Wednesday, 30 May 2012

The Cabin in the Woods - Phil's Five Words for Films

The Cabin in the Woods  Five college friends head in to the woods for a drink and drugs weekend, blissfully unaware that their every move is being watched and that they fit perfectly in to the stereotypical 'horror film victim' niche understood by all fans.  As they discover one-way mirrors and a hidden basement full of torture implements it looks like the film can only be heading in one direction.  That is until someone pushes one red button and then all hell breaks loose.  Literally.  Enough said.  It's a B-movie of an idea, given plenty of money and TLC by people who obviously enjoy the genre.  Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard, who have been responsible for the likes of Buffy and Cloverfield, have created a good genre piece that manages to be both amusing and shocking whilst poking at the conventions of horror films.  Likeable characters and script are slightly let down by some average special effects and the film is neither as groundbreaking or clever as some seem to think it is.  A good opening premise is followed up by a good gory romp and the film is enjoyable from start to end.  Think 'Evil Dead meets Scooby-Doo' and you won't be far off.  Daft apocalyptic teen horror.

6.5 out of 10.
Cert 15 (uk).

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Real Steel - Phil's Five Words for Films.

Real Steel  The best thing to be said about Real Steel is that the special effects are seamless and there are lots of robots hitting each other.  Hugh Jackman plays Charlie, a self-obsessed, washed up, ex-boxer who now buys / builds robots and controls them in the lower leagues of future-America's new favourite sport - Robot Boxing.  Due to some dodgy plot contrivances, Charlie finds himself broke and having to look after his estranged 10 year old son ( Dakota Goyo ) who is not only a genius robot builder but also a precocious fight promoter with a vulnerable side, desperate to believe in his new Dad.  Together they recycle a small sparring robot called 'Atom' ( not Adam, as I thought for half the film ) from a scrapheap and embark on a journey to defeat the World Champion robot - Zeus - a pantomime villain, built by the Japanese and owned by Russian mobsters.  Can the dysfunctional, all-American boys rally behind their underdog Atom and beat the nasty foreign people?  I will not give it away.  Transformers meet Rocky.  It's as daft as a bag of frogs but short enough and quirky enough to pass by harmlessly and even be good fun in parts.  Playing the "who paid most for product placement" game will help if you are struggling.  Silly fun for some of the family.

5.5 out of 10
Cert 12A (uk).