Sunday, March 4. 2012
Saw this age ago at the movies.
Young investigative reporter, Tintin, goes on a hunt for the secret Treasure of the Haddock family, long lost at sea and lost in the drunken mind of the only living descendant.
Directed by non other than Mr Spielberg this is a brilliant silver screen adaptation of one of my favourite cartoons as a kid. The animation is like nothing I have seen before. I admit I am a little behind the times on this front, but it is truely superb.
The film is funny, good for all ages, fast paced and highly entertaining. I've not enjoyed a new animated film like this for a long, long time.
Sunday, January 8. 2012
Watched a bunch of movies of late, mostly ordinary - sorry for no posts, too busy as The Wife is expecting our first and well, I've been very busy (and tired) as a result.
Stars Nicole Kidman and Nicholas Cage. They are a wealthy couple with a daughter, he sells diamonds. They get held ransom in their own home, with the robbers looking for jewels and cash.....its hard to sit though this film. The bad guys are complete dunces.
This is a great movie. Stars Brad Pitt and some fat dude (you'll recognise him when you see him). This is about a baseball team who keeps have mediocre seasons and never quite makes it. The manager (Pitt) hire an economics genius (fat dude) to build a system to fix the team. Its a feelgood sports film, about the geeks sticking it to the jocks, per se. Its hard not to like. Performances all round are great, with plenty of humour to go around
A young writer in the 50's? writes the stories of ~30 maids in middle/upper class America. This is a superb film, plenty to laugh and cry about. Well written, very well directed and a brilliant cast.
Yep, never seen it before. I was chatting with someone on a forum about scary movies and realised I'd not seen a bunch of them. Not liking to be ignorant about these things I've made an attempt to come up to date. This was the first. Its not scary, but it is shocking in parts. For 1973 it must have caused a real uproar. Superb in every respect. Fitting of its cult status. Not one for the faint hearted, but not as bad as I expected....oh its about a young girl who is possessed by the devil
Bodies in the barrel case. This is the latest "Australian Masterpiece" cough *splutter*. I just don't get it - this and that other film that Jackie Weaver got the Oscar nod for have been hailed as ground breaking.....I am at a loss as to why. They are both shot in a similar manner, which I can only describe as "muted".
I like films to either be entertaining, compelling or interesting.....I found both films, especially Snowtown to be lacking in all categories....so he raped his young borther....they killed a bunch of people....I dont know it just doesn't work for me, I was expecting something different
You want to watch some good Australian content at present? get yourself the TV series Killing Time, now this is brilliant
Ok so I surf, so I am allowed to watch this kind of thing.......surfer girl in Hawaii, trying to go pro, falls for jock football superstar extraordinaire......yawn. Too much crappy drama, not enough surfing - oh and the surfing they do, do, is shot very poorly indeed. All very nice to look at though and funny in parts.
I quite liked this. Its about a girl who's parents are killed over drugs, she grows up to bit a hit "man" to seek revenge. Its a bit like The Professional, meets Bourne, Meets Mission Impossible. Good looking cast, good action, good plot and entertaining. Worth a look at.
Another super bug taking over the world movie.....to be honest, I just don't see the point. Dont waste your time.....nor should have the A-list cast
Crazy, Stupid, Love
I don't know what I was smoking when I watched this, but I rather liked it. Star's Steve Carell and Ryan Gosling. Carell plays a middle aged looser, who leaves his wife, meets playboy Gosling who teaches him the tricks of the trade (makeover etc). Its actually very funny with some nice little twists.
I cant believe I am doing this......
Truly terrible movie, except the part where they are slinging off their friend and get caught on the security system. Rubbish.
A few young girls decide to go toe Paris (from the US) and in a case of mistaken identity end up in Monte Carlo as a British heiress....this is teen flick central, not bad....but really pretty average
Another Aussie flick hailed as the next best thing. I hated it. Its corny. Great story, terrible film. Too long and boring. Put it this way, I found Monte Carlo more entertaining
Thursday, September 29. 2011
Alrighty, this is the reason I've not been watching/reviewing films.
I just finished watching the first 3 seasons, superb!
Walter White, middle age high school chemistry teacher. He's got a disabled son and his wife becomes pregant, which is unexpected. He's got no money....what to do? he runs into a ex-student who sells meth, so he decides to become a cook.....oh and his brother in law is in the DEA.
This is hands down the best TV series I have seen in a long, long time. If you like shows like Prison Break or Californication you'll love this.
One word of warning, the first 1/2 hour or the first episode is painful, it highlights how screwed up Walt's life is, post that its all "good".
Saturday, September 3. 2011
I've not moved on in the world..... i.e. I don't yet have an iPad so I can watch movies on my commute into work each day, so I read quite a lot of books. Inevitably I get asked what I've been reading, so this year includes:
1. Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand) - this is a monumental undertaking, its about 1100 pages of size 6 font, took me about 3 months to read. In saying that, is it the greatest book I've ever read? close to it. It is very, very different to anything I've ever read. Have a read of the wiki page. It is a novel, but in essence outlines Rand's philosophy - Objectivism. 5 Stars
2. Middlesex (Jeffrey Eugenides) - this won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 2002. It is a superbly well written book, about a young Greek hermaphrodite ("Callie") who narrates the book and is the main protagonist. Its a good book and goes back to Callie's grand parents and parents - this is the gold in the book. When the story hits real time of Cal's life it becomes a bit of a drag and I just wanted it over with. 4 stars
3. Monash: The outsider who won the war (Roland Perry) - the story of General John Monash,basically the guy who ended world war one. This should be mandatory reading for any Australian, it tracks the history of the country from Monash's early days as an engineer, which is fascinating, through to the war. This is one of the best non-fiction books I've ever read, highly recommended. 5 stars
4. Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen) - dont need to say anything about this other than if you haven't read it, do yourself a favour and get it. 5 stars
5. Every Second Child (Archie Kalokerinos) - working in outback Australia, Dr Kalokerinos discovers that vitamin C prevents sudden infant death syndrome. The town he worked in went from having the highest infant mortality rate in the country (probably up there in the world) to the lowest. The forward is written by Linus Pauling (two time Nobel prize winner), need I say more. This is a short but outstanding read. I could go into the vagaries of vitamin c etc etc, but I'll leave it at that for now. 5 stars
6. Go Ask Alice (Anonymous) - the diary of a 15 year old drug addict. Its a pretty controversial book, having been banned in many US states/school. I read this the first time in high school and had a hankering to re-read it. Worth reading, it doesn't take long and would put you off drugs like you wouldn't believe. There is some controversy however if the book is fiction or truth, which spoils is a bit. Should be mandatory for parents at any rate. 4 stars
These are just a few, but some of the stand outs I've read this year
Sunday, August 21. 2011
During the depression a young veterinary student loses his parents in a car accident. With no money or home he finds his way to a traveling circus. Its the depression, money is tight, the circus isn't exactly killing it and the stress is showing. Under the gloss of the glitz and glamour is a struggling business with a cut throat boss.
The film stars Robert Pattinson (the runaway), Reese Witherspoon (attractive circus girl) and Christoph Waltz (slightly deranged boss of the circus). Who'd have thought Pattison could act, I was a little surprised to see him in this after this Twilight success, he does a good job, his character, Jacob, is smart and hard working. Marlena (Witherspoon) falls for Jacob almost instanlty, problem is she's the wife of the boss, August, who also recognises the new sparkle in her eye. August is torn between doing something about Jacob and keeping him, as he's the only thing holding the circus together.
The film is directed by Francis Lawrence (I am Legend), who does a respectable job. There is a lot of on screen emotion between Jacob and August, August and Marlena and Jacob and Marlena. Each of the relationships has its own dynamic which I think Lawrence has handled very well. Not surprisingly Waltz is the star of movie with a dark and mysterious character, which Pattison and Witherspoon have leveraged off to deliver above standard (for them) performances.
This is an engaging film, well acted and directed. The supporting carnies are mostly good and the involvement of Hal Holbrook whi initially narrates the movie is a huge plus. It is really a romantic thriller/drama but I cant think of anything to compare it to. Dont dismiss it because of the two younger leads, they do a good job and have clearly benefited from Waltz's influence.
Sunday, August 21. 2011
The story of a young girl and her father who have been living in isolation in the middle of Siberia? The father (Eric Bana) is training his daughter (Saoirse Ronan) to be an elite soldier. Basically to fend off the evil mother (Cate Blanchett) who is a big shot over at the CIA?
Big let down for me this film, "boring" is a word that comes to mind. Blanchett is dull, Bana.....well nothing special, he's got that same annoying, but unnecessary, intense look he normally does. I know Saoirse Ronan is meant to play a clinical role, but again it doesn't draw you into the film. I felt nothing for any of the actors, not like I did in say the first Bourne movie.
There isn't much else to say really. This has some fine actors in it who have a terrible script and dull directing to deal with. Don't waste your time with this one, dig out one of the Bourne movies and enjoy.
Saturday, August 13. 2011
What does John McClane, oh I mean, Bruce Willis do when he's an old timer?....makes another spin off of what he's best at....shame the writers haven't matured with him.
Willis plays a once crooked cop, who is assigned the task of transporting a witness to the Grand Jury. The witness' name is Eddie, played by Mos Def, who is academically stupid, but appears to be "wise". Eddie was going to testify against a bunch of other crooked cops and well they try to take him out in the 16 blocks between the jail and the courthouse place.
David Morse is present as, guess what? the cookedess of crooked cops around. Morse and his goons try to hunt down the two on the run, which ends in a hostage scene and some trickery with vans and things.
This is all pretty stock standard, I'd not go out of your way to watch it......typecast central.
Saturday, August 13. 2011
This is another stock standard action film of the day, ok 2008 - US army guys fighting with each other over authority levels, top secret super computer which controls everything and two average joes (and joette) who get caught in the middle of it - enter Shia LaBeouf and Michelle Monaghan....yawn. Super computer trys to take over the work ya de yad de da
Look this isn't two bad, but its not great. The story is good enough to keep you engaged, plenty of cars flying into things, gun fights, special effects. But I reckon LaBeouf should stick with his truck buddies.
Sunday, July 10. 2011
A pornstar (Elisha Cuthbert) moves in next door to a young geek (Emile Hirsch)....you can see where this is heading? not entirely, yes they fall in love but the story isn't totally predictable. Look, there isn't much to the plot, so if I comment much more on it it'll "spoil" it for you.
This is your standard horny teenager flick, but done well. The nerds and jocks are all played well and the hot girls fit the bill nicely. There are a few twists to the story and guess what they all end up at Prom.
If you're into any number of these flicks then you'll like this. There isn't much sex/nudity in it though, but there is probably more story/romance in it then you'd expect from such a movie. There is also an evil porno producer thrown in for good measure.
Sunday, July 10. 2011
Interesting title hey? I thought so too so I put it on last Friday night. I am not sure what I was expecting, but the first 5 minutes were quite promising believe it or not.
Basically, the plot follows five young couples one Tuesday night having sex, or at least trying too. You've got the long term couple, the exes, the room mates, the best friends and I cant remember the last, oh no that's right, its the office romance. It breaks the sex down into several sections - foreplay, sex, climax, after etc and cuts between each couple for each section. As I said, it started off quite intriguing with the intros of the relevant couples, but it goes downhill pretty quick. Actually, no I shouldn't say that I just got bored.
Its not just a sex/nudity fest, in fact there is minimal of both considering the plot. I cant say much for any of the girls, Ennis Esmer does a pretty good job as one of the guys, but thats about it.
I more or less finished watching it so I could find out what happens, which was an anticlimax to say the least - pun intended. I've not seen Zack and Miri Make a P0rn0, but I am guessing if you liked that you might like this. Not for me, I cant find much merit in it at all to be honest.
Saturday, July 9. 2011
An average guy (Aaron Johnson) in an average school, from an average home decides to become a super hero. Problem is he’s not real good at it and gets his butt kicked first time round. That doesn’t deter him however and he soon becomes an internet sensation. He gets caught up with some nasty dudes and some real super heroes that can fight turn up and save the day – a young girl (Chloe Moretz )and her father (Nicolas Cage)
Matthew Vaughn directed it and also helped write it. He does an alright job, it starts out well, massively subsides in the middle and then finishes with a bang.
The acting is pretty ordinary and the story is average in parts. There are bullet proof kitchen cabinets and apparently you don’t get much short term damage from being beaten with knuckle dusters, baseball bats and clubs, but apart from that it’s ok.
It is like a spoof on spiderman, mixed with kill bill and some crappy comedy (take your pick of any in the last 10 years). It is certainly watchable, and gets much better towards the end with some good one liners thrown in for good measure. I can’t say I’d watch it again however.
Saturday, July 9. 2011
The story of a young brilliant student in his last year of school, who’s keen interest in WWII history leads him to the knowledge of a local man, living in hiding from his past an a commander for the German Army at Auschwitz, responsible for the mass killing program.
The film is at on screen adaptation of Stephen King’s book by the same name. Once the boy learns of the Nazi’s past he blackmails him into telling him his story. The lives of the man and the boy become intertwined by an odd series of events and the film takes on more of the thriller aspect you’d expect from King.
Brad Renfro plays the boy and does a respectable job, while the real strength of the film lies with the man, played by Ian McKellen. McKellen’s character starts out as the nice old man across the road sort of thing, into something much darker and evil, which is brought out by the boy’s questioning and antics towards him. The supporting cast is ok, but David Schwimmer’s appearance as school councillor is a disaster.
There are some quite powerful scenes in the film, mainly due to McKellen, but the on screen chemistry between him and Renfro doesn’t really develop as much as I’d have liked to have seen. This is poor work from director Bryan Singer, who, to be frank is better than this.
Its a decent enough film, I guess a mixure of a bit of Goodwill Hunting and The Firm. I was sad to read that Renfro died of an overdose in 2008, aged 25 – he made his break in one of my favourite films, The Client...sad to hear it
Saturday, July 9. 2011
The story of a young girl, orphaned and thrown into a mental home by her abusive step father....the plot is a little complex, but it cuts to five? Action sequences where her mind is escaping from reality. These are pretty full on and filled with lots of good action, fighting, blowing up stuff.
Emily Browning plays the girl and does a pretty good job. The rest of the cast isn’t really worth mentioning.
It is written and directed by Zack Snyder (Watchman, Dawn of the Dead, 300). It’s very original and pretty well done, but it just didn’t grab me. Visually it is superb, it is again well shot and the sets are very good. The repetition of the action sequences I found boring and I just wanted it over and done with. The beginning of the film is excellent, but it’s downhill pretty rapidly from there.
I can’t really compare it to anything else I’ve ever seen, but I can say is you like martial arts action in a fantasy bent then you’ll probably like this.....doesn’t work for me though.
Saturday, June 18. 2011
Few movies tick me off so fundamentally and to the core as this one, but in a good way, in a way that movies about true stories should.
In The Name of The Father tells the story of the Guildford Four - the four Irish wrongly committed for the Guildford bombing in 1974.
The story is told through the eyes of Gerry Conlon (Daniel Day-Lewis) who part narrates the film to provide additional information/insights throughout the plot - outtakes from Conlon's book, Proved Innocent. Conlon is a difficult character, he starts as a young, immature, cocky bloke from the 70s, who becomes a more mature and sensible man after a riot in prison almost kills his father, Giuseppe Conlon (Pete Postlethwaite).
Giuseppe is the strength in the story, never giving up hope of an appeal, never losing site of the truth and always trying to keep Gerry on the right course (often a difficult task). One of the tragic things about the story is here is a perfectly innocent, decent, hard working man, who ends up in jail because of a misfit/stupid son, and dies in the process (old age more of less, not helped by the riot beating). Its really not until this happens that Conlon really starts to get serious about an acquittal. The relationship between father and son is pretty typical but very well portrayed. Giuseppe is right most of the time, which he makes abundantly clear Gerry, which he reacts to as any strong willed son would.
The lawyer who takes on the case of the appeal is an English woman, Gareth Peirce, played by Emma Thompson, which gave her an Oscar nomination. This is a superb role for Thompson, being strong and compassionate, her interactions on screen with Giudeppe and more so Gerry are outstanding.
I said at the beginning of this review that this movie makes me angry, its due to the massive injustice which plays out on the screen, the arrogance and contempt of the British legal system for anyone not of the English persuasion. I first saw this film in 1994 when it was originally released, I remember coming out at the time and more or less (and quite unfairly) taking it out on my British mother (it still invokes a similar response in me now, years later). It is an appalling story, with a bitter sweet ending. I wont make known my thoughts on Northern Island, but my high level, somewhat ignorant knowledge of the matter sides with the locals.....we talk about the crusades as a terrible, useless loss of life, the religious wars of this age are no better. The world needs to become a lot more tolerant of varying points of view.
The is an outstanding film, doing justice to the real life events and people involved. Hats off to director, Jim Sheridan, for a brilliant piece of work. Also superb screen writing and soundtrack.
Monday, June 13. 2011
I've not seen this before....I cant believe how old it is, 1995! it must have been totally ground breaking back then!
The story of a young boys toy's that come alive when the humans aren't around. The toys are lead by Woody until birthday time, when Buzz Lightyear arrives, the ubeaut space hero toy. Woody gets jealous and tosses Buzz out the window. Cut a long story short, they get lost and have to find their way home, only to end up in the hands of the evil neighbour who destroys toys for fun. The relationships between the toys could be likened to that of any young person at school, with jealous tendencies etc etc but in the end they all group together as mates to save the day
Voices are by Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, and a bunch of others. They are all ideally suited to their roles with no annoying stereotypes etc.
It has obviously been a massively successful franchise, and I guess for 1995 it would have been totally unbelievable considering the technology available. The plot is a little lacking in my opinion, however does contain plenty of outtakes for the parents of the obvious younger viewer target market. Good enough I suppose, but certainly way behind its more recent counterparts (I'm talking plot and directing, not technology).
Its great on bluray with excellent surround effects, enjoyable enough. I look forward to seeing the sequels.
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