Sunday, 22 February 2015

Quick Reviews #10: 2015 Oscars Edition

Time for another edition of quick reviews! This time I will be reviewing a bunch of films that nominated for this years Oscars. Now I have already reviewed a few films that are nominated this year, such as Boyhood (which deserves all the big awards!), so they aren't part of this list! I also have yet to see The Imitation Game, American Sniper or Selma, so I have no opinion on how those will fare at the awards. Below are the films that I have seen recently and are nominated at the Oscars. Enjoy!

An intense, edge of your seat film about a jazz drummer and his mentor. It doesn't sound like it should work but it so does! It's gripping and terrifying, believe the hype. J.K Simmons will win an Oscar for his role in this film and Miles Teller proves again that he is one of the best young actors around at the moment. 5/5.

The Theory Of Everything
A moving and powerful film that is held together by its two brilliant lead performances. There definitely could be Oscars for both Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones. The film looks great but moves through a large portion of time at such pace that leaves you feeling like you've only just scratched the surface of Stephen Hawking's life. 4/5.

Birdman is a great example of the brilliance of filmmaking, everybody involved gets to shine here. The film is made to look as if its done in one take and the actors really get to show off their talents among the brilliant cinematography. It's a great snapshot into the mind of broken actor and critique of the current pop culture industry. 5/5.

It's slow (maybe too slow), moody and mysterious. Foxcatcher brings us the ominous true story of wrestler Mark Schultz and his coach John du Pont. Steve Carell and Mark Ruffalo are deservedly nominated for their roles here, but unfortunately the lead Channing Tatum is not, even though in my opinion he was the best thing about the film. 4/5.

Big Hero 6
After The Lego Movie got snubbed, there is only one obvious film left to win best animated feature. Big Hero 6 is a lot of fun and a very powerful and moving film at times. The story is quite formulaic at times but has a enough twists and turns to satisfy. I had a blast watching this film, it is easily one of the best animated films of last year. 4/5.

Well there you go. Are you looking forward to the Oscars this year? Who do you think is going to win big at the awards? Let me know in the comments below.

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Spider-Man Joins The MCU!

Unless you have been living under a rock, you may have heard that Spider-Man is joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe. You probably all know by now that I am a huge Spider-Man fan so I could not be happier with this announcement. And although you may be sick of hearing about the news I thought it would only be right to write a small bit on what I think of this exciting team-up between Sony and Marvel.

So we all heard about the Sony hack from a couple months ago, I believe that this had an impact on the deal that went down between Marvel and Sony. After a disappointing critical and financial backlash from the rebooted The Amazing Spider-Man franchise, Sony didn't know what to do next, and this was evident when rumours of Aunt May spy films started making their rounds on the Internet from the hacked emails. I personally believe that Sony were left with no choice but to hand Spidey over to Marvel in order to get some credibility and much needed life brought back into the character. Now Marvel still don't own the rights or the final creative control of Spidey but the fact that they have barely put a foot wrong in their universe shows that the webslinger is in good hands. 

However with this good news comes a minor setback: Andrew Garfield will not be back to play Peter Parker. Now his take on Peter may not have been the most comic book accurate, but his take on Spider-Man was the best we have had yet. Although I am not overly upset by his leave, I still did enjoy the way he became a great spokesperson for the character of Spider-Man, and you could really tell that he was genuinely a fan of the character. Who knows who they will cast to replace him but if they really wanted to surprise us they could always bring in the character of Miles Morales instead, a young man who took up the mantle of Spider-Man in the Ultimate universe after Peter Parker was killed. This would be a great device to shock audiences, especially if they stick close to the source material and have Spidey reveal his identity publicly during Captain America: Civil War. Imagine going to the cinema without knowing who had been cast and then revealing under the mask is not Peter but Miles instead, It would definitely make an impact! But do Marvel have the guts to keep hush on their newly bought character and could the internet keep is casting a secret? Peter or Miles, I cannot wait to see Spider-Man back on the big screen and hopefully with a more faithful adaptation of the source material.

We might even see the new Spider-Man this year! The post credits scene for Avengers: Age of Ultron has not been filmed yet and is rumoured to feature a new set of Avengers. Maybe this will be the first time we see Spider-Man? Wouldn't that be awesome! If not, we will be seeing Spidey next year in Civil War and then his own solo film in 2017. This unfortunately means that Black Panther has been pushed back a year, which upsets me because he too is also one of my favourite comic book characters. I personally would have held off on a new Spider-Man film and instead made a TV show for Netflix about him. The best thing about the Spider-Man comics is the relationship and everyday life struggles that Peter has to endure as well as being a superhero. I think Spider-Man is a character who is best suited to the serial from of television and would love to see his character developed on that medium before bringing him back to the big screen to kick ass. But hey, that's just me and I'm still super excited to see Spider-Man alongside the Avengers as well as bringing his awesome gallery of villains to the MCU.

What are your thoughts on the news? Are you as excited as me? Let me know in the comments below!

Thanks for reading!

Friday, 6 February 2015

Kingsman: The Secret Service

Sick of spy films being too drab and serious all the time? Well don't fear, Mathew Vaughn has made a fun action spy film for an adult audience, starring Colin Firth as a kick ass secret agent. It's cool, funny and entertaining, read on to find out my full verdict on Kingsman: The Secret Service.

Kingsman follows Eggsy, a character who is recruited into a secret spy agency by Harry Hart, one of the agencies top spy's. Eggsy lives in a South London housing estate and is headed for a life behind bars. Thankfully Harry sees the potential in the youth to help sort his future out with the Kingsmen.

Taron Eggerton plays Eggsy and is pretty much a newbie to the film industry. He is brilliant in Kingsman and plays his character really well. He is set up very quickly as someone you want to route for and will stick that way for the rest of the film. His mentor Harry is played by Colin Firth who is absolutely brilliant and completely steals the film. His mix of cool and badass is something that needs to be witnessed and is thoroughly entertaining to watch. Other actors include Micheal Caine (who is severely underused), Mark Strong (who is always great) and Samuel L Jackson, who provides an amusing performance as the main villain.

I really enjoyed this film, it's a good fun solid action spy flick. As much as it is a spoof of classic spy films it never crosses the line into Austin Powers territory, it has the potential to do its own thing, with a fun plot and comedic characters. I did find parts of it to be cliche and predictable but there are also a few twists to be enjoyed along the way.

The action is really cool and done in a very stylised way that at times feels like a video game (but in a good way), it's very cartoony and keeps in style with the rest of the film. It is a lot of fun to watch. If over the top comic violence is not your thing, this may be one to miss.

I felt the first half of the film was a lot better done than the second. Some of the jokes started to wear thin and the excessive use of bad language started to feel like a shock tactic rather than funny. I never usually have a problem with this in films but I felt that the comedy was definitely pandering to a 'lad' culture which has been occurring for quite some time. That's not to say none of it was funny but some of it was definitely  for different members of the audience rather than myself. At the end of the day this is based on a Mark Millar comic book and after Kick Ass we all know he likes to take the audience out of their comfort zones. This is definitely not for the easily offended.

With these few problems aside, this film is still a great watch and a good time at the cinema. Mathew Vaughn proves again that he is one of the most entertaining film directors around. Kingsman: The Secret Service is good old fashioned spy fun mixed with modern and contemporary characters. I am giving it a rating of 4/5.

What did you think of the film? Let me know in the comments below.

Thanks for reading!