RSS feed for Joe
  • About Time 2013

    ★½ Watched 27 Sep, 2014

    Unbearably smug, twee, upper-middle class England version of Groundhog Day with added heart wrenching and about a hundreth of the warmth and joy of Ramis' classic.

    Slightly more watchable than Love Actually. But only just.

  • The Harry Hill Movie 2013

    ★★½ Watched 27 Sep, 2014

    Not as dreadful as I'd been led to believe. At least not if your a fan of Hill's particular brand of humour.
    A rambling series of very silly sketches stitched together by a plot involving a hamster voiced by Johnny Vegas.
    Some genuinely brilliant moments include Julie Walters rapping, a B & B run by the Magic Numbers and a brilliant piss take of Les Miserables.
    Lots of seriously unfunny stuff happens as well.

  • Fragment of Fear 1970

    ★★★½ Watched 21 Sep, 2014

    Well made 70s paranoid thriller which is undone by a willfully obtuse climax which just infuriates after all the good stuff that comes before.

    David Hemmings is an ex-junkie investigating his philanthropic aunt's murder in Italy and her connection to a mysterious group called The Stepping Stones. It feels like a dry run for a lot of Italian gialli that followed later, with Hemmings and a cameoing Adolfo Celi (along with the Italian-set opening) adding to the spaghetti feel. But…

  • RED 2 2013

    ★★★ Watched 20 Sep, 2014

    Much more fun than I'd been led to believe, but then I was fond of the first which drew a lot of bizarre snobbery from critics who seemed to have a problem with actors like Mirren and Malkovich having a laugh in throwaway guff like this.

    It's more of the same with a bigger scope as the RED's globe trot around trying to find a scientist and then a hidden nuke whilst avoiding the attentions of a psycho CIA operative…

  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier 2014

    ★★★½ Watched 06 Sep, 2014

    Not quite the barnstormer I'd been led to believe it was, it's still great entertainment.
    A sort of Avengers 1.5, with a HUGE body count and Robert Redford's best role for 30 years.

  • World War Z 2013

    ★★★½ Watched 05 Sep, 2014

    Much better than a $200million 12A rated zombie movie with a completely re-shot third act has any right to be.
    The fact it clocks in under 2 hours helps a lot.

  • The Wolverine 2013

    ★½ Watched 31 Aug, 2014

    You know those occassions when everyone is raving about something but you just don't get it? that was me and The Wolverine. It seems that everyone was so impressed that it was better made (and looked much better) than X Men Origins that they somehow missed the fact that it's incredibly dull and pretentious and with a plot holes you could drive an On the Buses film through.
    For a super hero movie, there's very little super hero stuff and…

  • Penthouse North 2013

    ★★★½ Watched 20 Aug, 2014

    Very watchable if understated old fashioned thriller which avoids (and in some cases subtly subverts) the old "blind girl terrorised by bad guys" schtick from nicked from Wait Until Dark by countless TV movies 30 odd years ago.

    Solid casting helps with Michelle Monaghan again demonstrating how good she is given a decent part, and the always watchable Michael Keaton managing a nicely measured chief baddie role.

    Undemanding, gripping in parts and doesn't outstay its welcome.

  • Before the Devil Knows You're Dead 2007

    ★★★½ Watched 02 Aug, 2014

    Brilliant acted and directed, but over long and really one of the most depressing movies I've seen in a while.

  • Whiteout 2009

    ★½ Watched 29 Jul, 2014

    Truly dreadful slasher-thriller with the intruiging concept of being set in an Antarctic base which is closing before the winter.

    Beckinsale is joyfully wooden, Skerritt looks like he's bored to tears and Gabriel Macht seems to have all his dialogue re-looped afterwards.
    There's a distinct whiff of post-production tinkering too as the mood changes almost scene by scene, from drama, slasher, standard thriller, disaster movie, heist movie... none of which add up to anything remotely interesting. The big twist you can see coming practically from the opening credits.

    A shame, as I'm a fan of Sena's big dumb action movies. This is just dumb.

  • The Beast Within 1982

    ★★ Watched 18 Jul, 2014

    Good example of what happens when a big studio tries to make a 'serious' film cashing on an exploitation trend, in this case the prosthetic werewolf effects of The Howling/American Werewolf. (see also The Prophecy).

    Despite a relatively large budget and a good cast, it's a dull and very silly tale of a 17 year old boy who is the result of an earlier beastly rape by a half man/half cicada (a kind of locust) for reasons the film never…

  • Mission: Impossible 1996

    ★★★★ Rewatched 06 Jul, 2014

    Still the best in the series, it's tech has sadly dated it somewhat (though I always found the "emailing every Bible newsgroup" ridiculous) but it's action scenes still remain a benchmark almost 20 years on.

    How refreshing to see a SFX-filled fight on top of a train, that looked brilliantly innovative in its day, but still holds up now. And no one except dePalma could create so much tension from a man dangling from a cable while a drop of sweat drips down his specs.

    Cracking entertainment.