quick movie review catch-up

Posted on March 5, 2012


There have been a shed load of movies recently that I’ve watched that I haven’t had time to review. So, while I’m laid up after a knee op I thought I’d play catch-up. There are far too many for me to be bothered going into great detail in their own dedicated posts, so here’s a list of my recent viewings and a few sentences to either recommend or decry them.

Tower Heist – a close return to form for Eddie Murphy and Matthew Broderick is wonderful as the middle aged accountant, but aside form that a fairly standard heist movie with a few good laughs.

Cowboys and Aliens – yeehaw! What male has never wanted to see these thrown together on the big screen – and in fine fashion. Daniel Craig is on fine form, Olivia Wilde is darn tootin’, Paul Dano is enjoyable to watch but it’s Harrison Ford as the rugged old cowboy who steals it for me. Fun Fun Fun.

Captain America: The First Avenger – As far as superhero movies go this is by no means the worst. Chris Evans does a fair job as the weakling turned beefcake, and Hugo Weaving likewise as naziesque Red Skull with a penchant for WMDs. You never get to find out much about anything that’s happening… but the production values are high and it looks good. So if you like empty hero films with a message so sanitised it’s nonexistent – then look no further.

Horrible Bosses – If there’s one thing I dislike, it’s writers of comedies that assume that simply by making their script crass and foulmouthed they can get some laughs, and therefore rest at ease that they have been successful in their venture. Unfortunately it doesn’t wash with me. I personally like my comedies to actually be worth laughing at. Colin Farrell’s slimy character is the only thing about this movie that raised a smile from me. Give this one a miss.

Gamer – Oh dear… where do I start. Acting, story, script, depiction of gamers and women, direction, in fact just about everything sucks about this movie.

Thor – THIS is how a Hollywood blockbuster should be done. Branagh’s brilliance as a director shows in every frame of this baby. It’s right up there with Chris Nolan’s Batman, the Hellboy movies and even Iron Man. What makes the movie truly great though is Chris Hemsworth’s portrayal of the mythical god so egotistical, that it’s not until he falls from grace that he finds out how someone revered as a god should really conduct himself. Anthony Hopkins is fantastic as Odin and owns the screen. It’s big, bold and fun.

In Time – Oh great, another film with a guy running around with a beautiful woman in tow! In the future everyone lives until they’re 25, and then has one extra year, where time is money – literally. You pay for everything by sticking out your forearm, flashing your green clock. When you run out of time – you run out of life. Pretty cool idea. Unfortunately what works as a cool idea results in a dull movie.

I Am Number Four – Too much of a teen soap for my liking. I don’t get them any more, I’m an old man. I haven’t even seen Twilight… even the thought of having to watch those movies makes me be a bit sick in my mouth!

The Green Lantern – More effects heavy that Captain America, most of the time it’s like watching the cut-scenes from a video game. But hey – at least this has a decent villain.

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy – A wonderful thriller that’s not big on thrills. TTSS is an intelligent, gripping killer of a spy movie that’s the complete antithesis of your usual Blockbuster spy movie. There are none of the explosions and stunts that you’ll find in the Mission Impossible or Bond movies. This is weary, life-drained, raincoat wearing, bespectacled spies. Oldman’s best movie role of his career. Understated but brilliant. If you love movies – you have to see this.

Attack the Block – A great little Brit-Scifi movie. Aliens crash to earth – not in America as they usually do – but into the middle of a London hi-rise community. A group of hoodie-wearing teens [and pre-teens] set about laying into them and protecting what they call home. Great aliens, funny clever dialogue.

The Three Musketeers – Another remake? The director is Paul W.S. Anderson [AVP, Resident Evil, Death Race… yes THAT Anderson!] that should tell you all you need to know. He has successfully transformed T3Ms into an empty, noisy, steampunk headache of a movie *yawn*. I can only assume that neither Anderson nor his team have ever read the original story, but I’m sure there were no airships loaded with cannons and flamethrowers! No swashes being buckled here. Even James Corden as a their servant is painfully unfunny! Disgraceful.

Departures – Departures is one of those rare movies that you want to thank the Lord for. I didn’t want it to end! It’s full of meaning, it’s mesmerising, it’s beautiful, it’s poignant, it’s funny. The story revolves around a guy who looses his job as a cellist, and takes on a new one which involves caring for the recently departed. It won the Oscar for Best Foreign Movie in 2008, and you can see why. While the viewer might not share the beliefs of those portrayed in this movie – you will definitely be swept away by the beauty.

The Smurfs – Witness the death of the Smurfs. Nuff said.

Dolphin Tale – For a movie that could have been horribly cheesy, this is actually pretty well done. It probably helps having Morgan Freeman as an inventor/scientist. It’s the tale of a dolphin called Winter who’s tail is damaged when it gets washed up on a beach. The tail needs amputating and it becomes the goal of young Sawyer to find a way to keep his fishy friend alive. It’s an inspiring story about overcoming disability. A sweet inspirational family movie.

Astro Boy – Basically Pinocchio for the new generation! When a genius scientist’s young son gets killed, he builds a duplicate robot boy [complete with boosters and guns] to replace him. It’s a great way to spend a few hours – loads of fun. Kept my kids glued for its entire running time.

So there you go, a few tasty morsels and a few bad eggs. Take your pick.

…and I’ve just thought of a few more that I forgot! Oh man!


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