Saturday, 26 March 2011



George Tillman Jr.

Dwayne Johnson
Billy Bob Thornton
Carla Gugino
Oliver Jackson-Cohen

So for the last couple of days I've been trying to find a bloody cinema playing Wake Wood, apparently they don't exist so I'm going to do a review of this instead. Just as well the DVD comes out on Monday or this would have turned into a ten page rant of badness. Damn Hammer addiction is going to get me into trouble on of these days.

Faster is the new Dwayne Johnson film, and I am happy to say he's back doing action films after a few rather dodgy films for kids. Unfortunately this isn't the welcome return you may have hoped for. He plays Driver, yes his name for the film is driver. Seriously I'm not making this shit up. Anyway, he took part in a robbery with his brother, they got double crossed, his brother was shot and he ended up in jail with a metal plate in the back of his head from a bullet wound that didn't manage to kill him. Of course it didn't manage to kill him, he's the fucking Rock. So he get's out of jail and goes on a murderous rainy fire of vengeance rampage killing spree type thing.
On his case is Billy Bob Thornton playing Cop, he's a junkie cop (who da thunk it?) a few days from retirement, he's been hassled in on the case by his boss, and Killer. A contract killer hired to take the Rock out of action before he get's to the bottom of the double cross. You will have worked out who is responsible for the double cross quite early on in the film, I'm suprised they even bothered with a big reveal when it was blatantly fucking obvious.

Now I know this sounds like a bad review, the story line isn't the best and the acting at times is dubious, but it's a fucking action film. We aren't watching a fucking oscar winning screen writers attempt to show the holocaust in a new way that breaks down the barriers of film and leads to world peace. As an action film it does exactly what it says on the tin. It's in no way the best action film you will see this year. It doesn't break any new ground, but if you switch your brain off at the start you will probably find something to enjoy about it. Turn it off enough and you may even love it. Have a few beers first, it may help.
So instead of a new hammer film I went to see a mediocre action film starring the Rock. It isn't reflected in the review, I like the Rock, this just could have been a lot better. I would wait for it to appear on DVD in tesco for £3. Don't spend a ton of money on it unless you have one of those cineworld passes. If you do, you've probably seen this already.

Friday, 18 March 2011

The Resident

Antti Jokinen
Hilary Swank
Jeffrey Dean Morgan
Lee Pace
Christopher Lee

So it's time for another new Hammer film, this time in the guise of pshycological thriller The Resident. Hammer has made many outstanding thrillers in the past from The Nanny to Paranoiac and attempts to keep the tradition alive. It actually does it rather well. Which is odd as the other reviews I've read seem to be mainly negative. Who knows what the hell they were expecting, maybe it was me thinking it was going to suck which lead me to enjoy it.

So the next karate kid herself Hilary Swank plays Dr Juliet Devereau, she needs an apartment after splitting up with her husband, Lee Pace. She finds one currently being renovated by landlord and owner Jeffrey Dean Morgan, the rent is far cheaper than she expects so she moves in. Things seem great for a while until the film lets you know what's going on behind the scenes of the building. Then it gets creepy.
Now some of the things that happen could easily seem ridiculous but the performances are awesome and manage to keep you engaged. Any time it seems to be going a little too far it manages to bring it back. It's well directed and as mentioned earlier the performances by Hilary Swank and Jeffrey Dean Morgan are outstanding. In the hands of lesser actors this could easily have turned into a showgirls style car crash with moments intended to be creepy turning into a comedy filled romp. There's actually a part of me that wants Tommy Wiseau to remake this just to prove that theory.

I wouldn't necesarily tell you to rush out to the cinema to see this film, but when it comes to DVD you should definitely have a look. Actually you'd probably struggle to find a cinema that's still playing it. I had to rush out to Falkirk last night to see it when I realised very few places were showing it from today.
Oh and I just have to give a special mention to the awesome Christopher Lee who still manages to engulf the screen like he did in Rasputin even though he is now an elderly gent. Hopefully he still has many films left in him as his acting prowess hasn't dwindled with age. If anything his recent performances have reminded the world how great an actor he always has been. Atleast he won't be remembered for Police Academy 7 or Gremlins 2. Unlike Hilary Swank who will always be the next Karate Kid and the random friend in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer film. She is a great actress though. Even if she does kind of look like a duck.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Top ten fake band film list

So this is a list of films made about fake bands... Some of them may have turned into bands after the films were made, creating some kind of crazy doctor Frankenstein hybrid of rock, but I'm doing another list of actual biopic style films on real bands in a minute so bear with me. Oh and I may have missed some of your favourites out. This is either because I haven't seen them, or I don't think they're as good as the ones I've put in here. That's a polite way of me telling you to shut the fuck up and quit yer moaning.

10: Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story (2007)
John C. Reillys career has been kind of strange. He went from films like Magnolia and Hoffa to this. It's a strange transition, isn't it meant to go the other way. Like Tom Hanks started with Big and then went onto more serious films. Though it does rain frogs in Magnolia so maybe he was a comic genius all along. Anyway this was the first film in which he was the main star, and it's awesome. Even if it's just for Jack White appearing as the most memorable Elvis ever.

It mocks Walk the Line and Ray but manages to do it in a non Wayans brothers annoying as fuck way. Amazingly funny with many funny moments. Even just for his fall into drugs, being threatened by Elvis and getting high with the Beatles. Awesome.

9: A Mighty Wind (2003)
Christopher Guest makes awesome film shocker. Okay so everything the guy touches just seems to be made of comedy gold. Even his cameo in Little shop of horrors or his outstanding performance in The Princess Bride show this guy nows what films to get involved in. This is the rather awesome story, when a famous folk record producer dies, his kids put on atribute show with some of his favourite bands.

As you would expect from this troup of actors the film has you laughing like a crazy person for the whole thing. All the bickering in the bands manages to be believable as do some of their rather outlandish stories. There isn't a bad performance in this. If you haven't seen it you really should, even if it's just for Spinal Tap as the Folksmen.Yeah that's right, Spinal Tap go folk. Fucking genuis.

8: Almost Famous (2000)
This list is a lot harder than I originally expected, therefore this rather awesome Cameron Crowe film only makes number 8. I love this film, life on the road in the seventies based on numerous things witnessed by Cameron Crowe when he was just a wee yin. It manages to not get too sentimental and shows the crazyness of the time in an endearing way. Which isn't the easiest thing to do.

The film follows Stillwater as they try to hit the big time, but don't quite get there. They are followed around the country by a young journalist played by Patrcik Fugit. Eventually seeing him as one of them and not the enemy (journalists). It's funny, and has genuinely heartwarming moments. But it's a film from Cameron Crowe, if you don't know what your getting into then it's best not to watch something this good. You fucking moron.

7: Airheads (1994) Bill and Ted (1989, 1991)
You may be wondering why I put these films together. The reason I have done this is because 1. They are awesome and 2. they don't really have a whole lot of music going on. I mean they're about bands but you don't get to see them play music that often. They're more stories about bands doing stupid things and making us laugh. Yeah it may not sound like the best logic but it's good enough justification for me.

In Airheads the Lone Rangers break into a radio station and hold the stations personel hostage in an attempt to get played on the radio. Bill and Ted feature the two protagonists going on crazy adventures, one that leads them back in time, the other ends up with them playing Death at Battleships. When I recently played battleships with my wife I felt the need to do a death impersonation everytime one of my ships was destroyed. I'm still married. Go figure.

6: Rock Star (2001)
I am a huge fan of rock and metal from the eigthies, this is a great account of a lot of that crazyness. Inspired by the real life story of the guy who was in a Judas Priest tribute band that became the singer of the band after the departure of Rob Halford. I would say the guys name but it's fucking ridiculous. Mark Wahlberg is alarmingly good in this. It's easy to forget he can actually act, I blame it on his mouth. There's just something not quite right with his mouth. Like Gordon Brown... But he makes good films, if you forget about Max Payne and Planet of the Apes, why Tim Burton, why???

Anyway it follows Izzys life as he is thrown into fame and all the dodgyness that surrounds it. As usual with these kind of films it charts both his rise and fall. It has a good ending though and doesn't feel the need to have him in junked up in a hotel room having just died from autoerotic asphyxia. Awesome performances from all the back up cast including the Zack Wylde who seems to be playing a cross between himself and Ted Nugent. If that isn't a reason to watch the damned film I don't know what is.

5: That Thing You Do (1996)
Tom Hanks, what a cunt. Seriously though the guy can be make you laugh or make you cry and now the dick can direct too. Fucking bastard. This film is a nostalgic look at the music business in the sixties. Giovanni Ribisi breaks his arm before his bands gig and they get in Tom Everitt Scott to replace him. The fusion creates the band the Wonders (well the Oneders to begin with) and they go on to have a hit single.

The film follows them as they go through the ups and downs of life in the lime light but not in the drug fuelled drink fest route a large number of these films tend to go down. It does show how cut throat the industry is but does it with plenty of joy in it's heart. You will leave this film feeling happy, and if you watch it till the end you find out that the bass players name in the credits is T. B. Player. Not even worthy of a name. I bet a lot of bassists feel that way.

4: The Commitments (1991)
This film is responsible for a lot of people getting into classic soul music. This is in no way a bad thing. It's the truly awesome film of a soul band in Ireland created by Jimmy Rabbitte who has dreams of managing the worlds greatest band. They get together, make some great music and inevitably explode as the egos struggle to fit on the same stage together. 

If you haven't seen this film you've probably spent your whole life living in a cave. The band still do gigs around the country but unfortunately, as actors, the stars from the band pretty much dissapeared. Popping up in small roles now and then. One of them died in the Phantom Menace.  The main exception of that is the ginger guitarist who is a huge recording artist in Ireland and made the rather awesome Once. Speaking of Once.

3: Once (2006)
I find it hard to put into words just how much I love this film. The songs are amazing, and Glen Hansards voice gives me goosebumps everytime I hear it. The film is basically a love story that develops between two people who make awesome music together. The film feels natural and nothing about it comes across as forced. The relationship plays out the way real relationships do. At no point does some hollywood fuckhead come along and tell them how to sell it to the masses.

So basically the two become friends through music, after she sees him busking and he promises to fix her vacuum cleaner. They get another couple of buskers and make a demo together. There's no suddenly they become famous added on the end to make you feel better. You know the if you believe in it then it will happen bollocks kids are sold by disney and TV shows. If you haven't seen this film, you really should get a hold of it. You won't be dissapointed.

2: This Is Spinal Tap (1984)
As far as mockumentaries go this is the fucking daddy. The only thing you're allowed to be shocked with is that this is only number 2 on this list. The songs are awesome, and make you snort liquid out your nose. The onstage personas are believable in their stupidity. Most importantly it doesn't at any point succumb to stereotypes. The band are dumb, and they are dumb througout. They really don't have a clue. This could possibly be one of the most quoted films of all time. If you go into any dressing room and see they have small bread then I bet you everything I own that someone will mention Spinal Tap.

Come on turn it up to 11, that's become standard talk for guitarists all over the world. Much to most sound engineers dismay. This is the bible of mistakes made by bands. I have no favourite scene in this film becasue everytime I think of one I remember another one, and another one, and on and on and on and on until I'm quoting the whole film as my favourite bit.

1: The Blues Brothers (1980)
Now I bet some of you spat in disgust all over your monitor when you saw This Is Spinal Tap at number 2. Until you saw what I put at number one right? Awesome. Beginning life as a Saturday Night Live sketch The Blues Brothers went on to become on of the greatest films of all time. Just ignore the sequel, that never happened, just remember the good times. Staying up to watch the film on TV regardless of how late it was on, and finding it hard not to dance around the living room. This is a film that just fills you with crazy happiness. Unlike the film Happiness which although awesome doesn't really live up to it's name.

It's sad that John Belushi died a couple of years after making this, I like to think this is a film that could have easily turned into a series of films. Each more madcapped than the last. It was the eighties, they did it well back then. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed my little list. If you dissaprove of this list in any way then please feel free to fuck off. I'm lovely really.

Friday, 11 March 2011

The Troll Hunter

André Øvredal
Otto Jespersen
Glenn Erland Tosterud
Hans Morten Hansen
Johanna Mørck

The Troll Hunter is a rather outstanding mockumentary set and made in Norway. A group of students try to make a film about someone they believe is killing bears illegally. After following for some time they discover that he is in fact hunting down Trolls. Yes big fucking Trolls.

Throughout the film they discover that Trolls have been living in Norway for thousands of years. Hans works for the government keeping them under control. If the Trolls manage to escape from their designated areas he's sent in to kill them before they can be discovered. There's rather amusing footage of government officials trying to cover up the resulting destruction and deaths. As the film crew get in deeper they begin to realise they are in danger from both the government and Trolls.
The film manages to play with the idea of Trolls living in real society and actually makes it believable that these creatures could be living in and around certain areas in Norway, with the government working hard to cover up the mess behind them. It creates a society for the creatures and manages to create new myths around them, whilst playing with known myths from classic fairy tales.

It's very well made, though it is reminiscent of The Blair Witch Project at times due to a large amount of time being set in a forest, that's where the comparison ends. Mainly due to the fact that this film is actually very enjoyable and has some outstanding special effects. It doesn't rely on noises and snot to get your pulse racing, or make you want to give the girl a tissue. Seriously though wipe your fucking nose woman.
It manages to be funny, and has great moments of suspense and the trolls themselves are believable, with the different breeds of troll manage to be distinguishable from each other. The only down point I would say about it is that the film crew can at times be annoying. Hans however is an awesome character and he'll bring me back to watching it again and again. So get a hold of it when it comes out on dvd. One of the best films I've seen in a while.

Thursday, 3 March 2011


Lawrence Gough
Neve McIntosh
Shaun Dooley
Linzey Cocker
Dean Andrews

Next up on the list of low budget British horror films made in the last few years is Salvage. It's the big screen debut from Lawrence Gough and stars Gormenghasts Neve McIntosh (Beth) and Red Ridings Shaun Dooley (Kieran) in the main roles. Yes, these low budget British affairs are generally filled with TV actors, but if they're willing to take a punt at something I'm with them.

Fun fact number 7,300,297 is that this was filmed in the same cul de sac they shot brookside on. I do generally wish they'd actually shot brookside out a canon but for some reason people love that crap. Apart from Anna Friel kissing a woman I can't remember much else about it, wait didn't someone bury their husband under a patio or something... Bloody soap operas, oh the fucking drama.

Where was I, oh yeah it's a fucking film. So in the film a container is found off the coast, things start to go weird pretty much from then on. It's part inspired by the real-life beaching of the container ship MSC Napoli off Branscombe Beach in Devon in 2007 apparently and you can see why. All these people clambering to get at crap when they have no idea what the hell is in the containers seems a little odd to me. But this film clearly puts those fears into 'yes, the worst did happen and now your all fucked'.

It starts with a wee paperboy delivering, well newspapers. He's hardly going to be delivering aids is he. It appears he doesn't have to dodge lawnmowers or Grannies jumping infront of him either. Anyway he comes across a couple arguing and being a nosy little shit has a good look. He gets chased from the guy inside, and runs like a bastard. Unfortunately for him he runs right into getting done in by some unseen entity. Well it's a guy with a big stick but you don't see him so that sounds far creepier.

So the rather awesome Dean Richards is driving his daughter to her mums (Bethh) so she can spend Christmas with her. She really doesn't want to though as apparently her mums a bit of a cunt. Later in the film you find out she left them to persue a career. Jodie (the daughter) clearly resents her, and it seems she'd rather spend time in some torture device made by Jigsaw than spend any time with her mum. But it's not like Neve McIntosh is playing the same bitch she played in BBCs Single father surely. I guess it doesn't help that when she arrives her mum is humping Kieran, an apparently married man she met in a bar the night before. Classy.

So Jodie runs off to her friends house across the street. It's about now the shit starts to hit the fan. An asian man thats covered in blood gets done in by some army types which leads Kieran to believe that's he obviously a terrorist, fucking moron. Anyway the army arrive and tell everyone to stay indoors, helicopters and everything. Some shit is going down.

So starts Beth trying to get a hold of her daughter who's just across the street but she could as well be in Dubai with the army presence around the area. This is basically the next hour or so of the film. It's very claustraphobic and at no point during this time do you find out what's actually going on. The paranoia level keeps getting raised for the people stuck indoors. It's very well done, things keep happening outside which keep raising the threat level for them more and more.

It's usual for me to start going into things at this point with the kind of detail you'd get if a five year old started talking about the artistic significance of Dali's Persistence of Memory, but I genuinely feel that this would possibly ruin moments of the film that would otherwise have you gripped. There are no moments which aren't huge to the storyline so in an effort not to ruin the film I will shut my big giant mouth up. And you now how hard that is for me. So go watch and enjoy, you won't regret it.