Monday, 31 October 2011

Sharktopus (2010)

This is a SyFy original starring Eric Roberts, I cannot believe that they actually paid money to make this, I watched it hoping it to be so bad it is good but it is not, this is a 1 star avoid at all costs, I cannot even be bothered to tell you why it is bad.

Friday, 28 October 2011

Paranormal Activity 3 (2011)

I enjoyed the first 2 Paranormal Activitiy films but in all honesty was not that bothered about PA 3, especially when I heard it was going to be a prequal. I want to know what Katie did next and how they can work it in. Anyway they open with some extra footage found from the start of 2 that shows a big box of VHS that goes missing and they we appear to see what was on those tapes, that is not a spoiler as such but straight off the bat they give exposition about the film you are about to see and then throw in a question about how we are getting to see this film, annoying that they missed this, if I can see through a hole like that it has to be pretty obvious because usually I misss these things but anyway. The story follows the girls from the previous film Katie and Kristie and them growing up and it is essentially back ground for the first 2 films.

The film makers put pressure on themselves by setting it in 1988, you are going to VHS and you have to justify why a family would have what were expesive items back in the late 80's I think they pull this off and they get away with it but there are so many issues as soon as some of the stuff appears on camera I would be at the experts not trying to figure it out and the reactions of some small acotrs is a bit strange. And ultimately that is my problem with this film, it is clearly a film, why the continued push and determination for it to all be caught on hand held cameras, who tapes themselves while they edit video, it is ridiculous and unbeleivable. Anyway the story in it's basic form apart from the holes I can rip in it and the continued far reaches behind why they would film everything it is actually wuit enjoyable.

I would recommend this for anyone that liked the first 2 it is basically the same idea and the tension and scares did get me and I enjoyed it, but do not go in expecting a masterpeice, 3 star recommend for those people that have enjoyed the other films. I have heard tha PA 4 has been green lit and what I would love to see would be a normal film, form the point of view of the detectives investigating the first 2 films, using the footage from all 3, that would be interesting if done well.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Blazing Saddles (1974)

Finally watched the Mel Brooks classic from 1974, the Western spoof where a Black Sheriff played by Cleavon Little is appointed to a town by Harvey Korman who wants the land, because when the railway goes through it will be worth a fortune. With Gene Wilder as the Kid and Slim Pickens as Taggart this is a brilliant comedy film.

I have to be honest and say that several of the jokes are out of place and the use of the N word in today's society is unacceptable so there is a jarring call when it is uttered in the film, however the film addresses this itself and makes a fool of it really well. I love one of the first scenes with the sing off "Camp Town Races" makes me smile every time just to think about it. The jokes mainly hold up, the camp fire scene is one of the most famous and is still funny even if this is on a totally base level.

I have to say even though some of the comedy and references are a bit out of date and out of place this is a solid 4 star film and everybody should watch it at least once.

Friday, 21 October 2011

Real Steel (2011)

I went to see the new Hugh Jackman film which is a robot fighting movie with a heart of gold, it is the story of Charlie Kenton played by Hugh Jackman, who is an ex boxer and now trains and builds Robot fighters. And then he finds out the mother of his child has died and he sees instead of a child a paycheck and from there you have the story of a father and son who do not know each other who are spending the summer together before the Son, played by Dakota Goyo moves in with his aunt.

You have a love interest for Charlie in the form of his boxing trainer's daughter Bailey played by Evangeline Lily who played Kate on Lost. They had fairly good chemistry and a believable relationship and you were rooting for them to get together. The story is fairly predictable however the effects were truly awesome with Atom being as much a character as any of the living people and the fight scenes were awesome. This film for me is aimed at a young audience so the bad guys are obvious and outlandish and are played well on the small scale by Kevin Durand and on the grand scale by Karl Yune and Olga Fonda.

I loved and enjoyed this film and give it a strong 4 stars and recommend for the acting, the story and the special effects, go and see this and enjoy it.

Friday, 14 October 2011

The Goonies (1985)

This is one of my favorite all time movies, I have seen it so many times that when re-watching it I am able to quote whole conversations and the jokes still work for me, i will say that there is a level of nostalgia and I think that the music the jokes and the setting just put me back to when I was a child watching this film repeatedly from a VHS we had taped from the TV. I had watched the tape so many times I used to know all of the adverts on the VHS. But back to looking at the film, the best thing about this for me is that it throws you into the middle of a situation, it is easy enough to pick up what is happening and they reference so many things that happened previously that I likened it to being the film at the end of a TV Series which shows that Chris Columbus really was a great writer and Richard Donner is a great director, everything in this film works.

Your main cast is a surprising in that so many of the child actors are well known for other things, Sean Astin in Lord of The Rings, Josh Brolin in No Country for Old Men and other things, Corey Feldman for being Corey Feldman and Jonathan Ke Quan as Short Round in Temple of Doom. The fact that so many of them are still around shows they had the chops and it was a dream cast. The baddies, thr Fratellies are played by the late great Anne Ramsey, she still scares me today and i would not cross her and teh fact that her 2 sons hate each other as the vye for her attentions. The set peice is the dream and realm of so many kids fantasies from that era, who did not go looking for treasure when they were younger?

This film is a 5 star masterpeice that I actually think people watching today for the first time will still enjoy, and if you have not seen it, you will see some really common pop culture refrences and where they originated so "Hey you Guys!" Make sure you have seen this film.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Gnomeo & Juliet (2011)

The William Shakespeare play redone as animated garden gnomes what can possibly go wrong, You have the red garden versus the blue garden in this battle of bitter rivalry that no-one can remember how it started and then Gnomeo and Juliet meet and fall in love. This is not that deep a film and is very much for the kids with some references for the adults as well, the voice acting provided by Emily Blunt, James Mcavoy, Jason Statham, Richard Wilson and Patrick Stweart and a whole host of other big name actors there really is quite a lot to like about the cast of this film. And while some of them get really small roles over all none of them do anything wrong, i do like what they do with Tybalt voiced by Jason Statham.

This is a simple story with bright colours that the kids will love and enough references to keep the adults entertained. I have heard bad things about how they address the ending of the original story and I have to say that I disagree, this is a kids film and it introduces a story to them that may encorage them to explore some of the great literature as it comes in a package they can appreciate, the fact that they even take the time to address the ending of the play and the fact that they are going for a different version is good and at least they do not brush it under the carpet.

All in all this is not a film I will revist time and time again but if I am ever fortunate enough to have kids it is definetly a film I would let them watch and would happily watch with them, it is a solid 3 star recommend for the kids.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

True Lies (1994)

So I was doing a mini marathon with Arnold and decided to re-watch the James Cameron, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jamie Lee Curtis venture in to spy comedy that was True Lies. I knew I had seen this and knew some points but could not remember everything that happened so was interested to see if I would like it. With Tom Arnold, Tia Carrere and Bill Paxton in supporting roles you know that the acting is going to be pretty good and an early role for Eliza Dushku as well.

Your premise is that Arnold Schwarzenegger is a spy and Jamie Lee Curtis is his wife and she knows nothing of what he does. The fact that he is saving the world daily and is never home on time is driving a wedge between them and the story unfolds to some interesting points with a terrorist subplot that keeps the action driving on. The premise works quite well you have a transformation performance from Jaimie Lee Curtis and you have Arnold the super spy a role that he fits into but you actually think would never really work as he stands out so much. You have Tom Arnold as the comedy sidekick and Bill Paxton in a role he was born to play the sleazy car salesman. This has James Cameron all over it with the car chase with a helicopter and the fight with the Harrier Jump Jet you can see his love of special effects and fantastical situations. While there are so many levels of unbelievable there is only a little suspension of disbelief required to enjoy the film.

Overall this was a joyous romp of a film that entertained me with the comedy, the acting and the action and effects, I have to say that this is 4 solid stars and several more re-watches along the years, the scene with the lamppost cracks me up. 

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011)

John Le Carre's epic novel is brought to the big screen, directed by Thomas Alfredson and starring a whose who of British cinema with Gary Oldman putting in a performance that is already being talked up for an Oscar with support from Colin Firth, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Hardy, John Hurt, Mark Strong and Toby Jones. This is based on the 1974 novel of the same name and tells the story of George Smiley played by Gary Oldman as he tries to identify the Soviet mole in the upper echelons of the British Secret Service.

The acting in this is awesome but the story is long, it was last told in a 6 hour mini-series and there is not much exposition in the two hours you are given. I have not read the book and would presume that if you have read it it will be even better as I have heard it is quite true to the original story. All of the actors in this do give excellent performances and if you can follow the story then you will really enjoy this film.

Overall I am going to give this 4 satrs, however it does come with the caveat that you have to give it a chance I heard from a couple of people that they found it long and boring. If this sounds like your sort of film then I think you will really enjoy it.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

The Debt (2011)

My latest foray to the cinema was to see the new film starring Helen Mirren, I had very little knowledge of the story going or who else was actually in this film. It is based upon a true story but as I do not know the story it was pretty intriguing going in and by the end I had a good idea what was going to happen so there is no real surprises. However it does play with you a couple of times and keeps you wanting to see the conclusion.

This is the story of 3 Mossad agents, the covert intelligence agency in Israel, their mission is to capture a German war criminal played by Jesper Christensen, the agents are played by 2 actors one while they are young and older actors when the film starts 30 years later. Rachel is played by Jessica Chastain and Helen Mirren, David is played by Sam Worthington and Ciaran Hinds and Stefan is played by Martin Csokas and Tom Wilkinson. There are 2 stories the 1965 mission and 1997, which is present day in the film. The 1965 story is good old fashioned espionage with the 3 agents behind enemy lines getting to know each other and follow out their mission. Then there is present day when there is some fall out from the mission 30 years previously.

This is an entertaining film based upon a 2007 Israeli film of the same name and is actually well worth a watch, Helen Mirren is as Impressive as ever and apart from some issues with the older male characters and who they represented I really enjoyed this. Go and see it, I give it 4 solid stars.