Night Watch, Nochnoy dozor, Timur Bekmambetov, Konstantin Khabenskiy, Vladimir Menshov, Valeriy Zolotukhin, Mariya Poroshina, Galina Tyunina, Yuriy Kutsenko, Aleksey Chadov, Zhanna Friske, Ilya Lagutenko, Viktor Verzhbitskiy

Night Watch (Ночной дозор): after a truce that has lasted for centuries, tensions between Russia’s light and dark sides come to a head when the most powerful ‘Other’ has to choose which side to join. This is an ultra-styalised, almost indie-spirited blockbuster that combines multiple sci-fi/fantasy genres and glues them together with a large dose of Russian folklore. It’s filmed with an impressive style; the colours are bold and bright, the cinematography is striking, the camera work is technically sound, and the editing is fast and exciting… The most impressive aspect of this is that it was made for $4.2M despite being CGI heavy, and looks better than most $100M pictures. Good vs Bad, Light Vs Dark – it’s just a shame that the story is nothing to shout about. Overall, this is a solid pre-twilight vampire film that’s less about the emotional complexities of being a vamp, and more about utilising their superpowers to create exciting action set pieces. Night Watch is totally watchable, entertaining, and big/loud/shiny enough to help you forget that the story is actually a bit pants.

Score: 7/10

New mini-feature about the great use of great songs to make a great scene even better.

Breaking Bad Series Bryan Cranston, Walter White, Anna Gunn, Aaron Paul, Jesse Pinkman, Dean Norris, Hank, Betsy Brandt, RJ Mitte, Danny Trejo

 

Song: “Rocket Scientist” by Swedish electro group The Teddybears.

Show: Breaking Bad

Scene: Jessie, Badger and Skinny Pete are spending all of Walter’s savings on strippers, champagne and drugs instead of an RV for cooking meth. They’ve never partied like this before, and don’t really know whento stop, as the damming polaroids show.

Why it’s awesome: it’s simply a great party song that makes the on-screen antics seem even more decadent. A mix of fat and fuzzy bass & guitar riff, with crisp and clean electronic drums, synthesized vocals and lots of pop-hook lyrics that jump straight into your head. Short of Party Hard by Andrew WK, it’s a song I’d like to be used to soundtrack my boozy antics.

 

 

It also appeared in The Good Wife, when Grace is filming her tutor dancing on a train. And the Seven Psychopaths trailer.

FCDxxx SurfNazis_DVD.inddSurf Nazis Must Die: after an earthquake lays California to waste its beaches become overrun by feuding surfer factions; the meanest of which are the surf Nazis – but when they kill the wrong man, his grandmother wages a one-OAP-War against the them. If you think that plot sounds terrible, wait ‘til you see the film. Several scenes try to live up to the title by attempting to be outrageous – flippant racism and the single most gratuitous softcore boobs in B movie history – but it comes across as lazy. This is absolutely crammed with bad script, bad acting, bad editing, bad plot, bad ‘action’, and completely devoid of gore… congratulations, you’ve taken all of the elements of a classic B/Cult movie, yet made something that barely qualifies as watchable. For an 83 minute film, at least 20 mins could be cut and not affect the ‘story’. It also looks and feels like it was made for $50. My biggest question is that when the Nazis can dispose of gangs of badass bikers, agile Parkour, Deadly Ninjas and Speedy Skaters – yet they struggle with one vigilante granny?!!? Given the reputation and notoriety of a 28-year old B-Movie that’s stuck around for the duration, I was expecting so much more. Goes to show how much a wild title and sweet poster can do for a movie. A terrible, lazy, attempt at shoxploitation; where the only shock is how it even got a release.

Score: 1/10

You should not be allowed to make shit films with such awesome titles!

 

Horrible Bosses 2 Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, Jason Sudeikis, Jennifer Aniston, Jamie Foxx, Chris Pine, Christoph Waltz, Kevin Spacey, Jonathan Banks, Lindsay Sloane

Horrible Bosses 2: after the zany hijinx of trying to knock off their bosses, the gang try to start their own business to be their own bosses; even more hijinx ensues!!!lol!1! Most scenes seem to be the three central characters shouting over each other, becoming an incoherent babble of noise, with the odd silence for a scripted ‘funny’ to become audible. Spacey, Foxx, Waltz, Aniston, Pine – there’s some pretty big names in here; surprisingly big given the gutter level humour – so it goes without saying that nobody’s really putting that much effort in (Maybe just Pine?). Despite the lazy premise, inaudible din, and coasting cast I did still laugh, more than I thought I would – although it’s obviously because I’m a bad person that finds crass / inappropriate / shock value moments funny (there’s not a whole lot else in there that tickles the funny boner.). Literally identical write-up but overall marginally less impressive than the original in every way.

Score: 6.5/10

The Purge Film Movie Ethan Hawke, Lena Headey, Adelaide Kane, Max Burkholder, Edwin Hodge, Rhys Wakefield, Tony Oller, Arija Bareikis, Chris Mulkey, Karen Strassman, John Weselcouch

The Purge: In the near future crime and unemployment are at an all-time low, thanks to the purge – 12 hours every year where all crime is legal. I loves me a good old B-Movie, and this film has it all: a strong single-concept, near-future dystopia, home invasion / terror flick. It’s 80 minutes long, and could have even cut a bit more out of the setup. There’s’ action. There’s some gore. The baddies are sufficiently scary, whilst remaining authentically ‘Kids next door’. Best of all, there’s a serious social commentary that runs through the entire movie; that makes you think about what you’d be doing in this family’s shoes. In fact, the only thing that bugged me about this was that the son was such a complete idiot-hole moron assface – who continually did the most stupid things for no reason (although it did conveniently push the plot along). The Purge is the kind of film that if you don’t buy into the conceit, you’ll completely hate it. I bought into it, and loved every minute of it.

Score: 8.5/10

The Purge Film Movie Poster Ethan Hawke, Lena Headey, Adelaide Kane, Max Burkholder, Edwin Hodge, Rhys Wakefield, Tony Oller, Arija Bareikis, Chris Mulkey, Karen Strassman, John Weselcouch

The only two rules of Purge Club

  • No government official holding Rank 10 or higher is to be murdered, harmed, have harm caused to them, or in any event brought to harm in any case.
  • Weapons above Class 4 are forbidden, meaning that destructive devices (rocket launchers, grenades, bombs or missiles) and explosive materials are excluded from The Purge.

false trail

False Trail (Jägarna 2): a seasoned detective is asked to return to his hometown to solve a brutal murder. This is as (stereo)typically Scandinavian as anything that’s been released in recent years: it’s grim, the colour pallet is bleak, and the majority of the runtime is bubbling broodiness. There’s a couple of heavyweight actors (Lassgard and Stormare, who is appearing in everything I watch just now) in the leading roles, which gives the story some more levity. The plot is fascinating to watch, as it slowly unwraps for most of the entire duration, heading towards a dramatic finale. I was surprised to learn that this was a sequel, as it works on its own, but would have contextualised a couple of flashbacks. Solidly Scandinavian police procedural.

Score: 7/10

New mini-feature about the great use of great songs to make a great scene even better.

Party Down Season 1 Adam Scott Ken Marino Lizzy Caplan Ryan Hansen Martin Starr Jane Lynch ennifer Coolidge Ken Jeong Kristen BellSong: “Wrong” by LA Glam Rockers TSAR.

Show: Party Down

Scene: a rich but unpopular girl has been thrown a huge party on a boat; none of the cool kids show up, but when this song goes on all of the misfits – including the Party Down staff – rock out on the dancefloor.

Why it’s awesome: the arc of the song is great – starts off slow and controlled and slowly builds up to a hyper-emotional, multi-layered rock frenzy. Few songs would have worked as well as this.

This scene was so uplifting that (thanks to Shazam!) I got that single; loved it so much that I got the Band.Girls.Money album; then TSAR’s first album too. Great band for those that like their rook loaded with catchy pop hooks.

Remember that awesomely catchy theme for the film Super? That was them too.

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