Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Recent Viewings....

Salt (2010)
Directed By Phillip Noyce

In a return to his Patriot Games days, Philip Noyce presents a rollercoaster ride of a film (more for its ups and downs than its thrills) involving Russian Cold War conspiracies, CIA Spies and a plan to destroy the world using the U.S's nuclear arsenal. Angelina Jolie steps up to the gate and sets out running, of course she is no stranger to the action movie and fits this type of character well. The film suffers from a contrived plot, over-the-top action and some downright stupid moments (all possibly intentional), but it was certainly better than I was anticipating and as an enjoyable 90 minutes wasted.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid (2010)
Directed By Thor Freudenthal

Featuring what is possibly the worst character to appear on film this year, Diary of a Wimpy Kid is quite the mish mash. Sometimes funny, sometimes cringe worthy, the film is obviously trying to convey a message of self worth and respect to a middle school audience, but I dare say this is a little hard to do when your main character is a self-absorbed ego maniac who you literally want to take to task for the fact. Whilst that may be the point, you spend most of the film waiting for the moment when said character gets their reality check and redeems themselves, and whilst a scene does fit that description, it certainly isn't the revelation you have been hoping for. This should have been the Easy A equivalent for its generation, the potential was there, just not realized.


Buried (2010)
Directed By Rodrigo Cort├ęs

I can't even begin to imagine what going through an experience like being buried alive might be like, but I'll bet Ryan Reynolds can! He plays Paul Conroy, a truck driver for an American company currently deployed in Iraq. His convoy is attacked and he blacks out. When he awakes, Paul finds himself in quite a number of peoples worst nightmares. He has been buried alive. Present in his coffin are a lighter, mobile phone, glow sticks and a knife. His kidnappers use the phone in order to make their ransom demands and Paul uses the phone to call whoever he can.
This film is tense, and that doesn't even do it justice. Shot entirely in the coffin confines using only whatever lighting was available (lighter, glowstick etc), this is possibly the closest you could come to the experience of being buried alive without actually having it happen. Reynolds holds his own and puts in one of the best performances of his career. Some of the faceless voices do a less favorable job of acting the part, but the film doesn't really waiver in its 90 minute running time and you will soon forget the nitpicking. This is definitely one to see at the movies, the audio design is superb and whilst the screen stays black for almost a quarter of the film, the darkened room only adds to the intensity. If you suffer from claustrophobia though, it might be a good idea to wait and watch this one at home!

The Invisible (2007)
Directed By David S. Goyer

This remake of the 2002 Swedish film of the same name is not as bad as I was expecting. In some ways it is very similar to the recently released Let Me In, in that it changes just enough of the story to stand on its own. There are some fairly solid performances here from nearly all of the cast and the film looks fairly impressive on the recently released Blu-ray. Whilst I would always suggest checking out the original film first (in this instance, a bit hard given the lack of an English friendly DVD), this film at least captures the essence of its predecessor without too much Hollywoodization.


Knight & Day (2010)
Directed By James Mangold

What can I say, I do enjoy a good popcorn movie every now and then, and that is exactly what this film is! Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz make an interesting couple, the story is actually quite engaging and the action, well... it does require a little suspension of disbelief, but hey, if you are in the market for a fun action flick and there is not much else around, check it out!

Currently viewing on the Goggle Box:


Not much has changed here.... Chuck still remains a show I watch exclusively because it is on in the same room as me. Similar to the path Eureka seems to take (don't fix it if it ain't broke) it constantly amazes me how they can continue to rehash the same premise over and over....

Slowly slipping back into its normal formula after a few episode with Red John based stories, I still quite enjoy this puff piece. Some of the themes it has explored recently are a little darker than usual and I think that is a good direction for the show to take.

It seems Dexter has been on auto-pilot the last few episodes, but with the introduction of Julia Stiles to the cast to put a twist on things I am now looking forward to the rest of the season. If nothing else, I am glad that the series is anything but predictable.

A few good episodes under its belt, light entertainment at its best (as light as murder can be) Loved the Back to the Future references in the last episode!

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