Sunday, August 12, 2012

TOTAL RECALL 2012 - You won't recall anything better

Where to even start!? This movie is the pinnacle of film. It's the reason we go to the movies. It's the reason we get ripped off on prime time tickets then come out of the theater feeling like you just got away with murder. What a show, what an absolutely outstanding movie. The film is a sci-fi action movie, and once it starts there is no stopping it. The normal human resting heart rate is between 60 and 100 beats per minute. If yours is anywhere under 150 during this movie then you're probably not paying enough attention. Those with cardiac issues involving tachycardia should definitely consult their doctor before taking part in this non-stop thrill ride. It was one incredible moment after another, and Len Wiseman's epic vision is one I will not soon forget.

Yes, this is a remake of the Arnold Schwarzenegger classic which is an excellent and exciting movie. The fact that its a remake quickly doesn't matter - this movie borrows some names, a plot outline, and some plot elements and just runs with it. It's a great adaptation for today's modern audience and all the expectations of that group. The story takes place on only one planet instead of mars, but somehow that works even better - and despite the general dystopian edges, this film will make love to your eyeballs in every scene. I cannot overstate how gorgeous this film is visually. The sprawling urban megalopolises, the highly contaminated ruins, the twisting labyrinths of elevators, all of it is so well designed that its almost tangible. Sitting in your seat you will be so engrossed that you'll just want to step through the screen and go exploring. I particularly liked the concept of "The Fall" - a giant elevator like tram that transports citizens on one side of the planet to the other through the core. In fact I really loved the way technology was presented in this film - some really cool ideas that when you think about it, could actually work great in today's world. The level of ingenuity is on a par with something like Blade Runner - you just can't seem to get enough of it.

What's better than seeing brilliant set designs and eye popping CGI? Seeing ass-kickery and mass destruction in them of course, and Total Recall will not let you down. We all know Collin Ferrel (Douglas Quaid) and Kate Beckinsale (who looks scary as hell and sexy at the same time) have done some cool action sequences. So when you put two good things together, the product is purely savage. The fights in this are so visceral and brilliantly executed. The coreography will make you feel every punch, every kick, and every shattered pane of glass. And unlike a lot of would be super-directors, there is no cut-away editing or ultra blurry handheld camera nonsense. Just like the original old school action movies, you feel like you are right there in the moment. You know in the back of your mind that they're only human but when people are moving on screen you can easily start to doubt that. One sequence that might have been a tip of the hat to 1997 movie "Cube" will leave you with white knuckles on your arm rests and your heart in your throat. The action sequences are many, frequent, and every single one of them is as brutal and entertaining as the next. There are fights, chases, robots with guns, and even a lady with three boobs for a hats off to the original.

If a film were judged purely on its aesthetics and how much ass it kicked, this one would be golden. We all know however, that you cannot have a film without some kind of plot. But surprise! This one is absolutely gripping. The whole idea of the double agent who doesn't know he's a double agent, implanted memories, and who or what is even real will keep you guessing again and again. What makes this really great though is the script and the writing in general doesn't feel overdone. Like so many other parts of this movie, they take this decades best elements and combine them with what everyone loved about old-school action movies like the original Total Recall.

The universe that this film creates is absolute. You will be utterly dazzled and lost in everything. The dystopian setting is that chemical warfare has destroyed most of the world and living space is the human races most precious commodity. As you might imagine this film has a very claustrophobic feel to it, a lot of tight spaces and dank environments. Like I mentioned earlier, there's a lot of this film that reminds me of Ridley Scott's Blade Runner, and that is most definitely a good thing. The sprawling cities are great to look at but the creativity of having buildings hanging upside down and having magnetic highways that work on both planes is also incredible. The producers literally thought of everything.

The balance between the film having some cool gadgets and being outright nerdy is handled very well - for example a citizen of the poor nation known as "The Colony" has no idea what a high-tech phone in Collin Ferrel's hand is, even though its intensely obvious. Its the combination of so many little things, little details adding up to give you a total picture of what a bleak, rotten existence life has become in that part of the world. Details that add up because no detail is missing. Everything flows together, all gears mesh, and this film goes full throttle all the way. There are countless action films where the idea and concept is ridiculous and over the top but we love it anyway because its exciting to watch. One of the best things about this film is how detailed it is, because it feels so believable .

Not only does this film take your eyes and heart for a joy ride, but it has utterly brilliant sound. The original score is a mix of modern electronic music and a typical high octane orchestral style score. It always suits the moment perfectly without putting it over the top or being overbearing, repetitive, or dull. Some of the sound effects are a little dull though, handguns being fired sound a little hollow, but that's a very minor complaint in what is by far a brilliant creation.

Creating this film in fact cost approximately $125,000,000. Given that this is a remake of a classic Arnold Schwarzenegger film from 1990, a sci-fi, and a summer movie - I'd say the result is wholly impressive. Things like Batman: The Dark Knight Rises and John Carter cost upwards of $250,000,000. And while those are both good films, they're nowhere near as pure as this. Purity perhaps is what makes it so great. It doesn't even bother to try and register with you on an emotional level, and why should it? When was the last time you heard about someone who was secretly a spy but didn't know that they were a spy but they were really a double agent but disguised for their own good as a construction worker? Did you go see Total Recall expecting some big emotional moments, tears of love or sorrow, and a long emotional journey? I definitely know I didn't. There are some softer moments for relief from the excitement, and the obvious romantic connection between Ferrel and Biel comes to pan out just as you'd hope it would.

I cannot overstate how incredible this film is. I dare say that in parts its more like an exciting video game that you can't put down - you're so addicted to the action and the suspense of wondering what's coming next is just keeping that adrenaline high going that much better. The film is true to what action films should be, and it masterfully incorporates a sci-fi backdrop just to mix things up. Action more intense than Roadhouse. Scenery more engaging that Blade Runner. Chases more exciting than Bullitt. Shootouts more visceral than Equilibrium. This film has absolutely everything any action fan is looking for. I'm surprised that so many so called "critics" have slammed this film because it isn't a drama. No one ever went and saw an Arnold Schwarzenegger film because they wanted to watch him search for his soul, fall in love, battle through emotional travesty. People went because he kicked ass on screen and made exciting, fun to watch movies. And that is exactly what Total Recall 2012 is: exciting, fun to watch, and utterly thrilling.

What I loved:  The fight choreography, Kate Beckinsale being a seriously scary villain, the jaw dropping visuals, Jessica Biel kicking ass, and just about everything else
What I hated: Critics who don't understand movies like this, du(m)bstep, Arnie not having a cameo

Final Rating: 5/5 Stars, or 100%, or A+. Drop what you are doing and go see this film right now. 

Did you like Total Recall? Or were you wishing someone would recall you to do something totally different? What about the review? Bias? Fair? Weak? Strong? Let me hear from you in the comments.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

THE WATCH - Jack of all trades, master of none

Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill? Ridiculous scenario? How could this possibly get any better, a plate of laughs right? Wrong. This film is just as the title of this review describes it - a jack of all trades and master of none. I enjoyed it overall, but I guess with so much comedy and acting talent on the screen I just expected more. The film combines elements of science fiction, action, and comedy  to create a big melting pot of mediocrity. Its enjoyable, but if you're going to the cinema expecting to pee your pants every few minutes, you might want to pick something else.

If your favorite beer is Budweiser and you like Chevrolet, this movie is definitely for you. I lost count of how many times I saw characters drinking Budweiser followed by a gratuitous close up of the Chevrolet badge on the latest brain-dead stay-at-home mom's crossover. Now, I know advertising plays essential parts in movie budgets and so on and so forth but this was just so blunt it felt like there was going to be some cheese ball sales rep in a suit outside the theater after the credits rolled. You know, just in case. That said, there is some entertainment to be found. There are several genuinely funny moments, but the vast majority will get nothing more than a few chuckles out of you. Most of the humor is crude, and unfortunately (as any film buff will tell you) good technique will not make up for bad writing. Don't come to this film looking for originality. There are multiple moments when you can tell the writing had intended that particular scene to be funny - unfortunately it just comes across as awkward because it isn't. I'd also like to mention that just because the characters throw cursing around left right and center doesn't make them funny, so on the extraordinary chance that a budding film writer is reading this - be clever and witty with your humor. Some cursing is ok, and when done well can be hilarious. However, you should never rely on swearing to make something funny. Even with such a talented cast who deliver lines brilliantly, it just doesn't cut it. And really, Jonah Hill's character has a weird thing with his mother again? I'm seeing some bad type-casting in his future.

Granted, the plot in general has some very predictable moments, but most of them still leave you chuckling. There were times when I was outright laughing at what happened on the screen. On the plus side, this movie really captures that boyish recklessness that a lot of male audience members will understand. A scene involving blowing up a cow with a laser beam in particular was great and had me creased with laughter. For the most part, I felt like the plot was mainly used to set up action scenes - some of which are actually pretty good, even for a movie of this genre. You'll get high-speed camera slo-mo, gunfire, alien gore, and all sorts of fun stuff. Even a cool explosion. Is it good enough to redeem this movie? Absolutely not. In many ways, this film reminded me of "That's My Boy" - nothing more than a means to an end, that end being a paycheck for someone other than myself.

Ask yourself that question, because I bet for a lot of you the answer is yes. The uniquely funny moments in this film are few and far between. In fact this movie is mainly dull and such a typical product from the action-comedy genre that there isn't really much to say about it. Rebellious teenage daughter with over protective but semi-secretly crazy father played by (who else?) Vince Vaughn. Dorky guy with a heart of gold and some romantic problems? Ben Stiller, of course. Utter weirdo with mommy issues? Jonah Hill, been there and done that and still have the ticket stub in my jeans as I recall...regardless, there is nothing new to be found here. It's got some laughs, and that's about it. Audio wise, there is some original music that is meant to be intense and exciting - and actually, it makes a few scenes that much cooler. Ok, bases covered there? Good. Next.

Finally, I can be done with this. It was so run-of-the-mill that I didn't even feel like reviewing it. It has a little to say about upscale suburban communities and especially the glorified house husbands that live in them, there was some undertone to a few moments but really this is just a mediocre action-comedy that manages to do neither of those things well at all. You'll smirk a lot, chuckle a bit, laugh a few times, and spend the rest of the time being reminded that just because you saw someone driving a Chevrolet and drinking a Budweiser in a movie doesn't mean you're going to poop your pants if you don't have one immediately after leaving the cinema.

What I loved: Cool action sequences, the 'shooting the alien' scene, gratuitous (totally expected) orgy scene, seeing the credits roll.
What I hated: Everything that didn't make the above list.

Final Rating: 1.5/5 stars, or 45%, or D+. Not worth paying for, wait for the network television premier. 

Agree or disagree, I'd love to hear your thoughts on both this film and this review. Please share this blog wherever you share things, and keep going to the movies!


Saturday, July 28, 2012

THE DARK KNIGHT RISES - Love, Hate, and one incredible journey.

Where to even begin? This film is incredible. I'd say it lived up to its hype, and gave fans of all descriptions at least some of what they wanted. But here's one thing I wanted to get out there immediately: CHRISTOPHER NOLAN MADE A DECENT FIGHT SCENE! I can't begin to tell you how surprising this fact is, but it is one of pure pleasantries. This movie is everything a batman fan needs, and though it isn't perfect, its one I doubt anyone will soon forget. Most people are raving about this film, and whilst they're a little over the top, they're not entirely wrong.

This film is part of a trilogy. A somewhat unintentional trilogy but a trilogy none the less. Christopher Nolan's vision of the Dark Knight doesn't need the previous films to be brilliant, though I'm not convinced it was done on purpose. I left the cinema feeling that knowledge of the two previous films wasn't a pre-requisite in the slightest. The plot for this film is a little over the top and feels a bit like Tom Clancy decided to poke his nose in. Sure, it's a simple formula - super villain (in this case, Bane) comes around and threatens to ruin the whole city. The way this was done though had elements of a Batman film that didn't belong there at all. The CIA, the US Special Forces? Too much. I also feel like the way Gotham was physically held hostage was just over the top. That whole plot just felt like they were trying to hard. As a result, the suspension of disbelief wavered and it became pretty easy to see where things were going in a few places. As for the rest of it, hold on to your seat because this is a thrill ride like no other. Yes, the plot is over the top and a bit silly, but ultimately you won't care. Each new twist and beautifully shot action sequence will send adrenaline cascading through your veins and leave your heart fluttering in your chest. It's that exciting.

What at first disappointed me was how slow this film started, though not for lack of trying. There are moments of comic relief that just feel entirely forced. Furthermore, many of these moments just felt like they were in the way of all the cool stuff going on. A lot of things are entirely disregarded after being shown as significant. A moment where Bruce Wayne is told he has some crazy issues with his joints is then tossed aside entirely after his soul searching act is completed comes to mind. He then manages to get a passport, cross an ocean, and save the city in less than 24 hours with nothing more than a can of beans and some cloth. It seemed that some of the plot devices were not really thought through, but ultimately it's a nitpick because its still exciting and entertaining. If you want to be super critical and analyze every little thing it would be very possible to come up with a lot of questions regarding the plot, but hey - he's Batman.

You remember when I said earlier that Nolan made a decent fight scene? Well despite you scoffing and dismissing this insane notion - it's true. Not all of them are good, but the ones that are good are fantastic. The first bout involving Anne Hathaway's Catwoman had me rolling my eyes, and when Christian Bale joined her as the Dark Knight for a roof top scrap, I had all but given up hope. Enter Tom Hardy as Bane, enter awesome. You'll feel crippled after a grueling struggle between Hardy and Bale, the punishment feels almost tangible. Nolan somehow managed to not have shaky cameras, ultra-fast and blurry editing, or cut away shots. All of it added to the barely contained violence that Bane's character so mercilessly radiates. And if you think the fight sequences are good, the other action sequences will leave you attempting to shut your graping jaw. There is zero lack of excitement when things get heated on the screen, the only thing that takes it away is things that don't feel like they belong in a Batman movie - and yes, I'm talking about the world's worst homing missiles fired at the Bat-UFO. Some parts left me with the impression that Michael Bay had directed this film instead of Christopher Nolan. Does that make it less entertaining? No. Just a bit silly.

The characters in this film are many. Some are old, many are new. Overall though, the way most of them play out is fantastic. One thing I've loved over the scale of all three films is watching Gary Oldman's portrayal of Commissioner Gordon. The first time you see him in Batman Begins, he looks like a scrawny suit who knows nothing but a desk job. And throughout the trilogy he pleasantly surprises you, each and every time I think he's had it, he shows he's a strong, dedicated man of the law. Hearing him tell a rookie to check his corners made me grin from ear to ear. Indeed there is no shortage of great acting in this film, Michael Cane again reminds us why he is a Sir and one of the most respect actors in the world. The emotional bond between Alfred and Bruce Wayne is very strong(especially if you saw the previous films), and I was saddened to see it downplayed. Cane's role in the film almost felt like a glorified cameo, but he doesn't disappointed. Whilst the acting throughout the film is fantastic, there are a few exceptions. Matthew Modine's performance felt...cheesy. It was also cheapened by some ridiculous moments in the film's first and final acts that will leave you shaking your head and glad that the obviously coming moment is finally out of the way.

While the character of Foley was a bit redundant, the character of Bane was not. Bane is menacing, violent, and pure evil. It's just a shame your average grandmother manages to convey more malice with her voice. I made it a point to look, and indeed I could see the jaw moving behind the mask. Hardy was definitely speaking his lines. Unfortunately, you have to make a very conscious effort to notice, and even if you do notice the voice of the character is clearly a voice over and not a good one. For all his muscles, all the power his presence commands, and all his evil - if you closed your eyes you'd think he was just a crotchety old man who had a hip-ache and was waiting for a hot beverage from his nursing home staff. Bane's voice is so bad that it not only warrants comment but takes away from the character in a very significant way. It was almost laughable, I'd go so far as to say that his voice should be re-done for the DVD/Blu-Ray release.

On the subject of audio - Hanz Zimmer, of course, never fails to deliver. That said, there are degrees of success, and this is not his finest work. Don't get the wrong idea, the huge bombastic themes and heavy percussion will still be ringing in your ears long after you've seen this film. The soundtrack itself is like a sequel to the previous installments. However, I wanted more. The percussion is sometimes overwhelming, and a tiny voice in my mind was reminded of Bear McCreary's (amazing) work on Battlestar Galatica. I wanted more of the big brass moments, the racing strings, and the subtle yet pulse pounding bass and percussion. And there were a few moments where I got what I wanted. The rest of the time I just felt like I was waiting for that big crescendo and triple forte part of the score. Again, Hanz Zimmer took me on a roller coaster ride, and I loved it. I just didn't love it as much as I could have.

And so, the end of a fantastic trilogy of films comes to an end. Not just three movies, but three distinct journeys into the dark heart of Gotham City, three inspired artistic vision of the Dark Knight. Like any journey, its not without trials and tribulations. Unforunately the end of this journey left me scratching my head. The movie is hugely entertaining. It looks great, it (mainly) sounds great, it unfolds into a true spectacle that may leave you requiring a defibrillator to stop your heart from pounding our of your chest. Christopher Nolan's Batman is an incredible creation and I'm sad to see this saga come to a close after only three films. And really, I could have done with more closure - the ending becomes very obvious far to quickly, and don't forget gratuitous scenes involving the word "Robin" to leave it open for a possible spin off or sequel. Ultimately, this is an epic film that was a little disappointing. I love the elements of it, the action, the excitement, the emotion. I hate the feelings of how un-refined it is, the sloppy plot, and the hashed-together feel of it all supposedly ending a trilogy. Bottom line? I'd see it again in a heart beat.

What I loved: A great sense of closure, pulse pounding score, incredible action sequences, and not only one but multiple decent fight scenes from Nolan
What I hated: Absurdly over the top plot, Bane's voice overs, lack of continuity.

Final Rating: 4.5/5 stars, or 90%, or A-. Worth paying full price at peak time, multiple times. 

I welcome your comments on this movie and this review. Please, share this blog if you liked it, and enjoy!


Friday, June 15, 2012

That's my Boy - Bad parents make mediocre comedies

Andy Samberg, the legendary man from "The Lonely Island" and of course SNL stars in this dime-a-dozen comedy which also stars Adam Sandler. Bizzarrely, Vanilla Ice is in this film and actually has a few good moments. Unfortuantely, a "few good moments" is all that this swearing laden, throw away plot comedy has going for it.There were a few genuinely funny moments, but nothing hysterical that will last beyond me writing this review.

Adam Sandler movies are all very similar in the way he plays his character, which is a shame because I genuinely think he has an acting talent. Perhaps he should try doing an action flick, might be a nice change of pace. We know him, we love him, and even though he doesn't really bring anything new to the table here, he's still good enough to make it passable. The concept of the film is Sandler's character, in his youth, knocks up his teacher who births the child whom he looks after until he is 18. It's amusing, but the humor is all done crudely and rather predictably. There are few surprises that catch you off guard and really make you laugh. I chuckled for the most part, but a few moments really had me laughing.

Though the plot unfolds exactly how you might expect, its still a fun experience. There's some very cringe worthy moments, and some utterly ridiculous ones, but for the most part you'll see everything coming a mile away. I must say that I know its a comedy but some of the things you're supposed to laugh at are just too crude and disgusting. Sandler's production company, Happy Madison, produced the film. I can't help but feel that the script should have been better and wittier, instead it is filled with tried and true technique that is very obviously technique for this genre. To a degree it works, but the formula is tiresome.

Now to be fair, when you go to see an Adam Sandler film like this, you're not expecting much. It entertained me for its run time and that was good enough for me. The problem was that it just wasn't funny enough and left me feeling like I was only laughing because a few other people in the theater were. Andy Samberg impressed me, he's surprisingly confident and shows that he definitely has potential.

PART: THE SECOND - %$*& YOU, YOU $%&#ING #&^%!!!
Swearing is a part of any language on the planet, and I get it, I really do. Swearing in comedy used correctly can turn a dorky line into a funny one. I'm not sure if it was the writers or the actors or even Sean Anders' direction - but it was overkill to the extreme. It's not the case but after the first act alone I felt like I'd heard every combination of swear words possible. Some might consider that an achivement, and had this film been funnier it would be. But this isn't South Park and we're not singing about Kyle's mom. Some of the running jokes in the film are so bad, one of the characters actually says "People still do that?" or something to that effect. Though unintentional I'm sure, this made me chuckle.

While we're on the subject of lines, anyone will notice Sandler doing an utterly ridiculous accent throughout the film. It is, as you might have guessed, ridiculous. It's completely unnecessary, doesn't add anything to the character that belongs in a comedy of this nature, and just isn't funny. I'm sure the idea was to make him sound more child like, but the effect was just obnoxious and irritating. Another irritating thing is the utter disregard for getting the simplest things right. One scene involving Samberg being punched in the face with a right arm sends him flying the wrong way. Normally I wouldn't care, but it wasn't funny enough to distract me enough from noticing the complete disregard for the laws of physics. It was like they set up the stunt, did the whole thing and saw how corny it was and just shrugged and rolled with it.

The film does have some redeeming qualities, though they're few and far between. One particularly hilarious scene involving a spa session had me roaring, even though it started off very akward. The 80's sound track was a lot of fun and made me grin, and of course in this kind of film you don't really care about the original music or much less know that its there. And that's a running problem with this genre - things that you'd normally be keen on in other genres don't matter in the slightest, they're done because they have to be. You go see a movie like this because you want to sit in the chair in the dark in a room full of strangers and laugh your ass off for an hour and a half. Unfortunately, you won't be doing that the whole way, but if you have a more crude sense of humor and think saying saying f**k every three lines is funny, you'll really enjoy this film.

Overall, this is a fun movie. It tries to hard to be funny, and shoots itself in the proverbial foot in doing so. I enjoyed watching it for the most part but there was a few times when I wanted to sigh in exasperation.

What I loved:
Vanilla Ice in the bushes, the "five-oh", seeing the credits roll
What I hated: 
The overkill on a lot of things, the fact that its half way to being a granny soft-porn, Sandler's fake accent.

Final Rating: 1.5/5 stars, or 62%, or C-. Worth renting on DVD/BlueRay. 

If you enjoyed this review or would like to tell me what you thought of the film, please leave me a comment or two! Share this on facebook/twitter/tumblr or whatever it is you use, and thanks for reading.


Thursday, June 14, 2012

Prometheus - Close but not quite.

Prometheus, for those somehow unaware - is a prequel to the 1979 classic "Alien". Sure, Ridley Scott and the producers have been saying they wanted it to be its own story and its own thing, but that doesn't change the fact that it is definitely a prequel to Alien. However, it doesn't set the stage for the first film, which I was sort of expecting. I consider it a pleasant surprise. I love the franchise, and "Aliens" (1986) is one of my all-time favorites.

Overall, I thought this movie was good and entertaining. There were a few things I almost wished I could have rewound through to see again, but I enjoyed it and found it well worth going to see.

So the basic story of Prometheus is primarily about the Space Jockeys. Secondarily, its also about where the notorious "xenomorph" aliens came from. The opening of the film was a little screwy, and I don't think a lot of people understood that the beginning was showing the origin of human life, but I got it and that really added a lot of understanding to later parts of the film. The first act of this film is mainly just giving us back story and setting the scene and tone of how things are going to play out. I found myself intrigued. When we finally get on board the Prometheus herself, the fun starts. Michael Fassbender plays David, the synthetic/android/'artificial person' whatever. And he does an absolutely amazing job in the role, managing to convey exactly what an android in an Alien film should be - polite and charming on the surface with a core of malicious intentions. Some of David's actions don't make much sense despite it being incredibly obvious what his intentions are and where he's getting his orders from, it could have been done better but that's just a nitpick - he was definitely my favorite in this film.

At first the mission and the plot have a heroic feel to it, like its celebrating this brave band of noble explorers who are on a fantastic voyage to expand humanity's understanding of its origins. Charlize Theron then steps in and gives you a slap in the face, letting you know the real reason that Prometheus is on LV-223. I have to say until that moment, I was beginning to raise my eyebrow at the plot. Eventually, we see what became of the so called "engineers" - fans of the first Alien will know them as Space Jockeys. As the team explores the dank, creepy environment filled with things that obviously are not conducive to anyone's good health, there is so much that seems to be crying out to be explained, and is just forgotten. It helps add an air of mystery to what happens, but its not the greatest. I feel that the plot could have been better and had less horror cliches in it, but its good enough to carry things along. So here's a question for you: if you were in a space suit, in a underground cavern looking for your creator, and you happened to find a huge pile of their corpses, do you think you would stick around? Definitely not. Things like that really irritate me sometimes, and I feel with the talent that is behind Prometheus, they could have come up with something a little less mind-numbing, something that doesn't take the suspension of disbelief and try to throw it out the window.

That said, there are some very creepy moments, and a few genuinely terrifying ones complemented by some outstanding visual effects. A scene involving medical treatments to Noomi Rapace's character (whom she plays marvelously) comes to mind, one I won't soon forget. What does let the film down a little is Marc Streitenfeld's forgettable score, its not awful but like I said, forgettable. In fact there's one moment where the feel of the music almost directly contradicts the harrowing nightmare the characters are experiencing on screen. 

Perhaps intentionally and perhaps not, this movie shows where the xenomorph aliens in fact came from. At least, thats what I gathered from it. You probably won't realize it until late in the film, or in my case after. Sitting there having a glass of water and wham! Now you know where they came from. It was an interesting twist, and when Rapace's character unleashes it thats when you'll likely figure out where the xenomorph's came from. Like I've stated though, this film does NOT set the stage for the first Alien film, or any of the other ones, not even the silly Aliens vs Predator films. What it does do is make you go "ohh, NOW I get where they come from!" and then feel disappointed that it didn't go further.

I understand why Prometheus wanted to only loosely be connected to the original Alien films, but frankly I think it was a bad decision. Sure, having its own spin on things and being in a slightly separate universe allows new, younger fans to break themselves into the franchise. But honestly, I don't think there were many people in the theater who came just because the previews made it look like a good sci-fi/horror flick. Both before, during, and after the film people were talking avidly about Alien and Aliens. I wanted so badly for this movie to set the stage for the first Alien, and I'm ok that it didn't, but it still felt a little disappointing to have the film start filling in blanks and then suddenly stop and change directions. We started with goo, and ended up with enormous face-huggers and chest burster 2.0, and you're just going to stop there, really? The ending of the film felt like a cheap shot, and in fact I'd have to say that the transition from the second act to the third was really abrupt and sloppy. Following a WTF was the point of that whole scene moment, suddenly revelation that you were expecting followed by cliche. Don't misunderstand, I'm satisfied overall with this film, I just think that fans of the franchise might feel a little cheated by how things play out.

The creature design for the Space Jockeys/Engineers is pretty interesting, and if you like a bit of gore in your movies there isn't any in short supply here. The build up to some of the crazier moments will get your blood pumping and your butt clenching, the tension in this movie is incredible and though it takes a bit to really start, once the wave of suspense starts it keeps right on going until the end with only a few minor hickups. 

So, overall this film is great and very entertaining. Would I see it again? Sure, once or twice, but it doesn't have the longevity of Alien or Aliens. The acting is phenomenal in this film, absolutely fantastic work by all the actors. The film looks wonderful with breath taking special effects and set design. Some of the props were a little odd but no complaints. The music was forgettable but the sounds are great. Apparently the orchestra was given sheet music to be played backwards which was then digitally reversed to create unsettling sounds - rather creative and quite effective. The plot is a little screwy and no matter how much you read about it wanting to be more of its own thing, fans of the series won't be able to help wanting more connection with the rest of the franchise.

What I loved:
The suspense, the gore, the back story of not only humanity but the xenomorphs.
What I hated:
The plot, the score, the messy continuity, and not seeing Charlize Theron naked ;)

Final rating: 3/5 stars, or 70%, or B-. Worth seeing in the theater for full price.

Please tell me what YOU thought of this review and the film its about in the comments :)


Hello, and welcome...

Hello. My name is Devon. I am at time of writing, 25 years old. Among many things, I (obviously) adore film and cinema. So I've decided to write about it. That's the simple version, anyway. If you're here and actually reading this, you're looking for a lot more than just a few cheeky sentences, so let me explain a little about me.

I was born and raised in Florida. I studied film and media at Sir John Deane's College in Northwich, Cheshire, UK. I really appreciate films for the art form they can be, and not just the entertainment value of an hour or two of your life time. Films can send you to another place, take you out of reality for that period of time. They can also make you want to jump out of the nearest window and get hit by a truck. Regardless of what I thought about it, I'll share it here.

One of the main reasons I've started this lately is to disagree with mainstream critics. How often do you go and see a movie and think to yourself how much you enjoyed it then get home and watch some big-wig critic absolutely slam the film because of this and that when it has nothing to do with the movie? Well I'm here to give a more down to earth person's opinion on the films I've seen. So enough about me for now, I hope you enjoy my reviews. Please leave me comments and share this blog with your friends. If you like it, post it on your facebook/twitter/whatever. If you loathe it, post it twice as many times.