Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Weekly Movie Review: Premium Rush, Savages, Brake, Bourne Legacy, Arthur Christmas

Premium Rush

In Manhattan, a bike messenger (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) picks up an envelope that attracts the interest of a dirty cop (Michael Shannon), who pursues the cyclist throughout the city.

Premium Rush took ages coming out. I can only think there were some issues with post production or Joseph Gordon-Levitt became famous in the meantime and wanted more money.

It's a fairly easy watch, with a good combination or action and emotion. Mostly it features fast, fixed wheel (fixie) cycling, with a spot of mountain bike trick jumping, which was slightly unbelievable due to the character have broken ribs.

The multiple route choices Gordon-Levitt makes at intersections were a nice touch. As were the overhead 3d maps to show where the action was taking place in the city. I could see sequels in other equally busy cities around the world.

3/5 - It will resonate well with cyclists


Pot growers Ben (Aaron Johnson) and Chon (Taylor Kitsch) face off against the Mexican drug cartel who kidnapped their shared girlfriend (Blake Lively).

Savages features some familiar Oliver Stone scenes with loud music and emotionally charged drama playing out on screen where characters, and viewers, have a deep realisation (like Platoon). I felt the ménage à trois was largely unnecessary but was integrated into the plot in order to be different from other films.

I felt like Stone didn't know how to end the movie, so he filmed two sequences and then showed both of them to the viewers, first the unhappy one and then the happy one. 

2/5 - Unnecessarily long, and Taylor Kitch's third failure of the year


A Secret Service Agent (Stephen Dorff) is held captive in the trunk of a car and endures mental and physical torture as terrorists attempt to extract information for their plot against the President of the United States.

I like Stephen Dorff. He should make more films. He kind of reminds me of Jack Bauer in this movie. Just a poor version of him.

For me, blatantly a rip off of Buried or Phone Booth, just not as good. There's plenty of variety for situations occurring to the character, like the introduction of a CB ration, cell phone, bees, liquid explosive etc. but a large amount of the film is in a plastic box in the boot of a car and it takes its toll.

The ending features an interesting double twist, of which the first one feels like a weak plot and the second unexpected but uninventive.

2/5 - Mildly entertaining B thriller

The Bourne Legacy

An expansion of the universe from Robert Ludlum's novels, centered on a new hero whose stakes have been triggered by the events of the previous three films.

There was never just going to be one Bourne was there? Not with a franchise like this. When Paul Greengrass and Matt Damon walked away from this, so should have everyone else.

The Bourne Legacy is confusing at first. If you haven't watched the previous movie recently, I suggest you do so first as that will help. It's not immediately apparent that this one overlaps with events of the last film and there's no indication with is happening other than on screen events.

The first hour is so looooong and boring with the odd action spike here and there. It's not until the last half hour that things finally heat up. And when they do, Renner  performs admirably and is excellent as Aaron Cross. It's just a pity he wasn't given more opportunity to do so.

3/5 - Expect another sequel in the franchise. Just hope its better!

Arthur Christmas

On Christmas night at the North Pole, Santa's youngest son Arthur (James McAvoy) looks to use his father's high-tech operation for an urgent mission to deliver a present to a little girl who was inadvertently missed out.

I'm a big Aardman Animation fan and Arthur Christmas is right up there with the likes of Wallace & Gromit, except this is CGI as opposed to stop animation.

I liked the mash up of the old and the new technology, with the modern UFO style sleigh that can deliver 2 billion presents in one night and the traditional sled which gets taken out to accomplish the final delivery.

There's a great selection of characters with Arthurs brother Steve, his father, the current reigning Father Christmas and the grandfather who was Father Christmas before. And lots of humour for kids and adults alike.

There's a good message for kids too - never give up!

3/5 - A good Christmas movie to watch with your kids

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