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Demons Never Die (2011)
hardly surprising it's terrible.
it's essentially an unwise billet-doux to no-budget slasher flicks, bolted on to some "urban" vagary. first time director writer Arjun Rose was a city trader... and it shows. He demonstrates little in the way of ability with this debut. Directing a not unserviceable cast with all the panache of a go-compare ad,there's every possible cliché you could imagine, used badly,and the character arcs barely register above flat-line throughout the entire film.
there's enough bad cinema around with the likes of " fond of shiny things with no narrative" Michael bay and co, we don't need another.
but that's being harsh to bay, demons never die makes transformers 3 look like Kubrick.
Road Train (2010)
irredeemable dross of the highest calibre.
cardboard cutout characters with zero personality fall prey to a decidedly un-menacing truck.
there are references to Cerberus and hell etc, but so flimsy and bewilderingly pointless is the narrative, score, acting and cinematography that you're just left wondering how this even got made.
who exactly sat down read the script and said, you know what, this sounds AWESOME.
it isn't even a good generic horror movie, it's the kind of film making that makes Eli Roth look like Kubrick
The Losers (2010)
tepid, monotonous and entirely lacking in depth.
given the "not so bad" cast. I expected a whole lot more. this was a straight to DVD movie if ever i saw one.
Everything is so linear and the characters are cardboard cutouts. "oh, lets give the evil guy a glove! ooooh mysterious"
no, it's lazy, poor writing.
And i actually turned off when the bad guys had a JET parked up in a shipping port. I'm not sure of the make, but i am sure that a container laden dock does not provide the minimum take off distance for that kind of plane. unless they are now making them in vtol.
There are things you suspend your disbelief for in movies, in Rambo, or in the transporter or something gleefully unapologetically fun. what this movie does is come across as a lazily produced cliché of the worst bits of every other action movie ever made.
a triumphant return, and a milestone in cinema.
OK, so , i take all the comments made by critics concerning narrative and character, and in no small way, they are completely right. There are sections of the film, that are a little winceworthy, and the less than original underbelly of this story feels laboured at times. There are snippets of fortune cookie enviro-preachy dialogue, and chanty arm waving tribal schmaltz. BUT, and this is the mother of all BUT'S, It is possibly the most insanely beautiful thing, my eyes have ever experienced.
The detail and production design is UTTERLY staggering in it's complexity.
And to be honest, what are the critics expecting? how often does a film deliver in every single aspect flawlessly? It's a sliding scale, i wasn't expecting Jarmusch monologues, and what Cameron has achieved here is absolutely UNIQUE. I work in cg, i see it every single day of my life, and as such am intensely critical of the technical side of this kind of spectacle. I had my reservations before i went in, I had tempered my expectations, and just settled in for the ride. But the sneaking suspicions i'd had, in the back of my mind, were entirely confirmed. You NEED to se this film in 3D, i simply cannot stress this enough.
From the first frame of jake sully waking up in the shuttle, i was entirely sold. The immersive depth you get in frame is incredible, you are literally in the picture. And kudos to Cameron for never letting things break the edge of the screen, it keeps the effect sincere and never gimmicky.
The motion capture technology developed for the film, is really the star, you get "almost" flawless performance capture from actor to cg counterpart. The "uncanny valley" as it's known is closing up rapidly. And while it's still not 100% it is closer than we've ever been. And as a result, the first time genuine emotion is really captured and felt. Everything from the fully thought out, thriving ecosystem of pandora to the classic Cameron military hardware is spectacular on a level never before seen on screen. I was never a fan of the Na'vi designs, it felt like starwars meets the smurfs, but when you actually start watching the film, it just works. It's all so organic, the transition and contrast between the human and alien worlds is perfect. I'm sure it still won't be for everyone. But i would urge people on the fence to give it a shot, i think Cameron's pedigree has earned him a smattering of trust.
As for this being the "future", and the film being heralded as "game changing". Well, it's a difficult question. 3d when used like this, is absolutely the next level, but it does make me think, how many directors out there could make something like this. For 3d to truly gain momentum, and solid foundations as the mainstay of big budget Hollywood, the studios will have to notch up quality control to a level that currently, is nonexistent. They would have to completely reverse the chop-shop mentality, so pervasive in modern blockbusters. And i'm not sure that's going to happen overnight.
All in all, still trying to process all that i saw, but it really was an experience. which, is the whole idea. Get people back in the cinema, by showing them something they cannot see anywhere else. And it works.
The Love Guru (2008)
a film with literally no saving graces, all the same gags as Austin powers but in an age where even those films have dated badly.
i literally cannot believe this got green-lit, it would be mildly funny as a self parody of being intentionally not funny, but its not that clever...it's just straight up "not funny".
the lowest possible calibre of humour , besides maybe something like "epic movie" i am convinced mike myers is mentally regressing into an infant. His next outing will consist entirely of fart jokes and blowing raspberries.
save your money and your time, don't bother with this painfully dull nonsense.
Hostel: Part II (2007)
simply bad film making.
torture porn is the correct moniker, it is not film, it is not narrative ,it is not clever, it's just badly made poorly conceived trash.
did i mention i am a horror fan? There is not much you can say about this film without sounding entirely negative, it's the horror equivalent of "meet the spartans", setup/gag/setup/gag etc etc in a lowbrow derivative fashion. Excessive gore can and does work in the right setup, and much like the vfx in blockbusters, it works as long as it's augmenting the narrative not Replacing it.
There is sadism in spades that is meant to shock you, meant to repulse you and thats fine, but thats it,, it's a one trick pony, and a lame one at that.
Anyone could sit in a room and think up the most horrifying ways of dispatching each other, and frequently many 9yr olds do, in an attempt to gross each other out, and that pretty much sums up this movie, childish and silly.
The Last Enemy (2008)
Not a good start
Yet again we trot out a tired ,derivative, alarmist bore-fest of a drama.
Chock full of cardboard characters, bad dialogue and cheaper than cheap production values. It picks up slightly toward the end of the initial episode, enough to give it a second chance, but not exactly edge of the seat stuff.
Theme wise, it's not particularly relevant in any accurate sense. As i said before "alarmist" is the best description. At least if it's core had some genuine gravitas it would be worth watching but it comes off as the same old mumblings of leftie dissent. Balking at the notion of a surveillance state. (which for all intents and purposes we already live in) And for the most part... it's coma inducingly dull. Some of the acting is cringe worthy, but i cant blame the actors, with some of the lines they have to deliver, it's telling when even the cast cant get into character.
Like i said, i will wait to see how the next episode pans out, but i am not waiting with baited breath.
when oh when will British TV actually get some money spent on productions!
a tragically bad horror/action flick. the characterisation has no depth, the choreography is abysmal, and the werewolf/skinwalker makeup fx are laughable. teenwolf was more scary!
which brings me to the rather large flaw..there is NO horror in this film. NONE,zip,nada,zilch. as for the other main content, action, that too is terrible. I've seen more adrenalin pumping episodes of murder she wrote.
it's saving grace could have been the storyline and characters, but alas we're three for three on the lame-o-meter. After an hour and a half i could have quite happily seen the heroes eaten alive and not given a toss, in fact i'd have welcomed an early end to this coma-inducingly bad movie.