Sunrise at Angkor Wat

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Yes Man - 21/12/2008



FILM:
Yes Man
DATE:
21 / 12 / 2008
TIME:
16:50pm
LOCATION:
PRINTWORKS, MANCHESTER
FILM (out of 10):
7.5
COMMENTS:
Probably not quite a return to form for Jim Carrey but pretty close at least for those familiar with the Carrey formula. On the face of it, people might think this is Liar Liar again but it is a little less over the top and more heart warming than that movie. Zooey Deschanel is very watchable as Carrey's new girlfriend and Terence Stamp is great as the guy preaching that YES is the new NO. Probably the best comedy of the year in a year pretty light in that department for my own cinema goings.

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Day The Earth Stood Still - 12 / 12 / 2008


FILM:
The Day The Earth Stood Still
DATE:
12 / 12 / 2008
TIME:
19:30pm
LOCATION:
Trafford Centre, MANCHESTER
FILM (out of 10):
6.5
COMMENTS:
A master class in 'suspending suspense' and unnecessarily rewriting a classic sci-fi film that was near perfect. We seem to be at the peril of third millennium script writers (not GORT) who want to rubbish classic sci-fi, another example being the War of the Worlds re-make. I really wanted to like this movie as the original is a beautiful example of absolute power from inference, suggestion and minimalism and an eerie soundtrack. It lacks emotion from the human players (although Connelly does her best with a lousy script and backdrop) and just takes the names of the original characters without the quality of their portrayal. It seems to me that they spent all the money on the first 20 minutes which promised so much more than the rest of the film delivered. I would buy the original on DVD and watch that instead. It amuses how a 1951 film can offer so much more about a futuristic context than a film made in 2008. They lost the plot 'literally' on this one. The scriptwriters are no better the early 'Apprentice' candidates and I am 'beginning to believe' in my own capabilities as a story teller.

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Friday, December 05, 2008

BlackRock Masters Tennis - 02/12/2008



Tuesday 2nd December 2008
Evening
Cash v Edberg
Bahrami/Fleming v Gullikson/Jarryd
Black/Woodforde v Wilkinson/Leconte

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Monday, November 24, 2008

Steve Coogan - Manchester Apollo - 06/11/2008


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Ken Dodd - You Must Be Joking - 15/11/2008


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Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Quantum Of Solace - 31/10/2008



FILM:
Quantum Of Solace
DATE:
31 / 10 / 2008
TIME:
20:30pm
LOCATION:
Trafford Centre, MANCHESTER
FILM (out of 10):
5
COMMENTS:
The Bond franchise was reinvented with the last outing but a little trashed in this latest episode. Rather jerky, uninspiring action set pieces in the 'pretend this is good action' category. Bond is a little more unrealistic in his dispatching of the bad guys especially in a sequence in the lift were he takes out 3 or 4 of M's men who are assigned to take bring him in. He does it in 3 seconds flat...not likely...given the men involved... result... no tension... no realism. Compare this to his more realistic, hard fought fights of the first movie. This reduces the movie to those old flicks where bullets fly and the hero doesn't get hit. The first movie took the feel of a Bourne movie whereas this movie tended to copy it somewhat. Bond says to Felix at one point, 'How long have I got?' to escape... Felix '30 seconds'... straight out of the Bourne Ultimatum. This goes for the car chase sequences and one of the fights, only in this film there is less polish and style and just too much chopping and editing. It also contains 1 or 2 sequences where it seemed the director couldn't be bothered putting in the action, especially in a scene at the Opera (did they not make enough money from the first movie?). When you think about it, no book to go by and a different director and it's no wonder the movie seems to be clutching at straws for ideas. Craig is good as well as his co-stars but the editing and direction is poor. I can wait a long time for the next Bond unlike the Casino outing which left me wanting more very soon. More could be said but this review is already longer than all the others such is my disappointment.

Thursday, October 16, 2008



FILM:
Taken
DATE:
05 / 10 / 2008
TIME:
18:30pm
LOCATION:
PrintWorks, MANCHESTER
FILM (out of 10):
7
COMMENTS:
Entertaining enough for 90 minutes but although his movie attempts to mimic the Bourne formula in terms of pace and style, it rarely gets upto those dizzy heights. This mainly because there are far too many moments of convienience to propagate the plotline and the Hero rarely seems too tested and takes on a little too much at times. Liam brings the movie up a notch on the acting front once the story gets going which helps and it has one or 2 moments which are memorable at least. Not bad but not a classic.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Tropic Thunder



FILM:
Tropic Thunder
DATE:
26 / 09 / 2008
TIME:
16:15pm
LOCATION:
PrintWorks, MANCHESTER
FILM (out of 10):
7
COMMENTS:
Pretty much as predicted, the least renowned actor for comedy Robert Downey Jnr steals the show as a white australian actor playing a black soldier (I think he also has the most amusing trailer at the beginning of the movie). This is a pretty good comedy but you always feel there is a better movie trying to get out. Somebody commented that the stretch marks could be seen with Stiller doing most of the jobs on set and I think they may have a point but this one has more laughs per 30 minutes than your average (or above average) Ferrell movie.

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Friday, September 12, 2008

Step Brothers



FILM:
Step Brothers
DATE:
07 / 09 / 2008
TIME:
16:30pm
LOCATION:
Trafford Centre, MANCHESTER
FILM (out of 10):
5
COMMENTS:
Maybe it was just me but this seemed like 2 guys who think they are so good at getting laughs that they don't need a script. About as random and as pointless as it gets really. Anyone trying that hard to get laughs will always get some results but given the length of the movie, far too few results recorded. I've never walked out of a cinema movie (apart from when the fire bell went off during the last new Star Wars movie) but I came as close as is possible with this one. If you laugh just looking at the face of Will Ferrell, this one's for you. There are plenty of close-ups.

HellBoy 2



FILM:
Hellboy 2
DATE:
22 / 08 / 2008
TIME:
20:00pm
LOCATION:
Printworks, MANCHESTER
FILM (out of 10):
6
COMMENTS:
Missed the first movie but watched the second because I was hearing good things. Some decent effects and I like the bit in Ireland with the Giants Causeway. I appreciate that this superhero is played more for laughs but given that, he doesn't have alot to say for himself in the whole movie and he doesn't have many funny lines. The overall plot is interesting with the Golden Army of robots coming back to wreak havoc but the fun moments are not as sweet. Not too bad but I was hoping for a little more.

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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Dark Knight - 27 / 07 / 2008

FILM:
The Dark Knight
DATE:
27 / 07 / 2008
TIME:
06:30pm
LOCATION:
Trafford Centre, MANCHESTER
FILM (out of 10):
7.5
COMMENTS:
Quite good but the sum of the parts of this movie, is less than the whole. The same dark atmospheric feeling is maintained as for the first movie but the set pieces don't blow you away and the fighting is a little 'clunk-click'. Heath Ledgers performance is good but Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne is not on screen enough for such a good actor. I didn't leave the cinema liking this one quite as much (a close call mind) as the first but still thought is was reasonable. A long movie, a friend of mine felt it got better as it went along. The predominant memory after 3 days away is The Joker.

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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Incredible Hulk - 28 / 06 / 2008



FILM:
The Incredible Hulk
DATE:
28 / 06 / 2008
TIME:
19:50pm
LOCATION:
Trafford Centre, MANCHESTER
FILM (out of 10):
7.0
COMMENTS:
So fast-paced that there is no time for drama and tension. It left me appreciating Bill Bixby and his interpretation of David Banner, warmer and more intellectual. Some parts of the set pieces are quite good and make up for the lack lustre acting of this movie. It's no Iron Man but it's better than the Fantastic Four and of course, Daredevil but that goes without saying.


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The Forbidden Kingdom - 13 / 07 / 2008



FILM:
The Forbidden Kingdom
DATE:
13 / 07 / 2008
TIME:
18:45pm
LOCATION:
The Printworks, MANCHESTER
FILM (out of 10):
7
COMMENTS:
If I'm going to watch another fantasy movie after the Lord of the Rings trilogy then it might as well be a martials arts based, far eastern one. Throw in Jackie Chan and Jet Li and you can't go wrong (most of the time). First time on screen together and they have a fair fight of it until that is, they realise they are seeking the same conclusion to the movie. Enjoyable for the duration and some laughs of course. Pretty reasonable.



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