Posts Tagged ‘action’

“What? You’re reviewing an Anaconda sequel? Oh dear God, Hannah – you’ve hit rock bottom!”

I ain't high fiving that bro

I ain’t high fiving that bro

That is pretty much how I imagine you are judging me right now. But you know what, its a film about great big fucking snakes eating people. That means I have fun reviewing it. So screw you, unnamed person!

Really though, it isn’t that bad. Giant CGI snakes? Check. Evil British dude who had an affair with Sally in Corrie? Check. Hilarious black guy? Check. Seriously, what more could you want in a film?! A monkey!? Oh well you are in luck, as we have one of them too…

Anaconda – The Hunt for the Blood Orchid follows a group of people who have gone into the jungle in search of a flower that only blooms once every seven years. The flower also seems to be the pharmacological version of the fountain of youth – in that it can make you live longer. As a Pharmacology graduate – See… I’m a true geek, not just the pretending kind – I find the whole concept a bit far fetched. I mean, sure there would be billions for anyone who could develop such a drug, but if it came down to being eaten by a great big fucking snake, or a flower that could only potentially work (I mean we are talking Phase I and II drug tests, FDA approval… all of which would probably take years anyway…) than no thanks, I will take the living, breathing non-horrifying death option. Thanks.

I mean, for a Pharmacologist, 7 years is nothing. Just wait, come back next time with some grenades and shit and voilà .. But noooo, Corrie bad man (whose name fails me, and at this point I refuse to Imdb an Anaconda film) is a little bit crazy and kind of can’t see the bigger picture. So basically a whole bunch of people get eaten… some quite hilariously – and it all ends in tears.

So why did I watch this movie? Well it wasn’t because I was so blown away by the first one. Any movie with J-Lo in is questionable, but one that also has a lacklustre Jon Voight and man eating snakes… yeah its not gonna work. Hell, Snakes on a Plane only marginally worked because Samuel L. Jackson is awesome. J-Lo is by no means the female equivalent. I cannot stress that enough.

So what was it? Well, I will confess – sometimes you do need to intentionally watch an Anaconda type movie. It almost cleans the pallete. Like having melon as a dessert. Its bland, it won’t win any awards, and you won’t be raving to your friends about it. But every now and then you can get a little tired of the good movies. Probably because ultimately all of them require an actual functioning brain. Every now and then, it is nice to switch off. And so this is sort of a criticism on your everyday published, and occasionally on the TV/radio movie reviewers. Don’t bad mouth the blockbusters and the big cheesy action flicks. Because no matter who you are, you don’t want to be watching Citizen Kane after a long week in work. And if you do, I am pretty sure your an alien. Get tested. I’m sure there’s a test.

Anyway, for what it is – a sequel to an already crap movie – it aint that bad. And I like Kaydee Strickland.

So a solid 5/10.

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One of life’s great mystery’s is how Nicolas Cage has a job. Now don’t get me wrong here, I think he can sort of act – at times. He does the psycho person pretty well. But what I just can’t get past is that he is a leading man. And constantly keeps getting cast as the leading man. Especially in action films. Now the guy didn’t exactly age well. He may have looked attractive to some in his early years, but now he looks like my old physics teacher, wearing a wig. <— That, is not a compliment. But from the off, the guy was never the action star kind of guy. He didn’t have the charisma of Bruce Willis. He wasn’t strangely (and perversely) sexy like Tom Cruise. He had some muscles, once – in the nineties, but those have long faded. Now he just frowns constantly to the point that I’m pretty sure he’s had a few ‘Trip’s to the Dentist’ to sort out those head wrinkles. I’m not saying he hasn’t made some good films. But he was never as big an action star in his youth to take him through to still being one now. Bruce had Die Hard.  Stallone had Rocky and Rambo. Even Segal had Under Siege. Nick Cage had… um… 8mm? Yeah, its not exactly a great record. I suppose he did make Face/Off, which is actually a pretty good 90’s action flick, but like I said he plays the crazy guy well. In fact, I liked him a lot better when he was the crazy guy then when he became John Travolta… If you have not seen that movie, you probably think I am insane right now. Point is, he somehow became the good guy. The leading man in movies where we were supposed to root for him. The only decent film I have seen him in in recent years was Kick Ass – and that film was basically just awesome thanks to Chloe Moretz. Anyway, I guess I should really stop bashing him now, and get on with reviewing the movie. And silently contemplating how we managed to put Curiosity on Mars, found the Higgs particle, and made Nick Cage an action star.

Trespass, as a premise, is a movie that we don’t make very often anymore. The early 2000s and the 90s were littered with smart little thrillers about home invasions and crazy people coming into your house, or kidnapping you. It seemed to be in fashion. Recently, they have stopped making these kind of films. Or at least, they’ve stopped making them well.

Trespass tells the story of couple Kyle and Sarah Miller (played by Nick Cage and Nicole Kidman). Kyle is rich. Which is probably how he hooked a gal like Sarah. Because he looks like my boyfriends knee. Anyway, the couple have one child – Avery – played by Liana Liberato and a pretty strained marriage. Well obviously. She’s married to Nick Cage. One day, the couple are at home when they’re house is invaded by four armed individuals. I say individuals as one of them is a woman. A so very annoying woman. I want to kill her myself. They want something – in these films they always do – except for the Strangers and Funny Games, those are just creepy. Kyle doesn’t want to give them it. Because he’s an ass who would rather protect his fortune than his family. Chaos ensues. 

So is it worth a watch? Hmmm… well it does have Cam Gigandet in it. Which, in my eyes, is always a plus. What a pretty boy. But the performances from the cast are pretty poor all round. I do think Liana Leberato is going to be a really huge name one day, one that she will no doubt deserve because at just 16, she really has the acting chops. But for the pro’s, the whole thing felt flat. The performances were shoddy all round, the script was nothing new and there wasn’t enough action to compensate for the rest of its failures.

That’s right… Hug it out.

I honestly think we don’t make these thrillers as well as we used to. Obviously, pretty much nothing is going to top the Dial M for Murder’s and the Rear Window’s of this world. But in the 90’s we sort of had these movie’s down. They were exciting, well written, and the cast was always nailed. Trespass ultimately feels tired, and something I could have watched in your average episode of prime time action TV. Maybe that there is the problem. With the ante upped in the small screen, movies have to try so much harder to cut it these days. You have to be original, have a great script, be flashy or give some great performances. Otherwise, it doesn’t compare to some of the high quality television beamed to us on a daily basis. Don’t get me wrong, TV is far from flawless either. But when you have the Game of Thrones, and The Walking Dead of the world, movies need to step it up a notch. Trespass didn’t do that at any point. And what materialized was a predictable yawning yarn.

Overall, a pretty poor thriller.

3.5/10

If your reading this hoping I am reviewing the totally underrated Sly Stallone classic ‘Lock Up’ – then you are going to be sorely disappointed – Sorry. However, if your reading this wondering whether to go and see the space action thriller called ‘Lockout’ – well then step right up, this is your lucky day.

Firstly, there is a vicious rumour going round calling this movie ‘Die Hard in Space’. Now, I don’t know who started this rumour, probably the Studio Exec’s so as to get the numbers up, but I can today confirm to you that this is not true.  Lockout is a lot of things, but that is definitely not one of them.

Secondly, I have to say I was surprised to see Guy Pearce associated with this… but then I remembered ‘The Time Machine’ and everything returned to normal.

Now – to the movie! Every time I write that I feel like writing bat mobile instead…

Next time I think I will stick to Escape from New York!

Lockout is basically much more Escape from New York than it is Die Hard. Why? Well because the presidents daughter is stuck on a satellite in space, that happens to be a prison, and the prisoners happen to be rioting. Seeing the similarities? Well it doesn’t stop there. The people in charge decide to send a criminal to go rescue her. Yup, its basically the same movie in space…

I’m not really trying to criticise this kind of movie. I have a lot of respect to the people who make these movies when it is done right, i.e. Die Hard. But, it is so so easy to do wrong. And in this case, I’d probably say Lockout got it wrong. To be fair to Guy Pearce, he was the main saving grace of this film. His delivery of some of the quippy dialogue was very well done and I laughed a loud at him more than once. He did the ‘Kurt Russell’ role well, and he was believable in his rugged self, and I actually liked his character a lot.

But then there is the stuff that is wrong with this movie.

Maybe Guy Pierce should lend his Time Machine to the people who made this film so they can go back to the late 80s/early 90s and ask the people there how its done. Hell you don’t even need to do that, Sly is still making movies – ask him. Or even better – ask Arnold! Am I saying the action movies of the 80s/90s were flawless – Hell no! What I am saying is they were so much better done. Its ironic really that in a time when special effects are what they are today, movies are some how worse off. Take ‘Total Recall’ – a classic in its genre. It is everything Lockout wants to be – funny, cheeky, cheesy, not to be taken seriously action nonsense. Yet they are remaking it, and I can guarantee you now – it will fail, just in the same way Lockout has.

There is just no sheen to Lockout. Why? Well its hard to put my finger on it, but there is. Say your making your own marinara sauce. And you keep experimenting until one day, its perfect. Everybody raves about it and you think you’ve mastered it. Then when you come to make it again, you taste it and it’s just not right. You don’t know why, and you don’t know how – but you can feel it, there is just something missing. That’s the predicament with Lockout. These movies have been made so many times before. And Lockout really did have all the ingredients. They had a good leading man – and he actually did a good job. They had the damsel in distress/love interest and they had the vile villains who you wanted to see suffer. They even had a bizarre futuristic setting. But it still didn’t work.

Maybe I’m just shallow and I lost it a bit when they cut Maggie Grace’s hair and put shit on it to help her blend in… maybe then my subconscious said, “Nahh… I’m out.” Or maybe it was just too cheesy, and was just trying too hard. Its hard to say.

What I will say is that if you want to see a ‘leave your brain at the door’ movie than you’ll probably enjoy it. But it just didn’t work on any level for me. Maybe we should just leave these kind of movies in the 90s, where they belong.

Overall, an average action film that could, and should have been so much more, especially with Luc Besson at the helm.

5/10

I’m in desperate need of lightening the mood after all that. So I thought I’d continue the 30 day movie challenge. Although I may have let a few days lap – ahem… erm or a few months *cough*, I am now ready and raring to go!

Right so, favourite action. Well due to the idiots over there at movie challenge (is it even like a company…? Meh) not including the best of all genres – SCI-FI (?! – I know right?!) I have had to make some changes and have decided my favourite action can only be one thing. It’s my favourite Sci-Fi of all time, and my favourite action, James Cameron’s incredible – Aliens.

I love this movie. It’s actually even better than the first alien movie (although that is also a masterpiece), and it cements Sigourney Weaver as not only a serious bad ass but the Queen of science fiction. The above quote is even my favourite line in a movie ever and Ripley is just so likeable and strong its just impossible not to travel through the movie with her. You can see all the similarities of Avatar when you watch Aliens as well, which makes me wonder what a film it would have been if it had have been made today. If you haven’t seen this movie, what the hell have you been doing?! No I’m kidding of course. Seriously, get out there and see it. Even if your not a Sci-Fi fan, its a movie that anyone can appreciate.

Sigourney Weaver is like nerd mecca – we shine our replica light sabres in her direction at least once a day 😉

Edit: Haha I just realised how that sounds… I wasn’t trying to be dirty in any way! Honest!