25 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS REVIEW: GO

CAST

Katie Holmes (Batman Begins)
Sarah Polley (Mr. Nobody)
Scott Wolf (V)
Jay Mohr (Small Soldiers)
Timothy Olyphant (Hitman)
Suzanne Krull (Mousehunt)
Desmond Askew (Roswell)
William Fichtner (The Dark Knight)
Taye Diggs (Chicago)
Breckin Meyer (Garfield)
Melissa McCarthy (The Boss)
Katharine Towne (Evolution)

Told from three perspectives, a story of a bunch of young Californians trying to get some cash, do and deal some drugs, score money and sex in Las Vegas, and generally experience the rush of lifeThis movie is absolutely brilliant. Take one eighteen-year old,sulky, skint supermarket cashier named Ronna, thrown in a stoner friend-Mannie, a concerned friend-Claire, an angry drug dealer, some chewable aspirin and a drugs bust and you have the first story. She faces the choice of either being evicted or dealing drugs to get some money- but everything seems to go wrong. This is undoubtedly the best of the three mini-tales. A. Katie Holmes’ Claire is just a badass.  Timothy Olyphant is suitably scary, funny and horny as drug dealer Todd.The second story revolves around Simon, an English guy going for a weekend in Vegas with some mates. This story involves group sex, tantric sexuality, a strip joint, a sexy red car, a car chase and Simon running through the hotel butt naked. Simon is the daft stoner who is always getting himself and his friends into bother and he succeeds big time, managing to piss off half Las Vegas in the space of a few hours! This story will having you crying with laughter and falling off your seat with anticipation. Simon is lovable and dorky, and you can’t help laughing at his stupid remarks and antics.The third story revolves around Adam and Zack, a pair of gay actors who try to bust Ronna in order to get out of a charge themselves. However the cop they are working for, Burke, keeps hitting on them for some reason. They whinge and bitch at each other for a while and then they get involved in a ‘little accident’. This story is the least active but it makes up for it in the amusement stakes. Jay Mohr (Zack) and Scott Wolf (Adam).astonishing-x-men-gifted-20100915105837328-000Go is confusing the first time you watch it, the second time around, it rocks. Throw in a brilliant soundtrack, a bunch of charismatic characters and a real ‘culty’ feel and you have a totally unmissable independent movie.

HALLOWEEN OF HORROR REVIEW: SPLICE

CAST
Adrien Brody (Hollywoodland)
Sarah Polley (Dawn of The Dead)
Delphine Chaneac (The Pink Panther)
Brandon McGibbon (Saw V)
David Hewlett (Stargate: Atlantis)
Genetic engineers Clive Nicoli (Adrien Brody) and Elsa Kast (Sarah Polley) hope to achieve fame by splicing animal DNA to create hybrids for medical use at the company N.E.R.D. (short for Nucleic Exchange Research and Development). Their work previously yielded Fred, a dog-sized vermiform creature intended as a mate for their female specimen, Ginger. After successfully mating them, Clive and Elsa plan to create a human-animal hybrid that could revolutionize science. Their employers Joan Chorot (Simona Maicanescu) of N.E.R.D. and William Barlow (David Hewlett) forbid them to do this. Instead, they are to find and extract proteins used for commercial drug production from Fred and Ginger. Clive and Elsa pursue their own agenda in secret. They develop a viable female creature (Abigail Chu).
Although they had planned to terminate the hybrid before it reached full term, Elsa persuades Clive to let it live. The hybrid subsequently becomes aggressive and stings Elsa several times. The hybrid sheds body parts in an effort to escape when they try to destroy her, but they subdue her. They discover that she is aging at a vastly accelerated rate. Elsa discovers that the creature is undergoing mental development such as that of a young human child. Elsa names the creature “Dren” after the creature spells out NERD, having seen the letters on Elsa’s shirt. Elsa subsequently refuses to let Clive refer to her as a “specimen”.
After moving Elsa to a new location for fear of discovery, they find Dren has a dangerously high fever. In an attempt to save her they place her in a large industrial sink full of cold water. Clive places a hand around Dren’s neck and pushes her under the water, seemingly drowning her. However, it is found that Dren is amphibious, though it is unclear whether Clive knew this, having analysed scans of Dren, or whether he did intend to kill her. While studying Dren, Elsa and Clive neglect their work with Fred and Ginger. At a highly publicized presentation of their work, Fred and Ginger savagely fight to the death. It is subsequently discovered that Ginger had spontaneously changed to a male, but Elsa and Clive failed to notice because they were focused on Dren.
Elsa forms a motherly bond with Dren. After Dren attacks Clive’s brother, Gavin (Brandon McGibbon), they move her to an isolated farm. There, Dren develops carnivorous tendencies and retractable wings. She grows into adolescence (Delphine Chanéac) and becomes bored with being locked up in the barn, but Elsa and Clive fear that letting her outside might lead to her discovery. Clive realizes that the human DNA used to make Dren was Elsa’s, not from an anonymous donor as Elsa had told him. When Dren assaults Elsa again, Elsa removes Dren’s stinger and uses it to synthesize the protein for which they had been searching. Dren seduces Clive; Elsa discovers them having sex in the barn and becomes upset. Clive accuses Elsa of never wanting a “normal” child because of her fear of losing control; instead she chose to raise one as an experiment, where control could be assured. Deciding the only solution is to terminate Dren, they return to the farm and find Dren already dying.
William Barlow discovers human DNA in Dren’s protein samples and arrives to investigate. Elsa tells Barlow that Dren is dead and buried behind the barn. However, a winged, male Dren rises from the grave and attacks the group, killing Barlow and Gavin, raping Elsa, and killing Clive before being himself killed by Elsa. Elsa is later informed that Dren’s body contained numerous biochemical compounds for which the company has begun filing patents. Joan offers Elsa, now visibly pregnant, a large sum of money, which Elsa accepts.
A refreshingly sick, in every sense of the word, ‘Splice’ is a film that pays homage to the likes of Cronenberg and Lynch – weird, wonderful, and intellectually disturbing

REVIEW: BEOWULF & GRENDAL

Starring

Gerard Butler (300)
Stellan Skarsgård (Thor)
Ingvar E. Sigurðsson (Everest)
Sarah Polley (Splice)
Eddie Marsan (Deadpool 2)
Tony Curran (Outlaw King)
Ronan Vibert (Hex)
Rory McCann (Game of Thrones)
Martin Delaney (Zero Dark Thirty)
Spencer Wilding (Rogue One)

Gerard Butler and Martin Delaney in Beowulf & Grendel (2005)In 500 A.D., Hrothgar, king of Denmark, and a group of warriors chase a large and burly man, whom they consider a troll, and his young son, who already bears cheek and chin whiskers, to the edge of a steep seaside cliff. The father directs his young son, Grendel, to hide from the attackers’ view; whereupon The Danes shoot the father dead, and his dead body plunges onto the beach far below. The Danish king sees the young Grendel, but spares him. Later, Grendel finds his father’s body and cuts the head off to take it home. Many years later, the severed (and mummified) head is inside a cave where the boy Grendel has become as large and powerful as his father, and plans revenge.Gerard Butler and Tony Curran in Beowulf & Grendel (2005)When Hrothgar finds twenty of his warriors killed inside his great hall, the Danish king falls into a depression. Beowulf, with the permission of Hygelac, king of Geatland, sails to Denmark with thirteen Geats to slay Grendel for Hrothgar. The arrival of Beowulf and his warriors is welcomed by Hrothgar, but the king’s village has fallen into a deep despair and many of the pagan villagers convert to Christianity at the urging of an Irish monk. While Grendel does raid Hrothgar’s village during the night, he flees rather than fight. Selma the witch tells Beowulf that Grendel will not fight him because Beowulf has committed no wrong against him.Stellan SkarsgÃ¥rd and Gerard Butler in Beowulf & Grendel (2005)A villager, recently baptized and thus now unafraid of death, leads Beowulf and his men to the cliff above Grendel’s cave. When the villager is found dead, Beowulf and his men return with a rope and gain entry to Grendel’s secret cave, where one of Beowulf’s men mutilates the mummified head of Grendel’s father. That night, Grendel invades Hrothgar’s great hall, kills the Geat who desecrated his father’s head, and leaps from the second story, but is caught in a trap by Beowulf. Grendel, refusing capture, escapes by severing his captive arm, and dies near the site of his father’s death, where his body is claimed by a mysterious webbed hand. Thereafter Hrothgar admits to Beowulf that he had killed Grendel’s father for stealing a fish but had spared the child Grendel out of pity. Grendel’s severed arm is kept by the Danes as a trophy. In revealing more about Grendel, Selma recounts that Grendel had once clumsily raped her and has protected her since that day; and Beowulf becomes her paramour.Stellan SkarsgÃ¥rd in Beowulf & Grendel (2005)The Danes are later attacked by Grendel’s mother, the Sea Hag; and Beowulf slays her with a sword from among her treasure, and then notices that the battle was being observed by child of Grendel and Selma. Later Beowulf, with Grendel’s son watching, buries Grendel with ceremony. Shortly thereafter, Beowulf and his band of Geats leave Denmark by ship, having warned Selma that she must hide her son, lest the Danes destroy him.Gerard Butler in Beowulf & Grendel (2005)This is a very updated version of the Anglo-Saxon poem “Beowulf,” using contemporary English.This movie still has the mythical, epic qualities of the poem that have inspired readers throughout the ages. In an excellent performance, Gerard Butler effectively captures the conflicted hero Beowulf as he endures the slow erosion of his military code of conduct. Beowulf & Grendel is more than a story of blood and war. Themes of vengeance, loyalty and mercy are powerfully entwined with the beginnings of Christianity in southwest Sweden in 500 AD. Another theme which is explored is human inability to tolerate that which is different. Gerard Butler is extremely effective as Beowulf, but perhaps the best performance in the movie is that delivered by the tempestuous and weirdly beautiful land of Iceland. I think this movie is definitely worth seeing.