Joe

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7/10
Went in with a bad feeling about this, and came out feeling very pleasantly surprised!
16 June 2018
I admit that i'm finding there to be quite a bit of fatigue when it comes to franchises. The superhero stuff is boring me mostly, but I've always had a soft spot for Star Wars and really enjoyed Rogue One. This is the second spin-off, and does it work? In my opinion it does without trying to be Star Wars but rather we have Indy in space as Han Solo!

This action adventure is the roots backstory of Han Solo, that much loved rogue from the original trilogy, and we have a storyline that really does try to capture well the humour and spark of the main character. No jedis, light sabre fights and only the odd philosophy line (more just street level advice). So we have a stripped down ideal of Star Wars, a story based at the coal face of that universe as the rogues & hired guns make their way in an aimless world over by good & evil.

Into all this steps Han Solo who wants to live on his wits and be a good pilot, thinking he's a bounty hunter & hired hand, really he's a 'good guy' and this dichotomy is the main gist of the film...

... and I really enjoyed it. Sadly the film has come out as people have hit a low point with the series following disappointment with recent episode, and that has affected this one. That's a shame, as it's a great romp and a lower key entry in the whole universe.

Forget what all else say. This has good characters, great humours and surprisingly a lead who fits in very well into the role, a hard task.

Only real downpoint is that Emelia Clarke again shows what a limited actress she is. She's becoming a black widow for films as following Terminator and this series, she is struggling to find a life outwith of Game of Thrones, and even then that has hit a low of late in the penultimate season. Don't let that put you off, she's not key, and can be replaced in the next movies which I hope are made

There is a lot of life in this series. I just hope it's given a further life on DVD & streams, and will create enough interest for the series to be built upon. Give it a try and enjoy it.
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Mother! (2017)
3/10
Religious allegories abound but really it's just pretentious nonsense
12 June 2018
Now I'm not one to disparage the director, I liked Requiem for a Dream and loved Black Swan, but this is a stinker and just simply boring. It's all just packed full of cod biblical allegories spread thickly throughout which tries to twist between different types of horror genres, but leaved me unintrigued.

Granted the settings, claustrophobic direction and acting are top notch but it shouldn't mask for what otherwise is a poor uninteresting movie. It unsettles and bores, way too much to care, and as the ending dragged on I was left increasingly frustrated as it refused to just shut up shop.

It's totally split opinion from what I've seen so far, and you'll struggle to find anyone in the middle on this one. In fairness, some credit to the film studios for risking this effort in launching it into mainstream cinemas but without the director it would have rightfully languished on cable late night showings.

There's no point going anymore into this. I simply hated it, and that despite being a major admirer of offbeat horror and psychological movies, but this isn't in the same league as for example Raw or Get Out, which is a shame. I'd recommend you pass on this there are far better films out there to go watch.
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American Made (2017)
5/10
Tom Cruise tries to Blow them all away but is not a Lord of War....
5 June 2018
It's really a mishmash of others you've seen before. Have you seen Blow? Lord of War? Well then you've seen this one mostly or can guess enough of the story and how it will all pan out.

Not that that makes it a bad movie. Strange vehicle for Cruise, especially as he is playing a man who even just physically was nothing similar (real man was very fat). Anyhow, Tom Cruise is an everyday man who ends up claiming to end up way over his head with drug dealers, government dark arts and mass government scandals.

The said character is a chancer, but knows his market flying his battered planes full of drugs or guns between the US and Latin America, amassing ridiculous amounts of cash with the idealised white fence home and family turning a blind eye. And yes, it all comes crashing down.

Tom Cruise strangely plays against type but still as himself! Yet it works, but the charisma is sadly masking that his character is really no hero or friend. Maybe simply Cruise wasn't the right person for the role despite giving an admittedly good performance. Credit though where it's due as he has taken a role that isn't really par for the course of what he's done before. Although he & his wife just seem too perfectly beautiful for the roles as a battle hardened blue collar couple who strike it lucky then all the way down.

It's well made and shot and often humorous, but I couldn't empathise and am certain that enough of it masks the truth, with the authors and sources exaggerating what really happened with this character. Possibly the truth was even darker.

It's fine to watch but ultimately it won't grab you enough and will remain on the shelves. Fine effort, interesting story but nothing more.
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8/10
Vince Vaughn in a harrowing brutal descent
29 May 2018
This is one heavy film. There are no heroes, and Vince Vaughn plays a man who has forced into a corner in a brutal environment and all roads out ain't what they seem.

The story follows a man who by circumstance falls back into the dark life he once escaped, back into the drug world and all goes wrong as he is sent to jail. His overseers feel agrieved and send him on a task in jail that leaves a dark bloody trail. If he doesn't follow their wishes? His wife & unborn child will pay the consequences so he is left with little choice.

Our lead acts in the only way he can, which is brutal and bloody, two words that simply are what this film is all about, and yet I can't help but sympathise with him despite being a villain too. He has a love for his wife & child, but what about the others he leaves in his path?

I think this film & story is really influenced by works by Cormac McCarthy, and really it shows. Amoral, violent and frightening where the angels don't dare to tread.

It's actually very interesting, and our two main leads are excellent (not a description I'll freely admit I'd ever thought I'd use for Vince Vaughn). In many ways he was perfect for the role.

I'd say go for this film, but not on an empty stomach. Hard & edgy. Brutal is the easiest way to describe it.
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Anon (I) (2018)
5/10
ANON will find itself anonymous quite soon
12 May 2018
So this is probably my first time watching a film that is simultaneously availably on Satellite/Cable TV as well as cinema, but I'll leave out the merits or otherwise of this strategy. At least it will give some movies greater weight than if they were simply shoved straight to Cable TV (the new straight to video market).

We have actually a science fiction tale, as Clive Owen is a policemen in a near future world in which there is a kind-of uber-Google glass system in place for information, identification & tracking. Murders occur and Clive Owen is on the case of a lady who is someone who can erase events in the Google Glass system.

Clive Owen gives it weight, but really this film despite an interesting arc, is surprisingly boring. The settings etc are all wonderful, but I can't muster the interest to go into any further detail. You struggle to empathise with any of the characters and then there is the nauseating product placement at the start of the film which is like a baseball in the face. All that diminishes the film.

If you can catch this on free to air sometime, it can be passable, but personally I'd say give it a miss. Some positives, but overall too dull to bother with.
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Stone Cold (1991)
6/10
Empty headed action flick - But it's still a lot of fun...
28 April 2018
I just saw this in a retro showing, and it's really one of those films that you shouldn't enjoy. It came out at the tailend of the muscles action era which was at its height in the 80s.

We don't need to bother about the storyline. Our badass hero has not any acting skills and is out to bring down a biker gang from hell. Lots of explosions, lots of female exploitation and sexism, bad one liners and terrible dress sense, yet it's so much fun. It's so wrong but you can't help but go along for the ride.

As a throw back, it's fun and downright silly escapism. Granted I was finding the sexism too much at times, but apart from that it's a fun night's viewing. Give it a whirl.
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Rough Stuff (2017)
5/10
Green Aussie comedy action - recycled jokes but still fun
13 April 2018
This is one that I watched in passing lately, and it's a fun little filler for time.

Recycling various jokes from similar action adventure thrills into an environmental tinged movie, we have gold diggers, mysterious men, greedy capitalists, slackers and the obligatory poor little rich girl falling in love with the hunk with a heart!

So you can already figure out the storyline, so no need to go thru that.

We have here a low budget movie which is daft but fun enough. Enough jokes to keep you going despite nothing home to write home about. For the director and actors it's a good jumping point to something else (you got to begin somewhere) and in time they will look this with a smile.

As always, the film is stolen by the slackers/stoners, in this movie played by Sam Glissan ('Scraps'). He and his lady are the two best things here.

As it's derivative etc, it wasn't for me but i still went with it. Reminds me of those tv movies that used to come on on a Friday evening to fill in the time when i was a kid, and sometimes they were a lot of fun,

Look, I think you'll still go along with this. One for Saturday afternoon when nothing else is on, and you know what you'll leave with a smile.

Enjoy.
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4/10
Heist that steals its part from all the others....
4 April 2018
Simple based in actual true events, this actually takes quite a large pinch out salt in the its making, and the biggest theft is the steal from other movies.

We have here a ragtag collection of men brought together by a more charismatic leader to make the steal of the century. The story is simple enough, but it's the acting and characters that keep your interest. There are a few good scenes such as a standoff in a pub which was tense.

However, the storyline is poor, and quite frankly a poor derivative of various films it is trying to ape: Lock Stock, Layer Cake etc.

The ending itself is a carbon copy of another film, so blatant a steal that quite frankly I'm surprised if legal action has never been considered.

Anyhow, it's simply nothing special. Simple heist film, in one ear and out the other. Will pass the time but nothing more.
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Alena (I) (2015)
6/10
Dark secrets of a boarding school outcast - Fine enough
30 March 2018
Caught this film on TV recently, and to my surprise it was quite a fine film. It didn't match the demographics for what it was catching, but I think most will find this intriguing.

The main lead, Alena, is a brooding new student at a boarding school she clearly doesn't fit into. So surprise surprise, she is targeted by the school sport's team bullies, one who makes her life hell. The catch? Alena has a very dark secret from her past and it will obviously catch up with everyone who interferes.

We have here a mostly derivative storyline, which has been well trod beforehand, being a combination of Mean Girls, Carrie, Heathers and Death Note (Japanese manga).

However, it's more than the story. Our leads are excellent in this brooding tale and the camera work is excellent providing quite a dark frightening outlook on the first viewing.

I liked it. It was predictable, but that shouldn't take away from anything. For teenagers, they'll enjoy this slice of darkness. The rest should respect it at least.
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3/10
Poorly structured and adapted....
18 March 2018
This is a low budget movie, but as it has the luck of a few notable names in UK acting, then surely it should have been of far greater quality with what we are lumped with here.

Centring round a Private Detective out to find a lost prostitute, as ever there is more than meets the eye, but the storyline never seems to work. If anything there is too much ridiculous nonsense. Added to that is a woeful added back story with the reappearance on an old girlfriend and so on.

Most of the cast seems to have just faxed in their parts and Billie Piper appears here as 'Billie Piper' it seems, only there to raise some attention for the film but nothing else.

The terrorism, asian community, corruption, police cover up stuff, just doesn't seem to all gel together, and it's a mess.

Add in a director who is trying to make this all look high brow, ends up with a number of camera shots which end up taking you away from the film, and it really looks poor. Trying to be creative or showing action or cleverness, but really not at all.

I'd say you should just avoid this. It's short but you can spend your time watching better.
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Gomorra: La serie: Episode #3.12 (2017)
Season 3, Episode 12
7/10
Dark dasterdly show of the underworld at the coalface
17 March 2018
Gamorrah has grown in three seasons, and this finale caps another burgeoning storyline where we have seen Genny & Ciro trying to rebuild after the end of the Pietro Savastano era.

Yet even though Genny & Ciro should be enemies, they are their peers they can count as their friends. Ciro has been adopted by a young upcoming drugs gang as a kind of father figure to guide them. Up against them all are the established players in the 'system'.

We have the return of old favourites, and everyone is guilty with no real knowledge of who to trust.

Overshadowing it all is the guilt and remorse of Ciro who seems to be accepting that his life is coming to an end, but he's 'immortal' so is living forever in guilt his punishment?

Is Genny overly greedy and over confident which will lead to his demise? Or are we all underestimating him again? Possibly the most developed character in this show.

The Naples backdrop provides the grim truth of a wonderful city on its knees due to its crime Dons, but the writers are clever enough to ensure that the poor innocents are highlighted and all the criminals clearly shown for what they are.

This show keeps building. It's not perfect but it has strong writing, brilliantly acted by an incredible ensemble and beautifully filmed. Biggest surprise is how well this has continued despite the loss of the family head Don Pietro.

Really good stuff, currently the best series on TV (with only Westworld being a challenger). It isn't up there with the Sopranos, and possibly never will be. This and The Sopranos are two very different beasts. Possibly this owes more to The Wire, and in that it pays great homage.

Give it a try, and I can't wait till the next series.
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7/10
Dark & Nasty inter-splicing tale......
12 March 2018
You can't really fault anything with Jake Gayllenhaal in it. He takes chances, and you can't tell before you're into the film if he is playing the hero or anti-hero. He is a wonderful actor, and in this film he is supported by Michael Shannon who keeps showing a great presence he is in films.

Sadly the main lead is Amy Adams who I just don't warm too, and in this it's the same. She's just a very plain vanilla actress I find.

Shame as what we have in this film is a good film that splices different tales as cheated on women finds some escape and torment by a gruesome novel devoted to her by her ex-husband.

We go on a tour of emotions and fears, and one moment made me jump really out of my seat. It's a bonfire of the emotions for the rich yuppies in this movie, but it's also a dark & nasty movie. Kind of reminded me of 'Enemy', another Jake Gyllenhaal movie, due to the themes. Both psychological dark tales.

Again I'd recommend this. It's by no means perfect, but it's challenging and enjoyable. A few changes could have made it greater, but as it is it is still a damn fine movie.
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The Mummy (2017)
5/10
The Mummy unrwapped again but the real horror is Russell Crowe's accent...
25 February 2018
I'd like to begin talking about what this movie was like, but really the one abiding memory is that of Russell Crowe, just what was he on? Where did that changing accent come from? The faux British voice was cringing, off-putting and really overwhelmed much good in this film, it was the real horror in this movie. It was unintentionally comically bad, and surely must be up for Razzies!

Back to the movie, we have a reboot of which ends up with a Mission Impossible cum The Mummy (1990s) storyline. Actually the story is fine and follows standard as per the old 1990s series, and Tom Cruise is excellent as the lead (seems to improve with age). Anyhow, his co-stars don't help, with his lead lady really poor, couldn't see the point of her. Just take my word for it. Rachel Weiss had a great sassy character in her run as the lead lady in the franchise, why couldn't they have done the same here.

The best part is the dark nature of the movie, and you got to give credit for it. They want more than just the comedy feel as it was. Yet it's not wholly horror, and seems to get itself stuck in a no man's land between family-ish fair and hammer which doesn't sit well. They want a new dark universe of movies? This is more grey than black, but I hope they push for more.

It has had poor reviews, and I follow in that line as I struggled to go with the action and spills & thrills. Yet it isn't as bad as some make out. As a Saturday night film in the cinema or on the box, it's quite good, but a single viewing is sufficient. Nothing more to see. In fairness, the old Hollywood horror movies were rarely ever as spectacular as some seem to wish to remember.

It's overall okay for a viewing, but hopefully will help to lead to a new line of films in the genre. It needs it.
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Goldstone (2016)
8/10
As dark as Mystery Road.... Is this redemption?
24 February 2018
I found this film by accident as I didn't realise that they had made a sequel to the very intriguing and dark Mystery Road.

Our lead is sent on a case again in the middle of nowhere in Australia, but he is a wreck (not surprising when you look back on the first film). Anyhow, he ends up having to liaise with a local cop who is passive on all the ills he sees round him, and each is a foil for the other. There is mass corruption and life to some others is worthless, or local cop can end up in either direction, especially as he takes an emotional investment in the goings on of Human Trafficking of young Chinese women.

So what we have is a case of redemption? Will the local cop leave the world as it is, or challenge the immorality? Everyone else seems to just play along, but our lead says no! Will the local cop back him or not?

Like this film this is sumptuous, and the real star is the glorious cinematography, which contrasts the dark heart of the human soul. Yet we have hope in it all.

Our lead is as intriguing as ever, and his own failings are something that endear you to him. I'm very happy they made this film, as we continue the journey. There's a Mad Max element to the lead character & story (albeit no fantasy), but it's still violent and unforgiving.

Again, this is a case worth investigating, and I can't wait to the next film in this series. Very dark yet very beautiful to watch, there's a heart in this movie and you will find it. Deserves better than the ratings so far have given it credit for.
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Life (I) (2017)
4/10
Life is really just lifeless
17 February 2018
I'll keep this short. Really this film has on paper a lot to give it credit for. Good writers, actors and director, it should have easily have been a good enough film, and yet all we seem to have is a homage to the original Alien movie.

It does start well, and it will remind you of the first time you watched the original Alien movie. The tension, the story, the unknown and the scares, something that many have tried to ape and yet all miserably failed until this one.

However, despite that good point it just doesn't grab you. You know it's just Alien under another name, and so you could hardly keep any interest as Alien itself (let alone the clones) has been flogged to death in now 7-8 movies (and should be put to bed). This film tries hard, and despite the best efforts of all, sadly fails.

You do have some great space scenes and feels authentic to what being on a real spacestation would be like. Yet I didn't watch it for that. The actors shine in this, but little for them to develop. The ending was predictable enough which didn't help (but I won't spoil it).

I think there will be many who many find something in it to value to watch again, I wouldn't spend my time to do that. One to just file away, and leave be (just like with the Alien franchise I guess).
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7/10
Big Bash monsters - but it's different and works well
17 February 2018
Kong: Skull Island - More monster bashing - but a nice change in storyline.

Okay another big monster bashing movie, yet this one feels different. The action as always is centre stage, and CGI of the big monsters has little ever been done better. The Kong CGI was exceptionally good, and you actually felt a lot of empathy towards the character which was incredible instead of seeing it alone as some big graphic.

The film though is carried by our leads and the storyline. Tom Hiddleston & Samuel L Jackson are excellent as hero & villain respectively on the little island with big beasties. They are given a better story than usual with a change, and it worked very well. It kept me engrossed, and any rehash of the original King Kongs etc would simply have bored me despite the action on the screen.

However, there is no getting away that we've all seen too many big monster bashes in recent years. The Mavel & DC films are full of them, and as two of our leads here come from the Marvel stable, it feels like you are revising their old world. One sequence even reminded me of 300 with the slow motion hacking/slashing action scenes. That aside the rest was fine, you got to admire that they allowed it to be an adult aimed film rather than having a Disney-fied movie.

As a big budget monster movie, it was good, and deserves more credit than it seems to have got so far. It's a great stab and different to the rest. If you find it to watch, give it a go.
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The Room (2003)
3/10
This film was 'tearing me apart' but I still loved it (cult wise)
17 February 2018
I guess that unlike all the other reviews I've done on this site, and I've done plenty, this one should be judged on its own niche merits (or lack of them). The Room is an unintentional disaster that makes it a compounded mess of a film that you just can't help love to watch, which is what has created the cult following. It deserves the poor ratings but that doesn't reflect the genuine joy you will actually get from this film, a kind of schadenfreude.

To summarise, if you take out any film making textbook and list the key needs for any films, this doesn't fit the bill. The end result is like a trifle without the jelly, using custard not made with eggs, and using pepper instead of the topping sprinkles. It really is that strange. Everything that could be done wrong has been (without intention too).

The main aspect that astounds is how the crew were awarded $6m to make this tripe! The lead is vain as hell, being the writer/director/lead 'star' in this absurd movie, yet for all his faults he has some charisma (best admired or humoured with from afar). He can't act, direct or manage. The story has lots of lost strands, the actors aren't even actors it seems, the settings are minimal and woeful, and the whole thing has lots of laughable dialogue (and I've never laughed at love scenes in a film so much in my life!).

I watched this recently as part of a cult showing at cinema, with the spoon throwing and quote alongs, and I'd a great time. When you watch it for the first time, you can't but be carried along with the sheer audacity of what is in front of us.

Admittedly I'm not sure I'd want to do repeat viewings. The film is "tearing us apart", and is carried by the vanity and ineptitude of the lead who is pathetic but cult he is. He's a character and in this day of over managed productions, this is a crazy throwbacks.

In fairness, despite the tag, it isn't actually the worst film you'll ever see, there are big budget movies you'll see who are more deserving of that tag.

Simply, get some friends, some plastic spoons to throw about and sit & watch this film. It's unintentionally ridiculous fun.
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McMafia: Episode #1.8 (2018)
Season 1, Episode 8
6/10
Nothing spectacular
13 February 2018
You knew that this was going to be a low budget gangster series. Follows the now well worn rise of the reluctant gangster in the Godfather line, but this seems to ape others like Boardwalk Empire more so than that.

Anyhow this series goes between different centres of gangster influence centring on London, with the Russian mafia controlling the routes across the globe. Nothing seems to escape them it seems.

Alex is the London boy of Russian boys who has kept away but then finds himself locked in and the spiral downwards begins. He's not fit for that world, but it seems that he either plays along or he is finished.

A rich spoilt family and partner which he tries to protect is the jist of his reasoning, but maybe he likes the power and adventure he experiences. He finds himself out of his depth, but as it's TV, he comes out on to whilst others end up 6ft under.

The budget has been spent on teams flying over the globe, but not on good camera work, enjoyable action or acting. Most of the ensemble seem to paint by numbers here, and our lead is very wooden. His partner is woeful and she really should have been long cut, as a moral foil the actress was hopeless, and made her poor dialogue worse. Hopefully won't be back for the second series.

It's a mixed bag, and is fine as TV work. It's not one that will be long recalled. Enjoyable TV fodder and a bit above average there, but it's far from a classic and against other fare in the genre (Sopranos, Gomorrah, Boardwalk Empire etc) this isn't even worth comparing as it's so far behind.

Worth a viewing, but once is enough.
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Groundhog Day (1993)
8/10
Watch it again and again and again....
10 February 2018
I usually like to write a review straight after a movie (within a day) and post it, and sometimes I look back and think I should have waited longer. Thankfully for this one I didn't post straight away, as this film is one that when it sinks over the coming days really revels itself to be something so special.

Groundhog Day is one that needs little introduction, and I only finally watched it recently on the Feb 2nd anniversary, with the retro showings meaning that it was finally time to catch up with this old classic. We see our lead in a timeless loop, and as this is the deadpan Bill Murray, he is funny and heart breakingly emotive. What we see is our hero stuck in this loop over time (long time) go through the motions and find his true character.

Partnered by Andie McDowall, he is in love with her, but his awkwardness makes it difficult to create a connection with her. He loves her but can he make her love him?

This film is funny, it's beautiful and it's touching. The idea is a comedy & romance version of those old Twilight Zone episodes, and it could easily have gone so horribly wrong. But it didn't, and that is testament to the genius writing, directing and acting of all involved.

A true comedy classic, that I will watch again and again and again, and should have watched long before I just did.
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4/10
Could have been a game changer, but they opted not to....
4 February 2018
I've come to this late, as I seem to now with all comic book movie. I'm tired of them, and probably this was impacted by that.

The premise to this seeing the superheroes go head to head is really interesting, and a geek's fantasy come to life. However, that all seems to get lost soon after, but Captain America is the show stealer but not helped by the creators trying to ram everyone in possible like a big fancy dress party, in order to advertise their new films to come (Black Panther, new Spiderman etc).

Shame really, this could have been so much more. The comic book films are becoming tired and repetitive, despite the genuine efforts of some. There's a lot of life in them, but they need to divert a bit more. They aimed for that and then seemed to just divert back.

Disappointed.
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8/10
It's not all fun wanting to be a vampire
4 February 2018
This intriguing little film tries to merge various genres into one. What we have is the story of a young black boy living in a one parent household (actually it's his big brother as his guardian) who fantasises to help get him through the days in an otherwise hard life on a violent gang led estate. The dark side is that the boy has an obsession about vampires, which leads him to copy his 'heroes'.

The film references lots of vampire movies, and you can see the labels of the videos he watches to get him up to speed on the genre. However, as he begins to kill to ape his heroes, it is uncomfortable. His other escape turns out to be a lovely girl who moves into his building, and he is finding a life beyond his fantasies, but it begins to have an impact on that relationship.

This is a low budget but intriguing movie. The odd critic has tried to say it's a copy of Let The Right One In, but it's not. It's a different take on the idea and merges other ideas in.

It's thoughtful, emotional and very well acted by the young crew. It stood out, but sadly has gained little attention. Disappointed to see the reaction to it by some, but it's a nice simple gem. Give it a go. It's worth it.
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4/10
Civil War - Love the premise but the execution leaves me unsatisfied
21 January 2018
I guess I'm going against the grain on this one. I've just watched this one, and will admit that I'm no Marvel super-geek, but like everyone else I generally enjoy the tentpole movies. They have been hit and miss, but as they have carried on they have become so same-y, a change was needed. So using the basis of the Mark Millar penned graphic novel "Civil War"they have created this film.

It's different, it's an interesting and for the uber-comic geek, it helps to to play to their fantasy who is the greater/stronger superhero. Yet for all that, I'm feeling dissatisfied.

It's a long film watching our 'heroes' on each other's backs, yet the strory was strong enough and nor was the dialogue. Captain America is by far the star of the show, but every other superhero is also shoed in; this really is an Avengers movie without the title and suffers the same problem of overkill in characters.

I'm not biasd in DC v Marvel, but both have to step back and re-review what they are producing. This level will see the genre decline, but there is a lot of life in it all.

Hoping for better next time. A great premise and top marks for trying to take the genre in a different direction but really put more work into the story. Sometimes less is more.
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Deadpool (2016)
7/10
Badass 'superhero' with the motormouth... You'll like him
13 January 2018
I've finally got round to watching this after keep getting told just how good this film is by so many. After the slew of comic book films, which just feels relentless, this was a kick up the back side to the whole genre. Not since Dredd has there been a comic book film which is for adults instead of the repeititive fare we are getting elsewhere.

Deadpool is superhero who denies being one, and is totally unorthodox. Shunning all the morality of the standard hero, his name is known, he takes off his mask, he kills villians without remorse, he swears and break's the screens fourth wall. All with a cheeky and crude motormouth, this is a loveable rogue of an action hero.

The action is violent but I really liked it, and really makes fun of the whole genre with quips all the way through.

We have a bit of an origins story here to give us some background to the character, whom I never knew about before. He is simply the antithesis of the average comic book hero, and all the better for it here.

Give it a try if you are ready for a bout of adult humour & violent comic fare. I was, and I liked it. Admittedly the quips could get tiresome in the length of a movie, but our hero is still funny throughout.
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8/10
Fitting finale that wins the war for this movie
6 January 2018
You got to admire the producers and directors of this trilogy. They took a gamble in reimagining this franchise. Well loved and a sci-fi classic, we are made to rethink our own morality through the structure of a society of rebellious apes, and it could so easily have gone wrong. It hasn't, and this film caps a great trilogy, something that practically all other trilogy series have struggled or failed to do.

First and foremost, I'm a very big fan of the original film, and have watched it countless times. The sequels? Well, not as enamoured with the latter ones, the Tim Burton one we'll forget. This though is a great update, although yes it doesn't necessarily capture as many philosophical strands as the very original, but few if any other films have.

Back to this one, we have Andy Serkis in incredible form as Caesar, giving an award winning performance, likely to be overlooked due to CGI etc (and snobbery). He is ably supported by his group, and a new addition "bad ape" who steals the scenes he is in. Woody Harrelson is the bad guy but plays it great without cliches, and you really get to understand his character and that of others. There's very much more going on than you realise, but it all comes together and it works.

Caesar is out for revenge, battling human emotions which have been magnified by his own consciousness. He struggles and we follow his path but empathy is very much there is when tested.

It really is a deep movie, it's also beautifully filmed and I would very much recommend this. There is likely to be a further trilogy, and I look forward to it.

This one finely caps off a great reimagining for me. Go ape for it!
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7/10
Visceral and violent manga adaption... Congrats to Miike on his move milestone
29 December 2017
Miike Takashi is a prolific director, but his specialism has always been the macabre and left-field cult movies. He loves the outsider, the violent and bloody heroes and even the villains in society. To celebrate his 100th film (you read that right!) he has her taken to adapt a violent period manga comic about a hired hand out to help get revenge for a young girl against the group who killed her parents.

What we have is another blood thirsty and violent saga, and despite the old shogun settings, as with all of Miike's work it's really modern in terms of various characters and style. The sword fights are brutal and stylized and unforgiving.

As this is a manga adaption, there is more than meets the eye, our lead is immortal with a curious way to keep him as such, and as he keeps on getting chopped, sliced and ripped, it's a good thing for him. The central core really is his pseudo-relationship with the young girl, and it works. Our lead fighter is really in the mould of the old western's man with no name, it's that kind of style.

The story and film really are in debt to various others that are recognisable: Leon, Ninja Scroll, Macbeth (yes!), 13 Assassins and OldBoy. Seems quite a lot but it works.

The only problem is that it can tire at times on the screen, the story seems to meander after an incredible start, but that is partly as it is trying to put as much of the manga story on the screen as possible. It's clear when you watch it that's it's an adaption, esp with the number of characters and tales thrown in.

The acting is great but some of the characters are clearly just manga characters. Our lead villain with his androgynous look is a homage to a lead villain in Ninja Scroll, and really only a modern movie character. Other villains are also super-villains with their style, and what they lack in realism they make up with in action.

Anyhow, I enjoyed this, the key is the relationship between the hired hand the girl, and it is wonderful to watch. Like Leon, it is the lasting legacy.

I love various of his films and there are greater ones, like Dead or Alive or 13 Assassins, but this is one he can be proud of. Not all will go with it, but those into something different and violent should give it a go, it's worth it. You'll love it for various aspects but especially for the characters whom I hope to see in some format again.
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