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A good, if lengthy swansong for Nolan's Batman but doesn't go out with the 'bang' I hoped
6 September 2012
... however, third time lucky for the female supporting character in Selina Kyle, who is played surprisingly pitch-perfect by Hathaway. A nuanced anti-hero, she plays her as a complex woman who has rancorous feelings towards the privileged, enjoys the part of her selfish version of Robin Hood and will avert danger if she can but always has an element of redemption just under all the cunning and resentment.

Hardy, who's just been reduced to only conveying emotion through his eyes (as most of his face is covered by a mask),is very good as Bane, but the posh Sean Connery accent (much like the much maligned Batvoice in TDK) is unintentionally amusing at points, like the voice of a Saturday morning cartoon villain.

Bale wavers between being very good (particularly when he's displaying darker emotions) to affected is certain places (in stance and open-mouthed and set jaw looks). Caine does give homilies again(script flaw) but is also notably sympathetic and poignant, Oldman's great and natural as always, Cotillard gives an unctuous performance and Levitt's convincing as, (initially), a rookie cop. Only notably bad acting is near the beginning on the plane from a minor character.

The characters are pretty well-drawn but some of the dialogue, particularly when meant to be funny or important can come across as forced and portentous.

At nearly three hours my legs did nearly go to sleep, yet this film had narrative gaps (despite the generous running time) which was odd. Plot was never dull but it did seem like the last threat to Gotham was a bit over-egged and banal, really even if it did give some good set-pieces. Also, for something as seemingly realistic as this presents itself as being, there was some things that went beyond suspension of disbelief that if it was tonally different wouldn't have bothered me.

It's shot well and looks very good, but the hand-to-hand combat is sometimes torpid, but other action has suitable momentum and excitement and doesn't feel like watching a lagging video.

The score did mostly fit whatever scenes it was enhancing but I felt the previous ones had more impact in some emotional scenes.

Overall: A meandering epic with various characters to juggle, but doesn't quite hit the heights Begins and TDK did due to issues I had with plot contrivances, certain dialogue and maybe a sense of obligation to see the character off that lacked the sense of peril it should've had by Nolan. I suppose not enough felt like it was at stake unlike the other two, personally.

Worthwhile and again the sheer temerity of some of the nihilistic ideas of a revolution are commendable and hardly a terrible end to the trilogy, but I did feel it could've been executed better as a whole.
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Brave (2012)
A change from the norm for 'princess' animated films but not as 'brave' as the title suggests...
6 September 2012
Saw this yesterday and enjoyed it, with its effortless voice acting, compelling characters, good dialogue, realistically rendered backgrounds convincing, character animation blurring the line between animated and human and a fitting score but the title implies something bold, which it doesn't quite deliver on.

The headstrong Merida defying her mum's wishes for betrothal to follow her own path is one element of gutsiness, but as the film progresses, it becomes an amalgamation of various past Disney (or wannabe-Disney) films and somewhat of Dreamworks as well.

Overall: I do like that the mother-daughter relationship is the heart of the conflict, but the way it was executed is pretty trite, if entertaining and invovling, so in a way it makes a titular promise it doesn't exactly follow though like Pixar got scared and reverted to formulaic plotting.

Still an 'original' story (as in not stated to be based on pre-existing material) and an interesting, sometimes funny and well animated one, just not the fresh, daring film advertised. There's a stinger gag after the credits-6.6/10
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Nativity! (2009)
More a CBBC Christmas TV comedy than a feature film, but a fitfully funny, charming film all the same
29 December 2011
Premiering on BBC2 over the Christmas period, I decided to catch-up with it even if I disliked the look of it from the trailer over two years ago. My first impressions were wrong.

Freeman plays his hassled teacher role straight (and very believably) so it's up to Wooton to be the clownish man-child, providing most of the laughs although Freeman has hilariously great 'WTF?' expressions in reaction to his co-star's antics. Ferris is the head, who's like the typical didactic staff member, who just wants to keep everything under control. Carr plays an exaggerated version of himself as a critic, Jensen is sweet as Freeman's ex, Watkin's plays his role broadly, pretty much a panto villain and the kids are alright, with the smallest boy stealing the show at nearly every opportunity. Those who remember Britain's Got Talent from the first series will spot some familiar faces.

The pacing is pretty good and it never felt plodding anywhere, so kudos for the editing - some shots could've been a bit longer, so I could've appreciated a scene more. It does have a very televisual look, as I said and the two primary schools must be the smallest I've ever seen as apart from the main two classes, the schools look pretty empty, so maybe they couldn't they afford extras? The plot is predictable, it had some some manipulatively mawkish scenes (although one main one actually did make me cry as the actor's voice faltered while he was talking) and it did go beyond 'suspension of disbelief' for the ending, but with that exclamation mark in the title, this was always going to be a festive farce, not to be taken too seriously.

The songs remind me of the cheerful exuberance some of Brittania High's songs had, so the Christmas primary school version of that is what the original music reminded me of. I didn't dislike any and would consider buying the OST.

Overall: When the laughs come, it delivers and it had a high laugh count, for me. The drama side isn't so great and feels contrived due to clunky writing. Some of the youngsters have good comic timing and are actually pretty natural when they aren't looking lost/gurning in a scene. But, like Teachers main focus, this about the adults and the kids are just ancillary members. In tone, it's sort of like a spin-off Waterloo Road - The Primary Nativity. It zips along nicely, has a joyful, likable soundtrack and although it had no real reason to be released in cinemas, it's better than I thought it would be and will become an annual watch in my home - 6/10.
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As an uninitiated viewer of GL, this was an entertaining space opera
30 August 2011
After loving the sublime Batman: Under the Red Hood earlier in the year, I decided to give another DC straight-to-DVD animated film a watch and I'm glad I did.

The plot is told as pretty much a frame story of episodic flashbacks of the Green Lantern's past. All I found interesting and easily accessible for a newbie, like myself. There were a few giggles at some of the silliness in the GL universe but that's inherent in the conceit itself, anyway.

The voice acting was mostly strong, the animation had some spectacularly awe-inspiring scenes, the score too was good and it importantly had heart to back up all the spectacle.

Overall, possibly the best superhero film this year in terms of consistency and I like this brave team that's sort of like an intergalactic police force-7/10.
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127 Hours (2010)
A terrible accident that causes an adrenaline junkie to stop and appreciate life
22 February 2011
Since this had been nominated for several Oscars, this was on my must-see list since this year began and I didn't regret finally seeing it.

Acting: We spend most the duration with James Franco and it's a very convincing performance. He really gives the impression that Aron grows from his initial(perhaps incorrect factually to the real Aron?) cocky, careless, hedonistic-type. When he's in pain(enhanced by the 'interference' type sounds towards the end), it all looks realistic. The other actors who could be called pretty much cameos all seem natural on screen.

Pacing and Plot: It was really well paced as I was glued to the screen all the way through and one man's triumph against adversity in a painful accident is always interesting subject matter.

Cinematography: The use of fast pace editing initially to depict his lifestyle, split-screen and hand-held is effective. Later on, his hallucinations don't feel too fantastical so it's incongruous yet odd enough to let the audience know what he's seeing isn't real. For a film set in mainly one place, the Canyon is shot in an way that it seems like a intriguing but an arid and hazardous place.

Score: Pulsating and fitting.

Overall, it's uplifting yet sad(as he had to amputate his own limb) to watch a young man have a renewed respect for life, through this terrible, costly accident. In such as quick moving world, through this very unfortunate situation, he's forced to slow down, with only his thoughts and video camera for company. A brutal wake up call that being reckless for thrills can lead to severe consequences, so it pays to be safe, rather than sorry (the epilogue also alludes to this, in as many words).
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A compelling, well-acted low-budget thriller about greed
9 September 2010
The title is something that confused me, as we spend the whole time with the titular character, yet at the end of it, comprehension dawns.

Acting: Arterton actually surprised me as in Quantum of Solace, Prince of Persia and Clash of the Titans she was uneven and had this contrived, grating posh accent but here, she speaks in her normal accent and is far more consistent in emoting. Goes to show, you can't write of every actor, even after a couple of so-so performances.

As improved as she is, the other two, Marsan and Compston (particularly the former) overshadow her somewhat. Marsan is a cunning and calculating crook and Compston is his naive accomplice. Marsan is particularly menacing and Compston develops his character pretty well. There's a plot twist involving all three that I personally didn't anticipate in that way.

Plot and Pacing: From the unnerving opening without much dialogue to the gripping conclusion, this, to me, wasn't completely predictable. Budget constraints meant the cast remained a trio, but I would've liked to have seen other important characters mentioned.

Cinematography: Conveys a true sense of sickening planning in Alice's kidnapping, humiliation at the hands of the pair, deception, fear - all pretty much what I'd expect from a thriller of this sort.

Score: What little there was there was good and I loved the Radiohead-sounding song with Bjork-esquire vocals Holy Moly by Cathy Davey, as it's suitably mellow for the end of the film.

Overall: This has been called a glorified stage play by some people, but to me, it felt like a film with nuances concerning characters and much like Hard Candy(comparison as it's also indie and had a small cast) was a really taut thriller that had me glued to the screen all the way through.

This is proof that British Cinema is still alive and well and that every now and again, a little gem will come out. A film with flawed characters with a theme of the selfish desires they share.
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Inception (2010)
An emotionally cold film that is presented in a convoluted manner - I'm more impressed with Nolan's ambition than his execution.
20 July 2010
I had the worst headache after watching this and I was left disappointed as while an ambitious film, it left me wanting. Fair enough to those that understood it completely initially, but to me, it left me perplexed, particularly the 'levels' subplot.

The acting is pretty solid all round(DiCaprio's really grown as an actor), but the plot never really seems to reach it's full potential. Part of the problem is the film is quite talky, therefore spending time establishing the rules so it's like you're cramming for test as you are forced to remember many of them to make sense of it all, which for me, is easier said than done, especially when the plot gets more intricate. It's as if Nolan has given you a dreaded 1000 pieces jigsaw puzzle but not all the pieces are there.

The plot hinges on emotional involvement with DiCaprio's character and Murphy's one, but I really don't care about either. This film ostensibly a tale of a man trying to be at peace with himself in his mind, but when that fails to move me, I'm left with a mostly empty film with good set-pieces but somewhat baffling plotting.

Cinematography was nice, the cast were usually smartly dressed and it had an aptly used slow-mo shot and that zero-gravity fight scene. Nolan seems to have an old Hollywood glamour aesthetic, which is pleasing enough.

The score with loud horns used intermittently was fitting and memorable - Dream is Collapsing is particularly good.

Overall: A good-looking, well acted and well scored film that is let down by a cold feel, relating to the main character's conflict and at times, mechanical, confusing plotting. The whole 'entering other people's dreams' plot isn't original, but I was hoping Nolan would bring something interesting to the table.

This is compelling but for me once the layers are shown, it got confusing to keep track. I admire Nolan's ambitions for trying to make an intelligent film, but this felt as if Nolan was running a marathon and I was walking as fast as I could to keep up.

The audience in my screening agreed as well, with variations of 'what on earth?!' chorused around the cinema. Befuddled is an understatement. Re-watches may help me decipher parts of it better, but I still think it's no masterpiece some claim it to be.

This summer's blockbusters have been pretty bad so any film that at least tries can look better than it probably is. Toy Story 3 isn't perfect, but handles mature themes better and has far more emotional involvement - 6/10
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A cute, thrilling and occasionally humorous film with a lovable dragon, Toothless
27 April 2010
I've now seen this about five times, so to me, it is a film that has a lot of replay value.

Voice Acting: Despite the obvious starry cast, the majority of them delivered. I was pleasantly surprised by Butler, who actually made me cry after the climatic part when his voice wavered due to emotion.

The rest are pretty good - Fergerson is genial as Gobber, Ferrera's defiant as the tough girl, Astrid. Only do I feel for, I guess, what's supposed to be young teens, casting twenty-somethings to voice them just sounds incongruous. There's the discrepancy between the Scottish accents of the adults and the American accents of the teens, but seeing as this is aimed a Western audience and is probably done for comedic effect, I can sort of understand it.

Plot: It follows the underdog triumphing story in a pretty generic fashion but well, in that it gives the audience what they expect while throwing in a few unexpected and commendable surprises (especially Hiccup's outcome from the climax). So, baby steps as other countries are sometimes far darker with their family animation but at least progress is being made.

There's occasional laughs (usually from a dryly humorous Hiccup: 'Thanks you for nothing, you useless reptile'), good dialogue and characterisation and essentially heart. I felt an emotional connection to Toothless.

I have to say the flying scenes were exhilarating and genuinely made me believe that's near to what it would be like to fly a dragon.

Animation: Very good. The aforementioned flying scenes are very good, the characters are brought successfully to life and the action really delivers. As far as the 3D goes, I still prefer 2D, but if you want 3D, by all means as the time spent has paid off. I just wish I didn't get a headache and watery eyes after watching it in 3D as I get the same soaring, excited feeling after watching it in 2D anyway.

An earthy palette, cute and cartoony dragon design (Toothless looks intentionally like Stitch) and expressive eyes all make this really accessible and family friendly.

Score: Powell's score is very fitting and memorable (the leitmotifs will be in my head for a long time). What can I add to what has already been said much more eloquently than myself? Coming Back Around, Forbidden Friendship, Romantic Flight and the end credits song Sticks and Stones by the lead singer from Icelandic band Siguar Ros (of Hoppipola fame as heard in the Planet Earth trailers) are my faves but everything is lovely. It's the epitome of a solid score.

Overall: A Dreamworks film that doesn't feel like a Dreamworks film but more like the film Disney could've made (back in their 90s heyday).

It does follow golden narrative rules, but it still offers surprises and is very engaging on an emotional level. The romance aspect could've been better developed and I'd loved to see more of life in Berk, being a Viking but for the wide audience it's aiming at and how it executes what it sets out to do, it accomplishes it pretty well. Easily best animated film of the year so far, unless Toy Story 3 has something even better up it's sleeve *fingers crossed* This marks a step in the right direction for animated films from Hollywood - 7.5/10
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Kick-Ass (2010)
Fun action comedy with an everyday teen nerd becoming a masked vigilante
6 April 2010
Already this year, I've see a candidate for not just the best comic-book film of 2010 but the most entertaining one.

Acting: Aaron Johnson, who plays the eponymous Kick-Ass is likable as an everyday nerd(and pulls off an American accent well - something Sam Worthington never could even if his life depended on it), Nicholas Cage delivers his lines with an intentional deadpan, soap-opera staccato that's quite humorous in places, Mark Strong(who seems to be continuously cast as villains) is really good and brutal as a drug lord, Christopher Mintz-Plasse is amusing as Red Mist, with a high-pitched voice but the person that steals the scenes is Hit Girl.

Chloë Moretz plays her character as a precocious, resourceful, foul-mouthed (when she niftily dispatching her victims) and basically a kid assassin with attitude. Her incongruous behaviour(for her age) stems from this being a comic-book film, so she's wholly from a skewed version of reality, therefore should not cause any offence to informed individuals who understand this.

Plot: There is a clear homage to Spider-Man here, plot-wise, but it's subversive in how it plays out, despite the familiar elements. It also works on different levels: a social commentary(on passive bystanders of crime), instant celebrity, responsibility, vengeance and as a entertaining action comedy. There's all sorts of in-jokes with references to comic-books here (as well as telly, film and video games), with a very tongue in cheek tone(with even serious scenes having some laughs from characters making amusing comments). I would've liked to see scenes where characters suffered the consequences of being injured more, but to a certain extent, it's cartoony style(that doesn't linger too long on bloody violence) works for it's tone it's going for.

Cinematography and SFX: A colourfully pleasing look, with a dynamic, fast-paced style of choreographed violence that is rapidly edited and focuses more on the inventive skill of the heroes. I loved the 3D-looking animated comic book strip.

There's a video-game inspired action (FPS influenced in one scene in particular) that are easier to follow than any Bay-directed action sequence. Those prone to photosensitive epilepsy should note a brief strobe lighting sequence.

Score: The title song by Mika is an empowering, catchy pop song that captures the drive of the masked vigilantes in the film. Others songs used fittingly to create the right tone this film's going for - lively and no-nonsense. The score uses recognisable tracks from Sunshine and 28 Days Later.

Overall: Like giving the middle-finger to conformity, Kick-Ass wears it's punk rock tone proudly, and addresses the dangers of playing dress up to fight crime while acknowledging the reasons such people could have for doing so. While I'm not inspired to become a masked vigilante anytime soon(the occupational hazard is just too high :D), I was very entertained by this and surprisingly even my middle-aged Mum(who the Daily Mail though would be enraged by such rebellion) loved it. A cool, moderately humorous experience indeed and a definite must-see at a cinema near you as it does exactly what it says on the tin and delivers it with panache - 7.5/10
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Stardust (2007)
Charming fantasy chase film but has an in-joke feel that feels incongruous therefore taints the appeal of the overall film
13 March 2010
I was lucky to see this at the cinema and I watched it again on telly as it was shown on Channel 4 this evening.

Acting: Cox is likeably endearing as the naive protagonist Tristan, who goes through a transformation from boy to man. Danes is a good match as the understandably annoyed fallen star Yvaine as she has genuine chemistry with Tristan.

Kelly is amusing as the guard of the wall to Stormhold. Magowan is alluring as Una. Pfeiffer is obviously relishing her theatrical type role as the witch Lamia, De Niro is OTT camp and unconvincing and and Miller's alright as Tristan's crush Victoria, if the role is underwritten. Gervais' annoying and unfunny shtick is anachronistic in a late eighteenth century world. Thankfully it's brief.

Plot and Pacing: They've clearly gone for the in-joke feel of The Princess Bride here, which is a bizarre decision, seeing as this is a straightforward fairy tale whereas The Princess Bride is clearly a spoof.

Not only is the tongue-in-cheek tone incongruous but it never truly feels like a true fantasy world for what I think is due to numerous references and locations.

The plot is the standard chase film. The pacing is slightly off in the sense that we don't get a real sense of the passing of time, as Tristan has a limited period to bring the fallen star to his beloved Victoria.

However, the film doesn't feel overlong as a whole. There are also a handful of laughs here and there.

Cinematography and SFX: There's a lot of camera whooshing used to show different places in Wall and Stormhold and the CGI (mainly green screen) can look very obvious here. But, for the most part the SFX are fine, if nothing special. The general palette of the film is colourful and fitting.

There's a lack of iconic location shots, though and some very LoTR looking scenes too.

Score: The generic heroic soundtrack is used and it's sounds vaguely familiar(if you've seen fantasy films of the last decade, you know what cues and leitmotifs I mean). It's nothing new for this genre from composer Ilan Eshkeri.

The standout easily is Take That's song Rule The World that plays in the end credits, capturing the warm romantic theme with aplomb.

Overall: An entertaining romantic fantasy adventure that has charm and some good performances to help overlook it's lack of identity and inherent flaws. A good, if not great effort, mainly down to aforementioned unnecessary in-joke tone.
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The Wolf Man (1941)
Good B-Movie but I enjoyed it as more of a thriller than a horror
10 February 2010
With the remake imminent, I watched the original to see why it's endured all these years.

The acting is definitely theatrical and melodramatic as expected from the period, though Chaney Jr is very sympathetic as the Wolf Man who is put upon with this curse. He also has palatable chemistry with his love interest Ankers. Ankers is fine as the damsel in distress and Rains is delivers a solid performance as the Wolf Man's dad, but it is a bit comical how short he is compared to Chaney Jr. The gypsy woman is obviously a stereotype and could've been developed more.

The plot does have some symbolism and is fairly swiftly paced, but it doesn't really have that creepy atmosphere for what's being classed as a horror film - it's more a thriller about fate. The makeup and costume for The Wolf Man looks more gorilla than werewolf, to me.

The score is suitably dramatic is a bit too OTT at certain 'kill' scenes it can be quite overpowering.

Overall: A good effort for the time and presents some interesting ideas on lycanthropy but lacks that atmosphere, thrills and development that could've improved it. 6/10
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Animation and score are top-notch but the story is oddly detached
5 February 2010
A mysterious, ageless young female voice narrates in whispers(who we learn more about) the beginning of this film, and so we follow the story of young Brendan and his quest to complete the sacred text in the mysterious book of Kells (which is the 'light' what with an impending doom of war causing darkness to overshadow the village).

The main protagonist Brendan is likable though was it really necessary to have animated bald Gollywog for Brother Assoua? Thankfully it's brief. Voice acting is pretty solid, the plot suffers from some undeveloped parts that could've been expanded upon a bit but the animation is beautifully stylised like an old Henri Rousseau painting mixed with old Saxon tapestries and is just so compelling to view.

There's 'eye' imagery, light and darkness imagery and swirling patterns that and a gentle tinkling sound whenever Brendan's being creative related to the Book. There's interesting scenes such as an phosphorescent snake that moves like that old Nokia 'Snake' game.

Likewise the score is fittingly Celtic and pastoral in sound (the use of harp, flute and fiddle are heard) and has some memorable leitmotifs. There's a beautiful lullaby type song heard in the film sung by the female narrator (introduced at the beginning) that's just lovely.

My main issues are: more back story for Brendan's character and why his uncle is so strict, better closure for the characters and what exactly that creature in the cave was. It's a bit vague in places, as aforementioned as if it expects the audience to have prior knowledge of Irish folklore and the Book itself.

Overall: an interesting watch that has moments of emotional involvement, horror and whimsy that gave me that warm feeling of nostalgia, like when I remember watching Watership Down (as this films opening prologue seems to be inspired by the opening prologue's animation in Watership Down).

Not excellent on all levels to me, but so much more creative and inspired than the vast majority of production-line big studio animation out there. Definitely worth watching for the experience alone. 6.6/10
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Apart from some solid performances, this is an overlong and self-indulgent experience for me.
3 February 2010
Pitt plays his character as a supposed broad comic caricature but I find the character deeply annoying and unfunny. Waltz is very good as a Nazi and a small cameo from a almost unrecognisable Meyers is surprisingly good, if only the makeup didn't give him away. Fassbender too is very good in quite a small role.

There is a nihilistic pleasure to be had from killing Nazis but the pacing in this film is off. First chapter starts well, then by the third it feels like filler then the rest just feels like a period take on the recent Ocean's Eleven films. This film is very dialogue heavy, and while this is historical fiction, some dialogue feels very anachronistic. The whole things feels overlong, self-indulgent and even quite petulant(e.g. the notes that pop up on screen with a big arrow pointing to someone of importance).

The cinematography is quite pretty in places, but I never really feel as if it's the Forties.

The score would be perfect for a western or a seventies exploitation film but here feels unfitting and too bombastic. It takes me out of the period the film is supposed to be set.

Overall: a very frustrating experience for me as the premise has so much promise but the result is too busy boasting the usual Tarantino touches that it misses something vital: heart. Sure, it may mostly look 'cool' but I didn't like any of the protagonists enough to care.
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A Prophet (2009)
Affecting and compelling French prison drama
22 January 2010
With two strong central performances and an involving story that paints mostly morally grey characters, it's with great interest that I watched this.

As aforementioned, Rahim plays his character's illiterate, boyish and wary tough-nut role with aplomb which is well balanced by the powerhouse performance of Arestrup as Corsican crime boss Cesar. He's ruthless and frightening.

The plot basically follows the rise of Malik through the violent hierarchy in the crime world. It pulls no punches - murders are hard to watch as you see what the character has to to survive. Parts of the plot weren't as well explored, like the moments of surrealism but maybe they'll make more sense after a re-watch. I'd have liked to get more of the complexities of the criminal systems shown as Malik's rise seems to lack aspects of this, to me.

Characters are introduced with their names by freeze frames (which is also used for certain important plot points etc too).

The score is simple and affective and I heard the use of some rap songs too which was fitting.

Overall, a very well acted, thrilling, coming of age, rites of passage tale which illustrates the dangerous and seductively powerful world of crime and how one young man eventually found his place in it. Essential viewing.
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The Gruffalo (2009 TV Short)
A cute animated short about a little mouse who outsmarts his predators.
20 January 2010
This came on BBC1 on Christmas Day, and like Wallace and Gromit before it, I recorded it so it could be watched later. I've finally got around to watching it, and I was pleasantly surprised.

With a solid voice cast voicing the animals, the rhyming dialogue is sweet and never annoying.

The story of the mouse, as told by a mother squirrel to her two babies is episodic but suitably so. The jokes were funny and it was even somewhat dark in places where it needed to be.

The animation is probably not as polished as Lost and Found(2008) but has it's own caricatured, simplistic charm and is aesthetically faithful to the book(haven't read it, but have seen the cover).

Overall, an entertaining and amusing short about deception and survival done in a colourful and light way. I enjoyed it along with The First Snow of Winter, also based on a picture book, that has a similar tone, also featuring a 'big, bad' wolf. Good for young kids and the young at heart.
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A fun Victorian romp that works on that level but not much more than that.
19 January 2010
This isn't Sherlock Holmes ... this is Guy Richie's Sherlock Holmes. Somehow, someone thought Holmes needs updating and how does Hollywood like to update something as quiet and collected as Holmes? Why by adding lots of action and some shirtless scenes, of course!

As Holmes and Watson have been transformed into wisecracking action heroes, Downey Jr enthusiastically hams it up as the intelligent layabout, while Law plays sidekick Watson as a annoyed babysitter to Holmes, who's also handy with a pistol.

The standouts are Strong as the effectively creepy 'sorcerer' but wasted are Reilly and a miscast beguiling temptress McAdams - both women look too modern for the period as does Downey Jr too. They all might as well have been listening to iPods as that's how out

The plot is pretty much a seeming resurrection and 'tonight Lords, we're going to take over the world' by means of 'black magic'. The homo erotic undertones of the bickering pair is glaringly obvious and initially amusing but gets tired pretty quickly. As for Holmes powers of deduction, it's pretty feeble here, like a particularly weak episode of CSI. Holmes just doesn't seem to have the great deductive mind he's made out to be. I don't find it wholly convincing. Him as a drunk, fine. As an intelligent mastermind? Not really.

I dislike Richie's visual style of slow-mo and speed-up, quite violent fight scenes. However, where I think the film main enjoyment lies, is in some good set-piece action scenes. Victorian London looks authentic enough(dirty and bustling with life) but as aforementioned, the anachronistic looking Downey Jr, McAdams and Reilly take me out of the period in scenes they appear.

The score by Hans Zimmer is another one of the strengths of the film - jaunty, tongue-in-cheek, dark(in places outside the main leitmotif) and memorable, it sets the tone of this barnstorming adventure well.

Overall: It can be enjoyed as a geezer type update of Holmes and is entertaining on that level, but lacks in other vital areas that make Conan Doyle's shrewd sleuth who he is - these two could just have been any other fictional Victorian adventures, to me. Fun, but quite insubstantial .
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Avatar (2009)
Entertaining film with good visuals, but apart from that, offers nothing new.
12 January 2010
Avatar - probably the most hyped film of last year mostly due to it's apparently ground-breaking visuals, but does it live up to it? Yes and no.

Acting: Worthington is a pretty bland lead - not terrible enough to be unbearable nor impressive enough to be memorable. He's simply passable. Saldana does go a bit OTT here and there in her reactions as Neytiri and puts on an exaggerated ethnic accent but she's better and more charismatic than her love interest.

The only stand outs are the morally confused Ribisi and Lang as 'the ultimate baddie bas-ass', Colonel, who plays his role with enthusiasm.

As aforementioned, the dialogue is cheesy and sometimes unintentionally hilarious with flat, archetypal characterisation.

Plot: What's to say? It's basically predictable from probably each scene to scene and the hackneyed storyline is hardly original. Even within the formula it could've been more inventive. It also lacks emotional investment in some places, concerning deaths.

There is some baggy scenes that could've been trimmed, probably, but time breezed by.

Cinematography/SFX: This is the crux of the matter of the film - what got bums on seats in the first place.

In 3D(which looks like a floating hologram in front of me), a lot of Pandora's visual wildlife and plants poke out of the screen at you. Interesting for a while, but the surreal novelty soon wears off, as it's more distracting than immersive. I mean 3D doesn't make Jake or Neytiri better characters or the plot any better because I can almost touch them, does it? 3D doesn't involve me more in a film, it just makes you aware of an aspect of the film that wasn't there before and has no relevance to plot or character etc.

The phosphorescent 'Billie Jean' night plant lights were silly, but I liked the animals and wildlife most. it looked pretty authentic for CGI, if still slightly manufactured looking.

Hated the Na'vi design - it's just risible. Part feline, part Abe Sapien and part anime, it just looks bizarre, aesthetically, from my point of view.

Score: Sounds like a slight remix of Titanic - pretty mediocre.

Overall: It is fun, but the stereotypes(the Na'vi are a mix of native Americans, African tribes and maybe Amazonian tribes for good measure) and silly ethnic accents with the heavy-handed environmental message is very clunky, and doesn't sit well with the flashy colourful, detailed visuals and weird character design, for me. This is a popcorn film, it doesn't need to take itself too seriously with messages, especially when you have a cartoony if photo-real ten foot blue alien as your main selling point. The romance was undeveloped and forced as well. Good, in terms of how Pandora looks but very flawed elsewhere. My guilty pleasure.
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A rapid-fire, zany, daft and fun romp that is very tongue-in-cheek and feel-good
6 January 2010
It's pretty clear from the start when the Sony Pictures Animation logo comes up that this is not a film that'll take itself too seriously and rightly so, given the main concept: food, falling from the sky like rain.

The voice acting is pretty solid all round - Hader as the misunderstood scientist, Caan as the doubting dad Tim, Faris as the bubbly reporter Sam and of course Mr T playing what seems to be an enthusiastic acrobatic policeman.

Plot-wise it's really simple, clichéd and predictable. The main characters are archetypes. I thought while watching it, some gags were so quick, it's as if they threw as many jokes as they could at the wall, and what stuck, they kept.

OTT and sometimes bizarre, some jokes are very funny in a silly way, and a few are witty. Some don't work as they try to hard, but these days, family animated films seem to think that's the best way to keep ADD kids interested through constant jokes and it shouldn't always be like that.

I didn't like the romance between Sam and Flint as it just felt very forced - hey Hollywood, not everyone of the opposite sex with similar interests needs to end up together, you know. Seriously, it's getting annoying.

Also didn't like Mr T's character repeating the 'I love you son' - got a bit mushy for my taste. Maybe some realism in there like maybe the uneaten mountain of food rotting with maggots, since the pile mostly looked like a giant kid's fake plastic food used for for make-believe role playing.

The animation is pretty decent. I still think they could've incorporated the illustrations from the picture book(which I've never read, but have seen the cover online), to give it a very distinctive seventies look.

What is in there, character design wise, looks like Betty Spaghetti dolls mixed with a dash of Pixar. So, generic, but does the job as it's colourful and blockily animated, that gives it that instant familiarity that should make it accessible.

The score is good, although with such a fantasy plot as raining food, there could've been more creative and innovative themes. I liked the song Raining Sunshine at the end, though.

Overall: It's not brilliant, but for what it sets out to do, which is pretty much 77 mins of diverting and funny entertainment, there are far worse options out there.

Bright, bonkers and fun, all ages should devour this easily.

If this film could be described as a weather forecast, it'd be sunny intervals.
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The anxieties and lively fantasy world of Max - a rites of passage tale.
16 December 2009
It's easy to see why this film has divided opinions so much - it isn't exactly what some people expect from family films these days as its story structure and themes are argued to be too 'depressing' from what is an adaptation of a picture book.

But it could be argued however that the Maurice Sendak book, although low on plot is bursting with imagination does have a darkness present within the story.

Acting: Records is the only human we spend time with for much of the film, and he's such a natural actor - no horrid stilted mannerisms from this boy. His character is a very misunderstood and troubled child, and his imagination mirrors this.

I loved the voices of the Wild Things - O'Hara's and Galdofini's voices are very well delivered and a big part in bringing these huge furry costumes to life.

Plot: Admittedly, this does have a very episodic, haphazard, meandering structure, but that is what a lot of kid's imaginations are like.

The offbeat, deadpan humour and then melancholy that dominates much of the last third fit the hippy-ish looking Wild Things and the fears of Max himself. There is a playful side that made me feel like a kid again, that alternates the worries from the outside world, so it isn't all solemn at all.

I think the very short book has been expanded well, and if things like the Mum's boyfriend and how Max's time in the land where his imaginary land comes to an end I thought could've been done better and explained more, the majority of the film is commendable.

Cinematography: The Wild Things themselves are really believable characters(down to the voice acting and these men or women in the huge costumes).

There's a random change in seasons(it could be snowing in one scene or have pink petals falling in another) which again matches the tone of a kid's imagination well.

Also, most importantly, the wildness of these creatures is displayed effectively, and a certain briefly violent scene proves this point even more. There is a sense that they really get hurt from this rough play, despite the fact that they aren't real.

Score: Didn't like some of the intrusive stereotypical indie songs that took me out of the magic of some scenes. A simple, orchestral score works best for me, mostly.

Overall: A film that's obviously made mainly for nostalgic adults but could have a appeal for older kids as well.

From this final result, they've done the best they could from how they told the story, and yeah they could've made the film with only Max's exuberant adventures then slowly had him miss home, but I like the gamble they took including a child's uncertainties about the world.

An very good, if flawed rites of passage tale that needs to be watched at the cinema to fully immerse yourself in Max's imaginary world - 7.5/10.
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A Serious Man (2009)
Increasingly dark dramedy that has plenty of consistent chuckles but ends too abruptly.
16 December 2009
This is introduced by a snowy set Yiddish tale that serves the purpose of setting the tone, then the film properly begins the plight of a seemingly morally sound protagonist.

Acting: Stuhlbarg plays the title character as a nice, everyday and selfless family man. He does wonder why all these bad things are happening to him, but I never felt a woe-is-me attitude from him, apart from Gopnik trying to gain understanding from the Rabbis he meets.

Stuhlbarg comic timing with some exaggerated facial expressions showing bemusement is particularly well done. Lennick is also notable as his frustrated wife, who somehow makes her character complex when she could easily be one note. Wolff in the memorable and hilarious Bar-Mitzvah scene is very convincing.

Plot: There's obvious parallels with the Bibical book of Job, as one good man watches his world crashing around his ears.

This is very much presented as a tale, with a somewhat episodic structure illustrating his personal decline.

The ending scene almost concluding the opening scene, but it end rather abruptly and even some text maybe even from Job would've caused it to be satisfying, probably. I liked the scenes showing the Rabbi's stories of past men.

Cinematography: The sixties period is presented authentically.

Score: Gentle piano and harp sounds that intensify his downfall, much like Requiem For A Dream did.

Also, the use of the Jefferson Airplane song Somebody To Love is very fitting in the way of times of strife, you seek comfort and assurance.

Overall: It's an interesting if not brilliant film, but I did have an emotional investment with Gopnik so that's why I was peeved it didn't have a better conclusion than it did (I even waited to see if there was any scenes after the credits). Maybe in the future, the ending will make more sense like the Coen's No Country For Old Men did.

A well-acted, shot, and a quite darkly comic film that deserves more than one watch to appreciate - 7.4/10
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District 9 (2009)
Humanity's intolerance emerges after the arrival of an alien spaceship
7 September 2009
Just saw this in a two-thirds full screening, and while it was very enjoyable I don't think it's quite the masterpiece some are saying it is(as it's not as impeccable as it could be on all levels) and here's my reasons why:

Acting: Copley is very believable as a oblivious worker then desperate, reluctant anti-hero later on. His raw emotions were really well done, though his accent, especially when swearing might leave some people in fits of giggles, as it does sound somewhat Scottish and a few other British accents. It's a perfectly authentic South African accent, though.

Unfortunately, Haywood, who plays his wife, is unconvincing. Her emotional scenes merely look contrived, as if she's very much out of her depth and can't deliver the feelings required.

Plot: Because this moves at such a breakneck place, I'm sure keen-eyed viewers will spot plot holes aplenty. It's too rushed in places, and I actually got slight headache from the shaky cam in the doc segments and the speed of some shots. Slowing down to appreciate in the non-doc segments where appropriate would've helped maybe. Most of the fast pacing did give it a sense of heightened urgency, though.

The doc segments feel jarring as well, in their transition. Maybe book ending the film with them would've worked better. This structure could be hit or miss with audiences.

There's your clichéd MNU soldiers (especially a particularly wicked, merciless one) and a Nigerian criminal overlord, obsessed with voodoo. They're archetypes. Stock villains. Stereotypical antagonists that feel too banal and one-note for a film that aims for realism.

The main character could split opinions as some may route for him after his personality transforms, and others not. He's morally grey and not as clear cut as we initially think.

Conversely, it's good points are how emotive these aliens seem yet they're completely not from this world. The main one, Christopher especially is the 'prawn' I completely emotionally invested in.

The aliens have a strong sense of realism about them and humanity so that side of the plot, the political and social commentary side of it works quite well.

I liked how visceral, tense and explosive the action scenes were and how engrossing Wikus' tale is.

SFX and Cinematography: For a low budget film, the effects are great. The CGI looks solid and has a physicality about it, especially up close. Does what effects are expected to do.

I noticed just how much depth of feelings the eyes of the aliens conveyed, especially Christopher. Heartbreaking at times, just how sad and how deep in despair this creature was.

The grimy South African look effectively grounds the sci-fi elements in reality in a stylistic way.

Score: Dramatic and touching when it needed to be. Really good, but shame it's not available to buy as of the time of writing this review.

Overall: A solid attempt at something fresh, from a different angle in a genre that has become over-familiar. Flawed, yes, but it's exciting, compelling and has parallels in today's world. Interesting if not great on all levels but a very good film indeed. A definite must-see at the cinema.
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Moon (2009)
An absorbing psychological sci-fi drama...
18 August 2009
I had accepted I wouldn't be able to see this, as it was on limited release, but luckily, I found out a cinema about 45 mins away by bus way but it had only one showing at 8:30pm so I decided to go.

The film begins with a ad showing a montage of children, space and how power from the moon can be used, I think. Then the film begins proper with Sam's solitary mission on the planet itself.

Acting: Rockwell is convincing and believable as this lone astronaut. He single-handedly makes the film compelling as it is he we watch over the majority of the running time, which is no easy feat. A small cameo from Scodelario (Skins' Effy) who speaks with a very dodgy American accent pulled me slightly out of the spell the film had put me under, but her acting in that brief scene was fine. I only had problems with the accent.

Plot: Obviously inspired from 70s sci-fi such as Alien, Silent Running et al so it's probably not doing anything original but in a year where sci-fi hasn't been that cerebral, it's nice to see a film that resembles the more old school sci-fi, made on a low budget.

The main twist in it could split audiences down the middle, though. Personally, I thought it better to do it the way they did as the other way to do it has been done to death. I'm being as vague as possible so as not to give anything away, as I know from experience that spoilers that aren't warned from the outset are very unfair on unknowing people.

Cinematography and SFX: For a low budget film, this certainly in my eyes has a polished look about it that doesn't betray it's modest budget. The sets, costumes, dust falling in the air etc don't look out of place to a more expensive film, to my untrained eyes. The shots look beautiful and I'd love to own a framed still of the surface of the moon from this film.

I especially liked the emoticon faced robot voiced by Spacey. He seemed to nail the disembodied, somewhat emotionless voice needed for such a machine.

Score: Mansell, whose Lux Aerterna from Requiem For A Dream has been so overused over the past decade to make sure the royalties he's got to be receiving will almost certainly keep his many future generations rich or at least comfortable makes a haunting, piano-led with strings(in some tracks) minimalist score that fits the film like a glove.

Overall: I couldn't take my eyes off the big screen when I saw this. With an acting masterclass from Rockwell, this promising debut shows what sci-fi used to do before directors saw it as an excuse to showcase the newest advances in CGI.

Shall be getting it on DVD/BD to watch it an infinite number of times to pick up things I missed, as this is one that needs numerous watches to fully understand and appreciate.
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Harry Potter and the Half-Done Script - someone needs to elevate this to the level it could be...
28 July 2009
I remember back in August when this was pushed back from Nov to July. Time seems to have been bewitched to pass by us speedily, as the film has been released, and while it is better than than the one before it, Order, I had a sense of how it could've been taken to the next level, largely.

Acting: Dan's acting is quite uneven, for me - he goes from stiff and awkward to passable. To explain further, while his dialogue delivery is fine, his facial expressions are curiously blank most of the time. Some raved about his acting after drinking the Felicis but all I saw was ADD hyper Dan. Emma's acting too in uneven,as it seems her portrayal of Hermione mostly tends be an PMSing, anxious one. Her tendency to overact, though seems to be more under control, than Goblet and displays some slight subtlety when compared with the two main boys. Rupert's acting is spot on for the comedic scenes but lacks some subtlety and nuance but seems a lot more natural than his other two co-stars. The trio all have a very stilted/obviously rehearsed scene on the train discussing Malfoy.

As for the love interests, Jessie Cave is wonderfully OTT funny as clingy Lavender and Stroma plays the brute prat McClaggen satisfactorily.

Acting honours then for the young adult cast goes to Tom Felton, who nails Malfoy's scared and desperate feelings very well. The scene near the end, explaining his mission atop the Astronomy Tower was tear-jerking. For the adult cast, Gambon is terrific, particularly in the Cave scene. He has a weight and presence about him that reminds me very much of other British acting thespians. Rickman as Snape has me hanging on every delicious pause he uses when delivering lines. Also, notable mentions go to the actors who played the younger Tom Riddle(Fiennes-Tiffin and Dillane). Both gave me a profound sense of chill emanating from the screen whenever the spoke.

However, conversely, acting dishonours go to Bonnie Wright. Wooden, dull, flat and bland, her dialogue delivery lacks sparkle and her tone drains the majority of scenes she's in of life. Why is Dan's Harry attracted to her? Lynch also seems to lack range and is often blank faced and not expressive. Airy voice is there, but that's about it.

Plot: I see this film as a set-up for the next one, so it's finding out secrets via memories in the Pensieve to defeat Voldemort with some mostly clumsily done teen romance. Oh and a few scenes are shown with Malfoy trying to carry out his schemes aiding his mission. Shame we didn't get more of these.

We don't really get a good insight into Harry's obsession with the Prince's copy of Advanced Potion Making, apart from in montages. There isn't much suspense about who he is, really.

A better balance of the main three aforementioned plot points would've been very beneficial - it was more sloppy unlikely love triangles less Malfoy's Mission and Voldermort's Past.

There's pointless scenes, such as Harry flirting with the black waitress. The much advertised brief Millennium Bridge attack is underwhelming and simply lacks a true sense of horror about it.

The Harry and Ginny romance I think is supposed to be, in this film, sweet and awkward and only achieves the latter. The kiss is nothing more than a glorified peck and a lot of Ginny's dialogue is cheesy and unintentionally hilarious. They both lack chemistry and together it's Stilted meets even more Stilted, if that's possible. Isn't she still going out with Dean when she's making lovey dovey eyes with Harry?

Then the Ron/Lavender/Hermione triangle is quite amusing if a bit forced. I'm not completely convinced by it, mainly cause there wasn't a lot of subtle flirting going on between Ron and Hermione beforehand like the previous film.

The Voldermort's past scenes could've been more and felt truncated and as aforementioned, more of Malfoy and his plotting.

The pacing too felt somewhat rushed and choppy in places. There was a few jarring transitions.

But, emotional involvement was there when the Major Character Death happened, I cried also the Cave scene too.

Cinematography: I loved how the inky splashes in the Pensieve memories looked. The overall greyish noir-esquire tinge worked and the opening WB symbol with the lightning behind it set the tone: a storm is coming.

I didn't like the quick cuts used for the Burrow attack. It prevented it from being more entertaining to watch. Overall, the look is grim, bleak ans sophisticated all at the same time, usually.

Score: Adequate score, but Hedwig's theme played in some odd places that felt a bit odd heard there. Some scenes had no score in the background at all, which was a bit weird initially.

Overall: Better than the previous film by some margin, but still lacking in terms of the balance of plots going on and general sense of pushing to take it to higher levels. Don't get me wrong, some scenes are amazing, but are the undermined by weak parts in the script that substantially affect the film as a whole.

The Hollyoaks type romance and the Dumbledore's lessons don't sit well together. The ending is a reflective one. It's a good and beautifully shot, echoing the increasingly dark tone, but for me a disappointing film. I imagine if this was a teacher's comment on a pupil's work it would say 'fair effort, but must try harder'.
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Transformers (2007)
Could it transform into a film that was much more than meets the eye?
19 June 2009
I don't hate blockbusters, but what I do hate is bad film making, especially ones that use flashy, state-of-the-art CGI to make up for a rubbish script. Transformers is a case of this, I think and that's just one of it's many flaws.

Watching it again (in preparation for the sequel), my opinion has changed a lot from nearly two years ago when I was entertained by it. I had a feeling this was one of those disposable films that I'd see once and never touch it again, and I was right, cause it's bad, and here's why:

Acting: Judging from what I saw, this wanted the robots to play second fiddle to what was mostly a human story. Shame the humans lack interest, cause all I saw wavered shockingly poor to mediocre acting and the most one-dimensional characterisation I've seen in a while, along with cheesy, cringe worthy dialogue.

LaBeouf plays Sam, the main teen high-school boy in this, like deer caught in headlights. This constant panicky expression makes for a more weaker hero. Fox's character is our hero's crush, but she looks around 25 and dresses like a stripper. Her acting is very wooden and self-conscious, but since she's eye candy, she fulfils her purpose of being pretty to look at well, even if she looks nearly a decade older than her co-star. Duhamel and Gibson are bland as the two main soldiers - there's a particularly scene of unconvincing acting from Gibson in Qatar as Scorponok is tunnelling in the sand behind them. Turturro's manic and wacky performance is just unfunny and Voight on autopilot. Taylor ranges from mediocre to unbelievable and Anderson just plays a 'comic relief' stereotypical black man - a lot of the jokes fall flat and his character is annoying and unnecessary.

Much of the only good, noteworthy acting comes from the voice-over acting for the robots. Cullen's gravely, authoritative tone, especially at the very end of the film gave me goosebumps and even made some of the worst and most clichéd lines sound genuine. Harnell's voice too is good.

Cutting out the whole military sub-plots and the hackers would've concentrated the story on Sam and his family and the robots, which would've improved it slightly, but you're still left with that god-awful script.

Plot: Yet another vital flaw - the plot is vague and undeveloped. The narrative is severely lacking and even the basics of it, about a Allspark cube are laughable, yet this is all presented quite seriously. Scenes to be taken seriously are quite unintentionally funny.

So, it's 'plot', if it can be called that, is just a thin narrative that doesn't make much sense, as it hasn't been thoughtfully though from the start.

I was bothered by the lack of a good villain in Megatron - we're only shown a small flashback of his apparent wickedness, but he doesn't come across as a strong enough, feared antagonist. It sure doesn't help that his little dialogue is as silly as they come: 'give me the cube!'.

The origin of the robots could've been shown more in the opening. As a result of limiting what we know about the title characters themselves, there's no emotional investment in them much, and when one Autobot is killed, it doesn't have any impact. The same one-dimensional approach is used for the cardboard cutouts that are the humans.

So, a superficial 'plot' and characters leave me cold. The particular scenes with sentimentality feel shoehorned in and the whole onanism part is so stupid and inappropriate. Add the silly romantic bits and it feels so contrived, I'm surprised that this script was green-lighted.

Cinematography: Bay loves to pan the camera right to left, left to right, 360 degrees around someone, over used slow-mo, insert panning aerial shots and close ups that gradually come closer - very rarely does the camera stay still. Scenes lasting five to ten seconds mostly also have a quick cut editing technique throughout. Ironically enough, these film trailer-like scenes end up in an overlong film, with a self-indulgent tone, especially in big set pieces.

The explosions and general action scenes are unwatchable and tiresome because of this approach. I hate watching a film shot in an ADD type way, especially when ineptly done. Yes, the CGI is photo-real and great, but those computer effects don't deserve a film as badly done as this.

The main seven action scenes don't redeem the film and all share one thing in common - a lack of tension or suspense. That lack of restraint and diligence creates an air of impatience in me. The end climatic part ended on a very weak note.

Overall: Only the CGI for the robots, really good voice acting for Prime and the lovable Bumblebee were it's few good points. Apart from that, the film is brainless, bloated, clichéd and is a tedious experience to endure. Even the humans are horribly written, the action sequences with the robots sound like pots clanging together (which is weird for such large and heavy cybernetic organisms) and are a chore to follow who's beating up who. Stupid panning shots, fast cut editing and bad, cheap jokes makes this one of the worst sci-fi action films I've seen, so far. There's no heart in it - just one long advert for cars, eBay and the Transformers toys. A film made primarily for lads mag reader, since it doesn't have anything to offer apart from visuals.

There's nothing wrong with making a fun blockbuster, but at least get a good story , fully realised characters with normal non-panning pacing before you start principle photography. Kids making up stories while playing with their toys is more entertaining than all 2 hours 15 mins of this and probably more creative.
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Push (2009)
If I had telekinesis, I'd 'push' this into the dustbin, where it belongs...
27 February 2009
What a confusing and muddled film! Non-existent characterisation, Camilla Belle's inability to display emotion, thin and unoriginal plot(doesn't do anything new for the 'realistic superhero' genre), inconsistencies run throughout, weak and non-threatening villains and worst of all - no heart. Why should I care about these characters, when there's no development whatsoever, so no reason to invest any kind of emotional involvement in them? It's all far too convenient how characters come together or meet their demise.

The people with powers are given daft names, unintentionally funny scenes(like the screaming 'Bleeders' - see what I said about daft names?), heck even the 3 main action scenes are nothing special to redeem this! It's not a thriller, like it's being advertised as, really as there's no real sense of edge-of-seat tension, you know, like thrillers should have. So there goes any advantages for lovers of brainless cinema, then as it would probably even enrage popcorn-flick cinema goers.

Only few good things are: Evans and Fanning's acting(they're not brill, but do their best with such an awful script), the colourful cinematography's alright, decent SFX and it's surreal, fun tone, but it has more bad than good, I'm afraid. I haven't ranted so much about a film since the last Bond film: Quantum of Solace! It's basically a set up for a hopefully abandoned sequel, indicated by the cliffhanger ending.

Overall: This is the epitome of all flash and NO substance. Stick with your X-Men films and TV series Heroes as there's nothing worthwhile to see here, really - it's just very sub-par. Hopefully, Watchmen will make up for this rubbish. 3.5/10, and that's generous compared to 1s and 2s I've seen given from critics and reviewers on IMDb alike.
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