Tag Archives: Vinnie Jones

The Midnight Meat Train (2008) Review

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The Midnight Meat Train

Time: 103 Minutes
Age Rating: 79a0443c-3460-4500-922d-308b655c1350[1]
Cast:
Bradley Cooper as Leon Kaufman
Leslie Bibb as Maya Jones
Brooke Shields as Susan Hoff
Roger Bart as Jurgis
Ted Raimi as Randle Cooper
Vinnie Jones as Mahogany
Director: Ryuhei Kitamura

One night, a struggling photographer (Bradley Cooper) saves a woman from some thugs in the subway. When she disappears, he tries find out what happened to her. His obsession soon leads him down the path of horror.

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I heard about The Midnight Meat Train for a while, it’s known as a bit of a horror cult classic, and certainly has one of the most memorable film titles ever. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect outside of a lot of blood. While it does have its issues for sure, I thoroughly enjoyed the movie, and in fact was a lot better than I thought it would be.

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I did watch the director’s cut of the movie, and if you’re looking for the fully bloody horror experience, I highly recommend seeking out that version. The Midnight Meat Train is based on a short story by Clive Barker which I haven’t read, but the premise is pretty intriguing, with a decent mystery. Unfortunately, the script is a bit mid-range and isn’t as great as it could’ve been, it doesn’t quite live up to its potential. There are some subplots that aren’t quite as interesting towards the middle portion. Plotwise, the last act also has some issues when it comes to the revelations and explanations at the ending. With that being said, I was reasonably invested throughout, and it’s saved by the rest of the elements of the movie.

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Bradley Cooper is quite good here in one of his earlier roles as a photographer who wants to uncover the mystery of disappearances/murders on a train. The character of Leon becomes obsessed with this, and Cooper portrays that obsession excellently. Leslie Bibb, who plays his girlfriend, is also really good and deserves a lot of praise for her performance. Unfortunately, she’s not given much to work with outside of being ‘the girlfriend’, but Bibb does actually add a lot to the role and sells it so well, her performance is equally as strong as Cooper’s. Vinnie Jones plays the killer of the movie known only as Mahogany, in one of his best performances. He doesn’t say a single word, but is really imposing and scary. Jones is already a pretty intimidating person, but his movements and reactions in this movie make him particularly unnerving, even in scenes when he’s not attacking or killing anybody.

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Much of the film is elevated (and kept afloat) by the direction by Ryuhei Kitamura, who has done some excellent work here. It’s given such a sleek and stunning look throughout that it was even great to watch. The Midnight Meat Train is known as one of the bloodiest and most violent horror movies, and I can definitely see why. Now I did watch the unrated director’s cut and I can confirm that it’s extremely brutal and gory. I can’t say I was disturbed but then again, I have a high threshold, easily squeamish people aren’t going to enjoy either version though. While I had some issues with the plot in the last act, the movie is elevated significantly by how it is directed, given such an unrelenting energy. Because of that I kind of loved that section even just for how well it was filmed. The fight scenes in particularly are outstanding. The one thing that doesn’t work on a technical level is some of the CGI, and indeed even considering that it’s a 2008 movie, a lot of that really hasn’t held up well. However the practical effects especially with regards to the violence and gore are top notch.

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If you’re a big horror fan and you aren’t too squeamish, The Midnight Meat Train is well worth the watch. Admittedly despite an intriguing premise, the script was underdeveloped and could’ve been a lot better and fleshed out. What makes up for that are the performances by Bradley Cooper, Leslie Bibb and Vinnie Jones, and particularly the sleek, unflinching direction from Ryuhei Kitamura, elevating this to a solid and bloody horror flick.

Snatch (2000) Review

Time: 104 Minutes
Age Rating: 79a0443c-3460-4500-922d-308b655c1350[1] contains violence & offensive language
Cast:
Jason Statham as Turkish
Stephen Graham as Tommy
Brad Pitt as Mickey O’Neil
Alan Ford as Brick Top
Robbie Gee as Vinny
Lennie James as Sol
Ade as Tyrone
Dennis Farina as Cousin Avi
Rade Šerbedžija as Boris the Blade
Vinnie Jones as Bullet Tooth Tony
Adam Fogerty as Gorgeous George
Mike Reid as Doug The Head
Benicio del Toro as Franky Four-Fingers
Director: Guy Ritchie

Illegal boxing promoter Turkish (Jason Statham) convinces gangster Brick Top (Alan Ford) to offer bets on bare-knuckle boxer Mickey (Brad Pitt) at his bookie business. When Mickey does not throw his first fight as agreed, an infuriated Brick Top demands another match. Meanwhile, gangster Frankie Four Fingers (Benicio Del Toro) comes to place a bet for a friend with Brick Top’s bookies, as multiple criminals converge on a stolen diamond that Frankie has come to London to sell.

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Guy Ritchie is a director that I’ve noticed some people are a little mixed on, however most people can agree that his gangster movies are great (or at least his best work). His first movie Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels definitely established him as a director to pay attention to. However, Snatch showcased the best of Guy Ritchie’s talents more than any of his other films. His writing and direction are just on point here to deliver on creating a great movie, made even better by the performances.

Guy Ritchie’s writing has never been better than with here. Snatch has a ton of characters with multiple intersecting storylines, and while I remember not being able to follow everything when I first saw it, on a second viewing I can say that they are all weaved together really well and the whole thing doesn’t feel messy or convoluted at all. The comedy here is really great, it’s a hilarious movie, and on the second viewing there was a ton of things I picked up that time. Snatch has some really witty and clever dialogue, so much of it is quotable as well. At an hour and 45 minutes long, it’s really entertaining throughout.

With the large amount of characters, there is a long cast list, but there’s some standouts. If there’s a lead character in this movie, it would be Jason Statham, giving one of his best performances. Statham is known for his action roles but he really excels here in a different role. Brad Pitt steals every scene he’s in as an Irish boxer. You’re definitely going to need to watch this movie with subtitles, because he does this very hard to tell accent (according to people who use this accent though, Pitt nailed it). The other memorable characters include Alan Ford as a ruthless gangster, Rade Šerbedžija as a Russian arms dealer, Vinnie Jones as a bounty hunter, Benicio Del Toro as a professional thief and gambling addict and Dennis Farina as a gangster-jewler. Really everyone does a great job in their roles.

Guy Ritchie’s direction was really good for Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, but he perfected it with Snatch. The whole movie is very stylised, however it’s done in a way that genuinely works and it’s edited perfectly. There are plenty of quirky crime comedies that try so hard to be stylish and fail, chances are they tried to replicate what Ritchie did with Snatch and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.

Snatch is definitely Guy Ritchie’s best movie. The style and direction that he brought to this film, as well as his exceptional writing just made the whole movie entertaining and hilarious from start to finish. On top of that, the talented cast play their unique and memorable characters perfectly. If you love entertaining, hilarious and stylised crime movies with dark comedy, Snatch is definitely a must see for you.

X-Men The Last Stand (2006) Review

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X-Men The Last Stand

Time: 104 Minutes
Age Rating: 860940[1] Violence
Cast:
Hugh Jackman as Logan/Wolverine
Halle Berry as Ororo Munroe/Storm
Ian McKellen as Erik Lehnsherr/Magneto
Famke Janssen as Jean Grey/Phoenix/Dark Phoenix
Anna Paquin as Marie/Rogue
Kelsey Grammer as Dr. Hank McCoy/Beast
James Marsden as Scott Summers/Cyclops
Rebecca Romijn as Raven Darkhölme/Mystique
Shawn Ashmore as Bobby Drake/Iceman
Aaron Stanford as John Allerdyce/Pyro
Vinnie Jones as Cain Marko/Juggernaut
Patrick Stewart as Charles Xavier/Professor X
Director: Brett Ratner

The discovery of a cure for mutations leads to a turning point for Mutants (Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry, Famke Janssen, Anna Paquin, Rebecca Romijn, Kelsey Grammer). They may now choose to give up their powers and become fully human or retain their uniqueness and remain isolated. War looms between the followers of Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart), who preaches tolerance, and those of Magneto (Ian McKellen), who advocates survival of the fittest.

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X Men: The Last Stand has gotten the reputation of being the worst X Men movie and I think that’s a little ridiculous (X-Men: Origins Wolverine was clearly much worse). But even if it is one of the worse X-Men movies, it’s still not as bad as many others are making it out to be. The main flaw was aspects of the story and direction, it could’ve been so much more and Bryan Singer’s absence can be definitely noticed. However I still think there’s still enough aspects that make it an above average movie.

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One thing that this film does is raise the stakes, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. An example of the latter is when the film does kill off characters, I’ve noticed a lot of complaints are aimed towards those moments. While I didn’t feel anything when these deaths happened (which is probably a flaw in the X Men movies as a whole), these deaths felt unnecessary. I guess it was because Fox thought that this would be the last X Men movie, so they tried to raise the stakes. But it felt so forced and unnecessary. A big complaint that many had was the execution of the Phoenix storyline, as I haven’t read the comics I don’t really know the differences. So I can’t really comment on that. I will say that I thought it was fine but it didn’t reach its fullest potential. The final act of the movie is a big mutants against mutants fight and I personally thought that was enjoyable to see.

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The cast was again good in their role, with Hugh Jackman of course stealing the show. Some of the additions to the cast were great, for example I loved what they did with Kelsey Grammer’s Beast. One flaw that I have acknowledged was the fact that so many new mutants are introduced and nothing is done with them. Vinnie Jones for example plays the Juggernaut, he was really entertaining (in a funny way, not in a badass way) in his 2 scenes but didn’t add anything. Ben Foster’s Angel didn’t do much either, his character was in the first scene of the movie but he’s only in a few scenes.

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The special effects are as usual good, they are on the same level as the other X Men movies. Even if you don’t like the movie, there’s no denying that there are many visually great moments. One example is in the final act involving the Golden Gate Bridge. The final action scenes was great and after seeing small groups of mutants fighting other groups of mutants (or in the case of X2, human soldiers) it felt so exciting and refreshing to see a great mutant on mutant war.

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I don’t really get a whole lot of the hate for X Men 3. Sure it doesn’t hold up to the previous movies but it still holds up as a decent movie. The action is still good, the actors do reasonably well and I liked aspects of the direction in the story. The main flaw is in the story, there are so many parts of the movie that could’ve been improved. I felt like Brett Ratner might’ve been the main flaw, Bryan Singer skipped this movie for Superman Returns (great choice by the way), and given Ratner’s track record, it’s easy to see why this movie would fail. The Last Stand is by no means a great movie but it isn’t a bad movie either.