Mission: Impossible II (2000) Film Review

Mission impossible 2

There’s a virus called Chimera that has been created so that pharmaceutical companies can sell the anti-dote. Sean Ambrose (Dougray Scott) is evil and has it, and it is up to Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his team, Luther Stickell (Ving Rhames) and Billy Baird (John Polson) to sort it out. They bring in cat burglar Nyah Nordoff-Hall (Thandie Newton) as she was Ambrose’s ex, but she is not trusted by his off-sider, Hugh Stamp (Richard Roxburgh).

It’s terrible. The story is average and even the explosions and stuff are not so great. And the stupid motorbike chase scene was just dumb. After the aceness that was the first film, this is disappointing and stupid.



In Bruges (2008) Film Review

In Bruges

Things on a hit have gone wrong, and Ray (Colin Farrell) and Ken (Brendan Gleeson) have been sent to lay low in Bruges, Belgium by their boss, the psychopathic Harry (Ralph Fiennes).

I could see this film a hundred times and not get bored with it. I love the characters, the absurdity, the pathos and even the horrific violence. It is beautifully made and really fabulous. Plus, it contains one of my favourite ever lines in a movie: “You’re an inanimate f***ing object.” I nearly choked with laughter when that popped up. Geez, I love Ralph Fiennes.

In Bruges was nominated for an Oscar for Best Writing, Original Screenplay (Martin McDonagh)

Safe House (2012) Film Review


Safe House is the best action/drama ever. Alright, that’s a ridiculously big call. But I just loved it. The only reason I saw this movie was that it was on at a good time. Seems that is often how I pick movies – probably not the most intelligent way to pick them, but now and then, it really works.

This film is dark, gritty and real and I loved the filth of it. The filth of the characters and the places and the plot.

The opening sequence really set up the way the story was going to be told – lots of jump editing, hand held camera work and dark shadows. By editing several scenes together with the audio from one over the top (no, not a montage as such, but more like a jigsaw) director Daniel Espinosa it able to pack in a whole heap of character and plot development into a short time. At almost two hours, it’s a pretty long film, but it covers so much in that time.

Ryan Reynolds plays a young CIA agent who ends up on his own with a rogue agent (actually, I’m not sure he’s called that, but I got all Alias for a moment) played by Denzel Washington. I didn’t really know who Reynolds was (a bit like the way I didn’t really know who Ryan Gosling was until Ides of March) but I was pretty darn impressed with this performance. I have to admit, the storyline of the young, naïve company man who ends up disillusioned with the company is getting a bit tedious for me. Especially when too much of the film is slow, close-ups on said man as the penny drops. Still, I liked this one. Washington is a very attractive man, especially when he smiles, and thank goodness he gets to do that a lot in this film. Plus he gets to look cool with a gun. I do like that. Plus the wonderful Brendan Gleeson is in it – I’ll see anything that man does, although it’s hard to get used to him with an American accent.

The film often confused me – something happened and I had no idea what or to whom, but I didn’t care. Eventually, it became clear, and that was all that mattered. The foley was amazing – things really sounded real, especially in the many, many fight sequences. The cinematography was also wonderful, often showing things from a single character’s point of view, leaving the audience missing the same pieces of information that the character was. This really heightened the excitement for me.

Overall, awesome. See it on a big screen with big sound. It needs it.

The Guard (2011) MIFF Film Review


When I think of ‘buddy cop’ films, I think of Hollywood blockbusters such as Rush Hour with Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan, or Showtime with Robert De Niro and Eddie Murphy. Or, of course, Lethal Weapon. Films that, like romantic comedies, are a bit of a guilty secret for me. I love a blockbuster, but I often don’t tell people that.

So, when a film like The Guard comes along and is tagged as a buddy cop film, I cringe a little. Buddy cops don’t have a quirky sense of humour, or a cop who doesn’t play by the rules. Oh, hang on. They often do. I was about to argue that the tag of buddy cop was misplaced, but I am quickly reversing my opinion. What makes this different to most films of this style is the Irish sense of humour.

Boyle is a middle-aged cop in a sleepy town outside of Galway in Ireland. He doesn’t act like a cop – he deals with a crime scene in his own unique way and isn’t afraid to shy away from drugs or prostitutes. Along comes FBI Agent Everett to town to try to intercept a boat carrying half a billion dollars (street value) of cocaine from arriving in Ireland, and we have our buddy cop element.

I absolutely loved this film. Apart from the fact that this is almost the only film that has not left me depressed about life and the world, which really would have been enough for me to like the film, not to love it. I loved it for its humour, for it’s characters and for it’s ridiculousness. (Especially note: the scene with the bad guys in the aquarium. Why the hell were they there, and what was going on with the editing? But so, so funny – I’m glad they kept it in!)

In fact, there was only one thing which spoilt this film for me, and that was the unpleasant man sitting in front of me with rancid body odour.  Thanks, filthy man. Not only has your stink pervaded my nose and my clothes, but I cannot get the word ‘rancid’ out of my head. How filthy. How dare you spoil this film for me and I will be doubly annoyed if you now spoil the next two films I am seeing for me today.

The Pirates – Band of Misfits! In an Adventure with Scientists! (2012) Film Review


I’ve been a fan of Aardman Productions since Wallace and Gromit. Or before, even – if you haven’t had a chance to check out Rex the Runt, do. It’s a fairly surreal animation series for adults (well, not specifically – it’s not rude. I just don’t think kids’d like it all that much.) The Pirates is the most recent outing for Aardman, and it certain reaches the same high standard of storytelling.

It follows the Pirate Captain, an affable but not very effective pirate, in his attempt to win the Pirate of the Year Award. He is being helped by a variety of misfit pirates, but they have no chance at beating the other, more impressive pirates. Sailing away, they come across Charles Darwin, who covets the Pirate Captain’s “parrot” Polly, which is actually a dodo. From here is a series of crazy chases and misadventures that takes them to England and meeting Queen Victoria, who covets the dodo like no other.

It’s funny and silly and an excellent film for children. What would be even better would be for it to be a television series. The characters are engaging and silly, and there is the opportunity for some educational content. Well, the possibility – although if Queen Victoria is represented as a madwoman who will go to all lengths to get the Dodo and Charles Darwin as a lonely man desperately seeking love, then perhaps there may be an issue with the educational content.

The Pirates was nominated for an Oscar for Best Animated Feature