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The Battery (2012)
The Battery - Takes the Zombie genre to new territory.
I had the pleasure of seeing this film at the Dead by Dawn festival in Edinburgh, it won the audience choice award and deservedly so because it was the highlight of the weekend.
The Battery tells the story of Mickey and Ben as they trek across New England during the zombie apocalypse, but rather than being just another run of the mill man vs the undead story this film explores the relationship between two very different people as they try to come to terms with the world they now find themselves in. The lead roles of Mickey and Ben are brilliantly portrayed by Cronheim and Gardner.
Mickey hides under his over sized headphones trying to shut out both the harsh world that has sprung up around him and his traveling companion and battery mate Ben who in contrast to Mickey is a brash outspoken character who seems to relish the situation the two now find themselves in, but the two strike up a bond that for a while seems to help them get through solitude of the deserted landscape they are trekking across. The cinematography is excellent, with the scenery of the film almost becoming a character itself.
Another high point (of which there are many) is the excellent soundtrack, starting with a brilliant rendition of the old time tune "Ain't no Grave" followed by the song "Anthem for the Already Defeated" from the group Rock Central Plaza.
There is some great humour in the film as well as gut wrenching tragedy. One scene involving a "Fresh Slut Zombie" in particular had the audience howling with laughter. And even though it may have been produced on a small budget the zombie kills are great and the gore is very well done. Another stand out scene ramps up the tension so high everyone who was watching it when I saw it were visibly shifting in there seats waiting for the pay off. And this film does just that, it pays off. A fantastic debut from a team I hope we see a hell of a lot more from. I urge you to see this movie. In an age when Hollywood is churning out remakes and terrible adaptations of excellent books, Independent Horror is a beacon that continues to shine, and this film right here is a definite bright spot. I look forward to owning the Blu ray of this. 9/10
The Victim (2011)
The Victim - A Nice Piece of Grindhouse Cinema in a world of Remakes and sequels
I had the Pleasure of Seeing this Film last Weekend at the Dublin Horrorthon. The Stars Michael Biehn and Jennifer Blanc-Biehn were on hand to introduce the film and also for a brilliant Q&A afterwards.
The Victim was one of the Highlights of the five day festival. And considering that Biehn and Co shot this film in 12 days and that he put the script together in three weeks, this is nicely polished movie with great performances all round. Biehn plays a Loner called Kyle , he lives the hermit life away from folk, keeping much to himself, that is until Annie turns up one night , she is on the run from two corrupt cops who have murdered her best friend, and has to turn to Kyle for protection and help.
The film moves along at a brisk pace, a game of cat and mouse being played between Kyle and Annie and the two cops , Harrison and Cooger. The film has numerous flashback scenes that builds the relationship of the two female characters and also leads up to the murder. the film is well edited and never lets up. the fight scenes are realistic and not over the top , and there is even some nice black comedy in there for good measure. This is a good solid movie and well worth your time. Here is hoping that Michael and Jennifer's production company do well with this and the apparent sequel they have planned gets made.
The Wicker Tree (2011)
The Wicker Tree - Horror or Comedy ? .. Fails at both I'm afraid
I saw this movie last night , it was shown as part of the annual Dublin Horrorthon here in Ireland. I have seen the original movie starring Christopher Lee and Edward Woodward, and this film is being promoted as the official sequel to that film.
Now Lee does show up in this film , in a very very short flash back sequence but that is as far as his involvement in this movie goes. But obviously the film makers wish to cash in on the gravitas his name brings and have him as top billing. Apart from this brief injection of class and excellence this film is just utter drivel. I don't know what route the director wanted to originally take with this piece, but 80% plays out like its trying to be a comedy and it fails miserably , then when the eventual climax comes it give horror a go and then fails at that as well.
The two main characters are a pair of young Americans from Texas, The Girl is a Britney Spearseque character who has shunned her dirty pop image of singing about sex in pick up trucks and is now on her Jesus Christ around the world tour. She is joined on her adventure by her Cowboy Fiancé (who wears the ugliest cowboy hat in the history of cowboy hats). These are two of the Dumbest characters that have ever graced the cinema screen. The first 3/4s of the film is pretty much a comedy of errors about these two out of towners trying to convert a small band of "heathens" who live in the village of Tressock. Which we are informed by on screen titles and I'm not kidding it actually says the following "Scotland - On the Borders of England" , Really ? wow, cheers for that geography lesson.
The plot meanders along unconvincingly till we reach the pointless and laughable climax. The credits roll and everyone in the cinema is asking the same thing, "What the hell did we just watch?" . This is a badly acted , and ill conceived movie. I would rather sit through Nicholas Cage's version of the Wicker Man twice over and countless Head boxes filled with bees than watch this drivel again. avoid like the plague.
An Excellent Journey and a Beautiful Film - But please stop comparing it to District 9 because it isn't anything like it
Monsters is an amazing piece of work. A beautifully shot slice of cinema from start to finish. If this movie really did only cost 15,000 dollars then I take my hat off to the director and all involved. I loved it from start to finish.
When I was leaving the cinema I was talking to a few people about it and one of them said that they had also really enjoyed it but they had been told by someone that it would be more like District 9, and after browsing a few forums and also a few threads here I've noticed that a few folk are also labeling it a district 9 type movie, This is not the case, and if people keep doing this it while lead to this film being poorly received when it gets a wide release.
Monsters tells the story of a photographer who is charged with the the job of escorting his Bosses daughter from Mexico through an Alien infected zone in order to reach the safety of a walled in United States. Things don't go according to plan and after a tequila fueled night out , the photographer beds a local girl who ends up stealing their passports and money. So instead of being able to travel safely from Mexico to the U.S. via the ferry (after paying 5000 for a ticket) , they have to travel through the Alien occupied infected zone , first by pick up truck, then by river boat then finally on foot.
The two main actors in this film are excellent, but the real star is the scenery and how beautifully the director captures it. The river boat trip has some excellent scenes , all of which are actual locations and have not been altered in post production.
When you do go to see this movie , and I highly recommend that you do, do not expect to see Aliens vs man in epic gun battles, there are a few scenes of fighting in the movie, and you do get to see the aliens in all their glory during the final scene, but this movie is not another District 9, it stands by itself as a different type of Alien invasion movie. This movie is more about the Journey and self discovery of the two leads and the lands they have to travel through in order to get home. And it is Excellent. Go See it.
Didn't know if it was a revenge movie or Torture movie..either way it wasn't good
I manage to catch this at the annual Horrorthon here in Dublin this year. Everyone was talking about it as the film to see out of all that were being shown, In my humble opinion it wasn't
. The first half of the film plays out like a poor imitation of Switchblade Romance, then in the second half it takes a turn towards the Saw and Hostel type of movies with a montage of physical abuse and torture inflicted on the main character culminating with her having all of her skin cut off apart from her face in order for her to reach some higher level of consciousness i.e. Martyrdom . It just couldn't decide what it wanted to be. There were elements of numerous different films all jumbled together to create this one. It wasn't original or thought provoking, it was just colour by numbers plagiarism. Everything from the grudge (japanese original) to as I've already mentioned Switchblade romance and Hostel.
Dexter: It's Alive! (2007)
Dexter season 2......The Dark passenger returns
This has been bouncing around the internet since mid July apparently , I caught it online yesterday all I can say is...WOW. The second season kicks straight in thirty nine days after the events of season 1. There is a brief re-cap, then we fall right into Dexter's dark world for a brand new tale of serial killing and general mayhem.
Dexter has a problem Doakes is tracking his every move and he cant quench his thirst for the kill. He is on edge and slowly going nuts. Debra has moved in with Dex as she is afraid to be alone after her boyfriend turned out to be a serial killer and she is slowly grating on Dexters nerves. This sets up what looks like another amazing season of a great series. There is stuff happening with everyone in this episode from Rita (Dexter's girlfriend) to some hilarious moments with Angel Batista and his new spiritual awakening courtesy of an Oprah rerun
Dexter struggles with saying goodbye to the brother he was briefly re-united with at the end of season 1 This leads to some nice scenes with Dexter milling over what he has done and leads to him actually letting one of his prey go. The end of the episode is just brilliant and this was just the first episode!. Im so looking forward to watching this season unfold. This show deserves to be seen by everyone its amazing great story great acting just pure 10/10 entertainment
The Thief and the Cobbler (1993)
original movie was absolutely amazing
I am one of the privileged view to have seen the original version of this movie . I studied animation in college and there was a copy of this movie uncut on video in the colleges animation library. It is a masterpiece of film. I can only imagine the amount of work that went into this film and to think Disney bastardised it and made Aladdin.
Im not surprised at this though Disney have done this with many a movie in the past. Princess Mononoke being prime example they stopped this from being released for a very long time. John Lassiter is to thank for GIbli studios now having the ability to release their own movies in the states without having to rely on the thieving gits that are Disney.
Jisatsu sâkuru (2001)
This movie starts off with a bang and then fizzles into a mess of interesting ideas with terrible execution. The one thing that ruined this movie was the fact that there wasn't really a central character to follow. It does seem Like that Ryo Ishibashi's Character Detective Kuroda is the main character but after he tops himself the little plot there is just vanishes into thin air.
Don't get me wrong there is an interesting theme to this movie its just the final way its put across that I did not like. I mean what the hell was with the Dr Frankenfurther rip off called "Genesis" who thought he was japans answer to Charles Manson and the two girls he kidnaps and eventually kills were again more ideas that were never really fully explained.
Overall I like the idea of the film but hated the final result.
Casino Royale (2006)
the name's Bland , James Bland
The movie starts with such a bang which doesn't let up then its straight into the famous card game (now changed to Texas hold for the up to date audience), But unfortunately as soon as The love interest gets kidnapped and you get past the torture scene (OUCH!). It becomes a horrible little love story with a crap ending tacked on....an ending that could have happened at three other points in the movie.
Don't get me wrong Craig is brilliant in the role but its like they switched writers half way through and ran out of money the second half of the movie is just utter crap. As far as the Bad guy is concerned he starts off being this ruthless bad guy seems really evil...right up until he takes a whiff of his inhaler during the poker game and he becomes a wheezing whining cry baby who is not even finished off by bond but some small part character while bond stares on with his swollen man parts hanging out.
If you really want to see it wait till DVD then rent it believe me you ain't missing much on the big screen. As far as all the hype about the New Bond movie is concerned , The was this amount of hype around Goldeneye and now when people look at it the movie looks very dated and im sure this will be the same for Casino.
What happened to the story?
I brought my eight year old son to see this movie at the weekend, Now I'm sorry to say that neither him nor myself had read the books (Eragon, Eldest). What we saw entertained us to a certain point so much so that my son asked could we go to the local book store and buy the two books. Which of course we did I got two box sets of the first two books of this trilogy.
And I have to say compared to the books the film is a terrible excuse for an adaption.My son began to read eldest (figuring he had just seen the story of the first book on the big screen) and was confused straight away by the absence of numerous characters from the book and the fact the ending in the film is COMPLETELY DIFFERENT! than that of the book. So he went back and started to read Eragon and continued to read it most of the weekend . Myself I finished it yesterday and was blown away by a great book full of wondrous characters, Which I believe the film greatly lacked (Im hoping for a directors cut of some sort to pop up on DVD in about 6 months with maybe a glimpse of some of the original plot lines put back in). I am now reading Eldest and i find it hard to believe that if a sequel is made it will have very little to do with its literary counter-part.
Hollywood needs to learn to take into consideration the army of fans this story has out there and the fact that this movie only resembles the books in basic plot points and vague reflections of its original characters (Jeremy Irons is the exception to this i was brilliant in my opinion).Even my eight year old son was was baffled why characters were left out of the tale and why the story its self needed to be changed after he had finished reading about ten chapters he turned to me and asked "Why didn't the man who made Lord of the Rings make this Daddy ?...then it would have been so much better"....out of the mouths of babes.
X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)
Xmen 3 what the hell happened
Let me start by saying that I am a big fan of the whole x-men story be it comics or movies. The previous two X-men films were great movies, the x-men world was translated brilliantly by Singer and his team. What I want to know is what the hell happened that made this movie so awful when the studio had two solid films like xmen 1 AND 2 to use as reference on how it should have been done. This movie seems to be an attempt to wipe any decent work that has been done by Bryan Singer and Tom De Santo on the previous tow movies.
The Characters in this film had only a slight resemblance "character wise" to the previous 2 movies they don't seem to be invested in these parts as much as they used to there is no chemistry in this movie between the teams like there was in the first and second xmen movies. Wolverine didn't have any of his usual lone wolf characteristics that he always has (Thats what Wolverine is a loner who finds it difficult to work in a team he will always be this way thats why the audience like him a lose cannon willing to do whatever it takes).
Storm only received a larger part in this movie because Halle Berry was playing her, the Oscar made sure of that. That said I'm not the biggest fan of Berry but she was probably one of the only characters i liked in this piece she showed she can take on a role that doesn't need her to show some skin for a change.
Then there was the rest of the x-men who seemed to be just thrown in for the sake of having people to fill the holes left by cyclops,jean Grey and the much missed Nightcrawler (His opening scene in X2 made the film for me) I mean Colossus was only there to use for the two scenes were he hurls Wolverine around (a.k.a the fastball special)he barely has any screen time outside of these two scenes. Shadowcat was interesting in parts but was a weak substitute for rogue in the love interest stakes for Iceman I mean come on ! she looks 12 in this movie Rogue is practically a fully grown woman at this stage. Kelsey Grammar was all well and good as beast but he just never really looked comfortable in the blue fur suit. Why did Xavier become such an arrogant ass in this movie?. He is the symbol of tolerance and understanding in the X-men verse and in this movie we see him tell Wolverine that he never has to explain his actions to anyone least of all him.!!! way to go with the words of tolerance Chuck! good job.
I can see why Brett Ratner was so worried about filling in for Singer the studio had already gone through three directors before they got to him the cinematography was poor and the editing choppy the whole look are the film just didn't meld well. And Tom DE santo was sorely missed in the writers chair.where do these new writers get off dramatically changing characters like rogue and Cyclops the way they did in this movie. Did Anna paquin not want to come back for another x-men movie ?...is that the reason for her being just a shadow of her former self constantly sulking around in the background moaning about not being able to get it on with her boyfriend, that character is one of the strongest in whole scheme of things and they just wipe her out of the picture.
As well as the excellent Mystique one of the best characters in the bad guys camp her role was filled in by the wooden Pyro who was a whiny kiddie substitute much like the rest of the young cast. This doesn't look good for future Xmen projects. Are we going to have to sit and watch a whole new team of young Xmen in X4. With no adult guidance? just there youthful wit and good looks to keep us interested please God don't let this be true. I have heard from a very good source that used to work for Marvel that this is what is being planned, A whole new team of xmen will be in the next movie once they get through two wolverine movies first.
I could go on about this all night but at the end of the day I'm just gonna come off sounding like a whining fan boy, which believe it or not I ain't. I'm just angry with the fact that Fox allowed this to happen to a great franchise. A franchise that started the whole comic book movie craze to begin with, and in my eyes has just hammered the first long rusty nail into its coffin. Save your cash stay away from this pile of crap save your money for something else....I know a ticket for Superman I'm sure it will put a smile on Singers face .
This is what cinema is about 'Lucas learn from this will you'
I'm sorry if I'm stepping on toes here by saying this but, It took George Lucas over two decades to come up with his dire attempts at cashing in with 'THE PREQUELS' and it took Joss Whedon about two years to bury Lucas's attempts at Sci-Fi with not only an excellent piece of Science fiction but a brilliant piece of story telling that appeals to lovers of all types of movie genre. This Movie doesn't let up once i was on the edge of my seat from start to finish. Whedon just kept me entertained the whole way through. This may have been set in the distant future in a far off universe but, You feel for these characters each portrayed brilliantly in the own ways by each actor.Even the new comers to this tale blended in with the usual crew who had moved from small to big screen with ease. And it was sad to have to see some of these characters leave in the end, But again with this Whedon had the viewers second guessing who will make it through this?. Absolute Brilliance go see this Movie and tell everyone you know to go see this movie it deserves a sequel..