Gareth Rhodes's Profile - Rotten Tomatoes

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Rating History

Hobo With a Shotgun
4 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes
½

Thanks largely to Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez, a mainstream way seems to have been paved directly to your average multiplex for the seventies style exploitation films that would otherwise fester in a bargain bin, loved only by a small band of followers hungry for a cheap thrill. Quite often, these films are less defined by their actual content, but more by their title, poster, tagline and trailer. Is ‚~Hobo with a Shotgun‚(TM) any different? No. Aside from boasting the talent of Rutger Hauer on top billing, this witless and overblown nonsense has about as many tricks up it‚(TM)s sleeve as an armless magician. It‚(TM)s almost as if director Jason Eisener is working from a tick-list of things he needs to feature in his film. A bus full of school children vs a flame-thrower- Check. Homeless man forced to chew broken glass for money- Check. Baseball bat decorated with razor blades to be used in bludgeoning until entrails flop out- Check. All of this might raise an eyebrow, but it doesn‚(TM)t raise much more. Yes it‚(TM)s ridiculously violent, foul-mouthed and waaay over the top, but separated from any kind of character involvement or clever plot device, these things add up to little more than an unpleasant assault on the senses that leave you with the uneasy feeling that you might have ever so slightly regressed during the 86mins you spend in it‚(TM)s company. Most of the cast have a good time bathing in blood while ‚~over-thesping‚(TM) their collective assess off, but it‚(TM)s a feeling that‚(TM)s not altogether shared and although it might still appeal to those who have followed it‚(TM)s kind through the low-rent origins from which it sprang, for everyone else the trailer is a much more satisfying and crucially shorter experience. 1.5/5

The People vs. George Lucas
4 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes
½

That this film exists is testament alone to the influence that film-maker George Lucas has had in the thirty-five years since the release of Star Wars. The aim of this documentary is to study the relationship between fans of Star Wars and it's creator in the most microscopic of detail. Combining footage of fan-made films from YouTube with interviews with everyone from comedians to the man himself, Alexandre O. Philippe's film barely pauses for breath as it takes us through an auditory onslaught of everything that's right and wrong with Star Wars and goes some way to trying to explain why those prequel films ended up being as bad as they were. In many ways, this is a love story and like any good love story, there's trouble a good deal and strife along the way. For anyone that bought into Star Wars in the late 70's and early 80's and followed that interest right though to the late 90's and the release of 'Phantom Menace', this film was made for you. No altered pixel is left unexamined as O. Philippe's film studies and compares everything from the cinematic abomination that was Jar-Jar Binks, to the constant tinkering and updating by Lucas on his classic and much loved original trilogy. What's ultimately most pleasing though is that this is never a witch hunt. There's as much room for praise for Lucas as there is for anger and frustration towards him. Whatever your opinion of the man, there's no denying how far and wide his influence has spread and what's interesting is how well it continues to thrive and expand despite how many feel about the quality of his more recent output. Alexandre O. Philippe's film doesn't just point the finger at Lucas, it also turns a mirror on the people that built him up to be the business magnate that he is today. It's a clever documentary and deserves credit for it's balance and fairness. 4.5/5

The Hunger Games
4 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

Based on the popular young adult fiction by Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games sets out to win a new cinematic franchise with it's post 'Twilight' teen romance versus adversity themes as young people from an oppressive society are forced to fight to the death for the sake of public entertainment. Having seen and read a number of positive reviews, i sat back with a certain amount of optimistic anticipation. Looking back over the past few decades, there's been a few films that have tackled this dark subject matter from 'The Running Man', the 80's Arnold Schwarzenegger action vehicle, to the bloody mayhem of Kinji Fukasaku's 'Battle Royale' , but none that have become what you would call a huge commercial smash‚¶until now. Taking over $400m at the US box office, i think it's pretty safe to assume the goal of creating a franchise has been well and truly achieved. The film begins with a look that's immediately reminiscent of the critically acclaimed drama 'Winters Bone' in which the quite brilliant Jennifer Lawrence emerged as a new and exciting young talent. Once again here Lawrence (Katniss Everdeen) is the emotionally sturdy mother figure to a younger sister, who at the beginning of film volunteers to take her siblings place when the youngster is selected at random to compete in the annual 'Hunger Games'. The positive things to say are that there are really fine performances in the film. Lawrence is once again outstanding taking the central role and is well supported by Woody Harrelson, Stanley Tucci, Elizabeth Banks and Lenny Kravitz. Where the film loses out is in it's disregard for adding depth to the majority of Hunger Games competitors and the way in which they all look like pretty escapees from your average 'Glee' production. More time spent fleshing out these characters might have gone some way papering over the aesthetics but as it stands, the lack of any investment in these roles does harm the film. Once the games begin, there's an initially interesting period before things slide all too comfortably back into the worn formula of clearly disposable cast members being predictably ticked off until there's just a few left standing. While it has things to say about the voyeuristic state of reality television and the way in which young people are manipulated in the name of getting high ratings, it's disappointing that the business end of the film doesn't pack a bigger and more memorable punch. 3/5