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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! ūüėÄ

 
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Posted by on February 23, 2016 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. ūüėÄ

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

 

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Month of Superhero Film Reviews: Hulk

Howdy ladies and gentlemen and welcome to Day #18 of my Month of Superhero Film Reviews! During this month I’ll be reviewing of some of the best and worst comic book adapted films. Now it is time for me to talk about one of my most loathed films ever, this film is just one that not only insults me as a superhero fan but as film fan in general. I am of course talking about the filth that is Hulk.

I knew this day was coming, I just didn’t want to come. This is one of those films you don’t talk about in a casual manner, its one of those films that you kill, bury in the back yard and never speak of ever again. But for the sake of this review series I will go back through hell for your reading pleasure. Prepare yourself, I may go a bit mental…

In terms of the plot it goes a little something like this:

“Bruce Banner is different from everyone else. While working on a new technology to accelerate the healing process in animals, he is exposed to gamma radiation. Instead of killing him, the radiation turns him into the Hulk, a mindless green behemoth. General Ross is tasked to contain the monster before it can endanger San Francisco.”¬†

The story was very different from the comics and had a lot of elements I wasn’t expecting. There was a heavy focus on Bruce Banner’s father, David Banner which I didn’t appreciate at all because it was so depressing and diverted the story away from the main star Bruce Banner himself. A lot of the time I was just watching the film but not really caring about what was going on. I really wasn’t keen on this version of Bruce’s origin story. I understand that the source material is hard to convert into live-action but to see so many different, strange and disgusting modifications to one of my favourite childhood comic characters was really crappy.

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Now let’s talk about the cast.¬†Eric Bana¬†as¬†Dr. Bruce Banner/Hulk. Bana is a good actor, but I don’t think he was right for this role. I found him to be so boring, plain and unable to relate to. There’s a look and personality that comes with the character and I don’t think he embodies those traits of the comic book character or the likeability of the Bill Bixby version from the TV show. As for¬†Jennifer Connelly¬†as¬†Betty Ross, she was alright but as the female love interest I just didn’t care for her. I’ve never been a big fan of Betty Ross in general and I guess Connelly didn’t change my mind either.

Sam Elliott¬†as¬†General Thunderbolt Ross was pretty much in line with the comics and I guess I liked what he did with the role and in a way I guess he was the best person in the film. And then there’s¬†Nick Nolte¬†as¬†Dr. David “Dave” Banner, his character was very shady and twisted, his character was okay, but I didn’t like how much of a focus there was on him and the way his character became the is crappy villain near the end of the film that had the powers of¬†Absorbing Man¬†and¬†Zzzax, to even reference those villains in this rubbish film is just bad. And lastly the cameos from Stan Lee and¬†Lou Ferrigno¬†was a nice nod to the fans.

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Now let’s talk about the presentation. I give the film praise for being different and attempting all these different forms editing and scene transitions and making it similar to the comics but at the same time it can be incredibly distracting and a bit weird at times. Also this film has an obsession with green, yes, all us Hulk fans know that the character is green but I feel like this film is always trying to remind us. Then there’s the CGI, good gravy, its ugly. It looks very questionable and cheap at points. When you see the Hulk running, jumping or fighting some other CGI creatures everything looks pretty dodgy. And speaking of the Hulk, whoever was responsible for the look of the Hulk should be taken out. He looks so fat and disgusting, his face alone looks so stupid and makes me disgusted. Also As for the soundtrack by Danny Elfman, there are a good few similarities to his work on Spider-Man which came out a year prior. This soundtrack has a lot of his trademark instruments and Elfman’s score is one of the stronger elements of this film.

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And lastly how does it compare to the comics? Well I’ve only read bits and bobs of Hulk comics but there are some things that translate okay and others that just don’t. Bruce Banner’s origin story is completely changed from the comics and while that’s not uncommon for origin stories to be changed, this film just changes so much in an uninteresting manner. Bruce’s execution in relation to the comics suck.¬†And since when did Hulk start growing in size when he gets angrier? What kind of bullshit was that? And of course I have to mention those stupid CGI dogs, what the fuck kind of stupid enemy was that and why were they in this bloody movie? This film just makes me angry.

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So to conclude Hulk is a film that makes me sad. The film attempts to take the source material and change it up, modify it and make it all fancy. But the problem is that everything Hulk tries was before its time. There is a very dark and dull story complete with far too many crazy transitions, cheap CGI and a lead character who just sucks. For some reason there are people that actually like this film, but for the rest of us, we know better. Hulk is a foul film and just needs to be forgotten about forever! Nuff said.

Rating: 3/10 (Yuck!)

So there’s my review/rant people, only 12 more to go. So have you seen Hulk 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 18, 2013 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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