Category: Second Chance Cinema

Shoot ‘Em Up!

shoot-em-up-clive-owenFilmmakers are always striving. Whether it is for authenticity, the ultimate laugh or the biggest heartache the films are usually curtailed by the need to keep it real. What if they did not need to? A film that takes it all the way and really sets out by saying F*** It! Let’s just see how far we can actually go with this. The logical genre for such a film is in action and adventure. One film that turns it up to eleven is the 2007 film Shoot ‘Em Up.

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Troll 2

troll-2. 1Films as a general rule, are meant to entertain.  And in order to entertain, regardless of the genre, it is generally accepted that a few principles need to be adhered to.  For instance, the acting and the script has to be of a standard that make the characters believable; the story and plot should be interesting enough to keep us captivated; and the effects have to show enough realism so as not to shatter the illusion. Now and then however, a film will arrive on our shelves that will take all these principles and just piss all over the top of them. Troll 2 is one of these films. Continue reading “Troll 2” »

Dark Horse

darkhorseThe rise in prominence of the man-child, the stay at home adult, is more common now than at any time in the recent past. Circumstances in these financially constrained times mean that adult children who are unwilling or unable to leave the family home are creating a new dynamic that can become uncomfortable for all. Frictions and tensions can become common place as the aging parents expecting some freedom from child care responsibilities see the dreams for their autumnal years shattered. The 2012 film Dark Horse from cult director Tod Solondz centres on a kidult and the problems he faces while trying to connect and build a relationship with a similar woman. Continue reading “Dark Horse” »


In our Second Chance cinema strand, Moviescramble casts its eyes over the 2008 horror film Mirrors.

In terms of critical acclaim horror films are generally given a bit of a kicking. Most reviewers tend to dismiss the genre as a whole and do not appraise the film as an individual entity. This tends not to happen in most other types of film out there. One film to suffer this fate was the 2008 film Mirrors from Director Alexandre Aja.

The film is the tale of a an ex New York cop, Ben Carson (Kiefer Sutherland) who has just started working as a nightwatchman.  Ben is currently suspended from the force due to his involvement in the killing of a man during a shooting incident. The time since has been rough for him with his marriage falling apart and his drinking increasing to the point where it is a problem for him and those around him. He is now trying to straighten himself out. He is sleeping on his sister’s couch and has just started the job as a nightwatchman at the site of a large department store in Central New York. The store went up in flames several years before and has lain untouched ever since due to legal disputes over insurance. Ben got the job in the first place after the violent death of the previous employee, as played out in the opening scenes of the film. Continue reading “Mirrors” »

This Property Is Condemned

this-property-is-condemned 2It is always of interest to see a film that has been re-evaluated years after it was classed as a flop and an artistic failure.  was not well received upon its cinematic release in nineteen sixty-six and did not even gets a DVD release until two thousand and three.  Looking back it is difficult to understand why the film was considered to be so poor as the film was an interesting watch and a rather good story. Continue reading “This Property Is Condemned” »

The Way

the way 1Self discovery is one of the subjects that tend to crop up on a regular basis in the movies. They tend to be featured a lot in the lower end, TV movie of the week style film that comes across as being cheesy and not entertaining in the least. It’s not an easy task to take a device like that and use it in a way that engages the audience from the very start. Fortunately The Way manages it with some style. Continue reading “The Way” »


dredd 2I may as well front up. I am a Judge Dredd fan. I grew up with 2000 AD and many of its stories still rank highly among my favorites. Top of the list are the tales of Dredd and his world. I was one of the fans hotly anticipating the Sly Stallone version of the great lawman. What wasn’t to like? Sly had the presence, was a big star and had a suitable chin for the role. A sure winner. Except the movie not only sucked it also swallowed. Sly was dreadful, the story was god awful and don’t even remind me of have Dredd without his helmet. For a long time Dredd in the movies was poison. So when a film revival of the character was announced it didn’t exactly give me a nice warm glow. Expectations were definitely lowered for this one. Continue reading “Dredd” »

Independence Day (Or why I can’t stand Will Smith!)

When Independence Day was released back in 1996 it erupted onto our cinemas amidst a furious media storm.  Everybody was raving about it.  I too got caught up in all the excitement, ready to witness the movie of the year where the trailer promised us such glorious action sequences and iconic visuals: an explosion of the Whitehouse, the Empire State building being incinerated and other mind blowing special effects never seen before!  When I woke up two and a half hours later I was, safe to say, a little disillusioned, a feeling that seemed to kick start the rapid decline of my admiration of Will Smith.

All those years making me laugh in The Fresh Prince?  Poof!  Gone. Continue reading “Independence Day (Or why I can’t stand Will Smith!)” »

Point Blank

point blank 1I’ve always had a great admiration for the actor Lee Marvin. To me he appeared to be the consummate action star. I seem to have grown up watching his films on television. With the ability to play the bad guy in the likes of The Man who shot Liberty Valence and  The Killers, comically in Paint your wagon or as the hard man in The Dirty Dozen, Prime Cut and The Big Red One, Lee Marvin was always watchable never less than good. In the US debut film for director John Boorman, He is at his very best. Continue reading “Point Blank” »

Star Wars Prequel Trilogy Revisited

When you mention you’re a Star Wars fan to anyone outside your normal social circle, you tend to get one of two reactions. One is the “Eurgh, what did I just step on?” look as they inconspicuously try to get as far away from you as possible, and the other is the knowing smile and the awkward attempt at conversation, usually on the subject of “Is there any other bounty hunter cooler than Boba Fett?” (The answer to that of course, is yes!)

Star Wars Celebration III

Who says it’s not cool to be a Star Wars fan?

Mention to the latter however, that you’re a fan of the prequels and you’ll normally get the exact same reaction as the former gave you the first time. My point is, it’s never cool to admit to being a Star Wars fan, and even less cool amongst other Star Wars fans to admit you like the prequels. Well I’ll freely admit to not being cool just as I’ll freely admit to being a fan of George Lucas’ most recent offerings and here’s why:

Episode One is where it all began, telling the tale of young Anakin Skywalker long before the Clone Wars, his tragic downfall and rebirth as evil alter ego Darth Vader, and the eventual rise of the Empire. What’s not to like here? First off, the special effects, the backdrops and the set design are all second to none. No matter what you think of this movie you cannot say it’s not a beautiful film to look at, from the virtual paradise of Naboo to the swarming metropolis of Coruscant and the rolling arid landscape of Tatooine, it’s a feast for the eyes and the imagination alike.

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