The Wolfman (2010) – 6/10 monster horror movie

Cast / crew
Director: Joe Johnston
Screenplay Writer: Andrew Kevin Walker
Screenplay Writer: David Self
Based on the Motion Picture Screenplay by: Curt Siodmak
Producer: Scott Stuber
Producer: Benicio Del Toro
Producer: Rick Yorn
Producer: Sean Daniel
Benicio Del Toro: Lawrence Talbot
Anthony Hopkins: Sir John Talbot
Emily Blunt: Gwen Conliffe
Hugo Weaving: Aberline
Geraldine Chaplin: Maleva
Art Malik: Singh
Antony Sher: Dr. Hornegger
David Schofield: Constable Nye

The Wolfman (2010)

Lawrence Talbot returns home after a long absence when his brother is killed. The body is horribly mutilated with a ferocity that suggests a wild animal and Lawrence, spurred on by the big eyes of his brother’s fiancée, determines to get to the bottom of things. The bottom of his brother’s death, that is.

6/10

Barely adequate though technically accomplished horror. None of the thought that must go into an expensive production like this survived to the screen. While it’s paced well and is certainly not boring, this is impactless, unatmospheric, journeyman filmmaking at it’s blandest without even the crutch of decent horror or action sequences (edited until you can’t visually follow them). Anthony Hopkins is the only reason to watch (Emily Blunt sideboob not withstanding) as he does his usual thing of making it sound like he got the world’s most amazing, intelligent and witty script while everyone got something else entirely. He didn’t, of course. He’s just that good.

This movie contains mild nudity, strong gory violence, very gory and unpleasant scenes

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

Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) – 6/10 World War II superhero fantasy action movie review

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Cast / crew
Director: Joe Johnston
Screenplay Writer: Christopher Markus
Screenplay Writer: Stephen McFeely
Chris Evans: Captain Steve “America” Rogers
Hayley Atwell: Peggy Carter
Tommy Lee Jones: Colonel Phillips
Hugo Weaving: Johann Schmidt / Red Skull
Producer: Kevin Feige

Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)

Steve Rogers has the heart of a hero but not the physique. After failing numerous applications to join the US Army and fight against Hitler during World War II, a doctor in charge of a remarkable super-soldier project sees his potential but once the process completes, Rogers’ is only used in a valuable but demeaning propaganda role as Captain America. When his morale-boosting tour finally gets to the front lines, his disappointment at not being of more practical use brings out the inner hero once more.

6/10

Joe Johnston certainly gives the impression that he understood that characters are important, even (especially?) in an action movie, but off-the-shelf dialogue and plotting undermines the otherwise solid production. Most crucially, Captain America is introduced as an interesting character but then devolves into using his overwhelming strength to punch the evil out of endless henchmen. The shapeless presentation of most of the action doesn’t help but there is good work from Chris Evans and Hugo Weaving, Tommy Lee Jones gets all the best lines ("I ain’t kissing ya") providing a much-needed jolt of fun and the effects guys who made Chris Evans look small and skinny and Hugo Weaving’s head look red have done their jobs perfectly.

This movie contains mild bad language, Extreme fantasy violence, graphic gun violence

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

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Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011) – 6/10 science-fiction action adventure movie review

Cast / crew
Director: Michael Bay
Writer Based on Hasbro’s Transformers Action Figures: Ehren Kruger
Producer: Lorenzo di Bonaventura
Producer: Tom DeSanto
Producer: Don Murphy
Producer: Ian Bryce
Executive Producer: Steven Spielberg
Executive Producer: Michael Bay
Shia LaBeouf: Sam Witwicky
Josh Duhamel: Lennox
John Turturro: Simmons
Tyrese Gibson: Epps
Rosie Huntington-Whiteley: Carly
Patrick Dempsey: Dylan
Kevin Dunn: Ron Witwicky
Julie White: Judy Witwicky
Ken Jeong: Jerry Wang
John Malkovich: Bruce Brazos
Frances McDormand: Mearing
Peter Cullen: Optimus Prime
Hugo Weaving: Megatron
Leonard Nimoy: Sentinel Prime

Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011)

Sam is struggling to find a place back in the real world but a secret that has been kept since the late 1960’s is about to erupt into his life and involve him in the fate of the world once more. Though no-one has anyway of knowing for certain, he suspects that some stuff might get blown up.

6/10

Restoring the fun to the franchise before going all serious for the Chicago-levelling third act but never achieving the greatness that the fantastically cool pre-credits sequence, awesome Buzz Aldrin cameo and Leonard Nimoy’s Sentinel Prime promise, Dark of the Moon is a Michael Bay movie that has several good moments. Unfortunately, it does devolve into a series of beautiful visuals featuring too many robots you frequently can’t differentiate around which the bullet-, missile-, concrete-, gravity- and crash-landing-proof Shia LaBeouf is hurled and thrown and dropped. If he ever wanted to destroy the world, there would be no way to stop him.

This movie contains the obligatory sexual swear words to ensure the certificate and graphic and extreme violence by robots on humans, graphic and extreme robot violence and ‘hilarious’ homosexual misunderstandings, sensuality.

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

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The Matrix: Revolutions (2003) – 6/10 science fiction action movie review

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Cast / crew
Director, Executive Producer and Writer: Andy Wachowski
Director, Executive Producer and Writer: Lana Wachowski | Larry Wachowski
Producer: Joel Silver
Neo: Keanu Reeves
Morpheus: Laurence Fishburne
Trinity: Carrie-Anne Moss
Agent Smith: Hugo Weaving
Niobe: Jada Pinkett Smith
The Oracle: Mary Alice
Link: Harold Perrineau
Persephone: Monica Bellucci
Commander Lock: Harry J. Lennix
Merovingian: Lambert Wilson

The Matrix: Revolutions (2003)

Neo is not in a coma, but he’s not conscious either. A quick trip to the Oracle, who has been forced to change her appearance to avoid capture by the Merovingian, reveals that he is in an isolated section of The Matrix controlled by Merovingian. Meanwhile, Zion itself has less than a day to go before the machines finally breach the city dock and Loc has to prepare defenses the best he can.

6/10

A bit of a stubbed toe of a movie. It feels like The Matrix tripped and fell at the last hurdle. While the story is fine, the brothers seem to have run out of steam and energy and this is reflected in the generally clichéd script, sometimes overly frenetic, unfocused direction and a truly dismal final action sequence. Only Hugo Weaving rises above. On second viewing, however, the disappointment isn’t so severe and an entertaining and spectacular sci-fi battle movie is eventually revealed. But nothing more.

This movie contains mild swear words, sado-masochistic sensuality, extreme violence, graphic violence, gory and extremely unpleasant scenes

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

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The Matrix: Reloaded (2003) – 8/10 science fiction action movie review

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Cast / crew
Director, Executive Producer and Writer: Andy Wachowski
Director, Executive Producer and Writer: Lana Wachowski | Larry Wachowski
Producer: Joel Silver
Neo: Keanu Reeves
Morpheus: Laurence Fishburne
Trinity: Carrie-Anne Moss
Agent Smith: Hugo Weaving
Niobe: Jada Pinkett Smith
The Oracle: Gloria Foster
Link: Harold Perrineau
Persephone: Monica Bellucci
Commander Lock: Harry J. Lennix
Merovingian: Lambert Wilson
Keymaker: Randall Duk Kim

The Matrix: Reloaded (2003)

Neo is troubled by dreams that appear to depict the death of Trinity and knows that only one person can help him unravel things: the Oracle. Meanwhile, the machines are boring their way inexorably toward Zion. Morpheus thinks the key to their salvation lies inside The Matrix, but may his beliefs be entirely misplaced?

8/10

Genuinely stunning but you may have no idea why what’s going on is going on. Only Revolutions would reveal the extent of the story’s coherence (the pretentious philosophical content is interesting but probably evades comprehension on first viewing) but the presentation is absolutely jaw-dropping. Every action scene is fantastic with clear choreography, technique and topography. The standout scenes are the Infinity Smith brawl and the Keymaker chateau fight and freeway chase; the latter is among the greatest action scenes ever filmed featuring, I think still uniquely, our heroine riding a motorbike full pelt the wrong way against four lanes of busy traffic.

This movie contains sexual swear words, Sex scene (Carrie-Anne Moss & Keanu Reeves), nudity, inferred / animated female nudity and orgasm, Extreme fantasy violence, some graphic violence, gory and unpleasant scenes, Offensive gesturing

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

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The Matrix (1999) – 9/10 science fiction existential action movie review

AmazonBuy The Matrix at Amazon

Cast / crew
Director, Executive Producer and Writer: Andy Wachowski
Director, Executive Producer and Writer: Lana Wachowski | Larry Wachowski
Producer: Joel Silver
Neo: Keanu Reeves
Morpheus: Laurence Fishburne
Trinity: Carrie-Anne Moss
Agent Smith: Hugo Weaving
Oracle: Gloria Foster
Cypher: Joe Pantoliano

The Matrix (1999)

Nobody can be told what The Matrix is, Morpheus informs “Neo”, computer hacker supreme. Everyday, however, “Neo” is mild-mannered computer programmer Thomas A. Anderson who is plagued by the recurring thought that he needs to know what The Matrix is. One day, following the guidance of an apparent dream, Neo eventually meets Morpheus, the man who holds the key to his spiritual unease.

9/10

Science-fiction film presented in an astonishing manner. It would be easy to sniff and list all the places where the story concepts and visual effects had all been seen before but it doesn’t matter. The Matrix captures the attention and presents interesting, thought-provoking ideas with spectacular, extremely satisfying visuals. Frequently, concept art for a movie looks much better than the finished product but here, the movie looks exactly like the concept art. Producer Joel Silver allowed the Wachowski brothers to bring their vision precisely to the big screen and they gave him a definite classic and probably the most influential Hollywood movie since Star Wars. Watch and discuss.

This movie contains mild swear words, sexual swear words in end credits song, extreme and graphic gun, knife and melee violence, extremely unpleasant scenes

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

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Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009, Movie) – 4/10 review

Cast / crew
Director: Michael Bay
Writer: Ehren Kruger
Writer: Roberto Orci
Writer: Alex Kurtzman
Producer: Lorenzo di Bonaventura
Producer: Tom DeSanto
Producer: Don Murphy
Producer: Ian Bryce
Executive Producer: Steven Spielberg
Executive Producer: Michael Bay
Shia LaBeouf: Sam Witwicky
Megan Fox: Mikaela Bane
Josh Duhamel: Major Lennox
Tyrese Gibson: USAF Master Sergeant Epps
Kevin Dunn: Ron Witwicky
Julie White: Judy Witwicky
John Turturro: Simmons
Peter Cullen: Optimus Prime
Hugo Weaving: Megatron
Tony Todd: Fallen

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009)

Since the incident in Los Angeles, Optimus Prime and the Autobots have been protecting Earth from the Decepticons while Sam prepares to go to college. A shard of the Allspark, however, is discovered and Sam’s life is about to turn upside-down again.

4/10

If the first was a glorious mess, then this boring, fun-free sequel is just a mess. This is very much an idea-free zone with no clear plot, no clear character arcs and endless, meaningless, interchangeable action with apparently random robots that makes absolutely no sense. I think it takes supremely arrogant writers to write such random garbage because, if it were me, I simply could not stand the inconsistencies (in the franchise and within just this movie) and presence of baffling stereotypes spouting cut-and-paste dialogue from a collection of bad movie scripts. People need to stop employing Orci and Kurtzman and stop now. Michael Bay and his actors all put a lot of effort in but, aside from the fact that it frequently looks fabulous, it’s all wasted.

This movie contains partial sexual swear words, mild swear words, adult dialogue and comic substance abuse and extreme mecha violence, extremely unpleasant scene and sexuality.

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

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