Archive for the Movie Category

Red 2: The Sequel To That Awesome Funny Action Movie You Loved

Posted in Movie, Review with tags , on August 26, 2013 by darthtanion

Greetings green ones.  I’m not really sure what that means but I’m sticking with it.  So tonight I was out at a preview screening of Red 2 thanks to those wonderful folks at Review Brisbane.  In return I’m writing a review for them so congratulations to everyone I guess.  We’re all winners here.  But enough of the banter.  Let’s get right into…

Red 2: The Review

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The Reviewer Inside Me

Posted in Movie, Review with tags , , , on August 12, 2010 by darthtanion

Goof de Morgan Loonies & Jelly Toons,
How have you been this past week… errr… month… errr… ok I know it’s been ages since I last did a blog post but in my defense I’ve been very lazy so the least you could do is cut me a little slack.  So what, I hear you ask, has brought me out of this laziness induced state of blogospheric hibernation?  Well, the good people at @reviewbrisbane have sent me along to another movie & lovingly suggested that I shove my opinion all up in your business… So here it is.

The Killer Inside Me: The Review


Executive Summary: I didn’t like some things but overall it disturbed me brilliantly.

Review: There is a subtle but distinct difference between a movie you like & a good movie.  This movie fits into both categories for me but I’ll be honest & say that some people just aren’t going to like it.  Not because it’s a bad movie but because it’s disturbing as hell.  Being a preview screening there was a small speech at the start.  (Which was lovely.)  Sam (who was lovely) from Icon told everyone that this movie would split the audience due to the disturbing nature of some of the scenes.  (Which were less lovely.)  I think the fact that it is so disturbing is a testament to how good this movie really is.  Well enough summarising, let’s get down to the nitty gritty.  The first thing that has to be mentioned is the casting.  Casey Affleck steals the show.  That is not to say the rest of the cast is poor, they’re fantastic but Affleck is just too amazingly well cast for anybody to beat him.  He is the epitome of a baby-faced-killer.  His high, squeaky, more than slightly effeminate voice resonates in your mind long after the final credits have rolled.  Apparently some movie goers have been saying that The Killer Inside Me glorifies domestic violence & while the scenes in question were a little difficult to watch, I really couldn’t disagree with those people more.  Sam from Icon (Remember her? She was lovely.) told everyone about director Michael Winterbottom’s desire to stay true to the novel upon which this book is based.  In my opinion he handles a difficult topic with class & artistry.  I think it’s more than fair to say that Affleck’s character is far more unnerving than the graphic scenes of domestic violence which he depicts.  Telling his victims he loves them as he ends their existence.  It messed with my head so much that when my girlfriend called me afterwards, telling her I loved her as we said goodbye honestly felt truly evil.

The other thing I liked about this movie was that they didn’t go for cheap thrills.  There was quite a few sex scenes but no real nudity & by that I mean no nipples.  A few bum cheeks but no nipples.  It would have been so easy to just flash a few tits across the screen & guarantee yourself some quick publicity.  Perhaps it was artistic integrity, perhaps it was just that Jessica Alba’s chest wouldn’t fit into the movie’s budget but I really feel that it helped give the movie that 1950’s feel they were chasing.

I’m about to break a long standing rule of mine.  I’m about to talk about the end of a movie.  I wouldn’t go as far as to say this is a spoiler but I was a little disappointed with the very end of the movie.  I can’t tell you exactly what I didn’t like but it was a very small thing.  The only reason I mention it is because it was the VERY end of the movie & everybody knows that the end is the important bit.  You’re always better off to have a huge screw up in the middle of a movie than a small one at the end.  There were a few other things I didn’t like.  Some parts of the story seemed a little rushed.  I find this sometimes happens when you try to jam a whole novel into just a couple of hours.  There were one or two plot holes as well.  I don’t know if these were in the original story or if they were also the result of trying to squeeze the contents of a book into the dimensions of the big screen but they were slightly annoying.

All in all this movie was brilliant.  Some hiccups in the story are all too easily overlooked when they are compared to the brilliance of the acting, scripting & cinematography.  The Killer Inside Me opens this weekend so if you’re in the mood for a good watch I’d say check it out.  Just don’t plan on feeling all warm & fuzzy when you leave.

Unless there is a next time,
Goodbye Forever.

Luke Venables
Alaskan Chilli Bean Farmer

Kick-Ass: Lodging A Foot In Your Booty

Posted in Movie, Review with tags , , on April 2, 2010 by darthtanion

In the words of the late, great Mark Twain: “Hello.”  I have returned from a relaxing evening of the finest in foreign cinema & once again decided to forcibly rub my opinion in everybody’s face as though it really matters.  Ladies & gentlemen, welcome to:

Kick-Ass: The Review

Kick-Ass

Executive Summary: This movie is so good it almost makes up for Wanted.

Review: Ordinarily when I review a movie I leave any bad things until the end.  This time however I’m going to say them now but only so I can get them out of the way because they are so incredibly obvious.  I have heard about people walking out of this movie because it is so vulgar so I’m going to put this as simply as possible.

IT INVOLVES A 12 YEAR OLD GIRL KILLING PEOPLE IN VIOLENT WAYS WHILE DROPPING THE ‘C’ BOMB!!!!!!

Ok, now I know that may have seemed a tad excessive but now you can’t say you didn’t know.  I guess I should have said “Spoiler Alert”.  If you’re going to walk out because the ‘C’ word offends you that’s fine but don’t complain about how shocked you are.  It’s a movie, which means it plays out the same way every time, so in every screening (including the one you see) that sweet, innocent little 12 year old is going to say that word.  If you don’t like it then don’t see it.  It doesn’t matter if you walk out or not.  Your ticket is still worth the same to the producers & investors as the guy next to you so why support it?  If you’re thinking to yourself “maybe it’s not as bad as everybody is making out” then just let me say:

IT’S AS BAD AS EVERYBODY IS MAKING OUT!!!!!!

There is just no two ways about it; this is an offensive movie & people are going to get offended.  Some people might be upset that I am about to praise such a controversial movie so highly (& believe me I’m going to praise it) but I’ve always believed that in a world where liberty itself seems to face persecution we should not only accept being offended from time to time but demand it.  How else do you know you’re living in a free country?

Right.  Now the good stuff.  THIS MOVIE IS AWESOME!!!  First I guess I should explain my so called “Executive Summary”.  Kick-Ass, as you may or may not know, is based on a comic by one of my all time favourite comic writers; Mark Millar.  One of his finest works is the mini series Wanted.  This was later made into a movie starring Angelina Jolie & James McAvoy.  The movie stank.  Maybe if I wasn’t such a die hard fan I would have enjoyed it because everybody tells me it was a good movie but I just plain hated it.  They diverted so far from the original story (in directions that were never an improvement) that you wouldn’t even call it an adaptation.  You would just call it a mistake.  Look at the best comic book movies of all time.  Batman, Iron Man, 300, Sin City & now Kick-Ass.  They all have one thing in common.  They stayed true to the original intent of the comic; They target the same audience.  This is one area that Kick-Ass excels.  InWanted they shied away from the really offensive stuff.  (Stuff too offensive for me to mention on a family friendly blog.)  While some may see that as noble, I just see it as lazy.  If the original story isn’t the one you want then write your own.  Stop trying to put a square peg in a mongoose’s nasal cavity.  It doesn’t fit.

Many people see vulgarity & violence as the last refuge of the talentless but this movie shows that true brilliance can shine through anything.  You just can’t deny that Matthew Vaughn has put together a very funny, sometimes touching, action hit, no matter how offended you are.  The jokes are hilarious, the fight scenes are fast & brutal &, when it needs to be, the emotion is beautiful.  All of the actors fit perfectly into their roles.  Yes, even the 12 year old with potty mouth.  Millar went out of his way to create a protagonist that is Jimmy Everyman times 10 to the power of Average Joe.  That is to say, he is nothing special & it works perfectly.  Mark Strong also plays a fantastic villain & while I don’t think the role is going to win him any Oscar awards, his portrayal of Frank D’Amico provides a strong platform for the really important characters to stand on while they wear spandex.

Needless to say I was not the only person in the cinema that enjoyed this movie.  The audience applauded several times throughout the screening & laughed constantly.  All of my friends that came with me had the time of their lives & the night was topped off with free Watermelon flavoured gum distributed upon leaving.  Mmmm… weird & unrelated to the movie we just saw but refreshing.

Who Should See It:
-Fans of the comic
-Fans of action comedies
-People in the mood for some light hearted mass murder
-Everyone!!

Who Shouldn’t See It:
-People who are easily offended
-People who are looking for a movie to take their grandmother to
-Computer generated elephants going through a growth spurt

Special Mention

I have to just give special mention to the funniest comment of the night.  Before the screening they had a small competition to give away some USB Flash Drives.  In short, they asked questions, people answered & won stuff.  The lady down the front asked “What is the name of the actor who plays Kick-Ass?” & while everyone was complaining about not being able to hear one lone voice piped up & said “Chuck Norris!”  It was greeted with applause.  Also, a big thank you to @REVIEWBRISBANE for the tickets.  If you don’t follow him on Twitter then start now.  If you don’t have a Twitter account sign up just so you can follow this guy.

Have you seen the movie?  Why not leave a comment & let everybody know about it.  Also, if you look up to the top right on the front page of this site you’ll see a ‘Sign Me Up’ button.  Why not give it a click & see what happens?

Unless there is a next time,
Goodbye forever.

Luke Venables
Chief Leopard Spot Eraser

The Road: An Apocalypse In Review

Posted in Movie, Review with tags , , , , , on February 21, 2010 by darthtanion

The Road

A little while ago I had the good fortune to win tickets to see the new movie The Road.  In my usual way I decided to give my completely uneducated opinion to the world about a movie made by people who have probably created more cinematic masterpieces than I’ve had hot pants.  Here is that opinion.

The Road: The Review

Executive Summary:
I loved it.

Review:
Ok first thing I have to say is that I don’t like dramas.  As a general rule I find them to be pointless.  They just seem like the life & times of someone less fortunate than myself who ends up getting a lucky break & living happily ever after or dying.  They just bore me.  Every now & then, however, you come across a What’s Eating Gilbert Grape or an Atonement & it makes up for all the rot your girlfriend has made you sit through to get to this point.  Well if you ask me The Road is one of those movies.

In my opinion everything about this adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s novel is spectacular.  Set in a world which has all but died out it tells the story of a man & his son trying to survive in the face of overwhelming really bad stuff.  To begin with I have to talk about the look of the film.  To me the look of the sets & landscapes is a minor part of the overall final product but it can make or break the film.  The design of The Road is bleak & drab & simply breathtaking.  The colour palate is very minimal basically throughout the movie consisting mainly of an abundance of grey with splashes of gold sprinkled in.  It might sound a little boring but it means every shot is almost a portrait & at the risk of over analyzing I think it stands as a great metaphor for the overall theme of the lives of the two protagonists.  It also means that when they use even the smallest amount of colour it is all the more striking.

The acting & dialog are two more outstanding achievements.  Viggo Mortensen & Kodi Smit-McPhee skillfully create a vehicle to carry the storyline pretty much everywhere it was meant to go.  There is nobody who sticks out as out of place or the weaker performer.  Sure there are characters whom you like more than others but that is because you are supposed to.  I loved the lack of sappy cheesy-ness presented.  There were no long overly dramatic monologues.  Just realistic, honest conversation.  This in no way prevents the whole story from being heartbreakingly depressing.  Seriously, even though no tears were shed I think I died a little inside every time something went badly.  Those of you who have read my previous blogs know I usually write with a fairly jovial style but making jokes in a review of a movie this grievous just seems like a drunk stripper at your Grandma’s birthday party; completely inappropriate & out of place.  Throughout it (the movie that is) you are constantly devastated about the circumstances & situations these two have to overcome but there are a some very touching moments which are absolutely beautiful.

That said this movie is quite heavy watching.  If you’re deciding between seeing this & something like It’s Complicated then maybe you should evaluate what kind of evening you want to have before choosing.

Who Should See It:
-People in the mood for something heavy
-People who like a bit of a cry
-Anybody who appreciates a well done movie

Who Shouldn’t See It:
-People in the mood for a comedy
-People in the mood for some action & romance
-Blind, deaf, overweight gardening tools

Unless there is a next time.

Goodbye forever.

Luke Venables
Iranian Surf Champion

Daybreakers Review

Posted in Movie, Review with tags , on February 5, 2010 by darthtanion

OK, @reviewbrisbane gave me “free” tickets under the condition that I write a review on the movie I went to see. I could have just done the 140 character Twitter review but I thought to myself “Luke” (I think to myself in the 4th person. That´s just like the 3rd person but I always have an imaginary friend with me.) “Luke, why would you rob yourself of the chance to force your opinion down other people´s throat? It´s one of your favourite things to do and you do it so well.” After a brief deliberation I vigorously agreed with myself and decided to write a full review. I have never even attempted this before so lets see how I go.

Daybreakers: The Review

Executive Summary:
It was good.

Review:
This movie can probably be described as 28 Days Later meets Minority Report meets Count Chocula (or any other pointy toothed marketing tool you would care to think of. There is no prize for guessing who won the product placement deal in this film.) From the get go the creative team want you to know what kind of movie you are in store for. They waste no time with some (admittedly cheap) scare tactics. Much to my embarrassment I fell for them. There were at least 3 occasions in the first 5 minutes when the seat of my pants was not in firm contact with the seat of my seat like it should have been and these moments continued throughout the movie although not as frequently. I think the one pitfall that most vampire movies I have seen seem to fall into is that the vampires are incredibly one dimensional and that one dimension is “cool”. No matter what they do they always try to make them look awesome doing it as though a vampire is simply what the kids would look like if The Fonz bred with a mosquito. This movie avoids that danger masterfully. Not all of the characters are overly complex but none of them are “cool” for the sake of it and I personally though they were quite believable. (In so far as a portrayal of a vampire can be believable.) While Daybreakers does dodge that and many other clichés there are plenty that it hits square on. This for me however did not affect my enjoyment of the film. In fact I think it would have been slightly less enjoyable if there wasn´t one or two moments where you groaned and whispered to yourself “of course.”

You may be surprised to read that I got a laugh or two out of this film. The only problem is that I don´t think I was supposed to. One moment in particular near the start of the movie induced quite an audibly jovial response from the patrons but the dire look on Ethan Hawke´s face, which can only be described as being laced with drama befitting a daytime soap opera, almost seemed to say “You think that´s funny? You disgust me.”

The acting in this movie is generally quite good. Also, it includes a couple of Aussie stars which is always nice to see. The only actor I think might polarize the audiences is Willem Dafoe. While I can certainly see that some people are just not going to warm to him and find him to be completely over the top, I thought he was great. It´s hard to describe. The second he opens his mouth he almost seems like the only person on screen that is realistic and yet he is a complete caricature who shows no respect for the acting style that has driven the movie up to this point. The fact that it works so well for him is almost offensive.

Overall this movie had everything I needed. Enough gore to repulse me, enough shocks to excite me, enough talent to entertain me and enough cheesy-ness to let me know I was watching a horror movie.

Who Should See This Movie:
-Anybody who likes vampire movies but doesn´t mind if it isn´t the greatest one on earth.
-Anybody who would like to see a slightly different portrayal of vampires.
-Anybody who has seen the trailers and find themselves curious.

Who shouldn´t see this movie:
-People who don´t like blood.
-People who demand precise realism in their theatrical viewings.
-Small Czechoslovakian goat herders on their lunch break.

Unless there is a next time.
Goodbye forever.

Luke Venables
Chief Vice Deputy Secretary to the Garbage Man’s Personal Assistant