Friday, 31 August 2007


A quick summary of all the fun, fab, or flaky films i saw on my travels! :3
And I apologise for the lack of paragraphs, humour or reason I may give in my reviews!


This is maybe the best film I watched this whole summer! Watched this in Amsterdam with Dutch subtitles; and it's a great way to learn funny words in funnier languages. I've always loved Jake Gylllllennhaalll and although I think he's a great character in this, I just didn't find him as interesting as the others. Robert Downey Jr is brilliant casted as a slightly eccentric journelist with all of Downey's natural confidence and suave attitude mixed in. The story was pretty lengthy, but not once did I think that whilst watching it! It kept me riveted to my seat until the ending credits! As I said before, this was the personal holidy favourite for me, and by all means the most disturbing...

Blades of Glory

Another great piece to add to Ferrell's already impressive comedy arsenal; and for me, this was possibly his greatest yet. Probably because I watched it with my mum on the plane, and it's one of those films to watch with family or friends. Otherwise, you may not find the urge to laugh your way through it! Although i'm not too keen on John Heder, as most of his career has just been one long drawn out character, he works so brilliantly with Ferrell and pulls off a great piece of comedic cinema. To re-iterate, I loved this movie and will be one for me to see again soon!

Freedom Writers

Personally, I enjoyed this more than I thought I would. Based on a true story, this movie includes romance, comedy, violence, drugs and tears; and basically aims for everyone with a heart. So you might wanna avoid this, Grinch. Not too much to delve into for this one folks, but it was a good one to see with family. You really end up loving the characters, learning more about America's history with racism, and you get to see Imelda Staunton (Delores Umbridge in HP5) be another grouchy, yet cuddly, teacher! Worth a view, even if just for the great true story and ace real characters.

The Invasion

As a modernised recap of the Body Snatcher genre, The Invasion was pretty limited with it's plot but with solid acting from Craig and Kidman, I was pretty impressed with the overall style of filming. Possibly letdown by the unnecessary and dull action sequence towards the end but still scary, funny and sophisticated enough to be quite the underdog thriller of the year. Both arty and mainstream, it was a surprisingly good film to see; especially as I'd heard nothing from it back in the UK!

The Perfect Score

"The Breakfast Club meets Ocean's Eleven". Slow your horses Washington Post, did we see the same movie? I reckoned it was one of the better and smarter teen comedies I've seen in my time, but if it weren't for one character out of a highly recognisable cast, I would have been thoroughly dissapointed. Leonardo Nam, an Korean-Argintinian that's lived in Sydney his whole life, is hilarious as "the loser" Roy. Final thoughts: It held my attention, and captured a whole cross-section of interesting teenagers, but still not enough to save the silly plot and lifeless acting.

No Reservations

To sum this up, it's just your average (more) rom- (than) com...but with great taste!
Not because it's thats exciting or detailed, but becacuse it revolves around 2 chefs and their love of food over each other. The real attraction of this film for me was the cast! Aaron Eckhaart as a light and witty italtian cook, who loves dancing to opera in his kitchen! Catherine Zeta Jones plays a woman who lives her life by the cookbook, and when *something terrible* happens, she's left in charge of her niece...and has no clue what to do.
Saving the best till last, the cute paegent goer from Little Miss Sunshine, Abigail Breslin, plays the niece who loves bears, hates fancy food and seems intent of creating a new family. Annoyingly, she was used as little as possible and seemed to be a lurking background character behind the other two. Not really worth much of a look-in, unless you love your food or rising child stars, but where we saw it? That's got a whole section dedicated to it's own....

Reel Pizza Cinerama

It has now become my dream to open a place like this...
It's a small 3 screened cinema in a tiny New England village, but unlike anything i've ever seen before. No cinema seats in sight, just an army of leather, cotton and any other materials you've ever seen on a sofa. You sacrifice your cupholders for a three piece suite of paridise. Did i mention they include scatter cushions?! Not only that, you can order popcorn, nachos, chips, hotdogs, beers and milkshakes from the entrance! And there's only one thing more exciting that the movie.... the bingo board. Once you've ordered your pizza, you just relax and wait for your number to flash up on a giant bingo board! Nothing can beat that surely?
Maybe the fact that the lobby is also a local art gallery, for both young and old to display their works! This amazing place has treasured me with great memories, and I hope that I'll get to return before long. Thanks for reading guys! - Awesome! - Phwoarsome!

Friday, 17 August 2007

It's Friday Again

Once again, it's the start of the weekend which, of course, means more new releases at the cinema.
Summer is winding to a close, with the last of the real big blockbusters released today. The Bourne Ultimatum concludes the amnesiac-spy trilogy based on Robert Ludlum's bestselling books. Once again starring Matt Damon as Jason Bourne, it's been highly praised, receiving mainly 4 and 5 star reviews. It's today's biggest release, just above the Bratz: The Movie. I widely consider the "movie" franchise [Scary Movie, Date Movie, Epic Movie] to be the absolute scum of the movie world. In my mind, Bratz is set to join them. Just the trailer on the TV was enough to make me reach for the nearest copy of Little Miss Sunshine and tell myself that it was all going to be OK. Frankly, it looks dire, and unless you're a five year old girl [or the parent of a five year old girl] there is no reason [at all] to see this movie, unless it is as a form of punishment.

Other releases today are New Zealand indie flick Eagle Vs. Shark, children's fantasty Mee-Shee: The Water Giant, and the re-release of Scorsese's Raging Bull.

Friday, 10 August 2007

The Simpsons Movie Review

There have been more eagerly anticipated films this summer, and there have been more thrilling blockbusters, but I doubt there were trailers more appetising or unexpected! The last couple of seasons of The Simpsons have been entertaining at best and I doubt there can be much done to muster material as funny as it should be; which is why I'm so glad they conjured up a couple of new ideas and packed in quite a few one-liners for the movie. With a superb start and a satisfying ending, you won’t be too disappointed with their efforts. I know for certain that my 7 year old cousin loved it more than I did, as I had to put up with him flicking straws into my face during the trailers, but once he was watching, it was hard to distract him from the screen.

When I left the cinema, I felt that I was left questioning the PG certificate they had settled on. There's certaintly more than a pinch of sex, nudity and swearing in this family cartoon, but fans will probably be delighted that they're wiling to go the extra mile for the movie. Still, I can guarantee there will be moments when you think "can they really do that?!", but if you're like me, you could be enjoying yourself too much to care! There also seems to be a fair use of 3D effects on rather mundane objects such as cars and houses which I think seems a slight waste, when we’re so used to the regular 2D animation. But when it’s used on missiles and other explosive features, it gives a new modern edge to this cartoon classic.

This particular story follows the family as they try and save Springfield from some unlikely villains and try to keep their family together in the face of peril. Marge plays the ever cautious and level headed mother, Lisa will stop at nothing to clean up the pollution of Springfield, Bart has father issues turns to Flanders for guidance, Maggie returns as the unsung hero whilst Homer literally 'hogs' the spotlight for the majority of the film and the script seems to follow his tale more than any others. No one, except the family, gets much of a look in and this takes away from the overall varied and sometimes absurd scenes of the TV show.

As with most films, this one has it’s share of mistakes and pitfalls. Although the story is intriguing and exciting, you can’t help think that you’ve seen it somewhere before. They do use quite a common plot to base the story around, making it both familiar and slightly dry. It also does seem to slow towards the end half with a quaint happy ending, nothing more but surely nothing less. ‘Empire’ seems to have taken a pretty critical view of the feature, slating it as the “biggest waste of the summer.” Their opinion, or certaintly not that of the reviewer, is not shared by me and I have to agree that you might not be rolling around on the cinema floor, or even laughing out loud more than once; but why are we treating this as any different to the television show? As a movie, I fear this would not even be recognised without all the show’s previous achievements. As an episode, I feel that it’s top notch, and still thoroughly enjoyable, without as many sidesplitting gags as we’re used to.

To bring this show to a close, I’d say that if you were to see just one 2D cartoon movie this year (which is most likely, given the amount of 3D rubbish churned out so far) then make this top of your list. You’ll feel comfortable in watching your favourite characters as usual, but with the extra thrill of the big screen. With minimal guest stars but brief appearances from Green Day and others, I was slightly disappointed by the lack of celebrity endorsement but it was hardly a big issue.Needless to say, don’t expect the greatest film of the summer, but if you enjoy watching on the small screen then be sure to give this a heads up.

Genre Value: 3.5/5
Entertainment Value: 4.5/5
Style: 4/5
Overall Rating: 4/5