Sunday, 29 December 2013

#72 - 80(August 22 - Nov 2013) Elysium. Ender's Game. Escape Plan. Thor 2. Gravity. Rush. Hunger Games 2. The Family. The Counsellor.

Annoyingly at the end of my summer holiday I suffered a serious fall and ended up in hospital and then house-bound for three months. As a result my cinema adventure came to an abrupt end and for three months I was incapable of leaving the house. As a film-phile this was the worst of all punishments and no amount of film watching at home could help. As a result I missed a lot of films. 

#72 ELYSIUM - 22 August (last film before the accident)
Starring Matt Damon, Jodie Foster and Murdoch from the A-Team movie, directed by Neilll Blomkamp, the bloke who directed District 9.

I loved District 9, just loved it. What a fantastic debut movie, what a lot of promise to live up to. I really like Matt Damon and Jodie Foster and I really liked the look of the trailer. What a shame this was such a disappointment. A generic, plot-hole ridden chase movie with our cyborg hero chased by an unstoppable killing machine in the shape of Sharlto Copley. Fantastic special effects don't save it from second film syndrome. 6/10

#73 ENDER'S GAME - 27 October
Harrison Ford, Asa Butterfield, Ben Kingsley, Abigail Breslin and Hailee Steinfeld, directed by Gavin Hood who made the truly awful Wolverine Origins.

Not that bad. Looked great! Brilliant realised special effects, a good cast, a great idea but sadly just too serious and humourless. It does have the distinction of having a, now-ubiquitous Science Fiction film, Twist that is actually shocking. 8/10 

#74 ESCAPE PLAN - 30 October
It's Sly and the Oak, Judge Dredd and Conan, Rambo and John Matrix, co-starring for the first time, both - one-time box office leviathans acting side-by-side in a slam-dunking, mano et mano, action film set in an in-inescapable prison! It's going to be EPIC!

That's how the Hollywood script pitch went and the green light got lit.

Stallone takes on the lead role leaving Arnie to steal the film from under him by winking knowingly at the audience and lugging a huge machine gun around with him. Cue lots of punching, shooting, killing and running, the odd one liner and a natural and relaxed relationship between the two O.A.Ps as they move gingerly around the set. Not terrible, just not terribly good. 6/10

#75 THOR 2 - 31 October
Hooray! It's time for my 'You're thore? I'm so thore I can't thit down!' joke. But now I can change it to, 'you're thore, well I'm thore too.' Really liked the first one, really liked this second one. Great looking, great action, great cast. Perhaps a tad long but still great fun. 8/10

#76 GRAVITY - 9 November
Bloody hell, everyone's favourite film until 12 Years a Slave comes along at least. Truly a spectacular film with out-of-this world special effects (did you see what I did there?) Starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney. Loved it, one of my favourite films of the year. the film is a sequel to Speed, this time Sandra Bullock is on a space ship when a mad bomber targets her space ship. If she travels slower than 20,000 miles an hour her spaceship will explode. 9/10

#77 RUSH -21 November
A thrilling, griping, exciting bio-pic about the career rivalry of James 'The Shunt' Hunt and Niki LOUDA culminating in the, now legendary, 1976 F1 season. Absolutely gripping, a fantastic cast lead by Chris Hemsworth, Daniel Brühl, Alexandra Maria Lara, Olivia Wilde and directed by Ron Howard. An absolute thrill! 9/10

#78 HUNGER GAMES 2: CATCHING FIRE
- 24 November
Wow. Just wow. Really liked the first one, really loved the second one. Jennifer Lawrence is just amazing. She carries this film, the rest of the cast are good too and I love anything with Donald Sutherland in it, even Virus (actually I don't) But he is a marvel!

This is the Hunger Games series, Empire Strikes Back, and when it ends you want more! Can't wait for the next two.

9/10

#79 THE FAMILY - November
Robert Deniro, Michelle Pfeiffer, Luc Besson, Tommy Lee Jones.
Sounded good on paper, mafia boss and family in the witness protection scheme spirited away to France.
Sadly, this can't decide if it's an action film or a comedy. Trouble is, it works best as a film about a family struggling in an alien country. To complicate matters, there's a totally unnecessary subplot about brown water. Scrap away the pointless and infrequent violence and you're left with some nicely observed bits, Deniro trying to write his autobiography, Pfeiffer's relationship with her two minders, their psychotic children proving nurture over nature and the the best way to deal with the French. Rest of it is shit.

5/10

#80 THE COUNSELLOR - November
Saw this over a month ago and I'm still having flashbacks. A great cast including: Fassbender, Pitt, Diaz, Cruz and Bardem, a once good director and a script from Cormac McCarthy. Fassbender - the Counsellor, an honest yet greedy man, makes a deal with some bad people, it goes pear shape and then his whole life falls apart, along with everybody else. Who will die and who will live?

The script is beautifully written (if it were a book, where you can waffle) but utterly unrealistic in a film or real life. It's directed stylishly, the acting is first class and it looks sumptuous but this film is a flat and uninvolving experience. The trailer looked superb and it's a shame the film doesn't live up to it.

All that said, there's one scene you'll never forget, it made the audience I saw it with laugh out loud, me included. It involves as Porsche, a windscreen and a knicker-less lady.

6/10


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