It feels like this movie has taken forever to get to the big screen. I vaguely remember Wolgang Petersen being attached at one point in the early 2000’s. This was before ‘Superman Returns’. Before ‘Batman Begins’. And then there was that Times Square billboard in ‘I Am Legend’, teasing the possibility that the two most famous superheroes of all time would one day go toe to toe for our viewing pleasure.
In two thousand and eight, an ambitious superhero series was started. Over the course of five films, four main characters (and a fair few periphery one’s) were introduced. The quality of these films varied from fairly good (Thor, Iron Man) to staggeringly bad (Iron Man Two). Somewhere along the line the series became known as “Phase One”. It all culminated in TwentyTwelve’s ‘The Avengers’, which was over-enthusiastically cupped and stroked by slobbering hordes of fanbois worldwide. I had fun with the film, but really, it wasn’t particularly good. ‘The Avengers’ went on to become the third highest grossing film of all time. Five years after the first ‘Iron Man’ hit the screens and made Robert Downey Jr a Hollywood darling, Tony Stark returns in ‘Iron Man Three’ (the credits make a point of using “three” and I’m not sure why), the first film of “Phase Two”. The conveyer belt of mediocrity continues to chug along mercilessly inflicting Marvel movies on the all too willing public. Read More…
It’s been a while between reviews, the last one being ‘Taken 2’ all the way back in October last year. This has been equal part laziness and part real life interfering. Okay, unequal. I’ve been mostly lazy. No surprise there. But I’m back now, and I intend to review on a more regular basis. To kick the resurgence off I bring you a Droid Premiere! Tom “The Running Man” Cruise’s foray into post-apocalyptic science fiction, ‘Oblivion’. Read More…
Django Unchained, the 8th movie from Quentin Tarantino, was better than I
expected, but not quite as good as I wanted on a first viewing. As of now, I think Inglorious Bastards (I refuse to learn how to misspell that properly) is possibly QTʼs best movie since Pulp Fiction (though I readily admit I still have never seen Jackie Brown), and I may need another viewing of Django to decide which movie I think is best. Right now its Bastards, though that could change in the future.
The first Taken film, released in 2008, came as a bit of a surprise. It’s an effective, lean, mean action film elevated by a convincing, driven central performance from Liam Neeson. After a lacklustre 20 minutes (10 of which are entirely unnecessary), the film delivered one of the most gripping, perfectly executed scenes in recent action films. Brian Mills (Neeson) on the phone to his daughter Kim (Maggie Grace) as she is abducted, to be sold into prostitution. What follows is a relentless series of beatings as Mills devastates the Parisian immigrant population in his search for his daughter. It’s pure, grim, visceral thrills, and it’s one of the better action films of the past 5 years. It was also a big hit on a modest budget. Inevitably, we get a sequel. How can the same shit happen to the same guy twice? Well, when you bludgeon to death half the population of Albania, a few of the victims family members may kick up a stink.
Originally, this review was going to be about ‘Looper’. Then I saw a small indie film that was on my radar since the Sundance film festival earlier in the year called ‘Safety Not Guaranteed’. Both films revolve around the subject of time travel, but their respective approaches are completely different. A comparison might make interesting reading. We’ll see.
I haven’t visited The World According to Arnie since the ‘Jarv reviews New Years Eve’ Christmas blitz of 2011. That one was Arnie’s moderately successful first foray into family friendly comedy, ‘Twins’. But after a brief respite, Arnie’s back where he belongs, as a kicking, punching, shooting, neck snapping, murdering planetary saviour in Paul Verhoeven’s ‘Total Recall’. I love this movie. It rivals ‘The Terminator’ as my favourite Arnie movie, and I’m going to have to turn to my old mate the thesaurus to look for new superlatives to use during this review. I can’t very well describe everything as “awesome” can I?
If you haven’t seen ‘The Dark Knight Rises’, the film will be spoiled for you if read this review.
Now that I’ve protected myself with the official, ironclad online statute of ‘Don’t come crying to me if you ignore my warnings’, on with the review.