Category Archives: Blu-ray

Pineapple Express (Extended, Blu-Ray)

I really had to make myself sit through the first half of Pineapple Express.  While in theory the material is just the kind of comedy I should find amusing the pace was very slow and perhaps I would have been better off watching the theatrical release?  The characters were a little interesting, and the initial plot seemed sound, but I just didn’t find it hilarious or outrageously funny.  I smirked a few times early on, but the first real out loud laugh moment didn’t arrive until the police car chase scene when Saul sticks his foot through the windscreen (must be around half way, felt like three hours in).  The movie did actually pick up after that point, the pace improved and we finally started making some progress.  I was engaged finally, and after almost getting up and wandering off earlier on, I found myself interested enough to stay until the end (which was decent).

The movie revolves around a dope-smoking loser who witnesses a murder, and the ‘hilarious’ escapade which ensues while he tries to set things right with his drug dealer, girlfriend and various other people.  If you’re going to rely on a plot like that you really have to make the characters, situations and dialog funny and it just wasn’t that funny.  I have to wonder if Seth, Evan and Judd write this stuff while they’re totally stoned, find themselves laughing outrageously and decide to film it.  Perhaps it is much funnier to watch it stoned or drunk.

I’ve no idea how it scores 7.4 on IMDB unless all 46 thousand voters were stoned or drunk though.

A weak movie with some amusing moments and one or two cracking lines, but nothing to write home about.

Burn After Reading (Blu-Ray)

I tend to watch a lot of action movies, sue me.  It’s always a surprise to me when I watch something else and enjoy it, and Burn After Reading is very enjoyable indeed.  Watching it straight after Death Race adds some amusement factor as well because Burn After Reading is full of acting and plot and a lot of talking (it’s a Cohen movie, after all).  All the folks were great, Clooney, Pitt, Malkovich, Swinton, McDormand, everyone.  The movie tells (kind of) the story (a little bit) of a bunch of folk who (eventually) interact in a bizarre (mostly) blackmail scheme.  Maybe.  The dialogue is excellent, the characters are engaging and amusing, and although I wasn’t sure which of them I should be empathising with the most, I enjoyed them all on one level or another.  It goes without saying it’s a black comedy, some of the comedy is side splitting, while a lot of it is far more subtle.  It turns out that everyone’s screwing everyone else either literally or figuratively, and the CIA is watching.  Everyone.  Always.

Burn After Reading is a funny, black, engaging comic story which doesn’t try to say anything, and succeeds.  If it teaches us anything it’s that we shouldn’t do it again – whatever it is we did.  There are some very amusing OMGWTF moments as well.  I recommend it.

Death Race (Blu-Ray)

What did you expect? I didn’t watch this expecting to see a re-make of the original, I just watched it expecting to see fast cars, crashes, explosions and cliche! I wasn’t let down. How many times can you review a movie and say ‘the dialog / acting won’t win any awards but it’s entertaining’ and still sound credible? Probably fewer times than I have. This is a movie that makes no excuses, no apologies and carries no pretence. It’s nearly a remake of Running Man, but with cars, and it’s a damn sight better than Running Man as well. Jason puts in his usual performance and I actually liked him in this more than Transporter, he actually seems to have slightly more depth in Death Race. The supporting cast provide support, the action sequences are impressive and there are enough amusing moments to keep you smiling.

[voice over voice on] Death Race is the story of a man wrongly imprisoned for a terrible crime he didn’t comit, fighting for his survival and freedom, to rebuild his family, his honour and his life [voice over voice off]

There’s a small amount of plot, but the movie moves on quickly and doesn’t dwell on it too much, I actually preferred that.  I didn’t need a 20 minute back story, then 30 minutes of Eye of the Tiger style training for a 30 minute finale.  Instead what we get is about 8 minutes of setup and then 82 minutes of fast driving and big explosions.

Grete loved it.  I loved it.  The cats hated it.