Not Quite A Haiku Review: 300: Rise Of An Empire (2014)

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THIS IS DULL, LACKLUSTRE SPARTA!
A sequel that runs parallel to 300.
It isn’t very much fun.

Stapleton is nae Gerry B.
He graduated from Sam Worthington’s English school.
You’ll hardly remember him tomorrow.

We always see your tits,
But damn Eva, y u so fit?
Your combat earcuff be bangin’.

Calisto’s pa is rather young.
Jack O’Connell seems so out of place.
Oh hello David Wenham’s thighs.

Rodrigo Santoro is barely recognisable.
Make sure you play ‘Spot Michael Fassbender’.
Very stylish, but incredibly boring.

VERDICT: 2/5

What I’m Watching – March 2014

This list only includes films I watched for the first time this month. My most recent viewing is the top entry.

Noah (Darren Aronofsky, 2014) **

Drinking Buddies (Dir: Joe Swanberg, 2013) ****

Bad Neighbours (Dir: Nicholas Stoller, 2014)

Our Idiot Brother (Dir: Jesse Peretz, 2011) ****

Soapdish (Dir: Michael Hoffman, 1991) ****

Girl, Interrupted (Dir: James Mangold, 1999) ****

Pi (Dir: Darren Aronofsky, 1998) ****

Cry-Baby (Dir: John Waters, 1990) ***

20 Feet From Stardom (Dir: Morgan Neville, 2013) *****

Benny & Joon (Dir: Jeremiah Chechik, 1993) ***

The Way, Way Back (Dir: Nat Faxon, Jim Rash, 2013) ****

Starred Up (Dir: David Mackenzie, 2013) ****

Divergent (Dir: Neil Burger, 2014) ***

Tracks (Dir: John Curran, 2013) ****

World’s Greatest Dad (Dir: Bobcat Goldthwait, 2009) ***

The Heat (Dir: Paul Feig, 2013) ***

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (Dir: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo, 2014) ***

Veronica Mars (Dir: Rob Thomas, 2014) ***

Her (Dir: Spike Jonze, 2013) *****

300: Rise Of An Empire (Dir: Noam Murro, 2014) **

Non-Stop (Dir: Jaume Collet-Serra, 2014) **

The Grand Budapest Hotel (Dir: Wes Anderson, 2014) *****

RoboCop (Dir: Paul Verhoeven, 1987) *****

The Non-Stop Drinking Game

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Let’s face it. Non-Stop is not an easy film to sit through. But hand me a bottle of Jägermeister (large, please) and an abundance of shot glasses and it would be a different matter entirely. So, for your enjoyment and the promise of your sanity, here’s the rules to the Non-Stop Drinking Game. I’ll meet you on its Home Ent release date with a sleeping bag and a couple of paracetamol. Bottoms up.

DRINK WHENEVER:

– Bill’s family (that’s Neeson, obvs) is threatened.

– An Oscar-winning (or nominated) actor says a line that makes you want to blow your brains out. This includes Scoot McNairy, Corey Stoll and Shea Whigham who totes have it in them to win a gold statue.

– Bar Paly is treated as horrifically generic.

– You are told how much money needs to be transferred.

– The network goes down.

– The network goes up again.

– You’re confused if the network is up or down.

– One of the air hostesses looks like an extra from Star Trek.

– You think you know who the culprit is.

– Expositional dialogue is spoken. Hell, finish your drink.

– You are envious of Lupita’s amazing guns.

– Lady Mary looks concerned.

– You forget this isn’t Taken.

– Lupita says something in a flawless accent and makes everyone else look rubbish. Cheers!

– You laugh at the name of the airline.

– Corey Stoll looks like he means business.

– Bill uses predictive text in a ridiculous way. E.G.: He types out ‘passengers’, but can’t be arsed with something shorter.

– You laugh, but aren’t meant to.

– Shea Whigham is criminally wasted. Again.

– The camera wants you to suspect somebody.

– Someone makes a generic terrorism reference.

– You forgot Linus Roache existed.

– Someone says ‘wanker’. Us Brits can’t stop.

– Julianne Moore makes you question your sexuality. Females only.

– You stop caring.

– Something nonsensical happens. Down your drink, then pour another. Down that one too – you need to get through this somehow.

– The passengers putting their hands in the air look like they’re having more fun than you.

VERDICT: 2/5

Not Quite A Haiku Review: Her (2013)

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I just fell in love.
Is it possible to marry a film?
Siri, please wipe my tears.

Theodore works for Star-Lord, apparently.
Please let me be his Mrs. Twombly.
I like future Los Angeles.

Scarlett’s sultry tones are magnetic.
Kudos to you moving aside, Samantha Morton.
That surrogate shit be cray.

Get excited about future games.
That little cartoon dude begs for abuse.
Everybody loves Mr. Adam Spiegel.

Here’s to Oscar-winning Spike Jonze.
And dedicatees Yauch, Savides, Sendak and Gandolfini.
Don’t go humping the fridge.

VERDICT: 5/5

Review: Cuban Fury (2014)

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***THIS REVIEW WAS ORIGINALLY POSTED AT THE HOLLYWOOD NEWS ON TUESDAY 11TH FEBRUARY, HERE***

Director: James Griffiths.

Starring: Nick Frost, Chris O’Dowd, Kayvan Novak, Rashida Jones, Olivia Colman, Ian McShane, Rory Kinnear.

Certificate: 15.

Running Time: 98 minutes.

SynopsisJunior salsa champion, Bruce (Nick Frost) leaves his dancing dreams behind after a bullying incident goes too far. Bored and stuck in routine, the arrival of beautiful, smart new boss Julia (Rashida Jones) gives him reason to dig out his Cuban heels once more. That is, if sleazy co-worker Drew (Chris O’Dowd) doesn’t get in there first.

Fresh out of The Cornetto Trilogy, Nick Frost swaps ice cream for dancing shoes in a surprisingly relatable story buried under a mountain of sequins. The opening credit narration and quick-fire editing may suggest an Edgar Wright rip-off, but CUBAN FURY delivers far beyond the usual romcom tropes thanks to its brilliant cast and token salsa twist.

Based on an original idea that came to him after a drunken night out, Nick Frost plays Bruce, a former UK salsa champion who locked his trophies away after the horrors of ‘Sequingate’. Though evidently very good at his job, daily abuse from colleague Drew makes it less than enjoyable until new American boss Julia shatters the tedium. Convinced she’s out of his league, a shared love for dance has Bruce egged on by his best friends to win her heart – but getting back on the dance floor is a little more complex than climbing onto his fold up bike. Continue reading

Review: The Lego Movie (2014)

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***THIS REVIEW WAS ORIGINALLY POSTED AT THE HOLLYWOOD NEWS ON MONDAY 10TH FEBRUARY, HERE***

Director: Phil Lord, Christopher Miller.

Starring: Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, Morgan Freeman, Will Ferrell, Liam Neeson, Will Arnett, Alison Brie, Charlie Day, Nick Offerman.

Running Time: 100 minutes.

Certificate: U.

Synopsis: When the ordinary, rule-obeying Emmet (Chris Pratt) is mistaken as ‘The Special’, he finds himself battling the evil President Business’ (Will Ferrell) plan to glue the individual Lego worlds together.

Move over Michael Bay. There’s a new type of cinematic mayhem in town and it comes in the form of Lego. After keeping our planet happy for the last sixty-five years, the Danish toy company have gone full blockbuster with a completely bonkers but engaging underdog story that definitely ate all the blue Smarties.

Just like 2009’s CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS, the duo’s second animated feature is heavy on both style and morals. Centering on the very ordinary Emmet, he may lack the crazy invention skills of CLOUDY’s Flint Lockwood, but he is equally trying to minifigure it all out. Perfectly happy with his daily routine, a chance encounter with the mysterious ‘Piece of Resistance’ sees an opportunity to break the monotony and open his eyes to the realities around him. Continue reading

What I’m Watching – February 2014

This list only includes films I watched for the first time this month. My most recent viewing is the top entry.

Labor Day (Dir: Jason Reitman, 2013) ***

Calvary (Dir: John Michael McDonagh, 2014) ****

Muppets Most Wanted (Dir: James Bobin, 2014)

The Raid 2: Berandal (Dir: Gareth Evans, 2014) *****

Ride Along (Dir: Tim Story, 2014) **

The Lego Movie (Dir: Phil Lord, Christopher Miller, 2014) ****