Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Friday the 13th Part 9 - Jason Goes to Hell the Final (1993)Friday - Review

So watched this film as part of the marathon and suddenly from no where in the series there is a family link to Jason through a sister, we get 9 films to get here. We also have the real unbelievable supernatural element kicking off in this film with the start going the way it does. This is just more of the same with Jason killing people but now he has a different level of reasoning behind who he is going after and why.

I was really getting quite bored of doing the marathon by the time I got to this film, there were a couple of high points though with a real element of supernatural goings on you had a different level of what could and did happen and what they did with it was actually quite good and enjoyable.

This is worth 3 stars and in all honesty 1 of those stars goes to the very last scene of the film which i will not spoil, as part of the series it fits in but can be a bit draining if you have sat through the previous 8 instalments of the franchise before getting to this film, worth seeing if you like the genre.

Monday, 30 May 2011

Lara Croft Tomb Raider (2001)

As part of my discovery of Angelina Jolie I decided that watching the Tomb Raider films would be a good place to go, I have never played the video games or know anything about the character so did not have any real expectations. I have to say that based on the first film I was pleasantly surprised, the action was exciting and there was enough comedy involved to keep me interested and smiling.

There were a couple of actors that I was surprised to see in there including Chris Barrie as the butler and Daniel Craig as the love interest, I was not interested enough in the film to really care about the plot but it seemed interesting enough and made some sense to me, it took it to a super natural place which i was surprised about and I have no idea if it was out of place but as a female version of Indiana Jones while not nearly as good it was still enjoyable.

I give this a 3 star pass mark, interesting enough to be worth watching but overall nothing that special.

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Friday the 13th Part 8 - Jason Takes Manhattan (1989)

Now you are getting to the point in the series where it has gotten really very silly, the start with the resurrection scene with the power cable to bring Jason back is tenuous but fair enough then for some reason he follows a group of graduates as there was a girl who was once thrown in the lake. Anyway it is ridiculous an really not worth seeing again, though this is at least the second time I have watched it as part of a marathon.

I would say that if you are a completest or doing a marathon watch it to see how low the series goes and how silly they get. The biggest issue is that continuity which was never that important has gone completely to the point that in New York one of the biggest cities in the world Jason can find the 2 people he wants to kill and track them down to the point of predicting where they will be. The writes just seem to have had loads of ideas and they shoehorn them in however. I will say that Jason has some sort of character in this episode with some comedy moments, like with the mask on a billboard and raising his mask to show the thugs.

Really it is a 1 star film that was just churned out to meet an annual want to have a Friday the 13th film in cinemas, I can imagine the disappointment of paying full price to see this nonsense in the cinema.

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Mr & Mrs Smith (2005)

After watching Salt and enjoying Angelina Jolie in that I decided after a couple of recommendations to try some of her other films. I went with Mr & Mrs Smith as i have not heard good or bad things about it and thought it looked an interesting concept. I have to say that i really enjoyed this film, there are so many ridiculous elements and as long as you give it a bit of leeway in that respect it is very enjoyable. The set pieces are convoluted but in a fun way and the story itself is a straight up re-telling of Romeo and Juliet.

Brad Pitt has always been an actor that I like, I think that he has a fantastic range and can play so many different characters. Angelina Jolie is as good in this as she was in Salt and i am beginning to regret ignoring her work for as long. There is Vince Vaughn in a part role and he does nothing, really good or bad he just happens to be there, the rest of the cast play there roles well.

I really enjoyed this film and will give it 4 stars, there is action for the boys and a good love story running through out the film for the girls, I would definitely give this a recommendation.

Friday, 27 May 2011

Friday the 13th Part 7 - New Blood (1988)

You can really see the progression of the films as they get to part 7 and you have the resurrection scene or release scene depending what you want to believe performed by a psychic. So you know from the off there is basically going to be the same plot concepts as the last film. This does not make it a bad film but it is nothing new or original in the series or the genre.

You have your new group of partying teenagers and a rampaging Jason who has to be beaten again at the end, it is all quite predictable. I have to say that again there are some good death scenes and some interesting and funny jokes in this film but nothing to startling.

So 3 stars for this, not the worst in the series by a long shot but certainly not the best and not worth watching out of context of the Friday the 13th series.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Mary Poppins (1964)

I had possibly seen this film many years ago, however when I watched it on DVD I knew most of what was going to happen but could not remember the ending, possibly due to the fact that this film is a true classic and has been around for years I think everybody will have seen parts if not all of this film.

This film hails from the classic musical era and has some classic songs including a word that I will not attempt to spell but now even appears in the dictionary this shows the impact of the film. I think that if you have not seen it then you should endeavour to give it a go, there is a feel good element and a few good laugh scenes.

A 5 star masterpiece of filming and a must see for all the family.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Friday the 13th Part 6 - Jason Lives (1986)

So now we are at the final part of the Tommy Jarvis trilogy and again a new actor is playing this role, this time it is Thom Mathews. You are actually getting to the point now that the films are categorised as comedies, you are watching them for the kills and the thin story. Again this is a step up from some of the sequels as there is an acceptance after Part 5 that Jason has to be a zombie as he has come back from the dead in his first true resurrection.

If you just watch this as part of the series then it fits in quite well there are some cool death scenes some quite funny scenes and a lot of deaths that are quite deserving, the story if given a small amount of credit is not actually that bad either and can be watched semi seriously.

This continues the trend and gets 3 stars from me not quite a must watch but as part of a marathon of the series or simply as a fun slasher from the genre worth seeing.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Along Came a Spider (2001)

I caught this film one night on the TV and thought it has Morgan Freeman, why not give it a go. Could not really see the point of it, it's an adaption from the Alex Cross books and the start has a scene where a car crashes and you can imagine on paper it reads quite engrossing and tense on film it looked silly.

The whole story has some interesting twists and turns but in today's modern world of twists nothing was really that surprising to me, I thought the acting and direction was fine and the story was not to bad but there are a couple of leaps of faith and really the whole point of the exercise from everybody is a but questionable as to why they do what they do.

I will give it 2 stars as there is a few famous people who do nothing wrong in it and it is more to do with the amount of films I have seen that make me see what they do as repetitive and cliched.

Monday, 23 May 2011

Friday the 13th Part 5 - A New Beginning (1985)

Now we are on to part 2 of the Tommy Jarvis story, this time he is played by John Shepherd, Tommy has been in mental care since he killed Jason and he is having visions of Jason Vorhees or is he. It starts out interestingly and has a nice we twist on the Friday the 13th series and is actually done quite well.

Now I have heard that there are people who do not like this film due to the way that it plays out and the final outcome. I have to say that as there are now 12 films in the series on a first watch through it makes this film a bit different and worth a watch.

I will give this 4 stars as a different and worthy part of the series and is an interesting instalment in the series.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Attack the Block (2011)

Went to see this at the cinema and had quite high expectations of the film, based on the British core running through it. I think my expectations were to high for the film, there is nothing really wrong with the film but from the first time you meet the main characters you struggle to like them for anything they do and the attitude they have. This seems to be the main flaw in the film is that they do not seem to know what they want to portray. They have the Teenage gang running the block and then they are supposed to be the heroes of the film. They try comedy but it does play along side the fear in the neighbourhood and the realism of inner city London that they try to portray.

Joe Cornish as a director does a really good job apart from struggling to decide in what direction to take the film, I think he should have gone more comedy than using the fear elements of Harry Brown that he tried to feature, I think that if it was more like Shaun of the Dead then there would have been a bit more to it. The acting was excellent and the language used was about right for the area they were trying to achieve and in many ways they captured people's fears of teenagers but did not do anything to really change my perception of teenagers.

I am going to say 3 stars and if you are interested then it will be worth seeing for you, if you have no interest in seeing it then you really will probably not get anything from it.

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Friday the 13th Part 4 - The Final Chapter (1984)

Part 4 of the series introduces us to Tommy Jarvis, played in this film by Cory Feldman he was at the height of his child acting fame with The Goonies and Gremlins coming out about this time as well. He played the part well and you are actually left wondering about his character at the end of the series. You have another group of teens setting off to Camp Crystal Lake or Camp Blood as it is known within the series, and the usual deaths and excitement occur.

This is actually a step up in the series from part 3 and is enjoyable fair as Jason is now in full flow, he has his mask and likes his machete, there are some cool deaths in this film that sort of define the series. It is also the start of the parts being named and the name having almost no reference on the series by the end.

I give this film 4 stars, there are some good performances and a good role played by Crispin Glover of Back to the Future fame which is always nice to see.

Friday, 20 May 2011

S.W.A.T. (2003)

I have seen this film several times now and I have to say that I love it, Colin Farrell, Samuel L Jackson, Michelle Rodriguez and Jeremy Renner in big guns, explosions and crime thriller you cannot really go wrong with his film. I will admit that it is not a classic film it is to me a guilty pleasure that I can watch at any time.

You have the action of the crime thriller but you also have the part where the misfits are pulled together by Sam Jackson and they get the big job and they set the records. If you like action films then you will enjoy this it is again a film that you have to switch your brain off to enjoy like a lot of action films.

This is a 4 star film, I can watch this at any time and will watch it almost annually as enjoyment factor and can see it wherever and whenever, go and see it.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Friday the 13th Part 3 (1982)

The 3D film that started it all? Not really but it is funny as I have never seen this film in 3D and not that interested either. The film in 2D is fun, the effects of the 3D are there to be seen with poles flying out and yo-yo's coming down to the screen, again and again. This film is not to bad, there are some pretty cool scenes in it and it has Jason getting his iconic mask so has some good history for fans of the genre.

To me this is the start of the generic sequels, there is no real continuation from the previous films even though they have a flash back at the start of the film there is no real need for the continuation. There is a thing where they introduce a character that you have never seen before but they were traumatised by Jason or the lake years ago.

This is 2 stars it is a low point in the franchise, not the lowest it goes but still only a few high points for true fans of this series.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

The League of Extraordinary Gentleman (2003)

This is a guilty pleasure of mine, I understand why people don't like it as the realism and strangeness can totally jar with what some people like. I enjoy it as it is a bit of silly escapism, the steam punk nature of the world that they work in is fun and interesting. You follow so many famous characters from different stories and this is possibly another thing people dislike as the author of the original story took existing characters and did what he wanted with them.

I think it works quite well as a bit of fun with some good explosions and scenes, i do think that it get's caught up in it's own importance trying to put meaning and develop character that is not really needed. The actors they got to play the characters were good and as developed as they need to be but like I said there are some story threads that are just not needed and bog the overall fun romp the story is.

I will say this is 4 guilty stars for me, I can watch it fairly regularly and still enjoy it and actually watched it last when it was on the TV.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981)

This follows on from the original film, and is listed as 5 years later, you get the recap of the first film at the start which as I had just finished watching the first film it was a waste on me. They take the ending of the first film and run with it which is really strange and the real flaws in the series start as they try to get continuity but in the story there is no real need continuity needed and trying to make it work just makes it silly.

So in watching this film and knowing that the continuity is nonsense I am reviewing it from a slasher point and without the first film. So I looked at it from the fact that there are a group of teens in woods being stalked and killed in cool ways.

It is okay as it introduces Jason as a killer and they discuss him and wonder what it must be like and they give him a back ground I have to say that it is dull and is exposition that is not needed. They do cover some excellent points as they have the boy in the Wheelchair and you think well their is a survivor.

Overall this film is not great, there are some cool bits in it and it is the start of the Jason series and he does get better, it is 3 stars for me as it is better than some of the following sequels but not as good as the others.

Monday, 16 May 2011

National Treasure 2:Book of Secrets (2007)

This is a sequel that is the same as the original but a totally different film, I am totally unsure how I feel about these films. They are great fun and enjoyable action adventures, there is the issue that the first film has an ending that the start of the second has to destroy to allow the story to progress and it always annoys me as I like people to be happy.

The film itself is okay there is so many steps of weirdness and really would they get away with that? I doubt it but as long as you can switch your brain off and just go with what Nicholas Cage has to do to complete the mission and save the day.

I hope there are no more of these films but this is a 3 star film if you can switch your brain off and suspend your disbelief.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Friday the 13th (1980)

Firstly I have seen this film several times now and this was the first time I had seen it on the BluRay, the film itself is an awesome classic with the cliches in film that are now almost standard in the slasher genre. The only down side to the BluRay was that it is so clear and excellent quality that the Tom Savini practical effects lose some of their impact as the transfer is so clear, you can see the flaws. This was a disappointment as the practical effects in this film are awesome and seeing them for the first time must have been fantastic.

I love these films as genre and a piece of cinema history, while there are far to many of them they define an era and started a genre. The sequels to this original go to far and in a strange direction and the original film in the series set a mark that was hard to beat. The only issue I have with the film and slight spoilers there is that the killer is never seen in the film until the end, so as a murder mystery which some people regard this, it is hard to go with as the killer is unseen.

I would recommend that as a film fan you see the original anyway, the sequels can probably be missed but the original is a 5 star film that is worth watching, also you get to see a young Kevin Bacon which is pretty cool.

Saturday, 14 May 2011

The Kings Speech (2010)

After all of the Oscar hype surrounding this film I had to go and see it even though I had no real interest in the subject matter, I have to say that I am very glad that I did see it as it was awesome, it was funny and entertaining and keeps you engrossed. Colin Firth was fantastic as King Bertie and Helena Bonham-Carter also played a brilliant part as the Queen Mother however the star of the show for me was Geoffrey Rush, he was phenomenal as the speech therapist.

I would really like to know the accuracy of this story as it all seems really fantastic and I am sure that there is some dramatic license used. The film as a whole is an excellent piece of entertainment with what appears to be some good historical facts and characters.

This is a worthy Oscar film and gets the 5 star royal seal of approval from me, if you have not yet had a chance to see the film it is well worth seeing.

Friday, 13 May 2011

Drive Angry 3D (2011)

This film was another pay check for Nicholas Cage I went to see it with very little information thinking that it would be a good chance for them to use the 3D in an action/gory type way. The performance from William Fichtner as the accountant was excellent, really enjoyable and the direction they gave Hell was interesting and good idea.

However overall the film made very little to no sense it was a series of set pieces with a thin watery story running through it. There was the opportunity for an interesting twists and story line but I think this film was cut and adjusted or just very poor and only got released because Nicholas Cage was in it and they knew there was an audience that would go and see it because of that.

I cannot recommend this film to anyone, if you want to know the interesting thing they do with Hell, ask me and I will let you know. But avoid this film, the 3D is not even good enough to justify seeing the film. 1 Star from me on this one.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Black Swan (2010)

I saw this film without really thinking that it was for me and was not thinking that I would get anything from it. However Natalie Portman was so worth her Oscar, her performance blew me away and she shows a range across all of her films that is staggering and I want to see all the films she does in the future as I know she will be worth watching.

This film carries scares and darkness that is surprising and there are a couple of scenes that really make you jump, in the realms of the Ballet it is intense, the music and dancing is beautiful and you really fear for Portman as you see her becoming more and more embroiled in the characters and the role that she is playing and you can see it taking over her life.

This is a 5 star story and a must see, even if you do not think it is for you. If you have seen Natalie Portman in any of her roles especially the Star Wars prequels then watching her in this will show you how good an actress she is.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

127 Hours (2010)

Now this film falls in to the category of real life story so I was not very sure about it, also it is about a man stuck by himself for 5 days how entertaining could that be. I have to say I was really impressed, they did enough development of the character to begin with that you were there with him James Franco engaging you enough that you wanted the best for him.

The visuals of this film, the bits in the film where Aron is going a bit stir crazy are fantastically surreal with a real sense of loss and at one point when he is talking into the camera it was totally moving and stunning.

Even if you know the story then you have to see this film, the scene that you know is coming is not that graphic but really does give sense of what he went through and what it would have been like to be in that situation, this is a solid 4 stars for me and a you should see it recommendation, it will not appeal to everybody but I think that everybody will appreciate the story and how it was filmed.

Monday, 9 May 2011

Tron Legacy (2010)

I enjoy the original Tron, I think that it was probably due to nostalgia as I re-watched it before going to see Tron Legacy. I realised there is an awful large suspension of disbelief required to actually enjoy it. I am sure when it came out originally it was visually stunning and what was known of computers what it portrayed was possible if a bit far fetched. Then they decide that nearly 30 years later a sequel is needed, I was anticipating much from this film, the graphic and effects have moved on so much I wondered what they could do with it. 

They failed to achieve anything, I saw this in 2D so I think a lot of the effects were lost on me, a film should not have to rely on 3D to be spectacular but the story itself lacked any real drive or engagement. It was predictable and the only highlight was Michael Sheen in a Cameo role. Jeff Bridges seemed to have decided to come back to get paid, the story had him as some sort of God who could manipulate the world but they never went anywhere with it. And how the whole thing ended was fairly predictable. 

The Visual effects were pretty good but I think that they focused to heavily on the 3D so I am going to give this 2 stars, I would say wait for it on TV, not worth spending any cash on.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Season of the Witch (2011)

So I saw this film on a Sunday afternoon when the GF was working, what a serious disappointment, I saw the trailer afterwards so went in thinking, Girl suspected of being a witch, everybody wants her dead, along comes Nic Cage and sees the good in her. Well if you saw the trailer it destroys that illusion straight away and half way through the film without the trailer you know something is going on.

It is a really simple story that has 10 minutes of violent set up that does nothing to develop the lead roles and it is a total church bashing without any redemption for the main characters in defence of what they do. There are couple of interesting points in the story but based on how the film was sold to me the way the film went made no sense whatsoever. I came away from the film thinking, really what was the point.

Nicholas Cage seems to have decided he is going to do as many films as possible just to get paid, he phoned this performance in and was nothing special the whole film is not worth seeing so a 1 star stay away from this piece of nonsense.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Meet the Parents 3: Little Fockers (2010)

I was never a huge fan of this series but the GF was and so when the third instalment came out we were always going to go and see it at the cinema. I had watched 1 and 2 and smiled at a few of the jokes but always thought that all of the characters were to far out there. This can work but i always felt that they tried to keep it in the realm of reality and to often for me it really clashed and jarred. If they had gone as far out there as they did and there was a level unreality in their life it could have worked a bit better for me. 

It just never worked for me on any level, the Robert De Niro comedy doesn't really work for me, not sure if I don't think he can pull it off or if i am just so used to seeing him be serious and Ben Stiller has always been hit or miss for me, to be honest more miss and i prefer when he is not the central character, like in Dodge ball. 

Overall I did not enjoy this film and will have to give it 1 star, I would say that if you really enjoyed the first 2 then see it. 

Friday, 6 May 2011

Love and Other Drugs (2010)

I saw this film in the cinema and it was not my choice but I have to say that this has been one of my favourite films of the year. Apart from the fact that you get some Anne Hathaway nudity and some loving from a naked Jake Gylenhaal this film is funny and heart warming and a real gem.

It explores the story of a drug salesman that is in the job at the start of the Viagra release and his love Story with Anne Hathaway who has (disease). I loved this story it perhaps comes from the totally low expectations I had going into the film.

I would give the film 5 stars a beautiful love story in the back drop of the American drug industry.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Independance Day (1996)

The classic alien invasion film was on the TV and I could not resist the chance to watch it again. I loved this film when it came out, back then I was not going to the cinema and I cannot remember the first time I saw it but I know that there has never been a time when I would not enjoy it, Will Smith, Bill Pullman and Jeff Goldblum defeating the alien menace with a pen drive.

Yes this film has so many plot holes and inconsistencies but let's be honest it is about giant spaceships flying across the galaxy to conquer us. And you have fireballs and White House explosions and of course there is the tragedy but it is a blockbuster and is designed to be entertaining which it is.

I give this film 4 stars and i am sure over the years I will watch this film many more times, if you have not seen it and you enjoy action adventure and some rough Sci-Fi then go and see this classic.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Salt (2010)

To be honest before this film Angelina Jolie did nothing for me, I have never really thought much about her in either looks of acting. However in this film which I have seen a couple of times now, I have to admit that I think that she is awesome and she has really made me consider viewing her other films as I did enjoy her performance.

I enjoyed this film from a story point of view as well, you have a basic premise of a Russian spies in America and the historical cold war theme. It is possible that this was a script written for back during the cold war and has been re-written for a modern age and if so I have to say that it works so well. There are a few plot holes and things go far to well to plan for some of those people involved but the story is engaging.

I enjoy this film and can forgive some of the more far fetched ideas and will watch it again in the years to come, so a solid 4 stars from me.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Raymond Did It (2011)

I saw this film at HHW and to be honest it left such a small impression on me I had forgotten that I had seen it, says so much to me about this film. I am not a fan of low budget amateur film making and to be honest having been to my first convention that shows amateur films I will not be rushing back to see a lot of them in the future.

In my experience it was not actually that bad of a film, some of the kill scenes were actually inventive and gory and looked good, but the acting was pretty bad and the whole thing felt like it was dragging on, I think that if this film was cut to 60 minutes from the 85 minute run time then it could have been more engaging but it did drag quite a bit in the middle and I did not really care for any of the characters.

I am going to be generous and say 2 stars for the sheer effort of the director and I think that if given the opportunity and a bit of guidance he will be able to go far, there were some glimmers of great ideas within the film.

Monday, 2 May 2011

True Grit (2011)

This is the remake of the 1969 cowboy film, which I have never seen, the remake stars Jeff Bridges in a role I have heard he was very keen to play and put a lot into it. He was very good and the overall film was very enjoyable, I have heard from other people that have seen both of the versions that it is quite close to the original.

Now from the fact that it is quite close to the original there is to me very little point to this film having been made other than Jeff Bridges wanting to play a specific character and for the companies to cash in on the older film. It does nothing for the modern age as it is set in the Wild West and is not even a director telling a story in their words.

It is part of the problem that today all the films that come out are sequels, remakes and reboots, some original ideas would be nice. If the story is new enough and good enough it will work. Remakes can be good films and they can introduce an new audience to an old classic but for me the Western is a genre that does not need to come back in the modern age, I will give the film 2 stars and this is mainly for the good performances of Barry Pepper, Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon, Josh Brolin and Hailee Steinfeld. See it if you like Jeff Bridges or Westerns but it does nothing new, see the original instead.

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Ironclad (2011)

Saw this film at the cinema and it is the first time in a long time that I have been looking at my watch to see when it will be over. I was looking forward to the film, it was about swords and fights and a siege and had to be good. I was wrong, it was long drawn out and so very predictable, the Knights Templar saves the day, well there was a surprise, really it did nothing for me and would not recommend this film to anybody.

The actors themselves did nothing wrong but the direction and the story really were not that well thought out and I have to say a real disappointment.

So 1 star for this film and a truly obvious stay away from it from me.