Is Godzilla (2014) King of the Screen?

Title: Godzilla
Running Time: 123 minutes
Rating (out of 5): 3.5

When I was much younger, I was a massive fan of Godzilla; I had two toys of this triumphant lizard, two Mothras, three Rodans, three Hydras, two members of Godzilla force, a Godzilla force fighter jet, and a set of trading cards, not to mention several pairs of clothing depicting this massive creation.

Where Roland Emmerich’s Godzilla failed, due to repetitive action sequences, immature dialogue, and certain aspects of the storyline which were unable to make coherent sense, I was hoping this particular reboot would find a way of telling a far superior story.

Now, if a feature happens to be named after one of the major characters (Riddick, the Bourne franchise, etc) you expect said character to play an incredibly pivotal role. Although many in Godzilla believed this terrific behemoth was the only hope in stopping other ancient predators, his entire screen presence lasted probably ten minutes (excluding the moments you see his fins as he swims through the oceans).

Much like in Alien Vs Predator Requiem, the human characters have the more significant roles, and although at the beginning this was of little concern, for the remainder of the film was still yet to transpire, by the end, there is this disgruntled sense of unquenched entertainment that settles over the cinema, as you come to realize the shocking absence of this tyrannical monstrosity.

Joe Brody (Bryan Cranston) was a scientist at a Japanese power plant when it was inexplicably destroyed by an unexplainable force of unparallelled proportions. 15 years later, and his son, Lieutenant Ford Brody (Araon Taylor-Johnson) who has discovered a career for himself in the Navy, is officially over his father’s wild conspiracy theories that lead him back to Japan.

There, Dr. Daisuke Serizawa (Ken Watanabe) and his team of scientists who have existed since before the events of the Japanese power plant, have been running experiments on an unidentified creature located at the epicenter of the destroyed reactor.  But when the creature is released from its egg-sack and begins to run, or more aptly, fly rampantly across the terrain in search of food, the military, including Jason Strathairn as an Admiral and Richard T. Jones as a fellow high ranking commander, are brought in to help bring an end to the chaos that is only escalating.

This particular version of Godzilla returns the frachise back to its origins, with these triumphant ancient beasts having a high tolerance, and general appetite, for all things nuclear, the male Rodan-esque creature released from the egg thus making its way from one potential source of radiation to another in the hopes of finding food. When another creature of the same species eventually erupts out from its burial chamber, this particular creature identified as a female, you can begin to imagine what their intentions are, which can only spell further catastrophic trouble for humanity, unless something of equal strength can fight them. Some believe nuclear arsenals are the answer, whilst others, especially Dr. Serizawa, believe firmly in Godzilla.

Although the Rodan like creatures, which are initially introduced as some kind of ancient monstrous parasite, receive considerably more face time with the audience than Godzilla does, it is still not nearly enough to satisfy one’s thirst for special effects. These creatures look almost robotic, with rather square block heads and a red nuclear light pulsating across the underside of their bodies, and along the tips of their elongated clawed fingers. This is no criticism however, the special effects being exceptional in this creature feature; I only wish that the creatures had a far greater screen presence.

What further fails to fill my appetite are the fight scenes between the monsters, a number of them being cut short; at one point the fight scene takes place over a couple of incredibly quick frames on a television screen hundreds of miles away, Moreover, on the occasions when you are in the thick of it, the blanket of night fall does all manner of annoyances. Although you can often make out what is happening, daylight would have been preferable in illustrating these magnificent creatures in their truest form.

A story of family at heart, it seems the developers of this particular feature on occasion forgot that Godzilla was supposed to play a paramount role, and for this reason the audience suffers greatly. If this studio plans on making a sequel, which may prove unlikely (think what happened last time America decided to create a spinoff), hopefully the creators may consider having any further incursions taking place during the day.

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Riddick Review

I never did believe that Pitch Black was the best movie ever, and ironically, even though the Chronicles of Riddick was seen as a flop in the eyes of Universal, it to this day remains one of my all time favorite movies; in fact, it was this particular film that caused me to admire Vin Diesel professionally as an actor and inevitably have an avid fascination with every film he has been in since.

The one thing I have always appreciated about Riddick in general, is that he is the traditional anti-hero, much like Mad Max. Although Riddick is essentially an American creation (and I do not mean to be negative) but Americans always love their heroes – they are always patriotic and willing to lay down their lives to save the day for no reason at all other than the fact they simply can. Riddick will do this of course – but he wants something in return, which is the true definition of an anti-hero.

For anyone who has been a massive fan of the franchise thus far, then like me you may very well have been waiting with bated breath for the better part of a year for the film to finally be released. Riddick is more like the original Pitch Black, and for those like me who preferred Chronicles, I wouldn’t go so far as to say that you wouldn’t like this film – after all, there is still plenty of bad-ass Riddick action going on for any fan of the franchise to enjoy.

Right from the very beginning, the film captures the attention of its audience as Mr. Diesel efficaciously commands the screen as usual with his powerful presence. Originally starting with Riddick being marooned on an unknown world, Riddick not long afterwards remembers how it was that he managed to find himself on such a hell hole.

Riddick, who is tired of running and tired of being the lead commanding officer of the Necromonger horde asks Vaako (Karl Urban) for assistance in finding his home planet of Furya. Instead, Riddick finds himself in the middle of a violent coup for power, inevitably resulting in him being left for dead after the betrayal he didn’t see coming. (Instead of writing a small portion of information about the movie here, I have placed it at the end of the article. I would not call this a spoiler per se, but some people reading this may find the information unnecessary. If you wish to know, proceed to the end of the article).

For the first half an hour of the film, Riddick adjusts to his new surroundings, which includes striking up a partnership with an alien dingo who eventually becomes his companion. Fans of Chronicles may remember Riddick befriending a creature on the planet Crematoria, and this is no different. Perhaps this was deliberately orchestrated to provide some humanity to Riddick’s character, for in previous films Riddick was often fighting alongside Jack and other comrades he met along the way.

Unable to stay forever on the planet, Riddick eventually finds a bounty hunter station and activates the distress beacon which brings two mercenary shuttles down atop of his head. One group is led by the violently deranged Santana (Jordi Molla), whilst the other is commanded by Boss Johns (Matt Nable), and those familiar with Pitch Black may recognise the familial similarity in the name, providing a clue as to why he is seeking Riddick out.

Upon the mercenaries arrival, Riddick’s role overtime becomes a little shorter, appearing every so often during scenes as the film begins to focus primarily on the mercenaries. This can seem a little strange; naming the film ‘Riddick’, and yet the lead character is absent from at least a third of the film, if not more. This may have something to do with the fact that Mr. Diesel seems to be quite the busy actor at the moment, with a sequel to Fast and the Furious franchise in the works and another XXX on the horizon. Perhaps on occasion Mr. Diesel was needed elsewhere to ensure that his other perspective films were released on schedule?

This however does allow the mercenaries to be explored and their opinions of Riddick to be known. This gives the audience the opportunity to decide whether they believe Riddick is the scary monster all of the mercenaries visualise him to be, morals being one of the key principle driving forces of the film.

However, the question of whether Riddick is the real bad guy he is made out to be is overshadowed by the extraterrestrial scorpions that inhabit the planet, who seem to have a fondness for mammals – or more aptly, the meat that mammals have on their bones, and the eventual confrontation between these creatures and everyone else is quite an impressive showdown.

An unnecessary feature of the movie though might very well be that every woman in the film with the exception of one shows off their breasts at one stage or another. Dahl (Katee Sackhoff) additionally is a character that seems to be developed in an incredibly peculiar way. Being very verbose about her sexuality, it is awful strange that Riddick shoots her a few sexual references over the course of the movie, visualising a potential want to have a romantic relationship with her, and her occasional one-liners about this may cause the viewer to wonder whether or not writer David Twohy knows the definition between a lesbian and a heterosexual.

Again, Riddick is more like Pitch Black, but this in no way means that it is not entertaining. The special effects are fantastic, and the tenseness of the film is very well articulated. The addition of more blood for the viewer’s pleasure is enough to empower the action scenes with extra bite, and the occasional profanity allows more realism to be incorporated into the scenes, both of which were absent from Chronicles.

Any fan of the Riddick franchise should feel quite at home with this particular film, and fans of science fiction should additionally have a fair amount of fun with this new addition to the series. The film is left wide open at the end for a sequel, and maybe if we are lucky Universal will put some time and effort (and money) into a possible fourth edition. Fingers crossed!

All in all, I give Riddick a 4 out of 5.

 

INFO FROM MIDDLE OF DOCUMENT: For those who are fans of Karl Urban’s work (and I am one of them) you may be disappointed to learn that Mr. Urban only appears in one scene at the beginning of the feature. Upon Riddick been cast down upon the planet, all of the Necromonger’s leave and you never see them again. I really liked the Necromonger’s as the enemy in Chronicles and maybe we will have the opportunity to see them again if a sequel is promulgated.

Furious Six Review

Title: Furious Six
Distributor: Universal
Director: Justin Lin
Writer: Chris Morgan
Rating (out of 5): 5

Summary: Justin Lin and Chris Morgan deliver yet another outstanding action feature

Suspension of disbelief. That is the one concept a person going to see this film should keep in their mind at all times; that everything happening in this film is really a load of bull. There is no way that any of the characters could ever possibly survive the absolutely deranged action scenes that take place within this film, and yet they always manage to get away just by the skin of their teeth. This however is not a bad thing, but it certainly will make you gasp in awe time and time again at how brilliantly conceived the action is and how amazingly convenient many of the scenarios are.

Picking up where Fast Five ended, Furious Six begins with Special Agent Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) looking to take down the internationally dangerous Shaw (Luke Evans), whose team are taking down militarised convoys in an attempt to build a device worth billions to the highest bidder; a device that could do an unfathomable amount of damage when successfully put together.

With traditional methods out of the question for acquiring such a man and his team, Hobbs is forced to recruit a ‘wolf to hunt a wolf”, in this case Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and his team. At the  end of Fast Five, Hobbs receives proof that Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) is still alive and working with this antagonistic crew, and it is this information he uses to procure Dom and have him and his team meet him in London to help take down this new threat.

Mia (Jordana Brewster’s) role is rather short in this film as she is now the mother of the child that she and Brian O’Connor (Paul Walker) have had, which furthers the idea of family which flows throughout this entire feature.

Roman Pierce (Tyrese Gibson), Tej (Chris ‘Ludacris’ Bridges), Gisele (Gal Gabot) and Han (Sung Kang) once again join the team, with Roman and Tej being primarily in control of delivering the wealth of humor throughout the piece which is efficaciously delivered.

As with the previous films, the connection between each of the characters seems extraordinarily powerful and makes the film’s storyline and the emotional interactions between the characters even more believable. There is not one moment that goes by where you don’t believe all of these friends are not a giant family, and thanks to the flawless acting and terrific writing, this is never challenged which only makes the experience even more easy to devour.

In a film spanning 130 minutes, the feature basically is one action scene after another, with a brief separation in-between each for character interaction and planning for the next deranged action-oriented occurrence, and by deranged, I truly mean that; cars go flying in all directions as cars and even later on a tank alike collide with others in this vehicular slaughter-fest. The amount of damage done in this film is unfathomable, and simply needs to be seen to be believed, and even then you probably won’t believe it. Like I said earlier, many action scenes seem convenient; there is always a car to escape in, or some horrible thing that does not immediately take place, which leads to the characters living to fight another day.

Just when the action seems to be over though, another scene even wilder than the last takes place, and even then you still can’t be sure that the film is over. Be sure to stay after the first few seconds of credits for a terrific little (convenient (again!)) cinematic featuring Jason Stratham, which leaves the film wide open for yet another sequel.

You want my opinion? Universal can make a dozen more Fast and the Furious sequels, for if they are all as good as this, then I will surely love to see how far they can push this truly entertaining series.

Simply put, if there is one action film you see this year, then Fast and the Furious Six is definitely that movie! A must see!

 

Descend into the Darkness in the new Star Trek feature

Title: Star Trek: Into Darkness
Distributor: Paramount
Producers: Sky Dance/Bad Robot
Director: J.J. Abrams

Rating (out of 5): 3

Synopsis: Terrific special effects and a few action sequences are not enough to save Star Trek: Into Darkness from itself.

Review: For those of you aware of the idea that a sequel is never able to live up to the expectations of the original, or the stereotypical notion that there is in fact no such thing as a bad trailer, then you will completely understand when I say that Star Trek: Into Darkness represents both of these ideologies.

For those of you, like me, who saw the trailer for the new Star Trek film and thought how riveting it looked; do not be fooled. Luckily for me I was able to see the film free due to my new membership with the cinema that I frequent, because if I had paid money to see this film, I may be even more disappointed.

Star Trek: Into Darkness begins, how do I put this, almost pointlessly. Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) and the crew of the Enterprise are on an alien planet where the local fauna are comprised of primitive humanoids yet to acquire the mantel of technology. Kirk decides to intervene with the course of the history the planet is to take by sending Spock (Zachary Quinto) into a volcano on the verge of erupting, the goal being to cease this event immediately, and for some odd reason this requires stealing a scroll from the local primitives and running through the woods.

After this scene the film does pick up the pace by informing you why this  was applicable; this shows that Kirk is yet to take the role of being a Captain seriously. He has no respect for authority or the rules and is incapable of conforming to Star-fleet’s way of handling missions. This inevitably leads to Kirk being removed as Captain and re-instated as first officer, whilst Admiral Pike (Bruce Greenwood) is recommissioned as the ships’ captain.

Whilst this occurs, in London, Khan (Benedict Cumberbatch), the primary antagionist of the movie approaches a Star-fleet officer and his wife, whose daughter is gravely ill, and says that he will help save her, at a cost, this being only the start of his major plan which results in the deaths of many members of Star-fleet’s highest ranking officers. After this onslaught of violence takes place, Kirk, thirsty for vengeance requests that Admiral Marcus (Peter Weller), the highest ranking officer in humanity’s fleet give him permission to pursue Khan to where he is hiding on the Klingon world of Kronos. Marcus agrees to the savagery of the operation, despite it going against the general code of the fleet for this is a mission of destruction, rather than what Star-fleet stereotypically handles. Kirk is provided with no less than 72 missiles to be dropped onto Khan’s head to bring retribution to all he has harmed with his plots. The Enterprise however is to do its best not to alert the Klingon’s to their presence for they have been itching for a reason to go to war against them for so long now that it is basically inevitable.

Of course, not everything goes according to the plan…The movie is not as plain and simple as one might initially imagine, with a very intriguing storyline filled with a fair amount of depth, telling a tale of betrayal, redemption, vengeance, family and love. Not everyone is as good as they seem, just as the bad guys are not so terrible as they may originally appear. There are many twists and turns that ought to keep anyone entertained, but it is there that the film begins to lose points in my opinion.

Although yes, there are a number of action scenes, these often go by so fast that you only begin to enjoy them when they suddenly come to a conclusion. On top of that, Khan is built up to be this incredibly impressive one man killing machine and yet the amount of screen time he has where he is indeed kicking ass and taking names is not quite as much as I would have liked. True, he does a fair bit of damage by the end, but if you are going to have a powerhouse of an enemy, you might as well show off all of his skills. He throws some guys around and breaks some skulls (literally) but apart from that I really wanted to be impressed, after all, he is later hailed as the greatest threat that they ever faced, and yet his reign of terror is eventually halted so darn easily. Mr. Cumberbatch, the actor who portrays Khan did an admirable portrayal of the enemy which only further increased my frustration. The actor was such a fantastic bad guy, I only wished that the film makers had further milked what could have been generated.

On top of this, although the crew do descend to the planet Kronos, the amount of Klingons that are seen could be counted on yours hands (and maybe one of your toes). The War Birds look impressive, but, in my opinion, if you are going to place the crew of the Enterprise on one of the single most inhospitable planets in the known universe, the least you could do is have some extra fighting. There is one particularly engrossing fight scene, and after this the film moves on. All this talk of war with the Klingons and yet, where is it?

The music provides very little new content to the genre, most of the themes been rehashed from the original feature. The cameo role by Leonard Nimoy will no doubt cause your eyes to roll to the side as this was perhaps unnecessary, and although he provides invaluable information, this could have been acquired via alternate methods. On top of this, the cameo by Nazneen Contractor additionally seems odd – I mean, why hire a known actress to play an unbelievably small role?

Moreover, Zoe Saldana’s role as Uhura is not quite as large as many fans of such a character may enjoy. In fact, the amount of screen time that she and Dr. Carol Marcus (Alice Eve) receive in the film does not begin to even contrast with the amount of screen time the blocks receive, this movie being basically a guy’s night out, with the intellectually powerful women being limited in their roles.

Towards the end, a scene that age old Star Trek fans will be familiar with is reflected in the film, and although it is orchestrated very powerfully by the actors involved, it seems cliche when in regards to the scene it is based upon (you’ll know what I mean when you see it!).

In conclusion, Star Trek: Into Darkness will entertain you – but it will leave you hungry for so much more. Let’s just hope that in the future, the next Star Trek villain who claims to be an unstoppable force to be reckoned with really lives up to the title.

Cruise across the desolate remnants of Earth in the new sci-fi feature ‘Oblivion’

 

Title: Oblivion
Distributor: Universal
Director: Joseph Kosinski
Stars: Tom Cruise, Morgan Freeman, Olga Kurylenko, Andrea Riseborough, Melissa Leo

More Entertaining Than: Moon

Less Entertaining Than: Avatar

Rating (out of 5): 4

In 2077 the Earth is a desolate waste. An antagonistic alien enemy destroyed the moon, and in doing so, this caused the Earth to turn against the human race; earthquakes, tsunamis, etc. Then the invasion occurred and it was at this point that humanity retaliated with a full nuclear offensive strategy. This ultimately won the war, but the result was the destruction of the planet. Most humans, those that survived, now live on Titan, Jupiter’s largest moon, whilst a few humans stay behind on Earth to watch over its decommission. These small teams watch over the water pumping stations that turn the remaining major bodies of water into usage energy, and additionally ensure that the defense drones that protect these huge operations run flawlessly. The alien scavengers, or what remains of them at least, are still out there and in no way can they hinder the operations humanity has taking place on Earth.

Jack (Tom Cruise) awakes from a dream; a memory actually. Before being stationed on Earth his memory was wiped as to ensure that if captured by the enemy, they could extract no useable information from him about his mission. Julia (Olga Kurykenko) was there, as always, her memory haunting his dreams as he attempts to understand what she means to him.
He makes his way out from the station he resides upon and soars above the ground in an attractive cruiser, whilst Victoria (Andrea Riseborough) remains back at the station to monitor his progress and report everything that happens back to Sally (Melissa Leo) at Command, a mysterious figurehead observing the entire mission. But when Jack is captured by the enemy, he finds himself in the presence of Beech (Morgan Freeman) who opens his eyes to the truth; and in one moment, all that he once knew is shattered completely.

As always, the banter between Tom Cruise and his fellow actors over the longevity of the feature is entertaining, well scripted and timed. The emotional connection that one character has with another throughout the feature is an incredibly powerful drive that keeps the film moving forward. True, the numerous action scenes and very attractive special effects efficaciously aid in establishing the audience’s attention to the film, but it is the emotions that run throughout its heart.

Mr. Cruise often seems to choose roles that involve being romantically involved with a beautiful young woman, and this film is no different. Right from the very beginning the film introduces us to a love story and tells a tale about a love so strong that one doesn’t have to know a person; one doesn’t have to have met a person; one doesn’t have to be even near a person, to love them more than life itself, and this is continued through to the very end.

On top of this, the film is a story of sacrifice and choice and the immense and incredible power of the human will to survive and the resolve to live free without tyranny or oppression from foreign enemies.

Some may be disappointed to note that there are no ‘aliens’ per se to be seen, so don’t go into the film expecting any little green men. Instead, the battles that take place are often between robotic entities that rove to be just as merciless as any alien could ever be.

Adjunctively, one needs to see the film through to the end to grasp the entire storyline, for this is not a stereotypically easy narrative to understand, and the only way to acutely comprehend all that has happened throughout the back story and all that is happening over the duration of the film is to see the feature through to the final frame. Throughout the film some occurrences and story elements may make little sense at all, but I can promise you that by the end, many of those lingering questions will finally be allocated answers. I can also promise you that the film’s conclusion will most certainly leave you smiling.

Apart from being a thrilling sci-fi action romance, the feature is adjunctively proof that actors the likes of Mr. Cruise can still be counted on to appear in films of an astounding caliber and that actors the likes of Ms. Kurylenko deserve more cinematic roles rather than ones on the television.

Set the entertainment for Cruise Control in the new intense action thriller ‘Jack Reacher’

 

I never did read the novel ‘One Shot’ from acclaimed writer Lee Child, so please forgive me if my interpretation of the film seems way off when in comparison with the text. What I do know about the character from the book is that he was apparently well over six feet in height, which actor Tom Cruise is not. Height however, has nothing to do with talent, and Mr. Cruise sure brings a lot of it in this new thriller which is adjunctively produced by him.

With a new Mission Impossible film having been announced, perhaps Mr. Cruise is looking to be involved in another franchise. There can only be so many more Mission Impossible features that writers could possibly develop, and if Mr. Cruise is looking to become involved in a new phenomenal action series, then he has certainly put his money, and his talents, into the right film. Whether or not the fans agree will depend on whether more features based upon the series of books are indeed conceived.

Now apparently at fifty years of age, one may expect that Mr. Cruise is beginning to enter a stage in his career where he could consider retiring from blockbuster action features. But if the feature Jack Reacher has anything to say about his future prospects, that idea is probably not going to come to fruition just yet. During the fight scenes, Jack Reacher moves like liquid, easily taking out his opponents, often with little difficulty and/or injury, and if Mr. Cruise was involved in a majority of the stunts, then that is proof enough that he is surely capable of continuing his action career for quite a while longer. Fingers crossed.

The film opens to the senseless massacre of five innocent individuals going about their daily lives; each of whom are shot by a retired sniper. It seems like an ironclad case against the offender; his bullets and fingerprints were found at the scene, and his vehicle matches the tire treads found there as well. Life in jail with no parole or death are the only options available to this man now, who asks for a Mr. Jack Reacher to become involved in the case.

Jack Reacher, alerted by the news to the senseless shooting, and having a past with the accused, shows up almost immediately to begin digging into what happened. He instantly believes that the accused is the shooter and will do everything in his power to bury him.

The lawyer of the accussed, Helen (played by the beautiful Rosamund Pike), who is the daughter of the District Attorney, immediately takes a shine to Mr. Reacher’s impeccable investigative qualities and asks for him to participate in the case as her primary investigator.

The relationship between both Helen and Reacher is often one of ‘will they or won’t they?’, with many options being available throughout the feature for a possible romance to be generated between the characters.

However, this film is most unlike others that Mr. Cruise often dedicates his time too; Reacher is not the stereotypical protagonist, but then again he is in no way an anti-hero either. He is, to put it shortly, quite the bad ass, and Mr. Cruise does an impeccable job at creating such a hardened hero with ruthlessly efficient combat methodologies, highly intellectual investigative skills and an unbelievable awareness of his surroundings from his prior life in the military as an army police officer.

The case against the accused however is not a normal one, and is instead shrouded in intrigue, corruption and a major set up that has ties to those who are meant to uphold and protect the law. Nothing is sacred anymore, and no one is safe. Luckily, as the tag line of the feature might suggest, Mr. Reacher has no limits to what he will do to ensure that the righteous and the just are safely secure from the hands of antagonists, and that villains get exactly what is coming to them. So with Mr. Reacher on the case, the ominous bad guys have officially met their match.

Appearing rather spookily in the eyes of the enemy, and having the ability to make the blood of his opponents boil anxiously with dread, the darkness that Mr. Cruise brings to his powerful character is furthered with the often dark night scenes that occur throughout the film, the depths of the plot and the incredibly loud sounds of guns going off and cars slamming into surfaces. At times, such great techniques within the feature will cause you to jump unexpectedly, as you are pulled into this dark world that Mr. Reacher inhabits.

Of course, darkness is not the only aspect of the film that poses as a lure. The film itself does not require drawn out action sequences or explosions to capture your interest, but does so with other great abilities; the smart, intelligent dialogue; the witty action sequences and the ways Mr. Reacher takes his opponents down; additional likeable characters the likes of Cash, played by the unfathomably well known Robert Duvall, who portrays a fun sniper at a gun range adds a sense of fun to a dark, foreboding landscape; and the in-depth characterisation that Mr. Cruise brings to his character, not to mention his good looks, which he has amazingly managed to preserve efficaciously benefit the film.

Jack Reacher is a film that immediacy captures your attention and refuses to let you go until the final thrilling sequence. To put my final opinion of the feature simply; you have to watch this film. Whether you are a fan of Mr. Cruise’s work, or enjoy intriguing, intelligent plots and dramatic action thrillers, Jack Reacher has it all and more, and frequently keeps you guessing as to who is trustworthy; and who the real enemy is.

The one film I would die hard for!

 

After seeing this trailer I just have to show it around!

If you have not seen the trailer for the upcoming ‘A Good day to Die Hard’, the fifth film in the action packed Die Hard franchise, then here it is!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=riIaTrjyGZ4

 

In this new addition to the franchise, McClain travels to Russia to see his son Jack who appears to be in a bit of trouble, and a bit more than John could ever have imagined when he finds his son is in fact an operative working for the CIA who is in deep cover attempting to take down an illegal arms smuggling operation!

Looks not half bad so far, but it is a new direction in the series that has specifically focused on an American backdrop for the previous films. It will be quite the interesting ride to see how this one goes!

Have a great day!

Prometheus Review and 3D Effects

 

You know when you see a film and you just wanna talk about it? Well, that’s what I intend to do here. It was only yesterday that Prometheus came out in OZ, and it was today that I saw it at the cinema. I’m not too sure when it was released elsewhere in the world, but it often seems that Australia gets everything last, so for all I know it was released in the States ten years ago and we are only seeing it now. I mean, we only just received ‘Justified’ and in the States it’s up to season five? WTH!

Anyway, the review – Prometheus in Oz only came with an ‘M’ rating, probably due to the fact that there really isn’t very much blood. But that is not to say the film is not disturbing, cuz such would not be true. As a prequel to the ‘Alien’ franchise, Prometheus goes out of its way to change things up for its audience by presenting themes on the dawn of life, the creation of the alien species and that of humanity, and one has to admit that it is pretty interesting what the writers have done in this respect.

What the Alien franchise did however, apart from emphasising how if you want a good alien feature the creatures need to be dark, disturbing and really pissed off, is prove that women make pretty awesome protagonists. I remember in 2003, an entertainment magazine of sorts had a survey of which action hero would most people like to have come to their aid; Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Vin Diesel or Bruce Willis, and the end result came back Sigourney Weaver, which I think proves my point.

Prometheus does this again with Noomi Rapace who plays Elizabeth Shaw, the lead scientist on the expedition who basically got the whole thing underway with her words after convincing Mr. Weyland to go through with the mission and fork in all the money required for it. However, who would have known that Ms. Rapce was actually very beautiful when she doesn’t have all that shit in her face required for her role as Lisbeth Salander in the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series? I sure didn’t.

Like may female protagonists, Shaw uses her intellect to successfully navigate through the problems that occur, not being the stereotypical action man dragon slayer, which just goes to show how men are the action heroes cuz they go blasting into everything without thinking, whilst the women hang back and think it through before taking out their opponent with brains rather than balls. As a character, Shaw is a scientist as mentioned, but is grounded by her religious beliefs, and her faith has kept her going and motivated her to excel, which is a continued theme throughout.

The one character however that will probably intrigue you the most is the robot. Introduced at the start, he is quite the complex character, explaining how he has no emotions and does not care, but seems to contradict this by ensuring mission success of all that he is programmed to accomplish and using a rather darkened tone when emphasising certain ideas, often insulting those who he communicates with, before subtlety apologising, but doing so in a way that clearly states how he couldn’t care less. The most intriguing thing about his character however are his loyalties, and where they lie exactly; over the course of the feature he keeps switching positions from a character of whom is neutral, to a protagonist and then to an antagonist, before switching back to  a neutral one once more.

Additionally the film has a number of characters, this being introduced at the start with the mission computer expressing how there are eighteen passengers on board the vessel, which from the very start you can just tell means the writers have plenty of cast they can kill off, which they certainly go to town on as the film progresses. Safe to say, not everyone is going to live to see the conclusion. This is quite funny though, for most of the crew have a PhD in something or another, and yet one has to wonder why in films, even the smartest of characters still feel the need to bait an alien rather playfully as though they are an innocent child – even though they look like they are gonna truly screw the scientist over in the next few seconds which they always do. I will say this about the death scenes – when the creators of Prometheus kill someone, they REALLY kill them. People are gonna get burnt, blown up, melted, turned into alien monsters and have pieces of their bodies sliced and diced. Yes, good times.

On top of this, the film can be quite predictable, but not annoyingly so, for even if you know what is going to happen, it is either accomplished in such a disturbing, heart racing or exciting manner that it still captures your attention no matter what.

This is one thing the film does best – keep your attention, for even though the film goes crazy somewhere between half way to two thirds through the feature, it still mangers to keep you vested in watching it. The film has a lot of talking scenes and numerous explorations of science and religion, which do not clash as you might imagine, but seem to work harmoniously throughout the feature. Although these scenes are pertinent to the story, one sometimes has to wonder what Prometheus is – is it a science fiction feature, or a horror? Either way, the film seems to do a pretty good job at both.

Moreover, the special effects are absolutely out of this world awesome which will add to the attention grabbing properties of the film, however the amount of times you see aliens are quite infrequent, with the primary ones being humanoids. I am however not giving anything away by saying this because the opening of the feature introduces one of them to the character right before it commits suicide. They are quite human looking, with the difference that they are entirely bald and look as though there isn’t very much going on behind their jet black eyes, with huge muscular bodies, looking like they are part of a militarian race who believe that clothing either consists primarily of their birthday suits and metallic instruments. There are a couple additional scenes with face huggers, not the ones from the original franchise but ones that are incredibly different which just goes to show the audience the long line of evolution between 2094, when the film is set, and when the next one is almost, what, a century later?

The previous films seemed to be set quite a lot around breeding, I mean, the face huggers have that elongated sexual organ that they plunge into a human’s orifice to inject them with the next part of the evolutionary cycle? That is continued in this feature, in more ways than one, but rather loosely, with alien DNA being the primary bad guy rather than alien organisms.

The one thing about the film that was quite appalling were the 3D effects. Now, I don’t know if it was just the film, or the cinema I saw it in (Hoyts Xtremescreen, which according to the ad has better screen, sound and seating than all other venues and has the tendency to blow people right out of the cinema due to the quality). Okay, so a couple times a few particles came out, and closer towards the end when Shaw was running she came out of the screen, and I admit I was a little disappointed when she didn’t just fall straight into my lap, and the ‘depth’ wasn’t much to speak of either.

Yes, depth? What is depth? It seems that nowadays, depth is the new iconic 3D, and I would like to know what genius came up with that idea. I remember back in 1999, I saw a film at IMAX, where a group of archeologists dug up a Tyrannosaur skeleton, and throughout the film there were continuous 3D effects – rocks falling off a cliff and directly into your face. The egg they found cracking open, and the Tyrannosaur suddenly growing flesh in one’s mind and coming down to bite them, its face basically coming out an inch away from my nose. My point? Those days are gone, and 3D has been replaced with this pathetic excuse for imagery that is as 3D as an image a 2 year old could draw on a piece of paper.

I can only hope that 3D effects in the future become better than they are now and actually decide to come out at you. In fact, the most 3D thing about the film, was not the film at all, but the trailer for the upcoming Katy Perry behind the scenes feature, where glitter and beach balls came flying out of the screen, even Ms. Perry herself at one time jumping out and saying ‘hi!’

One thing that Prometheus will do is have you second guessing every jet black drink you will ever digest from this moment on. All in all, I give the film a 3.5 out of 5, or a 7 out of 10. I would see it again when it comes out on BluRay, but I probably would not make it a habit of watching it every night, or once a week for that matter.