Sunday, 25 November 2012

Film Review: SOYLENT GREEN (1973)

Soylent Green - poster Director: Richard Fleischer
Writers: Stanley R. Greenberg (Screenplay), Harry Harrison (Novel)
Running time: 93 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 15

Genre: Drama/Mystery/Sci-Fi
USA Release date: 9th May 1973

Watched on DVD Sunday 25th November 2012.

PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.

This is one of the films I picked up on DVD some time ago but never seemed to find the time to watch. Fortunately a window of opportunity arose earlier today and I was able to give it a viewing. It’s a film I have seen before but that was some time ago so I was glad of the opportunity to reacquaint myself with this classic. Here’s a very brief summary before I give you my thoughts.

Soylent Green - 2 The year is 2022 and the world population is out of control; one of the consequences of this is a food crisis. How do you feed an ever growing population with limited resources? Our story focuses on a cop, Detective Thorn (Charlton Heston), who is lucky enough to share an apartment with his ‘book’, Sol Roth (Edward G. Robinson in his last role); a ‘book’ is a kind of researcher. Thorn is investigating the suspicious death of a rich lawyer, William R. Simonson (Joseph Cotten), who had been a board member of the Soylent corporation; a company responsible for supplying food to the masses. Although not suspects, Simonson’s bodyguard, Tab Fielding (Chuck Connors) and his ‘furniture’, Shirl (Leigh Taylor-Young) feature quite heavily in his investigation. As Thorn closes in on the truth things get more and more dangerous for him; but it is Sol who discovers the terrible truth! So shocking it drives him to his death.

Soylent Green - 8 All the performances are great, but I particularly liked Edward G. Robinson who, in his last role, pulls out all the stops and really shines in this one. His death scene is one of the best I’ve ever witnessed on screen and he really gets to show his talents here. Also worthy of note were Charlton Heston (of course) playing the hero role with his usual aplomb and Leigh Taylor-Young who I thought did a very good job as the female lead. The film has quite a slow pace and I like the way it doesn’t stop every few minutes to explain everything. The filmmakers did give the audience some credit for intelligence (for a change) and I appreciated that! Beautifully shot with a nice score but my favourite scene will always be Sol’s death; it’s one that will stay with you for a long time! I did enjoy this one over all, although I thought the fight scenes did look like they’d been taken right out of a western. Still, well worth a look!

SteelMonster’s verdict: RECOMMENDED

My score: 7.2/10

IMDb Score: 7.0/10 (based on 26,375 votes at the time of going to press).
http://uk.imdb.com/title/tt0070723/

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

Soylent Green - 4 Rotten Tomatoes ‘Tomatometer’ Score: 71/100 (based on 34 reviews counted at the time of going to press).

Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 69/100 ‘Want to See’ (based on 22,263 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).
http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/soylent_green/

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Soylent Green - 6 FAVOURITE QUOTES:
[first lines]
Voice over PA: First stage removal. First stage removal. Streets prohibited to non-permits in one hour. Streets prohibited to non-permits in one hour.

Det. Thorn: I know, Sol, you've told me a hundred times before. People were better, the world was better...
Sol: Ah, people were always lousy... But there was a world, once.
[Thorn chuckles]
Sol: I was there, I can prove it! When I was a kid, you could buy meat anywhere! Eggs they had, real butter! Not this... crap!

[Shirl tells Thorn that she's getting a new tenant]
Det. Thorn: He'll like you. You're a helluva piece of furniture.
Shirl: Don't talk to me like that. Please.
Det. Thorn: OK.

Sol: [through the audio system] I've lived too long!... I love you, Thorn.
Det. Thorn: [tearfully] I love you, Sol.

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

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Film Review: INTRUDERS (2011)

Intruders - poster Director: Juan Carlos Fresnadillo
Writers: Nicolás Casariego, Jaime Marques
Running time: 100 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 15

Genre: Horror/Thriller
UK Release date: 27th January 2012

Watched on Sky+ Saturday 24th November 2012.

PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.

This is one of those films that I can’t remember just how it got added to ‘The List’ but somehow it got on there. The reason I say that is because, although it does play very well people’s fear of the dark, it’s ultimately a bit of a let-down. But I digress; I will give you my thoughts (both good and bad) after this very brief summary.

Intruders - 1 We begin in Spain with Juan (Izán Corchero) and his mother, Luisa (Pilar López de Ayala). They live alone and Juan seems to have a very active imagination; making up spooky stories etc. This all begins to get frightening when one of his stories starts to come true! A faceless man first attacks his mother and then Juan before trying to kidnap him. We then switch to England where twelve year old Mia (Ella Purnell) stumbles upon a ghost story that has very similar beginnings to Juan’s. It’s not all there, but she adds to it and soon finds she is being stalked by a very similar faceless man. Her father, John Farrow (Clive Owen) tries to allay her fears, but it all seems too real for Mia. What could possibly link these two seemingly unrelated stories?... Well, if I told you that you really wouldn’t thank me, so I’ll keep it to myself (for now).

Intruders - 3 All the performances were very good with Clive Owen and Ella Purnell taking centre stage for the majority of the action. I also liked Carice van Houten, who played Mia’s mother, Susanna. The filmmakers did a good job of playing on the natural human fears; particularly the fear of monsters lurking in the dark. I did feel the use of CGI was a little heavy-handed in a couple of places though. Sadly, it’s let down by the ending; it really didn’t have enough pay-off for what had gone before. There are parts of this film that I genuinely found scary (rare, I know), and I was looking forward to an astonishing ending that would make all those scares worthwhile, but it never came… Disappointing is the only word that describes it I’m afraid.

SteelMonster’s verdict: NOT RECOMMENDED

My score: 5.4/10

IMDb Score: 5.3/10 (based on 8,830 votes at the time of going to press).
http://uk.imdb.com/title/tt1634121/

MetaScore: 45/100: (Based on 21 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com at the time of going to press).

Intruders - 5 Rotten Tomatoes ‘Tomatometer’ Score: 32/100 (based on 65 reviews counted at the time of going to press).

Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 23/100 ‘Liked It’ (based on 4,342 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).
http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/intruders_2011/

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Intruders - 7 FAVOURITE QUOTES:
John Farrow: Monsters are cowards. You stand up to them, they run away.
Mia: Not this one.

Intruders - 6 LINKS:
(Note: All were working at the time of going to press)
Trailer:

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Film Review: KICK-ASS (2010) – 2nd Revisit

Kick-Ass - poster Director: Matthew Vaughn
Writers (Screenplay): Jane Goldman, Matthew Vaughn
Writers (Comic Book): Mark Millar, John Romita Jr.
Running time: 113 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 15

Genre: Comedy/Action/Thriller/Comic-book
UK Release date: 26th March 2010

Watched on DVD Saturday 22nd November 2012.

PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.

I saw this film when it first came out in the cinema and really enjoyed it. It then appeared on TV back in March 2011; a second viewing ensued (also enjoyable). This week (having some free time) presented an ideal opportunity to re-acquaint myself with this minor masterpiece as I now possess the DVD. It was one of the best films I saw in 2010 and Hollywood will have to work hard to beat it! If anything, I enjoyed it even more third time around (if that’s possible!). But enough of my prattling on, here’s a brief summary before I give you my thoughts (summary haters and those that don’t wish to know anything about the plot please practice swearing with Hit Girl while I write the next paragraph).

Kick-Ass - 3 Dave Lizewski is an average teenage school kid, he says he has one superpower, he’s invisible to girls. He and his friends, Marty and Todd, are into comic books in a big way and after hanging out one evening they are mugged by a couple of scumbags. It seems this is not the first time this has happened and Dave is getting a little fed-up with it. He goes online and gets himself a costume, a green wet-suit. After a bit of self-training, he decides he’s ready and ‘Kick-Ass’ is born. He confronts the two muggers who held up him and his friends but things don’t go well and he ends up having his ass kicked. After recovering in hospital and being screwed together with metal plates he finds his nerve endings are damaged, which means he can take a bit more of a beating than before. Meanwhile, a real Superhero known as ‘Big Daddy’ is training his eleven year old daughter, ‘Hit Girl’. They have a grudge against crime boss Frank D’Amico who framed ‘Big Daddy’ some years before. D’Amico’s son, Chris, who is disillusioned with his father, decides to become a Superhero himself, called Red Mist, in order to lure Kick-Ass out of hiding. They blame Kick-Ass for some losses they have been suffering recently. Kick-Ass eventually gains notoriety when he beats up three guys picking on another guy. The fight is filmed and put up on the internet, bringing a lot of media interest in Kick-Ass. Dave is also noticed by Katie Deauxma, although she doesn’t know his secret identity, and thinks he’s gay. I won’t say too much more, but needless to say all of these various characters are destined to meet, and when they do… I’ll have to leave it there or I’ll be having a knock at the door from the ‘Spoiler Police’ (& I don’t want that).

Kick-Ass - 4 I must first say that it is a really well made film with some excellent stunt work. I thought the music chosen for the score was really great as well. Excellent performances from all of the leading cast, Aaron Johnson as Dave Lizewski/Kick-Ass, Nicolas Cage as Damon Macready/Big Daddy is excellent, Chloe Moretz as Mindy Macready/Hit-Girl (also superb), Mark Strong as Frank D’Amico, Christopher Mintz-Plasse as Chris D’Amico/Red Mist and Lyndsy Fonseca as Katie Deauxma.

Kick-Ass - 9 There is a lot of humour in this film, both spoken and visual. It’s also very very violent, so I wouldn’t recommend it to those of a nervous disposition. I don’t usually enjoy teen comedies, but this is very original, very different and it’s very refreshing to see a film that pushes the boundaries somewhat. It’s a film that any superhero film fan should try to watch at least once a year, just to see how it should be done!

SteelMonster’s verdict: HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

My score: 9.3/10

IMDb Score: 7.8/10 (based on 233,147 votes at the time of going to press).
http://uk.imdb.com/title/tt1250777/

MetaScore: 66/100: (Based on 38 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com at the time of going to press).

Kick-Ass - 5 Rotten Tomatoes ‘Tomatometer’ Score: 76/100 (based on 242 reviews counted at the time of going to press).

Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 83/100 ‘Liked It’ (based on 211,361 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).
http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/1217700-kick_ass/

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Kick-Ass - 8 FAVOURITE QUOTES:
WARNING: STRONG LANGUAGE
Dave Lizewski: Jesus, guys, doesn't it bug you? Like thousand of people wanna be Paris Hilton and nobody wants to be Spiderman.
Marty: Yeah, what's with that? She has like no tits at all.
Todd: Maybe it's the porn tape; he doesn't have a porn tape.
Marty: You guys never saw "One Night In Spiderman"?

Hit Girl: Okay you cunts... Let's see what you can do now!

Dave Lizewski: How do I get a hold of you?
Hit Girl: [sarcastically] You just contact the mayor's office. He has a special signal he shines in the sky; it's in the shape of a giant cock.

Damon Macready: Mindy, no more homework, Babydoll. Time for Frank D'Amico to go bye-bye.

Kick-Ass - 7 Dave Lizewski: Even with my metal plates and my fucked up nerve endings, I gotta tell you, that hurt! But not half as much as the idea of leaving everything behind. Katie, my dad, Todd and Marty... and all the things I'd never do. Like learn to drive or see what me and Katie's kids would look like or find out what happened on "Lost". And if you're reassuring yourself that I'm going to make it through this since I'm talking to you now, quit being such a smart-ass! Hell dude, you never seen "Sin City"? "Sunset Boulevard"? "American Beauty"?

Dave Lizewski: With no power, comes no responsibility. Except, *that* wasn't true.

Chris D'Amico: As a great man once said... wait 'til they get a load of me.

Kick-Ass - 2 LINKS:
(Note: All were working at the time of going to press)
Official Site (for the new Kick-Ass movie out in 2013): http://www.kickass2movie.co.uk/
Trailer:

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Film Review: UNCLE BOONMEE WHO CAN RECALL HIS PAST LIVES (2010)

Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives - poster Writer/Director: Apichatpong Weerasethakul
Inspired by the book of: Phra Sripariyattiweti
Running time: 114 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 12

Genre: Drama/Fantasy
USA Release date: 19th November 2010

Watched on Sky+ Wednesday 21st November 2012.

PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.

I remember the critics getting pretty excited about this film from Thailand and so it was duly added to ‘The List’. One of the more enlightened channels here in the UK finally gave it an airing this week and so I decided to give it a look. I must admit it wasn’t quite what I was expecting but I still found it worth taking the time. Here’s a brief summary before I give you my thoughts.

Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives - 2 Boonmee (Thanapat Saisaymar), a farmer, is dying and he knows his time is short. His sister-in-law (I think that’s the relationship anyway), Jen (Jenjira Pongpas) comes to visit him from Bangkok with Tong (Sakda Kaewbuadee). Boonmee is being nursed by one of his hands from Laos, Jaai (Samud Kugasang), who has to leave soon. Whilst sitting having an evening meal the ghosts of Boonmee’s family begin to appear starting with his wife, Huay (Natthakarn Aphaiwonk) who had passed away 19 years previous. Then his son, Boonsong (Geerasak Kulhong) appears in the form of a monkey with red eyes. They discuss how they became the way they are and come back to visit Boonmee later in the film. It’s very much a fantasy, but one that is rooted in the real world; one of those films that’s quite hard to describe but that’s the bare bones of it (excuse the pun).

Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives - 5 All the performances are very good (with my usual caveat that it’s hard to judge a performance in a language alien to me). I loved the way the characters all took the appearances of ghosts in their stride; like it’s an everyday occurrence. This gave the film a very natural flow that added to its magic. I don’t profess to understand it all by any stretch of the imagination, but it was well made and I loved the ending… that was really unexpected (no clues here).

SteelMonster’s verdict: RECOMMENDED

My score: 7.7/10

Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives - 1 IMDb Score: 6.6/10 (based on 4,896 votes at the time of going to press).
http://uk.imdb.com/title/tt1588895/

MetaScore: 87/100: (Based on 21 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com at the time of going to press).

Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives - 6 Rotten Tomatoes ‘Tomatometer’ Score: 90/100 (based on 86 reviews counted at the time of going to press).

Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 58/100 ‘Liked It’ (based on 9,155 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).
http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/uncle_boonmee/

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FAVOURITE QUOTES:
None available.

Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives - 7 LINKS:
(Note: All were working at the time of going to press)
Trailer:

Film Review: METROPOLIS (1927)

Metropolis - German Poster Director: Fritz Lang
Writers: Thea von Harbou (Screenplay/Novel), Fritz Lang (Screenplay – Uncredited)
Running time: 118 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): PG

Genre: Drama/Sci-Fi
USA Release date: 13th March 1927

Watched on Sky+ Wednesday 21st November 2012.

PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.

A film I first saw when I was quite young (a long time ago) but one I’ve been intrigued to see again. I should say, for the record, that this was not the extended version with the recently discovered footage added (sadly) – I am adding it to my Christmas list as I type (Region 2 - *hint*). It was surprising just how much of it I remember from all those years ago; I can only have been eleven or twelve at the time but it obviously stuck in the memory bank somewhere! Here’s an exceedingly brief summary before I give you my thoughts.

Metropolis - 2 Metropolis is set in a future where the rich live in great towers in the sunlight whilst the workers are kept in the dark below. One of the rich, Freder (Gustav Fröhlich), son of the lord of the city, Joh Fredersen (Alfred Abel), wants to know more about those below. To this end he disguises himself and joins the work force, going to the catacombs below their city where a secret meeting is taking place. This meeting is led by Maria (Brigitte Helm) who urges patience and understanding amongst the workforce. Meanwhile Joh Fredersen meets with Rotwang (Rudolf Klein-Rogge), the inventor, who has designed a robot that could be used replace the workforce. Hearing Maria’s words, Fredersen decides to have the robot made in her likeness so as to spur the workforce into revolution; just the excuse he needs to be rid of them. But has he thought his plan through?... I will leave it there or I may give too much away.

Metropolis - 8 All the performances are excellent but I will give particular praise to Brigitte Helm, who actually plays five parts in this film. For me, it was the opposites of Maria that she plays with such skill; at one point she’s caring and understanding; the next, inciting a riot! Quite hard to get across without any sound. The look and feel of the film is just outstanding, given when it was made it is a tremendous achievement! The film also proves that special effects are nothing new; just look at the robot transformation scene and tell me that would have been easy to do in 1927! On the down side it does get a little too melodramatic (for my tastes) in places, but that’s only a minor glitch in what is without doubt and outstanding piece of work.

SteelMonster’s verdict: HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

My score: 9.6/10

IMDb Score: 8.4/10 (based on 62,671 votes at the time of going to press).
http://uk.imdb.com/title/tt0017136/

MetaScore: 98/100: (Based on 14 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com at the time of going to press).

Metropolis - 3 Rotten Tomatoes ‘Tomatometer’ Score: 99/100 (based on 106 reviews counted at the time of going to press).

Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 89/100 ‘Liked It’ (based on 57,466 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).
http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/1013775-metropolis/

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FAVOURITE QUOTES:
Maria: "We shall build a tower that will reach to the stars!" Having conceived Babel, yet unable to build it themselves, they had thousands to build it for them. But those who toiled knew nothing of the dreams of those who planned. And the minds that planned the Tower of Babel cared nothing for the workers who built it. The hymns of praise of the few became the curses of the many - BABEL! BABEL! BABEL! - Between the mind that plans and the hands that build there must be a Mediator, and this must be the heart.

Metropolis - 1 Freder: It was their hands that built this city of ours, Father. But where do the hands belong in your scheme?
Joh Fredersen: In their proper place, the depths.

Man at Nightclub: For her, all seven deadly sins!

Maria: There can be no understanding between the hand and the brain unless the heart acts as mediator.

Metropolis - 7 LINKS:
(Note: All were working at the time of going to press)
Official Site for the 2002 restoration: http://www.kinolorber.com/metropolis/
Trailer:

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Film Review: IN TIME (2011)

In Time - poster Writer/Director: Andrew Niccol
Running time: 109 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 12

Genre: Sci-Fi/Action/Adventure
UK Release date: 1st November 2011

Watched on Sky+ Tuesday 20th November 2012.

PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.

This is another film I have wanted to see for some time. I loved the ideas behind it and hoped it could deliver on the great promise it held. Sadly (for me at least) it only just made the mark but there were some great ideas and some interesting moments along the way (more of that later). The Writer/Director Andrew Niccol, who has worked on such films as; Gattaca, Lord of War and the rather excellent The Truman Show (amongst others), delivers here a ‘by the book’ action thriller with some elements of Robin Hood and Bonnie and Clyde thrown in. The interesting element is the fact that the currency everyone is trading in is the amount of time they have left to live. Here’s a very brief summary.

In Time - 3 Will Salas (Justin Timberlake) lives in a poorer part of town with his mother, Rachel (Olivia Wilde). They find life hard, scraping enough time to last each day. A chance meeting with a rich man, Henry Hamilton (Matt Bomer), who has a death wish leaves Will with over a hundred years to play with. His mother having ‘timed out’ he decides its time to get a little revenge on the rich who live in luxury in another zone of the city, New Greenwich. The police in the form of Raymond Leon (Cillian Murphy) are interested in talking to Will about the death of Hamilton. He makes it to New Greenwich and there he makes a large amount of time playing poker with the exceedingly wealthy Philippe Weis (Vincent Kartheiser). With the police closing in Will kidnaps Weis’s daughter, Sylvia (Amanda Seyfried) and heads back home. And this is where I’ll leave it.

CTH ct-mov-in time 3 1025 crop.jpg On the performance front, I thought Cillian Murphy and Amanda Seyfried stood out with Justin Timberlake lacking the required screen presence to carry it off (IMO). I thought Michael William Freeman who had a small role as bad guy Nardin did a good job of playing a very believable loathsome thug. With virtually everyone on screen being around the same age (25), barring the occasional kid, I found this one quite odd to look at (even a bit ageist! – just a joke, honest). It’s pretty well made with some great ideas behind the plot and even some great dialogue thrown in here and there but at the end of the day it just failed to get over that mark. It’s not that it’s a bad film, the problem is, it’s just not the great film it deserved to be.

SteelMonster’s verdict: RECOMMENDED… just.

My score: 6.4/10

IMDb Score: 6.6/10 (based on 127,563 votes at the time of going to press).
http://uk.imdb.com/title/tt1637688/

MetaScore: 53/100: (Based on 36 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com at the time of going to press).

In Time Rotten Tomatoes ‘Tomatometer’ Score: 36/100 (based on 154 reviews counted at the time of going to press).

Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 51/100 ‘Liked It’ (based on 59,584 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).
http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/in_time/

If you’re crazy enough… You can find me on Facebook at:
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In Time - 4 FAVOURITE QUOTES:
[first lines]
Will Salas: I don't have time. I don't have time to worry about how it happened. It is what it is. We're genetically engineered to stop aging at 25. The trouble is, we live only one more year, unless we can get more time. Time is now the currency. We earn it and spend it. The rich can live forever. And the rest of us? I just want to wake up with more time on my hand than hours in the day.

Henry Hamilton: How old are you? In real time?
Will Salas: 28.
Henry Hamilton: I'm 105.
Will Salas: Good for you. You won't see 106, you have too many more nights like tonight.
Henry Hamilton: You are right. But the day comes when you've had enough. Your mind can be spent, even if your body's not. We want to die. We need to.
Will Salas: That's your problem? You've been alive too long? You ever known anyone who's died?
Henry Hamilton: For a few to be immortal, many must die.
Will Salas: What the hell is that supposed to mean?
Henry Hamilton: You really don't know, do you? Everyone can't live forever. Where would we put them? Why do you think there are time zones? Why do you think taxes and prices go up the same day in the ghetto? The cost of living keeps rising to make sure people keep dying. How else could there be men with a million years while most live day to day? But the truth is... there's more than enough. No one has to die before their time. If you had as much time as I have on that clock, what would you do with it?
Will Salas: I'd stop watching it. I can tell you one thing. If I had all that time, I sure as hell wouldn't waste it.

In Time - 6 Sylvia Weis: How does anyone live like this?
Will Salas: You don't generally sleep in.

Ulysse: You'd steal from your own father?
Sylvia Weis: Is it stealing if it's already stolen?

Will Salas: No one should be immortal if even one person has to die.

In Time - 7 LINKS:
(Note: All were working at the time of going to press)
Official Facebook: In Time Movie Facebook Page
Official Twitter: http://twitter.com/InTimeMovie
Official Site: http://www.intimecasino.com/
Trailer:

Monday, 19 November 2012

Film Review: CLONE (2010) [a.k.a. WOMB]

Clone (aka Womb) - poster Writer/Director: Benedek Fliegauf
Running time: 108 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 15

Genre: Drama/Romance/Sci-Fi
UK Release date: 4th May 2012 (Limited)

Watched on Sky+ Monday 19th November 2012.

PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.

This is a film I didn’t know too much about but one that had an interesting premise. I do remember it being reviewed on TV quite a long time ago, but it can’t have registered that well because I can’t remember whether they said it was any good or not. So I went into this one with a very open mind and I’m quite glad I did because it’s one of those thought-provoking films that can be spoiled by too many preconceptions.

Clone (aka Womb) - 1 The pacing is very slow, almost hypnotically so at times, but it is beautifully shot, making great use of the panoramic beach locations. So what’s it all about? Well we meet Tommy and Rebecca when they are quite young; they strike up a friendship which is sealed with a kiss before Rebecca has to leave to live in Tokyo. Fast-forward a number of years and Rebecca (Eva Green – from Casino Royalle) is back from Japan and looking for Tommy (Matt Smith – the current Doctor Who). They more or less take up from where they left off and things seem to be progressing well when Tommy is suddenly killed in a road accident. Rebecca is understandably distraught and decides, with the permission of Tommy’s parents, Judith (Lesley Manville) and Ralph (Peter Wight), to have a clone of him made which she will carry in her womb… But there will be repercussions, some of which are quite surprising.

Clone (aka Womb) - 5 I know this is not a film that everyone will like; the slow pacing and the fact it’s about relationships will put many off. But if you’re prepared to be patient it does throw up some very interesting questions. I loved the way it was shot and the haunting score (by Max Richter) fitted the piece perfectly. I think the visuals would have had a little more impact on the big screen, but I still found it quite an impressive visual feast. On a dramatic level I did find it was a little too serious and a little levity here and there would have helped. Other than that I found it perfectly acceptable, although I freely admit it may not be to everyone’s taste.

SteelMonster’s verdict: RECOMMENDED

My score: 6.8/10

IMDb Score: 6.2/10 (based on 3,566 votes at the time of going to press).
http://uk.imdb.com/title/tt1216520/

MetaScore: 48/100: (Based on 8 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com at the time of going to press).

Clone (aka Womb) - 3 Rotten Tomatoes ‘Tomatometer’ Score: 35/100 (based on 20 reviews counted at the time of going to press).

Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 48/100 ‘Want to See’ (based on 1,885 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).
http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/womb/

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

Clone (aka Womb) - 6 FAVOURITE QUOTES:
Rebecca: Its over. I will always speak to you, and I don't mind if you don't say anything. Just because you went away, it doesn't mean you're not here anymore. Perhaps all I ever needed was this gift, the one you gave to me at the end.

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

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Film Review: IMMORTALS (2011)

Immortals - poster Director: Tarsem Singh
Writers: Charley Parlapanides & Vlas Parlapanides
Running time: 110 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 15

Genre: Action/Drama/Fantasy
UK Release date: 11th November 2011

Watched on Sky+ Sunday 11th November 2012.

PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.

The poster proudly boasts “From the makers of 300”; now I quite liked ‘300’ and so I thought I’d give this one a go. Made in the same style with a comic-book look and feel to the visuals it does very much grab you, in the visual sense at least. The trouble with a lot of Greek legends is that there’s an awful lot of back-story to get through before you can relax and enjoy the film. This is no exception; quite a lot of time is taken up with explaining just who is who and who’s a god and why this king wants that etc… It all can be a bit of a hard lump to swallow at the beginning of the film but once you’re past that it’s pretty straightforward stuff.

Immortals - 9 I must say I did enjoy the visual style of this one, with a large amount of CGI work that is all very well done, it’s a treat for the eye… if a little dark (in the visual sense). The plot is pretty complicated but here’s a very brief (spoiler free – I hope) synopsis: The brutal King Hyperion (Mickey Rourke) wants the Epirus Bow, a mythical weapon that will enable him to release the Titans from their prison deep within the walls of Mount Tartaros. A young man, Theseus (Henry Cavill) has vowed vengeance on Hyperion after he murders his mother. A priestess, Phaedra (Freida Pinto) holds the key to the location of the bow but she manages to evade capture and escapes with Theseus. Add to this the gods, led by Zeus (Luke Evans) and a mysterious old man (John Hurt) who has been a friend to Theseus since birth and there, in a nut-shell, you have it.

Immortals - 1 The performances were all pretty good with Mickey Rourke standing out for me; he has such a great screen presence. A very violent film with plenty of claret on show, which will please all the splatter-fest fans. It’s all very well done but does rely heavily on the CGI to carry the story across. The question is, does the story have enough weight to come across through all the effects? Well, for me, it does… but only just.

SteelMonster’s verdict: RECOMMENDED (Just)

My score: 5.8/10

IMDb Score: 6.1/10 (based on 83,306 votes at the time of going to press).
http://uk.imdb.com/title/tt1253864/

MetaScore: 46/100: (Based on 23 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com at the time of going to press).

Immortals - 2 Rotten Tomatoes ‘Tomatometer’ Score: 35/100 (based on 113 reviews counted at the time of going to press).

Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 49/100 ‘Liked it’ (based on 59,712 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).
http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/immortals_2011/

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http://facebook.com/andy.steel3

Immortals - 4 FAVOURITE QUOTES:
Theseus: Stand your ground! Fight for order! Fight for the man beside you! Fight for those who bore you! Fight for your children! Fight for your future! Fight for your name to survive! Fight! For immortality!

Zeus: It's not living as such that's important, Theseus. It's living rightly.

Stavros: Good to see you're still alive. Worried that cow had gotten the best of you.
Theseus: It almost did. She saved my life.
Stavros: Looks like she did more than that.
Phaedra: [Looks down embarrassed]
Theseus: Careful.
Stavros: Just 'cause you have that bow doesn't mean I'm going to treat you any differently.
Theseus: Good. We march to the monastery.
[Turns and starts walking away]
Theseus: We have a war to fight.

Immortals - 5 Stavros: Hyperion's legions are gathering at Tartarus. That's where Hellenists will fall.
Phaedra: That future's not set.
Stavros: But likely. It'll be a slaughter.
Phaedra: You have no faith.
Dareios: Heathens.
Stavros: That is true, Dareios. But not always. When I was just a boy, I prayed to the Gods, for a horse. The Gods never answered me. So I stole one, instead.
Dareios: We're surrounded by heathens.
[Falls dead with a knife in his back]

IMMORTALS LINKS:
(Note: All were working at the time of going to press)
Official Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/immortals
Trailer: