Actually pretty good. Better than the live actions ones. Some emotional moments done quite well, and a cool new look for the turtles. A cartoon all people my age will be familiar with. Top notch voice acting from Patrick Stewart.
Labels: leonardo, splinter, TMNT, turtles
Night at the Museum
Night at the Museum -- 2006
Another great Ben Stiller film, with a wonderful supporting cast. Owen Wilson and Steve Coogan are especially memorable. 7.5/10
Bushi no ichibun (Love and honour)
Bushi no ichibun -- 2006
Brilliant and very moving Japanese drama film. Excellent main star in Takuya Kimura playing a Samurai who, due to bad luck, becomes blind. 9/10
I will get back into the flow of things eventually.
Here are the latest films I have sat through:
Saw III – 2006
Even more sick. Damn better than the second one. Angus Macfadyen is brilliant as one of the victims, and central to the reasonably clever plot. Have not seen him since he played Robert the Bruce in Braveheart. 6.5/10
Batman – 1989
Batman (Michael Keaton) seems at bit physically small, but heroes did not need to be Christian Bale size back then. Jack Nicholson is amazing as Joker, still the best villian throughout the whole series of films. Jolly good cast really. 7/10
Batman Returns – 1992
Another great cast. Keaton returns with his unique thoughtful and quiet loner style. Danny Devito makes for a great Penguin. I found the plot silly this time, and it's not as good. In fact, a little dull. Catwoman is hot. 6/10
The Dark – 2005
Mostly dull and certainly not scary. Good ending, but probably not worth the wait. 4/10
Confessions of Pain (Seung sing) – 2006 伤城
Coming soon. 7/10
Also coming soon: Audition
North Country -- 2005
Hahaha another film with Sean Bean. Just a small part in this film, but a nice effective part nonetheless. The main star in this film is Charlize Theron who plays a single mother of two, Josey Aimes, who does not have the best of luck in life generally. An opportunity presents itself when a mining company reluctantly opens its doors to women workers. The pay is far superior to all the normal jobs available to women in the local area, so Josey takes it. However, the men at the mine are bent on giving the few women who join up a damned hard time. And believe me, there are some very ugly and nasty fuck heads in there. It's a bit like a prison film really. The film is sort of based on a real life landmark legal battle between a group of women miners and a mining company in Minnesota I think.
It's an interesting film with plenty going on. Woody Harrelson plays the Lawyer who eventually takes on Josey's case. An all-round impressive cast. Excellent Bob Dylan songs throughout the film. Well worth a watch. 7.5/10
Nell – 1994
A girl is brought up in isolation by a strange old lady deep in woodland, North Carolina. She speaks her own language, a sort of distortion of english, and has no idea of the modern outside world. After the old lady dies, the existance of the child is discovered by Dr Lovell played by Liam Neeson. He soon becomes very protective of Nell (a passionate and beautiful performance by Jodie Foster) and seeks to keep her at peace in her own environment, but it is inevitable her unique existance will soon gain the wrong kind of interest from others. The acting is superb throughout, and the story captivating and emotional. I was quite surprised with the nudity from Foster. I did not realise she had gotten nude in a film before. Most well-known actresses do at some stage I guess, but it's clear Foster put all she had into this character and the nudity is essential (and, yeh she has a nice little body...ah-hem). A great film. Not watching this film makes you suck sweaty swollen fat man balls. 9/10
Oh fuck... I seem to be a little behind. Got a back LOG here. Please bear with me, hordes of eager pant-wetting fans.
Superman Returns 6/10
DOA: Dead or Alive 5/10 Enjoyable. Some awful acting but no surprises there.
Final Destination 1,2 and 3 average 7/10 Highly entertaining horror movies.
Casino Royale (5/10) Found it a bit dull. Craig is brilliant though.
Slither 7/10 Good fun.
Silent Hill 6/10
A Bittersweet Life 7.5/10
Death Note 8/10 Clever and something different.
Blue Sky (Wonderful Days – 2003) 5/10
The Grudge US version (6/10) Quite scary. SMG is lovely.
White Noise 7.5/10 Gripping and clever horror.
Munich 6.5/10 Interesting stuff. Eric Bana perfect.
Children of Men 6/10 This was an absolutely brilliant film... cept' the stupid fucking ending.
The Hills Have Eyes 5.5/10 Average horror in all respects.
Wow! I have honestly never seen such stunning realistic fights in a film before. No strings needed or effects. This is hardcore shit, as they say...er those people that say stuff. I will not be surprised if people died to make this film. It's a must-see for any man! Women can enjoy it too though, especially cool women who also have the capability to enjoy man-stuff like video games and these kind of films as well as having beautiful long hair, being well-dressed, feminine and possibly naked. None of that short hair, man-hating bull shit. Er..anyway, the story is quite simple (Sacred Buddha statuette called Ong Bak is stolen from a simple peaceful village, and so they send their strongest to the modern outside world (Bangkok) to retrieve it from a nasty underworld gang leader), but this film is about showing the talent of the main actor: Thai Tony Jaa.
Support is good especially from the guy who plays Humlae. The young girl can act pretty well, but her voice grinds somewhat, especially when she bawls. All in all a great piece of entertainment! Second one in the making...whoooo! 8/10
Silent Hill and the Korean film: A Bittersweet Life. The Japanese film: Death note.
I saw the Mexican film: Battle in Heaven last night. So I will review that now: 1/10. Utter art house world cinema shit, except it was slightly interesting watching a young attractive girl have sex with an old fat bloke with a small penis.
If anyone would like to give me a million pounds, please contact me.
I have a serious backlog, so it's time for very short reviews of everything else I have seen this January:
Memoirs of a Geisha – 2005
The plot is too complicated to describe in detail here, but it's about a poor girl who works her way up the geisha ranks to be the most famous. It's a great film with a fair bit of emotion packed in. The cast is pretty good, despite the lack of actual Japanese. Lovely love story included. Proud Ziyi Zhang is ever easy on the eyes and plays the lead. Also stars Li Gong, Ken Watanabe and the amazing Michelle Yeoh. The whole cast rules. Obviously it is all glorified to the extreme. I enjoyed it. 7.5/10
Kate on imdb comments for this film says this about the film and I agree: "So, let me re-address the question: Can a group of American men and Chinese actresses render the world of a geisha? The answer, I guess, really depends on what you are looking for. If you would like a little bit of delight from an aesthetically pleasing picture with a vague standard for authenticity and realism, this movie delivers it. I would not say Rob Marshall (director) failed completely. Memoirs of a Geisha is not the first, nor the last, movie that subjects another culture to the crude lens of American exoticism. It definitely is not the worst one."
March of the Penguins – 2005
Remarkable documentary-film. Planet Earth touched on this fascinating world of the penguin, but we learn a great deal more with this picture narrated very well by Morgan Freeman. Simply fascinating, and it's always good to stop and realise what goes on out there. Such a harsh evironment for these cute animals. 8/10
Mission Impossible – 1996
Tom Cruise, Ving Rhames, Jean Reno, Jon Voight, Vanessa Redgrave, Kristin Scott Thomas and some French bint work to create a complicated, but brilliant, action film. Cruise makes Ethan Hunt to be one of the best action characters out there. Great entertainment, but not if your looking for a no thinking required action film. 7.5/10
Mission Impossible II – 2000
This one is directed by God John Woo, and so visually it's better than the first. Dougray Scott, Thandie Newton (damned sexy in this) and Brendan Gleeson support with Ving, back for more, too. Good stuff. 7/10
The Ring – 2002
Naomi Watts (King Kong) stars in this American remake of the Japanese original. Not quite as good, but a damn fine attempt. The main guy just ain't as cool though as the Japanese guy in the original Ringu. 6/10
United 93 – 2006
The story of the fourth plane to crash during 9/11 due to the passengers uprising against the terrorist idiots. The conclusion is extremely well done and impacts that bit harder as you realise clearly what it must have been like for them. It's a tense film, as you would expect. You feel the chaos, and it remains pretty neutral throughout. 8/10
X-men: The Last Stand – 2006
Introducing more characters with some unexpected moments if you are not that familiar with the comics, like me. Vinnie Jones looks great as Jugganaut, just a shame they gave him some lines. Ellen Page plays Kitty and boy is she hot; another highly attractive Canadian gal! Problem is too many characters are introduced with no development. They are simply packed in too show off their cool abilities. It's safe to say the fans hate it, especially with the complete fuck around of the Phoenix plot. I sort of enjoyed it, mainly due to Shakespearean actors Stewart and Mckellen who both bring so much to these films and I do believe they enjoy this far-removed stuff. It does have some great action moments. 5/10
Dawn of the Dead
Dawn of the Dead – 2004
A very entertaining gorefest with interesting characters. The violence has a touch of comedy to it, so cannot be that shocking. The zombies move fast which adds to the horror and makes this film different to the usual slow walking easy-to-kill zombies in other zombie flicks. The film gets moving pretty damn suddenly, probably after 2 minutes of normality. Suddenly the world has gone to hell and zombies are everywhere, and we follow a small random bunch of survivors; forced together, and end up holding out in a mall. This film will easily keep your interest for the duration; if you have friends round, fuck em and enjoy the flick. They won't wanna socialise either anyway. It's that good! The cast includes Ving Rhames (Mission Impossibles) playing typical solid (with underlying passion) guy who acquires extremely necessary shotgun. Brit Jake Weber plays the nice guy and love interest of main character Ana (excellent Canada actress Sarah Polley). Everyone is really good at head shots which is convenient, cus that's best way to down these zombies. This film is simply fun! It's a remake of the 1978 Romero original. The general consensus is that it is just as good. 7.5/10
I'm going to be away from the internet for a couple of weeks, possibly longer, due to life shit. Life shit that keeps me away from doing all I enjoy doing most: watching films, surfing the net, travelling, reading, video games, beers with friends. Wish i was rich. Some folks say rich people, who don't need to work cus they inherited a fortune, get bored with life, and do not have the satisfaction that comes with gaining riches yourself from hard work. Not me, I would relish it for I am A MAN OF VERY MANY HOBBIES (and little care for the world)! Ahahahhahahahhahah. Oh well, life pulls me away. See ya in good time.
Coming soon: Memoirs of a Geisha, Mission Impossible, Mission Impossible 2 and March of the Penguins.
Films i saw over the Christmas period
I have really not had time for my beloved film reviews. So here be some REALLY short reviews of the films I have seen in past month. I might expatiate in my own good time damn it.
The Da Vinci Code – 2006
Tom Hanks being surprisingly dull as symbologist Robert Langdon from the book everyone read on the train, except those that can't read a book from start to finish (70% of Brits I think... I may have made that up, but it's probably true). Book is good, but this film lost a great deal given the book was written like a frickin film. No one was really amazing, despite the impressive cast. Average. 5/10
The White Countess – 2005
An absolutley wonderful film from an amazing writer (Kazuo Ishiguru) and with one of my fave actors: Ralph Fiennes. Kazuo also was behind another amazing film and book: Remains of the Day. It's set in Shanghai in 1936. It's a romance involving a blind American who realises his dreams by setting up his idea of a perfect classy bar, and an exiled and now poor Russian countess, Sofia. Both have intriguing backgrounds too shown with almost anime-style flashbacks. The film ends with the Japanese invasion. 9/10
Ronin – 1998
This action film set in France stars De Niro, Jean Reno, Stellan Skarsgard and Brits: Natascha McElhone, Jonathan Pryce and Sean Bean. Sean Bean is sadly God-awful in this film. His acting just didn't come across too well, though it was early in his career and an awkward character to play: coward acting hard. It's about a bunch of folks chasing a very important case with unknown contents. Lots of shooting and impossible car chases. I enjoyed it. 6/10
Mrs Henderson Presents – 2005
Lots of boobies! Judi Dench, Bob Hoskins and Will Young are great in this film, set between the two great wars, about a rich woman, who has recently lost her husband and has lost meaning to her life, and so she decides to start her own theatre. She buys the derelict Windmill theatre in London's West End. Competition eventually becomes tough so she takes the extremely controversial step of having nude women in her shows. It's an enjoyable film and Dench plays a fun and lively character. 7/10
National Security – 2003From reading the imdb user reviews, this film is pretty much hated by many people. A few claim it is racist against white people with the main black character blaming all his life problems on white people. The bad guys are all white; most black characters in the film being perfect citizens. The main black character keeps playing the race card and dislikes the fact the main white character (Steve Zahn) has a black girlfriend. The black man against white man humour is taken to the extreme and totally overdone by the end of the film, but can be enjoyed to start off with. The black character is played by Martin Lawrence, who at times is funny and at others dire (in real life he seems to be a bit of a dick -- arrested for carrying a loaded gun in 1996 at an airport plus a few more incidents involving the law later). Steve Zahn's acting is a bit dodgy at times in this film. I have to admit I did laugh a fair amount and did not look into it too deeply like those angry imdb users. It is just a fun film, after all, with a happy silly ending. 5/10
My Super Ex-Girlfriend
My Super Ex-Girlfriend – 2006
I watched this on the plane back from Japan. All the other films were so rubbish it hurt. Utter shite like The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift and Step Up. However, Super Ex was a nice relief from the boredom and discomfort of air travel. It's a fun film about a lonely guy, Matt, who meets the rather innocent Jenny. Things go ok but Jenny's behaviour is more than just a little odd at times. She starts to become rather needy and a little crazy at times. Hannah is Matt's work friend and warns him to be careful with this Jenny character. Later the odd behaviour is soon explained a little by the fact Jenny reveals herself as G-Girl, the local superhero. However as Matt starts having second thoughts and seeks advice he realises he is making a big mistake and decides to break up with Jenny/G-Girl. Also Matt is becoming more and more attracted to Hannah. This leads to some very scary results as Jenny becomes insanely angry about the break-up and jealous of Hannah. Maaaan I could have made that story explanation so much more brief! Agghhh!
Matt is played by Luke Wilson. G-Girl by Uma Thurman. Hannah is played by the adorable Anna Faris. It's a cool cast, further improved with Eddie Izzard as Professor Bedlam. The part involving the shark is fantastic. Definitely worth a watch! 6/10
Heat – 1995
Yo punks, I'm back. Been really busy, but found time to watch Heat last night. Everyone, except me, must have seen this film. The great coming together of Mann, De Niro and Alfredo Pacino works out to be quite the freekin masterpiece. Throw in excellent support from Kilmer, Voight, Dennis Haysbert, Wes Studi, William Fichter, Judd and Sizemore. There is also a character called Bosko (Ted Levine), but he gets shot by Kilmer's character.
It's about a group of professional criminals lead by De Niro's excellent Neil McCauley character. They are hunted by Lt. Vincent Hanna (Pacino) and his LAPD homicide team. The film slowly but surely shows how similar these two guys are as their respective careers eat up their personal lives blocking out family/lovers, and in other ways too. The film is best known for the cafe scene with the brief but brilliant conversation between the two big guys, and then the incredibly well done shoot-out outside a bank in the middle of a busy LA street. I don't think there is anything more intense than this scene currently in film to watch. Just fantastic directing!
De Niro does an excellent job of showing a bad man's human sides. Pacino is just brilliant too, showing a very troubled man but a man who can show compassion and resolve. Kilmer stands out a mile as well. Ultimately they are all tough guys, but so much more. I love the part when Kilmer smiles just before getting to the car. A must see film, but you have already seen it. If not then punch yourself in the face. 8.5/10
Tristan + Isolde (SPOILERS)
Tristan + Isolde – 2006
This is a well-done tragic love story set in the highly interesting and mysterious Dark Ages of Britain (Cornwall mostly). The shooting style is pretty much the same as Antoine Fuqua's King Arthur. A good looking cast with King Marke (Rufus Sewell) standing out in terms of performance. I also quite liked American James Franco as Tristram. he was pretty solid and could handle the romance. He also plays Harry Osborn in the recent Spider Man films.
However, Much is unrealistic, ill-thought out and stupid. People falling into traps far too easily; Tristans escape from Ireland unnoticed; the stupid trapdoor no one discovers only a long period of time; the fact Tristan and Isolde finally get discovered when they would have been able to hear the mass of running horses coming from far away.
Despite the plot holes I did enjoy this film; it maintains scenic beauty throughout and wonderful costumes. The action scenes are pretty good too, though obviously on a smaller scale due to budget, with rather silly tiny armies. It is worth seeing. 5.5/10
Starsky and Hutch
Starsky and Hutch – 2004
I love Owen and Stiller films, but this one was mediocre at best. I would score it lower than 5, but I just love these two. Even with a limited script to work with they are still a joy to watch. It's based on the well-known TV series about 1970s police detectives, which i have never bothered with. Starsky (Stiller) takes the job very seriously and is generally uptight and tough. Hutch is more laid back and streetwise. They are very different types of cop and this plays off. Some excellent physical comedy from Stiller as well... love his angry-cop run. Vince Vaughn plays the big bad guy with the drugs and the heaps of cash and the scantily-clad women. It is a bit of fun and worth a gander. Do it...do it...do it. 5/10
Seven Swords 七剑
Seven Swords – 2005
You get the feeling there is so much more to this story and its characters than revealed by the film. In fact the original edit was 4 hours and it is based on a large book.
The Qing Dynasty bans martial arts completely to increase order. A cruel general called Wind Fire seeks to profit from this by using his army to kill as many martial arts practitioners as possible for money. One last village remains and due to a series of events gains the aid of the powerful seven swords (seven warriors each with a cool unique sword and style). They seek to lead the whole village out of harms way so that they can confront Wind Fire without having to worry about keeping villages alive in a huge battle scenario, but all does not go to plan. Some other stuff is going on too involving romance, a Korean slave girl and such.
I did not really enjoy it too much. It has some weak sub-plots (maybe rushed versions of good plots from the novel) and some far-fetched moments usually forgiveable in martial arts movies. No single character stands out. Even the main bad guy seems rather lame. The final fight between Wind Fire and Dragon (I think) goes on and on and you are wondering if a freakin sword is ever gonna penetrate flesh.
However, it looks fantastic with fine cinematography, fairly interesting fight scenes (without the wires) and great costumes. The characters have cool names like Transience and Celestial Beam...mmmm Celestial Beam. It might be worth a look if you are a hardcore fan of East Asian film. 4.5/10
Remains of the Day
Remains of the Day – 2003
Taken from the novel of the same name by the Japanese author Kazuo Ishiguro this film is an impeccable drama set in the 1930s during a time when England sought to help and appease Germany. Anthony Hopkins plays Mr Stevens, who is the butler of a rather large estate. We follow Mr Stevens through his daily duties, who has totally accepted his place in this world of status and ensures the perfect running of a large household often used to host gatherings of important people. He is completely dedicated to his master who, as it soon becomes apparent, is a Nazi sympathiser and is working with the most highest of men to appease Germany. An American, Mr Lewis played by Christopher Reeve, arrives at the house for one of the many formal dinner occasions and voices his concerns on this soft approach towards the Germans. (The Americans were right and it is believed now that this appeasement policy contributed to the coming of WW2.) There is a hell of lot to this film all seen from the perspective of Stevens, though how much of it he actually takes in is uncertain. All that seems to matter to Stevens is that his job is done to the highest of standards.
Hopkins brings this dignified character to screen wonderfully well in one of the greatest performances ever. Even under the most distressing of circumstances Stevens maintains a calm exterior with the up most in dedication to servitude; household and master. He manages to push all his own emotions and thoughts completely to the back of his mind, focusing entirely on carrying out his duties for Lord Darlington (James Fox) and guests. But as we watch him carefully, simply little reactions in his face or voice, we learn there is so much more to him deep inside. It can be difficult to understand Mr Stevens behaviour, but you can come to accept it and it certainly gains your interest. Towards the end of the film you will really feel for Mr Stevens.
The rest of the cast are all fantastic including Peter Vaughan, James Fox and Hugh Grant. Emma Thompson plays the head housekeeper and the unspoken love-interest of Mr Stevens who is simply unable to show any kind of affection. This relationship is the most powerful and moving aspect of this story. A deeply affecting film. 9.5/10
Late reviews: Ikiru 生きる, Lord of War and The Twilight Samurai たそがれ清兵衛
Damn it's been so long I have forgotton about these films:
Ikiru – 1952
An absolutely beautiful and thoughtful Japanese film by the acclaimed Akira Kurosawa. A man finds out he is dying of cancer and seeks to bring meaning to his life, after working so long as a dull bureaucrat (agggh such a horrid word to spell!) for the city hall. Anyone who loves film should see/have seen this masterpiece. Sadly there are rumours of a remake, but this film should be left alone. However, I have to accept a remake may will more people to watch the original which can only be a good thing. 9/10
The Twilight Samurai (Tasogare Seibei) – 2002
Set in mid-1800s Japan shortly before the Meiji Restoration. It's about a low-ranking samurai widower, Seibei performed by Hiroyuki Sanada MBE, who struggles to look after his two young daughters and his senile mother. He barely has time to wash himself, as he also takes on a second job making small bird cages to sell. One day a woman from Seibei's past returns, Tomoe and she brings a new happiness to his family, but also some troubles. A brilliant and moving drama. 9/10 Sorry I'm bias... I adore Japanese film. Hiroyuki Sanada played Ujio in The Last Samurai with Tom Cruise.
Lord of War –2005
The main character of this film is Ukrainian immigrant to America Yuri Orlov (Nicolas Cage). We follow his arms selling career and how this affects those close to him. He starts off selling to local gang members and finally ends up dealing worldwide especially to a rather nasty African Warlord. Constantly on his tail desperatly trying to get some solid evidence is Interpol Agent Jack Valentine. Valentine will come to accept a harsh truth.
This film has a brilliant but shocking start sequence. It also stars Ian Holm, Jared Leto as Yuri's brother and Ethan Hawke as Detective Valentine all giving solid performances. 8/10
Madagascar – 2005
A silly, fun but pretty average family movie. The main characters are spoiled New York Central Park zoo animals (lion, zebra, giraffe and a hippo) that due to a series of events end up in the wild for the first time; the wilds of Madagascar. Alex the lion is voiced by Ben Stiller and Marty the zebra by Chris Rock. Soon Alex's wild instincts emerge outside captivity and he starts to see his best pal Marty as potential food. The island's lemur population want's to take advantage of these new big animals to protect them against the carnivorous fossa. But, can they trust this lion beast. Anyway, tis' amusing stuff, but nothing here is really fantastic. 5/10
Jungdok – 2002
This South Korean film is so slow, and feels a bit like a TV soap drama. It's not a bad film by any means. It's about two very different but close brothers: Dai-jin who loves racing cars and Ho-jin, a talented carpenter and cook. Ho-jin is married to Eun-su, and Dai-jin lives with them. Life seems good until both brothers are involved in horrific car crashes in different places at the same time. Both end up in comas. One year later Dai-jin awakens and upon his return to home with Eun-su he starts acting like Ho-jin and gains Ho-jin's skills, who remains in a deep coma. It then becomes clear that he believes he is Ho-jin, much to Eun-su`'s confusion and pain. Could this be possession? Is Ho-jin controlling Dai-jin from his comatose state? With time and quite some effort Eun-su is convinced Ho-jin is inside Dai-jin's body and their deep love can return leading to a very tame sex scene. The end of the film is really quite emotional, if you stay awake, but stuff does not add up entirely and so I cannot say this film is anywhere near great, but it's alright. Maybe one for the video game avoiding sex. 5.5/10
Bruce Almighty – 2003
Ahhh it's pretty funny mostly. Sometimes it's not. Canadian Jim Carrey plays Bruce a local news reporter. After a wretched day where everything goes wrong for him Bruce, taken by rage, has a big rant to God. God responds and decides to take a vacation, leaving his powers with Bruce to allow Bruce to relaise how freekin hard a job it is to be God. At first Bruce has himself a time playing with these divine powers to greatly benefit himself. He gets that promotion he always wanted. However, soon he comes to realise that it ain't all that simple. You can't just please everyone.
It's a fun light-hearted film (well the ending gets perhaps too soppy). Carrey is fantastic at times, but annoying at other times.
Jennifer Aniston plays Bruce's girlfriend Grace. Aniston is, in my opinion, one of the most plain and least talented big American actresses out there. She always acts the same. She adds very little to this film. Morgan Freeman is charming as ever playing God. It's worth a look. 5.5/10
The Butterfly Effect
The Butterfly effect – 2004
I love fucked up dark films! This one keeps your interest from the very start and keeps you thinking to the end. It's a very well thought out film with a fair few surprises.
Young Evan Treborn keeps getting blackouts followed by utter confusion. Something always bad happens during these blackouts; it seems he blocks really bad stuff out. His mum is aware of these complete moments of no memory, but there is no explanation available. By the time Evan is at university it has been 7 years since his last blackout. The blackouts have gone. However, one night when he reads over his journals he has kept writing for so long the missing bits of memory suddenly hit him hard. Soon he discovers he is actually travelling back in time and can alter what really happened during these awful stand out moments in his life. Changing one little thing turns out to have immense effects on the significants around him, and he comes back to a different life. It seems if he helps one friend, another suffers instead.
The characters are brilliant. Ashton Kutcher takes the lead surprisingly well. I did not expect this from him. The dude looks great for this role and does it well. Others notables include Amy Smart (Road Trip, Rat Race) as Kayleigh; William Lee Scott as Tommy and Eldon Henson as Lenny. The child parts of these characters are perfectly cast too with some fine acting. I really enjoyed this film. 8.5/10
Basic Instinct 2
Basic Instinct 2 – 2006
This film was soooo boring, with a sketchy and unbelievable plot, and you don't even get to see Stone's pubic region at all. Massive reduction in nudity compared to the original (in fact, it does not need an 18 certificate). The few sex scenes are too short. Basic Instinct was a sexy film which you could happily watch with your partner. Not porn or arty, like 9 Songs... just an erotic film and a thriller with some reasonable acting. It was good. Basic Instinct 2 is rubbish. This time it's set in London and the main male victim is Dr Michael Glass (the tall David Morrissey), a psychiatrist who works on and falls prey to Stone's character, the manipulative Catherine Tramell, suspected of murdering a popular football player.
London is looking good and extremely modern, but very fake. Stone's aggressive sexy acting attempts do not carry the same power she flaunted in the original. Just does not seem right. None of the other actors stand out, with the exception of David Thewlis (Detective Washburn). 2/10
Steamboy – 2004
This anime (8 years in production) was created by Katsuhiro Ootomo responsible for the brilliant Akira. And if you have seen Akira (9/10) then you will recognise many ideas are recycled into this new film. This film is rich in detail, like Akira. It involves much destruction like Akira – only this time it is London receiving a good pounding rather than Neo-Tokyo. TetssssuuuoooOOOOOOOOOO. Sorry. Like Akira, the story involves powerful weapons; in Steamboy we have great complex machines powered by steam, rather than mass pulsating organic matter. This film is so full of ideas that it seems like too much is crammed into it, like Akira (ya need to read the manga to fully appreciate Akira).
It's set in mid-1850s and the story concerns an extremely powerful invention called a steam ball which can provide immense energy. James Steam is asked to protect the ball by his grandfather, Dr Lloyd, because naturally others will want this device; the bad guys in this film are in fact arms manufacturers and want the ball to further their own greed. James's father Eddie has changed somewhat and joined the bad guys.
Patrick Stewart voices Lloyd with other famous folk like Alfred Molina (Eddie) and X-men's Anna Paquin (James). The English dubbing is pretty damned good for a change. Though I suspect the Japanese still sounds better; especially dramatic shouting, always good.
I can't say the story is amazing, but still the movie is a joy to behold. You will realise soon enough how much effort was squeezed into this film. A great job. 7.5/10
V for Vendetta
V for Vendetta – 2006
This story is set in the future in a fascist Great Britain. V is a Guy Fawkes-wannabe terrorist or freedom fighter who seeks to bring down the totalitarion Government; he is played by Hugo Weaving (Agent Smith and Elrond in other well-known blockbusters). Natalie Portman takes the role of the pretty Evey who is rescued from a nasty situation by V and eventually becomes heavily involved with V's plans which include blowing up important buildings and killing some cops and important blokes. Evey learns much about herself and V's unusual backgrounds. We also have Detective Finch who also seeks the truth behind this mysterious V troublemaker and starts the doubt the world around him blah blah (this Finch character is so freekin dull). He is played by the Irish actor Stephen Rie. John Hurt plays the tyrannical Chancellor Adam to a high standard as to be expected. The wonderful Stephen Fry supports.
The character V is interesting to watch and the combat scenes with him are indeed cool. There is a fun moment when you see up Evey's skirt = delightful. As for the whole story, I was not that impressed. Maybe it's better if you read/care about the original comics. I can't really explain why this film did not grab me. I really have seen so much better. I don't think it was worth Natalie having her head shaven; she looks amazing with long flowing hair. The Wachowski brothers were involved considerably and I know very well how much bollocks spurts from their 'creative' minds. 4/10
Despite it being shit it seems to have quite the following.
Narc – 2002
A gritty and angry film with some amazing acting. Violent, with a tinge of sadness through the eyes of hard men. This has to be in my top ten. 9/10
More detailed review to follow.
Untergang, Der (Downfall)
Downfall – 2004
A brilliant German film of der Fuhrer, Adolf Hitler's final moments. April 1945, Germany faces inevitable defeat. Hitler is not well and still convinced the war can be won, calling on armies of reserves that simply no longer exist in a working state and talking of bringing back the powerful Luftwaffe (pretty much obliterated by April 1945). He orders his closest generals and political aides to fight to the very last man. We see him appear to give up on Germany, calling his own people weak and thinking what could have been; what great plans he thought he had. Those closest to him do not want to live in a world without National Socialism and without him, and so they kill themselves. Some of his officers are fanatically devoted to him like Joseph Goebbels, others betray him like the powerful and initially most loyal Heinrich Himmler, Albert Speer and Goring. Some are lost and unsure as to what can be done. Some simply turn to alcohol. The actors who play the various officers resemble the real people (check out the photos on wikipedia) so they clearly went to some effort with the casting in this film.
It's a fascinating movie and possibly the only accurate (as possible) telling of what happened in that bunker.
The film realises the war outside the bunker too with effective scenes of fighting in Berlin, where we see brainwashed German children taking up arms and destroying Russian tanks. We see make-shift hospitals full of the wounded and dying.
You may even feel sorry for the Nazi leader especially the scene where he has his beloved dog killed before he himself commits suicide with Eva Braun. Hitler was a great lover of animals, a vegetarian and hated smoking. This film shows the softer side to Hitler (this angered some critics who took it for an attempt to humanise Hitler), but mostly we see the extreme anger and paranoia. Once Hitler is dead the film continues on a while longer to show how the others close to him deal with the defeat and surrender.
Swiss Bruno Ganz plays Hitler in a quite stunning and fascinating performance. The other key character is Traudl Junge played by the pretty Alexandra Maria Lara. Junge was Hitler's last PA and was quite close to him and she appears in the film at the start and finish and takes some of the writing credit. A must see film. 9/10