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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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Say “I’ll Be Back!” in this Terminator Genisys Review

Hello there people of the internet, man it feels like I’ve been gone for a while now (even though its only been a few days), but after some recovery time I’m back with a fresh film review in the form of Terminator Genisys. Now I’ve made it no secret that since the first trailer hit the web I was not a fan, it looked interesting, but also like a jumbled version of Terminator’s greatest hits. I was curious but wary, but it was after the second trailer came out that I (along with the rest of the world) not only got more interested in Genisys but also believed that we saw a massive spoiler in the trailer. From that point I had hope that the film would be at least decent. So I watched it last night and now it’s time to pass judgement!

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The story can be summed up as the following:

“John Connor sends Kyle Reese back in time to protect Sarah Connor, but when he arrives in 1984, nothing is as he expected it to be. Now Sarah and Kyle along with an aged T-800 Terminator go on an epic journey to change fate and save the future from Skynet.”

The plot overall was decent, but was a very messy affair. Now what I liked about the film was the first 20 minutes or so. It was clear, simple, different, yet nostalgic, cool and fun. I have to give the filmmakers props for their faithfulness and references to the older Terminator films as there are references galore for hardcore fans that know their material especially when it comes to Terminator 1 & 2 and a there’s even a bit of 3 and Salvation in there too. But after that initial nostalgia trip and the film goes off on its own tangent that’s where things get convoluted. This film tries to do so much, at times the story is hard to follow because there’s so much going on with the time travelling, new and returning characters and presenting new scenarios. However the story goes to places without explaining certain things, some of the time travelling elements get really confusing and come across as more messy than smart and there’s some emotional aspects in this film that just don’t feel earned or carry as much weight as they should do. And finally the film has humour and some of it work but other times it’s not as funny. Oh and I have to mention the whole John Connor thing that was spoiled in the second trailer, I won’t go into specifics for those unaware of it, but the second trailer really did ruin a massive aspect of the story and while there’s more to the film, the marketing team and whoever put that trailer together should be fired for revealing something that would have been much better off seen in the film on its own.

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As for the cast they vary from being decent to being bad, I think it is just due to the fact some of the actors are miscast in their roles. But one thing that does remain constant is Arnold Schwarzenegger as The Terminator (aka Guardian/Pops). Schwarzenegger is the best thing about this film, after so many years the man still has it, that awesome screen presence, the dead stare, great delivery with dialogue and it feels right. I could probably see Schwarzenegger do this role for good few more years as he’s not lost his touch and it he was so great to watch. Jason Clarke as John Connor he was pretty good and I liked his energy for the role, but again he just wasn’t the best in this role. Emilia Clarke as Sarah Connor. Having someone like Daenerys Targaryen in the role of Sarah frigging Connor seems like a good idea, but Clarke doesn’t have the right kind of physicality, screen presence or badassery that we associate with this iconic character. Clarke does a decent job, but not a great one and its mean to compare Clarke to Linda Hamilton but she can’t pull it off. Jai Courtney as Kyle Reese, man he wasn’t good. Courtney is an actor I don’t mind and want to see improve, however he’s always in such bad films and his performances aren’t the best and that is the case with this film. Courtney just doesn’t have the right kind of emotional depth to him and when you compare him to Michael Biehn, Courtney doesn’t compare, he doesn’t have the wit, charm or the everyman look to him. Lee Byung-hun was pretty good as the T-1000, I just wish there was more of him. J. K. Simmons as Detective O’Brien was pretty funny and I liked him but I was hoping that Simmons’ role was going to be a little more significant in the film. As for Matt Smith’s role in this film, I won’t reveal what it is because it is a massive spoiler, that being said it was pretty disappointing though I did like Smith’s American accent.

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When it comes to the presentation. Visually the film looks nice, the CGI for the most part is very clean and sharp and is used well in the big set pieces sequences and the action for the most part is pretty good. But the film just doesn’t have anything super memorable about the action sequences, there’s nothing that is unique or totally badass them and in the modern age of action films that’s not a good thing. I did appreciate the use of colour, lighting and atmosphere the film tried to put across. As for the music, Lorne Balfe’s film score does nothing to elevate the film. It has no charisma, drama or memorable themes and this film barely capitalizes on the iconic themes from the previous films.

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In conclusion the Terminator Genisys is decent, but isn’t the film I was hoping for. In a way I knew the film would end up in the way that it did, but I had hoped that Alan Taylor and the star power behind this film would produce a better result, but that is unfortunately not the case. That being said, the film was better than I expected with some great references to the first film and a great central performance from Arnold Schwarzenegger. If this film was streamlined and a little more focused, it would have been miles better, however what we’re left with is a decent return to the Terminator franchise. Hopefully the sequels can only go up from here.

Rating: 6/10

So what do you think of Terminator Genisys? Did you like the film, think it was alright or hate it? Please leave your thoughts below and I’ll see ya on the next review yo. 🙂

 
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Posted by on July 6, 2015 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Terminator Genisys Trailer #1 Quick Review

Hello there people of the internet, time for a trailer review and this one is certainly interesting as we have the first trailer next instalment in the Terminator series, Terminator Genisys. This is a film I’ve been cautiously watching from afar and each time a new piece of information has come out my interested has dropped and increased each time. Now we finally have a trailer so I’m quickly going to give you my thoughts.

Check out the trailer below:

My immediate thoughts after seeing the trailer? I’m not sure. Obviously that is not a good answer at all, but in truth I’m not sure what to make of this trailer. It has a lot of the old key elements of the previous films but it does have a modern action film feel, both things intrigue and worry me.

So from what I understand from the trailer, this film takes place in the future, again, and humans are at war with machines and it looks like they’re on the losing side. So in classic fashion John Connor (Jason Clarke) sends Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) back to save his mother, Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke), however, Kyle gets sent back to an alternative past where things different and not as he was informed about. This Sarah Connor is battle-ready and badass, is full aware of her destiny and has been trained by the an aging T-800 (Arnold Schwarzenegger). It looks like the T-1000 Terminator (or something similar) is already chasing after her as well.

I have to give the people behind this film props for changing the story formula that we’ve come to know since 1984, but still remain faithful to the old films. I get vibes primarily from Terminator 1 & 2 and a bit of Salvation. Its like everything has been streamlined into one main story and mixed around with some new ingredients as well. It is both quite refreshing and worrying. I like how we’re not reliving the past and are getting something new, but at the same time I’m not sure if all of the changes will work. I like the visual presentations for the most part, the future looks very rich in colour, explosions and has nice cinematography and in the past the liquid Terminator looks as cool as ever. Character-wise Jason Clarke seems good as John Connor, though I can’t really see Clarke as John Connor from a visual standpoint. I like Emilia Clarke’s version of Sarah Connor, she seems capably badass, obviously not Linda Hamilton kind of badass, but she seems worthy. Jai Courtney as Kyle Reese, I have yet to see if he’ll do well, but he seems alright. Then there’s Byung-hun Lee as this new version of the T-1000 and he looks like he’ll be doing a similar performance to that of Robert Patrick in Terminator 2. There’s no sign into of Matt Smith or J. K. Simmons, so I’m curious to know how they fit into this film. If there’s one thing I hated about this trailer, it was the music, terrible and generic choices for the beginning song and the instrumental stuff towards the end, and the classic Terminator drum beat, it was alright but not as effective as I thought it would be.

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In conclusion the Terminator Genisys trailer looks better than I thought it would, the combination of previous film storylines mixed in with a new one is quite intriguing, though some of the CG-heavy scenes and questionable delivery of the classic lines keep me cautious. I’m more interested in this film then I was before, though, this film still has its work cut out for it to be considered one of the films to look out for in 2015.

So what do you think of the first trailer for Terminator Genisys? Are you down with it or are you filled with hatred? Please leave your thoughts below and I’ll see ya on the next review yo. 🙂

 
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Posted by on December 4, 2014 in Films, Media

 

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Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Review

Howdy people of the internet, time to review a film I’ve been waiting to watch for AGES, I am of course talking about Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Rise of the Planet of the Apes was one of my favourite films of not only 2011 but also of the last few years and I was so hyped for what would happen for the future of this new film series. The trailers have all looked great and the early reviews have just put me in a good mood. So how has this sequel turned out? Well read on and find out!

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Here is the film’s story in summary:

“A growing nation of genetically evolved apes led by Caesar is threatened by a band of human survivors of the devastating virus unleashed a decade earlier. They reach a fragile peace, but it proves short-lived, as both sides are brought to the brink of a war that will determine who will emerge as Earth’s dominant species.”

This film is pretty damn good as it tells an intelligent, dark, grim and unsettling tale of survival between two species when they unwillingly collide. This film is really grim with barely any happiness in sight, there is violence, war and death and the level of tension throughout the film is so intense that it will leave you gripping you gripping your seat just waiting to see what happens next. It is clear from the outset that both the humans and apes want to survive, but within their ranks some want peace while others want war and it is cool to see the parallels between the apes and humans. The film is also very tricky and throws you a good few curveballs to keep you from guess what will happen next and just when I thought something was going to happen one way, it totally changed direction which was fun and exciting.

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As for the cast they are all pretty good, but it should be noted that after the film is over you’ll only remember two characters because of their awesomeness. So let’s start with the first of those characters in the form of Andy Serkis as Ceaser. Now Ceaser is character we got to see grow up and learn to find his place in the world in the last film, here he is a leader. The ape’s grown up, he’s the head of tribe of apes and he’s a family man and it quite beautiful and nice to see how far our hero has developed. We see in this film that Ceaser wants to keep his ape clan united, doesn’t want to fight humans and strives for peace, but due to the complications involving humans and apes within his group he is forced to make very tough decisions. I loved seeing the emotional complexities of this character and seeing how far he would go to help humans but also protect his people. Andy Serkis did such an amazing job in this role and he is making it harder to distinguish the difference between performance capture and normal acting.

The other major character who kicks as is Koba played by Toby Kebbell. Damn this character stepped up, I knew from the trailers he would have a bigger role in this film than the last, but his character is just as important as Ceaser in terms of where the story goes. Koba despises humans because of the torture and experiments they did on him in the past, he even has the scars to prove it and while he is loyal to Ceaser, he cannot accept the coexistence of humans and apes and goes to great lengths to make sure that he gets his revenge on them. Koba is mean, he is a dangerous, corrupt and crazy individual, but for all of his wrongdoings you do feel some compassion for the guy because he has had a my crappy life, he’s suffered at the hand of humans and since Ceaser is showing them mercy where he didn’t get any in the past obviously he’s gonna be pissed. Kebbell did such a great job with this character and I’m glad that he was the one to flesh out this character.

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The humans don’t fare as well as the apes as they are not nearly as memorable and for me aren’t as interesting as the cast from the last film bar a few individuals. Jason Clarke is the best of the human characters as Malcolm, a man who has many similarities to Ceaser as he too is a family man and only wishes to coexist with the apes. Malcolm is a courageous and strong individual who goes to great lengths to try and keep things under control even when the situations he’s in are going south fairly quickly. Gary Oldman as Dreyfus was good but severely underused, I love Gary Oldman, any time he’s around you are in for a good time, however while I understood his character’s motives, at the same time he wasn’t in the film nearly as much as I would have liked. Kodi Smit-McPhee as Alexander and Keri Russell as Ellie did their parts well but I wasn’t overly fussed about them. The last mention I want to give is to Kirk Acevedo who played Carver, now this guy was a douche, he pretty much doesn’t care for the apes and blames them for everything that has gone wrong for the humans and his actions pretty set off sparks between humans and apes. I love Acevedo as Charlie from Fringe but here is so cruel and foolish, such bad guy.

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When it comes to the presentation it is simply incredible. Visually this film is insanely beautiful, the CGI work by Weta Digital is nothing short of amazing, they have created incredible environments and along with the motion capture work they’ve brought the apes to life in a way that is so realistic, you actually forget that you’re watching CGI apes. Couple these great visual effects with some lovely cinematography and an interesting colour schemes and you have a wonderful-looking film. Also the soundtrack by Michael Giacchino is pretty cool too, the more subtle and tension-filled themes were among my favourites and use of the wooden xylophone was so cool, but I will say that while I am a massive fan of Giacchino this isn’t one of his memorable soundtracks.

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In conclusion Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is easily one of the best films not only of the summer but also of the year. While the film didn’t turn out the way I expected, the film is still one of the most engaging and dramatic blockbusters we have gotten for some time and while Michael Bay continues to throw dumb and soulless material at audiences with Transformers 4, this happens to be a the total other end of the spectrum. I highly recommend that you go out and see this film as it is SO good and worthy of your time.

Rating: 8.5/10

So what did you think of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes? Did it make you happy or make you sad or angry? Whatever your thoughts are I’d love to read them, so be sure to comment below so we can start some discussions yo! Laters. 😀

 
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Posted by on July 20, 2014 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Trailer #2 Review

Howdy people of the internet, time to review a new film trailer that dropped this week and today I’m gonna be talking the second trailer for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. I was already hyped for this film and have been looking for to it ever since the last film in 2011, however I’ve been more hyped up for Godzilla and X-Men: Days of Future Past because they coming out very soon. But then this trailer dropped this week and thank god because I’ve wanted to see some new footage from this film for ages. So how does it look? Well read on and find out!

Check out the trailer below yo:

So to put it simply… THIS. LOOKS. AWESOME.

Honestly I knew this film was gonna be great and while the teaser gave a glimpse as to what was gonna happen in this film, this trailer does a better job at illustrating the overall story, tone and structure. What we basically get in this trailer is that apes live in their own little society until the humans come along and mess with the flow, both sides will collide. And it looks killer.

The first and most obvious thing to talk about in this trailer is the tone and atmosphere. For anyone who watched Rise of the Planet of the Apes, they will notice too that things are significantly different in tone and atmosphere. In this film things look are a lot darker in terms of lighting with a blue hue, having actual locations to film in also makes this film feel a lot more realistic and there is also a level of detail here in the visual effects on the apes and locations that is just spectacular. At the end of the last film we saw how the plane captain spread the virus around the world and seeing how this film shows that is the result of that virus is great. Looks like the planet has gone to shit. I’m seeing a sort of post apocalyptic style to the city locations like in I Am Legend or The Road.

So it seems like our ape friends have developed a great deal since the last film, their group is much bigger, there are ape children too and they stick together. But even more crazy is the fact that they ride hours and wield guns! Damn, that’s cool. These guys are growing more human by the day. And at the center is our man Ceaser who has grown a lot more than before, he’s a leader and wants to protect his ape family, but he knows that when push comes to shove with the humans he’s gonna have to fight. Ceaser just comes across as a bigger badass mainly because of the improvement of his speech, while he’s not talking in full sentences, his speech is much improved and when he shots lines like “APES TOGETHER STRONG!” “Was has already begun.” You can’t help but freak out about how cool he sounds. Gotta tip my hat to Andy Serkis and the dude proves once again that his motion capture performances are no easy task and can make connect with characters who aren’t just human.

I also like how much the humans are involved in this film. Now obviously they are not as important as the apes and I think most people are more interested in what’s going on with Ceaser and his storyline with his ape colony. But these characters do look compelling. I’m definitely liking the look of Jason Clarke and Gary Oldman’s characters. Clarke seems to be the next main human character in this franchise since Franco’s character no longer alive, it seems like he doesn’t want war and wants to try and be the mediator between the humans and apes and Ceaser acknowledges that, but think I Oldman’s character isn’t having that. It seems like Oldman has a beef with the apes and is tired of being the second the apes and wants to claim back the land for humans and it looks like his motivation maybe the loss of his family (that’s what I assume from that picture with the two kids on it that makes him cry). I also love the fact that my dude Kirk Acevedo (Charlie from Fringe) in this film, totally happy for the guy that he’s in big film like this.

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In conclusion I think that the is trailer is awesome. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes looks like it has the potential to outdo the previous film in every way. The dark and moody atmosphere looks gorgeous, I’m loving the evolution of Caesar and human characters, the action is looking like its gonna get crazy and from what I’m seeing in the trailer I’m loving the way in which the story is heading. Bring on the next apes film, I need my fix yo!

So what did you think of the first full trailer for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes? Does it make you scream with excitement or yawn with bordem? Whatever your thoughts are I’d love to read about them in the comments below so get talking! 😀

 
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Posted by on May 10, 2014 in Films, Media, Reviews

 

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The Great Gatsby Review

Yes, yes, yes. I’m finally getting around to talking about The Great Gatsby! My god, it’s actually taken me much longer to watch this film in the cinema than I originally thought. I was meant to see it opening week but then I literally just pushed it back, week after week and I almost thought it wouldn’t happen. But luckily I saw on Friday last week and now I’m gonna review it so please keep reading! 😀

When it comes to the story it can be summarized like this:

“The 2013 version of The Great Gatsby is an adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Long Island-set novel, where Midwesterner Nick Carraway is lured into the lavish world of his neighbour, Jay Gatsby. Soon enough, however, Carraway will see through the cracks of Gatsby’s nouveau riche existence, where obsession, madness, and tragedy await.”

This film really unfolded very differently than what I was expected. I didn’t expect there to be such a focus on Nick Carraway and his perspective, I knew he was part of the film but I didn’t expect his character to get as much screen time as he did. But I did like the story for the most part, it started out interestingly enough, but I don’t think it was until Carraway came into contact with Gatsby that the film really gets interesting. What follows is a good amount of mystery, drama, love and misfortune. There’s a lot of secrets and lies going on in this film and I love that focus and how it unfolds. I’d say that the film starts to slow down and get a little question in the romance between Gatsby and Daisy but eventually things pick up again after that.

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When it comes to the cast they are really the people that bring the film to life especially when it comes to the main cast. Let’s start with Leonardo DiCaprio as Jay Gatsby. I dunno why I never liked DiCaprio before Shutter Island came out, either way after that he’s made several films I’ve seen that’s all been good for the most part and his performance in this film is also very good. Gatsby is a very friendly yet mystery character and no one really knows him besides Daisy and Nick and I loved how he interacted with people and his reasoning behind his parties. DiCaprio gives a lovely and powerful performance and I love seeing him freak out in films because it’s just totally cool.  Then there’s Tobey Maguire as Nick Carraway, I thought Maguire was awesome, this probably his best role since his appearance in Brothers. Sure most of us will remember him as Peter Parker in the Sam Raimi Spider-Man films, but he really is a great actor with talent and knows how to handle dramatic films. I loved seeing the film from Nick’s perspective and how he was getting integrated into this lavish lifestyle and what kind of crazy and unexpected events go down.

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Now let’s talk about Carey Mulligan as Daisy Buchanan. I haven’t seen too many film with Carey Mulligan in them, but she was very good in the film. You could see that Daisy as character was complex and her history with Gatsby was an interesting one to find out about. Though when you look at her character over the course of the film she really is a bit of a bitch, leaving her cousin as the third while when she’s hanging with Gatsby and totally messing with the emotions of the men in her life, so cruel. Also Joel Edgerton as Tom Buchanan is really good in the film, I had heard great things about his performance prior to seeing this film but around halfway to two-thirds into the film you see why. His acting is impressive and I like how bitter and complicated his character gets once Gatsby comes into Daisy’s life.

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Elizabeth Debicki as Jordan Baker was nice, her character was an interesting, posh and likeable person who for some reason took a liking to Nick and became part of the story through knowing Daisy and Gatsby. Debicki was awesome, hot and acted very well in her role. Jason Clarke as George Wilson was good too, I was surprised to find out how his character tied into the film and for the most part I liked him. And lastly Amitabh Bachchan as Meyer Wolfsheim was good as a friend of Gatsby, but also had a sort of shady and questionable persona.

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When it comes to the presentation there was a lot of CGI used and I seriously wasn’t expecting that much to be in the film but it was used when necessary for a lot of cool establishing shots, wide angles, transitions and memory sequences. Now when it comes to the soundtrack this is where things will get a little questionable. At first I so surprised by how much of a hip-hop and R&B sound the film had, then I remembered that the soundtrack was handled by Jay-Z and that’s when everything started to make sense. I love Jay-Z’s music and while I would have preferred more music reflective of that time period, the way Jay-Z handles his catalogue of music and scatters it across the film is nice, impressive and surprising. There’s a point when a rendition of “Crazy In Love” by BeyoncĂ© comes on and that was the most random if somewhat pleasant surprise I came across in this film.

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In conclusion The Great Gatsby while it wasn’t what I was expecting, it was still some impressive stuff. I really liked uncovering the mystery behind Gatsby life and the performances from the cast really make this film worth watching. The film didn’t blow me away but I still enjoyed what I watched immensely and I can easily recommend the film even if most people have seen it already haha.

Rating: 8/10 (A pretty impressive film with fine performances all around)

So what are your thoughts on The Great Gatsby? Did you like it or hate it? Leave me your thoughts in the comments below and I’ll see ya on the next film review yo. 🙂

 
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Posted by on June 10, 2013 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Lawless Review

Good day to you ladies and gentlemen and welcome to another blog post, today I bring you another review in form of the gangster film, Lawless.

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When I saw this trailer for this film I was immediately interested mainly due to its similarities to Boardwalk Empire, a TV series I love immensely. Lawless seemed to embody the same kind of look and feel of that TV show, but it also looked like it had an interesting story tell and the cast alone had my attention immediately. So then I went to see the film on Monday this week and it was pretty darn good and going to tell you why in this review.

So story wise it goes a little something like this: Set in Depression-era Franklin County, Virginia, a bootlegging gang (in the form Shia LaBeouf, Tom Hardy and Jason Clarke) is threatened by a new deputy (Guy Pearce) and other authorities who want a cut of their profits.

The story in Lawless is really good and I enjoyed it a lot. I felt like it provided a story, set in an interesting point in time and felt like an accurate portrayal of the events that took place in that era. There’s a lot of good stuff to expect form a film set in the Prohibition-era like drama, crime, violence, alcohol and all those dodgy dealings that go on in the background. I also like the way it develops for the characters involved and see how they gradually change over the course oft he film. The pace of the story is bit slow for those who like these kinds of films with a bit more action, but if you give it a chance and get into it then the story is an entertaining one.

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When it comes to the characters of Lawless the cast do a tremendous job with their roles. Shia LaBeouf as Jack Bondurant was really good, I was impressed with LaBeouf, he has some acting chops and I was glad to see he can actually act. The story of Lawless really centers around Jack and his journey throughout the film and liked that aspect. Tom Hardy as Forrest Bondurant was absolutely awesome as Forrest he is the hardest of the three brothers and the quietest too. Hardy’s character is very relaxed all the time, doesn’t really say much and some times only responses to things with a slight groan haha. His character is as funny as he is brutal and I loved it. And Jason Clarke as Howard Bondurant. I think that LaBeouf, Hardy and Clarke function well as brothers, they have some great chemistry on-screen and really seem to have that brotherly bond done pretty well.

And then there’s Guy Pearce as Special Agent Charlie Rakes, he was some kind of beast of man! He was this cold, merciless and evil member of the government that wanted to shut down the illegal moonshine operations in Virgina and Pearce played his part really well. Guy Pearce’s character is such a bastard in this film and you really hate him because of all of the cruel and unforgivable things he does, but as I said before Pearce plays his part really well. Also Gary Oldman as Floyd Banner was awesome in the film (like he is always) and while he wasn’t in the film as much as I thought he would be, when he does have his screen time his presence is magnetic. Mia Wasikowska as Bertha Minnix was interesting, I wasn’t expecting to like Wasikowska that much because I really didn’t like her in Tim Burton’s Alice In Wonderland, but in this film she was tolerable and actually quite nice. Jessica Chastain as Maggie Beauford was really good, I remembered Chastain from her work in The Help and I loved her in that film and was glad to see her deliver another solid performance in this film too. And lastly I wanted to give a shout out to Dane Dehaan as Cricket Pane, I really liked his character in the film, Dehaan and LaBeouf worked well together and I’m glad to see Dehaan continuing to be in films after his great performance in Chronicle.

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The presentation of Lawless is great, the film is well-shot and has some nicely executed action scenes with gunfire and things of that nature. Also another thing to note is that Lawless is pretty brutal and violent, I almost forgot the kind of film that I was watching until the fight scenes came around, whether it be the Bondurant brothers dishing out the pain or Charlie Rakes wasting somebody because he felt like it, there is some violent damage dishes out and it is very visual, but I love the film for going that extra mile when it comes to realism. The soundtrack for Lawless is pretty good too, not overly memorable, but there are some nice tunes here and there.

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I also think another reason I liked this film so much would be because of its direction, I didn’t know until today that John Hillcoat who directed The Road, which was one my favourite films I saw in the cinema in 2010. I get that same vibe of drama, emotion and engaging characters in this film as I did with The Road. Though Lawless isn’t perfect, it is a slower-paced film and it is one that builds up to the action rather than just throwing it out there for the sake of it. For me I was really expecting something in the same vain as Boardwalk Empire and while Lawless is impressive, it just doesn’t reach the that level of epicness I thought it would have.

In conclusion Lawless is a great film, it has a story that’s engaging and interesting from start to finish and its full of drama, character development and brutal action scenes. While the film isn’t as good as it could have been and falls short of the epic mark it could have achieved, Lawless is still the best film I’ve seen in the cinema since The Dark Knight Rises and that’s saying something.

Rating: 8/10

Well that’s been my review, hopefully you’ve enjoyed reading it and drop me a comment and let me know what you made of the film. Until the next time people, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on September 12, 2012 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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