Front room films

Lockout was described by Nuts magazine as ‘Die Hard in Space’ and on paper is a rather run of the mill sci-fi film from the amazing director Luc Besson. Great performances from Guy Pierce as the wise-cracking hero Snow and Joseph Gilgun (Misfits) as a deranged bad guy (not the main bad guy, but frankly the more interesting of the two grim brothers) help to raise this film above mediocrity.

The plot is very reminiscent of a Christopher Lambert film (Fortress?) from years ago where a prison in space gets taken over by the inmates. Reluctant ex-CIA hero Snow is sent in to rescue the president’s daughter and also try and find a mate who could help him clear his name after he has been wrongly accused of murdering several people in an operation that went FUBAR back on Earth.

There are some great one-liners, some nice action scenes and the special effects are mostly well done although similar to Battlestar Galactica. There is also an almost obligatory zero-g scene which does not stand up well in comparison to Total Recall or Inception. At least it was better than Ghostrider: Spirit of Vengenace.

GSoV sees Nicolas Cage resuscitate his character for a 3D outing somewhere in Eastern Europe. The plot is pretty poor, the action uninspired and I fell asleep for at least five minutes while watching it – this is almost unheard of for me. The only good things I have to say about it is that the locations and sets were really nice looking on Blu Ray and it was great to see the aforementioned Mr Lambert make a small appearance as a bald tattooed monk.

John Carter on the otherhand is a Disney fantasy / sci-fi outing to Mars based on a series of books by Tarzan author Edgar Rice Burroughs. Carter, an American Civil War veteran, finds himself transported magically to the red planet, and finds it inhabited by weird looking 12-foot tall barbarians. He escapes captivity and meets a princess who is in desperate need of help. ‘Help me John Carter you my only hope,’ I expected her to say, but she didn’t.

The special effects are just that, the action sequences are (hem hem) out of this world and the story, while desperately formulaic, is very entertaining. It reminded me of Thor, or the Prince of Persia Disney film in some ways, but with aliens thrown into the mix. It shows perhaps what the Star Wars franchise could look like in the future and in that respect is somewhat reassuring.

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