Saturday, 19 December 2009


This video is sort of boring, but skip to 0:32. I have lost all respect I previously had for Sigourney Weaver. How can anyone seriously describe any film as being like another film, but "in space"? I'm beginning to wonder if Avatar is actually an elaborate hoax to reveal the true ridiculousness of the movie industry, like Joaquin Phoenix's rap career.


Only Craig Robinson can make me laugh by saying "hot tub time machine" and then pausing. With a completely unusual, bizzare and therefore brilliant cast this is set to be one of my favourite comedy films of next year. Most would write it off as stupid, but most people have never heard of Rob Corddry (he's the only reason you should watch: What Happens in Vegas, Harold and Kumar 2).

People would site Clark Duke as the weak link, but they've probably also never seen Clark and Michael, the online serial sensation featuring Michael Cera.

And having John Cusack in there for no apparent reason will hopefully boost the film's publicity and then eventually have more sweaty nerd like myself worshipping at the temple of Corddry:

Friday, 18 December 2009





What's better than giant scorpions?



Tuesday, 15 December 2009


In short Monster is the "biopic" of Aileen Wuornos (a prostitute) who became a serial killer after a horrific encounter with an evil man with a handle-bar moustache and trucker cap. I'd like to point out that it is a man with a handle-bar moustache and trucker cap in Mysterious Skin that beats the shit out of Joseph Gordon-Levitt and rapes him, maybe its the same dude.

Anyway the film is on one level, not really about a serial killer, but about a messed up woman finding love in the younger Selby, played by Christina Ricci. They make an odd couple, sort of like a female Marty McFly and John Merrick.

The film is good, it's nothing spectacular, the direction is competent and the acting is dead on. How much of this true story has been embellished, we don't know, but the film does seem to show Aileen as a victim of circumstance and I find that take slightly morally dubious. Of course they did call the film MONSTER, but then there is a little bit of crap voice-over where Aileen mentions a roller-coaster ride of same name that she was scared of for some reason I'm not sure I think it was supposed to be a metaphor for... life?

But the main reason most people will watch this film and gasp is the lovely Charlize Theron looking like a big sweaty toe with a face drawn on it without the eyebrows. "She's so brave" "What committment" "Oscar worthy performance!" Bollocks. Not bollocks to her performance which is pretty good, but bollocks to giving her an oscar for eating some cake and not wearing any make-up. This shouldn't be considered "method acting" or anything "brave" it should be considered as just acting. Charlize Theron is just doing her fucking job. The odd thing is, if she didn't look so awful and her acting was still good, you wouldn't notice, but I dare say the co-star of Hancock and soon Hancock 2 isn't quite Morgan Freeman.

That's my rant over. Good film, not nearly as dark as I'd hoped and a little too forgiving, but hey this is Hollywood. 7/10.

Monday, 14 December 2009


This modern retelling of Dante's Inferno stars Steve Buscemi in the title role as an ex-gambler who has to go back to Vegas for some reason, and also gets some off Sarah Silverman. It also features a midget, as his boss. This film looks excellent on its own, but with Buscemi playing the lead, I am very much looking forward to it. US release is 29th January, as for over here, I don't know, but fingers crossed.

Sunday, 13 December 2009


Just before going to see Paranormal Activity (see lazy review below) I was fortunate enough to catch all 129 minutes of Ji-woon Kim's ridiculously spectacular western.

Anyone that enjoys action or films in general owes it to themselves to witness this film. Michael Bay could learn a thing or two from those wiley Koreans. It's a long film, but only dips once, unlike Transformers which dips whenever there isn't an explosion until you become bored of the explosions. Every explosion in The Good The Bad The Weird are great and when it is firing on all cylinders you'll be laughing and clapping like you've never seen moving images before. The photography is mind-blowing and consistently inventive throughout. I zoned out a bit at around 80 minutes in at the opium bar bit, but as soon as the big finale kicked off I was hooked until the cop-out ending.



Sorry too busy cleaning the shit out of my pants.

10/10. Go see it

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Michael Bay directs underwear advert

and it is the most ridiculous piece of advertising ever created. Watch in awe:

Keep watching until 1:14, because the generic advert backdrop behind the sexy women RANDOMLY EXPLODES

Friday, 4 December 2009




Director: Daniel Barber
Writer: Gary Young
Starring: Michael Caine, Emily Mortimer, David Bradley
Released: 11th November

Even though Harry Brown stars Michael Caine, one of our greatest acting talents, this is a film that could make you extremely fucking depressed about being British. It starts off slowly, with director Barber showing depressing attention to detail when showing us pensioner Harry Brown's day to day life. Ten minutes in I made a vow to kill myself before I hit 60. Caine pulls off a lonely, sickly old man brilliantly.

Brown's motivations for the inevitable vigilante justice are equally grim - he watches chavs murder his best friend on a cameraphone. Look how modern this film is! Needless to say, the chavs are complete bastards. Anyway, after Caine walks about a grey estate in a manky old man's coat for a bit, the film gets going when he goes to buy a gun. This is the weirdest and easily the best scene in the whole film. The two messed up, drug ravaged dealers make for a brilliantly tense exchange - at one point, one of them puts the barrel of a gun in his own mouth, puts a rock of crack in the chamber and uses the gun as a crack pipe, while Caine just stares, shocked. Brilliant. This scene especially makes Harry Brown seem almost like a horror film, and a lot of the ingredients are there: dark colour palette; quiet LOUD bits; gratuitous violence.

After this, unfortunately, Harry Brown becomes less about Harry and more about the two cops who told him about his friend's death. The woman one in the partnership (Emily Mortimer) suspects that maybe Harry killed those chavs, meanwhile the man one is a dick and doesn't care. With the exception of Mortimer's DI Frampton, the police are callous, ineffectual idiots. She shines in the interrogation scene, despite a chav telling her that he'll stab her with his cock.

Then it all gets a bit weird. The chief of police basically starts a war with everyone on the council estate, and you begin to wonder where they got all those Molotov cocktails from so quickly. The action is good, but just out of place - earlier in the film, DI Frampton warns Harry Brown that "this isn't Northern Ireland, Harry" - referring to his Marines service record - and she's not, the final third of the film is nothing like Northern Ireland. With the run-down tower blocks, riot police and random stuff of fire, it's more like Mega City One in a Judge Dredd comic than actual South London. Despite the murderously Shakespearean climax and vague attempt at morally justifying all the violence, I was disappointed that Harry Brown didn't spend a bit more time on its titular character, who was a lot more interesting than lots of other things that Barber throws in.

Thursday, 3 December 2009


This is the film I'd like to see. What the preposed Jurassic Park 4 film will ACTUALLY be about I don't know (it's even been denied by producers that the film will even be made) but here's hoping the dinosaurs discover lazer guns and make us extinct.

The film has apparently been stuck in development hell since the release of the third film. The director of that film, Joe Johnston, is still set to direct it although if the plot does involve guns and dinosaurs a certain Mr Bay could be expecting a call.


Monday, 30 November 2009



Saturday, 28 November 2009


Been released in America already, but we have to wait a few weeks. Word on the street is that this is (like Fantastic Mr Fox) an adult-friendly, child UNfriendly, beautifully shot masterpiece. EXCITEMENT


"Remember me" is quite a funny thing to put on such a forgettable poster. This is minimalism done wrong, to see it done right just look at the poster for Noah Baumbach's new film, Greenberg, which I'm looking forward to.

See the trailer here

Friday, 27 November 2009


Amazing tagline. Sick trailer.

Anyone that isn't looking forward to this must have missed the GIANT SCORPIONS

Monday, 23 November 2009

We're heading straight for Mount Everest

To call Roland Emmerich's 2012 a good film would be wrong. The Shawshank Redemption is a good film, good gilms make you feel emotions and make you care for the characters. In 2012 John Cusack and his family get stuck behind two old dears in an old cadillac driving quite slowly. One of the old dears says to the other "here you hold these eggs Martha" or whatever the fuck her name was, but this all happens as they are being chased by the biggest earthquake never recorded. What's that you say? Earthquakes can't chase people? Of course they can. What's more is that earthquakes have an uncanny knowledge of comical timing in the sequence that follows. Cusack beeps at the old women and then decides to mount the pavement and charge through some front gradens. The camera then shifts to show the elderly motorists chugging along parallel only to have a big piece of ground shoot up and smack them in the face. INSTANT DEATH.

What follows is even more ridiculous, but equally enjoyable as Cusack and co manage to cheat death and fly away thanks to that surgeon that took a few flying lessons. The film then proceeds to present you with implausible CGI catastrophes mixed with long boring talking scenes that don't really connect you to the characters, but help make the billion foot tidal waves and surprise volcanoes all the more fun by comparison.

Now I get to the crux of this review and it is this. You have to see this film for one moment alone very near the beginning. When Chiwetel Ejiofor is talking to his Indian friend in a hot room underground there is a totally gratuitous shot of a man pouring ice into a bucket where another man is cooling his feet and after the initial hiss of the ice melting in the water subsides the man says, ".... Oh that is velly gud".

It's not a good film, but it's an enjoyable film. They save the puppy and kill the russian, but at least our dear Queen is saved.

Go see it if you are patient and have a good sense of the absurd. 7/10

P.S. Woody Harrelson is in it

Wednesday, 18 November 2009


I am sorry I am completely finished.

After you've cleaned up you'll probably put this on your Oscar list.
I might go see it.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009



However I do get the feeling this is a straight to DVD kind of deal and may not be getting cinematic release at all. Anyway here's a chart I made for all the other animated films coming out:

Sunday, 15 November 2009


If you don't understand watch this: BAM

(big props to Fall On Your Sword)



And yes that IS that squeeky twat from Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging (2008). His name is Aaron Johnson and he's going to be a star!

(he's also in Nowhere Boy playing a young John Lennon, it's apparently not very good)


Here's another picture for fun:

(there are no angry pictures of Ang Lee anywhere)

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Seriously Lazy Reviewing

So who's excited about A Serious Man? I am, it looks wicked. But the movie press are seriously excited:

"Seriously funny"

"'A Serious Man': Seriously Brilliant"

"Seriously Funny Troubles Ahead"

"'A Serious Man' Is Seriously Good"

"Seriously hard to wrap your head around"

"Seriously sensational"

The word 'seriously' has now lost all meaning for me.

In other news:


A sequel is on its way, directed by Blade series helmer David Goyer. He says it's going to be to Ghost Rider "what Casino Royale was to the Bond movies", eg a grittier, darker, more realistic reboot. This can definitely work with characters that a) inhabit something pretty close to the real world and b) have an already huge fanbase, eg Bond and Batman. But maybe not with a man who has magic demon powers and can turn his head into a flaming skull? I can see why they're doing this - the first film was completely slammed - but I'm not convinced it'll work.


One of the hugest and most original talents in comics is going to direct a superhero film, following on from his experiences on adaptions of his comics Wanted and Kick-Ass. We're not going to find out what it is til February, the upcoming Avengers film is going to be based on his Ultimates series, with maybe a bit of Civil War, so what else could it be? He's making it outside the studio system, so it's not going to be a Marvel or DC property. Some awesome original Millar hero, no doubt. Can't wait.

Roland Emmerich, aka Galactus, Destroyer of Worlds, is to make not one, but two sequels to Independence Day. He's already mentioned that Will Smith is the only member of the original team who's not interested in returning, but this suggests that now he is, and now I am very excited. Anyone who doesn't like Independence Day doesn't understand what cinema is for, and two sequels, which will probably be in IMAX, hell yes. Emmerich says two films will have room for "a bigger arc," but who cares, he's just going to blow up more stuff.

List of landmarks Emmerich has not blown up yet and should blow up in Independence Day 2 & 3:

Stonhenge, England

The Space Needle, Seattle USA

Moulin Rogue, Paris

The Big Banana, Australia

Friday, 13 November 2009


Green Zone is the boring realistic name for Paul Greengrass's boring "realistic" action film that is disguising itself as an original, but is in fact... another Bourne film. If you want an official Jason Bourne title, look forward to 2011 where apparently we will be seeing more Bourne, because you can't have too much shakey-cam car chases and blurred close combat sequences right? I call it boring because anything that repeats itself eventually becomes boring no matter how exciting the original is.

Greengrass's style is so recognisable that he really needn't put "from the maker of the Bourne Ultimatum and Bourne Supremacy" in his trailers, Matt Damon's scrunched up little face does that all on its own. The words "gritty" and "realistic" send shivers down my spine not only because I prefer escapism in films, but because it's Hollywood's latest buzz-word and inescapable in modern action films.

I like realism when John McClane steps on glass shards and winces, but I also like that his wounds are completely superficial and make him look cool. It would be interesting to have an action film where the lead man's arm gets blown off or he slowly bleeds to death from a single gunshot, but it would only be interesting ONCE.

Anyway before I get too ranty, here are some suggested titles for Jason Bourne sequels:

- Jason Bourne On The 4th Of July (vietnam bourne film, may involve time-travel)
- Natural Bourne Killers
- The Unbourne (Jason Bourne's opposite, a very safe driver, likes petting cats OR a horror film where Jason Bourne discovers his unborn brother is Ben Affleck)
- Bourne To Be Wild
- The Talented Mr Bourne
- Bad Will Hunting
- Stuck On You 2: Stupremacy

Monday, 9 November 2009


Director: Grant Heslov
Writers: Peter Straughan, Jon Ronson (book)
Starring: George Clooney, Ewan McGregor, Jeff Bridges, Kevin Spacey
Released: 6th November

This could just be the most entertaining war film ever made. While The Men Who Stare At Goats, a tripped-out buddy movie, is set mainly during the War on Terror, it is consistently hilarious, getting genuine laughs amidst the shoot-outs and kidnappings. It's an unapolagetically light-hearted film, from the Supergrass-scored opening credits onwards, and you're left in no doubt - the first scene features an army general running face-first into a wall, and Clooney's 'sparkly eyes technique' is hilarious.

Ewan McGregor has easily the least interesting part to play, the journalist thrust into an investigation of psychic warfare, and teaming up with Clooney's Lyn Cassady, the 'Jedi Warrior' on a secret mission. McGregor has a weird nearly-American accent, playing Bob Wilton, the fictionalised version of English journalist Jon Ronson. Clooney is the real star, obviously, playing the disillusioned, arrogant, hard-drinking Warrior Monk and his younger, more optimistic self with his usual charm and great use of eyebrows.

Spacey plays the well-written sort-of villain with his usual smoothness - tripping on acid, he points a gun at Clooney, then puts it in his mouth, then abruptly wanders off, mumbling "wow, I'm really hungry." Jeff Bridges as Bill Django, New Age mentalist and writer of the 'New Earth Army Handbook', is brilliant, advising the mulleted Clooney that "you can't free your mind until you free your feet." What's more amazing is that it's nearly all true - there really was a black ops psychic division, they did try to kill goats by staring at them, and so on. Pick up the book, it's a fascinating read.

The Men Who Stare At Goats looks like a war film, with the bleached browns and greys and sweat and dirt, but is really an unashamedly feelgood movie. The dark side of the War on Terror is barely touched on, and as soon as things get bad, you know they're going to get better, because it's so Hollywood. It doesn't preach - war is bad, great, but what we really need is escapism. Heslov, Clooney and co deliver it brilliantly, with heavy use of 'More Than A Feeling' by Boston. Quality.


Director: Wes Anderson
Writers: Wes Anderson, Noah Baumbach, Roald Dahl (book)
Starring: George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Jason Schwartzmann
Released: 23rd October 2009

The Fantastic Mr Schwartz- oh, I'm sorry. George Clooney is the star of this film. I almost forgot. Clooney is excellent as always, making us really root for a character that, on paper, is a bit of a wanker. Anderson adds another conflicted, if by now over-familiar father figure to his body of work. But Schwartzmann's fox cub Ash, without a doubt, has all the best lines. I'm extremely glad that Anderson and Baumbach added the subplot with cousin Kristofferson, because it gives Schwartzmann a chance to shine, and wow, does he shine.

Don't take your kids to see this film. Yes, it's animated talking animals, but children will literally not understand a word of the inter-family relationships or anything else, really. Mr Fox gets his tail shot off and tells his son it will never grow back (an extremely dark moment in the book for me). All the swears are removed, which I like, especially the use of "clustercuss" and the graffiti in town that just said "CUSS".

There are some good cameos (my highlight was Bill Murray's badger, in his out-of-the-blue and weirldy hypnotic fight with Mr Fox), and the voicework is good all round. But the animation looks extremely weird to me. It's jerky and deliberately left-field: sometimes this works and really helps the comedy, such as when Mr Fox gobbles a huge plate of toast making 'nom nom nom' sounds or during the final dance number; at others, it's just disconcerting and out of place.

The puppets look great, though, as do the sets, Anderson keeping everything pastels and primary colours. It's so Wes that if you close your eyes you could almost be watching anything since Bottle Rocket. This isn't necessarily a criticism, but it definitely will be if his next film treads the same path. The final showdown has an interesting departure for Anderson: action. Apart from the fact that it's all puppets, and the smoke is obviously cotton wool, it's a well-choreographed and exciting scene. The shootout on the Belafonte was easily one of the best moments of The Life Aquatic, and I'd genuinely like to see more explosions in amongst all the father issues next time round.

This film looks good, it sounds good, it's funny, the animation really didn't do it for me, but Anderson pulls off another quirky family-com. Overall, this film is fantast oh I'm sorry please kill me.

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Director: Terry Gilliam
Writers: Terry Gilliam, Hunter S. Thompson (book)
Starring: Johnny Depp, Benicio Del Toro
Release: 13 November 1998

Never has a director so masterfully translated the mind of a drug user as Terry Gilliam did in his masterpiece adaptation of “Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas”. The film stars Johnny Depp as oddball journalist “Raoul Duke” who travels to Vegas with his psychopathic attorney “Dr. Gonzo”, played by Benicio Del Toro. Although officially sent to cover the “Mint 400 Motorcycle Race” the duo takes it upon them to delve into the heart of the American Dream, armed with an array of illegal hallucinogenic drugs.

Rather than one central plot the film is more of an adventure, with the characters getting into various situations under the influence acid, mescaline, cocaine, ether and whatever else they packed away for the trip. The film is character driven, with Depp’s hilarious yet often insightful narration nicely tying together the different drug-addled adventures. Terry Gilliam’s film owes much to the novel it was adapted from, with much of the great dialogue and humour coming directly from the source material.

The true reason for this masterpiece is not just the hilarious dialogue or engaging characters but also how they represent the naive dreams of the lost hippie culture, like in “Easy Rider”. Las Vegas is depicted as being the epitome of the American dream gone wrong. A land of decadence, greed, prostitution and exploitation. A place, as Duke describes it, where “even the most serious crimes go unnoticed”.

Behind the fun of this two hour acid trip is a serious message about the collapsed American Dream of the 1960’s. The film, like the book, is set in 1971 with the main characters Raoul Duke and Dr. Gonzo being a represented as refugees from the acid wave generation. I’m reminded of Fight Club in the sense that this film delivers a serious sociological interpretation of American culture and the notion of the “American dream” through hilarious dialogue, innovative direction and outstanding acting.


Thursday, 5 November 2009


Is this even a kids' film? I'm so confused.

You want the news? You can't handle the news!


Don Quixote, by Miguel Cervantes, is a book about an old man who is convinced he's a famous and chivalrous knight. After Doctor Parnassus, Terry Gilliam is going back to his adaption of the book, which may or may not still be called The Man Who Killed Don Quixote. He tried and failed to film it in 2000 (above), but was interrupted by jet fighters, flash floods, serious spinal injury etc, the shoot being sort of like Apocalypse Now except it was in Spain and the film didn't get made. The book is both surreal and hilarious, perfect for Gilliam, and possible star Johnny Depp.

After the disgustingly huge amounts of money Transformers brought in, Hollywood has gone absolutely mental for toys. First we had GI Joe, and now we have these to look forward to:


Directed by Sir Ridley Scott, who says it's going to be a comedy family movie, that also examines the nature of greed in society. I don't know what the fuck he's thinking. Scott is also attached to direct northern crime drama Red Riding and Untitled Alien Prequel, so who knows when we'll see this. Hopefully after Alien.


Directed by Michael Bay, who else? This is just so stupid but also so amazing I don't know what to say. Remember that bit in Pearl Harbor when the camera followed the bomb from a Japanese fighter to the deck of a US battleship and then everything blew up? Imagine that, for two hours. Wow.

Easily the most complicated game out of the three. No director is attached yet, but the object of the game is to conquer the entire world, which could be interesting, or really stupid. We're promised "tactical gambles" coupled with "an action-packed, thrilling story." The jury is very much out.

Other boardgames that should be made into films:
Trivial Pursuit: six contestants take part in a gameshow where they have to answer boring, obscure questions correctly or the penalty . . . is DEATH.
Twister: four sexy teens are lured into an abandoned house, where the only way out is to solve puzzles by placing their hands on coloured circles, or the penalty . . . is DEATH.


Danny Boylewas going to direct 28 Months Later, even before he started work on the massively overrated Slumdog Millen-air. It would be the third in the series, and I was hugely excited about Boyle directing again and making the series great again after the merely decent 28 Weeks. But, he has recently started work on 127 Hours, the true story of Aron Ralston, who was trapped under a boulder for five days before cutting his own arm off and escaping. Despite my disappointment, I am looking forward to this, the extreme version of the excellent Touching the Void.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009


Like Cinema Paradiso, but the right length and not about film. I love brevity in films and Shane Meadows has made something pretty perfect in my eyes (the film comes in at around 66 minutes). And it has been said before, but Thomas Turgoose is brilliant and destined for greatness, he has all the best lines in the movie and he delivers them convincingly and filled with charm.

My favourite Shane Meadows film. 10/10

Monday, 2 November 2009


Duncan Jones, the man behind the brilliant and under-stated Moon (one of my films of the year), is looking to make another heavily sci-fi influenced film. If Moon was his Silent Running then Mute is his Blade Runner. The film is to feature a mute man (hence the title) searching for his abducted girlfriend in a Berlin of the future. Too early to make judgements, but I will commit to seeing this just from the concept art alone.

Sunday, 1 November 2009

James Cameron's IRAQATAR?


So here I am watching the new trailer for James Cameron Diaz's 3D sci-fi extravaganza Avatar, when I start thinking 'why did no one tell me this was an Iraq war film?' Think about it - the native population invaded because they live in the way of a hugely valuable natural resource? Cutting edge technology versus less well equipped insurgents? Explosions? Blue people = Iraqis.

Anyway, I like the ambiguity suggested by the new trailer, but I got a bit worried towards the end. Has Cameron gone boring and political on us? Why has nothing got blown the fuck up? And then they showed us some battle montages, and I felt much better. Avatar looks great, not only as an intriguing sci-fi story, but as an incredible-looking film. Imagine the above, exploding out of the screen in Real-O-Vision. Serious Sam Worthington strikes me as an empty, vaguely attractive shell of a leading man, but there's support from Phoebe's idiot brother from Friends ("woah . . . big octopus") and Ripley herself. I am going to watch this film.

INVICTUS (Trailer)


Saturday, 31 October 2009


Ryan Reynolds has been cast as the Green Lantern in Green Lantern which is set for 2011. He has also been cast as Deadpool in Deadpool set for release the very same year.

Deadpool doesn't actually have a director yet so there is hope that a kingly visionary may save the good name of one of Marvel's wittiest and most loved super assassins (as he was slain in the dribble that was X-Men Origins: Wolverine earlier this year). On the subject of Directors, Green Lantern has Martin Campbell, director of two of my favourite Bond films, Goldeneye and Casino Royale, so here's hoping he can turn everyone's favourite superhero (pfffffffffft) into a decent film.

In other news everyone's favourite superhero is having some trouble with the executives trying to get a sequel shot. Yes Superman: Man Of Steel the supposedly gritty (ugh... gritty) second outing for Brandon Routh is having some trouble. Bryan Singer was on to direct, but something has happened to him and get this: Comic writing legend Mark Millar plannedthree films, running to eight hours long, which would chronicle the full life story of Superman. Sounds rad right? Millar got turned down twice because of his "connections" to Marvel. Utter bullshit. The execs were unhappy with Superman Returns performance at the box office so they announced a lower budget for the sequel and that it should "be more action-packed to appeal to the young male audience". Money-hungry idea-destroyers running rampant in Hollywood. I hope the film tanks.

Tuesday, 27 October 2009


Written and Directed by Alex Cox (1984)

I am going to go out on a limb and say that Repo Man is a "must see" film. Although the whole experience adds up to less than the sum of its parts, some of the parts are brilliant. Some would argue that the bizzare ending and general lack of direction is what makes Repo Man stand out and become the cult-classic that it is today. Not being restricted by an exact genre the film can be what it wants to be and what it wants to be is a multi-faceted look at the 80s with some good humour, awesome soundtrack (if you like Iggy Pop, he did the main theme) and a Malibu Chevvy that has something in the trunk that vaporizes humans when they look at it.

Rent it or buy it.

Side note: I bought my copy for £2.00 at Fopp, where they were also selling Paul Fart Mall Shit (Paul Blart: Mall Cop) for £12.00. Can anyone explain to me these paradoxes in the market?

Going to see lovely Wes Anderson's Fantastic Mr. Fox tomorrow. I think Alex has dibs on reviewing it. Watch this space.

Monday, 26 October 2009

45365 - quicky review


Directors: Bill Ross IV, Turner Ross

Not going to do a proper review of this one. It's an amatuer documentary about life in small-town USA - Sidney, Ohio. The film shows us a lot of different people, but never explains who they are, what they're doing, where they're going. With no narration and no central character or narrative, you're thrown in at the deep end with absolutely no idea, giving this much less emotional impact than the recent, superior American Teen.

There are some great moments captured on film - an excruciating DUI test, high-school footballers holding hands like lovers before the big game - but there are also long periods of boredom. While a lot of the shots are brilliantly composed - the pan from the passing freight train to the football practice, the first-person shot from the fairground ride - it seems like filler, and at 90 minutes, is too long for what it is.


Director: Jonathan Mostow
Starring: Bruce Willis, Rosamund Pike, Ving Rhames
Writers: Michael Ferris, John D. Brancato
Released: 25th September

Surrogates has a premise that caught my attention, at least. Bruce Willis versus a world where everyone is actually robots and no one ever goes outside? Awesome, right? But Mostow doesn't seem to realise this, trying to spoon-feed us.

The film opens with a crude newsreel-style montage of how cheap, reliable robots were developed to allow people to live from the comfort oftheir own homes, and somehow wipe out racism and everything else bad in society ever? Excuse me? The film doesn't let go of the idea of living through surrogates - pretty much anyone watching this film is going to fee ltalked down to. Every advert seems to be for the sinister surrogates comany VSI, rubbish surrogate-related expository dialogue is shoehorned into conversation, and when we see the inside of VSI HQ, there are huge glowing adverts with pictures of impossibly sexy people with captions likre 'YOU, ONLY BETTER'. Oh, thanks Jonathan Mostow, because I hadn't realised that in the future, everyone is robots and the robots make everything better.

The first twenty minutes was one of the most disconcerting cinema experiences I've ever had. You don't see a single real person, but the make-up and CGI surrogates are extremely well-crafted - looking like people, but impossibly young and smooth and slighlty off. I don't know if this was intentional, but the acting is dead-eyed and emotionless, brilliantly showing us exactly what it would look like if all the parts wrre played by lifeless automatons. Both the cast's lack of expression and uncanny smoothness make Surrogates look like a live-action Polar Express.

All the weird surrogate stuff makes you appreciate the real actors a lot more - when I first saw Brucie's angry, bald, pockmarked head, complete with rubbish grey beard, I felt like cheering. When he gets bloody and urgent later on, there are echoes of Die Hard, but his Tom Greer is just plain dull. There's not a trace of John McClane's humour or charisma, leaving us with a cardboard cutout to root for.

It's only in the action scenes that we see what the film could have been. Jonathan 'Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines' Mostow knows how to mess robots up, and shows us in a sequence where Willis chases the murder suspect into a surrogates-free zone. Walking away from a helicopter crash minus an arm, hit by a Jeep, Willis' surrogate just keeps on going, like Schwarzenegger in Terminator but, yknow, not evil. The surrogates can also jump over cars, punch through walls, etc, which makes for another cool chase scene later on in the film. Surrogates are used as weapons of war - we see a huge room, filled with soldiers plugged into surrogates somewhere in the Middle East. But Mostow skips over this idea, instead giving us a pedestrian conspiracy.

Anyone walking into this film is going to expect kickarse robot action, not cod-philosophy, especially with Willis starring. But, though there is action, there's not enough, and the talky scenes have zero sense of urgency. Surrogates seems to think of itself as a smart thriller, but what this means is mostly people spewing clunky, shamelessly plot-advancing dialogue in blue backlit rooms, with a score so forgettable it was barely worth it. Willis is on autopilot. Avoid.

Sunday, 25 October 2009


I'm probably not going to go see Everybody's Fine (from the Director of Nanny McPhee, make of that what you will) in spite of my love for both Bobby DeNiro and Sam Rockwell, but what the fuck is this poster?

Clearly made up of four separate photos. One of Drew and Sam looking freakishly 10 years younger and very clean. Then another of Kate Beckinsale craning her neck in gazing fondly at Barrymore's eyebrows. And most bizzarely of all is DeNiro. Has his face been photoshopped on top of someone elses face? The fourth photo is of the Christmas tree, a clear symbol that indicates a seasonal throw-away film (see Four Christmases).

And I know it has been said a thousand times, but the company that seems to make all these posters with the red writing on a white background (all year round, not just at christmas... or october) has contaminated the fine art of movie posters. To counter this post I will, at some point, post a selection of my favourite movie posters ever, maybe a top 5. Merry christmas, every one.

Thursday, 22 October 2009


Milla Jovovich playing this woman whose face has been pixelated in the most disturbing way possible in a film that is based on "actual case studies".

Well I could go into how "based on a true story" is just a marketing tool and how even the most factual documentaries alter "true stories" to some degree, this trailer is actually pretty effective. It scared me at 3:00 in the morning a week ago and it scared me a bit more when I imagined aliens that looked like owls. Chilling.

See any similarities here? Another handheld jump-fest that I assume portends to be real life or based on real life. Except even better, this trailer doesn't need The Fifth Element to tell us how frightening and disturbing the images we are about to see are, but actual terrified idiots screaming and grabbing each other in the dark with titles popping up saying "this film is bare scary" "these people were so scared and therefore you will be too". I like scary trailers, but I dare say I may never go see either of these films, partly because no one will go see them with me and because there are other non-scary non-bad films out there.

I will try to see The Fourth Kind (because aliens are better than ghosts/paranormals) and then review it. Look forward to a review of Surrogates by dear Alex in the near future.


Director: Terry Gilliam
Writers: Terry Gilliam, Charles McKeown
Starring: Christopher Plummer, Andrew Garfield, Verne Troyer, Lily Cole, Tom Waits and some hunks
Release: 16 October 2009

If you like Terry Gilliam you should like this film. If you like imaginative scenery and "whacky" characters you'll be entertained for the 122 minutes that is The Imaginarium Of Dr Parnassus.
I can honestly say I only have three grievances in relation to Gilliam's latest.

1. This is the most petty of my criticisms, but CGI special effects aren't as good as the old hand-made Python-era models and animatronics. Computerised imagery lack the weight and tangibility of Jonathan Pryce's wings in Brazil or horror of the red knight in The Fisher King.

2. Lily Cole should stick to modelling. Just when you've sunk into the magic of a brilliantly decorated scene she busts in with her hoarse voice and total lack of subtlety or any idea of what acting is above the level of a 12-year-old in Eastenders. Some people may simply see her as a pretty face, but I don't even see her as that. Her head is the wrong size for her body and her mouth is as wide as her acting range (just incase you haven't noticed her mouth is flipping miniscule). Here's hoping she never acts again... just checked IMdb she's lined up for several other films.

My third issue is the non-existant story, but I'm sure you've already read a three star review that mentions that. To be quite frank the lack of story does not affect the overall impact of the film. The visuals and ideas all hit home and the intergration of the hunks to fill in for Ledger is seamless and an enjoyable part of the film. Oh and Christopher Plummer and Tom Waits are great fun and give genuinely brilliant performances which then highlight the amateur overacting of the silly Cole.

Can you put a price on your dreams? Go on Orange wednesdays and you can half that price.


Thursday, 15 October 2009


I feel no shame in saying that I love Arnold Schwarzenegger. Although that love does sometimes tend to be the ironic kind, no film guarantees more laughs with your friends as you all attempt to impersonate the Governator. This list honours the man that proved you don't need to be able to act or walk and talk or do most things correctly to be an incredibly successful film star. You just need to look good. Oh yeah. Hold onto your dicks this is a long post.


Beating its more hilarious sequel, Conan The Destroyer (which I'd still recommend), Conan has many qualities making it worthy of the list. Not only is there inadvertantly chucklesome action sequences (an old man whispering "seek" to a snake before tugging it rigid and firing it with a bow), but one of the most hilarious Director's commentaries you are ever likely to hear where, at points, Arny states simply what is happening on screen, "Now we are running", "Hit him on the head... Boom", "That is funny, now we are laughing".

9. TWINS (1988)

Arnold is a physically perfect "good guy" who goes in search of his twin, played by Danny DeVito, who is a short small-time criminal. Hilarity ensues. Odd fact: DeVito went on to play The Penguin in Batman Returns and Arnold went on to be Mr. Freeze in Batman & Robin (Joel Schumacher's last Batman effort not making the list unfortunately, although it does feature one of Arny's most stirling performance)

8. END OF DAYS (1999)

Arnold Schwarzenegger fights the devil.

7. JUNIOR (1994)

"Hey Arny, it's Danny D. Want to team up again for another movie? Yeah it's basically the same except this time you're pregnant"
"I'll do it"


"I'm not a pervert! I was just looking for a Turbo Man doll!"
There are many brilliant Arny lines in this festive feature. I had to choose between this and Kindergarten Cop and this won by an inch (Arny knocks out a Reindeer with one punch) and I'd like to take this opportunity to apologise to all the Arny classics that didn't make it: Kindergarten Cop, The 6th Day, The Last Action Hero, Collateral Damage, Commando, Around The World in 80 Days and many more.


Now we're onto the Arny films I love almost sincerely. The Running Man is the film adaptation of a Stephen King novel where a wrongly-convicted man (Schwarzenegger) is put into a game show where the contestants have to run for their lives. Arny even manages a reference to his own most iconic film by saying to his tormentor, "Killian! I'll be back!" to which Killian wittily replies, "Only in a rerun." That's sharp writing, but my favourite line has to be, "Uplink underground, uplink underground. If you say that one more time, I'll uplink your ass, and you'll be underground!" BAM.

4. PREDATOR (1987)

I would never have thought to cover myself in cold mud and water to fight Predator. I also wouldn't have thought to say "Knock knock" after kicking down a door and then shooting people or to say "stick around" and throw a knife at someone, pinning them to the wall. Where's his Oscar?

3. TOTAL RECALL (1990)

"If I am not me, then who the hell am I?" Arny takes on philosophical questions of being AND wheres a robotic fat woman suit AND meets a three breasted alien AND shoots lots of people on Mars. If you like films in general you owe it to yourself to see this film because (apart from Starship Troopers) there isn't a film like it.

2. TRUE LIES (1994)

Arny turns Bond in what is thought, in some circles, to be one of the greatest action films ever. Although an astonishing 141 minutes long (thanks James Cameron) the film never lets down and almost has Arny looking sophisticated in some shots like the one above, where you can't see his big silly creased face.


James Cameron Diaz strikes again... twice. A sequel that not only out performs the original in nearly every way, but introduces a villain scarier than Arny and thus turns the Governator into the ultimate fighting force for good, even better than RoboCop. And I love RoboCop. Now if you'll excuse me I'm going to HMV to buy everything Arnold has ever been in. I'LL BE BACK TO THE CHOPPER LA VISTA BABY!?