Change Your Image
Upload An Image
Crop And Save
ListsAn error has ocurred. Please try again
Attack the Block (2011)
An attempt to describe how bad this film is:
There is nothing to like about this celebration of the violent, drug peddling morons. Where to start? Well, firstly, this is nothing like the violent kids who torture inner city estates. Joe Cornish, a man I find funny most of the time, has bought an Ali G DVD boxset and used it for the 'street lingo'. I suspect he wouldn't know an estate kid like those supposedly portrayed in this film if he was robbed at knife point by one. The dialogue is painful to listen to.
Which, incidentally, is where we start the film. These anti-heroes robbing someone at knife point and being portrayed as 'cool'. A strange ambition, Joe.
Then there's the CGI or whatever they have used in the film to show the aliens. They should have used cardboard cut outs. It's 20 years out of date.
Then there's the acting. They all should be shot. All of them. Including Nick Frost. And I love Nick Frost. And yet he has to die.
In truth, I'm an hour in and I can watch no more. I sat through Plan B From Outer Space. I watched MORE of Transformers. But this dirge is...is....is..... OK I give up. Worse than my ability to describe.
The Social Network (2010)
This is a TV movie
I suppose it satisfies the American's need to feel smug and superior, but I wonder how many viewers from elsewhere are similarly impressed. This isn't because many of us either went to or have associations to universities older and more prestigious than Harvard: it's because we don't like the swagger.
I imagine those who say they don't like the movie are accused of not understanding it, but this isn't true. There isn't much to be confused about, the plot isn't complex, the issues involved in the litigations aren't difficult to understand. In fact the contrary is true, the dialogue is easy to follow when the protagonist isn't trying to impress by speaking too quickly. That's a failing of the film, by the way: I would like to think modern audiences (perhaps particularly those outside the USA) aren't impressed by the such an obvious ploy. "Gosh isn't he clever, he speaks SO quickly!" Of course it might be said the real Mark Z speaks quickly: this might be true, but he isn't in a film.
So what are we left with? A movie with all the failings of trying to impress too much. Acting which is adequate, casting which is the same, a plot which unwinds almost tediously and dialogue which would be the highlight of the film if it weren't spoken so quickly.
It's a very underwhelming experience.
This film won awards! Why!?
Not only that, it was considered by some to be the best science fiction film of the year.
We are talking about the same film I saw last night. The same film with Aliens, plot holes and the ham-iest acting to be seen outside a butcher's window.
I began the movie with ambition. Maybe a sci-fi Mercury rising (I don't mean to say I thought Mercury Rising was a good film, only that I can imagine a sci-fi film based on the same idea working). I knew Cage had a huge tax bill, but, being open-hearted I thought hey, it's late, I've had a drink, why not?
But it's SLOW. That's OK, it's a slow-burner. It'll get good. And so I waited and waited.
And then aliens landed. Aliens. And, despite myself, and incidentally waking up my girlfriend, I laughed out loud. Awful. Mind you, it wasn't the first time I'd woken up my sonambulent partner during the film: there is a time shortly before Aliens that Cage catches his son automatic-writing, and Cage shouts:
"What are you doing?!"
Seriously. The whole premise for the film is that Cage works out the hidden meaning in the numbers written in a mad dash by a youngster. Not, incidentally, that that seems to have anything significant to do with the plot. But hang on, towards the end of the film, his son is writing unstoppably, surely this must have some meaning?!
No, he screws the paper up and throws it away. That's it. Nada.
I envy those who think this film has something to offer the modern audience. Maybe the film is a cynical as I think it is, pandering to the 'ooohhh, he and his son connect through sign-language, that isn't a cliché I've seen thousands of times before' audience, maybe it isn't. But, in the final analysis, for the laughs the conclusion of this dirge provokes, it isn't worth the wait.
Wants to be clever but isn't clever enough. - SPOILERS -
There were obviously 2 ways to go, a clever 'origin of species' with a few nasty surprises, or a bug hunt. Scott chose the later despite, I suspect, most of the audience wanting more of an 'Aliens' type film (there really has only been one 'bug hunt' film). Well, that's fine, I'm reasonably intelligent, so was happy to get on board Prometheus and see what happens.
Hm. Well, do we take it that human kind was created by mistake, a strand of DNA not being destroyed by magic potion? Perhaps. So, they've realised their mistake and have decided to do away with us with an hugely unnecessarily elaborate mutagenic killing machine, creating in the process a fantastically hostile planet (earth) full of very nasty things indeed. Maybe. Whatever their reason, that is their purpose, it seems.
Right. So give us some kind of meaning. And, while you're about it, can you please provide some kind of explanation as to how the ship stumbled across a launching pad for all those innumerous ships. And how those paintings managed to identify their solar system, despite it seeming to be the case that the Engineers left before their creation. And how the nasty soon-to-become-Aliens managed to escape at the same time at each of the launching pods, derailing all of their efforts? And of all the ways of getting rid of human kind, why choose such a dangerous one? And why wait so long? And why did the crewman go mental having been sprayed with acid? How was he able to breathe in that atmosphere?
Now, I see what he was trying to do, and I know this board is littered with people who will blindly follow this film and not accept criticism of it, but that, sadly, is their problem. It was just disappointing.
Oh, and who is to say that Vickers wasn't a robot?
Paranormal Activity (2007)
Extremely disappointing and over-blown.
What a huge disappointment. There I was, expecting a scary film which would stay with me so that, when lying in bed, I'd ensure my feet are under the duvet and worry about 'bumps in the night'.
How could it fail? It's a simple idea, a haunting recorded on camera. What could go wrong?
Well, for starters, it had the feel of an over-produced amateur effort, maybe by a film school student. Secondly, Katie Featherston is a terrible actress, completely unable to convey any sense of empathy with her character and I wouldn't be surprised if she was reading her lines from the underside of cups, etc, in a subtle effort to hide the fact she couldn't remember them. And, in a film which only features 2 people (the parapsy is hardly in it) that is a real problem - there's no hiding for her. Thirdly, they obviously shot too high. A plain, old fashioned haunting was called for. All this 'demon' stuff was pointless and tacky. Fourthly, in dealing with a film about bumps in the night SUBTLETY is called for. It's all about the imagination doing the work. THe crescendo through the film is OK, but the final scene just wasn't scary, I'd had enough by then. Fifthly, WAS the end supposed to be scary? He runs downstairs into the pitch black but she does away with him without a fight? . And 'She's still missing'. Right. And that's immediately before the screen telling us it's all fictitious. Tacky, clichéd and boring. We know know she killed him with a knife, right? So THANK GOODNESS she didn't rip his face off with her teeth, or pull his heart of of his chest with her hand, etc etc, all those other things that would have been EVEN WORSE...
And, while I think about it, what the hell is that about the powder and what looked to me at least to be hoof-marks?! As if the 'demon' is just invisible, but otherwise has a physical presence?! It's the kind of story a child would come up with.
Which is not to say that the plot worked anyway. In a film where the answer is staring the participants in the face - the Church - the whole subject of exorcism is all but ignored. Instead they draft in a parapsy who is of no use and, even more sadly, the only other person who could help them is away. Right. The only other person. There's no one else, is there? A Priest? Or just look in the phone book? Equally, the protagonists persist in doing things which are contrary to common sense but necessary to drive the story forward.
Hostel: Part II (2007)
Aimed at that lowest common denominator...
Having sat through this dirge, I came onto the IMDb board to see what others have thought. I was pretty surprised to find reviewers such as sgtking commenting on what a successful sequel it was. Well, allow me to retort.
This movie adds absolutely nothing to a genre which is already very tired of these gruesome blood-filled, plot less ideas. I say that not just of the 'Hostel' franchise, but also 'Saw' and others like it, which are based on only one idea: to show the deaths of American teens in the most horrific way possible, whether by homicidal maniac, or in a country most American teenagers (at whom this film is squarely aimed) are entirely unfamiliar with.
Sitting through Hostel 2 is a wholly pointless and irksome experience. The filmmakers have obviously tried to shoe-horn a plot into the film as an excuse to show throats being cut, faces being sawn off, etc etc. What there is of a plot does not make sense, the final scenes being frankly incapable of belief (I've watched 'Plan 9 from Outer Space' and it is more realistic) and contradict what has gone before. The acting is terrible, but then again, I struggle to think of any motivation other than the almighty dollar for an actor to appear in a film like this.
Even the gore isn't very gory. And there isn't very much of it either. You sit through what seems to be hours of build up, mainly trying to focus on the beanpole in a short skirt and boots and trying not to (1) pay any attention to the dialogue and (2) wish the long and painful demise of the terrible actors/characters you are watching, there are really only 4 or 5 scenes of blood splatter, and none are actually scary. In any event, I worry to think about the kind of person who would sit through a bland and featureless film only to enjoy someone's face being torn off.
Speaking as someone NOT from the USA, I can say the view of the filmmakers that Europe is about the same size Rhode Island and populated by evil, amoral cannibalistic maniacs is very very annoying. For what it's worth, the distance from Prague to Slovakia is over 600 kilometres. And 'Slovakia' is almost 50,000 square kilometres in size.
The Dark (2005)
Hackneyed idea, poorly executed
Everything about this movie was bad: the idea was hackneyed, the casting dreadful, the development of the story hurried and often confusing and without explanation, the characterisation leaving you with absolutely no sympathy for the protagonists who are, with the exception of Sean Bean's character (what was Sean Bean doing in this film? That can't have been cheap), irritating. I like Maurice Roëves as an actor, but his welsh accent slipped into Geordie/Irish and it's difficult to be fair about the rest of the actors given the rubbish that passed for a script: And, let's face it, the script was horrible. Example: Adelle: "I thought it was her. But it wasn't". Lets analyse this, shall we? You lost your daughter on the beach, and in the middle of the night you see a girl of identical description running away from your window, and you thought it was your daughter? Take my word for it, no one is going to criticise you for that.
'she brought something back with her. The sheep started dying'. So what? The sheep started dying? That's it? Are they magical, fairy sheep? Can they fly and talk? Here's a tip: don't kill her, GET RID OF THE BLOODY SHEEP. Just an idea. Or I suppose you could drill holes in your daughter's head. Matter for you.
'I can't open the tin box'. What?! You can't open a bloody tin box?! Tip: GET A TIN OPENER, or a knife, or just smash it to bits. And if you want to make that hole in the wall bigger, put DOWN the tin box, put UP the hammer you were just using. And when it's finally opened, it has a hair brush, photo and some (not described) papers in it. So what was the point in all that then? and just when you get the the end, having asked yourself every preceding minute 'I should turn this rubbish off and re-arrange the books on that shelf (or some other such task you've been putting off)', the ending is just a mess. How many of you were just like me who, when observing the 'morse code game' played by James and Sarah thought, well, obviously this is going to be important later. And it was, but also, strangely, it wasn't. I wonder if more was made of it in the book? Not that I would, for one moment, ask anyone to read 'sheep'. ('Sheep'. A book called 'Sheep'. As if that wasn't a good enough indicator of the quality of the story therein....) The only slight chill in the film coming right at the end with the appearance of that masked figure in Annwyn. But by that time you're so intensely annoyed by Adelle you're quite happy for her to spend the rest of her time in eternal torment.
Now, I've been guilty of winding up people on these boards, I'll admit it. Particularly those good anally-inverted people on the 'Lost in Translation' board, but 'The Dark' deserves to be heaped with damnation. It leaves you wondering how it got made in the first place.
Terminator Salvation (2009)
Fails to stand on the shoulders of giants: good but not great.
I saw T:S last night and was saddened to find it as I anticipated: it was good, it was always going to be GOOD, but it wasn't great.
Define irony: The original Terminator film introduced a terrific new idea to sci-fi films and, under Cameron, did them brilliantly. The film The Matrix and TV series (the new one, not the original!) of Battlestar Gallatica took those ideas and developed them into new directions, expertly done with sometimes spectacular and thought-provoking story lines.
Then you have Terminator:Salvation, which treads the same path (particularly as B. S.) but doesn't do it quite as well. It has the mythology (as it were) of the original, but the result is, on a now well-trodden path, disappointing.
Why so? The casting was OK: Christian Bale maybe a little disappointing performing the kind of role he's now so familiar with, but Sam Worthington taking the plaudits with a brilliant emphatic and emotion-provoking performance (side note though - Helena Bonham Carter was dreadful and mis-cast - ol' forehead is a poor actress at the best of times, and Michael Ironside just too old to pull off a role which, again, is very familiar to him).
The problem I felt was in a clunky script ('I'll be back' indeed!) and a storyline the attempted to stand on the shoulders of those that post-dated the original film without ever accomplishing a new and/or compelling direction. That said, I did enjoy the frequent references to the preceding Terminator movies (of which there are many), perhaps despite myself.
Is the failure of this film (well, 'failure' is putting it a little high) ironic: have others taken the ideas of the original film and done them better than a film made after them all? I think so, which is a shame, albeit a predictable one.
This is what they mean when they say 'chick flick'
This is perhaps the ultimate form of 'chick flick'. But to do so demeans women...A story and plot you could drive a bus through, lots of girls tossing their hair, saying things like 'you are alarmingly earthbound ' and ' ', and men having 'meaningful' conversations about the ones they're supposed to be with.
Believe me, within half an hour, you will be clawing at the sofa wishing this was a better film...any other film...Plan 9 from Outer Space. and, as for the guy who said 'Kate Beckinsale is a stunningly gorgeous woman with great hair', well, you need to get out more. A lot more. Frankly, I could never tire of slapping her. My American friends, there are literally thousands of women like her falling out of English public schools every july. And most are better actors.
John Cusack hang your head in shame!
Matthew McConaughey. Awful.
Why do people continue to cast McConaughey? In every scene, in every film he's in, he is exactly the same. I suspect what I find most distasteful about him is the arrogant smirk viewers often see curling at the corners of his lips, present throughout the court scenes in this too-long film. He is SO full of himself, it stains all those about him. Hopkins is, as usual, excellent, but Freeman's role obviously wasn't well thought out. He gives the impression of hanging around with no real purpose in the film other than to be a symbolic educated black man.
The film itself is surprisingly poor, particularly considering the director. It doesn't hang together, as though the seems are visible in a poorly made dress. The court scenes are both dull, over-acted by McConaughey, and seemingly endless. I confess I gave up when I learned they were going to appeal the decision made by the second judge. I couldn't go though it all again. The scenes pertaining to slavery after on one or two occasions powerful, but again on other times badly constructed. Not recommended. Not recommended at all. Perhaps the directors heart wasn't in it, unlike Schindler's list.
The Amityville Horror (2005)
Has this movie survived The Simpsons? NO!
Another one of those dreadful modern USA 'horror' films. The acting is diabolical, Reynolds being the worst offender, taking any conceivable opportunity to take his shirt off and flash his torso. As for his 'transformation', dark contact lenses simply aren't enough.
The plot was always hackneyed, but this movie is indistinguishable from so many others of its genre, reliant on loud noises, surprise images and special effects of, yup, you guessed it, blood coming from the walls. You may recall a Simpsons Halloween episode where they encounter a haunted house and are told to 'get out'. That was, honestly, a scarier moment than when Philip Baker Hall's priest is told to 'get out'. Honestly. No, really.
Pity poor Philip Baker Hall, it's a long, long fall from Hard Eight.
If you're thinking of watching it, don't. If you've started watching it, stop after Rachel Nichols makes her exit. She's quite attractive, particularly, I should imagine, to a 14 year old.
Presumably 'High Hopes' is ironic?
The Stepford Wives (2004)
Oh dear. oh dear oh dear oh dear
Well, Bette Midler has all the good lines (by 'all', I mean 'both'), other than that, the film is akin to a funeral procession. Kidman needs to sit down and have a good long think about making any more dreadful re-makes. My dedication to film kept me watching, but it wasn't much fun, if any at all. Matthrew Broderick was his usual self, sleep walking through the film, and the usually-malevolent Christopher Walken looks embarrassed to be involved. One can only question how and why 'the King of New York' has lost his way so badly. But my gravest criticism has to be levelled at Nicole Kidman. I'm sure I've seen her act, and I'm sure once upon a time she conveyed an emotion to be through the medium of film. But I can't now remember when. She's just not funny. At all. She surely was well paid though, which, it seems, is her priority.