Evil

Year Released:2003
Main Stars: Andreas Wilson, Henrik Lundström, Gustaf Skarsgård
Review Date: August 2016
Last watched: August 2016
Number Watches: 1
Format Watched: DVD

Swedish. Boarding School. Bullying. That’s the gist of it. So the rest is about how it’s done and in particular the acting.

After about 20 mins, I found it easier to be interested but it’s one of those that I’d not have gone back to if I’d been interrupted. Not due to the actors who were incredibly believable, and not due to the plot which was both tense and anger-inducing. I think my problem was with me expecting similar script to American and British films where there are sound-bites and obvious good/bad teachers or at least some areas where there are good-turned-bad-turned-good people. This is a very obvious novel made for the screen and in the tradition of North Europeans it was probably done very sympathetically rather than with an eye on the schmaltz and money raking. There is none of that commercialism here so don’t expect this to be a parable.

So having established that it’s-not-you-it’s-me, I can recommend to anyone who has even a half-hearted interested in drama. Andreas looks cool and hits every mark with confidence and none of the other cast are out of place although I wouldn’t put any as outstanding, perhaps due to the subject matter.

Don’t let the title put you off, this is not sadistic or scary, it’s dramatic. Worth the one look I’d give it.

DVD Extras: None.

Watchability (once, twice, etc.)
Once.
Keep DVD?
No.
Watch if on TV?
Not for me. I can see that it’s a drama some people would rave about but not me.
Hug, Snog, Marry, Avoid?
Hug. It comes down to what you like in a film. It’s a marmite choice.

Posted in 2000s, Drama, Film Review, Hug, Once, View of a lifestyle | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lost In La Mancha

Year Released: 2002
Main Stars: Terry Gilliam, Johnny Depp, Jeff Bridges, Philip A. Patterson , René Cleitman
Review Date: August 2016
Last watched: July 2016
Number Watches: 1
Format Watched: TV

The making of a film that never got made. It’s mesmeric to say the least. So many problems, so much already spent on such bad luck and bad planning. Not a film, this is a documentary of the film making process and clearly trying to recoup lost money for the studio but it’s a great watch for anyone remotely interested in the back-sets and logistics of film making.

 

Watchability (once, twice, etc.)
Once.
Keep DVD?
No.
Watch if on TV?
As you would any other documentary on an interesting subject.
Hug, Snog, Marry, Avoid?
Hug.

Posted in 2000s, Documentary, Film Review, Hug, Once | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Movie 43

Year Released:2013
Main Stars: Dennis Quaid, Emma Stone, Stephen Merchant, Richard Gere, Hugh Jackman, Chris Pratt, loads more. All cameo parts in small skits.
Review Date: August 2016
Last watched: July 2016
Number Watches: 1
Format Watched: TV

A bit of fun, loads of sketches on bizarre subjects. More like a Saturday Night Live than a film. Still it’s amazing what actors will put themselves up for. Chris Pratt and Hugh Jackman – you know what I mean!

Juvenile topics but well made and kinda weird to watch.

Watchability (once, twice, etc.)
Once.
Keep DVD?
No.
Watch if on TV?
Once.
Hug, Snog, Marry, Avoid?
Hug like a distant relative someone else invited.

Posted in 2010s, Comedy, Film Review, Hug, Once | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Hitcher

Year Released: 1986
Main Stars: Rutger Hauer, C. Thomas Howell, Jennifer Jason Leigh
Review Date: August 2016
Last watched: June 2016
Number Watches: 1
Format Watched: DVD

Some horrors are clichés and obvious with very little except sudden shocks to look forward to. This one is a page-turner and although suffers from age and low budget, it manages to be menacing thanks to the locations, camera work and Rutger’s performance.

So you think you’ve seen the Hitcher? Yeah, I did too. Some point in the past I think I’ve watched it with friends but not sure how much and there was no lasting effect. This time I saw everything and was caught up in the way it was done, the energy on screen and the dark humour amongst the obvious unstoppable monster. There’s no great gore so don’t be thinking it’s an FX horror, but there’s a lurk in there and an OTT unstoppability to keep you on track.

As I said, Rutger is so straight forward a bad guy that I really can’t imagine anyone else. He’s maybe not given enough credit in the world of bad guys since he’s not superhuman evil but it’s the simple, smiley way he gets to you that matters. Christopher isn’t special but definitely gives it his all and Jennifer shines for the brief time she’s on screen. There’s no one in the supporting cast who can’t act so I didn’t feel they distracted from the anticipation. It’s not a great script or monumental idea but I had to keep watching so that’s a win in my book.

Honestly think you’ll like this if you’re into drama, horror, film techniques or great charisma used well on screen.

DVD 2 Disc Special Extras: couple of short movies made by key crew and a ‘making of’ which is actually quite good. Old film so didn’t expect much else.

Watchability (once, twice, etc.)
Twice.
Keep DVD?
No.
Watch if on TV?
Yes.
Hug, Snog, Marry, Avoid?
Snog.

Posted in 1980s, Film Review, Horror, Snog, Thriller, Twice | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Night Of The Living Dead

Year Released:1968
Main Stars: Duane Jones, Judith O’Dea, Karl Hardman   
Review Date: July 2016
Last watched: July 2016
Number Watches: 1
Format Watched: DVD

“kill the brain and you kill the ghoul.”

Classic. You’ll have seen something based on the scenario and something else based on the idea. It’s just a darn classic idea like Dracula or Frankenstien and yet some people think it’s some silly little horror. Guys, this is where your zombie movies started!

Anyway, that doesn’t make it good. In fact the effects are rubbish, the sound is dire and the film quality is dreadful. But still…once you’ve accepted all that, and some of the actors cardboard delivery, there’s a sort of enticing excitement about the way everything happens. It’s not as amateur as you’d think and a lot of it, the TV reports for example,  are almost realistic! There’s even a couple of really gruesome parts that you don’t expect.

Maybe a bit predictable in places but a simple, easy to follow plot, simple, easy to follow characters and somehow catchy viewing even after a billion years since it was made. Gets intense too so don’t write it off too quickly or you’ll miss the key elements at the end.

DVD Extras, collectors edition: Coloured version, black and white original, some text you could find on t’Internet. Don’t spend much on it.

Watchability (once, twice, etc.)
Twice.
Keep DVD?
No.
Watch if on TV?
No. Tape it, treat it like you own it but don’t keep for long. It might come back to EAT YOU!!! No, it won’t.
Hug, Snog, Marry, Avoid?
Snog but check for scratches and radiation…😦

Posted in 1960s, Action, Disaster, Film Review, Horror, Snog, Twice, Zombie | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Terminator 2: Judgement Day

Year Released: 1991
Main Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Edward Furlong, Robert Patrick
Review Date: July 2016
Last watched: July 2016
Number Watches: 3
Format Watched: TV

“Hasta la vista, baby”
“No problemo”
“Come with me if you want to live”
“I need your clothes, your boots and your motorcycle”
“Say, that’s a nice bike”
“I know now why you cry but it’s something that I can never do”

Slightly dated effects and a story with actors you know too well as icons of themselves but that’s what makes it good.

Plot…come on, this is Terminator, the plot is just a way to make it a bit mysterious and futurey whilst providing a vehicle for the relentless nature of the chase.

Some very good tears being cried by Linda and Edward as well as great reactions from most of the cast. It’s difficult not to be drawn into the slow-motion terror of meeting the Terminator or to be affected by the potential for the team losing the war against the future. Let’s face it, the consequences of the team failing are BIG, so the production is equally big and loud. No messing when someone gets in the way and very little sentiment which is why this blunt force-actioner works.

For kids, for adults and I’d suggest for non-scifi movie goers as it’s just a ride from start to finish with polished edges and what looks like more heart put into the making of this than we see in multi-million dollar epics made today. I know it’s all about how much they could make but the production is so cool it’s hard to believe they weren’t all like “woh, dude! are we really doing this awesome picture or what, right???”

The time flies past so give it a go and enjoy. There’s also some male nudity and strong female lead for the girlies. Interestingly no female nudity so perhaps films don’t need that? Look at me being all controversial, right?

I’ll be back! Oops, wrong film.

Watchability (once, twice, etc.)
Thrice+++
Keep DVD?
Yep. Need to go find the specials one now…
Watch if on TV?
Every time.
Hug, Snog, Marry, Avoid?
Marry. What can I say – this one’s a keeper!

Posted in 1990s, Action, Film Review, Marry, SciFi, Thrice+, Thriller | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Year Released:2011
Main Stars: Thomas Horn, Tom Hanks, Sandra Bullock, John Goodman, Max Von SydowViola Davis, Jeffrey Wright       
Review Date: July 2016
Last watched: July 2016
Number Watches: 1
Format Watched: DVD

Think I was given this by someone and need to let them know that they have a eye for a good movie. This one’s a cracker. No heavy action, no big plot, no huge actor going for an Oscar nomination. It’s all about the kid and how he interacts with the world.

Really well made, enjoyable and the script shows good control and understanding of what’s needed for the story rather than going off on one and pushing some agenda.

Now although I said no ‘Oscar’ performances were being attempted, I have to admit that some were still given. Sandra does some wonderful emotional subtleties that I really liked, Tom is such a cool customer and knows how to play it without taking up the screen and Max alongside Thomas (the kid) are the best double act in town. The director made good choices here for both actors and direction. Nice to see John not playing some larger-than-life guy and also really good performances from Viola and Jeffrey who are only on-screen for a few minutes.

However, there’s a star in the room. Thomas didn’t come across as a child-actor but instead brought his character to life in the most believable way. Nothing was unreal, it was all spot on and caught me by surprise so much I had to see what he would do next.

Honestly, peeps, I wouldn’t choose this based on the description but from the starting minutes until the end, I found it riveting and well written. In fact the only dodgy bit is the freeze-frame at the very end. You’ll see what I mean!

A late-teenager-and-up film, not for anyone with easily runny make-up (some sob moments) or for those looking for a thriller but defo for anyone else.

DVD Extras: Only a good making of although all too short. Not gag reel.

Watchability (once, twice, etc.)
Twice.
Keep DVD?
No.
Watch if on TV?
Yes, maybe. It’s one that might appear to be heavy, even though it’s not.
Hug, Snog, Marry, Avoid?
Marry. A display of writing, acting and production that doesn’t come along very often.

Posted in 2010s, Drama, Film Review, Marry, Twice | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment