Tag Archive: 2011


Unknown (2011)

Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra

Starring Liam Neeson, January Jones and Diane Kruger



Whilst in Germany for a work conference with his wife Martin Harris is involved in a car crash and ends up in a coma. When he wakes he has trouble remembering certain aspects of his life. The parts he does remember lead him back to his wife but things aren’t exactly as he remembers them.

Billed as a film that Taken fans would enjoy this Drama/Thriller is nothing like Taken. It reminded me in places of The Bourne Identity (2002), a man not really knowing who he is and it was based in a foreign city making him more lost than normal. The film is very slow with the only real action being a couple of car chases. Liam Neeson is nothing like his Taken character and is a bit of a limp character. I wasn’t too sure how the film would play out and in the end I didn’t really care for any of the characters.



Slow, boring and not even the presence of January Jones and Diane Kruger could pick this film up. Don’t bother.

TheFriedGold rating – 2/10 – The tag line of ‘Take your Life back’ couldn’t be more appropriate



Film Fact

According to his passport, Martin Harris was born on June 7th. This is also the birthday of Liam Neeson.

Friends with Benefits

Friends with Benefits (2011)

Directed by Will Gluck

Starring Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis

Two people who have just come out of relationships meet and immediately strike up a great friendship. The friendship becomes a friend with benefits relationship but are there feelings bubbling underneath.

I have seen Timberlake in a few other films and never really believed him as an actor. However in this he actually came across as a decent actor,
perhaps the rom-com is the way forward for him instead of the action star – see In Time. The film features a lot of sex scenes between Timberlake and Kunis but you never see any nudity, apart from the odd bum. The film did have some funny moments although the main comedy aspect in Woody Harrelson was barely seen. There was a slight lull in the film where it became a bit boring and the tone of the film slightly changed however this picked up again towards the end. After watching this film Mila Kunis has gone straight to the top of my favourite ladies at the moment. She was incredible hot in this film, probably to do with the always being in her underwear, and has overtaken Emma Stone as hottie of the year who also makes a cameo in this film.


I preferred this to the film out at the same time by the name of No Strings Attached. This is a rom-com with a story that plays out just like in the movies. You are probably thinking that is what all rom-coms are. Except they play on that idea by introducing a film within the film showing a classic rom-com. The film itself is very predictable but this isn’t there to win awards. For the men you will happily watch this for Mila Kunis. Girls, you will happily watch this for Justin Timberlake. If you want something fun to watch then see this.

TheFriedGold rating – 6/10 – Kunis and Timberlake are bringing sexy back





Film Fact

When Mila Kunis is picking up Justin Timberlake from the airport at the beginning of the film, she uses an old sign that says O. Penderghast on the back. This stands for Olive Penderghast whom Emma Stone played in Director Will Gluck’s previous movie Easy A.

The Thing

The Thing (2011)

Directed by Matthijs van Heijningen Jr.

Starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Joel Edgerton and Ulrich Thomsen




A vessel and a specimen of some kind have been found in the Antarctic ice so a group of people go to find out what exactly has been found.

This film pitches itself as the prequel to the classic John Carpenter film of the same name The Thing from 1982. The problem is this film does not have the same classic feel to it, there are too many monsters, not enough eerie scenes, poor script writing and everything is too easy to figure out. ‘The Thing’ monster(s) look very much like the zombie bosses from the Resident Evil game series and just look kind of poor while at times the film has a very Alien feel about it but not in a cool way. The film tries to share similarities with the original while at the same time trying to tie into it but it just feels cheap and pointless.



If you are a fan of the original then I don’t see the point of watching this. It tries to be something but just doesn’t work. There was no need for this film to be made, as it just wasn’t needed. I wouldn’t bother watching it.

TheFriedGold rating – 1/5 – Nothing compared to the original



Film Fact

In order to not try to compete with Kurt Russell’s portrayal of the 1982 film’s protagonist, R.J. MacReady, the character of Kate Lloyd was designed to have traits in common with the character Ellen Ripley from the Alien film series.


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)



The Adventurs of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn

The Adventurs of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn (2011)

Directed by Steven Spielberg

Starring Jamie Bell, Andy Serkis, Daniel Craig, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost

Tintin and Captain Haddock set off on an adventure to find the long lost sunken treasure that belonged to Haddocks ancestors.

I have never been a massive fan of Tintin but when seeing that Steven Moffat, Joe Cornish and Edgar Wright have combined on the screenplay I had to see it. Unfortunately I felt a bit let down by the story itself. I didn’t feel that much happened and at time just came across boring. The visual effects were stunning and possible the best I have ever seen. The duo of Thomson and Thomson, voiced by Pegg and Frost, had very little screen time and came across more annoying than funny. After doing some reading there are plenty of Easter eggs in the film relating too many of the Tintin stories however unless you were a fan you would not notice them.



The film felt like one big set up for possible sequels in a long standing Tintin series which will hopefully have better stories to them. I thought the film looked amazing and I’m glad I saw it, however as a whole it wasn’t that good of a film. Have some spare time with nothing else to watch then watch this but don’t expect to be blown away.

TheFriedGold rating – 2/5



Film Fact

The painter at the beginning bears the likeness of Hergé, creator of the ‘Tintin’ comics. Furthermore, he draws Tintin’s portrait in Herge’s style. Using Hergé’s likeness is an homage to the artist’s own private joke of incorporating the likenesses of friends and family in his Tintin works.