Escape from New York – 7.5/10.

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Where to start with this synopsis… Ok so the president of the United States crashes a small airpod type thing into Manhattan which is now a huge penal colony. From there the heads of the prison send in the most 80’s man of all time Snake Plissken (honestly) to save the day.

Some of the things you can expect from EFNY: Kurt Russell with massive hair, wearing an eye patch and talking in hushed tones. Other characters with one name such as Brain, Duke and Cabbie dressing and acting like they wondered off the set of three totally different films. Some excellent graffiti in the background, my favourite just being the word ‘BRICKS’ daubed on the wall in massive letters. Some of the worst (best?) fight scenes ever. Isaac ‘Chef’ Hayes dressed as a pirate and driving a car that literally has two chandeliers stuck on the bonnet and a disco ball hanging from the roof. I have been watching a fair few 80’s films recently and each one has left me more baffled than the last. What a glorious time for cinema it truly was. There are literally hundreds of films that are more intelligent, technically superior and well… just plain better than Escape from New York but you wont find many that are quite as fucking fun.

I will leave you with this line from Snake Plissken himself:

Old man with earring: ‘Are you going to kill me now Snake?’

Snake (looking directly into camera): ‘I’m too tired… (pause for effect) Maybe later’

Galaxy Quest – 7/10.

galaxy-quest-01The cast of a science fiction show find themselves thrust into a real life space war.

Despite have an absolutely terrible poster and title, you can’t argue with the cast in Galaxy Quest: Sigourney Weaver, a suitably depressed and hilarious Alan Rickman, Justin Long, Sam Rockwell and headed up by Tim Allen. Unfortunately Galaxy Quest is not as good as the sum of its parts. It does have a satisfying 80’s feel to it though and would make a nice companion piece to Men In Black or Gremlins. The first half an hour is superb but when the actual action starts there is not enough room for comic maestro’s like Rickman and Rockwell to shine.

Pacific Rim – 6.5/10.

IMDB Plot – As a war between humankind and monstrous sea creatures wages on, a former pilot and a trainee are paired up to drive a seemingly obsolete special weapon in a desperate effort to save the world from the apocalypse.
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The problem with Pacific Rim is that, very much like Avatar, the jaw dropping special effects don’t hide or make up for the normal action movie clichés or the lazy, stereotypical characters (‘mad’ scientist x2, reluctant hero brought back for one last mission, po faced military leader). There isn’t one memorable character in this entire film, nobody stands out acting wise.

The much lauded Idris Elba is totally unbelievable and to be honest a bit rubbish as the fearless leader (complete with motivational speech obviously). Cheesy dialogue, predictable plot twists and an anti climatic ending all make for a massively disappointing movie because it has to be said the special effects are utterly amazing. The Transformers movies look like an embarrassment next to this. Missed opportunity but worth a watch just for how wonderful it looks.

Serenity – 8/10.

Film adaptation of doomed series.

Serenity movie image

Writer/Director Joss Whedon excels himself in this feature length version of his cult tv series Firefly. The writing is probably the best I have seen from Whedon. The characters are more developed than in the series whilst retaining the light, comedic feel that made the series so watchable. Some great action sequences that surpass Firefly what with Whedon having a bigger budget to play with. Ties up all the loose ends from the show nicely whilst also working as a stand alone film. Watching Serenity just confirms what a ridiculous shame it is that firefly was cancelled because if this was the way the series would have headed it would have been one of the all time greats.

Looper – 8/10

Bruce Willis over and over again but don’t worry, it’s not another Die Hard

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I could never give an accurate synopsis for a film so complicated without my head exploding so here is IMDB: ‘In 2074, when the mob wants to get rid of someone, the target is sent 30 years into the past, where a hired gun awaits. Someone like Joe, who one day learns the mob wants to ‘close the loop’ by transporting back Joe’s future self.’

Joseph Gordon Levitt plays the lead role and while this isn’t a stretch for him, he plays it very well. Same story for Bruce Willis. He could play this role standing on his head but he brings necessary star power to the film. Emily Blunt gives the stand out performance, showcasing something different to what we have seen from her before. I saw this described as the new matrix, for me that is premature but there is still loads to enjoy in this flick.

The ending ties the film together brilliantly, so much so that I was thinking 7/10 until the last five minutes. Looper feels like a film that would definitely stand up to and even benefit from repeated viewings.