Sunday, 16 October 2011

Scream 4 (2011)

Tom:
Scream 4,2011,USA
Director:Wes Craven
Stars:Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox and David Arquette

15 years ago the original "Scream" was known to have rejuvinated the slasher genre,the film also inspired a slew of teen slashers that included a number of less superior films and there sequels such as "I Know What You Did Last Summer" and "Urban Legend".My question is while Scream was a great film,did it really "Save" anything? The horror genre hasnt really been lit alight since 1996,What We've seen in the last 15 years is such things as the introduction of "Torture Porn" with films like "Saw" in 2004,which had seven sequels along the same lines as "Hostel" in 2005 and to a lesser extent "The Human Centipede" in 2009,Found footage horror films such as "The Blair Witch Project" and "Paranormal Activity" and the endless stream of Hollywood remakes of classics such as the Michael Bay produced "Friday The 13th" and "A Nightmare On Elm Street".With the horror genre back in a bad palce, a fourth instalment in the Scream franchise is extremely welcome,but after 11 years since the third instalment can Scream maintain the self awarenesses and cleverness that it brilliantly executed in the 90's?
Its Ten years later and Sidney Prescott has returned to Woodsborro to promote her new book,but unfortunently her arrival coincides with a brutal murder from a killer donning the Ghostface costume,Now Sidney must fight to survive for the fourth time along with her old friends Gale,Deweyy and this time stakes are added as her family members are in danger including her niece Jill(Emma Roberts)
Wes Craven returns for directing duties here for the fourth time and Kevin Williamson who was absent in the third instalment returns to write Scream 4.The opening kill scene has always been something Scream has been renowned for.Here we get a good one,that supplies twist after twist and is extremely clever and also features stars Anna Paquin and Kristen Bell.Although the rest of the film doesn't keep up with the chaotic opening,Instead we get a formulaic slasher film that is against everything the original Scream parodied.
The film is entertaining though, but being a die hard Scream it just left me slightly disappointed.

The film features a lot of new actors,Some good i.e Roberts,Hayden Panettiere,Rory Culkin and some bad i.e Nico Tortorella,Adam Brody and Anthony Anderson.

Overall Scream 4 is indeed an Unnecessary sequel,although it has a great opening and a decent ending with a great killer,The film just feels flat(even more so than the extremely mediocre Scream 3) and disappointing and comes absolutely not where near the impact or greatness that the original Scream achieved.i cant help but miss Billy,Stu and Randy.

Tom: 2/4

Friday, 14 October 2011

The Thing (2011)

Tom:
The Thing,2011,USA
Director:Matthijs van Heijningen Jr.
Stars: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Joel Edgerton and Ulrich Thomsen

John W Campbell Jr's Sci Fi novel "Who Goes There" was first adapted for the screen in 1951 with the Howard Hawks produced film "The Thing From Another World" The film is recognized as an early sci fi classic but was far surpassed by the next adaptation of "Who Goes There" when John Carpenter released "The Thing" in 1982.The film today is universally seen as one of the greatest Horror and Sci-Fi films ever but bombed at the box office at the time of its release.29 years after Carpenters film sees the third Adaptation of the classic story but this time in the form of a prequel to Carpenter's classic simply titled "The Thing".
The film takes place in 1982(The same year Carpenters film was released) at an Antarctica site where there has been a discovery of a new Alien life form.Graduate Student Kate Lloyd (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) is flown out to the site to inspect the specimen but following a confrontation with scientist Dr. Sander Halvorson about what should be done with the findings The Alien life form escapes and Strange Happenings, Disappearances and Deaths begin taking place at the camp,As Kate reveals that the Alien can imitate human life forms,Paranoia rises as someone among the camp is not who they seem.
Although this film is marketed as a prequel there are a lot of similarities story wise to Carpenter's film, however the quality is not the same here,This basically feels like a carbon copy which tries but fails to get to the level of terror and suspense that Carpenter provided.
Its almost impossible for me to review this film without comparing it to Carpenter's film,seeing as the director is trying to channel a lot of what of Carpenter did,One of the great things about the original was the paranoia it created amongst the characters,This is something that is replicated here to less effect and things move at to fast a pace for us to attach to the suspense.
The characters here are quite bland and we don't really get enough of them to care about them and I didn't even figure out some of there name's.
Although Mary Elizabeth Winstead is a good actress,her lead role here is no where near as effective or likeable as Kurt Russell's MacReady in the original.I would say the same for the rest of the cast as well although Joel Edgerton does a good job in a supporting role.
Overall I really disliked this film.I was really excited for it being a huge fan of the original but left extremely disappointed,The film had a decent beginning but everything that followed just bored and annoyed me,although the credits scene which ties this film to the original is pretty cool its not enough to leave me with positive thoughts about this film.


Tom:1.5/4

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Schindler's List (1993)

Tom:
Schindler's List,1993,USA
Director:Steven Spielberg
Stars: Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes and Ben Kingsley

"Whoever saves one life, saves the world entire."

There are few if any films more powerful or meaningful than Steven Spielberg's "Schindler's List"
Based On A True Story,The film is set during World War II,The film revolves around the cruelty of the Nazi's and a man named Oskar Schindler a greedy German business man who managed to save the life of 1100 Jews during the Holocaust.The film is a testament to the good in all of us.
The film is Directed by Steven Spielberg in one of his greatest cinematic achievements,He perfectly captures the horrors that took place during the holocaust and gives us an unforgettable film experience,proving that he is one of the greatest film makers of all time.
The acting here is nothing short of brilliant,Liam Neeson portrays Oskar Schindler amazingly,playing a greedy man on the surface but very generous and caring man on the inside, Ralph Fiennes portrays the antagonist, SS officer Amon Goeth,who is one of the most evil villains ive ever seen,There is a scene where he stands outside on his balcony and shoots innocent Jews just out of sheer boredom which is incredibly disturbing and shows this man has no remorse.Ben Kingsley also great as Itzhak Stern, Schindler's accountant and business partner.
The film is full of powerful,emotional and disturbing scenes,The ending scene is unforgettable,Liam Neeson's shame for not saving more people and Ben Kingsley's line "Whoever saves one life saves the world entire."
Overall Schindler's List is one of the greatest films of all time.Moving,Powerful and Heart wrenching this film leave a huge impact and could change your life,Thank You Mr Spielberg

Tom:4/4

Broadcast News (1987)

Tom:
Broadcast News,1987,USA
Director:James L Brooks
Stars:William Hurt, Albert Brooks and Holly Hunter

Broadcast News tells the story of two rival Male TV reporters,One Handsome and The other Talented,Both fall in love with a virtuoso television news producer.
The film is directed by James L Brooks in his second directorial effort after winning three Academy Awards in 1983 for "Terms Of Endearment",Brooks has managed to make a smart and funny romantic comedy where none of the main characters end up together and strays from the regular Romantic Comedy mould.
The film features brilliant performances from the three leads,William Hurt is terrific as Tom playing a genuinely nice guy with a deceptive side coming from a difficult background.Albert Brooks plays Aaron Altman a brilliant reporter secretly in love with Jane and scorning her rejection of him,Holly Hunter plays Jane a talented and complex Television Producer who suffers from daily emotional breakdowns,all three are brilliant and work really well together and have terrific chemistry,also in the cast is Robert Prosky, Lois Chiles, Joan Cusack and the legendary Jack Nicholson.
The film has plenty of humorous moments mainly supplied by Brooks character,the film also has its fare share of touching and emotional moments,i definitely found the last scene showing where the characters ended up seven years later was touching.
Overall Broadcast News is a great film by James L Brooks,It showcases terrific acting from its cast especially its three leads,Recommended

Tom:3.5/4

Rango (2011)

Tom:
Rango,2011,USA
Director:Gore Verbinski
Stars:Johnny Depp, Isla Fisher and Timothy Olyphant

Rango is a chameleon with an identity crisis,who after being involved in a car accident ends up in a town called Dirt which is in dire need of sherriff to take on the case of there missing water.
Rango is directed by Pirates Of The Caribbean director Gore Verbinski and has a great voice cast led by superstar Johnny Depp as the title character.
This film is basically an Animated Western for Kids,It succeeds in all genres in which it ventures,The film is beautifully animated and photographed,Possibly one of the best looking animated films ive ever seen,There is so much detail to everything,all the characters look terrific or terrible which ever way you look at it.The town of Dirt also looks terrific as does the Dessert in which the films set.
The story is similar to the Roman Polanski and Jack Nicholson 1974 classic "Chinatown".The town of Dirt's water has gone missing and its up to new sherrif Rango to solve the mystery.I really like the plot and think the characters work well under it.
Speaking of characters,They are all great and unique.The star of the show is the title character played by Depp,Rango is a terrific anti-hero here and Depp does a great job giving Rango some really humorous moments alongside his cowardly and heroic ones.The supporting cast is great aswell featuring Isla Fisher,Abigail Breslin,Ned Beatty,Bill Nighy,Ray Winestone,Alfred Molina and Timothy Olyphant as the very Clint Eastwood-esque Spirit Of The West.
Overall Rango is a terrific film for all ages,There's Something here for everyone and Johnny Depps performance is enough reason to see it alone,Not to mention how amazing it looks

Tom:4/4

Scream 3 (2000)

Tom:
Scream 3,2000,USA
Director: Wes Craven
Stars: David Arquette, Neve Campbell and Courteney Cox

The second sequel to Scream and while Scream 2 seemed to be rushed into production,Scream 3 was released three years later,which should be a good sign,unfortunently Scream is the black duck of the Scream series,and while Wes Craven stays on as director,Kevin Williamson did not return to write the script,Williamson was instrumental in screams success and his hugely missed here,instead we get future "Transformers" writer Ehren Kruger,which says a lot.
Sidney Prescott is living a reclusive life after surviving a second set of murders at Windsor College,but murders start reoccuring on the set of Stab 3,when Dewey and Gale are among the many in danger,Sidney must decide weather to continue her reclusive life or confront "Ghostface" one last time
In what has become a tradition in the Scream series,we get another murder in the opening scene.Williamson's presence is clearly missing here as Kruger gives us the most lackluster opening of the series. The character in focus this time is Cotton Weary,who after achieving his much wanted fame between the second and third movies,is killed here,its unfortunate because Cotton was a really fun character in the second film.He doesn't get sent off in a great way either.
The Scream series has always had a lot of tongue in cheek humor,but Scream 3 multiplies it by 10 and almost becomes a full on Comedy.
The film has a lot less thrills than the first two installments and gives us the blandest characters even more so than the previous film.New cast members Jenny McCartney,Scott Foley,Lance Henriksen are all paper thin here. Parker Posey is a great actress but she isn't given a great role having to be Gales double and sidekick.The films hollywood setting doesnt feel right either compared to the high School environment in the last two.
Overall Scream 3 is a major disappointment.The film substitutes self awareness and clever references for out of place humor.This is definently the low point of the series.

Tom:1.5/4

Friday, 7 October 2011

Scream 2 (1997)

Tom:(Spoilers)
Scream 2,1997,USA
Director: Wes Craven
Stars: Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox and David Arquette

The somewhat rushed sequel to the smash hit Scream, Came into theatres just one year after the first and The premise is similar
Its two years after the events that occurred in Woodsborrow,Survivors Sidney Prescott and Randy Meeks have moved out of town and are attending Windsor College,Cotton Weary has been released from prison after being wrongly accused for the murder of Maureen Prescott and is cashing in on his unfortunate incarnation,and Gale Weathers has written a best selling book about the killings "The Woodsborrow Murders" which is being made into a film called "Stab",as films release date approaches,a new set of murders start from a new "Ghostface" killer who is mirroring what Billy and Stu did in Woodsborrow,and once again putting Sidney,Gale,Dewey,Randy and a new group of friends in peril.
One of the best things about the original Scream was its brilliant opening scene featuring Drew Barrymore it was thrilling,exciting and scary.Director Wes Craven and writer Kevin Williamson knew how well this worked the first time,so Scream 2 had to have a strong start aswell.The Opening scene here takes place at a movie theatre playing an early screening of Stab,instead of Drew Barrymore this time we have Jada Pinkett and Omar Epps While i enjoy the opening scene here,its merely just mirroring the original,but of course that is just a given with sequels,the scene is by no means bad but after seeing Drews fate in the original we are fully aware Jada and Omar wont be in the 15th minute of this film,
There are some new cast members here with Jerry O'Conell,Timothy Olyphant,Sarah Michelle Gellar and Laurie Metcalf along with returning cast members Neve Campbell,Courtney Cox,David Arquette and Jamie Kennedy,The problem here is because of such a big cast,we don't really get to know any of the new cast members and this makes them paper thin and hard to care about,but there still likeable for what we get from them.
Returning for a larger role here is Liev Schribler as Cotton Weary,Schriebler has great charisma as Cotton and does a good job for his fairly small screen time.
The main problem I have with the series as a whole is Neve Campbell,i know her character has been through a lot,but she is constantly moody and hard to justify with.Cox are Arquette are good again in there roles, Jamie Kennedy brings his likeable Horror movie savy personality again and is as a great as he was the first time,he's death comes out of left field but is good for the film i guess.
Once agian Scream provides us with rules,this time its how to successfully survive a sequel,.
The murder mystery element is back but being a sequel its not as interesting,and with the reveal of two killers its just another instance of mirroring the original.
Overall Scream 2 is a fine sequel,During the film Timothy Olyphant's character Mickey states that sequels are better than the originals,i don't think that's the case here but Scream 2 is an enjoyable sequel and retains the fun of the original


Tom: 3/4

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Scream (1996)

Tom:(SPOILERS)
Scream,1996,USA
Director: Wes Craven
Stars: Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox and David Arquette

This is the film that rejuvenated the slasher genre and saved horror in the 90's.Proclaimed Horror and suspense master Wes Craven(Creator of A Nightmare On Elm Street)teamed with acclaimed writer Kevin Williamson to make a self aware and very clever slasher film that changed the way we look at the horror genre.
The film is about.Sidney Prescott who along with her friends find themselves living a real life horror movie as a killer known as "Ghostface" begins killing of teenagers in the town of Woodsborrow,Sidney and her friends must abide the "rules" to survive.
Scream begins with the famous and now iconic opening scene,featuring Drew Barrymore who receives a phone call from a mysterious stranger,the call begins as what Drew suspects to be someone ringing a wrong number,as the caller rings again to "apologise" the two get into a casual conversation about horror movies and if Drew has a boyfriend,but once the caller asks for her name,and she questions why,the callers answer is "Because I wanna know who im looking at",Thats when the horror begins,Drew is forced to answer horror movie trivia or her and her boyfriend who is typed up outside will be killed,The films villain appears a little while later and Drew is dead within the first 15 minutes.This is a phenomenal beginning to the film,regardless of what you think of the rest of the film its hard not love this opening,its Thrilling,creepy,scary and gives the feeling that anything can happen,it deserves its place as one of the great openings to a horror film ever.
Scream features a very likeable cast,made of mostly TV stars from the 90's including Neve Campbell,Courtney Cox,David Arquette,Skeet Ulrich,Matthew Lillard,Rose Mcgowan and Jamie Kennedy.In my opinion Kennedy is the high point of the cast as the horror movie savy Randy,who informs the audience of the rules.Everyone else is good aswell and a great uncredited appearance from the Fonz himself Henry Winkler as Principal Himbry.
There is a great murder mystery element to Scream,it really grabs you in and keeps you interested until the reveal,The films final twist reveals that there are not one but two killers which is a very logical and another smart element of Scream.
Overall Scream is a favourite film of mine,The film is full of thrilling scenes,funny lines and scary moments,The film is absolutely fantastic and is a terrific slasher and horror film.

Tom: 4/4

Halloween II (1981)

Tom:(SPOILERS)
Halloween II,1981,USA
Director:Rick Rosenthal
Stars:Jamie Lee Curtis, Donald Pleasence and Charles Cyphers

"More Of The Night He Came Home",This film had a lot to live up too,The original was the highest grossing independent film of all time and had shot Carpenter and star Jamie Lee Curtis into stardom,so its no sunrise it got a sequel,the sequel came three years after the original and had stars Donald Pleasence and Jamie Lee Curtis reprise their roles,John Carpenter did not return to direct this time but did co-write the script with Debra Hill.Halloween II picks up right were John Carpenters original left off,As Michael Myers has escaped after being shot by Dr Loomis six times and Laurie Strode has been rushed to hospital after being attacked by Michael as the the town of Haddonfield is in panic as Myers roams the streets killing more innocent victims,while making his way to the hospital to finish off Laurie.
Considering how good the original was I think Halloween II is the best possible sequel that could have happened,The film is intense and thrilling and really captures the feel of the original even without Carpenter directing,Michael Myers is just as intimidating and threatening as he was the first time round,and Pleasence gives the same type of performance as Dr Loomis.The film does feature some over the top and kind of unrealistic moments that the original didn't feature but nothing Marjorly off putting.Overall I really like Halloween II,while its by no means as great as the original,its in my opinion the last great Myers film and definently the second best of the series.

Tom: 3.5/4

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Troll 2 (1990)

Tom:
Troll 2,1990,USA
Director:Claudio Fragasso
Stars:Michael Stephenson, George Hardy and Margo Prey


Troll 2 is universally seen as the worst the film ever made,and while viewing it for the first time I can defiantly see why,The film is abousolutley horrible in every single aspeect. The film is about a family vacation in a small town who discovers the entire town is inhabited by goblins in disguise as humans, who plan to eat them. The film has no relationship to 1986's "Troll" and the title Troll 2 was used to capitalize on the minor success that Troll had,Troll 2 has the worst acting,directing,writing,special effects and all round everything involved i think ive ever seen in a film, I really wonder if film-makers and people involved knew what they were making,because most if not all the actors are playing it straight.speaking of acting,there was not one person on screen who was even remotely good or compelling, I thought the father in the original troll was the worst father in film history, but the dad in this film tops him by far.There is also a bizarre B plot in which the daughter of the family's boyfriend has a weird and almost homosexual attraction to his friends which gets in the way of the relationship,this just one of the many "WTF" moments this movie,including a scene where one of the boyfriends friends turns into a tree and says the infamous line "OH MY GOD!" not to mention frequent ghostly appearances from Grandpa Seth.Overall the film is awful, but,Troll 2 is so bad that its hysterically funny.i recommend the film just to see how unbelievably horrible it is


Tom:0/4

Starman (1984)

Tom:
Starman,1984,USA
Director:John Carpenter
Stars:Jeff Bridges,Karen Allen and Charles Martin Smith



When thinking about Starman,nothing really comes to mind as being innovative,The premise isn't anything new and other than Jeff Bridges there's no real A list stars here,but what Starman is,is one great,entertaining and somewhat touching Sci fi classic. The Film is about an alien,who takes the form of a young widow's husband and makes her drive him from Wisconsin to Arizona,While the government is hot on there trail.The film is directed by the legendary John Carpenter,who was well established with the sci fi genre before this film,having made classics such as "The Thing" and "Escape From New York",does a really great job with Starman,i think it could it be one of his most underrated films.The performances are terrific especially from Jeff Bridges,who gives such a heartfelt and brilliant performance as the alien,and received a well deserved Oscar nomination for his role,Karen Allen is also good as the widow and love interest and brings the same kind of feisty and strong personality her character had in "Raiders of The Lost Ark" and along with the always great Charles Martin Smith this rounds out a great cast. The films effects have dated in its 27 years of release but i don't think it harms the film at all, the ending can be considered kind of cheesy in modern times but i thought it was fine.Overall i really enjoyed Satrman,much more than i thought i would,a great Carpenter film with Bridges performance being the highlight.Recommend

Tom:3.5/4

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Troll (1986)

Tom
Troll,1986,USA
Director: John Carl Buechler
Stars: Michael Moriarty, Shelley Hack and Noah Hathaway


While i think Troll's sequel Troll 2 is better known for being notoriously bad,This film has to be one of the most ridiculous and worst horror films ive ever seen.The film is about a Troll king who invades a San Francisco apartment Building in search of a mystical ring that will return him to his human form,but unfortunently the apartment complex is ran by a powerful witch who can stop him.The film is horrible,not in a so bad its good way, but a so bad its terrible way.Apart from having a ridiculous plot,Nothing works here, i know the film is a low budget 80's horror film but its almost unwatchable.The special effects are horrid,The Trolls look like puppets,The direction is very odd here,The acting is cringe worthy, there is stupid dance scene involving the father which is probably one of the most out of place scenes iv ever seen.Jenny Beck who played Wendy was also terrible, I felt they were trying too hard to channel Heather O'Rourke's performance in "Poltergeist",also the parents in this film were the worst and most unhelpful screen parents iv seen since the parents in "A Nightmare On Elm Street Part 2". Overall there was nothing I liked about Troll,the film is terrible, I recommend watching "Gremlins" or even "Leprechaun" and "Critters" instead of watching this mess.Not Recommended

Tom:0.5/4

Tucker And Dale Vs Evil (2010)

Tom:
Tucker And Dale Vs Evil,2010,USA
Director:Eli Craig
Stars: Alan Tudyk,Tyler Labine and Katrina Bowen


Tucker And Dale Vs Evil is a brilliant Horror-Comedy.Its bloody,Gory and absolutely hilarious. The film is about Two hill billy friends named Tucker And Dale who are on vacation at there dilapidated mountain cabin,while they are at a truck stop they encounter a group of college kids who are camping in the woods nearby,when Tucker and Dale save the life of one of the girls from the group,The college kids mistake them for kidnappers and serial killers,The kids try getting revenge on the two with hilarious consequences. The film received a straight to DVD release in Australia,i find it ridiculous that a film this good cant get a cinematic release. Alan Tudyk and Tyler Labine play the title characters and are absolutely terrific and have great chemistry together and are such likeable heroes. The film is full over the top and hilarious death scenes,involving everything from a wood chipper to a faulty beam in the house.Another great thing about this film is just watching all the events occuring and Tucker and Dales interpretation of them,even considering the idea of the kids being part of a mass suicide, and the fact that the college kids mistake them for being pure evil when they're really just misunderstood guys . This film can fit into numerous categories and genres other than horror or comedy, the film is also a great bromance and has the feel of a low budget independent "Evil Dead" horror film.Overall Tucker And Dale Vs Evil is a terrific film and a lot of fun.Horror and comedy fans especially should get a lot of enjoyment out of it.High Recommend

Tom: 3.5/4

Stripes (1981)

Tom:
Stripes,1981,USA
Director:Ivan Reitman
Stars:Bill Muarry,Harold Ramis and John Candy

The second collaboration between Harold Ramis and Bill Muarry,the first time they went to summer camp with "Meatballs",this time they are inlisting in the army with "Stripes".The film is about two friends who are dissatisfied with there jobs and daily life decide to join the army for fun. Stripes is a great comedy,The film has lots of hilarious scenes and is enjoyable from start to finish,The one improvement i think could have been made to make the film even better would have been finishing the film after the graduation scene, although i have no problem with the scenes in Europe that take place afterwards.Stripes has a great cast, The two leads Bill Muarry and Harold Ramis are terrific together,also in the cast is John Candy,Judge Reinhold,PJ Soles and John Larroquette.Overall Stripes is a comedic classic that is really worth checking out.

Tom:3.5/4

Meatballs (1979)

Tom:
Meatballs,1979,USA
Director: Ivan Reitman
Stars: Bill Muarry,Harvey Atkin and Kate Lynch


Before "Caddyshack",Before "Ghostbusters there was "Meatballs" The classic 1979 Comedy that features the film debut of comedic legend Bill Murray,The films simple plot is about wacky hijinks takikng place at a less then average summer camp, led by a fun loving camp counceler.The film was directed by future "Ghostbusters" director Ivan Reitman and co written by frequent Muarry colabarator Harold Ramis who really capture the essence of an American summer camp in the 70's. watching the film now after 32 years since it was released, its ridiculously cheesy and very over the top but that adds to the humour.The film has a lot of memorable and classic moments and Bill Muarry is great as always.The film also features a good friendship between Muarry's charecter and Rudy a young kid with a self esteem problem,the two have a few great scenes including the two going for jogs and playing cards for peanuts.Overall Meatballs is definitely not as great a film as Caddyshack,Stripes or even Ghostbusters but the film definitely is a fun and enjoyable time and fans of Bill Muarry's early work will love it.

Tom: 2.5/4

Monday, 3 October 2011

Snakes On A Plane (2006)

Tom:
Snakes On A Plane,2006,USA
Director: David R Ellis
Stars : Samuel L Jackson, Juliana Margulies and Nathan Phillips

The title truly says it all for this film, and with name Samuel L Jackson on the poster you should be in for one hell of a ride,unfortunently it's anything but that.Other than the obvious the plot revolves around a young surfer named Sean Jones, who witnesses a mob murder and and is escorted by FBI agent Neville Flynn (Jackson) on a flight from Honolulu to Los Angeles to testify against a mob boss, Unfortunently for him the mob has smuggled hundreds of deadly and poisonous snakes onto the plane in order to kill him, now Flynn must find a way to keep the passengers alive through the flight. The film is directed by David R Ellis, who directed Final Destination 2 and 4. While those were my least favorite installments in that series, at least they had there comedic elements, a good amount of fun and didn't take themselves to seriously,unfortunently Snakes On A Plane does. I really thought everyone in this film was playing it straight and I really don't think it's right for this kind of film, even Sam Jackson seemed to be taking his part too seriously for the most part as well. Also the character of Sean who is the first character we are introduced to and who seems to be the main character and the focus of the story, Goes missing for at least half of the film and returns for the films climax but I guess thats a ridiculous argument too make for a chees B movie like this one and Phillips isn't a very compelling actor so I guess it's no big loss. What we get in between is Jackson fighting and swearing at snakes (which sounds better than it actually is) along with ridiculous over the top sentimental moments that have no place here. Overall Snakes On A Plane is quite a mess of a film that takes itself too seriously for audiences too get the enjoyment out of it that the title promises.

Tom: 1.5/4

Grindhouse:Death Proof (2007)

Tom:(Spoilers)
Director:Quentin Tarantino
Stars: Kurt Russell,Zoe Bell and Rosario Dawson


Quentin Tarantino's fifth film and his contribution to the 2007 Grindhouse feature. The film was paired alongside Rodriguez's "Planet Terror".Together the two films brought back the exploitation double feature back to theatres,even featuring Fictional for upcoming attractions,advertisements and in theatre announcements to give Grindhouse a realistic feel. Death Proof focuses on two separate of women who at different times are stalked by a sadistic Stuntman who uses his "Death Proof" car to execute his murderous plans.The film stars Kurt Russell as Stuntman Mike, and he is absolutely brilliant, He is a slasher but instead of a knife he uses his muscle car.Russell provides a very threatening and intimidating villain all throughout but is also strangely likeable at the same time and the film is at its best when his on screen. The film also features brilliant car chases and a great homage to car films of the past such as "Vanishing Point" which is referenced throughout the second half of the film. I really disliked the second half of the film,compared to the awesome first half, the girls were terrible and i didn't care for any of them,i have seen Death Proof three times now and the endings really bugs me every time,i hate the fact that they kill stuntman Mike, i really like Russell's character and i would have loved an ending showing Russell's character get away and hint of him stalking another group of girls. Overall Death Proof is an okay film, with an amazing first half and in my opinion a much worse second half, definitely not in the league of Tarantino's other work.

Tom: 2.5/4

Annie Hall (1977)

Tom:
Annie Hall,1977,USA
Director: Woody Allen
Stars:Woody Allen,Diane Keaton and Tony Roberts

"I would never want to belong to any club that would have someone like me for a member.That's the key joke of my adult life in terms of my relationship with women."

Annie Hall is directed by and stars Woody Allen as a neurotic New York comedian Alvy Singer who falls in love with a women named Annie Hall.Annie Hall won 4 Academy Awards including Best Picture. This is definitely one of my favourite Best Picture winners of all time. Annie Hall is an absolute masterpiece.The film is witty,charming and hilarious,the acting is terrific from Allen as Alvy and Diane Keaton as the title character. there is also a great supporting cast including Tony Roberts,Carol Kane,Shelly Duvall and Christopher Walken.The film is beautifully written and brilliantly Directed By Allen.Overall Annie Hall is in my opinion one of if not the greatest Romantic Comedy ever made. This is Woody Allen's masterpiece and I cant recommend it highly enough, One of my favourite films.

Tom: 4/4

Sunday, 2 October 2011

The Shootist (1976)

Tom:
The Shootist,1976,USA
Director: Don Siegel
Stars: John Wayne,Lauren Bacall and Ron Howard


The final film in one of the most legendary careers of all of film.With "The Shootist" Director Don Siegel has provided a fitting finally to John Wayne's amazing career.The film is about a dying gunfighter spends his last days looking for a way to die with a minimum of pain and a maximum of dignity.John Wayne was diagnosed with cancer during the 60's and was declared cancer free in 1969,For those reasons i couldn't think of a better way for Wayne to say good bye. The Shootist is a great and emotional film, especially if your a Wayne fan,Wayne gives a great performance alongside a terrific supporting cast including Lauren Bacall,Ron Howard and the Legendary Jimmy Stewart.The film is full of touching and heartfelt scenes along with some classic John Wayne shoot outs.John Wayne's cancer returned three years after the films release.Overall with The Shootist Director Don Siegel has sent off John Wayne in the most respectful way possible,giving the audience a chance to say good bye to a legend and giving us an unforgettable film to rank alongside other Wayne classics such as "The Searchers","True Grit" and "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance"

Tom: 3.5/4

Trick 'r Treat (2007)

Tom:
Trick 'r Treat,2007,USA
Director: Michael Dougherty
Stars: Anna Paquin,Brian Cox and Dylan Baker



I didn't really know anything about Trick 'R Treat going into it, but i was absolutely blown away by how enjoyable and how much fun it was. Trick 'R Treat consists of multiple interwoven storyline's that take place on Halloween night, including an every day Principal who has a secret life as a serial killer,Some College Girls throwing a sinister surprise party,A group of teenagers playing a deadly prank,a woman who hates Halloween and has to contend with her holiday obsessed husband and a Halloween hating curmudgeon who lives alone and is visited by a mysterious costumed assailant named Sam. Trick 'r Treat had a delayed release to theatres and eventually never arrived and resurfaced on DVD,One of the main reason it was shelved was to not coincide with the Halloween release of "Saw IV".I cant believe studios were in favour of a fourth sequel in a tired franchise like Saw,instead of this very original Halloween anthology tale, This film in my opinion is absolutely brilliant,You can really tell that Director Michael Dougherty has a real passion for Halloween and when it looked like the anthology film was dead this film has revived it.Overall Trick 'r Treat is a terrific horror anthology,it is so much fun and I consider it to be a future classic and to be watched alongside John Carpenter's "Halloween" on October 31st for years to come and i can definitely see "Sammy" becoming a horror icon

Tom: 3.5/4

Die Hard (1988)

Reviewer: John
Lead: Bruce Willis
Director: John McTiernan
Stars: Bruce Willis, Bonnie Bedelia and Alan Rickman

Alright, for me this film is one of my favorites. At the time Actions to Bruce Willis was unfamiliar territory, his career began in television in the 1980s and has continued both in television and film since, including comedic and dramatic roles. Bruce Willis plays the New York cop 'John McClane' quite well.
The story is understandable and works and gives John his aggressive edge, John and his wife Holly Gennaro McClane are in love and hate, but manage to hold there love in a formidable way.
The movie takes place in a very large building owned by a rich japenese man, a group of terrorists take it over and hold the entire building hostage, luckily John escapes up a flight of stairs, he calls for help and get's confronted by over 12 armed foriengers.
The story takes leaps and bound, twists and turns but always stays loyal to the inane setting.
One of my favourite shooters/thriller action films.

John: 8.9/10

Trailer

Fright Night (2011)

Tom:
Fright Night,2011,USA
Director: Craig Gillespie
Stars: Aaron Yelchin,Colin Farrell and David Tenant


In 1985, The Original "Fright Night" was released, staring the brilliant Chris Sarandon and Roddy Mcdowell, The film is personally one of my favourite films,the film is a cult classic but was never really a huge hit so it makes a perfect choice for a remake in my opinion,instead of remaking huge horror hits like "Friday The 13th","Halloween" and "A Nightmare On Elm Street" underground hits like Fright Night are perfect candidates for remakes.The film revolves around teenager Charley Brewster, who has seemingly got his life in order with his new popular Girlfriend,gets on well with his mom and has detached himself from geeky childhood friend Ed (Christopher Mintz Plasse), but Ed re enters Charleys life after informing him that his new neighbour Jerry (Colin Farrell) is a Vampire and is responsible for the mysterious disappearances in the neighbourhood, after brushing aside Ed's opinion at first Charley becomes convinced after witnessing Jerry's attack of one of his neighbours.Now Along with the help of Vegas magician Peter Vincent(David Tennant)Charley must do all he can to protect the people closest to him.Fright Night is something that a lot of other modern day remakes aren't ,Well made with great performances.Especially Colin Farrell's brilliant performance as Jerry,which is in my opinion the best thing about the film. Farrell's performance is different from Chris Sarandon's in the original but still great all the same.Not being a Farrell fan coming into the film i was blown away by how good he was,Tennant,Mintz-Plasse,Yelchin and Academy Award Winner Toni Collete also give great performances.The film had some great intense and thrilling scenes, and also some great comedic moments especially from David Tennant as Peter Vincent, not mention a cool cameo from Chris Sarandon.Overall i wasn't a huge fan of the remake of Fright Night the first time i watched it mainly because of my love for the original, but from a re watch i can really appreciate it for being one of the great modern day remakes,recommended

Tom: 3/4

Gothika (2003)

Tom:
Gothika,2003,USA
Director: Mathieu Kassovitz
Stars: Halle Berry,Robert Downey Jr,Penelope Cruz


Gothika stars Halle Berry as doctor Miranda Grey who works at a mental institution alongside her husband Douglas Grey and friend Pete Graham (Played by Robert Downey Jr). One night while driving home she encounters a strange girl standing in the middle of the road,When she goes to investigate the girl catches on fire and Berry blacks out, She awakens to find herself a patient in the very same Institution she works in, she is then told that she has murdered her husband. Miranda must get to the bottom of the mysterious happenings before its to late.Yes,Gothika is a very familiar story that's been done to death, and it dosent try to stray to far from the others as it is absolutely full of clich├ęs,and the plot is more implausible and ridiculous than the most other films of its type. It also dosent help having Halle Berry over acting to the extreme,not to mention Penelope Cruz who over acts as well playing a mental patient named Chloe,although it is good to have Robert Downey Jr playing the likeable guy as he does so well.Overall i would not recommend Gothika,There are many other great films of the same type that are much better and worthwhile to watch such as Shutter Island,The Box or Unknown.

Tom: 2/4

Saturday, 1 October 2011

The Silence Of The Lambs (1991)

Tom:
The Silence Of The Lambs,1991,USA
Director: Jonathan Demme
Stars: Jodie Foster,Scott Glen and Anthony Hopkins


I'm going to say flat out that i believe "The Silence Of The Lambs" is one of if not the greatest Thriller ever made,The film is full of terrific performances,Amazing scenes and not to mention unforgettable characters. The film revolves around a young FBI agent by the name of Clarice Starling who is one of many trying to find a notorious killer by the name of Buffalo Bill who abducts women and skins them,to try and find the man she must question an even more dangerous killer named Hannibal Lecter. The Silence of The Lambs is an absolutely phenomenal film and is truly a masterpiece, The film features some unbelievable performances, Jodie Foster is absolutely amazing here,she gives a terrific performance as such a strong hero. Ted Levine is also terricly creepy as Buffalo Bill, but it is Anthony Hopkins with just over 16 minutes of screen time who steals the show as Hannibal. Hopkins give one of the most unforgettable characters in the history of film, The Silence Of The Lambs won the 5 major Academy awards in 1992. Overall Silence of The Lambs is an amazing film and possibly the greatest ever with one of the greatest villains in film.

Tom: 4/4

The Ring (2002)

Tom:
The Ring,2002, USA
Director: Gore Verbinski
Stars: Naomi Watts, Martin Henderson
and Brian Cox


"The Ring" is an American remake of the Japanese horror film "Ringu". I haven't seen the original so I can't compare but what I know is that Gore Verbinski's film is one hell of a scary ride. The film revolves around a young journalist who after the death of the mysterious death of her niece begins to investigate a strange video tape which causes the death of the person who watches it exactly one week after viewing it. I usually hear people reference The Ring as one of the best and scariest horror films of the last decade, I didn't really understand this until a Rewatch. The Ring is truly terrific for it's ability to create a brilliantly Erie atmosphere, it also involves genuinely chilling moments. The film begins without opening credits but a terrific scene which really sets the pace, in some ways it reminded me of the famous opening scene from "Scream" for it's ability to start the film with a bang. Naomi Watts us a great actress and is given a good role here as the strong minded, protective and almost fearless heroin. The film has somewhat of an ambiguous ending which I think is great and gives the characters and sense of doom and will stay in the audience head after watching,The actual "Video Tape"features random images and videos and is truly bone chilling. Overall The Ring is a great film. Horror audiences should appericiate Verbinski's unsettiling chiller

Tom: 3.5/4