Chat talk and light discussion

Re: last movie you watched

Thu Apr 17, 2014 11:44 am

Well, how about that! Gene Kelly?!! That makes me feel a LOT better! I was feeling so bad for her.

Due to the subject matter, the Marty character says a lot of things no actress would ever want said about her. I am so glad to hear how it worked out. :D

Thank you!

rjm

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Re: last movie you watched

Thu Apr 17, 2014 2:48 pm

poormadpeter wrote:I made a very rare trip to the cinema tonight to see The Quiet Ones, and thought it was very average. The big problem with it is that it doesn't really make a great deal of sense, but you don't realise that until it's over. The acting was good - although I did sit there for a while trying to work out where I had seen one of the actresses before (Bates Motel was the answer). However, it was derivative of films such as Sinister and The Conjuring, and it's biggest failing was that I didn't find it remotely creepy or scary. I'm not saying it wasn't entertaining for 100 minutes, because it was - but you leave the cinema with little sense of what the whole thing was really about, and I came home to an empty house which has its fair share of things that go bump in the night and didn't think twice about it. That's not the feeling a good horror film should leave you with.


The Quiet Ones is one of a few movies I've seen at the cinema the past few days, too -- along with Calvary, The Raid 2, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and The Past. I thought all were splendid movies, often quite excellent, with the exception of The Quiet Ones. A film I had been looking forward to, given my fondness for Hammer, or at least their heritage, and hopes of something to match The Woman in Black, which I thought was very good. Hammer's revival, however, has been frequently underwhelming, with Wake Wood being generally poor, The Resident proving quite awful and Let Me In being fairly decent, but vastly inferior to the marvellous original, Let the Right One In. After the success of The Woman in Black I had hoped for a steady reversal of fortunes and an upswing in quality, but The Quiet Ones disappointed me more than just about any other movie this year.

The premise, despite sounding fairly original, is ultimately routine and (as you've mentioned) quite derivative of The Conjuring and Sinister in some respects. But there's been a spate of such movies of late, with cursed individuals and haunted houses proving to be a trend in contemporary horror cinema -- one of The Quiet Ones' writers, Craig Rosenberg, also wrote the screenplay for the 2009 horror, The Uninvited. Similar ideas are certainly abound here. Whilst the film's director, John Pogue, doesn't have the strongest track-record despite a clear affinity for the genre. But it becomes quickly apparent just how unoriginal and shop-worn The Quiet Ones is -- although I've no doubt that Hammer and Pogue wanted to make a strong commercial horror film that's substantial and thought-provoking, but it's, unfortunately, neither.

The premise, for those who haven't seen the film, or are unaware of it, concerns a university professor who is trying to debunk the supernatural whilst curing a young girl's mental illness. The professor, played by Jared Harris, takes on a role that Peter Cushing would have been ideal for during the sixties and seventies. His ideas are radical to some of his students and outrageous to others, but he seems fair and open minded, yet occasionally sinister as we see him bathed in shadow or framed behind wire mesh. The girl, who is open to the professor's experiments, is suffering from the same psychological problems as another younger subject whom the professor tried to cure some years ago. What they have in common is a telekinetic ability to influence the world around them -- an ability which the professor adamantly believes is manifested by their frustrations and anxieties. Not anything supernatural. Assisting the professor are two young students and a young camera aficionado whom he hires to document his findings. And when ostracised from the university campus they take up residence in a familiar country manor where they can work without disturbance. Which, genre contrivances aside, is all very X-Men, considering the professor, his young students, the telekinetic powers and living in a remote mansion.

It's through the camera man, played by Sam Claflin, that we are given a window into to this world, and as such he's more a plot device than a genuine character. But this is where The Quiet Ones starts to fall apart under its own contrivances. The very frequent use of the found footage/documentary technique is badly overdone from the start, switching between this perspective and a conventional view is disruptive to the narrative and immediately creates a disconnect between the viewer and the characters. Characters who are thinly sketched regardless, but require the presence of the camera man to allow us a way in -- he's our eyes and ears, but only as the director sees fit. Especially when rules are established then broken at the first opportunity -- don't look the girl in the eyes, she must be removed from outside influence, etc. We are, of course, privvy to more than the characters themselves are, but hints at something supernatural are token gestures that aim to create tension and encourage chills. But the mood is fractured by the alternating camera perspective and a rush to offer the now staple (and largely ineffective) technique of playing out scenes quiet, quiet, quiet, LOUD!!!! Which is really mind-numbing and playing to the gallery, in my opinion. Yes, The Woman in Black was guilty of this also, but that film created a sense of dread and a sinister mood that was palpable throughout. Here, like Insidious and The Conjuring, plotting is wholly perfunctory -- the payoff is the driving force, but the results in The Quiet Ones is even less successful than James Wan's recent offerings. Especially with a tug-of-war within the narrative which, on one hand, wants to retain a notion of mental health problems in the girl whilst readily accepting telekinetic powers, yet it wants to reveal darker undertones which only conflict with other aspects of the story. Meaning that the experiments we see played out scene after scene are not only pointless, but serve to undermine the film itself because we've been made aware of the external forces the experiments are supposed to debunk.

Re: last movie you watched

Thu Apr 24, 2014 3:35 am

...And Justice For All. 1979 (Courtroom Drama) Starring Al Pacino, Jack Warden, John Forsythe. One of Pacino's greatest films. The Oscar-nominated screenplay was written by Valerie Curtin and Barry Levinson.

The film includes a well-known scene in which Pacino's character shouts, "You're out of order! You're out of order! The whole trial is out of order! They're out of order!" It was filmed in Baltimore, NY including the courthouse area. It received two Academy Award nominations: Best Leading Actor (Pacino) and Best Original Screenplay (Curtin and Levinson).

Image

Re: last movie you watched

Thu Apr 24, 2014 6:43 am

Went to the cinema yesterday for the first time in over a month (joined a golf club and been playing golf most of my spare time)went to see captain america 2 loved it and Noah did not like it ! spiderman 2 next !!!

Re: last movie you watched

Thu Apr 24, 2014 2:54 pm

Last night I watched "Bullet To Head" and "Sweetwater" again. Both very brutal but enjoyable throughout. :P

Re: last movie you watched

Thu Apr 24, 2014 3:28 pm

poormadpeter wrote:
luckyjackson1 wrote:Thanks for the reviews of "Hachi", absolutely loved it although unfortunately I've never watched the original.

Two nights ago after the third attempt I finally watched "White House Down" in its entirety. The first time I turned it off after thirty minutes and the second time I fell asleep... again after the lame thirty minute-opening. But I have to admit I really enjoyed it. :oops:

Started watching "R.E.D." but somehow the whole story line doesn't make much sense to me (yet). But will continue later.

Also started watching "Deadfall" starring Eric Bana and Olivia Wilde but wasn't in the mood continuing so I turned it off after about ten minutes. Although I was really delighted to see Kris Kristofferson and Sissi Spacek.

But that's me, it's really a "mood thing" with this movies.

I might even enjoy "Lone Survivor" one fine day. :wink:


I thought White House Down was mind-numbing Hollywood trash. And I thought it was huuugely entertaining. Mind-numbing trash can be good!

Yeah! You are sooo right! Completely agreed. ::rocks

Re: last movie you watched

Thu Apr 24, 2014 3:37 pm

greystoke wrote:
poormadpeter wrote:I made a very rare trip to the cinema tonight to see The Quiet Ones, and thought it was very average. The big problem with it is that it doesn't really make a great deal of sense, but you don't realise that until it's over. The acting was good - although I did sit there for a while trying to work out where I had seen one of the actresses before (Bates Motel was the answer). However, it was derivative of films such as Sinister and The Conjuring, and it's biggest failing was that I didn't find it remotely creepy or scary. I'm not saying it wasn't entertaining for 100 minutes, because it was - but you leave the cinema with little sense of what the whole thing was really about, and I came home to an empty house which has its fair share of things that go bump in the night and didn't think twice about it. That's not the feeling a good horror film should leave you with.


The Quiet Ones is one of a few movies I've seen at the cinema the past few days, too -- along with Calvary, The Raid 2, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and The Past. I thought all were splendid movies, often quite excellent, with the exception of The Quiet Ones. A film I had been looking forward to, given my fondness for Hammer, or at least their heritage, and hopes of something to match The Woman in Black, which I thought was very good. Hammer's revival, however, has been frequently underwhelming, with Wake Wood being generally poor, The Resident proving quite awful and Let Me In being fairly decent, but vastly inferior to the marvellous original, Let the Right One In. After the success of The Woman in Black I had hoped for a steady reversal of fortunes and an upswing in quality, but The Quiet Ones disappointed me more than just about any other movie this year.

The premise, despite sounding fairly original, is ultimately routine and (as you've mentioned) quite derivative of The Conjuring and Sinister in some respects. But there's been a spate of such movies of late, with cursed individuals and haunted houses proving to be a trend in contemporary horror cinema -- one of The Quiet Ones' writers, Craig Rosenberg, also wrote the screenplay for the 2009 horror, The Uninvited. Similar ideas are certainly abound here. Whilst the film's director, John Pogue, doesn't have the strongest track-record despite a clear affinity for the genre. But it becomes quickly apparent just how unoriginal and shop-worn The Quiet Ones is -- although I've no doubt that Hammer and Pogue wanted to make a strong commercial horror film that's substantial and thought-provoking, but it's, unfortunately, neither.

The premise, for those who haven't seen the film, or are unaware of it, concerns a university professor who is trying to debunk the supernatural whilst curing a young girl's mental illness. The professor, played by Jared Harris, takes on a role that Peter Cushing would have been ideal for during the sixties and seventies. His ideas are radical to some of his students and outrageous to others, but he seems fair and open minded, yet occasionally sinister as we see him bathed in shadow or framed behind wire mesh. The girl, who is open to the professor's experiments, is suffering from the same psychological problems as another younger subject whom the professor tried to cure some years ago. What they have in common is a telekinetic ability to influence the world around them -- an ability which the professor adamantly believes is manifested by their frustrations and anxieties. Not anything supernatural. Assisting the professor are two young students and a young camera aficionado whom he hires to document his findings. And when ostracised from the university campus they take up residence in a familiar country manor where they can work without disturbance. Which, genre contrivances aside, is all very X-Men, considering the professor, his young students, the telekinetic powers and living in a remote mansion.

It's through the camera man, played by Sam Claflin, that we are given a window into to this world, and as such he's more a plot device than a genuine character. But this is where The Quiet Ones starts to fall apart under its own contrivances. The very frequent use of the found footage/documentary technique is badly overdone from the start, switching between this perspective and a conventional view is disruptive to the narrative and immediately creates a disconnect between the viewer and the characters. Characters who are thinly sketched regardless, but require the presence of the camera man to allow us a way in -- he's our eyes and ears, but only as the director sees fit. Especially when rules are established then broken at the first opportunity -- don't look the girl in the eyes, she must be removed from outside influence, etc. We are, of course, privvy to more than the characters themselves are, but hints at something supernatural are token gestures that aim to create tension and encourage chills. But the mood is fractured by the alternating camera perspective and a rush to offer the now staple (and largely ineffective) technique of playing out scenes quiet, quiet, quiet, LOUD!!!! Which is really mind-numbing and playing to the gallery, in my opinion. Yes, The Woman in Black was guilty of this also, but that film created a sense of dread and a sinister mood that was palpable throughout. Here, like Insidious and The Conjuring, plotting is wholly perfunctory -- the payoff is the driving force, but the results in The Quiet Ones is even less successful than James Wan's recent offerings. Especially with a tug-of-war within the narrative which, on one hand, wants to retain a notion of mental health problems in the girl whilst readily accepting telekinetic powers, yet it wants to reveal darker undertones which only conflict with other aspects of the story. Meaning that the experiments we see played out scene after scene are not only pointless, but serve to undermine the film itself because we've been made aware of the external forces the experiments are supposed to debunk.

Could you tell us a little more about "The Raid 2"? A review on imdb says it's "the best action movie ever made". :shock:

Re: last movie you watched

Thu Apr 24, 2014 9:57 pm

I thought The Raid 2 was really terrific -- outstanding in many ways. It's quite unlike the original movie, which is set almost solely inside a tower block. Here, Iko Uwais' character, Rama, is only minutes removed from the climax of the first movie and enters into a new world for him, both in prison and as part of a criminal syndicate, where he's working under cover. Gareth Evans, who wrote and directed both The Raid and The Raid 2, has crafted a labyrinthine narrative this time around, which is very ambitious, to say the least. For the most part, it works, and is certainly a triumph with regards to the fight scenes and stunning choreography on display. Its length is never really an issue at almost two-and-half hours, but I think a more lean movie is in there that isn't necessarily asking to come out, but this is definitely an epic. However, I felt as though the undercover aspect of the movie leant quite closely to Infernal Affairs, although there's so much going on in The Raid 2 that's original, thrilling and hugely involving, that notions of this being a bit derivative pass quickly. Especially with some great humour, dark passages and an omnipresence of danger abound. Unlike The Raid, with such a wide canvass, the narrative occasionally moves away from Rama and follows several other characters and events, all if which lead to an incredible climax. Then there's characters like Baseball Bat Man and Hammer Girl, who wouldn't be out of place in a Takashi Miike or Chan-wook Park movie, but make for memorable villains in more than name alone. I don't think The Raid 2 is the best action movie or martial arts movie ever made, but there haven't been many better movies of this nature in the past twenty years. It matches The Raid and Iko Uwais certainly matches Tony Jaa's best work. It's brilliant . . . .

Today at the cinema I saw Locke, which was superb, We Are the Best, which was really excellent, and The Love Punch, which was witless, charmless, really stupid and found some very talented actors (Pierce Brosnan, Emma Thompson) struggling to be affable with such second rate material.

Re: last movie you watched

Thu Apr 24, 2014 10:49 pm

Gave 'Blades of Glory' yet another spin. I have to say I love anything Will Ferrell does and this movie doesn't disappoint. In fact I couldn't take the Winter Olympics seriously after seeing this. Although the movie is very fast track with short, sharp scenes it works well. I'm glad Ferrell took the role of 'Chazz Michael Michaels' instead of Producer Ben Stiller. Also Jon Heder seems to have disappeared since the movie.

Re: last movie you watched

Fri Apr 25, 2014 3:25 pm

Last night I watched "Keith Lemon"... OMFG! :shock:

But I like Kelly Brook. :wink:

Re: last movie you watched

Sat Apr 26, 2014 10:02 pm

Went to see spiderman man today ! worse spiderman movie ever,to long to slow a story and not enough spiderman fighting scene's !!!

Re: last movie you watched

Sun Apr 27, 2014 2:05 am

Out on DVD in the UK this week is Kill Your Darlings, starring Daniel Radcliffe. Sadly it only played at the cinema in Norwich for a week and I never got to see it there, so it was DVD for me. It tells the story of the friendship group of the writers Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, William S Burroughs and Lucien Carr in the 1940s and the murder that tore their world apart. It's an interesting film that is well made and well acted, even if it does tend to verge towards style-over-substance occasionally.

Here Radcliffe appears in another slightly left-field film as he continues to break away from his Harry Potter past. He's not the greatest actor who has ever walked the planet (although he IS very good), but his insistence on picking interesting films and interesting roles means that his films are always ones to look out for (thus far, at least). Dane DeHaan is superb as the needy, selfish, vulnerable conundrum that is his character, although Ben Foster steals the acting honours for me, totally unrecognisable as Burroughs.

The film loses some of its intensity by showing us the killing in the opening few moments of the film - many people viewing the film wouldn't have known the story, and so the flashback structure didn't work for me, and kind of spoiled the last half of the film. Still, it's a good story, well told, and a fascinating companion piece to Howl, a film starring James Franco that tells the story of Ginsberg's trial for obscenity in the 1950s.

Re: last movie you watched

Sun Apr 27, 2014 10:22 am

Yestrday we watched the debut of Timothy Dalton as James Bond,the franchise did well to survive after his outings

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Re: last movie you watched

Sun Apr 27, 2014 4:20 pm

rocknroller wrote:Went to see spiderman man today ! worse spiderman movie ever,to long to slow a story and not enough spiderman fighting scene's !!!


Ah, really?! I very much enjoyed this one. Although it doesn't match Sam Raimi's terrific Spider-Man 2, I think The Amazing Spider-Man 2 matched the best of the recent Marvel superhero movies and is possibly the next best Spider-Man film. It's certainly long and not without its flaws, but I liked the way Peter's relationship with Gwen Stacy was handled and found Andrew Garfield to be just excellent in the lead. Clearly, it's leading towards the third instalment and the formation of the Sinister Six, but this didn't feel like a stop-gap despite leaving an open-ending. I did think that Harry Osborn's transition to The Green Goblin was a bit hasty and that Electro seemed secondary with Harry's transformation, but Foxx and DeHaan were good in their respective roles. And the action scenes, when they came, especially the Times Square segment, were really incredible.

Re: last movie you watched

Sun Apr 27, 2014 4:27 pm

keninlincs wrote:Yestrday we watched the debut of Timothy Dalton as James Bond,the franchise did well to survive after his outings

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Funny you mentioning The Living Daylights, Ken. I've been watching all the Bond movies from the start again and the last one I watched was The Living Daylights. Which is actually one of my favourite Bond films. I think Dalton was a fine James Bond and that its a shame he didn't get to act as 007 for a third time. The final showdown with Whittaker in his museum always struck me as a bit daft and ineffective, though. Especially after the sequence on the plane with Bond and the Russian hit-man hanging out the back on a cargo net. Have you read Roger Moore's book Bond on Bond? I've been reading this again as I've gone through the movies. It's a gem of book. Funny, witty and very informative, with great photos, too.

Re: last movie you watched

Mon Apr 28, 2014 2:46 am

Dalton has that Bruce Lee rage going on in TLD , example look the moment when he bursts the balloon......you can see the fire in his eyes :mrgreen:

The Visitors 4.5/6 , Swedish horror about a family moving into old house and needing a ghost buster due to creepy things going on in the house. Better than I thought it was gonna be , recommended.

Re: last movie you watched

Mon Apr 28, 2014 8:57 am

Dalton was a good Bond,the storylines were not as good as the actor,it seemed like they lost interest after Roger Moore left.that was the point I should have made

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Re: last movie you watched

Mon Apr 28, 2014 5:55 pm

I saw The Other Woman and Tracks over the weekend. The former, a romantic comedy that's very much in the mould of First Wives Club and Nine-to-Five. Directed by Nick Cassavetes and starring Cameron Diaz, Kate Upton and Leslie Mann as the wife of a philandering husband who latches on to his girlfriends and soon plots revenge when they discover he's both a love cheat and embezzling money. Plot-wise, this offers nothing new, but with a complete lack of charm, this witless comedy soon sinks to toilet humour and the kind of bawdy slapstick that involves its stars just falling over for no particular reason. The three leads all look great and seem to be having a good time, but their characters are stupid, cold and very unlikeable. Including Don Johnson in a small role, Nicholas Coster-Waldau as the husband and Nikki Minaj in her on-screen debut. This is proving to be a more than decent hit and has been well marketed, but this is the worst film of the year so far, in my opinion.

Tracks is infinitely superior. This is the story of Robyn Davidson's 1700 mile trek across the Australian outback, walking from Alice Springs to the Indian Ocean with only a small train of camels and her dog for company. Directed by John Curran and starring Mia Wasikowska, this long-gestating project is slow-moving, but compelling and involving as this young woman endeavours to accomplish a personal journey that soon becomes very public. Wasikowska is splendid in the lead, giving a quiet, but assertive performance portraying a character thriving in a man's world despite advice to the contrary. Necessity, however, means that she can't journey entirely alone, needing sponsorship and guidance along the way. The former, coming from National Geographic, whose photographer meets her at intervals en route, and the latter in gaining the trust of Aborigine elders whom she must be accompanied by if crossing hallowed ground. Along the way flashbacks inform us of Davidson's past, filling in gaps on her childhood and what may have encouraged her to seek solace in the desert. Whilst her formative months learning to handle and control camels shows how tenacious, intelligent and determined this girl is. Along the way, danger is certainly abound, but this isn't an action movie whilst the mood created is often subdued and introspective. The location shooting is excellent and animal handling first-rate. The camels are particularly anthropomorphic, whilst Davidson's dog, Diggity, proves to be her most valuable companion.

Re: last movie you watched

Mon Apr 28, 2014 6:59 pm

greystoke wrote:
rocknroller wrote:Went to see spiderman man today ! worse spiderman movie ever,to long to slow a story and not enough spiderman fighting scene's !!!


Ah, really?! I very much enjoyed this one. Although it doesn't match Sam Raimi's terrific Spider-Man 2, I think The Amazing Spider-Man 2 matched the best of the recent Marvel superhero movies and is possibly the next best Spider-Man film. It's certainly long and not without its flaws, but I liked the way Peter's relationship with Gwen Stacy was handled and found Andrew Garfield to be just excellent in the lead. Clearly, it's leading towards the third instalment and the formation of the Sinister Six, but this didn't feel like a stop-gap despite leaving an open-ending. I did think that Harry Osborn's transition to The Green Goblin was a bit hasty and that Electro seemed secondary with Harry's transformation, but Foxx and DeHaan were good in their respective roles. And the action scenes, when they came, especially the Times Square segment, were really incredible.



The opening action scene was amazing as was the times square scene.but the relationship with peter and Gwen was very long winded for me and it made the movie very slow .the Harry Osborn thing did not work for me in this movie.just made me wanna go home and watch all 3 of the sam raimi movies.Garfield does have a certain charm as spiderman but just not as good as toby maguire (for me) loved emma stone as gwen stacy but then emma is great in eveything she does !!!

Re: last movie you watched

Wed Apr 30, 2014 2:03 pm

greystoke wrote:I saw The Other Woman and Tracks over the weekend. The former, a romantic comedy that's very much in the mould of First Wives Club and Nine-to-Five. Directed by Nick Cassavetes and starring Cameron Diaz, Kate Upton and Leslie Mann as the wife of a philandering husband who latches on to his girlfriends and soon plots revenge when they discover he's both a love cheat and embezzling money. Plot-wise, this offers nothing new, but with a complete lack of charm, this witless comedy soon sinks to toilet humour and the kind of bawdy slapstick that involves its stars just falling over for no particular reason. The three leads all look great and seem to be having a good time, but their characters are stupid, cold and very unlikeable. Including Don Johnson in a small role, Nicholas Coster-Waldau as the husband and Nikki Minaj in her on-screen debut. This is proving to be a more than decent hit and has been well marketed, but this is the worst film of the year so far, in my opinion.

Tracks is infinitely superior. This is the story of Robyn Davidson's 1700 mile trek across the Australian outback, walking from Alice Springs to the Indian Ocean with only a small train of camels and her dog for company. Directed by John Curran and starring Mia Wasikowska, this long-gestating project is slow-moving, but compelling and involving as this young woman endeavours to accomplish a personal journey that soon becomes very public. Wasikowska is splendid in the lead, giving a quiet, but assertive performance portraying a character thriving in a man's world despite advice to the contrary. Necessity, however, means that she can't journey entirely alone, needing sponsorship and guidance along the way. The former, coming from National Geographic, whose photographer meets her at intervals en route, and the latter in gaining the trust of Aborigine elders whom she must be accompanied by if crossing hallowed ground. Along the way flashbacks inform us of Davidson's past, filling in gaps on her childhood and what may have encouraged her to seek solace in the desert. Whilst her formative months learning to handle and control camels shows how tenacious, intelligent and determined this girl is. Along the way, danger is certainly abound, but this isn't an action movie whilst the mood created is often subdued and introspective. The location shooting is excellent and animal handling first-rate. The camels are particularly anthropomorphic, whilst Davidson's dog, Diggity, proves to be her most valuable companion.

Thank you for this, greystoke. I feared "The Other Woman" would be a crappy movie. And this from the same person who gave us "The Notebook".

"Tracks" sounds very interesting - might try to track it down.

I watched "Hummingbird", starring Jason Statham and "The Factory", starring John Cusack and Jennifer Carpenter but didn't care for either one of them.
Thought they were both quite boring.

Re: last movie you watched

Wed Apr 30, 2014 4:43 pm

Went to see The Other Woman today must admit i really enjoyed it thought it was so funny !!! then again i have been told i laugh at anything so your review still stands greystoke :lol:

Re: last movie you watched

Wed Apr 30, 2014 9:53 pm

Well, I take it back about The Other Woman being the worst film of the year so far. I saw Pompeii and Transcendence at the cinema today, and although I was pleasantly surprised by Transcendence, Pompeii is truly dire. Directed by Paul W.S. Anderson, who is best known for directing the Resident Evil series, with a screenplay by the writers of Batman Forever, Pompeii is as lame and banal as one could expect. It aims to be a biblical disaster movie, with some semblance of plot materialising before the inevitable eruption of Mount Vesuvius. Embroiled in this is a revenge tale and a love story lead by the physically impressive Kit Harrington who, unfortunately, has little in the way of acting range and looks more petulant than dagerous. Emily Browning plays his love interest, but she's also caught in a love triangle with Kiefer Sutherland's villain of the piece. Sutherland certainly camps it up, whilst Adewale Akkinuoye-Agbaje proves to be a sturdy presence as an enslaved gladiator with a strong moral compass. But he needed a better movie than this to shine, with the action being generally turgid and occasionally decent, but little more. Which, combined with such a lame script and dull cinematography made for a real turkey of a film.

Transcendence, the directorial debut of renowned cinematographer Wally Pfister, comes from first-time screenwriter Jack Paglan, with Christopher Nolan producing. Certainly, there are shades of Nolan abound here, from the high concept and familiar faces, such as Morgan Freeman and Cillian Murphy. Johnny Depp stars alongside Rebecca Hall and Paul Bettany as leading scientists whose vision and invention aims to create genuine artificial intelligence with a real consciousness. However, a faction of dangerous neo-Luddites are determined to stop technology of this nature and will kill to make their point and halt any progress. And this is what they do, shooting Depp's character and forcing his team to decide whether it's ethical and possible to upload his consciousness to a hard drive. This is a very ambitious movie, with the kind of audacious plot that would be at home among '70s sci-fi or an episode of The Twilight Zone. But I also gleaned notions of Inception and The Cell, which are obvious comparisons given the film's premise -- more amusingly, though, I was reminded of Heaven Can Wait and The Song of Bernadette. It's quite preposterous, of course, but convincing to a point, with Depp giving one of his more quiet and restrained performances in some years. Whilst it's good to see Bettany on screen again. What didn't work, and almost served to undo the movie, is a final act that asks for a leap of faith that was too much and a lean towards gunfire and explosions in spite of such careful plotting beforehand. Reviews for Transcendence have been quite harsh on the whole, but this is an Ok sci-fi movie that has some interesting themes and good performances. It's flawed, but fairly well-written and played entirely straight, whilst a more confident final act may have kept a heavy hand at bay and offered something ultimately more thought-provoking.

Re: last movie you watched

Wed Apr 30, 2014 10:05 pm

luckyjackson1 wrote:
greystoke wrote:I saw The Other Woman and Tracks over the weekend. The former, a romantic comedy that's very much in the mould of First Wives Club and Nine-to-Five. Directed by Nick Cassavetes and starring Cameron Diaz, Kate Upton and Leslie Mann as the wife of a philandering husband who latches on to his girlfriends and soon plots revenge when they discover he's both a love cheat and embezzling money. Plot-wise, this offers nothing new, but with a complete lack of charm, this witless comedy soon sinks to toilet humour and the kind of bawdy slapstick that involves its stars just falling over for no particular reason. The three leads all look great and seem to be having a good time, but their characters are stupid, cold and very unlikeable. Including Don Johnson in a small role, Nicholas Coster-Waldau as the husband and Nikki Minaj in her on-screen debut. This is proving to be a more than decent hit and has been well marketed, but this is the worst film of the year so far, in my opinion.

Tracks is infinitely superior. This is the story of Robyn Davidson's 1700 mile trek across the Australian outback, walking from Alice Springs to the Indian Ocean with only a small train of camels and her dog for company. Directed by John Curran and starring Mia Wasikowska, this long-gestating project is slow-moving, but compelling and involving as this young woman endeavours to accomplish a personal journey that soon becomes very public. Wasikowska is splendid in the lead, giving a quiet, but assertive performance portraying a character thriving in a man's world despite advice to the contrary. Necessity, however, means that she can't journey entirely alone, needing sponsorship and guidance along the way. The former, coming from National Geographic, whose photographer meets her at intervals en route, and the latter in gaining the trust of Aborigine elders whom she must be accompanied by if crossing hallowed ground. Along the way flashbacks inform us of Davidson's past, filling in gaps on her childhood and what may have encouraged her to seek solace in the desert. Whilst her formative months learning to handle and control camels shows how tenacious, intelligent and determined this girl is. Along the way, danger is certainly abound, but this isn't an action movie whilst the mood created is often subdued and introspective. The location shooting is excellent and animal handling first-rate. The camels are particularly anthropomorphic, whilst Davidson's dog, Diggity, proves to be her most valuable companion.

Thank you for this, greystoke. I feared "The Other Woman" would be a crappy movie. And this from the same person who gave us "The Notebook".

"Tracks" sounds very interesting - might try to track it down.

I watched "Hummingbird", starring Jason Statham and "The Factory", starring John Cusack and Jennifer Carpenter but didn't care for either one of them.
Thought they were both quite boring.


I thought Hummingbird had some potential and although Statham does a lot of familiar stuff here, he occasionally tries something new. And that's obvious at times in Hummingbird. Stephen Knight, who wrote and directed Hummingbird, also wrote the superb Eastern Promises and Locke, which he also directed. Hummingbird is the lesser of the three, being more action-oriented despite trying to create an intriguing modern-day Robin Hood type. Which I liked, especially in the relationship with the nun and the use of London as a location. But for everything new in Hummingbird, there's two or three elements too familiar, especially with notions of revenge at its core. In a sense, Statham needed reigned in, with his character being less handy with his fists and feet, yet the script isn't keen enough to stand on its own without the occasional dust-up and burst of violence. But I still liked this one, being very much a fan of Statham. I like what he does and appreciate that he knows his limitations, is aware of the material he's best in, but does occasionally try something new.

Re: last movie you watched

Thu May 01, 2014 12:42 am

greystoke wrote:Well, I take it back about The Other Woman being the worst film of the year so far. I saw Pompeii and Transcendence at the cinema today, and although I was pleasantly surprised by Transcendence, Pompeii is truly dire. Directed by Paul W.S. Anderson, who is best known for directing the Resident Evil series, with a screenplay by the writers of Batman Forever, Pompeii is as lame and banal as one could expect. It aims to be a biblical disaster movie, with some semblance of plot materialising before the inevitable eruption of Mount Vesuvius. Embroiled in this is a revenge tale and a love story lead by the physically impressive Kit Harrington who, unfortunately, has little in the way of acting range and looks more petulant than dagerous. Emily Browning plays his love interest, but she's also caught in a love triangle with Kiefer Sutherland's villain of the piece. Sutherland certainly camps it up, whilst Adewale Akkinuoye-Agbaje proves to be a sturdy presence as an enslaved gladiator with a strong moral compass. But he needed a better movie than this to shine, with the action being generally turgid and occasionally decent, but little more. Which, combined with such a lame script and dull cinematography made for a real turkey of a film.

Transcendence, the directorial debut of renowned cinematographer Wally Pfister, comes from first-time screenwriter Jack Paglan, with Christopher Nolan producing. Certainly, there are shades of Nolan abound here, from the high concept and familiar faces, such as Morgan Freeman and Cillian Murphy. Johnny Depp stars alongside Rebecca Hall and Paul Bettany as leading scientists whose vision and invention aims to create genuine artificial intelligence with a real consciousness. However, a faction of dangerous neo-Luddites are determined to stop technology of this nature and will kill to make their point and halt any progress. And this is what they do, shooting Depp's character and forcing his team to decide whether it's ethical and possible to upload his consciousness to a hard drive. This is a very ambitious movie, with the kind of audacious plot that would be at home among '70s sci-fi or an episode of The Twilight Zone. But I also gleaned notions of Inception and The Cell, which are obvious comparisons given the film's premise -- more amusingly, though, I was reminded of Heaven Can Wait and The Song of Bernadette. It's quite preposterous, of course, but convincing to a point, with Depp giving one of his more quiet and restrained performances in some years. Whilst it's good to see Bettany on screen again. What didn't work, and almost served to undo the movie, is a final act that asks for a leap of faith that was too much and a lean towards gunfire and explosions in spite of such careful plotting beforehand. Reviews for Transcendence have been quite harsh on the whole, but this is an Ok sci-fi movie that has some interesting themes and good performances. It's flawed, but fairly well-written and played entirely straight, whilst a more confident final act may have kept a heavy hand at bay and offered something ultimately more thought-provoking.



Going on the trailer i thought pompeii looked good but now i wont have as much expectation but i will still go and see it.Transcendence was one i was gonna give a miss to anyway just does not look my kind of movie !!!

Re: last movie you watched

Fri May 02, 2014 12:48 am

Went to see Locke & pompeii at the cinema tonight.locke was a very strange movie played by only one actor in a car for the whole of the movie.found myself wanting to hate the movie but rather enjoyed it.would i buy it on blu-ray ? no, would i watch it again ? no like i said a very strange movie.I have to say i really loved pompeii its like gladiator a disaster movie and titanic (the love story) all rolled in to one although not as good as any of those films but it ticked all the right box's for me.the 3D effects where fantastic !!!