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QUICK REVIEW: Everest

Howdy people of the internet, time for another film review and today I’ll be talking about Everest. This was one of the films I highlighted in my films to look out for in 2015, but at the time there was no footage on show, but after I saw the trailer last month I knew it’d be something I had to see in the cinema. So after seeing it last night I’m ready to pass judgement!

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The plot can be summed up as the following:

“On the morning of May 10, 1996, climbers from two expeditions start their final ascent toward the summit of Mount Everest, the highest point on Earth. With little warning, a violent storm strikes the mountain, engulfing the adventurers in one of the fiercest blizzards ever encountered by man. Challenged by the harshest conditions imaginable, the teams must endure blistering winds and freezing temperatures in an epic battle to survive against nearly impossible odds.”

The story was pretty good. The film basically deals with man vs. nature, death, fighting against overwhelming odds and the power of the human spirit. I thought that the film did a great job at highlighting how difficult of an undertaking it was to scale the famous mountain and showing of Everest as a character itself, a force of nature of that could not be taken lightly. I liked how there was the inclusion of humour and banter between the characters, but I also liked how the film didn’t shy away from the darker side of thing with the elements of danger, fear and despair, and man when the shit hits the fan it hits hard. There were a lot of scenes that are hard to watch with some of these characters, and it also didn’t help that I have fear of falling off of cliffs (yeah, I’m serious), and just Gravity and All Is Lost beforehand, this film perfectly realises one of my main fears of death in a realistic and scary manner.

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The cast did a pretty good job in their roles, though some stood out more than others. Jason Clarke was really good as Rob Hall, his character his confident, heroic and has to deal with so much drama and chaos, and Clarke really sold me on his material. Josh Brolin was one of my favourites as Beck Weathers, he was a character I got attached to and Brolin did a great job with his material. Jake Gyllenhaal was awesome as Scott Fischer, I liked his charisma and energy. Also John Hawkes was really good as Doug Hansen, Michael Kelly gave strong performance as Jon Krakauer and Sam Worthington did well as Guy Cotter and this was the first film of his in a while or maybe ever where I liked his performance. I also enjoyed Emily Watson’s performance as Helen Wilton, Keira Knightley as Jan Arnold, Robin Wright as Peach, Elizabeth Debicki as Dr. Caroline Mackenzie and Naoko Mori who was just so cute and lovely as Yasuko Namba.

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When it comes to the presentation it is truly the highlight of the film. Not to detract from the characters or story, but this is the area of the film that you’ll remember the most after it ends. Visually the film is incredible, the cinematography is great offering various shots and angles of the mountains so that when these characters are climbing and moving at these high altitudes, you can see and feel it. Also the visual effects are stunning and very realistic, the depiction of the mountains are done with just the right amount of scale, detail and clarity, and when the action is going down its pretty hardcore and in 3D the experience is enhanced just that bit more with the extra depth of field too. The sound design is also good with the all of the emphasis on the wind, thunderstorms, movement through the snow or crunch of movement when freezing over being felt throughout. Also the film score by Dario Marianelli is very good giving us a strong, powerful and emotive soundtrack that hit all the right beats and there is one great moment in the film where the music just swells and gives off this incredible sense of determination and satisfaction.

In conclusion Everest is definitely more effective with the spectacle than anything else. While I did enjoy the characters and the story, there are a few familiar narrative elements that hold this film back from being more. That being said, I believe that this film should be watched just for the visual experience on the biggest screen possible.

Rating: 7.5/10

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

 
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Posted by on September 23, 2015 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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The Theory of Everything Review

Howdy ladies and gents, time for the first new film review of 2015 and we start off with The Theory of Everything. Now this film technically came out last year for the US, but us UK residents had to until New Year’s Day to finally see it. Since the first time I saw the trailer in the cinema I knew I wanted to watch this film, plus my best friend over at Musings highly recommended the film so then I had to watch it. So now that I’ve seen it today I’m ready to pass judgement.

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The story for the film can be summed up as the following:

“The film follows the life of Stephen Hawking as it covers his diagnosis of motor neuron disease, his success in physics and his relationship with Jane Wilde Hawking.”

I thought the story in this film was very nice, informative and beautiful. As a person who has been aware of the existence of Stephen Hawking from childhood, but never really knew anything personal about him, this film was very intriguing. As an audience we get to see the life of Hawking before his illness, learn how smart he was, how he came up with his theories and how fell in love and got family despite his disease. But we also get to see things from the perspective of Jane Wilde Hawking, the person who was by his side from the beginning, how she helped him and had to deal with the complications of a relationship with Stephen. What I appreciated about the story was the fact that it did show a lot of the internal struggle that both Stephen and Jane had to go through and didn’t shy away from some of the hard times these two had to endure. Obviously because of Hawking’s disease, the film can be fairly melancholy and there are a few special instances that left me almost wanting to shed a tear or so, however the film could also be quite humourous at times and I was surprised how light-hearted it could be. And there is one moment in the film where Hawking gives a monologue and it was one of the most beautiful and inspiring things I have ever heard and it made me want to cry. If I have any quarrels with the film I would say that I felt like there were moments which focused on Jane who I wasn’t as interested in seeing and overall because of all the rave reviews I was expecting to fall in love with the film, but I didn’t entirely.

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When it comes to the cast the performances were all very strong and great to watch. Firstly there’s Eddie Redmayne who turns in an absolutely brilliant performance as Stephen Hawking. You can see that Stephen is a kind, smart, perceptive and ambitious man, and even in the face of adversity with his disease he continues live on, theorize and become famous. Redmayne has been one of those actors I have paid attention to especially after I saw him in Les Misérables, but in this film he pretty much gives a top-class performance as he portrays a person who is in their prime and then slowly deteriorate and watching Redmayne slowly change and watching all of the small touches whether it was the way he spoke, positioned his body, moved his hands or looked around with his eyes, it was bloody impressive. Not to be overshadowed Felicity Jones does a wonderful performance as Jane Wilde Hawking. Jane is woman who is beautiful, charming and very supportive or Stephen throughout all of his endeavours, however in their relationship you can see the strain and the toll its taking on her and the complications that take place behind the scenes.

Charlie Cox as Jonathan Jones was the piece of the puzzle I did not expect to see in this film, however I’m glad that he was there as Cox does great in this role and I have to say that when I saw Cox I was like “Oh wow, that’s Owen from Boardwalk Empire! It is totally bizarre, but I’m loving his performance.” David Thewlis was great as Dennis Sciam, Dennis is one of the people who has known Stephen since he was much younger and was only coming up with his theories about the universe back in university and has been one of his biggest supporters. Thewlis is always good in most films he’s in and I think he has a great screen presence whenever he’s around. And then there’s Simon McBurney who did a good job as Frank Hawking. Maxine Peake was just delightful as Elaine Mason, while Christian McKay’s performance as Roger Penrose was also great to see. And finally I really liked Harry Lloyd as Brian and Emily Watson as Beryl Wilde.

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In conclusion The Theory of Everything is a film I was glad to watch as it was very engaging, emotional and quite inspirational. I do feel like I expected a little more from the film considering the hype surrounding it, however, with great performances from a cast like this, there is little to complain about.

Rating: 8.5/10

So have you seen The Theory of Everything and if so what did you think of it? Whatever your thoughts are, be sure to drop them in the comments below and I’ll see you on the next film review, Laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on January 3, 2015 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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