Change Your Image
Upload An Image
Crop And Save
As enjoyable as putting HP Sauce in your tea
'Intermission' is one of those films that should have been huge and yet somehow never really achieved its true potential. Many people call it 'the Irish Trainspotting' and I can sort of see where they're coming from. However, it's not quite as bleak as Trainspotting, relying more on everyday folk and the relationship troubles they get into. Plus the odd armed robbery thrown in there for good measure.
When I sat my girlfriend down and made her watch it, she said that it was good, but could have been better if it was a little more focused. I guess that's fair criticism. It is a little all over the place here and there. It relies on numerous characters and story lines, all coming together in the end. And, like any story with multiple characters, not all get the screen time they deserve to fully flesh them out. You have your stars like Cillian Murphy and Kelly MacDonald leading the way (and Colin Farrell is kind of there as a marketing ploy as he's featured heavily in the film's marketing, yet only really appears in the form of an extended cameo not to say he isn't fun and evil all at the same time!).
Intermission isn't a family film. Don't be fooled by the cover that makes it look like a rom-com. It's comedy as its blackest. All the humour is derived from 'adult' situations and there are plenty of scenes that you wouldn't want to watch with your mother. I think it's definitely an underrated little gem. Yes, it has a few flaws, but all its jokes seemed to hit their targets where I was concerned and I'll continue to sit everyone I know down and force them to watch it for many years to come.
Did I watch the same film?
I'm just about to publish this review online and, before I give it an average rating, I can't help but notice how many '1 star' ratings it's got. I remember when 'Skyline' was released it being critically panned. I waited a while to see it on DVD and, when I did, I was pleasantly surprised.
It's about a load of alien spaceships that rock up over Earth one day (yes, let's skip why no radar system actually detected their approach) and starts abducting the world's population en masse. Now, this is bad news for the average man on the street and even worse news if you're residing in a Los Angeles skyscraper, for this is where our plucky group of heroes is going to make their last stand.
Okay, so they can hardly fight off a seemingly infinite number of spaceships, but they can possibly survive the destruction of mankind there. It's kind of a 'siege movie' where they play cat and mouse with one alien incursion after the next. And it's not that bad well, not unless ask anyone apart from me apparently.
Most people agree that the special effects are pretty impressive and the destruction is well done. I guess most people get annoyed by the characters. They do tend to do one very silly thing after the next and there are a couple of bits in the movie (no spoilers here) that don't really make that much sense if you think too hard about them.
What you have here is a movie that feels like a particularly high-budget made-for-TV movie. If you think of it like that then you may just get something out of it. Perhaps the reason I like it is because I was aware of the general hatred of if before I sat down to watch it, therefore my expectations were suitably lowered.
My girlfriend described it as 'Jurassic Park with aliens' okay, there are some scenes where I can see where she's coming from. But I defy anyone to not find the scene with the Stealth bomber exhilarating!
Dèmoni 2... l'incubo ritorna (1986)
A sequel as good as the original (because it's basically the same film)
Yes, sequels get a rough ride. They never seem to live up to the original and in horror movies that's truer than most. However, the imaginatively-titled 'Demons 2' seems to be just as good is its predecessor largely because it's the same film. The first film was about a group of unfortunate people trapped in a haunted building that was slowly being overrun by bloodthirsty demons (who are basically zombies by another name). Here, we have a group of unfortunates trapped in a haunted building that is slowly being overrun by bloodthirsty demons. In fact, many people seem to wonder whether this is actually a remake rather than a sequel.
It's kind of both, in the same way that Evil Dead 2 was basically a remake that had been re-done and extended to make it a new film of its own. The events of the first Demons film are pretty much glossed over to the point where it's just a brief one-line mention which can be taken different ways. What you're left with is another gore-fest of excellent special effects (for the eighties, anyway), pretty scary demons (they out-creep any shuffling zombie in my opinion) and a completely nonsensical plot which will leave you scratching your head as to whether what you're witnessing is either true genius or a complete mess.
Demons 2, like the first one, is a masterpiece of its genre. You may find it one of those 'so bad, it's good' films, but it's also got its own charm. The gore is better than most of its contemporaries and it's daft feel and loud eighties rock music give it a look and feel of its own (unless you count the first film, obviously). Plus Bobby Rhodes returns and the film is all the better for it. It's a shame he couldn't headline the film as he steals every scene he's in as the manic gym instructor! If you've seen the first film, what you'll get is a re-tread, but, if you enjoyed the first outing, you shouldn't mind. If you haven't seen the original, don't worry you'll soon pick up what little 'plot' is required to understand this. Do you like daft eighties horror? Do you like zombies? If so
give this one a watch, just get your mind in for something that doesn't always make sense and try not to pick too many holes in the story. I swear that demon child only wanted a cuddle.
Either a work of unspeakable genius or the worst film ever made
I've been watching 'Demons' since the eighties. It's an Italian film that panders to us English speakers by kindly dubbing its natives with American voice actors. Ever since it was released it's been labelled as 'Night of the Living Dead in a cinema' and yeah I can't really sum it up any better.
It's a zombie film, only with 'demons' rather than zombies. This means that the nasties can sort of run (nearly twenty years before 28 Days Later wowed us with the prospect of a 'running zombie!') and aren't so much interested in eating their victims as they are in just turning them into more demons through scratches/bites. But, let's face it, they're still zombies by another name.
The story follows a group of people who go to watch a free horror film in a creepy cinema, only to find that life really does imitate art and the demons spread from the big screen to the popcorn stalls (so to speak). Now, you may be thinking that if you were trapped in your local multiplex with a load of flesh-eaters, you'd just kind of run out. Good point. And our on-screen heroes do try their best. However, where as most zombie films follow the rules of reality (if you count corpses coming back to life and attacking the living 'reality') Demons adds various plot devices which don't really get explained. Let's just say that random things happen that ensure the humans never can find a way out of a building little bigger than any cinema you've ever been in.
This is where I say the film is either genius or terrible I've never really worked out which. Random things happen which could be argued that subvert the typical Hollywood narrative structure. However, another line of thinking is that the writers had no idea what they were doing plots go nowhere, as do scenes and the balance of characters is all over the place. Sometimes you think some characters know more than they do and are going to play a greater part, only to have them killed at random parts.
But, no matter what you think of the story, the special effects are pretty special especially for the time. The demons themselves really are pretty nasty and I always found them a lot more creepy than your standard shuffling zombie. The demons really seem to take genuine satisfaction in spreading their plague and are motivated by a deep evil, rather than the zombies' need to feed alone. Demons may be laughed at by today's standards it hasn't got the characters of The Walking Dead, nor the coherent story of any recent zombie film, but it does have a weird feel about it and is definitely worth watching if you're a fan of the genre (and like eighties music). I find it a weird hypnotic classic that I watch regularly. Bobby Rhodes is an absolute legend in this.
House of 1000 Corpses (2003)
A gritty, gory mess
If there's one thing modern cinema is criticised for, it's that it's made by executives and corporations rather than by fans of the genre itself. However, that cannot be said for the delightfully-titled 'House of 1000 Corpses.' It's made by the (equally delightfully-named) Rob Zombie, who, despite being better known at the time as a musician, is definitely a fan of the horror genre.
But, without even going into who made it, perhaps it's the title that should give you all the information you need to know as to whether or not you'll like this film. If you're expecting anything deep and meaningful then you're going to turn it off within minutes. What you have is a pretty standard 'slasher' flick (okay, so it probably bears more in common with 'Texas Chainsaw' types films than 'Scream,' but there are definitely 'slasher' elements thrown in there), but presented with a sense of art. Or, if you're feeling a little harsher, you could replace the word 'art' with 'bits-thrown-in-that-look-like- they're-taken-right-out-of-an-MTV-music-video.' Rob Zombie tries to do something different with the way the film is shot. It's got a lot of cutaway films and stylishly-filmed segments which break up the narrative. Some may find those interesting and different, others may find that they distract from the narrative it's really a question of taste, but you can see his music video influence shining through.
But, you probably don't watch a film called 'House of 1000 Corpses' for its artistic integrity you want the gore. And it doesn't disappoint on that one. It's packed full of disgusting characters and imagery from grotesque mutants to gorgeous babes (who are equally grotesque when it comes to their tendency to murder people at the drop of a hat Sheri Moon Zombie, I'm looking at you!).
Overall, 'House of 1000 Corpses' isn't an original story, but it's done differently enough and with the required levels of gore that will satisfy anyone who wants to watch a film entitled so. It does feel a little 'raw' here and there. Sometimes I felt that was almost intentional, other times I wondered whether Rob Zombie was letting his visions get a little too convoluted. However, he definitely proves that he can do more than sing (assuming you agree with that in the first place!) and, seeing as he's a fan of the genre, hopefully this will be a good stepping stone to launch what might be a promising horror career.
Rat Race (2001)
Very silly, but highly watchable
There are some movies that are too dumb to watch and there are those that are fun to watch because they're so dumb. 'Rat Race' definitely falls into the latter. The plot or what little there is of one centres around an eccentric billionaire from Las Vegas (played to perfection by the legendary John Cleese) offering eight strangers the chance to win two million dollars, if they can be the first to reach the briefcase full of loot some five hundred miles away. What follows is your average 'road movie.' Therefore, in the grand tradition of such greats as 'The Cannonball Run' it's basically a series of sketches depicting the exploits of the eight sets of chancers as they lie, cheat and manipulate their way across the American desert in order to claim the money.
It could be just average, but what definitely makes it worth watching is its stellar cast. I've already mentioned John Cleese (who isn't in it enough for my liking!), but you also have such greats as Rowen Atikinson, Whoopie Goldberg, Cuba Gooding Jr and John Lovitz. With a cast containing that lot it was always going to be better than your average adult comedy. And, yes, it probably is more geared towards adults. Although most of it could actually be suitable for children as well, there are a few scenes here and there that you wouldn't really want to explain to someone younger than a teenager! Some may criticise it for having little 'character development,' but it is a film loaded with different characters and it's not overly long, so it was always going to be geared towards laughs over depth and substance.
Ultimately, Rat Race is the kind of film you can have on in the background while you do some colouring or play with your phone it won't matter too much that you've missed a bit here and there you'll still pick up the plot pretty quickly and raise a smile at whatever ludicrous antic is going on. It's certainly good fun if you're not expecting too much and just want a silly giggle. The cast appear to be having fun while they make it and there's no reason you shouldn't either.
The Rules of Attraction (2002)
Don't believe the (anti) hype
When I first watched 'Rules of Attraction' I was completely blown away. So much so that I started reading up on the film and its reviews in general after I'd seen it. It was only then that I realised how pretty much universally hated it was! If you haven't heard of it, you probably have heard of 'American Psycho.' It's an infamous novel (and also later film) written by Brett Easten Ellis about a serial killer in eighties New York by the name of Patrick Bateman. 'Rules of Attraction' is also penned by the same dark and brooding author, but this time focuses in on the titular American Psycho's younger brother, Sean Bateman and his experiences at college.
If you're expecting something quite so bloodthirsty as American Psycho then you're certainly going to be disappointed, but, then again, if you're hoping for something quite light and fluffy, then you're also looking in the wrong place. Perhaps one of the reasons 'RoA' was not well received was because the film was released among a spate of cheeky/raunchy teen comedies such as 'American Pie' where a group a lovable teens gets up to hilarious (adult) antics.
That could be sort of used to describe RoA, but this time the word 'lovable' would not be found here. There are three main characters (Sean being only one) and, just because they're not dissecting prostitutes like Sean's older brother, doesn't make them nice. Therefore, if you're hoping to relate to any of the central protagonists then you probably won't. The three of them despite being pretty unlikable are all locked in various love triangles and can't seem to shake them. We're treated to the different ways they deal with this, none of which I would actually recommend in real life when dealing with the object of your attraction! Yes, it is pretty dark and you need to know what you're in for before you watch it. It doesn't really pull too many punches and, although you may laugh sometimes, it won't be the same 'happy laughter' that probably came out of your belly when you were watching Jason Biggs with a pie. Here it's black comedy all the way, but if that's what you're in the mood for then don't believe the nay-sayers and give this one a go.
Special nod to the excellent soundtrack!
Predator 2 (1990)
Your dad versus the Predator
Just in case there was ever any doubt, the action sci-fi film 'Predator' was an absolute classis in its genre (okay, so it'll never win much praise in terms of deep and meaningful character arcs, but if you're looking for Arnie butting heads with an unstoppable alien then you've hit the jackpot). It was so successful that a sequel was green lit pretty soon afterwards. Most people imagined that Arnold Schwarzenegger would reprise his role without question and were left pretty surprised and disappointed when he turned it down. However, not many would have predicted that the man destined to go toe to toe with one of cinema's nastiest aliens would be Danny Glover.
'Predator 2' isn't a bad film, it's just got Danny Glover in. I know that sounds pretty harsh. And, actually, I like Danny Glover. The problem is he's just woefully miscast here. He dresses like your dad and appears overweight while he shuffles around on set. It's not his acting that lets him down, it's purely his physical on screen presence. Plus the fact that he's hardly known for his 'action' roles. Yes, Lethal Weapon was sort of an action film, but he was the 'comedy side-kick' and it was part 'buddy cop' movie. He just doesn't work in the role. And that's a shame, because, as I said, Predator 2 isn't bad.
It's now set on the streets of L.A. instead of the jungle, a move which limits the claustrophobic atmosphere, but I can live with that. Plus you see a lot more of the alien itself. Again, not really a problem, especially when you see how much they have upgraded his weapons. Not only to we get a chance to see the inside of a Predator's spaceship, but he's here sporting all the latest 'human hunting' technology that he predecessor couldn't seem to afford. And then there's the action itself. It's actually pretty cool. The special effects are well done and the action is exciting, all in all giving quite a ride for a 1990 movie. But we're just stuck with Danny Glover.
Like I said, it's not his acting that's at fault, he just doesn't look up to the challenge. He huffs and he puffs, but her certainly doesn't blow the house down. Perhaps the only reason we root for him is because he looks so much like an underdog when fighting an unstoppable alien with tonnes of futuristic technology.
If you like the Predator franchise (or rather the first film, because everything after that has been well and truly divisive!) then realise that this one doesn't come close to the original and never will. However, go into it with your expectations lowered and it's at least a fun little monster movie. Don't worry... it's still head and shoulders over those two Aliens vs Predator movies.
Rapid Fire (1992)
Awesome nineties action flick
Like many, I only really found out about the late (and very great) Brandon Lee after his tragic role in 'The Crow.' Tracking back through his earlier work, this was undoubtedly his best (other) film. It really does sum up what was great about nineties action films and, sadder still, shows just how good Lee could have been if he had lived after The Crow wrapped.
Lee plays a student who witnesses a gangland murder and requires police protection to stay alive. However, the police seem about as good at protecting him as a roomful of toddlers. But, luckily for the hapless boys and girls in blue, Lee is much better at protecting them when the gangsters return! By today's standards 'Rapid Fire' may be considered as a little too cheesy and not dark enough. That could be true. If you only want to watch dark and serious action epics then you're better off with a Bourne film or Daniel Craig's Bond incarnation. I would say that Rapid Fire doesn't take itself seriously, only it does, but only in that way that most eighties/nineties action movies did, i.e. they had a sense of disbelief and light-heartedness that today's movies don't.
The police are spectacularly incompetent and the villains are deliciously villainous, therefore it's great fun to watch Brandon Lee punch, kick, flip and generally right all the necessary wrongs for ninety minutes. He may not have quite honed his martial arts skills to those of his father's, but he was definitely getting there and there are naturally plenty of fun fight scenes involved.
In fact, if I could sum up this film in one word, it would be 'fun.' It's a nice little popcorn action film that doesn't require any major thought to go into appreciating it just a love of 'pre-serious' action classics.
And if you can sit through the weird-montage s*x scene without visible questions marks appearing over your head then you obviously 'get' this film (or whatever the director was trying to say) more than me!
Not as bad as you've probably heard
Okay, I know I'm a little late to the party here 'Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice' has been out for a while now, so I was well aware of the split opinions when I finally got round to watching this on DVD. From what I gathered you either thought it was the greatest film ever made or a steaming pile of bat-kryptonite.
I come down somewhere in the middle. I'm no die-hard comic book fan, so I can't really tell you how well the main characters are represented, apart from how they compare to their various filmic incarnations. But I can tell you that, although it's no classic, it's probably not as bad as you've heard. But then that's not to say that it isn't without faults.
First of all, if you didn't know, the comic company behind Batman and Superman is DC and they're playing catch-up to rivals Marvel when it comes to recent big screen outings. Marvel created a 'shared universe' where they made a film about each superhero then combined them for an 'ensemble' movie. Now, DC is jumping on the bandwagon, but is going a little too far too fast. BVS is packed full of characters and sub-plots, many of which could have been taken out. It only really had the Man of Steel (aka Superman 1) before it, so it's trying to get too much information in, compared to Marvel's slow build up.
Then you have Jessie Eissenberg. Yes, he plays the main villain 'Lex Luthor' (or Luthor's son to be precise). However, as many feared, he's just not up to it. I like the actor, I just think that he was horribly miscast for this role and it shows. You really needed a more threatening (and older!) actor to take on the role.
Then you have the trailer. If you were looking forward to this film then you probably saw the trailers. They basically ended up being a condensed version of the two and a half hour film, so you can probably work out everything that's going to happen. No surprises here then.
But, despite its faults, I actually enjoyed it. I was sceptical about Ben Affleck as Batman, but he was actually pretty okay (and that's high praise for Affleck from me!). Wonder Woman's inclusion wasn't as 'shoe-horned' in as I thought it would be and she'll probably have a reasonably successful stand-alone movie off the back of this. Plus the fight scene that we were all waiting for was well worth the wait (if cut short for many people's taste).
Overall, don't believe either the lovers or the haters. If you go into this film with your expectations suitably set to something that will pass the time and is actually worth it for seeing arguably two of the greatest superheroes ever knocking seven bells out of each other, then you'll just about get your money's worth. Probably one for DVD rather than paying full price in the cinema for.
I'm well up for the Justice League expectations set low for that, too.