Search

Tag Cloud
Action Comedy Action Thriller Heroic Mission Superhero Film Thriller Science Fiction Fantasy Paramount Pictures Relativity Media Sci-Fi Action Columbia Pictures Romantic Comedy Warner Bros. Pictures Comedy Drama Race Against Time Universal Pictures Stan Lee Horror Marvel Studios Bruce Willis Johnny Depp Kevin Feige Walt Disney Pictures Fantasy Adventure Hans Zimmer Louis D'Esposito Marvel Cinematic Universe Murder Investigations Psychological Thriller Samuel L. Jackson Touchstone Pictures Alan Fine Avengers Daring Rescues Drama Future Dystopias Jack Kirby Obsessive Quests Out For Revenge Robots and Androids Terrorism Alex Kurtzman Alien Film Anthony Hopkins Black Comedy Christmas Di Bonaventura Pictures DreamWorks Ewan McGregor Hired Killers Jerry Bruckheimer Lorenzo di Bonaventura Morgan Freeman Period Film Robert Downey, Jr. Roberto Orci Ryan Kavanaugh Stellan Skarsgård Steven Spielberg UK Film Council Unlikely Heroes 20th Century Fox Action Comedy Adventure Comedy Assumed Identities Buddy Film Chad Oman Chris Evans Chris Hemsworth Christopher Lee Dariusz Wolski Detective Film Eddie Marsan Emily Blunt Experiments Gone Awry Family-Oriented Comedy Fantasy Comedy Fantasy Lands Geoffrey Rush Haunted By The Past Jerry Bruckheimer Films Jon Favreau Keira Knightley Mark Vahradian Marvel Enterprises Marvel Entertainment Natalie Portman Neal H. Moritz Pirates Psychological Sci-Fi Sci-Fi Horror Space Adventure Space Wars Toby Jones . Adventure Alan Arkin Alan Silvestri Amateur Sleuths Andrew Lazar Anthony Daniels Brad Pitt Brian Cox Bruce Berman Children's/Family Clark Gregg Conspiracies Crime Crime Comedy Crisis of Conscience Curses And Spells Danny Elfman David Maisel DC Entertainment Dune Entertainment Evil Aliens Faltering Friendships Film i Väst Frank Oz Ghosts Golden Globe for Best Director Gwyneth Paltrow Henry Jackman Hostage Situations Hugo Weaving Idris Elba James Newton Howard James Vanderbilt Jane Goldman Jason Bateman Jay Wolpert Joel Silver John Carroll Lynch John Williams Larry Lieber Liza Chasin Love Triangles Mad Chance Marv Films Matthew Vaughn Members of the Press Michael Bay Mike Stenson Mystery Mythical Creatures New Line Cinema Nicolas Cage Noomi Rapace On The Run Opposites Attract Original Film Oscar For Best Visual Effects Pirates of the Caribbean Plagues and Epidemics Post Apocalypse Redemption Righting the Wronged Ryan Reynolds Sea Adventure Serial Killers Space Travel Stuart Beattie Summit Entertainment Swashbuckler Ted Elliott Teen Movie Temuera Morrison Terry Rossio Tim Bevan Tyler Bates Urban Drama Victoria Alonso Vigilantes Village Roadshow Pictures Working Title Films Zoe Saldana Zombies . Allison Janney Andrew Macdonald Andrew Z. Davis Anni Faurbye Fernandez Assassination Plots Avi Arad BBC Films Ben Davis Billy Bob Thornton Billy Crudup Breakups and Divorces Brendan Gleeson Brian Tyler Bruce Geller Bruce Hendricks Captain America Children's Fantasy Chris Ellis Chris Pratt Christopher Markus Cliff Curtis Cobie Smulders Colm Feore Comedy Of Manners Coming-of-Age Cons and Scams Crime Drama Crime Thriller Cruise/Wagner Productions Dangerous Attraction Dave Franco David Willis Dentsu Djimon Hounsou Don Murphy Don Payne Dysfunctional Families Emily Mortimer Emma Stone Enrique Chediak Ensemble Film Eric Fellner Ezra Swerdlow Fairview Entertainment Fathers and Sons George Lucas Gianni Nunnari Glamorized Spy Film Glenn Morshower Gore Verbinski Harrison Ford High School Life Howard Shore Ian McDiarmid Iron Man J.J. Abrams Jack Davenport Jacob Groth James Caviezel Jason Flemyng Jeffrey Dean Morgan Joe Johnston Joe Simon John Debney John Murphy John Ottman John Powell Jon Mone Jonathan Pryce Jonathan Shestack Joseph Gordon-Levitt Jude Law Kat Dennings Kenny Baker Kevin Bacon Kevin Spacey Kidnapping Larry Fong Laura Linney Legendary Pictures Leslie Bibb Liam Neeson Liev Schreiber Lionsgate Lloyd Levin Lone Korslund Lucasfilm Mackenzie Crook Maggie Q Mark Millar Mark Ruffalo Mark Strong Matt O'Leary Matthew Libatique Matthew Perry Metamorphosis MGM Michael Barrett Michael Clarke Duncan Michael Kelly Michael Nyqvist Michelle Monaghan Mikael Wallen Mila Kunis Millennium Trilogy Missing Persons Mission Impossible Naomie Harris Nick Frost Nordisk Film Ole Søndberg Olivia Wilde Orlando Bloom Oscar For Best Art Direction Oscar For Best Cinematography Parenthood Patrick Wilson Paula Wagner Peter Nadermann Peter Stormare Plan B Entertainment Police Detective Film Political Corruption Priceless Artifacts and Prized Objects Protecting the Innocent Rainn Wilson Ray Stevenson Rene Russo Richard Jenkins Rick McCallum Road Movie Robert De Niro Robert Richardson Robin Williams Romance Rose Byrne Scarlett Johansson Sci-Fi Comedy Scott Stuber Sibling Relationships Silver Pictures Simon Pegg Small Town Life Spy Film Star Wars Stephen Marks Stephen McFeely Stephen McHattie Steve Carell Steve Yedlin Stieg Larsson Supernatural Thriller Susan Downey Sveriges Television Tarquin Pack Tech Noir Terence Stamp Thomas Tull Thor Tim Robbins Time Travel Todd Louiso Tom Cruise Tom Hiddleston Tragi-comedy Unlikely Friendships Ving Rhames Wes Bentley Wintergreen Productions Woody Harrelson Xander Berkeley Yellow Bird Films ZDF Enterprises
My Tweets

 

MOVIE

REVIEWS

Thursday
Jul312014

"Guardians of the Galaxy" Review

How do Marvel Studios keep on doing it? This is the tenth film in the marvel cinematic universe and we have had no reboots, remakes or ret cons and this franchise is still going strong! What’s more remarkable is that GotG is Marvels biggest gamble yet and, I think, it's a winner.

One could argue that Iron Man was a pretty big gamble back at the genesis of the MCU, being only a b-list character at the time, but at least I, the comic readers and most of the general public knew who Iron Man was. When Guardians of the Galaxy was announced even I, an avid Marvel fan, did not have a clue who they were and how they would fit into the MCU. For the most part they don't fit in though, they are a group of completely new characters in a setting that is completely alien (literally) to what we are used to seeing in the MCU. The great thing is though, it actually works! There is just enough of that marvel magic and continuity in this film to make it feel like it is connected to the MCU in some way. For someone who has, inexplicably, missed the previous nine films this is also a great standalone film and maybe a good place to jump into this epic story that is slowly unraveling.

Something has to be said for the writer/director James Gunn, whose previous directorial experience includes one of my favourite films, "Super". With Guardians, Gunn has managed to take the best aspects of Star Trek and Star Wars and mashed them together to create a perfect nerdvana. James Gunn has the ability to mix deep heartfelt horrible tragedy with comedy, the constant contrast of the two helps you stay devoted to the film while you get to know the characters and become invested in them.

The majority of the cast is PERFECT I really could not be happier! Ever since I heard that Chris Pratt was being cast as the lead in this film, I started watching the fantastic Parks and Recreation on demand and knew almost instantly that he would be fantastic as a lead, his performance in the Lego movie only further cemented that opinion and guess what? Despite very little experience on the big screen, Chris Pratt carries this film expertly. Vin Diesel  as Groot is another standout performance, doing admirable voice work with a very limited vocabulary, but of course, due to his work on the fantastic “Iron Giant”, we all knew his booming gravely voice was up to the job. One casting I was unsure of, was Bradley Cooper as Rocket Raccoon, I just couldn’t see his voice working with the character, but Cooper completely disappeared into the role, was fantastic and if it wasn't for the credits at the end I would not have known it was Bradley Cooper at all. If I had one little niggle with one of the performances, it would have to be Michael Rooker as Yondu, perfectly good actor but a deep south American accent just doesn't quite sit right with me, not from a blue alien guy anyway.

Just as expected, the stars of the show were Rocket Raccoon and Groot, but to give credit solely to Vin Diesel and Bradley Cooper would be unfair as these characters were a great collaborative effort, they were actually motion captured, just not by the actors that voiced them but some stand-ins, so, whoever they were I want to give credit where credit is due because the mannerisms of these characters really sell them, especially with groot, whose limited dialogue leaves only actions and facial expressions to convey a lot of what is going on in that wooden head of his. That said though, the actors shouldn't get all the credit either as the CGI artists are the ones that really complete the picture of these characters as the strange miracles of nature (and intense scientific experimentation, in Rockets case) that they are.

The soundtrack is legendary, and is practically another character in this movie, making it light hearted when it needs to be and dramatic also, when the mood calls for it. Its awesome tunes from the 70's and 80's have a story of their own and are actually very important to the lead character, Starlord. When I was watching this I did find myself tapping my toes and bopping my head every time a classic tune came on. Even if you haven’t seen this film I am sure you have heard about the soundtrack it is almost as if the soundtrack of GotG has transcended the movie itself.

The one problem I had with GotG before watching it is something that I have never experienced with a marvel film before, I didn’t really know any of the characters, I can imagine that this is going to happen more and more in the future as the MCU expands, and that’s fine, I guess I just have to read more comics. But unlike Avengers we hadn't got to know the characters in their own individual movies, and as a result the character development and story in this film just felt ever so slightly crammed in and a little rushed. That’s not to say that Avengers didn’t suffer from that problem a little, but because we had never ever met any of these characters not even in a small cameo, Hawkeye style, I felt that the movie was essentially saying “right then here’s Starlord, Gamora, Drax, Groot and Rocket… Now on with the movie!” I just wished I knew the characters a bit more, but the argument against that point would be that the pacing of the movie would suffer, which is an extremely valid point. I would liken the experience of watching the Guardians movie is a little bit like watching Serenity with out watching the TV series Firefly, you will still have a good time, but you just won't know the characters as well as wish you could have and as a result you might not get so affected as much when “stuff” happens, but I digress, this is a review of Guardians of the Galaxy and not of Serenity! You have to be fair, even though Marvel and Disney are raking it in, they are not actually made out of money, although it seems like that a lot of the time, making films for each of the Guardians would be very expensive indeed, and frighteningly risky. Not to mention doing that would stagger the progress of MCU dramatically, probably making everybody wait an extra five years getting to know the Guardians while we could be watching the Avengers beat Thanos' ass.

This film is a great time to be had and even though it is a huge departure from the norm of the MCU, you have to admire Marvel Studios for taking a risk and not just pumping out carbon copy after carbon copy, like the majority of Hollywood does these days. Guardians has it all; awesome cast, director and concept and is, dare I say it!? Almost as good as The Avengers. Almost.

 

Watch Instantly Now

Wednesday
Apr162014

"The Amazing Spider-Man 2" Review

It is absolutely no secret at all that I wasn't a fan of the first Spiderman reboot movie. I think that the very fact that it was made out of a necessity for Sony to keep the Spiderman rights returning back to marvel, says straight away the film is going to be half assed, and guess what? It was. That is not to say that I had negative preconceptions about this sequel, after all, now that Sony have safely kept marvel getting their, supremely creative, hands on this property we can hope for a much better film that is created for the love of the characters and the story rather than exclusively for business interests. Well maybe amazing Spiderman 2 was made more for entertainment and less to keep marvel away from a top tier character, but that doesn't mean that this is a good film in any sense of the word.
My main problem with this rebooted franchise is that, apart from using the names of characters and loosely creating a universe based on some sort of approximation of what it is in the comics, these films are just not true to the source material. I get that I must allow for artistic license and that the film makers like to reinterpret stuff in their own vision, I really do get that. But I feel that if the same approach was taken with, for example, the Harry Potter films, Harry would be a blond haired kid from Chicago with a bad attitude and a crescent moon scar on his elbow, that went to Pigboils college of paganism and magic, in space. Maybe that example is slightly exaggerated, but my point still stands. As a comic book fan I want to see the characters that I have read about for many years come to life on screen just like any Harry Potter, hunger games, Twilight or middle earth fan likes to see. This is something that the original trilogy was able to achieve, doing fan service while still reinterpreting the material. Exploring relationships between Peter Parker and anchor characters like J.Jonah Jameson and Norman Osborne, is almost like the bread and butter of the Spiderman story, but these are the Characters that are sadly missing from this franchise, and, if you will allow me to use the Harry Potter metaphor again, to demonstrate how important these characters are to the myphos of Spiderman, it would be like the Harry Potter movies missing Snape, a secondary character, yes, but so, so vital to the story.
Fan boy whining aside, AS2 had many other issues, one of the most prominent is the painfully long 142-minute runtime that is saturated with a pointless on again, off again romantic subplot between Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy. I know that Spiderman can do angst with the best of them but this whole subplot could have easily fit into a 90-minute film with some serious and much needed trimming down. The run time ultimately leads to some pacing issues, I felt myself falling asleep several times when I watched this, and that had never ever happened to me before when watching a new marvel movie for the first time, I love marvel! I should not be falling asleep! That is not a good sign!
Now onto the character motivations, I found myself constantly asking myself during this film "why?" I could not fathom, for the most part, the reasons or motivations of anybody doing anything, especially the villains, there are better motivations for characters in Spider-Man 3 and that is saying something!
The sound and music of the film is something else that I took issue with, I don't usually comment on the sound of a film, even if it is really good, because I believe it is at its best when it is unnoticeable. Sound and music should covertly enhance the film, not intrude and interrupt as it does in AS2, the music doesn't work at all, maybe that is just a personal preference, but I don't think AS2 will be winning any awards for sound in the near future.
And now we come to one of my biggest pet peeves, inconsistent physics! How can webbing be strong as steel in one instance but be cut with a knife in another? How can a superhero be able to catch a police car but not be able to punch through a windscreen? Lazy writing that's how.
This isn't the worst film in the world, unfortunately, I have seen worse, but what it is, is a lazily put together story with an a-list superhero. Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone are great and have brilliant chemistry, the visual effects are great and I don't think that I have ever seen Spidey look so good web slinging. Unfortunately, all of these redeeming features do not lift this film anywhere near the greatness of anything produced in house by marvel studios and that makes me really sad because Spidey is my favourite character to read, as I'm sure, he is for many people but he has quickly turned into my least favourite character to watch and somehow Sony have managed to make this sequel just that little bit worse than the previous film.

Watch Instantly Now


 

Friday
Apr042014

"Divergent" Review

Ok, let’s address the elephant in the room, Divergent was made purely to ride the coat tales of the massively successful Hunger Games franchise, a fact that would make most people apprehensive at the least. Who wants to watch the poor mans Hunger Games when you can just watch the actual Hunger Games? Well I can honestly tell you that the concept and characters are original and compelling enough for this film to be enjoyed without comparison to the afore mentioned franchise, that’s not to say that Divergent is better than Hunger Games, it’s just, Different.

From the get go I found this film drawing me in with its notion, Chicago, post a non-descript war, that has made the surrounding areas uninhabitable, found the only way to live peacefully is to divide society into several factions. There's Dauntless, the brave warriors; Amity, peaceful farmers; Candor, truth tellers; Erudite, the brainy; and Abnegation, the selfless. Teenagers take a test to determine which faction suits them best, but they are still free to choose what faction they would like to live their life in, those who don’t fit in any of the groups become the factionless, and live life out in squalor and poverty. Each of the five factions help balance with the other four and thus society carries on peacefully with stability. The reason the film drew me in straight away is that I found myself thinking, “that is actually a great way of doing things, I wonder if that would work in real life?” this is actually a weird line of thinking for a future dystopian film to provoke, so straight away, I had to give the story, or at least the concept, top marks. But we already knew that this film would provide us with an interesting story as it so proudly displays in the opening credits “Based on the book by Veronica Roth”.

All of the back story of this particular literally universe is skimmed over within the first twenty minutes of the film and that is a hell of a lot of back story to fit into less than half an hour, this results in the world that Divergent is set in being a little ambiguous, that is not a bad thing in itself, but when you are aware that this story is based on a trilogy of books, just like the previously mentioned Hunger Games and the unfathomably successful Twilight series,How twilight should have ended you can almost hear the Hollywood executives rubbing their hands together in greedy glee and you realise why so much is being held back; there has to be enough story to fill another three films after this one!

Although the realisation that this story will not reach its conclusion until at least 2017 is annoying to say the least, the addition of Shailene Woodley as the lead in this franchise makes it all so much more bareable. She is absolutely wonderful as Tris, our protagonist, she is able to kick ass, be believably smart and is a plausible teenager despite being in her early twenties at the time of this being filmed. Tris decides to become Dauntless, and much of the film consists of her training to become part of that faction. For a good proportion of the film nothing really happens apart from Tris’ score going up and down on a leader board, something that sounds completely mundane, I know, but Woodley keeps us engaged and interested in what her character is going through, and she should be commended for her part in this film.

Because of the solid lead that Woodley provides, director Neil Burger manages to keep the film as interesting as it can be, without accidently pointing out the blatant missing pieces of the story too much. The director, cinematographer, production designer, costumer designer and CGI artists all combine to give the film a great dystopian/utopian look, an oxymoron in visuals, if you will. It’s a production choice that I like a lot, it tells a story on its own, just by looking at this production you can tell that these people went through some sort of tragedy, but are working recovery. It’s a subtle aspect to the film but it’s one that I really appreciated.

What lets Divergent down is the issues I have already addressed, although this seems like and original and interesting story, Divergent is essentially the foundations for what, Hollywood hopes, is another multimillion dollar cash cow franchise. If this world that Veronica Roth created was allowed to reach its full potential without hindrance by big business I feel like this film could have been something truly great for the ages, instead it is something that is just adequate. Maybe my opinion will change when the inevitable sequels come my way. But for now i will say this is a perfectly good film, on its own with a strong, intelligent, brilliantly played female lead, awesome visuals and great action to be enjoyed.

Watch Instantly Now     

 

Wednesday
Mar262014

"Captain America: The Winter Soldier" Review

In my review of the first Captain America film, my general opinion was, although it was a good film, it was probably the worst of the bunch when considering all of the other in house Marvel productions. Maybe that was for the best for the first avenger because; the rise in quality has been all the more meteoric! I can very happily say that with The Winter Soldier, Cap has moved his franchise up the ranking significantly from one of the worst to one of the best.

One of the reasons, in my opinion, that Cap has gone up in my approval ratings, is the much needed change of directors. We have changed from Joe Johnston, who, apart from Captain America: The First Avenger, has films like The Rocketeer and the remake of The Wolfman in his CV, to the Russo brothers, Anthony and Joe established TV directors. Not the obvious choice, admittedly, but bare with me. Joe Johnston was perfect for the job in the first film because, it was essentially a period piece, but the whole thing needed to be steam-punked something that he was able to do in his previous film, The Rocketeer, to great effect. Joe Johnston’s eye gave the first Captain America iteration a great look without which, it would have probably have fallen flat on its face, without his input into the production design, costume department and cinematography we probably wouldn't have a second Captain America film to speak of, that’s how important, I believe, the look to the first film was. That being said The Winter Soldier is a very modern film, right on the fringe of being an all out sci-fi, I feel like all the assets that the director of the previous film brought to the table would have been a very large millstone around The Winter Soldier’s neck. Because we live in such a modern world already and this sequel is meant to be set in the present day the look of the film has to be at ease with it self sort of nonchalant, I think in the hands of Johnston, we may have had a production that would look like the 2015 section of Back to the Future 2.This is not what today looks like... unfortunately.    

The Russo brothers have done an amazing job with Cap 2, the action on it's own is so impressive, one scene requires Captain America to take down a very large flying thing (trying to be vague, because of spoilers) and the way it is shot and choreographed makes it totally believable. But any reader of comics, like myself, will tell you that action in comics is very much on the back burner, what makes these stories great is, well, the story! This is why the choice of directors for this film is perfect, choosing TV directors to tell a story, a very complex double crossing, double agent type of story (well very complex for a comic book movie, anyway!) is a stroke of genius because these brothers are not used to Michael Bay sized budgets to blow tons up and fill the screen with unrelenting action at the sacrifice of the story. These un-jaded fellas have had their skills honed for, no doubt, many years on TV, telling stories, and it really does show on screen.

At the core of this movie is Steve Rodgers and his struggle to adjust to the 21st century. The film really highlights the contrasts of the definition of what constitutes national security between 1940's and the 21st century. An issue that should resonate with the audience as we live in a world where, our rights as human beings are often infringed upon in the name of preventative measures. 
One of the problems that I had with the previous film is that; because Captain America is a squeaky clean character, he can also come across as a little bit bland (the Superman Factor). Chris Evans is obviously not to blame, as he does a stellar job, but when he has not got a lot to work with his hands are kind of tied. The screenwriters have remedied this problem, quite ingeniously, because this feels more like an ensemble film than it does a Cap movie. The story really takes advantage of the interesting characters of Nick Fury and the Black Widow, effectively taking the strain off of Steve Rodgers uninteresting persona to carry the film on his shoulders alone. Some would argue that Natasha Romanoff caries this film, in fact I think this film is the closest we are going to get to a Black Widow film for quite a while yet.

Unfortunately that is pretty much all I can say about this film, as it is one of those films that are really hard to review without revealing spoilers. Just trust me when I say that there is a hell of a twist that literally changes the course of the MCU.

With all of these improvements made upon the original film, The Winter Soldier has turned into everything that a sequel should be.... better! This film is fun, engaging and enjoyable in everyway. From a fan boy point of view it also does a lot to expand on the already massive MCU and that can only be a good thing. It ticks all the boxes to make a really good comic book movie and I would go as far to say that it is second only to the masterpiece that is the Avengers movie.

Watch Instantly Now

Friday
Feb142014

"The LEGO Movie" Review

In recent years Lego has become no stranger to mainstream success, evolving way beyond its original popular toy status and branching out into all sorts of media, so naturally a full motion picture was going to be inevitable.

One might be tempted to categorize this movie in the same sort of genre as the efforts made by Hasbro in recent years- that would be a mistake on your part, because the quality of this film is way above anything I would have expected.

Going into this movie I really did struggle to figure out what it might be about, as Lego has got its fingers in so many different pies, it makes toys for dc and marvel as well as star wars, Harry PotterLord of the Rings and so many other amazing franchises. I assumed it might be a dc Lego movie, as the studio distributing the film is warner bros. I was wrong though, this film is about Lego, in every sense of the word, this is truly a Lego movie. 
For me, the great thing about Lego is that it is only limited by imagination and the Lego movie really plays to that, this film is kind of all over the place, it seems to have an attention span of a four year old that has just had a whole tub of coffee ice-cream, but that is not really a bad thing, as soon as one idea is done, and explored, its time to move onto the next one because that is what Lego is all about! Because of this we get to see all sorts of characters from Gandalf to Dumbledore, from Green Lantern to Superman and of course the spaceman! The scenes of the story are constantly shifting as well we get to explore Lego cityscapes, the western frontier, utopias and dystopias, all of this eclectic story telling just makes the concept of the film better because Lego is just too versatile to be limited to one genre setting.

The look of the film is great, adopting a YouTube Lego animated video type look, makes the whole thing just look brilliant, I really think avoiding the use of CGI for the most part was a great production decision. Adopting stop motion makes the film stand out as something a bit different as you very rarely see stop motion animation these days (or any traditional animation really!) But it also has the effect of taking you back to your childhood days where you would imagine what the little figures were saying and doing, this movie makes you feel like you are playing with Lego!

The cast of this film is absolutely amazing with voices from the likes of Chris Pratt and Elizabeth Banks in lead and many amusing cameos such as Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum as Green Lantern and Superman respectively. The real gems are in the supporting cast with Morgan Freeman and Liam Neeson using their iconic voices to great effect and of course you have got to mention Will Arnett as Batman because HE'S BATMAN!

I went into this film thinking that it might be a bit of fun and good for a giggle or two, what I did not count on is coming out of the film thinking everything about this is awesome! (You'll get the reference if you've watch it) some might call this a 101-minute advert for a toy company, but I call it a reminder, a reminder of everything there is to love about Lego.

I can safely say that anybody that did not enjoy this film has obviously never played with Lego or have forgotten what is like to live in the magical world of your imagination. If that is the case I suggest you revisit your childhood and watch this film again because everything in the Lego movie IS AWESOME! Recommended.

Watch Instantly now

 

Thursday
Nov072013

"Gravity" Review

 

Movies can quite often get people talking, the generic chat often referring to short descriptions on how the audience found the film, whether the film is “good”, “bad” or just “alright”. Less often though, the film is described using words that have more syllables than the solitary one, such as “fantastic” or “abysmal”. Then there are the films like this one, a film that can’t really be described in one simple word, vast though the English language is, I can’t quite keep a description of this film to a single word, to do so would not only be an injustice, but also fail to describe the feel and look of the film accurately. Gun to head, if I were to have to shorten down how I feel about Gravity into some sort of headline, it would have to be “technically outstanding”. Because for me, that is the thing that really stood out with Gravity, wondering how the director, Alfonso Cuarón, managed to achieve the things that he achieved on screen.

To say that this is a good-looking film would be an absolute under statement. From the opening shot of a magnificent spacewalk, it is like the director is saying, “look what I can do!” and what he can do is truly astounding. The astonishment inevitably continues and becomes even more impressive for the first fifteen or twenty minutes of the feature when you realize that there have been no visible cuts in the action. The camera seems to effortlessly drift in and out of all of the goings on like it, itself is not at all limited by trivial things such as gravity. Suffice to say that this is a film that is best viewed at the cinema, preferably in 3D, or on the biggest TV you can manage so you can really revel in the torrent of eye candy that is pouring out of the screen at you.

Gravity is not just for people that admire good camera work, direction and special effects though, the sheer realism of the world that the film makers have created, really contributes towards the narrative of the film, it makes the audience feel the uneasiness of our main protagonist, Dr. Ryan Stone, played by Sandra Bullock, I myself was found suffering from a little vertigo while she was feeling queasy from her first space walk. At the same time I was also allowed to feel the wonder that was felt by the space loving veteran astronaut, Matt Kawalsky, played by George Clooney. Somehow the director managed to convey the feelings of the surrounding by every character and as a result the whole film makes you very empathetic, or to put it into Internet terms- you feel ALL the emotions!

As you can probably tell from the trailer or synopsis for this film the main narrative, is the story of some astronauts that are fighting for survival, but what sets Gravity apart is that those fights are fought in both the emotional and physical states. When anybody is put into that sort of high stress situation where the survival of a person is not very likely, the mind inevitably comes to a fork in the road; either choose to fight for your life, something that might seem completely futile, or, decide to give up and welcome the cold embrace of death. That is a battle that is constantly present in Gravity, the question of “what’s the point?” is ever present, after all as the script very kindly informs us at the beginning of the film- “life in space is impossible” this feature of the narrative takes the film well above the confines of your run of the mill survival thriller and makes for a compelling and relatable story.

If you can not tell by my ongoing praise with in this review, I think that Gravity is a very good film indeed, I don’t usually try to make Oscar predictions but if this doesn’t win the Oscar in 2014 for best special effects I will be very surprised and I think that it should at least be nominated for best director also.

Because of the ground-breaking nature of Gravity I can’t help but make comparisons to 2001: A Space Odyssey as that was also a technically astounding film set in space, the difference being, Gravity appeals to film buffs and mainstream audiences alike, also the fact that it isn’t a complete mind f**k also helps. Unlike 2001, this film isn’t out to confuse it’s audience and the final shot of the film really drives home the films title and makes for a satisfying conclusion to one of the best films I have seen this year. Recommended.

 

Watch Instantly Now    

 

Wednesday
Oct302013

"Thor: The Dark World" Review

Thor is a franchise that I have grown very fond of over the past few years; it has consistently proven to me how entertaining it can be despite the extremely old Norse source material. Whether it be the silver age comics that I reluctantly started to read, and found them second only to Spiderman for entertainment value, or the first film that pleasantly surprised me with its seamless transition to the big screen oozing with its Shakespearean prowess. Once again, with the second (or third, if you count the Avengers) iteration of the Thor story, committed to the big screen, my preconceptions have been squashed by the powerful mjolnir.mjolnir

I thought, with the exit of the Shakespearean seasoned Kenneth Branagh as director this sequel would suffer, as some of its, for lack of a better word, class, would have dissipated along with the grandiose feel of the production. How wrong could I have been? The Dark World improves on its predecessor in almost every way. Quite a feat if you look back at my review of the original Thor film, you will see that I gave it a pretty good score.

Some people would say that the first outing of Thor was a little bit stuffy and slow paced, I would disagree, as I said, I think that the dramatic Shakespearian atmosphere that Kenneth Branagh brought to the film added a bit of class. But if you’re not happy with the franchise going in that direction then what other way is there to go? Well the Game of Thrones way of course! That’s why getting seasoned GoT director, Alan Taylor onboard was a masterstroke by the producers of TtDW. The biggest difference I can see is the character of Thor has been allowed to develop into maturity, he is no longer an arrogant bulk of muscle swinging a hammer, but a responsible conscientious ruler-in-waiting, swinging a hammer. The character is handled well by Chris Hemsworth but the director guides him expertly. This of course goes across the board with all the cast, but a special mention has to go out to Stellan Skarsgård for “revealing” his talents. I just felt a lot more invested in the whole cast to the point that, if they died in a game of thrones sort of way, I would actually care quite a lot (like in game of thrones).

 Of course there is plenty of action and thrills to be experienced with in this film, a kind of film making that director, Taylor, seem plenty comfortable with but the real meat of this film lies in the relationship between Thor and his estranged brother Loki.Loki, God of mischief Tom Hiddleston is arguably the star of this film giving the villainous Loki a real human side yet still managing to keep you guessing what his motives are. He literally steals every scene he is in, but this is what we have come to expect from Tom after the stellar performances he has given in the past two marvel cinematic universe films.

 If one criticism could be made, it is that the story once again falls back on a McGuffin, this time it’s called the “Aether” but it could just as well be called the Tesseract, oogamafliv or Dave, it really doesn’t matter, but that is the nature of the McGuffin isn’t it? This is a very small criticism though as, I said in the previous paragraph the true story is in the character development and relationships between characters (and Stellan Skarsgård hidden, or rather, unhidden gifts).

 Thor: The Dark World is an improvement on an already great franchise, it expands the size of the MCU dramatically and it also furthers the story of all of our favorite characters from the Thor movies in significant ways. It has done justice to all of the fans like me out there and has got me crossing my fingers that there will be a third installment at some point in the future.

       

Watch Instantly Now

Wednesday
Aug142013

"Kick-Ass 2" Review

coming soon...

Watch Instantly Now

Friday
Aug022013

"RED 2" Review

coming soon....

Watch Instantly Now

Friday
Jul192013

"The Worlds End" Review

coming soon...

Watch Instantly Now