Sunday, July 13, 2014

(HORROR) Among Friends - 2012 ***

Average, independent horror movie about a group of self obsessed friends who go to a lieder mystery evening held by the snobbiest friend of all. Things start getting a bit creepy when she goes loopy and starts cutting off her friend's scalps and decapitating their fingers after revealing home truths about each one of them. 
It's quite original and not badly acted although a bit silly.

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

(HORROR) The Appearing - 2014 *

Oh dear. Not a good film. An abandoned building that a family decide is the perfect place to be (when will these people learn??), a scary Patrick Swayze clone who can't act, a load of 'scary' pop up moments that make you chuck water over yourself (by mistake, not because they are any good). It's a poor excuse for a film. It's really not worth watching. I saw this right after 'The Quiet Ones' thinking it couldn't be any worse, but actually...

Almost Married - 2014 *

I think maybe film directors are really scraping the barrel now. There doesn't appear to be ANYTHING left for them to make a film about. This is the all time low.
Emily Atack plays Lydia, the gobby, chavvy fiance of Kyle. 
Kyle has recently got back from his stag do where most of the events are a blur. He's brought Lydia a gift, in the form of an STI. Lydia has no idea, except that it burns when she wees. Kyle must now try to convince Lydia not to have sexual relations with him until after the wedding (being on a course of antibiotics until then).
Whoever was paid to come up with this stupid story needs a smack over the head. It's utterly ridiculous, especially the 'twist' and deeply unfunny. In fact, it makes you squirm to watch it.

Monday, July 07, 2014

The Libertine - 2004 *

Mournfully depressing movie about the notorious womaniser the 2nd Earl of Rochester. We know it's going to be depressing because one of the first things he says to the audience is how much we are going to dislike him. I suspect this is supposed to be 'quirky', but it's really not. Johnny Depp is a fantastic actor, but even he couldn't do much with this. Most of the movie consists of swearing, depressing conversations about how unpopular he is, screaming matches with various women he has been bedding, and a lot of emphasis on a huge plaster cast of a penis that keeps appearing in a play that has been put on for Rochester's pal Charles II. I must say that Malkovich does a pretty good English accent, well to be honest they both do, but why either of them chose to be in this film is a mystery to me. It wastes two talented actors and doesn't show their acting abilities in a good light at all. 

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

(HORROR) Oculus - 2013 ***

"Oculus' tries to be original, tries to be quirky and tries to be unique. On some levels its pretty good, and I haven't seen anything like it before. On the other hand its too much of an arty mishmash to be anything other than a mess of director s and writers trying to be too clever. The idea of a haunted/cursed mirror has been done before, but even so its never been done in this manner, and certain parts are genuinely frightening. Overall though, the two main characters are ridiculous. The girl comes across as though she's taken a hearty suck on a bong and hasn't quite come down, and the bloke doesn't fare much better. The film combines the past lives of the brother and sister with the present, as all the awful things that happened when they were younger centred around/next to the star of the show; the mirror. The mirror makes normal people do horrible things, and turn into vicious psychopaths, and will take said people 'into the parallel universe. It's all a bit complicated. Worth a watch I guess.

Jodi Arias: Dirty Little Secret - 2013 ***

Really creepy movie, about a woman named Jodi who becomes obsessed with a religious man she meets named Travis. Travis isn't after any sort of commitment unless it's with someone from his church (although he's happy to jump into bed with her as much as possible) and this leads to mixed messages, added to which his friends aren't all that keen on her either. Jodi obsessively believes they are meant to be together forever and hopes they will get married, and Travis already has his eye on a new woman he feels he is more suited too. It's just that by the time he gets round to telling Jodi about his true feelings, she is already in too deep and he has no escape. 
Disturbing and I'm not sure how realistic it is. 

(HORROR) Dark Feed - 2013 **

Oh what an ingenious idea to make a film about a group of film makers making a film, how utterly unique. Except no, it's not, and I'm amazed that the same people who wrote 'The Ward' actually had a hand in this. 
The group of 'filmmakers' are a bit of a motley crew, and decide to save a bit on their budget by filming in an abandoned hospital which gradually sends them all insane. For some reason there is also a vague attempt at humour, but it fails miserably, in fact making the whole thing a lot more disturbing and there are the typical close ups of large chests and dumb blonde bimbos for the gormless male audience.  

(HORROR) You Can't Kill Stephen King - 2012 *

VERY bad. Very, very bad. A group of friends go to a lake where Stephen King is said to have worked and stayed and are murdered in ridiculous ways one at a time. That's pretty much the gist of the film. It's totally silly and not scary in the slightest, not even in a 'so bad it's good way.' Avoid if you value your time. 

The Husband She Met Online - 2013 ***

What actually happened here? It was like the director suddenly decided he had to drop everything with only a day's notice. The story, having started out at a good pace about a successful businessman who meets and falls in love with a beautiful and attentive woman suddenly takes off at a roaring pace and within twenty minutes *spoiler* the woman is chained to the bed, the couple are married, the woman is kidnapped by the husband who has suddenly turned into a maniac of epic proportions, the couple are found and the husband is arrested. It's a bit of a shame, because it could've been a much better film if it had slowed itself down a bit. 

Compulsion - 2013 ***

I don't know what I was expecting with this film, but whatever it was, it didn't happen. In fact nothing happened. The most shocking thing according to film critics was how much padding Heather Graham was wearing to 'big herself up' into a typical 1950s housewife. Apparently the look made her 'a bit overweight' which scared the living daylights out of me, as there is nothing overweight about her and makes you worry about the American size system. 
A woman obsessed with food spends her days cooking amazing meals for her grumpy, parrot obsessed boyfriend who couldn't be less interested in her if he tried. An anorexic, former child star moves in across the hall and doesn't speak to anyone for love nor money. 
Gradually the pair open up to each other and form a bond that proves fatal.
A strange film, very weird and quite surreal, just appeared to move a bit slowly. 

(HORROR) Devoured - 2012 ***

Not a bad movie. A young mother is working in America to earn enough money to send back to her mother to pay for her son's operation. She works the night shift cleaning in a restaurant and finds the work boring and demeaning, as well as come across some unpleasant characters who try to take advantage of her. Before long she starts to see things that aren't there in the dead of night, alone in the restaurant, and is unsure whether she is going mad or not. Lead actress was a good choice. 

Saturday, June 28, 2014

(HORROR) Antisocial - 2014 ***

This was a surprisingly original horror about what happens when people become too addicted to social networking sites. A recently single girl goes to her friend's house for New Year's Eve and one by one the other people in the house become fatally infected after visiting a chat site called 'The Red Room' (obviously a nod towards Facebook). Its up to the lead to save the day. I was quite impressed and liked the fact it tries to warn people off wasting their time on sites like that.

The Stranger Beside Me - 1995 ***

Unsettling drama about a newly married woman who begins to suspect her perfect husband is not only a peeping tom but a rapist as well. Once confronted, far from denying it, he flaunts it in her face, threatening her if she doesn't stand by him. Creepy film.

(HORROR) Children of Sorrow - 2014 ****

Despite saying 2013 on the poster it wasn't released until a year later. 'Children of Sorrow' is a nightmare of epic proportions. It's what happens when people believe in a person who convinces them that he can make their time on earth worthwhile. Inevitably that person is wrong, and usually very evil.
A woman tries to find out what happened to her sister who mysteriously died after joining a cult, but in doing so becomes obsessed with the place herself.
Scary, because this can and has happened.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Conte D'Ete - 1996 ****

A recent graduate takes a holiday before starting his first job and meets not one, but two women, both with different qualities. One is quiet and thoughtful and the other is loud and beautifully aware of her own allure. The only trouble is he also has a girlfriend who's a bit of a pain. Who should he choose?
Rohmer has a beautiful knack of showing off character studies to the maximum, each one is totally individual and captivating. He delivers this all in sumptuous surroundings that make you want to drop everything and leave for France immediately. 

Saturday, June 07, 2014

Straw Dogs - 2011 ***

I was in mixed minds about watching this, given how poor I found the original film. I was surprised actually how much more I enjoyed it and how much clearer the story seemed. Amy (Kate Bosworth) brings her new husband David (a geeky James Marsden) home to her old town to live on her deseased father's house, and before long Amy's ex-boyfriend Charlie is becoming overly protective of Amy being back, to the extent of getting his friends to taunt David and terrorise him on a regular basis whilst also being lewd and perverted to Amy. This escalates to a terrifying conclusion. There is an intense psychological build-up in this film which I don't recall happening in the original. I quite liked it. 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Gone Fishin' - 1997 *

'Gone Fishin' is not a good film. It's not funny, it's got Danny Glover in it (who cannot act for toffee) and it's just all round boring.
Two fishing enthusiasts go on a trip together to Florida and get caught up in a criminal ring when their car is stolen. I think putting these two actors together is a big mistake and I really didn't enjoy it.

The Haunted Mansion - 2003 ***

I've never watched a film based around a ride in a theme park before. Quite interesting idea I think.
Jim is brilliant at his job. So much so that it does tend to interfere with the other areas of his life like his marriage and his children.
After missing his wedding anniversary he promises to make it up to his wife by taking the family away for the weekend, which then goes off the rails when they are contacted by the occupants of a scary old mansion, and asked to go there and do business. Arriving in a torrential downpour, they are greeted by the butler and persuaded to stay the night in one of the beautiful rooms. That's when the fun starts...
For a children's movie, this creeped me out quite a bit, and I actually enjoyed it a lot more than I anticipated i would. Murphy is very funny, and his two children are adorable.

(HORROR) Scorned - 2013 ***

I must admit I do enjoy films about psychotic women paying back their cheating spouses in a variety of terrifying and horrendous ways. I think it makes an exciting film.
Here we have no exception. Except the cheating spouse is a very bald Billy Zane and his scorned lover is a totally unhinged maniac.
After finding out that her boyfriend of 6 months (it's hardly a long term thing!) has done the dirty on her with her best friend (strange how often that happens), Sadie lures her friend to the holiday house she and Zane are staying that, and proceeds to torture them both, in various ways that will make you wince.
The story isn't original in any way and doesn't really have much of a point to it, but the acting from McCord is superb (she was also excellent in the disturbing "Excision" which was equally disturbing.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Moving - 1988 ****

I think Richard Pryor deserves more credit for being a comedian than he gets. He's extremely funny, and remarkably versatile when it comes to different characters.
The job of a lifetime comes up for Arlo Pear with a big pay rise, more responsibility, and generally everything he could wish for. The only problem with this is that it means moving his family from their comfy home in New Jersey, to the outskirts of Idaho. Not only does he have to deal with his stubborn teenage daughter, who would rather marry a pimp than up sticks with him,, but he also has to coordinate the psychotic neighbour next door who keeps setting his remote controlled plane on him, as well as a group of thuggish furniture movers who break all his possessions and then demand payment for doing so.
I found this a really funny film, and I hadn't heard of it before doing some research on Richard, so it's a bit of a lost gem as well.

Meatballs - 1979 *

Bill Murray (annoying as ever) ruins scene after scene in the worst 'summer camp' movie ever.
Along the way, he embarrasses children, shouts a lot, letches after a fellow worker, plays immature tricks on people, and generally is a giant nuisance to everyone involved. Murray is not a good choice for this role, but then again, who would be?!

(HORROR) Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things - 1972 *

'Children Shouldn't play with Dead Things' is too unfunny to be a comedy, and too unscary to be a horror. It doesn't really fit into one category. There is one thing it is however, and that is ridiculously bad. The quality, both of the acting and of the film itself is dire. The plot is ludicrous ( about zombies and criminals and digging up bodies, all in the worst possible lighting). The director went on to direct 'Black Christmas' which is actually quite a good horror, but also directed 'Porky's' which is a ridiculous 'coming of age' comedy that makes everyone cringe now. It is clear he didn't know which genre to stick with.

(FILM NOIR) The Clay Pigeon - 1949 ***

A man wakes from a coma in hospital to discover he has been court marshaled and accused of treason against his former inmates at a Japanese prisoner of war camp. Desperate to prove his innocence he turns up at his best friend's house, unaware that he has been accused of his murder. His wife, after initially wanting to get him arrested, decides to give him the benefit of the doubt and goes with him to search for the true murderers of her husband.
It's not a bad film, but not one of the stronger film noirs.

Friday, April 18, 2014

(NOIR) Fog Island - 1945 ***

A poorly done "B'' movie about a group of people invited to an old man's house at Fog Island. He invites them there under the pretext that they will be given some of his inheritance but he actually wants to uncover which of them murdered his dead wife. I was surprised but happy to see Jerome Cowan of the 'Fred and Ginger' films taking a moderate sized part here, but the quality of the film was so dire that a lot of the time it was hard to differentiate who was who.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Critical Condition - 1987 ***

Richard Pryor movies are always over the top and very silly. Especially the ones where he's paired up with Gene Wilder. He may be 'acting solo' here, but he's still pretty funny. Here he plays Kevin, a con man who is threatened with jail after being caught smuggling jewellery. Desperate to avoid a prison sentence, he pretends that he is insane (the courtroom scene in which he does this is totally improvised, and hilarious) and as a result is carted off to a mental hospital. When he arrives at the hospital a power surge renders the whole place in darkness and without medical equipment and he has to pose as a qualified doctor in order to escape. Escaping isn't so easy however when patients begin to need urgent treatment and he has to jump in and help them, despite not having a clue what he is doing. It's almost slapstick in some ways, but definitely has Pryor's manic, psychotic slant on it.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

(NOIR) A Woman's Secret - 1949 ***

Susan (Gloria Grahame) lies on the floor shot. Marian (Maureen O'Hara) is found leaning over her with a gun. But is the story as black and white as it seems (did you see what i did there with the black and white...?)
Actually it's not. We discover that Susan is the young protegee of Marian, a popular singer who loses her voice and is desperate to find a replacement. It's a tiny bit like 'All About Eve' but with singing instead of acting. Luke (Melvyn Douglas) is her piano player, and to be honest he's my favourite character (and actor) in the film. He has enough gusto to keep it going, without stepping on the two lead actresses toes. When Susan becomes popular herself, (and appears to catch the eye of Luke, this makes Marian rather jealous. She wants a replacement, but not at the cost of her relationship or career. O'Hara isn't a bad actress, but I've never been particularly into her work, and although Gloria Grahame is the typical femme fatale in noir, she didn't appear to be at her best either.
Worth a watch though, although as one critic remarked - 'There's too much unintended mystery about A Woman's Secret for it to be anything but spotty entertainment'. Sadly I think that might be right.

(NOIR) The Big Bluff - 1955 ***

For a 'typical film noir' The Big Bluff  is quite good. Produced by Billy Wilder's overlooked (and much less talented) brother W. Lee Wilder might've given it a bit of credit. Alas it did not. And acting-wise it was rather shoddy, which spoilt it tremendously.
After a chance meeting and quick marriage, a wealthy fortune hunter hopes to cash in on his terminally ill wife's inheritance, but when he discovers that the 'last holiday' they are taking together is actually improving her health considerably, he and his lover have to resort to other startling tactics to get the money.
I like how the idea of 'The Big Bluff' is actually the bluff of the marriage and the relationship which the would-be killer has to keep up the pretence of for a lot longer that originally hoped.
Apart from that however, it's predictable and not very strong.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Big Wedding - 2013 **

Considering the massive stellar cast I was disappointed at this rather unfunny 'comedy' about a motley crew of characters when all congregate together when a relative is getting married. Robert De Niro is the father who has to pretend that he is still happily married to Diane Keaton in order to convince his son's stepmother of the traditional ways of their family. In reality he has been in a relationship with Susan Sarandon for eight years.  What follows are a series of embarrassing moments as the wedding gets closer.
Its moderately okay, but it wasn't as good as I had hoped.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

(HORROR) The Last Exorcism Part II - 2013 **

After the pandemonium of the first 'Exorcism' film, this second one follows Nell in the years after her exorcism. Believing that is cured from her past experiences, she takes a job as a chambermaid in a hotel and lives in a girl's home. However, it is not long before she starts experiencing strange things, and a close relationship with a co-worker at the hotel that appears to be going well ends in tragedy.
I didn't enjoy this as much as the first film, and couldn't quite come to grips with Nell as a normal girl in a normal environment.

The Sadist - 1963 *

If it wasn't for the plot, 'The Sadist' would've fallen by the wayside a long time ago. It was notably the first film to be based on Charles Starkweather and Caril Fugate, the loved up couple who went on a killing spree in the late 1950s in Nebraska.
Here we have 'The Sadist' and his moronically monosyllabic girlfriend, holding up three teachers who come into car trouble at an old junkyard. The whole film is basically 'The Sadist' grinning and laughing and pointing a gun at the hostages, while his girlfriend 'Jodeee' sits on a wall merrily swinging her legs and swigging coca cola. The Sadist appears to be cross-eyed, as well as sporting a crop of remarkable 'Beach Boyesque' floppy hair so his whole appearance is all the more terrifying. If he's trying to portray James Dean, he's failing miserably.

Antiviral - 2012 ***

Imagine if you were so obsessed with a celebrity that you chose to have a virus that they are suffering from have injected into your body. This film is about just that. A clinic which uses viruses from sick celebrities to inject into crazed fans who are hoping to 'become connected' to their idols. It is of course, quite likely that you will die if the virus is bad enough. The injections and treatments are all performed in a very controlled and serious way, almost as if the idea is normal. This is what makes the film so terrifying. There are also 'butcher' shops that fans can go to to buy meat that is grown from the cells of celebrities. The whole film is really twisted. To be honest, it reminds me a bit of 'Delicatessen' and I will probably think about it for days.
Although the film is meant to shock because of it's plot, I suspect that maybe the director was trying to get across the vast obsession we as as population have with famous people, and how being besotted with these individuals can sometimes damage our health and put our lives at stake.
Quirky and dark, morbidly terrifying and original.

(HORROR) The Resident - 2011 ***

Tough, no nonsense Hilary Swank stars as Juliet, a young woman who moves into what she believes is her perfect apartment after breaking up with her cheating boyfriend, but soon starts to believe that she is being stalked by somebody close by. At the same time, Max, the man she is renting the apartment from begins to make his feelings for her known, and the couple get closer. But there is something wrong, and when Juliet decides to start seeing her ex-boyfriend again, Max is not happy. Not happy at all.
I quite liked this, but found it dragged on a bit after the first hour or so. It was quite predictable and that might be what made my mind wander towards the end. Still a good watch though.

The Black Widow Murders: The Blanche Taylor Moore Story - 1993 **

Blanche Taylor Moore is a well known name in America. And this story chronicles the murders committed by her of two of her husbands as well as her father, all by arsenic.
I found Elizabeth Montgomery to be infuriating as Blanche, which probably proves what a good job she was doing. I definitely didn't ever feel sorry for Blanche as a character or a human being. She got what was coming to her, and had no remorse for any of her actions.
I have seen better 'straight - to - television movies about murders and their perpetrators and so wouldn't rank this particularly high on my list, despite the subject matter.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Delivery Man - 2013 **

Only Vince Vaughn could willingly take part in such a stupid film and get away with it.
David is an underachiever who works at his family butcher shop, and earns ridiculously low pay. To make matters worse, he is being chased by scary men who are after a huge amount of drug money from him that he will not be able to repay. Oh, and his girlfriend has just found out that she is pregnant.
Things are not going well for him. But one day when he comes back from work, he is confronted by a lawyer who tells him that because of his regular sperm donations years and years ago he has fathered 533 children.
142 of these children have started a lawsuit against the fertility clinic to release the identity of the man who fathered them.
Eager to see how his brood has turned out, David stalks each of his children, finding any little thing he can do to start a conversation of give them some support.
Before long, the thugs catch up with him, and he decides to sue the sperm bank for damages.
It's a very silly, and completely ridiculous film, and I must say, that although Vince Vaughn is quite funny, I'm getting a bit fed up of him playing the same pathetic characters in each movie.

Labor Pains - 2009 ***

Mildly amusing comedy about a young woman named Thea who fakes a pregnancy to stop herself from getting fired from her horrible boss.
Lindsay Lohan isn't a bad actress (it is after all what she became famous for years ago) and walking around pretending you are pregnant for the whole film isn't the easiest thing to do.
As time goes by, Thea gets caught up in the lie of being pregnant, and even starts to have feelings for a co-worker who takes pity on her when she splits up with her 'fiance'.
It's not going to win any awards, but it's still quite funny, and worth a watch.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

The Bling Ring - 2013 ***

I'm pretty obsessed with the Bling Ring at the moment. I've been reading up on the true story avidly for some time, watched the film and got the book. I'm not sure what it is about the events that have captured my attention so much, but there appears to be a fine line between the fact that what the group did was illegal, but also that they did something so brazen and gutsy that they have amassed a great deal of admirers. They are in effect, now celebrities in their own right, which is ironic considering the reasons they committed the crimes was down to an obsession with fame and fortune.
They are idolized but hated at the same time. That's what makes the story all the more jaw dropping.
Although the character's names have been changed in the film it's quite obvious who is meant to be who. Emma Watson is the standout character, playing the role of Nikki (based on Alexis Neiers, who I have to say is my 'favourite' member of The Bling Ring). She and her friends live in the affluent area of Calabasas in California. By all accounts they have everything they could want. Except for one thing. They are all celebrity obsessed and fame hungry. One evening, the lead of the group Rebecca (based on Rachel Lee) takes a new friend from school to Paris Hilton's house after finding out that she will be away at an awards ceremony that night. Her friend comments that only Paris Hilton would be stupid enough to leave her house key under the mat. He is correct. They enter the house and in Rebecca's own words "go shopping", making off with money, bags, clothes and alcohol from Paris's house. This triggers off a chain of robberies that lead to the notorious group of 7 being known as the 'Bling Ring'. I am fascinated by what drives these people. I am also fascinated by how easy it is to rob a celebrity's house. The film alone is maybe not outstanding (although it does have a beautiful Sofia Coppola theme and cinematography) but if you put it with the real facts as well as the novel you have one explosive, controversial subject that will go down in the annuals of celebrity for years to come.

(NOIR) C-Man - 1949 *

Very poor Noir with Dean Jagger, who plays an Agent on the trail of the murderers of his best friend and boss. It's badly acted, (laughable in places) and incredibly fake. In some scenes Jagger quite obviously fake punches his assailants and the sound is added later. Added to which the quality is horrendous. It's not on par with other noirs I have seen and it's a pity that it doesn't have a higher respect for itself.

Warm Bodies - 2013 *

'Warm Bodies' probably only really strikes a cord for the obsessive 'Twilight/The Walking Dead' fans who enjoy the surreal 'dead boy/alive girl' ratio.
That annoying bloke from 'About a Boy' spends his days wandering around 'undead' in an airport after a post-apocalyptic disaster with loads of other zombies craving human flesh. He bumps into a girl who isn't 'undead' and falls for her. It's like a horrendous zombie Romeo and Juliet escapade.
I didn't like it.

Savage Grace - 2007 **

'Sensual and Decadent' this film has been quoted as. So I must have missed something. Sad really because I was looking forward to seeing this as I had done some research on the case earlier.
There was nothing sensual about this story, and even Julianne Moore could not save the day in her portrayal of the mentally unhinged Barbara Daly Baekland who went down in the annuals of true crime as the murder victim of her schizophrenic son Tony.
The true story is interesting, but the film doesn't appear to cover much about the growing incestuous relationship between Barbara and Tony 9apart from a horrible scene towards the end which we really didn't need to see.) I didn't see much regarding Tony's ever changing mental state which would ultimately be his undoing, more that he was simply sexually provocative.
For information it's best to go online and read up in detail about the story instead of watching this. 

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

The Starving Games - 2013 ***

Obviously it would help if I had actually seen 'The Hunger Games', but even so, this was a silly and satirical look at what happens when you have to fight to the death... on an empty stomach! Winning a chicken and half a pickle will no doubt spur on the contestants, but being starving will inevitably drag the process out.
Funny film.

Weird Science - 1985 ****

A film I had never seen, 'Weird Science' delivers in all areas. It delivers for laughs, costumes, sci-fi and a beautiful woman.
Two friends, tired of being nerdy and unpopular, decide to create their own perfect woman on the computer (which, as you can imagine has the largest and most dated monitor you have ever seen) with hilarious and touching results. 'Lisa' is not only the most attractive woman they have ever seen, but is willing to do whatever they ask her to.
A funny if rather dated movie now, but definitely worth a watch.

Monday, March 24, 2014

(HORROR) Motel Hell - 1980 *

'Motel Hell' is a cult classic. I would assume from those 2 words that it would mean it's a good film. But it's not. It's pitifully done, poorly acted, and really very bad in all aspects. Even the 'hilarious' play on words of 'Motel Hello' turning into Motel Hell doesn't raise a smile with me. It's just not funny. And the tone of the cinematography is that of low budget rubbish.
Literally all you need is the quote on the poster and you know the whole film ('It takes all kinds of critters to make Farmer Vincent Fritters').

Take Me Home Night - 2011 **

A ghastly rom-com. None of the characters are likeable, they all seem to have one purpose in life - to get drunk and go to parties (except for Anna Faris who is the biggest attention seeker ever and keeps going on about having a letter from Cambridge but not wanting to open it).
There is the usual big, unfunny bloke with curly hair who doesn't have any aim or goal in his life, and there is the typical suit-wearing 'I'm quietly intelligent yet also a complete snob' bloke too.
All romantic comedies, or even comedies full stop nowadays are filled with stereotypical characters, and it really annoys me. Also, the woman that one of the pathetic men is after (usually one from school/uni/work/the one that got away) is not only a total b**** but also not much to look at. There, that wraps up the film. Lots of drinking, doing drugs, trying to get off with women who are horrible, and soul searching about how pathetic life can be.
Not what you would call an uplifting film.
2 stars for 'Video Killed the Radio Star' at the beginning.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Heroine - 2012 ***

'Heroine' is an ironically bittersweet movie about the highs and lows of celebrity.
A young actress at the peak of her profession gradually becomes overshadowed by newer talent, causing her to take up low budget and independent films that hurt her career. She is also in the middle of a messy relationship with a co-star, who soon replaces her for someone else.
At the start she is a diva, and towards the end she is at her lowest ebb.
It's fascinating to watch really, as I'm sure film stars do have to deal with this sort of thing constantly. Always watching their back for the 'newer model' and knowing that one wrong word or picture can leave them with nothing.
Filming was marred for a time when one a rising star ( Meenakshi Thapar )who had a bit part in the film was kidnapped and murdered by 2 colleagues she met on the set. This, and the story matter, makes the film seem all the more gritty and real. Very sad what people will do for celebrity and money.
Worth a watch if you love Bollywood, beautiful dresses and catchy tunes however. 

Monday, March 17, 2014

The Birdcage - 1996 *****

The Birdcage is screamingly funny, and to be honest the laughs from Robin Williams and his super camp partner (Nathan Lane) are regular and bounteous. 
Armand (Williams) enjoys his life as the owner of a popular drag club called 'The Birdcage' where his partner Albert performs as 'Starina' on a regular basis.
Apart from their occasional hissy fits, the two live happily together. That is, until Armand's son Val announces that he is getting married. His future father-in-law is a Republican Senator and has very old-fashioned and narrow-minded views about homosexuality. With this in mind, Val suggests that Albert 'disappears' for a few days so that the impression can be given of a 'normal' family when the bride-to-be's parents come to visit. Agreeing to this, Armand decides to track down his ex wife to play the role convincingly, not counting on Albert upstaging the whole evening.
Very funny, enjoyable, easy going and entirely good-natured. Must be watched.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The First Wives Club - 1996 ****

After the suicide of their dear friend over her failed marriage, 3 women decide to get together and form a club based on women who are dumped by their husbands for younger models. Wanting at first to get even, they realise soon after that the best way they can make their ex spouses suffer is to become successful and happy.
A feel good film, with three great actresses all bumping shoulders (and singing too!) 

Virtual Lies - 2012 **

'Virtual Lies' is what happens when sad, middle aged men who are bored in their marriages find solace in chatting to women online. This is what happens to Jamie when her husband Will gets drawn into the shadowy world of cyber-chatting to a woman named Allison. When his wife finds out, Will decides to stop speaking to Allison, but she has other ideas and won't let him go that easily.
Mediocre film. 

Working Girl - 1988 ***

'Working Girl' seems to be a bit of an excuse to try and "big up" women in the workplace. It seems to try far too hard to defend how hard women have it, but comes across as a bit desperate. 
Griffith plays Tess, a woman who goes from one job to the next and finally stumbles on what she thinks is her dream position working for the professional Katherine Parker. However the dream is short lived when Katherine goes off sick and Tess discovers that she has been trying to land a deal using one of her ideas as her own. 
Get mad? Or get even? 
Harrison Ford is quite amusing, but I think the standout character is Joan Cusack who quite literally steals each scene she shares with Griffith. 
I didn't mind the film, but it definitely doesn't rank amoung the best rom-coms I've seen.

Saturday, March 08, 2014

(HORROR) Deadly Blessing - 1981 **

Stunningly bad horror where nothing much happens except lots of bad acting and stupid murders. If Sharon Stone was put in this to boost ratings it failed miserably. One scene involving a spider stands out. Horrible cyanotype style filter made the film even worse.

Monday, March 03, 2014

Loser - 2000 ***

'Loser' is one of the group of 'old school' rom-coms that was very popular in 2000. 
Jason Biggs and Mena Suvari seem to have disappeared into obscurity now, but were immensely popular at the end of the 1990s.
Here, Biggs plays Paul, a nerdy but dedicated student working hard to get a scholarship who falls in love with Dora, a quirky yet troubled student who is finding it hard to make ends meet in her financially, as well as keeping her relationship with her college lecturer quiet.
I liked it, although usually Jason Biggs is too much to bare.