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Showing posts from September 13, 2015

Review: The Room (2003)

Tommy Wiseau stars as successful banker Johnny, whose girlfriend Lisa (Juliette Danielle) is cheating on him with his best friend Mark (Greg Sestero, who wrote a book on his ‘experiences’ making this film). Mark feels guilty about doing this to his well-meaning friend Johnny, but Lisa is positively ruthless in her pursuit of him. How long, though, until Johnny finds out? Useless subplots (some never resolved) abound, including that of young Denny (Philip Haldiman), a street kid taken under Johnny’s wing, who gets involved in drug dealing, in between making awkward sexual advances on Lisa (which Johnny, amazingly doesn’t take too poorly) and claiming to like watching them having sex (which Johnny also amazingly, doesn’t take too poorly!).

Said to be this generation’s “Plan 9 From Outer Space” (there’s even been midnight screenings, ala “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”), this 2003 bad movie favourite is frankly far too tedious and unfunny to earn such a distinction. Clearly today’s gener…

Review: I, Frankenstein

We begin with Frankenstein’s monster (Aaron Eckhart) killing Frankenstein’s wife, and Frankenstein himself (Aden Young) also dies in pursuit of the monster. The monster ends up at a cathedral that houses a group of gargoyles headed by Queen Leonore (Miranda Otto), who takes the creature in, and dubs him Adam. Flash-forward to modern times (?) and Adam is helping his fellow immortal (really?) gargoyle friends (including Jai Courtney and Caitlin Stasey) battle demons, led by Naberius (Bill Nighy). Yvonne Strahovski plays a human scientist caught in the middle. Socratis Otto plays Naberius’ number two, whilst Bruce Spence has a walk-on as another scientist.

Look, this isn’t a good film. Based on a graphic novel by Kevin Grevioux (who co-wrote the story here and came up with the concept for “Underworld”), this 2014 film is clearly more inspired by “Underworld” than Mary Shelley, and that’s a shame. Directed by Aussie Stuart Beattie (director of “Tomorrow, When the War Began”, screenwriter…

Review: Age of Consent

James Mason stars as financially successful American-based Aussie artist Bradley Morahan, who decides to retreat to a simpler life back home away from snobby art aficionados and the city lights. He makes money, but seems to yearn for more than that in his work. He holes up in an old shack on a remote island (on the Great Barrier Reef) with his dog. Into his life comes local girl Cora (Helen Mirren, in her first major film role) who will become his latest nude model in an attempt to inspire something of merit in his work. Morahan’s presence on the island and his choice of muse are much to the anger of Cora’s fiercely overprotective grandmother Ma Ryan (a way overboard Neva Carr-Glynn). Also turning up are a shifty old pal of Morahan’s named Nat (Jack MacGowran) who has his eyes on Morahan’s money, whilst a randy young local (Harold Hopkins) has his eyes on Cora. Look closely for a young-ish Judith McGrath (from TV’s “Prisoner” and “All Saints”) as a bimbo at the racetrack.

Before the b…

Review: Snakehead Swamp

Dave Davis is still moping about the fact that his favourite girl has just gotten married, when his friend (and obvious soul mate) Ayla Kell suggests he join her on a boat trip with some friends…and her dipshit boyfriend Ian (Ross Britz). Davis’ ranger mother Terri Garber doesn’t much like the idea, but Davis goes nonetheless. Some giant snakehead fish attack, which might be the result of a science experiment gone amok, or if you listen to local voodoo-babbling William Boudreaux (Antonio ‘Huggy Bear’ Fargas!), it’s because of a curse on the swamp put there by his voodoo priestess ancestor. Either way, scantily clad chicks with big boobs are on the menu.

A B-movie veteran at the helm and a blaxploitation favourite in the supporting cast aren’t enough to make this 2014 SyFy flick much better than the norm. Directed and shot by Don E. FauntLeRoy (helmer of three Seagal films; “Today You Die”, “Mercenary for Justice” and “Urban Justice”- the first and last being kinda OK) and scripted by …

Review: Piranha (1978)

Heather Menzies is looking for missing youngsters in Lost River Lake and requests the aid of surly boozer local Bradford Dillman. They find an army test site and the backpacks of the two missing teens near some murky water. They decide to drain it, thinking the kids’ bodies might be there. Crazy scientist Kevin McCarthy turns up to tell them they done fucked up. You see, there was a secret Government experiment way back when that saw genetically-mutated piranha created and intended to be used in the waters of North Vietnam during the war, to gain an advantage on the enemy! Much to McCarthy’s annoyance, the war was soon won and the experiments not needed anymore, so they were stopped. And now Dillman and Menzies have unwittingly released these deadly piranha from the pond and out into the open river. With a resort to be opened and a summer camp for kids nearby, this is a very, very big problem. Not that greedy Texan resort owner Dick Miller or arsehole camp director Paul Bartel will he…

Review: Bully (2012)

A documentary showing the horrible epidemic of bullying in schools, and the ways students, parents, and schools try to deal with the situation. It ain’t pretty, folks. Bullying, especially bullying in schools is one of those issues that I have very deep, personal views on. I was not bullied a whole helluva lot myself, but I’ve been around such behaviour (I’ve probably had my own moments of being mean, to be honest) being in a rather unpopular circle of friends at school. The issue has always as it does now, angered me to no end. It’s a serious cancer on society that I sincerely wish one could find a cure for. High school in particular sucks for everyone, and no one has the right to make someone else’s high school experience even worse through bullying of any kind. It makes my frigging blood boil.

So why didn’t this 2012 documentary (which only aired on Aussie cable in 2015, by the way) on the subject from director Lee Hirsch move me more? It’s not just because the film only focuses on…

Review: Maleficent

This re-interpretation of “Sleeping Beauty”, young Stefan wanders away from his local kingdom into the moors, where trolls, fairies and other magical creatures live. He meets Maleficent, a winged fairy, and the two become fast friends, and before long Maleficent has developed even stronger feelings for the boy. As the years pass, Maleficent (now played by Angelina Jolie) ascends to become the leader of her people, whilst the king of the human world attempts to attack the kingdom of the moors. A now grown-up Stefan (played by Sharlto Copley) has ambitions to take over the thrown from the aging king (played by Kenneth Cranham). He is tasked with killing Maleficent (anyone who does so will take over from the dying king), but instead he drugs his former companion and removes her wings. Stefan becomes king but earns an enemy in the now vengeful Maleficent (who is already probably jealous that Stefan has moved on to another woman. ‘Coz y’know how chicks are, right?), who disrupts the christ…

Review: Legendary

Devon Graye is sensitive, intelligent teen Cal, who is doing well in life and school, despite losing his father to a tragic car accident ten years ago, and a ne’er-do-well older brother Mike (WWE Superstar John Cena) he hasn’t seen in years. Mike, a decorated high school wrestler, blamed himself for dad’s death (He was in the car also, and they were on their way to a match) and hasn’t been home in years. However, Cal makes the somewhat surprising decision to join the school’s wrestling team in its smallest weight division. He’s also rather scrawny and gets picked on at school by the likes of jock Tyler Posey, who is none too pleased to see Cal on the team. Cal goes in search of Mike, and finds him a drunken mess, arrested for getting into a bar fight, and not especially interested in getting to know his younger brother. He sure as hell doesn’t want to return home and face mum. But eventually, the kid gets through to him, and he agrees to teach him how to wrestle. Can this hurt family …