Monday, 30 November 2015

Bridge of Spies V The Walk


In this film about secrets and deception, Tom Hanks tells his misses he's off to London on a fishing trip. He doesn't have time for fishing however because he and Jake Gyllenhaal have put the 'do not disturb' sign up outside the tent. Its horny work this espionage business. 

A lot of talking. A LOT of talking. This film made me thirsty. Each time Hanks would sit down and talk about a prisoner exchange, some slimy middle man would offer him a whisky from the most decorative decanters. The beautiful barrel tumblers glistened seductively and it really got me salivating. I couldn't wait to get out of there and nail the emergency bottle of Merlot I had stashed under my passenger seat. It just goes to show how influential modern cinema can be.

Overall the film was interesting, held my attention, there were some lovely three piece chalk line suits on display. It delivered a discussion on the humanity of war, the ethics and the adversity one can face when attempting to do the right thing. I won't be watching it ever again, especially if I'm on a detox.

Tomato Meter - 91% (critics)
Tomato Meter - 90% (audience)
Peter Meter - 75%


Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays Philippe Petit, a french wire walker that walked between the rooftops of the World Trade Centres. He did that without shitting himself, can you believe it?

What this film doesn't tell you that the documentary (Man on Wire) does, is what Petit did directly after his illegal stunt. It shows him getting arrested, but the second he gets released he plucks some hot 19 year old blonde out from a crowd who are waiting to worship him, hires a hotel room and bangs her straight for 5 hours. This would be perfectly acceptable behaviour except Petit had a girlfriend that helped him every step of the way (pardon the pun). So the film smooths over those edges because we can't have the protagonist come across as a dick in the last scene of the movie. 

Tomato Meter - 85% (audience)
Tomato Meter - 84% (critics)
Peter Meter - 87% 


Sunday, 25 October 2015

Spectre (opening title sequence review with spoilers)


(Opening Title Sequence)

Ok so at the Jaguar screening for Spectre, they take all your phones off you at the door, which should be implemented in every cinema. They give you free popcorn, maltesers and fill your glass with bollinger. The lights dim, there's no trailers or adverts. We are straight in, with the MGM lion roar. And guess what, Danny boy has a gun barrel sequence at the start. FINALLY, after the disappointment of the Skyfall entrance with Danny Boy turning up in a corridor out of focus minus the gun barrel, Mendes finally  gets his shit together and gives the public what they want.

And I cry. I raise one clenched fist to the ceiling, hug the stranger next to me, and with my other palm, smudge away a tear. And the barrel sequence from what I saw through a watered spectrum, was well paced. Danny boy had quite a hurried gun barrel walk at the end of Quantum, but now he's truly relaxed as Bond. It's a nice nonchalant stroll and a good swivel then BANG. It doesn't have the menace of a Pierce gun barrel, or the elaborate lunge of a Bob Simmons, but it's confident, no knee wobble like ol Sean, and actually fires straight at the camera unlike ol Roger.

Into the very first scene which is a long continuous sweeping shot that follows Danny Boy and his squeeze through the Day of the Dead parade in Zocalo Square, Mexico. The girl thinks she has landed Bond and is about to get her kit off in the hotel room when Bond whips off his Skeleton cape revealing a mustard Tom Ford suit and tells her 'Back in a minute love' then hops out of the window like the man from Milk Tray. Oh and he's carrying a fucking cannon yeah! So off he pops for a casual walk along the rooftops, which is so cool because he's walking like he's just popping down the Spar for some fairy liquid, but just one loose step and he'll fall to his death. Anyway, he takes out a whole building in a minute and we are introduced to the first gag of the movie. Bond falls through a crumbling building and you begin to think 'Oh no, this is it for Danny Boy, he's a gonna'. But no, he lands on a sofa, rather casually. Which gets a good hearty laugh and just goes to show, Bond as well as being a highly trained badass, does need the gods on his side once in a while.

Bond gets out of the rubble and eyes this rakish fellow in a rather dapper all in white suit called Marco Sciarra. They have a little 'come on then c*nt' Mexican stand off and Bond starts to give chase. Only it's a walking chase scene through a crowded parade because Danny Boy did his knee in during one of the stunts and couldn't run, so Mendes filmed a walking chase scene, which works just as well.

They get to the helicopter, and Sciarra thinks he's got away, but Bond gets in just in time and he starts to kick Sciarras arse, and the poor pilots arse. The helicopter is whizzing around, upside down and all that. Eventually Bond kicks Sciarra off the chopper, not before having the foresight to nick his ring first. Then the chopper is careering downwards into the parade with 9,000 people running for cover, before Danny Boy pulls it up and everyone has a huge sigh of relief. Thank god for Bond they all think! A little reminiscent of the Goldeneye beginning with ol Piercey in the plane.

Overall it was gripping, certainly gets us off to a banger. The scale of the entire set piece and the long single shot, frame by frame beginning is certainly something new and there is genuine tension. It's perhaps too early to give it a rating amongst the pantheon of Bond beginnings. I do like the walk along the rooftops and the fact Bond is being sneaky. For me there wasn't a clever pay off like Bond rolling into a gas station in his fold up fighter plane in Octopussy; 'Fill her up please'. Or the sleek dialogue of Casino Royale when Bond tells Dryden 'I know where you keep your gun.' Although there is a clever little interplay with M and C later on that echoes that, but that's for another day. For me. I still have to say for opening titles, World is Not Enough still tops the lot, closely followed by Casino Royale, Octopussy then TSPWLM. But I've been none to change my mind on these things.

Thursday, 8 October 2015

The Martian V Macbeth


Damon - 'Go on then, fuck off and leave me why don't you'.
Matt Damon finds himself marooned on Mars after all his mates fuck off and leave him for dead. They enjoy the life of riley on a rotating gym whilst he's left behind growing potatoes out of his own shit without so much of a volleyball to talk to. 

 This film is a love letter to science. Not my words, but someone elses and I'm sorry I don't know whose. Everything is a love-letter these days, whether it's a love-letter to the sixties or a love letter to shopping. Quit it with the fucking love-letter analogy already. If it really was a love-letter to science, then why have we got a sand storm on MARS? Even NASA said that would never happen, yet are happy to suspend dis-belief.
We should start by saying that Matt Damon is still in ridiculous shape. Even when it's clear that towards the end he's emaciated through not having enough shit-spuds to eat, he's still in better shape than most dudes I know. Someone else who is in good shape is Jessica Chastain. I mean she is undeniably one of the most stunning creatures on the face of the planet and sadly she doesn't float around in the space module in her undies like Sandra Bullock did in Gravity.
Sandra showing Chastain how it's done

 Ok so that's that out of the way. Now first thing I should say is that I felt pretty stupid watching this film. I kept thinking what I would do if I were stranded on Mars with no one around. Well I wouldn't have the intelligence to grow potatoes from shit, create water, perform surgery on myself. I would however nail all the food in a week, beat off about 5 times a day, and maybe make some sandcastles. Possibly from shit. Imagine that, if they somehow send a rescue ship to me a week later, they find me 2 stone heavier, in my refractory period, proudly standing next to a huge shit-castle.

Tomato Meter - 92% (critics)
Tomato Meter - 91% (audience)
Peter Meter - 90%


A quick bit of trivia, I was supposed to be an extra in this film! I grew a beard for two months ahead of the shoot. Two days before, and after 4 weeks of waking up to my face being velcro'd to my memory foam pillow, I get an email saying my services were not required.  Thanks Star Now Casting agency, go fuck yourself. 

Is that a huge cock I see before me?
I fell asleep during this and let me tell you it was the best god damn nap I've had in years. After an hour of not understanding what the fuck is going on, my mind and body slipped into a beautiful coma. 'It takes awhile to get your ear in', my mate Neil told me on the drive home. It's true, it's like jamming with Steely Dan, trying to figure out the fucking key, the key changes, the time signatures, everything. Finally when you get all that nailed, the songs finished, the shows over, and all you want to do is push the piano off a fucking cliff. Mark Kermode says that Macbeth was the role Michael Fassbender was born to play. He obviously hasn't seen the size of this guys cock in the movie Shame. God gave that man a huge cock, and in the movie Shame the protagonist is a sex-addict with a huge cock. I would say that was the role he was born to play. 

Tomato Meter - 90% (critics)
Tomato Meter - 70% (audience)
Peter Meter - 19%

Monday, 28 September 2015

Everest V Legend (both with spoilers)


Jake Gyllenhaal goes up a mountain. It gets a bit nippy in the tent and he has to huddle up to another guy for body warmth. That ol chestnut.

I think something has to be done with trailers in cinemas. Firstly, let's do away with trailers that give away the entire fucking plot of the movie shall we. You only have to see the trailer for The Walk to see how bad it's got in terms of spoilers. Second, we should never have two trailers back to back featuring the same actor in the lead role. I saw trailers for Macbeth and Steve Jobs starring Michael Fassbender in both. Now I like Fassbender, and barring Liam Neeson he may have one of the biggest cocks in Hollywood (see Shame) but give some other actors a break eh Fass? 

Jake looking for body warmth up the mountain - again.
Ok Everest. I knew nothing about Everest or the disastrous 1996 expedition upon which this movie is centred. But this film has not only stayed with me since I saw it last week, but I've watched Youtube docs on Everest, on K2 and I'm thinking I'd like to have a crack at the title someday. Not for charity or any of that narcissistic bollocks, but because like they say in the film 'it's there'.

Of course I won't, I'll shit myself, and the only time I like to see ice is in my scotch. The best bits in this film for me is when Brolin's wife hears that her husband has magically made it back to camp after being told that he didn't make it back in the night. There's a wonderful scene where she rallies the troops and orders a rescue helicopter in and does what Peter Cook might describe as 'starts behaving like a fucking wife'. Emily Watson also brings cander to the film, and her scenes with Sam Worthington at base camp trying to talk the men down steal the movie. Everything came together for me in this film, even liking Sam Worthington.
Cook - 'Dolly, you've tested me in the past'.

Tomato Meter (Critics) -73%
Tomato Meter - (Audience) - 77%
Peter Meter -  92%


Tom Hardy is a tour de force in this biopic of the Kemp brothers. He plays both Gary Kemp and Martin Kemp in a film about Spandex Ballet and it's utter GOLD. It's TRUUUUE!

This has to be the most divisive film of the year amongst my friends. Some saying it is entirely pastiche and fucking unwatchable, others saying it's just fucking unwatchable. I on the other hand found this to be a compelling watch. We should start by saying that the trailer is probably one of the best put together trailers I've seen this year. (Although I'm still to watch the trailer for SPECTRE or listen to the Bond song. I have a little something called delayed gratification my friends).
Hardy - 'Like a wessssshtern'.

Pesci - 'Frankie, let him go, he's still breathing'.
This film doesn't work without Tom Hardy nailing both parts. I mean absolutely nailing it. He is incredibly watchable whilst the film at the same time is utterly disposable and somewhat forgettable. The narration let this film down, and from the very first scene I thought 'Oh fuck, I hope it's not like this all the way through'. Remember Casino, when Pesci met with his guys in a corn field and was saying 'Hey what's right is right, we couldn't go anywhere near Vegas, OWWWWW!' Halfway through his narration he gets whacked behind by one of his mates with a baseball bat. As an audience member that fucking bit blew the doors of the film, and the element of surprise, and the barbaric scene that followed of Pesci and his brother being clubbed to death by his mates before being thrown into a hole in the ground and being buried alive, is just pure cinema. I have the feeling that writer/director Brian Helgeland went for something similar here by having Emily Browning (wife to Reggie Kray) do the narration. She of course dies in the end, and I can see an American audience knowing nothing about the subject matter being quite effected by the twist. But for us British, who have seen the original, know and perhaps lived through the source material, it comes across as an idiots guide to the Krays. That said, I still enjoyed it. It's funny, savage, stylish, well-handled, and as Deniro says at the end of Casino 'And that's that.'

Tomato Meter (Critics) -59%
Tomato Meter - (Audience) - 76%
Peter Meter -  80%



Saturday, 1 August 2015

Jurassic World V Southpaw


There's a new bad-ass dinosaur on the block, one with spikey-ier teeth and can change colour and shit. So the rest of the dinosaurs, Grimlock, Swoop, Slag, Snarl and Sludge all get together for one last mission to defeat....wait... 

Remember when Jeff Goldblum went at it talking about Chaos Theory with the late Dickie Attenborough? "your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could that they didn't stop to think if they should". You have crunchy dialogue in Jurassic Park because the screenwriter is also the same dude that wrote the novel, Michael Crichton. As with most interpretations, remakes or reboots, the closer you are to the source material, the more likely it will enhance the outcome. That was the best scene in that movie and I have included a sample of it for you here. You're welcome.

Jurassic World has only a dusting of this sort of dialogue, when the Chinese Scientist explains "Monster is a relative term. To a canary, a cat is a monster. We’re just used to being the cat." That's the best line in the movie. Aside from that the dialogue is perfunctory. The action is what keeps us guzzling back the popcorn and that doesn't disappoint.

Tomato Meter: 71% (Critics)
Tomato Meter: 81% (Audience)
Peter Meter: 84%

SOUTHPAW (with spoilers)

Jake Gyllenhaal plays an undefeated Junior Middleweight Champion that is forced out of retirement to fight the man that killed his friend in an exhibition. He travels to Russia, grows a beard and cuts up some logs whilst his opponent makes sex noises whilst running up a treadmill....wait

Maybe not the worst film I've seen this year, Terminator 4, Knock Knock were technically terrible and far worse, but this was the most disappointing of the lot. It has no surprises, no decent training montages, I don't believe for a second that Forrest Whitaker knows shit about boxing, and the final knockout punch delivered by Gyllenhaal was super-sloppy.

Gyllenhaal knocks out his opponent and then throws a sloppy punch that connects with nothing as his opponent is falling to the canvas. Anyone that seen Ali knockout Foreman in the famous Rumble in the Jungle back in 74, Foreman is heading to the floor, Ali is standing over him with his right hand cocked, ready to throw it, but never does. As one commentator said, "He didn't want to ruin the aesthetic of this man going down, with a clumsy punch on the way down."I have included the knockout so you can see for yourself.

Tomato Meter: 58% (critics)
Tomato Meter: 83% (audience)
Peter Meter: 47%


Why don't you treat yourself and catch the first Jurassic Park on DVD. Look out for the moment where matey decides the best way to act like you're knocking yourself out, is by hitting the car seat with your hand. Dear oh Dear. So WATCH Jurassic Park and NOT Jurassic World OR Southpaw.

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

San Andreas (with Spoilers) V Mad Max Fury Road

SAN ANDREAS (with spoilers)

A huge earthquake is about to hit San Andreas, Paul Giamatti tells his assistant to call everyone, not very practical given the time constraints.

I hope you're sitting down for this one, The Golden Gate bridge gets destroyed. The Golden Gate bridge remained unmolested for 100 years of film making and now it gets nailed in every other disaster/action movie. At one point the Rock crashes into a hardware store and has a quick costume change. In a hurry and without looking, he picks a t-shirt off the rail but as luck would have it, its a perfect fit. And when I say perfect, super fucking tight. It's also plain grey and doesn't have a picture of Mickey Mouse or Worlds Best Dad written all over it.

There is also a scene late on where The Rock has to resuscitate his daughter, who is fucking dynamite by the way. After a quick spell of CPR he gives up and resigns himself to the fate that she's a goner. Then after a quick break he gives it another try for luck and hey presto, she magically comes back to live. If you want to look good giving CPR, just take a quick time out halfway through, then really commit yourself to it. All paramedics should practice this because the batting average of bringing people back round increases ten fold. Other films where people take a break halfway through CPR, only to bring them back to life on the second attempt.

Flatliners - Kevin Bacon on Keifer Sutherland in Flatliners.
Avengers Age of Ultron - Hulk on Iron Man.
The Abyss -  Ed Harris fails to bring around Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio with CPR and slaps her round instead. 

Tomato Meter - 48% (critics)
Tomato Meter - 64% (audience)
Peter Meter - 78%


The best use of bendy poles since Kevin Bacon pole vaulted off the rocks in Tremors.

You simply wouldn't believe what goes on in this film. Everyone is talking about the bendy poles scene and the meth head strapped to the truck playing guitar riffs during the main chase. But no one is talking about the permanently erect nipples of Zoe Kravitz. Kravitz plays Toast the Knowing, one of the 5 wives who escapes with Furiosa. Her nips must have had their own fluffers, (one for each boob) because they were rock hard in every scene and why no one addresses this in the movie simply beggars belief.

Tomato Meter - 98% (critics)
Tomato Meter - 90% (audience)
Peter Meter - 85%

Friday, 16 January 2015

Kingsman: The Secret Service v Foxcatcher

KINGSMAN: The Secret Service


I hope you're sitting down for this one. Colin Firth plays a gentleman. 

So guess who fluked an invitation to the premiere of the Kingsman last Wednesday? That's right, MEEEEEEEEEE. As I skipped down the red carpet in my cheap suit and Dora the Explorer rucksack waving to all the hysterical teenager girls, one youngster brought my self-esteem crushing back to earth as I overheard her ask her friend "Who the fuck is he?"

Ironically I was thinking the same thing. 'Who the fuck am I? What the fuck am I doing here?' It was that kind of evening. I saw Take That singing from the balcony above the entrance to the Odeon. I thought 'What the fuck is Take That doing here?' I got into a jam packed Odeon and found free popcorn in my seat, what a touch. As I disrobed and performed my usual ritual of undoing my belt and fly, I noticed Claudia Schiffer pass me in the aisle and thought 'What the fuck is she doing here?

At premieres you don't have to sit through a load of adverts. Instead you get to see a montage of interviews with the stars outside on the red carpet. Gary Barlow bowled down the carpet, waved, signed pictures etc. One fan had completely lost her shit, much like I did meeting Pat Sharpe that time at Butlins back in 2009. She was trying to get a picture of Gary but her hands were shaking uncontrollably. At that moment Gary seized her phone, took the selfie with his cheek pressed against hers, gave her a quick kiss and then did a runner with her phone. HAHA I'm kidding. It was probably one of the sweetest things I've seen in my life and Gary Barlow is one hell of a stand up guy.

Once the actors had done fucking around on the red carpet outside the director and cast (minus Michael Caine) were introduced onstage. The director Matthew Vaughn made an interesting remark about the head of 20th Century Fox giving complete freedom with the edit he said "he's a good guy, he let me take a lot of risks and didn't even flinch, which perhaps he should have done". Now this peaked my interest especially as the violence in the film is pretty full on. The Colin Firth 'Church Scene Massacre' nearly derails the film completely. For my money the violent vignettes didn't quite marry up tonally with the comedy spy-spoof concept. It was like Quentin Tarantino had just seen The Matrix for the first time and then seconds later got a call to direct a Bond film. It's a bit wordy for a poster review but that is it in a nut-shell.

The violence aside, the film IS funny and I laughed several times. The soundtrack was very impressive and original. (Not the score I may add, that was clearly lifted from Casino Royale. But the songs chosen were unusual and brilliant).

After the film was done and dusted we all inched our way through the foyer, penned in like cattle. Just over my shoulder I saw Andy Serkis and thought 'What the fuck is he doing here?' Anyway I introduced myself and we had a quick chat about the film. I also got the chance to second his opinion that actors that create non-human characters in effect blockbusters are worthy of Oscar recognition. It was a wonderful exchange and I'd like to think one we'll both treasure. However he was most probably thinking 'What the fuck was he doing here?'

Tomato Meter - 100% (critics)
Tomato Meter - 98% (audience)
Peter Meter - 75%



A wealthy man gets a team of youngsters together and watches them wrestle. Perfectly normal yeah?  Come on, didn't we see this coming?

I didn't know too much about the story going in, only that someone gets shot. It's actually a rather sad tale. You have John du Pont, one of the wealthiest guys in America, and Mark Schultz, an American Olympic Gold medalist wrestler. Its du Pont's ambition to elevate the profile of the sport and win gold for the American team in the Seoul Olympics.
Now what is interesting to note is that Mark Schultz has since come out and slated the movie. He has publicly criticized it saying how the director has fictionalized all the relationships and given it homosexual undertones.

To which I say, dude, its fucking wrestling. Wrestling by its very nature is two sweaty dudes on a mat wearing lycra, legs entwined, pulling faces of anguish. Of course its going to have an undercurrent of homosexuality. I personally think its a ploy by Schultz to get people to by his autobiography, upon which the film is based. I for one haven't read it and apparently, as often the case, there is artistic license being used by the director.

But the story is compelling, Steve Carrell had me on edge throughout the entire movie, and Ruffalo's nuanced performance is exceptional. What interests me about Ruffalo is that he never seems to do much, but often turns out to be the best thing about any movie in which he appears.
Its pace is deliberately ponderous, but I don't think that's a negative. Maybe it could have shaved off 15 minutes but I don't begrudge any movie building tension so long as it suits the narrative, which it does.

Tomato Meter - 87% (critics)
Tomato Meter - 74% (audience)
Peter Meter - 79%


Well what a week. I can tell you there are actually some knowing nods in the Kingsman to Trading Places. Now Trading Places is a hilarious film and I'm sure we all remember Jamie Lee Curtis getting her norks out in the mirror. No? Well here they are. Incidentally the reaction that Dan Aykroyd has in this clip is the same I gave when Claudia Schiffer passed me the other night. So WATCH Jamie Lee Curtis get her norks out and NOT Kingsman: The Secret Service OR Foxcatcher.