Saturday, 31 May 2014

Review : The Lord of the Rings - The Return of the King

The Lord of the Rings - Return of the King : The epic conclusion to the trilogy, the end to end all ends in the tale of the one ring.

 Hi Everyone

I suppose I should rap things up with The Lord of the Rings, now that this is my last review on the trilogy. So Fellowship was about the beginning, Two Towers was about the middle so Return of the Kings must be about the end. Now the end is very important, because you don't want to rap things off and leave any untied knots inconclusive. In the case of 'Return of the King' It has its moments of trill and suspense as well its more suttle moments.

This is by a mile stone, My favourite of the trilogy because it has a quality to it that to me makes me believe I am watching a genuinely good film. It's a great trill ride, all the action in this film is brilliant. It raps everything up so smoothly and accordingly. There are hardly any loose ends and it just coagulates very frequently.

Obviously it suffers from similar problems as 'Two Towers' did, were at certain points during the film things tend to come to a stand still, not much happens in terms of adding to the drama, and there's quit aloof padding where the story doesn't go anywhere. More scenes of people talking and in deep discussion, and to me watching that it is quite dull and boring to watch. I don't want to be watching character having a serious chinwag. I want to see what Frodo, Sam and Gollum are doing.

And of course the interchanges between scenes were distracting, I didn't feel this film flowed as coheartly as it could of done. 'Fellowship' told a story and then started to build to the cliffhanger to 'Two Towers', and then 'Two Towers' carries on from where 'Fellowship' left off and I wasn't all that convinced by the passing of Two Towers or indeed Return of the King, one minute we're with Sam and Frodo the next scene it's Gandalf talking to someone. 
It's not disjointed I just feel perhaps like the different pieces of the film egist within their own scenes and its one after the other and the story tells itself like that. I'm not saying the directing is poor. I am saying that the passing of it and progression doesn't for me tell the story in a contiutive format.

But this film achieves drama the best, the suspence is there when it is there. All of the film is brilliantly directed by Peter Jackson and though I did think some bits of the film drag on a bit and don't add to the drama, everything does conclude itself really well. I thought it everything ended really well, obviously some people can complain saying that there are too many endings to the film, when looking at it from an obversive point of context there is only one ending, and it's a good one.

So the film does achive what it sets out to achieve and that is all about the ending. The ending is good therefore the film's motive is achieved. 9/10

Rounding things up The Lord of the Rings Trilogy gets - 24/30.

Friday, 30 May 2014

Review : The Lord of the Rings - The Two Towers

The Lord of the Rings - The Two Towers : The mid point in the Lord of the Rings quest, Frodo and Sam have to continue their journey to Mordor whilst the others make their own separate journey elsewhere, all of which coagulate into the main plot which the first film gave us. As a continuation goes, The Two Towers does tend to stand out as the mediocre one of the trilogy.

Hi everyone

Welcome to my latest review of 'The Lord of the Rings' Trilogy. The Two Towers is the second of the three films. As sequels go I'm very skeptical with sequels and tend to question about wither or not the finished product will be any good, particularly as 'Fellowship' was a fair start to the trilogy. I approached this with not very high expectations If I'm being honest, because I didn't want any of my feelings for 'Fellowship' to be over looked by a good sequel, However I also thought that if Two Towers was bad then I would be very disappointed, that it didn't live up to the expectations of 'Fellowship'

In terms of the story telling, as I mentioned before 'Fellowship' I felt was all about setting up the basics and constructing a good start and was all about the beginnings. 'Two Towers' is all reaching a mid point and it's all about the middle. But the problem I think you find with the middle is that all of a sudden things tend to come to stand still. There's lots of unnecessary padding. In which the story doesn't really go anywhere. It just scretches to a halt and stops.

That for me is disappointing because I am very eagerly connected to the drama that is going on this movie, I think it achieves the sentimental value of good drama much better than 'Fellowship' and suddenly the action stops, and becomes a lot more suttle based. I mean there are lots and lots of scenes of people talking, in deep conversation and it just slows the story right down.

But the film does redeem itself, towards the end is where I think I'm best engaged with the story and where I really do want to find out what happens next, this film does end on a brilliant cliffhanger.

All of Frodo, Sam and Gollum's scenes were great. For me they were the best scenes in the film because I found them the most interesting. The idea of trust and how that trust is tested, something that will later go on to really be played on for 'Return of the King' I really like Gollum's character Andy Serkis plays him with to true perfection. The performance is near perfect, and it's just presence and how his impact is inflicted on Sam and Frodo as he comes in, all the scenes were brilliantly directed, well written and brilliantly performed.

I did think some of the interchanges between scenes were distracting, I didn't feel this film flowed better than 'Fellowship' did because 'Fellowship' told a story and then started to build to the cliffhanger to 'Two Towers', and then 'Two Towers' carries on from where 'Fellowship' left off and I wasn't all that convinced by the passing of it, one minute we're with Sam and Frodo the next scene it's Gandalf talking to someone. 

It's not disjointed I just feel perhaps like the different pieces of the film egist within their own scenes and its one after the other and the story tells itself like that. I'm not saying the directing is poor. I am saying that the passing of it and progression doesn't for me tell the story in a contiutive format. I don't feel it does that.

All the action sequences I thought were very impressive, the effect of having action sequences I think adds to the drama, tells the story in a dynamically dramatic way and it engages the audience much better because you got dramatic music to back up and add to what's going on the scene and believe me The Lord of the Rings trilogy really does achieve that brilliantly, using music and soundtrack to dynamically excite the audience into watching it. Moments of peril are really intense and grippingly tense.

So 'The Two Towers' is a very good middle part of the trilogy, and leaves things off to be picked up in 'The Return of the King' really well. Nice contitunity all round, 8/10.

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Review : The Lord of the Rings - The Fellowship of the Ring

The Lord of the Rings - The Fellowship of the Ring : A Trilogy of bizarre fantasy from J.R.R Tolkien's Imagination, and the movies have been made with that in mind. It starts with a meek hobbit of the Shire and his eight companions setting out on a journey of unimaginable danger to Mount Doom to destroy the One Ring and defeat the dark lord Sauron.

Hi Everyone
Welcome to my newest film review, which is 'The Fellowship of the Ring'. The first instalment of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy of novels, inspired by the visionary of J.R.R Tolkien and brought to life from the page to screen by Award Winning Director Peter Jackson. Over the next 3 days, I will be reviewing all three Lord of the Rings movies to celebrate what is a pretty awesome trilogy  when you come to think about it. 

I mean I haven't read the books, but I do think that Peter Jackson has done a very good job at potentially stepping up the mark to produce three very strong films. Bringing to life Tolkien's visions as he wrote them down in the books and taking that and turning it into a feature length epic film. For me one does stand out as being the best, but I do like all three in their own way. 

I should though not just for Peter Jackson but for any director, it's a very daunting challenge and incredibly brave to adapt a book into a film because there are only so many thing that can cross ones mind, and concern the public attention and expectations of what they want from it. When going into Fellowship the Introduction is great, really good start to the film, gets people interested as well as informed so they know right from the start what the films going to be about, what they are going to expect from it.

Then we are introduced to Frodo and to Gandalf and the shire and the whole shire set up is just fantastic, The shire set is by far my favourite set up of the whole film, because everything about it seems to me like what Tolkien had dreamed up and described it to be, so its a very accurate description putting those words on a page to visually constructing it. 

And one of the nice things about that scene is, whilst the shire scene is going on, there is also a little re cap which refers back to the events of The Hobbit. Which I think is a nice little nod to The Hobbit trilogy and Gandalf's line of 'If your wondering about that incident with the dragon, I was barely involved'. sums it all up for me, and there's also nice background done to Bilbo as well and Gandelf's friendship with him, so in terms of development strategy there is lots and lots and lots to follow up on. To say that there's not enough character development would be untrue, and the actors give an excellent performance from the word 'Go'.

Then we have Bilbo's Party which is a nice light hearted comedy scene, which I still think today is very fun, playful scene that people can reminisce in they watch it and go 'oh wow, look at how much of a good time their having' and then after that its when things start to get dark, Bilbo's corruption and idea of possession with the ring which has corroded him and taken over him, his character just flips its like he's not controlling the ring, the ring is controlling him. There's an underlined message of power and greed happening, and Gandalf is aware of this, which is one of the things I like about Gandalf's character, he's very intuitive, he knows when somethings up. 

Then everything starts to unfold, more and more characters like Frodo and Sam get involved so now, their in danger because they got themselves mixed up in all this. They soon embark on a dangerous quest to take the ring to mordor to destroy it. It's only once the journey happens, the real adventure begins and 'Fellowship' is all about the introductions, for me. It's about setting up a strong, constructive beginning so that you start the journey and your on a journey with Frodo and Sam and the Hobbits, as well as they are.

Though I do admire 'Fellowship' for that, it's not my favourite of the trilogy simply because it lacks the sentimental factor of dramatic interest, some moments do progress more slowly then they need to which of course is time consuming for your story telling. Which just goes to prove this film didn't need to be as long as it did. I'm sure that all the raw basics and brilliant character development and all the introductions could of been achieved in just under 100 minutes rather than 178 minutes which is the films length.

Which concludes my first review on 'Lord of the Rings'. Fellowship for me is about the starting point and how well it starts off. I think it was an well thought out and developed start, just half an hour too long. 7/10. 

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Review : Spongebob Squarepants

The Spongebob Squarepants Movie : Yes. That's correct, our beloved sponge who lives in a pineapple under the sea is going on an adventure with his best friend Patrick Star to retrieve King Neptune's crown which was stolen and taken to Shell City.

Hello Film Lovers

I hope you all had a good Bank Holiday weekend, today I will review a childhood favourite The Spongbob Squarepants movie. I love Spongebob, I think the comedy behind him and the relationship he has with his best friend Patrick, and stupid things they get into is always a joy to watch. It's playful childish comedy which children can understand and relate to in their everyday life.

Anyway that relationship is put to the test when Spongebob and Patrick, set off on an adventure to get a crown, save the town and Mr Krabbs from the fury of King Neptune. However there is an evil plot a foot. Plankton plans to control the population of the bikini bottom to obey him, its his ambitions on world domination finally getting somewhere. Because Plankton is a character that we all look down on anyway, and is seen as a easily undesirable character, he's not the best villain but he give it a good shot.

I think what makes The Spongebob Movie so funny, is that it is so daft, its very very daft. The jokes in this are completely off the wall. The plot is all over the place. The film is essentially a child's birthday party, where  food flies around everywhere, there's lots of fun and games, and light entertainment happening throughout, everyone has a jolly good laugh. You can laugh with it, and just go a long with the flow of it because it's one of those films, that is so daft you can't look beyond it any further then being completely ridiculous.

Having said that we do go on a kind of emotional rollar coaster for all of an hour and a half. Spongebob and Patrick really do bond on their time together on this journey is very up and down, they first get into trouble, next their laughing, next their in a near death situation. I mean their is a scene where their about to be dehydrated and you do think 'is this the end?' and of course it isn't. But for that moment you do start to think of the possibilities that it might be. That's what's important about it, to have the audience see how well these character work, because before you know it, they are gone.

David Hasselhoff pops in to guest star in this, which just adds more to the randomness of it, yet it so daft it works. It relates back to what I mentioned earlier about going with the flow in  order to maintain a balance of comedy, action, suspense, excitement factor, etc. Anyway Hasselhoff is only in it for a couple of minutes before the end, but his role turns out to be brief but important, for the sake of he gets Spongebob and Patrick from where they are to where they want to be. So that's Hasselhoff summed up.

I mean, I think the main fault can be the fact of the reason why I praise the film so much. It's a stupid film, your main characters daft, his friend's an idiot, they both get up to doing stupid things together in their spare time. So you can say it's dumb and dumber going on a road trip to unimaginable danger, they could be killed any minute by a monster or a get stepped on by a diver or be killed by hit man Dennis, who Plankton hires to make sure Spongebob and Patrick don't succeed in their mission. I mean 'Evil Plan Z' whoever rights this stuff is so imaginative, but you can't help but also cringe at it and say 'this is just so daft' on every possible level, it achieves a new level of stupid.

But if children like it, that's what is important. I was a child once. I loved this film, which is why the inner child in me now gives this film a 6/10.

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Review : Mean Girls

Mean Girls : Chick Flick Comedy starring Lindsay Lohan and Reachel McAdams. Basically Cady Heron and her family have moved from Africa, to start a new life. Cady is starting High School and doesn't quite know when to fit in, but she becomes a hit with the plastics the A-list girl clique at her new school, until she makes the mistake of falling for Aaron Samuels, the ex-boyfriend of alpha Plastic Regina George.

Hi All

In today's review I decided to go a bit different here and go  a little bit out of my comfort zone and try and review something a bit different, and well I have to say that Mean Girls isn't a film that's completely alien to me. I have seen it, and love it and can quote this film, not word for word. But I'm familiar with it enough to know the basics and the works of this film.

It's a chick flick about this over exaggerated girl war and how things can get way out of hand. When you watch this back you do sort of run with it, in terms of having a good time and not taking it so seriously, I think the basic designs of it is it's a film to have a laugh with, nice different, suttle and yet very exciting the backstabbing and the double crossing that goes on, things do get pretty intense.

It's also a film about friendship and knowing who your friends are, who to trust, who not to trust, who will bitch about you behind your back and how Cady a girl who isn't like that is so desperate and has such a desire to be liked she will go to such lengths to join in with the plastics mean games that she ends up becoming one of them and being as bad as them.

In terms of delivering the laughs and being funny. This film is very funny, I watched it back recently and wasn't surprised about how well it stands up in terms of how funny it actually still is. It's the same old jokes which have gotten repetitive over the amount of times I've watched it. But It's still good for a laugh, all the jokes just take the piss out of high school and is very suttle and mellow and fits in well with the plot.

Mark Waters who also directed the 2003 version of Freaky Friday with Lindsay Lohan did a great job at directing this film. His attitude and perseverance I think is to just enjoy what's being filmed and to have a happy cast, and keep your cool, deal with it slowly and get through each scene and that's one of the ways to do it. If you approach yourself in a manor of 'I can do this' I think you'll make a good film. Mark Waters is one of those directors. He may not be one of my favourite directors, but I admire his enthusiasm and passion in this project, because it can very easily go off the wall, but luckily it doesn't. It stays contained and is very controlled.

But if to be nit picky with this film, I would say that there are some quite misleading cheats and mistakes made in this film, which are quite easy to point out should you go back and scrutinise. And believe me, I have gone so low as to do that.

Some I can name are : 

  1. Regina’s handwriting in the Burn Book changes from shot to shot
  2. And when Prinicpal Duvall opens the 'Fugly Slut' page, the red writing isn't where it should be.
  3. When Miss Norbury is cleaning her shirt, the doughnuts go from being inside the box outside.
  4. And when Miss Norbury's shirt gets stuck to her sweater you can see the actresses left hand, lifting it up.
  5. When Cady comes back from the Halloween Party and scares Janice and Damien, Damien tosses his popcorn all over the place, yet in the next shot it's full again.
  6. None of the animals you see Cady in a picture with are actually are from Africa.
  7.  At the start of a phone conversation Ragina is half way through a doughnut, yet in the next shot the doughnut is only missing a small bite.
  8. The girls get soaked when Principal Duvall turns on the sprinklers, yet in the next shot when their in the gym they're all dry.

Nit Picks like that are what let the film down slightly, but I do still enjoy this film for what it is. A chick flick. 7/10.

Friday, 23 May 2014

Review : X Men - Days of Future Past


The X-Men send Wolverine to the past in a desperate attempt to change the past and prevent an event that results in doom for both humans and mutants.

Hey Film Lovers 

Welcome to my newest review, which the newest X Men Film 'Days of Future Past' which arrived in UK Cinemas yesterday. I went to go and see it in 3D IMAX and it was a very enjoyable and fun experience. The third time I went to go and see a film in IMAX and really enjoyed it. The other two times were 'The Dark Knight Rises' and 'Iron Man 3'.

In the case of X Men and my attitude towards this film, there were many teasers and twists plotted throughout the development stages that this film was being released. 

Many of which were cleverly diverted into other films. For example at the end of 'Spiderman 2' there was a sneak preview for X Men, those kind of things draw people in. I can see why they do it, It's to gain as many people's interest as possible, because the more people who go to see it, the more money the film makes.

In terms of reviewing, obviously as a critic I want to observe the diversities of a film. I want to review different films, some films do stand out from others. By me I've seen some great film and shockingly horrible films. When going into X Men. I was hoping and wanting it to be better than 'The Wolverine' which was in every sense of the word an 'Okay' Film. Nothing special about it at all.

What I got was an interesting mystery and riddle of an action movie which dynamically dramatic and very adventurous to watch on screen. I enjoyed it, and certainly very much watching it in IMAX. Trouble is, I didn't pay too much attention to the plot or what was going on. I did leave the film thinking there wasn't much to it, and yet I sort of loved it. 

I know that sounds strange, but believe me it's not an obssered comment to make. The film itself is quite weak in terms of a storyline and plot but the presentation of it and the cause of its effect is not. It's very strong and the acting is very strong as well.

The storyline is  The ultimate X-Men ensemble fights a war for the survival of the species across two time periods. The characters from the original X-Men film trilogy join forces with their younger selves from X-Men: First Class in an epic battle that must change the past in order to save our future.

So the plot fails, fine. Big deal ? The references to the other films are not. The connections are not so much embedded that you have to have seen those films in order to understand what's going on. It's all very clear, very coherent, and all in all add towards making a good watch. 

Days of Future Past, certainly does dare to achieve what the others daren't and that is to stretch the bar and go a little over the top in a playful way. The plot and the raw storyline just needed to be a little bit better developed, otherwise it's all over the place. 7/10.

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Review : Avengers Assemble

Avengers Assemble : The Marvel Heroes unite to overcome a dark and powerful danger, which threatens New York. Nick Fury of S.H.I.E.L.D. assembles a team of superheroes to save the planet from Loki and his army.

Hello Film Lovers and welcome to another film review. In today's review I'm reviewing the Avengers Assemble one of the top 3 Box Office hits of 2012. The other two of course being The Dark Knight Rises and Skyfall.

So Avengers Assemble is a film in which all the MARVEL Character unite, all of which have the same motive. Stop Loki and his Army before he destroys the world. Now I'm not a full on MARVEL Fan, I haven't read all the comics, or as up to date with the stories as I used to be but what I can say is this is a long awaited, wanted film by fans and members of the public, they've been asking the question 'When is there going to Avengers Assemble' and low and behold the film finally was released.

Now there was a lot of hype going round at the time of release when this film came out, and quite rightly too because it was a much wanted and highly expensed film, I think all the critics knew that the bar would be raised now all the introductions have been done with all the heroes separately, now they can finally team up and join forces, and that's great to see all your pals teaming up and going on an adventure together. 

And it's not like any of them are under used or over used, they all have something to do in the film. All of which play their part well enough to entertain and please me till the film's end. So the acting, the acting in some cases is a bit secondary in comparison to The Dark Knight Rises.

I feel like some of the action is a bit animated in movement, for instance that moment where the Hulk, grabs Loki and bashes him about. It's noticeable that that has been digitally computerised, that's not whats the problem, the problem is that it's obvious to me what it is and therefore doesn't blow me away, I shrug it off and dismiss it. So some of the acting quality and the action is very animated and flimsy, to say the least.

The awesome and clever thing about this film, is the same thing as most MARVEL Films have been able to do these days is portray itself as a live action comic strip. I did get the impression that I was watching something truly, over exaggerated and over the top but all in it's own realm of the MARVEL Universe.

It was very interesting to watch, and actually have a perspective of whats so impressive about these films, with all the technology to do it. I know that just contradicts my previous comment, but it's true. On the exception that it's not too obvious, then it looks quite cheap.

I thought the story could of been done better, I felt perhaps a lot of the global threat to the world was missing and that things could of been added to raise the bar even higher and add a bit more of a challenge for our heroes. Maybe perhaps it was missing that last piece of the puzzle to give that extra something exciting and tense.

I thought the plot was easy to follow, wasn't too complicated that you didn't have to have watched other MARVEL Films in order to understand where he was coming from. It's all pretty clear, and its very co-hearent and just gives off nice little nods to the other MARVEL heroes in the film as it goes a long.

Over all, it's a very good production. Great Effects, Good Plot, Great Cast, Okay - ish Script. 7/10.

Monday, 19 May 2014

Review : Dallas Buyers Club

Dallas Buyers Club
It's been a long time coming, but after a number of difficulties and complications to make it to the big screen Matthew McConaughey stars as Ron Woodroof in this remarkably impressive true story which is bold and extravagent in the way it's both acted and directed.

In 1985 Dallas, electrician and hustler Ron Woodroof works around the system to help AIDS patients get the medication they need after he is himself diagnosed with the disease.


Hey Everyone, Welcome to my latest update on the blog.

Today I will be reviewing Dallas Buyers Club, A film of which was heavily praised and Matthew McConaughey won best Actor at the oscars for his performance as Ron Woodroof, Jared Leto won Best Supporting Actor. So it's a film with a lot of destinctive credit and stands up as being a good piece of drama which we can modernise today in our age.

Now this is a story based on true events I wasn't aware of, but now that I have been informed of the issues rasied from this film. It made me relaise the true necessity of certain things. This is a man who wants to help best as he possibly can, and makes the best out of a bad situation but also has a lot of emotional depth all of which are what makes Matthew McConaughey so good. He's very confident in the role. I've always thought of him as an imformative actor he fits the catagory of enteratining as well as informing. He's like a colourful panflit. Extensive and you learn a lot.

I think there is a lot to give and take back from Dalla Buyers Club, The story makes perfect sense to me. In terms of the way it achieves its drama, the acting was excellent. I throughlly enjoyed watching the perserverent depth that went into the script, and of course the investment which all of the actors gave to commit to it.

Though this film is very rewarding in terms of the praise it's recieved. It did take quite a long time for it to make it to the big screen, It was fourtunite that it did. I think Dallas Buyers Club shows a more moderate technique of films today in terms of the technicalities of it. If you compare to The Wolf of Wall Street which is a very load mouthed, gib gab movie. Dallas is more suttle in it's appraoch.

I thought the film was very carefully directed, the thought processes that went into it, also I think reverts back to and tests the technicalities of its appraoch. It's publisized as being very America, very 80's style movie yet so perfectly modernised as a film to be enjoyed as peice of good drama in 2014.

Here's a Clip.

I thought there was a interesting priority in the acting. The cast don't try to give off excellent performance, I like the fact that none of them try to hard. They just treat this film, like any other film, but want to make it work and so they do their best. What's to be expected from a cast? Well I know I would expect my cast members to try their hardest but to have a good time with it. It's priority that you enjoy making a film, just as much the audience at the cinema enjoy watching it.

I decided from ten minutes into watch Dallas Buyers Club that it was going to be an interesting film, not great just interetsing. In the end I'm left into understanding how it got the praise it got, how well it has done, and how much people did enjoy it for what it was - just another film.

The script, which had been written over the course of 20 years and was based in large part on interviews with Ron Woodroof and on his personal journals, is by all accounts an accurate depiction of Woodroof's life. But it risks leaving a false impression of that period in the history of HIV/AIDS, and in particular of the role of AZT.

Dallas Buyers Club feels like a film from another time, one that tiptoed around that story with trepidation. And people do treat it like a movie that's right for the time we live in now. 8/10.

Friday, 16 May 2014

Review : Bad Neighbours

Bad Neighbours : A couple with a new born baby soon face trouble when a group of fraternity students move in next door to them. It soon blows out of hand and The couple go to war with next door.

Hey Everybody

Welcome to my latest update of film reviews, today I'm reviewing Bad Neighbours a melodramatic comedy starring Seth Rogen, Rose Bryne and Zack Efron. Nicholas Stoller directs, It's about a couple who are say both in their late thirties, early forties adjusting to family life, but still want to go out and feel free without the responsibility of a baby to worry about.

Anyway they live in a very suburban neighbourhood, everything does seem very nice and friendly or that's what your led to believe. It's when a group of fraternity students move in and break the peace of the neighbourhood with their load parties, It disturbs everything. Therefore The couple are forced to go to do everything they can to evict the fraternities from the neighbourhood and that as it turns out is not as easy thing to do as they thought.

I must say with everything that's gone on in this movie with the trailers, posters, clips, the actual film itself I did go into Bad Neighbours expecting not with high expectations I didn't wish it to be amazing, but better than This is the End. Because This is the End was basically having laughs with an end of the world background. When I saw the trailers for this I expected that this was going to be a Neighbourhood conflict obviously with the laughs and perhaps for the movie to be even more than just that.

I didn't feel that I got that, what I did get was something completely different. Two Neighbours who hate each other one side fighting for one thing, one for the other. You got the couple who want the students to move because of the noise and vibe from the parties, and the students particularly Zac Efron trying to create history or a legacy for himself, as if this means something to him.

I have to say that I felt a rough intention between Seth Rogen and Zac Efron it did get very intense and hyped up to 11 so the chemistry between their characters I found very intriguing and went along with them as they did this battle to find out who was going to win.

The jokes were good, some of them didn't make much sense, others were just mild humour, some crude humour in there, lots of sex references and drug use all of which are ingredients that this comedy needed to not make the film, but assist in the story telling.

I thought the film was really well directed and had a simple touch to it. It's not over experimental in the shot, it's just very simple in the still shots when nothings happening and in moments of tension and action the coin flips and you get gripped and interested in seconds.

There was a scene at the end where Seth Rogen spots Zac Efron louring people into a shop topless, and they catch up and he takes his top off. Now I didn't feel that there was any need to have that scene in there. I think it would of been better if that scene had been cut and saved for the deleted scenes for the DVD. Other than the odd nick pick or two. It was a very interesting film, in some cases grippingly tense and moderate I'm going to give it a 7/10.

Monday, 12 May 2014

Review : Shrek 4 - The Final Chapter

Shrek Forever After : Shrek feels that he is not the fearsome ogre he once was, and would gamble anything to be that again. Even if it means signing a contract with the devil which involves loosing your family, your friends and everything you built up getting.

Hey Everyone

Welcome to my newest review of Shrek 4, which rounds up my reviews of the Shrek movies and very much draws my opinion on Shrek to a natural conclusion.

So to accurately express my opinion on this film, I need to go back in time to 2010, when I saw the advertisements for this film. I did think that if they were going to conclude the Shrek story, it's been a long time coming because I assumed that everything was rounded up nicely in the Third film. However it seems I had unfinished business with Shrek.

So I went to the cinema and watched Shrek 4, and left feeling rather unsatisfied with the ending because its more or less the same ending to number 3. The story was very impressive, I can't argue with that. But this is a film which was all about the ending for me, because the film actually advertised itself as a big send off. This is the end, so therefore it better be good otherwise there are going to be a lot of disappointed fans.

I wasn't left a disappointed fan because I actually liked the story, and liked the script but for me the ending was more or less the same ending to the Third one. So It makes me question the purpose of this fourth film. Especially Shrek. Because Shrek's behaviour in this film at the start he's like a whiny old child, he's not appreciating what he has around him because he's too bothered relating back to the days of how he was an ogre. There's a part of him that misses his old life, and he wants it back. And there's an arrogance in his attitude towards that, an arrogance which made me feel quiet uncomfortable to be quite frank.

Anyway he does a deal with the devil in the form of Rumpelstiltskin who allows him that freedom back, however what Shrek doesn't known is by making that agreement he reverses time and rewrites his history so that he never rescued Fiona in the first place and he never knew Puss or Donkey so his life is turned upside down. Everything is different in  terms of surrounding environment and behaviour of characters. So there are a lot of flash points.

But everything else is just the same old stuff, Shrek proving his love to Fiona, convincing her that they are meant to be, as if the first three films were not enough he has to spend another film fighting for Fiona's confidence in him, yet again. It doesn't take him long to get Donkey and Puss on his side. But it's just the same old stuff which for me is just very repetitive and contradicts the story telling because its slowed down by all this stuff of 'oh no, I have to make her fall in love with me... again'.

So it's all about Shrek undoing what he did, to get his life back. And its your stereotypical message of showing the only way to appreciate something is to see what life is like without it. So that's the message it gets across a message of value and appreciation of what we've got and how lucky we are to have it. And it's about acceptance and how not to be corrupted by greed.

My problems with Shrek 4 is that it progresses a lot more slowly then the other films, and it repeats a lot of stuff from the other films. The ending as well, is very similar to the ending of the Third Film. Shrek gets his Happily Ever After. So this was in every sense a pointless film if you look at it, If the ending had been different but turned out in the same way that Shrek Happily Ever After then that would of been accepted. But I can't really except a boorish diretrype ending of 'Oh, they lived Happily Ever After' isn't that nice... The End.

The film is engaging enough, due to a narrative gimmick that makes the old ground new again. In conclusion Shrek Forever After is a very mediocre affair, with a mediocre ending and real lack of laughs. I'm giving it a 6/10.

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Review : Shrek 3

Shrek 3 : Shrek and Fiona are attempting to adapt to life as part of a royal family, but it's in Shrek's ogre nature not to  do that and he feels uncomfortable with the prospect of one day becoming King, so in order to dodge that problem he decides to go off and find a young boy called Arthur who he hopes will take his place.

Hey Everyone

I continue my reviews of the Shrek films. So just a quick re cap from where we left off, in the first film Shrek had to go on a journey to rescue a princess, In the second film he went on a journey of his own and relaised the importance of how much Fiona means to him, and so in the Third one you could say him going on another journey makes him realise something else. That's what I love about the Shrek films, in every film he learns something new every film.

  • In the first film, he learns to love.
  • In the second film, he learns the importance of the life he has with Fiona.
  • In the third film, he learns the responsibility and preparation for starting a family, as well as embarking on another journey of his own.
Now there's been a bit of a mixed opinion about this series. It's very much like a Marmite Movie. You either love it or you hate it. The Critics obviously had their bit to say how this film doesn't add up or come close to topping what the other two films did, and you'd be right to think that. But you'd also be wrong to think that this film fails on every possible level. I don't think this film is a flop, far from it. It's just as good as the other two, as an enjoyable as the other two and yeah the scale doesn't quite match up, but it's better than the fourth one.

I think that this film demonstrates an excellent contrast which contradicts everything about all classic fairy tales in a good way, rather then go all traditional The Handsome Prince is the villain. The Ogre is the hero and its classic villains getting their own back and joining forces to take up some sort of uprising. Because Charming offers them a choice, either join me and fight with me or stay here and be depressed in this old pub. It's all leads back to and is about an ego of Charming getting back at Shrek because it was Shrek that made is life a living hell.

As far as delivering the laughs were concerned, I thought that this film was very funny it was playful comedy which communicates well with children in some cases better than the other two films, and in other cases is just unnecessary and stupid. So it's a mixture of the two.

Negatives, I think there was the odd modern culture references in their which therefore drag it down in terms of it's period feel and not to mention the action that is received.

There is one scene towards the end where the sun can be interpreted as coming from the front right (shadows top left to bottom right)(it's a long-distance shot of Far Far Away either as the women or the animals approach). However at the top left you can see a full moon - it should be crescent.

The place where Shrek knights the man appears in Shrek 2, when Fiona is looking for Shrek after she turns into a human. Only problem is, in Shrek 2, the window above the stairs was a regular window. In this movie, it's a stained glass window.

I Also the question of why would Prince Charming send Captain Hook to to kill Shrek if he wanted him to appear in his show?

So minor criticisms which are a bit of a gripe with this film, but it's equally as enjoyable as the other two and definitely worth a watch if you haven't seen it. 6/10

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Review : Shrek 2

Shrek 2 : The Sequel to Shrek sees Shrek, Fiona and Donkey travel to the land of Far Far Away for another adventure, even bigger and better than the last one.

Hey Film Lovers

Last time, I reviewed Shrek 1 now here I am reviewing Shrek 2. The sequel which in every sense of effect topped everything that the first Shrek film did. If you thought that Shrek was good well Shrek 2 goes that extra mile stone in terms of its storytelling, it's bigger and better than ever. All the more enjoyable to watch.

So Shrek and Fiona go off on their honeymoon to come back and discover that they have been invited to the land of Far Far Away for a congratulations party in honor of their marriage . Now the thing I find puzzling is, how did the kings guards and messenger know where to find them? It isn't like Shrek has an address. I'm just a bit puzzled as to how a personal invite was given out and there's no explanation given as to how they found where Shrek lives.

Anyway, They travel to Far Far Away which is basically Hollywood. But I love the set up of Far Far Away I think it is so cleverly conspired into working within the realms of fairy tale stories. You got the Far Far Away sign in the design of the Hollywood sign. It literally is an authentic well based set up, so the research and development work that went into designing that was spot on and it's very well designed.

Shrek 2 as a story is brilliant, If you thought Shrek was good, Shrek 2 is better as a story. It just tops everything. Better Story, More Imaginative, More of your characters that you love. etc. It has a great basis of plot to it. We're introduced to a new character a new regular to the group and that's Puss in Boots voiced by Antonio Banderas.

The film has a captivating essence of wanting to be enjoyed, and you just sit back and go with the flow because at the end of the day Shrek 2 is a film that delivers on every level, raises the bar for the Shrek franchise and is simply a great movie, brilliantly paced and co-ordinated. Which is more that can be said for most sequels.

As far as sequels go, Shrek 2 has a lot to offer from the trailers and advertisement as well as actual film itself, there is a lot to be sceptical about with this film. My main concerns with it are there are a couple of loose ends in the story that ain't fully explained for example the bit I mentioned earlier about the messenger knowing where Shrek lives or perhaps The Happily Ever After Position, it's not 100% clear. Not to mention it suffers the same problem that Toy Story 2 had with it being questionable as a margin booster and a glorified money booster.

But what it does prove is that Shrek will go whatever lengths necessary to prove himself to Fiona. What I love about this film is that it doesn't relate so much to the first film. It's it's own premise carrying on from where you left off. 9/10

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Review : Shrek

Shrek : The film that no one saw coming. The fairly unlike any other told before. Shrek is an ogre who lives happily and peacefully in his swamp and when his peace is disturbed, he sets off on an adventure to rescue a princess in exchange to get his swamp back.

Hey Film Lovers

Hope you all had a good Bank Holiday Weekend, Now we're back to business again. Today I'm talking about Shrek. The idea behind this film is great, I honestly could not believe it when I saw it, It was one of those films I always grew up liking and enjoying. It's such a clever story where instead of a handsome prince as the hero Dreamworks has thought 'You know what? we're sick of handsome princes and so on why not be diverse and think outside the box' and they did. They made Shrek - The main character and title character an ogre.

What I love about Shrek is, he's a character who doesn't want to be the hero, he's not bothered about going off an fighting dragons and being friends with a talking donkey. He just wants to live on his own in his swamp. That's all there is to his character in this film, The swamp is so valuable to him, he'd go to such lengths to get it back, but as he goes about doing this he falls in love with the fair Princess Fiona, who is also an Ogre (but only by night) So it begs the question, how can all this be plausible. The ogre is meant to be the bad guy and the handsome prince gets the girl? Shrek is just an example of story telling which implies that that's not always how it goes. There's other diversities to a fairy tale then that. In fact this is shown in the film, where Shrek is reading the story book and he rips the page out and dismisses the statement of a 'happily ever after'.

The film is very funny, and one for many a laugh because Shrek is very funny, Donkey is very funny The jokes that are made, and the mickey taking of other fairy tale stories are all coherent and current and all work well. So delivering good sizable laughter isn't a big deal, it's melodramatic comedy which knows is a comedy and plays on it's laughs, sometimes the laughs are there, sometime they are not. That's how it goes.

I think what I have always liked about all of the Shrek films, not just the first one is the fact that they are so different. They stand out on a very fine line of being entertaining and funny, never shying away from being anything but a good watch.

The only problems with it is looking at the first Shrek film constructively, It doesn't stand up very well to other traditional fairy tales like Sleeping Beauty or Snow White for example. I mean those characters are in the Shrek films, but I think they only work within the realms of Shrek, you can see Shrek molding into the more traditional stories.

And controversially you do watch Shrek today and wonder wither or not it's a bit dated. It's noticeable now because Shrek is such a well known character amongst the public. So I am concerned that from what can be done now in CG Animation and you look at Shrek and put two and two together, yeah Shrek is abit dated and has its restrictions in film techniques, in terms of live action, graphic imagery and finer detail but that's just because it was made back when it was made.

Not to mention the musical, which is not terrible, but not great either it's sort of in between and very cheesy.

Overall, Shrek 1 is a very good film indeed, very enjoyable and imaginative - 7/10.

Monday, 5 May 2014

Review : Toy Story 3

Toy Story 3 : It took PIXAR eleven years, but they got there in the end. It's the conclusion we've all been waiting for. I have to say that there was high expectations to be met with Toy Story 3 and as far as I'm concerned they were met. It's nearly perfect, however what is is PIXAR's take on 'The Great Escape'.

Hello Film Lovers.

Hope your enjoying the bank holiday, just sit back relax and enjoy whatever it is your doing. In today's review, I will reviewing Toy Story 3. The one which raps up everything to do with the other two films and has its own story to do that, so you got a film which tells its own story but has the responsibility of drawing things to a conclusion that people are going to be happy with. I should say the ending to this, is a good ending. PIXAR got it right, It may not be the ending you'd expect. But it is a good ending.

The gap in between which these films were made is mad. I mean let's examine the dates of which the films were released :
  • Toy Story 1 - 1995
  • Toy Story 2 - 1999
  • Toy Story 3 - 2010
It's taken PIXAR eleven years to come up with the goods, and so the expectations and questions towards would there be a third film were raised. When it was finally announced there was going to be a third film, the public reaction was immense, I for one was thrilled by the fact that after so long and such a long time not knowing that finally I was going to hopefully get the answer I was expecting, sadly I didn't, but I wasn't disappointed or disheartened because I thought the film was done so well.

The story itself, is about Andy's being all grown up, he's moving on to college and everything has changed drastically. Woody, Buzz, Jesse, Bulls Eye, Rex, Ham, Slinky, Mr and Mrs Potato Head and the Three LGM's are the only toys left and it's left debatable about what is next for them.

It seems to be the end of an era, and within this group of the toys that are left you do get a message of togetherness and the importance of staying together in fact its said in the film that the group are refered to as a family, and stay together. So it's nice that this message of importance is shown, as it develops the importance of these characters to the audience again.

I thought that the conclusion to the second film, if that had been the conclusion, I wouldn't of been overly satisfied. However what Toy Story 3 does so well  is it builds up the tension to tie in with the great ending it has. It may not be the ending one would expect, but it is a good ending, it has a good element of surprise.

The overall premise of this is PIXAR's take on The Great Escape, It's very established proposal one we are all familiar with, and know works well. In the case of Toy Story 3 it's about the toys escaping from a day care centre in order to be reunited with Andy again. Stopping them is Lotso, a cuddly bear who is everything but cuddly. He is not a very nice character, he's an angry character who thinks that all toys are rubbish waiting to be thrown away and is very bitter due to a previous experience of disappointment.

But the chemistry between the toys that are left, and Woody's importance never shys away from the story. And It's just such a courageous story which rounds everything up nicely and accordingly. It is a good ending. Overall I'll give it a  9/10.

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Review : Toy Story 2

Toy Story 2 : The Adventure continues, the sequel to Toy Story. Woody's going away to Cowboy Camp with Andy, though Woody under goes a minor fault, and worries that he's getting too old for Andy. It's not long before Woody gets mixed up in a yard sale and gets kidnapped by a collector who is also the owner of Al's Toy Barn. Buzz and the other toys have to go and rescue him.

As sequels go, audiences to get very clingy and skeptical over what the new film has to offer, in the case of Toy Story 2, it does have a lot to offer. That doesn't mean to say that it's going to be a good film from the moment you start watching, I think the proof is in the pudding with Toy Story 2. It makes sense when you watch it that this is a sequel which very much carries on where we left off in the first film, but it's those clever brains at PIXAR that go as far to show it's more than carrying on from where you left off, it's about the characters and the development.

This film is all about Woody, and it explores Woody's avenues further. It shows his importance to Andy, his importance to Buzz and the other Toys, It shows his importance to a whole new franchise he knew nothing about. He almost chooses to turn his back on Andy and go for another life, but I don't think we could of seen Woody in another life, it's just not plausible in the way his importance of authority is set up so well in the first film.

We are introduced to four new characters. Jesse, Bulls-eye, Stinky Pete and Evil Emperor Zurg. All of which are all such good characters and all so well constructed. Jesse in perticular this is someone who just wants to belong somewhere and it's Woody that gives that to her.

I think the whole rescue mission behind this is so enjoyably comedic that it acts as a sort of reference to other great films. It's very much like what Aardman did with Chicken Run, referenced their plot of structure like The Great Escape. There's something more to it, than sticking to the basics and that's what PIXAR does so well.

My problem with Toy Story 2 is that it will never be as good as the first film. The first film had and still is a great presentation of imagination, now we're used to it and we understand the concepts behind it, you do feel 'well why bother?' I mean 'surely the whole reason of the 2nd and 3rd films being made was to make money?' It's a good margin booster, it tops PIXAR's ratings, it allows chances of improvemnt and continuation of working with such great characters they created and all the revisitation. Surely that's what these films are all about, their money makers. That's my problem with it.

Don't get me wrong, Toy Story 2 is good, but not brilliant. It just lacks the interest and wow factor for me. For that reason it's a 6/10.

Friday, 2 May 2014

Review : Breaking Bad

Breaking Bad : (TV Series : 2008 - 2013) When Former ex Chemistry Teacher Walter White gets diagnosed with lung cancer he feels the need to provide what he can for his family before he dies, so he teams up with ex pupil Jesse Pinkman to cook the purest most profitable crystal meth ever seen in a long time, it is then a legend is born.

Hey everyone

Welcome to my latest review which is Breaking Bad, my first television series I have reviewed on this blog, and for purposes to do with the show, I thought I'd write the whole of this review in blue, because the product that Walt and Jesse cook together is blue, it only makes sense when you watch the programme.

What a show it is. I've just watched all the episodes over Easter, and my god. It was fantastic, I was hooked from start to finish it was seriously one of the best box sets I've ever watched. The stories, The Characters, The grit of it is just brilliant. I don't even need to recommend it because all of my friends have taken the initiative upon themselves to watch it.

I haven't met anyone who hasn't watched Breaking Bad and hated, there's something about the series as a whole and Walt and Jesse's relationship that people have taken into heart and account. The acting is excellent, there isn't one bad member of the cast in it. 

You got Walter White, Chemistry teacher and The Great Hiesenburg played to perfection by Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul as Jesse Pinkman was superb, Anna Gunn as Walt's annoying wife Skiler was great, Dean Norris is Hank Walt's DEA Agent Brother in Law who's married to Marrie played by Betsy Brandt, RJ Mitte plays Walt and Skiler's son Walter Jr who is diasbled which I can't actually tell if he's actually disabled if he isn't and it was all an act it's very convincing. 

Everyone coming into be in Breaking Bad is just super, Bob Odenkirk as Saul Goodman 'Better Call Saul'. Johnathan Banks as Mike, Giancarlo Esposito as Gustavo Fring. There's not a bad member of the main cast in it.

Most of these actors, are people I am unaware of. I'd never seen them in anything else before. It was a joy to watch them act and not only act but act in a serious thrilling drama like this. It was great to see Aaron Paul develop from where he started off to what he's become now, he's now a movie star thanks to this show. It gives me time to appreciate Bryan Cranston, and the professional he is. This show has it's beverages which benefits all of us in our own way when we watch it.

It was immense 6 non stop series, that I couldn't stop watching. Breaking Bad dares to achieve more than good, it dares to amaze it's audience having a man who is on the edge from being a normal boring chemistry teacher to a drug lord criminal. All because he is threatened by a life threatening disease.

The directing and perseverance and thought process that went into this show, really is super. It's a piece of television that has so much thought and effort put into it, and whatever the shot is. Its always shot like that for a reason, so there's meaning in every second of it. You have to be on the ball with it, because this is a show that doesn't muck about.

It's intensely graphically violent, the seriousness of death and killing that's in this is really quite shocking. I know some people are against the violent content, but I personally don't mind it if it has a meaning for being there. And in the case of Breaking Bad it does.

My only concern is that after a while, it's success will be it's downfall. Will people just hang up their coats one day and say 'a bit over rated' and leave it at that? I hope not because it's a show which is really exciting thrilling, that never boars and nearly ticks all the boxes. nearly, but still excellent 9/10.