Fruitvale Station (2013) Movie review; They messed the marketing up for this film

When I review a film I don’t like to give the plot or too much of the story away, I prefer instead to go to the heart of the film and let people know if the movie has a pulse and if so does it ever rise.

When my wife and I looked at the trailer for this flick we had no idea what the movie was about, we saw a group of young guys acting all ghetto and a fight kicking off on a train, then the trailer went back to his family life and showed the lead having issues with his partner, we decided to give the film a miss as there was nothing about the trailer that drew us in.

Having seen all of our top picks we came back to this, it was full of surprises, the lead does a magnificent job of portraying a simple and unsatisfactory life,but then if you live outside of the U.S you would not be privy to what happens next, the story is based on true events, I recommend anyone to see this film, it will leave you with a lot of questions and some unpleasant answers.

Great movie and one hell of a story to tell.

I think the marketing guys could have done a better job, as with us we decided against seeing it first time round, I think they could have done a line about injustice or something about what happens when the person you can count on to help lets you down, instead you are left with a film that looks nothing like the story that prevails.



Interesting facts about the film;

There is no mention at all in the film about Oscar’s father, partly because–through his son Oscar’s entire life–he was serving a life sentence for first-degree murder. However, he was permitted to also sue BART for his share of wrongful death payments. As of November 2013, his suit is still pending, while mother and daughter settled for separate total payments of $2.8 million.


Besides Octavia Spencer, another Oscar-inning actor, Forest Whitaker was instrumental as the film’s producer in getting it off the ground. He became a very early supporter of writer/director Ryan Coogler after seeing his film work in college.


Oscar’s father, Oscar Grant Jr., is a self-confessed former cocaine dealer who has been imprisoned since at least September 8, 1985, currently in California’s Solano State Prison.


Footage of a gathering featuring Oscar Grant’s daughter, Tatiana, was shot on New Years Day 2013 (message shown on screen). It was also added a few weeks before its premiere at Sundance.

Out of the Furnace (2013) Movie review; Woody Harrelson steals the show

You have some meaty strong performances in this flick which includes Casey Affleck who plays a returning soldier with mental issues, the dedicated Christian Bale who leaves his Batman uniform in the wardrobe for dark and moody performance which results in taking the viewer on a roller coaster of a journey which includes pit stops at sympathy city and cold heart mountain.

The man who really steals the show is … Woody Harrelson, man this guy is intimidating when he wants to be, with a wink back to his natural-born killers Woody let’s go with a stare that burns holes into your TV screen, good to see Woody back on top in a juicy role for a change.

As for the film, it’s a decent movie but the director ruins what could have been a thrilling movie and instead opts for a story that crawls into town and eventually rolls out, this is the difference between this movie being a smash and instead being what it is, an average film with great actors.



Runner Runner (2013) Movie review; Rounders(1998) gone wrong.

I have a dislike for Justin Timberlake’s acting, there were moments at the start of this film that I thought I may be converted but then he reverted back to type.

He plays a poor student who runs a gambling link to his university, he then goes to find the owner of an online casino and has the opportunity to go live a new life, the story is unbelivable along with the acting.

I liked Ben Affleck’s performance as it reminded me of his showing in Boiler room, apart from that the film quickly dissolves into a mushy pool of generic crap.



Big Ass Spider (2013) Movie review; Worst film of the year

I know the title sounds strong but I feel justified in using it, there are thousands of poor films made each year,  at least most of those films have realistic goals and a plan of how their final edit will look, I am guessing this director turned up smoking a big fat cigar while chewing on acid.

The story was over the top but could have worked in a Snakes on a Plane type of way, but I am afraid there are a 101 things wrong with this pic’, the editing is so bad that I am convinced it was done by an apprentice, the footage captured was obviously not enough to complete the film so they decided on replaying the same old scenes in different shots, to hide this fact they just played the video backwards, there are too many production issues which in the end just make the film feel cheap.

The special effects are so bad that my wife commented that it looked like a console game at one point, now all of this could have been forgiven if the comedy element had been bang on, which it wasn’t, it was so over played that it landed somewhere between Bill and Ted and Cagney & Lacey.

I have time for Greg Grunberg as an actor, things must look pretty bleak after Heroes if he is taking part in this kind of production.



White dog (1982) Movie review; Most over rated horror classic, but funny!

How in the name of Greek buggery does this film get a 7.1 rating on IMDB, I found the film on someone’s top ten horror movies of all time, I am guessing that person must have still been experimenting with the hippy drugs of the 70’s at the time, this film bites the big one.

The quality of the video is holiday camcorder quality at best, the acting is porno like and you have a dog who runs as people fall down, the climax is even stranger, when they treat the dog like the devil in a spanish bullring.

Funniest scene of the film; After running down the dog, the ladies friend suggests that she should keep the dog as some form of security, that very night a rapist arrives as casually as the post man delivering letters, the only thing missing from the dialogue at this point was the rapist saying, ”Oh hello love, I am a cliché rapist, never seen you or met you before, but I just thought if I kick down enough doors my chances of finding a lady alone are bound to be good, well guess what, you are tonight’s winner”, the following day her friend asks how she is feeling after the attempted rape and she responds like she has just found out her taxes have gone up, as if it was just a mild irritation.

Worth a watch just for the funny / ridiculous element.



True facts about the film;

The film is based on a true story. While she was living in Hollywood with her husband, writer Romain Gary, actress Jean Seberg brought home a large white dog she had found on the street that seemed friendly and playful. However, when the animal saw her Black gardener, it attacked him viciously, injuring him. Afterward, the couple kept it in the backyard, but one day, it got out and attacked another Black man on the street but no one else. After this happened a third time, they realized that someone had trained the dog to attack and injure only Black people. Gary wrote a magazine piece about it for Life in 1970, which eventually became a fictionalized full-length book.

In the original storylines based on the original script (like the book), Keys deprograms the dog to hate White people instead of Blacks. Once Samuel Fuller came on board, he quickly changed this storyline to simply rid the dog of its racist overtures.

The major reason the film was buried by Paramount was due to the criticism claims by the NAACP stating the film was trying to push a racist message across in its depictions of the dog’s actions while the film was in pre-production. Once a release date was set, the NAACP then threatened Paramount with boycotts which soon scared off executives largely due to the film’s subject matter. The film was then limited to a series of limited screenings throughout 1982 in cities such as Seattle, Denver and Detroit and Paramount finally aborted its release in the U.S. and shelved the film soon after. Paramount then tried to bury it for almost 25 years and yet the film was seen sporadically during this time appearing on cable and even a very brief, enjoyable run in art houses around the U.S. Paramount finally acknowledged the film and lifted its studio imposed ban by licensing the film as part of Criterion Collection, which released the film on DVD in 2008, more than 25 years after its intended and aborted release.

Captain Phillips (2013) Movie review; Tom Hanks brings another bit of gold to the screen! 9/10

I some times forget how good Tom hanks is, he has made countless blockbusters but mixed within his back catalogue is a mix of serious heart pounding performances, Captain Phillips is no exception.

Knowing that this is based on a true story brings an extra dimension but with old Tom in the saddle you always feel that the journey will be worth while, he plays the captain of a cargo ship that gets taken over my Somalian pirates, the director and screen writer do a fab job of sticking to the heart of the story and avoid creating an action flick to please everyone..

I am sure the real Captain Phillips would be moved by Toms showing, with just his eyes he conveys fear, hatred,worry and relief better than anyone out there, just when you think his job is done, there is scene near the end of the film that will have many guys taking a gulp and most ladies reaching for the tissues.

Tom with the real Captain –

Tom deserves an Oscar for this one.



Interesting facts;

During an interview on NPR’s “Fresh Air”, Tom Hanks says the first time he met the actors playing the Somali pirates was when they started filming the pirates taking over the bridge. Paul Greengrass mentioned he did this intentionally to build up tension between the actors on board the ship and the actors playing the Somaili pirates.

Tom Hanks claimed that the scene of Captain Philips’ medical examination was improvised on the spot with real-life Navy Corpsman Danielle Albert, who was told to simply follow her usual procedure. However, Albert was so star-struck by Hanks that she froze during the first take. Hanks joked to her that he was supposed to be the one in shock during the scene.

Gravity (2013) Movie review; My date with Sandra Bullock

This movie felt like a date with Sandra Bullock, the atmosphere throughout the date was dead, Sandra looked pale and showed little emotion apart from when she was talking about how depressing her own life was, moments of joy that I tried to take out of the date were filled with heavy breathing and emotional looks, mainly from her, I contemplated making my excuses early and leaving but Sandra insisted that even though the date had been really boring up until now, she in fact knew a story about a boring space girl saving herself, I insisted that the only thing that would her improve her story would be a quick death! … in the end I was praying for this ”date” to end, it just seemed to go on and on, the characters did nothing for me, I felt more for a slug I flushed down the toilet the previous week, only my story about the slug was much more interesting than this film ( Revenge of the killer slugs, coming soon – Summer 2014).

Apart from Bullocks constant panting the only other plus point was the special effects seen in space,

so if you like space special effects,

fill your boots.



Enemies closer (2013) Movie review; Van Damme in another budget movie

Van Damme is back in another budget movie, the man really has poor judgement at times, he goes and works on blockbusters like ”Expendables 2” then lends his hand to this piece of s***.

Now maybe that is strong but in the first five minutes of this film and plane crashes into a lake, the special effects produced in this scene are frankly embarrassing, all you see is a plane dip in the distance and then you see what looks like a penny drop in a bowl of water close up, it takes all credibility away from the film instantly.

As a plus I think Van Damme has improved immensely over the past decade, before he stayed quiet and cute in his early days, he got away with this based on his looks and fighting displays, now both of these are starting to fade he has been forced to find a darker and deeper Damme.

The killing scenes in the movie are another indicator of the budget they had in this film, they don’t even show the knife going into the body, they instead opt for a close up to the face and save money on not needing to buy as much fake blood.

One to miss.



The Call ( 2013) Movie review; A fantastic suspenseful thriller!

I do love watching a movie without knowing zero about it before hand, Halle Berry’s character works for the police taking 911 calls, I thought after she took her first few calls I could see were the story was heading but surprisingly the writer keeps you guessing and the pace of the film feels just right as well as entertaining.

I would say this is a perfect date movie ( If you want your girlfriend grabbing hold of your arm anyway) there are plenty of moment’s that make you jump and even more scenes that have you shouting at the screen at what is delivered purposely as stupid people making stupid decisions when faced with life or death choices.

A fresh feel to an old format.



Hours (2013) Movie review; Was good but the climax never arrived.

I went into this movie with the knowledge that Paul Walker had died within the past week and that I would be watching one of his last performances, I liked his previous work outside the fast and the furious and was not let down with his performance in this heavy drama, I found myself torn at times thinking what waste of talent his death was and thinking that he would not have known this film was one of his last when making it, I digress.

The film itself reminded me of the impossible, with the story based on true events, I was ready to have my heart-strings pulled but that moment never really arrived, I felt everything was geared up for that climatic moment but in the end the movie kind of leaves you unfulfilled.

I rate the film and the story, it just could have been so much better with a few tweaks.