Category Archives: Action

Star Wars Prequel Trilogy Revisited

When you mention you’re a Star Wars fan to anyone outside your normal social circle, you tend to get one of two reactions. One is the “Eurgh, what did I just step on?” look as they inconspicuously try to get as far away from you as possible, and the other is the knowing smile and the awkward attempt at conversation, usually on the subject of “Is there any other bounty hunter cooler than Boba Fett?” (The answer to that of course, is yes!)

Star Wars Celebration III

Who says it’s not cool to be a Star Wars fan?

Mention to the latter however, that you’re a fan of the prequels and you’ll normally get the exact same reaction as the former gave you the first time. My point is, it’s never cool to admit to being a Star Wars fan, and even less cool amongst other Star Wars fans to admit you like the prequels. Well I’ll freely admit to not being cool just as I’ll freely admit to being a fan of George Lucas’ most recent offerings and here’s why:

Episode One is where it all began, telling the tale of young Anakin Skywalker long before the Clone Wars, his tragic downfall and rebirth as evil alter ego Darth Vader, and the eventual rise of the Empire. What’s not to like here? First off, the special effects, the backdrops and the set design are all second to none. No matter what you think of this movie you cannot say it’s not a beautiful film to look at, from the virtual paradise of Naboo to the swarming metropolis of Coruscant and the rolling arid landscape of Tatooine, it’s a feast for the eyes and the imagination alike.

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Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters (2012)

Hansel-and-Gretel-Witch-Hunters1Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters takes the fairy story most of us heard a thousand times growing up and tells the story of what happens next.

The original story and the titular characters’ subsequent transition from abandoned children to adulthood is done through an animated montage through the opening credits which appears shockingly graphic and over the top…  This theme continues into the rest of the film as H&G battle to rescue some lost children and avert a witch apocalypse. Continue reading

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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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Preview: Fast & Furious six

fast and furiious 6Released this week is the extended first look trailer for the new Fast & Furious movie. We are now up to number six in the seemingly never-ending franchise. This time the ‘gang’ are working for Agent Hobbs in order to bring down a rival gang. Their prize is the clearing of their own criminal records. Apparently the job involves shooting, driving and shooting while driving. After the dip in quality of the second and arguably the third film Justin Lin has breathed new life into numbers four and five. With the reintroduction of some of the original stars  the franchise has improved in quality and proven to be hugely popular.

As with all sequels Fast 6 has bigger stunts, more explosive action and possibly dumber dialogue. Some constants remain. It’s no surprise to see a buff Vin Diesel clad in white vest staring off into the distance. Fast & Furious six will be everywhere on 24th May.

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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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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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News: Eva Green is A Dame to Kill For

evaIt’s been 8 years since Frank Miller’s iconic graphic novel series Sin City was unleashed on the big screen. For a while there it didn’t look like it would ever see the light of day, however it’s happening. You better believe it’s happening and now co-directors Robert Rodriguez and Miller himself have announced the title character for the Sin City: A Dame to Kill For.

The role of Ava Lord was originally written with Angelina Jolie in mind however it is Eva Green that the duo have picked. The character has ben described by Miller as “every man’s most glorious dreams come true, she’s also every man’s darkest nightmares.”

Rodriguez and Miller said, “We’ve been wanting to tell this story for a very long time. Ava Lord is one of the most deadly and fascinating residents of Sin City. From the start, we knew that the actor would need to be able to embody the multifaceted characteristics of this femme fatale and we found that in Eva Green. We are ecstatic that Eva is joining us.”

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Preview: Sockzilla!

SOCKZILLAJust released to the world is the trailer for the new film from Director Paul Bruce. Best known for his five minute award winning epic Zombie Asockalypse from 2009, Paul and his team have been hard at work on the follow up. Staying with the horror genre, the subject of the new film is Sockzilla the sock monster from fifty thousand fathoms.  Featuring the same high quality wool blend and voice talent it looks as if Paul has another winner on his (sock covered) hands.

The trailer for the film can be found here

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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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