Category Archives: War

The Necromancer (2018)

Director: Stuart Brennan
Starring: Stuart Brennan, Marcus Macleod, Mark Paul Wake….UK. 1h 28m

This darkly twisted fairy tale follows a group of soldiers fleeing a war zone who find themselves lost deep in the woods where only magical things can happen.This British horror with a small budget definitely dreams big and while it has a solid story the execution comes across a little trying.

There is evil inside all of us.

Continue reading The Necromancer (2018)

Sand Serpents (2009)

Director: Jeff Renfroe
Starring:Jason Gedrick, Tamara Hope, Elias Toufexi, Sebastian Knapp, Chris Jarman. Canada. 1h 30m

Like a strange warped version of Monsters: Dark Continent (2014), blended with Jarhead (2005)and Tremors (1990), Sand Serpents doesn’t really feature a nest of deadly vipers as I expected instead the foes are more like miniature versions of the adorable Dune (1984) like sand worms but with a blood thirsty taste for human flesh.

A small group of US Army Soldiers become stranded in the remote Afghan desert, but against all odds and while teaming up with a father and daughter team from the local region they battle the Taliban and the epic worm like creatures from an unknown source, not something covered in basic training. Continue reading Sand Serpents (2009)

Overlord (2018)

Director: Julius Avery
Starring: Jovan Adepo, Wyatt Russell, Mathilde Ollivier, Pilou Asbæk USA. 1h 50m

I didn’t know anything about this movie before I started seeing it’s backlash, but I personally believe that it’s a mistake to look at Overlord as a Horror movie, it’s just a Blackened Action War movie. The mechanism is generally simple, good guy Americana vs pure evil monster nazi,in between there’s a overnight coming of age, us and them dynamics and any excuse to shoehorn in some swearing and mild violence. Overall I find that the film sits neatly between a homage to lurid EC Comics series like Tales from the Crypt and the Wolfenstein video games, without taking it too seriously or trying to fit it neatly into historical facts I really enjoyed the black lead cast in their sometimes gory adventure, it’s not a great film, there’s nothing truly outstanding but for me it’s incredibly enjoyable. Continue reading Overlord (2018)

Der Hauptmann / The Captain (2017)

Director: Robert Schwentke
Starring: Max Hubacher, Frederick Lau, Bernd Hölscher, Waldemar Kobus, Alexander Fehling, Samuel Finzi. Germany. 1h 50m

Here is another chilling nightmare from the German home front, as the end of the war begins to loom into reality and defeat is imminent, a lone German runs deep into the woods while being chased by some overprivileged soldiers blowing horns and taking pot luck shots at him. The man manages to evade death and recapture and eventually stumbles on an abandoned car and uniform of a high ranking officer.

This crystalline black and white brutal masterpiece, possible shot in this style inspired by Spielberg’s Schindler’s List (1993) shows that the talented director Schwentke has gone back to basic and delivered something beautifully stark and somewhat monstrous. Continue reading Der Hauptmann / The Captain (2017)

Dog Pound (2010)

Director: Kim Chapiron .
Starring. Adam Butcher,Shane Kippel,Mateo Morales, Slim Twig.Canada. 1h m.

Long after a wave of brutal British films hit the screen in the late 70’s and early 80’s detailing social disturbances, punk and skinhead culture and a lot of lost souls, race relations were at a boiling point with the rise of right wing groups in English cities and this all got reflected in such institutional films as Scum (1979), Made in England (1982) and Scrubbers (1982), that era passed and there was a lot of calm, but director Kim Chapiron, who had blasted on the scene with Sheitan (2010) a creepy occult themed thriller starring Vincent Cassel. While Dog Pound doesn’t employ the macabre of the unknown it’s equally disturbing and a loose remake of Scum. Continue reading Dog Pound (2010)

Gong fen you xia / Pink Force Commando (1982)

Director:Yen-ping Chu
Starring Brigitte Lin, Sally Yeh. Taiwan.

An amazing twitter buddy reminded me of this movie, if you’ve got any interest in B-Movies then check out @cjzisi <-twitter and/or the blog for a treasure trove of amazing reviews of rare and obscure films. I had seen this many years ago but I have to admit that somehow it was somewhat mostly forgotten, so I dug out the old VHS and re watched it.. Damn how the hell did I manage to forget any of this!? Continue reading Gong fen you xia / Pink Force Commando (1982)

Outpost (2008)

Director: Steve Barker.
Starring. Richard Brake, Ray Stevenson, Julian Wadham, Michael Smiley, Julian Rivett, Enoch Frost,  UK. 1h 30m.

Military horrors and bunker films have been a unique niche market for some time, when done right they offer a healthy lashing of terror, there hadn’t been much to hit the big screen since Deathwatch, where a team are tormented by supernatural forces in the trenches of WWII, add an element of the occult and science fiction and voila.. Outpost. In this murky horror a team of weary mercenaries are hired to travel into war torn Eastern Europe where they have found a well-hidden and abandoned bunker with a very unusual machine.  The wealthy businessman who picks up these seasoned troops, keeps his secrets close to his chest and while he thinks he knows the ins and outs even he’s surprised by depravity that was carried out by the deranged nazi scientists in the depths. Continue reading Outpost (2008)

Below (2002)

below1

Director: David Twohy.

Writer: Lucas Sussman, Darren Aronofsky
Starring: Holt McCallany, Bruce Greenwood, Dexter Fletcher, Nick Chinlund, Olivia Williams, Jason Flemyng, Tim Plester, Zach Galifianakis, Christopher Fairbank. USA/UK. 1h 45m.

This was a curious film, an underwater mystery that take a while to get going but it does turn up the atmospherics in the later half.

A handful of survivors are plucked from a damaged ship and brought aboard the USS Tiger Shark submarine that’s on patrol in the Atlantic Ocean during WWII. A conscientious doctor a wounded soldier and a few others become welcomed guests on a sub with more mysterious than the Mary Celeste. Continue reading Below (2002)

Edge of Tomorrow (2013)

image

Edge of Tomorrow (Action, Sci Fi, 2014) (12A) D: Doug Liman: P: W: Christopher McQuarrie (Screenplay) Hiroshi Sakuraka: C: Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Bill Paxton, Brendan Gleeson, Tony Way 1h 53m. USA.

TAGLINE : Live. Die. Repeat

Synopsis: A military officer is brought into an alien war against an extraterrestrial enemy who can rest the day and know the future. When this officer is enabled with the same power, he teams up with a Special Forces warrior to try and end the war.

This epic sci-fi had the hard work already done, director Doug Limman (Bourne, Mr and Mrs) and Writer  Christopher McQuarrie (Usual suspects, Jack Reacher), had an easy job bringing this unique Manga story to life. Edge of Tomorrow is based on the Hiroshi Sakurazka novel All You Need Is Kill, the stage set for a ground breaking sci-fi mystery story;  originally casted with Brad Pitt as the lead. A reluctant and clumsy Cage (Cruise) is drafted into the army to fight a species of aliens who are always a step ahead in the war.

Scaling down the Japanese mega weapons,  and reducing the need for large-scale destruction the film instead tests it laurels on the leading couple,  while the other characters are strong they lose potency for the sake of Cruise who instead of battling with a team throughout spends most of the film going it alone or with just Blunt by his side.

The epic promotion of Live.Die.Repeat is a huge clue to the crucial groundhog day effect to expect in this film, while its essential the technique can be really boring but it’s made bearable through humor and kept to a minimum. But once this element is fully comprehended and done to death, the deeper mysteries of the plot start to unfold. WIthout getting too technical Edge of Tomorrow starts to become a real sci fi movie, playing on realms and alien elements that are actually alien! Too often do we find aliens that we can understand.. this isn’t so here, a brilliant twist.

Much in the same way that Snowpiercer (2013) tried to bridge the gap between east and west,  while avoiding the misdemeanours and sensationalism both movies reduce the massive scale of the weaponry and warfare. It’s understandable as the audiences are very different but it would be commendable to exact or expand on what was there. A great opportunity lost.

Rita (Blunt) and her downsized buster sword and who sadly isn’t a Japanese teen, is formidable throughout as is Cruise, Paxton and Gleeson,  despite their many battles they remain pretty faced in the sea of CGI robotics,  which look impressive. I have to admit that the modern robot effects that have been perfected through such films as Transformers (2007) and Terminator Salvation (2009) and are looking more robust and evolving well, the same can’t be said for the mushy faced blue glowing aliens who looked very out of key, personally I feel that the non mecha approach should be done with real characters with enhanced CGI

Generally the film is good, it’s got the typical edge of the all american hero and therefore you can pretty much work out the entire plot from the beginning but it had elements that make it interesting to watch. It does broach aspects of the world of Manga in a slightly tame manner but what it lacks there it does make up for by introducing a strong element from the original book about the aliens battle techniques.. I can’t say anymore I’d give it away…

AOFA07

 

 

Rating : 7/10

V: Without knowing the great material that was used originally I could easily give it a higher score of an 8  but I gotta take a point off for weakening a great Japanese novel/comic series.

R: Looper (2012) , 12 Monkeys (1995) , Pacific Rim (2013), Patlabor (1989+),

 

Q: There’s a Full Metal Bitch.”

L: Groundhog Day Effect, Time Travel, Mecha Movies, Manga to Hollywood
5B: Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Bill Paxton, Tony Way
DGI: Knock a shot for every repetition

Kisha

300 : Rise of an empire (2014)

300: Rise of an Empire

300: Rise of an Empire (Historical, War, Action, Fantasy 2014) (18) D: Noam Murro: P:Gianni Nunnari C: Lena Headey, Rodrigo Santoro, David Wenham, Andrew Tiernan, Andrew Pleavin and Peter Mensah .1h 42m USA.

TAGLINE : Seize your glory

Synopsis: Greek general Themistokles leads the charge against invading Persian forces led by mortal-turned-god Xerxes and Artemisia, vengeful commander of the Persian navy.

While Zack Snyder’s live action remake of the Frank Millers/Lynn Varleys graphic novel 300 (2006) set the pace for a new generation of golden GCI enriched historical tales, this poor less endowed relation offers nothing but post Pathfinder (2007) GCI bloodletting, an awkward sex scene and lots of soul draining drama in a giant badly reconstructed swimming pool.

Frank Miller was quick to start work on the Xerxes comic series which is still unfinished but despite this; it was snapped up by director Noam Murro’s, whose previous resume includes only one film, comedy romance Smart People (2008) , and it’s obviously he was out of his depth in this greatly anticipated (non) sequel. The story seems to have very little to do with Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro) instead it deals more with the battles against the Persian naval forces commanded by Artemisia (Eva Green) and in the Spartan corner Themistokles (Sullivan Stapleton).

Overall it’s 300 (2006)  in a swimming pool, similar to how Master and Commander (2003) is basically Gladiator (2000) in a swimming pool and Waterworld (1995) is Mad Max 2 (1979) in water, more movies need to make this step, for example maybe Bad Milo! (2013) could have a loving butt adventure on a boat.. it would be a lot more entertaining.

300 Rise of an Empire (2014)  is pretty dull, it doesn’t have any of the dazzling moments or great battles scenes as it’s predecessor, the characters have no depth, although they do have very nice wardrobes and the same set of spray on peck and six packs. It seems everyone is only available for a short angry faced cameo then it’s on to the next slow motion death scene. Artemisia and Themisokles have an awkward grunting, beatdown pseudo sex scene which was difficult to fully undertand. The only treat is a final showdown which does involve a high density of CGI but is the best and longest fighting scene. there isn’t really a whole lot to really get the grasp of, it’s not a political battleground, it’s not a great battle strategy enthused film like Red Cliff (2008) It just attempts everything and achieves nothing. Gerard Butler is sorely missed…

 05

 

Rating : 5/10

R: 300 (2006). Troy (2004), Kingdom of Heaven (2005), Pompeii (2014), Hercules (2014)

Q: Artemisia: You fight much harder than you fuck.
Queen Gorgo: You’ve come a long way to stroke your cock, while you watch real men train.
BS: Final fight scene is ok.. Otherwise it’s lots of meh!
OST: Junkie XL, Black Sabbath – War Pigs
L: Historical War Films
5B: Rodrigo Santoro, Andrew Tiernan, Jack O’Connell
DGI: Knock a shot for every gay reference.. I dare you!