Jump to content

A movie watchers blog


kerraig UK
 Share

Recommended Posts

I know its unlikely, but 'does Denzil Washington always play characters called Frank?'

That's a huuuge step forward for Hollywood though. Any film where a black man's called something other than Tyreese or friggin Jermajesty - or just by a gangsta nickname - is like a revelation.

Next up: ensuring English characters are able to have names like 'Frank' too, instead of 'Neville Poncenby-Puffybottom' or whateverthafuck. Then I'll know we've arrived.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I liked Unstoppable, but by golly it's dumb. All the way through it I was just thinking lower a guy onto the train.... Yes I know they tried that, but it only didn't work due to a freak occurrence while they were also trying something else at the same time. Can someone disable the crash zoom control on Scott's camera, please.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Chasing 3000 - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0483586/

Two brothers drive across country to see their hero, Roberto Clemente, get his 3000th hit.

Pure melodramatic nonsense. The start is unintentionally hilarious as Ray Liotta is stopped by a traffic cop for speeding and when he explains that he is going to see a Clemente statue the cop begins to cry and the scene is played dead straight. The film never improves. We get a Liotta voice over with heavy nostalgia (sometimes this sort of narration works - Stand By Me) but often it comes across as full fat cheese. Everything about this film is smothered in sickening saccharin from the over bloated music, over the top performances and ridiculous script. It goes through practically every conceivable cliche you could hope for - estranged father, crippled younger brother, US road trip etc - and not one of the elements is used in an interesting way to the point you can predict how every single scene will play out. There are quite a few bad films showing on Sky Premiere this week but this is by far the worst.

AVOID

The Lost Future - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1615091/

A group of post-apocalyptic survivors, struggle to survive in a world where jungles and forests and primeval wetlands and deserts have obliterated civilization. They staunchly face genetically mutating beasts and mysterious diseases in an attempt to re-establish the human race as masters of Earth.

Yay, I'm back to the Syfy Original films. You can tell this one has a higher budget than normal as the effects, although ropey by traditional standards, don't actually offend the eyes. The script does still offend the ears and soul but I have come to expect that from the Syfy channel so it becomes less of an issue every time I watch one of their films. The big surprise here is the predominantly British cast from newer actors (Hannah Tointon, Annabelle Wallis) to up and comers (Sam Claflin) and even the well established (Sean Bean). The latter was a big surprise turning up, I can only assume the money was good or he had a couple of days spare and had nothing better to do. The story is pretty flat but at least it isn't another natural disaster movie and the pacing is better than normal for these types of film. By any other standards though it is still rubbish.

* 1/2

The Curse of Inferno - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0118909/

rather dull minded bank robber suddenly suffers from a change of heart and decides to give the money back. However, he then learns that getting the money back into the bank is much more difficult than taking it out.

The main reason I ended up watching this was the appearance of Janine Turner, she was pretty much the only reason I used to watch Northern Exposure too. Unfortunately her appearance doesn't save what is a very dull comedy. In fact if the EPG didn't say it was a comedy I'd probably have no idea this was supposed to be intentionally funny. Pauly Shore is terrible in the lead role, he is neither funny or likeable and even Turner isn't particularly good either (even though it is only a few years after Northern Exposure and Cliffhanger she appears to have aged an awful lot - maybe she had some bad plastic surger in the interim). For a madcap comedy it really isn't very madcap, the scenarios escalate but not enough for them to be entertaining or strange enough to create amusing moments. No wonder why I hadn't heard of this film before now.

* 1/2

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It was always going to happen one day but I have finally been beaten by a film. That film is the oh so wittily titled, You're So Cupid and I only managed the opening fifteen minutes. My finger was hovering over the off button within the first thirty seconds, the worst thirty seconds in all of cinema perhaps, as Lauren Holly (what the fuck has happened to her face?) delivers an utterly repugnant voice over accompanied by sickly images and music that made me cry tears of blood. I've sat through so many bad films in my 29 years (too many in the past twelve months to want to mention) but I have never been offended by a movies opening credits before. Unfortunately the film got worse, a feat I did not think possible. I don't want to describe those minutes, I don't think I'm ready to relive them myself just yet, but please don't try and be brave and watch the film for yourself as I fear some may not survive.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd be tempted to pick up the gauntlet, but after tonight's session I don't think I'm the man for the job.

Tonight I watched Blue Valentine, a love story starring Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams that has picked up many plaudits for its brave, no-nonsense, gritty treatment of a troubled relationship. I'd heard that it was emotionally raw, unflinching and cleverly constructed. Unfortunately, I was left with the impression of a slight and overfamiliar story that was fairly undeveloped and relied on the actors to carry off convincing performances in scenes that were less than inspired.

To be fair to the actors, they did just that. Both the leads convince in their roles, but there's nothing much here that you wouldn't see in a hundred other films about troubled relationships. This one, to its credit and its benefit, bucks the modern trend of relying on a score to supply and elevate the intended emotional response and depends on the substance of the scenes to provide the emotion, but although the dialogue and acting in these is convincing enough there's not a sufficient dramatic impetus to sustain interest throughout, and plot-wise the story is as everyday as you could imagine. I guess that's the point.

What slayed the whole affair for me was something that doesn't usually trouble me in films: I didn't really like the characters. The woman seemed utterly self-absorbed and simultaneously self-doubting, and the man absurdly self-sacrificial and at the same time full of pent-up aggression. As mentioned, these clichés were mitigated (or obfuscated) by some natural performances and the occasional well-realised scene of domestic minutiae, but were then compounded the next second by a series of other clichés, such as the boss who hides carnal lust under praise for his underling's performance and the pained marriage of parents as a warning about unconditional fidelity; even the violent-jock-as-ex put in an appearance. Scenes that were presumably supposed to be touching, such as a young lover's 'wacky' ukelele serenade, came across as contrived and unconvincing. In the end, I was left with no emotion other than the desire to slap both the central characters in the face for their crass stupidity, and to write all the rest out of the script.

I say 'at the last minute', but that's not strictly true: if you do decide to watch this film, I'd advise you turn it off at the end of the last scene, because things get briefly but significantly worse after that, in what is perhaps the worst closing credits sequence I've seen in recent years. It doesn't do much but layer some stills of the younger, happier couple underneath some banal popular music, but in doing so it seemed to me it revealed the horrible truth that I suspected had lain at the heart of the film all long: it's just a slideshow of clichés, and once you add the hitherto missing obliquitous pop soundtrack back in, it's not only vapid but also faintly nauseating.

At least they didn't secure the rights to Tom Waits' eponymous tale of unhappy love to play over the closing titles. That really would have reduced me to tears.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Whilst it is true it is over familiar I really liked Blue Valentine, bar the odd misstep I thought it was quite successful at making you care about quite unlikeable characters. Admittedly much of the appeal of the film comes from the brilliant performances but it was still a nicely shot and edited film. Compared to so many other US indie films of late the fact it was even watchable is a triumph.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Aye, but to be fair, I think you're more used to sitting through dreadful films than I am so it'll compare a lot more favourably to the median, I guess: in common with many, I just tend to give a wide berth to stuff with a bad odour. Life's too short. Which makes the prospect of You're So Cupid all the more enticing, curiously - can it really be that bad? Hmm...

...

Fucking hell, it's so bad it's not even showing up on the LoveFilm list. Man, I was just about the make that High Priority.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Enduring Love

Two strangers become dangerously close after witnessing a deadly accident.

IMDB link

I’ve never been a fan of Ian McEwan’s; tried the book years and only managed about 40 pages. The film starts from a very interesting high concept (an errant hot air balloon kicks off a series of unusual events) but slowly deflates (ho ho) as the story progresses.

The problem stems from many angles: the leads are unlikeable and their relationship – even before the intrusion of Rhys Ifans’ character – seems implausible and shaky. The portrayal of these two’s life together isn’t helped by the fact they’re screamingly, achingly upper-middle-class, sitting around discussing their petty first-world problems with equally irritating London professional types. I don’t know about you, but I was wishing them all the suffering of hell just for being a pair of pretentious pricks.

I’ve seen the dead-eyed Samantha Morton in a few things, but never is she more self-consciously ‘acting’ than in this. Daniel Craig’s a bit better, but it all still comes across as two older students in a drama class, showing-off to the group, with dialogue that feels flaccid and poorly improvised. Craig’s decent when being physical and imposing, and even with his cut-glass acquired accent fails to convince as someone intimidated and unable to cope with the situation.

Ifans is better, turning in a performance that is always unsettling but entirely plausible. It’s detrimental to the performance that the script swiftly ditches his more oblique sentences to have him be obviously barmy. And this is where the film falls apart: would the two leads really react in this way?! Craig’s character just seems to bluster and get frustrated, but doesn’t even consider calling the police (even when Ifans infiltrates his lectures); Morton seems unconcerned that her partner’s stalker is camping outside their house and can’t even be tupped to look outside when Craig’s bellowing that Ifans is squatting out there, in the rain, with a maniacal grin on his face. She even lets Ifans into their home near the end – this despite the only thing she’s heard about him is that he’s a grade-A nutjob.

There are some good things in there: the photography’s decent (if a little tricksy and obvious at times – a shoulder-cam shot really jars, for example) and the opening – with the balloon - captures the feeling of dream-like unreality you feel in those sorts of abnormal situations. But the central relationship is poorly developed and Ifans is let down by his character arc, whilst too much time is given to the lovers’ melodrama. A curio that may be worth persevering with if you like the cast, otherwise probably not worth your time.

**½

EDIT: some wag on IMDB came up with the alternate title, The Balloonatic, ROFL!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

After I've had 24 hours to cleanse myself I might try and give You're So Cupid another go, I really dont like the idea of a film beating me.

Anyway, on with the rest of the shit I've been watching.

The Bounty Hunter - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1038919/

A bounty hunter learns that his next target is his ex-wife, a reporter working on a murder cover-up. Soon after their reunion, the always-at-odds duo find themselves on a run-for-their-lives adventure.

Having been beaten by You're So Cupid I thought the best thing to do was get back on the bad movie horse again. Luck would have it that Sky Premiere was showing a new Jennifer Aniston romantic comedy, it should be the perfect film to test my resolve. Surprisingly given Aniston's track record with romcoms this was relatively bearable. The term bearable probably needs to be qualified because the film sucks but not offensively so in the same way Love Happens and He's Just Not That Into You. The big problem with the film is how unbelievably tedious it is. For a romcom there is no comedy whatsoever and the romantic plot is flat because it is hard to like either the characters or the actors that play them. Despite all her experience with the genre Aniston is a terrible leading lady and Gerard Butler is equally as bad. In fact he is pretty much the male equivalent of Aniston, he is really poor at the comedy and his ridiculous attempts at an American accent. Despite the set-up and the numerous people after both of them it is so slow and uneventuful. I guess all romcoms are predictable but this really takes it to new levels, there really is no need to watch this if you've seen the trailer unless you are some sort of masochist or enjoy listening to one of the worst musical scores in years.

*

Gargantua - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0156554/

Marine biologist Jack Ellway and his son Brandon are drawn to the Polynesian island of Malau to study the effects of recent seismic activity on the area's marine life. Along with the local doctor Alyson Hart, they soon become caught up in the investigation of a series of recent drownings with unexpected results. As Jack explores the surrounding ocean for a mysterious marine creature, Brandon discovers and befriends a three-foot-long baby creature that is able to leave the ocean and walk on land. As more dangerous and giant creatures come onto the island, and the military begins to take offensive action, Jack must risk everything to save the creatures, the island and his son.

One part Jurassic Park, two parts Godzuki and 97 parts festering shit. The film was clearly made after Jurassic Park because people love monster films and shit, unfortunately even audiences weren't willing to buy into this one. The effects make the original 1960s Godzilla look state of the art as a family of giant salamanders terrorise a small island. I say terrorise but the truth is they don't really do a great deal until the end when the biggest one (who changes size between scenes) goes on a bit of a rampage looking for its baby. The men in suit effects are quite funny so I would be lying if I said I didn't get some enjoyment from the film but it clearly wasn't the sort of enjoyment the film-makers were hoping for. The story is full of the usual cliché with a boy bonding with the youngest creature after his mother died a year ago. The boy is played by a very young Emile Hirsch and even though he is pretty rubbish he is still the best actor in the film by a country mile. Rubbish but probably worth watching a few clips on YouTube to see how bad the effects are.

*

Echelon Conspiracy - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1124039/

At first, the strange phone messages promised great wealth. Soon, though, government agents pursue the young engineer receiving them around the world.

When a film like this turns out to be one of the best films you've seen all week you just know you've been having a bad seven days. If you've ever seen any conspiracy thrillers (especially those made in the '80s) you've pretty much seen this film which is a hotch-potch of references but doesn't seem to combine them in interesting or original ways. For a thriller the film is worryingly absent of thrills too. It isn't as bad as The Tourist but it is way too talky and pedestrian to be able to get the blood pumping. The cast is full of some decent character actors but they are all just as flat as the script and direction. Shane West is also a really, really bland leading man. I guess that is par for the course with the genre, they are normally everymen caught up in extraordinary situations, but he is so beige that it is quite hard to root for him. Tonally it is a little off too, the plot in black and white terms is quite serious yet they throw in some very unsuccessful jokes into the mix. The reason, I can only assume, is that the actual story was flatlining and it needed a little pick me up. Unfortunately, much like the rest of the film, they just don't really work. But, come the end credits, I didn't feel dirty having watched it which is a pretty big improvement for me of late.

**

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Bounty Hunter

Fucking terrible.

There are so many things wrong with it.

Aniston's character is a complete knob.

"INSTEAD OF GOING TO COURT, I WILL FOLLOW A HOT TIP ON THE STORY I'M WORKING ON!"

The mate that fancies her, Stewart, he disappears for quite a bit of the movie, to the point that I forgot

who the hell he was at the end.

Gerard Butler should be punched, if he ever dares to attempt an American accent again.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Romantics - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1403988/

Seven close friends reunite for the wedding of two of their friends. Problems arise because the bride and the maid of honor have had a long rivalry over the groom.

Despite the synopsis sounding like a traditional high concept Hollywood romantic comedy this is actually an indie film in the mould of Rachel's Wedding, although not as good. Just as the glossy romcom is predictable the American indie film is becoming increasingly routine these days too. Whereas with the traditional romcom there is a desire for the audience to fall in love with the at odds couple with an indie film they can make the characters a lot more prickly. The Romantics probably takes it a little too far, intentionally or not, by making all seven people horrible specimens of humanity. It is hard to know why you'd really want to spend time with these people no matter the trials and tribulations they face. Going against type the cast is largely made up of actors you'd find in the big studio romantic movies (Josh Duhamel, a leading man so bland even women can't remember his name without the help of IMDb, Marlene Ackerman and Katie Holmes to name a few). Maybe the casting choices are supposed to be subversive but I'm not convinced they work as few seem really capable of the more challenging moments (although Anna Paquin is quite good). Although it is a predictable film relying on the usual indie cliché, even including the hip musical score and bold font opening titles, it is still refreshing that it doesn't try and force the humour, there are no escalating dramas via ridiculous and contrived set pieces and the film doesn't demand you love these people. A pretty meh film but a little better than expected.

** 1/2

Sugarhouse - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0847526/

Tom (Steven Mackintosh) is a middle-class city boy whose life has reached breaking point. D (Ashley Walters) is a young crack-head: smart, witty, desperate. Tom is completely out of his depth when he finds himself in D's abandoned warehouse attempting to do a "deal" with the energetic, volatile drug addict. The two enter into an irrational, deadly game of cat and mouse. The tense drama escalates when psychotic local crime-lord Hoodwink (Andy Serkis) wakes up to find his snub nose gun missing.

I'd assumed this was going to be a typical British gangster film (read: clichéd shit) but then it starts and it is kind of interesting with a middle class guy trying to buy a gun from a crack head and for about twenty minutes they are the only two on screen. The acting is committed if a little too stagey but it is engaging enough as the two go back and forth and appearances become deceiving. Then Andy Serkis turns up and the film takes a pretty big nose dive. Not only is his character a walking cliche his performance stinks up the place something rotten. Serkis is an unusual actor, given the right role (his performance in Longford for example) he is great and his mo-cap work is obviously excellent, yet at other times he fails to convince at all. It took me a good fifteen minutes to even work out what accent he was attempting and he is so over the top it is as if he is from a different film entirely. His appearance also takes the story in a less interesting direction, as if they needed an injection in the story because there wasn't enough content as a two-hander. It has its moments but it is a bit of a missed opportunity.

**

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0926084/

As Harry races against time and evil to destroy the Horcruxes, he uncovers the existence of three most powerful objects in the wizarding world: the Deathly Hallows.

Instead of the films getting more exciting as the stakes rise they are getting more and more boring. I really didn't think it was possible to produce a film as tedious as the last one but they've outdone themselves. Maybe fans of the book will see it differently, I've never liked the books and the only film I'd ever be willing to watch more than once is Prisoner of Azkaban so the films are clearly not for me. One of the big problems with the later films, barring obvious pacing issues and a general feeling of bloatedness, is that the three 'child' leads just aren't up to the job. They looked the part in the early films when they weren't asked to do much more than look shocked and say magic spells but now they have to actually deliver emotions they all fall way, way short. No longer can they hide behind the good supporting cast to carry them through, mainly because most of the supporting characters are strangely absent from this story. In fact my enjoyment of the Harry Potter films might be in direct correlation with how much screen time Alan Rickman gets and unfortunately he seems to be getting sidelined with each new movie. What actually happened in this first part beyond one horcrux being destroyed and lots of travelling? There is practically zero excitement or, funnily enough, magic. Sure they use spells all the bloody time but the film lacks any spark or sense that it is actually building to anything worthwhile. As always though the production design is excellent so it gets a bonus star just for that.

**

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Enter the Void - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1191111/

A drug-dealing teen is killed in Japan, after which he reappears as a ghost to watch over his sister.

Well the film is a definite visual and aural marvel that looks quite unlike any film I've seen before. You could spend hours wondering how individual shots were achieved, how scene transitions and the diffused neon glow were handled. As an example in aesthetics the film is a stone cold classic and one that should be experienced at least once (I wish I'd seen it in the cinema or at least in HD as the film deserves to be watched on the best set-up possible). If the film was only an hour and a half maybe snazzy cinematography is all I needed but at two and a half hours (the director's cut length) I was beginning to crave more. Flashbacks, POV and omnipresent sequences all add to the mix but the story, the little that is here, is so dull and rather pointless. Perhaps you can't do anything too adventurous with the 'plot' when the rest is so ambitious but even still the film becomes a procession of pretty moving pictures that are as hollow as the hole in the protagonist's chest.

This probably shouldn't come as too great a surprise with Gaspar Noe but even though his work is often more interested in surface details there is normally an emotional core to his films, something or someone for the audience to invest in. This is largely absent here, he tries to create a bond between brother and sister but it was impossible for me to care about anything that I saw on the screen. It is either down to the distancing effect of the omniscient viewpoint or the fact the film just failed to create interesting characters or enough of a relationship between protagonist and audience before his untimely death, either way it didn't work. A one of a kind experience and novel experiment but not one I'll want to return to again any time soon.

***

Soul Men - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1111948/

Though it's been some twenty years since they have spoken with one another, two estranged soul-singing legends agree to participate in a reunion performance at the Apollo Theater to honor their recently deceased band leader.

I know I shouldn't speak ill of the dead but I've never found Bernie Mac remotely funny and I'm a bit bored of watching Samuel L Jackson play Samuel L Jackson in every film for the past fifteen years. For these two reasons Soul Men wasn't high on my to watch list and the film matched my lowly expectations. The jokes are as obvious as you'd expect and the two characters are equally as predictable given who the two lead actors are. As far as music comedy road movies go this is several levels below The Blues Brothers especially when this film seems to try and copy that classic wherever possible. A sentimental subplot is shoehorned in but without it the film would be even worse when the comedy is this poor. Both stars seem to be going through the motions, although that is pretty common with these two, but at least it is mercifully short.

* 1/2

Pray for Morning - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0451164/

A group of high schoolers break into an abandoned resort hotel, unaware that it is haunted.

Having watched so many bad straight to DVD films of late when one comes along that is vaguely competent I get all excited. Even as a direct-to-DVD release I still wouldn't recommend this but if you catch it on the Horror Channel at one in the morning (as I did) you could do worse. The acting is bad and there clearly isn't much of a budget to realise some of the more ambitious moments but as an old fashioned haunted house film it tries some interesting things (in-between ripping The Shining off). The start is very ropey, and the last fifteen minutes is pretty laughable, but when the shit is hitting the fan there is sufficient amounts of blood, the atmosphere is spooky enough to maintain interest and they mess around with the minds of the captive teens rather than it just being about killing them off one at a time. Admittedly I am a sucker for ghost stories so even relatively poor ones normally hold some appeal and this gets a bonus point for having Udo Kier amongst the cast. Sure, he has been in some truly dire films but he is always a welcome addition to a horror film.

**

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cookie, and I'm genuinely interested here, why don't you check the reviews for films to see if they're gonna be shit before you put yourself through watching them? I can understand you wanting to form your own opinion regardless of what other people think, but when a film like The Bounty Hunter gets 8% on RT, you know it's not gonna be great no matter what your taste. Why do you watch bad films? Is it just out of interest or because there's nothing else on? Are you buying these bad films?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I see. I can appreciate the logic of that I suppose. You must really like films!

In regard to you not having anything decent to watch, you're probably aware that LoveFilm lets you stream lots of stuff on the site itself for free. Have you watched all of these already, or do you not like watching stuff on the computer due to the drop in quality compared to the TV, etc?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A bit of both. I've pretty much seen everything they have available to stream (for free) and the quality isn't great, nor is my internet connection. It takes between 5-10 minutes for me to buffer a film trailer on Youtube so you can appreciate that watching a feature film is probably a little impractical.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Decadent Evil - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0452609/

A Homunculus called Marvin (a part human/part reptile creature) is imprisoned in a birdcage by a vengeful lover who is bidding to become the world's most powerful vampire.

This is probably the most inept vampire film I have ever had the displeasure of watching. At just over an hour there clearly isn't enough plot here to make an engaging movie with none of the characters really having a story beyond a dwarf vampire killer avenging the demise of his father (you'll see a particularly twist coming a mile off). The script is one of the clunkiest I've seen in a while and the special effects (of which there are only really two) are truly terrible. Marvin the homunculus is actually a foot high glove puppet who has such limited movement he ends up being the most entertaining thing in the whole film because he is so rubbish. In fact all the good moments stem from his character whether it be his reunion with his dwarf son or the closing sex scene between him and his recently transformed captor (a scene so bizarre it makes the Team America puppet sex scene look serious).

The film certainly offers guilty pleasures but by any other criteria it is a dreadful waste of celluloid. Which means I'm going to watch the sequel today.

(AVOID)

The Way Back - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1023114/

Siberian gulag escapees walk 4000 miles overland to freedom in India.

This is perhaps Peter Weir's second worst film to date (for those that are interested I would rate Dead Poet's Society as his weakest film - it is far too schmaltzy for my personal tastes) but because his standards are normally so high that is not necessarily a major complaint. It is a very solid movie, beautifully shot with good performances from the entire cast both known and unknown. What is missing, and is normally evident in other Weir films, is that piece of magic that makes his work stand out from the crowd. It can be a single performance, idea or sequence but there is normally something yet here the overriding sensation is mere competency of a story well told. Seeing as I've had a run of bad films competency is a welcome sight but I can't deny that I had hoped and expected better from the director. It is an epic film of human perseverance but there are no surprises, the group dynamic is obvious, their travails predictable and whilst you do care for them (as you would anyone who had to go through what they did) you still don't become invested in their survival as you would expect. The very end is also a horrible and overly sentimental way to close the film, especially when it really didn't need it. A spectacular story told unspectacularly but still decent enough.

***

Decoys - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0357585/

Luke and Roger are just another couple of college guys trying to lose their virginity. But when Luke sees something unusual, he begins to suspect that the girls on campus aren't exactly...human.

The film is a mix of Species, The Faculty and a little bit of Inseminoid but of course with only a fraction of their budgets (well except for Inseminoid). Billed as a horror comedy it is hard to see where the humour is unless you count a really annoying comedy roommate and weird blip blop soundtrack as amusing. Sadly the horror doesn't really fair much better. There is little attempt to build tension or atmosphere, in fact the only semblance of horror comes from when the aliens kill humans but they don't really portray it as particularly horrific (although the effects are surprisingly decent). The best way to describe the aliens, masquerading as hot girls on campus, is that they have snakes for tits (Brucie remix). As with all B-movie horror aimed at teens it is has the usual topless shots and sex (at least it fits the plot for once) and the one random lesbian make-out sequence. You could even say the film is subversive by having the males survive by being virgins rather than it being the usual pure female survivor. But that one element doesn't make the film any smarter or more watchable.

*

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Julia's Eyes [Los ojos de Julia]

The story of a woman who is slowly losing her sight whilst trying to investigate the mysterious death of her twin sister.

IMDB

A technically competent but ultimately average mystery story, that's being touted around town as 1) a horror (as Guillermo del Toro produces) and 2) the next The Orphanage (as Belén Rueda's in it). Unfortunately, these superficialities are as close as it gets to the superior Orphanage, as we get a film that starts with a very creepy and original opener, then dispenses with the supernatural possibilities and goes for a straight-up murder-mystery plot.

Two things work against it: firstly that the

killer is meant to look totally 'normal' to the point where you couldn't notice him or pick him out of a line-up. This just serves to point out how nationalities see some faces as 'ordinary' whereas someone from overseas sees the uniqueness as it's unusual to them. In short, the killer's meant to look like a blank everyman, but to an Englishmen he looks like a distinctive Spanish guy, instantly memorable - knocks the conceit off true.

Secondly, and excuse me for lowering the tone, but Belén Rueda's breasts are very, very off putting. They are so big, plastic and immobile, and so frequently on show against a skinny rack of ribs, that they completely distract, like a bloke wearing a huge fake nose. In fact yeah, come to think of it, Roxanne (or if you're classier, Cyrano de Bergerac) has a character whose negatively outstanding asset is a constant distraction and burden. Perhaps it should have been called Los Orribolos Tits de Julia...

...Brr!!!.. anyway, too distracted. It's ok, not great.

***

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Blood River - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1137999/

A psychological thriller, which explores the destruction of a young couple's seemingly perfect marriage.

A lot of the appeal of a good psychological thriller, for me at least, is you can't see where it is going or at the very least the journey goes down some diverting avenues along the way. Despite this low budget effort looking quite nice and being reasonably well acted (for 90% of the film there are only three people in it which means they have some money for half decent actors for once) it takes a very long time to get to a place where the audience got to an hour earlier. Who these people are, especially the stranger, is so obvious from the outset it was surprising to see how long they stretched out the reveal. Even with this fault the director does an okay job at keeping things ticking over and maintaining enough tension so you don't lose all interest and the ending, although obvious, still just about works. It is just a shame they couldn't conceal the reveal a bit better so it didn't feel like it was treading water for so long.

**

Decadent Evil 2 - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1071909/

After the first movie the two surviving main characters, Suger (Jill Michelle) and Dex (Daniel Lennox), flee to Little Rock Arkansas in search of a way to revive their vampire hunting friend Ivan (Ricardo Gil).

Well I guess Marvin the humping homunculus hand puppet proved popular enough with a particular type of audience to commission a sequel. So what do we get but a second film that hardly has Marvin in it - talk about missing the point of what made the original even remotely bearable. I can't actually review this film properly as my recording cut out about twenty minutes before the end (yes, I will never know how this series ended :cry:) but I certainly watched enough to know it still probably didn't turn out well. The unintentional humour of the first film has been sucked out of this one which means all the fun has gone too. Instead we are left with the two dullest characters from the first film trying to revive the dead dwarf vampire killer. This mainly involves lots of boring talky scenes in a badly lit lapdance club with some shit rock music in the background. There is a new master vampire in this one but he is hardly on screen to make much of an impression. Now I guess I wait for the third film in the series.

(AVOID)

The Square - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1085507/

A man's life begins to unravel when his mistress brings him a bag of cash.

There is little to fault with this neat Australian thriller but there is also little to get too enthused about either. Australia has been making cracking thrillers at a steady rate for years now, you don't get many, one or two a year, but the quality is normally very high. This is arguably a lesser one of those films (certainly not comparable with Animal Kingdom or The Interview) but that is mainly down to a rather by the numbers story that is built a little too heavily on coincidence. As a one-off experience it is perfectly serviceable but I'm not sure you'd want to revisit it often nor does it have the entertaining twisty plot of some of the great thrillers. Although predictable in the way it escalates the film still does a good job at building the tension and making you care for the characters, two key elements you need for the genre to ever truly work. Visually it looks very good, although a lot like other recent Oz movies, and all the performances are strong too. So worth a watch but it won't change your world or live particularly long in the memory.

***

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't tend to read reviews either, not until after I've seen the film. IMDb ratings are usually unreliable, especially for new releases where most films get 7+ ratings. Rotten Tomatoes aren't much better, you can get a high rating just by being competent enough not to have too many bad reviews, it doesn't actually identify genuine quality. There are no individual reviewers out there that I trust, some are entertaining reads but at best they will only match my own views 60% of the time. I do use this forum, there are people here that I've been following for years and know the types of film they are like and whether or not I will share their views but the best way of finding out whether I will like a film or not is for me to just watch it myself.

The Daily Mail gets a lot of (deserved) bad press so you may not have seen their film stuff on a Friday, but I really like that Chris Tookey guy who writes for them. Find he's very accurate in terms of matching my taste and I really like reading his reviews. He can go a little OTT on the whole torture porn and slack classifications angle (he really, REALLY didn't like Kick Ass) but when he's not on that rant I find him very good.

-------------------

Not seen much lately, been playing games and over Easter family stuff. It's weird, I can't seem to play games and watch stuff, it's either one or the other with me. At the minute my interest is games, though I have seen two films for the first time recently.

Caught the original, Carpenter made Assault on Precinct 13 via the iPlayer the other day. Seen and enjoyed the remake years ago, this one I liked too. It's really cheesy and poor in so many respects yet at the same time I warmed to it. Felt like The Warriors to me, a silly film that's probably a B movie yet very watchable. That theme tune when the idiotic zombie gang turned up was fantastic, they didn't need announcing with the tune but I sorta liked how the director still did it. The ice cream bit, I bet that was controversial back in the day. Didn't have a shocking effect on me but it did make me sit up and take notice, it was so cold and callous. 3.5/5

Scream 4 is one I started off really enjoying, but as it went on, I liked it less and less. Found the start very funny and quite clever, liked it lots. As it went on I became twitchy and restless, at the end disappointed. Didn't really buy the killer or the motive behind their actions, I also felt the end was a missed opportunity too in not keeping with the trailers mantra of all new rules. Though I guess with most new films doing that sort of ending, Scream not doing

Sidney being killed, the killer winning and surviving for another sequel

it's setting itself apart from the crowd that way.

In honesty I don't really remember much about it other than the bit above. I thought Scream 3 was terrible and this is a definite improvement, but likewise I'm not sure there was any point making this film after such a long gap. Alright/5 I guess.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can't work out if you are being serious about Christopher Tookey or not. I guess it is all subjective at the end of the day but I would rate him as the very worst professional film critic I've had the misfortune of reading (although Harry Knowles' Blade II review comes pretty close).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. Use of this website is subject to our Privacy Policy, Terms of Use, and Guidelines.