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Month of Superhero Film Reviews 2: Constantine

Howdy people of the north, south, east and west, and welcome to Day #15 of Month of Superhero Film Reviews 2! During this month I’ll be reviewing of some of the best, average and worst comic book adapted films. Now that we’ve reached the halfway point I wanted to review a film that has been on the list for while which is the 2005 film version of Constantine.

Constantine-2005-poster

This is one of those films I never knew much about upon its initial release, it wasn’t until my late teens that I found out what it was and how it was based on a comic book series. I’ve been meaning to watch this for years but just never had the time or interest to sit down and give it a watch. So with the TV show from last year being cancelled recently it feels like a convenient yet perfect time to talk about this film adaptation from 10 years ago.

The story can be summed up as the following:

“John Constantine is a cynic with the ability to perceive and communicate with half-angels and half-demons in their true form. He seeks salvation from eternal damnation in Hell for a suicide attempt in his youth. Constantine exorcises demons back to Hell in a bid to earn favor with Heaven but has become weary over time. With death looming, he helps a troubled police detective learn the truth about her sister’s death while simultaneously unraveling a much larger and darker plot.”

The story is alright but not very engaging. This kind of supernatural action stuff is right up my ally, I like films or TV shows that deal with life and death, demons and monsters and takes the basic principles of what the bible has taught about angels and devils and is able to create its own mythology. But this film just doesn’t present any of that in a good way, it’s interesting at times, but none of it feels very cool or informative, actually at times I didn’t know what was going on because there was little information given for why certain things were happening. But the main issue I had with this film was that it was boring, yes boring, offensively boring. The worst offense a film can commit is bordem and believe i was feeling it from the beginning. I didn’t care about John or Angela or the big deal with the Spear of Destiny because everything felt so dull, cryptic, monotone and there was no tension or suspense. Maybe it was just a bad day to watch a film, maybe it was because I was pretty tired, but this story did nothing for me.

Constantine-2005

Now let’s talk about the cast. Keanu Reeves as John Constantine, wow what a bore. I do like Keanu Reeves but he was the wrong man to play Constantine, the character from the comics from what I’ve researched is a bit more douche, lively and charismatic and has a way with words, but Reeves’ version of the character has none of that. Beyond the comparison to the comics, Constantine is a moody guy with no personality, relatable traits or cool one-liners, he has nothing that makes me care about him so when he’s in danger or dying, I don’t care. Rachel Weisz was slighty better as Angela Dodson, though I wasn’t keen on her or what she was doing when looking into the death of her sister, the only thing that kept me watching was Weisz. She’s one of my favourite actresses and she made this character tolerable. Tilda Swinton as Gabriel was interesting, Swinton was good and she was probably the most redeeming aspect of this film. Shia LaBeouf is alright but severely underused as Chas Kramer, Pruitt Taylor Vince as Father Hennessy was decent but his character made me laugh more than anything else (definitely unintentionally) and Djimon Hounsou was interesting as Papa Midnite, but I would have liked to have seen more of him to get a sense of his abilities. Peter Stormare as Lucifer was decent but over the top and cartoonish, and he made me feel uncomfortable.

-Constantine

Now let’s talk about the presentation. Visually the film is nice with its action scenes and the visual effects used for the monsters and depiction of hell is cool, however the colour palette of this film feel very orange/sepia and washed out and I would have liked a more varied colour palatte and unique art direction given to creatures. As for the soundtrack by Klaus Badelt and Brian Tyler, it was good but nothing memorable.

And lastly how does it compare to the comics? Well I’ve never read any of the source material so I can’t comment on it personally, but from what I’ve heard from fans of the source material it wasn’t very faithful at all, I guess that’s why we got the TV show that did much better despite getting cancelled.

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So to conclude Constantine is a film that just didn’t do anything for me. I know some that don’t think it was too bad and some that actually enjoy it, but for me the story felt long-winded and didn’t make much sense at all, the characters were semi decent and the action while good was nothing mind-blowing. I know I won’t be watching this again any time soon.

Rating: 5/10

That’s 15 reviews done, only 15 more to go. So have you seen Constantine 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 15, 2015 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.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/a/a0/Lawless_film_poster.jpg

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! 😀

 
2 Comments

Posted by on September 12, 2012 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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