Body of Lies (2008) Film Review


There are terrorist attacks happening across Britain and Europe. Roger Ferris (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a CIA agent working across the Middle East, in regular communication with a guy back in the US, Ed Hoffman (Russell Crowe). And aside from this, I have no idea what was happening during this film. There were plans being laid and I don’t really know what was happening.

Which is a problem. I had no idea what was going on, I had no connection to the characters, I didn’t care who the good or bad guys were. It was tedious and frustrating. I’d love to hear from anyone who enjoyed this film to know why, because I just don’t get it.

Gladiator (2000) Film Review


It starts with a huge battle in a wood in Germany. It’s Roman times, and there are shields and arrows and things on fire, and all sorts of stuff. It’s ace. There’s almost fifteen minutes of awesome fighting, with some boring slow-motion bits with dominating, dramatic music. And then they all start talking. Yawn.

Actually, I was well and truly surprised that I enjoyed this film. Years ago, I started watching it and turned it off with disgust. I’m not sure what I was thinking. I certainly don’t think it was worth all the awards that it gained when it was released, but it also was not a total stinker. It’s worth watching it for Joaquin Phoenix alone – he is so magnificently evil as the bad guy. Here’s a bad character that doesn’t set out to be evil, but is thwarted in so many of his attempts to be a great man that he ends up destroying himself.

Surprise yourself – if you, like me, refused to watch this because of the reputation that it has gained in your mind, give it another go. Clear your mind of expectations and just enjoy a good story.

Gladiator won Oscars for Best Picture, Best Actor (Russell Crowe), Best Visual Effects, Best Costume design and Best Sound and was nominated for a further seven Oscars including Best Supporting Actor (Joaquin Pheonix) and Best Director (Ridley Scott).

Prometheus (2012) Film Review


I recall when this came out earlier in the year, it was panned. Film Fandango, a podcast I listen to from Absolute Radio in the UK totally ripped into it, and listening to their discussion of the appallingness of the film totally put me off watching it. Plus, it’s not my genre – sci fi with some suspense. Most thrillers kill me. But, recently I decided to try to watch all of the films that have been nominated for Oscars – I’ve never done it before, and can’t explain why it matters to me this time, given that I hold little truck for the Oscars.

Prometheus is kind of a prequel to Alien. Set in some future world, a couple of archaeologists find evidence that humans were life forms created by an alien race. They are sent to a particular star system with a crew to try to meet these life forms and get answers. But, once on the planet, things turn awry. There are freaky snake creatures and the man archaeologist gets really sick so they burn him, but he comes back. Then the lady archeologist who had sex with the man archaeologist is now pregnant with some creature, so goes into a weird self-serve surgery capsule and has the creature removed, and after being stapled up, she’s well enough to continue running around the place. It’s totally absurd and annoying and weird.

The only thing more absurd than the plot of this film is the fact the Guy Pearce turns up with a crazy amount of make-up on to be the old man who is the founder of the company that owns the ship they are travelling in. Given his brilliant talent and the high standard of his usual films, this is a shock.

Prometheus was nominated for an Oscar for Visual Effects, and that’s fair enough. It might be a crap film, but it looked pretty awesome. It was also nominated for a BAFTA for Special Visual Effects.

Blade Runner : Final Cut (1982) Film Review


When discussing the recent debate regarding new vs old Total Recall, I had a friend point out to me that I wasn’t a fan of science fiction. It’s not necessarily untrue. I’ve recently forced myself to admit that I don’t like Star Wars and I’ve never watched Star trek. And, of course, I didn’t like Total Recall. But then again, I quite liked John Carter, and I am so glad I’ve finally re-watched Blade Runner. What an awesome film!

In a dystopian future, there were robots made in the image of man, finally so close that it is almost impossible to distinguish them. However, after a bloody uprising, the robots or ‘replicants’ were made illegal on Earth. Blade Runners were like cops who were sent out to destroy, or ‘retire’, any replicant that were discovered on the planet. Harrison Ford plays Deckard a Blade Runner who is chasing four rogue replicants but at the same time, an encounter with a replicant who is unaware that she is not human sets him contemplating the morality of what he does.

The version I watched was the 2007 25th Anniversary re-release of the film, which is a version of the director’s cut. This is missing the voiceover from the Deckard character, and I believe the end is possibly different. I can’t imagine what a voiceover would bring – the film really had no need to have anything further clarified.

Harrison Ford is Harrison Ford is Harrison Ford. He’s just great, really. Handsome, strong, and just a delight to watch, especially in his younger days. It was also fabulous to see Darryl Hannah again – she was so wonderful in Kill Bill, but I always wondered how Tarantino thought of casting her. Now I get it. And Rutger Hauer. What a man.