‘68 Kill’ is a crime comedy starring Matthew Gray Gubler in the lead role as Chip, a naive sewage worker who’s infatuated with his girlfriend Liza (AnnaLynne McCord). Living in a crappy trailer, they don’t have the most attractive lifestyles; Liza sleeps with a creepy older man for money to pay rent, but Chip believes their relationship is the one thing they have going for them. That is, until Liza suggests stealing the $68, 000 in her client’s safe, but completely breaks her promise to not hurt anyone about 5 minutes into the job.
Although the film isn’t as good as it had the potential to be because of the writing, I thought the dynamic of the relationship between Chip and Liza was interesting – she blatantly manipulates him and he isn’t even fully aware of it until her true personality comes out and shatters his ideals. It plays around with concepts of masculinity and femininity, most noticeably through jokes during ‘male gaze’ moments in the film. It seems like it’s trying to make a statement about gender/masculinity/femininity, but isn’t quite well executed enough to achieve this. It’s mostly let down by awkwardly written dialogue and the characters are mostly serviceable. The comedy isn’t as funny as it thinks it is, although the scene in the motel when Chip is freaking out at least made me laugh a little. While the writing isn’t its strongest point, it’s easier to appreciate its grunge aesthetic.
‘68 Kill’ aims to be a cult hit but doesn’t quite live up to its potential, as it’s let down by the weird dialogue and doesn’t feel like it says as much as it wants to. However, it’s a quick, entertaining enough watch that will be particularly enjoyed by viewers who like dark humour.
Based on the real-life courtship between Comedian Kumail Nanjiani (Silicon Valley, Portlandia, Central Intelligence) and writing partner Emily Gordon (The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail), The Big Sick tells the story of Pakistan-born aspiring comedian Kumail (Nanjiani), who connects with grad student Emily (Zoe Kazan) after one of his standup shows after she heckles him. However, what they thought would be just a one-night stand turns into the real thing, which complicates this in the life of a muslim man who is expected to have an arranged marriage.
When Emily is diagnosed with an unknown illness, Kumail is forced to get through the medical crisis with her parents, Beth and Terry (Holly Hunter and Ray Romano) who he's never met, while dealing with the emotional battle between his family and his real love.
While this film is touching at points the film just feels too long, with added bits of Nanjiani stand up. Kumail was good in this but he would be, it is a story of his own relationship with his wife But what the film really does well is show the interaction between Kumail and Emily's parents, it is awkward yet once they start to get him it is actually touching. Ray Romano is really good in this as Emily's dad, you can get that real sense that he is a nice guy and Holly Hunter is brash with Kumail but under all the bravardo she gives off she actually warms to him and gets to learn more about them in one of the most awkward first meeting of parents you will ever see.
While yes this film is a little slow at times the overall story is touching one. It is heart warming, it is sad and it is a real visual display of love between two people and the stresses of two cultures colliding.
Dubbed as one of the greatest action films of all time Terminator 2: Judgement Day, or T-2 for us movie fans who grew up with this, is making its way to 4K Blu-ray. The question is....does it still hold up today?
In the first Terminator Sarah Connor was being hunted by the titular robotic psychopath, who was trying to kill her before she could become pregnant. In this classic follow up The Terminator returns from the future, this time to protect Sarah's son, John Connor, from an even bigger threat in the form of the T-1000 a robot made of shape-shifting liquid metal. Who was the terminator sent by you may ask, John Connor himself who will lead the resistance against the rise of the machines and the evil skynet.
Saved by Arnie Bot, John (played by Edward Furlong who later went into CSI: NY fame) goes on the run to escape the T-1000. On the way they must save his mother from a mental hospital before the liquid beast can get to her. as the two are reunited the head out on the road to hunt down the man who holds the key to the end of days and destroy the one chance of starting Judgement Day in 1997.
So does this film hold up today? It bloody well does. With this new 4K update this film looks amazing! I would even got as far as to say this looks like it cam out in the last few years and not 1991. The action is still as great as it was the first few times i saw this over the years, the relationship between John and Arnie Bot is still beautifully done and I just think Robert Patrick is still an evil looking T-1000, SCARY BASTARD.
If you are a fan of the film, this is a great update, but if you are new to the Terminator series, or maybe you have only seen the godawful Genysis from a year or so back you NEED to see T-2, you need to see what a good terminator film looks like. A great starting point for any film fan and the best in the terminator series by far and Arnie's greatest film of all time...yes even better than Jingle all the Way.
TERMINATOR 2 FULLY RESTORED ON 4K UHD, 3D BLU-RAY, BLU-RAY & DVD ON DECEMBER 4
‘Madhouse’ is a horror film from 1981 about a woman who is terrorised by her psychopathic twin sister and her dog on their birthday. I didn’t dislike this film and there’s nothing in particular that I can point out to be really wrong with it, but it doesn’t feel like it fulfilled its potential and that it could’ve done better. Trish Everly’s performance as Julia is what I enjoyed most about it, however, as it’s easy to sympathise with her character due to her sweet, sincere performance. Julia is a teacher for deaf children and her scenes with them do a lot for her character, with one scene where she’s explaining death to them being one of the best in the film. On the other hand, the killer’s performance when they’re revealed is annoyingly over the top and almost cartoonish – and their reveal isn’t as dramatic as it should be.
Some enjoyment can at least be taken from the gory scenes of the film, just because the puppet when the dog attacks looks obviously fake which gives it a certain charm and adds some black humour, especially in a scene towards the end of the film during an attack on Julia’s boyfriend. The make-up used on Mary (Julia’s twin played by Allison Biggers) for the scars caused by her disease also leave a lot to be desired and it’s a little difficult to take her seriously when her face is visible.
There’s not much else to say about this film, because as I mentioned, it doesn’t quite reach its potential with its concept and promising opening scene. It’s a quick watch despite being slow to build up and is never quite as intense as it should be, so it’s not exactly a must-watch but is something to try if you want to kill some time.
If you are going to have a one night stand before you get married don’t leave your phone, but more importantly DON’T DO IT, Something Tara (Played by Jaimie Alexander) finds out when she sleeps with barman Patrick (Wes Bentley) on a weekend break with her friends.
Immediately regretting her actions Tara flees his apartment, not before the creeply intense Patrick tries to block her way. Tara heads home, full of regret to her fiancée who ironically has cheated on her previously. What Tara doesn’t realise is she has left her phone at Patrick’s apartment, and this creepy intense guy isn’t one to just send it to her by FEDEX. Patrick begins to harrass Tara, he breaks into her home, cancels her bookings for her wedding pretending to be her boyfreind and evening hunting down her sister. Events get more intense as Patrick arrives at Tara’s wedding where things become VERY heated.
As thrillers go Broken Vows has a TV movie feel to it, which isn’t particularly a bad thing, it is just one of those films that feels like it minus the bad acting, because overall the acting is actually pretty good throughout. Wes Bentley is pretty creepy, VERY stalkery and you actually believe that he THINKS Tara will save him, while the Tara character is the type of character that you struggle to care about at times. A stupid mistake leads to horrible consequences, and while she does try to sort this out, you would have thought maybe you would tell the police straight away at least….The guy is a psycho!
Broken Vows is a decent watch with good acting and an interesting story. It did lose my interest at point but these moments are minimal. Worth a watch, catch it on Netflix.
We have had many a good, person trapped somewhere, thrillers over the years, Phone Booth and Buried being two of my favourites. While a more quieter film than Phone Booth, The Wall joins this class of great thrillers, with a great performance by Kick Ass star Aaron Taylor-Johnson, something which is very hard to pull of being more or less the only person in the whole film other than WWE Megastar John Cena (who is only really in small sections of the film) and Laith Nakli as the voice of the enemy sniper Juba.
The film follows Issac (Taylor-Johnson) and Matthews (Cena), two soldiers who have been sent to scope out an area of Iraq that has called for assistance. Finding the area full of dead workers, all taken out by sniper fire, the two men have been watching the area for hours before declaring the area clear. Unfortunately for them they are not alone, and a lone Iraqi sniper takes Matthews out leaving him defenseless in the middle of the desert. As Issac attempts to help his fallen friend the sniper takes aim at him, shooting his leg and forcing Issac to take cover behind a crumbling wall. When I say crumbling wall, it is the most flimsy badly built wall you have ever seen. This really builds the tension in the film, especially early on when Issac is trying to make a hole to place his scope and gets part of his hand caught in the falling rubble.
The film continues as Issac and The sniper, who we find out is named Juba, a myth among the soldiers as a ghost sniper, start to talk with Juba trying to get inside the head of Issac.The mind games continue as Issac tries to figure out where Juba is hiding, all the while not knowing if his friend is still alive.
The Wall is tense, and Taylor-Johnson does a great job here, but overall the film does a have a few moments of tedium. You don't get the same race against time feel that you get with Buried or Grand Piano but what really works in this films favor is the performances.
This is a good watch, and if you like your war films tense you will like this one. Cena is good for the small scenes he is in and Taylor-Johnson is amazing throughout.
Out of the 7 films that played at the Frightfest Halloween event, I got to see 4 of them; ‘Hostile’, ‘The Black Gloves’, ‘It Came from the Desert’ and ‘Housewife’. It was a fun day, with a good number of guests showing up to introduce the screenings. Although I wasn’t a big fan of two of these films, they were interesting and unique nonetheless and they all just go to show how varied the horror genre is.
‘Hostile’ – Rating * * * *
‘Hostile’ is a post-apocalyptic film that reveals the past of its protagonist, Juliette (Brittany Ashworth), through flashbacks when she becomes badly injured after going on a supply run. There are many things I liked about this – it balances the horror and action with the romantic plot that runs alongside it. Despite this giving it two different tones, it still works and it succeeded in making me sympathise with Juliette’s character. In an over-done genre, she easily could have been a stereotype, but she is complex and flawed. My one criticism would be that I wasn’t a fan of Jack (Gregory Fitoussi); he was meant to be charming but I kept getting a creepy Christian Grey vibe from his character (not quite as bad as that, though). However, I really recommend this film and love the themes that it brings up, particularly questions around what the point of being alive is when there’s nothing and no one left for you.
‘The Black Gloves’ – Rating: * * 1/2
Firstly, whilst I didn’t like this film, I really appreciate how unique it is and the experimental aspect of it. ‘The Black Gloves’ takes influence from films of the 1950s and the noir genre; director Lawrie Brewster named ‘Sunset Boulevard’ being a specific influence and it is actually filmed in black and white. It tells the story of a psychologist who becomes obsessed with helping a reclusive ballerina with the same problem as another young patient who disappeared – they both believe that an owl-headed man is after them. It’s certainly visually interesting with its use of unusual camera angles and perspectives giving a surreal edge to it, and the music is incredible (despite sometimes drowning out some important dialogue), but it falls flat with how confusing it becomes as well as with some of the acting. Although I understand that the acting style was most likely trying to imitate that of 50s melodramas, sometimes it becomes too much – for example, Lorena (Macarena Gomez) didn’t take long to get on my nerves with her constant shouting and screeching. Having said that, I’m still excited to see Brewster’s future projects and check out ones from the past, as he seems to have a unique vision and isn’t afraid to experiment.
‘It Came from the Desert’ – Rating: * * * *
Of course, the creature feature with giant ants was my favourite film of the day. Inspired by the 80s video game of the same name, the film follows motorbike racer Lukas and his insecure mechanic Brian as they discover a secret underground facility when they go partying in the desert. Obviously, it doesn’t take itself too seriously, and genuinely made me and a lot of other people in the audience laugh. The characters are likeable and the actors bring a natural charm to the table. This film is a great time and I’ll definitely be buying it on DVD when it comes out, because it’s so damn watchable.
‘Housewife’ – Rating: * * 1/2
How do I even begin to describe this movie? It completely caught me off guard as I was watching it, because it’s so strange. It’s pretty disturbing, I’ll give it that. The story is about Holly (Clementine Poidatz), who witnessed her mother kill her sister and father when she was a child. As an adult, she’s married but still isolated, still unable to deal with the memory of what happened. After an old friend returns to visit her, she’s introduced to the world of a cult – the leader of which (David Sakurai) gets inside her head and starts showing up in her dreams. This part of the film is the most interesting, like ‘Inception’ and I would have liked to see it explored more. The problem is that nothing makes sense, like it’s just being weird for the sake of being weird. It also felt too short and probably would have benefitted from being longer. This seems like it’s made for a very specific type of audience, but it’s worth watching if you’re looking for something unusual or particularly messed up.
John Kramer has returned in the eighth installment in the Saw Series and this is a very entertaining, sometimes cringe inducing, return to form for the franchise.
10 years after the Jigsaw killer was announced dead a new game is beginning. Five strangers, all with criminal pasts that has not be atoned for, find themselves trapped in a room with chains on their neck and buckets on their heads. Across from them is a wall of circular saws. Yep that's right, the extreme starts high in this one as the chains pull our 'victims' towards the saws as they must figure out Jigsaws cryptic clues.
On the outside the police are faced with the return of a dead man as bodies begin to appear all with signs that John Kramer has returned. But he is dead! I hear you cry. Well the evidence is very clear that this is our killer but who is he working with? This is what gives you a secondary plot to run beside the action in the torture escape room, I mean we don't really give too much of a shit about the 5 people in the room, and as one by one they fall victim to their own selfish ways you find out why they are they and just want them to face a grizzly death. So on the outside this gives the 'who is Jigsaws accomplice? Is it Eleanor? the morbid young woman who works in the morgue and has a collection of Jigsaw death machines hidden in a secret location, or is it the corrupt cop Detective Holloran? a man grizzled and an all round dick bag. It is up to Logan Nelson to figure this all out!
I thought the trap designs throughout were okay. We have seen much better traps in previous films but I like the simplicity of them in this film. This is the feeling I get with this installment of the franchise, there is less of the over the top death machines but still gory for those fans who are there for that. The story helps this one flow best, it like the journey of discovery for Logan and the direction the film takes with him, Holloran and Eleanor. I like the ending aswell, although it could have been done in a better way but it does leave the door open for a follow up which is obviously what this franchise is trying to do.
Jigsaw, is much better than alot of the later Saw movies. It gives a good cop hunting killer who-dunnit story without taking to much away from the slice, dice trap fun we all have come to see. The acting is questionable at times, Tobin Bell being the top one in this, but it is your basic horror acting and to be fair this is not what we all came here to see.
On a personal note the whole bucket on the head trap made me laugh as it just reminds me of this scene from the Simpsons:
Sook-hee (Kim Ok-bin, Thirst) is a trained assassin who takes revenge on the men who murdered her father in a breathtaking opening sequence. After losing consciousness she awakes at the National Intelligence Service who recruit her as an agent to undertake confidential missions. Initially refusing, Sook-hee soon realizes it is her only method of escape, until she is given a new assignment that suddenly changes everything.
This revenge action thriller sounds like it could equal a recipe for a good watch, but under all the action set pieces there is little substance. I found this film quite boring throughout most of the run time, with the main bulk of the story hard to follow at times. Kim Ok-Bin doesn't give an action star vibe, she is like a kid playing dress up, not a hard hitting assassin with revenge on her mind. The action admittedly is good but that only if you can get past the migraine inducing camera shots. The camera is all over the shop! it takes away from the action, and the swapping between first and third person shots is painful to watch.
A waste of time, wait for Netflix.
The original TV caper crusader is back as the late Adam West returns as Batman in the role that made him a household name in the 60's. In the follow up to the highly entertaining 2016 animated adventure, Return of the Caper Crusader, Batman and his sidekick Robin (Burt Ward) must take on one of their most formidable foes as Two Face goes on a two based crime spree, collecting a bunch of things based around the number two, but is this Two Face Harvey Dent? or someone more sinister? A rouge gallery of the best 60's villains also return in the feature length adventure as we see he return of The Joker, Penguin, The Riddler and......King Tut? but more importantly we get the return of Catwoman, played yet again by Julie Newmar.
Batman Vs Two Face is, as a whole, a pretty fun watch. It brings all the catchphrases and biffs and boffs we know and love from the hit 60's show while at the same time giving a decently story plot that, if you were to take away the over the top campness, would work well as any Batman story (minus King Tut). It is sad to think this is the last time Adam West will be playing the role of Batman, this role was made for him and there isn't anyone else who could pull off this version of the dark knight. There is a level of camp acting needed to pull off something like this, I mean you will never see an evil extractor in a DCEU movie, and West is the perfect choice. Also I love the addition of Star Trek legend William Shatner to the fold as Dent, it brings that extra bit of added 60's cheese the the proceedings.
My only real criticism here is sometimes the campness over takes the story, and having odd characters like King Tut makes it feel a little too over the top but this is made for the fans of the show and this is what they would expect to see.
A good watch. Worth paying out to see.
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