District 9 – Film Review

District 9
This is a film which has received a lot of hype recently, about a spaceship which stops over Johannesburg, unlike other films where it is always New York and Washington. The story is set 20 years on where more than 1m aliens, known as Prawns by the locals, have been shoved into chaotic refugee camps called District 9. Wikus van der Merwe (played by Sharlto Copley) is not really a hero type, more like an office nerd, and is person put in charge of evicting the aliens to a camp over 200 miles away from the main centre of population.

Spoiler Alert

During the eviction procedures, he is exposed to an alien liquid and Wikus starts to turn into a prawn alien. Because he can now use the DNA Weapons that the prawns use, he is very valuable and is hunted by the MNU corporation that he once worked for.

Overview

The film which is by Neill Blomkamp is shot like a documentary, with news footage, amateur footage, one on one interviews and live footage. At one point it reminded me of Cloverfield!

What I will say is that at some points it seems more comical than serious. Without too much warning it then moves from comic to squeamish. There are some references to the race card and apartheid as well as referencing the attitudes to refugees.

The film has no real draw and there is very little to keep you interested all of the time, especially later in the film when its run, shoot, run, shoot, bang, splat – nothing really new here.

Go to this film if you like

– new fresh films

– Sci Fi

– great special effects

– lots of action

– a fairly good story

Don’t go to this film if you don’t like

– films which show cruelty (even if it is to CGI Aliens)

– People Exploding in a big bloody splat after being hit by laser beams

– squeamish scenes like peoples fingernails falling off, peoples arms being blown off and people vomiting

– a grown man eating cat food from a tin

Finally : Have a listen to the Wikus character pronouncing the work F**k , as Fooock – it gets really annoying the more you listen to it.

District 9 – Official Trailer I had here was removed from YouTube
so the link to the District9 Trailer is available if you click here.

Overall : 7 ½/ 10

I was tempted to give it 6 out of 10 but the
effects are very good and redeem the films
weak points… I later increased the score
for District 9 due to the performance of the
main actor who is in line for a part as
Howling Mad Murdoch in the A-Team film.

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince : Film Review

Having seen all previous Harry Potter films, I saw the preview in Storm Cinemans Waterford on Wednesday evening.
You won’t be disappointed – good story, good effects and a bit of humour thrown in also.

It is very hard to review the film without spoiling it for anyone who hasn’t read the Harry Potter books.

Basically the plot for this film continues with Harry and friends still in Hogwarts. Voldemort is all around and is impacting the Muggle and wizarding worlds. The normally secure Hogwarts is no longer the safe – students are being attacked and dark forces are apparent from the outset. Harry has a sneaking suspicion that certain teachers in Hogwarts may have been in league with Voldemort. Whether he is right or wrong, Dumbledore helps Harry, by giving him advice and showing him the past, in preparation for a final battle against the dark forces. There are plenty of those “nice guys” the Death eaters and Bellatrix Lestrange, played by Helena Bonham Carter makes a reappearance. Also, look out for the Cliffs of Moher in Co. Clare which make an appearance in the film.

There is lots going on and if you haven’t seen the previous films, you will get more from the film if you can do some cramming before seeing this one.

There is a lot of Lovey Dovey stuff at the start of the film, which I think goes on for a bit longer than I think was necessary, but overall the film flies along like the train to Hogwarts. Very enjoyable even for a non-Harry Potter fan. The Next film will be Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Part 1) and I’m sure as soon as Harry Potter fans across the world exit cinemas and theaters, the will all be looking forward to that next film in the series.

Verdict: I didn’t really like the last film, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, but this certainly made up for it.
One small comment about the Storm Cinemas showing of the trailer for the film 2012 which depicts the end of the world, was NOT in my view suitable for an audience which was comprised mainly of children, who are easily affected by imagery such as this – the trailers should not end up giving kids nightmares!!

Running Time : 2h 33mins (153 mins)

Overall : 9/10

Official Trailer – Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

Lakeview Terrace – DVD Review

Lakeview Terrace is now out on DVD (having missed it when it was in the cinema). The film stars Samuel L. Jackson as Abel Turner an LAPD cop with an attitude, Patrick Wilson as Chris Mattson who moves next door to Abel Turner along with his black wife Lisa played by Kerry Washington.

Abel Turner has a problem with the fact that he is white and his wife is black. Able tries to intimidate the new neighbours into moving, through a series of psychological tricks and tactics.

The film is very well produced as for a while at the start of the film you can see why Abel has a problem with his neighbours, including some sexual antics in the pool which was observed by Abel’s kids. You can see that Abel is trying to bring up his kids right – and perhaps his tactics are warranted.

The overall plot is very well worked and without spoiling the plot, Abel loses it and becomes a man obsessed with getting rid of them.

Lakeview Terrace is actually the name of the area that the famous Rodney King beatings were ‘allegedly’ made by L.A. police in 1991. His name and famous line, “Can’t we all just get along?” is also referenced in the movie.

Excellent plot, great twist and a great ending. Well worth renting. The only down side is that the couple who move in, don’t really deserve each other – I didn’t really care what happened to them as the characters are not that likeable.

Running time : 110 mins

Overall : 8/10

Star Trek – Film Review

Eventually got to see Star Trek after about 3 weeks of trying. I was not disappointed by this new take on the Star Trek franchise by the creator of Lost, J. J. Abrams.

The film goes back to the roots showing the birth of Kirk, how his father saved a ship full of people and Kirk’s eventual but reluctant entry into Starfleet as a brash and very brasen young cadet.

The new cadets are flung into a conflict with rebel Romulans, who will destroy Earth given half a chance.

Without spoiling the story , the Trek timeline IS different … Listen to what spock explains near the end of the film as this will explain why the time line is different to the 1960’s Star Trek. Nice way the film ended too … Cool closing title theme Tune.

Lots of action, good story, great casting, great effects … looking forward to more of this.

Overall: 9.5/10

(8 if you’re not a Trek fan as you need to know a bit about Srar Trek to fully appreciate the storyline)

Would I watch again : Definitely
Would I buy : Yes

The Damned United – Review

The Damned United depicts the story behind Brian Cloughs 44 day reign (or lack of) at Leeds United in 1974, as well as showing how he got to manage the club, with a story from 1968 – 1974. With Michael Sheen as Brian Clough and screenplay by Peter Morgan it also shows the relationship he had with Peter Taylor who helped him by scouting some of the best players he ever signed.

There is very little in the way of live action, which is usually filmed poorly with a few notable exceptions. Instead most of the key scenes are build ups, pre FA Cup matches (mainly against Leeds), Pre UEFA Cup ties (Juventus). The retro scenes are well filmed – I was constantly looking out for continuity problems, i.e. satellite dishes on houses etc. but it could easily have been filmed in 1974.

The film could easily have been titled “Brian Cloughs EGO” as that issue is one of the main storylines.  Clough was a master of football management, hiring great players, including Roy Keane at his time in Notts Forrest, however, Cloughs family have apparently discredited the movie (not sure if this is true) as the film is quite favourable – less so for Billy Bremner who is painted as quite a villan of the soccer world in 1974.

Very enjoyable as a film and one of the best soccer films in ages. You Don’t need to be a soccer fan to go see this film – that cannot eb stressed enough. This is a story about ambition, ego, a man with a desire to succeed at all costs … and then soccer.

Running Time : The movie is 90 mins with 7 mins of injury time.

Overall Score : 8½/10


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