Blog: Grosse Point Geek – Rapid Fire Reviews Jan 2015

Blog: Grosse Point Geek – Rapid Fire Reviews Jan 2015

A Blog Grosse Point Geek Uncategorized

Happy New Year fellow film fans! Welcome to Grosse Pointe Geeks Jan 2015 Rapid Fire Review!

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Exodus: Gods and Kings

Director: Ridley Scott

Actors: Christian Bale, Joel Edgerton, Ben Kingsley, Aaron Paul, John Turturro, Sigourney Weaver.

Scott has another stab at the historical epic with this so-so retelling of the story of Moses. On the plus side its beautifully photographed, very well directed and the set designs are amazing. However, its too long, fairly dull in places and there isn’t nearly enough action. Also Weaver and Aaron Paul barely get a look in -making one wonder why they were cast in the first place, not only that but to be honest the whole thing had a distinct whiff of Ridley Scott tapping Gladiator all over again.

At Cinemas now

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The Expendables 3

Director: Patrick Hughes

Actors: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Mel Gibson, Harrison Ford, Dolph Lundgren, Wesley Snipes, Jet Li, etc etc.

Recently released on Blu Ray, which includes an extended more violent version than the one released in cinemas. Now i know i did a quick review of it last year, but if I’ve said it once I’ll say it again – for the love of God and Mammon – if you haven’t done it already  -please please watch this film!

Yes its silly, no it isn’t Shakespeare but if you love an action movie that doesn’t take itself too seriously, is well made and extremely entertaining – then this is definitely for you.

(On Blu Ray and DVD now  – however i would recommend getting it on Blu Ray)

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The Heat

Director: Paul Fieg

Actors: Sandra Bullock, Mellissa McCarthy

The mismatched cop genre is mined once more in this fairly good action comedy. Bullock is the straight laced FBI agent who reluctantly teams up with McCarthy’s slobbish Boston detective. Skips along at a rare old pace, very profane and actually quite funny in parts – especially McCarthy who gets all the quality one liners.

However we have seen this kind of film many times before in the 1980’s and one hopes that its success wont necessarily inspire Hollywood to go down that route all over again.

Available on DVD/Blu Ray and Netflix

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The Hobbit: The Battle of The Five Armies

Director: Peter Jackson

Actors: Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Luke Evans, Ian McKellan, Lee Pace, Orlando Bloom.

The Middle Earth saga comes to a close with this epic final chapter that sees all and sundry close in on the Lonely Mountain to try and claim the gold from Thorin and Dwarves.. Freeman, Evans, Armitage and McKellan give faultless performances once again, plus Jackson effortlessly crafts a film that not only looks fantastic but is incredibly enjoyable as well. I will say this though – as good as it is, it cant touch the Return Of The King and one did get the feeling that a lot of footage was held back for the yet to be released 2015 extended edition DVD.

At Cinemas now

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The Imitation Game

Director: Morten Tyldum

Actors: Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightly, Mark Strong, Charle Dance, Matthew Goode.

Based on the true story of Alan Turing – a brilliant mathematician who single handedly built a machine that could decipher the Nazi Enigma Code and as a result turned the tide of World War 2, saving millions of lives in the process. A totally outstanding film, with a mesmerising performance from Cumberbatch that, if there is any justice, will bag him a much deserved Oscar nomination. One of the best films of 2014 – highly recommended.

At cinemas now

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The Pyramid

Director: Gregory Levasseur

Actors: James Buckley, Ashley Hinshaw

Found footage film featuring a team of archaeologists who unearth a lost pyramid then get trapped inside, whilst being pursued by evil supernatural forces and all manner of flesh eating beasties. Descends into CGI madness at the end but to be fair the story is quite interesting, there are some pretty scary bits and its certainly worth a look for anyone who enjoyed last years As Above So Below.

Possibly still at cinemas now

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Sin City 2: A Dame To Kill For

Director: Robert Rodriguez, Frank Miller

Actors: Mickey Rourke, Bruce Willis, Jessica Alba, Eva Green, Josh Brolin, Joseph Gordon levitt, Powers Booth.

Not bad sequel to the 2005 original. Well made, fairly enjoyable with some good performances  – especially Brolin, Levitt, Booth and Green, however the narrative and story aren’t as well structured as the first film and overall it all feels like a case of been there done that with no need to do it again  – which seems to be all Robert Rodriguez does these days anyway.

Available on DVD/Blu ray

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The Wicker Tree

Director: Robin Hardy

Actors: Graham McTavish, Christopher Lee

Adaptation of the novel ‘Cowboys for Christ’ and a sort of sequel/companion piece to Hardy’s original film – The Wicker Man.

Suffice to say that once in a while there comes a film that is so bad that it automatically gets into my top ten worst of all time list………and this is that film. Awful in just about every way you can imagine – cheap looking, amateurish direction, terrible acting, appalling script,  and overall a complete and utter insult to anyone who enjoyed the first film.

Avoid

Available on Netflix (if you can be bothered)

 

 

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That’s it for now.  I’ll be back soon…

Author: Will Strong 

 

Blog: Grosse Point Geek – Rapid Fire Reviews (Godzilla, 47 Ronin, Xmen and more!)

A Blog Grosse Point Geek Uncategorized

See below quick reviews of 11 films I have seen in the past couple of months… it’s Grosse Point Geek’s quick reviews!

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47 Ronin

Director: Carl Rinsch

Actors: Keanu Reeves

Dear God where to start with this one?? Delayed for ages, cost up to $225 million dollars to make, total flop on release. Combines SFX heavy fantasy with an (apparently) true story,  tries very hard to be Lord Of The Rings meets the Last Samurai – and fails miserably.  For a start Reeves is too old for the lead role and as a result  is massively out of his depth. The direction and production values are completely average with a story that drags on and on, there’s the occasional fight but they are so bloodless and standard that you just don’t care. A total  and utter waste of time and money.

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The Monuments Men

Director: George Clooney

Actors: George Clooney, Matt Damon,  Bill Murray

What should have been an action packed  cross between Oceans’ 11 and The Dirty Dozen turns out to be a right limp affair, that wastes a superb cast and an interesting story.

Well directed and acted but if Clooney had just gone for a straight out boys own adventure film, this would have been so much better. A wasted opportunity and very disappointing to boot.

Next time George, do better.

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X Men: Days Of Future Past

Director: Bryan Singer

Actors: Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellan, Halle Berry, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender

This one left me in a right pickle. On the positive side the story, direction, performances and writing are all excellent. However for long periods its just all talk and exposition. Fair enough  -the action sequences are great but there isn’t enough of them, the apocalyptic future setting is well staged – but again – there isn’t enough of it, the Quicksilver character is brilliant  – but maddeningly again  – there bloody well isn’t enough of him!

This had the potential to be as good if not better that X2 – but sadly wasnt  – overall the 4th best of the X franchise – worth seeing but prepare to be a bit bored in parts.

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The Mortal Instruments: City Of Bones

Director: Harold Zwart

Actors: Lily Collins, Jamie Campbell-Bower, Lena Heady

If I see another one of these sodding Young Adult film adaptations again I think I’ll scream! You know the drill –drippy teenage girl finds out something supernatural about herself, meets equally drippy, moody teenage boy who just so happens to be a warrior of some nature – blah! Blah! Blah!

Not completely boring, and granted there are a couple of good fight scenes but its 2 hours I’ll never get back  – recommended for rabid fans of the Twilight series only  – and if that’s you then don’t bother visiting this site ever again!

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Snowpiercer

Director: Boon Jong-Ho

Actors: Chris Evans, John Hurt, Jamie Bell, Tilda Swinton.

Apocalyptic actioner – very well directed with some great performances from Bell,  Evans and especially Swinton. However, when it should be hitting 1st gear, it frustratingly slows down and gets all weird and talky.

Shame really, as up until it slammed the brakes on, it was damn good.

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Warm Bodies

Director: Jonathan Levine

Actors: Nicholas Hoult, John Malkovich, Teresa Palmer

Cracking film, great fun, lots of heart and two smashing turns from both Hoult and Palmer. A must see for all fans of Shaun of The Dead and The Walking Dead. Highly recommended.

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A lonely Place To Die

Director: Julian Gilbey

Actors: Karel Roden, Sean Harris, Melissa George.

God-awful thriller – What I mistakenly assumed  would be a cross between The Descent, Cliffhanger and Wrong Turn  turned out to be an utterly pants film with zero tension and a preposterous plot……………..and will someone please tell Sean Harris that the persistently intense and moody acting he does every time, in every part I’ve ever seen him play  is wearing painfully bloody thin!

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Transcendence

Director: Wally Pfister

Actors: Johnny Depp, Rebecca Hall, Paul Bettany.

Flopped on release with both audiences and critics. Personally I thought it was ok  – nothing special though. Bettany and Hall are both excellent but Depp is miscast. Good SFX and Pfister’s direction shows flair but to be honest the story is nothing we haven’t seen before in the likes of Tron and Lawnmower Man.

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The Amazing Spiderman 2

Director: Marc Webb

Actors: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx

This one annoyed the hell out of me. The first ASM was ok and had two great central performances  – however the sequel is nothing more than an overblown,  SFX heavy, bloated monstrosity. Garfield is annoyingly smug, Foxx is pointless and pantomime, there’s zero plot and the action is generic and boring. Safe to say I absolutely hated this film with a vengeance – avoid at all costs.

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The Good, The Bad, The Weird

Director: Kim Jee Woon

Actors: Song Kang-ho, Lee Byung-hun, Jung Woo-Sung

Top film this. Korean action adventure from the director of The Last Stand. Packed with inventive set pieces, great production design and a mind blowing last 20 minutes  –  just about does everything right. Well worth a look

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Godzilla

Director: Gareth Evans

Actors: Bryan Cranston, Aaron Taylor-Johnson.

What this lacks in human characterisation, it makes up for in astounding SFX, incredible monster v monster action and stunning set pieces.

All memories of Emmerich’s 1998 disaster are mercifully banished by the genius that is Britain’s own Gareth Evans who brilliantly directs this cracking summer blockbuster.

Destined to be a classic and an absolute must see.

 

 
Author: Will Strong