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Showing posts from November 3, 2013

Review: Safe

Jason Statham plays an emotionally devastated former cop/ex-Special Forces guy who by chance encounters a 12 year-old Chinese girl (Catherine Chan) who is a mathematics whiz highly sought after by just about every criminal (James Hong, Reggie Lee, and Russian mobster Sándor Técsy), crooked politician (Chris Sarandon as a NY mayor) and corrupt cop (Robert John Burke) in NY. Statham becomes her unlikely protector, perhaps being given a reason to go on living.

A Jason Statham movie that critics didn’t hate? Surely it must favour a good story and characters over action then. It’s true, this 2012 thriller from writer-director Boaz Yakin (“Fresh”, “Remember the Titans”) gives Statham a more interesting role than usual, and the film is never dull and has an intriguing plot (albeit a tad too similar- but better than- “Mercury Rising”) and downbeat tone.

However, Statham is actually not quite up to par for what the role requires, and is lethargic and uninteresting. Yes, he’s always the same, b…

Review: Teen Wolf Too

Jason Bateman stars as the cousin of Michael J. Fox’s character in the original “Teen Wolf”. Bateman is headed to college and is a bit of a science geek, though the nasty dean (John Astin) wants him on the boxing team, hence why he has been admitted on a sports scholarship. Despite not showing any signs of being even remotely sporty. Could it be that Astin hopes Bateman carries the family’s lycanthropic curse and that his animal instincts will prove a money-maker in the boxing ring? Yep, and it does. Like last time, though, with great success comes great assholery as he shuns the pretty ‘good girl’ (Estee Chandler) for a party-hardy lifestyle. James Hampton is back as Fox’s dad and Bateman’s uncle, Kim Darby is a concerned science teacher, Beth Ann Miller is the hot blonde ‘bad girl’, Mark Holton reprises his fat guy role, Paul Sand plays the coach, and Stuart Fratkin takes on the role of Styles, formerly Fox’s best bud and now Bateman’s (formerly played by Jerry Levine in the origina…

Review: Searching for Sugar Man

The subject is Sixto Rodriguez, a folk rock obscurity whose two albums in the early 70s flopped in his native America despite fine reviews, but were huge and important successes in Apartheid-era South Africa (which of course was pretty much cut off from the rest of the world at the time) before rumours went around that the man had killed himself on stage during a performance. The film (through intrepid South Africans like record store owner Stephen Segerman and Craig Bartholomew) investigates just what happened to the man, leading to some big surprises.
It’s almost impossible to discuss this film without revealing some very important content, so I’d advise against reading this before seeing the film, even moreso than usual. Spoiler Town from here on in.

This 2012 Oscar-winner from Swedish filmmaker Malik Bendjelloul has received a bit of flack for apparently exaggerating the obscurity of its subject, Sixto Rodriguez. Yes, it’s true that he toured Australia (even as recently as 2013 in…

Review: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Framed by Bilbo Baggins (Ian Holm) relating a story to his nephew Frodo (Elijah Wood), this film details the young Bilbo (played by Martin Freeman) going on a journey with a bunch of dwarves, at the request of wizard Gandalf the Grey (Sir Ian McKellen). Led by the extremely proud dwarf warrior Thorin (Richard Armitage), they are to reclaim a lost dwarf kingdom from a dragon known as Smaug. Bilbo has been recruited due to his expertise at ‘acquisition’ of items, i.e. theft. Along the way they encounter giants, orcs, The Goblin King (voiced by Barry Humphries!), and even a little tricksy fellow named Gollum (Andy Serkis), who is in possession of a very ‘precious’ ring. Christopher Lee, Cate Blanchett, and Hugo Weaving briefly reprise their roles from the “Lord of the Rings” films as soon-to-be-evil wizard Saruman, Elf elders Galadriel and Elrond, whilst Sylvester McCoy plays a wizard named Radagast.

I absolutely loved Peter Jackson’s “Lord of the Rings” films, and consider the trilogy t…