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Showing posts from June 30, 2013

Review: Sacrifice

Continuing his direct-to-DVD attempts to convince us that he’s a brooding tough guy, Cuba Gooding Jr. plays a grieving, alcoholic cop (and former Special Forces guy who was over in Afghanistan) in this 2011 film from hack Canadian writer-director Damian Lee (the immortally awful “Abraxas: Guardian of the Universe” and the not much better “Gnaw: Food of the Gods II”). Toronto narcotics cop Gooding is still grieving over the murder of his wife and daughter to a crim. He gets a chance at redemption when asked to look after a little girl (Arcadia Kendal) left at a day-care centre run by Gooding’s friend Athena Karkanis (TV’s “Lost Girl”, which I command you to watch). The girl was left there by her older brother (Devon Bostick), a young drug dealer who is attempting to get out of the biz. Unfortunately, Bostick’s employers Jade (Lara Daans) and Rook (Zion Lee) don’t take kindly to Bostick’s attempts to leave, and definitely don’t appreciate him stealing a statue of the Virgin Mary that is…

Review: Cellular

Kim Basinger is a science teacher kidnapped by nasty intruders (led by a threatening Jason Statham), who keep her holed up in the attic of an undisclosed location. We soon learn that it’s her husband (Richard Burgi) they’re really after, as he’s got something they want. Unfortunately, she has absolutely no idea what they are talking about, and because she has seen Statham’s face, she’s worried about her fate. And her son’s, as the kidnappers claim to know which school he goes to. Surprisingly resourceful, Basinger realises that she can use the smashed up wall phone by somewhat putting it back together, and click on the wires a bit. It’s not perfect, but it’s all she has to go on and eventually she gets douchy beach bum Chris Evans on the line. At first he thinks it’s a crank call and hangs up on her. The dude’s just been dumped by his singularly unimpressed girlfriend (Jessica Biel) and is trying to win her back. But eventually, something in her voice tells him to help her out, and he…

Review: The Three Musketeers (2011)

The title characters, in the service of young King Louis of France (Freddie Fox) join Milady De Winter (Milla Jovovich) on some secret mission involving raiding a tomb in Venice (guarded by the very Italian-sounding Til Schweiger) containing Da Vinci’s design for an airship. Unfortunately, none of the Musketeers have heard of Alexandre Dumas and Milady betrays them, in cahoots with the dastardly Duke of Buckingham (Orlando Bloom). The moody Athos (Matthew MacFadyen) is especially cut by this, having been romantically involved with Milady. Sometime later, a young and idealistic D’Artagnan (Logan Lerman, Yank accent and all) comes along, hoping to become a Musketeer. He is dismayed to find the musketeers all but obsolete, and manages to piss off three in particular; Religiously and romantically inclined Aramis (Luke Evans), strongman Porthos (Ray Stevenson), and the aforementioned sour Athos. However, when they catch wind of a nefarious plot designed by Cardinal Richelieu to send France…

Review: Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame

Set in 689 AD China, where Carina Lau’s Empress Wu Zeitan is about to take the throne, with a great big Buddha statue being built to commemorate the occasion. When a foreman and an architect both mysteriously and spontaneously combust, it appears to be a case for Detective Dee (Andy Lau). This is the very same Detective Dee whom has been serving a prison term for speaking out against the Empress, something neither has forgotten. The Empress frankly doesn’t trust the guy and has one of her handmaidens (played by Li Bingbing) accompany him on his investigation. Also assisting Detective Dee is a rather mysterious, and somewhat sinister-looking albino court official, played by Chao Deng. Richard Ng turns up as a key figure with the spectacularly silly name of Dr. Donkey Wang (!), whilst Tony Leing Ka Fai plays an introverted contractor, and old friend of Detective Dee’s.

I had heard very good things about this Tsui Hark (“Zu: Warriors from the Magic Mountain”, “Once Upon a Time in China”, …

Review: The Fly

Eccentric scientist Seth Brundle (Jeff Goldblum) meets pretty science magazine journalist Veronica Quaife (Geena Davis) at a function and after some awkward flirting/boasting, manages to convince her to come back to his lab to see his latest invention, a telepod or teleportation device initially devised as a way to get around his motion sickness. She is quickly impressed and eventually the two have moved in together as he irons out the bugs (living organisms have a way of...um...exploding during the teleportation process) and she writes an article on it. Soon they have even become lovers. Things get messy, however, when Seth decides to use a human test subject...himself. Before long he is literally falling apart and has major mood swings. It would appear that something had contaminated the teleportation process, a fly, and as a result he and the fly were rejoined at a molecular level, and he is becoming a hybrid of the two. And you think your relationship has problems! John Getz turns…