Sunday, 28 June 2015



Starring Linda Hamilton, Michael Biehn, and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Written by James Cameron and Gale Anne Hurst and directed by James Cameron. 107 minutes long.

Originally made in 1984 and re-released in time for next week's Terminator Genysis.

There are very few note perfect movies, movies that score perfect 10s and Terminator is one of them. With an absolutely beautiful three-act structure, this is a film that Marvel comics used to show to new editors as an example of a perfectly structured story.

The plot is simplicity itself, it's a chase movie, a classic
horror film! Sure it's got cyborgs and time travel and shit but ultimately it's about a girl being chased by an unstoppable monster.

Cameron tells how he dreamed up the plot for Terminator thanks to a fever induced dream he suffered in Rome while directing his first movie, Piranha II: The Spawning. 

With a tiny budget, just 6.7 mill Cameron spent every single cent on that film, creating a script so lean even Mr. Sprat might have complained! He used all his past skills as a special effects co-ordinator for Roger Corman on films like Battle Beyond the Stars to create a superbly realised future world with almost, rudimentary special effects and back screen projection. Its brief, in comparison to his later films, running time meant that Cameron kept the whole thing racing along at break-neck speed.

This was the film that not only catapulted Cameron to the top of the heap of action directors, and made a star out Arnold Swarzenegger, but also launched the careers of Stan Winston (special effects guru),
Gale Anne Hurd, Linda Hamilton and Bill Paxton, although for some unknown reason not Michael Biehn, who never quite capatalised on his starring role. Originally Arnolt had been offered the part of Kyle - the soldier sent back from the future to protect the mother of the freedom fighter who would grow up to win the war against the machine and Skynet but decided to play the Terminator instead. It was a great decision and one that would go on to see Arnie become the biggest Hollywood box office star for most of the 1980s.

Cameron went on to make Aliens and the Abyss before coming back to remake make Terminator with T2, which just opted to oomph everything up with a much bigger budget, running time and action. It's fun, but it's not the lean, mean killing machine of its predecessor. After that, he left the series and the world was treated to okayish T3 and the woefully shit, Terminator Salvation.

But this is the original and if you get a chance to see it I urge you to go and see  Terminator back on the big screen and relive its masterful perfection.




Starring Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Hailee Steinfeld, Brittany Snow, Skylar Astin, Adam DeVine, Katey Sagal, Anna Camp, Alexis Knapp, Hana Mae Lee, John Michael Higgins and Elizabeth Banks.

Written by Kay Cannon and directed by Elizabeth Banks. 115 minutes Long.

A sequel and all that that implies of the superior 2012 original.

Couldn't be arsed to see this opening weekend and so opted to wait until its last weekend instead, just to be contrary.

This time round the girls of the Belles have to compete in the Worlds - a Capella tournament, after they're banned from competing or defending their Capella title following a disastrous performance at President Obama's birthday party that sees, 'Fat Amy', Rebel Wilson suffer a wardrobe malfunction that exposes her genitalia for the world to gawp at, it's pixelated for the sake of the film's 12a rating. After that it's the introduction of a new character, played by Hailee Steinfeld who's a Legacy, the Belles new rivals, the far superior Das Sound Machine - a Euro Cappella team - and then a series of singing sequences before the Belles seem to break up, briefly, before coming back together over a camping bonding session and reunite, better than before, just in time for the finale where they win the title and back their reputations.   

Liked the first one, it was fresh and funny and the cast was likeable. This time round everyone seems on autopilot and the plot seems ludicrously contrived. 

It was fine, just not as much fun as the original.

Some funny moments, mainly glimpsed in the trailer, and Elizabeth Banks and John Michael Higgins are always a hoot and that's about it really. With a $272 million worldwide take off of a 29 mill budget I suppose we'll get a sequel or three more before this particular vein of Hollywood gold is mined out then it'll be quietly taken around the back of the bike sheds and shot in the face and buried with the corpse of the Street Dance franchise.


Saturday, 20 June 2015



Starring Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Vincent D'Onofrio.

Written by Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver, Derek Connolly and Colin Trevorrow. Directed by Colin Trevorrow. 124 minutes long.

In terms of story, it's been 22 years since Jurassic Park went tits up (or should that by Titsaurus up?) and what have the humans of that universe learned? Well, in a word sweet FA. In fact, they've learned less that because they've decided to make their own dinosaurs, splicing together genetically modified genes to create the Indominus Rex! - a highly intelligence, carnivorous, super-fast dinosaur with chameleon attributes so good it can turn invisible and the ability to lower its own body temperature and thus fool thermal or infra red cameras. That said, the film doesn't bother to explain how the dinosaur knew in the first place it was being monitored by a thermal camera.

Anyhoo, we join this universe in the now running and seemingly successful theme park, Jurassic World on Isla Nublar where the super rich come to frolic with dinosaurs, while raptor wrangler and ex-Naval Seal, Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) has been brought in to certificate the new attraction, the Indominus Rex. Pratt's character is a dumbed-down Sam Neil crossed with Bob 'Clever Girl' Peck of the original movie. Luckily he's managed to imprint with a pack of Raptors and that's helpful cos he might need their help later on, should anything go wrong, say like if old Rexie was able to escape from his compound, by duping thermal cameras and using his chameleon like abilities to evade the security detail. But surely the chances of that happening are almost as small as the idea that Pratt's InGen boss, Vincent D'Onofrio is waiting for a chance to steal the technology behind the dinosaurs say... by using the cover of some sort of disaster as a smoke screen...

This reboot, re-imagining, remake, repeat of the original Jurassic Park, decides to play the old maxim, 'the same, but bigger' card, opting for bigger everything in the place of a coherent plot or characters who act in a real way.

So, instead of a decent plot, or story we just have a group of characters trying to survive while the park fails and the dinosaurs break free. We know who will die, when and how, we know who will survive and we even know what the final shot will be of the island at the end of the film. And why do we know it? Because we've already watched the first three Jurassic Park films. This is the movie equivalent of a greatest hits compilation album - Do you want to see the return of iconic death scenes from the first film, well here it is! Want to see the pterodactyls from the second? Check! What about the glass cracking scene of the second? How about that lovely banner from the end of the first film. In fact how about bringing back one of the iconic stars of the first film too? Well, fret not, it's all here! in fact, why not play a game of Jurassic Park bingo. Just take a card along and tick off all the old beats. First person to tick all their boxes gets a free bag of popcorn.   

And the insane thing none of the above really matters, this film is the perfect popcorn event, it's a film that is immensely fun while it's on but utterly unmemorable once it's finished. Seriously i'd forgotten it as soon as I'd left the cinema. Where as the first film, in the hands of Steven Speilberg, mixed real wonder and awe with special effects and a solid story to become a classic, Jurassic World opts for a limitless polygon and CGI budget to become the highest grossing opening weekend film of all times, which fits this film perfectly, it's all about instant gratification, it's all popcorn and no substance.

So go in to watch the dinosaurs break free and Chris Pratt do his motorbike race with his pack of Raptors thing and you'll be happy, just don't go digging for anything else, you won't find it. This is a fun but utterly empty romp and nothing more.






Starring four people I don't know, loads of cameos of actors who should have known better and Liam Nesson who gives this film the respect it deserves by giving it the middle finger and not speaking.

Couldn't give a shit who wrote or directed this piece of crap.

104 laugh-free minutes long.

Never watched the TV show, of which this is a spin off, but decided that didn't mean I shouldn't give the film a go, I like the idea of a film about the making of a film and the behind the scenes of Hollywood. What a shame I didn't listen to that small dingling sense of doubt I had.

 The plot for what it's worth, and believe me it's not, is that the main bloke who has the Entourage gets to make a film, which he then directs, goes over his £100 million budget and has to get his old manager, now Head of a major film studio, to get pony up an extra £10 mil so he can finish it off. This requires Jermey Priven, the Head, to visit the film's financiers - Texan oil billionaires, Billy Bob Thornton and his son Haley Joel Osment and ask for the money. After that, many characters talk about how great the film within a film is and we get to see one scene which really doesn't look like much, while the Entourage drives around in a series of fantastic cars talking shit, literal shit, it spews from their mouths in gouts of brown, stinking effluent.

Then there's some shit about one of the Entourage's ex-wife having a baby, while her ex-husband, who wants to get back with her shags other women to prove he still loves her. Oh and one of the others wants to date a female mixed-martial artist and lets her break his arm to prove it, while the fourth - the brother of Matt Dillon films himself masturbating on his mobile for the benefit of his girlfriend who's dating someone else. Oh and Piers fucking Morgan bookends the film with some truly sickening faux interviewing, Piers fucking Morgan. This film is vile.

Tthis film is about four over-privileged, talentless, rich-shits driving around being sexist, having sex with eager young women, talking about sex and dealing with the effects, or not, of having sex, but only straight sex with insanely sexy, young women. Indeed all women in this film, apart from three, are treated as objects to be owned, talked about or thrown away after being fucked. And of those three, one is in labour so unable to have sex, another is a high ranking film executive who's there to be the butt of a joke and the third is Priven's character's wife.

There is nothing to recommend this stinking, steaming sac of shit, even if you were a fan of the TV show and it has even fewer jokes than 12 Years a Slave.