22nd Dec2014

Lucy – DVD

by timbaros

images-224What if someone unlocks 100 percent of their brain capacity to access the furthest reaches of their mind? In Lucy, Scarlett Johansson’s character does just that, and unleashes a woman who becomes superhuman.

It has always been theorized that humans use only about 10% of their brain capacity at any given time, but with 86 billion densely packed neurons in the brain, humans have the ability and capacity to do so much more. And Lucy is able to do so much more. Johansson is in full action mode as Lucy, a student living in Taipei, Taiwan who is tricked by her boyfriend into delivering a briefcase to an individual she has never met. Before she knows it, a man by the name of Mr. Jang (Choi Min Sik) has his gang drag her into his office where they surgically implant a package loaded with CPH4 – a powerful synthetic substance – nuclear DNA. Mr. Jang plans to send her, along with three other pigeons, to another country with the substance planted inside of them. But his plan goes terribly wrong as the package in Lucy’s abdomen starts leaking, and Lucy begins to feel everything around her – all of her sensations are heightened – and she develops superhuman traits on a scale not ever seen before. As the chemical is kicking in, she escapes her captors to get the chemical compound out of her system to prevent her from dying. But too late – the superhuman Lucy has been unleashed. Slowly her cerebral capacity expands – from 10% to 20% – and she is able to do things she wasn’t able to do before, like beat the gang members up, understand foreign languages, and hearing mobile phone conversations from a distance.
Lucy’s able to get to a hospital where she walks into an operating room and orders the doctor to remove the compound in her abdomen – at gunpoint. During the surgery, for which she declined to use anethesia, she makes a poignant phone call to her mother back in the United States. She tells her mom that she can feel air, vibrations, gravity, that she no longer has any fear, and that she can remember the taste of her mother’s milk when she was a baby. It’s a phone call that may be her last, as Lucy knows her brain functionality is out of control. She still needs to know what is happening with her, so she goes to Paris to enlist the help of Professor Samuel Norman (Morgan Freeman – who gives the film an educational bent when he tells a room full of students facts – one being that species reproduce when there is a favorable environment). Professor Norman has done decades of research on the brain’s potential and is perhaps the only person on Earth who can help Lucy understand what’s happening with her. But Lucy is not satisfied – she wants more CPH4 to hit 100% capacity – she’s addicted to it and can’t get enough. So she tracks down the other pigeons and rips it out of their guts.
But Lucy’s troubles are not over yet. She’s got Mr. Jang on her tail, and him and his gang want the CHP4 back. But getting it from Lucy is going to be impossible. She hooks up with Captain Del Rio (Amr Waked) and together they try to outrun Mr. Jang and his gang in Paris. In one nail-biting car chase, Lucy and Del Rio are engaged in a car chase with Mr. Jang and his gang which takes them through the sidewalks of the famed Rue de Rivoli, next to the Louvre Museum and the Tuileries Garden, packed full of traffic and tourists. It’s an intense car chase with Lucy driving against the traffic in one of Paris’ busiest tourist areas, including driving through a flea market. The clock is ticking against Lucy as her brain capacity continues to grow and her brain cells are reproducing at a rapid rate. From 30%, where Lucy can change her appearance, to 50%, where she can actually see cell phone conversations, and to 90%, where she can go back in time. She’s colonizing her own brain and can’t stop it, so she needs to get to Professor Norman but is up against Mr. Jang and his men, will she get there in time? And what happens when she reaches 100%?
Lucy is a film that is a combination of fact and fiction – the viewer needs to suspend belief in all that is presented but still keep an open mind. Lucy’s plot alluding to CPH4 is a hypothetical one, but it does exist as it is an actual substance that pregnant women produce in the sixth week of natal development. Director and writer Luc Besson (Taken, Taken 2, Le Femme Nikita) creates a film that walks a fine line between theoretical reality and imagination, with a touch of true facts thrown in. Of course, the more Lucy experiences in the film, the more the story becomes fictional. But Johansson makes a perfect Lucy. Physically Johansson is built for the part – muscular, athletic while maintaining her femininity – Johansson can carry a gun and outrun the bad guys at any time. Similar in character to Anne Parillaud’s Nikita, where she fights against the bad men and outruns and outguns them, Johansson’s Lucy can do this and more. And Johansson, whose had an amazing string of hit films over the past two years (including the well-received Under My Skin, Don Jon, and her voice in Her), proves that she is the most capable and versatile actress around who can do action, comedy, adventure, science fiction – anything.
In the beginning of Lucy, we are told that ‘life was given to us a billion years ago, look what we’ve done with it’, with footage of cheetahs, snails, deer and then footage of catastrophe’s – floods, typhoons – natural disasters. And at the end, we’re told  “Life was given to us a billion years ago, now you know what to do with it.”
Lucy is now available to buy on DVD:

Lucy [DVD] [2014] (DVD)

Director: Luc Besson
Starring: Scarlett Johansson, Analeigh Tipton, Morgan Freeman
Rating: Suitable for 15 years and over

New From: £1.20 GBP In Stock
Used from: £0.09 GBP In Stock

08th Nov2014

Chef – DVD

by timbaros

851433-chef-movie-posterChef, now playing in cinemas, is a real treat, from start to finish.

Jon Favreau, who also wrote, produced and directed, plays Carl Casper, a chef in a popular Los Angeles restaurant. He’s in control of his kitchen, and proud of the food that he makes for his customers. However, one day a restaurant critic (Oliver Platt – who actually looks like a restaurant critic), eats in the restaurant and then proceeds to give it a bad review, lambasting Casper’s cooking, Not happy with this, Casper, at the urging of his son Percy (Emjay Anthony), opens an account on Twitter and starts tweeting bad things about the critic, picking up hundreds of followers in the meantime. Casper decides to give it another go with the critic, so via Twitter he invites him to the restaurant to eat a new menu he plans to prepare. However, this doesn’t go well with the owner of the restaurant (Dustin Hoffman), who says they will stick to the menu they’ve got and that if Casper doesn’t like it, he can walk away. Casper does walk away, much to the dismay to the rest of the restaurant staff, including Martin (a very well-cast John Leguizamo) and sous chef Tony (Bobby Cannavale). But Casper can’t stay away from the restaurant for two reasons, he’s dating the restaurant’s hostess (an unglamorous Scarlett Johannson) and he feels the needs to get even with the restaurant critic. So Casper decides to go to the restaurant the same night the critic is there, and, in front of all the customers and staff, yell at him and tells him he doesn’t know what good food is. After his rant, he is banned from the restaurant forever.

Deciding what to do next, besides spending lots of time with his son, his ex-wife Inez (an always good Sofia Vergara – who’s becoming quite the screen goddess) urges him to come with her and their son to Miami while she is on a business trip to take some time away and mellow out. While there, he comes up with the idea of a new business – a food truck selling Cuban food. He buys a run down and dirty food truck, and with the help of his son, fixes it up and calls it ‘El Jefe.’ Martin flies in and wants to be a part of the new business so together they create delicious Cuban food, especially Cubanos – a Cuban Sandwich of cheese and ham. With his son, they take the food truck on a road trip back to Los Angeles, stopping in various cities along the way. Thanks to Emjay, they have quite a following on Twitter and Instagram and it’s with social media where they pick up loads of customers along with way, with queues stretching down blocks in every city. Arriving back in Los Angeles, they’re a hit and have a new business.

While the story of Chef is very predictable and could’ve been guessed without me writing about the entire plot, it’s, of course the food that plays a starring role in the film. Beginning in the restaurant to Casper making a delicious meals at his home, the food looks vibrant and succulent and delicious. And the Cuban sandwiches want to make you have one after the movie, so if anyone knows where I can get one in London, please write in! The cast is very good, and credit is due to Favreau who wore four hats in the movie (5 if you count his cooking in the film, well I presume it was him cooking) and for creating what is a simple film into such a delight. The rest of the cast is fine, with Leguizamo and Vergara bringing a va va va voom Latin spice to the movie. All in all, Chef is a pretty good movie. Please go see it, and you will definitely want to eat after.

Chef [DVD] (DVD)

Director: Jon Favreau
Starring: Jon Favreau, John Leguizamo, Scarlett Johansson, Sofía Vergara, Robert Downey Jr
Rating: Suitable for 15 years and over

NOTICE: Polish Release, cover may contain Polish text/markings. The disk DOES NOT have English audio and subtitles.
New From: £3.29 GBP In Stock
Used from: £0.09 GBP In Stock

29th May2014

Summer Movies – Film

by timbaros

images-172Summer is here and with that brings the summer movie season. Blockbusters, special effects, big stars – all of this and more is thrown at us in an attempt to get some of our money spent going to the cinema this summer. By the likes of things, we already have been doing this in the past month.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier opened in April and has grossed over £19M at the box office. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was also an early release, in late April, and has already earned £23M. X-Men: Days of Future Past earned close to £10M in it’s opening weekend, but topping all three of them is The Lego Movie – which hit £33M last week – that kind of money will buy you lots of Legos! Godzilla 3D came out two weeks ago and made a whopping £9M in it’s first weekend but dropped by 57% in it’s second week, so it looks like this monster doesn’t have legs.
There are lots of others upcoming films to be released later in the summer to try to take your summer movie money. Here is a list of the big ones, all of them likely to gross lots of money:
The first film to be released after the Bank Holiday weekend, which is officially the start of the summer, is Maleficent, which  brings Angelina Jolie in her cartoon-debuting role in a story of the villain from Disney’s classic film Sleeping Beauty, the mistress of all evil. Will it be too dark for young children? Early buzz has been mixed, so it will be interesting to see if Disney can recoup it’s $200M production costs.
Tom Cruise’s annual summer movie hits the big screen on Friday May 30th. It’s called Edge of Tomorrow and is a film set in the near future where an alien race attacks Earth, attacking cities and killing millions of people, almost destroying Earth. Of course Cruise is the hero when he takes on one of the aliens, only to be killed within minutes. What’s different about this plot is that Cruise’s character keeps on coming back to life – and is forced to relive the same battle over and over, and in the meantime becoming smarter and tougher. It’s an interesting premise and in true Tom Cruise style, Edge of Tomorrow should be a box office hit. A Million Ways to Die in the West – Seth MacFarlane’s take on Western movies also opens on the same day. It’s got an all-star cast, including Charlize Theron, Neil Patrick Harris and Liam Neeson.
22 Jump Street hits the theaters the following weekend. This is, of course, a film of the television show which put Johnny Depp on the map, and a sequel to the 21 Jump Street movie. The film stars hot actors-of-the-moment Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill. Expect lots of laughs and action, and another sequel if this film makes lots of money, which it probably will.
For those of you craving music with your movies, Jersey Boys opens up on June 20th. It’s a musical biopic based on the hit musical charting the lives of the group The Four Seasons. Clint Eastwood was a strange choice to direct the movie (he also produced), but even stranger was to pick a cast of unknowns to star as the leads. Christopher Walken is the one big name actor in the movie, and he plays a member of the mob. The same weekend Kevin Costner’s new film 3 Days to Kill opens up where he plays a dying CIA agent trying to reconnect with his daughter, played by Hailee Steinfeld.
Transformers: Age of Extinction opens on Thursday July 10th and looks to be a teenage boys wet dream. It’s the fourth installment of the live action Transformers film series and this one stars Mark Walhberg. Age of Extinction is a sequel to Transformers: Dark of the Moon and takes place four years after the invasion of Chicago. Michael Bay returns as the director. Expect big box office for this film, and for it to dominate the box office way into July.
On Thursday July 17th (why do films open up on a Thursday? So that their ‘weekend’ gross will appear to be higher) sees Dawn of the Planet of The Apes open – the umpteenth film based on the 1960’s classic Planet of the Apes Films. What’s so special about this one? The apes existence is threatened by human survivors of a devastating virus. Gary Oldman and Keri Russell play human to Andy Serkis’ ape.
If you are getting the picture that there is one huge movie opening up every weekend, this is no coincidence. The studios rake in the bucks on their film’s opening weekends as most of the money goes to them and not to the theatre owners. It’s only when a movie is still bringing in audiences for several weeks which is when the movie theatres start to make money.
So the big movie opening the weekend of July 25th is Hercules, starring The Rock like we’ve never seen him before, long-haired Dwayne Johnson – and directed by Brett Ratner. To be honest, this could either be a big hit or it could be a costly mistake. I predict the later. Opening up the same weekend is a film that should do much better. Channing Tatum is back again and starring in Jupiter Ascending. It’s a strange story about a woman who was born under a night sky, and so was destined for great things. But she ends up being a cleaner. Tatum, as a genetically engineered hunter, is her knight in shining armor who tracks her down and helps her realize her potential. It sounds far-fetched, but it could work as the The Wachowskis have written, produced and directed it. They previously brought us The Matrix and Cloud Atlas. Mila Kunis also stars.
Another Sci-Fi – ish film – Guardians of the Galaxy – opens on Thursday July 31st. It is a live action film from Disney and is about an American pilot who finds himself the object of a manhunt after stealing an orb coveted by a very nasty villian. Starring an all-star cast including Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper, Chris Pratt, Vin Diesel, and more.
A movie for the kids this summer will be Planes: Fire and Rescue, opening on August 8th, right in the middle of summer to get their parents box office money. This one is expected to be as much of a hit as the original Planes film. Also the same weekend sees the release of The InBetweeners 2. If this is as good as the first film and the television series, we’re in again for another laugh-a-minute film.
For those of you who like your action stars a bit older, then catch The Expendables 3 the weekend of Thursday August 14th. Just like the first two Expendable films, this one also stars Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jason Statham and Nicolage Cage.
The lovely Scarlett Johansson is back on the big screen with Lucy on August 22nd. She plays a woman accidentally caught in a dark deal, turns the tables on her captors, and transforms into a warrior stronger than any human. This could be a franchise in the making if this film is successful enough.
Rounding out the summer, and released on Wednesday September 3rd, is Sex Tape. Cameron Diaz and Jason Segal play a couple, who, after ten years and two kids, lose the spark in their marriage. So what do they do? Re-read the title and you’ll know how this movie plays out.
Other major UK releases in September include Sin City 2, Pride, and Monsters: Dark Continent.
Enjoy the Summer of Cinema!
15th Nov2013

Don Jon – Film

by timbaros

don-jon-fathers-day-clip-061613Don Juan is the universal term for describing someone who is a womanizer. Don Jon is a new film about a New Jersey man named Jon who is addicted to sex, and who can’t get enough of it, either from various women, or especially from the internet.

Jon is Jon Martello, a modern day Don Juan. He is very goodlooking, with a great body to match, and a smile that melts hearts. He is also addicted to internet porn. Jon (played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who also wrote and directed) has a very active sex life, always picking up the prettiest and sexiest woman in the clubs (much to the jealousy of his friends, who call him Don Jon because of this). But Jon is not sexually satisfied until he watches internet porn (which he considers as sex). He does this sometimes even after having sex with a woman. One night at a club, he meets Barbara, a drop dead gorgeous hot Catholic girl (Scarlett Johansson, in an especially sexy and almost unrecognizable role), and he instantly, he tells her, falls in love with her. She is very skeptical of him due to what she has heard around town about his reputation. It takes a few dates for her to come around, and soon enough, Jon and Barbara are boyfriend and girlfriend. She urges Jon to better himself and to go to night school. And they meet each others’s family’s, with Jon’s family immediately liking her (especially his father, played by a very good Tony Danza). However, Barbara, no matter how sexy and hot she is, still does not satisfy Jon. He still watches internet porn. He is truly addicted to it. And Barbara catches him watching it, twice.
Meanwhile, at night school, Jon is caught watching porn on his phone by mature student Esther (Julianne Moore). Jon, at first, brushes her off, but he slowly gets to know her, and he discovers that she had lost her husband and son 14 months before. Getting tired of Barbara’s control over him, and his having to hide his internet porn addiction from her, he becomes more and more interested in Esther, as she is able to teach him a lot about sex and the emotions that come with it. Barbara and Jon eventually break up.
Don Jon is Gordon-Levitt’s big screen directing and writing debut, and what a debut it is. Funny, witty, and very sexy, Don Jon reminded me of Boogie Nights, the 1997 film where Mark Wahlberg plays a porn star. And Gordon-Levitt is spectacular, smartly casting himself in the lead role. Gordon-Levitt has displayed his acting chops in previous films such as 500 Days of Summer, and by playing a cancer survivor in 50/50. But in Don Jon, he shows his comedic side (which he probably picked up from his days in television’s Third Rock From the Sun, in the 1990’s). And as a writer and director, he successfully creates a story that is basically a romantic comedy about a relationship between a guy and his computer, and with a girl who watches too many romantic movies. Johansson is wonderful as Barbara, the bombshell who can’t quite satisfy Jon’s needs. She deserves an Oscar nomination for her performance. Don Jon would be a perfect film if it were not for the relationship he has with Esther. It is not quite believable as it happens too quickly, and Barbara, being the 40-something woman with baggage, is not really the usual type Jon goes for. And Moore gives a very subdued and almost unsexy performance. But this is a minor quibble for a film that is very funny, very smart, very sexy and very enjoyable. And watch out for the brief cameo by both Anne Hathaway and Channing Tatum – pure genius!