Monday, May 31, 2010

Robin Hood

If you were going to see this movie expecting to see men in tights, you might come away disappointed: this is not the Robin Hood we know from such movies as Prince of Thieves (and definitely not the one we know from Men in Tights!). A more appropriate title for the movie would have been "Robin Longstride" (Robin Hood's actual name), but that might not have the drawn the crowds sufficiently. This is an origin story for the character of Robin Hood. It shows us the how he became the legend of those other movies. This can be somewhat of a weakness (perhaps even it's most striking) of the movie, as we don't really see Robin Hood and his band of Merry Men until the very end. This means the movie can feel somewhat as if it ends at what really is the beginning.


Despite this, it is an enjoyable movie, the pacing is good and there is no time for any dull moments. The battle scenes are particularly thrilling, and are definitely some of the strongest points in the movie. The battles at the start and the end of the movie are particularly engaging. The movie does at times feel as if it is a medieval version of Gladiator, especially when Robin Hood makes a speech. Overall the acting is good, with the stand out being Cate Blanchett as Lady Marion. Russell Crowe makes a believable and tougher-than-usual Robin Hood, but his accent tends to waver between a number of flavours, including what sounds like Irish and Scottish.

All in all there is nothing truly bad in this movie, but there is also not that much that sets it apart from many other action movies. If you do find yourself at the cinema, unsure of what to watch, Robin Hood would make for an entertaining hour and a half.

Iron Man 2

Coming out of the cinema, I heard mixed impressions on this one. They varied from:
"That was awesome, 10x better than the first one! I wish I was Iron Man..." to "That was disappointing... I think the first one was much better."

I'll be sitting on the fence for the time being, because I think that both of these simplistic statements contain some truth. Iron Man 2 is a fast paced and aesthetically pleasing movie with lots of impressive visual effects. Among other scenes, I’m thinking of the one where Tony Stark dons his Iron Man suit “on-the-go” (his suit being conveniently stowed away in a suitcase like it was his gym gear). To me, that was more impressive than the mechanical blur in the "Transformers" movies. Cheesy dialogue, mushy plots and mainstream sense of humour make it for a really compelling and accessible movie for the wider audience. Iron Man/Tony Stark, now a celebrity superstar, makes an extraordinary entrance into the Stark Expo, with cheerleaders dancing and welcoming him. During the movie, Tony Stark goes on to claim that he has "Privatized World Peace" - catchy.

What was really disappointing for me was the lack of depth with the many new characters in Iron Man 2, despite the A-list cast. Superhero movies often make the mistake of involving too many (supposedly) important and popular characters, only to give them a few minutes of screen time. Mickey Rourke is brilliant as Ivan Vanko and I wish that his character was exploited a bit more. Sam Rockwell is also quite funny and entertaining as the villainous arms dealer that threatens Tony Stark’s empire. As for Robert Downey Jr's acting and presence, there is not much to complain about, as I cannot dissociate him from Tony Stark anymore. Obviously, it's a sequel, and there's always going to be comparisons with the original. But if we take it for what it is (an action movie - explosions!!!), I would say it was quite entertaining and I thoroughly enjoyed the show. Would recommend for a night out.

Chris How

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Love Guru (2008) - Victor Kwong

There was only one reason why I watched this movie... Jessica Alba. Everything else in this movie was garbage. The jokes fall short of their mark and I would rather cut the Queen’s toe nails than have to watch this movie again.

The Love Guru is about an American who was abandoned by his family and raised by Gurus in India. Seeking fame and fortune in the US with his methods of self help and love, his chance arrives when he is asked to reunite Darren Roanoke (a famous ice hockey player) with his estranged wife who has left him for Jacques Grande a Canadian bloke packing some heavy “artillery”. While helping Roanoke reunite with his wife, Guru Pitka too falls in love....

Rating: 3/10

Watch this movie only on DVD and only if there is absolutely nothing else to rent!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Women (2008)

"The new comedy about finding out what you really want."

I won free tickets to catch this movie from the 30 Days of Fashion & Beauty and I almost didn't go to the cinema. The movie; which was an updated screenplay of George Cukor's 1939 movie with the same title; turns out to be better than I expected.

The characters are well defined and well played. The story unfolds appropriately. The scenes are quite funny at times. But I do have to say, however I look at it; it's still a chick flick. So guys - be warned. :) The best thing about it for me? There wasn't one inappropriate scene throughout the movie (nudity or extreme display of affection)!

All in all, save your $$$; this is more enjoyable to watch as a DVD.

Rating: 6/10

WALL-E (2008)

"An Adventure Beyond the Ordinar-E"

The latest Anime from Pixar brings us to a distant future (albeit a not so realistic one), where mankind has abandoned earth because it has become covered with trash from products sold by the powerful multi-national Buy N Large corporation.

The main character, WALL-E (short for Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-Class), is a determined garbage collecting robot has been left to clean up the mess. WALL-E is alone on Earth except for a sprightly pet cockroach; mesmerized with collecting trinkets of earth's history and show tunes. That is until one day, Eve, the sleek search robot, arrives and changed WALL-E's life purpose.

For kids, the characters expressions' are very entertaining and the message of "eco-friendly and pro-exercise" is very well delivered. Even the way "WALL-E" & "Eve" call their names are very cute and catchy!

For adults, the animation is incredible to watch and the movie is extremely enjoyable. It's different, full of funny bits while delivering a heartbreakingly tender love story between these two very adorable and expressive main characters.

This is totally a highly recommended movie. [Even the Rotten Tomatoes rate it at 96%!!!] Try to catch this movie in the cinema, you'd appreciate the animation even more!

Rating: 9.8/10

Monday, September 15, 2008

Tropic Thunder (2008) - Victor Kwong

4 Narcissistic actors embark on a journey to make the best and most expensive war film ever! But with clashing egos and a ballooning movie budget, the director decides to throw his self absorbed actors deep into the jungles of Southeast Asia not realising the real danger which hides within...

This is a real humdinger with heaps of action, over the top comedy and one of the best intros to a movie! I have gained immense respect for Robert Downey Jr. after watching this movie. From his Australian accent, his role as an African American soldier and his “Award Winning” role in “Satan’s Alley” (this was a classic scene!), He puts in an unbelievable performance with some truly diverse and challenging roles which in my opinion he fully pulls off!

Special mention to Tom Cruise who surprised me with his hilarious performance!

Rating: 9/10
Watch this movie if you like: Zoolander, Mystery Men, Happy Gilmore

Friday, September 12, 2008

Welcome to the Sticks (French) - Gemma

This movie was full on laughter from start to finish. Dany Boon wrote, directed and acted in this hilarious comedy about a postmaster who fakes a disability to get a prime job on the Riveria but gets caught and ends up in "the north". Everyone sympathises with him when they here because nobody wants to sent to "the north". His wife & son stay behind in the south. But when he discovers its not all bad, nobody believes him so he makes up the stories they want to here. All goes well until his wife decides to visit.

Its well-written comedy which takes everyday life and turns it into an hilarious ride. I loved all the characters. The english sub-titles are written in the quirky fashion that the people from "the north" speak. It might be a little hard to read initially but you get into the swing after a few lines. Top class entertainment (9.5/10).

Hellboy II - Gemma

Where would Hollywood be without remakes and sequels, eh ?? But aas sequels go, I'm glad they did this one. I really enjoyed the original and was not disappointed by number II. Excellent one-liners, lots of action, quirkiness and strange creatures !! Definitely worth a look (8/10).

Not Quite Hollywood - Gemma

If you are not into documentaries then don't bother reading any further !! Meanwhile, if like me, you love docos - especially ones about movie making - then you'll have a great laugh at this one. Quentin Tarantino features a LOT, talking about his obsession with Aussie cult movies from 70's and 80's. This was a time before "health and safety" and liability !! Where high speed chases were filmed by cameramen hanging off the back of a motorbike with no helmet.

The intermixed commentary from actors, film critics, celebrities and directors flows really well and I even missed some of the banter because the audience (including myself) were laughing so much.

With a very brief mention of the period pieces being filmed, this doco focuses on some of the worst and the best slasher, horror, porn and action movies to come out of Australia. Barry Humphries, Steve Bisley, Russell Boyd, Graeme Blundell, Sigrid Thornton, even George Lazenby all have their say about the era that put Australian movie making on the map. Great entertainment (9.5/10).

Mummy 3: Tomb of the Dragon Empire

If you've seen the first two you have to go see the latest in the series. Not as action-packed or scary as the original & sequel but still worth a watch. Very light entertainment and Jet Li didn't feature all much despite being the "mummy" in the title !! It felt like it was over way too quickly but I still enjoyed a few laughs (6/10).

In Bruges - Gemma

This is only Martin McDonagh's second movie and, although I've seen heaps of his plays over the years, I wasn't sure what to expect. The acting from both Brendan Gleeson & Colin Farrell was pretty good but the movie didn't really go anywhere. There were a few laughs, some good one-liners but overall I'd wait until DVD to watch this one (4/10).

Monday, September 08, 2008

Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008) - Victor Kwong

In the eyes of Hollywood they were seen as the next up and coming glamour couple. Sarah Marshall is the lead actor in a highly successful TV series while her partner Peter Bretter was a successful music composer on the rise.

It seemed like nothing could stop this power couple, however truth be told, Peter is a struggling musician who stays at home all day while Sarah struggles to remain committed in their relationship.

Following their devastating break up a dejected Peter goes on vacation to Hawaii unaware that Sarah was vacationing in Hawaii too..... With her new boyfriend!

This movie is an absolute classic! Full of great one liners and truly awkward moments. If you enjoyed movies such as Super Bad, The 40 year old Virgin and Knocked up then you will definitely enjoy Forgetting Sarah Marshall!!!

Rating: 8.5/10

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Guys and Dolls....(The Documentary) - Victor Kwong

Ok so this isn't exactly a movie but it is quite interesting none the less. Guys and Dolls takes a look into the lives of 4 individuals who lead a unique lifestyle..... they have dolls for girlfriends.... yes I kid you not these guys justify a life of living with dolls!

Off the bat, this sounds like a documentary that is 'taking the mickey', but it is actually a serious documentary informing us that these people are "normal" and the general core reason these individuals acquire these dolls is because they can't find a suitable female companion.

Guys and Dolls also delves into other aspects such as the doll industry, the requests made by customers and how these dolls are maintained (This is funny!)

When I found out about this documentary I thought this would be full of hilarious moments however I was mistaken and rarely laughed throughout the documentary. All and all this is a very interesting look at how these people live their lives.

After watching this documentary I doubt I will laugh if I see a bloke watching the streets with his doll.... Anyone interested in watching this documentary let me know. I give it an 8/10