Tuesday, 30 June 2009

warmer than hell

spinal tap, wembley arena

perhaps the most ironic gig that has ever existed: 3 aging rockers played by 3 aging comedians, doing a faux reunion gig for a fake band parodying classic rock from a mockumentary made 25 years ago called their "one night world tour", supported by a faux folk band made up of the same 3 actors in different costumes - one of which was dressed as a woman - in reference to a different mockumentary they made about 10 years ago.

and the audience seemed to be made up of:
people who modeled their life on derek smalls,
people who modeled their 'look' on derek smalls,
people who dressed in fancy dress as derek smalls,

..and one guy who sat in front of us, singing as loud as the human vocal chords could muster and explaining to his bemused girlfriend that Spinal Tap pretty much guided every choice he's ever made in his life... without irony. which, to me, makes it seem even more ironic.

anyway. the three original performers, who between them created the mockumentary genre and so one of the bedrocks of modern comedy, took it to a whole new level; and their brilliantly observed characatures played a notably un-sold-out gig without missing a parodying beat.
was it by genius design that the place was only 2 thirds full?
was it a sign of highly controlled skill that many of the songs were a bit rubbish?
could it have been the mind of comedy legend that screwed up the opening VT?
the conviction with which creator Christopher Guest played misunderstood songwriter and lead guitarist Nigel Tufnall suggests it so.

and,.. whatever; it was cool to be there. especially when justin hawkins turned up with a bass guitar shaped like a space shuttle to play the bassline of 'big bottom'

in bruges

you would be forgiven - if you saw the trailer and/or read colin farrell on the cast list - for expecting this to be big pile of wank... but you will be pleasantly surprised if you get yourself round to watching it. quite a simple film in many ways, but charming for those very reasons. everyone gives a 'not bad' performance, there is a good level of silliness and there is a conscious lack of sickly sweet love boredom type nonsense.


Monday, 29 June 2009

lucky number slevin

this is like a Guy Ritchie film, but with believable characters and a better script.

bit of an obvious twist, but there we go.

i thought lucy lui was a tasty sex kitteh in this. a tasty sex kitteh.


Sunday, 28 June 2009

the departed

classy classy classy. when they say a movie has a "stella cast" this is the sort of thing they mean, with a cast list that glimmers with some of the best talent the world can muster. it twists and turns and keeps you on the edge, the story is fantastic, and the actors are - on the whole - phenomenal. even marky mark, who's character can justifiably be placed on the 'most annoying characters of all time' list.

this is definitely a boy's film, lots of manly men doing manly things with guns and cars and enough testosterone you could slip over.

yuh, this was cool.


Saturday, 27 June 2009

the core

the tag line for this film should read "some people get lost in an entirely improbable windows screensaver"


Friday, 26 June 2009


i'm a bit of a chingiss khan nut, but forgiving the historical innaccuracies is easy with this absolutely stunning film. it looks incredible throughout; sumptuous and colourful and entrancing. it's cool to hear a film entirely in mongolian and great to experience the mongol country again.

i hope that the same cast might continue the story one day as we only saw half of temujin's life and the 2nd half is awesome.


Thursday, 25 June 2009

lars & the real girl

not what you're expecting....

this is a really heartwarming tale of unconditional love and friendship and you can't help feeling that life is good after watching it.

and ryan gosling is fast becoming a firm favourite of mine. he is totally convincing in this, and you find yourself accepting the real girl as being real because of his interaction with her.

just wonderful.


Wednesday, 24 June 2009


it is beyond comprehension that films this rubbish are allowed to be made. it wasn't well-shot, witty, clever, ironic or entertaining. the special effects could've been bettered by a 4 year-old. the acting was terrible.... fuck me, this was a waste of time.


Tuesday, 23 June 2009

pineapple express

i was quite bored for the first bit of this, which was mainly just a stoner flick with people acting wasted for a while. not something that entertains me in any way.
the film starts for me, when the guys fight red. then i 'got it' and it became a comedy action film in the same ilk as one of the old police academys. it wasn't a bad movie, but i've seen better from these guys.


Monday, 22 June 2009

the strangers

chilling, disturbing and horrible. the trick of this film is it's complete ambiguity and lack of resolution. i was genuinely tense throughout, and it was only really spoiled by the very final shot.


Sunday, 21 June 2009

go west

the love affair is over. i'm returning to london this evening and as i arrive into the neon and dirty shop-fronts i just can't summon up a sense of coming home. gone - it seems - are the feelings of excitement as i pull back into 'my city' with an extra heartbeat and a sense of pride. gone is the hope of unexpected thrills and 24 hour life.
i find myself disillusioned, disappointed and disappeared. falling through a city that didn't care that i'd arrived and doesn't miss me when i'm away. a city created by the consumption and expulsion of filth.

home is where the heart is, they say. mine didn't come back with me. the love affair is over. where are my suburbs and crazy-paved driveway? where are the friendly faces and unpretentious acts of kindness? where's my cat?

12 months away unfortunately. i guess i'll have to be without my soul until then. i'll be in good company.

son of rambow

a celebration of childhood in the 80's... and who didn't love it?

garth jennings made a really enjoyable film that puts you right back in your youth. a good-ish story, but the film is made up by it's style and sense of home-made-ness. a lot of heart & soul went into making this, and it shows.


Saturday, 20 June 2009

mr. brooks

never once will you guess what will happen next. good, strong performances from everyone. well worth a look if you're in the mood for a serial killer thriller.

Friday, 19 June 2009

boyz n the hood

bar laurence fishburne, this is a surprisingly badly acted film. it's meant to be one of those seminal works, one of those must-sees in movie history, but to be honest it's not very well edited, cuba gooding jnr. is better in Pearl Harbour and its predictable in a disappointing way.



Thursday, 18 June 2009


i thought this was going to be another film that didn't do justice to the book but this is an instant classic to rival full metal jacket, and propels sam mendes into the league of directors that includes kubrick and ridley scott. every frame in this film tells a thousand stories and gyllenhaal is fricken awesome in this. hoo-ar.

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

half nelson

pretty uncomfortable but superbly acted by ryan gosling. it's really well paced & the feel of the whole thing is well executed.

all teachers should be like this guy, except for the drug thing.


Tuesday, 16 June 2009

hellboy II: the golden army

nooooooo. i wanted so much for this to be a brilliant film, but left it in a state of disappointment.

so many parts of it were great, mostly the way it looked; which was phenomenal. it's one of the best looking films i've ever seen and by far the best superhero movie ever... visually. guillermo's vision of an alternate supernatural world will be unsurpassed for a long time what with this, pan's labyrinth and blade 2.

it's not all about the look though, unfortunately. the rest seemed strangely misplaced. it lacked the witty script i found in the first hellboy. the characters were less convincing, there were some horribly cheesey lines and scenes, the golden army itself was just a bit dull......

the opening scene with hellboy as a teenager was just unnecessary and the young version of hellboy reminded me of the 'whos of whoville' from the jim carrey grinch film.

and a whole list of other faults.

there were some quite cool action sequences, and it was nice to see luke goss reprising his blade 2 role.... but i walked out thinking "it just wasn't fun"



Monday, 15 June 2009

the watcher

now, i don't know any good reason why i should like this. in essence, it's terrible.


but i liked it goddamnit. i liked the weird, slightly inappropriate soundtrack filled with interesting but non-sensical choices.
i liked the cliched simplicity of the highly predictable story.
i even liked keanu's acting, which unbelievably, is at an all-time wooden low.

one reviewer called it "a superb thriller"
i wouldn't go that far.....


Sunday, 14 June 2009

there will be blood

just a very high standard of film-making, not least the performances from paul dano and daniel day-lewis.


Saturday, 13 June 2009

where the truth lies

a little-known straight-to-video gem filled with intrigue and a high level of acting. nice to see colin firth not playing a big wet wimp of a character,... and rachel blanchard with no clothes on.


Friday, 12 June 2009

the dark knight

oooooohhhhhhh. SO good.

christian bale is ever-so slightly less convincing as the misunderstood comic-book hero as he was in 'begins' but is still by far the best batman ever.

if a little too long, this movie is mostly excellent: heath ledger, gary oldman and morgan freeman are particularly good. the effects are flawless and the stunts are amazing. i especially liked the scene where they realised who the hostages actually were and the sequence that followed.

not a huge fan of the bike design, but it made sense considering its primary use. the weakest link was maggie gyllenhall, which was a big shame. she was good enough, but we need someone sexier and... errrr, better i suppose. although not having katie holmes was a blessing.

anyway, enough of the negatives. generally it was awesome, disturbing, adrenalin-inducing, witty, fun, stunning and i liked it. liked it like i like stuff i like.


Thursday, 11 June 2009


nice little movie. i would've liked to see more hancock disasters pre-PR... it was a bit obvious that charlize was going to be another 'super' character - they did ladle the build-up quite a lot. no matter; it was funny, good looking and although it screeched to a sudden halt was thoroughly enjoyable.


Wednesday, 10 June 2009

war of the worlds

genuinely unpredictable, sinister and unsettling. not bad for a spielberg summer blockbuster. i wish we never got to see the aliens in person though, they turned out to be a little bit too cute for my liking.


Tuesday, 9 June 2009


i'd love to work for pixar, it just seems like ultimate fun. what could be better than constantly making wonderful films that everyone loves (apart from cars)?

wall-e will go down as one of the best, nearly up there with toy story 2. a simple story that worked on a few happy levels, i would have liked to spend more time with wall-e alone on earth and less time on the human spaceship, but it is a kids film so i should grant it a bit of pace in sacrifice of depth. you can't knock it too far really. in short, it's a magical little story told by clever people with computers; and funny jokes.


Monday, 8 June 2009

over the hedge

soundtrack by ben folds. therefore it wins.
lots of laugh out loud moments, the hammy character is hilarious and the whole sequence with the bear attacking the exterminator's van is a riot.

i wonder when these film reviews will catch up to where i actually am?


chronicles of narnia: the lion, the witch & the wardrobe

very surprisingly, disney managed to make a live action movie that didn't feel like a big money making, commercial blockbuster-a-thon. rather this felt really homegrown and indie, with enough slightly crappy special effects to give you the impression it was made by a little studio somewhere in the cotswolds. apart from the centaurs and wolves having american accents which was a bit weird. otherwise, really enjoyable for all the family.


Sunday, 7 June 2009

hustle & flow

apart from being about the creation of some terrible music, this is a brilliant example of convincing, soulful film-making. the performances are excellent, it looks awesome and the entire environment works at showing the struggle to pull some form of culture out of desolation.

nothing about this made me want to watch it, and i caught it by accident... but i was really impressed.


Saturday, 6 June 2009

the crow: wicked prayer

this is one of those films that make you wonder about the thought processes of some of the people involved, about how they feel when they're filming it. do they realise the terrible terrible thing they are undertaking? do they know that when the project is finished it will be forever a filthy blot in the history of film production? some of the actors in this are almost innocent parties in a project that has the same impact on the movie industry as the holocaust had on hannukah.
i mean, dennis hopper is in this! and david boreanaz (who isn't normally a pillar of goodness, but compared to this film could've been cast as forrest gump).

you would be forgiven for suggesting that any film with tara reid in is destined to be a vomitous pile of wank, but unfortunately for this completely pointless sequel the list of disasters doesn't end there.


Friday, 5 June 2009

kung fu panda



Thursday, 4 June 2009

robocop 2

eeeerrrrrrrrr. yuh. basically a selection of unnecessarily violent scenes that are a bit weird, sometimes a strange grasp at comedy and a guy doing the 'robot man' badly for 2 hours. but, hey... it's a classic.


Wednesday, 3 June 2009

the fifth element

luc besson pulls out another stunning film. this one is visually incredible, like nothing else. it's got a good action story line, cool sequences and ian holmes.
unfortunately.... it has chris tucker. why that guy is one of the best paid actors in hollywood i have absolutely no clue. not one foggy idea.


Tuesday, 2 June 2009

lord of war

compelling, dramatic and quite quite worrying.

visually excellent, cage is great if a little similar, good story and.... other stuff. i'm bored of writing.


Monday, 1 June 2009

the river wild

do you know what?.... this is actually pretty good. you expect it to be tosh, but no. even meryl streep isn't annoying. good bad guys, genuinely unpredictable, dog throwing....