Films

I am Number 4…

I get the feeling that I am Number 4 is trying to target prepubescent boys, the same way Twilight (how I hate that film) has captured the imagination of every young person with ovaries. The big difference is that prepubescent boys like to see things get shot and blown up. As a result, it’s much more palatable to an adult male than the tripe they keep serving up in the Twilight Saga. Gosh that film is bad…

I.a.N.4 has its fair share of teenage angst and everyone is Hollywood pretty, but it didn’t make me vomit and it didn’t have glittering vampires. How I hate glittering vampires…

So if you go in cold, I.a.N.4 is kinda meh. If you cleanse your palate first by watching any Twilight (what a completely awful set of movies) film, you will think I.a.N.4 is awesome and deserves a giant bag of Oscars.

Cheers

Tim…

The Social Network…

I’m not really a fan of social network sites. I use them from time to time, but if they dropped of the face of the earth tomorrow it wouldn’t make much difference to my life. I have email addresses and phone number of everyone I want to talk to. Nuff said.

With that in mind I really didn’t give a crap about watching The Social Network when it was at the cinema. I was visiting friends last night and they both wanted to watch it, so I was forced into a corner. As it turned out it was a good film. If it had been about some company other than Facebook I would have enjoyed it even more. The film portrayal of the characters is as follows:

  • Mark Zuckerberg: A socially retarded, completely untrustworthy and annoying uber-geek thief. If he’s like this in real life I would definitely not want to meet him and putting a single penny in his pocket is bottom of my list of desires.
  • Sean Parker: A serial screw-up, style over substance, paranoid and incredibly annoying wannabe uber-geek. Once again, if he is like this in real life he’s not on my list of people I would like to meet.
  • Eduardo Saverin: An honest, if a little naive, guy who was surrounded by prize-winning sh*ts who were all out to screw him.

The fact the film is based on a book whose content is mostly drawn from interviews with Eduardo Saverin prior to the completion of his court case against Mark Zuckerberg suggests that maybe the view of the characters is “a little bit biased”. :)

Anyway, get it out on DVD and try to forget it is about Facebook and I think you will like it.

Cheers

Tim…

True Grit…

I watched the original True Grit (1969) film a few times as a kid, so I wasn’t that bothered about True Grit (2010). Then I saw a bunch of reviews saying it was a reworking from the book, rather than a remake of the original film blah, blah, blah, Coen Brothers, blah, blah, blah…

I’m sure if I watched both films side by side I would say there are a lot of differences and the latest version was a better film, but as it is I came away feeling rather underwhelmed. For the new audience I think it will be pretty cool. For those like me who watched the old version multiple times over the years I just don’t see the appeal. As for Oscar nominations, the girl was good, but Jeff Bridges seemed decidedly average to me.

Must remember, remakes are for a new audience, not miserable old gits…

Cheers

Tim…

Hereafter…

I went to see Hereafter this evening. On the surface the subject matter sounded pretty grim, what with it being about death and the afterlife, but Clint Eastwood directed it, so I thought I’d give it a go.

The overriding thing I can say about the film is it was very gentle. If this were standard Hollywood crap there would have been X-Files type revelations or flash ghostly effects. As it was, there was none of that. It was just the characters and how death and the afterlife had affected their lives. Very understated and told at a gentle pace and in no way challenging. I want to say words like “nice” and “pleasant”, but they sound a bit insulting, but I don’t mean them to be.

If you like spooky psychic stuff this definitely is *n0t* the film for you.

Matt Damon and Bryce Dallas Howard worked really well together. She had quite a small part in the film, but her character was definitely the highlight for me. The other actors were a bit out of their league in comparison, except for the cameo of Derek Jacobi playing himself. If he had got that wrong it would have been a bit sad. :)

Cheers

Tim…

The Mechanic…

The Mechanic was an OK film. It didn’t have the style of The Transporter franchise, or the grittiness of the Bourne franchise, but it was obviously meant to appeal to that fan base.

I like Jason Statham in action films. He moves well and works angles really nicely. There wasn’t really any of that in this film. Kinda wasting his best feature in my opinion.

Ben Foster has carved himself a really good niche as an intense nutter. He does it really well and was one of the best things in the film. I was just watching the screen waiting for him to go pop. :)

All in all, not the worst visit to the cinema, but not really as good as I was hoping.

Cheers

Tim…

Gran Torino…

I can’t remember when or where I saw Gran Torino originally, but I remembered it being a great film. I was round a friends last night and I suggested we watch it. It really is a great piece of work. Some people have just got a gift and Clint Eastwood is one of them. I did a search through my blog today to see what my review said about it and I couldn’t find one. This leads me to believe I probably saw it on a plane and the review got lost in the confusion of the trip. Anyway, it’s a great film. Well worth checking it out.

TRON: Legacy…

Just got back from TRON: Legacy. The word “Legacy” seems ever so apt.

I went to see the first TRON film when it came out. I loved it. I was blown away. I wanted it all to be real. Remember this was 1982. The year after the ZX81 was released. I had a ZX81 and I was totally amazed by computers. It didn’t seem like a massive leap to think of programs as little people running around inside the box doing amazing things. It was a brave new world.

So 28 years later we have the sequel. It looks amazing and has a brilliant sound track but the fatal flaw is the concept of programs running round like people. They keep mentioning the “grid” as if that brings the concept up to date. It’s not little people running round in the box. It’s little people running round in “the grid”. Oh please. Give me a break. If that were the case there would be two giant fat people called Facebook and Google and a bunch of ants.

If I were them I would have re-imagined it entirely and replaced the original concept with a submersive virtual reality program. Doh! Already been done by eXistenZ and The Matrix

TRON was amazing in its time. TRON: Legacy isn’t. The best thing that could happen to this craptacular film is they chop it up and turn it into a visually spectacular extended video for the Daft Punk soundtrack. I would probably buy that DVD.

Cheers

Tim…

Monsters…

I’m really interested in the upsurge of high quality low budget films that have been released over the last few years. Monsters is another great example of that. Rather than focusing on big effects budgets or guys running round in bad monster suits it returns to the “less is more” approach. There is more suspense in the sound of something moving in the tree line than seeing an animated monster jumping around. What’s more, in the good examples,  the lack of big budgets generally means they focus more on the characters which gives the film more impact as well.

It’s not a horror flick. It’s not a sci-fi flick. It’s more of a road trip movie, if you can count boats and hiking through jungles as a road trip.

Anyway, I liked it. More please.  :)

Cheers

Tim…

Skyline…

Just got back from watching Skyline. I read some reviews before I went, most of which said it was terrible and something to avoid at all cost. With that message firmly embedded in my brain I went with zero positive expectations and quite enjoyed it.

Most of the reviews said the acting was really bad. It wasn’t wonderful, but it certainly wasn’t Twilight bad. The reviews said it lacked plot. Well yeah, but Cloverfield and District 9 weren’t exactly brimming with plot and they were cool. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not heaping praise on this film, it’s certainly a B movie, but it’s by no means the worst film I’ve ever seen. It beats the hell out of any Twilight movie, but then so does a blank screen. :)

The film wears its influences very much on its sleeve. A lot of the visuals look like they were stolen heavily inspired by The Matrix and Independence Day (I really hate that film). There is a District 9 and Cloverfield feel to the film, with some of the visuals kinda stolen inspired by Cloverfield too, along with a bit of War of the Worlds for good measure.

One of the most interesting things about the film is it allegedly cost less than $10 Million to make. That’s like one episode of Friends (final season). I think the visuals are pretty sweet for that price. It also means it might make enough money, even with half empty cinemas, for a sequel to happen, which they definitely want judging by the ham-fisted hook into a sequel at the end. If one happens I will go to see it just out of curiosity.

So go expecting the worst and it won’t be quite as bad as you expected, possibly… :)

Cheers

Tim…

The Losers, Salt and The A-Team…

I haven’t got the the cinema much recently, but having been on a lot of planes, I got a chance to catch up on a few films I missed at the cinema.

The Losers – A pretty good action flick. There’s some cheese and a liberal dose of action cliche, but all in all a very enjoyable film. While I was waching it I couldn’t help thinking this is what The Expendables should have been like.

Salt – It’s an OK sort-of film. Not astoundingly good, but not astoundingly bad either. I wasn’t digging Angelina Jolie as a blonde, but then I guess she probably wouldn’t like the look of me either. :)

The A-Team – I remember seeing the opeing credits, and I think I may have seen the final credits, but I can’t remember a thing about the film. I’m guessing I slept through it. Not sure if the sleep was caused by the quality of the film or the long flight. :)

I must admit that I watched the last scene of The Last Airbender about 5 times. I love it when Aang does his thing, the tottoos on his head start to glow and he raises a huge wall of water. I could consider buying the DVD just for this scene. I must by the cartoon series Avatar: The Last Airbender.

Cheers

Tim…