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The Rover (2014)
Bleak, Brutal and Unforgiving .
*******May Contain Spoilers*******
The Rover is a slow moving drama about bloody revenge and desperateness in a post-apocalyptic setting where survival is the primary driving force. Although there are still glimmers of compassion from some of the characters in this movie, the overriding emotion evoked is one of hopelessness.
The trouble with movies like this is that they are completely depressing and leave the viewer with a lingering feeling of despair and doubt that the human race will ever amount to anything other than gun slinging mobs unable to rise above any crisis. I'm not sure whether to label it (and similar movies) as rather patronising towards human nature, depicting them as nothing more than brutal mindless beasts who will kill anyone at any time for no particular reason; who are completely motivated by fear and have no prospect of redemption, and who are incapable of any kind of mindful evolution.
But if you like that sort of thing then the pros are that this film is extremely well acted by the two lead roles. Pierce and Pattinson are shockingly brilliant, down to every glance and facial expression; which would have to be the case to make up for the sparse, often monosyllabic script. I was truly taken aback at the genius of Pattinson so much that I almost didn't recognise him in the role of the simple and gullible Rey out of his vampire context, which to me is the sign of great acting!
I think one of the most compelling things about this film was the building of the relationship between Rey and Eric (Guy Pierce) because it slowly peels away the bitter layers around the main character as it spins a mesmerising web of trust and loyalty against all costs. And even though it unfortunately ends in blood and tears, it does smoulder with an unexpected intensity on screen.
The cinematography, like the rest of the film, IMO is equally bleak and unforgiving and succeeds in exuding a sense of pointless futility. Although minimalist, I would say that this film creeps in through the back door; slowly building up emotions through its clinical reportage of the insanity of human behaviour. There is a basic narrative but a rather meaningless conclusion that doesn't really go anywhere or offer anything to the viewer apart from yet another large dose of misery. The final tear shed by Eric does point to a glimmer of something lurking in the human heart but his desperate facial expression is more about the unyielding ruthlessness of a situation, devoid of the possibility of any redemption.
One last point about the cremation vs. the burial
Is burial meant to be nobler than being burnt? I'm not quite sure what that part was trying to say. Personally, I'd prefer a funeral pyre
but that's just me! I give it 7/10 but don't go if you've had a bad day it'll just make you feel worse!
Actually, it wasn't molten in the middle just wet and over sugared
****May contain Spoilers****
Strangely, I found this movie really irritating and full of holes, which I really didn't expect having seen all the glowing reviews, but inconsistencies bother me. For example; how do average looking chefs manage to attract not just one, but two gorgeous model like women with extra white teeth? Well maybe, since cheffing is the new sexy black these days, but would such a man really stay such close friends with his ex- wife and get on well with his ex-wife's other ex-husband who would then present him with an enormous gift in the shape of a humongous motor vehicle - because he thinks he's a loser and really wants to help him out?!?
Then, later on, would a father really give his 10 year old son a lethal knife to take care of, having first told him how extra sharp and dangerous it is? And are kids really that tolerant of their absent fathers who spend more time at work than with them? Also, would a Sous chef who have just been promoted really leave his job to go and work on takeaway truck? It just seems devoid of any modicum of reality or common sense in fact.
As for the twitter integration thing why does technology have to feature so heavily in every other movie these days? It's really quite boring for viewers who don't live out their lives on the internet. Aside from that, the film contained no character build up, no depth, no climax and well...no flavour...with near cameo performances by Dustin Hoffman, Robert Downey Jr and Scarlet Johansson all but wasted!
The whole thing was too superficial, too unrealistic and just too flaccid for my liking. The only cool thing about it was the sound track. It's a shame as I was looking forward to a witty, original comedy but if I were to compare it to food, it would be akin to overcooked boiled cabbage with no seasoning; bland, tasteless and begging for sauce!
Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Into darkness explores a contemporary array of topics, philosophies and concerns including heroism, terrorism, fascism and interracial relationships. All this is set against a backdrop of warp factor 9, leaping off star ships into space, running away from erupting volcano's and deactivating lethal bombs within milliseconds to detonation.
The main playoff of characters revolves around Spock's rule abiding inflexible Vulcan logic versus Khan (Benedict Cumberbach) as a dark and brilliantly manipulative galactic terrorist. Loyal followers of Cumberbach as Sherlock Holmes may find themselves longing for an element of morality in this ruthless fanatic but ultimately there is none. Cumberbach, Zachary Quinto and Chris Pine as the impulsive hot-headed Kirk who leaps before he thinks and ultimately makes life saving decisions from his gut, compete with equal excellence to steal the show. There is intensity, passion and great interpretation of what I thought to be a faultless script. But if I had to pick a winner, I would say in this instance, it would be Zachary Quinto who's portrayal of Spock is almost flawless (I say almost because Leonard Nimoy IS Spock and always will be).
My only slight question would be around the saving the ship scene where Captain Kirk gives his life for the 'needs of the many', which in the original 'Wrath of Khan' was a role reserved strictly for Spock creating the famous sequel 'The Search for Spock'. The scene suggests a following of the original set of 6 films or was it perhaps just a little dipping into the original? We shall see with what follows in 2016.
To conclude, 'Into Darkness' is a thrilling joy ride of nonstop edge of your seat action sequences that are perfectly filmed and executed under JJ Abram's skillful and enthusiastic directorship which is getting to be seriously impressive. Whilst containing jaw dropping action and effects, it loses none of the humour of the original films and still plays off the characters with as much wit as ever. Karl Urban and Simon Pegg are true to form as the moaning Dr McCoy and the ever practical Scotty. But this movie surpasses every other Star Trek movie with a brand new slicker, faster, louder and very well acted take on the classic Sci-fi movies that I grew up with.
Although it remains true to form, make no mistake, this has a much wider box office appeal which will shunt Star Trek into a new era and probably spawn a new not so geeky following. So in conclusion, Trekie or not, if you like action, great effects and pure entertainment you're going to love this film.
Seriously recommended! I wanted to watch it again the minute the credits rolled. 10/10
I Give It a Year (2013)
I Give It a Year
I really wanted to like this film but as I watched I became more and more irritated by it. Dan Mazer tried far too hard to deliver what I'm sure he thought were amusing British comedy one liners but it was overdone, lacked originality and was frankly boring. Any acting skill was dwarfed by poor overburdened script writing which made authenticity difficult to execute.
The scenes, characters, story line and plot have all been done far better in other British classics like Notting Hill and Four Weddings where everything gels beautifully. Here however is a mish-mash of nonsense that fails to deliver. I was tempted to switch off 10 minutes through but thought I may as well give it a shot. What a disappointment!
This movie demonstrates a new non-comic genre of British film making which is too overdone to be funny, too unrealistic to be engaging and too irritating to be entertaining. I give it the thumbs down
Hot Tub Time Machine (2010)
Blokey Tacky Trash
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I tried to find some saving graces in this movie but the moment I heard the one liner: "Neither cocks, nor dicks nor sucks" I'm knew that there was no hope.
Soon after, I realised that this abomination is an insult to the art of film making and falls into the new but already tired genre of movies known as Utter Shyte (US for short). I.e., unimaginative, patronising bloke humour that depicts men as moronic, unintelligent nob heads who have no aspirations other than swigging, slugging, swearing, sucking and shagging; Just the kind of message we need right now; refined, educational and uplifting It's like being fed tasteless junk food with zero nutrition... Somebody has to stop this spreading epidemic before it becomes the norm!
...So it seems that John Cusak is having a mid life crisis encounter of the worst kind; trying to return to his old roles but this time without any imagination, finesse or idiosyncratic appeal of the classics like 'High Fidelity','Grosse Point Blank' or the brilliant 'Being John Malkovich' it's possible that 'The Raven' plucked out his last creative brain, cell... who knows, maybe I'm just clutching at straws because there has to be a reason for his inexcusable descent into trashy soft porn land! Perhaps he's been taken over by a body snatcher whilst sleeping...Those who know him, look for the signs...
I hope he gets over it soon.
Training Day (2001)
Never mind Washington what about Hawke
We all know that Denzel can cut it and performed his role here with unmistakable mastery. However personally I thought the Oscar should go to Ethan Hawke; one of my favourite actors and often under rated. He's one of those actors who is so good in his supporting roles that he often gets overlooked. From the first time I saw him in Dead poets, I've been following his career and in Training day I thought Hawke gave the performance of his life. This is a fantastic gritty suspenseful story that is so refreshing in the face of all the bubble gum thrillers out there that just want numbers at the box office. This movie proves that you can have both realism and popularity in the same reel. Whatever minor flaws this movie had was more than made up for by the palpable screen chemistry between these praiseworthy actors who took the viewer on a roller coaster ride with the sticky plot, thorough script and various unexpected twists and turns. An adrenaline fuelled edge of the seat trip; riveting from beginning to end
10 out of 10
21 Jump Street (2012)
I'm not really one for U.S. high school comedies because they all tend to have the same plot with different actors (who've all had the same dentist by the way...) but I seriously nearly peed myself when I saw this. I tried to hold back but after about 10 minutes in, couldn't stop laughing. Both Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum outdid themselves as the 2 totally immature undercover cops with things to prove from their own high school days and no clue how to do it.
The understated facial expressions, comic timing and on screen rapport was excellent but looked effortless. Thanks to the writing of Jonah Hill and the production skills of the two main actors; this is a new genre of movie making...not quite spoof but in that region with a lashing of hardcore realism albeit tongue in cheek. I'm so glad Channing Tatum has done something other than the slushy romantic roles he was beginning to get typecast into because he's a brilliant comic actor. The script was excellent; Ice Cube's straight faced boot camp lines cracked me up and the plot and action were pretty good too. Watch out for their drug scene
. and a surprise Johnny Depp cameo. If you were a fan of the Police Squad movie s and want an upgrade then this is for you... Pure genius!
New Year's Eve (2011)
Vacuous pseudo 'feel good' tripe
It's such a shame that a potentially great cast like this were totally wasted on this mindless unimaginative and completely sickly sweet excuse for a film. The money wasted on this movie could probably have saved countless lives in underprivileged countries, not to mention could have been spent on something resembling an intelligent script.
Fake tears, fake acting, a lame foreseeable soundtrack and the predictable typecasting of actors into their usual roles spells S.A.D.- (Sickening And Desperate) But that's not all...Watch out for the truly vomit-worthy 'run down the side walk in my Sex and the City designer dress' by SJP. Did that really happen??? Honestly I really didn't know where to look...And as for De Niro who just spent the whole flick (or as much of it as I could bear) in a prolonged "get away from me, can't you see I'm dying" role; well... just a little bit humiliating for such a screen giant. What were they thinking? WERE they thinking even? Maybe Hollywood has driven them all mad who knows!
All in all a horrific excuse for a quick NYE money spin... I wanted to vomit into a bag several times...yuck with a capital Y!