Kick Ass

Before I start, this review is being written 4 months after seeing the film. So… well, it will most likely be rubbish! That in mind let’s go…

Dave Lizewski (Aaron Johnson), an ordinary high school kid in New York decides to don a costume and become a super hero despite the disadvantage of not having any special powers, strength or training. At first he gets his arse handed to him and ends up in hospital having metal plates insterted all over his body. When recovered he reinstates his alter ego, Kick Ass, and quickly becomes an internet sensation when he is filmed taking on some thugs outside a fast food place.


From what I remember, four months after watching the film, I liked it but I thought it was over-hyped. I really dislike it when a film is over sold. I seem to recall the posters for this film reading ‘YOUR NEW FAVORITE FILM!’ Well, no, it’s not.

I had also already seen the most controversial part of the film in a trailer months before the film came out so the shock had been taken out of it for me when I was sat in the cinema. In fact I think most of the best parts of the film had been shown in either teasers or trailers before the film was released.


I can’t really remember much more then this… over-hyped but thought it was alright really.

7/10


                            I Love You Phillip Morris

Steven Russell (Jim Carrey) has the perfect life, a good job, a devoted wife and beautiful kids… but a car accident awakens Steven’s true self… he’s gay. Not only is Steven gay is also a quite creative con man. When sent to jail he meets and immediately falls in love with Phillip Morris (Ewan McGregor), and soft spoken and kind hearted man who in turn falls in loves with Steven.

What follows is the story of how far Steven will go to be with Phillip and build a life for them.

I’ll admit it now, I’m a Jim Carrey fan, I can quote just about all of Ace Ventura: Pet Detective and I even like Liar, Liar. Most of this film sees Carrey back at his rubbery, over-acting best. (From what I remember… it was a while ago that I saw this film) there are some hillarious moments in this film which I thuroughly enjoyed.

What let this film down was it’s length, I felt it was too long and it also gets a bit soppy towards the end.

7/10

Another apology before the review… It’s been a couple of months since I’ve posted any reviews, yes I am rubbish I know. Sorry!                                     

                                 Lovely Bones

At the age of 14 Suzie Salmon (Saoirise Ronan) is murdered by her reclusive neighbour George Harvey (Stanley Tucci). After her death she finds herself in the ‘inbetween’ world able to see her family… as they suffer over her passing. Meanwhile, Suzie’s father, Jack (Mark Wahlberg) becomes sure that Harvey is responsible for his daughter’s death and begins to become obsessed with him and finding out the truth.

I saw this with my Sister and my Mum. My sister had read the book, I hadn’t. To be honest I really didn’t want to see this film. It’s essentially a film about child rape and murder and that wasn’t something I particularly wanted to see.

This is a film of suspense. We all know that Harvey will kill Suzie, it’s just a matter of when and how. When the moment came I found it exceptionally difficult to watch, I even felt a little sick. To me this means that the story was told and executed extremely well. There are other moments in the film that evoked the same reaction from me too, some tense and nail biting moments that actually did have me on the edge of my seat… and I hate cliches!

The parts of the film that didn’t sit right with me was the whole ‘inbetween’ bit. It was all very hippy and airy-fairy, I just found it all quite annoying. For me these parts of the film didn’t work as well as any of the parts that were on Earth which were gritty and much more interesting.

I can’t say I ‘enjoyed’ this film, but I do appreciate how superbly most of it was played out. 

6/10


                                              Green Zone

Matt Damon is Roy Miller, a chief in the US army heading a team searching for WMDs. He starts to question why the intelligence they are given never brings up a successful lead. CIA man Marty Brown (Brendan Gleeson) tells Miller he’s right to question the existence of WMDs and the whole reason they went to war. At the centre of Miller and Brown’s suspicion is Pentagon operative Clark Poundstone (Greg Kinnear) who has also drawn the attentions of Wall Street Journal reporter Lawrie Dayne (Amy Ryan).

There were a few times in this films where I genuinely forgot to breathe. The suspense is laid out and kept up for the very start of the film. With some pretty weighty subject matter to play on, the film never strays from what could be perfectly believable.

Matt Damon is excellent in this as he always is in my opinion. The only performance that drew me out of the film slightly was Branden Gleeson, the man should not be allowed to attempt an American accent, it slipped from Irish to American to something weird in between quite a lot, more that a little distracting. Even that though wasn’t enough to stop me appreciating how fantastic this film is.

Completely gripping, compelling, gritty and thought provoking.

9/10

                               Shutter Island

In 1954, US Marshalls Teddy Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his newly assigned partner Chuck Aule (Mark Ruffalo), take the case of finding a missing patient escaped from the secure unit of the mental institution, Shutter Island. The case becomes more compelling to Teddy as he feels the staff are hiding information from him and he starts to feel increasing ill which he puts down the his sea-sickness. A hurricane hits trapping the detectives on the island, in the confusion after the storm Teddy’s search for the truth goes on but he begins to question and doubt everything and everyone around him, it doesn’t take long for him to start to question and doubt himself.

I’ve heard mixed reviews for this film, some negative ones completely nit-picking the tiniest details, some just saying they didn’t think it worked. The good ones rave about it. I’d say I swing towards the latter. I think it worked as a noir piece with some absolutely fantastic performances from DiCaprio, Aule and Ben Kingsley as the ominous Dr. Cawley.

I thought this film was beautifully put together and excellently told, it kept me guessing the whole way through, even the chavs that surrounded me with their inane conversation and infant sized bladders couldn’t take me out of the story.

An excellent example of a well executed suspense drama, definitely worth watching on the big screen.

8/10

                               From Paris With Love

James Reece (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) is a low level employee of the US Embassy in Paris, he dreams of one day being promoted into the secret service to give himself and his girlfriend Caroline (Kasia Smutniak) a better life. One day he’s given the chance to be promoted if he assists Charlie Wax (John Travolta) an undercover agent whose methods are somewhat ‘unorthodox’. 

I frigging loved this film! For me it was a perfect mix of action, story, character development and comedy. All completely predicatable and ‘by the numbers’ but that’s exactly what films like this should be! This film most certainly sits in the Die Hard section, action with a good story and some memorable scenes. Don’t worry I’m not saying it’s as good as Die Hard… few films rival Die Hard!!!

Travolta was excellent as Wax, his fight scenes were the best things about this film, even the ones you don’t see! Rhys Meyers played the perfect ‘fish out of water who learns to adapt to his situation’ in this odd couple caper.

I definatley need to see this one again, I suggest you grab some popcorn, switch off your brain for a bit and enjoy!

8/10

                                      Chloe

When Catherine (Julianne Moore) suspects her husband David (Liam Neeson) of cheating, she takes the really quite unbelievable step of hiring a prostitute to come on to him to see what he does. 

Sigh, I found this film quite uncomfortable to watch in parts, mainly because I’m not in the habit of watching porn in public places of a Sunday afternoon.  I’ve not seen the French original of this film so I’m not sure if that displayed the same lack of sense and inappropriately placed sex scenes, but then, it’s French, so it most likely did.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a prude, I don’t mind sex in films if it adds to the story, but this film is really a story around the sex… and a weak story at that, I guessed the twist and I’m notoriously shocking at guessing twists, so this is how I know that the story can’t have been all the well crafted or executed.

There’s really no reason to watch this film to be honest, I feel like I need to watch Taken again to remind myself how ace Liam Neeson really is. 

3/10


                                                   Crazy Heart

Bad Blake (Jeff Bridges) is a country music star who has long since seen the better days of his career. A life of hard drinking and womanising has lead him to traveling the country alone in a beat up van to play second rate venues and bowling alleys.
Continuing to use the bottle to escape his life and problems, Blake is interviewed one day by Jean (Maggie Gyllenhaal), the two become smitten with each other and Blake begins to play a part in Jean and her son’s life.
However, Blake’s problems start to have an effect on the family and through this Blake is forced to face his demons and start to assess his life.

An intense and well performed character study. I’ve heard this film referred to as ‘The Wrestler with country music instead of wrestling’. I suppose what is meant by that is that they both follow the lives of washed up ex-professionals and how their past mistakes effect their lives and the people in them now. Not a bad thing in my opinion, I loved The Wrestler and Bridges performance in Crazy Heart is definitely one to rival Mickey Rourke’s in The Wrestler. One person I did feel was slightly out of place in this film was Colin Farrel who plays Tommy Sweet, the new rockstar of the country music scene who was once Bad Blake’s protégé. For me he just didn’t fit the part, but it didn’t annoy me enough to take me out of the story… that was left to the woman behind me who answered her phone three times throughout the film.

The soundtrack to this film is definitely one of its strong points, it made me want to listen to country music that isn’t performed by Johnny Cash for the first time in my life. Another strong point was Maggie Gyllenhaal, a woman whose face alone normally irritates me, but she was extremely good in this and her tenderness in parts almost made me cry! I’m soft, I know.

Overall, a very well crafted story which I enjoyed thoroughly.

8/10

Youth in Revolt

Michael Cera is Nick Twisp, a shy geeky teen who has odd tastes and has only one friend. He lives with his Mother and which ever guy she is with that week. When they have to leave town for a while Nick, his Mum and her boyfriend all stay in a small caravan in a small town where he meets and falls in love with Sheeni (Portia Doubleday). When Nick and family go back home he and Sheeni come up with an idea to get Nick back to her home town… Nick must go against his every instinct and be bad. In order to do this Nick creates a second personality who can do the bad things; Francois.

Now, I REALLY wanted to like this film, I really did. I really like Michael Cera, I really do. But I really didn’t like this film… really. I did like parts of it, mainly the Francois parts (which there weren’t enough of) and the bits with Nick’s Mum. I just thought that it was trying to be too obviously subversive, too alternative, too French, too quirky. I wanted to have words with the people laughing in the cinema towards the end. Ask them “what is it that you’re laughing at? Please explain cos I just don’t get it!?!” For some reason every teenager in this film talks like a pretentious 30-something deluded literary failure. Every one of them. And the bit with Sheeni’s brother doping their parents so they looked like mental patients JUST WASN’T FUNNY. I found that bit really sad… and I really wanted to slap people in the cinema laughing at that bit.

I’ve never read the book this is based on, I never will, so I don’t know if it’s a true interpretation of it and the book is trying to be all the things above or it’s just the film, maybe someone can enlighten me on that.

So yeah, I didn’t like it, my sister came with me to see this, when I told her my view she said I’m weird and take films too seriously… I personally don’t think that’s possible!

Anyway…

4/10

The Exorcist

Everyone knows the story of The Exorcist even if they’re not seen it. A young girl is possessed by the devil. After unsuccessfully consulting doctors her Mother decides to contact two priests to try and save her daughter.

I saw this film at a Mark Kermode talk where he talked about his passion for this film and his belief that it’s the best film ever made. I’d never seen it before and was expecting to be scared to death… especially seeing as it didn’t even start til 11pm and my friend had to leave so I was there without someone to grab hold of if I got scared. I needn’t have worried. I can see why Kermode loves this film, it’s because he saw it first at a time when there was nothing else like it, when the effects and sound used were unique and groundbreaking, and when he was young. I saw it in 2010, when I was 27 and when 37 years of horror film had proceeded it. So in short, it didn’t scare me at all… I was disappointed.

Saying that though, it may not have scared me, but it did shock me in parts. Some bits of this film have been parodied many times, but when you see the original on screen and you remember that nothing like this had ever been shown, it really reminds you that this truly was a landmark film.

I would loved to have seen this back in the day when nuns were chucking Holy water on those in the queue to see it, that would have added to the whole experience and drama of it. Ah well, we can be thankful to it for paving the way for modern horror and really setting the standard for all future horror films after it.

8/10