Jackie Chan burst into Hollywood with this chaotic, action-packed film. Yes, the plot may be flimsy, the dialogue forgettable (especially with the awkward dubbing), and has stereotypes posing as characters, but let’s be honest, you don’t watch Jackie Chan films for any of that. You watch them for his hilarious fight scenes and crazy stunts, of which this film possesses an abundance. Continue reading
quick film reviews
Quick Review : Zombie Flesh Eaters (1979)
Who doesn’t love a good ‘video nasty’? Well, in my view, 90% of the time, these ‘video nasties’ only have their controversy to survive on. Plot, acting, direction…they are secondary to the shock value. Take Zombie Flesh Eaters. It’s poorly acted, poorly paced, and poorly scripted. I only watched it because I had a vague memory of watching it late night on Channel 4 as a teenager, and seeing the infamous eye-gouging scene that was censored to hell for broadcast (perhaps I am mistaken?). Continue reading
Quick Review : The Matrix Revolutions (2003)
Everything that has a beginning…has an end, thankfully, in the case of The Matrix trilogy! The second one limped along, full of verbiage about free will (if without much purpose). In the finale, questions are answered with questions (or not at all) and even more questions are raised. Continue reading
Quick Review : The Matrix Reloaded (2003)
Words cannot express how disappointed I was with this film at the cinema. Four years of hype built up this wordy, boring and confusing film. Today, I merely tolerate it. I can at least say it’s not a terrible film. But that’s about it. Continue reading
Quick Review : The Matrix (1999)
What can be said about ‘The Matrix’ that hasn’t already been said? A sci-fi classic that revolutionized not only the sci-fi genre, but also the action genre as well. ‘The Matrix’ encouraged overt philosophizing in cinema. Talk of ‘What is real?’ and bullet-time action has become so commonplace in films that you’d think ‘The Matrix’ would be superannuated. Continue reading
Quick Review : eXistenZ (1999)
eXistenZ, capital X, capital Z! This is, in a way, a spiritual successor to Cronenberg’s own ‘Videodrome.’ However, here the medium of video games is used to explore our relationship with technology instead of TV. In eXistenZ, video games/virtual reality are so realistic that it’s impossible to tell the difference between reality and virtual reality. Continue reading
Quick Review : Climax (2018)
How can you rate a movie like ‘Climax’? There’s not much of a plot to speak about. There are no character arcs and there are too many characters. But if you ever want a “drug trip” without actually taking any drugs, then ‘Climax’ is probably the film to watch. It starts out glorious, full of colour and dancing people, but slowly and surely descends into a nightmare. And I mean “nightmare” in the truest sense of the word. Continue reading
Quick Review : Breathless (1960)
As one of the first ‘French New Wave’ pieces of cinema, I had plenty of hope and expectation for this film. Godard wants to tear up the rules of contemporary cinema, and he definitely succeeds in that. But does that equal a great film? I’d say not quite great, but very, very good. Godard invites you to critique and dissect his film, just as he critiqued and dissected contemporary cinema. The plot is almost non-existent, dialogue takes precedence of pushing the story forward, and people stare at the camera (both the actors and passers-by, the latter because Godard shot most of the exterior shots without permission).
However, Godard immediately grabs the viewer’s attention, as does the main character Michel, whether he’s imitating Humphrey Bogart or seducing young women. The dialogue here is key, as you never want the conversations to end. I could watch these characters talking for another 90 minutes at least. This is cinema on a shoestring budget, rough and ready, and tearing up the rule-book while the director, actors and the audience have a right ball.
Hammy’s Rating: 4/5
Michel and Patricia’s conversation in the hotel room
‘I don’t know if I’m unhappy because I’m not free, or if I’m not free because I’m unhappy’
Quick Review : Baby Driver (2017)
This is an exemplary case of style of substance. Edgar Wright manages to blend sound effects and soundtrack to a degree almost extraordinary in its accomplishments. On a technical level, it’s a marvel. To look at and hear, Baby Driver is astonishing. But, but it fails on the levels of story and character. The main character, Baby, is just as quiet as the Driver out of Dive, but he’s simply forgettable. Everybody else is merely there; chess pieces in Wright’s marvel without personality.
Next: the story is something we’ve all seen before, and there’s nothing new or unique to alter our perceptions. I never thought I’d say this about an Edgar Wright film, but more than a few times, I was bored. Also, like many films of its kind, it run out of steam before the third act. Not a bad film by any means, just style over substance and everything else.
Hammy’s Rating: 3/5
‘Let’s head West on the 20, in a car we can’t afford, with a plan we don’t have’
Click here for my full review of Hot Fuzz (2007)
Quick Review : Us (2019)
How do you top a directorial debut like ‘Get Out.’ Not exactly like this…what starts out as a straight horror film becomes complicated and packed to the brim with mostly unresolved issues. That’s not to say I didn’t like the film. In fact I loved it…until the third act exposition dump that made everything preceding it nonsensical. After that, I felt deflated and nonplussed. I didn’t care for the ending. In terms of acting, dialogue (bar the exposition dump), cinematography and directing, ‘Us’ is a triumph. If not for the third act, I’d be rating it much higher.
I’m not sure if it’s an overly ambitious idea that fails to narratively and thematically gel together, or if’s it’s just a really daft idea that doesn’t make sense…or perhaps both?Still, it’s an impressive sophomore effort that pales in comparison to Jordan Peele’s debut. Yet it’s more ambitious and packed with crazy ideas that put most other horror films to shame.
Hammy’s Rating: 3/5
MEMORABLE SCENE: Good vibrations!
MEMORABLE QUOTE(s): ‘Who are you people?’