Are You Here (2014) Movie Review; Generic pay check for Zak & Owen!

I am fond of Zak Galifianakis and Owen Wilson but this film is as generic as an old ladies wallpaper.

Zak plays the wild and eccentric character AGAIN !!! and Owen plays the cheeky charmer with the wonky nose, now I know he can’t help the nose placement but please guys, make an effort to create or be part of something original and smart, to some degree.

Zak’s Dad dies and he is called back to his small town to sort the families affairs out, only issue here is the story and the characters seem very unbelievable, sometimes when characters are off the wall this can create an eccentric, funny parody of life, not so with this movie, it kind of feels like the director was torn between a quirky independent movie and a commercial successful movie that aims to please everyone.

Wait til you have nothing to do before you put yourself out for this film.



Blended (2014) Movie Review; A predictable generic film!

I am a fan of Adam Sandler, mainly his early work but I held out high hopes for this film, with his old friend Draw Barrymore included in the cast to bring back some of that chemistry witnessed in ”The Wedding Singer” the vibe of the film was looking good.

The start of the film begins well, the concept seems original, but it’s not long before the movie follows the usual predictable path, Adam will never be as successful as Eddie Murphy but they both seem to be churning out the same crap safe films, the danger in their performance seems lost.

Would be nice if Sandler found or created some original scripts, every chance his gets to embarrass his lead characters he takes it, reference the car parachute scene…..

On a positive note I did enjoy the fleeting appearances of Terry Crews, he is larger than life on several levels.



Get on it(2014) Movie Review: The James Brown movie!

There are lots of good and bad in this film, if we start with the good, the actor (Chadwick Boseman) delivers a sterling performance as James, it’s creepy at times how a like he is, the stories that come out about Mr Brown are interesting and revealing if they are true to life.

The bad, well it has to be the decision by the screen writer to let James talk to the camera / audience in an unfunny Ferris Bueller type of way, the intention was not for comedic purposes, but I am not sure what the screen writers intention was, nevertheless, I found it took me out of the story and in effect the film each time he did it, which was a lot, you have a man whose life is long,interesting, horrific and successful all gift wrapped for the screen writer (Jez Butterworth)  to deliver something special, instead he creates an OK film, but this had the ingredients to be amazing, I hope someone else attempts a remake in the future and avoids Jez’s mistakes.



Boyhood(2014) Movie review; amazing idea, but …

When I read that this film was shot every year for the past twelve years, following the same cast I could not wait to watch it, for the first quarter of the film I was mesmerised by the cleverness of the idea and development on the screen, to follow a boy of 5 up until he is 18 is quite amazing, the film is life within a life, it’s the closest I think we will ever get to the Trueman show, but let’s not forget, this cast agreed to act, not be monitored.

So did it work, I would have to say no, the idea was fresh and original but I found myself watching out of intrigue in the physical changes and not the story that was being told, you know sometimes when a movie ends and you are left to wonder if the characters go on to lead a sweet and happy life, well this film proves that it is better to live with the fantasy than the reality of life, that is why we watch films in most cases, this film is a little too close to life in the fact that it is quite boring and dreary(compared to the movies) not a lot happens which is a crime when you think that the director had 12 years to re-edit the script.

Worthy of a watch by all, more for the experience than the viewing pleasure.



Starred Up ( 2014) Movie Review;A shock to the system!

I really enjoyed this gritty and realistic film, there are elements of the film that will shock and stun you, but the thing struck me about the film was ability to capture the darkness of being in prison, I really felt at times that I was in the prison depicted in the film, the glum walls and the depressing atmosphere make this film feel like a documentary at times, this is a compliment to the director and the lead actor Jack O’Connell.

definitely not a family film, more for a grown adults wishing to be taken out of the their comfort zone.





The Purge:Anarchy(2014) Movie Review – A first class film,that is far better than the original!

I absolutely loved this film, I watched the first Purge and was disappointed, the story was interesting but there was no charm from the cast and the clash of the wealthy vs the poor did not capture my attention as this installment did.

The year is 2023 and straight away you are put on the back foot with the ticking time bomb that is the yearly purge, the writing is so smart in this sequel, you have a family splintered by poverty but movingly brought together out of love, and a couple who start arguing about their trivial break up when they should be worrying about what’s about to happen outside on the streets.

There are several subplots that are all very plausible, but moving on from that you can really taste the fear of the purge this time round, the streets have an atmosphere that is thrilling as well as creepy, I found myself shouting at the screen,more than once, when one of the stupid characters decided not stay hidden(this is good sign great directing and perfection in teasing the audience).

The camera shots were quirky and imaginative and the pace of the film is just right.

Frank Grillo was the perfect leading man who led this story down lots of dark and surprising alleys.

Highly recommended



Divergent ( 2014) Movie Review; A futuristic war film 2/3 GREAT! 3/3 NOT SO!

An interesting film set far into the future where government have divided people into groups after huge war, when a girl questions her fate she starts to create a panic and suspicion from every direction.

There are moment’s in this story that reminded me of the Matrix, with regards to the special one tag, I really enjoyed the story and the action but my final thoughts were of a film that could have been great but instead was just OK/Good.

The writer and director really do well over the first two-thirds, but it’s the last third that just felt rushed and hurried to a disappointing end.



Draft Day (2014) Movie Review; A solid film that will keep your interest!

I watched this movie out of curiosity more than I did for the drama, in England we don’t have a draft system, the clubs basically wait to see which player is showing the most promise at 16, then the BIG clubs come in and steal that player leaving the producing club with a compensation claim which relates to pennies if that player becomes successful.

I like the American system, I am guessing there is a decent interest in youth football because of this system.

Back to this film and you have Mr Hit & Miss, Kevin Costner, he plays what a first seems like a naive character but I don’t think I would be ruining anyone’s enjoyment by saying his character grows throughout this story.

The interesting factors include the lengths that these clubs go to, to find out if their future players have personality issues, or if they are mentally or morally weak.

A solid film and decent actors in all the right places, I never tire of seeing the great Frank Langella.