After Earth (2013)

"It's a film about a son struggling to live up to the reputation of his effortlessly successful father..."
“It’s a film about a son struggling to live up to the reputation of his effortlessly successful father…”

“Danger is Real. Fear is a Choice.”

Directed by M. Night Shyamalan
Starring Will Smith, Jaden Smith

In the future, humanity has abandoned the ruin of Earth for the paradisical climes of Nova Prime. The evacuation was led by the United Ranger Corps, who later became the only line of defence against an alien aggressor who deployed as their first line of attack a breed of monsters that hunted humans by smelling their fear: the Ursa. To fight these creatures, the Prime Commander Cypher Raige (Smith) developed the ability to feel no fear, a technique known as ‘ghosting’.

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Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (2016)


“Stay Peculiar”

Directed by Tim Burton
Starring Eva Green, Asa Butterfield, Chris O’Dowd, Allison Janney, Rupert Everett, Terence Stamp, Ella Purnell, Judi Dench, 
Samuel L. Jackson

Jake Portman (Butterfield) is a regular American (honest) loser, who connects better with his grandfather Abe (Stamp) than with his father (O’Dowd). When Abe dies, an apparent victim of a wild dog attack, and Jake believes that he sees a faceless giant looming in the bushes, his psychiatrist (Janney) suggests that it would do him good to go to the island in north Wales where his grandfather once lived in a children’s home, run – he always insisted to Jake – by a woman named Miss Peregrine who could turn into a bird, for the protection of children with extraordinary powers.

Continue reading Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (2016)

American Ninja 2: The Confrontation (1987)

I think Steve James might rate the small print on this one at least.
I think Steve James might rate the small print on this one at least.

“The Ultimate American Fighting Machine is Back!”

Directed by Sam Firstenberger
Starring Michael Dudikoff, Steve James, Larry Poindexter, Gary Conway and some women

When the Marines guarding the US Embassy on a small, Caribbean island start disappearing, Washington dispatches Ranger Sergeants Joe Armstrong (Dudikoff) and Curtis Jackson (James) to investigate. Cue Army vs. Marines shenanigans of an extremely low grade. This step seems prescient, when an ambush on an R&R party is launched by ninja.

Continue reading American Ninja 2: The Confrontation (1987)

Looney Tunes: Back in Action (2003)


“Real life has never been so animated.”

Directed by Joe Dante
Starring Brendan Fraser, Jenna Elfman, Steve Martin, Timothy Dalton, Joan Cusack, Heather Locklear and Joe Alaskey (voices)

Following a contract dispute, Daffy Duck is fired from Warner Brothers. In the chaos that ensues, security guard and stuntman DJ (Fraser) is also fired. Daffy follows DJ to the home he shares with his father, action star Damien Drake (Dalton) where they discover that Damien is actually a real-life superspy using his movies as cover (which is of course now the background for Amazon pilot Jean-Claude Van Johnson.)

Continue reading Looney Tunes: Back in Action (2003)

Behind the Candelabra (2013)


“Too much of a good thing… is wonderful.”

Directed by Steven Soderbergh
Starring Michael Douglas, Matt Damon, Dan Aykroyd, Scott Bakula, Rob Lowe, Debbie Reynolds

Animal trainer Scott Thorson (Damon) is introduced to the pianist and entertainer Liberace (Douglas) by film producer Bob Black (Bakula), who explains that, obvious as it is to the gay community, straight audiences have no idea that Liberace is gay.

Continue reading Behind the Candelabra (2013)

Immortal (2004)

Pyramid power!
Pyramid power!

“The Ancient Gods Have Returned”

Directed by Enik Bilal
Starring Linda Hardy, Thomas Kretschmann, Charlotte Rampling, Frédéric Pierrot

New York, 2095. Central Park is an inapproachable ‘intrusion zone’ and a giant pyramid hovers over the futuristic skyline. Genetically altered humans live side by side with the unaltered, but as second class citizens, while political power resides with the CGI elite. When the Egyptian god Horus (Thomas M. Pollard) is sent to spend one last week on Earth before being executed for a crime that is never really specified, he inhabits the body of altered rights activist Nikopol (Kretschmann) – after blowing up several less acceptable bodies – and goes in search of Jill (Hardy) a white-skinned, blue-haired woman who is capable of bearing him a child.

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xXx: State of the Union (2005)


“Get ready for the next level”

Directed by Lee Tamahori
Starring Ice Cube, Willem Dafoe, Scott Speedman, Peter Strauss, Samuel L. Jackson

A commando team bust into the secret HQ of the xXx programme, killing everyone except station chief Agent Gibbons (Jackson) and technical comic relief Shavers (Michael Roof). Informed of the incident, the president (Peter Strauss) is determined that his State of the Union address must tackle the causes of such attacks by building up international relations, much to the chagrin of hawkish Secretary and obvious villain Deckert (Dafoe).

Continue reading xXx: State of the Union (2005)

American Ninja (1985)

American. Ninja. Any questions?
American. Ninja. Any questions?

“The deadliest art of the Orient is now in the hands of an American.”

Directed by Sam Firstenberg
Starring Michael Dudikoff, Steve James and Judie Aronson

In the Philippines, surly amnesiac former delinquent loner Joe (Dudikoff) is serving as a private in the US Army. He leads an attempt to fight off hijackers attempting to steal army gear and kidnap the Colonel’s daughter, Patricia (Aronson), but when ninjas appear and massacre the rest of the convoy, the Sergeant blames Joe.

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Lucy (2014)

Based on my limited understanding of neuroscience, what she could do is 'have a massive stroke', that being the definition of all of your brain firing at once.
Based on my limited understanding of neuroscience, what she could do is ‘have a massive stroke’, that being the definition of all of your brain firing at once.

“The average person uses 10% of their brain capacity. Imagine what she could do with 100%.”

Directed by Luc Besson
Starring Scarlett Johansson, Morgan Freeman, Choi Min-sik, Amr Waked

Lucy (Johansson), an American student in Taipei, falls foul of her loser boyfriend’s murderous contacts in the Korean mob and finds herself forced to act as a drug mule by Mr Jang (Min-sik). A packet of experimental nootropic drugs is sewn into her abdomen and ruptured when a particularly stupid mob soldier decides that hitting on the mule and then kicking her repeatedly in the stomach is a good plan. Seriously, for an all-powerful drug lord, Jang needs better help.

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Blast from the Past: The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension (1984)


“Expect the unexpected. He does.”

Directed by W.D. Richter
Starring Peter Weller, Ellen Barkin, John Lithgow, Jeff Goldblum, Christopher Lloyd and Clancy Brown

During a test of his experimental supersonic jet car, Japanese-American neurosurgeon, particle physicist, martial artist and musician Buckaroo Banzai (Weller) activates the oscillation overthruster, a device which allows him to pass into the solid matter of a mountain, thus entering the 8th Dimension. On hearing of this, Lord John Whorfin, and alien in the body of Dr Emilio Lizardo (Lithgow) breaks out of an asylum to reunite with his lieutenants, the Red Lectroids.

Continue reading Blast from the Past: The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension (1984)

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A novelist's look at veterinary school, the writing process, and all art that inspires me. Also, I now apparently review bad movies and TV shows.

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Australia based film fans - Like Margaret and David, only so much younger

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