Saturday, 20 February 2010

21, Valentines Day

RIGHT - now lets get this straight from the word go. Brits do Rom Com's BRILLIANTLY, no argument - We are the nuts at it. Mr Curtis and his likely brew of Brit Spawn do this genre better than anyone else. Love Actually - AWESOME!! (not Gay, LOVED IT!) so, below is a brief explanation of Valentines Day.

Group of people living their lives over a 24 hour period - different stories but all connected...Sound Familiar??? OF COURSE IT IS!!! We did it years ago!! and we were 10times better!!

Don't get me wrong - there are good bits - and one in particular but basically its and American "Love Actually"

The WHOLE plot surrounds Ashton Kutcher and Jennifer Garner his bezzie mate (BFF)- excuse the Yankee terminology, getting all colonial on this one. Between these two the rest of the cast are somehow loosely connected with their own stories and issues / dilemma's.

They have thrown as much Hollywood class at this as they can......too name a few, Kutcher, Garner, Hathaway, Alba, Biel, Roberts, McLain, The hotel manager from Pretty Woman, Foxx, Dempsey, Queen Latifa (Love Her), Taylor Swift, The Werewolf from Twilight and Cheryl Cole (Sorry, not Cheryl Cole but my daughter said I had to put it in!!)

And does it work......Uhhh - NO!. Its Slow, Predictable, Dull. It lacks the comedy element - Its America gone all romantic - staying politically Fuc*ing correct as not to offend as NORMAL and it just does not make for a good film.

However...........

There are a few shining moments. Kutcher & Garner getting together is a given but worth the wait. The part of Anne Hathaway as the cool secretary / Phone Sex girl is the funniest bit, Taylor Swift playing a dizzy blond American high School kid is hilarious and the "Ahhh!" factor comes when you realise what Julia Roberts connection to the plot involves - No spoiler here - its worth watching, Because it's so DAMN SWEET - Bloody Americans - got a lump in my throat!! Hee Hee.

My favourite bit......wait until after the 1st set of Credits - there are outtakes!! to be fair not on the same scale as those in a Jackie Chan film but..... Ashton Kutcher having Seat belt issues gets old after the 5th time but Julia Roberts in the Limo - PAY ATTENTION !! If you are a self respecting female over the age of 25 and DO NOT pick up the Pretty Woman line (not saying what it is on here - watch it) and say it out loud before Julia does you deserve to be Shot - My Wife got it straight away - Full Respect Renee!

For a film I did not really like I have wrote an awful lot but Heck (Americanisms again!) there were some good bits, any and movie that can pull together so many top names deserves a little more page space.

Love Actually it is not but nether the less, if you are married, engaged, dating or merely shagging then when this hits DVD get it out (the DVD that is!!) and have a giggle - if not for Taylor Swift being a total barbie then for Jessica Biel - Still hot (sorry Ren xx)

See this if.............all you need is Love !! (Da Da Dah!)

20, Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief

Fantasy Adventure with the Gods. Sounds Awesome. I, like many other males in my "early" 30's alas do not read books. Not can't read, but don't read! so again its a movie from a book that I have no understanding of!!! But is that a good thing? - no preconceptions, no illusions of grandeur, just open mindedness. and with that was I impressed.....Yes.

Okay, it was cool. The main 3 are not too famous, yet. (that I know of.) But that wasn't a bad thing. They were cool, funny and came across well. The Hollywood "A" listers were there, all cameo roles, Bean, Thurman, Brosnan - all well cast and brilliantly acted - (spot Tommy from Train Spotting as Poseidon!! Cracking!)

So the plot - Demigod's, every one of them. Living and training in Camp Half Blood. Unknown by their parents (Gods) who visited earth for a quick bunk up with Humans, leaving a single parent children growing up with the ability to kick ass! One of them steals Zeus's Lightning Bolt, Jackson is blamed - he is innocent and sets out to clear his name - The best bit by far was Steve Coogan as Hades with a hot wife and Hell as his front garden - loved that bit!! and he was funny.

Uma Thurman's part is short lived but extremely well done as Medusa, Awesome Hair! and Pierce Brosnan as a Horsey Guy leading the training camp was also brill.

This is a no-brainer fantasy adventure. For the CSI New York Fans keep a look out for Athena (I think) and another cameo.

I enjoyed this - special effects were good - It was a PG so Leah came (6) and she loved it - a little scary with the snakes etc but it was Holly (11) who actually leapt from her seat about 15 minutes in (The Museum bit with the female teacher) but too be honest thats the only real jumpy bit.

Take the kids and the Grandparents - even if it is preparation to watch the re-make of Clash of The titans out later this year !! COME ON!!

See this if......You want to learn a little Greek Mythology with bond!!

Sunday, 7 February 2010

19, Invictus

Don't go into this one thinking you are watching a rugby film. From memory the last one of these that was any good was "Up & Under" with the then, Samantha Janus and even that was pretty dire. but this was different.

Where were you in 1995? I was leaving College, Drunk (most of the time) and really not bothered about politics or what was going on else where in the world. And that is why I had no clue going into see this film about what I was about to witness.

Its a film of 2 parts. Part 1 - Mandela released from prison and elected president of a very split South Africa. This is the politics bit. His own government & security divided between white and black and Mandela's ideas of complete forgiveness and the coming together of a nation. How does he do this, well that's Part 2. And it is beautifully done.

I am not a Rugby Fan, but I didn't need to be. I was totally drawn into the eye opening story of how this man manages to change the views of 43 million other south Africans and probably most of the rest of world along with it.

Early on he enlists the help of Pinnear (Damon) the SA Captain and makes him believe in what is possible with determination and belief. What unveils is a moving true story leading up to the crowning moment of the host nation of the 95' Rugby World cup. The good thing here is that being a true story its as predictable as "Titanic" but it does not matter. I knew who won but I didn't care, The story of how this team led my Pinnear under the support of Mandela changed the way a nation came together was epic. Morgan Freeman was excellent as Mandela and I am not sure if the film is too late for this years Oscar's but he's got my vote.

I can count 3 things in life that divide opinion with such emotion. Religion, Politics & Sport and for this film to cover 2 out of 3 and do it so brilliantly was a pleasure to see.

In Sport in the UK it's either "Red or Blue". In Politics its the same! (with a dash of Green & Yellow) but today I was Green & Gold. Go Boks!!!

I had a lump in my throat by then end. It was Beautiful. I could go on writing about this film. Discussing the casting, the excellent squabbles between the Presidents Security Staff but I wont. Go and see this film. Even if you don't like Rugby and you're a girl. The end is a given, but getting there is remarkable. Clint Eastwood Directs his best movie so far, even though "In the Line of fire" was ace and Damon & Freeman both show why they are (or in Damons case) fast becoming legends.

If I gave star ratings it would be 5* (but that's way too GMTV!!)

See this if...............You want to see Genius on Screen.

Saturday, 6 February 2010

18, The Princess and the Frog

Think back - when was the last time you saw a "Cartoon" at the cinema?? Since Toy Story & Monsters Inc have changed the way we all regard animation I cant think of a decent Disney Cinema release that captured the original essence for a long time.

This film takes you back to Disney of old, although its not that dated it resembles the classic cartoon animation that I grew up watching and it was great.

The songs were funny, that characters amusing, the glow bug and the crocodile are amazing and its everything you would want from a classic Disney movie. There is sadness, laughter & a warm fuzzy feeling at the end. It's not too long and the cinema was heaving full of families. I will admit about 25 minutes in a did doze off for a bit but that was only due to being shattered. If you have got nothing planned over half term take the kids to see this - it will bring back memories!!

See this if.............you like Disney how it used to be!

Friday, 5 February 2010

17, Edge of Darkness

Okay, so I was expecting "Ransom" but with an ageing Gibson. Ageing is right, Ransom it is not.

He is "Too Old for this Shit!" It's Official, God hope there is no Lethal Weapon 5 in the pipeline....(Wait while I check IMDB............) Oh Shit!! its out 2012!!

So where is this guy going? He is a cop!! Yawn, again? and this time his Daughter is gunned down on his doorstep. Plot? He thinks its a hit on him but turns out his daughter is campaigning for the planet and nuclear weaponry and has managed to piss off a few big wigs. (On my 6th glass of wine while writing this so excuse obscenities but...) PLEASE !!! Its a bit SHIT!!

I like Gibson, always have (reference MAD MAX in previous Blog) but he is looking old, frail and especially in this one incapable.

I saw Liam Neeson in "Taken" and though he was okay and Hell Yeah! The A-Team re-make with Neeson as Hannibal looks cool but Gibson has got to focus on the "Comedy" Roles. Action Hero has passed and in my opinion and if you have been to the cinema recently and seen Danny Glover hamming it up in the "Orange" Ads then god forbid they re-form for LW5 but I am sure by Blog 212 I will be raving about it, As I did with 1,2,3, & 4 (Love Jet Li)

So that's enough about me speaking about other actors & Movies...what about this one? The villain is unbelievable, The plot is good and standard but there was something about it that was fun, in a "family executed kind of way...(if that makes sense)

Off to see the Rugby flick tomorrow so can't wait - hopefully have more to say.

Night All.

See this if.............You like Ransom, but are prepared to be let down. Sorry Mel.

16, Book of Eli

Right, I had ABSOLUTELY NO CLUE what this was about, never seen a trailer, never read a review.....nothing! So when my good wife, me and the outlaws all pitched up at the local flick I had no clue what to expect.

Post Apocalyptic Thriller...........I am thinking Cyborg, Mad Max etc and to start with I was right. One man's campaign against evil. But to be honest felt a little awkward with the mother in law sitting next to me. 1st 15 minutes sees a fight in silhouette where a few limbs get dismembered by a chainsaw and a kick ass fight scene....okay, not what I was expecting but so far.........bring it on!!!

Then - disaster. It's slow going. The gaps between action are too long and the wild west meets south central LA it a bit beyond belief but Denzel is cool as can be and Syrius Black is great as the villain. Its "Segal" fighting with "Van Damme" prowess - Love him!!

Plot Spoiler (Don't panic, not that great!!) - The bad guys want a copy of the bible??? apparently to bring (evil) order to the uncivilised population, Our Hero, Eli, has the only remaining copy and he has to get it to an ageing dude from Clockwork Orange in Alcatraz who is compiling the worlds greatest remains of civilization to rebuild humanity.......kept up?, good. That's the movie. Prophet, Bad Guy, Chainsaws and Cannibals.

Long, Dull (except the dismembering bits), Crap.

See this if................You liked Mad Max - Same desolate wasteland, Same Bad Guys

15, Its Complicated

When your wife states you are accompanying her to see a chick flick 2 things happen.

1) You sweat profusely, 2 hours of total boredom, I'd rather eat raw chicken's,
2) You wonder why you never bother to fix the floorboards earlier and now would be a great time.

But then something quite strange happens. 5 minutes in you laugh out loud, then a few minutes after, you laugh again. All I can say it this was funnier than I ever thought it could be. Recently I have seen Mama Mia and Julie & Julia and both bored me stupid but this time she was hilarious. Whatever Baldwin Brother it was was also hysterical and it was a welcome change to see Steve Martin as the straight guy!!

The eldest daughters husband is a riot and three scenes will make you laugh way to loud than is normally comfortable in a crowded cinema. The Doctor, The Laptop and the Spliff at the Party are all fantastic and totally switches the usual "kids getting all the fun" to the well deserved adults - took me back!!!

Don't let any preconceptions get in the way - you should watch this. While little Baldwin was swanning around in the Big Brother House preaching the biblical truth his own Big Brother is making guys like me laugh uncontrollably in multiplexes across the UK, basically he is playing the 16 year old kid getting excited about his first lust but being older, fatter and just as daft makes it entertaining and totally watchable.

Watch this if...................you want to be surprised!!