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Despicable Me 2 (2013)
The Best Sequel Of The Year So Far.
Only in the past year was I introduced to 'Despicable Me' and the world of the minions. Since then I have been anticipating the sequel with much eagerness. Whilst Pixar may dominate the awards and the box office with their films, it's great to see Sony Animations putting their first sequel on the big screen. Is 'Despicable Me 2' a worthy sequel or just a lazy money grabbing summer flick? Well, the smile I had on my face throughout the film should say it all.
The film opens by reuniting us with Gru, his daughters and the minions at a birthday party. We watch the minions slapstick humour fill the screen with laughs and also see how Gru is adapting to a life without being a super villain. Each of the characters are moving on in some way or another, Gru is still single and his girls want him to find love, whilst Margot is having boy troubles if his own. Gru is recruited anti- villain league to stop a new super criminal whilst also learning a little more about family life and love.
'Despicable Me 2' is a funny and friendly family film. Whilst the minions take up the majority of the films laughs, each of the characters has their moments in the spot light. Steve Carell gives a great voice performance as Gru, as does the rest of the cast. Kristen Wiig is a much welcomed member to the cast as Lucy, Gru's new undercover partner and I look forward to seeing her character in the future.
As with many of Pixar's films, Sony Animations have created a genre that works on levels both for adults and children. I may have been one of the only people in the screening without a small child, but I still laughed and enjoyed the film as much as any of the children in the cinema. Also with rumours that the minions will be getting their own movie spin off circulating, it shows that the 'Despicable Me' world has much more fun to spread.
A solid sequel that's full of laughs and more importantly heart. 'Despicable Me 2' is a great family film for the whole family this summer. 'Monsters University' really has its work cut out.
World War Z (2013)
The Zombie Genre Is Far From Dead
The fact that 'World War Z' has finally been released is more of a miracle then finding the cure for a zombie virus. With a very troubled production behind it, 'World War Z' at one point was thought to be scrapped and not released. With the script going under re-writes, scenes being re-shot, the film going almost $100 million over budget and rumours that director Marc Forster and Brad Pitt had a falling out, it is safe to say 'World War Z' has had a bumpy ride before it had even set off. As for the film itself, Paramount are hoping the bad press surrounding the production is over shadowed by the film hopefully being a box office success and pleasing not just mainstream audiences, but fans of the novel too.
Brad Pitt plays Gerry, an ex worker for the U.N and now full time father and husband who is caught up in a world wide epidemic. A zombie virus is spreading the globe and taking one country at a time. After taking his family to safety, it is now up to Gerry to go out into the world and try and find the cause of the virus and possibly a cure.
Marc Forster has always been a director who focuses in characters, and here he is no different. The film isn't about the zombie virus, but more about Gerry's determination to get to the bottom of the virus and return to his family. This is Forster's best film since 'Finding Neverland'. Forster was hand picked by Pitt (who produces the film also) to direct and you can see why. Most film makers can fill the screen with violence, but if we don't care for the characters at the centre of the film then the violence can seem gratuitous. Don't get me wrong, the film is filled with blood and gore, but Forster never looses focus of the characters involved in the situations.
Pitt gives a solid lead performance and all the supporting cast are excellent too, including a short but crucial cameo by David Morse. 'World War Z' does have its problems. We are less then 10 minutes into the film before we are swept away into the plot. Personally I would have liked to spend some more time with Gerry and his family, but the characters still become well established as the film goes on. The script also doesn't forget the political source from the original novel. We hear how different governments are going about tackling the virus which leaves our characters questioning if they are trying to go about their mission the right way.
The script is full of edge of your seat moments. I can't recall the last time I was ever as tense whilst watching a film in the cinema. The action set pieces are great and the script tries to pull our characters way from certain clinches that may be found in this type of film. The soundtrack for the film is provided by Muse and is nothing less then spectacular. I saw the film in 2D instead of 3D and not at one point did I see any shot or set piece where I thought I was missing out on the 3D experience. The film was great without paying more money to wear a pair of glasses.
Certainly the best film of it's kind since Danny Boyle's '28 Days Later' and proof that you can breath new life into a genre that is always being recycle. Tense, terrifying and utterly terrific, 'World War Z' is the best blockbuster of the summer so far.
Man of Steel (2013)
Superman May Fly, But He Never Soars
The summers most anticipated film has landed. 'Man of Steel' gives the Superman character the 'Batman Begins' treatment, with 'The Dark Knight' creator Christopher Nolan producing the film. Director Zack Snyder is no stranger to adapting graphic novels for the big screen. He is the man behind '300' and 'Watchmen', but 'Man of Steel' is Snyders most ambitious film to date. With Superman being such a popular character with comic book fans, Snyder is under pressure to deliver a film that will please all audiences. The last time the hero took to our screens was in 'Superman Returns' which received mixed reviews and not the global acclaim it wanted. Will Snyder make Superman fly or fall?
Before I go into the plot, I know that many people are anticipating the film, so I'll give away no spoilers. After his home planet of Krypton is just about to die, Jor-El (Russell Crowe) sends his only son to earth in order for him to live his life on a new planet. His son lands on earth and struggles to find his place among humans. As he grows older he discovers his past and uses it to help humans when they come under threat by an alien called General Zod (Michael Shannon).
The first 20 minutes of 'Man of Steel' are brilliant. The screen is filled with breathtaking action and stunning special effects as we see Krypton at the start of a civil war. Russell Crowe gives one of his finest performances in years and chemistry between the characters are terrific. After this thrilling opening, Snyder seems to try and rush through the script and skip all the interesting character development. We don't so much get introduced to any of the key characters as they just appear. The script doesn't play out as a film, but more like quick scenes and set pieces following each other just so we can get to the moment were Superman has to face General Zod.
After skipping through the second act, we finally get to the main confrontation. Because we have skipped through the interesting part of the film, Snyder pollutes the screen with Michael Bay like action and we have around 50 minutes of head banging and bone crushing action that feels tiresome after the first 10 minutes. Whilst I admire Snyders original approach to the film, he hits the self destruct button in the last hour and lets the film become nothing more then a mindless mash up of characters flying and fighting around collapsing cities.
Henry Cavill may look the part, but his Clark Kent persona is relatively boring and his Superman alter ego isn't much more appealing. The films best attribute is Michael Shannon who chews up every scene he is in. The rest of the cast are perfectly fine, but because Snyder skips through the second act we don't really get a chance to embrace any of the characters properly or enjoy the actors performances .Although the two Robin Hoods (Kevin Costner and Russell Crowe) are both great as Clark's fathers.
It is clear that Snyder is a huge fan of the material and he gives Superman the whole Jesus treatment. From using Jesus Christ as a template, Snyder uses everything from making Clark a fishermen, to the world reacting to him as the second coming. This prospective on the character does make him more interesting and adds to Snyders credit for trying something new. I remember when I first saw J.J Abrams Star Trek and knew little about the film, but felt welcomed with open arms when I watched it. I do have a feeling that 'Man of Steel' is for the superman fans, and people new to the hero may feel like they are looking in from the outside.
Credit for Snyder for trying something original with the character, even he does let himself down at the end. The film does feel incoherent in parts and in the end becomes its own worst enemy. 'Man of Steel' is a disappointment in comparison to the superhero films of last summer, but its full of moments that make great entertainment.
Final Score 6/10
After Earth (2013)
Is 'After Earth' the cure for insomnia?
Will Smith teams up with his son Jaden for the second time in new science fiction film 'After Earth'. With Will Smith behind the story and in front of the camera, 'After Earth seemed like a promising film. However, once Hollywood's golden boy now walking disaster M. Night. Shyamalan is directing the film. Remember 'The Sixth Sense', 'Unbreakable' and 'Signs'? All good films. How about 'Lady in the Water and 'The Last Airbender'? Not so good. Shyamalan has given himself a reputation of ruining his own career, but possibly Will Smith could set his career back on track. Don't bet on it.
1000 years ago we left earth for a reason. Could the reason be that the population had seen 'After Earth' and wanted the flee the planet? Possibly, but no. Now living on a new planet and hunted by creatures that smell our fear, humans are settling down and adapting to a new world. For some reason not explained too well, father and son Cypher (Smith senior) and Kitai (Smith junior) crash land on the ruined earth.Cypher and his son have a distant relationship, but must work together if they want to survive. Cypher spends the film sitting in a chair with broken legs telling Kitai how to find the tale of the ship where a beacon is located. However life on earth has evolved to kill humans, meaning Kitai must become the warrior like his father is in order to survive on the planet.
Just like most of Shyamalan 's films, the idea of the film is good (even though this idea was Will Smiths) , but the execution is a real mess. Lets start with the acting, it's terrible. The characters are not likable and I had no emotions for either of them. To avoid creatures that smell your fear, Kitai must become like his father, boring and dull. Smith senior spends most the film sitting in a chair looking constipated, talking in monotone and narrating the film to the audience, just in case we are loosing interest. Jaden on the other hand has no leading screen presence what so ever. I didn't care for his characters safety and didn't buy into any part of the performance.
Shyamalan co wrote the film, and it is full of his trademark horrible and unbelievable dialogue. The film also plays out like a dull video game. Jaden Smith goes from one chase scene to an other, just like completing different levels. I would say after earth is laughable, but it isn't, it's just boring. This really is a new low, even for Shyamalan's standards. Now there's a statement!
I would call 'After Earth' is a turkey of a film, but that would be an insult to a bird that takes centre place on the table at Christmas and tastes wonderful in my sandwiches on Boxing day.'After Earth is just plain bad film making and an early contender for the worst film of 2013. Danger is real, fear is a chose, 'After Earth' was a really bad chose.
Final Score 1/10
The First Great Horror Film of 2013
When 'Pan's Labyrinth' creator Guillermo del Toro puts his name to what seems to be a routine horror flick, you know there must be something different about the film. Also having recently Oscar nominated Jessica Chastain in the lead role is another huge selling point. These two names are what new horror film 'Mama' are boasting in order to get audiences to come back to the cinema and believe in horror films again, after a mediocre 2012 for the genre. Whilst big names may be enough for the film to succeed at the box office, what horror fans really want is for the film to be actually scary. I'm sure they won't be disappointed.
'Mama' follows two young sisters who have spent most of their lives living in the woods and when found are convinced they were nurtured by something they called Mama. They are rescued and move in with their uncle played Nikolaj Cosat-Waldau and his girlfriend played by Jessica Chastain. However, once they have moved into their new home, it seems that Mama hasn't been left behind in the woods, has followed the girls and doesn't want to leave them anytime soon.
The first thing to say about 'Mama' is that it is very creepy. Whether or not the film will genuinely scare you depends on how you react to these type of films. If you suffer from paedophobia (a fear of children) in the context of horror films, then 'Mama' will have you covering your eyes in the cinema. The performance from the children are genuinely creepy yet also impressive at the same time. Jessica Chasteain is very strong and shows audience just how diverse her performances can be, from this to 'Zero Dark Thirty' and 'Lawless'.
The film may not be the scariest film released in cinemas over the past few years, but it is one of the most original. The script fleshes out each character and a real sense of spookiness stays with you long after you leave the cinema. I personally see the film more as a supernatural thriller then a horror. They is no fake blood and gore to be found here. Just genuine chills and thrills.
'Mama' may not be a ground braking entry to the genre, but its an original ghost story that i think does its job rather well. Definitely worth seeing on the big screen and guaranteed to make you jump, 'Mama' is a solid, creepy thriller.
Final Score 8/10
Seven Psychopaths (2012)
Cruella DeVille Has Nothing On These Dog Nappers
Just how do you follow up such a cult hit as big as 'In Bruges'? This was the question for writer/director Martin McDonagn who has not released a film since earning his Oscar for the brilliant 'In Bruges'. His answer to this question involves his former 'In Bruges' college Colin Farrell along with an all star cast, lots of funny one liners, plenty of violence and one missing Shih Tzu.
'Seven Psychopaths' revolves around a struggling screenwriter called Marty (Farrell) and his involvement with his sort of best friend Billy (Sam Rockwell). Billy and his friend Hans (Christopher Walken) are in the dog napping business. They steal dogs in the park, and then claim the reward from the owner. Between the two of them, they just about have everything under control. This is until one of the dogs stolen belongs to a gangster called Charlie (Woody Harrelson), who wants his Shih Tzu back by any means necessary. These events drag Marty into a world of crime, violence and death, that he had only before wrote about on paper.
The thing that works wonderfully with 'Seven Psychopaths' are the characters and how the script focuses on them as individuals and doesn't drop them into the story. It's very easy for a film to have a great plot and just drop in an action hero and a villain, but McDonagn cares about these characters and everything that happens during the film is because of the their actions and personalities. The way the film was played out reminded me of 'Killing Them Softly', which was not a film about gangsters and hit men killing each other, but about the actual people themselves.
Just like 'In Bruges', McDonagn has added plenty of dark humour and brilliantly funny one-liners into the script. The opening scene involves two gangsters discussing if John Dillinger was shot in the eye or not. This instantly reminded me of the conversations between Ray and Ken from 'In Bruges' or Vincent and Jules from 'Pulp Fiction'. The dialogue throughout is wonderfully engaging and full of memorable quotes.
Whilst Farrell and Harrelson are on top form, it's Rockwell and Walken who steal the show. Everybody loves watching Christopher Walken and this is by far his best performance in years. He provides most the films laughs and also gains the audiences sympathy, without changing his character too much. Anyone who has seen 'Moon' from 2009 will know that Rockwell should have been nominated for best actor at the Oscars, but it never happened. Surely he will receive a best supporting actor nomination for his performance in 'Seven Psychopaths'. He portrays one the smartest idiots I think I've ever seen on film, and emerges into the role so well.
One Problem with the film is the amount of characters. With 'In Bruges', McDonagn was able to give the two lead characters lots of depth as we spent the whole film with them. Whilst all the characters are well laid out in 'Seven Psychopaths', I couldn't help but feel that some were more interesting then others, and that I would have been interested to know more about minor characters. In particular Charlies girlfriend played by Ola Kurylenko. However, McDoaghn backs himself up with a speech by Marty in which he explains the lack of women in films today and how they are used for either sex or to be killed.
'Seven Psychopaths' is ludicrously entertaining from start to finish, smartly written and directed and full of great performances. Whilst I may prefer 'In Bruges, McDonagn proves that he is not just a one trick pony and I can't wait to see what he does next.
The Watch (2012)
'Ted' Is Still The Funniest Film Of The Summer
'The Watch' is the new comedy staring Ben Stiller. Originally titled Neighbourhood Watch, the film follows four men as they try to prove that there is an alien invasion going on in their town. However, the police don't believe them and the men spend most of the time destroying peoples property instead of actually doing their job properly. I think this was where the film was meant to be funny?
'The Watch' is made up of Ben Stiller, Jonah Hill, Vince Vaughn and Richard Ayoade. The four men are probably the last four men in their town who should be doing this job, but they each have different motivations for joining the neighbourhood watch. Personally, I have never been a big Ben Stiller or Vince Vaughn fan. I like some of Stiller's films, but he isn't a comedian who would make me go and watch a film just because he is in it. Vince Vaughn is the same. I like some of films such as 'Wedding Crashers' or 'Dodge Ball' but then he has been in films such as'Couples Retreat' and 'The Dilemma' which I don't find funny.
It's no surprise then that most of the laughs in the film come from Jonah Hill. Hill has been one of my favourite comic actors since I saw him in Superbad. He was also at the top of his game earlier this year with a very funny performance in '21 Jump Street'. It was in fact the work from Hill and Ayoade that sort of saved the film, even though it's not that good anyway.
I would be lying if I said I didn't chuckle during the film, because I did. At one moment I laughed out loud, but on the whole, I didn't laugh as much as I wanted to. 'The Watch' for me was one of those comedies in which the cast throw joke after joke at the audience, and I found myself understanding all the jokes, but only laughing at a few of them. For long periods of the film I was just sitting in the cinema waiting for a funny joke to come along and when it did I laughed, but then I had to wait again for another joke.
Another problem with the film is the story. I really liked the set up of the film and the idea that four idiots want to protect their town, that's funny. However, when the aliens become involved in the story, it didn't seem to make me enjoy the film any more, they were just there in order to show that the film had a big budget. We also have a sub plot involving Stiller and his wife trying for children. This also seemed a bit pointless and didn't add any emotion, depth or more importantly laughs to the film.
In the screening I saw 'The Watch' in, many people were laughing at times in the film, but there were moments of silence in parts of the film. The people I saw the film with both said they really liked it and used the word 'enjoyable' to describe it. I can't say that 'The Watch wasn't enjoyable whilst I was watching it. I just felt it was nothing special and very average.
Is 'The Watch' worth seeing at the cinema? No. Is it worth buying on DVD or blue ray? No. It's a film that I would probably watch again if it was on television and there was nothing else to do. As far as the comedies of 2012 go,'The Watch' isn't as disappointing as 'The Dictator', but is no where near as good as 'Ted' or '21 Jump Street'. It's a hit and miss comedy, that most of the time misses.
If you want to watch an Alian invasion comedy, stick with 'Attack The Block'.
The Bourne Legacy (2012)
Unremarkable, Unnecessary and Unchallenging. The Bourne Legacy Lingers.
Can there really be a Bourne film without Jason Bourne? Well James Bond managed to continue it's franchise whilst changing the lead, so could Bourne? Well the answer unfortunately is no. I went into 'The Bourne Legacy' with high expectations, and they were not met by some distance. And I thought 'The Dark Knight Rises' was a let down.
Matt Damon stepped away from this entry in the franchise when the director of the last two films, Paul Greengrass was taken off the film by Universal. So we now have the writer of the previous films Tony Gilroy to direct this latest film in the series. Jeremy Renner takes the lead role as Aaron Cross who is an outgo agent. After the secrets of Tredstone and Jason Bourne are leaked to the press, all the other agents in the program are meant to be disposed off. However, Aaron Cross goes on the run with a scientist from the organisations played by Rachel Weisz. Edward Norton is great as Eric Byer, he works for the USAF and is trying to track down Cross.
That's the set up for the film and that is pretty much the whole film. I can't recall ever feeling so uninvolved in an action film before. The action is hard and fast, but at the same time very tedious. The moments that aren't filled with chases and explosions are characters talking to each other about nothing important. In fact, if it weren't for Jason Bourne's name being mentioned now and again in conversations, then this would not even be a Bourne film. It would just be a standard chase film.
The chases in the film are good and in parts pick the film up, even if to be dropped back down when the action is over. In fact the action saves me from giving the film a really low score, even though I'm not going to give it a high one either. Oh, and the film doesn't so much end as it does stops. That's right, the film stops in the middle of two characters talking. But by that point I wasn't expecting anything else.
The thing I loved about the original Bourne series was that it had as much brains as it did action. The character of Jason Bourne was as much an enigma to himself as he was to the audience. This made the character intriguing and made the action sequence a surprising spectacle as the audience was unaware what the character was capable of. In this film, we have Jeremy Renner, who I really like, playing action man who just beats up the bad guys.
All the intrigue has been left behind and all the ground braking cinematography that was used when Greengrass was in charge has gone. The film feels very empty, lifeless and just a money making scheme that has little respect for the first three films. 'The Bourne Legacy' didn't blow me away as it did bore me.
It just goes to show Bourne isn't Bourne without Bourne. In my opinion, if Bourne isn't going to be in a Bourne film, then don't put Bourne in the title. Now that was a lot of Bourne's in one sentence.
The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
Fantastic Entertainment, But Not The Masterpiece It Could Have Been
Christopher Nolan pulled off what seemed like the impossible at the time. When he not only rebooted the batman franchise that no one wanted to touch, but rebooted it with a new take on the dark knight story, which reminded audiences and critics everywhere why Batman is the most interesting superhero to be put on the big screen. 'Batman Begins' was undoubtedly epic and many thought that 'The Dark Knight' surpassed the original. Now we have possibly the most anticipated film of the year. We have had to wait 4 years for 'The Dark Knight Rises' and I was praying it wouldn't be 'Spider-Man 3' or 'The Godfather Part 3'.
Christopher Nolan takes us to a Gotham City that is based 8 years since the last film. Batman is still outlawed and Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) has hung up the cape. The film spends its first hour without Batman and let's us catch up with characters from the previous films along with new characters as well. However, a terrorist known as Bane (Tom Hardy) arrives in Gotham and his presence means that Batman must step back onto the streets Gotham to defend his city once more.
First the good news, just as you would expect, the cast are all terrific and each character felt relevant. Michael cane and Morgan Freeman reprise their roles and are great to watch. Gary Oldman is great as he usually is and Christian Bale is a wonderful Bruce Wayne and a fantastic Batman. Anne Hathaway does a great job and brings us one of the best interpretations of Catwoman I have seen since Michelle Pfeiffer is the Tim Burton film 'Batman Returns'. Joseph Gorden-Levitt holds a great screen presence as police office Blake and so does Marion Cotillard as Miranda Tate.
Many fans have had concerns over Bane being the new villain. Some people have thought he may not be as deep or as interesting as the Joker. My argument would be that we have had the Joker already and Batman has concurred that villain. Whilst the Joker threatened Batman on a intellectual level, Bane can physically brake Batman shows us a weaker side to the hero that we haven't seen yet. Also, Tom Hardy is perfect in this role. His physical presence and his calm yet sinister voice really gave a more fearsome factor to the villain, which is something that was never threatened by the Scarecrow or the Joker, fear.
Who is the real star of the film? The film would not be what it is without the direction by Christopher Nolan or the outstanding cinematography by Wally Pfister. Just like the first two films, we admire what Pfister can do with the Gotham City and how he presents the CGI and stunts in the film, without too much of the shaky cam.
Nolan is a director who clearly loves this character and wants to explore each aspect of his personality to let the audience make up their own minds. We hear a wonderful speech by Alfred , as he explains that he wished Bruce Wayne would never have put on the mask again and at the same time, we see Blake explain to Bruce Wayne how Gotham needs Batman back. Nolan let's each character share their point of view instead of just having the good guys and the bad guys. He gives the superhero genre a brain and doesn't make it to smart for audiences, but makes it intelligent so that the audience can move along with the film instead of feeling left behind.
I think the reason why this series of Batman films have been so successful is because of the themes and problems of real life being used in the film. We saw a menacing terrorist called the Joker try to cause chaos in Gotham and nobody could reason with him. This was only 7 years after the attacks on America on 11th September. Now, as the world is in a crisis with money and stock markets are loosing, we see Bane raiding the stock market and sending his thugs to attack the rich as all their wealth collapses around them.
Now onto the bad news, the film is too long. The first hour really dragged and whilst I understand that Batman isn't just going to jump back into action, I did find my self feeling slightly bored and that the lead up to the second act of the film was overblown. The characters kept my interest, but the last thing I was expecting was to feel bored in a film that should be so epic. The last two thirds of the film are just what I wanted and the finale left me on the edge of my seat. Nolan truly did deliver for the last hour and a half, but I felt he had to after the first hour.
The last 90 minutes of 'The Dark Knight Rises' are incredible and just how you would want the series to end. Maybe the reason I fell a little disappointed is because my expectations were too high. I left the film feeling satisfied, but not blown away. The film is overblown but at the same time smart and very entertaining. It still however isn't he masterpiece it should have been.
The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)
Marvel takes on 'Batman Begins'
t really is the ultimate superhero summer. 'The Avengers' blew audiences away back in May and 'The Dark Knight Rises' is just around the corner. For now though we have the re telling of one of the most popular superheroes in the comic book and film universe, Spider-Man.
After the 'Batman' films collapsed with Joel Schumacher's 'Batman and Robin', it took around 10 years for Christopher Nolan the rise the caped crusader from the ashes and give us two of the greatest superhero films Hollywood has seen. Whilst many critics are comparing this new Spider- Man film with the Sam Raimi film's, I do think that 'Batman Begins' is a more relevant comparison. The bad news is that 'The Amazing Spider-Man' isn't as good as 'Batman Begins', but is still a lot of fun.
It was just over 10 years ago when Sam Raimi directed 'Spider-Man' and Toby Maguire was wearing the tights. Whilst I really enjoyed the first two 'Spider-Man films, I hated 'Spider-Man 3'. Watching Peter Parker walk down the street in slow motion to cheesy music whilst flicking his long fringe was the moment when the franchise fell apart. It was reported that 'Spider-Man 4' was going to be made, but the script fell through, and to be honest I don't know how they could have followed the train wreck that was 'Spider-Man' 3. So now we have the reboot to the franchise which is meant to be Marvel's 'Batman Begins'.
We all know the story, Peter Parker (played by English actor and star of David Fincher's 'The Social Network', Andrew Garfield) who is the loner of his high school and viewed as the geek by his class mates. When he is bitten by a radio active spider, he gains unique powers and becomes Spider-Man. The film sticks to the original comic book material and we encounter Parker's first love interest, Gwen Stacy, (played by Garfield's real life girlfriend Emma Stone) and Spider-Man's first villain, The Lizard (played by Rhys Ifans).
The film does two things very different to it's predecessors, it has much darker and has more fun with the characters. When Toby Maguire was Parker, we knew he was smart because he wore glasses. With Garfield, Director Marc Webb ((500) Day's of Summer) actually shows us Parker playing with his experiments and bringing that quirky personalty of the comic book character through to moments when Parker is wearing the mask. Where as the previous Spider-Man was serious when he was fighting crooks and thief's, this new Spider-Man seems to have more fun with his powers and the audience enjoy watching him joke around with the bad guys. The look and tone of the film is darker and I felt very strong connections with the characters. In particular Parker's relationship with his Aunt May and Uncle Ban (Sally Field and Martin Sheen).
Marc Webb has also solved a problem to a lot superhero films today. When we watch 'Iron Man' we see Robert Downy Jr as Tony Stark and a special effect flying through the air when he is Iron Man. Webb understands that the audience have to go along with the belief that we are watching the same character in the suite who is also out the suite. Webb's solution is removing the mask. Many of the film's biggest set pieces involve Garfield in the suite without the mask. Personally, I thought this worked wonderfully and my connection with the character wasn't lost during times when Spider-Man is struggling or is in pain.
All the characters all well written, although I thought that the story behind The Lizard could have had a bit more time spent on as it was as interesting as Spider-Man's story.One other problem is the build up to the film's release. The amount of posters and trailers that told me as I was going to find out Spider-Man's biggest secret. I still left the cinema wanting to know this secret, however a clip after the credits could lead on to the squeal where I'm sure more will be revealed. The 3D is at it's best when our hero is swinging through the buildings of New York. Apart from that, there is really no reason for the film to be in 3D.
'The Amazing Spider-Man' is a solid reboot for the franchise and whilst it never swings to the heights of my initial reactions to 'Batman Begins', it's still a one of the most enjoyable entries into the superhero film genre. Amazing by name and amazing by nature. You do not want to miss this!
The Inbetweeners Movie (2011)
The Inbetweeners Movies Is The Funniest Film Of Year By A Clear Mile
If you are like me and you love the inbetweeners television show, then the movie will have been much anticipated. I am pleased to report that the movie is not a disappointment. Will, Simon, Jay and Neil are all together as the group head out to Malia for a lads holiday after leaving school. It is meant to be the holiday of a life time, but in classic inbetweeners style not everything goes to plan.
The film is meant to be a fair well to the guys after three very successful TV series and the lads go out in style. The opening of the film sees Simon being dumped by Carli, which gives Jay the idea that the group should leave their troubles behind and have a holiday full of drink, girls and many other things. The holiday shows the boys at the highest of highs and the lowest of lows, but in the end having the time of their lives.
These characters have made me laugh for the past couple of years on television and I was sad to hear that the third series would be the last. However I was pleasantly surprised when I heard about the movie being made. It would be a final send off to four of the funniest faces on TV. The film (just like the show) gives each character their own problems and triumphs as the film goes on and as we expect, some very embarrassing moments. The film is very funny and has numerous laugh out loud moments, but the great thing is the spirit of the film. It has a good heart and a script that gives the characters we care about fitting conclusions.
The credit has to be given to the writers Ian Morris and Damon Beesley who wrote the show as well. This is more then just a spin off from the show, it is a uplifting tale for the four boys full of plenty of laughs. I hope the film receives praise from the critics as it is more then just the comedy of the year, but in my mind one of the best films of the year.
Never disappointed or bored at any point in the film, the inbetweeners movie is a wonderful tale of coming of age. You will be pushed to find a more entertaining and funny film all year. I loved it!
The Book of Eli (2010)
The Hughes Brothers Latest Film Is A Freah Look On A Bleak Future
The latest offering from the Hughes Brothers (From Hell) comes in the form of The Book Of Eli. A post apocalyptic thriller staring Denzel Washington and Gary Oldman. In recent years, a whole load of post apocalyptic films have been released meaning the Hughes Brothers would have to give us something special to make it stand tall with such triumphs as Danny Boyle's 28 Days Later. Although the film does not live up to Danny Boyle's mini masterpiece, there is still much to admire and respect from this underrated gem of a film.
Denzel Washington is Eli, a survivor who travels alone across what is left of planet earth. His journey has a purpose which involves the protection of a book in his possession and it's deliverance to what he calls it's rightful place. Among his journey he is confronted with hijackers, thieves and murderers. However his most dangerous confrontation seems to be a man named Carnagie (Gary Oldman), who controls a small community. The only thing he wants more them anything is the thing Eli is willing to protect with his life, the book. A battle between these two men and their beliefs of what is the right thing to do with the book is what makes the film a compelling and interesting watch.
Many critics complained about the simplicity of The Book Of Eli and how the film seemed shallow. I thought that was one of the strongest points of the film. We don't need a heavy plot with twist to make it a better film. It's a simple story of two strong opinions during a desperate time for what is left of humanity. The Hughes Bothers aren't being preachy with the film, they are giving us a simple tale a good vs bad and how human will can conquer human strength.
Denzel Washington is well cast as Eli. He is not the Will Smith character in I Am Legend who remains fit, has a daily routine and is without doubt a Hollywood action hero. Eli is a normal man who travels by faith and not sight. OK he seems to be good in a fight, but aside from that he is an everyday man with a job to do. The supporting cast are all fine. Gary Oldman is great as with anything he does and I was particularly impressed with Mila Kunis as a young women who takes a shine to Eli, his thoughts on the world and his concepts. The striking cinematography brings the audience into this empty waste land and creates memorable images. Not just the ones we would expect of Eli travelling alone across empty roads and bridges, but of impressive action sequences that really create a sense of danger for the characters. The stillness of the scenes with Eli on his own or when he is conversation of with other characters does not prepare us for the loudness and disruptiveness of the action. This is not a bad thing as we are thrown into the action which is superbly directed.
Although the film does have it's faults, it delivers what it has to. A basic, but necessarily basic script gives the film many strengths including a rewarding and uplifting ending. Even though it was not what I expected. Fine performances, terrific cinematography and strong directing by the Hughes Brothers makes The Book Of Eli a journey you won't regret taking.
Not The Hard Hitting Action Thriller I Was Hoping For
The trailer for Taken had me gripped. I thought to myself, this is what I'm talking about. A gritty revenge thriller staring to impressive Liam Neeson. When watching the trailer, I was being reminded of the last two Bourne films, which I loved. Although I didn't see it at the cinema I was always wanting to watch it and when I did, I felt very let down.
The main problem is that the trailer showed a basic outline for the film. A father who has a history with the special forces tries to find his kidnapped daughter in Europe. I was wondering when the film started what twists would occur and how intense the action would be. Well, the trailer gave me the film. There is no extension on the story other then Liam Neeson goes to Paris and kills everyone who gets in his way of getting his daughter back. That was it. The best moments of action were wasted by too much use of the hand held camera, meaning most the time I struggled to see what was going on. Neeson's character is very boring and the film is completely dependent on the action.
The film does have entertaining moments, but nothing special enough for me to recommend it. Most of my friends who like the film have praised it's awareness of the sex trade industry in Europe. But it doesn't, it just uses that as an excuse for the film to become more darker, but nothing else. For me personally, the best revenge thriller to be released in the past few years is Man on Fire. The film was brilliantly directed and had characters we genuinely felt for. This film really does fall short of the mark when comparing it to Man on Fire.
There are entertaining set pieces and it is good to see Liam Neeson getting his hands dirty, but it takes more then that to make a good thriller. I understand that I am in a minority with Taken having it been given a 7.9 vote on it's IMDb page, but I feel let down by the film and that this type of film has been made before and been much better.
The Hangover Part II (2011)
The Funniest Film Since, Well, The Hangover
Just like most people, I loved the Hangover. I remember seeing it for the first time at the cinema and it gave me some of the hardest laughs I've ever had whilst sitting through a film. The first thing that came to my mind when I first heard there was going to be a sequel was, how are they going to do it? They can't just recycle the same plot as the first film can they? Oh yes they can and it works surprisingly well.
Todd Phillips co writes and directs, as he did the first film. He re unites us with all the key players including Bradley Cooper and Zach Galifianakis. This time round the guys are in Thailand to attend Stu's wedding. However, things don't go to plan as you can imagine and we end up with a scenario that seems very familiar to what happened in Vegas two years ago.
This is the funniest film since the original Hangover. I must have laughed out loud at least five times and had plenty of chuckles throughout. Phillips brings Mr Chow into the mix, who brings many of the films laughs. The humour is crude and at moments gross, but it is irresistibly funny. Phillips manages to bring fresh jokes into the film, even though he is pretty much remaking the first film. Although a third film would probably be too much, I wouldn't be surprised if we take another trip out with the wolf pack in a couple of years.
After the disappointment of the latest pirates instalment, it was great to see a summer sequel live up to expectations. Fans of the first Hangover will no doubt love part 2 and so they should, it's one of the funniest films of the year.
Not Even Johnny Depp Could Save The Film From Sinking
I remember when I first saw Pirates of the CarIbbean. I loved it. It was silly, but at the same time loads of fun from start to finish. I, like many fans of Curse of the Black Pearl highly anticipated the sequels. Again, like the first film I enjoyed them. Wonderful popcorn fun, full of funny characters and entertaining set pieces. Then the films ended and I was pleased with what I saw. Did we really need a fourth film?
On Stranger Tides reunites us with the crowd pleasing Jack Sparrow, portrayed by non other then Johnny Depp. But where is Orlando Bloom? What has happened to Keira Knightly? No need to worry pirate fans, the writers have given us a Orlando Bloom look a like who is a preacher. He will fall in love with a mermaid. Problem solved? Well, not really. Although the other three films where the Johnny Depp show, Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightly were still part of it and are missed in this instalment. However, Geoffrey Rush is back as Barbossa and Kevin McNally returns as Gibbs. But these characters returning doesn't add anything to the film at all. Not even the talents of Penelope Cruz or Stephan Graham help, and Ian McShanes Blackbeard is such a boring villain. I couldn't help but appreciate the inventiveness of Davy Jones in the previous two instalments whilst watching him on screen.
The film hasn't got a plot or a point to it either. Different groups of characters are looking for the fountain of youth for different reasons. A bunch of stuff happens along the way and thats it. No, seriously, thats it. It's a film in which stuff is happening, but nothing actually happens. Although it can be argued that the same happened in the other three films, at least they were fun. This film is dull, tedious and very boring.
Rob Marshall, the director has given nothing new or exciting to the franchise. Its Johnny Depp doing Jack Sparrow for over two hours. Which was fine before, but this time I found myself becoming annoyed at the character. I think Johnny Depp gives a good performance, but after waiting all these years for a sequel to see him do the same thing, but only not as good or funny is just one huge disappointment.
I didn't hate the film, I was just so disappointed. There is no fun to be had in this dreary film at all. All you do is watch things happen, watch people talk, then things happen again, then people talk again, then things happen again and it just doesn't end. On Stranger Tides is lifeless, unexciting, tiresome and pointless. Captain Jack, enoughs enough. Lets just call it a day.
Rodriguez At His Blistering Best
Roberet Rodriguez finally lets Danny Trejo be the leading man in this over the the top splat fest after working with him numerous times before. Well, the wait to see Trejo as a ledaing man is finally over. Like many other Rodriguez fans I thought that the fake trailer for Machete which was shown at the start of Planet terror, was fantastic and looked like it should be a Rodriguez film. Not just a fake trailer. Even though I really enjoyed Planet terror (infact I prefer it to Deathproof, which is saying something as I am a die hard Tarantino fan) I could not get the Machete trailer out of my head after the film. The news that the fake trailer would become a full length feature film was like my prayers being answered.
Danny Trejo is Mechete. One of the most memorable characters from a Rodriguez film since Clooney and Tarntino's Gecko brothers back in 19996 in From Dusk Til Dawn. There is no surprise that Tom Savini makes an appearance, although I was surprised how under used he was. Robert De Nero unfortunately doesn't bring much to the table and neither dies Steven Seagal or Jessica Alba. However I was impressed by Michelle Rodriguez and the brief moments spent on screen by Lindsey Lohan were amusing.I personally would have liked to see a Tarantino cameo, but beggars can't be choosers.
The film is solid on story either, however it has enough of a plot to keep the film going just over 90 minutes. The reason why I enjoyed the film so much though isn't because of the plot or performances. It's watching Rodriguez give the audience a blast through his films. The violence is as gory as it can be, whilst also being aware its all tongue and cheek. The action is as extravagant as you can imagine with countless amounts of blades, bullets and babes.
Although it's hardly a memorable action film, its great while it's there. It's pure Rodriguez through and through and I am sure fans of his other films will not be disappointed.
True Grit (2010)
True Grit is Truly Great.
The Coen brothers latest outing comes in the form of True Grit. Based on the 1968 novel by Charles Portis and an update of the classic western staring John Wayne, True Grit is a hard hitting tale about loyalty and vengeance.
True Grit follows 14 year old Mattie Ross (Hailee Steinfeld) and her search for the Tom Chaney (Josh Brolin) who killed her father. Mattie is seeking for someone to find Chaney and bring him in alive so he can be hanged for his crime. The man she hires comes in the form of Rooster Cogburn (The fantastic Jeff Bridges)to go and get Chaney. Another man interested in Chaney is LeBoeuf (Matt Damon) the Texas ranger who is pursuing Chaney for the killing of another ranger. The film follows these characters through their journey and asks the question, who really has true grit?
The first thing to say about True Grit is that it is vintage Coen brothers. The script is full of their dark humour yet it never pushes aside the seriousness of the situations that the characters are in. It is a great story that is wonderfully written and directed with such skill and elegance. The cinematography is outstanding and is some shots moved my focus from the characters to the stunning scenery.
The great thing about True Grit that makes the film stand out is the relationships between these characters as the film moves along. We never see Mattie with her family in the film, so it seems to the audience that her new father figure is the rough and tough Cogburn and her mother figure is the firm but fair LeBeouf. This dysfunctional family tale is very intriguing, but the Coens do a great job of not forgetting the story is at the heart of the film. The most interesting aspect of the film is the relationship between Mattie and Cogburn. He makes a big impression on her as her becomes her new father figure. She starts to wear similar clothes to him, she starts to pick up habits and traits from him and he even opens him self up to her as they search for Chainy. This is a strange but very interesting relationship to watch grow on the screen. At one point Mattie tells LeBeouf that she thinks she hired the wrong man. This is not because Cogburn is not capable of finding Chaney, but because Mattie has become so much like Cogburn that she is now wanting someone else to take charge of their mission and therefore turns to the mother figure Le Beouf.
The film is more then just a great tale and a visual treat. It is a study of three very different characters and how they create an impact on each other. With impressive performances from all the cast and a real joy to watch, True Grit is proof that the Coens are masters of modern movie making who (in my mind) are two of the greatest writers and directors in modern Hollywood. Each actor shows their own bit of True Grit in this truly great film.
(500) Days of Summer (2009)
A Wonderful Breath Of Fresh Air
Its fantastic when you go to watch a film, without actually knowing much about it. Your opinions are open and you are not too sure what to expect. In the case of (500) days of summer, it was a real treat. All I knew about the film, was that it was going to be romantic comedy, but I was so wrong. In fact it was more of an anti romantic comedy that had so much more to offer then a normal "rom com".
In (500) days of summer, we are introduced to Tom (Joseph Gorden Levett) who thinks he might be falling in love with Summer (Zooey Deschanel. The problem is that Summer doesn't believe in love. The film follows them through 500 days of their ups, downs and some seriously funny times.
The film is from director Marc Webb. Who is Marc Webb? Well, he certainly has a great talent as he has constructed a complex yet easy to follow love story. The characters are well drawn out and I was impressed by the two lead performances. The film may not be realistic, but it certainly feels it. When looking back over a relationship, we don't remember it all in order. It is the key moments that are remembered which is another strong point about the film. Its ability to jump about the relationship without loosing the audience.The script has plenty of references to other romantic films and even manages to get a dance number in, without it seeming to camp and cheesy. I also loved the soundtrack and went out the buy it days after first watching the film.
A small film with a big aspirations, (500) days of summer is a refreshing film that is full of joy, sadness and heart.
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010)
And The Winner Is........ Edgar Write
When I first saw the trailer for Scoitt Pilgrim vs The World, I was disappointed. The cast looked great and I am a fan of Edgar Write, but there was just something that was not grabbing me and making me want to see it. The film came and went at the cinema, and although many positives reviews from critics and friends of mine who had seen the film were praising it, for some reason I never got round to seeing it. When the DVD was released I bought it hoping for the best, but not expecting much. Well Scott Pilgrim showed me how wrong I was to ignore it at the cinema. It was the most fun I have had watching a film in a long time.
The film follows Scott (wonderfully played by Michael Cera)as he finds himself falling in love with Romana (Mary Elizabeth Winstead). This is a problem for a number reasons. It distracts him from his band who are trying to make it big, He is already in a relationship with a girl who is still in high school and the main problem is Romona's seven evil ex's. The film follows Scott as he tries to overcome these problems whilst trying to make Romona stay in love with him.
The film is full of great performances from the whole cast, including Chris Evens and Brandon Routh. Each actor creates a memorable character, which makes the film a real joy to watch. The quirky one liners are funny and the films constant references to arcade games keeps the light hearted fun of the film alive. The person who should be getting the credit is Edgar Wright. This film shows that he is a very versatile director who can do more then British comedies. This film will hopefully open new doors or him as he is a true talent with a lot to offer.
Even though the trailers put me off, I really enjoyed Scott Pilgrim vs The World. It deserves to be known as a cult classic in years to come, and hopefully it will be. Scott Pilgrim vs the world, and the winner is Edgar Wright.
Basically, Its Saw Without The Brains
Hostel is a film that appealed to me for two reasons. Eli Roth and Quentin Tarantino. Roth make a big hit with Cabin Fever, and I was really interested to see what he would do next. Also, I am a huge Tarantino fan, so if when I saw his name on the poster as the producer, I knew I had to see it. I expected there to be strong gore, which there was. The problem is thats all there was.
The first half of Hostel feels a bit like American Pie abroad. We have a group of male Americans who are travelling across Europe hoping to strike it lucky with the ladies along the way. However, one by one they disappear and end up in an abandoned warehouse where they end up being horrifically tortured.
Eli Roth is a fantastic director and whilst watching the film, you can tell that he has put time and effort into the film. He is a better director then a script writer, as the script and story let the film down. It is hard not to compare Hostel to the first Saw film as that set the standard for the so called "torture porn genre". What made Saw so great was the involvement with the characters. We didn't know who the killer was, we learnt more about the characters as the film continued, the gore and horror was more suggestive then in your face and most importantly the twist all worked. Hostel is all style and no substance which is a big disappointment.
The gore is very graphic and disgusting which is great, but a good horror film needs more then just terrible images. A good horror film needs to take the audience and put them through the struggles of the characters and feel the tension and suspense in the film. In Hostel, I found my self left out of the film and just a spectator to torture and gore. Eli Roth, you have a great talent as a horror film maker, so please make a great horror film thats not just all style, but some depth as well. Tarantino said in an interview that he thought Roth was "The future of horror". Well Quenten, I am not seeing any signs of that yet.
An Average Thriller, That Just About Manages To Keep On Track
Derailed is a film that I have wanted to watch for some time now. I saw the trailer a couple of years ago and thought that it looked like a really interesting film. My expectations unfortunately weren't met, but there is still some enjoyment to be had from the film.
A quick summary without giving too much away. Clive Owen's Character starts an affair with Jennifer Aniston's character. Although things take a sinister turn leaving both characters having to pay money out, if they want their fling to remain a secret. This pushes Owen's character to the limit as he tries to get his life back to way it was by any means necessary.
The set up for the film is very intriguing and I was hooked from the first few minutes. The problems start to arrive in the middle of the film were it just runs out of steam, and the film does two things which we see in most thrillers these days. At every possible option add a twist until the film itself doesn't know which direction its heading, and turn our every day man who we have been following into an action hero. The film thinks its smart by adding in these twists and turns into the plot, and for one or two of the twists it works. By the time plot twist four and five arrive, it just looses all suspense that it had in the earlier parts of the film.
The performances in the film are fine, in particular Owen's. Some of the characters are not necessary, but all of the cast do their best with what they have. The director Mikael Håfström does a good job of making a solid thriller with some moments of suspense and some engrossing characters. The main problem is the script which fails at the midway point.
Not a train wreck by any means, just a disappointing thriller that leaves you saying, "I would like to get off now."
An Exhilarating, Riveting, Mind Blowing Thrill Ride.
Last night I was invited to the cinema to see Inception. I was very excited to see this as I am a huge Christopher Nolan fan and I consider Momento to be one of the best films of the last decade. I was amazed by his vision of Gotham City in Batman Begins and the Dark Knight which I also adored. I also found The Prestiege to be a very entertaining film. This, along with Toy Story 3 would be one of my must see films of the year as the trailer was simply amazing. I saw the film and I was blown away.
The plot is very complex, but I will try and lay it out without giving away too many spoilers. Decaprio plays Cob who can enter peoples dreams and get their secrets. He and his partner Arthur, portrayed wonderfully by Joseph Gorden Lovett, are offered a job which could help Dicaprio get home to his children and no longer be wanted by the law. As the film goes on we discover more about why Cob is being chased and we find out more about his past with his wife and children. Ellen Page who is the latest recruit of the team suspects that Cobbs disturbing memories of his wife may effect this certain job which is going into, which involves entering the mind of Cillian Murphy.
The special effects in this film are jaw dropping. You can really tell that a lot of time and effort have been put in to this dream world. They have to be some of the best special effects I have ever seen. It shows how Nolan thinks that IMAX is the best in cinema at the moment and not 3D. Although I don't have any problems with 3D, I am glad that Nolan kept the film in 2D.
The performances by the cast are superb. Decaprio is very good and I was impressed with Tom Hardy. Everyone is putting in 100% in their performance. But one actor shines above the rest and it is the performance by Joseph Gorden Lovett. He is fantastic and when he shares the screen with Dicaprio, he clearly holds the viewers attention. I hope other critics and viewers recognise this and he gets the recognition he deserves. I was also impressed with Ellen Paige, who seems to be growing into a great young actress. It is performance like this and her role in Hard Candy that are giving her this reputation of being one of the best young actresses in Hollywood at the moment.
This is the must see film of the year by a clear mile. It has fantastic chase sequences, a complex yet clever plot and some brilliant performances. I must have spent 90% of the film on the edge of my seat. One scene in which Arthur is having a fight with some men, who are projections in Cillian Murphys mind had me holding my breath. The tension was brilliant and the room turning round in different directions just added to the awe of the moment. In fact that is how I spent most of the film. In awe.
It is clear that Nolan has put a lot of thought into Inception, as he does more then just show off some fancy effects. He makes the audience engage with humans in the film without the actors being upstaged by the impressive special effects. The film seems to share with Memento the theme of the human mind. It is clear that Nolan has much to say about how the mind works and how the mind affects, not just the characters in his films, but the audiences watching the films. If anyone benefits from this film, it will be Nolan by making his name as one of Hollywoods best directors in the business at the moment. He was the king of the art house cinema with Memento. He showed us how he can make a comic book adaptation into a truly unforgettable and stunning piece of cinema with the last two Batman films. Now he has made another Momento, with a much bigger budget.
A step above the Dark Knight, although on a par with Memnto, Christopher Nolan is becoming more then just a well known director. He is becoming a visionary who is showing cinema goers that blockbusters can be smart, action packed and entertaining without having a ton of explosions every five minutes( Transformer Revenge Of The Fallen ). I hope the film gets the credit it deserves and that the audience and critics enjoy it as much as I did. It will be interesting to see what Nolan does after the third Batman film as he is creating a reputation for himself as being the man who has given the summer blockbuster a brain.
Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen review from a Michael Bay fan.
I am a film fan who will always defend Michael Bay when he is criticized for being a poor director. My argument has always been, if Hollywood want a action film done as big as possible, Micheal Bay will achieve that. He will get Hollywood the money they want and blow up every car and building which he possibley can in the process. In fact I think Armegedan is a very good film and I am a huge fan of The Island. When I saw Transformers in 2007, I was very pleased with the film. The action was fine, Shia Le Buef was great and it was an overall fun summer blockbuster that kept me entertained. I knew that there would be a sequel and I was right. Unfortunately.
My summary for Transformers: Revenge of the fallen goes like this. Shia Le Buef goes off to college, Megan Fox looks gorgeous, the cube from the first film returns along with John Tatoro and other characters, and robots hit each other. OK, there is more to it then that, but is is not worth going into. The film has so many plot holes that there is just no point what so ever explaining them. Just know that the film does not care for its plot, so why should we.
This film is a case of what some people call sequelitis. The first film did well at the box office, received some good reviews and gained a fan base. OK, thats fine, I have no problem with that, in fact I thought the first film was one of the best summer films of 2007. What has happened here, is that Michael Bay has been given more money to make another film and he has spent all the money on big explosions and action sequences shot so fast, loud and shaky that you end up not having a clue with what is meant to be happening. The film spends no time on character development and even Shia Like Buef who I think is a terrific actor is very poor in the film. There is one scene in which Megan Fox tells him she loves him and he replies I like you too. Oh please. If a guy like him ever got a chance with her, he would not use that as a response to I love you. The problem is that we all know he can act. I was amazed at his performance in Disturbia and then I have to watch him in this peace of rubbish.
The writing is utterly atrocious and just wants to get to the next action sequence. The dialogue is bad and the plot is terrible.It is a script that has clearly not had any care put into it. The only thing the writers were caring about was the money that they would receive when the film has finished. The cast in the film are no different. They are aware that a paycheck is waiting for them and all they have to do is run around a lot. We have more transformers introduced. They are 2D characters that have no purpose there apart from Michael Bay can afford to put them there. They are forgettable and offer nothing to the film.
The film grossed over 300 million at the box office which makes it even more hateful. The fact that a lazy film with a rotten heart that just wants money from the audience and does not want to give the audience anything in return makes it the worst film of 2009 for me. I am now going to refer to how I introduced my review by saying that I defend Michael Bay. I still think that Bay makes action film louder and bigger then any other director, but when placed with a poor script and the directing just consists of crash boom bang, we end up with this hateful film.
I even fell a sleep for a few seconds towards the end of the film. I can't believe it. The film was so mind numbingly boring that a fell a sleep in a Michael Bay film. As you can imagine I was soon woken by a giant explosion of some sort which didn't matter at all to the story. For everyone who was involved in this film, shame on you. You have have got all your millions of dollars from making a horrible excuse for a film.
The Love Guru (2008)
The sad thing about this film is that Mike Myers is desperately trying to be funny.
The Love guru is the latest comedy character created by Mike Myers. Myers was very successful with Austin Powers and this film is supposed to show that Myers can do more to make us laugh with new and original characters. Unfortunately for Myers his new character is not funny and the film he is placed in is very poor.
The basic plot for the love guru. Guru Pitka (Myers) is the second best love guru in the world, but dreams of being the best, which to him means going on Opera. He gets an opportunity to make himself the best through Darren Roanoke (Romany Malco).He is a hockey player who has been of his game since his wife left him for another player called Jacques "Le Coq" Grandé (Justin Timberlake). The owner of the club, played by Jessica Alba wants the guru's help so he can help Darren Roanoke and make the team have a chance of winning the Stanley cup.
Now the plot is poor and very predictable and I found myself seeing how long was left till this peace of rubbish ended. None of the acting is any good. Jessica Alba does a great job of looking good, but that is about it. Justin Timberlake puts on a stupid accent which is meant to be funny but is not. Vearn Troyer( a.k.a. Mini me) just spends the film shouting and swearing. Not even Myers supplies one decent laugh in the film and the sad thing is you can tell he is trying so hard to make this material funny, but it just isn't. Also, his character is meant to have a crush on Jessica Alba's character, but there is no chemistry between the two. I would blame the writers for Myers poor material to work with, but Myers co wrote it meaning I can not stick up for him. In the whole film I raised a smile once which is why I am not giving this film a 1 out of 10 as a scene involving Vearn Troyer pretending to have a heart attack made me laugh for a few seconds. On the whole it is a rubbish comedy supplying maybe one funny scene, which is disappointing for comedy film fans, but more for Myers fans. I doubt there will be a sequel as this has stained Myers record of funny comedies. Myers carer is in jeopardy and he must give us a new character who is funny and give us a funny film or he will always be known as the voice of Shrek and we all know he is better then that.
No Country for Old Men (2007)
" No country for old men is better then Fargo!"
The first film I saw from the Coen brothers was Fargo, since then I watched more of their films. I was very excited when I was given No country for old men as a present on DVD. I had heard a lot about it and was aware of it's success at the Oscars. I had very high expectations for this film.
The film revolves three characters who are never seen together on the screen. The first character we see is Anton Chigurh ( Javier Bardem )he is arrested at the start but soon escapes killing one police officer and a pedestrian, then steals the pedestrian's car. Sheriff Ed Tom Bell ( Tommy Lee Jones ) is an old sheriff who is trying to find Anton Chigurh for the killings. Llewelyn Moss ( Josh Brolin ) has come across a drugs deal gone wrong in the middle of nowhere. He finds a bag full of money and takes it. Unfortunately this money was meant to be collected by Anton Chigurh and he intends on getting the money back. Llewelyn Moss is forced to go on the run from Anton Chigurh who is ruthlessly killing all who stand in his way of him and his money. Sheriff Ed Tom Bell becomes aware of Llewelyn Moss and his situation and so a deadly cat and mouse chase starts. Sheriff Ed Tom Bell is trying to convince Llewelyn Moss, through his wife played by Kelly Macdonald, that he should hand over the money before Anton Chigurh comes for his wife. Meanwhile, the businessman who hired Chigurh (Stephen Root) is worried about the violence and deaths involved in returning the money. He hires Carson Wells (Woody Harrelson)to reason with Chigurh and get the money back.
Josh Brolin is a fantastic in his performance and so is Tommy Lee Jones, although Javier Bardem takes up the spot light by giving us an outstanding performance as one the most ruthless villains in the last decade. The film has no music apart from in the closing credits. This is very good as you get a sense of how empty and silent a place is, meaning anything could happen and no one would know.The scenery in this film is amazing and visually beautiful.
Now,I loved Fargo and thought The Coen brothers could not top it. Well I was wrong. No country for old men is better then Fargo. A very well made movie, which I can not find any faults with. 10 out of 10. A modern classic.