Saturday, August 28, 2010
Directed by Sylvester Stallone
Starring Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, Jet Li, Eric Roberts, Steve Austin, Terry Crews, Mickey Rourke, Randy Couture, Charisma Carpenter, David Zayas, Giselle Itié, Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger
Well, here it finally is.. The Expendables. The film that brought together the greatest action stars of Hollywood. Well almost at least. Kind of.
Barney Ross (Stallone) heads a mercenary team called The Expendables. They do the missions no-one else takes or dares to take. Now they are meddling in the business of an island in South America run by a vicious dictator and his right hand rogue CIA operative.
The plot is completely irrelevant because what we're in for is an overdose of macho, 80's style action extravaganza. The film boasts on the collection of it's Hollywood action stars but they're not all here, are they now? Steven Seagal, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Wesley Snipes and even Chuck Norris are nowhere to be seen. They have been replaced by WWF stars Couture and Austin and also.. Terry Crews? Not that there's anything wrong with their presence but they are merely the second choice. And painfully obviously so, I might add since Seagal and Van Damme were both approached on the project but turned it down whereas Snipes was interested but had to pass due to his tax evasion prison sentence.
The film bows to it's main stars past filmographies with it's over the top action set pieces and bad jokes. There's something of a soul missing from The Expendables though. The bad guys meet their gruesome deaths properly and everything in sight gets blown away, but the film fails to maintain heart unlike Stallone's previous film, the 4th Rambo which was exactly as well put together and focused as this film should've been. The Expendables perhaps stumbles in it's already vast variety of legends. There is one thing clearly above the rest.. the brief scene between the three biggest legends present.. Stallone, Willis and most importantly Schwarzenegger, which is worth an extra star alone.
The Expendables is like an average Bond film.. it has to be seen just for the hype and brand, but is easily forgettable. Very unfortunately.
The Expendables on täynnä räiskintää, räjähdyksiä ja huonoja machovitsejä, eli juuri sitä mitä luvattiinkin, mutta silti jokin sielu leffalta puuttuu. Osa legendoista ei ole paikalla erinäisistä syistä ja heidät on korvattu WWF vapaapainijoilla, joka tuntuu valitettavan keinotekoiselta hyvitykseltä. Leffan ääressä viihtyy kyllä mainiosti sen kestoajan, mutta lopulta kannattaa silti mielummin katsoa tähtiensä todellisia klassikoita uusiksi. Yksi korvaamaton tekijä tästä filmistä löytyy ja se on Stallonen, Willisin ja (mikä tärkeintä, jo näyttelemisestä eläkkeelle jääneen) Schwarzeneggerin yhteinen sananvaihto. Taisi ihan pieni tippa tirahtaa linssiin kun nuo nuoruuden machosankarit pääsivät vihdoin samaan freimiin ja itse asiassa koko teatterisali innostui herroille suunnattuihin ablodeihin. Kiitos, kundit. *snif*
The Expendables at IMDb
(I had to add this fucking beautiful teaser as well.. )
Friday, August 27, 2010
Directed by Glenn Ficarra & John Requa
Starring Jim Carrey, Ewan McGregor, Leslie Mann, Rodrigo Santoro
Ficarra and Requa are most likely best known for screenwriting the hilarious and wonderfully off beat Bad Santa. This time they're also sitting in director's chairs and the finished product is nothing to frown upon.
Steven Russell (Carrey) is a grifter specializing in ensurance fraud. He's a closet homosexual until a crash changes his priorities and he comes out, only to be thrown in jail for his crimes. There he meets Phillip Morris (McGregor) and they fall for each other. Russell just can't shake his criminal ways once they are released and constant streak of jail sentences ensue.
The most outrageous thing about the film is that it's a true story. I Love You Phillip Morris is also a real sign of it's time when a film this gay friendly has got the greenlight and gone into production. It's not all laughing on the way to the bank though since the film was complited early last year and shown at the Sundance festival as early as January and it still hasn't received a wide release in the States. So maybe not so gay friendly after all, though latest news is that the film is finally set for a December 3rd release this year.
I Love You Phillip Morris is very entertaining and most importantly funny. It takes real balls not only from Carrey but also McGregor to play such controversial characters and they do a great job with them too. The film is in fact a tragicomedy because there's also a strong dramatic undertone. The film doesn't make fun of sexual minorities but celebrates their arrival to mainstream cinema.
I Love You Phillip Morris on onnistunut homokulttuuriin sijoittuva tragikomedia. Carrey ja McGregor tekevät loistavat suoritukset miehinä tuomitussa suhteessa toisen ollessa taparikollinen. Elokuva ei tee pilkkaa homoista vaan tuo heidät melko realistisesti suoraan valtavirran vanaveteen. Käsikirjoitus on hauska ja samaan aikaan paikoitellen vakava ilman että kumpikaan tyyli pilaa toista.
I Love You Phillip Morris at IMDb
Monday, August 23, 2010
Directed by Louis Leterrier
Starring Sam Worthington, Gemma Arterton, Mads Mikkelsen, Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Nicholas Hoult, Jason Flemyng, Alexa Davalos
Leterrier has established himself as a reliable director of entertaining action films that also, for some reason, seem to have heart in them. After his first Hollywood picture The Transporter, he has conjured such movies as Danny The Dog and The Incredible Hulk (the one with Edward Norton). Clash Of The Titans happily continues the successful filmography.
Trouble brews in ancient Greek as the people of Argos grow impatient with the gods on Mount Olympus. The gods, feeling the people need to be reminded of their place, give an ultimatum to the mortals and threaten to release the massive Kraken upon them. Perseus (Worthington) is a demigod, a son of Zeus (Neeson), who sets on a mission to stop the event and avenge the death of his family by the lord of the underworld, Hades (Fiennes).
The film is a remake of the classic effects film by the same name from 1981. Clash Of The Titans hardly offers intellectual satisfaction to those seeking it, but who'd do that anyway? Films like this are meant to be pure entertainment and as such Clash Of The Titans can hold a candle to the best action films of the recent years. This film will chance nobody's life, but it is a very well made and action packed adventure. It's also the third and final of the triple bill that made Worthington a star, along side with Terminator Salvation and of course, Avatar. A sequel to Clash is also already in the works.
Titaanien Taistelu on erinomaisesti ja kalliilla toteutettu fantasiaseikkailu, jossa ei paljoa seisoskella kädet taskussa seinään nojaillen, sillä vauhtia piisaa ja toinen toistaan isompia hirviöitä pukkaa päälle. Ohjaaja Leterrier on kunnostautunut aiemmin mm. kieli poskessa, mutta silti iskevällä toiminnalla höystetyillä toimintaelokuvilla kuten Transporter 2 ja Danny The Dog. Suunnitteilla olevaa jatko-osaa odotellessa..
Clash Of The Titans at IMDb
Saturday, August 21, 2010
Directed by The Brothers Strause
Starring John Ortiz, Reiko Aylesworth, Steven Pasquale, Johnny Lewis, Robert Joy, Tom Woodruff Jr., Ian Whyte, Sam Trammell
I gave this film a second chance because quite frankly I had fuck all to do and it just felt appropriate. Good thing too since I liked the film much more on this viewing. Considering that AvP2 is a sequel to a spin-off of two of the most legendary monster movies of the latter 20th century, it's surprisingly successful and entertaining.
The film picks up exactly where the original spin-off left off. The predators are leaving earth and the hybrid of these two species bursts out of the dead hero predator. Their ship crashlands back on earth near a quiet American small town and aliens start running loose. A distress signal reaches the predator home planet and a lone warrior heads to earth in order to wipe out the aliens and the new hybrid. Inhabitants of the town naturally get caught in the middle of all this.
The first Alien vs. Predator was no masterpiece, but it was entertaining. A good deal of the forgiving oversight that these two films have received on their obvious shortcomings on good screenplays and performances is due to the love for these two iconic monsters by audiences everywhere. The AvPs are nothing more than simple entertainment whereas Alien and Predator films where groundbreaking action and horror films, often driven by good character development and a career making and even Oscar-nominated (Aliens) performance from Sigourney Weaver and directors such as David Fincher (Alien3) and Ridley Scott (Alien). The biggest problem with AVPR is in the script which often unbelievably lowers on teen romance. Who gives a shit about boy-meets-girl when these ultimate badasses are taking each other down?!
If you really want to see these legendary characters in action, I'd still recommend the original Alien movies 1-3 (the fourth Alien: Resurrection still remains an abomination) and Predator films 1 & 2, but for a no-brainer sunday hangover action, AVPR is adequate.
Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem on viihdyttävää, joskin täysin turhanpäiväistä krapulaviihdettä. Muuten asia ei vaivaisi pätkääkään, mutta elokuvan legendaariset nimikkomonsterit ansaitsisivat niin paljon parempaa kuin tällaista kertakäyttöräiskintää. Ei siis katastrofi kuten Alien Ylösnousemus, mutta kaukana legendoista, joiden aallokossa AVPR tulee aina keinumaan.
Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem at IMDb
Friday, August 6, 2010
Directed by Garry Marshall
Starring Ashton Kutcher, Jessica Alba, Bradley Cooper, Julia Roberts, Anne Hathaway, George Lopez, Hector Elizondo, Shirley MacLaine, Emma Roberts, Patrick Dempsey, Jennifer Garner, Jessica Biel, Jamie Foxx, Taylor Lautner, Eric Dane, Queen Latifah, Taylor Swift, Topher Grace, Larry Miller, Kathy Bates
Valentine's Day is a massive romantic comedy from the man who directed such genuine classics as Pretty Woman and Frankie & Johnny. Sadly this film reflects more his latter works such as Runaway Bride and The Princess Diaries, films that are made to be cute and friendly and as non-threatening as humanly possible. In other words, boring and at times irritating.
Ystävänpäivä on leffa, joka koostuu useista toisiinsa välillä nitoutuvista tarinoista. Se ei ole katastrofi, mutta usein tylsistyttävä ja kiltillä, melkein ärsyttävän turvallisella huumorilla höystetty sokerikakku. Isoja nimiä riittää melkein enemmän kuin niitä ehtii toistensa seasta bongata ja jotkut (joskin harvat) onnistuvat tuomaan mukavan hetken lyhyesti vilahtavalle hahmolleen.
Valentine's Day at IMDb
Directed by Masayuki Ochiai
Starring Rachael Taylor, Joshua Jackson, Megumi Okina
This is yet another Hollywood horror flick based on an original Japanise film, this time Shutter from 2004. The trend of remaking Japanise originals mainly for the US and ultimately also foreign markets began with Gore Verbinski's The Ring (2002) based on Ringu (1998). What has followed since has been a very uneven collection on films. From the very effective The Grudge to the horribly bad One Missed Call. And now it's Shutter.
A newly married young couple start noticing ghostly images of a mysterious girl they hit on a dark nightly road. The couple has just moved to Tokyo and he is about to start a promising career as a fashion photographer. As the images get more disturbing and the girl starts to manifest herself into real life, the wife starts to look into the tortured spirits death.
Shutter is a somewhat by the numbers horror fare, but it does have a few very effective moments. Taylor (Transformers) and Jackson have no star quality or real presence on screen to make the viewer feel that these are worthy characters in peril. What tension the film manages to create comes from the visions of the dead girl appearing at the most convenient of times, naturally. The film is nowhere near the nail-biting terror of The Ring or The Grudge, but it's not a total loss either.
Shutter on jälleen yksi Hollywoodin uudelleenfilmatisointi alkuperäisestä Japanilaisesta kauhuelokuvasta. Se onnistuu nostamaan kylmiä väreitä hetkittäin pääosien karisman puutteista huolimatta. Vankkaa keskitasoa.
Shutter at IMDb