Having endured his legendary twelve labors, Hercules, the Greek demigod, has his life as a sword-for-hire tested when the King of Thrace and his daughter seek his aid in defeating a tyrannical warlord.
Dwayne Johnson – Hercules
John Hurt – Cotys, King of Thrace
Rufus Sewell – Autolycus
Ian McShane – Amphiaraus
Ingrid Bolsø Berdal – Atalanta
Aksel Hennie – Tydeus
Reece Ritchie – Iolaus
Rebecca Ferguson – Ergenia
That was shocking.
But then what did I expect? A movie director takes Dwayne Johnson out of his usual muscled meathead role, and puts him in..
..a muscled meathead role.
That’s right ladies and gents, we get absolutely nothing different to the same old bulging macho man Dwayne is typecast as in every other movie. Let’s face it; the man is a walking sack of protein shake who will always be known as The Rock, who will always be on camera as the ‘big tough guy’, whenever his name is mentioned will always spring to people’s minds as a ‘big chunky dude’ image. I therefore confirm that Hercules was nothing different to what many of us have had from Dwayne previously. His ‘character’ is big, muscly and growls a lot. And fuck me, does he need some detangling shampoo.
…Ok, I’ll be honest. I thought the whole attempt at recreating the life of the Greek hero and producing this movie just months after The Legend Of Hercules hit cinemas was a total piss-take. Having Dwayne strut around in a loin cloth (which amazingly, didn’t turn me on in the slightest) whilst staring at his fellow warriors with vacant facial expressions bored me beyond belief. It was as though director Brett Ratner threw scripts at the cast and said, “just have fun guys, don’t take the whole Greek God thing too seriously” – and it showed. The main flaw being the tacky humour / jokes which were thrown about sporadically; one minute you’re watching a serious fight between two armies – the next, one of the lead characters drops a stinker with a smirk, which came across as nothing but irrelevant. For example, when Amphiaraus (a psychic who can see the future) stands ready to receive a flaming arrow that has been shot at him and Hercules steps in and diverts it, there follows:
“..but that was my time to die”
“you’re welcome” Hercules repies and walks off.
Silence from the audience.
And of course, the scene where the two men are stood together faced with a mass army.
Hercules: “do we die here?”
Amphiaraus: “I’m alright, I don’t know about you”
Hercules: “that’s comforting”.
My god, the armosphere in the auditorium was like taking a mouthful of Coca Cola and realising it is flat. Not only did this seem unbelievable as something the Greek god would say, but it just wasn’t funny.
The main aspect that let this movie down was the attitude of the actors. I don’t mean their attitude was slack, I mean their overall appearance, etc. Obviously if the actors performed it with great seriousness and proper ancient language, Hercules would bore the balls off the viewing audience – thing is, this movie was full of attitude; sexy Atalanta who pouted her way through it and appeared to have a great make-up bag with her (clearly she’d discovered the 5th century version of Max Factor), Iolaus the joker (without the jokes) who seemed to enjoy using farcical antics and mishaps to entertain his enemies rather than join his fellow warriors in battle, and Hercules’ deceased wife who – in flashbacks – looked like the AD 420 alternative to Kim Kardashian, make-up, jewellery and all.
This was ancient story blended with present day attitude. And it wasn’t a conceiveable feat. In fact, during various scenes I couldn’t help thinking the movie should be on stage instead of screen. The theatrical costumes and props, dialogue and overall genre would be better as a live performance at the National Theatre in London or something. Plus the ensemble in this movie are made up of the same dynamics as a theatre group (shown clearly in their performance skills).
Perhaps it was the director’s intention to bring a modern approach, but it was just.. well..
I will point out that Atalanta is the most resourceful member of the gang. Whenever they go into battle with oncoming enemies, she whips out an arrow and shoots it at them – she does this continuously throughout the battle (or from what is visible anyway), yet the arrow pouch on her back is tiny. As in – no bigger than a slim backpack.
Ok, ok so I’m picky, but where the fuck was her seemingly unlimited supply of ammo coming from? The only feasible thing I could think was she grew each one from a single drop of blood from her body – bingo. More or less millions of arrows. I mean this is the era of mystic beasts and earth-shaping gods, anything can happen.
I couldn’t help thinking how much Ingrid – the actress playing Atalanta – resembled Nicole Kidman. It’s all in the cheekbones with her, whenever she was on screen facing the camera Ingrid radiated those peachy, ‘sucking her cheeks in’ facial features Nicole does. See if you can spot it.
..I suddenly lifted my head, looked at the screen.
Looked left, looked right.
Ah. I was still in the cinema.
I had completely zoned out somewhere near the beginning of the movie, mainly from sitting staring at black and brown set, tanned faces (as in proper tanned, this isn’t a racial slur) that blended into the background and became blurry, flickering fires, stony facial expressions, dialogue from Hercules about his past.. it was all excruciatingly tedious. To the point of me switching off, then zoning back in – and wondering what was happening.
“oh, they’re at a mountain. ..what are they doing there again?” I thought to myself at one point.
Then suddenly, one of the group of warriors (who hadn’t slayed anyone before in his life) slays an enemy with his blade. And then looks at Hercules and says, “I think I’m ready to fight now” with a smirk. Yes, the cheap wisecracks were still in full force – this one managing to get a laugh-out-loud reaction from two / three out of fifty to sixty audience members.
Better than nothing I guess.
I can confirm that it doesn’t matter how hench a man is, it doesn’t make him attractive.
As I sat watching Dwayne on screen I grimaced a few times; he’s a funny looking bugger isn’t he. I honestly wouldn’t touch him with a 4ft dildo – not my type at all. But his body?..
Doesn’t matter. Although ripped and very muscular, Dwayne has a face that I would roll over in the morning and scream at. I don’t care how much a guy works out, if you can’t look at his face and smile, it’s not going to work.
His co-star Rufus, however..
Seriously, Autolycus (played by Rufus Sewell) proper got my juices flowing. And what made him so yummy is how normal he was. Average build – not overcooked like Dwayne but not scrawny either, big brown eyes, well spoken. Lovely looking chap. (I secretly hoped a horny Greek in a limp loin cloth would approach him carrying a length of chain announcing, “I hear you’re having problems with your hammock.. I’ve come to screw it back into place..”).
This did not happen unfortunately.
But my point stands; Rufus is incredibly plain and normal compared to Dwayne – yet is much sexier.
Hercules was a director making a movie shortly after another Hercules film was released, who thought he would jazz it up by using a famous wrestler – but inadvertantly failed and instead created almost a mockery of the classic Greek hero. This movie was an utter waste of time and money, its level of seriousness confirmed by the loud, pumping rock music that played over animated ending credits.
Cliché stories, characters and scenarios ensured the movie was nothing that hasn’t been seen before. But hey – Dwayne Johnson was the lead role so I guess this means the movie is cool, right?
Something has landed on Earth.
And it’s stuck.
Across town, a group of young friends discover the landing and set off to find it. But when they do find it, it changes their lives forever..
Brian “Astro” Bradley – Tuck
Reese Hartwig – Munch
Teo Halm – Alex
Ella Wahlestedt – Emma
Jason Gray-Stanford – Dr. Lawrence Masden
Echo – Himself
Let me make one thing perfectly clear: this is a children’s movie. If you’re going along to the cinema as an adult thinking you’re in for an ‘interesting’ or ‘in-depth’ bit of sci-fi, you’re wrong. Because ultimately, Earth To Echo is a handful of children no more than twelve years old whizzing around on their bikes whilst on a quest for ‘parts’ a little alien creature needs in order to fix his spaceship and get home. After discovering a piece of ‘junk’ which seems to echo the noises they make (speaking, clapping, etc.), Alex, Munch and Tuck hide themselves away in a deserted barn where the real fun begins..
The ‘junk’ opens to reveal a tiny creature of some sort who can understand the what the boys’ say to it, and responds to them. There follows a scene where the boys enjoy the splendour of conversation with an alien, which then moves on to the real stuff – the mission for parts. This movie takes place during one night, being filmed continuously by Tuck on camcorder. The boys are sent to various locations all over their state by a mapping system Echo zaps into their mobile phones. Once at each location, they need to find the metallic object Echo needs as a part for his ship which he immediately absorbs and becomes slightly bigger.
I’m not going to lie – this movie is a load of bollocks, from beginning to end. But then I’m not a child so this is obvious. For younger viewers Earth To Echo will entertain. It’s not brilliant, but it will deliver the right amount of “oooh” and “aaah” reactions due to its child actors racing around on their bikes, the feeling of adventure and discovery, and of course Echo himself, who is nicely animated.
As I sat watching this movie, I realised something was missing. I can’t pinpoint exactly what, but it needed an injection. More of a kick. Earth To Echo certainly isn’t your normal child-befriends-alien flick; this is displayed clearly in the lack of relationship values between the two species. It centres more around the friendship between the three boys, focusing heavily on how they get on together, their reactions when one of them is hurt or seperated from the group, etc.
A few other critics / forums have billed Earth To Echo as ‘the new E.T.’ and ‘The Goonies’.
It really isn’t. Because in E.T. a very powerful bond was formed between the children and the alien to the point of them actually loving him like a family member. They discover E.T. and the witty antics immediately kick off, blossoming into a wonderful relationship – hence why the ending is quite emotional for some viewers.
In Earth To Echo, it is at least forty-five minutes before the creature makes his appearance, and even then it’s as though he is incredibly shy. He keeps his distance from them for a while. The relationship between boys and alien was broken; a massive divide which immediately stamped out any magical or adventurous atmosphere. In a nutshell, Echo uses the group of friends to find parts for his ship so he can get out of there – that’s the plot. And it’s not very exciting. But again, younger viewers (I’d say from about five to nine years old) will no doubt enjoy the overall ‘wow, we found an alien’ concept.
This movie definitely borrows key elements from other features. For example:
Chronicle (2012) – uses the same style of documenting alien activity by use of handheld camera. Also mirrors the three friends aspect.
Super 8 (2011) – a bunch of young kids, alien activity, lingering looks into the sky, recording it all on camera.. need I say more?
Wall-E (2008) – this movie came to mind when I first saw the poster for Earth To Echo. I thought to myself, “oh look – a sequel to Wall-E”. I mean Christ, the two metal personalities even have a similar look.
This movie was basically made from the ingredients of other features, and glued together quickly in the hopes of bringing something new and refreshing to the screen. But in all honesty, it couldn’t have been more recycled. Maybe director Dave Green wanted to wow audiences worldwide with a “hey guys check it out, no-one’s done one like THIS before..!”
..didn’t work really, did it Dave. Even the poster is similar to E.T.
So this wouldn’t be first choice on my rental list, but the movie brought a smile to my face whenever Echo was on screen. And it was all down to the lush special effects used to create the cute little bugger. Just a blink of those sad wide eyes and a tilt of his head, and I went all gooey. I was actually captivated by Echo whenever he was on screen; he radiates with a gorgeous blue-purple colour, makes cute buzzing sounds, etc. He’s bloody adorable, I was sat with a smile on my face during his main scenes. Yes, call me a Homo (I am), or soppy (I am), but I loved Echo – and wanted to take him home. Seriously though, my eyes were glued to the screen as I absorbed the warmth of the character – he was definitely the best part of this movie. Yet this is why my opinin of Earth To Echo is split; a lovely colourful character shoved into a slack film whose approach to cinema is to borrow ideas from other films.
Earth To Echo is a soft watch, and definitely for younger viewers. Its lack of substance and plot gives it a bare structure but no decent filling. Think of Reeses’s Pieces – without the peanut butter. I mean, where’s the fun in that?
From an adult point of view, I wouldn’t sit through this tripe again if you paid me to do so. But for children it’s a gloriously tacky adventure flick they’ll no doubt be entertained hugely by. If you have little ones, take them along – give them an afternoon out they’ll enjoy more than being taken to the supermarket.
On an allocated date once a year between 7pm and 7am, all crime is legal. The authorities shut down for twelve hours to allow the general public to ‘purge’ their souls. Staying off the streets is essential if you want to survive..
Unfortunately for young couple Shane and Liz this won’t be so easy. Whilst on their way home, their car breaks down and stops in the middle of a motorway.
It is 18:47pm. Shane and Liz won’t be making it home before the annual Purge begins.
But will they survive the night?…
Frank Grillo – Leo Barnes
Carmen Ejogo – Eva Sanchez
Zoë Soul – Cali Sanchez
Zach Gilford – Shane
Kiele Sanchez – Liz
Justina Machado – Tanya
John Beasley – Papa Rico
The Purge: Anarchy was – compared to its predecessor – fantastic. And unlike the first installment, we got a delicious dollop of dread-drenched bloody action every few minutes. There were more characters, more panic, plenty of street action (purging), and best of all – the effects of the Purge shown from the perspective of various characters. This was the best element; watching how different personalities deal with this one night of violent behaviour. Young teenagers slicing their victims up just because they can, a father who offers himself to a family of purgers so that his children no longer endure his long-term illness, even a theater of exquisite wealthy socialites who attend a bidding auction for randomly selected victims – it’s all go. And 100% more interesting than watching a game of hide & seek (made a little more difficult with a black man in a dark house) whilst a smiley dude hangs around on the doorstep! (yes I’m referring to The Purge).
I can state for a fact that this movie outdid the first by miles and the first should have been the sequel, vice versa. This is where the creators went wrong – releasing sparklers first and then fireworks later. They should have come in and smacked audiences with this shocker, before rounding it off with something lighter (the first one). Other than this flaw, The Purge: Anarchy was one of my favourite movies of this year.
The feeling of dread these movies create is crucial – and is what really adds to the tension. That classic inevitable feeling, a sense of impending terror that is about to kick off but there’s nothing you can do about it – it’s coming for you, and you can’t stop it.
This movie nailed it.
At the beginning of The Purge: Anarchy we see Eva at work – as a waitress in a restaurant. Her boss suddenly announces that everyone should start making their way home, before commencement. Eva and her colleagues leave, and she returns home and begins setting up ‘lockdown’ with her daughter. The clock is ticking..
A robotic, crackling noise (like inteference on a radio) suddenly pierces the air. Eva and her daughter sit staring wide-eyed at their television. Next comes the television announcement – broadcast around the country on a bright blue screen as an emotionless woman’s voice reads out the rules of the night’s activity.
A heavy, dull tone of dread that blares out from speakers all around the country. This siren sends a shiver down my spine; it’s basically the government saying, “you’re on your own”. Then when the siren comes to a stop, and silence follows.. BANG – right there. That’s the second the feeling of dread becomes sheer tension as the characters sit waiting, wondering. The emergency broadcast screen with its display of written warning and loud siren are effective, simple. The eerie siren is the barrier between safe and danger – before it begins, you’re on the right side of it. When it has finished, you’re on the wrong side and vulernable. It is a very important element of the movie and adds a sinister streak of anticipation.
The Purge: Anarchy reminded me very much of 2007 hit 28 Weeks Later.
A handful of people stumbling through deserted city streets, vast birds-eye views of tall buildings and other architecture, victims ducking and diving their way around the streets as crazed predators home in on them.. the tension that radiated from the screen was very enjoyable. I actually found myself vocalising certain things during the more violent scenes. Should you have been so honoured as to sit near me in the auditorium, you may have heard words such as, “whoa”, “fuck me”, and “ouch” - I have such a varied vocabulary.
But seriously, this movie delivers as much intense panic and fear as it can without going over the top, whilst sticking to the characters and their stories. Each person in the surviving group has their own issue, but these are not played on too much. On the contrary, you discover who each person is and their background but that’s it – the movie continues. No drawn-out dialogue, no staggered scenes, just the group of them trying to make it to safety.
The auction scene has to be my favourite. It was the most wickedly sinister plot in the whole movie, apart from the purging itself of course. An unfortunate turn of events leads the band of survivors into the hands of beefy men who force them onto a wooden floor in front of a curtain. The curtain rises, and it suddenly becomes apparent they are on display before a room of applauding rich people.
Yes – these twisted posh people are willing to spend thousands – to win a person to purge on. Crazy! And another film reference here as I was instantly reminded of Hostel; a film which genuinely scared me due to its highly plausible concept, drenched in gruesome acts of selfishness and violence. Wealthy, smart, successful members of the public who seem to lead ordinary lives – yet in private, take part in activities that bring out their dark side. Their posture and politeness remaining intact like sinister smiley robots.
Needless to say, I revelled in this scene – but was surprised to discover it was far from over. Because the wrinkled old rich lady presenting the auction suddenly announced ‘The Hunting Ground’ and how wonderful the bidders selection of weapons were..
The subsequent scene had me biting my bottom lip so hard, my teeth almost went right through it. I loved every second of this part – the tension, split-second decision making, the tricks, the confrontations.. it was excellent to watch. Literally edge-of-your-seat stuff.
Imagine it’s October 31st, roughly 6.30pm. The streets begin to get busy with people dressed in wacky costumes as they go prowling for candy from innocent strangers. Now turn it upside down and replace the candy with blood, the patriotic spirit with murderous rage, and switch the witches broom with a machete.
This is how I would describe The Purge: Anarchy. It is quite literally a fucked-up ‘trick or treat’ night involving vulgar make-up, costumes and instruments of death.
Some scenes genuinely made me feel uneasy (which I enjoyed). For example, a gang of young adults march down the street in blank white masks carrying blades that would make a butcher wince, and are suddenly complemented by their back-up van which comes screeching round the corner. A group of tough bully boys swagger across Route 101 with massive rotwetiller dogs on chains, scanning the area for flesh. A singular woman stands on the roof of her building yelling through a megaphone whilst firing off rounds through her machine gun.
And just you wait for the gentleman situated in the back of his moving truck – it’s a shocker…
The atmosphere is terrifying, but this is what keeps the movie flowing at a great pace. It is panicked danger with a dash of excitement, resulting in an adrenaline rush. And having the lead characters constantly on their feet rounds it off superbly.
As I said, Purge night is like an alternative ‘Trick or Treat’ - only many people would rather avoid this one.
Oh, and what is it with the Carrie understudy?..
During one scene, Leo drives his fellow victims through the streets of Downtown Los Angeles. On their way to safety, they pass a woman standing on the side of the road – she is covered head to toe in blood and stares at them intently as they roll past. “Carrie” was my immediate reaction. The woman looks exactly like the telekenetic movie character – the Chloë Grace Moretz version. She even has the same styled hair & blood-spattered dress.
See if you can spot what I mean.
My first reaction to a movie with a concept such as this is, ‘thank god these sorts of events don’t actually exist’.
I was actually reminded of the London riots (August 2011) which kicked off after a man was shot dead by police in North London. The event sparked outrage which exploded into riots country-wide, but London was where it began; burning buildings, attacks on Police, looting from stores that had been smashed up & destroyed.. it was utter carnage.
But imagine if that stuff was legal for one night! Wow. I would shit a brick. I’ve met rough enough people in Soho on a Friday afternoon, I couldn’t imagine the boys and girls coming out to play on a night like that. I must say though, my top hiding place to wait it out woud be in the actual Thames. Yes, in the water.
People purging would probably be prowling the streets of Finsbury or marching along Westminster Bridge, so if I was trapped outdoors in the City I’d lower myself into the Thames and bob along the water silently until morning (this way I could duck under the water should purgers appear along the bank).
Let it be known I am a resourceful lad.
The government siren sounds again at exactly 07:00am to conclude the annual Purge. It marks the end of all illegal activity.
This is something we never got with The Purge – the transition between fear and relief. The first movie just seemed to fade out with the camera focused (strangely) on the backs of the mother and her two children. With The Purge: Anarchy you get a nice taste of the world returning to normal. It’s a proper ‘time’s up’ scenario at the end, with the first few bits of traffic starting to appear. This movie nails the element of beginning, middle, end.
You get a build-up, anticipation.
The siren, the dread.
Thrilling fast-paced action and panic.
Then the closing siren which brings a sigh of relief as the survivors move from being targets to being safe. Director James DeMonaco is to be applauded for his efforts.
..oh, okay I guess this wouldn’t be a review of mine without a heartfelt opinion, so here you are:
Why do purgers stop shooting at the blare of the first siren at exactly 7am?
The authorities probably won’t find them, and if the Police are out before 7am (06:58, 06:59, etc.) they’d get popped by the purgers, no?
Just an observation.
When The Purge was released back in 2013, I was confused – because what entered Hollywood as one of the most fantastic concepts I’ve ever seen, resulted in a boring movie centered around a giant game of Hide & Seek.
I was anticipating the arrival of the second movie, wondering if it would offer more action, etc. And I wasn’t disappointed.
The Purge: Anarchy outdid its first movie massively; this time the history of the Founding Fathers plan to make a better country is examined, the reasons behind the annual Purge and what makes different people take part are discovered, but the winning element is the terrifying situation of everyday people entering areas of their own city where ANYTHING can happen to them..
The Purge: Anarchy grasps a brilliantly sinister concept and gift-wraps it in dread, panic and fear – three emotions which stir up the adrenlaine perfectly as the movie progresses.
If you enjoyed the first movie, I would strongly urge you to give this one a go. But more importantly if you haven’t seen the first movie: pretend it doesn’t exist, sit back and enjoy. Because the beauty of this movie is that it’s not linked to anyone from the first, and if anything the plot is explained clearly before throwing you straight into the bloody action.
“blessed be our New Founding Fathers for letting us purge and cleanse our souls. Blessed be America, a nation reborn.”
But so is something else.
The fourth movie in the Transformers series stars Mark Wahlberg as a mechanic who buys a truck, but inadvertently brings Optimus Prime bursting back to life. But there is another alien race out there who have arrived on Earth, bent on taking the Transformers down.
Humans, Transformers, Decepticons – which race will survive the impending war?..
Mark Wahlberg – Cade Yeager
Stanley Tucci – Joshua Joyce
Kelsey Grammer – Harold Attinger
Nicola Peltz – Tessa Yeager
Jack Reynor – Shane Dyson
Titus Welliver – James Savoy
Sophia Myles – Darcy Tirrel
Optimus Prime – Peter Cullen
Bumblebee – Mark Ryan
Hound – John Goodman
..as in – I grew physically tense. The wrong sort of tense, in which a person become fidgety and tedious of everything that is going on in front of them. Transformers: Age of Extinction was just awful, from beginning to end – I honestly mean that. Bursting at the seams with cliché script, classic irritating characters you’d roll your eyes at, and ‘funny’ one-liner’s which actually brought reactions of silence from the audience, this is one movie they should have left on the cutting room floor.
..and swept into the trash.
There was nothing major that stood out about this movie, no winning elements, it just seemed to flow like any other ‘metal man monster’ action flick. Single family man struggling to raise child accidentally discovers killing machine, befriends it, and enters war with it. That’s it. And toward the end of the movie I was literally squirming in my seat, mumbling, “come oooooon, please, come on..” trying to will the feature to an end – because what started as “oh dear”, quickly became “for fuck sake”.
Transformers: Age of Extinction was one war too many, which started nicely between autobot and human, but spiralled into fights between these races, between humans themselves, and of course the Decepticons trying to finish off Transformers. It was beyond messy, ironically mirrored by the crumbling cities falling apart around the main characters.
I wanted to be won over by something – anything. Unfortunately, I sat staring at the screen during epic showdown scenes with a completely straight face. Excuse my lingo, but the movie was one of the biggest pieces of shit I have ever had to endure at the cinema.
But surely something went right?
Anything at all?…
The effects used during this movie were admirable, and very effective. Exploding vehicles, falling buildings, melting faces, the producers waste no time in adding a bit of bang. The Transformers are brilliantly swish, churning themselves from one form to the other – these parts happen quite quickly, so keep your eyes on the screen or you may miss it; during a few scenes I had a “how’d that car get there?.. Oh yes, it’s a Transformer” kind of reaction. It happens that fast. I’m thinking a lot of the budget went into the graphics, the movie is packed solid with swirling metal, fire explosions, sparks, etc. and it’s all very good – younger viewers will no doubt love every minute of the wonderfully colourful stuff.
And then you have the structual side; train tracks splitting in half sending the carriages hammering into the stree below, tall skyscrapers crumbling as their windows shatter, Cade and Tessa suspended high in the air between buildings..
The opening scene sees the dinosaurs running from alien attackers through sloped mountains, a scene which pulsated with clarity and crispness – nice work there.
I think it’s safe to say the audience definitely get their money’s worth with the special effects, the producers nailed it. This was the best element of the movie.
I don’t think I’ve ever watched a movie with so much lost humour than Transformers: Age of Extinction. Seriously.
One-liner’s and gags were thrown around with such loose enthusiasm that they got hardly any reaction from us audience. Even when a Transformer piped up with something slick, it personally went straight over my head. The main culprit however was Lucas played by T.J. Miller who seemed to spout random wisecracks inappropriate moments, thus resulting in – yes, you guessed it – absolute silence from the audience. At one point CIA agents have guns raised at his head, as he drops a comment about handling a live bomb. “..I coulda – you know – died” he says, pulling a confused face. ..again, a quiet auditorium. It was almost embarassing to watch. Later on he is seen running through flames when he and the others are under attack, at which I think I mumbled, “just kill the bastard. Please”.
The script wasn’t the issue, it was the style of delivery. Comedic timing which was so out of synch that any jokes shared between characters were lost immediately.
Joshua, Cade and Shane are running through a tower block. Feet pounding the floor, the tension rises as the building begins crumbling around them.
Joshua’s face twists in terror as he looks down at the bomb he is holding – it has started bleeping.
A family gather in their doorway, terrified, as the three men run past.
Suddenly Joshua slows down, turns round, and faces the family..
“oh, hi kids!” he announces, with a wave.
My mouth dropped open slightly.
Fucking.. HI KIDS?!
As in – terrifying action-packed chase scene is heating up the screen, which the main character shatters instantly by greeting two children in a wacky voice and a cartoon-like side to side bob of his head. Not only was it not funny, its irrelevant placement in the middle of an action scene yanked the dynamics down by 90%. Up until now Joshua’s character was dark, stern and scarily powerful – focused solely on his creations. Within seconds he became a bumbling pantomime character, it was just awful.
I rolled my eyes so harshly, I swear to god they ended up round by my ears.
Although quite hot, Tessa (Peltz) displays fantastic expertise in being as thick as greek yogurt. Some of her scenes had me either tutting or rolling my eyes (I may need to visit an optician because of this movie).
One example is where Tessa is trapped behind a car between fighting Autobots and her father; the girl does everything in her power to duck and dive about the surrounding area but without making any effort to reach her father. Like a dog chasing its tail, she makes use of all the space around her, avoids the obstacle in question, and instead jumps into the car next to her.
The car is then attacked by a Decepticon and lifted into the air – Cade (Wahlberg) pounces on it and yells at his daughter to “break the glass!” before slipping and falling to the ground below. The girl can be seen banging her fists against the car window – but can’t quite bang hard enough to break the glass. Instead, she just watches her father fall to the ground and looks around for someone else to help her.
Then of course, comes the scene where she, Shane and her father are scrambling along metal anchors high up in the air above the city between spaceship and skyscraper. The guys seem to be getting along fine. Tessa however notices the sheet of metal she is crouched on wobble slightly, and announces she’s heading back to the spaceship.
..that’s right darling – the anchor is nowhere near about to break, but you go on back to the spaceship. Metal killer dogs, Decepticons and the chance you may be catapulted into outer space.. brilliant decision.
Feisty she may be, but Tessa is more boobs than brains. The men seem to take over the controls as she sits back wondering what a control is.
As an actress, Nicola is gorgeous, but her talents are completely wasted in Transformers: Age of Extinction. I can only assume director Michael Bay stuck her in the movie as “eye candy the audience will want to take under their wing”.
THANK GOD for Shane, that’s all I can say. Tessa’s boyfriend jumps on to the set..
..and straight into my underpants.
I don’t know what Jack Reynor eats for breakfast, but the guy is beautiful; big puffy lips (capable of all sorts I shouldn’t imagine), wide glassy eyes, lantern jaw.. the man is sex on legs. Forget his dappy character which actually blends excellently with Tessa, Shane is the sex relief. The guy-candy (eye candy) who propels the movie forward with a delicious dynamic.
Jack Reynor is a classic example of a “he doesn’t need to do much during the film, just stand there in a leather jacket, clenching his jaw” Hollywood actor.
Bit of a muddled accent though. Jack was born in Colorado but grew up in Ireland, so has a bit of a mixed heritage – and it showed. Whenever the guy spoke, it was in full American accent before dropping into Irish. But did I give a fuck? Chiseled Chops had me salivating just looking at him – just his presence was enough.
By Christ, the amount of money he’d make in porn..
See if you can spot the Asian gentleman who sits calmly at his kitchen table as Cade smashes through the window into his apartment.
I honestly couldn’t understand it; there is a mass battle going on just outside between aliens and humans, explosions and fire bursting everywhere – and yet this gentleman is sat calmly at his table reading the newspaper. (don’t quote me on the newspaper – he may have been doing something else, but my point still stands).
Yet another thing which added to the list of ridiculousness of this movie.
Transformers: Age of Extinction was FUCKING AWFUL from beginning to end. I’ve honestly not had to endure an action movie like this for a long time, and I was bored senseless. The ‘switching of the butt cheeks’ took place at least seven or eight times, my hand was resting on my jaw – back to my leg – back to my jaw – pins and needles again.. back to my leg.
Are you getting the picture yet?
The CGI and other special effects in this movie were fantastic, and literally the only reason worth watching it. If you’re a fan of swish colourful graphics and cleverly constructed monsters, then you should be rather impressed.
Unfortunately the director spent his entire budget and enthusiasm on CGI and threw the rest of the movie to the dogs.
Cliché unrelatable characters I couldn’t care less about, and very unfunny script have to be the highlight of the day; dialogue and one-liner’s being delivered which flopped and fell spectacularly on their arses. Slick phrases being spoken which were lost on the audience, gags which got no laughs.. it was emabarassing to witness.
DO NOT pay to watch this movie – wait for the rental.
I would honestly rather spend three days in a prison cell than sit for three hours infront of this piece of crap again.
Sequel to the 2011 hit Rise of the Planet of the Apes.
In the wake of a global disaster, survivor Malcolm and his close team try desperately to restore power to their broken habitat in the depths of San Francisco’s downtown.
However, when they stumble upon a nest of apes who have made home on the other side of the bridge, a chain of events unfold.
Events which begins a mass war – humans against ape.
But which race will survive, and earn their right to stay living on the earth?..
Andy Serkis – Caesar
Gary Oldman – Dreyfus
Jason Clarke – Malcolm
Keri Russell – Ellie
Judy Greer – Cornelia
Kodi Smit-McPhee - Alexander
From the opening scene through to its explosive finale, I was absolutely hooked. I don’t consider myself a fan of these human-ape type movies, but I found this movie very watchable. I was captivated the entire time, only taking my eyes off the screen to check I hadn’t dropped my mobile phone. (it’s not much fun having to get on all fours underneath pitch black seating, believe me).
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes was pretty much non-stop action from the word go, kicking off immediately with our furry friends (or rather enemies) swinging through the trees and marking their territory. No sooner have we caught a glimpse of how the apes are getting by, do Malcolm and his team of associates wander into the ‘ape’s nest’ – resulting in life-changing consequences..
Not only was I intrigued constantly by what was happening on screen, but I found myself vocalising quite often. All an ape had to do was throw a deep, sad facial expression at the camera and I instantly let out an “awwww”.
And it wasn’t just sounds of affection, I uttered a few “ouch”, “fuck” and “oooh”‘s. I think it was actually the first time in my life I’ve referred to an animal as “a c*nt” – that just felt plain weird, calling an ape a c*nt.
I will state for a fact, the animals were spectacular. I don’t know how many (if any) were costume and how many were CGI, but Caesar and his crew were very genuine, the director nailed it. I didn’t look at an ape and think, “that looks fake” – I regarded them as a being of their own, like the humans. At certain points, a few of them cry – tears falling from their wrinkled eyes and rolling down their cheek. I actually felt saddened by the sight. Not much more I can say other than the apes are brilliant.
Surrounding San Francisco was laid out well. The area including the Golden Gate Bridge looks the same, only slightly darkened with a cloudy grey mist and debris. A massive naval ship lays tilted on its side underneath the bridge. The habitable parts of San Francisco are everything you could want / expect from a post-apocalyptic setting; cracked architecture, mass vegetation which sees vines and plants growing around buildings you wouldn’t normally get, etc. The whole set is quite convincing, which I liked – I’m a big fan of the post-apocalyptic look; important buildings reduced to shells, plants growing where you’d least expect, etc.
And although not a heavy focus point, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes portayed this element very well.
Apes swinging through the air was another good bit; at the beginning of the movie they swarm through the trees like spiders – a scene that actually reminded me of the Harry Potter movies – convincing creatures scuttling out of the misty colourful depths of the forest. This scene had me “whoa” out loud. And it continued nicely. Another scene sees two humans preparing their guns for possible battle – all of a sudden, three furry beasts lower from the ceiling and make their way towards the men by way of slick swinging which they perform with wonderful synchronicity. Be it apes crying which was rather powerful, or their spidery way of moving around, the special effects were fantastic. I have nothing bad to say about this aspect.
Just you wait for the battle scene between ape and human. It’s special.
Ape on horseback is a bizarre sight, but as they ride into San Francisco to face the humans, all hell breaks loose. Explosions, people falling, buildings that are already toppled topple a bit further, and of course – the apes master plan involving the humans to reverse the whole ‘caged animal’ thing..
If someone were to say to me, “imagine apes or monkeys sat on horseback, waving machine guns in the air”, I would probably end up laughing at how silly the image seemed. However, watching it on the big screen was nowhere near as silly and highly effective as the apes drew me straight into the action, their story. The scene I thought most powerful sees Malcolm and an ape put their heads together in a strong bond of understanding. The way they close their eyes and lean on each other is very moving.
Another thing I liked about this movie was the fact the director didn’t swamp the audience in family shit. Unlike many other movies that throw as much emotional family dialogue at the audience as possible, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes veers in the opposite direction. The story is brought to us from the view of the apes – of course there are humans with issues of their own, but these issues are briefly explained before getting on with ‘monkey business’.
The story spends so much time focused on the apes, I tried to decipher the actors underneath the wrinkled faces as I sat there watching. I mean, Judy Greer was an ape – but I honestly couldn’t find her amongst the blackened furry heads, it was strange.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is a great watch, and very different from what I thought it would be.
Full of burning action from the word go, the story is easy to follow and not drowning in lengthy scenes; on the contrary, this movie moves swiftly from one scene to the other, balancing the lives of humans and apes brilliantly.
Although the main cast do a good job, the apes outweigh them massively due to superb special effects and personalities which are channelled into creating their own race. They are wonderful beasts.
It is very watchable and had me interested from its opening scene, which is the main element I enjoyed.
I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this movie to anyone wanting a good watch – it’s not groundbreaking, but it’s definitely entertaining.
If you’re a monkey lover, ape fanatic or special effects buff, this one is for you – enjoy!
Boyhood is the story of a young man named Mason and his journey from being 6 years old, to 18 years old. No substitute actors were used – all actors in the movie genuinely took part in the 12-year filming. It was shot intermittently over a twelve-year period, as Coltrane grew from childhood to adulthood; beginning in the summer of 2002 and finishing in October 2013.
You are about to witness a little boy grow into adult within 3 hours..
Ellar Coltrane – Mason
Lorelei Linklater – Samantha
Patricia Arquette – Mom
Ethan Hawke – Dad
Marco Perella – Bill Welbrock
I’ll begin this review by applauding the cast; a handful of people who actually signed a contract back in 2002 to film a movie for the next twelve years. Boyhood is a cinematic first, a total breakthrough in how movies are made and it is this element alone which surrounds the film in dynamic splendour, makes it as interesting as it is. Christ, imagine being asked in 2002 to play a character in a movie but being told you won’t see your name in the credits until 2014. I would probably have burst out laughing. Think about it – 2002 seems like a bloody lifetime ago.
I myself was 19 years old and just leaving college the summer that director Richard Linklater opened the front door of young Mason’s house and started filming.
Sugababes and Pink were at the height of the charts. Winona Ryder’s shoplifting trial began, as Michael Jackson confused his laundry with his child as he dangled the poor baby over a hotel balcony. I specifically remember Shakira’s “Whenever Wherever” playing out of radios everywhere.
For the love of god, I had a skinhead!..
What I loved most about Boyhood was how I could relate to the characters – without actually relating to them. It was the subject of time which bound me to the characters I watched on screen; the life events they experienced, I had also experienced. This movie blended a fictional family with the non-fictional world events which unfolded across the years. A reality show – but also a movie. What a fantastic concept. I couldn’t help thinking of The Truman Show during certain parts of this; scenes which echoed the same sort of idea, but instead the main man plays the part of someone else – and knows he is being filmed.
I have to be honest – this movie had me feeling quite emotional. At first I couldn’t understand why, but realised it had something to do with watching a little boy grow up infront of me. At the beginning, little 6-year-old Mason (little Ellar) is picked up from school by his mother and the next few scenes involve family dinners, playing with his friends, etc. The scene fades out and then back in, to find Mason walking through his living room as an 8-year-old.
Before you know it he’s 12.
This isn’t just a movie character changing, it’s the actor playing him growing up too.
I watched as his jaw became rounder, his features became more masculine – it was life, happening right in front of me. I felt as though I was growing with him.
The director doesn’t smack the audience with obvious “look at how old he is now!” type signs as the boy’s age changes, his years just accelerate naturally as the movie progresses. This has to be one of the best elements of Boyhood; no tacky ‘Five Years Later’ banners popping up on screen, etc. – the feature moves at the pace of any other film, only the difference is the main characters have aged significantly in the following scene. It’s fantastic. Emotional.
What I was surprised at most during Boyhood, was the lack of boredom. Before seeing the movie I knew the plot and assumed I would get bored, just sitting watching a boy play with his computer, having dinner with his family, etc. On the contrary, I enjoyed every minute. And the reason why I enjoyed it so much was that the script was so real, the chemistry between the actors so natural. Scenes between the kids involved fighting and name-calling in younger years, which developed into serious conversations later on. Things a lot of us have done ourselves in real life. I sat smiling as I watched Mason’s stepfather fail spectacularly at playing golf, laughed heartily at his real father (Hawke) giving him and his sister a serious-turned-hilarious talk about contraception, sympathised with his mother as she struggled to cope with certain life decisions…
I honestly cannot describe the effect this movie had on me, I just felt like I could relate to certain things, and knew exactly where the characters were coming from. It allowed me to absorb the entire thing in my own way.
One scene made me laugh out loud. Around year 2007, Mason and his father are camping in the woods, when conversation turns to Star Wars movies. Dad says, “I wonder if they’ll make another Star Wars movie?..” which ignites a conversation between the two about whether there would be more in the series, and what the titles would be.
I literally felt like a time traveller – back in 2007 with them, but with knowledge of the future they had no idea about (including future Star Wars features). Thing is, as actors these two had no idea either – which added to my enjoyment of their naivety. Boyhood is like a time capsule, sequences captured in the past which have now been opened in 2014. It was as though I had stepped into Doctor Who’s TARDIS, been whisked through time, landed in 2002 and wanted to inform the actors of what has gone on over the last twelve years (and perhaps confirm or deny their Star Wars query).
I lapped up every second of this ‘almost time travel’ dynamic; the producers struck gold with this.
Keep your eyes and ears out for various clues as to the year – certain songs and events are played which give a subtle hint as to where and when you are.
Whether it’s a song playing on the radio behind Mason or Samantha looking at a video on her computer, there are little clues scatterd through time.
The hints include:
“Oops!…I Did It Again” by Britney Spears (2000)
“Soak Up the Sun” by Sheryl Crow (2002)
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince book release in shops (2005)
Nintendo Wii (2006)
Obama elected as president (2008)
Twilight book series (2005)
The launch of Facebook (2004)
“Love Game” by Lady Gaga (2009)
“Somebody That I Used To Know” by Gotye (2012)
Another interesting element – playing ‘Guess The Year’.
Near the beginning of the movie when he is a little boy, there is a scene where Mason gets into bed to go to sleep. Distant pattering of rain can be heard on his bedroom window – kind of calming I thought. Later on in the movie it happens again, but this time during the family’s dinner time. Ok, so it can rain at any time.
However, the next time it happened was when Mason and his father are inside a bowling alley.
..turned out to be the sound recording.
In certain scenes it actually gets quite loud, becoming a blatantly obvious fault. Maybe the director used the same camera from 2002, because this wasn’t 2014 quality – it sounded like video recording equipment from the 1980’s. This muffled rain-like sound threw a spanner in the works during quieter scenes, making it hard to focus on what the actors were saying.
Don’t see if you can spot it – see if you can avoid it!
Boyhood is a wonderful piece of cinema, and its faithful cast ensemble are to be respected for their twelve-year dedication to producing the movie. Anything can happen to a person within twelve years, but whatever they did in their personal lives, they continued to let the cameras roll.
A film about a boy growing up is one thing, but having him grow in front of your very eyes is one hell of a beautiful thing.
This movie tapped into my emotional depths as I sympathised with the characters and in the end, the most incredible element of all wasn’t even the on-screen story – it was real life Ellar and his fellow cast members personal dedication which showed wonderful integrity.
If you’re going to watch this, DO NOT have any interruptions. No switching off and continuing it a few days later, etc. – Boyhood should be devoured in one sitting so that you get the full effect of the boy growing, and you can appreciate the story too. This is one of the best films I have seem at the cinema.