Wednesday, 31 July 2013

47 Ronin.....and Keanu Reeves.

'47 Ronin' 

Release Date; 25.12.13

Starring; Keanu Reeves

Rinko Kikuchi
Tadanobu Asano

He's part  of the 47 Ronin, well not really.
As the year winds down and the summer comes to a close it's time for the films that couldn't contend with the heavy hitters. Here is '47 Ronin', a film which has been re-shot  multiple times. Keanu  Reeves has returned to the cinema screen and not just that, he's returned to the role of a dude who can do kung fu. To add a layer of depth to the character he  is portraying they have given him a new skill set, swordplay. 

I'm...I ...I actually have no words.
It's anyone's guess if  this will be decent, no  it's not be realistic this will have to do  something  really exceptional to prove itself different from all other generic martial arts films where there is a generic caucasian who is the chosen one. I have missed Keanu and I will go see this but I don't have high hopes. 

This...this is pretty decent.

This is just awkward...

To wrap it up here is the official  trailer, what do you think? '47 Ronin' Official Trailer and opinion

Sunday, 28 July 2013

'Alpha Papa' Premiere Review.

'Alpha Papa'

Director- Declan Lowney
Starring- Steve Coogan
Colm Meaney
Felicity Montagu
Simon Greenall

Between Amy Huberman and Chris O' Dowd being in the audience, director Declan Lowney attending and two massive Alan Partridge fans by my side, I was pumped to see the Partridge soar. 

It has been some time since we last saw the great Alan Partridge don his headphones and blast our ears with some smooth Norfolk beats. Sure he has had a couple specials, but for a long time everyone has wondered whether or not we'd get a feature film setting up our favourite Norfolk DJ for some kind of unbelievable adventures. Then came this story line: a siege, a hostage situation, a partridge. You need to know nothing  else, because going into this knowing absolutely nothing is outstanding.

A great bunch of lads.
 I am sitting here,trying to begin a sentence which explains to you guys how much I enjoyed this film and it is not easy. Why you might ask? Throughout this entire film I could not pinpoint any situation where I wasn't  laughing hysterically. From slapping an executive in the face to a standoff in a toilet which will stay with you forever, this film knows how to deliver comedy. The timing of the jokes was spot on, everything from the delivery of the lines, to the execution of the physical gags, nothing was left to chance. Love and absolute care was given to this character and this film and I could not be happier. 

This is an almost perfect film, as a fan of Alan Partridge and his various adventures through Norfolk and his constant run-ins with the BBC. However this also makes my review of  this film biased. I honestly cannot find anything wrong with  this film, I am a huge Partridge fan and as a huge Partridge fan I will give this a high score. It's my kind of humour, but if you are not a fan of this brand of humour you will hate this film. I believe this to be the only bad  aspect of Alpha Papa.

Wait for it.
If you like Alan Partridge go see this. If you don't like Alan Partridge, steer clear of this.
Fan Rating; 10/10 
Non Fan Rating; 4/10

 He was "Siege Face".

Thursday, 25 July 2013

'Monster's University' Review

'Monsters University'

Director- Dan Scanlon
Starring- Billy  Crystal
John Goodman 
Steve Buscemi

Hey guys, sorry it's been awhile. After San Diego Comic Con I had to go into a kind of hermit mode to truly take in all the mass amounts of information. Don't worry though I will bring you my own account of all that transpired down at San Diego. After all there was so much going on, from comics to cosplayers, television to trailers, and it blew everyone's collective minds. 

Adorable, absolutely adorable.
Back in the 80's, Mike Wazowski was a little dude who wanted nothing more than to be a "scarer" at Monsters Inc, remember that  film, it was superb, one of the greatest  films of my early life. Before he, and we, the audience, can get there he has got  to go to Monsters University. Fast-forward years later and a slightly bigger Mike Wazowski arrives at Monsters University. Wide eyed and enthusiastic, Mike feels that in his new environment he will flourish and reach his true potential, until James "Sulley" Sullivan arrives and shows off his impressive scaring skills. In true 80's cliched film form Sulley and Mike don't get along due to issues with each  others competing ego's. After both leads are kicked out of college, the story kicks off - cue cliched 80's college redemption film.

Hazing was unusual in Monsters University.
After a long hiatus from this fictional world, I was thrilled about getting back to this place with  these monsters, who in my opinion were never scary except when Sulley scared Boo. There is still a wonderful energy to this world. It hasn't diminished over the years and you have to give credit to the people from Pixar. They created a wonderfully layered world in Monsters Inc and now with Monsters University they have made the return journey seem effortless. I felt right at home watching Mike and  Sulley's friendship blossom from aggravated rivals to the buddy cops we all met back  in  2001. Some characters stand out, Art was my  particular favourite, and they liven up some of the less interesting scenes of  the film. 

The whole team, and Art. The real hero of the piece.
When there is so much love and adoration for a film like Monsters Inc. you worry whether you want a sequel to happen. It is always a problem when it comes to such wonderful films. Do you want a sequel? Is a sequel needed? Will the next film be in any way decent? In my opinion I think Monsters University was trying too  hard to recapture the lightning in a bottle they achieved with the original. This worked against them unfortunately since one of the major problems with Monsters University was both actors, John Goodman and Billy Crystal, have aged. Throughout the entire film I could hear a tiny little voice in my head saying how these were not  the voices of twenty year old's. When the film got going I realised the filmmakers had gone for the same 80's cliched college film plot as all college films do. This was utterly disappointing, with such beloved characters like these you should not give them such a lacklustre journey. My worse fear had come true within the first half of  the film and unfortunately the filmmakers only delivered some actually original scenes in the film. Toward the end I felt the canon of  Monsters Inc. was messed with and in my books continuity should never be messed with, yes I mean you Bryan Singer.

I opened the door, stepped back into a world I had left twelve years ago and for the most part, I enjoyed myself.

The short beforehand was the best part of the entire film, The Blue Umbrella, I wept a little.      

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

A milestone has been reached.

It is official, 67 reviews and exactly 5000 page views. Thank you to all the people who made this  so successful. As a way to celebrate I'd like to ask you guys, what would you like to happen now, what would  you like me to do next? Video's maybe, animations or some other artistic  stuff. 
                 Finally  I would like  to, here's to 5000 more.                                           

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

A very special advanced review of 'Pacific Rim'.

'Pacific Rim' Advanced Screening Review.
Director- Guillermo Del Toro
Starring-Charlie Hunnam
Idris Elba
Rinko Kikuchi

That thing on the left I thought was another 'Kaiju', turns out it's the tail .....

This was a real treat, to find that I had  been invited to the press screening of 'Pacific Rim'. This review comes to you a whole  two days before 'Pacific Rim'  hits Irish cinemas, even European cinemas if I'm not mistaken. With this film Guillermo Del Toro is trying  to do something we haven't seen outside of a 'Power Rangers' episode or a Sci-Fi channel movie, he's trying to showcase the awe  inspiring scale of a brawl between man/machine and supernatural/alien monster while trying to keep some level of depth that this kind of genre does not see outside of anime. There is a high probability of failure but  like all the greats, Guillermo Del Toro seems up  for the challenge. Finally before I get into my review I'd like to thank the people at Warner Bros.  for  giving me this opportunity and inviting me to the press screening of this film.

It  is the  near future and humanity  has been pushed to its limit. Out in the Pacific Ocean a rift in space has opened up and pouring out of it  are 'Godzilla' style alien monsters which tear through city after city. This continues until all the worlds nations decide to put all past grievances aside and create the 'Jaegers', mechanized warriors that are piloted by two pilots who are synced together to form the perfect weapon against the 'Kaijus', the  'Godzilla' style monsters. We see the events of the film through the eyes of Raleigh Becket, Charlie Hunnam of 'Sons of Anarchy' fame, one of the pilots of the 'Jaeger' dubbed 'Gypsy Danger'. Raleigh is a superb 'Jaeger' pilot  and he and his  brother, Yancy Becket, are the best team out there. Unfortunately things go down and Raleigh is out of commission for five years, this is where the film picks up and that is where I will leave the plot explanation.I knew nothing going in and I'd like you, my audience to have that same feeling.

The designs are  just fantastic.
The level of scope that is felt is  immense and you really feel a sense of dread when the 'Kaiju' show up. Guillermo Del Toro  really gives the audience a lush amount of lore for  the 'Kaiju' to give us something to  really chew on. I went into this film not  wanting a mech/monster brawl as much as I wanted a futuristic tale about alien monsters and in that respect Del Toro did not disappoint. Then there  is the design of every 'Jaeger'  and 'Kaiju', they  are so unique and impressive and from an artistic point  of  view that is  a real boon. 
You  feel that each country has really stamped their  personality on each 'Jaeger'. Between China's 'Crimson Typhoon' and Russia's 'Cherno Alpha' you feel their is a real sense of  identity  given to each 'Jaeger', almost as if these machines are characters themselves. There is then fight scenes which are just fantastic, this is what the 'Transformers' series of  films should have been and unfortunately never will be.

Outside of the giant robots and giant monsters, the human characters are nicely fleshed out, each one given a respectable amount of time of  characterization and back-story. In particular, Mako Mori, given great depth and soul by Rinko Kikuchi, a lot  of fans of 'Evangelion' will empathize with Mako as she comes off at times as a more family friendly 'Rei'. At the start of the film she seems, emotionless, cold and withdrawn, but as the film progresses  you find out how passionate and driven she is. Then there is Stacker Pentecost, the absolute legend that is Idris Elba. He's smooth, he's tough and rocks a hell of a lot  of speeches. It's interesting to find out how  he  is connected to all the various characters throughout the film and he adds a certain gravity to the film that some of  the other characters can't carry. Oh one final point, yes the A.I voice is Ellen Mclain aka 'GLaDOS'.

Yeah we're bitchin', you know it.
With all disaster films there are bound to be cliches which are part of that genre, unfortunately 'Pacific Rim' is not above these cliches. There are the two bickering  scientists who are both unhinged and unorthodox and yes they are the comic relief. At times it feels very forced and the real thing that got me is that one of them was a proper stiff upper lipped English gentleman while the other was a hyperactive nonsense spewing American nerd who shouts a lot. There were also  a lot of moments that  felt taken from a lot  of disaster films, 'Independence Day' moments, slight  'Pearl  Harbour' moments and there is actually  a dynamic between two characters in the film that  is very  reminiscent of 'Top  Gun'. I also feel  with this film Guillermo Del Toro went the most "Hollywood" he has ever gone with a film, somethings are wrapped up  too neatly and knowing the calibre of his work, I felt it  cheapened certain aspects of the film. 

This film breaks no boundaries, it doesn't change the mold and there is nothing completely new about it, but what it does, it  does  great. It's  enjoyable, fun and the action is non-stop ridiculous. In the words of Raleigh Becket, "Today was a good drift".
A particularly epic scene.

 No one puts Ron Perlman in a corner, you'll get it.

Saturday, 6 July 2013

A bunch of comedians against....the world?

'This is the End' Review.
Director- Seth Rogen/ Evan Goldberg
Starring- Seth Rogen
Jay Baruchel
James Franco
Craig  Robinson
Jonah Hill
Danny McBride

I have to say it  has not been a great year for  comedies, 'Admission' was absolutely terrible, 'The Hangover Part 3'' was disappointing and sickening at times, so I was really excited/worried about the idea that every comedian that we have come to love, join together for the end of the world. How  will this  film fair compared to  its peers, its really, really unfunny peers? Only time and the opinions of countless  numbers of cinema goers will tell, and  as we all know cinema goers will give their opinion, whether you want them to or not.

So creepy.
Jay Baruchel and  Seth Rogen have not  seen each other in months, they  miss each others company, as all best friends do, especially  when their friendship has become as strained as these two lads have  allowed  their  friendship  to become.  Anyway Jay and Seth spend a couple hours together playing games, getting high and other such merriment until Seth decides that they  need to head to James Franco's house warming party. At  this  party things are happening that  every fanboy of Hollywood would drool  over knowing. Such as Rhiana kicking Michael Cera's ass, Emma Watson being a little disturbing and Jason Segel hating on 'How  I Met Your  Mother'. As the night  wears on Jay feels very put out and leaves, with Seth reluctantly tagging along, it  is  at this point where the world ends, so Seth and Jay head back to  James' to fortify themselves in his house with the surviving house guests.

So many  big names, so  many little deaths.
The shear level of fun that is had in this  film is fantastic , clearly the whole cast is  having an absolute  ball sending up themselves. Jay,  Seth, Craig, Jonah, Danny and James are such a fun cast, they have a great chemistry with each other and it shines through. My  personal favourite is Craig Robinson, who  plays  such a smooth character that gives some  of the best  lines in the whole film. Some of the best  parts of  the film are at the beginning with all the celebrities, especially Michael Cera, who comes off as such an ass but  a love-able  ass and then there is  Emma Watson,  the crazy, axe wielding Emma Watson, who  is  just unforgettable. 

They're so cute together.
This film reminds me of a Ronseal ad, this is both the source of all its  great pro's but unfortunately also  the source of all its problems since "It does exactly what it says on the tin". A lot of the problems in this film happen when the actors  have nothing to do, between each ha ha scene there is very little dialogue that really interests. It some  times feels like the dialogue  is from a hybrid of 'Pineapple  Express' and 'Knocked Up'. The film is also a  bit  long, it does kind of  drag toward the end.

I love her,so much.
It's got problems,it's not  perfect but my God it's fun.

The final scene is just .....perfect.

Friday, 5 July 2013

Zombies!!! Zombies!! Zombies!....Zombies...

'World War Z' Film Review.
Director- Mark Foster
Starring- Brad Pitt
James Badge Dale 
Matthew Fox

Hey  there, are you looking for a world where zombies litter the  street? Where humanity is pushed to the brink of extinction in what seems like two to three hours. Where the survival of humanity rests on the shoulders of Brad Pitt, who is  given a very nondescript job history but rest assured is more than capable to tackle this world ending catastrophe....apparently.

Best  moment in the film and it's shown in every  trailer.......
Right, so stay at home dad, Brad Pitt,  Gerry Lane is having the usual day  that most men of his  station have. His children are asking question after question about his past  and why he  quit his job, after all they know next to nothing about him. Anyway, as the family are caught in rush hour traffic a series of unfortunate events lead to shear pandemonium on the streets of i'm guessing New York. With hordes of  people massacring the general populace Gerry decides that his family needs to  get out of  the city. Luckily he gets a call from the man in charge, no no the president, he's dead, a close friend who  through a whole series of deaths  has become the most important man in America basically. After a prolonged and tense journey through the city and its surrounding area, Gerry and his family are saved and brought to a save zone that the worlds governments, I'm guessing, have formed in the ocean on top of several carriers. Gerry is told that he  needs to find the cure for  this "zombie"  outbreak because if he doesn't his family will be kicked off the carrier, because they're useless. That is the honest reason, so with his nondescript history and his nondescript skills which give him the conveniently needed abilities to find this cure, Gerry sets out with a genius, some army lads and a very nice  plane.

The opening riot with the horde is  fantastic, the sense of disarray and chaos is completely fantastic. The destruction brought upon by  simple  human hands is  just phenomenal. It feels very much  like what  I imagine happened during the first  days of the '28 Days Later' film universe. There is some wonderful settings in the film, such  as Iran and where the finale of film takes place. It feels like a fully  fleshed out world that has been put through the grinder. There is also  a  wonderfully  diverse  cast who give very interesting performances. My personal favourite was Danielle Kertesz, who  gave a fantastic performance as Segen, an Israeli soldier who's role grows unexpectedly.

Out of the two of these characters
I really only empathized with one of them, it wasn't Brad Pitt.
Oh god here goes, where is  it stated that a U.N official has the skills to take on a horde of zombies, and has any kind of emotional armour to  protect himself  from seeing what he see's throughout his "adventure's". Gerry seems to  have an almost nonchalant attitude toward the destruction and mayhem he is seeing which isn't so much fascinating as it is annoying, I just wanted him to  react in a way that didn't involve a pout or some kind. The ending is just ridiculous, poorly  put together and comes out  of nowhere and though  I enjoy  where the final setting is, I  did  find it very reminiscent of '28 Days Later' and not  in the good way. The family are not needed at all, they are a terrible plot  device that are used to  ill effect and before anyone says anything I know all about the book, if they keep the family then they  should keep everything that makes the family interesting. Also why the hell do you cast Matthew Fox in a film unless you are going to use him to his full potential!! I'll tell you why, you stick to the source material, because you know what makes a great adaptation? Respect to  the  source!

The action, in my opinion, was underwhelming even at the height  of it all.
It's a good film, but  a lot of cliches, and a lot of issues with characterization stop it from being anything more than a throwaway hit.

It's a zombie movie that needed a little more bite.