Films

Super 8…

I can see Super 8 getting really mixed reviews because it feels a little like The Goonies meet Cloverfield.

Personally, I liked it and could see past the odd cheesy bits, but I can also see why some would think it falls short. There is a very E.T. childlike feel to the film, which is hardly surprising as the lead characters are kids. There is also the Stand By Me coming of age aspect. All this is wrapped up with a bow made of some fantastic visual effects.

Cool film, but difficult to pinpoint the target audience they had in mind (in my opinion). I’m sure over the next few years I will watch and enjoy it several times, but I don’t think I will be buying it.

Cheers

Tim…




Captain America: The First Avenger…

I went to see Captain America: The First Avenger at the weekend. It’s kinda odd because there are lots of elements that make me think I should like this film, but I found it all a little dull. I actually found myself saying “Meh” as I stood up at the end of the film. That’s not a good sign.

I liked the intro to the story. All the stuff from the trailers. Skinny guy becomes superhero etc. I think that works really well and I was looking forward to him actually doing something useful. That’s where it all went a little flat really. Most of the stuff he did just didn’t seem very “superhero” to me. I know nothing about the Captain America comics or history, but he seems like a pretty lame superhero.

What didn’t help was the World War II setting. Being brought up in the UK means you are constantly bombarded films and references to WWII. Pretty much every day there is a WWII film on one of the channels. Not wanting to be disrespectful to the people that were involved at the time, but it has no relevance to my life. You might as well be talking about The Hundred Years’ War. In fact, I would go as far as to say that *most* war-related films don’t do anything for me. It’s just not a genre that really appeals. With that in mind, a lame superhero in a setting that turns me off was never going to hit home for me I guess.

A few bits of the plot seemed very “Indian Jones” to me. It felt a bit lazy in that regard. It will be interesting to see how Captain America stacks up in the 21st century as part of The Avengers film(s) when they are made. Maybe in a modern setting I will have a change of heart.

Cheers

Tim…




Transformers: Dark of the Moon…

Transformers: Dark of the Moon rocks! The previous two films were good, although the second didn’t even prompt a review from me. :)

The first few minutes did not bode well. I dislike those child-friendly stupid little robots. Think Ewoks and Jar Jar Binks. Maybe that lowered my expectations sufficiently to make me enjoy the rest of the film.

It certainly felt like Michael Bay had been watching Battle: Los Angeles and Skyline while this was being made. As you would expect from a Michael Bay film the destruction was of epic proportions. Sometimes this descends into disaster porn, but it felt a little more personal in this film. Maybe I’m talking rubbish and it was just the mood I was in that made me feel that.

Anyway, it’s full of awesome robots doing superhero posturing. I love the way they transform and move. Very cool. Shia LaBeouf is obviously part robot because he manages to survive some situations that would mangle a block of steel. On top of the crazy action there are some genuinely funny bits.

At the end of the film a large proportion of the crowd started to clap, which I’ve not heard in a while. I’m a bit to old and jaded for that, but I did enjoy it.

Like all these Hollywood action blockbusters, you need to go in with your suspension of disbelief primed, but if you do you will have a good time. :)

Cheers

Tim…




Green Lantern…

I’ve said it before and I’ll no doubt say it again, but the mark of a good superhero film is you should be watching it thinking, “I wish I was !”.

As a fat 41 year old man, that is exactly what I was thinking whilst watching Green Lantern. If Iron Man is a 9.5/10, then this is somewhere around the 8.5/10 region in my opinion. Similar to Thor I guess.

Parts of it reminded me of Spawn. I found myself thinking, if this character had watched the Spawn movie he could manifest some better weapons and defenses. :)

If they do a sequel, it would be cool if they focus on some of the other Lanterns.

Cheers

Tim…

PS.




Pirates and X-Men…

I started to write a quick review of the latest X-Men film and I realized I hadn’t written anything about that pirate film, so here goes a double whammy…

  • Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides – This is just more of the same as far as I’m concerned. Some of the cast are back. Some new people have been brought in, but my overriding feeling is that I’ve seen it all before. It just doesn’t feel like they’ve brought anything new to the table here. That’s not to say it’s a bad film, I just feel like I could have stayed at home and watched a DVD of any of the previous films instead. This film is not going to sell you on the franchise, but it’s also not going to make you vow never to see another PotC film either. Good harmless fun, if a little uninspired.
  • X-Men: First Class – I liked the first three X-Men films. The Wolverine film was quite cool too. I was really unsure what I would think of this prequel. Sometimes stripping things back leaves them exposed. Sometimes it reveals something new. In my opinion X-Men: First Class really works well. I guess I had not really though about how little I knew (or cared) about Professor X and Magneto as characters. This film fleshes them out a bit more than the previous outings and it worked well for me. There are some really lame characters, like Banshee and Darwin, but I guess this also adds to plot as this is a very immature X-Men team. Probably my favorite character from this film is Azazel, who Bamfs like Nightcrawler, but is not so annoying. What I would give to be able to bamf and avoid plane flights. The cast have been signed up for 2 sequels to this prequel (provided this film makes money). I’m looking forward to seeing them.

Cheers

Tim…




Priest…

Went to see Priest last night. It was only on in 3D at the cinema I went to. As usual, the 3D is pretty crappy and doesn’t add to the film at all. I’ve seen films that were shot in 3D (like Avatar) and those that were made 3D in post production (like Clash of the Titans). They all look crap to me and paying £3 extra for the added “benefit” of flinching a couple of times when things are thrown at you is not my idea of value. Enough of my anti-3D ranting…

The film does a lot of things right, but doesn’t pack enough punch to make me think it is good. Things I like include:

  • The religion aspect is quite cool. People born with “special” talents are recruited by the church and turned into super-duper vampire killing machines.
  • The superhuman power of the priests comes from God and they have unwavering faith, but seem to have little respect for the church, which has become some Orwellian political control mechanism.
  • The vampires are not glittery. They are not even human looking. They are grotesque humanoids that run on all fours, have massive fangs and have no eyes. Proper gross.
  • Some of the fight scenes have so much potential. There is a scene where Paul Bettany throws some crucifix shuriken into the air, then plucks them out of the sky and throws them at the bad guys. It’s all in bullet time and it is so nearly a classic scene, but just not quite.

I really hope there is a sequel. They only need a bit of fine tuning to turn it from meh… to awesome. Having said that, there were only 3 people in the cinema including me and two of them really should have used a hotel room, so the chances of a sequel seem pretty slim…

Cheers

Tim…




Thor…

Just got back from watching Thor. It’s very cool! I heard some reviews saying it was crap. I guess they must have seen a different film to me.

Tomorrow I’m off to the gym to do some weights, then I’ll drop by the DIY store to buy the heaviest mallet they’ve got… :)

Cheers

Tim…




Fast & Furious 5: Rio Heist…

It was only as I started to write this post about Fast & Furious 5: Rio Heist that I realised I’ve not seen the 4th film yet. I’m sure it’s not much different to all the others. This one has most of the old gang back together to drive around really fast and do lots of impossible stuff. It’s a nice bit of mindless escapism, just before getting back into my diesel Renault Clio to drive home at a sedate pace… :)

Cheers

Tim…




Battle: Los Angeles…

For some masochistic reason you decide to watch Independence Day, realize it’s a steaming pile of crap (of almost Twilight proportions) and decide the only way to make the world a better place is to redo the film properly. What you end up with is Battle: Los Angeles. It’s pretty much the same story.

I’m not saying it’s a great sci-fi film, but it’s pretty darn good. I wasn’t holding out much hope during the first few scenes because the person with the camera seemed to be having a fit. On stationary shots where people were just chatting it looked like the camera was sitting on a washing machine during the spin cycle. Once the action kicked in the camera work seemed much more appropriate, even steady at times.

The feel was very much like that of District 9 and Skyline, which is a good thing in my opinion. Dirty and gritty wins out over Hollywood polish for me. The budget was quite a bit higher than those films, but it had some recognizable actors and everything was so much bigger. It still came in at $5,000,000 under the price of Independence Day, and that was made 14 years ago.

There were a few inevitable bits of cheese and gaps in story development, probably from cuts to bring it just under 2 hours, but it still worked pretty well.

I was surprised to see Ne-Yo in the film, but he did an OK job. If Michelle Rodriguez is one tenth as cool in real life as she is in films, she will be mine. Oh yes! She will be mine! It would be great to have a girlfriend who could beat the crap out of guys if they don’t respect my authoritah:)

Cheers

Tim…




Battle: Los Angeles…

For some masochistic reason you decide to watch Independence Day, realize it’s a steaming pile of crap (of almost Twilight proportions) and decide the only way to make the world a better place is to redo the film properly. What you end up with is Battle: Los Angeles. It’s pretty much the same story.

I’m not saying it’s a great sci-fi film, but it’s pretty darn good. I wasn’t holding out much hope during the first few scenes because the person with the camera seemed to be having a fit. On stationary shots where people were just chatting it looked like the camera was sitting on a washing machine during the spin cycle. Once the action kicked in the camera work seemed much more appropriate, even steady at times.

The feel was very much like that of District 9 and Skyline, which is a good thing in my opinion. Dirty and gritty wins out over Hollywood polish for me. The budget was quite a bit higher than those films, but it had some recognizable actors and everything was so much bigger. It still came in at $5,000,000 under the price of Independence Day, and that was made 14 years ago.

There were a few inevitable bits of cheese and gaps in story development, probably from cuts to bring it just under 2 hours, but it still worked pretty well.

I was surprised to see Ne-Yo in the film, but he did an OK job. If Michelle Rodriguez is one tenth as cool in real life as she is in films, she will be mine. Oh yes! She will be mine! It would be great to have a girlfriend who could beat the crap out of guys if they don’t respect my authoritah:)

Cheers

Tim…