Tuesday, 28 September 2010

63, The Town

IMDB states that this is Afflecks third time out as a Director but nothing stood out to me as anything that required heaped praise..........until now!!

Ben Affleck co-wrote, stars and directs "The Town" which is a movie set in the district of Charlestown, Boston. Home of more bank robbers than anywhere else in the USA.

Affleck plays the son of a convicted criminal who, with his own crew are responsible for a number of high profile robberies resulting in the kidnapping of a beautiful bank manager.

Quick flash forward, Affleck falls for the hostage and they hook up (obviously she has no idea) and he decided to get out of the game, much to the displeasure of one of his partners in crime, James (Jeremy Renner from Hurt Locker fame).

What plays out is a totally gripping suspense drama surrounding the "will he/wont he" battle between love and honour, deception and greed and results in a few make or break decisions which end up probably for the best, for everyone concerned!! But I'm not going to tell you what.

In my mind, Affleck has always been the not so hard, hardman. Always appearing a little too softly spoken for real gritty roles but in this one there is no question, he is ace.

It's well written, greatly acted by everyone and includes memorable performances from Renner, Pete Postlethwaite as the Florist and the lead FBI Agent Jon Hamm is brilliant - finally and FBI agent who actually is not a complete muppet and part of you wants him to catch Affleck!!!

This is a 15 cert and only really because of the language and some basic sex scenes but on the whole, hugely enjoyable and well worth a watch. A nice break from the 3d phenomenon currently sweeping the nation with The Hole 3d, Piranha & Resi Evil. This is a good old fashioned cops and robbers drama with some great lines, great actors and a great plot.

Rain or shine, take yourself down to the cinema and check this one out.

See this if....................Cops & Robbers rule!!!

Sunday, 19 September 2010

62, The Other Guys

Its comedy time! and who better than legendary Will Ferrell to lead the way with this buddy cop movie turned action fuelled giggle fest along side co-star "Marky" Mark Whalberg..................

Sorry, nearly forgot myself there - was hoping that the BBC were reading and were planning on asking me to replace Connie Huck on Film 2010. Where was I?

But really, this has all the expectations of a great film. The Rock, Samuel L. Jackson & Mark Whalberg. Three Action greats teaming up with Farrell for what is a geeky cop movie where zero turns hero in the most unexpected way.

What's great about this film is (flashback) Steven Segal received top billing for "Executive Decision" but only starred in the first few minutes the same can be said for Johnson & Jackson. Their brief parts are hilariously received and their convenient demise opens the door for two, not so well received heroes to take centre stage.

Ferrell is back to his sarcastic best in this with Whalberg as the slightly moody recipient of his dry wit and distinct anal approach to police work. Ferrell is the admin loving, data analysing, accounting department mis-fit who is paired up with fiery wannabe action man Whalberg, busted down to office duty after accidentally shooting one of the city's finest baseball players.

Ferrell falls upon a case regarding illegal scaffolding permits which quickly opens up into a global fraud campaign for £37 Billion Dollars. It is down to our two cops to defeat the bad guys, gain the trust and belief of their department & captain (Michael Keaton) and save the day.

Every actor in this is played amazingly. Keaton is great as the department police captain, holding down 2 jobs as a cop / bathroom salesman funding his transsexual sons conquests & Eva Mendes is cracking as Ferrell's completely understanding, loyal, sexy wife (much to the disbelief of Whalberg). Even Johnson & Jackson manage to pull off "arrogant asshole" with a fabulous flair!! Steve Coogan stars as the money man heading the fraud and his surrounding heavy's are the only sore point - just a little bit slow!

Comedy comes in many forms. Farts and Falls get some people roaring in the isles but its the little witty sidelines in this that get the real laughs - keep an eye out for all of the T.L.C references, listen out for Ferrell going into too much detail in his cuss comebacks and most importantly, watch Whalberg melt in the presence of Ferrell's current and past female conquests. Very funny.

This film is great. Its got the action and explosions of any up to date cop action film thrown together with the laughs of, dare I say it, Anchorman?

Those more astute will easily pick up the legendary Ice-T as the narrator and if you stay right to the very end...........and I mean the very very end, past the end credits and music then there is a small, reasonably good joke/outtake between Ferrell and Whalberg regarding a Moose - but to be honest, if by this time you are busting for the loo and cant hold on, call me and I'll tell you in person. it's not that funny.

Great Film, Ferrell back on top form. Love this.

See this if......................Secretly, you're an un-sung hero!!

Thursday, 16 September 2010

61, Resident Evil: Afterlife

If my memory serves me right it was about 1996 when Capcom released Resident Evil for the PS1. Since then the franchise has grown to include game sequels and movies which have culminated 14yrs later with the all new 3d version - Resident Evil: Afterlife

The plot has pretty much remained the same from day one. The "Umbrella" corporation is responsible for releasing a virus that pretty much turns everyone into a mind numbingly stupid Zombie's, hell bent on chomping down on any human pockets left fighting for survival. Then we meet Alice. A Supermodel / Zombie bashing heroine who, without much urgency or care seems to take out the living dead with considerable ease.

Over the course of a 3 other movies (I think), Alice goes through transformations of her own resulting in the beginning of Afterlife, appearing as a cloned, bulletproof "Kill Bill" style samurai but early on she gets a rude awakening and a retro-virus jab making her human again.

Then one thing becomes clearly apparent - This film is all about the 3D.

This film was made for 3D in every way. There are more slow-motion fight sequences than in all 3 Matrix films combined and each one is full of 3D baddies, 3D guns, 3D bullets, 3D broken glass, 3D weird Zombie Face sucking wotsits & a 3D, 9ft masked warlord with a stupidly big Axe / butchers mallet. Oh, and did I mention its in 3D?

Okay, I know I am taking the piss a bit but it works!!! DO NOT SEE THIS FILM IN 2D! and that's an order - the entire point and claim of this movie is the 3D element and I feel that without it, on standard DVD the "WOW" factor will be lost and it will just be 90 minutes of slow motion fighting and hot zombie slayers.

Alice (Milla Jovovich) is joined by a few familiar faces this time, namely Mr "Prison Break" and Miss "Heroes" (not the cheerleader, the other one) and for their part the acting is pretty good.

The plot this time is escaping a zombie laden Tokyo to find a hidden city that claims to be virus free. Once Alice has single handedly destroyed much of Tokyo but sadly let the bad guy escape. She hears the distress message stating that there is a "safe city" and quickly heads to Alaska to find it but on arrival its not there. She then meets up with Claire (Ali Larter) who knew her previously but due to a metal beetle thingy strapped to her chest has full blown memory loss. The pair of them manage to hijack a two seated light aircraft and fly down to L.A in search of the city where they meet up with another bunch of survivors which include Claire's brother (who she of course does not recognise) held up in an L.A prison surrounded by about 10,000 blood thirsty zombies. Lots of guns, explosions and zombie crushing then takes up the last 40 minutes of the movie as our team discover the "safe city" is actually an tanker ship just off the coast and they set out to reach it.

Its Soooooooooo predictable and had it not have been in 3D it would have been a bit slow and pants but the 3D alone is enough to keep you entertained throughout and if you are one of the 1 in 10 people that cant see the 3D effects (how sad!) then there are enough hotties in this to keep Hugh Hefner entertained.

The cinema was full, its only a 15 cert and although a few jumpy bits I would not consider this a scary movie. It's Funny in places but unfortunately not all the acting is first class.

See this film if.................................Your tired of disappointing 3D movies

Sunday, 12 September 2010

60, Tamara Drewe

The trailers on this film are all about one person, Gemma Arterton. So it would be only fair to start off with a bit about her.

Quantum of Solace, Clash of the Titans, Prince of Persia. Our Gem has starred in some big budget American action flicks and it has to be said, improved with each one. Take out the two "St Trinian's" movies and "The Boat that Rocked" and its back to her roots and a small budget BBC produced film, funded by the National Lottery to get her first leading role.

And it could not be more British if it tried.

Set in Dorset, this film tracks the return of Tamara Drewe, a local girl turned London Journalist who returns to the family pile after the death of her mother. Spending her childhood with, lets say - a massive nose, this ugly duckling has returned in hotter than hot pants, a nose job and a flair for mischief as she sets about raising temperatures and renovating her Mum's old pad for re-sale.

Predominantly set in a Writers retreat, a collection of wannabe authors led by a bestselling owner and his family pave the way for a Brit rom-com where we get Rockstars & Handymen thrown together with depressive Americans and sex mad school girls.

Sadly, its just not that funny. Don't get me wrong - it not crap, just not that funny. It's a good, believable story....even though there are a few moments where you really get a feel of "I wasn't expecting that!!" but on the whole its a reasonably good film. It plods along for a bit not really getting going and it will never really set the Oscars alight but its a good Sunday afternoon sit down.

There is one shining light, and its not Arterton's wardrobe.

It's 18 year old Jessica Barden who plays Josie. Two years since she starred in Coronation Street and not having a single role since 2008, Jessica plays Josie. A 16 year old kid who, with her mate, seems to be one of the only two kids in the whole village who live in their School uniforms and between swigging Red wine, Swearing and throwing eggs at cars has an unhealthy "urge" for Tamara's Rock Star boyfriend.

She is hilarious.

Every line had me in stitches. From using the "F" word as candidly as an Eskimo goes ice fishing to breaking & entering with the ease of the Milk Tray Man this girl is absolutely brilliant. Well played Jessica.

So, to sum it up - its not as funny as the newspapers made it out to be, its not as fast paced as you really think it should be but for a small British movie with what should have been "MY" lottery win funding it, its not that bad.

No plot spoilers (as there a few twists) but its a standard, 3 star movie. "If Doc Martin" or "Saving Grace" are your cup of tea - then this will go down a treat.

See this if........................Kids swearing make you chuckle!!!

Monday, 6 September 2010

59, Dinner for Schmucks

I believe a comedy should make you laugh until you cry. If I want "mildly funny" I will watch my daughter attempt the washing up or at a push, even take humour from watching mums yell at their kids in public. But to spend money on a comedy that is "un-funny", well that's just a waste of time.

So, is dinner for Schmucks really that bad?

Well the critics seem to think so and sadly, so do I.

Firstly I would like to extend my sincere apologies to the few people I recommended this to, before I even saw it - I do hope you went to see Piranha 3d instead!!

Paul Rudd is mildly entertaining in "Role Models" but overshadowed by Stiffler and I will get to Anchorman later on. In this he is sadly underwhelming with his on-screen presence and even David Walliams's characters wife (Lucy Davenport) puts in a more memorable performance, even though a) her last role in "Alice in Wonderland" was credited as "Woman with big Ears" and b) she has the same welded expression to her face throughout.

So, a high point? Okay, I find it hard to slate any Actor who starred in my favourite all time comedy, Anchorman but as you will have read above - Rudd just bit the bullet, so onto Anchorman favourite No.2. Carell is mildly entertaining. Stupidly comedic you laugh at him rather than with him and a comedy that is based around high morale values always makes you look at yourself rather than allow you to switch off and laugh like your belly is about to burst. A comedy should allow you to switch off, kick back, forget the troubles and strife's of life and just chill.

This does none of that.

The plot is all about a Dinner for Schmucks (was it really that obvious?) but the "Dinner" is only the last 20 minutes. What leads up to that is a slow paced, slightly odd, "buddy buddy" movie where Rudd realises he is being a bit of an arse to Carell but nether the less goes onto ridicule him, against the better judgement of his overly hot girlfriend who he ends up losing (for a while) until he regains his senses, stands up for the weird guy and takes a hit for the home team.

It's just a shame its not that funny.

Even a taxidermist mouse collector should raise a few laughs on its own but I couldn't help thinking of multiple dead "Stuart Little's" rather than adopt the slightly odd culture they were going for. Steve Carell has a few class moments but not enough to carry the whole film and the character "Darla" is not only a waste of make-up and fabric but should spell then end of a career for Lucy Punch, sadly with roles set right up until 2012 she is not gone just yet.

I am so sorry, I would love to big this one right up - but honestly, I have had more impressive bowl movements.

See this if.................you like your comedies without comedy!!