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I don't even think I trust myself, in that it's hard to say what my favourite film is - so take the top 10 as being my number one's equally.
Terminator Genisys (2015)
An action-packed bore!
The nostalgia and love surrounding the Terminator franchise is undeniably huge, and considering the dreadfulness that was Terminator Salvation, almost everybody with a love for the original films was eagerly awaiting this moment - to see a new Terminator done right.
Well, it wasn't. Terminator: Genisys was pretty much a failure.
Though certainly nowhere near as bad as Salvation, the film itself was still a floppy mess. It's action sequences, while visually stunning and not always devoid of suspense, feel worn-out and uninventive. Speaking of 'uninventive', the film had this constant need to throwback to older films like the first two with the T1000 police officer and the CGI-rendered 1984 Arnie. This was all to the films detriment: it's nowhere near as original as the team behind it all thought it was, it only makes the plot more confusing as you begin to ask yourself "why on Earth are they actually here?", and furthermore, it reminds us that there exists better Terminator films out there, and you're all suckers for paying £8 to watch this.
There was certainly some competent direction here, but nothing tremendous or noteworthy. Most of the performances were commendable, especially that of Emilia Clarke, but were far from career-defining - that also includes Arnold Schwarzenegger, whose only significance to the plot, when not saving the main characters from certain death, is to explain the plot details in a terribly derived and tedious fashion. Jai Courtney, playing Kyle Reese, was remarkably average in his performance, though I feel this was not because of him, but rather how poorly-written his character was - as a confused mumbling jar-head, who occasionally comes out with something "witty".
This is small summation of my opinion of the film, but overall, this film is solid as a piece of mindless entertainment - because this is only way you can really approach it. It's plot and timeline is so all-over-the-place, by the time you've figured out what's actually going on, the film will have ended in its typically clichéd way of our main characters driving off on a sunny day.
Intriguing and meditative, but focused in the wrong places
There is a lot to admire here. Coppola's direction is minimalist and simple, and her shots are washed with this ambient lightness that provide some intriguing imagery. The problem here is not in Coppola's attention and reflection on the themes at hand, which she does with considerable style and skill, but rather in the theme she has chosen to dominate her picture. The idea of existential ennui has been explored by her before, and in a much more interesting way, with Lost In Translation. The film focuses on jaded protagonist Johnny Marco, who is an interesting character, but one whose life and struggles are alien to most, making him in an unsuitable protagonist. In my opinion, the focus of the film should have been on his daughter, Cleo, who witnesses her father's life - she herself is naive to a lot of what is going on, and thus we relate to her more. For me, it certainly seems that the daughter-father relationship is what is most fascinating here, and Cleo's reactions and feelings about his life. You would think that a theme which seems to be so close to Coppola's own life would be the main focal point, yet it feels almost secondary, as if it is being pushed aside by Coppola's need to focus on this mopey rich guy. Overall, it is worth a watch for the scenes with Cleo, and for Coppola's artistry, but this is a film that is sadly overwhelmed by a story that would be foreign to most.
Iron Man Three (2013)
A Good Recovery From Iron Man 2, Overall Very Good Film
I saw this film tonight at the cinema and it was a very good film indeed. The film, on a basic level, was action-packed, straight-to-the- point, incredibly comical and easy to understand and follow. It also featured a cast of brilliant and talented actors like Downey Jnr, Paltrow, Cheadle, Pearce and Kingsley.
The camera direction was perfect for the kind of film - it didn't follow any grandeur or sophisticated style but was perfect for retaining the straight-to-the-point focus of the film; that is a superhero film designed to be action-packed and enjoyable. The script was varied. Some parts were brilliant, Downey Jnr and Kingsley's dialogue in particular. It was, at it's heart, the very essence of a superhero film. However, the script did seemed rush at some parts and felt undeveloped, focusing more on comedy and context.
Although, at many times, the film was predictable, the film genuinely has you on the edge of your seat - it keep suspense and contains all the features of a Hollywood blockbuster.
Also, the soundtrack was the only major problem I had with the film. The soundtrack matched the style of the film, but felt very much pointless and lacklustre - once again, ripping off the booming Inception Zimmer soundtrack, but it is a trait many films do nowadays and forgiveness is debatable.
Overall, the film was very good in terms of it's raw superhero- orientated plot and storyline; yet felt unfinished or undeveloped, as if something more was supposed to be there.
Utopia: Episode #1.1 (2013)
Something different, something good...
It's nice to see Channel 4 do something different other than controversial documentaries and reruns, a professional and niche programme that appears to be a larger than what we expect. I can happily say that I wasn't disappointed, this start to the series was a great window into the minds and construct of the Utopia universe. The beginning was very good in particular, showing a rather unusual comical but critical twist to a somewhat exhausted television genre of apeshit thrillers and crime. This new and inviting show makes underground British society look like Shameless-cum-No Country For Old Men. A dark and ambiguous atmosphere that, if I'm not mistaking, has many connotations to colour in this graphic novel-based thriller drama as if a British 'Unbreakable' but without the pseudo-superhumans. Overall, it was brilliant and subtly mastered - but I have yet to see it in its entirety.