Friday, 31 January 2014

Review : Johnny English - Reborn


Rowen Atkinson returns to the mimic James Bond role, of Johny English in this rather new approach of a movie. Johnny English Reborn.

Now this movie, is all very rather simplistic for me. Don't get me wrong, it's a good film. It's done very well in terms of delivering the laughs and the action together in one plot storyline. But having said that, it's all done very simply. It's as if the movie starts, you have your reintroductions, your dished out with the plot, you have the backdrop to the movie in the next scene where everything else kicks off, before you have to start to build to the climatic ending, problem gets solved, the end.

Obviously all Johnny English films take the mickey out of James Bond films, but not in such a way that it mocks them. Johnny English actually is a clown. For example mistaking the killer for a grandmother and again with the queen. Doing simple yet funny simple things, such as rather than climb over a fence that some guy managed to do miraculously well, English just uses the door. That's funny. Rather than climb down off a high building after the bad guy like Jame Bond would do, English takes the lift. 

These examples, just go to show though the character of Johnny English is based off James Bond, English is more of a nit wit. not stupid, he has common sense and acts like an agent, but he is a bit of a bumbler, makes things up as he goes along. Which by the time of 2011 was common for us as we just took that as being English's characteristics.

Rowen Atkinson, absolutely brilliant, comically funny yet presents himself to be anything but that. However the one that really struck me is the chap who played 'Tucker' - Daniel Kaluuya. He was really good. A lot of people don't like Tucker. I like Tucker, because he represents us the audience in some cases, as he's the one who carries the load, by load I mean story. And asks the questions and does all the supportive stuff a co-star would do. Though your attention is based on Rowen Atkinson because he's the star and in most of the scenes as the leading role. All of Tucker's scenes where great. I thought that the two worked really well together and overall a great performance in general.

So the summary of this film is that Johnny English has retired and is located in Tibet and in disgrace in MI-7 after a washed up mission in Mozambique. Out of the blue, he is summoned back to MI-7 to stop an agency of skilled assassins known as 'Vortex'.

Planning to kill the Chinese premier Xiang Ping. Johnny English is back in action with the support of the rookie Agent Tucker. But he is betrayed by someone that he would never expect.

As far as the humour is concerned, it did fail to make me laugh, but that doesn't mean that I didn't enjoy it. It's the sort of humour that I've always felt suits a certain group of people. With comedy you have a certain type suited to that particular piece of humour. I thought it all right. Could of been disastrous, but wasn't. 

My overall attitude to it was the gags are current and they work, but they don't make me laugh. They just fit into the storyline accordingly.

Here's a trailer.

Johnny English Reborn is a very good film, but it's not brilliant by any means. It's just easy viewing, clean cut, no messing about sort of mickey take really.

I will give it a 7/10.

Thanks very much for reading this review everybody.

Stay tuned for more reviews and recommendations.

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Review : Jack Ryan - Shadow Recruit

Jack Ryan : Shadow Recruit - Jack Ryan A young covert CIA analyst with an intellect to match, uncovers a Russian plot to crash the U.S. economy with a terrorist attack.

Hey Everyone

Welcome to another review, in today's review it is of the new action movie. Released in cinema's this Friday. 'Jack Ryan - Shadow Recruit'. Now there's something quite special about this film for me, because I went into it with quite low expectations. I didn't think it was going to be that great. It seemed to me like a mediocre type action film, which passes you by. When in effect, what it does is excite and engage the viewer in what's going on. I was on the edge of my seat, literally. It is an absolute thriller to watch.

It is non stop, It's one of those films that doesn't muck about. It's straight there, in the zone, perfectly passed. I was surprised for once as to how intense it actually was, it's not so intense it's in your face. It's very well co-ordinated and pieced together by Kenneth Branagh who acts in the film, as well as directs it.

As an actor, he's been someone who great presence in his performances. He never shies away from revealing his true colours when it comes to approaching complicated and challenging roles such as this. Which is why I feel it's more adequately appropriate to show off his skills as both an actor and a director.

This film is very easy to dismiss as being something like a one off. I have had a lot of people falsely speculate this, and haven't really gave it much of a chance. They just look at a poster or a clip and think 'oh not bothered with this' or 'it looks duff, I won't see that'. In the films defence it doesn't advertise itself to the full extent. 

Here is a poster design for 'Jack Ryan'.

As you can see, the poster design is very flamboyant and shows off itself well to be an action film. The title in a bold excessive font, the sub heading, the cast members, Chris Pine, Kevin Costoner, Keira Knightley, Chris Pine on a moterbike, building, dark blue and dark colours to set a mood, very graphic design.

To me as a member of the public viewing it, I do understand why its so easy to dismiss. What does it do wrong. It repeats what's been done before. Rather than go down a new root of presentation, The designers decide to mimic what has essentially been done multiple times before. It looks boring.

Again, as I said before in my 'Love Actually' review. The film also has that safety net of 'who's in it'. And partly sells itself on the strength and popularity of the actors in it. So it's on a very thin thread it would seem.

However knowing all this, I still went along to see it. I wanted to go and see it because I like action movies, I wanted to see what this was about, and other reasons like that. So I went to the cinema, watched it and liked it a lot. It amazed me how easily I got engaged with the storyline.

A plot summary for this film, is it's the basic new version of the saga of CIA analyst, Jack Ryan. It begins when Ryan was going to the London of Economics; and then 911 happened. He then enlists in the Marines and would go off to Afghanistan.

The chopper he was in got shot down and he suffered severe injuries that would require intense rehab. Whilst he was there, he grabs the attention of a man named Harper, who works for the CIA and would like him to finish his studies for a job on Wall Street so he can find out of any terrorist plot through their finances.

A few years later, Ryan finds anomalies in the accounts of a Russian named Cherevin. Jack thinks he should go to Russia to find out what's going on. Jack was told not to tell anyone who he is and that includes his girl friend Cathy. But she catches Jack in some lies which makes her doubt him. Jack goes to Russia and Cherevin assigns him someone to take care of him.

But when they're alone the man tries to kill Jack. So Jack kills him in defence. It becomes obvious that Cherevin is hiding something, but what? Jack then goes to meet him, and says he will bring his fiancé along. But Cathy shows up and Jack has to tell her the truth and Harper tells Jack Cathy has to go with him when she meets Cherevin. Jack doesn't want her to but Cathy goes regardless.

So that's a summary of the plot. Here is a clip to break the mood.

Final Thoughts on this movie. I liked it, It surprised me. But I didn't love it. It was very engaging to watch and I had fun, but I won't be buying it on DVD. 6/10

Thanks for reading this review peeps.

I'll see you next time for my next review which will be of 'Johnny English - Reborn'. I will post that review on Friday the 31st of January 2013.

Until then, goodbye.

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Review : Love Actually

Love Actually : A wonderful romantic comedy, which looks into the stories of different groups of characters.

Hey Everybody

Welcome to my next film review.

Today I am going to be reviewing 'Love Actually' a film, I haven't seen in a very long time. It's been a while. But me and this film go way back, I used to love watching this film at my Uncle's old house in Brighton. With a hot chocolate, biscuits and a warm fire. It was so good. Love Actually is one of my Uncle's favourite films, he's always had a liking for it, and it was on the television around Christmas time.

I hadn't long recently re watched this film. It's a very interesting film, not only on the basis that it's about love. But it's how different relationships co-inside with each other, and it's a film not just about one character but a group of characters and we are interested to know and follow their stories as we watch the film.

The script is extremely well written by Richard Curtis it's co-ordinated in such a way that people's attention span keep interested in it, all the way through. It's all very well having a laugh with it and having symphony for it. But for me it's all about being in the zone and keeping interested in it. If your not interested your wasting your time quite frankly. Love Actually actually stands out to me, as being a film which we can all relate to. We've all had awkward moments in romance, we've felt alone and that we could never find anyone. However it's films like this that fill up your sprite in a way.

The casting is excellent. To get people like Hugh Grant, Colin Firth, Liam Neesan, Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, Martine McCutcheon, Rowan Atkinson and Bill Nighy all in a film together really appeals the audience, because if the story is poor, the strength and popularity of an actor might just be the films saving grace. with films, it's to do with two contributing factors. 

  1.  It depends on wither the story is any good or not. 
  2. It depends on who's in it. I for example like Bradley Cooper if Bradley Cooper was in something new, I'd naturally want to go and see it because he's in it.
So I do think Love Actually is one of these films where these two points just made, are very important and co-inside with it as a matter of it being successful or unsuccessful.

The Acting, I think is very good. The material in it is ok, not brilliant, just ok. In the structure and the way the film is presented. All the stories are different, and you just end up going back and forth. Intertwining with each one until finally all is concluded and you feel satisfied that all worked out well in the end.

Still of Martin Freeman and Joanna Page in Love Actually (2003)
To those of you who like this film a lot. I do understand why, because it does stand out to me personally as being a story with a really strong storyline and a great cast of characters, very carefully directed and shot dynamically and wonderfully told story.

Though there's multiple stories going on, it's not all that confusing to follow. It's all pretty clear and well written. But then Richard Curtis is a very good writer who came up with some fabulous story lines for this film, and this film is essentially 'his baby'. It's one of his best work I think. I have disliked some of Richard Curtis's stuff in the past, but putting that aside, he has produced some great work.

Here's a clip.

Scores? I will give 'Love Actually' 8/10.

Thanks for staying tuned folks.

See you again soon, where I will deliver more reviews and recommendations.

Friday, 24 January 2014

Review : 12 Years a Slave

12 Years a Slave

The Story of how musician Salomon Northup was betrayed, kidnapped, sold into slavery and most importantly how he managed to survive and get out of it.

So Yesterday, I reviewed Mandela : Long Walk to Freedom which gave us an insiste into the life of an inspirational character of Nelson Mandela. In 12 Years a Slave we witness the aspect of the life of Soloman Northup when he was kidnapped and sold into slavery.

Directed by Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave, tells the powerful and moving story of how one man can fight for his survival and for his freedom. All the way through the film, we engage in what becomes of this character and his life experiences of having his life changes, his identity changes and most importantly the way people see him changed. 

I was very interested in this film by the trailers, because the trailers got me engaged with the concept of the story. Thinking the story looked good. I thought, okay lets give it a go. So I went along and watched it at the cinema. I was very impressed with the outcome. Though some scenes were upsetting and difficult to watch, it was a very powerful and moving drama. Which to be fair could of been done as well on the half the budget and done part by part as a drama on Television.

Now the life experiences of the 18th centurey towards natives were terrible and discriminate what we now have today, where we treat black natives as equals. back then, it was different. Solomon was one of many natives taken away and sold into slavery across America. We just learn it from him and his point of veiw because he was a very important embalism of sociaty before he was kidnapped. He was born a free man, he was respected amongst his pears, he had a wife and children and was all the wiser for being someone who was an expert on the violen and apprechiating everything he had.

After he was kidnapped Solomon was sold to a parshal yet nice man played by Benedict Cumberbatch, who listened to him and what he had to offer. Soon after getting into trouble and having peril for his life, Mr Ford has to pass on his debt to Edwin Epps played by Michael Fassbender who is by far a complete contrast to Benedict Cumberbatch's character. He is a vile, nasty man, who seduces his life stock.

So there is a contrast of niceties and nastiness in the story, which is portrayed across very clearly as if the two are side by side.

There are also moments of Segregation and Racism. Segregation being the slaves lived in cabins, while the residents lived in a big house. Yet being faced with hard labour and having his life on the line every day of the 12 Years Solomon was a slave, he did what he needed to do to survive. In the end he seeks help from Brad Pitt, and the importance of Brad Pitt is he's the one who gets Solomon out of being a slave. He can no longer be treated as Plat anymore. He can go back to his life as Solomon and be free again.

Truly incredible story. Here's a clip.

It's hard hitting drama's like this always do better with me, in comparison to a cheap comedy for example. I don't know what it is. But I just think I can get more out of watching dramas like this as it teaches me the odd life lesson or two.

Chiwetel Ejiofor gives an excellent performance, and plays the part with every depth of emotion he has. To which you really feel it, every intense moment to every happy memory. He made the real man come alive for us to embellish. For that I thank him. As I thank Idris Elba for his performance as Mandela.

I thought all the additional information after the film had finished before the end credits went out, was in turn an excellent send off. It finished on a really straight playing note.

Judging the story as a story, very strong indeed and ticks mostly all the boxes for me which is good. As a movie, I hope it does well at the BAFTA's and the Oscars. It deserves to do well. I won't be disappointed so much if this doesn't get best film, but if it does I'll understand why. It's a very well directed, well told story with excellent acting all the way through, and powerful music to guide you along.

I will give 12 Years a Slave a 9/10.

Thanks for reading this review.

NEXT: I will review 'Love Actually' I'll post that review on Sunday the 26th of January 2014.

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Review : Long Walk To Freedom

This is the story of Nelson Mandela, and his Long Walk to Freedom.


Hi Everybody, Welcome to another Dr Film review. 

Today on the blog I will reviewing the incredibly moving and inspiring movie based on the life of one of the most motivational people in History 'Nelson Mandela' played to near perfection by Idris Elba, he has a wonderful talent of making the real man in Mandela come alive, which I think is what makes his performance the more genuine and unique.

The story is a chronicle of Nelson Mandela's life journey from his childhood in a rural village through to his inauguration as the first democratically elected president of South Africa.

It's good that the director and the producers actually took the time to explore the elements of Nelson Mandela's life. Especially the bits where he was in prison. As for me they are the key aspects of exploring the story. This is a man who is standing up to what he believes in. And in fact in the film there is a line where Idris Elba's Mandela says 'this is a cause I am willing to die for'. So the true embolism of Mandela's beliefs and what the film was about was included.  It just makes it all the more believable for the audience.

In addition to that the actual set up of the prison is very atmospheric, from the lighting, from the grounds to everything. pretty much. It was a fantastically set up establishment. What struck me about it was the overall impression it led me to believe. This wasn't a nice place to be in, it was a very depressing place to be in. It was in every sense a prison, a detention centre, a place where one did not feel safe. So the atmosphere that was led off from the prison in how looked and made you feel was very unnerving indeed.

The start to this film is brilliant. It sets off so effortsly It was very easy to just sit back and relax and embrace what was on the screen. Then once things got going and everything was set up so strongly, the film does start to loose confidence in places which is a shame. The middle was slow and dire and not all that great, then you got the bits in the prison which as I said before hand where excellent, brilliantly set up and shot. Then of course you have to start to build up to the ending which could of been developed better, the actual ending itself. Not bad, I think with a little bit more work done to it. It could of been a much smoother production from start to finish.

Here's a clip.

Final thoughts on this film, for me It's an incredibly sight fulfilling film. It's educational, It's factual and very inspiring to those who watch it. Because your experiencing a man's life achievements. Now Mr Mandela's passed away I think we can really take a step back and appreciate what he's done for South Africans all over the world. And say 'Thank You'.

So overall judging this as a film, I will give it a 7/10. Not bad, The plot has it's failings in parts.

Thanks very much for reading this review.

NEXT : I will review another Inspiring story again based on the life events of another man Soloman Northup. In "12 Years a Slave".

I will post that review on Friday the 24th of January 2013.  

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Review : Iron Man


Marvel's  Iron Man hits the big screen, in this 2008 Blockbuster hit. Starring Robert Downey Jr as Tony Stark, this movie in particular sets out to achieve boundaries of big explosions, massive effects, graphic comic strip like violence and action to prove that it stands out from all the other Marvel movies done previously.

Hey Everybody

I would like to welcome you to my next film review which is 'Iron Man' starring Robert Downing Jr in the leading role of Tony Stark. 

With this being a first movie, The Marvel enterprise is releasing yet another range of stories but specifically for Iron Man fans. I've always liked the concept of Iron Man, even if some of The comics ain't that great. I like how refreshing it is amongst all the other Marvel comic hero's put together. The character was created by writer-editor Stan Lee, developed by script Larry Lieber, and designed by artists Don Heck and Jack Kirby. He made his first appearance in Tales of Suspense #39 in March 1963.

Initially, Iron Man was a vehicle for Stan Lee to explore Cold War themes, particularly the role of American technology and business in the fight against communism. Subsequent re-imaginings of Iron Man have transitioned from Cold War themes to contemporary concerns, such as corporate crime and terrorism. 

Are the Cold War themes explored in this first film. In some parts yes, in others no. There are parts are set in Afghanistan. The bits set back in LA I think it is, deal with cooperate internationalism. It disappoints me that the main villain of this movie is a legitimate businessman rather than a terrorist leader.

For a first film, it doesn't do too badly. It is a bit hit and miss I must admit, however Iron Man does do a great attempt of setting things off. For a beginners story, It achieves the following :

  1.  Great moments of intense acting and drama.
  2.  Great Explosions and visual effects.
  3.  Great action sequences.
  4.  Sets up the boundaries for those who don't know about Iron Man before this film came out.
  5.  Great casting 'Robert Downey Jr' does a brilliant job. 
  6. The Iron Man suit itself, looks dynamic and great development staging with the suit, and showing how Tony is experimenting with it.

These are just a list of six examples, however what it doesn't do so well is :

  1. Keep people alert as to whats going on. My attention span on this is minimal. I find myself being only interested in bits of it and not the whole thing.
  2. Plot holes in the story telling.
  3. Effective but pointless climatic fight scene between Iron Man and the Bad Guy, without any clear explanation given as to why they are fighting. You may judge me as someone who complete missed the point of that scene, but to me. Its just pointless violence that has nothing to do with the story other than show that these characters can crash cars into each other and scare the s*it out of a few hundred innocent people that had nothing to do with anything except be normal.
  4. The ending - what was that about? Tony Stark breaks the most important rule of being a superhero NEVER reveal your secret identity, especially to a bunch of reporters and TV people who are s*it stirrers.
  5. The constant delaying of the inevitable.
  6. I think in some cases the film looses the plot a little bit, and just goes mad on the budget. Though explosions and dynamic like that are effective. I just check my watch and say. 'Let's get back to the story now please'.

To elaborate these 12 points further, here's a clip. Don't just take my word for it. See for yourself.

The outline to Iron Man is this : Wealthy industrialist Tony Stark is kidnapped and forced to build an armoured suit after a life-threatening incident, he ultimately decides to use its technology to fight against evil.

Not your typical start to a Superhero movie. It isn't like Batman Begins where poor Bruce Wayne's parents are killed in front of him, and he decides to avenge them by dressing up in black and beating up criminals.

Iron Man is different. Tony is presented in a crises which actually works around well for him. He finds an easy solution out of it. That's how things set off so quickly. The first half of this film doesn't much about. It's non stop. Second half is dastardly dull. So unnecessarily boring. Quite adequately this film is a game of two halves really.

The glue holding this film together is the music. The music is what is in background and adds the atmosphere for me. It is what makes this film come alive and add a real intense feel to it. Particularly in moments of action, and intense peril.

Overall to those who haven't seen any Iron Man movies, and want to. Please do. Marvel at it's best.
Also, don't just watch the films, read the comics. As the comics are the basis of the films, if the comics weren't around neither would the films. So read the comics and watch the films to know your stuff.

Thanks for reading this review.

My next review is going to be 'Mandela - Long Walk to Freedom'. I will post that review on Thursday the 23rd of January 2014.