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A good adaptation, but could do with some better pacing
23 November 2010
Warning: Spoilers
So, here we are: the beginning of the end for the Harry Potter film series - and there are both good and bad things to say about this first part of the last story. The film's main flaw is that it drags a bit in certain parts (like the portion in the Ministry of Magic, and a few individual scenes besides that) and makes you wish the characters would get on with whatever they're doing: some more editing definitely wouldn't have gone amiss. Meanwhile, some other parts, like Dumbledore's background and Grindelwald, are covered minimally, which may be confusing for someone who hasn't read the book.

On the other hand, there are other scenes which are adapted brilliantly; examples include the hilarious scene with seven Harrys, the animated depiction of the Tale of the Three Brothers, and Ron taking on the locket Horcrux. As with the previous films, there are also some good bits where the filmmakers make up something of their own rather than adapting directly from the book, such as the very effective opening of the film, and a nice little dance scene between Harry and Hermione. There's a generally dark atmosphere, and a sense of unease and unfamiliarity that comes with the main characters no longer being in the familiar setting of Hogwarts, which is all to the good for this story. And just about every actor in the cast does their absolute best: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson are perhaps better than they have been in any of the previous films.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 isn't the best of all the Potter films, but it has some great moments, and does its job by setting the scene for what promises to be an epic climax.
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Very, very flawed, and yet not a total disaster
14 September 2010
Warning: Spoilers
What are the problems with Transformers 2? Really, it's difficult to sum them up, because it is flawed in so many different ways. In-between the action scenes that most of us are watching the movie for, we get a lot of stuff that isn't much fun. Sometimes these scenes are dull and meaningless (at one point, the characters have a long, whispered conversation about something-or-other right when a Decepticon is approaching them, ruining the pacing of the scene). And sometimes they are just stupid: apparently Michael Bay believes that those who enjoy watching giant robots smash things up will also enjoy watching a middle-aged woman get high, or dogs humping each other, or listening to dialogue like "I am directly below the enemy scrotum." Being someone who did watch this movie in order to see giant robots smash things up, I can testify that this is not necessarily the case.

There are definitely problems with the characters: most of them aren't terrible, but there are some particular ones (the infamous Autobot twins, and Sam's new college room-mate) which are incredibly annoying and serve no useful purpose at all, and yet get more than their fair share of screen-time. And while it's nice to have some new Autobots and Decepticons, most of them get very little to do and are pretty much wasted.

I also didn't like the climactic action scene: it goes on for too long, there are times when you can't tell what's happening, and a lot of screen time that could be spent showing us Transformers is instead spent showing us exactly how the human military are contributing to the whole thing.

And yet, there are some positives about this movie. Most of the action, like the opening scene in Shanghai, and the scene where Optimus Prime takes on three Decepticons at once, is definitely worth watching. The story itself is reasonably interesting if not executed very well; and any scene featuring the Transformers rather than the human characters is good enough to hold your attention.

In this reviewer's opinion at least, Transformers 2 is not the worst movie of 2009 (it would take something really horrific to beat Bride Wars) or even the worst action movie of 2009 (it's more entertaining than Terminator Salvation) - but it certainly can't be called a good movie.
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Commando (1985)
One of the best action movies ever
8 September 2010
Commando is not a deep or thought-provoking film, and very few would call it one of the greatest movies of all time. Yet it doesn't feel right to give it anything other than a 10-star rating: it is a solid, incredibly entertaining film and I can't think of anything I would change about it.

Perhaps the secret is simplicity: John Matrix's daughter is kidnapped by some guys who want him to assassinate a president for them, but unlike in other action movies involving blackmail, he doesn't even consider doing what they want and just starts following a trail of henchmen to find where his daughter is being held. That's all there is to it. And with such a simple concept, there's not much that can go wrong with it. The whole thing is compact and consistent, with brilliantly executed fight scenes, shootouts and more all the way through. Sure, there are nonsensical things like Matrix jumping out of a plane as it takes off, or using a bulldozer to break into a shop, but somehow their silliness doesn't matter: they just add to the entertainment value.

John Matrix, as played by Arnold Schwarzenegger, is close to perfection as action heroes go: he's an uncompromising bad-ass with insane killing skills and too many brilliant one-liners to list here - Arnold is in his element in this film. The main villain, Bennett (Vernon Wells), is beautifully over-the-top. Some viewers might not like Matrix's sidekick, Cindy (Rae Dawn Chong), but I found her funny without being annoying, and she even gets to be surprisingly helpful.

Commando is just a pure and simple action movie, without trying to be anything else, and on that level, it delivers absolutely superbly.
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Dark, fascinating and pretty much brilliant
5 September 2010
James Cameron's first full stint as a director, and Arnold Schwarzenegger's first time in his most famous role, is still definitely a worthwhile watch, though not without its flaws. Thanks to its cinematography and particularly good soundtrack, this movie has a great atmosphere, dark and frightening and not for the faint-hearted. The action scenes are good for the 1980s at least, but some of the special effects for the Terminator look a bit dated these days: for example, in one scene, the use of an obvious animatronic head that doesn't even really look like Arnold.

While it's occasionally slow, the story is well-written and generally gripping, backed up well by the actors: Michael Biehn and Linda Hamilton are excellent as the human heroes, but of course it's Arnold who steals the show as the Terminator, bringing real menace to it simply by his presence and expressions, since he doesn't have much dialogue in this film.

The Terminator is definitely a film to check out - and if you enjoy it, make sure you find time for the sequel too.
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Easily the worst Terminator film, if you can even call it that
4 September 2010
Warning: Spoilers
There are two main problems with Terminator Salvation. First, it's boring. Aside from a Terminator-against-Terminator fight that takes place towards the end, the action is very uninspired, and little of what goes on outside the action scenes is terribly interesting. Say what you will about Terminator 3, but at least that film was reasonably entertaining.

Second, it doesn't fit in well with the Terminator franchise. It's drab and sterile compared to the other films, and though it can be argued that a post-apocalyptic film is supposed to be like that, even the brief clips of the future from the previous films had an atmosphere to them, which is lacking here. And some things don't make sense when you consider the franchise's history, either: for example, in the first film, Kyle Reese said that most records were lost in the war - so in this film, why does Skynet have a whole database of old news reports, and how does it know that Reese is John Connor's father anyway? Thus, when we hear Connor say "I'll be back" and then play 'You Could Be Mine' on the radio, it doesn't feel like a respectful homage - it just seems awkward and out of place.

As an action film, Terminator Salvation fails - and as a Terminator film, it really fails.
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As strong as adamantium? Not exactly
18 July 2010
Warning: Spoilers
This film sets out to explore Wolverine's mysterious past...and doesn't do a terribly good job of it. The story is nothing to get excited about: the first act (Wolverine working with Stryker, and then his time with Kayla Silverfox) has potential, but once he gets his adamantium skeleton, he does little more than meet some other mutants and have the occasional fight before the climax - this doesn't make for a substantial and revealing origin story.

There's very little depth to the film: you'd think that living for over a century and never growing older would have some impact on Wolverine and Sabretooth (whose portrayal is completely inconsistent with how he was in the first X-Men film) and the people they form relationships with, but this is never explored. Nor do we get much detail on the history between these two characters after all we see them go through in the opening credits. And the relationship between mutants and the rest of society - an integral part of the other three films - is barely covered at all here.

Aside from these issues, the dialogue is often silly ("You know what happens to men who go looking for blood? They find it.") and some aspects don't make much sense: for example, Stryker comments that Agent Zero never stood a chance against Wolverine because normal bullets won't hurt him - so why bother sending Agent Zero against him in the first place? The film also features a large number of mutant characters who didn't make it into the other films, and they're fairly interesting to see: unfortunately, we never get to see very much because there's just so many of them crammed in. Easily the most wasted character is Ryan Reynolds as Wade "Deadpool" Wilson: in his introductory scenes, he has some of the best lines in the film and looks to be a great character - then he disappears for a long time, and when he comes back, his mouth has been sewn shut. Great.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine is still a fairly entertaining film with decent action scenes, but with very little depth and a great number of flaws, it's pretty much the definition of brainless entertainment.
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Inception (2010)
Why can't we have more movies like this these days?
16 July 2010
These days, it feels like the majority of movies coming out are sequels or adaptations (which aren't necessarily bad, but all too often they're just made to make money and too little effort is put into them), or otherwise just unoriginal and lazy. But Inception is different. Inception is something entirely new. And Inception is awesome.

Basically, it's about a team of people who specialise in entering people's dreams and extracting information from their minds; except now they're being called upon to place an idea in someone's mind, which is much harder...and that's all I'm going to give away if you haven't seen the movie, it's too good to spoil. Just about everything here makes for a top-notch movie-going experience. The film flows perfectly and is never boring. The story completely sucks you in: it's fascinating, intense and perfectly written and executed (no easy feat considering the nature of the story, moving from one "world" to another, which adds to the film's unique feel). When special visual effects are called for (e.g. the initial dream construction scenes, and the zero-g fight scenes), they are just breathtaking. There's no weak links in the cast, with Leonardo DiCaprio and Marion Cotillard giving particularly good performances.

The closest thing to a flaw Inception has is that it is a little complicated, mainly in the first act's explanations of how the dream construction works. But when you get to the second and third acts, that doesn't really matter: you only need to know the basics to follow what's going on, and that's easy enough.

Inception is easily the best movie of 2010 so far: director Christopher Nolan has provided a great example of how movies should be made, and it would be nice if more people were to follow his example.
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The dinosaurs are cool, but not much else
12 July 2010
Land Of The Lost is the typical dumb comedy that you'd expect from any movie starring Will Ferrell. For example, there's one scene where Ferrell's character is talking about how they can disguise their scent by bathing themselves in dinosaur urine. It goes on way too long, while I'm just sitting there thinking, "I get it! He pours urine on himself! It's hilarious! Now get on with the movie already!" If that's not your kind of comedy, you're unlikely to enjoy this film.

The cinematography is good and the dinosaurs look pretty great, but that doesn't make up for the script. Will Ferrell and Anna Friel are pretty much the same as they are in everything else they've been in (as in, he's incredibly annoying, and she's lovely and charming and deserves to be in a much better movie than this); there's not much to say about Danny McBride as he doesn't get as much to do.

This is simply a brainless movie with very little effort put into it, and it's not really worth your time.
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Far from being the best of 2009, regardless of what the MTV Movie Awards might say
26 June 2010
Warning: Spoilers
The first Twilight film, I didn't think was all that bad: in some ways, I actually liked it better than the book. The film adaptation of New Moon, on the other hand, doesn't really work, on multiple levels.

The story itself doesn't flow very well: there are some scenes and dialogue fitted in quite awkwardly, so it feels fragmented. Unlike in the first film, there are occasions where the music really doesn't click with the scene (e.g. when the werewolves are chasing Victoria). And the special effects used with the werewolves are pretty poor compared to other films these days.

The characters are a mixed bag: for example, the werewolf pack are a breath of fresh air compared to the Cullens – they're more proactive and fun, and are pretty enthusiastic about their special powers. On the other end of the scale, while Bella Swan wasn't exactly an all-time-great heroine in the first film, here she's barely tolerable. She becomes ridiculously depressed after Edward leaves her (to the point of screaming in her sleep as though she's being tortured), her interactions with Jacob are unstable to the point that you feel she's leading him on, and when Alice Cullen reappears on the scene, Bella's desperation that she not immediately leave again seems pathetic and needy.

Aside from the werewolves, Bella's school friends, and the always brilliant Michael Sheen as the leader of the Volturi, the acting in this film is bland, bland, bland. Robert Pattinson barely seems to be trying anymore as Edward: he fails to convey much emotion in any of his scenes. Kristen Stewart is just as dull and flat as she was last time. And while Taylor Lautner has some good moments as Jacob, he's not terribly impressive either.

All in all, New Moon is a generally bland film, and unless you're a real fan of the books, I wouldn't recommend it.
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Below-par summer action flick
27 May 2010
Having never played the game, I went into Prince Of Persia to view it not as a video game adaptation, but as a simply entertaining action-adventure movie. Unfortunately, it wasn't quite as much fun as I expected from a movie produced by Jerry Bruckheimer.

The script is silly at times, the dialogue is often unrealistic, the pacing is occasionally a bit too rushed; perhaps worst of all, none of the characters are terribly interesting, with the exception of Alfred Molina's comic relief Sheik. The action scenes are quite fun, with an appropriately video-gamish feel to them, but even they suffer from too-fast editing that makes it difficult to keep up.

Prince Of Persia isn't a terrible film, it certainly has its moments, but there's just too many flaws to really recommend it.
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Iron Man 2 (2010)
Great beginning and end, not so great in the middle
29 April 2010
At its high points - the first act and the climax - Iron Man 2 is actually better than the first film. Everything up to and including the action scene in Monaco is just great fun to watch: the action, the character interactions, and of course Robert Downey Jr's wonderful portrayal of Tony Stark. And the action scene at the end is pretty epic.

The problem is, the film just stops being so much fun in-between. In a large proportion of this time, it's either going too slowly with little happening that's exciting or even particularly interesting, or it's providing some silly moments like Iron Man lounging on a giant display donut. To be fair, there's no problem with the many subplots this movie has: they all blend together quite smoothly.

The acting in this film deserves credit: almost everybody does a great job. Robert Downey Jr and Gwyneth Paltrow are just as entertaining as they were in the first film, Jon Favreau gets more to do as Stark's chauffeur, Don Cheadle is actually a little better than Terrence Howard as Rhodie (again, maybe because he has a bigger role), Mickey Rourke portrays a decent but overall ordinary villain, and once Scarlett Johansson is allowed to do something substantial with her own action sequence, she's well worth watching. The only weak link is Sam Rockwell as Justin Hammer, who gets quite annoying after a while.

Overall, Iron Man 2's slow middle section prevents it from being better than the first film as a whole, which is a shame considering how brilliant the beginning and end segments are.
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Doctor Who: The Eleventh Hour (2010)
Season 5, Episode 1
A slightly underwhelming start
4 April 2010
Warning: Spoilers
So this is it. After nearly two years, we have a proper series of Doctor Who again, with a new Doctor and a new executive producer. So how's the first episode? Well, it's not bad, but it's not anything special either.

The beginning of the episode is the best part, with our introduction to the Eleventh Doctor and his fun interactions with young Amelia Pond. In his first full appearance, Matt Smith gives nothing to complain about as far as acting and charisma goes, but the eating sequence at the beginning is the closest he comes to defining himself as his own Doctor. In "The Christmas Invasion", David Tennant made it pretty clear that the Tenth Doctor was a different person from the Ninth: in this episode at least, the Eleventh Doctor doesn't really do or say that much that clearly separates him from the Tenth.

After the Doctor has left Amelia behind and accidentally goes 12 years into the future, the story gets a bit bland: the main monster isn't the scariest, the Doctor's technobabble occasionally goes a bit too fast, and the whole thing could probably have been condensed into the normal running time of 45 minutes, just about. The Doctor's one-on-one confrontation with the Atraxi, however, is pretty good, and does show that he's got the same heroic spirit as every other Doctor. And the TARDIS has a cool new look as well.

Then there's the new companion, Amy Pond, as an adult. I can't honestly say that I liked her. Karen Gillan didn't do anything wrong: in fact, her acting was very good. But it was pretty difficult to warm to Amy as a character, mainly because of her antagonism toward the Doctor (despite it arguably being justified).

But it's still early days: with more time, hopefully the Eleventh Doctor will become more unique and Amy will become more likable. I'll be looking forward to seeing what comes next!
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Kick-Ass (2010)
Brutal but brilliant superhero film
31 March 2010
If you're a fan of comic book movies, you should definitely check out Kick-Ass – it's not a typical superhero flick, and it's definitely not for the faint-hearted. As befitting the film's basic premise – the idea of costumed vigilantes in the real world – most of the action is grounded in reality (with a few notable exceptions), and while it's always thrilling, it's also very intense and often seriously brutal, enough to make you cringe. Unlike in many comic book movies, you really feel the punishment that the heroes both take and dish out.

That said, when the film's trying to be funny, it does that really well too – there's quite a few pop culture references and mentions of other superheroes, but they're usually humorous and fit in well, unlike some other movies. The acting is great all round: as plenty of other people have noted, Chloe Moretz steals the show as Hit Girl, and provides the best action in the film as well.

All in all, powerful action, great humour, and an interesting story make Kick-Ass a fantastic film.
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Bride Wars (2009)
One of the worst movies of 2009
14 February 2010
When Bride Wars first came out, the critic Mark Kermode was so confident that it would be on his Top 10 worst movies of 2009 that he declared he would give up movie reviewing if it wasn't (it was). Having now seen it myself, I see exactly where he was coming from. This is a horrible, horrible movie. There is nothing at all good about it.

The plot is totally nonsensical. Two best friends getting their weddings booked on the same day, and immediately turning on each other with pranks and sabotage efforts? How does that sound like a good movie concept?

But many things combine to ensure that nothing can be salvaged from this awful premise. It's no good as a comedy: none of the jokes are funny. The acting is as bland as it gets. And the characters themselves are wholly unlikeable: they are just selfish, two-dimensional people who have skewed priorities and are never properly called on it, and it is impossible to understand just why they're being so horrible to each other.

Regardless of your gender, do not watch this movie.
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Avatar (2009)
Undeniably beautiful, but far from Cameron's best film
24 December 2009
James Cameron has directed some films that I really loved: Terminators 1 & 2, Titanic, True Lies – sadly, Avatar isn't quite as good as any of those, though definitely not bad.

Much of the hype seems to be about the "revolutionary" visuals: and it's true, the CGI in this movie is absolutely fantastic. Pandora's landscapes are beautiful and the alien zoology is well designed and interesting: it's a visual feast, and you find yourself not thinking about the fact that it's CGI. To be honest, though, I'm not sure I'd call it significantly more impressive than other CGI I've seen. James Horner does another good job with the soundtrack, which gave me goosebumps at some points, such as the first flying scenes and the final battle scene.

Avatar's main weakness is its writing. I'm personally not bothered by the general plot line's similarity to such films as Dances With Wolves: I was more bothered by the fact that the script keeps throwing in various plot points that are very obviously going to be relevant later, so it's easy to predict what will happen.

That said, it's not all bad: the story may be predictable, but it's never actually boring – there's always something going on to maintain your interest. And while the villains are pretty cliché and one-dimensional, the human and Na'vi protagonists, and the relationships between them, are quite engaging. There's not much to say about the acting, except that Sam Worthington's accent seems to slip from time to time.

All in all, the visuals are definitely the best thing about Avatar: aside from that, it's nothing special, but worth a look overall.
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Iron Man (2008)
An above-average superhero movie with an above-average leading performance
15 November 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Quite a few superhero movies came out in the summer of 2008 – the first, and one of the best, was Iron Man.

With the film telling the story of Tony Stark's kidnapping by terrorists, escape from said terrorists, and the subsequent building/refining/testing of his armour, the familiar red-and-gold version of Iron Man doesn't appear until more than halfway through the film. He isn't even referred to as Iron Man until right at the end. Despite knowing that there are sequels being planned, I was a little disappointed by this, but not that much: most of the origin story that comes beforehand is well worth watching, with interesting character (and armour) development, and some good humour thrown in. The action scenes and special effects are excellent. I was left dissatisfied by the ending (as in "They can't stop it there!!"), but again, maybe I'll feel better about it once the sequel rolls around.

One thing I really enjoyed about this film is the realism, which is handled just as well (if not better) as in the latest Batman films. Most of the film, including the construction of the Iron Man armour, is as believable as it can be, which I feel makes it that much more fun to watch.

The acting in the film is generally of a higher standard than most comic book adaptations. As Tony Stark, Robert Downey Jr provides one of the best performances of a superhero alter-ego ever, giving us a character with a great casual attitude and effective moments of seriousness, and making Stark likable despite some disreputable character traits. Gwyneth Paltrow gives a natural and impressive performance as Pepper Potts. Jeff Bridges's acting as Obadiah Stane is good at the beginning, but drops a little in quality once his character's dark side is revealed (not that there's anything wrong with watching him enthusiastically wreak havoc in his Iron Monger suit).

When compared to 2008's other comic book adaptations, Iron Man is better than The Incredible Hulk, but not as good as The Dark Knight (although there's not that much difference either way). I'll be looking forward to seeing more.
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A disappointing sequel
8 November 2008
I don't mind having Bond films with a different style from the old ones. But while Casino Royale succeeded in making a good film out of this new style, this one fails.

The plot is mainly fine, tracking Bond as he follows each lead he finds, and travelling to various exotic locations in the process (incidentally, I wasn't impressed by the use of different fonts for each of the location captions), but the pacing starts dragging after a while. The content of the action scenes is very good, but they would be much more enjoyable if it wasn't for the camera work. It's quite shaky during some of the action, while the editing is much too fast and pretty annoying (although it usually doesn't prevent you from keeping track of what's going on).

Daniel Craig's acting as Bond has gone downhill from Casino Royale: he seems pretty flat most of the time. The main villain, Dominic Greene (Mathieu Amalric), is never as threatening as Le Chiffre. The main Bond girl in the film (Olga Kurylenko) is nothing special. I liked the second (Gemma Arterton) better as a character, but her presence is relatively brief and a little pointless.

We'll have to see how the Bond series goes from here, but whether they go back to traditional Bond, or continue in the same vein as Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace, the filmmakers will be better off taking more inspiration from the former than the latter.
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Weakest of the trilogy - I'm hoping we don't get a fourth one
13 October 2008
I enjoyed "Curse of the Black Pearl". "Dead Man's Chest", I felt was OK. But rather than learning from its predecessor's flaws, this film expands on them, and ends up being decidedly average.

I agree with other reviewers who say that the plot is far too complicated. Everything's fine until the second act of the film, and then it all goes off in different directions, with too many side stories crammed in (some of which didn't really need to be there), and becomes extremely hard to follow if you're not paying attention. "Who's working for who?" "Who's betraying who?" "What arrangement have those characters got again?" "How did he end up on that ship?" The other problem with betrayals occurring left, right and centre is that it gets a little hard to sympathise with any of the characters, even Will and Elizabeth – even though they're supposed to be the romantic leads, they don't display much affection for each other for most of the film.

Johnny Depp's performance as Jack Sparrow hasn't changed, but somehow he's not as much fun as he was in the last two films – maybe he's just best in smaller doses. It's nice to see Geoffrey Rush return as Barbossa, as well as a cameo by Keith Richards, but nobody else in the cast gives a performance that's worth mentioning.

For all its faults, I don't hate At World's End. While you may be confused by the story, you shouldn't be bored at least. The fun, not-so-serious atmosphere that was present in the first film has diminished somewhat, but comes through in some scenes. And the final battle scene is high quality, almost making up for the flaws that preceded it.

At World's End is not a bad film, but with some editing and better writing, it could have been a lot better. I won't be happy if they do make a fourth film: based on how the quality has degenerated through this trilogy, three is enough.
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Much better than the last film, and stands well on its own too.
12 October 2008
Warning: Spoilers
While this new Hulk film isn't the best superhero movie of 2008, it's a vast improvement on the 2003 version (which demonstrated that it is in fact possible to make a film about a big green monster fuelled by rage, that's actually boring).

This time round, there's no pointless character-development scenes that keep the film dragging on forever: the pacing's much better, with most (if not all) of the scenes remaining relevant and keeping you entertained. The film begins with some brief origin scenes before we find Bruce Banner hiding in Brazil – he's looking for an antidote to his condition, and ends up going home looking for help, but he's being pursued by the army who want to harness his power as a weapon. The overall plot is, again, more straightforward than the 2003 version, and flows nicely.

As in the last film, there's not quite as much Hulk as there could have been, but when the Hulk's around, he leaves more of an impression. He looks more detailed, and certainly angrier, and he spends more time doing what the Hulk does best: smashing. The action scene where he takes on the Army on a university campus is exciting and well filmed, but his climactic battle with the Abomination is one of the best superhero battles I've ever seen: watching these two monsters tear up the scenery and effortlessly throw each other around, striking with speed and hardly ever stopping for breath, is just fantastic.

There's not much to say on the actors playing the three main characters, Edward Norton, Liv Tyler and William Hurt – they all give performances which are nothing special, but satisfactory. Tim Roth's performance as Emil Blonsky is more noteworthy: while in human form, he gives us an entertaining antagonist that I wish I'd seen more of. His final transformation into the Abomination is a bit sudden after the gradual self-improvement that takes place through the rest of the film, but that's just a little gripe – the Abomination itself looks brilliant (the bones sticking out are a nice touch).

Overall, this film won't blow you away, but it's a good summer action movie that's definitely worth a look.
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V For Very Good Viewing
27 March 2006
Warning: Spoilers
This was my first trip to the cinema in 2006, and it was either this or "Pink Panther" - having heard that PP wasn't too good, I chose V For Vendetta, and I'm very glad I did.

The film is a bit on the long side, but it'll keep you interested through almost all of it. Highlights for me include V introducing himself to Evey Hammond with his "V monologue", the comedy sketch on the TV show hosted by Stephen Fry's character, and the short lesbian storyline in the middle of the film (I was caught off guard by it as the films I've seen don't feature much homosexuality, but I thought this was done well - quite sad and moving). I also liked the music used in the film's dramatic moments.

I was interested in seeing Natalie Portman in something other than "Star Wars", and she put in a decent performance as Evey. When you see Hugo Weaving as V, you won't be thinking "Elrond" or "Agent Smith", partly because you never see his face, which is either hidden by darkness or a Guy Fawkes mask - he has to use his voice and body language, and he does it effectively. I was also looking forward to seeing Stephen Fry in a movie, having only ever seen him in "Blackadder" and as the host of "QI", and he too did well as Evey's friend Gordon.

V For Vendetta certainly isn't for everyone (like sensitive viewers, as there are some gory bits), but if you like action, drama and a film that makes you think (about such things as politics, terrorism and what the future might bring), you'll enjoy this film!
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