Friday 23 September 2011 @ 3:55 pm
Whilst on board a bus transferring him to prison, Dom is busted out by sister Mia and friend Brian. The trio escape to Rio de Janeiro where they are reunited with ex-crew member Vince who persuades them to take part in a job for Reyes, the local drug kingpin, which involves jacking three exotic cars from a train carrying DEA agents. When the job goes wrong and Mia manages to escape with the prize asset, a top US security team is despatched to find the killers of the DEA agents whilst Reyes instructs his men to recover the car at all costs. With both the US authorities and the local heavies closing in, Dom hatches a plan to steal all of Reyes money and recruits his old crew to carry out the heist.
Fast Five marks a new direction in the Fast & Furious series of movies in that it has less racing and broader action scenes. However, it’s somewhat hampered by Vin Diesel’s stunted delivery and dialogue that stems from saying as little as possible in as few syllables as possible. I don’t think the guy ever utters more than two consecutive sentences.
And the heist part of it is misleading too. If you’re thinking a slick and meticulously planned operation similar to The Italian Job, The Dark Knight, Heat or even the robberies in Beverly Hills Cop 2, you’d be mistaken. The "heist" when it appears is quite possibly the stupidest I have ever seen committed to film. Thankfully, Dwayne Johnson is on hand as the head of the US security team to provide the comic relief although even his fight sequence with Dom is laughably contrived; in the real world The Rock would have eaten Vin Diesel for breakfast.
That’s not to say the film is awful; it’s nice to see the old crew back and it has some good casting but the whole movie is too long, suffers from some ponderous dialogue and with the exception of Gisele (Gal Gadot), doesn’t have any decent eye candy. Not terrible by any means then but honestly, I preferred it when it was more about racing cars than trying to stage feeble bank jobs.
Thursday 22 September 2011 @ 3:18 pm
Set during the cold war against the backdrop of the Cuban Missile Crisis, First Class tells the story of how Charles and Erik met, how the mutants banded together and the origins of some of the X-Men who appear in later films. It starts off well by extending the scene shown in the first X-Men movie when Erik is separated from his parents at a German concentration camp.
Before long, we’re introduced to Charles Xavier as a groovy Oxford graduate who is recruited by a foxy CIA operative to help stop a sinister mutant intent on starting a new World War. With Erik on a revenge mission and hot on the heels of the same mutant, it’s only a matter of time before their paths meet and the X-Men are drawn into a battle that could destroy all of mankind.
Despite the great two leads, especially Michael Fassbender as Erik, and a gaggle of fit women wearing mini skirts or stripping (or both), the big problem with First Class is that the mutants are a motley crew of nobody’s with genetic mutations that are either mind-numbingly uninteresting or nothing you haven’t seen in any other X-Men film. With the exception of Charles, Erik and Raven you really couldn’t give two hoots about the rest of them.
It’s a shame because the story is genuinely intriguing having been set against real world events and the main villain played by Kevin Bacon is one of only a few mutants with a special power that has not been seen in any of the other movies. Whereas the previous X-Men films introduced us to mutants with new powers, and let’s face it, most of us want to see cool mutations that push the boundaries of what humans are capable of, First Class just throws us the same old mutations we’ve already seen, some with a .1 update that cheapens the deal.
And the mutants they’ve chosen are the ones you’d pick last when selecting a football team. Ultimately, there is nothing wow about them and this could have been a much better film if it had the exact same storyline but with more exciting characters. Bit of a wasted opportunity then, the other X-Men movies and Wolverine spin-off were better.
Wednesday 21 September 2011 @ 2:32 pm
A local chippy in Manchester celebrating its first birthday by offering a special promotion of fish and chips for a quid led to a huge queue of stingy tight-fisted saddos lining up 3 hours just to save a fiver on the normal price. Fair enough, the chippy (Fosters Fish and Chips in Didsbury) is an award winning place but really, have these people got nothing better to do than queue hours for fish and chips? FFS get a grip people, you’re an embarrassment to Northerners (and that’s saying something).
Tuesday 20 September 2011 @ 2:45 pm
The thieving traveller scum gippo’s illegally encamped at Dale Farm have won a last minute reprieve granted by some doddery dickhead judge in the High Court. As a result, yet another hearing in this 10 year farce will be heard to determine if the Irish rabble can be kicked out for good. I wouldn’t put any money on it though, with the Human Rights rubbish firmly taking precedent over UK law and David SCAMeron leading a Coalition with no balls, chances are the gippo’s will use every legal blockade to drag out the process, waste millions in taxpayer funded legal aid (which the caravanning bastards have no right to) whilst the council sits there helpless.
Only in the UK would this happen, don’t expect the law to ever be on the side of the law-abiding citizen until this Human Rights crap is ditched and booted out permanently along with all scum travellers.
Monday 19 September 2011 @ 3:27 pm
Bailiffs are due to clear the illegal gippo camp at Dale Farm today. Predictably, the BBC was there to give a mouthpiece to the scum "travellers" in between lingering shots of shiny and expensive 4×4’s parked outside satellite equipped caravans and trailers.
The gippo’s themselves have resorted to all manner of feeble publicity stunts including, but not limited to, chaining themselves to barricades, putting up pictures of impudent gippo kids at the entrance and letting the world’s population of student dropouts, hippies, anarchists, tramps, squatters, druggies, dopeheads and other assorted rabble encase themselves in concrete blocks and erect scaffolding in the name of ethnic cleansing.
Firstly, this is not ethnic cleansing. Travellers have no ethnicity unless you count being a thieving Irish Caucasian as an ethnic minority. Secondly, it has been widely reported and confirmed that the so-called "travellers" all have mansions and homes back in Ireland where sensibly, the Irish government has made it a criminal offence to squat on public or private land. In other words, all this bleating about having "nowhere to go" is just lies, the travellers can sod off back to the Emerald Isle and go live in their houses.
The gippo’s have also vowed that they’ll only leave Dale Farm in body bags. That’s absolutely fine by me and every single taxpayer in the country if you decide you don’t want to get out of the way of the bulldozers clearing an ILLEGAL camp. Bottom line, fuck off back to Ireland and don’t expect any sympathy or handouts from anyone here.
Sunday 18 September 2011 @ 1:54 pm
It’s Bonfire Night and there’s nothing much going on in a dodgy South London estate except fireworks and the random mugging of a nurse by a group of hoodie wearing kids. A meteorite suddenly crashes into a nearby parked car and the gang investigate, killing a furry alien in the process. Before long, more meteorites are crashing down and the kids join forces with their victim to defend the estate from an alien invasion of "gorilla wolf motherf****rs" whilst also trying to placate the local drug dealer who thinks the gang are out to scam him.
This is a wonderfully playful and very funny old school style movie heavy with slick street slang, stellar performances from an unknown and very young cast and a cracking story that moves along briskly without sugar coating the audience. Despite the initial malevolent intentions of the hoodies, there’s plenty of camaraderie as the kids pull together to save the block and you can’t help but feel empathy for them, especially John Boyega as gang leader Moses who manages the difficult feat of appearing menacing yet vulnerable and compassionate.
Added to this potent mix are some hilarious moments and dialogue, a sense of adventure that harks back to all those scrapes you used to get into as a kid and a funky edgy musical score to remind the audience that they’re watching a Brit flick first and foremost. This directorial debut by Joe Cornish is fast, funny and fresh innit’.
Saturday 17 September 2011 @ 4:21 pm
Set in Norway, a trio of young film makers are trying to track down and make a film about a supposed bear poacher called Hans. They finally manage to catch up with him in the middle of a dark forest at night when, after hearing some roars and bellowing, he comes running towards them full tilt yelling "Troll!". And so begins a mockumentary as the young students accompany and film Hans on his hunt for trolls.
Filmed on a small budget and with English subtitles (it is Norwegian after all), this is presented in the style of "found footage" a la The Blair Witch Project so there’s plenty of shaky camera angles. Refreshingly however, you get proper video images of the hideous and ugly trolls which are great because if there’s one thing I hate, it’s a monster movie that doesn’t fully show you the monsters. Plus, the camera has a switchable night vision which is regularly used so the viewer is not left with a black screen and their imagination for a cheap shot.
The Troll Hunter works largely because of this, you’re not left in any doubt as to what the film makers and Hans are seeing and there are also several moments of black humour, particularly in the cave towards the end, that will make you chuckle. Additionally, Hans patiently explains everything there is to know about trolls during the interviews which adds a lot to the authenticity since most people would probably know little more than what they have read in the Billy Goats Gruff fairytale.
However, too much of the film is devoted to showing off the beautiful wilderness of Norway’s stunning scenery and it tends to plod a little during the daylight hours with any tension reserved only for when you first hear the distant roar of a troll. The ending is a bit abrupt too; the real hero of the film is Hans who not so much as walks off into the distance as pretty much disappears in the final scenes.
Despite this, it’s worth watching, especially if you have even a passing interest in monster movies and it’s great so see something different from a country more renowned for its fjords than for its films.