Sunday, 26 June 2016
Starring: Jeff Goldblum, Brent Spiner, Bill Pullman, William Fichtner, Liam Hemsworth, Jessie T. Usher, Maika Monroe, Sela Ward, Judd Hirsch, Vivica A. Fox and somebody called Angelababy.
Written by: Roland Emmerich, Dean Devlin, Nicolas Wright, James A. Woods and James Vanderbilt. Directed by Roland Emmerich. Budget $165 million. Running time 120 minutes.
It would appear that the tagline of this movie: 'we had twenty years to prepare, so did they' didn't extend to the film makers, Emmerich and Devlin and the three other writers this disaster took to write. Because in stead of spending 20 years crafting this movie, they appear to have spent the last 19 and a half years sort of putting it off, hoping they could do it on the night before it was due in, a bit like that home work you're given over the summer holidays which you don't start till the night before you're due back at school.
I didn't go in expecting something revolutionary or ground breaking but I was franking expecting something a tad more entertaining and clever than this, by god it's just so lazy and inept. Now I know the first film isn't masterpiece of script writing but for the sweet mother of god, is this really the best they could do? They've managed to go from one of the most iconic and fun, summer-blockbuster sf films of all times to this sac of bland, homogenized, tedious, mental bum-fluff that won't even be remembered in 20 weeks, let alone 20 years.
I'm not going to bother explaining the plot, like I normally do because E&D couldn't be bothered either. But it's got something to do with the mother alien coming to earth to do what her children couldn't and it's all set against the clock with a pointless countdown and the threat of the Earth being destroyed, but luckily with just 2 minutes to spare, Earth wins and the flying saucers all die. Oh shit, sorry spoiler alert.
Lacking all the charm and excitement of the first, infinitely better film, and just going with the old Hollywood adage of 'bigger is better' this just cranks ups the ante to 11 and hopes it'll be enough. So, out go the 15 mile wide UFOs replaced with one 3000 miles wide. And instead of a variety of American landmarks and tower blocks gloriously destroyed we have a sequence, shown extensively in the trailer, of China getting dropped on London along with the quote, 'Hmm they like to go for landmarks'. And instead of a rag-tag team of flyers coming together in what's left of the Earth's jet fighters for one last showdown we have all the new kids on the blocks flying super human/alien hybrid star fighters.
This film has two saving graces. One is the frankly hilarious sequence of destruction porn that sees a returning character die in a hilarious, 'didn't see that coming, not!' moment and the sheer amount of unintentional laughter this film generates. it's not intended as a comedy, but you're going to laugh at it a lot!
I mean, the script is awful - embarrassingly so, the performances from the the new members of the cast is piss poor and the by-the-numbers plot-points and the bland three-arc story structure is insulting, but it does have wonderful performances from Brent Spiner, Jeff Goldblum and Pill Bullman and some top notch great special effects.
Yet another disappointing summer blockbuster sequels that actually ends with the cast literally begging Fox for a third movie with a huge massive collective wink to camera, while E&D hold up a sign that reads: Please.
I for one hope it doesn't happen.
You won't come out hating your fellow man and wishing the aliens had won but you will feel as if an old cherished family member has just been finger-banged by the vicar.
Sunday, 19 June 2016
Produced by the French animation company that has so far given us - Despicable Me, Despicable Me 2, Hop, Lorax and Minions comes this, their latest assault upon the senses – an animated quilt of a movie that sees our 'loveable' hero small dog, Max (Louis C.K) try and get rid of his mistress's newest house pet, Duke (Eric Stonestreet) a giant hairy dog. After which much hilarity almost ensues.
Borrowing ideas from films like, Toy Story 1 & 2, Jurassic Park 2, Flushed Away, Around Midnight, The Warriors, Stuart Little, C.H.U.D, UP and Bronx Warriors comes this smorgasbord of a movie that is far, far funnier as a trailer than it is in actual practice, which is a great shame and a thoroughly missed opportunity.
If there was one film that should have stayed true to the promise of the trailer and given you nothing else, it should have been this one. A film which should have been a 91 minute movie filled with vignettes of what pets do when they're at home alone. Sadly this film lacks the balls to do that and instead opts for a tired, generic quest romp that happily rips off Toy Story 2 as it sics it's two main characters dogs, Max and Duke off on an adventure to get back home before their owner does after they've been left stranded on Brooklyn island. Thus the scene is set for the other pets to set off on a Toy Story 2 quest to get them back, while a pack of human hating sewer dwelling ex-pets, lead by a psychotic magician's rabbit chase after them and offer a mild dose of un-needed threat. Along the way, we witness hapless humans get pummeled, hilarious and utterly incongruous sequences of slapstick mayhem and bizarre scenes of wanton destruction and serious injury to innocent bystanders which almost puts to shame the collateral damage of Die Hard 5.
Beautiful to look and at times, quite funny this is sadly a very by-the-numbers animated movie for kids that will make you smile and even laugh occasionally but ultimately doesn't ever truly engage.
Not a total wreck, but only midly entertaining.
Saturday, 18 June 2016
I'm sorry to admit that I couldn't bring myself to review this film, I hated the last film, I loathe Michael Bay and I know he's only 'produced this effort', but I can't do it. I'm beginning to dread summer movies and I've seen so much shit this summer that the thought of another so soon after Alice and Gods of Egypt just fills me with actual fear. Plus I find these new Turd-les hateful, I liked the original movie versions with the awesome animatronic suits and if I'm honest the trailer actually made me dread going to see it And so, after much soul searching and despite the title of my blog I have decided that I have taken enough hits for the team and as such i refuse to go and see this film.
However, feel free to leave your reviews at the bottom of this posting if you like, if enough of you think I should go then who knows maybe I'll give it a go.
However I will review the trailer, which I have now seen far too many times and I'm fairly sure as I've watched that, I've probably seen the film so I feel I'm more than qualified to pass judgement on it.
So, this will be a review of the trailer.
TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES 2: OUT OF THE SHADOWS
Written by Josh Appelbaum and Andre Nemec. Directed by Dave Green. 1.34 minutes long. $135 million budget.
Using and abusing the glorious Beastie Boys hit: No Sleep Till Brookyn, this trailer has the great benefit of being much shorter by than it's full-blown cinematic outing by a good 109.5 minutes. It introduces the Turtles again in a montage of sassy clips, along with revealing the baddy, his new CGI henchmen some dreadful puns, huge CGI stunts and Megan Fox, plus supposed fan favourite hero, Casey Jones. What's not to love? Hmm, the Turtles. this just looks like more of the same, a bunch of slightly racist GIGANTIC turtles, huge massive 6 ft plus green monsters wisecracking while eating pizza and killing an endless supply of ninjas all the time promoting a new line of toys for kids. Plus I really don't think these sort of films are good for kids, violence doesn't solve anything.
Also it's got Megan Fox who, least we forget, was once considered the next 'hot' thing, indeed Michael Bay couldn't keep his camera out of her crotch but now she just looks a little ruff.
I think it's the use of the No Sleep that really puts me off this film, it's just so lazy and awful and betrays the sentiment of the original song, plus I hate the way modern films take old great songs but get some corporate clone to do a new version of it for today's public.
All that plus the uncanny valley CGI, particuarly in the way it all looks so horribly fake, the fact it all looks so disgustingly generic and that it exists only to squeeze more money out of this tired old franchise makes this a film to miss.
No sleep for atleast 1.34 seconds until this trailer ends. There is a longer version but I think you've suffered enough.
Starring Niklaj Coster-Waldau, Brenton Thwaites, Gerrard Butler, Chadwick Moseman, Elodie Yung, Courtney Eaton, Rufus Sewell and Geoffrey Rush. Written by Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless, directed by Alex Proyas. Budget $140 million, 127 minutes long.
CAUTION, THE FOLLOWING REVIEW CONTAINS SOME MILD SWEARING
Dear fucking gods, where to begin, where indeed? Should I mention the fucking gods awful CGI? What about the fucking dreadful acting, particularly the young Brenton Thwaites as Bek who is so fucking inept that it genuinely staggers belief, he spends the entire movie smirking even when his supposed one true love dies in his arms. Should I mention the fucking hideous script that is just filled with one embarrassing quip after another. The direction is pretty fucking gods awful too. But no the most fucking annoying thing about this dreadful sack of shit is the fucking sound track, the hateful, vile insidious never-ending fucking sound track that starts even before the fucking film has actually started as we view an endless stream of company logos and then doesn't stop until the very last shame-filled credit has crawled up the screen and the house lights come up and you hear the sound of the projectionist weeping because he's now watched this fucking piece of shit film more times than should be allowed by the human rights bill.
Never in all my years of going to the cinema and watching movies have I ever been so aware of a soundtrack as I was with this film, it never stops, it's in every single fucking scene, there isn't a single silent moment in the whole stinking film, it tries to heighten tension and fails, it's there to bolster the romantic beats and doesn't and it's used to fill each and every moment, so that at no time can there said to be a quiet moment. And that's all the fault of a fucktard of extraordinary skill, the one, thank gods, the only, Marco Beltrami. It actually makes me hate this fucking, hateful piece of shit film even more.
I mean seriously this fucker, Marco Beltrami got paid to compose the sound track, he got actual money, honest to gods money, not Monopoly money, but money he could use to buy stuff like ear plugs and noise cancelling headphones so he doesn't have to hear the shit he composes. A quick check reveals that this tosser also did the score for the awful Fantastic Four which stunk up the cinema last year so it's clear that if you've made a shit film then this is the man you call. I'm sure he's got a long career ahead of him in the movies.
And talking of movies, what of this one, what's it about?
Well, thank you for asking, I'll tell you.
Well, let me rephrase that, I'll try and tell you because I'm not actually sure I understood it. But since you're pressing me I'll give it a go. Back in ancient Egyptian times when gods walked the earth one god on the day of his coronation, Horus (Niklaj) gets twatted by another god, Set (Gerrard) who then proceeds to enslave everyone and fucktard Brenton (oh god, I can't act) Thwaites tries to convince Niklaj who gets his eyes knocked out, lucky bastard, to help him bring back his dead girlfriend while Gerrard Butler kills off all the other gods so he can fight his dad, Ra (Geoffrey (I won an Oscar) Rush) because he never told his wayward son he loved him, thus bringing chaos into the world. Actually the only character I could relate to was Niklaj's blinded god because that lucky fucker got his eyes ripped out, this is the sort of film that makes you feel that might actually be preferable to watching it.
This film is frankly a stinking sac of shit, a vile, bloated dog's gonad of putrid shit. This film and Alice are the reasons I'm beginning to get a little depressed by going to the cinema, I simply can't take it anymore, it's breaking my heart, so much overblown, cgi bollocks vomited into our cinemas, how the fuck do these stinking films get funding, is this seriously the best that Hollywood can make? If so, then I'm converting to religion cos we are clearly in the end of days.
Plus it's fucking racist, there is only one black actor in the whole film and his role is pretty insulting every other actor is white and Anglo Saxon, obvs except for Niklaj Coster-Waldau who I have a man crush on.
Him aside, I seriously I can't think of a single thing to recommend this film, not one fucking thing. Oh wait, I can, and I'm sorry but I'm a man and I can't help myself, but the women in this film are very attractive particularly Courtney Eaton who can be my next wife if she's interested, but don't tell my current one.
2/10 for the plunging necklines and the forementioned Niklaj.
Starring Johnny Depp, Mia Wasikowska, Sacha Baron Cohen, Helena Bonham Carter, Anne Hathaway and Matt Lucas. Written by Linda Woolverton and directed by James Bobin. 123 minutes long, $160 million budget.
Alice comes home from sailing the seven seas as a sea captain only to be locked up as a loony by her jilted fiancee from the first film before escaping into Underland through a mirror only to discover the Mad Hatter is dying and Alice needs to travel back in time to save his life. However to do that she must do battle with the demented Red Queen (Helena Bonham Carter) and Time (Sacha Baron Cohen) himself.
Cue garish, 123 minutes of overblown, uncanny valley CGI, OTT acting courtesy of Johnny ("What hat shall I wear for this performance") Depp and the ever shrieking Helena Bonhma Carter.
Sharing nothing at all with the source material save for the title, this is typical Hollywood serial fair, more of the same but bigger, much, much bigger! Plus a threat that threatens the whole of the Underworld and a great big race against the clock, in this case -literally) towards the great big ending where the status quo is restored, and old and new enemies become friends, all wrapped up with incongruously inaccurate historical bollocks.
This film is like a great big bag of candyfloss. It looks like it should be wonderful, but the first bite dissolves leaving nothing of substance just a sweetness that so wears off leaving you feel a little queasy. It's an utterly empty experience, one that will leave no memory of its existance once its over, indeed I doubt seriously you'll ever think of it again once you've left the theater, two hours later. Although I bet you go home craving something with a little substance, I know I did. I went home and watched all of Ben Hur in glorious HD widescreen.
Seriously don't bother with this, it's an ugly, garish, empty, shallow grotty little greed machine with nothing to recommend it at all, they even squander the Cheshire Cat which in itself is a shameful travesty.
Avoid, unless you want to develop mental diabetics.
Starring: Travis Fimmel, Paula Patton, Ben Foster, Dominic Cooper, Toby Kebbell, Ben Schnetzer, Robert Kazinsky and Daniel Wu.
Written by Charles Leavitt and Duncan Jones and directed by Duncan Jones. 123 minutes long. $160 million budget.
The plot. A bunch of multi-coloured orcs come through a portal from their dead world because of dark magic and attack the humans to takeover their world. The leader of the humans, Dominic Cooper, his wizard, Ben Foster and some of the other humans fight the Orcs and some of those swap sides to fight the real baddy, the Orc's evil witchdoctor who needs lives, to power his magic.
So the Orcs and Humans fight on, before teaming up to fight something worse than each other in order to save each other, and a baby is sent down the river like Moses for the second film and that's ab out it. It's a shame it takes so long to get there but hey it's a damn sight better than Battlefield Earh and the Hobbit films which I really disliked.
Now, if you believe the critics this is a terrible film, as bad as Battlefield Earth, it's a film they vilified and hated with a passion, indeed it scored a terrible 29% on Rottentomato.com and took just $24 million dollars in its opening weekend. Normally this would mean that this film was a terrible flop. That is except for the fact that in the rest of the world this 'terrible' film has so far taken over $313 million dollars, most of that in China where it was more successful than Star Wars: The Force Awakens, thereby guaranteeing a sequel.
But enough of all that, is it any good? Well I'm not sure i can tell you, I found the whole film rather bewildering, I lost track as to who was what, or who was doing what to whom, or whether what was who or simply just where was what standing, was it on first base or third I really don't know. And I know it's very racist to say this and I feel bad but I simply couldn't tell the Orcs apart, they all looked the same to me.
I will say that the film isn't a terrible film, certainly not this decade's Battlefield Earth that's for sure. Everyone involved gives it their damndest, none so more than Duncan Jones, whose love for all things Warcraftian is blindingly obvious. He directs the living crap out of this film and does a damn fine job and the film's failings aren't his that's for sure.
This is Lord of the Rings for the MTV generation, all of the character seem to talk with American accents, they're all very young, none more so than the wizard played by Ben Foster who just seems far too young to be a wizard and it's all very shiny.
It's very earnest and it's clearly the start of a new franchise. It even ends with events set up to continue on in the next movie.
This sort of film survives on its CGI and although there are aspects of it that are impressive, particularly the skin tones and textures, the effect of so much CGI is that you simply stop connecting or caring for the characters because you know they're all fake and some of the camera moves are so clearly impossible in the real world that you just disconnect, plus there's the ever present threat of the Uncanny Valley to take you out of the moment.
However, if you're a fan of the game and you know these characters I'm sure you'll love this movie, but if like me you've never played it then it might all become a little incomprehensible. Plus it's very hard to root for so many ugly non-human characters and there's a distinct lack of a good, strong human character to root for.
Starring:George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Jack O'Connell, Dominic West and Giancarlo Esposito. Written by Alan Di Fore, Jim Kouf and Jamie Linden. Directed by Jodie Foster. Budget $27 million and 98 minute running time.
When laborer Kyle Budwell (Jack O'Connell) loses his life savings of $60,000 after investing in Walt Camby (Dominic West)'s company thanks to the rabid advice of TV financial pundit Lee Gates (George Clooney) he does the only thing a man in his position can do. He marches down to the TV studio and takes Gates hostage live on air, forcing him to put on a bomb vest, before demanding answers as to how the company Gates promoted could have lost $800 million due to a 'computer glitch' in the company's automated trading algorithm.
With only his producer, Patty Fenn (Julia Roberts) talking to him through his earpiece from the control room and the police eager to storm the studio and kill Budwell by shooting Gates, it's a race against time to find out the truth behind the huge loss.
This starts off fantastically, with a great turns from Jack O'Connell, George Clooney and Julia Roberts, but as the film progresses it turns from an intriguing exploration of the stock-market as seen as a metaphor for the banking crisis, into a typical thriller with a race against time to uncover the vast global conspiracy behind the loss and the greed of the big baddy, Walt Camby.
This is an okay thriller, directed with skill by Jodie Foster that despite becoming quite generic is still an entertaining enough view.
Starring Russell Crowe, Ryan Gosling, Angourie Rice, Matt Bomer, Margaret Qualley, Keith David and Kim Basinger. Written by Shane Black and Anthony Bagarozzi. 116 minutes long. Budget $50 million.
Set in Hollywood, Los Angeles during the smog-heavy summer of 1977, but with no mention at all of Star Wars, this sees heavy-for-hire, Jackson Healy (Russell Crowe) team up with reluctant, down on his heel, Private Eye, Holland Marsh (Ryan Gosling) search for, not only, a missing 'dead' porn actress called Misty Mountains, but also the daughter of high ranking Department of Justice officer, a porn producer and the missing reels of a porn movie called: 'How Do You Like Your Car, Big Boy?', which all put together might just bring down entire US car industry if it's broadcast.
Confusing, complicated and at times bewildering the plot to this glorious film is so convoluted as to begger belief as our two anti heroes and Healy's daughter Holly (Angourie Rice) ram raid their way through Hollywood from party to shot-outs and national car show in search of the macguffin and it's utterly and unhinge-ingly glorious!
But what makes it so glorious isn't the plot, it's the casting and characters, Gosling and Crowe who bring a wonderful easy charm and likeability to their roles, that coupled with the young Angourie in her first role as as Marsh's daughter Holly is fantastic making this film more of a trio than a buddy movie. Those three plus Shane's writing and direction make this a satisfying meaty thriller that has the same easy casual air of ultra violence and charm as Freebie and the Bean.
Funny, utterly violent, coarse, crude, smutty and charming. A great Saturday night special.