Archive for: March 2012

Serve the public trust: Robocop and your childhood. (Contains mature content, discretion advised)

Serve the public trust. Protect the innocent. Uphold the law” Three directives that Robocop lived by. There was a fourth one that was “Classified” which we learn prevents him from turning on any member of his masters at OCP. I was very young when I first saw Robocop and didn’t know what classified meant causing some confusion. It’s not until Robocop 3 that directive four is no longer classified, though by adding ninja androids and rocket packs, it’s safe to say that since the screenwriters weren’t paying attention to the plot why would the viewer?

Classified was indeed a big word for someone whose age hadn’t even reached double figures yet. Thankfully the plot of Robocop was pretty straightforward, good guy cop gets brutally murdered only to come back from the dead as a machine and exact his bloody revenge on the most horrendous bunch of baddies the eighties could produce. Children’s cartoons had their fair share of villains, however as much a bastard as Mumm-ra was he drew the line at blasting Liono’s hand off with a shotgun while Slithe and Jackalmen stood about pointing and laughing as our hero was slowly butchered.

The question dawned in my adult life as to why the hell I was watching Robocop at such at a young age anyway? Continue reading “Serve the public trust: Robocop and your childhood. (Contains mature content, discretion advised)” »

The Disappearance of Alice Creed

A film with only three actors, four locations, a first time director and a budget that wouldn’t cover the catering for a major movie needs to have everything going its way just to make an impression in the crowded market place that is the modern world of cinema. This has everything and more.

The film opens with two men, Vic (Eddie Marsan) and Danny (Martin Compston) meticulously setting up a job. They purchase tools and materials and proceed to securely set up an apartment with sound proofing, boarded up windows and a bed with restraints. Once complete they steal a van and set about starting their scheme, namely abducting a girl, Alice Creed (Gemma Arterton). It all goes to plan with Alice stripped, photographed re-clothed, gagged and restrained on the bed. Initial demands are made to Alice’s father and to back it up Alice is forced to make a video at knife point emphasising how much danger she is in. Everything is going too well. The exchange for £2 million is arranged and it looks like the duo may get away with it. Tensions are running high and tempers are short. It is only a matter of time before they either make a mistake or something happens to totally change the dynamic of the situation. Continue reading “The Disappearance of Alice Creed” »

The Truman Show

Moviescramble reviews the 1998 classic comedy drama The Truman Show.

In these days of wall to wall reality TV shows it is difficult to remember a time when we were not subjected to the endless mindless programming that passes for entertainment. The Truman Show was made in 1998 pre-dating the phenomenon that was, and is, Big Brother. Following on from that success many other reality shows were commissioned until we reached a point where reality dramas like The Only Way is Essex receives a BAFTA in 2011. In 1998 The Truman Show seemed like some alternate earth and could not possibly come true.

This is the story of Truman Burbank (Jim Carrey). Living in the idyllic seaside town of Seahaven, Truman is an ordinary man. He holds down a job as an insurance salesman and spends his time living in domestic bliss with his beautiful wife, Meryl (Laura Linney), and spending time hanging out with his best friend of many years, Marlon (Noah Emmerich). Everybody in the town knows him but he somehow seems disconnected from everyone. Strange things start happening around him; lights falling out of the sky, his car radio issuing instructions and the strange way his wife describes products in detail as if in a commercial. Truman lost his father in a boating accident when he was young and now has a deep fear of being on and crossing over water. Continue reading “The Truman Show” »

Contagion

Moviescramble tries not to touch anything while watching Steven Soderbergh’s Contagion.

Steven Soderbergh is one of modern cinema’s most interesting characters. Coming to international attention with the somewhat controversial Sex, Lies and videotape which won Soderbergh the Palme d’Or at Cannes in 1990. What followed was acclaim for the film and the director the next year saw the film being nominated and in many cases winning awards all over the world. Having made his name and cemented his reputation the two decades following saw him create a wide variety of very different types of films. He moves from large-scale Hollywood fare such as Oceans Eleven to smaller more experimental, art house films like The Girlfriend experience. He attempts to avoid revisiting the same genre of film with the exception of the two Oceans sequels. These appear to have been made in order to gain finance for some of his more personal projects. Along the way he has worked with some of the biggest stars in Hollywood including George Clooney, Matt Damon and Julia Roberts on several very successful projects. He has taken on film noir, Sci-Fi, the heist movie, Biography, Political drama, the revenge thriller and the legal drama to name a few. Now, with his 2011 major studio release, Contagion, he takes on the disaster movie.

Continue reading “Contagion” »

The Muppets

Moviescramble gets all excited about the return of The Muppets.

I’ve been a fan of the Muppets since their TV show aired on UK television in the late 1970′s. It shows my age obviously. Having lost interest as I grew up the Muppets were left behind only to be re-introduced to them again through my kids. I got to see the movies which are of varying quality and fun. The best of which, in my opinion, was Muppets from Space. So when the news came out that the Muppets were coming back and seeing all of the fantastic spoof trailers the expectations were high.

The film follows a familiar, some might say recycled, story. The Muppet theatre is under threat. The gang have all gone their separate ways and an evil oil Barron, Tex Richman (Chris Cooper) is purchasing the theatre to exploit the oil that is underneath it. Brothers Walter, a Muppet, Gary (Jason Segal) and his fiancée Mary (Amy Adams) find out about the evil plan while on a visit to Los Angeles to see the Theatre. It is up to them to seek out Kermit, Fozzie Bear and the rest of the gang in an effort to raise $10 million to save the theatre. Cue song and dance numbers, jokes and adventures as the film skips along. Continue reading “The Muppets” »

Touch of Evil

Moviescramble casts an eye over the 1958 classic Touch of Evil.

Orson Welles career can be split into three distinct periods. The early period charts the his rise from the Mercury theatre players in 1938, onwards to his movies beginning with the all time classic Citizen Kane up until his self imposed exile to Europe in 1948. His middle period saw his appear in many films but not always as the main star and not always as the main creative force. The final period of his career saw Welles move into different forms; television, voice over work and chat show regular. The 1958 film Touch of Evil is regarded by many as the best of the films from his middle period.

The story begins with the planting of a bomb in an unsuspecting couples car. The car is then driven a short distance through the town and over the mexican / USA border. It explodes soon after. On hand is a Mexican police inspector Mike Vargas (Charlton Heston) who has crossed the border checkpoint at the same time with his new bride, Susan (Janet Leigh). Vargas begins to investigate even though it is US soil. When the local Police captain, Hank Quinlan arrives on the scene conflict begins. The contrast between Vargas and Quinlan is immediately noticeable. One is old school with all that entails in terms of solving the case at any cost. Vargas on the other hand is the future of Policing with his standards and morals. Somehow the two must work together to solve the crime that crossed borders.

Continue reading “Touch of Evil” »

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2012)

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel PosterEvery so often a movie comes along that brings together the cream of the crop of a particular group. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’s cast list reads like a who’s who of great British actors, starring Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy, Penelope Wilton, Tom Wilkinson, Celia Imrie and Ronald Pickup with an injection of youth from Dev Patel and Tena Desae.

The movie begins by jumping between each of our senior protagonist’s situations as they enter their twilight years and look toward retirement. In the end all of them decide to move to a retirement resort in India, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel of the title. Their new home isn’t quite what any of them expected being rather run down and managed by the young, inexperienced, yet cheerfully optimistic Sonny. There are tales for each character but the magic and charm of the film is in their reactions to this new and overwhelming culture shock and they way the learn to adapt. Continue reading “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2012)” »