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The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2
26 New from
Whilst not a Twi-hard I must admit that I enjoyed the initial 3 films in the Twilight series, but the last 2 films have been a disappointment in comparison.
Breaking Yawn Part 1 was absolutely woeful, it was like watching a relations tedious wedding and honeymoon video that went on far too long, by the time the story kicked in you'd lost any interest.
Breaking Dawn Part 2 is an improvement on the previous film but in my opinion provided a luke warm ending to the saga, the film seemed to be building up to a great ending but then fizzled out and fell flatter than an undercooked souffle.
Some CGI effects looked outdated especially in the early scenes of the movie, the scene where Edward and Bella are running and leaping through the forest looked so fake that you weren't even sure if the actors were computer generated.
Also, the face of baby Renesmee looked really weird. It looked like that creepy looking CGI kid off the bog roll adverts.
Some of the acting was a bit one dimensional, one facial expression throughout the whole movie just doesn't work. The script was OK on the whole apart from one or two clunkers, such as Edward muttering "We're the same temperature now" this particular line drew laughter at the screening I attended.
On the plus side I liked how some humour had been added into the story, this was severly lacking in the last installment. Also, I thought Michael Sheen was superb in his role as Aro. Whilst he was funny there was also that air of danger about him too.
The splitting of the Breaking Dawn movies has merely appeared to be a cash cow for milking Twi-hards for their money when the saga would have been better served with a single film running at about 2.5 to 3 hours.
Mediocre finale for Stephenie Meyer's gothic love story.
War Horse (With Exclusive Art Cards)
Steven Spielberg has created a supreme movie adaptation of Michael Morpurgo's childrens book about a boy (Albert) and his horse (Joey) during the period of WW1.
The story begins in Devon when Albert's father purchases the horse as a matter of drunken pride against his landlord at an auction, the problem being that he should be buying a horse to work the plough on his farm and Joey at first appearances does not suit that kind of work.
Albert's father and mother believe buying the horse is a serious error but Albert pursuades them to allow him to keep Joey and train him, the initial period of the film sets up the relationship between boy and horse and lays the platform for the incredible story which follows.
Janusz Kaminski has done a tremendous job as his camerawork captures the beauty of the Dartmoor landscape and the bleakness of no mans land in the battlefields of northern France. There has been some criticism about the final scenes of the movie but I think it's a perfect ending to an exciting and emotional story.
What also helps War Horse elevate from a good film into a great film is Spielberg's continuing collaboration with John Williams to create the score, in some scenes when Williams music kicks in you get a lump in the throat and the tears well up.
The cast is a catalogue of British talent which features the likes of Emily Watson, Peter Mullan, David Thewlis, Benedict Cumberbatch, Eddie Marsan and Tom Hiddleston. However, it was newcomer Jeremy Irvine and Niels Arestrup who captured my attention the most.
Irvine, in his first major role, is exceptional in the role of Albert who when we first meet him is an innocent farmboy but as the film progresses finds an inner steel hidden within him which reveals itself due to his loyalty to Joey.
Arestrup is heartbreaking as the elderly French farmer who illustrates the damage war causes to families caught up in the middle of it.
I must admit the true stars of the movie have to be the horses trained to create the role of Joey, they carry the film without a problem and full credit has to go to Bobby Lovgren and his team for creating a believable character. *FACT* One of the horses (Finder) that played Joey also played Seabiscuit, so not his first equine acting role :D
War Horse runs at over 2 hours but it doesn't feel like it as the story sweeps you along and Spielberg does a great job of not making any moment feel wasted. Credit is well deserved too as Spielberg captures the horrors of WW1 whilst not forgetting the movie is aimed at a family audience, also I believe it's impact is stronger due to it's less is more attitude.
I've seen it twice at the cinema and cannot wait for it to be released on blu ray, I just hope that the blu ray release has plenty of extras which show how this magnificent production was put together.
Thank you to Kathleen Kennedy for telling Mr Spielberg about War Horse as this film is just perfect and sits alongside his best work.
Super 8: Double Play
7 New from
I absolutely loved this movie when I saw it at the cinema and couldn't wait to get it on blu-ray as it took me back to my childhood in the 1980's when I'd watch movies like The Goonies, Close Encounters and E.T.
Super 8 is a film which unashamedly pays tribute to films such as these but is a future classic in it's own right, you can tell that Abrams used Spielberg as his inspiration for Super 8 but it doesn't suffer for that.
I really can't tell people too much without spoiling it for them but it centres around a group of teenagers who during the school summer holiday use their spare time to create their own film, whilst shooting a scene on location at a railway crossing an event occurs which throws the gang into an adventure they never expected.
All the kids are great in their roles, none of them come across as an annoying child actor which you can sometimes get when they overact every scene.
Special mention must go to Joel Courtney and Elle Fanning who excel in their roles as Joe and Alice who both must overcome emotional problems as the film progresses.
I also really liked the score by Michael Giacchino which reminded me of the work of John Williams as it worked well on both terms of emotion and excitement.
If you love the films of Spielberg then you'll love Super 8.
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1: Double Play
6 New from
I have seen and enjoyed the previous installments of this movie series based on Stephenie Meyer's novels. However, this latest installment was a complete disappointment for me as I found it to be in my opinion no more than a cash in for Twilight fans.
The initial part of the film which featured Bella & Edward's wedding and honeymoon was so overblown and pointless that I was looking at my watch to see how much longer the film had to go. At one point I thought I was actually watching someones wedding video rather than a feature film as it dragged on for so long.
By the time the story started to pick up I had lost any interest in what was happening, in my opinion Breaking Dawn should have been a single movie instead of being split into two parts even if that single movie was 3 hours. There just isn't enough to keep the audience engrossed for two films.
Fingers crossed that Part 2 pays off as Part 1 was a major disappointment.
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (2011)
24 New from
Prior to going to see this film I'd never read the Stieg Larsson "Millennium" trilogy or watched the original Swedish movie adaptation which starred Noomi Rapace. However, after seeing that both David Fincher and Daniel Craig were involved it intrigued me enough to go and see it.
Fincher is a director who has never shyed away from featuring uncompromising scenes in his films and this film is no different, there are some scenes featuring the lead character (Lisbeth) that are harrowing for the audience to watch but get past those and you're left with a thriller with a fantastic story.
Rooney Mara is fantastic in her role as Lisbeth, she does an amazing job in a role which must have been tough for her to perform. Any award she may receive due to it would be much deserved.
The snowy, bleak scenery from the Swedish locations add to the darkness of the story as does the tremendous music soundtrack.
Hopefully the film will take in enough money from the box office and DVD/Blu-Ray sales at a later date to ensure that we get to see Mara and Craig in their roles again for the further two stories. It's also essential that Fincher again takes the directing reins to ensure continuity for the remaining parts.
After watching this movie I may now take a look at the original Swedish film adaptation of the trilogy, but this film is a fantastic adaptation in it's own right.
19 New from
Totally agree with the other review, if you want a nice relaxed but fun movie then give 'Wild Target' a try, it's tone reminds me of a modern day Ealing comedy. Bill Nighy, Emily Blunt and Rupert Grint are all excellent in their roles in this crazy British crime caper.
Hanna: Triple Play (2 Discs)
15 New from
Went to see Hanna at the flicks last night and enjoyed what was a fantastic thriller. The movie sees Saoirse Ronan in the lead role of Hanna, who has spent the majority of her short life living out in the wilderness being trained by her father to become one of the worlds deadliest assassins.
After years of punishing training Hanna makes the decision that she wishes to confront the enemy who murdered her mother, and so the non-stop action begins.
If you enjoyed movies such as the Bourne trilogy or Leon then you'll enjoy Hanna.
There are great performances from all the lead actors (Ronan, Blanchett and Bana) and the movie is directed well by Joe Wright.
Will be a certain purchase when available on blu-ray :)
27 New from
If Scream 3 had never happened we would have been left with an excellent trilogy, unfortunately it did so we have Scream 4. Went to this at the flicks last night and thoroughly enjoyed it, Ghostface is certainly back on form in the latest installment. I think the reason the Scream series works so well is down to it's humour as it's not afraid to poke fun at the genre it's set in. There's lots of twists & turns to keep you guessing who is the killer and we also have new rules based on remakes & reboots. So, what's your favourite scary movie?
Sucker Punch: Triple Play (With Exclusive Art Cards) (3 Discs)
The only reason I've given Sucker Punch a star is that you have to and I must admit that the SFX are impressive. Apart from that this is a movie which leaves it's audience feeling empty at the end as by the time you get there you don't even care about what happens to the characters.
The characters are all one dimensional, the plotline paperthin and script virtually daytime soaplike. It's clear that the weight of Sucker Punch rests solely on it's imaginative visuals but it just isn't enough. What you're left with is essentially a 2 hour music video / computer game.
Perhaps it's aimed at people who spend most of their time watching music videos and playing computer games but for a movie which promised much it ends up offering little.
Let Me In
20 New from
A superb comeback movie for Hammer Films as Let Me In equals if not betters the original Swedish film Let The Right One In. This film is much more than a "vampire" film, it's a story of the difficulties encountered when growing up and feeling isolated, it's a story of two lonely characters who meet, become friends and their love for each other and yes, of course there is the horror aspect to it as well. The two main characters Abby and Owen are played superbly by Chloe Grace Moretz and Kodi Smit-McPhee, their fantastic performances would put many adult actors to shame. Let Me In is probably one of the best movies I've watched in 2010, well done to all involved.