Tag Archives: this ain’t no game

The Resident Evil franchise (2002-2012)

 

Movie also contains zombies.
Alice was not convinced Rain was pulling her weight as a posture pal.

My handle is happyfett, and I remember everything.

Actually, that’s blatantly untrue; memory like a sieve, and in fact I have typically found myself in a Dirty Harry style quandary regarding the Resident Evil movie franchise. Have I seen five movies, or just four? Well, for now at least I know, because with The Final Chapter coming out next year, in time for the franchise’s fifteenth anniversary, I’ve spent the past couple of days catching up as far as possible on the series. I couldn’t get the first and third movies easily, but I had already seen them.

So, here we go with a run down of the first five Resident Evil movies.

Continue reading The Resident Evil franchise (2002-2012)

Rebourne – Hitman: Agent 47 (2015)

hitman_agent_forty_seven_ver7_xxlg
This poster is actually much cleverer than this film deserves.

Directed by Aleksander Bach
Starring Rupert Friend, Hannah Ware, Zachary Quinto and Ciaran Hinds

The Original

Hitman began life as a series of successful computer games, in which the player controls Agent 47, the ‘perfect assassin’; six-four of shaven-headed, barcode tattooed white beefcake with the ability to disguise himself as a Chinese waiter. Using said mastery of disguise and an arsenal of weapons, the player must plan and execute an assassination to meet the terms of a contract.  Some of the games have an ongoing plot i which a series of unconnected jobs add up to a conspiracy, but some are just a series of jobs, and their appeal is not story so much as the replay value inherent in trying various approaches to perfect each kill. The game series was first adapted into a movie in 2007. Hitman was a frankly appalling film in which 47 – played without engagement by Timothy Olyphant, fresh from critically acclaimed yet cancelled TV series Deadwood and with payments due on the mortgage – is betrayed by his superiors as part of an insanely moronic plot to seize control of Russia by treating the entire world as if they were idiots.

Rebourne

The Reboot

So, apparently someone at 20th Century Fox really believed in the potential of a Hitman movie, because despite a modest commercial success and critical mauling, and Timothy Olyphant going on record on the Nerdist podcast to confirm that bit about the mortgage, the collapse of a planned sequel, and the death of intended new Agent 47 Paul Walker, just eight years later they decided to reboot.

In this version, Agent 47 (Friend) is sent to assassinate the founder of the Agent programme, Petr Litvenko (Hinds) and his daughter, Katia Van Dees (Ware), for reasons that are never adequately explored, but possibly as part of a shadow war between two ideologically indistinguishable conspiracies. Katia is initially protected by international man of mystery John Smith (Quinto), before he is revealed as an agent for the Syndicate, the enemy of 47’s International Contracts Agency.

Continue reading Rebourne – Hitman: Agent 47 (2015)

Street Fighter (1994)

Original Cinema 1-Sheet Poster - Movie Film Posters
Honestly, this poster looks like Bison is cruising in his floating pimpmobile in front of a billboard advertising a Van Damme picture.

“Get ready for the ultimate street fight!”

Directed by Steven E. de Souza
Starring Jean-Claude Van Damme, Raul Julia, Ming-Na Wen, Damian Chapa, Kylie Minogue, Byron Mann and Wes Studi

In the South-East Asian republic of Shadaloo, an Allied Nations peacekeeping force commanded by Colonel Guile (Van Damme) is apparently acting as some sort of unilateral authority, ostensibly to battle the renegade warlord M Bison (Julia), but seemingly spending more of their time being rude to journalists like Chung-Li Zhang (Wen) and enforcing a curfew on the largely faceless citizens of Shadaloo City.

Continue reading Street Fighter (1994)

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010)

The protagonist of this film isn't a prince and the actor isn't Persian.
The protagonist of this film isn’t a prince and the actor isn’t Persian.

“Defy the Future”

Directed by Mike Newell
Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Gemma Arterton and Ben Kingsley

The King of Persia (Ronald Pickup) adopts have-a-go street rat Dastan, who grows up to become the leader of a team of scrappy parkour commandos (Gyllenhaal). An attack on a holy city brings Dastan great honour, a shiny dagger and the captive princess Tamira (Arterton), but when the king is murdered and Dastan blamed, he is forced on the run with the princess.

Continue reading Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010)

Bloodrayne 2: Deliverance (2007)

Part of me feels I should watch the series in order, but that woudl mean paying for an Uwe Boll movie.
Part of me feels I should watch the series in order, but that would mean paying for an Uwe Boll movie.

“The UNDEAD fear no one… EXCEPT HER.”

Directed by Uwe Boll
Starring Natassia Malthe, Zack Ward and Michael Pare

The town of Deliverance lies under the despotic heel of Billy the Kid (Ward), outlaw, murderer and vampire. His reign of terror can only be stopped by half-vampire Rayne (Malthe) and a ragtag band of gunslingers… or if someone in the town would actually get off their arse and do something.

Continue reading Bloodrayne 2: Deliverance (2007)

Dungeons & Dragons 2: Wrath of the Dragon God

Apparently aka 'The Elemental Might'
Apparently aka ‘The Elemental Might’

“From the ultimate curse comes the ultimate quest”

Directed by Gerry Lively
Starring Bruce Payne, Mark Dymond and Clemency Burton-Hill

When the late minion of the evil Profion recovers an item of appalling power and plots his revenge on the Kingdmo of Ismir, only a band of brave adventurers can stop him, by undertaking the ultimate quest to discover a hidden vault at least, oh, two days travel from the capital.

Continue reading Dungeons & Dragons 2: Wrath of the Dragon God

Battleship (2012)

WatchBattleshipOnline

“The Battle for Earth Begins at Sea”

Directed by Peter Berg
Starring Taylor Kitsch, Alexander Skarsgård, Rhianna, Tadanobu Asano, Liam Neeson, Brooklyn Decker, Gregory D. Gadson and Hamish Linklater

Apparently responding to a SETI broadcast called Project Beacon, an alien force tries to establish a beachhead in Hawai’i, with only a handful of ships and personnel to stop them.

Continue reading Battleship (2012)

Far Cry (2008)

Far-Cry-2008-Hollywood-Movie-Watch-Online1

“Err… prompt”

Directed by Uwe Boll
Starring Til Schweiger, Emmanuelle Vaugier and Udo Kier

When boat pilot Jack Carver (Schweiger) accepts a job to ferry Val Cardinal (Vaugier) to meet her uncle and his old army buddy Max (Ralf Moeller) on an island, he finds himself facing off against an army of mercenaries and a cadre of genetically enhanced soldiers created by the sociopathic Dr Krieger (Kier).

Continue reading Far Cry (2008)

Max Payne (2008)

max5s
Nothing in this film is as awesome as this poster suggests

Directed by John Moore
Starring Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis and Beau Bridges

Three years after his wife and baby were murdered, Detective Max Payne (Wahlberg) is still looking for the truth through the time honoured method of being a dick and treating everyone around him like dirt. with the assistance of Russian mob boss Mona Sax (Kunis), he goes up against those who would enforce their will through force of arms and brings them to justice through force of arms.

Continue reading Max Payne (2008)

Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (2001)

final_fantasy_the_spirits_within_ver1

“Fantasy Becomes Reality” (or the one on the poster)

Directed by Hironobu Sakaguchi
Starring (voice cast) Ming-Na Wen, Alec Baldwin, Donald Sutherland and James Woods

Following a meteor strike, the people of the world are under constant attack by the Phantoms, invisible alien beings that kill with a touch and can infect a person with their ‘energy’, forcing the surviving population into barrier cities, defended by energy shields. Two solutions are on the table to end this stalemate: General Hein (Woods), who wears a lot of black, scowls a lot and occasionally justifies his actions with a tragic back story, wants to blast the meteor crater with an orbital laser cannon; Dr Aki Ross (Wen), a young and attractive scientist with soulful eyes and perfect hair, and her mentor Dr Sid (Sutherland), a wise old man who combines science and benevolent mysticism, have proposed a plan to assemble a psychic waveform, a spirit, based on the collected bioplasmic  signatures of eight essentially random lifeforms.

Spoilers! They are right, Hein is wrong, and they have to team up with elite military squad the Deep Eyes – Captain Gray (Baldwin), big sergeant Ryan (Ving Rhames), tough lady soldier Jane (Peri Gilpin) and comic relief guy Neil (Steve Buschemi) – to complete the spirit and heal the Phantoms before Hein accidentally shanks the spirit of Earth.

What’s wrong with it?

The film was an incredibly expensive piece of animation, and still looked kind of uncanny valley in places. More confusingly, Gray has the voice of Alec Baldwin, but the face of Ben Affleck (seriously, there are many webpages discussing this likeness, so it’s not just me).

Some complain that it isn’t in keeping with the Final Fantasy games, and it doesn’t really fit their usual themes of a wildly magical-yet-technologically advanced world full of ludicrous waprons like the gun-blade, but it does have an insanely complex plot explained in dialogue which is presented as if what the people are saying were entirely self-evident and only a fool could argue with it. The fact that it does this in the space of a movie doesn’t help, where normally it would be developed through a dozen or more hours of stumbling around getting into fights with fucking houses and pissing around with subplots about cross-dressing or party music and a hopelessly awkward romance!

Okay, I may have some issues.

The film fails to develop sympathy or tension properly, largely because for all the effort put into the animation, there is something slightly distancing about the almost-real faces; or perhaps with Ben Affleck using Alec Baldwin’s voice.

What’s right with it?

The animation may not be quite true to life, just close enough to be a little eerie, but it is also beautiful.

How bad is it really?

The Spirits Within is less of a movie than a spectacular tech demonstration.

Best bit (if such there is)?

The deaths of the supporting Deep Eyes, picked off one at a time prepping the escape ship for the leads, manage to develop some of the only real emotional resonance in the film.

What’s up with…?

  • The Deep Eyes referring to each other by their first names, regardless of rank? It violates one of the cardinal rules of both the real and conventional fictional militaries.
  • The alien war? Maybe it’s supposed to be symbolic, but the two alien forces wear no uniform or insignia to differentiate one from another. Brother vs brother?

Ratings

Production values – Oh, it is magnificent. I can not take that away from them. Even after thirteen years it’s still impressive. 2
Dialogue and performances – I can’t fault the performances either. The cast are solid pro thesps and deliver the goods, but much of what they are saying is pure bollocks, either maintaining the Final Fantasy tradition of stilted romance or expounding the film’s super-literal Gaia theory. 12
Plot and execution – The plot is overly complicated, but still in places rather dull. 17
Randomness – The whole thing is pretty random, being a search for some lifeforms or other, but it doesn’t go mad once it gets there. 10
Waste of potential – This is the most expensive video game movie ever made; it has little excuse for being so dull. 17

Overall 58%