Monday, May 4, 2015

Film Review - Cocktail (1988)

Cocktail stars Tom Cruise as Brian, a young man who returns to New York after serving his country but cannot get a job on Wall Street or in Advertising so he goes to a Bar one night and sees a Help Wanted sign put there by Doug (Bryan Brown) who says that if he sticks with him he'll make him a star.

I hated this movie and the reasons are three:

- First off is I hated these characters, they are reprehensible to watch on screen and they consistently make the wrong choices in their lives and when something good comes along you just want to strangle them for botching it so badly and they are also just so bloody unlikeable.

- Which leads me to my second point which is the very questionable morals in this film that is pretty much represented in the characters Cruise and Brown play and they both have this unshakeable belief that drinking all night and picking up girls at the bar and having unprotected sex will lead to "Happy Days are Here Again, They Skies Above are Clear Again Let Us Sing a Song of Cheer Again" when it just fundamentally does not I mean not once do these guys have any hangovers so it feels more like a glorified sugar drink than real alcohol.

- And lastly it wastes some good actors, I love watching Brown but he is wasted here, Elisabeth Shue does a good job with the pathetic script material she's been handed, Kelly Lynch gets little to do and Cruise is just obnoxious and his early scenes made me think he would've been out of his depth as Bud in Oliver Stone's Wall Street, what a real shame this happened to these actors.

So all in all I hated Cocktail with its reprehensible characters, questionable morals about alcohol and the waste of talented actors, 1 out of 5.

Film Review - Outrageous Fortune (1987)

Outrageous Fortune stars Shelley Long as Lauren and Bette Midler as Sandy two women who find out they're dating the same man Michael (Peter Coyote) but Michael is not all that he seems the two girls find themselves unlikely allies on a great adventure.

Outrageous Fortune I thought was great fun and that comes down to the terrific chemistry between Long and Midler, the two of them play off each other very well and Midler's manic comedy styling's really made me smile and laugh (although I have to say that the film had me smiling pretty much from start to finish.)

But what also works here is the great script by Leslie Dixon which combines the light comedy with the dark thriller and yet the combination of the two which shouldn't work but it does and you have a great time watching all this unfold, the film also has some great supporting performances by Robert Prosky, Anthony Heald and George Carlin (Rufus from Bill and Ted).

So all in all Outrageous Fortune was great fun that had me smiling all the way through, 3 and a half out of 5.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Film Review - Boychoir (2015)

Boychoir tells the tale of young Stett (Garrett Wareing) who finds out one day after school that his mother is dead following a car accident so he is sent to a tough American Boychoir School in the hope that it might give him a stable home as well as a chance to make a better life for himself.

Boychoir is okay but it is also very very predictable but before I delve more into that I want to talk about what I did like and that is seeing Dustin Hoffman, Kathy Bates and Debra Winger again on screen, it had been a while in my eyes for each of them and it was nice to see them getting a good role again even if I felt Hoffman was slumming it in his role.

But as I said this movie is really predictable with its tale of the working class boy who has nowhere else to go but this tough new regime he finds himself in will make a man out of him yet as well as see the tough teacher give him a dressing down and gee where have I seen that before?

Oh that's right in An Officer and a Gentleman which this movie just kept reminding me of Smeg it even has Winger in it and she played Paula in that great film (seriously she and Richard Gere were fantastic in that film) and even the ending was predicted for me by a great Simpsons gag which made me laugh out loud.

So all in all Boychoir is predictable and frankly not worth the ticket price, rent An Officer and a Gentleman instead it'll lift you up where you belong, 1.5 out of 5.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Film Review - The Avengers Age of Ultron (2015)

The Avengers Age of Ultron is the 2nd Avengers film and also directed by Joss Whedon and this time Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr) decides to dabble in creating what he calls a suit of armor around the world which he calls Ultron (James Spader) but Stark's creation develops a mind of its own and decides that there are no strings on him.

Going into this movie I was really excited mainly because of Whedon coming back to direct (I really liked his work on the 1st Avengers film) as well as the promise of a much stronger villain in Ultron which to date has been lacking greatly in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, could this dream team deliver the goods or were there strings to hold them down?

Very sadly I have to say the latter is more true as I found this movie to be a disappointment but before I go into that I want to go into what I did like and first off is that amazing opening action sequence that is expertly put together with the team working together and this really effective action editing and pacing, there's a real energy to that opener that grabs your attention.

The second is some of the performances, I liked seeing more of Jeremy Renner, Scarlett Johansson and Mark Ruffalo in this film and I also liked seeing Paul Bettany (a vastly underrated actor) getting more screen time in this film as well.

But the first reason I feel this movie is a disappointment has to be Spader's Ultron as to me he didn't feel like the titanic threat he should have been to the Avengers and he also came and went throughout the film in the sense that he would appear and then disappear for a small chunk of it and also Whedon tries to make him menacing and scary but he stops one step short of embracing that darker side of the character and that I found to be a real shame as his quipping got a bit tiresome after a while.

The second reason is that this film is edited so tightly that when you get to the final climatic showdown it all becomes so grand with so many characters (and digital characters to boot) and so many swooping camera shots and bassy sound that it starts to resemble a Michael Bay film at this point and when it was over I felt exhausted and wished that it had been around the 150 to 160 minute mark as it would've allowed the film a chance to balance its story and action elements better than it does now.

And lastly there are some bad accents in this movie from Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen and Andy Serkis, the former 2 who play the Maximoff twins Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch do some pretty cheesy Russian accents while Serkis does a South African accent so bad I just started laughing in the cinema the moment I heard it and on the twins I liked them for the most part but in the case of Quicksilver I thought that while I liked him it fell short of the interpretation that Bryan Singer and Evan Peters created for X-Men Days of Future Past last year but the proper comparison I feel between the 2 will be the Quicksilver Peters gives us in X-Men Apocalypse next year where he will have a greater role in the action of that film.

And so the Avengers Age of Ultron was a disappointment for me with its underwhelming villain, too tight editing structure and lack of resonance for the new characters, hopefully Singer and Oscar Isaac can make it up with Apocalypse next year but even then I have my concerns, 2 and a half out of 5.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

On the Air Season 2 Episode 4 - If the Shoe Fits, Review It

Well here we are again, the audio for my 2nd Radio show in the month of April (the reason there were 2 this month as the March recording date was delayed.)

On this episode I looked at:

- Cinderella
- Spongebob: Sponge Out of Water
- Fast and Furious 7
- Peter Weir's Gallipoli

As always to listen to the show click on the streaming option in your browser or right click on download audio and save it to your computer.

Link to the show is here:

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Film Review - Fast and Furious 7 (2015)

Fast and Furious 7 is the seventh film in the Fast and Furious series and it continues on from the events of the last film in the series but this time Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) is out for revenge against Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and his gang for what they did to Owen Shaw his younger brother (Luke Evans from the previous film) so it's time to get the motors running and go for one last ride.

Fast and Furious 7 is surprisingly good fun and well worth seeing in the cinema space and a lot of that comes down to director James Wan who made his name with Horror flicks Saw and the Conjuring and he really lets the car stunts fly and they are insane to watch and when the film is over you do feel like you've been taken on a wild ride for 2 hours and I have to say I felt a wee bit dizzy walking out of the cinema and in a good way primarily because Wan doesn't go for the Michael Bay route of BANG! CRASH! BOOM! DOOOOOOOOOOOOO! BWOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMM!!!!! SCREEEEEEEEEE!!!!! effects that make you feel like you've been hit over the head with a frying pan while VERY LOUD MUSIC PLAYS NEAR YOUR EARDRUMS, hopefully Wan gets more directorial work in the future.

As for the cast well it's impossible not to talk about this film without mention what happened to Paul Walker who had completed half of his filming before he was killed in a car accident in 2013 and filming was left delayed for a year while Wan and Co took time to both mourn his passing as well as figure out what to do with his remaining scenes and I have to say that this has been handled very well and huge kudos is given to the filmmakers on this regard so Bravo though I must also say that this feeling could repeat itself with Phillip Seymour Hoffman when Mockingjay Part 2 opens in November in terms of saying goodbye to a beloved actor taken in very tragic circumstances.

As for the rest of the cast Diesel, Tyrese Gibson, Dwayne Johnson, Kurt Russell, Michelle Rodriguez and Ludacris were fine here and I have to say that I loved seeing Russell again in his role and when he was on screen I thought of his role as Good ol Jack Burton of the Pork Chop Express from Big Trouble in Little China and Statham is a nice foil for these guys and throws down in the action scenes very well.

Sadly however some of the editing in these action scenes feels overcooked and as a result the cuts come and go so quickly you find it hard to enjoy watching these scenes and it's a pity that this spoils what is good directorial work from Wan.

So all in all Fast and Furious 7 is good fun and a nice send off for Paul Walker which is worth seeing at the cinema despite some overcooked action editing, 2 and a half out of 5.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

On the Air Season 2 Episode 3: The Long Exotic Holiday

Well here we are again,

After 6 weeks away due to other affairs, I'm back on the air talking about the following films:

- Focus
- Chappie
- Insurgent
- The 2nd Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
- The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 1

As always you can click on the streaming option in the play bar on your browser or you can right click and save as so its on your Computer.

Link is here: