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SIMPLE REVIEW: Kill the Messenger

Howdy people of the internet, time for another SIMPLE REVIEW where I tell you my thoughts on a film in a more condensed manner then my standard reviews, and today I’ll be discussing Kill the Messenger. Now before I went to see Chappie (review here) I went to see this film out of curiosity since the plot sounded interesting and I didn’t think the film would be in my local cinema for too long. So after watching it I’m ready to pass judgement.

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Here the story summary:

“A reporter becomes the target of a vicious smear campaign that drives him to the point of suicide after he exposes the CIA’s role in arming Contra rebels in Nicaragua and importing cocaine into California. Based on the true story of journalist Gary Webb.”

If Nightcrawler showed the corrupt side of journalism from the reporters, then this film showed corruption from the people being investigated. This film illustrated how dangerous and tricky the world of journalism can be when you’re reporting on a sensitive subject matter, and it gets more engaging because you know this film is based on true events. Gary is searching for the truth and has good intentions, however what he doesn’t realise is how his story involving the government is going to have serious repercussions as the government and media go on the attack and try their best to make sure that there’s no substance to his work. It was interesting to see how obsessed Gary got with the story and how the media went from being on his side to changing their opinions once some dirt was dug up on not only his sources but also his personal history. The film also goes to show how fickle the world of journalism can be. You can tell the truth, but without evidence you’re basically screwed and no matter how good your intentions are there will always be people out there trying to shut you down with threats, hearsay and other underhanded tactics. It really makes you want to stay away from this line of business because you can never really be safe.

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As for the cast I thought they all did well in their roles. Firstly, Jeremy Renner, he was SO good as Gary Webb. Now Renner is an actor I really like, whether it be The Town, Mission Impossible 4, American Hustle or The Avengers, he normally turns in a good performance, however, before now I had yet to see a film that I could say was “Renner’s film”, however this film is it. Renner does so well here showing why he is a force to be reckoned with acting with such flair, charm, aggression and drama, you really connect with this character once his world starts falling apart and he’s facing scrutiny from the media and fears for the safety of his family. The rest of the cast turn in good performances as well. Rosemarie DeWitt was really good as Susan Webb, she acted with a good amount of versatility and realsim.Ray Liotta was good as John Cullen but I wish I had seen more of him.Mary Elizabeth Winstead did really well as Anna Simons, she was smart, cautious and supportive, Oliver Platt was also pretty good as Jerry Ceppos, while Paz Vega was really gorgeous and cheeky as Coral Baca. And finally I enjoyed seeing Michael Sheen as Fred Weil and Michael K. Williams as “Freeway” Rick Ross.

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In conclusion Kill the Messenger is a pretty good film with a strong cast and an interesting story worth telling. While some of the story elements can get a little hard to follow at times due to a lot of jargon and some pacing issues, for the most part this is a great film that deserves your time.

Rating: 7.5/10

So have you seen this film and if so what did you think of it? Please leave your thoughts below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on March 13, 2015 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Chef Mini Review

Howdy ladies and gents and welcome to another film review, today I will be reviewing Chef, a film that was released in the summer that I really wanted to see, but due to limited film screenings I missed it. However, thanks to Cineworld’s “Take 2 Thursdays” I got the chance to check it out and now I will pass judgement in this small review.

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The film can be summed up in the following premise:

“A chef who loses his restaurant job starts up a food truck in an effort to reclaim his creative promise, while piecing back together his estranged family.”

I thought the story for the most part was pretty good, it did take a while for the film to find its feet and there were some tonal problems here and there, but for the most part this was an interesting film that deals with the pressures of life, pride, reconnecting with your past and doing what you love. The film’s main story surrounding Carl was pretty interesting and emotional at times, but I felt like it worked best when his son and co-workers were involved. The dramatic elements were the best parts of the film as I they felt genuine and were better executed than the humour which I felt wasn’t as snappy or witty as some other comedies I have seen this year.

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When it comes to the cast they are all very good. Jon Favreau as Carl Casper was very nice, I haven’t Favreau in many films, however, this is probably the best performance I have seen from him. Carl is a man who has been through a lot, he loves food and is very passionate, but has a hard time doing things his own way and finding a way to connect with his son. The man goes on a journey which is very emotional and Favreau brings his A-game. Emjay Anthony as Percy was really good as Carl and Inez’s son. Percy’s a boy who wants to be part of his father’s life, however, because the nature of his parents’ relationship and his father’s work, he does feel lonely. Anthony was pretty good in this role and I believed in his struggles and emotions when it came to his father and his cooking. John Leguizamo was awesome as Martin. This man is Carl’s friend and partner, they both share the same love for food and he has Carl’s back when they go off on their food adventure. Leguizamo is a man who I’ve really started to like over the last year and that continues in this film as he is very charismatic and funny.

Sofia Vergara as Inez was good, she was beautiful and funny, Scarlett Johansson was gorgeous as Molly, another friend of Carl, who always supports him and wants him to strive for more. Bobby Cannavale was hilarious as Tony, he had a lot of good scenes and it was great/strange to see Cannavale in this role after his appearance in Boardwalk Empire. Dustin Hoffman is great as Riva, while Robert Downey, Jr. as Marvin, could have been played by anyone, that being said RDJ’s contribution to the film was greatly appreciated because of his charm and finally Oliver Platt as Ramsey Michel is very good as the online food critic.

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In conclusion Chef is a feel-good film with a good if somewhat familiar story with fun performances, beautiful food and a lovely soundtrack. It isn’t perfect and the humour’s a bit off, but overall it works.

Rating: 7/10

So have you seen Chef, and if so what did you think of it? Leave your comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters!

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

 

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Month of Superhero Film Reviews: X-Men: First Class

Howdy ladies and gentlemen and welcome to Day #30, the LAST DAY of my Month of Superhero Film Reviews! Over this month I’ve been reviewing of some of the best and worst comic book adapted films. So after one okay X-Men film, the brilliant second film, the disgusting third film and I can’t be arsed with the Wolverine one, we’re now going to conclude this month of reviews with the only other great X-Men film in the form of X-Men: First Class.

Man I remember seeing this in the cinema and being very surprised at the end result, I mean I’d had to live through both X-Men 3 and X-Men Origins: Wolverine so my expectations were set incredibly low. Luckily this film found a way to be dramatic, cool, interesting and while it may not have totally convinced all of the X-Men fanboys out there, overall it was a good injection of awesomeness into the X-Men film series. So now in 2013 I’m gonna review it again and see how it fares.

When it comes to the story of X-Men: First Class it is set primarily in 1962 during the Cuban Missile Crisis, and focuses on the origins Charles Xavier (Professor X) and Erik Lensherr (Magneto), two mutants brought up from very different backgrounds who as adults have different ideas of how they see world as a species different to humans. The film focuses on the formation of Charles and Erik’s friendship, the relationship between them and how their differing opinions about humankind and mutantkind split them apart into groups that would eventually become the X-Men (the good guys) and the Brotherhood of Mutants (the bad guys).

The story in this film is very good as it was smart, emotional and had a great deal of character development. I loved seeing the story behind Charles Xavier and Erik Lensherr, we got to see new sides to them and witness some of their new abilities too. It is great to see their meeting and the focus of their relationship, the ups and downs and the eventual fall out that leads to them being on opposing sides. I like setting in this film, its much older point in time with various situations which allows for a lot of different stories to be told, some of which are interwoven. The whole Cuban Missile Crisis is a great setting for this film as the writers find a way to incorporate the mutants into it in a smart and sophisticated manner. There are problems in this film, at points there’s not enough screen time for many of the character involved and there are some unsatisfied conclusions to some of the characters and story elements.

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Now let’s talk about the cast. James McAvoy as Charles Xavier/Professor X. McAvoy gives us a very different interpretation of the classic character we know from the comics, here is a more charismatic ladies man who while intelligent is a lot less of a serious character than we’re used to. I really liked McAvoy’s version of Xavier, he’s very cool, funny and epic when he’s serious. Then we have Michael Fassbender as Erik Lensherr/Magneto,  here is a character who had a rough upbringing and definitely has a grudge against humans, especially Sebastian Shaw. I loved Fassbender in this role, he was incredibly intimidating, raw, badass and all-round amazing, he gave us a more sympathetic version of the character and gave justification as to why he is who he is at the beginning of the Bryan Singer film.

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And then there’s Kevin Bacon as Sebastian Shaw, I thought Bacon was awesome as the bad guy of this film. His back story as a former Nazi scientist and the leader of the Hellfire Club and I thought his character while a bit ridiculous at times was actually really cool, evil and had some nice moments. Jennifer Lawrence as Raven Darkholme/Mystique, Lawrence’s performance as Mystique is very different from what we’re used to. This character is more reserved and is trying to come to terms with her ability, she’s been made to hide her true self by Charles but after coming into contact with Magneto her opinions change. I loved Lawrence in this role as she was super beautiful and very convincing in her role. January Jones as Emma Frost looks hot as hell and I’m glad that her comic book look was added in the film, the problem with her character is that she was a bit bland. Nicholas Hoult as Dr. Henry “Hank” McCoy/Beast, in this film Hank is a bit of annoying character because rather than embracing his mutant heritage he’s instead trying to rid himself of his powers, which obviously doesn’t work out too well for him. Hoult is good but not nearly as good as the other members of the X-Men team, at least not until after he becomes Beast. As for Rose Byrne as Moira MacTaggert, she was pretty hot and I liked her in the film.

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Zoë Kravitz was nice Angel Salvadore though I wasn’t too keen on how her character progressed. Caleb Landry Jones as Sean Cassidy/Banshee was okay and a bit funny but a tad annoying at times. Lucas Till as Alex Summers/Havok was nice, though I didn’t like how much of a douche he was towards Hank. Edi Gathegi I feel bad for as Armando Muñoz/Darwin, he seemed like a cool character but he’s severely wasted for plot purposes. And then we have Jason Flemyng as Azazel, this film’s equivalent of Nightcrawler (even though he’s technically Nightcrawler’s father). Even though Flemyng doesn’t say anything he’s really cool and has some great fight scenes. Álex González as Janos Quested/Riptide was okay, but he barely spoke and just threw around a lot of whirlwinds so he wasn’t too good of a bad guy. And lastly Oliver Platt as Man In Black Suit, he had some funny scenes and I enjoyed his role in the film.

Now let’s talk about the presentation. Visually the film is pretty impressive. The CGI is very nice good, there are some awesome effects used for action sequences involving Magneto, Azazel and Sebastian Shaw. I love so much of the fights and action and explosions in this film, it’s this kind of spectacle that the series has been missing for a while now. Though I have to say the effects for Beast’s face is questionable which goes from looking okay to pretty ugly. As for the soundtrack by Henry Jackson I think that it’s really good. It is sophisticated, emotional, loud and awesome at various points throughout the film and my favourite song was “Rage and Serenity“, the scene where it’s used is epic and so beautiful.

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And lastly how does it compare to the comics? Well as I’ve said before I know the X-Men mainly from the cartoons, a few comic books and Marvel Ultimate Alliance. Like the previous films there are a lot of differences and updates to the characters and story from the source material. What I noticed was the inclusion of Nightcrawler’s father, Azazel, we got to see more of Charles and Erik’s powers and there was also the inclusion of Emma Frost too. But there was some messy elements like the inclusion of Alex Summers which was bit questionable and the treatment of Frost’s character personality too.

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So to conclude X-Men: First Class is cracking good comic book film which takes the basic elements of the source material and modifies it in a way where it works in a dramatic and awesome way. The story is great and I love the focus on Charles and Erik’s relationship, the central performances from James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender are incredible and there is plenty of action to satisfy the masses. While it may not be a perfect X-Men film that fans were looking for, I feel like Matthew Vaughn did a great job at bringing this franchise back from the shitter and into the good place in the realm of superhero films.

Rating: 8/10 (A fine film and bloody good step in the right direction for the X-Men film series!)

So there’s my review people, THE LAST ONE DONE! So have you seen X-Men: First Class and if so what are your thoughts on it? Drop me a comment and let me know your thoughts yo!

Well its been a hectic month, but I just about made it through, thanks for reading and a special thank you goes out to Tim The Film Guy for commenting and liking my material, you rule dude! Alright later on peeps!

 
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Posted by on June 30, 2013 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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