Friday, 21 October 2011

Pirates Of The Carribean: On Stranger Tides trailer

Pirates of The Carribean: On Stranger Tides

Avast me hearties! Board your vessel, set sail for the shops and buy this today. I assure ye' ye' won't be disappointed...

Right, enough of the pirate speak and on to the serious matter of reviewing this film...

Having never really been a fan of directors who throw out sequel after sequel, I may soon be changing my views in that respect. What with Scream 4 being surprisingly good and now Pirates Of The Carribean 4: On Stranger Tides surpassing all expectations, I think Mr Phil needs to eat his words on the subject.

Returning to the screen is the mighty Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp), this time in search of the legendary Fountain Of Youth. Hot on his heels is the fearsome Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush), who has now joined the English Navy in an attempt to bring Sparrow in once and for good. In Barbossa's own words, "If ye' can't beat 'em, join 'em."
Also following close behind is the almost iconic Blackbeard (Ian McShane) and his "daughter" (Penelope Cruz), who was apparently a former love interest of Sparrow.
With all of these different angles thrust toward you at once, you'd be forgiven for being a bit daunted by the way this film could turn out later on, especially seeing as another two forces (a massive army of evil mermaids, and the Spanish Navy) enter the fray later on, but believe me it really works and not once did I get confused over who was fighting who.

The film reaches it crescendo when everyone who strived to get to the Fountain Of Youth converge upon it, each for their own reasons. Cue a fantastic final buckle o swash, a little bit of controversy, and finally you see good ol' Cap'n Sparrow emerge victorious. Not granted eternal life, but safe and well at the end of it all, which is what he truly wanted.

Well done, Mr Bruckheimer, you've done the series proud, and for that I give this film a well deserved 5/5.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Donkey Punch

I must admit to being pleasantly surprised by this film. It wasn't your average common or garden thriller, but I think that that's part of what made it interesting for me.

Following a group of three rather scrumptious British lasses on a short break to Spain, Donkey Punch delves into the hedonistic world of "yoof holidays" (sex, drugs, dance music etc. etc.) and literally turns it on it's head.

Shortly after arriving in the med, the girls befriend a group of lads who are crew members on an expensive yacht. During an afternoons drinking and hijinks the guys invite them to the boat, safe in the knowledge that the owner is away for a few days. They travel out of the harbour and the party really gets into full swing. Cue more drinking, smoking the Mary Jane and then the pièce de résistance, a sweaty group sex session. However, things get a bit out of hand when the youngest of the crew, a very wet behind the ears teenager, performs what is known as a Donkey Punch whilst in the flow of things (a punch at the back of the girl's head at the point of climax, causing her vaginal muscles to spasm). The force of the impact unfortunately kills her and what follows is an overnight battle of the sexes... The guys want to get rid of the girl's body, fearing retribution and a hefty jail sentence once ashore, the two remaining girls want revenge for their friend's manslaughter...

I won't give too much away. As always, I don't like to spoil a film for someone who is thinking of watching it. However, what I will say is that if you'd like a thriller that's a little out of the ordinary, fresh and exciting, then you could do a lot worse than Donkey Punch, and for that I give it 4/5.

Friday, 2 September 2011


Ahhhh... Showgirls. The stuff that my pubescent dreams were made of. Due, in large part, to the fact that it starred one of my adolescent celebrity crushes, Elizabeth Berkeley (of Saved By The Bell fame).

While not being a classic in the world of cinema, Showgirls certainly pushed the envelope with it's graphic and seedy portrayal of Las Vegas life through the eyes of up and coming starlet, Nomi Malone (Berkeley).
Starting from the bottom of the "fame" ladder, Nomi finds work in a smutty little strip joint, performing some of the most erotic floorshows and lapdances I think I've ever seen. I lost count of the amount of times I used to rewind and re-rewind certain scenes in Showgirls in my younger days. So much so, in fact, that I used to get joint pain in my thumbs, tee-hee.

Anyway, moving on, Nomi soon gets noticed by an agent for one of the big casinos (Kyle MacLachlan), and his lusty girlfriend, Cristal (Gina Gershon), star of one of the biggest topless shows on the Sunset Strip. Driving Nomi's hunger for the top spot is her rivalry with Cristal and the alliances she makes on the way.

Like I said earlier, Showgirls is by no means up there in the celluloid hall of fame, but for sheer erotic pleasure I give it 3 1/2 out of 5.

Saturday, 27 August 2011

The Legend Of Harrow Woods

The Legend Of Harrow Woods is a curious little beggar of a horror movie and I'm in two minds as to whether I actually like it or not... Read on.

The set-up, while quite generic, is intriguing to say the least. A group of students decide to camp out in the aforementioned woods, eager to see if the tales of a witch are true or not. So far, so Blair Witch, it seems. Interspersed within the film are strange and seemingly needless sepia-toned segments with someone narrating quotes of Edgar Allen Poe's The Raven. These, in my mind, lent nothing to the film and could quite easily have been left out. A lot of time is spent darting between these two different styles and it seemed more like something that a college student had made for their media class rather than a proper production. It's sad really, because there was real potential for better from what I saw.

It had the gore, albeit very second-rate and amateurish in nature. It had the nudity, though again that wasn't essential. Don't get me wrong, I like seeing a naked female as much as the next guy, but when I'm watching a film it has to fit in with the storyline rather than being something thrown in to try and keep your attention.

In conclusion, I'm sorry to say that The Legend Of Harrow Woods disappointed me greatly, which is a terrible shame. It was as if the director and David Lynch had produced a bastard child of a movie and splattered it all over the celluloid like a Jackson Pollock painting. Poor show, I'm afraid. Poor, poor show.

2/5. Buyer beware, you're in for a scare (at how bad it actually is).

Friday, 26 August 2011

The Other Guys

Possibly one of my most favourite comedy films of recent times, The Other Guys is right up there in the BigPhillyStyle Hall Of Fame...

Centred around two bumbling detectives, Gamble and Holtz (Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg), The Other Guys sweeps us on a whirlwind of wit as they try to make it big in the world of crime fighting. The supporting cast is phenomenal too, with big names such as Duane Johnson, Samuel L. Jackson, Steve Coogan, Eva Mendes and Michael Keaton, to name but a few.

I know at first you may think that this is ANOTHER one of those mis-matched "buddy" movies, and, I suppose, in one respect it is, but don't be too quick to dismiss The Other Guys because you'll be missing out on a diamond in the rough if you do. It is that and so, so much more, and I guarantee you that you'll be quoting the lines to your friends for weeks (if you're like me, that is!).

5/5. To the director, Adam McKay, I salute you.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Scream 4

So... We're back in Woodsboro, ten years on, for the 4th installment of the teen slasher flick that rejuvenated the "man in the mask" horror film for a new generation.

I must admit to feeling slightly dubious when the first murmurs on the internet started up about Scream 4. After all, what could be done that hadn't already been re-hashed over and over throughout the mid to late nineties?

I kept an open mind, however, and I'm kind of glad I did. Scream 4 is by far the goriest of the quadrilogy. One scene, in particular, sees a girl violently eviscerated in her bedroom (blood literally coating every wall, her intestines spilling from a gaping wound in her stomach). Not the only death in the movie (duh!) and not the worst, by a long shot, but definitely a taste of how the story is going to progress.

Sydney, Dewey and Gail all make a return, and they bring with them a whole slew of new faces (Hayden Panettiere and Anthony Anderson to name but a couple). Also, as I'm sure you've already guessed, there's plenty of murder fodder abound.

Scream 4 retains what I like to call the element of Scooby Doo-esque mystery, where you're kept guessing the true identity of the killer(s) throughout, but in this offering all bets are off... Virgin teens are just as much in danger of meeting the Ghostface as the sluts. Literally no-one is safe...

I'm glad I went with my instincts and bought this, and I know you lot will be too. Definitely well worth a punt, if you ask me!

4/5. "What's your favourite scary movie?"