Well this is probably our last film of 2014 and its more of the same from Stiller and Co. in Night at the Museum 3. The magical tablet that brings the museum to life overnight is corroding, so its off to London to meet up with Ahkmenrah's dad Merenkahre who knows the secret to restoring the power. Obviously you're then in an entirely new locale with lots of new museum pieces to come to life, topped off with Rebel Wilson's humorous english security guard. The story trots along at a nice pace and has lots of giggles along the way. Just another feel good family film, very enjoyable.
We're cramming in the year end films before 2015 rolls round, this time the Ridley Scott version of Moses! This is the biblical story you know, two brothers who aren't really brothers, one returns to his Hebrew people to free them, and along the way there are 10 plagues and the parting of the sea. Its actually done quite well, because as well as the biblical godly caused phenomenon you have the Egyptians trying to explain it away with reasoning, so you get a religious and scientific explanation, well you do until the Angel of Death anyway! Its quite a visual film with loads of vistas, however there is a little too much trudging around and it feels way, way too long. Its a shame as with a little trimming it could have been great, as it is it was a little bum numbing.
The 3D was nothing to write home about, which is a shame as this was actually filmed in 3D. Theres not a lot to prove the depth to you. D-BOX was also wasted, with just chariot rumblings and not a lot else happening to the chair.
Ben 6 out of 10 (6 with D-BOX)
Barry 6 out of 10 (6 with D-BOX)
After the huge Sony hack and impending WW3 from North Korea over this film we had to see it when it was released on rental over Christmas! All I can say is I'm not sure what all the fuss was over as the film is awful. A completely hammed-overacted Franco who is a Jerry Springer/Jeremy Kyle TV host, has an unlikely fan in North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un, who decides to let an American interview him. In steps the FBI to use these two goons to lead a plot to assassinate him. What follows is bungling annoying American idiots. There are a few chuckles along the way, but I can't stand Rogen, and Franco is just plain annoying. Kim Jong Un is also portrayed as a margarita drinking Katy Perry listening dictator. So apart from them ruining all Sony Pictures employees lives with this film, we also wasted an hour and 20mins of our lives.
We took Mum to the Royal Albert Hall for her Christmas present tonight to see Carols by Candlelight. For years we have been trying to go to midnight mass, but always fall asleep, so we went for a non-religious one at 8pm instead! Was a very uplifting Christmas show with choir, readings and sing-along carols.
So its finally here, however many years since the first Lord of the Rings, Hobbit part 3! It picks up immediately after part 2, with Smaug destroying the village. It then descends into the dwarf King's madness, followed by the epic battle of five armies, as the title suggests. To me this seemed a bit long and drawn out, but was interjected with extras like seeing the start of Sauron and linking back to LOTR. The 3D wan't much to write home about again, apart from a few bits.
Last night we saw Evil Dead the Musical 4D, but unfortunately it was like a bad low budget school play. It did make us chuckle in places, but the wasn't enough 4D blood!
This morning we had to kill before flying home, so we headed to Madame Tussaud's. It's very weird entering a room of free standing wax works that look like movie stars. Some were incredibly realistic, while others we didn't think looked anything like them.
The original Horrible Bosses was like the original Hangover, completely original and unexpectedly funny. The sequel however is however a little tired, where the original had 3 stories of 3 bosses, this one centres on a kidnapping of their new boss who steals their idea for a 'Shower Buddy' invention. Cross and double crosses follow, intertwined with the squeaky ones voice, luckily broken up by the excellent sex addicted Aniston. It just misses all the marks of the first film.
This film isn't out until Jan 30th in UK, so we decided to see it early! Its a Disney spin on a Marvel franchise that I've never heard of and is quite dark for Disney, as its about an orphaned set or brothers, then one of the brothers also dies! But its about the surviving brother's relationship with Beymax, who is originally conceived as a medical robot, but reprogrammed and along with a group of friends they form a team of superheroes to go after an evil Kabuki! It starts of quite slow and depressing, but then you hit a Wall-Eish bit about the slightly clumsy robot, followed by all out action as they form they superhero team. Nothing like what Disney has really done before, original story (as I've not heard of the Marvel comic before) and generally entertaining.
On Sunday we headed to the Cosmopolitan hotel, where they have converted one of their roof top pools into an ice rink and every hour they also make it snow! So we're sat in shorts having cocktails in the desert while it snows.
The same evening we go to see the Divas drag show, men dressed as women performing the greatest hits of Madonna, Cher, Lady Gaga, Tina Turner, etc.... Highly entertaining. Check our the video under the video tab on the blog!
If you are expecting anything other than a very silly movie follow up to the original, then walk away now. If you want some childish action, one-liners that you need to concentrate on their real meaning and a Carrey back on form, then you should watch Dumb and Dumber To. We must have been in the right mood for this film, as it just kept us chuckling. Daniels is on a mission to find his estranged daughter that he had with a very ragged looking Kathleen Turner. Turns out his daughter was adopted by a scientist who is trying to be bumped off by his wife and the daughter is just as thick as he is.
Saturday afternoon at 4pm we saw Legends in Concert. We'd only bought the cheap seats at the back, but for some reason the guy sat us right by the stage, result! Our impersonators were Michael Jackson, Barbara Streisand, Brittany Spears, Bobby Darin and Elvis. Great show with a few Christmas tunes thrown in too.
Out of all the characters to spin off from Madagascar we were hoping for the monkeys, but instead the penguins got it instead. Basically the story of an evil octopus who wants revenge for ousting him from the New York zoo, as they are far too cute, so his revenge is to de-cute them! Loads of wacky fun and zany things happen, lots of quick fire jokes and an auxiliary cast of extra characters are added. Good, but not as good as Madagascar 3.
So the first part of the final part of the Hunger Games is finally here and after number two ramped up the action I was expecting good things from this. Unfortunately this is still the obvious build up to part 2, with revolution implied but not seen. Instead this film focuses on the taunting between Katnis and Peeta, while she hides in District 13 from the president. There are a couple of tense moments, but otherwise this film doesn't get going at all.
The D-BOX moving chairs at Cineworld also completely robbed us in this film. Hardly any movement and not worth the upgrade.
Ben 6 out of 10 (6 with D-BOX)
Barry 6 out of 10 (6 with D-BOX)
So the Earth is covered in a blight which is slowly killing off the world's crops and clogging up people's lungs, so its upto Matthew Mc Conaughey and Anne Hathaway to journey off into an alien created phenomenon to investigate if earlier travellers have survived on 12 similar planets and then somehow move the entire Earth's population to that new world. Got it? Sounds silly right? Oh my this film stretches your believability to the limit in that we can somehow now control gravity and time and gets lost in a mish mash of space travel, alien world's and just plain bat shit craziness. And boy does it feel loooooong, as the cast try to explain to you what they are doing, I tried to keep an open mind and go with the flow, but I just couldn't. I spotted the twist in the story a mile off and it wasn't as enjoyable or tense as last years Gravity movie. As a piece of magnificent visual cinema it is grand, as an enjoyable believable film its a miss.
The D-BOX moving chairs of course added loads to this film, with lots of rumbling space journeys, flying sequences and alien worlds. Plus the movement kept us awake!
Ben 6 out of 10 (7 with D-BOX)
Barry 6 out of 10 (7 with D-BOX)
A true behind the scenes story of Dracula, in the same style as Wicked and Frozen, in that when you hear a story from the characters perspective, they aren't actually as bad as the stories make out. Dracula's Transylvania is under attack from the Turks, but they have no army to defend themselves. The Turks are also demanding 1000 boys for their army, including his son. So with little choice he visits a cave dwelling demon, who gives him blood that gives him typical Dracula-like powers for 3 days, and if he can resist feeding on humans he will return to be mortal, but then we all know how that bit ends! Anyway this is the story of those 3 days and what he does to defend his kingdom and what causes him to ultimately become the Dracula we know. Lots of actions and battles, lots of bloody biting and actually a pretty good story.
After saying no to more conventions, Marina Sirtis decided she was going to attend Destination Star Trek, and as Barry's idol we had to go again. The show floor was kinda sucky again, with not much to look at or buy, unless you were autograph hunting, but the big beaming smile on Barry's face says it was worth going!
Yet another Birthday surprise from Beryl and Ray. Had no idea where we were going, but we ended up in Gun Wharf at the Onboard Powerboat Rides booth. After a slowish start round the harbour our driver really opened it up, donutting round the spit forts and ending up at the Isle of Wight in about 5 minutes!
Another futuristic teen angst film, where everyone has to be one type of person, a runner, a builder, etc.... exactly the same as Hunger Games and Divergent before it, why?! Anyway brushing over this stupid plot point they also have the annoying habit of renaming things unnecessarily, eg. giant mechanic spiders are what they like to call Reevers and loads of other "what we like to call" moments. Apart from all the unnecessary rubbish, this is actually a good film! Lots of fairly unknown cast, make up a strong group of kids trying to escape a maze filled with loads of finger biting hazards. The action keeps coming and the story keeps growing, ending on a cliff hanger, the start of realising whats going on. Luckily the 2nd film has been picked up, so we get to see what that is!
It was a beautiful day, so we decided to take the open top bus tour again, this time taking in the boat trip around Toronto Island and stopping at the food market. The bus dropped us at the ferry, and we had about a 45min wait, so we sat on deck chairs on the dock getting sun burnt. After a nice slow cruise round the island we stopped at the St. Lawrence Market, billed at the world's number one but National Geographic. We were expecting lots of food samples and things to try, what we got was lots of raw meat and fish, not great for visiting tourists!
After messing up on Transformers 4, we decided to give Michael Bay one more chance with Ninja Turtles. This is quite clearly aimed at kids, as its fairly light and easily entertaining. Its filled with completely over the top set pieces as you'd expect too. Its purely for kids.
Well just had the biggest surprise ever from Barry! From just getting in the car as if going on a normal trip, to heading to the airport, to multiple suitcases appearing from the boot, to tickets to Toronto again for my 40th Birthday!! Completely gob-smacked!
As its an awful bank holiday afternoon,we came straight out of one movie and into another! As Guardians of the Galaxy was full, we plumped for the early showing of Sin City 2. Unfortunately we chose another bit of a dud! The two intertwining stories are just too weird, one of a controlling woman using her ex-boyfriend to kill her husband and the other of a long lost son ripping off his corrupted official father. Eva Green nails it again after her performances in 300: Rise of an Empire and Penny Dreadful, the rest of the cast just seems to wash along. The visuals are certainly unusual again, and the 3D really works in this comic book style where you can see all the layers. The film as a whole though is just kinda boring.
I like a bit of sci-fi as much as the next person, but I have no idea what I have just watched, even with Morgan Freeman explaining it too me. This film crossed too far over into the realm of gobble-de-gook and made up stuff! The premise is that humans use about 10% of their brain and a drug has been invented that allows us to boost it to 100%, but instead of just becoming smarter, we somehow gain magical powers that allow us to control other people, change our appearance as we want, see atoms around us and other made up sh*t! The film starts out well with basic powers, but when you hit the 40% and over brain power it just gets too hard to believe. Johansson is doing her best with an iffy script and pulls off some great stunts and action sequences, but I was hoping for a lot more from this film.
D-BOX really wasn't suited to this film at all. The occasional wobble and floating effect, with a bit of motion during fight scenes.
This film trailer played out like an updated version of Twister from 1996. While the effects have certainly got better the acting really hasn't. The plot is fairly basic, dad and son get separated by the storm and try to get back together, all the while the storm chasers are trying to film the impending doom. With no real star power the movie is basically driven by the effects, which are sometimes unfortunately filmed in wobble cam vision (why? will directors please just stop with camcorder footage). Luckily the effects, sounds and sheer drama on show, of buildings being ripped apart by a super storm, keep you tense and on the edge of your seat.
Talking of seats, the D-BOX chairs seriously make this film. Shaking, rumbling and sometimes literally twirling and you go into the eye of the storm. Top marks D-BOX!
Ben 7 out of 10 (9 with D-BOX)
Barry 7 out of 10 (9 with D-BOX)
The gang is back. Will is the outcast at uni, Simon has a psycho girlfriend, Neil hasn't got a clue and Jay is apparently shagging everything in Australia. The UK gang are fed up and go to surprise Jay, who isn't a top DJ at a night club after all and is looking for his girlfriend who he broke up with in the first movie. Will actually meets an old primary school friend and a bunch of back packers. General hilarity ensues with gag after gag, loads of laughs and chuckles throughout, until the very end when is stalls quite suddenly and goes a bit soppy. All in all though a great follow up to the first film and might be the last we see of the Inbetweeners gang.
Marvel's unknown characters hit the big screen in style. A mis-mash team of human, green bird, blue bloke, talking racoon and tree get thrown together under unusual circumstances to track down an orb containing an infinity stone before a bad guy uses it to destroy a planet. Guardian of the Galaxy manages to balance the right amount of back story, action and comedy perfectly to almost rival the Avengers. They also manage to leave a few untied ends for a follow-up movie which I'll be queuing to see.
The D-BOX chairs alternate between swooping in space craft to being chucked around during fights. The 3D is as reserved as ever and didn't add much.
Ben 8 out of 10 (9 with D-BOX)
Barry 8 out of 10 (9 with D-BOX)
This movie suckers you in with great trailers featuring Cerberus, Hydra and other mystical creatures, so lets just say that none of these are actually in the movie apart from a 2 minute flashback, which is the same footage from the trailer! Very naughty Hercules! What the Rock's Hercules story is a story of betrayal, and while its better than Lutz's version from earlier in the year, they still manage to turn a greek mythological story about a demigod into a plodding tale of boredom. Whats wrong Hollywood, why can't you do a decent Hercules/Clash of the Titans film???!!!
Our personal trainer Michael and his buddy are launching a Tough Mudder / Nuts Challenge type training sessions in Basingstoke. If you're interested classes are running now every Saturday, contact them at http://www.fullthrottleassault.co.uk
The follow up to one of my favourite films is finally here and it doesn't disappoint. The simian flu has spread worldwide and wiped out most of humanity and live in tension with the apes. We only see what happens in San Francisco, so not sure if other apes in other parts of the world have become smart, but the tension displayed in San Fran is very real. You completely forget that all the apes in this movie are CGI, they are so lifelike and believable, both in movement and mannerisms. This is a movie about lack of trust. The apes make it very clear that the forest is theirs and the humans should stay in the cities, but the humans can't possibly live without electricity, so venture up to an old damn in the forest to repair it. Tensions run very high and after a great deal of distrust things finally flare up. Needless to say this is one of my favourite films this year so far and is highly recommended.
D-BOX moving chairs unfortunately let the side down on this film, the first time they've not really performed. The 3D is also faulty forgettable. Neither take away from the film though.
Ben 9 out of 10 (9 with D-BOX)
Barry 8 out of 10 (8 with D-BOX)
Earth to Echo is trying so hard to be ET crossed with Goonies, with a little bit of Cloverfield chucked in that it forgets the story and chemistry between the kids. A group of mis-fit kids (Goonies) discover Echo (ET) who has crashed on Earth, being tracked down by the government, the kids help to track down the parts Echo needs to repair his spaceship before capture, sound familiar? The whole movie is presented in mainly wobble-cam sci-fi footage (Cloverfield). And the wobble along with the annoying kids kinda killed this film for me. Go back and watch Super 8, which was a far superior film.
We caught a cab to the base of the CN Tower, road the elevator to the top and had a great view over Toronto and Toronto Island. At the base of the tower is a brand new attraction, Ripley's Aquarium, so we decided to head in for a look. It was pretty busy inside, but the fish made it seem tranquil. There is a huge underwater tunnel and luckily it has a very slow and steady moving walkway through it, so people all move at the same pace and in one direction, no bumping perfect!! We then also managed to wangle a trip back on the City Sightseeing Bus (technically our tickets expired at 11am), but they let us on :-)
Another beautiful day, another trip, but this time just 5 minutes on a ferry to Toronto Island. Barry rented some rollerblades and I rented a bike and we went from tip to tip of the island and back to the centre, stopping half way for hot dogs.
Today we rented a car and drove 1hr 20mins to Niagara Falls. It was a beautiful day and we decided to go behind the falls, as the last time we did it was frozen solid and you weren't allowed outside! After out journey we had lunch sitting right by the edge of the falls.
Michael Bay, Michael Bay what have you done! This is the usual OTT film he does, but with such a non-sensical story that it just hurts your brain even more! After Transformers 3, the government is hunting down all Transformers, yes even the Autobots who helped, as they want them gone and off Earth. So bizarrely they team up with yet another Transformer to do this, who seems to hate Prime. I'm not sure if I missed a huge chunk of story or if it wasn't explained, but I have no idea who this Transformer is or why they should trust him. The film jumps between chunks of film littered with explosions to the next, oh and they chuck the Dinobots in at the end. Yes the main draw and marketing for the film and they're barely in it. I'm sure this will rake in money, but its just trash now and needs to end.
Today is Barry's 40th Birthday and we were supposed to be going to Niagara Falls, but the forecast was crappy so we did't bother hiring a car. Turns out its a nice day, so we're going on the open top bus tour with City Sightseeing. A 2hr bus tour with a stop for coffee, stopping 21 times and you can hop-on-hop-off if you want, but we stayed on for the whole tour.
In the evening we experienced a dine and cinema package at the Cineplex on Younge and Dundas. Cocktails, and dinner at the cinema followed by Transformers in reclining chairs, very posh!
We liked McCarthy in Heat, so we chanced this road-trip movie and weren't disappointed. Its a feel good story about Tammy who's down on her luck, loses her job and goes on a trip with her terminally ill grandmother. The story bounces around all over the place with the two of them getting upto all sorts of mischief. Lots of laughs, giggles and sad moments. Recommended for DVD if you missed at the cinema.
And now for surprise two and three of the weekend in London! Beryl was shuffled into a car, and Ray only knew they had a 2hr journey, but they ended up right by the London Eye with us waving from the pavement. We then had a cruise down the Thames, taking in the sites of London. Taxis then took us back to our favourite Ice Bar in London followed with a huge chinese dinner at The New Mayflower. Another great day full of surprises!
Drinking by 11am, but had a good excuse! Barry's surprise trip to London, meeting with Mark, Carol, Charlotte, Elliot, Gareth and Sarah at London Ice Bar for cocktails and mocktails! Then onwards to surprise lunch at Henry's Bar in Covent Garden. The final surprise of the day was kept from everyone, and after unwrapping their Wonka chocolate bar clue, we headed to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Musical! It was a great day and surprises all round.
The three funniest jokes from this film are again in the trailer, the rest of the laughs are in the end credits. Everything else in between is just sub-par filler, with Tatum playing a dumb jock and Hill just babbling away (is this supposed to be funny). Just as well this was free with our Cineworld Unlimited passes. This is barely worth watching on DVD either, just watch the trailer and save yourself 90 minutes.
We caught early preview of How to Train Your Dragon 2 this weekend. After the success of the first one you could tell they've put a lot of effort into this one, except just one thing, it wasn't as fun. The first movie played on Hiccup's goofiness and coming of age, along with the discovery of dragons being friendly. The second film everyone has grown up and gotten more serious. Hiccup is put in charge of the village and has to deal with the discovery of the mysterious Dragon Rider and the imminent threat of attack. There are still some amazing scenes of flying and battles, but there are also huge sections that really drag around Hiccup's parents. So while its a good film, its also a bit heavy going in places, not as good as the first.
The 3D was actually pretty good, really adding to the flying scenes. D-BOX moving chairs were also excellent adding in deep rumbles to the battle scenes and gliding gracefully through the sky with Toothless.
Ben 6 out of 10 (7 with D-BOX)
Barry 6 out of 10 (7 with D-BOX)