seen any good flicks lately?

5,801 to 5,820 of 6,529 messages
07/04/2009 at 13:51

I quite liked the Ang Lee version too.

In fact I really liked it.

Agree this was poo. whatever happened to edward norton?

07/04/2009 at 13:52
D'oh!  You're right.  Eric Bana played Bruce Banner in the Ang Lee one.  Why couldn't they have kept it as David Banner and made life easier for simpletons like me?
07/04/2009 at 14:06

I love Eric Bana, 'Chopper' 'Munich' and  'Black Hawk Down'  are three of my all time favourite movies.

 Eric's new movie/documentary;

Edited: 07/04/2009 at 14:07
08/04/2009 at 14:56

Traitor - 8 April

You feel bad about Iraq. We get that now. 

If further proof were needed, after the Sarah Ferguson/Martin Scorsese produced 'Young Victoria', that the film world has turned on its head, we have a political thriller co-written by.......Steve Martin.

Granted, Martin hasn't raised much more than a chuckle for 20-odd years, and there is absolutely nothing funny about this very sincere, very serious, very dull film about the causes and effects of Middle Eastern terrorism.

Samir Horn (Don Cheadle) is the sort of rogue CIA operative that Hollywood loves. He infiltrates a terrorist cell helmed by the suave, Westernised Fareed (Alyy Khan) and alongside Omar (terror film regular Said Taghmaoi) and a US-wide co-ordinated attack is planned. To make it ultra-clear how super-secret an agent Samir is, his CIA contact Carter (Jeff Daniels) regularly barks spy cliches such as 'nobody even knows you even exist' etc.

'Traitor' is so frighteningly balanced that the running time no doubt had to be extended by 25 minutes in order for every hawkish comment made by the FBI agents tailing Samir must be superceded with a liberal one . The following is sadly typical:

Samir Horn: Oh I'm a terrorist ?
Roy Clayton: I don't know you tell me , you've been selling them explosives.
Samir Horn: Oh I sell to who can afford to buy it... like the US Government.
Max Archer: Only ours don't kill innocent people
Samir Horn: Oh yeah they do genius, people just usually have darker skin

The trouble with such clunky political point-scoring is that its undone by the film's overall theme. While 'Traitor' takes care to discuss the motives behind Islamic suicide bombings, it nevertheless still portrays All Muslims As Rucksack-Carrying Terrorists.

What raises the film above such flaws is the central relationship not between Samir and the fair-minded FBI agent Roy Clayton (Guy Pearce) but between the devoutly Muslim double agent and his 'brother', the radicalised Omar. Despite his treachery, Samir's emotional attachment to Omar is genuine and it's made abundantly clear that he sympathises with the cause if not the methods of his extremist cohort.

It's important, therefore, that Samir cuts a lonely, detached but ultimately decent figure and Cheadle (who never blinks. watch him) is more than up to the task. This is a very fine performance unfortunately cocooned within yet another Hollywood attempt at self-flagellation.

'The truth is complicated'. This film isn't - 5/10.

11/04/2009 at 21:39

Odd thing happened last week. Myself and a colleague were discussing the need to remake the Dirty Dozen with Sly, Arnie, Seagal, van Damme, Jackie Chan etc. Obvious really.

Then I heard about the following extravaganza:

the expendables

12/04/2009 at 08:41
Should be a larf if nothing else.
13/04/2009 at 00:20
Who the heck is randy couture?
13/04/2009 at 05:04

Let the Right One In - 13 April

It's not very often that the creepiest film of the year is also the sweetest but, although the setting (Sweden), genre (horror) and themes (alienation, retribution) lend themselves to the grim, 'Let the Right One In' has a heart warm enough to melt the iciest Scandinavian snow.

Indeed, Tomas Alfredsson has made a film which constantly subverts expectations. The angelic, blond-locked Oskar (Kare Hedebrant) is being bullied at school and is glad of a pale, bewitching distraction in the shape of Eli (Lina Leandersson), the girl next door. Adolescent relationships are awkward enough at the best of times but this one is complicated further by the fact that Eli is a vampire.

Alfredsson's direction is inventive yet schizophrenic, but his lop-sided mixing of art-house intelligence with occasional Hollywood vampire schlock does not detract, quite the opposite. Although 'Let the Right One In' has several bloody genre satisfactions (a scene involving cats is perhaps unintentionally funny  and the vengeful conclusion a delight), this low-budget film opts predominantly for psychological chills rather than hair-on-end frights.

The setting and choice of side characters also delight in the unglamorous. No high-school prom queens here. Eli's victims, who Alfredsson takes care to introduce, develop and flesh out (pun intended) as proper individuals and not just sacrificial lambs, belong a hard-drinking, cackling group of middle-aged, jobless working-class Swedes. Think Ken Loach meets 'Last of the Summer Wine'.

Eli is the 'monster', yet the film seeks takes to extremes the idea that society's notions of the monstrous are frequently more black and white than is the reality. Indeed, rather than assuming the victim role we expect, it is Oskar and not she that is consumed with impotent, unfulfilled rage. Eli kills out of physical necessity, yet her apparently innocent 12-year-old cohort has bloodlust of his own.

And yet, there is something Roald Dahl-esque about the retribution meted out to the film's various villains that is contradictory but oddly satisfying. The conclusion could be accused of being reactionary, but in the modern movie world of liberal moral relevatism, a little bit of unapologetic vigilantism is a breath of fresh air.

This will not be this year's most successful vampire flick, an honour that will fall to the admittedly enjoyable 'Twilight'. However, there are far more dark, bittersweet delights to be had in the grimy streets of Stockholm. 

Take your girlfriend to see it - 8/10.

13/04/2009 at 10:57

Not sure JB but he has starred in such classics as Scorpion King 2 and Fight Schlub ))

Eeek very excited

15/04/2009 at 16:37

Race to Witch Mountain - 15 April


The problem with The Rock (ok Dwayne Johnson), apart from the fact that his name is Dwayne Johnson, is bad timing. Had The Most Electrifying Man In Sports Entertainment embarked on a movie career 10 years earlier, he would have been laughing.

Sadly, in this uber-serious no-frills era of Bourne and post-Brosnan Bond, talents such as winning charisma, bulging biceps, an arching eyebrow and the ability to push a truck loaded with explosives down a mine-shaft while cracking a one-liner are no longer considered plus points.

Therefore, Johnson has been forced to feature in a series of frivolous kids action movies such as this, a sort-of remake of 1975 movie 'Escape from Witch Mountain'.

It's about aliens. Sara (Anna Sophia Robb) and Seth (Alexander Ludwig) are two little martians resembling American 12-year-olds who land in the back of a taxi belonging to curmudgeonly ex-con Jack Bruno (Johnson). Tailed by the FBI, mafia bosses and a Predator-lookalike, Bruno reluctantly agrees to help the kids make it to, erm, Witch Mountain.

This is undeniably lame stuff, but the presence of a rather menacing baddie in Ciaran Hinds, a kooky and refreshingly mature love interest in Carla Gugino and, of course, The Rock (please god give this man a decent vehicle) carry it along pleasantly enough.

If you smell..... - 5/10

16/04/2009 at 10:43

In the Loop

Armando Iannucci's ferociously funny spoof on spin and a certain spin doctor is brilliant, brilliant... brilliant! 

 Scintillating script, wonderfully performed lines from Peter Capaldi and Tom Hollander with the effortless timing of a David Gower cover drive... sweet delivery.

My only problem is that the controlling idea is all too plausible... satire is dead, real life is so much more absurd!

Fantastic 9.999/10

16/04/2009 at 21:28

oh that's good. skim read one or two mediocre reviews at work today and was getting concerned.

I did a a play last year with peter capaldi's neice.

16/04/2009 at 21:33

My first visit to the movies in 2009 Dude...

.. I know.. shocking!

16/04/2009 at 21:36
you've not missed much mate.
16/04/2009 at 22:19

I went almost 10 months without going the movies... I was going 3 or 4 times a week and had done so for about 15 years.

Went to Spain for a bit last year, changed jobs and since I've been back home I've lost the urge to go... still watch a few on DVD every now and again.

17/04/2009 at 20:51

In The Loop - 17/04

Newsflash fuckwits: swearing really is fucking big and VERY FUCKING CLEVER!!!!

And really rather funny.

Of the BBC's recent output, 'The Thick of It', a superb but only moderately successful political comedy was never particularly likely to be chosen enter the pantheon of cack-movies-based-on-great-tv-shows.

But Armando Ianucci, genius behind 'The Day Today' and 'I'm Alan Partridge' was given permission to do just that, and has upset the odds and history by creating perhaps the most acerbic, foul-mouthed and hilarious satire yet made.

Thankfully, the softly-spoken and deceptively polite Glaswegian remains firmly behind the camera for 'In The Loop', for the savage, 72% cocoa dark world of political spin doctoring occupied by the likes of Malcolm Tucker (Peter Capaldi) is no place for him.

Where previous television adaptations failed was the incorrect belief held by the writers that they need only stick to their successful small screen formula, delete the canned laughter and stretch the action out to 90 or so minutes. However, like Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the impish makers of 'South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut', Ianucci has grasped that big screen success requires something altogether more, well big, and opts to insert a smattering of medium-sized star names (James Galdolfini, Anna Chumskly), move the action (partly at least) stateside and amp every character tic up to 11 (the latter joke taken from another comedy film which is *whisper* not as funny as this).

Most effective is the vivid yet equally Machiavellian contrast between the grinning, reptilian American political machine and the alpha-male walls of Westminster, where rabid lapdogs like Tucker bully and berate vaguely well meaning but spineless cabinet ministers (Tom Hollander a seamless representation of New Labour vapidity).

And, while the comedic set pieces are gleefully over-the-top and the array of barked racist and mysoginistic insults a non-PC delight, the notion of politician as political commodity, sculpted, manipulated and ultimately discarded for the purposes of justying illegal war, is, as we all know, no great exaggeration.

However, it would be a shame if larger audiences were put off by descriptions of 'biting satire' or the political machinations which form the spine of 'In The Loop', because it is, ultimately, is just a breathtakingly funny film, with Capaldi's Tucker the greatest movie villain since Darth Vader.

Are you still fucking here? - 9/10.

17/04/2009 at 20:57

Stonkingly good review Dudemeister... and not just because I agree with every word of it (Galdolfini's character was brilliantly conceived and acted)

17/04/2009 at 21:11

Yes he was. Much as I love The Sopranos, I do hope that Gandolfini manages to come out of the shadow of Tony, because he is an excellent actor.

An interesting choice for him.

I also liked the guy who played Toby (cant remember his name), mainly because he got the best gag in the film (the anti-war shag joke)

still laughing at that one

23/04/2009 at 16:54
awfy quiet...... too sunny for films?
23/04/2009 at 16:55

Good - 23 April 

I'm all for historical accuracy and i'm as politically correct as they come but there's part of me that misses the old days where all Nazis in films were just mad, bad bastards with scars and hooks and dastardly plots to clone zombies or rid the world of welshmen.

Sadly, such stereotypes are just no longer cricket and 'Good' is another attempt to portray the German nation state during wartime as an altogether more rounded, complex entity, where millions of generally well-meaning citizens were helplessly enveloped by the Nazi regime.

One such individual is university lecturer John Halder (Viggo Mortensen) who, burdened by a very elderly mother and mentally-ill wife, is coaxed into joining 'The Party' in order to further his career. The Nazi establishment, keen to legitimise their manifesto, offer John a role which they assure him is 'purely honorary'. However, as the hellish plans of the Third Reich gradually envelop the nation, John becomes deeply embroiled in some very nasty business indeed.

'Good' admittedly raises some valid and relevant points about moral relativity and also governmental hijacking of academia (John's novel on the subject of assisted suicide is utilised by the Nazi heirarchy as a means to justify disposing of the mentally ill, the weak and the elderly). Most crucial is his material and sensual seduction by the Nazi regime, a fact that he never fully admits but that is demonstrated metaphorically by his affair with a young Aryan student, who kinkily performs a sex act on him while in his Nazi uniform.

Vicente Amorim has also pulled together an impressive cast with Gemma Morton as 'mother' suitably tragic and, though giving John a Jewish best friend is a clumsy and predictable plot device, the charismatic and muscular Jason Isaacs is excellent, subverting the meek, weedy Yiddish stereotype.

And, having demonstrated courageous dignity as Aragorn in 'Lord of the Rings', muscular impassivity in 'Eastern Promises' and both everyman humanity and sexual brutality in 'A History of Violence'
Mortension again convincingly displays his great versatility as a softy-spoken, gentle academic.

Despite these attractive ingredients, 'Good' is ultimately much less than the sum of its parts, succeeding only partially as a morality tale but, due to its vague, fussy execution and a frankly barking running theme of people singing, utterly failing to engage the emotions of the audience. All head, no heart.

Not bad - 6/10.

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