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Technicaly impressive but otherwise laughable.
The faux single shot gimmick was technically impressive but that's all this film has going for it, the rest is laughably bad.

Our protagonist lurches from one ludicrous situation to another while German soldiers do all they can to rival Star Wars Stormtroopers as the worst shots in cinematic history. There are only so many contrived coincidences and inexplicably missed shots you can take before suspending your disbelief becomes impossible and all you can do is laugh.

Let's not beat about the bush here, this film is appalingly written, relying almost wholly on utterly unrealistic situations, preposterous coincidences, plot armour, cliches and cheap sentiment and should have been laughed out of cinemas, but apparently a bit of technical wizardy is all it takes these days to be declared a masterpiece.

War of the Worlds

Aliens hate Nick Cave.
Scientists broadcast Nick Cave into space and the aliens hate it so much they turn up and try to wipe out all of humanity.

Personally I prefer Nick Cave's work with the Birthday Party and Bad Seeds up until The Good Son and am not so keen on what he's produced since, including the song the scientists broadcast into space which was 'Into my arms' from The Boatman's Call. I mean it's an ok song, a bit bland and soppy, but for it to enrage an alien species so much they decide to commit genocide seems to me to be a bit of an overreaction.

Don't Breathe

Morons vs a blind man.
Three unlikable morons break into a blind man's house to steal his money. These are supposed to be the protagonists we're rooting for. Being morons they then proceed to alert the blind man to their presence whereupon said blind man disarms the most egregiously moronic of the three and dispatches him forthwith. At this stage the other two morons have ample opportunity to escape by breaking through the massive unbarred windows right next to where they are standing, but for plot reasons this doesn't occur to them. Neither does distracting the blind man by throwing any of the many objects located throughout the house, or indeed throwing them at him or simply hitting him with them. Because they're morons. And then some other moronic stuff happened before I decided life was too short to waste on moronic crap like this and turned it off before the end.


Should have been flatus.
The first half of the film is fine, decent action, intriguing mystery, but once the mystery is resolved and we find out what the monsters are all that hard work just goes 'parp' in a sad little cloud of gas.

Because that's what the monsters are, super-cooled, extremely diffuse gas, in a state that wouldn't last a fraction of a second in any temperature much above absolute zero. A fart could destroy these monsters and yet they're smashing up tanks. A mild toot would render them non-existent in a nanosecond and yet apparently they can only be taken out with plasma weapons.

Honestly they should have just made them out of flatulence because that would have been altogether more plausible.

This was a real stinker.

The OA

Starts well, ends hilariously.
The first couple of episodes were actually pretty compelling, then it rapidly plummeted down a very steep hill ending up in a hilarious heap at the bottom.

I could just about get past the fact that apparently expressive dance can allow people to travel between alternate universes for some reason, but when it's used to stop a school shooter in what resembles a parody of that South Park episode where Cartman thinks he's a ghost I couldn't help but burst out laughing. And the fact that it was done with such po-faced earnestness just made it all the more funny. If I'd been on a couch I'd have fallen off it I was giggling so much. Had I been wearing pants I'd probably have p*ssed them such was my mirth. The hilarity was such that had I been drinking a cup of coffee there's every chance I'd have spat it over my TV, or maybe have it come out of my nose. It really was that amusing.

Perhaps next someone will be given lots of money to demonstrate how enthusiastically scratching one's behind can allow you to travel in time and stop Donald Trump getting elected.

Beyond the Black Rainbow

Sublime twisted genius.
OK, first of all if you're not into 70s/80s sci-fi, hallucinogenic drugs, synth music and have no knowledge of junk new-age psychology then I would suggest you probably won't enjoy this, or at least understand where it's coming from.

If however you tick all the boxes above this is a work of sublime twisted genius.

The story itself is actually pretty minimal and straightforward but serves its purpose admirably, what makes this film so glorious is everything else hung from that skeletal story-line. These include stunning imagery, a disturbing tense atmosphere, a wonderful soundtrack and an overt criticism of some of the worst excesses of experimental new-age psychotherapy.

Admittedly that doesn't sound like a barrel of laughs, and it isn't, so if that's what you're looking for don't watch it. On the other hand if you enjoy films such as Altered States, Phase IV, Solaris (original) or even Apocalypse Now then you should really check this out.

Mythica: The Necromancer

Worst director ever.
The first two Mythica films may have been cheesy low budget nonsense but they were enjoyable cheesy low budget nonsense.

But now they've brought in a new director who has managed to remove the all important enjoyable bit.

The guy has one trick, one single trick that he does over and over again and it goes like this...slow motion, suddenly fast motion, now slow motion again. And it happens all the time. Even just walking about among some trees or something people start slowing down then suddenly briefly speeding up for no reason at all. After about the 7000'th time this happens you just have to start laughing. I don't know, maybe his editing machine is broken or something but it certainly made this instalment of the Mythica series a chore to sit through. He better cut it out with the next one.

Midnight Special

Where's the wit? Where's the wonder?
This reminded me of a couple of films, namely Close Encounters and Starman, but with everything good about them ripped out, thrown on the floor and stamped on.

What remained was an overall joyless experience as two sullen, largely monosyllabic mumbling men drove a kid with glowing eyes home for two hours. Of course they had a couple of hurdles to overcome but at no point do you think "Oh no, they're not going to get the glowing eyed kid home". Where previously films of this oeuvre have employed wit, humanity and a sense of wonder to fabulous effect the director of this sullen dross did little other than smash you repeatedly in the face shouting "I AM SERIOUS, I AM IMPORTANT" by making the repetitive turgid soundtrack blare progressively louder and louder. It was bombastic pseudo-intellectual rubbish masquerading as serious cinema.

Just because everyone looks miserable and hardly anyone says anything doesn't automatically make something good. You have to have talent to pull that off and make people care about your morose protagonists despite themselves. Whereas the only comparable thing this nonsense succeeded in doing was making me like a guy from the NSA, basically because he was the only one who seemed capable of speaking in entire sentences and looking slightly interested in what was going on.

I'd rather be forced to sit and watch E.T over and over again Clockwork Orange style for a week than expose myself to this inane garbage again. And I hate E.T.


Hilarious scientifically illiterate drivel.
So apparently the Earth drifts out of its orbit for some reason and to fix this the human race decides to smash sub atomic particles together in particle accelerators despite the fact this would do absolutely nothing to solve the problem. Then to make matters worse for some other random reason these particle accelerators create mini black holes which proceed to heat up the Earth and boil off its oceans. This of course ignores the fact that said black holes would in fact rapidly descent to the Earth's core and begin eating it from the inside.

Anyway what this film mostly consists of is a girl running, jumping and climbing a lot. At one point she even has a magic quiver of arrows which, despite the fact you can clearly see it has only one arrow in it, keeps producing new ones until she's killed all her enemies before finally running out. She also does a lot of posing on high rocky outcrops despite the fact she's trying to avoid the locals.

Oh and Kevin Sorbo lies at the bottom of a cliff with a broken leg for two days in a desert yet appears not to be in any need of food or water. He really is Hercules it would appear.

I notice this was funded through kickstarter so that old maxim of "a fool and his money are soon parted" seems as true today as ever. Probably more so if this nonsense is anything to go by.

Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome

What the frack was that?
After watching this steaming turd someone has inexplicably left coiled on the mortal remains of BSG I'm somewhat concerned I may have permanently fried my brain taking hallucinogenic drugs. Throughout the entire experience I appeared to be having a particularly irritating acid flashback. Somehow my subconscious mind dreamed up a bland unimaginative plot, derivative clichéd dialogue, a young Adama being a really annoying little jerk and (this is how I know it must have been a flashback) some truly bizarre visuals.

There were trails coming off people's faces man! It was like someone had taken a big fat digital brush and just smeared it across the screen. And the lens flares, oh they're cool aren't they? Let's have one at every single opportunity so it looks like we're watching a computer game designed by troglodytes who cant glance at a light source without being near blinded, which presumably is why they keep shaking the camera all the time. And to add sprinkles onto the turd why not end it with some cheesy metal music like some teeny youtube fanw**k.

As you may be able to tell I didn't much care for this latest flogging of the BSG corpse. I mean honest to god Caprica was better than this.

Naechureol siti

Pointless Bladerunner rip-off.
Well I've just wasted nearly two hours of my life watching an annoying thuggish idiot try to save the 'life' of his android girlfriend (quite why being a mystery as she seems to have the personality and IQ of a mushroom) while people jumped about doing backflips preposterously avoiding thousands of bullets. Curiously though when one of the main characters was left on his own to perform heroics these previously deadly killing machines stopped jumping about and doing backflips, ran at him singly like idiots and got slaughtered. Why do scary goons always do that? And honestly can't Ridley Scott sue them for breach of copyright? This was no mere Bladerunner homage with a few nods and winks, the flying police cars were *exactly the same* (except the rubbish cgi was nowhere near as good as the 1982 bluescreen effects).

I'll give it a 3 because the first two acts weren't altogether terrible, but the last was abysmal. It consisted of either laugh out loud funny action sequences or interminably dragged out scenes of people slowly dying to soppy music. And that's being generous.

The Thing

Pointless waste of time.
Seriously what was the point? Let's basically remake Carpenter's masterpiece as a tedious, bland, mindless, by the numbers pile of husky droppings? Oh and let's sideline the Norwegians by bringing in a preposterous American heroine who looks like she's just out of high school yet we're supposed to believe she was the foremost expert in her field? Then for good measure let's forgo any of the claustrophobic tension of the original and turn it into a clichéd monster movie replete with rubbish cgi beastie chasing people down corridors.

For Christ's sake Lars was the best character in this mess and he hardly had any lines as he didn't speak English, which incidentally meant it was obvious from the start he'd be the one in the Helicopter shooting at the husky at the end.

To be the fair it wasn't awful, just a pointless wasted opportunity. If you're going to remake 'The Thing' then just have the balls to do it, rather than insulting the audience by making a 'prequel' which is essentially a poor imitation off of the original.

I don't know, perhaps its one redeeming feature is that it may lead some to watch Carpenters infinitely superior version, and for that alone it deserves to scrape a 3 out of 10.

Falling Skies

Godawful wretched mess.
After 5 episodes I don't think I can force myself to sit through any more of this wretched hideous mess.

It is mind numbingly dull and rancid in its sickly sentimentality. To add to that heady mix of TV excrement the acting is poor and the script even worse. Every week it seems someone does something mind bogglingly stupid for no apparently good reason and there is practically no sense of tension whatsoever. They're killing 'Skitters' (which where I come from means diarrhea which is quite funny) in the vicinity and yet for some incomprehensible reason it doesn't seem to occur to the aliens to wipe out these pesky humans swanning about nearby acting as if they're in a holiday camp.

If the unintentionally funny bits were more frequent it would perhaps be worth watching just for the laughs but unfortunately I spend most of my time cringeing and groaning.

Oh and did I mention it's really, really BORING.

6 Souls

God bothering mumbo jumbo.
The first half of this film is actually a very good psychological\supernatural drama which is thoroughly enjoyable. Julianne Moore and Jonathan Rhys Meyers are both excellent. Sadly however in the second half it descends into the kind of god bothering mumbo jumbo so common in American cinema. Why it was released outside the U.S first is a mystery when its message, that having no faith in god (even if you're a six year old girl) can make you prey to some kind of hillbilly voodoo cult, is unlikely to appeal much outside the U.S market. Had they kept the sky fairy nonsense to a minimum and not smacked us around the head with the idea that atheism is bad it could have been decently entertaining, but sadly they didn't and it ended up being an unpleasant, cringeworthy mess.

The Day of the Triffids

Well I enjoyed it.
I've just sat and watched both episodes back to back and thoroughly enjoyed it. Yeah sure Izzard's petty despot character is hammed up to the extreme and the forcing in of contemporary environmental concerns was a bit heavy handed, but the rest was great.

This is clearly a condensed, modernised version of the BBC's 1981 series (which I also love) not the book and pretty much dispenses with Wyndham's focus on post disaster social engineering, and while I preferred the 'tock tock tock' noise of the 80's Triffids, these new ones are rendered beautifully in CGI.(Which makes me wonder why the CGI in Doctor Who, with more money, is so awful).

Perhaps it's just because I'm a biased Scot but I thought Dougray Scott was excellent in the lead role, and frankly for a BBC drama with a limited budget, the standard of acting all round was surprisingly high.

Of course there were plot holes and convenient happenings, they were there in the book and the original series, as they're there in every drama but at no point did they put me off, or take me out, of the drama. Only the miscast Izzard managed that at times.

Was it a work of Television genius? No. Was it much better than most Television sci-fi miniseries made these days (mainly in the U.S for a lot more money)? Absolutely, by a country mile.

It was an enjoyable romp, with some fantastic scenes of London disintegrating, some wonderful Triffid attack scenes, a great atmosphere and characters I actually cared about.

Don't listen to the naysayers.

Doctor Who: The Waters of Mars

Usual dross from RTD.
Let's see.

Dreadful overbearing background music.

Endless running down of corridors to pad out the show.

Corny, clumsy dialogue.

Terrible wooden acting from most of the incidental characters.

Overblown, pointless sentimentality.

Shallow, hamfisted attempts at profundity.

It ticked every Russell T Davies box and then threw in a really awful robot for good measure, and why is the CGI still so noticeably bad? Can't wait for Moffat to take over, yes RTD should be commended for bringing back the show, but his episodes are invariably the worst it has to offer. He's never been able to write science fiction (and in fact has barely even tried) and I for one certainly won't be missing the soap opera crap he shoehorned into Doctor Who and his formulaic, predictable rubbish like 'Waters of Mars'.

SGU Stargate Universe

Surprisingly good.
Have to admit I was wondering what Robert Carlyle was doing in a Stargate spin off, after all he's a serious actor, but was pleasantly surprised by this. I've watched Stargate from its very beginning, when it was actually quite serious sci-fi, before developing into the essentially lightweight space opera comedy it became, and this is definitely a welcome change of direction.

Of course this seems to have upset many fanboy/girls who seem to want exactly the same wisecracking, one dimensional characters and the same lightweight silliness we've had for 10 years. But it had grown dull, repetitive and was haemorraging viewers, something had to change to attract the flagging interest in the franchise and a more mature direction means this viewer at least is looking forward to the rest of the series.

Oh and as for the ridiculously prudish complaints about the 'sex scene', you do know there was full frontal nudity in the SG1 pilot?

Terminator Salvation

Hilariously awful.
How low a viewer IQ was this film made for? The plot is paper thin, the dialogue corny, the twists and surprises you can see coming a mile off and the action scenes are actually laugh out loud funny. That this utter rubbish so far warrants a 7 on IMDb is genuinely depressing and a sad reflection on what today's audiences seem satisfied by. Whoosh! Bang! Big explosions, people shouting and every Hollywood cliché known to man thrown in for good measure, just remember to leave your brain at the door on your way in.

If anyone is thinking of watching this garbage then I'd suggest having quite a few drinks first then viewing it as an unintentional comedy.

The Children

Wonderful Stuff.
Horrid smug Middle class parents get killed by and kill their own children, what could be better? Who could not enjoy this? Well, other than 15 year olds who can't appreciate a horror film with *shock horror* time spent on genuine character development, a decent script and people behaving in a believable manner when confronted and confused by the horror they're confronted with.

The Children is great because it's a rare oasis in the desert of generic (mainly US) horror, these are parents who understandably find it difficult to accept their own children have become killers and are obviously not too enamoured with the idea of killing their own offspring (which explains to certain 15 year old fools why the adults are so easily overcome). There are no generic idiot teens walking into danger for no discernible reason, in fact the one teen Casey (played excellently by Hannah Tointon) is the strongest character in the film.

This is the best Horror film I've seen in quite a while...if it doesn't appeal to teenage horror much the better.

Dead Set

It's fun to mock BB fans.
The best thing about 'Dead set' is that it seems to be hugely popular amongst 'Big brother' fans despite Brooker clearly calling them all a bunch of mindless zombies straight to their stupid faces.

As to the series itself I'm rather torn, much as I'm a Brooker fan I also loathe BB so while I understood and appreciated much of what Charlie was trying to say the whole BB thing just tainted the whole experience, and frankly there was very little original about it besides its setting. Essentially it amounted to a somewhat less subtle re-imagining of 'Dawn of the dead' and isn't a patch on Simon Pegg's 'Shaun of the dead', who was in the Guardian today explaining why zombies shouldn't run, I agreed with him.

The Mist

Mediocre clichéd fare saved by ending.
I rented this knowing nothing about it and while I was pleasantly surprised by elements of it which could have made it great, it suffered from too many of the flaws common to American films.

First of all, it became evident all too quickly that the film was populated by fairly standard, shallow clichéd characters which is somewhat unfortunate given that it focuses mainly on their interaction, the only one of them to rise above the mundane was the insane Christian woman, but sadly the American obsession with ramming religion (positively or negatively) down our throats is a cliché in itself and her character became so mind numbingly irritating so quickly that she became a tedious annoyance who took far to long to die.

On the positive side, anyone who's played 'Half life' should enjoy the monster scenes and atmosphere, I understand the game was partly based on the novel, but the film is undoubtedly, in imagery and sound, influenced by the game, and the idea that the town has been engulfed by a bizarre alien world seeping through to our own works pretty well.

With all of this together I'd have given this a 5 at best but then we come to its contentious ending. Had they shoehorned in a happy one while my favourite 'Dead can dance' song was playing I'd have been seriously annoyed, but no, a director had the balls to give us a rare, quite horrific ending in an American film and it was absolutely wonderful. A memorable sequence which raised this from an average time waster to something I'd actually recommend.

Hellboy II: The Golden Army

Best comic book film I've seen.
I absolutely loved this, didn't even mind the Irish Tuatha De Danann myths being plundered and messed with, it was simply beautiful. Guillermo del Toro is a genius, the film looks absolutely stunning, the sense of humour (almost reminiscent of Sam Raimi's) is spot on, the fantasy elements work brilliantly...even eliciting a genuine sense of sadness at times amongst the slapstick violence and "Oh crap"s.

While I enjoyed the first film, I found it a little flat and drawn out in places, whereas this is an absolute romp from start to finish.

If you have a sense of humour and enjoy a bit of mildly insane, comedicaly violent, surreal fantasy you should enjoy this.

If you don't, you have my pity and condolences.

Beyond Loch Ness

Bloody Yanks.
Not content with stomping round the world getting up to all sorts of nefarious mischief now it seems the Yanks also want to steal our monsters.

Well the joke's on them this time because you's not the real Nessie.

Being Scottish I have, of course, met Nessie and be assured all ye across the pond, she doesn't remotely resemble the ridiculous waddling monstrosity portrayed in this moving penny dreadful. In fact anyone in the know is fully aware that Nessie appeared as herself in the Doctor Who tale 'Terror of the Zygons' and became, during the production, a personal friend of Tom Baker (there are even rumours of a brief romance), so I can only presume the producers of this nonsense were disgracefully lax in their research.

Now stick to your own monsters in future or we'll set Gorgo's mother onto you.

The Black Hole

Disney gone mad.
What Disney thought they were doing with this is quite beyond me.

On the one hand it seems they wanted to make some kind of grandiose Gothic epic with Barry's wonderfully gloomy score, the beautiful cathedral like 'Cygnus', the macabre fate of her crew and a scene at the end reminiscent of Dante's inferno.

On the other hand it seems they wanted to make some kind of silly Star Wars rip-off for kids with rubbish robots.

No sane person would attempt to marry these concepts so I can only presume Uncle Walt's minions went temporarily round the bend and the results are predictably bizarre.

First the good.

The effects and cinematography are fantastic, the moment the Cygnus lights up is stunning and overall the film looks extremely impressive.

The horrible fate of the Cygnus crew and Anthony Perkins being eviscerated by Maximilian are surprisingly gruesome for a Disney picture.

Miximilian Schell chews up the scenery with splendid zeal.

Now the Bad.

Anything involving Vincent, Bob or the exceedingly useless robotic Storm trooper rip-offs. It's all embarrassingly awful.

However awful as said rubbish robots are they have more character than the wooden humans, besides Schell.

Very silly things happen which aren't explained (such as people surviving unprotected in a vacuum).

Tediously resorting to Judeo-Christian imagery when they apparently couldn't think of how to end the film.

So overall it's a very, very odd mix with much to like and much to cringe at. Had they stuck with the Gothic elements it could have been great but sadly this was Disney and they ruined it.

Oh yes and look out for the scene early on where Vincent does a remarkable impersonation of Eric Cartman.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Clearly I'm a Communist.
I'd never heard of Shia LaBeouf before last night and frankly never want to hear of him again. His character ruined the film for me, obviously Indie needed a partner to share the stunts with given his advanced years but did he have to be so brash and irritating?

...and the whole Tarzan thing was just awful.

Whereas I rather liked Cate Blanchett as the (not very) nasty Commie, but then I have a thing for bobbed hair and Eastern European accents.

The rest was all pretty much 'meh'.

Unnecessary and obvious CGI from the very start (thank's George), which allowed for ridiculous things to happen which stretched my suspension of disbelief beyond breaking point. In the previous films you could enjoy and laugh along with the action because it *could*, just *could* happen, whereas in this there are sequences in which you find yourself laughing, then groaning at it as it's simply gone way too over the top to the point of being unintentionally comical.

The plot, such of it that there is, hasn't an original idea in it. It's simply an homage to the previous outings with a few 1950's stereotypes and gags and some Erich von Daniken silliness thrown in for 'good' measure.

I still enjoyed seeing Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones, he was actually better than he had any right to be given the material and Karen Allen making a comeback was great, despite her role being criminally limited.

For those two reasons I give it a 5, without them I'd have wanted my money back.

Quite a disappointment.

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