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.
The third episode of the Expendables Franchise sees the group (and some new recuits) face off against an notorious arms dealer, Conrad Stonebanks (Mel Gibson), who just happens to be a former member of the Expendables team. Barney (Sylvester Stallone)and his team consisting of the old blood and some new blood battle against the brutal arms dealer. One of the main issues with the franchise as a whole is that the actors generally lack the comic timing to make the wisecracks among some of the most well known actions stars work, this problem has never been more apparent than in the latest Expendables film. The latest Expendables film is the worst in the franchise simply because of the cynical decision to make the film more widely available to audiences by toning down the film's action sequences. Whilst the action scences were enjoyable in the first film, because of the rather bloody violence, they aren't here because the film is so toned down (it was given a 12 rating) it lacks any over the top violence to get exicited by.
DreamWorks may not make films that match the quality of Pixar and Disney as consistently, but How to Train Your Dragon is perhaps the best film of their filmography that rivals any of Pixar's greatest works. Five years from the previous film, the Viking Village of Berk have made peace with the dragons after years of war. This tranquilent and idyllic setting is shattered by the evil Drago Bludvist (Djimon Hounsou).
The first film worked so well because the relationship between Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) and his dragon Toothless was so engaging it carried the emotional weight of the film. The sequel maintains that relationship and yet again carries the emotional weight of film. The film is beautifully animated, well written and well acted by the voice cast (Cate Blanchett's Scottish accent is a tad ropey). It may lack the magic, and the humour of the first film, but How to Train Your Dragon 2 is a worthy sequel.