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Shoot 'Em Up

(dir. Michael Davis)

New Line

The clue is in the title here, in fact most of the script is even in the title. Lone gunman Clive Owen attempts to save a baby from a well-armed arms dealer, as a series of set-pieces run one after another - seemingly contrived around the simplest of premises. Scene 2: gun drops in toilet before hand dryer heats bullets just in time to shoot bad guy. Scene 14: bad guys interrupt Clive getting jiggy, so he keeps at it by multi-tasking. Monica Belluci also stars - dressed down as a lactating wet-nurse hooker. Don't ask.

The plot is thinner than a video game and the action even more pointless. Characters can be a crack shot one minute then run through a hail of bullets unscathed the next. With Paul Giametti hamming it up more than Groucho Marx, and Clive Owen doing little to overcome his one-dimensional reputation, the action is all that's left to sell this film and unfortunately that's not exactly deftly handled.

While John Woo or Xiang Zimou might use too much balletic slow motion, there's at least some thought behind it all - where as this is just a blurry mess. Like a Van Damme movie without 'plot' and Clive Owen in the driving seat, 'Michael' Owen could have done a better job saving this turkey.

Soundtracked like an installment of Guitar Hero, the likes of Wolfmother, Motorhead and Nirvana make up the never-ending stream of rock music (the baby loves it apparently), which attempts to smooth out the faux emotion and misogynistic, sexist, shocking, dull, cartoon violence.

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15th Jul 2009 - Add Comment - Tweet

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Mr. Woodcock

(dir. Craig Gillespie)

New Line Cinema

After an over-weight childhood of bullying and lack-lustre sporting achievement, John Farley (Seann William Scott) has made a name for himself as a self-help author - thanks to his best-seller about "Letting Go". On returning to his hometown to pick up an achievement award, he discovers to his horror that his widowed mother (Susan Sarandon) is dating the sadistic gym teacher (Billy Bob Thornton) responsible for much of his childhood horror. Much hilarity ensues.

Billy Bob Thornton continues to water down the comedy highs of Bad Santa and Bad News Bears with this pedestrian comedy. Unfortunately this seems like it's made up of out-takes from the already lame School For Scoundrels remake, with Thornton's bullying gym teacher Mr Woodcock sharing the unflinching nasty streak of Dr. P, with a script that shows none of the sympathy of Bad Santa.

Seann William Scott has never showed any promise beyond his cameo as the donkey wrangler in Old School - and his performance here does nothing to upgrade his status. Susan Sarandon, you should know better.

At 87 minutes you'd expect things to whizz by, but with a plot this thin it drags and drags before finishing ungracefully and being immediately erased from my memory.

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16th Jun 2009 - Add Comment - Tweet

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WWDC: iPhone 3 and more

Apple's big World Wide Developer's Conference kicks off today in San Francisco, and while big boss Steve Jobs is still benched with illness, sidekick Phil Schiller is expected to make some big announcements.

A new iPhone seems almost certain, with improvements likely to be made to the camera, a possible magnetometer to add digital compass capabilities. The biggest changes will likely be coming through the new 3.0 software - which should also be available to existing handset owners.

Changes to the way apps can work on the phone should lead to some good developments - so there's bound to be some additional announcements from third-party manufacturers. Personally, I'm hoping for an iPhone version of Spotify - to match the recently announced Android version. A rumoured Apple netbook seems a little less likely for tomorrow, but they'd better get a move on with that as again, Google's already on the case - expanding their Android platform into Acer's new line.

There will also likely be a demo and possible release date for latest edition of OSX, 10.6 'Snow Leopard'. Grr.

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8th Jun 2009 - Add Comment - Tweet

Harold And Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay

(dir. Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg)

New Line Cinema

More dumb stoner fun from Harold and Kumar. This time they're trying to bust out of Guantanamo after getting arrested mid-flight to Amsterdam when Harold's smokeless bong is mistaken for a bomb.

If you've seen the first one, you'll know what to expect: mid-to-low brow stoner jokes with enough room and wit for some sly social commentary. That it's a stoner film prepared to actually acknowledge the madness of Guantanamo Bay is all to its credit; obviously it's hardly the most in depth critique, but like their take on racism in the first one, it does make it a film with something to say (alongside all the pot-shots).

There's another great cameo from Neil Patrick Harris aka Doogie Howser, some more trippy nonsense and a realness to the H&K friendship - not bad for a film with a unicorn in it. It's a pretty mindless romp in some ways, ambling along from wacky adventure to wacky adventure, but that's also what makes this likable comedy work. 

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24th Oct 2008 - Add Comment - Tweet

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Tindersticks

Tindersticks are back with a new line up, new album and new myspace page - where you can download the track The Flicker Of A Little Girl.

Their first new album in five years, The Hungry Saw is out April 28th.

 

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30th Jan 2008 - 1 comments - Add Comment - Tweet