We continue our predictable, but reassuring, pattern of creating a podcast in which we offer you our opinions on film. The articles in question in this episode are American Hustle, 12 Years a Slave and The Last Stand.
Acceptable in the 80s.
When North Korean terrorists invade the White House and hold the President hostage there is only one man who can save the day. Unfortunately he's busy on another job right now, but he's sub-contracted it out to Gerard Butler so you're in safe hands. Right? Well yes, if for some reason you've been living in a bubble for the last quarter century. Olympus Has Fallen is lazy, unimaginative, by-the-numbers filmmaking that steadfastly refuses to believe we're living in the 21st century. Creationist action, if you will. Avoid.
A rare del Toro disappointment.
Giant monsters from an inter-dimensional portal beneath the sea threaten mankind, and in response we...erm...build giant robots to kick their asses. Operated by pairs of mentally compatible pilots these "Jaegers" are mankind's last line of defense, but as the alien menace increases in intensity it seems as though we may be on the brink of extinction. Can a former pilot re-team with a raw recruit and drive an obsolete Jaeger to victory over the monster menace?
The woods have, er...awoken.
Reeling from the tragic death of their young daughter, a middle class couple attempt to put the past behind them by moving to a quiet country village where NO GOOD CAN POSSIBLY COME OF IT. Initially unsettling as the locals are, nothing can quite prepare vet Patrick and pharmacist Louise for Timothy Spall's offer of their daughter's resurrection, OF WHICH NO GOOD CAN POSSIBLY COME. Brushing aside the highly unlikely nature of Spall's offer, our protagonists accept the attached conditions in return for three more days with their darling girl, as you do. Mark my words, NO GOOD WILL COME OF IT.
Statham's best acting turn, but the shifting tones of this drama lets the side down.
Joey (Jason Statham) starts Hummingbird as a traumatised, perma-drunk ex-soldier homeless on the mean streets of London before seizing a chance to turn his life around, if by "turn around" you mean "work for the Triads". He uses his new position and earnings to help his estranged family and his friends on the street, leading to an unlikely romance with a nun that has little chance to go anywhere before Joey undertakes a quest of vengeance. There's a lot going on in Hummingbird, and some of it works at cross purposes to other things it's doing. It's trying to be all grim and gritty, but ruins that with enjoyable, but silly, Statham ass-kicking scenes and the tonal clash is quite grating. Dramatically, it has some fairly serious structural issues however the engine of Statham's personality does move everything along enjoyably enough to warrant a mild recommendation.
Zed’s dead, baby. Zed’s dead.
I’ll say this for World War Z, it certainly delivers on the ‘zombies’ aspect of the film. After the first act it’s a little harder to have a reason to emotionally invest in Brad Pitt’s U.N. Investigator, trying to get to the bottom of the sudden zombie outbreak besieging the planet and find some sort of cure. Still, it’s by no means a bad film for all that, and surprisingly the rather jarring diversion caused by the re-write of the last third of the film was for the best, delivering easily the most tense and interesting moments of the film. It’s a much more credible contender for your tentpole dollar than anyone expected, although outclassed by the competition. And Pontypool.
In which I witter on at length about my most favouritest and least favouritest film of 2013.
We must take a moment to recognise true genius when we see it.
America celebrating their casting off of the loving yoke of British Imperialism brings a fortunate side effect to those rounding up film related news, inasmuch as there’s much less of it than usual. Check these out. The Beeb join ESPN in shelving their 3D services, which shouldn’t really come as a surprise. I can just […]
So, this is Thursday. I hope it’s a good one. Let’s bust out the news cannon and fire a few salvos, shall we? If I note that the Guardian review of What Fresh Lunacy Is This? is tagged “Biography” and “Alcoholism”, is it naughty to automatically think of Oliver Reed? Well, it sounds like a […]
Welcome back from the weekend. We’re very sorry that it had to end, but that’s the downside of linear time. Let’s ameliorate the terrible pain by looking at the film news you may have missed while out painting the town red, fiddling on the roof or slapdangling your winklepickers. It’s hard not to take issue […]
Well, we’re approaching that magical time of the month known as “payday”, the happiest day of them all! Meaning I can again afford trivialities such as food and petrol. Swish. What better to tide us over to midnight than a look-see at the latest film news. Good news everyone! Annie has a leading lady! What […]
Seems like, puzzlingly, Jim Carrey’s taking a deal of flak for changing his mind on violence in films, referring to Kick-Ass 2 in this instance. My mind, it boggles. I don’t think I’d heard about the first Bad Ass, let alone a sequel in which Danny Glover is too old for this shit, but both […]
Remember, fact times importance equals news, and this? This is the news. The saddest film-related news of the week must be the death of James Gandolfini, star of The Sopranos, In The Loop, True Romance and a bunch of other great works. Not a bad body of work at all for someone coming late to […]
It’s Monday, so you know the drill. Time to open a campaign of truth bombing on the news and rumours that have leaked out over the weekend and see what collateral damage we can amass. It looks like Sony are pretty confident that the rebooted Spider-Man has legs, given that they’ve announced release dates for […]
Let’s see what untold delights this post season 3 Game of Thrones has left for us since last we gathered. Hot on the news that Superman of Steel is on the fast-track for a sequel, there’s this interview with director Zack Snyder to get your head around. Some of the Cloud Atlas team, which admittedly […]