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The Avengers (2012)
My expectations were incredibly high and THE AVENGERS went above and beyond what I was expecting
I should start this review by saying that I am a massive comic book fan and have been for as long as I can remember. Whenever a new comic book movie comes out I get very excited and am either satisfied, more than satisfied, disappointed or mildly annoyed when I actually see the damn thing. The Marvel Cinematic Universe (Earth-199999) has been building steadily since "Iron Man" (more than satisfied) and has been coming along nicely brick by brick with "The Incredible Hulk" (yet to see), "Iron Man 2" (satisfied), "Thor" (satisfied), "Captain America: The First Avenger" (more than satisfied) adding more and more detail and continuity to the mountain. We have now reached "The Avengers" (more than satisfied) which climbs to the peak of the mountain to take it's place as the epitome of an awesome movie. I went into "The Avengers" excited, disbelieving that this was actually happening and very, very scared about how much I would enjoy it due to the MASSIVE hype surrounding the film. I came out in a state of great pleasure and I thank the stars that Marvel Studios chose cult television genius Joss Whedon to direct and write it. Why did I love this movie so much?
1. Joss Whedon brought the spirit, skill, humour and knowledge that this film needed. His previous works that I have seen, "Dr. Horrible's Sing- A-Long Blog" and "Firefly" prove that he can create great drama and many memorable lines both meaningful and hilarious. His twenty-five issue run on "Astonishing X-Men" proves that he knows Marvel characters very well and can write great superheroes with very human flaws.
2. The actors were downright perfect for their roles and each one got an equal role to play. Robert Downey Jr.(Iron Man/Tony Stark),Chris Evans(Captain America/Steve Rogers), Chris Hemsworth (Thor, God of Thunder) and Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury, Director of S.H.I.E.L.D.) have already proved in previous films that they are great choices for Marvel's movies. Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow/Natasha Romanov) got just enough screen time in "Iron Man 2" to show she was a GOOD choice for the character, but in this she proves to be the best we could possibly ask for. Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye/Clint Barton) appeared for five seconds in "Thor" to shoot an arrow or two so he obviously proved nothing in that movie, but in this one he proves to be a superb choice for one of my long-time favourite Marvel characters. Mark Ruffalo (The Hulk/Bruce Banner) is the only main newcomer in this film due to Edward Norton and Marvel disagreeing with each other after "The Incredible Hulk" and proves to be a perfect choice for Bruce Banner, certainly better than Eric Bana in the horrible outing "The Hulk". Tom Hiddleston (Loki, God of Mischief) proved excellent in "Thor" and continues his excellence in this. Clark Gregg (Agent Phil Coulson) plays the only character created specifically for these films and has become a fan favourite through his brief appearances in previous Marvel pictures. Agent Coulson really gets his chance to shine in this film and shine he does.
3. It set things up very nicely for future entries in the series.
4. The character interactions were incredible and all of the heroes and villains were smartly developed, something you can be guaranteed in a Joss Whedon production.
5. It looked great, the costumes, the fight scenes e.t.c were all very well designed.
6. It had heart, something you don't get in most blockbusters.
7. Stan Lee's cameo.
8. Post credits sequence.
9. Harry Dean Stanton's cameo.
10. The hilarious lines, such as "Puny God"
These are just a few of the many reasons "The Avengers" worked so well for me and all in all I have to say that my expectations were incredibly high and "The Avengers" went above and beyond what I was expecting.
One from the Heart (1981)
Such a beautiful film, and so underrated as well.
I wasn't sure what to expect from this film. My father told me it was great, common opinion told me it wasn't. So I watched it today, and I have to agree with my father. "One From The Heart" is a beautiful, lavish film. The cinematography is superb, the performances are top notch and the soundtrack is incredibly great. After seeing Coppola's most famous film, "The Godfather", this film really showed me how diverse good old Francis can be. "When Francis Ford Coppola makes a love story, don't expect hearts and flowers", the back of the DVD says; and how right it is. The story follows the tension between Hank (Frederic Forrest) and Frannie (Teri Garr) on their five- year "unmarriage" anniversary, just before the Fourth of July, and how they go their separate ways in the glitter of nighttime Las Vegas, finding different lovers but all the while, missing the others touch. This film is funny, spectacular and touching and I couldn't ask for anymore from it. Watch it and realize the beauty the world is missing in ignoring "One From The Heart". Such a beautiful film, and so underrated as well.
Pearl Harbor (2001)
Pearl Harbor ignores the subject matter and focuses on a bland and clichéd love story.
Pearl Harbor is set during the infamous bombing of, well, Pearl Harbor. This film is not about that. It is about two best friends who fight over a woman.
First off, I positively cannot stand Michael Bay. The first Transformers is enjoyable. The rest suck. Michael Bay is the scourge which plaques the film industry. He hacks at quality with a sharp axe of only wanting explosions and box office.
Second, Ben Affleck and Josh Hartnett are so WOODEN. So is Kate Beckinsale. Her role would be better played by Morgan Freeman. That would make this production which I struggle to call a film WAY more enjoyable.
Third, I think I spotted a plot hiding in a stray piece of dialogue spoken at one point. Plot holes in this film dot the landscape like trees. I won't give it away, but you will see if you ever, ever decide to watch this movie. I highly recommend you keep your sanity and move past it at the DVD store. Get something nice out, like a drama which is actually involving.
All in all, Pearl Harbor ignores the subject matter and focuses on a bland and clichéd love story.
SHERLOCK is a thrilling and oftentimes rather funny modernization of the famous detective.
I should preface this by saying that I am a massive Sherlock Holmes fan and have read most of the books/short stories. I have not seen as many adaptations as I would like, but I have seen SHERLOCK HOLMES (Downey Jr.) and SHERLOCK HOLMES: A GAME OF SHADOWS (again Downey Jr.) and enjoyed both of them. However this is not a review of either of those movies, this is a review of the fantastically brilliant series SHERLOCK. I had the great pleasure of watching the last season before it aired in Australia (legally!) and was extremely satisfied. In fact, I cannot find any faults in this series at all. I'm sure that there are some, but I am not one to snark and poke plot holes in something. SHERLOCK re-imagines Sherlock Holmes as living in the 21st century and in accordance with that he now has a website called The Science of Deduction which you can actually visit here: http://www.thescienceofdeduction.co.uk/ There is also a website for John Watson's blog: http://www.johnwatsonblog.co.uk/ (WARNING: DON'T READ THE BLOG ENTRIES IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN THE EPISODES THAT THEY ARE FOR, I HAVE ATTACHED A SPOILER WARNING JUST IN CASE THIS WOULD GET ME BLACKLISTED) There are also two other websites but they are fairly inconsequential. You can find them on the Wikipedia article for the show if you so desire. The show opens with the famous first meeting of Sherlock Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Dr. John Watson (Martin Freeman). The narrative then follows their adventures together as they solve crimes and eventually become good friends. Benedict Cumberbatch is absolutely brilliant as Sherlock and Martin Freeman is equally impressive as Watson. All the staples are there, such as Mrs. Hudson (Una Stubbs) and Lestrade (Rupert Graves). There are also other characters that I won't spoil for you. The series also looks really good and the soundtrack works well with the action. I can comment on the whole series, having seen all six episodes. You could argue that "A Scandal In Belgravia" is the weakest episode due to the absence of any real mystery, but it's still quality television and the breathtaking Irene Adler (Laura Pulver) is mysterious enough to make up for it. One of the things that most impressed me was the brilliant modernization of "The Hound of the Baskervilles" in the episode "The Hounds of Baskerville". Also of note is Andrew Scott's brilliantly insane performance as Sherlock's archnemesis, Moriarty. Heed my warning, bring tissues to the series two final, "The Reichenbach Fall". I will update my review once I have seen the third series (not out yet). Note that the episodes are ninety minutes long, but I don't find this exhausting as it gives the story better pacing. It's almost like three mini-movies a season. I can go with that. Martin Freeman has stated that there should be a third season after he finishes filming THE HOBBIT: THERE AND BACK AGAIN. I eagerly await it with about ninety-nine percent assurance that it will maintain it's freshness. Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss write great dialogue for the series and have also written episodes of DOCTOR WHO, my favourite television series since I was seven. Steven Moffat currently runs the show. I have confidence in them and rest assured that the third series and however many come after that will maintain the brilliance of the first two series. This is one of the greatest television series I have ever seen and I enjoy it immensely. SHERLOCK is a thrilling and oftentimes rather funny modernization of the famous detective.
Brighton Rock (2010)
Brighton Rock is a chilling and thought-provoking foray into Graham Greene's dark world of love, murder and revenge which captured me from the very beginning.
First off, I have not read the original novel by Graham Greene. I am however, familiar with his short story collection "A Sense of Reality". He is lauded as a talented writer and I look forward to familiarizing myself with his works. Now to the film. I went into Brighton Rock with a sense of high expectation and was immensely satisfied. The film is well-paced and involving and it raises a lot of questions about love and war. BRIGHTON ROCK reinvents the original story to be set in the 60's and includes the war between the Mods and the Rockers. This is done extremely well and contributes to the story. Our story (or Graham's if you will) begins on the pier near what my father called "one of the worst beaches in the world". You can tell. One man is killed and another assaulted. We meet Pinky (Sam Riley), name not yet given. He is panicked over the events that have just occurred. Later, he bumps into Rose (Andrea Riseborough) on the pier. A photographer snaps a picture of them in a tense moment and this starts off a self-destructing chain of events. I should not forget that when we meet Helen Mirren she is talking to Phil Corkery (John Hurt). I rather like John Hurt after seeing him in HARRY POTTER AND THE PHILOSOPHER'S STONE, HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS PART 1 and 2, ALIEN and TINKER, TAILOR, SOLDIER, SPY. Ida (Helen Mirren) is Rose's boss at the diner and she does not approve one square inch of a fraction of a second of the tick of a clock, so to speak, of Pinky and Rose's relationship. This causes much friction, especially when she masquerades as Rose's mother to talk to her and fools Pinky's friend that she is indeed concerned about Pinky (the friend does not know her). There is also friction between Pinky and Colleoni (Andy Serkis) a rival gang lord. Serkis gives a spot-on performance. After a confrontation between Pinky and Rose, Ida and Dallow (Nonso Anozie), at the climax of the film, Rose is in the infirmary and goes to play a "love" record which Pinky made for her earlier in the film. The record actually details how much he dislikes her and never loved her, quite nastily. However, the record gets stuck and says the words "You have asked me to make a record saying that I love you." and then repeats "I love you." over and over again. I will reserve the final part of this review for the camera work, which is breath-taking. I felt swept along the story by the camera movements, which are perfect and beautiful. This is a great looking film, and when I witnessed this during the beginning, in which there is a scene in a bathroom where Pinky assaults Spicer (Philip Davis), I loved how it was done. And so I conclude this review by giving credit to the cinematographer John Mathieson, who has also worked on X-MEN FIRST CLASS, AUGUST RUSH, KINGDOM OF HEAVEN and ROBIN HOOD among other things. Brighton Rock is a chilling and thought-provoking foray into Graham Greene's dark world of love, murder and revenge which captured me from the very beginning.
Exciting and visually stimulating, BATMAN is the kind of film that takes you on a journey from the get-go and never lets up.
BATMAN is an incredible film which I find stylistically superior to THE DARK KNIGHT. Darker and more twisted than the 60's film, this is an incredible adventure. Batman, secret identity Bruce Wayne (Michael Keaton) is a billionaire philanthropist haunted by the deaths of his parents. Which is why he is the Caped Crusader, The Dark Knight, The World's Greatest Detective. He is assisted by his loyal butler Alfred Pennyworth (Michael Gough). He finds a love interest in the form of the smoldering Vicki Vale (Kim Basinger) and an antagonist in the cackling criminal The Joker (Jack Nicholson). Keaton fits the Bat-Suit just right, Gough is wise and endearing, Basinger radiates sex appeal and Nicholson is delightfully hammy. This is one for the ages. Tim Burton's Gothic vision of Gotham City is great and fits the mood and style perfectly. One of the things I find especially good about this film is how Burton makes separate the two characters of Bruce Wayne and Batman. The film really captures how different Bruce Wayne and Batman really are. Love this film. Exciting and visually stimulating, BATMAN is the kind of film that takes you on a journey from the get-go and never lets up.