#BigRonFilmReviews

An Expansion of the famous #BigRonFilmReviews twitter hashtag - because 140 characters is seldom enough.
My Hyperbole is my own, later to be contradicted and refuted.

Just ask manTwitterFaceacheNext pageArchive

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001)
Rewatch.
Bizarrely the second worst film of the series but equally the movie that drove me to read the series.
Its just a little bit flimsy with some unimpressive cgi. Childish in tone but in fairness a good adaptation of the first book which is little more than a pamphlet. The child acting is occasionally difficult to look at, especially Emma Watson (who interestingly has gone on to become the strongest of the three).
Lots of exposition and character development here, who is who? What can they do? Who might be significant later? 
The grand finale is not too grand but all in all a lovely introduction to JK Rowling’s world of Wizards, Warlocks, Wands and people that must not be named. Every series has to start somewhere and this one just about does enough.
“I was most unfortunate in my youth to come across a vomit-flavored one, and since then I’m afraid I’ve lost my liking for them”.
“Mm, alas, earwax”.
“Dry up Dursley, you great prune!”.
“It’s Levi-OOOOH-sa not LevioSAR”.
#BigRonFilmReviews
The Last of the Mohicans (1992)
Rewtach.
A story of love and honour on the Anglo-French Colonial Wars.
Three native Americans escort a General’s daughters through beautiful landscape set to haunting panpipe score.
I’m a big fan of an action period piece, Robin Hood, Dances with Wolves, Braveheart etc and this one probably shouldn’t work but It really does.
Day-Lewis is so good you forget he’s not really very native American and boy does he look the business running through a battlefield with long flowing locks
This film has a couple of cracking ambushes that result in some brilliant action, I do love a good sword, musket and tomahawk battle, especially with added Indian war cries.
The Pompous English with their stuff upper lips and oppressive disciplina is well handled and the Magua story arc is a really interesting one. He is the real representative of Native Americans in this movie, wronged by English Tyranny and confused by subsequent surrender and custom. The bad guy, bit also in many ways a righteous good guy in the piece.
It’s an action movie bit also a commentary on the evil of the white man and colonisation and it remains a bloody good watch.
"I do not call myself subject to much at all"
"You speak poison with two tongues".
"The French haven’t the nature for war. Their Gallic laziness combines with their Latinate voluptuousness with the result that they would rather eat and make love with their faces than fight".
"Miss Monroe. They’re not strangers, and they’ll stay as they lay".
"Magua understands that the white man is a dog to his women. When they are tired, he puts down his tomahawk to feed their laziness".
"You’ll just have to forgo the pleasure of hanging me".
#BigRonFilmReviews
Inglorious Basterds (2009)
A first rewatch of Quentin Tarantino rewriting WWII history. As per he’s turned this into 70s blaxploitation funk style caper and this time I really enjoyed it.
That said it’s far from his best work, its slow, often baggy and frequently self indulgent. Now, I appreciate a master craftsman like QT has earned the right to indulge himself but with a little more editing this could have been a lot better.
The interplay is splendid and the characters is super, some of the situations and conversations are hilarious plus I simply ‘bought in’ to a great degree.
Christophe Waltz is, as ever a galvanizing watch. He has an ability, a presence that holds me on edge and seems to do the same to his co-stars. Pitt is in full ham mode, channeling a kind of comedy Marlon Brando from the Godfather.
Long, silly, funny, historically inaccurate and a decent watch but not up there with his other works.
"We ain’t in the prisoner-takin’ business; we in the killin’ Nazi business. And cousin, business is a-boomin".
"Once the Basterds heard of him, he never got there"
"The Bear Jew".
"Why do you have a Walther pointed at my testicles?"
"Got us a German here that wants to die for his country. Obliiige him"
"Fightin’ in a basement offers a lot of difficulties. Number one being, you’re fightin’ in a basement!
 #BigRonFilmReviews

Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014)

Caught this trail whilst waiting for Noah last night…… Sorry Marky Mark but this looks appalling. I think i’ll wait for DVD or maybe even TV….

Noah (2014)
Or Lord of the Noah: Return of The Rocklords as it might have been titled.
Here we have Darren Aronofsky’s vision of the bible story. It took some effort getting into see this, really not my bag but having forced myself into the theatre I pretty much enjoyed it. Pretty much.
The representation of Noah as a a fallible man suffering the torment of a crisis of faith is absolutely spot on. Do we need rockmonsters? Probably not. Did we need übercockney Ray Winston as the personification of Darkness and Evil to contrast the light? Possibly not.
Its a crazy portrayal of a miraculous story (sorry i’m not sure story is the right term but i’ll persist). I guess the important thing is that the message of the tale is not lost, far from it, so I guess the artistic license (ab)used is acceptable. I mean what do I want humble retelling? Hardly.
The creation sequence is excellent, the eco message obvious and apparently this is how I like my bible stories but i’m unlikely to ever revisit.
"He’s going to destroy the Earth".
#BigRonFilmReviews
Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
A Captain America take on a kind of Enemy of the State meets Tinker, Tailor, Soldier Spy movie with the usual sass, style and banging about we expect from these modern Marvel productions. And I really enjoyed it.
The plot is engaging, the espionage stuff works and they’ve done really well continuity-wise, especially considering it’s a sequel set 70 years after the first. That said the twists are fairly obvious and Toby Jones feels a little shoehorned in.
Plenty of stuff to enjoy, they beat the 95 year old Cap drum well and look out for the excellent Mission Impossible moment that made me smile.
Chris Evans makes a good cap, Scarlet Johansson has more to do than in previous movies and and being ScarJo is rather brilliant. Anthony Mackie’s Falcon is a nice addition and Robert Redford continues the Marvel tradition of never trust a bloke in a suit.
When it does descend into smashy, bangy, runny, jumpy stuff its big its bold and explosion heavy (which I understand the kids dig) and I wasn’t as bored as I have been with that kind of thing - Zack Snyder take note.
I like the superhero stuff and this is up there with the best of the stuff we’ve seen before. (well not the Dark Knight Rises that of course stands alone),
“I do what he does. Only slower”
“Well, all the guys in my barbershop quartet are dead. So no, not really.”
“Before we get started, does anyone want to get out?”
"On your left".
"When do we start?"
#BigRonFilmReviews

The French Connection (1971)
Ticking a box on my Film watching CV.
This is a movie of awesome pursuits - whether thats an outrageous real life law breaking car chase, kiss chase on the tube or Santa chasing a drug dealer with a knife.
We follow a couple of abrasive cops around a Soulful, 70s, Disco New York as they shakedown and beat up jive-talking cats selling drugs and undercover an International Smuggling operation. A bit like that Starsky and Hutch remake with Owen Wilson and Ben Stiller, only serious.
This is fairly dated looking but it’s still enjoyable (I should perhaps refer to it as classic instead). The infamous car chase is good fun although how Hackman didn’t kill himself i’ll never know - I believe he was doing that driving in real traffic and they filmed it without permission.
Hackman’s driven cop in a silly hat is a good guy to follow and all in all this is a damn good movie.
"You wanna play "hide the salami" with his old lady".
"Whats happening baby?"
"Where do you want it?"
"They locked me up with my own cuffs!"
#BigRonFilmReviews
Kill Your Darlings (2014)
Gah! I feel the same way about this as I did The Bling Ring. Well made, decent enough performances but I hated everyone in it and therefore really struggled with the movie.
Harry Potter heads off to Columbia University where he hooks up with the beat poets and the pretentious jazzy world of smoking in baths, half hanging yourself in pants, taking philosophy and challenging conformity.
At the heart of it is an interesting killing, accidental or murder and a story about love, manipulation and discovery but it’s told by odious characters I just hated.
Not for me ta.
"No thank you. I don’t do the Canabis"
"We are exploring the avenues of Alan’s mind".
"Yes. It’s called the day…. Amanda came…"
"I am not a Virgin. I have done it with four guys already".
#BigRonFillmReviews

Godzilla (2014)

Caught this for the first time yesterday, looks good, i’m in. All it needed was some Jamiroquai though right?

Divergent (2014)
I wasn’t expecting much from this but it’s not too grim - in a derivative, contrived and cheesy formulaic kind of way.
Set in a desolate, post apocalyptic Chicago. Society has separated into five factions: 
Cool Punky Tattooed Kids
Blazer wearing Boffs
Hippies
The Amish
Something about truth-tellers that doesn’t seem important (but probably will be…)
Ones destiny is determined by a glorified sorting hat but not everyone wants to be in Slytherin - you get the idea. Our Heroin is one such kid, a Divergent. As is the way in these dystopian societies human nature tends to find away and insurrection begins.
There’s some decent stuff in here. The girl kind of grows on you and i’m always a fan of any kind of training regime (plus the obligatory montage). There are a few twists and surprises that are telegraphed yet still fulfilling. Anyone that’s been to Chicago will also enjoy some well used landmarks, Navy Pier, The Sears Tower and lots of the ‘L’ train.
The Black and White character types are none too subtle and the movie certainly drills home the “we’re all different” point. Theo James takes the brooding a little too far but i’m sure it’ll work for the target audience.
I quite liked this but was coached by having heard some other reviews. Had I rocked up cold the premise of this segregated society may well have lost my interest.
The Twilight and Hunger Games fanbase will probably dig this.
“I don’t want to be just one thing. I can’t be. I want to be brave, and I want to be selfless, intelligent, and honest and kind. Well, I’m still working on kind”.
“Why does everybody keep saying that?”
“Fear doesn’t shut you down, it wakes you up”
#BigRonFilmReviews
Papillon (1973)
Think The Great Escape meets Shawshank Redemption with a little Count of Monte Cristo and Escape from Alcatraz thrown on for good measure.
This is a triumph of the human spirit, buddy movie. Steve McQueen and a wealthy Dustin Hoffman are questionably sent to a French Penal Colony in French Guiana.
In the prison they must endure vindictive guards, amorous inmates, crocodiles, psychotic episodes and other horrific conditions which are surely enough to drive an obsession with escape. Especially when you’re innocent.
An enjoyable, occasionally quite violent tale of McQueen’s indomitable spirit and desire for freedom with a depiction of descent into semi madness that I thoroughly enjoyed.
"If I stay. Here in this place. I’ll die".
"Hey you bastards, I’m still here".
#BigRonFilmReviews
A History of Violence (2005)
Rewatch - a little spoilery.
Small town Family man Viggo Mortensen’s life is turned upside down when he foils a robbery in his own cafe. But was he always a small time family man…?
A pretty interesting movie that poses some interesting questions such as “Can a man really change?”, “How can a man be pushed before he snaps?”. The dual father and son theme of tolerance and the potential to explode is also nicely handled.
Well made with a quiet, quiet, loud and violent dynamic. Some of the violence and measures taken are appalling (particularly at the start). The violence also feels authentic which adds to it’s gravitas.
I think Viggo is a superb actor, one that should make more movies and he’s superb here in what is almost a duel role, affable family man and something quite different.
On rewatch the is he? isn’t he premise? is devalued somewhat but visually and performance wise this remains an excellent watch.
"Quiet my parents are in the next room!"
"We grow up. We have affairs and become alcoholics".
"Make it black. Joey".
#BigRonFilmReviews
Dom Hemingway (2013)
A derivative cockney gangster romp. A twist of Sexy Beast, a pinch of Layer Cake a twist of maybe Trainspotting and with the excessive boozing and Richard E Grant you can’t help but think there’s some Withnail and I in here too but this is actually more of a family drama.
Jude Law is fresh out of Prison and seeking his silence money from a Russian cartoon mobster in Demian Bechir. But after a few crazy antics he realises what he is really seeking.
I guess its a character driven piece an underlying commentary on the Fatherhood. Jude Law is given the opportunity to cut loose and deliver a plosive, boozy, sweary homage to Brian Blessed with added anger - which despite myself I did rather enjoy. Richard E. Grant is an enjoyable presence, no stretch for him here however, he’s kicking out his suave Richard E. Grant performance.
It’s a boozy romp with some added violence and passes the cunt test with flying colours but it’s not overly fulfilling.
“You fucker! My betrothed. You’re nothing but a pestilence, an uphill gardener with a weak chin”.
“He was raised in a Russian orphanage and kills people for a living. Of course he has a well-stocked bar.”
#BigRonFilmReviews
The Transporter (2002)
I quite like The Stath and I have a penchant for dumb action movies so it’s a surprise this has taken me 12 years to catch.
This is where James Bond meets the Fast & Furious. A super slick, ruthless anti hero living by his own set of principles breaks his own rules and ends up in a mess with Clichéed villains and has to rescue the beautiful girl.
It’s high speed, high octane stuff, ridiculous stunts, lots of opportunities for Statham to whip his Tshirt off and all the cars have screechy wheels. All set to a quirky score.This is an adequate action movie and I can see why they made a couple of sequels, there are better things to watch than this, like Bourne and of Course James Bond but if this is your bag it has merit. I mean who doesn’t like men fighting whilst covered in oil?
"Three men, 254 kilos, that was the deal".
"Rule 3. Never look in the package".
#BigRonFilmReviews
Waterworld (1995)
Rewatch of Kevin Costner’s much maligned Mad Max on water movie that I’ve always been rather fond of.
The Polar Ice Cap has melted and man now lives hand to mouth trading dirt on the waves and longing to find the mythical “Dryland”.
Lone Wolf Kevin Costner gets into a pickle when he visits a trading post and ends up on the run from Dennis Hopper (doing a heavily down Frank Booth homage to himself) and his “Smokers”. 
Lumbered with 90s stalwart Jeanne Tripplehorne (where has she been for 14 years?) and a young girl with mysterious markings we descend into a fairly decent chase-action movie.
As alluded to above, very much post apocalyptic Mad Max territory with a whole Noah great flood thing thrown in for good measure. There is decent action, reasonable writing, moments of comic timing and madcap characters - it really isn’t that bad.
Rewatching this reminds me how much I miss Dennis Hopper. Here he is hamming it up to high heaven, kicking out some excellent one-eyed one liners. I kind of want watch Apocalypse Now and True Romance too.
This movie gets the shit kicked out of it for being the most expensive film ever made (at the time) and not being worthy of the outlay but if you put that to one side there’s much to enjoy.
A decent enough movie, I kind of like most of Costner’s 90s work if I’m honest.
"Pure Dirt, 3.2 kilos"
"Mutation!"
"Don’t just stand there, kill something!"
"If I ever see him again, I’m going to cut open his head and eat his brain"
"Wanna cigarette? You’re never too young to start."
#BigRonFilmReviews