Category: Movie Bytes: Byte Sized Movie Reivews


Directed By: Stuart Beattie
Starring: Caitlin Stasey, Rachel Hurd-Wood, Lincoln Lewis, Deniz Akdeniz, Phobe Tonkin, Chris Pang

What It’s All About:
Seven friends who live in rural Australia go on a camping trip into a mountain nicknamed “Hell”. After seeing the sky filled with fighter planes they make the journey back into town to discover their families have deserted their homes. Soon enough they discover that their town has been invaded by a military force and their families are being held captive. It is up to them to free their families and take back their town.

The Final Verdict:
Based on the best selling novels by Australian author John Marsden, Stuart Beattie tries to bring the stories to life on the big screen but falls short. Protagonist Ellie simply fills in time with unnecessary dialogue that runs in a seemingly never ending circle, and her support cast are less than average, even for an Australian film. The action sequences are full on and create a sense of urgency but the movie seems to fall short of creating the same sense of wonder and panic that the source material. Okay for an Australian film but doesn’t hold a candle to anything on the world stage. Such a shame because Tomorrow When The War Began was such a perfect setting for a movie and unfortunately this movie just doesn’t do it justice.

2/5

Directed By: Sylvester Stallone
Starring:
Sylvester Stallone, Jet Li, Jason Statham, Mickey Rourke, Terry Crews, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture, Steve Austin, Bruce Willis

What It’s All About:

Barney Ross and his team of highly trained mercenaries “The Expendables” are offered a job on the island of Vilena in the Gulf of Mexico. The team need to overthrow the brutal leader General Gaza and restore peace to the island. As the misson unfolds the team learn more about themselves and what it means to fight in a unit together.

The Final Verdict:

The Expendables is a bad movie. Stallone feeds audiances a sub-par story that is in no way compelling, lazy dialogue and relies heavily on explosions to tell the story for him. This is what makes The Expendables so much fun to watch. Filled with corny one liners, a testosterone filled cast of action stars from days gone by and thrilling stunts not involving CGI; The Expendables offers a chance to switch off your brain and just have fun at the cinema. Sure it lacks an oscar winning story and performances but it sure does have a lot of balls to the wall action.

2/5

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Directed By: Vincenzo Natali
Starring: Adrien Brody, Sarah Polley, Delphine Chanéac

What It’s All About:

Clive and Elsa are lovers. They work for a company splicing together DNA of different animals to create hybrids. After the success of an experiement they decide to splice human DNA with that of their new creations against the will of their employers; creating a human like creature that matures at an alarming rate. After moving their creation to a farmhouse in order to keep her existance a secret things become out of hand a Clive and Elsa learn more about the creature and themselves.

The Final Verdict:

Just like the subject matter of the film in question “Splice” is a hybrid that fails to cement a strong basis for what it is trying to achieve. Part moral dilemma, part horror flick the film never quite reaches its true potential, falling short of the great horror film it could have been. The tension rises but never really boils over until the final moments of the film which are great yet it leaves you wondering why the film didn’t pan out like this from the beginning. Entertaining enough, but only worth a rental on a rainy weekend.

2/5

Directed By: Edgar Wright
Starring: Michael Cera, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Ellen Wong, Kieran Culkin, Jason Schwartzman

What It’s All About:
Scott plays guitar in Sex Bob-bomb, shares a bed with his gay roomate Wallace, dates a highschool girl named knives and doesn’t have a job. Then he meets the girl of his dream Ramona, but in order to be her boyfriend he is going to have to fight off her seven evil ex-boyfriends, dump his current girlfriend and pull his life together.

The Final Verdict:
Manic cuts, blistering effects, stunning visuals and enough pop culture to last any nerd a lifetime is what really makes Scott Pilgrim vs. The World stand out as one of the more unique and entertaining movies to hit the cinema in 2010. Staying true enough to the source material to keep the die hard fans of the graphic novel happy, but accessible enough for the average movie goer, Scott Pilgrim has something to offer everyone. Great performances from the cast, witty dialogue and stunning set pieces make this a must see film.

4/5


Directed By: Christopher Nolan
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Ellen Page, Michael Caine

What It’s All About:

Dom Cobb is an extractor, a man who enters the dreams of others to steal information that would otherwise be inaccessible. After the death of his wife which cost him his family and his nationality, he is offered a chance to get his life back. The catch is rather than extracting information, he needs to plant an idea in a corporate target’s mind, otherwise known as Inception.

The Final Verdict:

Movies very rarely live up to expectations, let alone surpass them which is the case with Christopher Nolan’s latest film Inception. Thought provoking, thrilling and utterly gorgeous, Nolan delivers yet another first class film with the help of DiCaprio as a more than capable leading man. A film that will keep you thinking long after you leave the cinema, my only criticism is the weakness in Ellen Page’s performance which lets the film down somewhat. Otherwise this is the must see film of 2010.

4/5

Directed By: Nimród Antal
Starring: Adrien Brody, Lawrence Fishburn, Topher Grace, Danny Trejo

What It’s All About:

Awakening in free fall, mercenary Royce is plummeting towards the jungle below when his parachute opens. He lands into the forest and finds a number of other degenerates who find themselves in the same position. None of them remember how they got there, and soon things heat up as they work out they are being hunted by an unknown Predator.

The Final Verdict:

Taking on one of the classic Sci-Fi franchises is never an easy task, especially with one so fragile as the Predator series. After a brief affair with those horrible AvP movies, this is the first sequel since the 1990 Predator 2, and fans are after something that is true to the original. It’s gory, it’s full of action but Adrien Brody fails to fill the shoes of a compelling leading man, which is a detriment to the success of the film. A step in the right direction, but fails to reach the its full potential.

2/5

Directed By: Joe Chappelle
Starring: Ben Affleck, Peter O’Toole, Rose McGowan, Liev Schreiber

What It’s All About:

Lisa and her sister Jenny are heading to the resort town of Snowfield, Colorado to hit the slopes. They arrive to discover that the town is empty, aside from the dead bodies of their landlady and a local police officer. They join Sheriff Bryce Hammond and his deputies in investigating the town when they uncover the ancient enemy.

The Final Verdict:

Book to movie adaptions are seldom impressive, and Phantoms is no exception to this truth. With obvious ties to other classic horror films as “The Blob” or “The Thing” Joe Chappelle has conjured up a convoluted story that ends up a mess. Sloppy production, lacklustre performance and lacking story. All I can say is “Affleck, you da bomb in Phantoms, yo!”

2/5

Directed By: Tony Scott
Starring: Bruce Willis, Damon Wayans, Halle Berry

What It’s All About:

Joe Hallenback is an ex secret service agent who was famous for saving the President’s life. Jimmy Dix is an ex professional football player who was banned for life on gambling charges. Joe’s life is turned upside down as he is thrown into a case that teams him up with an unlikely parter in Jimmy, as they fight to find out who killed Jimmy’s girlfriend and Joe’s best friend.

The Final Verdict:

Bruce Willis dials in another quality performance as a leading man in the action genre, slipping his trademark one liners in vein of his other popular Die Hard franchise, it’s such a shame the same can’t be said for his sidekick who has an on and off performance. Tony Scott has done well to create a classic action film that will be remembered as one of the greats of the early 90’s.

4/5

Directed By: Harald Zwart
Starring: Jackie Chan, Jaden Smith

What It’s All About:
Remake of the 1984 classic of the same name, The Karate Kid tells the story of Dre Parker and his mother as they move to Beijing from their home in Detroit to start a new life. Dre quickly becomes friends with Mei Ying but Cheng and his friends are adapt in martial arts and keep the two apart, beating up Dre. The maintenance man in Dre’s building, Mr. Han saves him from a beating, and attempts to help the boy by talking to Cheng’s karate instructor to leave Dre alone. Instead Dre must learn karate from Mr. Han and fight for respect and friendship.

The Final Verdict:

Remaking a classic film is never and easy task, but when the remake features none of the original characters from the source material, you have to wonder what the studio execs were thinking other than cashing in on a successful franchise. Jaden Smith simply lacks the connection that audiences had with Ralph Macchio back in the 1984 iteration. The back story for the Parkers is never explained, why do they have to move to Beijing? This is never explained, and leaves the movie feeling flat. The only thing that saves this film is Jackie Chan’s performance, which is stellar and should be a highlight in his long and successful career. Entertaining enough, but simply cannot be compared to the original.

2/5