Category Archives: REVIEWS


Stolen – Film Review

Now before i begin i cannot for the life of me remember which cinema screen i saw this in. All i know is that it was a small screen. Really small, possibly the smallest in the cinema, which leads me to believe it’s number 1. However don’t quote me on that. In fact i’ve been thinking about it long and hard, what was the cinema screen we saw Stolen in? Whilst i should probably ask Jack, Charles or Shaunie which screen we went to, it’s late and i don’t want to disturb them. That’s who i went to see Stolen with if you hadn’t guessed. It was a pleasant drive over and the gang were ready to watch Stolen.


Now the best bit of the film happened before it had started. We took our seats a few seats in to a row where two people were sat on the very end (closest to the middle). This was because the screen was so small, there weren’t anymore desirable seats without being so close to the screen it would be like my face was pressed against it. Charles was agitated by this however as he has a very weak bladder. No seriously, he has the bladder size of a grape, or is that too large? Because every time we go to the cinema, he goes before we set off (15 minute drive) As we get there, before the film starts, during the film, and after the film. Probably when he gets home too. (Sometimes twice during a movie, especially if it’s over 2 hours). So yeah that covers the bladder issue. So as i said we had to get past people to get out of the cinema should we want to use the cinemas facilities. Charles didn’t want to be annoying to the couple who seemed very in to each other. So Charles being Charles stood up and jumped over to the seat in front of him and sat by himself. *Spoiler* He didn’t go to the toilet once during the entire film. Lad.

Ok, i realise there hasn’t been much mention of any film here. Which is fair enough, there has been mention of the screen and the title Stolen only, which again isn’t great when it’s supposed to be a review about the film Stolen, perhaps this is an indicator as to what my overall feeling is towards this film already.


So we start off, everything is pretty cool. The FBI are involved, Nicholas Cage is in a van listening to some music. Excellent, it has grabbed me straight away, and the poor reviews i read going in to this were certainly out of my head after the sequence opener. As the film progressed however i became less positive.

Here is a vague outline of the film. It starts off with a robbery of a bank, and towards the end of the robbery, when they are about to get away they run in to a witness. One of the men is willing to kill the witness, but Cage decides he is merciful and decides to stop his partner from killing the witness, he does this by shooting him in the leg. Cage has the money when he finds himself alone and running from the FBI, he gets caught, with no money on him, and is sent to prison for 8 years. Upon his release he finds out people aren’t happy with him and want his money back. But the guy who he shot in the leg had apparently died a while ago. Before a big soppy scene with his daughter and she manages to get herself kidnapped in the middle of New Orleans on what looks to be the busiest day ever. Literally so busy! That is a vague outline of what cracks on. Basically he needs the money to pay back the kidnapper, and seeks help etc etc. It’s a pretty done story but yeah, it wasn’t all too bad.

Here are two vague points based on Cage and his Daughters characters.

-Nicolas Cage is exactly the same in this film as he is in everything else. This can be taken as a positive or a negative comment. For me it’s┬ámarginally positive, as i enjoy Mr Cage and his on screen presence. His last few films have been poor, (despite Bad Lieutenant) although this isn’t due to Nicolas’ individual performance, it is more so him signing up to poor scripts and bad film makers. His character has serious problems, the main one, and most annoying one, being his love for his daughter. The one who doesn’t love him back this is, the one who doesn’t want anything to do with him. Ok i don’t have a daughter of my own so i cannot relate to the feeling a father has to his daughter. But having spent a significant part of his life in prison, you would’ve thought he would realise his daughter isn’t a child anymore, so getting a huge cuddly toy for her upon your release is very thoughtless. One would think having a lot of time away from someone you love you’d be able to get everything right, or at least put some thought in to it. It is semi-embarrassing, somewhat deplorable.


-This leads me on to the daughter. The film is supposed create sympathy towards her, and as an audience we are supposed to feel something towards her of course. She is a young woman who has been taken against her will and put in the back of a taxi. We are supposed to be horrified, and naturally we would be. But her unjust cold nature towards her father was something which really struck a chord with me. Yes sure, he left you when you were younger because he got arrested. That’s bad. Although it’s not like he fell out with his daughter, never made contact with her, took off and left to chase after another woman, then after 8 years decides he wants to be in her life. No not really the same is it. But again, this is probably just me being annoyed at the film because it’s at a really early point when this happens, and it’s at a time when the entire focus is to just create sympathy. Why not show footage of her being nice instead of crying and being bitchy all the time? That would’ve helped 10 fold.

The camera work was pretty nice in fairness. There we no fade to’s and the continuities were mostly plot based. The shots where the girl was in the boot (trunk) of the car felt very cramped and claustrophobic. The film maker obviously knew how to create suspense as well because there were moments which built up to something, and that in itself is a difficult skill to do. But the film was mostly trying to be 100% flat out most of the time, which shouldn’t have given the audience much room to breath it was so breathtaking and visually stunning. But it did, it gave us every chance to breath. For whatever reason, the film didn’t grab me like i’d have hoped for. What had i actually hoped for though? I knew it was going to be cheesy and rubbish.


That being said, it was a decent watch, and i imagine it’ll be good on a Saturday night in with a girl round when you can get it on DVD.

5/10 – Standard Cage.

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Red Dawn: 3/10

Red Dawn Film Review.

(This video is for lazy people who can’t be bothered to read the review, but want to listen instead)
We sat down, Me and Charles that is, a couple of rows from the back of the cinema. It was shown in screen 4, which at Cineworld Chesterfield is a small screen, and despite it’s relatively recent release this should’ve provided us with warning signs there and then that this film wasn’t going to be as great as one would’ve hoped for. We were 10 minutes late and missed a few adverts, but this was because we nipped in to MacDonald’s for a pre-cinema treat, but we were just in time for the trailers. Which is one of the best parts of today’s outing.

The film follows two brothers as we watch ‘their homeland’ get invaded by angry North Koreans. Seems legit. In fact, I’ve decided to draw a brief synopsis of my own, I say synopsis, it’s more a plot outline.

‘We follow some high school footballer (who has potential to be good but doesn’t deliver) and his family are the focus of a North Korean (previously China but we will talk about that later) invasion on their homeland. They escape the grasp of the scary North Koreans and manage to form their own terrorist group called ‘Wolverines’. They train themselves thanks to the high school guys older brother who happened to be recently out of the Marines. The film progresses, and we find out more about the inter-stories which connects them all and how the invasion is fought by this small terrorist cell.

It all sounds well and good, and OK I maybe made a few things sound not potentially great. Like calling the main guy ‘some high school guy’ probably sums up my sympathy towards him and the rest of the cast. Every other scene was an explosion of emotion where everybody was crying, or close to tears. I am extremely sorry to say it was difficult to stomach one deep emotional conversation after another. The main brothers were crying in literally every scene towards the end, and fair play it was a tense and horrible situation to be in, but you’ve got to remember there is an audience who has to stomach all of this mush in between nonsensical violence.

The film feels low budget in a lot of places. The camera work is very shaky and feels dated in comparison to recent Hollywood exports, however it doesn’t detract too much from the action happening on screen. What I am trying to say is that the nice smooth shots when all is calm, compared to the erratic jerky camera movements whilst there is action is a nice comparison in itself, however is frustrating when we actually want to see what is happening rather than guessing. Each scene was poorly cut together as well, Me and my friend Charles were subject to some ghastly ‘fade to’s’ between the end of a segment and the start of another. Some other horror stories involved are the continuities upon cuts which were blatantly obvious, it’s as if there was no continuity staff involved on any location shoots. The hug where one of the characters arms come awkwardly under, but we cut to the next shot and she has her arms over on the hug, as if by magic some may say. Something which I maybe would’ve expected from The Amazing Burt Wonderstone.

The enemy is North Korea. But it was originally China. Ok fair play you have to change the main bad guy because of politics, that’s ok. At least re-shoot some of the film please. I don’t want to watch subtitled Chinese men speaking dubbed Korean not synced up to their speech! Or do i? No. The actual conversations the North Koreans had were mind numbing and extremely simple. One of the men issued an order to one of the other men (not a great description, but names in this movie are so forgettable, I think it was general woo and a member of his army) he said something about going to defeat the Wolverines, and the sentence ended with NOW! As if we as the audience couldn’t tell how keen he wanted the order doing by shouting at the top of his voice, the film makers decided it was necessary to put now in capital letters just in case we were unaware of the emphasis given by the actor.

The 12a rating is slightly ambitious. If I had a son/daughter who was 12 I would certainly not allow them to see this. Not only is it politically inaccurate it is also semi graphic, and contains potentially upsetting scenes. Not to mention the use of the F word. Which for a 12 year old to hear would affect their delicate and innocent minds. Although at that age I had said the F word so many times I’d grown out of it by the time I was 13. I refer to potentially upsetting scenes if you actually cared about any of the characters involved, which is highly unlikely because it is so alienating.

The film overall was watchable. There is no denying this. And no this isn’t really a review is it? It is just a vague piece of scripture which literally tares apart a film which many people poured there blood sweat and tears in to. Which fair play, there are things that are going for this film, the patriotism shown by the Americans is sure to hit the target market over there. Here in England however it misses the mark, because we, as a nation, are possibly the least self loving of our Country.

It is a decent ‘popcorn flick’ (this is the new saying for those really cheesy dated films with really poor scripts but a decent budget so there is action of sorts) and is completely watchable with a friend, or group of friends. That being said I stood up from my seat as the credits rolled and instantly felt dumber than when I had sat down an hour and a half before.

Go and watch it if there is literally nothing else to watch – 3/10

The pictures are there to keep the review focused.