Saw – Review October 23, 2009
Knowing the name and genre of this film makes it fairly obvious what this film will be about, you don’t go see a film called Saw and expect to see happy little carpenters making Santa a new workbench and if that’s film is a horror film then you expect to see blood.
Directed by Australian producer/screenwriter/director James Wan. Saw is the first of a long line of grotesque horror films which have gradually got more violent and less story focused as they have gone on.
Saw is a story about two men Adam Faulkner and Dr Lawrence Gordon who have been trapped in a disused bathroom by serial killer Jigsaw. Both Adam and Lawrence discover tapes that say play me, and after listening to them discover that Adam must escape the room but Lawrence must kill Adam by 6 o’clock. After a montage of gruesome death scenes we are back in the disused bathroom, but will Adam escape? Or will Lawrence kill him?
As with all horror films, its far to easy to give away the ending so I won’t go any further into the plot.
Saw is the first in 6 film series, as with a collection of popular horror films the sequels gradually get worse. Saw is a good solid film with a clever story, unfairly criticised by haters of the “Gore” genre who lump all the saw films into one plot-less arc. Saw stands out as something that should have ended there and then with one film much like Halloween and Nightmare on Elm Street. Unfortunately its a format that makes money and so will be milked for all it has. Personally I feel Saw defines the “gore” genre,
I enjoyed this film but I do have to criticise certain points, firstly a lot of the victim’s in the film seem to suffer from Stupid Victim Syndrome meaning they were in a situation where they could have triumphed but chose not to. Unfortunately the other points contain spoilers and so I will not write them on here. But all in all, Saw is a good film with an interesting story just stay away from the sequels.
House of Wax – Review October 18, 2009
Generally, im not a huge fan of wax models, not because im scared of them but because I find them boring. Being a huge critic of horror remakes I had to see House of Wax.
When I tell people about this film they seem uninterested, when I tell them part of the promotion for the film was the phrase “See Paris Hilton Die” they snap the DVD out of my hands.
Directed by Spanish/American director Jaume Collet-Serra, director of Orphan and Goal 2 House of Wax is the story of 6 friends who are on the way to a (American) football game. On the way there they stop in a field, yes they stop in an unknown field, how cliché. They camp for the night but are disturbed by a truck that drives into their site and blares its head lights at them. After being told to “turn of the lights” and not doing it angry teen heart-throb Nick (Chad Michael Murray) throws a bottle smashing one of his headlights. The car swiftly drives away.
The next day Paige (Paris Hilton) and Carly (Elisha Cuthbert) are in a secluded part of the woods alone, when they smell something terrible. No, it’s not the fact they have just relieved themselves, it smells like death. And whats the best thing to do when you smell something terrible and you are alone in a strange place? Thats right my friends, follow it. Follow that smell. So after falling into a what can only be described as a roadkill pit, Carly is finally rescued by her friends, who seem to be crawling to her, the amount of time it takes. Here they meet Lester, who after hearing the plight of poor Carly’s boyfriend Wade, who’s fan belt has magically broken on his car. Offers to take them to a nearby village to get a new one. What are the chances a small town with a Church, a Wax museum and oh wait a garage!
As this is a horror film I wont go any further into it, thankfully the plot seems to start fairly late on. House of Wax is a strange attempt at remaking a film that was a remake in the first place. House of Wax 3D was made in 1953 which in its self was a loose remake of Mystery of the Wax Museum 1933.
House of Wax is a strange film, I enjoyed it more as it went on, the beginning is boring and tedious and for how much build up there is, there doesn’t seem to be much character development. Around forty minutes of this film is filler and wasn’t really needed. But the I really enjoyed the ending, Maybe be it was the impending credit roll, and the though id be able to watch something else, or maybe it was the strangely impressive House of Wax, who knows.
Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby – Review October 13, 2009
Normally I would avoid a film about NASCAR like the plague, Im not a fan of Cars, Days of Thunder or Herbie. But when I saw the trailer for Talladega Nights, the actors drew me in.
Yes unfortunately im a sucker for Will Ferrell films, even the terrible ones like Men Seeking Women and so it was for this reason I bought the movie, I did not know at the time John C. Reilly was in it (I don’t know why) If had known this before hand I would have bought this film along time ago.
Talladega Nights is the story of Ricky Bobby (Will Ferrell). Ricky Bobby works as a pitman for Dennit Racing, ever since he was a child its been his dream to “go fast” and he gets this chance,after after a uninterested team mate leaves the track. Despite starting in last place and part way through the race Ricky wins, propelling him self in to the top of NASCAR. its throughout his time in the Dennit Racing team he meets his future wife Carley and arranges for his best friend Cal Norton (John C. Reilly) to get a place on the team.
Fast forward a few years Ricky is still at the top and whilst on a night out with Cal he is challenged by a gay french Formula One turned NASCAR driver Jean Girard. (Sacha Baron Cohen) Girard slowly reaches the top of the racing world, whilst Ricky nurses a broken arm, nevertheless Ricky rushes himself back to the race track, and after pushing himself too hard ends up flipping his car.
After waking up in hospital, with a case of psychosomatic paralysis, (no that doesn’t mean he can start fires with his mind.) Cal and team member Lucius Washington (Michael Clarke Duncan) visit him to try to explain that his paralysis is in his head, after a rather disturbing point proving exercise Ricky realises he is fine and must return to the race track. Of course he is seen as unfit and consequently is dropped from the team.
After being fired Ricky goes home to find Cal has taken his place in the family home, an extremely hurt Ricky and his children move out to live Lucy, Ricky’s mother. During this time Ricky sees his father after 25 years, gets in to a car with a cougar and is chased by the police. After escaping the police and discovering a bag of Lucky Charms taped to his car Ricky visits a bar, here he meets his former assistant Susan, who tells Ricky he should return to what he loves, but can he shake off his demons in time?
Talladega Nights has its funny parts, its the type of film that is brillaint if you understand the subject matter, but its still enjoyable to those who don’t. The first time I watched Talladega Nights, I didn’t find it very funny. I don’t think I “got it” watching it for a second time I see the funny side, although its far from Adam McKay’s best film, its still pretty funny, of course, the best part of this film is the chemistry between Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly, which of course spawned the hilarious Step Brothers.
The Cable Guy – Review October 7, 2009
Usually a story about stalking would be the stuff of horror films, think Halloween, Scary images of people running for there lives, screaming as they are finally caught by the villain. But that seems to be a world away from this comedic take on something that doesn’t feel like a laughing matter.
The Cable Guy, is the story of a TV obsessed “cable guy” Ernie “chip” Douglas (Jim Carey), who meets Steven Kovac (Matthew Broderick) after he arrives to install Steven’s cable. Steven who is recently separated from girlfriend Robin Harris (Leslie Mann) was given advice from friend Rick (Jack Black) to slip the cable guy $50 to get all the movie channels for free. After fixing Steven up with the channel’s Chip, takes Steven out to see the Satellite transmitter, that send television signals to the whole city, whilst discussing the role of television in their youths, Chip tells Steven how to win Robin back, by using advice he heard on Jerry Springer and telling him to invite her over to watch Sleepless in Seattle.
After becoming Chips new “best friend” Steven gets home to find 11 messages on his answer phone from Chip, fairly confused Steven receives a knock at the door, It is Robin who has arrived to watch the film. Strangely, Steven’s cable shuts down, and like clock work, he picks up the phone to hear a knock at the door, chip has arrived to save the day, or has he?
After a strange few days with Chip, Steven finally tells him to leave him alone, big mistake. Hell hath no fury like a cable guy scorned as we soon find out with the events that start unfurl, unfortunately for Steven, Robin and his family cannot see what Steven can’t see in Chip.
Of course this all comes to a climatic end upon the massive TV satellite transmitter, but will chip get his comeuppance? Or will the world go on thinking Steven is crazy?
Written by Judd Apatow, the Cable Guy is a strange directorial début for Ben Stiller, featuring a cameo of Ben Stillers friend Owen Wilson, the film is not stuck for big names, Jack Black, who was little known then is a star in his own right, and Jim Carey and Matthew Broderick, were both big names at the time of production, maybe purposefully they had a strange chemistry. the film has some great camera shots, especially during Chips party at Steven’s and during Steven’s dream. Overall, I have conflicting opinions, Whilst I think the film was creative and had a great story idea, I don’t think it reached its potential, maybe if it had it wouldn’t receive so much negative criticism in popular culture.
Bewitched – Film Review October 3, 2009
Films that spin-off from TV series generally leave alot to be desired, especially if they try to reboot a long dead franchise.
watching a few episodes of Bewtiched, I was fairly sure I knew the basic outline of the story, which I did. That was the story I thought Id get from this movie, that wasn’t the case, but I was pleasantly surprised. The film Bewitched follows jackass, Jack Wyatt (Will Ferrell), a failing movie star after his last film bombed due to the “costume department” he tries to make his comeback with a remake of the series Bewitched, casting a nobody as Samantha (Nicole Kiddman) to give him more screen time and a higher profile. unfortunately, Isabel, (Samantha real name) is infact a witch, who did not watch the original Bewitched as a little girl, because her ladies man father (Michael Caine) would not allow it. as usual with most films in the “family comedy” genre low and behold Isabel and Jack fall in love, and all manner of problems arise.
After casting spells on Jack and reversing them, admitting shes a witch and the two of them realising how silly they are for judging each other, the film reaches its end, Of course not before Steve Carell’s outstanding performance as Uncle Arthur. Uncle Arthur was one of the few characters I remember from watching a whole 3 episodes of Bewitched, strangely enough, Steve Carell played him just the way I remembered him, crazy. The part of Samantha’s mother Endora in the in movie show was played by Iris Smythson (Shirley MacLaine) Who coincidently seems to have a secret to.
The film had a strong cast and a good story line, but something about it just drives me crazy, it was heavily criticised for Ferrells performance, personally I liked it, maybe thats my inability to find fault in Ferrells work, I even thought he was good in Men Seeking Women. On the other had, I cannot say the same for Nicole Kidman, something about the character annoyed me, it just didn’t feel right. maybe it was the fact her character was supposed to be exactly that of the previous Samntha, but living in the 2000’s and not the 1960’s of course maybe it was Isabels annoying friend Gladys that caused the problem. If I watch this film again, it will be for the performances of Will Ferrell and Michael Caine, who made the film enjoyable to watch.
Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story – Film Review September 15, 2009
Biopic films are a great way of remembering a legend, and in mocking those biopic films a new legend has been born.
Walk Hard is the story of Dewey Cox (John C Reilly), a Johnny Cash-esque singer who after accidentally killing his brother has to prove his greatness by being doubly great for himself and his brother. After playing “the devils” music a 14-year-old Dewey leaves home with his 12-year-old girlfriend Edith. Only to get a house and a job, and shortly a record deal from a group of jewish men. shortly after becoming famous Dewey meets Darlene (Jenna Fischer) , in which can only be described as a blatant plot rip from Walk the Line, purposely of course. through out the film Dewey Cox has numerous children, wears two wedding rings, tries his hand at sexual carpentry, tries all manner of drugs and goes to rehab twice all the makings of a perfect biopic.
Towards the end of the film Dewey realises he should be spending more time with his children and so decides to play catch with them all one by one, to get to know them better, he buys a large farm and the all live happily, Although incomplete until Darlene returns. fast forward a few years and a now 75-year-old Dewey listens to the rap remix of his song Walk Hard and is told he is in line for an special achievement evening, but will he agree to doit?
There are a lot of cameos in this film Johan Hill plays Deweys older brothers ghost, Jack White as Elvis Presley, Frankie Muniz as Buddy Holly, Jack Black, Paul Rudd, Justin Long and Jason Schwatzman as the Beatles. and GhostFace Killah, Lyle Lovett, Jewel and Jackson Brown as themselves perform a Walk Hard tribute.
The film was written by comedy legend Judd Apatow, and Orange County director Jake Kasden, who also directed Walk hard. It should have been a sure fire hit, Unfortunately due to low box office sales the film is not seen for the comedic masterpiece it is.
The last thing im going to say in this review is I love Cox, why? Because its true, Walk Hard straight away jumped in to my top 25 films of all time with no competition. The story is great, John C Reilly is great and the soundtrack is my all time favourite movie soundtrack, which knocked the Lion King off of its 14 year reign. Id love to hear the other songs recorded for this movie, as I hear that there where a few that did not make it onto even the extended soundtrack. maybe one day there will be an extended, extended cut for that purpose.