Showing posts with label 2/10. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 2/10. Show all posts

Sunday, 11 August 2013


Sharknado doesn’t deserve a full review. At a time when I’m only writing reviews for about one film in eight that I watch, I’m not going to spend too much time dissecting the finer points of the plot, acting and direction of this film. The movie is the latest in a long line of terrible B-Movies commissioned by The Syfy Channel and made by The Asylum film studio. The films appear to be title first, plot second affairs which owe a great debt to the B-Movie classics of the 1950s and 60s but lack their antiquated cousins’ charm and ideas. As I can’t be bothered discussing the film in depth I’m just going to write some sentences that come into my head when I think about this ‘film’. In honour of the movie they will make little sense and won’t interest you

It’s rubbish.

The action begins with characters surfing on a beach without waves.

Different beaches are used from shot to shot.

In one early scene, it’s obvious that a pod of dolphins are being filmed instead of sharks.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Dinocroc vs. Supergator

Last week, friend and fellow blogger Richard (of I Liked That Film) produced a DVD from his bag and passed it to me. He told me to watch it and said it’s rubbish. Over the last year or so, a succession of films has passed between the two of us with each attempting to increase the other’s cineliteracy. This time though, I thought he was taking the piss as the film he presented me with was called Dinocroc vs. Supergator. I was briefly told about one or two terrible scenes and like you do when you receive socks for Christmas, I smiled politely, said thank you and tucked the film into my own bag. Despite having just bought Rome Open City and Breathless the day before, it was this that found its way into my DVD player first. Perhaps it was curiosity or maybe it was similar to how you eat the vegetables before saving the steak until last but I watched it first. And it’s awful. I’ve seen some bad films before but this is up there with the worst.

The plot is very simple. An unscrupulous biotech company is developing super crops on a Hawaiian Island. Secretly they are also using the methods they’ve discovered to grow animals. For some reason a Dinocroc and Supergator escape and eat most of the scientists. Then they eat random idiots on various parts of the island before being contained and forced to fight each other by a ramshackle group of local heroes and assorted hangers on.

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Identity Thief

Why didn’t I just listen? I have only myself to blame. No actually, I’ll blame my girlfriend as this film was her choice, but no, it’s not all on her, I have to shoulder some of the responsibility. At work Richard, the man behind I Liked That Film told me it was the worst film he’d seen all year and I’d listened to a couple of podcasts and read some reviews which stated similar. But still I went. And now I’ve added another few dollars to an ever expanding pot which makes this waste of talent (at time of writing) the second biggest box office draw of the year so far. How and why is this film so bad? All the ingredients are there. Melissa McCarthy is a fast rising comedy star who was great in Bridesmaids and stole her scenes in This is 40. Jason Bateman is one of the best every man-straight man types in Hollywood today. What happened?

The plot or should I say tenuous excuse to get Bateman and McCarthy in a car together for two hours is that Bateman plays Sandy Patterson. I know what you’re thinking; Sandy is a girl’s name. He must be some kind of girly man, right? Well if you think that’s funny then you’re gonna love the next couple of hours. So Sandy, ha, Sandy works in Denver at a job he’s good at but he doesn’t get the sort of appreciation he thinks he deserves (Amen, brother!). Sandy starts to notice that his credit limit is reduced and eventually his card is declined. He’s all like “What on Earth is going on? I only use the card for gas and coffee…” Meanwhile in Florida a woman (McCarthy) has stolen Sandy (Get it, like a girl’s name) Patterson’s identity and is using it to buy all sorts of hilarious items like hairspray and jet skis. Unfortunately the police can’t help because for some reason they’re not allowed to. So Sandy, wait, sorry. Sandy has to go to Florida himself and play bounty hunter by bringing the woman to Denver to explain to his boss that he’s a good boy really. Also there are bad guys with guns.

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Taken 2

Those of you who know me personally will be well aware that 2008’s surprise hit Taken is one of my least favourite films since, well ever. I deeply disliked the casual xenophobia, cartoonish depiction of Yurop (Europe) and all round head kicking dullness. As you can imagine then, the idea of Taken 2 did not excite me and I had no intention of putting myself through another dose of nonsensical, skull crushing chaos. That was until I was on a recent flight with eight hours to kill. Having already seen films I wanted to see on the flight out I was short of things to entertain me so tentatively pressed the Taken 2 button and closed my eyes in shame and fear when I hit ‘play movie’.

The film follows on from the events of Taken which if you don’t know involved the teenage daughter (Maggie Grace) of ex C.I.A. man Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) being ‘taken’, get it? by a group of Albanian people traffickers to be sold into sexual slavery. This all happened in Foreign (France) where everyone is evil and speaks English, not French. So, it’s a few years later and Mills is still overly protective of his teenage daughter, who looks about thirty by the way. He goes to Istanbul for a job and his daughter Kim (Grace) and ex wife Lenore (Famke Janssen) surprises him with a visit. Meanwhile the family of the nondescript but dead Albanians from the first movie are seeking revenge and ‘take’ Bryan and his ex wife.

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Safe House

I don’t know what I was hoping for with Safe House but I certainly wasn’t expecting so little. With films like Taken setting the bar very low these days for the action genre it seems that a whole parade of films are following in its ridiculous wake and Safe House is but one of these movies. Matt Weston (Ryan Reynolds) is a CIA Safe House Operative in Cape Town. His role involves waiting around a secure house in case the CIA ever needs to move a criminal, terrorist etc. Twelve months into the posting Matt’s first house guest arrives in the shape of Tobin Frost (Denzel Washington) a highly skilled rogue CIA Agent who is being chased by a menagerie of vaguely foreign looking killers. Frost repeatedly ditches Weston but he never stops hunting the rogue agent down and more nonsense I’m bored.

Safe House was more full of holes than holy water from the holy land and had the most obvious twist since Rock ‘n’ Roll. It is such a stupid movie that I can barely bring myself to discuss it. It is never exciting or interesting and beside solid but unspectacular central performances there is literally nothing of merit in the entire 110 minutes.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn -Part 1

The penultimate film in the inexplicably popular Twilight series is probably the worst to date. Having avoided the hordes of mindless team whatever fans on its initial release I finally persuaded myself to sit down and watch the DVD twelve months on. I was unable to get through it in one sitting. The plot is one of the least tortuous and most dull affairs I’ve ever seen. Bella (Kristen Stewart) is marrying Edward (R-Patzzz), much to the distain of Jacob (Taylor Lautner) who shows his anger by ripping off his shirt less than five seconds into the film. Following their seemingly real time marriage which feels longer than most actual weddings I’ve been to, the happy couple go on their honeymoon, first passing through Rio, full of stereotypical dancing Brazilians before ending up on a secluded island. Edward is worrying about hurting Bella during consummation and through a vomit inducing sex montage; they finally consummate their love after all these years. But uhoh!! They must have skipped sex education class as Bella ends up with a baby up all inside her belly. How this happens is beyond me as the father is dead. I was under the impression that dead people had no living cells but somehow Edward’s sperm are alive. Anyway, the baby starts trying to kill Bella and lots of people attempt to save her, despite the fact that she’s one of the least likeable characters in cinema history.

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Don't be Afraid of the Dark

"La Di Da Di, We likes to party, we don't cause no trouble, we don't bother nobody"

Sometime in the past, the owner of a large Rhode Island mansion summons his housekeeper to the basement where he kills her and removes her teeth with a hammer and chisel. The man offers the teeth to some unseen creatures inside a fireplace and asks for the return of his son. He doesn’t get his wish. Fast forward to the present day and a man (Guy Pearce) and woman (Katie Holmes) move into the mansion along with Pearce’s estranged and reclusive daughter (Bailee Madison). Sally, depressed at being separated from her mother discovers the now hidden basement (which was somehow missed by surveyors, estate agents and owners but discovered by an eight year old) and awakens whatever lies inside the old fireplace. Once the creatures are out they want one thing; to take someone back down with them.

Considering this is a horror film it's less scary than when Nemo’s dad loses his son. The slow and tedious opening lasts for half an hour, during which time there is no atmosphere and little tension. One of the reasons that The Woman in Black was so successful is that it created atmosphere and suspense. Here there is none. We just get panning shots of what feels like quite a nice and not at all creepy house.

Red Riding Hood

"There's a big, bad wolf and someone has to stop it"

Following an unconvincing swoop through a CGI Medieval landscape we somehow arrive in what appears to be an American Medieval village that is being ravaged by a werewolf. Our heroine, Valerie (Amanda Seyfried) is a young woman who lives in the village. She is in love with woodcutter Peter (Shiloh Fernandez) but has been betrothed to the son of a wealthy blacksmith called Henry (Max Irons). Shortly after the wolf returns from a long absence and begins to kill, a (possibly) Dutch witch hunter called Father Solomon (Gary Oldman) rides into town inside a giant metallic elephant with a retinue of some African fellas and a Japanese chap. Solomon tries to hunt the wolf down while Valerie, given a red hood by her grandma, and her two love interests track the wolf as well.

This film is just an excuse for yet another tween Twilightified love triangle story. This effort has added fairytale elements, silly dancing and awful music. The plot is preposterous and the dialogue feels like it’s been lifted from half heard conversations at a Californian mall. This is by far the worst film I’ve seen in months, possibly all year.

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter

"However history remembers me before I was a President, it shall only remember a fraction of the truth..."

In 1818 a young boy by the name of Abraham Lincoln (Benjamin Walker) witnesses his mother’s murder and vows to get revenge on the man who took her life. In his late teens he finally plucks up the courage to enact his revenge but when he fires a pistol at the head of the assassin, the man simply gets back up and attacks the young Lincoln. The young man is saved by a strange man called Henry Sturgess (Dominic Cooper) who tells the future President about the existence of vampires and teaches him the art of killing them. Lincoln dedicates his life to the destruction of vampires but finds in later life that words and deeds outweigh the power of his axe and he eventually becomes a Lawyer and later President of the Union. During his Presidency the vampire rich South declares war on the North in the hope of creating a nation for vampires.

This film is a case of a title that is better than the movie. The idea behind it sounds great; that one of America’s most beloved Presidents was also secretly a Vampire Hunter, but the execution doesn’t live up to the premise. I’ve recently read books about the American Civil War and Lincoln’s assassination so probably know more than the average Brit about the President and this period of America’s history and there were nice details, incidents and characters taken from the period and Lincoln’s life that were included to give a bit of authenticity to the story. The truth, with the added inclusion of vampires could have created a really good film but alas it is not.

Monday, 14 May 2012

Piranha 3DD

A sequel to 2010’s surprise hit Piranha 3D stars an ensemble cast of large breasted girls and handsome men plus a few D List comedy actors and well known faces in a battle of fish vs man. The action is transported to a water park in Arizona where sleazy Chet (David Koechner – Anchorman) has made some changes to his late wife’s park. These include hiring strippers as lifeguards and the use of a dodgy water supply. His daughter in law Maddy (Danielle Panabaker) is home for the summer and shocked at the changes. With rumour of Piranha on the prowl she tries to close the park but finds that she is already too late.

I really enjoyed Piranha 3D. It took me completely by surprise and was funny, rude and ridiculous. Piranha 3DD has all the same ingredients but has added more rude and ridiculous and toned down the funny. The result is pretty much the same film as the original but has lost what made it unique as it’s all been seen before. There is nothing new and the ‘story’ isn’t progressed but it has the odd moment which made me smile and plenty which made me cringe.

Sunday, 4 March 2012


Before watching this film I couldn’t help feeling that Ross and Phoebe were going to be really pissed when they found out that Rachel and Mike had secretly got married and starred in a film together. Having seen the film, I think they’d probably be more pissed that they’d had to sit through 98 minutes of some of the most painfully awful cinema ever.

The film’s central characters are George (Paul Rudd)  a successful financial worker in New York and Linda (Jennifer Anniston), George’s wife, who has yet to discover her calling in life. At the start of the film the couple are seen in the midst of a decision about whether to carry on renting an apartment or to take the plunge and buy. They decide to buy only to discover the next day that George has lost his job and Linda has had her latest project, a film, turned down by HBO. So, with no income they decide to take up a job offer from George’s brother and move to Atlanta. This is the first of the film’s ridiculous plot holes. Answer this. If you were a successful New York City financial worker, on the verge of a promotion but then lost your job due to the company going bust would you A) Look for another job in the financial capital of the world? Or B) Move to Georgia and live in a commune full of hippies? Another question. If you had made a film but it was turned down by the first TV station you took it to would you A) Take it to another station? Or B) Say, ahh well, I gave it a go. Let’s bin this film I’ve made about the fucking South Pole and move to Georgia to live in a commune full of hippies? It is preposterous!

How I felt while watching. Bored and wishing I was crushing the life out of Anniston so she'd stop.

On their way to Atlanta, the couple get tired and find a B&B which happens to be full of the most ridiculous stereotype hippies I have ever seen. There is of course the naked wine maker, the Earth Mother who gets upset when a fly is swatted, the sexy free love girl, the long haired, bearded man who talks nonsense and plays guitar, not forgetting the old guy from the 70s in a wheel chair. It. Is. Unbelievable. It’s like the film makers just Googled hippy and thought, “Right we’ll have one of those, one of those…” The characters are such caricatures that they are unbearable to watch. Upon arriving it is George who wants to stay and set up their home at the commune but after a ridiculous montage suddenly this switches around and he wants to go back to New York but the previously apprehensive Linda discovers ‘herself’ and decides she wants to stay. This causes problems for the couple and the rest of the film portrays their attempts to fit in and live their lives.

Even before the couple leave New York it is already apparent that these two characters aren’t suited (and it’s not just because of their unshakable Friends incarnations). All the way through I was just thinking, “Piss off back to New York George and leave her there. What the hell are you doing there? You are a successful banker who has left New York to live in a fucking commune that you hate”. They don’t feel like a married couple at all so there is no emotion from the audience when their relationship takes a turn for the worse.

Look! A stick with orange peel on it! Ha! How quirky and funny.

The film is meant to be a comedy but they are really stretching the use of that word. I laughed twice; once when a child said something sarcastic and again when Paul Rudd was talking to himself in the mirror. The rest of the ‘jokes’ were just awful. There was a recurring joke about names which was irritating and most of the humour was meant to be coming from when the audience says “ha-ha! Look at those funny hippies. They are doing and saying things differently to me. That’s funny”. Well it really isn’t. It was just boring, cheap and dumb. In the half full cinema I counted only three laughs from the majority of the audience. It’s just not good enough. I don’t know how people can get away with making films this unfunny and still come out the other side with mixed reviews. The film has a 58% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. I must have been watching a different film. I’m disappointed with myself for watching it. If people keep going to see this tripe, it will only encourage more of the same.

Jennifer Anniston is back to her usual self here. After a good performance in Horrible Bosses, she is back in Just Go With It territory. I know that she gets pigeon holed but I wish she’d just stop or say no. Surely she’s rich enough to say no or to seek out smaller, independent films so she can prove everyone wrong. Paul Rudd is the only actor who emerges with an ounce of credibility. The films best moments come when he is on screen alone but he is better than this. The supporting cast are made up of half recognizable faces but their characters are so desperately annoying that it was difficult to get past and think about the acting. I guess that most of the actors probably aren’t irritating, outlandish dick heads so maybe they were very good. Just when you think that the film can't get any worse, there is a cameo from an actor who has appeared in a title role in one of Martin Scorsese's greatest films. His appearance creates no laughs and just makes you say to yourself "What happened to you? You are in THIS film. For thirty seconds. Naked.." Its pitiful.

Wanderlust is a film that I wouldn’t want to subject on my worst enemies. It is 98 minutes of incredibly boring, ill defined drivel with barely any laughs and an ending which made me want to vomit.