Monday, 30 August 2010

58, Piranha 3D

I am going to lay this out straight from the start. This move is a gore fuelled blood fest with more focus on the tits than the teeth so pay attention.

So, first up is the "Teeth": Since Jaws there has not really been any good scary fish films, Deep Blue Sea came close and the easily forgotten Mega Shark Vs. Giant Octopus was total pants so it was refreshing to see an old school, gory horror film with a proper 18 cert hit the big screen and early on you realise that this has been made with one aim, to show horrific death on a scale not seen since early "Saw" or "Hostel" films.

And its great!!

Definitely not for the squeamish, its amazing how many ways the movie makers found to skin and mutilate a human including the poor girl who's hair gets caught up in an outboard prop, ripping her face off to the young player who loses the lower half of his body, including his manhood which end up floating towards you in full 3D, slightly odd but got a few laughs. There are a few deaths throughout but it really kicks off at the end where the last 30 minutes are full of Piranha's amassing on the party beach and a massacre on a level I have not seen EVER!.

Secondly, the "tits": sorry to say this but this films is definitely meant for the blokes. There is more gratuitous sex and nudity than anything I have seen in years and the Kelly Brook / Riley Steele synchronised underwater scene is definitely a high point of pointless full nudity. Wet T-Shirt contests, silicone implants being gnawed on and the aforementioned penis floating up to you in 3D are some of the funnier moments and we get everything from tequila body shots to dismembered parascenders to keep you entertained.

There is no real plot and there are as many famous faces are there are one-liners including Ving Rhames, Richard Dreyfuss, Elisabeth Shue, Jerry O'Connell, Christopher Lloyd & Kelly Brook.

I believe a brief paragraph on Kelly Brook is required. Hailing from the same school my wife currently works at our "local girl" looks totally fab in this but cant act. Bless her though, she does go full nude and dies marvellously but with her wooden English accent and the acting prowess of my dead hamster it all seemed a bit too much for her however with two more movie releases set for 2010 releases I hope she gets better, quickly.

There's not much else to say - Its Jaws meets Porkies with extra blood and sex added for good measure. Don't go if blood makes you queasy. It wont be your thing. More people die in mass than in the entire Rambo saga (maybe a slight exaggeration) but they do is spectacularly and the 3d is awesome from start to finish - except the penis bit!! that's slightly disturbing.

This is the first of a string of "Adult" 3D movies including "Resident Evil" and "Saw 3D" and if they pull it off half as good as Piranha did then we are all in for movie treats after treats!

See this can hold down your lunch!

Saturday, 28 August 2010

57, Grown Ups

Adam Sandler, Chris Rock and Kevin James get together in this comedy orgy of fart jokes and slapstick tom foolery as the three of them take to the big screen is this coming of age story of a basketball team, reunited after 30 years later to attend the funeral of their beloved coach.

With wife's, kids and pets in tow our stars embark on a story that sadly has a very weak plot, other than reintroduce a level of visual comedy such as falling over, bashing heads and innuendo.

Okay so it is VERY funny. Our 3 headliners are joined by "Sandler" regular Rob Schneider and relatively unknown David Spade. A Movie Agent, Earth Hippy, Salesman, Jobless Drunk and House Husband are the employment choices of our now "All Grown Up" basketball team who after the funeral decide to spend a few days getting to know each other all over again.

And that's the plot, pretty much done and dusted. This film certainly wont win any writers guild awards and each of the cast has each made far better films but add in some pretty cool / annoying kids, famous "wife's" in the form of Salma Hayek (official hottie) & Maria Bello (Coyote Ugly), a breast feeding 4 year old, a farting Granny, a weird Canadian, a Great Water Park Scene and a painful rope swing incident and plot aside, I was chuckling from start to finish.

Fart Jokes are still cool - official! and in this film its more about "Sandlers" family than anyone elses. He is the Hollywood Movie Agent with spoilt kids, model / fashion designer wife and oriental au-pair and this film becomes more about re-discovering the "great outdoors" for his "x-box crazed" brood and showing his wife that there is more to life than Milan Hotel Suites.

Mix all of that in with a "feel good" ending where Sandler gives something back to the locals from his school that never made it out of the "small town" in the form of a small 5 on 5 basketball re-match and all of a sudden it all becomes clear.....this is not a film that needs critics to slate comedy performances or moan about how much "cast potential" was overlooked and just focuses on one thing. This film was made to allow you to switch off, sit back and chuckle along to all the things that we should laugh at daily but never seem to find the time too.

Oscar winner.........nope.

Chuckle constantly.......YES!!

See this if........................You're not quite ready to "Grow Up"

Friday, 20 August 2010

56, Marmaduke

I never really like to dis kids films if I can help it - I am sure they are not made with me in mind - okay, so Furry Vengeance did get a proper slapping on this blog but when my daughter asked me if I enjoyed Marmaduke, seeing the joy on her face I had to agree!!

So lets try and find some good points.

The cast is pretty impressive. Owen Wilson, Fergie, The Waynes Brothers, Kiefer Sutherland, Sam Elliott - all known names putting themselves forward for this animation based on a newspaper cartoon for the past 56 years and counting.

That covers the dogs, the Human element not so impressive with William H. Macey being the only real recognisable face, along with Marmaduke's owners wife, who appeared in "What Women Want" as the file girl (Erin) and a brief cameo from David Walliams.

Marmaduke is a Great Dane going through his "teenage years". Badly behaved, smelly but with a big heart, Marmaduke and family move from Kansas to California for a life which they are hoping turns out like an episode of the OC. What actually happens is Marmaduke goes back to school at the Dog Park with the social network groups matching those in any American Teen flick to hit the screen in the past 10 years.

What we go through is a roller coaster of "being popular" and the trials and tribulations it brings. A quick reality check (from both the Dog & his owner) wrap this film up nicely and "doing the right thing" prevails with happy faces all round at the end.

Real dogs are used so it blends well with the human interaction and the CGI kicks in with the talking (animal to animal), dancing and surfing of the dogs only.

What I can say, honestly, is that your kids will love it - under 8's especially but I have to remember that that's who it's meant for & not me. Toy Story III it is not but its a fun little movie and a little weekend filler for when your little cherubs are running riot.

See this if.............The phrase "I'm Bored!" echoes more often than not around the home.

55, The Expendables

Imagine your favourite Action Movie of all time. does it have Guns?, Explosions?, Awesome Fight Scenes? Of course it does. Now amplify that by about 10, add in all of your favourite Leading Men since time began and you have nearly met the expectation that this film should deliver.

And deliver it does.

It has the best fight scenes I have seen in a long time, and surprisingly from Statham, not so much Jet Li - although Li Vs. Lundgren is very funny!! The last 20 minutes have more bangs, booms and broken legs, arms, necks & backs than most other Action films combined this year and the humour between the original Planet Hollywood founders (Willis, Schwarzenegger, Stallone) albeit for about 5 minutes covers off jibes at Presidency, Rambo & Cigars - laugh out loud funny!!!

So the plot. The Expendables are a group of Ex-Military Mercenaries under private contract for suicide missions that they manage to survive time after time. Sly, Statham & Li are the main characters with Dolph Lundgren playing an out of control member & two others not so famous. Mr Church (Willis) gathers Sly & Arnie together to offer them work - Arnie declines (Exit Stage Left) and Sly takes the mission. Roll on a bit of Recon, an old looking Eric Roberts, a nasty General, Drugs, Stone Cold Steve Austin and a seaplane escape that rivals no other and before you know it you have one of the greatest action films ever made.

I love this film. Starring, Written & Directed by Stallone this could easily have been his swan song before retirement, a definite high point in his career (even his acting was decent!!) but he is still going with "Death Wish" in the pipeline and a few animations.

In my eyes Statham stole the show - funny, hard as nails & witty throughout he is the catch here. I saw a new side to Jet-Li, a bit of humour and Mickey Rourke played the coolest guy on earth.

Dolph Lundgren looks no different to how he did in Rocky 4 except a few wrinkles and I don't think this film will re-boot his career after a few "straight to DVD" releases but its nice he was along for the ride.

Eric Robers & Stone Cold play the bad guys and the Stallone Vs Austin fight is as hard as anything you could imagine. The movie manages to tie in the wit and humour along with the fights and action and you just feel that Stallone wanted to spend a huge wad of cash on his mates and some big explosions and have a great time doing it. And they did!

If Massive Guns that take off heads / torso's with one bullet, Laughs, Awesome fight Scenes, bone crunching martial arts and some 80's references float your boat then this is the one-off must for 2010.

Its a 15 cert and not all sweetness and light as the special effects are pretty visual - heads and bones being crushed & slashed with blood flowing like a cracked dam, this is not for the weak or slightly squeamish!

I hate to admit it but better than the A-Team? - Maybe. Either way - SEE THIS FILM!!

See this if.........................Action Films RULE!!!

Thursday, 19 August 2010

54, Salt

Since I first saw her in Hackers along side then Hubby Johnny Lee Miller (Sick-boy in Trainspotting) I have kind of had a thing for this 1st lady of action.

One of the only actresses of recent times who can pull of "Beat em' up Bad Ass" like no other with roles in Wanted, Mr & Mrs Smith, Tomb Raider & Gone in 60 Seconds she never really gets the "Girlie Girl Love Story" roles and in my eyes she has set herself up as the only female that could probably carry off the 1st female Bond and seems to be the "go to girl" for a good action flick, so how does "Salt" fair?

Well, all the trailers carry the tag line "Who is Salt?" so the premise is they want to keep you guessing. This is all about the twist and if there even is one! so don't panic - there will be absolutely no spoilers here as its fun to keep you guessing - right up until the end of the movie.

Angelina is awesome - her body count in this is nearly on parr with Rambo and her delivery of stealth like spy action rivals that of Mr Cruise in Mission Impossible.

She is pretty much in every scene and it opens with her being beaten half to death as a prisoner and does not really let up throughout its entirety.

This film carries Deceit & Danger hand in hand with Espionage and Treason and is high voltage and jam packed with stunts, fights and guns from start to finish.

Liev Schrieber (Sabre tooth) is also really good in this as Salt's boss (CIA) and most of the cast in this put in great performances but even through all of that, it all comes back to Jolie.

As the plot to this is so critical it is impossible to write about it without giving anything away so I wont, its is a brilliant movie and definitely worth watching. A short blog but a great film.

Action, Suspense, Drama and a great story. All boxed ticked.

See this if...................You like your girls to Kick-Ass!!

Friday, 13 August 2010

53, The Last Airbender

A Quick Update - where are we on "books turned movies"? Harry Potter is nearly done, Narnia 3 has just started showing trailers, Twilight is almost done and who knows what ever happened the the rest of the golden Compass movies so maybe its time to get into an new set.

Avatar: The Last Airbender is a trilogy of books and a 2005 cartoon. The stories follow the resurrection of the last Airbender. A child with the ability to master each of the elements, Air, Fire, Earth & Water. By master I mean move, the skill to manipulate, create and use these elements to his advantage. The other 3 realms can only control their own elements and of those realms only a special few are known as Benders. I know, I still chuckle at the name but as a mature grown up I need to get over that!!

So, that's what its about. As you would have expected I have not read the books, nor even seen the cartoon but its very easy to pick up.

The first movie charts the 2nd coming of the Avatar, a child hidden for 100 years until 2 kids from the water realm discover him. It soon becomes apparent the the Fire Realm are the baddies and our little saviour bolted from training 100 years ago before he had the chance to master the rest of the elements other than Air. Believing he had only been gone for a few days he sets off on a mission to rediscover his true calling and with his 2 water realm chums he learns the Water bending bit whilst starting an uprising among the villages that are fire realm controlled.

Even before they are released I can pretty much guarantee that part 2 will be about mastering the Earth Realm resulting in the final installment focusing on Fire and a battle which leads to the defeat of the bad guys.

So, hopefully that wont spoil it for you.

Dev Patel (Slumdog Millionaire) stars as a the banished prince of the fire realm, hell bent on bringing the Avatar home to his dad to redeem his previous misfortunes and the Avatar himself is played by unknown actor Noah Ringer. We may not see part II until at least 2012 which may be a bit too long to hold interest but don't let that put you off.

The visuals of this movie are great - not so much full on fighting but lots of arm waving and element manipulation takes place instead which results in some pretty good special effects.

This could well be the greatest 3d movie ever made but alas, I cant confirm as I only saw this one in 2d, but even that was pretty cool. If you have seen the 3d version ant its worth a 2nd trip let me know.

It does pad along at a pretty slow pace though, there could easily be more action but this 1st installment is definitely all about the characters and setting the story for the next two films. Hopefully they will get a little more intense but with all trilogy's, parts 2 and 3 alone will not suffice.

Kiddie friendly, it should keep your little ones amused hopefully until the end but if they get a bit twitchy keep the cola on ice!!

See this fancy a new saga!!

52, The Sorcerer's Apprentice

So when my 6 year old daughter was given free reign over the cinema I was expecting either animated pets or American street dancers so when a Disney remake was chosen I was a little chuffed!!

Okay, so it's not a remake, more an adaptation but it's very cool. The team that bought us National Treasure 1 & 2 have got together again and this time delivered a bit of a blinder.

The story starts with 3 of Merlin's apprentices. Balthazar (Cage) and the 2 others end up in a bit of a battle and Cage manages to lock up a bad sorcerer and a few other nasties along with the love of his life (more trapped than locked up) in a magical urn until such time (about 1000 years or so) that Cage finds the one true apprentice and future holder of Merlin's ring (the source of all magic prowess) who has the ability to defeat Morgana (Evil Witch Lady) and her evil sorcerer's. So who is the magical saviour?......Dave.

Jay Baruchel plays Dave. A smart, slightly odd physics nut with very few social skills. His first meeting with the sorcerer's happens on a school trip at the age of about 10 when he runs down a back street, comes upon a magic shop and in a brief encounter with Cage manages to secure a magical ring, release and then lock up 2 sorcerer's in a 10 year prison jar, and heap ridicule upon embarrassment onto himself when the class thinks he wet himself.

Roll on 10 years, sorcerer's are released and "Dave" is hunted down, now a seasoned college grad who has put the whole kiddie incident behind him. After a brief "Do you know who you are?" speech from Cage comes some sorcerer training, shoes, a childhood sweetheart and a cracking star-wars pun which had everyone in stitches before it was even said.

So that's the plot - for those of you with astute hearing you will recognise Jay Baruchel as Hiccup from "How to train your Dragon" and Nic Cage we all know. Alfred Molina is very funny as the baddie Horvath and known from previous roles in the DaVinci Code & Prince of Persia.

The funniest bit is the only bit pulled from the Fantasia / Mickey's Sorcerer's Apprentice cartoons with the mop and buckets - the music is there (Dum Dum Da Da Da Dum De Dum etc....) and you really do chuckle along as 1 mop becomes 10, then multiplies until the Sorcerer puts an end to it.

The special effects are good and the Mercedes / Ferrari car chase it a highlight. Nic Cage plays his part well and Jay is a great Apprentice, a bit geeky but that's half the charm - and being a Disney flick you know it is going to all work out well in the end.

Not really a bad word here either, It's fun, fast paced, funny and magical.

See this if...................You want to be spellbound!

Saturday, 7 August 2010

51, Knight & Day

In a past blog I wrote about a film called "The Losers". A great film in itself but an obvious rip-off of the "A-Team" which turned out to be breathtaking and The Losers ended up being a fabulous warm up treat.

There was also a film called "The Killers" which unknown to me at the time appeared to be the same warm up to Knight & Day, but this time, I am sorry to say that although The Cruise / Diaz outing was good, Heigl & Kutcher easily beat off the A-Listers.

But Why? this film had the cast, the hype, the top gear celebrity lap! but it just seemed to lack something. Don't get me wrong, from a male perspective Diaz looks just as good as she did in "The Mask" and Cruise is his normal smooth self but something just did not feel right.

The action and story were okay - Spy uses blonde mule to smuggle something through passport control, cameras pick up the drop and our heroine is ushered onto a plane full of assassins where the superbly named super spy, Roy Miller? takes out the crew, passengers (f.b.i) and pilots all whilst Diaz powders her nose. Roll on explosive chase movie which becomes more an more cheesy as Diaz goes from dizzy nobody to gun slinging uzi pro in about 45 minutes.

So this is a sweet movie but it just did not have the action / comedy element I was hoping for. Cruise is safe in the knowledge that with M.I.4 currently in pre-production and set for release in 2011 with another 10 movies in the pipeline his career is certainly not flagging, but in the case of this one - if it flops in the UK as it did in the U.S he doesn't have to worry too much, even though it it weren't for him and Diaz starring in it, people would avoid this like a fart in a lift.

In the A-Team I laughed out loud, in the Losers I felt sad about the little kiddies & In the Killers Tom Selleck ruled! but in Knight & Day...I don't know - may if it had a "the" in the title it may have been a bit better.

But its rude to completely slate it..... there were some good bits. The plane fight is pretty good and also the car chases are very slick.

Cruise wants "comedy" but tried to link it with action. The A-team reached new heights with the laugh/boom genre but if I were producing, I'd advise Tom that for laugh out loud roles he should stick to Les Grossman next time!

So that's it really. It can be fondly described as an action romp. But in my mind the Killers has a better story and Heigl plays bemused blonde far better than Diaz, even though Cameron is far hotter!!

See this if............The A-Team is sold out!

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

50, The A-Team

In 1983 there was no Internet, everyone had only 4 channels on their TV & Radio was a bit crappy.

Saturday nights for an average family was spent in front of the TV and with only 4 channels to choose from, viewing figures were easy pickings for some of the top shows and in its prime, The A-Team held an audience in excess of 20 million viewers and only recently matched by the X-Factor Final. It was one of TV's most popular shows and if you were, like me an 8 year old boy the following statement meant 1 hour of pure bliss was about to begin.....

"In 1972, a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn't commit. These men promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the Los Angeles underground. Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire... The A-Team."

INFAMOUS!!! so when I heard about a big screen movie some 27 years later I could not wait. And was it worth the wait!!


Our movie starts with the A-Team meeting up for the first time, Hannibal & Face are already acquainted and they pick up BA & Murdock along the way. They complete 1 mission before the film leaps forward 8 years, still together and currently "not" wanted by the government and having completed about 90 missions together they set out on a gripping hunt to rescue some US dollar mint plates and tee off against / with (you can work it out) the CIA in a bid for truth, justice and the American way.

The star of this movie is far and away Murdock, if you have seen "District 9" he is the main guy and he is hilarious from the 1st second he starts talking. You can easily be forgiven for thinking the 1st hour of this is an outright comedy. Even the action sequences are tinged with hysterical laughter and it mixes it all beautifully, resulting in some great (albeit it slightly over the top) special effects and action sequences that set this film above pretty much everything else this year.

All the 4 main guys (and even Jessica Biel) is great, Lynch (CIA) is the funniest bad guy I have seen in years and my wife fancied the pants of of Face!! (but I think that's the way they wanted it!!)

BA is tough but sweet and Liam Neeson is a very convincing as Hannibal - it pretty much ends where the TV show starts so, a prequel is the mind set you need when you sit down but the ending leaves room for a sequel and I hope to god they make one (wait as I check IMDB....) nothing yet!!

The A-Team Van only appears at the start for a few minutes which is a shame but you quickly forget as the "warehouse full of rubbish / becomes utility vehicle of war" takes place a few times (an A-Team classic) and there is a few moments where the famous theme tune kicks in, only for a few bars but you get that tingle run through you.

Enough said, NEVER...I could gush for hours, I want it on Blu-Ray for the Flat Screen, DVD for the Bedroom and Digital copy for the ipod and I will be queuing from day 1 to buy this, might even take a 2nd trip to the cinema!!

If you remember the A-Team as a kid then see this film - it will make you laugh out loud at a funny South African man doing a Braveheart impression and if that is not reason enough, then read on....

See this if...(you guessed it) YOU LOVE IT WHEN A PLAN COMES TOGETHER!!!

Sorry, could not help myself!!