Rampage (2009): Review by Motion Picture Maniac

Rampage (2009): Review by Motion Picture Maniac

A Blog

Your Honour, I would like to plead guilty to the crime of liking a film by Uwe Boll and not in the guilty pleasure, so-bad-it’s-good sort of way. Rather in that “no, really, I’m serious” sort of way. Is it a great film? No. Does it have problems? Of bloody course it does. But do I also think it’s one that deserves a fair look from any judge-by-the-cover detractors, who have based early dislike on the name at the helm? Oh you bet.

I’ve been working on a short film for a little while now and haven’t had that many opportunities to go to the cinema as per my usual amount (and what I have seen I don’t think I can get a whole review out of). What I have had some time for is evenings of old DVD’s and revisiting bits and pieces from the past; one of which is the one good Uwe Boll film that I own: Rampage. No, not the blockbuster with the Rock going up against big hungry beasties, I’m talking about the nasty as hell horror action punch to the faces of GTA fans everywhere in which Brendan Fletcher plays a mass shooter who spends much of the plot gunning down innocent civilians; not presented by Disney then?

We live in a world where the consensus of the tasteless is beginning to regress. We got over the initial shock of the video nasties, then we opened our eyes and realised all the people who caused the fuss, proclaiming that violent movies would bring down civilisation, were fucking idiots who deserve to have their graves desecrated and names vilified throughout history. But now we’re reverting back to that mindset because everything ever said and thought is just offensive to everyone now so oh well, never mind.

I say that because, believe it or not, I think Rampage may be the kind of film we need in our society, yes, even nowadays, in fact: especially nowadays. With all the mass shootings going on all the time and those with the power to do something about it shrugging everything off with a smile like it’s not their problem and everyone’s just being silly for asking, it could be up to films like this to give everyone the shock they need – why exactly? Well, I don’t think you’re supposed to like it; at least not in the traditional sense.

This is not a pleasant film to watch content-wise (which can only work if the surface works beforehand), Boll went and pulled his finger out with this one so on a technical level the film is actually kind of alright, it doesn’t look like the camera was simply pointed at the actors while they spout lines from an early stage practice script like House of the Dead or whatever. It feels like he actually made a film, like… a real film, with on beat editing, stylish camera work and decent performances, but also with a thematic intention, which is to deliver a brutal commentary; even if that means bordering on deliberately unwatchable. It’s weird, he’s proving here that he actually knows his stuff on a fundamental level so what happened with all of his other efforts?

The story goes thusly: Brendan Fletcher plays Bill, your regular ol’ average Joe whose parents think it’s time he moved out, he doesn’t get on with his boss, he’s got a rambling political realist for a best friend, who likes preaching online about the problems of the world, and he seems to bump into contagiously grumpy people at every turn; his life doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. That is until one day in which Bill reveals he hasn’t been as lacking in ambition as everyone thought by dressing head to toe in body armour, grabbing a couple of machine guns, and going out on the town to shoot, stab and blow up pretty much everyone in sight.

That’s it, guy has dull life so guy grabs guns and kills everyone. You wanna know why I think this film works? It doesn’t ever try to be cool or fun, it’s not really an action film, it’s a horror. The rampage of the title isn’t supposed to make you ooh and aah, the minimal use of slo-mo is there to drive home disturbance instead of emphasising any kind of badass-ness and there isn’t a single moment in which you’ll catch yourself cheering the “hero” on – even when the victim is someone who once wronged him. Our protagonist proves early that, while we’re stuck with him, he’s not going to be the most likeable of leads, you don’t approve of his actions and definitely do not sympathise with him. A few moments during the rampage come to mind in which the word “evil” has seldom been more appropriate, such as Bill calmly joking with a cornered woman while he reloads before shooting her to death the same way he would lock his front door.

Boll shot the thing with a shaky hand-held style and surprisingly realistic sounding improvised dialogue that makes everything feel spontaneous and as if the camera itself doesn’t know what’s going to happen next. This is very different to what his usual kitchen sink style of filmmaking is like, it’s crazy to even think it and I’ve already touched on it but wow, Boll actually shut up, sat down and gave thought to the thing – thought about aesthetics and the boundaries of style consistency. The first 45 minutes deal with Bill’s uneventful life as he goes through the motions but every now and then we get flashes of his plan in his head, probably the only thing I don’t like about the film; that and an explosion effect that is just not very convincing at all.

I get that Bill is supposed to be losing his grip and it’s an OK idea to show him thinking of the plan with shots of people dying, I mean the film’s called rampage and have you seen the poster? It’s hardly a surprise when bullets start flying, but there’s something about the way it’s done I don’t like that much, we see glimpses of latter scenes that don’t out right spoil them per say but still do feel like they’re giving too much away. It’s not just shots of nameless faceless victims falling but really specific stuff that it really doesn’t make sense to show. That’s about it though, I’d say everything else is smooth sailing.

As for the rampage itself, how does it do as a sequence? It begins with Bill suiting up and getting ready, probably one of my favourite scenes. He checks his outfit in the mirror and I nervously laugh when it is revealed how short he is, making him more human before he commences, and when bodies start falling it makes for one of the best and most haunting sequences of Boll’s career. The sight of innocent civilians dropping like flies the way they do here makes for some very uncomfortable viewing, no flash, no fun, just people getting shot and dying and it borders on nightmare inducing.

The scenes that follow begin to vary and mess with your expectations. Neither one in a beauty salon or another guiltily funny one in a bingo hall will be quickly forgotten, there’s a scene where Bill robs a bank because he may as well while committing mass murder I guess (I’m covering spoilers here), and it contains some pretty nasty shit; I won’t lie. All practical explosions that follow the not-so-great CGI one are superbly well edited (especially around a surprised police car), Brendan Fletcher absolutely crushed it as the unlikeable lead and, thinking about it, I really aught to get onto those sequels if they’re anything like this one.

Rampage may not be a great film given its irritating few issues but what works well really, really does work well. Jessica Derooij’s musical score is brilliant, the stunt work is brutal, the kills are just horrible and… yeah, well done Uwe Boll, trying his hand at a bit of social commentary and succeeding, who knew? I recommend you give Rampage a go, what’s the harm? It works, damnit! And when a broken clock is right for that one second it’s fun to point it out. Does this make me a lunatic? YES but who cares?

 


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Grosse Point Geek’s 2018 In Review

Grosse Point Geek’s 2018 In Review

A Blog Year In Review

Each year Will and Phil compare notes on their favourite and least favourite films of 2018… here’s Will’s look at what’s been and what he’s most looking forward to in 2019.

 

Top Ten Best:

 

  1. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri (just superb – loved it)
  2. First Man (brilliantly directed and the moon landing sequence was brilliant)
  3. The Darkest Hour (had me in tears)
  4. Mission Impossible Fallout (a genuine summer blockbuster, featuring a proper movie star doing his own stunts and the kind of balls to the wall action scenes we have haven’t seen in years)
  5. BlackKKKLansman (funny and brilliant – I usually don’t like Spike Lee but this was incredibly good)
  6. Bohemian Rhapsody (Rami Malik’s performance was incredible and the Live Aid concert re-enactment at the end was gobsmacking)
  7. Avengers Infinity War – (exciting, fast paced, funny, great action, a cracking villain and THAT ending – roll on Avengers Endgame)
  8. A Star Is Born (a trio of incredible performances  – Lady Gaga was a revelation, Coopers acting and direction were brilliant plus Sam Elliott was astounding)
  9. Creed 2 (not as good as Creed or Rocky Balboa – but still great and had lots of heart)
  10. 12 Strong – balls to the wall action, great story, v well-acted

 

 

Top Ten Honouree mentions

 

  1. Deadpool 2 (v funny and extremely clever in parts)
  2. A Quiet Place –  (tense and scary  – a great directorial debut from John Krasinski)
  3. Hunter Killer (ridiculous but really great fun with a smashing performance from Gerard Butler)
  4. Ant Man and The Wasp (not Marvels best but I really liked it)
  5. The Meg (complete nonsense but a good laugh)
  6. Rampage (utterly insane but top drawer entertainment)
  7. Skyscraper (a Die Hard clone but who cares when its this much fun?)
  8. Mile 22 (I must be the only person on the planet who liked this one!)
  9. Mamma Mia 2 (a genuinely lovely film that had heart and soul and wanted nothing more than to entertain and have people leave the cinema with a big smile on their faces)
  10. Outlaw King (well made, top final battle and a great turn from Chris Pine)

 

Top Ten Worst

 

  1. Death Wish (terrible terrible terrible.  Bruce  – you obviously can’t be bothered anymore so either start putting in the effort or do us all a favour and give it up)
  2. Red Sparrow (what should have a been a balls to the wall action caper turned out to be nothing more than catastrophically over long and boring as all hell)
  3. Pacific Rim Uprising (not as bad as the first one but still rubbish)
  4. Equalizer 2 (utter pants, dull and completely pretentious to boot)
  5. Love Simon (I liked the message it was trying to give but hated the way it did it)
  6. Ladybird (yes I know it was loved by the critics but I HATED this film with a vengeance!)
  7. Fantastic Beasts The Crimes of Grindelwald (so boring I nearly fell asleep- this franchise needs a new director – fast)
  8. Ghost Stories (complete bilge and made no sense)
  9. 15:17 To Paris (now this was awful – Clint we love you but dear God mate what were you thinking?????)
  10. Mortal Engines (not the worst film I’ve ever seen and certainly gets an ‘A’ for effort but this just didn’t work at all)

 

 

Biggest Letdown:

 

The Predator  – someone PLEASE tell Shane Black that he isn’t as good as he obviously thinks he is  -also somebody please explain to me how in the hell they managed to blow this one????

 

2019 Most anticipated:

 

  1. Avengers: Endgame
  2. Star Wars Episode IX
  3. Rambo: The Last Blood (yeah I said it!)
  4. Angel Has Fallen (yeah Hobden you read it right -I said that too!)
  5. Captain Marvel
  6. Glass
  7. Godzilla King Of The Monsters
  8. Hellboy
  9. Spiderman: Far From Home
  10. Captive State
  11. Brightburn
  12. Hobbs and Shaw
  13. The New Mutants
  14. X-Men Dark Phoenix
  15. Fighting With My Family

 

See you next year!

 

Author: Will Strong 

 


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Phil’s End Of Year Awards 2018

Phil’s End Of Year Awards 2018

Quick Review Year In Review

So 2018 is almost over and it’s that time a year again where everyone reflects back on their best and worst films of the year.  So we’ve covered our best and our worst films of 2018, so before we look at the films coming up in 2018 here’s my ‘Alternative’ End of Year Awards for 2018…

 

The Most Entertainingly Bad Film Of The Year Award…


 

The Gerard Butler Award For Consistently Making Entertainingly Terrible Films
… Will return in 2019 when Butler stars in Den of Thieves 2, Naya Legend of the Golden Dolphin, Angel Has Fallen, Afterburn and many more…

 

 

Surprise of The Year Award…
Mandy.  If enough monkeys with typewriters can write Shakespeare then enough filmmakers can eventually make a good Nicolas Cage film again…

 

 

Performance Of The Year Award…
Blumhouse for making enjoyable film after enjoyable film this year…

 

 

Just Fuck Off and Die Award…
Netflix ‘Original’ Sci-Fi Movies… Annihilation, Cloverfield Paradox, Mute, Tau and MANY others!

 

 

Yup, I’m over them Award…
Jennifer Lawrence

 

 

I may have just slept through that Award…
A Wrinkle in Time

 

 

Oh that came out THIS year? Award…
Tomb Raider

 

 

Come In Your time is Up Award…
Comic Book Films. 2018 was good but not great year for comic book films.  Avengers, AntMan and Black Panther were good enough and Deadpool 2 was Deadpool 2. But even I’m feeling a wee big fatigued now…

 

 

Trailer Of The Year Award…
Mandy

 

 

 

Let Down of The Year Award…
Solo. It didn’t suck.  But it was also the worst Star Wars Film since Attack of The Clones.  Which meant it was a huge let down…

 

 

Emperors new clothes Award…
The Shape Of Water

Runner Up: A Star Is Born

 

 

How did they screw this up Award?
Mile 22 – Peter Berg and Marky Mark

 

 

The not actually that popular popular award to…
The Oscars for the on off Popular Oscar award

 

 

 

Cameo of The Year Award…
Drag race alumni Alaska in The Last Sharknado (as well as Drag race alumni Shangela in A Star Is Born)  

 

 

You should have left Spacey in it…
All the Money In The World

 

 

 

The Oscars only like REALLY famous dead people award for missing out other stars who died Award…
Tobe Hooper & Adam West

 

 

 

The Poof That Award Shows DONT Suck Award…
Roger Deakins FINALLY wins an Academy Award

 

 

The Proof That Award Shows Suck Award…
Roger Deakins FINALLY wins an Academy Award but really it took THIS long.

 

 

WHY GOD WHY? Award…
Overboard, Superfly, Death Wish remakes

 

 

Less Is, Er, Less Award…
Ocean’s 8

 

 

The Year Of ‘Yeah that was okay’ Sequels Award
2018 for The Predator, Sicario 2, Equalizer 2, Escape Plan 2, Pacific Rim 2

 

 

Films That SHOULD have been on my 2017 List’s but I Hadn’t Seen…
Mayhem, Icarus, The Greatest Showman, Better Watch Out 

 

 

Next time: Phil’s Look at 2019 and a look back at my 2018 predictions… 

 


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Podcast: Ross And Phil Talk… 2018 Blockbuster Season

Podcast: Ross And Phil Talk… 2018 Blockbuster Season

Ross and Phil Talk Movies The Podcasts

On this episode of the podcast we talk about the summer (well kinda) 2018 blockbuster season whilst also picking our best and worst Summer blockbusters ever.  Ross ends up on a rant about football and makes a shocking revelation.  All this and more…

Hosted by Award winning filmmaker Ross Boyask and blogger/writer/failed filmmaker Phil Hobden.

Films Discussed: Jurassic Park 3, Sex And The City 2, Transformers: Age Of Extinction, Speed 2: Cruise Control, Star Wars: Attack of The Clones, Pearl Harbor, The Festival, Die Hard, Independence Day, The Spy Who Dumped me, Bridesmaids, The Meg, Avengers Infinity War, The First Purge, Antman & The Wasp, Solo: A Star Wars Story, Solo, Mission Impossible Fallout, Mission Impossible: Fallout, Skyscraper, Rampage, Spectre, Justice League, All The Money In the World, Equalizer 2, The Happytime Murders, Terminator 2: Judgement Day, Incredibles 2, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Tag, Ocean’s 8, Deadpool 2, Sicario: Day of Soldado, The Meg

#RossAndPhil #RossAndPhilTalkMovies #MoviePodcasts #Podcasts

For more on Phil Hobden check out www.philhobden.co.uk , Twitter (@PhilQuickReview) and Instagram (RossAndPhilTalkMovies)
For more on Ross Boyask search @RossBoyask on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook

   

 


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Skyscraper (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

Skyscraper (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

Uncategorized

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Skyscraper is probably the first time I’ve felt let down by a film starring Dwayne Johnson. Don’t get me wrong – he’s fine in it and the film could be far worse – but much like this years The Meg, the lean towards Chinese audiences (Box office… MONEY!!!!) seems rather forced.  And whilst The Meg (just) got away with it, here it feels all very cynical and by the numbers.  It’s also silly on a level that I haven’t seen in some time but is so unaware of itself it just comes off as a bit stupid.  With it’s tongue planted in cheek they MAY have pulled it off but in a film when even Dwayne Johnson seems bored you know it’s going to be a struggle.

Best Bit: Getting into the tower

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: The Towering Inferno, Rampage, The Fate Of The Furious, Die Hard

 

Click HERE for related content 

Podcast: Ross And Phil Talk… The Meg (plus Ant-Man and The Wasp)

Podcast: Ross And Phil Talk… The Meg (plus Ant-Man and The Wasp)

Ross and Phil Talk Movies The Podcasts

On this episode of the podcast we talk about the double header of a Jason Statham Vs a Shark film (The Meg) and a Marvel film that kinda didn’t need to be made (Ant-Man and The Wasp).

Hosted by Award winning filmmaker Ross Boyask and blogger/writer/failed filmmaker Phil Hobden.

Films Discussed: The Meg, Ant-Man and The Wasp, Karate Kid 2, Vengeance, Interspace, Fantastic Voyage, Honey I Shrunk The Kids, Deep Blue Sea, Rampage, Skyscraper, Sharknado

#RossAndPhil #RossAndPhilTalkMovies #MoviePodcasts #Podcasts

For more on Phil Hobden check out www.philhobden.co.uk , Twitter (@PhilQuickReview) and Instagram (RossAndPhilTalkMovies)
For more on Ross Boyask search @RossBoyask on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook

   

 

Click Here for Related Content 

Podcast: The Smoking Lamb #098 – Rampage

Podcast: The Smoking Lamb #098 – Rampage

The Podcasts The Smoking Lamb Podcast

It’s The Smoking Lamb Movie Podcast. A weekly, no-holds-baa-aa-arred, and R-rated look at the world of movies.

On this episode: While Mike is away, Josh and Ricky will Rampage (see what we did there) across the Podcast. The devastation continues as they also go over there Top 5 Designed Movie Monsters!

Check it out and BLEAT THE WORLD and don’t forget to follow up on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

#TheSmokingLamb #MoviePodcasts #Podcasts #FilmPodcast

 

Podcast: Ross And Phil Talk… Dwayne Johnson & Rampage

Podcast: Ross And Phil Talk… Dwayne Johnson & Rampage

Ross and Phil Talk Movies The Podcasts

On this episode of the podcast we talk about the films of the one and only Dwayne Johnson & his latest release – Rampage

Hosted by Award winning filmmaker Ross Boyask and blogger/writer/failed filmamker Phil Hobden.

Films Discussed: Rampage, Vengeance, You Were Never Really Here, Miss Congeniality, Adore, The Hurricane Heist, Blockers, Ghost Stories, Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle, Moana, Walking Tall, Baywatch, The Other Guys, Big Trouble In Little China

#RossAndPhil #RossAndPhilTalkMovies #MoviePodcasts #Podcasts

For more on Phil Hobden check out www.philhobden.co.uk
For more on Ross Boyask search @RossBoyask on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook

   

Rampage – A Quick Capsule Review

Rampage – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Rampage is about as dumb as a summer movie gets.  That said it also delvers bucket loads of fun, Dwayne Johnson in top form and a script that recognises just how silly the film actually is.  Yes it’s far from perfect – the plot is pretty stupid (lets be honest they are trying to make a film out of a ZX Spectrum game), the dialogue lacking at times, the CGI stretched by the films budget and the support characters about as one dimensional as you can get.  Yet I was never bored, the action is clean and watchable and once again Dwayne Johnson sells every second of it.   Just don’t expect TOO much and the film will leave you will be a big smile on your face.

Best Bit: George is dead.

Cinema, Stream, Avoid: Cinema

If You Liked this Try: Ready Player One, Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle, Wreck-It Ralph

Rampage – Review Round Up

Rampage – Review Round Up

All Things Film Blog The Blogs

Want to know what the critics think of the latest hot releases but don’t want to have to search for them?  Well look no further as we round up the reviews from 5 of the most influential sources for the latest BIG RELEASE movie.

This time out: Rampage


Overall Critics Say:

 

 

 

 

 


“Rampage is utterly ridiculous, campy, yet also self-aware enough to be kinda sorta dumb fun.”- 5.5

 

” There’s spectacle to spare in a bananas B-movie that’s dumber than, well, a rock. It may not be high art, but there’s ample fun to be had.” – 3/5

 

 

” Ridiculous, of course, but not as ridiculous as it might have been. As much fun as it has with the idea of animals stomping cities to rubble, it seems shy of going completely over the top, and it’s the poorer for it.” – 3/5

 

“Though far better than ‘Doom,’ this Dwayne Johnson-starring video-game adaptation falls back on the monster-movie clichés its source overtly lampooned.”


“I struggle to call Rampage a missed opportunity, as I’m not convinced there was too much in the source material to inspire a three act story. The disappointment remains that all concerned didn’t just have a lot more fun with it. ” -2/5

 

 

Full credit to original sources.  Links to websites provided.