Tuesday, 31 August 2010
Friday, 27 August 2010
Wednesday, 25 August 2010
Tuesday, 24 August 2010
With Alexandre Aja's remake of Joe Dante's camp slasher Piranha hitting theatres last week, the film was welcomed with mixed reviews, but most were leaning more towards the positive.
Monday, 23 August 2010
Saturday, 21 August 2010
After an unexpected tremor unleashes copious amounts of ravenous, prehistoric piranha, the town Sheriff (Elisabeth Shue) must divert the amplitude of wild, booze-hungry teens on Spring Break.
Whether you've seen the original (or James Cameron's sequel) or not, we're all aware of the sudden uproar in B movie flicks, all of which are continuously overproduced by the Sci-Fi channel. They succumb in the ridiculous, containing an undoubtably OTT, often hilarious storyline, superfluous characters and sadly devoid of any real intelligence. Still, with the 50's introducing such propsterous films, they've only grown more popular. If you're in the right mind-set, B movies can supply the audience with one hell of a good time, and Piranha 3D is no different.
With our set of oddly placed characters serving no true purpose other than a few cheap laughs, we're left reeling with who'll be next on the piranhas' long, long list of who to munch on. It's the true reason why Piranha 3D will do so well, so why try to act otherwise? Jerry O'Connell's spoof of Girls Gone Wild creator Joe Francis is an utter delight, especially with the hilarious outcome proving one of the film's true selling points. British model Kelly Brook swims in a camptastic manner with porn star Riley Steele (with full frontal nudity, three-dimensional style!) as Shue battles her way through the floating corpses to reach her kids who're stranded on a capsized boat. The film yells cheap, yet never fails to entertain.
From the fantastically tongue-in-cheek opening paying homage to another well known ocean dweller, it's clear from the get-go that Aja has made a B movie for the ages. With the 3D proving similar to those catapulted on-screen back in the 70's, the entire film is a nod to the classics that re-defined the genre.
The beautifully serene setting tainted by booze, boobs and blood is chaos defined. Teens frollicking in all directions as limbs are ejected, gnawed, ripped and eaten. A copious amount of blood envelops the water as screams engulf multiple scenes; never before has carnage been this entertaining.
Full of genuine thrills, cheeky humor and motorboating (yes, motorboating - courtesy of Brook and Steele), horror buffs will truly revel in Piranha's brilliance, with Aja directing his best film since High Tension. While many will find faults with it, those able to yield in Piranha's camp, often overwhelming enjoyment may just find that that it's one of this summers biggest highlights.
CIA agent Evelyn Salt is thrown into a world of utter chaos once a Russian defector accuses her of being a Russian super spy, thrown into an American lifestyle years ahead of the intended attack to throw off any suspicion, with every intention of taking down the American president.
The brutality of the opening scene depicts a film alarmingly more hard-hitting than the trailer previewed, with Salt introduced in a North Korean camp being tortured to inexplicable lengths. Already, Law Abiding Citizen-writer Kurt Wimmel has differentiated his latest from the rest of Hollywood’s desperate, simply lacklustre excuses for a decent action thriller.
Co-stars Liev Schreiber and Chiwetel Ejiofor are quickly thrown in place, with their roles proving important parts in Salt’s story. Without personally handing out potentially spoilerific information, they merely play their parts well, but, unarguably, it’s Jolie that nabs the film. Gloriously gorgeous, her vigorous performance as Salt is sole proof that as an actress, she’s fantastic, but as an action star, she is flawless. Seemingly effortless, she gold coats parkour into something that I’d be willing to take up instantly. Infinitely thrilling, Salt jumps from lorry to van, van to busy highway with the upmost enthusiasm. Whilst maintaining her truly bad-ass attitude, there’s a vulnerability to Evelyn, and that is the form of her German, arachnid-lover husband. Once kidnapped, Salt’s mission strays from time-to-time to finding her love and with Jolie’s ability to forcefully entrance viewers with her gargantuan, soul-seeking eyes, we’re catapulted on this journey with her.
Cleverly written, Wimmel provides enough intrigue to captivate most attention spans. While the script undeniably plummets into the hilariously farfetched, but most plot holes and short-comings (the flashbacks fall instantly tedious) are vastly overpowered. Salt thrives on the truly outlandish to immensely entertain, intensify and, with the few twists and turns, challenge viewers. Whether you predict the end or not, a good time is guaranteed.
Thursday, 19 August 2010
Wednesday, 18 August 2010
Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera) is an aimless 22 year old who lives his days training with his band Sex Bob-Bombs and dating a high schooler (Wong). That is until magenta haired Ramona Flowers rolls her way into Scott's life, literally, and captivates him into an obsession. Unbeknownst to him, if Scott wishes to date Ramona, he must defeat her seven evil exes, all of which are equipped with special powers.
Wright miraciously and downright successfully transfers Bryan O'Malley's series of Scott Pilgrim's adventures onto screen, truly re-defining what can be portrayed as fantasy and fusing videogame intellect with extreme care, and pulls off spinning an unusually, but profoundly, enjoyable and fantastically original twist on a story that has been thrown on-screen countless times before. With source material as unique and extravagantly charming as this, Wright, and the rest of the Pilgrim team, were off to an auspicious start.
Opening the film with electrifying, neon titles is the perfect example of the flick ahead, with the remaining 117 minute running time maintaining enough zeal to keep your eyes permanently glued to the screen. Profusely zany and exuding enthusiasm and ambitiousness, Scott Pilgrim is visually mindblowing, with the many "BAMF", "WHACK" and "THUD" comic-like words illuminating the screen after the quickfire-paced, well choreographed martial arts sequences are displayed in a hypnotic manner - proving first handedly that Cera can handle a physical role.
With the many failed game-to-film adaptations, it shows with Scott Pilgrim that the answer may lay in the source. With Pilgrim never becoming a fully functional game (that is until the film is properly released), it's unarguably easier to transfer - all the more with a willing cast as brilliantly pieced together as this. Cera carries the film throughout, as cute and innocent as ever but a character that forcefully demands physical capabilites, as well as a certain vulnerability to become likable enough. Co-stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead (sporting multiple, hilariously dodgy wigs), Kieran Culkin, Johnny Simmons, Alison Pill and the adorkable Ellen Wong all shine vigorously with their quirky, potentially laugh-out-loud one liners, as do the seven evil exes (Chris Evans, Jason Schwartzman, Brandon Routh and Mae Whitman to name a few). Despite brief moments on-screen, each seem fleshed out enough to never come across as repetitive.
I'm not under any false pretenses, Scott Pilgrim won't be for everybody. While many will find Pilgrim's slacker lifestyle interpreted fantastically through comic, game, music and bold, clever scriptwriting, some may miss the point entirely. But, the finished product has the potential to become your favourite film, ever. Slick, dazzling and truly spellbinding, Edgar Wright's latest packs a heavy punch, lightening up summer with something that will hold firm as one of the year's most exciting, displaying that originality is not lost in mainstream cinema. Revel in Pilgrim's sheer awesomeness!
Tuesday, 17 August 2010
Monday, 16 August 2010
Sunday, 15 August 2010
Mr Hollywood himself Tom Cruise teams with the gorgeous Cameron Diaz in crime caper Knight and Day. Cruise stars as a rogue agent whose run ins with June (Diaz) causes a rippling effect of non-stop action and high-flying romance as they run from country to country taking down everybody that attempts to take them down. Fantastic chemistry and enjoyable action culminates in a fun-filled, albeit shortly lived and unoriginal, Friday night at the movies.
Step Up 3D -
An exhilartaing dance flick that nails every dance-related bar. Everything else is just dire. Read the full review here.
The Lion King -
Disney's classic has maintained the sheer wonderment after all these years, displaying the very best in luscious animation and awe-inspiring, highly uplifting musical numbers. An undoubtable classic, not only for animation, but film itself.
The Little Mermaid -
Another Disney epic standing firm today as one of the best of its kind, with the tale of the merfolk looking unarguably captivating undersea. A re-telling of Hans Christian Andersen's story about a young girl willing to give up her life under the sea to live on land with a handsome Prince.
Treasure Planet -
The final of this week's Disney features, forcing the well-known story of Treasure Island on its side and throwing a futuristic twist on the tale. Rebellious teen Jim Hawkins goes on the adventure of a lifetime by hitching a ride on an exploration ship and attempts to find a mystical planet known to most as 'Treasure Planet', but must defeat the legendary pirate Silver and his collection of no good bandits. Highly underrated animation, but the wonderful story fused with enjoyable voice talents (Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Emma Thompson) makes for a delightful 90 minutes.
Fired Up! -
A raunchy teen comedy starring Eric Christian Olsen and Nicholas D'Agosto as two high school football players who decide to spend their summer at cheerleading camp, with the prime mission of getting as many girls as possible. An often laugh-out-loud, surprisingly well-written comedy that stands as the counterpart to Kirstin Dunst's Bring It On. Olsen and D'Agosto are also a memorable duo, with the hilarious John Michael Higgins co-starring as the camp's flamboyant, but oddly straight, coach.
My personal favourite, with Orlando Bloom and the always joyous Kirstin Dunst teaming up in Cameron Crowe's partial biopic, Elizabethtown. After being fired from his job, potentially suicidal Bloom heads home to Elizabethtown for his Dad's funeral, unaware of the large, loud but loving family willing to help him. Cue love interest Claire, the larger-than-life stewardess brightening up Bloom's life. A wonderfully written, incredibly quirky and poignant story, fused with one of the best, and largest, movie soundtracks i've ever had the pleasure of hearing.
The Sorcerer's Apprentice -
Disney's partial homage to their classic Fantasia sees old-age sorcerer Balthazar (Nicolas Cage) attempting to find the true descendant to Merlin. Years in the search and he comes across Dave (Jay Baruchel), a seemingly ordinary New York student whose life turns upside down once recruited as Balthazar's apprentice. Throwing his everyday life aside, Dave learns the incredibly trickery needed to banish evil Morgana (Alice Krige) and her loyal sorcerer Alfred Molina. An enthralling, well acted and fast paced special effects laden adventure, proving to be one of the year's most exciting fantasy flicks.
The Last Airbender 3D -
A truly pitiful excuse of a film. M. Night Shyamalan's live action adaptation of the classic Avatar: The Last Airbender cartoon proves to be one of the worst films of the year. Read the full review here.
One of Brittany Murphy's last films sees her as a troubled writer forced to re-locate to an abandoned, Victorian house, only to fall victim to a chilling case including murdered wife Thora Birch and jealous husband Marc Blucas whose curious need to carry a camera first handedly unfolds the mystery behind their disappearance. A lackluster, scare-free 'horror' with Murphy falling victim to not only a boring haunting, but a badly written role. Disappointing fodder.