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Movie rating system (0-2) The movie is balls (2-4) A few moments but mostly bad (4-5.5) Entertaining film but lacking something to make it good. (6-7.5) A recommendation meaning a good solid watch. (8-10) must watch films, they are usually leaders in their respective genre. I can also be found on Facebook or follow my blog at the bottom of this page. THERE MAY BE MINI SPOILERS AHEAD!!! But there will be no endings/twists/cameos/or large plot reveals given.

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Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Safe Haven

Safe Haven
Romantic (Drama)
Rated: PG-13
Running Time: 115 minutes
Starring: Julianne Hough, Josh Duhamel, Cobie Smulders, Red West, David Lyons
Directed By: Lasse Hallstrom
Rating: 6.5 out of 10
A woman trying to escape her past seeks refuge in a small town.

Sorry peeps, this is another Nicholas Sparks movie review within a two week period. I am this close to taking up knitting and going for long walks on the beach. In fact, after this review is done I am going to watch the end of Rambo 4 to balance me out. Safe Haven is the story of Katie. She is on the run from her past and ends up in the small town of South Port, North Carolina. She bonds with a widower there and is forced to face her dark secret.

The film starts and we see Katie fleeing from some unknown terror. She is distraught as she flees from the only life that she knows. It is a good start as clearly something bad has happened to her, but the viewer is left wondering as to what that exactly is. So, Katie’s “just a small town girl, living in a lonely world. Took the midnight train going anywhere” – Journey. She finally chooses to stay in the small town of South Port, North Carolina. This is the sort of place that is barely on the map, and that suits Katie just fine. She adjusts to her new life and tries to forget everything that has happened to her before. The film is easy to get into as South Port is a beautiful little town. With a great accompanying score (albeit sometimes cheesy) this film eases the viewer into a tale of love where you would least expect it. The quaint little stores, the easy way of life, and the beautiful nature shots, all prepare you for a romantic tale of sizeable magnitude. Katie struggles to trust people and is plagued with bad dreams. The viewer gets insights as to what has happened to her, and that South Port may not be hidden enough for her to escape her demons. What I liked the most about the first half of this film is that the lameness is kept to a minimum. The long lingering looks, the tacky dialogue, and the places of impossible beauty are used in only minimal doses (Which is a positive, especially for dudes forced into watching this on date night!)

These types of films won’t work unless you buy into the romantic leads. In this case we are following Katie who is played by Julianne Hough, and the widower Alex, who is played by Josh Duhamel. Hough is cute, she is easy to follow, and does a very commendable job in this. I found I was pulling for her more because she is so new to the acting game, and so her look is fresh to me. Hough is also another factor for a date night compromise as she is stunning. I was worried about Duhamel to start this film as he comes off as the quintessential dork, but as the film progresses, he will grow on you. He settles into the strong male character that is synonymous with Sparks writing. He ends up playing the perfect man quite well. Hough and Duhamel are good looking leads, and they develop a chemistry that is perfect for this type of film. Their height difference is noticeably distracting but if that is the only negative, then they have done their jobs. What do I hate the most in film? That’s right, child actors. Alex’s kids are played by Noah Lomax and Mimi Kirkland. They bothered me for most of their screen time and really drag the film down in places. Overall, the acting was what you would expect in a film like this and that is a good thing.

As the film carries on it is clear that Katie loves South Port. She makes fast friends and finds steady work. She finds a cozy cottage type house in the woods to live in and she finds Alex to be a man she can be at ease with. But she constantly is looking over her shoulder and is uneasy in crowds. The film is almost relaxing as Katie and Alex get to know each other better. Looking at the two of them going through the first stages of dating is cute and fun. Love is seldom easy and rarely perfect, and this film does a good job of relating that to the viewer. You can run from your troubles but you cannot hide from them forever. Katie’s old life will eventually threaten her new one in ways she cannot possible fathom. In conclusion, this film will give you a lot of smiles and even a few tears. Finding a way to love in a negative world is always a good storyline. This is classic Sparks and a solid romantic story. The intrigue of Katie’s unknown past and the ending are particularly strong. The negatives are that this film is not entirely original in terms of story. The characters, setting, and music all have a rehashed vibe to it. (See the Lucky One, The Notebook). The kids will also get on most people’s nerves.

Director Lasse Hallstrom nailed this film. That is no surprise with such films as Cider House Rules, and Chocolat on his resume. Picking Hough as Katie is really his shining moment as she was the perfect lead in this. The film does have slow parts but I felt that I was always wondering about Katie’s past which kept me interested. Beautiful location and complimentary music only sealed the deal for me. Well done again Mr. Hallstrom.

I give this movie a recommendation and now it is time for me to throw on some Death Metal and play some Left 4 Dead 2 to try and reclaim some of my masculinity!

T Factor + If you like romantic movies then this could score higher on the rating scale.

T Factor – If you have seen many Nicholas Sparks movies then this could score lower on the rating scale.

If you liked this film reel recommendations: The Lucky One, The Vow.

Dead Before Dawn

Dead Before Dawn
Horror (Comedy)
Rated: R
Running Time: 88 minutes
Starring: Christopher Lloyd, Devon Bostick, Martha MacIsaac, Brittany Allen
Directed By: April Mullen
Rating: 0 out of 10
A group of college kids must survive the night after the worlds populace turns into Zemons.

“I wish the writers of Saved by the Bell penned a zombie movie.” -  Said by no one ever. My brother recently passed me this movie for review, and all I can say is that I owe him a Liam Neeson styled throat punch for making me watch this. Dead Before Dawn is the story of a group of college kids. They unknowingly set off an evil curse that turns the world’s populace into Zombie/Demon hybrids. They have until dawn of the next day to reverse the curse or its effects will become permanent.

I have watched thousands upon thousands of movies. I can honestly say that this film easily cracks the top 20 worst movies that I have ever seen. It might even be in the top 10. It only takes about 2 minutes to realize that this film is going to suck nuds. The film starts out and we see the group of college friends as they go about their daily lives. They worry about things like school projects, and who is going to win the next big football game. Their lives are about to be flipped upside down by an evil curse. A random artifact sitting in a store for the occult is accidentally opened and a dark terror is unleashed upon the world. People lose the will to live and then come back as zombie/demons (better known as Zemons.) Yes, Zemons is the best they could come up with. This may be the most confusing blend of humor/horror that I have ever come across. The film’s writing is clearly targeting the YTV crowd (Thanks for the unknown television show reference, Canadian Dude! It will be Nickelodeon to my American friends.) Yet there is swearing and blood, making this film rated R. So it is not targeting kids or adults, which is a brilliant move! The film is little more than the group of friends traversing the city, looking for a cure and trying to survive.

Things you can expect:

1. Terrible looking zombies and poor special effects of them dying.

2. The living French kissing Zemons for some inexplicable reason.

3. Humor that only the simple minded could love.

4. Awkward scenes of love/romantic interests.

5. Acting that would make Hayden Christensen say “Damn, that is some bad acting!”

I won’t talk about the acting as it is beyond description. It looked like every scene in this film was shot in one take. The actors look to be adlibbing most of the time. If any of these people make it big than this will be their Jennifer Aniston, Leprechaun movie. Once again we have the dumbest group of friends ever. There is a clumsy nerd, a hipster, a jock, a douche bag, an air head, a bookworm, and an alternative girl, WHO ARE ALL FRIENDS. It is so they can have a broad spectrum for comedy, but it fails across the board.

This gets increasingly harder to watch as the film goes on. The kids fight the Zemons with the most ridiculous weapons possible (Grenades, Ninja Stars, a Hoberman Sphere.) The Zemons seem more intent on making noise and chasing the group than actually trying to kill anyone. To say this film is juvenile is an understatement. The film cannot come to an end quick enough and makes me question why the zombie genre has so many terrible films. In conclusion, go to the dentist, do your taxes, or even call up your ex. I guarantee it will be a more enjoyable experience than this film ever was.

April Mullen directed this. I will not say anything negative as it is more the script (Tim Doiron) that makes this film as bad as it is. She keeps the film fast paced so although it is still horrendously stupid, it is never slow. Sorry April, that is the best I got for you.

I cannot recommend this film, and Christopher Lloyd has been the same age for the last 30 years….maybe he is a Zemon?

T Factor + If you like kids films or spoof movies, then this could score higher on the rating scale.

T Factor – None.

If you liked this film reel recommendations: Stan Helsing, Date Movie

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Dark Skies

Dark Skies
(Sci-Fi, Thriller)
Rated: PG-13
Running Time: 97 minutes
Starring: Keri Russell, Josh Hamilton, Dakota Goyo, Kadan Rockett, J.K. Simmons.
Directed By: Scott Stewart
Rating: 4 out of 10
A suburban family is struggling with a strange phenomenon occurring around their house.

“Two possibilities exist: Either we are alone in the Universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying” – Arthur C. Clarke.

Dark Skies is the story of the Barrett family. They are living a quiet suburban life and trying to make ends meet. That is until some strange and unexplained events around their house make them question their sanity, and could cost them their lives.

When you have seen The X-Files, Fringe, and countless movies on extraterrestrial life forms, this film comes off as a seen that before, not so fright fest. Not to mention it’s dull. The film starts off and we are introduced to the Barrett family. They are struggling to get by in a tough economic climate. Mrs. Barrett (Lacy) sells houses, and Mr. Barrett (Daniel) is out of work. They have two kids (Jesse and Sam), and are living pay cheque to pay cheque. Money is soon to become the least of their worries, as weird events start to happen in and around their home. Strange markings on the walls and furniture moving on its own volition are a precursor to more sinister events. Something is terrorizing this family and the scariest part about it is there is no explanation as to why. The wildlife starts to act bizarrely around their house, the appliances and lights sporadically turn off and on, and painful rashes and bruises appear on their skin. All of these happenings have no rational answers. This film does have a couple of quality jump/scares as things half seen are skillfully added at the right moments. There are not nearly enough of these scary moments though, so the viewer has to pretend to care about a family that is not that interesting to watch. There are also moments of viewer curiosity as to where things are leading, but the film takes a tired approach of arriving at an answer. The obvious one believer and one non believer take, leads to some petty arguments and inane fighting, which is terrible to watch. The first half of the movie is more than enough time to realize that this film is not going to succeed.

The acting is actually not bad with Keri Russell playing Mrs. Barrett, and Josh Hamilton playing Mr. Barrett. Because they are the leads of the movie, the film is actually watchable from an acting stand point. They are a couple stressed about money, stressed about the strange events, and stressed about being parents. Those stresses are noticeable in their faces, and in their interactions with each other. Their kids are played by Dakota (get a haircut kid) Goyo, and Kadan Rockett. I don’t remember them as being bad, so I will say they did a decent job, although I could have done without a super awkward teenage make out session. Lastly, J.K. Simmons is in this to provide a little more acting cred to the roster.

As the film carries on it doesn’t get much better. The family is suffering more and more at the hands of some unknown force. Their bruises become worse, their memories become worse, and their personalities become super erratic. They must find an answer before they are consumed by this phenomenon. And like all horrors these days, if you have a supernatural problem then just Google it, as there will always be an expert close by at your disposal (sigh). The family struggles to fight an enemy that they cannot comprehend, and the viewer watches a film that doesn’t comprehend how to be proper thriller. Topping it all off, the ending is a tired event that will satisfy few, if any. In conclusion, this movie will be much more appreciated by a younger audience. The PG-13 rating limits the effectiveness of most of the scary scenes, and the sheer absence of memorable scares is concerning. The acting saves this film from being truly abysmal, but this film is treading on ground we have already seen. Signs, Fire in the Sky, and X-Files, are all examples of things this movie has rehashed. Lastly, you would think that something with intelligence far beyond ours would not leave signs that are so obvious?

Director and writer Scott Stewart does an okay job with this movie. His core audience (teens) should be happy with this film but it isn’t for everyone. The budget (Est. 3.5 million) hurts some of the scenes with poor special effects, and the sheer lack of times we see these unknown creatures hurts this film as well. He shows he is capable though, as I did jump on a few occasions, and the film was nicely paced and cast. I think with a little more money and a little more originality, this film could have worked.

I cannot recommend this film as the scariest thing about it is that Dakota Goyo thinks that is an acceptable hairstyle.

T Factor + If you like Sci-Fi films then this could score higher on the rating scale.

T Factor – If you like your horror films to be bloody and gory, then this could score lower on the rating scale.

If you liked this film reel recommendations: Signs, Fire in the Sky.

Saturday, 15 June 2013

The Lucky One

The Lucky One
Romantic (Drama)
Rated: PG-13
Running Time: 101 minutes
Starring: Zac Efron, Taylor Schilling, Blythe Danner, Riley Thomas Stewart, Jay. R Ferguson
Directed By: Scott Hicks
Rating: 6 out of 10
A U.S. marine sets out to find a lady who unknowingly has saved his life.

Do you have a go to food at a restaurant when you have no idea what to order? I do. It is the Club sandwich. Why do I bring this up you might ask? I bring it up because that is how I feel about Nicholas Sparks books which are adapted to movies. Just like the club sandwich, Sparks’s movies are usually good, occasionally remarkable, and very rarely disappointing. (If that last statement is not up with Tolstoy and Wilde, I don’t know what it is.) The Lucky One is the story of a Marine named Logan. After his last tour of duty, he travels to Louisiana to find an unknown woman who he credits as his good luck charm during the war.

Before we start, let us make the Nicholas Sparks checklist.

1. Great looking leads. Check.

2. Beautiful small town location. Check.

3. Love story with no real world implications. Check

The Lucky One starts off and we see Logan as he patrols the war torn country of Iraq. He finds a misplaced talisman (from an unknown American woman) and believes it saves his life on a number of occasions. After his tour is over, he finds adjusting to life in the real world, tough. So, he drops everything and travels to Louisiana to find the woman (Beth) who has unknowingly saved his life. The buildup is naturally slow as you see how this love story is going to play out. From there, this movie turns into a pretty big sap fest but isn’t unlikeable. It turns out that it is not very easy to tell a complete stranger how you feel (obviously), so Logan takes a job as a handyman around Beth’s farmhouse/dog kennel. The film sees Logan and Beth struggle to coexist. Logan is an introverted godsend, and fixes everything that was long thought broken. Beth is a guarded woman who is annoyed with Logan always being around. It is not love at first sight, but develops slowly over time. Admittedly, the long lingering looks from the both of them are a bit much, but I felt the film captures a love story worth watching. Love and fate are two words that are often tied together. I felt this movie gives the viewer a great look into a very unlikely scenario which encapsulates those two words.

I must admit, the more I watch Zac Efron, the more I like the dude. I think with a little work and some better roles, he might do very well in the business. He plays Logan in this and while he is decent with the role, the character is way too over the top for my tastes. He has a cute dog, he is great with kids, he can fix anything, he works for virtually no money, he never loses his temper, he is good looking, he is polite, he is well read, and he is a perfect Marine. Like seriously, can this guy be flawed just a little? Well, he is a little stalkerish so there is that I guess. Beth is played by Taylor Shilling. I was unfamiliar with Shilling going into this film and I think that works in her favor. She has the emotional range to pull off the role and quickly establishes an easy feel with Efron (pun not intended.) I liked the fact that the two of them are a little bit older which adds a little more realism to the story. It is cool to see them discover love at a more reasonable age than kids in high school. The glaring weak spot in the acting department goes to Beth’s ex husband who is played by Jay R. Ferguson. His character is this obnoxious asshat. He is abusive, a douche, insensitive, and frankly didn’t look the part. His character is unbelievable and only in the film to provide unreasonable forced friction. (I just said forced friction.)

As the film carries on, it delves into topics a little more serious which I liked. Divorce, Coping with the loss of a loved one, and the stress of a raising a child by yourself, are all topics that are touched upon. As Logan and Beth get to know each other a little more, the film is easier to sit through. They explore the beautiful countryside together and they make a good match. Are they perfect for each other? Sure they are. Are they going to end up together? Watch and find out. Love and fate are not always enough to see relationships work, but the journey is worth the risk. In conclusion, this film is not going to blow you away like the Notebook did, but it did connect with me as a simple love story. It is cool how a random item found thousands of miles away can intimately connect two people. Please be warned though, as there are too many cheesy characters, and some odd scenes of confrontations that really held this movie back from being great.    

Director Scott Hicks is not a stranger to the romance genre (No Reservations), so it is no shock that he got this movie right. He picked a beautiful location where love stories seem to occur in high frequency. He scored the movie nicely as well, which only enhanced the Beth and Logan chemistry. I liked that he cast people that were lesser known’s to give this movie some more realism. Yes Hicks could have toned down a lot of the cheesiness, but that is hard to do with a Sparks’s book. Good but not great is my final verdict. Also, Google image Hicks and tell me he doesn’t resemble Karl from the first Die Hard movie.

I give this movie a recommendation, and to the ladies out there you have to look at it this way. Even if you hate it, seeing Zac Efron for 2 hours should be a nice compensation for you.

T Factor + If you like romantic movies then this could score higher on the rating scale.

T Factor – If you do not like Zac Efron as an actor then this could score lower on the rating scale.

If you liked this film reel recommendations: The Notebook, A Walk To Remember.  

Sunday, 9 June 2013


Rated: R
Running Time: 93 minutes
Starring: Gina Carano, Michael Douglas, Ewan McGregor, Channing Tatum, Michael Fassbender, Antonio Banderas, Bill Paxton
Directed By: Stephen Soderbergh
Rating: 6.5 out of 10
A super agent seeks revenge after being betrayed.

It pains me to think that the Bourne Franchise has struggled all these years to recapture the magic of The Bourne Identity. Then Director Stephen Soderbergh comes along and is able to make this film with basically the same recipe. Not to say that Haywire is as good as The Bourne Identity, but it is a reasonable and enjoyable facsimile. Haywire is the story of Mallory Kane. She is a privately contracted super soldier who seeks revenge after being betrayed during a mission.

This film is obviously going to be compared to the Angelina Jolie film, Salt. Compare all you want, but this is the superior film. This film starts out, and we see Mallory as she is sitting at a booth in a small town diner. She sips her drink, and is about to enlighten the viewer on how she ended up on a run for her life. At one time she was an elite super soldier with skills in multiple fighting techniques. She was hired to complete the hardest of tasks in less than perfect conditions. She travelled the world, assassinating people and retrieving targets. There was not a job she couldn’t do. That is until one of her superiors sets her up and leaves her to die. She is understandably upset, and her only response is an ingrained need for revenge. She could do the easy thing and run, but she has an inner code that she cannot break. So she sits at the diner and considers her next move. The film flip flops from present day to previous Mallory missions. The story follows what went wrong, and how she bounces from city to city trying to evade capture. Anyone could be there to kill her and she is always on guard. You will be treated to a bevy of her skills as she goes about her daily life. She can deliver devastating punches and kicks at close quarters, and she can also take an enemy out with precisely placed bullets. She is wholly believable as a killing machine and it looks like there is nothing that can stop her. The first fight scene will prepare the viewer quite nicely in terms of what to expect. The hand to hand combat is abrupt and shockingly violent. She uses everything in her grasp to deal knockout blows and is quite adept at it. The fight sequences are edited beautifully and make you wonder why the Bourne franchise cannot copy this formula for success.

Mallory Kane is played by former MMA fighter Gina Carano. While Carano struggles to be believable with some of the dialogue in this, she more than makes up for it in look and the fight sequences. She is attractive, she is muscular, and she is solid. Her strikes look like they would hurt, and she doesn’t go the whole movie without a getting a scratch. She gets thrown through doors, punched, stabbed, falls from heights, and any other injury you can think up. She is why this film worked, and not only is it good to see a strong female action star, it is good to see a believable looking, strong female action star (Sorry Jolie, your 100 pound frame does not cut it.) Her supporting cast is vastly impressive. Fassbender, Douglas, Banderas, McGregor, Tatum, and Paxton, are all in this to help Carano along. Their veteran presence eases the growing pains of Carano’s newness to acting.

As the film continues, you will like it more and more. Mallory is easy to root for as she is one betrayed woman against many men. She bleeds, but always brings the fight to her betrayers which is a very cool trait. This film also doesn’t miss any of the action beats. There is a cool car chase scene that uses cool camera angles from inside the car. There are numerous close up fight scenes that see Mallory fight with various weapons against trained killers. There is a foot chase scene that sees Mallory running for her life through random buildings. And there are also multiple gun fight scenes that complete the action repertoire. The story can drag at times and the reasoning of who betrayed her is almost obsolete. Viewers will not care why she needs to get revenge, only that she tries to get revenge. Viewers will not care about Mallory’s love life, only that she tries to get revenge. And lastly, viewers will not care about Mallory’s dad, only that she tries to get revenge.  In conclusion, this film just understands that to appreciate action, you need to be able to see the action. You get to follow a badass woman as she travels the globe, killing anyone in her path. The film has some slow parts which would have been alleviated with a couple more action sequences, but the film is always watchable. Sorry, always watchable except for an idiotic encounter with a random deer. Seriously, WTF is up with the deer in this movie?

Director Stephen Soderbergh very rarely amazes me, but he very rarely disappoints me either. He has a tried  and tested formula and he sticks with it. A woman action star movie is hard to pull off, but he does it with this film. He forgoes the usual A-list actress for Carano and he was rewarded with the risk. What I am most happy with about this film is that editing was great and that is a rarity these days. This film is raw and realistic, and the soundtrack is subtly there in the background. A great ensemble cast only seals the deal. I say give Soderbergh a shot at the next Bourne movie!

I give this movie a recommendation. While it is disappointing that it isn’t a biography on the Transformer named Haywire, it never the less is a solid entry into the action world.

T Factor + If you like action films then this could score higher on the rating scale.

T Factor – If you do not like Stephen Soderbergh as a director then this could score lower on the rating scale.

If you liked this film reel recommendations: Salt, The Bourne Identity.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013


Action (Sci-Fi, Comic Book)
Rated: R
Running Time: 95 minutes
Starring: Karl Urban, Olivia Thirlby, Lena Headey
Directed By: Pete Travis
Rating: 5 out of 10
Two futuristic police officers must fight their way out of a crime riddled building.

Here is another example of an unnecessary Hollywood remake. The first movie is a classic and shouldn’t have been touched………………………………………………….I was just waiting for your laughter to stop. Obviously, I am joking, as the original film had Rob Schneider in it. End of story. Dredd is the story of a futuristic world in an apocalyptic state. Civilization finds itself in a giant, walled in city, and is protected by the police. (Who are called Judges.) The police act as judge, jury, and executioner in an attempt to battle the overwhelming crime rate. This movie sees a Judge called Dredd; team up with a rookie in an attempt to take down a local drug lord.

This film had a Robocop/Raid Redemption type feel to it which is not entirely bad. Let us forget about the original Stallone version of this film. I am sure most of you already have. I will not try and compare the two movies for there is little worth in doing so. Let me just say that while this film is no gem, it is waaaaaaaaaaaaay better than its predecessor. The opening scene sees Dredd patrolling the streets on his futuristic motorbike. It is just another day in this crime riddled city, and that means tons of murders and felonies are being committed. Dredd quickly becomes engaged with some criminals in a high speed pursuit. The chase does a nice job of establishing the tone for the movie. It establishes that the city streets are dirty and highly populated. It establishes that the criminals are addicted to a new drug. (Which makes everything appear glittery and in slow motion.) It establishes that this movie is going to have an impossibly high body count, as pedestrians are blown apart with little care. Lastly, it establishes that this movie is going to be a very bloody, hour and a half. After some inane scenes of establishing that Dredd is the badass of all badasses, we find ourselves following him and a rookie as they enter a high rise building. (It is basically a 200 floor city.) What should be a routine drug bust turns ugly, as they become trapped in this building and must fight for their lives. They have found themselves in a place run by a maniacal drug lord who goes by the name of Ma-Ma. (All I can think of is the elevator scene from Liar Liar when I hear Ma-Ma.) She unleashes her buildings fury on the Judges for simply being at the wrong place at the wrong time. The action sequences are enjoyable if not always good. Sometimes the filming goes into slow motion and you get to see bullets rip through throats, torsos, and other extremities. It is awesome in its high detailed goriness. Other times the action happens so fast that all you see is a CGI blood mist and little else (which is disappointing.) No matter what the scenario though, watching Dredd cut his way through the bad guys is always a good time.

Dredd is played by Karl Urban, and say what you want about the guy, he is exceptional at mimicry. He is a brilliant younger version of Bones (DeForest Kelley) in Star Trek, and he is an eerily similar version of a young Dredd (Sylvester Stallone) in this film. I like Urban, and while this role was not hard to play, he was never the less enjoyable to watch in it. He could have toned done the Christian Bale voice from Batman, but he was solid for the entire film. The rookie is played by Olivia Thirlby, and her presence is merely for some femininity in the film and little else. She is fine in the role, but it could have been played by anyone in Hollywood. Lastly, Ma-Ma was played by Lena Headey. (Damn you Cersei Lannister!) Heady is great as the drug queenpin. With her scarred visage and her barely contained rage, I felt she could have used a little more screen time.

As the film continues, the Judge duo has little recourse but to head upward in the building as they are locked in for the long haul. I felt Dredd’s signature weapon is actually the films downfall. If you are unfamiliar with the Dredd story then his gun is kind of like a Batman utility belt. It has different ammo for every situation, and of course Dredd finds himself in every situation where that special ammo is needed. Incendiary rounds, heat bullets, armor piercing bullets, and exploding bullets, is a lot of cheesiness to sit through. I also felt the bad guys in the building were the epitome of cannon fodder. They would line up in rows, they would bunch together in small rooms, and they would run into places with little regard for their own safety. Once again it is a lot of cheesiness to sit through. But because the film is little more than the two Judges moving up the building, floor by floor, it is always a bloody good time. As the film comes to its predictable final encounter, the question is will anyone make it out of this building of terror, alive? In conclusion, this film is a brainless 95 minutes, but it is also a fun 95 minutes. Dredd shoots and bad guys die. Dredd shoots some more, and more bad guys die. I think you understand the formula. If they left out his stupid gun and tightened up some of the action sequences then this film would have been a success.

Director Pete Travis (Vantage Point) did a lot right in this film, but also did a lot wrong. The positives were: the casting was good, the body count was high, and the humor was kept to a minimum. Some of the action scenes were solid and the film was always fun. The negatives: the editing was off (Judges would jump 50 floors without explanation.) Some of the action is a blurry mess, some weak CGI on the kill shots, and the overuse of the glittery drug sequences. Overall, I felt he did an above average job and he probably connected with most of this films core audience.

I cannot recommend this film as it missed that fine line between realism and comic book style.

T Factor + If you are an action lover then this could score higher on the rating scale.

T Factor – If you like your movies to have solid story lines then this could score lower on the rating scale.

If you liked this film reel recommendations: The Raid Redemption, Babylon A.D.