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Does Grindhouse equal absurdly silly?
9 May 2018
Warning: Spoilers
After surviving the ordeal of watching this film I just had to upload a review as a kind of therapy for myself.

Okay so the film is supposed to be an exploitation movie, whether that gives it the right to have an intriguing start, competent middle and a horrifically stupid end, I don't know. Basically the last thirty minutes of this film, has Vince Vaughn, who might be quite tall, though does not look at all hard, turning into this indestructible killing machine who annihilates everybody in his path, which includes a number of tough looking prison mates and armed maximum security prison guards, all in absurdly stupid violent fashion. Think of making the most over the top Steven Seagal movie possible, where you deliberately amplify the Seagalism making the hero so untouchable and deadly that it is side splittingly funny, that is the last thirty minutes of this movie.

If the whole movie was so tongue in cheek stupid, I would give it a much higher rating, as it would be laughter-fest, but the film seems to take it's self quite seriously. The comically stupid end just doesn't tally up with either the beginning or the fairly skilfully shot middle, where Vaughn is sent to a correctional facility that feels seemingly realistic, a really authentic narrative. Unfortunately this soon descends when he is sent to this ridiculously un-authentic maximum security prison, and it's there where the film goes into Seagull over drive, leaving you feeling robbed and quite frankly disgusted.
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The Walking Dead (2010– )
Deterioration as early as season 3
17 January 2018
Warning: Spoilers
I'm under the impression that the Walking Dead's high rating of 8.5 is due to the fact that the majority of high votes were submitted during it's first season, - when it was great.

That feels like a long, long time ago now as this forever decaying series has just inflicted it's worst season yet, season 8. A dull, ridiculous and predictable action fest where Rick and his group just continually take out Negan's army of men, always against the odds of course. This silly narrative is nothing new of course, it was ripe in season 7, season 6, season 4 and all began in season 3 when TWD decided to go down this heroes v villains route with the introduction of the Governor (Season 5 felt like a rare break from this nonsense).

I could go on quite a bit about how silly the Negan pot has been, particularly the inconsistent behaviour of Negan himself, but it's pretty plain to see - bottom line, it all sucks now. The difference between the tone and direction of season 8 compared to that of season 1 is to wide to measure. They almost feel like completely different shows. Season 1 was about real people trying to survive in a horrific new world. These real people actually included Rick, Carol and Daryl. I'm not lying they were real people back then with genuine human struggles, not the cold blooded dull terminators they have descended into. Carol's transformation from fragile domestic abuse victim to female Rambo is particular laughable. The season 1 Carol displayed an endearingly likeable strength of character, even if she appeared weak and vulnerable. That Carol, like Rick and Daryl are long gone, just like the survival story is long gone. These days even the zombies, the actual Walking Dead are nothing but side show extra's used to just amp the gore factor - they used to be a threat.

I don't know how many more season's of TWD will be inflicted, it has certainly outstayed its welcome. I might watch them perhaps in the hope that it returns to it's routes, but more likely just to see if it can possibly get any worse. To be honest I should have sodded this show off after season 3.
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Wind River (2017)
Would have preferred if it was just a wildlife documentary.
3 December 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Wind River is one of those films that many will really like and many won't like at all. Im in the latter.

A very quick summary of the plot revolves around the discovered body of a murdered native young woman/girl in an Indian reservation. Out of towner female FBI agent Elizabeth Olsen turns up to solve the case with the help of the native law enforcement and also local tracker/ mad max-vigilante, Jeremy Renner.

It starts off very promising and straight away we get a dose of Wyoming's beautiful snow capped land scales and feral wildlife - a real visual treat, but then unfortunately the so called murder investigation/plot starts.

The main reason reason I didn't like this is because there was no murder investigation. Renner, who mumbles his way through the film, and Olsen kinda just move from one location to the next causing more harm than good. Olsen's character is supposed to be this rabbit in in the headlights turned tough cookie Clarice Starling alike and feminist alarm bells start ringing when she clashes with local authority and the natives over the murder and her ability to get it resolved. To be honest that doesn't bother me to much, but want did bother me was the morality side of the two lead characters.

Both seem deeply troubled throughout by the death of the native girl who was found frozen and molested in the snow and walked 6 miles before falling to her death. Sure of course that is awful, but her death is the only one that counts, the numerous men that are killed in the process of their 'investigation' is of no importance at all. The scene that cements this the most is where Olsen's FBI agent knocks at the door of a potential suspect, he runs she chases they have a short stand off where she blasts him to death with a flurry of bullets from her gun. He did have a gun in his hand so could be perceived as self defence, but that isn't the major issue. The major issue is that it turns out he had nothing to do with the murder investigation, but its very much swept under the carpet. The very next scene Olsen is Jovially chatting with Renner on their next move, there is absolutely no signs from her that she just shot an individual to death, no emotions or anything, as though it did happen, what does she do this every day? Didn't sit well with that, seeing as this film is not a tongue in cheek actioner like Kick Ass.

The silly shoot outs don't stop there as there a climatic one where 10 or so law enforcement agents are killed in a stand off where everybody dies except Olsen's tough brave and extremely lucky FBI agent who happened to be bang smack in the middle of it. She is helped by Renner who is sniping some of these bad guy cops from a distance. Thats right Renner who through most of the film is an ordinary local tracker has now turned into a psychopathic killer and vigilante, who dishes out mad max style justice on one one of the girls murderers when he catches him.

OK I think you can tell i wasn't keen on there films plot and moral grounds, I also thought it lacked any drama as there was no real investigating, it was more action.

I must say though the film is shot beautifully and has a compelling score. The best bits for me was the stunning scenery and interaction with wildlife in this remote part of the USA. Its a real pity the characters turned up!
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It (I) (2017)
IT starts exceptionally, but IT ends typically.
13 September 2017
Warning: Spoilers
I recall about 20 minutes into the re-boot of Stephen King's IT, thinking I'm in for a treat here. And to be fair 20 minutes later I was just as enthusiastic. These 40 minutes had showed me slick direction, suspenseful narrative, a good introduction to our new teenage heroes of Derry and of course above all a really excellent opening scene, presenting Pennywise the mysterious evil killer clown, or other wise know as IT.

Lets face it, the driving force of both the book, the original TV series and now this film is the depiction of Pennywise himself (Itself). And here Bill Skarsgard and the special effects team do a stirling job on creating a menacing and fiendish bad guy entity.

So with this in mind, should I not be giving this film a higher rating? No. Why? Well the film wasn't 40 mins long, it was over two hours. The first hour I was fully engage, the second hour my engagement waned. The scare sequences became more tedious, more CGI was replacing dread. And to be frank the actual story never causes much drama, and to be fair doesn't really make sense.

Why does Pennywise kill all other children and teenagers at will, but just appears to muck about with the main cast? (he kills adults in the chapter 2) IT could surly kill them at any time, but instead IT lets them team up on him and all of a sudden he is powerless, and defeated far to easily. You never really feel any of these kids are actually in any danger from IT, it has that kinda of comic book feel, which dislodges the tension. Look appreciate that this is how the book was written, so can't entirely blame the film for that.

The performances from the teenage cast are good here. Most notably would be Sophia Lillis who plays the rouge 'teenage girl with domestic issues', Beverly Marsh. A clear talent with great screen presence, but her character is most notable because she gets a lot more backstory than the others, and her characters journey gets shoved in your face to be honest. Due to this some of the other lads in the group end up getting overlooked and therefore unbalances the group dynamics.

This is still a decent film, with a lot of positives. Well made, with an intriguing Killer clown at it's centre. Certainly worth checking out.
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Shin Godzilla (2016)
Fresh concept on the monster franchise, just badly executed.
11 August 2017
Warning: Spoilers
After reading the rave reviews on Shin Godzilla, I was excited to see this new interpretation of the giant reptiles attack on poor old Tokyo. Within 5 minutes of watching the film my excitement was quashed.

The idea of centring the devastating arrival of a 300 foot monster onto Japanese shores, on the political, military and scientific debate of its people, could have really worked. Unfortunately it does not, and this due to a number of fundamental issues in the making of the film, which is likely connected to the films limited budget, sadly.

I will list in what my opinion, are the big problems:

1. The special effects and CGI are nowhere near today's Hollywood standards, seriously hampering the Godzilla action scenes. The restraint's on the CGI prevent Godzilla from moving during his scenes. He is always motionless when being attacked by the military, almost like a statue, whilst maintaining a very silly smile on his face.

2. Don't know whether this is just a Japanese thing, but the continuity editing feels chaotic throughout.

3. And sticking on the continuity, half way through the film Godzilla actually decides to fight the Japanese back after being pummelled by their missiles. He glows purple before unleashing a huge firestorm of power from his back, tail and mouth which completely levels a good portion of Tokyo. Burns it to the ground, with a similar impact to that of a nuclear weapon. At no point post this devastation, in any of the exterior shots of Tokyo, can the aftermath of this devastating attack be seen or felt. Tokyo looks absolutely normal, no smoke or fire anywhere, even the area surrounding Godzilla (he falls a sleep after his attack?!), looks unharmed. Admittedly this is again a budget restraint.

4. The acting and dialogue are both wooden throughout. Neither seem to catch the expected level of shock and disbelief when the Japanese people are faced with the unprecedented phenomenon of Godzilla.

5. Giving the political stance on the film, it is very dialogue heavy. the talking is very rapid. This makes the sub titles difficult to follow, particularly when they are white on a lot of light backgrounds. Not the films fault this one, just a gripe I had.

6. With the exception of the classic Godzilla theme, the music is mostly horrible.

7. This is the overwhelming issue. Very early on in the film, the 'first phase' Godzilla arrives on the shores of Tokyo, and he looks ridiculous. He has these cartoonish massive fake silly eyes which make it impossible to believe this could be a real beast. Its very difficult to take any of the film seriously after this point. To be fair the look of Godzilla improves drastically when we see the 'second phase' version. It is actually a really innovative design, though still ruined by a lack of movement and again the eyes are all wrong, remaining still, looking particularly lifeless and fake.

I feel I have been harsh here, given the limitations the film makers had to abide to (feel i have typed far to much!). I mean in some ways its still an achievement to produce a monster movie on a shoe string budget. But ultimately it was a bold decision to take on such a project with limited resources.

Also I believe it is irrelevant that this film was some kind of political satire relating to the Tohoku earthquakes and other nation-wide disasters the country has endured. This film is suppose to be a built around the realities of a giant destructive monster attacking the huge urban populous that is Tokyo city, MAKE NO MISTAKE ABOUT IT.
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Get Out (I) (2017)
Decent, but disappointing given the hype
4 July 2017
It would be wrong to say that this is not a good film, unfortunately one that has been over hyped. If I had watched it without knowing the hype and rave reviews, it would likely have earned an extra star rating.

No need to discuss the plot but the film sits in the mystery/horror genre slot. I thought it was a comedy-horror going in, but it isn't. In fact the undertone to the film has quite a dark and socially challenging agenda.

Though is the film a new fresh take on the horror genre as some reviews have suggested, well, erm, no. All though there is some astute direction in building the suspense, Get Out does end up following the standard horror narrative. The last 25 minutes is particularly typical as our central character desperately tries to 'get out' of the bad situation.

Would still recommend watching this film, just don't get too excited.
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Moonlight (I) (2016)
Good but will likely now be remembered as an Academy farce.
3 March 2017
Moonlight is a particularly difficult film to rate. It is without doubt a thought provoking piece which handles its narrative dilemma of a young black youth growing up in the tough streets of Miami and coming to terms with his sexuality, with both honest realism and grace. However Moonlight will also without doubt have a number of disappointed viewers (me included), which will have mostly been provoked by the hyped up acclaim from the professional film critics and the film academy's.

Chiron is the name of the gay black youth the films narrative follows and is split in to three chapters. Chapter 1 presents Chiron as a young boy, Chapter 2 takes us through his high school years and Chapter 3 we see how Chiron has turned out as a fully grown adult. Now Chapters 1 and 2, I found very engaging. His struggles between the isolation and bulling of his sexuality and having to cope with his unpredictable drug addict of a mum, I felt was very endearing and I had a high amount of sympathy for his situation. I would have to point out though that the film runs at an unusual pace through out, with some scenes not feeling necessary to the plot and the dialogue always difficult to grasp, particularly as Chiron is very quiet fella.

Chapter 3 is where the film lost me. The three stages of Chiron's life are of course portrayed by three different actors. The child Chiron and the teenage Chiron look like they could be the same guy with their meek gangly frame and vulnerable facial features. The adult Chiron looks so different, that you can barely believe that it is the same character. He is now a big muscle bound mean looking drug dealer, who bares no resemblance to the previous two Chiron's, its a difficult evolution to buy. Though the look of Chiron is not my main issue with the final chapter, it is the fact that it is so drab and uneventful. The whole chapter is made up of Chiron visiting an old friend whom he had his first gay sexual encounter with. It is basically a long conversation between the two of them and it really drags to the point where I switched off (you know where the films going at this point) and just wanted the end credits to roll.

Moonlight is overall a brave and decent film with strong performances marred by its boring uneventful conclusion. Unfortunately it has ended up asking more questions about professional film critics than it has about it's subject matter. In my opinion film critics have now become redundant, they always give glowing reviews to anything art house or anything that tackles pc subjects like Moonlight does, regardless to whether they will actually entertain or immerse the audience. Incredibly the film that I most enjoyed watching this year was Passengers, which came as quite a surprise given that the critics said it was awful.
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Some Kind of Silly, really
22 February 2017
Warning: Spoilers
I kinda just had to write a review on this film after viewing it, mainly because I found certain elements to it, to be some what ridiculous.

The story begins with Lincoln, a teenager/young man who is subjected to what can only be described as physical assault type bulling by a bully whilst at high school. During the assault, Lincoln fights back by stabbing the bully in the cheek with a blade. This is the only occurrence we see of his high school bulling, so we don't get a feel of anything leading up to this event. I would also like to point out that Lincoln is a very tall and handsome guy, not somebody you would expect to be a victim of bulling.

Anyway due to the injury Lincoln caused to the bully he is sent to this holiday camp\reform school where apparently the hottest chicks on the planet reside. I mean if this is where you get sent when involved in a violent assault, no wonder America has such high crime rates! The bad part to the camp for Lincoln is that it also hosts some guys, some of whom take an instant unjustified disliking to him, and immediately unleash some more physical bulling on him. Again this bulling does not make sense, there is no build up to it, no period of feuding or resentment - just hello, we don't like you, Bang! Smack! Wallop!

Lincoln has a few encounters with these bullies, but I never really feel sorry for him. Mainly because he is handsome, has a fairly bad attitude and very quickly obtains the hottest of the hot chicks as his girlfriend - trust me you would take a few blows to be with her. Again this is not the typical exploits of a victim of bulling.

After his most violent encounter with the bullies, Lincoln finds a quiet spot to himself in a shed where he voices his anger towards the bullies and what he would like to do to them. This accidentally summons the spirit of a girl called Moira, who was bullied to death by some of the occupants of the camp a couple of years back. Moira tells Lincoln that she will rid of his tormentors to gain some vengeance for her own demise. Against Lincoln's wishes, that is exactly what she does. Oh yeah and guess what, Moira is also a hot chick (though admittedly still bears her death injuries whilst in spirit form).

So that basically some's up the rest of the plot to the film, however once Moira kills Lincoln's bullies (Moira kills by inflicting injuries on herself which subsequently inflicts them on her victims), she then just goes on a rampage and kills anybody she encounters - Which also feels a bit silly as her original 'back from the dead' cause was all about avenging bullies but quickly descends into psychopathic-spree-killer-spirit.

In the mean time Lincoln and his hot girlfriend Kaitlin of course try to stop Moira, though Kaitlin does at one point form a bizarre alliance with Moira where she voluntarily gets the malevolent spirit to injure her??

Speaking of Kaitlin, a pretty girl, with a seemingly nice nature - Reveals to Lincoln that she had previously bullied an x friend to the point of suicide, which is why she ended up in reform. Erm, she really does't come across as somebody that would do that. -silly-

Another gripe of mine is how everybody reacts when approached by the ghost of Moira. These people knew her and know she is dead, and don't appear to be at all shocked when the blood drenched murderous entity walks up to them. Rather than fainting or running for the hills they just engage in conversation with her - SILLY!-

Moira by the way is not particularly scary, she is more just an adolescent vengeful brat.

The ending to the film could disappoint, but may also satisfy as is fairly unexpected.

This it is not a terrible film - it has positives, there is some slick direction at times, good lighting and camera work, great effects for the gore, mostly decent performances. Sadly this is over ruled by the silliness and at times laughable script. The fact that many of the reviews on this site have not also commented on the silly aspects to the film, well that gives me...hmmmm, well, well some kind of hate!
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Resident Evil (2002)
jovovich flexes her muscles in popular gamer zombie flick
1 January 2013
I think the first thing to understand about Resident Evil, is that it is not a horror film, despite the title. It is closer to a sci-fi action genre, which, to its credit, is reflective of its game origin.

This movie, though it does have some scary moments (it of course involves zombies), is more a zombie mash-up, as the central characters smash their way through the vast hoard of the undead, which inhabit the Scientific laboratory which is know as the hive.

The movie centres around the character of Alice (Milla Jovovich), who appears to be some kind of special ops soldier, but has a spate of amnesia, so only begins to realise this, once she has kicked some zombie ass. Alice seems to be equipped with some top-notch fighting skills and great Physical strength to match. She is joined by an "elite" military unit, which includes a Michelle Rodriguez, who plays a tough-nut military chick, but who actually spends the majority of the film with a permanent grimace, and kinda grant outs her predictable lines.

But that doesn't matter, because this is Jovovich's ride, and she does glow, throwing great energy into the role. She just seems perfect to play the ass-kicking heroine Alice, with her striking looks and killer body to fit. The male fans will be particularly pleased with the Alice Attire, which includes the short mini skirt, giving Jovovich the opportunity to parade her long dazzling, lean legs through out. She also demonstrates their strength, with a variety of bone crunching kicks and stamps. She even unleashes the devastating muscle of her inner thighs, on one unsuspecting zombie, rapidly crushing his neck, with their brutal force.

So with Jovovich proving to be a real hit, this will provide an enjoyable experience to watch, and remains the best film in the franchise.
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Pretty much get what you expect
11 March 2012
Any body that rents this movie, will not be looking for Oscar winning performances, clever plot twist, or a harrowing or moving narrative. - No, those that rent this movie want to see Trish Status looking hot and kicking butt, thats what the poster suggests and thats exactly what you get.

It would have to be noted though, that the acting and scripting in this movie are particularly below par (Classic B-Movie stuff here. The two male bounty hunters who accompany miss Stratus through the story, are certainly not in it to advertise their acting talents. One of which is supposed to provide a comic element, but only irritates throughout.

However the acting and the "plot" always feels irrelevant and second fiddle to the movies main agenda - which is to get Trish (ex wwe wrestler), looking fit and fighting fit - and its here where the film does deliver.

Stratus is also not looking for any acting Oscars here, but is looking to show off her fighting talents gained from her wrestling background. It has to be said, the fight sequences are decent, and Stratus does put a lot of energy in to them.

In summary not a good film by any means, but Trish does squeeze a guy unconscious with her thighs, which is probably why I give this film a generous 5 out of 10.
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Deliberately Silly Swords and Sorcery yawn
16 January 2011
Okay, this film doesn't really take itself seriously, so you can forgive it for the bad acting, dialogue, music and special effects. The first film was pretty bad also, so this one did not have much to live up to.

The plot being, boy wizard with help of mentor and "great" warrior take on three evil Wizards and therefore three large armies of men, is at least quite straight forward to follow.

Most of the film involves some quite ridiculous sword fight scenes, where the "Dark One" Warrior (Played by David Caridine)kills loads and loads of soldiers, with out breaking a sweat. The guards and soldiers are treated as real goons in this particular film, and play a very stupid enemy.

There are some monsters that the boy wizard and the "dark one" also have to battle, but the effects are pretty bad, so these scenes do come across a but cheap and silly.

Despite the obvious negatives, the film does have quite an under-current of comedy attached, which does at times make it watchable.

The central characters are quite annoying. The boy wizard and his side kick old man wizard, spend a lot of time wandering around talking rubbish. The warrior princess that they meet played by Lana Clarkson, looks gorgeous, but has rubbish dialogue - though some good fight scenes. David Caradines "the Dark one" looks a bit embarrassed to be in the film, and his many sword fight scenes are very silly and predictable. The only character who is worth watching is the "Dark One's" Dancer wife Edun (Susan Lee Hoffman). Who is pretty and delicate but has immense physical strength. She gets the only really great scene in the film, where she tricks a guard into helping her down from a ledge. once perched on his shoulders, she crosses her legs and breaks the poor guys neck with her inner thigh muscles, all with a devilish smile on her face.

Unfortunately Eden and her strong legs are only a small part of the film, and the rest is very forgettable or just plain bad. I would only recommend it for a laugh, as you are unlikely to be captured by the story, script or the battle scenes.
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