12 Rounds: After accidentally killing a terrorist’s girlfriend the hero cop must save his own Mrs in a game of revenge when the baddie escapes from jail a year later. Before watching this I had the sentence “Cena couldn’t act his way out of a joke shop” already typed up; turns out he’s the best actor in the whole film, which doesn’t say much about anyone else. Aidan Gillen was particularly bad, sounding like Raab Himself doing a Tommy Lee Jones from Blown Away impression. Can’t say a good thing about anyone else, other than they pretty much killed what would have been quite a compelling story. It’s from the director of a Die Hard film and the producer of Speed so it’s all familiar territory: high-octane action, constant peril, tasks, explosions, black cop / white cop and ridiculously aware driving. The 5.1 soundtrack’s worth nothing because each crash will thump you in the chest. With the right actors behind it 12 Rounds could have been more memorable however it’s still a pretty decent balls-to-the-wall action flick, and it doesn’t try to be anything else.
Doberman: follows cops, robbers, bent cops and transvestites entangled in a feud & bank robbery – although there’s only a few minutes spent in the bank. The film has a strange, over-exposed and grainy, look but remains slick and stylish throughout. There’s a ton of hyper violence culminating in the world’s worst facepalm, but it’s all pretty surreal as it’s based on a pulp comic. The script’s just as brutal and not very PC, mainly due to the transvestite / gay / fetish characters and general eccentric stereotypes. Also, what is it with directors treating Monica Belluci so roughly? Unfortunately, it lacks the depth, substance and story of similarly styled Besson / Tarantino films. Definitely a visual treat, but it’s a bit of a no-brainer and stays in-your-face from the very first frame. Style over substance.
Evil Aliens: from the opening abduction scene you know this film’s going to be staple b-movie territory: social stereotypes, urban legend, broken down vehicle, drugs etc… The one thing this film does better than the rest is Gore, by the bucketload. Limbs, blood and guts fly around for the duration and there’s at least a dozen blood-facials – I’ve not seen gore on this scale since Braindead! It looks and feels like a mix between a Welsh Independence Day and a Slipknot music video, yet it’s shot and mixed pretty well. The story oscillates between disturbing and ridiculous, but it’s totally watchable and never makes you cringe, coupled with the gratuitous smattering of babes and it’s a winner. Pretty generic story but it’s saved by the gore and the humour – definitely one of the better B-movies.