Bucket List: Watch the IMDB top 250 films, part 2

In the first/last update in 2009 I had watched 105/250 films. Since the list does change some of those 105 have actually fallen off the list. 🙁 However I have now seen 127 so I’ve recuperated the loss and added to it. There are a lot of easy ones I could get to bump up the total but I have to be honest to myself about what I have seen. At least I’m over the half-way point now.

Going through the list and updating there have been a lot of changes and some absolute classics IMHO have been knocked off and some merely recent and popular ones pushed on. Its a shame the imdb doesn’t have a “film age” factor in the rating equation, something like a vote on a 50 year old film is worth more than one that came out in the last 3 months. They’ve already got an “experience” factor in that only regular voters are counted so its not too much of a stretch. Oh well.

Happy Watching. 🙂

Rank Rating Title Votes
1. 9.2 The Shawshank Redemption (1994) 722,451
2. 9.2 The Godfather (1972) 540,668
3. 9.0 The Godfather: Part II (1974) 340,431
4. 8.9 Pulp Fiction (1994) 568,038
5. 8.9 The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966) 226,145
6. 8.9 12 Angry Men (1957) 176,861
7. 8.9 Schindler’s List (1993) 379,464
8. 8.8 The Dark Knight (2008) 657,494
9. 8.8 The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) 507,183
10. 8.8 One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975) 303,940
11. 8.8 Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980) 368,515
12. 8.8 Fight Club (1999) 545,438
13. 8.8 Inception (2010) 510,603
14. 8.8 Seven Samurai (1954) 124,235
15. 8.7 The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) 528,470
16. 8.7 Goodfellas (1990) 320,930
17. 8.7 Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977) 414,896
18. 8.7 City of God (2002) 239,002
19. 8.7 Casablanca (1942) 211,705
20. 8.7 The Matrix (1999) 525,867
21. 8.7 Once Upon a Time in the West (1968) 103,577
22. 8.7 Rear Window (1954) 156,353
23. 8.7 Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) 317,516
24. 8.7 The Silence of the Lambs (1991) 348,353
25. 8.7 The Usual Suspects (1995) 351,244
26. 8.6 Se7en (1995) 411,624
27. 8.6 The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002) 454,825
28. 8.6 Forrest Gump (1994) 453,561
29. 8.6 Psycho (1960) 192,414
30. 8.6 It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) 134,699
31. 8.6 Leon (1994) 298,220
32. 8.6 Memento (2000) 383,014
33. 8.6 Sunset Boulevard (1950) 72,213
34. 8.6 Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964) 193,434
35. 8.6 Apocalypse Now (1979) 225,912
36. 8.5 American History X (1998) 329,792
37. 8.5 North by Northwest (1959) 118,057
38. 8.5 Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) 332,140
39. 8.5 Citizen Kane (1941) 170,750
40. 8.5 Saving Private Ryan (1998) 374,578
41. 8.5 American Beauty (1999) 393,736
42. 8.5 Toy Story 3 (2010) 194,124
43. 8.5 Alien (1979) 241,548
44. 8.5 City Lights (1931) 41,938
45. 8.5 Taxi Driver (1976) 223,526
46. 8.5 Spirited Away (2001) 154,894
47. 8.5 Vertigo (1958) 118,885
48. 8.5 The Shining (1980) 253,469
49. 8.5 Paths of Glory (1957) 59,179
50. 8.5 M (1931) 52,285
51. 8.5 The Pianist (2002) 195,960
52. 8.5 Amelie (2001) 252,490
53. 8.5 The Departed (2006) 372,475
54. 8.4 Double Indemnity (1944) 49,504
55. 8.4 WALL·E (2008) 279,401
56. 8.4 Modern Times (1936) 52,151
57. 8.4 The Lives of Others (2006) 113,445
58. 8.4 A Clockwork Orange (1971) 257,163
59. 8.4 Aliens (1986) 226,077
60. 8.4 Lawrence of Arabia (1962) 99,179
61. 8.4 To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) 106,890
62. 8.4 Life Is Beautiful (1997) 157,294
63. 8.4 Back to the Future (1985) 289,707
64. 8.4 Das Boot (1981) 89,529
65. 8.4 Requiem for a Dream (2000) 261,700
66. 8.4 Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) 306,411
67. 8.4 Reservoir Dogs (1992) 289,318
68. 8.4 The Third Man (1949) 63,440
69. 8.4 A Separation (2011) 41,801
70. 8.4 The Prestige (2006) 315,158
71. 8.4 The Green Mile (1999) 292,699
72. 8.4 L.A. Confidential (1997) 215,634
73. 8.4 Cinema Paradiso (1988) 63,888
74. 8.4 Chinatown (1974) 105,121
75. 8.4 The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948) 42,464
76. 8.4 The Great Dictator (1940) 52,668
77. 8.3 Gladiator (2000) 402,202
78. 8.3 Once Upon a Time in America (1984) 101,451
79. 8.3 Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1974) 198,250
80. 8.3 Rashomon (1950) 52,023
81. 8.3 Full Metal Jacket (1987) 212,860
82. 8.3 Amadeus (1984) 129,499
83. 8.3 Bicycle Thieves (1948) 39,518
84. 8.3 Singin’ in the Rain (1952) 72,437
85. 8.3 Some Like It Hot (1959) 88,333
86. 8.3 Raging Bull (1980) 118,603
87. 8.3 All About Eve (1950) 44,296
88. 8.3 Braveheart (1995) 331,500
89. 8.3 Metropolis (1927) 54,429
90. 8.3 Oldboy (2003) 143,991
91. 8.3 The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) 76,727
92. 8.3 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) 205,816
93. 8.3 Pan’s Labyrinth (2006) 218,656
94. 8.3 The Apartment (1960) 50,312
95. 8.3 Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi (1983) 286,121
96. 8.3 Unforgiven (1992) 136,875
97. 8.3 The Sting (1973) 86,693
98. 8.3 Downfall (2004) 118,299
99. 8.3 Princess Mononoke (1997) 92,128
100. 8.3 Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) 232,153
101. 8.3 Inglourious Basterds (2009) 304,873
102. 8.3 Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939) 42,185
103. 8.3 The Lion King (1994) 226,960
104. 8.3 On the Waterfront (1954) 52,770
105. 8.3 Die Hard (1988) 263,114
106. 8.3 Up (2009) 214,400
107. 8.3 The Elephant Man (1980) 80,597
108. 8.3 Grave of the Fireflies (1988) 50,536
109. 8.3 The Seventh Seal (1957) 53,069
110. 8.3 The Maltese Falcon (1941) 64,132
111. 8.3 The Great Escape (1963) 81,777
112. 8.3 Gran Torino (2008) 222,620
113. 8.3 Rebecca (1940) 45,440
114. 8.2 Yojimbo (1961) 37,911
115. 8.2 Batman Begins (2005) 378,239
116. 8.2 The Artist (2011) 43,008
117. 8.2 Witness for the Prosecution (1957) 24,869
118. 8.2 For a Few Dollars More (1965) 65,279
119. 8.2 The General (1926) 26,297
120. 8.2 Snatch. (2000) 258,288
121. 8.2 Heat (1995) 203,007
122. 8.2 Fargo (1996) 212,352
123. 8.2 Blade Runner (1982) 239,857
124. 8.2 Sin City (2005) 336,571
125. 8.2 Ran (1985) 43,203
126. 8.2 Wild Strawberries (1957) 29,673
127. 8.2 Touch of Evil (1958) 41,369
128. 8.2 Toy Story (1995) 235,388
129. 8.2 Jaws (1975) 186,278
130. 8.2 The Big Lebowski (1998) 243,976
131. 8.2 No Country for Old Men (2007) 278,107
132. 8.2 Hotel Rwanda (2004) 128,037
133. 8.2 Black Swan (2010) 221,553
134. 8.2 The Deer Hunter (1978) 118,707
135. 8.2 The King’s Speech (2010) 160,168
136. 8.2 Cool Hand Luke (1967) 60,946
137. 8.2 The Wizard of Oz (1939) 137,465
138. 8.2 The Sixth Sense (1999) 331,216
139. 8.2 Ikiru (1952) 21,299
140. 8.2 It Happened One Night (1934) 32,682
141. 8.2 Scarface (1983) 224,313
142. 8.2 Strangers on a Train (1951) 46,176
143. 8.2 Annie Hall (1977) 88,988
144. 8.2 Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003) 319,486
145. 8.2 The Kid (1921) 22,403
146. 8.2 The Wages of Fear (1953) 19,059
147. 8.2 Warrior (2011) 72,467
148. 8.1 High Noon (1952) 43,653
149. 8.1 Platoon (1986) 147,350
150. 8.1 The Gold Rush (1925) 29,202
151. 8.1 Trainspotting (1996) 210,187
152. 8.1 Into the Wild (2007) 166,332
153. 8.1 Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) 75,910
154. 8.1 Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998) 185,594
155. 8.1 Donnie Darko (2001) 285,378
156. 8.1 The Secret in Their Eyes (2009) 45,446
157. 8.1 The Grapes of Wrath (1940) 30,907
158. 8.1 Sunrise (1927) 15,532
159. 8.1 Notorious (1946) 39,820
160. 8.1 Gone with the Wind (1939) 107,553
161. 8.1 The Thing (1982) 119,935
162. 8.1 Million Dollar Baby (2004) 206,983
163. 8.1 Slumdog Millionaire (2008) 274,361
164. 8.1 There Will Be Blood (2007) 178,297
165. 8.1 Casino (1995) 151,931
166. 8.1 Life of Brian (1979) 129,404
167. 8.1 Amores Perros (2000) 86,933
168. 8.1 Les Diaboliques (1955) 20,571
169. 8.1 Groundhog Day (1993) 195,460
170. 8.1 Ben-Hur (1959) 77,685
171. 8.1 Finding Nemo (2003) 255,316
172. 8.1 My Neighbour Totoro (1988) 51,549
173. 8.1 How to Train Your Dragon (2010) 129,512
174. 8.1 The Big Sleep (1946) 36,491
175. 8.1 The Terminator (1984) 256,253
176. 8.1 The Best Years of Our Lives (1946) 21,943
177. 8.1 The Graduate (1967) 106,281
178. 8.1 V for Vendetta (2005) 334,269
179. 8.1 Stand by Me (1986) 124,687
180. 8.1 Good Will Hunting (1997) 224,573
181. 8.1 Twelve Monkeys (1995) 227,235
182. 8.1 Dog Day Afternoon (1975) 85,687
183. 8.1 Judgement at Nuremberg (1961) 19,873
184. 8.1 The Bourne Ultimatum (2007) 217,937
185. 8.1 The Manchurian Candidate (1962) 42,698
186. 8.1 Network (1976) 48,579
187. 8.1 District 9 (2009) 246,849
188. 8.1 The Night of the Hunter (1955) 33,457
189. 8.1 The 400 Blows (1959) 32,851
190. 8.1 Gandhi (1982) 72,817
191. 8.1 Mary and Max (2009) 37,265
192. 8.0 The Battle of Algiers (1966) 19,019
193. 8.0 Persona (1966) 24,458
194. 8.0 Dial M for Murder (1954) 43,277
195. 8.0 (1963) 40,282
196. 8.0 The Princess Bride (1987) 154,771
197. 8.0 The Killing (1956) 33,201
198. 8.0 Harakiri (1962) 8,049
199. 8.0 The Wrestler (2008) 145,786
200. 8.0 La Strada (1954) 23,704
201. 8.0 The Hustler (1961) 33,034
202. 8.0 Ratatouille (2007) 202,990
203. 8.0 Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966) 27,606
204. 8.0 The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928) 14,979
205. 8.0 Fanny and Alexander (1982) 20,358
206. 8.0 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011) 161,906
207. 8.0 Howl’s Moving Castle (2004) 73,901
208. 8.0 The Exorcist (1973) 148,788
209. 8.0 Sherlock Jr. (1924) 11,750
210. 8.0 The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007) 47,297
211. 8.0 The Wild Bunch (1969) 39,629
212. 8.0 Stalag 17 (1953) 25,793
213. 8.0 A Streetcar Named Desire (1951) 44,495
214. 8.0 Barry Lyndon (1975) 51,823
215. 8.0 Rocky (1976) 145,098
216. 8.0 Star Trek (2009) 215,045
217. 8.0 Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949) 17,072
218. 8.0 All Quiet on the Western Front (1930) 28,491
219. 8.0 Nights of Cabiria (1957) 15,688
220. 8.0 The Truman Show (1998) 243,112
221. 8.0 Infernal Affairs (2002) 47,068
222. 8.0 A Beautiful Mind (2001) 206,495
223. 8.0 Roman Holiday (1953) 43,545
224. 8.0 Rope (1948) 44,766
225. 8.0 Rosemary’s Baby (1968) 72,483
226. 8.0 Tokyo Story (1953) 11,882
227. 8.0 Ip Man (2008) 41,183
228. 8.0 Avatar (2009) 413,837
229. 8.0 Mystic River (2003) 173,301
230. 8.0 Festen (1998) 35,293
231. 8.0 Let the Right One In (2008) 96,085
232. 8.0 The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962) 29,542
233. 8.0 Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003) 345,054
234. 8.0 Magnolia (1999) 151,787
235. 8.0 Manhattan (1979) 53,352
236. 8.0 Stalker (1979) 30,028
237. 8.0 Big Fish (2003) 196,272
238. 8.0 Beauty and the Beast (1991) 115,635
239. 8.0 The Incredibles (2004) 229,258
240. 8.0 Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984) 32,666
241. 8.0 Drive (2011) 146,702
242. 8.0 Monsters, Inc. (2001) 195,201
243. 8.0 Elite Squad: The Enemy Within (2010) 21,242
244. 8.0 Untouchable (2011) 10,625
245. 8.0 In Bruges (2008) 153,613
246. 8.0 3 Idiots (2009) 32,003
247. 8.0 Anatomy of a Murder (1959) 22,026
248. 8.0 Nosferatu (1922) 37,641
249. 8.0 The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011) 76,561
250. 8.0 Shutter Island (2010) 246,834

Film Review: Blindness (2008)

Blindness, directed by Fernando Meirelles and Screenwritten by Don McKellar is a great film, not flashy or gordy but well penned and well told. Based on the 1995 novel by José Saramago, it’s story of epidemic blindness infecting the globe and the consequences of a lone individual retaining her sight.

I’m quite proud of the author wanting the film to maintain a strong allusion to the novel; he was “suspicious of the film industry and had therefore resisted other studios’ efforts to obtain the rights through large sums of money alone“. I hole heartedly agree with him on this, so often studios take something that is great on novel format and dumb it down thus casting a wider net for audiences in attempt to make as much money as possible. There are some books that this isn’t as much of a problem, JK Rowling for instance wanted the Harry Potter films to be enjoyable to watch by sacrificing parts certain plot lines but enforcing others (such as Kreacher in Order of the Phoenix).

The characters have no names, no history, focusing your attention on their actions to the situation at hand. You feel the burden of the Sighted Character’s dilemma and her internal struggle as greed and the lust for power festers. Her optimism is constantly tested as she literally watched the indignity and moral decline of those in her stead and her willingness to submit to it herself.

My personal reflection after taking in the behaviour of the devious blinded by the sickness it amplifies how bad things really could get if the protagonist hadn’t been so kind. Indeed even the sighted’s wardrobe tried to personify her angelic behaviour.

I don’t mind scary movies, I usually laugh at them, but this is by far the scariest film I have reviewed in recent history, not because of my fear of losing my sight but the decline of humanity when everyone is in such a dire situation. I hope that if a disaster does strike (and if Nostradamous predicted highly it may do so in December 2012) that communities will form rather than gangs, but alas nature is survival of the fittest, and the best fit is usually the strongest.

Unfortunately this film on condemned by the Blind Community for suggesting that “Blind people do not behave like uncivilized, animalized creatures“, I certainly don’t think they do. I think that the Human Race can in an anarchical world behave badly, and unfortunately, the pre-White-Sickness-blind fall into that category. Luckily the author José Saramago responds: “Stupidity doesn’t choose between the blind and the non-blind”, he’s quite right, anyone can jump to wrong conclusions, Just because it involves a topic doesn’t necessarily mean its about it.

Cracking film. But be warned there are some graphic scenes.

  • Picture: 8/10
  • Sound: 8/10
  • Effects: N/A
  • Story: 9.5/10

Film Season 2009 is here, part 3

Here we are approaching the end of this summery season of films, for those needing a recap part one highlighted the top films out each week in may and part two highlighted most of June and now we’ll round up with July.

19th June – Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen

Transformers Revenge Of The Fallen Film Poster

I was in awe of the first Transformers Movie, with 15 years of speculation I expected a lot and I wasn’t disappointed. (Although I apologise for the poor quality of that ‘review’ I had only just got back from the World Scout Jamboree, still neat little wallpaper by me). With any film great enough to warrant a sequel you don’t often get a better product hopefully at an epic 150 minutes long we’ll have a large quantity of quality to satisfy our appetite for a spectacular autonomous film.

26th June – Year one

Year One, Jack Black, Michael Cera, Film Poster

Hopefully the bullet dodged by Angels & Demons won’t ricochet and hit this gem. This film follows 2 Neanderthals as they search for purpose in their lives by travelling the world in biblical times. Hopefully something intend as a fun family film won’t be slated just because Moses

Harold Ramis and Judd Apatow (Freaks’n’Geeks,Knocked Up) should in theory make an excellent film, and with Jack Black dishing the jokes and Michael Cera lapping them up I can’t see why it won’t be great.

1st July – Ice Age 3: Dawn of the Dinosaurs

Ice Age 3 Dawn Of The Dinosaurs Film Poster

There have been so many entertaining computer generated films I’d be hard pressed to rank my favourites, the Toy Story films would be at the top and probably a few others underneath them I’ve place the Ice Age films. I never felt they were entirely aimed at Kids unlike most other CG films although they all usually have some adult jokes thrown in I feel these were films for films sake rather than films for kids. Either way I’m going to enjoy watching Diego and Sid getting upto some new antics.

10th July – Bruno

Bruno Film Poster

Ali G didn’t help society in the nineties, most people thought what he was doing; mocking policemen, speaking incorrectly and sensationalizing drug abuse was ‘cool’ and those not already doing it copied him to also be ‘cool’. It’s surprising how many people today realise that he was actually mocking the type of people he was impersonating, those the slung their fingers around where all victims of one of the largest practical jokes of all time, which is hilarious to those that didn’t join in. Years later Borat was released and very few, if any epitomized his character, was it because his character was portrayed daft and they didn’t want to be thought of similarly or was it because kids of the same age got the joke? Either way Bruno has some interesting character exaggerations

15th July – Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

Harry Potter And The Half Blood Prince Film Poster

I can’t remember when, where or with who I saw the first 4 Harry Potter films but I absolutely remember how I saw Order of the Phoenix. It was at a world Scout Jamboree Build weekend, I’d gone with a Go Jamboree crew to spend 6-8 hours putting up tents, I particularly remember the chain of people across a large field passing out poles for each tent…I digress. In the evening myself and about a dozen other people bundled into our cars and head to the nearest cinema still in Scouting (and Guiding) garb. It was interesting to see the rest of the audiences reactions. Now 2 years later I will be going away again with some of the same people and some new ones to work upon another campsite for far less grander reasons but for just as much fun. Then in the evening we’ll be going again. Hopefully I’ll get to do the same thing for the final two parts of Deathly Hallows aswell!

That just about rounds up all the summer films I’ve had my eye on since January, the dates have changed around a bit but they are mostly all there. I only really have my eye on one film before autumn and thats G-Force so for me this season of film is over. Certainly been fun through writing on a theme over several posts, I’m probably going to do this again which means I’m going to need a better system for linking post series, but that’s what all this site is about, trying new things!

All release dates are UK based, they may vary in your country.

Film Review: Night At The Museum 2

I really enjoyed the first Night at the Museum. To anthropermophise inanimate objects like statues and exhibits and see them interact as what they embody is hilarious. How would cowboys who are often depicted operating solo cooperate with Roman infantry who function as teams; The perfect situation for comedy!

The story: The Night guard Larry Daley has left the museum and started a company selling his inventions such as the glow in the dark flashlight (torch to you and me), the museum has lost the attraction of the public and is being updated with technological aids, such as holograms, to make it interesting once again. For this the exhibits have to move and the tablet of Akmunrah with them, not prepared for the calamity that will ensue Larry tries to stop it. On the first night in their new homes on of the Pharaoh Kamunrah tries to takeover and Jedimiah the cowboy calls Larry for help.

With such high standards set in the first film any sequel is likely to be cursed with what happens to most; it tanks. For me the subtitle “Battle of the Smithsonian” is misleading, I imagined all the exhibits in the Smithsonians 19 museums to come alive and face each other in a slapstick engagement. What we end up seeing really is several new characters alongside many of the old ones.

Night At The Museum 2 Cowboys And Romans

Don’t get me wrong here, the film was executed beautifully, the animation was vivid and blended, the story just interesting enough and good acting all round. The gags come thick and fast, blowing away the expectation on jokes dug up from the dirt and tried on something new, they makers kept it fresh.

I’m not usually one to enjoy Ben Stiller Movies (and I’m not the only one) because of his insistence on playing OTT characters, but when he does play ‘ordinary’ people as Mosh puts it I quite like them.

Night at the Museum 2: Amy Adams as Amelia Earhart

Something I didn’t like very much was that Amelia Earhart was portrayed as alone in her flight, she was navigated by Fred Noonan, where was he? I’m not trying to undermine her accomplishments, but Neil Armstrong wasn’t alone getting to the Moon, the often remembered Buzz Aldrin landed in the Lunar module as well and the seldom remembered Michael Collins orbited just above in the Command module. And even then there are hundreds/thousands of unseen and unsung people that helped and planned the Apollo 11 mission.

Sailor Kissing Girl In Times Square V Day

There were some really great sequences in the film such as when they dived into the photograph Sailor Kissing Girl in Times Square (by Alfred Eisenstaedt), seeing all the celebrations and their reactions to the out of place Night guard, Aviatrix and their attire. (P.S. Keep watching the credits for more on this 😉 ). The octopus was a great creation (and I’m not making this up like The Goonies did) although I was expecting it to be ferocious rather than angry.

Summery: you don’t need to have seen the first one to watch this, it is a great movie to chill out with or to entertain the kids with and very few should be disappointed.

  • Picture: 8/10
  • Sound: 8/10
  • Effects: 9/10
  • Story: 8/10

Film Season 2009 is here, part 2

This is the second part of 3 of the incredibly long season of film 2009, you can catch the first part here. These are all good films but with the exception of Terminator if they came out the same week as any last month they would get top billing from me here. All this being said Universities and some schools are breaking up for bit so there should be more people available to go seem them. I guess we’ll see in the end of the summer film rankings.

29th May – UP

Up Pixar Film Poster

Unlike the other big family film this season (Coraline) there isn’t another big hitting film like Star Trek trumping its place in the charts. I hope children today appreciate how spoiled they are with regard to entertainment these days, when I was little film-makers dreamed of making a feature length stop motion or CGI production, nowadays its a common occurrence.

Up is the endearing tale about a Grandpa who wants to see the world and by using what he did for living as a balloon seller is able to attach enough balloons to his house and float away unwittingly taking a chubby 8 year old along for the ride!

Lefts hope the boys (and girls) at Pixar haven’t popped under the pressure of living up to there reputation.

5th June – Terminator: Salvation

Terminator Salvation Film Poster

In the beginning there was one Terminator, when preventing the first judgement day there were 2, when the second judgement day came there were 2 and their creator and now John Connor and the human race are up against an entire army of murderous machines.

I remember the first time I saw the 1984 original, sure the stop motion animation of the endoskeleton was a bit corny but the idea was a frightening one, hunted by a machine that would never sleep, would never rest and whose sole intention was to wipe you out for something you hadn’t done yet! T2: Judgement Day is the mother of all sequels, the bad guy was just as ruthless and still better than the protagonists protector.

Technology certainly improved, as already mentioned the first metal skeleton was stop motion models, in T2 there was some CGI but the T1000 death was still drawn frame by frame as computers couldn’t morph the liquid metal appearance. And when the Machines rose it was a combination of the two.

If you haven’t gotten what I’m hinting at yet then here it is, the Terminators films are great and have gotten better in terms of action, content and effects. I doubt T4 will be the one to break the mould.

12th June – The Hangover

The Hangover Film Poster

When “What happens in Vegas” and “Bachelor Party” are taken what are you going to call a film centred around the aftermath of a Stag-do in Las Vegas? Its another one of those post modern slap stick comedies for the audience of new dating relationships, the ones where you have compromise to a very mid-line film for fear of alienating the person you’ve recently charmed. Last weeks Terminator is too boyish and Up has a cinema filled with children so cuddling is a little in appropriate.

I would choose to watch it, I wouldn’t choose to pay £6.80 to watch it at the cinema when a much much better film is coming out next week. I imagine it’ll be a very enjoyable film to watch, Bradley cooper has never disappointed and Heather Graham is very elegant with comedy. Guess we’ll have to wait and find out!

All release dates are UK based, they may vary in your country.

Film Review: Angels & Demons

Angels and Demons Half Angel, Half Demon Statue Wallpaper

Angels & Demons was regarded by the Vatican as harmless, unlike the Da Vinci Code which jabbed at the righteousness of the Church. What I do find shocking is that whilst Catholics, or generally those of the Christian persuasion get in an uproar about their religion being badmouthed Scientists haven’t been outraged (as far as I know) about the potential dangers of Antimatter and the Science Fiction surrounding its use for nefarious purposes in this film. If I were to play devils advocate I would say that maybe Science doesn’t need defending because its right and religion is just mumbo-jumbo but I know that to be mostly wrong, those with religion keep it very close to their heart and as such its easy to bruise both at the same time. Still, maybe if there wasn’t a kerfuffle at every little bruise then the world wouldn’t have seen so many wars and would be a happier place, I digress.

Summary: An ancient secret society called the Illuminati steals the antimatter created a CERN and hides it Vatican City. Its container will fail in 24 hours causing an enormous explosion, with the Pope having recently died, the four Preferiti missing and the papal conclave in progress with the highest order of Cardinals in attendance the entirety of the catholic church is in Danger. To track down the Illuminati Robert Langdon is summoned to follow the Path of Illumination to the societies secret meeting place hopefully where the bomb can be found and the antimatter contained.

I enjoyed the Da Vinci code for its fast paced adventure and the educational parts, which is why I didn’t enjoy Angels and Demons as much. Dan Brown’s (quoted below) thrillers are written to interest and entertain which is why I’m surprised the dynamic of the film changed so much. If they are going to make a third around 2012 I hope that as a compromise they render the plot somewhere between outrage and bland rather than toward the extremes where I feel they’ve played so far.

“My goal is always to make the character’s and plot be so engaging that readers don’t realize how much they are learning along the way.”

The writers and director most likely scaled back the religious intrigue and subsequently the characters. Watching Tom Hanks’ port ail of Robert Langdon I felt for the entire film that he was holding back for something, I continued to sit on the edge of my seat taking note of each Chekhov gun waiting for all or many of them to be explained beautifully with illustrations, alas it never happened. Coincidently I feel guilty for Ayelet Zurer whom didn’t have much dialogue to work with unlike Audrey Tautou’s Sophie Neveu whom Langdon conversed with often.

As a standalone movie I enjoyed watching this quest but when compared to the sight, sound and experience to the The Da Vinci Code (2006) I find it vanilla. Take the soundtrack for example, in the first film the sound rose from your toes all the way to your ears, especially the part called Chevaliers De Sangreal played whilst by the Tomb interred by a pope, whereas the soundtrack doesn’t enhance A&D it is a mellow accompaniment.

The small and medium visual and special effects where well concealed, but the larger stunts, particularly the ones to risky for a actor to perform where of a similar quality to the Matrix fight scenes from 10 years ago which were the peak of their time, surely they can be outdone now.

Perhaps this is a trend we can come to expect from sequels, Quantum of Solace was similarly inoffensive compared to Casino Royale but then again The Dark Knight surpassed Batman Begins greatly. Despite all this I recommend paying out to see this at the cinema but if you’re only going to see 3 movies I’ve see Star Trek, Transformers 2 and Harry Potter.

  • Picture: 9/10
  • Sound: 6/10
  • Effects: 8/10
  • Story: 7/10