Thursday, 10 November 2011

The Adventures of Tintin:The Secret of the Unicorn (2011)

An animated film from Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson with the voice talents of Daniel Craig, Andy Serkis, Jaimie Bell, Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Cary Elwes and Toby Jones and the writing skills of Edgar Wright, Steven Moffatt and Joe Cornish. This has to be the greatest film ever submitted with these people involved and it is based upon a much loved book series from Herge. Why does it not work? Well part of the problem is that there are 3 screen writers involved all brilliant in their own way their previous works are their as proof and it is based on a book. What were they all there for? Really I am unsure it sticks to the book quite closely but there is something lacking from it. The voice talents are lost in the visuals it is in 3D for no reason other than the added value at the box office.

I do not know why this film fails but I think most of it is to do with too many people involved. All this really is and should be is a big screen visual representation of the characters we all know and love. It should perhaps have changed things slightly to make it work better on the big screen. I have to say there were some little nods to fans of the series, the crabs, the cigars and a good gag at the start about how the characters look but that is it.

Overall perhaps my expectations were to high from a film that should have promised so much but to be honest I did not know as many people were involved until afterwards and really I came out feeling it just missed the mark. I am going to be harsh and say 2 stars wait for it on DVD if at all. I will say that perhaps on a re-watch I may enjoy it some more but looking at IMDb I am surprised the next 2 are already in pre-production as they have just presumed this will work.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Anonymous (2011)

Was Shakespeare a fraud? A question asked many times and there are several proposed conspiracies and let us be honest it happened more than 400 years ago so we will never know the exact truth. But this film is a suggestion of what may have happened and irrespective of the story and whether you believe the film you have to love it, Roland Emmerich not a fan of his stories but you have to love what he can bring to the screen with his epic visuals and stunning photography. He brings to this story set during teh reign of Queen Elizabeth the 1st a sense of the time, the filth and how people lived in these times.

The central performaces were brilliant from Rhys Ifans as Edward, was that good in this role that I did not recoignise him and have a new found respect for his acting which has been flawless. Vanessa Redgrave as an aging Queen and David Thewlis as Lord Cecil which he played brilliantly. Over all the only flaws in this film is the story which is a major part but also it is not that important if you let yourself go and believe what the film is saying you will appreciate what Emmerich has brought to the screen.

This film seems to have missed a large audience as it has barely lasted 2 weeks in cinemas and this is a shame, believe it as fiction if the concept bothers you but watch the film and appreciate what they are doing. In these days of remakes and sequels it is refreshing to see a new story brought to the big screen, a solid 4 star recommend from me.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Open Graves (2009)

This was an interesting idea I saw being advertised on the TV so taped it, starring Eliza Dushku and Mike Vogel and it appeared to be a horror version of Jumanji so I was interested. From the off I knew I was probably going to be disappointed, terrible acting and dodgy loose plot and early on i was actually tempted to switch it off. But anyway the play this game that they are given by a strange man in a wheelchair. Now they appeared to be on a surfing holiday and were interested in weed and beer so why they played a game they had never heard of? But these things must happen for the story to progress.

So the game gives out death cards and the players will die how the card describes it, now the holes start to appear in the story and the film. The effects are that funny they are not even funny, the crabs are terrible and so unbelievable. And the first person dies before the game is finished and then you are at his funeral and nobody else has died and straight away you are like what. So it progresses with some more terrible effects the snakes form nowhere are shocking. You are really just hoping for some cool depths and thinking well there must be a cool twist at the end? The ending is predictable and laughable and really badly thought out as the surfer proves himself to be a dude. The side story of the cop is pointless as well and not that well explored.

So this film is not worth seeing on any level, it is disappointing to see them spend the money on something like this, again it is an interesting idea and in the right hands could have been awesome instead it is a disjointed waste of time, please do not see this 1 star drivel.

Friday, 4 November 2011

Ghostbusters (1984)

This is the 1984 film, I have seen this film many times and love it as one of my favorite films of the 1980's, I heard a rumour that it was getting re-released on the big screen on a limited release and I was quite keen to see it. However there a showing in Glasgow so I made my way through to see it on the big screen. It was well worth the extra effort to see this classic on the big screen I loved the experience of seeing Dan Ackroyd, Bill Murry, Harold Ramis, Sigourney Weaver, Rick Moranis, Ernie Hudson, Annie Potts and William Atherton play out a story I knew so well.

It is not a remastered version so you can see some of the effects showing up quite badly on the big screen in today's digital world however this did not detract from my experience. Also this is by no means a perfect film, the story itself is great but back in the 80's they kept to your basic story structure, you have the main characters, the set up of their position and then the situation for them to sort out. It is simple and works and the jokes and one liners keep flowing.

If you have not seen this film yet I would recommend it, if you have seen it before and get the chance to see it on the big screen I would recommend it, possibly not the best option if you have never seen it before as it does not look great. The experience for me is 4 star, if they cleaned up the effects I would give it 5 on the big screen. Let me know what you think of it and here is hoping for the sequel to be released next year.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Jumper (2008)

The 2008 film starring Hayden Christiensen, Jamie Bell and Samuel L Jackson, I had put off seeing this film for as long as I had not heard good things about it and I have a real problem with Hayden, the hangover from him being mis-cast as Anakin Skywalker, that us something I will have to get over. But apart from my dislike of him I just do not think he is that good an actor, he was not very good in what I love as a premise. You basically have someone that discovers they can tele-port anywhere they have seen or been, that is never quite clear.

Apart from the fact that I did not believe or like Hayden in the lead role overall this was a massively missed opportunity from what they had to begin with. The idea is awesome and the basic story line is good as well but they just try and squeeze far to much into this film, they have a story with Jamie Bell as a middle character, Samuel L Jackson as your bad guy and so many rules about the "Jumping" that they try and let go but it would be better if they had an exposition scene where an experienced jumper explained it as I spent most of the film trying to figure out the rules so was not worrying about the story of the film and with so much trying to go on I missed somethings.

Not a great film, I think that a remake or perhaps a directors cut could work, I would probably be able to get over the Hayden factor if the story worked that we bit better for me, 2 stars not worth seeing this effort.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Piranha (1978)

This is the 1978 killer fish film from Joe Dante, starring Bradford Dillman and Heather Menzies-Urich it is from a grimy time and low budgets. I have to come out and say that I can see past all of the problems of this film to state that I love it. Even the problems when you stop and go would you really do that? Really? I still love it, there is a dark humour that comes from the way that the film is put together and it is as funny now as it was when filmed with a comedy in mind.

This film starts with a couple of hitchhikers who go for a swim in a tank of water that they had to climb through a fence for, it is dark and I ask would you really swim in a tank of water in the middle of nowhere? Then you have Maggie looking for the lost couple who drags the drunk Paul along to try and find them and quickly they end up in the same place as the couple and they break a lock to get in, I mean this is all set up which makes me think there is a level of let us quickly get to killer fish without worrying about believability. In her desperate search for the couple instead of contacting the authorities they go inside ignore the clearly twisted genetic experiments and drain the tanks and so you have killer fish in the water. And from there the fun ensues with a race down river following the path of destruction that the fish leave in their wake.

Joe Dante sculpts this film expertly along there is character development so that you care when someone is eaten and you know what is going to happen and how it is going to work but that is all part of the fun. I will admit that there are some serious flaws in this but you cannot really fault this film, so for me it is a 4 star review and a recommend, certainly if you enjoy dark horror comedy.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Transformers 3:Dark of the Moon (2011)

So I watched the 3rd Transformers film even though the first 2 were nothing special or appealing and now there was no Megan Fox to look at, even though as an actress she was nothing special I have to be honest and say I think she looks good. Shia Le Beuf is back and I did like the fact that he was not ensconced in the heart of Military Intelligence and they did try to play it a little real, however let us remember that this series of films are about giant robots that are from space and they fight each other, this is not based in realism so the fact that they bother trying to develop this when in the last hour they forget anything like development when the robots are fighting.

Michael Bay does not seem to live in any form of reality when it comes to making movies and apart from the fact that these films take so much money he should not be allowed to make films. Transformers 3 is about an hour too long, there is a scene at the end when I am like what happened there it is like I missed 5 minutes, must have dozed off, and really in a film about robots changing into cars and fighting why was I so bored?

There is very little actually any good about this film, fair enough the effects are as always awesome and I can believe that the robots are there but the characters, I do not care and actually I was hoping that they would fail. They introduce random Autobots never seen before so they can die and there are racist stereotypes abound and why have a fat waddling Robot, who designs a robot to be fat and cumbersome? This is barely worthy of the 1 star and I would avoid this at all costs, it is not worth the time it takes to watch it.