Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Summer Movies

I'd realised that I hadn't put any reviews up on the movies I'd seen after my trip to Russia and Scandinavia. So here we are! Actually leaving some time between seeing the film and writing the review might be a better approach going forward, as I'll be less inclined to write on forgetable bits.


The big film of the Summer and it wasn't that bad at all. As with all Michael Bay films, leave the brain at home; it's not needed. Evil robots invade earth looking for a giant Hellraiser puzzle cube that they can use to take over the world. Good robots come down to save the day. The transforming effects are pretty stunning, in fact the robots themselves are great too. They all look very solid and real. No doubt ILM had plenty of time to get the effects right. The acting from the humans isn't important, this isn't an Oscar performance candidate, but they do an OK job.

The only downside to with this film is that it suffers the usual Bay problem of being overly patriotic. In this film the message seems to be that the Autobots can only save the planet with the help of the American Military. There's also a little sniff of indirect racism in that the autobot with the Jamaican accent is the only one to die.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Number four in the series of seven has Harry leading a small army of pupils against a new regime at Hogwarts when Dumbledore is suspended and a new headmistress Umbridge takes over. The film is alright, I think that we've been a bit blase with the effects now, although they're all pretty good. Having seen the fireplace transporters in previous films for instance, we're less inclined to notice them this time. A testament to the strength of the films perhaps.

The ginger kid is ridiculously tall now. This must be a pain for the film makers, but thats the gamble in using child actors. New girl playing Lorna Lovegood is alright, but having read the book I was expecting a gothic chick, not an irish speaking blonde. Helena Bonham Carter is great as Bellatrix LeStrange.

The franchise is doing very well, but unlike Spiderman, at least the makers of Potter are still producing a good story, admittedly because they have to base it on the book.

The Simpsons Movie

It has a few good jokes; the opening sequence, Spiderpig, and a skateboarding scene with a naked Bart. I was disappointed with the film and reviewing it now there's little I can remember of the actual storyline. Something to do with Homer polluting the city of Springfield
and it all being encased in a glass dome. Disappointing and not worthy of the hype. It also looks like there will be a sequel, I wonder if it will take another 10 years before that one comes out.

Rush Hour 3

Chris Tucker has some wise cracks, and Jackie starts to rely more and more on CGI and doubles for his stuntwork. That's about it! The best bit in this film is the out-take at the end where Jackie kicks a chair into his own face.

Die Hard 4.0

Surprisingly good! I wasn't going to see this but was at a loose end one night after work so decided to go and see it. In this one, Mr Vest is asked to pick up a hacker and ends up being caught up in a plot where a computer developer starts to take all the money from the US and bring its economy down. Ridiculous story line but that's what you expect from these big action movies.

The star of this movie for me was Cyril Raffaelli, who plays an acrobatic sidekick to the bad guy. His stunt work is amazing, especially when you realise there is no cable work involved. (He's the blond guy in District 13, if you've seen that!). The set pieces are great, including a tunnel pile up and a car crash in a lift shaft.

Definitely worth seeing.

Bourne Ultimatum

Easily the film of the Summer, if not the year (I'm still backing Smoking Aces for that!) sees Mahhhhhht Dayyyyyyyymon (I have to thank Team America for forever calling him that) back as Jason Bourne/David Webb, this time trying to track down the people responsible for his brain washing, much like the other two films in fact.

This is what Bond is trying to be, up-to-date, relevant, kick-ass and a whole bunch of similar superlatives that deserve to be thrown upon this film. There's a cute twist in it too, but I'm not going to give that away here.

The only down-side to this film is that the scene in which I star has been cut, at least I couldn't see myself but admittedly the jump cuts came so quick that I really need a DVD to check for sure. The scene does appear to be there (it's when the bus pulls up and the reporter is told to go up to a guy in a hooded top), just not me.

The film to see this Summer, roll on the box set.

Knocked Up

This Summer's date movie sees a slacker get off with a TV journalist and she then falls pregnant. The film then covers how the two of them attempt to get along for the sake of the baby. Actually this film surprised me, dialogue was well written and it got a good balance between schmaltz and humour, the best lines coming from the female boss of the lead actress. A couple of unnecessary birth shots (think Basic Instinct with a baby's head) came as a bit of a shock, but didn't spoil the film that much.

Shoot 'Em Up

Woohoo! A film that like Ronseal gives you exactly what it says on the tin. Clive Owen is a bum with a talent for guns (we never actually get his full back story) who finds himself protecting a baby from a group of hitmen led by Paul Giamatti. The story is silly but its not what the film is about. It's about 16 or so over the top shoot outs, that take place in toilet cubicles, cars, various buildings, on rooftops; there's even one in the air. All very silly but very enjoyable visual fodder backed up by a great choice of soundtrack (Motherhead etc..).

I enjoyed it a lot, and will buy the DVD.
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