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ONE PARAGRAPH REVIEW: Hell Or High Water

Howdy ladies and gents people, time for another single paragraph review and today I’ll be briefly talking about Hell Or High Water. Now on paper this film didn’t look like my of thing, but because of the cast, trailers and good word of mouth after it’s release in the US I knew I had to check it out and man I’m glad I did because it was damn good.

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The story can be described as the following: “A divorced dad and his ex-con brother resort to a desperate scheme in order to save their family’s ranch in West Texas.” I thought the story for this film was really impressive, it was thought-provoking, complex and surprisingly funny. But one of the key elements this film pulled off well was tension, on several occasions you are presented with these really intense and dangerous situations which vary from small quiet moments too much larger ones and the tension is real. Many times I was on the edge of my seat and felt my heart rate increase as I was just waiting to see how certain events unfolded and it was great. Visually the film was very nice with some wonderfully choreographed cinematography and editing and the use of music along with the film score by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis was good as well. But it was the performances that really impressed me. Firstly there’s Ben Foster as Tanner Howard, this guy was a very interesting character because he was so corrupt, crazy and unpredictable, and Foster was so intense and magnetic in the role. Then there’s Chris Pine as Toby Howard, who unlike his brother was level-headed, cautious and had good intentions for what he was doing, and I loved Pine’s performance as this is the first film where you’ve gotten to see his acting talent to the fullest. Both Foster and Pine had really good chemistry which really helped you buy into their sibling bond. Oh and Jeff Bridges as Marcus Hamilton was also great, I loved this character because he was perceptive, wise and new how to crack jokes or be sarcastic at just the right time, plus he had some notable dramatic moments too. Oh and finally Gil Birmingham as Alberto Parker was someone I didn’t expect to like as much as I did but he was also really good in his role as well. so Hell or High Water, it’s a great film, more so than I thought it’s be and I’d recommend it highly. 🙂

So that was my review, have you seen Hell Or High Water and if so what did you think of it? Please leave your comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on September 12, 2016 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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QUICK REVIEW: The Finest Hours

Howdy people, feels like ages since I’ve done a film review fresh from the cinema, but since my plans got changed last night I had some free time and decided to check out The Finest Hours. Now this was a film I was looking forward to because of not only the amazing true life story it was based on but also because of the cast. I saw the reviews were okay, but I still wanted to see what it was like for myself, and that I’ve seen it I’m ready to pas judgement!

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So the story can be described as the following:

” The Coast Guard makes a daring rescue attempt off the coast of Cape Cod after a pair of oil tankers are destroyed during a blizzard in 1952.”

So here’s the thing about The Finest Hours, it was great when it was primarily focused on the seaman of the oil tanker and their attempts to survive and the eventual rescue mission conducted by the Bernie and his crew. I really did enjoy the moments with the crew of the SS Pendleton, their situation was very scary and dangerous and this film did well to illustrate tension, fear and hopelessness within the crew members but also demonstrate the near impossibility of their survival. But when the story was shifted from the sea to Miriam and her ongoing concerns for her fiance or anything going on with the characters on land, that’s when the film got uninteresting. Near the start of the film we get to see the start of Bernie and Miriam’s relationship and it was cute and fine, but unfortunately as the film went on it became more of a hinderance on the story than a compelling part of it. And while I understood the need to show the story from the perspective of the friends and family of the men stranded at sea, it wasn’t as interesting as I’d hoped and a fair amount of the story felt a little formulaic when it comes to these “based on true events” kind of film.

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As for the cast they were pretty solid but there were performances that stood out more than others. For me the stand outs were Chris Pine as Bernard “Bernie” Webber and Casey Affleck as Ray Sybert. These two characters are given the most amount of screen time and have the most engaging and relevant effects on the story, plus their performances were really solid. I enjoyed the tenacity of Webber, while Sybert’s knowledge and level headedness in the face of adversity was nice to see. As for Holliday Grainger as Miriam Pentinen Webber, I did enjoy her performance as she was cute, yet determined and concerned for her fiance, but unfortunately the character became more annoying than anything else. I also enjoyed Ben Foster as Richard Livesey, John Ortiz was good as Wallace Quirey and I really liked Graham McTavish as Frank Fauteux, and it was good to see Keiynan Lonsdale from The Flash in this film as Eldon Hanan. And finally it’s always good to see Eric Bana around and while he was decent as Chief Warrant Officer Daniel Cluff was alright

The presentation was one of the stronger elements of this film. Visually this film looked great with an awesome sense of scale, good lighting and detail for the action sequences when the ship was falling apart or when the rescue boat was pushing through the crashing waves of the ocean. And the film score by Carter Burwell had some moments of beauty in some of the dramatic or uplifting scenes, but I felt like it wasn’t dramatically well-matched with what was happening on-screen of numerous occasions.

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In conclusion The Finest Hours was decent film with good special effects and solid story material out at sea, however, with too much time dedicated to Bernie’s fiance and a lack of emotional depth, it missed the chance to be more than an average historic film.

Rating: 6/10

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

 
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Posted by on February 23, 2016 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Month of Superhero Film Reviews 2: The Punisher

Howdy people of the north, south, east and west, and welcome to Day #9 of Month of Superhero Film Reviews 2! During this month I’ll be reviewing of some of the best, average and worst comic book adapted films. Today I’m going to be reviewing one of the more forgotten Marvel films of the last ten years; The Punisher.

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So I’ve actually seen parts of this film before, and the reason I say parts is due to the fact that I’ve caught parts of the middle and the last two-thirds of it in the last year. I’ve almost seen the whole of this film, but haven’t watched it the whole way through just because of the lack interest. It feels appropriate to watch this film now considering that we just confirmation of our next Punisher in Daredevil season 2.

The story can be summed up as the following:

“The Turtles and the Shredder battle once again, this time for the last canister of the ooze that created the Turtles, which Shredder wants to create an army of new mutants.”

The story is decent for the most part. At first it felt a bit too whimsical and cheesy despite it’s adult subject matters and rating, I know that there has to be built up towards this dark turn in Frank Castle’s life but feels a little to clichĂ© and cheesy for my liking. On top of that this film even though it is dark, I don’t feel like it commits to its source material and still tries to be in line with a 12 rated film with these themes and violence touched upon but never fully delved into like Watchmen or Dredd. I feel like this film was made before its time because it came out during the superhero film explosion just when comic book films were starting to get really good with Spider-Man and both Blade, X-Men films, but I don’t think that the world was ready for this kind of comic book film yet, and I think it would have fared better in the post Dark Knight world where these more serious and darker comic book characters are starting to be taken more seriously and are being handled by people who really know how to translate the material from the comics to the big screen. There is one scene in this film that involves the of two characters and I won’t say who but it was very reminiscent of Mad Max and those who have seen that film will hopefully know what I’m on about.

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Now let’s talk about the cast. Thomas Jane is really good as Frank Castle/The Punisher. Jane a great screen presence, he’s likable yet intimating and while I’ve never read any of the comics, this incarnation of the character is how I would imagine Punisher to conduct himself. John Travolta as Howard Saint is pretty good too, Travolta is great at playing a villain as he has the right kind of menace, body language and style to pull off a character like this even if he does go a bit over the top. Laura Harring is gorgeous as Livia Saint and she does well, I also like Roy Scheider as Frank Castle, Sr. and Will Patton is pretty decent and frightening as Quentin Glass. And then there’s “The Odd Three”, Frank Castle’s neighbours, Spacker Dave, Joan and Bumpo played by Ben Foster, Rebecca Romijn and John Pinette. Each of them have their own quirks, but I would say that Dave and Joan have the most relevant screen time and interaction with Frank and I think Foster and Romijn did well with their roles.

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Now let’s talk about the presentation. Visually the film is decent with some nice action scenes and violence, but nothing to write home about. As for the soundtrack by Carlo Siliotto it feels incredibly out-of-place in this film and sounds like it belongs in the 90’s, possibly the 80’s in some kind of western film. Some of the tracks sound okay, but it feels like this film would have benefited from a more modern and upbeat sound, something a little dirtier and aggressive.

And lastly how does it compare to the comics? While I’ve read comics with the Punisher in them, I’ve  never really read any of the main series Punisher comics so I couldn’t possibly answer this question unfortunately.

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So to conclude The Punisher is admirable if somewhat flawed attempt at bringing the Marvel character to life. There are some things I did like when it comes to some of the fight scenes and the main performance from Thomas Jane is great, but overall the film is incredibly joyless, infrequent with its commitment to the dark nature of its source material and at the end of the day just doesn’t have that wow factor that would make it a memorable comic book film.

Rating: 6/10 (not bad but not great either)

That’s 10 reviews done, only 20 more to go. So have you seen The Punisher and if so what are your thoughts on it? Drop me a comment and let me know your thoughts yo! Come back tomorrow and I’ll have a new film review online, until then peace out!

 
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Posted by on June 10, 2015 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Lone Survivor Review

Howdy again ladies and gents, after checking out Mr. Peabody & Sherman, I went to watch Lone Survivor, a film I wasn’t planning to watch but was convinced otherwise thanks to Liamdoesfilm review. So how did it fare? Read on and find out.

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In terms of the plot it is based on the 2007 nonfiction book of the same name by Marcus Luttrell and Patrick Robinson. Set during the War in Afghanistan, the film dramatizes the failed United States Navy SEALs mission Operation Red Wings, in which a four-man SEAL reconnaissance and surveillance team was tasked to track Taliban leader Ahmad Shah.

While it is based on a true story and has some aspects fictionalized, for me it was an incredible look at the insane situations that take place during war. These soldiers go on a mission, things go wrong, they are alone, blind and faced with some difficult scenarios that have serious consequences. The film was literally an endurance test against impossible odds, these soldiers go through hell and have to deal with everything going from bad to worst in just a short space of time. It is dramatic and hard-hitting, had some nice moments of humour too (especially one Jamiroquai dance sequence that reminded me of a comedy film from 2004) and I really invested myself emotionally and loved the characters and how realistic the film felt.

lone-survivor06All of the performances were great and they really felt like brothers because of their chemistry and because of their journey you really invest in the main four and care about each of them.

Mark Wahlberg as Marcus Luttrell is incredible, I’ve been a fan of Wahlberg since 2007 and ever since then I’ve seen him grow and become a much more developed actor and in this film I think this is his best performance. Marcus is tough, courageous, a tireless soldier and great friend to his teammates, he goes through so much stuff and has to make some tough decisions and Wahlberg acts with great conviction and realism. Oh and well done to Taylor Kitsch as Lieutenant Michael P. “Murph” Murphy, my god, THE DUDE CAN ACT! Now I’ve given Kitsch a hard time for his involvement in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, John Carter and Battleship, but in this film he’s so much more likeable character who is cool, fearless and valiant and I can take him seriously. I believed him in the role, he was really good and so convincing.

lone-survivor-image06Emile Hirsch as Danny Dietz is also very good, his character had to deal with a lot of stuff and Hirsch acted very well and its weird to think that Hirsch was the same guy in Speed Racer back in 2008. Also Ben Foster was awesome as Matthew “Axe” Axelson, he was tough but bloody resilient and had some really epic moments. And Eric Bana as Lieutenant Commander Erik S. Kristensen was good too as he had a great screen presence and being a person in a commanding role is nice.

Even though the film isn’t primarily action based, when it does hit it hits hard and gun fights and explosions are insane. It is filmed really well and there are some crazy sequences that are done so well. Also I don’t normally flinch or squirm at violence but the way it was displayed and shot along with the audio quality made it feel so real and every hit counted. The score Explosions in the Sky and Steve Jablonsky is quite good and uplifting at a good few moments in the film.

Lone SurvivorSo to conclude Lone Survivor was a bloody good film and was WAY better than I could have imagined. The story, characters, spectacle and use of archive footage makes for an emotional piece of work. I don’t usually like/care for films to do with war but this was the best I’ve seen in years, one I may want to own. I recommend it highly.

Rating: 8.5 (Best war film I’ve seen for a while)

So what did you think of Lone Survivor? Have you seen it or are you going to watch it? Whatever your thoughts be sure to let me know in the comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review yo. 😀

 
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Posted by on February 2, 2014 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Kill Your Darlings Review

Okay, time for the third film review of today and its time for me to review the final film I saw yesterday, Kill Your Darlings. I’d heard about this film around 2 months back or maybe in the late part of summer, either way I just wanted to see what Daniel Radcliffe was up to these days and since Dane DeHaan is one of my favourite recent actors I’m always done for a film with him in it.

The premise for this story can be summed up in this short segment here:

“A murder in 1944 draws together the great poets of the beat generation: Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac and William Burroughs.”

In truth it is hard for me to summarize plots in where the plot isn’t clear-cut and simple,where there are complexities and different layers, so that’s why I used premises instead, like right now. Honestly while I understood the majority of the film, there was a good portion of the film where I didn’t know what was going on, it was like the characters were doing stuff in random scenes, but it felt like it was going nowhere or had no impact on the story. Maybe I’m an idiot or can’t follow stories very well, but it took a while before the story’s pacing got going and found its feel. This film is a kind of coming-of-age story along with themes of change and revolution, desire and betrayal and realisations too. Like On The Road there are a lot of similar themes between this and that film, some that I could accept and some that I couldn’t. It was certainly an interesting tale with some great non-linear storytelling but some of the content was a bit much for me and for those who have watched the film, they know what I mean.

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When it comes to the cast they’re all very good and give some very impressive performances. Let’s start with Daniel Radcliffe as Allen Ginsberg. Good gravy Radcliffe has come pretty far since those days in Harry Potter, he’s actually taking on some serious roles and he’s acting skills have become a lot more solidified and realistic and he does a decent American accent too. But someone who may be more impressive is Dane DeHaan as Lucien Carr, DeHaan is just magnetic as this vivid-thinking, out-going, impulsive and chilled out individual who comes across as a good, if somewhat strange guy, but he has secrets and angry issues too. It is hard describe how good DeHaan is without watching him in action, but he is so good, his acting talents is so varied, I love it.

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Then there’s Jack Huston as Jack Kerouac. Now Huston, I recognized him, but couldn’t tell where I’d seen him before, then I saw online he was Richard Harrow from Boardwalk Empire! I love him in that show and I guess I couldn’t tell who he was because he had his full face in this film, but now I’m going off-topic. Basically Huston was pretty cool. Ben Foster as William S. Burroughs was a very strange, deep-voiced, reserved and observant member of this group of poets and Foster is good. Michael C. Hall as David Kammerer was really good, he had some of the most emotive and complicated relationships with some of the people involved and Hall was just really good. I’ve never seen Dexter, but I would have never guessed that Hall had such talent and range.

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Elizabeth Olsen as Edie Parker is pretty good, this is my first time seeing her in a film and I liked what she did in this film, she looks young but acts older, her character is sweet but is tough when she needs to be and I liked that. Jennifer Jason Leigh was really as Naomi Ginsberg, she is an emotionally and mentally complicated person and Leigh had some really some great scenes which were left an impression after she left each scene. and finally David Cross, I haven’t seen him since Men In Black 1 & 2, as Louis Ginsberg he was a good father, but he like many of the other characters had personal issues that needed to be sorted out in the background and I thought Cross was good.

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In conclusion Kill Your Darlings is an intriguing story about writers and was a great look into a time period when change was on the horizon. For me the film’s story never quite connects with me fully, sometimes I didn’t know what was happening and some of the elements of this film made me feel a bit uncomfortable. But outside of those issues, the film is worth watching for the acting talents the cast have.

Rating: 7.5/10 (A film that works well thanks to a strong cast)

So have you seen Kill Your Darlings and if so what do you think of it? Whatever your thoughts drop them below in the comments section and I’ll see ya later yo! 🙂

 
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Posted by on December 11, 2013 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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