// you’re reading...

Wadrick's Celluloid Dungeon

Aliens Vs Predator: Requiem (2007) • Transformers (2007) • Quantum of Solace (2008)

Aliens Vs Predator: Requiem (2007) Poster Art
Aliens Vs Predator: Requiem (2007)
Steven Pasquale, Reiko Aylesworth, John Ortiz, Robert Joy, Kristen Hager.
Written by Shane Salerno.
Directed by The Brothers Strause.

Oh, what could have been. The first film in this potentially never-ending series, Alien Vs Predator (2004), was brimming with great concepts, but was unfortunately undone by poor writing and an unqualified cast attempting to vitalise their underdeveloped roles. This sequel is simply a by-the-numbers cash-in, offering nothing more than yet another chance to lay eyes on two of the greatest screen monsters of modern cinema. But why bother? Why don’t we just watch James Cameron’s Aliens (1986) or John McTiernan’s Predator (1987) instead? Requiem follows on from the first film, where an Alien had gestated inside a Predator on board their spacecraft, forming a new species – the ludicrously titled Predalien. Crashing on Earth, the Predalien and its kin begin to devour the inhabitants of a small Colorado town, until a Predator warrior arrives to clean up the mess. Not much better in the writing department, this sequel limps along with the standard clichés and contempt for its audience. Eye candy is one thing, but if you can’t couple the visuals with a decent story then you are just wasting everyone’s time.

Transformers (2007) Poster Art
Transformers (2007)
Shia LeBeouf, Megan Fox, Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson, John Turturro, & Jon Voight.
Written by Roberto Orci & Alex Kurtzman.
Directed by Michael Bay.

Anyone going into a Michael Bay film knows what to expect – overblown trash. Crappy dialogue, caricatures instead of characters, explosions, gunfire, soaring Hollywood strings and as many helicopter and crane shots as you can squeeze into two hours. Transformers were toys I never possessed as a child. It all seemed a tad ridiculous, these organic robots that could morph into trucks and cars and who knows what else. The film itself is equally ridiculous with a convoluted story involving these robots and their dying planet, some energy cube called the “All Spark” and the usual fate of the world scenario. Throw in some human characters for the robots to converse with and you’ve got the most inane film experience since Armageddon. The film would be appealing to the sensibilities of small children yet seems too mature in its execution to be suitable for a child. It’s impossible to take this film seriously, and even though the actors all seem to understand this factor, the filmmakers themselves cannot help but demonstrate the opposite at times. Those who had Transformer toys alongside their Star Wars action figures back in the 1980s might find some worth here. Others beware.

Quantum of Solace (2008) Poster Art.
Quantum of Solace (2008)
Daniel Craig, Olga Kurylenko, Mathieu Amalric, Jeffrey Wright, Giancarlo Gianni & Judi Dench.
Written by Paul Haggis, Neal Purvis & Robert Wade.
Directed by Marc Forster.

Even though I have seen my fair share of James Bond films, I was never really a fan of 007. That all changed with the 2006 release of Casino Royale. The new Bond, played with vigour by Daniel Craig, was still his suave self, but he no longer seemed invincible and was even fallible. The new vision of Bond continues with Quantum of Solace, however the film is a royal mess. Feeling like a ‘bridging’ film to another sequel, Quantum is one action scene after another, held together by a tenuous plot. Beginning almost immediately after Casino finished, Bond is hell-bent on exposing the tentacles of a shadowy organization that has managed to elude the attention of MI6. He then joins forces with a mysterious woman who has her own agenda. This film is as slick as you would expect, but suffers from a supporting cast that have next to nothing to do. Kurylenko is a dull Bond girl and her predecessor Eva Green is sorely missed here. There are many questions that will no doubt be answered by a third film, but Quantum of Solace fails to shake or stir.


Wadrick Jones' Film Rating Chart.

(Wadrick Jones is a freelance writer for GritFX and posts weekly film reviews on this blog.)


Comments are disallowed for this post.

  1. AVP: Figures, what I’d expect from a film like that.

    Transformers: WTF, what about the eye-candy? I got into Transformers, dunno why. Never had the toys, nor was I into them, but the movie was fun and a great way to blow 2 hours. I’m a self-admitted child too though, so perhaps that has something to do with it. lol 😉

    QoS: Moore and Connery. Still need to see this one.

    Maybe it helps to have a six-pack nearby to make it through these? hahaha

    Posted by Wayne | March 8, 2009, 3:29 pm
  2. I bought Aliens Vs Predator: Requiem because I have a terrible and weird need to complete my DVD sets (thus explaining the reason I own ALL Starship Trooper movies), but it’s really not a good film. I even had to change my TV settings just to be able to see all those dark scenes. It was gross, though, for those who like gross.

    I liked Transformers…’twas fun. I’m easily amused.

    Haven’t seen Quantum of Solace, but again the completing of the sets thing pretty much insures I’ll buy it.

    Posted by grottogirl | March 9, 2009, 12:51 pm
  3. I’m so looking forward to Transformers. I loved the first one. I hope this one will be better. Not interested in the other two though. I just can’t bring myself to watch James Bond movies.. 😀

    Posted by Cashmere | March 9, 2009, 12:59 pm
  4. Hey Wadrick…nice reviews man.

    Haven’t seen the 2nd Al V Pred movie, but I’m sure it sucks. First one did, so I don’t hold out much hope for the sequel.

    Haven’t seen Solace either, but I’d heard they’d dropped the ball with this one. I quite liked Casino, so I guess I’ll see it. (Just on that, Quantum of Solace, talk about one of the worst Bond titles of all time.)

    Transformers, what a let down. I saw that, coz I loved the orig toys/cartoons. Absolute crap. I tellya nothing beats the original 1986 Transformes: The Movie, that still reigns over this. When Optimus Prime died, a million little 80s kids cried their eyes out. Shows how much pathos those mere cartoons could pull-off. All the CGI in the world couldn’t make me care one bit about these new uber versions. Ugh.

    Plus, how can you go past Stan Bush’s “The Touch” for a movie song?!


    Dig it…

    Some astute readers might even recall a great scene in Boogie Nights…


    Posted by Decoy Spoon | March 9, 2009, 5:31 pm
  5. Hey there everyone…

    Well, I’m certainly polarising people with my reviews lately…

    To those who enjoyed Transformers, well, what can I say? Michael Bay has a formula that people love…pure escapism. And that’s all good and well…people go to the cinema to be entertained, and Bay has had a ton of success with his films…but, from a point of critique, his films suck…

    I’ll enjoy a brainless action film for what it is, but I’ll still call a spade a spade once it is over and done with…thing is, I can’t enjoy a Bay film on ANY level…

    And no amount of booze will allow me to enjoy a film like Transformers, Wayne…maybe a shot of morphine would do it…

    Still, to each his own, of course…

    Grottogirl – ya damn right, AVP was extremely dark…I also had trouble seeing what the hell was going on…what were the Strause Brothers thinking? (and who the hell are the Strause Brothers??)
    But baby, save ya money…put your Starship Troopers collection and Alien 3, Resurrection and the two AVP films on ebay…your collection will feel better for you doing this…

    Decoy – you’ve got “The Touch” buddy…but remember to “Feel The Heat” as well…because the heat will rock you…and the heat will roll you…


    Posted by Wadrick Jones | March 9, 2009, 6:25 pm
  6. Hahahaha…

    Right on Wadrick.

    You don’t miss a beat…


    Posted by Decoy Spoon | March 9, 2009, 6:46 pm
  7. Keep the thirty second reviews coming Wadrick.

    Transformers was a waste. I can’t believe they changed the plot to that cube nonsense. They also need to stop casting twenty year olds in teen parts. Dance of the Dead breaks that convention I hear.

    I actually saw AvP: Requiem twice in theater. It’s a movie that would have done great in the early 90’s. Pure testosterone, gore and action with huge plot holes.

    Loved Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace is the companion film to that, though it is not as good as a stand alone film.

    Posted by Film-Book dot Com | March 10, 2009, 12:43 pm

Langley Parks: Soundscapes, Themes & Noise – free individual track download…