Saturday, July 30, 2011

Captain America

Captain America

When he is told he cannot serve his country, Steve Rogers is given a chance to take part in an experiment that will change him for the greater good.

Pre-watching this movie I had my doubts, the trailer wasn't that stand out ish and I wasn't sold on the idea, but its Marvel and The Avengers so im down. Now having seen the film I take all that doubt back. The film delivers. Its another example that Marvel know how to make decent comic movies. Apart from Batman, DC don't have the best track record and Spiderman is Marvel's only weak link at the moment. Anyway back to Cap.America.

Chris Evans is great. He has the awe of the character, he brings a level of comedy and emotion. That and he's ripped like hell. The rest of the cast were just as top notch: Stanley Tucci I love and he's awesome. Tommy Lee Jones definitely looked older but he still sounds the same which adds comedic value to a lot of his lines. It sempt like Hugo Weaving graduated from Eric Bana's school of accents, but for the most part was an adequate villian. This also marks, I think, the first role I've liked Dominic Cooper in as Howard Stark. No weak links in the cast.

The film starts slow whilst explaining Steve's background and determination, but as soon as they plug him in its all go. Some very good action scenes and very good uses of the shield. Being a comic book movie, there are several cheesy but funny moments too (including Tommy Lee Jones refusing to kiss the Captain goodbye).


The one area I wanted more was his team. In the movie he frees some POWs and they become his personal team. We are briefly introduced to them in one bar scene. I would have liked more, in fact im not sure any of them were mentioned by name. The end is a perfect lead into The Avengers and the scene at the end of the credits is a full teaser trailer for the movie too.

Recommend: hell yes.
Overall: 9.5
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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2


The finale to one of the world’s greatest sagas. Continuing straight from the ending of Part one, Harry must find the remaining Horcruxes, in order to end it all.

How am I supposed to start reviewing this? I’ve just got home from the midnight showing and I felt the need to write now I’m here I have no idea what to say or where to begin. All week coming up to the midnight launch I have re-watched the first 7 films. I have seen the story unfold in a matter of 7 days. I have seen the wizarding world change, some for the good and some for the bad. I have seen the special effects of the films slowly increase in the wow factor. I have seen characters come and characters go. But most of all we saw the rise of three specific characters and the actors that play them. Say what you want about them off screen, but on screen these guys have grown. Yes Dan Radcliffe’s Harry never grew an inch since he was 11. Yes Rupert Grint’s Ron is still gormless git. Yes Emma Watson’s Hermione is one of the hottest things iv seen at the cinema. No matter what your opinion of them, they are those characters. With a supporting cast that spans (or has spun) most of the great British actors we have today, no one can give a poor performance in these films and this one specifically. With characters such as Emma Thomson’s Trelawney and Jim Broadbent’s Slughorn, only present for one or two shots, but their presence is still counted towards the massive scale of the final cast of the film. But if any of the supporting cast should receive a shout out its Alan Rickman. I’m not going to lie to you; from Snape’s death scene to the end of the film, I was in tears. But Rickman brings Snape to life more than any other character in the entire saga. The memory scene was particularly lovely. It showed the love he had for Lily Potter. It showed the true side to Snape that audiences (and readers) were left in the dark for for the past 7 films. Every moment he has, including a fight scene with McGonagall, is filled with emotion.

Now I’m not going to go through the film and point out every scene and how awesome it was, but I will point out the very picky flaws. That one bit from the trailer that we all hated, is still pretty bad in the film. The whole “Lets end this the way we started it: Together” bit. Its cut in right before Neville’s killing of Nagini. Rather than when it is supposed to be, they have a weird flying scene, which ends with Harry duelling Voldemort, where he blocks every green spell sent at him, then the death of Nagini and the final duel.

The only other one I want to point out is that Snape dies in a random boat shed and I thought he was supposed to die in the shrieking shack? But Rickman’s performance soon made me forget about it.

The epilogue was done in a better way than what was written I thought. In the book there is great emphasis on all the children’s names and talking about Professor Longbottom and what not, but in the film, it’s a nice shorter version that ends the film really nicely.

The one thing that still annoys me about all the films is the magic missile routine that goes on. Its is explained that spells require an incantation to make them work and only powerful wizards may use spells silently. However in the films they all seem to have this ability to do what I’m dubbing the Magic Missile. Its that random white powered spell that requires no incantation and everyone uses. I get that in the film its harder to get a proper fight sequence in with all the incantations in and that the Magic Missiles are an easy way of avoiding this problem, but as hardcore fan it does annoy me slightly, but not enough for it to ruin the film.

The special effects are all top notch, some lovely models for the giants and all the spells are top notch as usual. The music is all familiar and a particular moment when Harry returns to Hogwarts, he emerges from the tunnel and when Neville reveals him, his theme tune kicks in, nice and loud and it’s a really good moment.

During the performance there were 4 times when the entire audience clapped and cheered. Once when Ron and Hermione kiss for the first time in the Chamber of Secrets, then again when Mrs Weasley calls Bellatrix a bitch and kills her, again when Neville kills Nagini and then when the credits roll. It was the single most greatest cinema experience I have been to, ever.

Recommend: Take tissues and something to drink, your going to need it.

Overall: 11/10

P.S I still managed to sob when I wrote most of that, recalling what I had just seen.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Larry Crowne

Larry Crowne

When a Navy vet is made redundant because he never went to collage, he decides to get him some knowledge.

Hanks and Trek fans will love; otherwise it’s just a nice simple comedy.

It is not in my DNA to dislike anything Tom Hanks does these days; he just is simply, in my opinion, the greatest working actor at this time. So I’ll go into a rant of how awesome he was, but the fact that he stars and directed this flick adds to points to him. Julia Roberts plays opposite him, now I'm not saying she is Emma Stone, but she still kind of has a hot thing going on. She was good and even though I can’t say I have seen many films of hers, (other than Ocean’s trilogy) she gave a really good performance. Notable supporting nods go to Mr Sulu himself, George Takai, since becoming a trekkie, it’s awesome seeing any Trek cast member in other roles. Cedric The Entertainer was alright, his character wasn’t really explored much, but he was ok. Now a lot of the other supporting cast I don’t know by name, but no-one was bad.

This film is very predictable, this film has not a lot of originality, but it still manages to keep me liking it and wanting more. This might just be my man-crush on Hanks and Takai, but I still liked it. The comedy in this film is very good. It’s not as joke per minute as films like The Hangover; it’s more subtle and sophisticated humour than slapstick or in your face vulgar. Now speaking/typing as a Star Trek fan, I think most fans get a little excited to see references to the culture and what not in other films. Throughout the film, the purpose of Hank’s character’s course is about speaking, so there are several little monologues from characters in the class. One stood out as he stands in full Scientific federation uniform (blue) and states the opinions of the different series of Star Trek. There is plenty of comedy throughout the film and the underneath rom-com-ness isn’t too bad for 3 21 year old students to still be laughing throughout.

Recommend: Yes

Overall: 8/10

The Burbs

The Burbs

When a new family moves in the other residents of the street become suspicious of their lack of leaving the house.

Funny and over the top.

Tom Hanks leads the cast of residents set in the burbs. Other than Mazes and Monsters I have yet to find a film of his that I have hated. He just delivers in every role he is in and this is no different. Carrie Fisher joins him as his wife who is really good. Bruce Dern plays one of the neighbours who was in the military and provides most of the equipment for what happens in the plot (no spoilers). The third character seemed very much the OTT slapstick comedic relief. He was funny, but I feel the humour may have dried over the years this film was made (’89) The other 2 neighbours I don’t know their names, but were ok. None of the cast gave a bad performance really.

The plot is all based around the characters suspecting their neighbours of foul play. The comedy is there as is the slight essence of a thriller. The only trouble is, is not much happens. They see the problem, they tackle it, fail, try again and credits. It was good but needed a bit of padding.

Recommend: Tom Hanks’ fans definitely, other than that not really.

Overall: 6/10



The story of a maid of honour who plans her best friend’s wedding and it doesn’t quite go as planned.

Not really the Female Hangover movie but quite funny.

Kristen Wiig leads the comedic cast and leads it well. Other than Paul I haven’t really enjoyed her in much, but in this she is really good. She does however have this voice/accent/dialect when she says a funny line and it does get a little annoying at times, but the comedy its self is still rather good. Even though there are 6 other women, two of them don’t do anything. The soon to be wife, is also similarly not a huge role. The other two main characters are where the bulk of the plot and comedy is cantered. An old friend versus new friend relationship is formed and the new friend character. Now after watching the TRS review and other things, I feel that these are all known for their work on SNL. Now as that doesn’t air in the UK I have no idea who any of the other actresses are, but they were all pretty good. Chris O’Dowd is the love interest who even though he was kinda funny, his acting was terrible. Now I like him in other things, specifically The Boat That Rocked, but in this I think he gave his poorest performance.

The film itself is several big comedic scenes tied together with a flimsy plot. Now the comedy is good. It’s a funny movie, but the other little bits, mostly fall flat. The scenes with the two men in Annie’s life are just boring.

Recommend: Sure, it’s an OK watch.

Overall: 6/10

Friday, July 1, 2011

Bad Teacher

Bad Teacher

When a gold-digging teacher is dumped she starts searching for a new rich boyfriend.

Bad Santa meets School Of Rock, just not as funny.

Cameron Diaz in the lead is very level in this film. She’s funny, but not too funny, she gives a good performance, but not great, her only factor that she excels in is the attractive factor. The main plot line of the film (its in the trailer) is that she wants a bigger bust, and the one she already has is more than enough in my opnion. Jason Segal has now reached a level of awesome that in future if he is in a cast I want to see the film (yes this includes The Muppets). In this he is on top form and the funniest member of the cast. Now he was terrible in The Social Network, terrible in Black Snake Moan, terrible in Southland Tales and he’s terrible in this. Justin Timberlake is annoying, he isn’t funny and he’s just trying too hard. He can’t sing RNB/Rap and this film proves he can’t sing acoustic, how is this guy getting acting roles? I just don’t know. Now the high of sexy in this flick is Lucy Punch. Never heard of her before this film, but she apparently warrants a re-watch of Hot Fuzz. She played her character so well. She was funny, she was a good antagonist and she was really sexy. I always think Thomas Lennon is funny in films and even though he only has a small role here, he’s still really good and really funny.

It isn’t always funny, some times the jokes are weird rather than funny, but most of the time it’s an alright comedy. The majority of the cast is on the ball and the story flows well. There isn’t really a peak in the movie. Unlike The Hangover which doesn’t peak, but is non-stop funny throughout the movie, this is a straight line of just OK. Unfortunately it takes until the end of the film for the funniest line, a PE Teacher saying “hold my balls” of all things.

Recommend: If nothing else is on, sure.
Overall: 6/10