Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Kick Ass Review

Well its not the first time I’ve written a Kick Ass review :P So I enter the cinema with very little expectations, in fact the only expectation I had was that I would watch a film after paying for a ticket. Indeed this was the case. Not only did I watch a film but I watched a film that KICKED ASS!!! I left the cinema with bruises, a missing tooth and one sore backside……fine I’ll allow one inappropriate joke but that’s all. Like a free glass of cold lemonade for anyone who saves the day, this film is a refreshing take on the superhero world. It manages to make fun of the genre, yet stay completely true to it. I loved how this film abides to a real life setting but still gives you that Hollywood pump of adrenaline that people like me crave in movies. Its a true form of escapism. There are outstanding highlights that make you think the film just walked out of Tony & Guy. Although the film centres on ‘Kick-Ass’, an average lad with altruistic dreams, his limelight is mixed with other fruits and juiced into a smoothie for the true star of the film ‘Hit-Girl’. Chloe Moretz does what the Joker did in ‘The Dark Knight’, what Donkey did in ‘Shrek’ and what Johnny Depp tried to do in ‘Alice in Wonderland’, which is she completely steals the show. It’s like she literally took the reel and projector and ran away with it!!! She plays a foul mouthed, brain washed 13 year old assassin. As awkward as it is to watch her colourfully use weapons with perfect precision and use language right out the ‘Superbad’ world, you cannot help but admire the talent and uniqueness of her character. She is like Natalie Portman’s character in ‘Leon’ but with a harder edge and a better dress sense. I can say, with a odour of spoiler-free ambience, that there is a scene halfway through the film that sets the tone for the remainder of the movie. A tone of relentless brutal violence……like Lady Gaga’s voice. As blood flickers at every inch of the screen you will sit there with eyes wide open and a lustful expression that will make you want to headbutt the cinema staff on your way out.

Great writing knelt down and proposed to great acting and today we have ‘Kick-Ass’, a time to throw rice over your shoulder, throw bouquets and dance with mutual friends………hence why i left the cinema with bruises and a missing tooth……oh you thought it was from the film!?………no no, my friend beat me up coz i arrived at the cinema with a multilayered wedding cake, wearing a tux and tried to dance with him. So anyway, quite simply put, THIS. FILM. KICKS. ASS!!! It kicked MY ass, it kicked everyone else in the cinema’s ass. I bet right now, if you listen very carefully, you can hear the faintest of ass kickings…………………………………pow……SEE!!!

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

How To Train Your Dragon (3D) Review

In contrast to the stack of dirty Pampers found at the house of the lady who had octuplets, or more commonly known as Clash of The Titans, this film is a prime example of how to to use 3D to further enhance an already outstanding film. When i first saw the trailer of this film I thought ‘here we have another crappy Dreamwork’s production full of predictably profitable actors and cheap gags’, which isn’t a rash assumption considering their history. However I'm glad to say this film was a Neil Armstrong step in the right direction……y’know, back in the day……when he was on the moon, I'm sure his steps here on earth are slightly underwhelming considering he’s now 79……and the whole gravity thing. Anyway, Dreamwork’s Animations have always been a little hit or miss for me, mostly miss because I’m not big on baseball, but every now and then they churn out a classic. The problem I have with their animations which I'm sure is a shared opinion is that they took the Antz formula, perfected it for Shrek, which worked brilliantly for that particular film, and applied it to every film since. This has forced them into a very narrow lane that has made all their films feel very repetitive and souless. Apart from the ‘Madagascar’ franchise, and their collaborations with Aardman (Flushed Away, Wallace & Gromit: The Curse Of The Were-Rabbit) I have been disappointed with most of their offerings. But then came Kung Fu Panda, a film with heart, a loveable lead character and jokes that last longer than the time it takes to process them. How To Train Your Dragon is further proof that Dreamworks are putting more feeling into their films. Instead of making platforms for stand up comedy, they are making actual films. HTTYD, despite some questionable dragon designs is a perfect movie. It has a storyline that keeps you riveted whether your a child or a grown up……or both like Benjamin Button. One thing that shook the beans and eggs outta me was how beautifully portrayed the relationship between the lead character, Hiccup and the Dragon, Toothless, is. You really get a sense of connection between the two and you care about them.

Another thing that amazed me in this film are the flight scenes. When the dragons take to the sky you feel like you are right there beside them. The camera keeps you in the heart of the action which, amplified by the 3D element allows you to feel the real dangers and freedom of the situation. The jokes and gags are still there but have been toned down significantly so they do not distract from the film. This is not a comedy film but an action/adventure film that's quite funny. Not only is it an exciting, enjoyable film,it also teaches me how to train MY dragon, Nightmare. Nightmare has always been a notorious little thing. Setting my pyjamas alight, flapping his wings and messing up my documents!! Even sought out the help of Supernanny and she left the next day with mascara down her face and a bald patch. But now he’s right as rain, I may even change his name from Nightmare to Dreamworks……or not. I’ve seen this film twice at the cinema and I’m more than up for seeing it a 3rd time because chances to see this film in 3D wont last long. I recommend this film like a greeting to your friend Lee………anyone get that!?


So I’m at my friends house who I shall call Zach, for my own protection (plus I think its a cool name……well not as cool as Screech but that doesn’t make for a good alias name). We’re watching some UFC fights and eating some cheesy, tomatoey, topped bread thing that I hear people calling a pizza. Expectantly, due to the number of Tango’s I had shoved down my neck, mother nature calls. I start to wonder whether or not mother nature has a sexy voice, then think that a mother of nature would only say things like “Keep off the grass!!” and “has anyone seen Bambi’s mum?” neither of which could ever sound that appealing. “Do you mind if I use your toilet?” I ask. “Yea, go for it mate” he replies……he may not have used those exact words but its not really one of those things you take note of……for all I know he said “Sure thing, do you need any assistance?”. Anyway I Riverdance to the toilet…because walking is so cliché…and perform my duties. I’d like to point out that I did a number one. Trust me, this is vital information because the alternative will lead you down a very unpleasant path. Now, I have never been good at basketball…or archery…or darts…lets just say I don't always get a bullseye……hmmm, apparently I'm no good at metaphors either. Just so we’re on the same page – I sprinkled a little……a lot. I spent a very British moment tut-tuting at my clumsiness and reached for the toilet paper……the toilet paper…hmm……the…the…WHERE’S THE TOILET PAPER!!! There, stuck on the wall is a lonely cardboard roll that I assume was once surrounded by layers of soft, delicate tissue paper. (Aren’t you glad you know its not a ‘number 2’ situation). My eyes dart across the bathroom desperately trying to find spare rolls. Under the sink? nothing. On top of the cupboard? nothing! In the cupboard? NOTHING!! I could just call out for toilet paper, but what if Zach thinks I'm doing a dirty poop in his toilet!! That's against friend regulations. I’ve checked!! Page 16, third paragraph down clearly states ‘a friend cannot take a dump in his/her friends toilet unless they have been there for 8 hours or longer’. I’ve only been here 3!! I can’t wait in this bathroom for 5 more hours!!……or can I??……no no, don't be foolish!! WHAT TO DO!! WHAT TO DO!! I search my pockets only to find a seriously over used tissue. I try it, but like a fat guy it doesn't work out. I look down at my sleeves……no……that’s just gross, and I’m far too suave for that…like James Bond, and that is certainly not something James Bond would do. I check inside my sleeves just in case I had somehow developed the skills of a magician and had a long multicoloured string of tied cloths up there. Unfortunately Houdini’s legacy is in no threat. I look over to a flannel resting on the heated towel rail……hmmm……that’d get me out the Elijah woods………but nah, I do have some morals.

I’m stuck, I can’t just leave it there!!! What if someone comes in after me and sees it!! What if his housemate comes in and sees it!! I’d no longer be the suave gentleman who strolled in……WHAT’D YOU MEAN ‘WHAT A LOAD OF SANDRA BULLOCKS’!!? I AM SUAVE!!!…hang on, what’s that……shhh……stop reading so loud………………there’s silence!!……………I cant hear the faint roar of crowd noise from the TV!!! Zach has paused the UFC action!! I hold my breath and freeze in the oddest pose that looked like I was just about to mount a horse or something. Why I froze in that position still baffles me to this day. From down the hallway I hear “Dan hurry up, you gotta see this!!!”. CRAP!! Now I'm panicking!! Do I really NEED to see it!! Would the world melt like an over-sucked Malteser if I didn't!! Would the last remaining Panda’s commit suicide by jumping out windows!?……y’know, the ones who live in…erm…tall…buildings. NO!! Everything will remain the same. Everything will stay PERFECTLY MARVELLOUS, like a world without Spiderman, Iron Man and X-Men…hehehe…sorry, not the time or the place for jokes I know. I stay frozen and pretend I didn’t hear him. He calls again, this time substantially louder. “YEA, ONE SEC” I yell back, but remain perfectly still. Who would have thought there could be so much tension and awkwardness between two people, in separate rooms, separated by a long hallway!! I look back again at the flannel, then the toilet seat……and back at the flannel. Now I hear movement, DOUBLE CRAP!! THINK FAST DAN!! The scuffled movement Taylor swiftly turns into clearly identifiable footsteps!! THINK DAMMIT, THINK!!! WHAT WOULD JAMES BOND DO!!……HE’D AIM BETTER THAT’S WHAT!!!  “DAN!!………OI DAN!!!………”.

I open the door and let the sound of the flushing toilet escape out from the bathroom. There stands a confused and more so, suspicious Zach. “Come on you idiot, you’ve gotta see this knockout!!”. I step out the bathroom with a smug yet suave look on my face, humming the James Bond theme………………sockless.

Clash Of The Titans (3D) Review

I should start by saying I never wanted to see this film and I never thought I actually would. In fact, I was pretty sure I would sooner watch the Hanna Montana movie, along with all the bonus Blu-ray features before ever setting foot through the Pepsi stained doors labelled “Clash of The Titans 3D”. The only reason I did end up dragging myself (like I was Will Smith AND the alien) to this film was due to my friend Joey’s recommendation and high praise of it. After seeing it I can firmly say I should have went with my gut………well, actually I DID go with my gut, its not like I can leave my stomach at home!! i hated this film sooooo bad I didn't know what to do with myself so I decided to shove a little boy holding a large box of popcorn and shout “MOVE PUNK!!!”…………ok so maybe I accidentally bumped into him, apologised and paid for another box of popcorn, but the hatred was firmly represented by the clenching of my fists!!! This film was so dang boring!!! There was no clashing of the titans!!! it was more the BRUSHING PAST of the titans!! Here is a film that desperately tries to be epic and mindful but instead comes across as an underachieving ‘straight to TV’ sorta film with a big budget. Its like the gunk you find underneath the fridge or at the bottom of your dishwasher. The story is painfully dull like a doctor with a used needle and it holds your attention with butterfingers. Its almost as if it is being told by a very old man who isn't 100% sure of what he’s saying and is merging stories with other stories resulting in a confusing display of uncertain storytelling, unstable characters and dribble……actual dribble, like I said, VERY old. SPOILER ALERT FOR ANYONE WHO CARES!! The Kraken, being the last hope of any type of excitement in this film, is cast away in the most anticlimactic way ever imagined!! Our supposed hero climbs to high grounds with absolutely no fear of this enormous creature, not that we have any emotional investment as to whether he lives or dies, and holds up Medusas head turning the beast into stone. AS THOUGH HE DOES THIS ON A DAILY BASIS!! LIKE HE WAS BRUSHING OFF AN ANNOYING CAT OR SOMETHING!! HE MIGHT AS WELL OF WHIPPED OUT A WAND AND SHOUTED VANISHODIUM!! ABSOLUTE GARBAGE!!

Not only is the film grade A pigeon poop but the 3D is depressingly stale. Once again I was fooled into seeing a film that boasts a weak 3D conversion, done in 10 weeks no less!! A film that had no intensions of being 3D initially, but was translated in the final weeks before its release to cash-in on the extra few quid added to ticket prices for 3D screenings!! ALL FOR A FILM THAT HAS AS MUCH DEPTH AS A SOUTH PARK EPISODE!!! I wont say it is worse than Alice in Wonderland because that had as much extra dimension as a sheet of paper, but it was still a pacific ocean away from being decent 3D. This film physically upsets me. I say Obama should concentrate on keeping films like this out of our cinemas before he concentrates on less threatening problems like financial impairment and medical care!!