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How I Live Now (2013)
Dear UK National Lottery, please stop wasting money funding utter rubbish such as this load of poorly acted tripe.
Much like a lot of Lottery funded films over the years this is a film that would never have been (and indeed should never have been) made if it weren't for the funding grant this film received, unfortunately it did and it was.
There are some good ideas here, the tension leading up to and the subsequent occurrences of a nuclear explosion works but is quickly glossed over, there is confusion as to whether this was a story about a terrorist attack and its aftermath or a war with an invading force of unidentified origin.
Coupled with a cast that (with the exception of the criminally underused Anna Chancellor) couldn't act their way out of a paper bag let alone a post nuclear crisis and you have a badly stitched together mess.
There were far too many plot holes, far too much unexplained and too many cardboard characters that quite frankly no one cared about, especially the leading lady who was just awful. It would have been better to have concentrated on the war (if it really was one, kind of ended a bit quick didn't it?) and forgotten about the really irritating kids.
Oh and before I forget, a note to the British Board of Film Classification who seemed the need to advertise 'Contains strong sex' in the classification card at the start, they were clearly watching a different film to everyone else as the semi clothed cousins 'sex scene' was one of the dullest and most unerotic sex scenes I have ever seen!
So near and yet so far
To summarise the much anticipated Prometheus:
Fantastic visual effects Amazing attention to detail Lots of nice little nods to the 'Alien' universe Wonderful soundtrack
Pity therefore about the non-sensical storyline and lousy script then as this made absolutely no sense whatsoever. I like a challenging story that actually makes you think but the only thing that this - and lets be honest here utter mess made me think was 'what the hell is going on?' and that was before we even got to the last third of the film where things really fell apart.
For me this was one of my most anticipated films in years, a brilliantly created build up of trailers and other publicity sold this film (as it should of course) and almost tempted me to go and see a film at the cinema for the first time in twenty years.
Oh boy am I glad I resisted that temptation as when I put the DVD in my player I was gob-smacked at how disjointed and completely muddled up the storyline was. Whilst it was lovely to spot the nods to previous 'Alien' films that were nicely incorporated throughout and I was delighted to see that the same visual look had been continued, it did little to hide the fact that from a story telling point of view, this film is a turkey.
I so wanted this to be brilliant and in all bar the story (and some of the rather wooden acting) it was. Therefore for me I have to say this was a very nicely done missed opportunity that should have been so much better.
Super Tanker (2011)
Straight to Video Fodder that isn't even good enough for that fate!
Two of my hard earned pounds were parted with on the impulse purchase of the DVD of the film so bad that for the UK straight to video bargain bin market they actually changed the title and I had to submit its new identity to IMDb!! The plot (for want of a better word) revolves around some unstable element extracted from a meteorite that is now causing a few problems (in this instance accidentally wiping a large chunk of Canada off the map following an accident) so rather wisely the authorities decide to discreetly get rid of it before anyone starts asking any awkward questions.
So far so good until we are first subjected to this film's extensive CGI effects budget. Literally tens of dollars must have been spent creating a CGI super tanker (which by the way in no way resembles the very nice DVD cover art work) as the aforementioned unstable material is transported away with the intention of sinking it in the deepest part of the Pacific Ocean.
Does everything go to plan? Of course not...
So with everything going wrong, daft plot devices - sorry - deadly clouds that destroy everything they come into contact with being released all over the place and general panic amongst the powers that be, it is time to bring in our heroes straight from central casting.
The obligatory trio is made up of the usual suspects, cardboard characters that consist of the emotionally damaged hero, his intelligent eye candy sister and superfluous comedy side kick Japanese guy, the history and juxtapositions of which are established in convenient three years earlier style flashback that actually has little whatsoever to do with the 'plot' at all.
They immediately clash with the military guy before descending into the bowels of the ship (or a disused warehouse in Bromsgrove which is more what it really looks like) and make a total Horlicks of the whole rescue operation, releasing another comedy cloud that proceeds to use up another ten dollars of the CGI budget as it wipes out Honolulu.
What is surprising in the midst of the cheap as chips mess is that there is some decent acting talent here, whilst the three specialists who are flown in to save the day are instantly forgettable, there is the presence of Ben Cross who was Spock's father in the recent Star Trek reboot but quite why he agreed to appear in this tripe is anyone's guess.
The Greek captain of the ship is also a decent actor and character who deserved more screen time and a far better script as well. The rest of the characters are so dumb as to be utterly unbelievable, not least whoever is flying the Super Tanker's seemingly endless supply of helicopters around, constantly not learning their lesson and flying into those deadly clouds every time in order to provide a further explosion to wake up the audience who by now have most certainly dozed off if they have not already walked out.
So overall it is a mess and yet another example of a poor film that probably started off as a good idea very badly executed having been saddled with a dire script, twenty dollar special effects budget (All right, lets be generous, say thirty five dollars) and then unleashed on the unsuspecting public.
Memo to self, stop buying cheap DVD's from bargain bins...
Spooks: Episode #3.8 (2004)
Oh dear, the Riff and Bea Episode .
Oh dear, the Riff and Bea Episode .
Every great television series has one really duff episode that is so spectacularly naff that you wonder watching it if the creative and production staff left the apprentice trainee in charge of creating one episode whilst they popped down the pub.
It took Spooks until episode eight of series three before they suddenly took fans by surprise by delivering this utter clunker of a story. A burnt out rock star and his equally drugged up missus get mixed up in a silly story of a kidnapped baby which for MI5 get lumbered with as it's 'politically convenient', this in a major nod to the celebrity culture that we seem to be constantly bombarded with these days.
Even poor old Harry Pearce looks dumbfounded at the whole thing pretty much throughout although whether this is because the script called for it or it was just actor Peter Firth's opinion on the lousy storyline is not quite clear.
There are a couple of good bits though, the return of the deliciously slimy Oliver Mace as the head of the JIC and a nice little 'B' story involving a Member of Parliament and his spectacular fall from grace that in a typical bit of burying bad news is hidden from public view behind the silly kidnap story.
It would have been better if the story of the disgraced MP was given prominence and the vast majority of the terrible Riff and Bea storyline ditched.
Still I suppose every great series has to have its bad moments
Off we go in search of that elusive treasure - a decent script!!!
Well that was poor Now don't get me wrong, the first National Treasure was silly but enjoyable and had at least a decent thread of a plot running through it, therefore imagine my disappointment when I put the sequel in my DVD player.
Dear oh dear, an utterly astonishingly awful sequel of which all the major players should be thoroughly ashamed of even being remotely connected with, heaven only knows what the talents of Helen Mirren, Harvey Keitel and Jon Voight were doing in this dire pile of poo.
Yes it is watchable but that is only because it is so bad that it is utterly laughable, indeed it has been a good few years since I enjoyed a movie because it was so utterly awful. The plot holes (a tenuous description since there was very little plot to have holes in really) were so huge you could drive a bus (or in this case a beer lorry) right through them.
Feel free to sit back and laugh at the inane nonsense of it all as we flash from Washington DC to Paris, then London (cue what should have been an excellent car chase through central London that was very disappointing not to mention geographically impossible!) back to Washington DC and then a few other places by which time I was either losing the will to live or just didn't care anymore until I was asked to believe that a lake had magically been installed at the top of Mount Rushmore so that it provided access to a South American hidden city of Gold.
What a load of cobblers .
As the team carried on in search of the most elusive treasure of all (that would be a decent script I presume as they were desperately in need of one) there was also the horrific sight of the mysterious 'Page 47' which sadly opens the door for the inevitable Disney dash for cash that sends us on a collision course towards a second sequel.
I think I will give that a miss somehow
Not bad at all, there have been worse remakes....
Whilst not holding a candle to the far superior original in terms of script, plot and acting, this remake of the classic 1972 'The Poseidon Adventure' is at least watchable which is more than can be said for a lot of the seemingly endless tide of remakes hitting cinemas these days.
The characters (for want of a better word) are a bit thin and cardboard and the plot really is just a long string of reasonably predictable set pieces but at least it entertains. The best bit is the special effects which are absolutely top drawer. For some reason Hollywood can do some really good FX and CGI when it comes to boats and the CGI rendition of the Poseidon itself in the opening scene is incredibly well done.
Top marks also to the Producers for making sure the Poseidon is a proper British flagged Southampton registered ship and not some Americanised tub.
Much like its predecessor though I fully expect this version to become stable Bank Holiday afternoon television filler material for the next twenty years. Just a pity a remake of 'Beyond the Poseidon Adventure' can't be done from this.
Maiden Voyage (2004)
Yet another Die Hard straight to video rip off with cardboard villains
Yet another Die Hard straight to video rip off with cardboard villains How many more of these god awful cheaply (and badly) made rip off of the more popular action movies of the late 1980's and early 1990's are there still lurking out there? For the record (not that you will care really) this one is yet another blatant rip off of a combination of Die Hard, Under Siege and Speed 2 complete with a full complement of clichés and predictability.
The non descript villains are the usual selection of cardboard cut out gun toting thugs who are dispatched by various means as the film progresses, the hero naturally is an ex cop or something that has family and attitude problems and of course he brings along to the party not only the usual emotional baggage but also a matching piece of eye candy and his annoying son.
The supposed luxury cruise liner that is running between Florida and Mexico is carefully described as a cross between a liner and a ferry this goes someway to explaining how come they appear to be larking around on a rusty cross channel ferry in New Zealand! The acting is as wooden as the deck, the script woeful, the one liners predictable, the villains utterly inept and the plot has holes in it you could sail a boat through.
There seems to be a never ending tide of this sort of rip off straight to video rubbish polluting the late night slots of television and the DVD bargain bins of supermarkets everywhere (although even this film is so bad it has yet to see a DVD release yet but give it time!) Is there any chance of something at least half decently made, semi believable and most important ORIGINAL?!? No, I thought not
Johnny English (2003)
The Low Point of British Film Making?
In the late 1990's the extremely talented Rowan Atkinson did a series of commercials on UK television for a credit card company that featured a very funny James Bond spoof character and his long suffering sidekick Bough.
This was ripe for developing into a film (although I though a TV series may have been better) and sure enough before long along came Johnny English.
Oh dear .
Something went badly wrong somewhere as this was by far and away one of the worst films I have ever had the misfortune to have to sit through and marks a very low point in the history of British film making.
As a Bond spoof it could have worked on so many levels but instead the talents of Rowan Atkinson and others were wasted on an utterly drivel laden script devoid of nearly any laughs whatsoever.
It also proved that John Malkovich will appear in any old rubbish these days but even he must have thought of leaving this turkey off his CV It transpires that the couple of clips I saw on TV at the time of the film's release were the only two minutes worth watching. Indeed this diatribe of insulting codswallop was so bad I just gave up when the showing broke for the news, shook my head in disbelief and walked away.
And then all was revealed I discovered it was written by the same two utterly useless talent vacuums who penned the almost franchise killing Bond film disaster Die Another Day! That explains why this film which should have been so good was so utterly awful!!
Mind Numbingly Awful ..
Mind Numbingly Awful ..
If I was an eleven year old watching this film, I would have walked out of the cinema citing this as an insult to my intelligence. Don't believe the hype about Harry Potter as it is little more than a large cash cow that the studio execs signed up to drain as many children (and their parents) as possible of their cash.
The story is atrociously bad, the acting not much better and the special effects pretty bad. The whole plot is utterly ridiculous and packaged together in a film so dreadfully written that it should never have made it into print let alone onto celluloid.
It is extremely rare that a film, even a really bad unwatchable one makes me want to switch off before the end but I had to turn over after just ten minutes as I could not stand this utter codswallop any longer.
And yet the popularity of this series seems never ending as sad people dress up their kids in badly imitated costumes from the films so they can queue up outside bookshops in the middle of the night to purchase the latest instalment. I appreciate that Star Wars makes fans queue around the block (Ok maybe not the tiresome prequel trilogy) but at least that has some redeeming features to it that do not insult the intelligence.
Avoid this badly written claptrap at all costs!
War of the Worlds (2005)
Nice Special Effects Pity About The Rest of It ..
Nice Special Effects Pity About The Rest of It ..
This attempt by Steven Spielberg to bring us a 21st Century interpretation of the classic H.G. Wells was certainly a brave project so what did we get? In the end we had a very well made film but with some notable low points that just did not seem to gel properly. The special effects were impressive as was the photography and direction whilst for the most part, the cast did their bit.
However we can only speculate as to how good this film really could have been were it not for a number of major failings.
Characters There was not really a single memorable character amongst the cast, with the exception of Cruise's battling divorced father (and even he had a number of faults), their was an awful lot of cardboard cut outs, cannon fodder and plot device carriers with no depth or even names for the most part.
The Kids Any movie with clichéd 'irritating yet cute' characters grates with me. Once again instead of a couple of ordinary reasonably intelligent children, we got the delinquent teenager with the attitude problem and the irritating little girl with the health issues (allergic to peanut butter, back problems and claustrophobic). If this is representative of the majority of the youth of today then quick frankly its time to pull the plug on the entire human race!
The Nutter Tim Robbins is a great if underused character actor but his role in this as the nutter in the cellar was utterly pointless and should have been jettisoned at the first script review.
The Plot Holes You could see the car being repaired just in time plot line coming a mile off. Meanwhile there was no apparent explanation of how on earth the teenage delinquent son managed to escape certain death to appear once more at the end although yet again I suspected this was what was going to happen.
The Alien Defeat Yes I am fully aware that the way the alien's just roll over and die in mid battle because of bugs in the air is indeed in the original story but it still smacks of a lack of imagination Star Trek style end of episode reset switch that brings the story to a juddering halt.
The Sound Track What has happened to John Williams of late? There was a time when the musical genius could do no wrong but yet his recent work, notably the totally out of character (in comparison with the rest of the series) soundtrack for Star Wars Episode III plus this have been very weak and lacking the classic punch and glory of his earlier work
With a bit better script, some attention to the obvious weaknesses and maybe even some different casting, this could have been excellent but as it is, it is watchable but disappointingly average.