Monthly Archives: February 2013

A Good Day to Die Hard (2013)

 

 

 

 

 

die

Synopsis

John McClane is back, and this time he’s in Russia, trying to find his wayward son. Trouble inevitably follows and he ends up in all types of trouble.

 

First Half Review

So, we’re onto the 5th in the Die Hard franchise and you can guess that the law of diminishing returns is going to rear it’s ugly head here. So let’s get started.

The good stuff.

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Shit, what was good in it? There was lots of guns, lots of shouting, but that’s just a normal day in Russia it seems. I’m really struggling to find a positive here. Willis seems like he phoned it in. In other movies he was a cop, he was a good guy, he was fighting the terrorists; in this one he’s crashing into people on motorways. Punching guys cause they don’t speak English to him. Pretty much being a complete dick.

With his son, there’s never any real chemistry there. It feels like a slapped together Lethal Weapon duo, The set pieces were decent though.

But after the first 10 minutes we have an explosion, a breakout, a highway chase, another highway chase and then 45 minutes later the story is kind of told to us. A guy is in prison, the defence minister of Russia is the bad guy. There’s a political prisoner on trial and he’s on trial for something and someone wants a file. That is all we know. Actually there is one thing I liked. The Russians, when talking to one another, did speak Russian to each other. I always like that bit of authenticity in movies.

Bruce Willis can act, but just have a quick glimpse on IMDB at his CV, you will know his big movies the Die Hards, Last Boy Scout, Pulp Fiction, 6th Sense, Looper

But then you look closer. In 3 years he has been in 16 films.

I don’t think even Sam Jackson or Nic Cage have that amount do they?

Cage – 10
Jackson – 12 (not including his cameos in the Avengers build ups)

The movie, I think, was not originally a Die Hard movie it seems to have been maybe a Call of Duty movie that got the main character renamed to John McClane. I’d say if you had a few beers or whiskeys and sat down with some friends you’d have a good laugh with it. But this will be forgotten and I feel that people will only remember the first 3 Die Hard movies. The last two have been pretenders in Die Hard clothing.

This movie tries to hard to be a Die Hard movie and in turn it’s just dire hard. There are some nods and winks to previous movies but it feels more like a parody

The villians are never threatening and it’s not until the final 10 minutes that we learn the real motive. No one is ever in any real danger. The most laughable scene though they do explain it, (doesn’t make it any less laughable) is when they rob a car after losing all there money and weapons. They open the boot (trunk for the americans) and discover a cache of weapons for a small army. Isn’t it lucky they robbed this mafia guys car and he left bullet proof vests, machine guns, incendiary grenades, sawn off shotguns and a myriad of other shit for them?

With the name of the film “A Good Day to Die Hard”. It would have been a nice and ballsy move for McClane to sacrifice himself and end the franchise and go out with some credibility and dignity.

 

Second Half Review

And so we move to the latest installment in the long running “Die Hard” franchise. We went see this on Valentine’s Day, and the place was packed, and had been all day, if I heard the ushers correctly.

John McClane discovers his son is involved in some shady dealings in Russia. He arrives to realise that there may be more to this than he realises, and proceeds to shit all over Jack McClane’s plan. For no reason. At all. There is something about gaining a file from a political prisoner. Radioactive materials and a hot girl.

But that’s it. There isn’t any more depth to it than this. The whole driving point of the movie is to get this file, but its just such a crappy plot device. There is absolutely no plot whatsoever. There are set pieces, and they are total action set ups. In total there is probably about 3, and each is more ridiculous than the last. I understand that this is be expected for a Die Hard movie, but it’s rather preposterous, even for this genre.

Bruce Willis and Jai Courtney had no on screen chemistry at all, and I could have sworn more than once that they could have been strangers. The only part of the movie that was remotely intriguing was the moment before the final showdown, when John speaks to Jack about how much he cares for him. This was interesting as it was the first part of the movie that I actually felt like Bruce Willis gave a crap about.

This is the kind of movie I’m glad I saw, just to mark it off my list of movies to watch. I would be very annoyed if I had paid to see the movie. I probably won’t ever watch it again.

The first trio of Die Hard movies are staples on my Christmas Movie list, this definitely won’t be added to it! This movie isn’t a Die Hard movie. It’s like a Die Hard movie, but it misses the mark. By a mile.

 

TL: DR First Half Review: Yippi ki yay mother trucker 😦

TL: DR Second Half Review: Not even close. And they cut the “Motherfucker”. Not a happy camper.

 

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Wreck it Ralph (2013)

ralph

Synopsis

Ralph is a bad guy who really wants to be a good guy. He tries really hard and ends up causing more trouble than he wished to.

 

First Half Review

Spoiler Alert!

S.U.G.A.R SUGAR RUSH!

So a kids movie, about video games, produced by the guy who did Toy Story. What could go wrong here?

So Wreck It Ralph is based on a fictional 4 bit? 8 bit video game? This is one thing I’ve been thinking about: It’s Ralphs 30th anniversary in the movie. Which means he came out in 1982/83 which was part of the second generation. The 4 bit era.

The colour and platforming aspects are taken from the likes of Donkey Kong which did come out in 1981. Hmm, so I have been proved wrong. The writers know their games. So the story follows Ralph who’s a “Bad guy” but not a bad guy, who wants some recognition for his job in life.

Following the residents of the penthouse he destroys daily throwing a party for Fix-it Felix Jr. Ralph heads to the party and gets upset at being left out. He is told he can live in the apartment if he can get a medal. Which only heroes get not villains. So Ralph goes on a quest through a First person shooter and a diabetes inducing racing game.

In the racing game he meets a glitched racer who wants to race but is not allowed due to King Candy insisting that she could get the game disconnected if players where to see a glitch character.  Ralph must face the morale dilemma of helping his friend and potentially having the game pulled due to a glitch or leaving her not race and the game continues.

The movie has some great cameos from gaming legends in it such as Sonic, Dr Robotnik, Ken, Ryu, Pac-man, Q-Bert, Zangeiff, M.Bison and an alarming Metal Gear Solid reference.

The main characters play off each other quite well. John C. Reilly and Sarah Silverman do a great job. It’s a kids movie but at the same time it’s directed at people who grew up with these types of games, who went to arcades, who know what it was like to beat the level after numerous tries. It’s also a Disney movie so there is the story of accepting who you are and treating people right.
If you like Disney go see it, If you like games, go see it. If you have taken a huge amount of acid, go see it.

Also look up the j-pop song Sugar Rush

 

Second Half Review

I was looking forward to watching this movie ever since I seen the trailer a little while ago. It looks like the kind of thing I’d like; a bright, colourful, and musically infused feel good movie. That’s exactly what I got!

Ralph is a bad guy in an old school arcade game, and all he wants to do is be treated like a good guy for once. His dreams are not to be, and get dashed pretty early on. However, Ralph is tenacious and keeps at it. He then gets involved in other games in the arcade, making friends and enemies along the way.

The voice talent in this was really, really good. I loved Sarah Silverman as the chirpy little kid, Vanellope, and her friendship with Ralph is really sweet. Ralph’s interactions with the other major characters is cute.

The graphics are wonderful in this. The candyland racing game is just so bright and colourful, and it  is a rich and varied place, full of delicious, delicious citizens.

Do yourself a favour, please go see this movie. It’s a feel good kids movie, but at the same time, full of video game references and a solid story. You won’t get a nicer movie this year.

 

TL:DR First Half Review: Bad guy learns he’s the best bad guy.

TL: DR Second Half Review: a super sweet movie that won’t leave a bad taste in your mouth.

Hyde Park on Hudson (2013)

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Synopsis

Daisy mets her cousin, President Roosevelt at a time of national importance and the eve of war.

First Half Review

Hyde Park on Hudson is a charming little movie with very little charm really. It’s set against the backdrop of seemingly one of FDR’s many affairs. This time with his cousin (4/5th removed). FDR invites Daisy up to his house whilst he is preparing for the US to enter World War 2 and expecting a visit from the newly Crowned Royals from England.

The main backbone of the movie is about his affair and relationship with Daisy but it never really catches fire, instead it’s far more interesting to watch FDR and The King’s interactions. There are some touching moments the best being King George VI and FDR talking about each of their disabilities.

The young royals seem out of there depth and FDR playing the role of a prankster and father figure to George.

The story is non existent really. Bill Murray is really the only good thing in the movie and he doesn’t seem to be doing that much.

There are some moments of comedy which make you chuckle. But again it’s a forgettable movie that would have been better if It focused on one aspect rather than the two which it does in the movie.

 

Second Half Review

I had never heard of this movie before going to see it. Never seen a trailer for it, or heard a wee dickie bird about it. The only reason I went to see it is that Himself loves Bill Murray. And so we went. The film was being screened in the smallest screen I have ever seen, and there was only 6 people there for it, 2 days after it came out. It didn’t bode well. And I was right.

The story is set in President Roosevelt’s mother’s house as they prepare to greet the new King and Queen of England, who are on the cusp of war with Hitler’s Third Reich, and who may be asking for the United States help, should Hitler declare war on Britain  The other story that is contained within this movie revolves around Daisy, an unemployed, unmarried woman who is taking care of her aunt, who just so happens to be very distantly related to the President. FDR’s mother asks her to come to her home to help take the Presidents mind of off his work. That she does. By having sex with him.

So yeah, that’s essentially the plot. Its thread bare and unimaginative, even if the movie is based on true events. I just couldn’t get into the movie. I didn’t care about the characters, nor their troubles. The only people who were remotely interesting were the King and Queen of England. It was an interesting portrayal of a man and his wife with great roles suddenly thrust upon them (George’s brother having abdicated the throne to marry an American divorcee). But that’s the most engaging piece in the movie, and its not whats said about it, but whats implied that’s interesting! I should mention, there is a part of this movie where awkwardness between the characters reigns supreme for about 10 minutes, and it really comes across well. I couldn’t even look at the screen the feeling was so intense!

This movie is one of those movies that just doesn’t seem to have a point. Its a “Meh” entity through and through. The acting is fine, (but I hated Laura Linney’s portrayal of Daisy, all wide eyed and boringness) the cinematography is lovely, along with the sets and outdoor pieces. The story lets it down in a big way. Definitely wouldn’t recommend it.

 

TL DR First Half Review: President meets Royals, eats hot dogs.

TL DR Second Half Review: Utterly tedious, not worth it.

Hitchcock (2013)

hitch

Synopsis

A movie that examines the untold story of how “Psycho” was filmed.

First Half Review

Ah, Hitchcock. I had high hopes for this. Alas.

The movie is set around his masterpiece (don’t kill me for that, it’s all down to preference I know) “Psycho”. Now, there are a lot of stories that have come out regarding the man himself and I think going to see it, we all thought it would focus on his wife and the making of the movie. It does but it doesn’t really go into depth with it.

We meet Anthony Perkins and other than one gay joke that’s the last time we see him. Hitchcock’s meant to have a close relationship with Janet Leigh but the only time the two of them seem to spend any time together to develop is on a drive home where he eats candy corn. The relationship between Hitchcock and his wife are shown to be somewhat strained but never too much. The scenes with Helen Mirren and Antony Hopkins are great, however, Hopkins does feel like a bit of a parody.

There is no real drama in the movie, to be honest, and the movie doesn’t know what it wants to be. Does it focus on the making of the movie or Hitchcocks relationship with his wife and his girls? It is a watchable movie but it is not going to be remembered in a few years time. I honestly don’t know what’s wrong with dramas these days, they all seem to miss the drama of the film.

Second Half Review

Saw this thanks to a preview screening at the local cinema, which was nice. I hadn’t heard too much about this movie, or the plot, so I went in with an open mind. I’m fascinated by horror movies, even though I am a gigantic wuss, and Hitchcock’s “Psycho” is probably the most famous horror movie out there.

The plot itself is sort of an non- entity  It is loosely gathered around Hitchcock’s decision to film “Psycho” and the trials he goes through to make this a reality. There was no beginning to this movie. I felt that I had walked in on two middle aged people having a conversation for the most part. The plot is mostly uninteresting, and places where it could have shone brightly (such as a stronger focus on the actual production of “Psycho”) fell slightly flat.

The movie was unsure about whether it wanted to show the effort that went into getting “Psycho” shot, or the marital problems between Hitchcock and his wife, Alma. I felt that these were the strongest scenes overall; the arguments between the two were super, and heartfelt.

Anthony Hopkins does a fine job portraying Hitchcock. The make up is pretty stellar, even though he is practically unable to show any emotion at all with his face. I am unsure as whether is because of his acting or because of the makeup. But for me, the star of this movie was Helen Mirren. She was brilliant as Hitchcock’s wife, Alma Reville. Her portrayal of an underappreciated  taken advantage of, side-lined, supportive wife was just brilliant. Her tirade at Hitchcock when he asks her if she is having an affair is easily one of the best scenes of any movie so far this year.

There are a couple of memorable scenes in this movie (my favourite being the one described above), however, the ending scene where Hitchcock is waiting outside the movie theatre as the premiere happens is wonderful. The nervousness emanates from the screen and the joy when he hears the screams from inside is really great.

Overall, a bit of a let down. A muddly,  mis-matched movie at the best of times, with two great actors driving it. I’d wait to see it on telly rather than trek into town in the rain to watch it again.

TL: DR First Half Review: Gooooooooooood Evening…

TL: DR Second Half Review: No, you don’t get to see Scarlett Johannsen’s boobs