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QUICK REVIEW: Room

Howdy people of the internet, time for a review that I’ve been wanting to do for a while now, today I finally get to talk about Room. Now before this film came out in the UK, there was so much buzz around this film for its incredible story and performances, but when I saw the trailers I had no clue what the film was about, and normally if a film can’t give me a feel for what I’m gonna what beforehand it’d be a hard sell. But after so much positive word of mouth from certain online film shows and people that I know, I decided to see what was up, and now I’m gonna pass judgement.

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The story can be described as the following:

“After five-year-old Jack and his mother escape from the enclosed surroundings that Jack has known his entire life, the boy makes a thrilling discovery.”

This film was quite captivating because of the sheer concept of what took place, from start to finish it was an engaging and dramatic experience. Now I find it a little hard to talk about this film without discussing spoilers because it is those details that reveal this story’s brilliance in the mystery, tension and discovery of key elements as to why I liked this film, but I’m going to be as vague as possible. What this film did well was paint a picture of an incredibly strange scenario, which as the film went on, you discovered just how complicated and difficult it was for this mother and son to operate within the confines of the room, and how, no matter how hard things got, they needed each other to keep going. There was so much drama emotionally and psychologically, things got pretty melancholy and traumatic, but then there were some humourous and absolutely beautiful moments that made me SO happy as well. I will admit that this film felt very similar to A Place Beyond The Pines or Cast Away where the first half of the film was much more engaging than the latter and people who have seen said films may be able to understand what I mean by that. That’s not to say that the parts beyond the escape was bad, I just had a preference on the earlier half where things were a little more mysterious, difficult and confined.

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As for the performances, damn, all I can say is well done to the cast involved especially when it came to Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay. Firstly Brie Larson, talk about a breath-taking performance. Larson played Joy “Ma” Newsome and she was so good as a mother who was doing her best to protect her son physically and mentally, but also having to deal with her own personal issues which came with being a mother and adapting to a life that felt so trapped and dehumanizing. Not to be outdone Jacob Tremblay was insanely talented as Jack Newsome, As usual child actors can fall into one of two categories; pretty good or pretty bad, and luckily Tremblay fell into the former. Jack was a really interesting character as we got to see him adapt and learn about the world from a very different way that most kids grow up, and we see a lot of the film through his eyes (kind of like Rugrats), and learning about how he interprets things, what should and shouldn’t be done and seeing the strong bond he had to his mother so was fascinating. Seeing Joan Allen again was great as she did a fine job as Nancy Newsome, her scenes with Jack and Joy were some of the most powerful moments in the film, and it was also interesting to see William H. Macy as Robert Newsome, his character was good and had some interesting moments in the film too. Sean Bridgers as Old Nick was very good and Tom McCamus was also great as Leo.

In conclusion Room was a very interesting, dramatic and thought-provoking experience that had absolutely stellar performances from the leads Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay, and a story that was very compelling to watch. I now see why so many people were talking about this film during its main release in the US and while it isn’t my favourite of the Oscar-nominated films of this year, it certainly is in the top three and I wish it nothing but luck at the Oscars.

Rating: 8/10

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

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Posted by on February 23, 2016 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Revisiting The Matt Damon Bourne Films

Howdy ladies and gents, now after seeing the getting super excited for 30 second teaser for Jason Bourne, I thought it would be a good time to revisit that awesome trilogy of films from 2002 to 2007. I love these films so much, however I’ve only watched them 2 or 3 times each so I thought it’d be fun to see if my opinions have changed or remained the same since my last viewing. Minor spoilers follow!

The Bourne Identity

I’ve never been more fascinated and engaged with a film than with the intro of this one. Having Bourne found in the ocean with bullets in his back and no memory of who he was. Slowly but sure this film starts to give small details, small pieces of a bigger puzzle and the story just becomes more intriguing and engaging. The main story surrounding Jason Bourne’s amnesia and his search for answers is so compelling because he’s a blank slate at the beginning, but then learn that he’s travelled a lot in the past, he’s resourceful and has skills that make him look like a human weapon, and it also doesn’t help that he’s hunted by a secret group in the government who want him dead for reasons that become apparent as the film goes on. This film features some of the most interesting and smart story elements that I’ve seen in the spy genre, and sure it’s adapted from a book but it’s an enjoyable film regardless. I also really enjoy the action which is slick, well-edited and choreographed when it came to the fight scenes and there’s one car chase which is one of my favourites in film ever.

Oh and of course I really enjoyed the cast Matt Damon kills it as Jason Bourne, he rides a fin balance between being innocent and confused to being a full-on badass who’s in control of every situation. Franka Potente is also great as Marie Helena Kreutz, she’s just an innocent bystander who gets caught up in the madness and yet chooses to stick around because of the dangers around her and her ties to Bourne. Potente and Damon have such nice chemistry and their interaction throughout the film is great. Chris Cooper is awesome as Alexander Conklin, I didn’t remember him being as pivotal to this story, but damn he great to watch because of his intensity and commitment to trying to stop Bourne. Brian Cox is another solid actor as Ward Abbott, also Clive Owen as The Professor, the guy doesn’t say much or show a lot emotion, though when he’s on-screen he’s like a ghost-like Terminator and he has a pretty important scene later on in the film. I don’t think some fans and critics give Identity the respect it deserves in comparison to the sequels, this was a great spy film with mystery, conspiracy, tension and awesome action sequences and director Doug Liman did such a fabulous job at bringing this world to life and creating the foundation of which the next two films would build upon.

The Bourne Supremacy

Even though he wasn’t a complete man, Identity established that Jason Bourne was not someone you wanted to mess with and Supremacy reinforces that with the lengths that Bourne goes to in this second adventure. While the mysteries behind Bourne’s memories are still at the forefront of the story, in it is not the only story elements in play. A CIA operation goes bad and Bourne is framed for it so the government are after him to get answers. The levels of conspiracy go deeper than the first time and there are a lot of moving pieces to this story with Bourne’s past, the CIA and Treadstone, it’s a lot to handle but luckily it is done carefully and effectively, and adds to the history of the government program and Bourne too. This film also got a little more personal and emotional than before, and there are dramatic intense and heartbreaking moments a well. Once again this film shows off Bourne’s assassin skills but to a higher degree than before, here he’s a bit of a tactician, staying a few steps ahead of his enemies in really cool ways, he also displayed pretty badass fight moves and continued to find ways to be invisible and yet still be in plain sight.

The returning cast members are fantastic, Damon continues to be cool, vulnerable and engaging as Bourne, Potente is once again charming, supportive and lovely as Marie Helena Kreutz, Gabriel Mann is also back doing a fine job as Danny Zorn, Julia Stiles while good in the previous film, didn’t have nearly as much to do as she did here as Nicky Parsons takes on a more prominent role providing information and emotional depth. But it’s Brian Cox who steals the show as Ward Abbott, this guy, he has some of the best dialogue and I love how well-informed, suspicious and confident he is because of his history with Treadstone. With the new cast members the only two that really stand out are Karl Urban as Kirill and Joan Allen as Pamela Landy. Urban is a frigging badass here, he’s like Clive Owen’s character from the first film but more cold, ruthless and a bit more personality. And Allen really does so well as Landy, while not well-versed in all of the CIA’s operations, she’s tough, tenacious and ready to take down anyone who’s in her way. I will admit that there are certain elements of Identity that I liked over this film, but overall this film had new level of energy, darker tone and better direction thanks to Paul Greengrass when it comes to the filming of action (minus the shaky cam scenes) and adding intimacy to certain scenes. OH and this film has one of my favourite endings to any film involving a conversation between Bourne and Landy which basically confirms just how badass the man is. I love it. 😀

The Bourne Ultimatum

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So here we are with the final entry in this series (until July this year), and it is one hell of an a good ride. From the time the film begins you’re already in the action and from there the film keeps up a fairly swift pace, but also slows down for some of the big reveals later on. Bourne’s always been a pawn in a larger game of chess with the CIA and their actions, and now more than ever this is about finishing the issues that the CIA started. I love the story in this film as things get more complicated and personal with the new mysteries surrounding Bourne’s origins, additional ties to Treadstone and the corruption with the CIA. Just like before there’s a lot of cat and mouse chasing going on in regards to: 1) Bourne hunting someone or 2) The CIA going after someone or 3) The CIA chasing after Bourne. There’s so much mystery, tension and paranoia surrounding these films and this may be the best at highlighting those elements, Ultimatum feels like a great culmination of the last two films with a satisfying conclusion that ties up all of the loose ends. Once again the action scenes are on-point with some incredibly well-choreographed fight scenes which are raw and realistic, there’s also some really great stunt work with some of the car and foot chases, and the amount of destruction that Bourne leaves in his wake in nothing short of incredible. I also have to note how much better the sound effects are than in the previous films as punches, kicks, glass smashing and explosions sound clearer and more distinctive than before. And just like before the film score by John Powell is so brilliant and fuels all of the scenes it’s used in.

The are all on fire and do such fine jobs in this film. Damon pretty much cements his awesomeness as Jason Bourne, here he’s still just as smart, efficient and lethal as before, but he’s also more focused than before to end the all problems and find out what really happened to him. Bourne has now started to come to terms with who he is and who he was and it’s really interesting and compelling to see how he deals with these issues when talking to certain people in some of these great dramatic moments. Stiles’ role once again increases with her return as Nicky Parsons, she has a lot more to do physically but also is very integral to the plot and Bourne’s missions and Stiles does such a fine job in this role. David Strathairn is new on the scene and does such a great job as Noah Vosen, he’s a new player in the CIA and he has his mission and when Bourne becomes a factor we learn how vicious and crafty he can be. Also Joan Allen really shines as Pamela Landy, she takes on more of a Ward Abbot role as she’s the one with experience with Bourne and knows how he operates and helps Vosen with finding Bourne. Landy is great at her job, but is also perceptive and can smell when something’s wrong and in this film we see that she does a moral compass and will break regulation to make sure that things are done correctly. I never even noticed Scott Glenn as Ezra Kramer before, but thanks to Daredevil I’m more aware of his appearances and he did really well as the director of the CIA. Paddy Considine is very good and intruging as Simon Ross, and Albert Finney is really good as Dr. Albert Hirsch. Oh and finally shout out to Daniel Brühl who I never even noticed until who plays Martin Kreutz!

In conclusion this Bourne trilogy of films is one of my favourite series of films and if it weren’t for The Bourne Legacy and the upcoming Jason Bourne, I would have labelled this as one of the most consistent film trilogies. We have some of the finest action, mystery and intrigue, and at the center of all this is a great story involving badass amnesiac who wants to find the truth. After seeing these films again I love them more so than before and my hype for the new film is SO high, I can only hope that this new film will have a story worth telling.

Also tell me what you think of these films in the comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on February 12, 2016 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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