Ive actually seen several films since last year, however for several reasons which have been documented before, and will no doubt be done so again in my yearly review, this has been the first chance I have had to write a film review, and thanks to Paddington, its a positive one.
If you want to watch a film that will reduce you to tears with laughter, fill you with joy, and keep you on the edge of your seat both emotionally and physically throughout your entire cinematic experience. Go see something else, as this film will disappoint on every level!
You get to experience every emotion under the sun with this latest space based drama. The views of our planet are brilliant, and exactly what you would expect with 15 years worth of advancement in technology from the release of the amazing film Armageddon. Go view it once, go view it twice, then buy it in HD to watch it 10 times more – its that good!
Its strange for me to laugh out loud at anything, in fact so much so that I honestly cant remember the last time I did, let alone laughed out loud in the cinema. However this film, made me do just that, over and over again.
Now You See Me, Now You Don’t – a typical expression use by magicians, however unlike its title, this film is nothing but typical…
Despite the first 20 minutes of thinking that I was viewing the wrong film, and instead watching a modern day mashup of Disney’s Hercules and Minority Report. Things went from Superman strength to Superman strength, with me eventually giving the $225 million box office hit a respectful 8.5 out of 10.
Being British James Bond is in your blood, and in fact the very fact you hold a British passport means that you are duty bound to see all James Bond films as soon as possible after they have been released. Fortunately enough I managed to see the latest adventures of the 007 MI6 agent last night, a few days after its release. As with all of James Bond adventures, there is quite a bit of anticipation as to whether it will be the best one yet, what will the story line be, who will be the Bond girls, and what toys/cars will Bond have at his disposal. Due to the fact that Skyfall’s plot is crucial to your enjoyment of it (since the makeup of subsequent Bond films will be affected), I am not going to mention anything by way of the plot, and instead mentioned a few things which I liked, and a few things which I didn’t like. What did I like, well firstly the cast, Daniel Craig and Dame Judi Dench are simply outstanding. Craig develops on his interpretation of his character this time by coming across as a more cheeky, more rebellious MI6 agent than his predecessors, which in turn allows for a few comedic moments. Dench also makes her position as M known as she takes her seventh role seriously and on many occasions acting as the mother-in-law figure protecting her department from ministers. The storyline was good, although perhaps rushed through a bit, as was the soundtrack. However that is where the good things seemed to end. Firstly Bond cars, non-existent, Bond girls are non-existent, gadgets from Q are almost non-existent and action scenes whilst healthy in number, short lived and not as exciting/action packed as you would expect from this kind of blockbuster. So all in all, I did enjoy the latest Bond film, however if you do see it, you will understand what I mean when I say that I am looking forward to the next adventure of 007 more than I was before. Its a film that has to be seen, however in my opinion, it was not the best Bond film ever made, nor was it the best Bond film that featured Daniel Craig.
The danger with putting the word ‘amazing’ in a title is that there is there is a very real danger that my expeditions have already been raised to an unhealthy level prior to even setting foot into the cinema. Take for example when someone says ‘this is the funniest story ever told’ or ‘it was the most terrifying moment of my life’, usually the story just about raises a smile, and as for being scary, the moment wouldn’t even reduce a 4 month old baby to tears. So where do we stand with Spiderman? The 3D tax was paid, and (believe it or not) I think this is the kind of film that does need to be seen in the third dimension. Out of all the Marvel comics, there are three which I do love; Iron Man, Spider Man and The Fantastic Four. In my humble opinion the first Spider Man was amazing, however the subsequent films were less so. As with most sequels things tend to become a tad predictable, the actors become too comfortable in their roles and as such the characters don’t develop as they should do. With that an the word ‘amazing’ in the title, the bar was set, and I expected a film that would surpass Spider Man 2 and 3. First of all the story, chronologically this film should have been at the beginning, as it had the background as to how Spider Man came into existence, and the story of Peter Parker. His first ‘enemy’ and battle that took place during the 136 minutes was perhaps a little longer than required, but not excessively. There was a good mix of action and humour smattered throughout the film, and although the film did go on a bit, the fact that it was such a good film didn’t mean that this overrun was an issue. The acting was spot on, the main characters being Andrew Garfield who played Peter Parker/Spider Man, and Rhys Ifans as Dr Curt Connors were right on the money. Andrew played the part of a confused teenager who was lost in his new ability and coming to terms with a new love with ease, and during the film you really could empathise with him. As with all the other characters, non of the parts were over (or under) played. Finally special effects. As with most 3D films, there is a tendency to ‘over use’ the special effects. This was not the case. Images were clear, and by using 3D in a manor that could be considered naturally, it really did feel as if you were there, immersed in the action. Overall verdict. I hate to admit it, but it was a good film. The special effects, the story, and the action coupled with joke or two meant that it does perhaps deserve the title of an ‘amazing’ film.
Normally my film reviews are balanced, or at least give an in-depth reason as to why I either like or dislike a film; in this case its going to be brief, mainly because after 30 minutes I had resided to tweeting on my phone. Well that was until 25 minutes prior to the end when my iPhone battery had died. What was wrong with it? Well firstly Robert Downey Jr, cards on the table, im not his biggest fan, in-fact I wouldn’t even say I was a member of his fan club. He was good in Iron Man but that was about it. His monotone voice coupled with a botox-esk acting face was in my opinion something that was an insult to the creation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Whilst Robert was good in Iron Man playing a wealthy American inventor, I don’t think his acting skills are best suited to that of playing an eccentric British detective. The acting wasn’t all terrible, Jude Law gave a very convincing portrayal of Dr. John Watson who is embarrassed at the actions of Holmes; I have yet to work out if this was genuine acting by Law, or whether he was genuinely embarrassed by Roberts performance. There was also a smattering of an appearance from Stephen Fry, however sadly he was only on screen for a few moments at a time, and so wasn’t able to distract me from the on screen personnel. The story also contained a certain level of action sequences, come to think of it the first 15 minutes or so gave way to fighting and chase sequences, with most stunts carried out I believe by the actors themselves. This would have been good if you could actually have seen what was happening. The camera movement was such that if you shook your head side to side quick enough and gave yourself a headache whilst looking at a wall – this is the effect that you were given. Was there anything which I like about it? Well to my surprise there was. As I was tweeting away on my phone, the soundtrack kept me entertained (even though it was ruined by Robert’s attempt of a British accent). Hanz Zimmer who has composed music for films such as The Da Vinci Code, The Rock, Pearl Harbour and Gladiator has done it again. His work is simply breathtaking on its own, and even though the film was not the strongest, the soundtrack was first class. So to sum it up. Yes I did only watch the first 30 minutes, and the last 25 minutes however from a 128 minute film, the 43% of what I did watch wasn’t my cup of tea at all. The lead actor was awful. The action was unfocusable thanks to camera movements that resembled an first person shooter PS3 game, and the humour was scarce and unfunny. Would I watch it again, no, would I download the soundtrack, maybe.
With the lack of excitement from the last Harry Potter film winging it’s way through my minds eye, I felt duty bound to watch the last in the sequel, knowing full well that the magical experience would perish in comparison to the first film. Just as with the James Bond films, because the story was written by a Brit, we all feel as if we have to put the disapproving opinions of film critics to one side and endure it personally. Just as I started off the last Harry Potter review with a small disclaimer, I have not read the books, and therefore I am not comparing it to how original the book is, I am comparing it to the previous films. I am not a Harry Potter purest, I enjoy a good film, and if the Harry Potter film doesn’t do the book justice than that is an argument for another day – I’m reviewing the film, and the story the film puts across, the quality of the acting, and CGI. With the opening credits rolling, there is a sense of magic in the air, for those who have viewed all of the films as they came out, it does feel as if this is one of the ‘childhood heroes’ which you have grown up with, and dedicated a large proportion of your life to; and as such there is an air of sadness in the air. For those who have not read the books, you will still know that JK has already categorically stated that there will be no more Harry Potter, and even the story like confirms this. The seventh and last book was divided into two films, this can either be interpreted to make more money in ticket revenue, or because if both films were combined, it would have been an unhealthy length. Regardless of whether I thought the story line of part 1 could have been written on the back of a postage stamp, my life has not revolved around Harry Potter, nor did i watch the past 7 films back to back before heading out to the cinema so I can’t remember where we left the story. What I needed at the beginning of film was a ‘previously on Harry Potter’, a prequel if you will, to refresh your memory, sadly this wasn’t as in depth as I would have liked, and I had to spend the first ten to fifteen minutes trying to recall the storyline. If there is one thing that is spot on with all Harry Potter films, it’s the sound track, the music either playing in the background or taking centre stage depicts the mood perfectly and adds what the acting by the main characters do not. The last review I wrote slated the acting ability of the three main characters, I begin watching part two with an open mind, and I almost willed Harry, Ron and Hermione to show the same level of acting as they did in the first film, however it would appear that they acting ability has not grown to the same magnitude as the characters they portray. Daniel Radcliffe’s acting is desperate at best as he attempts to fill the shoes that the Harry Potter franchise has created, with his two supporting actors doing their best with the inexperience they have. The best actor by far is Alan Rickman, from the very offset I knew that he would have been the person I would cast to portray any villain. I have been promised by those who read the book that the final film would be the one where Snape would feature the most. His acting is by far the most original, he adds a touch of class to the proceeding with his subtle ‘villain tones’. With regards to CGI, a vast improvement on the last film, I could have chosen to watch it in 3D, however that gimmick as sailed, dragons and spells looked realistic (well as realistic as a spell can do), CGI was used sparingly, and I can tell that this time the producers were focused a lot more on getting the story across, rather than glitts an glamour. That said, storyline was a bit hit and miss for me, the film was lengthy and once again feel that it could have been compressed into a third of the time. A few elements of humour were sprinkled throughout, however most of the time you were left with the three main characters on screen doing their best to act out a part that had outgrown them. Looking back on the Harry Potter films as a whole, all the magic, awe and surprises came with the first few films, and gradually got weaker. I don’t think this is a fault of the directors per say, it’s the natural progression of a multi-part storyline. When the first one is so good, and so original, sadly there is only one way to go and that’s down. Having said all of that, was it a good film, yes it wasn’t too bad. I really did want to dislike it as much as the previous one, however no matter how hard I tried I couldn’t. The storyline was a bit of a miss for me, but it was well put together, the music, graphics and emotion was spot on. You could feel that it was the end of an era, and that after 8 films the magic of Harry Potter is no more. Would I watch Harry Potter 7 Part 2 again, probably not, it’s the end of a story and indeed a milepost that we have been waiting for a long time, the film wasn’t the worst by far, however it was neither the best. If you’ve watched all of the films so far then you have to watch the last one, however if not, if imagine you would be rather disappointed.