Review: Inception (2010) (A Sweet Dream…Or A Beautiful Nightmare?)

“If we are gonna perform Inception then we need imagination”

What do you get when you mix up a typical Bond film, The Matrix and Ocean’s 11? Christopher Nolan’s Inception, that’s what you get! After the success of The Dark Knight, Nolan could have directed anything he wanted. And he did! He brought us Inception. You know, that film about dreams within dreams within dreams? Its typical blockbuster fare mixed with high concept ideas. There are big explosions, gun battles, fights that defy gravity…and ideas about the nature and perception of reality. I loved it the first time I saw it. But every time I rewatch it I enjoy it a little less…

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Review: Spider-Man 2 (2004) (The Greatest Superhero Sequel?)

“Woah, he stole that guy’s pizza!”

In my Top 10 List of Comic Books Films, I placed ‘Spider-Man 2’ at the hallowed #1 place (click here to view my Top 10 List). It’s been a while since I watched it, so I thought I’d pop it in the DVD player (it was either that or go to the cinema and watch Spider-Man: Homecoming. My fiancée couldn’t be bothered to go to the cinema…). Spider-Man 2 is a film I’ve watched countless times (as with Spider-Man, I watched it more than three times at the cinema alone!). However, every time I watch Spider-Man, its flaws become more and more apparent. I love it regardless, but still understand its flaws. However, each viewing of Spider-Man 2 only causes its brilliance to shine brighter than before. Continue reading

Review: Spider-Man (2002) (The Amazing Spider-Man?)

“You don’t trust anyone, that’s your problem”

Some people would argue that the modern trend for superhero movies started with Blade (1998) and X-Men (2000). Those people have some good arguments, but I’d argue that the superhero craze properly began with Spider-Man (2002), which is celebrating its 15th birthday this year! Blade and X-Men were modest hits, but Spider-Man hit big. It was the first film to earn over $100 million in its first weekend, among other box office records. Yes, people may have been hyped for the more recognisable superhero (Spider-Man was/is more well known than either the X-Men or Blade), but there’s also another reason for its box office success: it’s a damn fine film, with unfortunate flaws that prevent it from reaching the heights that its sequel would grasp.  Continue reading

Review: Hot Fuzz (2007) (Off The F**king Chain!)

“Fascist!”

Edgar Wright’s latest film Baby Driver was released last week, so what better time than now to go back to Hot Fuzz? It’s ten years old this year, if you can believe that! Hot Fuzz is the second film in Wright’s Cornetto trilogy. For me, it’s my second favourite. Shaun of the Dead is the more refined movie. That’s not to disparage Hot Fuzz in any way. The former is leaner, the second is a little bloated. Its length is the main reason I prefer Shaun of the Dead over Hot Fuzz. However, Hot Fuzz is both a cracking comedy and a great action film. It gets funnier every time I watch it. Continue reading

Review: Star Wars: Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005) (The Best Prequel?)

(I thought I’d already post this review just before The Force Awakens came out…but I couldn’t find it in my blog history!)

“I sense a trap”

‘Revenge of the Sith’ is a film some consider to be the best Star Wars prequel. That’s not difficult. After ‘Attack of the Clones,’ anything would be an improvement. I saw ‘ROTS’ at the cinema a whopping three times! Yes, I was one of those people who loved it on first viewing (but less and less each subsequent time). Maybe it was the knowledge that this was (at the time) the last Star Wars film to be released (now that Disney have the licence, we will probably see a new Star Wars film out every week…). Maybe my expectations were so low, and my eagerness to appreciate the film so high, that I convinced myself I was watching a good film. After several rewatches later, however, I have come to my senses. Yes, it may be the best film of the prequel trilogy. There are some promising scenes. Lucas seems to try really hard to end his saga on a high note. However, it retains most of the flaws of the first two prequels, and creates a few of its own… Continue reading

Review: Batman Returns (1992) (Or…How To Do A Sequel That Breaks The Mould)

“What are you waiting for? The signal!”

Batman Returns was released in cinemas 25 years ago (plus a few days!). So what better time to review what was then only the second superhero sequel out there! Tim Burton was hemmed in by the demands of Warner Bros for Batman (1989). However, for the sequel, Burton had free rein to do what he wanted. There’s no denying he went full-Burton for Batman Returns…which is both a blessing and a curse. It’s the most stylish Batman film thus far. The plot and the pacing are all over the place. Sometimes too much Burton can be a bad thing…But he must be commended for creating a sequel that doesn’t pander to the audience or to studio executives, like most of the superhero sequels we see today. Continue reading

Review: Prometheus (2012) (Or…How NOT To Do A Prequel!)

“It must feel like your God abandoned you”

I recently caught ‘Prometheus’ on television whilst holidaying at Llandudno (don’t judge me!). It was fortuitous, considering ‘Alien Covenant’ was due out at the cinema. My experience watching it at the cinema was not a pleasant one. More than anything, the film was dull. Yes, it may have been inexplicable, unsuccessfully fusing horror with pseudo-philosophical questions about the beginning of human life. It may have been riddled with stupid characters making stupid decisions (but isn’t that the core of most horror films?). It may not have answered any questions it posed. But, most of all, I found myself bored throughout the entire film. Would a re-viewing change my mind about it? Continue reading

Review: 2012 (2009) (Appetite For Destruction?)

2012“We’re going to need a bigger plane.”

President Donald Trump has been the most powerful man in the world for over a month. Yet the world is still in one piece. To prepare myself for disaster, I re-watched a film I hated at the cinema, ‘2012.’ I left the cinema less than impressed after ‘Deepwater Horizon,’ a smaller scale disaster film than Emmerich’s usual globe spanning adventures (read my review of that film here). Would ‘2012’ satisfy my appetite for destruction? No matter how many national monuments he digitally destroys, Emmerich finds it difficult to direct a decent film. Each of his disaster films are bloated, over-reliant on CGI, poorly scripted, illogically plotted, etc (just check out Independence Day: Resurgence for proof, and read my review here). And they are populated with good actors, giving them a veneer of respect.  Continue reading

Review: Hell Or High Water (2016) (Those Bloody Bankers…)

hell-or-high-water“Where’s the money?”

Haven’t we all been asking that question, since the 2008 Credit Crunch? The banks lost all the money, yet are still stuffed to the brim with the stuff. Of course, that’s a simplistic version of events. ‘Hell or High Water’ works as a tense bank heister thriller and an angry response to the Credit Crunch (does it need capitalising or not?). We root for the two bank robbers because, in our mind, they are in the right. Why should we care about banks being robbed? They’ve robbed us for long enough. It’s raging against the machine of capitalism whilst presenting a story full of compelling characters, twists and turns. Continue reading

Review: Predators (2010) (The Added ‘S’ Is For…)

predators“What if we’re dead?”

Continuing my ‘Predator’ voyage, I decided to watch ‘Predators,’ the third film in the ‘Predator’ franchise. Well, technically it’s the fifth film, but I don’t count the Aliens vs Predator films. I’ve never watched them, and can’t bring myself to watch them! hy I force myself to see a film I know will be awful? I have a sixth sense for films. The accuracy is about 70%, but for sequels and remakes, the accuracy rises to at least 85%. Alarm bells rang for Predators, but I still went to see it. Adding an ‘s’ to the title worked for Aliens, a cracking sequel. However, it adds nothing to this film at all. While I felt differently about ‘Predator 2’ (read my review here) after a rewatch, my feelings remained the same about ‘Predators…’ Continue reading