Friday, January 29, 2010

Tentacles of Doom - Deep Rising (a retrospective)

Before GI Joe, Van Helsing and The Mummy Stephen Sommers directed what I consider to be his best film. A lovely intimate little monster movie called Deep Rising.

Now I know what your going to say "The Mummy was cool and all but I think Van Helsing was an unmitigated disaster and far to self indulgent. As far as GI Joe is concerned c’mon I'm not fucking 12".

Ok I get it. You don't like them. Fair enough. Your entitled to your opinion (it's wrong) but lets not argue.

Anyway I'm not here to talk about what came later. I want to talk about an often neglected gem of a movie.

Deep Rising was originally released in 1998 and disappeared pretty quickly from the box office. Recently a random comment in a totally unrelated conversation sparked a memory of the film. I realised that it was missing from my collection. I had a hazy recollection of enjoying the film and hoped it would be worthwhile viewing again. I decided I would pick it up on DVD. The film has been around for years so I figured even if I didn't like it I wouldn't be forking out a fortune for it. As ever Amazon delivered the goods, literally and metaphorically, so within 48hrs of my initial thought the DVD was in my grubby mits.

Funny tagline optional

Brief synopsis of the story - Group of nasty mercenaries are hired to attack worlds largest/fanciest/most expensive cruise liner in the middle of the South China sea. Owner of their charter boat, his engineer and the 1st mate are forced to assist the mercs in their nasty scheme. When they get to the cruise ship however every passenger is gone and there is bucket loads of blood everywhere.... I don’t want to spoil the surprise lets just say evil tentacled sea monsters and leave it at that.

Now this ain't Shakespeare folks and the dialogue is a bit cheesy but all is forgiven cause the film nips along at a terrific pace and the action scenes are very well done. Kudos as well goes to Treat Williams. I always felt he deserved to be a bigger star than he actually is. His biggest success probably being Things to Do in Denver When Your Dead. He makes for a great action hero in my opinion.

The UK’s very own Jason Flemyng pops up as one of the mercs. He doesn’t last thought it has to be said.

Jason is royally fucked...

I should stress as well that it ain’t just all nasty skin shrivelling horror. Kevin J. O’Connor plays the comic relief and he does it well. It’s the elevator muzak gag that made me seek out the film again in the first place.

The effects are good and still hold up today over ten years later. The guts and gore are reasonably moderate as it’s only certificate 15.

All in all a solid movie well worth consideration. Anyone who enjoys a bit of horror sprinkled liberally with some action and just a pinch of comedy will enjoy this and you can get it for about £4 (total bargain).
So I cant fly because of the chance of snakes. Boats are now out due to the possibility of pissed off Kraken beasties. Shit I’m going have to walk everywhere. Wait a second have there been any monster movies on buses???


Mr P Cheesecake Esq
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Sunday, January 24, 2010

Ninja Cheesecake – Another bloody movie review

I’m done with vampires. I’ve had it up to here with zombies. Werewolves are so last year.You can shove your pirates up your arse. 2010 should be the year of the ninja. Like every other movie fad in recent memory it would appear that the ninja is now due for a comeback.
Don't piss him off...he looks angry
Ninja Assassin is incredibly silly. There is no getting around that fact but good news it’s also incredibly gory. There are limbs, heads and various other body parts all over the feckin place. The story is pretty run of the mill but the action….oh the action is just great. To give you an example I don’t think I have ever seen characters fight in on coming traffic so realistically before.

Produced by the Wachoski Brothers the film does have hints of the Matrix about it . There is some nice slow-mo action going on and the way the throwing stars are visualized is very cool.

The end of the film kind of reminded me of Deadliest Warrior. Ninjas vs Government troops with machine guns. Who will win?

It was also great to see Shô Kosugi in the film. I still remember Nine Deaths of a Ninja and The Master from when I was just a nipper back in the 80s.

Stick to the Shadows

The Cheesecake Assassin
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Friday, January 22, 2010

Avatar – A Cheesecake’s view

As a preface to this blog I would like to point out that this has taken me the best part of a month to write. I normally rattle of my thoughts about a movie I've seen within about a day or two of seeing the thing. This time things have been slightly different. I did say a couple of weeks ago I would get around to posting my thoughts so here goes. I had to think about this for quite a while before I put pen to paper, so to speak. 


Pandora yesterday....
I liked Avatar. I liked it a lot. In fact after careful consideration I might even love it? Don't panic I'm not going to go all Twilight creepy on your ass. Allow me to try and clarify. Over the years I have seen a lot of films. Of those hundreds of films there are a select band that I will happily watch again. Within that group there are a lucky few that I love. Films that I have watched so many times they are like old friends.

Let me try and put my feelings into some sort of context. Do you remember the first time something really and truly blew your mind? Something that you knew was special. Something that was going to have an impact.

I still do. 

Using my time machine let me take you back to 1978.  Twice that year a mini-Cheesecake was taken to the cinema by his family. Each time the result was the same. The lights went out and after the obligatory ads and trailers the film began. In each case the heady mix of the rousing score and the mind bending visuals had an effect. Even now some 32 years later every time I hear both pieces of music the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. I didn't realise it at the time but both movies in question were going to be a global phenomena. I believe the phrase du jour is 'game changer'. Of course I'm talking about Star Wars: A New Hope and Superman. I'm sure you had already guessed. Both are still as fresh and exciting today as they were then. They still evoke strong emotions from viewers. People still endlessly quote lines, recall their favourite scenes and debate plot points.

I believe, in the future, Avatar will fall into the same category. I've seen it twice and as I said before loved it from beginning to end both times. In my defence I should stress I am a ragging sentimentalist at heart. I also love nothing better than pure unadulterated escapism. The scope, the spectacle, the rush of sight and sound. It's all there.

'Fuck you Pablo'  the detractors will say. 'The story borrows liberally from Fern Gully and Pocahontas'. In fairness they are probably right, but who cares. James Cameron knows how to deliver what an audience wants. The other thing that needs to be highlighted is that the obvious quality and attention to detail of this film. It will force others to raise their game. People will want more of this I can guarantee it. Cameron has spent years developing new technology in order to film the thing. He's made the environment seem very real and all that hard work shines through.

*Spoiler Alert* 

The thought just popped in my head. Why does Michelle Rodriguez die in every film she's in? 

*End Spoiler*

Since I started writing this news stories have appeared stating that there will be another two films set in the same universe. I look on with interest. Can Cameron give use even more? Hopefully we wont have to wait 12 years for the next installment.

Live and direct from Pandora

Mr C

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Saturday, January 16, 2010

Modern Vampires: Is there any hope?

I’m not going to bash Twilight, honest I’m not. It would be far to easy to do. I’ve seen the first film I won’t be seeing anymore. It’s not my bag. If you enjoy it fair play to you. I’ll let you into secret though vampires don’t fucking sparkle.

Ignoring the Twilight phenomena is there any hope for the modern vampire movie? Today I have seen two examples of the genre. One good the other filled with good intentions.


Written and directed by the Spierig Brothers this is an interesting take on vampire mythology. Vampirism is a virus and this film looks at the consequences of the vampire food supply running out. Starring Ethan Hawke, Willem Dafoe and Sam Neill I enjoyed this quite a bit. Lots of nice touches about how the world’s population have adapted to being creatures of the night.

Your purist vampire aficionado may not like the modernization of vampirism but personally I doesn’t bother me. I enjoy original ideas as long as they are done well.

Blood: The Last Vampire

This seemed on the face of it to promise so much. Based on the anime of the same name I expected a lot. Overall it’s not terrible. Swordfights are always good but then some arse somewhere decided that adding some truly fucking horrible CGI was a good idea. I mean come on CGI blood? That’s a big no-no in my book.

Daybreakers got it right, Blood: The Last Vampire got it wrong. In a vampire movie the first commandment - there will be blood. Second commandment characters have to get covered in the stuff.

So is there hope for the modern vampire movie? I guess the jury is still out. The good news as long as films like Let The Right One In and Daybreakers continue to get made at least there is chance.

Always from the Dark

Vampire Cheesecake

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Sunday, January 3, 2010

Only Forward…What’s occurring 2010

Recently I blogged about my highlights for 2009. I was thinking about it earlier and it seemed only sensible to take a look at what is on the horizons for the next 12 months.


There are quite a few movies I am looking forward to this year. In fact the list is so long I am going to go with just a top 4. As usual no particular order on this.

The Road - Now I haven’t read the book, which I admit is unusual for me it being post apocalyptic and all, but I really like the look of the film. I am a big fan of The Vigg and the film looks really fucking dark so should be right up my street.  It’s on release in the UK real soon so I will scribble down a review at a later date.

Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll -To clarify Hit Me with Your Rhythm Stick was the first vinyl I ever bought at the tender age of 4 years old. The B-side was a track called There Ain’t Half been some Clever Bastards.  Ian Dury and the Blockheads music had a profound effect growing up. Looking forward to seeing Andy Serkis take on the role.

The A-Team – Is an explanation really required?  Hopefully this will be like watching an episode of the show. Tell you what there better be a fucking montage where they make a fully functioning tank out of a milkfloat, two weasels and some blue tac.

Tron 2, Tron Legacy, Tr2n, Tron 2.0 – Whatever the fuck they are calling it this week. It’s about computers and software and sci-fi and all things fucking geeky. I am so there.
what do you mean December 2010!
As I said there are many more but I don’t want to go on about them to much, not yet anyway.


The Five Greatest WarriorsMatthew Reilly does great action novels. The pace is always breathtaking and the conclusion always leaves you wanting more (in a good way).

The Silver Skull – A new novel by Mark Chadbourn is always a reason for celebration. Those lucky blighters out in the colonies already have it damn them *shakes fist*

Blood Royal and Dark Side – Not one but two new Pax Britannia novels from Jonathan Green. How very splendid.


This year I have set myself the task of cycling 500 kilometres. This is around the distance from where I live to Paris. Hopefully I should be able to manage this feet of endurance as long as my back holds out. Should also improve my general health as well.

Anywho on that bombshell I’m off to begin the trek. Wish me luck


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