Mini Movie Review: Avengers: Endgame

Sunday 5 May 2019 @ 10:27 pm

After the events of Avengers Infinity War what’s left of the Avengers group together to avenge their losses and try to put things right. That’s all I’m gonna say about the film.

Huge MCU fan here and my single word summary is that Endgame was …… disappointing.

My expanded single word summary comprising a single word + several more mainly beginning with “over” is that I found Endgame disappointing, overhyped, overblown, overrated, nowhere near as good as Infinity Wars, underwhelming and really didn’t meet the expectation. I wanted to be entertained and came away feeling that overall, Endgame was a letdown. It never reaches the height of Infinity Wars in story or action. Even the conclusion of some Avengers characters didn’t make any sense.


Here are some random thoughts after having watched it several times (mainly because I couldn’t believe it was so bad and keep thinking it can’t be that bad):

1. The first hour is the gloomiest and dullest part of any MCU film and I almost nodded off. When I watch an MCU flick, I wanna be entertained not bored with character back stories moping about the previous instalment. I already *know* what happened, everyone is devastated, large loss of life, yadda, yadda, yadda, get on with it. This is Avengers Assembled not Avengers Anonymous.

2. In the end, everyone gets their few minutes of screen time but it just feels forced and I don’t really care about secondary characters and even some of the primary ones. Just seeing Spidey again with those silly extra limbs makes me remember how rubbish they looked the first time round in Infinity Wars. Really no need to show us each and every one of the squad and give them a few token lines just so the audience can say “Look! It’s < insert random MCU character here >.”

3. There is a point in the movie when I actually groaned. Step forward the undisputed winner of the FFS Award, yes, it’s Pepper Potts in an Iron Man suit trying to look tough. Whatever the hell Pott’s is supposed to be doing in a battle with Thanos is anyone’s guess. She’s become increasingly more annoying in each subsequent MCU flick and has no place in a schoolyard fight, let alone fighting Thanos army. And wearing an Iron Man suit? With that expression? By far and away the worst and silliest bit of the whole movie when I seriously started thinking that the Russo’s were deliberately jumping the shark.

4. Runner up of the FFS award is the #MeToo PC shite at the end when Danvers is surrounded and protected by her coven of witches. They might as well have just replaced it with a Tampax ad complete with girl roller skating across the battlefield in Daisy Dukes to the tune of “It’s my life”. Gimme a break man, we get it. Women are Good. All men are Bad. Femalez RuL3.

5. Some of the dialogue was ropier than a trapeze artists suitcase. Cap saying right at the beginning “Let’s go get this sonofabitch” and “It has to work because I don’t know what I’ll do if it doesn’t”. And Stark at the end saying “I am Iron Man” just in case we forget. Not expecting a Shakespearean performance but it has little of the wit of previous MCU films.

6. The plot was too well signposted so it was obvious from the ending of Ant Man that the Quantum Realm and time travel would be used. Clever how they tied it though and always good to see Ant Man. The best part of the whole movie was when they went back to New York for the first Avengers battle. Reminds me just how great the first one was and how poor Endgame stacks up against it.

7. Biggest cheer of the movie and most fabulous moment? Cap wielding Thor’s hammer which *was* a surprise and totally awesome even though there were hints of this in Age of Ultron (which I’d almost forgotten). Go Cap! I also liked that Thor had become a fat slob with a and the melted ice cream quip was funny. The Lebowski reference was genius. However ……

8. What the feck has happened to the Hulk? We want unpredictable rage and smashing not the Jolly Green fuckin’ Giant. Cap, Stark, Thor and Hulk *are* the Avengers so to neuter the rage of the strongest one (two if you count an alcoholic Thor) was just stupid. This was one of the biggest disappointments as Hulk is a favourite character and we never really got to see him go beserk in Infinity Wars. When people go see a movie with a Hulk in, they want to see him smash. This was a total balls up.

9. The end battle is really unsatisfying with too much crazy bullshit going on. It’s not a patch on the focused and choreographed fight that happens in Civil War or even other Avenger movies and I couldn’t help thinking that with all the flames and scorched earth, might as well invite Sauron with a gang of trolls and orcs from Middle Earth. And what’s with the imprompt game of Pass the Parcel with the Gauntlet?

10. There were loads of plot holes, or at least stuff that I simply didn’t get or was glossed over:

– How does Stark get the stones at the end by just pulling on a glove or using his own gauntlet? When did he build said gauntlet or is it the same one Hulk wears? What black magic has he used to magically pull the stones into his own gauntlet? And from Thanos of all people, the biggest bad ass in the universe.

– How come Stark cracks time travel in a few hours when Pym couldn’t manage it in several years and he was the SME of the Quantum Realm?

– How come Stark knows where the Tesseract and Pym will be in the past to the precise day and place? He’s not Sheldon FFS.

– Why doesn’t Danvers hang around and do more instead of flying off to another planet every two seconds? This is Convenient Plot Hole No. 1 because she could have easily wrapped the whole thing up by preventing him from snapping his meaty fingers in the first place.

– How do the wizards know where the battle is at the end when they make everyone appear?

– How come Barton and Black Widow know how to fly a spaceship with no training or instruction manual? Sure, it’s on autopilot but are we supposed to expect it’s got two buttons, for for “Fly” and the other for “Stop”?

– How does Danvers know exactly where to find Stark and Nebula in the inky infinity of deep space?

– How come it takes the combined strength of Danvers, Hulk, War Machine and Thor to subdue a severely weakened Thanos without any stones yet Iron Man can just grab ’em off him later when Thanos actually does have the fully loaded gauntlet and is at full power? It’s BS man! Thanos managed to pulverise an enraged Hulk and we’re supposed to believe that Stark can just grab the stones with his Iron Man suit?

– Hulk has already worn the gauntlet and survived the fingersnap, why doesn’t he get the gauntlet and do the kung fu so nobody has to die? Even Danvers could have gotten it. Sure, Strange says there is only 1 in a gazillion chance to defeat Thanos but I simply don’t buy that this one and only chance was Stark nicking the stones off an enraged and fully tooled up Thanos.

– When Banner asks the Ancient One where Strange is, she says he’s about 5 years too early. In other words, if she can see into the future, and already has, why didn’t she see the Thanos event?

– How come Nebula forgot to change her brain WiFi password after five years? She’s sharing the same conciousness as the other Nebula but if Harry Potter can manage to stop Voldemort getting in, how come she doesn’t.


11. Passing the baton on to the next generation of Avengers was uninspiring and nothing to look forward to. A Valkyrie queen for Asgard? A black Captain America with no super powers? Utter PC crap and I can’t wait to see them both get their asses kicked.

12. The movie gets going once they decide on the time travel plan and that’s where it gets interesting but again, it’s not really explained why having all the stones and putting them into a gauntlet makes you end up having something like a magic genie that grants wishes. Why a gauntlet? What happens if you put the stones in your shoe and tap dance instead?

13. The money shot at the end for Starks funeral when the camera pans across everyone just so we can count ’em was totally unnecessary. Critics and reviews have been falling over themselves to boast about how much they blubbed. Why? I thought the ending with Cap was more sweetly sentimental when he decides to actually live in the past with Peggy rather than come back to the future. I blame the snowflake generation Millennials who want any excuse to burst into tears. Look at me, I’m sad and emotional, look at me, LOOK AT ME!!!

14. I liked that Cap was still in charge and led the team. The “Avengers Assemble” battle cry was a good, albeit brief, point in the movie before it all went batshit crazy.

15. How come so few of the squad dies? I counted Black Widow, Stark and er … that’s it. The combined might of Thanos and his crew against all of the Avengers and none of them die in battle apart from Stark? This is an Angry Thanos we’re talking about not the Guildford Women’s Auxiliary Balloon Core.

16. You don’t really get to see the Avengers using their super powers much. The bit when Barton goes beserk in Japan was cool and the Cap vs. Cap fight was very cool but that was about it.

17. I liked it when Tony loses his temper early on arguing with Cap about his ring of defence to protect the Earth. Shades of Civil War there which for me is still *the* best MCU movie. More of this dialogue needed with friction between the team, and less about irrelevant stuff like “feelings”.

18. The whole Quantum Realm time travel element of Endgame fucks things up and I’ve been trying to get my head around it.

Banner tells the Avengers that if you travel to the past, that past becomes your future. And the former present becomes the past which can’t now be changed by the new future. Or in other words, once something has happened, it can’t be changed but you can create a new version of it where things are different.


Endgame is set in 2023 (five years after Infinity Wars which was 2018).

Nebula and Hawkeye travel back in time to 2014 (GoTG) to get the power stone. 2014 Thanos does not yet have all the power stones and there are now two Nebula’s in this space time; 2014 Nebula and 2023 Nebula.

In this new reality, 2014 Nebula kidnaps 2023 Nebula and replaces her to travel forward to 2023 with Hawkeye which is now a different version to the one in IW. Let’s call this different version of reality v2.0.

2014 Nebula uses the Avengers kit to open a wormhole to v2.0 so 2014 Thanos can arrive and get all the stones in 2023. However, when 2014 Thanos is dusted by Iron Man, the other version of reality has already happened because it’s in the past which as Banner said can’t be changed. So in other words, the events of Infinity War happened and can’t be stopped but the events of v2.0 can be changed as they now become the future. This means everyone has to be dusted in IW but in the v2.0 reality, can be brought back.

Or in simple terms, you can’t stop Thanos getting rid of the 50% because its happened but you can bring them back.

I think.

Now, if Cap returns the stones to the exact same place, the events of 2018 *do* happen in Infinity War so the whole 50% of existence being wiped out *does* occur anyway. Why bother returning the stones then? What’s the point of doing that if they’ve already brought everyone back and the past can’t be changed?

The whole time travel thing makes it complicated and the explanation in the movie about how the Quantum Realm is not Back To The Future so changing things in the past doesn’t affect future events makes it even more confusing. I reckon the whole time travel arc is a balls up, badly explained, shoved in to tie up all the loose ends and a bit of a cop out. Unless you’re an expert in the Marvel Multiverse bollocks then it makes as much sense as 1980’s Japanese VCR instruction manual.


Yes, it’s just a movie but when you’ve invested time and effort in the entire MCU back catalogue, it’s a bit of a kick in the balls when the final installament falls flat. Endgame is easily the the worst of the 4 Avengers flicks. If this is the direction they’re going, I’ll be glad to see the back of it.

Score: 2/5

(or a 3/5 when it’s available on home media so I don’t have watch it with an audience that’s been conditioned and spoonfed to whoop and holler)

Mini Movie Review: Justice League (2017)

Friday 2 February 2018 @ 1:42 pm

Following on from Batman V Superman, the Caped Crusader rounds up the other meta-humans (The Flash, Cyborg, Aquaman) to take on a super villain called Steppenwolf who’s intent on transforming Earth into his own world.

I like Justice League. It’s a good solid movie and, like Batman v Superman, unfairly panned. Fuck the critics, what do they know? I’ll stick my hand up here and say Justice League is the best one yet in the wider DC Universe and I enjoyed it far more than I expected. I’m not familiar with any of the back stories either or even the characters themselves so it was interesting to see how they were introduced.

Batman is still the grizzled soldier from the previous movie; a little older, greyer but still cynical and loaded with cash to spend on over-the-top gadgets. Affleck is on cruise control here and doesn’t need to do anything else. He makes a really good Batman for this particular angle.

Wonder Woman is still hot, sexy and the first time you see her, she’s standing on top of a building in full riot gear so you can take in her long legs and cute frown. She’s much better here than in the wet-behind-the-ears Wonder Woman movie. Go Gal!

The Flash is the joker, and also the baby of the pack and gets some of the best lines. Ezra Miller nails all the quirks and tics of The Flash and apart from the slightly weird running style that looks like he might be having a fit, adds a nice light touch to a movie that veers between dark and funny and can’t quite make up its mind which to be.

Aquaman is played by Jason Momoa as a big, bearded, butch New Age traveller with a gruff yet cool sideline in drinking beers and taking his shirt off. The thing is Aquaman has always been the least interesting character of the bunch and apart from being a fantastic swimmer and able to control water, which seems to conveniently appear purely as a reason for him to join the action, there’s no other USP. If the Justice League got rid of Aquaman, it’d be no great loss and the jury is still out as to whether he actually adds any value.

Cyborg is the Iron Man of Justice League and I’d never heard of him before watching the movie. He’s kinda like an ultra serious version of Inspector Gadget and seems to be the ultimate Swiss Army Knife capable of producing anything and everything at will. If the Justice League were trapped in a restaurant and stuck making a souffle because they didn’t have the right kitchen utensil, Cyborg would be the one to rustle up an egg whisk.

That leaves Superman and let me say that in Justice League, he’s awesome. Henry Cavill plays him with just the right amount of menace; when first confronted by Batman you could even believe Superman has gone all Breaking Bad. It’s a bit like the apocalyptic dream sequence scene in Batman V Superman dialled up several notches.

Cavill also captures the humourous side of Superman who delivers several quips whilst beating the shit out of Steppenwolf, managing to make the whole thing look like a picnic. I’ve seen Clark Kent having to work harder making a cup of coffee.

The villain is some big bad bod called Steppenwolf who seems be a hackneyed cliche version of pretty much every villain you might see in a super hero movie. No complaints from me and he’s a damn sight better than the Cave Troll that Batman, Supe and Wonder Woman defeat in the previous film.

All things considered, this could have been a lot worse and it could have been much better. You can see the directions that both Zack Snyder and Joss Whedon were going and as it stands, Justice league is hugely enjoyable, certainly a film that deserves repeat viewings. Rumour has it that there’s an Extended / Directors Cut possible and I can’t wait.

Score: 4/5

Mini Movie Review: Wonder Woman (2017)

Monday 28 August 2017 @ 10:33 pm

Amazon princess Diana leaves her tranquil island of Themyscira, home of the Amazonian race of warrior women created by Zeus, and joins US pilot and Allied spy, Steve Trevor, to fight against the Germans who are developing a lethal type of gas to win the war. Diana believes that only she can bring an end to the war by finding and killing Ares, the God of War, who despises mankind and is intent on wiping them out for good.

In short, there are four things wrong with this movie.

Firstly, Gal Gadot is too sexy and comes across as a little dim naive. She’s hot, beautiful, has a body built for sin the catwalk but, as a kick-ass warrior princess, about as believable as a lingerie model advertising burgers. This isn’t a criticism of Gal, I like her lots, but she just doesn’t have the build for this part and is the type of woman who could turn you on whilst wearing a burka with a gas mask. The coy glances and seductive smiles peppered throughout the movie don’t help and neither does the sexy foreign accent. I’m not saying a woman can’t be sexy and aggressive (Linda Fiorentino nailed it in The Last Seduction) but Gal Gadot was so much stronger and intelligent in Batman v Superman.

Secondly, Diana’s weapons are all pretty lame; a lasso of truth which is as naff as it sounds; a pair of gauntlets which can deflect all manner of bullets conveniently fired at head height; a standard issue super hero shield which Captain America rejected; and an elaborate sword that looks like it was borrowed from the 1960’s Sinbad movies. Granted, her abilities are super cool and the fighting scenes are awesome when Diana gets to kick ass but these are all too fleeting and brief.

Thirdly, Chris Pine as Steve Trevor comes across as a typical smug know-it-all American. The last time such a hackneyed clichéd version of a smarmy US Air Pilot was on-screen, he was feeling the need for speed and playing volleyball with a bunch of other buff guys pretending to be straight. A drop dead gorgeous Amazonian warrior princess and a male model look-a-like pilot in World War I? I don’t buy it, not even on celluloid.

Lastly, the movie is too long and the fundamental issue of love conquering everything is a proper cop out. I actually groaned out loud when I heard some of the atrocious dialogue. Gal deserves better than this.

Another way of looking at this film is that the Wonder Woman portrayed in Batman v Superman is a hundred times more entertaining in less than a quarter of the on-screen time than the full 2+ hours of this movie. I mentioned in a previous blog that the DC Universe is no match for Marvel and on the basis of this flick, nothing’s changed. Roll on the next Batman movie.

Score: 2/5

Mini Movie Review: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)

Tuesday 17 May 2016 @ 9:29 pm

Following on from the rather dull Man of Steel, public opinion is divided as to whether Superman is a good guy or a threat to all. Batman however has no such qualms and is determined to get rid of Supe once and for all after the Man of Steel demolished Metropolis whilst battling General Zod. Meanwhile, Lex Luther has found some kryptonite as well as a Kryptonite ship and wastes no time in setting the two up for an epic fight and unleashing a seemingly invincible monster engineered from General Zod’s DNA. Wonder Woman pops up to both beguile and befriend the two superheroes whilst the other nobody’s who form the Justice League also fleetingly appear, The Flash as a tramp for some inexplicable reason, as a prelude to the next movie.

Batman v Superman has been unfairly panned I reckon. Sure, it’s not a great movie but it’s a good movie. Ben Affleck is suitably grizzled as a much tougher and more brutal Batman and Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman is excellent. Some of the supporting characters are good too, Perry White in particular. However, there are two big elephants in the casting room; Jesse Eisenberg as a spoiled rich kid Lex Luthor who is all edgy nervous tics and trying too hard to be cool. I really like the new interpretation of Lex but he’s no evil genius, that’s for sure. Then there’s Amy Adams as Lois Lane and pretty much responsible for fucking everything up at the end. Teri Hatcher’s Lois Lane is smart, sexy and sassy whereas Any Adams is about as sharp as a wooden spoon.

The whole movie is a gloomy, ponderous affair, full of moody lighting and devoid of humour. The Marvel movies have the right mix but Batman v Superman takes itself too seriously and you just long for the odd wisecrack. The plot is muddled too with dream sequences and scrappy bits left unexplained. Oh, and the end battle is a bit naff, I couldn’t tell what the hell was going on and the monster looks exactly like a Cave Troll from LOTR.

Despite all that though, it’s still a good movie, very watchable in its own right but I can’t say I’m looking forward to the useless Justice League. With the exception of Batman and Superman, and Wonder Woman purely because of Gal Gadot’s portrayal, there isn’t a single interesting or redeeming character to rival even third rate Marvel superheroes.

Score: 3/5

Mini Movie Review: London Has Fallen (2016)

Thursday 12 May 2016 @ 6:59 pm

Secret Agent Mike Banning returns as Head of the US Presidential Protection Detail. A funeral in London for the Prime Minister gathers all the heads of state who are a prime target for Aamir Barkawi, a Pakistani arms dealer and terrorist. When Barkawi ambushes the party, and picks off the US Security Services, it’s left to Banning to protect the US President at all costs.

Screw the so called critics, this is terrific entertainment and a great action movie. Is it better than Olympus Has Fallen? Yes, most definitely. There’s more action, everything is on a bigger scale and even some of the more dodgy CGI bits can be overlooked in favour of the plot that moves along briskly. One bit in particular, when Banning and the Special Forces mount an assault on a suburban terrorist base, is excellent and filmed in the style of a video game with a single panning shot that follows Banning around as he ducks and weaves past enemy fire.

Banning and the POTUS spend more time together here unlike in the previous movie and an added bonus is that it’s set in London which is not the natural choice for action films so it’s great to see recognisable landmarks. A solid by-the-numbers action flick then and if you enjoyed Olympus Has Fallen, this is more of the same but much better.

Score: 5/5

Ferris Bueller is a dick

Saturday 15 August 2015 @ 11:32 pm

One of the most popular comedy films from the 1980’s is Ferris Bueller’s Day Off where Ferris decides to bunk off school and take his best friend’s dad’s prize car for a spin. Am I the only one who finds Ferris a complete twat? No matter how many times I’ve seen the movie, he’s still the kind of irritating slacker that everyone hated at school and let me tell you, if he tried to pull a stunt like nicking my dad’s Ferrari, I’d kick the shit out of him.

Ten great comedy films from the 80’s

Friday 18 July 2014 @ 11:15 pm

It seems like they just don’t make great comedy films any more. By this, I mean genuinely funny movies that are as good now as they were back in the 80’s and which you could watch again and again. Most of the rubbish they churn out these days sacrifices laughs for crudity or gross-out humour, neither of which stands the test of time.

So, with plenty of great films to choose from, here are my 10 favourite comedy movies from the 80’s.

Airplane! (1980)/Airplane II (1982)

Ted Striker (Robert Hays) saves the day when the passengers on an airplane, including the pilots, fall ill from food poisoning. The sequel, Airplane II, has a similar plot only this time Ted Striker is aboard the Mayflower One, a commercial lunar shuttle on its maiden voyage that goes awry when the in-flight computer malfunctions.

What makes both of these a pair of fantastically funny movies is that everyone plays it deadpan straight and they’re absolutely rammed with both visual and verbal gags. If you miss one, there’s another along in half a minute with plenty of scenes having something hilarious going on in the background. As parodies of umpteen disaster movies, they also expertly nail all the clichés. The sequel reprises most of the cast and is even better with a great comedic turn by William Shatner as Buck Murdoch.

Stir Crazy (1980)

Skip Donohue (Gene Wilder) and Harry Monroe (Richard Pryor) are two out-of-work friends who, after being fired from their jobs in New York, head for Hollywood. En route, they are wrongly convicted of a bank robbery and end up in the slammer from where they plan to escape during a prison rodeo.

This is the second movie of four starring both Wilder and Pryor and their best I reckon, with the interaction and chemistry between the two serving up much of the comedy as they adjust to prison life, a corrupt warden and a collection of motley inmates.

Trading Places (1983)

The uber rich Duke brothers hatch a social experiment plot to see if they can turn their managing director, Louis Winthorpe III (Dan Aykroyd), to a life of crime and poverty whilst at the same time taking a poor street hustler, Billy Ray Valentine (Eddie Murphy), and making him a successful and rich commodities broker.

This is my most favourite comedy film of the 80’s and I’ve watched it so many times that, like most of my favourite movies, can pretty much quote the whole thing. It’s not just the sharp script, witty dialogue and comedy timing between the stellar cast but also the fab soundtrack that veers between classical music (The Marriage Of Figaro) and funk. The trading parts are also great and you’ll never look at OJ futures in the same way again.

Police Academy (1984)

When the doors are thrown open to let anyone become a cop, a group of misfits join the Police Academy and are assigned to D Squad, (the D stands for Dirtbags). With the Chief lamenting that when he joined the force “every cadet was the right weight, the right height, the right colour and they all had johnsons”, the academy staff do their best to force the cadets to quit.

Forget the rubbish sequels after part 2, the original is still the best and a damn funny movie. With so many diverse characters, everyone will have their favourites (mine’s Tackleberry!) with most of the laughs derived from the pranks played by D Squad on Lieutenant Harris and his two cadet stooges.

Ruthless People (1986)

Sleazy millionaire Sam Stone plans to murder his wife Barbara but before he can execute his dastardly plan, Barbara is kidnapped and a ransom demanded. Unwilling to pay the ransom and with the hapless but kindly kidnappers prone to drop the price so they can get rid of Barbara, Sam’s mistress and her lover soon become embroiled in the plot along with the Chief of Police who unwittingly finds himself the star of an amateur video.

This is a hilarious, often overlooked film full of back-stabbing double-dealing charlatans all held together by the wonderful performance of Danny DeVito as Sam Stone. The humour is derived from the plot rather than the script with everyone out to scam everyone else which doesn’t always work out well for the kidnappers who are about as ruthless as a rubber duck.

Three Amigos (1986)

Dusty Bottoms (Chevy Chase), Lucky Day (Steve Martin) and Ned Nederlander (Martin Short) are the Amigos, three stars of the silent screen who in the movies always end up beating the bad guys and saving the village folk. When real life villain El Guapo (Alfonso Arau) takes over a small Mexican town, one of the residents sends a telegram to the Amigos asking for help. The Amigos, thinking it’s a lucrative new movie opportunity accept and unwittingly take on El Guapo and his gang.

A gloriously silly movie with a cast at the peak of their game. There are plenty of absurd moments and despite the different personalities of the Amigos, they’re all equally clueless when it comes to dealing with real life villains.

Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987)

Uptight marketing executive Neil Page (Steve Martin) is in New York on a business trip and trying his best to get home to Chicago on the eve of Thanksgiving. Reluctantly teaming up with nice guy Del Griffith (John Candy), a travelling shower curtain ring salesman with annoying habits, after the flight and then the train to Chicago is cancelled, the two set off to try and get Neil home in time for Thanksgiving dinner.

A wonderful comedy about two guys who really don’t get on but learn to muddle through together. Although this is a comedy, it’s equal parts road movie and buddy movie with an ending that hits all the right notes. I reckon both Steve Martin and John Candy have never bettered their roles here and it’s tragic that a decent DVD with all the alleged hours of deleted scenes has never been released.

Coming To America (1988)

Prince Akeem Joffer (Eddie Murphy), together with his best friend Semmi (Arsenio Hall) heads to America to find his bride. Determined to find a woman who loves him for who he is rather than what he is, the two pretend to be a poor foreign students and take up a low paid job in a local burger bar where the Prince falls in love with the daughter of the proprieter.

This is a marvellously funny movie with both Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall playing several other comedy characters. The laughs are based mainly around the Prince and his best friend as they do their best to fit in with the locals including a slum landlord, jealous boyfriend and a trio of barbers who love nothing more than talking about boxing. There’s a wonderful cameo scene as Prince Akeem helps a couple of tramps who turn out to be two down-on-their luck commodities brokers.

The Naked Gun (1988)

Lieutenant Frank Drebin (Leslie Nielsen) of Police Squad is tasked with investigating a drugs bust that went wrong and put his friend (OJ Simpson) in hospital. The trail leads to the sinister Vincent Ludwig (Ricardo Montalbán) and his glamorous assistant Jane Spencer (Priscilla Presley). Meanwhile Police Squad are put in charge of security for a visit by Queen Elizabeth II and it’s not long before Drebin puts the two together to foil an assassination attempt.

Nobody does deadpan better than Leslie Nielsen and this is a fitfully funny movie that, like Airplane!, is just stuffed with rapid fire slapstick. A lot of the gags are lifted from the series Police Squad upon which the movie is based (and also starred Leslie Nielsen) but this no bad thing, especially since the series never got a huge airing, at least here in the UK. If you like Airplane! this is a must see and if you haven’t, this is even more of a must see.

The Burbs (1989)

Ray Peterson (Tom Hanks) lives in a normal suburb with his wife and kids and whilst mooching around the house on vacation, begins to obsess about who his strange new neighbours, the Klopeks, really are. Enlisting the help of his other neighbours, the paranoid Art Weingartner (Rick Ducommun) and military enthusiast Mark Rumsfield (Bruce Dern), the trio begin to spy on the Klopeks in an attempt to discover what is really going on in their house.

A perfect example of a film that is just wildly entertaining, I never tire of watching The Burbs. The humour is very much situation driven and what makes this funny is that you recognise the characters in the neighbourhood and the seemingly humdrum day-to-day life of the residents which is nothing out of the ordinary meaning they just can’t help poking their noses into the Klopecs business.

Mini Movie Review: RoboCop (2014)

Sunday 8 June 2014 @ 8:45 am

A remake of the magnificent 1987 movie, this is a similar to the original. Detective Alex Murphy is nearly killed by a car bomb and chosen for the RoboCop program that transplants his remains into a cybernetic suit. Battling with the total loss of his body (Murphy’s head throat and lungs are the only thing that survive), his emotions towards his wife and son and striving to better more efficient fully mechanical robots, Murphy sets off to take down the drug kingpin who planted the car bomb.

Occasionally, there are films that are much better than the original. This isn’t one of them. The big, big, big problem with the remake is that Murphy doesn’t resemble or act like a robot. He can run, wears black body armour, uses a normal gun and moves like a regular human. The story places too much emphasis on political shenanigans and doesn’t show off enough of RoboCop’s supposedly superior abilities.

The suit is too sleek and not bulky or mechanical enough. There’s hardly any technology on show and it just makes Murphy look like a regular skinny white dude wearing a SWAT uniform. Sure, a large part of the story has always been about RoboCop finding his humanity but the film overdoes it to the extent that you feel Murphy never even becomes a robot.

Plus, this wishy-washy remake has none of the humour, tongue-in-cheek violence, smart scripted dialogue or funny adverts of the original. Even the ED209’s look weedy and far less menacing than the original. A real wasted opportunity then, stick with the original (and even the sequel) which is by far the better film.

Score: 2/5

The Dumb Knight Rises – one of the best reviews I’ve ever read

Sunday 22 July 2012 @ 11:59 pm

Over on IMDb, a guy called Godspeed_f24 has posted one of the best and funniest reviews I’ve ever read for the new Batman movie, The Dark Knight Rises. The review goes into a lot of detail and it’s obvious the guy has watched the movie but that didn’t stop the spoilsports at IMDb pulling the whole thread. Fortunately, I copied the whole narrative so here it is for you to enjoy.

Got to say I agree with a lot of the points made here, kudos to Godspeed_f24 for actually taking the time to post a review that would put many a so called professional film critic to shame.

Here’s the post in full:

Have you seen TDKR yet? Jesus, it *beep* sucked. It sucked so bad, that I need to talk about this movie because I think this was perhaps one of the stupidest films I have ever seen. I see people confused about the plot and some details so I’m going to take you through it bit by bit, logic holes and all. It’s not all bad. There’s some good stuff in here but it’s basically a sh** sandwich. So here we go…

First, we open up the movie with the plane hijacking which is our introduction to Bane. They pull off a Bond-centric stunt and kidnap nuclear bomb guy and it was pretty cool even if Bane sounded like my grandfather on a respirator. So far so good.

Then we’re at the Wayne residence. And it’s time for what Nolan does best. Exposition baby!! That train is never late. Let’s get started. It’s Harvey Dent Day!! Celebration of the Dent Act which is keeping Gotham’s worst criminals behind bars with no parole. Gordon is bumbling and stumbling trying to come up with some kind words for Gotham’s deceased psycho DA. We learn through convenient conversation from unnecessary new character #1 (Foley) that Gordon’s wife took the kids and left him and he won’t be commissioner too much longer because they’re planning to dump him. Foley is obviously an ambitious little weasel and he’s like Gordon is about to get canned? Ch-ching!! Why the audience needs to know this I have no idea because nothing ever comes of this info. Miranda Tate (unnecessary new character #2) is still trying to see Bruce Wayne for some big project. Alfred tells her to step off.

We also find out Bruce Wayne is a Uncle Fester crippled recluse who never comes out of Wayne Manor. Why? He’s been retired as Batman for 8 years still brooding over the loss of Rachel even though they had the chemistry of Tom & Jerry in the previous two films.

Selina Kyle is busy masquerading as a maid and stealing pearls belonging to Bruce’s mom which also contains his fingerprints (for a later thread in this convoluted story). Bruce goes Hawkeye on Selina with a bow and arrow and they have a nice chat before she takes John Kreese’s advice and sweeps the leg on that cripple Wayne and hops out the window.

Bruce is intrigued by this chick so he goes to the batcave which looks like it’s been rebuilt even though Batman has been “retired” for 8 years. This scene is basically there to give Bruce his one minute of doing detective work. Alfred finds Bruce in the bat cave and gives the same old tired monologue about how he wishes Bruce would end up as just a regular Joe with a nice family blah blah blah. And to top it off Nolan shows Alfred’s little dream sequence where he sees Bruce in a cafe with his family. Nolan has the subtlety of a sledgehammer to the face so as soon as I saw this scene I knew it was going to come into play later in the film.

Selina delivers Bruce’s fingerprints to Dagget (unnecessary character #3 AKA plot device) who’s working with Bane. He’s planning to set up Bruce to lose his wealth later on in the movie in an attempt to take over Wayne Enterprises. However, Catwoman gets double-crossed and doesn’t get what she wants in return which is the macguffin device known as “StartYourLifeOver”. No, that’s not it. I think it was called “LifeEraser”. No…it’ll come to me later. Anyway this ridiculous little device is supposed to wipe out your entire criminal history from the computers. However, if authorities have a paper file on you that’s two inches thick with your history and photos that little device isn’t going to help much. Anyhow, Catwoman tricks Dagget’s thugs into calling the cops who show up right away. She plays victim and screams her head off as they tear up the place. She escapes.

During the melee the action somehow goes into the sewer with Gordon being caught and taken to Bane and his little army. I can’t remember how because I was a bit bored by then and ruffling my popcorn trying to find the ones with butter. Bane isn’t happy that his goons brought Gordon to his pad so he starts breaking the necks of his troops like Darth Vader…except without the Force. Gordon is like *beep* this and rolls into the sewer where the clairvoyant John Blake (unnecessary character #4 who steals Batman’s movie) arrives just in time to find him coming out.

Speaking of the clairvoyant John Blake he stops by Bruce’s place to clue him in that he knows he’s Batman. How? Because they’re both orphans and Blake could read his face. No, I’m not kidding. That’s the reason lol. I *beep* chortled in the theater when he said it. Blake tells Bruce that Batman is needed once again.

To speed this story along. Bruce tracks down Selina at Miranda Tate’s party. They dance and chat it up and Bruce takes his mom’s pearls back. To return the favor she steals his car and goes on a joyride. Bruce also visits Fox at Wayne enterprises to talk about the new macguffin device that can be turned into a nuclear weapon which plays a role later in the film. While Bruce is there he gets a look at some new toys that have been in development. Most notably “The Bat” which as we find out later in the film any person can apparently drive and operate with no training whatsoever. Even Lucius has taken it for a spin on occasion when traffic is just too heavy.

Bruce goes back to the bat cave and tries to figure things out. Luckily ex-CIA operative Alfred conveniently knows the scoop on Bane’s history and of course spoonfeeds the audience of his origin. What, you really thought Alfred was just a butler? Cmon lol. This guy can get the info and motivations about anyone just by snapping his fingers. I wouldn’t be surprised at this point if Alfred knew who killed Kennedy.

Back to Bane. He and his goons attack the stock exchange in an attempt to bankrupt Bruce Wayne (using his fingerprints) and they succeed. During their escape they use hostages strapped to their motorbikes to get away. The cops are chasing them and one of the cops actually says shoot the tires LOL. I’m laughing about that because if they shoot the tires and the bike falls I’m pretty sure the hostages strapped to the front and back of those bikes are going to incur some major head damage when they wipe out since their arms are tied and they can’t protect themselves lol. The chase leads to a tunnel which suddenly starts going dark and you guessed it!! Batman is back and comes out of the darkness on his cool Batpod. The senior cop tells his little young, flunky partner “BOY, you’re in for a show tonight!!”. Actually, no. Not much of a show at all. Batman rides his batpod and really does nothing. Ambitious weasel Foley who was chasing Bane at first suddenly turns his attention to the bigger fish Batman and wants to take him down even more than Bane to make Gordon look bad. So the whole police force chases Batman. Batman drives down a dark alley and the cops conveniently stop their pursuit (why? I don’t know) and think they have Bats surrounded. Suddenly we see “The Bat” rise from the alley where it was conveniently placed (and not a single person in the city saw it fly there and noticed it was parked). That thing must have stealth. Batman escapes of course and the “show” is over.

Back to the Wayne residence where Bruce is getting cocky and underestimating Bane. Alfred in one last ditch effort to stop Bruce admits he destroyed Rachel’s letter and that she chose Dent over him. Bruce says low blow man and Alfred once again pours on the monologue and waterworks like we haven’t heard this sh** enough times already. By now I’m getting annoyed with the crying and just want Bruce to kindly tell Alfred to STFU. Bruce says nothing damaging but Alfred leaves for good voluntarily and Bruce is on his own. Good riddance I say.

To make matters worse Fox informs Bruce that he’s broke now and they make plans for unknown Miranda Tate to take over Wayne Enterprises just to stick it to Dagget. However, they must inform Tate about the macguffin nuclear device sitting in the basement and that it’s not a toy to be played with. If it was that dangerous they could have just saved time and dismantled the thing but that would have been too logical. A little while later Tate goes to visit Bruce at his home for some reason. The lights go out since Bruce has no money to pay his electricity bill. She starts the fireplace up and yeah Stevie Wonder could see where this is headed. Bruce and Ms. Tate get it on and that’s that.

Bruce is feeling spry after gettin’ some and sets out to meet Catwoman to track down Bane. However, before he does that Nolan tells him to dress up as Batman and climb onto to something really high so the Batman fanboys can get their obligatory shot of him looking over the city with his cape flapping in the wind. Batman stares out for awhile and then says “Good enough?”. Nolan nods approvingly. The very next scene has Batman in the sewer meeting with Catwoman asking her to take him to Bane. A short stroll 20 seconds later and they’re in Bane’s lair. Catwoman locks Batman in the UFC cage with Bane (one of the few cool parts of the movie) and he proceeds to thrash Batman while talking trash in his old man, high brow, raspy Darth Vader voice the whole time. Batman uses all the tricks at his disposal but Bane has seen all of this crap before since he was also trained by Ra’s. He beats Batman like he stole something and breaks his back over his knee. Catwoman looks on with the guilty conscience.

Meanwhile the entire police force goes underground to search for Bane and his men. Yeah, seriously. They send the ENTIRE force down in the sewer. Sounds stupid? Because it is lol. Bane clairvoyantly planned for this kind of convenient stupidity and had bombs planted to trap the cops underground and to also blow the bridges. And while he was at it decided to blow up the whole Pittsburgh, errrr, Gotham Steelers team as well. If that doesn’t get the citizens of Gotham on your side nothing will lol. It gets better. He says there’s an atomic bomb in the city and it will be detonated if anyone tries to leave Gotham or anyone sneaks in. You’d think there would be mass panic in the streets right? People saying *beep* it and fleeing for their lives? Maybe try to hop on a boat? Nope. All goes according to plan and millions of Gotham’s citizens hole up in their homes. It’s a ghost town. How does Bane’s little army keep tabs on the whole city? How do the citizens of Gotham get food and everything for months on end? How does the city continue to operate? Who the *beep* knows? No one lays out any rules. The underlying message of this far-fetched plan is loud and clear…this movie is starting to suck.

Bane also finds time to drop Bruce off at the Lazarus Pit in some other country and tells him that he intends to give Gotham hope before killing them all. Yeah, everything he’s doing to that city really inspires the people with hope, right? lol. Anyhow Bruce’s punishment has to be more severe so Bane leaves him there with built-in cable TV and snacks so Bruce can watch the destruction of Gotham helplessly.

Back to Gotham where Bane is now on a loudspeaker telling the city of Gotham that they’ve been lied to. He pulls out a letter written by Gordon and gives the details in fire and brimstone about DA Harvey Dent. Why the city of Gotham would believe a madman who blew up their bridges, trapped their cops underground, blew up their football team and threatened them with an atomic bomb is beyond me. Bane tries to give them even more hope by releasing their criminals into the street. Who in the hell writes this stuff? lol. I guess Mr. Logic took a break from this movie for awhile. I hope he makes it back because this movie is getting a little ridiculous.

Blake is disappointed in Gordon for not telling the truth about Dent. Gordon snaps back defensively and that’s that. Blake starts doing a lot of detective stuff because he seems to be the only cop left in Gotham. He takes over the movie for awhile while Batman is out of commission. It’s basically “John Blake Begins”.

Back in the pit Bruce is getting his back rehabilitated by the resident witch doctor who knocks Bruce’s back into place Looney Tunes style and strings him up to heal. The movie speeds ahead (in a Nolan movie 3 minutes equals 3 months) and Bruce is back doing pushups and situps in no time trying to get out of the pit with the locals chanting gibberish cheering him on. The third or fourth try is a charm (I lost count by then) and Bruce finally he gets out. He looks around and is in the middle of nowhere except a village in the far distance. Then Bruce is back in Gotham asking Selina Kyle for help and…wait a minute, what the *beep* ?!? How did Bruce get back into Gotham with no money and no resources and with Gotham supposedly locked down? Secondly, how did Bruce find Selina in that HUGE city in the first place? And why is Bruce asking for the help of a woman who assisted in bankrupting him and set him up to get beaten within an inch of his life? Mr. Logic? Are you there? Oh that’s right he left a long *beep* time ago and apparently isn’t coming back. Selina tells Bruce there’s nothing else he can do for the people of Gotham. She’s getting the hell outta dodge and he should come with her.

Meanwhile the locals have been restless and kicking the sh** out of the rich. They hold mock trials and sentence the Mitt Romney types to walk over the frozen ice where it eventually collapses and they comically fall in. Gordon and his crew of Merrymen are caught and sentenced to death by Jonathan Crane (aka Scarecrow) who has nothing better to do these days. As Gordon and crew are walking to their eventual death you’ll never guess who appears? Batman, who despite his heavy armor can walk across the ice just fine with no problem whatsoever. He also conveniently knew where to find Gordon JUST IN THE NICK OF TIME. That’s not all. Batman is also a budding artist. He gives Gordon a flare and tells him to go ahead and light it. Gordon need not worry about melting the ice…it’s Bat-tested. So Gordon throws the flare on the ice and it starts a line of fire (I’m laughing as I’m typing this because it’s so dumb) and it reveals a HUGE fire logo of Batman’s symbol. Not only did that probably take hours to do but it also ruins the element of surprise. Hans Zimmer’s score blares the Batman music for this monumental feat and I keep telling myself it’s going to get better…it’s going to get better. Sad to say, it doesn’t.

So by now this movie is so far gone it just doesn’t matter anymore and I think Nolan knows it. I honestly believe he’s trolling the audience and the critics just to see how much crap he can get away with. So back to the movie. Bruce conveniently found Selina Kyle, conveniently found Gordon just in time to save him. What’s one more time going to hurt? John Blake, you’re up!! Batman saves Blake just in time from Bane’s crew and for some reason tells Blake to wear a *beep* mask. Jesus H. Christ Nolan can you telegraph the ending of this movie any more?!?

The cops get free and they all exit their sewer-dwelling existence as if they’ve been doing Bic shaving commercials. Ambitious weasel Foley has turned to last minute good guy after Gordon convinces him to lead the police charge against Bane’s men. The unarmed cops run straight into Bane’s mercenaries who are armed with tanks and automatic rifles. Batman once again comes out of nowhere in “The Bat” at the last second to aid in the charge. I guess Bane’s guys run out of ammmo after a few seconds (they can’t shoot worth a piss anyhow) because it just becomes a battle royale of fists flying everywhere. Batman makes his way through the crowd practically untouched and comes face to face with Bane for the rematch while the chaos ensues all around them. The final fight scene of Enter the Dragon instantly comes to mind with Bruce Lee about to battle Han lol. Batman and Bane go at it and Batman targets Bane’s mask. It seems he can’t breathe when that mask is continually getting hit and Batman gets the upper hand. Batman starts screaming in his gruff comical Bat-voice asking Bane the whereabouts of the trigger to detonate the bomb. He’s about to do Bane dirty when Miranda Tate (aka Talia Al Ghul) shanks Batman in the back and reveals her true identity. It’s supposed to be a big plot twist but by this time I’m like who gives a rat’s ass?!? Talia (like father, like daughter) talks about her and Bane’s history and monologues her whole plan to a stunned Batman. While she’s flapping her gums Gordon is playing action hero and manages to plant a convenient device to block the neutron bomb from being detonated. Talia finishes her life story and hits the button waiting for the explosion. Nothing happens. Her plan has been foiled…curses!!

Talia leaves Bane to finish the job on Batman but Catwoman sneaks up on everyone with a suddenly silent Batpod and just in the nick of time (yeah, it’s a running theme) saves Batman and blows Bane back to the stone ages. Batman gets his 2nd wind despite having a serious knife wound and chases Talia down in “The Bat” with Catwoman assisting on the Batpod. Talia crashes the truck and starts the typical villain death monologue. Rather than get the bomb out of Gotham ASAP Batman, Gordon, and Catwoman stand there comically listening before she dies one of the most horribly acted deaths I’ve ever seen. Batman looks at his watch and figures he has a bit more time to waste with Gordon and Catwoman before he finally starts towing the bomb out to sea away from Gotham. We see a closeup of Batman’s face as he’s flying out to sea and the bomb finally explodes. Gotham is saved and it’s the end of Batman….or is it?

Well, everything is wrapped up nice and neat. We see Bruce Wayne’s funeral with Alfred crying once again that he failed the family. I know it’s supposed to be sad and all but I’m sick of Alfred’s sh**…sorry. Wayne Manor basically becomes an orphanage. Batman gets a really cool statue in his honor. We find out John Blake’s name is actually “Robin” in the most cringe-worthy, eye-roll inducing way possible. Gordon is seen checking out what looks like the new Bat, errr Blake-signal. Fox learns the autopilot was fixed by Bruce Wayne and he gets a knowing expression. Then we see Alfred in a scene that looks just like his cafe dream that he had earlier in the movie. He looks over and sees Bruce with Selina Kyle. Bruce smiles and Alfred smiles back….Batman is ALIVE!! I sure as hell didn’t see that coming. The final shot of the movie is Blake finding the Batcave signaling he’s the new Batman even though he’s had no training and no wealth whatsoever. I can’t wait to see him get his ass kicked. Cue the credits.

DC is no match for Marvel

Tuesday 17 July 2012 @ 5:23 pm

Now I’m no comic book fan, however, browsing through my DVD collection earlier today, it struck me that most of the best comic book characters and movies are almost entirely from the Marvel universe. With the exception of the Tim Burton and Chris Nolan Batman flicks, the Superman collection (yes, even Superman 4) and the superb Watchmen, the rest of the DC Comics movies are pretty bad. However, I think this is more a reflection on the crap collection of superheroes from the DC Comics stable.

I mean really, looking at who DC Comics have to offer it’s not hard to see why, they’re all rubbish characters with yawn-inducing “super powers” if they can even be called that. The likes of Aquaman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Captain Marvel, Swamp Thing and The Green Lantern who was recently and wholly unnecessarily outed as gay to corrupt our kids further, aren’t worth anything more than even a derisory mention.

Now look at the magnificent roster of Marvel Comics superheroes:

The Hulk (my favourite)
Iron Man
Captain America
The Fantastic Four
Ghost Rider

Hell, even 20% of the main players in the X-Men universe are more interesting than the entire feeble collection of DC Comics stocking fillers put together.

As for the shitty “Justice League of America”, don’t make me laugh. A motley crew of two icons whom DC Comics have been trading on for the last 70 odds years accompanied by a bunch of fourth rate idiots who you wouldn’t pick for a third division school football team let alone saving the planet.

If you want any more reason as to why Marvel Comics are infinitely better, go see The Avengers.