Archive for August, 2013

Now this is a film that suffered production nightmares as the producers fired Richard Donner before he could finish shooting this movie. It is said that Donner had completed 80% before being fired. The producers hired Richard Lester to finish, and re-shoot nearly the whole movie, removing most of Donner’s material. Except about 20% ish. This Richard Lester version became the theatrical cut released world-wide. Now I will say that I saw the theatrical cut many years ago and don’t remember a lot of it at all. So I decided that when watching this franchise that I would watch the Donner cut first, seeing as he was the original director and was basically filming Superman 1 and 2 simultaneously. Now I wont go into too many details about the differences and story behind the Donner cut, other than what I have already said, but will do my best to watch both versions and then decide which version I prefer. Now seeing as there were so many issues with this movie I was surprised by just how much I like it. However there are a few continuity errors!


The story sets out with the missile from the first film flying into space and freeing the 3 Kryptonian prisoners from the phantom zone. They soon realise they are free and now have super powers, so they fly towards the earth. Clark and Lois are working in the daily planet as usual, but Lois has a strong hunch that Clark is in fact the man of steel. She tests him a couple of times, putting even herself at extreme danger. She eventually proves that he is Superman, using a very crafty trick while they are in Niagara Falls. They are really in love with each other and this eventually leads Kal-el to expose himself to the red rays of the Kryptonian sun, in the fortress of solitude.  He becomes human instantly and no longer has his powers.


This of course leads to the 3 Kryptonian villains being free to wreak havoc on Earth and enslave the people with no protector. Superman realises what a mistake he has made and then goes back to try to reverse the process and get his powers back so he can defeat general Zod and his 2 cronies. This is a really good film but you can tell that it feels a little unfinished in places. It seems that some scenes would be so much better if Donner had been able to do 100%. There are a few plot errors that I wont go into in case of spoiling the experience. My biggest problem with this movie is the reused deus ex machina from the first movie. I know that if Donner had got his way, then it would only have been used in this film, but seeing as he couldn’t do the whole movie, it feels out-of-place and a little silly. On the whole though this is still a very enjoyable film but leaves you feeling a little “If only Donner could have finished it” feeling.



I had heard good things about this one and was looking forward to watching it. Well it delivered superbly, with its emotional pull and interesting direction. I say interesting direction because I noticed a few different things that Darren Aronofsky did with this movie. There is an interesting way that you follow the character in this film. I mean the camera is literally following him throughout and often is aimed at his back as he moves from scene to scene. He also let a lot of the scenes be improvised on the spot to give that sense of realism.


The story follows Randy “the ram” Robinson who is an aging wrestler past his heyday. his body is suffering and it’s not long before he has a heart attack following a hardcore match. He wakes up in the hospital and  is told by his doctor to give up wrestling as he has had bypass surgery. He takes the advice and starts turning his attention to other things which include, repairing his broken relationship with his daughter. He also agrees to more work at a local deli counter and tries to start a relationship with a stripper who he bonds with.


The acting is really good throughout and Mickey Rourke is great in this role. You feel for him as he makes mistakes and tries so hard to get his life in order. The story is quite simple, but it’s executed really well and the direction and acting make this a really emotional ride that you soon wont forget.


There is some really touching moments in this film that are acted to perfection. I really couldn’t help but like the character Randy, even when he behaves a little reckless, he is just a really friendly guy who just gets things wrong. His intentions are there but he just makes mistakes. This makes him human just like the rest of us and I think there is a lot here everyone could relate to. I can not think of anything to score this film down on so I therefore must give it the full 5. It definitely stays with you.


Now I will be the first to admit that I never would have imagined myself liking anything tied to Superman. I used to take one look at the character and think “NAH!” I have no idea why I used to be like that, whether I thought that he was some sort of patriotic douche bag. I think it may have had something to do with the suit maybe, I don’t know. Now I have made this mistake before. I did it with captain America and was proven wrong when I watched the movie and really liked it. I decided to give Superman a try seeing as I have been enjoying the character a lot in the Justice League cartoons lately. I was in Morrisons the other day and saw the Superman film box set on offer which had like 5 films in it. Superman 1,2,3,4 and Superman returns. The only thing missing was “Superman 2: The Richard Donner cut.” I will talk about that when I review it after this one. Now this movie here is absolutely fantastic, I am so glad that I decided to pick this box set up because this is without a doubt one of the best superhero films I have seen.

Superman-movie-1978 (1)

I think everything in this movie is just perfect, the direction, the acting, the story and the music. Man the music score is simply one of the best scores I have ever come across. Its absolutely amazing one of John Williams best. The story starts off on the planet Krypton where we first meet Jor-El, who is sentencing 3 Kryptonian prisoners to eternal imprisonment in the phantom zone. He also is trying to warn the other members of the council that Krypton is facing certain doom. They are unbelieving and warn Jor-El to give up his notions. However Jor-El is completely right and Krypton becomes unstable and starts to quake and explode. Jor-El decided to send his son away from the planet as its only survivor. He sends him to earth, where his molecular structure will give him superpowers from earths yellow sun.


Krypton explodes and  Kal-El lands on earth and is discovered by Jonathan and Martha Kent. They raise him as their own son in the small town of Smallville. However after Jonathan dies of a heart attack, Clark/Kal-El receives a psychic call from a crystal that was sent to earth with him. He tells his earth mother Martha that he must leave and soon travels to the north pole, where the crystal builds his fortress of solitude, which resembles the architecture of the planet Krypton.  In here he meets a vision of his true father Jor-El. He then spends 12 years being educated by Jor-El about his origins and his powers and responsibilities.  After 12 years he travels to Metropolis to start a new life. Here he meets Lois Lane, who he becomes attracted to when he becomes a reporter for the daily planet. It’s not long before events lead him to show of his powers in public in the service of others., and after taking Lois for a fly across Metropolis, she names him “Superman.”


Theres so many elements going on in this film and it all works so wonderfully. I even enjoyed the romance between Lois and Superman quite a lot. I’m not usually one for romance in movies, but here it works wonderfully. Christopher Reeve is the perfect choice for this role. He plays the character perfectly, as he switches between Superman and Superman pretending to be Clark Kent. He was amazing in this movie, as were all the actors. Margot Kidder is perfect as Lois Lane and Gene Hackman is a great Lex Luthor. I can’t praise this movie enough, yes I know that some of the special effects are dated, but the story and execution make this a true masterpiece. I can’t believe I have been so blind. This is fantastic stuff that never feels boring and balances out all its elements perfectly. I am excited about watching “Man Of Steel” but am now worried, because if this is the benchmark then that film better pull off something spectacular to live up to this masterpiece.



Limetless 0.5/5

Posted: August 18, 2013 in Film Review
Tags: , , ,

Well this was one huge disappointment to me. In fact this is the worst film I have seen this year so far. I really struggled finding anything that I actually liked about this movie. The story concept was the only thing that was good in my opinion. The execution was just horrible. It’s basically about a guy who is a writer suffering from writers block. One day he meets up with his ex brother-in-law and is offered a revolutionary drug. After taking the drug it unlocks his full potential. He is able to see patterns in things and understand things beyond what he could before. He spends the rest of the movie just being a complete scumbag and using his new-found abilities to be a huge man whore and become as wealthy as he can.


I don’t understand what has happened to Robert De Niro these days. He just seem to bring to life really boring characters in quite boring films. Gone were the days when he would play interesting roles like “Noodles” from “Once upon a time in America.” He brings nothing to this movie. Each to their own I suppose, but for me movies don’t get much more boring than some idiot going around talking about business for the whole film.


I have been meaning to get around to watching this one for quite some time now. This is an enjoyable prequel to the X-Men movies that has colourful characters aplenty. It basically shows the beginnings of Charles Xaviers and Erik Lensherr friendship, and ultimate difference of opinions. It shows how they met and started training other mutants to reach their full potential. It also shows how, in the early days a small band of mutants were asked to work for the C.I.A.


Lensherr wants revenge for the death of his mother at the hands of Sebastian Shaw/Dr Klaus Schmidt. Shaw is on his own mission of terrorism and its up to the mutants working for the C.I.A to stop him.


This is a very entertaining film that keeps moving at a fast pace. Its well acted and well written as a film on its own. I say this because the X-Men films have tons of inconsistencies and plot holes running  through them. Now I’m reviewing this as a film on its own, and I really enjoyed it. My one complaint would be that I wanted to see more of Sebastian Shaw’s abilities. It feels a bit like a missed opportunity. Still that’s only a slight niggle.


Well here we have a very multi layered movie, that revolves around a simple set up. The story starts out in a prison where two convicts escape. One of the convicts, Manny is a legend in the prison, where he was confined in solitary in a welded up cell for three years. It is apparent from the get go that the warden and Manny despise one another and are each others arch nemesis. Soon after being set out of his cell, Manny plans to escape. He is helped on his way to freedom by fellow inmate Buck, who decides to join Manny in escaping the prison.


Soon after escaping and running through miles of harsh winter wilderness, they find themselves boarding a locomotive. Things now go very wrong for them as the train driver has a heart attack and falls off of the now speeding runaway train. This set up makes this film sound like your typical action movie, which it kind of is on the surface. But this is a deeper character driven film which explores all manner of the human condition. This has it all, a wonderful script, fantastic direction and visuals. Great dark characters that are fantastically bought to life by Jon Voight and Eric Roberts. This one really stays with you after watching it.



I think this is one of them rare movies where every single element is crafted masterfully. You simply feel every emotion with the characters as they go through many transformations as the ride moves along. The setting is just genius and gives the movie that sense of bleak grimness that grips you so tightly. The train itself works wonders and actually becomes a character itself, as a speeding ride to hell amidst freezing conditions. This one is really highly recommended from me. A must see! I can not leave it without further mentioning the acting. This is some of the best acting I have ever personally witnessed. All the characters are perfectly cast and give it 110%. This is movie magic.

After hearing so many good things about this film I was really excited to see it. I have to say that I was a little disappointed. Now I watched the ultimate cut of the movie, which contains the “tales of the black freighter” animation. This animation is actually a comic book story that a character is reading throughout the movie. It’s an interesting watch, but I have to say that I didn’t really see the point or necessity of putting it in. My main problem with the movie as a whole is that it is quite painstakingly slow at getting to the point. The story itself is interesting enough. It follows a few retired heroes who it seems are starting to be murdered. Rorschach is investigating the case, after refusing to give up his crime fighting days, long after masked heroes were banned outright.


The characters are all very interesting, and you can tell that this  is all very well written. They all seem to have their own demons and dark sides, and this side of the movie I definitely enjoyed. I have to point out that this movie was definitely made with a lot of care and style. The visuals are simply astounding and the faithfulness to Alan Moore’s comic book series is plain to see. The action is really well choreographed and the violence is at times quite shocking. This is definitely a well thought out, serious, adult comic book story. It is dark and deep and shocking.

Film Title: Watchmen

It is a shame really, because I feel like this had so much potential, but just fails to really grip like other comic book movies. I do think I may have enjoyed it more without the Black freighter stuff, as that definitely did not help you remain focused on the important issues and story.