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18 reviews in total 
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5 out of 17 people found the following review useful:
Another GREAT Spidey movie! Spoiler Free!, 22 April 2014

When Mark Webb first relaunched the Spider-Man franchise, there were many who criticised that it was too soon after Sam Raimi's originals. With Spider-Man 3 spelling the demise of the original trilogy, Webb stepped in to tell a new set of stories of our beloved web slinger. One thing Webbs movies have done so well is to introduce new villains that we haven't seen on screen before, and for me that is what i was most excited to see with this movie!

Amazing Spider-Man 2 picks up some time after the first (the actual time frame isn't really acknowledged)and we see Peter (Garfield) is still loving being Spider-Man. He joins in on Police chases and whilst being his usual wise-cracking self, he still manages to kick ass and save the day. We see that despite Peters promise to her Father in the first movie, he and Gwen (Stone) are back in a relationship. She knows he is Spider-Man and so the movie doesn't waste time with silly plot points about him having to be secretive towards her.(it saves those for Aunt May). There are sub narratives a-plenty, including the introduction of Harry Osborne, as well as Peters on-going search to find out what happened to his Parents.

The Bad Guy/s: We are introduced to Max Dillon aka Electro who is given the usual Supervillian intro. We see that he is an outcast and that no one at Oscorp even knows he exists despite him being a seemingly important designer. Cue massive accident involving electricity and Electro is born. This for me was one of the Highlights of the film. Electro is BADASS!! Not only did they completely nail the look of the character, but the power he has, makes you genuinely question just how Peter will defeat him. Jamie Fox plays him with vulnerability (at first)and then pure anger. It's a great performance for a comic book villain.

The film was not without faults however...a few things that annoyed me slightly were: 1) Rhino was billed to be one of the villains, yet his screen time is less that 5 mins. plus Paul Giamatti's Russian accent is awful! 2) The whole plot around Harry felt very rushed. Maybe some elements could have been saved until the next film. 3) On several occasions Gwen helps Spidey out of bad situations, both physically and intellectually. Peter is supposedly a child genius, now with Superpowers..he didn't need her help!.. it felt like Gwen helping was forced in to give Emma Stone more to do.

All in all it was another great addition to this new franchise. The final showdown on the power grid and in the clock tower are worth the admission price alone, even if the film takes a while to get there. Garfield is great, Fox's Electro is awesome and the movie has many little nods to expanding the Spidey universe (look out for whats behind the glass in the 'Special Projects' wing).

Top notch entertainment.

Pompeii (2014/I)
3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Not as bad as some would make out, 16 April 2014

I've read many very negative reviews for this film, and to be honest i'm a little confused. It is by no means the next 'Gladiator' but it is an entertaining telling of a true event that I for one, have never seen on screen. The movie set the scene of Pompeii very well. It looked like a cross between Rome and Sparta to me. The characters were all likable, and had their place in the narrative, but my main issue with the story was the classic 'Love Triangle'. I couldn't understand why a story of the famous Mount Vesuvius eruption in 79 A.D needed a sub-plot of a slave (Kit Harrington) who falls for a beautiful daughter of a wealthy merchant(Emily Browning), and ends up having to fight for her and his freedom against a corrupt Roman Senator (Keifer Sutherland).

I guess you couldn't have a full movie about the eruption itself, but at the end of the day, that's all i was waiting to see. I didn't really care to much for what else was happening.

When the mountain finally erupts it is spectacular. Pompeii is in deep sh*t. I liked the way the movie showed this, everyone just panicked, but there was no where to go...

An entertaining end. Worth a rental in my opinion, and not really deserving of 1/10, 2/10 reviews!

The Machine (2013/I)
10 out of 19 people found the following review useful:
A Pleasant Surprise, 16 April 2014

The Machine is a film that i was expecting to find very mediocre, going relatively under the radar and with a low budget, i wasn't expecting this Sci-fi movie to be anything special. But i was pleasantly surprised.

The thing this film manages to do is put aside all the glossy special effects and focus more on the moral of the story. What makes us human, and can Artificial Intelligence truly be alive..

Caity Lotz is great as the Machine. Cold, yet childlike, she plays a machine of great strength with a real vulnerability. The shots of her dancing alone whilst we see all the fibres and lights pulse under her skin was a beautiful scene! The movie rides the line between positive uses for AI and what an accomplishment it could be, but also shows the dangerous and unpredictable nature of it. The military serving as the 'villian' of the story who want to use the creation as a weapon is somewhat cliché, but it is done very well.

Definitely one worth checking out for fans of Blade Runner and similar movies.

2 out of 16 people found the following review useful:
Outstanding second outing for the Enterprise crew, 15 May 2013

With 2009's Star Trek JJ Abrams managed to do what many were sceptical was possible..he made the series accessible to the masses and with a sexy young cast, thrilling action sequences and lens flare aplenty we were immediately sold once again into the Trek universe and both old fans and new highly anticipated what the sequel would bring. We are thrown straight into the action before any opening credits have rolled and instantly the film look stunning. The planet Nibiru sets the scene for the opening sequence, and a decision made by Kirk (Chris Pine) results in breaking a fundamental Starfleet rule. As a result Kirk is reprimanded and first officer Spock (Zachary Quinto) is re-assigned.

Just as it looks like things couldn't get worse for Kirk, a new threat in the form of Galactic Terrorist who goes by the name of "John Harrison" (Cumberbatch) interrupts proceedings and before long Kirk is back leading the crew of the Enterprise in hot pursuit.

Around this point we are introduced to a few new characters, Dr Carol Marcus (Alice Eve), the daughter of Starfleet head Admiral Marcus (Peter Weller) whom has instructed Kirk to take 72 suspicious looking Torpedoes along for the journey.

What follows is a cat and mouse chase across the cosmos that takes us to Klingon home-world Kronos, where Kirk is once again reluctant to follow orders and risk starting a war with the Klingon Empire.

Abrams, along with writers Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, Damon Lindelof have created another fantastic Star Trek movie. The story is great with many nods to original trek lore, the Villain is BADASS, and it looks stunning! The movie is relentlessly exciting from the very first minute inside a volcano, to the rather poignant moments between the crew that are so well written. The Enterprise crew steal the show though, it's not often that after just one movie in a franchise you are so involved with these characters, you can feel what they feel, laugh with them, cry with them. I was totally immersed in this movie from start to finish.

Overall I can only say it's as good, if not better than Abrams first movie, and most certainly one of the best Trek movies ever made!

Iron Man 3 (2013)
0 out of 12 people found the following review useful:
Not what i was expecting, but still pretty good!, 25 April 2013

Let it first be said that I am a huge fan of the Marvel movies, everything from Marvel: phase one leading to the Avengers was by far some of the best blockbusters I've ever watched. So to say my expectations for Iron Man 3 (Marvels first movie of phase2) were high is somewhat an understatement.

This movie starts at what I'm guessing is a few months after the events in New York in 'Avengers Assemble' although they never actually address how much time has passed. Tony Stark (RDJ) is still tinkering away in his basement creating new suits and tech to add to his armour and doing anything to avoid sleeping (Stark still suffers horrible nightmares from the events in Avengers) He is still as loved and famous as before and protecting the world as Iron Man. Although, in the East a terrorist by the name of The Mandarin has taken claim to many bombings around the globe and vowed America will be next and will 'never see me coming'. Curious as to how these bombings were committed and left no trace of a weapon, cue some investigative work from Stark and a welcome introduction to the new Iron Patriot (War Machine from IM2 with a paint job) and the movie finally gets going.

Some of the story is shown through many flashbacks, and we are introduced to both Maya Hansen (Rebecca Hall) and Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce) and the origins of something called the 'Extremis virus', which develops into the main focus of this movie.

What is very different about this film compared to the previous outings is that this instalment takes Tony Stark and completely strips him of the Iron Man image for much of the film. After his house (and many suits) are destroyed Stark must rely of his wits and intelligence to find out what exactly is the Extremis Virus and who is The Mandarin. While RDJ is a fine actor and easily holds the screen, I couldn't help feeling a little disappointed that there wasn't more in- suit action. I also wasn't overly keen on the relationship banter between Stark and Pepper (Paltrow) I think I preferred the boss-employee relationship from the previous movies. There was always sexual tension and an inkling that Tony loved her, but now its all out in the open it seems dull and Pepper comes across as a nagging wife for much of the film!

The performances in this film are all solid. RDJ is as good as ever, both Hall and Paltrow do a fine job as female leads and Kingsley as The Mandarin is a shocking performance in more ways than one! I was not expecting what he did with the character at all! The standout for me though was Guy Pearce as Killian. I thought he was great, and gave a smooth performance as the head of AIM, and aggressive in the action scenes. This is the first time as a viewer that I believed the 'villain' was a true match both intellectually and physically for Stark.

All in all, Iron Man 3 is a fun, if sometimes dark outing for the armoured avenger. There were a few plot holes, and some of the edits at times looked a little messy but with good performances from the cast, and some great VFX it made up for it. I would've liked to have seen a few more action scenes and the villains could have been given more back-story. but otherwise a nice start to Phase 2

The Hunter (2011/IV)
1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
A beautifully shot movie, with real heart., 18 April 2013

I had not heard much about this movie at all before I watched it, I am a fan of William Dafoe and the subject matter of hunting a seemingly extinct creature intrigued me.. so I gave it a go! And I'm glad I did!

We are introduced to Dafoe's character: Martin David as he is hired by powerful biotech company 'Red Leaf' to hunt down the last Tasmanian tiger. Not much is revealed about the character or the company he is working for, but straight away we get an uneasy feeling about the motives behind the 'hunt'. Martin travels to Tasmania alone. And once there meets up with Jack. (Sam Neil) He has arranged for Martin to temporarily stay in the house of Lucy Armstrong (Frances O'Connor). This is a nice element in the story as we see the initially cold and lonesome Martin begin to interact and develop feelings for Lucy and her two kids! Still under pressure from Red Leaf to find this animal, Martin goes out into the wilderness alone for weeks on end setting traps and snares. Returning to the house every so often to resupply and bathe he realises the missing Husband of Lucy Armstrong may have also been involved with hunting the Tiger!

"The Hunter" is a beautifully shot and paced film with both drama, action and a heart. It is an unpredictable and at times, sad plot.

The always excellent Willem Dafoe carries this movie through to its emotional climax with a great performance, and we are left with a heavy heart towards this wonderful creature that is no longer on this planet!

A Great Film!

V/H/S (2012)
3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Terrible, 18 April 2013

The concept of this movie is that it is found footage, of a movie about people finding found footage tapes.. with grisly contents.

Firstly: The motion of this movie is so jumpy and poor quality (i'm guessing deliberately) that it completely ruins the viewing pleasure. Secondly: The separate short stories aren't all that scary and are equally as poor quality as the main narrative. There was nothing new or exciting about this movie. Each story was something i have seen many times before in other horror movies but executed much worse. I'll be honest..i turned it off after about the hour mark. I didn't see the point of finishing it as i wasn't invested in any of the characters, and there was no suspense or 'what happens next' emotions to keep me interested.

Not very good at all.

Oblivion (2013/I)
3 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
Epic Sci-Fi with some great twists!, 15 April 2013

Sci-Fi movies nowadays have the tendency to be clichéd stories or remakes of old ideas, using similar characters and threats, it's not very often that a completely original idea comes along. Oblivion is one of these movies, offering both different and unique plot points, some great acting from all three leads, fantastic design and visuals and spot on directing. The story of Oblivion (taken from an un-published Graphic Novel) introduces us to a post-invasion planet Earth. After an alien invasion wiped out most of humanity, we are told that we used our nukes to end the war. 60 years have passed, and Earth is now a partially radioactive wasteland. Jack Harper (Tom Cruise), is a member of a 'mop-up' team tasked with repairing drones and eliminating any remaining alien threat. But when Jack is captured by a group of humans, their leader (Morgan Freeman) tells him that things are not what they seem and that everything he knows is a lie. Director Joseph Kosinski is actually the author of the novel the film is based on, and so from start to finish this is his baby! Kosinski creates a frightening future world with Oblivion. The smoothness of many scenes and the way the film constantly holds both tension and intrigue to the viewer is so good that you forget, this is only his second film.

The performances in the movie are also superb, with Tom Cruise being on top of his game as our hero, Olga Kurylenko was mysterious and sexy in her role as the survivor that Jack saves from a shuttle wreckage. I was a little disappointed that Morgan Freeman didn't have more screen time, but at least he was great in the scenes he was in. The effects were fantastic, everything from the apartment above the clouds to the ship Jack pilots all looked not only futuristic and cool but also completely plausible which I loved!

In conclusion, Oblivion is a great sci-fi movie. It has a love story, great plot twists, stunning visuals, all the elements to make it a classic. However, this is by no means a film without flaws.. there is a particular revelation scene towards the end in which I spotted a pretty major continuity error, that I couldn't work out how they didn't notice it or maybe it was deliberate..i don't know! All in all, I loved this film. It's definitely worth seeing on the big screen. To enhance the experience though I would suggest avoiding spoilers so it doesn't ruin the twists in the movie.


3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
A Great Achievement!, 5 February 2013

Cloud Atlas is unlike any film I have seen before, it tells a number of different stories spanning across centuries, with many big name actors playing multiple roles across those time lines… sounds confusing…but something about it just works. It has the big names (Tom Hanks, Hugh Grant, and Halle Berry to name a few) and a big budget. Making this film was certainly an ambitious task, and yet somehow it flows effortlessly through multiple stories while never really feeling disconnected. You get a real sense that EVERYTHING in this film was meant to be there. Each time line connects to another, and if you don't pay attention (for a pretty hefty 2hrs 50mins) you will miss important plot points. It kept me engaged for the whole film.

In the course of the movie six very different stories are told, and there is something for all types of movie audiences: A 19th century tale of unlikely friendship between a stowaway slave and a young plantation owner. A love story via letters between a gay composer to his partner in the 1930's, A 70's corporate espionage thriller, A comedic account of an wrongfully committed pensioner in an old folks home, a beautiful futuristic clone's battle for freedom, and finally the story of a post-apocalyptic tribesman and his family facing the dangers of the far-future. Although all these stories are so different, we never lose the feeling that they are somehow connected, and as the story plays out, we begin to see these connections come to light.

Without wanting to give away too much about the stories, I will say my favourite was: The modern day set trials of an ageing writer played wonderfully by Jim Broadbent whom is placed in a home by his bitter brother and must escape. Hilarious and quite heart-warming. I also loved the Blade Runner-esque future story involving the question of Artificial Intelligence and consumerism gone mad. It looked beautiful and the relatively unknown Doona Bae was great as the clone/android Sonmi-451.

The master class of acting across these stories is what steals the show. Some were so unrecognisable that I didn't even realise who it was until I saw the credits.

For all its plot twists and connections, Cloud Atlas, for me is about the idea that our actions affect others greatly throughout time, every action we make has a reaction to someone, somewhere. Chaos Theory suggests the smallest act can have great consequences.

Like many movies with such a deep message, Cloud Atlas didn't do as well as perhaps it deserved to in the box office, and it has been met with some criticism from mainstream critics who consider it too showy and self-indulgent. This movie is a great achievement, and one that I hope is looked back on and thought more of in hindsight in the years to come.

Definitely one of the better films I saw in 2012.

97 out of 175 people found the following review useful:
Great start to a new Trilogy!, 7 January 2013

First off I have never read The Hobbit, but from what I gather the book isn't all that long, so the fact that this film is the first of three, suggests they may be milking it a little. That being said however I was very excited to return to Middle Earth for a new story..and I wasn't disappointed in the slightest.

This is the Prequel story to LOTR following the adventures of Bilbo Baggins (Frodo's Uncle played by Ian Holm previously) and how he came to be in possession on the ring.

Peter Jackson's The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. .is quite simply a BEAUTIFUL film! I saw the movie in 3D and at the 48fps that Jackson intended and I was blown away by how it looked. It's a stunning film that left me with the same 'WOW' factor that the original trilogy did a decade ago. Set 60 years earlier than Lord of The Rings, We are introduced to a much younger Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman). He is a content Hobbit, not concerned with adventure of any sort. Until Gandalf (Ian McKellan) suddenly appears, along with a group of unruly Dwarfs and offers Bilbo the chance to be part of a great adventure. The dwarfs wish to reclaim their homeland, which has been taken over by a huge dragon named Smaug, It's a simple concept and one that probably shouldn't be stretched over 3 movies but as with any 'first in a trilogy' film, it sets the stage perfectly. The movie has some great scenes.. meeting the Dwarfs in Bilbo's house, the run in with fighting stone giants and the escape from deep within the goblins' mountain are particular highlights. I loved the scene in which Bilbo runs into a familiar face (for LOTR fans) in the caves: Gollum (who looks amazing with todays MOCAP technology). Much of the movie, is the journey of the troupe back to the mountain, but also the journey of Bilbo himself.. mild and timid at the start of the film, our hero finds his courage, several times over, through the course of this film.

Overall I loved this film, I thought it looked fantastic and the care of attention not just aesthetically but also in terms of continuity were obvious. These are Peter Jacksons films, no doubt. Much like he did with the previous trilogy, bringing us into a world full of heroes and villains, orcs and wizards this film literally (thanks to the 3D and FPS rate) literally transports you into Middle Earth.

I am already excited to see the next instalment but to keep me satisfied until then..i may go and watch my LOTR boxset again . And them maybe this film again!

Great stuff!!

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