• Kick Ass Review

    Kick Ass

    Ok folk I wrote about the real superhero story Defendor the other day and I have seen another new real people wearing pants over lycra film, the blockbuster Kick Ass by Matthew Vaughn. I really didn’t think you could beat Defendor and I guess in some ways you can’t, I mean they are very different with one being set more in reality than the other. I have to say thanks to Northern Lights for letting me come to his showing as I had a brilliant night. I am not really a cinema person as I don’t really like sharing my experience but this was one of the best nights out I have had at the cinema in years.

    Kick Ass has a fantastic start, when our hero Dave Lizewski played by Aaron Johnson AKA kick ass dons a divers suit, really gets his ass kicked and I mean a proper ass kicking. I went to this movie expecting to see something fun and somewhat childish. It was fun, really fun, it had me laughing loudly throughout the flick but it certainly was not childish. The characters were well fleshed out and had a lot more depth compared to those of Defendor. Mark Miller who wrote the Graphic Novel really understands the world he is dealing with, referencing the superheroes of comics, film and TV on so many levels and I reckon it would take several viewings and a really in depth knowledge of the super hero world to acknowledge all the references. Dave Lizewski is definitely your normal Joe blogs, unlike the alter ego that is supposed to be normal looking but is actually on the handsome side, as in films like Spiderman or the hulk. As soon as he suits up though he definitely is a reference to Sam Raimi’s Spiderman but without the ability to climb walls, spin webs, make perfect costumes or even really hurt anyone.

    Nicholas Cage has been in a good film at last since ‘Lord of war’ and he plays his character well. The villain Frank D’amico played by Mark Strong is very good. His role of balancing being an attentive father with that of just having anyone killed who doesn’t give him the answer he is looking for. It is also good to see a Superhero movie in which the show stealer isn’t the villain. The show stealer is Hit Girl played by Chloe Moretz, a 12 year old girl who is charming, direct, has a foul mouth, is skilled with the the Filipino and looks so cool in a purple wig. She is a little firecracker who reminds me of the Robin from the brilliant Frank Miller Graphic ‘Novel Dark Night Returns’. You can’t see enough of her in the film sliding under villains’ legs and shooting them in the head or sliding across tables and knifing them in the chest. If I had a daughter would be so proud, enjoying her repartee with the neighbours as she called them cunts. Sadly I would find it quite difficult only being able to see her once a fortnight at the maximum security detention centre. That brings me nicely to my final point.

    The film recognises it stands outside the Marvel and DC Universe nodding its head directly to the characters from these worlds throughout the film while accepting they are fictional characters in a fictional reality. The truth is though these characters and this universe is just as fictional. At the beginning of the film Dave Lizewski is talking with one of his friends wondering why no one has ever thought of wearing a costume and fighting crime and it is from this conversation that he chooses the name Kick Ass. The reason why though is less we will get our ass kicked and more most of us don’t really know any crime bosses who live in penthouse suites or have friends at school who volunteer at really clean, specious needle exchange centres and have crack dealing ex-boyfriends with body guards outside their door. Most of the criminals we know are telling us we are going to war thousands of miles away and removing more and more of our job security or selling us high sugar foods or clothes with people’s names on them made in factories in the same countries we are going to war with.

    Overall this was a brilliant movie. My only little gripe was the bullshit 1st person shooter reference which was just totally out of place and a waste of more opportunity to see Hit Girl in action. I will surely be watching this film again sometime and I recommend you do to.


  • Defendor

    Defendor review

    Once in a while comes a small film that is the centre of a zeitgeist. Is this it? Probably not but maybe it should be. I love the concept of the superhero and like many kids I read comics picking the heroes that I felt reflected my ideals even before I knew I had ideals. I rejected the ones with superpowers as the result of radioactive spiders, genetic deformities or aliens from outer space. It was always the vigilante or the person driven by revenge. This could be anyone. This was a person and a switch flicks and they no longer relied on the system, in fact much of the time the system was the enemy. Well I grew up, I realised the system was us and lost touch with the hero. Later in life I bought a mask and started getting folk to wear it and would photograph them. I got them to create a whole character around just them and the mask. A character that reflected them, whether it was their pets, their love of music or their distaste for insects. I wanted to, at least for a moment get in touch with what made us super.

    Defendor touches this. It has the feel of a superhero film with its swipes and its driven by a brilliant score by John Rowley. The film is a vehicle for Woody Harrelson who gives his best performance since… well since Cheers. He plays a Arthur Poppington who is on the slow side, who dresses up in a costume, using weapons like bees and marbles to right the wrongs of his past by transporting them to the present. He teams up with Kat played by Kat Dennings that is in many ways is an archetype side kick but she doesn’t even know it. She is a crack addict, street whore who like Defendor dresses up, but she dresses up for business. She takes to lodging with defendor in his friend’s workshop, which he uses as his lair and charges him dollars a day to give him information he thinks he needs which she uses to buy drugs.

    The reasons for why these people do what they do is complicated and is in many ways something difficult to explore in 90 minutes, one line goes a long way to explain it though. Defendor asks Kat why she does drugs and she asks him why he dresses up as Defendor. He says because as Defendor he is not afraid, not stupid and he is a million times better than Arthur. Kat says when she smokes that stuff, it is the same. There are many of the archetype hero characters in this film, the villain, the police ally, the bent cop but like Kat they actually don’t know they are playing these roles. In fact I feel we the audience are watching a movie and not too sure much of the time we are watching a superhero movie.

    What makes Defendor a hero is the things his Psychoanalyst diagnoses him with, FAS, ADT, Depression, Delusional Megalomania, unable to anticipate consequences, serious lack of common sense, socially immature. His weaknesses are his strengths. To me this film highlights something in all of us. An ability to make change, to do little things that make a difference, to do what we think is right despite always being told we shouldn’t or worse we can’t.

    5 years ago I wanted to capture a bit of the hero in all of us. Maybe highlight our ability to do something despite us being told again and again we can’t


  • 2012.

    In the year 2009 we shall prepare for the end of times, the apocolypse, sometimes known as the rapture as written about thousands of years go by an ancient indio race known as the Mayans. This race faced its own demise at the hands of European invaders a few hundred years ago, an act we were all witness to the beginnings of in Mel Gibson’s almost documentary like piece, ‘Apocalypto’.

    These end of times predictions have been accurately layed out in painstaking detail by the director Roland Emmerich, to prepare us for our future demise which begins at the home of our modern intellectual elites and soothsayers, Hollywood. This film is the warning so don’t say you weren’t warned and what year were we warned about, a warning we can no longer deny. The year is ‘2012’

    I will now review these predictions, as layed out by our intellectual masters, who sit in the Holly land, right beside the mystical land of Disney. Before I do though, purely for Debbie’s mum so she also can enjoy the insight of this review, I will not use any foul language and for those who know me you will understand that, me not swearing in any mode of communication would be the equivelant of having person with a bad case of turrets presenting childrens television.

    I have had a few friends who have been obsessed with these Mayan scribblings and had to sit through their addled rantings about the end of times in 2012, sometimes for whole minutes. Luckily I have other friends who I could introduce these friends to before sitting by myself with a nice cup of tea. Human exinction can not be predicted because it wouldn’t be much of a surprise but there always has to be some Satan worshipping, (Stop ,no foul language, ‘nearly Debbie’s Mum’. Jesus this is hard. I hope you are not one of these religious types because I am holding on to blasphemy.) worshipper who has to ruin a surprise.

    Roland Emmerich’s ‘2012’ is an affects extravaganza, but you all knew it was going to be that anyway.

    You want to know about the story I hear. Is it cleverly woven,are there hidden depths and is there allegory within that has a message to us all. Are you all mad, it’s a disaster movie the weave of the story is as threadbare as old mother Hubbards kids, which will teach her to have kids so late in life. The film starts with a few cracks, that become gashes and finally everyone is shouting the sky is falling. The only depths come from the on screen tidal waves and sunamis and the allegory is America is A number 1, yaayye.

    Roland Emmerich has taken every natural disaster, disaster flick and woven them in to this tapestry of disaster. You know that disaster movie about the earthquake, I think it was called ‘Earthquake’, that’s in ‘2012’. You know that one about the volcano exploding, I think it was called ‘Volcano’, that’s in ‘2012’. You know that disaster film about destroying the big American city, the one that was a disaster, I think it was called ‘Godzilla’. That wasn’t in it but a lot of buildings and stuff do collapse in ‘2012’.

    I could talk about the actors and stuff but Allah wept (equal oppurtunist blasphmer.) what does it matter. I reiterate, it is a disaster movie. The affects are great and jaw dropping, although I bet there is not just a few geologists doing some beard pulling and probably even pencil breaking and saying things like,’who wrote this balderdash’ and ‘darn Hollywood’. (These, Debbie’s mum, are UN sanactioned expletatives.) The great affects are often rudely interrupted by heavy handed, slapped in stories of heroic characters, selfish characters, characters of regret, aaahhh!! Buddah almighty, who cares. If you can go somehwere to watch this flick with some friends, (preferably none who believe in the 2012 nonsense. Oh and no geologist’s either, it will only make them angry and you wouldn’t like geologists when they are angry.) somewhere you can shout at the screen, it will be a fun couple of hours.

    If you don’t see it though, it’s not the end of the world.

    Thanks to all who read this and Debbie’s mum.

    Love Whakapai

  • District 9

    When I see Peter Jacksons name on something these days I just feel so disheartened (and he had such potential.). Luckily that is the only mark he has left on this, open, then pour, instant classic. This is a film where the sum far outweighs the parts. Blomkamp with his debut has not got all the parts right but as a whole it is the best film this year.

    Firstly I have to say it ticks all my boxes, it is gross, there is action, humour, aliens, guns and did I mention gross. District 9 is the most realistic refugee slum I have seen outside of a documentary and this one is full of aliens that look alien. Something that is implausable situated in something that is very real but just as unimaginable for most of us who will see this film.

    This is entertainment and it is loads of fun and if I never mentioned it, somewhat gross. However there is just below this very flimsy suface some very acute observations on society and social views. These are observations concentrated mainly on society in South Africa as Blomkamp is a South African but we are all the same species (Rather than fokin prawns) so all of us should also be able to relate to these observations. I think it places a mirror over the fast growing South African world of the Private security/police force. I have no further comments on this, the rest I leave up to you fokers to consider.

    Sharlto Copley is magnificent at playing the over the top, ignorant, prejadice, trailer park, trash who has to much power. Wikus is delightfuly, if I haven’t mentioned gross. Someone you simultaneously despise and root for. He competes with Scarface and the Big Lebowski with the word Fok, in fact I love it in them to movies but after awhile with the S. African twang it gets a bit grating. This only adds to its power though. The aliens are awesome, all gross while wearing gang clothes and pink bras and despite only talking in clicks they disgust, amuse and also get your empathy.

    This film you must see, the style of filming alone sets it apart with its mixture of documentary style fiming and CCTV camera parts.

    You can probably tell from my reviews I like cinema that disgusts. So take a lesson from District 9 Mr. Jackson. You once did a great job of grossing me out, before you became sterile, cock sucker of the man.

    P.s. I have just read my review and with the language, spelling and grammar I sound a bit like trailer park trash. I like that so I’m leaving it as it is folks . Have fun deciphering.

  • Drag Me To Hell

    Review of Drag me to hell.

    Just when you thought Sam Raimi left his bucket and hose at home and went to Hollywood to sell his soul to the to the Deadites, he got a reprieve and made ‘Drag me to hell’. We are back in Raimi country where he does, what is in the opinion of this humble child of the video nasty, his best genre, the slap stick, gross out, horror.

    Drag me to hell is the classic piss of a gypsy, gypsy mumbles some stuff, you wonder why you speak to gypsies school of horror. Alison Lohman plays Christine Brown, a loan officer in a small town bank who is in competition with Stu Rubin played by Reggie Lee for the job of deputy manager at the bank. Only problem is she is not cut throat enough and is second in a two banker race. When a phlemic old gypsy with a huge set of false gnashers comes in to try to stop the foreclosure on her home, Christine decides this is the time to show she is the banker for the job. This results in a great confrontation in the car park with staple gun verses gummy chin suck and the curse begins.

    Justin Long plays the beleagured boyfreind, who is there just to follow Christine around playing the standard horror character of the non-believer though he does pander to her while looking slightly bemused. Sadly no Bruce Campbell but Alison Lohman, although not memorable, holds her own. Who cares about the actors anyway, or even the script, with Raimi all you really want is a rancid looking floating demon, a flying eye ball or two and buckets of goo and all this he delivers. If you want plenty of shocks in equal quantities to laughs, this is the flick for you. You do feel Hollywood has tamed Raimi some what, making a horror flick for PG-13 and compared to his ‘Evil Dead’ days he has held back on the gross out, but the laughs are all there and if we get a DVD release with a few more buckets of slime we have a classic in the making.

    Review by whakapai.com