Friday, 30 April 2010

Iron Man 2


AC/DC’s new album has just hit number one in the UK as the official soundtrack to the sequel. It is more than clear that there is a lot of hype surrounding this film, yes my friends Iron Man 2 has landed.

The story revolves around Tony Stark (Iron Man) as we see his suite is slowly failing to protect his heart, on top of this problem he has to worry about a new evil “Whiplash” who’s seeking revenge after what the Stark industry did to his family. We also experience another threat “Justin Hammer” who wants Stark to hand his suite over to the government so that they can use it in the military, Hammer will do just about anything to get his hands on it and even recruits Whiplash to help. Basically Stark is still very busy.

There is literally too much happening in this film to take in, but for once that is a good idea, accompanying the plot is the CGI effects which will absolutely blow you away, and also happily prove that you still don’t need 3D to make it in the movie industry.

It is comforting to know that the director of the first one is behind the sequel, not only does Jon Favreau direct it, he stars in it, and that is always a sign of confidence in a project, we‘ve seen many directors fail to produce a worthy sequel, but Jon proves that it is possible to create something just as good, or even better than its predocessor.

World Famous Robert Downey Jr. is right on form just as he was in the first one, he portrays the big headed ego of Tony Stark perfectly. Mickey Rourke plays Whiplash just as good, when he unleashes his powers at the Monaco race track some of you may find yourself slightly taken back at just how brilliant he is in this role.

The Avengers will be hitting our screens in 2012, why am I mentioning this in a Iron Man 2 review? well this film will feature a whole bunch of superheroes including Iron Man, Captain America and many more all fighting alongside each other, and the exciting prospect about Iron Man 2 is you can already see their team leader Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) recruiting Stark, so keep your eyes peeled.

All that Is left to say is bring on Iron Man 3, as this is an instant classic.

Date Night


I attended this film with high expectations, Steve Carell who has recently made "The Office" in America a rather big success is also outstanding in the films "40 Year Old Virgin" and "Anchorman". Joining him is Tina Fey, for those of you who do not know she is the creator of the well established American TV comedy "30 Rock" and as well as this she also stars in the programme, so seeing both of these actors collaborating in one film can really not be anything less than superb.

It was indeed as I expected, based in the busy city of New York married couple Phil and Claire Foster are pretty bored with their relationship at the moment and want to find something that will re-ignite the flame. In attempt to do this they go to a high class restaurant in the city and discover it is booked out, instead of heading back home to look after the kids they decide to take someone else’s booking pretending to be them. The night soon escalates into a "exciting" disaster as two men come to the table claiming the Fosters have something they want.

What really sets this film apart from the rest is the wacky one liners, your find yourself laughing way into the next scene in which your start laughing again, keeping you constantly fixated to the screen.

Your discover Mark Wahlberg playing the half naked security guard who just might be able to help out the Fosters. To top this they even have Ray Liotta on board, after his performances in "Observe and Report" and "Youth in Revolt" he proves that his still got talent.

Steve Carell to me is one of those actors who can always bring a script to life, he makes comedy real, when he laughs it doesn't feel scripted, and it certainly doesn't feel acted, that is a brilliant skill to possess, and one he accomplishes with ease.

Personally I loved this film, great plot, great cast, great motion picture, simply, I really don't know what else you need. I recommend Date Night for fans of Pineapple Express and any Steve Carell film.


Kick-Ass


Many of us as kids read comics or watched superhero films and after escaping into these worlds, we would want to have superhero powers ourselves; this film is born of that motion. A young and somewhat overlooked highschool student Dave Lizewski has a massive love for comics. Bored with his life and the day to day pressures of school, he decides to become a superhero himself, though with no training and no actual powers it might be a bit tougher than he assumes.

Kick-Ass strips us to the bare bone of human capability as when a fight scene occurs Dave (now known as the hero ‘Kick-Ass’) doesn’t just beat everyone up with one punch like Batman, he takes a good couple of punches himself before he just about wins the fight. So that sense of realism this film brings is one of the coolest aspects about it.

Christopher Mintz-Plasse (McLovin from Superbad) does play a similar kind of character in all of his roles, but hey, he is brilliant at it. Acting as Dave‘s eventual rival ‘Red Mist’ who gives us some memorable superhero puns he adds a necessary backbone to the film creating a fun atmosphere. And hurrah! Nicolas Cage is finally back in good films; Wicker Man? Ghost Rider? I think we’ll be happy to let those bad memories go after his outstanding performance as ‘Big Daddy’ in this.

I guess you could state this film as being a superhero-comedy-action flick because at times you might feel like you’re in a Kill Bill movie as you see the young child, ‘Hit Girl’, cutting people to bits. At other times you will be submerged into a romantic or comedy scene, always keeping you hooked. As soon as I hear someone in the audience laughing while shouting, you know this film is surely going to be a favourite amongst many people. Check it out as I loved it and this film is defiantly what it says on the tin, kick-ass!!

Film Reviews May


Cinema Releases


Iron Man 2


Release Date: April 30th


Robert Downey Jr. is one busy man, working on Sherlock Holmes which was one of the biggest films of last winter (before Avatar that is) he was also working on the eagerly awaited Iron Man sequel.

So now that everyone knows that Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is our masked hero “Iron Man” what will happen next ? Well as well as picking up a new rival called Whiplash (Mickey Rourke) Tony should also worry about the government who are trying to make a suite which is just the same as his to use in war type environments.

It is nice to see the admiring Mickey Rourke on board, after his outstanding performance in the wrestler he brings a brilliant bad ass image to the table becoming the perfect bad guy for Iron Man to face up to.

With an old school rock soundtrack that mostly includes the awesome AC/DC this is sure to be one of the most pumping! action movies of the year.

So I will conclude with this: After being completely blown away by the first one I am certain I know what to expect from this one, the exact same thing!


Robin Hood


Release Date: May 14th


Russell Crowe is finally back kicking ass like he did in the Gladiator/3.10 to Yuma days.

Ridley Scott is again behind the directing seat, the combination of Ridley and Russell is one of a kind, somewhat similar to the Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio duo.

Robin Hood tells the classic tale of an at first un known archer (Robin Hood) in King Richards Army. After his heroic acts he swiftly rises through the ranks and becomes legendary and well known throughout the united kingdom.

Robin Hood stories have been around for close to a hundred years now and to be honest we don’t need any computer graphics or high budget to illustrate this plot on screen. With that in mind I really don’t know what to expect, I hope this isn’t another Gladiator as that is something we have seen before, but saying that I sure hope it is just as good as Gladiator!

This film looks to be gritty, and adventurous at the same time, hold on to your seats, because Robin Hood is back.


Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time


Release Date: May 28th


Yes his previous character roles have witnessed the end of the world in the epic “The Day After Tomorrow” but Jake Gyllenhaal is now travelling back in time to play to the video game super star Prince Dastan.

Basically the plot is identical to the video game, to stop the crazed ruler Nizam from unleashing a sandstorm that could destroy the world, the young Princess Tamina (Gemma Arterton) and Prince Dastan team up to stop his evil ways.

Joining this already awesome cast is Ben Kingsly who seems to be picking up some good scripts lately, after blowing us away in the mysterious Shutter Island lets hope he brings his unique craft to the table in this modern adventure.

From the team that bought us the world hit Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy (soon to be quadrilogy ) this looks to be just as fun and a brilliant adaptation from the game. There isn’t many games that have been adapted well into the cinema screens, Silent Hill was one of the rare phew, films like Resident Evil have failed to please gamers across the world. I am hoping for a pleasant surprise and not something that turns out to be the next scorpion king, fingers crossed.



DVD Releases



Where the Wild Things Are


Release Date: May 10th


The child that is Max always craves to acquire enjoyment in his life, he feels much wiser than the ones that confine him, and also possesses an endless imagination. After a miss out on supper the disobedient boy that is occasionally Max is appointed to go to his bed, angered by this he instead decides to runaway from home, once he hops on his boat and rows to an unknown island the night advances and his surroundings begin to energize to life. Abnormal creatures soon grasp Max into the nightfall on an enchanting and inspiring journey.

Most of the population will maintain the knowledge that this is an adaptation from a children’s classic book penned by Maurice Sendak, which is just 48 pages in length. Accommodating spine tingling animation that will literally make you feel like your there, you will find yourself impressed by what will be a treasure for generations to come.


The Road


Release Date: May 17th


Set in the future where the world is gradually dying, we see a young boy and his father (you never find out their names) go about their day to day struggles of surviving, their looking to get to the south coast in the belief that they might be able to find food, or even set sail and discover another country which maybe has survivors. On the way, their only home is a trolley which holds all their supplies. At the same time they find themselves in various deadly situations; escaping gangs of carnivores is just one of these. The film also cuts back and forth between the times when his wife was alive and provides us the tensions and fears that mount up between them.

Okay, so maybe this film isn’t the most pleasant way to start the spring but I think in recent times we have discovered there certainly is an audience for post apocalyptic narrative: I Am Legend, The Book of Eli, both have massive followings and brilliant write ups and also may I add that Mad Max 4 is on the way again, affirming that this theme is more than catching along.


Up In The Air


Release Date: May 24th


Ryan (George Clooney) Bingham’s job involves him travelling around the world to fire people as companies are too nervous to do it themselves and as this happens, he finds himself almost never at home. This soon becomes history as a new girl Natalie (Anna Kendrick) joins the company and changes the way in which Ryan fires people, just by using the internet and a web cam she discovers that you don’t have to travel anywhere to do the job, you can just do it all from the comfort of your office.

This has drastic effects on Ryan's life as he is used to being isolated in hotels, partying until dawn, having the occasional affair and certainly never being at home. So once this occurs, he ends up at his sister’s wedding speaking to a family he has pretty much never kept in contact with, but saying this, Ryan is still needed to save the day.

This film really has nailed the idea of escapism, it’s modern yet timeless and a brilliant start to this decade for Clooney. The soundtrack is bizarre yet engrossing, the acting is outstanding and the film has already won an award for Best Screenplay. Reitman brings the atmosphere and humour parallel to Juno and you can't go wrong with such a perfect formula. So to put it simply, all these positives can only bring a positive result, and it sure did.


Andrew Dex

The Ghost


After being offered £250,000 by his agent to ghost write the memoirs of mysterious UK former-Prime Minister, Adam Lang (Pierce Bronson), our protagonist, known just as The Ghost (Ewan McGregor), is straight on the next plane to a secret hideout on a remote and unnamed island. As this is happening, we also see that Lang is on trial for war crimes and so a positive memoir to make him look good is a top priority. Whilst working for Lang, The Ghost uncovers that the person who was writing the memoirs before him committed suicide. After things start turning slightly suspicious in the Lang residence, The Ghost is keen to find out what really happened to his predecessor and goes looking for clues, leading to a chaotic turn of events that put his own life in danger.

First of all, I loved the film and I think it’s safe to say that this is one of Roman Polanski’s finest projects, if not quite as great as the 2002 hit, The Pianist. Pierce Bronson has again found his place in cinema; after clearly being lost in Mamma Mia and Percy Jackson, here he is a perfect fit. This film is a chance to see Ewan McGregor’s evolving talent and I won’t be watching Sex In The City 2, but I hope to see Kim Cattrell continue down this road as she makes up part of the impressive supporting cast and adds something different to the plot.

In a world where our cinemas are flooded with 3D films and vampire flicks, it’s great to see there’s still a place for straight, intelligent political thrillers, a feat The Ghost

Thursday, 11 March 2010

I Love You Phillip Morris


So here we are a good week and half in advance of its release, an exclusive premiere for film lovers and film critics, to my surprise the cinema is completely packed, there was even people standing on the side.
Ewan McGregor’s career seems to be taking of again, as he joins superstar Jim Carey in one of the most interesting? Films I have seen. Previously he was in the overlooked “The Men Who Stare At Goats” which I would recommend to anyone who loves this film.

After admitting to his wife he is gay Steven Russell (Jim Carey) finally gets to live the life he always wanted to live, he soon discovers that being gay is rather expensive as he is always buying costly watches and staying in hotels. What does he do? Simple he becomes a con man, jumping down escalators to claim money for his “accident” as well as passport fraud, he will do pretty much anything to get his hands on some dollar, to live his pricey life. Quickly after he becomes imprisoned as the cops discover his criminal acts. While in prison he falls for Phillip Morris (Ewan McGregor) and manages to get them both out of jail to live a happy life together, sadly Stevens con artist ways continue which have drastic effects on his life as well as Phillips.

Directors John Requa and Glenn Ficarra, are both outstanding writers, their previous work together includes Bad Santa with Billy Bob Thornton, which is defiantly an over looked modern classic.

We also have the brilliant Leslie Mann (Knocked Up) who plays Debbie, she was Steven’s wife before he decided to turn gay, she makes for a fine balance to the film as she keeps in contact via telephone with Steven at various crucial points throughout.
The one thing I really did notice with this film, is how it seemed rather long when in fact it was about an hour and half, it wasn’t because I was bored, It was because there was so much going on, and the story would always be developing, keeping you interested from start to finish.

Andrew Dex

Feature: Inanimate Objects That Come To Life


Toy Story, 9, Pinocchio, Edward Scissorhands all have something in common, they picture static objects (like toys) coming to life! This is one of the most appreciated ideas of last century and has kept people anchored to their screen, we even have a release of Toy Story 3 next year which is easily going to be top of the box office.
Lets take a couple of minutes so I can give you the low down on a couple of classics. First we have the dynamic Toy Story, this film pretty much sets the benchmark for a children’s fantasy flick, and has done ever since. I am certain many children still spend hours communicating with their toys, attempting to make them come to life! This film makes that one wish come true.
Next up we have the contemporary delight 9. The world has again ceased to continue this winter as humans have created a robot species that has out done and eradicated all life on their planet. What’s left is 9 scanty robots who each harbour a piece of a scientists soul, surprisingly the scientist is the one who invented the world destroying robot but also accommodates the solution to salvage everything.

The charming idea about this film is basically that these lifeless dolls spark to life to save the world, if we were to see humans do this instead it would be (for many) an exhausting done to death concept, But experiencing it through the eyes of a tiny doll makes everything so much more intense.
A.I. - This star studded project again deals with the notion of an inanimate object coming to life. David (Haley Joel Osment) is 11 he isn’t your average boy as he just so happens to be a robot. Set in the distant but not so far away future! We see David aspiring to become human in the assumption that he will eventually feel love for his mother. In his efforts we see him being shadowed by Gigolo Joe (Jude Law) who tries to help him reach this goal. A.I seems to have been overlooked and as we embrace the end of this decade it seems to me that many people have even forgotten about it. Should I remind you that the outstanding Steven Spielberg is sat on the directors chair for this one? Well with that in mind I highly encourage you experience this tale as for some it may even bring a tear to their eye.

Edward Scissorhands is firstly one of the biggest cult classics there is and secondly we once again clutch this intoxicating form of a lifeless subject coming to life. Before Edward was finished being constructed in a Frankenstein manner we learn the creator died before he could even provide him with proper hands, so the only hands he ends up possessing are scissors, now some would imagine that this narrative couldn’t really go anywhere other than the DVD bargain section at poundland, but with Tim Burton behind this it instead progressed to sky rocketing levels of fame.

Edward lives alone in his mansion watching the days go by as he tries to find a way to live, one day a girl named Peg visits him and takes him away to her family, soon enough the public recognize that he has a raw craft for cutting hair, quickly after this we see everyone admiring Edward and all wanting their hair cut immediately, he even falls in love with Pegs daughter Kim. Everything is heading in a cheerful direction until Edward is framed, sharply after events begin to cascade downhill.

Last but not least we have the timeless Pinocchio, Birthed in the 1940’s Disney’s all time classic illustrates a puppet struggling to become a boy. With Jiminy Cricket as his “conscience” and Geppetto as his creator it seems that he is in safe hands but unluckily for Pinocchio we observe him being in trouble for the majority of the film as Jiminy doesn‘t keep him to well looked after.

Other than the narrative of an inanimate object coming to life what do all these motion pictures have in common? Well primarily these un human entities want to be loved, and at the same time they crave to be just like us. That’s what is so compelling about these kind of films as we see the world in an abnormal perspective, that factor alone grips the audience as I am certain these films will still be remembered in 2050. With the release of these cinema enchantments onto Blu-ray I recommend you maintain a copy and relive these breath taking moments, because this principal idea has been portrayed perfectly on screen time again and now it is yours to own forever.

Andrew Dex

Upcoming Cinema Releases for Wotton Electric Picture House


It’s getting colder and the talk of Christmas is getting much more stronger, you like nothing more than to stay at home and watch a DVD with a cup of tea on the sofa. If this is you then your missing out on some great releases coming out in the cinema. First we have the breath taking Up where retired 78 year old Carl attaches thousands of balloons to his house and indulges on an around the world trip. This film is considered by some to be Pixar’s ( Toy Story, Monsters Inc ) best work to date, and won’t even hit the DVD shelf in the UK till next year. This film is also In 3D so your guaranteed to be taken away on an unbelievable adventure. Still want to stay at home ?

Also hitting the screens this November at your local Wotton Electric Picture House cinema is the drama The Soloist featuring two mega stars Jamie Fox (The Kingdom, Ray ) and Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man,). Acting as a musician is nothing new to Jamie Fox as he won an Oscar for best performance by an actor in Ray. The one question is does he still pull of this talent well ? I would say yes, Most certainly. Steve Lopez (Robert Downey Jr.) is a Los Angeles newspaper writer looking for something new to write about, he stumbles upon Nathaniel (Jamie Fox) who is homeless but has one option that might save his life, music. This pleasant and fresh drama all mixed in with solid acting makes for a great watch, and will make you feel like your time has been well spent at the cinema.

Reviews done by Andrew Dex

March Releases


Cinema Releases

Alice in Wonderland

Release Date: March 5th

Once again the unbeatable duet of actor Johnny Depp and director Tim Burton is upon us, they’ve collaborated together before this project, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Edward Scissorhands to name a few, and their back in this sequel to a classic “Alice in Wonderland” we are also again taken into this 3D concept which nowadays is indeed nothing new, but always a pleasant touch.

Lewis Carroll’s 1951 original continues as we now see Alice at the age of 19, she is again taken back into the magical world where she once was when she was a kid, why is she back there again? Well she soon finds out as she must end the evil Red Queens reign over the land.

This film will indeed be interesting to watch kind of like watching the re-make of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in which we find the original was happy and just your average kids movie, but when Tim Burton got his hands on to re inventing it he added his own talent making it feel kind of out of this world and a bit more darker, I am more than certain that this will occur again in Alice in Wonderland as he takes it one step further and makes a sequel to a film made nearly sixty years ago.
Comedy, Adventure, and a whole bunch of enchanting characters have all been chucked into this film, as well as a 250 million budget, making it sure to be a dazzling watch, its been hyped up since at least November last year, so make sure you don’t miss it.

Clash of the Titans

Release Date: March 26th

As if Sam Worthington couldn’t have a better start to the year, the last film he appeared in was Avatar which is nominated for 9 Oscar awards, there is actually no stopping him as he comes blasting back onto our cinema screens in a remake of the 1981 classic.

The mortal son of Zeus (Liam Neeson) Perseus (Sam Worthington) is sent on a quest to the dark underworld to stop the evil Hades ruling the world. Yes the story line may well just seem like your standard good vs. evil plot and I guess to some extent it is, but at the same time it looks like it will really hit new heights for being imaginative and spectacular.

Director Louis Leterrier is behind this one so really anything could happen, his last project was the supreme Incredible Hulk which did indeed surpass the terrible efforts of the first one. So with that being said maybe this Clash of the Titans re birth with all its CGI packaging could be more superior to the original one which has no CGI at all? We will just have to wait and see!

How to Train Your Dragon

Release Date: March 31st

From the creators of the 2001 masterpiece “Shrek” we are again thrown into the another 3D animated world, with actors Jonah Hill and Gerard Butler doing the voices this certainly is a package that guarantees a good watch without even needing to see the trailers.
Based on the 2003 book with the same title as the film “How to Train Your Dragon” tells the story of Hiccup who Is a young and adventurous Viking teenager always struggling to fit in with his friends and family who are mostly dragon slayers, one day he encounters a dragon that isn’t quite as deadly as the others, as this occurs life rapidly changes for Hiccup as the dragon shows him the true side to the mythical creature.

This looks to be something mainly for the kids, but with such a varied cast and a some what unique storyline compared to all the other animation films released recently this may well fit more than just one type of audience.


DVD Releases

2012

Release Date: March 29th

Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow, are just two prime examples of Roland Emmerichs previous accomplishments. Its been a couple of years now since we have observed the director putting an abrupt and apocalyptic final ending to our world and current way of life.
This has been more than worth the anticipation in my opinion, 2012 basically allows us to visualize what maybe the end of the world would be like. The initial reason to why this doomsday type phenomenon has occurred is because of the foretold date 21st of December 2012, which collides with the Mayan Calendars current cycle, meaning the end of the earth will commence once it has come to its final day. Earthquakes, asteroids, and suicides are just the beginning and now a normality to what failed researcher and now limo driver Jackson Curtis (John Cusack) will have to encounter and deal with again and again as he leads a group of people into hopeful survival amongst all this chaos and turbulence.

Nearly approaching the three hour time scale 2012 is defiantly a well lengthened production time to establish such an important theory and concept, you will find yourself jumping out of your seat as the picture that beholds you on the screen is completely crammed full of action, adventure, and hope. This is amazingly a step up to the bulk of already classic motion pictures Roland Emmerich has indulged us with formerly.

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus

Release Date: March 29th

As soon as I laid my eyes on the trailer for this colorful, fresh film, the first thing I thought was how this is going to be the last time I ever see Heath Ledger on the big screen. That fact alone pulled me in to see it but this film was actually so much more than I believed it would be.

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus tells the tale of a touring theatre show which is financially out of pocket. On their travels they pick up Tony (Heath Ledger) who causes the first mystery in this story. At each stop they ask the general public to enter the mind of the spectacular and graceful Doctor Parnassus (Christopher Plummer) by stepping through a custom made mirror. The twist is that Doctor Parnassus is seeking five souls to obtain as after many pacts with the devil (played by Tom Waits) he has to either give his daughter away or get the souls before he does.

Director Terry Gilliam, who I should remind you brought us classics like Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas, Brazil and the Monty Python series, has brushed away the dust from his director’s chair after four long years to take on the challenge again. His presence is most defiantly noticed with a strong balance between comedy and some delightful scripting. All these factors piled on top of each other and the absolutely outstanding special effects make this a ride you just don’t want to miss.


Twilight: New Moon

Release Date: March 22nd

Vampire tales these days seem to be as natural as romantic comedy’s so Twilight: New Moon is going to be welcomed into the cinema with open arms and an exceptionally high expectation to reach. Its been just over a year since we have viewed the primary Twilight adaptation, which has given birth to a colossal fan base achieving countless awards and accelerating Robert Patterson airborne into a global poster boy superstar.

In an act to safeguard Bella (Kristen Stewart) from the perils of the vampire world the Cullen family desert town, she is left heart broken cold and slightly isolated. As this commences we see the relationship develop between her and her childhood friend Jacob, who features a lot more in this sequel helping Bella through her emotions. Dangerous moments as always lie around the corner in the twilight world but I am confident that special someone will be there to save the day.
Strap your seatbelt on and get ready to fly into the eerie dark atmosphere that is Twilight, as I am certain this will be a firm and tenacious addition to a saga that will no doubt be a teen cult success.

Andrew Dex

Up In The Air


The never ageing and always super smooth George Clooney is back, joined by director Jason Reitman (Juno) in this modern take on ones comfort zone being their job. Joining the flight is Anna Kendrick from the teen super success, Twilight, and in this motion picture we really get to experience her for the actor she is - should I add she won a Golden Globe for best supporting role? This film really can’t go off the rails in my eyes.


Ryan (Clooney) Bingham’s job involves him travelling around the world to fire people as companies are too nervous to do it themselves and as this happens, he finds himself almost never at home. This soon becomes history as a new girl Natalie (Kendrick) joins the company and changes the way in which Ryan fires people, just by using the internet and a web cam she discovers that you don’t have to travel anywhere to do the job, you can just do it all from the comfort of your office. This has drastic effects on Ryan's life as he is used to being isolated in hotels, partying until dawn, having the occasional affair and certainly never being at home. So once this occurs, he ends up at his sister’s wedding speaking to a family he has pretty much never kept in contact with, but saying this, Ryan is still needed to save the day.


This film really has nailed the idea of escapism, it’s modern yet timeless and a brilliant start to this decade for Clooney. The soundtrack is bizarre yet engrossing, the acting is outstanding and the film has already won an award for Best Screenplay. Reitman brings the atmosphere and humour parallel to Juno and you can't go wrong with such a perfect formula. So to put it simply, all these positives can only bring a positive result, and it sure did.

Andrew Dex

The Road


After being nominated for a BAFTA but at the same time not showing much over here in the UK, The Road, is something I don‘t want fellow cinema attendees to miss out on. Nearly a decade since the unreal and iconic Lord Of the Rings trilogy, Viggo Mortensen who played Aragorn is again sharing with us his impressive craft as an actor.

Set in the future where the world is gradually dying, we see a young boy and his father (you never find out their names) go about their day to day struggles of surviving, their looking to get to the south coast in the belief that they might be able to find food, or even set sail and discover another country which maybe has survivors. On the way, their only home is a trolley which holds all their supplies. At the same time they find themselves in various deadly situations; escaping gangs of carnivores is just one of these. The film also cuts back and forth between the times when his wife was alive and provides us the tensions and fears that mount up between them.


Okay, so maybe this film isn’t the most pleasant way to start the new year but I think in recent times we have discovered there certainly is an audience for post apocalyptic narrative: I Am Legend, The Book of Eli, both have massive followings and brilliant write ups and also may I add that Mad Max 4 is on the way again, affirming that this theme is more than catching along.


Another touching factor that makes this film astonishing is the hard to note cameos from Guy Pearce and Robert Duvall who both add the icing to the cake. Top to tail in mud playing their roles combined with Viggo Mortensen makes for a real treat.


This really isn’t a family film and most defiantly not something you should take your girlfriend to on Valentines Day, but if you have a free day and an open mind, this film will effortlessly suck you away into its mind blowing atmosphere. The music, the images, and the day to day struggles of living without food, warmth, and most of all, hope, really does add up to be a bitter yet satisfying watch.

Andrew Dex

The Crazies


I went into the cinema with not much information on this one other than the fact I knew it was a re-make of a somewhat classic but mostly forgotten zombie horror directed by the legend, George A. Romero (Dawn Of The Dead). Back then, I guess, these kinds of films were rare but nowadays it feels like we have seen it all before; I did still see plenty of people leaping of their seats though.

Set in the small state of Iowa, local Sheriff David Dutton (Timothy Olyphant) discovers that the water supply is infected by radiation which has come from a military plane crashing in their local river. As soon as the water hits town, people are infected. No, they don’t turn into zombies, they turn into “crazies” so basically they slowly become crazy and start brutally murdering people. Once the town is overrun, evacuation plans immediately take place and Dutton’s wife is kept behind as the military fear she is infected. On a courageous mission, Sheriff Dutton and his deputy must battle their way back through the chaos that was once his home town to get his wife back.


Olyphant is one of those overlooked actors; he’s been great in many films like A Perfect Gateway and Die Hard 4.0 where he played the main villain, but this film, in my opinion, finally gives him that opportunity to show off all his talent.


The Crazies sure does push the boundaries when it comes to being rated 15 but the atmosphere is admiring and, at times, very captivating making for a suspenseful but rewarding horror. Yes this motion picture might well just give some of you nightmares but I am sure you have not had that happen since the brilliant Paranormal Activity, so this will indeed be a refreshing reminder that horrors can still be created, and audiences can still be scared.

Andrew Dex

The Taking of Palham 123 and Dorian Gray


The Taking of Palham 123

This film plays host to a grand duo of legendary actors, both John Travolta and Denzel Washington have a mysterious connection with each other which is boasted on the big screen with ease.

The Taking of Pelham 123 reveals the electric story of subway dispatcher Walter Garber whose day doesn’t go to schedule, a criminal mastermind Ryder has hijacked one of his trains, the only person his willing to negotiate with just so happens to be the calming Walter Garber himself.

Director Tony Scott has composed another triumph which he can add to his already outstanding directing back catalogue, already featuring cult sensations like Domino and déjà v (which should I mention also stars Denzel). The chemistry between Denzel and director Tony Scott has obviously still remained concrete. Also we should not dismiss the talented John Travolta, his acting is still just as fitting and excellent as it was in the days of Face Off or Swordfish, both timeless examples of perfect thrillers.

Although this film was only in the cinema for a fleeting amount of time do not panic as this is a satisfying watch and will most positively keep you pre occupied on a cold night.

Dorian Gray

Adapted from Oscar Wildes novel Dorian Gray represents the immortal story of a man who manages to stay young eternally, unfortunately for him as time progresses, his actions (accompanied by mentor Lord Henry Wotton) do him no good and a mysterious painting displays his inner aggression and scars. Once true love enters his life he then realises he must cloak this dark secret.

This is the third Oscar Wilde novel that director Oliver Parker has re created into his own vision, and how has he done? Remarkably I would say, as the scripting, acting, and the gloomy suburbs of London have all blended together to birth this beautiful illustration of a classic novel.

Actor Ben Barnes is an outstanding watch in this motion picture, just as he was in The Chronicles of Narnia and the recent family adventure Stardust. His profession is gradually developing into something unique to say the least. We also view Colin Firth whose precious acting can also be represented in Mamma Mia and the charming Love Actually.

I will conclude this by saying there is something in here for all the family, Drama, emotions, and a barrel of adventure, Take this film with an open mind and I am convinced you will find yourself highly fascinated.

Andrew Dex

Christmas Worry (2009)


It is indeed that time of year again, the malls have become ten times more busier, jobs are becoming easier to find, people are buying five times more food than their freezer can hold, and people are actually saying good morning to each other in the streets again. Yes my friends Christmas has arrived, and what most people will always struggle with is what to buy for their family and end up leaving things very last minute, so let me give you a little insight into the upcoming DVDs this fall and maybe I might just be able to help you out.

For Dad…
Public Enemies

Here is one for Dad to keep him pre occupied for a night as I am sure he will be to engrossed on Christmas day. Situated in the 1930’s the notorious John Dillenger (Johnny Depp) transports us into his life where currently his “too busy living for today to think about tomorrow” why would he state such a quote? Loaded with his Tommy gun and filled with adrenaline John is in fact a bank thief, stealing from as many banks as he cares to, also adored by the public as a some what Robin Hood character, Dillenger is an extremely unique character.

Hot on his tale is FBI agent Purvis who is portrayed by the legendary Christian Bale (The Dark Knight, Terminator Salvation). He won’t lay down his arms until he has John Dillenger imprisoned behind bars. Will the wit and confidence of John Dillenger out do the determination and accuracy of agent Purvis?

The duo of Johnny Depp and Christian Bale is a guarantee to most that this will be an epic slice of entertainment, what do you get if you combine that in with iconic filming and director Michael Mann (The Kingdom, Collateral)? Well a complete classic that will most positively overwhelm your Dad.

For Mum…
Take That

An assortment of the worlds most flourishing pop group and a sold out Wembley Stadium is just the initial intense feature on this live DVD which captures the now middle aged adults Take That gracing the stage.

Take That are a fascination with the majorities of mums, so the contents on this should pretty much put an endless grin on their face until next Christmas appers. Sending the crowd into a frenzy Take That’s tour erupts at London as they promote their latest album success The Circus. Supported with lights, stage acts, and exciting visuals they gracefully perform through the majority of their biggest sellers, crowd pleasers, and greatest hits, and pretty much covering any aspect an antedate to the concert would need. Did I fail to mention that there is two DVDs to this pop fest? I believe I did.

On the second DVD you can discover a live session recorded at the extremely famous and outstanding Abbey Road. So I will conclude this review by saying, if your not a Take That fan and you purchase this for your Mum this Christmas although you may enlighten her, be warned as after the first sip of red wine this will be pumped into full volume for the entirety of the night.



For the Kids….
Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs

Some kids are hard to satisfy, and some kids can be graceful of whatever they get but Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs will satisfy either category. Director Carlos Saldanha has returned to direct the third encounter into the world of Ice Age, and he is more than achieved the efforts of the Two prior.

Our lovable animal friends Sid, Diego, Ellie, Manny are all reunited in another glorious animation sequel blockbuster which has just been let loose onto DVD form. After Sid adopts three dinosaur baby eggs he quickly gets taken away by the siblings mum.

So what happens next ? Well Diego, Ellie, Manny embark on a epic adventure to get their friend back. Joined by a new associate "Buck" whose voice is accomplished by one of our nations favourite actors, Simon Pegg. This all makes for an exciting heart warming film that kids will embrace and more than enjoy.

In an age where a lot of films are 3D in the cinema to make up for the poor product it will be when on DVD, Ice Age 3 is not one of these - thanks to great Casting, Directing, and Scripting. This will keep your kids sustaining a smile right through to the new year.

For The Teens….
Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen
So I must admit this is more for a male teen but hey I try. I am pretty convinced that this will in fact be located on most boys Christmas list underneath the request for a new BMX and the latest guitar hero game as a perfect filler present.

The first Transformers film was an absolute masterpiece Michael Bay the experienced director of huge action films such as Pearl Harbour, Armageddon shows us again just how to accommodate such grand and space size characters such as The Transformers mixed in with small human beings like ourselves. In the sequel we see Shia Lebouf (Transformers, Disturbia) who is now a global superstar joined by the youthful Megan Fox (who just featured in Jennifer’s Body)

Sam has just hit college for his first day everything seems to be just normal, his first encounter with the Decepticons now just feels like a bad dream. Unfortunately though for Sam the Deciptcons discover that a pair of glasses that are in his possession hold the secret location to a apocalyptic machine that can black out the sun. Similar to the first Transformers Sam must dodge his way through brave dangers and save the world while being protected by his robot friends Optimus Prime and Bumble Bee.

This jam packed action/comedy and at moments even romantic is considerably breath taking and makes you want to stand back as you just can‘t quite take everything in. I am confident that as soon as your son un wraps this little gem he will lock himself away in his room for a couple of hours intoxicated by the genius ness that is Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen.

District 9 and G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra


District 9

I am convinced that when the trailer landed it was deciphered to many as a new science fiction film with no promise, but another thing I am certain of is when the title Peter Jackson graced the screen hype was soon formulated. When it was finally unleashed for public viewing even the streets couldn’t’t reject the advertisements with “Human Only Zone” posters being put up in phone boxes, immediately making this a must see movie at the time.

The principal story behind this is of an alien race whose space ship intruded earths atmosphere and remained static high above the planet for a pretty lengthy time, curious to find out what was stored on the ship the humans began to infiltrate it, as they do they are bewildered to discover a delicate alien species, what can the humans do? Nothing they have to let them inhabitant on our earth, as soon as this commences in the desolated area of South Africa it swiftly becomes a small, slump like area.

The harsh job for Wikus (Sharlto Copley) is that he has to move all the aliens to a new home as the slumps are growing over populated, one by one move aliens are forced out from their own establishments. After an inspection of a home events grow pair shaped as Wikus accidentally intoxicates himself in the face with a violent space like substance, slowly and painfully he morphs into an alien and once discovered by the Government he finds himself fighting for his life as they are eager to hunt him down and use him for endless scientific experiments.

We experience the camera work being some what collateral to the likes of Cloverfield, this is a smart tactic and adds that touch of realism that such a film would need to stand out above the rest.

The critical factor to note though is that this film clutches a fresh batch of actors, Sharlto Copley is one such actor, he portrays his role the best and really does leave you eager to see more of his rare talent. Luckily you can, as The A-Team is hitting our cinemas next year and he will be playing the uncanny Captain Murdock. Also to accompany Sharlto in fabricating District 9 is an unfamiliar director, Neil Blomkamp who I am positive after the general public have swallowed this, he will have gained more than a handful of trustworthy fans urging for a follow up or a somewhat similar science fiction image to be crafted into a cinema visual.

District 9 Is space age and unimaginable to say the least, the narrative is gripping but at the same time amusing in a very gloomy manner. So if you crave something original and a tad bit adventurous to channel you into the next decade then this will defiantly be your cup of tea. Also you will find yourself refreshed in the faith that Peter Jackson isn’t in fact doing nothing with his spare time, he is actually on the short road to becoming the most well respected producer/director in recent history.

G.I Joe Rise of the cobra

No G-force and G.I Joe Rise of the Cobra are not the same film! This is a simple mix up that has occurred across Britain this summer. For what its worth director Stephen Sommers (Van Helsing, The Mummy) really has not bought us anything new here, for some this is not a bad thing as they can once again indulge themselves in the action, but I am sure for the vast expecting a more mature and informative approach they will find themselves once again let down.

Saying that we should really remember that this film is adapted from a Childs toy, a toy for five to twelve year olds, so many will argue the principle question, does there need to be a story as children always create their own? I guess to some extent their right, but when you mix this film in with the amount of grand films that have been released this year we could argue that question by simply replying, is there any point to this film even being created?

“When all else fails, They don’t” is the short and basic slogan behind this and the plot seems just as equal. A small and elite group of soldiers who can be recognised to the public as G.I Joe have to battle an evil and some what mysterious arms dealer.

The most noticeable and probably most talented actor in this action galore is the young faced Joseph Gordon Levitt who thankfully manages to keep this film sailing and not epically sinking into the abyss of completely forgettable films, which is sadly for many where you can locate the recent and apparently unique Dragonball Z adaptation. Josephs talent can be proven as an actor in the indie modern classic (500) Days of Summer, and also in the more action typed film which many might of bypassed The Lookout (I advise you check this film out immediately). To accommodate Joseph in keeping the narrative plausible is the somehow just short of being legendary Dennis Quad who never seems to age and always keeps us assured that a film may well be worth watching till the end.

Okay so maybe this film isn‘t one to obsess over to much this year, but as the title of this article is in fact “ONES TO RENT THIS MONTH“ G.I Joe Rise of the cobra does actually tick the category of being such a film, for a kid this is a perfect choice and will definitely keep them pre occupied for an hour or so, so can I sharply recommend that you purchase this action flick on Blu-Ray to not only show of to your friends and family, but to enhance the already engrossing CGI effects. To the more hardcore film fans I beg you to look on the brighter side of life, as stated in my District 9 review we have The A-Team to look forward to as it blasts us into the start of a new decade in 2010.

Andrew Dex

Inglourious Basterds


Brad Pitt seems to have had a winning streak as an actor recently, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Oceans Trilogy, are all cherished films, and he has not let us down as he stars in the new Quentin Tarantino assignment Inglorious Basterds.

One division of the story pursues a congregation of elite soldiers who are designated the title Inglorious Basterds as they have such a grand and intimidating reputation for executing Germans in the masses, they are instructed by their lieutenant (Brad Pitt) that they have to each bestow a hundred Nazi Scalps as their mission. The additional chunk to this film declares the tale of a girl who wants to blaze down her own cinema to desolate the Germans that caused the massacre of her family. How does she get this pass? Well she is loved up by a proclaimed German actor who craves to premiere his new film in her tiny cinema. This just so happens to be the perfect trap for an inferno of the German high command. The gripping combination of a girl fuelled to the teeth with revenge and a team of American Basterds makes for an exceptional watch as they both go after the thing they relish the most, Hitler’s blood.

The acting and scripting in this film is more than dominating, set in six intense chapters for you to abstract, Inglorious is plain to remain fixed on, and more than that, it is effortless to fall in love with. I hope for the more old school Tarantino devotees who adored projects like From Dusk to Dawn and Pulp Fiction, we might see them add this to one of their most prized.
The magnificent truth to notice about Tarantino is he constantly manages to make the films atmosphere feel like it was constructed ten years prior. Shown right from the beginning with a tainted brush to the filming process, and also escorted by an orchestra in the background making everything feel a bit more vintage than usual.

This is not so much the action film I was apprehending, but when the action arrives it is more than exhilarating, it is assembled in the most delicious way and Tarantino has succeeded his talent. The German subtitling also adds a charming effect as it constructs a more realistic approach, unlike the contemporary Valkyrie featuring superstar Tom Cruise, after a couple of minutes it gets translated into English for the entirety of the film just in case viewers don’t have the energy to read, I found this a ponderous move for such an essential date in history.
This film is no doubt in my mind probably the most solid and best indulging projects to be released this year, and as its vented onto DVD this December it makes a impeccable finish to a decade of extremely powerful film making. The bar has yet again been uplifted even further for directing and this will surely be a vigorous film to follow up for Tarantino, but with Kill Bill 3 in the talks I believe he should be okay.

Andrew Dex

DVD gifts for Christmas (2009)


The Hangover

The Hangover demonstrates the experience of four men on their stag night. Where else more exhilarating to hold the do other than the lustrous Las Vegas, the final memory they seem to conserve the day after is holding a toast to each other on the roof top of their exceedingly fancy hotel resort. They then realize that they have lost the groom to be Doug. In a fun filled quest to locate Doug we encounter tigers, getting married overnight, loosing teeth and even a cameo from the robust Mike Tyson himself.

This film is an absolute desire for any comedy lover out there. Including director Todd Phillips and a second hangover in the works all ready, this is sure to preserve a smile for a loved one this Christmas.

Moon

This motion picture is for the quiet and more imaginative type of people, so make sure you buy this with the best knowledge. This film is a bit less noticed than many this year, but in my eyes this is evidentially a modern accomplishment.

Director Duncan Jones who only has one other project to his title has secured us into the beautiful atmosphere of “Moon”. Set many years in the future we follow Sam Bell (Sam Brockwell) labouring along side his robot pal GERTY (Kevin Spacey) as they send back resources from the moon which help demise the worlds power problems. The oddity is as Sam’s three year space shift comes to a termination he is introduced to the person that will take over his shift, funnily enough they look and communicate exactly the same way as him.

Dark, Gloomy, extremely satisfying are a brief set of words that can describe this synthesis of space and mystery. Pick it up, and I’m sure you will satisfy some ones Christmas needs this fall.

Andrew Dex

Law Abiding Citizen

Action, Drama, Thriller all compiled into one package is what you can apprehend from the new film spotlighting the gloriously talented duo of Jamie Foxx and Gerard Butler.

Soon after a plea arrangement is met by prosecutor Nick Rice (Jamie Foxx) to set free the cruel killers that took away Clyde Shelton’s family, the law abiding citizen that Clyde prides himself to of once been acquires justice into his own hands and begins to viciously hunt down the killers themselves. Once Clyde has eradicated his first victim (in the most gruesome and saw related way) he is cast to jail, behind bars and imprisoned he still has a schemed way in which he can take out anyone involved with the plea from the confinements of his own cell.

Its clear that Gerard Butler is rapidly becoming as popular and as cool as James Bond stud Daniel Craig , His recent performance in the non stop action film Gamer proved him to be one of this years coolest action characters. Lets not forget the gritty 300 where his acting can at least be stated as powerful, these factors alone have sky rocketed him to a respected level of fame.

I attended the cinema believing that after the first ten minutes this would be one of those films where if you’ve seen the trailer you’ve seen the film, Fortunately I was wrong. To start with the combination of Gerard and Jamie connects beautifully, keeping you fixed to the screen throughout the entirety. Sometimes your find yourself laughing, and sometimes your find yourself launching right out of your seat, thanks to their outstanding chemistry. Second, this film has an admiring personality, its unexpected and not what you assume it will be like, and that’s superb, its what the audience needs, not another tale where we can instantly define bad from good. Third and finally if you’re a fan of director F. Gary Gray (A Man Apart, The Negotiator) your be pleased to note a step up in creative talent by the man, you will find yourself redeemed that he can still assemble such superior projects. I will conclude this review by leaving you with a haunting quote from the mouth of Clyde Shelton himself “Its going to be biblical”, and it sure was! Check it out.

Andrew Dex

Current Cinema and DVD Releases (December 2009)


Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs

A local scientist named Flint Lockwood has an endless determination to invent something that will change ways forever. As the human race is running out of food he succeeds his dreams and creates a world where food can plummet from the sky like rain. This is astonishing for a while until towns and cities are swamped with piles of food.
Although it was 3D in the cinema this film really does pull its weight on DVD as the CGI effects and the charming comedy will leave you full up.

Where the Wild Things Are

The child that is Max always craves to acquire enjoyment in his life, he feels much wiser than the ones that confine him, and also possesses an endless imagination. After a miss out on supper the disobedient boy that is occasionally Max is appointed to go to his bed immediately, once there and as the night advances his surroundings begin to energize to life and abnormal creatures grasp him into the nightfall on an enchanting and inspiring journey.

Most of the population will maintain the knowledge that this is an adaptation from a children’s classic book penned by Maurice Sendak, which is just 48 pages in length. Accommodating spine tingling animation that will literally make you feel like your there, you will find yourself impressed by what will be a treasure for generations to come.

Andrew Dex