Black Hawk Down (2001) – A Quick Capsule Review

Black Hawk Down (2001) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Rewatching Black Hawk Down it still remains a truly stand out Ridley Scott movie.  It’s a film that combines an amazing cast (Piven! Hartnett! Bloom! McGreggor! Fichtner! Sizemore! Bana!) with a punishing narrative, loud bloody war action and a heart pounding true story of heroism. It’s over the top, in your face and brutal.  But it also tells one hell of a story.  Beautifully shot, expertly edited… modern war movies don’t get much better than this.

Best Bit:Little Birds & Mini Guns!

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Buy

If You Liked this Try: Crimson Tide, Lone Survivor, 12 Strong

 


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Exodus Gods And Kings (2014) – A Revisited Not-So Quick Capsule Review

Exodus Gods And Kings (2014) – A Revisited Not-So Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

So Ridley Scott’s latest… well to save you time (both in reading this review and watching this film) it joins a VERY small list of films I couldn’t actually finish.  Yup with a planner full of Justin’s, House Of Cards and, frankly, watching point dry as alternatives I gave up at just over an hour and a quarter.

However in lieu of a review of the full film, this is what I have learnt from what I managed to endure:

1) All Egyptians are camper than Julian Clary at a camping exhibition on national be camp day.

2) Every-time a Hebrew speaks I keep expecting dialogue from Life Of Brian to come out. Yes it’s that badly mounted at times.

3) It looks amazing. Computers can sure make an impressive looking film. Sadly however as you know nothing is real in the film and everything is CGI (maybe even Bale’s beard?) I keep trying to grab my PS4 remote to start playing the game then remember it’s actually a film and I haven’t just been watching cut scenes. This is disappointing. 

4) ALL Ridley Scott films MUST start with Basil Exposition captions. It’s the law. 

5) There are no mirrors in Ancient Egypt. If there were, Moses would clearly be able to see he looks nothing like a fucking Egyptian and therefore when he is told he is in fact Hebrew he, like everyone else watching, should be able to go ” Duh! No shit! Do I look like one of them?”. This could make the film about an hour shorter. 

6) John Turturro is a terrible actor. This is only JUST a step up from his appearances in Transformers. He should now retire safe in the knowledge that anything good he once did has now been forgotten. Much like Rolph Harris. 

7) Egyptians seem to have accents ranging from what I assume is Egyptian, to American, to British American to I have no god damn idea what accent Turturro was doing.  This is Russell Crowe in Robin Hood all over again but with a whole cast instead.

8) Time jumps from meeting someone to getting married in the NEXT SHOT just doesn’t work at all. Then to do it again seconds later and he has kids? Criminal.

9) Alien and to a lesser extend Blade Runner were flukes. Ridley Scott is a hack.

10) Prometheus 2 should now be avoided at all costs. As should this.

 


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Grosse Point Geek – Alien: Covenant

Grosse Point Geek – Alien: Covenant

A Blog Grosse Point Geek

On their way to colonise a  new world, the crew of the starship Covenant intercept a signal from a nearby planet and go to investigate. Upon arrival they discover a crashed Engineer spacecraft and the android David (Michael Fassbender) who has been marooned there since arriving some ten years previously. Soon things take a turn for the worst as one by one the crew become infected with an extraterrestrial virus that spawns the xenomorph  aliens. With time running out its now down to the remaining survivors to escape before they too fall victim to their hellish surroundings.

When Prometheus was released in 2012 audiences found themselves split down the middle  – some absolutely hated it, whilst others (like me) thought it was a well made but deeply flawed film that somewhat squandered its admittedly fascinating  story line which ended up posing far more questions than it did answers. For example – why did the Engineers create humanity only to end up hating it? Why did they create the virus in the first place?  Finally why on Earth did Ridley Scott edit the life out of the films finale which meant the whole thing ended on a staggeringly disappointing anticlimax?

These are answers that i hoped would be put right in this latest entry in the long running Alien franchise. Sadly this was not the case. Yes i will admit that some areas were covered. We do get to find out the origin of the Xenomorphs – however this is another let down, we also get to see the Engineers, but this is so fleeting that it ultimately proves to be pointless plus we dont get to see them again which infuriated the hell out of me.

What also struck me was that upon meeting David none of the Covenant crew seem to ask who the Engineers are, or what the mission of the Prometheus was in the first place  – its almost as if Ridley Scott is deliberately avoiding the incredibly interesting story from the first film and just concentrating on the next chestburster scene or an appearance from one of the Aliens. This for me was totally the wrong way to go as its all been done many times over in all the previous Alien films , which sadly meant that there is never any sense of tension, shocks , or most importantly – originality.

In addition, whilst it is very well acted by the entire cast, we never get to really know anything about them. Whereas this worked well in Scott’s original Alien, it doesn’t here at all. Indeed the only characters with any real depth are the Androids Walter and David  – both played by Michael Fassbender.  Speaking of which it is he who is the films one saving grace – putting in a brilliant dual performance that is simply flawless in its execution  – one has to say that Fassbender is rapidly becoming one of the greatest actors of his generation – one can only hope that he appears in the recently announced next chapter of this franchise.

I would also like to say how disappointed i am in Ridley Scott. At times he has made some truly astounding films  – Alien, Blade Runner, Gladiator, Black Hawk Down and The Martian were all absolutely brilliant  – but there seems to be another side to him that means we get stuck with the likes of The Councillor, GI Jane, Exodus and Hannibal  – all well made but staggeringly average efforts that appear to have been made by a director on autopilot – and this is what seems to have happened with Alien Covenant. What Scott needs to do is step off this franchise and let someone else have a a go as his heart clearly isnt in it anymore and there are too many Alien fans out there (me included) that deserve far better.

Very disappointing – do better next time please

 

Author: Will Strong aka Grosse Point Geek

 

Alien: Covenant – A Quick Capsule Review

Alien: Covenant – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Alien Covenant is the best Alien film since Alien 3.  For many that may be damning with faint praise but actually I have always held (and still do) Alien 3 with high regard, and for sure it’s the Alien film I have watched the most. Covenant is also miles better than Prometheus, which again wasn’t hard, delivering a bloody, gore filled two hours that moves at pace and makes the most out of a concept and ideas we have seen done many times before. Fassbender steals the film as Michael and this time Scott remembers to deliver a story alongside the impressive visuals and production design.  When the titular Alien finally arrives it’s worth the wait (although I’d still rather a man in a suit than the usual CGI) and even if the ending makes no sense film overall is satisfying and worthwhile addition to the franchise.

Best Bit: Night falls and the creatures return

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Alien, Aliens, Alien 3

IMDB Rating: 

 

Author: Phil Hobden

Blog: All Things Film – Exodus Gods And Kings Reviewed (Well Kinda)

Uncategorized

So Ridley Scott’s latest… well to save you time (both in reading this review and watching this film) it joins a VERY small list of films I couldn’t actually finish.  Yup with a planner full of Justin’s, House Of Cards and, frankly, watching point dry as alternatives I gave up at just over an hour and a quarter.

However in lieu of a review of the full film, this is what I have learnt from what I managed to endure:

1) All Egyptians are camper than Julian Clary at a camping exhibition on national be camp day.

2) Every-time a Hebrew speaks I keep expecting dialogue from Life Of Brian to come out. Yes it’s that badly mounted at times.

3) It looks amazing. Computers can sure make an impressive looking film. Sadly however as you know nothing is real in the film and everything is CGI (maybe even Bale’s beard?) I keep trying to grab my PS4 remote to start playing the game then remember it’s actually a film and I haven’t just been watching cut scenes. This is disappointing. 

4) ALL Ridley Scott films MUST start with Basil Exposition captions. It’s the law. 

5) There are no mirrors in Ancient Egypt. If there were, Moses would clearly be able to see he looks nothing like a fucking Egyptian and therefore when he is told he is in fact Hebrew he, like everyone else watching, should be able to go ” Duh! No shit! Do I look like one of them?”. This could make the film about an hour shorter. 

6) John Turturro is a terrible actor. This is only JUST a step up from his appearances in Transformers. He should now retire safe in the knowledge that anything good he once did has now been forgotten. Much like Rolph Harris. 

7) Egyptians seem to have accents ranging from what I assume is Egyptian, to American, to British American to I have no god damn idea what accent Turturro was doing.  This is Russell Crowe in Robin Hood all over again but with a whole cast instead.

8) Time jumps from meeting someone to getting married in the NEXT SHOT just doesn’t work at all. Then to do it again seconds later and he has kids? Criminal.

9) Alien and to a lesser extend Blade Runner were flukes. Ridley Scott is a hack.

10) Prometheus 2 should now be avoided at all costs. As should this.

Author: Phil Hobden

 

To hear more on this review (and others like it) make sure you download the Filmsploitation podcast, part of the All Things Film network. 

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’s Top Ten(ish) Favorite Horror Films  – A Halloween Special

Blog: Grosse Point Geek’s Top Ten(ish) Favorite Horror Films – A Halloween Special

A Blog Grosse Point Geek Uncategorized

Halloween, that yearly celebration of devil worship, blood drenched supernatural death and goat sacrifice ,where children up and down the land merrily dress up as various incarnations of the undead, get their parents consent to bang on people’s doors begging for sweets and then wantonly vandalize their property if the poor sods don’t cough up the goods.  Indeed my own fiendish plan to scare off the little bastards this year was completely thwarted the other day by a rather nervous looking shop assistant at my local joke shop, who claimed never to have heard of the Evil Dead and therefore could sadly not supply me with a life size demon doll that would scream “dead by dawn!” at any bunch of trick or treaters foolish enough to disturb my evening.

Anyway, I’m getting off the point. As a lifelong film geek its fair to say that of the many thousands that I have watched, a good proportion have been firmly rooted in the department marked ‘Horror’. Now admittedly I’m not the biggest fan of this genre -I didn’t enjoy the Nightmare On Elm Street series (how a child killer could become a cult icon is beyond me), have never been able to fathom the popularity of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and have absolutely no desire to watch the likes on I Spit On Your Grave, Driller Killer or Last House on The Left.

However, there are in fact some rather good ones out there that I have thoroughly enjoyed and even have in my rather huge dvd collection – and as Halloween is soon to be upon us, i thought id share with you all my top 10 favourite horror films all time- read on if you dare!

 


 

1. The Descent (2005)

 

Director: Neil Marshall

Actors: Shauna McDonald, Natalie Mendoza

A definite contender for one of the scariest films ever made. Neil Marshall’s magnum opus centres on a group of female thrill seekers who get trapped underground in the Appalachian mountains and then one by one fall foul to a bloodthirsty pack of cave dwelling cannibals. I must have seen this ten times over and it still scares the crap out of me, superbly written, hideously claustrophobic, well acted by the no name cast, directed with panache, skill and verve by Marshall and certainly not one to watch alone.

Best Bit: When the creatures finally reveal themselves – don’t look down that camera lens!

 

 

2. Alien (1979)

Director: Ridley Scott

Actors: Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skerritt, Harry Dean Stanton, Ian Holm, Yaphett Kotto, Veronica Cartwright.

A deep space mining vessel responds to an apparent distress signal from a nearby planetoid and goes to investigate. All is going well until one of the crew (John Hurt) gets a sort of parasite attached his face and is taken on board the ship for medical assistance – big mistake. A near perfect film that combines scares, body horror and classic sci fi plus HR Giger’s astoundingly horrible alien monster that would give even Freddy Krueger the willies.

Best Bit: The Chestburster scene – (“the food aint that bad baby!”)

 

 

3. The Omen (1976)

 

Director: Richard Donner

Actors: Gregory Peck, Patrick Troughton, Lee Remick, David Warner.

When the American Ambassador to Britain (Peck) discovers that his infant son is none other than the Antichrist, he teams up with a freelance photographer (Warner) to discover the awful truth and thwart Satan’s evil plans for mankind.

This one always manages to put the frighteners on me – mainly due to Jerry Goldsmiths nerve jangling score and Richard Donner’s suspenseful direction that very intelligently chooses to be less concerned about daft monsters and OTT effects and more to do with the nature of fear and lurking danger hiding in the shadows, which cleverly manages to keep the viewer guessing as to whether or not the story is all real or just a series of supposed coincidences.

Best bit: That final shot – Young Damien, standing at his parents funeral (whilst holding the US Presidents hand no less) – turns to the camera…………..and just smiles.

 

4. The Exorcist (1973)
Director: William Friedkin

Actors: Linda Blair, Max Von Sydow, Ellen Burstyn, Jason Miller.

Celebrated critic Mark Kermode cites this as his favourite film ever – and its not hard to see why. Cherubic looking Regan (Blair) becomes possessed by the demon Pazuzu, then proceeds to speak in tongues, levitate off the bed, vomit pea soup, make unseemly suggestions about exactly what Priest Jason Miller’s dead mother is up to in hell – and don’t even get me started on what she does with that crucifix!

To say the least the Exorcist is one of those films that gets better with every viewing, Friedkin’s direction doesn’t put a foot wrong, the make up and sound effects are still astounding, and the use of Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells is a work of sheer genius.

Best bit: The climactic Exorcism sequence, where the two Jesuit priests do epic battle with the demon- very uncomfortable to watch – but brilliant nonetheless.

 

5.The Thing (1982)

Director: John Carpenter

Actors: Kurt Russell, Wilford Brimley, Keith David.

A critical and commercial disappointment on its release, this has since become a deserved cult classic. For those not in the know – a shape shifting alien life form gradually infects the men of an Antarctic research station, who then not only have to attempt to destroy said beastie but also avoid killing each other in the process.

Best bit: That ending  – too exhausted to carry on, Kurt Russell and Keith David sit outside in the freezing Arctic cold and watch the station burn to the ground  – both still unsure if they too have been infected by the alien (“lets just wait…..and see what happens”)

 

6.Poltergeist (1982)

Director: Tobe Hooper

Actors: Jo-beth Williams, Craig T Nelson, Heather O’Rourke

Awesome film  – written and produced by Steven Spielberg, Poltergeist tells the story of how an ordinary apple pie American family are haunted by a terrible supernatural force that turns their lives upside down when it abducts their youngest daughter (O’Rourke). Now some may argue that this is more of a ghost story than a straight up horror  – but with shocks aplenty, rotting corpses rising from the grave, killer trees and huge monsters appearing out of the ether – it’d be hard to call it anything else. Basically if you haven’t seen this yet then shame on you!

Best bit: Williams, Nelson and the ghost hunting team’s final nail biting attempt to rescue O’Rourke from the clutches of the poltergeist(“don’t let go!”)

 

7 .An American Werewolf In London (1981)

Director: John Landis

Actors: David Naughton, Griffin Dunne, Jenny Agutter

Naughton and Dunne are two American students on a back packing trip to England who proceed to get lost on the Yorkshire moors and are attacked by a werewolf. Rick Baker’s make up effects deservedly won a bunch of awards and are still impressive even by today’s standards. Its also seriously funny, and damned scary in parts too- most notably the scene at the beginning where the boys are attacked on the moors, and THAT sequence in the deserted London tube station (“i shall report this”!).

Best Bit: The Slaughtered Lamb – Naughton and Dunne walk into East Proctor’s local boozer looking for something to eat, only to be met with stony silence and icy stares by a very unwelcoming bunch of locals. The tension doesn’t last long though as the great Brian Glover proceeds to loudly tell a hilarious joke about 3 blokes in a crashing plane (“he chucks out the Mexican!”) which results in the entire pub collapsing in fits of laughter (just dont ask what that star on the wall is).

 

8.Horror Of Dracula (1958)

Director: Terrence Fisher

Actors: Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, Michael Gough.

Hammer’s extremely loose take on the Bram Stoker classic features Peter Cushing as Van Helsing (endless supply of crucifixes) Christopher Lee as Dracula (iffy fangs, silly run) a mad music score by James Bernard, clunky sets, and daft dialogue (“but its HORRIBLE!”). However none of this matters as its enormous fun, chugs along at a rare old pace and never fails to bring a big smile to my face every time ive watched it.

Best Bit: The seriously exciting climactic showdown between Van Helsing and Dracula, involving a table, some curtains, a handy set of candlesticks and alot of sunlight- classic stuff.

 

9.The Fog (1980)

Director: John Carpenter

Actors: Jamie Lee Curtis, Adrienne Barbeau, Tom Atkins.

On the eve of its centenary celebrations – a small Californian fishing community is plagued by a mysterious fog that kills all in its wake. Another Carpenter classic, well made and very creepy  – a must for all horror fans.

Best bit: The Sea Grass boat scene (“hey, there’s a fog bank out there”).

 

 

10. Dawn of The Dead (2004)

Director: Zach Snyder

Actors: Sarah Polley, Ving Rhames, Jake Weber.

Remake of the 1978 Romero classic – which is a very good film, however (and yes Hobden i know this is sacrilege!) i much prefer Snyder’s more polished version that ups the scares and gore quota, throws in bags of action, is better acted and features some really awesome zombies who, rather than mindlessly shuffle about, are depicted as vicious screaming death machines who charge full pelt to get at their victims.

Best bit: Just after Sarah Polley’s nurse escapes from her neighbourhood which has been overrun, the camera pulls back and shows us a birds eye view of her car heading towards a city in utter chaos.

 

 

11.Halloween 3: The Season Of The Witch (1982)

Director: Tommy Lee Wallace

Actors: Dan O’Herlihy, Tom Atkins.

I thought i close this feature with one of my all time favourites  – i mean what’s a film list without at least one guilty pleasure???

Bearing no relation to the series featuring the Michael Myers character  – this was supposed to kick off a new ‘Halloween’ franchise that would tell a different story with each film. Unfortunately poor box office sales put the kibosh on that, so what we have instead is a very weird (and utterly mental) standalone story featuring O’Herlihy’s unhinged Irish toy maker, who plans to murder all the children in America using booby trapped Halloween masks. Now in my humble opinion this is an unappreciated gem of a film, that is actually extremely well made, with an interesting witchcraft subplot and a doozy of an ending that has to be seen to be believed……………………………..All together now – “one more day to Halloween!…..Halloween! Halloween! one more day to Halloween -silveeeeershamrock!

Best Bit: O’Herlihy’s chilling confession to a somewhat shocked Atkins, about who he really is and exactly what he plans to do on his favourite night of the year (“….the hills ran red with the blood of children and animals!”)

 


 

There you go – my top ten horror films – certainly all worth a watch if you fancy a good scare this Halloween – just wish i had one of the zombies from Dawn of the Dead to see off those bleedin’ trick or treaters – oh bugger there goes the door again………………now where did i put that bucket of fresh pigs blood???????????????

Author: Will Strong 

 

Review: Out Of The Furnace (Cinema)

Review: Out Of The Furnace (Cinema)

Other Cr*p Uncategorized

The Review: As nice as it is to see Christian Bale not playing a campy superhero, there seems to be mostly only one setting he goes for, lately; that of the slightly angry, mostly psychotic revenge-fuelled layabout.

Out of the Furnace is no different. Here, Bale plays a mill worker who’s relatively happy shacked up with Zoe Saldana (and who wouldn’t be?) and generally getting on with life. His younger brother, Rodney, played by Casey Affleck is a war veteran deeply shaken to the core by his adventures and trying to make ends meet by involving himself in illicit bare knuckle boxing matches.

Of course this won’t turn out well. Affleck mostly steals the show as the dim-witted brother who enlists the services of a local kingpin (Daefo) to go and fight a few rounds under the supervision of DeGroat (Woody Harrelson, channeling Mickey Knox) – the USA’s most evillest, violent and balding crime lord since Ben Kingsley’s Don Logan.

It’s all played perfectly well. Bale does all he can to say the line “Rodney, You PLONKER!” at almost every turn. Affleck convinces us that he’s a no good, shell-shocked nitwit. He manages to continue to convince us with his performance in this film, too. Scott “Crazy Heart” Cooper’s direction is at once quiet and under-laboured – a welcome follow-up to the gushing Jeff Bridges starrer a couple of years back.
Sadly, all this grandiose blatancy is underserved by a script perfectly willing to throttle along one two major plot contrivances. Bale, early on, involves himself in a car crash. It’s a stone in the shoe of the film’s overall message, and certainly surplus to requirement. It’s a plot device enabling him to fester anger and defy the odds of engaging the world’s most ruthless badass on his own turf. It’s extremely unnecessary given the certainty of the material and feels more at home in a Scott Adkins picture.

Next up – in what I consider to be this year’s head-slapping “Oh WHY did you bother doing that?!” moment, a cell phone is accidentally knocked out of a pocket and records a damning indictment for two characters who meet their demise shortly after. The pious artificiality of this action and when it occurs – conveniently before both men are executed – donkey punches the believability of the movie right at the time when it’s most needed.

And then there’s the end. It’s satisfying, all right. It’s the payoff we expect and we deserve. Take this beginning and ending – and a rather edifying, if fleeting, repatriation between Bale and Saldana’s estranged lovers on a railway bridge – and you have one of the movies of the year. But take into account the liberal use of mistrust of an audience’s appreciation for not being treated like cretins in two moments such as the ones I’ve describe, then the filmmaker’s shouldn’t be surprised at a reaction like mine.

We’re not dumb. Casey Affleck is dumb.

And I’m not knocking off at least two points for the middle finger, thankyouverymuch

Reviewed By: Andrew Mackay

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Review: Alien Quadrilogy (DVD/BR)

Review: Alien Quadrilogy (DVD/BR)

Uncategorized
Alien
A near perfect horror film, tense, with believable characters, a pitch perfect script and tension by the bucket loads it’s hard to think of a way that could make this film any better.  From the discovery of the Alien eggs, John Hurt’s death & Alien birth, the creature prowling the ship picking off the crew one by one, Ian Holm’s reveal as a android… almost every moment defines classic.
Classic Moment: John Hurt bites the big one!
 
Aliens: The Directors Cut
Made on a budget less that Tom Cruise would command as a fee, Aliens is the perfect example of what happens when creativity, talent and a damn good idea combine.  In reality it’s probably the best sequel of all time and certainly the best sci-fi action film ever made.  Classic moments: Discovering the Aliens, Sentry Guns, Loader vs. Queen Alien, Bishop ripped apart, discovering Newt, the motion trackers as the Aliens close in… the list goes on.  As a side note it’s sad that Cameron went from being such a skilled director, adept at making tiny budgets go far to the purveyor of such bloated tosh as Avatar & Titanic. 
Classic Moment: Get Away From Her… You Bitch!
Alien 3 – Extended Cut
Much maligned but actually rather good in its extended form, as it adds better characters, motivations and an ending that actually makes sense alongside some impressive direction and a dark, broody feel that allows the film to stand on its own two feet.   Fincher almost owns this film, as it rose out of the bowls of studio interference to become what is a stunning if water downed version of what it could have been (even in it’s extended form). As it happens this was probably the Alien film I watched most after Aliens growing up (in its original form) and that itself I think speaks volumes to the mistaken lack of quality and class of this film.
Classic Moment: The autopsy.
Alien Resurrection
Okay yes it’s pretty poor but the brief underwater sequence almost (ALMOST) makes the film worth watching.  Add in some nice ideas (and the newborn hybrid is a nice idea, albeit badly done), a good cast and you still have the weakest of all four films by a country mile but one that, at times, kids you to thinking it’s better than it is. 
Classic Moment: Aliens under water!
 

 

NOT INCLUDED BUT AVOID: 

Alien vs Predator 

Alien Vs Predator Requiem
 

Prometheus