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.

Saturday, 21 March 2015

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1969)

"She’s trying to intimidate me with quarter hours! 
So says Maggie Smith’s Jean Brodie, a teacher in an Edinburgh girls' school in the 1930s.  Miss Brodie isn’t really a loose cannon, but she doesn’t really stick to the curriculum either.  As such, Maggie Smith is perfect.
Oh dear. I watched this back in March (when I wrote the above intro); pretty shocking that I didn't get round to reviewing this film at the time.  I do remember that Maggie Smith's performance was tremendous; as the dynamic, romantic young teacher who could influence her girls, she is mesmerising.  As a support, Gordon Jackson's music teacher managed to hold his own against Smith's vivacious character, but it is the girls who are the focus rather than the potential love interest.
The girls in Miss Brodie's class, particularly the main four who make up the "Brodie set", are all very good.  Pamela Franklin who plays Sandy gives a very measured performance, and arguably has more of a story arc than anyone else, as her impressionable school girl matures and sees Miss Brodie for who she really is.
A grand little film with a towering performance from Maggie Smith.  I just wish I could remember more of it without plagiarising IMDb or Wikipedia!  But, you know, that's just, like, my opinion man.

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.”