Happy New Year fellow film fans! Welcome to Grosse Pointe Geeks Jan 2015 Rapid Fire Review!
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
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)
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Available on Netflix (if you can be bothered)
That’s it for now. I’ll be back soon…
Author: Will Strong