Don't be put off by my title: there is nothing sinister here chaps!! Indeed, with my general 'bloggings' I shall attempt to delight and astound you out of the mundaneness of a middle class suburban life, into the magical world of the Sophster!! Mystical...

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Sophie's Film Choice #2: ROCK OF AGES

Oh god... I've had Guns 'n' Roses songs stuck in my head, and the image of Tom Cruise's aging abdomen scarred on to my retinas for the past 16 hours. What happened last night?? Oh wait...


A case example of the gratuitous tongue exposure which overrides the film. *Sigh.*

The obvious and apparently most logical consequence of dad being out on Fathers Day, it was a female Hart family trip to see the ridiculously... ridiculous 'Rock of Ages' on the cards. 

Well, within the first two minutes of the spontaneous- sing- along- on- a- bus- where- everyone- knows- the- words, our suspicions were confirmed; this would be JOYOUS. And completely void of any real human emotion. (But JOYOUS, remember).

A film which I can best describe as 'Wayne's World' meets 'Glee' (a certain rendition of a certain 'Journey' song is certainly predictable), 'Rock of Ages' was undeniably entertaining, whilst being slightly confused as to its audience. With a soundtrack featuring songs from Bon Jovi, Guns 'n' Roses, Whitesnake, Extreme, and Boston, just to name a few, the film takes a celebratory yet tongue- in- cheek view at the glamour of 1980's power- rock culture; Tom Cruise's character, Stacee Jaxx, epitomizes this parodic trope, creating some genuinely funny moments as he writhes around the stage and generally repulses everyone with his inexplicably indecent effect on the on-screen female ensemble.

'I beat him to death with his own shoes...'
Performances from Russell Brand and Alec Baldwin are similarly hyperbolic and two- dimensional, with Brands (we hope on purpose) cockney/ brummy accent being reminiscent of Del Preston from 'Wayne's World 2'. 

However, the success this film might have had in the 'spoof-rock' genre is severely undermined through its insistence on the cheesy, Ben Elton- esque 'love' story which is supposed to hold the whole thing together. 

The premise of a 'small town girl' and a 'city boy' finding romance in the dream- filled world of LA already makes me want to vom. To find out that the lead female role is played by Julianne Hough, whom, after watching her performance in 'Footloose', I wanted to slap in the face and send to a nunnery, turned my feelings from nausea to fear of harming those around me. 

Thankfully, this panic soon subsided as we were presented with a diluted, unmemorable love story which is easy to ignore. Both Hough and Diego Boneta (formerly starring in 'Mean Girls 2'... enough said) were bland and unlikeable. I mean, who cares if he sells out to a boy band and she has to walk the streets and become a stripper? WE WANT A SONG. At times, I wanted to re- title the film 'Rock that lasts Ages'; long tings indeed. 

However, despite a predictable plot and some unnecessary leg- kicking from Catherine Zeta- Jones, it was an enjoyable experience, and did re- kindle my love for the old classics. Go and see if you love the cheese, stay away if you have an ounce of integrity/ fear indecent exposure. (Why the leather chaps, Tom, WHY?!)

Friday, 1 June 2012

Sophie's Film Choice #1: PROMETHEUS

Imagine the scene. Midnight. The quiet of empty streets, the ghosts of the hustle and bustle of daily life still in the atmosphere.
Unexpected road diversions. The Hatfield Galleria car park being mostly empty, and.... most unusually.... free. Something is amiss.
It can only be the opening night of 'Prometheus: this time with MORE mucous' (tagline optional).

A prequel to Ridley Scott's 'Alien' franchise (of which I have yet to watch any of the others, and now fully intend to) 'Prometheus' stands well on its own as a tension- filled, imaginative and shockingly slimy masterpiece, detailing a group of scientists who travel to an alien universe to discover their 'makers': hilarity ensues. Well, not really hilarity, and much as death, mortal fear and invasive surgery (you might find that funny I suppose, whatever floats yer boat).

'Phew. I will never complain about the bleep test again.'
Noomi Rapace gives an excellent performance as Elizabeth Shaw, an enthusiastic and resilient doctor with EXTREMELY admirable survival instincts. I found myself watching her and thinking 'Wow. You still aren't dying. Surely it's less effort just to die.' (good job she isn't like me, or the theoretical mankind would be screwed).

I was equally impressed with the unsettling and mildly comic portrayal of 'David', played by the beloved Michael Fassbender. 'The Fass' (as I'm sure he would like to be known) really acts as a catalyst for events, a walking disaster zone who invites all kinds of gooey, teethy creatures to get  'stuck in' to his shipmates. It's not his fault though, because there's something about 'David' that isn't all there.  And a LOT that isn't all there at the end. (In joke which you will only understand having watched it: watch it!)

Despite the clearly 'cast for Scottish accent' appearance of Kate Dickie, and some extremely questionable 'old person' prosthetics,  I was impressed and entertained throughout, by strong performances and harrowing visuals. And I resisted ripping off my 3D glasses in panic, of which I am most proud.
Fassbender admires his groomed appearance in a reflective orb. FRESH.

A mesmorisingly apocalyptic landscape, visually inventive futuristic equipment, and truly terrifying predators make this film an exciting experience for fans of the franchise, and any lovers of a good science- fiction, horror, or action film.

WARNING: If you have sensitive gag reflexes, you may want to bring a paper bag. Seriously.