Jason Bourne (2016) – 5/10 action thriller movie review

Jason Bourne (2016)

Bourne has been living off-the-grid but Nicky Parsons learns of another ethically dubious black op training program and contacts Bourne. What she doesn’t know is that Bourne has been replaced with an indestructible cyborg replica.


Morose and completely unconvincing action thriller that sees an indestructible Jason Bourne do impossible things for next to no reason while Tommy Lee Jones scowls from behind a Tommy Lee Jones scrotum mask that has been left out in the sun for a hundred years. If they had revealed that his head had been a walnut all along, it would have been more believable than the drek the filmmakers want us to go along with here. Now, a lot of the action is alright, undoubtedly ambitious (a bike chase through a riot is incredibly impressive logistically) and some of it is genuinely thrilling but it’s not enough to distract from the uninvolving characters and story. I think this franchise would have been better off leaving the trilogy and Treadstone arc alone and continued as an A-Team, Knight Rider or Incredible Hulk thing where Bourne swans into a town or someone’s life with a problem and helps eliminate it before moving on. Instead, this is the Crystal Skulls of the Bourne franchise that we’ll probably try and just overlook.

Content Summary

This movie contains extreme violence, gory and unpleasant scenes

Classified 12A by BBFC. Persons under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult.

Cast / crew

Director, Producer and Writer: Paul Greengrass
Editor, Executive Producer and Writer: Christopher Rouse
Characters Creator: Robert Ludlum
Jason Bourne / David Webb: Matt Damon
Actor and Producer: Matt Damon
Tommy Lee Jones: CIA Director Robert Dewey
Alicia Vikander: Heather Lee
Vincent Cassel: Asset
Julia Stiles: Nicky Parsons
Riz Ahmed: Aaron Kalloor
Producer: Frank Marshall
Producer: Gregory Goodman
Producer: Ben Smith
Producer: Jeffrey M. Weiner

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) – 5/10 superhero action movie review

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)

When the Superman / Zod battle causes his Metropolis tower to collapse, Bruce Wayne knows that, even though Superman is clearly benevolent, Batman needs to kill him because Superman might go bad one day. Meanwhile, the US Government give Lex Luthor the keys to the crashed Kryptonian spaceship in return for him crafting a silver bullet to keep Superman in check but then they don’t let him import the kryptonite to make the bullet but continue to let him play on the spaceship even though that was payment for something they won’t let him do.


We should seriously consider the possibility that Zack Snyder is incapable of telling a story via the medium of film which, for a film director, might be expected to be a problem. Instead of conversations, he has people speaking words in close proximity to other people and occasionally changes the background if you squint and look over people’s shoulders. Ben Affleck’s Batman is striking, if dumb. Henry Cavill is fine as Superman and gets a couple of useful super-moments when the Batmobile bounces off him and when he catches a giant bullet. This movie had potential and Snyder does allocate enough time to story and character and motivation but doesn’t make any of it stick. Why does Batman want to kill Superman? Why does Lex Luthor want Superman dead? I suspect Snyder has shot enough footage to make a really good movie but he hasn’t guided it successfully through the editing process. And, to be honest, I don’t think he can. The Ultimate Edition is just similarly dumb for an imperceptible extra half-hour.

Content Summary

This movie contains bad language, extreme violence, non-sexual nudity

Classified 12A by BBFC. Persons under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult.

Cast / crew

Director: Zack Snyder
Superman / Clark Kent / Kal-El: Henry Cavill
Batman / Bruce Wayne: Ben Affleck
Wonder Woman / Diane Prince: Gal Gadot

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013) – 5/10 adventure romance movie review

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Cast / crew
Producer: Samuel Goldwyn, Jr.
Producer: John Goldwyn
Actor and Producer Greenland Air Passenger: Stuart Cornfeld
Kristen Wiig: Cheryl Melhoff
Shirley MacLaine: Edna Mitty
Adam Scott: Ted Hendricks
Kathryn Hahn: Odessa Mitty
Patton Oswalt: Todd Maher
Adrian Martinez: Hernando
Ólafur Darri Ólafsson: Helicopter Pilot
Sean Penn: Sean O’Connell
Actor, Director and Producer: Ben Stiller
Walter Mitty: Ben Stiller
Screen Story and Screenplay Writer: Steven Conrad
Short Story Writer: James Thurber

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013)

Walter Mitty is prone to zoning out and imagining a more exciting life for himself and his romantic crush, coworker Cheryl Melhoff. When he needs to find a lost photo negative for the cover of Life magazine, instead of looking in the most obvious place, he embarks on a crazy real-life adventure.


It feels mean to give a virtually non-violent, positive, good-natured movie an average score but it never really engages the viewer beyond the most perfunctory level. Mitty’s flights of fantasy are somewhat bewildering and the real adventure has no impact; it looks less impressive than it should given the scenarios and locations and feels flat. Additionally, the plot and most of the events feel very unconvincing; whether this is by design or not (i.e., if the majority of the movie is a flight of fantasy) isn’t really the point as it is still important to suspend the audience’s disbelief. The best flight of fantasy, and probably strongest moment, is one where Kristen Wiig appears and sings a song and Ben Stiller gets on a real helicopter; no special effects, no explosions, no frenetic action editing.

This movie contains bad language, strong violence

Classified PG by BBFC. Parental Guidance.

Thor: The Dark World (2013) – 5/10 Marvel superhero action movie review

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Cast / crew
Director: Alan Taylor
Screenplay Writer: Christopher L. Yost
Screenplay Writer: Christopher Markus
Screenplay Writer: Stephen McFeely
Story Writer: Don Payne
Story Writer: Robert Rodat
Producer: Kevin Feige
Comic Book Writer, Executive Producer, and Himself: Stan Lee
Thor: Chris Hemsworth
Natalie Portman: Jane Foster
Loki: Tom Hiddleston
Stellan Skarsgård: Eric Selvig
Heimdall: Idris Elba
Christopher Eccleston: Malekith
Adewale Akinnouye-Agbaje: Algrim/Kurse
Kat Dennings: Darcy Lewis
Ray Stevenson: Volstagg
Zachary Levi: Fandral
Tadanobu Asano: Hogun
Sif: Jaimie Alexander
Rene Russo:
Odin: Anthony Hopkins
In Memory of: Don Payne
Writer (Original Comic Book): Larry Lieber
Writer (Original Comic Book): Jack Kirby
Character Creator Malekith: Walt Simonson

Thor: The Dark World (2013)

Thor’s been busy restoring peace throughout the universe but his heart still belongs to Dr. Jane Foster. She is currently applying her massive intellect to touching clearly alien artefacts that are clearly really, well, toxic at best. So, of course, she gets possessed by the Aether, this nasty black smoke that will be used by Malekith, a dark elf, to end the universe. Which makes no sense.


Adequate superhero sequel which is at it’s best when it’s trying to be fun (best moment of the film is SPOILER Thor hanging his hammer on a coat hook) and somewhat ineffective when it’s trying to be romantic, awesome or important. Or tell a coherent story with well-defined characters. Therefore, big sacrifices mean nothing, you’re not invested in shaky alliances and the baddie exists just to get super-punched for the last ten minutes so that the film can be over. There’s no peril, no build-up, no shape to the movie or any individual sequence. However, Chris Hemsworth remains charismatic and awesome as Thor and Tom Hiddleston is terrific.

This movie contains extreme fantasy violence, bad language, sensuality, nudity

Classified 12A by BBFC. Persons under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult.


Mars Needs Moms (2011) – 5/10 unsettlingly animated science-fiction action adventure movie review

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Cast / crew
Director and Screenplay Writer: Simon Wells
Screenplay Writer: Wendy Wells
Writer (Original Book): Berkeley Breathed
Producer: Robert Zemeckis
Producer: Jack Rapke
Producer: Steve Starkey
Producer: Steven Boyd
Seth Green: Milo
Dan Fogler: Gribble
Elisabeth Harnois: Ki
Mindy Sterling: Supervisor
Kevin Cahoon: Wingnut
Joan Cusack: Mom
Seth Dusky: Milo’s Voice

Mars Needs Moms (2011)

Milo’s Mom is kidnapped by Martians. Fortunately, he wound on board their spaceship but when he gets to Mars, help comes from an unexpected source.


Image Mover Digital’s performance capture technology is again wasted (by themselves) under ugly and unnerving design choices, a cripplingly unconvincing story with the promise of interspecies sex aka bestiality, – what is this, a DreamWorks animation? – an unearned emotional climax, problems solved by violent revolution, an ‘I didn’t learn anything’ sting, and spectacular racism (the idiot men Martians look like every cliché of South American, Native American and African and everyone who doesn’t speak English is a bad guy or treated like an idiot). While there are a number of poor design decisions, the most glaring was making Milo, a child, look and move like Seth Green, an adult. It’s wrong on a subconscious level that coupled with the ugly and off-putting almost but not-at-all photo-realistic human character design puts you right off proceedings from the start. Fortunately, it looks like this movie signaled the death of ImageMovers’ unsettling creative disasters.

This movie contains freaky adult face on a child, violence, distressing scene

Classified PG by BBFC. Parental Guidance.

Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) – 5/10 superhero action fantasy movie review

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Cast / crew
Actor, Director and Writer Maskless Sakaaran: James Gunn
Peter Quill / Starlord: Chris Pratt
Gamora: Zoë Saldana
Drax The Destroyer: Dave Bautista
Groot: Vin Diesel
Rocket Raccoon: Bradley Cooper
Ronan The Accuser: Lee Pace
Michael Rooker: Yondu Udonta
Karen Gillan: Nebula
Djimon Hounsou: Korath
John C. Reilly: Corpsman Dey
Glenn Close: Nova Prime
The Collector: Benicio Del Toro
Producer: Kevin Feige
Writer: Nicole Perlman
Comic Book Writer: Dan Abnett
Comic Book Writer: Andy Lanning
Character Creator Rocket Raccoon: Bill Mantlo
Character Creator Rocket Raccoon: Keith Giffen
Character Creator Drax the Destroyer, Gamora and Thanos: Jim Starlin
Character Creator Star-Lord: Steve Englehart
Character Creator Star-Lord: Steve Gan

Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

Peter Quill, better known to himself as Starlord, has stolen an ancient orb but it quickly transpires that he isn’t the only one after it. Anyway, long story short, he ends up in prison but as he warily teams up Gamora, Drax, Groot and Rocket to escape, each discover that this orb has greater universal importance that they thought and that their begrudging friendship may be the only thing more powerful.


Guardians of the Galaxy enthusiastic contemporary reception is notably inflated. Thanks to poor action editing and ostentatiously dull villains (Ronan’s a Snoozer), the movie is largely forgettable. The extreme violence should also dampen how much fun you find things; one scene played for a mechanical laugh has the explicit sound effects of several enemies having all their bones broken repeatedly. That said, it is fun at times and there are chuckles to be had. The real surprise is the attempt at character development: each of the Guardians behaves differently at the end than they do at the beginning. For some, the change occurs because they were hiding their true nature at the start; for others, the enforced or enticed team-up leads to camaraderie. It’s sketchy and shallow but it’s unmissably there and highly welcome. I also like the colour, interior and design of Starlord’s spaceship, Chris Pratt is good and Zoe Saldana is clearly working her way up to being allowed to play a white person.

This movie contains bad language, adult dialogue, extended extreme violence, extreme fantasy violence

Classified 12A by BBFC. Persons under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult.

Godzilla: Final Wars aka Gojira: Fainaru uôzu (2004) – 5/10 monster action movie review

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Cast / crew
Producer: Shogo Tomiyama
Screenplay Writer: Wataru Mimura
Screenplay Writer: Isao Kiriyama
Special Effects: Eiichi Asada
Masahiro Matsuoka: Earth Defense Force Soldier Shin’ichi Ôzaki
Rei Kikukawa: UN Molecular Biologist Miyuki Otonashi
Don Frye: Douglas Gordon
Maki Mizuno: Newscaster Anna Otonashi
Kazuki Kitamura: The Controller of Planet X
Kosugi Kane Takeshi: M-Facility Soldier Katsunori Kazama
Shigeru Izumiya: Samon Taguchi
Masatoh Eve: Xilian General
Akira Takarada: UN Secretary General Naotarô Daigo
Director: Ryuhei Kitamura

Godzilla: Final Wars aka Gojira: Fainaru uôzu (2004)

After sealing Godzilla in the South Pole, the Earth Defence Force presumes that the planet is safe from monsters at last. Suddenly, all across the planet in cities with recognisable landmarks, monsters start appearing and wreaking havoc and salvation will come from a completely unexpected source but may have a heavy price.


The Godzilla action is actually rather good fun, but there’s a hour of not-a-lot to get there and weak humanoid villain X to bafflingly deal with once we do. Still, if you’re here for the monster mashing, you certainly get your money’s worth as Godzilla breathes his way through a planetful of monsters in an entertaining and spectacular manner. Roland Emmerich’s Godzilla, now just plain Zilla, is repurposed as a villain monster and gets disparagingly dispatched with a real-Godzilla tail flip and a dismissive one-liner. Weirdly, half of the movie is in English. Special mention for a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it detail where midget monster Minilla is wearing a seatbelt in the truck which, after recovering from my 28 g-force double-take, I think is enough to stick another star on.

This movie contains graphic, gory violence, fantasy monster violence, extreme humanoid violence

Basil: The Great Mouse Detective (1986) – 5/10 Disney animated crime detective movie review

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Cast / crew
Vincent Price: Professor Ratigan
Barrie Ingham: Basil
Val Bettin: Dawson
Susanne Pollatschek: Olivia
Candy Candido: Fidget
Diana Chesney: Mrs. Judson
Eve Brenner: The Mouse Queen
Alan Young: Flaversham
Music: Henry Mancini
Director, Producer and Story Adaptor Based on the “Basil of Baker Street” book series by Eve Titus and Paul Galdone: Burny Mattinson
Director and Story Adaptor Based on the “Basil of Baker Street” book series by Eve Titus and Paul Galdone: John Musker
Director and Story Adaptor Based on the “Basil of Baker Street” book series by Eve Titus and Paul Galdone: David Michener
Director and Story Adaptor Based on the “Basil of Baker Street” book series by Eve Titus and Paul Galdone: Ron Clements
Story Adaptor Based on the “Basil of Baker Street” book series by Eve Titus and Paul Galdone: Pete Young
Story Adaptor Based on the “Basil of Baker Street” book series by Eve Titus and Paul Galdone: Vance Gerry
Story Adaptor Based on the “Basil of Baker Street” book series by Eve Titus and Paul Galdone: Steve Hulett
Story Adaptor Based on the “Basil of Baker Street” book series by Eve Titus and Paul Galdone: Bruce M. Morris
Character Animator and Story Adaptor Based on the “Basil of Baker Street” book series by Eve Titus and Paul Galdone: Matthew O’Callaghan
Story Adaptor Based on the “Basil of Baker Street” book series by Eve Titus and Paul Galdone: Melvin Shaw
Original Book Series Writer Basil of Baker Street: Eve Titus
Original Book Series Writer Basil of Baker Street: Paul Galdone
Supervising Animator: Mark Henn
Supervising Animator: Glen Keane
Supervising Animator: Rob Minkoff
Supervising Animator: Hendel Butoy
Animation Consultant: Eric Larson

Basil: The Great Mouse Detective (1986)

Basil takes on the case of Olivia Flaversham whose toymaker father has been kidnapped by archenemy Ratigan.


Minor Disney animation which makes up for some slow moving and uninteresting segments with a decent climax inside Big Ben and a couple of good songs ("Let Me Be Good to You" and "Goodbye, So Soon"). It’s also probably the only animated Disney movie where the hero smokes and a character offers to take off all her clothes for you. The Big Ben sequence also boasts Disney’s first blending of CGI with character animation; Ratigan’s run through the gears of Big Ben’s clock mechanisms remains superb to this day. Apart from this final section, though, the animation is merely adequate. Disney animations are generally famed for their smoothness, fluidity and convincing weight and movement. It certainly looks like corners were cut in the frame rate, especially with the Queen automaton.

This movie contains violence

Classified U by BBFC. Universal: Suitable for All.

Wrath of the Titans (2012) – 5/10 fantasy action movie review

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Cast / crew
Director: Jonathan Liebesman
Screenplay and Story Writer Based on characters created by Beverley Cross: Dan Mazeau
Screenplay and Story Writer Based on characters created by Beverley Cross: David Leslie Johnson
Story Writer Based on characters created by Beverley Cross: Greg Berlanti
Producer: Basil Iwanyk
Producer: Polly Johnsen
Perseus: Sam Worthington
Rosamund Pike: Andromeda
Hephaestus: Bill Nighy
Ares: Edgar Ramirez
Toby Kebbell: Agenor
Poseidon: Danny Huston
Sinéad Cusack aka Sinead Cusack: Clea
John Bell: Helius
Hades: Ralph Fiennes
Zeus: Liam Neeson
Characters Creator: Beverley Cross

Wrath of the Titans (2012)

Now ruling over the underworld under the name Hades, Goeth, still disappointed over being killed in Schindler’s List, vows vengeance on Schindler. Schindler has acquired a beard called Zeus – sometimes standing really close behind it, sometimes even glueing it on – and travels incognito, none knowing his true identity, but Hades will not be denied and will unleash a Titan, the Titan, to sate his hatred.


This second sequel to Schindler’s List is smart enough not to pompously outstay its welcome. The monster special effects are truly spectacular but, once more, Hollywood’s utter inability to produce action sequences that follow any kind of tactics, character or story undermines things. You’ll never have any idea why or how scenes are resolved; they simply are brought to their end because their allotted time slot is up. The action is thrilling, however, and, as I mentioned, really spectacular, and that is enough to make this an adequate action movie that is much better than the first one.

This movie contains extreme violence, unpleasant scenes, sensuality

Classified 12A by BBFC. Persons under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult.


Split Second (1953) – 5/10 hostage atomic thriller movie review

Cast / crew
Stephen McNally: Sam Hurley
Alexis Smith: Kay Garven
Jan Sterling: Dorothy “Dottie” Vale
Keith Andes: Larry Fleming
Arthur Hunnicutt: Asa Tremaine
Screenplay Writer: William Bowers
Screenplay and Story Writer: Irving Wallace
Story Writer: Chester Erskine
Producer: Edmund Grainger
Director: Dick Powell

Split Second (1953)

An escaped prisoner and his injured friend take a bunch of people hostage and wait for a doctor inside the blast radius of an atomic test scheduled for the following morning.


Ordinary escaped-prisoner hostage drama in a non-ordinary setting. Stephen McNally impresses as a brutal thug and it’s interesting to see Alexis Smith not hold back as the selfish adulteress who will do anything to save herself. The baddies get a great demise (blasted by a atomic blast wave, spun through the air like a spin dryer then incinerated, just to make sure) but the plot contrivance to make it happen is a bit of a groaner (according to the reporter, setting off atomic explosions an hour earlier than announced is a thing they do; apparently it’s fine as long as they give you fifteen minutes warning).

This movie contains strong violence

Hugo (2011) – 5/10 adventure movie review

Cast / crew
Director and Producer: Martin Scorsese
Writer: John Logan
Writer (Book) “The Invention of Hugo Cabret”: Brian Selznick
Producer: Graham King
Producer: Tim Headington
Producer: Johnny Depp
Ben Kingsley: George Méliès
Sacha Baron Cohen: Station Inspector
Asa Butterfield: Hugo Chabret
Chloë Grace Moretz aka Chloe Moretz: Isabelle
Ray Winstone: Uncle Claude
Emily Mortimer: Lisette
Christopher Lee: Monsieur Labisse
Jude Law: Hugo’s Father

Hugo (2011)

“This might be an adventure.” A orphan tries to repair an automaton which is his only connection to his Father but it will upset his precariously balanced existence.


Another flat Scorsese movie that glides from start to finish and features a great central performance from Asa Butterfield but never connects emotionally and is too full of actors waving at their mums and saying ‘Look! I’m in a Scorsese movie.’ (Butterfield and Jude Law excepted.) There is a horrendous lack of magic when the movie is trying to soar, the adventure neglects to suspend your disbelief and the comedy and romance are painfully clunky; Scorsese simply does not have the light touch, the finesse needed for whimsy and humour. In the making of, producer Graham King says ‘who better to do this than Martin Scorsese?’ Every frame of every second of this movie you’re thinking: Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Hayao Miyazaki, Stephen Spielberg maybe Woody Allen; categorically, emphatically not endlessly revered "greatest director ever" "master" Martin Scorsese.

This movie contains mild peril, mild unpleasant scene

Classified U by BBFC. Universal: Suitable for All.

Safe House (2012) – 5/10 conspiracy thriller movie review

Cast / crew
Actor and Executive Producer Tobin Frost: Denzel Washington
Ryan Reynolds: Matt Weston
Vera Farmiga: Catherine Linklater
Brendan Gleeson: David Barlow
Sam Shepard: Harlan Whitford
Ruben Blades: Carlos Villar
Nora Arnezeder: Ana Moreau
Robert Patrick: Daniel Keefer
Producer: Scott Stuber
Writer: David Guggenheim
Director: Daniel Espinosa

Safe House (2012)

Matt Weston is a frustrated CIA safehouse-sitter, waiting for promotion to a more active role. One night, his safehouse is called into action to host US traitor Tobin Frost but shortly after he and his escort arrives, a dozen well-armed men turn up and get to shooting. Which is against protocol.


Resolutely half-hearted conspiracy thriller which consistently treats the audience with disdain by lumping ostentatiously unconvincing situations and tiresome plot ‘twists’ onto the screen without wit, excitement, humanity or finesse. Oddly, Ryan Reynolds weeps during the entire film; seriously, it is possible that there is not a scene where he isn’t welling up. He’s clearly doing this instead of acting or being charismatic but it’s still bizarre. While the film is watchable and just about keeps the attention, it’s yet another Hollywood action film where the action is only occasionally captured on film. There used to be a time when you could come out of a movie and name the action scene: “you remember the scene where…” Sadly, it seems those days are long past.

This movie contains A single sexual swear word in the movie, a sexual swear word in lyrics, adult dialogue, mild nudity, strong, gory violence

Classified 15 by BBFC. Suitable only for persons of 15 years and over.

Hooper (1978) – 5/10 action comedy movie review

Cast / crew
Actor and Producer Sonny Hooper: Burt Reynolds
Executive Producer: Lawrence Gordon
Jan-Michael Vincent: Ski
Sally Field: Gwen
Brian Keith: Jocko
John Marley: Max Berns
Robert Klein: Roger Deal
Writer (Screenplay): Thomas Rickman
Writer (Screenplay): Bill Kerby
Writer (Story): Walt Green
Writer (Story): Walter S. Herndon
Producer: Hank Moonjean
Director: Hal Needham

Hooper (1978)

Ageing stuntman Hooper is enticed to end his career with one last huge stunt, a 328 foot jump over an exploded bridge in a rocket car. Not only will this stunt end his career but he is very real danger of it ending his life.


Hooper is a bizarrely unconvincing tale of a stuntman realising retirement is looming and wanting to go out on one last big stunt. It’s reasonable enough fun and was popular at the time but the stuntwork is poorly filmed with some atrocious stunt double work, no consideration given to the suspenseful and interesting preparation and no indication that stunts are filmed a tiny piece at a time and their production is no less dramatic for it. Instead, we get a final stunt sequence where a million stunts are all strung together impactlessly and the finalé rocket car stunt looks like a model. This flat incompetence is a trademark of stunt coordinator turned director Hal Needham. There is but a single stunt that is impressively filmed – our hero car driving under a collapsing chimney stack – the danger and skill is captured perfectly but it’s the only time it happens.

This movie contains bad language, strong adult dialogue and violence.

Prometheus (2012) – 5/10 science fiction horror movie review

Cast / crew
Director and Producer: Ridley Scott
Noomi Rapace: Elizabeth Shaw
Michael Fassbender: David
Guy Pearce: Peter Weyland
Idris Elba: Janek
Logan Marshall-Green: Charlie Holloway
Charlize Theron: Meredith Vickers
Writer and Executive Producer: Damon Lindelof
Producer: David Giler
Producer: Walter Hill
Writer: Jon Spaihts
Original Design Elements: H.R. Giger

Prometheus (2012)

2093: Scientific Exploratory Vessel Prometheus arrives at planet LV 223 following clues found in the writings of ancient civilisations picturing giant beings pointing to a universally unique constellation. They, luckily, fly over a deserted installation and stop to investigate. They’ll probably wish they hadn’t.


Disappointing science-fiction horror made by intelligent people producing stupid work about intelligent people doing endlessly stupid things. Yeah, it looks great, is technically proficient, skilfully showcases another world and features some good horror scenes but everything that occurs is the stupidest thing that could possibly have occurred. If the characters had pulled out custard pies and starting hurling them at each other, the film would have been at a higher intellectual level. And yet there is interesting stuff in here; fascinating and worthwhile questions. What if you met your creator and they disappointed you? What if a creator’s work disappointed you? Does a creator have the right to destroy his creation? Does a woman have the right to abort a life inside her? Was that really Guy Pearce under that awful old age make-up? Why was it Guy Pearce? Why on earth was it Guy Pearce?

This movie contains graphic violence, gory and extremely unpleasant scenes and sexuality.

Classified 15 by BBFC. Suitable only for persons of 15 years and over.

Despicable Me (2010) – 5/10 super-villain action comedy CG animated movie review

Cast / crew
Producer: Christopher Meledandri
Steve Carell: Gru
Jason Segel: Vector
Russell Brand: Dr Nefario
Kristen Wiig: Miss Hattie
Miranda Cosgrove: Margo
Will Arnett: Mr. Perkins
Julie Andrews: Gru’s Mom
Director: Chris Renaud
Director: Pierre Coffin
Producer: Janet Healy
Producer: John David Cohen
Writer (Screenplay): Cinco Paul
Writer (Screenplay): Ken Daurio
Writer (Original Story): Sergio Pablos
Executive Producer: Sergio Pablos
Animation Director: Lionel Gallat
Animation Supervisor: Laurent de la Chapelle
Supervising Animator: Pierre Avon
Supervising Animator: Nicolas Bauduin
Supervising Animator: Barthélémy Boirot
Supervising Animator: Luc Degardin
Supervising Animator: Jean Hemez
Supervising Animator: Pierre Leduc
Supervising Animator: Elisabeth Patte
Supervising Animator: Julien Soret
Pierre Coffin: Tim the Minion, Bob the Minion, Mark the Minion, Phil the Minion, Stuart the Minion
Chris Renaud: Dave the Minion
Ken Daurio: Egyptian Guard

Despicable Me (2010)

Super-villain Gru is as shocked as anyone when someone steals one of the pyramids in the crime of the century. In order to establish his superiority he needs an even more brilliantly villainous plan: to steal the moon.


Vaguely watchable but uncaptivating animated super-villain action comedy that pulled but a single laugh from me during the entire running time and didn’t connect emotionally despite, or perhaps because, of its blatantly manipulative efforts. As is common among the CG animated productions, some of the design work is terrific (Gru looks great and the kids are textbook cute) but characters are over-animated. Techniques that work well in 2D cell animation (squash and stretch, very fast pose changes) don’t really work with many 3D characters, especially humans. They need to be animated far more subtly and to be closer to reality in motion and ability. On top of an unengaging story (super-violence engenders trust and love) and average animation, Despicable Me builds to an atrociously dull and drawn out closing credit sequence that only works in 3D and leaves you wearily pining for the next Pixar movie.

This movie contains mild bad language and violence.

Classified U by BBFC. Universal: Suitable for All.

Patlabor: The Mobile Police (1989) – 5/10 mecha police anime movie review

Cast / crew
Writer (Original Concept): Yuuki Masami
Writer (Screenplay): Kazunori Ito
Producer: Shin Unozawa
Producer: Taro Maki
Producer: Makoto Kubo
Director: Mamoru Oshii

Patlabor: Mobile Police, The

Patlabor: Movie, The (1989)

Labor’s – giant mechanical exoskeletons – are in widespread use, especially in the construction industry making skyscrapers and artificial islands. However, recently, some Labor’s have been malfunctioning without any obvious reason but a young detective discovers that every one of them were running the same new Hyper Operating System from a single company.


A plot that isn’t quite intriguing and that is never sufficiently explained is exposed by a lack of interesting characters, technology or action. Why the villain kills himself at the beginning is never made clear and quite how the heroes dismantling the Ark during the climax makes sense is also beyond me (the villain was trying to destroy the Ark, we’ll stop him by destroying it ourselves, hah!). Oshii directs with his usual flat style but the trademark commendable time he takes with his characters and plot, as usual, don’t amount to anything.

This movie contains bad language and mild mecha violence.

Classified PG by BBFC. Parental Guidance.

Journey to the Center of the Earth (2007) – 5/10 fantasy adventure movie review

Cast / crew
Director: Eric Brevig
Writer (Screenplay): Michael Weiss
Writer (Screenplay): Jennifer Flackett
Writer (Screenplay): Mark Levin
Producer: Charlotte Huggins
Producer: Beau Flynn
Brendan Fraser: Trevor Anderson
Josh Hutcherson: Sean Anderson
Anita Briem: Hannah Ásgeirsson
Seth Meyers: Professor Alan Kitzens

Journey to the Center of the Earth (2007)

Professor Trevor Anderson has seen these extemely rare seismic readings before: they occurred just before his brother set off on a Jules Verne-inspired trip from which he never returned. Seeking to find out what happened to him, Anderson travels to Iceland, taking nephew Sean with him, and with the help of attractive mountain guide Hannah, hikes to the seismic sensor’s location. When they arrive, a peculiar electrical storm forces them into a cave which collapses behind them. While looking for a way out, the trio will find much much more.


Competent, pacy time-passer but there’s just enough clumsiness to keep you from getting truly involved. Perhaps surprisingly, given the trailers, none of that is from Brendan Fraser here on the downslope of his brief popularity. He’s still in reasonable shape and is fine throughout. While there are some nice vistas, visual effects are not top drawer and undermine some scenes. More problematic is leaps of logic (a human outrunning a dinosaur, outrunning a shattering floor, nobody getting cooked by sitting in volcanic steam vents) and some of the bonding moments in the script. Particularly icky is the thirteen-year-old Sean calling dibs on an adult woman, ie., I’d like to embark on a serious and / or sexual relationship with her and ensure she goes to jail for statutory rape. Weirdly, if they’d made the character the same age as actor Josh Hutcherson, fifteen-years-old, it would have been legal (they’re in Iceland). I’m beginning to think clumsy isn’t the right word now.

This movie contains peril.

Classified PG by BBFC. Parental Guidance.

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (2009) – 5/10 queasily animated science fiction movie review

Cast / crew
Writer for the Screen and Director: Phil Lord
Writer for the Screen and Director: Christopher Miller
Producer: Pam Marsden
Writer (Original Book) Cloudy With a Chance of: Judi Barrett
Illustrator (Original Book): Ron Barrett
Bill Hader: Flint Lockwood
Anna Faris: Sam Sparks
James Caan: Tim Lockwood
Will Forte: Joe Towne
Head of Story: Kris Pearn
Senior Animation Supervisor: Peter Nash
Supervising Animator: James Michael Crossley
Supervising Animator: Derek Friesenborg
Supervising Animator: Alan Hawkins
Supervising Animator: Jayson Price
Supervising Animator: Chris Williams

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs (2009)

Permanently disastrous scientist Flint Lockwood finally hits the big time when he invents a machine that converts water to food and accidentally launches it into the clouds.


While it is crisply paced and technically efficient (it made me forget to drink my drink, the voice work is excellent and the epilogue works emotionally), this movie suffers from a conceptual error that audiences would enjoy seeing lots of giant, realistically animated food for eighty minutes and not feel rather queasy. To make sure they are truly nauseous, the third act sees a naked overweight man wear the carcass of a man-size cooked chicken.

This movie contains mild bad language.

Classified U by BBFC. Universal: Suitable for All.

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The Green Hornet (2011) – 5/10 crime-fighting hero action movie review

Cast / crew
Director: Michel Gondry
Writer: Seth Rogen
Writer: Evan Goldberg
Creator The Green Hornet radio series: George W. Trendle
Producer: Neal H. Moritz
Executive Producer: Seth Rogen
Executive Producer: Evan Goldberg
Seth Rogen: Britt Reid a.k.a. The Green Hornet
Jay Chou: Kato a.k.a. Kato!
Cameron Diaz: Lenore
Tom Wilkinson: James Reid
Christoph Waltz: Chudnofsky
Edward James Olmos: Axford
David Harbour: Scanlon

Green Hornet, The (2011)

Britt Reid is a layabout playboy who resents his holier-than-thou newspaper publisher father. One night, he and his coffee maker, Kato, interrupt a mugging and Reid sees that fighting crime can be a fun and worthwhile diversion.


Certainly never clicking, this is an interesting nearly-good film with some good ideas but Rogen and Jay Chou needed chemistry and the script needed polishing. Gondry does supply a couple of interesting visual moments with one absolutely baffling how-did-they-do-that split-screen shot where each shot splits into two but seamlessly continues. The main problem is pretty clear: Rogen is, surprisingly, not terribly likable as Britt Reid and there is little convincing development; indeed, late in the movie, there is a inexplicable regression which loses any building goodwill. The second problem is Cameron Diaz who, sorry to say, does not convince here as an expert journalist and has definitively aged past the point of playing young bimbos (even with brains). It’s distracting and a shame, as she’s a far more charming and interesting actress than a bimbo role offers.

This movie contains mild swear words, adult dialogue and violence, some scenes of brief but extremely unpleasant violence.

Classified 12A by BBFC. Persons under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult.

Fast Five (2011) – 5/10 car action movie review

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Cast / crew
Director and Executive Producer: Justin Lin
Writer Based on characters created by Gary Scott Thompson: Chris Morgan
Characters Creator: Gary Scott Thompson
Producer: Neal H. Moritz
Actor and Producer: Vin Diesel
Producer: Michael Fottrell
Dominic Toretto: Vin Diesel
Brian O’Conner: Paul Walker
Mia Toretto: Jordana Brewster
Roman Pearce: Tyrese Gibson
Tej Parker: Chris ‘Ludacris’ Bridges
Matt Schulze: Vince
Han Lue: Sung Kang
Gisele Harabo: Gal Gadot
Leo: Tego Calderon
Santos: Don Omar
Joaquim de Almeida: Reyes
Hobbs: Dwayne Johnson

Fast Five (2011)

After violently breaking Dom out of prison, Brian and Mia join Dom in Rio and immediately sign up to steal some cars from a train. Which is heroic and laudable, obviously. But it’s okay, they’re not bad guys or criminals because Mia’s pregnant. Yeah, that’s how it works.


This is a film with a single redeeming feature: a muscular, spectacular, carnage-laden car chase to close the movie brought about by SPOILER attaching a giant safe to two cars that drag it at high speed through the city. The car action is largely very well done but elsewhere this is a bafflingly scripted action movie where our heroes are escaped felons, recidivist car thieves, extremely violent and plotting to steal $100 million and keep it for themselves. Why exactly should we want them to succeed? And this is yet another film that completely wastes Dwayne Johnson. This is being enthusiastically hailed as director Justin Lin’s best sequel in this franchise but that’s not saying much. Fast Five? Generous five.

This movie contains a single sexual swear word out of nowhere, mild swear words, adult dialogue, sensuality, extreme melee violence, gun violence

Classified 12A by BBFC. Persons under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult.


Predators (2010, Science Fiction Action) – 5/10 movie review

Cast / crew
Director: Nimrod Antal
Writer: Alex Litvak
Writer: Michael Finch
Writer (Characters’ Creator): Jim Thomas
Writer (Characters’ Creator): John Thomas
Producer: Robert Rodriguez
Producer: John Davis
Producer: Elizabeth Avellán
Adrien Brody: Royce
Topher Grace: Edwin
Alice Braga: Isabelle
Walton Goggins: Stans
Oleg Taktarov: Nikolai
Laurence Fishburne: Noland
Visual Effects Supervisor: Robert Rodriguez

Predators (2010)

A group of unrelated largely military types plus a murderer and a doctor are kidnapped only to wake up freefalling towards an immense jungle. After their parachutes deploy and they land, they team up to work out where they are and how to get back to civilisation but it quickly becomes clear that they are here for a very specific purpose: to be hunted.


This is a commendably tightly-focused film that doesn’t overreach itself and is never bad or embarrassing or stupid. However, it’s also never exciting or thrilling or suspenseful. Additionally, there is never any imagination or inventiveness in any of the action scenes or their presentation. When tackling a superior foe, tactics become your only avenue for gaining an upper hand. Clearly presenting then executing those tactics is something the 1987 John McTiernan / Arnold Schwarzenegger classic did brilliantly (in addition to being utterly thrilling) but here, even though the climax is tactically almost identical, it’s done without communication and suspense. It’s just done. it’s almost like a Powerpoint presentation of the first movie; all the pieces are there but it’s difficult to get involved in.

This movie contains sexual swear words, strong adult dialogue and substance abuse and graphic violence.

Classified 15 by BBFC. Suitable only for persons of 15 years and over.

Les chevaliers du ciel aka Sky Fighters (2005) – 5/10 French aerial action movie review

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Cast / crew
Producer: Eric Altmayer
Producer: Nicolas Altmayer
Producer: Laurent Brochand
Benoit Magimel: Capitane Antoine “Walk’n” Marchelli
Clovis Cornillac: Capitaine Sébastien “Fahrenheit” Vallois
Philippe Torreton: Bertrand
Director and Writer: Gérard Pirès
Writer: Gilles Malençon
Characters Creator: Jean-Michel Charlier
Characters Creator: Albert Uderzo

Les chevaliers du ciel aka Sky Fighters (2005)

When a Mirage 2000 is stolen during the Farnborough Air Show, two French pilots shoot it down after it goes weapons hot. After the President commends them for their bravery, they are taken aside into a room and informed that they shot down a fellow French pilot on a secret mission. But that doesn’t explain why the Mirage went to fire a missile at them.


This is a movie all about the aerial sequences. They are endlessly spectacular, beautiful, and convincing. Sadly, despite an interesting story nugget reminding us that not all terrorists are ‘beardies,’ the character and plot are flat and handled without passion or interest. Even worse, the climax is badly muffed. It should be spectacular, tense and thrilling, especially given the remarkable permission to film over the Paris Bastille Day parade. It’s not terribly clear what the baddies plan is and it’s all over in a few seconds without build-up or tension. Very much a case of ‘is that it?’ It’s still worth watching for the aerial sequences if you like that kind of thing and, if comparing it to Top Gun (it’s an EU requirement), they are lovelier to behold but the story and characters are much worse, almost broken.

This movie contains sexual swear words, strong adult dialogue, strong sensuality, violence

Percy Jackson & The Lightning Thief (2010, Greek Mythology Fantasy Adventure) – 5/10 movie review

Cast / crew
Director: Chris Columbus
Logan Lerman: Percy Jackson
Brandon T. Jackson: Grover
Alexandra Daddario: Annabeth
Jake Abel: Luke
Sean Bean: Zeus
Pierce Brosnan: Mr. Brunner / Chiron
Steve Coogan: Hades
Rosario Dawson: Persephone
Melina Kanakaredes: Athena
Catherine Keener: Sally Jackson
Kevin McKidd: Poseidon
Joe Pantoliano: Gabe Ugliano
Uma Thurman: Medusa
Producer: Karen Rosenfelt
Producer: Chris Columbus
Producer: Michael Barnathan
Producer: Mark A. Radcliffe
Writer (Original Novel): Rick Riordan
Writer (Screenplay): Craig Titley
Second Unit Director: Peter MacDonald

Percy Jackson & The Lightning Thief (2010)

Percy Jackson thinks he’s an ordinary college kid but when Zeus’s master lightning bolt is nicked (yes, that Zeus), he learns the truth about himself: that he is a demi-god, the son of Poseidon. Oh, and Zeus thinks he’s the lightning thief. And Zeus wants it back.


Underwhelming fantasy adventure with a bland lead which totally wastes the monsters and potential for imaginative battle tactics (Jackson’s travelling companion is the daughter of the goddess of wisdom) behind off-the-shelf dialogue and flat direction. Additionally, the age of the performers seems wrong. They don’t look old enough to be having sex and driving and the story feels like they should be definitely children; not the weird sexually-confusing 25-year-old teenagers we get lumped with. Of the cast, Steve Coogan and Rosario Dawson score and Brandon T. Jackson does well despite playing The Black Guy (written by a white guy)®. Oddly, the strongest sequence is one without a monster: the Lotus Casino. Why? It is intriguing (we immediately sense there’s something a bit off), features an adversary not seen much in this genre and has strong audience recognition because of the materialistic nature of our society. Probably the most interesting thing is that the film ends with Percy Jackson killing his stepfather. It’s supposed to be funny…

This movie contains adult dialogue and fictional substance abuse and graphic sword violence, fantasy violence and scary and unpleasant fantasy scenes.

Classified PG by BBFC. Parental Guidance.

Public Enemies (2009, Period Crime Drama) – 5/10 movie review

Cast / crew
Director: Michael Mann
Writer (Screenplay): Ronan Bennett
Writer (Screenplay): Michael Mann
Writer (Screenplay): Ann Biderman
Producer: Kevin Misner
Producer: Michael Mann
Writer (Original Book): Bryan Burrough
Johnny Depp: John Dillinger
Christian Bale: Melvin Purvis
Marion Cotillard: Billie Frechette
Jason Clarke: "Red" Hamilton
Rory Cochrane: Agent Carter Baum
Billy Crudup: J. Edgar Hoover
Stephen Dorff: Homer Van Meter
Stephen Lang: Agent Charles Winstead
John Ortiz: Phil D’Andrea
Giovanni Ribisi: Alvin Karpis
David Wenham: Walter Dietrich

Public Enemies (2009)

Shortly after getting released from prison for armed robbery, John Dillinger busts a crew of inmates out and goes on a bank robbing spree. He earns himself the position of Public Enemy No. 1 and J. Edgar Hoover, attempting to get a cross-jurisdictional law enforcement agency off the ground, assigns his best man, Melvin Purvis, to the job.


While not exactly a bad film, this is not an interesting film. The reason we’re clearly supposed to follow the exploits of John Dillinger is because of his charm which causes his girl to fall in love with him. That charm is not contained in Dillinger’s word or actions. And, sadly, Marion Cotillard’s Billie Flechette looks completely disinterested in Johnny Depp’s John Dillinger. Without that chemistry, that core that is supposed to resonate with the audience, the film relies on well executed but straight-forward action sequences that can’t really support it. Instead of following an against-all-odds love story we follow a ten little robbers-shoot-all-the-lawmen-sent-to-catch-them story with Dillinger the final little robber to get knocked off. There are some distracting technical decisions as well; the over-wobbly hand-held close-up camera work feels out of place and, well, over wobbly while some of the film looks jarringly like it was shot on a camcorder. In no way is this a 1930’s Heat. Disappointing.

This movie contains a couple of sexual swear words and graphic and gory gun violence, unpleasant and very gory scenes and sexuality.

Classified 15 by BBFC. Suitable only for persons of 15 years and over.

The Myth aka San wa (2005, Jackie Chan Fantasy Action Romance) – 5/10 movie review

Cast / crew
Executive Producer: Jackie Chan
Executive Producer: Willie Chan
Director: Stanley Tong
Jackie Chan: Meng Yi / Jack
Kim Hee-Sun: Ok Soo
Tony Leung Ka Fai: William
Mallika Sherawat: Samantha
Choi Min Soo: General Choi
Tam Yiu Man: Xu Gui
Writer (Screenplay): Stanley Tong
Writer (Screenplay): Wang Hui Ling
Writer (Screenplay): Li Haishu
Stunt Choreographer: Jackie Chan
Stunt Choreographer: Stanley Tong
Producer: Willie Chan
Producer: Solon So
Producer: Barbie Tung
Writer (Story): Stanley Tong

Myth, The aka San wa (2005)

Quin Dynasty: General Meng Yi oversees the transfer of Concubine Li to his Emperor’s kingdom but a battle quickly ensues. As they make their escape alone, they develop a love that will survive anything, even death.


This is an attempt at a cross-generational romantic fantasy but an entirely broken script is given way too much screen-time to be overlooked. You spend all of the non-action sequences trying to work out what’s happening regardless of the usually misleading and contradictory words. It starts with a baffling sequence where Tony Leung Ka Fai attempts to save his betrothed by stabbing Jackie (who is the only thing stopping her falling to her death), then they all leap off the cliff anyway and it only gets more nonsensical. It’s largely a good-looking film (the effects are poor) and the score is nice but, of course, we’re here for the action. The action sequences are generally good with the best being the Rat Glue Factory fight, which includes the flexible eye-candy of the almost indescribably hot Mallika Sherawat and punctuated marvellously by a pair of comedy underpants (though I don’t know why you’d want to glue rats to anything ;) ). It’s a classic. The early coffin fight is also superbly orchestrated showcasing the continued inventiveness and energy and comedy that Chan brings to his best sequences.

This movie contains martial arts violence, graphic period war violence, gory and unpleasant scenes.

Classified 15 by BBFC. Suitable only for persons of 15 years and over.

Croc (2007, Jaws-like Monster Horror) – 5/10 movie review

Cast / crew
Michael Madsen: Croc Hawkins
Peter Tuinstra: Jack McQuade
Sherry Phungprasert: Evelyn Namawong
Elizabeth Healey: Allison
Scott Hazell: Theo
Producer: Charles Salmon
Writer: Ken Solarz
Director: Stewart Raffill

Croc (2007)

The arrival of a man-eating crocodile in the area seems the perfect way for an evil hotel construction company to get rid of a local crocodile and wildlife tourist attraction which is in the way of a road they would like to build.


For this kind of no-budget Jaws-lite horror, Croc is satisfactory entertainment. For the most part, it’s crisply put together, Peter Tuinstra does a nice job of pretending it all makes sense (an evil hotel construction company wants to close a local tourist attraction, wha?), the largely low-key croc attacks are handled well enough and a kid gets eaten after refusing to come out of the water and his dad tells him ‘well, I’ll just let the croc eat you then.’

This movie contains crocodile attack violence, gory and unpleasant scenes.

Body of Lies (2008) – 5/10 comedy beard Middle East espionage thriller movie review

Cast / crew
Director: Ridley Scott
Writer (Screenplay): William Monahan
Producer: Ridley Scott
Producer: Donald de Line
Writer (Original Novel): David Ignatius
Leonardo Di Caprio: Roger Ferris
Russell Crowe: Ed Hoffman
Mark Strong: Hani
Golshifteh Farahani: Aisha
Oscar Isaac: Bassam
Alon Aboutboul: Al-Saleem
Simon McBurney: Garland

Body of Lies (2008)

CIA operative Roger Ferris is working in the Middle East under the direction of Ed Hoffman but finds his job complicated by Hoffman’s side operations, Hoffman disrupting delicate local espionage etiquette and his own ridiculous beard.


Adequate espionage thriller that doesn’t quite hold the attention. The story contains an interesting but paradoxical and, therefore, completely unsuccessful CIA plan to capture an international terrorist by setting up an unknowing architect as a terrorist to blow up an American target and hope that the real contacts the fake. The fake who doesn’t know anything about it. Right. That said, there have apparently been similarly idiotic espionage plans established on an insane blend of optimism and delusion but the movie plot never comes across as such or as a good idea. Looking at our stars they both are good. Crowe seems effortlessly charismatic despite nattering into a hands-free kit for most of the movie and Leonardo Di Caprio confirms the theory that perhaps the truest indicator of an actor’s greatness is how stupid a beard (or haircut) he can carry off. After a knee-jerk reaction to first clearly seeing his comedy chin furniture (about eight minutes in, brace yourself), with the next scene he pulls you back into the character and film.

This movie contains sexual swear words and strong violence, gory graphic gun violence, gory and extremely unpleasant scenes.

Classified 15 by BBFC. Suitable only for persons of 15 years and over.

The Last Legion (2006, Period Action Movie) – 5/10 movie review

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Cast / crew
Director: Doug Lefler
Screenplay Writer: Jez Butterworth
Screenplay Writer: Tom Butterworth
Story Writer: Carlo Carlei
Story Writer: Peter Radar
Story Writer: Valerio Massimo Manfredi
Novel Writer: Valerio Massimo Manfredi
Producer: Raffaella De Laurentiis
Producer: Martha De Laurentiis
Producer: Tarak Ben Ammar
Presents: Dino De Laurentiis
Colin Firth: Aurelius
Ben Kingsley: Ambrosinus / SPOILERMerlin
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan: Mira
Peter Mullan: Odoacer
Kevin McKidd: Wulfila
John Hannah: Nestor
Iain Glen: Orestes
Thomas Sangster: Romulus

The Last Legion (2006)

As the Roman Empire finally succumbs to history, the last Caesar, Romulus Augustus, still a boy, flees to join his last legion in the north of Britannia.


I’m glad to say that this isn’t as awful as the trailers made it look and the final result passes the time and keeps the attention. However, it does feel like a television mini-series that has been edited down to feature film length as the plot feels barely coherent. Odd child actor Thomas Sangster wanders emotionlessly through another part while Colin Firth and Ben Kingsley, surprisingly, don’t embarrass themselves. Talented composer Patrick Doyle adds some quality through his fitting score.

This movie contains sword violence, mild gory and unpleasant scenes

Classified 12A by BBFC. Persons under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult.

Indigènes aka Days of Glory (2006, WWII Movie) – 5/10 review

Delegate Producer: Jean Brehat
Producer (Presents credit): Rachid Bouchareb
Co-Producer: Jamel Debbouze
Jamel Debbouze: Saïd
Samy Naceri: Yassir
Roschdy Zem: Messaoud
Sami Bouajila: Abdelkader
Bernard Blancan: Sergent Martinez
Mathieu Simonet: Lreoux
Benoit Giros: Gapitaine Durieux
Mélanie Laurent: Marguerite
Antoine Chappey: Le Colonel
Writer: Olivier Lorelle
Writer: Rachid Bouchareb
Director: Rachid Bouchareb

Indigènes aka Days of Glory (2006)

Africans in French colonies patriotically and wholeheartedly commit to the war against Germany. They soon come up against racial prejudice but believe that if they continue to fight and die equally alongside their French compatriots, that France will treat them with equality after the war.


Never quite recovering from one-armed Jamel Debbouze as a fully-limbed gun-carrying soldier casually strolling around World War II with his (non) hand in his pocket (a commenter on IMDb brilliantly said it was as distracting as half a moustache), this does highlight a situation of racial inequality (French colonial soldiers not being treated equally as native French soldiers) that, sadly, was still in effect when the movie was released. The final, very good, battle sequence is, by far, the best part of the movie and is followed by an appropriate coda, leaving the viewer with a good impression of a largely nearly-dull film.

This movie contains a single sexual swear word and war violence and sensuality.

Classified 12A by BBFC. Persons under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult.

Rescue Dawn (2006, Biographical Vietnam Prisoner-of-War Adventure) – 5/10 movie review

Cast / crew
Christian Bale: Dieter
Steve Zahn: Duane
Jeremy Davies: Gene
Producer: Steve Marlton
Producer: Elton Brand
Producer: Harry Knapp
Writer inspired by true events in the life of Dieter Dengler: Werner Herzog
Director: Werner Herzog

Rescue Dawn (2006)

Before the Vietnam War: while on a secret bombing operation, US Navy pilot Dieter Dengler gets shot down over Laos and taken prisoner.


Sadly, this based-on-truth Vietnam prisoner-of-war adventure becomes rather dull. These guys need Rambo. Even before that the drama has little resonance and no insight. Christian Bale is good but never quite right. That’s a shame as he looks to have put some effort in as he munches on maggots and snakes. Sadly, his reported weight loss is, frankly, not particularly evident and could have been achieved using make-up. Steve Zahn goes waltzing past his acting limit and becomes a little embarrassing. Jeremy Davies is impressively emaciated but irritating as always. Story-wise, even though it’s based on truth, Herzog acknowledges it’s deliberately different from reality (he had previously made a documentary about the same subject) and the film makes Bale, probably unnecessarily and boringly, the movie’s solitary hero and plot motivator.

This movie contains sexual swear words and unpleasant scenes, graphic violence.

Classified 15 by BBFC. Suitable only for persons of 15 years and over.