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Penny Glen’s Rants
Is there actually anything good out at the moment to watch?( Part 2)
Or are we doomed to mediocre films for the rest of our days?

Continued (More good)
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Quite basically a drug-addicts tale of fame and fortune, Limitless is a film with flaws. I hate stories of drug addicts, as they are always selfish and trying to get more of a substance. What I do like however is that this story is about a man taking a pill that increases brain productivity and in effect makes anything possible. Trouble is, when he tries to stop some serious withdrawal symptoms present themselves. A different thriller with an annoying ending, Limitless is still worth a watch for a growing Bradley Cooper. He is going to infect our movie screens quite a bit in the years to come. Might as well get used to him.

The Lincoln Lawyer marks the return of Mathew McConaughey’s return to the courtroom since the excellent thriller A Time to Kill. It’s not as good as A Time to Kill but old Mathew has still got it when it comes to fiends trying to get off for murder. A pretty good watch, and well worth the hour and a half of law related offerings.

Tangled is Disney’s latest animated full length film and I am going to be completely honest with you. I liked it. That’s all you need to know.

Sucker Punch was something I needed to watch since I saw Zack Snyder’s previous films; Watchmen and 300. Both artistically brilliant, they both had something about them that made Snyder different from the rest. Sucker Punch proved that his strength is not in plot creation, or actor direction to get the best out of them, but in creating unique images that only he could have come up with. That is unfortunately the extent of his talents and hopefully he should get better in the future at creating a more wholesome story. Apart from the awesome images and obviously being able to shoot beautiful women in a great light – there’s not much left for viewers to have a good time watching it. I still admired it’s originality though.

Similarly, Attack the Block is pretty much inner city chavs being eaten by large furry aliens. Amusing and very Shaun of the Dead-ish, I reckon quite a good night in could be had with this, so go for it guys. Apparently the director came up with the concept of this film because he got mugged by inner city chavs on a dark night. He says he wanted to understand them and why they did this. I say he wanted to see them get chomped by glow in the dark aliens.

Blitz is pretty much Jason ‘The Stath’ Statham blowing up stuff as a cop who likes to enact his own justice on ruthless mobsters. If theres anything better than that, I don’t know what it is. I suppose I’m just a sucker for Stath related action.

Finally, Tron Legacy is awesome. A sequel to the original, it surpasses it in every way and provides some good family entertainment in a very blue setting. Inception is one of the oldest films we have on our rental wall at the moment but its longevity hasn’t impeded its quality. One of the most unique and intelligent films I have ever seen, I can’t recommend this enough. However I do recommend that if you are to choose this film, you have to make sure you have a free evening, space to watch it twice if necessary and no screaming kids running around. It has stunning visuals, above average performances and a director who in my eyes cannot do wrong. Chris Nolan is awesome and is currently working on something I’m desperate to see, but I’ll mention this in the next section.

Red (Retired, Extremely Dangerous) is another of the oldest films in our repertoire, yet like Inception it has a reason for still being on the wall. It’s fun, fast paced, well directed and has comedy derived from the way its shot as well as the amazing dialogue. It’s got Bruce Willis as his awesome self, Helen Mirren as a retired agent using a machine gun bigger than her, a crazy John Malkovich who thinks the C.I.A. secretly fed him LSD for years (and turned out to be right), a brilliant Morgan Freeman who pretty much is the personification of cool and a continuously underrated Karl Urban who shines as the agent after the gang is the best cast I’ve seen in a while. Watch and laugh.

Unlike the others, I have the confidence in saying that the best film we have to rent is undoubtedly The King’s Speech. You know that I love gore and anything of the horror or science fiction persuasion, but due to all the hype I simply had to try this film for myself. I usually hate Oscar hype. It’s quite politically minded in the way that if you play a British monarch, you or the film will be at least nominated for a BAFTA or an Oscar. Helen Mirren did it and now Colin Firth has done it – so I just expected some overblown and over-acted drama that would go straight into the back of the shelf once it had passed the sell by date. I was wrong. The King’s Speech is one of the best films I have seen to this date and I don’t say that lightly. It made me cry (a little), laugh and not ranting anymore. Luckily I came to my senses and this didn’t last for long, so when I became myself again I knew I had seen something once in a lifetime. Watch it guys. No regrets with this one.

I’ll also give an honourable mention to The Hangover. If you haven’t seen this film yet, you’re missing out on a lot of fun.

Briefly other films you may like to try for a decent enough watch are: The Next Three Days, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1, True Grit, Insidious, Paul (only barely), The Mechanic, Rango (if you have to, but Depp is a surprisingly good voice actor), Ironclad, The Fighter (performance-wise good, storywise boring), Hanna (shot weirdly, but good enough), Made in Dagenham, The Rite (Anthony Hopkins spazzes out again), Burlesque (only if you like musicals and ONLY if you can stand looking at a wooden Cher), Julia’s Eyes (horror produced by Guillermo Del Toro. People who know me know how much I love him) and Hereafter (A Clint Eastwood flick, good enough but not as awesome as the rest).

Easy A is one of the only teenage comedies I like that is out there today – Emma Stone is living a lie and letting the undesirable men of her school pretend that they had a fling to boost their reputations. It slowly spirals out of control, but the main reason for watching this is Stone herself. She is quite a quirky and undoubtedly intelligent actress – and also being cast in the lead female role of the Amazing Spiderman opposite Andrew Garfield. One to watch I reckon.

Hobo with a Shotgun/Machete are also two of the coolest films on the shelf at the moment. Following in Tarantino and Rodruigez’s footsteps with their 2007 double feature Grindhouse – we have two more films in the same vein. The American public didn’t get Grindhouse, so it was separated into two films (Planet Terror and Death Proof) to make it easier to digest – but the original idea was to follow 70’s style exploitation films (guns, gore, girls and guts) and have them play back to back to simulate what it would have been like.

Machete, the brainchild of Rodriguez was a ‘mexploitation’ action/comedy about a bunch of mercenaries ‘F**k with the wrong Mexican’. It’s great – my mother brought it for me from Tescos when I was feeling particularly down, and it proceeded to cheer me up immensely! With an awesome cast (Robert De Niro, Jessica Alba and Steven ‘The Man’ Segal), it plays itself out as an overlong ‘Mexican walked into a bar’ joke. It is by no means the best thing out there, but it rivals a few others for making me laugh the hardest.

Hobo with a Shotgun is Rutger Hauer as the aforementioned hobo, enacting his homeless justice on a city in criminal decay. I can’t quite get Hobo and exploitation into the same word, so lets just say it’s great for ingenuity and the front cover poster alone deserves points.

Lastly we have the Swedish versions of the Millennium Trilogy based on the books by the late Steig Larsson; the first of which being The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. The first film is brilliant; a gritty, raw, psychologically mind blowing rollercoaster of murder, betrayal and revenge. There are some scenes which were difficult to watch and some that I couldn’t stop watching, Noomi Rapace as Lisbeth Salander being the main reason for this. Her performance is what Larsson would have wanted and is so staggeringly good at what she does – she made me attach myself to her pain and grief. I doubt whether the American versions will be able to pull of what she gave to the screen, but I think Rooney Mara as Lisbeth will do a great job. More on that later. The second and third instalment of the trilogy are not as powerful as the first, but are still more intellectually stimulating than the films I’ll list below. Watch only if you’re not easily offended.

There’s my pick of the best films out at the moment, so when you’ve taken a breather we’ll look at things I hated. Which will be so much more interesting to write about. Let the ranting commence!