The Maze Runner (2014) Film Review


Thomas (Dylan O’Brien) is suddenly thrust into a strange world. It’s a blocked in garden in the middle of the maze, with a group of boys, teenagers, who are working together to survive. There are maze runners – a group of boys who enter the maze each day hoping to find a way out. Oh, and none of them remember anything from before they appeared in the garden.

It’s great. I do love these dystopian future films, and while I don’t know why there was only one girl in this film (hell, why have one at all? I’m sure that will be answered in one of the sequels, but there seemed to be no reason to have her there). Though I recently also watched Divergent, and I suspect that I will be getting those two somewhat confused. Lots of dark colours and running and the like.


The January Man (1989) Film Review


There is a serial killer haunting New York. The Mayor is at the end of his wits, and insists that his Police Commissioner, Frank Starkey (Harvey Keitel) gets his brother Nick (Kevin Kline) back on the case, despite him being dumped publicly from the force years previously for some scandal. Then there his dumped love affair with Nick’s wife, Christine (Susan Sarandon), the new relationship with the much younger Bernadette Flynn (Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio) who, just to add complications, is the mayor’s daughter. And how wonderful to see the recently passed Alan Rickman as the hilarious artist friend.

Is there such a genre as romantic comedy crime thriller? Because that’s what this is – silly, romantic and yet it’s still a suspenseful, serial killer thriller. It’s wonderful, and ridiculous, and makes me want to see Kevin Kline more and more and more. I love him. There is one scene in the film that is most odd. I didn’t think Harvey Keitel was really acting all that much, but in a conversation between him and Kevin Kline, it seemed as though they were both in different scenes altogether, having different conversations. So extremely odd.


Joy (2015) Film Review


Joy (Jennifer Lawrence) is an adult who is divorced but whose ex-husband lives in the basement of the house she shares with her child (children? I think there was a son, but he was very insignificant in the film), mother and grandmother. Her father, Rudy (Robert De Niro) has moved back in after breaking up with his girlfriend, and then there is her sister who is a bitter a twisted woman. Joy was told as a child that she was super special, and now she feels let down. But she has an idea – could this turn her life around?

I wanted to like this so much. I’m a fan of many of the actors and, while I didn’t love Silver Linings Playbook, I have enjoyed many of David O. Russell’s previous films. But it was just flat and everyone was annoying, and they were annoying all of the time and there was even a scene where *slight spoiler* Joy cuts her own her with a pair of scissors and then it looks amazing the next day, and that’s clearly crap. In fact, I’d go so far to say that the amazing looking haircut done at a moment of emotional desperation/breakdown that looks amazing the next day is as tedious in a film as ‘I woke up and it was all a dream’. Even if this is a totally true story and that is really what happened.

Joy was nominated for an Oscar for Actress in a Leading Role (Jennifer Lawrence). It won a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy (Jennifer Lawrence) and was nominated for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy.


Mortdeci (2015) Film Review


Mortdeci (Johnny Depp) is a rich art collector who is facing bankruptcy, whilst trying to keep his beautiful wife Johanna (Gwyneth Paltrow) out of the arms of his old schoolmate, Martland(Ewan McGregor). Then there is an artwork that’s gone missing and… yawn.

I don’t understand this film. I just don’t quite get it. It is funny at times, but it is mostly just odd. It’s almost as though someone remembered how the whacky Austin Powers films were and wanted to recreate that success. So, they got some big names, made some crazy characters, threw in a plot and figured that was that. But instead, it just felt empty and ridiculous.


Skulduggery Pleasant: The Faceless Ones by Derek Landy


Just as we think that the fear of the world being ended by one bad guy is over, another bad guy appears to take over the world. Or end the world. Or both (if that is possible?) It seems as though these books could be slipping into a pattern. There are a group who trust Skulduggery and Valkyrie, and there are others, more powerful, or at least, in positions of power, who don’t. One side versus the other, with some spectacular battles and quite a few laughs.

What makes this stand out? Well, I really like the house (you’ll know it when you get there) and the Sea Hag is gloriously awful. There are a few new characters, and a lot of the same old ones (although I get really confused, because I keep thinking that characters are dead and then they turn up again. Or I get emotional because it seems likely that they will die, but magic happens! What really made this work for me was the end – when I got to the end of this book, I immediately needed to get my hands on the next book. That’s a good sign.

Holding the Man (2015) Film Review

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Tim (Ryan Corr) and John (Craig Stott) fell in love in high school, and had a passionate affair that went on and off , through years and years, until tragedy ended it.

I don’t want to say more. It is beautiful and romantic and tragic and whatever you do, take lots of tissues. See it, love it, watch it. Be in love with them, see them challenge society and see them fall, over and over. Love it.


The Watch (2012) Film Review


Evan (Ben Stiller) is an uptight guy living an ideal life in the nice suburbs when one of his employees is killed during the night shift. So he starts a Neighbourhood Watch group. Cue: a bunch of misfits: Bob (Vince Vaughan) an overprotective father whose wife is travelling for work a lot, Franklin (Jonah Hill) a high school drop out and Jamarcus (Richard Ayoade) an odd Englishman. In searching for the killer, they come across aliens and sex parties and all kinds of strange stuff.

This film is both terrible and nowhere near as terrible as I expected it to be. The whole alien thing seemed to be totally ridiculous, but I actually quite liked where they went with it. However, I was totally distracted most of the way by Ben Stiller’s extreme tan. Yes, he was the leader of the running club, but there seems to be way too much colour on that man’s face.


RED 2 (2013) Film Review


Post – RED, Frank Moses (Bruce Willis) has well and truly hooked up with Sarah (Mary-Louise Parker) and they are living, well, some kind of a life. He’s fearful, she’s bored. Then Marvin (John Malkovich) turns up dead; at least for a moment, and Victoria (Helen Mirren) is charged with killing them, and it’s on. Awesome times. And then add in Bailey (Anthony Hopkins) and you’ve got a fabulous romp.

I absolutely and totally loved this. I love the humour, I love the action, I love the casting, and I kind of hope they made more, but I suspect they won’t. Wait… According to IMDB, Red 3 is in development. Yes!!!


Dogma (1999) Film Review


Bethany (Linda Fiorentino) works in an abortion clinic and is having issues with her Catholic faith. Then she is visited by Metatron (Alan Rickman), an angel sent from heaven to participate in a religious mission – to stop angels Loki (Matt Damon) and Bartleby (Ben Affleck) passing through a specific church door (that has been kind of opened so to speak by a local cardinal, played by the wonderful George Carlin). She’s being chased by a group of hocky playing skater kids/devils sent after them by Azrael (Jason Lee), and ends up accruing a gang of assistants; profits Silent Bob (Kevin Smith) and Jay (Jason Mewes), the thirteenth apostle, Rufus (Chris Rock) and Serendipity (Salma Hayek).

Kevin Smith ended up putting a clunky (though supposedly hilarious) disclaimer at the start, no doubt expecting a slew of criticism from a variety of different religious sections of society. As a non-religious person, but someone who grew up within a practicing family, I loved some of the concepts in this. Yes, I think Kevin Smith would have pissed off a lot of people with parts of this film, but why not? It’s a great yarn. Though I wish he’d let Silent Bob and Jay go – this film would have been much better without them, and I know it’s his thing, but still… And yes, I still think it was genius having Alanis Morissette playing God – certainly now it is a bit dated in that many folk may not recognise her, but I thought it was great.


It Follows (2014) Film Review


You know how most, if not all, horror films are really about how teenagers, especially girls, should not have sex? (If you want confirmation on this, check out Scream and the rules of horror films) Well, this one takes the cake. There is a sweet and lovely girl, Kelly (Lili Sepe) who is dating a guy called Hugh (or is it Jeff?)(Jake Weary). After they have sex, it is revealed that he has passed something on to her. Not a sexually transmitted infection, a sexually transmitted haunting. See, now IT FOLLOWS. What is it? Dunno. But it comes in the guise of different people, walks slowly and if it gets you, you die. Then it starts going back up the chain to the person you slept with, and so on. No-one else can see it.

This freaked me out totally – and I know, I keep saying that I am no good with horror films. Why did I watch this? I couldn’t say. It’s quite a beautiful film, very slow-paced, though there are several parts that were totally infuriating. I can’t say I liked it, but I certainly didn’t hate it, which says a lot for a horror film. And I did like the ambiguous ending.