Showing posts with label Sam Neill. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sam Neill. Show all posts

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Escape Plan

It was only natural that I became curious when I heard of a forthcoming film featuring the two super-heavyweights of 80s action. As any man who grew up in the 90s can attest to, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone are part of my childhood. VHS copies of Commando or Cliffhanger might have been some of the first we owned and while most of their output has aged even worse than the actors themselves, I still get a little tingle at the thought of seeing them on screen. Escape Plan marks the pair’s first appearance as co-stars although they were seen on screen together in Stallone’s The Expendables. The pairing might have come twenty years later than most fans would have liked but it certainly draws more attention to this movie than it would have if only one man had featured. Joining Arnie and Sly are the likes of Vinnie Jones and 50 Cent so Citizen Kane, watch out!

Stallone plays Ray Breslin, a man who is paid by the US Government to break out of maximum security prisons; a job he excels at. The movie opens with a long, dull sequence in which the audience discovers just how good he is. He’s very good. He gets out. Although he barely has time to change out of his prison jumpsuit, he’s offered double his normal fee to break out of an undercover, off the grid, top, neigh, super-duper top secret facility. He literally grunts at the chance and is soon back inside. Immediately Breslin discovers that this is unlike any other jail he’s seen before and when his emergency escape code is laughed off, he realises he’s going to need all his skills (as well as fellow convict Emil Rottmayer – Schwarzenegger) if he’s going to escape. Breslin develops a plan – an Escape Plan.

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Jurassic Park

The fact that Jurassic Park is twenty years old makes me feel older than I’d like to think I am. It’s hard to believe that it was two decades ago that a wide eyed seven year old me took a trip to the local cinema for what was only my second cinematic experience at the time. The film was a sensation with children, adults and critics and became the highest grossing movie of all time. Although I loved the film, there was a part of me who secretly hated it as it opened children’s eyes to the dinosaur world, something which I naively thought only I liked. Suddenly all my friends had dinosaur toys too and it annoyed me that they’d stolen my thing. It was the equivalent of that cool, underground band you like appearing on TV and going mainstream. Despite my anger over the film taking dinosaurs mainstream, it was pretty much the best thing my seven year old eyes had ever seen.

Twenty years, two sequels and about a dozen viewings later I heard that Universal were bringing Jurassic Park back to the big screen in 3D. Part of that sentence made me very happy but I was rather sceptical about the ‘3D’ element. I was even offered the chance to join a critics screening in New York City of all places, six months ago while on holiday there. I was unfortunately unable to make it though as I’d left my girlfriend shopping somewhere and knowing that she never notices her phone ringing and wouldn’t be able to make it to the theatre in time anyway, I had to decline, something which was deeply disappointing. All was not lost though as although I had to wait nearly half a year, I was eventually able to see the film on one of the largest screens in the country, the IMAX screen in Manchester.

Saturday, 29 December 2012

The Hunter

The Hunter was a film I began to hear good things about late last spring but was unfortunately unable to find a screening anywhere close to my local area (which happens to be the third largest city in the UK). In the end I probably saved myself a needless trip to the local Art House Cinema as although featuring some decent moments and a good central performance, The Hunter isn’t a film worth writing home about.

A mercenary/hunter (Willem Defoe) is employed by a shady European biotech company to travel to Tasmania and track the illusive, presumed extinct Tasmanian Tiger. The animal, which hasn’t been seen in the wild since 1930 is believed to have had a venom in its bite which was capable of paralysing its prey. The company, Red Leaf, wish to extract that venom for use in their biotechnology business. When he arrives in Tasmania, the hunter stays with a family who have recently experienced loss and attracts the unwanted attention of local loggers who are fearful for their jobs.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

The Vow

Around four minutes into The Vow I looked down at the notes I was making and they read “Why sex in the middle of the road?” “How did he get her permit?” “He looks like a potato”. I was tempted to just make that my review but I will go on.

Paige Collins (Rachel McAdams) and her husband Leo (Channing Tatum) are driving back from the movies when she decides to initiate sex at a set of traffic lights. Most people would perhaps wait until they were home or maybe nip down an alley but Paige goes for it in the middle of a snow covered street. After taking her seatbelt off the car is rear ended by a truck which sends Paige through the windshield in ultra slow motion. Once Paige wakes up in hospital with the smallest scars imaginable, we discover that she has short term memory loss and has forgotten her entire life with Leo. He looks like a confused Mr Potato head and runs away but decides to come back and try to get her to remember their life together (without using any photos, videos, texts or facebook updates etc). His quest is complicated with the introduction of Paige’s stuffy parents (Jessica Lange & Sam Neill) who want their daughter back.