Saturday, 30 June 2012

Film Review: BAD LIEUTENANT (2009)

Bad Lieutenant (2009) - poster [Original Title: THE BAD LIEUTENANT: PORT OF CALL - NEW ORLEANS]

Director: Werner Herzog
Writer (screenplay): William M. Finkelstein
Writers (earlier film “Bad Lieutenant”): Victor Argo, Paul Calderon, Abel Ferrara, ZoĆ« Lund
Running time: 117 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 18

Genre: Crime/Drama
UK Release date: 21st May 2010

Watched on DVD Saturday 30th June 2012.

PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.

This is a film I’ve been meaning to catch for quite a while now and with Wimbledon being on it afforded me a window of opportunity. A very entertaining and interesting film that I very much enjoyed. I can’t say I’ve seen much of Werner Herzog’s work, but, on the strength of this, I’d like to see more. Here’s a brief summary before I give you my thoughts.

Bad Lieutenant (2009) - 1 When New Orleans cop, Terence McDonagh, injures his back rescuing a prisoner in the wake of Katrina, his life is changed. He starts with prescription drugs but when they fail to do it for him he resorts to something a little stronger. He has no problem with shaking down offenders and stealing drugs from the evidence locker to feed his habit. His girlfriend, Frankie Donnenfield, a hooker, also helps him with these ‘shake-downs’. Of course, he makes some enemies along the way and this, combined with some gambling debts tends to make Terence a bit of an unstable character. Even his partner, Stevie Pruit, turns his back on him. Is there any redemption for Terence? Well, I’ll leave you with that question… Don’t want to give too much away now do we.

Bad Lieutenant (2009) - 2 Very well made with a few quirky effects… I loved ‘Iguana-cam’ particularly (you’ll know what I mean if you’ve seen it). But the thing that stands out most about this picture is the performance of Nicolas Cage as Terence McDonagh; they say for every three duds there’s one outstanding one… and believe me, this is well worth a look! He’s really great in this. I also thought Eva Mendes did an excellent job as Frankie Donnenfield. Honourable mentions go to; Val Kilmer, who I thought was underused as Stevie Pruit, Xzibit as gangster, Big Fate and Jennifer Coolidge as Genevieve.

Bad Lieutenant (2009) - 3 The combination of Cage’s excellent performance and the direction of Herzog works a treat (for me). I know the film failed to impress that much at the American box office and I think it may be because it perhaps went a little far in showing McDonah’s decline. I did feel the events leading up to the ending seemed a little rushed; having spent so much time showing him reach that point. Over all though, I thought it was rather good and deserved a better reception than it got… (For me), RECOMMENDED.

My score: 8.3/10

IMDb Score: 6.8/10 (based on 39,833 votes at the time of going to press).
http://uk.imdb.com/title/tt1095217/

MetaScore: 69/100: (Based on 32 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com at the time of going to press).

Rotten Tomatoes ‘Tomatometer’ Score: 87/100 (based on 135 reviews counted at the time of going to press).

Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 52/100 ‘Liked it’ (based on 50,683 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).
http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/bad_lieutenant_port_of_call_new_orleans/

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Bad Lieutenant (2009) - 5 FAVOURITE QUOTES:
Terence McDonagh: Shoot him again.
Deshaun 'Midget' Hackett: What for?
Terence McDonagh: His soul is still dancing.
[laughs hysterically]

Terence McDonagh: You know we got your boy, G, right?
Deshaun 'Midget' Hackett: Man, I don't know no G.
Terence McDonagh: He knows you. It's amazing how much you can get done when you've got a simple purpose guiding you through life. My purpose is to find out who shot up this apartment on Josephine. I know the guy that was living there was from Senegal. I know he was selling heroin. I know whose territory he was stepping on. And I know who went over to the apartment to straighten him out. I found out all that in the past few days. Where's Big Fate, son?
Deshaun 'Midget' Hackett: I don't know no Big Fate.
Terence McDonagh: Now, see, I know that's not true, because everybody who comes from where you come from knows who Big Fate is. The fact that you're lying to me about it tells me you're hiding something. Since you know my only reason for being here is to find out who shot up the apartment, I know that's what you're hiding. See? It all comes back to that same simple purpose.

Terence McDonagh: You don't have a lucky crack pipe?

Terence McDonagh: You think fish have dreams?

Bad Lieutenant (2009) - 6 LINKS:
(Note: All were working at the time of going to press)
Official Site: http://www.badlt.com/
Trailer:

Friday, 29 June 2012

Film Review: X-MEN: FIRST CLASS (2011) - Revisited

X-MenFirstClsss_poster Director: Matthew Vaughn
Writers (screenplay): Ashley Miller, Zack Stentz, Jane Goldman, Matthew Vaughn
Writers (story): Sheldon Turner, Bryan Singer
Running Time: 127 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 12A

Genre: Action/Adventure/Drama
UK Release Date: 1st June 2011

Watched on Sky+ Friday 29th June 2012.

PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.

I saw this film on the first day of release just over a year ago and was keen to see it it was still as good when it aired on TV for the first time this week. What follows is basically the review I wrote then with a few alterations and additions. A really enjoyable film with quite a complicated plot but I found that despite a running time of over two hours it really flew by! Testament to the writers, actors, director and everyone else involved, it’s a big thumbs up from me. Here’s a brief summary before I give you my thoughts.

X Men First Class - 3 We are told the story of how Charles Xavier founded his school for mutants in 1963. How he and his best friend, Erik Lehnsherr, later to be known as Magneto, had differing visions for the future for mutants. The stories of Hank McCoy (Beast) and Raven (Mystique), amongst others, are also told, particularly how Raven grew up with Charles but ultimately couldn’t see his vision. The narrative is set against the Cuban Missile Crisis, which, for the purposes of this story, is manipulated by one Sebastian Shaw, who has his own reasons for wanting to start a nuclear war. Shaw also has a very strong significance to Erik but I’m not going to tell you about that here (no spoilers here).

X Men First Class - 1 A really well made film with, at its’ heart a really enthralling, well thought-out storyline. Great performances all round, particularly from; James McAvoy as Charles Xavier, Michael Fassbender as Erik Lehnsherr / Magneto, Kevin Bacon as Sebastian Shaw, Rose Byrne as CIA agent Moira MacTaggert, Jennifer Lawrence as Raven / Mystique and Nicholas Hoult as Hank McCoy / Beast.

x-men-first-class-beast-mystique As we have come to expect from these films, the special effects are of the highest quality. Fortunately this does not distract from the excellent plot that gives so much more depth to the main characters. There is a fair amount of humour as well, look out for a very brief appearance from Wolverine (very funny). Over all, an exceedingly well made film that I hope becomes a big hit. It’s intelligent without ever talking down to the audience and I really enjoyed it. I would be happy to see it again and it’s still pencilled in to be added to by DVD collection… Recommended.

My Score 8.2/10

IMDb Score: 7.8/10 (based on 195,866 votes at the time of going to press).
http://uk.imdb.com/title/tt1270798/

MetaScore: 65/100: (Based on 38 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com at the time of going to press).

Rotten Tomatoes ‘Tomatometer’ Score: 87/100 (based on 239 reviews counted at the time of going to press).

Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 88/100 ‘Liked It’ (based on 115,264 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).
http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/x_men_first_class/

If you’re crazy enough… You can find me on Facebook at:
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X-Men-First-Class-The-Gangs-All-Here-19-1-11-kc FAVOURITE QUOTES:
Professor Charles Xavier: Ready for this?
Erik Lehnsherr: Let's find out!

[about the Class going into action]
Professor Charles Xavier: They're just kids...
Erik Lehnsherr: No, they WERE kids. Shaw has his army, we need ours.

1st German: Who... What are you?
Erik Lehnsherr: Let's just say I'm Frankenstein's monster. And I'm looking for my creator.

X Men First Class - 2 Sean Cassidy: You truly believe I'll fly this time?
Professor Charles Xavier: Unreservedly.
Sean Cassidy: I trust you.
Professor Charles Xavier: I'm touched.
Sean Cassidy: [pointing at Hank] I don't trust him.
Professor Charles Xavier: [to Hank] Say nothing.
Sean Cassidy: I'm gonna die!
Professor Charles Xavier: Alright. Look, we're not gonna make you do anything without...
Erik Lehnsherr: Here, let me help you.
[pushes Sean off the antenna]
Professor Charles Xavier: Erik!
Erik Lehnsherr: What? You know you were thinking the same.

Raven Darkholme: We have to call him, Havok. That's his name now. And we were thinking...
[points to Charles]
Raven Darkholme: ...you should be Professor X...
[points to Erik]
Raven Darkholme: ...and you should be Magneto.
Erik Lehnsherr: Exceptional.

New-Longer-X-Men-First-Class-Trailer LINKS:
(Note: All were working at the time of going to press)
Trailer:

Film Review: WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN (2011)

We Need to Talk About Kevin - poster Director: Lynne Ramsay
Writers: Lynne Ramsay, Rory Kinnear, Lionel Shriver (novel)
Running time: 109 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 15

Genre: Drama/Thriller
UK Release date: 21st October 2011

Watched on Sky+ Friday 29th June 2012.

PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.

I remember when this came out it was highly praised by a well respected film critic here in the UK. I took note and duly added it to my (infamous) ‘To See’ list. It came up on Sky Movies this week and so I thought I’d give it a look. I have to say said critic was not wrong; I was enthralled from start to finish, although I admit I did find the beginning a little confusing. Here’s a very brief (spoiler-free) summary before I give you my thoughts.

We Need to Talk About Kevin - 1 Eva lives alone, her house and car have had red paint thrown at them and she is hated by almost everyone she meets. We are shown, in flashback, how her life came to this point. A free spirit, she had fallen pregnant and married Franklin, who had persuaded her to move out of the city after Kevin was born. He was always a difficult child and things didn’t improve as he got older. We switch to and fro between the past and the present; comparing life then and now. In the present Eva finds a job at a travel agent’s, but still finds almost nobody will even give her the time of day. Back to the past and Kevin doesn’t improve even when Eva has her second child, a daughter, Celia. How will it all end? What happened in the past to turn everyone against Eva? And what of Kevin, his father and sister?... Well, I’ll leave you with those burning questions.

We Need to Talk About Kevin - 2 Very well made with a really good soundtrack mostly made up of popular songs which sometimes match and sometimes contradict the on-screen action… Nicely done (IMO). There are two stand-out performances; Tilda Swinton is totally brilliant as Eva, she really deserved more recognition for her part here. Also worthy of praise was Ezra Miller as the brooding, menacing teenage Kevin; he gave an outstanding performance. Honourable mentions go to; John C. Reilly as Franklin, Jasper Newell as Kevin, 6-8 years, Rock Duer as Kevin, Toddler and Ashley Gerasimovich as Celia.

We Need to Talk About Kevin - 7 I know that one performance (or in this case two performances) doesn’t make a film; however, there is much more to this than first meets the eye. First of all there’s the mystery of why everyone hates Eva; there is some really subtle imagery on show and the use sparing of dialogue gives the audience a sense of the isolation that Eva must feel. I really don’t want to say too much, I came into it knowing very little and I think that’s the best way to see this film. I will watch it again at some point and I’ll probably see even more. This, somewhat controversial, film is well worth a look if you get the chance… HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

My score: 9.3/10

IMDb Score: 7.6/10 (based on 25,815 votes at the time of going to press).
http://uk.imdb.com/title/tt1242460/

MetaScore: 68/100: (Based on 37 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com at the time of going to press).

Rotten Tomatoes ‘Tomatometer’ Score: 76/100 (based on 145 reviews counted at the time of going to press).

Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 80/100 ‘Liked It’ (based on 25,912 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).
http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/we_need_to_talk_about_kevin/

If you’re crazy enough… You can find me on Facebook at:
http://facebook.com/andy.steel3

We Need to Talk About Kevin - 5 FAVOURITE QUOTES:
Kevin: It's like this: you wake and watch TV, get in your car and listen to the radio you go to your little jobs or little school, but you don't hear about that on the 6 o'clock news, why? 'Cause nothing is really happening, and you go home and watch some more TV and maybe it's a fun night and you go out and watch a movie. I mean it's got so bad that half the people on TV, inside the TV, they're watching TV. What are these people watching, people like me?

Eva: Why would you have something like that?
Kevin: I collect them.
Eva: Doesn't it a weird thing to collect?
Kevin: I don't like stamps.
Eva: Then what's the point?
Kevin: There is no point. That's the point.

We Need to Talk About Kevin - 6 Eva: You just can't get uncomfortable enough can you?
Kevin: Uncomfortable? With my own mother?

Eva: Haven't you ever wished you had somebody else around to play with?
Kevin, 6-8 Years: No.
Eva: You might like it.
Kevin, 6-8 Years: What if I don't like it?
Eva: Then you get used to it.
Kevin, 6-8 Years: Just because you're used to something doesn't mean you like it. You're used to me.
Eva: Yes, well, in a few months we're all gonna get used to somebody new.

Eva: You don't look happy.
Kevin: Have I ever?

We Need to Talk About Kevin - 9 LINKS:
(Note: All were working at the time of going to press)
Official Site (UK): http://www.weneedtotalkaboutkevin.co.uk/
Official Site (US): http://kevin.oscilloscope.net/
Trailer:

Film Review: MAMMOTH (2006)

Mammoth (2006) - poster [AKA: OUTBREAK]

Director: Tim Cox
Writers: Tim Cox, Brook Durham, Don Guarisco (story), Sean Keller
Running time: 90 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): PG

Genre: Action/Comedy/Horror
Release date: Unknown (TV Movie)

Watched on Sky+ Friday 29th June 2012.

PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.

Every now and then you have to force yourself to watch a bad movie so you can appreciate the good ones better. I’m not sure exactly how this one ended up on my ‘to see’ list, but it was there and consequently was duly recorded when it aired on TV recently. Well it’s certainly not going to win any awards that’s for sure, but then again I can’t see any of the other Sci-Fi (or SyFy for those that can’t spell) Channel TV movies doing that any time soon either. Here’s a very brief summary before I give you my thoughts.

Mammoth (2006) - 4 When scientist Dr. Frank Abernathy accidently activates an alien homing beacon frozen in ice next to a long dead mammoth, he triggers events that will change his life forever. The aliens send a probe that brings the mammoth to life and it runs amok in the town. His father and daughter get caught up in all the mayhem, along with the local sheriff and a couple of ‘Men in Black’, government agents (one of which is a woman). Of course a plan is devised to deal with the beast, but can they pull it off before time runs out and the government deals with the situation in the only way they know how… Well I guess that about sums it up, there are one or two comic moments along the way, but nothing you haven’t seen before (trust me on this).

Mammoth (2006) - 2 Having read the few lines we get on the on-screen TV guide, I was sure this would not be great. Poorly put together with some really average CGI, it was only (slightly) saved (for me) by the performance of Tom Skerritt as Simon Abernathy (Frank’s father), he held the thing together. Even the presence of Summer Glau as Frank’s daughter, Jack (silly name for a girl, I know) didn’t make it any better. I’ll give honourable mentions to; Vincent Ventresca as Dr. Frank Abernathy, Cole Williams as Squirrelly, Charles Carroll as Sheriff Marion Morrison (that’s John Wayne’s real name for those that don’t know), Leila Arcieri as Agent Powers and Marcus Lyle Brown as Agent Whitaker.

Mammoth (2006) - 3 For a script that was meant to be playing for laughs, I found very little to laugh about. To say the jokes were (for the most part) pretty lame would be putting it mildly. The plot was all over the place, there were holes in it you could drive a truck through… and at one point I think they did! It did try to rally at one point and almost grabbed my attention, but then lapsed back into banality yet again… Sadly. NOT RECOMMENDED, but the good films will look all the better for seeing it.

My score: 3.8/10

IMDb Score: 3.8/10 (based on 1,533 votes at the time of going to press).
http://uk.imdb.com/title/tt0487037/

MetaScore: No Data: (Based on 0 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com at the time of going to press).

Rotten Tomatoes ‘Tomatometer’ Score: No Score Yet… (based on 1 reviews counted at the time of going to press).

Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 18/100 ‘Liked It’ (based on 838 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).
http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/mammoth_2009/

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Mammoth (2006) - 6 FAVOURITE QUOTES:
Sheriff Morrison: [Shocked as attempt to stop creature fails] Son of a bitch!
Dr. Frank Abernathy: Dear God!
Sheriff Morrison: God is for Sunday Frank. Today we pray to Nike. Run!

Dr. Frank Abernathy: Do either of you have kids? Let me enlighten you. If you have a boy you only have to worry about one... wiener. You have a girl, you worry, oh you do, about every wiener in the hot dog cart, okay?

Dr. Frank Abernathy: Can I be frank with you?
Agent Powers: You are, Frank.
Dr. Frank Abernathy: I know!

Mammoth (2006) - 1 Sheriff Morrison: [to the men in black], And just what is your jurisdiction?
Agent Whitaker: [while flashing badge] Earth

Dr. Frank Abernathy, Agent Powers: [after his father, Simon mumbles something incoherent] 'What?'
Agent Powers: He said 'Don't trust these government stooges,' in pig Latin. Does he suffer from dementia?
Dr. Frank Abernathy: I wish!
Simon Abernathy: Don't get her pregnant on the first date son!
Dr. Frank Abernathy: Ok. See you later, dad.

Mammoth (2006) - 7 LINKS:
(Note: All were working at the time of going to press)
Trailer:

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Film Review: SPACEHUNTER: ADVENTURES IN THE FORBIDDEN ZONE (1983)

Spacehunter - Adventures in the Forbidden Zone - poster Director: Lamont Johnson
Writers (story): Stewart Harding, Jean LaFleur
Writers (screenplay): David Preston, Edith Rey, Daniel Goldberg, Len Blum
Running time: 90 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): PG

Genre: Adventure/Sci-Fi
USA Release date: 20th May 1983

Watched on Sky+ Sunday 24th June 2012.

PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.

Riding on the back of the success of the Star Wars movies came a batch of low-budget space adventures, most of which should never have been made (IMO). Amongst this batch of (quite bad) movies was, what I consider, a little gem. No, it’s no masterpiece I admit, but from the first time I saw it I was hooked. I will tell you more after this very brief summary.

Spacehunter - Adventures in the Forbidden Zone - 5 After an accident aboard a star liner, an escape pod lands on a planet plagued by disease and mutation. The occupants of the pod, three beautiful women command a very high price to the person that can bring them back to civilisation. Enter Wolff, a loner and a bit of a rogue; he is collecting garbage when he and his companion, Chalmers (an android) receive the message. Landing on the planet the soon run into trouble and lose track of the girls as they are taken by men who work for Overdog, the ruler of this planet. Chalmers is damaged and can no longer function so Wolff is on his own. That is until he runs into Niki, a teenage girl who offers to track him to Overdog. He reluctantly agrees and the pair set off on a journey that will bring them into contact with many perils along the way. I don’t want to say too much more… I’m sure there’s someone else out there that will love this film as much as I do and I don’t want to spoil it for them.

Spacehunter - Adventures in the Forbidden Zone - 4 The effects are not great, it must be said, but given the budget and the fact it was made in 3D; I’ll forgive that. What it has in its favour is a half decent story and a cast that actually (for me anyway) make it work. I must say I love the performance of the, quite young, Molly Ringwald as Niki; I thought she was great! I also thought Peter Strauss did a decent job as Wolff; yes, he borrows heavily from Harrison Ford as Haan Solo, but (again) I can forgive that. Other noteworthy performances came from; Ernie Hudson as Washington, Andrea Marcovicci as Chalmers and Michael Ironside as Overdog.

Spacehunter - Adventures in the Forbidden Zone - 6 A film that is not available on DVD here in the UK (much to my dismay), I catch it almost every time it makes it to the TV screens. As I’ve already said, the production is not the best, but (for me) the story and the performances hold it together. Yes, it does try a little too hard in places and some of the dialogue is a little strange, but I’d still rather watch this than ‘The Phantom Menace’ any day! If you haven’t seen it I urge you to give it a go… If you have (& didn’t like it)… Give it another chance, it grows on you!... RECOMMENDED.

My score: 8.0/10

IMDb Score: 4.8/10 (based on 2,419 votes at the time of going to press).
http://uk.imdb.com/title/tt0086346/

MetaScore: No Data: (Based on 0 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com at the time of going to press).

Rotten Tomatoes ‘Tomatometer’ Score: 20/100 (based on 5 reviews counted at the time of going to press).

Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 24/100 ‘Want to See’ (based on 2,988 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).
http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/spacehunter_adventures_in_the_forbidden_zone/

If you’re crazy enough… You can find me on Facebook at:
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Spacehunter - Adventures in the Forbidden Zone - 3 FAVOURITE QUOTES:
Chalmers: Okay, what did you do to this?
Wolff: Emergency repair procedure number one.
Chalmers: You kicked it?

Wolff: [Having just kicked and further broken an already malfunctioning comms computer] The communicator is out again.
Chalmers: That's because we need a new auto-correlation spectometer... not to mention a new drive systems regulator, a freon activator and, of course, a complete scan systems overhaul.
Wolff: [Looks Chalmers over with a lustful gaze] I'm still glad I bought you the nightshirt instead!

Spacehunter - Adventures in the Forbidden Zone - 2 Wolff: What the hell are you?
Niki: What do you think I am, you scrawny earthbag? I'm a woman!

Chemist: Are they missing any limbs? I hate it when they have missing limbs.

Niki: Us loners got to stick together.

Spacehunter - Adventures in the Forbidden Zone - 1 LINKS:
(Note: All were working at the time of going to press)
Trailer:

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Film Review: KINSEY (2004)

Kinsey - poster Writer/Director: Bill Condon
Running time: 118 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 15

Genre: Biography/Drama
UK Release date: 14th March 2005

Watched on Sky+ Saturday 23rd June 2012.

PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.

A film that was critically acclaimed when it came out, I decided to give it a look to see what all the fuss was about. As I recall, it didn’t do too well at the box office and so I wasn’t surprised to find it tucked away on a late-night showing on a Sunday night. A film I found put me through a whole set of emotions and one that I’m sure will make the audience ask questions of themselves as well. But I digress, here’s a very brief summary before I give you my thoughts.

Kinsey - 2 Alfred Kinsey was an entomologist (a scientist who specialises in insects) who had spent twenty years on an exhaustive study of a particular species of wasp. One day some students, a married couple, come to ask his advice on a problem of a sexual nature. He does his best to answer them but, having only recently married himself, felt frustrated that he didn’t have all the answers. He decides to conduct his own study and the bulk of the film concentrates on this study and the effect it has on him and those around him. I don’t want to say too much more, just that the film very much concentrates on Kinsey and those around him, the content of the study is only touched on, so if you were expecting something maybe a little more explicit then you may be disappointed.

Kinsey - 1 Well made, although I did feel it came over as a bit of a ‘by the numbers’ biopic. Having said that there were some very good performances on show, particularly from Liam Neeson as Albert Kinsey, Laura Linney as Clara McMillen (his wife) and, in a smaller role, John Lithgow as his overbearing father, Alfred Seguine Kinsey. Also worthy of note were; Chris O'Donnell as Wardell Pomeroy, Peter Sarsgaard as Clyde Martin, Timothy Hutton as Paul Gebhard, Tim Curry as Thurman Rice and Oliver Platt as Herman Wells.

Kinsey - 3 Although there’s no denying the impact the work that Kinsey did had on modern society, I felt the film was a bit of a let-down. It did have its moments of sentimentality, but there was much more that I couldn’t connect with. I guess because I never really connected with any of the main characters. The start is quite slow and ponderous but it does pick up through the middle third; by the third act I felt it had lost focus again. During the process of compiling his data Kinsey explores his own sexuality and in showing this (I believe) the filmmakers made a big mistake. After that I found it hard to take the him seriously I’m afraid and, although they do try to separate sex and love; and fail miserably; the film never really did enough to redeem itself. Worth a look, up to a point, but be warned; some of you may find some of it hard to swallow (in more ways than one).

Kinsey - 6 My score: 5.9/10

IMDb Score: 7.1/10 (based on 28,156 votes at the time of going to press).
http://uk.imdb.com/title/tt0362269/

MetaScore: 90/100: (Based on 189 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com at the time of going to press).

Rotten Tomatoes ‘Tomatometer’ Score: 79/100 (based on 40 reviews counted at the time of going to press).

Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 73/100 ‘Liked It’ (based on 32,388 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).
http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/kinsey/

If you’re crazy enough… You can find me on Facebook at:
http://facebook.com/andy.steel3

Kinsey - 7 FAVOURITE QUOTES:
Alfred Kinsey: Love is the answer, isn't it? But, sex raises a lot of very interesting questions...

Clyde Martin: When did you first begin masturbating?
Old Woman: I INVENTED it, son.

Alfred Kinsey: [Kinsey is teaching his first class] Who can tell me which part of the human body can enlarge a hundred times. You, miss?
Female Student: [indignantly] I'm sure I don't know. And you've no right to ask me such a question in a mixed class.
Alfred Kinsey: [amused] I was referring to the pupil in your eye, young lady.
[class laughs]
Alfred Kinsey: And I think I should tell you, you're in for a terrible disappointment.

Wardell Pomeroy: How old were you when you first engaged in sexual activity with a partner?
Research Subject: 14.
Wardell Pomeroy: How?
Research Subject: With horse.
Wardell Pomeroy: [pause] How often were you having intercourse with animals at age 14?
Research Subject: [stunned] It's true. I fucked a pony. You are genius, how did you know?
Wardell Pomeroy: You just said you had
[pause]
Wardell Pomeroy: sex with horse.
Research Subject: Nooo... Whores, not horse, *whores*.

Kinsey - 5 Clyde Martin: Just one more question. You've just told me your entire history: childhood, family, career, every person you've ever had sex with. But there hasn't been a single mention of love.
Alfred Kinsey: That's because it's impossible to measure love. And, as you know, without measurements there can be no science. But I have been thinking a lot about the problem lately.
Clyde Martin: Mmh, "problem"?
Alfred Kinsey: When it comes to love, we're all in the dark.
Clyde Martin: So, you do think it matters?

Kinsey - 8 LINKS:
(Note: All were working at the time of going to press)
Official Site: http://www.foxsearchlight.com/kinsey/
Trailer:

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Film Review: PONTYPOOL (2008)

Pontypool - poster Director: Bruce McDonald
Writer: Tony Burgess (novel & screenplay)
Running time: 93 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 18

Genre: Horror/Mystery/Sci-Fi
UK Release date: 16th October 2009

Watched on Sky+ Sunday 16th June 2012.

PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.

Having not heard a lot about this film I initially assumed it was a British film set in the Welsh town of the same name. Boy was I wrong! This Canadian film is set in the small town of Pontypool, Ontario, although we get to see nothing of the town itself. An interesting horror that relies on the imagination of the audience to set the scene. I’ll explain what I mean by that after this very brief summary.

Pontypool - 8 Shock jock Grant Mazzy, having been sacked, yet again, finds himself working the breakfast show in the provincial town of Pontypool, Ontario. He has a very brash and confrontational style that doesn’t go down too well with his show’s producer, Sydney Briar. Their engineer, Afghanistan veteran, Laurel-Ann Drummond, completes the team for this early morning show. It’s cold out and so Mazzy contacts their traffic reporter, Ken Loney, who tells them of an incident going on down town. A mass of people are attacking a building, a doctor’s surgery run by Dr. Mendez. He gets closer and is attacked himself. The team back in the studio can only sit and listen as events unfold. It’s clear that something very strange is going on and maybe Dr. Mendez can spread some light on it. I really don’t want to say too much more or I will give too much away, so I’ll leave it there. Anyway, the Spoiler Police will get all French on me if I say too much.

Pontypool - 6 Very well made with quite a claustrophobic feel to it; most the action takes place in the basement of the radio studio, a converted church. All the performances are very good with Stephen McHattie as Grant Mazzy standing out (for me). He is ably supported by; Lisa Houle as Sydney Briar, Georgina Reilly as Laurel-Ann Drummond, Hrant Alianak as Dr. Mendez and Rick Roberts as Ken Loney (voice).

Pontypool - 2 The way the events going on in town are described makes the audience set their own scene. It’s almost like reading a book and imagining what’s described on the page in your own imagination. I found this very effective and it’s a great example of the ‘less is more’ school of horror film making. Who needs to see the gore if you can imagine it… it’s a much more effective story-telling technique if used correctly, as here. Unfortunately the film falls down (for me) on the premise for all the trouble in the town. I felt it was a little weak and could have been set up a little better. Over all though, an interesting film… RECOMMENDED.

My score: 6.8/10

IMDb Score: 6.7/10 (based on 9,773 votes at the time of going to press).
http://uk.imdb.com/title/tt1226681/

MetaScore: 54/100: (Based on 11 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com at the time of going to press).

Rotten Tomatoes ‘Tomatometer’ Score: 83/100 (based on 77 reviews counted at the time of going to press).

Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 68/100 ‘Liked It’ (based on 5,095 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).
http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/pontypool/

If you’re crazy enough… You can find me on Facebook at:
http://facebook.com/andy.steel3

Pontypool - 4 FAVOURITE QUOTES:
[first lines]
Grant Mazzy: Mrs. French's cat is missing. The signs are posted all over town. "Have you seen Honey?" We've all seen the posters, but nobody has seen Honey the cat. Nobody. Until last Thursday morning, when Miss Colette Piscine swerved her car to miss Honey the cat as she drove across a bridge. Well this bridge, now slightly damaged, is a bit of a local treasure and even has its own fancy name; Pont de Flaque. Now Collette, that sounds like Culotte. That's Panty in French. And Piscine means Pool. Panty pool. Flaque also means pool in French, so Colete Piscine, in French Panty Pool, drives over the Pont de Flaque, the Pont de Pool if you will, to avoid hitting Mrs. French's cat that has been missing in Pontypool. Pontypool. Pontypool. Panty pool. Pont de Flaque. What does it mean? Well, Norman Mailer, he had an interesting theory that he used to explain the strange coincidences in the aftermath of the JFK assassination. In the wake of huge events, after them and before them, physical details they spasm for a moment; they sort of unlock and when they come back into focus they suddenly coincide in a weird way. Street names and birthdates and middle names, all kind of superfluous things appear related to each other. It's a ripple effect. So, what does it mean? Well... it means something's going to happen. Something big. But then, something's always about to happen.

Pontypool - 1 [repeated line]
Grant Mazzy: Sydney Briar is alive.

Sydney Briar: We're not talking, I'm drunk. This is how my last relationship ended.

Sydney Briar: [to Grant Mazzy] Kill me.

Grant Mazzy: It's not the end of the world; it's just the end of the day.

Pontypool - 7 LINKS:
(Note: All were working at the time of going to press)
Trailer:

Film Review: DANGEROUS DAYS: THE MAKING OF BLADE RUNNER (2007)

Dangerous Days - The Making of Blade Runner - poster Director: Charles de Lauzirika
Running time: 120 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): N/A

Genre: Documentary
UK Release date: 3rd December 2007

Watched on Sky+ Sunday 17th June 2012.

PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.

From the second time I saw the film ‘Blade Runner’ I loved it. The first time was not so good for me, totally disjointed; the theatrical release was a big disappointment. Having now watched this ‘making of’ documentary, I can now appreciate just how that happened and how it evolved into the version(s) we know (and love) today. I should say, for the record, I saw a cut-down version of this documentary; just the 120 minutes as opposed to the full 214 minutes. I would like to see the full version at some point though.

Dangerous Days - The Making of Blade Runner - 3 The film tells the story of how the film got made via interviews with those involved and a lot of footage that was shot on set as it was in production. There is a surprisingly large amount of this footage; much more than I expected. The interviews are very revealing with Ridley Scott, Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Daryl Hannah, Joanna Cassidy, Sean Young and Edward James Olmos all taking centre stage. The people behind the scenes are also allowed their say, the likes of; Michael Deeley, Douglas Trumbull, Alan Ladd Jr., David Webb Peoples and Hampton Fancher all getting their say. The many trials and tribulations that went on behind the scenes make for an interesting and absorbing documentary. It helps that it is one of my all-time favourite films, but even so, an interesting piece nonetheless.

Dangerous Days - The Making of Blade Runner - 1 For fans of the film it’s a must-see; if you’re just interested in the process of filmmaking but not particularly a fan of this picture, I’m sure you will still find plenty here of interest. Many things are revealed that some may find quite shocking; for instance (SPOILER ALERT) the fact the Ridley Scott was in favour of the voice-over at the beginning of the theatrical cut. Harrison Ford, on the other hand, didn’t think it was necessary. Personally, I am very pleased that in later cuts it was dropped; I’m with Ford on this one! (SPOILER ALERT: END). Over all, an absorbing and quite revealing insight into the making of an iconic film… RECOMMENDED.

My score: 8.1/10

IMDb Score: 8.5/10 (based on 649 votes at the time of going to press).
http://uk.imdb.com/title/tt1080585/

MetaScore: No Data: (Based on 0 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com at the time of going to press).

Dangerous Days - The Making of Blade Runner - 2 Rotten Tomatoes ‘Tomatometer’ Score: No Reviews Yet (based on 0 reviews counted at the time of going to press).

Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 34/100 ‘Want to See’ (based on 353 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).
http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/dangerous-days-making-blade-runnerdangerous-days/

If you’re crazy enough… You can find me on Facebook at:
http://facebook.com/andy.steel3

Dangerous Days - The Making of Blade Runner - 5 FAVOURITE QUOTES:
Harrison Ford: It was a bitch.

Ridley Scott: My weapon was that camera. If you're there with me, great. If you're not there with me, too bad.

Hampton Fancher: [about the unicorn dream sequence] And my interpretation had nothing to with 'oh, that shows that Deckard's a replicant'. I don't think anything should show that Deckard's a replicant. If you think that, you're already wrong.

Dangerous Days - The Making of Blade Runner - 8 LINKS:
(Note: All were working at the time of going to press)
Trailer: