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The Railway Man Review

Continuing with the film reviews today I’m gonna now talk about The Railway Man a film that caught my eye around a month ago with a really strong and emotional trailer. So does it work? Read on and find out.

Story can be described as the following:

“During World War II, Eric Lomax (Colin Firth) is a British officer who is captured by the Japanese in Singapore and sent to a POW camp, where he is forced to work on the Thai-Burma Railway. During his time in the camp, Lomax is tortured by the Kempetai primarily for building a radio.

Years later, and still suffering the psychological trauma of his wartime experiences, Lomax, with the help of his wife Patti, and best friend Finlay (Skarsgård), decides to find and confront one of his captors. Lomax returns to the scene of his torture and manages to track down his captor, Japanese officer Takashi Nagase (Sanada), from the prison camp, “in an attempt let go of a lifetime of bitterness and hate”.”

From the trailer I was expecting a really emotional story full of pain, suffering, drama and resolution and while this film presents that, I feel like it wasn’t delivered as effectively as I thought it would. There are definitely moments that work and that mainly revolves around the initial meeting of Lomax and his wife, Lomax’s current physiological episodes and his past in the war, along with the torture scenes and Lomax’s eventual confrontation with Nagase too. Any time the film diverts from that it comes really does drag and gets a little boring (and it didn’t help that I fell asleep twice :S).

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When it comes to the cast they were pretty good with the main stand out people being Colin Firth and Jeremy Irvine. Let’s start with Colin Firth as Eric Lomax. Firth was really good as this scarred individual who had endured a great deal of pain and suffering in WWII, he’s on his own and keeps his past to himself but also suffers from moments of pain from his past. It isn’t until Eric encounters Patti that things change, however things do not remain that way for long. Who might be slightly more impressive is Jeremy Irvine as young Eric Lomax, his performance is so convincing, energetic and he handles the physical side of his role so well and he really does come off as a hunger version of Firth.

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Hiroyuki Sanada as the older Takashi Nagase was pretty good as you could see that he’d changed and was no longer the person that he was before, but hand not forgotten the times from his past. Sanada handled his material with great care and a good emotional range especially towards the end of the film. Tanroh Ishida was also good as the younger Takashi Nagase too. Also Nicole Kidman as Patti Lomax was good, she was a lovely lady and was very understanding especially given Eric’s history and you have to give her props for sticking around for that long even when their relationship gets rough whenever Eric’s past is brought up. The only person I didn’t really care for was Stellan Skarsgård as Finlay, I understood why he was there and why he was relevant to the plot, but in the end I wasn’t really invested in the character to care about him because his relevance pales in comparison to Lomx and Nagase. The same goes for Sam Reid as young Finlay who did a decent job but again not enough for me to really be bothered about him.

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In conclusion The Railway Man is a good film, however I feel like more could have been done to elevate the emotional punches that the film was trying to the convey. The performances from the cast are good and where it matters the story hits its marks, but I feel like the pacing and middle of the film just weren’t up to scratch.

Rating: 6.5/10 (A decent film that just wasn’t as interesting as I had hoped)

So what did you think The Railway Man? Whatever your thoughts were drop them in the comment section below and I’ll catch ya on the next blog post yo! 🙂

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

 

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Month of Superhero Film Reviews: Batman Forever

Howdy ladies and gentlemen and welcome to Day #24 of my Month of Superhero Film Reviews! During this month I’ll be reviewing of some of the best and worst comic book adapted films. So we’ve covered the Tim Burton Batman films, now let’s talk about the more light-hearted and lesser liked follow-up film slightly controversial sequel in the form of Batman Forever.

Okay now we’re talking about the 90s Batman and this is probably where I started watching Batman in the live-action films when I was a kid. I remember really liking this. For a while I loved this film for its characters, action and kick ass soundtrack, so after a while I grow up and even though I was teenager after the Christopher Nolan films had come out, I still liked watching this film. But now I haven’t seen it in a good few years so now let’s go through this film and see if my thoughts have changed at all.

As for the plot it focuses on Batman trying to stop Two-Face and the Riddler in their villainous scheme to drain information from all the brains in Gotham City. He gains allegiance from a love interest in the form of psychiatrist Dr. Chase Meridian and a young, orphaned circus acrobat named Dick Grayson, who becomes his iconic sidekick Robin.

I thought the plot in this film was alright. There a good few ideas in this film like how Batman questioning his act of vengeance due to what happened to his parents and then there’s Bruce struggling with his dual identity too. We also have the introduction of Dick Grayson and his storyline and Edward Nigma’s plot too which all sounds pretty good on paper too. The problem is that way its done in the film is not nearly as effective as it could have been. Due to the direction by Joel Schumacher, this film adopts a much more child-friendly approach which mean that all the more serious aspects are watered down and it doesn’t help that the script a little on the weak side offering up some half-assed material and stupid coincidences that really shouldn’t be taking place in a Batman film. You know what the film emulates the feel from the Adam West 1960’s TV show, it feels very similar with the colourful villains, crazy situations and levels of campiness.

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Now let’s talk about the cast. In my opinion Val Kilmer makes for a great Bruce Wayne and Batman. I Kilmer’s portrayal of Bruce Wayne and I also like his calm and collected Batman too. As for Nicole Kidman she was good as Dr. Chase Meridian. Firstly she is SUPER gorgeous in this film and she was one of my first film actress crushes. That aside, I liked her character, she was smart and sophisticated and a good love interest for Bruce Wayne thought I wasn’t keen on how obsessed she was with Batman or how she was a damsel in distress in the climax.

Then there’s Tommy Lee Jones as Harvey Dent/Two-Face. Somehow Billy Dee Williams disappeared and is replaced by Tommy Lee Jones. I feel like Jones was okay in role but he was far too wacky, over-the-top and was in no way as good as he was in the comics. And then there’s Jim Carrey as Edward Nigma/The Riddler as the second villain in the film. In this film he’s a bit of a sympathetic character and you can understand his a motive for become evil. Even though Jim Carrey is pretty much Jim Carrey in this film which can be frustrating at times, I feel like he’s way better villain because he has better motive and more screen time devoted to his character. These two together are like children stuck in older men’s bodies, they’re so crazy and out of control that its very reminiscent of an episode from Looney Tunes.

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As for Chris O’Donnell as Dick Grayson/Robin, I thought he was alright, thought he did moan a little too much for my liking. He was still decent once he became Robin, but wasn’t as skilful as his comic book counterpart. And lastly Michael Gough is still great as Alfred Pennyworth, he’s still reliable, funny and I like how he’s the faithful family faithful butler and Bruce’s confidant.

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Now let’s talk about the presentation. Visually the film is insanely colourful and way more vivid and bright than Tim Burton’s darker and moody colour palette. Gotham is still a unique and distinctive-looking city, it is way more colourful and accessible to child audiences though it is a bit excessive for me especially with all the additional special effects that’s found in this film. The action in this film is of a pretty extra in this film and is way more in line with the comic book and 1960’s TV show too. As for the soundtrack by Elliot Goldenthal I personally really like it. The score is loud, bombastic and works well with the style of the film. I really like the new main theme for this film, it is one of my favourite themes ever! It’s so epic and heroic, I even had it on CD when I was like 7 years old and played it on repeat. That’s how much I loved this song!

And lastly how does it compare to the comics? As I said before my knowledge mainly comes from the Batman cartoons and research online. Well in this film we have the inclusion of Robin, The Riddler and Two-Face and while some of their character origins are the same, the way they’re depicted that’s questionable and different. Firstly Robin is a hell of a lot older and not a boy at all and he’s whole persona is wrong, then there’s the Riddler who is just a lot comedy-based than usual and then there’s Two-Face, I’m sure he was meant to be more of a serious character but here’s portrayed as a much sillier and campier character which really doesn’t work for the comic book fans.

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So to conclude Batman Forever is a film that I like from a nostalgic stand point and I think it’ll honestly have a special place in my heart. But it obviously isn’t exactly the Batman film that fans were hoping for after the Tim Burton approach and I can say that I don’t like the film nearly as much as I did before. However Batman Forever is still decent, it’s not nearly as painful as some say and I think its WAY more tolerable than its sequel, so if you haven’t watched it and you’re curious, give it a chance.

Rating: 6/10 (Its cheesy, campy and a little silly, but it’s still fun!)

So there’s my review people, only 6 more to go. So have you seen Batman Forever and if so what are your thoughts on it? Drop me a comment and let me know your thoughts yo! Come back tomorrow and I’ll have a new film review online, until then peace out!

 
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Posted by on June 24, 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’ll see ya on the next review yo! 😀

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

 

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