It was over a year ago that they started releasing production videos from the set of The Hobbit. I was highly excited by the prospect of a Hobbit film back then… but then a lot of things can change in a year.Read More
It’s taken 4 years and 5 films but you know what? They finally made a Twilight film that’s genuinely decent. Yes that’s right folks…Read More
Who doesn’t like a film about male stripping?
Actually, has there ever been a big film about male stripping before? Professional stripping like, not a bunch of fellas havin’ a laugh like in The Full Monty. Maybe there has, I don’t know. I’m not really up on male stripping films… or female ones for that matter. Or stripping in general. Still I was up for this. I mean, who doesn’t like a film about male stripping?Read More
See here for clips and trailers of The Hunger Games.Read More
Actually, I didn’t know she had gone, I checked out of this franchise after the first film. Not that I’d hated it or anything. As far as I recall. I think it was just that I saw it around the same time as that disaster of a film, Van Helsing, and so I ended up staying away from vampire films for a while.
All I remember of the first Underworld was that Kate Beckinsale looked damn fine in the outfit and I wished I looked that good in skin-tight pants. So, as far as I can tell, little has changed in the intervening 9 years. She’s pushing 40 and still looking well. But that’s not being fair to the film at all, it has a lot more to offer than Beckinsale… There’s Michael Ealy and Theo James for the ladies as well. Ah no, I jest, there is more than that, I swear.
This is the first of the series to be directed by Swedish duo, Måns Magnus Mårlind (what a name!) and Björn Stein. The only other English language film the pair have directed was Shelter, starring Julianne Moore. I haven’t seen it, but with a whopping 0% on Rotten Tomatoes, I’m not exactly planning on picking it up.
With Shelter’s score in mind, I couldn’t help but wonder why Underworld: Awakening wasn’t screened for critics here. As we all know, this is rarely a good sign. Hence, I approached it with trepidation – and a 2 minute recap of the two films I’d missed from my cinema going partner. That trepidation was tempered by the fact that it’s an 18 cert film in Ireland and the UK. The Underworld franchise is hardly known for sex and nudity, so an 18 cert was bound to mean violence.
As it happened, I didn’t really need the recap. I remembered more of the first film than I thought and in any case there’s a short revisiting of the first three films at the start. With 3 years between films each time, I guess they’re used to having to bring the audience back up to speed quickly. The main thing you need to know is that in the last film, normal humans discovered the existence of the Lycans and Vampires. They were not happy about it.
So sets the stage for a “cleansing” of epic proportions.
I actually really enjoyed Underworld: Awakening. There’s always a lot to be said for having no expectations going into a film. I didn’t even know this film was out this week, that’s how in the dark I was. I wouldn’t go around saying it had the most amazing plot or performances… But, having already seen 4 out of the other 5 films out this week, I can say it’s probably the most entertaining of the week. Mind you, that’s still not saying much. I’ve only done the reviews of J. Edgar and Haywire so far, but you can take it from me that it’s a pretty poor week, Underworld 4 aside.
What’s most enjoyable about Underworld: Awakening is the action. With an 18 cert there’s no holding back. Selene kicks ass, and gets her ass kicked, from here to next Sunday with barely any let up. What let up there is is used to explain a perfectly serviceable plot. A rarity in a film like this these days. Recently action films seem to be struggling terribly hard with plots; unnecessary convolution is the order of the day. I can only assume they’re over-compensating out of a fear of being criticised for being too action oriented. I don’t know why they bother. People go to action films to see action. Right?
Anyway, with all the action on offer here, the target demographic should be satisfied. It’s worth mention as well that the 3D is pretty good. Ok, there are large parts of the film where you don’t need to wear your glasses, but it’s worth it for the parts where you do. Plus, it’s shot bright enough that you don’t have to worry about the type of murkiness that plagued The Darkest Hour. Of course… that’s not all that plagued The Darkest Hour, but that’s for a different review. You do still see that strange green hue you get with Real-D 3D glasses, but it actually suits the comic book stylings of the film so… it all works out really.
Some other reviews I’ve seen have criticised it as being a step away from the other 2 mythology-heavy sequels. Having never seen them, I have no idea if that’s true. Considering all 3 of the other Underworld films having come in for some fairly scathing reviews, I’m surprised they’ve decided to pick apart any changes.
As far as I’m concerned, if you’re looking for a glossy, 88 minute distraction with some good looking people being beaten every which way but loose… you could do much, much worse than Underworld: Awakening. This film is a bruised and bloodied hoot ‘n a half.
Or maybe first I’ll do the intro.
The ads for Get Him to the Greek have been tryin’ to sell it as this year’s The Hangover… It’s probably a fairly apt description. Looking through the slate I can’t really see anything left that’s like it. You could argue that Hot Tub Time Machine was probably a bit closer but it didn’t have the inclination (or the budget) to shout as loud about it.
Actually… IIRC they described themselves as Back to the Future meets The Hangover. If I had got around to writing that review I would have said, while I hate that X meets Y crap bs way of packaging films, I had to agree with them.
If you want to get an idea of the humour in this film then you can have a quick look over at the clip I have up in a previous article – over here – Yeah, they’re pretty basic jokes but that’s ok, nobody trying to claim anything more.
The main thing you have to bear in mind here is that Russell Brand has a starring role. For those of you who are familiar with Brand, you’ll know if you like him or not. For those who aren’t, think “rockstar comedian”, think “affected English accent”, think “recovering drug addict” and think “skin tight jeans and waistcoats”. I don’t know if that’ll really help paint a picture but it’s the best I can come up with without pointing you to one of his appearances on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross. Can’t believe that show’s almost over… Love Jonathan Ross
Anyway the reason you have to bear this is mind is that Russell Brand careens all over this film, playing the rockstar version of himself; the person I imagine he was before he cleaned himself up. Personally I’m happy to see him starring in a Hollywood film; but if you don’t like him, it’s not really going to be worth your while going along…
…I’ve waffled enough. I should have just skipped the intro. Bottom line, I liked this film. It was good craic. Jonah Hill is suitably likeable and able to carry his half of the film and I really like Russell Brand so nothing to complain about there. I particularly want to highlight the supporting cast, Diddy is excellent as Hill’s boss, Sergio, and Colm Meaney turns up as the usual consummate professional. Elisabeth Moss was good up to a point (you’ll know it when you get to it) but she also confused me for the whole film because I just could not work out where I’d seen her before. Just to save you lookin’ it up, she was Zoey Bartlet in The West Wing.
I liked it because it was funnier than I expect. It was a little disjointed and it was a bit wierd that one of the scenes from the trailer ended up on the cutting room floor – I’ll complain a bit more about that later – but in general I thought it all worked together. I particularly liked the songs, I’m not saying I’d buy the albums but they were nice little touches here and there that made this a very enjoyable film.
But. As much as I enjoyed it – and I did laugh out loud quite a few times – it wasn’t as good as it could have been. For one, I actually think it was a little too short. There were a few scenes that just seemed unneccesarily chopped up and they seemed to skip over bits that could have been funny, or at least functional. It was only 1hr40. It could have taken an extra 10 mins to round it out and make it gel a little better. Also, it all went a bit awry towards the end. I don’t really know what they were up to there. It was all a bit ridiculous. Not the very end, mind, just the bit before that. I think they tried to go a little too far and the gamble didn’t pay off. It did in other scenes (!) but just not that one.
Ultimately Get Him to the Greek is a relatively forgettable film. Which is not to say you shouldn’t watch it. You should; there are some really very funny scenes in it, it’s entertaining! Not every film you see needs to be a classic, I don’t always want to watch films that make me think. Looking at my last few reviews I reckon I’m on a 3:7 thinking:mindless entertainment ratio… I’m comfortable with that.
So go see Get Him to the Greek, have a laugh and don’t think too much. Particularly not about this song… Disgraceful really
Saw this a few weeks ago and since it got a few BAFTA nominations the other day I thought I’d better get my act together and do the review. Hey maybe it’ll convince someone to go and see it, after all it only seems to have 424 ratings on IMDb…
Nowhere Boy is a biopic centred around the early life of John Lennon, from around when he starts playing guitar. I’m not actually sure how accurate a portrayal it is. It’s apparently based on Julia Baird’s memoir called Imagine This: Growing Up With My Brother John Lennon. She was his half sister. It appears that the director disagreed with McCartney regarding the potrayal of Lennon’s aunt but given that most of the people involved are dead I guess we’ll never really know. Apparently things were not as… heated, shall we say, as they might appear in the film. I sort of assume that the truth is somewhere in the middle, I’d like to think that if it was completely inaccurate there’d be more hullaballo over the film. Either way, it certainly told me a lot more about John Lennon than I knew before.
I guess since all this is a matter of public record, it’s not really spoiling to say that I never knew there was anything different about Lennon’s early life; that his father left when he was young or that he was raised by his aunt or anything like that. It was interesting to learn about him after all I would consider myself a big fan of The Beatles. I mean it’s not like I own any of their albums or anything but I think highly of them… that’s what happens when you’re as averse to spending money as I am.
So, I found myself really enjoying this film. A lot of this was down to the kid playing Lennon, Aaron Johnson, he was very good. I really thought he captured the idea of Lennon’s character in the film. This kind of cheeky tear-away, charismatic but at the cusp of being dangerous. I have no idea if Lennon was really like that but I believed Johnson.
To be clear though, this isn’t a film about The Beatles so if you’re expecting any of that you’ll be sorely disappointed. They don’t even say the name in film. Paul McCartney is around but only briefly really. Given his reported misgivings about it’s accuracy I wonder if he’s seen the film.
I’ve often thought it must be really odd for McCartney and well… just Beatles week on BBC last year. All this fuss about what must have been for them, it’s just a few mad years they had when they were younger. They’ve lived a long time since then, I’m sure they like looking back at some of it but surely when people draw conclusions about what it was like, for example in this film, it must be very strange for them.
Guess I’ll never know.
Anyway, I did like this film. I wouldn’t recommend that it’s one for everyone but if you are interested in a family drama and you’re willing to accept that you’re probably watching a somewhat skewed version of Lennon’s childhood then give it a look.