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Movies You Watched Recently And Felt Strongly About

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The Man from Nowhere

Note to action directors:

Sometimes the best movies are those with a really basic plot, plenty of good old fashioned action, and suitably fleshed out by good chemistry and good actors.

This movie does not add anything new to the genre. It's a movie about a single-minded attempt of a man to rescue the little girl, who is the survivor of a drug addict mother who steals drugs from a syndicate and the main man has to find her before they kill and harvest her organs. He will do, maim, kill and do whatever it take to find her. You will have seen iterations of this in various forms in recent hits like "Man on Fire", "Taken", "Chaser" etc...

But the little girl in the show outshines Dakota Fanning, and pulls at your heartstrings, and Won Bin makes a fine determined killing machine. He shoots, slices and blows up half of the drug underworld as he battles to find the girl, as he moves from post traumatic sad puppy face into the trained special operative, bent on rescue and revenge. There is good chemistry between the lead and the child and this propels the movie from forgettable to a decent watch.

But of course we didn't come to watch this for dramatic moments and the movie does not disappoint with almost non-stop violence and plenty of blood-letting. The action sequences are brilliantly executed, and the final knife battle will put Bourne to shame. And thank God for no shaky cameras!

The picture quality is suitably dark and gritty, but very sharp and worthy of this 2011 movie. The sound will leave you with a smile, as the surrounds get a good workout and are actively used to provide ambience, and the LFE lets rips in the club scene and during the garbage truck scene. It is very effectively used.

Should you avoid, rent or buy?

Well not everyone is a fan of foul-mouthed Korean action shows, but I think this one is worth a rental at least and I am keeping mine.

PS: watch the Korean version and forget the dub... just sounds wrong... the subtitles will suffice.

Edited by petetherock

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Battle LA - movie review

This is the SPCA disclaimer...

This movie did not involve any harm to animals, even though there was a vet in the movie, only humans and aliens were harmed in large amounts.... copious amounts of ammunition were expended in the course of this show, including some "fire and forget" type of rounds, with no internal guidance. So this movie is pretty like that. Watch and forget, not a lot of guidance and attention to holes in the plot but enough bangs and booms to keep the boys in the audience deliriously happy.

This show borrows plenty from Independence Day, World of the Worlds (especially the sound effects warning of the arrival of the aliens) and many other sci-fi movies. It also taps into Platoon, Saving Private Ryan, and Tour of Duty. But no one will mistake this as an attempt to vie for the Oscars, but most will agree it was excellent summer popcorn fun.

The aliens have come to town, and they want to exterminate us, take our water and only platoon 25 stands in their way, Hell retreat! Hoorah! and all that. Add this bravado talk, lots of stereotypes of the bespectacled intellectual, the Asian radio man, even a Nigerian Navy Corpman aka medic, and of course the all-Amercian hero built in the vein of John Wayne, with a cleft in his chin and a square jaw to boot and you have the ensemble. Throw in a Hispanic in distress, cutie vet (she was also in Lord of War and Sum of All Fears) and you have covered all the politically correct vignettes of American society. Oh don't forget Michelle Rodriguez, in yet another military role, and you have the whole Magnificent Dozen or so.

Now make them win the battle against unsurmountable odds, blow away the mother ship a la Independence Day, and viola you have the movie! What redeems this show is not the plot, but the Black Hawk Down-esque battle scenes, which will entertain and get the red-blooded American and all fans of action genre movies rip roaring.

Aaron Eckhart does his best with the limited script to add some dimension to the square jawed hero, and give some depth, but despite being panned by critics, this movie has scored more than US$ 202 million at the box office proving that mindless action and explosions does get the job done. This movie is not cerebral, and will be one where you will find some difficulty remembering much about the plot, expect that the ending leaves enough leeway for a sequel which is packed with more mayhem, explosions and more of Aaron Eckhart's SSGT Nantz. Hell retreat!

As for the potential BR owners - this movie is packed with so many demo scenes, that the entire movie is one well orchestrated demo of your surrounds, and this is despite only being master in 5.1 DTS-MA. You find rounds whizzing past you, explosions in the air, ambient noise of the aliens and deep explosions coming from all the speakers. Quite simply, this is probably the best, and defeats even Tron Legacy as the demo (audio wise) movie of 2011.

Picture quality is equally strong with no shaky cameras, or bleached colors.

Don't buy this for the plot guys, just grab it, rent it or buy it for the wonderful action scenes and the awesome sound field.

Edited by petetherock

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Shutter Island movie review

This movie has so many apparent links to a later production called Inception that I had to do double take as to whether it was planned as a prequel to Inception and if Chris Nolan had a hand in it.

Apart from having the same lead Actor, who also lost his loved one and some very serious concepts of layers of delusion and illusions. Check out the lake drowning scene and tell me it doesn't look like the same spot they used in Inception ?

We also see the concept of pretense mixed in with a bit of suspense and intrigue.

It's a tad hard to follow and the kicker needs viewings to help you understand the plot. Even so once you get it, it its hardly the keeper like inception and will be fine for a rental on a night when you have enough patience to work out the plot.

Edited by petetherock

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Adjustment Bureau movie review

First I gotta attempt I liked the concept of it even though reality hit me like a pile-driver halfway.

Here is a quasi religious romantic scifi movie that talks about a Chairman, members of an Adjustment Bureau - who by the way curse and use 'son of a ****' more often than hello. And they are out to stop Matt Damon falling in love with Emily Blunt.

It's sweet how these two hook up on a feeling and strive to undo what is written for their lives.

This movie would make for a classic study on Hollywood style love, where people hook up on a feeling, spend their lived looking for this someone and feel that moment of love / lust / passion will keep them together forever. Or at least the movie doesn't attempt to answer at all about what happens when the feelog goes away or how their fiancé feels to be left at the alter.

The ideal of chasing after love at all cost is the notion we observe and to some it will commensurate with this and you will also lose those where reality bites somewhere either in the midst of the cinema or moments soon after. That means the audience will be polarized into those who enjoyed the romantic escape and those who despise it for propagating more Hollywood fluff.

I will leave it to the reader to decide if they wish to indulge in such a fantasy.

Using doors seems to be borrowed from Matrix and some parts are quite recognizable from other movies about God.

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Unknown movie review

If there is a familiar feel to this show starring. Liam Neeson, January Jones and Diane Kruger it is probably because it is a mishmash of recent hits and in particular one with Liam Neeson - Taken.

The plot is slower and plods along, perhaps because the actors all look tired and perhaps they are, there are recognizable old timers and they seem to be walking and dialing in a staid performance.

Liam is now the go go person replacing Harrison Ford as the quiet senior hero who springs into action more reluctantly than the classic Rambo genre.

Instead he thrives on being the underdog in trouble who overcomes the odds.

The plot is reasonable and Liam is someone who gets into a accident and forgets who he is and he spend a good part of the middle section of the movie doing so. Herein lies the weakness of the movie in that the rediscovery process takes too long and he is like a runner who breaks into his stride too late to save the movie. Most of the action and the Taken-esque types scenes happen in a final burst near the end and too quickly.

This will be worth a rental perhaps but not a purchase.

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Triumphant general rouge

Made a couple of years after the original Glorious Team Batista with taeguchi and hiroshi abe in the lead once more, this is a Japanese slow burner medical crime drama.

And when I say slow it does tend to meander allowing for the usual Jap acting theatrics which may not appeal to the general or causal viewer Esp if they don't understand Jap. But you will gain insight into the Japanese healthcare system and I can affirm to its accuracy.

This time the drama or action focuses around the Emergency department and the suspicion that the chief is on the take from a pharmaceutical rep.

Our lovely heroine again comes to the forth and adds a vulnerable dimension as well some comic relief and serious eye candy. Staring at her too long runs the risk of giving you diabetes.

Hiroshi Abe stands out literally at close to seven feet. He is the comic relief the annoying health ministry official with the dogged persistence to solve the crime.

Together the duo brings us into an examination of the various personalities and the interactions within a Japanese hospital. Some are real and others are caricatures of classic blockheads we often encounter in our own workplace be it medical or otherwise.

There is also a subplot of corporate greed which probably hits home and will be familiar in any society.

The path does slow down in the middle and the twist or conclusion does not have the punch of the first but it was still a satisfying watch and for Jap movie fans, who want to watch a non horror tragedy movie then this will be at least a rental or keeper.

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Let the Bullets Fly - movie review

If China were to make a their own version of the Good, the Bad and the Ugly, then this would be the closest to it. Directed and acted by Jiang Wen, along with other heavyweights like Chow Yunn Fatt, and interestingly, Feng Xiao Gang as an actor instead of the director, this show has action, comedy and a real boiler of a plot.

However those expecting a shootfest will be disappointed. The tilte is a misnomer really. Sure there are the obligatory showdowns, but the words and dialogue are were the jousting occurs, and it comes fast and furious, whereas the action comes along like a leaking facet, giving us just enough to prevent the action from going totally dry.

However the heavyweights employed didn't just come to collect their paychecks, and it is especially gratifying for me to see Chow Yunn Fatt back to top form, giving us the magical sparkle we last saw in his hits from the 90s. Its been a while and his co-actors keep up and seeing him play a baddie against the more straight-laced Jiang Wen was interesting.

So a bandit decides to pretend to be the incoming governor, and intend of doing the usual thing i.e. milking the town dry of money, he pits his wits, skills, courage and brawn against the town mobster. However if you are looking for the John Woo type gun play thinking this is merely a mobster movie, then you will walk away with the wrong impression. There are no pigeons in slow mo flying across the screen, no long coats flying in the wind. But you get plenty of sharp dialogue and it is more than enough entertainment to make up for the shortage of bullets flying. If comprehension of the language proves to be an issue and you need to rely on the subtitles, then you will lost more than 50% of the plot immediately. That is the only caveat in the whole show.

You do get the obviously eye candy/chick factor, with Zhou Yun lighting up the stage with her vivacious personality, and Carina Lau trying her best to look sultry in her 40s… I I wonder what Tony Leung has to say about Jiang Wen putting his hands on her boobs for so long in a bedroom scene…)

There are also a few newcomers, and they make the best of their limited screen time, and all in all, this movie will be worth a rental and if you like Mr Chow, probably a keeper too.

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The Marquis (2010) movie review

This is a French production, with English subtitles.

The French have a flair for the zany, and even if you don’t understand the language, their sense of timing and combination of physical comedy and witty dialogue (courtesy of subtitles for those who don’t understand French) can make for an alternative source of entertaining movies.

This story uses a well tried theme of mistaken identity, where a small time criminal mistakes a silly salesman who is in jail for a moment of greed for the infamous Marquis, a big time thief. The rest of the show is about these unlikely duo teaming up to pull of a large caper and outwit the cops, the big baddie behind the caper and save their loved ones.

This movie does not have big action sequences, explosions of note, but instead uses the physical expressions, the banter between the two leads, who have an exquisite chemistry to make it work.

Not a lot of eye candy, except a seriously dumb blond…

Will you rent/buy/forget this?

I reckon that if you liked the Taxi series, you will also enjoy this and it is worth a rental at least .

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"The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas".....Very very sad film about the relationship between two little boys from opposite sides of a Nazi concentration camp fence.

An extremely moving film.

Cheers, GTO.

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劔岳 点の記 - The Summit: A Chronicle Of Stones to Serenity

So a movie about assailing a bunch of guys at the turn of the 20th century climbing a peak in Japan that I have never heard of?

劔岳 or Tsurugidake in the Hida Mountains anyone? 2 hours solid about a bunch of men, surveying and trying to figure out a way to get to the top of a range in the middle of a small place in the world does not sound like the recipe for a show which garnered a 15 awards and nominations.

At 2999m, it isn’t even that high. Some info on it from Wiki:

“Mount Tsurugi (剱岳 Tsurugi-dake) is located in the eastern area of Toyama Prefecture, Japan. It is one of the tallest peak in the Hida Mountains at 2,999 m (9,839 ft). It is one of the 100 Famous Japanese Mountains, and is called "the most dangerous mountain" climbable.

Tsurugi has a number of routes which approach world class long routes. It is recognised in Japan as "the" premiere mountaineering peak in winter. Although dangerous its death toll is a small fraction of those who have died on Japan's much smaller, but more lethal Tanigawa-dake.”

Actually, stories about mountains have always been appealing to the movie-goer and this is a movie which will appeal not only to the hard core climber fraternity, but also those who love scenery, or those who enjoy a story of true grit, and facing up to the odds and even those who just enjoy movie about men fighting and overcoming the odds.

The protagonist is a surveyor for the Japanese Army Survey unit. Even though he isn’t an army soldier, he is a civil servant and he is tasked to climb the mountain which has not been known to have been conquered, and he also needs to bring massive amounts of equipment to place positioning stones which will be used to plot maps and establish positions.

Now climbing 3000m, even of a difficult mountain, does not sound like much, especially when the route to Mt Everest has almost become a highway. But this was done in 1907, when ropes were still made of natural material, and canvas was the main material for most items. You have to cope with bitter cold, strong winds, snow, and lashing rains.

The main actor Shibasaki (played by the cool Tadanobu Asano), has to go where no one as gone before and he enlists the help of a local guide, who defies the traditional beliefs of the local villagers, who believe it is hell as represented on earth, and therefore should not be climbed. Initially even his own son opposes his efforts to assist the surveyors.

To add to this he faces a rival team from the Japanese Alpine team who simply wish to be the first to reach the summit and they are led by Toru Nakamura. So Shibasaki has to face pressure from his boss, the rival team as well as the elements to succeed in his twin task of mapping the mountain and being the first on top.

Apart from scenes depicting the arduous climbs, and how tough life must have been using hemp ropes, which tend to break at the slightest tension and have no elastic tensions or give, they also make you feel afraid for them as they don straw jackets and make do with canvas tents, and branches for climbing poles.

It certainly makes us feel a lot more cosy in our North Face, Cloudveil, Arcteryx jackets, fleece and other modern conveniences, that make our leisure stroll up the Blue Mountains or other places so much more comfortable.

But this movie also showcases some truly awesome scenery, and the sunsets, sunrises and those scenes of a sea of clouds beneath your feet, with Fujiyama in the distant are superb…

http://www.flickr.com/photos/petetherock/5...in/photostream/

The movie has a strong cast, who show good chemistry especially between Shibasaki and his guide played by the intense Teruyuki Kagawa (who steals the limelight from the main star each time he appears).

Although it’s “only” a movie about man versus a mountain, there is humor, humanity and tension as man battles with himself, others and against nature.

The plot will win you over, and the show deserves all the accolades it has garnered, and even if you don’t speak Japanese, the subtitles are easy to follow.

There are some fall scenes and enough climbing action to keep the action fans happy, and there are good surround effects too.

To top it off, you get a few moments of eye candy in the form of the actress who plays Shibasaki’s wife, but this is a show that doesn’t want to plant a woman in the middle just to get more hormones stirred up…

This is worth a rental for the climbers, for those who like beautiful vistas and for those who appreciate a good old yarn about men against the mountains.

And its worth keeping if you get find the Blu Ray at a decent price for the awesome mountain scenes.

Recommended.

Website: http://www.tsurugidake.jp/

Footnote:

Also on BR now:

http://www.amazon.co.jp/exec/obidos/ASIN/B...ffenheimthea-22

Region Free too

http://img.affenheimtheater.de/cover_br/co...rugidake_jp.jpg

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Horrible Bosses – movie review

Have you ever wanted to kill your boss? Felt that life was totally insufferable under that tyrant, who threatens to drain the life out of you, because he/she was a total idiot, a maniac and yet held your career in their hands? Well here is a dark comedy which tries to put all those dreams of getting rid of your boss into a movie reality.

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"Senna".

Brilliant & VERY moving movie.....almost bought my wife & I to tears.

One of the greatest drivers of all time, that is for sure....and also a lovely person.

Cheers, GTO.

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I haven't been writing as much - renovations for my HT pad just finished this week...

But I managed to squeeze in an old show, which I had in my closet for a while:

"10 Things I hate about you" starring the late Heath Ledger, and Julia Stiles. This show will showcase a few young stars and also propel them to great heights later on. Basely loosely on a Shakespeare play "The Taming of the Shrew", it's a wonderful throwback to days of old when we were young, and you see montages of yourself in many of those scenes depicted without stereotyping the nerds, jocks, smarties, and even the outcasts.

Witty dialogue and a genuine chemistry between the leads propel this show far beyond others like Fast Times in Ridgemont High or other teenage high school hits. It also made me feel sad that we have lost a talented young actor in Heath.

Highly recommended, although if you have the DVD, there isn't a great push to get the BR disc.

Story 4/5

Action - duh

Chick Factor - well you see the younger truly "chick" versions of some actresses, so eye candy a plenty

A keeper, and worth sharing with someone else, and watching again.

Recommended.

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Midnight in Paris - Woody Allen

Sat down to watch this last night...

The plot is a fantasy tale of a young writer who travels to Paris with his fiance, her parents and gets transformed into the 1920s.

It's a simple plot, but explores the mind of the writer as he expresses his unease with his fiance's attraction to anther man, just as he struggles to finish his novel amidst less than encouraging comments from his potential in laws.

There is more than one incidence of infidelity, with the mistress of Picasso a real village bicycle, but this actually leaves a dark negative taste in my mouth, even as I admire all the scenery portrayed, which had it's nostalgic value, since I have been to Paris twice in the past 4 years.

Own Wilson plays this awkward and naive writer with great skill, and is a natural, and a good shift from the usual goofy comedy roles he has.

Some will find this movie more interesting, but it was not my cup of tea.

Plot 3/5

Picture quality:

There is an orange / yellow hue throughout, which may be Woody's intention, but the colors of all the Paris scenes still looked excellent.

Sound:

Despite not having any real surround of note, the 3.0 equipped disc was clear and on my old Marantz SR 12 / Oppo 95 / Usher 525 combination, the music sounded pretty good and the voices were crisp and easily heard.

Action: nil

Chick factor:

Rachel Adams is mighty fine and does her best to play the slightly obnoxious fiance to good effect. Marion Cotillard does her best to look sultry as well. But the hottie was a little known French actress Léa Seydoux, who steals the show with her smoky innocent smile. Carla Bruni's turn as the tour guide wasn't too bad too.

For the Woody Allen fans, this is a must have with his usual flavor but in a way that is more accessible to mainstream fans. For the others, it is still worth a rental, and if you are a fan of Paris and France, it's certainly worth a rental at least.

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The Socerer and the White Snake - Jet Li

A modern spin on a classic tale, and the emphasis is on modern... Those expecting a Jet Li Kung Fu special will disappointed, as most of the action is CGI...

There is plenty of action, the surround effects and bass are very decent and there is a 7.1 soundtrack.

In addition, there is loads of eye candy, and you could get diabetes by staring at Eva Huang for too long. She was the fresh faced sweetie from Kung Fu Hustle, and here she is still sweet, almost ten years on. Charlene Choi and a few unnamed ladies add more to the chick factor.

However the story is short on plot, and with everything being wirework, this is at best a rental, although it will withstand a few viewings for those who like good surround engineering.

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The Chinese Ghost Story Trilogy 1991

This has always been a little guilt pleasure trip... I mean, Joey Wong was a real hottie back then...

This was one of Tsui Hark's signature movies, and he used all he had learnt earlier in Hollywood to good effect here, with wire work combining well with models and most importantly a decent story to make one of his most memorable movies. This, plus the Wong Fei Hong and Swordsman series defined martial art movies in the late 80s and early 90s.

Of course glimpse of the nubile Joey Wong in various states of undress (is there a movie where she isn't a ghost, murdered or abused ?) added an extra element of spice.

Of the series, my personal favorite was number II, with the combination of Leslie Cheung as the bumbling scholar, Jack Cheung as the sorcerer, and of course the hot Joey Wong (did I mention she was hot?), all making a good story better.

Story 4/5 for II & I, 3/5 for III.

Action: it's an old movie, so even though there is a DTS-MA 7.1 soundtrack, don't expect that much. PQ is also a little soft... but the fighting scenes are remarkable, even now.

Chick factor: Joey Wong and Michelle Reis will keep most fellas of my vintage happy....

If you don't have this on DVD, this is fine, but you may not want to double dip, unless you are a fan like me...

Can't wait till they convert Swordsman to Hi Def....

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"Senna".

Brilliant & VERY moving movie.....almost bought my wife & I to tears.

One of the greatest drivers of all time, that is for sure....and also a lovely person.

Cheers, GTO.

Also loved this, was a big fan and followed his career from when he started at Tolman

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The Veteran...

This is a small UK production, which might have slipped under the radar, and runs against the vein of the usual summer blockbusters. Toby Kebell (he played one of the princes in Prince of Persia) is a veteran who has return from Iraq and Afganistan to UK to a drug and crime ridden neighbourhood. He faces a life in which his skills in war are no longer prized and he gets involved in a world of terrorism and drugs in which he has to call upon all his wit, strength and other soldier qualities to face up to a world where no one is who they present themselves to be.

However this movie is dark and is no Jason Bourne. Those looking for a Hollywood ending will be quite disappointed. However the final firefight is quite realistic and for those who have experience holding the M16, or going through the BCTC battle inoculation course, his fire and movement skills, the weapon handling will appear well films and quite true to life.

This movie will leave you in deep thought for a while and those familiar with these public housing neighborhoods in UK will understand the squalor and the despair, whilst also appreciating that UK is no longer the white population of 20 years ago, and you can feel the palpable threat of terror, which rings a rather sombre tone, as we remember the various terror threats that UK has had to face over the past few years.

This is a slow burner which only takes off near the end, and the tone take a leaf from Michael Caine's Harry Brown.

Plot: 4/5

Action: Thank God for no Bourne-esque shaky cam action scenes 4/5

Worth a rental.

the-veteran-poster.jpg

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Johnny English Reborn

Mr Bean talks, and he also shoots, goofs up and gets the girl...

Johnny English isn't just about Rowan Atkinson as a talking Mr Bean spy... it's a barrel of laughs, and he spoofs a few spy movies along the way, whilst giving us visceral (and testicular) humor ala D Craig in Casino Royale, throws in a Bond actress (Rosamund Pike) and a female boss (in the form of the still delectable Gillian Anderson), and manages to give us an enjoyable movie, which won't be remembered for it's acting, nor it's plot, but shows that he still has got it to make us laugh...

Plot 3/5

Action 3/5

Chick Factor: I reckon there is enough here to keep the Bond fans happy 4/5

Worth a rental at least and for those Mr Bean / R Atkinson fans, worth a DVD or BR if the price is right...

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The Debt

This was a spy thriller, which provided a distraction for a quiet Sunday night - free on cable...

The Israeli themed story of the hunt for an infamous Nazi war criminal is not unlike another Israeli theme spy show (Munich).

Helen Mirren leads a cast of very capable actors who flesh out this movie in a time-shift fashion, going back and forth between the younger versions of the Mossad team hunting down the Nazi and the present time.

Plot 3.5/5

Action minimal, this is a talkie...

Chick factor - again not a whole lot...Jessica Chastian plays the younger version of Helen Mirren, and she is pretty effective, whilst maintaining a certain vulnerability.

Worth a rental, although not really a keeper.

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Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

Just saw this on a flight....

This is a classic Brit show, and if anyone is expect another Bourne Identity, they will be sorely disappointed...

Although the pacing is faster than the Alec Guiness show, which was a mini-series, it will not be for those demanding a car chase, explosions or even a fist fight.

Instead, it is a journey into the minds of a few men, and how the mystery of a mole is teased out, whilst maintaining the action at the cerebral level, and it almost becomes a mime, as Gary Oldman's Smiley does not speak for a good part of the start of the movie, but here in lies the beauty of owning this on a hi def disc, as you will be able to scrutinise his facial expression, in synchrony with the background and how he managed to convey intrigue, boredom, anxiety, and grip your attention with little more than a little background music, and observing his actions and his face.

The plot isn't unfamiliar, a mole is found in the Circus, aka MI6, and Smiley has to find out who sold out the Secret Service. He has Mr Sherlock Holmes, aka Benedict Cumberbatch at his disposal, and he slowly unravels how the "Budapest Incident" which was what led to his dismissal, came awry.

This is no Hollywood spy thriller, and eschews the James Bond, XXX, Bourne, phenotypes, and opts for very ordinary looking sorts, who talk a lot, observe a lot, and do a little, in their practise of John Le Carre's interpretation of the espionage world.

No real babes, although there are snatches of bedroom scenes actually, and definition no Bondesque style seduction of the femme fatale beneath the sheets. Not even time for a little shaken, not stirred. Instead, there are flashbacks, parallel acts in which groups of people all play their role to gravitate towards the finale, when it is reveal, which of the four suspects: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, is the traitor...

Look out for some fine acting by a very experienced bunch of thespians. No Matt Damon or Brad Pitt or even Daniel Craig types here. Instead it's a rather seasoned bunch in the summer or even autumn of their acting careers giving their best in a performance which is best described as understated but powerful.

Plot: 4/5

Action: 1/5

Chick Factor: 2/5

Worth a rental, especially if you read the book or are a fan of the British interpretation of the spy genre, but those who want their agents to announce their arrival with guns blazing whilst maintaining a perfectly gelled hairdo, they best look for "Chubby" Brocoli's next martini laced adventure.

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Drive - movie review

This was another flight movie and sitting in the dark cramp cattle class seat, it helped me focus on this movie. It brought mixed feelings for me, watching it on Valentine's day as I crossed continents...

Ryan Gosling does well to convey the spectrum of emotions as a driver for hire, who can flip a car with the ease of someone flipping his pancakes, and he is asked to do more than drive when he intervenes in a situation on behalf of a neighbor, Cary Mulligan, who plays his love interest. She is a mother of Benice, who has a father doing time. Somehow, I felt the scene of three of them driving through LA's canals with the song "Real Hero" from College in the background to be extra sweet, yet in a bitter sweet fashion, since it was made known that Cary was still married to Standard Gabriel (heh, loved her comment "so when is Deluxe coming" - classic). Somehow that describes perhaps up to half of all human relationships, and despite the energy between them, we know that we don't always get the girl we want, and walk off into the sunset.

Yet Ryan aka Driver is willing to risk life and limb, and sometimes in a rather violent way, to help the woman of his dreams, even with the full knowledge that he may not end up with her. Love often involves sacrifice and flying at 30 000 feet on Valentines day and watching this gives it a different perspective.

The plot isn't really new, but the cast make it a bit more special and this show may withstand a few watches. For those expecting the action and full on explosions associated with another movie which came out almost at the same time - Faster, will be sorely disappointed. Instead this be more of a dark romantic mild action thriller, or just one of love and how that drives us on.

Plot 3.5/5 + extra half point for Ryan and Cary.

Chick Factor - Well Cary Mulligan belongs in the sweet category, and despite her youth, portrays the young mother well. She has a bright future ahead. She brings a certain vulnerability, and sadness, with a delicate nature that the greats like Audrey Hepburn and Glenn Close possess, and with little dialogue she is still able to convey a vast range of emotions. Kudos.

Action: how about a car chase show which is so quiet that it almost passes as a silent movie?

A special mention is needed for a nice soundtrack, which has nice songs like "Real Hero" and other syn-pop hits. I bought the song right after I landed....

This show might not light up the Oscars, especially with some scenes with gratuitous violence, but it will be worth a rental at least. Buy the soundtrack.

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John Carter movie review

The current lack of a big TV has forced me to explore the cinemas more, and it was with some initial reluctance that I decided to go, especially with the new price increases, but it turned out to be a good experience.

Firstly with a friend's discount, I got a cheaper ticket and the show we picked turned out to be a nice show....

The actors in John Carter are no A-list ones, but in a sci-fi effects driven show, all you need is good screen chemistry, a good mixture of action, romance, humor and excellent pacing and you will have a hit on your hands.

This is the first time out for the director Andrew Stanton who is more famous for his Pixar cartoons, and he chose one of the minor actors from Wolverine, Taylor Kitsch (who played Gambit) and the gorgeous Lynn Collins (aka Silverfox from Wolverine as well), who plays a princess who is hot, kicks ass and becomes his love interest . Throw in Mark Strong in another villainous role and you have the basis of good versus evil thing.

Then borrow elements from A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, Stargate and Scorpion King, throw lots of money into the CGI, special effects and mix vigorously for a movie, which is a tad short on freshness of story but certainly delivers for the action and big moments.

Don't ask either of the leads to milk out Oscar winning acting, and instead sit back and enjoy the fun-filled swash-buckling action, moments of tenderness interspersed between some rather side splitting moments of humor and you have a rather good way to spend 131 minutes.

Plot - 3/5

Action 3.5/5

Chick factor - did I mentioned that Lynn Collins is HOT? 4/5

Well I reckon there is enough demo-worthy action in this show to justify a viewing and if they do the sound engineering well, it may also become a good Blu Ray disc to keep. One certainly for the big screen.

John_Carter_Wallpaper_1920_05.jpg

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John Carter movie review

The current lack of a big TV has forced me to explore the cinemas more, and it was with some initial reluctance that I decided to go, especially with the new price increases, but it turned out to be a good experience.

Firstly with a friend's discount, I got a cheaper ticket and the show we picked turned out to be a nice show....

The actors in John Carter are no A-list ones, but in a sci-fi effects driven show, all you need is good screen chemistry, a good mixture of action, romance, humor and excellent pacing and you will have a hit on your hands.

This is the first time out for the director Andrew Stanton who is more famous for his Pixar cartoons, and he chose one of the minor actors from Wolverine, Taylor Kitsch (who played Gambit) and the gorgeous Lynn Collins (aka Silverfox from Wolverine as well), who plays a princess who is hot, kicks ass and becomes his love interest . Throw in Mark Strong in another villainous role and you have the basis of good versus evil thing.

Then borrow elements from A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, Stargate and Scorpion King, throw lots of money into the CGI, special effects and mix vigorously for a movie, which is a tad short on freshness of story but certainly delivers for the action and big moments.

Don't ask either of the leads to milk out Oscar winning acting, and instead sit back and enjoy the fun-filled swash-buckling action, moments of tenderness interspersed between some rather side splitting moments of humor and you have a rather good way to spend 131 minutes.

Plot - 3/5

Action 3.5/5

Chick factor - did I mentioned that Lynn Collins is HOT? 4/5

Well I reckon there is enough demo-worthy action in this show to justify a viewing and if they do the sound engineering well, it may also become a good Blu Ray disc to keep. One certainly for the big screen.

John_Carter_Wallpaper_1920_05.jpg

I'm looking forward to seeing this.

Glad you found it entertaining/diverting.

Did you watch it in 3D?

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