Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Movie Mini-Reviews 14-05-14


Liam Neeson plays the role of a clinically depressed, alcoholic U.S. Marshal who’s career is on a knife edge, but when he receives a terrorist threat from someone on the plane he’s guarding he begins a dangerous and completely unsanctioned game of cat and mouse involving an extraordinarily convoluted and unnecessarily porous plot that is sure to incense and annoy the more intelligent of it’s audience.

Overall the movie is a steaming pile of shit but it’s pacing and acting even through even the most ridiculous of situations coupled with the insane dialogue make it somewhat enjoyable. I laughed in disbelief at how nonsensical some of the twists the story took and in the end I just had to accept it for what it was. Truly enjoyable crap.

Watch out for Anson Hell on Wheels Mount who is barely recognisable without his Corin Bohannan beard and Lupita Noyong’o who won an Oscar just 24 hours after I saw the movie and seems far too fine a calibre of actress to be anywhere near this nonsense unless you’re playing the Kevin Bacon game - is simply a token black stewardess here.

Not as good as Taken or even Passenger 57.

Whopper Rating: **1/2

300: Rise of an Empire

This is the not really that much anticipated sequel to Zack Snyder’s seminal 300, based on Frank Miller’s masterwork. As stylish as it’s predecessor with extra blood and dismemberment, 300: Rise of an Empire is a sort of parallel story to 300 focusing on everything but the battle of Thermopylae itself.

Sadly we seem to be entering a phase of cinema where the sequel isn’t actually better than the original. Since the 80’s I’ve been watching movies knowing that the inevitable sequel would be far superior to what spawned it. In a rare occasion, some like RoboCop, The Matrix, Transformers, Delta Force remained supreme but 300 is now added to the list.

Strike Back's Sullivan Stapleton is Themistocles and while he shows promise, he's not yet ready to carry the lead in a movie like this. The sultry Eva Casino Royale Green steals the show as the vicious Artemisia, who despite spitting half her dialogue through her teeth and takes part in what must have been an uncomfortable angry-sex scene - still manages to craft one of the most memorable characters of the genre.

If you enjoyed 300 then you'll be glad you saw this, but it's nowhere near as good.

Whopper Rating: ***1/2

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

As you've seen from the trailers this is a mash up of elements of Brubaker's Winter Soldier with some of the old 1988 Nick Fury Vs S.H.I.E.L.D. book thrown in - but the usual movie-universe differences prevail, such as - all of the characters on screen are in those books - they're just the same, somewhat different or completely different apart from their names.

It's a dark movie and almost devoid of the humour we've seen in all the other films, not a lot to laugh about here. While the original Cap flick had it's "mystical" elements with the Cosmic Cube, this is all hyper technology this time round and a lot less about Cap favouring more SHIELD. In fact there's a lot more SHIELD here than in all the previous Marvel movies together! I think if Tom Clancy had ever penned a superhero book, this is pretty much what it would be - more about technology, politics and weapons than a super-powered bad-ass.


Chris Evans is now seems completely comfortable in his character - but still projects that he's a man out of time, but adjusting. He's supported by Scarlett Johansson and Samuel L. Jackson reprising their roles as Black Widow and Nick Fury, franchise newcomer Anthony The Hurt Locker Mackie as Falcon and even Hollywood legend Robert Redford has a role.

Fan service here is monumental, depending on what you've read [or remember what you've read] over the years. You are rewarded for paying attention. Remember, one stinger during the credits - and a small one after all the credits have rolled. It was bit longer than I expected, but thankfully it didn't have the faffing middle bit like Iron Man 3 did. The Avengers is still the best Marvel movie, but this certainly does live up to the hype it's getting. Enjoy.

Whopper Rating: *****+

No comments: