A Beautiful Mind

In looking at the front cover and title of the film, one may immediately be put off by the overbearing seriousness that abounds from the films subject and setting. Yet it is the excellent stewardship of such a sensitive subject, performed by a cast of quality actors and produced by an equally excellent directing team, that makes this film so worth watching. It may not be an easy watch but it is none the less a must see for anyone involved or interested in filmography.

The film opens with what appears to be the average scenario of a young protagonist (Crowe) in a fresh situation. Yet it is the development of the plain, to tell an amazing and indeed beautiful story, that allows the audience to become involved with that which turns out to be a far less than average reality.

The film sticks well to the the story of the real John Nash, a genius whose talent is marred by mental illness, but extends this to educate its audience in the horrors of the abnormality it details. Extensive description of the condition here would potentially spoil this masterpiece for anyone who has not yet seen it, assuredly however, after watching it, no further explanation of the subject, explored through what is essentially a case study of the scientist John F Nash, seems necessary for an audience.

The film occasionally fringes on the strange, but masterfully never to a degree whereby the viewer's attention is lost. It is, in fact, a delightful blend of the ordinary and the bizarre that is precisely what makes this film so watchable and informative. These well developed qualities however, are manifested through a brilliantly constructed insight into the mind of a victim which simply could not be accessed outside of biography.

This film is certainly not recommendable to anyone looking for entertainment only, but for one who is prepared to be shocked, excited and taken through an emotional roller-coaster, this is a film well worth seeing.

The Lost Boys

The Lost Boys is a very entertaining film, and as long as you keep reminding yourself that it was made in 1987 you might be able to ignore the hideous 80s haircuts and fashion that blight the entire cast. Nope, no black capes and slicked back hair for these vampires - they're a gang of teenage biker boys, led by David, who's played menacingly well by a peroxide-blonde Keifer Sutherland.

The plot centres around Michael (Jason Patric) and Sam (Corey Haim), two brothers who move to their eccentric grandfather's house in Santa Carla with their mother Lucy (Dianne Wiest). At first Santa Carla seems like a great place to live with a lively youth culture, but they soon discover a darker side - a hell of a lot of people go missing in Santa Carla, and this is due to the town being plagued with vampires.

Michael becomes involved with the vampires and the rest of the film is devoted to him and his brother trying to break him free from their hypnotic grip, with the help of the Frog brothers, Edgar and Alan, the self-styled 'vampire experts' who's knowledge of the bloodsuckers comes straight out of comic books. Needless to say, their antics provide a great deal of comedy, as well as a fair share of the action.

Overall the acting in this movie is pretty good - Jason Patric gives a sensitive performance as David; Jami Gertz is appropriately needy as his love interest and fellow vampire; Corey Haim is convincingly cute and hysterical simultaneously; and Barnard Hughes is wonderfully eccentric as the grouchy Grandpa.

The 13th Warrior

The Thirteenth Warrior is based off of Michael Crichton's novel "Eaters of the Dead" and the true story of Ahmed Ibn Fahdlan Ibn Al Abbas Ibn Rashid Ibn Hamad. The story explores an "ancient evil" that is not named, known as the Wendol that are cannibals whom are described as having "teeth like a lion, figure of a man, and a head like a bear with claws" that slaughter anyone who comes across their path.

Ibn, an Arabic ambassador, is chosen as the thirteenth warrior to accompany a band of a dozen twelve brave vikings. They are sent to the north to assist the ravaged villages and defeat the Wendol.

This is a great film that explores both action and heavy Norse mythology. It may sound comical that Antonio Banderas plays an Arab, but he gives a very descent performance as a man of politics who transform into an unexpected hero. Vladimir Kulich also gave a very strong performance as the head of the twelve vikings, Buliwyf. The rest of the cast was simply good as well, giving off both humor and testosterone. The camera work was both thrilling and dangerous, which reminded me very much of the intense camera angles in Predator.

The scenery and cinematography is superbly crafted, the heart racing score of Jerry Goldsmith was both haunting and moving. the battle sequences were smaller, no where in the league of Lord of the Rings but they were exciting and intense with plenty of bloodshed. And I also have to mention that the make up job was very well done from the wigs to the scars that the warriors gained and held throughout the film.

However, the first half hour of the film was somewhat hard to follow, due to the fact that the dialog was in different languages and hard to follow while other cast members such as a surprise appearance of Omar Sharif, was trying to interrupt the happenings to Banderas' character, as well as to the audience. The film I might add was a bit too short, and over way to quickly, making it more of an action flick rather than an epic like Braveheart or Gladiator, and a few intermediate stories were not solved fully.

Eden Lake

A peaceful weekend turns into a nightmare when Steve and Jennie get much more than what they bargained for at the tranquil setting of Eden Lake. Their little excursion seems to have been doomed from the start as they almost had an accident getting to the secluded spot.

Steve and Jenny, having found an idyllic place where they can relax from the pressures in London, were not prepared for the invasion of the gang of local youngsters that will be their tormentors for the following days. Even going through the town, there were indications they were not welcome to trespass their environment. The kids show a total disregard for decency, by leaving the couple have their quality time in their area.

Rubbing the gang the wrong way, triggers a reaction neither Steve or Jennie could have predicted. These are not just teenagers looking for a good time, these are terrorists who feel they have the upper hand in a situation, what they completely have. It is impossible to accept their cruelty and disregard for the way their criminal instincts turn them into a pack of animals on a rampage.

James Watkins, a British writer, made a terrific debut with this film that is a reflection, no doubt, he has seen in his country. We are sure there are parallels running between what shows up in the screen and what the real intention of Mr. Watkins was. It does not take too much to incite the youths in the picture, but their complete disregard to human suffering, which baffles the mind. There has been other films about cruel behavior by unruly mobs, but the display in the film comes as a total shock because it is not what it is expected from the more sedate English character.

Kelly Reilly's performance is one of the best things she was asked to play in her career. It must have taken quite a toll on her going through the emotions she had to do to make her Jennie such a remarkable creation. Michael Fassbender has been getting a lot of serious work. Give it a go.


Quite possibly Badham's best work. That's right, even better than Ingognito, ever slicker than Bird on a Wire - I know, you're not convinced, reading that sentence back I'm not convinced but Wargames is a throughly enjoyable celebration of Nuclear War and deserves your sincere admiration.

 Wargames has always been a favourite of mine. Most small boys, as Gary Glitter once observed, are enamoured by computers and the Games tapped into that at a time when the emerging home computer market was prepping a generation for the internet and the game playing possibilities it would allow, though many of us would be swapping missiles for breasts by that stage.

 Yes, this is a smart, cleverly written anti-war movie in which likable characters meet serious hardware and for a brief moment we all get to be Matthew Broderick and actually like the experience. He's a genial hero, a bit wet behind the ears and a wee bit of an underachiever which is good for the purposes of identification with this particular strand of the audience.

 Good support too from the ever reliable Dabney Coleman, the underrated John Wood as the wide eyed Professor Falken and Barry Corbin who as the put upon General Beringer almost steals the show. You'll say the technology has dated and you'd be right obviously. Who'd have thought it?

 The only winning move is not to play? Not a bit of it, you should play this one immediately.