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Here’s a bunch of films that I saw last year but can’t be assed didn’t get round to properly writing up. Opinions welcome in the comments. Enjoy.

Hunger Games: Catching Fire

  • Classic ‘middle movie’.
  • Set up is pretty much the same as before – twist, forced back in to games
  • Games are decent, but again, PG – toned down – action.
  • Seymour-Hoffman gobbling down scenery as a baddie
  • So long for what little new stuff is shown
  • Infuriatingly bogus non-ending – just as it gets interesting
  • Bad news that 3rd movie has been split in two… lame money-grabbing.
  • PEEEETTAAAHHHHH!!!!

Score: 4/10

TAGS: PETAH!, PEEETAH!, PEEEEEEETAAAAHHHH!, PPEEEEEEEEETTTTAAAAAHHHHHH!, PEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEETTTTTAAAAAHHHHHH!

Parker

  • Jason Statham doing another slightly-better-than-average Jason Statham type action movie.
  • Felt like one big excuse to get J-Lo down to her pants. I’m sure there’s a quicker, cheaper way somewhere…
  • Statham fucking loves playing guys with a code. He’s totes de-throning Segal as ‘King of Codes’.
  • Action’s good – but there’s pretty much nothing new on the table.

Score: 6/10

TAGS: That-film-where-Jason-Statham-has-a-moral-code-and-plays-a-balding-athletic-guy-in-a-suit-without-a-tie-that-gets-into-bother-with-loads-oft-ough-guys. Bad accents.

Tue Blood (Season 1):

  • Over-sexed, trashy vampire-fantasy soft-porn for soccer moms.
  • Izzie Caplin… such love. so wow.
  • Sex, nudity, promiscuity, forbidden pleasures, lust, banging
  • Feels like the female equivalent of Spartacus: blood and tits… sand.
  • Even a junkie / addict is glamoured up: it’s all about drinking sexy red blood, not taking filthy drugs.
  • Too much chat about inner-demons that gets a bit boring.

Score: 7/10

TAGS: Dick Gout, Fangtasia, Cleavage, Tits, Masturbation, Tru Blood, O-Negative, Spontaneous Combustion, Aids Burger, Glamour, Fangbanger, Blood Fountain, Blood Fetish, Gore, Virtual Golf, Vampire Tribunal, Dean the Dog, Shapeshifter, Puke,

How I spent my summer vacation 

  • Bit of a strange film – starts off quirky crime but soon descends in to a sloppy, stereotype-ridden borderline tasteless / racist (That’s our Mel!) Latino Jail
  • Post-Prison-break S3 lawless prison scenario – fairly ridiculous.
  • Good action though

Score: 4/10

Community (Season 2)

  • KFC Space Rescue, zombies are among a few truly standout episodes – writing isn’t nearly as good as Season 1.
  • Feels clunkier and more sporadic / parody based – silly and ridiculous stories replacing observational college humour.
  • Stop-motion Christmas is absolutely terrible, but the D&D episode is absolutely fantastic.
  • Pierce & Chang become runaway cast members

Score: 6/10

TAGS: Toto Africa, Chloroform, level 5 laser lotus, Oil Wrestling, Chick Fight, KFC, Butt Flag, E pluribus anus, ABBA, Zombies, Trampoline, Pen Episode, Annie’s Bobs, Professor Professorson, diorama, cave of frozen memories, my dinner with andre, fat neil, pulp fiction party, Paintball, Chang puns.

Bourne Legacy

  • Very slow start,
  • Good action throughout although Greengrass imitation cam style was bamboozling to watch
  • Renner’s good, but doesn’t have much character or backstory to play with, and he’s only ever really looking to get his pills.
  • Basically a glorified drugs / heist movie

Score: 5/10

TAGS: Pharmaceuticals, Drone Strike, Drugs, Etching, Wood Release, 

World War Z:

  • There are things to loathe: Pepsi product placement, the fact that a male model is the main star, and yes – Piers Morgan even shows up (making the zombie apocalypse a bit more appealing).
  • Bottom line, this is a Zombie movie that’s targeted at the mainstream; leaving a lot of the essential zombie elements on the cutting room floor.
  • Follows a ‘diet zombie film’ formula
  • Not quite World War Zzzzzz

Score: 6/10

War Horse

  • Everyone from Devon looks/talks/acts like simpletons: a very American portrayal of rural England…
  • Acting in general is Sunday afternoon TV stuff, with a few good actors plopped in for some reason.
  • The humans are out-acted by horses in most scenes… Hiddleston is about the only decent performance.
  • First hour drags, second hour distracts, last 20 mins pulls at your heart.
  • Music’s as important as the acting to lead you through the film,
  • Random comedy goose
  • Lingers too long in parts,
  • Hammy, over-sentimental cheese.

Score: 5/10

TAGS: Was it amazing? Neeeiiiggghhhh

Anything For Her

  • Having seen the re-make first, there’s things I prefer about each film. The cast in the original come up trumps but I would argue that there’s far more tension in the final act (escape) in the re-make, as they rush through a series of pre-identified zones.
  • being set in France – in the EU – where free travel is permitted, kills all of the post-escape tension…

Score: 4/10

TransSiberian:

  • Bleak colour scheme
  • Woody is so unlikeable in this – American abroad.
  • Story starts off great but becomes too convenient and even after a decent twist the final act is absolutely ridiculous.
  • Strong cast: Acting’s solid – Kingsley is a half-believable Rusky, the Chick’s good too.

Score: 6/10

TAGS: Babushka Dolls, Heroin, Head…ouch, Headshot, Bad Policing, Lying, Photography, Everyone Smokes…, odka, Buttocks

Invictus

  • Freeman sounds like he’s doing a Kim Jong Il Team America impression, far too Asian.
  • Undecided: semi sports film, semi political film, semi biopic… never really knows what it is.
  • Sentimental cheese-fest: slow pans, slow zooms, slow fades, slow motion, light piano accompaniment.
  • Don’t know if it was unintentional but the story bounces along as unevenly as a football would, here, there, and everywhere.
  • No proper complication, or ‘against the odds’ as you expect from the sporty element.
  • Rose-tinted

Score: 4/10

TAGS: Johna Lumu, Olé, Sunglasses, Smile, Springbucks, Go Chester, Rugby World Cup.

Moon

  • Rockwell’s amazing,
  • Cracking concept, very well executed.
  • Kevin Spacey is a camp robot (like 2001)
  • First 30 minutes are a bit proper WTF but make far more sense the second time round.
  • Because of character and visual similarities this is always going to be compared to 2001, and while it owes much to the original, I feel that it far surpasses it.

Score: 7/10

TAGS: Tambourine, Blood!!!, Buttocks, Speedball, Plants, Ping Pong, Carvings, Camp robots, Space, Moon,

The Kingdom:

  • First 75% is a regular enough Army / Political procedural investigation, which makes the final 25% pure raw action movie feel quite welcome.
  • Graphic and no-holds barred look at terrorism

Score: 7.5/10


Todd Margaret (Season 2):

  • Totally offensive, but very funny
  • Not much more to say!

Score: 7/10

TAGS: Substantial Todd Margaret, Le Molecule, Ghost, Young and not Legal, Eyebrows, Pank, Poo and a Wank, Rugby, Leeds, Acute penis envy, reverse Othello, self help CD, fart ring tone, Princess Diana grave, Pedophile wing, Steve Davis,

The Road

  • Grim
  • Depressing
  • Nihilistic
  • Viggo’s on good form, and out of nowhere… BOOM – more of Viggo’s ass on screen, twice. I’ve seen this enough times in my life now, thanks
  • Bleak
  • Somber
  • Grave
  • Melancholy
  • Religious overtones,
  • very, very vague story, plot and backstory – pretty much just ‘survival’
  • Didn’t really see the point of the film…
  • Product placement extravaganza (not much else that could fund it though) Coca Cola, Heinz, Del Monte… ironically makes me sick
  • The savage, omnipresent bleakness dominates the film, to the point where I didn’t care for the characters, as there was almost no focus on them
  • Picture was decent, but very gray and washed out. Sound mix was booming.

Score: 3/10

TAGS: Buttocks, dirty water, Annoying Son, OMAR!!!, Arrows, Legshot!, Coughing, Coca Cola, Del Monte, Cannibalism, Self Surgery, Headshot!, Papa, Dirty, Need a wash.

Valley of Elah:

  • Definitely has more of a TV feel with it’s very slow/steady pace that never shifts up – and more generally an overall lack of any remote cinematic feeling.
  • Very much an actors film, with a lot of serious acting to be had – and everyone doing well to keep up with Tommy and Charlie
  • TLJ is on fire… I love this guy!
  • Another one of the modern anti ‘war film’, focused around the army, and the effect of was on troops back home.

Score: 6.5/10

TAGS: Tits, buttocks, pantyhose, Jim beam, photos, pickup truck, flags, chicken, body parts, blue car, Iraq.

The Prestige

  • Bad film to be cast a bird.
  • Michael Cain – can’t stand him in most movies; he’s the most one-dimensional character actor in history
  • Very poor timeline at the beginning that only becomes apparent towards the end (for first time viewers)
  • Great atmospheric score, long deep notes that resonate through entire scenes.
  • Slow, slow burner
  • Not unlike any of the tricks in the movie, the film follows the same formula. Pledge; two magicians trying to out do each other. Turn; you see their various ways of doing so. Prestige; the big reveal.
  • For all the film’s weaknesses the reveal at the end is outstanding.
  • BD presentation is great – the sound of Tesla’s machines bouncing ’round the speakers never gets old.

Score: 5.5/10

TAGS: Bird Fail, Lightbulb Field, Crazy Science, beards, electricity, fingers… ouch!

Lawless

  • Tried hard enough, but just wasn’t engaging or hooking in
  • Like cramming a full series of Boardwalk Empire into 1 movie.
  • Biggest flaw was having not enough Gary Oldman and least famous brother, and too much Shya Le Bowf / Tom Hardy (who is good, but has a ridiculous voice… again)

Score: 5.5/10

The Shield (Season 1)

  • Strike team.
  • Very interesting premise – following a corrupt cop and his equally questionable team.
  • Main character is a total choad – more of a villain that a hero, but is humanised through some forced heroics and personal stories. By the end, Vic walks such a fine line between supercop and super-criminal that you have to make your own mind up.
  • Lots of macho “stay out of my way” / “I get results” generic 80s cop-chat.
  • Terrible music – bad nu-metal tracks with laughably literal lyrics.
  • Doesn’t beat around the bush with crime scenes: sex club, motherhood, police ambushes,
  • Stories started in first few episodes picked up at the end of season.
  • Cops Vs Cops. Cops Vs bad guys. Cops vs the public
  • Stylish, kinetic, aggressive.

Score: 7.5/10

TAGS: Hit and run, shit drawer, spunk, gay cop, delicious feet, strippers, hookers, hoe shoe, blanket party, the nation, cockfights, cop killers.

The Quiet Family:

  • Gallows / graveyard humour
  • Showed some promise, but felt quite stagey and under-developed
  • Disappointing giving director

Score: 5/10

TAGS: Misty Lodge, Shovel, Humping, Phone Sex, Upskirt, Cukoo Clock, The Stray Cats,

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Evidence: while shooting a documentary four young campers find themselves in the middle of an increasingly creepy situation. The opening half is front-loaded with the standard box o’ tricks to pull you through the slow, familiar, setup – dead animals, tits, lesbian kissing, howling, mysterious sightings, jumps… no trick is left unused and it’s all a bit ‘meh’. Hand-held found footage documentary style is an instant disability these days for several reasons: 1) it’s a hard sell to viewers. 2) Plenty shaky, out-of-focus or focusing footage. 3) Characters constantly drawing attention to camera. 4) What they go through, nobody would drag a camera around. 5) First person in the woods, just screams Blair Witch… Despite all of this, the second half is where it picks up, the action kicks in, the critters come out to play. No monsters is left unrepresented: critters, ghosts, bigfoot, rabid zombies, lurching aliens (very Attack the Block-y) all chasing after the campers. This section is solid horror, and reminded me most of the first few Resident Evil games – the docu cam also works best here as it plays out like a rapid pace first-person shooter. Technically, the film’s decent given the budget; the picture is sharp when it has to be and the scares / jumps work well. Having a boring setup and killer payoff split the film down the middle, but it is worth sticking to the end of this.

Score: 5.5/10

What’s your favourite seat at the cinema, and why?

Anybody that goes to the cinema regularly will undoubtedly become a creature of habit. Whether it’s getting there just in time to miss the repetitive adverts or film-spoiling trailers, buying / bringing your favourite snack (must be a silent one), hogging your ideal parking place, hitting on unsuspecting student staff, sitting in your favourite block, row; or more specifically – that perfect seat. Even the finest critic in the country has his favourite seat, which reassures me somewhat. Here’s where my one is and why I love it.

Position: smack-bang in the middle of the back row, of the flat front section, and here’s why…

  • The high seat back blocks out most sounds from the tiered section behind, where everyone else is sitting. There’s also an aisle-length gap between you and the nearest person behind. Bliss.
  • There’s never anyone in front of you – unless the screen is unusually busy. This eliminates fidget, hat, afro, giant and mobile phone based distractions in view.
  • The screen looks enormous, like it should! What’s the point in sitting in the back row (unless you’re with a hussy!) where the screen takes up the same percentage in your field of vision as your TV would at home?!?! This is the cinema, it’s supposed to be massive!
  • You’re right next to the chest-thumping bass speakers underneath the screen, and the Dolby/THX sound design is optimized, coming from the front, sides and behind your seat. Meanwhile the hussy in the back row is only getting stereo sound.
  • As all other seats in this block are generally empty, essential toilet breaking is swift and effective, and you avoid the embarrassment of accidental lapdancing.
  • You don’t notice when the anti-piracy staff come in and do their rounds with the night-vision goggles – this always distracts and angers me more than it should – install a camera on the roof!
  • When the film ends, you’re right next to the doors and don’t have to wait for the token slow-mos to begin their epic descent from row J – swiftest exit in the screen.
  • Every wrinkle, hair, eyelash, scar, mole, shadow, surface, texture, button, background, minute detail is there… cinema screen resolution this close is absolutely unbeatable.

The only time this location doesn’t work is for 3D (it’s best to be in the middle of the screen’s height) and the only possible downside with my favourite seat is that people with bad necks or eyes may struggle to last the duration.

Feels like I’ve just given away a trade secret… which leaves me wondering, does anyone else have a preference when it comes to seating in the cinema, or is it just me being a total weirdo?! Feel free to comment, or ping back your own post.

/Paul

This is where you'll find me...

The Fall: (Blu Ray) With a ‘to watch’ pile this big it’s uncommon for me to re-watch a film, even rarer viewing one several times within a year, but after subjecting many a friend to the DVD I couldn’t pass up a loan of this Blu Ray. The Fall is pretty impossible to pigeonhole but would probably fall more under the Art realm than just a plain ol’ Movie. In saying this, the mythical storyline is pure cinema escapism that you rarely see these days: much like the magic Cinema would have had like in the 1920s. There’s more eye-popping locations on display than the finest travel brochure – so many that some get no more than 1/4 second glimpse: Colosseum, Eiffel Tower… Both lead characters are fantastic; Pace should be a much bigger star and the young girl Catinca Untaru will be, mark my words! The scenery, costumes, textures and detail of the picture is phenomenal, it’s what BD was made for! The Bulgarian Symphony Orchestra ensure the soundtrack’s epic, making the BD a must see. There’s a few spells of trippy visuals and the story won’t be for absolutely everyone but I would encourage anybody to give this a shot. Reining in my initial score from a 9.5 to an 8, although the first viewing DID blow me away that much.

Score: 8/10

Original Review

Kaispace: Films you didn’t know you needed to see