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nicky last won the day on April 15 2013

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About nicky

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  1. nicky

    Films watched in 2019

    CRAWL (2019) 3/5* (No spoilers) Short, sweet and very simple, CRAWL is the kind of low-budget creature-feature that would normally catch your eye in the straight-to-DVD pile... and that's where it would probably be if it wasn't for Sam Raimi (THE EVIL DEAD) producing and Alexandra Aja (THE HILLS HAVE EYES remake) directing. Obviously those two big names attached to a horror film would make any fan of the genre excited. It's a fun film with some great alligator-action but it's a little too straight-forward. The writers try to beef-up the story and make it more emotional by inserting the usual family-drama between the two leads, a common trope in many survival-horror films. However, in this film the family-drama thing is over-done and really obvious especially in one particular heart-to-heart scene. I also would have liked to have seen more people get eaten and more characterization given to the alligators - it's almost touched upon but eventually goes nowhere. SPOILER: *** When Hayley finds the alligator's nest and eggs I was hoping for a big momma alligator showdown but it didn't happen.*** CRAWL isn't a total disappointment but it wasn't as good as I wanted it to be either but at least it wasn't as bad as I feared. I was actually surprised to see how positively it had been received by some critics. But despite its surprisingly generous praise its definitely not a great film and will likely be quickly forgotten.
  2. nicky

    Films watched in 2019

    YESTERDAY (2019) 3/5* (No spoilers) When I first saw the trailer I thought, "What a great premise. But I wonder how they'll explain how a simple electrical black-out made everyone forget the The Beatles ever existed?" After watching the film, I still don't know the answer to that question. It was the one glaringly obvious and distracting question that just wouldn't go away as I watched the film. YESTERDAY is comparable to GROUNDHOG DAY (1993) or a lighter episode of THE TWILIGHT ZONE where everyone changes by some magic force apart from the main character. But instead of focusing on the fantasy elements of the plot, YESTERDAY goes and turns this idea into a romantic-comedy mid-way through the film - something it didn't really need to do. The film already has an interesting premise but its spoiled by Richard Curtis's re-written screenplay (the original script came from someone else) turning it into another one of his soppy rom-coms complete with the usual stupid tropes such as irritating, unfunny family members and woefully bad attempts at comedy. There's even the cliche dumb friend character, Rocky, who is just a carbon copy of 'Spike' from Curtis's NOTTING HILL (1999). A lot of the film tries to be funny but fails miserably (eg. any scene with the dad or Rocky). Its clear Curtis has no idea how to create humor or balance it out with emotion; he just inserts irritating, interfering characters into important scenes between two other characters thereby disrupting the pace. In other words he cockblocks his own scenes and ruins the flow. The script's problem here is logic and a severe lack of explanation. How is a global electrical black-out connected to people's memories? Why does the world forget The Beatles specifically? And how is it the band are erased from the Internet as well as people's minds? Even Beatles records magically disappear from people's collections, that took the biscuit that one. The film makes no f***ing sense and expects us to just go with it, a BIG ask in this case. It would have been more believable if the main character, Jack (Hamesh Patel), was just transported to a parallel universe instead of trying (and failing) to base the story in reality. Even the love story is stupid and is not given enough back-story or justification when it eventually comes half-way into the film. What's worse is that the love story comes to the forefront of the plot and over-shadows the main premise and Jack's goal in the story. Its as if the film changes genre mid-way from fantasy to rom-com. Plus it would NOT take 20 years for a man to know whether he was attracted to his best friend or not (she's hardly a minger) or for one of them to finally make a move. YESTERDAY is mildly entertaining purely because of its premise only (and the music), not for the characters or the romance and definitely not the comedy or logic. WTF MOMENT: When Jack meets you-know-who. A complete mind-f**k of a scene that makes even less sense. SPOILER: ***John Lennon. In the film the world suffered a black-out and forgot The Beatles in 2019. Any sign of evidence (physical or otherwise) of the band had been erased from the face of the Earth including records, memorabilia, photos or graffiti at Penny Lane etc. So why is John alive?! In a parallel universe he could be alive but this is not an alternate reality, the world simply forgot The Beatles in 2019 and all signs of them disappeared. This isn't time-travel so how the f**k is John alive after his death in 1980????!!!?*** END SPOILER.
  3. nicky

    Films watched in 2019

    Basic Instinct (1992) is a pretty good (almost Hitchcockian) mystery-thriller and one of the most significant films of the 90s thanks largely to Sharon Stone's famous leg-crossing scene. Its in my DVD collection but admittedly only because I'm a Paul Verhoeven fan but its still a decent film with Micheal Douglas on top form. It's actually very similar to Verhoeven's previous Dutch film, The Fourth Man (1983), with Jerone Krabbe which I actually prefer over Basic Instinct. I haven't seen the 2nd film but can't imagine its any good.
  4. nicky

    Films watched in 2019

    Actually Toy Story 4 and Child's Play were both released on the same day this year. Child's Play even cheekily poked fun at Toy Story in their marketing campaign in some funny posters: http://www.impawards.com/2019/childs_play_ver12.html
  5. nicky

    Films watched in 2019

    Oh did he? I dunno, I haven't seen any of the films past Seed Of Chucky.
  6. nicky

    Films watched in 2019

    CHILD'S PLAY (1988) 3/5* From the director of Fright Night (1985) comes the first film to feature Chucky the killer doll. I don't think the sequels were ever able to recapture the same serious straight-up horror of this film or maybe they didn't want to. I like Chucky when he's funny but I also like him when he's just evil and scary like he is here. It always saddened me that Brad Dourif has never been able to play Charles Lee Ray in human form since this film. I remember meeting him and telling him this at CM many moons ago and he replied Chucky will never make it back in human form even in flashbacks BUT there was an idea of Brad coming back to play his father. It still hasn't happened. CHILD'S PLAY 2 (1990) 3.5* I remember thinking this film was a bit meh when I saw it when it first arrived but after I saw it last week I actually enjoyed it the most out of the first three. Humor is introduced here but not much else new is added, Chucky is just on a mission to possess Andy again. Not sure why the DoP insisted on using wide angle lens so often though. Nice to see Jenny Agutter back in a horror film. CHILD'S PLAY 3 (1991) 2.5/5* I used to think this one was the best but having watched it again I can see why Don Mancini says its his least favourite. I do like the idea of Chucky having a new host to possess though and I loved Andrew Robinson as the sadistic barber.
  7. nicky

    Films watched in 2019

    CHILD'S PLAY (2019) 3.5/5* (No spoilers) I was never a huge fan of this franchise but must admit I was a bit disappointed to learn that Chucky this time would be an artificial intelligence instead of an evil soul possessing the doll. I also had concerns that this remake was made without the endorsement of the original 1988 film's creators. Anyway despite all that I actually quite enjoyed this film. The pacing of the film was pretty good and I didn't find myself getting bored but I DID find that I had to suspend my disbelief quite a number of times especially when asking the obvious question: WHY DIDN'T ANDY JUST SHUT THE F***ING DOLL OFF AT THE FIRST SIGN OF DANGER?! This kept nagging at me time and again when Andy had to repeatedly teach Chucky what dangerous things NOT to do. Of course the simple answer to that question is if they did shut the doll off, that would be the end of the movie. Another question I kept asking myself was, why does Andy have to be hearing impaired and how can today's artificial intelligence be that advanced??? In many ways its sort of like a darker version of A.I. ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (2001) where you have a robot who will do anything it takes to be with its owner. There are also echos of TERMINATOR 2 (1991) where you have the 'boy teaches robot' theme. However in this case, unlike the T-800, Chucky continues to cause harm despite being told not to which of course leads to madness and gore in the form of some delightfully gruesome kills. Personally, I didn't think much to Mark Hamill voicing Chucky, I just didn't think he was creepy or evil enough. Chucky also seemed less of a threat knowing he was merely a malfunctioning appliance and not an evil soul and so his motivation to kill was a bit weak. And as far as villains go he lacked personality because he was simply a machine with no emotions or sense of humor unlike Brad Dourif who voiced those qualities so deliciously in the previous films. There are also some comedic moments sprinkled throughout the film but most of them just feel really inappropriate and misplaced which made me think, 'whaaaaat??' (eg. the young girl). Its not a clever film but as far as remakes go its not bad SO long as you just go with it. It still entertains and is quite fun with some good kills and pacing. WTF MOMENT: Chucky, a TOY, has a setting where you can select how violent he gets?!
  8. nicky

    Films watched in 2019

    X-MEN: DARK PHOENIX (2019) 2/5* (No spoilers) I knew this film would be no good as soon as it was announced that series producer Simon Kinberg would make his directorial debut with it. Films by producers or writers trying their hand at directing are almost never any good (apart from Matthew Vaughan) and this final X-MEN film from Fox (before the Disney hand-over) is unsurprisingly by far the worst. Actually, I was already tired of the X-Men series by the time the last film arrived, I just never liked the new younger cast (Sophie Turner as Jean Grey especially) and felt this latest film was just scraping the barrel. The worst thing about the film is its direction; in the action scenes especially it just feels like a TV movie or straight-to-DVD - gone is the spectacle and grand scale of the previous films and even Hans Zimmer's score is a bit flat. It really seems like the production was given a smaller budget (it was actually the 2nd highest budget of the franchise) and that Fox are relying on the X-Men brand name to do all the work for them, why else risk a producer directing the film? Other than Sophie Turner making a bland Jean Grey, Jennifer Lawrence also seems to be phoning in her performance and I bet she's secretly glad she doesn't have to be in any more of these films. The story is a bit s*** and so is the writing leaving many blank spaces around the antagonists and their cause. What's worse is that only the main four or five X-Men characters are really given anything to do, the rest of them are just space-fillers and even Quicksilver does almost nothing. Didn't he just reveal to Magneto in the last film that he was his son?! Where was the continuation of that arc? This is a very unsatisfying end to the X-MEN films.
  9. nicky

    Films watched in 2019

    IT: CHAPTER 2 (2019) 3/5* (No spoilers) Empire Magazine gave this a 5 star review. WTF?! The first film I liked a lot and it was much fun bit this new chapter is just really average and too long. It's tough though cos Chapter 1 was always the better and more interesting coming-of-age story laced with 80s nostalgia but for Chapter 2 I'll even go as far to say the 1990 version was better and more concise. The film pretty much suffers the same flaws as the first film but worse: there is so much story to be told for each individual character that pacing is compromised as a result. The mid-section is especially clunky as we are shown each character's story in turn and it seems to take forever to do so. By the time we've seen each of their stories you forget what the scene was before it that set them off. Also it feels like James MacAvoy and Jessica Chastain's character's are at the forefront of what ought to be an ensemble story with the remaining character's left in the sidelines especially the Mike Hanlon character. We see even less of the bully, Henry Bowers, this time around too and his relationship with Pennywise and the clown's influence on Henry is hardly touched upon. It doesn't feel like anything new has really been added to the story either. We still aren't clear where Pennywise came from or what he's about. And a lot of the film seems to re-tread old ground that was already covered in the first film namely the character's fears and going back to the old house - it's basically The Losers Vs Pennywise round #2. There is also a scene here which is a direct homage to THE THING (1982) and one character even repeats a famous line from that film which I found totally unnecessary and just took me out. The best scene (for the wrong reasons) was actually the brutal controversial opening but it never really picks up from there and the film in general is a rather unsatisfying and disappointing conclusion to a two year wait.
  10. nicky

    Films watched in 2019

    ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD (2019) 2/5* Hmm. I'm not a huge Tarantino fan but I thought I'd give it a go since my cinema gives free tickets sometimes. Man, this film was as boring as a dog's ass (to quote Mel Gibson when he made Million Dollar Hotel). There was no story, it was just made up of a load of dialogue-heavy scenes strung together. I think I can even go as far to say its QT's most boring film yet, even surpassing Death Proof (2007) which I actually sort of liked. DiCaprio and Pitt were excellent in the film (Leo especially and Pitt looking like pro-skateboarder Rodney Mullen) but by casting these two A-list heavy-weights I couldn't help but think this was a very white film. Margot Robbie as Sharon Tate wasn't even necessary to the film and the Bruce Lee scene was just cringey. I'd like to have seen more Kurt Russell but that Zoe Bell (playing his wife) still can't **** act - there's a reason why she's primarily a stunt-woman! Of course, the best parts of the film are towards the end. FINALLY, something grabbed my interest. There's one scene with Pitt which is terrifically tense and really played-out and over-drawn but the pay-off is such an anti-climax. It's like QT was trying something new, I don't think he's ever tackled suspense and tension like that before and it was like something out of a Brian DePalma film. The climax of the film was also just as tense and great. It feels like QT wrote the film for himself and not for the purpose of entertaining others, it was his love letter to 1960s Hollywood and he just managed to squeeze in a subplot about the Manson murders towards the end.
  11. nicky

    Films watched in 2019

    ALIEN - 40th Anniversary restoration Unfortunately this wasn't in 4K as my cinema doesn't have the capability for that unlike the other releases. I won't go into what I think of the film, we all know its a classic but having watched it this time I found myself being really interested by The Company's agenda and Special Order #937 rather than the Alien itself. Some points I have: 1) So The Company definitely knew about the existence of the Alien before the Nostromo left Earth. That's why they replaced the science officer with Ash 2 days before take-off (so he could ensure the Alien was brought back safely). The Company then re-routed the Nostromo so it then picked up the Derelict's warning/distress signal. 2) Even if you ignore the prequels, The Company knew about the Alien ages ago because they detected the warning signal (all the way from Earth) that the Derilict's beacon was transmitting every 12 seconds. I guess before the Space Jokey died, he activated the warning beacon which has been on repeat every 12 seconds ever since. But when the Nostromo finally picked up the signal Mother interpreted it as a distress signal. Or maybe The Company told Mother to call it a distress signal and not a warning so the crew would investigate. 3) Did Dallas know about Special Order #937 to bring back the Alien? He must have if he was Captain and had access to Mother. He also knew that when it came to his job, "You do whatever the hell they tell you to do." So when he went into the shaft to kill the Alien was he disobeying orders? And if so why didn't Ash (who was assigned to protect the Alien) not stop Dallas? 4) Why did Ash try to kill Ripley by choking her with a magazine? Couldn't he have strangled her or suffocated her with a pillow or stab her or something???
  12. nicky

    New terminator film!

    No one trusts James Cameron anymore after he told everyone Terminator: Genisys (2015) was good. For the new film, Cameron co-wrote the story along with Davis S. Goyer - that's two screenwriters I really admire although Goyer has written (and directed) some duds in the past like Blade: Trinity (2004). My main worry is that they'll do an Alien: Covenant (2017) or The Predator (2018) where the writers introduce this new idea that changes everything we thought about Terminator lore. Eg. they'll suddenly try telling us that John is not the future leader after all ( this might explain why he's not even mentioned in the trailer). The Alien, Predator and Terminator have always been the holy trinity for me so I'm almost certain I won't like Terminator: Dark Fate (2019).
  13. nicky

    Films watched in 2019

    FAST & FURIOUS PRESENTS: HOBBS AND SHAW (2019) No Spoilers. 3/5* I'm not a huge fan of the F&F films but this one appealed to me on the basis it was a buddy movie featuring The Rock and The Stath. As you might expect this is another OTT action-fest like the films before it however because there are fewer heroes to root for you would expect there to be more time given to the characters. This wasn't the case though and I found this film to be quite over-stylized and over-loaded with big, loud-in-your face action set-pieces. Its as if director David Leitch continuously tries to outdo himself with each film after JOHN WICK (2014), ATOMIC BLONDE (2017) and DEADPOOL 2 (2018). The action is at the forefront of the film and so the opportunity to showcase Hobbs and Shaw's relationship is slightly overshadowed. This is made even worse with the inclusion of the sister, Hattie Shaw (Vanessa Kirby) making the team a trio when it should only be a duo - the sister just took the focus off the two leads. Hobbs and Shaw are presented as two larger than life invincible men and so there was a very comic-book like feel to the film - you just didn't feel any danger for them. I did miss the other F&F characters in this but they did manage to squeeze in a few nice cars and a big convoy-chase sequence towards the end. I felt the villain (Idris Elba) didn't really do much and he felt like a bit of a cliche being someone from Shaw's past. And I wasn't quite sure why he had to be a cybernetically upgraded superman either. The plot had MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 2 (2000) and TANGO & CASH (1989) written all over it and kinda served as an excuse to have a load of big action sequences strung together. It also had a James Bond feel and felt too long. Personally I much preferred the previous F&F films (from FAST 5 onwards at least) because they seemed more fun with a lot more heart.
  14. He's also a regular in Joe Dante's films, Innerspace (1987), Gremlins 2 (1990), The Howling (1981), Explorers (1985), The 'Burbs (1989), Matinee (1993), Small Soldiers (1998) etc... Just found out he's the voice of Johhny-Cab in Total Recall (1990) too.
  15. THE DEAD ZONE (1983) Best Stephen King adaptation ever.