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1/10
Batman V Superman? V is for Vapid... Let me count the ways...
27 March 2016
Warning: Spoilers
If DC sought to be unlike Marvel in how to do an ensemble view, then they succeeded beyond their wildest nightmares. However, let's look at why and how it failed...

They tried cramming 40 years of comics into 20 minutes, this would have been better off as expanded into 3 segments - call them Trinity, but this means Continuity which DC is clearly a stranger to?

Lex Luthor - when Gene Hackman played him against Chris Reeve it was as a clown, and to a lesser extent with Kevin Spacey in the semi- worthy Brandon Routh revival. But Jesse Eisenberg as the child of an immigrant? As mentioned in a viral video, he did seem more of The Riddler a la Jim Carrey than Anthony LaPaglia's resolute yet twistedly noble villain in the animated All Star Superman. At no point in the picture did they give flesh to why he hated Bruce Wayne or Kal-El. The reason given at the end for his bald head was inadequate and implied he was about to get the Death Penalty, not just lounge about like Jeffrey Dahmer.

In the mid-80s, Elliott S! Maggin wrote 2 profound and ahead of their time treatises on the Kryptonian - the novels "Man Of Tomorrow" and "Miracle Monday" where he explored the Lex psychose in massive detail, and it was not just a throwaway point Supes made me lose my hair, in fact, that was the least of it... Luthor was doing a once in a Lifetime experiment to create Life without gametes and zygotes with his DNA as the lynchpin of the the descendant, but Superman destroyed it and Lex could not recreate the experiment and thus his friendship for the Kryptonian translated to enmity.

Then there was the Kryptonian ship which housed General Zod, it stated to Eisenberg it was 37% functional and when Lex was about to create Doomsday, the computer at first declined on the basis of the Kryptonian council, even if it knew (at 37% capacity mind you) that this arbiter was now extinct, could it not suggest a logic loop that it cannot break was that contravention of such genetics required a new decision or amendment from the same council - much like archaic Earth Programming a la Windows? Jesse should stick to "Now You See Me"!

How can Superman successfully fly holding a Kryptonite spear? How can he recover from Batman's Kryptonite dust so quickly without using the sun for recovery (clearly borrowed from Frank Miller's "The Dark Knight Returns"), there are too many inconsistencies.

Henry Cavill as Superman is competent, the portrayal of Lois Lane was Meh and never said how or why Supes loved her so, Fishburne as Perry White was a typical Editor/Publisher and Gal Godot as Wonder Woman was probably the best thing for for this sorry mess - she fought Doomsday better than Bats or Kal-El.

Ben Affleck was better and more Batman as Bruce Wayne than when he wore the bat-suit, his fight to save Martha Kent was brutal and again violated the original comics code of murder, yet when placed in reality can be understood if not ratified... It also ignored Batman's early shunning of firearms precisely for the way his parents died.

Luckily I won a ticket via my cell provider, I'd be very annoyed if I wasted my money for this dreck, please wait for Marvel's Civil War which demonstrates the art of plotting, continuity and character depth and motivation in the same time frame as a regular movie - maybe DC should pay Marvel to show them how?
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The Two of Us (2014)
9/10
Profound Harsh yet Poetic View of Domestic Abuse and its Unexpected Results
25 October 2015
Warning: Spoilers
This is an amazing film of incredible poignancy far beyond the tender years of the cast and crew of this watershed production! If Shakespeare was African, this would have been his first story - a mother who for the sake of peace abandons her own children; a street thief who punishes himself for what he saw as a child with his own sister's unrecalled tragedy as an infant and unrequited love leading to bitter denouement no one will ever forget...

There is much in South African culture which echoes in both Barbadian and Caribbean lifestyles - when an abused woman endures cruelty for financial support or how Government officials resort to child prostitutes for favours and even their taxis resemble the Route Taxis in Bridgetown.

The cinematography and slices of Township life as either hard or beautiful as a switch between scenes and sub-plots is also very elegant. None of the film cast and crew are over 30 yet have insights towards the blessed and damned of Human Nature which far belies their youth.

Look for them on Indie Go-Go to help them on their travels to see if the short feature can be placed in Oscars and Golden Globes, they are travelling the world and it is not cheap...
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Iron Man 3 (2013)
9/10
Ironclad Trilogy - Robert Downey Jr steels the Show!
7 May 2013
Warning: Spoilers
This is the first film I ever watched in 3D and I am glad to learn it is no longer one red and one blue lens as that made me close to seasick! I am glad my initiation for 3D was with this movie, I could not ask for better! Fanboys will be irked, and most of them are, while I have both read the original series (when comics used be 20 cents) and watched all three (was not too in love with Iron Man 2), I still appreciated all the effort which was poured into Iron man 3 (IM3) - what Fanboys need to accept is while the Mandarin had a bearing in 1960's USA? Mandarin as he used to be does not make sense in a post-9/11 21st Century.

China is a Superpower in its own right and USA is not in a Cold or Warm war with Beijing, Mandarin was great for the 60's, how do you bring him into the 21st Century? You cannot, North Korea does not have a Mandarin and would not make any sense culturally; Captain America's nemesis from the 70's - Yellow Claw is another antiquated relic and even Shang Chi could fall that way except he is designed to break away from that mould, as the son of Fu Manchu who seeks to do right and not what suits a Middle Kingdom from World War 2...

Mickey Rourke as the Russianised Whiplash was more relevant and yet how Marvel treated the premise in Iron Man 2 for me seemed very cheapened when one considers Gorbachev & Perestroika.

Iron Man 3 was fine, if a book & film are the same then it's boring, it's the adaptation which makes for cleverness or a bomb - "Outland" with Sean Connery is only case where movie was better than the book for me until Iron Man 3.

That is why it is so necessary to throw most of the comic books you know out the window, then Robert Downey Jr in Iron Man 3 was brilliant, it is an excellent capper to a grand trilogy which was part of a larger plan to realise the making of the Avengers.

So making Mandarin as a drugged up patsy for the real villain was understandable, when you consider this is another type of commentary on the War Against Terror, which still channels Fahrenheit 911 & Swordfish but in a different twist which still has mettle.

The whole film is about transformations. Killian started as a greasy long haired geek who can barely walk; Tony Stark began the trilogy as a womanising alcoholic and concluded in IM3 as an Uber-MacGyver who got anxiety attacks because he learned to be in love and care for his staff and even appreciate his "tools" of Jarvis & Dummy. Tony was forced to learn that it's not the armour which carries him through, it is his mind which makes it all pull together.

There are those who watch this from the outside and want to know why Mark 42 armour was so flimsy - when you have a prototype are you placing all the bells & whistles first or making sure the basic functions are coordinated? Using Star Trek: Next Generation the TV Series as a corollary, the NCC 1701-D had fewer weapons than the original Enterprise although it was a better designed ship.

If you knew nothing of the comics this would be great in its own right, this is to draw Non Readers & Fanboys simultaneously. Killian's transformation was the reverse of Mandarin, and his vendetta seemed realistic for me (Guy Pearce's acting on par with Robert Downey Jr when you recall Pearce has been 3 heroes - Time Machine, Lockdown & Count Of Monte Cristo, yet the only other bad guy was when he appeared in Adam Sandler's Bedtime Stories)? If a Comic Book movie follows slavishly to what was printed before, then where is the thrill or surprise in watching?

France did it with an Asterix film (where he met Cleopatra), but what they did was to add not subtract from the book... Marvel used the same treatment of creating an Alternative Universe with Spider-Man, Wolverine and the Xmen and all had satisfying Box Office results! IM3 sews up the development of a petulant rich-kid into a responsible technocrat acknowledging his actions have global repercussions, with Tony Stark's chest now fully healed this allows for superior armour which can fight Thanos or whosoever in Avengers 2, without having to divert as a pacemaker, which is an evolution not peculiar to the films but on par with the comics too! Ironic? ;)
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In Time (2011)
8/10
Robin Hood meets Gattaca via Logan's Run: Timberlake can ACT, make time to view "In Time"!
11 January 2012
Warning: Spoilers
In spite of the obvious derivatives, this film is truly a joy to watch unfold. Justin Timberlake as Will Salas in a future where Time is indeed Money! The special effects to have "watches" embedded as a dermal implant was very telling throughout the duration...

You never really think of Time until it is no longer available as a useful commodity for one's self, like how I always felt I'd resolve my differences with my father but he died before I could truly patch things up.

When the movie took old clichés and brought them to Life in this new context, it was a stark wake up call; "DON'T WASTE MY TIME" or "THAT KIND OF TIME CAN GET YOU KILLED" or the fact everyone is punctual, did you see anyone willingly 'Kill Time'?

The revolution (a la "Equilibrium") started when Will lost his mother, played by the beautiful Olivia Wilde and having received a gift of extra time - he decides to see how the Rich live in New Greenwich (GMT, eh?) and plays for time (literally) in Poker.

The man he beats, he eventually seizes his daughter (AMANDA SEYFRIED) as hostage and one of the fastest cases of Stockholm Syndrome evolves before your very eyes - but then cinema can warp time...

Chasing them like a relentless Valjean of "Les Miserables" is another veteran Chrononaut, hailing from 'Inception' which looks at time elapsing in dreams, is Cillian Murphy as part of the Law Enforcement as what else? A Timekeeper!

While not rich like New Greenwich, nevertheless by keeping the system as is the Timekeeper can live as long as the Rich do, fifty 25-year cycles and more - eventually this method of sustaining his duration will save Timberlake's and Seyfried's characters.

The acting and the sub-plots are intricately meshed, so while using many tried and tested themes, nevertheless the mixture creates a new perspective which makes you truly sit back and think!

Decades ago, the poet Shelley considered time in a poem giving tribute to a wind-worn statue dissolving slowly in the desert... It is equally appropriate here;-

"I met a traveler from an antique land/ Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone/ Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,/ Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,/ And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,/ Tell that its sculptor well those passions read/ Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,/ The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;/ And on the pedestal these words appear:/ "My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:/ Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"/ Nothing beside remains. Round the decay/ Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare/ The lone and level sands stretch far away."
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True Blood (2008–2014)
10/10
Fangs for the Memory - A look at Season 3, Ep's. 1 to 4 so far...
21 July 2010
Warning: Spoilers
If you watch True Blood & also read Charlaine Harris' "Southern Vampire" series accept they're two vastly different entities yet crafted in the same universe, once you know the twists in the tale, then you're better able to sink your teeth into it.

The third season of "True Blood" it examines the dynamics of Eric & Sookie without Bill.

The ex-Civil War veteran has been abducted by Russell Edgington – the King of Mississippi, a a 3,000 year old gay vampire (Played by Ed O'Hare) who has werewolves as his servants.

Bill flees from the Weres who are draining him before they even reach the King of Mississippi, he makes them crash their car then he finds an old lady and uses a portion of her blood to revive himself.

The King arrives when the Weres and Bill were about to have a showdown in a forest, Edgington is enraged on learning that Bill was Drained and kills one of the pack as an example to the others.

One of Edgington's retinue turns out to be Bill's maker, Lorena, who is still very much in love with Bill in her own twisted way.

Meanwhile, Sookie is going out of her mind with grief – in Season 2′s cliffhanger, she was about to agree to marry Bill when he disappeared. Sookie tries to use official channels to locate Bill. But none of Sheriff Dearborn's team are willing to assist in locating Bill Compton, as far as they're concerned whether he's dead or abandoned Sookie – it's to everyone's benefit. Desperate, she heads for Fangtasia in Shreveport.

Pam makes a half-hearted attempt in stopping Sookie from discovering Eric sampling his staff's goods in the basement. Unabashed at being caught in flagrante delicto, Eric struts, in all his bare Scandinavian glory, right up to the Southern belle who believes the 1,000 year old Viking had a hand in Bill's disappearance which he flatly denies.

In the course of their chat, Sookie then suspects Lorena as responsible for the missing Mr Compton, which Eric sees as more likely. He vows to start a probe. This even as the Magister, who originally started the Inquisition, is now trying to locate who is the vampire draining themselves to sell 'V'

Tara is still grieving over the loss of "Eggs" and in an attempted suicide is rescued by Lafayette, who on condition for not carrying Tara to hospital, then introduces her to his mother (as done by Alfre Woodard). It is a form of shock therapy he hopes will stop Tara from trying again.

Lafayette has his own troubles, Pam is pressuring him to sell of the remaining vials by the end of the day. When Lafayette heads home, he finds Eric waiting with a new car as an incentive for Lafayette to sell the balance of the drug.

Back in Mississippi, Bill decides to renounce his allegiance to the Queen of Louisiana and swear fealty to Edgington. When Lorena decides to gloat at Bill, it unleashes a chain of events where he seemingly tries to rape and kill her – instead she revels in the pain of having her head twisted as bill ravishes her vagina without even pulling aside his clothes or hers!

Meanwhile, Jason Stackhouse is an alcoholic wreck over the accidental killing which Bellefleur hides, he orders Jason to keep womanising ("Conscience Off, Dick On & everything's gonna be all right!" The detective bellows at Sookie's brother) so people do not suspect anything amiss Jason tries to start a threesome with two college students but he keeps seeing gunshot wounds in their foreheads, which deflates the evening.

Jason, Sookie's brother, decides to blackmail Andy with the "Eggs" incident, he's bullying Andy to make him a deputy as Sheriff Dearborn retired due to all the murders in Bon Temps.

Hoyt's girlfriend, baby vamp Jessica, has her own issues, she killed a human by mistake – she is still mainly ignorant of vampire ways especially as Bill is not around to guide her. She seeks Pam's advice and decides to rent a chainsaw to help dispose of the corpse, and when she goes down in the cellar, nothing's there?

A mysterious vampire called Franklin Mott found Jessica's mistake and uses it as leverage to learn from the baby vamp what he needed to learn about Bill. Mott stalks Tara after having sex with her when he helped her beat rednecks who sought to desecrate "Eggs"' memory one night outside of Merlotte's. He follows Tara home and glamors her into letting him in and he tries to locate Sookie.

Merlotte's favorite waitress is now with a Were who owes Eric certain favors – Alcide Herveaux – who carries Sookie to the local Were bar to try and see if anyone has thoughts or memories of Bill's whereabouts. It appears Alcide's former girlfriend Debbie Pelt left him for packleader Cooter and most of the Weres are part of a secret cult going for ages from Were generation to generation.

At Fangtasia, Eric recalls a memory of when he and Godric (his maker) dressed like Nazis in World War II to find these Weres. Here & now - the Magister raids Fangtasia and discovers 'V' and arrests Pam, but she fingers Bill Compton as the one who stockpiled it, Eric vows to hunt the Southerner down.

This as Bill seeks to officially break ties with Sookie in the hopes she'll stay away. In order to prove himself worthy to Edgington, he locates a ripe victim for Lorena, Russell - and eventually Bill himself - to feast on
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Iron Man 2 (2010)
7/10
Iron Man 2 lacks Mettle - Original whips Sequel by far
8 May 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Shrek 2, Spider-Man 2 and Superman 2 are a few examples where the return was better then the debut. Sorry to say Iron Man 2 is just a bridge to prepare folk for both Avengers and Thor from Marvel's line-up.

Stan Lee made his usual cameo as one of the well-wishers when Tony Stark was exiting from his year-long Expo. However, the real scene stealer was Scarlett Johanssen as Natasha Romanov/Natalie Rushman as the Black Widow she kicked everyone's butt including Director Jon Favreau as 'Happy' Hogan, Stark's bodyguard & coach (sic).

Mickey Rourke was made to appear highly intelligent as a physicist/hacker gone way wrong - Ivan Vanko son of a Howard Stark collaborator. If you're a comics purist you know that "Whiplash" (never called so in the picture) was an American by name of Scarlotti.

Don Cheadle as James "Rhodey" Rhodes/War Machine was a poor man's Terence Howard. The interaction of not Batman and Robin so much as the interaction of Robert Downey's excellent "Sherlock Holmes" where he sparred verbally and even physically with Jude Law as Dr Watson.

Marvel, wishing to appear Politically Correct, have transformed Colonel Nick Fury (once portrayed by Caucasian David Hassellhoff, admittedly God knows why he was picked) into Afro-American Samuel L. Jackson, who's role as Director of S*H*I*E*L*D seems now to be a sop for the fact that both Cheadle and Howard were second fiddles to Robert Downey Jr's title role.

Some highpoints included when Tony Stark though he was dying and got blasted on booze and was treating Champagne bottles like clay skeets; the initial War Machine and Iron Man conflict in Stark's Malibu Mansion and of course, what happens after the credits at the very end of the film - Odin forbid me revealing!

While an acceptable li'l pot-boiler, the reality is you're better off watching the first Iron Man twice, since the thrill in the current flick will rust out fast!
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9/10
Downey is smooth - fabric of tapestry weaved in this Baker Street epic is far from Irregular
2 January 2010
Although I have "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels" on DVD I have never watched a full Guy Ritchie event until now... I plan to make up for lost time ASAP! I am familiar with his ironic method of sending up a person based on their own foibles - as he did in his BMW feature "Star" with then spouse Madonna. Clive Owen in that case was the Watson, while Madonna was Holmes on a bad day, or bad decade maybe...

The ride was just as brisk in this totally original Sherlock Holmes venture, from when he plotted his pugilistic damage a la CSI or Sherlock/Downey Jr reverse engineering the solution to a felony in a manner reminiscent of the film based on a Philip K. Dick tale,"Paycheck." There was a massive hue and cry against the production from the beginning, where is his Deerstalker hat? What? No Meerschaum pipe? Those were Basil Rathbone's, dearie, this Sherlock is way closer to what was in the original stories of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's interpretation of Dr George Bell, the real Sherlock Holmes.

When noted Holmes fan club, Baker Street Irregulars - invitation only members, praised the film then this revelation tended to shut up most detractors.

Robert Downey Jr (RDJ) as Holmes portrayed all of Holmes' eccentricities to perfection, he's even better here than in Iron Man. While Jude Law as a smart, efficient Dr Watson, the ex-soldier and capable of his own deductions was a marvelous foil to Holmes' self-worship! Mark Strong as the demonic Blackwood was a great villain, he already had his chops blooded in such a capacity as 'Septimus' in the cinematic version of Neil Gaiman's "Stardust" and he easily could play a member of the Malfoys in Harry Potter! Eddie Marsan shows versatility from an American accented would-be bank robber in "Hancock" to the Cockney-slurred Inspector Lestrade who obviously had a love-hate admiration for the eternal detective.

Rachel McAdams as Sherlock's love-interest is a far cry from her usual sappy flicks such as "The Time Traveler's Wife" with Eric Bana or in the tear-jerker "The Notebook" which featured James Garner.

Guy Ritchie's direction while at a blistering pace, never left you wondering if you missed anything nor did it speed by so fast you did not feel a part of the ride. Details on details, yet grittiness and sepia tones appeared not only appropriate but to highlight rather than detract from the overall presentation... Is it worth the price of admission? Elementary!
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Watchmen (2009)
9/10
All Along - The Watchmen Tower Over Realities
30 July 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Any film which has two far less one song from Leonard Cohen is bound to be cool. "First We Take Manhattan" and "Hallelujah"... I only read the first six books of the Watchmen in my teens, so I knew enough that for my part Zack Snyder did a fair job of almost slavishly following the book except to the endgame as far as I know. Even so, he created a rightful alternate which should keep fans wanting more...

After all, what will happen with NiteOwl II and Miss Jupiter (Silk Spectre II)?? I didn't see any condoms and therefore is it that far off to imagine a next generation? I am sure even Leonard Cohen would have a great snicker as to how his "Hallelujah" would be used - as I am sure like Prince, both see God and sex as closely related or different millings along the edge of the same coin.

Dr Manhattan spoke of creating life in another galaxy what will this do to that Universe? Were there aliens already there or is that version like Asimov and Campbell's Universe? Stark and human-solo until Dr Manhattan's proposed project? In a weird and very real sense, Ozymandias brought sanity to a world long since bereft of it... The Comedian and Rorshach were fully aware of it and had different operating mechanisms for it. Rorshach did not cope, nor accept - he just had no illusions that the world and himself were insane, in fact insanity gave him lucidity.

Edward Blake, never denied his brutal nature and thrived on it and made it his tool to survive when metahumans were outlawed. It is intriguing how since this series in 1986 that everyone who's sought to conceptualise genuine ultra-normals in a present day situation have all chosen an entropic outcome with political overtones...

"Kingdom Come" also DC, the novels "Those Who Walk In Darkness" and "What Fire Cannot Burn" from John Ridley - even Pixar/Disney's "Incredibles" follows that trend as well as Michael Rappaport while his parking attendant character is on Experimental Meds and thinks he's super-powered.

By far, Rorshach was the most captivating character in this film and probably the most genuine hero. He refused to surrender his ideals even in the face of annihilation and thus proved the true definition of heroics. He also had the best line in the movie and it summed up his ethos too; "I'm not locked in here with you, you're locked in here with ME!" Manhattan was not necessarily remote, his mechanism to handle the resultant ripples from his re-entry was to adopt stereotypy but was forced to snap out of it when confronted with another unexpected hero - Miss Jupiter, who rose above her semi-tragic childhood unlike Rorshach who embraced his dark young days and used it as fuel to drive him onwards.

Hollis Mason - the original NiteOwl and Miss Jupiter's mom the first Silk Spectre, the two surviving MinuteMen both tried coping with the New Wave in pretty much the same way - reliving the past and reinforced with booze.

The direction was great, Matt Frewer as a devolving ex-villain was sad yet humorous, Billy Crudup is a far cry from 2003's "Big Fish," and there was credible acting all around except maybe for Ozymandias who was a little too hammy yet maybe that was needed to expose his delusions? It will be remarkable if there's a sequel, and would lead to a next conundrum... Who watches out for those who watch the Watchmen?
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Royal Pains (2009–2016)
9/10
Royal Pains - Great Prescription for New Medical TV Series
21 June 2009
Warning: Spoilers
I saw the first episode and wondered how they're going to keep the medical MacGyver thing going... Then I was pleasantly shown that's wrong, this is a humbler version of House - where Hank Lawson does detective work between Divya - his assistant who seems to have some strained relations with her family, yet to be shown - and his brother Evan.

Mark Feuerstein's character of Hank Lawson, is truly a Dr Robin Hood... He is paid handsomely by Hamptons' mentally stunted yet obscenely rich (exceptions being old-man yet teenager Tucker - whose great-grandfather invented the blender - and the subtly lethal Boris, who gave Hank his chance to debut) and at the same time he looks after the blue-collar crowd of the same Hamptons...

Like the fisherman or dog-walker too poor for medical attention yet should have just the same care.

One has to wonder what will happen with his gold-digging ex-fiancée who made it clear she was only interested in Hank when he was the darling of a New York hospital, how will this gel with the budding romance now emerging with Hampton Hospital Administrator Jill Casey? Even considering true reality, can Hank Lawson not sue for wrongful dismissal at his old job? He was trying to save lives on his day off, one survived and the other did not... Not because Hank was negligent, far from, but just due to the vagaries of chance.

Like House, you learn new medical oddities - how ticks have neuro-toxins - but unlike House, Hank has a conscience. This interplays well with Jill's desire to get a Free Clinic rolling; Divya reconciling herself between family and a career and Hank's bother Evan seeing an opportunity to do better than before with this new accessory for the rich... A concierge doctor... One thing for sure, the USA network always make sure to develop series that have different angles on previously typical shows! Be it witness protection, rogue spies or in this case, an unfairly defrocked doctor.
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10/10
Magnifique - Royal Rumble gets nose out of joint! Asterix rocks/menhirs/obelisks - uh - rules!
7 May 2009
Warning: Spoilers
It is the first time I can recall where an adaptation did exactly like the book... In fact, only jokes were added to the story rather than content blended or removed!

Such as the Egyptian slave Cellularis who had difficulty transmitting, um, communicating, LOL! Or when Tidivinnus was played like a quasi-Sith Lord and got annoyed when the Roman Empire endured a blow, the general ordered for the Empire to..? Ah, watch the movie folks!

I can easily believe that this picture was one of the most expensive in French Cinema History and for my part it was worth it, Depardieux was excellent as the Roman bashing and Boar chomping Obelix. Clavier playing the little indomitable Gaul was perfect and a far cry from his days as the bumbling squire of Jean Reno in "Just Visiting."

The fight-scene between Artifis and Edifis was hilarious and was nice to see the Matrix theme was not borrowed to despoil an otherwise perfect battle!

Redbeard the pirate and his crew almost stole the picture, from scuttling their own ship to being the engine for Otis' (Edifis' Assistant) invention used at the very end.

I understand there's Asterix and the Olympics with many of the same team back, by Toutatis, I plan to view that too!
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7/10
Slice and Dice - Logan & Gambit: Longshot?
1 May 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Cramming 1845 to 1960 in 20 minutes cheated viewers into an otherwise potentially rewarding sci-fi yarn from Marvel Comics.

Who was Sabretooth & Logan's father? Why did Sabretooth change from Thor with fangs in 1st X-Men of 2001 to a crewcutted Wolverine in 2009? Logan's loose ends were tied up better but not much... The whole premise of the picture could have been stretched to 3 films easily and do at same time like "Pirates Of The C'bean" to simplify and lessen drag of expectations.

If this was done more quickly, I doubt so many would have been disappointed. The first picture could expand more on who their father was (he obviously did not have the healing factor) and why there was a conflict with what turned out to be his step-father, what made Wolverine sick as a child and then sprout bone claws in stress.

A next picture could delve into Civil War, WW 1 and 2 then Vietnam which led to his joining up with Deadpool, Wraith and Blob, that expansion could be a teaser for last 30 minutes of current flick.

It's like - "We know you're waiting but since we have a deadline this is what you'll get." The movie lacked Julienning for my part, but I guess they were avoiding an "R" rating, Gambit is cool but too brief to really create a desire for more... Zero was far more intriguing as was Deadpool and Wraith. But then they had longer exposure? If you're an action junkie it's a Happy Meal, but don't expect even a TV Dinner and that's the tooth, uh, truth!
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8/10
Bedtime Stories - Adam Sandler wakes up from "Click" crap
19 April 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Was surprised to learn this movie was Disney, but then again it made perfect sense - just was accustomed to Adam's "Happy Madison" productions, Sandler plays Skeeter - son of a late motel specialist, now reduced to being a handyman at the beck and call of Nottingham...

A British germ-freak played to a UK-crispy Colonel Sanders perfection by Richard Griffiths, who was the villainous Dursley in the Harry Potter series. Another Brit was the seemingly ubiquitous Russell Brand who possessed a strange form of narcolepsy, is all I'll say...

Sandler's usual cast of characters were not there, except for Rob Schneider in a double appearance - in Sandler's tales of sleepy fancy and in "reality" as a potential benefactor... Or is he?

Sandler is forced to babysit his nephew and niece who he hasn't seen in years, Courtenay Cox - as their overly politically correct and excessively vegan mother - is away on a job interview, and eventually Adam recalls how his father spun wild tales for him to drift into Dreamland... But something odd happens?

What originally started as an allegory for positive visualisation in his own life bears a creepy relation to the previous night's yarn. Suddenly, he can't wait to look after his young charges, spoiling them with mass media and meat, he regales another tall tale... It's only the next day he realises it's his nephew and niece who direct the punchline! Trying to get an 8 or 6 year old to be logical is like making the sun rise in the west, and odd results with unexpected quirks abound!

Two unexpected yet perfect villains are Sandler's foils;- First, ex-Xena Lucy Lawless, no stranger to Broadway ("Rizzo" in Grease), plays an evil Front Desk agent at the hotel which should really be Sandler's. Then, Guy Pearce (redo of "Time Machine" of HG Wells and remake of "Count Of Monte Christo") as the sycophantic Hotel Manager who has the owner's daughter as his fiancée (she's portrayed as a Paris Hilton wannabe), but really he's conniving with Lawless...

The film has an ending which hints there could be more tales yet to be spun, at the expense of poor Adam Sandler - and you know how wild kids' imaginations are? A marvelous adventure without cussing or excessive violence, and shows the power of positive reinforcement through responsible parenting!
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9/10
How does being a hero sandwich with Real Life as opposed to Reel Life?
19 December 2008
Warning: Spoilers
They came, dreaming to be stars - never feeling they'd end up living nightmares as sexless prostitutes.

Homeless Hulk, reduced to celebrating earning a part as a villain's sidekick in a film that few will see and less will remember; venerating where he slept in an alley-way and yet in a quest for the almighty dollar blacks out in 130 degree heat...

Batman - more of a joke, a villain in his own mind? Claims to have Steven Segal-like capabilities yet when in in a real martial arts class his inadequacies are magnified to a humiliating extent; angry at no tips one day he finally gets the fame he wants but not in the way he expected and reduced to security work hoping to get recognised for auditioning a role...

Wonder Woman - she leaves a small town in Tennessee from a father who's a preacher only to attend a Baptist church in Hollywood with her soon-to-be estranged husband; wanting to be accepted for serious roles and earning only bimbo parts she keeps the wolf from the door posing as the mighty Amazon for cheap Asians while in the background Hispanic hot-dog vendors drool over her...

Superman - the most noble yet most tragic of them all... Is he really the son of Sandy Dennis? He says yes, but her family is unsure. Christopher Dennis' fixation on Kal-El: Last Son Of Krypton is more than obsession it is tunnel-vision as opposed to Heat rays or X-ray vision.

He is the real story of this documentary that is a real life drama, eventually falling for a psychology student who observes him, he uses his tips to make his tiny dwelling a Fortress of Devotion to all that is Superman.

On the streets, he strives ceaselessly to be the hero he yearns to emulate - no smoking, avoid cussing, etc. Even the Hollywood police admire how Christopher not only upholds the rules but makes sure others follow the correct path. But at home he is a chain-smoking, drink milk from the bottle, average horny devil! (On the DVD you can see him get aroused over his wife in the extra features, he shows it off by sprawling his legs - no less) These are but a few of the many intriguing characters who butt and abound the world-famous Grauman's Chinese Theatre, all hoping the begging they do is merely a sideline to the big ticket for Glory and not a permanent "job" in obscurity - after all as Stan Lee says in the same flick... How can you be famous if you're wearing a mask?
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A Winter Tale (2007)
8/10
Gritty Street Life of Inner T-dot (Toronto): West Indies View on Drugs in Canada
17 October 2008
Warning: Spoilers
This is a gripping account of the senseless loss of an 8 year old child on Toronto's inner-city slums peopled in a big chunk by Caribbean immigrants.

One man, Gene, played by Stargate's Peter Williams - decides to host a community therapy session for the black males of his community. It seems to be great resistance at first, but rather than make the men come to him - he went to them at their favorite hangout, a Caribbean takeaway restaurant.

This same eatery is run by the grandparents of the little boy who was caught in the crossfire of a drug deal gone bad, the janitor is a limping Jamaican called Clip, who must use medication to stay sane. As you watch the whole film, you realise all of the characters are not just pure good and evil - Villains have redeeming aspects and heroes or heroines have flaws.

A young male caught between right and wrong is DX or Dexter, whose mother used to be the girlfriend of Gene - what is not stated but is always floating is not that DX is Gene's son, but that Gene could have been DX's dad, and as such, he feels responsible for the youth. DX himself is a young father, caught in the lies and connivings of young drug-lord Lloyd, who helps "to run" the Caribbean eatery.

The phantom-parenting of Dexter/DX and the fact he still cares for DX's mother is a conundrum in the view that Gene is married to a white woman (Who does not wash her hands after using the bathroom, nasty! All the Caribbean in the audience gasped at the omission of soap) and they have two daughters...

Despite the rage of Gene's wife at the community therapy, it eventually uncovers what really happened with the death of little Andrew, the 8 year old boy and it leads to a sad yet not totally unexpected conclusion.

Director of "A Winter Tale", Frances Anne Solomon, is English-born of Trinidad parents, she took a whole decade to get this film off the ground! Financing came mainly from Telefilm Canada and Chum TV, rather than direct scripting she would create situations where the actors would develop the dialogue - this was reinforced with constant research of gang violence in T-Dot as Toronto is known.

She called it a low-budget film - 800-thousand Canadian, so with little money she took her time to develop the plot and engineer the dialogue.

The final scene where Lloyd gets his just desserts is apparently based on a true story where a gang member had a dispute with another leader got on a bike, dealt with it and then pedalled off to a funeral to be a pall bearer! This picture was a great ensemble piece - some may say there are too many loose ends in the film, but for me it seemed just the same way that real life is! A gripping and eye-opening introduction to another side of Canada...
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Taken (I) (2008)
9/10
Life of Bryan - Neeson as Eastwood in Luc Besson tale of Albanian Human Trafficking
17 October 2008
Luc Besson, magnifique, what can I say, hein? He wrote Fifth Element with Bruce Willis set in the far future and then he also did The Messenger with Mila Jovovich set in the past looking at Joan Of Arc; this time Luc handles Human Trafficking and removing certain stereotypes some may have of Liam Neeson, of "Love Actually" and the first "Darkman" film.

Neeson is Bryan, a former CIA operative who so loved his daughter he went AWOL for her b'day showed his devotion to her despite being punished with an Antarctic assignment.

He chooses retirement in order to be near Kim, his daughter for her b'day despite her Mother resisting Bryan's attention. This aloofness no doubt is to prove her devotion for the new rich husband in her gold-digging life played to scintillation by ex-"X-Men" Famke Jenssen.

When Kim wished to go to Paris, Bryan's old war-horse alarms tingled and he ignored them at the pressure of his former spouse to show his daughter he was not uptight, big mistake! Luckily, Bryan made sure Kim carried a roaming mobile which was essential when she got abducted by Albanian smugglers - all he had was the MP3 of their voices and he kept replaying to learn their voices and other clues.

Neeson's calmness yet underscored with a leonine ferocity far blew away any previous notions of his playing a college professor type! The technology used in the film to track down the abductors was amazing, a perfect counterpoint to the "Interrogation Methods" used by Bryan on Marko, the Albanian ringleader in human trafficking...

Two knitting needles, jumper cables and house current - oh yes! A gag too, brrrr! This is definitely a story to make you think twice about letting your kids go gallivanting off by themselves since much of this new/old crime - also called "White Slavery" has been happening for decades! Make sure teens do not blather all their travel details to complete strangers, OK?
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6/10
Derailed by obsession - Another Vinnie Jones bad-guy production: Midnight Meat Train
17 October 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Bradley Cooper as an obsessed shutterbug chasing down perennial bad-guy Vinnie Jones in a story that may remind some of a variation on the TV-series "Harvest Home"...

Bradley, who I best recall as the reporter from "Alias", plays Leon - a photographer looking for the perfect shot in his exhibition curated by Brooke Shields (Now with her age showing - a hard jawline and raven's talons at her eyes), which is how he turns amateur detective tracking Jones as Mahogany the Butcher, played by the former UK soccer-star.

This is despite the pleas of his girlfriend - Maya, you can see where he is getting in too deep - when he grabs a chunk of his best buddy Jurgis' steak and dabbing at the gravy despite having witnessed the carnage from the night before! While Maya was smart to have stolen Mahogany's train schedules, she was not smart enough to realise that the cop she ran to wore a pendant which had the same design as Mahogany's ring! Can you say; CONSPIRACY? At the end, where you see a most jarring denouement, it all takes a new development where the "butchers" are supposed to be humanity's last defense against pre-historic creatures who are either aliens, demons or two-legged dinosaurs disturbed from slumber by the subway's tunnels probing their lairs! Piers Anthony and a Western DC comic I read years ago implied if a person killed Death, then they would in turn automatically replace that feared Incarnate - I say that in reference to the titanic clash between Leon and Mahogany where things get haemoglobically surrealistic, and apart from shades of "Harvest Home", also reminds of the Phantom and the same Piers Anthony book...

Steps were taken to ensure Leon did not speak but he can still write and he still seems to have a shred of Humanity in him, as shown by the snapshot of himself and Maya before he got derailed by his obsession!
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10/10
Swan Song of Heath Ledger - Dark Clown could teach Pennywise new jokes
26 August 2008
Warning: Spoilers
How can you fight an evil that is purely psychotic for sheer randomness? This film could easily be a commentary on USA's War Against Terror, and how the hunters are not so different from the prey...

If it was not said Heath Ledger was playing the Joker in all of his satanic glory then I would not have known who it was at all! The man finds the nastiest way to make sure he has no dividends to share for a successful heist and makes the robbery look like part of an innocent field trip; he uses a pencil in ways most of us would never even dream of in our wildest nightmares...

Two new catchphrases have now evolved from the Joker - "Why So Serious?" and "Let's put a smile on that face!" How can you catch a man like that? Fetch another man who knows no boundaries nor jurisdictions, has immense funds to source his projects, his conscience is so passionate he appears cruel yet he wants to save lives - Batman, the avenging hero who walks in shadow, the Dark Knight! Christian Bale as the vigilante saviour who seeks to right the Joker's wrongs is an excellent reflection of how too far right is left in the War Against Terror. I feel for his voice when he grated it as Batman and used a normal register as Bruce Wayne.

Seeing Aaron Eckhart play a Two-Face who did not care for his looks was a refreshing change for once, I did like that departure from the comics. Having him play a character that was an unmasked version of the Bat is rather intriguing, pity more could not have been played off of that aspect. I was annoyed that they chose in the end to kill off Two-Face/Harvey Dent, apart from the fact he did not die in the comics, he was also a thorn in Batman's conscience as the Dark Knight felt responsible for Harvey's recreation into the coin-flipping redresser of injustices via corruption.

Gordon's rise to Commissioner was understandable yet a bit rapid, Gary Oldman playing a man far younger than he really is shows his talent for acting.

Well-choreographed acting from a talented ensemble cast, near seamless directing from Christopher Nolan, the film is a bit long (nearly 3 hours) yet very much worth it - hard to believe they had even more planned for the late Heath ledger in this same flick... His replacement has a deep dark clown-nose to refill, if possible. In fact, can there be any more without him?
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Hancock (2008)
8/10
FUI: Hancock - Flying Under The Influnce, OR; I wish I can recall why I love you?
5 August 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Damn, this is a movie you have to watch many times to appreciate in full... At first go, Charlize Theron merely seems like a slut - until you discover her (very lengthy) history later on in the film.

She is also literally the perfect woman for Hancock due to his strength and other powers, but rather than see him bashed for appearing like a black man looking for "Jungle Fever," she tried to make a new life for herself hoping he could carry on...

From humid Sumer in an age before Christ, to the Civil War, to the roaring 20's - he saves her as she is punished for literally having "Brother"-ly love. She hopes when she walks away he will get the peace he's never known.

In abandoning him she creates the modern-day beneficial monstrosity known as "Hancock," he feels he is a misbegotten creature when no-one looks for him after recovering from the last attack 80 years ago. When Theron's character sees Will Smith (this from a perspective of a 2nd viewing) it is not lust - exactly - more, it is seeing the hero she knew devolved into an alcoholic meta-human and wondering, "Why"?? There are some benefits to this version of the immortal invulnerable - when he advises Justin Bateman's son how to handle a bully or even deal with the French bully himself! Justin Bateman as the excellent yet underrated PR exec was a subtle "fifth business" whose role was key in saving Hancock at the end - but the classic was when he showed Will Smith a YouTube clip of a botched whale rescue and Will's character says he has no recollection, yet Bateman not missing a beat, says "Greenpeace does"! Of course another highspot is when the convicts mistakenly thought Hancock either refused to use, or even lost, his powers while in jail... But I am trying to understand why they used the theme from "Sanford & Son" as the punchline for a threat he always made in the picture, but eventually made it real - although it seemed appropriate.

Where I saw the plot have a thin spot is that - why did the inmates break out to SHOOT Hancock if they knew he's bullet-proof? The part when Hancock nearly returned to being an alcoholic featured a useful tip of emergency when the Sikh liquor-seller claimed 2 bottles of whiskey cost $91.10 - and then he used his finger to reveal the real clue...

But even though he could not remember Theron, he knew there was a bond and his love for her was strong enough to make him let her go for both of their sakes - even though she is the only person capable of withstanding his perpetual horniness (he would kill a regular woman, think about it)! Can this movie do a prequel or sequel? I doubt, maybe a DVD could hold a Director's Cut and patch any plot gaps...
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Stardust (2007)
8/10
Stardust - where few things are as they seem...
5 August 2008
Warning: Spoilers
I am still stunned at the magnificence and the effort put into what appears to be a clever transposition of "Ella Enchanted" and "The Golden Compass"! The old man who guarded Stormhold from England is a lot more spry than he looks! For me what appears to be relatively unknowns as the young romantic leads and established "Hollywood Royalty" in the roles of Mentor and Villainess! I read the FAQ and I am glad I saw the movie first, I doubt the book would have caught my spirit as easily as the film - despite the fact I think Neil Gaiman is a talented author.

I love the plot twists along the way, but my favourite was Captain Shakespeare, who - although not in the book, nevertheless seemed a member of the Neil Gaiman universe. The ship catching lightning was splendid! Victoria got justice in the end when the rival revealed his true colours! Michelle Pfeiffer's part was very insidiously macabre and reminiscent of Anjelica Huston's role in "Witches" based on Roald Dahl's novel.

Charlie Cox and Claire Danes have interesting careers ahead of them,I hope they get far!
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8/10
The long awaited clash of Jet Li vs. Jacky Chan - Myth Or Legend?
1 June 2008
Warning: Spoilers
The Forbidden Kingdom could have been a film broken down into either two or three parts a la "LOTR: Lord Of The Rings" or Harry Potter.

The rush of showing Jason/Angarano as a kung-fu aficionado unfaired by bullies and then magically arriving in ancient China could have been fleshed out much better - showing an ongoing confrontation with the punks that led to worshipping martial arts flicks as a secret fantasy of whipping the delinquents.

The journey to the Forbidden Kingdom by Jason was oversimplified, it just seemed to me there could have been more to the explanation shown in the film. The movie never fully explored the concept that if you were hurt there or even killed then you mimic exactly what happened where you come from... How did Chan's drunken Immortal know that? The only proof was towards the end when a wound on Jason's cheek stayed when he returned to Boston, but you have to be looking for needles in haystacks all the time! Then the Monkey King, while having a firm basis from "Journey of the West" which looked at Hanuman extensively - it did not truly expand on why the MK was a rude, but fun, little bum (the film has Li shaking his butt at the Jade Commander, in reality the MK would dropped his pants) nor show the full extent of his powers. I am still wondering if it should not have been Chan and not Jet Li as Hanuman the Monkey King? The eventual clash between Jet Li and Jacky Chan while amazing could have been astounding - the sparring was far too brief and inconclusive, thus indicating the advantage of using separate features to widen the perspective of this magnificent tableau.

Those are my nit-picks, let's look at the plot - it's a kind of stretch but fun... Here's a kid who knows NOTHING about an artform which he totally adores! The scenery and wardrobe are on par with "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon"; the villains are indelibly cruel that you enjoy their rewards by the conclusion of this mini-epic! The Jade Warlord's handling of his qi or chi as an energy weapon seemed a little like the video game version of "Street Fighter" where the characters Ryu and Ken could harness power into similar balls of destruction.

The Bride with White Hair's weapon of her own tresses reminded me of Medusa in Marvel Comics' Inhumans, where like Ni Chang, Medusa's hair was an extra hand or grip as such.

The resolution at the end of the picture was taking very long to develop, what should have been slow was fast and what was nearly tedious should have been concise - but the comeuppance of Lupo, the ringleader of the bullies, was satisfying nevertheless (How loaded was the deck? Calling the head of the creeps a variation on "wolf", as in the villainous sense)! By making the movie so tightly knit has essentially prevented an adequate sequel from really happening, if Liongate looked to stretch their rich material - then instead of a robe we could have had a tapestry!
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Iron Man (2008)
9/10
Ironing out the issue of Downey as Hero, the stark reality is? He rocks!
18 May 2008
After nearly a year of self-imposed exile (still think I'm right about Norbit's casting), the Bajan cine-phile is back!

The translation from Vietnam of the 60's to Afghanistan in the 21st century is an almost flawless juxtaposition with Stark's character remaining initially a devil-may-care genius and played with sardonic perfection by Robert Downey Jr!

Robert actually has a deliberate shift from playboy to hero when he asks Pepper a dangerous favour, he makes a passionate explanation why he needs the favour and you realise the character of Stark is not as Devil-May-Care as before...

Casting the guy who put soul into "Heart & Souls," or making Ally McBeal far more interesting than the anorexic twerp of Callista Flockhart is top notch move - his real life trials and tribulations make him easy to accommodate Stark's tortured addictions only hinted in for the first chapter... I hope in reality Robert stays clean (For me his only flop was "The Singing Detective"), us '65-ers have to stick together!

Terence Howard's interpretation of James Rhodes -aka- "Rhodey" is more of a shuck & jive sidekick than was played in the comics, but by the end of the picture, his character was more what we came to know over the years.

Aspects of the original Iron Man and the Bob Layton version came through loud & clear as well as the Ultimates Marvel incarnation, it was easy to forgive the lack of "Happy" Hogan...

Jeff Bridges as Obadiah Stane/Iron Monger was actually plotted better than the comics, his presence in the dead-tree version simply as a foil for Tony was sudden as I recall - but here as the virtual 2nd father of Tony made huge sense. Rather than a villain, I think he feels rejected for saving a company from dropping out of the top 5 in the Fortune 500!

Yet Tony is guilty from seeing in Kandahar and elsewhere what his weapons artwork has done to disrupt others' lives, rather than perpetuate it and having been at the end of his own medicine - he decides to make amends and thus Iron Man's purpose!

The technology displayed such as the mini-guns in his shoulders or the telemetry on glass is magnificent, it can be hilarious when he tried repulsor boots at ten per cent power, instead of using one per cent in the 1st place, LOL!

If Stark no longer does weapons, then he will have to be cutting edge in medicine or other similar applications like mobile or laptop technologies, which was hinted by placing a child version of himself near a young Bill Gates. This, despite the use of Apple desktops and laptops throughout the whole film!

I hope that Pepper and Tony do NOT get involved, the Moneypenny/Bond frisson is much better for the flow of the project, especially if it goes beyond 2010!

The movie has many fantastic one-liners like "Good Dog," addressed to Butterfingers, the semi-dopey robot trying to help save Tony's life; or?

(Trying to create a miniature Arc Reactor like Tony's pacemaker, Stane hires a battery of scientists and is clearly frustrated when no results are forthcoming...) STANE: What do you mean it's impossible? (Angrily points to huge machine) Stark built a tiny version of this out of scrap metal in a cave, for crying out loud! SCIENTIST: Sir, I am not Tony Stark!

The flight sequences in the movie make "Top Gun" look like "Top Dud" and have you on the edge of your seat! The movie also does a good job in laying the groundwork for Avengers, Captain America, S*H*I*E*L*D and even interaction with other Marvel Universe people. As always, Stan Lee's cameo was a guffaw-maker - this time compared with Hugh Hefner!

This film is not only worth its weight in GOLD but IRON too!
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The Seniors (1978)
7/10
Legitimised Bordello & Hygienic Nympho = Sophomore Hilarity
29 May 2007
Warning: Spoilers
What a pile of idiocy, this is obviously inspired by National Lampoon's "Animal House" but even though it is not a classic as that late-John Belushi event was, this still gets under your ribs for a few giggles! A very young Dennis Quaid railing against celibacy and comparing it to offering a placebo for a drug addict was quite original even for a film in the late 70's!

The idea of a nymphomaniac who loves to cook and clean is still so ridiculous as to offer an inadvertent guffaw especially as she has sex so many times with a college pre-grad that he kicks the bucket!

Not just that he died, it was a gradual dissipation - first he was on a walking stick, then crutches then a wheelchair and finally...

All the while Quaid and company have this Phantom Research Corporation which analyses sex and the American College Co-Ed Girl, which is really no more than glorified prostitution!

When one of the guys in the group accuses themselves of being pimps the dude with the slick voice says they're PHILOSOPHERS! Holy Cow!

They actually turn a profit and have to invest, declare taxes and so on - which was nearly their downfall, but watch the DVD to learn if they get out with their skins intact!
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8/10
Third Time is nearly Charming's - but Shrek returns the King!
28 May 2007
Warning: Spoilers
I have a direct connection to the movie, I had the privilege of interviewing John Cleese in late December 2004, he had just completed his part for the movie and was resting here in Barbados! Obviously, the digital animation takes longer than the voicing for the project! It is so sad therefore to see what a small role he played in Shrek The Third, but it was hilarious for a prolonged death scene - only Dreamworks can pull that off and make you smirk! This movie finds Shrek having the duties of royalty foisted on him, when all he wants to do is be in his swamp with Fiona - yet even if he heads back there, he finds another surprise... Fatherhood! On an aside to the real world and not part of Cinema yet related - why do those who don't want kids have them out of their ears and those who want a brood have to wait so long? If Puss Y-Boots is not careful, he'll be a daddy too many times over! Loved his farewell scene with all of the female cats, what a viejo salsito Tomas or saucy old tom; "You I do not know, but would not mind to get to know" Donkey is easily a very happy dad with five fire-breathing baby-burros! So the trio go and look for Arthur, the replacement for Shrek as King... This character is voiced by Justin Timberlake (ironic, as he is the "ex" of Fiona's voice, Cameron Diaz) and it seems he is a dorky teen! The Worcestershire College he attends (pronounced "Wuss-ter" BTW) is a mix between Beverley Hills 90210 and Gilmore Girls, Shrek thought Lancelot as the handsome successful knight was the dude he's looking for - but unfortunately, Arthur just finished playing a quintain, or jousting dummy, for the same Lancelot! At first Artie, as he likes to be called, looks at Kingship as giving orders and being pampered until Donkey inadvertently reveals the true responsibility of ruling a land.

It takes his former teacher Mr Merlin to try and get him to realise his true calling and even what Shrek must acknowledge as being a parent! Meanwhile, Charming - as sneaky a cad as ever thanks to Rupert Everett - is plotting with the more modern fairy tale characters to pull a coup on Far Far Away. Hook from James Barrie plus the Grimm Brothers' Rumpelstiltskin and the talking trees which feature in many tales...

This I hope is a portent that other genres can be explored like Anansi from the Caribbean (A telephone operator or pizza-baker?) or Paul Bunyan from the US (Reduced to replacing lightbulbs in streetlamps?) or even the steeplejack from Britain (Is he a portable chimney weep?)! This means there can be at least another two Shrek pics if you include Fiona's pregnancy! Eventually after being nearly jailed thanks to Rapunzel, Fiona with the other Fairy Tale Sistas (Snow White, Cinderella, Fiona's Mom the Queen as delivered by Dame Julie Andrews plus Sleeping Beauty) battle the Palace Guards! Snow White via song controls animals; Cinderella knocks the spit out of guards with her glass slippers but the classic is Sleeping Beauty who literally FALLS asleep and knocks henchmen out like ninepins! Does Shrek get back in time? Does Artie accept that with Great Power Comes Great Responsibility? What about Fiona? Is it a boy or girl or both? Here's a silly hint - remember the digital animated feature's title...
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10/10
Oy, Me Hearty - Check the flick or walk the plank, Yo Ho Ho!
28 May 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Loved it, it was faster paced than its two predecessors... The amount of cut-throatedness against each other was amazing - I was wondering how it could be resolved in the 168 minutes allotted it! Johnny Depp as a schizophrenic was very intriguing, all of that rum finally left a warped delirium tremens indeed, yet he was very cunning right to the end in spite of his befuddlement when in solitary purgatory.

Keith Richards appearing as his father after being promised ever since was a bit anti-climactic, but welcome nevertheless! This film portrayed Orlando Bloom in his most macho, masculine, butch and male role ever yet! Now I can understand why wmn would drool over his sorry skinny butt! It was unexpected that Disney allowed his rather strong character to be murdered, albeit survive as the next Davy Jones...

Kiera Knightley as a sex symbol I find difficult to believe for myself - but she was very good as evolving into what was more pirate than even the rest of the pirates or even Chow Yun Fat's Singapore Captain! I hope there can be a prequel expanding Chow Yun Fat's character, it was too brief in this film to have any significant dimension.

The strained love affair between her character and Will Turner resembled that of the Greek myth between Orpheus and Eurydice.

However, although they say there are no more POTC's, there are still unanswered questions - what happened to Sparrow's quest for Ponce de Leon's Agua De Vida? Will Barbossa stop Jack from reaching Florida? Were Calypso and Bill Nighy's un-squidded human sailor be reunited in pure passion? What of the Black Pearl, whose is it really? Or does it even belong to another?
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Spider-Man 3 (2007)
4/10
Spider-Man 3? Sandbagged! Arachnomania Beyond Belief, Only Venomous disappointment
18 May 2007
Warning: Spoilers
How do I hate thee? Let me spin the ways... It does not help since I read the original comics, this film is trying to cram 30 years of Spidey's history into less than 2 hours! Sandman never was involved in Uncle Ben's death, Venom did not die plus Eddie Brock was way older and muscular, the suit was a gift from a cosmic character called the Beyonder in an Event called Secret Wars.

X-Men did not follow comics totally either but they stayed within original characters permutations - I mean come on! Harry Osborn becomes GOOD? Please, he was insane and on drugs! The issue was a classic as the use of pills made the Comics Code Of Authority refuse to put on their stamp at the time... Gwen Stacy and Capt Stacy her dad was okay, the characterisation for the cop was better using the farmer from Babe. Brock or Venom, whose name I never heard called in the picture was eventually a good guy albeit rough Bounty Hunter with The Punisher.

The acting was the worst I'd ever seen from Toby MacGuire, the Venom guy or even Harry seemed better as Parker! I am so sorry I watched!
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