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Heartbeat: Rustlers and Hustlers (2005)
This comment should be in a Goofs page but there isn't one!
When Patti Reilly falls off the pony at the beginning of the programme, PC Rob Walker is led to her assistance by her sister and then, later in the show, when he is with the sisters and there mother, constable Rob asks Patti to show him where the accident happened. As a police officer, surely he would remember! It was only a few days earlier.
Heartbeat: Little White Lies (2006)
A goof that occurs in many episodes in series 16, 17 and 18.
In this episode, a car is seen with a 1969 registration label on the windscreen and, at the end of the episode, district nurse, Carol Cassidy is seen meeting her fiancé at the railway station where the incoming train is pulled by steam locomotive 80136. The last steam trains on British Railways ran in August 1968 and not in North Yorkshire.
Furthermore, the railway across the moors used in the series was closed by BR in 1965 and was only reopened by enthusiasts as The North Yorkshire Moors Historical Railway in 1973.
Game of Thrones (2011)
How long is history?
After several years (during which Game of Thrones was only available on pay-TV) and lots and lots of hype, I was visiting my local hi-fi retailer and saw a stand with Game of Thrones being offered at three seasons for the price of two so I figured, "I've heard all the wonderful comments. It's time I saw this thing!" and bought seasons 1 to 3.
Wow! This is how a story SHOULD be told! In real life, we have Bill Clinton and Monica and Donald Trump and all his women and people throw their arms up in horror at their antics (and then go off to their local strip club or brothel and do the same stuff). Everyone knows that it goes on and has gone on since David seduced Bathsheba (and before that even) but no one has ever told it like it is - until now!
Nothing is hidden in Game. We see it all just as it was and I, for one, welcome that. Some might say that nothing is left to the imagination but I don't want to have to work my imagination when I'm relaxing and being entertained. If I wanted to work my imagination, I'd submit a couple of episodes!
I'm not sure how many seasons Game of Thrones is intended to go on for but history never ends so why not just keep writing it (like Coronation Street)? As long as the viewers want to watch it, it will keep selling and, in the end, that's what movie-making is all about.
The beheadings and battles, the sex scenes and duplicity are all laid out in lurid detail and I LOVE it!
One question though: What's with all the futuristic mechanical gadgetry during the opening sequence? It seems to place the whole story into a totally different time frame and I must say that I find that really offputting (to the point where I fast-forward through it).
Bob the Butler (2005)
Who needs big-name stars?
A friend brought Bob the Butler to a barbecue last evening and, after eating, a few of us sat down and watched Bob the Butler. The only actor that I had ever heard of was Brooke Shields and I immediately wondered what we were going to be in for.
Well, what a very pleasant surprise! Without exception, everyone present thoroughly enjoyed what was, in all honesty a pretty predictable plot and perfectly competent acting. Afterwards, someone asked what the movie had scored on IMDb and, unsurprisingly, it only got 5.7. I say, 'unsurprisingly' because, from previous experience with IMDb, I knew that such a simple, happy, uncomplicated story would never be highly rated by voters - and that is a huge shame.
There was plenty of good, clean humour and nothing to make us wonder what the point of the movie was. We didn't have to rack our brains to figure out some ridiculously complicated plot. We just sat and laughed for an hour-and-a-half!
So, director Sinyaw, thank you for some great entertainment. We will be looking for some more of your work for our next barbie night and hoping that you have kept it as simple as Bob!
Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
Has everyone also gone mad?
If this is entertainment, then I'm clearly not open to this genre!
Because Mad Max - Fury Road won six Oscars for Aussie, I figured I'd better see it although I must admit, I had severe reservations.
They weren't unfounded! I guess the Oscars were confined to technical aspects of the movie and I suppose one has to acknowledge the skills of those people so recognised.
However, how on earth this movie ever got nominated for best film, I have absolutely no idea. It's not like I don't enjoy fantasy films because the Lord of the Rings trilogy comprise some of the best films ever made.
What has happened to all the old values?
What a wonderful deja vu!
As usual, the story of Towards Zero was immaculate but this particular Marple story was especially nostalgic for me because, after just a few minutes, I recognised South Sands near Salcombe in South Devonshire where I lived during my teenage years in the mid 1950s. As a youngster, I worked at the Tides Reach Hotel (which looked quite unchanged) helping with the rental of a fleet of catamaran floats to the holidaymakers on the beach. One thing that was changed in the movie was that Salcombe Estuary was referred to as a river when, in actual fact, it is a tidal estuary. Only once did I ever swim across the estuary and back whilst I lived there as it wasn't an easy swim by any stretch of the imagination. Another thing that wasn't in the movie was my little sailing boat (a Salcombe Yawl - Y24) moored in the bay of South Sands. But then the movie was set about 10 years before it was there anyway! I haven't been anywhere near there for well over 50 years!
I Gave Up!
Not to say that all Bond films aren't very far-fetched but this one insults the intelligence of anyone who ever bought a movie ticket! That is unless 007 has shifted from the thriller genre to the fantasy one and I missed it.
The first fifteen minutes were SO ridiculous that I couldn't be bothered watching any more. We start with a high-speed vehicle chase through over-crowded streets (although no one is visibly killed and then on motorcycles across rooves (funny how all those rooves were built to withstand the weight of speeding motorcycles landing on them after jumping from other buildings). Then the chase continues off the side of a railway bridge and, (guess what?) BOTH parties successfully land on the moving train which, as well as being a passenger train, also has a huge excavator on board which (more guess what?) is fueled up and ready to go - not chained down or secured at all!
Then the antagonist is able to shoot the couplings of a train apart (yes, that's the couplings capable of pulling a that multi-tonne digger) and yet the train keeps right on rolling with the vacuum or air brake lines broken and the driver obviously has no idea that he's lost half his train. But then, shortly afterward, the train comes to a tunnel that the excavator would never have got through so perhaps the driver was expecting to lose it anyway!
Eventually the girl, who is able to keep pace with the train in a Land Rover runs out of road but is gifted with a clear shot of Bond and his adversary fighting on the roof of the moving train - except that she is scared of hitting the wrong guy. However, M (who is also in full voice contact with everyone except the bad guy) tells her to take the shot anyway which she does and, of course, Bond falls from the roof of the train. But (yet another guess what) the train happens to be on a viaduct at some dizzying height above a fast-flowing river into which Bond falls. Meanwhile, Bond's girl accomplice is left with a wonderful clear shot of the bad guy for several seconds before the train disappears into a tunnel but (last guess what) - she doesn't take it!
And that's when I left! What a load of garbage!!
Sex Tape (2014)
Well I laughed!
I haven't clicked the spoilers button for this movie since I feel that, if the title doesn't warn anyone who is prudish not to watch it, what would? However, if IMDb want to add a spoiler alert then that's OK with me.
So, having got that out of the way, on to the movie. The overall rating on IMDb (51) is a lot lower than my score (75) and one reviewer seems to have picked up on why that may be where he says that he felt it was more tailored to the British sense of humour than the American. That is interesting inasmuch that the film IS an American one so obviously some Americans think that way. Anyway, I was born in Britain and I thought "Sex Tape" was hilarious.
Yes, there were a few scenes (like the altercation with the dog) where it became a bit stupid and I put those down to the American "slapstick"-type humour (yes, humour DOES have a U in it!) which I usually detest. However, in the context of this movie, I actually thought that stupid humour was appropriate.
Let's face it, the whole movie is (and I firmly believe was intended to be) ridiculous. Now that I'm no longer married, I really wish I had made some footage of my wife and I "playing" because it was pretty good and now I don't have it. I actually wonder just how many openly honest married couples have actually done exactly what Jay and Annie did in "Sex Tape" to keep as a memento of their younger days for when they get older and slow down a bit. After all, whether the prudes like it or not, sex IS a very important part of a marriage relationship and also one of the most fun parts, The prudes video their holidays and other family events for posterity so why not video the best of all? No one but the participants want to watch other people's home videos anyway so what's the big deal?
Another aspect that I saw as more typically American was that Jay had given a number of i-Pads to friends and associates. Who the hell does that? None of my friends ever gave me anything that expensive! And, if he could afford that, what was all the concern about paying Howard $25k?
Since practically everyone that mattered to Jay and Annie eventually knew about the tape anyway, what would have been a great alternative ending to the movie would have been for them to put it onto YouTube with an appropriate advertising link and then get paid for every time it was viewed. I have heard about people who have been fortunate to capture interesting and very unusual events on video who have done that and made millions from it.
Not entirely a review
As far as reviewing the whole story, there seems little point as it is just another typical Charlie's Angels plot.
However, there is one scene where Patrick Duffy, who is a private detective in the story, and Jacklyn Smith get caught in a rainstorm whilst driving a small convertible car. They stop about thirty metres from a large open-fronted barn and futilely attempt to put up the hood of the car rather than simply drive it into the barn. Then, eventually, they both run into the barn anyway.
I sure as hell wouldn't engage anyone that stupid as a private detective!
When a friend brought the DVD of "The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover" for me to borrow, he gleefully told me, *you'll see a Dame fully naked." I immediately asked, "Oh yes, would that be Helen Mirren?" to which he told me it was and asked how I had guessed. I said that Helen was famous for doing a revealing movie although I had never seen it and, I must admit, when I began to watch it, I was probably more titillated by the idea of seeing someone famous who I had long been a fan of naked than seeing a movie!
However, as the film got under way, it became very apparent that this was no "ordinary" movie (whatever that is). At first, I found myself wondering what on Earth was going on but, as it progressed, I more and more began to feel as though I was at a live performance of a Shakespearian tragedy melodrama. Everything was dramatically overdone and I realised that this was completely intentional. If the naked love-making scenes had been faded out or masked, their impact would have been lost and the same applied to the gory scenes of abject cruelty.
I did find myself wondering why Spica's (Gambon) restaurant had any clients at all given the way they were treated by him and his puppet henchmen and women and a number of other anomalies were also puzzling.
However, after watching the movie, I thought I'd have a look at what other viewers had to say about it and logged onto IMDb. Amongst the few reviews I read, was one by Minerva Breanne Meybridge which, for me, brilliantly put the whole thing into perspective. Whether Minerva's interpretation is what the producers were aiming for is, of course, open to speculation but, as far as I'm concerned, excellently explains what is, after all, a decidedly bizarre movie.
In fact, I would go so far as to say that Minerva's review should almost be mandatory reading before watching the movie.
House of Hancock (2015)
HOuse of Hancock is a dramatised story based on the much-publicised story of the feud between the one-time wealthiest woman in the world and the third wife of Australian mining magnate, Langly "Lang" Hancock (and thus, also her stepmother).
Without wanting to introduce spoilers, I will confine my comments to simply complement actors Mandy McElhinney (Gina Reinhart), Sam Neill (Land Hancock) and Peta Sergeant (third wife, Rose) on very powerful renditions of their respective parts. At the time that the Hancock sage took place (1990s and early 2000s) the Australian media made both women out to be totally ruthless even though there was more than enough money in the Hancock empire to keep the both (and all their relatives) in the lap of luxury for ever. However, the movie skilfully showed the softer sides of all the protagonists - although, as the credits were very careful to explicitly point out, the film is a dramatisation and not necessarily based on actual events.
The one complaint I have is that Mandy McElhinney should have has a LOT of prosthetic body-weight added to her for later parts of the movie because she did not accurately depict Gina Hancock (who is grossly overweight) in bodily appearance although, facially, the likeness is uncanny. The same could also be said of Sam Neill who was a bit slim compared with his character.
Nonetheless, compelling viewing and definitely worth repeated looks.
New Zealand from Above (2012)
A Brief and Selective Glance at a Beautiful Country
If you like pictorial documentaries, NZ From Above is well worth watching. For some strange reason though, the whole of the East Coast of the North Island seems to be missing (maybe Channel 7 in Australia lost a disc) and what is shown in the space of 215 minutes is very interesting but far from comprehensive.
I guess there are limits to what can be included in a documentary about a whole country but there were, I felt, some notable exceptions that should have been there whilst some bits were very personalised about individuals whose stories were interesting but took up limited time that could have been better used.
For example, there is a segment about a violin maker that the time would have been better allocated to a look at the Banks Peninsular (given its significance in NZ history). Not that the laurien (a word apparently denoting a musical instrument maker but not in any dictionary I have) wasn't interesting but maybe more suited to a whole doco all about just him. I suspect that, in years to come, he may achieve equality with people Like Stradivari and Banks.
To be honest, I think New Zealand (whether from above or not) could well fill at least 20 40-minute TV programmes without getting boring but there is no doubt that this short series whets the appetite for more rather as Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit have done.
A whole programme could be made of the Milford Track without being the least bit boring. For example, a great segment would be the story with appropriate footage of how Quinton McKinnon and Donald Sutherland, whilst exploring the Arthur River Valley in Fiordland, flipped a coin to decide whose name would be given to the first waterfall they found and McKinnon won so his name went to a small fall half way up the valley and Sutherland got to give his name to the ninth tallest waterfall in the world.
Maybe someone will make a more comprehensive series. I'd certainly watch it.
The Lake House (2006)
I'm biased when it comes to Sandra!
Considering that the original writer of the story behind "The Lake House" was called Eun-Jeong Kim who sounds remarkably like the North Korean dictator this movie was extremely sensitive and romantic. A highly imaginative story is slightly confusing at times and I suspect that physicists would come up with numerous reasons why this could never happen. Nevertheless, it made compelling viewing (although, as far as I'm concerned, anything with Sandra Bullock in it is compelling viewing - she is the most beautiful person I can think of!) and it IS categorised as fantasy genre (although not sci- fi).
I'm still trying to get my head around why Alex (Keanu Reeves) and Kate (Sandra Bullock) didn't get it together at her birthday party bearing in mind that Kate was already in love with Alex, even though she didn't know who he was. I would have thought the kiss would have opened her eyes.
All in all, an odd sort of movie but I'll still watch it again!
District 9 (2009)
Where were the rest of the world?
District 9 is an odd film. I quite enjoyed the mockumentary style of the opening part and the not-very-hidden allegory to the South African apartheid policies of the past. And I must say that I'm amazed that the South African government didn't attempt to ban the film (or, should I say, that I never heard of any attempt to ban it?)
One thing is for sure, the sci-fi parody of SA politics is not difficult to see unless you've had your head buried in the sand for the last 50 years!
One surprising aspect of this movie is that Peter Jackson was one of its producers but didn't direct it. I couldn't help wondering why since he has no South African ties that I know of.
But the most glaring anomaly of the whole movie is the fact that South Africa seems to be all alone in dealing with the aliens. In real life that simply would NEVER happen! The USA would have immediately stormed in and taken charge (whether asked to or not) and, in keeping with this type of movie, Stallone, Schwarzennegger, Willis and all the other tough guys methodically wiped out the aliens, friendly or not!
As one who enjoys fantasy movies I'm afraid that District 9 left me a bit ho-hum but, if you like the genre, by all means give it a go. I'll stick with Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit!
X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)
Seemed a bit violent for a children's movie
I have never quite figured out who Stan Lee writes his material for. His ideas are, to say the least, extremely weird. His "creatures" are referred to as "mutants" but that's taking the term to ridiculous extremes. I mean, some children's' movies are bad enough. Little, impressionable kids grow up believing in anthropomorphised bears, chickens, dogs, cats and just about every other animal but this is obviously not aimed at children (I HOPE!). So who is it aimed at?
Sheldon Cooper and his genius pals are huge Stan Lee fans which I have always found incongruous given that they are scientists (although, Sheldon often points out that his mother did have him tested for being crazy).
Seriously though, where does this movie fit into the general scheme of things? Obviously it is fantasy, but I would question whether it is science fiction. If all the main characters were extraterrestrials then I could give them some credence but, for them to be human beings with weird attributes just doesn't gel with me. Human mutants are actually very sad people who have been cursed with things like blindness, paralysis and numerous other debilitating disabilities - the only ones who might be deemed fortunate being those with exceptionally high IQs or with eidetic memories (and it's questionable whether those are mutants anyway).
To be confronted by indestructible weirdos is in the same vein as vampire and werewolf movies which are classified as horror, not sci- fi.
Sorry, this is not my idea of a great way to spend over an hour-and- a-half.
Taking Lives (2004)
Not half bad.
Taking Lives was screened on TV last night and, since it was late, I recorded it. I'm glad I did.
Apart from starring Angelina Jolie, who I have the utmost admiration for, not just as an actress but as an all-round wonderful person, the action was "ordinary" with Keifer Sutherland taking a very minor part.
It is difficult to review this movie without including spoilers and to do that would be somewhat pointless because there are so many twists and turns. Maybe the smarter viewers saw them coming but, personally, I had no idea with the result that I was on the edge of my nice comfortable La-z-boy for much of the movie.
Whilst I was pretty confident that the guilty one would get his due deserts in the end, almost right up to the last minute, I was fooled (you'll see what I mean). And let me add that I was VERYT pleasantly fooled because, by that point, I was actually seething with anger.
I suppose Taking Lives was, in the final analysis, just another whodunnit movie but I enjoyed it and, as I say, I'm glad I recorded it.
OK if you like this sort of thing I guess.
Make no mistake, Wall-E is a well-made movie with a good moral. But I'm afraid that, for me, that's where it ends.
I was reminded a bit of "2000 - A Space Odyssey" when the robot tried to take over the spaceship. But then I suppose, in this instance, practically everyone was a robot! Even the humans reminded me of the 1969 Zager and Evans number 1 hit song, "In the Year 2525" where they were all like vegetables. (You need to listen to the song if you don't remember it and you'll see my point!)
I'm afraid I just can't quite come to terms with two robots falling in love and so the story was pretty much wasted on me. However, the idea of the Earth slowly becoming one huge garbage dump sometime in the distant future isn't so unbelievable! Maybe the time will actually come when the future of the whole human race depends on a cockroach and one little weed growing in an old boot!
Did anyone else notice?
A thoroughly enjoyable movie. As usual, Michael Caine clearly demonstrates his worthiness of his knighthood (not to mention nomination - sadly unsuccessful - for this part for the leading actor Oscar).
However, much has already been written on IMDb about this excellent movie so I won't waste additional space by simply repeating it all again. My reason for this posting is to ask the question that is its title - Did anyone else notice... the mystic script in the flames?
Let me explain. Whilst watching the DVD, I was interrupted by a telephone call and so I paused the film. As it happened, this occurred just as Michael Caine was walking past the gas heater-cum- decoration in his hi-tech home. When I returned to restart the film, I was immediately amazed to see that the flames, when frozen in stop- motion, appeared to spell out words. Had I not paused the film, I doubt very much whether I would have ever noticed this phenomenon. The words "Animation" and either "sublimation" or "substitution" seem to appear and disappear as the film is advanced frame-by-frame. Other words come and go and, whilst discernible, don't appear to spell out a specific sentence or phrase. Since first noticing this, I have examined each frame and am now left wondering if this is nothing more than a freak of nature or was it purposely digitally placed there by Kenneth Branagh and, if so, why... OR... am I hallucinating???
The really weird thing is that, even though I have examined the film frame-by-frame, the message that I saw when returning from the phone hasn't been nearly as clear as it was then. This is spooky!
So, I return to my original question, has anyone else noticed this and, if they have, can they explain it or, at least, throw more light on it? Someone PLEASE comment.
The Blind Side (2009)
For years I have adored Sandra Bullock. For me, she pales all those screen sirens through the ages into insignificance and "The Blind Side" expresses her unequaled talent and natural beauty superbly! As an Aussie, I know nothing at all about American Football (and, from what I have seen on movies and TV, I don't particularly want to!). That's not to knock it though - I just don't understand it and, since it is pretty well exclusive to the USA, I have no real need to. However, that's not the point of this review. In actual fact, the game doesn't matter. The point is that the Tuohy family - and Leigh-Anne (Bullock) in particular see the potential and the need in a young man who couldn't be much more different from their own lifestyle and they give helping him their everything (and MORE).
Bearing in mind that "The Blind Side" is based on a true story, all I can say is that I would have loved to have known the Tuohy family. What awesome Christians from Dad to the young son. Actually, all the time I watched this film, I couldn't help seeing a family that attends my own church here in Queensland. The total absence of any sort of jealousy and the genuine love that emanated from every member of that family was just SO like my friends. (Actually, my friends here would make great subjects for a similar biographical drama - but I know their modesty would never let that happen! Pity really!)
When the pictures came on with the credits at the end I was amazed at how well all five actors portrayed the real Tuohys and Michael. (Didn't Sandra look gorgeous as a blonde too! - I'm not biased!!) So this is the second time in as many weeks that I have sat through a movie centred around American Football and loved every minute of them (the other one was "The Grid Iron Gang"). I don't mind admitting that I had to wipe the occasional tear from my eye during this one too. How refreshingly pleasant to watch a movie where the predominance is on decent, loving and caring people rather than an over-abundance of violence, profanity and unpleasantness - especially when it's a true story. If I could, I'd give this 11 out of 10 and, if it doesn't win some major awards, the judges are all dormant!
Absolutely full of technical errors!
Meteor probably gets all its points on IMDb because it has somehow lured a number of very high-profile actors into it - certainly not for the story or its portrayal thereof!
Most of the errors are already listed under the Goofs section of the IMDb listing so I won't repeat them here other than to say there are a LOT! The credits list several technical advisers for the movie who should - in fact, WOULD - have been acutely aware of the errors and yet they either obviously ignored them (in which case, they shouldn't have got paid) or the director chose to ignore advice.
The story could have been good because the likelihood of Earth suffering a major asteroid strike is actually very real - although such a strike would be much less likely to come from the main asteroid belt (between Mars and Jupiter) than from an "Earth- Crosser" or NEO (Near earth Asteroid) which share their orbits with Earth and occasionally, as the name suggests, cross the path of Earth. One such major asteroid is 2004MN4, only discovered in 2004 and named Apophis, which could possibly strike the Earth in 2036 with devastating consequences because it is about 330 metres across and, depending on whether a strike was oceanic (73% chance) or terrestrial, destruction would either be by an enormous global tsunami or a "nuclear winter" following impact.
Given the fact that we already know about Apophis (and other asteroids) humanity has plenty of time to prepare something like what was used (although that wasn't the plan) in the movie.
Natalie Wood was given a great opportunity to demonstrate her native language as the interpreter to a Russian scientist played by Brian Kieth who collaborates with his American counterpart played by Sean Connery with Karl Malden and Martin Landau putting in professional performances in spite of a fairly "ordinary" script along with cameos by Henry Fonda as the American president and Trevor Howard as the British space boffin.
If you're not very conversant with basic space exploration and won't notice all the errors, I guess this might be mildly enjoyable but don't expect much!
Kangaroo Jack (2003)
It beats the weekly political news!
Kangaroo Jack is a silly, far-fetched comedy about two unlikely American friends who are forced to deliver money to outback Australia by a mob boss who happens to be married to one of the guys' mother. They aren't supposed to know what's in the package they are delivering but one of them can't resist looking and discovers it is a substantial sum of money (by their standards). Anyway, once in Australia, they hire a four-wheel-drive and head off towards Coober Pedy where they are supposed to deliver the package. They obviously have no idea about the Australian outback (interior) because they don't even take hats - an essential survival item in Aussie. It is also obvious that they have no idea what the 2000 km trip from Sydney to Coober Pedy entails but they set off anyway.
Along the way, we are shown a scene of Uluru (Ayers Rock) which is nowhere near the route they are taking but I guess that's just something that most non-Australiand connect with the outback and that's obviously excuse enough to include it! They also end up at Alice Springs (also nowhere near their route - unless they take a very long way around!). However, as a result of various adventures which a mildly humorous, our two American city boys end up wandering lost in the Aussie desert (without hats or water - a great recipe for probably not even lasting a single day - it gets to temperatures of over 50 degrees Celsius in the outback!).
The story (and its title) centres around a kangaroo that the guys hit along the way and, thinking they've killed it, put a jacket on it and take photos - except that it isn't dead and suddenly hops off still wearing the jacket - with the package of money in the pocket!
Various ridiculous adventures follow including a flight with a drunken bushman, a camel ride with a rather attractive American research biologist and confrontations with the bad guy they were sent to as well as one of the henchmen of the guy who sent them who all seem to have no difficulty finding them in the middle of several hundred thousand square kilometres of desert.
Yet again, this is one of those movies that I believe should be classed as a farce (except that IMDb don't have that classification) because it is totally farcical. Not that that is necessarily a bad thing if you like farces. I don't mind them for a light diversion from more serious movies occasionally (which is why I have given it 5) but this one really does leave a lot to be desired! The CG of the kangaroo is clever though.
Well, this is one movie that I have absolute;y no idea what I think of it! So, you may ask, why am I writing a review? Good question. I suppose the answer is that, once I started watching Looper, it was too difficult to stop. Several times I wanted to but then I thought, that, if I did stop, I would miss something great. (This was not diminished by the fact that the movie had a score of 75 on IMDb, by the way!).
Looper is certainly not a movie to watch if you're hoping for some light entertainment. It takes not one, but two science fiction themes - time travel and telekinesis - and mixes them all up so that there's no guessing what's coming next. Whilst Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon Levitt (who both play the same guy 30 years apart) share the star billing, for me, the real star of this movie was Pierce Gagnon who played Cid, a 10-year-old telekinetic kid. Some of his facial expressions were brilliant for a child actor and I have no doubt that we will be seeing a lot more of him over the next 60 years (if he doesn't destroy the world before then, that is!)
The biggest disappointment for me was Emily Blunt's American drawl (albeit very well done) because her English accent (Young Victoria for example) is so delightful - but then I guess that just shows her star quality.
Maybe I'm a bit slow, but, right up to the end, I was wondering how the whole thing was going to work itself out and, yes, I was surprised!
So my advice is, if you aren't into real complex sci-fi, Looper is probably not for you. I would say the same if you're thinking of hiring something for some pleasant light entertainment. However, if you're a real sci-fi and film noir enthusiast, you'll probably love Looper. Good luck with it.
A Walk Among the Tombstones (2014)
Neeson is getting type cast.
A Walk Among the Tombstones is yet another Liam Neeson-as-you-might- expect-him effort where he portrays a good-guy/bad-guy character. Basically he is on the side of right but his methodology is far from "orthodox" (shall we say?) However - and this is where the film has its appeal - when viewers see what low-lifes Neeson is up against, they are virtually bound to take his side in spite of his unorthodoxy.
There isn't really much that can be said about this movie without actually telling the story and introducing spoilers (which I rarely like to do as it seems pointless). The fact that Scudder (Neeson's character) is a bit of a renegade ex-cop allows him the liberty to do things that he would not be able to do were he still bound by police protocols and so the story tends to center around that where, for example, he (OK, somewhat reluctantly at first) "overlooks" his client's profession as a drug lord to find solutions to the drug lord's wife's murder by a pair of total psychopaths.
Unfortunately, as with many such movies, the key protagonist seems to walk away at the end with apparently no police interest in him and that always disturbs me. Is it a reflection of American police ineptitude or just something movie-watchers have to accept?
Personally, I thought the Under Siege 2: Daqrk Territory was a bit underrated by IMDb reviewers. OK, it was corny and there wasn't much original about it - - you know, we've seen the same basic plot with different forms of transport many times - Speed/bus, Speed 2/Cruise Ship, Under Siege/Battleship and lots of trains - The Taking of Pelham 123, Runaway Train, and so on - and this. I was also reminded of that Bond film with the giant radio telescope under the lake. So there weren't many surprises plot-wise.
Nevertheless, it was billed as an action movie and of that, there was plenty and, let's face it, that's what people go to action movies to see. So, in that respect, they shouldn't have been disappointed with Under Siege 2. Steven Seagal in his second role as retired navy SEAL, Casey Ryback was what viewers would expect him to be and the bad guy, Marcus Penn was very well played by Everett McGill with his geek technocrat puppet, Eric Bogoslan (Travis Dane) being very geeky (if you know what I mean) having been fired by the CIA as a risky loose- cannon seeking revenge ("Don't distract me, I have 8 million people to kill!")
Katherine Heigl as Seagal's niece Sarah Ryback was a very nice balance of nice little girl and tough-as-nails ally and Morris Chestnut as train porter, Bobby Zachs was both amusing and a very quick learner as far as toughening up under pressure. There were some anomalies like how do the bad guys know where the stealth bombers are - they're STEALTH bombers for heaven's sake but you can live with that for the story's sake!
As I say, nothing new but, by the same token, you won't be left wondering what's coming next either. It all comes in quick succession right until the end (which is also very predictable). So, if you like lots of action almost non-stop for 100 minutes, you'll enjoy Under Siege 2: Dark Territiry.
A View to a Kill (1985)
The Indestructible Bond (again!)
Roger Moore in his final stint as James (shaken not stirred) Bond is a smooth as ever (he doesn't actually ask for that in this film). Is there anything the man can't do? he out-rides the bad guy (a very young Christopher Walken) on a doped-up racehorse and drives an articulated fire truck like a stunt man amongst several other death- defying adventures.
After 13 Bond movies, I guess we get to know what's coming next and the only real novelty of this effort is the "Boys From Brazil"-type character played by Walken who is a sort of super-evil cloned version of his father who has defected from the KGB (Yes, no Spectre in this movie either!) and wants to take over the world market for his computer super-chip. The only problem for that plan is Silicon Valley in California and so Walken sets a plan to completely destroy the whole of Silicon Valley in one fell swoop by triggering a massive earthquake in the San Andreas fault that the world will think was an unfortunate natural disaster. His only real problem is Bond (I'll bet you guessed that though!)
All in all, it is, as I say, number 14 in the series and features the same stuff that's in all the others - except that it's a different colour (so to speak). The usual ho-hum romp between extremely bad shots who can't hit Bond at point-blank range, the occasional bomb failing to destroy him ...blah, blah, blah and, of course, some mild sex scenes jammed in between all the action.
I think I've been too generous giving it a 6!