Reviews

14 ReviewsOrdered By: Date
9/10
Dividing opinions all over the board, my personal view on it was positive.
4 May 2013
Shane Black (director of Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and screenwriter of Lethal Weapon) replaces Jon Favreau at the helm of the third film in the Iron Man series. He also co-writes it with Drew Pearce. Robert Downey Jr, Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Jon Favreau and Paul Bettany return as Tony Stark, Pepper Potts, James Rhodes, Happy Hogan and the voice of JARVIS. The direct sequel to 2008's Iron Man and 2010's Iron Man 2, but also to The Avengers (2012.) It is the first in "Phase 2" of Marvel's Cinematic Universe. As "Phase 1" was the Iron Man films, The Incredible Hulk, Captain America: The First Avenger, Thor and The Avengers, "Phase 2" consists of this, Thor: The Dark World in November, Captain America: The Winter Soldier in April 2014, Guardians of the Galaxy in August of the same year and capped off with The Avengers 2 in May 2015.

In Iron Man 3, Tony has made Mark XLII (42) armour - to put this in perspective his suit last seen in The Avengers was Mark VII (7.) After a new threat, terrorist The Mandarin, plunges Stark's life into ruin, he must rebuild himself and face retribution as the stress attacks and nightmares which have haunted him since his experiences in New York (The Avengers) get worse and the question which has eternally bugged him is discovered - does the man make the suit or the suit the man?

As a huge fan of superhero films (DC over Marvel, Justice League not as good as The Avengers, The Dark Knight Trilogy over Iron Man Trilogy, Superman not as good as Iron Man, etc) i have been anticipating Iron Man 3 for months. Ever since the first tears I experienced when Tony's suits exploded in the first trailer, I have hoped it would be amazing. And I wasn't disappointed. While not reaching the standards of the first Iron Man, it is better than the 2010 sequel (although I don't hate Iron Man 2 like many others seem to.) So, the acting. As always, Robert Downey Jr utterly knocks it out of the park. Even as Iron Man 3 is more thoughtful and also deeper than the previous instalments, the witty, well-written script gives him plenty of room to be funny. Gwyneth Paltrow is, as always, a pretty terrible actor and annoying while Don Cheadle was hideously underused. Guy Pearce was interesting and I liked him, as were James Badge Dale and even Jon Favreau in their smaller roles. Oh, and of course Ben Kingsley is wonderful, but also underused in my opinion. Rebecca Hall wasn't brilliant; she seemed a bit useless and irritating. However, if child actors annoy you then you can still watch this as the annoying child (Ty Simpkins) was only annoying for the purpose of the film and is absolutely fine in his role. The script was, as I mentioned before, on the same level as The Avengers it was so great, while the action left me with a dreamy expression as a moment near the end was so ridiculously awesome that I had a broad grin. The score was good as well. There is a twist in the film which is the main reason for the split in opinions, however as I am not an avid reader of the comics I didn't mind the change in lore. I won't reveal this twist as I'd prefer to keep this review spoiler-free. So overall, I would say that it has many strong aspects and is a thoroughly enjoyable ride. But it isn't a 10 because I found it to drag and meander a bit in the second act and, as mentioned previously, some characters were underused and some actors weren't great. Also, the ending seems a bit rushed. Finally, I would just like to praise the film one more time. Without giving away too much, there is a good theme about the face of terrorism and the real people behind things. If you like good films, watch this but it isn't really the sort of film you just watch without really focusing properly - you need to be in an "Iron Man 3 mood" to be able to watch it!
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9/10
Magnificent conclusion to one of the best trilogies of all time.
1 April 2013
The Dark Knight Rises is the third and final film in the Dark Knight trilogy, and the sequel to The Dark Knight and Batman Begins. Returning cast members include Christian Bale, Gary Oldman, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman,Nestor Carbonell and Cillian Murphy while also introducing Anne Hathaway, Tom Hardy, Marion Cotillard, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Juno Temple and Matthew Modine.

8 years after The Dark Knight, (SPOILERS FOR DARK KNIGHT AHEAD) where Batman took the blame for the murders Harvey Dent committed to maintain peace in Gotham CIty, (SPOILERS END) Bruce Wayne has gone downhill. Wayne Enterprises has almost gone bankrupt and Bruce Wayne is psychologically and physically no longer Batman. However, when masked terrorist Bane brings fear, anarchy and destruction to Bruce's beloved city, he must become Batman once again to face Bane.

If not counting the Lord of the Rings trilogy as one film, The Dark Knight is my favourite film. This, despite being not as good as its predecessors, is still a fantastic film. And where to start? The acting, as always, is impeccable, with amazing performances from Caine, Hardy, Hathaway and Bale in the roles of dependable butler Alfred, Bane, Selina Kyle (Catwoman) and Bruce Wayne/Batman. Jonathan Nolan's script and brother Christopher's direction, along with the beautiful cinematography of Wally Pfister combine to make the Dark Knight Rises a truly unforgettable viewing experience. The tone, themes and messages of the film, as well as magnificently choreographed and laid-out action sequences are wonderful also.

I don't like having to admit it, but there are a few slight gripes I have. These are mainly just minor plot inconsistencies, however, so I would much prefer glossing over these slightly critical views. Well done Christopher Nolan.
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9/10
A fantastic start to what will hopefully become another great trilogy.
15 December 2012
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is the first part of Peter Jackson's planned trilogy based on J.R.R Tolkien's precursor to The Lord of the RIngs, The Hobbit. Various stars from The Lord of the Rings return here, such as Ian McKellen, Ian Holm, Elijah Wood, 90 year-old Christopher Lee, Hugo Weaving, Cate Blanchett and Andy Serkis' spectacular motion capture Gollum. New faces include Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, ex-Doctor Who Sylvester McCoy, Lee Pace, Graham McTavish, Ken Stott, James Nesbitt, Benedict Cumberbatch, Manu Bennett and Barry Humphries.

This film starts with old Bilbo Baggins writing down his adventures with the Dwarfs in The Lonely Mountain for his nephew Frodo. Then, 60 years earlier, Martin Freeman is young, content with his quaint, quiet lifestyle in Bag End. That is, until mysterious wizard Gandalf the Grey and a company of 12 dwarfs. After that, he is whisked off on adventures in the dangers of Middle Earth.

This was a really great film. Although I don't like one relatively short book being drawn out into three 2-and- a-half-hour films, I had faith in Peter Jackson after he brought us LOTR before. I like the way they managed to take small parts in the book and made them longer, as well as adding in some good stuff also. Howard Shore once again knocks it out of the park with a magnificent score, and the action is enjoyable and really fun. Also, this is the funniest of any Lord of the Rings-related film; most of it at the expense of the dwarfs. The riddle scene was amazing; Gollum was better than ever here. The character of Bilbo was brilliant, good character development and an awesome performance from Martin Freeman. My gripes with it? It is a little overlong. It was acceptable to have 4-hour epics with The Lord of the Rings as each one was a separate book. Here, there are some pacing issues as some parts are dragged out. Also, yet I think this will be resolved in the next parts, The Desolation of Smaug and There and Back Again, the dwarfs' characters (with the exception of Thorin and Balin) were not fleshed out enough, and you didn't get to know them enough here. However, overall this is a great film, and I can't wait for its successors.

Finally, I would just like to congratulate the film-makers on adding in a wonderful Wilhelm Scream from a goblin. It's nice to see they're still being used.
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1/10
Finally, it's over! (with spoilers)
19 November 2012
Warning: Spoilers
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2 is the fifth and final film in the Twilight film series, adapted from Stephenie Meyer's novel "Breaking dawn" and the sequel to Breaking Dawn - Part 1. It stars Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner retaining their lead roles as Bella Swan, Edward Cullen and Jacob Black. Also returning are Billy Burke, Ashley Greene, Michael Sheen, Dakota Fanning, Peter Facinelli, Jamie Campbell Bower, Nikki Reed, Kellan Lutz, Maggie Grace, Jackson Rathbone, Christopher Heyerdahl, Elizabeth Reaser, Booboo Stewart and Julia Jones. Mackenzie Foy appears as Reneesme, the daughter of Bella and Edward.

The plot of this second part (which is definitely NOT a money-making scheme by the way guys) is that The Volturi (vampire police) find out about the kid and think it is a vampire, so start walking as slowly as they can from Italy to North-West America over a couple of months, conveniently giving the Cullens plenty of time to build up forces and defences. Bella will then do anything to protect her child from them, causing the Ultimate Showdown of Destiny.

However, that is not true. They could have condensed all five films into an hour-long TV film featured occasionally on the Syfy channel, omitting as much as possible. As with previous films, nothing much happens, with plenty of staring, people holding hands, kids touching people's faces, pale, creepy men making weird noises, incomprehensible zooming-in on body parts and/or inanimate objects and a new addition, lots of faces being ripped off. Although there is no blood here, to allow as many people as possible to contribute to the obscene amounts of money being made by the 'films.' As per every Twilight film, I tried to give this one a chance. No such luck however. Within the first 5 minutes, there is everything that makes a Twilight "film" - sub-par, emotionless and frankly diabolical acting, inane, banal and boring dialogue and some horrible visual effects. When the vampires jump, they are clearly small, poor CGI models and the directing, green-screen shots and general camera-work is poor. Now, into

-----SPOILER ZONE-----about half an hour of the end of the film, the whole 'final battle' section, is simply a vision. Around 70% of the cast members have their faces/other body parts ripped off or die when a convenient river of lava opens at the bottom of a field of snow, with plenty of screams and gasps from the audience as their favourite character is quickly killed off. However, all of this just turns out to be a future vision. Which means, if you cut out any parts of the film not in the present, it is 90 minutes of vampires from various places showing off abilities-----END OF SPOILER ZONE-----

The only redeeming factors were one very funny Wilhelm scream, which no one else in the cinema seemed to appreciate, one or two slightly funny lines that may have non-Twihards curling the corner of their mouths a bit, and slightly improved acting.
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Skyfall (2012)
8/10
Brilliant film with thrilling action and plenty of twists
31 October 2012
James Bond is back after 4 years with Skyfall-50 years since first Bond film Dr No and the 23rd in the long-running franchise. After the slightly disappointing Quantum of Solace, bond is back with a new style and plot. Daniel Craig and Judi Dench return as Bond and M, with new cast members Javier Bardem, (No Country for Old Men, Biutiful) Ralph Fiennes, (Schindler's List, Harry Potter) Naomie Harris, (Pirates of the Caribbean, Miami Vice) Albert Finney, (Tom Jones, Erin Brockovich) Berenice Marlohe and Ben Whishaw. Skyfall sees the return of two Bond characters that were absent in Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace-Miss Moneypenny and Q.

The premise of the film is that MI6 is attacked, and Bond's loyalty to M is tested when a secret from her past is revealed.

This was a really great film, probably the best Bond film yet. Daniel Craig is a spectacular Bond, second only to Sean Connery, and all the cast, especially Dench and Bardem, are fantastic. Bardem has already proved he can play a great villain, and in Skyfall it is the same. He is a truly menacing and great villain. Judi Dench is really never bad in a film. Right from the start, there is bucket loads of action, especially good was the London Underground sequence (which you will have a hard time believing is not actually filmed in the Underground) and a wonderful final act. The globe-trotting aspect of James Bond is still here as Bond travel to Turkey and China, though not as much as previous films have. Whishaw was a great Q and Fiennes, Harris and Kinney all put good performances in also, and Sam Mendes' direction was amazing, as was John Logan, Neal Purvis and Robert Wade's writing.

The only problems I had were that the 2 hour 40 minute run time was a bit too long, and some pacing issues meant that the film slowed down in some parts, lingering too long on a few parts while rushing a few. Nevertheless, a really good film.
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5/10
Mostly suitably dark, especially Theron, let down by a generic and often boring inconsistency
1 July 2012
Snow White and the Huntsman is director Rupert Sanders' first feature film, and the second take on classic fairy tale Snow White this year, following family friendly Mirror Mirror in March. Its cast include Kristen Stewart, famous for her FANTASTIC performances in the Twilight saga (not very subtle sarcasm there), as titular female heroine Snow White, Chris Hemsworth (Thor, The Avengers, The Cabin in the Woods) as "The Huntsman" and Charlize Theron (Monster, North Country, Prometheus) as the Evil Queen. It also stars Sam Claflin and Sam Spruell (Pirates of the Caribbean 4 and The Hurt Locker respectively) in human roles as Snow's second love interest William and The Queen's brother Finn. The dwarfs are played by a host of well-known and talented actors including Ian McShane, Bob Hoskins, Nick Frost, Ray Winstone and real-life dwarf Toby Jones. The dark tone is very different from other Snow White tales.

Based rather on the Brothers Grimm German 1812 fairy tale 'Snow White' rather than Disney's 1937 animated classic Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Snow White and the Huntsman follows child Snow White who witnesses stepmother Ravenna lead an evil army into her father's castle and kill her father. She is then locked in a tower for years until she escapes into the Dark Forest where she encounters many strange things. Finn and Ravenna recruit Eric, a drunken widower who has survived the Dark Forest, to retrieve Snow White. However they join forces and start a rebellion against The Queen.

I was very excited for this film when I saw the announcement trailer, and then even more pumped when I saw the second full trailer. Kristen Stewart was limited to only a few words, Chris Hemsworth was carrying on proving what a good actor he was, Charlize Theron looked awesome as an evil villain and the whole thing looked dark and full of action. However, not all of these came true in the actual movie. Kristen Stewart was barely better than she was in Twilight, however at least she didn't have the annoying Bella characteristics such as um, you know, uh, like *fiddles with hair* uh *makes pained expression* um, like, JACOB! Anyway, Chris Hemsworth was awesome, sharing almost as much screen time as Stewart and taking away some of her dialogue and non-existent expressions. Charlize Theron was also very dark, proving to be an imposing and great villain. However, the action scenes were VERY limited, with only one even exciting one-at the climax! The rest were quick, limited and Shaki-Cam'd to death. The majority of scenes in the second act, after Eric doesn't capture Snow White, were boring, often soppy and CGI'd to death. There was an abundance of CGI here, from the pointless 15-second troll scene to the miniature Gollum fairies. The dwarf scenes were all quite boring and I am proud to say that Sam Clafin should never do an acting job again. Seriously, this guy is up there with Taylor Lautner and Robert Pattinson. Overall, the main second act felt too Twilight- ish, a couple of performances were too Twilight-ish, the action scenes before the climactic one were too Twilight-ish, the CGI was too Twilight-ish and even the script was sometimes a bit Twilight-ish. However, Theron and Hemsworth were great, it normally felt suitably dark and James Newton Howard's score was good also.
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8/10
Funny and enjoyable with great makeup effects, Brolin is superb
26 May 2012
Men in Black 3 is the second sequel to 1997's Men in Black. Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones return as Agents J and K with Josh Brolin playing a young K, Jemaine Clement as vengeful villain Boris the Animal, Emma Thompson as Agent O, head of the MIB agency and Michael Stuhlbarg as Griffin, an alien with precognitive powers. Barry Sonnenfeld and Steven Spielberg return as director and executive producer respectively, with the amazing Danny Elfman returning as the scorer. Behind John Williams and Hans Zimmer, Danny Elfman is the third best film composer ever in my opinion. It has been ten years since Men in Black 2, the previous instalment.

Alien Boris the Animal, who K apprehended back in 1969, escapes from a high security prison on the moon and vows revenge on K by going back in time and killing young K. On Earth, in present day, J wakes up to find that no-one knows who K is, he was apparently killed in the 1969 Boris incident at Cape Canaveral. He too travels back in time to save K and kill Boris before he could be imprisoned.

Will Smith returns to acting after a four year break, and he does his usual Will Smith-isms. Tommy Lee also plays his jaded, old, craggy self, with Josh Brolin acting so much like Tommy Lee that had I known better I would have thought it was Tommy Lee Jones with younger makeup. Talking of makeup, Rick Baker's makeup is spectacular. Despite the movie's budget being the first and second film's combined, the aliens are mostly makeup, and it is all great, nice to see a change from the endless flow of CGI that infests Hollywood. The film has some funny moments and some cool action, as well as a side character, Griffin the alien who reminded me of a young Robin Williams. It feels a little dull and original in the first twenty minutes, but the film really picks up after the time travel. Overall, a fun, exciting sci-fi comedy with great effects and a superb Tommy Lee portrayal by Brolin.
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7/10
Surprisingly fun adventure, packed with action, comedy and suspense
26 May 2012
The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn is based on Herge's famous Belgian comic from 1929-76. It is directed by Steven Spielberg, master of adventure, and produced by Peter Jackson, who brought the technological wonders of The Lord of the Rings. It also stars a host of actors including Jamie Bell as the titular character, as well as Daniel Craig, Nick Frost, Simon Pegg, Toby Jones and of course motion-capture expert Andy Serkis in the co- lead role. Not fully-animated but not live action, this film uses the motion-capture technology of the slightly nausea-inducing Polar Express and Beowulf. However, with Peter Jackson at the technological helm, the motion-capture is superb.

The premise involves Tintin, an ambitious and mystery-loving reporter and his dog Snowy who uncover a mystery involving the famous disaster of The Unicorn. This leads them to the drunk Captain Haddock (Serkis), the only one who knows the secret. However, villain Daniel Craig is also after the mystery. This leads to some absurdly fun moments.

Every actor is fantastic in their roles, especially Serkis' Haddock and Frost and Pegg's bumbling detectives. The film felt a lot like Indiana Jones, especially with Spielberg and John Williams' amazing score. Writers Joe Cornish, Steven Moffat and Edgar Wright deliver plenty of witty dialogue and the action scenes, most notably the motorbike chase in Morocco, had me buzzing with excitement.

The bad points of the film is that it is VERY fast-paced; a lot of things happen for a one hour and forty minute film, so it feels a bit rushed and it can be easy to lose track of the story. Nevertheless, Tintin is a fun, suspenseful and immensely enjoyable film, surprising me for its PG rating. A great Spielberg mystery adventure.
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The Avengers (2012)
10/10
Finally, The Avengers is here. And does it live up to the hype? OH YES!
29 April 2012
The Avengers (titled rather cheesily 'Avengers Assemble' in some countries including the UK) has been anticipated ever since Iron Man in 2008. Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger have all built up to this pinnacle of Marvel movies. The star-packed cast includes Robert Downey Jr. returning as Tony Stark/Iron Man, Chris Evans as Steve Rogers/Captain America and Chris Hemsworth reprises his role as God of Thunder from Asgard, Thor. Also Mark Ruffalo replaces Edward Norton as gamma-ray exposed scientist Bruce Banner/The Incredible Hulk. Scarlett Johannson returns as Natasha Romanoff, aka Black Widow from the second Iron Man and Jeremy Renner stars as expert marksman Clint Barton (Hawkeye.) Tom Hiddleston plays villain Loki and Samuel L. Jackson returns as SHIELD director Nick Fury. Cobie Smulders, Clark Gregg and Stellan Skarsgard round out the cast.

The premise of this movie is relatively simple; Loki wants control of The Earth after the events of Thor and will do this with the help of an alien race and the Tesseract from Captain America. SHIELD then puts together a team of remarkable people to fight the battles that they never could, to quote the inspirational words of Nick Fury. And to quote Tony Stark, these are a demigod, a super-soldier, a man with breathtaking anger management issues and a couple of master assassins. They must protect, or avenge, The Earth.

This film was first heard about four years ago and has gained a substantial amount of hype ever since the teaser trailer in the summer of 2011. Nine months and numerous exciting trailers and TV spots later, it is here. And yes it delivers, very well. One of the best things about this is the characters. Because they are all humans, you feel for them and care about them. And Loki, a fantastic villain played tremendously by Hiddleston, has a way of getting under all of their skins, hence his title of the God of Mischief. The acting is great and it goes without saying that Downey Jr. is amazing and hilarious. As is the whole movie; Joss Whedon's superb script delivers many witty and memorable lines so much so that you will want to laugh out loud in a lot of moments, mostly involving Stark or The Hulk. Particular scene involving the green behemoth and Loki or Thor are outstanding. The action is brilliant as well and I would recommend seeing it in 3D; the last third of the movie is definitely improved in three dimensions. From the fast-paced, exciting, opening scene through recruitment and the Manhattan carnage, this is an exciting, emotional, funny and perfectly executed film with great CGI. Also there are many moments where you just want to yell out AWWW YEAHHH!!!

There are just a few bad points here; but they are minor. First, I would have liked to have seen Nick Fury and Agent Hill fighting more in Manhattan, despite doing some things on the Helicarrier. Also it dawdles a bit too much on the first half, however this doesn't detract at all from what is DEFINITELY a 10/10 motion picture.
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10/10
Probably my favourite movie ever, fantastic in every way
20 April 2012
The Dark Knight is the long awaited sequel to 2005's critically acclaimed Batman Begins and the second part of Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy. It stars Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman and Morgan Freeman who reprise their role from Batman Begins. New to the cast are Maggie Gyllenhaal, replacing Katie Holmes as Rachel Dawes, Aaron Eckhart as Gotham's ambitious new DA Harvey Dent and Heath Ledger as infamous Batman villain The Joker.

The premise of this movie is that Batman and Lieutenant Jim Gordon, one of the city's few in-corrupt cops are trying to take down the Mob with the help of Harvey Dent, Gotham's White Knight. However, while focusing on bringing The Mob down, a new threat emerges; a mysterious and sadistic criminal known as the Joker. The Joker starts a killing rampage, sending all of Gotham into chaos.

Batman Begins was great but The Dark Knight is better in every way. The acting is still great, with Gyllenhaal an improvement on Holmes, and Heath Ledger's Joker is the best performance I have ever seen. Watch this and try to find a better performance. Ledger is absolutely perfect for The Joker. The plot is brilliant and really interesting; you can really get into the story and the tough mission that the trio of Batman, Gordon and Dent face. Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard's score is terrific, even better than the amazing score for the first film. The dialogue is also awesome, there are some lines said by The Joker that you really want to remember and try to randomly quote him sometimes. And there is even some comedy added by Caine and Freeman, however this doesn't take away anything from the gritty feel of this action crime film. The only (very minor) problem I could see was a few minor inconsistencies in the plot near the end. However this does nothing to what is definitely a 10/10 film. Superb acting, great dialogue and plot, amazing action and a brilliant music score. Also, the sound is great; you can really hear it when a truck is flipping or something like that. My favourite movie ever.
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Batman Begins (2005)
10/10
Thrilling, action-packed and expertly made superhero reboot
19 April 2012
Batman Begins is Inception director Christopher Nolan's reboot of the famous Batman film franchise based on the DC comics superhero. Tim Burton and Joel Schumacher had both had their time in the Batman films, and Chris Nolan brings a completely new feel to it, concentrating on elements such as fear and delivering quite a dark, psychological film. It stars Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne/Batman, Liam Neeson, Cillian Murphy, Katie Holmes, Gary Oldman, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Tom Wilkinson and Ken Watanabe. The film starts by explaining Bruce's fear of bats and then travelling to Bhutan after his parents death and being trained as a ninja by Liam Neeson's Henri Ducard. Ducard teaches Wayne to master his fear and become more than just a man, saying that if he makes himself more than a man, committing himself to an idea, he will become an immortal legend. Bruce returns to the crime-struck and corrupt Gotham where he transforms himself into the double personality Batman, the Caped Crusader, to fight crime. He does this with the help of Alfred, his butler played by Caine who is like his father. Also assisting him is Sergeant Gordon (Oldman), one of the few cops who is not corrupt, Freeman's Lucius Fox, who provides Bruce with his equipment and childhood friend, now DA, Rachel (Holmes). Wilkinson plays crime lord Falcone and Murphy plays Dr Jonathan Crane, the fear-inducing Scarecrow. This film is fantastic in every aspect, with great acting, great action scene, an interesting plot and good themes. Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard's score is amazing, one of the best film scores of all time and Christopher Nolan does a superb job of directing. The only minor problem I had with it was that the Scarecrow seemed to be underused, and it sometimes starts to feel a little rushed in places. However, Batman Begins is a brilliant movie and the sequel, the Dark Knight, takes things to a whole new level. It is an epic start to a trilogy.
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7/10
Funny if over Hollywood-ized comedy drama in India
19 April 2012
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is based on the 2004 novel 'These Foolish Things' by Deborah Moggach. It stars Academy Award winners Judi Dench and Maggie Smith, as well as Bill Nighy, Tom Wilkinson, Celia Imrie, Penelope Wilton, Ronald Pickup and Dev Patel in an ensemble cast. The premise of this British comedy is 7 British retirees travelling to Jaipur in India to spend their retirement in a seemingly luxury hotel for the 'elderly and beautiful.' However, it is actually a rundown former hotel run by the unsuccessful and down on his luck Dev Patel. Soon the exotic and palpably different Indian culture begins to grow on them, despite the British ambivalence towards India (do we love 'em or hate 'em??). There were a few embarrassing moments when the cinema audience laughed at excruciating racist remarks which were supposed to have had them writhing in their seats; still it's a mark of how prevalent racist attitudes still are amongst some classes. Each character is developed well, most notably Maggie Smith's wheelchair-bound character, who transforms from a woman constantly making racist remarks into someone who starts to accept the foreign lifestyle and particularly the unique charms of India. There were uncomfortable moments when the depiction of poverty seems to have been the sole purpose of the film's message, but on the whole I found it to be a gentle and sympathetic portrayal of the country. The script was mostly clever and very well written with many funny and wry jokes slipped in. The acting was also great, with all the actors on top form, all of them playing their characters well and how they are meant to be. However, despite these positive points, the film's length could certainly be felt at times, and I found it a little boring in its two hour running time. Also, the romances were overplayed and displayed a Hollywood style touch. Overall, a witty, well acted film with surprising emotional punch from pretty much every major character and a feel-good element to it.
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5/10
Fun for those who haven't read it and good enough for those who have
17 April 2012
Having read all three of Suzanne Collins' fantastic novels, I was pumped for this film. And I was mostly not disappointed.

Obviously the premise of this movie is that 24 young people between the ages of 12 and 18 are placed into an arena to fight to the death. The Hunger Games, as these annual events are called, are there to act as a warning to the people of Panem, a nation in the ruin of what was once North America hundreds of years in the future. Panem is divided into 12 districts and the Capitol, which is ruled by the ruthless President Snow. Every year a boy and a girl is chosen from each district to compete in these 'Games.' The protagonist of this film is Katniss Everdeen, a teenager who comes from the poorest district, 12. She has to hunt illegally to provide for her little sister and mother in poverty and in constant danger of starvation. She is chosen to compete in the Hunger Games.

I adore the books, and the film was good, but not great. The plot was fine, as the filmmakers didn't make any big changes from the novel, and the acting was great, especially Jennifer Lawrence's Katniss. Josh Hutcherson, Woody Harrelson, Stanley Tucci, Liam Hemsworth, Elizabeth Banks, Donald Sutherland and Lenny Kravitz round out the cast. All of them were great in it. The bad points of this were the shaky-cam direction style, the drawn-out feel of the 2 hour and 20 minute long running time and also the absence of a score in places which should have had music to make them more effective, e.g the choosing of the contestants. However, this lives up to my expectations and is a fun, exhilarating and interesting sci-fi action drama.
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9/10
Fantastic movie with great action and very interesting plot
17 April 2012
The only other planet of the apes movie i have seen is the rubbish Tim Burton one from 2001. This one was definitely a whole lot better.

The premise of this movie is that apes are captured from the wild and experimented on in a lab. James Franco, a doctor at the lab, develops a cure for Alzheimer's and tests it on a primate specimen that he took from the lab, who he names Caesar. The ape shows signs of becoming very clever, acting almost like a human and also displaying intelligence much more than any other ape. Eventually, Franco's character Will is forced to commit Caesar to an ape home where Caesar is out of place and treated badly. This causes Caesar to use his intelligence to lead his fellow apes on an uprising.

The plot of this film is very interesting and the acting is alright, with John Lithgow, Freida Pinto, Brian Cox and Tom Felton (Harry Potter's Draco Malfoy) supporting Franco. However Andy Serkis' motion capture performance as Caesar the ape outshines everyone, proving to really be good as CGI characters. The action and score are also great, with a really awesome scene on the Golden Gate Bridge. It also packs some involving emotional punch into it. I am a 13 year old boy and I would really recommend this film, as I'm not quite sure why you wouldn't like it.
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