The Avengers: Age Of Ultron – Movie Review

image

This being a film that I wasn’t very interested in seeing, I found it to be moderately interesting. That’s not to say though, that if I was interested in seeing it, that I would have found it to be any different. The film itself I was just able to bear. The CGI was done well on the majority of the film too. The characters were the same old, same old. There was a particularly strange love interest in there, that seemed almost like they just put it there to entice audiences into watching it. That being said, they did well to convey a sense of love between the two. The plotline, however, was something that anyone would have guessed and everyone probably did. I know I did.
The usual plotline for a superhero film is that the good guys are having a good time, living life. The bad guys are shown plotting something. The good guys aren’t any the wiser and then the bad guys show up, causing mayhem. There’s a love interest somewhere, which subsequently gets messed with by the bad guys in some way or another. The good guys and bad guys fight in some big battle and the good guys struggle to survive the attack. After almost all hope is lost, the good guys miraculously manage to save the day. They all live happily ever after.
There… that about sums up the usual comic book film, and to be fair, the majority of almost any film with a hero and a villain.
I never understood the fascination of films that are so similar, like comic book films. They’re great for entertainment purposes, but that’s about it. I’m not saying it was a terrible film, because it wasn’t. It just wasn’t that great… especially with all the hype that surrounded the film.
A big flaw I found with the CGI in this film however, was at the very start when they’re all racing through the snowy forest. A few of the soldiers are being thrown about and it all looks incredibly fake. The CGI just looked bad. They spent money and effort making the rest of the film look superb, which paid off, but it’s just that scene that is a let down for me. Even some of the Avengers aren’t terribly well done.
As for the acting, among others, James Spader as Ultron was great and so was Paul Bettany as Jarvis.
If you’re a Marvel fan, or love comic book/superhero movies, or even if you just want some entertainment for a few hours, then this a good film to go and watch.
One of my favourite posters of the film is below

image

The Theory Of Everything – Movie Review

image

This film is a visually beautiful portrayal of Stephen Hawking’s life. It follows Hawking through his time at Cambridge University and into his first marriage. One of the most fascinating aspects of the movie is that Eddie Redmayne contorts himself perfectly. Apparently Redmayne would sit alone in front of the mirror for hours on end, perfecting his ‘Hawking’ and training his body to accept the contortion. It’s no wonder he won an Oscar, Golden Globe and a BAFTA for his performance!
The film talks through the scientific findings that Stephen made and still manages to add humour, by adding quirky moments and one-liners. One of the most memorable is when Stephen’s fictional friend (He was created for the film) carries him up some stairs and asks him about his sex life, to which Hawking answers that he is still fully potent. In real life, he never brings up his sex life, as it’s a taboo subject.
The fictional friend, however, was made up from attitudes of Stephen’s friends. Jane said this about it, “Stephen’s fellow lodgers and research students” at Cambridge: “They talked to him in his own intellectual terms, sometimes caustically sarcastic, sometimes crushingly critical, always humorous. In personal terms, however, they treated him with a gentle consideration which was almost loving.”
A fun fact for you, apparently in the scene where Jane is talking to Stephen on the bed, when Stephen says “Thank you”, it wasn’t actually scripted. The scene didn’t have any words, but Redmayne improvised… and it works beautifully. Redmayne and the director talk about that particular scene and what happened here:

From the big moments of Stephen’s life, to the littlest moments, this film is sublime. The cinematography adds something absolutely beautiful to it.
This is one of those films that you will just have to watch, as words cannot describe the perfection that it holds.

Fast and Furious 7 – Movie Review

image

I had been contemplating watching this film for a while, ever since I heard about it being made. I got a chance to see it and so… here are my thoughts.

Just to clarifyn, I have only seen the first three films of this franchise and I’m not into cars. Yes, I know it’s hard to believe, a guy that isn’t mad on cars. Don’t get me wrong, I still get a thrill from looking at cars and watching them race and so on, but I just don’t get as ecstatic as some car enthusiasts would. In my opinion, the second instalment from the series is the best. That street race at the start is incredible.

Fast and Furious 7 is a high octane thrill ride and cannot be compared to any other (non-furious) film. The fast paced action, the ridiculously insane stunts, the cars that have been buffed to perfection and the model perfect women that in this film seem to take over every scene with extras in it, all add to the atmosphere that makes the Fast and Furious films what they are. For me, one of the only major differences in this instalment, was the knowing that this was the very last film that Paul Walker was in. The sad passing of a massively loved actor has helped bring millions of people together and has also added a strange feeling to the seventh film. Throughout Paul’s scenes, you keep thinking about it all. For me, every word that was said about family and the future, seemed to hit home more. That being said, this made the ending so much more emotional than it was originally filmed to be. I’ll speak more on that later though.

The whole film revolves around Owen Shaw’s brother, Deckard Shaw, avenging him. If you have no idea who Deckard is, I’m talking about Jason Statham. You might be thinking “Wait… isn’t he Ian Shaw?”. Well, the answer is no. I’m not entirely sure what happened, but somewhere along the line, the name was changed. ‘Ian’ may have even been a rumour. It seems to be plastered everywhere though, without much correction. The credits even state him as Ian Shaw. From what I can gather, it may be due to ‘Ian’ sounding a little like ‘Owen’. Personally, Deckard Shaw sounds a lot better and more like a villain’s name.
Anyway! The film revolves around Deckard avenging his brother and about a super computer program that can basically track anyone down, within a few hours to even a few minutes.
Throughout the film, various stunts take place, which seem impossible. Apparently they really did drop cars from a plane and really did crash do some of the ‘driving a car through the Abu Dhabi towers’ though. Obviously a lot of CGI work was done on the towers one, but they tried to be as non-CGI as possible. Yes, even the cars attached to parachutes was really done. The most impressive of all the stunts though, has to be the bus falling off the edge of the cliff, whilst the car drifts mere inches from the edge and Paul’s character, Brian, runs up the bus and jumps through the air, grabbing the back of the car. It’s the most impressive, daring and most implausible stunts of the film… and yet was created without any CGI work. Apart from the fact that it was filmed in a quarry and not on a beautiful winding road, as depicted in the film.
Despite the efforts to make this film incredibly entertaining, I was finding myself getting fed up with the constant action. I know it’s something that always happens in this series, and maybe it was just an off day for me, but after a while I just found it all a bit repetitive. I could go on for hours about the rest of the film, but I won’t. I do, however, want to mention the ending. I don’t want to give it away though, as it is sublime and definitely the one of the best scenes in the film. Shot on a beach, I’m assuming that it was originally filmed with Paul Walker as a ‘holiday’ scene, presumably with only himself and his family. From what I could see, it seems as if they shot more footage of the other cast members at the beach at a late date, splicing together all the shots and superimposing Paul’s face into the shot of him standing and walking away. The emotion you see in the faces of the cast is real, as they remember Paul, their brother. The scene that follows this also contains a flashback montage of Paul in the films and also showed the brotherly love beteen Vin Diesel and Paul Walker. Altogether, along with the final shots of the film, which are perfect and also accompanied by a beautiful song, the film rounds off the franchise in perfect way and also sends off Paul Walker in one of the most beautiful tributes I have ever seen.
If you haven’t already, I recommend seeing this film. Even if it is just for the ending!

Fifty Shades Of Grey – Movie Review

image

(SPOILER WARNING)
I’m probably one out of a very little number of men that has read the first book, but I actually enjoyed it quite a lot. Despite this being the case, the film really did not live up to the standard that I was expecting. The casting of Ana and Christian was pretty much perfect, but the way that some scenes were portrayed was completely wrong. Not from the acting aspect, but from the script aspect. For some reason, it was a mess. It was a jumbled mash of various parts of the books. I know this could be said for a number of films that derived from books, but that’s going off topic. One of the scenes in mention here is the “walk in the woods” scene. What on earth were they thinking?! The original scene with Christian telling Ana about Mrs Robinson was set in a cafe! What’s more, the scene in the film ploughs straight into the mention of Mrs Robinson! No lead-up, no fore-mention. Nothing. Mrs Robinson is brought up in the books well before the main mention.
The other scene that completely runs away from the original, is the dinner scene at the Heathman Hotel. The one that Christian has booked all to himself for dinner with Ana.
In the film? …It’s set in the Grey Enterprises building!
It’s scenes like that when I don’t understand what they were thinking when they decided to practically rip the books apart. I understand from a filmmaking point of view, that it’s difficult to fit an entire book into a two hour film, but they could have followed it a lot more, including more of the book and in the correct order! It seems as if the movie was made for one reason and one reason only… money.
Saying all of that though, I quite enjoyed most parts of the film and even though there was a strong sexual element in the film, they didn’t play too much on only showing that side of the story. They also showed us the sexual tension and the lust that pulsed from both Ana and Christian, seemingly straight from the pages of the book. The only downside for Christian’s character, is that they made him too serious. In the book, he eventually loosens up a bit more around Ana.
Overall, I’m not sure if I would recommend this movie, but seeing as it’s worth at least a small watch of it, then please feel free to go and watch it.

image

The Imitation Game – Movie Review

image

I have to admit that going into this film, I had no idea what it was going to be about.
From the start of the film, I was enthralled with the acting abilities of Benedict Cumberbatch. I knew he was an incredible actor, but his portrayal of Alan Turing was phenomenal.
The film is about how Alan Turing discovered a way to crack the Enigma code, which was a code language devised by the german army, in order to encrypt their messages to each other.
It also shows the struggle that gay men had around the time of World War II.
Through love and loss, the times that hurt, the good and the bad times, this movie shows us what it was like for Alan Turing during those years. Cracking the Enigma code is just the very start of Turing’s story, as he has also never stopped loving someone, he was quite lonely and he struggled to find people that understood him.
It’s quite a strange connection between Cumberbatch’s Turing and Keira Knightley’s Joan, as they get on well and like a lot of things that each other likes, but yet there’s the aspect that Turing would never be in a fully loving relationship with her, due to his sexuality.
Once we see Turing start to build his answer to cracking the Enigma code, things start to get increasingly tense between the team of code breakers, as Turing is no longer helping them work on the code, but is off in his own little world, creating his masterpiece.
It’s all worth it in the end, as his friends finally come around to liking him fully again and are grateful for the easier and quicker way of cracking the code.
The only other thing that I am going to say is that the film’s ending is emotional.
Overall, the film is incredible and a must watch!

Interstellar – Movie Review

image

(WARNING: Some minor spoilers)

Despite some of the bad reviews that some people gave Interstellar, I saw it with an open mind. From the first scene or two, you realise that the film seems quite slow paced. Some elements in the latter half pick the speed up. Although there are the slow areas, it works well and brings attention to the fact that true space travel IS very slow and drawn out. Making a movie with every factual element of the science of it all being true, would be difficult to do if you just bumbled through it and didn’t show detail. Interstellar really brings home the nature of the human race, some fighting to survive and some not bothering to do anything about the problems. The film focuses on the world, after the majority of it’s food sources have died out and all that’s left is very little. This means that they will need to leave Earth in the future and find another habitable planet to live on.
The visuals, the facts and the characters lives, were all evenly spaced out and nothing took centre stage for too long. There is, of course, the “ghost”, which is mentioned throughout the film, but serves great purpose in the end.
The film starts with showing you family life and what they do on a daily basis, which surprises, because you expect to see more technical, space travel elements early on in the film. After many emotional moments happen, the main character and his team have to go to space in order to find another planet with the correct sustainable living environments for the human race. They encounter a number of problems and become increasingly aware that time is ebbing away from under their fingertips.
A major plot twist happens and the objectives of the members of the team changes. Some hard decisions are made, and then comes around one of the most debated scenes of the film. One that for many, there is a love-hate relationship.
I’m not going to give away a lot of this film, as it would be unfair to those who haven’t seen it yet. It’s an incredible movie and in my opinion, a definite must see!

Paddington – Movie Review

image

A friendly bear from deepest, darkest Peru. Paddington (the character and the film) is fantastic and is perfectly re-created, keeping the same nostalgia, but with an extra added touch of magic.
It’s difficult to imagine the furry bear as anything but a real, living thing. Watching the film, I did not once think, “That CGI is really good!”. Not until the end did I sit there and geek out a little at the fact that I had just watched the little bear that I had loved for so many years. I have always loved Paddington. I think my only main worry with this film, was that the created a villain. Now, it’s been many years since watching and reading Paddington, but I don’t remember there being a villain, or at least a bond style villain, at all. The creation of this evil character was quite clever, with a good back story, and good reasons for being who she is, but it’s just not Paddington. I know that it was produced by the same director as Harry Potter, David Heyman, but it just feels a bit unnecessary. I understand that the film needs to be bigger and better (in some ways) than older adaptations, especially to keep up with the other blockbusters and super hero movies that fill our cinemas now… but I just feel that they should have made the film a little less Hollywood in places and a littlr more relaxed, like the original Paddington was. The ingenious casting was perfect though, with Hugh Bonneville playing Mr Brown, Peter Capaldi playing Mr Curry fro m next door and best of all, Ben Whishaw as Paddington himself.
Please don’t get me wrong, the film is superb and thrilled me throughout, with the great voicing of Paddington and the comedy elements throughout, it was one of the best films that I had seen in a while and it really brought out the child in me.
Honestly, this is a must have movie, especially for the family, as it’s so lovingly adorable, it just makes you want to jump into the screen and hug Paddington. It makes you love him all the more and it whisks you straight back to childhood. I grew up on the stop-motion series of Paddington Bear and honestly wasn’t sure if this movie would live up to the expectations that a lot of people had, especially the older generation that grew up with it. I was ecstatically happyas I watched it and will definitely be buying it on DVD as soon as it comes out!