Spider-Man 3 (2007)

Rating 12a
Length 2h19
Release 4.5.2021
Director Sam Raimi
About Peter Parker becomes one with a symbiotic alien that bolsters his Spider-Man avatar and affects his psyche. He also has to deal with Sandman and maintain a fragmented relationship with Mary Jane.
Moon: no moon sighting
Where to Watch: Netflix
Trailer:

The Good

  • The one thing every one of Raimi’s films have gotten right is the feature’s main villain. Thomas Hayden Church! God, I love Thomas Hayden Church! I could listen to him all day, I’ve yet to see him give a bad performance (Although it is fair to say that I might never give Crash Pad another watch, but that has less to do with anyone’s performance and more to do with the mortifying predicament of watching Domhnall Gleeson explain he’d had his tongue up another character’s cootch… while watching it with my Dad!)
    I would say that Church’s Sandman is the most serious of Spidey’s enemies and I’m glad there was no hamming. While I’m sure THC is capable, it would have clashed with the overall darkness this instalment seemed to be going for.
  • Yay for attempting to bring in another bad. Yes, I do mean attempt. However, I’m glad of them increasing the number because it was getting a little too predictable.
  • Peter and Harry’s eventual team-up. Brilliant, loved it. Came too late for me, but I personally think the whole Harry story arc was a load of bollocks.

The Bad

  • Harry, Harry, Harry. What the fuck did they do to this storyline?! Like, why have the memory loss for Peter not to learn from his mistake and tell the poor bloke the truth? Well, I know why… the film cannot handle three villains. To be fair, it can barely handle two, so I think that’s why Harry is side-lined, then Sandman. It’s just a fucking mess.
  • In order to bring in Gwen Stacy, did the film really have to shit all over MJ the way it did?! What’s worse is that Gwen gets booted out of the film after the emo-Jazz scene. There needed to at least be a resolution there because the character, and Bryce Dallas Howard who did a brilliant job, deserved better.

The Ugly

  • The retcon of Uncle Ben’s killer. In fact, the continuation of bringing Uncle Ben’s death to the forefront of the plot really doesn’t do this trilogy justice. This retcon removes all of the importance of Peter’s reveal to Aunt May in the previous film, it cheapens the death of the assumed killer in the first film and, worst of all, it bloats this stinking floater way more than necessary.
  • The infamous ‘Emo Peter’. While I’ve discovered during this rewatch Maguire’s Peter is a total douche all the way through, it is this Venom inspired interlude that is hardest to digest.
    Yes, we have found meme enjoyment over the years but I think watching it, is very different that utilising the stills. Fuck me, I want to die a little inside because of how bad it all unfolds and just how shit Maguire is with it; it’s too big for him.

Final Thoughts

I’d only seen this once before, in the cinema. I’d remembered this feeling of hating it, but I always put that down to the fact that I went on to have one of the biggest fights with a dear friend hours after I’d seen this. I never really spoke to him again after that and I do really miss him.

However, it wasn’t that. This film is an underdeveloped, post morning-coffee turd. It’s so bad that even when I missed the crucial part of the final showdown, I could not bring myself to rewind.

28 Weeks Later (2007) Halloween Advent

Rating 18
Length 1h40
Release 11.5.2007
Director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo
About Six months after the Rage virus turned half of Britain into zombies, the US Army helps secure London for the survivors after a carrier of the virus enters the city and the horror begins once again.
Moon: no moon sighting
Where to Watch: Disney Plus
Trailer:

Trick

  • There is an authenticity to the actions of the two leads. However, when their selfish and stupid actions lead to entire chaos of the 90-odd minutes, it’s really hard to root for their survival. Especially at the cost of some excellent characters.
  • What a waste was Idris Elba? Firstly, you make him American when we all know his London accent is the best. Then, where the fuck does he go?! He just disappears. What the actual fuck? Justice for Elba.
  • Flynn ploughing through the field of infected didn’t work for me. How the fuck did no blood splash back and infect him? I know, I know, suspend belief. But seriously?! That would have been so fucking cool had he gotten infected and lost control of the chopper, you know?

Treat

  • The filming techniques are absolutely incredible. There’s movement, without it coming with nausea. There’s a ghostly quality to the night-time scenes that heightens the tension; while there’s darkness, you can also see the detail.
    That final scene is guerrilla filmmaking at its finest. Not only is it beautiful, it throws the story wide open and plants a seed in your imagination.
  • The story, while a continuance of the 2002 film, tells a very different story. It expands on the concept of a zombie being more of a virus, playing on our own fears of bio terrorism.
  • Watching the film in the light of our own pandemic, the realism of how the second wave of infections were triggered is so on point. At first I scoffed at how easily the returning Brits accepted the tests given to allow access.
    Then, the plot gave us two characters who could not follow rules, broke quarantine and fucked everything up. Does make you realise there’s a reason we’re the worst country in the world right now.

Final Thoughts

This films major flaw is expecting the audience to root for the two individuals who caused the secondary outbreak. It’s fucked and makes me angry, and when I’m angry I’m not scared.

Hot Fuzz (2007) Halloween Advent

Rating 18
Length 2h01
Release 14.2.2007
Director Edgar Wright
About Police officer Nicholas Angel is known to be the best across London. His seniors, who are jealous of his achievements, transfer him to a remote village where he encounters various challenges.
Moon: Full moon at the group showdown
Where to Watch: Netflix
Trailer:

Trick

  • It’s a tad too long for me. Even shaving 20 minutes off the total running time would really help it feel like a well paced film. As it stands, I often find myself flagging in the last third; there’s almost too much after the big reveal and it does the film a disservice.

Treat

  • For me, the best thing about this movie is the editing and how it is able to show things that other police shows and films omit in an interesting and artistic way.
  • Casting, as with any Edgar Wright film, is spot on. The best casting choice of course is the one and only Edward Woodwood, who is the biggest bit of foreshadowing I’ve ever noticed in a film.
  • Nicholas Angel is one of the best characters. His story arc and how he interacts with everyone he comes into contact with provides so much entertainment and quotable content.
  • The homage is just as good, if not better, in this when you compare it to Shaun of the Dead.
  • So many subtle things, that have massive payoffs later in the film. In fact, its a film that I’ll watch and notice something new each time.

Final Thoughts

The best of the trilogy, both in terms of casting and genre. For me, its more akin to Wicker Man, than the action movies lampooned, but that’s actually the beauty of this film.

Halloween (2007)

Rating: 18

Length: 1Hr 49

Release: 28.9.2007

About: Nearly two decades after being committed to a mental institution for killing his stepfather and older sister, Michael Myers (Tyler Mane) breaks out, intent on returning to the town of Haddonfield, Ill. He arrives in his hometown on Halloween with the indomitable purpose of hunting down his younger sister, Laurie (Scout Taylor-Compton). The only thing standing between Michael and a Halloween night of bloody carnage is psychologist Dr. Samuel Loomis (Malcolm McDowell).


The Good

  • Certainly the first half has a great attempt at… being its own film. The filming style and story contains a nod to the original, but it’s definitely meant for a different audience.
  • I guess good on ‘em for not being a Hollywood shithouse and providing the cinema goers with a rated 18 movie. I’d say well done for not being a pussy, but as the rating was probably given for that gratuitous full body shot…. yeah…
  • There’s a solid cast and having Malcolm McDowell as Loomis was a good call. While I can’t say he brings all of his menace and authority from De Large days, he doesn’t bring the ham either.

The Bad

  • While I definitely commend the attempt to add a background to Michael Myers and his violent tendencies, it actually detracts from the horror. Going down the psychological exploration for his pathological behaviour makes sense; he had a shit life and exposed to violence from a young age, of course it manifests. However, one of the scariest parts of the original is that there’s no explanation. We always fear the unknown, so explaining it removes the fear.
  • Laurie is no longer the protagonist. She doesn’t appear until halfway. Spending so much time with Michael stops you from engaging with Laurie and her friends. I care very little for her survival. There’s very few changes at this point other than as babysitter’s, both Laurie and Annie suck.
  • Having Laurie be Michael’s sister was something the original franchise attempted, and failed to bring to fruition so I’m unsure why they would expect it to work here. The biggest sticking point being I don’t get how the bastard knows Laurie is his sister?! If you are going to do it, do it well.

The Ugly

  • The running, the screaming, the deaths. It was all just noise. Loud, obnoxious and game play noise. The two kids being looked after are so annoying and whiney, the viewer will be rooting for Myers and hoping he kills them. Slowly. With a rusty spoon.
  • That multiple, fake-out ending is just overkill. I felt as if nothing short of a nuke was going to stop him and I need some realism to my serial killers.
  • There’s an absolutely unnecessary and violent rape scene which I really could have done without as it verged on the torture porn gore that has become rampant in modern day horror.

Final Thoughts

It’s a film for the over stimulated generation and I checked out way before Laurie Strode made her stage left debut. Myer’s gets a back story no one asked for and runs the risk of the audience connecting with him.

Christmas Film Advent – Fred Claus (2007)

Yeah, but all that matters is that each of the kids get a toy. That they have something that they can open when they wake up in the morning. Most importantly, they all know there’s somebody who’s thinking about them.

length: 1 Hr 56

Rating: PG

About: Of the two Claus brothers, Fred (Vince Vaughn) is the troublemaker and polar opposite of his saintly sibling, Nicholas (Paul Giamatti). When Fred’s criminal ways finally land him in big trouble, Nicholas bails him out and brings him to the North Pole to work off the debt by making toys. The headaches mount for St. Nick, who not only must deal with his troublemaking brother, but also an efficiency expert who has come to evaluate Santa’s operation.

https://youtu.be/yTCWCBU_mE4

The Naughty List

  • I felt it was a little slow to get going, but I understand it was necessary to get in the relationship between Nick and Fred.
  • There’s an obvious naughty here and that is our film’s bad guy. It’s a solid performance and Stacey’s presence doesn’t ruin the film, but it does cause a little sadness for me.
  • Think they missed a trick with Bobb’e J. Thompson as Slam; the puppy wanting orphan. There was an amazing connection between Slam and Fred and I, personally, would have loved to have seen Fred adopt him. Or, at the least, have him in the film more.

Nice List

  • This film gets right what some of Vince Vaughan’s films often don’t. Thinking of the Internship primarily, Vaughn is a perfect front for films with heart and ideal for the whole family. However the adult humour is present but not fully developed, rendering the film a 15 when an edit would see the film drop to a 12 and with an appreciative audience. Fred Claus being the example that it works and is just charming.
  • The plot is adorable and sends a really important message to children, and adults, alike. Fred’s insistence that there are no naughty children, while a little too broad a statement, the sentiment and explanation are heartwarming.
  • The chemistry between the leads, Vaughn and Paul Giamatti is fantastic and the true heart of the story.Giamatti gives a stunning performance of Santa that is neither too harsh like some of his other roles, or too sickly sweet like others may play him.
  • Vaughan’s Fred makes an almost Scrooge-like development as a character. What i love is that, much like Alistar Simm’s Ebenezer, you can really feel the reluctance towards the anger Fred presents.
  • I absolutely loved one of the film’s more oddball scenes in which Free goes to Siblings Anonymous. It did take a look on google, but the Baldwin gave the less than anonymous siblings away. It was done in the name of fun and hits the perfect tone for the film.

Final Thoughts

My only regret is that I’d never seen the film before today. It’s funny, relevant and just so charming.