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Member's Reviews

Kick-Ass, a review by Jon

5 out of 5

Dave Lizewski (Aaron Johnson) is a comic book geek who wonders why no-one tries to be like the heroes he reads about. He soon finds out the painful truth when he decides to try, as Kick-Ass, and ends up with vicious crime boss Frank D’Amico (Mark Strong) out for his head.

Since the superhero genre revolution took off properly with Spider-Man, mainstream cinema seems to have been aimed purely at kids, with even Die Hard 4.0 and Terminator: Salvation retooling once adult franchises for teens. Maybe 2010 will see that put right with The Losers, The Expendables and The A-Team all to look forward to and hopefully not pulling punches. The irony is the bar has already been set by a superhero movie! Kick-Ass, based on Mark Millar’s hilarious comic, is astonishingly violent and ready-made to cause some healthy controversy. Yet it is equally entertaining and has bags of substance. Despite being a parody of superheroes, it feels fresh and original throughout. This is Shaun of the Dead for costumed freaks and similarly destined to be a modern geek classic. The trailer sets you up without revealing just how layered the film is.

It starts like a typical teen superhero story, with Dave and his friends wondering why no-one tries to be a super-hero. One more mugging later, Dave is determined to prove it can be done and so dresses up to go out and make a difference. He is quickly brought down to earth with a shocking failure in his first half-arsed attempt to stop car thieves. Nevertheless, he ends up with dead nerve-endings and a metal pins (Wolverine?) throughout his body meaning he can take a beating. So he can’t resist trying again and through no small amount of blind luck, ends up on the Internet as Kick-Ass, in the first of several sharp digs at modern media (later a TV news report has to end a live broadcast because it is too shocking, despite it being uncensored on the web!). Fame and cheap merchandising quickly follow, despite him being nothing more than an enthusiastic idiot.

That brings him to the fascinated attention of a two proper, highly skilled heroes who keep a low profile at odds with their costumes. Big Daddy is a Batman figure, possibly harder actually, while his 12 year old highly trained daughter Hit Girl is simply like nothing you have ever seen before. Your jaw will drop at the petite foul-mouthed killer who can clear a room of thugs without breaking a sweat! Her fight scenes are incredibly inventive and bloody, without resorting to the silliness of Wanted, also based on a Mark Millar comic, and the finale is simply glorious. Matthew Vaughn brilliantly handles all the threads with an inventive and confident style, featuring an animated comic sequence and one fantastic moment from a first person shooter perspective, yet never loses focus of the central theme.

While it is very funny, the witty story, full of comic book references, also has a conscience and a clear sense of mortality and bears comparison with Alan Moore’s Watchmen. The violence isn’t really gratuitous (well, not much!) because it forces both Dave and the audience to realise the sobering cost of what he’s trying to do. This is supported by a great cast of well defined characters, anchored by Mark Strong’s Frank and Nicholas Cage. Normally he brings a dose of insanity to relatively normal characters, but here he softens Big Daddy, who is clearly nuts, with subtle honesty. Cage has been turning into a self-parody for years, but he is superb here and gracious in his performance alongside sparky Chloe Moretz as Hit Girl. That Superbad’s McLovin, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, as Red Mist and Aaron Johnson as Dave aren’t lost in the mix is testament to both their performances and the finely balanced plot. There’s even room for a sub-plot as Dave pretends to be gay to get close to dream girl, Lyndsey Fonseca.

For me the defining superhero films are Superman, The Dark Knight and The Incredibles. Kick-Ass can easily sit alongside them. I’m just not sure that the teenagers are going to be happy settling for Tony Stark, because Iron Man 2 is already looking dated!

(From Kick-Ass ***** on March 24th, 2010)

Member's Reviews

Mortal Kombat, a review by addicted2dvd

Mortal Kombat
Strap yourself in for pulse-pounding action, star-powered adventure and cutting-edge special-effects with awesome "morphing" sequences beyond your wildest dreams! Summoned to a mysterious island, three martial arts warriors engage in the ultimate battle of good against evil—the supernatural tournament of Mortal Kombat®.

Starring Christopher Lambert (Highlander), Talisa Soto (Don Juan DeMarco), Bridgette Wilson (Last Action Hero) and featuring world class martial arts champion Robin Shou (Beverly Hills Ninja), it's the most awesome, action-jammed, reality-shattering adventure the Universe has ever witnessed!


My Thoughts:
This is one of the very few times I bought the sequel before the original movie. As I normally like to get things in order. Several years ago I went through a phase where all I would watch (other then horror of course) was martial arts movies. While I still enjoy them I don't get the urge to watch them nearly as much as I used to. But it helps when there is a supernatural element to the story as there is with the Mortal Kombat movies. I have seen better movies... but it is entertaining... so I am glad I added it to my collection. Next I time I watch it I will have to watch this followed by the sequel.

My Rating:
Out of a Possible 5

(From Weekend Movie Marathon: 8/07 - 8/09 on August 7th, 2009)

Member's TV Reviews

Tom's TV Pilots marathon, a review by Tom

    Mr. Bean (1989/United Kingdom)
IMDb | Wikipedia

Universal Pictures (Germany)
Length:345 min.

Mr. Bean
1.01 Mr. Bean
Writer: Richard Curtis (Writer), Rowan Atkinson (Writer), Ben Elton (Writer)
Director: John Howard Davies
Cast: Rowan Atkinson (Mr. Bean), Paul Bown (The Student), Rudolph Walker (The Invigilator), Roger Sloman (The Blind Man), Howard Goodall (The Church Organist), Richard Briers (Mr. Sprout)

Rowan Atkinson is great as Mr. Bean. He does great physical comedy in these sketches. I think the stuff in the first episode comes all from his comedy acts.


(From Tom's TV Pilots marathon on June 10th, 2012)