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Machete

Machete

(2010)
6 months ago via Rotten Tomatoes

This one has been on my list for some time and I've had it on my PVR disc for a while now. Finally an opportune time-slot came up and I got the chance to give it a viewing. I have to say it was everything I had expected and more. A lot more humour in it than anticipated which was very welcome, with one particular set of scenes featuring our hero and the bodyguards of one of the bad guys that I found very amusing. I find that sometimes these films take themselves far too seriously and that is usually to their detriment; not the case here. Although not as polished as I would have expected, I still liked it despite the rough hewn edges to the production. Decent performances all round with Danny Trejo doing a very decent job as the lead, Machete Cortez. Also on the good-guys side we had Jessica Alba as Satrana and Michelle Rodriguez as Luz, nice eye candy but without too much substance. Chief among the bad guys were; Robert De Niro as Senator John McLaughlin, Steven Seagal as Rogelio Torrez and Jeff Fahey as Michael Booth; the pick of these being Fahey, mainly because he had a lot more screen time. Over all I found it a very entertaining film that didn't tax the little grey cells too much. It's pretty gory so definitely not one for the squeamish; just remember to check your brain in at the door and I'm certain you'll enjoy Machete.

SteelMonster's verdict: RECOMMENDED

My score: 6.6/10.


There are extra bits & pieces (photos, links, trailer and BIGGER PRINT) on my blog at:
http://thoughtsofasteelmonster.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/film-review-machete-2010.html

Enjoy!... :)

Django Unchained

Django Unchained

(2012)
6 months ago via Rotten Tomatoes

It was too long although there were some nice touches.

Premium Rush

Premium Rush

(2012)
6 months ago via Rotten Tomatoes

I have to admit I knew very little about this one going in; it's one of those I liked the look of from a brief clip and the two paragraph write-up on the TV guide. It wasn't perfect, but it did enough to entertain me, even with one or two laughs along the way. I will tell you more after this very brief summary.

The story centres on a group of bicycle couriers in New York City. Principle among them is Wilee (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) who has a rivalry with Manny (Wolé Parks), who is chasing Wilee's girlfriend, Vanessa (Dania Ramirez). Now, Wilee picks up a package from Vanessa's room mate, Nima (Jamie Chung) which he has to deliver by 7PM. He sets off but soon finds he is being pursued by a cop, Bobby Monday (Michael Shannon), who has his own reasons for wanting to get his hands on that package. We are told, in flashback, what the significance of the package is and just why Monday is so desperate to get his hands on it. There are many twists and turns before the end and more than one of them could get hurt, after all, it's dangerous out there!

Very well made with a nice pacey start that really grabs your attention. Sadly, it cannot maintain that rate, but it soon settles down as we get to know the various characters. I did find all the to-and-fro with flashbacks a little confusing at times, but it soon sorted itself out. On the performance front, everyone did an excellent job but the stand-out by some margin (for me) was Michael Shannon. He really does play the slightly psychotic cop so very well. I felt the final pay-off didn't quite live up to its initial promise, but I found it entertaining enough. Well worth a look; but don't put a stopwatch on it.

SteelMonster's verdict: RECOMMENDED

My score: 7.2/10.


There are extra bits & pieces (photos, links, trailer and BIGGER PRINT) on my blog at:
http://thoughtsofasteelmonster.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/film-review-premium-rush-2012.html

Enjoy!... :)

Flight

Flight

(2012)
6 months ago via Rotten Tomatoes

I heard quite a lot about this one on release; it made quite a splash, even gaining two Oscar nominations. Of course it never played at my local and so I've had to wait until now when it aired on TV. Was it worth the wait? Yes, although it's not one I would have paid full price for on DVD. It does have one or two issues, which I'll discuss later, but over all, it's a pretty good watch. Here's a very brief summary before I give you my thoughts.

When pilot Whip Whitaker (Denzel Washington) saves a commercial aircraft from certain disaster he becomes a hero. But it is not as straightforward as it seems. He has a drink problem and this is going to make life very difficult for quite a few people before the crash investigation is over. His union rep, Charlie Anderson (Bruce Greenwood) and the lawyer for the airline, High Lang (Don Cheadle) do their best to suppress certain condemning evidence against him but at the end of the day it's Whip who'll have to testify. The film takes us through his personal journey from the day of the crash onwards. In the hospital he meets a recovering addict, Nicole (Kelly Reilly), who he helps out and the pair of them live together for a while. Eventually though she cannot be around him because of his drinking and she leaves. He is taken to an AA meeting but nothing seems to work. His testimony is coming up and extreme measures are needed to keep him sober, but will it work?

Although I liked this film I did find it a little too long; in fact I have to admit that I watched it in two halves. From a totally stunning sequence at the start I felt it lost momentum for a while, that was until I became embroiled in the drama of Whip Whitaker's story. It's quite a tale and an excellent performance from Denzel Washington holds it all together quite brilliantly. I also thought Kelly Reilly did a pretty good job as well. But back to the opening sequence for a moment, for me it ranks as one of the best special effects driven sequences I've seen in a very long time and hats off to all involved. Taken as a whole, the film does take the audience on quite a journey and I know for some it couldn't quite live up to that crash sequence. For me I thought it held together pretty well, mainly thanks to the acting skills of Mr Washington. Over all, definitely worth a watch but don't get blown away by the crash sequence, there's a lot more depth to it than that.

SteelMonster's verdict: RECOMMENDED

My score: 7.8/10.


There are extra bits & pieces (photos, links, trailer and BIGGER PRINT) on my blog at:
http://thoughtsofasteelmonster.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/film-review-flight-2012.html

Enjoy!... :)

About Time

About Time

(2013)
6 months ago via Rotten Tomatoes

Well this one came up because it just happened to be on when it was a very good friend of mine's birthday. We had arranged that we were going to the cinema and I gave her a free choice (to be fair there were only two to choose from at the time we wanted to go, but I'm glad she opted for this). I like Richard Curtis, his work has varied over the years but it never fails to hit a note with me; so I have to say to Rosie, "Good Choice!". There were plenty of laughs but this was balanced with some quite heart rending stuff towards the end. Here's a very brief summary before I give you my thoughts.

When Tim (Domhnall Gleeson) reaches the age of 21, his father (Bill Nighy) tells him that all the men in their family can travel backwards in time. Of course Tim doesn't believe him until he tries it for himself. But now the question is; what to do with this ability. There are rules, but it soon become apparent that these are a tad flexible (I'll explain what I mean by that later). So Tim decides he's going to use it to get himself a girlfriend and who should be right around the corner but Mary (Rachel McAdams). He falls for her big time and contrives various ways to make sure she will be his; sometimes with hilarious consequences. But there is more than one cloud on the horizon and there are events to come that even Tim's ability cannot solve. I think that's enough of a teaser for now.

I have to admit I enjoyed this one; yes, they do make certain rules about time travel and then immediately break them, but that's not what the story is about. And yes, it is about well off white people, but again, if I wanted a film that was politically correct and socially aware I don't think I'd have Richard Curtis write it. No, this was pure escapism for me and I happily went along for the ride. Great performances all round, but the stand-out for me was Bill Nighy; he really nailed the part of the dad for me. I have to say I liked the soundtrack as well with many contemporary tunes littered along the way. So it made me laugh and I even shed a tear towards the end and there's not many films can do that. I admit I'm a bit of a sucker for the occasional Rom-Com and this one had just the right ingredients for me.

SteelMonster's verdict: RECOMMENDED

My score: 8.2/10.


There are extra bits & pieces (photos, links, trailer and BIGGER PRINT) on my blog at:
http://thoughtsofasteelmonster.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/film-review-about-time-2013.html

Enjoy!... :)

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Intel Hollywood Star Program (July 2012 - December 2012)
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