An American family takes a vacation to Europe which descends into car chases and shoot-outs, owing to the father’s shady past as a US master spy, and his son has to come to terms with his parents’ double life.
No its not 1985’s Target, with Gene Hackman and Matt Dillon; this time, dad Bruce Willis (Looper) gets himself shot and son Henry Cavill (Man of Steel, Immortals) has to pick up the pieces.
Throw in some kinetic, Bourne-type action, the car chase from Ronin, and an off-the-peg ice queeen performance from Sigourney Weaver (Paul, Abduction), and you get an efficient, if uninspiring thriller. Continue Reading
A few years ago someone at Disney – yes, Disney – decided a kids version of Cool Hand Luke infused with The Goonies and a dash of Shawshank Redemption would make a decent movie.
So they set it in the desert, hired Signourney Weaver (Paul, Abduction) do do one of her cold villains, alongside a shifty, comedy villain by Jon Voight (Lara Croft, Mission Imppossible), threw in a legend of buried treasure, and for the lead, cast a teenage Shia LeBoeuf (Transformers). Whatever happened to him?
Forced to endure character-building hard labour in the Texas desert, Stanley and the gang relentlessly dig holes in search of…what? Continue Reading
All the fast cutting, fast talking, pounding sound-tracks and nods to the London Olympic dream can’t lift this curiously old-fashioned sports movie out of the mundane.
Aside from the twist that it’s the women’s relay team that’s making the drama, there’s not enough budget or risk-taking to lift this innocuous TV-movie script beyond soapland and pop-videos. Plenty of charm, but it lacks the grit and ambition to rise beyond the bottom step of the podium. Continue Reading
(Also titled: SAGA: Curse of the Shadow, Dragon Lore: Curse of the Shadow, The Shadow Cabal)
A throwback to 80’s straight-to-VHS genre movies, strictly for the die-hard Tolkien fans, although this is more The Good the Bad and The Ugly with swords.
Somewhere in Generic Fantasy Land, three renegades – an elven bounty hunter, a crusading fighting cleric and a notorious Orc raider – join forces to defeat the Shadow Warrior and prevent the resurrection of the local death god. Like you do.
Just don’t expect Peter Jackson levels of creativity or budget. This was in fact, a Kickstarter project and credit to the producers, they got it made. Continue Reading
A quartet of British B-movies that rode the coat-tails of big budget Hollywood sci-fi and fantasy. A not-quite golden age of British retro-sci-fantasy cinema featuring a menagerie of rubber monsters, including Doug McClure…
The Land that Time Forgot (1975)
At the Earth’s Core (1976)
The People that Time Forgot (1977)
Warlords of Atlantis (1978)
Guilty pleasures don’t come much guiltier than these from defunct British studio Amicus, featuring McClure (TV’s The Virginian) as their International star ‘name’, alongside the best of British. Continue Reading
Five years on: the ‘vikings’ are still inexplicably Scottish, their kids remain, more inexplicably, irritating all-American teens; Jay Baruschel still sounds like Tom Hanks; but the dragons and the flying sequences are even more thrilling. Just as well, given some dodgy politics.
At times terrifyingly dark, intense and scary, the kinetic theme-park ride can’t conceal the broadest-brushed life lessons in a hackneyed script. But why does Kate Blanchett’s character look like a space alien, and what’s with the borderline racism? Continue Reading
Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg’s third instalment of the pretentiously labelled Cornetto triology delivers yet another bizarre and slightly desperate genre mash-up. As top-notch British actors uncomfortably mix profanity, slick martial arts action, and big-effects sci-fi, one wonders what we could have had if the touching buddy-comedy-drama had been left to play it straight.
There are laughs and superb performances, but it’s all undercut by the desperate silliness of alien killer robots. Continue Reading