Archive for Films
Stop it with Avenger movies and Spiderman movies.
Stop it with Captain America and Thor.
Just make more Batman!!!
Image taken from Geek Tyrant
Olympics is over, time to start watching films again. Well, until the new season of dramas start…
Monday – Panic Button
A bit of an adventurous film – a horror/thriller set on a private jet. Apart from a couple of scenes at the beginning and end of the film, this is predominately set in two rooms of an airplane – cabin and toilet. And it’s a British movie, which always brings its own charm. Unfortunately it’s a very average film featuring an unknown cast finished off with a naff ending. Avoid.
Friday – Killer Elite
Clive Owen, Robert De Niro, Jason Statham. Two great actors and one meathead. This film is based on the 1991 novel The Feather Men by Sir Ranulph Fiennes, and it does not disappoint. Focused around exSAS servicemen and set in the early eighties, Owen and Statham play their roles superbly. The nostalgia is spot on with a plethora of vintage early Eighties cars featured – MK2 Escorts, Cortinas, Minis, old Jags. Plus there’s a quality fight scene between Owen and Statham. Worth the Box Office rental fee alone.
On a separate note, Clive Owen should’ve been Bond.
Friday – The 40 Year Old Virgin
The funniest comedy, ever. No arguments, this is the funniest. Steve Carrell is brilliant (as are all the other actors) but Seth Rogan and Paul Rudd steal the show for me. An hilarious double act. Never tire of watching this film.
Saturday – Truth of Dare
Another British horror/thriller – two in one week! Sky must’ve bought a job lot this month. This was similar to Panic Button in that the main bulk of the film is set in one location – an old cabin out in the woods. Revenge, confessions, torture, fingers getting shot off, battery acid… I can only imagine this kind of thing goes on all the time down south.
Saturday – Fast and Furious
I love watching these movies. Great soundtrack, cars, locations, chases and races – what more can you ask for? The original is still my favourite. My only niggle is with some of the cars. You have an awesome car, tripped out with a boot full of nitro – why then do you get the car sprayed a ridiculously garish colour and add shitty vinyls to it? Some of the cars look mint, but most look bloody awful. If you rolled in to Tesco car park on a Saturday night in one of these racers you would get a slap.
Saturday – Faster
Don’t you just love it when you unearth a gem? It’s a miserable Saturday afternoon and you stick a movie on not expecting a great deal. Two hours later, you have been thoroughly entertained and you forgot it was pissing it down outside. Who would’ve thought it from a Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson film?
Saturday – XXX
Just utter nonsense really. I like Vin Diesel but this must be his worse film ever. Not surprised he passed up on the sequel.
Saturday – The Human Centipede (The First Sequence)
If there was ever a film I wish I could go back in time and unwatch, this would be it. All I knew about this film before I watched it was that it was controversial – which wasn’t going to deter me off watching it. Oh. My. God! This has got to be the most disturbingly, sickest film I have ever watched. I watched it before bed on Saturday night and I was glad I’d been drinking otherwise I probably would’ve stayed awake all night trying to deconstruct it my mind. That didn’t stop me thinking about it pretty much all day Sunday. As a horror movie, it has to be commended on doing its job – it certainly is horrific. This film takes what Saw and Hostel did and has raised the bar on sickness to a whole new level. It’s little wonder that there are disturbed fuckers out there when films like this are being made. I remember seeing A Nightmare on Elm Street at my next door neighbour’s when I about 11 and it gave me nightmares. If an 11 year old ends up watching a film like this, who knows what potential damage it could do. Yes, there’s have always been video nasties and banned films but I just can’t understand why anyone would want to make a film like this? I suppose ‘artistic’ film writers and directors feel its easier to make a name for themselves by sickening and revolting audiences than entertaining them.
Sunday – The Recruit
Is it me or does Al Pacino overact in every recent film he has done? Don’t get me wrong, I like Al and I especially enjoyed his performance in Heat but I just feel he over does it at times. Kind of like “Hey, I’m Al Pacino and I’m going to act the living shit out of this scene”. Shame really coz this film would’ve been pretty good had Al not tried to steal every scene he was in.
Monday – Love and Other Drugs
Bit of quiet week couple for films. I blame it on the Olympics which has been compelling viewing. Still managed to fit a couple in though.
Saturday – Ghost Rider: The Spirit of Vengeance
The first Ghost Rider was ok. This was very poor. The best bits were when Jonny Blaze was fighting with his ‘inner demon’ – Nic Cage being hilariously manic. Call me controversial but I think Cage would make an excellent Joker.
Sunday – Behind Enemy Lines
Owen Wilson in a serious film? Seemed an alright film until I fell asleep. Wasn’t the film’s fault I fell asleep, I was chuffing knackered. I should make time to re-watch it.
Friday – Justice
Really, really good film. A novel twist on the usual ‘wife gets brutally attacked, quiet husband goes mental and seeks revenge’ type movie. Nicolas Cage is just a solid actor – never disappoints. Did I ever say that I think Cage would make a great Joker? Good supporting cast from Guy Pearce and January Jones (Betsy Draper from Mad Men).
Sunday – The Chameleon
Typical Sunday afternoon movie when you are hungover from a stag do and just want to flake out on the sofa. Based on a true story apparently, turned out to be a decent film. The young French lad is quite an actor Plus it featured Onatopp from Goldeneye – never a bad thing.
Resurrecting this old feature. Me giving short ‘Barry Norman-esque’ reviews of the films I’ve watched this week.
Friday – Real Steel
I’ve commented about this movie before on this site. Loved it the first time I watched it and loved it again. Thoroughly enjoyable from start to end. The young lad (Dakota Gayo) is the real star of this film – no mean feat considering it stars CGI fighting robots, Wolverine and Kate from Lost.
Saturday – The Dark Knight Rises
Look down the page, I just wrote my review of this film. In short – fantastic!! Can’t wait to see it again.
Sunday – The Devil Inside
Ok, getting really bored of these types of movies. Yes its grim and there are some horrific scenes – is that CGI or does that girl really manage to contort herself like that…!? Is it a true story or just another Blair Witch? Don’t think I’m that arsed finding out really.
Sunday – Invasion of The Body Snatchers (1978)
Watched the first hour but tiredness kicked in – it was my birthday and had been a long day!! The pods giving birth to Donald Sutherland clones in the back garden was particularly grim. And Jeff Goldblum – he gets around doesn’t he?
Wednesday – Dressed to Kill
Sky advertised this movie as “If Alfred Hitchcock had done Basic Instinct”. Gave up after half and hour and turned on the Xbox. Yeah, Michael Caine is in it but he was also in Miss Congeniality…
Thursday – Basic
Only joined in half way through and saw the last hour or so. Seemed pretty good – all star cast and all that. The two main guys were John Travolta and Samual L. Jackson. No mention of Royale with cheese though.
So the wife and I went to see The Dark Knight Rises last weekend at the IMAX in Bradford.
My review of the film could simply be that my wife, who is usually a bit fidgety at the cinema, did not move an inch for the full 3 hours we were sat in the cinema. That itself is testament to just how gripping this film was.
Or was it that I was so glued to the screen, I was blinkered to all around me? Yes and no. After the film while we discussed it over a curry, my wife informed me that she loved it. She had loads of nerdy questions/observations I was only too happy to answer. I’m totally in my element when it comes to Batman.
Seriously, here is my take on TDKR.
Firstly, this film is without doubt the best film in the Christopher Nolan set. For me, I found there were long periods of The Dark Knight where I was bored. When watching the film on DVD, I can easily zip over those periods and not be concerned I’ve missed anything noteworthy. Not so with TDKR. The entire 2 and three quarter hours seemed to zip by and everything felt in its place and vital to the film. Maybe on a second or third viewing there will be bits that you can skim over and not pay a great deal of attention to but on the first viewing, there was a real fluidity to the film – everything had a purpose.
In the past, I’ve made criticisms about Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. But, to be fair, my perceived faults with those movies have been because of my own wrong doing – I’ve watched those films through my comicbook Geek goggles. I’ve picked up on Christopher Nolan’s own interpretations of the Batman universe and faulted them for not conforming with my own mind’s eye view of Batman. I’ve always loved Tim Burton’s Batman (1989) but I’ve never been rattled by his ‘story adjustments’ i.e. that Jack Napier (aka The Joker) was responsible for the death of Bruce Wayne’s parents. I let it slide because it allows Burton to solidly round off the film. Jack creates Batman, Batman creates Joker – boom! Therefore, if Nolan wants to rewrite previously written stories to make his own films work – just live with it.
Joe Chill shot dead Bruce’s parents, NOT Jack Napier.
That being said, I watched Batman Begins last week without my goggles and thoroughly enjoyed it. So what if Bruce was never trained by Ra’s Al Ghul or the League of Shadows… it’s not the end of the world.
So, coming back to TDKR, I went to the cinema on Saturday minus the goggles and just wanting to be entertained. I was not disappointed. This film was epic! Without doubt the best comic book movie EVER!! I thought the first Iron Man movie was the best but this smashed it. Just an absolute blast from the beginning to end.
**Warning, if you haven’t seen the film, I am about to reveal some key plot elements**
I wasn’t that taken with Bane. I think it was the voice. Between him, The Joker and Ra’s Al Ghul – Bane was the weakest villain from the three movies. Hardy is a talented actor and I’ve seen him play some truly horrible characters on TV but Bane just wasn’t that great for me.
Selina Kyle (she is never referred to as Catwoman) was top drawer. Can’t say I’ve ever seen any of Anne Hathaway’s other films but she definitely played this role well.
Ironically, after complaining in the past about Nolan’s interpretations of existing comic book stories and characters, Nolan does make nods to the comic books in TDKR – pleasing the geeks out there. Granted, he tweaks them as he did with the previous two films but there are some genuine geek moments. Here are a few I can remember from one viewing…
Bane’s origin story in the film does share similarities with his origin in The Vengeance of Bane.
Bane ‘breaks’ Batman in a very similar fashion to the way he does in Knightfall
Talia Al Ghul and Bruce share a moment not dis-similar to The Son of The Demon (and many other stories).
Selina Kyle lives with a sidekick who looks uncannily like her sidekick in Year One.
John Blake (the policeman) who is seemingly set up to be Robin in any future ‘reboots’ has a very similar name to Tim Drake (the third Robin) and shares a profession with Dick Grayson who was the original Robin before becoming Nightwing.
Dick Grayson (Robin/Nightwing) – Blüdhaven police officer
Bale, Caine and Oldman are brill as usual. I particularly love Oldman in these movies – his Jim Gordon is straight out of Year One. Plus there’s a nice dose of humour from Lucius Fox (Morgan Freeman).
Maybe it was because we were watching it on the IMAX but there were a few action sequences that just blow you away. The scenes starring ‘The Bat’ in particular are visually stunning – I could go and see the film again for those scenes alone. The Pod is more impressive in this film. I thought it looked naff in The Dark Knight – especially that bit when it flips round using the wall. The collapsing football pitch is mental!
Not that I ever need a reason to read a Batman graphic novel but I did have an overwhelming urge to read Year One when I got home.
I won’t give the ending away but Nolan does a great job of leaving it open for more films – in particular an adaptation of Frank Miller’s ‘The Dark Knight Returns’…!?
Yeah, that’s probably the geek in me wanting too much.
But not bob as in ‘a bit shit’, Bob as in Batman, Open and Birthday.
The Open. The British Open. One of the four ‘major’ golf tournaments. Yes, I love my golf. I enjoyed playing it when I was younger and one day I will take it up again and swing the irons. Until then, I’m left playing it on the Xbox and watching it on tv. Some people moan about golf ruining a nice walk. Some people ask how you can watch it on tv when the coverage alternates between footage of sky and grass? But me, I love it. I could quite happily sit there all day and watch the BBC’s coverage. Cricket fans can sit and watch 5 day internationals – I can sit and watch 4 days of major golf. I’m also a Tiger Woods fan. He’s exciting to watch and his recent ‘off the fairway’ adventures only add to circus that surrounds him. Chip in that the UK and Northern Ireland have some really exciting players at the top of the world rankings at the moment and it’s got all the ingredients of being a classic. Royal Lytham is a notoriously difficult links course and plus the bonus of some truly awful English summer weather – it should be a proper skirmish.
Play starts on Thursday and I’m hoping to watch as much as I can – probably on BBC iPlayer while I work.
But Its not all golf, golf golf this weekend. For a period of time Saturday afternoon, I’ll be sat in front of an IMAX screen watching the final installment of Christopher Nolan’s Batman triology – The Dark Knight Rises.
As I’ve mentioned in an earlier blog posting, I’m not a gushing fan of the Nolan movies unlike most people. Yes, Nolan stuck pretty true to some major elements of the comic books but there are also some big deviations in my opinion. That being said, its a frickin Batman movie!! Not Spiderman but Batman! Hell, I actually got excited about the Joel Schumacher movies – and we know how those turned out. Basically, if it’s Batman, I’m all over it – good or bad.
And that leads nicely up to Sunday – the big Three Nine!! Yes, I’m about to enter my fortieth year. Time to grow up? I don’t think so.
This weekend sees the release of the latest cinematic interpretation of the Caped Crusader.
Below is an infographic illustrating the evolution of Batman across 70 years (infographic created by @blairerickson )
Many thanks to Carl Milner for bringing it to my attention.
So this is me wearing goofy 3D glasses at the Vue Cinema in Accrington. Packed matinee showing of The Avengers – and yes, I am wearing a Captain America t-shirt.
General thoughts on the film – well it’s no secret I’m not a fan of Marvel comics or the films*. I don’t actually mind the Iron Man movies but I think this is due to the performance of Robert Downey Jnr. I thought the Avengers movie was as much nonsense as they could cram in to 2 hours of screen time – what a bleeding car crash! Yeah, I’m sure the fanboys out there were absolutely creaming themselves over it but personally… meh. If I come out of a movie showing looking forward to seeing a film again, then that is proof it has pushed most of the right buttons. As I write this, the thought of watching The Avengers again does not excite me in the slightest. The Avengers would’ve benefitted from being just Iron Man 3 and losing all the other characters.
Funnily enough, I endured X-Men: First Class again last night. Yes, there really wasn’t anything else on!! An hour in and I was wishing I’d played on the Xbox instead.
*The Punisher – now there is a Marvel comic I can read. Plus the 2004 film with John Travolta wasn’t half bad.
Watched a really great movie the other week… Real Steel.
Ok, it probably didn’t pick up any Oscars but both the wife and I thought it was an enjoyable two hours entertainment.
Without going too ‘Barry Norman’, its basically set in the near future and focuses around the sport of fighting robots. Starring Wolverine and Kate from Lost, it’s actually the unknown child actor who ‘steels’ the show. Do you see what I did there…?
Now when I say fighting robots, this is not to be confused with the armoured radio controlled cars that used to drive in to eachother in BBC2 ‘Robot Wars’. This is huge, CGI mechs that brutally kick the crap out of eachother. Robot Rocky.
Personally, just my type of film. I didn’t strap a kick-ass sub to the back of my television for black & white silent movies.
The photo above is of my fighting robot – Tic Toc. He’s actually quite crap at fighting but his timing is great…