Thursday, 14 May 2015

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (2012)


I don’t think there is really much I can say about this movie, other than it probably would have been much better if it hadn’t taken itself seriously. Why would a film that tells this secret life of one of the most famous Presidents not do so with its tongue firmly in its cheek?

Directed by Timur Bekmambetov, the same guy who brought us Nightwatch (2006) and Wanted (2008) some parts do have some style, but these incidental scenes are the exception rather than the rule, and besides, they’re obviously CGI.

Thursday, 30 April 2015

Resident Evil (2002)


Resident Evil isn’t the first film based on a computer game, and in 2002 is wouldn’t be the last; not least because of the various sequels of this particular franchise.  Tomb Raider (2001) had its merits, though the sequel Cradle of Life (2003) didn’t.  I seem to remember the only good thing about Doom (2005) was the first person shooter moment that Karl Urban has, which is really what Doom was all about anyway.  In this illustrious company Resident Evil doesn’t exactly stand out, but it also doesn’t fall into the mire of awful adaptations (I’m looking at you Streetfighter).

The setup to the film works really well.  Umbrella is a huge corporation that owns so many products that 90% of homes contain something made by them; additionally they have huge lobbying clout.  So, Unilever or Nestle then.  Of course the real work of Umbrella is military hardware, illegal and morally questionable genetic research.  So, Dow, Monsanto or any Western government then.  Sorry, I’ll stop being so political.  Essentially, the idea of an ethically suspect multinational is just as relevant today as it was in 2002.

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Van Helsing (2004)



I know that this movie has been a pet hate for a couple of friends who used to do a great movie double bill podcast, so when Van Helsing appeared on TV, I had to see if it really was that bad.  Yes.  It's that bad.  I could end the review there, it's almost not worth taking time over, but hatchet jobs are so much more fun than fawning over the latest Chris Nolan film.  So here goes.

It starts off in an almost promising way.  It's quite a nice idea for the beginning to start at the end of Frankenstein, hypothesising what might happen next.  However by the time it cuts to a year later and Van Helsing is introduced it all goes to shit.  So the promise only lasts about 5 minutes then, it soon fades and crapness abounds.

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.