Not Another Teen Movie (2001)

Rating: 15
Length: 1h 29
Release: 24.5.2001
Dir: Joel Gallen
About: A jock bets that he can convert a girl in his high school into a prom queen. But his wicked sister and a devious cheerleader endeavour to thwart him.


The Good

  • Both Chyler Leigh and Chris Evans are brilliant in these lead roles; they are able to bring characteristics of the multitude of teen leads referenced throughout and make the characters they play their own.
  • The cameos are dotted throughout and become their own little reference to films the star has been in. Well, except for Mr T, I’m not sure about the connection there. But, hell, its Mr T!
  • The number of films this film sends up in unbelievable and its done in a way that is a nod to the audience, but not totally at the expense of the plot. Nothing feels overly shoe-horned in or out of place. Which is certainly something that cannot be said for others in this ‘franchise’.
  • My absolute favourite part of this movie is the send up of the 10 Things I Hate About You scene where Heath sings “You’re too good to be true”. Essentially the same set up, but Evan’s Jake is told that girls like it when their name is in the song. Her name is Janey…

The Bad

  • I’m not sure how I feel about the commentary of PoC in this movie. While I understand the character of Malik explaining his stereotype within this particular genre, I feel uncomfortable with the fact that its done just for that purpose. Especially when the character is self aware and has that ‘I’m tired of this shit’ attitude, but then goes on to demonstrate the stereotype and shrug as if ‘oh I guess that is me.’
    What I perhaps would have liked to have seen is the character act against the type in much the same way the actor, Deon Richmond, later does in Scream 3. It didn’t need to be massive, but a few nods here or there would have really changed it up for me.

The Ugly

  • Another film that plays on brother/sister incest. Yak! While I’m aware it’s playing on the step-sibling lust from Cruel Intentions and the lines “We’re related!”/ “Only by blood.” is *slightly* funny, it’s just too much of a pet hate of mine to not call it out.
  • The toilet humour is just not my thing. It’s understandable that these types of films go there when considering it’s inspiration filmography.

Final Thoughts

I’ve watched this film way too many times for a film I know I don’t like. What can I say, it’s the film geek in me that likes the film references. It’s also one of the better spoof films that followed this ‘named genre’ send up. Never again though because some of the jabs are way too cheap.

The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr Toad (1949)

Rating: U/A
Length: 1h 8
Release: 15.12.1949
Dir:  Clyde Geronimi, Jack Kinney, James Algar
About: Two animated adaptations of classic literature make up this Disney film. In “The Wind in the Willows,” wealthy Mr. Toad (Eric Blore) yearns for all the newest fads. When he wants an automobile, Mr. Toad sets out to get one any way he can. In “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” gangly schoolmaster Ichabod Crane falls for the beautiful Katrina Van Tassel. Caught in a love triangle with Katrina and Brom Bones, Ichabod fears a local legend called the Headless Horseman.


The Good

  • The first story, looking at the characters from Wind in the Willows, is adorable. Mole is so so cute, both as a character and as an animation.
  • The music elements of ‘Mr Toad’ is brilliant, especially the horse. In typical fashion, the horse is very Disney. I love how he sings, I love how he talks.
  • The weasels look and act exactly like the ones we’ll see in Who Framed Roger Rabbit.
  • The animation of both is very similar to Alice in Wonderland and I really enjoyed that.
  • The pumpkin going through the tunnel during the tale of Ichabod was amazing, especially considering the time in which it was made.

The Bad

  • Toad reminds me too much of the Crazy Frog and once I saw it, I couldn’t enjoy it.
  • Ichabod: “Gets around like no one else can.” The next scene then basically shows us that Ichabod is banging all his student’s mums in order to be fed. Okay, so it’s only implied, but it is HEAVILY implied.

The Ugly

  • I went into this unaware that it was two separate tales and it really threw me, once I discovered this, that the tale of Mr Toad came before that of Ichabod.
  • Ichabod is basically portrayed as a Snape character, yet all the women of the town going nuts. There are women who are having a lesson with him, that literally have their eyes rolling to the back of their heads. WHAT. THE. FUCK?
  • There’s not enough Headless Horseman in this tale. It’s more about Ichabod having a hard on for Katrina and fighting Braum for her.

Final Thoughts

I wrote ‘what the fuck?’ way too many times in my notes. Give me Sleepy Hollow (1999) any day.

The Fog (1980)

Rating: 15/A
Length: 1h 29
Release: 6.11.1980
Dir: John Carpenter
About:Folks get ready to celebrate the centenary of Antonio Bay. But, many had suffered due to crimes that founded this town. Now, they rise from the sea, under the cover of the fog, to claim retribution.


The Good

  • The strength of this film is the atmosphere that’s cultivated with the opening campfire ghost story and built upon throughout the film.
  • I love the character of Stevie. She’d won me over in her first scene when she informs her caller “I’m never lonely”. At no point is she a damsel and I like that. She is a strong character who helps us learn more about the fog and its plans for the town.
  • I love the ending. While ‘old hat’ and not something I would accept from a film today, it was an excellent ‘gotcha’ and makes for an absolute resolution to the narrative.
  • Some of the effects work really well. Namely the plank of wood seeping water scene. I can imagine working with water is difficult at the best of times, but what they achieve there is chilling and entertaining.

The Bad

  • There’s a massive disconnect between the characters. There’s three distinct groups that have no connection with each other until the final act. The town, for me, it too small for this plot element to work. I also wish they’d made the connection between Kathy Williams and one of the men on the ship. I have no emotional attachment to their relationship so her loss has no weight.

The Ugly

  • Jamie-Lee’s Elizabeth feels shoe-horned in just to give her a role. That’s not to say she doesn’t do a good job with what she’s given. It’s just that there are hints to her character being more than she appears, but it ends up going nowhere. Had she have been in the town for a while and leaving as the film starts, I may have bought into her relationship with Nick a little more.
    I don’t buy into her following Nick around the way she does after one shag. I don’t get the build up of mystery for it to lead nowhere.
  • For a small town, I don’t buy into people not knowing each other. Nick is a decedent of the founders and Stevie is an established disc jockey in town. How is that they don’t know each other, even in passing?!
  • The more we see of the ghosts, the less impact they have. In one the final scenes, we really do get too close a look at one of them and it undoes a lot of the tension built.

Final Thoughts

Brilliant premise, with a great leading lady in Adrienne Barbeau, however, the final product feels very disconnected and as a viewer, I struggled to invest in anyone in the town.

Escape From L.A (1996)

Rating: 15
Length: 1h 41
Release: 20.9.1996
Dir: John Carpenter
About: A terrorist brainwashes Utopia, daughter of the U.S. President into stealing a detonation device. Snake, a mercenary, is assigned the task to find the device and the girl.


The Good

  • While there are a lot of plot similarities to Snake’s mission in New York, the ending is the edge that L.A needed to allow it to stand out. The last few minutes in change the landscape of this filmic world has completely changed. It really sparks my imagination about what Snake’s actions mean for the franchise.
  • The basketball scene is brilliant. I prefer it to the boxing match from EFNY. It’s so simple in set up, but the result is a scene in which the biggest enemy is himself.
  • Steve Buscemi’s quadruple-crossing Map to the Stars Eddie is an interesting addition to the film, although there where one too many crossing of sides for my personal liking.

The Bad

  • The reuse of the ticking-clock by way of a deadly infection (Okay, it was a bomb inside a pill last time) was a little eye-rolling. The two time fake-out was unnecessary though. Plot-wise, I find this one of the weaker aspects.

The Ugly

  • The CGI is dog shit, even in isolation. Then consider that it’s three years after the bar-setting Jurassic Park and you’ll be forgiven for thinking it’s a 16 year-old’s media project.
  • Not sure how I feel about Pam Grier. Not so much that she plays a trans character. Given the time and it’s place in the plot I can understand the casting. It’s snake feeling Hershe up that makes me a little uncomfortable.

Final Thoughts

Its the Desperado to Snake’s El Mariachi. While the beats are the same, it still offers something different. It might not work for everyone, but for me I really enjoyed this outing a little bit more.

The Prophecy (1995)

Rating: 18
Length: 1h 38
Release: 8.1.1996
Dir: Gregory Widen
About: The story revolves around a little girl and a priest, who try to prevent Gabriel, an angel from collecting souls from earth to end the stalemated war in Heaven.


The Good

  • The premise of angels versus humans is an interesting one. While it may not have been executed in a way that would warrant a cinematic release, it still holds strong against others that are similar.
  • Eric Stoltz is pretty decent as Simon. He’s able to give a performance that gives the audience a hint doubt as to whose side he is on.
  • Christopher Walken gives a otherworldly performance that you buy into the second he comes on screen. The contempt Gabriel feels for humans comes off Walken in waves and the fear that manifests is something I’ve long associated with his roles.
  • The combination of Christianity and Native American mysticism is really refreshing. There’s no clash between the two when the Native Americans are needed to help the young girl in trouble. There was no narrative over which one was right and I liked that there was no comments by the angels disavowing the culture and faith of the Native Americans.
  • Viggo Mortesen embodies Lucifer in a similar way viewers will later see in Tom Ellis. I can totally see him as the fallen angel from the bible, who attempts to charm Jesus into betraying G-d.

The Bad

  • Some character introductions were unclear. While it adds mystery to the angels and adds a barrier between the viewer and the heavenly characters, it does also make the narrative much harder than it needs to be.

The Ugly

  • Simon kissing the young girl. I understand its the method of transference but it really changes the tone of the scene. It really makes Simon’s interaction leading to that moment really rapey!

Final Thoughts

This was an entertaining watch akin to End of Days, Stigmata and Priest. It certainly is an interesting concept, and I do wonder how the other two will add to the franchise.

The Truman Show (1998)

Rating: PG
Length: 1hr 43
Release: 9.10.1998
Dir: Peter Weir
About: An insurance salesman is oblivious of the fact that his entire life is a TV show and his family members are mere actors. As he starts noticing things and uncovers the truth, he decides to escape.


The Good

  • Jim Carrey gives one of his best, most levelled and charming performances as Truman Burbank, the focus of this film. While there’s still the flourish of crazy, its not too brash.
  • The plot has aged so well in the time since it was first released. The satire element is only more prominent today and it leads to some very deep questions about the society we live in and the entertainment we accept on TV.
  • The effects used on the cameras to distinguish between certain views is a nice touch. It also stands as a reminder that Truman is on a show.

The Bad

  • Laura Linney. I can’t quite tell if its just her character, or the actress herself that bugs me. I don’t understand the method of engineering a love interest in the way the director did and I also don’t understand why they would pick such a BAD ACTRESS (Linney’s character, not Linney herself) with no ability to improvise. At the height of Truman’s mania, she makes the situation so much worse.
  • The extreme gaslighting of everyone on set does make it a little bit of an uncomfortable watch. The lengths taken are a commentary about the tv studio, but it gives me a feeling akin to a horror movie and I’m not sure that’s the film’s intent.

The Ugly

  • Ed Harris’ Christof and the ‘creator’ as God metaphor. I mean the guy was a dick anyway, did it really have to go that far?!

Final Thoughts

Charming and thoughtful look into the world of reality TV, long before it was a format that became a reality to us.

Jaws the Revenge (1987)

Rating: PG
Length: 1h 29
Release: 21.8.1987
Dir: Joseph Sargent
About: The island community of Amity is terrorised by shark attacks when a vengeful shark returns to avenge the death of her progeny.


The Good

  • I really loved the conversation between Ellen and her daughter-in-law after kissing Hoagie for the first time. In a film bogged down with shit, it was quite refreshing to have this honest interaction about something real.
  • I really enjoyed Michael Caine’s performance as Hoagie. While we get very little about the character other than mystery and stories, he’s charming enough for me to be pissed off at Michael’s attempts at cock-blocking his mother. The Caine-ness of it all can be summed up in the final act where he is talking, only to cut himself off mid-sentence to utter “shit” in a way only Michael Caine can.
  • I really loved the casting of Sean Brody. He was a lovely bright and bubbly character that I took to immediately. Then that bastard shark went and did its thing.

The Bad

  • Much like the second film, everyone seems miserable. Even the majority of the conversations that are had seem rooted in negativity. Even the dialogue between Michael and his chipper friend, Jake becomes snippy when we get half way. Yes, I know its about a “vengeful” shark however, its success (the film’s, not the shark) relies on the human relationships and interactions. Yes, it also opens with the death of a character we’ve seen in all previous films, but the negative exchanges are nothing as cathartic as dealing with grief.
  • The continuity between movies is shit. Sean is younger than he was four years previous, Michael has a kid that would have been one year old during the events of SeaWorld and he’s now a Marine Biologist. Okay, so I guess we can ignore Jaws 3 and things work out. But I can’t, I watched that bastard yesterday. Yes, I’m getting pissy about characters in a film about a shark that goes to the Bahamas for Christmas to seek out, and presumably, kill the remaining Brody family.
  • Was there a need to recreate the opening of the Little Mermaid with Michael and the shark?!

The Ugly

  • Is Ellen psychically connected to the shark? What the fuck is with the editing when Michael is attacked?! At first it looked like she was witnessing the attack. Nope, she was having a vision or some shit.
  • The character of Ellen as a whole was just off. More an embodiment of her husband than anything reminiscent of Lorraine Grey’s initial performances. From her fear of the water to her bickering with her son. It all seemed out of character, even considering what she’d been through. While I was happy with her heading out to sea, I’d have liked to see her go out a little more prepared.
  • The fucking shark! Jesus, that shark all but tap danced. Gone is the tension from the first film. Just because the bar is placed so high and you can’t reach it, doesn’t mean you have to reach for new lows! There was no attempt to try and make what I can only guess was a man in a fish suit, act like an actual shark. Instead, what we get is a grey rubber mass going for the solo ‘participation award’ in synchronised swimming.
  • Slow-mo death scenes are bad. Yet we get a fair few in this. Including the death of the fucking shark itself. After its weird jiggles from the ‘bomb’ come electric shock thingy, the film goes for Sharky like he’s Ursula.

Final Thoughts

Actually floats in the ‘its so bad, its a bit funny’ category. That said, I spent most of my life treating Jaws as a singular movie and I think I’ll be going back to that way of thinking.

Twins (1988)

Rating: PG
Length: 1hr 47
Release: 17.3.1989
Dir: Ivan Reitman
About: A pair of twins emerges from an experiment wherein one twin is gnomish while the other is king-sized. Separated at birth, they only meet as adults when Julius comes looking for his much shorter twin.


The Good

  • The conceit of having Danny DeVito and Arnold Schwarzenegger playing twins has always been the core joy of this film. There’s something about opposites that provides a solid basis for comedy. Laurel and Hardie are proof of this and its does feel like a riff off that basic premise.
  • At the heart of this film is the theme of family. Both Julius and Vincent are missing something in their lives and it’s through their journey they discover how important they are to each other. There are some brilliant moments between the two men that make this comedy so heartwarming.
  • How well does Arnie fit into a comedy role. There’s just something about his performance that has always made me smile. Then there’s the ‘twin’ behaviours both of them demonstrate; from having an itch to the way they eat. It’s the stuff that younger viewers will enjoy.
  • This film has everything. Mystery, crime, romance and even a road movie. It has something for everyone.

The Bad

  • I do not like the treatment of Vince when details of the ‘sperm milkshake’ come out and they are trying to find out why they got split up. ‘You’re the crap Vincent.’ Brings up so many questions, including nature versus. Yes, its easy to say he’s ‘the crap’ when you see his lifestyle. However, he was brought up believing he was unwanted could also lead to his lifestyle.
    Plus, it’s really shitty and saying you have to be Arnie to be a success! Well fuck that!

The Ugly

  • Yet another film that uses male rape as a punchline. Upon Julius’ arrival to LA he heads straight to the orphanage in which counterpart was placed and he’s told that once he’s ‘disgraced’ on of the convent sisters, Vincent ran away. This in itself had me prickled. It’s implied that the action that disgraced the sister was sex and the blame is firmly placed on Vince.
    We are brought back to this event when discussing the fact that Jules is a virgin while they’re on their road trip with the two love interests. Vincent explains that he lost his virginity at 12 and that it was to the same woman mentioned earlier.
    Okay, so Danny DeVito does a great job at exuding confidence that make it believable that he’s a Lothario. It also doesn’t really matter about the appeal of the character/actor. Mainly because at 12 years old, he was underage and the sister was an adult who took his virginity. It’s rape and an abuse of power. To have it in the movie at all, without commentary, is bad enough. To then imply the sister is the injured party is sickening and worryingly feels like a commentary of what was going in Hollywood with the young actors at the time.

Final Thoughts

It wasn’t as funny as I remember it being, but its still as heartwarming by the final scene. A good Sunday night movie and one of my favourite performances of Schwarzenegger

Big Trouble in Little China (1986)

Rating: 15
Length: 1hr 39
Release: 14.11.1986
Dir: John Carpenter
About: Jack Burton, a truck driver, gets dragged into the mysterious underworld beneath Chinatown where he faces an ancient sorcerer named Lo Pan.


The Good

  • It has all the feel and adventure of other 80s movies. It fits well with Goonies, Gremlins and Princess Bride.
  • The casting is solid. Kurt Russell is well placed and so are others. Despite the complication of who is the hero of this movie, Russell is able to present Jack as a decent everyman.
  • The final act really does bring its A game. If the first two acts brought as much balance to the action and exposition, I may have enjoyed it more.

The Bad

  • The opening act feels a little too busy to hook in an audience. All very convoluted and missing something that I can’t quite put my finger on. It’s all rather choppy and hard to follow.
  • There are way too many characters that are introduced that have very little, to no impact upon the film’s narrative. Which would be okay, if it wasn’t for the fact that so much time is spent introducing them; the reporter being one of them.

The Ugly

  • The plot felt lifeless and I felt as if the story had been edited to refocus on Jack, when in fact Wang Chi or Egg Shen is the hero. It makes for a slight disconnect to the characters and the events that unfold.
  • The creature effects are dodgy as!

Final Thoughts

This is a film that I should love, I want to love it. I just can’t. It feels too taxing to be enjoyed and the comedy elements are very hard to be found.

Film Review: Dirty Harry (1971)

Rating: X/15
Length: 1hr 43
Release: 30.3.1972
Dir: Don Siegel
About: In the year 1971, a police detective ignores the orders of his superiors and gambles with innocent lives to capture a sniper terrorizing San Francisco.


The Good

  • Hate to go all ‘film student’ on you, but there’s some amazing visuals in this. Just after half way through the film, Harry (Clint Eastwood) is asked to ‘put your nose right up against the cement’. The visuals then turn into a POV shot as Harry looks up at the cross monument. It’s not something you see anymore in film and its quite disarming.
  • Andy Robinson is the definition of scary playing the man only ever identified as ‘Killer’ or Scorpio. From the manical laugh to the lengths he’ll go to frame Harry as a rotten apple within the police. He’ll give you nightmares and have you fearing nearly everyone. But that’s the thing, he is so brilliant at being scary.
  • Thrilling without being loud and fast, or a dull slow burn. The sort of story presented in Dirty Harry would be filmed in one of those two ways if it was made today. I loved this middle ground pacing.

The Bad

  • Outdated comments presented should not be removed, as censoring the past gets us nowhere. However, it doesn’t mean I have to like it.
  • Music is very DISCO! It’s hard to say if it fits the film or not, given that its reflective of the time. However, I’m not certain it matches the tone of the film at all times.

The Ugly

  • I’m not sure how I feel about the reveal of the body at the end. I’m pretty certain they wouldn’t have used an underage actress to be lifted out of the location completely naked, however the actress who is playing the discovered body is playing a 14 year old girl and I found the whole thing gratuitous.

Final Thoughts

I don’t know how I’d not seen this movie before now. It’s incredible from start to finish and one of the best thrillers I’ve ever seen.

Film Review: Wedding Crashers (2005)

Rating: 15
Length: 1hr 59
Release: 14.7.2005
Dir: David Dobkin
About: Two womanisers who love to gatecrash weddings find themselves in a fix when one of them falls in love with the bridesmaid at one such wedding.


The Good

  • Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn work well as best friends, bordering on narcissistic but I feel as if that’s typical for male friendships in movies. There are also some sweet moments between the two.
  • As always Christopher Walken is a delight and a saving grace for the film. His charm works for the role as a powerful public figure and a thoughtful, open-minded dad.

The Bad

  • I couldn’t buy into the premise; crashing weddings to get laid. They’re not bad looking lads and they’re too old. I just feel as if it’s too much effort for banging a broad. Even if it was to scope out future clients as part of their jobs as mediators. Something that anchored these characters so that both of them having feelings doesn’t feel so forced. The only other way it works is that two twenty-somethings are cast. They’re up-and-comers with no money so choose the weddings in the hopes of a free bar and open legs.
  • It’s really not funny. It’s either too crude, too boring or the guys are too old to make it work. The whole plot feels very … well, its shit! The pacing and time structure of the whole thing is bollocks. Seriously? Owen Wilson spends 72 hours with Amy Adams and is wallowing MONTHS later! Bull shit!

The Ugly

  • Will Farrell. I remembered why I avoided his films; he’s a shouty douchebag and he makes me cringe! Now, if he was in one of the main roles, I’d have bought that he was pathetic enough to be going to weddings.
  • There’s two instances of sexual assault. Vince Vaughn is unknowingly strapped to his bed while asleep before being awoken by a naked Isla Fisher straddling him. He says no! Then she leaves, without untying him, and her brother jumps in and gives Vaughn a fondle. I don’t mention this lightly. I’m actually really pissed off. Put a woman in Vaughn’s position and this scene wouldn’t have made it into a comedy. Sexual assault, regardless of the victim or aggressor’s gender, shouldn’t be played for laughed. It doesn’t matter what happens between the people before or after and I think it’s just as, if not more so, important to call out male sexual assault. Ladies, we want equality; this is how it looks. It cuts both ways.

Final Thoughts

I hoped for something like Dodgeball. It was not Dodgeball. It was not Dodgeball in the slightest. I’m just glad I’d not see this before, otherwise I might never have gone to see The Internship.

Film Review: Christine (1983)

Rating: 18
Length: 1hr 50
Release: 2.3.1984
Dir: John Carpenter
About: Arnie restores an old car and names her Christine, but he is unaware that she has an evil presence within her. When anyone tries to come between her owner and her, they are not spared.


The Good

  • Visually, the opening is awesome. The birth of Christine is something quite unexpected. While there’s no real explanation as to why its that car in particular, it still hooks you in.
  • Christine riding around on fire looks absolutely amazing. I also do really like that those who are singled out by Christine are those who ‘attack’ her and also have issues with Arnie; allowing you to question how involved Arnie actually is.
  • I really liked the hints to Dennis being gay. They were subtle and, had that thread been followed through, could have added a layer to the plot and given us a better insight into the character.
  • Harry Dean Stanton as the detective. I don’t know what it is about Stanton, but I really like having him appear in films. He has that ‘granddad’ stature, almost. The scene in which we’re introduced to him is quite possibly my favourite in the whole film. Not for the dialogue, or for him being involved, but for how the cars are in the frame.

The Bad

  • Totally not the film’s fault, but the song ‘Bad to the Bone’ by George Thorogood and The Destroyers for me is synonymous with Al Bundy and Married … With Children. In fact, I’ve just gone to google the connection hoping to find a clip to illustrate my point and it promptly informed me that it’s considered almost as Al’s theme song. For those who aren’t familiar with Al Bundy or the tv show he inhabits; it’s a comedy show that ran for 11 seasons over 10 years. By having this association, it throws off the tone of the film for me, right from the get go.
  • Keeping with this song as the opening number, there is another clash. This time between the song and the era that is presented on the screen. The film opens in September 1957, however the song is from 1982. Yes, some songs are timeless. Bad to the Bone is not one of those. It’s a very 80s number, and for a film that is firmly set in 1978, it just doesn’t fit for me.

The Ugly

  • I don’t get the character of Arnie. I don’t like him and find him a bit of a dick, even before his involvement with Christine. His negative interactions with anyone other than Dennis means what is meant to be a massive personality shift just doesn’t translate to the viewer. While his fate is as it should be, I don’t like that we don’t see the final moments of his relationship with Christine. This is more frustrating to me, as I feel it is his relationship with his car that’s the core of the story.
  • It’s so not scary! In fact, at times, it feels ludicrous and boring. The only thing bringing it up to the 18 rating is the use of language which feels gratuitous at times. That’s from me who has spent the last three months trying to make HanCOCK happen.
  • Why is everybody so pissed about the car?! Dennis’ apprehension could have been explained by the feelings he has for Arnie. I certainly feel it was hinted at that Dennis may have been gay and attracted to his best friend. However, its almost abandoned half way through.

Final Thoughts

A great concept that just falls short of its potential. There’s not enough horror and its a rather flawed plot to really rate highly for me.