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ONE PARAGRAPH REVIEW: Trumbo

Howdy people, today I’m back to give you another single paragraph review and it will be on the Trumbo. Last time I tried this was when I reviewed Pain & Gain and while I could say loads about this film, for the sake of time and efficiency I wanted to keep things concise. So without further ado here we go:

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Trumbo was a really good film, it was insightful and emotional, and had some absolutely stellar performances from the cast. This story about Dalton Trumbo and the other writers who got blacklisted for being communists was very engaging and fascinating. I’ve never been too good at following the intricate details of politics in films as some of the minor details or technical jargon gets lost on me, but this film did well to illustrate the complexities of having different political views during that time period and how it effected not only the people actively involved, but their families and friends as well. And what really impressed me was the way the subject of communism was handled, whether it were Trumbo and his associates fighting for their beliefs or the way the government or anti-Soviet Hollywood elites did everything in their power to shut the movement down, there was a lot conspiracy, hatred, betrayal and suffering, and this film showed both sides of the argument in a detailed and dramatic way. As previously mentioned the performances were fantastic and for me were the real meat of the film, Bryan Cranston continues to prove he can do no wrong as he gave such a brilliant performance as Dalton Trumbo, Cranston’s emotional versatility, charisma and great delivery of lines makes some of the heated or emotional scenes resonate so much more. Helen Mirren as Hedda Hopper was the most surprising as this role was fairy mean and antagonistic and yet she did so very, very well and Michael Stuhlbarg who I love to see in films wa just incredible as Edward G. Robinson, Stuhlbarg I’ve noticed acts a lot through his face and he did it so well in this film. Diane Lane was also great as Cleo Fincher Trumbo, Louis C.K. also impressed me with his dramatic material as Arlen Hird, Elle Fanning was fabulous as Nikola Trumbo, I always love seeing Alan Tudyk and did really well as Ian McLellan Hunterand, and anytime John Goodman shows up in a film I’m happy and he was great as Frank King. In conclusion Trumbo was a really impressive film that despite some pacing and length issues was a great watch.

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

 
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Posted by on February 27, 2016 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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The Actors & Actresses Rumored to be Up for Cyclops and Phoenix in X-Men: Apocalypse

Howdy ladies and gents, time for some big rumoured news that’s gone down this week that’s relating to the potential actors and actresses that will be in X-Men: Apocalypse. The roles in question being a younger version of Cyclops and Phoenix. I know I’m a bit late to this rumour/news story but I had to comment on it and pass on my thoughts. The following information comes from superherohype:

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Although the casting net appears to be quite preliminary,¬†TheWrap¬†today names three actresses and three actors up to potentially play Jean Grey (aka Marvel Girl/Phoenix) and Scott Summers (aka Cyclops), respectively, in Bryan Singer‚Äôs upcoming¬†X-Men: Apocalypse. According to their sources, Elle Fanning (Maleficent), Chloe Grace Moretz (If I Stay) and Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit) are all being looked at for Jean while Timothee Chalamet (Interstellar), Ben Hardy (‚ÄúEastEnders‚ÄĚ) and Charlie Rowe (‚ÄúRed Band Society‚ÄĚ) are all up for the Scott role.

Cylcops and Phoenix were previously played in the X-Men films by James Marsden and Famke Jensen (with Tim Pocock playing a younger Summers in X-Men Origins: Wolverine).

It’s uncertain exactly how much of a role the mutant pair will have in the 2016 feature, although the original story notes that casting will be taking into account the fact that both characters will appear in subsequent X-Men films.

Confirmed to star James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence and Nicholas Hoult (with more names expected to be confirmed shortl), X-Men: Apocalypse is scripted by Simon Kinberg, Mike Dougherty and Dan Harris. Said to be the conclusion of a trilogy started with X-Men: First Class and continued with X-Men: Days of Future Past, cameras will start rolling on the next adventure in Montreal beginning April, 2015 for a May 27, 2016 release.

Well this casting is certainly interesting. Sure this is all rumour at the moment, but it definitely raises some eyebrows, in a good way, but also in a concerning way.

When it comes to the women, great choices, all of them good actresses, however there are two that stick out and they are Chlo√ę Grace Moretz and Hailee Steinfeld. Why those two? Because they are actresses that have been in great films and I feel like they have the charisma, charm and versatility to pull off a role like Jean Grey/Phoenix. Personally I would go with Moretz, she’s been Hit-Girl and Carrie, and in recent films she’s proving to be a capable actress with emotional range. That being said, I would not like her to be typecast as an action chick though. That’s why Steinfeld would be a good option, she’s a great actress, I loved her performance in True Grit and even her part in Begin Again was fun. If she joined the league of superhero film people then that would get her noticed tenfold.

As for the men, that’s a trickier subject. Timothee Chalamet seems like the best choice for me, he was good in Interstellar and while I haven’t seen any of his other work, it does seem like he’s had a fair amount of experience in TV and film. Charlie Rowe seems like another good candidate as he has a pretty decent filmography in film and TV. While both of these actors are very young-looking and don’t have what I believe is “the right look” for someone like Cyclops, but hey if they can act and get good make-up, I can dig it. The only one I’m not down for is Ben Hardy, he’s only been in Eastenders and I can’t see him in the role of someone as cool as Cyclops. He hasn’t done anything fantastic acting-wise to warrant getting such a great role. Sorry, but no.

In conclusion the rumoured casting for this film is definitely surprising, but also promising, at least for the actresses. While it does seem odd to see such young-looking faces taking on these major characters, for the time period of X-Men: Apocalypse it would seem appropriate. Let’s see if this pans out or if other people get cast instead.

 
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Posted by on November 22, 2014 in Films, Media

 

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The Boxtrolls Review

Good day to you ladies and gents, with the¬†summer film season well and truly over I haven’t really had any reason to go back to the cinema, until last weekend when I watched¬†The Boxtrolls. Now this is one of the few animated films I’ve been really excited to see because I love Laika as an animation studio and with their great work on Coraline and Paranorman, this was a must-see film. So how does this film fare? Well, read on and find out!

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The story for the film can be described as the following:

“The film tells the story of an orphaned boy named Eggs¬†who was raised by underground cave-dwelling¬†trash collecting trolls called the Boxtrolls. The Boxtrolls are targeted by an evil exterminator named Archibald Snatcher¬†and Eggs has to save his family from Snatcher.”

The story for this film was pretty good, it offered a familiar¬†tale while still being fun and interesting. I liked Egg’s origin story and how it tied into ¬†the villain’s story too, and seeing the way everything unfolded was quite bizarre¬†but also fun and unexpected. Now if I were to compare it to Laika’s previous projects, I would say that this film is better than Paranorman¬†due to its story and character’s being much stronger, but I still don’t believe that Coraline can be touched when it comes to story and characters. That film was special, creepy and full of all sorts of scary stuff you just don’t see in a children’s animated film. In the end it comes down to the source material and this film’s material is good, but just not that strong to be innovative or too different from what we’ve seen before.

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As for the cast they’re all wonderful offering great performances in¬†unexpected ways.

Isaac Hempstead-Wright does well¬†as Eggs, he’s a boy¬†who has been raised by the Boxtrolls and it is the only life knows, but once¬†things start to go wrong for his friends and he has to step up and become a hero he definitely grows as a character and becomes a likeable protagonist. The guy is strange, funny and has a good heart¬†and¬†Hempstead-Wright brings a great deal of passion and flair to his role. Someone who might have outdone him is¬†Elle Fanning, who is great as Winnie Portley-Rind. This girl is good-natured, if somewhat spoilt, rude and headstrong, she is very curious and finds herself in trouble because of it, but after she connects with Eggs they¬†bond and then become intertwined in this mission to save his friends and Fanning does a such a good job, her delivery of some her lines is nothing short of funny and delightful.¬†Ben Kingsley is completely unrecognizable as Archibald Snatcher, Kingsley does an absolutely stellar job as the main nemesis of this film being quite humourous, mean and at times very disturbing too. The great thing about this performance¬†is that it is so charismatic and¬†larger than life, but you just wouldn’t expect it from someone like Ben Kingsley, it was such a massive surprise¬†when I saw his name in the credits, just ¬†goes to show you how versatile he is.

And then there’s Snatcher’s henchman played wonderfully by Nick Frost as Mr. Trout,¬†Richard Ayoade as Mr. Pickles¬†and¬†Tracy Morgan as Mr. Gristle. Mr. Trout and Pickles were my favourites, they are both very funny and strange henchmen who follow Snatcher, but question his actions and sometimes discuss matters of moral code from time to time and it makes for some great moments in the film, Richard Ayoade’s voice is just amazing while Nick Frost is awesome as a character who clearly has the most sense out of the lot of them. And lastly Tracy Morgan is the last person I would have guessed as¬†Mr. Pickles however, after I thought about it, it started to make sense. This character seems like a brain-dead idiot, but he is definitely gunning and dangerous, he’s just prone to delivering pain and is single-minded about many things.

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Jared Harris is awesome as Lord Portley-Rind, this character is an upper-classmen, enjoys the finer things in life (especially his obsession with cheese) and has no time for his daughter. I love Harris in this role, I recognized his voice in an instant and after seeing him in Fringe and Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows it is impossible to not¬†notice him in anything even if it is just identified¬†by voice alone.¬†Toni Collette is¬†fine as Lady Portley-Rind, Winnie’s mother and the appearance¬†of Simon Pegg as Herbert Trubshaw was¬†totally unexpected, but very much welcomed as his character is totally jokes.¬†And lastly Dee Bradley Baker (Fish, Wheels and Bucket) and¬†Steve Blum (Shoe and Sparky) were awesome, especially Steve Blum who is one of my favourite voice actors.

When it comes to the presentation it is clearly the strongest element of the film both on the visual and audio front. Laika¬†as an animation studio have always been incredible when it comes to crafting impressive-looking visuals and have gone from strength to strength when it comes to shows how much further they¬†can push stop-motion and I feel like they’ve done it again.¬†All of the animation is incredibly smooth, the art design is very nice and the cinematography is so much more dynamic than before with fancier lighting, more camera angles and really impressive tracking shots too. The soundtrack by Dario Marianelli was nice as well offering some great pieces of music to suit the different tones throughout¬†the film.

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In conclusion The Boxtrolls is a very good animated film, which is full of fun and is a very good-looking film which shows that stop-motion is a form of animation that can still be impressive in this world of CGI animated films. Is it the best animated film this year? No. However, that shouldn’t stop you checking this film out, it has plenty of laughs, a great cast of characters and story that is simple, strange, but also very effective.

Rating: 8/10

So what did you think of The Boxtrolls? Have you seen it or are you gonna watch it? Whatever your thoughts are be sure to comment below and I’ll see ya on the next review yo! ūüėÄ

 
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Posted by on September 11, 2014 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Maleficent Review

Hello there people of the internet, time for another film review and today’s review comes in the shape of Maleficent. Now this was a film I had initially had no intention of watching because of a lack of interest, but since I love the Maleficent character from the Disney films and Kingdom Hearts video games, I decided to see how this film turned out especially given its lengthy time in production. So how does the final product fare? Well read on and find out.

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Here’s the synopsis for the film:

“A beautiful, pure-hearted young woman, Maleficent has an idyllic life growing up in a peaceable forest kingdom, until one day when an invading army threatens the harmony of the land. Maleficent rises to be the land’s fiercest protector, but she ultimately suffers a ruthless betrayal – an act that begins to turn her pure heart to stone. Bent on revenge, Maleficent faces a battle with the invading king’s successor and, as a result, places a curse upon his newborn infant Aurora. As the child grows, Maleficent realizes that Aurora holds the key to peace in the kingdom – and perhaps to Maleficent’s true happiness as well.”

The story is decent and has genuine moments of interest, drama and humour, but it comes across as a bit messy. The film has a whimsical Disney-like feel, but then switches to something partly reminiscent of Lord of the Rings and then switches to something like Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland. It’s tonally all over the place and lacks consistency. The main pull of the story is the focus on Maleficent’s backstory, however when things shift towards Aurora things are a lot less interesting and the way the film concludes feels very lackluster. Now I know the general gist of the Sleeping Beauty story and I know that with film adaptations these days things need to change, however this version of the story is very unsatisfying.

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As for the cast they are good, but one clearly stands out more so than the rest. Angelina Jolie as Maleficent is very good and commands the screen whenever she is around, her performance is clearly one she gives with gusto, feeling and fun. This version of Maleficent, like a lot of modern interpretations of classic villains, is portrayed as the good-guy-gone-bad type of villain where even at her worst there’s still goodness in her heart and while that angle works for some other characters, for the classic villain like this one I don’t like it. Make no mistake Jolie is great and is the best thing about this cast, however seeing a soft side to someone like Maleficent just doesn’t sit well with me.

Elle Fanning as Princess Aurora is fine, she smiles a lot and is very free-spirited, but is a bit bland and boring for me. Sharlto Copley as King Stefan is good, however compared to some of the other films I’ve seen him in this role comes across as a bit dull and lacking the charm and charisma. Sam Riley was nice and funny but underutilized as Diaval. Brenton Thwaites is just pointless and dull as Phillip and Imelda Staunton, Juno Temple and Lesley Manville as Knotgrass, Thistlewit and Flittle (the three a pixies) were charismatic, but ultimately annoying as hell.

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When it comes to the presentation it is pretty good for the most part, if somewhat unnecessary. The visual effects are colourful, detailed and the attention to detail on Maleficent powers and some of tree creatures are cool. That being said a lot of the CGI don’t really add much to the film, all the sweeping landscapes, weird and various creatures and action scenes felt like it window-dressing and material just to distract audience members. The soundtrack by James Newton Howard is okay, however it is ultimately dull and insignificant and that’s a darn shame considering the fact that I like a lot of this composers previous work.

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In conclusion Maleficent is a decent film and a lot better than I expected. However the film survives purely on Angelina Jolie’s performance, otherwise the story, other cast members and visual effects do little to elevate the film above being purely average. The film isn’t a total loss and it was partly engaging but in the end it joins the list of other classic fairy tale adaptations that didn’t need to be done.

Rating: 6/10

So what did you think of Maleficent? Whatever your thoughts are be sure to leave them below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters! ūüėÄ

 
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Posted by on May 31, 2014 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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