Uncharted


Viewed – 16 February 2022 Cinema

I certainly consider myself a fan of the games, especially the 2nd and 4th instalments, so the prospect of a big screen adaptation seemed obvious, even though it’s taken years to get off the ground. Here petty-thief turned adventurer Nathan Drake (Tom Holland) teams up with an old friend of his brother’s, named Sully (Mark Wahlberg) who lets him in on a quest to find some long lost treasure.

Immediately the sheer likability of Holland sells the movie. I don’t consider him much like the Nathan Drake of the games, but he carries his own in a charismatic, physical turn that proves him as a credible lead. Wahlberg surprised as I also didn’t initially think he bared much resemblance of the game’s Sully … but he delivers a lovable-rogue that comes across very much like the character in the games, albeit a younger version. There’s also plenty of action with fights, chases and a few stand out set pieces including a memorable one that opens the movie.

The story for me, apart from a mystery surrounding Nathan’s missing brother, was fairly typical and not that interesting when compared to similar movies. Also, the movie trips itself up in its villain casting, with a woefully under-used Antonio Banderas. Overall, this was still fun, delivered a fairly faithful interpretation of the games and proved once again that Holland is a star. Just a shame it doesn’t have a great deal of personality to call its own.

Verdict: Good

Asian Cinema Season


Announcement

You may (or may not) have noticed that I’ve posted a few reviews lately covering Hong Kong Kung-fu movies, and considering that Hong Kong and Asian Cinema has been an on / off passion of mine, I thought I’d begin a season, with me posting reviews of any Far Eastern movie I own on Blu-ray that I haven’t previously reviewed, and plan to group them all together in their own section, located via my ‘special stuff’ page.

This will cover movies featuring Jackie Chan, Jet Li etc, as well as titles from Korea and Japan. Hope you all like this idea and I may continue it with other themes in the future.

Craig.

Top Ten 2021


It’s that time of year again! What with the pandemic, I feel it’s been a weird year movie release-wise and getting to the cinema has been a struggle. However I watched a total of 79 movies this year (new and old) and coming up with my ten favourite wasn’t easy.

However, the list below are the movies I enjoyed the most. A few may also be slightly older than 2021…

10.

Free Guy

9.

The Empty Man

8.

The Mitchells Vs The Machines

7.

Zack Snyder’s Justice League

6.

Cruella

5.

Dune

4.

No Time To Die

3.

Raya and the Last Dragon

2.

The Father

Drum roll…

1

Last Night in Soho

There you have it. Of the movies I was disappointed by in 2021…. There was Bill & Ted Face the Music, Nomadland and Censor.

Happy New Year folks!

Craig.

Safety Last!


Viewed – 03 July 2021 Blu-ray

I’ve not watched many movies of the classic ‘silent’ era, but have in the past year started taking an interest in the likes of Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton. So I now come to Harold Lloyd. I remember catching some of his short films on TV as a kid, with the ‘Hurray For Harold Lloyd’ jingle that went with them sticking in my head. This 1923 feature is possibly his most famous, with the iconic dangling-from-a-clock-face image stuff of cinematic legend, which went on to influence Jackie Chan’s similar stunt in Project A.

don’t look down…

Lloyd plays a small town guy with dreams of making it big in the city. Leaving his fiancé behind with the promise of sending for her when he’s made it, Lloyd soon gets a small time job at a department store. However as time passes he sells the idea that he’s some big shot to his fiancé back home, leading to her turning up unexpectedly. This causes Lloyd to have to pretend he’s the manager of the store, which gets more and more complicated, leading to him to performing a stunt by climbing the outside of the twelve story building.

Gentle in its humour and with a rather typical set up, this still proved very entertaining. Lloyd’s relatable everyman persona is charming and fun, and the down-town Los Angeles setting is especially fascinating when you consider the age of this movie. Of course the second half, taken up almost entirely by the famous building climb is something to behold, and although it was mostly achieved with camera trickery, Lloyd’s physical skill sells the danger and the comedy brilliantly.

The Blu-ray from The Criterion Collection is packed. Firstly the movie itself is given a new 2k restoration, with a musical score by composer Carl Davis, created in 1989. We also get an in-depth introduction from Lloyd’s granddaughter Suzanne Lloyd, a fascinating audio commentary from critic Leonard Maltin and filmmaker Richard Correll. Add to this a 107 minute documentary about Harold Lloyd called ‘The Third Genius’ and three newly restored shorts … and along with a detailed booklet, interviews and a special effects featurette – this is a must for any fan of the era.

Verdict:

(the movie) Recommended

(the Blu-ray) Essential

To disturb… a top ten list.


Although from this list you’ll see I have seen my fair share of disturbing movies, I still haven’t seen some of those other big names like ‘Cannibal Holocaust’ or ‘Salo’, and probably never will. Yet what disturbs is subjective and a few titles here some may think are fairly lightweight. However below I count down the ten movies that have disturbed me the most.

10.

Creep

(2004, Director: Christopher Smith)

9.

Midsommar

(2019, Director: Ari Aster)

8.

Audition

(2001, Director: Takeshi Miike)

7.

Eden Lake

(2008, Director: James Watkins)

6.

Scum

(1979, Director: Alan Clark)

5.

Funny Games

(1997, Director: Michael Haneke)

4.

The House That Jack Built

(2018, Director: Lara Avon Trier)

3.

The Snowtown Murders

(2011, Director: Justin Kurzel)

2.

Martyrs

(2008, Director: Pascal Laugier)

1.

Irreversible

(2002, Director: Gaspar Noe)

There you have it. If you have the temperament for it, there’s something to recommend about each of these movies and I think their power to disturb is in their powerful, intense tones and unflinching brutality. Often this is aided by very strong performances, or raw, convincing direction. Whatever it is they all got under my skin and have stayed there.