Reviews & Rants, Films for You?

  1. Just Like Heaven
    [30/december/2005] Score: 7/10
    A romantic comedy with a twist she’s dead and he’s being haunted by her, so how will they ever get together? And telling that turns into a great journey of discovery for both of them.
    Verdict: Heavenly
  2. King Kong
    [21/december/2005] Score: 8/10
    What a difference a few decades make in realising a great, romantic adventure story.
    Most of us all know the story of Kong by now, but here is the added bonus of a vastly more realistic presentation and a fuller story, stretching over three hours as every aspect of the journey to meet Kong and return home is played out against the backdrop of the 1930s Great Depression in the USA.
    If there is any problem with this it is the development, or lack of it, for the male love interest.  There just doesn’t seem to be a real character there – he’s outplayed by the ape!
    Verdict: A runaway success.
  3. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe.
    [16/december/2005] Score: 6/10
    While everyone in the press seem to be writing all about the religious themes in the story (nope, didn’t see a thing) I was more interested in how a major children’s story adaption compared with the other recent one from the Harry Potter sage, and I didn’t compare too well.
    For some reason there was too magical a sense of story and maybe a little less fun to go along with it to engage the child in every adult.
    I’m certain the story will appeal to every youngster watching, but for that added little “edge” or grit – it lacks.
    Verdict:
  4. Keeping Mum
    [13/december/2005] Score: 8/10
    A surprisingly sweet little British black-comedy of murder in a sweet little village when the Vicar’s odd housekeeper goes on the murder rampage to make the family’s life better.  Very well written and avoids the obvious pratfalls of plotline you’d expect (such as the vicar totally embarrassing himself in front or a major audience) from less able productions.  Would love to see a sequel.
    Verdict: Heavenly.
  5. Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire
    [25/november/2005] Score: 9/10
    Harry’s back with the next thrilling and magical episode for children of all ages as he begins to grow up and so do his adventures.  May be a little less appealing to the very young children as Harry begins to confront the forces that gave birth to him and his uniqueness.
    Verdict: Magical
  6. The Constant Gardener
    [24/november/2005] Score: 7/10
    A little underrated film that wouldn’t get the kind of mass youth appeal so many go for, but will appeal to older audiences with more interest in something romantic, adventurous and challenging to the mind and spirit.
    This is the wonderful story of a gentle man haunted by the death of his wife, who challenges everyone blocking the path to his true love and the discovery of the story behind her murder. The kind of men we used to have building the British Empire, before it was sold off by modern Whiz Kids.
    Verdict: A Constant Pleasure.
  7. The Legend of Zorro
    [28/october/2005] Score: 4/10
    If you liked the original Zorro you may be expecting more of the same or a development of the characters with new vigour, adventure and humour.  But if you’re Hollywood company with a limp-wristed imagination you may end up just rehashing “family” stories of arguments, splits, divorces and other nonsense that destroy all that went before.
    Verdict: Sorrow not Zorro
  8. Wallace & Gromit: Curse of the Wererabbit
    [8/october/2005] Score: 10/10
    Erm, rabbits!!  Arrrgh!! Speechless. Please watch this with care as your laughter may disturb the rest of the audience, well, mine did! And watch the end credits.
    Verdict: It’s right champion!
  9. Howl’s Moving Castle
    [6/october/2005] Score: 10/10
    Forget the cutie animal characters of a typical Hollywood animation, here’s a magical story of growing up and learning to love. A beautiful and funny fairytale for all age
    Verdict : A Moving Experience.
  10. Serenity
    [6/october/2005] Score: 7/10
    I get the feeling all the fans of the TV series Firefly will know things the rest of us don’t; but for a rip-roaring futuristic pirate story Serenity has all the ingredients nicely mixed to enthrall, entertain and just have fun to. The only problem I see with these kind of stories is how easy the hero’s have it in solving their problems, but also how stupid they are in allowing events to overcome their chances to stop and consider their situation. Should you go straight through the evil fleet of aliens, or- no let’s go right through, but what about- no, we’ll go straight through, right now! So, you don’t want to save all the pain and trouble, by going around them?  Too late, I’ve decided, let’s go!!
    There was no biggie problem with this, so go and enjoy, at least it makes a change from those worthy dullards in Star Trek movies.
    Verdict: Snappy.
  11. The Business
    [2/september/2005] Score: 5/10
    It’s f**ing loud, it’s f***ing noisy and it’s an f***ing offence on my brain.
    A hot, fast race through the 1980s and Thatcher’s thrusting Yuppies (Young Upwardly Mobile Professional Pushers) as they launch themselves in Spain.  If you’ve seen Scarface or Boogie Nights, or want a British version of Goodfellas then this London Crime Spree Goes to Spain is for you.
    Verdict: F***ing.
  12. The Dukes of Hazzard
    [27/august/2005] Score: 3/10
    When I went into the cinema to see this I was first in.  And only five others turned up to “enjoy” this.
    In recent years we’ve seen some great adaptions of comic books into movies.  Now, like “Bewitched” (below) we see the other dark side of the Hollywood exploitation machine – dumb and dummier in the Deep South.  Most people will remember the TV series of “Dukes…”, but this isn’t the TV series, just a simple exploitation of the image without the substance, dumb characters doing stupid things don’t make for a great movie.  If you want wild and “stoopid” hicks then this is for you, if you want something that celebrate the fun of the original series…
    Verdict: Nope.
  13. Bewitched
    [26/august/2005] Score: 3/10
    This is NOT bewitching.  This is not entertaining.  This was one of the few films I wanted to leave before it finished.  This was an embarrassing shambles of an over indulgent story concentrating on a convoluted story within a story that wrapped itself so tight on its own amusement there was no room for fresh light to shine through and brighten the magic of the original TV series.  This was so full of “knowing” insider jokes at the expense of any good plot that the only redeeming feature was the performance of Nicole Kidman as the witch with the wiggly nose.
    Verdict: Wish it away.
  14. The Devil’s Rejects
    [6/august/2005] Score: 4/10
    An over-inbred family of country hicks-turned-cannibals(?) loose on the countryside.
    Apart from a few unreal surreal character scenes which perked it up this was a return to the old style of anti-hero movie – where the cops are corrupted but he cannibals maintain the good old family unity in the face of increasingly surreal odds.
    Only that fact that I’d spent good money on the ticket kept me there.
    Verdict: Rejected.
  15. Madagascar
    [3/august/2005] Score: 6/10
    Also known as, “how to get along with all sorts of friends from different cultures and with funny looking skin, and fangs, and other appendages”.
    A lot of the jokes will go over the tops of the teenie members of the audience but the fun is for everyone. Watch it for the Penguins.
    Verdict: Animal Magic.
  16. Skeleton Key
    [28/july/2005] Score: 5/10
    Haunted house horror.  At first you think it’s a good psychological thriller, then the idiot switch is thrown and the lead character starts behaving like all the other idiots down through the history of Hollywood, leading right up to the twist in the tail.
    Verdict: Lock it away.
  17. Fantastic Four
    [22/july/2005] Score: 8/10
    The danger of a mis-adaption, making the wrong turn when translating a popular comic book into a major film, is avoided here with a nicely-paced story the unfolds the creation of the Fantastic Four and their first bickering and quarrelling, oh and their first evil enemy bent on world domination.
    This is a squabbling family perpetually fighting with each other as they deal with their own transformations, taking the occasional time out to deal with the bad neighbours and “take out” the trash.
    Verdict: “Four On!”
  18. Wedding Crashers
    [16/july/2005] Score: 8/10
    A chick-flick, a great romantic comedy, for boys.
    The biggest difficulty in writing any chick-flick romantic comedy is how to entertain the other half of the audience.  So, here’s your answer – tell it from the boys point of view in boy-style. Loud, noisy, brash and beautiful as the boys fall for the babes.
    Verdict: A party worth crashing.
  19. War Of The Worlds
    [2/july/2005] Score: 6/10
    Yes, I’ve marked Spielberg’s latest “blockbuster” lower than expected. Why?  Sloppy writing and story development, and an excess of post-9/11 American jingoism.
    It may be good to get one the world’s greatest directors, and star actors in Spielberg and Tom Cruise respectively to craft this latest work of the master H. G. Wells, but it’s not an excuse to leave bit idiot holes in a script that you can drive a horde of alien invaders through. For example:
    – 1 – Aliens are supposed to have buried enormous spaceships and weapons underground for thousands, even millions of years all over the Earth? EVEN UNDER NEW YORK CITY!!?? And nobody noticed??  That would, possibly, have worked if someone had set those moments in graveyards and explained them as ancient holy burial grounds still haunted by ghosts. AND why didn’t they invade millions of years ago??
    – 2 – Electromagnetic pulses destroy everyone’s electronic gadgets, then a few minutes later we see a video camera still working, and later we see a TV crew van that was close enough to film the whole event and all its machinery is still working??  And no explanation is offered??
    A great story is about the suspension of disbelieve, a bad story breaks the spell with silliness.  I sat through the film spending my time wondering more about these than enjoying the very good special effect that make the Martians come alive and more menacingly than ever before.
    And the “Spielberg Moment” (you know that single image that just freezes a scene or zooms in on one tiny feature?) – a little girl standing on a crest as an alien looms overhead.
    (NOTE: I have a slight bias here, I’m working on my own Alien-Invaders idea. Long way off but coming…. at least I’ll know to be careful in writing the script.)
    Verdict: Momentous, monstrous, amazing they got away with it.
  20. Kung Fu Hustle
    [27/june/2005] Score: 8/10
    I wasn’t going to see this movie, more of a weekday curiosity than a Saturday must-see. I’m glad I went. Kung Fu Hustle is a fully, camp, comicbook cartoonish story of larger than life characters, battling baddies, and great fight scenes. It may be a little camp at times, at is paints some of its characters with too broad a stroke but the overall impression is a great fun movie.
    Verdict: The Way is Mysterious
  21. Batman Begins
    [17/june/2005] score: 8/10
    This is an up-to-date telling of the Batman story, that adds a depth and grittiness that was missing from the recent 80s/90s batch of batty movies.  Here we have a greater sense of realism rather that the excessively comic-book style that eventually drove the bat into hiding (“Batman and Robin”?  Never saw it, except fleeing from the first ten minutes.). You can more easily believe the characters, their motives, their histories, even their wickedly imaginative gadgets.
    the only flaw still seems to be the Bat Man himself.  Where is the strength of character that makes the baddies stand out, has he become lost behind that featureless mask? Batman need to get a live of his own.  We know his history, we know his destiny, but still we don’t really know him??
    Verdict: Ka-pow!
  22. Mr & Mrs Smith
    [11/june/2005] Score: 6/10
    An antidote to Sin City (below) is this comic, romantic-thriller of two perfectly matched middle class executives so busy with their careers that they don’t have time for their own marriage.  So, their careers happen to be secret international assassins who suddenly find their marriage and career problems getting mixed up as their secret identities are exposed to each other, with potentially deadly results.
    As a story it flows smoothly through the whole action from the first introduction of the characters through to the anticipated conclusion. While the ending is never, quite, in doubt the journey and the twists and turns to reach it’s conclusion make for a great ride.
    If you want a cute romantic comedy with added bullets, and a little flavour of Lara Croft, then this is perfect, if you want something with a greater intellectual bite to it then take a trip to Sin City instead.
    Verdict: Nice neighbourhood.
  23. Sin City
    [4/june/2005] Score: 10/10
    I’ll try and find something to say about this movie once I’ve gotten over the stunning visualisation of the comic book/noir stylistic imagery as you are carried along the literary waters through the fluid sewer that is Sin City.
    Like the original “noir” stories it shows how little you need, sets, lighting, money to produce a superb story.  Like the original noirs you can expect the sudden impact of bullets thudding through undeserving innocents and equally deserving villains, and endings that never quite turn out the way you want or expect – just like real life.
    I wanna make one of these, so that’s my target for the next year.
    Verdict: Wickedly good.
  24. Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith
    [21/may/2005] Score: 8/10
    After 29 years of waiting we see the “final” episode completing the long, long story set in a galaxy far, far away, about the rise, and later fall, of the Dark Side – Darth Vader makes his first, dreaded appearance. Despite the forewarning and dread of yet another mish, mashed script like Star Wars I, this is a near perfect conclusion of the series so many people have come to love.  Bringing Vader to life, his life, his “birth”, his dark driving force is realised here in a smooth complement to the rest of the series.  Don’t expect superb writing, but do expect to see a brilliant entertainment; and that is what Star Wars has been about first and foremost – entertainment of the masses.
    Verdict: “Arise..”
  25. The Wedding Date
    [20/may/2005] Score: 4/10
    Rule of romantic comedies set in London – don’t let the Americans do it.  At least this is the lesson of “The Wedding Date”, a seemingly simple attempt to follow the magnificent leads set by “Four Weddings And A Funeral” and “Notting Hill” this sets the story up at a wedding in “Quaint England” (two miles down the road from “Little England”) with an assorted bunch of Americans enjoying the flavour of romance, but without the humour of a stuttering-but-cute englishman to win all the girlies over.
    Verdict: Sorry, I’ve got another date that day.
  26. The Jacket
    [14/may/2005] Score: 10/10
    You go to watch what you think will be a standard horror movie about a man trapped in a lunatic asylum and victim of a mad scientists who’s intent on driving him insane in a series of halucigenic medical experiments, and you find yourself watching a far better story.  A surprising, brilliant romantic, psychic race through time and the mind.  If you liked the wild imagery of Twelve Monkeys then you’ll love this one.
    Verdict: Madly brilliant.
  27. Kingdom of Heaven
    [7/may/2005] Score: 6/10
    Half way through this I suddenly realised I was watching a repeat of Gladiator.  Same director, same theme of noble man, looses his beloved wife and child, and sets forth on a quest to redeem their memories.
    He confronts evil in high office, challenges historical forces, and somehow wins through.
    So, if you liked Gladiator, then I’m certain that, like me, you’ll enjoy Kingdom of Heaven.
    Of course I still have those nagging doubts, like how well he could learn to fight after only one brief lesson in swordplay, and suddenly he’s a Knight with the fighting skills of a mediaeval ninja. And how come all these hero’s turnout to be of noble birth and inherit lands, wealth and nice horses?  I guess you could never, ever explain away a poor hero struggling to find a bale of hay for his mule, let alone trying to find a sharpening stone for his little knife, so that wouldn’t make as great a story.
    Verdict: Heaven on Earth for all those who like a good scrap.
  28. Hitch-Hiker’s Guide To The Galaxy
    [30/april/2005] Score: 6/10
    As a long term fan of Douglas Adams’s brilliant and witty work, from the first day of Hitch-Hiker’s Guide To The Galaxy on BBC Radio 4, and knowing how he liked to rewrite his stories for each genre, from radio to TV to books, now we have the cinema release. And it IS different.
    Unlike the previous incarnations Douglas obviously went for a thorough polish of the gem that is Hitch-Hiker’s, but I also detected something of a “sanitization” for wider audiences and compression of what was originally a three hour radio play.
    So any problems, and rants?  Well, not quite. The effects are great when needed and otherwise ignored, the scene of a huge fleet hovering over the surface of the Earth makes a dramatic impression and the effects of the Improbability Drive just have to been seen and laughed over, but the greater impression is a script that has been weakened from its original and seems at times to be too lacking in the quirks that made up the earlier versions, whether it’s Marvin the Paranoid Android, here played as an over-grown toy robot with too little impact on the story and characters or the playing of the characters there was a serious lack of time to develop and introduce their real wildness and weirdness.  In only 90 minutes I’m left with the feeling that too little was said to explain everything or develop all the characters and opportunities. But then I guess there will be sequels?
    Verdict: Don’t Panic!
  29. Cursed
    [23/april/2005] Score: 4/10
    A werewolf movie, and in keeping with many Wes Craven movies in recent years, a spoof of the genre.  I have no problem with spoofing a genre, especially as I have plans for a sixteen or seventeen part series of spoof/black-comedy vampire films, but this film lacked a core storyline that could run through the whole story.  In exchange of one main story we are treated to two, one of each following the experiences of a brother and sister as they discover that they’ve become werewolves after a slight accident on the night of a full moon.
    With each story we have a collection of characters, motives and events which don’t easily mesh together, causing us to spin from one to the other in quick succession. The result is a confusion in the plotline and the audience, namely me.
    Verdict: A dog’s dinner.
  30. The Interpreter
    [16/april/2005] Score: 6/10
    This film runs for most of its length as an intelligent thriller set in Nw York but drawing in serious issues of trouble and responsibility to our fellow men around the world. Although the film doesn’t shy from dealing with the issues of African dictatorships it does end with a totally implausible silly Hollywood confrontation that is out of character from the rest of the story.
    While there is a potential sub-plot of inter-racial love (how I hate the whole concept of “inter-racial” and its reinforcement of stupid stereotypes which have clouded our minds for generations) it ignores all but a brief reference to something which could have turned into a better, even more realistic plot twist.  Imagine how often a strong rebel leader in a small remote country has been replaced on his death by an equally strong wife or lover.  Now that would have been a far better ending, but perhaps too oblique for American audiences?
    Verdict: A good interpretation, but not the reality.
  31. Sahara
    [9/april/2005] Score: 5/10
    if you want a senseless Saturday afternoon matinee popcorn movie that you’ll forget within minutes of leaving the pictures then Sahara is your dose of Hollywood junk.  Not only is this a fun exciting, fast-paced adventure all the way into “darkest Africa”, but it is totally implausible and silly.  Great for the children in all of us!
    Verdict: Pass me the popcorn.
  32. A Rage In Placid Lake
    [2/april/2005] Score: 8/10
    So, this little boy is sent to school wearing a girl’s dress to “challenge sexual stereotypes” according to his parents, and gets totally humiliated and beaten up for the rest of his school life.  Well, that’s what comes of having hippies for parents; and this is the start of our hero young Placid Lake’s journey to adulthood and the discovery of his true self.  Does Placid grow up into a hippy like his parents, or something else?  I leave it to you to discover.
    A quirky, funny, story of growing up, self-discovery, love and office politics.  Although it has all the standard ingredients of most teenage coming of age stories, the ways it’s conveyed, the twisted view of Placid Lake’s world and the weird characters throughout make it a great story. As for the abundance of sex, well, it is a fantasy of every teenage boy.
    Verdict: Adolescence was never this sexy and intelligent.
  33. Melinda & Melinda
    [30/mar/2005] Verdict: 6/10
    Does Woody Allen have his own school of acting to “do a Woody”?  I only began wondering this when, despite the absence of the esteemed Mr Allen on the screen, many of the actors started playing Woody – the stream of verbal neurosis and stuttering acting that suddenly erupts from several of the leads in this story of all the twists and turns in our lives, from comedy through tragedy to romance, from loves and laughter, to sadness and torment.  Don’t you just love those nice, wealthy, neurotic, artsy East Side New York folk in their own little universe?
    Verdict: Another Woody Wonder.
  34. Maria Full of Grace
    [26/mar/2005] Score: 8/10
    If you want the opposite of Miss Congeniality then Maria Full of Grace is the antidote to Hollywood glamour. A gritty down-to-earth telling of one girl’s experience becoming a drug mule for the Colombian traffickers as her only escape from a life of drudgery and poverty.  And it’s happening every day of the year. I recommend it for anyone who want to understand more about the world than the candyfloss offered us from LALA Land.
    Verdict: Graceful.
  35. Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous
    [25/mar/2005] Score: 6/10
    Like “Hostage” (below), Miss Congeniality is a standard format, but slightly better written and better paced story of hostage-taking and rescue. Gave me a good few laughs and that was unexpected!  Worth spending a few hours enjoying the comic antic of the FBI’s top agent in the jet set.
    Verdict: Fabulous dharling!
  36. Hostage
    [21/mar/2005] Score: 5/10
    A standard Bruce Willis thriller in keeping with the similar “Die Hard” series the story had a certain predictability, but also provided all the thrills and spills you’d expect.  I think the only weakness was in the psycho-baddie in the hostage-taking.  Why wasn’t he played by an English actor, I thought hey were the standard baddies nowadays???  Also his death sequence was just on the other side of very silly.  There is more depth to the story action in having both a leading sequence that sets the scene and multiple adversaries for Bruce to deal with; but at the same time the unbroken rule of “heroic cop with bad marriage to redeem” isn’t tampered with.  Why are they always on the edge of a nervous/marriage breakdown before having to shoot and kill their way out of trouble, just easy on the writing demands?
    Verdict: Help save me!!
  37. Robots
    [19/mar/2005] Score: 5/10
    Looks out Robin Williams is loose!!  With his gag-o-matic on full stream here’s a story that will entertain children of all ages, and the depth of detail in the animation of the robot city is something you have to see.  While there were a couple of small points in the story where I felt the writers were aiming too high, to the adults accompanying their children, and would go far over the heads of the little ones, the pace soon swept us all on through the story.  All in all this is a great little tale of robot folk.
    Verdict: Well screwed together.
  38. Constantine
    [12/mar/2005] Score: 6/10
    Big, noisy, dark, spectacular comic-book drama.  Keanu Reeves is just his good old bad, wooden, haunted and glum self, but if there was supposed to be a romantic plot, or even a hint of one between him and Rachel Weisz then I missed it.  Maybe in the sequel, or the second sequel?  If you loved Matrix, you’ll love this and I’m sure the sequels are being written already.
    Verdict: Devilish.
  39. Hitch
    [11/mar/2005] Score: 6/10
    What can I say about Hitch? slushy, romantic comedy, a little different from the run-of-the-mill romantic comedies in having at least two love lines running through it instead of the usual boy-meets-girl-girl-hates-boy-boy-wins-girl plot.
    anyway, take some tips from Hitch and there may be hope for you yet.
    Verdict: Get Hitched!
  40. Hotel Rwanda
    [5/mar/2005] Score: 10/10
    Now that the British General Elections are upon us (impending soon) it’s interesting to reflect on how our political leaders were so insistent in not becoming involved in the Rwandan civil war and the million or more people who were slaughtered.  Despite appeals the Tory government of the time refused to act, and the Labour opposition remained silent.
    Hotel Rwanda reminds us all of how brutally our so-called “Civilised” government can be when people are in desperate need of help and how nobel others can be when the time for action arises.  This powerful drama focuses not on the grand vision of battle and slaughter, but on the narrow world of one man as he struggles to protect his family, friends, neighbours in the middle of another holocaust, while the fat rich western governments turned their backs, again.
    Verdict: Another Lesson for us all, how many more…….?
  41. The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissu
    [3/mar/2005] Score: 7/10
    We all dream of being heroes embarking on great adventurers, some of us try to live out those dreams on holiday and some try to turn them to reality to some extent or another.  The Life Aquatic is a celebration of everyone trying to live the adventure and, like most of us, not quite meeting up to the image of what a hero ought to be, but in the end our efforts at heroism are often far greater than being the hero, because at least we try when others just sit back and watch it on TV.  Here’s a bunch of not-really-quite heroes not quite fitting the mould of society or the hero, who embark on their own adventure.
    Verdict: Heroically human.
  42. Shall We Dance?
    [26/feb/2005] Score: 8/10
    Another grown-up drama and romance for everyone seeking an antidote to shoot, bang and scream movies. If you’re expecting a steamy sexy movie then forget it, but if you want a passionate and highly charge erotic film then pay a visit for your dance lesson. Contains one of the most erotic scenes I’ve seen for a long time.
    Verdict:  I’ll dance to this tune anytime.
  43. Ocean’s Twelve
    [5/feb/2005] Score 6/10
    A great excuse to gather a whole clan of “A” list movie starts as they have to steal millions in just two weeks and can’t do it in America so launch themselves on a jolly jaunt around Europe in a caper heist movie sequel to the first “Ocean’s” film (well, the remake of the original).  Like the first it’s got all the glossy glamour of romantic high class thievery, so sit back and enjoy the fun, as they’re certainly enjoying themselves.
    The only little sticking point was the movie in-joke at the expense of a couple of the leads and a cameo from Bruce Willis as they pull a “Julia Roberts” stunt, which I felt went to bit too far off the main line of the story and could have done with toning down a bit as it distracted from the main thread of the storyline. Apart from that wild diversion it’s a good caper with a Hollywood in-crowd joke thrown in for good measure.
    Verdict: A distracting gem and enjoyable jaunt for the candyfloss crowd.
  44. Sideways
    [28/jan/2005] Score: 8/10
    Boys meet girls, boys get girls, boys loose girls, boys get girls back. So that’s it? Well, yes, but it’s also told with such a flavour of delicacy, a scent of spice from a well-matured grove that you just loose yourself in what turns into over two hours of fine adult story-telling.
    No flash-bang special effects, no battles with mythical beasts, only the day-to-day battle, growth, maturity and experience in the real world.  These are four people dealing with life not herculean struggles.  Makes a great change and give you a sense of balance in comparison with the fantasy worlds regularly spilling out on the screens.
    Verdict: A mature delicacy from a seasoned cast, with just that hint of sensual body.
  45. Elektra
    [22/jan/2005] Score: 4/10
    Now, the score does not related to the dishy Jennifer Gardner, she of “the Jennifer Walk”, but to a story that was best left to a video game or badly-written comic strip. With a good deal more sense and character development (see Spiderman for comparison) I’m sure the Elektra might have had some interest, but this…?
    We first met Elektra in the film Daredevil.  In that she was heir to a huge fortune and vast company. In the new film she’s working solo as an assassin living on the run all the time from some mythical organisation “The Hand”.  So what happened, how did it come about that she effectively lost everything from her past?
    No idea, not a clue. And this is one of the big problems of Elektra – very little substance in her background to establish any continuity with her previous appearance.
    As for the rest of the story, somewhat like House of Flying Daggers the film shows one or two “magical” combat effects but seems to loose its way with effect and no sense of reason.
    Verdict: Not electrifying.
  46. Team America: World Police
    [16/jan/20005] Score: 8/10
    Last year we saw the live action version of Thunderbirds.  Well “Team America: World Police” is an all-American Thunderbirds, but with fewer wooden actors!
    This is the military-political manifesto of the Bush White House.  Every scene is a page torn from reality, or an inspiration to American troops everywhere on how to behave with, well, every goddam foreigner in the whole wide world.
    If the US military have a recruitment drive then this will be their advert.
    Heroism on a grand scale as elite Americans fight them damn foreign terror-ists/ commies/reds/whites/blues/Frenchies, etc. With no room for them damn liber-al actors, only the hardest, toughest actors star in this movie, real Americans, telling a real story, telling it like it is!
    Puppets did you say?  Well, yes there were one or two if you look closely. I managed to spot Toy Blair.
    Verdict: Go U.S.A!  Fuck yeah!
  47. Aviator
    [15/jan/2005] Score: 10/10
    If this was a British film it would have concentrated all of its attention on the sordid private life of an old man reflecting from his madness and paranoid isolation on the peaks and troughs of his turbulent life.
    Fortunately this isn’t a British film and therefore concentrates on the highlights and the peak performance of one of the most driven, talented, visionary and brilliant people of the last century. Ably assisted by a great cast the story unfolds not of madness but brilliance that certainly deserves the nearly three hours of attention it receives in this film.
    I’m sure the critics will find something nasty to say about it, but who cares about them when you see the achievement of Howard Hughes in so many fields of endeavour.
    Verdict: A brilliant flight with the Aviator.
  48. Alexander
    [8/jan/2005] Score: 6/10
    A big noisy bunch of ancient Greeks go tearing around the “known world”, bitching, squabbling, and fighting everyone and each other in this rip-roaring expose of the sordid underbelly of ancient myth.  If it’s battles you want then battles you shall have, both on and off the battlefield there’s blood and gore aplenty. And when they’re not fighting they’re bitching and quarrelling amongst each other.
    In an attempt to redress previous heroic epics the makers focus on the homoerotic aspects of ancient Greeks and sweaty young boys fighting, fighting, fighting, looking pretty and dying, prettily.
    Verdict: Pretty.
  49. Without A Paddle
    [3/jan/2005] Score: 4/10
    Sort of dumb and dumber, and their dumb friend, go on a “Deliverance” wilderness course.
    It would have scored a 1/5 if it wasn’t for the redeeming feature of two witty and intelligent sensitive drug pushers, nice boys.
    Verdict: They should have left it up the creek where it belonged.
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