Friday, 26 August 2011

Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011)

I went to watch this film with anticipation and some trepidation it falls in to the double whammy category of remake, of a sorts from the Apes films and a prequel to the Mark Whalberg remake of the Charlton Heston classic Planet of the Apes. So I was not really sure what to expect from the film in general I knew that with James Franco and John Lithgow acting in the film and Andy Serkis doing the motion capture there were going to be some good acting and great special effects. The trailers which I have seen a few of and reviewed one here did not give as much away as I thought after seeing the film. The editing of them was quite deceptive and watching the trailer after seeing the film I have to say that they look like they are advertising a different type of film.
I have to say that overall I was fairly satisfied by the film as a whole, there was some good acting by John Lithgow as the Father with Alzheimers and a good performance from Tom Felton as a keeper in the Primate sanctuary with an interesting performance from Brian Cox as his father. The biggest disappointment to me was James Franco I thought he was totally miscast as the scientist I could not believe in him as a super intelligent character, which is a shame as I have really enjoyed a lot of his films recently. With Andy Serkis doing the motion capture for Ceaser I have to say that it was totally believable and the CGI which the film has to rely on heavily was awesome. The Apes which had to convey so much emotion without any words or communications you could see the intelligence and what they wanted from their movements and reactions.

Overall with worried expectations I have to say that I really enjoyed this film it is a strong 3 stars and I am interested what they are going to do with the series if this film is successful enough to spawn the probable sequel, I have to say that the nods to the original with Charlton Heston and the fact that it lossely linked back to the Mark Whalberg film were fantastic and I really enjoyed catching them. The one thing that bothereed me while watching was the sheer number of Apes in just the one city.

Monday, 22 August 2011

The Running Man (1987)

The Arnold Schwarzenegger film from 1987 based upon the book written by Richard Bachman who we all know is Stephen King, so you have a sci-fi film from the pen of Stephen King, I have never read the book but want to. This is another film that I have seen several times and I love it every time, it is the real height of Arnold's career where he gives all of his best one-liners including the I'll be back repeated from 1984's The Terminator.

I will see this many times again in the future and recommend that everybody gives it a go. You have a future where the corporations are running everything and the number one rated show on the network is The Running Man where criminals are sent in and killed by themed Stalkers, you have Schwarzenegger as Ben Richards who had been previously framed and escaped from jail and he is launched into the game zone. This film works so well as it puts the corporations with all the money as the bad guys and as liars.

This is a 4 star recommend for me, it suffers form being dated a bit and there are laws that some people will not get over but i think it is well worth seeing.

Friday, 19 August 2011

The Thing (1982)

The 1982 classic from the master of suspense John Carpenter, a film that I have seen several times and will watch many times again, I have listened to fan commentary's and dissections of this film and there is nothing that will make me dislike the film. It is a remake of the 1951 film  The Thing From Another World, so it goes to show that remade films can be better than the original, that however is not an excuse to go around remaking them all though. With the soon to be released prequel, the trailer which I reviewed here I decided to re-watch the film for the first time in a while on Bluray.

One of the things that this film is famous for is the effects back in 1982 they were all practical and I was worried that watching it on Bluray might destroy the memory of effects that are truly believable and fantastic. But from the Dog to the spider head they all hold up as well on Bluray as they ever did on VHS or DVD.

This is a classic of the horror genre and a must see for all fans of the genre and all movie fans in general I give this a solid 5 stars and say that everybody should give this a go at least once if you have a love of film.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

RED (2010)

This comic book adaptation sees Bruce Willis, John Malkovich, Morgan Freeman and Helen Mirren as retired operatives that come out or retirement when a Black-ops team invade Bruce Willis; home and try to kill him. It is a hilarious action comedy that brings together a stellar cast to romp through some serious explosions and action sequences.

I have to say that I was looking forward to seeing this film, as a non-comic book reader I had never heard of the series before the film and had not seen that much about it. I just thin that the cast alone was worth watching and seeing what they could do with a basically solid story idea. The action and acting did not disappoint me I have to say that there were some set ups and ideas that made me laugh out loud, the love stories are actually something special.

This is a solid recommend from me and I hope that if you have not seen it then you will give it the time it is well worth it and funny enough to pass the 2 hour running time, 4 shinning stars from me.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

The Change-Up (2011) Trailer

So they have made another version of Freaky Friday and this time they have decided to do a best friend switch, I have never been that big a fan of these films from the version with Jodie Foster and Barbara Harris to the Jamie Lee Curtis and Linsay Lohan version and the Judge Reinhold and Fred Savage film Vice Versa this idea has been done many times before. Now I have to say that the idea that they change it the way they does makes it different but still it is the same basic idea, they will get a better understanding of each others lives and be happier in their own.

Now my preconceptions might be wrong and there maybe some really funny high-jinks while they find this out but to be honest it is not a film that appeals to me. Jason Bateman and Ryan Reynolds are both excellent actors and I like them both but I thin that this is definitely a wait for DVD if I see it at all.

UK Release Date - 16th September 2011

Disappearance of Alice Creed (2009)

This low budget British thriller sort of slipped under the radar of most people but it was brought to my attention by somebody I trust so i thought it would be worth risking even though on reading about it i was not that enamoured by the idea of it. Your story is Alice played by Gemma Arteton is kidnapped by Vic and Danny and there is your entire cast list. This is a character driven piece and it is encapsulating, you have the relationship between Alice and her captors and then between the captors.

I have to say that I loved it, the interplay between all of the characters is fantastic and the basic story is simple and detailed with enough points that you stay interested and want to see it play out to fruition and the payoff is fantastic and I have to say i loved the ending. The way the story played out worked so well for me that it blew my mind it made me sit up and go yes!

This is a shining 5 star recommend from me. I think that everybody that likes film should give it a watch as more films like this need to be made.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Troll Hunter (2010) Trailer

This film was first brought to my attention by the guys at and their podcast and since then I have been keen to see this film. It is a hand held film from Norway where they go hunting for Trolls, now really do you have to know anything else?

I have watched a few trailers for this film and there are a couple out there that seem to show an awful lot of the trolls so i am even more intrigued to see where this film goes, in all honesty it is the sort of film I am starting to really appreciate and look forward to. The best ideas and best delivery seem to be coming from countries outside the UK and US. Some great examples have been Timecrimes and REC from Spain, Let the Right One In from Sweden and Ip man.

I am really looking forward to seeing this film and I just hope it gets a wide enough release that I get to see it locally.

UK Release Date - 9th September 2011

Centurion (2009)

The Roman epic from Director Neil Marshall starring Michael Fassbender as a roman centurion that starts the film escaping from the Picts and linking up with the 9th Legion who have been sent over the border to wipe out the picts. This story is an off shoot and side story from the book the Eagle of the 9th Legion and looks at some survivors of the failed invasion trying to escape from the hostile lands of the north. I have to say that from the outset I was keen to see this film, I really like Neil Marshall as a director and have not disliked anything he has done (Doomsday confused me when i first saw it but still liked it).

This has a wide and varied cast with Michael Fassbender in the role of the Centurion Quintas Dias, Olga Kurylenko as Etain the mute Pict who is vicious and deadly, you then have several actors as Romans in the group trying to get back in to their own territories including David Morrissey and Noel Clarke, you have Axelle Carolyn playing a pict called Aeron, you did not get to see enough from their point of view but when she was on screen she was very good. Imogen Poots was the pict witch that the romans encounter.

Overall this film was a lot of fun with some good bloody battle scenes and some good character development, the only major flaw was that there were too many characters and they could not all get enough screen time so you were left wondering about some of them. Overall though this is 4 star goodness that i will watch again in the future.

Monday, 15 August 2011

Johnny English Reborn (2011) Trailer

I cannot believe that a character from a Credit Card advert got to make a film, so the fact that he is getting a sequel really surprises me. I have to say that I do not really remember the original film though I do know that I have seen it but I have to say that it did not stick in my memory.

So you have Rowan Atkinson reprising his role as Johnny English, I have to say that whatever he does I do enjoy his performances, he is probably going to be the best thing in it but i see that Gillian Anderson is in it I wonder if her comedic timing will be any good.

I do not fancy this at the cinema but will probably give it a watch when it comes to the TV.

UK Release Date - 7th October 2011

Sherlock Holmes (2009)

So I watched the Guy Ritchie adaptation of Sherlock Holmes, now this character has been done several times and I will be honest and say that I have not actually seen any of them and have very little knowledge of the characters other than the generic rules that everyone know as they are in pop culture. Such as Elementary my Dear Watson, magnifying glass and the pipe and the relationship between Holmes and Watson.

Now Rogbert Downey Jnr has had a resurgenice between this, Iron man and Due Date and he is really performing well. I have to say that I liked his portrayal of the character it showed his brilliance and the leaps of logic that Holmes is famous for. Jude Law was interesting as his partner with a sense of resignation that he would be tied to Holmes forever in some way and also the regret that he wanted his life to move forward. The story of teh film itself is interesting, there was a little bit of well there is the sequel getting set up and I have to say on review this is an origin film. You have the characters setting up, even though they are well established in most peoples mind this is them getting set up.

I enjoyed this film a whole lot, it will not be for everyone and I have to say that while I will go and see the sequel i am not in that much of a hurry to see it. A solid 3 stars for me.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Tucker & Dale vs Evil (2010) Trailer

A fun trailer for me to review as I have seen the film but i have to review it to show everybody else how much fun it is and that you should see it, i saw it at Horror Hound Weekend in March and here is my original review here.

The trailer is a good and honest appraisal of the film, you can see the trailer and the website here.

I have to say that I hope this film gets a wide release and i hope that everyone that enjoys horror films and comedies should go and see this film if it is in a cinema near you or find a cinema it is in.

UK Release Date - TBC

Captain America:The First Avenger (2011)

So I got to see Captain America after looking at what I thought of the trailer which is here. I have to say that my expectations of another origin film were met, I am not a big fan of the origin films but have to say as I have no knowledge of Captain America it was interesting to see something I had never seen being done previously. There were some points where it was a bit predictable and the fact that he is going to appear in the Avengers film which is set in present day you knew where it was going to end.

This film was enjoyable with some excellent effects very impressive with Chris Evans looking both very weedy and pumped up. Interesting that they went with a  love interest when they knew he would be around 70 years after the end of the film. I have to say that after the trailer for Captain America I had high hopes for the Avengers but now I am really worried. How can they manage to give each character a reasonable development within the Avenger circle and still have it as a feasible film. While that in itself will be a sequel to Iron Man, Thor, The Incredible Hulk and now Captain America it is in essence another origin film. I actually think that they might have been better going for the high budget high value TV series to set these all up, they could have spent 2 to 3 hours on each character and their interactions with each other and the finalise with an ensemble show that features them all.

But back to Captain America this was an enjoyable film and I would recommend that you go and see it if you have any enjoyment out of comic book films, it is one of the better films 4 stars for me.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

The Thing (2011) Trailer

So the 1982 classic from John Carpenter is getting a somethingm from what I understand it is a prequel and is based in the Norwegian camp, so anyway we know how this will end up. Why on earth do we have to have a sequel to the classic, why not have an original idea to the original film (I know Carpernter's is a remake) but why not just leave the original and steal the idea and create a stand alone story that has nothing to do with the Thing but uses the same basic idea. The problem is that the film is tied to what is shown in the original also it is a group in the Antartic how different a film can it be without changing some of the rules.

Anywy the trailer does look good and I will probably see the film at the cinema as the original this is a prequal to is one of my all time favourite films. You have Mary Elizabeth Winsted invited to the antartic to investigate what the Norwegians have found and the creature comes through, I do wonder if they will actually finish where the John carpenter film starts with the helicopter, that would be fun to see.

So overall another film that is not needed at all but I will go and see it at the cinema.

UK Release date - 21st October 2011.

Super 8 (2011)

So the film from Steven Spielberg and J. J. Abrams is finally here and i went to see it at the cinema as all Steven Spielberg films should be seen there as I think that he is the quintessential film maker. I knew very little of this film going in and have to say that the hype worried me, how can a film from the master of subterfuge J. J. Abrams be that good when all of the advertising is so subtle.

Now I feel I gave this film a fair going but did make a throw away comment just before the film started that at the end I thought I just about nailed it with that one comment. The comment I made was "JJ is remaking E.T. with Mr Spielberg, lucky him." now it is not really a remake of E.T. but thinking about this film it is really a cross of  E.T. and Cloverfield and I cannot get this out of my head. I will say that the start of the film pulled me in there were enough questions going on that I was like oooh I wonder what that means and I wonder how it will all fit together. I have to say that the Train wreck was epic and immense and looked cool, but hey the car was untouched which was convenient.

I feel that this film is over hyped from the outset and the story is a mash up of 2 works from these directors and I feel cheated for some reason. I have no idea what I wanted but I don't think it was this. For that reason I am going to say 2 stars and the only reason it is not 1 star is the performances and effects are worth more than 1 star/ Ultimately I might be wrong about this and I will see it again on DVD but at the moment this is a failure for me.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Shark Night (2011) Trailer

So watched this trailer wondering what it was going to be about and the trailer sets up your standard group of teenagers going to the lake for the weekend and then the shark attacks, really what can go wrong with this type of film.

It looks a little bit more than some form of Jaws knock off so hopefully it will be good I will definitely be looking forward to this at the cinema when it comes out.

UK Release Date - 30th September 2011

Monday, 8 August 2011

The Amazing Spiderman (2012) Trailer

The Amazing Spider-Man coming to a cinema's in 2012, I had not even heard that this film was getting made but it looks awesome from the trailer it is a reboot starring Andrew Garfield who found fame in The Social Network and possibly should have won the best supporting actor Oscar according to some people I have heard who talk abut these things.

It seems to go further back than the Sam Raimi original origin story and brings in Peter's parents so that could be interesting. I am not a big fan of origin stories but I have to say that it does look interesting, it really is interesting that a film that is not even 10 years old yet is getting rebooted, it either goes to show that they are willing to do anything to maintain rights or they truly have run out of ideas.

I know that I will go and see this film at the cinema because I always see the really big films there. Not saying that i am going with really high expectations but I do expect to enjoy it.

UK Release Date - 5 July 2012

The Descent Part 2 (2009)

*Spoilers for The Descent* My review of the first film here.

The follow up to the Neil Marshall film about the caving females, firstly I do not think that this film was needed and if they had to remake it then why not ask Marshall to come back and do it again? Anyway this is the point that they had to decided which ending to go with and they went with the one that brought the Shauna MacDonald character to the surface. The British version finishes with the fact that she imagined her escape and this for me was a mistake but then it is a film I did not think needed to be made.

Saying that I went in looking for the same sort of tension that Marshall had been able to craft in his original film, it was not there to the same level there were to many strange decisions. For some reason the Shauna MacDonald character while almost comatose was dragged back into the caves and while it only happened a couple of days previously she could not remember what had happened. So you have a lot of plot points to get you where you need to go and overall I actually enjoyed it. There was a nice twist at the end that was fun and a couple of surprises through the middle which were good.

This is a 3 star film that did not need to be made and they could have gone a different direction which I think could have worked a bit better but overall if you enjoy the first then the second is worth seeing.

Friday, 5 August 2011

The Devil's Double (2011) Trailer

I have seen the trailer a couple of times for this film and the first thing that puts me off is the fact that it states based on a true story, now as far as true story's go I am happy to watch them but why I am only hearing about this story via the big screen? If it is a true story then why has it not been all over the news and were we all made aware of it but hey they make a big feature film about it. Really it just bothers me.

Anyway it is the supposed story of the body double of Saddam Hussein's son Udey and his recruitment story and what he has to do and what it offers him. I am sure it will explore the offer of unlimited power and experience against the good of the body double.

I do not know how I feel about this film at all, apparently my father in law to be will be interested in seeing it so looks like I will be going to see it.

UK Release Date - 10th August 2011

Fortress (1992)

So I decided to revisit the 1992 Christopher Lambert science fiction thriller where it is against the law for couples to have more than one child and after the death of their first Christopher Lambert and his Wife played by Loryn Locklin are trying to get into either Mexico or Canada when they are rumbled. Shenanigans ensue when Christopher Lambert is caught and ensconced in the Fortress.

Kurtwood Smith is in charge in the futuristic highly technological prison and he is a bit wooden but it works so well and you will understand if you have seen this film or choose to watch it. A nice little twist and an interesting comment very near the end about where some of the people of the future may end up. This is an enjoyable look at the future of the world and the justice system and was par for the course in the late 80' early 90's. I am glad the future did not come out as dark as the predictions of those film makers but i am happy for their vision as it makes the films that much more entertaining.

I would say that this film is 3 stars it is very enjoyable and has a time in place but it looks a bit dated and the acting and effects are a bit ropey even by the standards of the time. There is the dark little look at the end of the film and I wonder if the film maker wanted to end it 2 minutes earlier would have made it a very dark situation.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Final Destination 5 (2011) Trailer

You have to love this series but after the 4th film I was like no way can they make another and no way can they make it any good, however from the trailer I have to say that I am won over. The rules have changed in this film and no longer it is about saving each other to make the pattern skip but the trailer makes you think that they kill each other to survive which makes the whole thing a lot more exciting.

I am actually really looking froward to seeing this film after seeing the trailer and i just hope that it gets a chance to live up to the expectations that i ma now placing on it. It is in 3D but I think I will just give that a miss as there is just no need for paying the extra and even though I have my Shrek 3D glasses which I love I am not that bothered about 3D any more.

So I will see this in the cinema and let you know if it is worth seeing at all.

UK Release Date - 26th August 2011

Timecrimes (Los cronocrímenes) (2007)

This time travel horror film from Spain was recommended to me originally by the Night of the Living Podcast, it was then recommended by the Horror Etc podcast so I knew I had to be on to a winner.

It stars Karra Elejalde as Hector with Candela FernándezBárbara Goenaga and Nacho Vigalondo as the rest of the cast, it is a small peice that is very similar to Triangle starring Melissa George and is very good, if you are willing to watch subtitles then it is well worth the investment of time.

This was 4 stars of sheer enjoyment for me and I would recommend that everybody takes the time to watch it, pay attention to it as there is some good twists and turns and making sure that you follow it adds to the enjoyment.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Mr Poppers Penguins (2011) Trailer

Watched this trailer with no real knowledge of what the film is about, it would be Jim Carey inheriting 6 penguins and as he comes to accept them his life slides into chaos. I am not really sure where this film comes from but it is nice to see some form of original idea, even if it is a standard something arrives in your life disrupting it and ultimately will probably make you happier.

Looking at the IMDb page along with Jim Carey you have Carla Gugino and Angela Lansbury starring beside the penguins that all seem to have personalities, this will probably have a few laughs, most of which you probably see in the extensive number of trailers that are available and I am sure the kids will enjoy it.

It is not Oscar bait and I will probably wait to see this on the TV if I see it at all, it might appeal if i see it cheap on DVD or run out of other things to watch but I will not be running out to see it.

UK Release date - 5th August 2011

G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (2009)

The Stephen Sommers blockbuster live action version of the 1985 cartoon, I was never a fan of the TV series which is based more around the US military system as the UK had Action Man. I have heard many many complaints from fans of the original series and characters most of them are due to the fact that Marlon Wayans plays Ripcord. The story follows Ripcord and Duke who are escorting some new military weapons when they are ambushed and then Joes swoop in and rescue them and then they get recruited, surprise surprise.
There is nothing that surprising about this film on the whole, but I have to admit that I had a really good time watching it, Marlon Wayans plays the funny man as he is want to do but I thought that he brought a reality to the comedy and was not that bothered by him or any of the rest of the cast as they did what was required to vanquish the bad guys.

The biggest flaw for me was that it was an origin film and it is so left open for a sequel I enjoyed it and I will go and see that when it comes out next year, 3 stars for me.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Friends With Benefits (2011) Trailer

I saw this trailer in front of Horrible Bosses and I have to say that while it falls into the category of romantic Comedy while not the sort of film that I would normally like it did look funny. You have Mila Kunis from Black Swan and Justin Timberlake from the Social Network and pop star status who are friends and decide to try and introduce a sex without emotion relationship into there friendship and shenanigans ensue.

I have to say that I think I have where the story goes figured out but you never know I might be wrong and it certainly looks like it will be interesting to see how they do get where they are going.

Sure my better half will want to see this so will possibly end up at the Cinema to see it and I am sure that I will enjoy the film on the big screen, Mila Kunis is certainly not a hardship to watch.

UK Release Date - 9th September 2011

Jennifer's Body (2009)

The horor film starring Megan Fox and Amanda Syfried directed by Karyn Kusama and written by Diablo Cody of Juno fame. I wen tto see this film at the cinema origianlly and have actually seen it again on DVD, the premise of a High School girl who becomes possesed and eats her classmates. I have to say that I enjoyed this film both times that I saw it.

Megan Fox is actually watchable but it is Amanda Syfried that makes this for me, she plays the HEroine of the peice really well and all the way through the film I actually believed in her. The language used is a bit strange and seems to be a Diablo Cody style which can jar a bit with me and might put people off.

Overall this is an enjoyable flick that is worth seeing if you like horror films it is nothing startling but a bit of fun, 3 stars overall for me.

Monday, 1 August 2011

The Smurfs (2011) Trailer

The little blue Smurfs get the big screen make-over, the Belgian cartoon is the latest 80's program to b ere--imagined on the big screen. Having seen the trailer for this I have to say that it looks good, really they can make any film and idea appear to be a good thing and the CGI looks good, however I do not think this is a film for me.

There seems to be the idea that the Smurfs end up in New York City and they have to find away home, this is a bit like the story of Enchanted which was a good film in itself and I am sure that the film will appeal to the target audience which is obviously children.

I do not think that I will end up seeing this film, however I think that on DVD I will probably give it a watch I have certainly given time to films that are more than likely a lot worse than this appears to be. I will perhaps wait to see what the reaction of the critics is.

UK release date - 10th August 2011

Saving Private Ryan (1998)

The Steven Speilberg directed epic starring Tom Hanks and Matt Damon and a raft of other major actors is a modern classic in my eyes. From the opening scene at Omaha Beach to the story behind why they are going after Private Ryan I think this film works on so many levels and how the film ends works so well for me I think that it is definetley my favorite war movie of all time and I can watch this again and again.

The set up with Tom Hanks going behind enemy lines with a group of men to simply find one man who's family have suffered a tragic and terrible loss. It poses some interesting questions that the film addresses and while it is not a perfect film by any means, the actors however portray the different characters found in any army excellent with the platoon being made up of Tom Sizemore, Ed Burns, Barry Pepper, Adam Goldberg, Vin Deisel, Giovanni Ribisi and Jeremy Davies. Tom Hanks is in charge and he plays one of my favorite characters as you believe in him and I would follow him into battle and their job is to find Matt Damon and take him home to his mother.

Overall this is a film that I love and will happily watch again and again, if you have not seen this please fgo and see it and let me know what you think a 5 star film for me.