Thursday, 26 February 2015

Review : Puss in Boots

Puss in Boots 

The events leading up to the sword fighting cat's meeting with Shrek and his friends.

Years before meeting Shrek and Donkey, the adorable but tricky Puss in Boots becomes a wanted fugitive, and finds under the circumstances he must clear his name of all charges. While trying to steal magic beans from the infamous criminals Jack and Jill, the hero crosses paths with his female match, Kitty Softpaws, who leads Puss to his old friend, but now enemy, Humpty Dumpty. 

It's a story about loyalty, friendship, courage, greed, trust, determination. It truly is worth while watching, you do go on a rather interesting journey with the story that you've got for an hour and a half. The viewer is getting so much over a short duration of running time that it captivates and contains the overall enjoyment of it.

If there is one thing this film does to give itself merit, it contains itself within the story really well. It never really boars, it has a very good storyline, is quick on its feet with swashbuckling action and clever humour and what I like about this film  even more than any other reason is it doesn't really muck about too much because there isn't really a lot of time to develop within it, which is one of its few limitations. 

You have a strong start at the beginning where you meet Puss in Boots for the first time, though we've got to know Puss from the Shrek films, we actually do get to know Puss as Puss before he met Shrek and Donkey. So this is kind of the prequel to Shrek, and even then I thought the background behind Puss's friendship with Humpty was very well done and made up the story really well how two friends, turned enemies. It's insightful to children, more than adults because children learn more as they go along, they have a broader perspective as your younger.

The film is stocked up on thrill, so you won't be bored watching this : with mild innuendo, cartoonish violence, and tense/perilous scenes include several duels, an elaborate "dance off," a cannon/gun fight, a "monster" chase, and a character who willingly plummets to their death. There are a couple of double-meaning jokes and a repeated mention that Puss is a "lover," as well as a funny conversation about starting a family between the villainous Jack and Jill. 

Overall though this film maybe aimed more at child audiences, it's a film which is meant to be enjoyed as whole by everyone. hence the U Rating. It's very good. Not brilliant, but I would recommend it to people who haven't seen it.


I'm going to take a short break, but I will be back in April with more exciting reviews and recommendations. 

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Review : Shark Tale

Shark Tale : The story of how a little fish in a big pond, comes out on top by telling people that he killed a shark... but how long can he keep it up and convince everyone he knows that it's all true before they find out the story is a lie?

It's the same with all these animation studio companies. Disney, Dreamwork's, PIXAR... They know how to tell stories. I dare say better than any director or script writer out there today... on the exception of Quentin Tarantino and Dickens - two of the greatest story tellers who have ever lived.

Dreamwork's - the people who brought us Shrek, bring us Shark Tale. Clever play on the title, especially given what the film is about. Shark Tale - Tall Tale, there's Sharks in it? You get it. It also has a really interesting main character, Oscar who is brought to life by Will Smith. Will Smith does a great job of making the audience want to laugh with Oscar rather than laugh at him, he's a deadbeat fish who feels like nothing and has always dreamed of coming out on top.

When an opportunity comes for Oscar to come out on top he takes it. by telling everyone he knows that he killed a shark, when of course he didn't - the whole story is a lie. The lesson here to kids is... NEVER Lie! It's not worth it and a lie always causes more problems than it solves - in the case with this Oscar tells a lie and ends up becoming tangled up in a rope of little lies and it gets out of hand quite quickly, he's treated like a celebrity and its all fake.

Into that you got the Shark, which are so brilliantly set up to be a mock mafia type of gang. It's a friendly gangster mafia type set up, sort of taking influence from 'The Godfather' and 'Goodfella's'. It just adds to the comedy and gives the Sharks character background, plus Robert De Niro is good a playing gangster, so what a better role for him. To describe it best it's a hip-hop/mob computer-animated fun film filled with an all star, top notch voice cast and some bright and charming musical numbers to keep the young ones entertained.

I would say this about all Disney classics, Dreamwork's productions, PIXAR Movies. They define the perfect perimeters of what a family film is and how its meant to be enjoyed. If it were me, I define this as being a stand out. It's funny, witty, adventurous, deeply moving in some cases, achieves drama really well and has a good story.

The story for those who don't know or have never seen the film is about a fish and a shark who somehow unexpectedly come together and create a friendly bond amongst each other and they become friends, after of course events occur when Oscar supposedly is believed to have killed a shark and learning of this news the mafia of sharks want him dead.

Now this isn't a stand out classic. It's not 'Finding Nemo' or 'Shrek' which were both franchise  hits on the market, but it throws so much at you, you too carried away enjoying yourself to notice.

The plot is nothing special, but the visuals are. It's a graphically brilliant film. Lots of great underwater authenticity and accuracy which makes it look as if it was really underwater, under the sea. It looks very impressive and tremendously life like, with eye-popping color and wonderfully expressive fish faces, hilariously funny and surprisingly touching in moments of sentimentality.

There are dozens of gags and pop-cultural references and some bright musical numbers that keep things moving briskly, so the pacing of it is really coherent. It may not be a brilliant film, but it's very good. 


Next Review : Puss in Boots. 

Monday, 23 February 2015

Review : Pride

PRIDE : U.K. gay activists work to help miners during their lengthy strike of the National Union of Mineworkers in the summer of 1984.
It is more common in most that the main inspirations of what makes a film relate to the facts of the everyday and reflect on society, law, what's going on the real world today and in this instance Pride reflects gay activism of the 1980's. 
It's a very enjoyable comedy with an all star cast, the combinations of both writer Stephen Beresford and director Matthew Warchus together produce what I think is a very insightful piece of comedy drama because its ever so uplifting and self righteous, you really feel what is trying to be achieved from this and its a subject matter which is very recognisable and people can relate to it.
Since its based off historical events it's also good educationally for those who don't know about Gay Pride and Gay activism of the 1980's to get involved and learn about it, and have a laugh with it because the comedy is so effortlessly put into it that your not supposed to shy away from it, you just need to embrace it for what it is and enjoy it. Its one of the many wonders of life.
I think what Pride also sets out to achieve is not to be afraid of who you are. If you're gay. You're gay! it's who you are, and if there's anyone who think its right to tell you otherwise of think thats wrong, don't let them tell you otherwise because you can't help who you are. Characteristics which are shown throughout several characters in the film which shine through and communicate this message in terms of action, speech, direction and boldness.
The story goes that Pride is a feel-good fact-based comedy drama about a group of British gay and lesbian activists who supported the National Union of Mineworkers during the latter group's legendary year-long strike in 1984 - 1985. 
The combination of Marchus's directing and Beresford's writing is it creates such a well coherent flow of events with some mild strong language throughout , sexual innuendo, passionate kissing, a hate crime beating of a gay character, and pushing and shoving between police and the striking miners. 
The film's politics, particularly when it comes to the pivotal issues of gay rights and labor rights, are pro-Labour Party and anti-Margaret Thatcher. Which in my view is very accurate to what I feel was what was being aimed for. Thinking outside the box in terms of what would one possibly wish to achieve from this/ view from this.
All together this is an all round, well thoughtout historical comedy drama which viewers can look upon and really embrace it for what it is, and can understand the messages in it. 7/10

Next Review : Shark Tale 

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Review : Before I Go To Sleep

Before I Go To Sleep : The story is about a woman who wakes up every day, remembering nothing as a result of a traumatic accident in her past. Until one day, new terrifying truths emerge that force her to question everyone around her.

This mystery thriller based off a best selling book by S J Watson reflects primarily on the focus to embody changing cultural anxieties and nightmares. If you've read the book, you'll understand this better. The characters have their own purpose and significance within the story and supporting characters are just there as supporting characters to support in the main role of Christine who has strange endeavours of waking up with no memory of what had occurred as a result of her traumatic past. 

Now just suppose that film is there to visually captivate the context of the raw synopsis of the story written in the book in its simplest form, because believe it or not accuracy isn't the key here its making sure you understand the point, and the plot is quite interesting if you stop to think about it - A violent amnesia thriller which is thrilling to watch but unmemorable. A Panasonic Lumix camera is an integral part of the plot. With its grown-up cast and grown-up situations, it seems unlikely that teens of this generation will be interested.

So what's the story about? - Christine is a 40-year-old amnesiac who can store up information over the course of a day, but every morning when she wakes up, all memories back to her twenties are erased. So every day, she wakes up next to a strange man, who explains that he's her husband and tells her what's going on. 

Another man, Dr. Nasch, calls every day and asks Christine to locate a video diary she keeps and to watch the recordings. He then meets her for a series of appointments and tests. As Christine has flashes of memory and records them in her diary, she begins to discover that something isn't quite right in her strange little world. The script has its fair share of twists and plot holes to keep the audience gripped to the drama and interested to carry on watching, but in the book its more established in depth which sadly is absent in this film.

Before I go to sleep is an okay-ish type of film. Nothing truly spectacular or memorable about it at all which is a surprise given its interesting choice of cast, the average viewer may not likely not be going to remember this film any time soon, and yet it's still serviceable. 

If I'm being honest and presenting this in a critical way I expected more drama, the acting really does help elevate the film's interesting premise from underwhelming to almost average standard. It's not the only thing that works, though: it's interesting while watching it and suitably tense enough. It contains a few strong scenes of very intense violence with a man brutally beating up a woman. He slaps and hits her, and uses blunt objects. 

The film does look very presentable in its merits, throughout there were many moments where I went "Oh that's an interesting choice of shot" or "Oh, that looks good". But when it finished, I left thinking 'It was good' but I won't buy it on DVD. I'd probably stay to watch if Its on TV in the future and I just happen to be flicking through the channels and its on, but that's really it for me. 6/10

Next Review : Pride

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Review : The Departed

The Departed : An undercover state cop who has infiltrated an Irish gang and a mole in the police force working for the same mob race to track down and identify each other before being exposed to the enemy, after both sides realize their outfit has a snitch.

Gangster films. Organised crime, disorganised crime - there's something therapeutic about cheering on the bad guys. Since gangster films came into their own in the 1920's, the criminal underworld - from Moscow to Hollywood, Hong Kong to Brighton - has exerted a fascination for filmmakers.

I love Gangster film. I love the gangster genre as a whole, I find crime drama dynamic and interesting above anything else. Its the one thing I have a real connection with. However gangster films only really work if the story is any good and all depends on what the story is like. Gangster films like "Goodfellas" and "Pulp Fiction" they are films which create visions in the mind which inspire the imagination and the films which stick out as having a lot of memories of because they are beautifully executed films.

In the case of the Departed, I wasn't sure what to expect going into this and I'm sure the average viewer really will when they watch it. It's quite a strange turn of events in how the story progresses and it has everything in it in which you'd expect a Gangster film to represent, a cross turn of events, an undercover cop, two rivals and a good wide ranged cast of characters for the actors to play a broad range of parts. 

What I love about gangster films is that its made so clearly what type of territory you're going into. This is a film which is not for children, it's not a family film, it's an 18 and in some cases the film limits itself for holding back the age limit because of the content it posses. If you're under the age of 18 you are not permitted to watch this because it has content in it which is beyond the understanding of anyone below the age of 18, it's for adults only! It's not like Frozen which is a family film you can all go and see together and have the grand parents take them again and therefore the more bums on seats the more box office money you make. 18's I think make the least amount of money because of the limitations in engaging with a wide range of people.

However with it being not for children many an adult audience at the time would probably have wanted to watch 'The Departed' due to the incredibly heavy promotion it had during TV shows popular which were popular with children. It's far too graphically violent for those under the age of 17, including images of heads being shot and spurting blood, limbs being broken, bodies sprawled and bloody, and expressions of pain by victims of shootings and beatings, all the graphic violence you'd expect to find in a normal gangster film. 

Sexual imagery includes a scene in a porn theatre that cuts to the screen and frequent sexual slang. Characters smoke in almost every scene, and drink occasionally, and Billy 'Leonardo DiCaprio' takes pills throughout the film, indicating his increasing paranoia and depression which is all part of his character.

Overall, this film is just one of many typical and yet imaginatively brilliant films which are creative in their own way in terms of how they tell the story, through violence, through brute force or through simple common fowl language and immature gestures. 8/10

Next Review : Before I go to sleep.

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Review : The Hurricane

THE HURRICANE : The story of Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, a boxer wrongly imprisoned for murder, and the people who aided in his fight to prove his innocence.

One of Denzel Washington's best performances in a film. By a clear shot.  Not for one moment in the film do you ever differ from his disguise. You genuinely believe he's that character and you don't fault his performance, his strength reassures the audience in the confidence of following the story about this person.

The film also teaches you a little bit about boxing matches, it has shooting in a bar, gang rivalry, mild strong language, including racial epithets, but all of which are adaptable to the raw grit of the drama, so I don't mind it so much if there's a reason for it. 

So going into this film the first thing you need to know is that it is a biopic of Rubin Carter 'The Hurricane' Secondly, It's a drama based on an ordeal of his life and Thirdly there's a sport back drop to it. 

The story goes that, Denzel Washington portrays Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, who battled a brutal childhood to become a contender for the middleweight boxing championship, through pure determination. The story follows Carter's harrowing experience as he's wrongfully sentenced to three life terms for murders he did not commit, then uses the same discipline and sense of dignity that served him as a fighter to survive in prison. 

In addition to that, you've got a boy named Lasra Martin, living in Canada with people who took him in to provide him with an opportunity to get a better education, buys his first book for twenty-five cents. It is Carter's book which he wrote in prison, "The Sixteenth Round". Lasra writes his first letter. Carter answers. They develop a close relationship, and the story goes on to explore the bond they have up to the moment, 20 years later, when Carter is freed from prison.

Denzel Washington is amazing, he truly gives one of his best performances of his acting career. He demonstrates man's courage and heart. 

And the story has lots of depth to it "victims of racism saved by righteous white people" portrayals clearly, the real hero in this story is Carter himself. In his first days in prison, locked in "the hole" for refusing to wear a prison uniform, we see him forging the steel that will keep his essence free, and damned to consequences.

Then, in scenes that are almost unbearably moving, we as the viewers are treated to see that he can still allow himself to hope and to need others. He has protected himself from despair and bitterness in refusing to be a victim. In hindsight I think overall viewing it this would be a very poor film without Denzel Washington. 8/10

NEXT : The Departed. 

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Review : The Iron Giant

THE IRON GIANT : This is a fascinating story of a nine-year-old boy named Hogarth Hughes who makes friends with an innocent alien giant robot that came crashing down to earth from outer space. Meanwhile, a paranoid U.S. Government agent named Kent Mansley arrives in town, he thinks the Giant is a threat to the world and becomes determined to destroy the giant at all costs. It's up to Hogarth to protect him from harm.

This is a story about loyalty, friendship, courage, survival, all in all an all round message which demonstrates the value of something and about your place in it. Take Hogarth for instance, a boy who comes into contact with a giant made of metal who is decedent from outer space by natural happenstance and chance they just happen to make aquantences very quickly and by the end of the film they are friends who value each other dearly. 

It's also about responsibility, once you become involved with something it is very easy to walk away from it and pretend that it never happened but it's about your place, you got yourself into this situation, though one would love to back away and drop out - you can't. It's sticking out that makes it all the more achievable.

At the start of the film, you have a wide shot of something falling down to earth and a fantastic pre-beginning sequence with a sailor coming into contact with the Iron Giant. From something small the film sort of takes off from their and once the dramatic action happens and the relationships start to bond between several characters for an animation, this is a drama which feels very real and like a real live action piece. The emotional depth to it is incredible because it really explores the sentimental value which each character has, for instance a mother fearing for her sons safety, The determination of a US Government Agent wanting something so badly he would loose his right arm to get what he wants, The importance of valuing a friendship  etc. The list goes on.

The joy of this as well which I find really contributing to overall enjoyment is the fact that it's a cartoon. So already it appeals to children or a young audience, they don't have to get the real messages of what the films about they just have to watch the Iron giant and look and how cool he is, the film provides cartoon action that most children love: a giant robot under attack; buildings, trains, and cars crashing; futuristic weapons firing; Hogarth - the boy hero, creeping through a dark forest looking for “trouble"; a boat caught in a storm; spooky music; and an arrogant, mean-spirited villain who threatens everyone and everything that is important, not to mention everything around that in the background of scenery and all the colours of the film to describe mood, time of day, etc.

The wonder with cartoon is that it can be anything, yes your on a budget but one of things I liked doing in my comic book days when I used to draw comic books is you could make it look budgetless with wide scale drawings which in real life look as if they would of cost a fortune to do. 

What's the best way to describe this film, Basically this is a director's cut of a truly raw good film, not a great a good. But there's no shame in that, it has so much humour and heart that it is one of the best family movies around. The script, adapted from a book by, Ted Hughes, is exceptionally good, hardly any faults in it. 

The plot has some clever twists in it, and some sly references to the 1950s which is good in terms of knowing the backdrop and knowing how to go off and get research resources and use them well to your advantage. Setting the story in the 1950s puts the government's reaction to the robot in the context of the red scare and Sputnik, which is good, its what makes the film exciting. They make the giant out to be a monster and of course he isn't. It's all one big misunderstanding and its a crushing blow to audience when at the end the robot effectively sacrifices himself to save the world from destruction. It's a very sad scene when the two friends have to say goodbye.

It may not have the breathtaking vistas of some of the best Disney animated films ever made, and I'm putting my hands up in admitting that The Iron Giant isn't a great film, but to it's credit it is lively and heartwarming and the characters, both human and robot, everything is so engaging that you might forget they are not real. The robot, created with computer graphics, is seamlessly included with the hand-drawn actors, making the illusion even more complete. So there's lots of contributing factors to think about from watching it, this is a film about detail, detail in every form.


Next Review: The Hurricane. 

Friday, 13 February 2015

Review : Hummingbird

Hummingbird (Redemption) - Homeless and on the run from a military court martial, a damaged ex-special forces soldier navigating London's criminal underworld seizes an opportunity to assume another man's identity transforming into an avenging angel in the process.

An action crime drama with a lot of punch to it, is what basically sums up what you'd expect this film to be like, from what the plot has to offer the story has a lot of potential in terms of perspective of both how you can view it as an Action drama and how you can view it thinking outside the box on a larger scale and or style of film.

Jason Statham is the hard core man in this, he's the kind of man in this for the viewer to have confidence in. He sort of invites you in and makes you want to stay and watch, his character is interesting and supporting characters are good at showing emotional value of how they react to him which helps the audience in guidance of helping them understand the situation. It's been a while since we've had a drama like this which doesn't completely over do it sentimentality but in small areas just focusses on that slightly in order to connect with audience differently.

The more typical formulaic action films have a plot you can sum up on the back of a business card, a heroic maverick and as many a set piece stunts as the budget can afford. Thankfully, not every action film sticks to this template. The budget for this film wasn't very big so there are limitations shown throughout in the ways that you can do things, but considering the low production values the film provides it looks like it had a bigger budget when actually it didn't, and some of the action sequence are very fun and impressive and are really engaging to watch.

There are a few continuity errors that can be spotted a mile off, some smalls thing you can get away with but in the instance of the beginning of the film, Joey is beaten up, leaving his right arm injured and immobilized. But, when he reaches the rooftop, running away from one of the men who beat him, he crosses a sort of bridge leaning on his right arm while having his left arm immobilized. After this frame, he switches back to normal. doesn't make any clear sense at all, just a common error.

Other continuity errors are things being out of place so for example when Cristina takes pictures of Joey at the fountain and the restaurant she uses a Nikon D300s. However, the camera which is laying on the table in the apartment is a Nikon D70s. but these are just examples of small nit picks, the problems of making a film go on and on and on and more often than most directors make mistakes as they don't have their eye on the ball at all times, so I sympathise with the smaller problems and nit picks which can easily be pointed out, but just the smallest attention to detail out of place just makes it look inaccurate.

Some people who I've talked about this film to, often misunderstand. They think I dislike the film when in actual fact. I do really enjoy it. I don't think it's amazing, but then what film needs to be amazing or sets out to be amazing. You can act surprised any day, but what overall impression would it have on you watching it again? 

Taking that point into consideration, on watching it back again I remember liking it more in the cinema there was something about the big screen that made the impression of impact better for me in terms of hardening the mood, and the grit of it was more intense. I don't know, my feeling's differ over time. 7/10, overall very impressed. 

Next Review : The Iron Giant.

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Review : The Devil Wears Prada

The Devil Wears Prada : In New York, the simple and naive just-graduated in journalism Andrea Sachs is hired to work as the second assistant of the powerful and sophisticated Miranda Priestly, the ruthless and merciless executive of the Runway fashion magazine. 

This film is very much aimed towards that of a female audience, it's more of a girls things from the way it's advertised, in the way its presented and the overall feel of it is not something which would typically appeal to being a mens thing, but it doesn't mean to say that men can't like it. It's a film about Comedy, Drama and Romance all meshed into roughly what is 1 hour and 44 minutes of screen time.

The films opening scene is very captivating in the way in both that it is filmed and the way an ordinary average viewer would see it it. The intention of wanting to satisfy the viewer into a relaxed state so that they come into this quickly and comfortably, in terms of the way I view it I was quite curious in starting this film because I didn't know what to expect from it as you do with any uncertainty. I didn't hate it, was my final reaction to it and I enjoyed it to an extent but it just wasn't really for my liking.

I haven't read the book, so my knowledge is a bit hazy. Those who probably have read the book might get a better or more observational means of viewing film because they know the background of it a bit better. I didn't like the film because it featured cruel judgments about body size and fashion and the characters are materialistic and catty, however the acting was very good indeed. I mean Meryl Streep, I defy anyone to point out a second in her performance that isn't truthful - a cold hearted bitch.  

To give it credit, I suppose a contributing factor to it is the fact that the film does have lots of mentions of high-end fashion brands. However for younger viewers I highly doubt that they'll be interested, since the subject matter won't mean anything to them, the film is rated a 12. Therefore viewers of a teenage generation are permitted to view this and get an all round perspective, to argue that this film is primarily based around an adult audience and nothing else is just not true.

Sometimes over-the-top and sometimes sentimental, Prada is most notable for Meryl Streep's remarkably subtle performance as super-diva Miranda Priestly. 
While the film loves its costumes and montages, the plot is creaky and the story isn't all that great and targets far too easy: Everyone knows the world of haute couture is cutthroat, imperious, and lurid. So what? tell us something we don't know.
I thought the play off between Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway was interesting because Streep's character is complex and compelling where as Anne Hathaway is nothing like that at all, so I was quite curios to follow that premise and watching these two main roles play off each other and seeing where it was going to end up.
To be honest, I just don't think there was enough dealt with in the running time to last a feature film, though the content and attention to detail was impressive and it was about fashion and the costumes and the artistry looked impressive it wasn't enough for me, I wanted more from it and it didn't deliver. I felt it lacked a bit the books main premise, just something brief and that's it. I haven't read the book so I can't confirm this to be true. What I can confirm to be true is that this film isn't anything all that great. 6/10!

Next Review : Hummingbird. 

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Review : Anastasia (1997)

Anastasia This film is the vision of Don Bluth  and Gary Goldman as they tell a story of the last surviving child of the Russian Royal Family who not knowingly joins two con men on an adventure to reunite her with her grandmother, the Dowager Empress, who is rich and offered a reward to anyone who can reunite her with her granddaughter however there is also the plot of the evil undead Rasputin who seeks to kill Anastasia and fulfil a dark purpose of his own.

For children film this isn't like any normal Disney film which has the right balance of comedy and horror which are almost side by side with each other throughout, there are no hidden messages or anything you'd expect to find in a normal Disney animation whilst watching Anastasia. But what you do get it a wonderfully animated, colourful and insightful motion picture which motion wise is stunning.

In terms of story, there is a lot there and every character has lots of development to their character so you can get to know them throughout the course of the film and allow yourself as a viewer to invest in them, as you'll have to throughout the course of the film. I think everything that surrounds the film, buildings, surrounding background like trees, all look very realistic and I like that. The raw realistic approach of things. You know it looks like a building because you believe what your seeing is a building because you see it. 

Another thing about this film which is more contributing to Disney is when you watch it back, you are allowed to concentrate more on certain features of the character, for instance there is a scene where Anastasia leans in and there is light shading on the rest of her body in the shot but the eyes are what your concentrating on in the shot, and it closes in and the concentration is key to it. You don't get those kind of shots in Disney films.

This sumptuous animated story about Anastasia, will I'm sure confidently captivate the attention of children and their families in a matter of moments with it starting. The animators learned their craft at Disney, and it shows. Other than the mostly forgettable score, the production is first-class, with an appealing heroine, exciting action, glamorous settings, and a tender love story.
Anna is smart, brave, and loyal. She is also a rare leading lady who vanquishes the bad guy on her own. She doesn't have any help from anyone else, it's nice that actually there isn't a stereotypical handsome prince who comes to the rescue, this film may prompt older generations to learn more about the real story of the Romanov family as well as being entertained amongst other odds in the films favour.
Not for a second do you stop believing in what your seeing on screen, it's just wonderfully shot, visually captivating and a wonderfully animated and directed film. Certain alterations don't do the story any favours in terms of accuracy, this film is mildly inaccurate in places as to what events actually took place which is a missed opportunity in my view  it's important never to loose track of what your doing especially when doing a historical type background.
The film is quite dark for instance the death of Rasputin is a scene which some children may find scary, Rasputin's body comes apart and he's surrounded by green bats, dark music, and crashing noise. It looks good on screen, but what you're viewing is a horrible way for a character to die. Fiction or Non Fiction, the point is still very much there and yet shrugged off by a simple comment of 'Oh it's an animation' or 'It's not real'. 
It feels real, you've got the raw material to prove it. As well as that the scene on the train where the train goes out of control, launches adrenaline rush to the max, again with the boat and the storm and Anna day dreaming all of which are quite thrilling and chilling scenes to watch out for when viewing this film, it's mild but still worth checking over. How do you feel about the scary parts of Anastasia? Does the funny bat character Bartok help make the scenes with evil Rasputin easier to watch?
It's also interesting how Anastasia (as depicted in this film) compares with other royal film characters, such as Princess Fiona from Shrek, and Sleeping Beauty's Princess Aurora. Interesting things to think abut there.
Overall this film does have its ups in terms of enjoyment but just raises a lot of interesting questions to be brought up in discussions.
Therefore I will give it a 7/10!
NEXT: The Devil Wears Prada.

Monday, 9 February 2015

Review : The Big Wedding!

THE BIG WEDDING A long-divorced couple fakes being married as their family unites for a wedding.

The story goes a little bit like this : Don (Robert De Niro) and Ellie (Diane Keaton) were once married and have two children, Lyla (Katherine Heigl) and Jared (Topher Grace). They adopted a boy from Colombia, Alejandro (Ben Barnes). Eventually they divorce, Ellie moves away and Don hooks up with Bebe, Ellie's best friend (Susan Sarandon). 

When Alejandro is about to get married, he informs Don And Ellie that he never told his natural mother who is so traditional that they got divorced. And she is coming for the wedding so he asks them if they can pretend to still be married. Don and Ellie reluctantly agree to it and Bebe moves out who is also upset that Don for some reason doesn't want to commit.

The plot summery once you read it and get the gist of what the film about is basically what one really needs in order to guide you along the sweet promotional premise of the film, and you know what I think The Big Wedding is nothing spectacular but then it doesn't need to be because it doesn't try to be as big as the title. It's just a fun, easy going type of film that intends to get you into a set back mood of 'just watch something for the sake of enjoying it' and you got an amazing cast to help along with that.

The film is certainly a lot more racier than most family wedding comedies in terms of pacing and could make for an uncomfortable parent-teen movie night. There's lots of sexual content and the opening scene shows Robert De Niro about to perform oral sex on Susan Sarandon and as well as that theres also discussion of virginity, sexual orientation, and open marriage. 

There's also adultery, public displays of more than affection. In addition to the crude sex jokes and sex scenes, you can expect frequent strong language ("f--k," "s--t," "a--hole," "bitch," etc.) and drinking (the father and the priest are both alcoholics).  If you can look past all that and sort of accept that into the overall enjoyment of it, its an okay-ish film which doesn't hold back from being anything but easy viewing. That doesn't mean the film doesn't have potential but you do sort of look at this and think? 'I'll give it a go but I'm not expecting much from it'. It doesn't give you a lot, but enough to satisfy your needs as a viewer, sometimes that can viewed upon as being lacklustre to a viewer because they are expecting more from it to make the enjoyment of it more worth while, but in some cases satisfactory is all your going to get.

A talented group of actors could have signed on for such a mediocre comedy is a mystery. Writer / Director Justin Zackham has included so many ridiculous plot points in The Big Wedding that the entire film is hard not to scoff through, and that is one of the many downers that needs to be pointed out. 

Like for instance : the idea that Ellie would be so forgiving to a best friend who slept with her husband, or that long-divorced exes would have sex when one of them is in a committed relationship, or that a 29-year-old virgin who promised to wait for love would forget all of that at the sight of a his adopted brother's hot Colombian birth sister. The examples go on and on, and instead of being funny, they just highlight why the film is little more than a series of gags strung together over one ludicrous weekend. Instead of concentrating on being about the comedy it tries to hard and as a result what it comes down to is insufficient laughter and insufficient engagement with the audience being that this a film about comedy.

Yes, some of the gags work and there are some laughs to be shared, but not a lot when thinking about it. It would raise a smirk or a chuckle but nothing so laugh out loud funny that I'd regard it as being a successful comedy film.

However, what I would say is it's good, clear, observational easy viewing with a wide ranged all star cast and you can just sit back relax and just enjoy it for what it is and not care about what happens. 


Next Review : Anastasia. 

Saturday, 7 February 2015

Review : The Proposal

The Proposal : A pushy boss forces her young assistant to marry her in order to keep her Visa status in the U.S. and avoid deportation to Canada.

I would say when talking about this particular film is that it is definitely a directors cut which is definitively versatile and different to the average viewer who watches it. It can also be viewed as a  charming romantic comedy with a much talked-about scene in which the leads, both naked, accidentally crash into and fall down on top of each other. There's nothing like two naked bodies slapping together!

But since it's rated PG, all that's shown is a tumble of skin. There's also plenty of innuendo, as well as couple of passionate kisses and a comical scene featuring a flabby exotic dancer in a G-string. So this film is allowed to get away with a lot of things under a minor note of warning.

This was an interesting one to sit down and watch because my mood from starting this and my mood when it finished were two very different moods. It's very much like my mood towards 'A Dangerous Method' I didn't like nor dislike it, I just thought it was very weird and strange. With this I neither liked it or disliked it, just thought 'you know, it's ok'. In some cases and ok-ish type film is all you need to get you through an evening on Movie night! 

What on my thoughts as to why I feel this way about the film? Well, part of the reason is to do with the pacing of it and the content it has, it's not all that fulfilling or exciting in moments of dire situation or providing gripping drama. It's humorous to some extent but not laugh out loud funny, it is just simply a film which is dynamically cut and the overall feel of it is that of a type of definitively charming romantic comedy. 

There's nothing original about an uptight career woman who needs some lovin' falling for her gorgeous, put-upon assistant. But Bullock and Reynolds have a breezy chemistry that most on-screen couples hardly ever or never achieve. 
They're a pretty fine match it has to be said, and I'd go as far as to say they are both as good as each other and bang on par. They are equally believable as boss-and-subordinate as they are as reluctant lovers. Both have finely honed comedy skills, and they're bolstered by scene-stealing supporting co-stars who add to all that.
I wouldn't say there's a special spice in this which sort of jazzes the whole film up in terms of quality but perspective wise, the film is just okay. One's expectations can be quite low of a film and they think 'Oh that's not going to be very good' and then you go and see it and think 'It was ok and not as bad as I thought it would be'. 
In hindsight I think your stepping into the unknown when the film starts and then you warm to it throughout the course of it's lets face it slow pacing. Things could step up a notch for a film, which isn't far off from just over an hour and a half, by the end of it you feel that it was okay and nothing special. 
The directing is good to some technique that in some ways can be seen as dynamically interesting and the director showing diversity and interesting perspectives in the way she wants a scene shot but overall it doesn't help matters that the overall enjoyment of it is one of those 'romantic pop corn flicks'.
Perfect for Valentine's Day!
Next Review : The Big Wedding.