Sunday, 30 April 2017


Starring John Gallagher Jnr, Tony Goldwyn, Adria Arjona, John C. McGinley, Melonie Diaz, JKosh Brener, Michael Rooker and Sean Gunn Written by James Gunn. Directed by Greg McLean. Budget $5 million and running time 88 minutes.

Typical you wait ages for a film written by James Gunn and starring Micheal Rooker and Sean Gunn to turn up and then two turn up in the same week.

One day, in Bogata the 80 odd employees of the mysterious Belko corporation find themselves locked inside their hi-rise office block built in the middle of the country side and told to start killing each other by a voice over the tannoy. What follows is an incredibly gory and violent little flick that doesn't skimp on the details in the very brutal and bloody horror film. It starts off fantastically well and the first hour is superb in setting the scene and building the tension, however the second half can't quite match the pace set and it finally descends into the bloodiest show down I've seen in an absolute age. It's hardly surprising this is an 18 cert film. As the film fragments into factions who fight to survive, it's hard to work out who'll make it to the end and just what the hell is going on, although the ending can be guessed before it happens.

It offers up some interesting ideas and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Not perfect, a little cliched at times but still a bloody intriguing and satisfying night out that have you laughing out loud in shock.



Starring Gemma Arterton, Sam Claflin, Bill NIghy, Jack Huston, Helen McCrory, Eddie Marsan, Jake Lacy, Rachael Stirling and Richard E. Grant. Written by Gaby Chiappe. Direted by Lone Scherfig. Running time 117 minutes long. Budge £30 million.

It's 1940s London and the war is taking its toil on the plucky inhabitants. nightly bombed, the Londoners carry on with their lives with their typical grit and stiff upper lips, sweeping up the debris of the shattered buildings and just moving on. Into this world comes Welsh valley girl Catrin Cole, a writer of comic strips who is snapped up by the propaganda film unit to do the 'slop' (women's dialogue). She's married to an artist who would much rather she didn't work for their living, thus causing tension at home, while her boss, Sam Calflin's Tom Buckley who is initially rather contemptuous of her slowly warms to her and has to come to terms with his own romantic feelings for her. What follows is a good looking film that tackles the sexism of the day and shows a young woman fighting against the establishment to get a film made about two young women who stole their bullying father's boat to set sail for Dunkirk to rescue retreating British soilders. The film is most successful as we watch the film within a film take shape as the crew set up on location and bond as a unit, even while they struggle with the overblown ego of Bill Nighy's Ambrose Hillard, a past his prime matinee actor with ideas of grandeur. In fact all of the behind the scenes bits and the making of are extremely satisfying to watch. It's just the romantic guff that left me cold.

Quite fun but scuppered by a late act 3 plot device that arrives with all the subtly of an air strike and totally derails the film. However, despite being mortally injured, the film valiantly tries to get back on track but it's too late and it lurches to an unsatisfying end that feels too trite and too twee.

This is quite a fine movie, with a good cast and a nice heart. 7/10


Starring Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Elizabeth Debicki, Chris Sullivan, Sean Gun, Sylvester Stallone, Vin Dissel and Kurt Russell.

Written and directed by James Gunn. Running time 136 minutes. Budget n/a

Set a few months after the first film, this sees the Guardians on a mission for a bunch of golden, horribly arrogant aliens called the Sovereign who hire the Guardians to protect a bunch of batteries. Anyway, it ALL goes pear shaped and before long the Guardian's beautiful spaceship, the Milano is shot to shit and forced down on an alien planet while every brigand and pirate in the galaxy, lead by Michael Rooker's Yonda is unleashed to claim the bounty placed on the band of heroes by the Sovereign.

Meanwhile Chris Pratt's Peter Quill is stunned to be rescued by Kurt Russell's Ego who claims to be Quill's father, but is he everything he says he is or is he something more, much much more?

This is a thoroughly enjoyable movie and a great sequel, which while not being as fresh or different as the first film is still fantastically entertaining! It's bloody good fun, with a real sense of humour and a real heart and manages to dazzle you with some superb special effects and some rather touching character development and lots and lots of daddy issues and sibling rivalry. This also cleverly adds new characters to the mix and manages to be more than just a mindless super hero movie. Plus did I mention it's bloody funny? Particularly any scene with Groot and a running gag between Dave Bautista's Drax and Pom Klementieff's Mantis along with the very much welcome return of Karen Gillan's Nebula who this time gets to do a lot more than last time.

I've seen this twice already and I have to say, both times were an absolute treat! Go on treat yourselves to one of the best summer blockbusters we're going to see this year.



Starring Vin Dissel, Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Chris Bridges, Schott Eastwood, Mathalie Emmanuel, Elsa Pataky, Kurt Russell and Charlize Theron. Written by Chris Morgan. Directed by F. Gary Gary. Budget $250 million. Running time 136 minutes.

So the plot. Jesus H. Pigging Christ, that's an ask. Vin Dissel's Dom Toretto goes 'rogue' when Charlize Theron big baddie cyber-terrorist Cipher black mails him with a single photo and sets him off on a globe trotting mission to steal various macguffins to build something really bad, probably to do with technology and stuff. Anyways, this makes him a wanted man by Kurt Russell's Mr. Nobody who brings the rest of Ding Dom's 'family' together to catch him. To do this he gives them an unlimited budget and any car they want and off they go driving around the world, causing a terrible amount of collateral damage to property and innocent human lives. He also gives them Jason Statham and Scott Eastwood to fill out the numbers. Cue utterly ridiculous action sequences including a chase with a submarine and loads and loads and loads and loads and loads of car chases. This isn't the best Fast and Furious film, that's still number 5, the one in Brazil. But that said, it's still a stupidly silly action flick with lots of stunts and close up of young woman's bottoms dance in slow motion.

Ignoring some odd issues and decisions and continuity problems, and old grievances this offering has nothing new to offer and nothing as spectacular as the triple building jump number 6 or the safe chase in number 5. Still it's alright, just not that fast nor furious. Best thing in this is Dwayne and Statham who deserve their own spin off movie.

Sorry, I can't let this lie, that sub chase featured in the poster and the trailer. It just doesn't work. Top speed of a nuclear sub is 65 kmh or 40 mph. Those cars could outrun the sub in first gear. Or, just turn around. Oh and don't get me started on the remote control cars, like 'who's steering them?' Or the bit where Dim Weasel rolls out of a burning car at over a 100 mph and suffers a somewhat scuffed elbow, or the bit with the wrecking ball or the fact our 'heroes' murder so many people without any apparent guilt, or kicking a torpedo out of the way, or...



April has been a jolly busy month for me and I've found myself too busy drawing up my next Psycho Gran strip to have  time to update this blog and as a result I have reviews for 11 films to post. Since some of these have already been and gone I've decided to group them all together for the purposes of speed.

So, here we go.

#29: GET OUT

A brilliantly subversive little horror film that surprises, delights and horrorfies in equal measure right up till the reveal when it's let down by some genuinely stupid conceits and a hero who resorts to very brutal measures that seem, to me, a little out of character. But it's a minor quibble because this was a very satisfying and entertaining movie. Please don't spoil it with a sequel.

The film sees young black photographer, Chris Washington (Daniel Kaluuya) set off for the weekend break and his white girlfriend Rose Armitage (Allison Williams) to meet her liberal parents for the first time at an annual big family and friends gathering. But Chris begins to realise there might be something rather sinister lurking beneath the surface of this family of well off, white, liberal, Obama-loving professionals who seem almost too good to be true.

Written and directed by Jordan Peele. Starring Daniel Kaluuya, Catherine Keener, Allison Williams, Lil Rel Howery, Bradley Whitford, Caleb Landrey Jones and Stephen Root. Budget $4.5 million. Box office to date a justly deserved $190 million!

Catch it on disc or catch up if you can.  8/10


A group of teenagers including a bully hating jock, a boy on the autism spectrum, a lesbian, a kung fu fighting Chinese student and a girl who posts revenge porn photos of her ex-boyfriends new girlfriend come together at detention club, stumble across a bunch of coloured crystals, find a buried spaceship become the Power Rangers and then have to learn how to love themselves and fight as a team in time to defeat the evil Rita with the help of some big robot animals.

Starring a group of look alikes, Elizabeth Banks and Bryan Cranston. Written by John Gatins and directed by Dean Israelite. This is a 124 minutes, $100 million budgeted, rather boring, cinematic dirge and once over is utterly forgotten, guaranteed to not be remembered by anyone in 20 years time with any fondness or nostalgia. Filled with oddly jarring characters and desperate to be both relevant and meaningful but seemingly forgetting to come up with anything new. Go and see Kong in stead, it's much better than this powerless rubbish. 3/10

#31: LIFE
 Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Rebecca Ferguson, Ryan Reynolds, Hiroyuki Sanada, Ariyon Bakare and Olga Dihovichanaya. Written by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick and direted by Daniel Espinosa. Running time a merciful 103 minutes, budget $58 million.

A bunch of stupid scientists onboard the orbiting International Space Station lose all reason and professional training when they recover evidence of life from a returning Mars probe and proceed to let it loose in Zero Gee while they float around and act like a bunch of fucking idiots. Trust me, you'll root for the creature whom them name Calvin cos a school girl won a national competition to name it.

This starts out well, if you ignore Jake Gyllenhaal's fantastically annoying character, as the single cell Martian is brought back to life and experimented on, but once it becomes a Monster on the Loose movie it becomes staggeringly dreary and utterly generic, like one of those awful Sci Fi channel movies they keep showing.

Don't check out Life, it's lifeless. A very disappointing experience full of stupid characters floating about in zero G being stupid and featuring a monster that's completely unstoppable, unkillable and insanely intelligent. It starts well, the lengthy sequence you've already seen is the best, however once it gets loose it's game over man for everybody. It also plays cliche bingo with every trope every devised for a sci-fi horror film. This is Gravity crossed with Last Days on Mars, with some Alien spewed into the mix.

Only good thing, is the monster but then that evolves, or grows and develops a face which really ruins its uniqueness.  3/10


Starring Scarlett Johansson, Michael Carmen Pitt, Pilou Asbaek, Chin Han, Juliette Binoche and Beat Takeshi. Written by Jamie Moss, William Wheeler and Ehren Kruger. Based on the movie Ghost in the Shell by Masamune Shirow. Directed by Rupert Sanders. Running time 106 minutes. Budget $110 million.

An utterly unnecessary live action remake of a much loved, though god knows why, anime. This looks stunning and features my future wife, Scarlett Johansson in a skin-tight body suit kicking ass and the special effects look superb. However in this bizarre future Japan, there is a distinct lack of people living in the vast sprawling metropolis which is incredibly jarring.

The story set in the future (no shit, Sherlock) and sees Major (Johansson) wake up after a terrorist attack inside the body of a kick-ass cyborg and working for Sector 9 - an anti-terrorist task force ( where she dishes out some major bottom-whopping on a sinister terrorist cell run by a mysterious cyborg called Kuze who knows stuff about Major's origin that threatens to expose a terrible conspiracy and the truth about her past and the sinister Hanka robotics industry.

Cue action, lots of serious and earnest frowning and less laughs than a Krankies set. 4/10 (and two of those points are due to Scarlett's impressive attributes as an actresses.


Starring Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Alan Arkin, Joewy King, Matt Dillon, Christopher Lloyd and Ann-Margaret. Written by Theodor Melfi. Directed by Zach Braff. Running time 96 minutes. Budget $25 million.

Three old friends, all well into retirement age discover that the company they've worked for the past 30 years have robbed them of their pensions and left them penniless. With nothing to lose the friends decide to rob the bank that owns the company for the money that was robbed off them and retire. Cue an entertaining wish-fulfillment movie as Freeman, Caine and Arkin find a new lease of life, love and romance and even a new kidney while Matt Dillon tries to catch them.

I love a good heist movie so this was a no brainer. Thoroughly silly but still very enjoyable and always great to see the superbly gifted cast, plus I loved Alan Arkin ever since I first saw him in Freebie and the Bean!

Not a classic but still a good night out or in, if you've missed it at the cinema. 7/10