Movie Review: Pathfinder

Title: Pathfinder
Released: 2007
Director: Marcus Nispel
Starring: Karl Urban, Clancy Brown, Moon Bloodgood
Rating: 2/5

Yet another movie to my list of Terrible Movies Karl Urban Has Been In. It’s sad, really, because he’s an amazing actor but somehow ends up in these terrible, terrible movies. This one is possibly one of the worst.

This movie is basically a Kiwi playing a Viking who was raised by Native Indians. Yes, you read that right. Karl Urban, the Kiwi King, is a Viking (he looks nothing like a Scandanavian) who is raised by Native Indians. Now, I give everyone a chance, I don’t really care about your skin colour or whatever (I’m one of the few people who don’t really care if Johnny Depp is Tonto, stop being so childish about it, it’s a movie for god’s sake), but even Karl Urban can’t pull this off. I’ve actually been informed since watching this that there is actually an original Scandanavian version of this movie and I assume it’s much, much better than this strange version of the tale (which I think is supposed to be true?).

If you watch the trailer, it’s so cliche and bad, and it’s exactly what to expect from the movie. It’s painful to watch, it’s so bad. A white horse leads an Indian lady to where an abandoned Viking ship is with a small child left on his own. That’s so, so original, I know. However, as bad as the film is, I had a lot of fun tweeting about how bad it was and ranting to my friends about it. The effects are hilariously terrible, and the imagery is a lot darker than most ‘Indian’ movies are. Whoever came up with this version needs a good talking to – one scene that had be staring, mouth open, was when the abandoned Viking boy (who is now an Indian) kills a bunch of invading Vikings by having them fall into some cold water. THEY ARE VIKINGS! A BIT OF COLD WATER ISN’T GOING TO BOTHER THEM! That’s like drying to scare a Scotsman by threatening to make him wear a skirt!

Really, this movie is just bad. So, so very bad. Please don’t watch this movie. Please. Just don’t.

Movie Review: And Soon the Darkness

Title: And Soon the Darkness
Released: 2010
Director: Marcos Efron
Starring: Karl Urban, Amber Heard, Odette Annable
Rating: 2/5

It’s rather sad, how bad my love for Karl Urban is. At this point I will watch anything with him in it, and that means I’m watching some terrible, terrible movies. And Soon the Darkness isn’t the worst he’s been in, but it was certainly not the best.

The movie starts off a little too much like Hostel for me – some young girls backpacking around the world, and that vibe sticks throughout the whole movie. The more I watch movies like this, however, the more I know I’m probably going to die on my next holiday.

The movie is so stereotypical it hurts: the girl trying to get over her asshole ex-boyfriend, going on holiday with her best friend, having a fight and then one of them gets kidnapped. It’s like the writers weren’t even trying, and to top it off, it feels like the movie takes forever to start, it’s just so slow and you’re just waiting for something to happen (and when it does, it’s so painfully obvious). Being stereotypical, there’s obviously the obligatory ‘almost rape’ scene which really bores me these days – we don’t need that in a movie, okay? If it’s not central to the plot then it’s not needed, we don’t need to see that or be left with that bitter taste in our mouths. And thene there’s the fact that whilst the movie seems to slow, other parts are so rushed it feels like ‘blink and you’ll miss it’.

Being billed as a Karl Urban movie is pretty dumb, considering he’s barely even in it, and when he is his character is so cliche (guy looking for kidnapped girlfriend and meets girl looking for kidnapped friend). His betrayal was so ovbious and it was as if Urban wasn’t even acting, and it’s sad to see such an amazing actor in such a stupid role.

The movie is just boring, in my opinion, and a waste of time. It’s like they makers saw Hostel and wanted to remake it but pretend it was completely different, which it isn’t really, it’s just not as gorey. I really wouldn’t advise anyone to watch this, not even if your a huge fan of any of the cast, because you’ll just be left disappointed.

Movie Review: Smokin’ Aces

Title: Smokin’ Aces
Released: 2006
Director: Joe Carnahan
Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Ray Liotta, Ben Affleck, Chris Pine
Rating: 5/5

After years of thinking I’d already seen this movie and hadn’t liked it, it turned out I’d actually never seen it at all. So of course I had to fix this, and I wasn’t disappointed.

The movie has a good strong cast that work really well with one another, which was actually the main pull for me when I finally sat down to watch it. It’s such a random selection of actors, but they all work so well together that you don’t even notice. I think that helps with the tone of the movie, because the whole thing is just one but sh*tload of weirdness. But even saying that, as well as being weird and comedic, the movie has just the right amount of seriousness to it that it balances out and works in perfect harmony.

Now, I’m not going to deny it, I loved Chris Pine in this movie, and if I’m completely honest, he’s the main reason I gave it a shot. I instantly fell in love with the Tremors. They are crazy, dirty, and psychotically violent – I thought they were fantastic. They don’t care about reward money, they just seem to like doing the task. They’re insane. (And let’s not forget Chris Pine’s Southern accent *swoons*)

Ryan Reynolds is another one who is just perfect in this film, however, I always feel so bad because it seems like he gets so typecast all the time. He’s either a cop of some kind or a love interest. He’s perfect in those roles, and he’s brilliant in this, but I just feel like he never gets the chance to shine like he should.

Although the movie can be a little confusing at times, it’s still enjoyable. If you pay attention then you’re not likely to lose track of all the different stories going on, and normally I don’t like movies with more than one storyline,  but I enjoyed trying to guess what was going on and how everything was connected. The Carnival of Killers was just brilliant – each group were so different to one another and it worked fantastically.

In actual fact, the only issue I had with this movie was the fact that Ben Affleck seems to get a top billing for it a lot, and he’s not actually in the movie for a long time. That, and the fact the ending does slightly take away from the story, but that didn’t bother me too much.

It’s a really enjoyable film and not my usual type to watch. You should check it out if you haven’t already.

Movie Review: Ghost Ship

Title: Ghost Ship
Released: 2002
Director: Steve Beck
Starring: Julianna Marguiles, Gabriel Byrne, Karl Urban
Rating: 3/5

Okay, so this isn’t the first time I’ve seen Ghost Ship. I remember it being released when I was about 16 or so and if I’m honest, I thought it was terrible. This was supposed to be a horror movie and I sat there laughing, insulted by this attempt at scaring me.

However, I’m grown since then, I’m much (much /o\) older and I can appreciate movies for what they are now. A ‘horror’ movie doesn’t need to be scary to be enjoyable. As a huge fan of horror movies, most of my favourites don’t scare me at all, but I love them so much.

So, upon rewatching Ghost Ship, I was able to enjoy it for what it is – a good ghost story. For it’s time, this movie has great effects, a great story, and a great cast. We see a young Emily Browning and a long haired Karl Urban. The movie was so much better when I watched it again, and it turned out to be just the kind of ghost story I love – a demon-like creature collecting souls, a haunted ship, some half decent characters (of course I had a soft spot for Munder), and the effects were really good considering the movie was made in 2002 (which, although it doesn’t seem that long ago to me, it was actually over 11 years ago!).

If you’re looking for a good wee ghost movie this haunting month and you haven’t seen this, give it a go – it’s actually rather funny and quite enjoyable when you sit down to it 🙂

Movie Review: Kick-Ass 2

Title: Kick-Ass 2
Released: August 2012
Director: Jeff Wadlow
Starring: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Chloe Grace-Mortez, Christopher Mintz-Plasse
Rating: 4/5

I love Kick-Ass. The first comic wasn’t the greatest, but the movie was fantstic. I’ve been looking forward to the sequel for so long, and it was worth it, despite what some people have been saying.

Mark Millar is a dick. It makes me sad that we’re from the same city, and it makes me even more sad that he’s such a sexist pig, yet he can write a character like Hit Girl so fantastically. So, as I said, whilst the first comic was enjoyable, the movie was better. It’s the same for KA2 – the movie is leagues better than the comic (heck, I couldn’t even finish the comic, I just wasn’t feeling it), but still stays quite true, if you get my meaning.

So far I’ve seen KA2 three times, which normally means I’ve enjoyed a movie. I’m not sure if I prefer to the first movie, but it sure as hell is just as enjoyable. A lot of people have been saying that the sequel is much more violent, but I’m not completely sure. If you haven’t seen Kick-Ass in a while then watch KA2, sure, it seems more violent, but if you watch them back to back, I’m not really sure that would be the case. After watching it, though, I don’t see what Jim Carrey’s beef was – his character was brilliant! He was all about justice and helping people, so I don’t really get why he distanced himself so much. Yes, it’s violent, but I’ve seen much, much worse.

The acting in this movie is superb; it’s like all of the actors went away and just got even better, especially Chloe Mortez. Wow, that girl just blows me away. The whole cast are brilliant, and they just work together so perfectly.

Now, there’s one scene that everyone always feels the need to address, and I do to: the ‘rape scene’. Now, in the comic, it happens. It’s horrible, it happens, and we hate it. In the movie, we were told they weren’t going ahead with it because of the reaction of the fans. So, of course when that scene appears I was staring at my friend and shaking my head, because no, we don’t need that. However, the movie was saved by NOT having a rape scene, and by actually making it somewhat comical, which was a nice save if you ask me. I was sitting there feeling completely uncomfortable and then the whole hall was in hysterics – well done, Wadlow. Well done.

Over all, I think the movie is brilliant. I can understand people having issue with the violence, but if you enjoyed the first movie I don’t see why you would have any problem with this movie. It’s funny, heart warming at times, and just good fun.

Movie Review: The Chronicles of Riddick

Title: The Chronicles of Riddick
Released: 2004
Director: David Twohy
Starring: Vin Diesel, Karl Urban, Thandie Newton
Rating: 2/5

I’m not a huge Vin Diesel fan, nor did I enjoy Pitch Black at all. However, I am a huge Karl Urban fan, and with Riddick about to be released in cinemas, I thought I should give this movie a chance – plus, I can’t complain about a movie if I haven’t seen it (look at all you Twilight haters that have never watched the movie or read the book!).

This movie just didn’t do anything for me. I found it boring, a little cheesy, and just…boring. Vin Diesel’s acting just seemed so flat, though I will say some of his one liners had me giggling. Thandie Newton as Dame Vaako just pissed me off, and in my honest opinion, the only good thing about this movie was Karl Urban in eyeliner.

The CGI was pretty bad, and I’m not going to excuse it for the year it was released – Lord of the Rings came out before it and that looks a lot more believable than these ‘monsters’. And the change in ‘Jack”s character was a bit extreme, but that’s just my opinion.

In the end, I didn’t like this film at all, and it’s put me off going to see Riddick when it’s released next week. I probably will, because I’ll go see anything with Karl Urban, but let’s face it, he’s the only good thing about it.

Movie Review: Grown Ups 2

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Title: Grown Ups 2
Released: Summer 2013
Director: Dennis Dugan
Starring: Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade
Rating: 4/5

Despite what many critics and movie goers are saying about Adam Sandler’s latest outing, I found Grown Ups 2 to be a hilarious barrel of laughs and one of the most fun movies i have seen the cinema this year so far.

Yes, it’s silly, and yes, it’s daft, but it’s supposed to be. That is the main point of the movie – it’s FUN. The jokes are stupid and they hit the spot. At one point I found myself bent over being I couldn’t stop laughing.

The characters, whilst a little unrealistic, are lovable and amusing. There are also a few delightful cameos from an array of stars, ranging from some familiar Disney faces to the one and only Stone Cold Steve Austin (which was amusing as hell – watching him cower from Adam Sandler will never not make me laugh).

In the end, if you enjoy stupid, heartwarming comedy, you really should give with movie a go. You don’t go to see comedies for the amazing writing or effects – you go to laugh, and that is exactly what this film delivers. It’s not often that I can’t wait to view a comedy a second time, and I’m already planning my second trip!

Movie Review: Percy Jackson & the Sea of Monsters

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Title: Percy Jackson & the Sea of Monsters
Director: Thor Freudenthal
Starring: Logan Lerman, Alexandra Daddario, Douglas Smith, Brandon T. Jackson
Rating: 4/5

WARNING: Spoilers ahead

I am a huge fan of Rick Riorden’s Percy Jackson series, so I have been waiting for years for a sequel to The Lightening Thief, and when I first saw the trailer for SoM, I won’t lie, I felt a little nervous. Whilst the effects and such were pretty awesome, I wasn’t too sure how the characters would be portrayed this time ‘round, especially with the introduction of some new character – characters that I loved (or hated, in some cases) in the books.

However, after seeing the movie I am happy to say I was not let down. This book series is right up there with Harry Potter for me, so I feel a little protective of it and it’s character. Again, Logan Lerman blew me away with his portrayal of Percy, and I think he just continues to prove he was the right choice. Alexandra Daddario has improved her performance of Annabeth so much (which almost makes up for her atrocious appearance in Texas Chainsaw 3D – almost, I said) and Brandon T. Jackson is forever so perfect as Grover – in fact, as much as I love the books, I the movie version of Grover is maybe a little better, or maybe he just makes the character seem even better. Douglas Smith entering the ring as Tyson…okay, I was cynical at first, mostly because of the trailer. Tyson is my precious baby, okay? In the books I just want to baby him, and by the way he looks in the trailer, he looks like a teenage stoner, not a slightly dumb Cyclops who is actually smarter than you think. However, Smith is brilliant and Tyson won my heart all over again.

Another thing that should be noted in terms of actors, Leven Rambin as Clarisse…okay, she’s good. My issue is that she is a horrible character for the majority of the books. I hate her, okay? I don’t care if she’s a strong female character, she is a horrible person and I don’t like her. However, she’s likeable and slightly redeeming in the movie, and I’m not sure if I like that or not?

The supporting cast was brilliant, and I think Stanley Tucci as Mr. D was brilliant, and Anthony Head taking up the part of Chiron was a smart choice. Oh! And Nathan Fillion as Hermes was perfect – I think he fits exactly what I imagined when I read the books for the first time.

Okay, enough flailing over the actors! The movie itself is a kids action movie that I feel can reach out to anyone. When it comes down to mythology they follow it to the core, even if it is modernised (the three Fates driving a taxi cab called the Chariot of Damnation? Gold, okay, gold). Hermes running UPS is excellent, and the Oracle would be a little frightening to children in 3D, if you ask me.

The only issues I truly have with the movie is the parts of the book that were missed out – the Sirens, for example, and the use of the Winds. However, I can overlook these things because I think the movie makes up for them enough. I was also a little annoyed by Tyson’s entry to the story, but in retrospect it works a bit better than the book (at least on the screen).

The one liners are brilliant, and I am so glad they kept Grover cross-dressing and pretending to be a Cyclops. The relationship between Percy and Tyson is heart warming – in the book you get a little pissy with Percy because he’s just so cold and unwelcoming to this brother he doesn’t want, but in the movie it’s more like he just doesn’t know what to do, and it isn’t until Tyson proves how much he loves his brother that Percy realised, wow, he has a brother and he loves him. (Also, the end scene with Percy taking off Tyson’s glasses, wanting him to be proud of who he is – I had to hold back the tears.) The relationship between Percy and Annabeth is starting to blossom too, and I like that they aren’t just making it OMG THESE TWO NEED TO GET TOGETHER, it’s more, hey, they would be a cute couple (which Hermes points out). It makes me happy to see a kids/young adult movie that doesn’t have two of the main characters dive into a relationship – Percy and Annabeth are best friends for years before they realise how they feel, and I like that.

In the end, I loved this movie, okay? It’s made me want to reread the books and I plan on watching the first movie again tonight. They’re keeping these characters I love alive, and I better get the whole god damn series (if I’m not getting Darren Shan, I better get Percy Jackson, okay?)

So go see this. Don’t listen to the critics and give it a chance, okay? If you enjoyed the first movie you will love this one.