Thursday, 30 October 2014

Review : Welcome to the PUNCH

Welcome to the PUNCH


Ladies and Gentlemen, I'd like to Welcome you to the Punch, a British action thriller which looks into seeing the average action, thriller in a new way.

There's a certain category that you have with British drama which is ever so stereotypically British. Films like : Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Snatch and The Sweeney all fit this category. Well I'd like to add 'Welcome to the Punch' as a newest edition to this category of British dramas. 

It's a very good film, atmospherically detailed in every aspect. The attention to detail that has gone into this is incredibly commendable, and sublime. It's original and has never been done before, in a drama that has been done previously. I understand that everything has to dare to be different a little in order to make it stand out. But Welcome to the Punch has that extra dare I say it 'Punch' to it which makes the title stand out all the more adequate to the setting of it.  

The story goes that Mark Strong is a criminal (Bad Guy) and James McAvoy is an Inspector (Good Guy) and as the film unravels it becomes a dangerous game of cat and mouse between McAvoy and Strong's characters. It takes a while for the film to actually get going but once you understand all the differnet contingenses going on in it, you'll get a clear veiw of what's going on which in turn helps you enjoy it more. I mean no director sets out to make a bad film, do they?

There's an interesting conspiracy happening somewhere withing 'Welcome to the Punch' as you watch it. This is an ambitious picture that may have drawn some inspiration from the Hong Kong Infernal Affairs movies, and I sense that it may well get box-office success. But it runs out of steam, with plot revelations visible from a mile away and a bit of a plausibility gap.  

Eran Creevy - The Director, is the British director who made the very good urban drama Shifty in 2008, and this is his step up to a big commercial picture – a London crime thriller with plenty of hardware: handguns, machine-pistols, automatic rifles, the lot.

The main problem is, I don't think it's constructed as a film. It could of possibly worked better and would of added more suspence as a televison series. There is no sort of leigh way with that at all. Other than that, I would say this a really good film. I'd watch it again. 8/10

NEXT : Fight Club

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Review : FURY



The year is 1945. As the Allies make their final push in the European Theatre, a battle-hardened army sergeant named Wardaddy commands a Sherman tank and his five-man crew on a deadly mission behind enemy lines. Out-numbered, out-gunned, and with a rookie soldier thrust into their platoon, Wardaddy and his men face the overwhelming odds in their heroic attempts to strike back at the heart of Nazi Germany.

Okay so Fury, a David Ayer film. Written and Directed by David Ayer. Starring Brad Pitt is an adventure film set to entertain against all odds it comes against, considering that there is some stiff and diverse compition out there, the one thing that merits this film is the point of relaism of it's boldness into advertsing all it's boldness into something couragously adventerous and human at the heart of it.

From what I can gather, it's not a tough film to follow. It's a fairly basic plot with a lot of interesting stuff going on in the background to set up a story. In a story there has to be drama and in every drama there has to be conflict. If there's not conflict, you don't have a drama. It's as simple as that. You can only have a good, constructive, engaging drama if there's devine conflict at the heart of it to make it all the more interesting for the audience. 

I mean take 'Fury' for example, You got Brad Pitt - he's one of the good guys or he's lead to belive to be one of the good guys, he and his band of merry men are prepared to face the overwhelming odds in their heroic attempts to strike back at the heart of Nazi Germany. Would you say that's a good conflict? I certainly would. Already you got the basis of a good story. The concepts there... but what is missing? The relative engagemnet with the audience. As an audience member, if I'm going to be drawn into this and enjoy it, I want to know if I'm going to get any pay back from it at the end of it. In the case of 'Fury' you don't get much payback, probably due to fact that there is not much to go upon.

The film tries to be interesting, a little too hard it seems. It just seemed a little all over the place and very rushed to me in terms of storytelling. To me that isn't really constructive at all. That's sloppy, sloppy writting results in insuficant storytelling and insuficant characters creating insficant engagement with the audience. It's a shame because there is something very bold and honest about 'Fury' at the heart of it. It's just a pity for me that there is not much to go on, other than a plot synopsis which is almost like it's handed to you on a plate.

In terms of production and direction, I'd say it's much more improved. I thought it was a very contemperate, clean cut production. Moderatly combined to tie in all the boldness the film craves to give out in terms of engaging an interest. I mean if you take poster advertisement for example.

  • Grey background -  Suggests Doom and Gloom in the surrounding enviroment.
  • War background - Immediatly you understand that it's about War, because you got guns in the background.
  • Dirty Brad - A Dirty Brad Pitt adds interest because it's Brad Pitt, celebrity advertisement to help promote the film, also gives of a honest sense of humanity in his plain expression.
  • Costume - Brad's costume adds the authenticity to the time in which the film is set 1945, so it's exagerating a point of History context.
  • Slogen - a Slogen always backs up the point of which the main intention of the film prodicts in the title.
  • The Title - What the film is called. Every film needs to have a name.
  • Date of release, you get the idea

So all in all, on that side of the park the production is quite swift and has hardly any problems with me on which it stand. There is the slight odd cut in places which I found didn't need to be there, but other than that, I would say that it's a pretty decent, clean cut well done production. I mean that on everyside of the post production : Lighting, Sound, Costume etc you name it.

Another nick pick I have to point out, which pains me to say it but it's true. If you're thinking of going to watch this film, be sure to be aware of everything you see. As I found many, many faults with this and the film is disjointed. For instance, young actors, inadequite impressioning, dodgy dialouge to name a few. There are lines said which I wouldn't countermand being said in a background such as War Zone.

I know I am really bashing into this film and not sounding at all complementary but let me put it in it's simplist. I didn't necassarly look for good stuff because I enjoyed it more than I thought would. The pros do outscore the cons with this most definutly. Brad Pitt is fantastic, but than again he's Brad Pitt he's good in everything. David Ayer pulls off a really gutsy challenge quite well. It's very hard to buckle under the pressure and deliver a low par result, I think because David wrote the script for this as well as directed he can relax a bit and get the shots done the way he wants it. He has a back up blanket.

Overall, I would recommend going to watch this at a cinema near you. It's full of action, adventure and above all drama. If you like your drama, maybe this will be the thing to go and see. 7/10.

NEXT : Welcome to the Punch

Monday, 27 October 2014

Review : Invictus

Invictus :  Nelson Mandela had been released from prison, Now a free man, he begins in his first term as the South African President. As President he initiates a unique venture to unite the apartheid-torn land: enlist the national rugby team on a mission to win the 1995 Rugby World Cup.

Hello All

In today's review, I'll be reviewing Invictus. (which takes its name from the WE Henley poem) The film interperates the inspiring true story of how Nelson Mandela joined forces with the captain of South Africa's rugby team to help unite their country together. Newly elected President Mandela knows his nation remains radically and economically divided in the wake of apartheid. Believing that he can bring the people of South Africa together through the universal language of sport, Mandela rallies South Africa's rugby team as they make their historic run to the 1995 Rugby World Cup Championship match.

The film opens with an introduction, of Nelson Mandela finally being released from prison. Mandela is ostensibly talking about the country as a whole, though he may as well be exhorting Invictus itself. Invictus is a monolithic sporting saga that seems content to pose on the podium, lulled by the belief that its subject matter provides inspiration enough. At times it feels as though Eastwood has elected to skip the contest and proceed straight to the trophy presentation.

It's not that Mandela's turbulent first year as South Africa's president is lacking in drama. Invictus, which has its UK premiere tonight, plays out in a land scarred by apartheid and facing an uncertain future, led by an man still regarded by large swaths of the population as an unrepentant terrorist hell-bent on settling old scores.

The genius of Mandela was in somehow managing to soothe these tensions, cajoling his countrymen towards an uneasy truce. But in charting this struggle, Eastwood sticks too close to the playbook and frames history as an airbrushed Hollywood heartwarmer. The implication is that, by the time our hero takes his seat at the world cup finals, none of these issues was ever a problem again.

Casting about for a symbol of the new, integrated South Africa, the newly elected president hits upon what initially seems an unruly and divisive candidate. The Springboks rugby team are not just languishing in the doldrums, they are also seen as a bastion of old white rule and therefore despised by the black majority who cheer whatever team is playing them. But Mandela spies an opportunity. He celebrates the Springboks' lone black player and sets out to woo its foursquare captain, François Pienaar (Matt Damon).

What I love about Invictus is that however dry the scene is, it achieves pure drama so effortlsy, through the communication of the cast to relay an emotional, sentimental point of what it is addressing, that in turn helps the veiwer to understand what they are watching.

Decent acting keeps it halfway honest. While hardly a dead-ringer for Mandela, Freeman turns in a diligent, nuanced impersonation that at least hints at the private man behind the public image. His Mandela is by turns wise and wily; his seraphic smile concealing a life of shadows. Meanwhile, Damon makes a good fist of his role as Pienaar, although his character is seldom allowed to be more than a plot device: the Afrikaner who sees the light.

The trouble with Invictus is that it is more monument than motion picture: handsome, reverent and heavy.  Judged in terms of creativity, spectacle and drama, Invictus might as well be stuck on Robben Island.

Overall, There is more about it than it let's on, in terms of it being more to point of about the team, the game and uniting the country of South Africa. I will give it a 7/10.

NEXT : Fury

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Review : Casino Royale (2006)

Casino Royale : Armed with a licence to kill, Daniel Craig sets out on his first mission as 007 to defeat a weapons dealer in a high stakes game of poker at Casino Royale, but things are never what they seem.

I remeber watching this back on the big screen in 2006, I can remember Daniel Craig  showing himself  to be fully capable of taking on a British icon. James Bond. A man of cool, cruel determination, mesmerising sex appeal and a fatally destructive way with women. There have been several different Bonds over the last 50 Years. You can tell throughout the whole film, Craig is Bond. You don't question it, he has taken on the mantle of 007, and the result is a death-defying, sportscar-driving, female-back-fondling, cocktail-recipe-specifying triumph. Daniel Craig is a fantastic Bond, personally my favourite out of all the Bonds so far.

Craig was inspired casting. He has an effortless presence and lethal danger; he doesn't need to act like Bond, to be Bond, he's just got it. He brings a serious actor's ability to a fundamentally unserious part; he brings out the playfulness and the absurdity, yet never sends it up. He's easily the best Bond since Sean Connery, with Craig's unsmiling demeanour and his unfashionably, even faintly un-British dirty blond hair, he looks like a cross between the Robert Shaw who grappled with Bond in 'From Russia With Love.

This is the story of James Bond's beginning, transferred forward in time to a loosely imagined post-9/11 present. After a very nasty and violent killing in a men's room, shot in grainy monochrome, Bond earns his official double-0 rating with a second wet job: the unofficial whacking of a traitor in the higher reaches of MI6.

His spurs earned, Bond must now tackle his first super-villain: Le Chiffre, banker to Smersh in the original, now accountant and financier to international terrorists everywhere, though al-Qaida and anyone else from the Middle East are coyly left unmentioned. M even implies that manipulating airline stock prices was a motivating factor for 9/11 - a sly piece of cynicism that would have amused Fleming himself.

Casino Royale is what I find to be a very enjoyable film indeed, If you can ignore the smirking and the quips and the gadgets that have been cut back - and the emotion and wholesome sado-masochism that has been pumped up, I think you'll enjoy this if you're willing to shrug off those detracting factors.

Another contributing factor which I'm sure most Bond fans may have noticed, is that the Barry theme tune is saved for the closing credits. So that just proves, watch it all through to the end, or you'll miss something.

Thoughts Overall, Mr Craig brings off cinema's most preposterous role with insouciant grit: I hope he doesn't quit too soon. I'd like see the next few films tackle 007's off-duty life more: his hangovers, his money worries. Daniel Craig could make it work. He has more to give, even now he's done three Bond films, I think he has potential in the role and continues to make it good. 8/10

NEXT : Invictos

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Review : Patch Adams

Robin Williams is Patch Adams : The interpretation of a life story about an ambitious medical student in the 1970's who's inspiration is to help people goes about his methods of treating patients, illegally, using humor.

So 'Patch Adams'. Firstly and sadly, the first point that I have to address is, it's terribly sad to watch this film knowing that Robin Williams is no longer with us anymore. But at the same time uplifting because we can experience his full blown, exaggerated and wonderful performance in this and reflect on the fact about that was the kind of person Robin Williams was.

It is to my understanding that this is based off a true story, like 'The Duchess' the film I've reviewed previous, Robin Williams portrays Hunter 'Patch' Adams and gives us 'the viewer' an insight into what Patch Adams was like as a person and what he did in the aspect of his life that the film itself wishes to highlight. You could almost have this on paper and I would read it and believe it to be true as if someone had sat down at a typewriter and written this as a draft in the context of fiction. It's very well done in terms of presenting dialogue and intellect in the script.

The music in this film is a very important factor. It's a vital part of simulating the drama of it all, It's a beautifully constructed score, devised to I think establish the mood of how the director wants to make the viewer feel as its adapted into the scene and to exaggerate a point of emotional value. The music achieves these two things spot on and adds colour to the painting. It of been very bland and boring, but it wasn't. In some places the score is a little too sentimental, but it's playing on the fact of establishing mood, so you have a leigh way with it.

Robin Williams is phenomenally satisfying to watch in this as 'Patch'. He's funny, bold, elaborate in his choice of colourful shirts, he is entertaining, sad, scared when he needs to be. I just adore his performance in this, it's very uplifting and just sort of replicates real life or how that real life that the film is based on is portrayed.

One thing I will say that the film concentrates too much on is the constant need of comparison. There always somehow in every scene has to be some kind of uprising comparison to drive the story forward, where as I feel personally that It would work just as well without it. It doesn't need all the comparative, over exaggerated emotional endurance, the drama does that fine on it's own with music to back that up. So that's my main bug I have to say about this film.

It's a very uplifting film, which entertains as well as having a sentimental value. 7/10 from me.

NEXT : Casino Royale

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Review : The Duchess

The Duchess :  A chronicle which looks into the history of the life of 18th century aristocrat Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, who was reviled for her extravagant political and personal life.

Why am I reviwing this? Well belive or not, It actually came up in conversation that I was having with a friend the other day. I was questioning the fact of 'What is Genre?' which lead into us discussing period drama and then I thought i'd turn to this. And now I here I am, eagertistical to talk about what I think of this film. remember, everyone is a critic here.

I have a parshall liking for this movie, because it's very differnet to everything else that went out at the time and the thing about film is that it informs as well as entertains. This is a very insightful approach into viewing a very differnet type of film. The historical period pieces which are just a joy to watch, beautifully acted, wonderfully atmospheric and accurate, emmacualte colourful costumes all of which set the production up perfectly to make it all the more beliveable and rewarding whilst you watch it.

Some might say that the progession of 'The Duchess' in terms of it's pacing is a bit slow, but that doesn't matter. I've always thought that this a progressive piece which you have to allow time in order to establish itself to it's full capacity. If you do that then you will be able to understand the more suttle quiet scenes in much better detail. There are lovely piques and sections of extravagent detail in this film, it's all down to having the patience to find it.

I love everything about the set up of this film : The grand houses. The glorious interiors. The awe-inspiring lobbies and entrances with marble flooring washed with natural light. The candlelit ballrooms densely populated by simpering ladies and gossiping 18th-century politicians. The wigs. The Whigs. The elegant country houses, from whose drawing rooms ambitious mothers can thoughtfully watch their beautiful, innocent daughters romping ingenuously on the wonderful lawns.

Director Saul Dibb smoothly orchestrates these elements in his stately, measured pageant-drama, starring Keira Knightley as Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, the brilliant but broken-hearted political hostess and courageous wronged woman whose life story, with a little tweaking, resembles that of her 20th-century descendant: our own Queen of Hearts, the late Diana, Princess of Wales.

Once again, Keira is playing at the comfortable upper reaches of the social register, though without the thin, shrill edge of neurosis that made her performance compelling from an observation point of perspective, her performance is superb in this. She is the simple girl whose steely-eyed mama a shrewd, cold performance from Charlotte Rampling who also is superb in the film, pairs her off with the fabulously wealthy and powerful Duke of Devonshire, played with a kind of clenched glumness by Ralph Fiennes. Like many Englishmen of that time period and ours, he is emotionally animated only by animals: in this case, his beloved dogs.

At first shy and lonely, Georgiana discovers that she is loved by the people and by high society alike; she blossoms and makes her husband look a dullard. But the duke breaks her heart with his indiscretions, including an affair with Georgiana's best friend, Lady Bess Foster (Hayley Atwell) - and so Georgiana finds herself submitting to the attentions of the handsome Charles Grey (Dominic Cooper). It was, to coin a phrase, very crowded in that marriage, and once the facts are presented in this light, Georgiana does indeed start to look like Diana.

One bug with this film that I have is, I find it frustrating that this film does not give Keira Knightley much of a chance to show the true progression of her character: from simple teenager to racy society woman with a weakness for wine and gambling and finally to battle-hardened mother, a person who now knows what is really important in this world and who is dedicated to staying with her children. It's all fine in terms of timing and showing what happened, what it lacks is the viewer to see Georgiana develop as a person, see her grow up and grow old even. Frankly, this doesn't happen, though I sensed that Knightley could have achieved this, had the script and direction allowed it.

But that's not what grinds my gears about this, my main bug with Dibb's film is the fact that it looks emaculate, but there is something exasperatingly bland and slow-moving at times. Unlike the heroine, he never takes much of a risk, I would of liked to have seen more spice thrown into it, it would of helped with the pacing of it, and would of added more conflict, there wasn't enough conflict to add to the drama.

Overall It's a very good production, a great costume drama just a bit bland. I have to give this 7/10.

NEXT : Patch Adams

Monday, 20 October 2014

Review : Hector & The Search for Happiness

Hector & The Search for Happiness : Once upon a time, there was a young psychiatrist who was curios about what makes people happy. He decided to travel the world, to prove to himself what is the capacity for Happiness?

Now I will admit that the long-winded title is a little off-putting, suggesting the children's story meets self-help book. But the font is like the Tintin books and, following a thrill-seeking intro that sees a Tintin-lookalike in peril in a small plane, the adventurer's curiosity is simply piqued.

The set-up is terrific in wit and pace. Simon Pegg plays a psychiatrist who spends his days being paid benevolently low fees to coax his clients to happiness.  Simon Pegg himself has a lot to do in this film. He gets to be happy, joyful, angry, tired, sad, hopeful and many other emotions, he is amazing, and he was in every scene. So your concentration on his character never goes away, because it's always kept on track.

His life seems perfect - a beautiful girlfriend Clara (Rosamund Pike) ensures everything is in order ("Time to rise, time to shine!" as he removes his anti-snore strips) and the bonny clarinet soundtrack shows us Hector is stable and loved. But you can't help but feel from the start, that there is something is inevitably missing - so Hector heads off on a distant voyage of Tintin-esque proportions.  He travels around the world. He goes to China, Africa, LA and back to London again, he has an all rounder in the three countries he visits in the film.

Pegg has the perfect demeanour for a boy-explorer and had Peter Jackson's Tintin been live-action, he would have been an obvious casting choice. His naïve British charm is aptly suited to Hector's well-meaning, slightly bumbling exploits. Pegg skips from physical comedy to genuine warmth as Hector's connections with strangers play out a timely indictment on first-world problems and malaise.
Reminiscent of Ben Stiller's The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, we have a slightly daft man with good intentions having unexpected revelations so that we, sitting in a movie theatre, can open our own minds to the possibilities our world offers.

Take a look at the trailer.

None of us will encounter a drug cartel or Skype from a Tibetan monastery, but it's nice to live vicariously.
It's just a shame that, by treading so lightly when the underlying message is so potent, Hector will leave most of us largely unaffected as we trudge back into the real world.

Looking at it from an observational point of perspective, Hector's Happiness is a film which takes its time, is adventures and insightful in ways that we can only begin to understand. I think the more I look at this, the more I will get out of it and I will never stop learning.

It is a very clean cut, carefully directed and wonderfully performed film which has embraced my inner human spirit, and it's got lots of laughs and is a very funny film. 8/10

NEXT : The Duchess

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Review : Begin Again

Begin Again :  A chance encounter between a disgraced music-business executive and a young singer and songwriter who is new to Manhattan turns into a promising collaboration between two talents as they go out to make an album together.

Hello Again.

Begin Again, that was a film for the summer 2014. It was interesting, and I enjoyed it to an extent, but in reality looking back on it, you do tend to start picking out mistakes and viewing it very differently. Let me put this way in a more simpler form. The first half is quite slow, in terms of the passing of it and in terms building up dramatic interest in the storytelling. The second half is worse than the first and the ending is very weak.

I know I am not sounding complimentary towards this, I actually enjoyed this film more than others did. This film never really sits right with me fitting it into a category of good or bad. I think for me, it is ok. It's hardly anyone to fault here with people coming in and out of every scene and telling a diverse, contextual, dramatically engaging and sometimes funny tale. I watched it the first time around and really quite liked it, I didn't love it but I thought it was 'ok'. Then I started to think about it more and the more I think about, the more I was reminded of what was wrong with it. There is a lot wrong with it, if you know where to look.

The acting was fine, nothing wrong with the acting. I thought it was edited really well. precise, clean cut and inventive in the way of location filming. I think that my main bug with this film probably lies within the script and the storytelling. To me I didn't think there was no where near enough story in the context of what the film had to offer to make the film last as long as did, and when It did eventualy come to a close. I thought to myself 'Is this it?' I wanted more out of it.

It just didn't sit right with me in my mind. But that's probably because I am now veiwing this film in a far different perspective now. If this had been 3 or 4 months ago. I'd be going about things in a far more diffrent way. 6/10

NEXT : Hector's Search for Happiness

Friday, 10 October 2014

Review : Bridesmaids

Bridesmaids, everyone loves it. Its a well received genuinely like film about two friends, one of which is getting married and the other friend is one of her bridesmaids amongst many others. It's a film of many things, it's a comedy but at the heart of it has a sentimental value of companionship and friendship, and that in itself is communicated in the script and the performances from everyone of the cast.

I do enjoy this film to an extent, I wouldn't go as far as to say that it was one of my favouirte ever comedies. But it is a film which I can stick on, watch and thoroughly enjoy no matter what mood I am in. That's always a good thing in my books when you think about it.

The film itself is about  the competition between the maid of honor and a bridesmaid, over who is the bride's best friend, threatens to upend the life of an out-of-work pastry chef. Directed by Paul Feig and Co Wrote by Kristen Wiig who plays 'Annie' in the film. It's always nice when I see someone write a film or tv series and star in it as well, not many people do that, which is why it works so well and makes that person stand out as an individual.

In retrospect there is a lot of girlish humour in this, and the fact that it's all women and women doing embarrising things. I love all that, it's very enegetic there's good contrast in all the characters communicated in the script, the sense of love, companionship and friendship. And it is funny, the film is very funny and there's just nice clean little touches which make it stand out as something big.

Here is a comedy clip

If I was to pick something out it would be the fact that this a comedy which has limitations in providing an equal amount of everything. There isn't as much conflict in this film, there is with Annie and Rhodes when argue and Annie has a falling out with Lillian but like any conflict it gets resolved.

I think what it needed was the dynamics of the right balance of conflict and compition to make it all the more dramatically interesting for the audience. It has a bit of it, I think the comedy element and the jokes help it a lot. It's a very funny film. I think without that comedic point of interest the film would just be very plain. So It is all the better that the comedy works well within the drama of the film itself.

Overall, I think Bridesmaids is good. However not brilliant so it has to be a 7/10 from me. Some of you may think that's too low a score to give it. But for me, that's a fair as it gets.

NEXT : Begin Again

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Review : Calvary

Calvary : Brendon Gleeson plays a priest who receives a death threat from a member of the village where he currently resides at the local parish. But who would threaten a man of god, who is a good man, that has done no harm to anyone?

Hello All

Welcome to my latest film review, today I will be reviewing 'Calvary' a film supported by the national lottery and British film institute. Brendon Gleeson who was in Harry Potter, plays a priest who has served his life at his current parish very well, has helped people in confession and above all is a good man, who has never harmed anyone.

In confession he is threatened by an anonymous person who we have yet to find out of his or her identity who threatens this priest, with peril on his life. The story goes that this person was abused as a child, by a bad man who has long passed and to vow his revenge on what happened to him in the past, he chooses to punish a good man who has done nothing to anyone. There is more point to this later portrayed on within gesture of the vile people in this small village.

The anonymous person says that will kill Brendon Gleeson on the next Sunday, on a beach. The priest agrees to meet this anonymous person and that is where the film begins. The film itself is very interesting indeed. It's a black comedy. It's a drama, It's got that Irish culture, it's an all Irish cast, its got Irish roots there's not one thing about this film that isn't Irish. It is many things when you think about it. The story is what we believe to be the last week of the main characters life, especially as he's been threatened and the rest of film is him trying to find out who it is.

What I love about this film is, It is relatable to the classic mystery stories. It has its moments of drama, and suspense and mystery, but unlike a normal whodunit, it's more of a 'who's going to do it?' because Brendon Gleeson investigates in something that hasn't happened yet. But I will tell you Brendon's performance in this is absolutely incredible. It is superb. I can't fault him, he stole the show for me and out shone the rest of the cast by a mile.

The casting for this is really good, it's an all Irish cast. It's a bit like 'The Weir' if you haven't seen it. I recommend that you do. It's got some famous names, Aiden Gillan, Dillan Moran, Chris O Dowd, Kelly Rielly which helps to sell it and avaid people into it. We have a small village and everyone within this village is vile, apart from Brendon Gleeson and his daughter who is played by 'Kelly Rielly' known for films such as 'Sherlock Holmes' and 'Flight'. I think the Irish culture behind it, gives it a nice, raw atmospheric background to it, which is refreshing regarding the authenticity of the way it's filmed.

It's a natural drama, which is very clean cut and slow paced and just sort of takes it's time to go through every minor detail, because every minor detail is important. If you like your drama, and you like suspense and you like mystery stories then I'd recommend you give this a go, because it's a cultural Irish film with Irish roots and it's funny. I think that's the problem with it, people don't realize that it's actually funny. Which is a mistake in miscommunication, it's so mild in drama, I for one wouldn't look upon this as a black comedy. It's only after watching it, you think about stuff in more detail.

Overall, keeping it short. I really like this film and everything Irish about it. 8/10

NEXT : I will review Bridesmaids.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Review : Game of Thrones Part One : Series 1 - 3

Game of Thrones, an American fantasy drama television series created for HBO by by David Benioff and D. B. Weiss. It is an adaptation of 'A Song of Ice and Fire', George R. Martin's series of fantasy novels, the first of which is titled 'A Game of Thrones'. The episodes are mainly written by Benioff and Weiss, who are the executive producers alongside Martin, in the process.

So Hello everyone. I am back after a three month absence of the summer break. I hope you had a good summer.  I certainly did, seeing a broad range of Films and TV series from all the different genres. I had quite an interesting and intense time watching 'Game of Thrones' because it's one of those dramas which plays on suspense and conflict very well indeed. In a nutshell, what do I think? The first series is enticingly gripping, tense, dramatic and exciting. The second series is where it really takes off and the drama finds its feet and things run their course in terms of continuation, story and production. Series Three, is the most recent series I have completed, I really enjoyed it. Much more than I enjoyed Series Two, but not Series One.

So I'm going to break down this review into Three parts where I talk about each series at a time, in turn. Before I come to full gone conclusion at the end. 

This is just the first part in a series of Game of Thrones review, unlike Breaking Bad where I reviewed it all in one go, there is still much more to come with 'Game of Thrones'. Series Five starts on Sky Atlantic next April, I've yet to watch the most recent Series 4 and It's been commissioned for a Sixth Series, so it's evident that there is more to come from this series. However having said that, I'm very excited because this will be the first Television series that I will review on this blog, which I'll be following along as it's happening. So brace yourselves.

So where to start? The beginning! That seems like a good place to start. Okay, I will start off with Series One.

Series One (2011)

To accurately give an opinion on 'Game of Thrones' I need to go back to late May, early June time when I first started watching it. So I started this getting into the Summer season. At first I wasn't all that fussed about watching it. However I knew that it was hot stuff, and that it was a 'Must Watch' kind of thing. It had taken off brilliantly in America, and it was popular with a british audience. I had been made aware of how popular that this series had become, and I felt like I was missing out on a party that everyone was enjoying.

So going into 'Game of Thrones' I hadn't read the book. I had no idea about The Starks or The Lanasters or any of them. I knew nothing about it. I knew the books egisited, and I saw the odd poster advertisement, but that was really it. I was abice to what this actually was. Going into it, you're drawn in from the moment it Episode One starts. I thought it was a clever mood to have a pre-title sequence before had just to get whoever watches it warmed up and settled into what they are going to need to engage themselves in for the next ten episodes.

I watched Episode One, I didn't mind it. I thought as far as first episodes go, that was really good. It's sets things up, it introduces the audience to characters. Characters who are unknown to us, Characters who we know, some we hope to get to know over the next couple of episodes and some we hope won't  be seeing very much of in a short space of time. But as far as start offs go, everything sat fine with me. I was left wanting to watch the next episode.

I think that's how a series, really grips you in a sense. It's down to clever writers knowing and thinking about what they think people want. They construct the story and script in such a way which that you have a strong start, information build up in the middle and then you have to start to build to the end, and how can you end it on a cliffhanger, every episode leaves the viewer wanting more. That speaks to me as being very engaging, the episodes are cleverly constructed in telling the story and not giving too much away.

You do get to know your characters, quite quickly. I had learnt most of the characters names and I knew who was who, by the end of series one/start of series two.  I like series one so much because it speaks a great depth in setting things up, especially in Episodes Nine and Ten. The thing with 'Game of Thrones' is you start the series, flow through each episode accordingly and Episode Nine is the one to watch, whilst Episode Ten gives a nice round off to the series in general. 8/10

Series Two (2012)

Series Two, It started off really strong and then towards the middle of the series (Episodes Five, Six, Seven and Eight) That's when the series took a bit of dry spot for me. It was quite damp, I didn't feel excited which of course meant I didn't enjoy it as much as Series One, which isn't a criticism, by any means.

If anything it just allowed me to understand why that was. There is something about the second series which didn't en role me into liking it more. I think it's multiple things, things to do with the pacing of it, the themes, the authenticity of it, etc.

The last two episodes of Series Two were amazing, they set things up for Series Three brilliantly. I think that's the pivotal point and what the series builds up to, only to re induct itself at the end. It's good on that respect.

I do think that there was so much more that could of been done better, in order make me understand it more though, there are pivotal moments in the Series that do bring storytelling to a brief stand still, slow things down and in turn make it quite damp. But you have pacy action to back that up as well as intensive one to one drama scenes with characters playing off one another for all of three - six minutes of an episode? It achieves drama very well, and a pivotal part of drama is conflict. There is a lot of conflict in this, a lot. 7/10

Series Three (2013)

Series Three, the series had found it's feet by this point. The popularity was heaving in, and everyone loved it, and for good reasons to. So Ten more episodes come in to thrive us in and satisfy our needs greatly. It's very cinematic in some cases, especially when your doing landscape shots and you're filming the wall, and the wastelands. Every episode counts for a reason, and every episode has a little bit of information which speaks for itself.

There is a sense of care about Series 3, which has all the action and drama and killing and people dying, as well as being heavy on dialogue and drawing things down to a lower more suttle level. I think that's the joy about HBO because they know how to spend money. That's the grace of American dramas. They can budget their films or TV shows and get the money back from profits. Here in Great Britain, we can't. We get our money from the tax man. therefore we have to be more careful with the way we spend our money, and manage our budget costs.

HBO know how to spend money, and know how to manage production values carefully in order to great, well established, cinematic, deep drama. Which speaks for itself, excellent costumes, divine sets, sublime acting, and above all a hard working production team which tell a good story.

In a nutshell, Series Three has its moments of capturing spectacular visual imagery in the form of film. The dragons for instance are excellent CGI work blended into the environment, blood and gore is realistic and there are the high and lows overall. 8/10

This concludes Part One of my Game of Thrones reviews. Giving Series 1 - 3 a grand total of 23/30. Which isn't bad going as far as I'm concerned.

It's good to be back!

NEXT TIME : I haven't decided what I'm going to review next. I have some good suggestions though. You'll find out in my next review.