Reviews written by registered user
|22 reviews in total|
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Working through the highs and lows we have come to expect for Dexter's
flavour of game: exhilaration when they smile in the face of impudence,
validation of their efforts when fate helps them beat the system and an
unhumoured tantrum when they realise might is alright, until a bigger
monster comes to drop the platinum rule. This episode checks all those
boxes and throws in a great opponent: juiced to the gills, broly, looks
like he could shift a ton of battle ropes, a beef bus.
The season six finale saw the farce of Dexter and Deb's relationship finally, thankfully, shattered after five seasons of denial. In this episode, Deb's turmoil over the consequences of her inaction forces Dexter to ruminate on the price Rita paid for his inaction and the possibility of further unpaid debts. Deb's acceptance of Dexter's brand of humanity and Dexter's departure from adolescent familiarity while still coddling his screaming Dark Passenger is a return to purpose that hasn't been seen since the end of season one. Oh, Brian!
Unfortunately, it's starting to look like these bridges were built for scorn to drive this season's hellfire over and it doesn't taste like Sunday School Mythology. I feel like I'm waking up in the right place, but I don't know how I got here.
p.s. Harry should have materialised to tell you he told you so.
There were so many pleasing things to concentrate on in this film. Let
me see if I can recall a few.
First off, that adorable child. What a remarkable job, casting that lead. He was what - only ten or so? Remarkable. And we weren't let down by the rest of the cast either. His mother was just fantastic; I don't think I've empathised with a single mother like that before. Bruce Willis, playing the child psychiatrist, really had his work cut out acting next to her, but boy did he pull it off. He really deserved that award. Good job.
But credit where credit's due, without the top notch script I doubt even this cast could have pulled it off. When seriously original works like this one get green-lit you know that some people still care about bringing depth -- that only an engaging drama/thriller can -- back to our cinemas. I missed the boat on that one, but it certainly did well in my living room.
Dramas can always be measured by the dizzying heights of their joy and the plunging depths of their despair. This rolling masterpiece went so far, so fast, it brought me into a state of spatial disorientation. It will hold you on the edge of your seat until gradually you shuffle back into a comfortable position. Periodically, it will make your hair stand on end until you tug it flat in bunches, wide-eyed with anticipation. There are enough sad moments too, but I won't spoil the surprise.
None of this would have been possible without the groundbreaking soundtrack: it really tied the room together. Whenever I felt the uncertainty of a solitary tear the strength of sorrowful strings would fill our eyes to bursting. Gradually the brass would begin to climb... where was I being taken, how far, did anyone know, were they coming too? A sudden, sharp parp would bring us a foot not only out of our chairs, but our skins too. LOL
Now you've reached my twist ending, where I can reveal that I actually felt the complete opposite of what I've written. The same catatonic slight-handedness you can expect from following this devoid centerline for two hours. Those who saw through my laboured ruse, give yourself a pat on the back and think about how you spoiled absolutely the greatest comment of all time for yourselves.
I first saw 'Bridget Jones: In the Loop' in the SSU -- that's the
Socialist Student's Union for those of you up against the wall any day
now -- and I have to say the atmosphere was vibrantly eclectic.
Before the feature our head Comrade took to his podium, a stylish hammer and sickle chiseled from a single block of granite by one-of-US from somewhere wonderfully partisan -- these places all sound the same. As they should! But I digress. Let me assure you that the feature did NOT fall limp after that rousing address. Over half of us could identify with Bridget, who is now in a few respects male. Nothing wrong with that, we are all individuals after all and collectively I think most of us would still like to be her. Though, her hair: bourgeois mot juste.
We join Bridget as she is embarking on a career path WE, the conscious public, dream of. Civil Service: the power to evoke change in the echoing halls of lording knights from the cosy chambers under the people's Palace of Westminster. To feel the wind gathering beneath our pamphlets and gently wagging our pitched slogans. To rake those who once charged US with sabres with near-minded snippets dragging epithets, towing party-lines.
But I digress. The topic of this comedy -- that's satirical farce to those of us in Sven's pRoligt book club -- is the all-fronted mong-ery of the Tories -- who've been in power too long -- and the detached lackeys who once suckled their half-quarters and dreamt of being equal. Here is the proof we've been after that these war-dogs not only planned the slaughter of our babies and those quaint funnies, but through their institutionalised nepotism, bumbled their way into deals with b.y.o. contractors. We all know the ending comrades; high-heeled facists strutting into the arena with their pompous words, failing to maintain the infrastructure, bound by stupidity, limited by a lack of knowledge.
Members of the UUP are reminded that tickets are on sale for next week's monologue by group leader Green, where he will discuss how THEY would have behaved, were they US.
Digging this movie out of the bargain bucket was like prising the lid
off a mottled honey jar only to find the finest, most succulent nectar
inside. I rediscovered so many feelings I'd suppressed since I first
experienced this, in the theatre. I did feel slightly guilty, watching
this sort of picture with my partner; feeling my emotion blossom, much
like it did back back in those less inhibited days. But, by the end of
the movie I was certain sharing this experience was the most precious
thing I could've done. The similarities to my own life experiences were
painted high, for all to see. Feelings of nausea every time I had to
watch two Heteroes kiss. Uneasiness around the male members of the
cast. The delight I'd feel watching a group of cheerleaders bouncing
around. Warm gooey feelings every time those beautiful young women
celebrated their loveliness with a delicate on-screen embrace. The
electricity of smooth, smooth, soft, wet kisses. It was too much. Still
euphoric from seeing my life flash before my eyes in this dreamy
fashion, I seized the moment and informed the wife that I might be a
I'd always dreaded telling her my dark secret, but I was amazed at how easy it was to come clean. I almost felt cheated by her light hearted laughter. Of relief, joy? Wait, did she think I was joking? I told her this face was serious. She only laughed harder. Far more serious than the poker face I might wear on a Friday night to fool the guys into thinking I was one of them. She was near hysterics. Only one course of action could remedy this situation. She was starting to upset me. Just a little. I felt strong and emboldened as I wobbled over to the window, heaved it open, took a fresh breath and aired my secret to the neighbours, "I'M a LESBIAN! AND I'M PROUD!"
There were some adjustments at first, but I can honestly say our relationship is stronger than ever. There's a lot more to being a lesbian than I ever dreamt. It may seem silly, but I can NOT recommend this movie enough. You might be living a lie without even knowing it.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I was created, yet I am nothing.
I tell a story, yet I have no substance, continuity or suspense.
Within my domain even sounds are visual.
'What am I?'
'Tramsforter 2,' chirps the annoyingly quirky kid.
'Bingo! You lose!'
I'll start by saying it's a good thing driver doesn't appear anywhere in the title, because driving is only a third of what Frank Martin does. He's a pilot who doesn't need an aeroplane. He's an acrobat in a graviton suit. He's a martial artist with an overactive imagination. He's even a driver in a vehicle without wheels.
Starting to sound like an entertaining B Movie, right? Well, no. You won't find any 'I tried my best, but I guess I just suck' here. It's like someone hand picked the members of Team Fail. A Cinematographer trying to emulate Technicolour; a minimalist special effects troupe, led by an eccentric who never considered life outside his bouncy castle; a truant script girl; a plot jerked along by a piece of toilet paper, snared to King Kong's shoe; and an overactive product placement supervisor.
So what is the story? A well-manicured, ugly South American is hired by some of his countrymen, who are outraged that the Law is eating into their profits. They hatch a brilliant plan involving a Soviet expatriate Biochemist, a green biological warfare agent, a purple antidote, a mercenary, a gun toting lingerie model and the ruling body of the Drug Enforcement Administration. So some bureaucrat gets his coffee poisoned? No. The public are poisoned and the DEA is held to ransom, while a mother-load of cocaine is pushed over the border? Nope.
It's hard to tell if the plot is supposed to remain a mystery until half-way, or if it's just delivered poorly, so I'll reveal it carefully, without any pointers as to the obvious outcome.
POSSIBLE SPOILER POSSIBLE SPOILER POSSIBLE SPOILER POSSIBLE SPOILER
The son of a DEA big shot is kidnapped against the best efforts of his school-run driver Mr. Martin, infected with a virus and then bizarrely returned without any of the millions of ransom money being taken. The kid infects his father, mother, driver and half the Miami police department with this highly contagious airborne pathogen. The ugly South American transfuses himself in about ten minutes with what appears to be the only half litre of antidote in existence and tries really hard not to go to the bathroom.
Seems to me an extremely convoluted delivery method and a ridiculous insurance policy, but then I'm not a French screenwriter.
I'd advise everyone to avoid this and watch the original instead. To those people who are now chanting, "Suspend your belief," I say, okay, I've got a great investment opportunity for you. You give me your cake, I'll eat it, and then all you have to do is give it time to mature. Trust me. It's going to pay off!
I start off by noting that this was not nearly as gratifying as its
influence, Port and Cigars. Though masterful in its own light and very
difficult to criticise effectively, it's always important to spotlight
chronology as THE base element of ALL things.
It's a solid character study. A lot of the interactions are complex, stuttering and uncomfortable. Edgy enough that you'll have to pay attention to draw any actual meanings out of the experience. Others are whimsical to the point of comic relief. What Tarantino wants to do, but can't, because he's a cinematographer and not a writer.
Though the conversations are loosely connected -- by minute references or the oft-repeated surgeon general's warning -- the film flows smoothly from scene to scene. None of the well known names disrupt the blend and yet the spread is wide enough to grant a few glowing crests and assign a couple of dragging troughs to everyone. It's hard not to be pulled into the settings; you forget you're watching a film until that rude vignette knocks you out of your seat and forces you to resettle. The times that you do find yourself lapsing out, there are always interesting props or perspectives to focus on. The alternative, skipping scenes, on the DVD, will, I think, detract from the viewing experience and it's not the sort of film you could watch too often either; predictability, like the title, will kill.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This film is more a stage show full of gypsies than a western full of
cowboys, though the latter do get a chance to live up to their titles.
Somehow, while breaking down the barriers of the frontier, the
passengers aboard the first iron horse this far west, manage to bring
all the jolly luxuries of civilisation with them. And though they're on
a mission to secure a rail subsidy for a route thought so dangerous the
first passenger would have to be hoodwinked, they aren't even remotely
dampened. Along the way you'll be able to enjoy: a colourful music hall
show, complete with dancing girls and a mechanised theatrical organ; a
Chinese laundry service that always over starches your boldly coloured
shirts; and the same tired card tricks you thought you left behind in
the last town. The real focus however, is the romance between the
tom-boy Sheriff's deputy, Kit, and the world-wise adventurer, Johnny
Behind-the-Deuces, who's always playing his trick cards in futile
attempts to impress. With her limited knowledge of the fairer sex, her
heart flitters over these innocent advances and sticks to the conniving
Trundling off the edge of the rails, it's customary that adventurers should have to swat away a few pests. Even with the frequent appearances of loud-mouthed schemers, we know that with little effort: Natives will be placated, saboteurs routed and bureaucrats negotiated into lifting their contractual trade barriers.
(minor gimmicky spoiler)
The ending is quite odd, and is summed up with a great line: maybe you wouldn't be so loose footed if I gave you a permanent limp. To drive this point home, Kit surprises Johnny by pulling five tricks out of her sleeve -- all daughters to boot -- and gets him a job on the rails to trick his insatiable wanderlust. The ending's a compromise on both fronts; probably just as many women are infuriated by her choice, to give up being a gun slinging deputy and take her rightful (said with a sneer) place at home, raising the kids. It leaves you with an unsettled feeling, that a year down the line, things won't be quite so pleasant in Tomahawk.
Welcome to sunny Somalia. This commonwealth friendly has just reached
boiling point. The two sides using the freshly downed star chopper the
fans have nicknamed the Black Hawk - just signed for a whopping
one-thousand million times the labour costs of the Nike trainers on his
feet - in what has become, essentially, a game of capture the flag. In
a show of strong determination, the underdogs ignore the fancy
wrappings and focus on the soft and juicy centre. There'll be no
swooping crossfire in the box, today. They've got possession of the
ball. Things are looking very grim.
The international team launch a brave rodent offensive, only to be impeded by fifty scores of energised defenders. Another chopping striker is viciously slammed into the turf. With an eye on the clock, the management assesses the risks of putting more men on the field. Benched substitutes, seeking veneration, slink under the stewards and hop onto the field. There are no referees in sight.
This injection of testosterone certainly evens the field and brightens the outlook. Bad bodies fly from windows and rooftops as the home-team's arsenal is shelled from ineffectually picking off cans with their Soviet, Cold-War peashooters to desperately rushing the hail with modest Paleolithic cudgels.
The claxon sounds and it's clear that the favourites have shaken this arena to its foundations. The streets are silent; home fans hang their heads in defeat as their departed heroes rest their heads on their feet. The wind picks up weak sobbing, but hey, there's someone celebrating somewhere! The away team's heroic play is rewarded with a trip back to civilisation. Even the five or six international casualties will be carried on high, down their home streets, tonight. Their patriotic efforts fondly remembered in the years to come. Even by those who must be kicking themselves that they weren't here to taste this victory for themselves.
This outdated public information piece pushes the idea of gateway drugs
so hard-headedly you can fully understand why this method of aversion
toppled no walls. Not content with wildly spewing shock statements,
mock students are lined up to be interrogated in strained, pleading
tones. Smoke green and you could find yourself -- as these young
druggies and their near-pubescent siblings did -- grinding opium
between your teeth and staggering bandy-legged into math class to zonk
out over your desk!
The state sponsored solution for rehabilitation they offer consists solely of the medium security youth slammer. Into which a student dangerously close to the line is dragged by the spinning cop's compassionate clerical assistant, Eve, to get a closer look at other complacent drug users, sobbing regretfully in the darkness amid the recurring clunk of lock and key. Barely ten minutes into the visit, some choked crazy grabs onto her arm and pleads with her: shape up, stay clean, I used to be like you, it's SO terrible here! I can just about make out the writing on the writer's memo fluttering down from the top: stress and underline maximum deterrence!
Of course this isn't just nonsense when you realise that this was exactly the totalitarian treatment that scared generations of kids away from telling their side to those in charge of improving the situation. Maybe if Ironside wasn't so busy quoting from 'dope fiend' prevention leaflets he'd picked up at the last police conference, he might have realised just how golden this level of feedback really was.
It's been said that this mimics Under Siege 2 -- which it does -- but
really, taking a closer look, it resembles mutagenetic substrate you'd
expect after a series of rejected splicings of the aforementioned, a
few James Bond throw-away cuttings and seventies disaster flick, the
Casandra Crossing. The masses of material in these titles would seem to
be enough to make for some interesting padding, and yet the dissectors
have picked the most formulaic pieces. The resulting plot, setting,
characters and their motives are all making their second, no maybe
seventh, no possibly eleventh trip into our ready bulging eyes.
There are a few shreds of original writing, which I like to think the director was cursing, but I'm not sure if that's perhaps asking a little much of those involved:
( SPOILERS! )
At one point Damme escapes his tooled up enemy on a motocross bike, using a passing train as an extra lane. They haven't bothered to simulate hops between carriages, which are the only things preventing a very satisfying face plant. The greatest overlook has to be the speed he'd have to be going on this pitted treadmill, travelling at seventy miles an hour, to outrun men running full speed down the other, which is travelling seventy in the opposite direction. The pursuing henchman agrees with me, "There's no f___ing way!"
Just before stealth fighters -- *cough* sorry -- helicopter gunships are ordered to eliminate a bridge and stop the runaway train, the locomotive is uncoupled and the train stops dead: presumably to allow the gunships to get a proper lock. The missiles are fired and strike precisely after the carriages have unexplainedly regained their momentum and are now inches from the ravine. Naturally this sets every single carriage tumbling into a fiery grave, except the last. Allowing for an infuriating escape.
Afterwards we see the passengers recovering from their deadly viral infection in quarantine. Thankfully there's a cure for Smallpox which seems to be lots and lots of oxygen. We are then treated to the twist. After revealing who's responsible for the ridiculous plot, V.D. yanks the hood off his nemesis' protective suit -- very much like those meddling kids in Scooby Doo -- before he's arrested and escorted out of the tent. But wait, doesn't that breach the quarantine?
( END OF SPOILERS! )
The laughable sound and post-production dubbing suggests the sound engineer was deeply troubled by what he was handed. Contracts already signed, perhaps he did the only thing he could think to do and took a few light-hearted liberties to paddle the crew into calmer waters. A few examples: The all too familiar creaky gate is used three times in the space of ten minutes and thrice more in the next twenty. Our old friend, the toyed tie-fighter makes an appearance as does a 'Hee Yah!' that sounds like a transfer from a Bruce Lee film. Eyerollers that certainly reinforce the title's seriousness.
This is likely the most stupid film I've seen in a long time. I will even go as far as to say, this does not deserve to go to video. I'm a fan of low budget and B flicks, but I can not recommend this to anyone as it's just a complete disaster. If you're a Van Damme fan, you'll agree, he's done much better films than this.
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