Posted on November 14, 2012 by Darren
Here’s the thing. Despite all the derision that the Twilight films generate, they actually have any number of ingredients for a perfectly workable young adult horror romance. Despite the sizeable and significant flaws, and those fundamental issues that are very hard to overlook, the film does have a number of very clear thematic roots that can be traced back through horror cinema. The problem with Twilight: Breaking Dawn, Part II isn’t that it’s inherently cheesy or trashy or absurd. The problem is that it’s never enough of these things. It feels far too comfortable and too casual to ever really grab the viewer, and everything feels far too safe and generic to get any mortal’s blood pumping.
Filed under: Non-Review Reviews | Tagged: Akan language, arts, bella, Bella Swan, breaking dawn, edward, jacob, kristen stewart, megan fox, michael bay, michael sheen, Movie, Movies, Robert Pattinson, stephen king, taylor lautner, the twilight saga: breaking dawn, transformers, twilight, Twilight Saga, Universal Monster | 12 Comments »
Posted on August 21, 2012 by Darren
One of the downsides to running a blog the way that I run a blog is that I don’t always have the opportunity to respond to news as it breaks. As such, in writing about the passing of director Tony Scott, pretty much everything that I would say has been said by the time I can publish this, and far more eloquently than I could ever hope to say it. Obviously, I never knew Tony Scott personally, so I won’t comment on the man himself – although the tributes from those who did know him are deeply moving. I knew Tony Scott as countless film fans knew the director, through his work. And that work meant a lot to me.
Filed under: Movies | Tagged: Beverly Hills Cop II, brad pitt, Crimson Tide, denzel washington, michael bay, quentin tarantino, ridley scott, San Pedro Los Angeles, Scott, tony scott, top gun, true romance | 6 Comments »
Posted on June 21, 2012 by Darren
This week sees the release of The Chernobyl Diaries, a horror film from producer Oren Peli, the filmamker who gave us the superb Paranormal Activity. However, I can’t help wonder if it is a little “too soon”for a horror based around the nuclear disaster that occurred in the Ukraine in 1986. It has been over a quarter of the century since disaster occurred, and yet I’d be lying if there wasn’t a faint sense of exploitation around the film, which sees a bunch of kids (American, naturally) touring the site of the catastrophe and uncovering all manner of unpleasantness. Still, it isn’t the only exploitation horror ever made, and I can’t help but wonder when a subject is or isn’t fair game.
Filed under: Movies | Tagged: Chernobyl, Chernobyl disaster, ChernobylDiaries, Horror film, jack the ripper, michael bay, Nuclear reactor, Oren Peli, paranormal activity, Prypiat, Shane Van Dyke, Ukraine, United States | 4 Comments »
Posted on April 13, 2012 by Darren
I really liked Peter Berg’s Battleship, and I think a part of that was the way that he tried to subtly bend some of the Michael Bay blockbuster conventions against themselves. So, for example, the hero doesn’t step up to the plate so much as realising he’s not the right person to step up to the plate. The heroes aren’t the bunch of hot pop-stars and would-be male models that make up the leading cast, but people who have actually experienced war and suffered for their patriotism. However, I really like how distinctively alien Battleship’s aliens were.
Filed under: Movies | Tagged: battleship, Berg, Brooklyn Decker, Hopper, liam neeson, michael bay, Optimus Prime, peter berg, Stephen Hawkins, transformers, United States | 25 Comments »
Posted on April 11, 2012 by Darren
Battleship is a big American blockbuster. And, to be fair, it falls pray to a large number of the pitfalls of those sorts of films. There’s more action than thought. There’s lots of CGI filling the scenes. It rigidly adheres to a formula. It’s characters aren’t developed beyond shallow archetypes. However, I can forgive most of these flaws because Peter Berg actually makes this fun. I can very honestly and shamelessly admit that this was the most fun big dumb blockbuster that I’ve seen since Independence Day or perhaps The Rock. And that’s quite a compliment. It’s never anything more than it claims to be, but does well not to take itself too seriously.
Something to sea...
Filed under: Non-Review Reviews | Tagged: Alexander Skarsgård, aliens, battleship, Berg, blockbuster, Brooklyn Decker, cgi, film, Hopper, liam neeson, michael bay, Movie, non-review review, peter berg, review, Rihanna, Stephen Hawkins, Taylor Kitsch, transformers, United States | 7 Comments »
Posted on April 1, 2012 by Darren
Today is a very special day. We’re officially a third of the way through 2012. It’s been a pretty solid year for movies, and it’s been an interesting year for movie news. However, some news stories haven’t had quite the traction that I would have expected, and might have passed readers by. So, to celebrate getting through the first third of 2012, here’s the 30 most underreported movie-related news stories of 2012.
Filed under: Movies | Tagged: April Fools Day, black and white, george clooney, jean-luc picard, liam neeson, michael bay, Michael Fassbender, Navy, patrick stewart, Practical joke, quentin tarantino, robert downey, roland emmerich, Sex & The City, star trek: the next generation, StarTrek, Terrence Malick, William Shatner, Wrath of the Titans | 4 Comments »
Posted on March 13, 2012 by Darren
The guys over at Universal just sent on this latest trailer for their summer blockbuster Battleship. Being entirely honest, I’m not quite sold on the nautical adventure yet, if only because it looks a little bit too much like Transformers… but with boats. Still, I’m willing to be convinced, and I think the movie could work, if it manages to avoid the heavy-handed dour seriousness that sucked the fun out of Michael Bay’s film series. There is, after all, plenty of room for fun in blockbuster cinema and I hope this could offer the fun of something like Real Steel. Personally, I think it’d be worth it simply to hear Liam Neeson utter the line “they sunk my battleship” with the utmost gravitas. (I don’t actually know if he does, but that’s really been something I’ve been hoping for since he was cast. I’m actually 100% serious, I’m imagining the dramatic pauses and everything.)
Anyway, here the trailer is. Make up your own mind on it and let me know.
Filed under: Movies | Tagged: Alexander Skarsgård, battleship, Brooklyn Decker, Hasbro, liam neeson, michael bay, peter berg, Rihanna, Taylor Kitsch, transformers, universal studios | 10 Comments »
Posted on January 16, 2012 by Darren
Never Let Me Go is a mess of a film. Adapted from the highly-praised novel of the same name by Kazuo Ishiguro (who also wrote the novel that inspired The Remains of the Day), the movie is never really sure what it is talking about, or how it’s talking about it, or even what the point of it all is. There are two superb performances at the middle of the movie, but there’s not nearly enough constructed around them to really make it interesting. Director Mark Romanek cannot decide whether he’s telling a conventional love story in an unconventional setting (with the clear moral that “there’s never enough time”) or if he’s exploring the issue of bio-ethics through the prism of human nature. Ultimately, the film tries to both at the same time, which becomes impossible with Romanek’s cold and efficient direction, which left me feeling quite unsatisfied.
Stumbling out of the gate...
Filed under: Non-Review Reviews | Tagged: Hailsham, Kazuo Ishiguro, M. Night Shyamalan, Mark Romanek, michael bay, never let me go, non-review review, Remains of the Day, review, Romanek, Sex & The City | 3 Comments »
Posted on August 19, 2011 by Darren
I guess I’ve kinda marked Tony Scott as a more talented Michael Bay, in that he’s a director who manages all the tense and superficial elements of his action films particularly well, but that he also a strong eye for dramatic talent and seems to work much better with his leads – or, at least, draw stronger performances from them – than Bay. I was kinda thinking that as I was watching Unstoppable, pondering how Bay’s fascination with physical objects and explosions could have turned the film into a nigh-impossible mess, as the movie is literally based around the idea of a runaway train. Scott can’t quite find the human drama at the core of the story he’s telling, but he does try. And I think that effort alone makes the film watchable, if not remarkable.
Filed under: Non-Review Reviews | Tagged: chris pine, denzel washington, film, films, hollywood, michael bay, Movies, non-review review, review, tony scott, train, Unstoppable | 4 Comments »
Posted on June 29, 2011 by Darren
This is part of the “Morality Bites” blogathon being hosted by the always awesome Ronan over at filmplicity and Julian at dirtywithclass. It is, as ever, a joy to be asked to take part.
There’s a right way and a wrong way to tackle politics (or any thorny issue) in cinema. Documentaries are the obvious exception, but very few people go into a major motion picture (or even an indie one) expecting a personal diatribe of the creator’s controversial political opinions construed as absolute fact. It’s often more interesting to hear a rant in spoken form rather than structured into three acts at well over an hour with awkward plotting and characterisation designed to outline a particular world view. Don’t get me wrong, many great film makers have used their films as clever points of interest on a particular topic, but those that succeed often do so through clever construction, honest analyse and a decent amount of subtlety. However, such an approach is far too rare in Hollywood, as I thought to myself emerging from Michael Bay’s Transformers 3. I’d made my piece with the fact I was attending a two-and-a-half hour toy commercial, but I didn’t expect it to be a two-and-a-half-hour toy commercial delivered as a declaration on American foreign policy.
Transformers: Politics in Disguise...
Filed under: Movies | Tagged: film, michael bay, Middle East, Movie, Ronald Reagan, transformers 3, transformers: dark of the moon, United States | 14 Comments »