Tag Archives: 2.5/5

Of Unknown Origin 2.5/5

Man fights rat in a battle to the death. Yep, one rat.

The only good thing about the movie is Peter Weller, the internal reference to The Old Man and the Sea, and the music. The ideas behind is, and the majority of direction, is poor. There’s very little tension, the rat is not threatening no matter how many times you do a close up of a rat, and it just feels odd.

It’s alright to pass the time I guess.

Cross of Iron 2.5/5

Cross of Iron

First watch for me, and not something I’ve ever rushed to see, but I do like a few Peckinpah movies, so I thought it was time.

I found it very unengaging. The acting wasn’t great, except for Coburn (who was qreat) and some of his troop, and I found the slight story meandered along in a disjointed pace, and I did find some of the scenes either pointless or just poorly constructed.

I think if I’d have liked the film better, I’d have probably liked the non-ending better, and if I’d hated it, I’d probably loathe the ending, but as it was, I was just glad the movie was over. I suspect they did film an ending, but it was not a good one.

Probably overrated, in my humble opinion.

Hitchcock 2.5/5


Whilst we get great performances from Hopkins, Mirren and Johansen, the story is like a final stage heroin junkie – thin, unfocussed and more than a little frustrating at times. Whole sections seemed to be injected into the main narrative on the slimmest of pretexts, like Hitch interacting with Ed Gein, or scenes like Alma getting cross and going for a swim in the swimming pool – what was that about?

I liked parts well enough, but it really didn’t go anywhere or tell you anything. I did have more fun spotting the homages to Hitchcock movies though. The Birds was an obvious one, but the most interesting to me was Marnie, which is Hitchcock’s underrated movie imo.

The other Hitchock biopic of this year, ‘The Girl’, was considerably tighter and made a point. Watch that one in preference to this.

Land of the Lost 2.5/5

Land of the Lost

Very mildly amusing, and feels like you’re rushing through a much bigger story. Or seeing the edited highlights of a 6 hour miniseries. I guess they wanted to hit the main story points of the original TV series, but that’s just a guess.

However, it was kind of fun, if you have a high tolerance to a plot that snakes about wildly and doesn’t really settle. Also, the beginning and end segments, with Will Ferrell being interviewed as his character in a talk show, seemed more Ron Burgundy than this movie.

Lesbian Vampire Killers 2.5/5

Lesbian Vampire Killers

Passably entertaining and benefitting from some good cinematography and sound design, and some quite great-looking ladies, giving it an old Hammer vibe, it could definitely have been funnier, but James Corden and Paul McGann as a potty-mouthed vicar and a not-too-long running time make it a reasonable, lightweight diversion.

Treasure Planet 2.5/5

Treasure Planet

A middling Disney effort, with some effective, if maybe a little jarring, mixing of traditional animation and CGI. It’s too long (15 less would have been better), but the main characters are well developed and charming, there’s some fun stuff for smaller kids, and the character development and story development build nicely.

Definitely not top tier Disney, but solid middle tier.

Galaxy of Terror 2.5/5

Galaxy of Terror

Well, it’s really cheap, but nowhere near as bad as I was expecting, basically ripping off Alien and throwing in a good dose of Solaris as the driver for the mayhem. And some yucky alien-worm rape. However, to break it down:

The Good – some of the set design and ideas. Robert Englund!

The Bad – Not scary at all, blatant, poorly executed rip of Alien.

The Odd -Joanie from Happy Days acting all grown-up actress/nutty. Nutty ending. Alien worm/tentacle rape. It tries to get all existential at the end, which doesn’t fit the cheap and cheerful vibe.

Stalled 2.5/5


While extremely low budget and with some technical issues, it does have a certain charm that reminded me of Peter Jackson’s early efforts, like Bad Taste and Dead Alive, and the central performance was solid. The issues were some of sound design was quite poor (the music sound design was good though), and some of the initial plotting was a bit juvenile. And character naming was from the Big Book of Carry On Movies.

Reasonably enjoyable but very lightweight zombie comedy.

The Man With The Iron Fists 2.5/5

The Man With The Iron Fists

This movie had some real problems, and I was getting bored in the first act. It looked pretty, the action scenes were decent to very good, and you could tell care was taken over the look and feel. However, it really fell short in terms of narrative coherence, and and sort of character building. It felt like a lot of fussy scenes that weren’t building to anything involving characters you really couldn’t care about.

However, it did get better as it went on. In the second act, things started to line up, and there was a better sense of cohesion, and things made sense, which dragged me from apathy to paying better attention.

By the time the final act/finale started rolling, I was fully engaged, really digging the visuals, and whilst the action could have been editing better, I found myself enjoying the ideas, panache and sheer amount of mayhem going on.

Overall, yes I enjoyed it, but I nearly turned off 20 minutes in because it seemed diffuse and more like strung together action scenes rather than a coherent whole, but I’m glad I stuck with it.

It obviously was a homage to 70s martial arts movies, and also a homage to the subgenre of spaghetti Western where gadgets are significant – the most famous example being the Sabata movies, I guess.

Fun, but the first 30 minutes are something to put up with, rather than enjoy. The rest is fine though.

Friday the 13th 2009 2.5/5

Friday the 13th 2009

Dark reboot of the original series, which is boring when Jason isn’t around, and pretty good when he is. There’s numerous references to the ‘classic’ movies, especially the first 3 (but there are definitely other visual references to other ones), but it has very, very baggy sections throughout. I also missed the whispering breath scoring of the original series (we get it a little at the beginning). I actually liked some of the minor characters (the Asian guy and the black guy), and also how at least 1 character was deliberately written to be a tool (thus making his death more satisfying), but I wasn’t that keen on the liberal borrowing from other horror franchises. There was borrowings from Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Hills Have Eyes, for example.

Overall, worth a watch if you’re a horror fan, but go in with low, low expectations.

Friday the 13th Part 7: The New Blood 2.5/5

Friday the 13th Part 7

Ridiculous sequel where, even though people find corpses throughout the woods, they act as if nothing has happened and decide to get some air in the same woods. It’s not completely without charm though, as Kane Hodder’s reanimated Jason gives us a steady stream of kills, and the premise of Jason vs Carrie is a decent one, even though the film doesn’t really deliver on it.