29 July, 2015

Ant-Man review

Genre: Action, Comedy, Superhero, Science Fiction, Adventure.
Starring: Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Douglas, Corey Stoll, Bobby Cannavale, Michael Peña, Tip "T.I." Harris, Anthony Mackie, Wood Harris, Judy Greer, David Dastmalchian.
Year Of Release: 2015
Certificate: 12A (UK) PG13 (US)
Runtime: 117 Minutes
Director: Peyton Reed
Synopsis: "Armed with a super-suit with the astonishing ability to shrink in scale but increase in strength, cat burglar Scott Lang must embrace his inner hero and help his mentor, Dr. Hank Pym, plan and pull off a heist that will save the world." IMDB

12 films into the Marvel Cinematic Universe can Marvel keep up their stellar track record? 

Lets start off with the cast, when the film was nearing production there was talk of Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Paul Rudd being favourites for the lead role of Scott Lang, to me both were laughable ideas for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Boy was I WRONG, Paul Rudd as Scott Lang may be my favourite casting in the entire MCU, he was brilliant be it from dropping the typical Rudd jokes we're used to or actually portraying real emotion when talking about his daughter. Not only was Rudd a brilliant call, I loved the entire cast, Michael Peña was absolutely hilarious, he even rivalled Rudd in his comedic ability, Corey Stoll as Yellowjacket was also another inspired choice I mean everybody in this film was spot on in my opinion. Then we have Douglas and Lilly, who had some a wonderful father and daughter dynamic that just felt so real.

Now we have the visuals even in the modern day of the height of CG it is a bit of a baffling thought to imagine seeing a man running around underground with ants and it to not look stupid. However as ALWAYS ILM (Industrial Light & Magic) delivered some truly stunning visuals. I don't want to pick out specific scenes, because really they all stand out in their brilliance seeing him shift from man size to ant size in the blink of an eye is like something straight from the page of a book. There is also two scenes towards the end of the film I know you guys and girls will love they involve an ant and Thomas The Tank Engine (not that part from the trailer, it's even better). Marvel have done it yet again, delivered some stunning effects as they continue to do.
Image courtesy of www.Marvel.com
Onto the story, while it is not going to win awards for originality, the story was very fun I thought. Even though Edgar Wright left the project, you could still feel some of his comedic styling in the film, I'd like to know if Tomas The Tank Engine was his idea, feels like a very silly British approach to humour. While the point of the film is not primarily meant to be a comedy, however having Edgar Wright, Joe Cornish, Paul Rudd and Adam McKay write the script you should expect a fair few giggles and this doesn't disappoint in that sense. The film is filled with laughs, action, nods to the MCU and even heart strings pulling scenes.

The film touches on some subjects that really hit home for me, which was a nice change of pace for a superhero film. I mean we all want to relate to superheroes in our own way, I just think this felt more relatable the whole Hank and Hope relationship was wonderfully done by Douglas and Lilly, if these types of performances continue I can see an actor/actress getting an oscar nom for their work on a superhero film. Great times ahead for us "nerds" yay!
Image courtesy of www.Marvel.com
Overall, I absolutely LOVED Ant-Man it's very different from the rest of the MCU but exactly the same in some aspects. I will be straight up, I expected this to be easily the worst in Phase 2, I'd say joint second with Winter Soldier after Age Of Ultron for me and I know I gave Winter Soldier a 10 and this a 9, but I still think they are equally as good as each other if that makes sense? No, it doesn't not even to me, but I stand by it. Plus this gets massive bonus points for a certain reference to a friendly neighbourhood somebody :p. Hard to believe that Marvel have delivered again with a character hardly known outside comic readers, they have kicked ass with both Ant-Man and Guardians, here is to the future of the MCU!

18 July, 2015

Accidental Love review

Genre: Romantic Comedy
Starring: Jessica Biel, Jake Gyllenhaal, James Marsden, Catherine Keener, Tracy Morgan, James Brolin, Paul Reubens, Kirstie Allen, David Ramsey, Kurt Fuller.
Year Of Release: 2015
Certificate: 15 (UK)
Runtime: 100 Minutes
Director: David O. Russell credit as Stephen Greene
Synopsis: "A small town waitress gets a nail accidentally lodged in her head causing unpredictable behavior that leads her to Washington, D.C., where sparks fly when she meets a clueless young senator who takes up her cause - but what happens when love interferes with what you stand for?" IMDB

Let me start this by saying sorry, sorry to whoever I hurt or offended which resulted in me watching this film. I must have done something down the line to be cursed with this! I guess this is an indication of where this review it set to go...

"Accidental Love" is releasing Monday 20th and available to buy from Amazon on DVD

The cast of this film on the surface is a wonderful ensemble that would entice even the most cynical Rom-Com watcher like myself to take interest, however they were all beyond below average. I mean this is Jake Gyllenhaal one of the current best actors who comes across like he is winging every line, all the cast felt like they didn't know the script it was all just guess work. Which is beyond surprising considering I am a huge fan of the majority of them, in this film though there was zero chemistry and zero development of these people you were meant to relate to.
Onto the story a pretty boring one at that, none relatable characters, unbelievable events and a down right lack of Comedy. How this is considered a "comedy" I will never know, I smirked once, maybe twice it was a horribly written script everything said and done felt unnatural, the jokes just didn't land and the entire premise of the story was ridiculous. Which comes at as a shock because the writing team have turned out some good films and television shows in recent years, this just comes across as an attempt to not try at all. There was one scene in which Jake Gyllenhaal's character Howard is trying to escape a telling off by jumping out of a ground floor window, I felt like jumping out the second story window of my house at this point!

The production of films is something I am yet to touch on in such a way in a review, however I can't help but think that the production of this film had a huge hand in making this film the mashed together piece of crap it turned out to be. There is countless stories of the production being shut down for many reasons including the lead actors walking off set on more than one occasion. Even resulting in director David O. Russell abandoning production after two years of set backs, pardon the language but the entire production turned into one big cluster fuck of incidents. Which leads me to believe resulted in the poorly cut together film, jumping from scene to scene without and fluidity to it, as WATW? said "Scenes chop and change making Accidental Love feel like a jigsaw puzzle that was put together in the dark."
Overall, this film was abysmal, horrible, horrific ALL of the negative superlatives you could imagine and that is about 0.01% of how close you are. This film genuinely may be the worst film I have ever seen in my life time and that is saying something after 15 years and over 3,000 films seen. There was zero redeeming factors for this film for me, it is very easy to see why David O. Russell turned suit and ran the other way. Do NOT fall for Mr Russell's name on the poster this is nothing like he has done in recent years. If you don't want to take my word for it check out What About The Twinkie? or RT Write-Ups reviews of the film or any film fan reviewing site, I imagine they will all come to a similar conclusion.
Accident Love is released through Arrow Films on DVD Monday 20th

10 July, 2015

The Voices review

Genre: Black Comedy, Psychological Thriller, Horror, Comedy, Drama.
Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Gemma Arterton, Anna Kendrick, Jacki Weaver, Sam Spruell, Adi Shankar, Ella Smith.
Year Of Release: 2015
Certificate: 15 (UK) R (US)
Runtime: 103 Minutes
Director: Marjane Satrapi
Synopsis: "A likable guy pursues his office crush with the help of his evil talking pets, but things turn sinister when she stands him up for a date." IMDB

When I first heard about "The Voices" I was pretty excited, finally a film that Reynolds would get to act and we can see if/what he can really do given a good script. Reynolds has had a bit of a bad run in the cinema in recent year I mean we will all never forget how horrifically bad "Green Lantern" and you would be hard done by to find another person like myself that enjoyed "R.I.P.D". HUGE thanks to Peter Noble PR for the opportunity to review the film.

Arrow Films are bringing the hugely loved "The Voices" to UK shores this coming Monday July 13th, the film is being released on DVD, Blu-Ray and Steelbook, the wonderful steelbook is a Zavvi exclusive. Either of the options will take you to the best place to purchase said copies.

"The Voices is directed by Marjane Satrapi, the Iranian author and filmmaker best known for the Academy Award nominated animated film Persepolis (2007). Ryan Reynolds stars as a troubled, med-addicted factory worker driven to murder by his talking pets, a psychopathic cat called Mr. Whiskers and Bosco, his peace-loving dog. Reynolds also voices both of the animals, while Jacki Weaver, Gemma Arterton and Anna Kendrick play the women unfortunate enough to cross his path."

Firstly let's start with the cast, the decision to cast Ryan Reynolds in role was an inspired one he is a truly talented actor that not many people get the chance to see actually act. His roles in "Buried" and "Safe House" I can't recommend any higher, same goes for this, playing Jerry Hickfang he disturbingly felt at home. Reynolds played the character so well that there was times the viewer is dragged in deep into illusion of lost connection with reality. Gemma Arterton and Anna Kendrick play Hickfang's unwilling accomplices, Arterton was a wonderful comedic break from the dark story Kendrick on the other hand I personally struggle to enjoy not sure what it is, this time she has won me over playing the smitten Lisa she was a fun addition to the cast. Then we get to Reynolds voicing Bosco the dog and Mr Whiskers obviously the cat, some of the lines for these characters were so hilariously executed by Reynolds you actually fall in love with them even if Mr Whiskers is a bit on the naughty side. The entire cast were thoroughly enjoyable.
This is the first film I have seen by director Marjane Satrapi and if this if anything to go by I am quiet sure I will be following her career for a long time. She blends perfectly the highs and lows of a Jerry's struggle between reality and imagination, be it from the belly laughs you get from Mr Whiskers and Bosco to the rock bottom lows of Jerry's realisation of the real world. Satrapi succeeds in keeping you entertained from start to end, in regards to the end don't skip the credits you're in for a wonderfully funny treat which I did not expect but loved.

Onto the story, people constantly complain about Hollywood being lazy and constantly remaking the same stuff, this film is certainly NOT the case. Writer Michael R Perry ("The River" TV show & "Paranormal Activity 2") really excels in making something new and fresh his character development and witty written conversations between Jerry and his pets were incredible, not only did he write something extremely funny, he writes a script in which we really get to see Reynolds perform his best role to date in my opinion.
Overall, I found the film to be wonderfully funny was a brilliant mix of dark and light Comedy, Marjane Satrapi does very well at blending the two into one cohesive mix. This film is the perfect film for any fan of the black comedy genre, everything coming together from Reynolds superb performance, to the pacing of the film to hilarious retorts by Mr Whiskers and Bosco you're in for 103 minutes of pure fun. In short I absolutely loved this film, I couldn't recommend it any higher to Reynolds fans or just Comedy/Horror lovers in general. Plus it gives us an insight into what Reynolds can do with a disturbed character with a warped view of reality, *cough* Deadpool *cough*.

The Voices is released on DVD, Blu-ray and limited edition Zavvi.com Steelbook through Arrow Films on Monday July 13th

14 June, 2015

Jurassic World review

Genre: Action, Adventure, Science Fiction,
Starring: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Nick Robinson, Ty Simpkins, Vincent D'Onofrio, Irrfan Khan, Omar Sy, B D Wong, Jake Johnson, Lauren Lapkus, Brian Tee.
Year Of Release: 2015
Certificate: 12A (UK) PG-13 (US)
Runtime: 124 Minutes
Director: Colin Trevorrow
Synopsis: "Twenty-two years after the events of Jurassic Park, Isla Nublar now features a fully functioning dinosaur theme park, Jurassic World, as originally envisioned by John Hammond. After 10 years of operation and visitor rates declining, in order to fulfill a corporate mandate, a new attraction is created to re-spark visitor's interest, which backfires horribly." IMDB

So here we are 22 years after Steven Spielberg changed for that generation and every subsequent generation since, the original Jurassic Park is an all time favourite of mine and millions of others I'd imagine. So how did the latest instalment in the franchise by Colin Trevorrow hold up against the rest?

Lets start off with the story, a well paced blockbuster, with some nice turns that while aren't mind-blowing, they will surely keep you on the edge of your seat. I don't want to say too much and give it away, but they also wrote in some wonderful nods to the original which the fans of the first will adore and the younger fans will love when they are told about them. There is times when the subplots do not seem to make that much sense, that could be due to longevity that the project has gone through with numerous rewrites and tweaks, notably the parents getting divorced it didn't add anything to the film and didn't change the view of the young lads. That aside the story was solid and simple but a nice ride.
Another stellar cast for a Jurassic Park film, who would have thought that they could build a cast that was as enjoyable to watch as the original? I surely didn't, there was some brilliant performances some that really stood out for me were Ty Simpkins who at 13 is kick ass in the acting world, Nick Robinson, Bryce Dallas Howard and Chris Pratt who is fun in ANYTHING he does, the dude is just a joy to watch plus his and Bryce's on screen chemistry felt real. D'Onofrio serves as the human villain in the film and to be honest he really isn't as good as we are used to seeing him, it feels over the top if you will. Saying these performances stood up does not mean I found the others lacking, just not as great as these specific ones. Not the right place to say but yet again another performance from Nick Robinson that adds credence to my personal opinion that he would make a pretty good Peter Parker, thought it since I first seen him in "Melissa & Joey".

Yet again another film in the series that had some breathtaking cinematography, which was done by the very talented Academy Award nominee John Schwartzman, some of the wide shots are beautiful. Which for the Jurassic World franchise is a big thing, I mean look at the first, it has one of the greatest all time pieces of cinematography, so this one had to have some wonderful shots too, which do not worry it does. 

Hard to believe this is only Colin Trevorrow's second feature film, which he did not only direct he also co-writ with his previous writing partner Derek Connolly who he worked with on "Safety Not Guaranteed". Which was an enjoyable film according to the people I have spoken to about it, Colin does what many directors over the past decade have worried they couldn't do, he made a film 22 years after the original and still was able to keep that wonderful charm the first had. This film is by no means better than the first, but was easily the second best in the franchise, after this I can see Colin going VERY far in the movie world.
My only complaint really was the lack of practical effects, I have always been an advocate for practical effects. The use of them in the original especially when the dinosaur hatches from the egg was something that made me fall in love with the art form that is practical effects. I just feel more drawn in when it comes it practical effects, not to say the CGI was poor or anything, the film was still visually stunning, it is just a personal preference of mine to have visual effects if and when possible. If so we would still have masters like Rick Baker working in the business and not retiring. That all being said, the visuals effects were amazing to watch and I'm sure anybody would agree, they also had a wonderful use of scale on the dinosaurs to really give the audience the feeling of how big these "monsters" truly would be if around today.

Overall this film was a thoroughly good watch, heck good it was great. I enjoyed it start to finish, it was not what I expected but it was brilliant none the less. Throughout the film there is a few misses, however the rest of the film really delivers in a big way I found. While it doesn't hit the heights of the first film it was truly a masterpiece in the blockbuster, bringing back the summer family blockbuster I really hope. Fingers crossed this gets Steven Spielberg to jump back into this world and he picks up Chris Pratt for the next Indiana Jones film. This film excelled in all categories and is a brilliant film for all to see, truly a revival of the franchise. "It's like the perfect sequel... 22 years later".

08 June, 2015

Whiplash review

Genre: Drama, Music.
Starring: Miles Teller, J. K. Simmons, Paul Reiser, Melissa Benoist, Austin Stowell, Nate Lang, Chris Mulkey, Jayson Blair, Kavita Patil, Michael Cohen, Kofi Siriboe, Suanne Spoke, April Grace.
Year Of Release: 2015 (UK)
Certificate: 15 (UK)
Runtime: 106 Minutes
Director: Damien Chazelle
Synopsis: "A promising young drummer enrolls at a cut-throat music conservatory where his dreams of greatness are mentored by an instructor who will stop at nothing to realize a student's potential." IMDB

When I seen the trailers for this I wasn't very excited, actually I didn't have any intentions to watch it until it maybe appeared on Netflix or maybe normal television. After being beatdown by my brother for months and my twitter followers constantly recommending it. I gave in last week. Here are my thoughts on it.

Where else to start with this film but the acting, I mean WOW! This was my first time seeing Miles Teller act, and I was blown away by such a performance from somebody I always assumed was going to be another member of the 20s comedy crop, very happy I was wrong. As student Andrew Neiman, Teller was able to showcase a complete range of his ability, be it giddy and flirty with the incredible Nicole (Melissa Benoist) to gut wrenchingly fighting for his place the band. Then we have a performance by everybody's favourite Spider-Man character J Jonah Jameson, J K Simmons who played Jazz instructor Terence Fletcher, I say "played" he really became him, another unfathomable performance, very easy to see why he won the Academy Award plus about 40 others for it. For me Fletcher is one of the scariest movie villains of all time, some of the scenes are so intense by Simmons you find yourself exhaling like you're on the receiving end of his tirades of mental and verbal abuse.
The use of cinematography in this film was superb, it really gives the viewer a look into the gritty world of music schools, really showcases the battle students go through to become the best they can be. 

You may be like me and struggle to comprehend how a film about drumming can really be that entertaining, because personally it was my main struggle with the film I have zero investment in the playing of drums (or any instrument for that matter). That being said you will you still hopefully thoroughly enjoy the film like I did, while at times the drumming can seem repetitive you are still drawn in by the majesty of the talent it takes to play that way and to have the ability to play that long without your hands falling off ha. The movie gave me a new appreciation of the dedication music students have to becoming the very best in their given field, if they are a tenth as dedicated as Andrew comes across then they will go far banging those drums maybe, heck what do I know I'm a movie blogger!
This is the first I have finished a film and felt physically drained and emotionally beaten and I have seen 1,500+ films. The film beat me down so much after it I had to sleep off the after effects, it was more than just an emotional thrill ride it was incredibly relatable if you look at it as a boy trying to make his Dad proud and show him what he can do (Fletcher also being used as the Dad in this analogy). After the film ended I spent a good few hours just thinking about how near perfect this film was, I thought it was post film high, so I gave it a few days to let it sink in before writing my review. However, allowing the time to pass, didn't change my view of this film is a modern masterpiece, well not just a modern masterpiece, it is just a masterpiece itself. Easily in my top 5 of this year, will take a lot to knock it anywhere near out of that list.

After just speaking about the emotional beatdown this film laid on me, I knew I had to touch on the pacing. This is one of the most wonderfully paced films I have watched in a long time, people say "emotional rollercoaster" a lot when it comes to these kinds of films. This time it is the most appropriate use of the phrasing I could think of, from the ultimate strain on you not to break like Andrew, to laughs given by director Damien Chazelle, you will be left with just an unbelievable feeling afterwards.

Overall, I was completely blown away by this movie, it was countless times better than I could ever expect. Damien Chazelle has thrown his name into the big leagues with this movie, I am not usually a
lover of the medium of films about musicians, this may have made me do a complete 180 and will be looking back on such films I may have missed, not that ANY could ever compare I do not imagine. From the get go the film is entertaining, filled with all turns and twists on the emotional roller coaster, this film really is with an ending that will have you tenser than you could ever believe a movie would make you feel. The ONLY reason I didn't give this film a 10 was the ending, while amazing was a bit abrupt, I would have liked to have seen a little more from it, I understand the reasoning behind it, I just personally would have liked to see Andrew get the plaudits he truly deserved. I find it a little heartbreaking I didn't get to see this masterpiece on the big screen with like minded individuals, hopefully I will get to one day!