The Interview (2014) review

The Interview posterDirectors: Evan Goldberg, Seth Rogen

Starring: James Franco, Seth Rogen, Randall Park, Lizzy Caplan, Diana Bang

SKYLARK – “Holy fuckamole! Is that tank real?”

KIM JONG-UN – “It was a gift to my grandfather from Stalin.”

SKYLARK – “In my country it’s pronounced ‘Stallone’.”

Few films have courted as much controversy as The Interview has this year.

Originally due for mainstream cinema release, an alleged North Korean hack of Sony Pictures and threats made to cinemas planning to show it caused the studio to initially pull the film shortly before it was due to come out.

After objections were raised by none other than President Obama, Sony Pictures did a u-turn and not only released the film in a select number of cinemas, but also made it available for purchase digitally. On Xbox. Despite being Sony.

Why the drama? Because the film takes the piss out of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and has a plot based on an attempt to assassinate him.

This obviously isn’t the first time a comedy film’s mocked a present-day dictator: the Three Stooges did it way back in 1940 with You Nazty Spy, followed shortly by Charlie Chaplin’s fantastic The Great Dictator.

It isn’t even the first to mock a North Korean one, given Team America‘s less than glowing portrayal of the Great Leader’s dad, Kim Jong-il. However, it’s one of the rare occasions in which a film about a dictator-run country is met with condemnation and threats by said country before it’s even released.

Is the actual film itself worth all the fuss though? Well, having watched it I can proudly declare that the answer is an overwhelming “meh”. Continue reading “The Interview (2014) review”

Gone Girl (2014) review

Gone Girl posterDirector: David Fincher

Starring: Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Carrie Coon, Kim Dickens, Patrick Fugit, Neil Patrick Harris, Tyler Perry

“What are you thinking? What are you feeling? What have we done to each other? What will we do?” (Nick, Gone Girl)

If man-crushes are indeed a real thing, then my man-crush is Ben Affleck.

I don’t give shit haters, bring it. Never mind the fact he was amazing in Argo and glorious in Good Will Hunting, those are a given.

He was also charming in Chasing Amy, delightful in Dogma and yes, despite what popular opinion (and Team America) would have you believe, peerless in Pearl Harbour.

Is he great in Gone Girl, then? You’d better believe it, friend. In fact, almost everyone is. Continue reading “Gone Girl (2014) review”

Test Tube Teens From The Year 2000 (1994) review

Test Tube Teens From The Year 2000 posterDirector: David DeCoteau

Starring: Morgan Fairchild, Brian Bremer, Christopher Wolf, Sara Suzanne Brown, Michele Matheson, Don Dowe

Also known as: Virgin Hunters

“We come from your future. Our mission here is to prevent a corporate takeover of the planet, and the banning of sex between consenting adults.” (Naldo, Test Tube Teens From The Year 2000)

Let’s face it, even if you don’t know anything about this film you already know why I decided to watch and review it.

Yes, I’m a sucker for a great film title, and if my rating at the end of each review was based on titles alone this little beauty would find itself in the Hall Of Fame with gusto.

Sadly however, the film itself doesn’t quite live up to the heady expectations set by its name – how could it ever expect to? – and as such the number of Trevor Moorhouse heads you see at the bottom is lower than one would have hoped.

Here’s another thing I didn’t expect: it turns out that rather than the comedy sci-fi film I was expecting, this is actually supposed to be a softcore porn film. Oh. Continue reading “Test Tube Teens From The Year 2000 (1994) review”

Major League (1989) review

Major League posterDirector: David Ward

Starring: Charlie Sheen, Tom Berenger, Corbin Bernsen, Wesley Snipes, Rene Russo, Dennis Haysbert, James Gammon

CERRANO – “Bats, they are sick. I cannot hit curveball. Straight ball, I hit it very much. Curveball, bats are afraid. I ask Jobu to come, take fear from bats. I offer him cigar, rum. He will come.”

HARRIS – “You know, you might wanna think about taking Jesus Christ as your saviour instead of fooling around with all this stuff.”

CERRANO – “Ah, Jesus. I like him very much. But he no help with curveball.”

HARRIS – “Are you trying to say Jesus Christ can’t hit a curveball?”

Let me cut to the chase: if you’re from the UK, chances are you don’t care about baseball and haven’t heard of Major League. And yet – spoilers – I’ve given it five stars. Lol wut etc.

The truth is, I’m slightly biased here. I have family who lived in Cleveland, Ohio and as a result I grew up following the Cleveland-based sports teams, most notably the Cleveland Browns of the NFL and the Cleveland Indians of the MLB.

Major League, a comedy movie about the Indians, has therefore featured in my life for more than two decades. Over the years I’ve watched my worn-out VHS copy, DVD copy and Blu-ray copy so many times I could probably act the whole thing out from start to finish. Continue reading “Major League (1989) review”

Sin City (2005) review

Sin City posterDirectors: Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller

Starring: Mickey Rourke, Clive Owen, Bruce Willis, Benicio Del Toro, Nick Stahl, Jessica Alba, Brittany Murphy

“The wind rises, electric. She’s soft and warm and almost weightless. Her perfume is a sweet promise that brings tears to my eyes. I tell her that everything will be all right. That I’ll save her from whatever she’s scared of and take her far, far away. I tell her I love her. The silencer makes a whisper of the gunshot. I hold her close until she’s gone. I’ll never know what she was running from. I’ll cash her check in the morning.” (The Salesman, Sin City)

I’ve been reading through Frank Miller’s Sin City comics over the past few weeks.

While skimming through the letters pages found in the back of each issue – usually packed with readers moaning about censorship – I spotted an interesting comment from Miller.

One reader asked if it was true that Sin City was being turned into a movie, and Miller made it clear in no uncertain terms that he didn’t want this to happen. Continue reading “Sin City (2005) review”

Nick Fury: Agent Of Shield (1998) review

Nick Fury posterDirector: Rod Hardy

Starring: David Hasselhoff, Lisa Rinna, Sandra Hess, Neil Roberts, Garry Chalk, Tracy Waterhouse

“I do not intend to spend the last few hours of my life on this planet in the Helicarrier’s sick bay. I’ll get that vampire’s blood if I have to suck it from her neck.” (Nick Fury, Nick Fury: Agent Of Shield)

When you think of Nick Fury these days, chances are the first image that springs to mind is Samuel L Jackson’s face.

In a way it was a hell of an achievement for Marvel to have taken a comic book character who’s been white for the best part of 40 years and in nearly no time at all make us all associate him with Mr L Jackson instead. Props and such.

Less props were offered to Marvel in the ’90s when it happily handed out the Nick Fury licence to 20th Century Fox, who in turn created a made-for-TV movie that doubled as a pilot for a potential TV series (it wasn’t greenlit). This is that movie. Continue reading “Nick Fury: Agent Of Shield (1998) review”

Killers From Space (1954) review

Killers From Space posterDirector: W. Lee Wilder

Starring: Peter Graves, James Seay, Steve Pendleton, Frank Gerstle

DOUG – Where do you come from?
DENEB TALA – From a planet yet unknown to you.
DOUG – You know my name. You speak English.
DENEB TALA – We speak every language.

If the title has you curious as to what this one’s about let me end your suspense – it’s about killers from space. And it’s shite.

A young Peter Graves (decades before his role as the white-haired Captain Oveur in Airplane!) plays Doctor Doug Martin, a scientist working for the US military. Continue reading “Killers From Space (1954) review”

Robocop 3 (1993) review

Robocop 3 posterDirector: Fred Dekker

Starring: Robert Burke, Remy Ryan, Rip Torn, Nancy Allen, Mako, Stephen Root, CCH Pounder

MCDAGGETT – “In twenty seconds, everything within 30 metres of where we’re standing will be atomised. We’re dead, you stupid slag!”
ROBOCOP – “Don’t count on it, chum.”

The general consensus is that Robocop 3 is a bucket of pish. Oddly, I don’t agree with this.

Maybe it’s because I appreciate the way this one tries to do something different, even if it isn’t always successful. Maybe it’s because I like the Frank Miller script.

Or maybe it’s because I have my own website dedicated to shit films. Continue reading “Robocop 3 (1993) review”

Robocop 2 (1990) review

Robocop 2 posterDirector: Irvin Kershner

Starring: Peter Weller, Nancy Allen, Dan O’Herlihy, Belinda Bauer, Tom Noonan, Gabriel Damon

CAIN – “You want me?”
ROBOCOP – “Dead or alive.”
CAIN – “One of us must die.”
ROBOCOP – “Dead, then.”

Spare a thought for Alex Murphy.

Having gained recognition as a top-notch cop, he was soon transferred to Detroit where he was promptly peppered with bullets and literally blown to pieces before his first shift had even ended.

Then, rather than being allowed to rest in peace, his head and brain were slapped inside a big robotic body and he became Robocop, a living test subject created as a prototype for the future of law enforcement.

Finally, as if he hadn’t been humiliated enough, he had to appear at a WCW wrestling event to help one of the wrestlers get out of a tiny cage. Christ. Continue reading “Robocop 2 (1990) review”

Scooby-Doo! WrestleMania Mystery (2014) review

Scooby Doo Wrestlemania Mystery posterDirector: Brandon Vietti

Starring: Voices of Frank Welker, Matthew Lillard, Vince McMahon, John Cena, Triple H, Michael Cole, Kane, Brodus Clay, The Miz, Santino Marella, AJ Lee

“Sin Cara believes the spirit of the beast has been stirred by Wrestlemania itself, which is why the monster is risen from the grave to have its revenge. But fear not. It is now Sin Cara’s honour and duty to continue his great great great grandfather’s legacy and protect WWE City at any cost.” (John Cena, Scooby-Doo! Wrestlemania Mystery)

Some crossovers make complete sense. The Jetsons Meet The Flintstones was the perfect fish-out-of-water scenario times two, while Freddy Vs Jason was the natural clash of two of horror’s biggest icons. Ditto Alien Vs Predator with sci-fi, and Mario & Sonic in gaming.

But sometimes you get a crossover that seemingly resulted from two darts being randomly thrown at a massive list of pop culture names and licences.

In the past this apparent method has resulted in the likes of Archie Meets The Punisher, Charles Barkley Vs Godzilla and now this, a bizarre mash-up of Scooby Doo and Vince McMahon’s World Wrestling Entertainment. And you know something? It’s half-decent. Continue reading “Scooby-Doo! WrestleMania Mystery (2014) review”