29/08/2014

Premature (2014)

A High School teen keeps reliving the disastrous day he loses his virginity, each time getting a chance to 'get it right'.

The most obvious description of first time director Dan Beers "Premature" would be "Groundhog Day" meets "American Pie" with an 80's High School Ferris Bueller topping. Rude, crude, but with two charming leads John Karna as the luckless Rob and his 'best friend' the delightful Katie Findlay as Gabby and a movie filled with wacko characters, a Tutor on the verge of a mental breakdown, the usual Jocks, a slightly psychotic nerd, overbearing Parents etc.

"Premature's" an enjoyable blast of filth with plenty of heart amongst the crudeness.

*****

28/08/2014

The Amazing Spider Man 2 (2014)


Spider Mans back...again.

Got to admit, I thought rebooted Spidey after the successful Sam Raimi franchise was quite ludicrous, by part 3 the series was running out of steam, so my expectations were low, but the reboot turned out to be a surprisingly enjoyable affair. So here we are with Spider Man film number 3, and sadly after just two reboots the series is again looking tired.

Spidey (the pretty dull Andrew Garfield) is with girlfriend Grace (the pretty dull Emma Stone), we've got numerous bad guys, Jamie Foxx has a laboratory accident and turns into Electro Man, old 'friend' Harry Osbourne (Dane DeHaan) is in a piss about something, I forget what, and after nearly two and a half hours.....you get a movie that has the audacity to say "CHECK OUT WHAT HAPPENS IN PART 3" (in 4 years time!!!)

A mess of a script, far too childish, far too much going on, a film stuttering to find a direction.

*****

27/08/2014

Plastic (2014)


A gang of young credit card fraudsters rob the wrong guy, an Eastern European mobster (aren't they always) to clear the 'debt' they plan a multi million dollar diamond heist, as you do!

The movie screams "Oceans 11", "Catch Me If you Can", but turns out more like "Hollyoaks" does "Hustle", the whole cast are a series of fairly unlikeable characters, the sole purpose of any female in the movie is for eye candy, any excuse to visit a strip club is utilized, one which includes a ridiculous scene of our 'heroes' getting one over on the club and it's bouncers, need to get the better of an 18 stone bouncer? easy, push him over and run away!!

Fluffy, soulless, silly, with a ludicrous "Lock, Stock" style gun fight finale, and rather preposterously based on a "true story", not even the ample charms of Emma Rigby can make me recommend this nonsense.

*****

21/08/2014

The Possession Of Michael King (2014)

Following the sudden death of his Wife, Michael King (an excellent performance from Shane Johnson) sets out to prove the existence, or non-existence of supernatural phenomena, recording every moment, but soon, after various experiments in the occult, Michael begins to fear he is indeed possessed by a frightening force.

First time director David Jung takes obvious nods to found footage stalwarts such as "The Blair Witch Project" and the "Paranormal Activity" series, but he packs more than enough jumps and scares into this movie to recommend it, I made the 'mistake' of having the surround sound on, at least half a dozen times Jung had me jumping out of my skin!

A fine raw, creepy horror flick, it's final third is slightly weaker, but it still packs a mean spirited punch through out, and is a very competent debut from the rookie director.

*****

Blended (2014)


Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler have always made a good comedy 'couple' ("The Wedding Singer", "50 First Dates") and here they reunite for the third time again, with director Frank Coraci, so is it any good?

Well yes and no, there's a lot of silliness so prevalent with any Sandler comedy (a Paraglide that goes predictably wrong), a lot of smaltz....buckets of it, but for every misfiring gag there's one just round the corner that hits the funny button (a Monkey 'band' launching into a rendition of 'Careless Whisper' at an opportune moment one of the highlights) and Drew Barrymore is as adorable as ever.

Cheesy as a family pack of Wotsits, a bit of a mess at times, but harmless nonsense.

*****

17/08/2014

Rampage:Capital Punishment (2014)


Director Uwe Boll's 2009 'Rampage' was a 'classic' (I use the word loosely) slice of trash violence, a normal gut decks himself in bullet proof Kevlar and goes on a killing spree, kinda like when you get all the weapons cheats on 'Grand Theft Auto' and see how long you can last before the Cops gun you down, well Boll's back with his bullets and blood for more!

You don't really have to have seen the original flick as there are so many (annoying) flashbacks to remind us that Brendan Fletcher (Bill Williamson) is slightly annoyed with society. Having already killed 100+ civilians and alluded the authorities he's back, this time taking over a TV news station so he can broadcast his message against the Capitalist state, though one of his qualms is gun control in the US, stop blowing so many people away Billy boy, you're not helping those already high death statistics!

Almost as mental as the first movie it doesn't quite hit it predecessor's high's (or should that be lows), but this is still good violent madness for a late night (guilty) viewing pleasure.

*****

Chef (2014)

 
Chef Carl Casper (Jon Favearu) quits his job a top restuarant when he refuses to compromise his creativity, unsure what to do he teams up with his ex Wife Inez (Sofia Vergara) and they set up their own business, a food truck, their own mobile restauarant serving food they love..and soon so do the customers and critics.
 
Both starring and directed by Favearu (who also directed the first two 'Iron Man' movies) Chef is an incredibly enjoyable feel good flick from the first frame with a tasty ensemble cast, just look at the poster, Dustin Hoffman, Scarlett Johansson, John Lequizamo, Oliver Platt and Robert Downey Jnr!!
 
A movie that might not have 'much nutrition' but boy, it's even tastier that the food Carl Casper dishes up, and almost as delighful as waitress Scarlett Johansson serving it up!!
 
*****


09/08/2014

Almost Human (2013)

A man disappears from his home in a brilliant flash of light, his best friend Seth was the last to see him, years later a series of grisly murders make Seth believe his friend Mark is back.

This is pure low budget 80's style straight to video shlock I used to watch late on a Saturday with my mates after a night on the tiles. Cheap and tacky gore, minimal story, a messy mix of Sc-Fi, "The Blob", "Xtro",with an "Evil Dead" style rape and even a 'homage' to "The Shining"!

Cheap, not very cheerful, with a limp ending, and not much to sadly recommend.

*****

08/08/2014

The Sacrament (2014)

Two journalist's travel to an unknown destination with their cameraman friend to document the commune "Eden Parish" that his missing Sister has been living, soon though they uncover a sinister under belly to the so called utopia.

Directed by Ti West (who directed the excellent "House Of The Devil" and "The Innkeepers") this is yes, yet another, found footage horror movie but one with some pedigree and quality. Hard edged, slowly boiling tension, but compelling through out, this is loosely based on the "Jonestown Massacre" of 1978, a commune led by a sinister leaded ("Father") people brainwashed by his religious fever with  a climax shot on video camera's reminiscent of the panic and terror of  the infamous "Cannibal Holocaust".

A gritty, excellent slice of real life horror.

*****

07/08/2014

They Came Together (2014)


Imagine if the people behind say 'Anchorman' and the 'Naked Gun' series made a rom-com, this would be the result. The story is straight forward (well it is a rom-com) recently single  Molly (Amy Poeheler) goes on a blind date with Joel (Paul Rudd) they instantly 'hate' each other, but through thick and thin they eventually fall in love, then break up, hook up with ex's, get engaged.....

Running at just over 80 minutes this movie doesn't over stay it's welcome,  this is a fine, fun, completely off the wall comedy, loads of silly gags, some don't hit the bullseye but you won't have to wait long for another one to be fired at you, charming cast with faces you'll recognize, if not the names (Bill Hader, Ellie Kemper, Ed Helms, Melanie Lynsky, Max Greenfield)) 

Pants title but a charming, dopey and daft fun flick.

*****

06/08/2014

The Love Punch (2014)


Where do I begin.

Richard (Pierce Brosnan) and Kate (Emma Thompson) are a recently divorced couple, their future retirement is put in turmoil when Richrads investment company is defrauded and the pension fund syphoned away, they 'reunite' to hatch a plan to get back their money, though this does involve the theft of a multi-million dollar diamond, oh and kidnapping!

I wasn't expecting much, just a 'Hustle' style comedy, good cast I thought, but this is quite appaling and embarrassing for all concerned. The screenplay is excruciating, like something from the bygone age of Brit TV shows that went onto the big screen in the 1970's, Brosnan and Thompson do have good chemistry but the movie is just so implausible you'll be hoping for a face punch,let alone love, by the end of the movie.

*****



05/08/2014

The Expendables 3 (2014)


Stallone's back as Mercenary Barney, but so is his nemesis, ex-friend, co-founder of The Expendables, but now multi-millionaire arms dealer Conrad Stonebanks (Mel Gibson) and he's out to kill him...again!

He feels his old team are long in the tooth so employs new blood to hunt down Stonebanks, and so commences 2 hours of wise cracking, head cracking, explosions and gun fights with a thread bare plot that numbs the senses, pop out for 5 minutes to get a drink and you won't wonder what you just missed , oh look, something else got blown up! The movie is star studded as usual (how do the producers manage it for such a mediocre franchise...oh yeah, I forgot $$$) Arnie, Han Solo's Dad, Dolph Lungren, umm Wesley Snipes, though whenever Antonio Banderos was on screen all I could picture was 'Puss In Boots'!!

At times the frantic pace of the movie does become slightly tedious, and dare I say dull, but on the whole it's fairly entertaining nonsense with the brain in neutral.

*****

Life After Beth (2014)


Teenager Zach (Dane DeHaan)  is devastated at the sudden death of his girlfriend Beth (Aubrey Plaza) when she is bitten by a snake, but he is given a second chance at love when he discovers she actually isn't dead, Yay! things are great....then Beth begins to act rather strangely....very strangely...

A mad mix of very black comedy and a modern zombie horror flick with an outstanding performance from Aubrey Plaza, as she transforms from innocent teen into the psychotic girlfriend from Hell, well the grave actually. The supporting cast is top notch with John C Reilly, Cheryl Hines ("Curb Your Enthusiasm") and Paul Reiser ("Aliens") as the frantic, confused Parents of the couple.

A frantic, creepy, crazy but very funny horror flick with shades of  small town David Lynch "Twin Peaks" weirdness, recommended.

*****

31/07/2014

Captain America:The Winter Soldier (2014)


2011's "Captain America:The First  Avenger" was an enjoyable romp and an above average addition to the (growing) Marvel comic book movie adaptations, so I was hoping for more of the same, and boy do Directors Anthony and Joe Russo deliver!

This is high octane 'boys own' movie making with an intelligent beating heart, post 9/11 cold warHow do we know who the bad guys are?" "If they start shooting at you they're bad!!", a serious bad ass villain Sebastian Stan as The Winter Soldier, a head cracking machine gun toting cross between Brandon Lee's The Crow and Tom Hardy's Bane!
politics for a plot, a fine cast (Samuel L Jackson, Robert Redford, Scarlett Johansson,Chris Evans), massive all guns blazing action set pieces, a dry sense of humour ("

An excellent  old school action packed story with a dark Political underbelly.

*****

25/07/2014

The Signal (2014)


Three friends on a road trip through the South West of the US take a detour in the hope of tracking a
computer hacker, something very sinister happens, everything goes dark, when one of them, Nic (Brendan Thwaites) wakes he realizes he is in some US government experimental pound and being questioned about things not of this earth.

The obvious comparisons are an episode of "The Twilight Zone" and "X-Files" or the bigger budget "The Mist", but this has just as much intelligence and emotion. An absorbing screenplay, at time's beautifully poetic, fine performance's from the young cast (the only 'big name' being Laurence Fishburne) with a suitable ambitious, head scratching dénouement.

*****