Friday, 23 May 2014

X-Men: Days of Future Past

I was worried about the latest X-Men film going in to the cinema. The trailers looked promising but you never know with this franchise, it's always been very hit or miss after X2. Saying that, the prequel film X-Men: First Class was my favourite film of the franchise. That's right 'was' my favourite, because X-Men: Days of Future Past just completely blew my mind and exceeded all my expectations! Read on for my spoiler free, full review of the film.

Set in a dystopian future where the mutants are being hunted down by Sentinels, the only chance they have left is to send Wolverine back to the 1970's where he can try stop the bad events of the future ever happening. The film seams together the old cast with the new in a very ambitious 'inbetwequel' of sorts to patch together the X-Men Universe into something more linear then it previously was.

The cast is huge and the main members get a good amount of time to shine, however some new additions such as Bishop are there to show off their powers rather then bring anything new to the plot. That being said it does make for some pretty cool action scenes, but more on that later. For once this film does not feel like Wolverine and the X-Men, he has a big part to play but it's not his film as it has been in the past. This film belongs to the relationship between Professor X, Magneto and Mystique which is played out so well throughout. The characterisation of all three is brilliant and I lreally enjoy the love/hate relationship between Charles and Erik, which is explored even further in this film. James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender and Jennifer Lawrence are the highlights of the film in these roles. Peter Dinklage also shines as villain Boliver Trask, he may not be getting the brilliant material he gets as Tyrion on Game of Thrones but it was a nice change to see a different kind of villain that isn't just going to end up in a big boss battle at the end of the film. I also love the fact that the actor's size is not referred to throughout, it isn't a defining trait of the character, Dinklage was just the best actor for the part.

This film has a lot of heart, a lot of the characters are in a bad place at the beginning and it's all about whether they can regain hope and compromise for the greater good of the world and mutantkind. Writer Simon Kinberg has done a brilliant job of keeping these themes throughout and the final edit of the film is a really tight piece that balances all the different characters, times and emotions perfectly. Having Bryan Singer back was a god send as he really knows how to direct these characters, you can tell he is in his element with the X-Men and I hope that the recent allegations against him are false so he can come back to do more!

Visually this film looked great and there were some awesome action sequences where we get a really cool look at some of the mutant powers in action. Because this is a bigger budget film and more technologically advanced then the previous ones, we get to see some really epic sequences that prove to be some of the best we have seen in comic book movies so far. One of the best action sequences in the film comes surprisingly from Quicksliver, how ever stupid he looks, when using his super speed on camera it is treat and turns out to be one of the highlights of the film. Days of Future Past has raised the bar high for Age of Ultron who will be using a different iteration of the character next year.

It feels different to previous comic book films and doesn't abide by all the same rules making it something more than your average superhero movie. With the inclusion of the Sentinels, this finally feels like the X-Men from the comics and make no doubt, this film is definitely for X-Men fans with many little nods to the source material placed throughout, along with its pretty faithful adaptation to the actual comic arc it's based on. Going in with no knowledge of the films that came before it may prove a bit confusing but either way it's a lot of fun. It's going to wipe the bad taste of Wolverine Origins film and X-Men: The Last Stand from your mind. I really can't find much wrong with this film!

Overall this is the best X-Men film to be released so far. In fact it's up their with the best of comic book movies. It truly is something special and I cannot wait to watch it again! I'm giving X-Men: Days of Future Past a rating of 5/5. Remember to stay after the credits for a taste of big things to come!

What did you think of Days of Future Past? Best of the X-Men franchise or another miss? Let me know in the comments below.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, 19 May 2014


I have been really pumped for the latest Godzilla film after all it's great trailers and posters. Even though looking back at the 1998 version now, it's awful, but I remember seeing it when I was younger and being terrified and in awe at the same time. And it looked as though the latest film had grown up with me and took a more realistic and serious look and what would actually happen if a massive lizard, whale, dinosaur thing appeared. This film is a lot different to the films before it and thankfully a whole bunch better then Roland Emmerich's version! Read on for my spoiler free verdict on the latest Godzilla.

I won't go too in depth to the plot because although it's a Godzilla movie, it's different. It's hard to explain but the less you know the more you will probably enjoy it. However don't go in thinking this going to be your average disaster movie filled with destruction after destruction after destruction, because it's not that. It's a film about humans more then anything, it's about seeing the rampage from a point of view that grounds it in a form of realism.

These human characters are played by Aaron Taylor Johnson, Bryan Cranston, Elizabeth Olsen and Ken Watanabe. Cranston brings the raw powerful emotion with a force from the very beginning, he leaves you tugging at your heartstrings within 10 minutes. Which is all well and good but I wish the other characters had been just as awesome, because they fall short of this. Aaron Taylor Johnson is ok, we root for him but at times his character feels more like a plot device to get you from A to B than anything else. I wish I could care about his wife Elisabeth Olsen more, because she is also great but severely underused to make much of an impact. The film gets it right at times with the characters but always just seems to miss out on perfection after the first act.

Don't get me wrong though, there is heart to the story and it's helped along by beautiful camerawork and cinematography. The film is one big tease so when the camera decides to take a step back and admire the destruction scenery it does so with elegance that makes the image on screen look like a work of art. It's great to see that Gareth Edwards didn't just sell out to the big studios after his indie hit Monsters. You can definitely tell he had a big impact on the film and how it plays out.

One of my favourite things about this film is that it defies expectations. It's a film that doesn't give you what you think you need, it goes against all the general conventions of a Hollywood blockbuster and instead of just letting you watch the action play out, it cuts away and saves the best for later. It may be fustrating at first but what you get at the end, when you're on the edge of your seat in anticipation, is spectacular. The build up really pays off and there is no way you won't leave the cinema with a great big grin on your face.

The monster himself also looks incredible, never has there been a more glorious Godzilla on the big screen. The CGI is top notch and you will find yourself believing that the king of monsters is real. He looks great and when you finally get the full body shot complete with the iconic roar I assure you it will send shivers down your spine!

Godzilla will defy your expectations but that is not completely a bad thing. It puts characters first over action so it is shame that not all of them are worthy of your time or care. But everything else is pulled off brilliantly, it's great to see something a little different and unexpected at the cinema, especially from a big summer blockbuster. I had a great time and thourougly enjoyed the film, therefore I am rating it a 4/5. The king of monsters is back!

What did you think of Godzilla? Love it or hate it, let me know in the comments below.

Thanks for reading!