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Rock of Ages (2012)
Okay, but doesn't compare to the stage version
I went to see the live stage version of Rock of Ages in London a few weeks ago, and thoroughly enjoyed it. Naturally, I was interested to see how the musical would translate into a movie but I have to say I was rather disappointed. Some of the lead characters were very flat and boring, which I did not find to be the case in the stage version. Furthermore, the plot was changed to an unnecessary extent. Obviously, some changes have to be made for the plot to come across on-screen, but I felt many changes were unnecessary and made the plot rather one-dimensional.
I wasn't expecting to like Tom Cruise in this movie, but I was actually impressed by how well he pulled off the character of Stacee Jaxx, and his singing voice was also surprisingly good! The movie added more dimension to his character (strange, since they ruined many of the other characters!) which was interesting. However, I do feel that giving so much screen- time to the character of Stacee, who features a lot less in the stage version, was to the detriment of the rest of the movie, as it allowed less time for other characters and plot-lines to develop. Presumably, the reason for the amount of Stacee screen-time was because Tom Cruise was the biggest name in the film.
The two main protagonists of the story Sherrie and Drew were poorly portrayed, in my opinion. The actor playing Drew was far too clean-cut, fresh-faced and cheesy to be convincing as an aspiring rock star. I actually felt he was more suited to being in the Z Guyeezz! Furthermore, the "love story" between these two characters was made incredibly boring and predictable.
I very much enjoyed the performance of Alec Baldwin and Russell Brand as Dennis and Lonnie. Although I was expecting Lonnie to have a smaller part in the film, compared to the stage version, I was disappointed that these two were given so little screen time. This also meant that the scene where they confess their feelings for each other seem forced. Also, I was rather confused by Russell Brand's accent, which became strangely Liverpudlian about half-way through!
Catherine Zeta-Jones'character worked reasonably well as a composite of two very different characters from the stage version. However, the financial method of closing the Bourbon Rooms were less interesting than the methods in the stage version, in which protesters for rock and roll try to persuade people to keep it open.
For me, the main problem was the large plot changes which made the whole story much more basic, being reduced to "Bourbon rooms needs money, hires Stacee Jaxx to get money, his manager takes the money and it's later returned" along with a few unfounded relationships cropping up here and there. I feel the stage version was a lot more than this, and the movie didn't do it justice. One of the worst changes, for me, was giving Stacee Jaxx a happy ending. Throughout the stage version, he was a thoroughly unlikeable character. However, in the movie, they made him more likable and gave him a romantic storyline as well. Movies seem to be incapable to deal with a main character not having a happy ending.
As this is a jukebox musical movie, it is of course necessary to mention the musical numbers. On the whole, I enjoyed them a lot, although I felt that Drew 'writing' Journey's "Don't Stop Believing" went a bit too far! In particular I enjoyed Mary J Blige singing "Anyway You Want It" and Cruise's rendition of "Wanted Dead or Alive".
Overall, I thought the movie was okay. It had a few laughs, but not enough, and some decent musical numbers. However, I feel that changing the storyline so much was a mistake, as was the lack of any character development (with the exception of Stacee, who had character development in spades!). I enjoyed the film, but feel that it doesn't do justice to the stage version, which I heartily recommend.
The Day After Tomorrow (2004)
A good "diaster" movie
I had heard from my friends that this movie was good. However, they all loved "War of the Worlds" (2005), which I hated. Therefore, I was a little dubious about seeing this film. Nevertheless I purchased it from a second hand store and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised! I found this film very good, much more convincing and realistic than the other "disaster" films I have seen. The special effects, on the whole, were excellent, apart from a few lapses in the form of slightly unrealistic CGI animals. The acting was good and realistic and most importantly, the story was good. All in all, I thought it was an excellent and underrated movie, well worth watching.
Brokeback Mountain (2005)
Brilliant, Moving, Original
Brokeback Mountain has to be my favourite film around right now. Where can I start to explain why? Firstly, the acting - especially by Heath Ledger - was excellent. Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger play the main two characters and, despite being rather good looking, are most certainly not just "pretty boys". This is established even in the first scene as, before any words are even said, you can almost tell that you are in for a treat. The more minor characters, especially Alma (played by Michelle Williams) and Alma Junior (played by Kate Mara) are important and also brilliantly portrayed.
The storyline, based on a short story by Annie Proulx is original and brilliant. Despite being described as a "gay cowboy movie", the film is not about sex, but about love & society. One thing which struck me most about this film was the two main characters totally different reactions to their "situation". The interplay between the characters is brilliant, although not so many words are spoken - especially by the character of Ennis.
I am not going to ramble on about how everyone should see this film because it is about gays - see the film if you want to, but don't necessarily see it because it is a "Gay cowboy film" - and certainly don't use this as a reason NOT to see it. This film does show how homosexuals were treated in the past, and shows a lot of social issues and things like that. However, see this film for the great acting, storyline and scenery - if you get a little something extra out of it (as many have) then that is fantastic, but even so this film is brilliant. A must see!
Red Dwarf (1988)
My Fav Comedy..... ever!
I love Red Dwarf! The basic gist of the show is Dave Lister, the last human alive, trying to make his way back to Earth. (Honestly, it makes sense if you watch it.) He is the last surviving human and only remaining member of the crew of the Jupiter Mining Corporation Ship "Red Dwarf". Trapped 3 million years away from Earth, Dave has only three companions to keep him "sane": Arnold Rimmer, a hologram projection of a previous crew mate; Holly, the ships senile and generally rubbish computer; and Cat, a humanoid creature who evolved from Listers pet cat. All sounds very confusing, doesn't it? But believe me if you watch it, everything will make sense. In the third series, the crew are joined by an android, Kryten, who has a manic obsession with cleaning and helping, which leads to yet more hilarious consequences. Their escapades take them to all sorts of mysterious planets and cultures including those of the GELFs, Psirens and even a backwards version of Earth! But will they ever get back to Earth???
Mostly Great, with a few bad moments.
I like the Lord of The Rings trilogy and this is certinately the best of the 3 movies. It has lots of battle scenes, which is always a plus in this sort of film, and some funny moments too. There is some pretty impressive computer animation, and the actors are mostly very good. Unfortunately, we do not see much of Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas, three of the main characters in former films; and considering that the title is "Return of the King", I expected a bit more of an Aragorn-based storyline. Nevertheless, the film is very good and a great conclusion the the prequels. Another gripe I have with this film is that the ending is quite drawn out. It is almost as though they had a choice of 5 possible endings and couldn't decide, so they just put them all in. As the film is over 3 hours long, by the end you almost want it to finish, but it just goes on and on! Still, it is a must see!
Edward Scissorhands (1990)
I absolutely loved this film. It is the first film in ages where I have gone out and bought it almost as soon as I saw it! Johnny Depp plays Edward so well, and I don't think any other actor could have done the part justice, he is so cute and you can tell how he is feeling all the time, even though he hardly speaks throughout the entire film. I love the message in this film too, that the townspeople are so prejudiced again Edward because he is different although all he did was love. It is a beautiful film, as always from talented director Tim Burton, which is very unique. It is a fairytale film about Love and people, and even though it is unrealistic, I think it has a great message. I love the ending, which makes me cry every time! I would recommend this film to anyone!
Moulin Rouge! (2001)
This is my favourite film by far and I think it is amazing! I think it is very clever how the writers have adapted contemporary songs and incorporated them into the script. I also love the variety of styles such as comedy, romance and tragedy. My favourite part is the 'Like a virgin' sequence, which is hilarious! But you'll have to watch the film to see it! All the actors and actresses in the film are very talented and mostly sing the songs themselves, which I think is fantastic and makes the film even better, if that is possible! I think this film could be enjoyed by most people, although there is a lot of singing and music, so if you don't like that kind of thing it may not be the film for you!