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Archive for the ‘Films’ Category

Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes

23 Mar

I wasn’t expecting much from this, as the other ‘Planet Of The Apes’ films I’ve dabbled with have left me unengaged. A weeknight in, I thought I’d give it a go on a whim and was pleasantly surprised!

The set-up is very good with the actual story trickling in subtly. I enjoyed all the characters in it, and found it quite easy to identify with them. The only one who irritated me was Dodge Landon (the primate enclosure keeper’s son) who is meant to be unpleasant, so I say job well done Tom Felton (Malfoy from the Harry Potter films no less).

I may be well behind in noticing this but technology has definitely reached a point where animated characters, on the small screen at least, have become every bit as real as their ‘real-life’ fellow human actors. The monkeys were good and at no point did it look unconvincing. Caesar, the main chimp, is very emotive in his expressions and at this rate we won’t be needing real actors for much longer… I realise they are modelled using humans but it probably won’t be long before even they aren’t needed.

While I complained about Tintin having an unsatisfactory ending, though this finished almost leading into the next one it didn’t bother me at all. This felt like a complete story and left me excited for the next installment. I haven’t read up on the original Planet Of The Apes films or about any sequels for this, but I’m suspecting it’s one of those trilogy things here. This makes a very worthy first part if that’s the case!

 
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The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn

21 Mar

I’ll warn you now, I’ve given up trying not to put spoilers in these posts, so I’m just going to give my thoughts as they spill out of my brain through my fingers.

I had high hopes for this film as I had enjoyed the books and the animated series as a child. The advert looked tempting enough on TV so I thought I’d give it a go.

I’m really not sure what I was expecting but Tintin’s voice was the first disappointment for me. He just sounded like he hadn’t gone through puberty yet. Not really befitting someone who is an international journalist who carries a gun, to my mind.

Certain scenes dragged on far too long. The animated series from my childhood managed to fit get the balance just right: not dwelling on any one section too long while still giving enough to each to actually give the full story. The sea sequences in the film bordered on tedious for me. Maybe they won’t for other people but they can write their own review…

Then, the end was left wide open for a sequel. Now I realise this is commonplace now, but surely they should at least try and make the film a complete story? It does my head in.

To sum it up, I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone. Too violent for kids. Too tedious and half-hearted for anyone else.

 
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Attack The Block

07 Mar

I’m not sure what first attracted me to this film but I’d written it down in my phone as something I wanted to watch. The basic premise seems to be chavs versus aliens. I didn’t think it could go wrong really!

This was written and directed by Joe Cornish of Adam & Joe fame, which probably explains why the script amused me so much. The Adam and Joe Show didn’t really tickle me that much at the time, but either Cornish’s humour has matured or he’s taken to writing better than performing!

The film revolves around a gang of teenagers in London who start the film by mugging someone. Now the language really annoyed me at first as I just can’t get on with ‘gangsta speak’, but I soon managed to get past it and got absorbed into the story.

The first alien was pretty weedy, but subsequent ones were pretty mental. They were worthy opponents for the gang and I liked the picture I built up in my head around various characteristics they had. If you watch it, see if you think the same thing I did about their ‘roar’.

There were a few other side characters with their own little plots going on, like the middle-class white boy weed smoker and the local top boy who inevitably ends up with some kind of score to settle.

IMDB gives this an overall score of 6.8 which I personally think is a little low, but I’m no mega film buff just someone who likes watching good stuff. It wasn’t particularly challenging to watch but was great fun for a Friday night in. I loved it, so I’d recommend you give it a go!

 
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RED

14 Feb

I saw a trailer for this 2010 film recently and the all-star cast (Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren, John Malkovich and Morgan Freeman), and ludicrous sense of humour really appealed to me. RED is an acronym for ‘Retired: Extremely Dangerous’.

One clip in particular really tickled my fancy, and it’s when Bruce Willis skids around a corner and simultaneously gets out of the car whilst firing a gun at somebody chasing him. Absolutely ridiculous, but it knows it. The other characters are highly amusing, particularly John Malkovich’s paranoid survivalist. This film is firmly tongue-in-cheek but the high calibre acting really pulls it off.

I’m not sure whether this was originally a comic or graphic novel, but it certainly has that feel about it. It doesn’t require much attention and is far less cerebral than the usual kind of thing I like to watch, but when you’re in the mood to just sit back and be entertained, it certainly fits the bill.

Thumbs up from me for this one. I’d certainly watch it again!

 
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Where The Wild Things Are

08 Feb

I’d wanted to watch this film for a while as one of the characters (‘Carol’) looks like a cat I know. Strange name for a male character to my mind, but he’s the one on the left of the poster shown on the Wikipedia entry. Being adapted from a children’s book, I thought it was going to be a light-hearted story, but I got quite emotional by the end of it.

Possible spoilers follow…

The film centres around Max who seems to be quite the angry little chap. It appeared to me that his older sister annoys him and his father isn’t around. His mother seems to have a new boyfriend that Max seems envious of, so he tries to throw his weight around to get her attention. This ends up with a bit of a scene where he runs off and ends up sailing to a magical world where these monsters live. They intend to eat him but he manages to persuade them he’s a king, so he becomes their king.

Without spoiling too much more of the story, one of the monsters appears to be upset about one of the other monsters leaving and takes it out on everyone and everything else around him. The others have to pussyfoot around him and this obviously doesn’t fix anything. It seems to be a metaphor for Max’s life i.e. someone he loves leaves him and that he can’t control this upsets him, so he has his tantrums. It did leave me wondering if this was how the original book was, or if this is an interpretation that turns it into a fable to help children understand complicated adult issues like divorce.

It was an odd film. I don’t know whether it’s because I was expecting Carol to be spelt Karel, but it had an Eastern European or Scandinavian feel about it. The music seemed to reinforce this in my head.

I thought this was a bit heavy for a children’s film, and I must admit I was quite upset by it. Not really sure why though…

 
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