Wednesday, 30 May 2007

Youtube #2: Dutch Chatshow Mayhem

I'm really sorry that this doesn't have that much to do with movies, but this is just so amazingly funny :D The conversation is about how that guy had his testicles removed accidentally. Here are some translated quotes ;) Enjoy

"I noticed my voice had changed slightly..."
"Try talking on the phone like this!"
"As a wife, I cannot fondle his testicles anymore"
"Think what it'd be like for a dog, not to have testicles to lick anymore!"

Saturday, 26 May 2007

Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World's End Review

First of all, answer these questions to yourself.

1) Do you like Pirates, and the general pirate craze?

2) Did you like Dead Man's Chest?

If the answer to both of those is yes, then you'll definitely at least enjoy At World's End. If any of the answers were no, then you'd best steer clear of this.

I really enjoyed this film. Sure, it's not going to win any awards for the best film ever [maybe the most commercially successful?], but if you just go with its crazy logic and over-complicated plot, then you're likely to have a pretty good time. It's better than the second, partly because it always feels like it's heading to some sort of destination - what with the pirate lords being brought together for a final showdown with the East India Trading Co. - no matter how long it has to be, or how convoluted the plot becomes.

At World's End works best when viewed as "Dead Man's Chest Pt. 2", because that's what it essentially is. After Jack's fate at the end of the last film, lots of this one is spent bringing him back. including a wonderfully trippy sequence of Jack inside Davy Jones' Locker, some amazing CGI landscapes and mythology a-plenty. There were many more minor characters in Dead Man's Chest which, if they had been cut out, would have made that film flow more easily, and would have made it shorter. However, many of these characters have real purpose in this film, giving a better appreciation for the slightly less-enjoyable second installment [which I actually really liked].

The plot of this film, for the most part, is a twisted, sloppy mess. It starts off simply, but soon there are so many betrayals and double crossings that you find yourself concentrating so hard that you can't remember each character's objective and need for Davy's heart. By the end, this doesn't really matter, as things even out more, and there's less back-stabbing. There are some real character developments [especially towards the end], and [whilst being very long] feels more rounded as a whole. It is much more serious than the second, with only Captain Jack and Monkey Jack to lighten the sombre mood. It also has one of the most hideously misjudged openings for a [supposedly] family film - if I were you, I'd leave the kids behind. In parts it is surprisingly violent for a 12A, giving the impression that either the BBFC have gone soft, or Disney asked for a lower rating to attract a bigger audience.

Orlando Bloom is much better in this film - his character is a lot more likeable, after all his whining and moaning in Dead Man's Chest, and Keira Knightley's character is given a much more impressive part this time around. But it's Depp's Captain Jack Sparrow and Geoffrey Rush's wonderfully unhinged Barbossa who really steal the show.

We learn a lot more about Davy Jones' past, and the mythology of the Pirates world in this film, which makes the films seem a lot more involving. Davy Jones looks fantastic once again - it's amazing what is capable using CGI these days. Not often do barnacled evil sea captains with a squiddy face/beard look this alive.

The whole film leads up to an incredible, hugely enjoyable climatic battle, which sees the pirates facing off against the East India Trading Co. and Davy Jones. It's a very exciting, involving sequence, which tops many other scenes from recent blockbusters. I was actually surprised at how much I liked this film and how much I loved the final showdown. I'm not going to ruin it - but make sure you see it!

So, to conclude, this film is better than Dead Man's Chest [which will seem better when you've seen this film], but not as good as the original. To me, it never felt as long as its 168 minutes, and it works surprisingly well. It's not the best film ever made, and it isn't going to be loved by everyone, but, hell, I went out and genuinely enjoyed this film. But, make sure you see the second one again before you go to see this!

Genre Value: 4/5
Entertainment Value: 3.5/5
Style: 2.5/5
Overall Rating: 3.5/5

Wednesday, 23 May 2007

More Pirates Reviews

With only one more day until its release, the Pirates reviews are now coming out thick and fast. More links below. Currently, the Rotten Tomatoes percentage is a disappointing 33% but I'm sure that'll perk up - there's only six reviews on there at the moment... However it is worthy to note that the "users" rating is currently 84% - maybe this is more of an audience film than a critics film. IMDB's user rating so far is 86%, and the review there at the moment is really positive. I guess we'll just have to go and see for ourselves!
Other Reviews:
BBC Movies
Total Film

In other news - Robert Rodriguez is directing a re-make of saucy flick Barbarella...

Tuesday, 22 May 2007

Early Pirates Reviews

With just two days to go [to Alex's birthday and Pirates Of The Carribean: At World's End's release date] reviews are starting to seep out onto the internet - most of them seem to be 3 or 4 stars out of five, so better than the second but not as good as the first. From the sound of things, the plot's set to be pretty convoluted, so try not to fall asleep in the cinema. I'm posting up a couple of links of the reviews I've found, but it's best [if you want to find an overall average] to frequently visit Rotten Tomatoes and find what that gives it. For people who don't know - Rotten Tomatoes collects all reviews together and gives a percentage of good reviews. Any percentage over 60 is classed as "fresh".

Empire Review
Times Online
Ain't It Cool News
The Mirror
Cinema Blend
SA Movie Magazine

These are all the ones I can find at the moment. When I've seen the film I'll write my own review. But for the next couple of days, these will have to do. And so, the countdown begins...

Monday, 21 May 2007

Spider-Man 3 Review

Here comes blockbuster season. The big guns are being pulled out, and Spider-Man is the first to fire. Luckily, most fans won't be disappointed.

The great thing about the Spider-Man films was that, apart from the amazing action scenes and intense storylines, there was always a human drama bubbling underneath. M.J provided a solid love-interest for Peter, and Harry's jealousy story-line was suitably engrossing, with the "will-he-won't-he" friendship with Pete. This is kept in the third installment, thought not quite as smoothly as in the other films.

Peter feels now that he is really in love with M.J, and, with his secrets now revealed, plans to propose to her. This is all very well, but as soon as he comes under the influence of a strange parasitic alien symbiote, he falls out of love a bit quickly, leading us to believe that it was never there in the first place. However, as the story develops, it somehow manages to hang together, with so many sub-plots that it seemed doomed to fail. This is not the case, with our first introductions being to Harry's friend Gwen-Stacy [who is, in my opinion, quite under-used, and doesn't seem to serve much of a purpose aside from making Eddie Brock jealous] and new villain Sandman.

Sandman is one of Raimi's favourite villains, and it seems appropriate for him to be in this film [which looks likely to be Raimi's last Spider-Man movie]. He is played really well by Thomas Haden-Church, with real heart and emotion. He sums his character up perfectly with "I'm not a bad person, I just have bad luck". When he finally gets his superpowers [in an impressive yet illogical sequence], he's incredible. Initially we feel sorry for him - he can hardly stand, and keeps drifting away. It's a powerful moment in the film when the accident occurs [spoiler-free - I promise!] and Marko tries to move in tides of swirling sand. The special effects for his character are fantastic - my personal favourite is during the train fight, when our hero smashes Sandman's face against a carriage, and his head dissolves into sand. Effects have come a long way since the Mummy - and it shows.

Harry Osborn has a bigger part in this film. He knows Spider-Man's true identity, and he still won't let his father's death go. This seemed a bit dragged out, maybe only because the audience knows that it wasn't Spider-Man's fault. His "accident" after the new film's first fight [a speedy, blurry effects mash-up which, to be honest, is rather hard to see] seems a bit too convenient, but it hangs with the rest of the plot. As the story moves on, there's a real development in his character, especially towards the end in the explosive, exciting finale.

This finally brings us to the fan favourite - Venom. Ever since the first picture of Spider-Man in his black suit, everybody knew [despite the cast's secrecy] that Venom had to be involved somehow. The only question was of the gooey symbiote's origin. Were the director and script writer daring enough to follow the comics down the "space alien" route, or were they going to continue with the whole "experiment gone wrong" story? Luckily [I presume as a fan-pleaser] they followed the comics. If they'd chosen the experiment gone wrong, it would have been too repetitive, what with Green Goblin, Doc Ock and Sandman all having gone through that. Topher Grace is an excellent actor, and he's great here as Parker's rival at the Daily Bugle, and his eventual nemesis, Venom. When Venom fully emerges, he looks fantastic. However, that's when he's fully emerged. This takes a long time, and whilst it's great that he's included, he isn't used that much. You don't see him in his full form very often, but I guess that's a price to pay for not wanting to further the run-time.

My only other complaint is that Peter's dark side is lighter than most people's light side. He struts down the street in a semi-cringey-semi-funny scene that spoofs Saturday Night Fever, but aside from that not much else happens, apart from making M.J jealous. He is a bit of a jerk though, as he becomes more arrogant and rude.

There is also a hilarious cameo from Bruce Campbell [Raimi's old chum from the Evil Dead films] as a hapless waiter. It's these moments that will linger as well as the fight scenes, and they make Spider-Man 3 rise above most other comic book movies.

Whilst it sometimes feels as if it might fall apart, Spider-Man 3 is a great film, expertly directed, and is a really entertaining ride. It's not as good as Spider-Man 2, but with the very high standard that set, it would have been hard to beat it. Well worth watching, and a great addition to the franchise.

Genre Value: 4/5
Entertainment Value: 4/5
Style: 3/5
Overall Rating - 4/5

Movies Released on my Birthday: 24th May

Braveheart - 1995
Spy Hard - 1996
Jurassic Park: The Lost World - 1997
Mission Impossible 2 - 2000
Enough - 2002
Insomnia - 2002
Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron - 2002
An Inconviniet Truth - 2006
Stagedoor - 2006
Pirates of The Caribbean: At World's End - 2007

Yahoo nooch! My birthday rawks when it comes to movies :D
Try yours today:
It goes from 2005 to 2011

Youtube #1: Worst Movies Ever

I found this using my awesome BestOfYoutube podcast sucscription ;) Well worth subscribing to, if just for this hilarious video... still movies related... I promise. If not, guaranteed your money back.
*Not a real guarantee, side effects may include loss of hair and/or genitals* :D

Blockbuster Season

It's almost here, people! Yes, blockbuster season has arrived, with Spider-Man 3 smashing all sorts of records, and the new Pirates film due out on Thursday. Whilst not reviewed as well as the other films, Spider-Man 3 has done phenomenally well, breaking the record for biggest opening weekend. Last year, Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest exceeded all expectations in becoming the third most successful film of all time, taking in over $1 billion and still rising with DVD sales. At World's End is hotly tipped to beat that, but at a whopping 2 hours 50 minute running time, will it detract from its audience? I say no - the popularity of the franchise so far is overwhelming, and with Pirate-mania spreading over so many countries, I doubt the running time will matter too much. Other films to look forward to this summer include: Transformers, Shrek The Third, Live Free or Die Hard, Harry Potter and the Order Of The Phoenix, The Simpsons Movie and Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.

It sure is gonna be one hell of a year for movie-goers.