Saturday, 17 October 2009

Mini Reviews For The Latest Movies...

I'd love to write larger reviews for these but I've just not got the time at the moment.

Here are some short mini reviews for some of the movies I've caught recently:


"A couple of hours out of my life I'll never get back" as they say. Badly filmed, badly acted and an assault on the senses in the worst possible way, this movie has a novel idea and runs amok with it, resulting in a film that makes you feel violated when you leave the cinema. It had potential but unfortunately that died during the first two minutes and headed downward into hell after that. I can't think of a redeeming feature that would make me tell you to go see this film. But if and when it comes on Sky you should watch it and see what you think, just don't pay good money to see it in the cinema otherwise.



District 9

As over hyped as any film I've ever seen, District 9 doesn't really seem to know what it is and therein lies its fundamental problem. It starts with a slow documentary style of filming (A la Cloverfield etc) and then suddenly forgets it was using that technique and jumps headlong into straightforward action filming with lots of South African swearing (Fook this, fook that etc), some pretty obvious and unashamed racist jibes, passable special effects and giant unforgiving plot holes.

After saying all that I can't deny that I liked the film more than I should have (it is sci-fi after all) and some of the robo suit scenes were cool, it just didn't hit the mark that I'd heard it would from everyone else out there. Shame... One to rent on DVD.




I'd heard that this movie was fantastic, that it was as funny as Shaun of the Dead and that it was an unmissable horror-comedy movie... OK so there aren't a huge amount of horror-comedy movies out there, and if you're looking for one then it is indeed unmissable, and it's true that it had its funny moments... But it's a very very long way off from the caliber of Shaun of the Dead and being fantastic!

As The Dark Knight mentioned before the funniest moment probably comes from a cameo from the legend that is Bill 'Ghostbusters' Murray and not from the main cast. It's a movie that feels like a scene has been ripped out of a larger movie and turned into one itself. It's short, repetitive (with the rules popping up every now and then, which isn't actually that funny, you'll see what I mean when you watch it) and, as with a lot of films these days, its greatest moments can be seen in the trailer... I recommend it for fans of this sort of genre as they're more likely to get something out of it than maybe I did, it's just too much of an empty shell to get good marks from me. The only redeeming feature happens to be the stunning Emma Stone...



Pixar's UP 3D

Disney Pixar movies are some of my favourite films of all time. They're beautiful, emotional, funny and fantastically written and directed pieces of art.

I can't think of one that's my all-time favourite but I do love Toy Story 1 & 2, The Incredibles, A Bug's Life, Cars, Monsters Inc, Finding Nemo, Ratatouille and Wall-E... OK so that's all of them, told you I couldn't choose!

UP is a "strange" Pixar film. I say strange because as the Pixar movies have progressed through the years they seem to have taken on more adult themes and way more emotions than the one before it. For a child orientated set of movies this is pretty strange to me. Loss of a loved one in one way or another seems to be a prerequisite now and this has culminated in Pixar's latest movie where the loss/ death of the main characters wife powers the story along, almost all by itself. There's no harm in that at all and it effectively tugged on my heart strings to watch this bright and colourful film unfold into an enjoyable and emotional adventure. I felt that the mainstay humour wasn't really present this time round and the story was only slightly weaker than other Pixar movies before it. BUT it was of course a wonderful film and with those "real 3D" glasses on it turned out to be a truly unique experience. I've never seen a film in that form of 3D before and both my daughter and I were amazed at how good it was.

Definitely one to watch, especially if you've got kids aged 6+ to go with.



Green Lantern: First Flight (Animated)

I've always been a big fan of the Marvel and DC animated movies that have been released over the last few years. I even watched the first Avengers animated movie on Sky again tonight and enjoyed it more than the first time I saw it! The last offering from DC was the Wonder Woman movie and although it had some slight flaws, it was a kick ass film and I liked it a lot.

Green Lantern: First Flight is a far superior film to those that have come before it. It's been heavily aimed towards an older audience and the creators took the thankful leap into making it more sci-fi than super hero, which works fantastically considering Hal Jordan is actually a Space Cop. Apart from the fact that you notice pretty quickly that Hal is seriously overshadowed both on screen and through the voice acting, by Sinestro, this film is frickin awesome in its execution and has some of the best animated scenes I've ever seen. The chase of the ship through hyperspace, Hal's imaginative use of the ring to create human-form objects, the final epic battle, it's all there to impress DC fans, and it succeeds in spades. I even got major goosebumps when the Lantern Corps creed is recited by the various characters at the end of the film. "In blackest day, in darkest night...", priceless.

One to watch for all you DC fan boys out there. Even my 6 year old daughter loved it!



Superman/ Batman: Public Enemies

As I've mentioned before Superman/ Batman: Public Enemies is one of my favourite comics/ graphic novels of all time. The artwork by Ed McGuinnes is amazing, the story is enjoyable (if far fetched, even for a comic) and there are some of the best and most enjoyable fights you can see from DC within its pages.

The animated movie, the latest release from DC, is difficult to enjoy purely because it's a watered down version of the comic. The animation isn't as crisp and clear as McGuiness', the voice acting feels weak and without heart and some of the best or funniest scenes have been altered (not for the better) which retracts too far from the source material for it to work. It's a real shame because a lot of the original stuff is there, but it doesn't feel like it flows well and characters flit about, never really having any purchase in their scenes. I'd heard that LeVar Burton was doing the voice of Black Lightning and I waited for him to come on, only to be rewarded with one sentence in the whole film which is quickly forgotten... What was the point?!

It's still an enjoyable film for fans but nowhere near what it could, or should, have been. If you've never read the comics that the movie is based on then you may like it way more. Catch it if you can, but don't pay big bucks if you can get it for free.

6.5/ 10

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