Thursday, 31 July 2008

The X-Files: I Want to Believe Review

Picture the scene. Its Christmas 1995, I'm 13, spotty and hopeless with attracting the opposite sex (well at least I'm not 13 and spotty anymore!). My younger self is, of course, a huge X-Files fan. Posters of Gillian Anderson adorn the walls and the Mark Snow soundtrack plays on loop in my stereo. I'd been trying and failing to get hold of the famous FHM 'Scully shoot' without joy, but my older brother promises me a present under the tree that will sate my appetite, a VHS tape of The Turning (a soft adult film where Scully gets her boobs out). Bounding down the stairs on Christmas day I pick up the present from my bro and take it somewhere more private to open it. As I wrestle with the wrapping paper, pulse racing, I find a copy of Demolition Man instead. My heart, and my 13 year old balls, sink. Older brothers can be so cruel.

So here we are 13 years later. The X-Files has been absent for some time and since then I've had full sex with a lady (not recently, but still). Yet I still have a hankering to see what Mulder and Scully are up to. Would you like me tell you? Okay then. Since 'the FBI trial' of Fox Mulder he's been in hiding, cutting out newspapers and generally going a bit hermit (he's even got a beard!) while Scully has been doctoring in a Catholic Hospital. But when a field agent for the FBI goes missing in spooky goings on they call up Fox who, after a little persuasion from Dana, picks up the flashlight once more.

From the opening scrolling text of location and time in the left hand corner of the screen I was riding high on a wave of nostalgia. The exchanges between the leads, the little nods and winks to past storylines, the familiar score, all of it had me grinning like a teenage boy who'd actually been given some soft porn from his brother. It is a real step up from the lamentable first movie 'Fight The Future' and Billy Connolly, as the psychic whose vague cryptic clues would make Derek Acorah blush, proves again that he really is quite a decent actor. But I wouldn't recommend it. Not to anyone who wasn't a fan when the were younger.

Because as much as its good fun to see Mulder munching on sunflower seeds and Scully wrestling with her faith, the actual storyline (girls kidnapped and held in crates until Mulder and Scullys storylines converge) is incredibly weak. Sadly no amount of relevant topics being covered, from kiddie fiddling priests to stem cell research, can help the non X-Philes (us geeks, we had our own name). Instead it comes across as an average episode from one of the first series but with much more Mulder on Scully action. Which is just fine for me but, well, you might have had a life in high school.

Donkey Punch Review

Hey Mum. I know you read my lovely joy-filled reviews and I know how proud you are of my wonderful imagery and way with words. Or perhaps you sit at home, weeping, wondering where it all went wrong, crying to the neighbours, "He wanted to be a Vet." Well whichever side you're sitting on please skip this one. Even I'm offended by the premise. Almost. And while I didn't come up with the idea it just isn't going to sit right with me if you bring this review up over Christmas dinner this year. It may spoil the turkey.

Now that mother has left I can inform you all of the (pretty wafer thin) plot and what exactly a donkey punch is. It begins with 3 girls and 4 boys getting drunk and taking drugs. So far, so Hollyoaks. But then things get a little out of hand with a 3 guy/2 girl fuckfest and one badly timed donkey punch (a sexual practice where the 'giver' of bum sex punches the 'taker' in the back of the neck, causing the taker's anal passage to tense up thus supplying the giver with an increased orgasm) which causes one dead girl and three flaccid willies. The other girls don't take this well (the dead girl or the flaccid willies?). Captivity, escape and blood all ensue.

I feel compelled to distribute a certain amount of kudos toward the creators of this for it really is quite an 'out there' premise. But 'out-there' can often translate to mean really fucking shit and Donkey Punch isn't. Its not great either, and seeing the amount of four star reviews from critics saturating the posters is a cause for concern. I know its nice to have a British film do well but unless you write for Nuts or Zoo magazine four stars for this is just lowering the bar for everone else.

While its not quite the chav wank fantasy it may appear it still outstays its welcome and glides by on the 'oh-no-they-didn't!' premise. The first reel is a guilty pleasure as you know these 'party' types will get their comeuppance. The pleasure in seeing vapid morons get deaded is as old as time itself but there really isn't any surprise or shocks to get from this. In fact the most shocking thing was looking at my notes during the end credits and seeing the word 'mum' next to the words 'donkey punch'. Chrsitmas dinner is gonna be difficult.

Baby Mama Review

Pregnancy, it seems, is more in vogue right now than having your police officers have differently pigmented skin colours on buddy buddy action flicks of the '80's. First out of the snatch was Waitress (unwanted pregnancy), then Knocked Up (one night stand unplanned pregnancy) and then Juno (teenage pregnancy). No wonder the world is overpopulated to the point of suffocation so that every resource we have is slowly but surely running dry and the earth will soon be nothing but a smouldering garbage dump populated only by cockroaches and robots. Well Baby Mama is the surrogacy take on the pregancy film.

Due to her hectic businesswoman lifestyle (and T-shaped uterus) Kate Holbrook (Tina Fey) has never dropped any sprogs. But she desperately, desperately wants to. With her birth canal more likely to have abandoned shopping trolleys in it than babies she decides to put her eggs in Angie Ostrowiski's box. The trouble is Angie is played by Amy Poehler which means her character is a) stupid, b) annoying and c) stupid and annoying. As the baby starts its descent the two become friends and much female bonding ensues.

That last part wasn't a dig at Amy Poehler its just I've never seen her do anything but be a little stooopid. She does it well and the dizzy, uncouth hick is a nice counter balance to the witty sophisticated one-liners of the wonderful Tina Fey. A good idea to put Maura Tierney (Abby from ER) into it as she makes anything at least 23% better. The big surprise though is Steve Martin, putting in an extended cameo as Kate's hippy aura reading boss. More of this type of stuff Steve and we may start to forgive the last 10 years of your 'career'.

For the most part Baby Mama is a funny, warm hearted movie. A few twists help keep the film on track but the pat-happy, rushed and ultimately awful ending almost spoils all that has come before. The film is saved though by Tina Fey's guarded cynicism. She is a genuinely funny woman who shared a few too many similraities with my first girlfriend for this movie to be a wholly enjoyable experience. Ah lost love! But then again I could never be with a woman who liked Chris DeBurgh. Never, never, never.

Sunday, 27 July 2008

The Dark Knight Review

Right. Thats it. I now officially have nothing left to live for. All the highlights of my summer; Glastonbury, the return of some long gone friends, Latitude, Radiohead in Barcelona, Wall-E and now the new 'The Batman' film (I love it when they call him The Batman) are all done and dusted. Waking up in the morning seems pointless now. But, Owen, I hear you cry, Stop pissing around with the melancholy shit and tell us, after months of waiting and an internet campaign thats lasted since the internet began, tell us please does it cut the mustard. Consider the mustard well and truly diced.

Picking up soon after Batman Begins, Brucie Wayne (Christian Bale once more) is living in a penthouse apartment since Ral burnt Wayne Manor to the ground. Spending his nights donning the mask and tights, his days are spent checking out the new White Knight of Gotham, District Attorney Harvery Dent, who seems to be boffing his childhood sweetheart Rachel (Maggie 'Thank the lord its not Kat' Gyllenhaal). Things seem to be looking up for Gotham until that is, the true arrival of a certain Joker in the pack.

Needless to say you've met someone who has seen it now and they've chewed your ear off to how great The Joker character is. Well they are 100% right because forget absolutely everything about the tragic events around the film and just take Heaths performance as the picture perfect example of mayhem personified. The closest thing to this character is one of the pyschopaths from Funny Games. It really is that petrifying. He spends most of the movie justifying his batshit crazyness and the rest screaming into handheld cameras. Its testament to the rest of the cast that you don't end up rooting for him to just burn the whole city down.

As for the rest of the movie, yes it has tiny flaws in places (sonar mobiles seem to futuristic in this almost 'real' world and Batmans growl gets irritating), but I'm still going to shoot my batspunk in your general direction. Nolan has created a film, nay a world, of the sort you rarely see in movies let alone the biggest release of the summer. Every performance (while clouded slightly by the one just discussed) is spot on. Bale in the three roles of Good Bruce, Bad Bruce and The Batman will soon be the definitive Dark Knight if he isn't already. Whether or not the director and his lead will hang about for another is still questionable but if I can just get a copy of 'The Trial' from Batman:The Animated Series into Christopher Nolans hands well that would be something to look forward to. Until then I suppose I'll just have to watch settle for watching The Dark Knight, over and over and over and over again.

Thursday, 24 July 2008

Wall-E Review

Never have I left a film so long between watching and reviewing it than with Wall-E. There is a reason for this. For while I watched Wall-E over 3 weeks ago I couldn't bring myself to tell the world just how much I loved it. Its not that I'm worried for my masculinity, everyone who knows me can vouch for my unmanly film tastes, I'm just worried that my review won't be able to do justice to what is essentially a 24carat, 5-star, cast-iron classic piece of cinema.

Wall-E is a cleaning robot whose developed something of a personality in the years that he's be left on Earth. As all signs of life (bar cockroaches) and all appliances have faded into obsolescence Wall-E plods on. Until EVE comes along, a hyper tech searcher robot, looking for signs of life on this now dead planet. In true classic cinema style Wall-E falls for EVE and thats when I start to blub like a little child. When EVE's misson is completed she leaves causing Wall-E to search the galaxy for his new love.

I've already failed in this review because that doesn't sum up well enough how great the simplicity of the plot is. As a one paragraph pitch I've distilled true greatness into something sci-fi and tawdry and mawkish and Wall-E is none of these things. Instead its innovative, sumptuous to look at, balls out brave in being silent for nigh on 45 minutes and hella funny. Its fair to say the scenes without Wall-E miss him like I miss my bed at 3 in the afternoon but even in these 'bad points' its still witty and invloving. They're only 'bad' in contrast to how much Wall-E and EVE light up the screen when they are together.

But the true reason why I love Wall-E is that its so cute. Its so damn cute. Its cuter than Natalie Portman wearing mittens, working in a button shop, surrounded by puppies and kittens. Its that damn cute. My cynical nature will end up putting something else above it by the end of the year, I'll argue that something else was more of a 'me' type film but I'd be a fool to do so because not only is it the best film of 2008 so far (and I can say that cos I've seen them all) but its also one of the best films ever made. A truly universal film that sums up the best thing about cinema. The stomach churning, heart leaping, laugh and cry power of stories. Thank you Pixar. Thank you so very, very much.

Journey to the Center of the Earth 3-D Review

I'm not doing a full review for this because I'm still throwing a bit of a hissy about 3-D films. I did watch the whole film and put on the stupid glasses and everyting and yeah the visuals are more impressive than ever but I've yet to see a glimpse of a film where the extra dimension adds to the storytelling in any meaningful way. Its a cheap parlour trick and an excuse for studios to forget about the script entirely.

As they do in this. I don't think Brendan Fraser touching me below the waist would have made this 'experience' of a film any less dull. Take away the oooh and the aaah factor (which some cretins will tell you is the point of cinema, its not, its really, really not) and your left with a dull pointless excercise in updating Verne for the 21st Century. Journey to the Centre of My Arse.

Thats not an invite its supposed to be a funny play on words. Please leave me alone. Please.

The Forbidden Kingdom Review

When you're talking dream teams you'll think along the lines of Obama/Clinton, Rooney/Ronaldo, Pacino/DeNiro, Jenna Loves Briana. And the names of Jackie Chan and Jet Li have to be pretty damn high. When your talking dream teams for (living) martial arts actors you can't get higher. But its a shame that its been left so late. So late in fact that the former is 54 years old and the latter, no spring chicken at 45, has pledged his retirement from ever doing this kind of film ever again. If Jenna and Briana had left it this late I wouldn't be watching their movie as often as I do.

The Forbidden Kingdom tells of a kung fu obsessed wuss Michael '11!!?!!' Angarano (just for you Emma) transported to China via a staff of justice, or wrath, or milk or something. There he teams up with Chan (drunken warrior) and Li (warrior monk) to save the Monkey King (Li, again) from the Jade Warlord. Its all told in such an 80's way I expected Eddie Murphy to show up. Its The Golden Child with more monkeys, Yay! but less big titted snake women, Boo!

Having not actually seen that many Kung Fu movies, and only having watched Monkey whilst high as a kite, I know next to nothing about this genre. So I'm one of the worst people to review this movie. So stop reading and go make yourself a hat out of kittens or something. I can tell you that the fat guy in front of me was laughing and pointing out things to his fat partner every two seconds so perhaps there was lots to enjoy on another geekier/fanboy level. Either that or there were many scenes involving food.

As for the fabled Jackie/Jet face off, it was more than enjoyable (perhaps the weeing on his face thing was a step too far) but as with most extended action sequences its only real job was to divert you from the flimsy plot. Michael '11!!?!' Angarano actually takes the majority of the film away from the two stars and you can't help thinking it might have been a better film had it focused more on him. Instead you wait for the masters to show up and do something bloody spectacular which they don't really do. You yawn and move on.

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Meet Dave Review

Not since a Mr.Hitler stopped giving out free ice cream to orphans and pursued other interests has there been a man with a more checkered CV than Eddie Murphy. I'm not saying his films are inherently evil perse, but the dramatic downfall from good is simply breathtaking. Consider the evidence. Once the man made 48 hours, Trading Places and Beverley Hills Cop not 3 years years apart. Now he grinds out a living with The Adventures of Pluto Nash, Daddy Day Care and Norbit. On long winter nights I weep for you Eddie.

I'll give you three guesses which camp this film falls into after a quick run down of the plot. Eddie plays Captain (thanks Imdb) who is the alien captain of a spaceship shaped like Eddie Murphy. He also plays the spaceship called Dave. With me so far? The Captain and his crew wander around Earth (as Dave) laughing at all the peculiar things us earthlings do, while looking for a meteor that can hold all the H20 from the ocean in order to save their planet. Any clue which camp we're in yet people?

A fair indication of the quality of a movie can be glimpsed by the trailers before hand. Not always reliable but its like the warm up act before the headliner. In this case we have Wild Child, College Road Trip, The Rocker and The Love Guru. Surely this quartet of tedious crap would make the main event look like The Beatles and Led Zep with Jimi on harp. Sadly no. Instead (just to run this metaphor into the ground) its like watching Steps supported by B*witched.

The argument of 'but its for kids' will not stand in a year where Wall-E is skating about, so on with the slating. The jokes fall flat, the 'message' is boring and confused, the actors are detestable and the music (usually quite good in Eddie films) is bland. Smiling like a spastic with a twitch is also not suitable as the basis for a gag that never goes away. Saying all that it had two seconds of Its A Wonderful Life in it. Therefore its not the worst film of the year for during these two seconds I smiled like a spastic with a twitch.

Saturday, 12 July 2008

Mamma Mia Review

There are some huge mysteries to be answered this summer. Will Heath Ledger pull off his most difficult role in his penultimate film? Will Get Smart be the big sleeper hit? Is Angus, Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging the worst movie title in the world? But the big one, the one thats keeping me awake at night, is, Does Meryl Streeps character take 3 cocks at once in a family movie based around Abba songs?

The answer sadly is No. Donna (Meryl 'can kinda sing, is extremely flexible' Streep) had three romances, seperated by weeks, over the summer of 78. This led to her offspring Sophie (Amanda 'can sing very well' Seyfried) not knowing who her father is. On the eve of her wedding she invites the three possibles Pierce 'strangling cats' Brosnan, Colin 'whitest dancer in the world' Firth and Stellan 'Oh right! He's Swedish, I get it' Skarsgard. Hilarity, and Abba medleys to make Alan Partridge cream himself, ensues.

It goes without saying that if you have an aversion to all things EuroPopWank then this isn't the movie for you. So this isn't the movie for me either. At times you'll scream at the screen for the horror to end at the butt clenchingly awful nature of the film. But... I can't believe I'm gonna write this where actual people can see it...but it is ridiculously, ridiculously fun. And at times you kinda get taken away by it. Meryl Streep is perfect as the dick loving hippy and when she sings the worst Abba song (thats Dancing Queen by the way) she does it with such joy and nostalgia your heart actually lifts.

Thats not to say this is a good film and I'm not saying I liked it. For starters there is nowhere near enough plot to last two hours so its padded with song after song after bloody song and all extraneous characters are instantly shotgunable (I'm trademarking that word). But it has its moments. As for the 3 cocks at once thing I'm still not letting Meryl off the hook. My housemate who teaches Sex Education would have a shitfit at the quantity of unprotected sex this woman is having. Here's looking at the sequel where she has to explain her herpes scars and multiple STDs to Brosnan all played out to the songs of Meatloaf. 'Not a Dry Eye in the House' would fit perfectly with that premise.

Thursday, 10 July 2008

Kung Fu Panda Review

I'm usually one for the underdog. Tibet Vs China, Kidderminster Vs Chelsea, Rocky Vs Apollo Creed. Yet when it comes to Pixar Vs Dreamworks I'll always side with the kings of animation. And I think I've worked out why; Simplicity Vs Complexity. Toys come to life, Fish lost in Ocean, Robot develops personality, each Pixar film is as easy to grasp as an Adam Sandler film. Thats not to say Dreamworks animation is dealing only with plots Stephen Hawking can understand but they don't have that 'in a nutshell' quality.

If they did then Kung Fu Panda would be 'Panda learns Kung Fu' and who the fuck wants to see that. So instead its the story of a panda, Po, who dreams of being the best martial artist despite being a fat, clumsy useless blob (good casting in Jack Black then). Po accidently gets chosen as the Dragon warrior who will bring peace to China much to the chagrin of the 'Furious Five - tiger, mantis, snake, crane and monkey' and their Master Shifu (Dustin Hoffman).

Theres something slightly disappointing in knowing that Dustin Hoffman is choosing to do the voice of an animated animal (is he a cat, a rat, a hamster? I'm still not clear after 92 minutes) over more 'worthy' fair. I'm not being a killjoy but this guy was Ratso Rizzo, Benjamin Braddock and Lenny Bruce surely theres a script out there for him to really get his teeth into. Its not like he's bringing anything to the role that any voiceover artist couldn't. (Yet another reason why Pixar are phenomenal, they never stunt cast).

Don't quite no why I devoted an entire paragraph to that but there we go. The film itself is above standard fare in that it raises a smile but rarely gets a laugh out loud. Its also amazingly violent which should please the kids of 'Broken Britain' (todays scaremongering is brough to you by The Sun newspaper). In fact its so full of smacks to the face children will prefer it to the witty nuances and niceness of Wall-E. But then children are stupid. Oh and the Pixar wankfest is in full swing because I have seen Wall-E. I'm not going to review it just yet but suffice to say its one of the best films in the whole wide world. Ever.

Sunday, 6 July 2008

The Edge Of Love Review

I really like the fact that I'm from Wales. So much so that I tell everyone I meet almost immediately that I'm Welsh. The thing is though I'm not, Welsh that is. (My grandfather was Welsh so its not a total lie but I'm really quite English.) I think its the annoying overly humble thing again where I want to be forgotten about so I can't get blamed for bad things like occupying countries and taxation. No, to keep me from guilt give me the land of cheese on toast, male voice choirs and Dylan Thomas. None of those things ever upset anyone did they?

Well Dylan Thomas certainly bloody did. He was a huge arsehole. A monumental prick. A 5 star dickhead. According to The Edge of Love anyway. But in it Dul-an isn't really the main character and its certainly not a biopic of his life. Instead the film revolves around four people, Dylan himself (Matthew Rhys), his wife Caitlin (Sienna Miller), his one time lover Vera (Keira Knightley) and her husband William (Cillian Murphy) all dealing with sexual tension, WWII and enough booze and fags to put down George Best.

If you've recently quit smoking (you're a pussy, smoking is cool!) steer well clear of this film as all they do is smoke, smoke, smoke. They also drink and fuck. Which seems to be the story. Four friends shag and party then it all goes a bit wrong when William comes back from the army all mental and shit. But maybe its more to do with the two girls friendship rather than the incident with the machine gun? Or maybe it is about Dylan and his genius and arrogance? Or its an Atonement carbon copy, the story of a wife pining for her soldier to return?

This lack of coherence certainly doesn't make it a bad film (coherency is not something that I desperately need in a film) but it may stop it being a great film. That and Keira. I'm not gonna bash Ms. Kinghtly and her massive chin, I think she's good some of the time but never anything more than good. My fear is that her 'great actress' status is gonna end up ruining a lot of potentially awesome movies because people think she can hold a screen. She can't. Neither can Sienna but she's certainly shot up in my estimations. If she keeps out of the papers for long enough I may even grow to like her. For now though I'm off for a smoke, bach.

The Mist Review

When you've directed probably the most well loved movie of all time (according to IMdb The Shawshank Redemption is number 2 at the moment) yet still remain a fairly unknown name you've gotta be a little peeved. So Frank Darabont, quite rightly, has gone back to the teet of Stephen King to perhaps raise his profile. While the film is in no way up there with Tim Robbins bustin' out of prison its still an intelligent, scary and well crafted film.

When a storm hits Maine, (its a King adaptation, where the hell else would it be set?) David Drayton, an artist (its a King adaptation, he should be a writer Godammit!) heads on over to the local supermarket with his son and neighbour. Whilst shopping a petrified local comes running in telling them to barricade the doors, for there is something in the mist. Fuck yeah there is! Spiders, winged insects the size of your head and cockroaches bigger than my balls (seriously I'm backed up). Worse than that though, our heroes are stuck in the supermarket with a Christian who won't shut up.

This ends up being worse than the beasties outside as Christians who won't shut up are really, really annoying and dangerous (see the American Government for more details). But these Christians prove to be the strongest part of the film as the interplay between the two human groups (normal folk Vs religious types) shits all over the scenes where the humans interact with the decidedly ropey CGI. The human scenes are also fun because you get to play "I know him, I do." See if you can spot Capote, Death (from Bill and Ted) and that chick from The X-Files. Lose marks for thinking Andre Braugher is Bunny Colvin from The Wire and for thinking Thomas Jane is Christopher Lambert sans mullet.

This game will only pass some of the time so thankfully there is a lot more generally good filmmaking going on. The sense of what America really is seems to have been well captured within the confines of your local 7-11 i.e most people are decent, 'lets help each other and use our brains' type folk, the others being easy lead simpletons who panic at the first mention of fear. But more than just an indictment of that place that eats Hot Dogs, The Mist has to be one of the bleakest summer movies I've ever seen. The message from Shawshank that "Hope can set you free" is one that main character David Drayton should have probably held on to.

Friday, 4 July 2008

Hancock Review

I feel like throwing my toys out of the pram because I really don't want to review this. Firstly I don't want to review it because for once I'm going against mass critical consensus, i.e the majority think its shit, I think its good. 'But Owen aren't you supposed to be a renegade film reviewer with his own style, opinion and breathtaking wit ' Well, yeah, but I only pretend to hate everyone and pretend to want to be different. The main reason for not wanting to review this is the fact that I can't cocking say anything about this movie for fear of spoiling it and I really want people to like it.

Most people will now that this is THE Big Willie movie of the Summer. And everyone loves Big Willie (those that don't, I'm talking about Will Smith, y'know the artist formerly known as Fresh Prince). Most will know its about an alcoholic superhero who really can't be arsed with saving the world, who feels unappreciated and who would rather be left alone. Some might know that a PR exec played by Jason Bateman comes to clean up his image and turn him into something a bit more super. But apart from these facts (oh and that he's named Hancock) the rest of the plot has been better guarded than Michael Jacksons secret basement.

So thats it. I'm not telling you any more about the plot. Nothing about where Hancock came from, if there is a villain, if he has a Kryptonite style weakness. None of it. Which leaves me with a banal review which goes along the lines of this. Will Smith is excellent, as always, as the drunk belligerent would be superhero. Jason Bateman is perfect as the straight man with the heart of 24 carat helping him out. And Charlize is solid as the wife of Jason. There are complaints doing the rounds that the tone is all over the place but I'm fine with that so long as the movie surprises me.

And surprise me it did. Its not a straight out and out comedy, its not just another superhero film, and its not soaked in Casablanca style romance. Well okay it is a bit. But the parts all add up to something a little different. What that something is I still don't quite know. And this may be why I've been putting this review off for so long. All I do know is, its funny, at times quite heartfelt and as enjoyable as any other summer blockbuster I've seen this or any other year. Oh and its got Will Smith in it. Being an arsehole. Watch it for that if nothing else.

Wanted Review

If you watched a seminal sci-fi movie in 1999 (and no I don't mean The Phantom Menace) then certain bits of Wanted will be strikingly familiar. Take the premise of a dull office drone wanting a new more exciting life because he's convinced he has a calling. Then have him mentored by a wise, cool black guy and team him up with a spunky, kick ass female. Give them all super-human powers, throw in enough 'up to the minute' special effects and a fetish for guns that makes Charlton Heston look like Bambi and you may find yourself quoting Neo. "Woah, Deja Vu".

James McAvoy is the Narrator like main character Wesley Gibson whose life is in the shitter. His girlfriend is fucking his best mate, his boss is a fat annoying bully and he keeps having panic attacks. When the Fox (Angelina Jolie) turns up to tell him his father is dead you'd start to really feel sorry for him until he's told that pops was a super assassin and it runs in the blood. Cut to lots of training as Wes is taught how to stab, shoot and smack anybody in his way. Well anybody that the Loom of Fate decides.

Wow hang on! Did you just say Fruit of the Loom. No i did not. But it would have been almost as ridiculous as the Loooooom of Fateeee. Just keep saying it to yourself, it becomes funnier each time. Loooooooom of Faaaaaaaate. Having what is essentially the main plot device entitled something so gob smackingly hilarious makes the rest of the film quite hard to handle. (Incidentally the Loooom oooof Faaaate is a sewing instrument that tells the assasins who it is they should kill. So its not just a stupid name but a stupid concept too).

Not that its an awful movie, there is fun to be had but only once you take it as a 13 year old wet dream. Morgan takes the money and runs, Angie actually looks pretty when she smiles (not pouting is a good thing Angie) and McAvoy gives the performance of a man under the impression his paycheck will increase by a few million if this is a success. But please, please stop telling the audience how shit we are. "What have you done lately?" poses Wes at the end. Well, while I haven't been trained as a super assassin I've actually had a great week in Somerset, watching music at Glastonbury, soaking up the sun with my friends. So Fuck you Wes.

Hors de Prix (Priceless) Review

"And I said what about Breakfast at Tiffanys,
She said I think I remember the film,
And as I recall, I think, we both kinda liked it,
Well then lets remake it in French with Audrey Tautou"
(I always find direct comparisons of two films the epitome of lazy journalism but how often can you quote Deep Blue Something?)

Audrey Tautou is Irene (what an awful name, apologies to anyone called Irene) a hooker in all but name. She sleeps with rich old men so that they buy her sparkly stuff in the hope that one day they will marry her and she can lounge about by swimming pools looking all sexy. Her plan of action is interupted when she mistakes Jean (Gad Elmaleh), a down on his luck waiter, for a rich, young mark. Jean falls for Irene, Irene starts to crumble, cue Moon River.

I could quite happily watch Audrey (either Hepburn or Tautou) for ever and ever and ever. Its rare to find true movie stars that hold the screen and make me coo like a small feathery thing but both girls do it. And while this film is nothing more than a sex farce comedy (if it was made in English it would simply be called Carry On Ho'ing) its one that thanks to Audrey looking stunning it becomes a much more classy affair. The classiness is also helped by the setting and subtitles.

However, your enjoyment of the film may be tainted if you don't firmly believe that all rich people are bastards and deserve everything they get. It appears if you have wealth then you can be mugged off by anyone and its really all your fault. Which I agree with right now as I haven't two pennies to rub together. Fuck rich people, fuck em all. Just appreciate the irony that the filmmakers wine and dine in these 5 star hotels and restaurants every night, spitting on the service staff and doing coke off of whores backs. Except Audrey she's too lovely.

Teeth Review

Yay its my 100th Post! That means I've spent approximately 200 hours in the cinema, uncomfy seat, lights down, drink in hand. And what a film to celebrate with. A girl that has teeth in her cooch, fangs in her fanny, molars in her minge, incisors in her hairy axe wound, ... okay I'll stop. I remember years ago when I was going through a spell of unwanted celibacy I watched the film Gozu a bizzare Japanese film where during the finale a man literally climbed out of a womans wizards sleeve. This thankfully put me off the idea of hanky panky for quite some time. Now that the unwanted celibacy has returned I'd like to thank the makers of Teeth for making the nights a little easier.

Well you may know the premise but you don't know the setup and truth be told this is Teeth's biggest selling point. Dawn, our heroine, is an active member of the Christian chastity group, she is the queen of abstinence. She is also the epitome of moral virtue, she rides a bike to school singing as she goes, she wears jumpers with unicorns knitted on them, she waves to her neighbours and is as polite as can be. But we don't hate her for this because we know Dawn has a secret. As the poster says, 'Every rose has its thorns'.

We also don't hate her because she is played impeccably by Jess Weixler who I really hope is given a shot at something else on the back of this because she is simply outstanding. Her shock at the events happening to her is written all over her face with each facial tick and nuance making us care more and more. While the scenes of 'action' will illicit groans and giggles in equal measure its only thanks to Jess that the aftermath is, well, actually quite moving. If you can get past the 'bitey clam' there is a lot more weight to this film than you'd think.

But even if you can't get past the 'violent vagina' there is still enough wit within the boundaries of constraints that it is a simple B-movie. Set pieces that will have you laughing despite yourself and boo hiss villains that get whats coming to them. And if you can get through the last 30 minutes without thinking everything in the background resembles something sexual then you've done a damn sight better than I did. 'That looks like a fanny, that looks like a bush...' Oh, and for those that say the greatest gift a woman has it that of childbirth, I'd argue that the ability to rip a mans cock off when he's at his most happy, would probably pip that.

Mongol Review

Amir, Chaka, The Wrath of, or Genghis? Its hard to say who was the best. The commonwealth lightweight champion would give the best Star Trek film a run for its money in the fight stakes but I think that Grammy Award winning Chaka could take him down with a rousing rendition of I'm Every Woman. When it comes down to it though the main Khan, the king of Khans, Genghis K is gonna take it.

Mongol is the story of Genghis Khan (good job too or that opening paragraph would have been worth less than a shit), or more fittingly the story of the rise of Genghis Khan or Temujin as he was known to his buddies. Its almost like a Genghis: The Early Years film as we watch him become the man of legend, from his fathers mentoring, to his choosing of a wife to a whole host of nasty things that befall him moulding him into the ass kicking, warlord, Bill and Ted befriending mother flipper we all know and love.

And boy did he go through some moulding. His dad gets betrayed and poisoned, he gets placed in stocks twice, his wife is stolen, he's roundly and savagely beaten a number of times, then forced to become a slave where he is caged for years on end. If the film is trying to say a man becomes a product of his environment then its no wonder Temujin grew up a little miffed. Actor, Tadanobu Asano plays him with an amazing degree of humility considering what he goes through and in doing so he carries the film well. Standout scenes are the ones involving him and his 'brother'.

While at times it feels a little Hollywoodised, shades of Gladiator and Alexander creep into the score and the look, its a feral beast of a movie with the blood letting some of the best seen in eons. It doesn't overly sugarcoat the nasty bits either (there being a good chance that Temujin's kids aren't sired from the man himself, are the years of torture driving him insane) and that Far Eastern value of honour and integrity keep the film trucking along until his rise to power is assured. And that is where we leave him, and so for once a sequel would be more than welcomed.