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USA. 2010. Directed by Ridley Scott. Screenplay by Bruab Helgeland. Story by Ethan Reuff, Cyrus Voris. Starring: Russell Crowe, Cate Blanchett

Rating: ★★½

Robin Hood - The untold story of the man behind the legend... A friend of mine came up with a much better tag-line. Robin Hood - Gladiator with bows and arrows. The same prologue, director and actor of Gladiator were used but nowhere near the same quality. The piecemeal scenes of Robin Hood that tied the storyline together were confusing and disappointing. A lot of the dialogue that contributed to the overall plot-line were unnecessary making the pace of the film appear choppy and condensed. So many ideas were brought into the story such as Robin’s paternal origins and the significance of certain characters were never developed or explained. The angle the director took to move the plot along were to make all the characters seemed partial and easily swayed, a king’s crucial decision for the future of this country made on a whim based on his mistress’ word. There was no debate or intense friction but a quick and easy dialogue delivery, like a bowl of uncooked instant noodles. 


In addition to the long winding war scenes, a large portion of the film danced around the romance between Marion (Blanchett) and Robin (Crowe), which was utterly excruciating to watch. The development of their growing love for each other was attempted through short awkward dialogue banter, only worsened by the lack of chemistry between the two actors. The fact that their mutual feelings were never addressed throughout the film made the 'declaration of love' scene; come as a sudden shock. They were excellent apart but skin-crawling in the scenes they filmed together.

**Spoiler Alert**
Blanchett convincingly portrayed Marion as a strong, independent, hard headed woman throughout the film, however the useless addition of her running into the final battle with sword in hand & full body armor leading her small legion of the lost boys was completely unnecessary! Ridley Scott, you’ve been pounding it in our faces that Marion is a heroine from the start. We get it! She’s tough! There was no need for her to join the battle and fail miserably. It completely undid her tough act and made the crucial farewell scene between Robin & herself obsolete. Although I have to give two thumbs up for the director of photography who made many of the scenery appear absolutely breathtaking. The film overall, didn’t bring anything new to the table of the already over-done Robin Hood legend.  

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And finally, my favourite scene from this 2010 rendition of Robin Hood was when Marion and Robin decide to share some intimate and dramatic lip-locking action... amidst a raging battle! Marion who’s fallen off her horse with heavy armor & is drowning/choking on the shore & Robin who’s bleeding from the head comes to her rescue with blood dripping onto his lover’s face; I ask this question. DO YOU REALLY THINK THIS IS THE BEST TIME TO BE MAKING-OUT?!? I don’t know if this “romantic” scene trumps Elizabeth and Will’s impromptu wedding ceremony/battle seen in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End. *gag*
 
 
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I absolutely hate it when great films are destroyed by their money wrenching sequels. It completely ruins the quality of the original film, just by existing. What really disappoints me is; it cancels out all the nostalgic and butterfly-in-stomach feelings that were developed when the first film was experienced. So are prequels, sequels and third installments worth the money they make or do they destroy the franchise and kill an amazing piece of art?

Top Ten Films that should have never continued after the first big hit!
In no particular order:

1. Matrix II & III - What a flawed mess of a philosophy that didn't even make sense! Cheap bible reference gimmick!

2.
Transformers II - OMG! biggest waste of my life EVER

3. Spiderman II, III - Meh... crap and more crap

4. Fantastic Four II - You could argue FF1 shouldn't have been made in the first place, but FFII was just a load of utter shit! I just hate nonsense that's not even good bullshit.  

5. Shrek III, IV, V - Seriously stop already

6. Star Wars Prequel - WTF was that!?! These just fucked the original Star Wars in the a**...

7. Mummy III - If you can't get the original cast, don't bother. What a Flop!

8. Speed II - As above

9. Indiana Jones & the Crystal Skull - When aliens are brought into the plot, it's obvious you've ran out of ideas.

10. Jurassic Park II, III - Damn they were so bad, i don't know where to start.  

Please feel free to add to the list of crap that fills our video stores and wrecks the originals. I'd love to hear your input, i might even go out and rent the ones i haven't seen because i love seeking out horrible films that are so bad they're GOOD!
 
 
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USA. 2010. Directed by Louis Leterrier. Screenplay by Travis Beachman, Phil Hay, Matt Manfredi. Story by Lawrence Kasdan. Starring: Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes

Rating:

I haven't had the chance to see the original 1981 Clash of the Titans but I believe even with the lack of technological special effects, it couldn't have been as bad as the crap that was churned out this year. The re-make had such promise with the all-star cast ensemble, the foundations of the original film and the intriguing Greek mythology that can fuel the plot. But instead of doing a little research and actually closely following the myths that were well thought out for hundreds of years. Producer/writers/directors decide to cheapen the project by turning it into another Hollywood action pack block-buster with no plot and wooden actors... WHHYYY?????

The first scene already got me rolling my eyes when a baby was found alive and well floating in a coffin that just rose from deep under the sea. The kid was taken in by a sweet fisherman’s family who brought him up to become the brooding, handsome hunk of muscle Perseus played by Sam Worthington. I’m always supporting rising Australian actors in Hollywood with full force. But Worthington’s losing me as a fan with his wooden facial expressions, monotone dialogue (with a very heavy Aussie accent that made me cringe) and awkward demeanor. Perseus then gets swept into the battle between the gods and the people when his family became casualties of war. He stumbles into the royal court where his demigod status is discovered which forces him into the journey to save the princess, destroy the gods to avenge his family. Typical plot that could have been substantial if done well, unfortunately in this Clash of the Titans (COTT) it wasn’t. COTT lacked story-telling, character development and explanations in focal scenes that left the audience hanging with no satisfaction. 

The lonesome fisherman (who’s never picked up a battle sword in his life), single handedly fought off a hoard of soldiers with years of training. WTF!?!? I know you’re a demigod and all but that’s way too much BS one can handle, either that or the soldiers were all shit. In which case don’t wage war with the gods if you don’t have the goods!! The film was then followed by a series of eye-rolling, scoffing and choke worthy bullshit that I just was not able to accept. The heroes journey seemed irrelevant after the long sequence of heavily laden CGI fight action scenes & the laughable dialogue didn’t help bring the audience back onto the journey’s path at all. And was it me or did Zeus have a serious case of multiple personality disorder? One minute he appears to his son Perseus giving advice and offers help. The next he’s telling Hades to carry out the human slaughter with no mercy!?!? If I were Hera I would’ve advised my husband – the god of gods to seek psychological help. The one thing I thought didn’t make my head shake in disbelief was Hades (Ralph Fiennes) acting, his eerily cold appearance made me shiver at times and I have to say was a breath of fresh air in a film that had nothing else going for it.

One last thing I want to vent about. I’m sick of every movie becoming 3D just because it can. And I was stupid enough to follow the hype and go see COTT with those horrible glasses that fell off my nose every 3 seconds. It made the scenes blurry, darker and I didn’t see one bit of impressive eye popping 3D activity at all?!?! That was a big fat waste of money and headache inducing experience.

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**Spoiler Alert**
As always I’ll end it with my all time favourite scene/line that made me laugh out loud inappropriately. This time it was the all mighty Zeus who's guilty. In one of the final crucial scenes, he tells all the gods at the conference to leave him and Hades alone in the room. He slowly walks up the stairs and dramatically turns! and instead of having a private meaningful conversation that required the other gods to leave he utters ‘Release the raken!’ (oh no! it’s not a giant octopus it’s elephant man’s fucked up twin!) - WTF WTF WTF!!! 
 
 
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Hong Kong. 2007. Directed by Kar Wai Wong. Screenplay by Kar Wai Wong, Lawrence Block. Story by Kar Wai Wong. Starring: Jude Law, Norah Jones, Rachel Weiz, Natalie Portman, David Strathairn.

Rating:
½

My Blueberry Nights is a delightful film about heart break, healing and finding your way to someone who cares. I know it's a cliché topic and tirelessly overdone, however it’s all about the way a story is told that makes it perpetually memorable. Kar Wai Wong managed to concoct a blend of intricate dialogue, progressive storytelling and simple yet effective camera techniques to express an artistic approach to life and what we’re all searching for, love
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The film is set in motion when Lizzie (Jones) suspects her long term partner is having an affair and comes to the cafe owned by Jeremy (Law) to dish more information of who he spent  Saturday night with. Her heart break and loneliness led to long conversations through the night with Jeremy over blueberry pies and the histories of  the bunches of keys left behind by random customers. Although Jeremy’s companion is greatly appreciated and most girls would’ve swooned over the idea of spending endless nights in deep conversation with a handsome, gentle and thoughtful young lad, Lizzie’s fears of confrontation drove her away and thus began her journey of self discovery, learning and recovery.

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Upon her soul-searching journey, Lizzie meets a number of offbeat characters that she learns and grows from, all the while sending postcards to the kind hospitable cafe owner who takes the journey with her in spirit. The parallels drawn from life and a poker game, encountered by Portman's character Leslie, were a profound take on how Lizzie sees the world and what she chooses to take from that life lesson. Soul searching journeys always fascinate me because I've always dreamt of one day, going on a trip that would change my life. We've all traveled and discovered more about ourselves each time bringing a tingling sensation of change in the early stages upon our return, but everything tends to settle back into routine... until our next trip.

**Spoiler Alert**
My Blueberry Nights was an insightful view into all walks of life and the fears and doubts everyone must face to move to a better place within themselves. My absolute favourite scene was when Jeremy shows Lizzie the different pastries he makes and how there's always an entire blueberry pie by the end of the night ensuring her that 'there's nothing wrong with the pie, people simply don't want it'. That line really got to me because the immediate thought that sprung to my mind was 'I'M A LEMON MERINGUE CHEESECAKE!' there's absolutely nothing wrong with me... i just haven't found my eater yet...
 
 
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USA. 2009. Directed by Chris Weitz. Screenplay by Melissa Rosenberg. Story by Stephenie Meyer. Starring: Kristen Bell, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner

Rating: ½


Ok, so I knew this movie was going to be bad you knew it was going to be bad but I honestly didn’t think any film could consist of no positive notes whatsoever. Some films don’t have a great plot or require some character development but have great CGI to show for. ‘New Moon’ lacked substance, quality, artistry, the plot layout; soundtrack and actors were terrible and didn’t deliver any flare whatsoever to an already long winding and dull basic story telling ploy.

The movie began with Bella waking up next to a giant ‘Romeo & Juliet’ novel on her pillow immediately got me thinking this director is ‘highly’ skilled in the art of subtlety. The fact that they’re even trying to draw any parallels to a classic love story is, in my opinion slightly offensive as there was no development of love between the Twilight characters other than the superficial physical attraction. The whole 2hour ‘New Moon’ intensely follows Bella (Stewart) as she morosely goes about her day since Edward Cullen (Pattinson) left her. Which goes to show Bella is a whining, dependent, selfish and frankly stupid character as she disregards her family’s and friends’ feelings to become an adrenaline seeking suicidal tool to induce her hallucinations of Cullen. This is not someone who can be classified as a heroin in today’s empowering and independent society and if the youth can’t relate to this character, what is the point of dedicating an entire film on an uninteresting, miserable and superficial teenage girl!?! If I wanted to observe an emotionally insane teenage girl, I would’ve tailed my cousin’s ass for two hours.  

The cheesy dialogue and absolutely appalling acting gave me a skin-crawling-eye-rolling-dry-heaving uncomfortable experience. Pattinson’s inappropriately painful expression for the whole 20minutes he was featured in the movie was confusing to watch, he had the same constipated stricken look for every situation. Lautner did nothing but act cool and expressionless for the first half of the movie, then prance around shirtless (with the same expression) for the rest and Stewart’s performance was atrocious! Batting eyelashes and stuttering in a monotone bored voice does not denote fear! (Yes, I’m talking about the scene when she announce “please don’t” after a hungry red-eyed vampire just called her ‘mouth watering’) I don’t know whether it’s their acting or the director’s request but someone should tell those kids to learn new expressions for different scenes!

Let’s not kid ourselves here ladies; we all went to see this horrid movie for the abs, it was all about the abs! The wolves pack were only in jean shorts for the entire duration of the movie and Pattinson even flashed his nipples and airbrushed six pack for the last half hour. It was hilarious to see women swoon over baby-faced Jacob’s (Lautner) ripped muscles like he was on the cover of a Mills & Boons novel when he unnecessarily took off his shirt and flexed his muscles because Bella bumped her head. I actually recommend this film for its superficiality if abs is the only thing you’re after in a film. Otherwise strictly Twilight crazed fans only.

And finally, how can i end without mentioning my favourite scene? You know how comedies have characters run through a serene and peaceful setting in slow motion to poke fun at certain situations as seen in Shrek and 40 Yr old Virgin? Well, New Moon manged to incorporate this classically amusing scene into a serious segment of the film. This left me in stitches and made me wonder if Stephanie Meyer really wrote these cheesy scenes or the director has once again made matters much worse by turning a adolescent fantasy into a childish comedy. 



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G.I Joe

03/08/2010

2 Comments

 
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USA. 2009. Directed by Stephen Sommers. Screenplay by Stuart beattie, David Elliot, Paul Lovett. Story by Michael Gordon, Stuart Beattie, Stephen Sommers. Starring: Channing Tatum, Dennis Quid, Sienna Miller, Joseph Gorden-Levitt, Marlon Wayans, Rachel Nichols

Rating:


Paramount Pictures and Hasbro, whose previous collaboration was the worldwide blockbuster ‘Transformers’ join forces with Spyglass Entertainment for another extraordinary action-adventure ‘G.I Joe’ – that’s what’s being marketed globally for this new flick. But don’t get your hopes up because if you’re expecting an actual plot and a clever/humorous dialogue banter between well developed characters. You’d have more luck watching half way through a Disney Pixar film. 

 The film was all action… and that’s it. Script, plot, the art of acting & characterisation was all completely fucked! Not that the screenwriters and director Stephen Sommers thought any of these film techniques would help make the movie a little more bearable. They seem determined to mainly deliver one high-octane, heavily CGI-laden ultimately deadening effect. 

 The film revolves around the idea of “the Joes” (not just the one all-American-hero G.I Joe) - now a massive underground secret service division with the best ops from all around the world cumulated into one unit…. Right… this is a seriously flawed foundation for the film to be base on since all I was asking throughout the film was, where’s the funding coming from? Didn’t anyone notice all their best soldiers disappearing? Why the hell are all these solders cocooperatively turning their back on their own countries to work for America? .... Weren’t any of these questions raised at all??? The government must all be fucken stupid in the near future.  I mean… I’m all for good bullshit light entertaining actions films… but there’s only so much I can handle. And throwing in a whole heap of ‘the Mummy’ cast (Brendan Fraser, Arnold Vosloo & Kevin J. O’Connor) isn’t going to help the film whatsoever except maybe jack the budget up to make it seem like a bigger blockbuster film.  

But hey! That’s just my opinion. 

Don’t take my word for it; catch it in cinemas if you want to experience the mind numbing – eye rolling – ear and brain damaging film while it’s still available, because duds always get booted off the silver screens sooner than expected. Before i sign off i'd like to share my favourite line “You will now call me… COMMANDER! Muahhahaha!” – Hilarious... you’ll know what I mean when you see it. , ,

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