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Badass 'superhero' with the motormouth... You'll like him
I've finally got round to watching this after keep getting told just how good this film is by so many. After the slew of comic book films, which just feels relentless, this was a kick up the back side to the whole genre. Not since Dredd has there been a comic book film which is for adults instead of the repeititive fare we are getting elsewhere.
Deadpool is superhero who denies being one, and is totally unorthodox. Shunning all the morality of the standard hero, his name is known, he takes off his mask, he kills villians without remorse, he swears and break's the screens fourth wall. All with a cheeky and crude motormouth, this is a loveable rogue of an action hero.
The action is violent but I really liked it, and really makes fun of the whole genre with quips all the way through.
We have a bit of an origins story here to give us some background to the character, whom I never knew about before. He is simply the antithesis of the average comic book hero, and all the better for it here.
Give it a try if you are ready for a bout of adult humour & violent comic fare. I was, and I liked it. Admittedly the quips could get tiresome in the length of a movie, but our hero is still funny throughout.
Fitting finale that wins the war for this movie
You got to admire the producers and directors of this trilogy. They took a gamble in reimagining this franchise. Well loved and a sci-fi classic, we are made to rethink our own morality through the structure of a society of rebellious apes, and it could so easily have gone wrong. It hasn't, and this film caps a great trilogy, something that practically all other trilogy series have struggled or failed to do.
First and foremost, I'm a very big fan of the original film, and have watched it countless times. The sequels? Well, not as enamoured with the latter ones, the Tim Burton one we'll forget. This though is a great update, although yes it doesn't necessarily capture as many philosophical strands as the very original, but few if any other films have.
Back to this one, we have Andy Serkis in incredible form as Caesar, giving an award winning performance, likely to be overlooked due to CGI etc (and snobbery). He is ably supported by his group, and a new addition "bad ape" who steals the scenes he is in. Woody Harrelson is the bad guy but plays it great without cliches, and you really get to understand his character and that of others. There's very much more going on than you realise, but it all comes together and it works.
Caesar is out for revenge, battling human emotions which have been magnified by his own consciousness. He struggles and we follow his path but empathy is very much there is when tested.
It really is a deep movie, it's also beautifully filmed and I would very much recommend this. There is likely to be a further trilogy, and I look forward to it.
This one finely caps off a great reimagining for me. Go ape for it!
Mugen no jûnin (2017)
Visceral and violent manga adaption... Congrats to Miike on his move milestone
Miike Takashi is a prolific director, but his specialism has always been the macabre and left-field cult movies. He loves the outsider, the violent and bloody heroes and even the villains in society. To celebrate his 100th film (you read that right!) he has her taken to adapt a violent period manga comic about a hired hand out to help get revenge for a young girl against the group who killed her parents.
What we have is another blood thirsty and violent saga, and despite the old shogun settings, as with all of Miike's work it's really modern in terms of various characters and style. The sword fights are brutal and stylized and unforgiving.
As this is a manga adaption, there is more than meets the eye, our lead is immortal with a curious way to keep him as such, and as he keeps on getting chopped, sliced and ripped, it's a good thing for him. The central core really is his pseudo-relationship with the young girl, and it works. Our lead fighter is really in the mould of the old western's man with no name, it's that kind of style.
The story and film really are in debt to various others that are recognisable: Leon, Ninja Scroll, Macbeth (yes!), 13 Assassins and OldBoy. Seems quite a lot but it works.
The only problem is that it can tire at times on the screen, the story seems to meander after an incredible start, but that is partly as it is trying to put as much of the manga story on the screen as possible. It's clear when you watch it that's it's an adaption, esp with the number of characters and tales thrown in.
The acting is great but some of the characters are clearly just manga characters. Our lead villain with his androgynous look is a homage to a lead villain in Ninja Scroll, and really only a modern movie character. Other villains are also super-villains with their style, and what they lack in realism they make up with in action.
Anyhow, I enjoyed this, the key is the relationship between the hired hand the girl, and it is wonderful to watch. Like Leon, it is the lasting legacy.
I love various of his films and there are greater ones, like Dead or Alive or 13 Assassins, but this is one he can be proud of. Not all will go with it, but those into something different and violent should give it a go, it's worth it. You'll love it for various aspects but especially for the characters whom I hope to see in some format again.
Blown away by this journey...
I got to admit that this film surprised me in so many ways. Granted I'm more favourable to the whole cannon than many, but my expectations weren't as high after the Force Awakens which I didn't warm too. However I really got into this and loved it.
We have the return of Luke but also a strengthening of the new stable of characters. Our Rebels are again under the cosh by the dark forces and escape seems hopeless, but hope can set you free.
Our two leads are excellent as the Jedi and Dark Side hopes, but very ably assisted by many others. It's Mark Hamill that all are interested in, and he is perfectly fine. Interesting how he carried his role.
Beneto Del Tor is in this too, but really his part seemed slapdash and a waste.
Action is great, the film looks wonderful and in the cinema it's a real experience.
Ignore any naysayers, this is worth the visit to the the cinema. A wonderful addition to the cannon that sets up the series well for the next movies.
Alien: Covenant (2017)
Alien - Really tries to bring the franchise back on track but still not there
I really wanted to give this a chance. I hated Prometheus, despite being a fan of the original Alien films like many others (AvP should be best hid away).
As for this new prequel/origins movie, well it has a lot to dig itself out of after the awful Prometheus film. Taking its cue from the first Alien movie, we have a group of humans on way to a planet (in this case to a new Eden), only to be stopped early to find themselves investigating a mysterious planet. Turns out it is where the survivors from Prometheus are.
What we have is the original android as evil & conniving as ever, playing God, and it's hell for the humans. We actually don't get that much alien involvement, not really.
Yes the special effects are good, and camera work great, the acting great etc etc.
But the story is poor, and I couldn't muster enough into the cod-philosophical questions it was maybe trying to attempt. Some of the twists were too obvious, and the film wasn't helped by a group of the dumbest scientists I've seen on film since well... Prometheus!
Lots of holes in this one, it's fine to watch if on free to air, otherwise give it a miss.
This film could be another nail in the franchise coffin, but you know it will be brought back up again somehow.
Glorification of two of gangland's biggest thugs...
The Krays are well known in the UK, by the elder generation for the celebrity campaigns that used to nauseate us for their release, and the even older generation for the fear their numbers used to execute to maintain their power.
However, apparently this film has been a huge success in the UK, so the younger generation have had their interest piqued possibly for a romanticism of old school gangsters, which is disturbing, and this film has milked it.
Starring one of the current favourites of the screen, Tom Hardy, he plays both the twins, one seriously but the other other quite cartoonish. I've mixed reactions to it, but the final result is that their vicious sides and evil ethics weren't at the fore. If anything, the love story between one of the twins (Reggie Kray) and his wife is a larger part of the story, which is baffling.
On the other hand, Emily Browning for me was the best part of the film, as the gangster's downtrodden wife, whilst the crime part just didn't work very well.
The settings are stylish, London is beautiful and the police are moral but limited.
Overall, it's quite a waste. Some may not like to say it but the previous Krays movie with the lead two from Spandau Ballet (UK pop group) was far more menacing and possibly closer to the grim truth.
I didn't like this film, it's disappointing, and I'd recommend that you pass on it. But in the UK, the numbers show that local heroes like to be fawned over by people trying to believe there was a fairer world back long ago.
If Seven had been made for TV, it probably would have looked like this...
According to trivia notes, this was pencilled in as a potential sequel to Se7en. Thankfully that was overruled, but if the same director and script editors had been on hand as with Se7en, then we might have got an excellent film.
It's a psychic cop redrafted back into the police to capture a psychic villain. That's it really.
Anthony Hopkins leads a cast who are not in the same league as himself, and it clearly shows. Despite that, the script doesn't often help, and the director is clearly out of his depth with this one. So much could have been done.
What should be a taut storyline, really isn't. The premise of psychic cops and villain, doesn't ever convince or leave on edge, and there seems to have been soft porn takes added in as it would be the only talking point for some, and kind of devalued the film. It never added to anything.
It's not by any means the poorest movie you'll see of late, but it's one that one will best be left for late night satellite film TV stations as a filler. Nothing more. Disappointing.
Crossing a bridge will never feel the same again
Critics can get a hard rap, but prime British film critic Mark Kermode has been recently championing this mostly forgotten film for its anniversary. Granted it has the benefit of being by the director of his favourite film (The Exorcist), but still it piqued my interest, and I'm glad it did.
What we have is a very harsh film, where the characters and story lack empathy, as we watch the central group of men go through their Heart of Darkness moments. We have an American mob man, a Middle Eastern bomber and a French banking fraudster (no this is not the start of a joke) who are thrown together after their world collapse and they have to escape their looming punishments.
Forced by circumstance to win a job that will see them have to cross the Central American jungle in clapped out trucks with highly volatile explosives in the back, they are on a journey to nowhere to win the purse and passports needed to survive.
I don't want to spoil anything at all here, as there are some great suspenseful scenes here which will have your heart in your mouth.
It's got the full direction and style that those who loved The Exorcist will understand, and again sound is a major part of the movie and the clincher. Wonderful soundtrack and sound effects, and on a big screen it all comes together.
I can't think of how they could have got better than our leads in the film, with Roy Schneider being the most recognisable, who finds this job from hell one he has to finish but at what cost? The only question is how was this gem forgotten for so long? Wonderful tough viewing, but really original and something that is a great 70s contemporary snapshot of great filming of the era, a true golden age of cinema movies.
Crank up your motors and go traipse through whatever growth you have to get to watch this, recommended viewing.
Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
Thor - Saving his godly home against an unpronounceable evil...
I'm probably a little Marvelled out. This film didn't ring with me as it seemed to do with, well, everyone else. There is no denying the humour and action are well played but I'm struggling to care now. It's comic movie fatigue.
The main aspect that kept my attention was Loki, who as ever stole the show although Cate Blanchett as the lead villain was also exceptional but was given little depth. The rest didn't work. Jeff Goldblum played a camp villain straight out of the Fifth Element, and it failed badly. Lots of other characters were simply not engaging, and the cross over cameos has become a cliché and annoyance. They should have spent more time on Cate Blanchett's character.
The humour could be good as it is self deprecating, but can fall too often into back slapping. Enough to keep you entertained though.
For the more avid Marvel comic book geek this is a great film, but for all else it will leave you a little ambivalent.
Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014)
Parody fun ride of the spy genre, but doesn't leave me stirred
I've only just watched this graphic book adaption, and the first thing you notice when you come on this site is the large gap between the general viewers' rating (a very high 7.7) against the metracritic rating (a lowly 6). I can't think of any other film off the top of my head which as polarising, but I side fully with the critics on this one.
I'd already read the graphic novel many years back, and wasn't a fan but still believed it could make a fun film. This film takes the humour, and is basically spy film in the Kick-Ass mould, but it doesn't work for me. I just couldn't find myself interested in the characters, albeit excepting the two acted by Colin Firth and Sofia Boutella, and if anything it was too much of a parody.
It's a fine line when you make a parody to go too far and lose interest, and that for me happens here. There's cliché and so on, but the worst part is Samuel L Jackson as the villain, who really has his worst performance and role I've yet seen from him, didn't even need to make an effort.
The action scenes are excellent, I'll give them that, and like Kick-Ass they are very violent. That's the only interesting point for me.
I'll leave it at that. Maybe worth watching if on the TV on a Saturday or Sunday night, otherwise give a miss. Some will really enjoy it, but I wasn't one of them. It's possible like many others, I'm now just tired of the comic book genre.
Logan Lucky (2017)
It's not Ocean's 11, but a damn near close Deep South adaption
For this film, it's simply a case that you are going to hear enough references to Ocean's 11 when any reviews come up, and that is natural. The film even mentions it at one point to make it clear to avoid any counterclaims.
We have a blue-collar family who decide to pull in a convict & his brothers to help complete the robbery of a lifetime at a local giant speedway circuit.
The film is mostly for laughs, and thankfully without any glam. Sadly it does lapse into clichés on blue collar white folk which is unnecessary, but actually this film sympathises with them, and you begin to really empathise with the characters. Adam Driver as one of the lead two brothers is really excellent in his role, and is the one you root for most in his but Channing Tatum also plays his part well without resorting to anything typecast.
Ably supported by a good cast, and a story line that doesn't need to go at breakneck speed with big scores or rock soundtracks, this is a fine eulogy to the south.
I enjoyed it, the only problem is some of the lack of originality and the at times blue collar clichés which are cheap. It's a fine film otherwise, and you'll enjoy it.
A blatant Nikita steal - Great action scenes but little else of note
I'm feeling very underwhelmed by this film despite being a great fan of the best of Korean cinema. It's been well advertised of late, but don't fall for any possible hype on the movie posters. I don't even think the title makes sense for this movie.
The biggest problem is that this film is simply too close a homage to the classic French film Nikita, and it's not unfair to say a blatant steal. If you've never seen Nikita then you'll likely enjoy this, otherwise you'll be slumped in your chair for the duration. As there has already been a US remake and TV series based on Nikita, most will already know the premise, further denting its value.
Basically think of 4-5 core characters and themes in Nikita, and you'll find their mirror in this film. Run the two side by side and they are probably the same. Some of the scenes should had a copyright watermark from Luc Besson in the corner they were that alike.
The greatest selling point is the action, with a handful of exceptionally well choreographed and filmed scenes that will leave you applauding, especially the opening run in. Hollywood should take a look in. I haven't been excited and amazed watching action scenes for a long while.
Beyond that, there's little to write home about. Story is a copy, the acting is rarely challenging (although our lead is very good) and the dialogue is so so. Shame really.
The twists and turns are unexciting, and are quite frankly poor and unchallenging. There's little good to say there.
Saying all that, our lead has a young child who steals the scenes whenever she's there, so that's a small saving grace and release valve from all the rest.
Disappointing, but still very watchable for the action scenes if little else. If you do want to watch a great alternative Korean film this year, then I would very much recommend The Handmaiden, watch that instead of this.
Civil rights in a time of illiberal justice....
It's quite common for a film to be released just as the political environment fits its underlying story. Just as the recent far-right marches have gathered attention in the US, this film highlights a racially toned note of the abuse of power.
Based on a true story, we have here one night in Detroit when riots are underway and the army and police are out in force. A laddish prank leads to a unit of militant and aggressive white policemen doling out their brand of abusive 'justice' to a group of young black men and their two white lady companions in a hotel.
It's an uncomfortable watch. Filmed mostly in a hand-held and documentary style (without any amateurism) we feel like one of the bodies on the ground as we watch the policemen way overstep their line, and sadly there is no hero to fly in to save anyone.
The story is an indictment of the US justice system at the time, and covers many different aspects, however there are too many underlying themes that are best left for a more appropriate forum.
If there is a criticism, and it's fair to raise the point, then it is that the film is very partisan. Going by the high level notes, we can't disagree but rights & wrongs will have been done on both sides, but that does not in any way condone the actions of the policemen in this story.
We have a myriad of characters, with Will Poulter at the lead policemen in the unit standing out as the racist, angry and brutal aggressor. The whole set of supporting actors perfectly fits this harrowing story.
I'd recommend this, when it comes to award time this will stand out for various reasons. Should hopefully help to ignite some good discussions too.
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)
Seminal disturbing but engrossing schlock movie!
I'm well behind the curve as I've only just watched this film. Showing on a local cinema as a retro screener to celebrate a related anniversary date for the film, I decided to give this film a chance.
It's so well known that a synopsis is not needed, but we have here a daddy of the torture porn genre, yet it is far more than that. It is incredibly well made, with some wonderful scenes and shots, it really grabs you.
Leatherface is also interesting, as despite the horror he is actually quite a weak villain, and no unstoppable Michael Myers type of force. That's what makes him interesting. A brutal nasty figure, but also frighteningly child-like.
The killings when they come are brutal, and there are some very memorable scenes, including the introduction of Leatherface and the meat hook scene, and the ending is just mesmerising.
This is still a hard watch even after its age, but really it's a fabulous movie. Really recommend this to all to give it a try.
It Comes at Night (2017)
Low key but gripping survival horror movie
This has turned out to be a really good year for films so far. There's been a spate of quality films that I've seen that really give you hope for the future of films. This is one I'd add to that list, a cool and hard edged suspenseful movie.
What we have is another in the survival horror movie sphere, but this isn't really derivative, and if anything is original and intriguing. We have a family having locked themselves away to protect themselves from some unnamed contagious disease, and through fate end up inviting another family in with them to support each other. However, paranoia understandably prevails and inevitably leads to some confrontations.
Joel Edgerton is turning into a mighty fine actor, and as the lead man in the film, acting as the head of the family, he gives a tense and unnerving performance that is just perfect here. The whole crew, none of the rest I can recall having seen before, are excellent. It's like a high-end stage play on film, and it works.
The film is well filmed, it has the odd jump, but it's about the people not about the horrors far off. The people have to fear those around them not way off. In some ways, it kind of reminds me of 'The Road' but also the original 'Night of the Living Dead' movie. They both blend well together here.
I'd recommend this highly. Tough viewing at times, but a good shot in the arm for horror films.
Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
Heart-warming and endearing reboot but one for the teenagers...
Okay, we've had Spiderman for many years in many formats. The Saturday morning cartoon shows in various formats, the old 70s show, the various films and so on. So we all love Spidey yet with all the recent comic book successes Spidey has been usurped by some of his compatriots like Iron Man. The Andrew Garfield movies despite various good points just didn't make an impact, but this reboot might just do it.
Based on the Ultimate Spiderman series, thankfully we don't have an umpteenth repeat of the same old origins story, but this restart is wrapped up in the MCU world. Our teenage Spidey has growing pains with bullies and girls, and we see him having to take on the might of a mega-villain with superior weaponry, in this case a wonderful show stealing performance by Michael Keaton.
The acting is fine, the action great and it's all a bit more down to earth. Thankfully none of that great big being with lighting striking the sky big battles, but little heroes and villains.
I kind of liked it, but really maybe I'm a little old for some of it. It really will hit the mark for teenagers and older geeks, which I'm neither. The wise cracking get's flogged to death. It can work in a comic or cartoon, but the length of a long movie? They could have stepped back. Marisa Tomei as Aunt May is fabulous, and a favourite for the older viewers.
This is a bit of a sidewards movie in the MCU universe films, and it's fine. It will definitely find a market as it's unoffensive and enjoyable just not for me. Still, as said, it's fun and pays homage to its forebears. Expect this theme of Spidey to carry on for a number of movies.
Baby Driver (2017)
Fun ride homage with a great heart
I got to say that the mainstream cinema has been for me a letdown of late, and the better films have been really those under the bridge where I've found a few gems (e.g. Raw).
Baby Driver is an antidote to the poor and identikit set of films released by the majors, and I hope it influences others to think outside the box.
As with other Edgar Wright movies, this film is a homage to many favourites of years go by (I'd say major influences are Res Dogs + Gdns of Glxy + Point Blank = Baby Driver), but this is still a fine movie.
We have a mostly light hearted and tender movie, as our lead with his obsession with his iPod music collection to help drown out tinnitus, is caught up in a world that is way too far for him. He's an incredible getaway driver, but the heist world is too much for him. He falls in love and it's a race to find a way out, not easy.
It's funny, it's cruel, it's got a great soundtrack and great empathetic characters that are well fleshed out. Jamie Foxx is a cruel heist colleague and really ramps up the tension.
The only problems are the derivative aspects to it, but that's part of the joy as it brings out memories of all favourites. It pays homage without ripping off. The first 30mins I got the impression that it would be too light hearted, but it does ram up heavily after that and the story picks up pace. Very good stuff.
For a film to watch in the cinema, I can't think of too much better in the mainstream. It's not by any means perfect, but all who go to watch it will enjoy it.
It's also great to see personal favourite The Damned get one of their songs out there for others to hear. Wonderful from the film makers. Give the film a chance.
Requiem for a Dream (2000)
Very nihilistic drug addiction movie....
Darren Aronofsky is anything but conventional, and this is another in that line. There have been various excellent movies on the inner workings of drug addiction (e.g. Trainspotting), but there are countless stories to tell and this is another that ranks highly. Centres round a circle of drug addicts who are caught up in a downward spiral, with the mother of one of them finding herself unintentionally mirroring their errors.
There are many facets to recommend this movie to any adult. The story is well written, the direction is sharp and intriguing, and the acting is peerless. One of the most surprising parts is that by Ellen Burstyn in a role that just blows everything out of the water in this film as the mother who gets caught up in the drug addiction of her beloved son. She was just wonderful and heart breaking to watch. The rest are also excellent, and Jared Leto is unlikely to ever better this.
The film direction is very sharp, with cuts/redirections very quickly to provide an unsettling feel. It works and unsettles you.
We are watching the rapid inevitable decline of this circle of people, and it's uncomfortable to watch. Yet it's important, it opens up a window to their world and provides further insight and questions which need to be noted.
I'd recommend this to anyone with a strong stomach. It's a tough viewing but highly interesting.
Lady Macbeth (2016)
Seductive tale of self-destruction and survival....
This film really creeps you out. When it begins I thought it was some kind of Lady Chatterley's Lover type movie, but it isn't (thankfully). Our lead is Catherine Leicester who is holed up in a remote stately home tied up in a loveless marriage which is suffocating. When the cats away the mice will play, as the husband & father-in-law disappear due to work commitments, and she finds erotic solace with a stable hand.
From there, she opens up but things are to take some disturbing turns. She isn't though one to easily empathise with, as her treatment of her loyal handmaid shows quite clearly. Catherine Leicester is quite an unpleasant character.
This film has various non-white characters, the stable hand is black as is the handmaid. I watched 'Get Out' last week, and so this is two movies with racial themes, but this film doesn't really make any points as such, more what we create ourselves from what we see. If they had used 'white' actors/actresses in the roles, we would never have noticed a huge difference, but does add a contrast.
The film is clearly an adapted play, and is shot in limited settings. It's very well made, quite sumptuous often to look at, but very dark too.
The story is cruel in many ways, even the love is more sexual than really heart-warming.
It's interesting and has great themes. Lady MacBeth is a fine movie, and will have you thinking about it long after it ends.
Stomach churning tale of the pains of student cannibalism
The stories were out that this film led to the need for medical attention for various viewers at the initial viewings. Having watched this now, I think most of those stories are likely just hype, but it is quite a stomach churner, and that is made clear from the opening scene. As soon as Laurent Lucas appeared on screen, I remembered one of his previous films 'Alleluia' which was one heavy movie for anyone, and this follows in that vein.
We have here a young vegetarian girl, Justine, who is joining her elder sister at vet school where the environment and students are like hell on earth. Justine gets introduced to eating meat, and things begin to spiral as she starts to grow up sexually and mentally (teenage pains), but not in a positive sense and a dark secret starts to seep out.
This is a film that is shot in a dark arty style, and it's claustrophobic and unforgiving. However, compared to many other dark psychological movies, this film is more bearable. The lead actress in particular gives a wonderful performance, and the myriad of characters paint a gruesome but effective picture here.
It's a tough movie, and I'd recommend that if you watch it then stick it out to the end. It does begin to make a lot of sense as you progress. Some even left the showing I was at in the cinema, their loss I'd say.
Very much not one for everyone, but if you like hard hitting dark films, then this is one to seek out.
Get Out (2017)
Finely tuned racial themed psychological thriller
This film manages to encapsulate quite a few themes. We have here a psychological thriller/horror which has themes on race and standing.
The film begins with our lead (a young black man) who is to visit the white family of his well to do girlfriend. As you are to find out, not all is at it seems.
I don't wish to say too much more on the story as it will easily give too much away. The film can be quite derivative, and as you watch it, there are various films you can clearly see which influenced it.
However, that doesn't take away from the gist of what is here. There are racial themes that will make you ponder on it all way after you've watched it, which is what this is all about. It make it interesting, but it doesn't shove any political agendas down your throat.
The acting is great, with some recognisable cult film actors present. Special mention must go to LilRel Howery who provides some comedy and tension relief in an otherwise very dark but often darkly humorous movie.
I enjoyed it despite the uncomfortable nature of it. Worth a try, and a good entry in the horror genre for this year.
Wu xia (2011)
Beautifully filmed & acted movie - A History of Violence in China?
The name of the film doesn't exactly help in explaining what this is about. Basically what we have here is a film that very much is derivative of "A History of Violence", a North American movie which was quite popular for anyone who may not have heard of it before.
What we have is Donnie Yen as our lead who is found out to not be the weak feeble countryman but is hiding a dark secret that may lead to danger for all those he loves. Takeshi Kaneshiro stars as the moral minded detective who opens up a pandora's box with his investigations into Donnie Yen's character.
Now this is a film that combines the beauty of big scale Chinese movies with some sublime martial arts choreography, wonderful to watch. Ridiculously good fun but sadly the movie does seem to fail in the last quarter or so, I just guess they didn't know how what to do after all the twists and turns earlier on in the film.
It's worth a viewing if you enjoy martial arts, but I feel it will appeal to many others too for the direction, settings, acting and suspense. It's a fine film but could have been much more. Enjoyable enough.
Intelligent dark analysis of the news media industry
I've come to this a little late. Grabbed it when shown on the film channels here late one night and I was hooked. Jake Gyllenhaal is a great one for off-kilter films, and this one little disappoints.
What we have here is one of the most amoral characters we have seen on screen for many a year (Lou portrayed by Jake Gyllenhaal), who finds a niche to ambulance chase crime scenes to film graphic moments and sell on to a local news agency without any regard for the victims or the circumstances. The lead character is robotic in his manner, and even though we see him at the start as a criminal we surprisingly see him manage to sink lower. He will do anything to reach his goals, and it's often an uncomfortable watch.
Rene Russo as a news lead for the media company is fabulous as we see her character find herself trapped in Lou's plans, and their interaction is thought provoking. Lou is the freelance news gatherer who will stamp over everyone in his path.
This film is all about having a stab at many items: the media glorying crime porn for ratings, the insatiable demand from the public feeding off this and the graphic crime that is the fuel for this craze.
You will still be thinking about this grim dark film long after. It is at times darkly humorous too, but it's not an easy one to digest.
A very timely movie, but we are already aware of the issues, but the grim reality there is little we can do unless the demand is quelled. It's a grim realisation that we come to conclude after watching this.
More fun & frolics with our gang in the outer galaxy.....
The surprise comic book movie of recent years, has built on its original premise, and provided another slice of fun, frolics, humour and originality. We have a motley crue of intergalactic hired hands who simply can't do anything without some fun and action.
We have here more an equal footing for most of the characters, although that's not to take away from Chris Pratt as the main lead. We have the beautiful Zoe Saldana as Gamora, the lovable big muscled Drax, the wily Rocket and the now adorable Groot. There's around 3 or so different strands of story in this film, and to the credit of all, each interlinks without stepping on each other's toes. Which is quite a feat.
Really, the main crux is the camaraderie amongst our crew. Are they a unit or are they really a family? As they encounter life-threatening situations, they are moving towards the family aspect, and it's just heart-warming.
The whole film is sci-fi, but is wrapped up in a pseudo-retro feel from the early 1980s, and the soundtrack is as big a star in this as in the original.
I really enjoyed this space voyage, there are old friends back in this and new ones too, and to my surprise, it's not over crowded, the writers have done so well. Really recommend this for a viewing. Enjoy.
Scoundrels and eroticism - Love hurts in this dark little erotic tale
I'm a huge fan of Chan-Wook Park's work. I've seen them all and been an avid follower for years, and this one doesn't disappoint.
It's a complicated layered story of con artists and deviants, but there are many aspects to it all. There's humour, scares, romance, eroticism and suspense. Lots of twists add up to make a film that really you don't know what to expect next with. It's excellent.
It's all shot brilliantly in Chan-Wook Park's philosophical style. Each shot is picturesque. It's wonderful to look at, the music is wonderful and the storyline is engrossing.
The motley crue of characters have some great depth to them that you are just intrigued. I've just watched the extended version, so I'm reviewing that here. It's very graphic sexually so be careful on taking a date to this film.
If you're liberally-minded, then you'll really enjoy this. It's erotic and sometimes crude, but never really offensive. It is actually also a criticism of certain forms of sexual abusive behaviour, and that's intriguing.
It's a wonderful film, and another in what is marking the director to be amongst the finest directors I've ever encountered. I can't recommend his work highly enough. Give it a try.