RED

You may recall my disgusted review of 'The Expendables'. When I went to see that film, it was preceded by the trailer for RED, which excited me more than the whole of the nonsense feature that followed it. On Wednesday, I went to see RED. Half my friends mutinied in Nando's and decided they wanted to see The Social Network instead. My other friends had already seen that film, and so we decided to continue with the plan. It was a really good film. An all-star cast that really worked together with believable characterisation and sharp dialogue. It had a classic three act structure, and the turning points were hit well. My one grumble is that while MLP got a lot of screen time, she didn't do much in the way of awesome. But that's okay - she doesn't know how to hold a gun! Give her time (and a sequel?) and I'm sure she'll be kicking ass and taking names. And I...
Read More

The Expendables: Inexplicable

Also, I watched The Expendables last night. I was persuaded by the all-star cast and the promise of exploding things. Yes, things certainly exploded. Apart from that, it was a sexist, racist piece of crap. Cringe-worthy dialogue, plot desolation, and acting that made me cry. In the bad way. There were maybe two good fight scenes. Seriously. Jet Li was hideously underused and, really, don't get me started on the use of female characters, who seem to exist so that men can hit them. IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE THIS WAY! Contrast: the trailer for 'Red'. Dude, that's Helen Mirren with a machine gun! And Mary Lou Parker, who I've loved from The West Wing and Angels in America, finally getting her dues. Not to mention the rest of that crazy star-studded cast - with the guns and the explosions and the hand-to-hand (poor smashed Karl Urban). That's totally DOING IT RIGHT. Take note, Stallone. ...
Read More

Role models

I'm in rewrite Hell. I hate every damn word of my script and I want to throw it in a fire. Scratch that - I'll rake it over glowing embers so that it suffers more. Meanwhile, I decided to populate my brain with good writing. This involved going to the cinema to watch Inception and catching up with Sherlock on iPlayer. And, well, damn. First, a confession: Christopher Nolan does not rev my motor. He did pretty much nothing for me with the Batman franchise, because I like my Bats with a little less brooding and a lot more sidekick. However, Inception was beautiful, twisty and really frickin' weird, with pitch-perfect dialogue and character building. I have not seen a film that good in a very long time. And then there was Sherlock. Obviously, I caught the high-budget period version, which I frankly adored, but this was something else. It captured the spirit of the original brilliantly and yet modernised it with a delicate touch...
Read More