Assault on Precinct 13

First of all, does Drea de Matteo ever play someone who isn’t a slapper? It was pointed out that she is good at it, but still.
Right, on to the film. Two policemen are finishing packing up their police station which is being shut down. I wasn’t quite paying attention but I think the old cop was one day away from retirement, aren’t they all? They have the secretary (de Matteo) for company and it is New Years Eve. There is a huge snow storm going on outside so a bus carrying some prisoners has to stop off there too. But what’s this? People are trying to break into the station to free one of the prisoners – Bishop, a notorious cop killer. Or are they? No! It turns out the attackers are in fact corrupt cops who want to kill Bishop because he is about to testify against them all. Twisty. (A pat on the back must go to Libby for guessing one of the other twists before it happened.) There then follows a siege, with rather a high body count. It wasn’t an outstanding film but it was entertaining. However, I did fall asleep during the last wee bit, though it was late, about 10.30pm for goodness sake!  It was predictable in parts and wasn’t especially thrilling.  There was also unnecessary animal cruelty at the start for which one point will be deducted.


The Wedding Crashers

I should have known.  It was a romantic comedy for goodness sake, hardly my favourite genre.  The ending was so predictable a little kid who had only watched 2 movies ever could have told you what was going to happen.  The movie started out funny, I also liked the montage where they played “Shout” (the Lulu song but not Lulu version) and everyone was dancing and having a grand old time at all of the weddings.  It made me want to get roaring drunk and have a party.  The rest of the movie did not have the same effect. 
One of the guys falls in love and has to woo the lady away from her fiance who of course is really mean and cheating on her.  The other guy is trying to escapethat girl’s crazy sister.  There is even a foul mouthed Grandma thrown in for your cliche pleasure. 
Plus the friends fall out as in all buddy movies. 
The middle got a little bit dull, my arm fell asleep, and usually if a movie is interesting I will hardly notice.  I noticed.
I will not continue, just know that this movie need not be watched if you have ever seen another romantic/buddy comedy.


Coffee and Cigarettes

Coffee and Cigarettes.  I’m more of a tea and biscuits person myself and this film did little to convince me otherwise.  It was so boring!  I am just thankful that I didn’t have to pay to see it.
The film is made up of short scenes revolving around people sitting round a table, smoking and drinking coffee.  sound dull?  It is.  There were only two scenes that held my attention the whole way through.  The first was with Cate Blanchett playing herself and her cousin (with a voice very much like that of sexy New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark).  The other, also on the cousin theme, starred Steve Coogan; and he made himself out to be a very shallow man, it was quite funny.  Other than that though it was a yawn-fest.  (It was interesting to note that in the scene with Steve Coogan and some other English man, they drank tea not coffee).
The other scenes may be slightly amusing if watched by themselves but strung together they are just tedious.  What is worse is the themes and topics of conversation tend to repeat (how many times one of them says “Coffee and cigarettes?  That’s not a very healthy lunch.” I don’t care to know).  This makes it feel like you are watching the whole thing twice.  Once is quite enough thank you.
There will be some people that will say that it’s an arty film and I am a philistine that doesn’t understand the struggle within each character, the symbolism of the coffee and the beauty of their situation.  Who cares, there are good are films and there are crappy ones.  I know which category this belongs in.


Boondock Saints

I thought it was just me, but the other three people I watched this with also found it a little hard to follow. That aside it was a rather good film. Two Irish brothers decide to rid Boston of the evil men – the mafia, hit men etc. (I’m not sure if the woman who is mentioned at the very start, who was murdered while others did nothing, is the mother of the brothers and therefore their motivation – it wasn’t clear). Anyway, the guys go around killing the bad guys and manage to get away with it. Willem Dafoe plays the FBI agent who is trying to solve the case. He appears in one scene in drag, looking a bizarre mix of attractive and ugly:

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Billy Connelly also turns up as an assassin. There is another man too, “Funny Man”, who helps the brothers in their quest only he’s not very good at shooting, nor very discreet.
There is a great scene where Smecker (Dafoe) explains what he thinks happened at a crime scene, where he enacts it along with the actual shooters. There is also a rather cringe-inducing scene where the men use an iron to cauterize their cuts and bullet wounds. The opinion of the people of Boston is split between them being saints (Boondock saints y’see) or being just as bad as the people they are trying to get rid of. I will add a point on for Willem Dafoe in drag, but I have to deduct a few for being a little hard to follow – 5/10.

Fantastic Four

Yes, I went to the movies again today.  I was the only person in the whole cinema, something that has only happened to me once before but it is GREAT!  Today I got to lie across three seats, rustle my plastic bag and sneeze loudly.  I also fell asleep because I was so comfy, though that may have had something to do with the film.  Fantastic Four was not fantastic.  Average Four would be better.  Spiderman it was not.
The thing is, apart from one rescue they didn’t do anything  “fantastic”.  They spent the rest of the time getting to know their powers and trying to get rid of them.  It reeked of been done before really.  Though, the effects were very, very, well done, I will say that. 
In a nutshell – 5 people go into space and get hit by a cosmic cloud.  They all get super powers, 4 of them are good people, one is bad who pretends he didn’t get affected.  He, naturally becomes their nemesis and they defeat him (or do they?) at the end and they all live happily ever after.



Well, my choice of movie was pretty much made for me.  I had to work in the morning, even though it was my day off, and I was supposed to finish at noon.  But right on noon the boss made me do more jobs so I didn’t get out of there until about 12.25pm.  I got round to the cinema and checked the board, I could see Downfall or Millions which had just about started so I chose Downfall to give me time to get food too.  Then I noticed, after I had got my ticket that I hadn’t missed The Machinist, it just hadn’t been on the board when I looked so I had assumed I had missed that too.
Downfall was a good film though.  It follows the last few days of Hitler, he has turned into a crazy old beast (not that he was the sanest of creatures beforehand).  He now no longer cares what happens to the Germans and his regime is falling apart as he makes ridiculous military decisions that are doomed to fail.  Goebbels, Hitler’s Minister of Propoganda, is played by an scary looking man, he has very angular features.  The person I ended up hating the most out of this film though wasn’t Hitler, but Goebbel’s wife who was so into National Socialism that she took to her bed saying that without National Socialism there was no future.  She then proceeded to murder all six of her children so that they wouldn’t grow up in a world without Nazis.  Psycho.  You almost, I said almost, feel sorry for Hitler in places.  His wife was also a weirdo, blindly following his orders.  “You’re the Fuhrer” she tells him, even when her pregnant sister’s husband is sentenced to death because it is Hitler’s will.
The scenes of a war-torn, ruined Berlin were excellent, giving a feeling of a real war zone.  I really enjoyed this movie, it taught me a lot about what happened in the last days, how Hitler died and why his body wasn’t found; how the whole regime came crumbling down. 


The Island

The Island centres around Jordan 2 Delta and Lincoln 2 Echo, two clones who live in a big clean, shiny, complex with hundreds of other clones.  Only, they don’t know they are clones oooooooooooohhh!  All of them think that they are the survivors of a worldwide contamination.  Their one goal in life is to win the lottery where the prize is a transfer to “the Island”, the only uncontaminated spot left on earth.  But there is no island!  One clone figures out something is wrong and he and his friend escape.  What follows is a pretty decent action film, complete with miraculous feats of survival.  Not only do they survive getting shot at multiple times, they survive being in a car that gets hit by a truck AND a fall from a 70 storey building.  The end raised a couple of questions but I won’t say what they are lest I spoil the story.
Scarlett Johansson plays Jordan 2 Delta.  Apart from a pretty face and some wanabee-Angelina lips what’s the big deal about her?  She doesn’t seem to be anymore talented than any other actress.  So she was in Lost in Translation?  Who cares?  What a boring load of yawn that was.
It’s good to see us British are still being considered for a variety of roles in Hollywood, playing the villain for a change in this one.  (Ok, technically Ewan McGregor is British but note his American accent in the film.  When he has his Scottish accent you will not fail to notice he is playing an arse).
I also noticed two blatant pieces of product placement, Xbox and Puma.  (See here for more on product placement in movies on The Best Page in the Universe).
All round a jolly fun film, it raised moral questions and got me thinking as well as being entertaining. 2 for the price of 1!


Seed of Chucky

I have never watched any of the Child’s Play movies, never been terrified of my toys coming to life to murder me.  What a deprived child.
Anyway, Seed of chucky was pretty good!  It is really a comedy with a few deaths thrown in.  Chucky and his wife Tiffany had a child (yes, they are dolls that breed) who is in England being touted as a ventriloquist dummy, when he is really “alive”.  The guy who uses him as a dummy is an angry fellow that wants the dummy (his name is Shitface) to be mean.  S-Face though, is actually quite nice and manages to escape.  He flys to Hollywood to find his parents, he saw them on TV so knew where to look.  When he meets his parents the poor thing becomes gender-confused as he has no bits.  Chucky wants a boy so calls him Glen, Tiffany wants a girl so calls his Glenda.  Glen/da doesn’t seem to mind and is happy being both.  Jennifer Tilly plays herself in this film and this makes up the comedy bulk of the film.  The dolls all live in her house and plan on taking over her body.  Mayhem naturally follows.  This was suprisingly amusing, 3/5


Joe Dirt

The other day a group of us got together as one of our friends had gone wild at a movie sale and bought stacks of videos.  Three were selected: Joe Dirt, Identity and The Butterfly Effect.  We conducted a secret ballot where I voted for The Butterfly Effect.  I would have been happy with Identity too.  However, a cheeky “executive desicion” meant we ended up watching Joe Dirt.  I had already seen it and once was all you need. 

It’s an OK film , it raised a few smiles with me and at one point I do believe I chuckled aloud.  However, that was all.  Joe Dirt is played by David Spade and is a rock loving country boy who was abandoned by his parents when he was eight.  He has a huge mullet which is a wig that is fused to his head.  He cleans at a radio station and they get him on air to tell his story and he becomes a huge celebrity.  The DJ interviewing him is ridiculously rude, he wouldn’t last long without a smack in the face in the real world.  Joe’s story is a big road trip where he goes to find his lost parents.  There is of course a love intrest and a happy ending.  This is 100% a throwaway movie, watch it once then discard.


Batman Begins

An averagely intelligent man once said that the old Batman films should be scrapped and that the world should start again with this one.  I am in full agreement.  Though my only involvement with the Batman movies is experiencing the distinct whiff of cheese and my husband’s love of Catwoman (Michelle Pfeiffer version) I feel that that is all I need to know how rubbish they are.  I am a fan of the cool old 60s Batman TV show though. 
Anyway this movie was great, the story was interesting – showing us how Batman started out, deciding on a costume (like in Spiderman) and all that jazz.  It is funny and action packed.  It also has Michael Caine in it who has one of the coolest voices in movies.  Batman is played by Christian Bale who is the best looking Batman there has been (George Clooney my arse).  Katie Holmes did her usual goofy half-grin that she always does and Gary Oldman was almost unrecognisable in moustache and glasses combo.
There was a creepy “scarecrow” too.  The world must forget the terrible past, it’s ok, we can get through this.  We must start again with Batman Begins and all will be well.