Archive for the ‘ Movies (Non comic book) ’ Category

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1 Review

 

Cover of "Breaking Dawn (The Twilight Sag...

Cover via AmazonFilm Details: 12A

Release Date: November 18th 2011

Starring: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner

Director: Bill Condon

If you’re going to see this film, I doubt this review will stop you. Since vampire mania swept the globe with the release of ‘Twilight’ back in 2008, the Twilight Saga has grown from bad to worse. Breaking Dawn: Part 1 is an example of everything wrong with the Twilight franchise. Like myself, if you’re not part of the teenage ‘twihard’ demographic, avoid this grim sequel at all costs.

Team Edward! Team Jacob! It’s hard to watch a film, when you have a cinema full of screaming teenagers around you. As the film opened with our first glimpse of Edward Cullen (Pattinson) and Jacob Black (Lautner), the screams from at least 200 girls beckoned. Staying silent, I must have counted four other men in the cinema at the most, no doubt dragged to see the film by their ‘twihard’ girlfriends.

As the film progressed the screams died down, and the laughs grew. Where Harry Potter benefited from telling its story between two films, Breaking Dawn almost becomes a self-parody. The film’s opening is arguably it’s strongest point. Mortal Bella Swan (Stewart), who still can’t catch a smile, is finally getting married to the love of her life, the sparkly vampire Edward Cullen. The wedding speech montage from friends of the bride and groom is the best moment in the film. Too bad it’s cut short for a quick cliché stare down between rivals Jacob and Edward (with Lautner delivering just about enough sarcasm to make the scene remotely interesting).

That’s where the romance story ends. From then on, the flick transcends into a rather grotesque soap opera.  An anticlimactic lovemaking scene between Bella and Edward (during in which every girl in the audience, and a few guys strangely enough erupted into cheers) leads to Bella falling pregnant. At this point we find out her human womb struggles to cope with a foetus that’s half vampire and the race to keep her alive begins. As the Cullen clan try to keep Bella alive, the film takes a stake to the heart with some laughable conversations between CGI wolves, who swear revenge for Bella’s life becoming threatened by the Cullens. It’s almost impossible to make the plot seem sensible. It’s safe to say, if you’re not up to speed with the Twilight mythology, this film does not work as a standalone.

What I found most disappointing was from an outsider’s perspective, the script deliberately avoided anything that would have made for compelling drama, in order for the film to remain as light, clichéd entertainment. Edward’s hesitation over fathering a child that may kill his wife, and Jacobs test of loyalty to his tribe went completely unexplored, instead the film focused on making Bella look as grotesque as possible while she struggles to survive her potentially fatal pregnancy. From her illness, to her gore fest caesarean, I struggled to see how this film managed to pass with a 12A rating. Perhaps some salvation might come from the film potentially putting 13-year-old girls off pregnancy. Judging by the deafening screams of cheers from the audience, Breaking Dawn somehow manages to do just enough to get fans excited for the sequel. I’d like to imagine we might finally see an action packed vampire/werewolf showdown, but if any of the last films are to go by, I wouldn’t get my hopes up.

Verdict: 2/5

As someone who has been forced to watch all four of the Twilight films, I can say this is by far the worst of the bunch. Despite having some of the better acting of the series, pacing problems, awful special effects and a relatively boring script highlight that this is one franchise that just won’t die. Still, I’ve got a year to brace myself for the next one…

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My Favourite Bond

James bond - quantum of solace

Image by Julien Haler via Flickr

I’m not a big fan of the James Bond films. I find them overly clichéd, and at the most of times they’re really easy to predict. Many of the films share the same formula, which why I wasn’t surprised when the series was rebooted back in 2006 with Casino Royale.  In attempt to see if I could enjoy the Bond films once more, I recently watched Quantum of Solace for the first time.

Despite the film being rid of the clichés that ruined previous movies, I really didn’t enjoy Daniel Craig as 007. He didn’t look the part, and had absolutely no charisma or personality. So with Craig doing nothing to hook me on to the James Bond films, I decided to take a look back at some of the older movies and determine who is the best James Bond to date?

Who turned out to be my favourite Bond? Pierce Brosnan. What separates Brosnan from the likes of Sean Connery, Roger Moore and Daniel Craig is that he makes for the most well rounded Bond we’ve seen to date. Brosnan’s 007 is charismatic, classy, witty and intelligent, and unlike the likes of Connery and Timothy Dalton, Brosnan was a believable ass kicker.

What hurts Brosnan’s 007 is that he starred in some of the more absurd films. Die Another Day is a pure example of how despite having the best Bond; it is probably one of the worst 007 films I’ve seen. GoldenEye is an example of how the formulaic blandness of the Bond films began to show, hurting Brosnan’s first outing at the super spy.

What would it take for me to believe in Bond? Recast. I’m not necessarily asking for a reboot, I just think the series needs a Bond who actually has charisma and charm. Whilst Craig certainly offered a more grittier Bond, which at times was really interesting to see, for me though it was just too far from the classic interpretation. I think a new Bond should have a new actor, but not tread over 007’s origin. Who would I pick? I’m sure the world would agree with me here as I think Michael Fassbender would make for one classic Bond.

If you disagree with me just watch the first half of X-Men: First Class.

Chavs vs. Aliens? Proper Crap Film Bruv

Kapow! Comic Con : Attack The Block previews b...

Image by Craig Grobler via Flickr

I refuse to give in to the stupid hype ‘Attack The Block‘ is currently receiving. Critics are calling the sc-fi/action film a new ‘cult classic’ and the next’ Shaun of the Dead‘, but all I see from the trailer is a film where thugs and muggers are portrayed as heroes.

Directed by Joe Cornish (who worked on Shaun of the Dead),  and for anyone that doesn’t know the film follows a group of illiterate teenagers who live on a council estate in South London. When a group of aliens decide to attack ( a council estate of all places?), the gang of hoodies decide to fight back and save the day.

I’m not a snob, not by any means. I’ve lived on a council estate nearly all of my life so I know how bad the streets can be. Thugs will never be a good thing. I think the News Of The World said it best. We’re introduced to the main characters at the beginning of the film as they’re mugging a nurse. Instantly after hearing that, I lost any interest I had in the characters or the film. I mean these type of groups terrorize our streets, and are responsible for the UK having such a high percentage of knife crime. Yet as long as this film has a FIFA reference and some crappy jokes everything’s ok.

It also doesn’t look good on the British Film Industry. An industry which one brought us such greats such as Trainspotting and Four Weddings and a Funeral is seriously declining. The industry has been critised in the past for not producing enough homegrown cultural products, so to counter that they produce a film that reeks of crap. We see and hear stories of muggings and stabbings everyday on the news, so Hollywood goes and galmourises it even further? Don’t be fooled into thinking this film will show you that the characters become heroes.

All it’s going to do is make the nation even more illiterate, and generate a surge of chavvy fashion trends and hobbies. I’d give this one a miss by the sounds of it.

Safe

Jack Sparrow sails in to cinemas for the fourth time

Wasn’t Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End enough?

Despite being the most expensive film ever made (budget of $300 million), At World’s End was nothing more than a convoluted mess of confusing plot lines and boring sword fights. I really enjoyed the original film: The Curse Of The Black Pearl, it’s just a shame it didn’t end there. Two films later, and Hollywood insists on forcing another one down our throats.

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides is due for release on May 20th 2011. Starring Johnny Depp as the famous pirate Jack Sparrow, this film moves away from the days of Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightly and moves on to a sequel with tints of reboot. Following the conclusion of World’s End, Jack Sparrow goes in search of the fountain of youth; only he’s not the only pirate on board. Penélope Cruz joins the cast as Jack’s love interest Angelica and daughter of feared pirate Blackbeard (Ian McShane).

My biggest problem is that The Pirates of the Caribbean franchise should have anchored after film three. If you look at what the superhero franchises are doing, none of them go past three movies without rebooting or going back to prequels. There’s no arguing the last film was financially successful, making $960 million worldwide, it’s just the quality of the movies arguably declined after film one. Hollywood should not be allowed to produce a mess of a film, knowing audiences will still flock in to see it. As much as I enjoyed Jack Sparrow in the first film, he’s been carrying the franchise on his own ever since. Orlando Bloom’s Will Turner was one of the worst on-screen pirates I’ve ever seen, whilst Knightey’s conversion from governor’s daughter to Pirate Lord in the last film was embarrassing to say the least. Hopefully the new cast will actually give us some interesting characters capable of sharing the spotlight with Depp for the once.

It’s obvious that On Stranger Tides will still make a bounty at the box office, even if reception to the film is poor. Disney Pictures really need to step up their game with this film is they are to stand any chance of a further sequel.

Surely fans can only cope with the poor movies for so long…

Inception is amazing!

From Wikipedia

After just one viewing Inception strolls its way into my top films of all time.  Christopher Nolan was on a roll after his Batman double and boy did it continue with Inception.

But onto Inception.

The plot of the film revolves around corporate spy Dom Cobb (played by Leonardo DiCaprio) who steals people’s ideas from their dreams. When he’s asked to plant an idea in the mind of a target in an espionage process known as ‘Inception’, Cobb is promised he will see his children again. If he fails in his quest for ‘Inception’, Cobb will be stuck in dream sequences forever.

This film goes where films like The Matrix have failed. Inception successfully provides a smart and interesting story, without alienating members of the audience along the way. Inception is innovative and daring, providing an action packed labyrinth of scenes. Inception is an art form.

Christopher Nolan seems to have a way of taking Hollywood blockbusters and making them into something truly amazing and artistic. He did it in 2008 with The Dark Knight taking one of cinema’s tragic franchises in Batman and making it into an artistic triumph. Now Nolan has done the same with Inception proving that blockbusters can be smart. Nolan’s blockbusters can make you think, but also leaving you guessing at every turn. The narrative of Inception should do what the likes of the Star Wars films have done and revolutionize the science fiction genre.

The cast of the film are all perfect as well. DiCaprio gives one of his best ever performances as troubled corporate spy Dom Cobb. Cobb’s tortured condition keeps the audience guessing what his next move will be. However as the film goes on you realise that there is a tragic love story burdening Cobb’s character which DiCaprio nails spot on.

The Special effects are also mind blowing as expected in a Christopher Nolan directed film. The set pieces are phenomenal. Perhaps one of the best executed action scenes in Hollywood history is the anti-gravity scene in Inception. This insanely delivered set piece has set a new bar for Hollywood action.

All in all Inception is one of the most unique, daring films of all time. Nolan delivers an exciting  labyrinth of set pieces, with amazing special effects and an unmissable sound score. Strong performances from the lead cast make this film what The Matrix should have been.

Outstanding.

I just want to say I love this film

Broche "Moulin Rouge"

Image by PENDIENTERA (Luz) via Flickr

Welcome back to the blog! I realise for the past week or so I’ve been away. I’ve been writing posts for a group blog known as Nonagon, which you can totally follow here; http://anonagon.wordpress.com/

Be sure to check out my review of The Adjustment Bureau as well as my opinion on the future of comic book movies!

For now however, after re-watching it for the tenth time, I have to say just how good this film is: Moulin Rouge

I love Baz Luhrmann‘s work, I even loved his re imagining of Romeo and Juliet in 1996. Moulin Rouge however was something special. I’m a big fan of musicals and this film takes that genre and completely revolutionizes the concept.  Moulin Rouge is an amazing display of art, poetry, opera and cultural brilliance!

Amazing performances from Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman make for some of the best on screen chemistry I’ve ever seen in a film. McGregor’s performance as a writer named Christian oozes sympathy from the audience for how innocent and genuine the character is, where as Kidman’s portray of courtesan Satine highlights how tragic love can be.

The musical performances were outstanding, particularly Roxanne, where the films gives us some of the best cinema opera of all time.

Simply put Moulin Rouge is an amazing film and definitely earns a spot in my top ten.

The Lord Of The Rings may not be such a jewel after all…

the return of the king 009

Image by andy z via Flickr

Similar to my Star Wars post last time, this post is about the big flaw I have with The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King.

Just to be clear however, this is not a post where I criticise the plot, as that’s an issue with Tolkien‘s writing (and there are many issues with his writing), this is where I look at one of the worst decisions the film makers (Peter Jackson/New Line Cinema) made in the trilogy.

My biggest problem is that a hugely sufficient chapter in the book ‘The Scouring of the Shire‘  which takes place at the end of The Return Of The King wasn’t even included in the film. For those that don’t know this was a chapter where Frodo and the gang (Gandalf, Sam,Merry,Pippin) returned home to the Shire only to see it taken over by Saruman and his servant Wormtongue. A big battle occurs (where several hobbits are killed) before Saruman is killed by Wormtongue and moments later Wormtongue is shot to death by hobbits.

Why is this such a big deal? When Tolkien wrote the book he was influenced by the increasing destruction of the English countryside, and the rising problem of industrialisation . Tolkien has himself in the past admitted that the chapter was also influenced by his feelings of loss and pain he felt when he returned from WW1 only to find most of his friends had died and all he remembered from his youth had disappeared.

The Scouring of the Shire evidently reflected Tolkien’s life and the film makers decision to leave the Shire unaffected, completely took away so much potential for added emotion and drama.

It was still an amazing film,

but what a missed opportunity.