Blog: Grosse Point Geek – Will’s Quick Reviews (Divergent, This is 40, Savages and more…)
September – that bleedin’ awful time of the year when it gets colder, the nights start drawing in and absolutely bugger all decent is released at the cinemas. Indeed this month i have visited my local multiplex only once and that was for the rather good As Above So Below (see my last Rapid Fire Review). However undeterred by this minor set back i borrowed a few DVDs off my partners nephew (who is not quite as big a film geek as me but getting damned close!) and watched a load of films on Netflix – all in the name of, well, boredom relief.
Actors: Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Kate Winslet
Another YA adaptation, and a shameless rip off of the Hunger Games. Woodley is the obligatory confused heroine and is as drippy as a knackered radiator, Theo James pouts alotand spends most of the time standing around looking chiselled, whilst Winslet is obviously just there for the money. Sometimes entertaining but these types of films are really starting to get on my nerves now.
This is 40 (DVD)
Actors: Leslie Mann, Paul Rudd, Megan Fox
God-awful sequel to 2005’s Knocked Up, directed by the massively overrated Judd Apatow. Utterly pointless in every way, entire plot threads go nowhere, Mann and Rudd’s characters are completely dislikeable and totally annoying, its hideously overlong and the acting all looks improvised. Avoid.
Actors: Taylor Kitsch, Aaron Taylor Johnson, Benicio Del Toro, Blake Lively, John Travolta, Salma Hayek.
Kitsch and Taylor Johnson are the successful drug dealers who fall afoul of Hayek’s mad Mexican drug queen and her henchman played by Benicio Del Toro. Very violent, lots of swearing, most of the cast are good value – however Taylor Johnson is absolutely terrible (again), the plot isn’t exactly original and director Oliver Stone has made alot better films than this in the past.
A Good Day To Die Hard (DVD)
Actors: Bruce Willis, Jai Courtney.
The original Die Hard is probably one of my favourite films of all time. Featuring cracking gunfights, brutal fisticuffs, big explosions and a brilliant every man hero in John McClane. In my humble opinion, it was and remains to be the greatest action movie ever made. However this woeful 5th entry in the series can only be described as the cinematic equivalent of chronic stomach flu. The blame for which can be squarely put at the feet of one Bruce Willis, an actor, who of late seems spend his time being the scourge of TV interviewers, giving dear old Kevin Smith a near nervous breakdown and wasting his talent making direct to DVD bilge and crap sequels like this. Shockingly here, he puts zero effort into his “performance”, doesn’t seem to even want to be in the film and in doing so makes a complete mockery of the role that made him a star in the first place.
Granted there are a couple of half decent action sequences and John Moore’s direction is never less than professional, but Willis is so lame and the story so tired that it totally ruined the whole thing for me. Bruce – you should be ashamed.
You’re Next (On Demand/DVD)
Actors: Sharni Vincent, Nicholas Tucci.
Pretty decent home invasion thriller/horror this, and a clever homage to 80’s video nasty slasher pics. Well acted by the no name cast, featuring some good old fashioned shocks, lots of blood and interesting characters. Recommended.
Dom Hemmingway (On Demand/DVD)
Actors: Jude Law, Richard E. Grant.
Law plays the title role – a loud, brash yobbish ex con, with Grant his effete upper class best mate. Funny in parts with some good one liners and a smashing turn from Grant, but Law is not really the man for this kind of part and he is only partially successful as a result. Not only that but the plot is highly unoriginal and the character of Dom Hemmingway is at times a virtual carbon copy of Ben Kingsley’s Don Logan in Sexy Beast.
Not bad, but not great.
The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia (On Demand/DVD)
Actors: Abigail Spencer, Katee Sackoff
In name only sequel to the 2009 original. Very flat, with cheap scares and a flat story, one to miss.
Paranoia (On Demand/DVD)
Actors: Liam Hemsworth, Amber Heard, Gary Oldman, Harrison Ford.
So-so thriller with Liam Hemsworth’s techie recruited by Gary Oldman’s corporate bad guy to spy on rival Ford’s super rich computer company . Upon release this was an unmitigated box office disaster, possibly due to the fact that Hemsworth (brother of Chris)is a personality vacuum of epic proportions, who fails on every level to create any kind of sympathy for his character or create one iota of screen chemistry with would be girlfriend Amber Heard. Fortunately Ford and the always brilliant Oldman are on hand to liven things up whenever they are on screen and basically the film is only worth watching for this reason. Good in parts but forgettable.