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Some good films, some acceptable films and some culinary tragedies on this instalment of the podcast. The Road, Up In The Air, Daybreakers and Ninja Assassin are thrown into the harsh light of our steely glare as we tackle the first batch of films that 2KX throws in our general direction.
Post-apocalyptic fun abounds in The Road, for given values of fun where fun = zero. Viggo Mortenson and Kodi Smit-McPhee find themselves travelling through the grey-brown horror of a bleak, dangerous landscape. This is a well made and well acted film, although it's so relentlessly barren and hopeless that it can't be described as an entertaining film in any sense of the word. It's a really powerful film and deserving of your attention, but it's a terrible date movie.
Up In The Air gives us something a little more conventionally recommendable, with an amusing and touching look at interpersonal relationships. George Clooney spends the vast majority of his life flying around sacking people, although his lifestyle of forming no lasting relationships looks to be threatened when a new webcam based system gets set to ground him. Taking the youngster who proposes the system on the road for a bit of schoolin' winds up shining a light on his solitary existence and he realises he may not be so happy with his isolation policy as he thinks he is. Great ensemble casting, great supporting roles and a sharp script has this adding itself to the film of the year shortlist.
Daybreakers takes an interesting spin on the vampire flick genre, with the bloodsuckers forming the majority of the population, with the few remaining humans rounded up and farmed for blood. Turns out the blood stocks are running low, with human-sympathising haematologist Ethan Hawke attempting to find a synthetic blood substitute. The tables soon turn when he stumbles across a group of humans that are trying an alternative solution: changing the vamps back to humans. This turns out to be a tremendously enjoyable B-movie, with enjoyable action scenes and a good deal more thought and ideas invested in it than any pointy-teethed film since 30 Days of Night.
Ninja Assassin has a plot, or so I'm told, although it's by far the least of Ninja Assassin's qualities. Korean pop idol Rain plays the super-skilled ninja going up against his former clan in an action film that doesn't have enough action in it. The action scenes that are there are handled with an over-the-top ridiculousness that earns it some leeway with an exposition heavy middle third in a film where no-one cares about the exposition. Regardless of that, there's enough ultraviolence on display to give it the "few beers with mates" recommendation, if nothing less caveated.
That is all for now. We'll be back sometime soon, so until then keep your nose clean and if you can't be good, be lucky.