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The5ObstructionsBlogathon1This post is part of the The 5 Obstructions Blogathon over at MyFilmViews; a series where Nostra challenges film reviewers by issuing limitations and rules for five film reviews over five months. The first month’s challenge is to “write a positive review of a movie you don’t like, or write a negative review of a movie you love.” Here goes.

Barb Wire Pamela Anderson Lee Xander BerkleyBarb Wire: It’s 2017, the 2nd American Civil War rages on – this film shows how everyday people struggle to make ends meet – by mixing lapdancing and bounty hunting. When people talk about culturally important movies you never hear Barb Wire – this pisses me off. This story is a re-telling of one of cinema’s finest: Casablanca, which sets a high bar for this film – although Barb Wire vaults over that daunting monument with ease. Pamela Anderson, bounces seamlessly from TV and into the movies, cashing in on her trademark look – and transforming herself into a cinematic icon with bodacious curves, blonde hair, skimpy leather outfits and gallons of water for that signature ‘wet look’. The director further complements this by making every single shot about her (and ensuring she flashes a tit every 10 minutes) – not to mention casting Pam as the only sexy person in a world full of freaks and mutants: she truly stands out, and delivers her lines with the cold, jaded authenticity of a bounty hunter that really has seen the horrors of war first hand. She’s supported by some big names, including Udo Kier, Xander Berkley, and Steve Railsback – not to mention a talented Bon Jovi lookalike – who all fit right in with this calibre of movie. The movie is crammed with bold striking imagery and iconography, creating a totally believable futuristic landscape by fusing together the visuals from distinctive eras like WWII, the American Civil War, and Cyberpunk classics, which are expertly stitched together with a Noir look and feel. Despite being 1996, this has the explosions and action of an 80s blockbuster. Barb Wire is a film that has it all: a sexy, dangerous leading lady, on-form supporting cast, action, plot, direction, and most of all re-watch-ability. A criminally overlooked studio classic that will hopefully be seen for the cultural masterpiece that it is within my lifetime.

Score: 9/10
Real score: 1/10

Barb Wire Pamela Anderson Lee Xander Berkley2

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Note: this is post #500 since starting the site way back in July of 2009! To mark this, next week will feature guest reviews, several ‘feature’ posts as well as some more regular Paragraph Film Reviews. Thanks to everyone that reads, comments and visits the site, particularly the regulars. You folks are ace!

Seraphim Falls: a determined bounty hunter (Neeson) and his hired guns are chasing a skilled man (Brosnan) through the wilderness for reasons unknown. With two big actors centre screen you’d expect this film to play well… Broz takes his grunting to a whole new level as he’s on his own for most of his part – unfortunately, there’s also a scene where he’s genuinely out-acted by a horse! Pre-heroic re-invention Neeson feels miscast here, and in general everyone looks a bit disinterested. The writing is sloppy, and storytelling has a lot to be desired – an Indian and saleswoman appear – only to facilitate a showdown – and we don’t know why Broz is even being hunted for around 90 minutes – who should we be rooting for? With this, there’s not a whole lot of tension (essential for a decent cat-and-mouse story). It’s partially well-shot, making the biggest reason to watch this some great scenery of wilderness and breathtaking landscapes. Overlong, uninteresting and full of questionable acting, Seraphim Falls feels like a bunch of guys walking about in the words, then desert for the most part – it’s is nobody’s finest hour. 3:10 to Yuma is still the daddy of modern westerns!

Score: 3/10


Faster: Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, an insane gun and a fast muscle car are out to avenge his dead brother ten years after a failed heist. Despite everything about this film looking awesome, it’s totally pants. For a stripped down revenge film there’s almost no action and only a handful of kills. Dwayne almost goes full retard, with no expressions and about two pages worth of lines in total. Then there’s the wholly unnecessary assassin side-story that serves absolutely no purpose but to beef the film up – and has no payoff. Billy Bob turns up and does his thing; nobody else leaves a mark. Also, for an R-Rated revenge film with an action star, massive guns and fast cars there’s no boobs… genre fail! The two-minute Red Band trailer honestly has the whole story – and all the best bits. If you can’t tell by now, Faster is a waste of everyone’s time and money, that’s been done about a million times, and far better.

Score: 1.5/10