Monday, 27 May 2013

Film Review: I’M NOT SCARED (2003)

I'm Not Scared - poster [Original Title: “Io non ho paura”]

Director: Gabriele Salvatores
Writers: Niccolò Ammaniti (novel/screenplay), Francesca Marciano (screenplay)
Running time: 108 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 15

Genre: Crime/Drama/Mystery
UK Release date: 11th June 2004

Watched on Sky+ Monday 27th May 2013.

PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE UNINTENTIONAL SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.

This is another of those films I watched only knowing the information given in the paragraph that comes up in the on-screen TV guide. It was enough to intrigue me and so a suitable viewing slot was found (Bank Holiday Monday’s are good for this sort of thing). I should warn those that fear the subtitle, it is in Italian with those troublesome words along the bottom. Here’s a very brief summary before I give you my thoughts.

I'm Not Scared - 5 It’s southern Italy in the late 1970’s and Michele (Giuseppe Cristiano) and his friends are out in the wheat fields playing. They go to an abandoned farmhouse where dares are made and forfeits acted out. They begin to head back home but Michele’s little sister, Maria (Giulia Matturo) has left her glasses. He goes back for them and makes an important discovery. In a pit behind the house is boy; he’s chained up so he can’t escape. Michele doesn’t know if he’s alive or dead so he doesn’t say anything to his mother, Anna (Aitana Sánchez-Gijón), or his father Pino (Dino Abbrescia), when they get home. The following day he goes there alone and discovers the boy, Filoppo (Mattia Di Pierro), is in fact alive. Little does he know, though, he’s putting his own life in danger.

I'm Not Scared - 6 I found this a very engaging film with some very interesting characters and an intriguing story line. It’s beautifully shot; making the most of the landscape, showing off the wide open spaces of the region. There is also some nice close-up work in which we get to see many of the small creatures that inhabit the fields. All the performances were excellent; particularly Giuseppe Cristiano; he really held the thing together with some great work! Over all, I can safely say I enjoyed this one although I did find it a little predictable towards the end but I think it’s still worth a look.

SteelMonster’s verdict: RECOMMENDED

My score: 7.9/10.

IMDb Score: 7.5/10 (based on 8,953 votes when this review was written).
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0326977/

MetaScore: 73/100: (Based on 34 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com at the time of going to press).

I'm Not Scared - 3 Rotten Tomatoes ‘Tomatometer’ Score: 90/100 (based on 98 reviews counted at the time of going to press).

Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 89/100 (based on 6,946 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).
http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/im_not_scared/

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I'm Not Scared - 4 LINKS:
(Note: All were working at the time of going to press)
Trailer:

Film Review: INFERNO (1980)

Inferno - poster Writer/Director: Dario Argento
Running time: 107 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 18

Genre: Horror
Italy Release date: 7th February 1980

Watched on Sky+ Sunday 26th May 2013.

PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE UNINTENTIONAL SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.

This is one of those film titles I seem to hear a lot about and so I decided ‘Dario Argento’s Inferno’ had better go on “the list”. I’m not particularly a horror buff but I have watched and enjoyed my fair share over the years so I was quite looking forward to this one. Dubbed into English, for the American market I assume, it may have lost a little in translation, but I’m glad to have finally seen it anyway. Here’s a very brief summary before I give you my thoughts.

Inferno - 1 Young poetess Rose Elliot (Irene Miracle) buys a book from a local antique dealer, a diary in Latin of an architect, E. Varelli. She learns of the Three Mothers, and believes her apartment building is one of their houses. She pleads her brother Mark (Leigh McCloskey), who is studying musicology in Rome, to come, because she is afraid. Mark's friend Sara (Eleonora Giorgi) reads her letter, which he left behind in class, and discovers the school is run by the Mater Lacrimarum, and is killed for this knowledge. The house of Mater Suspiriorum has already been destroyed, and by the time Mark arrives in New York City, he is investigating his sister's murder.

Inferno - 5 I first have to say the film looks beautiful; the use of primary colours throughout really lifts the picture. The same cannot be said of the plot sadly; I found it all far too predictable although there was one moment that did make me jump. You could tell it was made on a budget but the effects were all well done if looking a little dated by today’s standards. The performances all seemed to lack any passion, nobody really stood out but nobody was particularly terrible either. Over all I found it was a film with a few good ideas, the underwater scene in particular, but not particularly shocking. Maybe my expectations were set a little too high, but I felt it was lacking a certain something. It does look a little dated and back when it was made it was probably more shocking given what else was around then but it didn’t quite hit the mark for me.

SteelMonster’s verdict: RECOMMENDED (just)

My score: 6.2/10.

IMDb Score: 6.6/10 (based on 7,983 votes when this review was written).
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0080923/

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

Rotten Tomatoes ‘Tomatometer’ Score: 58/100 (based on 12 reviews counted at the time of going to press).

Inferno - 7 Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 56/100 (based on 6,968 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).
http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/inferno1980/

If you’re crazy enough… You can find me on Facebook at:
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Inferno - 2 LINKS:
(Note: All were working at the time of going to press)
Trailer:

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Film Review: CONTROL (2007)

Control - poster Director: Anton Corbijn
Writers: Deborah Curtis (book), Matt Greenhalgh (screenplay)
Running time: 122 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 15

Genre: Biography/Drama/Music
UK Release date: 5th October 2007

Watched on Sky+ Saturday 25th May 2013.

PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE UNINTENTIONAL SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.

I have to admit I have seen this film before and liked it very much. I was going to use the word ‘enjoyed’, but that doesn’t seem right given the way things end. It was around the time I was leaving school that Joy Division were making records and I have to admit to being a bit of a fan and so I may be slightly biased. Based on the book “Touching from a Distance” by Deborah Curtis, it tells the story of the front man of the band Joy Division, Ian Curtis. Based on fact and shot in black and white, I found it both atmospheric and gritty. Here’s a very brief summary before I give you my thoughts in more detail.

Control - 2 Ian Curtis (Sam Riley) was a very enigmatic character and we first meet him during his final days at school where he meets Deborah (Samantha Morton). Before we know it they are married and Ian joins a band, originally called ‘Warsaw’ but later they changed it to ‘Joy Division’. The other band members were; Hookey (Joe Anderson), Bernard Sumner (James Anthony Pearson) and Steve Morris (Harry Treadaway). This is all happening at the time Punk was becoming popular, around 1977/78 and with bands like the Buzzcocks (from the same area) making a mark, they were in the right place at the right time. They get a manager, Rob Gretton (Toby Kebbell) and a TV spot with Tony Wilson (Craig Parkinson) that shoots them into the public conscience. A record deal follows and they seem to be on their way. But things are not that straightforward for Ian, he has epilepsy and the medication doesn’t help. With Debbie pregnant his eye wanders and is caught by a Belgian, Annik Honore (Alexandra Maria Lara). The focus is now on Ian’s internal struggle between doing the right thing by Debbie and following Annik. It all ends quite tragically (sorry if that’s a spoiler, but the film is based on fact).

Control - 5 Shot entirely in black and white I found this film very atmospheric and it also had a gritty realism about it. I thought all the performances were excellent with both Sam Riley and Samantha Morton taking top honours. I also have to give a mention to Toby Kebbell who totally stole a couple of scenes with some great over-the-top one-liners. The story is primarily told from Debbie’s point of view and as such we get a very interesting look at the life of this enigmatic soul. This film inspired me to go out and buy a Joy Division greatest hits CD and it’s music that’s always been close to my heart. I should mention that all the live performances portrayed in the film were performed by the actors and so hat’s off to them for making it real. Whether you were a fan of the band or not I’m sure you’ll get something out of this one. Be warned though, it’s quite a tough watch, even when you do know the outcome.

SteelMonster’s verdict: RECOMMENDED

My score: 8.4/10.

IMDb Score: 7.7/10 (based on 35,785 votes when this review was written).
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0421082/

MetaScore: 78/100: (Based on 27 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com at the time of going to press).

Control - 6 Rotten Tomatoes ‘Tomatometer’ Score: 87/100 (based on 108 reviews counted at the time of going to press).

Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 88/100 (based on 47,182 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).
http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/control/

Control - 1 If you’re crazy enough… You can find me on Facebook at:
http://facebook.com/andy.steel3

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

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Film Review: PIGGY (2012)

Piggy - poster Writer/Director: Kieron Hawkes
Running time: 102 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 18

Genre: Drama/Thriller
UK Release date: 4th May 2012

Watched on Sky+ Sunday 19th May 2013.

PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE UNINTENTIONAL SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.

This is one of those films I heard about on the BBC Radio 4 Film Programme. It’s a bit of an ‘arty’ film show that tends to focus more on British and art-house films. Even so, I’m always interested in what they have to say and this one came quite highly recommended. As usual, I watched it without looking at any reviews or scores on various web sites and I was surprised when I came to write my review just how poorly it had been received! I found it a lot better than the scores would have you believe; it’s far from prefect, but it’s certainly better than the 1/10 that Rotten Tomatoes seems to think it deserves! But I digress, here’s a very brief summary before I give you my thoughts.

Piggy - 5 Joe (Martin Compston) is a shy young man living and working in London. He idolises his big brother John (Neil Maskell) who looks out for him. But his world falls apart when John is killed by a gang of men who he had been having a spot of trouble with in a local pub. Joe is devastated and even Clair (Louise Dylan), a friend, can’t console him. Enter Piggy (Paul Anderson), who claims to be an old friend of John’s from school. He takes Joe under his wing and teaches him all about life in the big city; how to avoid trouble and how to cope should the need arise. Piggy wants to help Joe in other ways too (no, not like that), he wants to give Joe his revenge for his brother. To this end they begin to track down the five men responsible. One by one Piggy takes his revenge as Joe watches on; but what effect is all this having on Joe? How will this change him?

Piggy - 2 I found this very dark with extreme levels of violence, For the most part the acts of violence are not actually shown on the screen, they are alluded to enough to make you cringe though. Great performances all round, particularly from Paul Anderson; he played the part superbly! Martin Compston wasn’t all that bad either! As revenge thrillers go, this may not be the best, but it’s certainly one of the darkest I’ve seen in a long time. Maybe it’s just too dark and that’s the trouble with it; I found myself looking at my watch in places which is never a good sign. Certainly worth seeing for Paul Anderson’s performance but definitely not one for the squeamish.

SteelMonster’s verdict: RECOMMENDED (Just)

My score: 5.9/10.

IMDb Score: 5.2/10 (based on 254 votes when this review was written).
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1951218/

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

Piggy - 3 Rotten Tomatoes ‘Tomatometer’ Score: 10/100 (based on 10 reviews counted at the time of going to press).

Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 37/100 (based on 60 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).
http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/piggy/

If you’re crazy enough… You can find me on Facebook at:
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Piggy - 6 LINKS:
(Note: All were working at the time of going to press)
Official Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PiggyTheFilm
Official Twitter: https://twitter.com/PiggyTheFilm
Trailer:

Film Review: TOTAL RECALL (2012)

Total Recall (2012) - poster Director: Len Wiseman
Writers: Kurt Wimmer (screenplay/screen story), Mark Bomback (screenplay), Ronald Shusett (screen story), Dan O'Bannon (screen story), Jon Povill (screen story)
Running time: 118 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 12

Genre: Action/Adventure/Sci-Fi
UK Release date: 29th August 2012

Watched on Sky+ Sunday 19th May 2013.

PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE UNINTENTIONAL SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.

This film was never going to be loved unfortunately; a remake of such an iconic story is never going to find favour with its many fans. Personally, I tried to watch it with an open mind even though I appreciate that’s quite difficult having seen (& loved) the 1990 original ‘Arnie’ version many times; let’s say at least I tried. Action packed throughout; heavy on the GCI but also some excellent stunt work thrown in, I have to say I quite enjoyed it. I’ll tell you more after this very brief summary.

Total Recall (2012) - 10 In a future where most of the Earth’s surface is inert, there are only two habitable regions; The United Federation of Britain or UFB, and the Colony (Australia). Transportation between the two is achieved by ‘The Lift’; a kind of massive elevator that goes through the Earth’s core. When factory worker Douglas Quaid (Colin Farrell) begins to have dreams about escaping the authorities with another woman, his wife Lori (Kate Beckinsale) puts it down to overwork. Douglas is more sceptical and asks his workmate, Harry (Bokeem Woodbine) about a place called Rekall who can implant memories. Harry tries to put him off but Douglas is determined and goes anyway. This is where it really begins to kick off; it seems there’s already an implant in his mind. His wife is not who she seems; the woman in his dreams, Melina (Jessica Biel) is real and working for the resistance leader Matthias (Bill Nighy). There’s also a conspiracy that goes right up to the President, Cohaagen (Bryan Cranston). But can he figure out what’s real and what’s been implanted?

Total Recall (2012) - 6 Very heavy on the special effects, which are all very well done by the way, this film looks great. The narrative, although quite well known to me, was told in a unique enough for me to accept it as a new take on the same story. The performances were all very good, particularly Colin Farrell and Kate Beckinsale. I just wish they had made Jessica Biel look a bit more different to Kate Beckinsale; they look too similar, a different hair colour would have helped! On the downside, I did find the premise a little weak and that did kind of spoil it for me. It does look very spectacular though and for those who are fans of the original; yes, there a triple breasted hooker to be found. Worth a look; yes… Unless you’re a die-hard Arnie fan.

SteelMonster’s verdict: RECOMMENDED

My score: 6.7/10.

IMDb Score: 6.3/10 (based on 115,971 votes when this review was written).
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1386703/

MetaScore: 43: (Based on 41 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com at the time of going to press).

Total Recall (2012) - 1 Rotten Tomatoes ‘Tomatometer’ Score: 31/100 (based on 215 reviews counted at the time of going to press).

Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 47/100 (based on 99,681 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).
http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/total_recall_2012/

If you’re crazy enough… You can find me on Facebook at:
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Total Recall (2012) - 8 LINKS:
(Note: All were working at the time of going to press)
Official Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TotalRecall#!/TotalRecall
Official Site: http://www.welcometorecall.com/
Trailer:

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Film Review: TIME BANDITS (1981)

Time Bandits - poster Director: Terry Gilliam
Writers: Michael Palin, Terry Gilliam
Running time: 116 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): PG

Genre: Adventure/Comedy/Fantasy
UK Release date: 13th July 1981

Watched on Sky+ Saturday 18th May 2013.

PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE UNINTENTIONAL SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.

This is a film I’ve seen several times over the years but this is the first time I’ve watched it with my ‘critical eye’. There are many things to like, particularly if you were brought up on a good dose of ‘Python’ in your comedy diet. Outrageously over the top in places but also quite calm and even tender in others, it certainly has a huge scope. Here’s a very brief summary before I give you my thoughts.

Time Bandits - 7 When young Kevin (Craig Warnock) goes to bed one evening, he’s awoken in the middle of the night by a mounted knight in full armour crashing through his wardrobe. The next night, taking provisions (a camera, a flashlight etc…) he goes to bed early, hoping to catch the knight again. This time though, it’s a band of dwarves that come through his wardrobe. They are; Randall (David Rappaport), Fidgit (Kenny Baker), Strutter (Malcolm Dixon), Og (Mike Edmonds), Wally (Jack Purvis) and Vermin (Tiny Ross). They have stolen a map from The Supreme Being and are out for adventure. They take Kevin with them on a daring raid on Napoleon (Ian Holm), and then it’s off to the middle ages where they meet Robin Hood (John Cleese). Escaping from there/then, Kevin finds himself separated from the group and in ancient Greece where he befriends King Agamemnon (Sean Connery). It’s not long though before the gang catch up with him and they’re off again. All the while, Evil (David Warner) is watching and planning a way to get them to the land of legends. You see, he wants their map and he’ll stop at nothing to get it…

Time Bandits - 1 I know it’s not a perfect film by any stretch of the imagination; but it is fun and entertaining. A film with enormous scope and with some really great set pieces from the crazy mind of Terry Gilliam. You can see the Python influence all over it, although there are bits where it calms down and we see a more tender side of things. The performances were all excellent with Craig Warnock and David Rappaport taking star billing (for me). Oh and look out for a recurring gag featuring Michael Palin and Shelley Duvall, very funny. If there is a down side, it’s that it’s a little too long and the bickering between the dwarves does get a little tedious after a while. Over all though, well worth a watch; it may look a little dated, but it’s still worth your time (get it?).

SteelMonster’s verdict: RECOMMENDED

My score: 8.2/10.

IMDb Score: 6.9/10 (based on 32,380 votes when this review was written).
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0081633/

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

Time Bandits - 5 Rotten Tomatoes ‘Tomatometer’ Score: 95/100 (based on 38 reviews counted at the time of going to press).

Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 60/100 (based on 47,816 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).
http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/time_bandits/

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Time Bandits - 3 FAVOURITE QUOTES:
Randall: We made trees and shrubs. We helped make all this.
Kevin: Whew! That's not bad.
Randall: Yeah. But did we get a thimble full of credit for it? No! All we got was the sack. Just for creating the Pink Bunkadoo.
Kevin: Pink Bunkadoo?
Randall: Yeah. Beautiful trees that was. Og designed it. 600 feet high, bright red, and smelled terrible.

Strutter: [slaps Kevin] Get down, you nearly got us caught!
Randall: You silly fool, you could've ruined everything.
Kevin: Do you know where we are?
Randall: Shut up. Of course I do. 1796, Battle of Castiglione, see?
Strutter: [taps him] You sure we're not in somebody's bedroom?
Randall: Look,
[grabs Strutter]
Randall: do you want to be leader of this gang?
Strutter: No, we agreed: No leader!
Randall: Right. So shut up and do as I say.
[Strutter nods]

Time Bandits - 8 Wally: Vermin, that is not meant to be eaten!
Vermin: You never know until you've eaten it!

Kevin: It's some kind of invisible barrier.
Fidgit: Oh, so that's what an invisible barrier looks like.

Supreme Being: Dead? No excuse for laying off work.

Time Bandits - 6 LINKS:
(Note: All were working at the time of going to press)
Trailer: (VERY FUNNY!)

Film Review: PRIMER (2004)

Primer - poster Writer/Director: Shane Carruth
Running time: 77 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 12

Genre: Drama/Thriller/Sci-Fi
UK Release date: 19th August 2005

Watched on Sky+ Saturday 18th May 2013.

PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE UNINTENTIONAL SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.

This is a film that has been on my radar for quite a while now; I understand it has quite a cult following, which was enough to peek my interest. Time travel films can be a tad problematic in that the consequences of it are never fully explained. This one goes a little way to, at least, partially putting that right. I must say I did enjoy it, with a couple of reservations, but more of that after this very brief summary.

Primer - 6 We begin with four guys; Aaron (Shane Carruth), Abe (David Sullivan), Robert (Casey Gooden) and Philip (Anand Upadhyaya) all working on some project in a garage. It’s never full explained just what they’re up to but when two of them, Aaron and Abe, make an important discovery we don’t see much of the other guys again. At first they don’t know exactly what it is but eventually they discover they can use it to travel through time to the past (only about a day). Initially they use it to make money on the stock market; taking care to isolate themselves from the world while their ‘doubles’ are at large. But you know there are going to be consequences and that’s about all I’m going to tell you.

Primer - 3 An independent film full of nice ideas but maybe without the budget to fully realise some of their potential. Nicely scripted, although I did find it a little too ‘wordy’ in places. Performance wise; both Shane Carruth and David Sullivan did an excellent job. The film hangs on these two characters and I thought they both pulled it off to an excellent standard! I found the film quite absorbing at first; there’s enough mystery there and I know enough about engineering for it to keep my interest. It did, however, become a little wearing towards the end, I think because the film relies so much on the dialogue between Aaron and Abe to tell the story and there is so much to take in that I found I was in ‘dialogue overload’ by the end. I think I’ll probably have to watch it again sometime to fully appreciate it, but well worth a look; it’s an interesting take on the time travel theme.

SteelMonster’s verdict: RECOMMENDED

My score: 7.1/10.

IMDb Score: 6.9/10 (based on 37,473 votes when this review was written).
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0390384/

MetaScore: 68/100: (Based on 25 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com at the time of going to press).

Primer - 2 Rotten Tomatoes ‘Tomatometer’ Score: 73/100 (based on 120 reviews counted at the time of going to press).

Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 79/100 (based on 41,919 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).
http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/primer/

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

Primer - 11 FAVOURITE QUOTES:
Abe: I just want you to see it the way I saw it.
Aaron: I am trying, okay, I really am here.
Abe: Look, everything we're putting into that box becomes ungrounded, and I don't mean grounded like to the earth, I mean, not tethered. I mean, we're blocking whatever keeps it moving forward and so they flip-flop. Inside the box it's like a street, both ends are cul-de-sacs. I mean, this isn't frame dragging or wormhole magic this is basic mechanics and heat 101.
Aaron: This is *not* mechanics and heat.

Aaron: Man, are you hungry? I haven't eaten since later this afternoon.

Kara: Did you call pest control?
Aaron: Babe, they're birds. You don't want a bunch of dead baby birds up there, do you?
Kara: They don't sound like birds.
Aaron: [to Abe] She thinks there are rats in the attic.

Primer - 10 Abe: Do you have anything important going on at work today?
Aaron: I hope you're not implying that any day is unimportant at Cortex Semi.

[last lines]
Aaron: [voiceover] Now I have repaid any debt I may have owed you. You know all that I know. My voice is the only proof that you will have of the truth of any of this. I might have written a letter with my signature, but my handwriting is not what it used to be. Maybe you've had the presence of mind to record this. That's your prerogative. You will not be contacted by me again. And if you look... you will not find me.

Primer - 7 LINKS:
(Note: All were working at the time of going to press)
Official Site: http://erbpfilm.com/film/primer
Trailer:

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Film Review: THE DOUBLE (2011)

The Double - poster Director: Michael Brandt
Writers: Michael Brandt, Derek Haas
Running time: 94 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 12

Genre: Action/Crime/Drama
Turkey Release date: 28th October 2011

Watched on Sky+ Sunday 12th May 2013.

PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE UNINTENTIONAL SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.

A decent espionage thriller is something to behold; the majority of the Bond films are a case in point. This, however, falls into the category of ‘Nice idea that didn’t quite work’. I will keep it briefer than normal because this one is quite easy to sum up, but you don’t escape my very brief summary first.

The Double - 1 We begin with a Russian agent, Bozlovski (Tamer Hassan) being smuggled into the US via Mexico. There’s then a plot about a series of seven Russian agents, headed by a character known as Cassius. Six of them were killed by CIA Agent Paul Shepherdson (Richard Gere), then Cassuis had mysteriously disappeared. When a US Senator is killed employing methods used by Cassius, alarm bells begin to ring. A young FBI Agent, Ben Geary (Topher Grace) is brought in and paired with Shepherdson, after much protest. They set off to track down Cassius, but he is much closer to home than they think. And just what does Bozlovski have to do with all this?

The Double - 2 First off, all the performances were very good; I only wish the same could be said for the script. The plot wanders about; giving away very key information far too early (IMO) and taking all the mystery out of it for me. Yes, there is a twist at the end, but by that time I’m just pissed off with it. It’s well shot with most of the action taking place in and around Washington DC. It was nice to see Martin Sheen as CIA director Tom Highland; although it was kinda odd seeing him in Washington & not being the President. Over all, a film that failed to live up to expectations; I know which direction I would have taken it in and that would have been a much better story.

SteelMonster’s verdict: NOT RECOMMENDED

My score: 5.7/10.

IMDb Score: 5.9/10 (based on 14,282 votes when this review was written).
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1646980/

MetaScore: 37/100: (Based on 20 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com at the time of going to press).

The Double - 6 Rotten Tomatoes ‘Tomatometer’ Score: 20/100 (based on 45 reviews counted at the time of going to press).

Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 38/100 (based on 4,104 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).
http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/the_double_2011/

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

The Double - 5 FAVOURITE QUOTES:
[first lines]
Bozlovski: [whispering in Spanish] Better you forget them. You didn't see anything.

Paul Shepherdson: If the Russians used their women instead of missiles, we'd be wearing furry hats right now.

Ben Geary: You’re gonna “shoot her in the head”?
Paul Shepherdson: Just making a connection.

Martin Miller: [about Bozlovski] This guy has used every single weapon you can think of. From an M-24 from 800 meters, to a rusty nail.

[last lines]
Tom Highland: Ben, would you consider working for us?
Ben Geary: [stunned]
Tom Highland: Think about it...

The Double - 3 LINKS:
(Note: All were working at the time of going to press)
Official Site: http://www.thedoublemovie.com/
Trailer: (Sorry if it gives too much away)

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Film Review: STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS (2013)

Star Trek Into Darkness - poster Director: J.J. Abrams
Writers: Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, Damon Lindelof (written by), Gene Roddenberry (television series “Star Trek”)
Running time: 132 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 12A

Genre: Action/Adventure/Sci-Fi
UK Release date: 9th May 2013

Watched at the Cinema Saturday 11th May 2013.

PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE UNINTENTIONAL SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.

I remember seeing the original Start Trek TV shows back in the 1970’s (we got them later here in the UK). I really loved them and have watched every spin-off TV show and film since. Now, I have to say here that I’m not a purist and I really enjoyed the first movie Star Trek (2009) which starts off this iteration of the franchise. But I digress; you’re wanting to hear about the all new shiny film. I have to say I went into this one without reading any reviews or reading too much of the press about it and so I’ll try to keep things as spoiler-free as possible. Here’s a very brief (spoiler-free) summary before I give you my thoughts.

Star Trek Into Darkness - 2 When a Star Fleet archive is blown up in London, one John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch) claims responsibility. The Star Fleet captains and their First Officers are assembled by Admiral Marcus (Peter Weller) but Harrison attacks this meeting, killing one of James T. Kirk’s (Chris Pine) mentors. He pleads with Marcus to be allowed to follow Harrison to Kronos, the Klingon home world, where he has been tracked. He is given his chance and the crew of the Enterprise set off in hot pursuit. They manage to capture Harrison, but he is so much more than he seems…

Star Trek Into Darkness - 5 There is a welcome return for all of the favourites from the first film; Spok (Zachary Quinto), Bones (Karl Urban), who I think is brilliant in this part by the way, Nyota Uhura (Zoe Saldana), Scotty (Simon Pegg), Chekov (Anton Yelchin) and Sulu (John Cho). Plus we have the addition of Admiral Marcus’s daughter, Dr. Carol Marcus (Alice Eve), who manages to bluff her way onto the ship. Everyone did a great job, although I wasn’t too sure about Scotty’s accent, with Benedict Cumberbatch, Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto and Peter Weller taking top honours (for me anyway).

Star Trek Into Darkness - 6 Beautifully shot with much of the trademark lens flaring that is becoming synonymous with the films of J.J. Abrams. It really doesn’t bother me as much as it seems to others. I’m really glad I saw it on the big screen (in 2D by the way) because it’s one of those that definitely benefits from it. I can’t imagine it having anything like the impact on a small screen. It’s an epic plot that draws on elements from earlier iterations of these characters but totally turned on its head. I enjoyed it a very much and I’m already looking forward to the next one!

SteelMonster’s verdict: HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

My score: 8.6/10.

IMDb Score: 8.4/10 (based on 8,766 votes when this review was written).
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1408101/

MetaScore: 74/100: (Based on 8 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com at the time of going to press).

Star Trek Into Darkness - 9 Rotten Tomatoes ‘Tomatometer’ Score: 90/100 (based on 60 reviews counted at the time of going to press).

Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 89/100 (based on 78,686 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).
http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/star_trek_into_darkness/

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Star Trek Into Darkness - 3 FAVOURITE QUOTES:
John Harrison: You think you world is safe? It is an illusion. A comforting lie told to protect you. Enjoy these final moments of peace. For I have returned to have my vengeance. So, shall we begin?

[to Kirk]
Christopher Pike: Do you know what a pain you are? You think the rules don't apply to you. There's greatness in you, but there's not an ounce of humility. You think that you can't make mistakes, but there's going to come a moment when you realize you're wrong about that, and you're going to get yourself and everyone under your command killed.

John Harrison: Your commanders have committed a crime I cannot forgive. None of you are safe. Have I got your attention now?

Star Trek Into Darkness - 7 [the Enterprise crew steer a ship towards a closing portal]
Spock: Captain, this ship will not fit.
James T. Kirk: IT WILL FIT, WILL FIT, WILL FIT!
[the ship scrapes through]
James T. Kirk: See, I told you it would fit!
Spock: I am not sure that qualifies.

Nyota Uhura: We're outnumbered, outgunned...
James T. Kirk: So we come out shooting!

Star Trek Into Darkness - 1 LINKS:
(Note: All were working at the time of going to press)
Official Site: http://www.startrekmovie.com/
Trailer: