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.

The ever lasting legacy and appeal of The Exorcist since the film was released in 1973 has resulted in a number of films attempting to replicate the effect of The Exorcist but never come close. The Quiet Ones spends so much time making causal references and paying homage to the imagery of the 1973 classic that the film forgets to build an identity of its own. John Pogue's  tendency to rely on jump scares to create any real frights add to the film's overall derivativeness as the film punctuates period of silence with sudden loud noise. However, the performances from Jared Harris and Olivia Cooke (as Jane Harper) are so superb they make the entire film watchable.


Cambodian born British director Hong Khaou's debut feature film stars Ben Whishaw as Richard who following the death of his lover Kai (Andrew Leung) attempts to connect with Kai's mother. Kai's mother, Junn (Pei-pei Cheng), doesn't speak  any English or know that her son was gay. Because of the language barrier, Richard brings in a translator, Vann (Naomi Christie), who becomes the centre of an emotional triangle because of her translating duties.

Hong Khaou's film, Lilting, talks beautifully about the feelings of loss and loneliness following the death of a loved one, his film examines the reaction to such a loss in heartfelt and tender way. Hong Khaou's story evokes much emotion, his portrait of loss is extremely moving, but his film's wonderful lyrical story is boosted twofold by two superb central performances from Ben Whishaw and Pei-pei Cheng. Pei-pei Cheng's performance is as moving as it is amusing and Ben Whishaw is so impressive that he brings the film to a whole new emotional level. Thanks to the superb story and highly effective performances, Lilting has a powerful impact on the audience.


I have to admit that when I first saw the trailer to The Lego Movie I was not in any way keen to go and see it as looked like it would only appeal to kids, but the positive reviews came roaring in, one after another. It eventually was released on DVD and I shortly found out how wrong my initial perception was. The quality of The Lego Movie is a result of painstaking dedication and the upmost care going into the project, the writers, producers and directors know that Lego is a massive part of the majority of children’s childhood.

The Lego Movie is visually superb; the majority of the film is GCI but the Lego figures are animated in a style that greatly resemble stop-motion animation, making the Lego figures move in the same jagged movements as real Lego figures do. The end result of this is a truly effective one as it reminds one of the stories they used to enact using Lego figures in their childhood. The depth of the visuals wonders are extraordinary as the vast city, in which the action mostly takes place, is a sprawling metropolis capturing perfectly the day to day hubbub of a modern city.

The Lego Movie is more than a visual marvel as the film contains genuine heart and warmth, a positive message and hugely engaging characters and story. The various Lego characters are all mostly memorable in their own right and perfectly voiced by the likes of Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks and Liam Neeson. Hugely rewarding, The Lego Movie has no trouble in appealing to all generations as the flashy actions sequences will excite the younger viewers whilst the older views will be amused by the satirical gags and the hilarious parodying of films like Star Wars and Terminator. The Lego Movie is genuine delight.


1 comment:

  1. Lilting sounds really interesting! I'm going to have to put that in my Netflix queue. I loved The Lego Movie too, especially Batman's song.