Jupiter Ascending review

Ambitious, visually splendid yet camp and absurdly silly, I spent most of Jupiter Ascending’s lengthy and tedious action scenes wondering quite how Kunis, Tatum, Bean and Redmayne were convinced to sign up.
   I can assume that the Wachowski name was enough alone to secure funding for the film as I can’t believe anybody read the script.
I’m a sci fi fan, i’m a fan of The Matrix, even the ropier parts of the trilogy didn’t overly phase me.

The sad thing is that i was looking forward to Jupiter Ascending, but with it’s cheesy humour, clunky dialogue, strange pacing, violence, partial nudity and the way the film seems at pains to remind us of the gravity of the situation our protagonist finds herself in I cannot think who the movie is aimed at.
   In the end Jupiter Ascending reminds me uncomfortably of some odd concoction between Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, Fifth Element and Battlefield Earth.
To summarise; green screens, unexplained tech gadgets and cliches do not a movie make.

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A Walk Among The Tombstones review

Imagine Taken but without pace, plot twists or legitimate threat but with plenty of uncomfortable scenes of violence against women. Not a terrible film but I will have forgotten all of it by next week.

Transformers 4 Age Of Extinction review

If you’re a fan of explosions, cliches, brooding and tropes then Transformers 4 Age Of Extinction is for you.
If you are neither a twelve year old boy nor a supportive friend of a cast member then I would probably give it a miss. If the production team hadn’t blown their entire budget on special effects then they could have paid for someone to actually write dialogue, which was in this case presumably penned by a drunk Michael Bay under a pseudonym.
I’m a big fan of Mark Wahlberg and I could believe in him as a Marine style gun slinger, an embattled single father to a far too hot daughter, a parkour expert or perhaps even, in the right circumstances, an impoverished genius engineer but all four is a stretch.
I confess that I haven’t seen the previous films so perhaps I am losing out on a big part of the exposition and the motives behind the multiple battling factions but frankly, after three hours; who gives a shit?

Shockingly Overlooked For An Academy Award

On March 2nd all the biggest and brightest names in the world of film assembled for the 86th Academy Awards. All of them, that is, except for a few notable exceptions.

Yes, dear reader, we were overlooked again! The Academy once again besmirched the honour of the greatest assembly of acting and writing talent that a small village in Suffolk has ever produced! Featuring the acting talents of Chester “Loudest and Most Frequently Gesticulating Man 2014” Curtis, the subtle latino charms of writer/director/editor/producer/actor Will McDaniel and yours truly in an intensely understated supporting role, Ripped Film’s omission from ANY of the voting categories was, frankly, as baffling as the structure of this sentence. With all of the explosive special effects you would expect from a 70’s action B movie, the restrained and thought provoking plot reminiscent of Steven Seagal’s more recent work and several unnecessary and gratuitous shots of slightly out of shape hairy men in underwear and body stockings, Ripped Films was many critics’ pick for Best Picture:

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“Yeah, sure it was good alright now let me watch Corrie”
My mum

“What are you wearing stockings for lads, I thought you stopped this fannying around ten years ago?”
Will’s dad

“Has anyone seen my tights, I bought a new pack the other day and can’t find them anywhere?”
Chester’s wife

“Stop dressing the dogs up, it confuses them”
Will’s mum

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Perhaps even more outrageous was Jared Leto’s victory in the category of Best Supporting Actor. Putting in the sort of performance that led my high school drama teacher to write “Daniel tries really hard and he is good at writing, howev…” and coping extraordinarily well with cameraman Alex’s decision to use 5ft 7 Chester as the guide for the frame (leading to my head being cropped out fairly often) I felt at the very least that Mr Leto would be giving me a piggyback up the steps to collect my prize.

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Pah, next time!

As a condition for sharing Ripped Films, which is “ruined by one of the actors” (he declined to name which one), Will has made me promise to show you this short film which he says is far better (but oddly doesn’t feature me, I mean…I was available for it I think but for some reason I didn’t get a text all weekend?).

Oh and apparently he’s found another useless, lanky cretin for his next movie but if you could subscribe to his Youtube channel willmcd87: http://bit.ly/1qtM26P he promised he might find a role for me in future.

Paranormal Activity 4 Review

Horror films
Ok, firstly, i must admit that i am not a horror movie fan. I do not particularly enjoy them. It may be because they are, on the whole, cheap to produce and cost effective. Production companies simply churn them out, they are the pop music of the movie world. Dozens of ambiguously creepy titled movies with unknown actors and unwritten scripts pop out each month, further diluting the pool. In my experience horror films are more likely to be laughably shit than truly terrifying, with a few notable exceptions. However, i do seem to find myself watching them surprisingly often. Whenever i go to the cinema with a friend “for something to do” and we haven’t researched what is on we always plump for a horror. I think this is because it is easy. When you are confronted with a dozen ubiquitous titles which you do not recognise it is difficult to select a movie, then you see something like “Dead Awakening” and you know what you’re going to get. Such was the case this evening when i saw “Paranormal Activity 4” listed.
I’d seen the original Paranormal Activity and ,i must admit, it creeped me out. It goes alongside The Exorcist and Ring as the scariest film I’ve seen. I think with all three of these movies the thing which makes them frightening is the element of the unknown enemy, the force of supernatural or undying evil which is rarely visible. The first Paranormal Activity is never graphic, it is a film about nothing, right up to the last twenty seconds. Nothing happens, a girl sleepwalks, footprints appear, there are no suspenseful ‘jumpy bits’, the power of the film, the true horror comes from what you can’t see, like “what the fuck just dragged her out of the bed”. The first Paranormal Activity is why i don’t have my legs hanging out of the covers when i sleep and why, if i woke to find a female bedfellow standing over me, motionless, with her head hanging down, i would leap up screaming and relentlessly punch her in the face til i was dragged away for a few years of pillowbiting in ‘D’ wing. It was a true horror film.

Paranormal Activity 4 sucks balls. It really does. There, that’s my review. No need to read further.

Still here? Ok then. Well, for the sake of honesty, i did look away or brace myself a few times in the cinema. PA4 has fallen foul of the horror movie cliche of low static noise, building menacingly into a crescendo and then oh my days its a small child who appears suddenly and the music cuts or jolts with a loud bass note. That’s the thing with PA4, more often than not the jumpy bit is something like a cat or a small child or an ordinary thing that happens to move rapidly into focus, the false alarm occurs far more often than the actual threat. I’m not going to analyse the threadbare plot or rip into the fact that, in order to suspend disbelief, we have to accept that this family has a macbook sat in four different rooms of the house that runs throughout the night and records from its webcam in standby mode because i could go on about how stupid it is for pages and pages. No, instead, I’m just going to be brief. Great horror leaves a mark on you, i checked my corners for weeks after watching Ring, shit horrors make you jump six times because the music screeched up and a child dashed past the camera. That’s why PA4 sucks and PA was awesome, PA never showed you the threat, it was always subtle, creepy and immaterial, an evil so incomprehensibly terrifying that lived beyond our plane of existence; whereas PA4 shows you a child who is more autistic than haunted and then reveals the threat 25 minutes from the end. PA never shows you the demon, the closest thing to an embodiment of the threat we see is at the very end when the girl throws her dead partner at the camera then growls and leaps at it. In PA4 we see a fairly attractive thirty year old brunette prowling around and throwing bodies about, with an occasional demonic face cgi effect. When the protagonist runs out into a garden and turns to see ranks of possessed people and then is set upon by demonface brunette, we find ourselves in a zombie film. I was struck by the sheer ridiculousness of the film, much like in ‘House At The End Of The Street’ when we learn that the handsome young man is the killer, the idea that all of the bumps and jolts are just the result of what are essentially zombies takes any of the remaining edge off. Imagine if, in Jaws, the first scene had been someone swimming up to the great white with a tape measure and going “wow, 35 footer, bet you eat a few humans”, it throws the entire movie into farce. When the credits rolled i laughed a little too loudly.