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STEVE´S REVIEWS
JUNE

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FILM / THEATRE / GIGS 


 

FILM

GODZILLA
Hands up if you remember the Godzilla remake from the 1990’s with Matthew Broderick? Well if you don’t then consider yourself lucky as it was pretty much a disaster. Despite the flop, Hollywood have decided to revisit the retelling of the original Japanese big monster movies that started in the 1950’s. This time starring Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston (supporting an oddly distracting wig) and Aaron Taylor-Johnson from KickAss (seriously beefed up!) and of course Godzilla. I won’t go into the plot but that is because there isn’t really one. Scientists discover massive monsters, monsters fight each other. Throw in the usual story of a guy trying to reunite himself with his kids whilst the world is falling apart, explosions and toppling buildings. Directed by the talent behind the highly successful surprise hit Monsters, is this film any better than its 1990’s failure? It sure is but that was not exactly difficult! How good is it? With big popcorn movies I judge on two factors. How entertained was I when watching the film and would I watch it again. It started brilliantly and it ended rather well. It just got a bit boring in the middle and I was finding myself fidgeting in my cinema chair. Would I watch again, maybe, but not at the cinema, perhaps in a couple of years when its on the TV.

 

X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST
Bryan singer continues the ever increasingly complicated Xmen story arc where we now have the action continue 10 years later from the last film, this time the main core of the story is set in 1973. In the future sentinel robots have all but obliterated the mutant species and humans with the potential of the mutant gene. One last effort has Wolverine (hugh Jackman) have his conscience sent back into his past self to change the future for the better. Story lines involving time travel can always be a bit complicated and contain plot holes but Xmen pulls it off in great style due to its rich heritage of a huge array of characters, great action and careful story telling.The casting is excellent (Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy, Halle Berry, Jennifer Lawrence and the list goes on) and most importantly of all the story line is engrossing. Unlike many of the recent big blockbuster films, this one sticks to the story it is telling and does not distract from trying to set the path for future sequels. Oh and it features a scene stealing turn from a new character to the Xmen films franchise, Quicksilver, played by American Horror Story’s’ Evan Peters. So far this is my pick of the big summer releases. Read Pete´s X-MEN review, same score?

Review star scores

 

NONSTOP
Liam Neeson plays his usual role. Big, tall, moody and a character which is distant from his family and he is out to protect someone. This time he is an Air Marshall on a plane with terrorists. I do like Liam Neeson, I think his voice is as cool as hell. But ever since Taken (2008) he has played exactly the same character. Its not that this film is bad but it started to verge on the realm of bizarre. Quick plot – Liam Neeson is an air marshall on a flight when he starts to receive text messages on his secure phone warning unless £150 million is transferred to a given account then someone will die every 20 minutes. Which considering some of the flights I’ve been on is about the norm! Anyway, cue Neeson running around the plane trying to figure out which fiend is behind all this. Its kind of entertaining, but starts to get silly. It will not set the world alight, I guess it is not meant to and does the trick of entertaining you for 2 hours.Oh Julianne Moore is in it, who I usually like, but she is pretty annoying in this.

 

OLDBOY
Spike Lee remakes the incredible Korean original film from 2003. The film follows the main character after he is kidnapped, imprisoned for 15 years and then released and then tries to figure out why. What I was trying to figure out was, why bother remaking this? Its nearly scene for scene the same (apart from a few subtle differences) and adds nothing to the original. It is not that this is terrible, it is just what is the point when the original is far better in every single way. I give the original Oldboy 5 Stars out of 5.

 

THEATRE

AVENUE Q – PALACE THEATRE – MAY 31ST
The 10 year old Tony award winning show continues its tour and comes to Manchester for 5 nights. If you have not heard of it before, think Sesame St for adults. The puppets think their lives suck, drink, have sex (think Team America!), cheat on one another and try to find their purpose in life. I am not really one for musicals but with numbers like ‘Everyone is a little bit racist’, ‘The internet is for porn’, and ‘If you were gay’ the show seamlessly moves from one scene to another. And most importantly it is entertaining, witty and very funny. The puppeteers are not concealed and add to the puppets animation with their body movement and facial language. As the girlfriend put it – ‘If you try to fully explain it to anyone it doesn’t sound that good, but it works’. Go see if you can.

4_STARS

 

 

GIGS

ALBERT HAMMOND JNR – GORILLA MANCHESTER
Yeah him of The Strokes fame, returned to Manchester minus his famous bushy hair. I am a Strokes fan but not really aware too much of his solo work, just the odd song or two. But this was a gig for my girlfriend as she is a big fan of his first album. Although, she tells me his 2nd album was pretty poor (she said ‘it was a bit rubbish’) so we went along with a bit of apprehension as to which songs he was going to play. Fortunately for us, it was most of the first album so a good time has had by all. On a side note, Gorilla is probably one of my new favourite places for a gig. Great quality of sound in a nice spacious (but not too large) venue that has great AC. No sweat dripping from the walls here!

 


By Steven Parker

More from Steve:
MINI PARIS GUIDE
MAY REVIEWS
MANCHESTER MADE
24 HRS IN MCR

Same Same But Different:
PETE´S JUNE REVIEWS