Category: Movies & TV


Men In Black 3

 

Went to see this the other night, been a while since the first two were released and poor old Tommy Lee Jones is getting on a bit. He still plays the character well but through necessities of the story he doesn’t feature as much as in the previous two movies. Josh Brolin, a guy I have liked ever since ‘No Country For Old Men’, steps in to play the younger version of Tommies character and is surprisingly good, capturing his mannerisms perfectly.

Will Smith is his usual self, funny and serious with equal style, I didn’t find the character of Boris “the animal” to be particularly memorable to be honest. Typically MiB movies have some interesting alien bad guys but this one seemed to be rather lacking aside from his little hand alien. Also the fact Emma Thompson is in this movie seems an odd one, given the amount of screen time she gets compared to her obvious talents it seems a strange decision all round. Perhaps there are plans for her to reprise the role in sequels because I felt “Agent O” could have been anybody.

The storyline is decent, the whole time travel theme could have been weak but the dialogue and pace keep the jokes coming between the action perfectly. There is some reference to racism in the time period but it’s kept mild and entertaining, it feels like the franchise never went away and I suppose that is the biggest compliment you can give it, considering there was over a decade between MiB2 and MiB3.

It’s a Good movie, worth watching if you enjoyed either of the originals.

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So I have been watching quite a few US tv series lately, I think they’re all really great and by extension, that means you should too. On the off-chance that you haven’t heard of any of them or that you would like some of their greatness to rub off on you, I thought I’d let ya know what they are.

 

Walking Dead Series 2: It’s a tv show based on some comic book series I never heard of, a group of survivors after a zombiepocalypse happens go through various struggles while killing lots of zombies. Ok this may be a hard sell lately with so many zombie themed video games and a not too shabby series of zombie movies to experience, however the stories in the show and the characters are very engaging and the budget is good enough to sell the quality of the setting. The second series is about to finish and at twice as many episodes as the first series, it still manages to be not long enough! A violent show but fairly tame on the sex side.

Spartacus series 3: This series is in its third instalment after taking a minibreak while its main star sadly succumbed to Lymphoma after the end of the first. The second series “gods of the arena” was a flashback, using some of the same actors and showing the story of a gladiator who won his freedom. The third series, resumes the story from the first, with a new lead actor playing the role of Spartacus, but don’t let that put you off, he’s doing a fine job. This series features a lot of nudity and sex aswell as some horrific violence, so if you’re afraid of penis or gore, don’t watch this.

Clone Wars Series 4:  Still doing well in its fourth series, at the beginning of series three, things seemed to take a slightly darker, less “good guys always win” approach but sadly they didn’t stick with that and to the end of that series things lightened up. The fourth series treads more middle ground, showing a bit more evil while never quite letting the bad guys succeed. I like it best when it focuses less on Anakin and Ashoka but that’s just me. This series is light on visible violence and most death happens off-screen, no gore or sex.

Fringe Series 4: Sadly it seems this series may be over soon, it’s up in the air if a fifth series will happen however I personally find the twisting, multi layered worlds and plots intriguing. It is a lot like X-files, without the ridiculous sceptic who is proved wrong every episode unyet remains skeptic at the beginning of each new one. Be warned, because of the complexity of the plot, it’s not so easy to just pick up mid-season, there are many worlds overlapping using the same characters and this might be confusing for newcomers. if you’re gonna watch this, I recommend starting from the beginning. Some gore but nothing too graphic, no sex.

Game of Thrones Series 2: ok….I admit, this hasn’t started yet, but after the first series, you have to watch this. Plenty of graphic violence, gore and sex.

Conan Movie

 

I watched the new Conan movie yesterday, the one with the guy from TV shows Stargate Atlantis and Game Of Thrones (Jason Momoa). Having grown up seeing Schwartzy in the original movies I was a bit skeptical but to be honest I think Jason worked ok as Conan.  Arnold was never that great as an actor but eating far too much chicken and living in a Gym most of his adult life definitely sold him as a muscle-bound barbarian. While Jason isn’t quite as bulky he is big enough to make his upbringing and slightly feral background believable….if a little weird seeing him without a beard!

The story centers around a bad guy trying to collect pieces of a spooky mask which was shattered by barbarian tribes and each one took a piece and hid it away. He then wants to capture the last of an ancient bloodline and use her body to resurrect his burned at the stake, sorceress wife. The movie begins with Conan being born near the end of a bloody battle, the scene of his dying mother demanding to see her child is suitably brutal as the father (Ron Perlman) cuts Conan from her womb.

While the costumes and setting feel like Conan, it drifts from scene to scene without much impact from any one part, I found the attraction and subsequent love scene between Conan and the recently rescued priestess to be a little contrived and they shared little dialogue or moments of a relationship that would appear to have suggested such feeling.

Likewise the insertion of the thief into the storyline as a friend of Conans didn’t really work for me, it seemed, again forced and they had little dialogue before he was called upon to repay his life debt to Conan….we’re talking a thief here, a character with low moral standards feeling honor bound to help a guy he spent 2 minutes talking to earlier in the movie. I think it could have used some promise of riches or payment to help that idea along.

Also the very end seemed a little rushed, what happened after the final battle was almost a footnote in the script which seemed to just want to get it over with and roll credits. I think I prefered the older Arnold movies to be honest, even with his acting limits Arnold seemed to have a rapport with his companions that sold the relationships. The new movie, like so many remakes, lacked the character of the original and when compared, feels inferior.

Drive

Drive is a movie quite different to what I was expecting. Watching the trailer on tv and given the title, it suggests the movie is a car movie, or maybe a road movie but really its more of a stylish, crime/romance noir.

There are some car scenes in the movie but really the cars are neither spotlighted or particularly worth watching the movie for. The whole cinematic experience is more undertone, dark, violent and tragic.

I really enjoyed this movie but not for the reasons I thought I would. It’s slow pace might throw you off if you’re expecting otherwise but the action builds in a strangely subtle way, never quite rising above the moody music and powerful moments of unspoken dialogue, which leaves some thick atmosphere to feel rather than hear.

 

 

Columbiana

Columbiana is a movie about a young Columbian girl who witnesses her parents being killed by some drug lord associates. Vowing revenge on the man responsible, she escapes to America where she finds her uncle who takes her in and looks after her. As she grows up she learns her father’s trade and becomes an assassin, making hits her uncle arranges, all the time leaving a special flower symbol on her marks in an effort to flush out the drug lord who has since gone into hiding, protected by some elements of the CIA.

It takes a bit of a leap of imagination that a woman so slight of build could have any real physical impact on some of the men she takes down but its all good fun if you can buy that. I did question the logic of one moment during her prison room assassination where having stealthy broke out of her cell, crawled all the way to her targets location undetected she then decides to fire a gun in the middle of a police precinct but I suppose what happens after helps add some tension to the scene as a result….still, for an assassin known as a “ghost” firing a gun in a police prison seems a little contradictory.

There is a love interest in the movie but it’s never really worked on, typical hollywood nonsense that the movie requires a love interest and then doesn’t bother doing anything really meaningful with it. When I was watching the movie I didn’t recognise the actress Zoe Saldana as Cataleya at all but looking at her IMDB page she’s been in quite a few movies I’ve watched so I was quite surprised. I think this movie is definitely worth watching, while it has many traditional aspects of action movies there is enough of a twist and grittiness to it to keep it fresh and engaging.

 

Super 8

I went to watch Super 8 a couple of days ago, a new film by Steven Spielberg & JJ Abrams. The story is about a group of school children who are amateur film makers. One evening they sneak out of their small town to shoot a scene for their movie and end up witnessing a mysterious US Air Force train derailed by a truck driving along the tracks, which they later discover is driven by one of their school teachers.

The US Air Force descends upon the area cordoning the crash site off and generally acting all official and mysterious with the towns residents. Meanwhile the children try to work the train crash into their movie after discovering it was captured on their film camera along with something altogether more disturbing, escaping from one of the train carriages after the crash.

I didn’t really enjoy this movie, I think perhaps I was hoping for a little more science fiction and more of the creature to be explained but it seems the story only wants to focus on one of the children and how he lost his mother at the beginning of the film. I really want to say it’s like E.T. but I won’t….since I haven’t ever watched that movie to its conclusion, the themes are similar.

It did feel like the escaped creature and the reason it was in the movie was an afterthought and that the train crashing itself was more significant than any impact the creature had. The children played their parts well and there are some emotional moments with the boy losing his mother worked into the relationship between him, his father, the girl he likes and the father of the girl, who, through a strange twist of fate, was responsible for his mother’s death.

Not really Spielberg or Abrams best work and definitely disappointing if you are going into it more interested in the story of the creature and not the children making the home movie.