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Showing posts from July 26, 2015

Review: Lucas

Corey Haim stars as the title 14 year-old, who comes across a pretty new girl during the summer holidays. She’s Maggie (Kerri Green) and they spend pretty much the rest of the summer together. By the time school is in session, Lucas has clearly fallen in love with the pretty redhead. However, as high school progresses, Maggie (two years older than Lucas, by the way) becomes drawn to football star Cappie (Charlie Sheen), who is the one jock who stands up for Lucas, the pint-sized nature-lover often cruelly treated by the other jocks. Cappie seems to take a liking to Maggie too, not exactly thrilling Cappie’s blonde cheerleader girlfriend Alise (Courtney Thorne-Smith). Maggie, by the way, also becomes a cheerleader, which Lucas deems a superficial pursuit. Lucas (who has a ‘I saw her first!’ mentality) is heartbroken that Maggie merely sees him as a ‘friend’. So what is a pint-sized science nerd to do when his best girl falls for the quarterback? Try to join the football team to impress…

Review: Dom Hemingway

Jude Law stars as the angry, reckless, and profane safecracker recently paroled from prison after 12 years behind bars. He and his long-time pal Dickie (Richard E. Grant) go to see Law’s old crime boss Fontaine (Demien Bichir, whose character has a fetish for what can only be described as monkey art), looking for the money he feels owed by the man he refused to rat out in the inside. Once there he also meets Bichir’s current squeeze Madalina Diana Ghenea, whom Grant immediately warns Dom not to shag or else it’ll be their heads. However, shagging his boss’ girlfriend is the least of his worries, when something goes wrong, and both Dom’s money and the girlfriend go missing. Dom is not fucking happy. Meanwhile, Dom is also trying to reconnect with the daughter (Emilia Clarke) he hasn’t been a real father to in over a decade. She’s not particularly happy to see the ne’er do well crim (Her mother died of cancer whilst Dom was incarcerated), and has a child of her own now. Kerry Condon tur…

Review: Ender’s Game

In the future, Earth is at war with aliens known as Formics, and in order to win the war, a radical strategy has been adopted of training youngsters to be the military strategists to turn the tide in our favour and defeat the enemy. They seem to have the instincts, sharp reflexes, and aptitude for strategy necessary for a successful military campaign. One such bright young hopeful is Ender (Asa Butterfield), who unlike his compassionate older sister (Abigail Breslin) and frankly psycho older brother, has what Col. Graff (Harrison Ford) sees as a real aptitude for military strategy. The kid might just have the right stuff that not only helps defeat the alien enemy, but make so there are no further attacks. So off to Battle School he goes, joining other youngsters in cyber warfare training. Hailee Steinfeld plays Petra, just about the only other recruit whom Ender bonds with. Nonso Anozie essentially plays the drill sergeant of the recruits, Viola Davis is the relatively compassionate M…

Review: Wolf Creek 2

Everyone’s favourite psychotic “Crocodile Dundee” Mick Taylor (John Jarratt) is back for more heads on sticks, as he targets young European tourists and even a couple of nosy cops (one played by troubled former “Neighbours” star Shane Connor). Our lead protagonist is likeable ‘pom’ Paul (played very convincingly by an Aussie, Ryan Corr), whom Mick decides to toy with by giving him his own sick version of the citizenship test. Old pro Gerard Kennedy and veteran actress Annie Byron turn up as an elderly couple.

Although it was very similar to “Texas Chainsaw Massacre”, the arrival of 2005’s “Wolf Creek” and its director Greg McLean was met with pretty much wholehearted support from me, if for no other reason than the possibility of more Aussie genre films should this one have been a big success. It was a perfectly OK film (probably a bit more than OK), but I hoped it would see even better ones in its wake. That indeed happened, especially with the underrated and unnerving croc movie “Bl…

Review: 3 Days to Kill

Kevin Costner is a CIA man who quits the job when he finds out he has terminal brain cancer and three months to live. He decides to visit his estranged ex-wife (Connie Nielsen) and teen daughter (Hailee Steinfeld) in Paris, in the hopes of reconnecting before it’s too late. The kid doesn’t make it easy for him, but when mum has to go out of town on business, Costner volunteers to babysit, hoping for some father-surly teen bonding. It doesn’t really go to well, but it’s not just because Steinfeld is resistant. He’s also being stalked by ambitious and vampish CIA handler Vivi (Amber Heard), who wants Costner’s help in killing terrorists named The Albino (Tomas Lemarquis) and The Wolf (Richard Sammel). If he agrees to do this, Vivi will give Costner an experimental drug that will allow him to live a bit longer. Thing is, he has already promised Nielsen that he’s out of the spy gig for good. He thinks about it for about ten seconds before the temptation of the drug (and the chance to nab …

Review: Revolver

Jason Statham plays a recently released con man looking for revenge against the casino owner (Ray Liotta, scariest man alive) who sent him to prison. He spent his prison time learning master cons from two other prisoners in cells on either side of his. However, after a public humiliation, Liotta is murderously pissed at Statham, putting a hit out on him. He encounters two loan sharks (Andre Benjamin and Vincent Pastore), who tell him he has a fatal disease that will kill him in a matter of days. If he agrees to work for them and give all of his money over to them, they’ll keep him from being bumped off. And so it begins. Francesca Annis and Mark Strong play a couple of underworld characters, the former flamboyant, the latter cool as ice.

This 2005 Guy Ritchie (“Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels”) flop gets no love from…well, anyone really. However, despite not being a fan of Ritchie’s, I found this a lot easier to follow than I had been led to believe (especially since I was watchi…

Review: The Insider

Based on the true story of Jeffrey Wigand (Russell Crowe, intentionally pudgy and bland-looking) a scientist for the tobacco industry who was fired by the tobacco company he worked for because he couldn’t keep quiet about damning research results suggesting the serious harms of tobacco smoking to your health. Wigand meets with “60 Minutes” producer Lowell Bergman (Al Pacino) to explain some technical jargon for a story. Bergman sees something in Wigand that suggests he has a helluva story to tell. So he starts to put pressure on him, but Wigand is also under pressure from the company, who remind him when he’s fired that there’s a confidentiality clause in his contract. They also may be using more overt ‘scare tactics’ on him and his family. And there’s the stresses of trying to raise a family with non-understanding wife Diane Venora, which doesn’t help. She’s none too pleased when Wigand (who’s not always very communicative) agrees to go on the air with “60 Minutes” anchor Mike Wallac…

Review: X-Men: Days of Future Past

OK, so I’ll give it my best shot: We start off in the near future, with things looking bleak for mutant-kind as they are being hunted down by super-awesome robots called Sentinels. The plan is to have a mutant named Kitty Pryde (Ellen Page) use her special powers to send Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) back to 1973 to convince the younger, wayward Dr. Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) to fight for the cause in preventing the events that started the chain events resulting in the Sentinels’ dominance. This means stopping Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) from assassinating Sentinels creator Trask (Peter Dinklage). I know how that sounds, but it’s really the plan. The plan also involves trying to get Xavier to form an alliance with arch-enemy Magneto (Michael Fassbender).

Full disclosure here folks: I tapped out. I just plain tapped out to this one. Director Bryan Singer (“X-Men”, “The Usual Suspects”) and screenwriter Simon Kinberg (“X-Men: The Last Stand”, “This Means War”) must be a whole lot smarter…

Review: God Bless America

Joel Murray is having a very, very bad time of it. Divorced, laid off from work, getting no love or respect from his revolting daughter, and recently diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour…he finally cracks it. But what makes him tip over the edge is not really any of the above things. Oh, they contribute alright. But, no Murray is enraged by what he sees as the culture of meanness and vacuousness throughout the media. Reality TV, tabloid journalism, political pundits on both sides of the aisle earn his ire. And he’s gonna do something about it. He’s Peter Finch with a gun, people, so look out! He decides to kill the disgracefully self-absorbed and bitchy high schooler reality TV star polluting his TV screen. In committing this act, Murray earns the attention of another girl at the school, played by Tara Lynne Barr. This social misfit seems to share Murray’s disdain for modern pop culture, and although she has way more targets on her hit list than he does, he nonetheless takes the …