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MovieSonic

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37 reviews in total 
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Calvary (2014)
2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Slow moving character-driven film, worth your patience, 23 August 2014
8/10

This is an example of a character-driven film which is well worth taking the time and patience to invest in the characters and the story.

This film probably has one of the most memorable opening lines in film history so keep the volume turned up for the beginning.

There are plenty of scenes which required a bit too much patience and I felt that one scene in particular was far too graphic, the scene was already poignant enough hence why the loss of 2 stars but there are so many hilarious lines and the mystery aspect was great.

Brendan Gleeson was awesome as usual (loved him in The Guard, a favourite of mine) and Aidan Gillen was good but what is wrong with his voice? I know his Irish accent is real but it never sounds real in any of his work. He seriously sounds like a leprechaun on steroids. But he is funny and obviously a good actor.

I definitely recommend watching this but wait until you're in the mood for a slow but great story and you'll likely enjoy it more.

8/10

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Boring, pointless and self indulgent cr*p, 21 August 2014
4/10

Terrible film, just terrible.

I watched half of it, gave up then because of my OCD and needing to complete things, I finished it the next day.

Whoever wrote the script has obviously never heard anyone talk in real life before.

There is far too much focus on Meryl Streep's character and she is given so much time to drone on and on about utter cr*p to ensure award nominations that none of the other characters are developed enough. What was the point of the film? The ending was rubbish and people got irate over nothing or perhaps to ensure there would be enough scenes for the trailer and the movie poster.

Every scene felt disconnected and I think the only good thing this film had going for it was Julia Roberts who is a total pro. Juliette Lewis did some fine acting and to be fair, there was nothing wrong with any of the acting from anyone.

I love character and story driven films but this was just awful.

Trance (2013/I)
0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Starts out awesome then gets daft then just dies, 29 July 2014
7/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I'm not going to spend a lot of time reviewing this film: This started out a 10, dropped to a 6, went back up to an 8 then just milled around a 5. I've given it a 7 because the beginning of the film is pretty awesome, really funny and just good writing and a really clever and interesting set up. Unfortunately they lost me at the hypnosis scene. I would have preferred that there be some futuristic assistance i.e. 'it's the future so we now have chemicals that can alter your brain chemistry and the way you access memories' or something.

As it stands, this woman (Rosario Dawson) is magic. She can just put spells on people. That's all you need to know, there's no science behind it, she just has a special voice that puts you in a trance after speaking to you for 10 seconds - I might be exaggerating, it could have been only 5 seconds to be fair (!) Anyway, I loved that the criminals weren't one dimensional. They were actually capable of having normal conversations and acting like human beings... until they turn into rapists. But was that bit necessary? Maybe. It justified a funny 'he got shot in the dick' scene... but really, was it vital? No.

Okay this rant means I have officially spent a fair bit of time reviewing this film.

In the middle, the film is just the lead criminal (an awesome as usual Vincent Cassel) having polite conversations with Rosario. It's just not believable though is it?? But that's fine because the actors are great and they make it work. James McAvoy is just brilliant. No surprise there. But then towards the end...it's like this can't just be a straightforward film. It can't just be a simple well-made mystery. It's got to have 10 twists at the end, each one more stupid than the last until finally, you have no idea what's going on which by the way, isn't 'clever' or 'intellectual', it's "I couldn't decide on an ending so I chose 10 of them".

The connection between Vincent's and Rosario's characters is totally 100% NOT believable, they just spent the entire film building up rapport between Rosario and James, tore that down and then just had Rosario leave a love note of sorts for Franck but... there was no interaction with them on a personal level whatsoever!! So where the hell did that come from?? One sex scene does not count as personal interaction or 'intimacy'.

So frustrating when people try to be clever. The film was already clever with its witty dialogue at the beginning and an interesting premise of trying to find something and maybe one twist at the end if necessary.

Tacking on 10 endings to stop anyone from predicting the ending does not count as being clever!

An awesome film epically ruined.

Worth a watch for the actors and the beginning so 6.8/10.

Divergent (2014)
2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Best Tween Film In Ages, 29 July 2014
9/10

I'm glad I got around to watching this, I'm not sure who's writing the negative reviews or what they were expecting but I can honestly say that this is the best tween film I've seen in a long time.

It IS a tween film, it's blatantly aimed at young girls and as a "twenty-something" youngish female, I'm not embarrassed to say that I really enjoyed this film. It's pure fantasy fodder of course but here's what I liked about it:

- the relationship between the two leads develops naturally i.e. they don't see each other and go 'you're my soulmate', in fact they don't really get on at first so this is believable and refreshing

- the lead actress (Shailene Woodley) playing Tris is extremely natural and one of a very few actors I've ever seen who has convinced me that they are grieving (usually grief in films is just 'oh, they're dead, I'm so upset' ... swiftly moves on with their day..) - Actually both of the leads (Theo James as well) play their roles really well

- I loved the point of view shots like when Tris looks at Four during the training and you see it from his perspective and then the camera cuts to his face to get his reaction to the look she gives him (there are other similar scenes) and it just adds to the effect of feeling like these are real people and I empathised with them more as a result

- Yeah the background story for the city is quite thin but who cares, stranger things have happened in the real world and what I like is that we're given a sense of 'this is what they've been told but is that what's really happened?'. I'm not sure if that's in the book or if the film makers wanted to add some realism for us grown-ups but when they question what's out there, I got the feeling this might be similar to The Island (Ewan McGregor) - that's not a spoiler it's just my opinion and probably totally off base

I have now watched this film about 4 or 5 times because I really liked so much of it: the fighting was believable for me because I think we've all gotten used to flashy choreography and sound effects but that's not what real fights look like or how they sound so for me, these fight scenes are really good. I liked the weapons because they kept it simple and for training, it's a good idea.

Probably the thing I liked the most is the fact that "it's not all about Tris". I mean, it IS all about Tris but it's not 'totally in your face, the world revolves around Tris and no-one else matters' all about Tris... What I mean is that there are some "films" out there which spend their entire running time having the supporting actors running around warning the lead actress not to have sex with her boyfriend lest he destroy her vagina but in this film, the lead actress often shares centre stage with her new best friend, there are a lot of scenes where she is in the background looking out as opposed to a lot of shots of her standing alone / in the centre and we see her friend fighting too; the focus is just not 'always' on her. Having said that, I do think that there could have been even 'more' focus on the people around her. First of all, had we gotten to know her friends better, we might have empathised with them more (trying not to include spoilers!) and also, this will sound harsh but it needs saying, I'm sick of seeing 'ethnic' people in minor or reduced roles: what a waste of Mekhi Phifer! I wish that Zoë Kravitz had been given more to do, yes she had a decent amount of screen time but I would have liked to maybe see her 'fearscape' and... that's about it for ethnic characters I think... yep.

I liked that Jai Courtney's character didn't go overboard as the villain but again, his character was a little one dimensional and I would have liked to have seen some more interaction and dialogue between him and Four just to flesh out their background story.

Kate Winslet honestly did the best she could with her part and it's a massive credit to her that she managed to make me severely dislike her and believe that she was evil with just a few odd lines here and there. Her role is to literally just pop into the film every now and then to be a bit menacing and give off a female-Hitler vibe (bright blonde hair). But she pulls it off in my opinion. There's no point in elaborating on why someone is pure evil, we know this exists, it's happened in the real world and it's still happening so her role didn't distract from the believability of the story.

Overall, I liked the subtlety of the story. There is no sex, no profanity, no overt 'I love yous' yet it didn't come across as 'after-school special*y' at all. Also, I never groaned out loud once or cringed or had to hide my face behind a pillow while someone professed their undying love for someone they just met a week ago. The dialogue was realistic with occasional over-rehearsed acting from some of the supporting cast but I really loved this film. Go into it knowing it's a tween film and that there won't be a lot of intelligent scientific explanations for things and you'll probably enjoy it as much as I did.

9/10

5 out of 11 people found the following review useful:
Emotional subject matter, "OK" film (possible spoilers in 3rd paragraph - not 'direct' spoilers), 16 June 2014
6/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Some films get a "free pass" i.e. an IMDb rating of 7 or higher (which makes the film a must-watch) because of their subject matter. Any film which deals with difficult subject matter such as child abduction, molestation etc. will automatically pull at the heart strings so you can't really go wrong with them in terms of audience investment in the characters and the story.

Yes, this film is worth watching because you will of course be emotionally impacted (unless you have no feelings) but I've rated the film a 6 based on the merits of the production and writing etc. The film definitely has Hollywood's production quality and the main actors are charismatic if a little hollow.

My main gripe(s) with this film are: movie realism. It is an accepted fact that police officers ALWAYS go off the deep end and break ALL the rules to solve crimes and hell, normal people would too! If I were confronting a possible paedophile and trying to get information, they'd at least lose a few fingers before I would give up - what the hell is this guy doing? There are so many scenes where you're expecting the lead guy to do something above and beyond to get what he needs but he doesn't and it's so frustrating! and unbelievable! Not just in movie land but in the real world too! Frankly, this guy's police work and deduction skills are appalling (not the actor's fault of course). There was one particular word which connected things but it made no sense that ALL the kids would be using the same word... why?! Did the guy have this word tattooed on his forehead or something??

Too many times I had to go 'urgh, as if' at the screen and the ending just wound me up like you cannot believe. ¡¡It's not exactly Fort Knox is it!!

So it's worth watching just because of the subject matter... except it's not is it? Because the subject matter is revolting.

Truth be told, up until things started to get ridiculous, I would have recommended watching this film but now that I've seen the whole thing, I'm not going to. I still give it a 6 for the production quality and the acting and the (unfortunately) emotional storyline but take the latter out and it's just a glossy Hollywood type film with a lot of flaws in the story telling.

6/10

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Really entertaining, 4 May 2014
7/10

I'm writing this review in case it convinces anyone not to put off watching this. The bad reviews stopped me from watching this for far too long.

I enjoyed the film mostly because the lead actors were great, I laughed out loud a fair few times and in terms of character development and film ending, I knew exactly what I would get and wasn't disappointed.

There were one or two additions to the road trip that I thought were unnecessary for example, the side story involving the two criminals chasing them...what was the point of that?! I also didn't like the skiptracer storyline (if that's what he was) but Robert Patrick played him really well and had some great scenes. I just thought that they should have had more confidence about making a film with great dialogue between the leads rather than adding in side stories.

I think the film was marketed poorly because if you go in expecting a non-stop comedy then this is not that. It was more like a drama that didn't take itself seriously and had some great comedic moments like with Jason Bateman at the motel with the guy behind the desk.

I liked it and I think it deserves better reviews, my vote 7/10

Really entertaining, 22 March 2014
8/10

I enjoyed it! There's a lot of fighting, I cared about the actors and I love Keanu Reeves as the bad guy in this film. I do think that there could have been more development of Keanu's character i.e. where did he come from, what motivates him etc. but I think this was deliberate to let the main guy shine (Tiger Hu Chen). It does affect the film though. I felt that there could have been more interaction between the policewoman and the bad guy for example and I would personally have gone for a slightly different ending to make the whole film a bit more mystical as there are hints about that throughout. As it stands, we'll just have to assume that Keanu's character was born with the unusual gift of being able to boost his voice like he has a microphone at random times and appear in rooms without anyone seeing him enter.

I'm glad I watched this and I think it was a great effort by everyone involved.

47 Ronin (2013)
0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Really entertaining and beautiful film, 22 March 2014
8/10

It's entertaining. It wasn't a masterpiece and definitely wasn't original but there are ways this film managed to surprise for example, by not having a predictable ending, great special effects, good acting... There are many visually stunning scenes and a lot of action. The actors were all fantastic and I genuinely cared about what happened to them. I read one review where the reviewer wasn't happy about the way Asian culture is portrayed and the 'caucasian' guy being at the centre.

Well, the 'caucasian' guy in the film (Keanu Reeves) is actually playing the 'half-breed' as he's referred to and there is relevance to this with regards to the plot. Also, Keanu isn't really the central character. In a typical Hollywood film, he would be I'm sure but in this film, it's actually Hiroyuki Sanada who has more screen time (or seems to have from my perspective). I think some viewers may not understand the benefit of, or the thinking behind, having a famous Hollywood actor in a film i.e. the attention it brings. How many people can honestly say they would have watched this or even known about it if Keanu's name wasn't attached? At least he doesn't take over the film and others are allowed to shine instead. Plus, Keanu does have credibility given his ethnic background and although he is a westerner I don't feel that his presence in this film is as horrifying as say, Tom Cruise's in a Samurai film! Just my opinion.

I would say I enjoyed this film about as much as I enjoyed Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, maybe a little bit more.

I give this 8/10 for pure enjoyment factor.

Iron Man 3 (2013)
1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Excellent comic action film; watch it!, 10 December 2013
10/10

It took me ages to watch this because of all of the conflicting reviews. I thought this was going to be as bad/boring as Terminator Salvation or The Dark Knight Rises.

This film was fantastic! Easily the best of the Iron Mans (although the first will always be 'the best', this one is repeat-watch-worthy).

Now that I know how awesome this film is, I think the negative reviews make more sense: they seem to focus on things like 'but the bad guy isn't the same as the comic' or 'that's not believable' etc. so let's ignore those because that's just irrelevant. The film can still be good without sticking 100% to the comics! I can't believe some people complain about the realism when we're dealing with magic and flying iron man suits but okay, let's mark down the film because the hero didn't break his back quite enough in that scene?! I've given this a ten because the story progresses brilliantly, there are so many extra scenes included that you would normally expect to be edited out to keep the running time down but the fact that they're left in means the film has a well-rounded feel to it. Contrary to some opinions, I like that the woman has the chance to save the day instead of 'just' being eye-candy (most amazing suit ever, congrats to the designer), it is a bit patronising to just have one scene of power but it's better than nothing, one of the bad guys (Guy Pearce) is building a great profile for himself as being someone to watch out for as he might just steal the show! This film had it all, yes there's a cute kid, but this is Iron Man so it never gets cheesy and actually there are some hilarious scenes between Robert Downey Jr and the kid. There's loads of humour and the action is great.

Everyone gets just the right amount of screen time in my opinion and I'm actually going to watch this again which is rare for me.

10/10 as it's an excellent film - not perfect but excellent.

The Purge (2013/I)
1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Typical but really good home invasion thriller, 3 November 2013
8/10

If you like home invasion films (Panic Room, The Collector, Hostage) then I don't see any reason why people wouldn't like this.

From what I can understand, the over-the-top negative reviews (1 star?!) are from people who felt misled by the hype so I suppose this is a reason to avoid watching trailers and reading too many reviews as your expectations will greatly affect your enjoyment of a film. For example, I loved 'Pain and Gain' (Mark Wahlberg) and it really is funny but I talked about it so much at work that my friend didn't enjoy it as much.

So I'll try to be concise about why this film is good without going overboard with my review:

- It's a home invasion film. Nothing more, nothing less

- As with all heavily 'genre-ed' films such as rom-coms, there has to be a unique premise for the film and with home invasions, the reason the home is being invaded is the unique factor

- There is genuine tension in the film

- I liked the family but there could have been more character development in the beginning... but do we really care? Well, yes because the more you know and care about the family, the more tense it will be but it doesn't let the film down

- There was maybe one moment where I groaned out loud at a dumb thing a character did, for the rest of the film the characters were allowed to make realistic decisions and not be idiots like in other films (you know, where someone does something no-one would ever do in real life just to set up the next scene)

- Not all elements of the ending were predictable

This was a fun and entertaining way to spend less than an hour and half, just go in with the knowledge that it's home invasion with a new, interesting premise. That's all.

My vote, 8/10


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