Thursday, 24 October 2013

Escape Plan

Finally Sylvester Stallone and Arnie in a film that takes you back to their earlier action movie days in a good way. Escape Plan, with it's self explanatory title, is so much better than The Expendables movies simply because it isn't trying to cram in all the action stars and cheesy lines that it can, so the movie can actually concentrate on the story.  A good twist although I've seen something similar in a TV show that got cancelled a couple of years ago (sorry to be cryptic but it will spoil the movie), and just a few cheesy moments that are perfectly placed so they are really funny. This is mainly a Sly movie as it's about what happens to his character but he seemed less fresh and more exhausted personally than fictionally, more so than Arnie though his role was less demanding. I would like to see more like this from these 2 actors instead of more Expendables !! And if you like the old school movies these guys used to be in then don't miss this one !!

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Baggage Claim

Baggage Claim is a great watch if you go with a group of girl friends. Expect a sugary fluffy romantic comedy that has exactly the same formula as all the other ones.  Paula Patton (apparently Robin Thicke's wife of Blurred Lines fame) who plays the female lead would be okay if she didn't have a really high pitched, squealy voice throughout the film. It does very quickly start to grate on your ears and you do feel like you should give her a slap to get her out of it!! Her role is actually one that you can imagine Sandra Bullock or J'Lo playing several years ago. A nice variety of male actors have been cast to play her strange exes all of whom fit well into their diverse characters. It is unbelievable the amount of exes she's supposed to have though - is it really like that for all air hostesses? Girls night out, girls night in - this is the perfect movie!

Monday, 14 October 2013


Prisoners covers the frightening subject of child abduction. In reality we hear about it on the news and the parents can do nothing. This films considers the alternative - what if the parents can do their utmost to find their children quickly. Hugh Jackman's character is one that will cross any line just to find his daughter no matter what it takes - whilst his friend, who's daughter goes missing at the same time, finds it much harder to cross that line. The film is 153 minutes long, but the performances and story, as it unravels, are so strong that you don't notice the time go by. Both HJ and Jake Gyllenhaal, who plays the cop, are great to watch as the story unfolds, and by the end of the film when they spell it out you probably won't have worked out the ending. Heavy in topic but definitely worth spending the time to watch this one.

Thursday, 10 October 2013

White House Down

So White House Down - is it better than Olympus has Fallen? Oh most definitely yes!!! An awesome, leave your brain at the door, action movie with all the explosions, property damage and random gun fire that any true action fan would want to see in a film. Okay, so it's not too original as Channing Tatum did end up in a white vest which didn't see as much dirt as was John McClane's, and the bad guys, and story, did make you think of Die Hard, but nonetheless White House Down is fun to watch. Channing T was one of the film's producers so I think it's his attempt at moving away from all the romantic roles he gets. After this, no matter how pretty he is, we can respect him as an action hero. A shout out to Jamie Foxx too but he's already well recognised for his diversity in acting. An action movie I will most definitely be watching again !!!

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Runner Runner

Now and again there'll be a movie that doesn't inspire you to write and when this happens you know it was middle of the road bland. In this instance I'm talking about Runner Runner. It was fine to kill 90 minutes but it could quite easily have been a TV movie or, even better, an episode of any crime series. It's surprising that Ben Affleck and Justin Timberlake wanted to do this one - I assume they did for diversity. Never see this and the world will still turn.

Thursday, 3 October 2013


Well as you might expect R.I.P.D is extremely similar to Men In Black. Is it better? Not really – the film was kind of mixed. I couldn’t stand Jeff Bridges character who was talking as though he was chewing tobacco the whole time – you couldn’t understand half of the badly written lines he was delivering. Despite this being based on a comic book, Ryan Reynolds didn’t seem to change his acting style at all, okay he was playing a dead guy but he was still stuck in one of his previous serious movies it seemed. Unsurprisingly though it was Kevin Bacon who stole the show – there was nothing extremely unique about his role but his delivery outshone everyone else.  And the movie itself?  It did pick up as it was going along - the first 30 minutes mediocre, the last 30 minutes great; I suspect if Men In Black hadn’t been done first it would have been much better.

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Insidious Chapter 2

If you watched Insidious then you have to go and watch Insidious Chapter 2 regardless as it's an immediate continuation of the story - what I mean is that it's actually the next day from the last movie's night before. If you didn't watch the first one then you really need to see it beforehand so that the second makes total sense. Was it worth watching? Well I liked Insidious as it was a fresh idea for making a connection to the horror that lurked on the 'other side', but because the first film explains what's going on this makes Chapter 2 a lot less scarier than it could be as you know what to expect. What's nice about Insidious 2 is the added comedy element of the 2 guy paranormal investigators that appeared in the first, although I'm sure they got this idea from the Ghostfacers that Sam and Dean have come across in Supernatural. They made the most of these guys in this one, but the fact they had to add comedy could mean that their horror story was running a bit flat. Regardless expect Insidious Chapter 3 as its just been confirmed by Hollywood!

Monday, 16 September 2013

The Lone Ranger

No matter what anyone says about it, I was bound to like The Lone Ranger anyway as Johnny Depp is playing one of his quirky characters. Expect Pirates of the Carribbean in the wild West with some cute ideas like the colourful character that is Silver the horse.  It's nice to find out how the Lone Ranger and Tonto came to be as I don't remember any of that being explained in those ancient Lone Ranger series reruns. When I was young to me the 'Lone Ranger' was just his title - who knew he was called that because he was actually a Texas Ranger! So the verdict? If you liked Pirates - watch this, if you're a die hard fan of traditional Westerns - avoid!!

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

You're Next

The mark of a good movie is one that will have you guessing until the end! Sadly I guessed what was going on in You're Next near the beginning. You know this is going to be a mediocre movie given it's no major star cast - I did recognised the girl from Step Up 3D though and was impressed with the way she could kick-ass. It's a violent one but some of the 'cheesy' violence actually made the audience laugh. This is more the kind of film you'd turn on mid-way through on a late Friday night  and be content in watching the rest of it without having seen the beginning. A similar idea movie The Strangers is a much better watch.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013


If you're both a sci-fi fan and a Riddick fan then no doubt you'll be looking forward to the latest in Riddick's adventures. Whilst this instalment obviously had a much reduced budget compared to Chronicles, and doesn't quite meet the quality of Pitch Black, although is similar in storyline, Riddick's undefeatable tough, but cool, character won't disappoint you; can he survive everything and anyone yet again? Before you go and see this it's best to watch Pitch Black and Chronicles beforehand as there particular character references in the storyline. So out of them all how does Riddick rate? I can watch Pitch Black over and over, I can watch Chronicles again, but watching this one just once at the moment I feel is quite enough, BUT I'm really looking forward to the next part of the story which I hope they definitely make!

Thursday, 5 September 2013

The Way Way Back

I've just come fresh from the cinema after watching The Way Way Back, and what a lovely film that was to watch. As you'd expect it is a Sundance Festival movie and would definitely be classed as one of those movies that would not pull in mainstream audiences. The film is about an awkward 14 year old boy who is on vacation with his mum, her boyfriend and his daughter. Not liking the boyfriend much, (who knew Steve Carell could be so mean!) and having trouble fitting in with the older teenagers, Duncan reminds us of how it was when we were young and awkwardly inclined, and throughout the movie your heart goes out to him. Thankfully he finds happiness at the local water park and a role model friend in the shape of Sam Rockwell, who steals the show with his entertaining quick witted character. Similar to the movie Adventureland, this is a great one to end your summer vacation with and it will help you reminisce about all those summer vacations you used to have when you were young.

Thursday, 8 August 2013

This Is the End

This Is the End is kind of a crazy idea for a film where you get to see all the real life celebrities like Seth Rogan, Jonah Hill, Michael Cera, Rihanna, and many more of those comedy actors you’ll know well from Seth Rogan films, having a party at James Franco's house. The party doesn't last long as soon all hell breaks loose in L.A. and our celebrities are forced into a survive or die situation. They are best friends at the start but what with no water, a single milky way and living in the same space for days on end, will they still be friends if they survive it all? Whilst you’ve probably not seen a story like this before, you'll know that you can expect some very funny moments, and the best part is that the actors are making fun of themselves throughout the movie.  Be prepared for a very over the top storyline, but 107 minutes of fun with a surprise or two along the way.

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Now You See Me

What a great original film – Now You See Me is definitely one to watch. Four magicians know as The Four Horsemen (even though one's a lady) use their magic to cleverly take from the rich and give to the poorer during their performances to audiences of hundreds, all without getting caught. Throughout the movie the FBI, namely Mark Ruffalo, is trying to catch them out, but they are always one step ahead. Morgan Freeman, an ex-magician, is trying to figure out how they are doing this magic but to no avail. The Four Horsemen are Woody Harrelson, Isla Fisher, Dave Franco (James’s brother) and Jesse Eisenberg and they have a very specifc goal ahead so won’t be performing long-term, but exactly what is real and what's an illusion will have you guessing right to the end. All will be explained but it’s not something that's easy to predict. I can imagine kids watching this and going out to buy magic sets, or adults getting out their decks of cards to try those old, much easier tricks once again.

Monday, 29 July 2013

The Internship

You’ve got Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn in a comedy together, so you pretty much know what type of humour is on offer. The Internship is very funny, but then I loved dodgeball, and this film has similar moments to that – they are the underdogs of Google’s internship programme and are fighting to come out on top. There's even a kind of dodgeball moment in there, mashed up with Harry potter of all things!! Do they really do that at Google!?! It was nice to see Dylan O’Brien in this – Styles from the Teenwolf TV series – I was wondering why he now had hair in TW's latest season! Whilst you can probably guess the outcome of the story, it’s the journey you go through to get there that's the fun part – the ups, the downs, and how you can relate to the trouble you may have had yourself when it comes to jobs. Watching this on a Monday after work was such a great way to relax and just giggle at the end of a long day. I would like to know if it’s really like that at Google because it looks incredible. The only question that remains is, after this movie, will Google take on the ‘older’ professionals as interns, or do they already do that? I can imagine that this movie will now become the essential watch for all those future Google interns before they have their interviews.

Friday, 26 July 2013

Pacific Rim (in 3D)

In full Japanese style – i.e. Godzilla versus some other giant monster type thing, Pacific Rim is fun on a large scale. The monsters, known as Kaiju, are aliens who have found a way to travel to earth via a portal from deep within the ocean. The 3D works well for the technology in this movie as we are shown triple layer transparent computer screens that the actors are operating, but other than that 2D would be just as impressive. Whilst you might be thinking this film is all about Robots apparently the ‘Robots’ are really exoskeletons (called Jaeger) which take 2 humans to operate from the inside – I guess it’s like a form of puppetry. It is up to the talented Jaeger pilots to keep these immense aliens at bay whilst the aliens arriving on the planet are becoming bigger and stronger. Directed by Guillermo del Toro of Hellboy fame, it isn’t surprising to see Ron Perlman play a colourful character in this. What adds to this film is that it's been made in a way so you can see and in some ways feel how heavy and immense the Jaegers are, but if they lose the fight they are equally like giant tin cans that can easily be ripped open. Can the world be saved before it's destroyed? Well that’s the mission so you'll have to go and find out! An enjoyable movie with great robot effects for a summer evening’s entertainment.

[Extra scene: there's a 20 second scene during the credits, so you might want to stick around for that.]

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Is it a bird? Is it a Plane? Man of Steel

We were all waiting to see if this would be as bad as the last one or the same calibre as the Christopher Reeve original. Whilst it is far better than the last one you can’t really compare it to the orignal. Man of Steel you feel is a lot closer to the actual comics, with one of the biggest longest battles you’ve seen between 2 people. Strong performances all round, particular from Russell Crowe who makes a worthy Jor-El and great scenes on Krypton before the planet dies. I don’t think they chose the right actor for General Zod though (Michael Shannon) – he didn’t really have any screen presence, and his fellow Kryptonian female compadre stole the show. I think everyone who enjoys superheroes and likes Superman will have to see this movie just so you can say that you have.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Before Midnight

Did you watch Before Sunrise in 1995 and Before Sunset in 2004? If you did then you’ll have to watch Before Midnight as you’ll want to see how Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delpy) have come along since their chance meeting on a train in Europe in 1995. Each film takes place within a particular day and they are generally about love and life experiences. Once you’ve started watching them you can’t help but want to see the next one, and then the next - although I wasn't expecting a 3rd. Celine always over thinks everything and comes across a little crazy, and Jesse must have the patience of I don’t know what to put up with her craziness. This is a charming trilogy but would appeal to a very specific audience who enjoy listening to non-stop, amusing and creative, conversation. You do really need to see the other 2 movies first though for this one to make sense.

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Stuck in Love

If you watch the trailer for Stuck in Love you know that it’s going to be an art house type movie - strong characters and a script where everyone has a lot to say intellectually or philosophically. On the character level this is a great movie because there are many little story lines that gives them depth and keeps it interesting. Greg Kinnear plays an author who has lost his creativity since the day his wife, played by Jennifer Connolly, left him. Three years later he is still convinced she will come back. In the meantime he is pushing his teenage son and twenty-something daughter to write and become authors. The film follows them through a year, and so much happens during that year both in the kids' lives and in the adults' lives; there are funny moments and tearful moments. Saying that, this is definitely a good one for the ladies and for art house lovers who like screenplays filled with meaning and real life.

Thursday, 4 July 2013

The Purge

The premise for this film is terrifying. the World, or more so the United States, is in harmony – practically no unemployment or crime throughout the year. How have they achieved this? The Founding Fathers in the US have started an annual event whereby people can go and commit whatever crimes they want, without consequence, within in a set 12 hour period – the annual Purge. Mainly murder it seems is the crime of choice as indicated at the beginning of the movie with a montage of ‘CCTV footage’ scenes. It's okay if you’re rich because you can afford the security system to protect yourself! Or is it?  The night of the Purge anything can happen and anyone could be after you. A night that really gives an excuse to all the psychopaths out there to go and do whatever they want. But everyone understands why the night is needed!!

When you see Ethan Hawke in this you may remember that he was in a very similar film, in a similar role in 2005 – the Assault on Precinct 13 remake. Barricaded in a police station under attack by criminals who want to kill him. Same story with The Purge, but set in a house, in the future, and he has his family to protect. I thought this would be a hard one to watch given its topic, but it wasn’t as bad as I thought and given the nature of horror movies nowadays this one is quite mild in comparison. 

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

After Earth – A Smith family project

Sci-Fi story by Will, produced by Jada and her brother, and Will, starring Jaden and Will.The Smith family have the money and power and the acting ability, but can Will write a good Sci-fi.  This movie immediately made me think of a Sci-Fi version of The Jungle Book. Kids would love this, finding bravery and surviving against vicious creatures in a strange world. Adults will probably pick holes in the plot like I did – things like the disabled one-legged man, but after seeing the technology in other parts of this film you know that the man would have a high tech artificial replacement, and the story idea that Earth is dangerous and has evolved to kill man, but they had to introduce an Alien life form on earth as that would be far scarier than baboons and eagles could ever be.  So Will should keep-up the writing for kids but maybe step away from the sci-fi genre.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

The Hangover - Part III

No matter what, if you’ve seen the last two Hangover movies you’ll have to watch this simply because it's called Part III and it’s the last one. I wasn’t a big fan of Hangover Part II, simply because it was lazy and just copied the first one. I loved The Hangover because it was new and original. And Part III? Again I don’t think this had anywhere near the good comedy and fun that the first one had to offer, but I guess it's a nice way to end the trilogy seeing all the characters again one last time, and adding some originality by not copying the story for a third time. It’s amazing how well Bradley Cooper’s character genuinely looks irritated by the sheer presence of Alan, because I also have that look on my face throughout each of the films. If you are a fan of these ones you’ll probably go and watch this anyway then head to the local pub or bar and put it in the back of your mind.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Byzantium - A Vampire's Story

Byzantium is UK’s answer to Let the Right One In. Based on a play called ‘A Vampire’s Story’  by Moira Buffini it stars Gemma Arterton, (you'll remember her Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters but do you remember her in St Trinian's?), and Saorise Ronan, of ‘Hannah’ and ‘The Host’ fame, who play mother and daughter. Filmed in the UK seaside town Hastings, this is a vampire story that’s a bit different from the norm. It’s not vampires versus humans, though they do of course have ‘the thirst’, its more equal rights for female vampires and their struggle to survive – should there only be male vampires in this world?  I personally think not!! :oD Byzantium is also a bit more real than the usual fiction we are fed, and if you are centuries old without a proper education then working on the streets is of course the easiest option to make money for rent.

Whilst this movie is slow in parts, once it starts flicking back to ancient times the story of the two female vampires becomes more intriguing, and somewhat grim. Probably more of a DVD watch, if you love your vampire films it is worth a go, though it's not there at the top with the best ones. If you do watch it – I bet you’ll love the whole idea of the Island that’s in this story – I did!

Monday, 10 June 2013

Fast & Furious 6 - They keep coming back for more !!

They're back again and get better and better. Before I had even seen this one Fast & Furious 7 had been announced. If you stuck a little way through the credits of F&F 5 you would have seen that Letty had been caught on CCTV when we had all believed she had died. So what happens next and what happened back then is all explained in Fast & Furious 6. It seems like this Fast & Furious had one of the biggest budgets ever what with the vehicles and destruction – it’s non-stop action all the way. True Fast & Furious fans will love that all the key cast from F&F 1 onwards are in it. The one thing that I keep forgetting is that Fast & Furious Tokyo drift, which was the third movie in the series, takes place after 5 and 6, this is important to know as there's a meaningful tie-in, so stick around for the extra scene near the beginning of the credits as it sets up the next Fast & Furious for us.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Star Trek Into Darkness 3D

I watch all the Star Trek films and every so often there is one that will stand out as one of my favourites, and I have to say that this is one of them. Not giving too much away, there is a tie-in with a particular Star Trek in the past, and whilst this one is far less gory, so obviously done for the rating, it was great being able to reminisce about that particular scene which made such an impact all those years ago. As with the last J.J. Abrams Star Trek offering it's Zachary Quinto as Spock and Karl Urban as Bones who steal the show with their more colourful characters, but the new bad guy played by Benedict Cumberbatch was equally impressive. Simon Pegg as Scotty has a bit more to do this time round, and then there are also the new improved Klingons. Unsurprisingly this is also another film where they've spent the money on high quality 3D so it’s worth checking out. Old Star Trek fans and young first time trekkies will love this one.

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Iron Man 3

If you love the Iron Man movies like I do then you will love this film. So much time and effort must have gone into the design of all the different Iron Man suits which are a feast for your eyes. There are also plenty of tie-in’s with The Avengers movie and how Tony Stark feels post New York. When they talk about the bad guy - the Mandarin - it just kept making me think of the fruit and all the spoof YouTube videos that will probably appear afterwards. A word of warning though if you are a die hard Iron Man comic fan, a lot of the comic readers have been disappointed with this film, so if you love the comics then read a few reviews by other comic book fans first then decide. If you love big Hollywood blockbusters and Robert Downey Jr as Iron Man then this is a must. As with the other Marvel movies there is a post credit scene but this time it doesn't seem to be setting up another movie. And here's a tip, if you like sticking around for post credit scenes then check out which lets you know if there’s a scene to stick around for.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013


Deadfall is one of those smaller indie movies that you might only find at your local art house cinema. Should you bother? Well you know from the very start, after a brother and sister’s car crashes following their casino heist which results in them immediately killing a cop, that it will probably end badly, so no originality there! What lets this movie down is the supporting cast, as you have main characters played by Kris Kristofferson and Sissy Spacek giving the performances you’d expect of them (given their ages now they would also make a great Ma and Pa Kent!), Eric Bana and Olivia Wilde are pretty much how you’d expect them to be too. Then you have the other cops, a Native American hunter and a few others giving pretty bad performances as though they didn’t really belong in the movie. The story has promise and you do want to find out how it all ends, but editing and weak plot points have let this one down big time.

Friday, 24 May 2013

'Mud' in the Mississippi

Have you heard about Mud with Matthew McConaughey? I didn’t see any trailer for it and the first I heard about it was when the week's new releases were published. Described as something like Huckleberry Finn crossed with Stand by Me I thought I’d give it a go …  . This was such a good movie, enjoyable from start to finish. Two 14 year old boys, one with haircut just like River Phoenix in Stand By Me, off on an adventure come across a stranger who’s living rough on a tiny island in the Mississippi river.  He’s wanted by the law but he also wants to meet up with, what appears to be, his lifelong love on the mainland. The youngsters of course decide to help him. So the adventure unravels, and by no way is this film a romance, nor will it turn out quite how you’d expect. Remarkable performances by all, including the little guys, and a refreshing depart for Reese Witherspoon from her usual fluffy roles. This is definitely one worth spending your money to watch.

Monday, 20 May 2013


Tom Cruise knows how to pick them or do they pick him? No matter who picks who this is another sci-fi winner. Life and routine may seem pretty straight forward but when you start to dig a little deeper you come across many surprises and hidden secrets. As the plot unfolds we find out so many things we weren’t expecting or suspecting, but it’s best not read any spoilers or reviews before you watch this as that would indeed spoil it. What’s nice is that, despite all the winning films and occasional bad press, Tom Cruise, who recently appeared on the Graham Norton show, seems to remain a nice down to earth guy. This one is a must for Sci-Fi fans and one of the best Sci-Fi’s so far this year.

Friday, 17 May 2013

21 and over – that Jeff Chang movie

21 and over hasn’t really done well at the box office and scored a low 5.7 rating on IMDB. It is one of those ones that you go and watch thinking it will turn out badly or you’ll be pleasantly surprised. The trailer drew me in with curiosity as I wanted to find out what happened to Jeff Chang. The comedy in the movie was mediocre – it could have been a lot funnier, but the trio of best friends were fab! Throughout the film Miles Teller reminded me of a young John Cusack in films like Class in the 80s. It’s their fictional friendship and the obvious gelling between the actors that makes this one so enjoyable. Whilst it might not make you laugh that much, you come out with that feel good factor, remembering how important it is to go out and have fun no matter what age you are. Perhaps more of a Saturday afternoon DVD movie – then you can go out and have ‘fun’ afterwards!!

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

You guest it: Dead By Dawn !

Remaking this movie was always going to be a challenge - after all the original trilogy are now cult classics. But remake it they did. With Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell listed as producers - we knew what to expect. Blood, gore and lots of it. In this respect it didn't disappoint - it was sufficiently gruesome to cause grimacing and groans from the audience. It doffed it's hat to the original movies in a few places and was an entertaining film with a great performance by Jane Levy. But really - it just made me want to watch Cabin in the Woods (again).

 Guest blogger: Skilganon

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Recipe for Olympus has Fallen

The base ingredient - Gerard Butler will please the taste of some but not others as a convincing 'give it all you got' action hero. Take a good amount of Die Hard and add a dash of Red Dawn. Mix in a pinch of James Bond. Remove any Jack Bauer as he would have prevented any of this from ever happening to start with. Add more graphic violence and seriousness. Top off with a quality actor that everyone loves - Morgan Freeman and leave for 120 minutes. There you have Olympus has Fallen.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Trailer of the week

In this case two trailers as it's a White House action movie-off! Who will have the better film - Channing's or Gerard's?

We're off to see the Wizard in 3D

Should you pay extra to see the 3D version of Oz the Great and Powerful? I would strongly recommend it - Disney has the money to film in top quality 3D which it did! As with the ‘The Wizard of Oz’ it starts with a smaller size projection in black and white and even here the 3D is impressive with smoke and FX coming out beyond the border of the actual projection. Then we are taken to Oz in a similar way to Dorothy Gale, but with the 3D and the storm footage you actually feel as though you are traveling with Oz the "magician" rather than just observing.

Then we arrive in Oz which is such a visual treat: We explore the land a little before the story goes on, and with all the FX and technology we have nowadays the land of Oz is made to look even more impressive than you could imagine. The costumes are also amazing and there are so many nods to the Judy Garland film – the traveling bubble, flying monkeys, scarecrows and lions. Though strangely Disney was not allowed to use the same shade of green that Warner Brothers originally used for the witch - did you know you could actually own shades of colour?

When you watch this film there are a couple of things to look out for - the way to ‘China Town’ and what it's referring too (this actually just clicked for me after I left the theatre - doh!); Bruce Campbell; the intricately patterned boots that Theodora is wearing when she first appears - I've been looking online since and the boots just look black - I swear there was a pattern on them!

Whilst everything about this movie is great Michelle Williams did on occasion slip into her Marilyn Monroe accent and, as usual, a film directed by Sam Raimi will of course have a lot of his family members playing parts, including Ted. This is a film that most will enjoy and is also one of better 3D experiences.

Monday, 15 April 2013

Giant Slaying - not one for the (little) kids!

Jack the Giant Slayer has the word 'slayer' in the title for a reason. Whilst the trailer makes the movie look like it's all good fun about Jack, the beanstalk and some cool looking giants, parents who take their little kids to see this may be shocked. In the UK this movie is rated 12A which means kids under 12 must be accompanied by their parents as it is likely to scare them, so it's all down to their parents to decide what their kids can cope with. Well when we went to watch this the lady in front of us  brought along her 2 kids - their ages were about 4 and 6. The first half of the movie (no giants yet) the kids were bored and would not stop fidgeting. Then finally we get to some giant action, and about 15 minutes into that part of the film the mother promptly whisked her kids out of the cinema realising how violent it was for kids those ages!! So parents be warned, take the little ones to watch something Pixar instead.

The movie itself isn't a bad watch, but out of all the fairy tale films that have been released to date Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters is by far the best, and a sequel has now been promised.

Saturday, 13 April 2013

G.I. Joe 2

I was a little concerned about how G.I. Joe: Retaliation would turn out. It had been delayed for a year as the initial test audience didn't like the fact that Channing Tatum is killed off early on in the movie. This means that the production company had a year to try and fix it, but with one complete version of the film would the final result feel like a hacked up movie? Well the good news is that they did manage to fix it. The film is good fun all they way through with a great fight/escape scene somewhere in the middle. You can see on Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson's face that he is having a blast playing his role throughout the movie. Of course as the film is based on toys it gives us lighter action but is definitely worth a couple of hours of your time if you want your brain to relax.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Identity Theft - let's hope it never happens to you!!!

I wasn't sure what I'd make of this movie as I'm not a particular fan of Melissa McCarthy, but Jason Bateman is a pretty decent actor and has been on the acting scene for such a long time - can you remember his TV days in the series Valerie which then became the Hogan Family? And of course there's Teenwolf Too.

So the verdict? My friend and I found Identify Theft funny in places but it's one of those types of movies where it might be trying a little too hard to make you laugh, so much so that you aren't always sure if you should be laughing or not. Jason Bateman did an excellent job at portraying his annoyance at the antics of his co-star and in some scenes satisfyingly got his revenge. This film wasn't too original either as we recently saw a similar storyline in Due Date. The film's moral tone was one of sympathy for Ms McCarthy's character but by the end of the story did I sympathise with her at all? Not really!

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

ET go home!!

A couple of sci-fi movies hit the cinema recently: The Host - Aliens conquer earth by taking over human bodies; Dark Skies - Aliens don't worry so much about conquering the earth as they are old-school aliens and still enjoy the reliable abduction methods. Were they worth seeing? Well ...

The Host was written by that lady (can't think of her name right now) who wrote the Twilight series - and as you might expect there was so much slush and romance and not much, hardly any in fact, fighting to save the planet. The film was very drawn out as well - everyone seemed to be delivering their lines super slowly, so what with that and all the romance this was a very long movie with not much excitement going on ...

... and Dark Skies - through it was a nice try, if you've watched alien abduction films before this one is very similar and nothing new. The trailer tried to make it out to be scary as well, it being from the producers of Paranormal Activity and Insidious, but it was not. I'm also sorry to say that the 'twist' at the end wasn't much of a twist at all. So a fail for sci-fi movies so far this month, but fingers crossed that Tom Cruise's Oblivion will make amends!!

Monday, 8 April 2013

Nicholas Cage the Bank Robber!

From the movie poster and tagline ...
12 Hours, $10 million, 1 Kidnapped daughter, STOLEN
... you'd be right to guess that the film is about Nic Cage frantically trying to rescue his daughter within a 12 hour time frame for the sum of $10 mill ransom. But what the poster doesn't elude to is his type of character, other than making him look a bit like an action hero running away from an exploding car. Mr Cage has played so many different characters in the past, so it would be anybody's guess (if you don't head to IMDB beforehand) what he is portraying this time. All is revealed in the film opening and at that point we realise  that 'Stolen' is also referring to Nic Cage the expert bank robber.

Whilst in character he didn't really seem any different from the Nicholas Cage we know so well in his other films, and this one is equally as watchable though it would never be a big money earner and might be more popular on DVD. A special nod to whoever the make-up artist was in making one of the characters look as unwell as he did - I would say try and spot who I mean but that would be way too easy!! No wonder that character had 'issues' in the movie!!

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Arrested Development news just in!

If you're a fan of the Arrested Development series like me then you will be happy to hear that Netflix has set May 26th as the new season's air date. Not only that they have ordered another 5 episodes - which makes a total of 15 to satisfy our AD needs!! You may also have noticed that the Kickstarter Arrested Development documentary project has exceeded its meager request for $20,000, so it looks like that will go ahead too. :o)

How many days until the AD series is aired you ask yourself? No need to work it out - an Arrested Development countdown has been put online for us.

(If you haven't watched Arrested Development shame on you! You must get hold of seasons 1 - 3 so you can catch up with the rest of us asap.)

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Another one word titled movie from Statham: Parker

Did you notice that Jason Statham stars in quite a few one-word titled movies like Blitz, Crank, Safe, Celluar, War?! Parker is, as you’d expect, a typical Jason Statham movie – it does what it says on the tin. Though whilst we were travelling down that road we know so well the film took an unusual diversion. We started off with what felt like a smaller almost indie type film, one with a low budget, a lot of raw violence, and bad guys turning on bad guys. Then half way through the movie we have JLo appearing as a key character. Whilst she has done more dramatic and indie roles like in Out of Sight and U Turn, in this film she was acting like she does in her typical comedies. Despite this feeling a little out of place my friend and I actually really enjoyed watching this one so something must have worked. Though I have to say I can imagine that quite a few die hard Jason Statham fans would cringe at her part in this one!!

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Broken City does need fixing!

Wow! This was a heavy one to watch, one of those political thrillers where you need to pay very close attention or you won’t get what’s going on. I’m not very good at remembering character names when I’ve only just met the characters themselves, but they kept rolling them off – he did this about that and it was him who did … - you get the idea, and I was getting a little lost. They also seemed to be cramming in this information in the short time they had to get it across in the movie. I think this one would have worked better if it had been more focused on Mark Wahlberg’s detective character, Billy Taggart, and what he got up to as a detective – that would have made it much more watchable!

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Wreck-It Ralph 3D

Do you watch 3D movies but then when you think back to them afterwards you just visualise them in 2D? I'm not sure why that is but they are fun to watch and Wreck-It Ralph is no exception. I didn’t really play arcade games when I was a kid, I was more of a Pinball kinda gal, but I did come across various arcade games over the years and it was great trying to spot them as the movie played out. The film-makers did a good job making sure they kept to the true styles of the games, like how the character’s moved and interacted, and how older game characters might be envious of today’s modern HD games. Whilst you may think this one is just for the kids, think again! When I went to watch it there were only adults in the audience and I’m sure they had all gone to reminisce about their arcade gaming childhood, although it has to be said - the movie  does get a little sugary sweet on more than one occasion!!

Sunday, 17 March 2013

A good day to Die Hard!

The original Die Hard is one of my all time favourite movies. For me it set the future standard for producing exciting and original action movies. Now we are on the 5th Die Hard and it’s been a long a varied journey. The latest I have to say is now my second favourite – yes, I personally thought it was that good. The budget they had for property damage must have been phenomenal, and it is non-stop adrenalin pumping action from start to finish. In fact there is so much action going on that you don’t want to blink in case you miss anything. Bruce is getting on a bit now but he kept up the John McClane persona that’s expected of him throughout the movie. So to gage if you’d like this movie compare your faves in the Die Hard film series to mine:

1.     Die Hard (The original cannot be beaten)
2.     A Good Day to Die Hard
3.     Die Hard with a Vengeance
4.     Live Free or Die Hard (aka Die Hard 4.0)
5.     Die Hard 2: Die Harder (This was bound to be the worst – it was given an unoriginal title with a number!)

Thursday, 14 March 2013

How to fund movies for dummies.

You had a popular TV series that ran for 3 seasons and dreamed of having a follow-up movie but the Hollywood big wigs said 'no!' Do you just give up and start something new as all is lost? No, not if you're Rob Thomas. Wanting Veronica Mars to hit the big screens more than ever he took his plea to Kickstarter. The idea was to get fans to pledge the money needed for the movie and in return they would receive different rewards depending on the amount they pledged.

With everything set up it was hoped that $2 million would be raised within 30 days. Well! Within just 10 hours $2.5 million was actually raised. So as pledges still pour in as I type it looks like we'll get the Veronica Mars movie after all. It's just a pity that the Kickstarter campaign is limited to the U.S. as can you imagine the amount that worldwide pledges would raise!?! Following this success we may see more movie makers trying to raise funds this way - and I'm sure it will feel good to say "I funded that movie!" even if you only pledge $1.

Check out the Veronica Mars Movie Project on Kickstarter.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters

So another fairy tale is given a new lease of life on the big screen. With it being an MTV production you half know what to expect. If you liked Van Helsing you’ll enjoy it, and if you like Japanese horror / Samurai films with endless blood splatter you’ll enjoy it. The different types, even species, of witches that they came up with for this one are phenomenal and the make-up and costumes are amazing. The design of some of the weaponry is impressive as well. Whilst it is all about fighting the witches and not too much thinking, Hansel & Gretel is, for the non-squeamish of you out there, a couple of hours of fun in a fantasy world you’ve never explored.

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Finding a Safe Haven

Watching the trailer for Safe Haven I didn’t quite know what to expect from the movie as it was advertised as being based on a novel by Nicholas Sparks, author of The Notebook and Dear John. I’ve never seen The Notebook but there are so many references to it in other movies I know it is truly a slushy one. I did watch Dear John and did find that uber-slushy! The trailer for Safe Haven did show an element of excitement in it but I wasn’t sure if this was a minor or major part of the plot, so I went in with an open mind and …

… I was pleasantly surprised! Safe Haven didn’t play too strongly on the romantic side of things, although the story itself isn't 100% original - we’ve seen similar stories before and a particular Julia Roberts film springs to mind ;o). It had intrigue, a bit of excitement and, just when you thought it had played out everything, there was an added element of surprise. It was that extra surprise that really made it. So a thumbs up to this one after all, though I’m not sure what was going on with Josh Duhamel’s hairstyle – throughout the movie I was thinking “Josh, why on earth are you wearing your hair like that!?!”

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

First vampires sparkle, so what's next? Kind zombies?!

Yes, zombies that are kind are taking over our screens - well at least one of them is kind. So Warm Bodies ... I guess you kind of have an idea what it's about but you don't know what to expect, right? Let me tell you that you are in for a treat because this movie was even better than I thought it would be, and I thought it would be good.

After watching endless episodes of The Walking Dead and it giving me nightmares (that will teach me to watch it just before bedtime!) I wasn't sure how 'warm body' zombies would compare, but the film is so charming: it's funny with such an original plot, it makes you wonder if that's what zombies are thinking whilst ambling around (I will so look at the Walking Dead zombies differently now!); the soundtrack is excellent - it goes perfectly with what's going on in post-apocalyptic America; the zombie characters are - dare I say it ... kind of cute, if you ignore the fact that to them eating human brains is a delicacy. So a big thumbs up! I would gladly watch a sequel to this movie, although it's also the kind of movie you don't want a sequel to because you enjoyed the first one so much.

They canned 'Don't trust the B in Appt.23'!

That was disappointing news as I loved watching Dawson making a fool of himself every week and I was hoping that Pacey would show up in at least one episode. Mind you without Dawson I don't think that show would have lasted long anyway. If you got to watch it were you hoping Fred Savage would finally show up too? :oD I just wanted to see what Kevin Arnold looks like as an adult. Well whilst some good comedies come to an end others get revived! The Arrested Development new season starts on netflix in May and this is a prelude to the Arrested Dev movie - hooray!!

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Take Flight with Denzel!

There's not much I can say about Flight without giving the plot away, but Denzel once again brings his fine acting skills to the screen - he always reminds me of a modern day Sidney Poitier. In Denzel's films it is usually blatantly obvious whether he is playing a good guy or a bad one; in Flight he gets to play both - the hero pilot and the bad guy struggling with his demons - the question is will he overcome the demons and become a real hero?  A serious film from Robert Zemeckis that is definitely worth a watch if you have 138 minutes to spare. Be warned though, the opening plane cockpit scenes are quite terrifying so if you are about to fly maybe save this one for another day.

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Arnie's back! But is his movie any good?

It was so good to see Arnie back on the big screen in 'The Last Stand' this week. Though sadly the movie hasn't done very well in the UK and has only really lasted on screen for a week. It won't disappoint action movie fans, but the comedic moments didn't always work - you didn't really know if you were meant to be laughing or not. This could be down to the script writers or the Korean director Jee-Woon Kim; he did a great horror a few years back - A Tale of Two Sisters - a film comparable to all those classic Japanese horror flicks like The Ring and The Grudge.

The story isn't too original either according to my dad who says it was just like the John Wayne movie Rio Bravo. Although to me it was like watching an extended episode of the A-team with added blood splatter and minus Mr T. You had Arnie as Hannibal, Johnny Knoxville as Howling Mad Murdoch, some actor as the good looking guy, and a girl cop - who's character reminded me of Amy (remember her?). If you take watching this with a pinch of salt it's one to watch at the end of the day - no thinking required - just sit back, relax and enjoy the former governor's comeback. Next let's see how Sly's 'Bullet to the Head' compares!!

Monday, 28 January 2013


Someone in my office described Django as a spoof western, I was astounded!! If QT had heard that remark can you imagine what his response would be!?! As you’d expect Django pays homage to the classic westerns – the names of the horses, the names of the characters, the Ennio Morricone music mixed into a soundtrack that is typical QT, the original Django making an appearance - I must confess I never saw the original and found this out afterwards. At the same time Django Unchained is classic QT: Samuel L Jackson getting in as many MoFo references in as he can, the classic cult worthy conversations, and of course the violence. The performances are outstanding - Christoph Waltz, I felt, surpassed his performance in Inglourious Bastards, Jamie Foxx gave it his all - one of the scenes must have been particularly uncomfortable for him to do, and Kerry Washington who plays Django’s wife had to act through her way through so many harrowing scenes, also [SPOILER] watch out for the scene where Leonardo DiCaprio continues acting right through a real injury – I guess that’s what you’d call dedication to the art, and it did add to the emotion of the scene!! [ / ]

Quentin Tarantino doesn’t churn out the movies, but his few offerings are well worth the wait! Now that he's done war and a western do you think he might try classic horror or sci-fi next?

Thursday, 24 January 2013

And on the Small Screen: Comic Book Men

Did you love comics as a kid? Do you still secretly like comics, or are you an adult who’s proud to still love them? If you are then you must watch Comic Book Men. A reality show set in Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash in New Jersey (remember those guys in the Kevin Smith movies?) You’ll have a blast watching Walt, Chris and Bry making fun of Ming every single week. You’ll love the oddballs that come into the store trying to make a fortune from their water stained, dog-eared, cigar smoke smelling comics that they just found under their grandfathers bed, just so they can buy that new kitchen. You’ll also love how Walt buys almost everything that is brought into the store – I really want to see all that set-up inside his house!!

You would never even imagine how working in a comic book shop could be so much fun, although I must admit I've always thought working in a Forbidden Planet store would be amazing! Comic Book Men returns to the small screen on 14th Feb … check out the FB page to find out more!

Monday, 21 January 2013

Let it snow, but not that much !!!

On Friday I was sitting in a stationary aeroplane in the middle of a snow blizzard wondering if we'd ever take-off. It made me think of Die Hard 2 - Bruce Willis easily taking on the bad guys and the bad weather all at once. Whilst Die Hard 2 doesn't even compare to the original it's one of the ones you always remember for its snow especially if, like me, you are snowed in at an airport. I wanted Bruce to show up and quickly sort out the grounded plane situation but sadly that was not to be, so instead I passed the time thinking of the best snow movies/scenes. Here's what I came up with for my top 5 ...

1. 30 Days of Night - snow, vampires, a hopeless situation  - what more could you want for entertainment.

2. The Thing - a classic for sci-fi fans!

3. Kill Bill - the Japanese snowy garden scene, such a beautiful setting for the O-Ren Ishii sword fight and a great contrast with the blood.

4. Troll Hunter - a Norwegian gem of a film, and a must if you haven't already seen this.

5. Planes, Trains and Automobiles - another hilarious contribution from Steve Martin :o)

Well despite the blizzard and minus a Bruce I was lucky enough to make it to Spain in search of the sun, so many thanks easyJet! And the 8 hour wait didn't really seem that long.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Aca-what now?

Remember Glee’s Acafellas and then the more tunefully successful The Warblers? Well now that feel good acapella fun has leapt onto the big screen in Pitch Perfect. Although I’m sure in the US acapella competitions are taken ‘super’ seriously, this movie with its battles between aca-rivals, busting their moves and mashing-up hits is such a fun watch. Relax your brain whilst tapping your feet on the sticky cinema floor , then leave the cinema thinking of as many words and phrases as possible that you can add the prefix ‘aca-‘ to – aca-n understand why you’d want to do that! 

Sunday, 13 January 2013

… and the winner is … ???

Though the year has only just started, it’s that time of year already when the Oscar nominations are announced. Good timing for Quentin Tarantino’s release of Django with several noms including Best Picture and Original Screenplay. Some strong contenders in the animated feature film category too with Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie – a movie treat for film buffs – did you spot all the horror movie references? And Wreck-It-Ralph (although this hasn’t been released in the UK yet we thoroughly enjoyed the free Wreck-It-Ralph advent calendar that we picked up from our local cinema). 

One of the surprise nominations for me this year though is Silver Linings Playbook. Don’t get me wrong – I loved this movie! But for me it had more the feel of an indie pic that you’d watch at the local art house cinema rather than a glitzy Oscars contender. It’s nice to see that it’s up for 8 Oscars including Best Picture, Director and nods in all the actor categories. It does have some stiff competition though but we’ll have to sit tight ‘til 24th Feb. when the Oscar ceremony takes place to see how it fares!

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Dexter Season 8 (already!?!)

Good news! Dexter returns to US Screens on 30th June @ 9pm!! Not wishing time away, but we LOVE our Dexter!!!

The Hobbit will make you hungry!

The Hobbit  in short …great effects, great character design, a long movie that takes you to the end (of part 1) in a flash; but beware the lavish feast at Bilbo’s house at the beginning of the movie. With tasty treats aplenty and dwarves stuffing their faces 'til they can no longer move. If you haven’t eaten yet then your stomach will start to rumble and you’ll have over 2 more hours of movie to get through – so grab a bite before you go in or take in some snacks. That way at least your stomach won’t be disturbing the peace after this scene – but remember, please keep snack bag rustling down to a minimum. ;o)