Review-Spectre 

In many ways Paramount are extremely lucky that Star Wars forced them to move Mission Impossible 5 from Boxing Day to a July release date, as MI:Rogue Nation and Spectre are pretty much the same movie. 

In Mission Impossible 5 Ethan Hunt has gone “rogue” and disappeared deep underground to track down and prove the existence of “the syndicate” as well as the man responsible for the death of his boss. Along the way, he is joined by his tech genius friend, Benji and a small fracture group whom are disobeying orders to help him. He also teams up with and saves a woman who has information regarding The Syndicate. All this happens whilst an outside force are trying to shut down the IMF agency.

In Spectre, James Bond has gone “rogue” and disappeared deep underground to track down and prove the existence of “Spectre” as well as the man responsible for the death of his boss. Along the way, he is joined by his tech genius friend, Q and a small fracture group whom are disobeying orders to help him. He also teams up with and saves a woman who has information regarding Spectre. All this happens whilst an outside force are trying to shut down the double-O programme.

So far, so similar and that’s Spectre’s biggest problem. It isn’t a terrible movie, in fact it’s actually quite enjoyable. It’s just very generic, it could be any summer blockbuster. 

The fight scenes and action pieces are stunning. The script is okay and the performances are strong, however it all just feels formulaic. It’s like someone making a lasagne from their nan’s recipe. It’s nice, but it’s just not quite right. Wait for Blu Ray. 

DVD review-The Lazarus Effect

A group of medical researchers develop a way of bringing animals back from the dead; when one of the researchers (Olivia Wilde) accidentally dies during a follow up experiment, her fiancé (Mark Duplass) uses their controversial process on her.

The film has an interesting premise, that could send a social message about the way we handle death and morality in the Western world. However, this movie is in hands of director David Gelb and writers Luke Dawson and Jeremy Slater. They fumble their way along, giving us a horror movie, full of paint-by-numbers clichés, with a story that doesn’t really make any sense.

There’s no character development and the plot gets stuck in a cul-de-sac.

The cast try their hardest, but even established actors like Wilde, Duplass and Amy Aquino struggle to elevate this mess.

The Lazarus Effect is out on DVD/Blu Ray and digital download on October 19th.

Review-Convenience 

Convenience tells the story of two life long friends A.Jay (Ray Panthaki) and Shaan (Adeel Akhtar), as they find themselves in deep with some Russian gangsters and a very limited time to settle the £8,000 debt that Shaan has racked up.
They decide the easiest way to get the money is to rob a near-by petrol garage. Unfortunately the safe has a time-lock and won’t open until 6am the following morning.


Their only option is to tie-up the manager and a customer in the back office, pose as employees and work a shift in the petrol garage.

If this ordeal wasn’t stressful enough, they soon learn there’s another employee in the stock room. Luckily for them, Levi (Vicky McClure) thinks they’re the two new trainees that have shown up a day early. They now face the challenge of keeping Levi out the office.

It’s lack of budget doesn’t show on screen. It’s beautifully shot and is held up by a great, yet simple premise. It also hosts some impressive cameos from Anthony Head (Buffy), Tony Way (Game of Thrones) and Verne Troyer (Austin Powers) they each play odd-ball characters that A.Jay and Shann encounter on their shift.
Overall, Convenience is a great example of low budget British comedies. The film manages to capture the tedium of retail work, yet is always watchable due to a great script and stellar performances from the cast.

Listen to our interviews from the press junket here

Film Review-Mission Impossible:Ghost Protocol

The IMF is shut down when it’s implicated in the bombing of the Kremlin, causing Ethan Hunt and his new team to go rogue to clear their organization’s name.

I was curious to see this movie, as it’s the first live-action film from director Brad Bird. Bird has previously only worked on animated movies, so I approached this with intrigue. Visually the film is stunning and the locations are beautiful. The beauty is amplified by the fact that the movie was partially filmed with IMAX cameras, which gives it added ‘sex appeal’. You really need to see this on an IMAX screen to feel the full benefit. As with all the films in the franchise, the action scenes are completely breath taking, the stand out scene is undeniably the moment Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) scales the outside of the Burj Khalifa tower, in Dubai. Which just so happens to be the tallest building in the world. Tom Cruise performed this stunt himself, which just adds to the realism and completely engulfs you in the moment.

The performances all round are great. Tom Cruise is on top form and is leading a new team, which includes Simon Pegg (Benji Dunn). Pegg had a minor part in Mission Impossible 3, but has now been promoted to full on co-star. Unfortunately Ving Rhames only has a small cameo in this film, but it’s a nice nod to the fans as he and Cruise are the only cast members to have appeared in all of The Mission Impossible movies. The film has a few little industry in-jokes as well. Ethan Hunt’s code number is “A113”. A113 is a frequent Pixar in-joke based on one of the room numbers for the animation program at Cal Arts. The director has worked for Pixar, and he has worked an “A113” reference into every one of his films. Lost fans are in for a treat, as Josh Holloway (Sawyer) makes a small appearance.

The only thing letting this down is the story line, it could have been better there is a noticeable dip in certain parts and my attention wondered elsewhere. There were also some errors that I couldn’t over look, almost too many to list maybe I’m just being a bit too pedantic, but The Nuclear Launch Device used by Hendricks has a Russian keyboard, but the Interface Screen is in English.

All in all I would say the film is worth watching and will keep you mostly entertained throughout.

.Mission Impossible:Ghost Protocol is out in the UK on Boxing Day

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Film Review-Puss In Boots

A Puss in Boots spin-off has been in development since he made his first appearance in Shrek 2 way back in 2004. Now that DreamWorks have milked the Shrek franchise for all its worth, it is finally time for the cat to have his day.

This is essentially an origin story. It’s set way before Puss met Shrek, Fiona and Donkey. Since Puss is the main character, he needs wacky, funny characters around him. The love interest is a feline named Kitty Softpaws (Salma Hayek) and Humpty Dumpty (Zach Galifianakis) is Puss’ best friend from childhood. Puss and Humpty Dumpty were once as close as brothers until Puss became famous. Humpty soon became jealous of Puss and betrayed him by tricking him in to a bank robbery. Years later, Humpty tracks him down seeking forgiveness, as well as help with a new scheme. The scheme involves stealing some magic beans from out-law couple, Jack and Jill. The magic beans will send them up the famous beanstalk to the golden-egg laying goose.

The first half of the movie is better than the second half. I think this is due to it being such a busy story, the ending is little anti-climatic, but strangely unlike most children’s CGI movies, it isn’t bogged down by the over-preachy moral of the tale. The performances are all solid, but special mention must go to Antonio Banderas, he manages a performance that is consistently amusing as well as moving. The moment he sees his heart broken mother staring at him is gut wrenching. Visually the film is a treat. The 3D works well, but adds little to the over all experience. The film would still be funny, enjoyable and moving in 2D. Puss in Boots is not a great film, but it is an extremely good film.

Puss In Boots opens in the UK on December 9th 2011.

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Attack the Block DVD review

In 2001 Joe Cornish was mugged, outside his house. He wondered what would have happened if an alien invasion had taken place, during the mugging. The kids he feared at that moment would have become useful. Their savagery would have become an asset. Ten years later, Attack The Block hit cinemas.

Joe, replaced himself with a female called, Sam (Jodie Whittaker). Sam is a well-spoken, recently graduated nurse. Who has just moved in to the Brixton tower block and one day, on her way home from work, she’s mugged by a gang of youths, then chased by aliens.
The leader of the gang, is fifteen-year-old, Moses (John Boyega), who decides to “tool up” and defend the block. The movie is incredibly fast-paced. We’re not really given a second to settle down, and think about what’s happening. The kids do start out, as the caricatures, the daily mail, write about. But they soon win us over you genuinely care about them by the end of the film. Joe Cornish has written and directed a nice little, gem of a movie.  This is a fun film it’s not a perfect film, the aliens are like something out of 80’s Doctor Who and the final scene, doesn’t quite have the ‘punch the air’ moment, it thinks it does. Maybe it’s because of my British cynicism, I wasn’t moved by the sight, of Moses, heroically swinging from a union flag. I imagine that’ll work better, in the inevitable US remake, where the 30-year-old, playing the teenager swoops in and saves the day, on the good old stars and stripes. This really is a fun, enjoyable movie. If Cornish’s next film, is as good as his debut, then I guarantee you, in ten years time, Joe Cornish will be a power-house in Hollywood.

 

DISC 1
JUNIOR COMMENTARY – Joe Cornish with John Boyega, Alex Esmail, Franz Drameh, Simon Howard and Leeon Jones
SENIOR COMMENTARY – Joe Cornish with Jodie Whittaker, Luke Treadaway and Nick Frost
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER COMMENTARY – Joe Cornish with Edgar Wright

DISC 2
Featurettes: Behind The Block, Creature Feature, Meet The Gang, Joe’s Massage, It’s A Rap, Unfilmed Action

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Price: £2.49