#BLINDDATE IS BACK! – WHAT TO WATCH

Paul O’Grady will replace Cilla Black as the host

Hey guys, I have deviated a little for this post and brought back #WhatToWatch as the new series of #BlindDate is coming to Channel 5 and I’m in it!

Make sure you tune in on Saturday 17th June at 7pm to see which one of us gets to go on a date!

THE EXPENDABLES 3 – REVIEW

Review

 

 

 

Cool-The-Expendables-3-Cover-Wallpaper-HD

Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jason Statham, Harrison Ford, Wesley Snipes, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Kelsey Grammer, Mel Gibson
Director: Patrick Hughes
Running Time: 127mins
Cert: 12A

Sorry beautiful people that a review has been a long time coming, but I am back with a vengeance to rip a new a-hole into the third instalment of Sylvester Stallone’s geriatric action flick that is The Expendables 3.

Before I get into this, I need to point out that this series of films are not meant to be taken particularly seriously and i understand this but there are some things that are just plain stupid! Why I felt that their budget has gone down this year was no surprise because there were some stunts and back drops that were just plain cheap and boring! It seems that Stallone and his fellow film makers took delight in the fact that we wanted some mindless blow ’em up action and gave it to us but at a minimum!

Without giving too much away the exclusion of some characters in favour of others is just plain silly considering that there was no reason in the world or the film reality that this needed to happen. It serves as a pretty pathetic catalyst to the impending drama when someone who was less expandable would have promoted a bigger reaction, someone like Christmas (Jason Statham) for example.

There are scenes that are way to lengthy, cheesy dialogue that isn’t acceptable even for this level of action film and a flimsy plot held together only by what I thought was the magnetism of the villain.

Saying that, the saving grace of this film in my opinion is Mel Gibson as the bad guy. Maybe it’s his not so glamorous depiction in the press or just the fact that we never see him as a villain, that made him the guy you love to hate. He does bad, so good! Those piercing blue eyes and sharp deadly one lines actually made him come across more imposing than Stallone and some of the other physically bigger guys.

In addition to Mel, new recruits to the Expendables team are of course Wesley Snipes and Antonio Banderas. Teaming up with Stallone from their epic outings in Demolition Man (1993) and Assassins (1995) respectively, only Banderas brings any real flavour to the mix. Snipes spends the entire time trying to outdo Christmas and come between the bromance that he and Barney got going on, all while putting on a ridiculous accent that made me think 12 Years A… never mind.

Lastly, the addition of the newbies was basically pointless. They didn’t add any dynamic to the film or any other bad-assery (its a word), that we didnt already get from the original Expendables team. Sure Kellan Lutz provided some serious eye candy but when does he ever do anything else but look good in the background? Then we have the newest girl on the block Ronda Rousey who aside from being in the upcoming Fast 7 which makes me want to break her face…(breathe Charli…breathe) is completely irrelevant as well. Even more so than the broad in Expendables 2!

Sorry to say but other than Mel Gibson and Antonio Banderas, Expendables 3 leaves a lot to be desired in the way of action and fun and considering its a film that doesn’t warrant much high expectations anyway, is a very bad thing.

300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE – REVIEW

Review

 

 

Last night was fight night as I finally got around to seeing the 300 “sequel” Rise of an Empire starring Sullivan Stapleton of HBO tv fame Strike Back.

Stapleton stars as Themistocles, an Athenian politician and general who rises up against the invading Persians, much like in the first film but this time on water. To be honest, that is the only difference…and that the Athenians have fancy blue capes rather than the striking red of Sparta.

What first stands out is that this film isn’t a sequel or a prequel as such but rather runs alongside the events of the previous film, demonstrating what was going on while Leonidas and his brave 300 were off fighting in the shade and making walls out of human flesh. Because of this, we get some lovely shots of our fallen hero king that for me was a bit nostalgic lol.

Now, the film itself, though quite long for its genre, is without a doubt action packed from the word go! Themistocles doesn’t hold back on moves and skill and although there is a lot of blood, it isnt exactly gory but artistic and of course looks like the graphic novel it is taken from. There are many a Spartan kick to behold although executed by Athenians lol but admittedly not as much eye candy in this one as its predecessor. Our home grown Jack O’ Connell (who is set to light up the big screen in the coming Starred Up) makes a surprise appearance as young Athenian Calisto, hungry for war and glory.

In addition to the bulging biceps and pulsating pectorals, we have a new addition to the gladiatorial family in the shape of Eva Green as the corrupt and evil though brilliant warrior, Artemisia; the puppeteer of Xerxes. Hers is a welcome addition to the naval battle and Themistocles’ pursuit of her on horseback across a fleet of colliding ships is truly something great to watch, unbelievable but great! The fact that everyone’s favourite Queen aka Lena Headey aka Queen Gorgo aka Queen Cersei Lannister finally joins the fighting as the amazing Spartan woman we all knew she was, is awesome!

The end battle sequence is awesome not only for the level of skill and prowess that is demonstrated but also the CGI technique that is used that makes the whole thing look like a video game!

To wrap up, 300: Rise of an Empire is wickedly entertaining although unnecessary in the sense that it doesnt really explain anything more than what we already know about the 300/Greece and their seemingly never ending battle against the Persians. The new cast do well together although the same level of comradery isnt as evident and the soldiers not as memorable in the previous film but it stills manages to work.

All in a all, a good night out for the inner warrior in all of us! AAOOH!!

 

REVIEW – THE WHALE

Review

Real life: Captain Pollard and First Mate Shaw

BBC One’s The Whale is a drama detailing the fatal maiden voyage of whaling ship The Essex in 1891. Deemed the inspiration for Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, The Whale is a detailed and authentic view of ship life and how it shaped the lives of the crew involved. Essentially a bildungsroman from the point of view of cabin boy Thomas Nickerson (Charles Furness), it demonstrates the brutality of naval exploration and ship life among a culturally diverse crew. The shipmates conflict amongst themselves and moral stand point coupled with male bravado and innate survival instincts, creates a complex narrative that is both engaging and thought provoking.

From the opening scene, narrated by Martin Sheen (playing the elder Thomas Nickerson), The Whale shows the direction it will take with quoted biblical texts and a telling montage of the American flag while referring to America’s exploits of nature and the world. Whether you believe this is the case is another matter but Sheen’s words immediately make you pay attention as he sets the scene for what is to become an exploration of class and social status and the presence or absence of God. Good against evil is just one of the themes that run through the drama as well as moral conflict and human survival. The last ten minutes of the show are unfortunately the best as all of these points come to a head making one question both the characters and yourself. The tension that was built from very early on, although not completely concluded, was still satisfying as it comes to a chilling climax.

Within the first half and hour there is death and mutiny, which is always welcome in a good nautical drama and the characters are clearly set out for you to make any assumptions on who will be the catalyst of the danger clearly simmering amongst the crew. The relationship between real life Captain Pollard (Adam Rayner) and First Mate Shaw (Jonas Armstrong) provides enough tension to keep you seated for ninety minutes as your curiosity for their obvious hatred for each other is increased.

Ultimately, The Whale is a suitable watch for the pending Christmas period with no lengthy pauses or delays in the story but something to discuss with the family, allowing you to question yourself and what you would do in a life threatening situation. A small but effective cast bring the story to life that, although inspired a literary classic, is a poignant mini drama all on its own.

The Whale is on tonight,December 22nd at 9pm on BBC One.

Originally posted on DIY Film