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nicky

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nicky last won the day on April 15 2013

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About nicky

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  1. DA 5 BLOODS (2020) 3.5/5 (No spoilers) Spike Lee turns what might have been an interesting post-war action-drama into a quasi political message about brotherhood and the Black struggle (as always with Lee's films). Personally, I'd much rather have seen Oliver Stone direct this but that's not to say DA 5 BLOODS is a disappointing film, its just if a film is about Vietnam vets returning to 'Nam in search of hidden gold then I would prefer it to have more focus on post-war tensions instead of a pro-Black message. Actually, the political/Black angle of the film doesn't really feature that much, it feels more like a sub-plot but Lee dresses it up in a way that makes you think its more prominent than it really is. The film is also pretty long and the slow start doesn't really help which is kinda inexcusable really since most of The Bloods themselves are quite under-developed. Delroy Lindo is the only fleshed-out character and the only one to perform a monologue right into the camera like in earlier Lee films like DO THE RIGHT THING (1989). However, Lindo's monologue adds nothing to the film and comes so randomly almost 2hrs into the film - it just feels awkward. Lee also shoots sometimes like a documentary and seems to want to educate his audience by using archive footage and flashing up pics of famous Black historical figures whenever someone mentions their name which becomes quite patronizing and unnecessary - we know who Aretha Franklin is, (and even if we don't) do we really need a pic of her to suddenly flash on-screen? The music/songs in the film was used quite inappropriately too in scenes which really didn't need it. I found the film entertaining as a 'search for hidden gold' adventure but couldn't help but feel more should have been said about the post-war tensions like Oliver Stone or RAMBO films. Having said that, this film was better than THREE KINGS (1999).
  2. SPOILERS: Yeah, it was dumb that the French girl called up to the woman in the window (for no reason) only for the woman to then dob her in to the Nazis for being out past curfew. Why didnt the French girl just stay put while the squad checked the house as instructed? Nothing came of the French girl's zombie aunt. Why was she even there and not held captive like the other zombies? Pointless having her at all. The American soldier that the was rescued from the lab was not given enough introduction. He just popped-up midway into the story and all we're told is he was captured when he parachuted in. He added nothing to the story and just served as an extra man on the squad. The hero stupidly injects his dead squad-mate with the serum DESPITE having witnessed the horrors of the lab. Did he really expect him to be normal afterwards?! I can count the total number of zombies featured on-screen on one hand.
  3. OVERLORD (2018) 2.5/5 (No spoilers) I like the idea of Nazi zombies, its an interesting combination of two evils; one based on real-life and the other on fantasy while simultaneously making an interesting alternate take on history. OVERLORD has a bigger budget than most undead Nazi films but it was actually pretty disappointing. It makes me question now whether seeing JJ Abrams name on a poster is actually a good thing these days. The plot was quite underwhelming, the characters a bit shallow and most importantly there just wasn't enough zombie action..or enough zombies at all. Its a wonder where the budget went, certainly not to zombie effects. Its a pretty slow start and a good while before the first zombie even appears and up until that point we have to settle for what is essentially a 2nd rate standard WW2 movie who's only saving grace is the typical, "distract the SS officer while people hide" scene. There was also something unlikable and forced about Wyatt Russell (son of Kurt) as the corporal leading the troops; maybe it was him trying to be like his dad but whatever it was, it just wasn't working. Some plot-points and characters were left in mid-air too and new characters just seemed to just pop-up out of nowhere with very little introduction. Not enough was told about the zombie experiments and even the scientists did nothing to reveal more in the film. If you're gonna make a movie about an engineered zombie army then SHOW US THE ZOMBIES and include the HOW and the WHY behind the experiments. Its a fairly crapily written film that misses opportunities to shed light on certain areas and the zombie aspect just seemed to be in the sidelines and not the forefront. Its a disjointed film where the writer made some odd decisions on behalf of the characters to get the story moving from A to B. DEAD SNOW (2009) was better.
  4. MID90s (2018) 3.5/5 (No spoilers) I quite liked Jonah Hill's directorial debut. It was a charming, multi-layered film dealing with a variety of themes such as loneliness, acceptance and loss of innocence. Despite not having much of a plot, the characters and situations were very believable (apart from the girl and the ending*) which was what kept me engaged and made-up for the lack of story. MID90s is the film I was expecting when I first saw Larry Clark's KIDS (1995); in Clark's film the boys just happened to be skateboarders (Clark's attempt to be 'trendy'?) but it had no bearing on the plot whatsoever whereas MID90s highlights the skateboarding as an important part of the kids lives. There's also a nice balance throughout the film where we see the main character bounce between his less-than-ideal family-life to the one with his controversial new-found friends - it's this parallel within the narrative that poses an interesting question about where a lonely boy feels more welcome. I didn't like the ending though, it was too sudden and didn't really resolve anything - but its hard to have a good ending when you have no plot. If it wasn't for that ending I'd have given a higher score. I'm not sure why Hill chose to shoot it in 1:33:1 aspect ratio though instead of standard 1:85:1 widescreen, that was a controversial decision and it felt like it was some kind of pretentious artistic statement/gimmick (if it was then why not just make the film black & white?). Maybe 1:33:1 was meant to be reminiscent of the 90s... but that doesn't make sense since widescreen movies have been around for decades in cinemas. Still at least it's better than BOYHOOD (2016). *SPOILER* I didn't buy a girl her age would wanna fool around with a much younger 13 yr old boy. And the ending; WHO edits camcorder footage onto another CAMCORDER TAPE?! You would edit the camcorder footage onto a VHS master-copy cassette. Then you could bring that cassette to the hospital and play it in the video player in the room! WTF!?
  5. ALIEN: ISOLATION 7.5/10 Massive fan of the films but this game was only alright. It was very repetitive and too long. All you do is walk around similar-looking corridors, flicking switches, pressing buttons and opening doors. Dodging the Alien got annoying after a while and the two space-walk missions were dull apart from the graphics. I wish they made this into a movie instead because the story had great potential but it was lacking in character depth and closure (I hated the ending).There weren't even many cut scenes, only at the beginning it seems when you meet the first character, Axl. Even Aliens: Colonial Marines had a better story. What also really annoyed me was that the writer's hadn't done their homework and acknowledged certain plot-points in the "Ripley's daughter scene" from Aliens: Special Edition ("Amy...I promised I'd be home for her birthday. Her 11th birthday.") I didn't think it was scary at all either. Also I didn't get HOW Weyland-Yutani were able to salvage the Nostromo's flight recorder. Wasn't it onboard the Nostromo when it blew up OR still on the Narcissus with Ripley floating around in space????!!!!
  6. General rule of thumb for any talent (extra/model/actor etc) is to be VERY wary of any agency asking up-front for any kind of fees - the reason being more often than not, they're scams. Any agency worth their salt will just take commission after your job is done AND/OR if they do ask for admin fees they will deduct them after your first job. Universal Extras is an agency that ask for a registration fee up-front despite being legit but they're quite strict/anal and well-known to be rude on the phone. Productions don't reveal publicly where they're due to shoot otherwise security will obviously be flooded by fans/media. I know you hear stories that fans have somehow managed to find out shooting locations but I think they must be leaks. Production will generally recruit vetted extras (the industry term is 'supporting artists' or SA's) from dedicated agencies and the agency will put your profile/headshots forward and then the film's casting team will say either 'yes' or 'no'....BUT even if they say 'yes', a film's schedule and shoot dates and even their decision to hire you, will often change at the drop of a hat. In movie news you hear about "studio interference", script-rewrites and general indecisiveness and it affects everyone even extras. That's the worst part of the job; you do get messed around A LOT...mercilessly. And without remorse. It's a tough industry having to endure frequent job cancellations and lose-out on other jobs you turned down cos you said you were booked for another. You don't even get compensated if you lost out on another job, you're only little fish and they don't give a s***, all they care about is the success of their film. You don't get to choose what shoot you wanna work on, you can ask the agency to put you forward for production to consider you, but that's it - production won't hire you just cos your keen, they'll hire you cos they want your look...even if you're just in the background because they're very meticulous about detail and authenticity.
  7. I like 300 too, its Snyder's best film after Dawn Of The Dead (2004). I was a bit disappointed by 300: Rise Of An Empire though as probably most people were. I never met Snyder but I saw him on set when I worked as an extra on Justice League in April 2016 for a few days at Leavesden. His daughter's death was a while after that. I was one of the Armies of Men in the big battle flashback scene. I'm looking forward to Snyder's long-in-development-hell-but-finally-coming-soon Army Of The Dead with Dave Bautista.
  8. EXTRACTION (2020) 4/5* (No spoilers) OK, I'll be generous cos the "John Wick-style" action and simplicity of the story made-up for everything else. Netflix films and features directed by stunt guys or 2nd unit have always raised alarms bells for me so I was very surprised at how much I enjoyed this film despite the predictability and obvious White Saviour template (Chris Hemsworth being as White as you can get) among others things. EXTRACTION thankfully keeps things old skool while never trying to be too clever or ashamed about what it is; it's just a straight-forward action romp but at the same time that's one of the script's flaws. You have a man (Hemsworth) and a kid (Rudhraksh Jaiswal) at the centre of the story so you naturally expect there to be some kind of heart to the script but sadly its not as big a heart as it thinks it is which is a huge missed opportunity for a stunt-guy-turned-director (Sam Hargrave) wanting to prove himself. The 'bond' between the two leads doesn't justify the teary ending and the core emotional beat halfway through doesn't land because not enough has happened between them besides dodging bullets. Hemsworth's character is a cliche; a hero with a death wish suffering from personal loss. Think LETHAL WEAPON (1987), END OF DAYS (1999) and GLADIATOR (2000). The cliche is fine IF done right but here it feels 2nd rate and purely *incidental* written-in only as an obvious attempt to flesh-out the character and win sympathy from viewers. The film could easily have been the same story without this archytype (only dumber). As far as kidnapping films go though there is a really nice twist which I'm surprised hasn't been thought of before. Not only this but we get an almost scene-stealing supporting character (played by Randeep Hooda) who we find much more about and care for more than either of the two leads put together. It's also amazingly refreshing to see an Indian action-man in such a mainstream movie. If Joe Russo (writer) put the same amount of care into the other players we'd have a much more rounded film but instead we get a film with a fairly rushed loose-ending. On a final note, I applaud the producers for giving us a new face and not taking a short-cut by adopting the typical lazy Hollywood-casting choice and just giving us Dev Patel to play the kid (just cos he's the only experienced brown actor they could think of). I know he's 30 but that didn't stop Harry Potter's Katie Leung playing a school-girl in THE FOREIGNER (2017) for just five bloody minutes.
  9. Babies having babies. I think she went to Kingsly or Kings High School in Warick/Leamington Spa, right? Where I'm from.
  10. Met him LFCC 2004, nice bloke RIP.
  11. THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE 2 (1986) 2/5 (Mild spoilers) It's been 20 years since I first saw this sequel and after revisting it I can now put my finger on why I don't like it. It should've been a bigger, glossier popcorn version of the original gritty 1974 film, and that's what you'd expect from action/B-movie churners Cannon Films, but instead we get director Tobe Hooper going all weird on us - did producers Golan/Globus not keep an eye on him during production?! Why would Cannon Films who are so conscious about spending money allow Hooper free-reign? Remember that disappointment you felt when you first saw ROBOCOP 2 (1990) and how different it was from the first film because of the change in tone and added humour? Or imagine The Cohen Brothers (on drugs). That's what you kinda get with THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE 2. Hooper claimed he wanted to inject more black-humour into this sequel cos he didn't think people got it in the first film. But the 'black-humour' he puts in this film is just so wacky I'm not sure you can even call it that. It's a hard film to watch and all for the wrong reasons and is more like a parody of the original film. There are some really odd scenes (chainsaw between legs) and even odder lines of dialogue ("how good are you?") which seem so...random. Dennis Hopper is really weird in this too and irritatingly unlikable as he goes full-panto mode spending the latter half of the film just shouting to himself like a loon. Caroline Williams as the heroine also can't stop screaming. Bill Moseley and Bill Johnson on the other hand give great characterful performances as 'Chop-Top' and 'Leatherface' despite Moseley going OTT with some of his improvisations. Plot-wise its a bit thin and could have probably dealt with a good 20 mins shaved-off as the build-up is so slow. Its not scary either although some of Tom Savini's gore effects are pretty good and I liked the 80s soundtrack and it's nicely lit. The film has a cult following so it must have some appeal; I can see the off-the-wall-wackiness probably grows on you after repeated viewings but a film should never have to make you do that to appreciate it.
  12. BAD BOYS FOR LIFE (2020) 4.5/5 (No spoilers) It was a refreshing relief that Micheal Bay was vacating the director's chair this time after the original and mediocre BAD BOYS (1995) and the mindless BAD BOYS II (2003). In Bay's place we have two Belgian guys, Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah who do a surprisingly great job at resurrecting the series. BAD BOYS FOR LIFE is easily the best of the three films and one of the most entertaining action/cop movies I've seen in a while. I really liked it! The script is a lot more character and plot driven than the previous entries and THAT'S how it should be. We've had 25 years to invest in these characters and the writers really use that to their advantage to make this a more personal and drama-focused story - this plot wouldn't have worked if it was the first film of the series. Hiring Joe Carnahan (THE GREY, NARC, THE A-TEAM) to co-write the script with his macho style had my attention as soon as he was on-board. Martin Lawrence (Marcus) is a lot funnier in this film than before and he goes through some interesting character changes. However, its a shame he couldn't hit the gym before filming but maybe he wanted to look the part of a cop on the edge of retirement. Will Smith (Mike) also acts older too and almost over-shadows his counterpart a little too much but that's the way of the plot. Some might groan at the tired twist in the 3rd act but its handled quite well, my only complaint is that the writers didn't do their homework and get the chronology and history of Mike & Marcus right by simply re-watching the first film which results in a continuity problem. Even Mike's love interest/Marcus's sister (Gabrielle Union) from BAD BOYS II isn't mentioned in this film either and Joe Pantoliano as the police captain also seems to act a lot nicer and less angry at Mike & Marcus than before. The movie has an open-ending so it will be interesting to see what comes next. Hopefully we won't have to wait so long for the next film and that Micheal Bay will sit this one out again.
  13. Kevin Costner got a bit of flack I remember for being (the latest) Robin Hood actor NOT to do an English accent which was later poked fun at below in Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993) which was a far more enjoyable film than Costner's version. He was the biggest star in Hollywood around then and frequently collaborated with director Kevin Reynolds which probably helped him get cast despite his accent. The two fell-out though after Water World (1995) I think. Bryan Adams hit,' "Everything I Do (I Do It For You)" was the most enduring thing to come from the film. Olds like me remember when it was no. 1 for about 16 weeks (back when we physically bought singles and the UK top 40 was a thing).
  14. Speaking of Disney live-action movies, I recently saw Tim Burton's Dumbo (2019). I've never seen the original but I actually found this new version pretty boring and I lost interest quickly. Good cast though but the best thing was seeing Danny Devito reunited with Micheal Keaton (and Burton). Apparently Christopher Walken was originally cast too which would've made an even greater Batman Returns reunion. I also tried to watch Alladdin (2019) but switched it off after less than 10 mins. Again, I've not seen the animated version but in Guy Ritchie's film I just couldn't stand the American accents (especially the lead actor) in a story set in Arabia.
  15. Birds Of Prey (2020) 1.5/5 (No Spoilers) WTF was this film even about?! The non-linear narrative is so messy, not to mention pretentious, and just doesn't work. Obviously we have a screenwriter here too big for her boots. The order of play only confuses you as the story constantly jumps back and forth, going off at tangents. Each of the characters are flat too and its obvious the girl-power agenda was being rammed down our throats. Sure it looks nice and is colourful but its a classic example of style-over-substance and reminded me of McG's CHARLIE'S ANGELS (2000). I found myself looking at my DVD player's timer way too much dying for it to all end. Come back SUICIDE SQUAD, all is forgiven! Worst film of the year for me. Bloodshot (2020) 2/5 (Mild spoiler) Oh Jesus, another turkey from Vin Diesel - he just can't catch a break outside of the FAST & FURIOUS films lately can he? After failing with BABYLON A.D. (2008) and THE LAST WITCH-HUNTER (2015), here he is again, this time trying to jump on the superhero shared-universe bandwagon begging to prove he can do a decent action film on his own. It actually started off promising but then we get this weird cringey scene early on with Talking Heads' "Psycho Killer" playing in the background. Once the twist is revealed (does every film HAVE to have one?!) you expect things to ramp-up but the film quickly goes downhill after that and just implodes when the tech-guy constantly tries to make unfunny joke-after-joke-after-joke. I actually felt sorry for that actor in what surly must have been career-suicide in one of the most annoying roles ever to rival even Jar Jar Binks. On another note, leading lady Eiza González was so painfully FIT I just wanted to gouge out my eyeballs. Underwater (2020) 1.5/5 (No spoilers) Usually I like these confined-space creature features but this is just an abomination to the genre. From the main title to the opening shot of the corridors to even the identical sounds of the computers, this film so badly wants to be like ALIEN (1979)... except the plot is so wafer-thin. The story is simply this: get from A to B and dodge the beasties. At least the film was relatively short as a result of having no depth. Kristen Stewart goes around looking like Pink and spends way too much time inappropriately prancing about in her underwear. T.J. Miller on the other hand is so criminally unfunny and his jokes are just so misplaced he's like a poor man's Ryan Reynolds - its as if Miller still thinks he's actually in DEADPOOL. And Vincent Cassel; he's a great actor but WTF was he doing in this?! Also we're not told what the creatures actually are (unlike DEEP RISING) or why there is just one huge giant one. But worst of all, half the film takes place in dark murky water and you can't see WTF is going on which makes transitions from one scene to the next very confusing! The ending was lazily-written too, its like the writers ran out of ideas.
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