Wednesday, 24 December 2014

The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies





The Battle of the Five Armies starts off where The Desolation of Smaug ended with Smaug desolating the settlement of Laketown. After the dragon is killed the dwarfs, led by Thorin (Richard Armitage), seek shelter inside the mountain, ready to defend it from any threats that converge on the mountain. Inside the mountain, Thorin is driven mad by the treasures inside, but on the outside five armies are ready to do battle varying to claim to the riches within the mountain. 

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Deliver us from Evil




The films starts off in Iraq (not too dissimilar to The Exorcist) as it follows three soldiers who explore an underground tunnel and encounter something not of this world. The action zooms six months into the future where NYPD detective Ralph Sarchie (Eric Bana) is responding to a 911 distress call concerning a domestic assault. The perpetrator just happens to be one of the soldiers from the prologue, who is swiftly arrested. Following this Satchie responds to the 911 call from a zoo who report that a women threw her two year child into the lion enclosure, the women in question shows signs of strange behaviour. Ralph Sarchie leads the investigation, teaming up Edgar Ramírez's Mendoza, and discovers that the three soldiers brought back something evil and demonic.

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Into the Storm



The sleepy small town of Silverton is blissfully unaware of the devastation about to befall them as on the day of the school's graduation ceremony a tornado will strike the town. The film follows three sets of people, four storm chasers tracking the storm, two daredevils who enjoy risky stunts and a stern father and his two boys. A series of coincidences allows the three groups of people to converge as they fight to rescue Gary's (Richard Armitage) son Donnie (Max Deacon), who is trapped underneath a pile of rubble.

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

2014 Catch up part 4




A homeless man's (Macon Blair) life is turned upside down when the murderers of his parents are released from prison. The man decides to embark on the mission of vengeance to avenge the murder of his parents. Jeremy Saulnier's film was an award winner at Cannes and a hit among the critics, and it quite easy to see why. The film looks terrific, the editing is marvellous and the cinematography is glorious as Jeremy Saulnier expertly creates a film that looks superb. Where the ball is somewhat dropped is the pace, Blue Ruin is a slow burner almost to the extent that it makes it difficult to engage in the character and his quest, however, it is engaging enough to be tense and exciting during the more dramatic moments. The film also lacks some development as his relationship with his estranged family is left malnourished. Macon Blair's performance is effective and film is bleak and hard hitting making Blue Ruin a decently effective revenge thriller but one that doesn't match the critical acclaim given to it.

3/5

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Hercules




The legend of Hercules was fiddled around with in Steve Moore's Hercules comics (of which the film is based) as it presents Hercules as mercenary motivated mostly by money and not the supposed son of Zeus who defeated the 12 labors. When Hercules (Dwayne Johnson) is approached by Ergenia  (Rebecca Ferguson) pleading for him to help her father, Lord Cotys (John Hurt), in his fight against the evil Warlord Rheseus (Tobias Santelmann) Hercules agrees to help, but there are more sinister things afoot.    

Sunday, 30 November 2014

2014 Catch Up Part 3




Kit Harrinton (of Game of Thrones) is a Celt whose family has been destroyed by the Romans. After displaying some fine fighting talents in Londinium he is sent to Pompeii. There he meets Cassia (Emily Browning) and two quickly fall in love. Coincidentally Senator Corvus (Kiefer Sutherland ), the man who slaughtered The Celt's family, arrives in Pompeii, but the rumblings from the mountain dominating Pompeii's surroundings make for an ominous feel. 

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Interstellar




In the near future Planet Earth is in disarray, the food stocks are running low, natural resources are all but gone and constant dust storms merely add to the environmental problems on Earth. NASA stages a plan to find a planet that is habitable for the human race and Matthew Mcconaughey's Cooper is just the man to lead this expedition. Cooper accepts the mission leaving behind his son (Timothée Chalamet), father in law (John Lithgow) and daughter (Mackenzie Foy).The crew investigate a number of signals transmitted by previous expeditions to analyse the possibility of the planets providing ample conditions for life.

Saturday, 8 November 2014

2014 catch up part 2



Loosely based on the Need for Speed Video game franchise, Need for Speed stars Aaron Paul as Tobey Marshall, a mechanic who is hired by rival Dino Brewster (Dominic Cooper) to build a Ford Mustang, which will be sold for over $2,000,000. In a bid to sell the car Tobey takes the Ford Mustang for a test drive (against the wishes of Dino), Tobey is challenged to a race. If he loses, the money from the sale of Mustang will go Dino; if he wins Tobey gets the money. In the race, however, Tobey’s friend Little Pete (a James Dean lookalike Harrison Gilbertson) is involved in an accident deliberately caused by Dino. Dino’s involvement can’t be proved (don’t ask why, it doesn’t make sense), so Tobey is charged for Pete’s death. Two years later Tobey is released on parole and looking for revenge.

Sunday, 2 November 2014

The Babadook





Still reeling from the loss of her husband six years previously, Ameila's (Essie Davis) life is dominated by her difficult son (Noah Wiseman). Behavioural problems, temper tantrums and his adamant belief that monsters are lurking within his wardrobe are tremendous pressures on Ameila's mental state. Things go from bad to worse when Ameila reads what she assumes is a children's book until the book gets steadily darker in tone. This book seems to raise something unearthly evil which sets about terrifying the single mother and her child.

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Next Goal Wins


The documentary film Senna celebrated sporting greatness; Next Goal Wins celebrates sporting greatness of different variety, one of dogged determination, commitment and pride (not that Senna lacked any of these attributes). Senna is about a sportsman at the very highest level whilst Next Goal Wins is about those are very bottom as Next Goal Wins is a documentary that follows the American Samoan National Football Team’s quest for success. For the best part of two decades the American Samoan National Football Team were languishing at the bottom of the FIFA rankings, but the team are best known for something else.

Monday, 1 September 2014

As above, So Below


Scarlet Marlowe (The Tudors' Perdita Weeks) is a young archaeologist with ambitious plans to find Nicholas Flamel's legendary Philosopher's Stone. Her work in Iran leads her to the catacombs of Paris of which Scarlet believes to be the location of the Philosopher's Stone. She recruits a cameraman, Benji (Edwin Hodge), her old flame George (Mad Men's Ben Feldman) and some Parisian guides and goes deep into the catacombs. Inside the catacombs, however, the small group of explorers encounter horrors from their past.

Saturday, 23 August 2014

2014 Catch up




It is the mid 1970s, The Exorcist has become a hit in UK cinemas and a university professor wishes to prove that the supernatural does not exist and that a supposed possession is one created by the mind. To prove his hypothesis,  Professor Coupland (Jared Harris) recruits a team of two loved up students (Erin Richards and Rory-Fleck Byrne) and a cameraman, Brian McNeil (Sam Clafin). The team conduct what they call 'The Experiment' where they subject the human guinea pig to cruel conditions to force her mind for create abnormal phenomenon as the psychological pressures on her mind will allow this abnormal phenomenon to manifest. They however, get more than they bargained for.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

The Raid 2




Following events in The Raid, Rama's (Iko Uwais) brother is killed by Bejo (Alex Abbad), Rama swears he'll get revenge but first he must bring down all the corrupt officials in the police force. To do this he must go to prison, befriend Uco (Arifin Putra) to gain the trust of his father, Bangun (Tio Pakusadewo), a feared mob moss. This will allow Rama to investigate which cops have a working relationship with the most powerful gang in Indonesia's capital, Jakarta

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Divergent




It is the age of the Young Adult fiction franchises, the success of films such as Twilight and The Hunger Games prove just that but Ender’s Game, less successful then the other two films, is a thorn in that hypothesis. The major links between Twilight, Hunger Games and Divergent is that they contain a strong, central female character (never seen Twilight and never will) and all of the source novels for each of the three films is written by a women.

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy


Following his mother's death, a young Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) is abducted from Earth by some blue skinned bandits. 26 years later, Peter is on the planet Morag attempting to steal an orb of some description. However, Peter got more than he bargained for as it turns out he is not the only one interested in the orb as the Kree race are also keen to get their dirty hands on it. Peter escapes, returns to Xander but is ambushed by Gamore (Zoe Saldana) and team consisting of a raccoon (Bradley Cooper) and a tree with limited vocabulary (Vin Diesel). The four of them, finding out that the Kree intend to destroy the galaxy with the orb team up with a guy they met in prison and inadvertently become the Guardians of the Galaxy.

Friday, 25 July 2014

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes




 Set in 2016, a killer virus, let airborne as a result of a drug that had intended to cure Alzheimer's, desolates half the World's populations. The apes use this opportunity to exploit the Human's weakness and begin to build their own society. Led by Caesar (Andy Serkis) the apes build their own home and society, but the sighting of humans adds discontent among their ranks and with the human race posing a threat, war is strong possibility.

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Second World War Double Bill




The Monuments Men is history according to Hollywood as the lack of acknowledgement of British, French and Russian assistance is a regular feature of Hollywood films (Saving Private Ryan for example) but to be fair it probably isn’t any different other nation’s cinematic output. Lack of historical accuracy isn’t really worth getting annoyed about unless it his dangerously emotionally manipulative, like The Deer Hunter, a film very much a product of the time it was made. Anyway, directed and starring George Clooney, The Monuments Men is about group of allied soldiers stealing the classics works of art back from those pesky Nazis.  

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Godzilla




At the turn of the century the destruction of the Japanese nuclear power plant caused by an supposed Earthquake has a number of conspiracy theorists arguing that it was something else all together. None are more active than a Joe Brody (Bryan Cranston), a former worker at the plant, who is desperate to find out what really happened, much to the distain of his son, Ford (Aaron Taylor Johnson). What he finds, however, is beyond what he could have possibly imagined, a monster of tremendous, terrifying and towering proportions and it isn't the only one on the planet.

Friday, 16 May 2014

47 Ronin





Set in late Medieval Japan, Kai (Keanu Reeves) is a half-Japanese, half British 'halfbreed' who was found and accepted into the Ako household by Lord Asano Naganori (Min Tanaka), the lord of the Domain of Ako. Ako hosts a small gladiator like tournament which brings the shogun's master of ceremonies to the domain of Ako. This presents Lord Kira (Tadanobu Asano) and his witch ally, Mizuki (Rinko Kikuchi), with an opportunity to posses Lord Asano and force him to attack Lord Kira. The result is compulsory Seppuku for Lord Asano and banishment for Oishi (Hiroyuki Sanada), Kai and the remaining samurai. However, the code of the samurai compels them to avenge the death of their lord.  

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Paranormal Activity: The Masked Ones




Paranormal Activity: The Masked Ones is a spin off to the Paranormal Activity franchise (part 5 is coming later this year), the film follows Jesse (Andrew Jacobs) who becomes the latest victim of a demonic spirit. 

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

The Railway Man




 Based on the bestselling autobiography by Eric Lomax, The Railway Man stars Colin Firth as Erik Lomax, a man blighted by a terrible past. A delayed train to Manchester leads Eric to a chance encounter Patti (Nicole Kidman) aboard another train, realising the instant connection Eric later goes to meet Patti at the station (being a train enthusiast he knows exactly which station to meet her) and the pair are soon married.

Thursday, 1 May 2014

The Family won't be gathering round to watch Oldboy


Ahhhh, the joys of yet another Hollywood remake of a classic. This remake is based on the Korean cult classic Oldboy (2003). Spike Lee’s ‘reimaging’ (a fancier word for remake) retains the basics of the original’s plot in which Joe Doucett (Josh Brolin) finds himself locked in a hotel room following a drunken night out. Whilst in prison he is framed for the rape and murder of his wife, and he is forced to watch various news reports concerning the murder.

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Transcendence





Transcendence arrived on British shores with a critical bashing and mediocre box office returns which resulted in Transcendence becoming one of the surprise turkeys of 2014 so far. Therefore, expectations were extraordinary low, but they were exceeded probably because I expected so little of the film. 

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Life on the Limit





Over the past few years Formula 1 has become increasingly popular in the cinema, in 2010 there was Senna (based on the F1 driver Aryton Senna) and following shortly after that was Ron Howard’s Rush which was based on the rivalry between James Hunt and Niki Lauda. Life on the Limit treads on similar ground as the two films previously mentioned as the documentary focuses on the massive dangers posed to those racing on the limit and how the drivers sought to change that.

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Frozen





Frozen has smashed box office records as it went on to gross over $1,000,000,000 at the box office, becoming the most financially successful animated film since the beginning of time itself. However, this statistic should not be taken at face value as factors such as inflation and high-ticket prices influence the box office results highly. If you were to adjust the results for inflation levels and ticket prices Frozen would find itself slightly lower down the rankings.

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Captain US of A.





Captain America: Winter Soldier follows on from events in The Avengers where New York was ravaged by invading forces. In Washington, the S.H.I.E.L.D cooperation (with a symbol that looks like the Eagle from Imperial Germany) strikes a rather ominous tone over the Washington DC skyline. Their operations are covert and secretive to those on the outside, and the organization becomes embodied in scandal and conspiracy as Captain American/Steve Rodgers (Chris Evans) becomes the number one enemy.

Carrie on remaking





Hollywood’s business plan seems to be to carrie on producing reboots, remakes and sequels to fund the industry. Stephen King’s Carrie is next in a long line of 70s horror films that have been remade in the 21st century (the list includes Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Halloween). Carrie (Chloe Moretz) is a shy teenager who has her first period whilst showering. This terrifies Carrie as her fanatical Christian mother (Julianne Moore) has neglected to tell her the stuff that will occur as she grows up. Naturally, Carrie’s terrified reaction to met with ridicule by the peers who eventually accept the punishment handed down on them for humiliating Carrie. The tormentors feel (some at least) guilt for what they did, all apart from Chris (Portia Doubleday) who will be the one to push Carrie over the edge at the school prom.

Friday, 28 March 2014

Hiding In Fear Thor takes refuge at the Grand Budapest Hotel



After saving the world twice (in Thor and The Avengers) Thor (Chris Hemsworth) returns once again to rescue the Earth from destruction. Thousands of years ago Bor, Odin’s (Anthony Hopkins) father clashed with the dark elf Malekith (Christopher Eccleston) over the Aether. Thousands of years later, Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) is infected by this Aether and has to be protected from Malekith. Enlisting the help of Loki (Tom Hiddleston), imprisoned for his crimes against Earth, Thor attempts to protect the entire universe from destruction.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Ender's Game


The adaptation of Orson Scott Card’s novel Ender’s Game possibly meant that a new Science Fiction franchise could once again play a strong factor in the cinema’s near future. However, the film’s meagre box office returns ($110,000,000) resulted in any chances of a sequel being produced as slim. There are a number of reasons why Ender’s Game was a financial failure, the first and main reason was perhaps the competition (Hunger Games and Thor), another reason could be the proposed boycott of the film due to the author’s homophobic viewpoint. After claiming that gay people should not be treated like ordinary citizens it won’t surprise me if Scott thought the ‘gay disease’ was something that could be caught if a gay person happened to sneeze on you or if any gay people engaged in imitate contact with one another whilst sitting in a confined area with a straight person.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Her


Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix) works at a handwritten, romantic card service for people who can’t express their feelings to a loved one. Having to write heartfelt loving messages is a life needle as Theodore is going through a sticky divorce and is struggling to move on from the loss of the love of his life. Theodore buys a new state of the art operating system and eventually falls in love with the newly bought operating system. Set in the future, Her asks many questions about human relationships with other humans and technology.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Blue Jasmine


Life for Jasmine (Cate Blanchett) is comfortable; she has a rich husband (Alec Baldwin); expensive house and maids to pamper on her every need. Jasmine’s life is simple and relaxing that is until her husband is arrested by the FBI and loses the entire contents of the house. This means that Jasmine has to move down the socioeconomic ladder to live with her sister, Ginger (Sally Hawkins), in San Francisco. Struggling to cope without the riches she married into, Jasmine always looks as though she is on the edge of a nervous breakdown.

Monday, 10 February 2014

Captain Phillips (correct spelling this time....)




The East coast of Africa is dangerous place for shipping vessels to sail through as the waters of the Pacific and Indian oceans are home to a number of African pirates who hijack ships and demand huge sums of money from the businesses or governments of the respective ships. Hijackings are frequent enough to be a concern and the ship MV Maersk Alabama, captained by Richard Phillips (Tom Hanks), is unlucky enough to fall victim to an act of piracy whilst travelling from the Port of Salalah in Oman to Mombassa in Kenya.

Friday, 31 January 2014

The Call


Set in a Los Angeles 911 emergency call centre, The Call stars Halle Berry as a 911 operative who receives a terrified call from a teenage girl about a man braking into her house. The call is cut off and Jordan (Berry) makes the terrible mistake of redialling, alerting the killer of the girl’s location in the process. She quits the desk job, but a call (via an untraceable phone) from another teenage girl in peril places Jordan back into the hot seat.

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Inside Llewyn Davis


Having just embarked on a solo career, Llewyn Davis finds his career not going in the direction he had wished. Regularly found performing at small venues in Greenwich Village in 1960s New York, Llewyn Davis’ life takes a turn for the worse when his best friend’s girlfriend announces that she is pregnant and he might be the father. Homeless Llewyn Davis attempts to balance this with his desperate attempts to make himself noticeable within the music industry.

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Prisoners




Incendies was one of the best films of 2010, it was hard-hitting, brutally emotional and contained a twist that was like something from – I wouldn’t want to ruin it for you.  Denis Villeneuve’s first English language film is set in a small town in Pennsylvania in which two young girls are kidnapped. The police investigation, led by Detective Loki (Jake Gyllenhaal), leads to the arrest of a mentally handicapped Alex Jones (Paul Dano), but when there is not enough evidence to charge him of the crime, he is released. This enrages Keller Dover (Hugh Jackman), one of the fathers of the missing girls, who then proceeds to kidnap Alex and torture him in an attempt to extract information about the whereabouts of the two missing girls.

Thursday, 23 January 2014

In a World...


In a world where men dominate the positions for voiceover artist in trailers, just like the one we live in now, one woman (Lake Bell) decides to follow her dream and auditions for the role as voiceover artist for a trailer for a romantic comedy, and after a successful audition she gets the gig. Carol Solomon impresses producers so much that she has a chance to provide a voiceover for the upcoming trailers for the Amazon Games, one of the biggest literacy phenomenons in memory. Up against her is the next Don LaFontaine and her own father (Fred Melamed).

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

12 Years a Slave





Directed by Steve McQueen 12 Years a Slave is based on the memoir by Solomon Northup, of the same name, which tells the story of his twelve years as a slave. Solomon is lured to Washington where he is drugged, kidnapped and eventually sold to William Ford (Benedict Cumberbatch). After a fight with John Tibeats (Paul Dano), Solomon Northup’s life is no longer safe at Ford’s plantation thus he is sold to the violent plantation owner, Edwin Epps (Michael Fassbender).

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

American Hustle





American Hustle starts off with a message saying “some of this is actually true”, perhaps this is knowing nod to the audience who are aware that many films that state that “the following events are based on a true story” basically mean “we have taken the bare basics of the truth and decided to make up some shit as well”. Anywho, moving on, American Hustle is loosely based on the ABSCAM investigation in which a number of notable politicians are embodied in a corruption scandal.

Monday, 6 January 2014

Insidious Chapter 2





Insidious Chapter 2 starts off where the first film left us sighing exasperatedly at a lame attempt at building a franchise masquerading as cliff-hanger. Anyway, in the first film Dalton (Ty Simpkins) fell into a coma thus allowing an evil spirit into our world (thus replacing Dalton). His Dad, Josh Lambert (Patrick Wilson), rescues him from The Further, bringing him back to the world of the living. However, it becomes clear that Josh has brought something back with him as his behaviour is strange to say the least. Furthermore, the hauntings and bad dreams have once again started troubling the Lambert family.

Saturday, 4 January 2014

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty




Walter Mitty (Ben Stiller) has done very little with his life and spends the majority of his time dreaming half his life away (RIP Phil Everly) by imagining a series of extravagant stunts and life threatening situations. In some of his dreams he impresses a certain Cheryl Melhoff (Kristen Wigg) of whom Walter has a crush on (I concede I do this regularly). Walter’s uneventful life is about a change as a missing negative will lead Walter to places like Greenland, Iceland and Afghanistan in which he experiences a number of memorable moments including a volcanic eruption. Whilst this is happening Life magazine is undergoing a transition from print to online media placing a number of jobs at risk. 

You're Next




A woman is brutally murdered by mask-wearing killers who paint the words “You’re Next” on the wall for the boyfriend to see, who is then also brutally murdered (it is always nice the killers take time to smear the wall with blood whilst using the correct grammar). A few days later the Davison family arrive at the family home to celebrate Aubrey and Paul’s 35th wedding anniversary. However, the Davison family is soon under threat from a group of mask wearing home invaders intent on killing everyone inside.