Sunday, 25 April 2010

The Hurt Locker - Phil's Five Words for Films -

The Hurt Locker Not so much a film about war. 'The Hurt Locker' almost ignores the issues of politics and war, concentrating instead on people addicted to warfare and risk-taking. The main character is a reckless, danger addict who seems fine about risking his own life and those around him whilst making a series of dangerous situations even more dangerous. At one point, even his own team consider blowing him up because he is a liability. The film goes from one bomb disposal situation to the next and is suitably tense and uncomfortable but, I felt that it just relied on it's location and subject matter too heavily. There was one attempt at plot which I felt wasn't really worth the effort and detracted from the documentary feel of the film. The characters were well played and the style and location of the film were excellent but, in the end I was left with that 'So, that won an oscar?' feeling. Not as shocking or thought provoking as it could have been but still worth seeing. From bomb to bomb via shouting and shooting.

6.5 out of 10
Cert 15(uk).2009

Monday, 12 April 2010

Kick Ass - Phil's Five Words for Films

Kick Ass Ordinary guy, Dave Lizewski ( Aaron Johnson ), decides that he is sick of being mugged and picked on and, after buying a wetsuit costume from the Internet, tries his hand as a 'super' hero. Violence begins and Dave quickly finds himself in too deep. Sometimes funny, sometimes brutal, there are some great moments, scenes and characters within the film and for the most part, I really enjoyed the trip. The real stars of the show however, are Hit Girl and Big Daddy ( Chloe Moretz and Nicholas Cage ), a daughter-father killing spree who take great pleasure in what they do. The comic book violence is quite graphic in places and, coupled with the tone and language of the film, I am surprised that it was only given a 15 certificate. Do we really want kids to see a 12 year old girl getting stamped on? Do I want to see that? Original and well made, there is plenty of good stuff here but I felt that it was lacking in some areas and dragged a little towards the end. So what would happen if you tried to be a superhero? Well you'd probably get a good kicking, see some stuff you didn't want to and, in the end, take it all a little too far - but it would be fantastic fun. Exactly how I felt after watching Kick Ass.

7.5 out of 10
Cert 15 (uk). 2010

Sunday, 4 April 2010

Paul Blart: Mall Cop - Phil's Five Words for Films -

Paul Blart: Mall Cop Imagine the humourless love child of Mr.Bean, Home Alone and Die Hard. You would be left with 'Mall Cop'. There is nothing good to say but here goes. A hapless security guard who rides around on a segway ( 95% of the comedy ) tries to outwit an equally hapless band of 'terrorist' who try to take over his mall. Enough said. If you want to see a fat bloke rolling round on the floor ( 4%) and falling over drunk ( 1% ), then this is the film for you. Otherwise, I would steer well clear of this stinker and save yourself an hour or two. Wrong subject matter to be aimed at kids and too stupid to be aimed at adults, it is difficult to think of anyone who would see this as a good evenings entertainment. If it was more of a spoof then it might have had some credibility but you get the feeling that this was a genuine attempt at a comedy. Truly awful. The fact that this film took enough in America to warrant a possible sequel speaks volumes. Again, truly awful.

2 out of 10. ( the segway looked fun )
Cert PG (uk). 2009.

Adventureland - Phil's Five Words for Films -

Adventureland A basic tale of love, summer jobs and the pains of being an awkward adolescent. Although the characters and storyline are fairly good, the film just seems to plod along at an even pace all the way through. There was no real highs and lows, no real empathy with any of the characters and their bleak situations, no true comedy to lift you up or drama to grab you. The story just kind of washes over you and, by the end, you realise that you are exactly where you expected to be without much having happened. It is a nice enough film to pass a couple of hours but I doubt that it has left a lasting memory in my head. Standard boy-meets-girl stuff set in a fairground with a lively eighties soundtrack. Some nice moments, the attention to 80's detail really gives it a period feel and the characters, desperate yet hopeful and warm, are well played. Light on comedy, light on drama - there is nothing wrong but nothing new, it just didn't 'Rock Me Amadeus'.

5.5 out of 10.
Cert 15.(uk).2009.

Thursday, 1 April 2010

Premonition - Phil's Five Words for Films -

Premonition. Sandra Bullock plays Linda, a women who wakes up after the death of her husband, only to find him sipping coffee in the kitchen, only to wake up again to find herself at his funeral and then wake up to discover that she can stop any of it happening at all. Sound confusing? Well it is. If you think about the plot too hard, then it all begins to unravel a little and not really make much sense. Is it a premonition or has she travelled in time? What has actually taken place and what was just a dream? Is she just mad and making it all up in her head? Best not to think about it too much. The plot ends up a little confused but it is the journey rather than the destination that makes this a very watchable film. There are glimpses of Sandra Bullock at her best, something she was recently given an Oscar for. She carries the film by herself and gives a very good performance as the desperate dreamer. It’s the kind of film that leaves you with loads of questions and requires a good post-film discussion. The twisting plot will keep you watching and the after film post-mortem will be lively and dizzying. Like a colander – good at what it does but full of holes.

7 out of 10.
Cert 12A(uk).2007