Wednesday, 24 June 2015


SPY A desk-bound CIA analyst volunteers to go undercover to infiltrate the world of a deadly arms dealer, and prevent diabolical global disaster.


Spy pretty much is a hybrid of action and comedy. It contains the typical spy thriller elements but inflicts a kind of mickey take on the whole seriousness of spy agent figures like James Bond and Spy Action movies. Jude Law's character in particular portrays that.

You've got a fairly easy plot to go into, and the film has lots of fun moments. Melissa McCarthy provides some wonderfully witty and out load statements, she plays an analyst who wants to be something more and her job is to sit at a desk and talk into Jude Law's ear as he's out on missions and instruct and advise him on moves and actions. But she wants to be slightly more than that. So she decides her chance to shine comes when a deadly arms dealer is planning to hand over plans to a deadly nuclear device and she knows the identity of all the other agents so she therefore has to go undercover, but no one in the field thinks she's cut out for it.

It's about this one character going out into the field on her first full on mission, and proving all the people wrong whoever doubted her. It's a fun premise and some of the film is very funny. It's one of these popcorn flicks in which you don't have to so invested in the plot to get the premise of what the film is trying to achieve. You simply sit back, relax, enjoy it and have a good time.

The film is directed by Paul Fieg who directed Bridesmaids and The Heat. Now he's returned having directed this film, and I always like Paul Fieg's directing techniques and his approach in working with familiar people like for instance Malissa McCarthy and Rose Bryne. It's fast and does a good job at keeping the past fluent but also there are moments of set back in moments of comedy, balance of contrast between various situations in the film is natural. The best way to describe the type of film this is about is to describe it as a fun feminist comedy with wonderfully outlandish events and good examinations of the understanding of the genre.

You have lovely moments of epsilonage in there as well as thrill and the balance of comedy is slightly over pitched. I think as a critique the comedy could be approached very differently for instance its laughs come from the realm of the bawdy, the raucous and the self aware. but its hard thing to get right, and there are some great bits in it from supporting role of Jason Statham. 

What's positive is we get to see a good mixture of comedy and action in equal doses. 5/10

Friday, 19 June 2015

Review : Mr Holmes

Mr Holmes : The late great detective has one last mystery to solve. The same case he was involved in before he went into retirement, however the clock is ticking for Mr Holmes to solve the mystery of what his last case meant, can he solve his final puzzle?

Ian McKellen plays two versions of the great detective in the film. One in his 60's and again later in his early retirement in his 90's. I was very much looking forward to this and I was thrilled that Ian McKellen was playing Holmes in this as I heard a rumour floating around that he was quitting acting after the last Hobbit film.

McKellen is an excellent actor, very experienced and therefore you have total confidence and belief in his performance from the word go which is always encouraging for the viewer because if you have confidence in your leading man or woman that connection is all the viewer needs to guide them through the story.

The story goes that Holmes was involved in a case 30 years ago which ended his career as a detective. He goes into retirement and takes up beekeeping, however there's something at the back of his mind bothering him about his last case. It's all about going back and trying to see if he can solve  the case again but this time... complete it.

Here's a trailer.

General spectacle on viewing something like crime drama is the puzzle at the centre of it, the raw  boundaries of what you need is a good puzzle for the viewer to solve as well as the detective and a good story based around that. Audiences love a puzzle and something they can interact in and this film I think provides that very well.

The story was set up really well in terms of learning of the origins of Holmes not just in the realms of fiction but as Holmes the man which McKellen brilliantly portrays. I liked the contrast between the two versions of Sherlock Holmes in this and there's a scene which differentiates this brilliantly in a cinema which when you watch it you'll understand where I'm coming from. There's the commercial Holmes as seen as being this great detective and then there's the repressed, puzzled, confused man played by McKellen. 

Mr Holmes shows a side to Sherlock Holmes that I don't think people probably knew could possibly exist.  What's great about McKellen is that he's sweet and gentle of pace and that is what's intriguing you want to know more and he doesn't force anything on the performance it's completely natural. 

Bill Condon's directing is magical, every second counts.  

What I love most about this film is that Holme's last case is imagined here and not by the fictional interpretation he is interpreted to be - the mysterious Sherlock Holmes with pipe and cap.  8/10

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Review : Mad Max - Fury Road

MAD MAX : Fury Road - Tom Hardy is Max.  In a waste land where humanity is broken, Two rebels try to restore the natural balance to the world again - You got Max and  you got Furiosa (Chalize Theron) - a woman who has hope to make it back to her childhood homeland.

As a re boot production wise, everything is improved for the best. It looks absolutely fantastic and within seconds you are captivated by the shear thrill of it and the action gets started within seconds - you got the audience attention straight away. You don't really get a complete clear understanding of what the plot is about or where things are going until after Furiosa highjacks a fuel truck and takes it on a diverted cause.

This results in a wild goose chase and watching a car chase for the entirety of the film, after a while the whole car chase thing got very boring for me. I didn't understand why the bad guy - who was basically Bane from Dark Knight Rises, what if Bane was a goth? had to get a whole gang and himself to go after one small truck when he could have just sent a handful of his crones to do it?

Also you never really get any real sense of identity with any of the characters, I couldn't relate to any of them. Every character wanted something, but I never got a clear indication as to what was going on in certain sub plots to do with various characters it's all a bit disjointed with the actual plot. This relates back to my point of people being blown away by big explosions and visual effects and the story within visual effects rather than the other way round which it should be.

I think certain things such as this are there to captivate the viewer but afterwards you think, what have I just watched? It is set up to be very thrilling and meant to grip the viewers through shier drama and suspense but for me that's not quite enough to satisfy my needs, I would rather have a good story and crap effects to be perfectly honest.

One of my favourite things about this film is the production values, all the landscapes and locations that are viewed are visually fantastic and wide shots show off a full sceptical which I like, its very broad in terms of stretching the viewers imagination and conflicting a vision upon the viewer. The main two people in the cast are fantastic, the rest of the cast are mediocre.

Someone said to me that they thought that this film was "One of Tom Hardy's greatest films"... that's possibly true. It depends on your sceptical of the piece, I'll leave that open to you.

It wasn't a terrible film, I watched it thinking that I was going to hate it but I didn't. It wasn't that bad, but I wouldn't watch it again, I'd see no need to. At least not for the foreseeable future.