30 July 2010

A For Anaemic- THE A-TEAM Review

As something of a regular disclaimer, it's only my opinion here- others are available. As ever, mild spoilers may occur in the process of reviewing, but never so far as to spoil any major plot developments.


Does it really need the preamble? Have we not been bombarded, blasted and bloody well bludgeoned with The A-Team for the last couple of months? Before every film you see in the cinema, an advert from Orange that features the film heavily, specifically that opening narration from the series! They even played the ad before the screening of the film itself! Presuming you know about these characters one way or the other, it only remains to say that Hannibal, Faceman, Murdock and B.A. are out to acquit themselves for a crime they didn't commit. Explosions ensue.

28 July 2010

Variety is the Splice of Life- SPLICE Review

As something of a regular disclaimer, it's only my opinion here- others are available. As ever, mild spoilers may occur in the process of reviewing, but never so far as to spoil any major plot developments.
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The one film that seems to have been overlooked upon its UK release, opening as it did alongside juggernauts like Toy Story 3, The Karate Kid and The A-Team (review coming on Friday), is Splice. In the vein of David Cronenberg's creature features, this is a film about the folly of geneticists Clive and Elsa playing God. When their corporate sponsors deny them the opportunity to experiment with human splicing, the couple work in secret and produce something incredible- a quickly evolving hybrid lifeform which they christen Dren.

26 July 2010

Smith Happens- THE KARATE KID Review

As something of a regular disclaimer, it's only my opinion here- others are available. As ever, mild spoilers may occur in the process of reviewing, but never so far as to spoil any major plot developments.
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The 1984 original does not exist in this dojo! This is the remake of The Karate Kid, and it transfers the story from America to China. 12-year-old Dre Parker isn't best pleased with moving to another country for his mother's job, and he's promptly whaled upon by the kung-fu expert bullies at his new school. With the help of a friendly maintenance man, Mr. Han, he learns how to fight back and earn self-respect and honour in the process. Naturally, this entails a big old tournament in which he has to whup some bully arse.

23 July 2010

Millennium Part 1- THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO Review

As something of a regular disclaimer, it's only my opinion here- others are available. As ever, mild spoilers may occur in the process of reviewing, but never so far as to spoil any major plot developments.
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Coming to this a little late, but it's still a timely juncture to review the first film based on Stieg Larsson's Millennium trilogy, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, as the film is released on DVD this week. Parts 2 and 3 are due later in 2010, so you'll see reviews of those as I try my utmost to catch them in cinemas.

The trilogy follows an altruistic journalist, Mikael Blomkvist, as he becomes entangled with a haunted and intelligent hacker, Lisbeth Salander. In this first instalment, Blomkvist loses a legal battle with a corrupt business tycoon and is sentenced to three months in prison for libel. With a six month reprieve, he's enlisted to solve a 40 year old cold case involving a powerful industrial family, drawing Lisbeth's attention in the process...

21 July 2010

Lego To The Movies


With the creative team from Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs signing up to work on the upcoming Lego movie, and the recent release of the latest video-game spin-off, Lego Harry Potter Years 1-4, it seems as good a time as any to talk about certain branches of the Lego empire.

Is there a man or woman alive who doesn't love Lego? It seems like a lot of people like video games too, even though personally the only game I've really properly played in the last ten years is Batman: Arkham Asylum. The other infrequent chances I've had to pick up a controller have involved the Lego games of movies though. Star Wars, Batman, Indiana Jones and now Harry Potter. So what should be next?

19 July 2010

Depend On The Dream- INCEPTION Review

As something of a regular disclaimer, it's only my opinion here- others are available. As ever, mild spoilers may occur in the process of reviewing, but never so far as to spoil any major plot developments.
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Christopher Nolan's latest Inception is an odyssey for Dom Cobb, a kind of dream-thieving fugitive who embarks on one last job in order to have his record wiped clean and return home to his two children. It's not as simple as one last job though- the assignment is to enter the subconscious of a business heir and create an idea in his dream, the inception of the title, rather than stealing it. Moreover, Cobb's own subconscious is so fractured and traumatised that he could put his mission and his team in jeopardy himself.

16 July 2010

TOY STORY 3 WEEK- The Edinburgh Premiere



As you'll know by now if you've been reading this week, I saw Toy Story 3 at its UK premiere on June 19th, at the Edinburgh International Film Festival. At the top of the week, I promised a vlog of some description, but as you might have surmised from how I also promised it would be poorly edited and hashed together, I kind of failed.

What I can do instead is blog about my experience in text instead!

15 July 2010

TOY STORY 3 WEEK- The New Characters

In trilogies, so much of the world-building is done in the first two instalments that it's unusual to see many new characters appear in the third instalment. When you see The Lord of the Rings- The Return of the King, the only new characters with any bearing on the plot are Denethor, steward of Gondor and all-around douche, and Gothmog, who was a gnarly creature effect if anything.


Where Pixar have once again broke the mould is in introducing a wealth of new characters into Toy Story 3. As mentioned in my review at the start of the week, these characters figure nicely in the plot without ever short changing Woody, Buzz, Jessie et al. Spoilers may follow as I cover seven of those new characters.

14 July 2010

TOY STORY 3 WEEK- Wait, Go Back One...

It occurs to me now, in the middle of Toy Story 3 Week, that I never got around to doing a Toy Story 2 review on this blog. I did the new one on Monday, and there was a review of the first film when it was re-released in 3D in October. Time to plug the gap in my reviews of the series, and in the week's planned posts...

An accident during playtime leaves a demoralised Woody sitting on the shelf as Andy goes off to cowboy camp at the beginning of Toy Story 2. In his owner's absence, he finds himself abducted by Al, a voracious toy collector who's spent years looking for the centrepiece in his Woody's Roundup merchandise collection. As Buzz and co race to rescue him, Woody warms to the idea of becoming a collectable in a museum, to be appreciated by kids for eternity...

13 July 2010

TOY STORY 3 WEEK- Playing Nice

UPDATE: Despite me having discussed the main point of this blog with my friends for months, ever since that 3D re-release of Toy Story back in October last year, I've been pre-empted at the last minute by Kevin Smith and Scott Mosier in this week's Smodcast. Yep, they discussed the Sid thing. Still, I'm a big fan of their films and they've given me hours of free audio entertainment, so we'll call it quits. You win this time, Smith and Mosier!


There's a scene in the trailers for Toy Story 3 where the toys meet the kids of the Sunnyside Daycare Centre and all hell breaks loose. They're damaged, drooled on, smacked around and generally played with in the way that little kids play with toys before they learn to value their possessions.

It's a theme that most will remember better as the main reason to dislike Sid, the kid next door and demented antagonist from Toy Story. This kid, aside from blowing up Combat Carls and attempting to launch Buzz Lightyears into orbit, deconstructs toys and re-assembles them as new and exciting toys, like a baby-headed spider or a duck with arms and legs. Wait, hang on...


12 July 2010

TOY STORY 3 WEEK- The Spoiler-Free Review


You might not realise it, but it's been a good eleven years since Toy Story 2. Toy Story 3 thus finds an all but grown-up Andy packing his bags for college. His toys have been packed in storage for a good while, and many of their number have been thrown away or passed on. Woody the cowboy looks set to be taken along to college, and so Buzz Lightyear and the rest of the toys donate themselves to the Sunnyside Daycare Centre, Woody trying to keep the gang together all the way.

11 July 2010

TOY STORY 3 WEEK- Introduction...

Welcome to Toy Story 3 Week on The Mad Prophet. Later in the week I'm hoping to bring you a somewhat uneven and hastily edited vlog on the business of my trip to see the film at the Edinburgh International Film Festival last month, but it seems only right that the first order of business is my review of the film.

Yeah, there's been one of these things from me up on Den of Geek for a while now, written up in double-quick time at the hotel the morning after I saw the film. I'd like to think this one has the benefit of hindsight, although I'll still be discussing the film with next to no spoilers. There'll probably a spoiler-ish review after the film has been released next week.

OK, so it is another week before the film's proper UK release (FINALLY), but with nothing new out this week that I haven't already covered and The Karate Kid and Inception to cover next week, makes sense to do this themed week now.


Enjoy!

9 July 2010

Get To Da Choppah- PREDATORS Review

As something of a regular disclaimer, it's only my opinion here- others are available. As ever, mild spoilers may occur in the process of reviewing, but never so far as to spoil any major plot developments.
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While sparkling vampires and boyband werewolves delight and arouse the female populace, the blokey alternative in cinemas this week is Predators, the latest in the monster hunter sci-fi franchise.

20 years after originally pitching this very script as a third Predator film, producer Robert Rodriguez has brought it to the screen, and to call it the best Predator film since the original is close to damning the film with faint praise.

As a direct sequel to the original films, Predators ignores the events of the Alien crossovers and begins with a mercenary, played by Adrien Brody, in freefall from around fifty thousand feet in the air. When he lands, he discovers he's not alone- he and a group of hardened killers must overcome their mistrust of each other to survive a predatory onslaught.

7 July 2010

The Zero Room #6- The Many Faces of Matt Smith


Whether you're calling it Series One, Series 5 or Series Fnarg (Steven Moffat's suggestion and my own personal favourite), it's difficult not to applaud Doctor Who for recapturing and developing the formula over the course of the last thirteen weeks or so.

Well I was going to do a big retrospective on the series, but I think it's pretty comprehensively covered in my reviews of the series on this very blog, so I'll settle for filling the requisite Wednesday slot with some funny faces pulled by the Eleventh Doctor.

5 July 2010

Don't Look Directly At It- ECLIPSE Review

As something of a regular disclaimer, it's only my opinion here- others are available. While I won't be going out of my way to spoil deliberately, there will be more SPOILERS herein than usual. it's only minor stuff, but if you don't want to see the film without knowing anything about it, don't read this review until after you've seen it. You have been warned.


If you're not caught up with the Twilight series at this stage, or my thoughts on it, you might like to go back and read my reviews of Twilight and New Moon. If you're still with me, you probably know where we stand with Eclipse. As graduation approaches for Bella Swan, she sets a date for her vampiric beau Edward to turn her into a vampire. But as a bunch of serial killings by newborn vampires reveal a sinister plot, an old enemy threatens to tear Bella and Edward's family apart.

2 July 2010

Pick-Up Needed- THE COLLECTOR Review

As something of a regular disclaimer, it's only my opinion here- others are available. As ever, mild spoilers may occur in the process of reviewing, but never so far as to spoil any major plot developments.
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The Collector is the latest in a long line of cinema slashers, a genre that more frequently takes a slash all over our face and eyes than slashing victims with blades. In this one though, what must be the only ex-con professional locksmith in the world turns to crime. His estranged wife and daughter fall afoul of loan sharks and he needs to pay off the thousands the wife owes by midnight. Breaking into his latest client's house, he bumps into a gimp-masked sadist, the Collector of the title, who has turned the house into a fortress from the inside. With traps around every corner and the family of the house incapacitated, the only way out is to be chosen to join the killer's collection.