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LATE QUICK REVIEW: Kubo and the Two Strings

Good day to you ladies and gents, time for another review I should have reviewed a while ago, I am of course talking about the latest Laika film; Kubo and the Two Strings. Annoyingly I saw this film opening day but didn’t have time to do the review because I had to go to a pre-wedding party and then the actual wedding in Leicester, and after a while work caught up with me and my fresh thought were lost. So I didn’t want to review this film without having seen it a second time, and so that’s why this review’s a month late. ūüė¶ But with that out of the way I’m now ready to pass judgement!

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So the story can be described as the following:

“The film tells the story about Kubo, who has magical powers and whose left eye was stolen. Accompanied by Monkey and Beetle, they must subdue the Sisters, Raiden the Moon King and his army of evil spirits.”

This film tells a wonderful story that felt classic and familiar, yet unique and captivating especially for older audiences and those who are into Japanese mythology. There’s a sense of magic, fun and wonderment, but it was also mixed in with some darker/serious elements which gave this film an edge and a classic Disney kind of tone which made me happy. There’s also deep respect and admiration for the Japanese culture in the way in which the story, visuals and music come together. And as a fan of Japanese mythology and classic tales of grand adventures involving young heroes discovering their destiny this film spoke to me on every level. I also adored how this film had such a great deal of emotional moments whether they were dramatic, sad or funny. The only thing I would say that I was a little iffy on was the ending, while I understood the approach I would have preferred something a little different.

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The cast was really good and did well to bring life to their characters with some of the actors feeling like they brought some of their mannerisms to their roles. Firstly there’s Art Parkinson who did really well as Kubo, this kid is a little delight as he was cocky, yet sweet, imaginative, resourceful and charming. Charlize Theron as Monkey was awesome, she was a no-nonsense, straight-to-the-point badass who while tough kind have a soft side as well. I also loved Matthew McConaughey as Beetle/Hanzo, this guy was really funny because of his dim-witted, charismatic and courageous personality. Rooney Mara was unrecognisable as the Sisters, but I loved her performance as she was able to add such a level of intimidation and aggressiveness to these creepy/scary characters. Ralph Fiennes as Raiden the Moon King was very good too, the first time I really thought I could hear a bit of James Woods, but upon closer listening I could hear Fiennes in there and he was really good offering us a villain who was perceptive and dangerous. I also liked Brenda Vaccaro as Kameyo, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa as Hashi, and the lovely George Takei as Hosato who I recognised the moment I heard his character speak.

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When it comes to the presentation it was fantastic, Laika always bring their A-game to their films and with each film they produce they go that one step beyond and produce the most insane material in the current stop motion landscape. Visually the film did well to blend the practical side of things with what I could only assume could only be clever uses of CGI. There was such large sense of scope, really great lighting and a diverse colour palette, add on top of that the brilliant art direction and some wonderfully creative imagery especially with the animated origami. Plus as a fan of action sequences involving sword fighting and other Japanese weaponry this film had some kick ass moments and didn’t shy away from the violence which I also loved. Oh and the film score from Dario Marianelli was fantastic capturing the sense of adventure, drama, tension and generally allowing to feel immersed and emotionally invested in what was happening on-screen, and this might be a soundtrack I have to buy too. ūüôā

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In conclusion Kubo and the Two Strings is damn good film, one of the best of 2016 and I think it might be favourite Laika film (though I still LOVE Coraline). It pains me that more people haven’t checked this film out just because of its visual aesthetic and lack of the typical 3D CGI stuff that a lot of people have become conditioned to. Kubo is an incredible film and while the story is set in the realm of fantasy, at the same time the film felt very grounded and relatable because of the themes, characters and story elements.

Rating: 8.5/10 (Highly recommended for sure!)

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

 
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Posted by on October 10, 2016 in Film Reviews, 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 Timoth√©e 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! ūüėÄ

 
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Posted by on November 13, 2014 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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My Thoughts on the Oscars 2014

Good day to you ladies and gentlemen of the interweb hope you’re all doing well and all that jazz. Well it seems another night at the Oscars has come and gone and I stayed up to watch it all. Me and my friend live streamed it online and watched al the fun and chaos that took place on Twitter and Tumblr too. All in all it was a fun and fruitful, if somewhat predictable night.

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Anyways here are the winners are as follows:

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR:

Jared Leto – Dallas Buyers Club WINNER

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS:

Lupita Nyong’o – 12 Years a Slave WINNER

BEST DIRECTOR:

Alfonso Cuaron – GravityWINNER

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

The Great Gatsby – WINNER

BEST MAKE-UP & HAIRSTYLING:

Dallas Buyers Club – WINNER

BEST SHORT FILM (ANIMATED):

Mr Hublot – WINNER

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM:

Frozen – WINNER

BEST SHORT FILM (LIVE ACTION):

Helium – WINNER

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT:

The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life – WINNER

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE:

20 Feet from Stardom – WINNER

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM:

The Great Beauty (Italy) – WINNER

BEST SOUND MIXING:

Gravity – WINNER

BEST SOUND EDITING:

Gravity – WINNER

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS:

Gravity – WINNER

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Gravity – WINNER

BEST FILM EDITING:

Gravity – WINNER

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN:

The Great Gatsby – WINNER

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE:

Gravity – WINNER

BEST ORIGINAL SONG:

Let It Go – Frozen WINNER

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY:

John Ridley – 12 Years a Slave WINNER

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY:

Spike Jonze – HerWINNER

Well to be honest I am pretty happy with the way most of these winners ended up. Even though Gravity practically won everything, when it comes to cinematography and visual effects I think the film deserved its awards. I also am glad that The Great Gatsby won costume and production design, they were well-deserved. But most importantly was the awards won for Jared Leto and Lupita Nyong’o. Both of them did amazing jobs in Dallas Buyers Club and 12 Years a Slave. I was especially happy for Lupita Nyong’o, I had hoped that she would be recognized for her work in 12 Years a Slave, I was so happy for her and her speech was very inspiring. And speaking of 12 Years a Slave, I am so happy that the film won best picture, SO happy, it rightfully got that award and was happy that Gravity didn’t take that award too (because by that point it would have been ridiculous). And finally seeing Matthew McConaughey win best actor was a fine moment in time, just put everything in perspective and made me smile because it is about time he was recognized for his talent.

All that being said I can’t help but say that I was disappointed with some things. “Let It Go” from Frozen is a good song, but SO overhyped now that it is ridiculous. I would have preferred “Happy” by Pharrell or “Ordinary Love” by U2 win the award for best song instead. But what I am most gutted about is Leonardo DiCaprio not winning best actor, his performance in The Wolf of Wall Street was amazing and I prayed for him, I really did, but he was up against absurdly great actors this year.

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Outside of that and all the awards there was a lot of fun moments with Ellen DeGeneres as the host, she was a bit cringeworthy at times, but she also got in some nice conversations with people, got this amazing photo with several actors and actresses and got pizza delivered. That makes her awesome in my book. Also the musical performances by U2 and Pharrell were real highlights for me because I love “Happy” and “Ordinary Love” is an amazing song by one of my all-time favourite bands and hearing them live just brought warm feelings to my heart.

And finally there has to be this addressing of the Benedict Cumberbatch hype going on especially on Tumblr. Mr. Cumberbatch has been showing up all over the place and has been photo bombing people, and since then, loads of people online have literally slapped him everywhere. His obsessed fans have gone overboard and made gifs, funny memes and photo edited images too, it is crazy how fast they are. But it has been humourous for me and my mate to watch the chaos unfold.

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In conclusion I am okay with the way the Oscars turned out, show some of my films and actors didn’t win and Gravity pretty much swallowed everything. However it was a fun and entertaining night and where it counted, justice was served.

So what do you think of the results of this year’s Oscars? Are you happy or are you mad as hell? Leave your comments below and I’ll catch ya later. ūüėÄ

 
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Posted by on March 3, 2014 in Films, Media

 

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Dallas Buyers Club Review

Afternoon ladies and gent, time for the final film review for today and it is the much-talked about Oscar-nominated film Dallas Buyers Club. I never knew nothing about this film until some point in December when it was released in America and it started to get a lot of Oscar buzz. So since I’ve become a fan of Matthew McConaughey in recent years and the film was being so hyped up, I decided to see what the deal was when I went to the cinema yesterday. So how does the film fare? Read on and find out.

So the story involves¬†Ron Woodroof, an AIDS patient who smuggled unapproved pharmaceutical drugs into Texas when he found them effective at improving his symptoms, distributing them to fellow sufferers by establishing the eponymous “Dallas Buyers Club” whilst facing opposition from the¬†Food and Drug Administration.

I thought the film was very interesting and compelling because of the central journey dealing with Woodroof’s character and the amount of people with AIDS during the 1980’s. While it is based on true events so that means that there are some liberties taken with what actually happened, I felt like the story was very realistic, had a lot of dramatic weight to it with consequences all people involved. Just like Mark Kermode mentioned in his review, there are comparisons to be made to Philadelphia¬†due to the similar subject matter and it surprising that I’ve only noticed that now..If I had any negatives it would be that the film feels a bit long at times and definitely makes you feel low.

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When it comes to the cast they are the best element of the film and there are only three people you really care about. Let’s start¬†Matthew McConaughey as Ron Woodroof, McConaughey is incredible in this film as he embodies this character so well that is completely unrecognizable from his other roles in the past. Woodroof at first is this manly cowboy who does a lot of drugs and drinks a lot, he’s also not very nice and is very homophobic. However when he is diagnosed with AIDS his life changes, at first he’s in complete denial, however once he starts seeking treatments outside of the US and starts helping out the local community with his drugs you see him change. Besides the absurd weight loss for the role, McConaughey is funny, charismatic and totally believable in the role.

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The next great performance comes from¬†Jared Leto as Rayon/Raymond. I thought that Leto was amazing, he has a talent for humour and having a great screen presence, but I feel like the raw emotions he pours out in the film’s more dramatic moments in truly impressive. And then there’s¬†Jennifer Garner as Dr. Eve Saks, she was very good as the doctor who was initially at odds with Woodroof, but after she sees the effectiveness of his drugs and the problems with the practices in place at her hospital she starts to change. I’ve never been the biggest fan of Garner but she was quite nice in this film,

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In conclusion Dallas Buyers Club is very good with a story and characters that are dramatic, complex and very in-depth. I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was expecting more due to all the hype surrounding the film, but it was still pretty good. The film isn’t for everyone though, some may complain that the film is bit long, kind of depressing and that not a lot happens. But if you’re willing to invest in the narrative you’ll find something interesting in there, plus the performances from McConaughey and Leto alone make the film worth a watch.

Rating: 8/10 (It’s the Matthew McConaughey show and it is awesome)

So what did you think of Dallas Buyers Club? Be sure to share your thoughts below and I’ll see you lot on the next review yo! ūüėÄ

 
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Posted by on February 9, 2014 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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The Wolf of Wall Street Review

Okay now it is time for me to review a film I’ve been waiting to watch for AGES now due to the bloody UK release date being almost a month later than the US’ one. I am of course talking about The Wolf of Wall Street. The hype that this film’s been getting is huge and I wanted to see how it held up. So far the award-based films have been a bit half and half with 12 Years A Slave being incredible and American Hustle being not nearly as good as I expected. So where does this film fall? Read on and find out.

So the story in the film is based on the true story of Jordan Belfort, from his rise to a wealthy stockbroker living the high life to his fall involving crime, corruption and the federal government.

The reason why I really liked the film was due to the fact that beyond all the nudity, sex, drugs and alcohol there is a good story to be told with genuine actions and consequences. Everything that unfolds goes down in a spectacular way full of drama, humour and madness that become more and more ridiculous as the film continues. Some of the scenes in the film are pretty shocking in ways I didn’t expect whether it be in a really small or really big way and rather than it taking away from the film it increases the quality of the story and characters. And unlike American Hustle which I felt was all style and no substance, this film has the substance to back up its style.

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When it comes to the cast they’re all really good but the stand out performance is from¬†Leonardo DiCaprio as Jordan Belfort.¬†DiCaprio’s performance was incredible, absolutely incredible. I swear he just gets better with age. In this film he is a maniac, full of swagger, charm, style and sophistication, however he has bad habits which start to consume him and make him disillusioned to the people and the world around him. DiCaprio¬†just commands the screen whenever he’s there, he is spectacular and commits the role so insanely especially on the physical side of things which are both mad and hilarious. I think I’ve got a new man-crush haha.¬†Jonah Hill¬†should also be commended as Donnie Azoff. Hill‘s come a long since he was that kid in Superbad. In this film his character is not only funny, but a little off the wall, creative and creepy. I loved his accent and how he handled his drama and ridiculous habits without it coming across too hammy. Together DiCaprio and Hill make an incredible duo and just have the best chemistry.

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Margot Robbie as Naomi Lapaglia is also very good as Jordan’s wife, in the film she is not only absurdly gorgeous, flirtatious and sassy, but she is also innocent, cares very much for the well-being of her family and children and she is a strong woman and goes through a hell of a lot because of Jordan. Lapaglia is very impressive and handles her emotion scenes very well and I hope to see her in more films.¬†Matthew McConaughey continues to be awesome as Mark Hanna, he’s this confident stoke broker who has some strange habits but also carries himself very well too.¬†Kyle Chandler was also pretty good as Patrick Denham who is the FBI guy hunting after Jordan, even though he’s a hard-ass, tough and very straight-arrowed, he does have some funny moments too.¬†Rob Reiner was also lovely as Max Belfort, Jordan’s dad. Max is the voice of reason for Jordan and he goes to great lengths to help his son out even when things start to get very hairy.

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Jon Bernthal as Brad Bodnick was another person worth mentioning as he was totally cool as hell, crazy and hilarious in his role and it is quite a transformation from being Shane in The Walking Dead.¬†Also having¬†Joanna Lumley as Aunt Emma was great, I wondered how she would factor into the film but she was nice, effective and quite funny too.¬†Jon Favreau as Manny Riskin was decent too as this role was a bit more serious for him and the part he played was pretty cool.¬†And I also wanted to mention Cristin Milioti as Teresa Petrillo,¬†P. J. Byrne as Nicky “Rugrat” Koskoff,¬†Kenneth Choi as Chester Ming (really funny),¬†Henry Zebrowski as Alden “Sea Otter” Kupferberg and¬†Ethan Suplee as Toby Welch who were also really good in the film. Oh and the small appearance from¬†Shea Whigham as Captain Ted Beecham was lovely.

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In conclusion The Wolf of Wall Street is a really good film full of charisma, hilarious scenarios and loads of bad influences everywhere. But behind all this dodgy material is a story worth telling with amazing performances especially from Leonardo DiCaprio and even though the film is 3 hours long, I didn’t notice the runtime at all. I had a good time with this film and I highly recommend it.

Rating: 8.5/10 (An incredible adrenaline rush full of humour, drama and chaos)

So what did you think of The Wolf of Wall Street? Whatever your thoughts are be sure to drop them in the comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review yo! ūüôā

 
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Posted by on January 18, 2014 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Interstellar Trailer #1 Review

Okay, I know this trailer’s been out for a little while already but I just had to give my thoughts on it, of course I am talking about Christopher Nolan’s next big film, Interstellar. There’s been a lot of talk about the film and its been hidden in secrecy for ages, and now we finally get a teaser trailer, however, it’s not exactly what I was expecting.

Just have a look at the teaser below:

Well, okay, erm, don’t really know what to say to that. Honestly I think this has to be one of the “wtf” teaser trailers I have ever seen, in the sense that it did absolutely nothing to tell you or show you what the film is about. Now below loads of people start coming over to this blow trying to rip me to shreds in the comments here me out for a second. I understand what a teaser trailer is, it is meant to give you a tiny taste of what the upcoming film is about and of course in recent years most trailer give away too much, however this trailer gives you NOTHING.

All you get is a load of archive footage related to humans and space travel with monologue by Matthew McConaughey, then you get some random film footage sliced in of a bookcase with a dusty plane toy kind of thing on it,¬†fields of corn, some people¬†holding hands and lastly McConaughey driving a car and that’s it. That is it. There was barely any film footage at all. I obviously wasn’t expecting too much from a film that’s still a year away, but to give people a trailer and have it consisted of mostly archive footage and then a few seconds of actual film footage and then the title of the films, that’s just no good.

Some people may be fine with it and some have argued it’s a great teaser and is what teaser trailers should be, however, I don’t think that this is a good teaser because unless you’re a fan of Nolan and/or have been following the film, you have absolutely NO IDEA what the hell this film is gonna be about. At least the recent Dawn of the Planet of the Apes teaser gave us something to work with.

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Now I’m sure this film will probably be awesome and we’ll probably get a better trailer down the road, but as it stands, the first teaser to Interstellar is not doing anything for me. Hate on me if you must, but that is my opinion on the matter.

What do you lot think of the teaser? Sound off your comments below yo! Laters. ūüôā

 
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Posted by on December 19, 2013 in Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Mud Review

Yay it’s time to talk about Mud, a film I’ve been looking forward to watching for good few months now. This film along with The Paperboy were Yesterday was the last day it was showing at my local cinema so I HAD to watch it before it left the cinema and so I did and I am glad because it was really good and I’m going to explain why in this review.

The premise for this film is as follows:

“Two teenage boys encounter a fugitive and form a pact to help him evade the bounty hunters on his trail and to reunite him with his true love.”

The story in this film is pretty much a drama which involves Mud but is more a coming-of-age story for the character Ellis, the latter of these two stories I was not expecting. Basically what we have is two boys who venture out to an island to find a boat in a tree that they want to use for their own, however there’s a shady man living there already, he’s on the run from the law but needs food. So he strikes a deal with the two boys, if they get him food he’ll give them the boat. Along with this one of the boys has family issues and finding out the highs and lows of love and relationships.¬†And what ensues is a series of events which are funny,¬†emotional and just downright sad at points. One of the main themes in this film was the concept of relationships with women and how complicated they can be and how different characters in the film deal with those situations. The story in this film is pretty good, its feels realistic and believable, and even though you can see where the plot is going at times and¬†the pacing is a bit questionable I was totally engaged from start to finish and was¬†satisfied by the time the film was over.

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The story is good, however, it really is the characters that bring this film to life. Let’s start with Matthew McConaughey as Mud, McConaughey was awesome¬†and had magnetic performance as this questionable¬†man who befriends these two kids because they help him out in his hour of need. Then there’s Tye Sheridan and Jacob Lofland as¬†Ellis and¬†Neckbone, both of them do an incredible job as these young boys who not only help Mud given his dodgy past but also have to deal with their own problems too. I especially have to give props to Tye Sheridan as Ellis, this is his film as much as Mud’s as the stuff he goes through is some really dramatic stuff for someone his age and Sheridan is really amazing at bringing his acting talents to the table.

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Reese Witherspoon as Juniper was also good as the woman who was the girlfriend of Mud and had situations of her own to deal with. I can’t say I’ve seen many films with Reese Witherspoon in them but she was good here. Then there’s Sam Shepard as Tom Blankenship was a really interesting character, at first he came across as a questionable old man, but I ended up really liking his character and his interactions with Mud and the boys. Also Michael Shannon as Galen was good, this was probably the most different role I’ve seen him in because he’s usually so mean in the stuff I’ve seen him in before but I liked what I saw in this film and Shannon was entertaining, I just wish there was more of him. Joe Don Baker as King was nice, he was a character that worked from behind the shadows but had some nice relevance to the plot.Ray McKinnon and Sarah Paulson as Senior and Mary Lee (Ellis’ parents) they were great and had some wonderful and dramatic scenes in the film. And lastly Paul Sparks as Carver was great, he was a right mean guy in this film and Sparks played that to great effect in this film. And am I the only one surprised to find two actors from Boardwalk Empire in the same film together?

In conclusion Mud was a film I really liked it, while the pacing was a pad questionable at points otherwise it was a cracking with some fine performances from the cast and a story that made me care about what was going on.

Rating: 8/10 (Definitely worth a watch for the performances alone)

So have any of you seen Mud and if so what did you think of it? Sound off your comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review yo! ūüėÄ

 
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Posted by on May 29, 2013 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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The Paperboy Review

I recall seeing the trailer for this film I think around a month ago and I knew from that point that this was a film that would be worth a watch. The story seems interesting and the cast was solid, so fast forward to Wednesday this week when I went to watch this film in the cinema and I have to say it was definitely something I’m not going to forget anytime soon.

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So the story of The Paperboy is set in the 1960s in Moat County, Florida. Here we have Jack Jansen; he’s the son of the local newspaper publisher and has the job of paperboy after he’s kicked out of college. But things change when Jack’s journalist brother Ward arrives from Miami hot on the trail of a story that could make his career. Along with writing partner Yardley, Ward wants to uncover the mystery behind inmate Hilary Van Wetter’s imprisonment and prove him innocent. And then there’s Charlotte Bless, a woman obsessed with prison-based men who has now taken a liking to Hilary who tags along with Ward and Yardley and supply them with information relating to the investigation. With Jack now as their driver, the four of them travel to prison to meet Hilary and try to help his situation. However what follows is a tale of mixed emotions, sexual tension, mystery and deceit.

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I thought the story in this film was very intriguing and at no point was I bored, as the plot advanced and thickened I just wanted to know more about each of the characters. Elements of the story and characters really fell into the area of strange and disturbing territories for me. Some of the secrets and mysterious behind these different situations are pretty unexpected and dramatic. There is one now-infamous scene in the film that everyone talks about. I won’t say what it is but it is a scene that sort of leaves on speechless. Annoyingly the specific scene question was ruined by Mark Kermode while watching one of his videos online, however that still didn’t stop the scene from being strange to watch.

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I think the strongest element of the film is the characters as the performances from the cast here is some of their strongest stuff for a while. Let’s start with Zac Efron as Jack Jansen. In this film he plays a young adult with issues in his past and has a pretty dull life until the return of his brother and his first encounter with Charlotte Bless. After seeing her he becomes obsessed and wants to court her, but due to Charlotte’s love for Hilary it creates emotional and sexual complications for them. I think this is his finest performance to date. Now I have to say I have become a fan of his in recent years, while I stay away from his romantic films, after I saw him in Me and Orson Welles I knew he had actual talent. In this film his talent is on show as much as he is in his underwear for a lot of the film too haha. Then we have Matthew McConaughey as Ward Jansen, he was really as this journalist who tried was well-headed and stayed in control of most of the situations he was in. I don’t have much to say about McConaughey besides the fact that he played his role very well and I was impressed.

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Let’s move onto the most surprising performance in the film which was Nicole Kidman as Charlotte Bless. My god, what difference from her other roles! I have never a transformation for a role. Kidman was simply captivating as this sexually charged prison groupie who is a complicated and vulnerable person that has wants and needs. You can see that she knows what she wants and tries to keep Jack away at a distance because of his young love for her. The other notable performance would be from John Cusack as Hillary Van Wetter, he was a creepy individual who was calm and collected in is meetings with Ward, Yardley and Jack; however with Charlotte they have a connection of the sexual kind that comes to the surface a points. This is most different kind of performance I have seen from Cusack; it was quite strange and disturbing.

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Now we move onto David Oyelowo as Yardley Acheman, he was surprisingly intriguing as Ward’s writing partner. He brought some humour to the film and some reliability too both due to the fact that he was black and English too. And lastly we have Macy Gray who plays as Anita but also acts as the narrator of the film too. I thought she was simply fabulous. I also liked how she was the innocent party in this watching the chaos ensue from a distance as the maid for the Jansen family. The relationship between her and Jack is sweet and lovely to watch, Gray and Efron have great chemistry together on-screen. I know Gray has made some film appearances over the years but this is the first time I’ve seen her in years and I’m glad I did, she does have some acting talent.

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When it comes to the presentation its pretty good, visually the cinematography and lighting is nice and there is a use of film grain in the film which I think really worked for the film especially because of it 60s setting. Also the soundtrack by Mario Grigorov was very good at conveying emotions and amplifying the dramatic elements of the film, it can be quiet unnerving and creepy at points, also the collection of songs in the film was nice to listen to too.

So to conclude The Paperboy was a film that was definitely an interesting film which left me with mixed feelings after I left the cinema. I kind of feel the same way about this film like I did with On The Road, it has some very interesting and impressive elements but some elements are unnerving and awkward to watch for me. I still recommend the film for the story and performances of the cast which is very good and unforgettable.

Rating: 7.5/10 (I recommend it for the story and cast alone)

So what did you think of The Paperboy? Whatever your thoughts drop them below and I‚Äôll see ya on the next review yo! ūüėÄ

 
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Posted by on March 21, 2013 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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