Category Archives: Movie Reviews

Gangster Squad (2013)

GANGSTER SQUAD (Crime, Action, Drama 2013) (18) D:Ruben Fleischer C: Josh Brolin, Sean Penn, Ryan Gosling, Holt McCallany. 1h 53m. USA

Los Angeles, 1949: A secret crew of police officers led by two determined sergeants work together in an effort to take down the ruthless mob king Mickey Cohen who runs the city.

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Oh I love this film even though it’s not an actual great movie. I do love the style it was carefully birthed around the same time as LA Noire I think?? Maybe not..  as we all love a 1920’s crime/ganster movie and GAME at the same time and I don’t remember them making a game for this. So La Noire will have to take it’s place. Mickey Choen was one of the lesser glorified gangsters, but then it would take a lot to knock Al Capone off the top spot. Sadly a lot of this movie reminds me too much of The Untouchables, hard working and highly dedicated cop grouping together a bunch of elite officers who share his vision to kick some gangster ass. And while the movie is about 40% slow mo ass kicking and pistol whipping it is still fairly entertaining. Sadly Penn doesn’t really look enough like Choen for it to be really all that believeable but then De Niro didn’t really every look like Capone. I felt no mega pressence from Brolin it was like the director was having a hard time trying to make Brolin tough and dumb AND Ryan Gosling adorable. The only really rememberable characters were the gun slinger and Ribisi they kidna stood out a lot more than the leads..
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Killing Zoe (1993)

Killing Zoe

(Crime,Drama,Thriller 1993) (18D/W: Roger Avery C: Eric Stoltz, Julie Delpy, Jean-Hugues Anglade, Gary Kemp 1h 36m. USA/France

 killing zoe title

Zed has only just arrived in the beautiful Paris and already he’s up to no good. Having just slept with a call girl, he spends a night on the town with his dangerous friends

 

The movie starts out with the iconic cars scenes shot in the back streets of Paris, one of the only parts of the movie which was actually shot in France.

It was quite iconic along with a lot of early 90’s movies to have that sense of “Libertie” that Paris is supposedly all about, like Nikita and Betty Blue smashed together with films like Reservoir dogs

It addresses the language barrier quite early on.  Most of the cast will speak English when asked to unless they are going to be a pain in the ass like the concierge for example. Although you are pulled through the movie along with Eric Stolts and it’s presumed that you don’t speak any French either. It’s at this early stage of the movie that your introduced to Zoë’s character and this is when the stage is set, who and how is Zoë going to be killed. The sex scene that follows curiously has slips from the 1922 Nosferatu in it, not entirely sure why. The scenes are mostly the arrival to Whitby and the death scenes, so it loosely relates to the arrival of Eric to France, the falling in love with Zoë and ultimately death??

There are a lot of connections between this movie and Reservoir Dogs, three main factors are that RD deals with the before and after of a “job” where are Killing Zoë deals mainly with the job itself, it’s like they are alternative chapters of the same story. Also there is the Epic Tale, In RD it’s Tim Roth telling a story about a faux gangster toilet scene, killing Zoë is a bit more poignant as the joke that Bruce Ramsey/Ricardo tells is about a prostitute and its overhead by Zoë who has pointed out that she’s not a prostitute which is obviously a sore point for her. Finally there is the scene where the cop if fucked up by Michael Madsen/Mr Blonde and the security guard is equally tortured by the bomb blast during the robbery.

From the beginning of the film Eric/Jean Hugues points out that he doesn’t want anyone getting AIDS, obviously this was around the same time that Diamanda Galas was bringing awareness to the “plague” and it was big news worldwide. Again the movie is right on the pulse of Generation X’s thinking.

It’s still a mystery at this stage as Zoë has been kicked out of the hotel and you don’t see her anymore, how the hell does she get killed now?!

Religion.. I didn’t want to mention this as I don’t think it’s the correct reasoning. But I’m not an expert on the colour of bank vaults, maybe they are all painted red. I think it relates to the decent into hell and madness of the main characters. From the first scenes of the film when Eric/Zed is being taken into his hotel room the Red White and Blue colours are prolific throughout the film. It really is about the essence of France. Everyone is trying to show Eric/Zed the REAL FRANCE. Everything at first is predominantly blue with hits of red and white. The hotel/jazz club are all mostly blue in tone, then from the bank job onwards everything gets really red, as the pace quickens and the blood starts to flow.

kiklling-zoe-RWB

Back to the religion side,  of things, the first three characters could be Zed/Jesus Zoe/Mary Magdalene and Eric/Devil. Some of the imagery of him as the devil I think is amazing like the black suit, red background when he is in scene the shot where he flicks his lighter it like the fire/sparks come from him. He just needed some horns!

I have wondered what another sequel would be like, sadly there will never be another Killing Zoe as most of the characters situation, although a follow on could possibly happen as a prequel.

It has a great soundtrack by Tomandandy especially the Canaan song which is based on an old traditional medieval song. BUT it doesn’t appear on the OST. There is a version sung by a dude but not the one that appears in the drive out ending scene, not quite sure why I’ve tried to find it online but it seems the only version that exists is a recording of that final scene!! That’s what I had to do to listen to ..

There is also a cute unaccredited cameo by Ron Jeremy and something I didn’t realise is that Tom Savini did the special effects!? WOAH!

There are some really nice comedy moments in this psychological breakdown between the two friends. We never really work out, Or I never really work out why it’s called Killing Zoë. There are theories that the blood from Eric/Jean Hugues covers them at the end of the film and therefore Zoë will die from AIDS but it got everywhere, he was fucking Tai Thai as well so he’s gonna die from AIDS too if not from the bullet he took in the gut. So it’s really not about Killing Zoë. It’s probably a good time to point out that Zoë is a Greek word for life!? Who knows.

R: La Femme Nikita (1990), Leon the professional (1994) Reservoir Dogs (1992)

Slugs (1988)

Slugs (1988)
(Horror, Gore 198) (18) D: Juan Piquer Simón S: Michael Garfield, Kim Terry, Philip MacHale.  1h 29m. Spain

Killer slugs on the rampage in a rural community

TAGLINE : No-one is safe!

slugs

I have a strange slug phobia, I’m happy to admit that and this film proves that all my paranoid illusions about slugs are right, they do kill people!! When will you mortals listen to me!!

No really I can’t stand them so this film was a challenge for me. It’s quite comical having an irrational fear over something that  is so pathetically weak but unless I’m armed with salt I’m useless against a slug.

That’s enough about me.. Now for the film.. It’s so terrible it’s good! I really did enjoy it all the way through it has that euro trashy horroresqe nonesense that I adore. The dubbing is terrible the acting sucks, the scenes are unbelievable it’s like watching a school play on crack. BUT it’s so great, the gore is on top form, the characters are epic from the hot shot douchebag and his drunken manbitch, honestly his girlfriend has a mans voice! Maybe they could only afford one voice actor?

I think there was a golden age of horror movies, where it wasn’t the CGI effects that made the film, the hero’s didn’t have to be pumped or have a remarkably high IQ, they were normal people making out in normal places and getting attacked by latex puppet and that’s what I love.

The monsters in this film aren’t prehistoric, mixed with a shark or octopus, they aren’t over size or are from another planet, they are mutant though but they are still likkle slugs! Just toxic waste slugs! I remember the days when toxic waste or radioactivity made all the heroes and villains.

There was a hidden message in this movie, or at least I felt that it tried to demonstrate that drinking was bad, check out for the signs..

So basically this town somewhere in middle America or Spain is over run by mutant flesh eating slugs and only one man and his friends can help. The film mixes all the best of 80’s horror, mutants, gore, head explosions, a bit of nudity, drunk teens, a mayor and greedy hot shot, horny girlfriends. It’s just fun, even if the slug killer didn’t make sense. Come to think of it, none of it made a whole lot of sense but it is fun to watch.

 slugblood

Q: “ You don’t have the authority to declare Happy Birthday!

R: Squirm (1976), Shivers/ They Came from Within (1975) Growth (2010), Slither (2006).

BS: If I had to pick one scene I think it would be the head melting wormy dinner scene, mr scumbag who’s gf sounds like a dude is out having an important “power lunch” and his nose starts to bleed like a bad period into this drink.. then it gets messy.. great cinema!!
T: Banned in Australia???

La Weekend July 3

I’m BACK!

I have been away from this for so long, But never fear I’ve still been watching a silly amount of movies and for some reason Full Metal Jousting!!

I’ve got a lot of catching up to do so here it goes!

La Weekend July 3

  • THE EAGLE
  • EYE OF THE BEAST
  • ZEITGEIST : MOVING FORWARDS
  • PREDATOR
  • WASTELAND
  • PARADISE LOST 3
  • ATTACK THE BLOCK
  • REC 2

The Eagle – I remember this coming out at the same time as a lot of other Romanesque movies, but apparently this one was WAY better, needless to say I saw it last and it was basically identical to Centurion.. but with more homo action. Don’t get me wrong I’ve got nothing against gay peeps at all.. but I was hoping for Billy Elliot to make out is all.. Humm.. a bit boring really..

Eye of the beast – Some schit happened I suppose.. A schithole of a port is attacked by a Kracken style sea monster.. Kinda like Jaws with tentacles.. but not as dynamic as Sharkopus.. or great acting, or a great story or a great anything.. next please.

Zeitgeist : moving Forwards – FCUK ME! You know those movies that change your perception on life..well this is one of those! It’s a Documovie but makes so much sense.. It’s long but I do recommend that everyone watches this and check out the website – http://www.zeitgeistmovingforward.com/

Zeitgeist moving forward.png

Predator – I needed a bit of comfort and for Billy to get me out of this HOLE billy! I will wank over this movie at a later date as I’m sure everyone has seen it.

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Wasteland – This movie stated out with a lot of promise, gritty brit flick, lots of familiar faces, great acting, but what a fag ending.. I love a good twist at the end or a great reveal like Unusual suspects (1995), but this twists and turns like a muvafcker and after the third one I just didn’t care anymore and it ruined it for me.

Paradise Lost 3 – I couldn’t find the second instalment but as it’s all based on real events I don’t feel that I’ve missed anything seeing the pre jail and freedom story. Still a VERY good film and told in the best way possible.

Attack the Block – I have been meaning to see this for some time, I was a bit reluctant to watch due to the comedy roots of the director but it was bearable.. The effects were amazing and the tension of the chase spot on.

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Rec 2 – I watched this with my mummy so I could ensure my safety and that I could have someone to mop up my pee.. this still scares my pants off (lights on tonight). Amazing Spanish zombie/possession movie. I do adore that the take on the zombies were enforced as being demonic possession in this series.

 

Home sweet home (2013)

HOME SWEET HOME
(Thriller, Gore, Horror, 2013) (18D/W: David Morlet  S: Megham Heffern 1h 20m. USA.

A young married couple comes home from a date night to discover that they are imprisoned in their own house with a methodical killer.

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How strange, two movies with the same name, same synopsis made in the same year! The only way I could tell them apart is by the running time. Remakes are getting quicker and quicker! I thought Quarantine (2008) was made pretty soon after Rec (2007)

This is another Home Invasion movie but in a very different style, it has charm, it’s very quiet and the intruder is genuinely very creepy as is his mask. He’s as sadistic as the Collector (2009) but more believable as he doesn’t rig up Saw traps in every room in under 3 minutes.

The beginning is a bit lengthy, silent introduction into the movie, while the villain settles in, tucking in the baby and lubing himself up for the night. Literally lubing his head up with Vaseline.. Obviously it’s his thing…

The real tension starts when the couple, a young married coule return home after an evening at the theatre, they briefly settle in before the uninvited guest makes his appearance known.

Slow paced but brutal is the best way to describe this movie, it’s similar to Funny Games (1997) or the Strangers (2008), you’ll notice something in the background and then WHOA blood! It mimics the directors other horror, Mutants (2009) and does have a very Euro Film feel to it.

There is a very different structure to Home Sweet Home that works for this style of movie, often with films directors will try and introduce the characters in great detail to make you love or hate them to cause a deeper reaction when the shit hits the fan, it doesn’t happen in here and it’s great because you don’t become annoyed with the characters, instead the sheer horror of a home invasion strike enough fear into the viewer. Lets face it, it’s pretty unpleasant… you get a pretty good idea what the couple are like in the brief introduction.

Another striking factor is that unlike other home invasion movie this one is well lit and you can clearly see what is going on, there is a bit of sneaking around but it’s not in the shadows. A majority of the movie is a showdown between the intruder and the wife and both actors nail the performance totally.

A great twist at the end, actually a pretty good ending considering the pace and tension, it still gives a little kick at the end on top of all the others.. It’s not the best film ever but it’s certainly one of the more memorable home invasion movies and it worth a watch.

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Q: Not many quotes I’m afraid.. this is a pretty silent film.

BS: I have to say that I really did love the introduction where the guy smears himself with Vaseline.. and there is a strange art house style scene where a ball bounces down the stairs.. TENSION!!! It’s simple and extremely affective.

R: Strangers (2008), Funny Games (1997), Cherry Tree Lane (2010) , Ils/Them (2006).

7/10

07

Viy (1967)

Viy

(Horror, Comedy, Fantasy, Supernatural, 1967) (12) D: Konstantin Ershov W: Nikolai Gogol C: Leonid Kuravlyov. 1h 17m. Russia/Ukraine.

A young priest is ordered to preside over the wake of witch in a small old wooden church of a remote village. This means spending three nights alone with the corpse with only his faith to protect him

viy or spirit of evilI wasn’t quite sure what to expect from this movie, initially I used to think Russian/Ukraine movies were all a little lo budget and crappy.. Alas I grew up and started watching more movies, realised that what I had seen in the past were critically acclaimed movies and not the stranger stuff that I appreciate and low and behold every country suddenly has an underground current of movies that entertain me… sorry I’m loosing myself here.. Viy (1967) is a lush vibrant gothic horror story. T: It’s based on a book by Nikolai Gogol.

You can read a summary here on the wiki (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viy_(story)) and the artist Natalie Shau did a gorgeous photo manipulation that you can see here (http://www.ihlet.com/blog/fine-digital-art) The story had captured many other artists over the years and there is no wonder why, the story is very visual and fascinating. Continue reading Viy (1967)

Joyeux Noel (2005)

Joyeux Noel – (War, Drama, Historical, Music, 2005) (12) D/W: Christian Carion C: Benno Furmann, Diane Kruger, Ian Richardson . 1h 56m. France.

On christmas eve during WWI the Germans, French and Scottish fraternise and get to know the men who are on the opposite side of a brutal war, in what became a true lesson of humanity.

 merry-christmas-joyeux-noel-poster

This was a poignant insight into a true occurrence during the first christmas of the Great War. Although the legend of the football matches and cease fire was not generalised it did happen, along the front line and probably wasn’t as “pretty” as this film makes out but the humanity of the event is probably as sincere.

There were moments when I thought the film might just turn into a full blown singing and dancing musical but it did help display that music is a universal language as much as prayer in some cases.

The story revolved around the love affair of Nikolaus and Anna (Benno Furmann and Diane Kruger) and obviously the German, French and Scottish legions. The men decided to have a moment of clarity on an otherwise deathly Christmas eve and drop guns and celebrate together. Which goes to show that “war” is always just political action. Unfortunately the dirty work is carried out by those who don’t necessarily want any part of it.

There are lots of interactions between the men that illustrate them visiting each other and knowing each other before the war, e.g visiting one and others hotel etc. It displays that there was a unified Europe before the war.

There is a feature of this movie which plays out similar to that in Schindler’s List (1993) Where an unknown person is clearly visible, in Schindlers it was the girl in the red coat, in Joyeux Noel it is a German and his 10am alarm clock. Both characters play an important role to remind you without knowing fully, that human beings are involved here.

A lot of small comedy moments are included, it’s hard to add this into a war movie without the cast looking like ball sacks but it’s focused  on the officers and lets face it. we’re all routing for infantry.

joyeux

The language barriers are addressed in a logical way, the sets and wardrobes seem authentic to me but alas I am no historian. I was a little dubious about Benno being transported here and there at very short notice and so quickly but none of the transportation is shown, maybe to focus on the situation!? I dunno.. but he seemed to have no trouble getting out of the front line when he needed to.

The music aspect of this movie was the most annoying part, I’m not a fan of musicals myself but a catchy tune helps, understandably for this film the music had to fit. Lets just say that I didn’t rush out to get the OST. I’m pretty sure that it could have been crafted in a better way.

Another factor which shocked me a little about this film is that I knew from the start that this was WWI, no doubt about it.. but after watching for about an hour or so when one of the German officers said he appreciate the prayers even though he was Jewish I hit pause.. I couldn’t work out how a German officer could be Jewish then it finally sunk in again that it was WWI… it’s amazing how after watching so many WWII movies after hearing the German and seeing the war aspect my brain just clicked into WWII phase.. Is cinema making me racist!? Lol I kid..

This movie is quite engaging and a really compassionate insight into a small but vitally important snippet of the Great War.

T: One of the last films Ian Richardson made before his death on February 9th 2007.

Q: What the hell are you doing, Shoot the bloody kraut, shoot him god damn it the holidays are OVER!

R: Schindler’s List (1993), The English Patient (1996).

8/10

08

Pido nunmuldo eobsh/No blood no tears (2002)

PIDO NUNMULDO EOBSH : NO BLOOD NO TEARS

(Action, Crime, 2002)(18) D/W : Seung-wan ryoo W: Jin Wan Jeong. 1h 56m. South Korea

TAGLINE : Enough is Enough

She drives a cab on the night shift and meets every scum there is, Gyung-Sun lives a scant life day by day

no-blood-no-tears_dvd-cover

A single macho woman car driver vs the pretty trophy girlfriend of an out of work boxer… Actually they aren’t against each other they end up working together, taking down a bully and a small time gangster in their pursuit of freedom and happiness.

This has probably been classed as a girl power movie by many people. Fair enough two women manage to liberate themselves against male tyrants and gangsters and take a hell of a beating in the process. I’d imagine this is a Korean Thelma and Louise?

As a second full length feature from Rye Seung Wan who (for me) seems to have a hit and miss career, when he gets things right he makes two of my favourite movies of all time, this and City of Violence (2006) and when he gets it wrong he makes a total fuck up like Crying Fist (2005).

This film plays more like a Tarantino Richie pulp style movie as apposed to a “proper” action film and it’s loaded with small snippets of random surreal comedy that enhances the film all the way through. The film also features Doo Hong Jung (one of my favourite Korean actors) and his incredible fighting choreography is used throughout including the final showdown which is almost Riki-O (1991) tough and adds to the violent undercurrent of the film.

nobloodnotears2

Q: “You can stop pretending to be tough now…”

BS: The fight showdown between the boxer douchbag and the silent guy, there is some back stabbing, hanging, crazy beating goodness!!

R: Crying Fist (2005), City of Violence (2006), Thelma and Louise (1991).

9/10

09

Last night’s movies 27.06.13

Pretty lame night really, I did one of the longest works outs of my life.. so I didn’t have much time for film watching L

 

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Nevermind… I psychoed out with Night of the Demon (1980) which involved a serial rapist big foot and his b*stard offspring, there isn’t much to worry about though, he seems a sensitive lover really, The son seems to only fight in slow motion and doesn’t f*ck peoples guts out or rip off dicks like his father, so the family line is getting better!

 

flightSecondly came Flight (2012) which was more entertaining than I thought it would be, I do love hopeless not really trying to recover alcoholics.. they are the best to add a bit of spice into a drama, and just about the point where you wanted to punch  Denzel in the face, he sorts it out… good timing man!

 

Happiness (1998)

HAPPINESS

(Drama, Comedy, 1998) (18) D/W : Todd Solondz  P : Ted Hope S : Dylan Baker, Philip Seymour Hoffman. 2h 14m. USA.

The lives of many individuals connected by the desire for happiness, often from sources usually considered dark or evil.

Happiness

From the first scene you get a pretty good indication of how raw this movie is going to be. The beginning reminded me of The ABC’s of Death (2012) As it just chucks you into the mix with no mercy.

The movie revolves around one family and their entanglement with neighbours, friends, stalkers and students, each of the main characters and associated people are all trying to find their own personal happiness, I find it strange that they all seem to think that this can be found in another person or sex, but I’m sure there are some psychologist who will argue why we do this.

The subject matter is unsettling but dealt with in a childlike way which makes it more twisted. The resident pedophile (Dylan Baker) would normally be seen/portrayed as a dirty and disgusting man, but he’s a punctual caring father with a job. He’s invisible as a peado but still rapes his son’s best friend (and makes it onto our worst fathers list). But the conclusion of this mini saga is just a simple chat with his son on the sofa, both are very honest and there is no judgement or closure. It’s scenes like this that will cause people to love or hate the movie.

There are some drawn out scenes, like when Joy’s colleague/date commits suicide and no one in the office remembers him and spend a good 5 minutes or more asking around trying to recall him. It’s scenes like this which give you time to reflect.

I adore the film; I found it totally fascinating to see an authentic look into the secretive lives of a few individuals who have very dark natures. You’ll recognise someone you know in each character and I think it’s at that point it hits home that the people around you aren’t what they seem. We all have a darker nature, maybe not all to the same degree as the people in the movie but it’s rife among us, this is what will terrify people.

I did find myself trying to predict what would happen next, with the relaxed pace of the movie you are kinda left to think.. “he’s gonna, he’s not gonna, oh my god he did what!?” You don’t really expect Dylan to drug and rape the young boy, you think with all the things that could go wrong that the kid would be spared.

You don’t see the act but you feel the realisation of the “blood in the BW” it’s like when someone says “the N word” you can’t not think Nigga.. brilliant now I’m thinking of that thing that you’re not mentioning! There are scenes which force you to think of scenarios and it doesn’t even touch on them, and it’s only because your human and as twisted as the characters that you are thinking along those lines.. Well done Mr Solondz.

R : Thursday (1998), Clive barkers History of the Devil (Radio play)

T : Director Cameo (Todd Solondz) as the doorman in Allen, Helen and Kristina’s building.

Q: “would you ever fuck me? 

no I’d jerk off instead”

“You know I wish you had told me this twenty years ago. Now I’m gonna have to get another FUCKING FACELIFT.”

 “I’m gonna fuck you till cum comes out your ears”,

TIL : Dogs eat cum!

BS : Any scene with Dylan Baker is amazing, I have such a crush on him… But the last scene with him and his son talking about his “sickness” is amazing.

9/10

09