Wednesday, January 27, 2010

(film review) The Book of Eli

As we love these, this is another Post-Apocolyptic film for my reviews, however this one isn't about rabid Zombies pulling limbs and flesh off and trying to eat people alive, this is about a book. Sounds a bit boring really. I mean who wants to see a film about a book? But then again, they made a film about a ring and that was around 9hrs long AND they are doing 2 prequels. I digress.

Watching this film, I couldn't help but think of Mad Max mixed with something else...I just can't think of the other film right now, but the desert, the vehicles (a little), you know. The action was decent, in fact, the action was excellent if you watch the whole film and think about all the action again.

It all starts with 'The Walker' (Denzel Washington) who basically shows you how it is like without McDonalds, KFC, Wimpy, Ihop or Wendy's being around. We also see how he basically survives from night to night and how he keeps a cool head with a no-nonsense attitude letting nothing get in his way while he 'WALKS' West. He is a man on a mission and so is Carnegie (Gary Oldman)who plays 'The Bad Guy' in the film, who sends goons that cannot even read to look for a specific book. Pointless, I know.
The point of the whole film is that, The walker protects the book while he is trying to get to somewhere and Carnegie wants the book as it is believed by him to hold such a significant "Power" that, the town he already oversees, he is able to construct more and gather more people and, well, basically rebuild the world since the last World War basically destroyed much of it, so it is believed.

The Walker walks into Carnegie's town and realising that The Walker can read and has a book in his possession, all hell breaks loose while Carnegie stops at nothing to retrieve this book.

The pacing of this film isn't that bad. If your tired, you might just fall asleep. Not saying it's boring but the action isn't consistent. So in a moment when a bird is flying in the air or the walker is ransacking buildings, you might fall asleep as it's not THAT interesting, but if you watch carefully, tells a lot about the film.

A lot of things were said about this film before I saw it. I heard it's good, I heard it's rubbish and well, it's one of those films you'll need to watch it again. What makes me laugh, is that at the end of the film, it throws in a huge 'WTF' in your face which makes you rethink the whole film. I mean the twist compels me to watch it again, but unfortunately, this isn't a GREAT film in which you can watch over and over and over again, so I'm not in a hurry. Maybe once or twice....maybe 3 times at max, but then that's about it. Not a grammy award winner or a film that will stand out in Denzel Washington's career. Although in saying that, his acting was good and he may go to do more films in which he does more fighting, but other than all that, The Book of Eli is a decent watch.
I'd say watch it and don't listen to what other people think of the film. Watch it with a clear head, expect anything and be very observant. Out Now!!!


Friday, January 22, 2010

(film review) - Ninja Assassin

After watching this film, you'd wish you was a ninja, no lie! You will think that they are the coolest type of people ever. If you think of a ninja, you usually come up with, a guy in pyjama's running around in flip-flops with his face covered up and nothing but his eyes showing with a long sword in his hands and occasionally doing the odd run up the wall and disappearing acts with a puff of smoke. Well, Ninja Assassin is like, all of that on steroids. I'll explain.

Raizo (Rain) is a child being raised by the Ozunu Clan who are to the world, nothing but a myth. Growing up in the temple where they train young children to be deadly ninjas, rain was subjected to a lot of discipline and training which left him with scars all over his body and nurtured him into being one of the worlds deadliest Special Forces Ninja Assassins.
When Mika Coretti (Naomie Harris), a Europol Agent starts to investigate political murders that are linked to the Ozunu Clan, not only does she steal files to find out more about this mysterious clan, the clan find out and come out of the shadows, literally and make an attempt to assassinate her before the truth comes to light.

So the story sounds a little far fetched, I mean who believes in Ninja's that come out the shadows and use death-stars, booo. Yeah, well, after this film you might want to keep away from shadows as these guys do not hang about and they do not play.
The fight scenes are enough to keep you on the edge of your seat and watching hoping to see more ninja activity. There were times when I was watching thinking to myself, these are NINJAS your shooting at, are you dumb? But I guess ninjas are trained to be a certain way, but doesn't make them not human. In addition to the fight scenes, most were in a dark surrounding/environment which made it slightly hard to follow and special effects used to a degree that the fight scenes may not have looked as real if done in a lighter setting. I'm not saying they were hiding the strings, but the dark settings added to the atmospheric feel and well, a ninja wouldn't attack you in broad daylight as it would defeat their purpose, I guess.
There is a lot of blood too, a lot of it. So much deep red blood spilling, pouring and spitting out of joints, limbs and flesh, I thought I was watching a Vimto add for a moment.

The film is a decent film to watch and there are funny bits and I guess you kind of know how the story will go and how it will end, but who has seen people come out of the shadows and keep people then disappear back into the shadows like they were never there before on film? Or Bullets VS Death-stars?
If you like martial arts movies, a cheesy storyline and a lot of action, then this is your movie. And remember what I said at the beginning, you'd want to be a ninja after viewing this.


Monday, January 18, 2010

(film review) - Precious

This film is based on a novel written by Sapphire, a American author and performance poet. It was originally called "Push" until Tyler Perry and Oprah Winfrey gave it some promotional assistance and released it through Lions Gate Entertainment and named it Precious.

Claireece Precious Jones (Gabourey Sidibe) is an 16 year old, born and raised in Harlem who not only is obese and illiterate, she also suffers from long term mental and physical abuse as well as sexual abuse from both her parents. She has already had a daughter named "Mongo" for short and on news of her second child on the way, her school suspend her to attend an alternative school in hopes to help change her life's direction. From this point, Precious tries to seek assistance and do better for herself with the help of her teacher (Paula Patton) until more family domestics lead to precious leaving home and being stuck in a halfway house until she gets back on her feet. The film shows us of Precious' daily struggles of being who she is and the traumatic experiences she has undergone through her life.

Without spoiling the film as it is a very good watch and maybe a little much for a Sunday morning (the day I saw it), the film didn't grab me as much as I thought it would. The trailer for the film was upsetting enough to watch and the film is equally the same, however, I did honestly think I'd leave the cinema with tears streaming down my face. I put that down to the fantasy land and narration precious gives throughout the entire film. As Precious is always in another world to help escape from a possible traumatic experience in the real world, it does make up and water down some of the scenes/film making them easier to view. I haven't read the novel myself but I have heard that the novel is very graphic and maybe this is the reason why some scenes were watered down to make for easy viewing. Hence the reason I didn't cry.

I can't say much about this film as I have already said enough and it is definitely a film to watch or read. It is sad, funny and I guess at the end, you may even smile, but the film on a whole is a film in which you may need to prepare yourself for before viewing. Some of the scenes that they do show are pretty graphic, but I do believe it could have been worse and more touching, like pulling on the heart strings and play on the audiences emotion levels.

If you can find this film out now anywhere....make sure you go and see it.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

(film review) - 44 Inch Chest

To me, this wasn't a gangster film. I guess it had most of the elements of one, but fell short on, well, some real gangster stuff.
I'll explain, this film is like Reservoir Dogs. It is all based in one room like it however, this has more to do with the trials, tribulations and torment of a broken man.

Colin Diamond (Ray Winstone) is a gangster, but becomes jealous of the fact that his wife, Liz, has left him for a younger, leaner, more handsome, French guy. Struck in a fit of Rage, Colin is found distraught on the floor of his home where he is found laying there by pal, Archie (Tom Wilkinson), who then tells other pals, Old Man Peanut (John Hurt), Mal (Stephen Dillane) and Meredith (Ian McShane) to help put the puzzle together of their mate, Colin and help him get himself together and take revenge on Liz's Loverboy (Melvin Poupaud).

The film for me was different and excellent. There isn't one film I can think of that touches on the love a man has for his misses and what is going through his head at the time he finds out she's cheated on him, his initial reaction, after his reaction and the cause and affect of his reactions in so much detail. He goes barmy. Drinks alcohol as it is water and then starts hallucinating crazy things and starts to get paranoid and thinks that everyone (all his mates) have been sleeping with his wife too.

This film questions Love. What it is. What people would do for love. What people can do to destroy love. How people treat love and how love can destroy someone's very being. I felt that the film was too 'on point'. Sometimes you fall out of love, find someone new, but if someone is still in love with you, the affects it has is madness and even literally.

The film was very well written and acted out. Every character was wicked. My favourite was Old Man Peanut as I found him hilarious and as for Meredith, the dark and sinister poof, he was really good.
I don't want to spoil this film for anyone as I do feel you do have to watch it for yourself before you give judgement. I'd just like to say, it's an English film and a gangster film, but just without the gangster ish! It's different to Lock, Stock, Snatch and This Is England as this is in a different league. However, I do think it's a film more for the men.

If you want something English, something real in which you can possibly relate to and something that is well written and acted out, then this will definately be your film!
Go out and see it when it comes out!

(film review) - A Prophet(Un prophete)

First and foremost, I can't stand subtitled films. It highly irritates me that I have to read whilst I watch what is going on. I also feel that if I take my eyes off the centre of the screen to read the writing at the bottom of the screen, something will past through the center of the screen or anywhere else on the screen but the bottom of it where the writing is and I'd miss it. The only saving grace in subtitled films and the English language is, when foreign people are talking, it sounds like 1000 words being said when all they are saying is, "Hello", so for a slow reader like me who is reluctant to read in case he misses something, finds gratification, somehow. Anyway, please industry, no more subtitled films....or get decent voice overs damnit!

Anyway, now that I got that off my chest, this film is French and is my first review on a non-english film. And dispite the subtitles, I did manage to follow this ever so long film. Yes, it is bluddy long. I wasn't prepared for it at all. Over 2hrs I spent reading subtitles.
Hmmm, this film is about a young man who is half Arab and also unable to read or write who is sentenced to 6 years in prison. Although he tries to stand up for himself, his first day is no walk in the park as he gets approached, beaten up and mugged for his footwear. In the beginning he struggles to cope with prison life until he is taken under the wing of a group of Corsicans with leader Cesar Luciani (Niels Arestrup) who "run" the prison how they see fit and swear to protect him throughout his time inside. Whilst inside Malik El Djebena(Tahar Rahim) learns how to work, learn different languages, learn how to read and write, toughen up and start to build his own network of alies under the quiet and earn is own respect.

Being a subtitled film, there wasn't a GREAT deal to read I guess, so i was able to catch everything that was said. This helped me keep up with the visuals which lasted over 2 hrs of watching time in which I'm sure they could have cut down. The storyline was a little slow and it was a little confusing to follow why some things were how they were. An example would be, the guy kills another guy in the film to stop him from being a witness of some sort in court, however, after he is dead, he is seen as a ghost(in normal human/solid form) in which the guy speaks to from time to time. I didn't get it, what was his purpose. Another thing I didn't get was the types of characters in the film and what seemed to be the politics in the film as well. Was it based on society in France and how some cultures are viewed or what? Another confusing element was the fact that, your watching this man sleeping, it looks like he's dreaming and fighting in his sleep and all of a sudden, Deers are running. The fact that we saw deer's in the following scene didn't really seem to hold any bearing to the first time we saw them. The fact that Malik El Djebena is called a prophet due to this, didn't give the name much grounds as he hadn't foreseen anything else in the film before or even after. Crazy and a little weird.

This film was only just enjoyable due to the fact that I can't stand subtitle films and there was a lot of action in it. The prison he was in was in such a state, it made me wonder if some prisons were actually like this. TV's in your cell, sex on call and getting beaten up or shanked or giving blowjobs for payment on the selling of drugs within the walls of the prison. And what made it worse, Djebena had day releases from prison and he was on a whole different adventure all in 12 hrs from his release time and his due back time. It was very entertaining to watch but just a little difficult to follow.
Out Soon!

Monday, January 04, 2010

(film review) - Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll

It's been a while since I've seen the very talented and sexy Naomie Harris (corr), but she is back in a film that is a biopic of Ian Dury, the frontman and lead singer of British Band, Ian Dury and the Blockheads.
This film will not appeal to everyone as biopics are about people you follow or know of or about. If you know nothing about these people, you might find it either interesting or boring or might not even get the whole film altogether by switching off at some point and glaring at the screen until you see the credits. This film was a whole new experience for me and was also interesting, I'll explain my reasons why.

I had no idea who Ian Dury was let alone know who or what a blockhead is. His reign was before my time living, so I can only say, that I was in for a surprise nonetheless. The fact that Naomie Harris was starring in the film, that alone left me content and help make for easy viewing.

Ian Dury lived from 1942 - 2000 and died of metastatic liver cancer at age 57. Through his life he was battling with the debilitating disease of polio which had an effect on his lifestyle and his relationships with people around him. This is the main focal point of the film.
The film shows Dury (Andy Serkis) trying to make it as the lead singer of his band but failing badly. A lot of the failures were due to lack of focus and his attitude towards fellow band members. His personal battle with polio and his schooling, I feel often haunted him which made him act the way he did. Whilst being married to Betty (Olivia Williams), he fell for Denise (Naomie Harris) in which he got her to be the driver and manager of the band. He got to know her on a personal level and even lived with her whist still being married. However, his relationship with her was also as rocky as his marriage. As he was looking for that hit song, he was also trying to be a father to his two children in which he weren't around a lot.
Ian Dury and the Blockheads got their hit song and a string of hits in the end and started to rise to fame. In 1977, one of their many hits were called "Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll" in which the film's title derived from.

Without going into so much about the film, I actually enjoyed it. It was a decent watch although it did seem a little weird in places. Like I said, I didn't know who he was and like I also said, this film may not be for you at all, but the film had enough sex and real life drama's in it to keep me entertained. (Plus, I'm damn sure I saw Naomie Nipple. Mmmmm.) It wasn't an Eastenders storyline at all, far from it, but it was good to learn about someone I never knew of or about who made something of his life despite his disability. It shows that, if you have that drive, you can get what you want if you remain driven.

This is a fan film. For the fans. I watched it to learn who he was and because Naomie Harris was in it. So, if your a fan, you should enjoy this. Maybe you could explain the stupidly abrupt ending at the end which left me as baffled as a Nun waking up in a mental institution's cell.

Sound good? Then go watch it. Out Now!

(film review) - Sherlock Holmes

Robert Downey Jr. is on a role. After disappearing for a while as he has been in and out of trouble with the police and rehab for substance abuse issues, I do believe he is choosing good roles and he is on top form. If you haven't seen 'The Soloist', I suggest you go see it. But not only that film, he has been in 'The Incredible Hulk' and not only 'Iron Man 1' but the second instalment is out later on this year and the trailer looks excellent.

Sherlock Holmes, directed by Guy Ritchie is not your normal Sherlock Holmes. Guy Ritchie has injected his 'COOL' into this character. The same kind of COOL he injected in other films such as 'Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels', 'Snatch' & 'RocknRolla'. This film has you look at Sherlock Holmes as a strangely random and unorthodox genius. To me, Sherlock Holmes came across as batty. Batty being a bit crazy. However, with his acute eye for detail and his intelligence, his batty behaviour can only be described as someone who is so intelligent, that they often think at a rapid speed that their behaviour seems a little crazy for the onlooker.

Sherlock Holmes(Robert Downey Jr.) and his partner, Dr. John Watson(Jude Law) race to stop a human sacrifice conducted by Lord Blackwood(Mark Strong). With reason's to believe that Lord Blackwood practices sorcery the police imprison him and before they hang him, Lord Blackwood tells Holmes that 3 more deaths will occur after his excution. Dr. Watson pronounces Lord Blackwood dead, but 3 days later, they find his coffin smashed open and the body of a red haired Midget inside instead of Blackwood. Sherlock Holmes along with Dr. Watson must now try and piece together all the bits and pieces surrounding a red haired midget, Lord Blackwood, his sorcery, holmes' ex-acquaintance, her employer and a plot that will change the world forever.

I didn't know what to expect from this film. In all honesty, the trailer kind of portrays something else than what you actually see, but what you actually see is not what you actually expect. So in saying that, what you actually expect is something that, not only doesn't fit the film's trailer, but also doesn't fit the film, however, the film still comes across as watchable and enjoyable.

Sherlock Holmes in my eyes is a Deerstalker wearing, Pipe smoking detective with a partner who is a doctor, but in this version, he is a witty, intelligent and fast thinking detective with an acute eye for detail and nose for smells, who has a brotherly-love type of relationship with Dr. Watson who in his spare time does a spot of bare knuckled boxing. On the other hand Dr. Watson is also smart but comes across as a bit of a ruffian thug. I couldn't help thinking whilst watching the film that Dr. Watson, although he is a doctor, how comes he seems to enjoy fighting people? Throughout the film, it just seemed that Dr. Watson couldn't get enough of having a bit of a punch-up. You see in this film that, one cannot survive without the other.

How Guy Ritchie directs this film, you see the Guy Ritchie in it and if you do like Guy Ritchie films, you will definitely like this. It's Smart, Witty and funny. I do feel that it could have been a lot darker and sinister and possibly longer with a bit more action and twists, but what was seen was good and enjoyable. It even ended with the possibility of a sequel.

Go and see this film. In Cinema's NOW!