Sunday, 22 March 2015

Underworld Awakening (2012)


I have quite a soft spot for vampire/werewolf films (apart from An American Werewolf in London which still scares the bejesus out of me); I really like Underworld, Evolution and even Rise of the Lycans had its moments. So though I didn’t imagine it would blow me away, I hoped Awakening would still be Underworldly.

It is kinda fun, but ultimately lacks the bite that the first two films had; this is despite Selene killing more than she does in her previous outings (IMDB trivia). This lack of impact is possibly because a lot of the kills are human. I guess it is a logical progression for the humans to find out, but its slightly less fun than the vampires and lycans beating seven hells out of each other. It’s rather like droids being killed in the Star Wars prequels rather than Imperials.

Monday, 16 March 2015

The Theory of Everything (2014)


In much the same way that 127 Hours is James Franco’s film and Moon is Sam Rockwell‘s film, so The Theory of Everything belongs to Eddie Redmayne.  Of course Franco only cut his arm off, so he only got as far as nominations for Baftas and Oscars, and Rockwell was never going to get a nod for a Sci-fi film; only by going with the full Illness was Redmayne assured of award.  Not being Sci-Fi meant that Theory would do alright come award season, but given that the film is about such a brilliant scientific mind, the film is rather light on the Sci.

Saturday, 7 March 2015

Immortals (2011)


It took me a while to decide whether Immortals was complete crap or entertaining nonsense.  I think it was the latter.  Theseus, Gods, Titans, swords, spears, stylised fights? What could go wrong?

It seems that director Tarsem Singh was heavily influence by Zack Snyder’s 300, though he didn’t pitch it too over the top or hammy.  Except that nobody told Mickey Rourke, whose Hyperion (bad guy) was hammier than a side of pig.  He also had the most ludicrous helmet, somewhere between a shark’s mouth and a lobster claw.  To paraphrase Blackadder; it is the most ridiculous helmet “...since Olaf the Hairy, high chief of all the vikings, accidentally ordered 80,000 battle helmets with the horns on the inside.”

Saturday, 14 February 2015

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013)



To be honest I didn't really notice the filmmaking particularly because I was so engrossed by the story. Which probably means that director Francis Lawrence did a great job. Not amazing, I like to think I might have noticed that; but clearly good enough to be commissioned for the next two movies.

As with the first film, the cast were all solid: Jennifer Lawrence is a great Katniss; Woody Harrelson is very believable as the drunk, jaded tribute; Stanley Tucci is brilliantly smarmy as the game show host Caesar. Most notable new additions to the cast are Jeffrey Wright and the excellent Philip Seymour Hoffman. Once again Toby Jones is criminally underused, but I guess in a story with such rich and diverse characters it's hard to meaningfully fit in everyone you like.

I haven't read the books so I can’t really comment on the merit of the adaptation, though I’m beginning to think that perhaps I should read them. One thing I did notice was the lack of triptychs. They featured heavily in the first film, presumably mirroring the way the public viewed the games in the different sectors; but here they were notably absent.

I can’t really think of much more to say, which I’m sure is a good thing. I did really enjoy it, I should probably watch it again to be more critical. But, you know, that's just, like, my opinion man.

Saturday, 3 January 2015

The Three Musketeers (2011)


There is absolutely nothing to recommend this film at all. There is none of Paul W. S. Anderson's sometimes visual flair, no interesting characters (Mads Mikkelsen's Rochefort and James Corden's Planchet are possible exceptions), nothing exciting happens and the story is just two episodes of Dogtanian stuck together (with a shoehorned in Fistful of Dollars joke) with everybody speaking in their own accents. Even Christoph Waltz' performance is flat.

Real rubbish.