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This is a cinema experience for sure!
Just this minute got back from seeing a free preview of Beowulf and OH MY GOD! This is a cracking film and I highly recommend everyone goes to the cinema to see it (it's a cinema experience for sure!). Not only that, but it's 3D (which I wasn't aware of) or rather the all new 3D (no more red/green glasses). Everyone in the audience was given what looked like cheap-ass shades, but they did the job wonderfully and fitted snugly over my regular specs.
As for the movie, the plot was tight and well scripted, the voice acting was great (Ray Winstone rocks), the action was breathtaking, some of the CGI was unbelievably gorgeous and the music and incidental sound was great! The only downside for me was some of the CGI. It seemed apparent that given an unlimited budget, this movie would have looked phenomenal in every scene, but unfortunately the budget wasn't unlimited and it shows in a number of places. Nothing looks horrible, but you can tell that they had to pick and choose where to go for high detail. The movie also suffers from the age old, it's creepy because it's almost perfect.
As for the 3D, apart from an awesome intro, nothing seems to be done just to exploit 3D, it's all very natural and adds an amazing level of detail to the movie. The depth of vision you get is truly breathtaking in parts.
Quite honestly I wasn't expecting much from this movie having seen the trailer, but I was blown away. I've not been this excited leaving the cinema in a long long time!
V for Vendetta (2005)
Remember remember V for Vendetta...
V For Vendetta is based on a graphic novel (comic) by Alan Moore, who was also the creator of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and From Hell. Much like those two films, V for Vendetta has it's roots in British history as V takes his inspiration from possibly the most well known terrorist in our history, Guy Fawkes. Even though his story only plays a very small part in the film, it's actually nice to see such an important piece of our history finally getting a accurate mention in a mainstream Hollywood movie.
The film is written (but not directed) by the Wachowski brothers, who were also responsible for the grandiose mish mash that was the Matrix Trilogy and much like those films, V For Vendetta is a film that's made to make you think, question and discuss. Some may argue (as my wife did) that it glorifies terrorism and maybe it does, but I guess that's all in the interpretation.
The plot revolves around a man consumed by Vengeance, a man with a tortured past, that is driven to fight for his and his people's freedom in a fascist country, where the government determines what you think and feel. His ultimate goal is to unite the people under his banner, destroy the government and ultimately to blow up the Houses Of Parliament, much like Guy Fawkes had attempted to do all those years ago.
Although the plot is well constructed and some of the performances are exceptional the movie does have it's failings. It's leading lady (Natalie Portman) seems bizarrely miscast as a an English girl that V saves, enlightens and eventually falls in love with. Even though she does excellent work in the second half of the movie, the first half leaves a lot to be desired. There is also a distinct lack of emotional connection with her, something that would have helped drive home the themes and ideas that run through the movie.
Fortunately though, V (Hugo Weaving) is simply fantastic, proving that even a man wearing a mask can display a multitude of emotion. I'm led to believe that he wasn't first choice for the role and even as great as he is here, I can see why. The biggest problem with casting Hugo is the sound of his voice or rather it's because that voice is so reminiscent of his most iconic character to date, Agent Smith. However, if you can push that thought to the back of your mind, you will enjoy his performance immensely. The supporting cast also do good work here, especially Stephen Fry, John Hurt and Tim Piggot-Smith.
Although the film deals with very serious issues there are some enjoyable moments of humour, especially one involving Stephen Fry and Benny Hill. The action is also well executed and the special effects while mostly minimal are also applied perfectly. Overall, it probably deserves to be seen on the big screen, especially for the final scenes and if you like films that make you think, this is definitely for you.
Almost great, definitely good.
Final Destination 3 (2006)
UK Cinema-goers Should Boycott This Movie!
Having had mixed experiences with the previous two films, I was unsure what to expect from part 3. I hated the original movie when everybody else I knew loved it, yet for some reason I really enjoyed part 2. Unfortunately my memory of both films is very hazy, so I can't put my finger on why I felt the way I did, but that in itself speaks volumes about this series of movies. They're designed to give the audience cheap thrills, not long lasting memories.
One thing I do know, Final Destination 2 had a number of seriously cool death sequences and part 3 tries it's best to outdo them. However, just because they were the highlight of Final Destination 2 does not mean that a film comprised only of death sequences is going to put more bums in seats. Yes, they're very cool, yes, some will make you jump, and yes, some will make you squirm, but inbetween them all there's a big gaping void where a film should be.
The plot, as much as there is one, revolves around a girl having a premonition about people dying on a roller-coaster that she was about to ride on. A few of the people on the roller-coaster are spooked enough by her screaming fit to get off before the death ride begins and end up cheating death as a result. Unfortunately, death will always catch up to you and one by one, each of the cheaters is killed off in a mysterious (and usually very cool) accident.
Forget the plot though, turn off the part of your brain that handles reasoning, maybe have a few beers beforehand and simply enjoy the wafer thin tension, tits and gore. Yes there are tits in this movie, one pair natural, one pair false, unfortunately the owners die in probably the most gruesome way possible. Reach for the bronzer from now on girls!
Now for the clincher, the ending...
The ending takes place in a tube train and it's fair to say that when the dust settles we're shown a scene of absolute carnage which can't fail to remind us about recent events in London. Now I don't know how the majority of UK audiences will react to this ending (which was reshot to please American audiences), but all I can say is I was appalled. I know it's over six months since the July 7th bombings, but had that event happened in America the ending to this movie would never have been committed to film. I wonder how American audiences would have felt if we'd released a film in their cinema's six months after 9/11 that showed a skyscraper being utterly destroyed.
If you care about what happened in London, I hope the last part of my review persuades you to boycott this film. Don't give your money to the insensitive idiots who made this movie, it'll only encourage them to do it again.