Category Archives: Movies

Spider-Man 3

[“Spider-Man 3” poster art] Apparently directed by Sam Raimi and a large chunk of cheese (an overripe stilton, I think), this is the bum-note finalé, in a hitherto well-made series of films.

Others have commented on how there are too many villains and too many story lines. This is true.

However, what got me was how cliché-ridden and trite it was.

Here’s a fun game to play while watching it: ‘Spot The Cliché’. First one I noticed was Spidey swooping past only to pause in front of a rippling American flag. See if you can spot the rest. Another game is: ‘See If You Can Guess Which Shots Are Homages To Comic Panels Without Having Read The Comic’. Get a comic fan to check your answers.

Also, I never noticed Tobey Maguire being this annoying before. He was a whiny wee twit in this one. He was acting like an arse even before he was infected with the evil Venom magic stuff.

(There is one so-bad-it’s-funny scene where a Scientist is examining the evil Venom magic stuff. The Scientist explained that he’d never seen anything like it before, but that it was some kind of symbiont, and obviously feeds off aggression. If he’d then dramatically raised one eyebrow I would have pissed myself laughing.)

Yeah, so, but Tobey Maguire: crap.

Suspiciously tidy ending, with all of them Forgiving each other: crap.

Stan Lee, in the most cack-handed, badly-acted, badly-scripted, obvious, nudge-so-hard-in-the-ribs-that-they-crack excuse to be able to be able to put “Stan Lee: Himself” in the credits: crap.

Plot: daft.

Bruce Campbell

(Thought I’d give him his own subhead.)


He has a cameo as a sleezy French waiter, and is pure cinematic gold. He should get some kind of comedy Oscar for that.

If I ever produce a film and need a younger John Cleese, by Jiminy I’ll be calling on Bruce Campbell.

Possibly worth the price of admission alone.

Special Effects

Oh, very good. I loved the bit where The Sandman is forming for the first time. He keeps forming, then collapsing, and it looks just like a sandcastle collapsing on the beach, with all the grains kind of avalanching. Lovely.


[Spider-Man gives it the thumbs down] I wasn’t bored (and it is quite a long film), but it just wasn’t very good.

Sub par. Must try better. Shows promise but does not concentrate in class.

Spidey Thumbs down from me.

The Matrix Dezionized

[“Over The Hedge” poster art]I’m pretty sure that this film is illegal. But it’s bloody good.

The tag-line is ‘The True Sequel to The Matrix’. It’s a ‘fan edit’ of Matrix Reloaded and Matrix Revolutions, combined, with all the tedious/stupid bits taken out, and some of the ridiculous fight sequences edited down to slightly more reasonable lengths. In all, they’ve cut 120 minutes from the combined films (and added in a minute of footage from the original The Matrix).

This film’s very existance is a wonderful argument for reform of copyright law because, you see, you’re not supposed to be allowed to do this sort of thing. Copyright law prohibits it. There’s an odd notion called ‘Moral rights’ embedded in the Berne (International copyright) Convention, which says that creators of works have the right to say what can be done with them even if, as in this case, the original creators, the Wachowski brothers, were clearly out of their trees when they edited their second two Matrix movies, and this fan-edited version is by far a better film.

It’s not perfect. There are a couple of places, mostly noticeable in the musical score, where the cuts are less than perfect, but speaking as one who thought that Reloaded was shit, and therefore had less than no inclination to see the third one, I thoroughly enjoyed this version. You kind of need to have seen the original The Matrix, otherwise it doesn’t make much sense. I’m not sure that’s a bad thing, though.

So you won’t see The Matrix Dezionized in any shops; it’s not going to be on the telly, and the only way you will get to see it is if you throw your morality to the wind and break the law by illegally downloading it from the piratical, naughty Internet.

(Of course, I did think that “The Matrix Reedited” would have been a better title.)


[“300” poster art]For such a violent movie, I left the cinema feeling somehow serene.

It’s odd. My theatregoing companion claimed not to like violent movies, but nevertheless really enjoyed this film. 300 is full of decapitation, severed limbs, and a lovely scene where the Spartans are popping round after the battle spearing dead all the wounded enemy soldiers. In fact, the violence is pretty continuous. It never seems cheap, though, or exploitative.

It’s possibly a little sexually exploitative. The only two female characters spent most of their time topless… Though, come to think of it, all the male characters spent their time baring their buff bodies and wearing nothing much more than a codpiece and a cape. So there’s a fair case to be made that the bare flesh is there not for titillation, but for the same reason that greek statues spend all their time in the nuddy; to show off how superior and god-like they are.

One can’t help but think that the ancients would approve, actually. It’s very heroic, and very mythic. The bad guys are all ugly and deformed, and the good guys are all muscular and have perfect teeth. I can’t quite decide whether this is justifiable or simplistic and bigoted. But there is at least a kind of honesty in the film. It doesn’t make pretentions of being a historical account. It’s a mythologised account of history, writ large and writ beautiful.

It also looks spectacular. Every frame is a masterpiece. The colours are gorgeous, the composition is gorgeous. So you should probably make sure you see it in the cinema.

Now if the remake of Clash of The Titans is half as good as this, I will be impressed.

X-Men: The Last Stand

You know, I was really disappointed by this film.

The first two X-Men films transcended comic-book franchises, or sci-fi, and were Good Films™. They were good films because Brian Singer is an excellent film director. (Based on the experience of the first two X-Men, and the new Superman movie, I’d go to see anything he did now.)

This one, directed by Brett Ratner, just isn’t as good. It rides the coat-tales of the previous two, but is just a big summer blockbuster, with characters couldn’t care less about and lots of explosions. Continue reading