Tag Archives: 2014

Get on up (2014)

Get on up 2

Get on up  – (Biography, Drama, Music,  2014) D: Tate Taylor W: Jez Butterworth, John Henry P: Peter Afterman C: Chadwick Boseman, Nelsan Ellis, Dan Aykroyd. 2h 18m. USA. (PG13)

TAGLINE : The Funk don’t Quit

Synopsis : A chronicle of James Brown’s rise from extreme poverty to become one of the most influential musicians in history.

Upbeat, comical and sentimental recollection of the grand master of funk himself Mr. James Brown. Starting out with one of the more controversial moments of Mr Browns career and possibly part of one of his best car chases, manages to kick off the movie, but it soon starts to backtrack to his humble beginnings detailing a humble upbringing and is abandonment of first his mother Susie (Viola Davis) then father. Slowly creeping up through the ages constantly showing the havoc that the unstoppable Brown created throughout his life. A sterling profound performance from Chadwick Boseman (42 2013) who’s ability to mimic the grand master is hauntingly accurate, an excellent choice from director Tate Taylor (the Help 2011). Tracing the rags to riches caper that’s heavily injected with quirky reaction shots while Chadwick gives the audience a little info or shows concern for being in a “honky ho down”.

Detailing the jail time, inspirations, courage and various song and dance outbursts of the “hardest working man in show business” Brown is depicted a strong willed domineering, maverick, flash dressing perfectionist and activist, storming the charts as well as fighting for civil rights. All while sidekick Boby Byrd (Nelsan Ellis) is on hand to provide a footing and commentary. As the Famous Flames fade into obscurity the godfather or soul takes his rightful place as centre stage running the show exactly as he and only he intends it to run.

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Great detail is paid to the costumes and settings while there is a variety of a minor historical inaccuracy, some events are played up for the grand Hollywood screen. There is still a bold demonstration for the zeal of music throughout. Former Blues Brother Dan Aykroyd has a cameo as Brown’s manager Ben Bart and Jill Scott finds herself at the end of a single punch as Browns wife, it’s enough to demonstrate their happy marriage, but his flaws are rarely demonstrated. Despite these flaws, that are clearly portrayed in the film, it prefers to paint him as a savior of American Funk and we can’t deny him his hard work and preservation paid off. A great and entertaining homage to the late and great James Brown.

 

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Rating –  9/10

V : I love a ton about this movie, it’s clever, it’s sentimental and it’s funny, the only thing that puts me off is that it failed to paint James Brown with the negative brush enough on the domestic side. I like that it didn’t ignore his behavior to his wife, in fact it’s prevalent but it just glorified him a little TOO much. Still it seems to be a damn fine account, there isn’t much wrong with it at all. I do admire that it ends at a high point, and doesn’t play out but I think to be fully complete it could have gone right to the end of the story. Maybe playing on the people who are influenced by James Brown today, how his legacy of music is still alive today.

R: Notorious
(2009), Beyond the Sea (2004) , Tina (1993) The Soloist (2009), American Gangster (2007)

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The Taking of Deborah Logan (2014)

Deborah Logan

The Taking of Deborah Logan  – (Horror, Supernatural,  2014) (18) D: Adam Robite W: Gavin Heffernan Adam Robitel  C: Jill Larson, Anne Ramsay,  Michelle Ang, Ryan Cutrona. 1h 30m. USA.

Synopsis : What starts as a poignant medical documentary about Deborah Logan’s descent into Alzheimer’s disease and her daughter’s struggles as caregiver degenerates into a maddening portrayal of dementia at its most frightening, as hair-raising events begin to plague the family and crew and an unspeakable malevolence threatens to tear the very fabric of sanity from them all

Directorial debut from Adam Robitel in a dark and eerie independent supernatural horror mockumentary.  An ambitious project but the idea is based around a small student phd team who are making a documentary on Alzheimer’s sufferer Deborah Logan (Larson). Heading the crew is budding film student Michelle Ang (Medina). There is a premise that the team are almost bribing the broke Logan with offers of money to pay for her medical bills, but it’s never made clear why she is so important to them. Quite early on in the movie the team and Deborah’s daughter Sarah (Anne Ramsay) becomes more associated with the film crew and going to them for help as the mysteries surrounding her mother become more obscure and frightening.

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The story unravels slowly, picking through scraps of information found around and hidden in Deborahs home and the irrational and sordid outbursts from Deborah herself, hints are eventually dropped about a past client that was suspected of murdering children. Then things start to get weird and then go crazy. The team are on the search for this person who seems tied up with mysticism and the occult, while they try to unravel his motives and save Deborah.

For a low budget found footage film it neglects some of the rules (I’ll post them in a list at some point),  which is why it will be popular with the fans and slated by the critics. While being clever and brings something slightly fresher to the genre it does so in a slightly muddled way. It does have a well crafted plot and is backed by sterling performances especially by Larson as she was put through her paces and showed no signs of strain. I great instant favorite for me, this film is edgy and delivers the scares with shocking regularity. It can be slow at times but it scary without a dramatic build up, it doesn’t linger on these unsettling moments, it swiftly moves on leaving a trail of shock hurdles to get over before it’s onto another unexpected marathon.

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Rating –  7/10

V: I really enjoyed the film, but I’m giving it a seven as i feel it really has a bit more potential not in what it has done but what it could have avoided to cross all the t’s leave some unanswered questions and keep us guessing,  Silent Hill (the game) wasn’t scary because it was the unknown, not because we worked anything out. More details in the post discussion

R: Possession of Michael King (2014), Grave Encounters (2011), Angel Heart (1987)

 

Date Night

image https://youtu.be/rQPSWU6QET0

Found on Futureshorts YouTube Channel

Duration 5.54

Dir: Reggie Yates / UK / 2014

When three fidelity phobic misfits find themselves in the same cafe, their love and hate for all things

This short film portrays a few individual in a canteen at lunch time, all giving a “from the heart” talk about their single life and attracting a partner, the characters are all very different in their approach while all remaining total misfits. You have the macho executive (Tony Day) who is over-confident and eager to detail the immense size of his manhood, in the same cafeteria there is a guy who is over-cautious and meticulous, and just can’t seem to find perfection, finally a young lass who is deeply in love and incredibly angry as well. All of them are relating food with love and love with food, it’s charming and inventive dialogue. Most of it is a close up face on shot like an interview but the dialogue is crisp and witty. it’s a very clever short film, we all know one or two of characters which is a good indication that they have got it right. It’s insightful and opens many windows but answers no questions.

 

07

 

 


R
: 7/10

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!

Grizzly – The Red Machine (2014)

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Grizzly – The Red Machine (Thriller, Action, Horror 2014) (PG-13) D: David Hackl: P: W: Guy Moshe, JR Reher +: C: Thomas Jane, James Marsden, Billy Bob Thornton, Scott Glenn, Bart the Bear 1h 34m. Canada.

TAGLINE : Hunt or be hunted Synopsis: Two estranged brothers reunite at their childhood home in the Alaskan Wild. They set out on a two day hike and are stalked by an unrelenting grizzly bear.

 Nature enforces it’s will over man in this soppy thriller, two estranged brothers who are tightly bound by memories of a bear attack on their father but separated by different lifestyles, begrudgingly reunite to fight a common for, a grizzly bear on the hunt for revenge. It’s not the most imaginative plot and is much like other hunt movies such as Jaws (1975) or the Edge (1997).

While Grizzly isn’t improved with such lovable characters such as Brody and Quint from Jaws, it does remain, man is pitted against the toughest unrelenting killer who cannot be bargained with. Joining the brothers is the seasoned hunter (basically the Quint of the flick) Douglas (Billy Bob Thornton) Once he arrives with his pritty horsey, and they are deep in the woods the pace starts to pick up, but don’t get too excited..

Expectedly this film revolves around beautiful long shots of the Canadian forests and is accompanied by a fitting score. While the bear attack scenes adopt a shaky rapid movement cut scene technique to the point where it’s hard to really see what’s going on but these are the stronger segments. On a personal note I admire any stunt actor who does up against a bear, even in a controlled environment. Sadly there does seem to be an irritating formula for every bear attack scene that dulls the movie a little With such a host of big named stars involved in the movie is as mediocre as the plot and the depth of the characters are just weak.

Director David Hackl, known for having a hand in the Saw franchise and directing Saw V (2008) seems out of his depths in a much larger out door arena and having to deal with real drama that can’t be enhanced by creepy traps. Everything is cobbled together in a bizarre mixture without any real tension. Something just doesn’t gel together here. Rowan (James Marsden) mistakenly picks up a hooker who gets stroppy and leaves, I’m pretty sure he could pull a straight guy, and the seasoned hunter tough guy Douglas (Billy Bob Thornton) misses with nearly every shot no matter how close up he is to the beast. I’ll also mention the example of the deaf girl who is camping and manages to escape the bear by using just the bear mace.

Grizzly is a sedated hunt movie, the frequent bear attacks could have been substituted for fewer more intense attack scenes with better cinematography and maybe some artistic flare, there aren’t many bear movies out there, but it’s about time we got creative with this theme. We know bears are intelligent creatures I’m sure they are use tools or do I dare suggest a zombie bear? Overall Grizzly doesn’t deliver on excitement, suspense, tension action or gore, it’s just very average all around.    

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Rating : 5/10

R: Grizzly (1976), The Edge (1997, Grizzly Man (2005) Grizzly Park (2008) Night of the Grizzly (1966) Bear (2010) Orca (1977) Jaws (1975)

BS: The scene where billy bob gets swiped by the teddy bear and gets a cool haircut. How he survives that I just don’t know.

L: Bear Films, When animals attack

5B: Thomas Jane, Billy Bob Thornton.

DGI: Chug a bear for ever bear attack.

T: The film is part dedication to the original Grizzly man Timothy Treadwell who is believed to have been killed by a bear he nicknamed as the Red Machine.

Kisha

As above so below (2014)

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As above So Below – (Horror, Mystery, Thriller, 2014) D: John Erick Dowdle W: Drew Dowdle C: Perdita Weeks, Ben Feldman, Edwin Hodge. 1h 33m. USA. (18)

TAGLINE : The only way out is down.

When a team of explorers ventures into the catacombs that lie beneath the streets of Paris, they uncover the dark secret that lies within this city of the dead.

Claustrophobes will easily be getting all their panic triggers pulled throughout this movie and even the brave will be feeling enclosed by the end of this shock filled found footage style supernatural horror. Unlike the Catacombs (2007) this film is actually filmed in the Paris underground catacomb system with real props dragged in by the crew. John Dowdel, who directed the REC remake; Quarantine (2008) and lift thriller Devil (2010) is finding new ways of making small casts freak out audiences in confined spaces. The team have to venture down to find a legendary alchemical stone. The film is almost too clever for its own good, it incorporates fairly well researched legends with a jump around each corner, this is where it gets clever,each member of the team starts to get a tailored sacre but as soon as you work this out, all hell breaks loose so there is no comfort zone and many wtf moments but without giving away too much I absolutely adore the ending but I’ll talk about that in the post review.

BS :I love a mad dash Scarlett makes near the end of the film is quite Doomesque and pretty entertaining and the end is brilliant.

Rating 6/10

06

R: Catacombs (2007), Devil (2010), Descent (2005)

May 2014

MAY

Here is a list of movies I watched in May 2014 I counted about 87.. not bad.. I’ll try and keep the next list more consistent.

  • The Terminator
  • *Wolf Crek 2
  • Fargo
  • *The Day
  • Frost/Nixon
  • Scarface
  • Jack Frost
  • Carlos the Jackle
  • The Hills have eyes 2
  • Barberella
  • Zombie Flesh Eaters
  • Condemned
  • *Underworld Awakening
  • The Swimming Pool
  • Red Sonja
  • Bully
  • Robocop
  • *Snow walker
  • Vacancy
  • Paradise lost (extreme edition)
  • Scarface
  • Human Contract
  • *St Georges Day
  • *Death Ring
  • Tinker Taylor Soldier Spy
  • *The Hurt Locker
  • Ravenous
  • Alien3
  • The Importance of being Ernst
  • Underworld Awakening
  • *Grave Encounters
  • *Grave Enounters 2
  • The ABC’s of Death
  • Ten Little Indians
  • Layer Cake
  • 7 Days
  • The Thing
  • Se7en
  • Gomorroh
  • Jubliee
  • Re Animator
  • *Enter the Void
  • Un Chien Andalou
  • *Dead Shadows
  • Twilight – Eclipse
  • *Killing season
  • Bully
  • X Men first class
  • Fist full of dollars
  • *Cloverfield
  • Phantasm
  • Grimm Love
  • Dog Soldiers
  • The Resident
  • Zombie Holocaust
  • Dorian Gray
  • Death Ring
  • Commando
  • *Creepozoids
  • Godzilla
  • Rocky II
  • Star Wars 4
  • Extreme Measures
  • *All the boys love mandy Lane
  • True Grit
  • *X Men days of future past
  • UFC 173
  • Godzilla vs megaguirus
  • Childs play II
  • Running man
  • The Iceman
  • Deathwatch
  • Campfire tales
  • Running Man
  • The Day the earth stood still
  • The Quatermass Experiment
  • The Return of the muskateers
  • Running man 7/10
  • *Campire Tales 7/10
  • Barbarella 10/10
  • *Hobsons Choice 9/10
  • Black Hawk Down 8/10
  • *Mikey 6/10
  • *Ghost Rider : Spirit of sommit 3/10
  • *Juggernaut 8/10
  • *300 Rise of an empire 6/10
  • Seven Swords 9/10
  • *Oculus 7/10
  • Die Hard 4.0 6/10
  • *The Trial 5/10

    *=new