes me so damn nostalgic but the laugh out loud moments still make me laugh out loud! It’s one quality about teen comedies that will live forever, there will always be an age group that will get it and see it at the right time in their lives and forever be programmed into their heads because that film “really understood where they were coming from”, American Pie just so happens to be mine and I would imagine a few of my friends to.

Friday, 11 February 2011

American Beauty



Pretentious or Thought Provoking?

Lover: Taken from IMDB
“The intention is so clear that everything else falls into place, perfectly. Kevin Spacey's suburban husband and father reminded me of his character in "The Ref" and that could only be a good thing. Annette Bening and her giggle works wonders here. Their marriage is a tabloid version of a "Who's Afraid To Virginia Woolf" Which means very close to someone we know. The biggest surprises in the film. besides the amazing dexterity of Sam Mendes at his first outing behind the camera, are West Bentley. Chris Cooper, Thora Brch and Allison Janney. As I'm writing this 8 years after its first release, the Oscars and the whole hullabaloo, I'm very surprised that West Bentley hasn't become a major star. He is amazing in "American Beauty" the complexities of his character are based on recognizable human stands, the hardest to face up to and I went where he went. Thora Birch is lovely as the object of his attention and the film, I believe, is here to say.”

I agree, American Beauty owes a LOT to the acting which is superb throughout!

Hater: Taken from IMDB
“The most overrated and pretentious movie in years. I'm amazed that this movie won all those oscars. It is a simple-minded film for simple-minded people. I'm sure all those people that don't understand movies like 2001 and VERTIGO will feel pretty comfortable with this tacky and unsubtle movie. Everything is a caricature. No hidden meanings. Everything is black or white. Every single actor goes over the top. All those "roses" are supposed to be an arty touch, but to me they are just another unimaginative way of presenting an idea. ORDINARY PEOPLE(1980) with Timothy Hutton, covered the same ground in a more powerful and subtle way. Sorry, no beauty here!”

I would not call American Beauty “simple-minded”, it has a simple premise and story but its all about the idea that run through it. It deals with everything from the mundane in life to seeing the beauty in everything. It has issue like homophobia, parenting, marital issues and drugs. To really appreciate American Beauty you really need to read into more otherwise it can seem a little pretentious.

What I thought:
There have been several great moments in cinema, films that mark these occasions are usually epic but not in the way you would think. These films are epic in their appeal not their size or budget, American Beauty is one great example. This film is quiet in its approach to some fairly big issues, the main one of course being modern Family living, albeit in an American setting. The rat race has made the father catatonic distancing him from a mother who has all but disowned him and a daughter crying for some sane conversation at the dinner table.

American Beauty is just as the title describes; a Beautiful film about taking every moment and not regretting a thing. It’s an incredibly thought provoking film that develops ideas about prejudice, youth and sex very few films can claim that.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Amelie



Sweet, funny and beautiful

Lover: Taken from IMDB
“A slice of heaven right here on earth, "Amelie" is a joy to behold, and has some of the most gorgeous cinematography I've ever seen in a movie. Audrey Tatou is perfection as the title character. A combination of Audrey Hepburn, Dolly Levi and Roger Rabbit, she involves herself in the world surrounding her as a means of really enjoying living. There are moments when she finds complete and total joy just walking down the street. Some of it is hilarious, too..like when her pet goldfish habitually tries to commit suicide, or when she is on the telephone with the man at the porno shop, or when a character is asked "Are you a congenital shmuck"? But for the most part, its a human comedy, about love, of course. Just beautiful. 10/10.”

A good review for a great film, the suicidal fish is one of my favourite parts of the film!

Hater: Taken from IMDB
“I hate to be one of those negative people, but I hate this movie with an incredible fiery passion. I think it's very possibly the most overrated film of all time. I watched it a while back expecting to see something amazing but I was disappointed beyond words. The main character is very possibly the most annoying movie creation of all time. She's really cutesy and pale and she doesn't say anything. She's like a cross between Shirley Temple and a mime. By the end of the movie you just want to reach into the screen and choke her. Beyond that, as far as I can tell, the movie has no point whatsoever. And just for record, I'm not just saying this because I'm an idiot American who can't appreciate French cinema--I actually love French films (my favs are The Girl On The Bridge, La Haine, and Leon: The Professional). But this one just makes me want to pull my hair out. Anyway, I'll certainly attempt to watch it again at some point and give it another chance, but so far I'm at a complete loss as to why this movie is ranked at #18. Feel free to reply and tell me why I'm wrong.”

A very subjective review, a little unfair because clearly a large majority of people do disagree with them and that means chances are someone who hasn’t see it would enjoy it. I will say however he’s the one that said “Idiot American” me thinks they protest too much.

What I thought:
How did the Director who ended the Alien Franchise with a sharp blow to the head, make a film like Amelie? Jean Pierre Juenet just didn’t get Aliens and his resurrection was about as far from a resurrection as you could have thought of! When the director turns his attentions onto something else, something a bit more personal he turns out with what may be his finest work! Amelie is best described as a beautiful film, its attention to detail is pitch perfect and focuses on every day things in life as extraordinary.

This is of course a window into how Amelie see’s the world and makes her incredibly loveable! Audrey Tautou has since paved a way to some big parts in Hollywood but she has never bettered this performance, the looks to camera and that voice just gorgeous! It’s just a good looking film with a whole lot of heart and just has “feel good” written all over it.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Almost Famous



It’s just Rock n Roll baby!

Lover: Taken from IMDB
“As I exited the movie theater after viewing Cameron Crows latest adventure, I was struggling with what to say to my date. As I didnt want to just sit there and say nothing, I was forced to due to so many feelings and thoughts about Almost Famous. Luckily, she felt the same way and so for a few moments we just sat there, staring off into the screen, wishing, wanting, and feeling for that movie. It was so nicely done. From the acting, brilliantly handled, to the directing, never camrons problem, down to the sets, costumes, audio, and other wonderfully placed visuals. Not only was the movie well thought out, but it became one of those rare films in which everyone, boy girl, man woman, could feel for at least one person, part, event. I would reccomend anyone I know to see this movie. It was a chance to take yourself away from your own problems and let you watch someone elses moving you all the way through.”

Very sentimental and a little dramatic but then Almost Famous is sentimental, looking back at the rock and roll lifestyle of the 70’s.

Hater: Taken from IMDB
“I'll only take the time to meld this down into a handful of words...it is the fact that seemingly 95% of Americans find this clichéd dribble anywhere "almost interesting", is the very reason why it's almost in my best interest to avoid American film altogether. Besides, anyone so willing and able to waste time on one of the most banal periods in history in terms of taste, style, attitude etc etc - that being the 1970's - essentially has set themselves up to lose from the get-go.... I wish there were negative number ratings available...yes...this was "almost that bad". It's a shame that there is so little outlet for foreign and independent films...just stuck with this Hollywood sell to the lowest denominator garbage....”

no real point made and I think it was harsh to describe the 70’s as banal, This being the decade that gave us Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd not to mention the release of The Godfather, Jaws and a certain Space Opera. Sure it had it tough trying to follow the 60’s but banal is a bit harsh!

What I thought:
Almost Famous is a heart warming journey of a teenager wanting fame, as a budding journalist myself I emphasised with the lead character. His journey is brilliantly watchable and funny, I have rarely been happier for a main character. It’s an extremely sentimental movie for a more care free time but more than that for Rock n Roll. It’s a bit like “The Boat That Rocked” in that it shows Rock n Roll as a form of expression and release, something more than music.


That’s me getting a bit sentimental there but the music is secondary, films like these pay homage to Rock and Roll in it’s hey day. Not by making the film about music but by making a film about the people that were there, that lived it.

A Life less Ordinary



A Film less Ordinary

Lover: Taken from IMDB
“It seems that with A Life Less Ordinary you either love it or you hate it. Personally I am of the former persuasion, with it being a favourite of mine. I can see were the detractors come from, especially after viewing Boyle & Hodge's previous works. ALLO is in a completely different in style to their previous two films Shallow Grave and Trainspotting. But to say it is the weaker of the three films would be a fallacy. Stylistically the film is excellent - reminding me a lot of a Coen brothers film. The script is spot on and the performances of McGregor and Diaz are both excellent (which surprised me for Diaz) as their does seem to be a real chemistry between the two. A very enjoyable romantic comedy overall, and if an old cynic like me can say that, it must be good. “

The change in style from Shallow Grave and Trainspotting is one of the impressive things about this film, like Danny Boyle throwing an unpredicted left hook. It is however the weaker of the three as it doesn’t stay with you as much as the previous two. I can’t really see the comparisons to the Coens though?

Hater: Taken from IMDB
“How many times have I said that so and so is the worst picture I have ever viewed? Well, A Life Less Ordinary certainly qualifies. Delroy Lindo and Holly Hunter are sent back to earth to help a couple resolve their difficulties. They certainly got more than they bargained for. So did the writers of this inane script as well as the viewers who paid money to see such junk on screen. A young Ewan McGregor loses his job and his gal in one day. Frustrated beyond belief, he soon gets involved with his ex-boss's daughter who is also disillusioned with her father as he threatens her with going to work. The 2 grope their way into romance while fleeing Lindo and Hunter who die numerous times. Trouble is that they can't really die because they're already dead. Such is the same with this terrible film. Everything is so amateurish here. The bank robbery is not exactly what Bonnie and Clyde would have pulled either. Place the reel of this film in the green circular file.”

More a premise description than an actual review and no real points made, which is a shame if you’re going to brand a film as “junk”!

What I thought:After he released Shallow Grave and Trainspotting, in was only a matter of time before Hollywood came knocking at Danny Boyle’s door. The Beach was going to be the big money spinner but before that was a little romance in A Life Less Ordinary. This film was bound to get him noticed, mainly by the casting of Cameron Diaz who is on top form in this film. Boyle’s earlier muse Ewan McGregor continued in this film to be Danny Boyles eyes into what is a crazy world. It was nice to see the director at this stage in his career explore the nicer side of life.

His previous films though brilliant were an exploration of a darker side of human nature. This is the lighter side and uses fantasy elements to bring that light in. It’s funny but not overly so; above all it’s the performances that are funny. The looks and surprising charm of every character that shows you every actor loved making this film. With a CV like Danny Boyles is easy to forget he directed this but it’s worth a revisit every once in a while.

Monday, 7 February 2011

Scott Pilgrim Vs the World



A Geeks wet dream

Lover: Taken from IMDB
“I have never, ever wrote a review before even though i have watched a insane amount of movies in my time (Roughly a Million). As far as video games are concerned i have won a Nintendo Championship yeah thats right i remember those days. This movie to me stomps the best story lines out there, Crush's action films like "The Matrix". Overall this is where "Film" should be going. If you remember what it is like to be a kid and your a adult now, you and your kid(s) can watch this together. Trust me it's worth it, We all love a good drama story and thats exactly what this is. Sure they threw a awesome amount of action in there but isn't that needed so men and women can enjoy a film together these days? Oh and lets not forget the awesome way the music was brought into this storyline Kudos! MAD prop's goes out to Michael Cera dude you have brought me over to your fan base. Good call on the 100% flawless cheat code. I PRAY! there is a sequel to this movie and i hope it earns awards. Peace for now Xavier”

I think its great to, though I question the “million” films his seen and I personally feel it should be left well alone with no sequel.

Hater: Taken from IMDB
“ComedyBlogger.com had the best line, when the first weekend box office rolled in and true dimensions of this flopparoo's losses were noted: "The world won..." Could this be the first sign that Hollywood's geek streak is over, that films starring nerds with zero charisma may have hit their wall? Gotta be. Even though the graphic novel had the same bug-eye fetish as Jasmine Becket-Griffith, the hero was better looking that Cera. That tell you anything? And it's risible that die-hard fans of the comic book (let's call it like it IS, kids) have surrounded this bomb with conspiracy theory to explain its failure. It was overdownloaded! The studios wanted it to fail! Nobody went to see it! Riiiight...”

Ok so the “The world won…” is a pretty funny line but this reviewer has missed the point of a review. First of all who cares about “Hollywoods Geek Streak”? Care to back up this statement, names of films in this “streak” no? I didn’t think so! I didn’t think nerds were supposed to be charismatic and there’s no conspiracy from me, no one when to see it, it’s a shame but it’s true. Could try and talk it through with excuses of bad marketing etc but I don’t care, no one went to see Fight Club when that came out either!

What I thought:
I loved Scott Pilgrim for many reasons which I could go on about for ages but I don’t want my personal opinion clouding my judgement here. I’m not deluded, I can see why some people wouldn’t like Scott Pilgrim, I mean it’s quite fast paced and with all the alt-reality scenes and crazy fight sequences it might be a bit much from some people.

It can also lose people in one of its main aims, to bend what is essentially a teen comedy into a video game. What we have here is a weird blending of genres that doesn’t give much opportunity for laughs, like Hot Fuzz before it; which got stuck in the final third as an excuse to blow up the English countryside. Edgar Wright has proved himself the master at this; Spaced was the testing ground, the Petri dish that with each episode he would blend genre after genre by paying homage to some of the all time classics. Out of this grew Shaun of the Dead which had almost limitless supply of laughs to be had in the situation. Hot Fuzz suffers for its art as its obvious references to big buck action movies don’t leave much room for comedy.

Scott Pilgrim suffers in a different way, The computer game violence and young cast point to a hip young audience into teen comedies with a bit of bite. Whilst Pilgrim has all of this it also pays respect to some computer games that are older than the majority of its audience (with some, me included!). People can feel undermined when they don’t get the ‘in’ joke, It’s like hanging out with a new group of friends and them laughing about an on-going situation you know nothing about.

It should find more fans on DVD and indeed in lush Blu-Ray, it’s a such a fast paced film that on re-watching it you will notice things you didn’t first time and maybe laugh a bit more.

Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls



Like the first one, only MORE!

Lover: Taken from IMDB
“I don't normally respond to these kinds of things, but after reading some of the negative responses I couldn't help myself. There is a movie out there for everyone, something everyone NEEDs to laugh at and who can relate to. This movie is the opidemy of my humor and the extreme way it portrays the upper crust world of stuffy, snobby, self absorbed unrealistic people who think the world revolves around their view and opinions is classic and makes me laugh in a way that is honest for me. I read that some people were offended by it and want to get others to share their view. All I gotta say is, "If you didn't like the first one, why did you go to see the second one? Just to complain?" Do all of us "Friends" of Jim Carey a favor, if you don't like his humor, just go find some stuffy anal retentive "fluff" film, and write reviews on them that we will never read since those movies are for stuck-up self absorbed types. Sorry I just didn't think it fair that these people are "Flameing" this as if there are no other possibilities. Thanx for reading.”

Fair enough with one very good point; if you didn’t like the first one don’t bother with this, though I’m not sure about the spelling of Thanks.

Hater: Taken from IMDB
“Movie lesson #1 - never go into a sequel expecting something as good as the original. It never happens. But, seldom will a series fall as far and as hard as Ace Ventura did. The 1994 original, while not a classic piece of moviemaking by any means, but it was a funny movie with a somewhat coherent mystery plot to back it up. This 1995 sequel has none of that. The "plot" (I use the term loosely because this movie goes on so many pointless tangents it's hard to tell where the plot is half the time) brings famed pet detective Ace Ventura (Jim Carrey) out of Miami and into the jungles of Africa, after he is called upon to find a missing white bat that was to be given as a dowry between two warring tribes. An intriguing idea, especially since, as it turns out, bats are the only animals that Ace can't stand. But, unfortunately, the list of things this movie does wrong runs about as high as the things it could have done right. The idea of Ventura attempting to capture the one animal he hates could have been milked of every possible comic opportunity it could. But, it's done for nothing. Okay, so the movie does contain a few good laughs. But they are too quick and too far between. And, when your funniest joke is about a naked man falling out the back end of a mechanical rhino, you're not holding much.”

First things first some sequels are good and in very rare occasions better. Secondly there was a plot and I’d feel sorry for anyone who couldn’t follow it, yes it’s basically all about Bat poo but it is “coherent”. Clearly decided they weren’t going to like it before they saw it.

What I thought:
This sequel is in many ways exactly the same as the original, the difference here is that it turns everything up. The comedy is faster paced and sillier than the first, with Jim Carrey fully committed to making Ace Ventura as eccentric as he can be. It does however turn up everything so this time the story is even thinner and when your only biggest plot device is poo it’s clear your just using it for laughs rather than character development, action etc…

You could argue that it doesn’t make use of some of the things that are bigger, from the opening “Cliffhanger” inspired scene, Monasteries high in mountains to thick African Jungle these settings don’t appear as lush as they could be. However who cares when Ace is regurgitating for a baby bird, using a slinky or trying to run with his arms going numb? You’ll be laughing too much! There is also more acting clout with the likes of Simon Callow playing bad guys but their only there so that Ace can essentially take the piss out of them, the fact that they are so straight faced the whole way though it only adds to humour!

Does it make this a bad movie, well in truth not at all and in my honest opinion I enjoy this one more. The space that is left for Jim Carrey to go completely mad with it is immense and leads to a film that has more belly laughs and more quotable lines. Once again however it comes down to one thing; sense of humour, some love it some don’t.

Solomon Kane



It’s very, very wet!

Lover: Taken from IMDB
“If you have no knowledge of the movie before enjoying this excellent piece of art, you will probably make some of the same mistakes as I did. When Solomon Kane is first introduced, you're sudden that he is not played by Robert Downey Jr., but face-recognition is impossible until he loses the beard. First will you think it sucks, but post the prelude you will fall in love with James Purefoy. The movie provides a main storyline which you will recognize from Star Wars, The Patriot, Lord Of The Rings, but it does also provides unique touch of Solomon Kane. Imagine The Patriot following the story of Gabriel (Heath Ledger), but with a way cooler main character: Lord Aragorn from LOTR. This movie remains you of why trilogies are made, and you wish Solomon Kane was in 3,4,5 or 1000 parts. It fulfills every expectation you could ever have to an Action-Adventure movie, and if you do not like the genre, then watch it just for the beauty of it. I have never felt the need of writing a review on IMDb, though I use it dayli, but I felt i owed it to all of you. WATCH IT!”

This is a way over top review for what is a way over the top film. 1000 parts I’m not even sure about the 1 part!

Hater: Taken from IMDB
“Very poor, shameless exploitation of the work of Robert E. Howard who must be spinning in his grave. The author of this original story was such a gifted story teller. His Solomon Kane bears zero resemblance to this Hollywood film. Like the terrible films made about Conan, this simplistic farce bears no resemblance to the author's great story telling. people who give this film a positive review are clearly not familiar with the plots, style and characterizations built by Robert E. Howard. This is too bad. I was so excited initially to see this film. As a boy Robert E. Howard's stories were a vital part of my life. Kane was one his more obscure characters, so I was hopeful. However, this film does not honor a single line, moment or idea of the original stories. They have just stolen his name and wardrobe and made a film that makes no sense at all to me. I was unable to finish watching this film.”

I felt it was important to get an opinion of someone who knew something about the original work, as I have no idea. As you can see it’s not that good!

What I thought:
The first thing to pop into my mind when talking about this movie is that I think it’s raining for about 90% of the film. Now that’s not a reason to think a film is bad, it is however a hint to how lethargic the rest of the film feels. Solomon Kane feels like a bad rip off of Lord of the Rings transported to Medieval England. There are no similarities in story it’s just the look for the film, starting with our hero.

For anyone not familiar with the original comic book Solomon’s look is pure Aragorn, there is nothing really wrong with that but the similarities are to strong character wise. There is no attempt to make Solomon a totally original character and when he’s lumbered with the cheesiest lines in the film it all looks and feels so wrong just imagine Aragorn telling all those orks on pelennor fields to “come on!” Credit where credit is due James Purefoy does the best he can with the material and does convince with his fighting which by the way is the best thing about the film.

With a story that is as un-original as it is predictable and actors that look like they’re hoping to make the next big fantasy franchise, it must find a niche somewhere? The action is a redeeming factor, very well thought out sequences of swords, axes and sorcery are fun to watch. The final nail in the coffin, when our big bad guy shows up at the ending you’re waiting for Gandalf to appear and cry “YOU SHALL NOT PASS!” It’s just too much! Well here is hoping that the reboot of Conan isn’t this bad.

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Ace Ventura: Pet Detective



Jim Carrey at his zaniest!

Lover: Taken from IMDB
“I'm guessing that everybody knows the story of this movie by now, but for those who might not have had the opportunity to see this great movie, it's quite a simple formula. The Miami Dolphins mascot is stolen and by word-of-mouth advertising Ace Ventura (Jim Carrey) is called into manic action. His job is to find the dolphin and return it before The Miami Dolphins' crucial game. Jim Carrey is quite simply amazing, I never stopped laughing the whole way through the movie. This is surely Carrey's best work, even now. OK, Dumb and Dumber and The Mask are very funny movies too, but this takes the biscuit. Everything Ace does made me laugh, from whipping football player's with a towel to get a ring imprint to showing up at a mansion party and being his usual manic self. 100 laughs per hour, if you have a sense of humour, then this movie is for you!!!”

A good review but Ace Ventura is definitely an acquired taste when it comes to sense of humour…

Hater: Taken from IMDB
“It's mainly because of Ace Ventura. He's just too much here, too much to the point where it's just stupid and VERY annoying and just not funny. He was a lot better in The Mask and Bruce Almighty, but here, it's just too much. I don't understand why people find Jim Carrey doing dumb faces or saying dumb things hilarious, it's really not. It's just stupid. How was this a hit film? How did it do it? Did people really watch crap like this? Because honestly, that's like watching Chris Crocker kiss another man, I mean seriously, it's just NOT FUNNY! It's just so bad, and people are saying "no it's not Jim Carrey, he did amazing" no, honestly, it WAS him, because he was just too much here, and it's just not funny, it's stupid. Definitely a 1/10, an abysmal film, watching it was worse than cutting up my butt with razor blades and rolling in a pile of salt.”

… And this review proves my point, Ace Ventura is Jim Carrey at his absolute craziest and clearly it goes too far for some people. Me on the other hand…

What I thought:
This incredibly silly comedy works for me mainly on two areas, the fact that I still have the sense of humour of a 12 year old boy (vital in liking this film!) and it makes me very nostalgic. This and the sequel (Natures Call) got me though the last few years at secondary school, where me and my friends quoted it endlessly along with another Jim Carrey hit; Liar Liar. This means that every time I watch it I still laugh in the same places and feel the need to instantly call or text my old school friends the same parts we used to do.

This aside, Ace Ventura is as I have said before an acquired taste. If you have a very silly sense of humour you should get a kick out of it every time our hero is on screen. It dips a bit every time he’s off it (which thankfully isn’t much). Some people however will just find it silly and not funny at all, this film is not for them, they should be watching Woody Allen or something! It’s important to forget things like plot and character development when watching any of Carrey’s older films and this is no exception. A thin ‘looking for a dolphin / gender bending plot twist’ ties the movie together but this is just a stage for Jim Carrey’s silliest character. It’s brilliantly funny if you have the right sense of humour.

About Me

My photo
"Films are Loved, Films are hated. I'm here to help you decide where you stand..." I also do web work including a good knowledge of HTML, ASP, using the adobe web package and a strong understanding of SEO, Google Analytics.