Review: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016) (The Best Star Wars Prequel?)

(SPOILERS AHEAD)

“We call it the Death Star”

The latest instalment in the Star Wars saga, The Last Jedi, is due out at the end of this week. So it’s time I took a look back at the last Star Wars film…Rogue One: A Star Wars story! I watched it at the cinema, but didn’t write a review because I found the experience mediocre. A rewatch later and I still have the same feeling as I did before about it. It’s intermittently diverting enough to absorb you into its story. However, I couldn’t shake the bad feeling that I’d seen all of this before. I knew where the film was going and how it was going to end…and nothing distracted me from that. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story felt like a remix of the Star Wars films we’d seen before. Continue reading

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Review: The Running Man (1987) (One Of Us Is In Deep Trouble…)

“Without further ado, it’s time to start running!”

So I see that The Dark Tower has been released on DVD today (in the UK, anyway!). Instead of watching one of the worst reviewed Stephen King film adaptations ever, I went back to an old favourite of mine: The Running Man. It’s thirty years old this year and was adapted from The Running Man by Richard Bachman…who turned out to be a pseudonym of King’s. The funny thing is that the film takes place in 2017. It’s fun to compare and contrast with the future of the 1980s to the reality of today. But is the film as good as I remember? Or have I had my mind decayed by nostalgia for the heyday of 1980s cinema/Arnie? Let’s talk about it… Continue reading

Review: Cannibal Holocaust (1980) (The Most Controversial Film of All Time?)

“Man is omnipotent; nothing is impossible for him”

Is Cannibal Holocaust the most controversial film of all time? That’s what it says on the sleeve of the Shameless Edition which I picked up last week. I thought shameless was a reference to the price: 18 pounds! But, I was willing to pay that steep price for something that would shock and disgust me. It takes a lot. Cannibal Holocaust ticks all the boxes for extreme horror: rape, genital mutilation, cannibalism, buckets of blood, disembowelments, real animal slaughters…it’s a film that you couldn’t get away with doing today. Ask Eli Roth: he tried with The Green Inferno, but that lacked any shock value (and was pretty dull as well). As is often the case, nothing could top the original Cannibal Holocaust. Yes, it’s probably the most controversial film of all time. But does that make it any good? Continue reading

Review: Justice League (2017) (Justice Served?)

(SPOILER FREE)

“How many people have you really saved?”

Where do I even start with Justice League? I’ve put off writing this review since Friday because I simply don’t know if I even can be bothered to write about it. It seems Warner Bros couldn’t be bothered with Justice League. The film feels rushed, unfinished, and put together by a child. Even considering the change of directors earlier on in the year cannot excuse the mess that is Justice League. I was a defender of Batman v Superman because that dared to be different. Justice League is a sub-par copy of The Avengers, lacking Snyder’s distinct vision for the DCEU. Continue reading

Review: Thor: Ragnarok (2017) (Thor-Some?)

(SPOILER-FREE)

“I know what you’re thinking: how did this happen?”

Thor: Ragnarok is the latest Marvel Cinematic Universe film to get a shedload of critical acclaim. I’ve seen it advertised on Twitter as the “best reviewed Marvel film yet.” Of course, whenever something receives high critical acclaim, my Spider-sense tingles. It’s true, Thor: Ragnarok is enjoyable. You’ll laugh yourself silly. But I felt a little nonplussed when the credits started to roll. The third Thor film has little in common with its predecessors. The tonal shift is jarring, the characters involved are used mainly for laughs, and the story seems to have been written on the fly… Continue reading

Review: Battle Royale (2001) (The Ultimate Japanese Film?)

“At the dawn of the millennium, the nation collapsed. At fifteen percent unemployment, ten million were out of work. 800,000 students boycotted school. The adults lost confidence and, fearing the youth, eventually passed the Millennium Educational Reform Act, AKA the BR Act….”

Thus begins one of my favourite Japanese films! Yes, Battle Royale! The DVD of Battle Royale was taken away from her by a me a couple of years ago, so I bought it off Amazon (cheap as chips!). With a few hours to spare last night, she watched it. It’s been a while since I’ve seen it, but oh boy, the quality has not dipped a bit! So let me tell you why I adore Battle Royale… Continue reading

‘Halloween Special’ Review: I Spit On Your Grave (1978) (A True Video Nasty?)

halloween

“You came to a nice place”

Halloween is approaching…so I sought out a true video nasty: the original ‘I Spit On Your Grave.’ Last night I settled down with some tomato soup and popped the DVD in the player…

The plot can easily be summed up: a New York lady (Jennifer) goes to the countryside, gets raped by several men, then in various acts of revenge kills them. And there isn’t much in between: the rape scenes take about forty-five minutes of the film up; the murders about forty minutes. So there is little room for exposition, character development, or any of those things necessary to weave a cohesive story. The lady is a novelist, retiring to the country for some inspiration. Of course, when people retire to the countryside, they get a lot closer to ‘nature’ than they intended to in horror films! The men are no-good hicks, referring to women as ‘chicks.’ According to one of them, city girls only come to the village to get laid. So that’s a perfect justification rape! One of them, Matthew, is a ‘retard’ (in their words). So, they are the main characters, and we don’t find out much more about them. Continue reading

Review: Blade Runner 2049 (2017) (A Sequel Thirty-Odd Years Too Late?)

(SPOILER FREE)

“I hope you don’t mind me taking the liberty”

When we were told that we were getting a belated sequel to Blade Runner, one of the most influential sequels of all time, I reacted with apathy. Why do we need a sequel thirty years after the original was released? Blade Runner might be very well respected as a film, but I couldn’t imagine many people buying tickets to see a sequel to it. And, of course, not many people have bought tickets to see a sequel to Blade Runner. It only making $30 million in its first weekend, compared to its budget of around $150 million. But I’d advise, nay implore, people who love cinema to watch Blade Runner 2049. What could have been worthless cash-in turned out to be one of the films of the year… Continue reading

Review: Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017) (Or: How Not To Do A Sequel)

(SPOILER FREE)

“You think that s**t’s gonna work this time?”

Kingsman: The Secret Service was a novel surprise back in 2014, an ultraviolent spy spoof that worked gloriously. In fact, it was so successful in what it did that a sequel wasn’t necessary. However, a sequel was thrust upon us. Could the sequel be a successful spy spoof that didn’t copy the outline of the first one? Could it spoof sequels? Could it give us a reason for its existence? My answer to all of the above questions is: no. It’s a mess, in basic terms. It adds nothing of substance to the Kingsman universe. A plodding pace, a silly storyline and incongruent scenes add up to an awful sequel. Continue reading

Review: mother! (2017) (Seeing Is Believing…)

(SPOILER FREE)

“You scared me”

mother! has courted a lot of controversy since it was first screened for the Venice Film Festival. It holds the crooked honour of an F Cinemascore, a score reserved only for the very awful films. It’s bombed at the box office after some questionable marketing. Paramount had to release a statement defending the release of the film! It’s not very often you see that happening. I saw a trailer for it that was laughable. However, nothing would stop me from seeing another Darren Aronofsky film. After missing Noah, I couldn’t let Aronofsky down! And what I witnessed was something I’ll never forget. Continue reading