Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Yes Man Review

YYYYYYYYYYYEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!
It is done. I have watched and reviewed every single film released at my place of work in the year 2008. When I first said yes to this challenge I didn't really understand quite how many films I'd have to watch. Final count, 189. I didn't even think of reviewing them, that was an afterthought. And I never imagined it might be a foot in the door at a national publication. I just said yes because I'm stubborn and I love a stupid challenge. How apt then that my final film would be based on a book by Danny "King of the stupid challenge" Wallace.

Jim Carrey takes the lead role of Carl Allen, a man who says no to life. Whenever he's asked if he wants to learn something new, or help someone out, or even just hang out with his friends he always says, NO. Strong-armed by an old colleague into attending a seminar on positivity Carl's life is turned upside down as he tries saying Yes to everything instead. This means Yes to spam e-mails for penis extensions, Yes to helping the homeless, Yes to speaking Korean and playing the guitar. Most importantly it means Yes to a new life, and possibly, Yes to a new girl.

Like anyone could say no to Zooey Deschanel. She sings, she acts, she is possibly cuter than Wall-E and definitely sexier. She is the ideal women. So when she pops onto the scene in Yes Man you know that structurally at least, we're in rom-com territory. And boy does Yes Man tick off the structure boxes. There's the initial meet where boy likes girl, the fun and games, the dark night of the soul, etc, etc. In fact take along Blake Snyders 'beat sheet' with you and tick them as you go. But let's forget about unpredictability in a rom-com, you will never find it.

And who'd want it. As long as the funny is funny and the romance is romanciful I'm a happy bunny. Yes Man has both. It has the ability to make you smile throughout, giggle occasionally and belly laugh at least two or three times. I swooned at every corny chat up line and felt all giddy at the little tender moments. This is all I wanted from my final film and yet it gave me a little bit more. It gave me a sense of positivity. A sense that if you do something a little stupid, a little different then things may work out for the best.

Sadly my challenge has not changed me as a person or given me Zooey Deschanel. Fucking Movies!!!!

Australia Review

Australia is about Beef. Suprising eh? You think you know a lot about movies, buy your ticket for a classic melodrama by a well-known, romantically enclined director, you settle down with your popcorn and bam! Beef. Lots of Beef. But then I suppose, really, when you think about it, its probably not just about beef. It probably is a classic melodrama about romance and what it means to be an Aussie. The thing is stepping out of Australia I instantly forgot almost everything that had just happened. So all I have to go on is my notes. And they say, in quite big letters, BEEF.

Nicole Kidman is Lady Sarah Ashley, a prissy Brit, who goes to Oz to sort out her philandering husband and get him to sell his cattle ranch. When hubbie gets done-in by an aborigine she sees the beauty of Austarlia and teams up with Drover (Hugh Jackman), a dundee of crocodile proportions. They drive the cows across the convict land with the odds stacked against them. But with the help of a little 'half-cast' Nullah (who also acts as our narrator) the two succeed in their mission (selling Beef), fall in love and live happily ever after. Then some more stuff happens. Before happy ending number 2.

This double happy ending is really the films biggest downfall. Having everything the way it should be at the mid-point gives you absolutely no emotional impact when stuff goes wrong and needs to be corrected. It gives you the same ending you had halfway through. And with melodrama and big sweeping epics, emotional impact is key. There may never be anything unpredictable about any of Baz's films (for they are essentially 'big romance/boo hiss villain' movies) but the epicness can't be faulted. You won't find a more grandiose movie in all of the reviews on this site.

Spanning several years, some huge set-pieces (including Oz's own Pearl Harbour) and enough location chewing shots to make Peter Jackson blush, Australia really is epic. Kudos to Kidman for breaking her 'lame duck' period with a well crafted perormance but if anything is remembered from this film its Wolverine. When he arrived clean shaven for the first time the entire female audience inhaled and in doing so almost sucked the room dry. If that's not the effect a leading man should have then I don't know nothing bout nothing. While Australia may not clean up at the Oscars next year the host should be around for a long, long time.

Bedtime Stories Review

When I set up the admin in a few days time (oh yes, there will be admin) a startlingly awful fact will emerge. Russell Brand will have featured reasonably largely in 3 movies over the course of the year. 3 out of 189. That's almost 2% of the films I've watched this year feature this swaggering STD. He's in more cinematic releases than Sean Penn. More movies than Will Smith. More than Samuel L Jackson and he's in everything! In fact, off the top of my head, I can only think of Brendan Fraser being in an equal amount. There is no God.

Adam Sandler plays a goofy slacker... I'll let that amazing stretch of the imagination sink in for a second. You okay? Right I'll carry on. Adam Sandler plays a goofy slacker who has to look after his sisters kids (The sister is played by Courtney "starting to look worse than Love" Cox). For some reason, that I'm sure wasn't explained, whenever he reads them a bedtime story the story comes true. Or when the kids tell the story it comes true. Or... I don't fucking care anymore.

I only have three movies to go. Why did this have to come so close to the end? Its not like its just one bad movie, it's two. You have to sit through the rubbish kids story part as Sandler gurns his way through every scene, then you have to watch the whole buggering lot again in the real world as the story comes to life. I've had less predictable bowel movements than this. And the 'its a kids movie' defence ain't holding any weight this time round. Surely children aren't so dumb that even when they're told what is going to happen, and then it happens, they can't still get surprised?

There is one amusing moment when Adam Sandler purposefully sprays himself in the face with flame retardant. But I only laughed with pleasure at the thought of his own stupidity causing him pain rather than me. Speaking of pain if I ever see Brand on the silver screen again, with the same hair, same accent, same fucking everything that he sporting in both Penelope and Forgetting Sarah Marshall, I will voluntarily donate my senses to be put through the most horrible torture imaginable in return for just one Roshambo on his nether regions. On a similar note I sincerely hope some of Guy Pearces family are in urgent need of expensive medical treatment. It is the single, only, reason that I will forgive him for being in this tosh.

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Stone of Destiny Review

Ar the Scots. A proooood bunch they are. Nothing gets a wee kiltie pissed off more than a bit of repression from the English (or as the people north of the border call us, Shitty Fecking Cuntrags). I was going to start this review with lots of jokes about salt and shortbread and deep fried Mars bars but considering one of the only people to read these words will be a lovely Scotch person who could kick my ass from here to Hadrians Wall if I did, I'll just get on with the film.

The Stone of Destiny (or the Scone of Destiny as its sometimes called) is a big lump of rock that we stole a long time ago and put under the coronation chair to show the Jocks that we own them. This pissed them off a bit so every now and again some would venture South and try to steal it back. Attempts failed until finally some pissed up and enthusiastic students decided to break into Westminster Abbey and just carry the thing out.

Coming across like Braveheart meets Oceans Eleven, Stone of Destiny is an accomplished tale of national pride that would have Alex Salmond wetting himself with excitement. Such is the love of country on display a plethora of Scottish actors litter the film like a Rangers/Celtic match. Robert Carlyle, Billy Boyd, Peter Mullan, Stephen McCole (a bit like a fat Ewan McGregor) all queue up for their part and while the leads go to Charlie Cox and Kate Mara (English and American respectively) their accents barely slip giving the whole film a real sense of what it means to come from a place you love.

The heist part isn't quite as effective, as it lacks the drama of most 'grab the money and run' films yet in a way this just adds to the pleasant nature of everything. The gang of 'thieves' don't really have a plan so when the plan backfires and they have to wing it you can still cheer them on. That they finally just resort to a smash and grab tactic seems like the best and most justified way of dealing with things. Although why they don't use the wheelbarrow that's in shot for most of the climactic scenes to carry the huge stone out I'll never know. Dumb Scots.

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

A Bunch of Amateurs Review

I bloody hate the theatre. I don't quite no why. It might be because most people involved in it are pretentious and dull and spout crap like 'The Show Must Go On'. Put me in a room full of thesps and I'll scream Macbeth at them until they shit themselves and fall down screaming. This like most of my thoughts and opinions is based on nothing and if I ever left the confines of my bedroom and/or cinema to watch a play I might actually enjoy it. But probably not judging by A Bunch of Amateurs.

Burt Reynolds plays Jefferson Steel, an over the hill action man, star of the brilliantly titled 'Ultimate Finality' movies. When work dries up in America his agent gets him the part of King Lear in Stratford, England. The problem being that there are quite a few Stratfords in England and Upon Avon is not the one that Jefferson is playing to. Instead he's sadled with a community theatre project somewhere in Suffolk where his Hollywood temperement won't be pandered to.

And that's the only real joke in the film. He's a bigshot actor that likes things his way, they are a group of Hicks that wouldn't know their Cappucino from their Al Pacino (where have I stolen that from?). Oh the hilarity that ensues. That last line was sarcasm yet judging by the audience I watched it with there was much hilarity ensuing. Everytime a Shakespeare gag reared its ugly head the 7 other audeince members wet themselves laughing. They also laughed at Imelda Stauntons character, the most eye/ear/nose-gaugingly awful thing on screen since Julie Walters in Mamma Mia, so I think this just reinforces my beliefs about theatre types.

The inclusion of Burt Reynolds as the lead is the only real pulling point. Look its the Bandit in an English pub! But seeing as I don't like him even this doesn't help much. Apart from Deliverance and Boogie Nights I can't think of another good Burt performance. From a man whose career has spanned four decades that's a shit batting average. He's not even good enough to play himself which seems to be what he's doing in this. With an appalling attempt at a romantic story, racial sterotypes ticked off one by one and a painfully predictable plot A Bunch of Amateurs should only be remembered as a funny line in The Big Lebowski.

Madagascar 2, Inkheart and The Tale of Despereaux Reviews

Here's a quick run-down of the Christmas family movies without the usual swearing and cynicism.Well, without the usual swearing, at least. And for the first time this year no Paul Gadd jokes!

First the sequel, Madagascar : Escape 2 Africa (not the horribly Enoch Powell espousing Back to Africa that I first thought it was called). Anyone who saw the first film will know that while the lion, the zebra, the hippo and the giraffe get most of the screen time, its the penguins that get all the laughs. From the moment they kick the fishing boy off the Dreamworks logo the film belongs to the unfeathery birds. Sadly you have to sit through a tired retread of The Lion King while you wait for them to come back and liven things up. A healthy amount of cartoon violence makes the short running time pass even quicker and I'm a little sad as this may be the last time I ever hear Bernie Mac's voice in the cinema again. One last time... KICK IT!

Inkheart is a decent family vehicle with a premise that is a little too high on the shelf of concept. The idea is that Brendan Fraser can make anything he reads come to life. A bit like Stranger than Fiction for kids. Sadly the concept asks a few too many questions such as, Do the books have to be published? What would happen if he read the Bible, would the fictional character God appear? Why does Brendan Fraser have the same haircut in every film? Most of these questions are valiantly raised in the last act but all this does is make things more complicated. Bonus points for having hubbie/wife combo Jennifer Connelly and Paul Bettany as a hubbie/wife combo. One of the very few Hollywood couples that aren't attention seeking and smug. I like them both, I do.

Lastly its the new animation about mices not from the House of Mouse (thats what Disney is sometimes called kids), The Tale of Despereaux. Telling the story of a little heroic mouse with big ears that wants to bring soup and rats back to the people of his village which I'm guessing is somewhere in Franceland. I don't know why I'm guessing its set in France, maybe because all the human characters look French, maybe its the name Despereaux. Anyway, this is in equal parts charming and a little dull. But I am left with the funny feeling that Dustin Hoffman doesn't like his own face anymore as he seems to be hiding from my screen this year instead choosing to voice assorted animals. The 2009 campaign to bring back Dustin's face starts here.

Friday, 19 December 2008

Twilight Review

If you were ever curious as to whether you could construct an entire film consisting only of two teenagers in heavy foundation, staring longlingly at each other, in slow motion, walking around moodily, in the dark, while electric guitar wailed in the background, well, the answer is yes. Though Twilight only contains these things and would, on the surface, just be a film that Goths can cut themselves and wank to, it still manages to raise a smile and be an entertaining couple of hours. Well, stake my heart and call me Susan I just enjoyed something meant for 14 year old girls.

In a small town in somewhere where direct sunlight isn't really an issue, Bella moves to live with her dad. Before you can say 'fresh meat' all the boys are drooling over her but she only has eyes for Edward, the tall, big eyebrowed one who looks like that guy from Busted with Michael Jackson's skin. The reason for his whiter than whiteskin, he's a Vampire living with his family of Vampires. But he's a good Vampire so its okay. But there are some bad Vampires so they have a bit of a scuffle. Mainly though its just Bella staring at Edward until his big eyebrows catch fire with teenage lust.

That this teenage lust is captured well is really the true saving grace of the movie. Its helped by the two leads, Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattison, being so beautiful and handsome (in that order) that to look at them for more than 12 seconds makes me go a big rubbery one and melt into a puddle of something shaped somewhat similar to a teenage girl. That the Vampires themselves have super-speed, super-strength, can read minds and have the ability to make a girls knickers moist at 50 yards makes them so unbelievably perfect you want to drown them in Chicken Kievs.

But when they start to lighten up and crack jokes they become likeable and despite my better judgement I want to spend more time in their company. Trying desperately to find something not to like about this film I'll attack the special effects. The super-speed looks like Benny Hill and the 'Diamond Glow' has the appearance of fat mans sweat. Really though I'm just stretching here and will have to admit that for the most part Twilight is enjoyable, funnier than you'd think and contains Radiohead's 15 Step over the closing credits. Can't complain.

Thursday, 18 December 2008

Dean Spanley Review

Its been a while since I was sitting in a small, dark room with lots of OAP's close to the end of their lives, coughing chunks of lung into their popcorn (it beats looking like a paedo sitting in a dark room full of kids though). Thats because it takes a very special kind of film to bring the silver haired brigade out to our cinema. And, if you can say nothing else about Dean Spanley, it is a very special film. It also helps if the film is as inoffensive as possible (not a jot of violence, sex or swearing in sight) and it helps if one of their own is on the screen. If that 'one of their own' is Peter O'Toole the most consumate professional in the world it helps doubley.

Its hard to know where to begin with Dean Spanley, so I'll start at the beginning. Fisk Junior (Jeremy Northam) is a wealthy batchelor with a cranky, misanthropic father, Fisk Senior (Peter O'Toole), who has never really mourned the loss of his son and Junior's brother. At a seminar on reincarnation of the soul Junior meets Dean Spanley a strange type of priest, at times painfully boring and at other times weirdly eccentric. None more so than when the priest has had a drop of Tokay. A rare drink that has some even rarer qualities on the Dean.

I'd like to not give the game away at the effect of the Tokay but I just can't continue to write unless I address the crux of the film. The drink makes the priest transgress into his previous life as a dog. So the main gist of the film is Junior tring to get the priest as drunk as possible. As pitches go its a bloody hard one but one that is saved by some good performance and one great one. Who? Who's great? I hear you slavishly beg. Well, Peter, of course.

While Sam Neills doggie monologues are great fun and Jeremy supports ably, the film is enlivened by Sir O'Toole to such a great extent you almost forget the absurdity of it all. Whether its shouting 'Poppycock!' at everything that differs even slightly from his worldview point or spouting said worldview points to disbeleiving passers by he makes Senior come alive. By doing so the emotional wallop of the last reel is guaranteed to floor you. As for the combination of existentialism, reincarnation, canines and pissed clergy, I'll for one say its the oddest film of the year. And deserves a prize in the end of year 'Owen Oscars' just for that.

Sunday, 14 December 2008

The Day The Earth Stood Still Review

Next time a hippy do-gooder comes up to you in the street and asks you to save the planet kick him in the nuts and tell the selfish prick to 'do one'. He's only out for number one. He's not looking out for the planet, our planet is nigh on indestructable. The seas may rise, the oil may dry up, but you could drop a billion nukes onto it and it'd keep on spinning. Anybody that looks out for the interests of our Earth is only worried about the people on it. And people, well, people suck. The Earth would be much better off without us.

And this is the biggest problem with The Day The Earth Stood Still. When Klaatu (Keanu Reeves) pops down to chartered survey our little green planet he realises as any right thinking Alien would that its a very, very nice place. Shame about its inhabitants. To look after the world he decides that people must die. Every man Jack of us. Thus begins a fight between the US Military, trying and failing to blow the extraterrestrials up, and the humane scientists, lead by Jennifer Connelly, trying to reason that "Come on we can Change!"

For a film about the end of the world its a little dull. Such is the po-faced nature of Klaatu and everybody else you can't help wanting the destruction to get a bloody move on. I'm not looking for 'fish out of water' type gags where Klaatu marvels at the idea of a toaster or finds humanity in YouTube but a small amount of humour injected into the script would help us give a shit about at least some of the characters. Even the ridiculous gung ho nature of the US Government is played completely straight. There is comic gold to be mined in them thar' hills.

The central question of 'are humans worth saving?' isn't played as one-sided as my opening gambit would suggest thanks to John Cleese, some Johann Sebastian Bach and Maths putting up quite a fight for why GORT should give us another chance. But sadly this isn't what convices Klaatu to let us off the hook. No, instead its the kid and the mum showing that change can happen by actually being nice to each other for the first time in the film. Sod that, I want an apocalyptic movie where Bill Hicks and Charlie Brooker are called up as witnesses for the prosecution. No-one in any galaxy would let us humans carry on after testimony like that.

The Children Review

I'm going for 'glass half full' thoughts at the moment. With that in mind here's a spin on the distinct lack of sex in my shrink wrapped life. There is no chance of me having sired a kid. (Short of a girl breaking into my house, finding a jazz hanky and rinsing it into her cooch). Thats quite a relaxing notion (not the jazz hanky thing, thats fucked up) the idea that there is defintely not a little Owen out there. Its not that I don't like kids, or want them at some point, its just right now I can barely look after myself and the idea of another me in the world is a strangely worrying thing. Also it means I won't be killed by one of my own if they go batshit crazy like in The Children.

Its Christmas time in Britain and two lovely middle class families, complete with a busload of sprogs, rock up at each others houses to talk grown up stuff while the kids run off and play. But for some reason the kids are acting weird. It might just be a bit of a virus when the little ones start puking left, right and centre, but when they start running at their parents with scissors and not stopping it seems the kids aren't alright. Not wanting to hurt their wee bairns the parents are more or less incapacitated. Thankfully Casey (Hannah Tointon), the only teen of the group, isn't adverse to hoofing the little buggers in the face when they turn psycho.

Its refreshing to see a Brit film where the characters actually speak in an accent that is similar to the one you hear living in Britain. Its also refreshing to see a psychological horror from my homeland that actually credits the audience with a little respect, ratcheting up the tension slowly but surely building a sense of dread throughtout. Shame then that it resorts to jumpcuts and semi subliminals to put the willies up you, but thankfully these are few and far between, instead letting the little freaks do all the freaking.

When you realise that the children are as fair game for the kill as the parents the film takes on a dark, nasty edge. But its an edge that is more than welcome giving the film a scarier much greater depth. With solid acting and solid direction, plus a few nods to The Shining, The Children is one of the better horrors of the year just placing under that other Kids as Killers film, Eden Lake. One question that does trouble me though is how do the casting agents break the news to the parents that their child is perfect for the role. "Yeah, we'll take him. He's got that cold dead eyes of a killer thing going on. Perfect."

Transporter 3 Review

I can't help it. Despite my better judgement there is something hilarious, and therefore likeable, about Jason Statham. It may be his Po-tay-toe shaped head, his inability to change his accent for any role or the way he can keep a straight face when delivering some of the worst dialogue known to man. But its probably because I know he's pissing himself laughing at the fact that people pay him shit loads of cash to do things like fight with his shirt off or drive a car on top of a train. Nice work if you can get it.

Not breaking the Luc Besson formula for a second we have the indestructable, hard-man professional going on a job he doesn't really want to do. Stath - Check. The innocent, Louise Brooks coiffed girl who can't speak good English. Natalya Rudakova - Check. And the bad guy who's a bit creepy, a bit camp and looks a bit like Superhands from Peep Show. Robert Knepper - Check. Add into that some Jason on a BMX, the afformentioned Jason fighting with his shirt off and the Jason with a bracelet that will blow up if he stops moving and its almost as silly as Crank. Except Crank was actually fun.

This film could only work as a silent movie. The action is more than acceptable and at times its even inventive. But by keeping Jason stuck to his car (if he moves within 70 yards of the car the bracelet goes off) the movie grinds to an ugly, dialogue induced halt. Nowhere else this year have I seen the English language so desecrated than when the characters in this film use them to communicate. The fact that the lead actress is actually a worse thespian than The Stath may be hard to believe but its every inch the truth. That someone decided over half the film would be a road movie between the two is just plain baffling. She is easily the worst travel companion since Dodi Fayed.

Transporter 3 will definitely be remembered for two things. First it contains easily the worst scene of the year. Jason and the girl have a go at flirting with each other climaxing with 'Our Jase' doing a little strip tease for the salivating Ukranian. The second is the cinematic death of Luc Besson. He's not directing but the fact that he puts his name on both the script and production makes me seriously reconsider Leon as my mostest favourite film of all time. I know the Transporter films are tongue in cheek shit but couple this with Taken (his only other output this year) and its Sacre Bleu Luc. Sacre sodding bleu.

Scar 3-D Review

I was pooping myself so much over watching this torture porn I honestly thought I might not make it into the cinema and thus fail my challenge at the very last hurdle. Thankfully I grew a pair of, what appear to be, balls and summoned up enough courage to sit through 70 minutes of shit movie-making by a sick fuck who has nothing to say but wants to live out his fantasies on the big screen. In 3-D. Twat. In the end it didn't disturb me in the slightest. Yes it was gornography of the sickest order but when gorno is done as badly as this there really isn't any reason to worry. Its actually quite nice to bear witness to the death wails of a crap genre. RIP Torture Porn. You gave nothin gto the world.

I would still like to thank Mark for holding my hand and getting me into the screen in the first place. Sorry you had to sit through this awful attempt at filmmaking.

The Secret Life of Bees Review

Child performances are a tricky thing. Most are the kind of awful, spew inducing stuff that makes you think the NSPCC should be disbanded. But every now and again you get a Natalie Portman in Leon, the entire cast of Stand By Me or Ariana Richards in Tremors. In other words performances of such greatness you think children may indeed be our future. But to carry a film by yourself before you're of the age where you get a National Insurance number thats just crazy. Dakota Fannings agent is crazy.

Here Dakota plays Lily Owens a 14 year old white girl looking for a mother she may or may not have shot dead when she was 4. As pitches go its not exactly got 'box office hit' written on it. Regardless Lily sets out on her journey armed with a picture of her ma and a label from a jar of honey with a black Virgin Mary on it. The latter leads her to a bee farm where Queen Latifah, Alicia Keys and (the only one who is actually an actress) Sophie Okonedo take in the little girl and teach her the ways of life. And bees.

Dakota does a pretty good job as the lost little girl. She acts Jennifer Hudson off the screen (but so could Jason Statham) and holds her own against the other 'actresses'. But for all her hard work The Secret Life of Bees does not work as a film. Its so obviously an adaptation that the book comes first and while there are some touching moments it never flows in any way, shape or form. The fact that it feels like an adaptation of some chic lit, 'sisters are doing it for themselves' bullshit is even harder to swallow as I'd imagine the source material is stronger than this suggests.

My biggest beef though is the non-diagetic music (get me, I've got a BA in film!). When you have a film set in 1964 you have some of the greatest soundtrack possibilities. You can choose from Aretha or Ray or Nina or any other actual artist. Yet the film makers have chosen to put some god awful Jamie Cullum type shit that takes you straight out of the movie and staring vacantly in the soul less music of today. To be fair when they stick on the radio (thats diagetic music folks!) real 60's jazz, blues and soul comes out but for the big scenes it all about contemporary singers warbling cockspit at you with utter contempt. For this alone I'd not recommend Bees to anyone other than insectophiles.

The Express Review

Its hard to believe as Michelle picks out the curtains for the White House bedroom and Malia and Sasha choose their puppy that there was a time when people would at the very least, stop, point and stare at a fellow human being because they have a different skin colour. Its nice to know that we have films like The Express which help us remember that we can actually change stupid peoples minds and achieve something a little closer to a human race.

The Express is not the story of shit newspaper obsessed with Princess Diana and other dead white girls but rather the story of Ernie Davis (played by an impressive Rob Brown) one of the first black college football stars. A man who not only achieved sporting greatness but also, with the help of his teammates and coach, set some of the first plays toward tolerance. While it seems slightly weak that he did it by running with a pigskin, he did what he did best and never gave up. Thats a pretty good goal for anyone.

Its worth noting that you don't need to know a single thing about US Football to enjoy the film. In fact even if you're not keen at all on the idea of lots of grown men 'tackling' each other for a chance to hold onto a weird shaped ball (and I am not) there is so much more to be enjoyed (but I will admit there is a certain grace in the running back skipping around the opposition like a Gazelle on speed). Instead the real drama is off the pitch and in the changing room with Dennis Quaid showing how and why he's still going after many years in the acting world.

I'd even be happy to see him nominated for some supporting awards later in the year, people have one for less. The film as a whole is also prime for Oscar Season considering it contains not only triumph over adversity, racism beaten, sporting acheivements but also 'disease of the week' too. I can't see it getting there though for there are faults, the top of which is the myriad of subplots (including doting grandfather, negro polar bears and the start of the NAACP) all fighting to get a look in. But its easily as accomplished (and cliched) a biopic as Ray or Walk The Line and if Ernie Davis was a more familiar name it might have gotten the praise they both had.

Lakeview Terrace Review

He's a mushroom cloud layin' motherfucker, motherfucker. He couldn't get Jurassic Park back online. He declared the party was over for the Clones and he doesn't take kindly to slithery bastards on aircrafts. He is Samuel L. Jackson and he's a great big bloody film legend. He stars in about 50 movies a day, including some real todge, (SWAT anyone?) but one thing is guaranteed - whatever cash you put down to see a Sam movie you always get your moneys worth from the man. Lakeview Terrace is no exception.

Here he plays Abel Turner, a P in the LAPD, so fantastically racist against honkie the mere thought of an interracial couple turns him into whatever the equivalent of a Klan member for non-Texans is. When the lovely and black Kerry Washington moves in next door with her whiter than snow husband Patrick Wilson, Abel gets angry. Slight intimidation and bullying soon turns into something much worse as the Neighbour from Hell declares all out war. Race War!

To call this film a slow burner or a pressure cooker of a film would be using two of the worst cliches in the book but I'm going to anyway. Its a pressure cooker of a film that takes a long, long time to boil the meat at the heart of the film. The meat being Chicken Versus Beef. Yet if this was a restaurant you'd be complaining after an hour that you want your food now because the appetisers aren't filling enough. In other words this film needed to be shorter or at least have gotten to the good bits earlier. (I never use enough food analogies in my reviews, now I know why).

It seems an odd choice for a Neil LaBute film yet after the disastrous remake of the Wicker Man this seems a fairly safe bet and this is a solid piece of filmmaking. But as said earlier the reason you've put your money down is for Mr. L and whether he's lecturing his kids on Shaq Vs Corby or making Patrick Wilson shite himself with an award winning stare the film belongs to him. I just wish there was a bit more shouty Sam and a bit less build up because as a thriller there aren't nearly enough thrills.

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Four Christmases Review

Its coming on Christmas, they're cutting down the trees, putting up reindeers, singing songs of joy and peace. Yay! That means its time for this years 'subversive' Christmas movie. You know the type, Bad Santa, Fred Claus, Die Hard, the kind of film that says yahboosucks to all things yuletide and then crams down the holiday cheer in the last act and says 'love your family' and 'aren't kids just great'. Okay Die Hard doesn't really do that but it does have Alan Rickman saying "Ho Ho Ho, I haff a machine gun". So it deserves a mention.

The bah humbug couple in quesion are Brad and Kate (Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon) who hope to get away to Fiji for the holiday season only to be caught on TV at the airport when fog delays their flight. When their 'rents see they are still in America they feel dutifully bound to visit them. The problem is both sets of parents are divorced, so one family meet-up is doubled then doubled again, hence the Four Christmases. These Hollywood writers are well clever.

Thankfully for us they've thrown most of the best comedy actors at the pretty weak premise and script. So we get Double V doing his usual 'bit of an asshole/jabbermouth' schtick, Greasy 'hit in the face with a frying pan' With a Spoon doing her cutesy, adorable thing, the mum from Elf being a bit like the mum from Elf and Robert Duvall as an even Hickier Hick than that Hick from that film with that guy who is a real Hick. *Cough*. We also get to see three members of Swingers looking really fat. So fat that if they are still 'the money' it looks like they spent it all on pies.

Of course there is no such thing as an unpredictable rom-com so to smack this child for being obvious seems to be erring a little on the side of abuse. While it ticks all the familiar festive fancies such as kids, relatives, board games and nativity plays, you can't help but wish Brad and Kate had actually gone on holiday instead. Which seems to miss the point. Christmas films are supposed to trick you into wanting to spend time with your family. This year I'm going to stick with George Bailey and Clarence. At least It's A Wonderful Life makes the homestead look like a place you want to be. Even if it might ultimately force you to commit suicide.

Changeling Review

Clint Eastwood's latest film is about a missing child so you'd be right to be prepared for quite a bleak offering. The level of bleakitude (at the end of the year I'm gonna list my favourite made up words) is something you'll only be prepared for if you know Changeling contains all of the following. Child murder, police corruption, women beatings, wrongful imprisonment, electro-shock therapy, public executions and a soundtrack courtesy of Leonard Cohen. Okay it doesn't have a soundtrack by Leonard Cohen but its still not cheery, happy, fun.

Set in the pseudo-glamorous 1920's, Christine Collins (Angelina Jolie) is a single mom over-working as a telephone operator. When she returns home to find her sprog missing she immediately calls the LAPD. Before you can say "Damn those Portugese police" the kid has gone missing for more time then any parent would hope for, and more importantly passed the time in which any hope may be left that he'll return. After a few months, however, Christine gets a call saying hooray to the boys in blue, they've found him. Except he's now shorter by a few inches, is circumcised and is definitely not her son.

This is just where the trouble starts. Once the mum starts to kick up a bit of a fuss that she'd kind of prefer, y'know, her own son back instead, a shitstorm of biblical proportions rain down on the funny hat wearing, big lipped MILF. And hats (funny or otherwise) off to Clint for directing the finest performance of Angie's career. While its a role most actresses would suck a donkey off to get, for the first time in her career Angelina Jolie becomes the character she's supposed to be playing. Toward the end when she cracks a smile over the fortunes of It Happened One Night it melts away a dislike I've had of her for quite some time. Enough in fact that if she takes home the little bald guy early next year I won't complain.

Ms Jolie may take the headlines as The Man With No Name's contibution to cinema has almost reached a level of expected greatness that nothing he can do can really impress too much. Well forget his ridiculously awesome back catalogue and worship at the alter of one of cinemas greatest film makers. He tells a story in a way few others do. Not one to go for the showy opening or the jaw on the floor ending prefering instead to play his second act as his best hand. We're damn lucky that at 78 he's still making cinema with no signs of stopping. And while this last line may sound like I'm trying to get on the DVD sleeve its still true. Nothing, especially not my opening paragraph, can really prepare you for the emotional highs and lows of Changeling.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

What Just Happened Review

Its not a question. What just happened is a sentence of sorts. If it were a question it would have a question mark and then I could make some comment about it being the same thing that I ask myself after watching every single DeNiro movie since Heat. How has the once Travis Bickle, Jake LaMotta and Don Corleone fucked up so coniderably of late. Well you want some good news. He's pretty damn good in this, and seeing as most Bobby films revolve around whether or not Bobby is good, by extension this film is pretty damn good.

Based on producer Art Linsons scathing attack on the business of film (What Just Happened?: Bitter Hollywood Tales from the Front Line, wait a sec that has a question mark...fuck it) DeNiro takes on the Art-esque role of Ben a movie producer struggling with two failed marriages, a director that wants a dead dog and a company exec that doesn't and a petulent, fat, beardy Bruce Willis. Oh and his daughter may have been shagging an agent who killed himself, but thats not really important.

So how come DeNiro has made a film this decade thats not only tolerable but actually very good. Well because he's making a film about something close to his heart (and mine). Namely movies, movies, movies! But will you like it? Probably not. Unless you have an unhealthy obsession will all things celluloid, because all the jokes, all the drama, in fact every bloody thing about the film is about films. Yay!

But then again, good characters and great dialogue ("These drugs are so good you could watch your mother be gangraped and still enjoy the weather") transcend any boundaries of theme and content and What Just Happened has some of both. And while you might not get who each person is supposed to be in real life without resorting back to the source material unless you've been living under a rock you'll get a kick out of Bruce Willis as Bruce Willis with the best beard this side of the one above this review.

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

My Best Friends Girl Review

Hey guys! Chicks dig assholes! Well of course they do Owen you massive twat, everyone knows that. How else do you explain arrogant bullshit rock stars getting blowjobs like cups of tea at a tea parade yet care workers getting not so much as a Dutch Rudder for looking after spastics all day (sorry for using that word again but I am in character so fuck you). Does that mean women are shallow and rubbish too? Of course! But wait I know loads of nice couples who get on really well and they're not knob-jockeys and whores. Well don't tell the makers of My Best Friends Girl or it might make their film look like a steaming turd.

Sadly their film already looks like a steaming turd because they've cast Dane Cock in it (Really changing cook to cock, that's all you got, well there is this which is much better, http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=FFzjXnOqks8) as the eponymous hero who treats women like shit so that they'll go back to their cheating partners. But then he falls in love with one of the people he's been hired to scare off. Wow, kinda like a reverse Hitch. Which is probably just how the producers pitched this breathtakingly toss assault on everything I hold good and pure in this messed up world. Pricks.

See, I really like romantic comedies when they're done well (but then I class Fight Club as a romantic comedy so my definition may differ from yours). The problem is the abundance of them filling up the schedule because any cinema chain must have at least 5 'date movies' on at the cinema just in case some total bastard needs to try and plough a different girl every week but doesn't want to sit through the same movie while he's trying to co-erce them into taking off their sopping panties. I think that's why there's lots of them but then I may just be jaded from the hour and a half spent in the company of the utter, utter shitcunts that feature in this movie.

But its not just Mr. Cook thats rubbish in both life and in this film. Jason Biggs sells another little piece of his soul and pride as the kind of chronic masturbating, desperate fucktard that is supposed to represent 'the nice guy'. Well if this is how the 'nice guy' is represented I'm kicking puppies to death as soon as I hit 'publish post'. And the object of their mutual affection (the point of the movie is they both love the same girl, sorry I didn't mention that, in fact I've said nothing about the plot as this review has been taken over by my angry, ranty, angry rant) is such a vapid pointless character you wonder if a 5 and half ft Vagina might have evoked a similar repsonse from Cook and Biggs. That she's played by the one time Penny Lane makes me weep even more.

In summation this movie tells you to be a prick but a nice guy too. Now what sort of advice is that, the only reason I watch movies is to get hints and tips of how to get women to fuck me. Hey, I made it. I'm an asshole! Woohoo, bring on the pussy!!!!

Flawless Review

Diamonds are a girl's best friend. They are also forever. Apparently. Age however is not a girl's best friend and youth is in turn not forever. What I'm getting at is Demi Moore is old and this film is about Diamonds. I know the challenge is nearly over but surely I can do a less tenuous opening link than that. Bollocks can I! Its Mid-November, (say that's a nice Johnathan Rice song!) and in one and a half months time I can pick and choose what I watch at the cinema and all will be right in the world. Until then Tenuosity Rules! As do made up words like Tenuosity.

So starting in the present day we're 'treated' to a montage of career driven women that looks exactly like a Diet Coke ad execs best wank fantasy. We also get to see what Demi Moore would look like if she couldn't afford plastic surgery (Answer- a burns victim) as she tells her life story in flashback to one of these up and coming, 00's women with balls. The story, thankfully, is quite interesting, because it involves Michael Caine as a working class hero stealing shitloads of bling from big bad diamond geezers. Thats diamond selling geezers not the Guy Ritchie type. They'd have Caine's balls in a vice before he could say 'OOOOh but I was doing it for me dead wife'.

When a film sits on the shelf for as long as this has (Feb 2007 was its first airing) you'd have to think the dust is there for a reason. Is, it features Demi Moore, reason enough? Well yes and no. To be fair to the Ashton fucking septugenarian she's not half bad in this. Her English accent is passable and the scriptwriters have even explained that she's from America originally to save any insults. But on the other hand she's fucking Ashton Kutcher. So she's obviously a massive twat, who can't act for a really extra large bag of Worthers Originals and deserves some kind of syphillus induced brain meltdown. Bitterness is funny.

The heist itself is effective considering its 1960's London and there's no lasers or dogs with bees in their mouths to stop Carter stealing all the little shiny rocks he wants. Instead we have an antiquated CCTV system and two or three security guards that would put Abe Lincolns to shame (Too Soon!!!). Still the robbery has a fair amount of tension and kept a moron like me guessing til quite near the end. How to some it up, Its kinda like Oceans 11 with GIJane and Alfie the Butler. Damn I wish I was famous enough to get that on the poster.

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Quarantine Review

Hay dos cosas probables de bombear mi sangre. Uno es una película de terror que es verdaderamente espantosa y me hace que wanna va caca. El otro es el sobre el uso de longitud en pies de videocámara para espantar y dar miedo (ve Agenda de la Revisión Muerta) especialmente cuándo weilded por equipos de cámara incompasivos. Chickos not as hotos as in Recos. Olvidar el molestar efecto inestable de leva por un segundo el principal problema con estas películas es que debido al docu se siente que la naturaleza hay pequeña a ningún compromiso emocional con cualquiera de los caracteres. En lugar nosotros son dejados con anónimo, víctimas sin cara para ser offed de uno en uno. No signifique que no es suficiente espantoso para hacerme caca de wanna aunque.

Una tripulación local de la televisión de Spainish, completa con astuto, periodista de ambitous Angela, dispara una característica que sigue a personas que trabaja de noche permitido "Mientras usted está durmiendo". Este segmento de particualr sigue la tripulación local de fuego como ellos son escatimados a ayudar una mujer de edad avanzada encerró su plano. Fish from Ally McBealos. Cuándo la anciana gira pyscho y come el cuello de uno de la tripulación enviada a ayudarla que el edificio de apartamento es sellado por las autoridades en el motivo de un susto de la salud. Lentamente pero seguramente los residentes, los bomberos y el equipo de cámara son... bien ellos no son enviados flores y abrazados por perritos permite ponerlo así.

Yo no soy inseguro si ni comienzo a respetar éstos "haré nada para una historia" tipos de periodista o si el más veo de ellos el más pienso qué tontos que ellos son. Pienso su el último porque a fines del día lo que valioso ayuda a ser ellos dando realmente al público. Parece a mí que la único advertencia positiva su cobertura da nosotros somos no es agradable a niños desquiciados locos de autómata. No preocupe a tipos que hago no. Same bloody film. ¿Pero realmente suficiente de mí gemiendo acerca de esto 'tipo de película' porque el tema es de interés pequeño lo que el espectador quiere realmente saber es, me cagó arriba? Sí, sí y tres veces sí.

El claustrofóbica se siente, los temores primitivos y los golpes baratos que todo fueron amontonados en en palas. Hay una cantidad conveniente de Gore práctico de llegar al hoyo del estómago (si la Fotografía no llega primero) y los chillidos, una vez que ellos comienzan, nunca paran. Not as scary. Después de que la Agenda lamentable del Muerto parezca Romero podría conseguir una punta o dos de los jóvenes en cómo hacer un golpecito espantoso. Y con la prima agregada del subtexto de católico Autómata de Spainish Posesión un estilo de George UN 'comentario explícito en nuestros tiempos' es incluido en el precio de billete también.

(Because people are stupid they can't read subtitles and films have to be remade into English. Quarantine is a remake of Rec, a Spanish film that was out less than 8 months ago. As a protest to this kind of lazy filmmaking I've cut and pasted my review form April. Well its half protest. Half me being lazy.)

Choke Review

An underrated cast containing the likes of Sam Rockwell and Kelly McDonald. Radiohead on the soundtrack. Titties, preferably jiggling. Steak. A decent low budget production company like Fox Searchlight. Source material from someone with such satirical bile it makes you look incredulously at the entire human race. Clay Davis from The Wire. A sense of humour darker than Bill Hicks wearing all black in a room with the lights off. The kind of stupidly romantic ending that makes you think life might not be as painful as it appears. More jiggling titties. These are just some of the ingredients to make a perfect movie for me.

From the same fucked up mind that gave us Fight Club, Choke is author Chuck Palanhuiks second big screen outing. Sam Rockwell plays Victor Mancini a directionless sex addict who spends his days working at a colonial theme park and his nights 'choking' on food in restaurants looking for someone to save him. In doing so, he argues, he's giving these strangers a reason to live, which they then reward by sending him money whenever he needs it. This money is spent making sure his demented mother is alive long enough to tell him who his dad is. A question with more answers than Victor may have hoped for.

The main problem with Choke, as a film, is its faithfulness to the book, something that before I went in I was really hoping they would nail. Yet from the new romance with his mums doctor, to his sex addiction, to his choking scam, to beads up his arsehole, to collecting rocks and raping pensioners, every page is up on screen. Every subplot is present and correct but none are expanded on and each deserves more screentime. An entire movie could be made about who his father may or may not be, if only because it poses the greatest philosophical question seen at the cinemas in some time. What Would Jesus Not Do?

Fight Club was a very different beast fom Choke but it knew when and where to stray from the text and when it did stray it was a better film for it. So while Choke may have all the checklists for the best film of the year it doesn't quite live up to the ridiculous personal hype I'd bestowed on it. The fact that its still funny, intelligent and enjoyable from start to finish says a lot about the filmmakers involved. But these are the kind of filmmakers that could play out a joyously sentimental ending with Radiohead's Reckoner on the soundtrack. Of course I'm going to like these filmmakers.

Body Of Lies Review

(The) War! (On Terror) Huh! What is it good for? Not inspiring good movies, thats for damn sure. From old school film makers like Robert Redford (Lions for Lambs) and Brian DePalma (Redacted) to up 'n' comers like Gavin Hood (Rendition) and Kimberley Pierce (Stop-Loss) nobody has managed to really get to grips with the nice big mess of beardy guys blowing up buses and the subsequent shelling the shit out of their countires by us (or vice versa depending on your newspaper of choice). Now we can add Ridley Scott to that ever expanding list of directors who have tried (and failed) to say anything of worth.

Body Of Lies tells the investigative side of the story in the struggle for freedom and democracy throughout the land TM. Roger Ferris (Leonardo DiCaprio) is the guy on the ground running around hot, sandy countries, sporting silly beards trying to gain access and gather information to take down a big cheese in the Osama Army. Ed Hoffman (Russell Crowe) is the suit, the guy in the office. He's running the game from a Madonna style headset nonchalantly shrugging if one of his characters takes a bomb to the face. After all, he can always upload another.

Actually that write up of the plot makes the film sound quite compliacted and interesting. And I guess that was what Sir Scott was going for. The problem being he had to add a story to the idea of the clean handed guy in charge versus the poor schmuck in the field who picks bits of his dead friends bone from his arm. The story that he chose is not just dull, but ultimately pointless. So what if we remove the head of one bad guy, another will take his place. This isn't the film makers fault though. Its the War On Terrors fault. Silly War On Terror.

With WWI and WWII there was a real sense of good guy/bad guy but still enough wiggle room to find complexity. Vietnam, while a mess, gave us great movies about what a mess it was. There is definitely the possibility for some Dr.Strangelove style silliness to be had on our generations conflict but this "War" (Yeah I used bunny ears, how subversive am I?) will never, ever stop unless the following conversation is read by all.
Man In Power #1 "Y'know this War on Terror thing.
Man In Power #2 "Yeah"
Man In Power #1 "When's it gonna end?"
Man In Power #2 "When everyone gets on."
Man In Power #1 "Oh."

Easy Virtue Review

We Brits are a miserable bunch. Uptight, close minded, not really up for any fun. We could argue that its because most of our days are overcast and the sun is as rare as a review on this website that doesn't mention The Wire. But what we do do well (ha, doo doo) is sardonic, sarcastic wit. That and good costume dramas and acting. So place a Noel Coward play (king of sarcastic, sardonistic wit) with a big BBC production and fine actors and Hurrah its Rule Britannia.

Set in 1920's England where the skies are overcast and the Great War has just finished, Easy Virtue tells of the Whittaker family and their 'shock horror' when the eldest John (Ben Barnes) brings home a bloody Yank as his wife. The majority of the chagrin eminates from the mother (Kristen Scott Thomas) while the father (a splendidly deadpan Colin Firth) enjoys the life the new addition brings. That the wife is played by Jessica Biel in full, turning heads mode might have something to do with the mens reaction.

And Biels Larita is reallly where the film lives or dies. Sadly for the film and her (when she reads this she'll probably try to take her own life) I don't find her that attractive. If you're in the 1920's you better have a Louise Brooks haircut or I'm just not interested. So while she nails the role of the strong yet vulnerable outsider as soon as Charlotte Riley pops up as John's lifelong best friend I was thinking, choose that one. She's prettier, not blonde and not American.

A couple more things to note in what might be my laziest review yet (Anyone wanting a summation, its alright, occasionally funny, not particularly dramatic).
Q. When did dead dogs become a staple set-piece of all British comedies? (How to Lose Friends... and this within the space of a month)
Q. Since when could Kristen Scott Thomas speak English too? (Some Frenchie eh?)
Q. When did Ben Barnes learn to act? (Between Prince Caspian and this I suppose)
Q. And finally who on earth thought putting Car Wash, Sex Bomb and When the Going Gets Tough through a 1920's jazz blender was a good idea? (No-one)

Friday, 14 November 2008

Zack and Miri Make a Porno Review

Sex is funny. The faces we make, the seriousness of it all, the importance we place on it as an everyday occurence, the stress-inducing worry that you might not be doing it 'right'. If that lot doesn't convince you that intercourse can be a great source of mirth just go look at some balls in the mirror for 20 minutes (if you don't have balls of your own, borrow a friends). Even the word balls is funny. Balls, balls, balls. With an endless amount of possibilites for making with the funny stuff when it comes to boom boom, it should be the centre point for more big screen comedy but for every Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex but Were Afraid to Ask or American Pie, you get a Good Luck Chuck or American Pie Presents Beta House. Yet if one man can pull it off, (insert Graham Norton audience reaction here) its Kevin Smith.

Zack (Seth Rogen) and Miri (Elizabeth Banks) are life long best buds. Outsiders who struggle by in shit jobs because their favourite thing to do is just hang out with each other. When the bills start to pile up and the utilities are cut off they need some money fast. Ever the thinking outside the box kinda guy, Zack decides they should make a porno. Miri agrees. Oh to have best friend like Miri. Saying that I think if I asked my best friend to make a dirty flick with me for cash he'd say yes. I just get the feeling it wouldn't be quite as sweet and life-affirming with as many lessons to learn. And I wouldn't be able to look him in the eye again after. Or sit down.

Anywho thats quite enough thinly veiled homo-eroticism for now. On with the review. If you're aware of Kevin Smiths oeuvre, or his work, you'll know he's a very filthy man. He uses all those
positively digusting words like, Fuck, Cock, Pussy, Crevis, Leak and Job to make up at least half of the script. The great thing this time is the script comprises of all these words in both dialogue and scene direction. So not only do we get dialogue that sailors would frown at but we get Jason Mewes butt crack bobbing up and down on real life porn actress Katie Morgan and Jeff Anderson (Randal from Clerks) getting shitfaced while filming it. Well he probably needed some Dutch courage to video two people fucking.

Speaking of the Dutch, how about an explanation of what a Dutch Rudder is? Its all here, present and correct and so is the real treat (well for me anyway), the stupidly cheesy, ridiculously heartfelt shit that since Mallrats has been even more of a staple of Mr.Smiths films as a phatty boom batty. Its the reason Jersey Girl tanked and that most View Askew fans will say is the 'gay' bits of the film but the man has such a hard on for overly romantic, cinematic love I just have to sit and applaud. The fact he can balance it with jokes about cum shots and awful puns like Star Whore Episode III: Revenge of The Shit just makes it all the better.

Monday, 10 November 2008

Max Payne Review

Some things I'm not a fan of.
1) Video Game Adaptations
2) Video Games
3) Marky Mark
4) Lazy Plotting
5) Poor Characterization
6) Bad Dialogue
7) Tediousness
8) Checklists of things people aren't fans of
9) Self Deprecation
10) Irony

Max Payne has the first seven in abundance. But does it have enough of them for me to make a terrible pun about watching it being like "Payneful to the Max"? No, because while I'm not officially a professional film critic I still have an ounce of self respect. Anybody who has been paid for a review and used any variation of this terrible wordplay donate at least a months pay (or a kidney) to an orphange or something. Alternatively, kill yourself.

Max Payne is a hard-boiled noir cop (or he'd like to be if he wasn't played by a member of the Funky Bunch) who deals in cases unsolved. He does this because his wife and baby were killed by bad guys that never got caught. That old chestnut. And even though I watched this less than 12 hours ago I can't remember anything else about this film's plot. There's some crap about army soldiers taking drugs and growing wings, Meg from Family Guy shows up because her sister (the new bond girl) gets eaten and Beau Bridges is the bad guy.

Awww did I spoil the ending? Well no because to spoil something you would have had to have been enjoying it at some point and I can guarantee that you won't. In fact if you can write in a 1000 word piece about why this film was good and can prove you have an IQ over 85 then I'll buy you a Coke to say sorry. This film is just a mess. It hasn't got nearly enough stupid action to please the fanboys (there is more gunfire in the closing credits than in the movie) and is far too tired and lazy to be a 'real film'. Huge logic gaps crop up every two minutes, including one scene where BB saves Maximillian (I like to think thats his real name) just to explain his dastardly plot and then try to kill him. For god's sake why?!?

Whenever I see a video game movie I recall horrific conversations with some of my closest friends of how "One day films and games will be the same thing!". On the strength of this it would appear their dream of synergy is dying, yet they're arguments still reverberate through my mind like a pointless, misfired shotgun blast. For now though my real worry, the big girl that I am, is that Mark Wahlberg is going to ruin The Lovely Bones (thats right I read books recommended by Richard and Judy but won't sit in front of an XBox, bring it on). We all know he can be good, Boogie Nights and The Departed are two fine examples of silly Mark fitting a role but deep and complex they ain't. The idea of him playing Susies dad brings a large amount of discomfort to me. You could even say I'm in...

Eagle Eye Review

With the news that the stupidly named D.J. Caruso wasn't happy enough just re-imagining Hitchcock's Rear Window with last years Disturbia but he's now updating North by Northwest with Eagle Eye I threw my toys out of the pram. The cries rang out "How dare the mother fuckers?", "Leave the classics alone?", "You're raping my media studies years?" Etc. etc. Thankfully Eagle Eye is such a stupid film and the comparisons are so few and far between I believe the they were just there for lazy reviewers to have an opening paragraph. Hey-O!!!

Jerry Shaw (Shia LaBeouf) is an unmotivated slacker. He has a very successful twin brother in the army (think Arnie to Danny in Twins, 'cept they look alike) who has just bought the farm. This buying of the farm triggers little Shia to be the centrepiece in a big conspiracy theory where he has to go on the run with a foxy gal (Michelle Monaghan) culminating in a huge big climax inside a symbol of the greatness of The United States all the time having no idea why he's there or what he's supposed to be doing. So not at all like North by Northwest...Dammit!

So the comparisons aren't quite so few and far between but if I see it as a remake I'll get really angry and its far too silly a film for me to get uptight about. For starters you can't compare Cary 'Suave' Grant with Shia 'Smug' La Beouf. Cary's Thronhill was a well to do gent, who reluctantly went along with the shennanigans with a smile and a wink. Shia's Jerry is in a do or die position every step of the way lest the viewers find something interesting to do like twiddle their thumbs. Instead of a nailbiting cropduster attack in the former, the latter gives us a pylon falling on someone. Oooo tension.

The omnipotence of 'the machine' is also massively questionable when you take into account such things as human variables, like perhaps Michelle's single mom isn't a rally driver or Shia isn't made of flubber and won't bounce after jumping out of a window. A plus point, however, is Eagle Eye has the most guaranteed civilians deaths seen since the end of Con Air. Never have I seen so many instances of members of the public definitely, definitely cashing their chips in such a haphazard way. In fact so many people were mangled in car crashes and the like that when the big bomb was due to go off in the last act, I actually thought it might. Then I remembered that the characters we had invested in were in the room so therefore that might cause the audience to see Death in a different way. And we can't have that.

Pride and Glory Review

Fuck David Simon! That's right. Fuck him in his award winning, best television show inventing ear. This man has done more to ruin my cinema experiences this year than Adam Sandler, Jason Statham and Paul W.S. Anderson combined. For the uninitiated, non-band wagon jumping people out there David Simon creatored a television programme called The Wire. Its so good it makes any other form of media which involves police, drugs, deprived communities or actual bloody characters look completely shit. Considering thats mainly what Hollywood specialises in the cinema is now a dull, lifeless place to be. Thanks Dave, thanks a fucking bunch.

When four po'lice are killed in a botched drug bust, a family full of cops find their lives turned upside down. There is 'old man cop' (Jon Voight) whose a little passed his time and unsure what the right thing to do is. He is the dad to 'sergeant cop' (Noah Emmerich) who wants to cover stuff up but his dying wife won't let him. He is brother to 'out of retirement cop' (Edward Norton) whose returned from filing papers to help the investigation and 'do the right thing'. Lastly he's brother-in-law to 'dirty cop' (Colin Farrell) who wants to do bad things. He is dirty. Of course he is he's Colin Farrell.

Pride and Glory is at times an incredibly brave movie. There are long scenes in Hispanic with no subtitles, a real emphasis on relationships over shooty-shooty-bang-bangs and an ending that actually requires some thought and conversation after, rather than tying it all in a neat little bow. The acting is top-notch across the board, even if at times you might feel like the words 'For Your Consideration' are plastered along the bottom of the screen. Edward Norton takes the understated role of whispering to witnesses until they tell him what he wants to know. While Colin has a scene with a baby and an iron that will have you open-mouthed.

This baby/iron scene isn't the only stand-out moment. An awkward christmas meal has Jon Voight being given a role he can actually get into and while the opening may suffer a little from herky jerky cam it throws you into the movie straight away. There's a famous quote attributed to many people including Howard Hawks that a film can be declared a success if it has three good scenes and no bad ones. Well with that in mind Pride and Glory is a definite success but as Owen Nicholls once said "If it ain't as good as The Wire, fuck it," Altogether now, whatd'ya know about Bodymore, whad'ya know about Bodymore, Bodymore...

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Saw V Review

A little story for you all. Its Halloween 2006 and I ring some friends for a cinema outing. Thinking we have to see a scary movie, its tradition, I pursuade some of my friends to join me in the annual Saw outing. The ones who refuse I chastise as wimps and pussies. Flash forward to about halfway through the film, a guy has been drowned in blended rotting pigs and now we're watching open brain surgery from a shaky cam. I manage to resist the urge to spew but can't stop the entire auditorium spinning and swirling as I make for the exit, white as a sheet. Now who's the wimp and the pussy? Lets just say I way looking forward to Saw V as much as I look forward to having a Nandos poo.

For a guy who had a terminal illness in the first movie, the Jigsaw killer has done surprisingly well to last into film 5 of the series. But seeing as how he actually carked it at the end of III (of course, I had to be told this as I was crying in a dark corner when the film ended) this shouldn't trouble us too much. What should trouble us is the amount of apprentices he has carying out his work.

But fuck it we're not here for the plot we wanna see the people made all dead. And how! Sadly, or not so sadly if you're a giant girl like me, Saw V is pretty tame. There's some decapitation, some electrocution, a pendulum ripping someone in half and someone undergoing Thom Yorke's head in a fishbowl routine from the No Surprises video. But at no point did I feel like I couldn't handle it.

Instead you're just left with the horrible feeling that you're watching a dead horse being flogged. Now if this was literally the case and it was some kind of My Little Pony Snuff movie where the equine beastie was hobbled at the ankles, then his eyes gauged out and put into a feedbag for him to eat and then his johnson cut off and he was beaten to death with it over the course of 90 minutes until all that was left was the pulpy remains of a mashed up stallion. Well then, then I'd probably chuck.

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

W Review

Oliver Stone seems to have been neutered of late. Since the 43rd President took office he's made Comandante, a fairly radical film about his meetings with Fidel Castro where he said 'that Cuban leader ain't half as evil as everyone says'. Next he made Alexander, only likely to offend very, very old Macedonians who don't like being called gay. Then came World Trade Centre, a film so politically tame it ended up being the big screen equivelant of Little Timmy being stuck down a well. But now with W, surely the gloves are off and Olly Stone is back, kicking it to the man?

A biopic of sorts W jumps around over George Bush Jrs (Josh Brolin) life tracing his misspent youth and lack of direction and stopping for a large time on 2002 and the lead up to the Iraq war. In the mis-spent youth days we see him drinking, fighting and looking for affirmation of his life from daddy (James Cromwell). In the Iraq war years we see him sober (after finding religion), starting wars and looking for affirmation of his life from daddy. With hardly any mention of dirty trick campaigns to win the governership of Texas, Florida vote rigging and September 11th, W is not the leftie, Bush-baiting, 'kick him while he's down' film most (including myself) were expecting, or hoping for.

Instead its a Tragedy of Shakespearean depth of a man who stumbled into the most powerful seat on earth. (Sadly in our current climate we may have to take a bad Disney movie over Shakespeare for the 45th president biopic). Portrayed by Josh Brolin as a character first, an impersonation second, Georgie is the victim of circumstance. While his Bushism ("they misunderestimated me") are written into the script for a cheap laugh there isn't the attack on the inherent wrongness of his actions. While I'm not looking for shots of W cackling over pictures of dead Iraq children it seems the director has let him off the hook for his part in the troubles his administration has brought on the world. Instead of villifying Bush, its Cheney (Richard Dreyfuss) and Karl Rove (Toby Jones) who get the bad guy roles, while Colin Powell (Jeffrey Wright) gets to be the American conscience for the second time in two weeks.

So in Oliver Stones world George W Bush isn't the hero or the villain. He can be intelligent, charming, driven, funny, self deprecating, warm, a dreamer. He's also inarticulate, hot headed, an alcoholic, naive, troubled, war-mongerer who has some severe 'issues with pops' but you're left with the feeling at the end that Ge-O is someone you would go and have a beer with. And isn't that the reason he was elected twice. Its a troubling viewpoint but one which leaves me with the distinct impression that Oliver Stones main target for ridicule isn't Bush himself but the American public. A nation dumb enough to vote someone into the most powerful position in the world because he's a regular Joe. I suppose we'll see tonight whether the 'Joe strategy' works again.

Friday, 31 October 2008

Quantum Of Solace Review

Lately, such is the vast chasm between the things I want to do and the things that are actually helpful for a productive life, when my good friend asked me if I wanted to do an Alan Partridge style Bondathon last week I gave it a lot of consideration before saying no (this is the same friend who thought it would be a good idea to watch every film released this year). All 57 Bond movies back to back, no sleep, just the occasional 5 minute break. Only a whisker away from saying yes I remembered, I don't actually like Bond films.

The first direct sequel in the Bond cannon, Quantum of Solace picks up only minutes after a pretty peeved JB has kneecapped the elusive Mr.White at the end of Casino Royale. Then he's careening round roads that look like Spaghetti, blowing shit up and having gunfights at 100mph. Doo, do, doo, do, do, do, dooooo. Cut to Jackie White and Alicia Keys. Cut to a naked woman in silhouette with a gun, spinning round. Cut to JB chasing that bloke from The Diving Bell and the Butterfly about (obviously he can move now, otherwise that would be a very one-sided fight) and discovering a sinister organsisation. Cut to a pointless dogfight. Cut to storming baddies base. And Bond is back.

Which is a bloody shame. Because the thing I liked about Casino Royale (the one 007 film I like), apart from Daniel Craigs excellent performance, was that it ripped up the rulebook and made quite a nice origami butterfly out of it. The kind of butterfly that made me go ooh and aah, and isn't that pretty (especially Eva Green). Out went the cockiness, the one-liners, that self-assuredness which meant the ending was as predictable as putting bread in a toaster and in came a new dramatic quality where for the first time you felt Bond might actually come to some harm.

To give it its due Quantum of Solace does keep the integrity of the first re-imagining for a vast majority of the film. The opera sequence where Bond watches the mysterious QUANTUM group watching Tosca is as cinematic (and operatic) as anything you'll see all year. But the film goes awry when it mixes it up with too much of the old Bonds, shoehorning in action for the sake of it. The aformentioned dogfight sits incredibly uneasily with a scene, only moments later, of a girl telling of her families rape and murder. While the ending gains many, many bonus points for giving us a finalised Bond (the book Bond, not the movie Bond), cold, ruthless and, to use a McCainism, a man who will forever put Country First, it does leave you wondering where they go now.

Monday, 27 October 2008

High School Musical 3 Review

High School Musical is for gays and spastics. Woh there. Hold your horses. I've obviously just written that line to get a reaction out of people and to make me sound like 'I jus don't giv a fuck yeh!'. Well, yes, part of me wrote it for that reason but the other part of me wrote it because I have something genuine to say about High School Musical. And that point is that its brilliant for people with special needs (not the silly word I first used) and some (not all) overly effeminite men, i.e gays (at the time of going to press that word was still okay to use, also because I'm very scared of backlashes I'd like to point out I'm not linking the two groups in anyway). It's works for some because it has bright colours, cheerful messages, an easy to follow plot and lots and lots of singing and dancing.

What annoys me, to the point of almost suffering a rage induced stroke coming out of my viewing, is that it will be, by far, one of the most popular films of the year. It will certainly be the most profitable, thus causing every single studio to look for a way to cash-in on the 'HSM factor'. And this cashcow is not down to any niche market, its not down to the fact that a minority of people will go see this. Its because everyone will. And when everyone does, the studios will make more films with no regard for plot, no genuine emotion and no point to make. And this, this is the cause of my anger.

Parents will be dragged by their kids to such a greater extent than when a real piece of cinema like Wall-E dares to jockey for position on the silver screen/40 foot advertising board. It sucks but its an accepted fact. Kids are pretty stupid. Pre-teens will go because they fancy one of the leads. Not the worst reason to go to the cinemas. Some guys and gals love Zach Efrons Gallagher eyebrows. Hey each to their own. And again, this is all tolerable. But, but, but so, so, so many people will go to see it 'ironically'.

These 'adults' that say they like movies yet wouldn't venture out their front doors to watch great cinema like There Will Be Blood or the aformentioned Wall-E. These 'ironic' people that think 'its so shit its great', that go to watch it 3 or 4 times, each time more money in the hands of the producers that just can't believe how lucky they are to have sold shit with sprinkles on it for £6.50 a plop. I realise this isn't actually a review, in fact its the first time this year where I've broken into a full on, "say nothing about the film" ranty rant and most people will say to me lighten up its just a bit of fun. But please, vote with your feet and your money, don't let the producers win. If you are a grown-up, intelligent person, please don't watch High School Musical.

Fly Me to the Moon 3-D, City of Ember and Igor Review

Its half term kids and Uncle Owen is here to tell you what to spend your pocket money on. I am actually going to be an Uncle soon, a bona fide Star Wars character. I just hope I don't get barbequed by Stormtroopers. What I will get to do is take my nephew/niece to all sorts of shit films aimed at children and then chastise them for enjoying them like the naive, joyfilled cretins they are. Like I'm going to do now.

First up Fly Me to the Moon 3-D. My feelings on 3-D movies have been well documented over the course of this year. ( I don't like them. I don't think they're good.) So instead of me ranting the same rant just put together my review for Space Chimps and combine it with Journey to the Centre of the Earth 3-D and, ta-da, the bug faeces that is Fly Me... will be the result. It does have a fantastically surreal credits sequence though where Buzz Aldrin, the actual Buzz Aldrin, appears to tell all the wee kiddies that the film is pure fantasy and that flies can't talk and certainly couldn't get to the moon anyway. Now this I like. So much so I'd like to hire Buzz to ruin more childrens film.

As for City of Ember, I had desperately high hopes for this. I had a feeling it would tank financially but I thought it would at least be well received by us more knowing (read, Poncey) film geek type people. Set years in the future when mankind lives underground, it stars Saiorse Ronan (anyone know how to pronounce this?) as a girl looking to find a way to the surface of the Earth. While the set design and imagination is sufficiently 'Gilliam' the story takes too long to get going and ends far too quickly once it does. And it doesn't have nearly enough Bill Murray for my liking. But then Groundhog Day didn't have enough Bill Murray for me.

Bill Murray is not in Igor (nice segue). But John Cusack is. As Igor, or to be more precise, an Igor. For in the world of Malaria there are many Igors and many evil scientists. The scientists are trying to think up horribly evil inventions so they can ransom the world, which makes for some great Nightmare Before Christmas-style nastiness for the kids. This would probably be my pick of the week if only for the immortal yet suicidal, Nietzsche spouting rabbit voiced by Steve Buscemi. That and the blind orphans singing I Can See Clearly Now (The Rain Has Gone). Seriously.

Saturday, 25 October 2008

Burn After Reading Review

Reasons to be cheerful, 1,2,3. Number one its beginning to look like our American cousins aren't such a bunch of inbred fuckwit, um... cousins, as they may be on their way to putting someone in charge who doesn't believe in the four horsemen of the Apocolypse, who can string a sentence together and who has great taste in TV shows. Reason to be cheerful number 2 is that the Coen brothers have released another film, thats two this year! Hooray says me. That means 0.81% of the films I've watched this year have been made by Joel and Ethan. As for number 3? Nope, that's all I got.

So Coen time again. Osbourne 'Ozzy' Cox (John Malkovich) quits his CIA posting after being demoted. Angry and seeking revenge he decides to write some scathing memoirs. His wife Katie (Tilda Swinton), who is fucking Harry Pfarrer (George Clooney), puts these memoirs on a floppy disk while trying to obtain his financial statements because she wants a divorce. This disk is then left on the floor of Hardbodies gym, where Chad Feldheimer (Brad Pitt) and Linda Litzke (Frances McDormand) find it and then subsequently blackmail Ozzy. When Ozzy doesn't play ball, Linda and Chad go to 'The Russians' to try and sell the information.

Add into this equation some plastic surgery, a dildo chair machine and an improper use for a hatchet and you should be scratching your head in no time. But having seen the film it actually all makes sense. In a way. Not that you'd know that when watching the film because its as confusing as simultaneously trying to solve a Rubik's cube and a Suduko after two bottles of Jack Daniels and a lungful of salvea. This confusion will either infuriate you or make you grin from ear to ear. I was the latter because I'm all clever and smug and shit. But this confusion is also the point of the film. Unintelligent Intelligence.

As with every single Coen Brothers film its the characters that make it the joy that it is. The wonderfully titled Harry Pfarrer is played with the right mix of sleaze and idiocy by Mr. Clooney (supposedly rounding off his 'Idiot Trilogy' but on the basis of this I hope not). McDormand, Malkovich and Swinton are all as good as they always are which seems like a backhanded complement but its not. The real star though, is Mr. Brad Pitt, putting in a performance of such life-affirming, naive nincumpoopyness that if the word nincumpoopyness was ever put in the dictionary it would have his face next to it. Although dictionaries don't have pictures.

Thursday, 23 October 2008

Ghost Town Review

So the story goes, Ricky Gervais is positively inundated with scripts and projects from the general throngs of luvvies desperate to cling to his ample bosom. The postman has backache, he hasn't seen his doormat in years and all the while Ricky keeps everyone waiting, while he searches for the perfect screenplay. Something worthy of his enormous talent. Hmmm. What he finally settled on is the high concept of 'only certain people seeing ghosts' which, pun alert, has been quite literally, done to death.

Dr. Bertrum Pincus (Ricky Gervais) doesn't like people. At all. It might be why he's a dentist, but its definitely the reason he lives alone and does his best to communicate with not one soul. When in hospital for a routine bumjob Betrum dies for just under 7 minutes. When alive again he can see the deceased. As no-one else can see the ghosts, Dr.Pincus is soon followed by every spook in New York desperate for his help to move on. Chief spectre is Greg Kinnear, looking for Bertrum to stop his widow (Tea Leoni) remarrying. Will Bertum fall for Tea? Will he stop being misanthropic? Will I stop asking questions at the end of my 'plot paragraph'?

My opening diatribe might have been a bit harsh. I quite like Ricky Gervais. His stand-up always makes me chuckle, The Extras and The Office were not only funny and a good mirror of our times but also contained enough genuine pathos to give the tear ducts their daily cleanout (yes its daily now). In the eyes of many, however, he's in the 'Coldplay and Jamie Oliver' bracket where he's just become too successful for his own damn good. Tolerable in small doses, on a mass platter you'll be spewing in no time. Ghost Town couldn't be better evidence of this.

The poor script is written around his 'style' of acting. The dialogue is either putdowns or people babbling to each other (this last one is repeated as the one and only joke). All a vehicle to show Ricky to the world. While film is a collabartive process I need to chastise David Koepp for his by the numbers direction but I'll forgive most of the cast who just don't have much to do, so can't possibly do it badly. As for Ricky though, If asked why he's fucked off to the God Blessed US of A he will resolutley answer its because we don't make good films in Blighty. Nice to know they turn out shit over the pond too.

Monday, 20 October 2008

The Rocker Review

If you're going to make a really good music film you have to nail the fictional band at the centre. This is Spinal Tap had the deliriously stupid but spot on Spinal Tap, a mixture of cock, rock and cliche. Almost Famous had the wonderfully believable Stillwater and even School of Rock knew it was music first, script and story second. With The Rocker the fictional band is ADD a whiny, Busted-ish, whiny, soft rock, whiny-pop band. Throw on some skinny jeans and they'd be spot on to the shit you hear on the radio then. The first mis-step this film makes is it treats bands like ADD with respect. Silly film.

1986 Cleveland. Robert "Fish" Fishman is the drummer in Vesuvius a cockrock band one half Guns and Roses, the other half Guns and Roses. Just as the band is about to make it huge the management (always the villains in music films) tell them they have to lose Fish. Not too reluctantly they agree. Fast forward 20 years and Fish still dreams of being a rocker depsite grinding out a miserable existence in a call centre. When his nephews band is minus one drummer Fish steps in. Will Fish's dream come true? Will he learn some nice lessons about stuff? Is Bono a cunt?

Yes, yes and no I'm sure he's a thoroughly nice chap really and he has nothing to do with this movie so I don't know why I brought him up other than for a cheap gag and to full some space while I think of a nice segueway into paragraph 3. The Rocker is the kind of film Will Ferrell would have made (bollocks to the nice segueway) and possibly done something a bit more special with. Although judging by his recent output its probably best Rainn Wilson stepped in as the expectation isn't there. Having not seen the American Office I was unaware of the preposterously named Rainn's shtick and judging solely on this I can see him getting work for a year or two. So best of luck to him.

He's the cause of most of the, admittedly few, chuckles but like with Ms.Faris in The House Bunny his earnestness wins through. Sadly the script isn't there to back him up. While there are some nice touches with references to Almost Famous and the like, they are given equal screentime to adverts for MySpace and Guitar Hero proving that The Rocker is quite definitely a music film for 'now'. And a music film about 'now' doesn't really appeal to me. Unless its about Laura Marling. I like Laura Marling.

Sunday, 19 October 2008

House Bunny Review

The first thing to note when watching The House Bunny is it could have been a lot, lot worse. The reason for this is it comes from the company Happy Madison, which means Adam Sandler's fingerprints are all over it. So how could it be worse? Well imagine if you will Mr. Sandler receiving this script in the late nineties. Then imagine Mr. Sandler thinking "How funny would it be if I played a Playboy bunny?" Or worse still, "Hey Rob Schneider, you wanna play a centrefold?". Thankfully this scenario is purely a product of my overly pessimistic imagination and instead the wonderful Anna Faris got the call.

On the day after her 28th Birthday Shelley (Anna Faris) gets a note from Hugh Heffner saying that she's too old to be a bunny and must leave the playboy mansion. Distraught Shelley wanders the streets until she comes across a sorority full of 'ugly' losers that take her in as their House Mother. While there she teaches them how to get guys to notice them and they in turn teach her how great she is. Cue everyone learning how to be themselves and love each other.

Now if that last line was more of a dominant force in this film it may not be the kind of movie allowed into family muliplexes but its the loving each other for who you are kinda love so here we are. And thats one of, if not the main fault of The House Bunny. Not the fact that its not a dildo and KY fuckfest, but that it doesn't push the boat out further when it comes to the jokes. While one particular response to "I put something extra in your drink" is delivered so ridiculously well this level of risque-ness is quickly put to the background so that the moral message can be forced down our throats.

The balance of the message isn't too bad. Its not quite 'love yourself for who you are' but more 'if you want to change something to make you happier, don't forget who you were'. On this principal alone its a more feminist movie than either Sex and The City or The Women and presents women in a much friendlier light. This is largely due to a strong cast with Kat Dennings and Emma Stone in particular standing out. But the real and only reason you might be tempted into the theatre is to see Anna Faris doing something that many people in Hollywood had forgotten women could do, making you laugh.

Mirrors Review

Such is the abundance of reflective surfaces throughout the duration of this, the 57th J-horror of the year, I imagine the makers of Titanic took longer to settle on a definitive title. If you played a drinking game to everytime you saw a mirror or someone mentioned mirrors during this film you'd deader than Dylan Thomas and George Best before the opening credits had ended. Still even if you just played the 24 drinking game of necking a shot everytime Keifer says "dammit" you'd be pissing your kidney out of your cock in no-time.

Keifer "Jack Bauer, Jack Bauer, Jack Bauer" Sutherland plays Ben Carson, an alcoholic, ex-cop who may or may not have been responsible for killing a fellow police (this fact is largely forgotten when the spooky hits). With his wife and kids spending time away from crazy dad he gets a job as a security guard to prove his life is back on track. The job, however, is looking after a burnt down department store where the mirrors are bad. Bad mirrors. These mirrors send Keef a bit mental so as with all lame remakes Keef gotta find out why.

As its pretty much the Sutherland show the weight of a certain CTU agent hangs heavy over Mirrors. As well as the trademark 'dammits' Keef acts by talking in quiet hushed tones one minute, and the next, he's bellowing "I'm not crazy" in a very crazy fashion indeed. But this is pretty much the most enjoyable thing in Mirrors, seeing how Jack, Ben will go. While for the majority of the film he struggles to keep a lid on it by the end he's holding up nuns at gunpoint threatening to shoot thm in their nunny faces if they don't agree to be turned mental. Go Jack!

The idea of mirrors (or any reflective surface) as the bogeyman is quite a neat idea if you're a bit of a wimp like me, because on exiting the film everywhere you go your bound to bump into you. This horror in the everyday deserves a better vehicle though than this mechanical, by the numbers fright fest. As for the multiple endings, well the first is okay, the second is laughable and the third doesn't quite make sense. Leaving you pondering the question Mirror, Mirror on the wall why did I watch this film at all? Worst ending to a review...ever.