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The Time Machine? After Earth? The 100? Or is it just me...
When the film started, It reminded me a great deal like After Earth. Stuck on a spaceship well away from their original home, Earth. Then, they crash to a planet with hostile inhabitants...like The 100. Then to discover it is actually Earth where half are on the surface, still human like, and the rest below, deformed monsters. Just like the Time Machine.
I'm not saying it was a bad film, there was a good story in there, but it was predictable in a way that figuring out it was Earth became simple after a very short time of them being there. A lot of good ideas, but they were poorly acted upon which made it lose a lot in my rating.
Ender's Game (2013)
Enders end game a surprise.
Will admit from the start that I never read the book. So, I won't be one of those "Oh I read the book, here are all the differences that ruined the film". Instead this will be about the film itself. No spoilers.
When I first heard of this film I thought it would be another one of those "Underdog" films. And it was. They don't always work, but this one got it right. Enders (Asa Butterfield) was a great choice. His acting will surly give him a decent future. The main reason for me watching this was of course, Colonel Graff (Harrison Ford). An uptight, ridged "bleep" whose only thought is of his planet. No possibly or maybe. Black and white do or die attitude. Ball Breaker. Different role that I am used to seeing him in, but great none the less. Even the short role by Ben Kingsley was good. Most of the other cast was young and relatively unknown, but every one of them added to the movie is a good way.
The training scenes were brilliant, just like you would imagine a military school to be like, except in space. The battle scenes, although few, were great. I can't actually fault the film. The end was surprising, not how I expected it to go. The very end though...not sure if it was left open for a sequel or a bit of a let down. Which is why it didn't get a 10. Overall though, very good film.
Better or worse than the original?
OK, so I just watched the 2014 version of Robocop. This is a difficult one. Like with Total Recall and Conan the Barbarian, if it was not for the original film, this version would be pretty good. 8 or 9. But this IS a remake of one of the best films in Sci-fi history. Sometimes a film can be remade 30 years or more later and be better such as The Fly and Invasion of the Body Snatchers being remakes. But it doesn't, IMO, work with great originals. Total Recall, better original. Conan, better original. Assault on Precinct 13, original better. There a LOADS more.. Unfortunately, Robocop fits into this category. It's good, 7 or 8, but its not as good. If you make a remake of a classic film or any film, expect comparison and expect to lose. But the film makers should be happy, they still make money and we still get to watch a good...ish film. Most of the time.
But in saying this. lets get to the film itself, with no comparison. Murphy, played by Joel Kinnaman, does a pretty decent job. Granted most of the robocop role is CGI, what he does not bad. My favourite role was, of course, Gary Oldman (growing into his surname huh?). He plays Dr Norton and to be honest, he did a great job. Michael Keaton as Sellars...I'm torn on this. I could think of a few that could have done it better, but I suppose they needed big names to stand a chance in the Box Office. What I do wish is that Samuel L Jackson had a bigger part. His aggressive and argumentative attitude in the film was brilliant. The one thing I would imagine being in the original (I know, comparison, but its a good one).
The action in it was fast paced, but not a great deal in it. Instead the story focused on the life of Murphy, the involvement of his wife and son, and his ability to cope with what he now was. With the most part of the action in the last 10 minutes. If you came to this film wanting all action like the original, you will be disappointed.
In the end, it was a 7 film. Not great, but not bad, mainly due to certain actors.
Das Leben der Anderen (2006)
Sat with a smile on my face!
Just finished watching this film and I have to say it was fantastic. I'm a man that watches all sorts of films. Sci-fi, comedy, fantasy, action etc. But I rarely watch European cinema or subtitled films. But this...it blew me away at how good it was.
The acting by all the cast was great, Martina Gedeck, Sebastian Koch...just brilliant, but Ulrich Mühe, top performance as the Stasi officer.
I don't want to add spoilers, but I I will say this, Out of the thousands of films I've seen, this is one of the best! A must watch for anyone, even if you don't usually watch subtitled films!
Screamers: The Hunting (2009)
Predictable from start to finish
Well, thought as much. Screamers 2 went the way of Starship Troopers 2. Garbage. Predictable from start to finish. I've said it before and I'll say it again. Most sequels suck. Don't make a low budget sequel if you think it can be carried by its predecessors name. It can't be and won't be.
I should give it 1, but gave it 2 because Lance Henriksen. No other reason.
If you like Sci-fi, avoid this. If you liked Screamers, definitely avoid this. If you watched this and liked it...you are lost to the world my friend.
Could have been SO much better.
This was a fairly okay attempt of a vampire Sci-fi film. I can in no way consider this a horror. If it is rated 12, then I would not consider it a Horror. Very little blood and light action. The typical 12 rated film.
In this film the Church is the ruling leaders of the world...or what is left of it. Beyond the walled up cities is a wasteland of sparsely populated towns and farms. They came to power with a way to defeat the Vampires. The weapon was the Priests. Warriors trained with powers to defeat Vampires. They turned the tied in the Human/Vampire war. Later, after the war ended and the Vampires placed in prisons, the Priests were disbanded and forced to re-enter normal community. Vampires are not the usual human, 2 eyed vampires...or even the more modern good looking vampires. No, these are beasts. Born to a Queen. No eyes and big teeth.
Paul Bettany plays Priest, one of the last surviving Priests. Out to save his family from Vampires after an attack. I enjoyed his role and he acted good. One of few films I had seen him in was Legion, which by the way was a very good film. His acting in both films were very similar.
Karl Urban plays Black Hat, the first hybrid vampire. A human vampire. Previously a Priest himself, he has the job to start the war again between vampires and humans. Nasty piece of work he is too. Although he is the main bad guy, he does not have a big role. Despite this, he plays it as good as expected. More recently best known for his 2009 role as Bones in Star Trek.
This film could have been so much more. More blood, more action. The story itself was good, it just needed attempts at scaring me. It needed to be a 15 or 18 rated film. What there was, I liked, but it is let down by previously stated reasons.
Priest did leave an opening at the end for a second film...or maybe a series. The odds are low though as the film did not perform well in the box office. Lets hope that if they do make a second, they will make an 18 rated film with more action. Bring back proper vampires!! Not those annoying Twilight ones!!
And 28 years later, this happened...
As with many others, I watched and loved the original 28 years ago. I was only 7 years old yet knew a cool film when I saw one. Never did I expect a sequel, yet here it is. I was so glad when I heard Jeff Bridges was to return. He did so good in the original that it would have been a big mistake not to get him in.
Born was Tron: Legacy.
Jeff Bridges plays Kevin Flynn, former CEO of ENCOM and the Original "User" from the original 1982 film "Tron". After vanishing 20 years ago, he leaves his son behind not knowing what happened to him. In my opinion, this is one of the best parts he has played for some time. He also plays Clu, his creation inside the Grid, made to help him create a perfect world...who knew.
Garrett Hedlund plays Sam Flynn, son of Kevin Flynn, the original "User". A messed up 27 year old who wants nothing that belongs to his father after he disappeared 20 years ago. The part was actually played well. Not a well known actor, I am sure this will help his career.
Olivia Wilde plays Quorra, fighter and friend of Kevin Flynn within the Grid. I had not seen much of this actor before this film. I think only once I saw her in Year One. Strong, beautiful, intelligent...she has the great role to play.
Finally, Bruce Boxleitner also a returning actor playing his 2 original roles of Alan Bradley, friend to Kevin Flynn and employee, now executive, of ENCOM and creator of the Tron program. He also plays Tron, the security program he originally created in his image within the Virtual world. This man is a great actor. First seeing him in the original Tron, I didn't really notice actors at aged 7, but when I next saw him in Babylon 5, I knew he was brilliant. Although not having a big part in this film, he played it as well as expected.
This film, mainly set inside the virtual world, and what a world. Beautiful CGI created cityscape. The vehicles bring back good memories of the original film. The costumes are very cool. Effects are equally as good. I loved the Disc battles and Lightcycle chases.
Overall, this is a fantastic film and a welcome sequel to a the classic that was Tron.
Virus...but no Zombies? Realism hits the screen
To start, I would say If you are expecting fast paced action, forget it. I know most films about a Virus contain Zombies or people being shot etc, So don't go into this film expecting it to be anything like Resident Evil, 28 Day Later or Quarantine, this has NONE of that. This film is more realistic. More similar to the 1995 film Outbreak, except on a worldwide scale.
Slow but effective film showing the spread of a contagious virus and the efforts to stop it. These days in the way we live, this film could well be more realistic than we know.
Although there are a few big names in this film, it does not continuously follow them. It follows a number of people all over the world.
Gwyneth Paltrow plays patient Zero Beth Emhoff. Her part in the film was pretty good. Being Patient Zero will either make you immune or dead within the first 10 minutes. I won't tell you which as I won't be posting spoilers in this review.
Matt Damon plays Mitch Emhoff, husband to Patient Zero Beth Emnoff. He plays a good part as husband and father. I do feel his script could have had more to it during his time on camera.
Kate Winslet plays an Investigator for the CDC (Centre for Desease Control). This was, by far, the best part given in the film. She was great in her role and could not have done better. Her job is to search for answers as to how it started in the US.
Finally, Laurence Fishburne plays Dr. Ellis Cheever also of CDC. As always, this actor plays a great part with style. He has hard choices to make with the spread of the epidemic. What started it? Was it created as a bio-weapon? Is there a cure? Can we make one in time? And what of the people...and his wife?
Well made film. Not fast paced, it allows you to follow along and keep up. The storyline is good. Not quite an Apocalyptic story, but shows what could well happen. More chance of this happening than any other world wide catastrophe.
I do suggest watching this film. I liked it a lot and even if you were expecting Zombies, it is still a good watch.
Conan the Barbarian (2011)
Far surpassed my expectations
OK, finished Conan the Barbarian (2011) I so hoped that this wasn't going to be a bad remake. And it wasn't. The only two similarities to the original is the name and the way it began. Everything else was just like a new film.
Stephen Lang (Avatar, Terra Nova etc) as Khalar Zym. He played that part perfect. He had the look of evil and used it well. I was well impressed by his acting in this. His Armour looked brilliant
The main role of Conan was played by Jason Momoa. Not known for his film acting, but mostly for TV series such as Stargate Atlantis and Game of Thrones. Even with only being in a couple of TV films, his acting was great pulling off a superb role of a Barbarian.
Khalar Zyms' daughter Marique was played by Rose McGowan, best know for her role as Paige in Charmed. A nasty piece of work in this film, A Necromancer. The makeup made her look real nasty looking too. She played a great role.
Tamara was played by Rachel Nichols. I don't remember seeing her in much, but apparently she had a bit part in Star Trek (2009) and has been in the series Criminal Minds.
Now, I have to mention the part played by Ron Perlman. One of my favourite actors know for his role as Hellboy Also his role in Sons of Anarchy. And his voice to multiple computer games including the Narrator for every Fallout game, Halo 2&3 and many more. He plays the role of Conans' father Corin. Fantastic actor, fantastic role, even if it was a short one.
The action in this is great. The sword fights will make any fan of such films happy. Lots of blood, some sexual content, great acting, great story. All in all a great film. Anyone who liked films like the original Conan the Barbarian, The Scorpion King, Red Sonya...you WILL love this.
A LOT better than I expected!
Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Must admit, There are not many remakes or reboots that I like. BUT, this is one of those exceptions. The 2001 film "Planet of the Apes" was an okay remake of the original 1968 film staring Charlton Heston. This movie is a reboot of the 1983 film, "Conquest of the Planet of the Apes. Fourth film in the series line. Although it does has similarities to "Conquest", it is NOT a remake, which is good.
I can honestly say I don't know what I expected from this film. Disappointed by recent reboots/remakes, I in part expected not to like it. I could not have been more wrong. James Franco, best known for his staring role in 127 Hours. He plays Will Rodman, Genetic Engineer looking for a cure for Alzheimer's disease. A good part and well acted. Freida Pinto, known mainly for her lead female role in Slumdog Millionaire. She plays a primatologist who bonds with Will Rodman and Caesar. The voice of Caesar is played by Andy Serkis who has done many voice overs, including Gollum from Lord of the Rings.
The Special Effects of the film were just great. The acting and storyline are superb. I don't want to give spoilers in this review because I think it is a brilliant film and I suggest people watch the film instead of reading all the spoilers.
Now, According to reports, this film will be the first in the line of a new series of Planet of the Apes films. :D So, we can hope that the future has some very good films to come. One last comment. Roddy McDowall was brilliant in his roles in all the original films as Cornelius in films 1&3 and Caesar in 4&5.
Sucker Punch (2011)
Enjoyable if not strange and slightly confusing...
***This review contains spoilers***
Sucker Punch. The main reason I was waiting for this film to release was that one of my favourite bands was supposed to have a song on its soundtrack...which it didn't in the end.
From the start, I went into this with high hopes, the trailer looked great. Not your usual film. Charlies Angels meets One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest. It is strange and if you miss the beginning, you will get lost and confused.
Emily Browning played the main role of Babydoll. A girl who accidentally killed her own sister while trying to kill her abusive father. Placed in a sanitarium, she overhears that she is to be lobotomized. This is where it gets...confusing and strange. In her head, there are 3 worlds. Reality, a private strip club and a fantasy war zone. In order to escape the hospital, she retreats into these alternate realities in her mind to help. She is helped by 4 friends, also inmates in the sanitarium. Abbie Cornish(Sweat Pea), Jena Malone(Rocket), Vanessa Hudgens(Blondie) and Jamie Chung(Amber). All 4 fairly well established in TV and film. The acting of all 5 of these actors was good. Especially that of Emily Browning.
The Fight scenes are great. Special Effects also great. I have never seen a film like this before, and that is a good thing. Many films these days are simply rebooting or remaking old films because they can't think of anything that has not already been done. This film is New. Original. Unique. Took some guts to spend so much money on a project like this, so well done to them.
To end it, although for some this film may be just too strange and confusing, it is still well worth a watch.
Ghosts of Mars (2001)
A particularly bad B movie.
After all these years, I have finally got around to watching "Ghosts of Mars". I was drawn to this film for the title alone. "Ghosts" and "Mars" says to me a Sci-fi Horror with potential. Not something attempted before to my knowledge. Unfortunately, it was NOT worth the wait.
Predictable and plain bad scripting. I cant believe this is one of Jason Stathams' (The Transporter) first films. Must have helped his career somehow as he was staring in The Transporter just a year later. He played Sgt Jericho Butler, the squad tough nut. His acting was pretty good considering the script. The lead role was given to Natasha Henstridge, most know as the alien in the Species film series. Probably the best acting in the film, so well done to her. The film also stared Ice Cube playing prisoner Desolation Williams. I don't know if it was that lines given to him were just bad or it was his acting, but I will say that even with bad lines, a good actor can still make them look okay.
In the end, basically, this is a particularly bad B movie. Badly written, which is damning as it had so much potential. The overall acting was below average. Not really worth watching.
Thor. Really liked the first 30 minutes. Brilliant. As in most Marvel films, Stan Lee, who created the characters, has a cameo roles. Of course he didn't create the character Thor, but he did create the comic book version.
I like this film as it keeps in line with Norse mythology. No fiddling with it. Anthony Hopkins played a great role of the God Odin, Ruler of Asgard. Chris Hemsworth, a relative newcomer to Hollywood. I, for one, had never seen or heard of him and only just found out he played Captain George Kirk in the 2009 Star Trek film. Of course, you can not have Thor and Odin without the mischievous Loki, played brilliantly by Tom Hiddleston also a relative newcomer to Hollywood films. Also, all three of these top roles were played by an Englishmen, a Welshman and an Australian. Sounds like the beginning of a joke. But this film was far from it.
The Special Effects are just amazing. Could not ask for more. Acting, including those previously mentioned...superb. Also could not ask for more. This is truly one of the best films of 2011 and I can not wait for Thor to return in The Avengers and Thor 2. To be released in 2012 and 2013. Amazing film, a definite watch.
Super 8 (2011)
Super 8. If like me you loved the movies of the 80s, this will be one for you. If not, you will still love it. It's like a cross between The Goonies and Cloverfield. One of the best Sci-fi films released in while. If you are not into sci-fi, I still think you will enjoy it. Set in the summer of '79, in and around the small fictional town of Lillian, Ohio. The films focus is on a group of kids are making a school film. During which something happens that changes everything for them and their town for ever.
Now, I have looked at what some on here have said and I can not believe the overall rating is just 7.6! If you want constant sci-fi action, stick to Star Wars. The is a brilliantly written and made film and has no need to rush through it.
Fun, dramatic, special effects...This film has one of, if not THE best Special Effect moments in many years. The Train Crash. I was actually sat there, open mouthed going "wow" while watching it.
Most of the acting in this film is done by young teenagers such Joel Courtney and Riley Griffiths, their first ever big screen roles and were great as they all were. The most known, to me, adult actor was Kyle Chandler who plays Deputy Sheriff Jackson Lamb. He is probably best know for his staring role in the series 'Early Edition'. His acting, as always, was spot on.
To end, if I have to suggest a film to watch made in 2011, it will be this one.
Historic events should not be changed this much. Although...FIGHT!!!
OK. Ironclad. First comment, Blood and Guts. And lots of it. One thing did bug me was it's somewhat historic inaccuracy. If you are making a film about a well documented piece of history, get it right and don't sacrifice it in an attempt at a good story. The fighting scenes, in which there are many, seemed quite realistic. Extreme amount of blood, severed limbs and heads.
To be honest, not much else to the film except some good old fashioned hand to hand combat. Not one of these films where you have to watch and listen to everything. Just feel free to turn off your brain for a couple of hours and enjoy. If you are after a good storyline, look elsewhere. If you just want to see a good old Hack and Slash, which I found OK, then this is for you.
Remember, if you going to make a film based on real events, no matter how loosely, don't change most of important historical characters and for gods sake, don't change the outcome!! It's as bad as making a film of the Battle of the Little Bighorn showing Custer winning over the Indians and surviving!!
Cowboys & Aliens (2011)
Good acting and High profile cast don't make a good film
OK. Just watched Cowboys and Aliens. Before I say anything else, I have seen Harrison Ford in many films. and liked most of them. The only mistake he has made was being part of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. That was until I saw this film. Big mistake.
From the start I thought the writers and producers of this film must have either been real gutsy or real dumb to make a film about Aliens set in the 19th century Arizona. New concept. But that was for a reason. Nobody wanted to make such a film. May as well have a film called Aliens and Sparta! Aliens invade Ancient Greece. Sparta, Greeks and Persians join up and kick Alien butt. Just as bad an idea.
There was one good to this film. The acting. Harrison Ford, Daniel Craig, Olivia Wilde...great acting. Unfortunately, you could be the best actor in the world, but you can't make a great film with a bad storyline. Will Smith = Brilliant actor..Wild Wild West = Bad Film.
If you have a spare 2 hours and you love Sci-fi...like me, then you MIGHT at least enjoy the film. If not, don't bother. Definitely not worth buying.
Earth's Final Hours (2011)
Not bad...but not good
Well. Earth's Final Hours. Low budget film, and it shows. The kind of film you expect to see aired on the Syfy channel. I did enjoy it, meaning it took up some spare time I had. It was somewhat predictable at times, but even that is to be expected what with the amount of similar films out there, only they had the budget to pull off a better film. I would say it was still worth a watch, IF you have nothing better to do...like sleep. It's main downside was the acting of a certain young man, Cameron Bright. His monotone acting skills just bugged the hell out of me. I remembered seeing him in a double episode of Stargate SG-1. I recognised the acting before him. It has not changed in the past 5 years. Lets hope he gets better in the future...or play the roles of robots.
To get to it, the film was OK, but let down by its somewhat predictability and certain bad acting.