Monthly Archives: December 2012

Mother (Eva Green) and son (Matt Smith) get uncomfortably close

This film is very arty. This artiness manifests itself as long lingering shots of clouds, sea and sky and also in long reaction-shots. You don’t just see what happens in a scene – you also see what happens before and after – even if nothing much happens at all. Perhaps all this is to give you extra time is to digest the story which involves Rebecca (Eve Green) giving birth to the clone of her dead boyfriend Tommy (Matt Smith). It’s an interesting idea and inevitably the borders between mother and lover become uncomfortably blurred. I enjoyed the start of this film, found the middle section a little boring, as it seemed to be there just to advance the story but then the final section captured my attention again. I did wonder if Tommy was really worth cloning at times seeing as he had become some kind of low life-protester in his first-life (only being a little judgemental here!) but i could at least see why Rebecca would want to clone him.  6/10  (Please note : this film was originally called Womb but renamed Clone for it’s DVD release)

Eli (Denzel Washington) and Solera (Mila Kunis) are on a mission from God.

Another post-apocalyptic thriller (yawn), this is actually a bit better than your average one but then you’d expect Denzel Washington to read the script before agreeing to take part. It features an interesting idea where all the Bibles in the world have been destroyed. However some of the older people know of it’s power before the apocalypse: Carnegie (Gary Oldman) wants the book so he can use it as a weapon to control the poor and uneducated, and relentlessly pursues Eli (Denzel Washington) who is trying to carry the book to a place where it can be used to help people. It’s good because it gives you an opportunity to come down on either side – is religion a way to control the masses? or something good that gives everyone strength? It doesn’t feel like a great film, and the revelation at the end didn’t work for me at all, but it’s not bad 5/10

Unfortunately Shallow Hal is weighted on the non-funny side

This film makes me realise how hard it is to love fat people – especially ones who are full of self-pity, and who will tell you they don’t want to be fat while simultaneously stuffing a chicken leg into their mouth. Jack Black is shallow Hal who judges women solely on their looks but after he is hypnotised he sees them by their inner beauty instead. Unable to believe his luck he finds himself dating a woman who he sees as Gwyneth Paltrow – but in reality is a 23-stone monster version of Gwyneth Paltrow.  It’s not really funny so you end up watching it mainly for the story but like fat-people have been known to hide TV-remotes in their layers of flab this film does hide a couple of funny moments within it’s bulk.  A slightly below average 4/10

The film has a good soundtrack but strangely doesn’t feature ‘Jennifer’s Body’ by Hole…

1st Surprise: a film about a demonically possessed cheerleader is actually good. 2nd Surprise: for anyone who has seen the Transformers films, is that Megan Fox *can* act. This film really reminded me of The Lost Boys, just in the way it feels. It also features a similar kind of mild horror and comedy. However neither film is really about the horror you see on screen. The Lost Boys was about the fear of being new and trying to fit in and here it’s about the intensity of friendship, and the fear of being unable to control your desires. When you enjoy a film it’s hard to criticize it but I did find it strange that Jennifer (Megan Fox) didn’t try to slaughter the band who turned her into a demon in the first place. A special mention should go to Amanda Seyfried who ably plays Jennifer’s best friend Needy, and who actually has the more prominent role.  8/10

Dean Cain added 1 to the review score

I do watch MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) but if it wasn’t for that I would have stopped watching this after the first 10 minutes. Normally when you talk about bad-acting you mean the performances are slightly wooden or unbelievable but this film takes bad-acting to a whole new level. It sounds like lead ‘actor’ Tony Schiena is putting on a fake voice the whole film and his on-screen wife (Shannon Lepard) adds to the hilarity with some class-A bad acting of her own. As for the film – think Rocky 4 but with MMA replacing the boxing, but include in that (much) worse fight scenes and dull training sequences. A terrible film. The circle of blame starts here… 1/10

This is a good film. Adapted from a Kazuo Ishiguro novel, it has the kind of depressing atmosphere you would only find in a British film – here taken to an extreme. The film is grey and bleak not just in tone but in appearance too. The quality of acting is very high with Andrew Garfield (The Social Network, Spiderman) and Carey Mulligan (previously seen in Wall Street 2) particularly standing out. It tells the story of clone-children who have been created and brought up solely so that their internal organs can be used to keep normal people alive. However these ‘clones’ act and feel just like normal people, they share the same loves, desires and aspirations. This film disturbed me a little because I am not a big fan of hospitals and the thought of gradually losing your internal organs and trying to keep living was not a pleasant one. Imagining that and the fact that the clones have been brought up to see this as normal – they don’t try to escape – it doesn’t make you feel good. Overall well-acted, very depressing , but it will stay with you. 7/10

Ken shows that his physique isn’t just down to plastic-moulding

A sequel and a whole lot of other formulaic CGI films have dulled my appetite for films like this. Having said that Toy Story still has a lot of charm. After a slightly dull opening the film gets going when the toys find themselves sent as donations to Sunnycare Daycare. Ruled over by Lotso Bear,  initially it seems paradisiacal but things aren’t what they seem and the toys set out to escape and find their way back to their owner Andy.  However even if they get back, will he want them? Lotso is particularly sinister at times, and his henchman Big Baby can be terrifying, but it’s Ken (as in Barbie and Ken)  who is the stand-out character. He is portrayed as extremely metrosexual (read borderline gay), and provides most of the genuine laughs here. In classic Toy Story-style this film tries a number of tricks to get its emotional hooks into you, but for me it never really succeeded. Occasionally great, sometimes fun but it can also be overly manic, or even worse a bit dull at times. 6/10 (add a point if you are under 16)

The problem with this film is that it tries to be a straight out action film *and* a film with emotional depth. By aiming to be both it succeeds at neither and ends up in a confusing middle ground. The Rock (Dwayne Johnson) is ok and his stony personality suits that of his character – an ex-con on a mission to avenge his brother’s death. The bumbling British hitman however is less welcome, his personality apparently only chosen so you will empathise with him and his wife – you don’t.

It’s watchable because of the action and (surprisingly) for it’s weird attempts at emotional depth, which make it seem quirky at times. It also deserves credit for at least trying to paint it’s characters in shades-of-grey rather than black and white. A failure then but an interesting one… 5/10

Effectively a Zombie Apocalypse movie but with vampires replacing the zombies. Well-acted and interesting. The film follows freshly orphaned Martin and his protector ‘Mister’ on their quest to reach the safe haven of ‘New Eden’. Good though it is, the film needs a finale to lift the final-third. It gets one, but sadly it is unbelievable and doesn’t fit with the sombre realism that went before. Good though. A solid 7/10