Archive for the ‘Film’ Category

Review – Vampire Boys (2011)

Sunday, March 27th, 2011

Vampire Boys know that shirts are optional and that a healthy tan is a must.

Synopsis:
Vampires made by an Ancient One on their 100th anniversary of becoming a Vampire must do the same else they and their progeny die.  Jasin (yes that is how it is spelt) and his “brothers,” come to LA to find “The One” for Jasin so they can all live together. Unbeknownst to Caleb, a young, gay, college swimming star from Ohio just moved to LA, he is “The One.”

Pluses:
Just how bad the dialogue was. It was awesomely bad!
The acting was so wrong. Their skills of fake drinking coffee were brilliant!
I had no idea it was a gay equivalent to Twilight, I was surprised when the leads were acting, well, gay.
The sunshine myth is just that, a myth – turns out Vampire Boys tan quite nicely.
Their abs weren’t nearly as fake as suggested by the poster.
It was just insanely fun.

Minuses:
The score/music – it was atrocious! That being said, once you got used to it, it kind of added to the experience.
The token female looked like an ex-hooker with bad plastic surgery.
What was with the shock shot of extra large genitalia?
Jasin’s hair.

A few of my friends and I love catching terrible movies – when I saw this was rated at 2.4 on imdb, I thought I had to see it. After a busy week and tiring Saturday, I skipped a BBQ and livetweeted the movie – you can see that here though don’t forget to keep clicking more till there aren’t any more – then read from the bottom up. It wasn’t the worst movie I have seen, but its approach was super fun, and I had an absolute blast watching it. As someone who doesn’t much care for the Twilight franchise, this was just brilliant. That I had no idea what I was getting myself in for, made it even more fun.

#threepandaswhoaretheone

Review – Eclipse (2010)

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

So, if their clothes shred when they change, how is it they are still wearing shorts when they change back? Also, that makeup line is a bit noticeable.

Synopsis:
Edward is back and he and Bella are so on. She wants to be vamped, he doesn’t. He also doesn’t believe in sex before marriage. There is trouble in Seattle. Red Head is around making trouble. Jacob loves Bella. Bella loves Jacob but loves Edward more. Only Bella can sort out the secret of Seattle. (I can’t believe I just wrote that paragraph)

Pluses:
It wasn’t as bad as New Moon.
Edward was in sunlight a fair bit, which means I got a chance to say “Sparkles, the Gay Vampire” quite a few times.

Minuses:
The sub-plots didn’t even try to be about anything other than “Bella’s Choice.”
The whole love triangle BS.
Not enough school friends.
What a waste of Peter Fancinni (remember him in season one of Damages?)
Atrocious dialogue.
So slow.
Lighting was over or under done.

I only watched this because it was a) free, and b) I had already invested four hours in the previous movies, so felt I should continue this punishment. It certainly wasn’t the worst main stream film I saw last year but it was a long way from being enjoyable.

#onevampypandas

Review – Solomon Kane (2009)

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

Agents of Satan like to crucify too!

Synopsis:
Solomon Kane is a bad ass privateer/military man serving under Queen Elizabeth I, bent on treasure and destruction until he finds out that his evil ways means he is doomed to Hell. Go figure. He turns into a man of peace, until Evil takes hold of his little corner of England.

Pluses:
Lots of shots that were graphic novel perfect (mind you I have never read it) but you know the look I mean.
John Purefoy.
Pete Postlethwaite (already missed).
Nicely styled.
Interesting take on that time period – no Gloriana.
Some of the fight scenes were nicely done.
The cellar dwellers.
Some of the special effects were pretty sweet – especially the ones involving mirrors.

Minuses:
Some of the sets were pretty badly made – the graveyard of the old church especially.
Didn’t really gel as a story.
Solomon’s speaking voice.
He sent her back???

This movie at times felt and looked big budget, and at other times it had all the signs of a made for SyFy movie. It had all the components on paper to make it work, but it just didn’t. Obviously, there is no franchise out of this, which is a shame, because Solomon Kane is an interesting character, just not necessarily the way he was written for the movie – just like Van Helsing.

#twoandahalfevilfightingpandas

Review – Animal Kingdom (2010)

Saturday, March 5th, 2011

How could anyone come after you my darling! Nana loves you.

Synopsis:
Following the death of his mother, Josh turns to the only family he has, a family his mother walked away from. Falling into a world of crime and drugs, Josh tries to be a normal teenager, yet his uncles’ and his grandmother’s conflicting priorities, ultimately take over his life.

Pluses:
Stellar Australian cast.
Pope (Ben Mendelsohn) scared the beejeebees out of me.
Janine/Smurf (Jackie Weaver) really scared the heck out of me.
Interesting take on the family relationship taken from a fringe perspective.
Corruption.
Representation of family life in Australia in the 70s without it being all disco.
The second Art Gallery scene.
The unusual expression of affection by Smurf to her sons.
The character of Craig was very interesting and had such split dimensions.

Minuses:
Josh’s recalcitrance really frustrated me. Even a sentence here or there would have pushed the story forward or made it much stronger.
Josh’s inability to make a decision and stick to it.
Accessories not in key with the time period – distracted me.

This is a great Australian movie. It managed to portray crime without tits and arse, as TV is want to do. It didn’t glamourise it, and it didn’t shy away. Jackie Weaver was well ID’ed by the academy for her nom.

When I first saw this movie I wasn’t doing Pandas yet. I have rewatched it over the week (post-Oscars) to refresh my memory.

#fourguntotingpandas
PS. I have meant to write this up for ages – sorry Panda Lovers.

Review – Burke and Hare (2010)

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

So instead of waiting for people to die of natural causes, we will "assist," humanely of course!

Synopsis:
This black British comedy takes a light hearted look at the mass murders committed in Edinburgh over the course of a year from 1827 to 1828. Based loosely  on the truth, Burke (Simon Pegg) and Hale (Andy Serkis) turn to mass murder to supply a prestigious medical college with cadavers.

Pluses:
Interesting truth behind the story.
Simon Pegg plays the role of Burke as a likeable anti-hero.
Serkis’ Hare was a much more interesting and multi-layered character. I later read that David Tennant was initially scheduled to play Hare but had to pull out due to scheduling clashes. I would much rather have seen Tennant play it than Serkis.
The supporting cast was brilliant! Ron Corbett!! Tom Wilkinson, Hugh Bonneville and Tim Curry. Blink and you will miss Christopher Lee.
Enjoyably shot and really well lit. A lot of this movie takes place at night or indoors.

Minuses:
Isla Fisher was just recycling previous roles and added little.
Mass murderers aren’t loveable larrikins.
It felt a bit over done – like everyone was trying that bit too hard.

Overall, watching people do the cameos and minor roles was much more entertaining than the movie itself – which is a real shame. Maybe it is just me, but I didn’t really find myself wanting them to get off, for Burke to get the girl etc.  So my lack of buy-in saw me remarkably disengaged.


#twopandaswhomurderforcash

Review – Megamind (2010)

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

Blah blah blah blah? Blah blah blah. Blah.

Synopsis:
From babyhood, MegaMind and MetroMan have been adversaries. When MegaMind finally manages to defeat MetroMan, he finds his life is empty and has to rethink his choices.

Pluses:
Hearing Brad Pitt to superhero was fun!
Invisible car (and losing it).
The watch.
Oh noes! Copper.

Minuses:
I don’t think I laughed once.
Didn’t like the animation style – MegaMind just lacked detail.
Storyline promised a lot more than it gave.
Clichéd.

Why do animated movies these days seem to need to finish with a song and dance? How To Train Your Dragon didn’t, but that is the only one recently that hasn’t (that I have seen that is). I quite wanted to like this, and had hopes that it would be better than Despicable Me, and it was – just.

#twobluebigheadedpandas

Review – Love and Other Drugs (2010)

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

Gyllenhall: How can I be less likeable to the audience? Platt: No idea but I am just going to have fun

Synopsis:
Tells the journeys of Jamie and Maggie (Gyllenhall and Hathaway). Jamie has floated around his life, directed by his cock and now works for an international drug company as a rep in Ohio. Maggie has a chronic and degenerative disease, and is just after living for the moment. Can these two free spirits with different motivations make it work without becoming too dependent on the other?

Pluses:
There were some very amusing scenes about drug sales in the first half of the movie.
Oliver Platt – nuff said.
Early Maggie.
Maggie’s apartment – wouldn’t want to live there – but looked lovely.

Minuses:
I found the whole thing rather trite.
The Viagra pushing scenes weren’t at all funny.
Lacked depth and thematic challenges.
Not enough Oliver Platt.
Unrealistic ending.
Too many of the supporting cast were playing caricature not people.

I found this movie very unsatisfying. It tried too hard to be risque with the sex and I didn’t empathise with Jamie at all and Maggie was almost as unlikeable.

#twoperscriptiondrugpushingpandas

PS. Click here if you want to see Gyllenhall’s penis.

Review – Rabbit Hole (2010)

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

Stoic is easy while the botox is wearing off.

Synopsis:
Becca (Kidman) and Howie (Eckhart) had the ideal life, perfect house, family etc, till their young son died in an accident. The movie picks up 8 months after Danny’s death with the once happy and close couple drifting through their grief and pain.

Pluses:
Beautiful dialogue – every word is precious.
Totally believable motivations.
I loved the relationship between Becca and Jason.
Eckhart’s acting (which I thought was far superior to Kidman’s).
Slow motion.

Minuses:
Kidman was hard to like, but then she did lose her son.
Didn’t much care for her sister.
Felt the Nat character over played (Becca’s mum).
Some scenes (that weren’t dialogue driven) seemed unnecessary.

I would really like to see the play on which the movie is based. Cynthia Nixon (Sex and the City) won a slew of awards for her portrayal of Becca and I can’t help but wish I saw her version instead of Kidman’s. I was in two minds of seeing this movie. When I saw the trailer at True Grit I was on the verge of tears, so had no idea how I was going to manage two hours of pain. I had prepared myself to cry so much I would develop a migraine (I even packed medication) but it wasn’t a story that threw you into tears. It was about loss yes, but coming out the other side of loss.

#threenoncryingpandas

Review – Never Let Me Go (2010)

Friday, February 11th, 2011

All the role playing in the world can't prepare you for meeting "real people."

Synopsis:
Based on the best selling novel of the name name, Never Let Me Go is the same world as ours, only slightly different. In the recent past, children were copied/created to provide donor organs when they came of age. These children are raised in an exclusive boarding school, but grow up knowing their eventual fate. We follow three of these children from their youth through to “completion.” Tommy (Andrew Garfield), Kathy H (Carey Mulligan), and Ruth (Keira Knightly) search for what makes them who they are, their soul and their “original.”

Pluses:
Everything is so poignant.
The acting is outstanding – especially Carey Mulligan. Her voice overs touched my heart.
The children and their “bumper crop.”
Tommy’s outbursts – especially towards the end.
The concept of hope.
Humanity – having a soul.
The belief that Love is verifiable.
The idea of “completion.”
Loneliness.
Fish out of water.
Art direction.
Stunning panoramas that contract so well with the insularness of their existence.
Outstanding cast – including supporting cast.

Minuses:
Wanted to know what happened to their friends at The Cottages.
Give Knightly a sandwich!

I had no idea Tommy was Andrew Garfield until his hair was cropped very in the last third of the movie – and then I instantly recognised him from The Social Network. This was such a moving and thought provoking movie. As Kathy says, “We all complete.” Life is short. Sometimes you know what your fate is, other times you don’t, but it is how you embrace who you are and how you live that counts. The maturity and understanding that they embraced their fate was so well delivered. This is not your “Happy Ever After” chick flick and the SciFi component is so far less than minimal I almost didn’t tag it as such.

This movie is being released on March 31st in Australia (6 months after the US release) – or you can get it on US iTunes now.

#fourpandas

Review – Hereafter (2010)

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

The first 10 minutes of the movie are spectacular - Eastwood should have directed 2012!

Synopsis:
Three people (a journalist, a psychic, a twin), all coping with mortality (and near death) differently, go about their lives until coincidence brings them together. (Please note, it is NOTHING like the ads on TV at the moment but more like the slow journey of the trailer though not as uplifting and definitely NOT a thriller)

Pluses:
The score was brilliant – really added to the movie.
The moments of humour especially during the cooking scene and during the psychic hunt.
Each interesting stories in their own right (just not sure they work well together).
Opening scene of the Boxing Day Tsunami.
The minute or two before the London Bombings.
Bryce Dallas Howard was highly engaging.

Minuses:
Felt the acting by the remaining twin was quite wooden.
For someone so adamant about not doing something, Damon’s George does it a lot.
There was just too much filler for me.
The tempo of each of the stories were just so different – I could have seen each separately if the telling was tight.
Unsatisfying ending.
So slow.
Did George’s older brother have to be such a slime ball?
The lighting felt so deliberate and distracted from the story.
Nothing like the ads.

I am sure that the Clint Eastwood lovers will rave about this movie. It was nicely shot, with a lovely score, but it left me non-plussed. Afterwards, I said to those I saw it with, that it was a 2 hour walk into darkness. For a movie that was released three and a half months ago in the US, it made little waves here – for good reason.

Big thanks to The Film Pie for the free tix. It was on my list to see after seeing the ad.

#twodisappointedpandas