Suicide Squad (2016) Film Review

Aliens have appeared and been fought off by Superman. Only, now Superman’s nicked off. How can the world protect themselves agains the bad guys? Get worse guys. A whole bunch of dodgy folk with talents or some kind of mutant skills, stick a bomb in their necks and threaten to blow them up if they do the wrong thing. But then, when things don’t go so smoothly, what happens then?

It was great. Top characters (most notably Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn and Jared Leto as The Joker), a decent story, some fantastic special effects and you’ve got a good film. Better than good, actually. A lot better. I’m being far too casual, it’s ace shouty blow ‘em uppy, fun times.

Suicide Squad won an Oscar for Best Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling.

The Pursuit of Happyness (2006) Film Review


Chris (Will Smith) and his wife Linda (Thandie Newton) are struggling a lot to make ends meet and keep themselves and their son Christopher (Jaden Smith) going. The film is Chris’s story of fighting and resilience to make a better life regardless of the struggle he must go through.

I find it quite a tough film to watch, because to get to a better place, he really must drag his family down first. Thandie’s performance as a woman who is deeply depressed and unable to cope with the shitty life they have is heartbreaking and wonderful, and it is always good to see Will Smith get his acting chops on. He even runs like a real person in this film, not like the action hero we usually see. It’s a pretty Hollywood take on this story, but definitely worth a watch, even for Thandie alone.

Will Smith was nominated for an Oscar for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role for The Pursuit of Happyness.

I, Robot (2004) Film Review


It’s the future and robots are all over the place helping folks out. Del Spooner (Will Smith) is a cop haunted by his past. He was in a car accident where two cars ended up in a river. He was saved by a robot, but watched a young girl in the other car drown. But he is deeply suspicious of robots, and so when scientist friend Dr Alfred Lanning (James Cromwell) is found dead, apparent suicide, he investigates further. Helped by Lanning’s assistant Susan Calvin (Bridget Moynahan) who believes in the science and the power of the rules of robots that protect humans, he investigates as the robots revolt.

I loved the styling of this film – a hint of the big sci-fi films of the eighties, such as Total Recall, and the robot with a human face was creepy enough to be… well, creepy. It’s not a new concept, but it was an interesting take on the whole ‘robot revolution’ thing. Plus, Will Smith is a great action hero.

I, Robot was nominated for an Oscar for Best Achievement in Visual Effects.


Hitch (2005) Film Review


Hitch (Will Smith) is a Date Doctor, manipulating women into relationships with men, and he refuses to help a guy who only wants a one night stand with a nice girl. Only, he’s a romantic, so it’s supposedly not as creepy as that sounds. Sara (Eva Mendes) is a gossip columnist, but she’s got a heart of gold, and only exposes the nasty happenings in the life of superstar Allegra (Amber Valletta) to give her a better life. In Sara’s mind. Hitch meets Sara and they start an ongoing flirt. Meanwhile, Hitch is setting Albert (Kevin James), an overweight boring accountant with Allegra.

It’s a pretty standard romantic comedy. Some fun times, some humour, a lot of flaws and some seriously questionable attitudes toward the women involved. I wanted to like it a lot more than I did because I like so many of the cast, but I just found it just average.


I Am Legend vs I Am Legend


I Am Legend by Richard Matheson

Oops! I’m back to reading about the end of the world. What a fool I am, yet I seem to be totally addicted. I’ve not yet seen any of the four films based on this novel (The Last Man on Earth (1964), The Omega Man (1971), I Am Legend (2007) and I Am Omega (2007) This last one was a straight-to-video release and sounds like it could be marvellously dodgy. I will track it down), but thought I’d give the book a go.

Robert Neville is the last man alive, or so he thinks. A virus has attacked the population and essentially turned them all into vampires of a kind. There are some who are still alive and breathing, but slip into a coma during the day, do not eat and search for blood. When they pass away, they remain animate and are more traditional vampires; although, when you’re thinking vampire here, think of a combination of vampire and zombie; not switched on, just staggering about. Neville cannot really understand why he is still alive, and why he is driven to study to find out what has happened and see if he can do anything about it.

It’s a quick read, compelling although, at times, quite repetitive. The character of Neville is very relatable; his drive to continue, his doubts, his high moments and the depths of his despair. And when his situation changes, it gets very exciting. I was exclaiming things aloud I was so surprised.


I Am Legend (2007)

In this version, the virus that caused the vampires was created by virologist Dr Alice Krippin (Emma Thompson in an uncredited role) as a cure for cancer – the sinister results did not come until later. Robert Neville (Will Smith) is a military scientist who continues to work on a cure despite his family and everyone he knows no longer around.

I like that it captured the emptiness of Manhattan, and that he has his lovely dog as a companion – there is a dog in the book, but it would have taken a long time to capture that subplot into the film. What I didn’t like is that we never really felt the despair that was beautifully caught in the book – the man, on his own, with little hope. It wasn’t the I Am Legend that I loved in the book, but it was a new I Am Legend to love.

Bad Boys 2 (2003) Film Review


Will Smith and Martin Lawrence are back as Mike Lowry and Marcus Burnett – almost a decade after the first film. This time, it’s not heroin, but ecstasy and add in to the mix, Marcus’s hot sister, Syd (Gabrielle Union) who is undercover in the whole operation.

It’s a pretty tedious film, I found. Yes, there were explosions and shoot ‘em up stuff, but the story wasn’t strong enough and the characters had lost their appeal from the first film. The only things that really got me through it were the bad guys – my favourite Peter Stormare and Michael Shannon who, prior to Boardwalk Empire, I did not know. Now, he’s one of my favourites, especially when he is playing a himbo-type character like this one.


Bad Boys (1995) Film Review


Mike Lowrey (Will Smith) is from a rich family but is now a cop, and quite a playboy. His partner, Marcus Burnett (Martin Lawrence) is a family man. When a whole heap of drugs are stolen from the evidence room, their boss Captain Howard (Joe Pantoliano) tasks them with finding it before it hits the fan. Things happen, they end up with a witness, Julie Mott (Tea Leoni) who thinks Mike is Martin and vice versa and things get somewhat crazy.

There are crazy big plot holes, there is no way that these police would begin to function in the real world. It’s totally ridiculous, and it doesn’t hold up for me at all, no matter how much I love Will Smith. But, as long as you don’t watch it as a crime drama in any way, shape or form, but instead as a comedy with lots of explosions, it’s okay. It’s really worth skipping through to the last ten minutes for the fun time explosive, shoot ‘em up show down.



Hancock (2008) Film Review


John Hancock (Will Smith) is an alcoholic superhero with a severe attitude problem. He saves people, but causes a lot of damage to infrastructure along the way. Then he saves Ray (Jason Bateman), a PR man who wants to rebrand Hancock. Little does anyone know what will happen when Hancock begins to spend time with Ray, his wife Mary (Charlize Theron).

I don’t think this is a great film, but I really enjoyed it. I loved see Will Smith being all grumpy all the time, I like the ridiculousness of the story and I was entertained. I don’t think I’d sit down to watch it again, but if I was flicking and it was on telly, I’d probably watch it.

Independence Day (1996) – Film Review


Mysterious spaceships appear over many major cities across the USA and, indeed, across the world. No-one is sure if they are friendly or not – no-one, that is, apart from David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum) who needs to get himself in front of handsome President Thomas J Whitmore (Bill Pullman, and for more on the hotness of Bill Pullman, click here) and convince him of this. Meantime, drunk Vietnam veteran and ex-alien abductee Russell Casse (Randy Quaid) continues to embarrass and annoy his family. Until the aliens attack, killing many and destroying whole cities. Few survive, but they include First Lady Marilyn Whitmore (Mary McDonnell) who is left injured amongst smouldering wreckage and stripper Jasmine Dubrow (Vivica A Fox) and her small son (and dog. Of course, the dog couldn’t die). Why do we care about the stripper? Because she’s got a hot boyfriend – Captain Steven Hiller (Will Smith) who is not only hot, but becomes one of the heroes as the world (well, let’s face it, the USA on behalf of the world) tries to find a way to battle these aliens.

I love Independence Day so much. I love that it is a simple story with a million flaws, but there are a whole heap of explosions and a lot of humour. It is far from a perfect film, but I’ll watch it again and again and again. Without a doubt.

Independence Day won an Oscar for Best Effects, Visual Effects and was nominated for Best Sound.