Archive for September, 2012


Gnomeo and Juliet

Gnomeo and Juliet (2011)

Directed by Kelly Asbury

Starring James McAvoy, Emily Blunt, Michael Caine, Matt Lucas, Maggie Smith, Jason Statham, Stephen Merchant, Julie Walters, Patrick Stewart

 

It’s the tale of Romeo and Juliet, the tragic tale of forbidden love. Only this retelling of the classic Shakespeare story is told using garden gnomes. Set to the songs of Elton John.

 

I never thought I would see this film. But, somehow, I have. I am pretty sure the genesis of this film came from a pun on “Romeo” thought up by standing in a garden. So after judging the film before I saw it, I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by Gnomeo and Juliet. It is not a rival to Pixar but it is better than some Dreamworks Animation (Madagascar 2, I look at you). This is a fun, breezy story, stacked with a top-end voice cast. The animation is solid without breaking any new ground and there are moments of genuine hilarity which I was not expecting. The inclusion of Elton John’s back catalogue for the soundtrack is excellent at times but horribly forced at others – “Saturday Night’s alright” is a good song but maybe not for film aimed at children and not quite right when used. In spite of myself, I enjoyed this.

 

Fried Gold rating: 3/5 – it’s fun, easy to watch and not as bad as you may think it could be

 

If you like this then you might like:

 Flushed Away (Aardman’s first CGI film, flopped on release and underrated since)

 

 

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Warrior

Warrior (2011)

Directed by Gavin O’Connor

Starring Tom Hardy, Joel Edgerton, Nick Nolte, Jennifer Morrison

 

 

Army vet Tommy returns home to his recovering alcoholic father (Nolte), to get trained for an upcoming UFC tournament. Strapped for cash physics teacher Brendon (Edgerton), fighting as a side job to win money, gets suspended and enters the same tournament. However, Tommy and Brendon are estranged brothers.

 

Two things lead me to Warrior: Tom Hardy and a burgeoning interest in UFC. I take more than two things away from this film. Tom Hardy is continually excellent; the fight scenes in Warrior capture the frenetic brutality of mixed martial arts (MMA); a sports film doesn’t have to rely solely on clichés and I am a sucker for an underdog tale. Saying that, it’s hard to see who you (as the audience) are supposed to be rooting for – each character has flaws and reasons why you are behind them. The final fight I found utterly absorbing and highly emotive, befitting the build up to it. Warrior is a modern day take on the classic fight film and is definitely worth a watch.

 

The Fried Gold rating: 4/5 – strong leads, great fighting, good script – this is Rocky made in 2012

 

If you like this then you might like: 

The Fighter (brothers fighting each other, but this time Mark Walhberg and Christian Bale are doing it outside the ring. Excellent film, definitely see this)

 

 

The Watch

The Watch (2012)

Directed by Akiva Schaffer

Starring Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill and Richard Ayoade

 

 

In a reasonably small town when a local man is killed four men decide to start a neighbourhood watch group. While on one of their watches they come across an alien and end up having to try and save the Earth from an alien invasion.

 

Yes this is an alien invasion film with some high profile comedy actors having to save the world and there are some funny moments which you would expect given the actors however it is not the best film that Stiller, Vaughn and Hill have been in. There is action, guns, explosions, deaths but the film just kind of trickles along.

Recommend

The film was enjoyable but never really got going. A lot of the funniest scenes were shown in the trailers with them being extended just a tad. There is no real need to see this in the cinema so just wait for it to come out on DVD/Bluray/TV.

 

TheFriedGold rating – 2.5/5

 

Film Fact

Will Ferrell was due to play the Ben Stiller role but he and then Director David Dobkin had a falling out

Total Recall

Total Recall (2012)

Directed by Len Wiseman

Starring Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale and Jessica Biel

 

 

One day you have a normal life, the next you are on the run because you are a spy. Douglas Quaid, played by Farrell, wants a bit of excitement in his life so he visits Rekall to get some cool memories of a life he has never had. However it turns out he already had that life and now he is on the run.

Everyone knows that this is a remake of the Arnie classic but does it hold up to the original. The story has changed slightly as we are now based fully on Earth and Mars isn’t included at all. The film looks absolutely amazing, the graphics are stunning and the 2 female leads of Beckinsale and Biel are as hot as you would expect. But unfortunately it stops there. The film is boring and the hover car chase and the running through the streets and elevators are just lacking that thrill of making it fun. It had this whole futuristic feel of Minority Report meets I, Robot about it which made it very samey.

 

Recommend

The main things missing from this film are the classic one liners that you got with Arnie in the original. If you are a fan of the original i would stay away from this, just watch the Arnie one again instead. I really don’t have anything else to say about this.

TheFriedGold rating 1.5/5 – Consider that a divorce!

 

 

Film Fact

When Quaid attempts to pass through the security check at the entrance to UFB, he is wearing a holographic necklace that produces the image of an Asian man’s face. Moments before, a woman with a chubby face, wearing a yellow coat, can be seen. The woman very much resembled the prosthetic/mechanical “mask” worn by Quaid in the correlating scene of the 1990 original