A homicide detective is pushed to the brink of his moral and physical limits as he tangles with a ferociously skilled serial killer who specializes in torture and pain.
Directed: Rob Cohen
Stars: Tyler Perry, Edward Burns, Matthew Fox
What we think: Whoever decided not to recast Morgan Freeman as Alex Cross should be fired on the spot.
Freeman whose played the character twice already in the very good Kiss the Girls and the abject Along Came a Spider would have surely been the front runner here.
Instead they chose Tyler Perry, someone whose more famous for cross (no pun intended) dressing into the character Aunt Madea – surely alarm bells should have been ringing?
Alex Cross is loosely based on the novel written by James Patterson and focuses on the Detective come Dr as he goes head to head with a venomous serial killer called Picasso (Matthew Fox) who specializes in torture and pain.
Fox is practically unrecognizable as the softly spoken and all over nice guy Jack we were so used to seeing in Lost, here he’s a shaven headed psychopath with an exceptional physique.
Continue reading REVIEW: Alex Cross (2012)
Directed by: John Gulager
Written by: Patrick Melton, Marcus Dunstan
Starring: Danielle Panabaker, Matt Bush, David Hasselhoff
Despite the general consensus, personally I thought Piranha was an okay-ish film. Okay, it was bad. But it was the sort of bad that I watched, and almost kind of liked. The CGI could have been better, some of the acting was dire, but I was entertained and happy enough when the credits rolled.
However, in 2 years clearly something went drastically wrong. On 11th May 2012, Piranha 3DD was released, causing mixed feeling between those who hated Piranha, those who liked it, and those (like me) who were ‘meh’ about it.
It’s clear the writers felt a certain sense of unease when planning the disastrous sequel to the B-movie, as they had a sudden realisation that the idea of a second Piranha alone wasn’t going to attract any audience at all. What could they possibly do that we hadn’t already seen, and (mostly) hated?
“We need a secret weapon,” they thought. “We need something that’s going to add interest and make them feel they had a really good time.”
And what’s the best they could come up with? A 60 year old topless David Hasselhoff. Oh.
Continue reading REVIEW: Piranha 3DD (2012)
Directed by: Lorene Scafaria
Written by: Lorene Scafaria
Starring: Steve Carell, Keira Knightley, Melanie Lynskey
Usually, this would be exactly the sort of film I’d enjoy. Sitting at the other end of the see-saw to Melancholia, this is an apocalyptic drama with a light-hearted feel. At least, it thinks it is.
The story centres around Dodge (Steve Carrell) who’s wife leaves him suddenly for no real reason. By chance, he has a random encounter with his previously unknown neighbour – Penny, who has neglected to give Dodge any of his mis-delivered mail for three whole years. When she does finally hand it over, Dodge finds a love letter from someone he considers to be the love of his life.
Dodge and Penny (who’s feeling really bad, and has just split up with her weird boyfriend) set off on an awkward adventure to locate Dodge’s lost love, and for Penny to see her family.
And the reason all this is happening? Oh yeah, there’s a massive dirty meteorite on the way, and in 3 weeks Earth will be smashed to smithereens and all the characters, and the rest of mankind, will be dead.
Continue reading REVIEW: Seeking A Friend For The End of The World (2012)
A homicide investigator digs deeper into a case involving a trained military sniper who shot five random victims.
Directed: Christopher McQuarrie
Stars: Tom Cruise, Rosamund Pike, Richard Jenkins
What we think: Now, I’m not really a big fan of Tom Cruise, but ironically I have enjoyed most of the films he’s done.
Don’t ask me why, I just am, but there is no law that says you still cannot enjoy a film whether you dislike the lead or not.
Cruise plays the title name, a drifting former military officer who is practically a ghost as most people cannot find him, and he’s not the type of person to want to be found.
Here however, after a blistering and quite brutal opening sequence where a sniper picks off random targets from a parking lot, the accused, James Barr (Joseph Sikora) is bang to rights, and the case against him all but concrete.
Continue reading REVIEW: Jack Reacher (2012)
Several months after witnessing a murder, residents of Tower Block 31 find themselves being picked off by a sniper, pitting those lucky enough to be alive into a battle for survival.
Directed: James Nunn, Ronnie Thompson
Stars: Sheridan Smith, Jack O’Connell, Ralph Brown
What we think: Tower Block is a pretty decent British thriller, that despite a completely transparent plot it holds the tension extremely well for the duration.
When a group of tenants witness the murder of a young boy they decide to keep quiet, no one saw or heard anything it seems and certainly no one is coming forward.
One year on and someone is still holding a grudge as a sniper starts to pick the residents off one by one from an adjacent building, towards the tower block destined for demolition.
Continue reading REVIEW: Tower Block (2012)
The lives of four drug dealers, one user and two prostitutes.
Directed: Ben Drew
Stars: Riz Ahmed, Ed Skrein, Natalie Press
What we think: Rapper Plan B aka Ben Drew makes his directorial debut with this powerful British film that touches on everything about a broken society.
Set in the East end of London it looks at the collective lives of four drug dealers, a user and a prostitute. It runs just a little over two hours, which was too long in my eyes.
The stories for each are all interconnected in some way and at some point they overlap each other which from a narrative that works extremely well.
The film’s soundtrack is Plan B’s own album and some of the tracks in it are played out within the film, so if you listened to the album first then it will all seem familiar.
During these musical interludes Drew, sorry Plan B, acts as narrator bringing the scenes together through rap, some of which are pretty harrowing as he tries to get us as close to reality as possible.
Continue reading REVIEW: Ill Manors (2012)
Poltergeists attack a family in Yorkshire during the 1974 nationwide blackouts.
Directed: Pat Holden
Stars: Kate Ashfield, Nicky Bell, Alan Brent
What we think: There is nothing more terrifying than strange and unexplained goings on.
Objects moving by themselves or things lurking in the shadows is enough to put the chills through anyone.
It is a genre that is done to death, however, it seems that it’s one that shows no signs of slowing down.
All you need is a good script and director, sadly When The Lights Went Out doesn’t really enjoy either of those.
Poltergeists are plaguing a family in 1974 Yorkshire, and after moving in it doesn’t take long for the manifestations to reveal themselves.
Continue reading REVIEW: When The Lights Went Out (2012)
In Istanbul, retired CIA operative Bryan Mills and his wife are taken hostage by the father of a kidnapper Mills killed while rescuing his daughter.
Directed: Olivier Megaton
Stars: Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace, Famke Janssen
What we think: Taken was one of the sleeper hits of 2008 so there was no surprise when it was announced that Brian Mills (Liam Neeson) would be back in the thick of it once again.
However, one wondered exactly how the film would pan out in terms of plot and just who would be ‘taken’ this time?
Pierre Morel was not coming back for the sequel and so the directorial reigns were handed over to Olivier Megaton (Transporter 3).
It’s all about revenge as the families of the victims Mills dispatched with ease last time want retribution for him and his family.
Set in Istanbul Mills takes his daughter Kim (Maggie Grace) and ex-wife (Famke Janssen) whose having her own marital problems, to Turkey for some bonding after he completes a little job.
Continue reading REVIEW: Taken 2 (2012)
Review by Paul Brewer
Directed by: Pete Travis
Written by: John Wagner, Carlos Ezquerra
Starring: Karl Urban, Lena Headey, Olivia Thirlby
Set in an irradiated America, where everyone now lives within the walls of Mega cities, our film takes place within Mega City One, a chaotic, violent metropolis which stretches from Boston to Washington D.C and is home to some 800 million people, and is ruled by criminal gangs. There is some order and this comes in the form of the men and women of The Hall of Justice. They dispense justice there on the spot… they are Judges, Juries and if need be… Executioners… They are the Law.
Continue reading REVIEW: Dredd (2012)
Directed by: Xavier Gens
Written by: Karl Mueller, Eron Sheean
Starring: Lauren German, Michael Biehn, Milo Ventimiglia, Courtney B. Vance, Ashton Holmes, Rosanna Arquette, Iván González, Michael Eklund, Abbey Thickson, Jennifer Blanc
If The Divide were a big-budget, high-concept Jerry Bruckheimer movie, the pitch to Hollywood executives might be something along the lines of “It’s The Lord Of The Flies in a New York basement”. Like William Golding’s novel, The Divide is about the murkier, primal area of human nature, and it’s probably the bleakest genre film you’ll see all year.
Continue reading REVIEW: The Divide (2012)