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QUICK REVIEW: Crimson Peak

Howdy ladies and gents, its review time once again, and today I’m gonna be talking about Crimson Peak, the latest film from Guillermo del Toro. Now I’ve been looking forward to this film since before there was any images or footage released, and even after the trailers came out I never watched them, I was going into this film pretty fresh which is almost impossible to do these days. So was the film good or not? Well read on and find out!

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So the story can be summed up as the following:

“In the aftermath of a family tragedy, an aspiring author is torn between love for her childhood friend and the temptation of a mysterious outsider. Trying to escape the ghosts of her past, she is swept away to a house that breathes, bleeds…and remembers.”

Well the story certainly didn’t unfold the way I expected it to, even though this was a horror film there was also a romantic element to the film as well. This was a tale of love, family, deception, death, and the past coming back to haunt you. What I appreciated about this film was its tone and style. Too often these days horror films are filled with jump scares, excessive violence and gore and paranormal stuff. This film is consistent in its need to creep you out through its imagery but also through atmosphere, suspense and the actions of the characters. I will admit that there were certain plot points I guessed were coming and I was curious to know where the story was going around halfway through but by the third act things to became clearer. I think one of the key reasons I liked this film a lot is because unlike del Toro’s mainstream films like Pacific Rim and Hellboy and was closer in tone to Pan’s Labyrinth (one of my all-time favourite films) with the horror and disturbing nature of the plot.

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Tom Hiddleston was as great as Sir Thomas Sharpe, obviously we all associate Hiddleston with his great performances as Loki from the Marvel films, but I know he’s great beyond those films as well and since not many people saw Only Lovers Left Alive, this film was the perfect place to illustrate how much he can bring to a film outside of the superhero genre. Hiddleston’s character was confident and charming, but also troubled and scared when it comes to certain aspects of his past and I loved his performance. But Jessica Chastain as Lady Lucille Sharpe, Sir Thomas’s sister. This character is like a hawk, always watching, she doesn’t say much but she say more with her eyes and body language, and when she does speak at first she’s nice yet withdrawn. It is only later when we start to see more of her personality and plans come into he light and then she becomes a much more aggressive and complicated character for sure. Chastain’s performance was reserved and full of intensity and drama, loved it. And then there’s Mia Wasikowska as Edith Cushing, and I didn’t save her for last out of the main trio because she’s terrible, but I don’t feel like ger performance was nearly as strong as the people I mentioned before. That being said this is my favourite performance from Wasikowska so far, her character was a lovely and bright individual who just happens to have her life changed forever in an unexpected way and she was someone you could connect and sympathize with as well. Also Charlie Hunnam was really good as Dr. Alan McMichael and Jim Beaver did well as Carter Cushing too.

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The presentation was lovely. Visually the film was incredible and had that del Toro touch when it came to way the environment and ghosts looked and came across. I loved the use of colour and lighting, oh and the costume design is awesome in terms of the design and colour. As for the mansion at  Allerdale Hall, I loved the way it looked, there was beauty to the decrepit house. Whether it be the design of staircase, the look of the attic, the fireplace, the open hole in the ceiling or the fact that the house oozes red clay that looks like tick blood, the mansion is just a sight to be hold and is very much a character of its own too. The apparitions were handled well too with them looking quite unique and disturbing, and when they’re in the background they slip around so swiftly with one even reminding me of moment from Signs (if you know the key scene I’m referencing). I also liked the use of violence with these being some pretty brutal attacks and deaths on display, the make-up and practical effects team should be commended for their work as its realistic and raw.

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In conclusion Crimson Peak was a pretty damn good film and was a deeper and more personal tale than I thought it’d be. With gorgeous presentation, stellar performances from Chastain and Hiddleston, and a story that is both heartfelt and creepy, it succeeds in being another great film in del Toro’s filmography and I highly recommend it.

Rating: 8/10

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

 
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Posted by on October 17, 2015 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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The Martian Review (SPOILER FREE)

Good day to you ladies and gentlemen, time for another film review and today I’ll be talking about The Martian. This is another film that’s been on my 2015 anticipated list, even when there was no footage, I had hope for the film considering that it had an interesting premise, Ridley Scott was directing and it featured Matt Damon. And after the trailers and early positive word of mouth I was excited to see this. So after seeing an early screening at Cineworld yesterday I’m ready to pass judgement!

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The story can be described as the following:

“When a mission to Mars goes wrong for a group of team of astronauts, they escape, however one of their members, Mark Watney is left behind and presumed dead. With limited resources and a harsh environment to live in, Watney must fight for survival while communicating with NASA, other scientists and his crewmates on a rescue plan.”

I thought the story was really good. This is another film that focuses on survival, human ingenuity, endurance and spirit. I like how there was moral, ethical and logical dilemma’s for not only Mark, but his crewmates and the people at NASA as well, there wasn’t an easy way of doing things and for a lot of the choices that some of these characters made, there’d be sacrifices or negative consequences involved. I also appreciated the realism, the scientific talk and unpredictable nature of space, the Mars environment and spacecraft equipment. The film was also a lot funnier than I expected and I think it really helped ease the loneliness and dread. While this isn’t a brilliant or unique adventure, it is a solid and well-made film from director Ridley Scott, there is a sense of confidence and intelligence with Scott’s direction and I liked that aspect a lot.

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The cast did such great work with their performances, but the main star is Matt Damon as Mark Watney. This is a character who is smart and courageous, but also has to deal with the fact that death is constantly present and could take him at any moment. Damon is a really great actor and I think a lot of people forget that, but here is allowed to be dramatic, charming, funny, frustrated and so much more, and a lot of the time he has to act alone, yet pretend like there is someone is watching and he pulls that off fairly well.

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As for the people down on Earth I really liked Jeff Daniels as Teddy Sanders, he was an interesting character because he is a good person, but he also has to think of things from a business perspective and his decisions puts him at odds with his other staff members. Kristen Wiig as Annie Montrose did pretty well and I think I think I liked her performance a lot mainly because it was the first time I’ve seen her in a serious role. Chiwetel Ejiofor as usual turns in a great performance Vincent Kapoor and Sean Bean was good as Mitch Henderson too.  Mackenzie Davis was cute and good in her role as Mindy Park, Benedict Wong was quite good as Bruce Ng and Donald Glover’s appearance as Rich Purnell was strange, humourous and entertaining for sure. As for the space-based characters, Jessica Chastain did well with her material as Melissa Lewis, she’s the most developed and important of the crew and has a lot of important decisions to make too. Michael Peña as Rick Martinez was also good, he had some humourous moments and good banter with Mark. Kate Mara was also good as Beth Johanssen, I also liked my man Sebastian Stan as Chris Beck and Aksel Hennie as Alex Vogel was good but a little forgettable. Together these characters had good chemistry and felt like a good team of individuals who cared about their mission but also for each other and Mark.

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When it comes to the presentation it was really good. Visually this was a great experience. Spaced-based sci-fi films have been getting better with their special effects over the last few years with Prometheus, Guardians of the Galaxy and Gravity showing more and more impressive their art direction, realism and level of detail, and this film is no different. The Martian has wonderful cinematography, editing and sound design too. I was just stunned by the scenery of Mars, all the shots on the planet were gorgeous and the scenes in space were also very beautiful with great lighting and clarity. The film score by Harry Gregson-Williams was also quite good, William’s soundtracks tend to be a little hit and miss for me, but here he did a good job creating music that really amplified the action on-screen and it had many great moments elevating the emotional scenes.

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In conclusion The Martian is a return to form for Ridley Scott, offering up a thrilling and dramatic story, great performances and brilliant production value. While I wouldn’t say it blew me away, it is definitely on the higher end of films I’ve seen post-summer season and in 2015 in general.

Rating: 8/10

So what did you think of The Martian? Whatever your thoughts are be sure to drop them below and let me know. Until the next time, see ya later! 😀

 
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Posted by on September 28, 2015 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Let’s Go To Space In This Interstellar Review

So the day has come for me to finally review Interstellar, the much-talked about sci-fi film from Christopher Nolan. I feel like the wait for this film has been one of the longest in recent memory, considering how long it was since the reveal of the first poster and teaser trailer. Plus there hasn’t been that much information shared about the nature of the film’s plot leaving more people curious as to what it is about. As a fan of Nolan, I will watch anything he directs and I had no doubt in my mind, regards of the way this film turned out, I would have to see it for myself to pass judgement. So how was it? Well read on and find out.

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The film’s story in summary is about a team of space travelers who travel through a wormhole in search of a new habitable planet and for most part the story’s very interesting and captivating to watch. I have to admit, for the first thirty or so I wasn’t totally engaged was wondering when the film would actually pick up and get interesting, it wasn’t until Cooper and his crew head out into space when things start to get engaging. There was a point where this film went from being interesting to super interesting to incredibly engaging and this was all during the space exploring on the planets, it was like went from strength to strength creating these unbelievable situations that left you shocked, surprised and curious to know more. This film peaked at one point and I was loving it, however, things didn’t stay that way unfortunately and I do have some nitpicks though like:

  • Science mumbo-jumbo: I don’t know if it’s just because I’m a little dumb, but there are points where characters were talking some technical science jargon and I had no idea what they were going on about, there wasn’t even an attempt to simplify it for those who aren’t well-versed in that subject matter.
  • Pacing: There were moments when the film’s pacing felt a little slow
  • The film’s runtime: The film is a bit on the long side and because of that factor, this is not a film I would instantly watch again, as this is a film where you have to be in the right mindset to watch and take it all of its content.
  • The final act of the film: I’m not sure of how many people felt this way about the film, but I’ve heard a lot of chatter about the third act of the film. For at least two-thirds of the film, it is pretty much perfect, everything you want from a great sci-fi film with Chris Nolan at the helm, however, once the final part of this film happens it feels like it changes the perspective of the rest of the film and it kind of ruins the level of realism (theoretical of course) injected into the story. While it wasn’t the worst thing ever, I would have preferred something different.

Other than the points listed above, the films story is pretty good with a great level of realism applied to these theoretical space exploring scenarios and a lot of heart poured into the character relationships too. If you plan to see this film try to see it as fresh as possible without outsider opinions or spoilers as it will directly affect how much you enjoy this film.

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When it comes to the cast I believe that everyone gave such great performances, to the point where it is hard to count each person who showed up, that being said I will highlight everyone who I believe was relevant. Oh and on a side note, some actors/actresses have not been listed as to who they are playing in the film again to try and keep secrecy going on this film as much as possible.

First there’s Matthew McConaughey who fabulous as Cooper, here we have a character who is smart, tenacious and always looking to help out where possible, however he clearly longs for a time where his skill would be useful unlike his current position on Earth. McConaughey’s performance is wonderfully done with a great amount of depth and variety in his emotional moments throughout the film. Anne Hathaway too is very good as Amelia Brand, this is a character is also very smart, but also closed off and confident and as the film goes on we see that there is more to her than what we initially get on the surface. I believe that this is one of Hathaway’s best roles in the sense that I couldn’t see her as an actress for the most part, but her as character instead and that I think it worth mentioning. Michael Caine is great as Professor Brand, as always Caine brings a nice atmosphere to the films he features in and eve though he only has to play himself these days and it’ll be fine, I still appreciated his performance in this film as it was one of my favourite performances.

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Jessica Chastain is awesome in this film and continues to be one of my favourite actresses ever, this woman has such a great emotional range and I really liked her character in this film as she was aggressive, clever and persistent, but also fragile at the same time. David Gyasi was really good as Romilly and I really felt for his character. Bill Irwin and Josh Stewart as the voices of TARS and CASE  were awesome and had some really good lines of dialogue throughout the film. A special mention should go out to  Mackenzie Foy and Timothée Chalamet as Cooper’s children Murph and Tom, as they weren’t annoying and were pleasant young actors, but I lot of the praise should go to Foy as she has great chemistry with McConaughey and deals with her emotional material very convincingly. Ellen Burstyn was good in the film also while I really liked Casey Affleck’s contribution to the film as well. John Lithgow was pretty funny and engaging as Donald and I liked David Oyelowo’s appearance as Murph’s elementary school principal. It was funny to see both Lithgow and Oyelowo together again, it was like a mini Rise of the Planet of the Apes reunion haha. As for Topher Grace as Getty, he was alright but his character could honestly have been played by anyone.

There is also one other character I haven’t mentioned who shows up in this film. I haven’t mentioned him and I really want to talk about said person, however, I really want to leave it a secret for those who haven’t checked the film out yet, needless to say, this famous face definitely makes this film so much more exciting.

As for the presentation it was fabulous. Visually the film is pretty damn impressive, that is usually the way with most Nolan films and this is no exception to the rule with it boasting some lovely CGI and cinematography. And then there’s the soundtrack by Hans Zimmer, now for those who aren’t in the know, Zimmer is one of my favourite film composers ever and I love hearing any new soundtrack he’s worked on especially when he collaborates with Chris Nolan and the end result is one of beauty, heaven-like sounds and epicness, that being said I do believe that he was done better work in the past and this still doesn’t reach the majesty that is the Inception soundtrack.

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In conclusion Interstellar is a great film with great performances, incredible special effects and it is very intriguing, smart and captivating for the most part. I feel like the film’s length and final act do knock it down a few pegs, however it is still another successful film from Christopher Nolan. This will be a film that may divide opinions with some loving it and some hating it, and while I don’t love it, I will say that it was one of the better and more unique films I’ve seen this year.

Rating: 8/10

So have you seen Interstellar and if so what do you think of it? Whatever your thoughts are be sure to comment below and I’ll see ya on the next film review, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on November 13, 2014 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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