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Posts Tagged ‘Brick Mansions’

I am not a film critic, I don’t have to watch anything I don’t want to, therefore if I watch something rubbish its my own stupid fault.  In no particular order the worst films I saw at the cinema in 2014 are:

Pompeii: What could have been a fun action disaster movie fails mainly because of the poor handling of the main character, Vesuvius.Pompeii

The Last Days on Mars: Made the most of its small budget and the acting isn’t that bad, but the plot and script are terrible.The Last Days on Mars

Need For Speed: A silly story with questionable acting, portly choreographed action, and worst of all, no fun.Need For Speed

A Long Way Down: Well cast and well acted but the very sharp and funny Nick Hornby novel is lost in the atrocious script.A Long Way Down

Transformers: Age Of Extinction: Marginally better than  Dark of the Moon.Transformers Age Of Extinction

Brick Mansions: to be honest it isn’t terrible, it just so far short of District 13 on which it is based.Brick Mansions

The Pyramid: Silly horror that fails on every level.  It’s makers can’t even decide if it is a found footage movie or not.The Pyramid

Magic in the Moonlight: A great cast is wasted in a whimsical comedy that spent so much time and effort on whimsy it  forgot to be funny.Magic in the Moonlight

Dracula Untold: Luke Evans isn’t terrible but the film is totally pointless and dull, it gives the impression that it was written by someone who hasn’t read Bram Stoker novel.Dracula Untold

I, Frankenstein: The people behind Underworld rehash their own idea and put Frankenstein’s monster at the centre, it really doesn’t work.I Frankenstein

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3 Days To Kill opened a couple of weeks ago to universal derision, it surprisingly isn’t that bad. With a script by Luc Besson and a plot featuring an aging CIA hit-man, comparisons with Taken are unavoidable. Kevin Costner does a good job with a flimsy and derivative story that loses its way in the middle. The action scenes and the family bonding both work on their own merits but the film fails to join the two elements together into a coherent movie. Not as nasty as Taken but also not as focused, it is worth seeing for any fans of either Costner or Besson, but we should expect so much more from Luc Besson.3 Days to Kill

Both as a director and writer/producer Besson has been responsible for some great films. Subway (1985) was the beginning of the style over substance tag (known as Cinéma du look movement ) that has followed Besson for his entire career, but with this much style how much substance do you need? Five years later came the film that introduced me to non English language cinema: Nikita (1990), I rented the VHS when I was 15 years old (I know it is an 18 and I was 15, but the video shop man didn’t notice or care!) about a year after its cinema release, I was drawn to the movie mainly because I liked the cover. Often criticised for lack of originality, Nikita has surely influenced more movies than it was influenced by. Anne Parillaud’s reluctant government assassin has spawned a Hollywood remake, two TV shows and countless imitators. Léon(aka The Professional) (1994) is widely regarded as Besson’s best film thanks to the just over-the-top enough turn by Gary Oldman and the sensational feature debut of 12-year-old Natalie Portman. It is also notable as Besson’s first film in English. Again in English, this time with an even less restrained Gary Oldman, The Fifth Element (1997) saw a new direction for Besson, a big budget Sci-Fi adventure. it has its problems but on the whole is a fun with some interesting ideas. Better know as a writer and producer in recent years, he is still able suprise as a director as he did with the bizarre but brilliant Angel-A (2005) and The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec (2010). Sadly less well know, possibly because they are in French, I would recommend both movies to anyone who hasn’t seen them.nikita

Probably the best know of his writer/producer movies is The Transporter (200, 2005, 2008), starring Jason Statham, they are exactly what you expect from Besson and Statham, slick, glossy, well made, dumb action. Also falling into that category but with more comedy is Taxi (1998) and its three sequels (2000, 2003, 2007). Also notable for early appearances from Marion Cotillard nearly a decade before La Vie en rose. I wouldn’t bother with parts 3 and four or the American remake (2004) but the first two films are great. There were three films released in the UK in 2006 to feature parkour: Breaking and Entering (2006), Casino Royale (2006) and District 13 (2004) (original title Banlieue 13, also known as District B 13). Only District 13 stars parkour founder David Belle. Belle and writer/producer returned for a sequel District 13: Ultimatum (2009) and Brick Mansions (2014), neither were as good as the exciting and innovative original film. Lockout (2012) is a B Sci-Fi starring Guy Pearce and go-to kidnap victim Maggie Grace. The story is derivative and the effects terrible, but the film itself is tremendous fun and really Enjoyable.Lockout

Working across multiple genres, Besson also wrote, produced and directed the Arthur and the Invisibles movies (2006, 2009, 2010), and the biopic of Aung San Suu Kyi, The Lady (2011). I haven’t seen any of these films so can’t comment on them other than to say they were not well received critically. Returning to the director’s chair for his next film Lucy, set for release in August (in UK). Starring Scarlett Johansson in the title role it looks from the trailer like a riff on the ideas of Limitless. A return to large budget Sci-Fi and yet another film to feature a strong female lead, I am looking forward to it.the lady

All this producing isn’t an act of randomly placing his name on movies to help distribute them, in 1999 he founded the Paris based EuropaCorp, one of the few independent studios that both produces and distributes movies. As well as the films Besson has creative infuemce over, he has also produced Nil by Mouth (1997), directed by Gary Oldman; The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, by Tommy Lee Jones (2005) (and Tommy Lee Jones’ upcoming The Homesman) and Tell No One (2006), by Guillaume Canet. Three fantastic films that may not have been made if not for Besson and EuropaCorp. While I respect what Besson is doing with EuropaCorp, I would just like to see a few more great films directed by him and a few less mediocre ones written and, or produced by him.

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This month’s movies are A remake of a recent classic, a retelling of a fairytale, a sporting documentary, a literary adaptation two very different revenge thrillers and three summer blockbusters. Edge of Tomorrow came out two days before the end of the month and I haven’t seen it yet, hopefully it will be on next month’s list.

Brick Mansions: Remake of the 2004 French film District 13 written by Luc Besson. The late Paul Walker again proves to be a likeable leading man and the parkour skills of David Belle (reprising his role from the original) are always thrilling to watch. Unfortunately the film is unoriginal and a little dull.Brick Mansions

Pompeii: Gladiator-a-like action film set in the last days of the titular Italian city before Mount Vesuvius buried it is ash. Paul W. S. Anderson’s movie is rubbish but it is such good fun rubish its hard not to enjoy it.Pompeii

Blue Ruin: Low budget revenge thriller that is both considered and thoughtful. Throwing away the conventions of the genre it is full of suspense a tinged with a sense of despair and dread.Blue Ruin

Sabotage: What appears to be a more intelligent movie than you would expect for Arnold Schwarzenegger turns out to be as dumb as you would expect. intimately though, despite a critical panning and a week box-office, I enjoyed it.Sabotage

Next Goal Wins: Documentary about the national football team of American Samoa, described as the worth national team in the world. A timely reminder of what sport is all about away from with multimillionaire footballers. Jast as with Senna (2010), you don’t have to be a fan to enjoy the movie.Next Goal Wins

Two Faces of January: Based on Patricia Highsmith novel of the same name the movie is old-fashioned in a good way. Beautifully shot and fantastically acted (Viggo Mortensen, Kirsten Dunst, Oscar Isaac), Hossein Amini’s supremely confident directorial debut owes a debt to Hitchcock.Two Faces of January

Godzilla: After the success of his micro budget Monsters, Gareth Edwards is given £160million to play with. The film is a worthy successor to Ishirō Honda’s original and helps wash away the bad taste left by the Roland Emmerich version. The human characters aren’t great but we are here to see the monsters.Godzilla

X-Men: Days of Future Past: Based on the seminal 80’s two part X-Men story of the same name. The casts of First Class and the original trilogy come together in one of the best X-Men movies yet. It also opens the door to tell future stories without worrying about the continuity of original trilogy.x men

Maleficent: The concept is good and it looks really good. Angelina Jolie is fantastic and clearly having fun but it is all let down by a really dull story.Maleficent

I could happily have chosen Blue Ruin, Next Goal Wins, Two Faces of January or Godzilla as my movie of the month. But I have to go with the film that I am most looking forward to seeing again, allso the film that has inspired two articles this week: X-Men: Days of Future Past. X-Men-Days-of-Future-Past-Movie-Poster

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