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QUICK REVIEW: The Legend of Tarzan

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Here’s the thing about The Legend of Tarzan, there’s a lot of interesting ideas with good story and character elements. however, I don’t feel like this film reached the potential it could have. Now I LOVE Disney’s Tarzan, it’s one of my favourite animated films ever, and while it took a lot of liberties with the source material, it was a wonderful visual experience with a simple yet effect story with characters you cared about and cool soundtrack to boot (yes I loved the Phil Collins sound, suck it haters)! So I’m a little biased. However, after doing some reading about Tarzan online I’ve come to realise that he’s a pretty interesting character with cool stories and a lot of potential for more modern live-action adaptations because, Tarzan, while he’s been depicted in many live-action versions prior to this 2016 version, I feel like there’s always been room for improvement with technology, cinematography and the depiction of Tarzan’s abilities. So even though I didn’t feel the need to see another big-screen version of Tarzan, at the same time I was curious to see what Tarzan would look like with today’s technology and under the direction of David Yates.

The story can be described as the following:

“Tarzan, having acclimated to life in London, is called back to his former home in the jungle to investigate the activities at a mining encampment.”

The story was certainly interesting with the film focusing on life of Tarzan post jungle and then having a situation that would force him out of his civilised life and back into the wild. It was nice to see the origins of Tarzan’s life in flashbacks similar to Man of Steel, I also liked how there was history between not only just Tarzan’s life in the jungle but also an African tribe and other animals that helped flesh out the world and make Tarzan and Jane’s life seem well-lived and detailed. However the plot felt very familiar and standard fare to anyone to who’s seen any kind of film in the action adventure genre, it also doesn’t help that the script lacked a lot of unique or compelling elements, and the dramatic or subtle moments that the film tried to portray didn’t have the right kind of emotional depth. It also didn’t help that most of the interesting aspects of the film was about Tarzan’s past and the latter half of the film, everything else just felt like a chore to get through. However if you’re just looking for a simple action adventure film and you’re not too fussed about the story details then you’ll forgive those issues I previously highlighted.

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The cast do a decent job, though some people were clearly better than others. Firstly there’s Alexander Skarsgård as Tarzan/John Clayton III, Lord Greystoke. Can I just say that Skarsgård as nice as he is, looks too pretty to be Tarzan. For a dude raised in the jungle and having dealt with the harsh nature of that lifestyle for years, the guy looked too perfect in body structure and the face, I would have preferred the guy be a little more rough around the edges with more battle scars and longer hair. Plus Tarzan felt a little plain and unless Jane was involved, the man felt lacking in the motivation department and considering the book material the character could have been a lot more fun and intriguing to watch. Outside of that I will say that did start to come around to Skarsgård towards the end of the film. Margot Robbie as Jane did alright as Tarzan’s wife, Robbie brought a lovely charm to the character, however, she was also a little plain and her romance with Tarzan felt so engaging and tedious. Samuel L. Jackson was the best as George Washington Williams, Jackson was clearly having fun in the role and his character while having some serious moments, also provided most of the film’s best moments of humour nad he was the best part of the cast. Christoph Waltz was severely underwhelming as Captain Léon Rom, Waltz just played the same average/lazy villain role that he’s become attached to in recent years and while he was fine, it felt like he wasn’t really trying. Djimon Hounsou was actually pretty good as Chief Mbonga, while Casper Crump (who some keen-eyed viewers will recognise him from DC’s Legends of Tomorrow as Vandal Savage) was fun as Captain Kerchover.

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When it comes to the presentation visually the film was decent with some nice camera work, action scenes and CGI. Though I feel like the quality of the visual effects fluctuated between being decent to pretty lazy and blurry, also for a film with tribal warriors, and a man who fights apes and summons the animals to fight for him, I feel like the action lacked creativity, flair and choreography, Tarzan’s action scenes were just alright and the fact that the tribe people didn’t get to do much felt like a wasted opportunity. Also the film score by Rupert Gregson-Williams was alright, but wasn’t nearly as memorable as it should have been and at times it tried to be super dramatic with some of the vocals but it didn’t connect with me.

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In the The Legend of Tarzan wasn’t as bad as I had initially feared, it had moments of intrigue and fun and I was having fun with it especially when Sam Jackson was involved. But I just felt like the film was a little formulaic, didn’t expand the mythology of the title character or do much to sway people who weren’t fans of the material beforehand.

Rating: 5.5/10 (It was just alright)

So have you seen The Legend of Tarzan and if so what did you think of it? Be sure to comment below, share your thoughts and I’ll see you on the next review, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on July 12, 2016 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Warner Bros.’ Tarzan to Swing Into Theaters on July 1, 2016

Good evening to all that may be reading this blog, tonight I’m gonna be delivering some film news that I think is of some degree of interest. The following information comes from superherohype:

Warner-Bros.-developing-dual-Tarzan-movies“Warner Bros. Pictures announced today that the studio has entered into pre-production on a new live-action 3D Tarzan action adventure, bringing Edgar Rice Burroughs’ legendary character back to the big screen. The announcement was made today by Greg Silverman, President, Creative Development and Worldwide Production, and Sue Kroll, President, Worldwide Marketing and International Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures.

Dan Fellman, President, Domestic Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures, also announced that the film has been slated to open domestically on July 1, 2016.

Alexander Skarsgård (HBO’s “True Blood”) has been set to star as the man who was orphaned as a baby and raised in the jungle, later to return to the urban jungle of London. The film also stars Oscar nominee Samuel L. Jackson (Pulp Fiction); Margot Robbie (The Wolf of Wall Street), as Jane Porter, who becomes the love of Tarzan’s life; and two-time Academy Award winner Christoph Waltz (Inglourious Basterds, Django Unchained).

David Yates, who helmed the last four “Harry Potter” blockbusters, will direct the new feature from a screenplay based on the works of Edgar Rice Burroughs. A Jerry Weintraub production, the film is being produced by Weintraub (Behind the Candelabra, the “Ocean’s” trilogy), together with David Barron and Alan Riche.

In making the announcement, Silverman said, “We have assembled a phenomenal international cast to tell this extraordinary story. Warner Bros. has also enjoyed long and successful collaborations with both David Yates and Jerry Weintraub, and we look forward to seeing what they and the entire team have in store for this timeless tale.”

Kroll added, “Tarzan has been an enduring and enigmatic figure in literature and cinema for more than a century. The adventures of a man who was torn between two worlds has entertained and intrigued people young and old, and we are excited to bring him to the screen for a new generation.”

Fellman stated, “This is a perfect entry for the summer movie season corridor, with a terrific combination of action, adventure, romance and suspense that is sure to appeal to a broad audience.”

Jerry Weintraub added, “I am so pleased to be reuniting with the team at Warner Bros. on this thrilling project. David Yates and I are going to be using the best of today’s technology in creating this new adventure, and we can’t wait to get started.””

So the next adaptation of Tarzan is in pre-production eh? Initially I was totally against the idea of having another Tarzan film because of my nostalgic attachment to the 1999 Disney film, however seeing the talent onboard for this new film makes think that it may be something worth watching. Now I know there are many books on Tarzan and many films and TV versions in the past. But I was never interested enough to have a look at any version until the Disney animated film which to my research is one of the best depiction of the character’s personality, strength and attributes and location too.

Now from what I’ve read about the books Tarzan is a lot darker and mature than the Disney films and deals with a lot of issues and themes that would make for a great live action story, if done properly. One of the reasons I’d be down with this now is because technology and filming techniques have advanced to a point where some of the more fictional aspects of the Tarzan book mythology good make it to the big screen in a realistic manner, plus with someone like David Yates at the helm who did the best of the Harry Potter films, I can’t help but feel like we’re in safe hands. On top of that there is the acting talent of people like Christoph Waltz and Samuel L. Jackson definitely peaks my interest. I’m curious to see how this film turns out.

 
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Posted by on February 11, 2014 in Films, Media

 

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The East Review

Okay time to review The East, a film looked very intriguing from the trailers and had me very interested for a good few weeks now. So I finally got around to watching it yesterday and I feel like I am ready to pass judgement on it so let’s go.

So the story of The East can be summed up in the following premise below:

“A successful operative for an elite private intelligence firm is tasked with infiltrating an anarchist group known for executing covert attacks upon major corporations. However, she finds her priorities changing as she befriends the members and begins to develop romantic feelings for its charismatic leader.”

So while this film is very much about this group of young adult running around and punishing big companies for their effects on the environment and the animals and people that have suffered because of it, it is also about the operative Sarah Moss as she goes undercover and infiltrates the group for information. I thought that the premise for the film sounded great and for the most part the film delivers some great,complex and disturbing moments involving the big companies who have gotten away scott-free with their business’ without properly looking into the problems they’ve created. While the East group are corrupt and immoral in their approach to certain things, you can’t help but root for them sometimes, you can see where they’re coming from and you want them to succeed. But as the story develops complications arise, opinions change and people get hurt which throws everything out of balance. And it is at that point where some of those complications change the story from being really cool to being a little generic and silly. Some what happens in this film was just not what I was expecting and by the end of the film I feel like something more satisfying should have come out of all this.

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When it comes the cast most of them do a good job at bringing the drama and emotion to the characters involved. Brit Marling as Sarah Moss was good, she played her role well being sneaky, unsuspecting and diligent and I liked seen the change in her character though she was a bit annoying and naive at times. Alexander Skarsgård as Benji was pretty good, his character was complicated, distant and strange, but I liked that about him, until he got involved with Sarah. Ellen Page as Izzy for me is probably my favourite character, she was the outspoken one, the person who always wanted to take action and was fairly perceptive of a bit aggressive and irritating. Page was great though and I thought her character stood out the most. Toby Kebbell as Doc was one of my other favourite people, his back story was deep and dark and I liked how it was revealed as Shiloh Fernandez as Luca was great, I thought his character was nice, funny and unexpected and Fernandez was a hell of a lot better here than he was in that shitty Evil Dead remake. And then were was good performances from Julia Ormond as Paige Williams, Patricia Clarkson as Sharon and Jason Ritter as Tim.

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Presentation-wise the film looks nice and there’s not many problems in the way of cinematography or editing and the soundtrack by Halli Cauthery with themes by Harry Gregson-Williams is pretty nice too.

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In conclusion The East was a pretty good film with some nice performances from Brit Marling, Alexander Skarsgård and Ellen Page and an interesting story. Though I feel like the film could have been better and the story panned out a lot differently than I expected and in the end I wasn’t totally satisfied with the ending too. However I would recommend this film to those looking for something a little different in the thriller genre, there is quality to be found here.

Rating: 7.5/10 (A few unexpected plot elements keep this film from being amazing for me)

So have you seen The East and if so what do you make of it? Whatever your thoughts drop them below and I’ll see ya on the next film review yo!

 
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Posted by on July 12, 2013 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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