Showing posts from February 24, 2019

Review: Clash of the Titans

Sam Worthington is Perseus, a Demi-God and the bastard offspring of God Zeus (Liam Neeson), but raised by human fisherman Pete Postlethwaite and his wife Elizabeth McGovern. Zeus and ambitious fellow God Hades (Ralph Fiennes) decide to teach the rebelling human inhabitants of Argos a lesson by threatening to unleash the dreaded Kraken on the city, if Andromeda (Alexa Davalos) is not sacrificed to the creature within days. Apparently Andromeda’s mother pissed the Gods off by claiming she’s more beautiful than Aphrodite. The people choose Perseus and a band of warriors (Mads Mikkelson and Liam Cunningham among them) to kill the bewitching Medusa, whose head is apparently the key to destroying the Kraken. Meanwhile, Hades is secretly working against Zeus, and has sent assassin Calibos (Jason Flemyng), a hideous-looking monster to kill Perseus. Zeus, for his part, actually appears to be aiding his Demi-God son in his quest, for uncertain reasons. Gemma Arterton is Io, a beautiful Demi-God…

Review: Murder on the Orient Express

Self-proclaimed ‘World’s Greatest Detective’ Hercule Poirot (Sir Kenneth Branagh) takes a vacation aboard the title train. Unfortunately, it ends up being a working vacation as a murder takes place during the journey, and the Belgian sleuth with the walrus moustache is met with a host of suspects. Michelle Pfeiffer plays a multiple divorcee, Daisy Ridley and Leslie Odom Jr. play a young governess and her secret doctor lover, Penelope Cruz plays a missionary, Willem Dafoe is a fussy German professor, Johnny Depp plays a sinister American businessman with Josh Gad his numbers man, and Dame Judi Dench plays an elderly princess accompanied by maid Olivia Colman.

The problem with some adaptations of known literary works is that if you already don’t like the original, there’s a jolly good chance you won’t like the remake/adaptation, either. It isn’t an exact science of course, but it holds true of this 2017 version of the Agatha Christie novel from director/star Sir Kenneth Branagh (“Mary S…

Review: Fifty Shades Freed

The Greys (Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan) are now fully wedded, but Christian’s brooding jealousy bullshit and the spectre of creepy stalker Hyde (Eric Johnson) don’t make for much of a honeymoon period. Arielle Kebbel provides a source of jealousy for the new Mrs. Grey.

Continuing with the garbage soap opera plotting of the previous “Fifty Shades Darker”, this 2018 nonsense from formerly talented director James Foley (“At Close Range”, “Glengarry Glen Ross”) is exceptionally dull. Like the previous two films, this is a “Gossip Girl” guide to S&M for the Twi-Hard crowd. Yeah, I know the rating supposedly prevents younger folk from seeing it, but this is the tamest and lamest excursion into S&M you’ll ever come across (And the franchise started life as “Twilight” fan-fiction, creepily enough). The sex here is tedious and tame.

Worst of all, this is the third film about a completely mismatched couple who ought to be happy apart from one another. 5 minutes in and Mr. Grey is on…

Review: Strange Cargo

Prisoner on Devil’s Island Clark Gable flirts with pretty club entertainer Joan Crawford (who knows that getting involved with a prisoner will result in getting the boot from the island) before getting involved in an escape attempt, with Christ-like Ian Hunter (who turns up out of nowhere) acting as a moral compass for everyone, predicting fates and helping to save souls, all the while emanating a certain quiet, serene quality. Paul Lukas plays a cheerfully amoral lady-killer stubbornly refusing to be persuaded by Hunter’s sermonising (He’s the most interesting character in the film). Albert Dekker is the hardened (yet apparently homosexual) escape leader. Peter Lorre scores marvellously in an underwritten role as a sleazy bounty hunter/snitch called ‘Pig’, with designs on Crawford.

1940 Frank Borzage allegorical prison escape picture is quite possibly the strangest studio picture of the time, possibly ever. It doesn’t exactly work, but it sure is a fascinating film, with fine perform…

Review: Code of Honour

Shadowy sniper Steven Seagal is targeting bad guy James Russo and his associates. Detective Louis Mandylor and mysterious federal agent Craig Sheffer are looking for Seagal, but there’s a lot more to one of them than meets the eye. R.D. Call plays a politician.

Don’t be fooled by the somewhat recognisable cast, this 2016 film from writer-director Michael Winnick (“Guns, Girls, and Gambling” with Gary Oldman, Powers Boothe, and Christian Slater) isn’t even one of the better post-cinematic career films for Steven Seagal. Yes, it’s also not one of the worst either, but this is utterly forgettable stuff.

Craig Sheffer was never a great actor, but what in the hell happened to him that resulted in him appearing in “Dracula II: Ascension”, the incoherent “Hellraiser: Inferno”, and now a direct-to-DVD Steven Seagal film? For the most part he’s the film’s acting highlight, getting better as the film goes along. Still, it’s really sad to see someone with a bit of talent and a bit of charisma in…