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.
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?
I had all intentions of reviewing Wolverine next, but Netflix had other ideas and sent me a cracked disc. So I went to my fall back plan (not Howard the Duck) and threw in Iron Man. This movie really falls under a ‘comfort’ movie for me. I consider it a reliable Marvel movie, one that is quite solid for the first ¾ of the movie, but then loses a bit of momentum for the finale. The problem isn’t the special effects in the finale, but rather the scope of it. The battle between Stark and Stane is okay if that were the first fight. But for the final battle, it’s lacking.
There have been an awful lot of adaptations of Stephen King’s work. According to the internets, not counting short films or episodes of a TV show (such as the X-Files), the number sits at 62. And counting. There is a pretty even split across Film and Television, with some even doubling up, such as Carrie and The Shining. Most of them remain unseen by me (something that is unlikely to change in the future), but the one’s I have seen tend to fall in either one of two categories. Brilliant or Terrible. There seems to be no middle ground with Stephen King.
You know when you are drunk and you say stuff you really don’t mean? There is still a slight glimmer of common sense trying to make it to the top of your current drunken haze of a mind and say “hey, dumb fuck, don’t say that!” Yet alcohol wins and smashes that puny common sense to smithereens? While I was not drunk when I readily agreed to review every stinking Marvel movie made, clearly my common sense took a vacation and is sitting this one out. The hang over I wake up to today with is Man-Thing. Not even a delicious Belgium Farmhouse Ale could save me, despite its bravest attempts.
Since Mission: Impossible Droid Protocol is under way, and the latest instalment of the franchise is soon to be released, it seems relevant to revisit the series with these, the much vaunted (not so) mini reviews. I’ve chosen this method because, to be quite honest, the sequels don’t warrant a full review, and much of my opinion of each film can be attributed to all three.
Some of you may remember I was recently murdered by fictional serial killer Jason Voorhees. As a result of this, my soul has been cast into the fiery pit of Hell. It’s not clear what I did to deserve eternal damnation – is masturbating to Avril Lavigne videos a sin? – and I’m pretty bummed about the situation. Luckily, I just met a friendly chap with nails in his face who says he can help me out. According to him, all I have to do to escape Perdition is journey through each of Hell’s nine circles, earning passage from one circle to the next by watching a gruelling series of demonic films, each more horrifying than the last.
Pffft. Doesn’t this guy know I’ve seen every film Jennifer Aniston has ever made? Compared to that, this should be a cakewalk.
Gather around, folks. Sit down, toast yourselves a marshmallow on the campfire, and listen close as I tell the tale of the hideous beast who wouldn’t die. I’m talking about Jason Voorhees, a movie monster so relentless his own creators couldn’t kill him. They gave him not one but two final chapters, and still he lives. They made almost all his films unbearably boring, and still he lives. They made him so useless he was once defeated by Corey Feldman… and still he lives!
Ohmygod, he’s right behind you! No, wait, that’s just a cat eating a spider.
Greetings and salutations ladies and germs. I have thought about beginning this series for a while. During the past year, I have been surprised by a hell of a lot of films. I attribute this first and foremost to my expectations being at an all time low when it comes to Hollywood. Blockbusters and action movies are the usual culprit of my dismay. Long gone are the days when I’d anxiously await that bountiful season of the American summer, which would provide me with hours upon hours of entertaining awesomeness. Alas I have grown weary of the special effects, the explosions, the fifteen shots every thirty seconds, the shaky cam and the cliff notes masquerading as characters. But during the past twelve months I have time and time again been surprised at how much I’ve enjoyed myself with some of the movies I, quite frankly, was 100% certain I’d dislike. Movies like ‘Knight and Day’, ‘Date Night” and one movie in particular, ‘The A Team’. If any movie had pretty much everything going against it, that was it. But to my great surprise I enjoyed it a lot. But there’s a flip side to this coin (there always is). Movies I’ve expected to like have disappointed. ‘Iron Man 2’, ‘The Fighter’ and ‘Splice’ all disappointed.