2009

If you’ve not seen or read much in the way of Scifi then Moon may be an innovative movie that surprises you with its plot twists, (a film with a plot? Quick, change screens, Transformers is on next door) surprises and human/machine interaction. If you’re reading this blog then I’m guessing you’ll find it slow, predictable and a bit meandering. 5⁄10. Very average.

On Friday night I was as predictable as most of the people in my feedreader and was camped down at 5PM for the evening showing of Watchmen - and I enjoyed it. It’s been a good few years since I read the original graphic novel so I’m not as likely to pick out little errors and omissions (like the Silk Spectre looking for a lighter in the book and just being nosy in the film) but I thought the story was a very good, and close, adaptation. Read on →

It took me a while to warm to Bill Bailey as a comedian. His slower, more laid back humour is a change in pace from what I normally like but Tinselworm, like all his live shows, is an excellent mix of music and mirth. If you like Bill Bailey then it’s another must have, if you’ve never watched him then go for a little trawl through youtube (start with this) and if you don’t like him then you’re just weird.

2008

It’s been the summer of returns, from the very enjoyable Dark Knight to the should have been left buried ‘plot’ of Indy and the Crystal Skull. Unfortunately most of them have been rubbish - and the The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor doesn’t do anything to address this. The special effects are good but nothing ground breaking, the new Evelyn O'Connell is a masterpiece of terrible - how such an uninteresting character can steal and kill so many scenes baffles me. Read on →

I’ve just had a skim through the Times onlines 50 movies of 2008 and while I was picking my handful of must sees (Cloverfield, Indy 4, and Hellboy 2) I noticed a couple of interesting comments While I’m actually very fan boy about the idea of an Avengers movie (mentioned in the “The Incredible Hulk” comments) I felt a cold shiver of dread when I read ‘Hayden Christensen, who has also just signed to star in the long-awaited movie version of William Gibson’s prescient sci-fi classic Neuromancer,’. Read on →

I liked the original Hellboy, it had great casting, an OK story and Selma Blair being hot. Well, technically on fire, but we’ll let that slip. I was expecting great thing from the first of the animated Hellboy films - special effects are great but you can go completely overboard with the monsters in an animated film. Instead I spent a couple of hours watching Hellboy Sword of Storms plod along at a very slow pace. Read on →

I’ve watched the original Omega Man, enjoyed the Kiwi perspective (named The Quiet Earth) and now I’ve seen Robert Neville Will Smith style - and it wasn’t bad. The plot is mostly unchanged (although explained through flashbacks), the pacing is decent and the feeling of being alone is well conveyed - the DVD store scene is a great glimpse of a man about to lose it. The zombie/mutant hordes are a lot more visually impressive than those in the Omega Man (20 years of special effects and it shows) but their near mindless nature does change the tone and pace a bit. Read on →

2007

I wanted to like Sunshine, I really did. A new sci-fi film by the writer and directors of 28 Days Later (a very entertaining film) should have been enough to keep me going until Spider-Man 3 is released. Instead it was a seriously dull and predictable two hours. The sun is going out (hip hip hip hurray?) so a small group of scientists are sent to detonate a bomb that’ll kick start it. Read on →

I’ve never read the comic, I didn’t recognise any of the cast and quite enjoyed 300 as a not very challenging film. Lots of very cool fight scenes, an acceptable amount of plot and a great ‘arrows blotting out the sun’ scene. Oh, and a war rhino. What else is there to say? The fight scenes are bloody but not especially gory, the Spartans are portrayed with the right amount of bad-ass nature and it had a number of Sin Cityesque deformed villains in it. Read on →

Tonight I saw Outlaw. It starts out showing how people feel let down and abandoned by the law and the fact it seems to treat criminals better than the victims. It’s a great idea, the topic is perfectly timed and it’s only spoiled by a shoddy execution (no pun intended). It soon turns in to a badly plotted gang film that is amazingly one sided - the outlaws are never really developed so their point is lost, it is full of cliches and pretty dull. Read on →

Ghost Rider took a lot longer to reach our screens than it should have, and considering the amount of re-work involved it isn’t that good. Very middle of the road (haha), only see it if you’re a comic book geek, bored or want another chance to see Nicolas Cage not have expressions. 4⁄10.

2006

I’m a big Kevin Smith fan and Clerks 2 more than met my expectations. Great dialogue, some top-notch one liners, inside jokes (for both comic and View Askew fans) and more story than he’s usually given credit for. A couple of things stood out in a bad way though, the choice of music seemed very slapdash, some of it really hit but a lot of it seemed to detract from the scenes. Read on →

I ended my sudden bout of cinema going with Children of Men, a very British Sci-fi films about a world that has no children. No screaming on buses, running riot in restaurants or being herded along the street in an annoying and impossible to pass snake of tiny, whiny voices. But the film paints it as more of a bad thing. Includes Spoilers: As you’d expect this changes during the course of the film and it turns in to a woman (and unborn baby) hunt through a Britain that’s known terrorism, treats immigrants a scant few steps above how the Nazis treated Jewish people and has some freedom fighters / terrorists that don’t know where their line is anymore. Read on →

I was completely unprepared for DOA, I’d heard nothing about it, seen no trailers and didn’t know it was based on a game (which I’ve never played) - if I’d have known anything about it I’d have stayed well clear. Which would have been a shame. I missed the first five minutes or so of this film so I’m not sure if they actually explained the, um, plot? In essence there is a fighting competition where “the best representatives of each style” come together and kick the shite out of each other. Read on →

Jason Statham has found himself a Hollywood niche, action films that don’t set the box office on fire but provide a decent level of “leave your brain at home” entertainment. The Transporter movies and now Crank are shining examples. Despite the trailers (and my expectations) Crank isn’t as action packed as I’d expected, in between a number of fight scenes there is a surprising amount of plot and amusing dialogue. While the plot itself isn’t exactly original the films constant changing from one scene to another and some decent dialogue makes it a lot less painful than it could have been. Read on →

When I was at school I was an avid Dungeons and Dragons player, over the years I’ve lost contact with most of it (the occasional novel, issue of Dragon or, very rarely, a source book is as close as I get these days) but one of the few things I did see was the first Dungeons and Dragons film. Which was BAD. But I’d waited so long that I watched it. Read on →

Severance had a lot of potential, it could have been Dog Solders meets The Office, but this time with The Office actually being funny. Instead, it’s an OK paced generic slasher film with a lot of attempted humour - only a handful of which hits the mark. Laura Harris puts in a decent performance, Tim McInnerny is completely wasted (if you’ve seen him in Spooks or Blackadder you know he can act when given decent material) and Danny Dyer does an acceptable job as the very two dimensional everyman. Read on →

I’ve been watching my way through Kevin Smiths back catalogue of work recently and one of the forgotten highlights of my DVD collection is An Evening with Kevin Smith. Although the format’s pretty simple, Kevin Smith engaging the audience in Q&A sessions in a number of American colleges, the material is polished, the delivery near perfect and the speaker charismatic. Over three hours of footage he fields questions on pretty much everything, his films, loves and life. Read on →

How could I resist a film called Snakes on a Plane, featuring one of the masters of over acting, Samuel L. Jackson, that had some of its scenes re-shot to be funnier, yes, funnier, based on anonymous internet posts on movie forums? Well, obviously I couldn’t. I’m honestly not sure why I bothered. I like good films, I also like REALLY bad films, I have a soft-spot for the old Godzilla movies for instance, but this film wasn’t good and it wasn’t that bad. Read on →

Azumi 2: Death or Love is a pretty standard Japanese sword fighting film with impressive wirework, well choreographed action scenes, very little plot and a pretty lead, in this case Aya Ueto. It follows on directly from the first film, between the continuation of the plot, a number of the same characters and, aside from a few small flashbacks, it makes no attempt to welcome new viewers. Although as a sequel why should it? Read on →

What can I say, one of the most intriguing ideas for a ‘vs’ film. Two of the best alien menaces from the 80s. A big budget. A cast of complete unknowns. A really shite film. While the film needed a human element to get the audience involved the director took it too far and ended up with a human / Predator buddy cop feel by the end of the film. The action scenes were dull, no where near the standard of Aliens and mainstream nature of the two namesakes means a lot of the shock and surprise was lost even before this heavy handed attempt to scare the audience. Read on →

I’m not a huge fan of the Man of Steel, I find his comics boring, the Christopher Reeve films were watchable but nothing that stands out from my childhood and Smallville is mostly dull. I’d heard the hype about Superman Returns and considering how well the second X-Men film went I thought I’d give it ago. On opening day. Because it’s a comic book based film dammit. And Spiderman 3 is taking TOO LONG. Read on →

I played a lot of ADnD at school, and while I only took part in a couple of short DragonLance campaigns, I’m a Forgotten Realms man, the books written by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman really grabbed me. Over the years, where ever ADnD fans gathered in sleepy, huddled masses, the topic of a DragonLance movie would occasionally crop up and we’d all say how great it’d be but that it’s never happen; looks like we were wrong… It seems that a DragonLance Movie based on the Dragons of Autumn Twilight is undergoing production. Read on →

When I was a teen I read a fair amount of X-Men comics (and I’ve started again now Joss Whedon is writing Astonishing X-Men) so they are close to my heart, while the first film felt like a prologue, the second film did them justice and the third gives them a decent send off. I’m not going to spoil any of the plot but Storm gets a decent showing this time, Halle Berry - who has six toes on her left foot, made some (deserved) noise about Storm being down played in previous films. Read on →

I saw a description of Brick when I was looking for the X-Men 3 release date and it grabbed my attention pretty quickly. “A modern day film noir sit in a high-school” seemed very Whedon. And now that he’s got nothing on the air I’m finding it harder to get my regular dose of Joss. The film itself was great, very stylishly shot, featured a solid performance from the “hero” and had great dialogue. Read on →