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STEVE´S REVIEWS
SEPTEMBER

 

REVIEWS - Eken Magazine

 

FILM


LUCY – 2014
Scarlett Johannson stars as Lucy, who through a series of unfortunate events is able to use more and more of her brain power until she hits 100% compared to the standard 10% the rest of us dumb monkeys use. And that is it. If you thought the review was short just go watch the film which weighs in at a underwhelming 82 minutes (89min according to IMDB but they take into account the credits). Now I am usually complaining about the latest film trend of making 3 hour films but this is very short. Its almost like the writer/director just ran out of ideas. And that is exactly what it feels like. They showcase the interesting idea of what happens if we can use more of our brain power. What happens at 20%, 30%, 50%, 100%. Throw in a car chase scene, guns and rocket launchers (it is a Luc Besson after all) and that is about it. The subject is under explored and Scarlet Johannson wasted when the majority of the film she pretty much plays a walking, talking computer. Go watch the far superior Limitless with Bradley Cooper instead.  Read Pete´s LUCY review here.

1 STARS - Reviews - Eken Magazine

AS ABOVE SO BELOW – 2014
Another film in the genre of ‘found cam footage’, As above So below takes us to the streets of Paris, or should I say beneath the streets of Paris in the Catacombs which you can actually take tours of. Part Indiana Jones, part Tomb Raider, part daft as a brush, the premise here is the main character is on a search for the Philosophers stone – a fabled myth central to Alchemy and the power to turn any element into anything else such as lead to gold. Its very Indiana Jones like in its premise – main character searches for mythical item, using their fathers notebook  and research to lead them from clue to clue. Dig up a few bodies and even come across one of the Knights Templar. Very last crusade. Anyway, it is not much different from the many other cam movies out there. Its dark, a lot. The characters put themselves into silly situations then run away and the camera gets all shaky etc etc. But it is quite entertaining, well the first 1 hour anyway. And then it just gets really daft. And before you know it they are in hell, literally walking around hell. Go see it if its your kind of thing, you know exactly what to expect. And even though the girlfriend goes and sticks her fingers in her ears and shuts her eyes for half the movie no doubt we will go and see the next one of this type as well – suckers!

2 STARS - Reviews - Eken Magazine



MISTAKEN FOR STRANGERS – 2013
It must be tough being the youngest brother. Especially when your big brother is the kind of kid that is on all the sports teams, does well in all his classes and is the popular kid in school. Even more when he then goes on to form one of the current best bands in the world for the past few years – The National. This documentary is filmed by The Nationals’ lead singers younger brother Tom Berninger. He is still living at home, makes his own gore films (‘Wages of Sin’ is about a murderous barbarian who has a personality disorder) and listens to Rock music (he thinks The National is ‘pretentious bullshit), he definitely comes across as a bit of a Jack Black character. Initially he has been invited on tour to be a roadie for their European tour but Tom takes upon himself to film his experiences instead which soon take over his roadie duties. At first I was thinking this film was a mockumentary in the style of Spinal Tap but it wasn’t. It just happened to be incredibly funny at times. He asks the band all the great questions you would want to ask when you meet such big international stars – ‘when you perform on stage, do you have your wallet with you?’, ‘Who is the fasted guitarist?’, ‘Do you get sleepy on stage?’ But what starts out as a film about being on tour with the band, soon changes into a more personal film about a younger brothers fight trying to get out of his big brothers overwhelming shadow. This film can be equally funny and moving at the same time and it is certainly up there with “Anvil! The Story of Anvil” is one of the great band films to come out in recent years. Whether you are a fan of The National or not then you should really watch this.

Review star scores

 

CHEF – 2014
Food glorious food. We eat a lot of it, several times a day just to keep us going. But judging by all the restaurants, eateries, cafes, chefs, cooks, street food etc it seems we think it has only just been invented as we all seem to be going a bit crazy for it now. Chefs are international celebrities, restaurants are on bucket lists and eating a burger from a van is now the thing to do. And with food, in particular street food trending heavily now, it was not going to be long before Hollywood jumped on the gravy train. Chef is written, directed and starred by John Favreau. A bit of like him or leave type. I personally like most of his stuff. Here he plays a high end chef who comes under a bit of a mauling from a food critic and after a very public tantrum is soon out of a job. He turns his back on fancy dining and soon he has his very own food truck. Cue scenes of restoring the truck, close ups of grilled sandwiches and adventures across America. Tagging along the way is his estranged son and former Sous chef (John Leguizamo). And I liked it. It is a very enjoyable film to watch and I recommend taking some snacks with you to the cinema as watching all this food being prepared and cooked sure does make you feel hungry. And in typical Hollywood fashion it has the happiest of endings…aah. On a side note, Twitter must have financed this film heavily. There is so much advertisement for it and the film repeatedly tries to hammer home that if you use Twitter your business will instantly become successful. A little bit distracting but still it is a enjoyable film. Go see!

Review star scores

 


By STEVEN PARKER
September 2014