Wednesday, 17 October 2007

Black Sheep

In a country where sheep out number people 10 to 1, what happens when they turn bad…

You get a hell of a funny film, that’s what! So that’s the basic premise for the film, genetically modified sheep turn bad and then start killing people (in very gory ways). Simple and effective.

It sounds ridiculous and I suppose it is, but it works as a film and is very funny and also pretty gross at the same time (think in the vein of Shaun of the Dead and Bad Taste).

Recommended for a rainy afternoon if you’re in a silly mood, just leave you’re logic at the door.


P.s. The mint sauce joke is brilliant!

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Resident Evil: Extinction

Surprisingly fun!

I’ve always been a huge fan of the Resident Evil computer games, but no so much the films as the first two are pretty poor. Especially, when they could have literally just cut and past the story from the games to a film script and they would have had a decent film. Instead huge element were changed and they both ended up feeling like sci-fi films rather than survival horror.

So, my expectations for the third instalment were fairly low to say the least, considering they’ve changed the basic premise even more, so that it’s now basically Mad Max with zombies. Yet if you ignore this as being a computer-game adaption, and just watch it as a bog standard film, it’s actually pretty fun.

Yes, there’s some cringe worthy dialogue and some continuity errors that don’t really make much sense, but the rest of it is pop-corn cinema through and through.

The action sequences are all unique and varied. With a huge shoot-out in a sand covered Las Vegas (filled to the brim with gore and unexpected deaths) and a final fight with a Tyrant (that looks exactly like it should) being the two best. There’s another involving a murder of zombie crows, yet due to some weird logic was a bit of a let down.

So to keep it short - Way better than the first two, yet still doesn’t really deserve Resident Evil in it’s title.


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Thursday, 11 October 2007


Rat – tat – too - ee

Last night I had the opportunity to see the brilliant new Pixar film (a week early here in the UK) and if that wasn’t good enough in itself, to top it off I got to see it in glorious Digital as well. Count me very lucky!

- Lifted -

Before the feature presentation, we got to watch a marvellous little Pixar short film called ‘Lifted’. It’s really amazing how much time and effort would have gone into this, but the resulting 3 minute short is excellent.

The humour, creativity and animation is all spot on, though I did think the two aliens looked a little different to the general Pixar mould. Not in a bad way, (but as Disney before them) you generally know if it’s a Pixar animation, usually the style of the eye’s gives it away and that wasn’t really apparent here.

It is genius little idea about an Alien learning to abduct a sleeping human, and the mayhem that ensues. Simple and effective, I was laughing all the way through, even the little gestures and facial expressions are spell binding and bring a smile to your face.

I wish more films would play little shorts before them!


P.S. I think this is included on the future Pixar Short DVD that’s getting released, so be sure to get it!

- Ratatouille -

So to the main event!

I’ve always been a huge fan of the Pixar films, from the first time I saw Toy Story to last night’s Ratatouille. I have yet not to be astonished by how incredible every one of their films is and the care that goes into making them. Though I must be honest last years Cars is my least favourite and I don’t think it was up to Pixar’s exceptionally high standards (at least where story was concerned anyway).

Fortunately Ratatouille is back to Pixar at it’s best, with a story so original it’s unbelievable they even made a decent film let alone something as excellent as this. So what’s it about (if you don’t know), well it’s about a Rat who wants to be a chef in Paris. Right… try selling that to the general movie going public! Disney’s marketing department has had a hell of a job trying to advertise and sell this.

But if you get over the unique (or maybe strange) concept, put your trust in the fact that it’s a Pixar film, and just sit there and watch, you will be very (very) presently surprised!

From a purely animation standpoint, from the opening to closing credits, this is just the cream of the crop. The attention to detail is phenomenal, whether it be hundreds of rats running on screen, waterfalls rushing through sewers, the huge selection of restaurant meals or just a little bit of dirt rendered on somebody’s shoe, nothing is short of stunning. It’s worth the price of admission alone.

The time spent on character and story is at the fore front as always. Never afraid to spend a bit of extra time on establishing two characters connections, or tying up a loose story thread from earlier. Everything is pulled together to create a magical story ready to be served and delicious from start to finish.

The musical score is top-notch, using little bits here and there to make this incredible French cuisine of a world. Then great thunderous sound-scapes to push the action sequences forward.

The action sequences are just exhilarating (though the majority involve a chase of some sorts), the way they are shot (well you know what I mean), with camera placement and movement all just add the little extra’s that really grab you. When the main star Remy is being sucked through the rapids in the sewer, the way it is shown makes you fell like you’re there as well.

Then you have all the little neat touches that Pixar fill their movies to the brim with added on top of all of that as well!

The only two minor gripes I have are – Firstly, because of it’s setting, a lot of time is spent in one location, namely the kitchen and this can be a bit restricting when films like ‘The Incredibles’ and ‘Finding Nemo’ have had many different locations to enhance the story situation and amaze the audience. The second is that around the ¾ mark it did begin to seem a little long, though I think this has a lot to do with the lack of new locations, as there is nothing in the story that should or needed to be cut.

After waiting almost a year for this film, I can say that I was thoroughly impressed and would recommend this film to anyone of any age. It is an outstanding piece of entertainment and I can’t wait to see it again.


Rated amongst the other Pixar films I would rate it as such. (Top being my favourite)

Finding Nemo - 10/10

Monster’s Inc - 9.5/10

Ratatouille - 9/10

The Incredibles - 9/10

Toy Story & Toy Story 2 - 9/10

A Bug’s Life - 8/10

Cars - 6.5/10

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Tuesday, 9 October 2007

The Kingdom

Within five minute this film has you on the edge of your seat.

The opening sequence is excellent, for some reason it just grabs you. There has been know character development, no time spent creating a connection with a particular person, but the attack on a crowd of innocent people captures you completely.

I suppose it has a lot to do with the times that we live in, where a group of terrorist attack people from the western world and all of a sudden you can’t help to have some pre-conceived emotional attachment. The mass killing of these people, which then concludes with a suicide bomber is purely brutal.

Thus the film begins proper, and four FBI agents (including Jamie Foxx and Jennifer Gardner) are sent to solve this crime and bring the people who did it to justice. Although for the next hour, there are no huge action set pieces, due to the circumstance and location there is a very uneasy tension building throughout the film (Where anything could happen at anytime, to any person). This works to the films advantage as the viewer constantly can’t rest or relax or sit easy.

This time is spent looking for clues, establishing characters motivations and showing the political under certainties that surround the whole situation.

Then the last half hour all hell breaks loose, starting with an explosive sequence on a motorway, to rocket launcher fights in the streets and then a shoot-out in a block of flats, all whilst trying to save one FBI agents before he’s executed. Top of the range, heart-pounding stuff!

I thoroughly enjoyed this film, part thriller/part action and succeeding at both it was well worth the price of admission.


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