Category Archives: Film Reviews

A Good Day to Die Hard (2013)

die hardIn 1988 director John McTiernan cast Bruce Willis as John McClane in Die Hard and the rest is history. I could write a book on the sheer brilliance of the film however I wouldn’t be telling you anything you didn’t already know. The following two films were well received however Die Hard 4:0 (or Live Free and Die Hard) was successful in splitting opinion. Did it feel like a Die Hard film, is Bruce Willis too old for this shit, and was Kevin Smith solely responsible for ruining the film? Personally, I thought the film was okay however the questions were valid and that’s why I was incredibly sceptical of the fifth entry in the franchise. What made matters worse was the news that the studio would be releasing a toned down cut for the UK despite the film earning an R rating state side. Needless to say, I didn’t enter the cinema with high hopes.

The film finds John McClane heading to Moscow after learning that his son Jack (Jai Courtney) has been arrested. Before he’s even had a chance to see the sights, Continue reading

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January Round Up

January has been a really busy month. Although I have managed to squeeze a lot of new releases into my schedule, unfortunately I’ve not had the time to review them (woe is me). Nevertheless I’ve decided to round up what I saw in the cinema in January.

Texas Chainsaw 3D

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The Texas Chainsaw Massacre series is one of the most iconic horror franchises in cinema. Kicking off with The Texas Chainsaw Massacre in 1974, three sequels followed before it was inevitably remade in 2003, the remake then spawning a prequel in 2006. 2013 sees its first foray into 3D and you know it isn’t that bad…for the first 5 minutes at least. Continuing right after where the original left off, a lynch mob burn down the Sawyer family’s farmhouse with all of them inside. Finding a baby has survived, one of the mob adopt it only for her to grow up into Alexandra Daddario suggesting that she may not be a blood relative of her cousin Leatherface. Continue reading

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Hitchcock (2013)

Hitchcock 1The master of suspense. Alfred Hitchcock was one of the giants of movie making in the twentieth century.  One look at his canon of work is impressive enough. What marked him out from others at the time was his ability to generate buzz around his films that captured the public imagination and attention. From this gift he was able to develop a public persona of an enigmatic and slightly menacing figure. Hitch reveled in this and was always happy to play his part in building the myth. It got to such a level that the distinction between truth and fiction got blurred. I suspect that the film Hitchcock starring Anthony Hopkins and Helen Mirren has a similar relationship with reality. Continue reading

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Sleeper (1973)

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By 1973 Woody Allen was a firm favourite with Cinema going audiences. Although not yet feted as a master by the critical community his films were highly successful at the box office. That’s not to say that he was simply pandering to the masses for financial gain. In retrospect you can see him developing his film making style over the course of these early comedies. Each new film showed that Allen was spending a great deal of time honing his craft. His Direction, writing skills and acting all improved over a hand full of very well received movies giving him the confidence to try new things and more importantly produce an interesting end product. When Sleeper was released it was seen as a new high in Allen’s career. Continue reading

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Django Unchained (2012)

Django UnchainedDjango Unchained is Quentin Tarantino’s 7th outing as Writer / Director and takes us back to his love of the Spaghetti Western. It tells the story of the black slave Django’s escape from bondage in a pre-civil war america at the hands of the bounty hunter Dr Schultz. The two of them set off on a lawful rampage of bounty collection before venturing into the heartlands of Mississippi to find and liberate Django’s wife from the Candieland estate.

Down the years I have seen all of Tarantino’s films and this follows a very similar vein to the ones before it. Whilst I am not his biggest fan I have always enjoyed them (ignoring Kill Bill pt2 – snore) but never really felt the need to add any of them to my DVD/Bluray collection. In fact I think I preferred his early work to what has followed and nothing since Jacky Brown has warranted a second watch!

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Jack Reacher (2012)

Jack reacher 1Expectation can be a dangerous thing. Especially when it’s fans of books about to see a long held hero brought to life on the silver screen. When it was announced that the Jack Reacher books would be adapted the initial excitement turned into howls of anguish as it became apparent that Tom Cruise’s production company was involved and the title role would be filled by Tom himself. The issue for most fans of the book was that Reacher is described as six-foot five and built like a brick outhouse. Tom Cruise on the other hand is about five and a half feet tall and doesn’t have the same imposing physical presence. The issue was put to bed for most of the fans when the book’s author, Lee Child, gave his opinion. He said that with any other (taller) actor you would get one hundred percent of height and ninety percent of the character but with Tom Cruise you get ninety percent of the height but one hundred percent of the character. While being generous with the estimation of Cruise’s dimensions Mr Child hits the nail on the head. The film is an interpretation and the core of that is a totally committed characterisation. Continue reading

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Zombie Asockalypse (2009)

zombie asockalypse 1The perennial question for film makers is how to make their latest offering unique. In an overly crowded market place they need a hook to hang their product on. Something that will entice people to watch and enjoy their film. Over the years the most innovative thinking has been done by horror film makers. With small budgets restricting the process the film makers have had to think radically in order to produce an interesting product. Within the horror genre the most overused character type (after the vampire) is the Zombie. So how best to revitalise the genre? In the case of Zombie Asockalypse the answer is to have all the characters played by sock puppets. Continue reading

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End of Watch (2012)

end of watch 3Just when you thought that you had seen it all, the movies are able to add another twist to an already familiar format. For several years now we have been subjected to the found footage film in one guise or another. The best of the genre such as horror films The Blair Witch Project and Paranormal Activity have led to a slew of lesser and less interesting films including sequels to the aforementioned movies. Rather than dropping the style film makers have tried to expand the range of subjects covered. It comes as something of a surprise that a buddy cop movie is the latest to use the technique. From David Ayer, the director of Training Day comes the 2012 police drama End of Watch. Continue reading

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Thomas’s top 10 of 2012

This list proved harder to cut down than I initially thought. Nonetheless, here’s my top films of 2012. Likely subject to change once discussed with exception of the top three.

Enjoy.

The Muppets

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Within five minutes of this film starting I instantly regretted my decision to come see it. My nostalgic memories were being kicked from me as I realised that not only the Muppets themselves had aged badly,

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THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY (2012)

Hobbit1The Hobbit is a book by J R R Tolkien, that was written as a bedtime story for his son and is a more light hearted prequel to his opus magnum The Lord of the Rings.  It tells the story of how a Hobbit called Bilbo Baggins gets coerced by the Wizard Gandalf into joining with a company of Dwarves, led by Thorin Oakenshield, as their Burglar.  The company sets upon a journey across Middle Earth to the Lonely Mountain, home of the old Dwarven city of Erebor which was taken over by the Dragon Smaug, in the hopes of retaking the city and restoring it to glory. Continue reading

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