In-flight entertainment… poor choices?

Before heading off to Bahrain, it had been a very long time since I’d gone on a long haul flight. But I always have one rule when it comes to what to watch. Don’t watch anything that needs more than an ounce of attention and concentration. Keep it light. Because you know you’re going to have to pause for the food, drinks and random fellow passenger interruptions.

See, I was conflicted. There were so many films I wanted to watch – Mud, The Hunt, Monsters University, The Great Gatsby, among others. But I can’t do that to films. I can’t watch films that could potentially be amazing with a dodgy set of headphones and a tiny screen. I just can’t.

So what did I end up watching? Well nothing on the way there. Sleep was what I needed. On the way back? I needed to stay awake, so was intending to cram as many as I could in the 7 or so hours. Looked through the films that were available and was looking for some silly action, comedy, is short and anything that doesn’t require a single brain cell. Continue reading →

Django Unchained, you had my curiosity now you have my attention

Django Unchained

With the help of a German bounty hunter, a freed slave sets out to rescue his wife from a brutal Mississippi plantation owner.

Quentin Tarantino films don’t come around all that often. There’s always a whole lot of fuss when they do come around. The fuss is about the same old stuff that Tarantino’s been faced with whenever any of his films come out. Violence and language. It’s not surprising that Tarantino threw a giant fit when faced with the question on doing the PR rounds for Django.

Who the fuck cares? For decades we’ve seen Tarantino’s films splattered with blood. Django’s probably one of the tamer ones. And yet, people still want to wag their finger and worry about ‘the children’.

I like my Tarantino films. Reservoir Dogs is probably my favourite. Kill Bill’s up there too. Along with Pulp Fiction. From Dusk Till Dawn is one of my favourite vampire films. To the sadness of many, I don’t see the wow in Inglorious Basterds (Due for a rewatch on that one to probably change my mind.). Far from a Tarantino fan. Merely, a film fan who appreciates his films.

Django Unchained is one step to making me a QT fan. It’s got Tarantino’s finger prints all over it, but at the same time, it feels like a different Tarantino film. To me. It felt a whole lot more mature. More heart and more fun. Totally entertaining. Fantastically paced. Don’t think I can knock this one.

Christoph Waltz – where do I start? For whatever reason, he didn’t really make an impact on me in Inglorious. But everything changed here. His Dr. King Schultz was a brilliant character. Charming. Gracious. Despite being a somewhat cold-hearted killer, he was a very warm and kind character. Quite possibly my favourite character and performance in the film.

Not seen a performance quite like this from Leonardo DiCaprio before. Excellent. At times, maybe a little over the top. But, isn’t that what was needed out of him here? Now I understand the outcry over his lack of an Academy Award nomination.

I’m itching to see Django Unchained again. I think I might class Django as one of the most fun Tarantino films I’ve seen in a good long while.

Oh and Calvin Candie is taken out by a dentist? HA!

Django Unchained (Viewed: 25/01/13 | Rating: 5/5)

Check out all of the films I’ve seen this year: Continue reading →

What’s your racket? Yes, I do want to speak like they do in Gangster Squad

Gangster Squad

Los Angeles, 1949: A secret crew of police officers led by two determined sergeants work together in an effort to take down the ruthless mob king Mickey Cohen who runs the city.

I’m just going to come out and say it. Yes. I enjoyed Gangster Squad. There. Done. Happy? Confused? Does it feel like I’ve let you down?

You know, the thing with Gangster Squad is that, like a few other past films that have disappointed film fans, there was a lot of hype behind it. The cast. The whole look and feel of the trailers that were getting pumped out. It looked effortlessly cool and a film to be looked forward to.

I didn’t let my expectations get the better of me. And it worked. Sure, Gangster Squad is laden with gangster and crime drama clichés. Everything from the dialog to the characters to the story. It’s all very predictable. But damnit I didn’t give a crap.

The characters are perfectly clichéd. The gruff police sergeant, the smooth talker, sharp shooter, the dame, etc. All expertly played by the impressive cast members. None of the characters are a stretch for any of the actors to play. But this gal sure didn’t care. The action is perhaps a little over-stylised. I’ve never been a huge fan of computer generated blood splatters, but director Ruben Fleischer seems to love them. But, the action sequences were still fun to watch.

Of course, this increased enjoyment factor could all be down to the fact that I saw Gangster Squad in a stunning little cinema. I wonder if I’d have thought the same if I’d have seen the film at my usual multiplex.

Gangster Squad (Viewed: 15/01/13 | Rating: 4/5)

Check out all of the films I’ve seen this year: Continue reading →

100 movies: The Raid

[yellow_box]Every year I set myself a target, usually of about 100, of films to watch. These are new films. Not new, new films. But films that are new to me. Any time I’ve seen a new one, I post a bit of a brain dump of my thoughts on the film here. Enjoy![/yellow_box]

The RaidThe Raid (25/11/12)

A SWAT team becomes trapped in a tenement run by a ruthless mobster and his army of killers and thugs.

The Raid is one serious action film. Seriously epic. The story is simple. SWAT team need to get to the top of a block of flats and along the way encounter, what is effectively, an army of guys whose one and only goal is to stop them.

It’s light on storyline but heavy on the action. I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen action sequences choreographed quite like those in The Raid. Ridiculously tight and intense to watch. And they look like they HURT. Big time.

There are some excellent moments of very highly strung tension. Moments where everything goes deadly silent and you’re honestly not sure where the guys are going to burst out of! There’s a fair few horror films that could learn a thing or two about real tension from this film.

For a pure action film, it’s hard to beat The Raid. There’s a short set up and then you’re thrown straight into the action and you’ve got a pretty satisfying ending. The pacing is as tight as the action. You’re not left bored for a single second. Well, at least I wasn’t.
Rating: 5/5

Read on to see all the films watched this year… Continue reading →

100 movies: Skyfall

[yellow_box]Every year I set myself a target, usually of about 100, of films to watch. These are new films. Not new, new films. But films that are new to me. Any time I’ve seen a new one, I post a bit of a brain dump of my thoughts on the film here. Enjoy![/yellow_box]

SkyfallSkyfall (26/10/12)

Bond’s loyalty to M is tested as her past comes back to haunt her. As MI6 comes under attack, 007 must track down and destroy the threat, no matter how personal the cost.

A lot is riding on Skyfall. Quantum of Solace wasn’t all that well received and still isn’t much-loved. So, Bond needs a sort of redemption. And while I personally didn’t think Quantum was all that bad, Skyfall’s up there with Casino Royale. For it is one excellent film.

Now there could be some spoilers. Even minor ones and to save anyone, stop reading now if you don’t want to know and have yet to see the film! Continue reading →