Monday, 30 July 2012

The Dark Knight Rises

It's been too long. 8 years too long since Gotham has seen Batman and 10 days too long for me to see The Dark Knight Rises, but I have seen it now and yes my mind was blown. Although most of you reading this have probably seen the film, for those who haven't this review is spoiler free.

'Eight years on after the events of The Dark Knight, a new terrorist leader, Bane, overwhelms Gotham's finest, and the Dark Knight resurfaces to protect a city that has branded him an enemy.' This plot is a vague outline of the film but like all Christopher Nolan films there is much more happening then you first think. Although this is a story about Batman and Bruce Wayne, a lot of time is given to the supporting characters as their arcs have a huge impact in the end. New supporting characters to the final instalment of The Dark Knight Trilogy include Anne Hathaway as Catwoman and Joseph Gordon-Levitt as John Blake. Both proving essential to the plot and both being nothing but awesome.

A lot of people have been saying that Anne Hathaway steals the show but for me it is Joseph Gordon-Levitt who has a much larger part in the film then I first anticipated and as usual he gives an incredible performance. Anne Hathaway is still very good though. Although never referred to as Catwoman, her take on the character is the best yet, she is kick ass and gets most of the gags. All of the performances in the film were top notch as well. Christian Bale as usual gives a thrilling performance that brings Bruce Wayne's story full circle. Micheal Caine as Alfred is just perfect as is Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox and Gary Oldman as Commissioner Gordon.

Tom Hardy also plays a great villain. The Joker is out and this time Bane is in. Unlike previous villains, Bane is a physical challenge for Batman, bringing some awesome fight sequences that will make you hold your breath in agonising awe of the end result. That's the great thing about Nolan's Batman films, unlike other superhero films you don't know whether your hero will make it out of the film alive. Tom Hardy is just great and is really menacing in the role, no wonder all of Gotham is scared of him. The guy is the new Darth Vader but with a foreign accent and less breathing problems. I also had no problem with hearing the lines as was previously feared from early footage. Even Batman's voice was slightly toned down making it less laughable.

The film still has a serious tone and theme that the previous films had but this still has quite a few laughs and feels a lot more like a comic book movie then The Dark Knight did, not completely though. This still is a long way off the tone of The Avengers which makes comparing them very hard as both feel completely different. You could even argue that this wasn't even a superhero movie as we don't even see Batman for the middle section of the film, emphasising the fact that this is Bruce Wayne's story. If this wasn't a Batman film it would still be as good!

As usual, Hans Zimmer's soundtrack is spot on and really heightens emotions throughout the long film. A long film that never bores and kept me on the edge of my seat throughout. Although it was 10 minutes longer then The Dark Knight it definitely did not feel like it at all!

Being the final instalment of Christopher Nolan's trilogy the ending had to round off all the character stories he had created in the first two films and it certainly did this and more! The final act of the film for me was completely perfect and gave me goosebumps throughout and even a few tears to my eyes. An ending that was more then I could have hoped for as a farewell to a Batman that will go down in cinema history. It lives up to its hype and is one of the best films of the year so far. To me The Dark Knight is a fraction better but never the less The Dark Knight Rises is definitely a 5/5.

Thanks for reading!

P.S I am happy to announce that my blog in now a member of LAMB, The Large Association of Movie Blogs. I would like to say thank you to LAMB for accepting me and thank you to all those who are now reading this after being directed from the site, I hope you carry on reading all my posts to come!

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

God Bless America & 21 Jump Street

I am actually on holiday right now but I prepared in advance and here is a new blog post containing two new reviews. Both comedy films and both brilliant!

God Bless America
I heard about this film from the Empire podcast (which I recommend you all listen to!). They had an interview with writer/director Bobcat Goldthwait who's last project was Worlds Greatest Dad, a film which I really liked, in a strange way. It seems the director has a knack for making films around characters you should dislike but don't and that is not an exception for God Bless America, where we follow Frank, a man who is at the end of his tether after losing his job and finding out he has a brain tumour. He decides to take his own life but as he is about too he sees an episode of My Super Sweet 16 and decides to take the girl on the shows life instead. At this event he meets Roxy who joins him on a mass killing spree of people who he thinks 'deserve to die'. Including people who talk in cinemas and take up two spaces in a car park.
This is one of those films that is so wrong but so so right! Its statement on society is truthful yet the way they go about it kind of defeats the point, but it's a fun film anyway so who really cares? The film is very funny and very shocking and I enjoyed it a lot more than World's Greatest Dad. There is only one moment where I think it went a bit too far, it happens within the first 5 minutes and a baby gets killed. Just a tad too far don't you think?

Apart from that though everything else is good and there are some great laugh out loud moments and times where you think that the killing is almost justified! A crazy film that has a strong message and surprisingly a lot of heart, I'm giving this film a rating of 4/5.

If you have no idea why this film would be good, take a look at the trailer below:

21 Jump Street
I have never liked Channing Tatum, yet in this recent film I liked him a lot! 21 Jump Street is a reboot/remake of the 80's series that starred Johnny Depp. Unlike most other remakes this film acknowledges its unoriginality and takes the mick out of it.

Starring Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum the film is about a pair of underachieving cops that are sent on an undercover mission due to their young looks, to bring down a drug ring within a high school. The film starts off quite rushed but once the first 5 minutes of back story are out of the way, hilarity ensues.

The film is stupid but packs enough laughs to entertain thoroughly. Whoever came up with the Hill and Tatum partnering is a genius as the bromance is one of the best parts of the film! Channing Tatum should stick to comedy as he is hilarious in this! Everything else he has been in has been funny for all the wrong reasons. Skinny Jonah Hill is brilliant as usual, and this is probably is funniest role since Superbad.

It's stupid, rude, crude, hilariously funny and has an incredibly smart cameo! I'm sure there will be sequels as this was a top notch comedy, that's why I'm giving it a rating of  4/5.

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Arising The Dark Knight

Most of the world is anticipating the release of The Dark Knight Rises this coming week and hopefully all expectations will be met! Those expectations are high though, especially after the masterpiece which was The Dark Knight, argued to be one of the best superhero movies ever made! The universe Christopher Nolan has created for Batman is a million miles away from other incredible films in the genre such as The Avengers. Batman deserves a decent send off and if anybody is going to do this threequel justice it is the same man that brought him into this new world. The man who hasn't made a bad film yet! In this post I am going back to the first two films and finding out what made them great and what will make the third greater. In Nolan we trust.

Batman Begins
I remember enjoying this film when I first watched it but because of the other colourful and campy superhero films out at the time it never stuck in my mind the way it does now. Maybe it was because I was younger and now that I am a bigger film fan I realise how awesome this movie is! Rewatching this makes me realise how special this version of the Batman is. Nolan takes the character who's previous incarnations had a wide range of being hit or miss. Best we forget nipple suited George Clooney, no matter how much I love that man!

Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne was brilliant choice as he really throws himself into the role, as is expected from the method actor who bulked up to play the role. Other great casting includes Michael Caine, Liam Neeson and Cillian Murphy.

The great thing about this film was that it took Batman and brought him into a Gotham that was believable, even the Batmobile was created in real life and was originally being designed for the armed forces.

The scarecrow was a great villain and kept with the theme of fear and coming to terms with it. It is not a perfect film but not all origin stories are. It does take ages for Bruce to don the cape and cowl! Action is solid and most of the acting is too. A great film but unlike the next it is not perfect.

The Dark Knight
Now my first viewing of this film was completely different to how I viewed Batman Begins. The Dark Knight blew me away. I didn't know what to expect from this film but after the first viewing I couldn't wait to watch it all over again! The story, acting and film making is just spot on. This is one of my favourite films ever, I cannot describe how much I love it! I may not be as big a fan of the character of Batman as I am of Spider-Man but this film was just full on awesome!

Heath Ledger's performance is just incredible, his version of the Joker is now one of cinemas greatest and one of the best cinematic villains ever. Everything about this film is perfect, the only thing that is a bit off is Batman's voice which seems a bit over the top but will hopefully be toned down for the threequel.


The Dark Knight Rises
Well the wait is almost over. The final instalment in the Dark Knight Trilogy. This could be the highlight of Christopher Nolan's career and hopefully will be his best film yet! I trust Nolan even if I was bit iffy with his decision to include Catwoman in the mix. I'm confident Anne Hathaway will do an excellent job though. This time the villain is Bane played by Tom Hardy who is a brilliant actor and I can't wait to see what he does. A flying vehicle called the Bat has also been included and this promises to bring some exciting new action sequences. Trailers look awesome and the 13 minute featurette just blew me away. I love Nolan's work on using old school techniques in modern day blockbusters.

Unfortunately I won't be seeing this until I get back from my holiday late July. Which means my review may not be up until August. I am sure it will be worth waiting for!

So amped for this, best film of the year/ever? I blooming hope so! I wasn't looking forward to this as much as I am now at the start of the year as I was worried as to whether Nolan could pull it off or not, but... In Nolan we trust.

Although on holiday I do have a post ready to be released whilst I am away which contains reviews of two brilliant comedies, God Bless America and 21 Jump Street. So please keep an eye out for that on the 24th of July!

Thanks for reading!

Friday, 13 July 2012

Snow Dream

Here is my latest short film, Snow Dream. If you read my previous post you will realise that it has changed a lot from the idea I once had. This is unfortunate but I am still happy with the final product. The main character in the film is played by my brother, Jacob Hunt and he will also be starring in my next short film which I am hoping will be my best yet! Until then check out my latest creation; Snow Dream.

I hope you enjoyed Snow Dream, make sure you subscribe to my YouTube channel to be up to date on all my latest work. If you prefer to use Vimeo the video will be on my channel soon.

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Spider-Man: Eclipse & Snow Dream Poster

So the short film I talked about recently has been released via IGN. Spider-Man: Eclipse has received thousands of views and a very positive reaction. I will be giving my verdict on the film below, but that's not all! I also have the first poster for my new short film; Snow Dream.

Spider-Man: Eclipse
So it's out, but is it worth a view? Oh yes it is! All you need is 10 minutes free and you've got yourself a very enjoyable short film. This short takes the dark and adult tone that The Amazing Spider-Man attempted and pushes it to a new level. The style is gritty and the action is grounded and very cool. The effects look awesome for an indie short and the quality is superb. The short was actually filmed on the same type of camera that The Amazing Spider-Man was!. The actors suited their roles well, but I was more interested in seeing some awesome parkour action! The style of the film felt like a mash up of JJ Abrams and Zack Snyder with the lens flare and super cool slo-mo action sequences. The suit won't be to everyone's taste but I quite liked the woollen type costume, it felt more like it had been made by Peter Parker himself, though I can't see something like it being used in the movies. The only thing that didn't work was the length of the short film, I just wanted more! It felt as if we were introduced to these characters and then cut off to quickly. This didn't stop the constant fanboy references to the comics and other Marvel characters being thrown in every other second, which was a brilliant touch. If this film gets enough attention then hopefully there could be more. I definitely hope so! Congratulations to the director Al White and his crew for making an amazing Spider-Man short film worthy for fanboy appreciation. Check out the short film below:

Snow Dream Poster
The title is a bit cheesy but I hope that you like the poster for my upcoming short film. I spoke about this project in one of my first blog posts and how I wanted this to be a tribute to my favourite band The Killers. This unfortunately did not work out due to financial and copyright reasons and also due to the lack of footage filmed. This was down to unforeseen weather circumstances whilst I was in Oberstdorf, Germany. However I have finally scrounged all the footage I had and  made something out of it. The short will hopefully be on YouTube next week. The project is a lot different to how I first intended it to be but I hope you guys will still enjoy it. I am also working on another short this Summer which I hope will be my best yet. More news on that another time though, for now enjoy the poster for Snow Dream.

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, 5 July 2012

The Amazing Spider-Man Review

I am a massive fan of Spider-Man, but you probably already knew that. I loved Sam Raimi's Spider-Man films, though Spider-Man 3 did lack in quality compared to the first two. Even though I loved those films I still couldn't wait to see the reboot/remake, even if it was only 5 years after the previous instalment, they do it in the comics all the time! This was my most anticipated film of the year and a couple weeks ago I dedicated a whole blog post to it! So is it as amazing as the title says it is? Thankfully it is! Though it isn't perfect.

I loved the new darker and grounded approach to the character, don't worry it isn't as serious as Christopher Nolan's Batman films but thankfully, it isn't as cheesy as the Raimi trilogy either. The Amazing Spider-Man looks more at the character of Peter Parker, the disappearance of his parents and how these tragedies in his life help shape him into the hero he becomes. It's not an easy path that's for sure. Peter Parker isn't your stereotypical nerd though, now he is a bit more of  a lonely emo type nerd. It's great to see him back at high school even if he does look a tad too old to still be there. It is also great to see Peter standing up for fellow classmates against bullies like Flash Thompson even if he does have to face the consequences. The spider bite that gives him special powers just creates another dilemma in Peter's life that he know must learn to deal with.

This story would not work if it wasn't for Andrew Garfield, who is much more of a Peter Parker to me then Tobey Maguire was. I liked Tobey's version, but he just came across as too whiney. If Tobey was in this film, it wouldn't have been half as good. Andrew plays teenager very well and you can really see what kind of hurt and pain his parents have left on him when they disappeared. This hurt is added too when Uncle Ben dies. The death scene in particular really stands out as being a very powerful and emotional moment in the film. Something that hasn't been touched upon as much before. I definitely felt more emotionally connected to this film then I have on the previous ones. This is mainly due to Andrew Garfield who really is perfect for the role and you can tell how much dedication and heart he has put into the character.

The whole film is cast perfectly, Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy is just brilliant, as is Martin Sheen as Uncle Ben. Aunt May played by Sally Field is a bit of a change from the original comics but that's not a bad thing. Rhys Ifans plays a great Curt Connors and motion capture Lizard as well. Although the Lizard isn't perfect, the CGI is pretty good, his storyline is also handled well. I was happy to see that he was still able to speak when in Lizard form, even if he was a very well spoken Lizard.

The CGI for Spider-Man however was spot on. Not once does he look like obvious CGI and director Marc Webb's decision to make a lot of the stunts practical really payed off in making this the most believable Spider-Man yet.

Another great addition are the web shooters, they show off Peter's academic skills and keep more to the comics. They could have been used more in the film though. There is so much you could use in the storyline with the web shooters such as running out of web during a battle or swinging through New York but this is never touched upon. Even when caught by a surprise attack in school Peter still has his web shooters on for some reason. That would have been a cool moment for him to think on his feet without them.

There is a lot more this film could have used to create scenarios we haven't seen in Spider-Man films before. I don't want to spoil the film so I won't go into them but I felt that the scriptwriters cut short on some elements that could have been used to create incredible set pieces.

My other problem with this film was the amount of action, there just wasn't enough Spider-Man. I really enjoyed the love scenes between Peter and Gwen, they had amazing chemistry, but this meant that there was too little of amazing Spider-Man! The action was great when it was there but I just needed more. When Peter was learning how to use his powers it was great and a highlight of the film but we never got to see him use them to his full ability. When there were action scenes though, he had his mask off way too much! Also like Prometheus, more questions are raised then answered which isn't always a bad thing but Peter's parents sub-plot kind of got forgotten after the first half, as did the search for Uncle Ben's killer.

The suit however looks so much better! I really liked the new design and it looked very cool on screen. I doubt it will stay this way for the sequel though, I can see Peter upgrading the suit like in the Batman films. If this was to happen it would be very awesome, maybe he could even have a utility belt like the tie in game has.

I saw this film in 3D and it was pretty good. It wasn't always apparent but looked good when it was. I'm not sure if I would recommend seeing it in 3D, I may actually watch it in 2D in the coming months to see if 3D was better or not. I had heard great things about the 3D though, so the lack of it in my showing may have been down to the screen. I would love to go see this in IMAX!

Some fans may be annoyed at a few of the origin tweaks but I for one thoroughly enjoyed the take on the web slinger. Apart from a few picky bits this film was enjoyable throughout and had some incredible Oscar winning acting that made it live up to its name. It feels as if this is the Batman Begins of the Spider-Man universe and that the sequel to this film has the potential to be more amazing now that we have the origin out of the way. That makes me very excited! Like all Marvel films remember to stay until the end! I am rating the film as a 3/5. P.S - Best Stan Lee cameo yet!

The short film Spider-Man Eclipse, which I talked about in my special Spidey post is now out so please go check that out here:
My review of the short will be online in the next few days.

Thanks for reading!