Fantastic Four (2005) Film Review


A group of scientists who visit a space station are hit by a mysterious radioactive wave and develop powers, and then have to deal with the consequences.

It’s the origin story of the comic strip Fantastic Four and I thought it was pretty ace. I especially like that, before they really get a chance to figure out what kind of ‘powers’ they have, they end up in a situation in a very public place, and have the eyes of the world on them. What was most poorly presented (and this may well be a reflection of that in the comic book) was the reaction of Ben Grimm’s fiance after he becomes The Thing. He is a giant made out of rock, but is still himself personality wise. She just runs, screaming, from him, and is portrayed as the bad guy. I think that that reaction in the face of such  a strange transformation is pretty reasonable, and that it could have been explored in further detail. But, it is a comic book film, after all; perhaps character depth is asking too much?

I found it really odd seeing Chris Evans as the arrogant idiot Johnny Storm after being the troubled, quiet Captain America in other Marvel films. I thought this would rule out the Fantastic Four hooking up with the Avengers at some point, but it looks like there is a new Fantastic Four film coming out next year, so I guess we’ll see. A little bit of research shows that the 2007 film, Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer has the same cast as this film, but the 2015 film is a new cast, and there is already a second Fantastic Four film scheduled for 2017. Looks like the Fantastic Four are being reinvented much as the Incredible Hulk was.


Sin City (2005) Film Review

Sin City


Based on the Frank Miller graphic novel of the same name and filmed almost entirely against green screen, Sin City takes a dip into the sordid world of Basin City. This is a world with pedophilia, prostitute wars and corrupt cops.

Along with general action films, I really like the genre of films made from comics and graphic novels. Sin City takes this to a whole new level. The entire look of the film is like a dark comic strip, with lots of dark shadows and limited use of colour. What’s more, it is extremely and horrifically violent, but in a way that, even though it is clearly fake, it is uncomfortable to watch. I think this is a truly wonderful film, and I’m very excited to see that another Sin City is due to be released next year.

Little Fockers (2010) Film Review


The ensemble is back; first, it was meet her parents, then meet his. Now, there are kids and they are having a birthday party, but things go astray. And crazy astray.

I was on board for the first two. Yes, there were a few things that I needed to suspend my belief for, but I went with it. But for this? They lost me totally. From the moment Jessica Alba arrived as a drug representative and stepped in for a bottom-related procedure in the hospital, it lost me. Not even a fist fight between Robert De Niro and Ben Stiller across a series of kids equipment was worth it.


Valentine’s Day (2010) Film Review


What happens when you get a whole bunch of stars together to tell a whole bunch of stories? Valentine’s Day. And much as I expected to dislike it, being very Hollywood and corny… I loved it. I loved the romance, I loved the slightly unexpected twists (and that many of the twists were not that unexpected), it was just great.

I’m not going to try to recount the plots – there were just so many intertwining. All you need to know is that in LA on this particular Valentine’s Day, heaps of people interact. Some get together, some don’t, some break up, some rekindle their love. It’s gentle and fun and has a huge cast. If you get sick of the stories, you can spend some time trying to name everyone in the film. This is a great film to know for playing 6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon.



Honey (2003) Film Review


Honey Daniels (Jessica Alba) teaches hip hop at a local rec centre in a rough part of New York, but she has dreams of being a dancer in video clips. After being filmed by a creepy looking dude in a club, she is spotted by legendary video director Michael Ellis (David Moscow). Meanwhile, there are a couple of young kids who hang out locally that Honey wants to help before they end up on the wrong side of the law. But what will Honey do when her career takes her away from her ‘hood? And is Michael Ellis just after her talent?

This is a fun film, but after watching The Wire and many other dark representations of drug affected poor areas in the US, this sanitized representation is laughable. It’s not my kind of film, but if you’re looking something fun and not too offensive for kids to watch, this could be it. Plus, it gave me a few new moves for the dance floor next time I hit the clubs. I’ll give the basketball moves a go, and if that doesn’t work, I’ll pretend to be cleaning up. I’ll be flavour of the month, don’t you worry about that.

The Love Guru (2008) Film Review


There have been a lot of films that have come from sketches from Saturday Night Live. This is where many great comic actors started; Steve Martin, Chevy Chase, Steve Bellushi and more recently, Tina Fey and Wil Ferrell. I’ve only seen the odd sketch, and from what I can tell, they are often hilarious, over-the-top parodies of characters in society. Sometimes, they translate very well to film. Think The Blues Brothers, or Wayne’s World. Then, there is something like The Love Guru.

Perhaps as a series of sketches on the show, it would have been funny. But as a film, it was forced and tedious, rarely funny and often bordering on racist. Bordering on? Often, downright racist.

Mike Myers plays Guru Pitka –  a cross between a guru and a self-help, motivational speaker. He desperately wants to get on Oprah and become the number one guru about Deepak Chopra. He is employed along with his sitar and elephant, to attempt to reunite a Canada ice hockey star with his wife, allowing the team to win the championship. And he falls in love with Jessica Alba.

The story is weak, the jokes are stupid and it doesn’t have any of the charm of previous Mike Myers work. So disappointing.