From the director of “Iron Man”, comes an action-packed, sci-fi adventure starring Daniel Craig (“Quantum of Solace”, “The Golden Compass”), Harrison Ford (“Morning Glory”, “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull”) and Olivia Wilde (“Tron Legacy”) as the only posse who can save the world from alien invasion. With cutting edge special effects and one-of-a-kind story, “Cowboys & Aliens” is a showdown you won’t want to miss!
2011 – Certificate 12 – American Film
Rating Details: Frequent moderate action violence and scenes of intense threat
7.0 out of 10
Isn’t it funny when you spill food down your front? Yes it’s really, really, hilariously funny, especially when it happens loads of times. Last week I spent another 90 minutes at the dentist, having various things pushed inside my sore tooth, although I have to say it isn’t hurting nearly as badly now as it had been. Unfortunately its new best friend, (who we’ll call sore wisdom tooth), has taken over the role of Mouth Tormentor. It’s not exactly painful in the normal sense, although there is an ongoing, uncomfortable feeling that I suspect is slowly getting worse with time. Poking and prodding it causes no undue effects either. However, I’m finding it very hard to open my mouth more than’s required to speak or drink cider; (or other beverages). If I try to open it anymore it hurts, a lot. I’m on antibiotics (and this is the only time I can recall ever taking any), but they don’t seem to be making the slightest difference. Not only is this pissing me off, but trying to eat anything other than tiny amounts of flat-shaped food in one go, invariably results in some of it ending up all over whatever I’m wearing. Given that my washing machine’s dryer still isn’t working, I can only conclude that there’s some sort of conspiracy going on between washing powder manufactures and aliens keen to discover how long it takes to make someone go mental. I’m seeing the dentist again tomorrow, so I’ll ask her what she thinks about my theory. This film’s got aliens in it, but there’s not a lot of washing powder around; although a bar of soap does make a brief appearance.
It’s got Indiana Jones, James Bond and aliens; and cowboys. Steven Spielberg’s special effects people did the em, special effects, too. How can it not be great? I often ask myself the same about the England football team. This is another case of the sum of the parts being greater than the whole. I really wanted this to be a great movie too. Daniel Craig spends a lot of time standing about looking mean and moody and the rest of it wondering about like he’s spent way too long watching Yul Brynner in “Westworld”. I guess he was just a bit pissed off because they took his nice car way and gave him a horse instead. Meanwhile, Harrison Ford spends most of the film being grumpy and surprised by what’s going on. Welcome to real life Hans. Other than an underperforming script and an entirely superfluous ‘annoying young kid’ character, this film get’s most things more or less right. It’s nice to see a film that’s not Scary Nightmare Potter Weapon 9 or something too. It’s just a shame it all felt a bit soulless. On the positive side, James and Indiana manage to move cowboy – native American relations on quite a bit, although there is a certain irony in them needing the latter’s help to sort out an alien invader that’s trying to wipe them all out with its superior technology.
The soundtrack provides a satisfactory but underwhelming noise to accompanying things. The pseudo-western sound just didn’t work for me.
The trailer’s okay. It doesn’t give a lot away and makes out the film’s more of a horror than it really is.
Recommended for cowboys, Indians (of the native American kind), aliens (nasty and otherwise) and parents with annoying offspring.
No cats, chainsaws or decapitations. However, a number of aliens do get rather splattered, which includes their heads.
Top badass moment? A device that looks like it fell off a passing Borg or Transformer gets attached to James Bond’s wrist and he manages to shoot down an alien aircraft of some sort with it, even though he has no idea what it’s for or how to use it. When I first went 10 pin bowling I got a strike with my very first go. That was badass too.
The massive space-tug Nostromo glides silently through space. Back from the outer reaches of the galaxy, it’s taking its seven-member crew back to Earth. But when the ship’s computer receives a distress signal from a nearby planetary system, it rouses the crew from their cryo-sleep. It isn’t until after the Nostromo has landed on a barren planet named LV-426 and three crewmembers have gone out to investigate a huge derelict spacecraft that the signal is deciphered and found to be a warning. But one crewmember has already experienced a shocking face-to-face encounter with an alien creature while inspecting an egg-shaped pod. And so the horror begins – a horror which will end the lives of six crewmembers and alter the life of the seventh forever.
1979 – Certificate: 15 – American Film
Rating Details: Contains strong language, moderate violence and horror
8.0 out of 10
So anyway, I sat through this entire film convinced I was watching a party political broadcast on behalf of the Conservative Party; one that had chosen to spotlight the Party’s views on immigration. Why? 1. Well, for a start it’s called “Alien”, a phrase which seems to sum up a large proportion of everyone the Daily Mail, (which is the propaganda wing of the Party), doesn’t like. 2. It features a crew of people who are “working hard to get on in life”, before having things suddenly buggered up for them by a nasty alien. This is obviously a reference to wholesome, law-abiding Middle England British families having to deal with the effects of uncontrolled immigration. 3. It features a hideous, unstoppable creature that wants what we have and bleeds acid everywhere if you piss it off. (Well, it’s 45 years since Enoch Powell’s “Rivers of Blood” speech, so I guess you have to up the ante these days.) This is clearly an allusion to foreigners, especially the billions of people from Bulgaria and Romania who’re poised to ‘invade’ Britain (or more importantly the Tory heartland of the South East of England) on the 1st January 2014. From what I’ve seen in some of the media recently, I doubt there’ll be anyone left in either of those two countries by the time everyone here goes back to work the following week. Not that we’ll have jobs anymore, because they’ll all have been taken by them instead, whilst they’re simultaneously signing on the dole, having babies and not learning to speak English. And Romanians in particular are all just gymnasts, orphans or vampires, so why should they be allowed into the country? 4. Crewmember Ash turns out to be an android, in the pay of some nefarious organisation, ready to sacrifice everyone to make sure the alien gets back to Earth. Ash just has to be Vince Cable, working for the Lib Dems. His dark, evil plan? To let some foreigners into Britain. Traitor! And what does the android turn out to be full of? Nasty, goo-spewing Cables. Case proved I think. 5. The movie features a lot of people desperately running and creeping about in dark corridors, with a weird device that uses technobabble to find aliens, until they finally manage to successfully track one down. To me that sounds a lot like politicians quoting from random surveys and statistics, in an effort to concoct some evidence to support their views. 6. When they stop worrying about the alien for a few moments, it suddenly explodes out of John Hurt’s chest. I think that’s self explanatory; give them an inch and they’ll take a mile. 7. When they actually manage to find the alien, they quickly throw together some sort of bizarre, home-made weapon to try and get rid of it, which is undoubtedly analogous to their hastily thrown together ideas about caps on immigration; badly thought out, probably illegal, unfair and unworkable. 8. The alien kills everyone off one by one, which is exactly what all foreigners want to do to our way of life. Indeed, that’s their only reason to exist. (And let’s not forget that John Hurt was also Doctor Who). 9. Most things in the film have an alternative, sexual interpretation, which somehow just comes across as eww. Ever seen British politicians trying to be cool, attractive, or in-touch? It’s provides much the same feeling. 10. The alien is killed, after just about everything is destroyed, including the whole spaceship. This is exactly what will happen to the country if the Tories deal with immigration in their way. Babies and bathwater. Apparently there’s a party political broadcast on behalf of UKIP somewhere too. It’s called “Aliens”.
There can’t be much that hasn’t been said or written about this film. So I’m just going to say it’s essential viewing for anyone interested in cinema.
Most of the music used was composed by Jerry Goldsmith, one of the best film composers ever. It’s good. Very good.
Isn’t this a rubbish trailer? Slow, confusing, and sounding and looking horrible, it makes the film seems about as appealing as snogging a face hugger.
Recommended for aliens, foreigners, politicians and anyone that works on a spaceship.
1 cat, no chainsaws or decapitations. Despite providing one of the most famous cat characters in all of film history, Jonsey doesn’t even get a mention in the credits. It must suck sometimes being a cat.
Top badass moment? Vince Cable giving the rest of the Government shit about its approach to immigration. No, wait, I’m mixing this film up with a Conservative party political broadcast again. Malevolent aliens? Bulgarians? Romanians? It’s confusing. Don’t worry, I’ll check the facts in tomorrow’s Daily Mail. (Interesting, when I was 16 I’d have probably said the top badass moment heavily featured Sigourney Weaver’s panties. I must be getting old.)
“Meatball Machine” is a wild, splatterific, experimental sci-fi/horror rollercoaster that will have your entire brain and body shaken and stirred. Capable of making biomechanical weapons out of human flesh, alien parasites grotesquely invade the Earth, turning their hosts into maniacal killers who seek and destroy each other to the bloody death! And yes, it’s also a human love story, even though the budding romantics are infested with slimy, tumour-like globules. Co-directors Junichi Yamamoto and Yudai Yamaguchi (“Battlefield Baseball”) pull out all the stops and don’t let up until the final epic battle. It’s a touching testament to young love, blood, and alien ooze that leaves you screaming for more!
2006 – Certificate: Not Rated – Japanese Film
7.0 out of 10
I used to be quite a good cook. Like many things, it’s an ability I seem to have lost. Today I tried to make myself some breakfast, just some porridge and a cup of tea, not exactly rocket science. I managed to burn the porridge to the bottom of the pan, let the tea go cold and fill my flat with the smell of ‘burnt something or other’ that even lighting an incense cone (mesquite) has failed to cover up. It’s all a bit sad really. I suppose it could have been worse; I could have been taken over by an alien. Now that really does mess up your day. By a strange coincidence…
I was very relieved to discover that this film was not about the exploitation of animals and their conversion into a disgusting, processed, flesh-food of the worst kind. Instead, it focuses on humans infested by alien parasites, who take them over, convert them to necroborgs and then go about killing each other in very gruesome and bloody ways. Much nicer, I think you’ll agree. There’s blood and yukiness aplenty in this Japanese movie. That pretty well sums the plot up, other than the inclusion of some soppy nonsense about the two main characters falling in love and ending up fighting. Fortunately, this doesn’t really get in the way of the mess, which does look good. By and large the effects are very nicely done; the little aliens in the tumours have an especially high ‘eew factor’. For a film of this type it’s actually really well made. The overall effect is kind of what would happen if the Borg went to English football matches in the 70’s but in Japan, got really pissed and then went looking for a fight with some rival team’s Borg supporters. Despite all the gruesome action, it’s so comic book like that it doesn’t really leave much of a sickening after-taste. The DVD I have also has good subtitles and loads of extras; a quality release. Recommended.
The music’s there, it does it’s stuff. That’s it really. It works, feels accessible yet still Japanese. Can’t think of anything else to say about it.
Recommended for factory workers, lovers and guys that like to tinker with electronic things.
No cats or chainsaws and 1 decapitation, (plus another head that blows up).
Top badass moment? Sigh. It’s so romantic. The shared love of Yôji and Sachiko, helping them to overcome the power of the alien parasites infesting their bodies, before making the ultimate sacrifice. Well, bollocks to that. Seeing people turned into cyborgs, loads of blood, heaps of gross body parts and that unique Japanese touch that goes into films like this, is far more badass. Give me a huge gun growing out of someone’s chest any day of the week over a candlelit dinner for two.
Once content to duel it out here on Earth, the eternally scrappy Tom and Jerry now boldly go where no cat and mouse have gone before, when they get trapped on a spaceship bound for Mars. After their mistaken mission goes hilariously out of control, the tables are turned on Tom when, thinking him a giant outer space monster, the Martians attack! But what really bristles the cat’s whiskers is Jerry being hailed as the Martians’ long-long supreme leader! Will the duelling duo put their differences aside long enough to save Earth from invasion? They may need all of Tom’s nine lives to succeed in this extraterrestrially funny adventure.
2005 – Certificate: U – USA
Rating Details: Mild violence
In the first four and a half minutes, (which includes all the opening credits too), Tom has an ironing board smash down on his head, has his head ironed, sets fire to his feet, falls into a food mixer, falls into a liquidiser, gets his head jammed in a toaster and toasted, gets trapped in a dish washer and its associated plumbing, smashes his head into a sink, gets sucked through an aircraft’s jet engine and falls 1,000s of feet though the air onto the ground. I guess that’s the “mild violence” I was warned about. Lucky it’s not a real cat.
I like Tom and Jerry. In fact they’re my favourite cartoon characters of all time. The first part of this film is great, as Tom’s attempts to catch Jerry totally trash a house. Sadly, when we meet a few folk (and aliens) and they start to speak, it all slows down and loses it a bit. I don’t know, but people really shouldn’t talk in Tom and Jerry cartoons; in fact we should hardly see them at all. A few screams and such like are okay, but when they start to have conversations then that’s just wrong. Then again, I’m probably not the demographic that this film is aimed at. If you’re eight years old you probably don’t care about the mythology of Tom and Jerry, you just want to see ‘funny stuff’. Having said that, the big reference to “2001: A Space Odyssey” and the fact that the President looks and sound an awful lot like Arnold Schwarzenegger, are likely to appeal to the more ‘mature’ viewer. The bad guy’s use of a vacuum cleaner as its weapon of choice is somewhat surreal too. What was the originator of that idea on? It’s far from classic Tom and Jerry, but it’s still quite entertaining. The sound is surprisingly good, if a little unsubtle at times and the music excellent. At its best, this film could almost have been made in the 40s, but all too often it falls into more stereotypical Saturday morning cartoon land and dilutes its best down. And how come Tom and Jerry didn’t need spacesuits on Mars, but the astronauts from Earth did? (Okay, maybe I’m overanalysing things a bit now.)
Recommended for the Tom and Jerry hardcore; and little kids.
1 cat (Tom of course), no chainsaws or decapitations. However, a number of heads (mostly Tom’s) do get flattered, burnt, crushed or ‘deflated’.
Top badass moment? I’m told following your dreams in life is important, regardless of the consequences. So I guess Tom smashing up what looked like a really nice house, with a lot of unusual African artefacts it, in an attempt to catch Jerry, is badass then. Jerry’s such a tease and you just know he’s not the one who’s going to get blamed for the mess either; there’re words for individuals like that and they’re not nice words.
On the way back from a meeting today I had to drive across the Vale of Oxford, a rolling landscape of large fields and not a lot of trees or hedges. It does however, provide some quite panoramic views of the sky. Today I was accompanied on my journey by one of the scariest clouds I’ve ever seen. An enormous line of meteorological anger, brightly illuminated by the sun, pushing huge, white fists of fury high up into sky above. It was like the very Gates of Hell had opened across the Berkshire Downs and pure evil was boiling up from the ground below and into the heavens. No really, it was that awe-inspiring! A true litany of terror* stretched out before my eyes; Mother Nature telling us not to fuck with her any more. I was put in mind of the clouds in “Independence Day” that the spaceships then appear out of, before the alien scum inside them start to trash the Earth. (I’ve always liked the expression “alien scum”; I got it from Activision’s BattleZone 2 Combat Commander that was released in 1999, which is still my favourite all-time computer game.) I was expecting Reading to be wiped off the map this afternoon by a deluge so awesome that Noah would have wimped out. However, in the end it rained for about five minutes. I wish I’d taken a photo, but my camera is totally broken now so I need to buy a new one. This film is about aliens that seem to want to destroy the Earth and is also awesome, but not in quite the same way. *A quote from this film.
2003 – Certificate: PG-13 – USA
Rating Details: Crude and sexual humor including dialogue
This movie is dumb. This movie is stupid. This movie isn’t really very funny. Having said all that, it is actually quite entertaining. It also contains plenty of quotable lines too, which you’ll be able to have hours of fun using should you be lucky enough to find another human being somewhere who’s seen it too. “Not a problem” I felt was particularly helpful and would have a number of ‘real-world’ applications. “Enthuse for Rabirr” probably has a more limited range of specialist uses. Anyway, it’s got a 100’ tall giant called Croker (who’s probably the funniest thing in it), one of the most ineffective ray guns in any sci-fi film ever and some less than subtle product placement. Another plus is the version of the theme tune played at the end. This is by Nerf Herder, which was also responsible for the theme to TV’s “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and is the 2nd best band on the planet. A high-quality B-movie; if there is such a thing.
Recommend for anyone who secretly likes to watch a totally dumb film once in a while.
No cats and 2 decapitations. (There’re also two heads that sort of get vaporised). I have to say that the decapitation count is a little disappointing, considering that at one stage during the film we’re promised around 5.8 billion of them; which is probably the most in any film ever.
Top badass moment? However stupid those threatening to use them were, the cow’s determination not to give in to chainsaw and machete wielding aliens, was badass; its badass enough to make Ronald McDonald join the Vegetarian Society. (I probably should have rewritten that sentence, it’s a bit of a mess syntaxically. Oh, and now it contains a made-up word too. I’m just digging the hole deeper and deeper…)
I’ve recently come to realise that I live in a drug-dealing hotspot. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve looked out of my window and seen a couple of dudes parked up outside at the back of the car park, only for another car to drive up, someone get out, go over to the first car, swap some brief ‘pleasantries’ by the window and then go back to the second car and drive off. This is often followed by the first car leaving shortly after. I guess they could be twitchers, swapping sightings of some rare bird recently seen in Reading, but somehow they don’t really look like they have much of an interest in ornithology. I think next time I see anyone there I’ll go out to them and ask which rare warbler they’re searching for. If they engage me in spirited conversation about the habit, feeding patterns and mating rituals of their favourite bird I’ll know I had them all wrong; on the other hand, if they get out a piece or shiv and merk me, then I‘ll know I was right and go and grass them to the feds. (See? I learnt loads of new words from this film.) What’s stranger, is that the bins in the corner of the car park suffer regularly from fly-tipping; quite why people make the effort to drive there to dump stuff, but then can’t quite manage to put the rubbish in the bins rather than all over the ground escapes me, but that’s lazy, dirty bastards for you I guess. Anyway, what’s weird is that I’ve never seen this actually being done, it just appears, by magic. Clearly fly-tipping is a far bigger offence than drug-dealing.
2011 – Certificate: 15 – United Kingdom
Rating Details: Strong language, violence, gore and soft drug use
This film features a drug dealer, but it’s okay because it’s only Nick Frost and he always plays Cornetto eating characters in films, well except this one. He’s not really in it that much anyway. This is a good film. It could have been a great film but it doesn’t quite get there. I guess the ‘greatness fairy’ was out of town when this movie was being made, which is a shame really as it’s a lot of fun and filmed and based in south London. Any film that features the always slightly seedy Oval Tube Station at the start is going to be good in my book. I rather liked the aliens in it, even though I can imagine a range of soft toys modelled on them wouldn’t look out of place in a young child’s bed; all fluffy and cute. I can also imagine that their teeth wouldn’t look out of place in a Government health promotion on oral hygiene either. They all looked like they had really good teeth. (I’ve got to go to the dentist soon, so I think I’ve got a bit of a fixation about teeth at the moment; where else can you go and pay a lot of money to someone to deliberately hurt you? No, not that sort of pain, I mean the ‘bad’ sort; pervert.)
Recommended for hoddies and chavs everywhere, who want to expand their vocabulary. It worked for me and I don’t even own a hoodie. (On the rare occasion I do put on a hoddie for some reason, I just get an overwhelming urge to start shadow boxing, skipping and appear an exercise montage, à la Rocky.)
No cats and 1 decapitation. (Well I think there was one; that crash helmet certainly went flying across the room and I think it probably still had a head inside it.)
Top badass moment? When you’re dealing with alien scum, there’s no shortage of badass moments. However, I’m selecting tiny-tot tearaways Probs and Mayhem and their Super Soaker filled with petrol. You grow up fast in south London. Streetwise nine-year-olds are badass; and probably really annoying too if you live near any.