Saturday, 26 March 2011

104, Faster

So this movie actually came from now where, no trailers, no idea!! I know "The Rock" is starring in the new Fast & Furious movie due out this year but "Faster" on IMDB was labelled as a 2010 release?  anyway, Randomness over and onto the movie.

Firstly Dwayne,  Now back in the WWE for a while all prepping up for Wrestlemania XXVII he is definitely back to his normal uber-muscly self.  He is HUGE in this one, playing an ex-con back robber on the hunt for the gang that ambushed and killed his Brother after a bank raid.  So he's a nasty, but as with the best movie, one we are on side with.  As with Fast 5, he plays a cop but we all know even though he's the good guy we are rooting for Walker & Diesel to get away - and the same with this one.  Yes he's the bad guy but when the "competing" cop assigned to the case turn out to be drug addict, generic loser Billy-Bob Thornton (In the movie that is - Loving the Thornton!) They do seem a little mis-matched.

Luckily there is another card to this deck, a successful British assassin, also assigned to take out Johnson as he starts picking off one by on the crew that originally took him down.

This is a gritty action movie - visually dusty, it is set mostly on the back roads of the more "under developed" USA and that makes this a great backdrop for this movie.  Thornton does not play New york Cop very well but in this he is brilliant.

Now onto the Cars, this could be a great intro to Fast 5 with Dwayne's choice ride being a 1970's Chevelle SS (OMG! Its a beaut!) and the Assassins being a hot Silver Ferrari.  Its easy to name the characters also, yes they have names but they are billed as Cop, Driver, Killer, Guard, Telemarketer, Receptionist etc - the list goes on which make the plot simple.

Cop wants Driver Dead. Killer wants Drive Dead.  Driver wants everyone else Dead.  Easy?  Good.

I really enjoyed it.  The Rock looks awesome and if like me your a true Wrestling fan from days gone by i am about as excited as the Peoples Elbow returning to the big screen as I am the 5th Fast & Furious movie and now I am all revved up and ready for some great Summer Blockbusters to fill the blog space.

There is a great twist at the end of this that some of you may work out, albeit not me!! and its worth it.

If Cars, Guns and a gritty story line are up your street then this is for you.  Think "Payback" but with a bit more meat in it.  That should get in you in the right frame of mind.

I cant really fault it - Loved it.

See this if........................Can you Smeeeeeeeeeeeellllllllllllllllllll what the Rock is Cooking!

Friday, 25 March 2011

103, Limitless

I was lucky enough to get out to see this at a mid-week preview.  No Ad's, busy screen, loving it!!  The lead in this movie is Bradley Cooper.  So far, not a duff movie to his name.  Starting in TV, Bradley appeared in some minor roles, Wedding Crashers / Yes Man until the Hangover in 2009 where in my eyes he launched into greatness.  All About Steve, and The A-Team quickly followed and before we know it he's in everything! and deservedly so - specifically looking forward to The Hangover II due out later this year, Limitless was billed as a big budget, A-List cast with Cooper & De Niro heading Hollywood's finest.

But does it live up to the hype?

Well its good, but I am sure it could have been so much more!  The plot is quick to get going - mystery Drug that enhances brain productivity and the relationship between the main characters is explained early on but it seemed to all come too quickly.

I have moaned before about movies taking their time to get going and this is not exactly the opposite but he appears to go from Zero to Hero in about 5 minutes with no real focus on the climb to greatness.  In the story, the rise happens over 12 days but even so, a bit more of the partying and wealth spreading would not have gone amiss.

The main focus for this movie is once the Money & Skill are obtained, then the focus switches to the trials of keeping it, rather than getting it and the ever present side affects of the drug and others its affected play a heavy part. 

It's a good story and don't get me wrong, its a good movie but I just left the cinema feeling a little cheated.  Cooper has been outstanding in so many other movies and if anything this has probably undervalued him.  De Niro is great as the moneyman and they bounce fantastically off of each other but other than that it came across as a mediocre flick, maybe worthy of a DVD purchase once it hits the bargain bin but nearly £20 on a Blu-Ray?  Nope.

If like my wife, Cooper most definitely floats your boat then you will enjoy it - he is his normal witty, sometimes funny self but as said before - could have done more.

In my eyes his best role to date is as "Face" in the A-Team, a movie I purchased and watch continuously over and over again and he will have to go some to make me think otherwise.  If this is meant as an interim quickie between that and the Hangover II then its done its job - If its supposed to be deemed as a stepping stone to better things then granted, but if this is supposed to be a defining moment in movie history?  Well, its off the mark.

Cooper fan? Then you should watch it.  You will enjoy it for what it is.  If not, don't bother.

See this if........................................You like the Man - not the Movie.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

102, The Lincoln Lawyer

Matthew McConaughey (forthwith to be referred to as MM) has had some pretty funny roles to date - although with not much happening since 2008 it was his Tropic Thunder appearance that has relaunched him and with 4 movies set to drop in 2011 we will be seeing a lot more of him very soon - and if this movie is anything to go by, I for one cant wait!

Everybody loves a good Court Room Drama, but most of the time that is all they are - this breaks the mould.  Its a gritty Street movie with a courtroom background.  The Lincoln part of the title refers to MM's car / office.  He travels everywhere in it along with his personal driver and the way clients book appointments seem to be pulling up along side him.

The case this time in question is a battery charge where the accused, Ryan Phillipe who, coming from a wealthy background expects immediate support from our defence attorney but this time MM cant turn a blind eye to whatever the "Facts" may be as the case seems and all too familiar with another from 5 years precious and our Lawyer must battle with his own demons to do whats right!

Cryptic enough? well, sadly I spoiled the ending of Battle: LA for most of you so this time I promise - no spoils!

Marisa Tomei is brilliant as the ex-girlfriend & mother of their daughter, separated due to to work differences (she's the prosecuting attorney) and although keeps alot more clothes on in this than she did in the Wrestler plays a blinder.  The ever young looking Ryan Phillipe plays the spoilt rich kid (again.....Yawn!) but after playing this same role time after time has finally nailed it and comes across conceited, dark and amazing!

The best character in this for me was William H. Macey as the investigator - he is quirky, funny and has madly long hair! but killer moustache aside, he is everyones favourite right had man and although to my knowledge has never held a leading role does what he does better than any supporting actor, ever.

Its gritty, funny & manages to capture the suspense of court alongside some street action and dodgy dealings.  The life of what could easily be any American (under the radar) Lawyer - cash deals, smart, witty and playing the game.

Its a nice break from Sci-Fi and Special Effects and although its not got the presence of "A few good men" the court scenes are captivating and inspiring.

No much to think about - everything gets explained eventually buts I loved it - Good Movie.

See this if...........................You like your legal battles served up nicely with your crime dramas!

Saturday, 19 March 2011

101, Hall Pass

Most of us are nearly there - middle? aged men who still honestly believe we have all the pulling prowess we did 20 years ago! 

Well, some of us might however if the belly is getting wider, the hair is getting thinner and the musical tastes are appearing dated then chances are if we hit the clubs in the true light of day, making a bee line for the first hottie under 25 we would (sadly) come across as old, desperate pervs!! And that's the beauty of this movie. 

It takes a group of married, middle aged men who constantly ogle younger women, sometimes in direct view of their extremely tolerant wife's, unbeknown to them that they know....we think they don't know, but they know.

So, after a meet and greet where the wife's just end up laughing at the attempts of their over confident and under impressionable other halves trying to casually check out other women without being noticed that its agreed a "Hall Pass" is in order - it does not come lightly as its a "week off" from Marriage, a chance to get back out in the big wide world, free from responsibility or regret and sow whatever oats need a sowing before settling back into the rest of their lives.

And its exactly as you'd expect, Lots of man-gags. 

Day 1 - A lust of wine and steak in preparation for a night of clubbing and debauchery leaves them tired and exhausted by 9.30pm and by Day 2 its X-Box and video gaming that take preference. Day 3 and with half the week left the chat up lines taken from "how NOT to chat up Women" are going down like lead balloons.  Day 4 & 5 pass with no real danger of our guys getting any action, infact - if these guys did ever get approached they would probably miss the signs anyway. 

But when the cats are away its the mice who seem to be getting the attention with the Wife's spending a week with family seeming to get more attention then they bargained for and without knowing it are attracting a following of buff guys who are revelling in their mature beauty.

There is far more in this blog on the story than normal but I am sure they have captured this brilliantly.  Yes, as a race of middle aged, slightly bloated guys we feel we still could have any girl we wanted but come across cheesy and old whilst on the other hand, our lovely women who probably don't get enough compliments and time spent on them can easily pick up Mr Dreamy with just a small eyelash flutter and some vibrant lippy!

There are a few laugh out loud moments that are as disgusting as they are funny - take specific note to the Bathroom and Sauna scenes and the cast, which include Owen Wilson, Jason Sudeikis, Christina Applegate & Jenna Fischer are okay in the leading roles. 

For me its the smaller part actors that steal the show - Stephen Merchant is laughably the best with his Brit Geeky persona shining through in this and hang around after the credits for a 5 minute chuckle fest that is not to be missed.

The cert 15 rating is backed up by some full on nudity on both male and female parts and a certain scene will have the guys feeling inadequate and proud at the same time!!

Its toilet humour with a great moral.

See this if...........................................You think you could still be "The Man!" before reality kicks in.

Saturday, 12 March 2011

100, Battle: Los Angeles

There is nothing, absolutely nothing I like better at the cinema than a great Sci-fi flick. 

Since my early years I have been enthralled by alien movies right back to Alien, Predator etc.  I don't know why, but if done right they are amazing - Independence Day is one of my all time favourite movies and last year we were given Monsters & Skyline which in my eyes, both failed to impress on epic levels.  Even a few years back with District 9 I have felt no one has actually made a great alien movie since Smith and Goldblum used a virus to take out a mother ship.

So - When I first started seeing the trailers for this a few months back I started to get a little sweaty with anticipation that my faith and love of this genre was soon to be restored.  Also, the humans should win which sadly we have failed to do at the cinema recently so whats the point!!

Luckily I was not wrong - Battle: Los Angeles is an epic, action fuelled roller coaster of an Alien movie with an invasion of earth that beats anything you will have ever seen on the screen before. 

The special effects are mind numbingly spectacular and performances from Aaron Eckhart, Michelle Rodriguez and Ne-Yo (who was actually brilliant) made this movie not just visually stunning but an acting masterclass as well.

Its not too scary, not too jumpy and the U.S Marines certainly kick ass against a formidable opponent.  What I will say is that after the other two disasters from last year this was a fabulous breath of fresh air!

Every baddie alien race needs a mother ship and this has followed Independence Day brilliantly with the unknown species positioning itself over the globes major cities with a structured, organised attack with an aim to colonise the world and take advantage of the water available, making Earth with a 70% land / water ratio one of the only planets worth attacking.

The aliens are awesome, like before - organic matter with strong shielding and the ships and weaponry are beyond comprehensible.

It takes wit, bravery and determination in the face of almost certain destruction to be victorious and Eckhart and his band of warriors face danger like a dog on heat, striving to keep pushing forward and eventually, stand victorious.

Okay, so that may be a little spoiler but I'm an old fashioned movie buff who loves a happy ending and you all should know, this is a great Alien invasion movie so don't panic - you wont be wasting a penny!

The action kicks in before the screen has even faded up at the start and then its about 15 minutes of introduction before the remaining 2hrs movie really takes hold.  I had sweaty palms, aghast expression and even the annoying oiks behind me faded into nothingness as I watched, captivated from start to finish.

It definitely has its tragic moments and the "will they/wont they" situations are scattered vigorously between moments of rest bite, but its non-stop throughout and I totally loved it.

If you have been disappointed in Monster / Alien movies since the late 90's then pack up your popcorn and go and see this NOW - before it goes into the minor auditoriums.  Screen 1 - Go Tonight!

See this if...............................................Deep down, you know we should always win!!

Sunday, 6 March 2011

99, Rango

OMG!!!  100 Movie Blogs.  Never thought I would make it.  Doing the math that's £850 on movie tickets, £200 on M&M's and about £255 on Cappuccino's.  (Or £243 with the cineworld pass!! - a bargain!)

So, what illustrious movie gets to be No.100 - Well, as you guessed its a kids movie but one that's a little different.

Jonny Depp never really does anything normally, even when given the lead in a the new animations its always a little darker and devious that say Gnomeo & Juliet or Toy Story 3.  Yes, Characters die, Yes, There is almost some swearing, Yes there are bats, snakes, spiders and a dodgy Turtle and Yes, Kids under 8 may be a little jumpy but on the whole its a thumbs up.

Rango is a pet Lizard (Chameleon) who, after a car crash ends up with his travel tank bouncing out a back window of a car travelling down the expressway of the Mohave Desert and our house lizard has to fend for himself with the real wild animals of the hot, drought ridden city of Dirt.

Depp is brilliant in this and adopts a voice style similar to that of legendary creations of Jack Sparrow & The Hatter - He is one of my favourite character actors and seems to only get better and better.

Reading down the cast list the names may not be that familiar the faces definitely are with the other lead being held up beautifully by Isla Fisher and secondary roles including Ray Winstone & Bill Nighy, believe me - the list goes on.

Its a little dark and I did feel about 3/4 of the way though it was becoming a bit drawn out, however you cannot fault the animation - its brilliant and its not been sucked into feeling the need to be done in 3D.  This shows that you can stay old school and still be visually awesome.

The music saw the same feeling bestowed upon me the fist time I led John Marston into Mexico over the Rio Grande (Red Dead Fans will know what I mean) and that subtle guitar is constant throughout with a quad of Mexican owls narrating our story from start to finish. 

There is plenty to keep the kids entertained throughout as Rango himself is hilarious as the wannabe sheriff, pitting more luck than judgement against some local town nasties until a plot, not too distant from that of the 3 Amigos reared its head and our average Joe has to take a real stand!

To be honest - and I have said this before - it did seem a little long for an animation but I think this needs to be thought of in a different light - Think more along the lines of a True Grit for the younger generation with some added talking animals and a cameo from who I completely believed to be Clint Eastwood until the credits roled.

A Wild West adventure that is a million times better than Wild Wild West (although most things are) and one that your beloved youngsters will watch from behind a pillow.  Its not that scary really!

So,  Depp fans will love it and the animation is some of the best 2D I have ever seen.

See this if.......................................animation does not always have to be sweet!!!

98, Unknown

I am trying to do my best not to make this the worlds shortest ever movie review!!  The reason for this is if I start actually chatting about the film, plot etc I may mistakenly give away one tiny detail of what happens and that would be unforgivable as the movie itself deserves every ounce of secrecy I can bestow upon it.

But Why? - Well, in my eyes there are a few movies in my lifetime that you would only ever watch once.  Not because they are not fantastic, on the contrary they are awesome - however once the twist is discovered they lose every ounce of the "edge of the seat" suspense that made them great in the first place.  Much like a one hit wonder, We listen to it once, love it - then put it into an archive, to be fondly remembered for the rest of time.

This is what Unknown does.  It is an absolutely fantastic film.  Liam Neeson just gets better and better and after roles in Taken & The A-Team I am convinced it will be awhile before he does a crap one!!  The rest of the cast is also superb as is the suspense and action throughout.

But I am resigned to staying tight lipped in relation to the plot and the ending.  You have to watch it while its at the cinema because if you fork out £15 on the Blu-Ray you will only end up watching it once and it will do nothing after but gather dust!!! 

Remember Sixth Sense? - Great movie but how many times have you seen it? - Whats the point? Plot spoiler takes the suspense out of it and seeing as its all about the finale build up, once known - it loses its appeal. 

Although what I will say is don't panic - Neeson is not dead!!

So - not so much a blog about this movie but what it stands for - see it to believe it - very gripping.

See this if..............................You nails need a' biting!

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

97, Drive Angry

Every now and again the best of us needs an escape!!  Being male, that normally involves a movie that's got guns, over the top action, random obscenities from the outset, nudity, sex (lots of sex), more guns, the devil and finally - awesome muscle cars.  tie that all in with an 18 cert so we know it will be done properly.

And so not be be gender specific - I know there are girls out there who this appeals to as well!!

If I said Drive Angry had all of the above then I would not be far wrong.  Yes the plots a bit dodgy, Nic Cage escapes from Hell to track down a cult leader who killed his daughter and kidnapped his granddaughter while the Devil send along his right hand man to bring him back.

The Devils helper is after Cage, Cage is after the cult and the cult are about to sacrifice the baby which is where the movie climaxes in an all out battle of Evil, Vs, Evil Vs, Evil.?

The Quote "The enemy of my enemy is my friend" kind of rings true in this and once the Devils Helper finds out the reason for Cage's escape gives him a little slack in pressing for a return to Hell and although does not directly get involved, has a slight helping hand in Cage doing the right thing.

so, the Sex, nudity and swearing is constant and pretty much throughout - which is actually pretty cool!!!  Cage is his normal, monotoned, dreary self with a dry wit a fast mouth but its William Fichtner (The Devils Accountant) and Amber Herd (Hot, Steamy accomplice) who well and truly steal the show.

Yes there are some dreadful one-liners, yes there is gratuitous sex and swearing that may seem out of place but its an 18!! and with that nowadays comes a level of un-required explanation as to why its there - it just is!!

So, Male / Female? - If I had to pick it would a Guy's movie but one with a possibility slight likability from the ladies in your life.  If watching blond barmaid's bouncing on Nic Cage floats your boat!! ;-)

Its a little tacky, but The cars rock!! and the sheer arrogance of the Accountant as well as his sheer power makes him extremely warming, even though he is the bringer of souls but that's whats cool about it, Maybe Hell could be cool with this guy in charge.  Amber has been in everything from The O.C to Zombieland and is rumoured to be in the new TV series, Playboy so being a real life hottie / bi-sexual might be one of her many talents exposed - along with two more that easily spring to mind!!!

The 3D is pretty good - there are a few "leap out" moments and Cage is plain old Cage - don't expect anything different.

I loved it - Hopefully you will too but only if you leave your dignity at the door!!

See this if............................................Queen said it best...."I want to break Free!!!"