Thursday, 23 August 2007

Rush Hour 3

What a pile of cookie-cutter crap.

That’s all I’ve got to say, this film was appalling, bad acting, boring action and it wasn’t in the least bit funny. I’m not going to waste my time writing (or your time reading) a review.



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Tuesday, 21 August 2007

The Dark Knight Pics!!!

Okay, so it's not a Review but these pics are way too good to miss!!!

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Monday, 20 August 2007

The Bourne Ultimatum

One of the best films of the summer!

I’m going to keep this short and sweet, but let me assure you this is one of the best spy films I have seen (I just don’t have a lot of time to write a review).

The film tells a comprehensive story in the final chapter of Bourne finding out the details to his elusive past. It is extremely well paced, never slowing, constantly moving the plot and the characters forward, cramming in enough edge of your seat sequences to keep you absorbed in the story and well acted by all the cast.

The highlight for me was the London tube station sequence, it must be at least 15 minutes long and it pulls you in from the get go and builds up so much tension you forget to breath.

All the other action sequence contains a similar vibe, including a roof top chase, which leads to a full on brawl in an apartment block.

The only down point was the shaky cam (especially at the beginning), I don’t think the director has ever heard of a tri-pod or a steady cam as every single shot seems to be hand held. Even the scenes where people are just talking the camera is moving all over the place, it’s a little disconcerting at first. It is most noticeable at the beginning, but after the first 20 minutes it seems to die down a bit, or either I just got use to it.

Even though this is the last in the series, the ending didn’t feel entirely conclusive, so even though there aren’t any more books to draw the story from there could easily be another sequel. Not that I’d be complaining though, bring it on.

In a word – Brilliant!


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Tuesday, 14 August 2007

Knocked Up

I’m never having a one night stand again!

I thought Knocked up was suppose to be comedy? And it turns out to be a horror of a wake up call of what could go wrong after a one-night stand!

Seriously, though, this film is very funny, but there is always that niggling feeling in the back of your mind of ‘this could happen to me,’ which, however, in turn becomes the movies greatest strength, because everything is so relatable.

It is very much driven by the characters, as the story is relatively simple – guy and girl have one night stand, girl gets pregnant, hilarity ensures. So a lot of emphasis is placed on characters and there development over the 9 months.

Seth Rogen plays an excellent role as the father to be. He is damn funny and has perfect comedic timing, but the weird thing is that he never tries too hard. He literally says very believable things, but in the context of when he says them, it just makes you laugh.

This goes for the rest of the cast and comedy throughout, there are no big set-up pieces or slapstick elements, all the comedy comes from the characters and their interactions with each other. It makes it very realistic, in that everything in the film could and probably would happen if you were surrounded by similar people.

As well as having some very funny moments, the film also has a real heart at it’s core and is never afraid to slow down and show it. But this doesn’t slow the pacing of the film, it just adds to the story.

Watching the film, I could really identify with Ben Stone (Seth Rogen) and I imagine a girl would relate with the mother to be Alison (Katherine Heigl). I really can’t say how much the characters make this movie, all the main and supporting characters do a stand-up job.

I don't really like going too in-depth with a comedy film as it can ruin the laughs and you can never really explain a joke to the same effect as watching it, so I'll leave it at that.

Highly recommended and very funny.


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Thursday, 9 August 2007

Fight Club

“The first rule of Fight Club is - you do not talk about Fight Club.”
“The second rule of Fight Club is - you do not talk about Fight Club.”

Now where would the fun in that be?

Released in 1999 and based on the book by Chuck Palahniuk, this has to be one of my favourite films of all time. It’s one of the smartest and thought provoking films I have ever seen. With so many layers and details incorporated into it’s unique story - a blend of insomnia, corporate consumerism, the definition of masculinity, hints of many religions and the exploration of modern day life. The list is endless, there are so many idea’s included into this two hour masterpiece, that everyone who watches it will take something different away from it.

As you follow the narrator (who is never named), you begin to discover and realise what a shallow world we live in. How everyone strives to look like the models in the magazines or builds their lives around their Ikea products. What the media tells you is expected of you, without following societies expectations you will amount to nothing. How can you be complete if you don’t become what society expects you to become? How can you show your success if you don’t buy products to put it on display. If you don’t have the beautiful wife and kids all living in a £300,000 condo, then you have failed in life.

“The things you own, end up owning you.”

The film develops these notions and follows the narrator as he slowly breaks free of these constricting rules. He’s fed up with life, he need’s an outlet to get rid of all his pain and suffering. This starts with attending self-help classes, where he listens to other people's problems in order to help himself feel better.

Then he meets Tyler Durden, the epitome of the perfect man, he’s cool, he’s sexy, he’s masculine, he’s smart, he’s confident, he has vast amounts of knowledge on all the things you wish you could remember (making bombs), he’s everything the narrator wants to be. Tyler doesn’t have a care in the world, he doesn’t follow societies rules and he’s happy.

“All the ways you wish you could be, that's me. I look like you wanna look, I fuck like you wanna fuck, I am smart, capable, and most importantly, I am free in all the ways that you are not.”

Together they form fight club, a place for the everyman to come to life and not be judged on the materialistic nature of the world, on the money in their bank, the style of their clothes, the job they do, etc. A place where men can be men, where they can let their repressed aggression out on each other, then go home and feel a little better about themselves.

“You're not your job. You're not how much money you have in the bank. You're not the car you drive. You're not the contents of your wallet. You're not your fucking khakis. You're the all-singing, all-dancing crap of the world.”

This then escalates into Project Mayhem, where Tyler basically declares an all out war on modern day life and all its shortcomings. His main goal being to destroy the credit card balance building, when everything is gone and the credit ratings are reduced to zero everyone will be equal.

“It's only after we've lost everything that we're free to do anything”

How the story is told, is brilliant, always from the perspective of the narrator and it draws you in so you feel a part of this world, a part of this rebellion.

With a script that is probably one of the best ever written and full with quotable lines of dialogue (hence all the quotes in this review), this is a joy to watch from start to finish.

The acting is all stellar, with Brad Pitt, Edward Norton and Helen Boham Carter putting in amazing performances.

David Fincher (the director) should be congratulated with what is one of my favourite films of all time. As well as being an expert story teller, his eye for visuals is awe-inspiring. The cinematography is incredible, every frame could be a painting, alas a very dark and gritty one, but beautiful none the less. With the strangely weird sex scene or the opening shot travelling through the narrators brain, out of his pours and along the barrel of a gun being some of the highlights.

“This is your life and it's ending one minute at a time.” But I’m glad I’ve taken the time out of my life to watch this masterpiece.


What do you think? I’m sure other’s will take different things away than what I have.

And a few more quotes, as I love every bit of dialogue in this film, if I had enough time I’d post the whole script!

“Reject the basic assumptions of civilization, especially the importance of materiel possessions.”

“We've all been raised on television to believe that one day we'd all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won't. And we're slowly learning that fact. And we're very, very pissed off.”

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Tuesday, 7 August 2007


Let’s be honest 1999, was an awesome year for film releases. Mainly, because it includes two of my favourite films of all time.

The Matrix and Fight Club.

Both of which I’ll be posting reviews of in the coming weeks (as well as some new films). The Matrix one, being part of an extensive look at and review of The Matrix Trilogy.

So keep checking back for them. Be warned though The Matrix one may take a while!

p.s Ignore the Read Full Review link on the update posts, it's just the way the HTML has been set-up.

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Monday, 6 August 2007


Hey, just a little update to let you know what’s going on in the world of Ripblade Reviews.

Firstly, I’ve added a section in the side bar with links to all the coolest new movie trailers that have just been released. This will be updated regularly, so make sure you keep checking back for the latest new trailers in case you missed them!

Secondly, as well as adding reviews for new movies, I’m going to start posting reviews for older films. This will mainly be for films I have some sort of passion for, so they should be fairly in depth. Batman Begins being the first of these, see just below. It also helps fill the void between new film releases and may give you a little reminder to check these films out again.


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Batman Begins

Batman Begins…

Yeah so, it’s a bit old now, but with all the hype for ‘The Dark Knight’ hitting after Comic-Con. I decided to slip this into the DVD player for a little reminder.

I forgot how brilliant this film is. I always knew it was my favourite comic book film of all time, but the ironic thing is and the main reason why, is because it doesn’t feel like a comic book film. It easily stand’s alone, if Batman had never existed in any other media (comic, cartoon, TV or movie) this film would still be just as good. Despite how good the Spider-man films are (well 1 and 2), they still very much feel like they exist in a comic world. This feels like it’s grounded much more in reality and like someone has written the script from scratch. Rather than taking key plot points from a previous story and making a film out of them.

Firstly it’s an origin story, but it feels like an integral part of the plot, not like a paint by the numbers set-up (e.g. here’s a ordinary guy, gets powers, becomes super-hero, etc). For the first half it bounces between past and present as it tells you the story of how Bruce Wayne became Batman. I thought this was a really interesting approach, rather than telling the story in chronological order.

What this effectively does is get you invested in the character of Bruce Wayne, rather than just waiting around for when he dons the cowl for a sequence with Batman. This works so well that when it gets to the hour point and Batman still hadn’t made a full appearance I didn’t care I just wanted to see how the story of Bruce Wayne progressed. I think the key problem with some comic book films is that you’re just waiting around for the super-hero alter-ego to turn up. Where as this makes you interested in the whole character.

Christian Bale essentially plays three characters to make this work. First there is the real Bruce Wayne, then the public perceived playboy Bruce Wayne and then of course Batman. The three sides all combine to make one complete whole, and someone that can be related to.

Bruce is very much the focus, where as the villains come in second place, which is how it should be. Here you have three villains – the mob boss Falcone, Scarecrow and Ra’s Al Ghul. But instead of being a jumbled mess like other multi-villain encounters, these all fit into the story and allow the plot to move forward. They are the perfect choice for a film that’s central theme is fear and understanding revenge.

I think that just shows what an incredible job writer David Goyer did, he tells an origin story, includes three villains and tells an overall story involving the redemption of Gotham City and it doesn’t feel over-crowded in the slightest.

Then added to a great script, you have an even better cast – Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne/Batman is perfect, Michael Caine as Alfred, Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox, Gary Oldman as Commissioner Gordon (well Lieutenant in this one), Cillian Murphy as Scarecrow and Liam Neeson as Ra’s Al Ghul. Could you ask for a better cast? And they all play their roles spot on!

Batman’s equipment and the stages he goes through to make the suit. It’s just all built around reality, and make’s sense. Like the suit it’s self being made from a prototype army suit, or the utility belt and the cape. It’s all there for a reason, instead of just being put in for the sake of it because that’s what he looks like in the comic. For example, Bruce jumps from a building early on and nearly falls to his death, he realises he needs some sort of equipment to help him, so he adds the cape to act as a glider.

The addition of the new Batmobile (the Tumbler), I want me one of those! It kick’s ass, as it roars across the city and smashes through debris and over cars, this is the ultimate boy toy. Half tank, half speedster this has the power to make anyone get out of the way and in a hurry. The car chase this is in is mental, flying across rooftops and through walls. It sounds corny on paper, but on screen it just works.

The thing I love about this film is how it builds, from start to finish it gets bigger, grander, and more intense. You start of with young Bruce Wayne, loosing his parents and wanting revenge and by the end you have Batman swinging through the city racing to save Gotham.

The only minor nit-pick I have with the film is the way the fight sequences are edited. The quick cutting makes it hard to really understand what’s going on, it works in the sense to show how fast Batman is moving and confusing his enemy’s, but at the same time it can be confusing to the viewer as well. But as I say this is very minor.

So this is easily the greatest comic based film of all time, and my fingers are firmly crossed that The Dark Knight lives up to it or hopefully even surpasses it.


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Sunday, 5 August 2007

Surf's Up

“Surfs up gnarly dude!”

So the new computer animated movie from Sony Pictures Animation, how is it?

Well I got to say I really, really enjoyed this movie! I’ll admit my opinion will be slightly biased because of the surfing aspect of the film, a fave past time of mine. But I think even a non-surfer would still have a good time with this.

Firstly the animation is incredible, top-notch all round, especially the water and wave effects. They are unbelievable, I can’t even imagine how much work and effort must have gone into getting the waves to peel perfectly and roll on like they do. The amount or polygons, textures and blending effects that must have gone into creating them is incredible.

The backgrounds also have a sense of life to them, even when characters are walking in the foreground, the jungle or the ocean is all moving behind them completely realistically. It is definitely some of the best cartoon styled animation I have ever seen in a film.

The whole mock-umentary set-up for the film was quite original, the story it’s self is quite straight forward, so by having this ‘gimmick’ seemed to keep it fresh. I think it was an interesting approach, especially for a film that’s likely to be aimed mainly at children (though adults will have just as much fun with it). If you’re a surfer there’s so many other little touches that’ll bring a smile to your face as well (like having Kelly Slater and Rob Machado as commentators).

The comedy here is for all ages but the majority is all quite mature and subtle without having to resort to fart jokes and silly things like that.

The only thing I didn’t really get was why they had to be penguins. It could have been any animal, and seeing penguins have already been used in ‘Happy Feet’ and ‘March of the Penguins,’ it seemed like maybe they were jumping on the penguin bandwagon. But apparently this was in production before penguins became the next big thing, so I’ll let them off.

Thoroughly enjoyable film and definitely the best non-pixar CGI animation I’ve seen.

And any film where a penguin is surfing at night under a full moon with incubus playing in the background is awesome in my books.


(8/10 for non-surfers)
(7/10 for non-penguins)

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Wednesday, 1 August 2007

Goldfinger (Digitally Re-Mastered)

“Pussy Galore.” Yes please.

Originally released in 1964, this is the third Bond film starring Sean Connery. It is also the first Bond that really encompassed all the elements that make up the (now well known) Bond cocktail – the girls, the guns, the gadgets, a villain with a unique side-kick, the elaborate traps, etc. For many this is the pinnacle of Bond films (followed closely by From Russia With Love).

So why am I reviewing a film that’s 43 years old? Well because here in the UK it has just been re-released (as part of ‘The British Summer of Film) Digitally Re-Mastered and shown as a Digital Presentation.

I had two reason for checking this film out –

1) I wanted to see this classic Bond adventure on the big screen.
2) I haven’t watched a digitally projected movie at a cinema yet, and this was my first chance.

I’m guessing the majority of people have already seen this (most likely several times), so reviewing it per se is probably going to be a waste of time. I hadn’t watched it myself for a few years – so I’ll give a brief overview of my thoughts.

First Sean Connery as Bond, he really is the classic and the best. Watching his performance again as 007 was really quite interesting and nostalgic as he carries a balance of arrogance and charisma around him that none of the new Bond comes close to. I could see bits of Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig in his acting, (or rather they took their style from Connery). Brosnan took the charm and expanded it, where as Craig to the arrogance and developed that. Connery is the true Bond that has all these elements and carries them off effortlessly.

The one thing that ruined the film was (believe it or not) Austin Powers, every time a certain music was used or OddJob was throwing his deadly hat, I couldn’t help but see the comedic side. Though fortunately I managed to shut that out quite early on and just enjoy the film.

It really is quite remarkable though that a film some 40 years old stands up as well as this does, with the exception of the few ‘spoof reminding’ moments it was a joy to watch. The whole childhood fantasy of “I want to be just like Bond when I’m older” came back. I really had fun, the one-liners come off naturally and it really shows how much Bond has done for modern day action films.

The girls all look stunning, Goldfinger is still one of the most iconic Bond villains and OddJob is a sinister henchman. This remains one of the best Bond films.

But you already know that, so lets get onto the second part of the review.

The digital presentation, how was it?

It felt a little weird watching a digitally projected film at first, just because I’m so use to little scratches squiggling over the screen or cigarette burns popping up in the corner when I’m at the cinema. This was crystal clear however, so perfect it seemed like I was watching a DVD on a 50 ft high TV screen. It’s hard to explain, but the clarity and definition on the image was incredible and very noticeable. If you live in the US you’re probably use to it, but in the UK not many cinema seem to be embracing digital as it’s so expensive!

The other thing that made it particularly strange was the fact that this was an old film, you expect a film that was made in the 60’s to look a certain way, but no, because this had been digitally re-mastered it looked like it was shot this year. It really was impressive. The opening shot flying around the Miami hotel, or over Fort Knox and the surrounding town near the end were two of the standouts as there was so much detail, it was hard to take it all in.

I can’t wait to see a film that was originally meant for digital on the big screen now in this format. I imagine a film that is heavy on CG like Transformer would be especially impressive.

I’m thoroughly glad I watched this classic again, and I can’t wait to see another film in the digital format.


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