Tuesday, July 31, 2012

New on DVD this week: Mirror Mirror

This week there are two films being released on DVD, both unfortunately not doing so well at the box office. One stars Julia Roberts and is an adaptation of a well known fairy tale, the first of two adaptations of the same tale this year. The other film stars John Cusack as Edgar Allan Poe, which is a film I have seen and reviewed on this blog so if you are torn as to whether or not to see it just flick over to the review. On the other hand I haven't seen the adaptation of Snow White so you will have to make your own minds up on that one. Take a look below at this week's releases and brief synopsis.

MIRROR MIRROR - Julian Roberts and Lily Collins are the lead roles in this take on the fairy tale Snow White. Roberts plays the evil Queen who banishes Snow White due to her beauty. Miss White decides to fight her honour and ask for help from seven little friends.

Mirror Mirror trailer

THE RAVEN - John Cusack is Edgar Allan Poe during the final few days of his life. During this time he is asked to aid the police in their hunt for a serial killer who is mimicking Poe's famous stories as ways to torture his victims.

The Raven trailer

Monday, July 30, 2012

MAGIC MIKE - A six-pack short of a good movie.

With little being released this weekend we decided to see a film we missed a few weekends ago, one that I thought the other half would love to see due to it involving a lot of male stripping by some pretty hot guys. That's right ladies that film was Magic Mike and due to the content of the film I was a little dubious about heading into cinemas to see it. This paranoia of what other blokes would think of me hit sky high when I walked into the theatre and I was one of only three men sitting between about fifty women. Already I was red faced. However I wasn't the only one who left the showing red faced as I feel most people left feeling peeved off at their decision to see this movie. It really is bad.

I was happy to look past the stripping thread of the story as I thought it may turn out to be funny and it could make me chuckle a bit like The Full Monty. First mistake right there as this is not a comedy, in fact it is a serious take on this absurd world. Ok I'll give it another chance, perhaps if they made it quite dark with plenty of story strands and deep themes to really grip hold of. Nope they didn't do this either, so what is it? Well I can tell you now it is dull, boring and with some of the worst acting I have seen in a film for years. It may not strike you that as a bloke that I was bored of a male stripper's movie, but the girlfriend was more bored than I was. The stripping scenes are actually the bits that are entertaining but the problem is there are so many of them that it is just the same routine on repeat. Channing Tatum seems to do the same dance moves whenever he hits the stage despite being told he needs to freshen up his act. Yes we get that Mr Tatum can dance but we've seen his skills in the first three scenes, we don't have to see them in the fourth.

The story is loosely based on Tatum's life growing up; however there was no story really to tell. What we have is a set up of the world of stripping, a young lad (Alex Pettyfer) becoming involved in it, more of the same stripping, Tatum meets the young lad's sister, more of the same stripping, the young lad gets caught with drugs, more of the same stripping and we finish with a lame ending. That is how this film rolls, no real themes, no real message and no real story to actually enjoy and grasp a hold of. It is like the only thing the filmmakers went on is gaining a female audience by making good looking men take their clothes off. To me that isn't a film. One of the strippers is actually a wrestler and his performance is so bad that you can see him following the dance moves a step behind whilst on screen; these are the sort of things the director should iron out. This was another problem; the direction was poor. It seemed uninterested and unoriginal. One of the worst ideas was showing Channing Tatum sitting on the beach with cross fade transitions to different camera angles, I mean cheesy and un-experimental.

One of the good points of the film though has to be Matthew McConaughey who was brilliant in his performance. A smile lights on your face every time he is on screen and he is actually the only person you want to see on it. He is funny and really delivers his lines with authority. His scene in front of the mirror is just ace. His performance however is a huge contrast to others in the film who are poor at best. Tatum is nothing spectacular but is better than the rest of the bunch. Pettyfer is beginning to prove he is not set up for the screen and Cody Horn, who played his sister, was so uninteresting or bothered to make us care about her character. It was hard to believe why Tatum would fall for her and this is down to the performance.

I have to say this is the worst film we have seen so far this year. There is nothing new on show and even the dialogue is ripped off from other movies out there. I definitely advise not to see this movie but if you do just watch the parts with McConaughey. I believe even some women came out the theatre feeling the same way as me so Soderbergh has failed to even grasp the attention of his main target audience.

Pros: McConaughey's performance.

Cons: Everything else.

2.5 / 10

Top 10 films of 2012 so far:

1. The Dark Knight Rises     10 / 10
2. The Hunger Games     8 / 10
3. Snow White And The Huntsman     8 / 10
4. Avengers Assemble     7.5 / 10
5. 21 Jump Street     7.5 / 10
6. Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol     7 / 10
7. The Grey     7 / 10
8. Prometheus     6.5 / 10
9. Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World     6.5 / 10
10. The Amazing Spider-man     6 / 10

Friday, July 27, 2012

In Cinemas This Weekend: What happened to Rodriguez?

After last week's blockbuster release it seems like all has gone a little quiet on the cinema front. This week sees 3 movies being released nationwide with two of them being relatively low key and the other being a cartoon. Perhaps cinemas and production companies felt that the dust needed to settle on the tornado that is The Dark Knight Rises before anything mainstream is sent out, so I suggest if none of these films take your fancy or aren't showing near you, then you use this weekend to catch up on an older film or watch The Dark Knight Rises once again. Take a look at this week's releases below.

1. First up is a documentary called SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN which follows two South Africans who set out to discover what happened to one of their heroes as kids, this hero is 1970's rock n roller Rodriguez. Starring: Rodriguez & Malik Bendjelloui. Want to know about a mysterious hero?

Searching For Sugar Man trailer

2. Next up is a Dr Seuss creation, THE LORAX. A cartoon story about the grumpy yet charming Lorax who is wanted by a twelve year old as he believes he can help get him the girl of his dreams. Starring: Zac Efron, Taylor Swift, Danny DeVito, & Ed Helms. Want to know the story of the Lorax?

The Lorax trailer

3. Finally is an English film called THE MAN INSIDE starring former Eastender's girl Michelle Ryan. The story revolves around a young boxer who attempts to distance himself from his gangster Father and his frightening trainer. Also starring: Peter Mullan, David Harewood, & Theo Barklem-Biggs. Who is the man inside?

The Man Inside trailer

Like I said this week is pretty scarce for releases and most cinemas won't play these films although you may find the odd showing somewhere. I'm afraid to say that The Dark Knight Rises will be taking over cinemas again this weekend so either head off to see it for the first time, or like me perhaps the second, other than that it is slim pickings to choose from.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

NEWS - Russell Crowe on for Bill Hick's film.

This news headline may be slightly confusing as, like me, you may believe this means that Russell Crowe is to star in or play Bill Hicks in the biopic of Bill Hick's life, which is in pre-production. Instead of this the news is actually that he is set to direct it with the casting of the lead role still being undecided. This will be Crowe's directorial debut so let's hope it all goes well for him.

For those of you who are unaware Bill Hicks was an American Comedian and musician as well as a social critic. His comments and discussions were often seen as controversial, so much so that a feature film has been green lit for it. Now I don't know much more about this project, or much about Bill Hicks but I thought it was interesting to hear that another top Hollywood star is stepping over into the world of directing. Expect it to be a while before this film's release date is broadcast.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A PERFECT GETAWAY movie review

A Perfect Getaway

Starring: Milla Jovovich, Steve Zahn, Timothy Olyphant, Kiele Sanchez

Running time: 98 minutes

Year: 2009

Directed By: David Twohy

Written By: David Twohy

A Perfect Getaway is a story of a newlywed couple embarking on their Honeymoon. Travelling to Hawaii to spend the first two weeks together of the rest of their lives really is the perfect getaway, however we all know that this title definitely has a sense of irony to it, and so does the entirety of the movie. The story then follows the newlyweds trekking across a trail to a beach on one of the islands off Hawaii. In the news it has been broadcast that a man and a woman are the two main suspects of murdering a newlywed couple on the main land of Hawaii and it is believed they have fled to the islands. As the couple on their Honeymoon (Zahn and Jovovich) venture through the jungle, they meet another two couples who seem seriously suspicious and the question raises; are one of these the killers? Both have the perfect persona to be a killer. One couple (Timothy Olyphant and Kiele Sanchez) are intrigued by weapons in which they carry. He is a former SAS soldier and was one of the first men in Iraq. Also as his girlfriend call him, 'is impossible to kill.' The other couple are a pair of hippies (Chris Hemsworth and Marley Shelton); with the husband's temper being something to watch out for. Both sets of couples are suspicious in their own way and the newlyweds must choose whether to confront or run.

The opening half of the film is tense. We follow Zahn and Jovovich, who seem smitten and unsure of what they are really doing. Once they meet Hemsworth's couple we realise not all is what it seems and when they meet Olyphant's couple we begin to feel as tense as Zahn does around his character. The tension when asking yourself which ones are the killers could be cut with a knife, and you will second guess yourself until the reveal comes in; however when it does the film rapidly falls downhill. For starters it is a little predictable albeit delivered in an original way, and we rarely see one of the couples so it seems odd that they are potential suspects when we never really see them.

I won't tell you who the couple turns out to be but all I can tell you is it seems a bit odd and as if the writer has tried too hard. We definitely know they have when once the reveal takes place we are treated to ten minutes of black and white exposition that explains everything that happened before this pivotal moment. It is as if we could never have worked it out ourselves. Also when we find out who the mysterious couple are, we see a strange betrayal right at the end which doesn't really seem in place. The last half hour becomes slightly silly and this ruins the good tense opening of the film.

The acting isn't bad in the film. Zahn plays the same character as usual and Jovovich doesn't really have much to act for. Olyphant is a huge potential who seems to have gone downhill since his excellent turn in Die Hard 4 and Chris Hemsworth is not in it enough to really rate him, this was actually released before he made it fairly big so back then this is probably all he needed, I can't imagine him accepting this role now.

The film isn't bad but it isn't particularly good. The first half is slow but it builds tension and you keep second guessing yourself, however the second half becomes a bit over the top and the reveal isn't particularly shocking enough. The film could have run its course and only ever hinted at the identity of the killers and this could have gave us something to talk about, instead I finished watching it and really didn't care with what had just happened, shame considering the first half of the film. It isn't a film you should expect something really highly from. If you never guessed the reveal then I would think you would like it more than I did, however as soon as I heard this was a film with a twist I found myself guessing it before it began (I've probably ruined it for you too). But I suggest you give it a watch for the great cinematography and the fantastic locations which look absolutely stunning and you wish you could have you own perfect getaway there, albeit not an ironic one.

2.5 / 5

Next film to review: THE FOURTH KIND

QUESTION: What is the best Christopher Nolan film?

With The Dark Knight Rises being released last weekend, and my love for Christopher Nolan and the great vision he puts in front of us, I want to know what your favourite Nolan movie is. Now I can never make up my mind with this question and with his latest release it brings another film into the question. It is just too difficult to pick my favourite one. I've listed 5 of his films below (excluding  The Dark Knight Rises as not everyone has seen it, and Insomnia as to me it isn't in the top 5) and out of them I want to know what is his best. I do think Insomnia is a good film but it isn't in the same league as his others, that being said if it is still your favourite stick it in the comments below. Now tell me; what is your favourite Christopher Nolan movie?

1. MEMENTO - His first mainstream feature film which is told in reverse order about a man with a major case of short term memory loss. The story unfolds just how the character will be learning his story on his quest to find the man who raped and killed his wife.

2. BATMAN BEGINS - The re imagining of the Batman story. Here Nolan takes us back to the beginning and tells us how it is Bruce Wayne became Batman.

 3. THE PRESTIGE - A tale of two magicians who become enemies after a mysterious death. The two battle to become the better illusionist and ultimately reveal their masterful prestige.

4. THE DARK KNIGHT - Batman must face the Joker in the sequel to Batman Begins. A realistic take on a favourite Batman enemy who is hell bent on causing chaos in Gotham.

5. INCEPTION - A crime thriller set in your mind. A set of thieves break into a man's dreams in order to plant an idea in his head. Gravity and logic go amiss once in a dream and much of the same happens here.

All of these films are absolutely fantastic, as well as The Dark Knight Rises, and I really struggle to pick my favourite out these films so please tell me yours and I can see the wider picture of Nolan's influence.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

New on DVD this week: Bel Ami

Only two films are released on DVD this weekend and I still wonder if it coincides with the major release in cinemas. I know not everything in the film world is geared around it but I find it very strange that other than this major film not much is actually being released in cinemas or on DVD. Anyway if you are not a Batman fan one of these two new releases may keep you company on a summer's evening.

BEL AMI - Robert Pattinson stars as a young soldier who finds himself in Paris with no money. In order to gain some wealth he charms his way around many of the wealthy women of the city and plays them off between one another.

Bel Ami trailer

WILD BILL - Bill is a Father who has been released from prison after 8 years and is unwilling to support his two boys after their Mother has abandoned them. On Bill's release from prison social services begin to sniff around the two boys, meaning the boys need to persuade him to be a Father to keep them out of care.

 Wild Bill trailer

Monday, July 23, 2012

THE DARK KNIGHT RISES - Emotional, frightening, exhilarating, exhausting, unbelievable. This film certainly didn't disappoint.

The weekend just gone was the weekend I had been looking forward to for the past year. If anything now I am gutted that it is all over as now I don't have a major film I am highly excited about. Now I have seen it all that anticipation has gone. However let me tell you what I thought of it because unlike other big films this year, such as Prometheus, this did not disappoint. Before I go on let me tell you I am not a diehard Batman fan. I have become more so ever since Nolan's take on Batman Begins but before that they were just superhero films that I could take or leave. Nolan has turned them into films that I can't get enough of and it is him I have to thank for that as his take on it is so good. Is it Nolan or Batman I like? Well I have to say a bit of both.

Right this film is fantastic!!! Let me tell you that right now it is one of the best films of all time and let me tell you why it is. It isn't particularly the best in a standalone film. What makes it so good is that it is part of a big picture and it is a brilliant addition to an already brilliant trilogy. Not one of these Batman films is poor and if anything The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises has made Batman Begins a better film. At first it was just a good film but since the next two films in the trilogy you realise how good the first one is. Batman Begins is the set up; The Dark Knight introduces Batman's major nemesis who is the first one to test him mentally, this film also has the midpoint in where the love of his life is killed. This final film then introduces his toughest enemy, one which he just cannot beat and brings the entire arc to a complete resolution. That is why this film is so good, because of the two before it and the complete circle it comes round to.

It has been eight years since Batman has taken the fall for Two-Face's crimes and now he is edging to put on the cape and cowl once again. It is as if he is desperate to find someone to battle, his life is crumbling without it. When he finally gets the opportunity he realises he has made a big mistake as he is past his best and this new threat is physically far too good. This has to be the most emotional of the three films. This new villain is just too much for him to take, and also too much for his closest allies to take. Emotions run high when he falls out with Alfred over his decision to return, probably giving us the most emotional scene of all the films. On top of this his closest friend in the police force, Gordon, is struggling to contain this evil, and gadget expert Lucuis Fox is struggling to keep hold of Bruce's money. As Bruce Wayne his world is falling apart, and when he rises as Batman once again he finds out that he himself is not strong enough to deal with this new world. A fight scene between him and Bane is one of the most frightening, sad fist fights I have watched. To thank for the emotional rollercoaster you will got through has to be the actors and the writers. The dialogue has you thinking but the delivery from the actors is perfect. Michael Caine is constantly over looked in his role and he shouldn't be. Morgan Freeman is the best he has been as Fox and Oldman is as good as usual. Tom Hardy as Bane is frightening and brutal in his ways and is a role only Hardy could do (more to come on him in a moment). Joseph Gordon Levitt however is the best newcomer who is perfect for his role and his character is the most interesting of the new ones. Marion Cotillard plays her character with ease and doesn't have much to do really; meaning the star for the female cast is without a doubt Anne Hathaway. Her Selina Kyle is perfect, and in the opening half she really proves her doubters wrong. By the halfway mark you forget she is Hathaway and she is Selina Kyle. The star of the show though is Christian Bale. He has often come under criticism for his portrayal but I think he is superb. His Bruce Wayne is haunted and ageing, his Batman is arrogant and obnoxious, and once he transforms after his lesson from Bane he becomes the complete opposite and is just brilliant at showing off his different range of emotions and physicality. Mr Bale to me is/will only ever be the Batman.

My main point is going to go on with the character of Bane. For starters his voice isn't a major problem. Yes it is hard to understand but really it is intriguing and I wanted to hear more. If you pay attention it is clear but at times you may miss it but it isn't a major problem. The accent he puts on is also strange but actually brings another piece of intrigue to the character. The only problem with the character though is that he isn't as good as the Joker. This isn't a comparison between Hardy and Ledger but the characters themselves are not in the same league. I much rathered watching the Joker than I did Bane, who other than his brute force had no particular personality. His fight scenes were some of the best but he isn't anywhere near as fun as the Joker. Another slight problem with the film is that there are so many new characters that at times some of the main players will be gone from the screen for long periods of time. Bane is not on screen quite as much as you would hope which probably highlights his lack of personality. We also don't really see much of Batman but this wasn't as much of a problem as it was all about learning if that was the right thing to do. We also get a rather lame cameo which felt a little thrown in and could have easily been left out.

Despite one or two negatives this is still a phenomenal film. It is a great finish to a brilliant trilogy. The final hour of this one is nonstop action and the way in which Bane turns Gotham is upsetting when you have lived within this community since the first film. I would definitely rate this as a 10 out of 10 movie, along with the previous in the trilogy; however I do think The Dark Knight is slightly better due to the character of the Joker, but I don't want that to take anything away from this film as it had me gripped from start to finish. The direction was great, the script was great, the acting was superb, the characters were interesting, and the ending was just the perfect end. This is the most emotional and most frightening of the trilogy, and also the most satisfying. Christopher Nolan has brought new life to a superhero that I don't think anyone else could. If you haven't seen it yet I suggest you go right now as I am already itching to go again and it is only fair that I let people at least watch it once before I see it again.

Pros: The acting is brilliant and it is edge of your seat stuff for almost three hours.

Cons: A silly cameo that I could have done without.

10 / 10

Top 10 of 2012 so far:

1. The Dark Knight Rises     10 / 10
2. The Hunger Games     8 / 10
3. Snow White And The Huntsman     8 / 10
4. Avengers Assemble     7.5 / 10
5. 21 Jump Street     7.5 / 10
6. Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol     7 / 10
7. The Grey     7 / 10
8. Prometheus     6.5 / 10
9. Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World     6.5 / 10
10. The Amazing Spider-man     6 / 10

Friday, July 20, 2012

In Cinemas This Weekend: The most anticipated film of the year has finally arrived.

This week sees the film we have all been waiting for finally released for the viewing public. The film is preparing to be so huge and has already sold out in standard multiplexes and IMAX cinemas. It has reportedly made over $25 million in pre-sales alone, now that is something. I have been looking forward to seeing the film so much that I booked tickets as soon as I could, and I still only managed to get tickets for a showing tomorrow morning in IMAX as it had already sold out. I have also been to the cinema this week to see a double bill of the first two movies also. This is pant wetting excitement. Have a look at which film I'm talking about below but if you don't know by now you must have been on a different planet for the last six months. I had heard that a couple other films are to be released also but upon research none of these are going to have a nationwide release so it is probably worth just telling you about the film that millions will be flocking to see this weekend.

1. That's right it is time for Christian Bale to don the bat suit once again in THE DARK KNIGHT RISES.  8 years after taking the fall for Two-Face's crimes Bruce Wayne is a shadow of the man he once was, that is until a terrorist leader known as Bane rides into Gotham demanding it turns to ashes. It may be time for Bruce to save Gotham once again, and could it be for the final time? Also starring: Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, & Tom Hardy. Want to see the epic conclusion?

The Dark Knight Rises trailer

Go see this film, it will be epic. I will be reviewing it on Monday so if you are unsure whether or not to see it come back and have a look at what I thought and see if it will help make up your mind.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

NEWS - Dwayne Johnson reveals he's eyeing DC Comic adaptation 'Lobo'

News this week has been rather flaky and scarce. Not much has particularly surfaced that could be classed as need to know information. The piece I have decided to forward onto you then is the news of one of the next DC Comic adaptations being 'Lobo' and that Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson is in contention to play him.

Now I don't know much about this Lobo character. In doing some research I have discovered he is sort of an intergalactic bounty hunter that was first designed as a mock character of Wolverine and Punisher. Now not knowing much else on the project other than the possibility of who will play the title role, I do not want to really go into too much opinionated detail on the film or role. Hopefully with what Nolan has done to Batman, Warner Brothers and DC understand what makes a cracking superhero film so I'm sure this one will turn up trumps.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

QUESTION: What is Steve Carell's best film?

The latest Steve Carell film, Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World, was released last week and has been greeted with some pretty decent reviews. The question I want to ask then is which of his films is your favourite? Now I don't want the films he has small cameos in or is part of a bigger ensemble, such as Anchorman which I would argue is a Will Ferrell film, but the films he is the leading man in. Have a look at the five I have selected below for which film that Steve Carell is the leading man in is the best.

1. CRAZY, STUPID, LOVE - Released last year Carell plays a man who has recently split from his wife and attempts to get back in the dating game via 'training' from ladies man Ryan Gosling.

2. DATE NIGHT - Starring alongside Tina Fey as a married couple who become tangled in a web of conspiracy and false identity when they pinch another couple's reservation in a posh restaurant.

3. EVAN ALMIGHTY - The sequel to Bruce Almighty, Carell still plays the character of Evan Baxter only this time he is the one communicating with God. Evan must build an arc and gather all who must survive in the story much like Noah's.

4. GET SMART - Carell is Maxwell Smart, a secret agent who is promoted due to the death of everyone else in the organisation. Completely incompetent at his job Smart must attempt to save the World much like James Bond crossed with Johnny English.

5. THE 40 YEAR OLD VIRGIN - Steve Carell's first leading role in which he plays a man who has yet to sleep with a woman. His friends at work decide to do all they can to get his sex life kick started despite their different views on women to his.

There are others which are good, and Little Miss Sunshine doesn't quite qualify as he isn't the leading man, but there are others there that are pretty good and if you think of any others scribble them in the comments below.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

New on DVD this week: We Bought A Zoo

A handful of films hit DVD racks this week, ranging from dramas to comedies to action flicks to horror. You name it this week is releasing it. Also a couple of Hollywood superstars are on show plus a group of Navy SEALs who are thrown into the acting ring. Take a look at this week's releases and decide what will keep you entertained on these wet nights.

WE BOUGHT A ZOO - Matt Damon and Scarlet Johansson star in this drama about a father moving his family to a desolate zoo which he intends on renovating and re-opening.

We Bought A Zoo trailer

CONTRABAND - An action flick starring Mark Wahlberg and Kate Beckinsale as a married couple who are dragged through the mill when a local gangster demands Wahlberg comes out of retirement to earn him his owed money smuggling drugs. With Kate's brother's life at stake what choice has her husband got?

Contraband trailer

ACT OF VALOR - The film with the real life Navy SEALs in which they are sent into a war zone in order to save a kidnapped CIA agent.

Act Of Valor trailer

THE DEVIL INSIDE - Handheld camera horror about a Mother who is in care after killing three people during her own exorcism. Her daughter's curiosity gets the better of her and she partakes in a series of exorcisms to find out what really happened to her Mother.

The Devil Inside trailer

A THOUSAND WORDS - Eddie Murphy stars in this comedy about a literary agent who finds a Bodhi tree that enforces valuable lessons and consequences of every word we speak.

 A Thousand Words trailer

Monday, July 16, 2012

SEEKING A FRIEND FOR THE END OF THE WORLD - Makes you question as to what you would do with 3 weeks to live.

This week we side stepped the macho men stripping and decided to see the new 'comedy' film from Steve Carell. Before I begin let me tell you that this isn't actually a comedy film. The marketing material may have you believe it is a comedy and the casting of Carell you would have thought guarantees this, however do not believe it. Yes it does have comedy elements but it is more a drama than a comedy. I could hear many sighs and complaints about the film throughout from groups who believed this was a comedy and instead had a film with more dramatic moments than comedy ones. To me this didn't make it a bad film as it actually works better as a light-hearted drama as opposed to an over the top comedy.

The plot is basically the title. Steve Carell plays Dodge whose wife runs from him, quite literally, when the radio announcer makes us aware that a giant asteroid is heading for Earth and all will perish in three weeks. Whilst basqueing in his new found loneliness he meets Keira Knightley's Penny who is depressed as she has missed the last plane to England and will never see her family again. When a riot ensure outside their apartment block they run with the promise that they will help each other seek the people they want to spend their last days with. What comes next is a road trip across America where they meet people who are handling the news in completely different ways. We have the extremes of people killing themselves early, others who have hired assassins to kill them and ones who decide to party in an orgy like way at a TGI Friday's style restaurant. It actually makes you question yourself as to what you would be doing in their situation.

The comedy elements in the film are few and far between, and in the screening we were in they weren't really greeted with many laughs. Instead most of the viewers were falling for these characters who were slowly falling for one another. That is the film basically. It isn't an end of the world epic it is a love film about two mismatched people. Dodge being a complete loner with no ambitions and Penny being a quirky hippie type. They are a mismatch but they are such good characters that you are wishing them to get together. The story is much more a character driven one with an Armageddon type back story. What is great about this as a back story is that there is no links to people attempting to save the world, or any hope that any one will survive. All of the fates are mapped out the moment this film begins. And due to this being the case it makes the ending that much better and more emotional, without a typical action packed scene. For an end of the world movie is does have a small budget as special effects are at a minimal.

The actors in the film are great. Carell is quite good at playing these types of roles but from the offset we route for him as he really looks like that lonely man. The opening scene where his wife bolts off to be with her lover is heartbreaking and instantly we are on board his journey. He is actually pretty good at a dramatic character as well as a comedy one. Knightley is also better than usual. At times she is slightly annoying but she plays the quirkiness in her character rather well. She also holds her own in a few emotional scenes with one being a phone call to her family, that Carell adds to due to his simple stare he gives her as she struggles to contain her emotions. They also play out the final scene fantastically and it was one of those scenes that ends in such a way that you feel satisfied at what you have just witnessed. It was an emotional rollercoaster. There are also cameos from several stars who most of you will recognise, all playing a character on their emotional journey. Each plays a character treating the news in their own way, and we must all sit their pondering which one of these we would be.

Granted this won't be the best film of the year but I think at the moment it is one of the most surprising. One because it isn't typical of the stars involved and two because I was completely drawn into these characters and into their world. It really is a lovely film that goes much deeper than an apocalyptic action flick. Don't be fooled into thinking this is a comedy. If you are a fan of Carell for his comedic performances alone than perhaps this is not for you, but if you like him as an actor full stop, than I definitely suggest you give this a go. I went in unsure what to think and I was not disappointed in the slightest.

Pros: Gets you thinking and the performances are brilliant.

Cons: Not as funny as the marketing would have you believe.

6.5 / 10

Top 10 of 2012 so far: (new feature: click on the film to be sent straight to the review)

1. The Hunger Games     8 / 10
2. Snow White And The Huntsman     8 / 10
3. Avengers Assemble     7.5 / 10
4. 21 Jump Street     7.5 / 10
5. Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol       7 / 10
6. The Grey     7 / 10
7. Prometheus     6.5 / 10
8. Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World     6.5 / 10
9. The Amazing Spider-man     6 / 10
10. American Reunion     6 / 10

Friday, July 13, 2012

In Cinemas This Weekend: Something for the ladies.

This week sees four films released for your viewing pleasure, and in one of the films cases viewing pleasure is a guarantee especially if you are female. The film I'm talking about is on every young ladies lips and social networking sites have been swamped with comments on this film from every woman out there, and it isn't 50 Shades Of Grey. I'm not sure if I will see the film I'm talking about as I may be the only man in there so I may have to wait a few weeks till the hype has worn off. Instead I will look down the list below and see what else is on. If you are a man, like me, than I suggest you do the same.

1. The film I am on about above is MAGIC MIKE but I'm sure you already knew that. The film sees Channing Tatum, Alex Pettyfer, and Matthew McConaughey all removing their clothes seductively. The story is of a young man entering the stripping game and being mentored by the famous Magic Mike. The film is loosely based on Tatum's career choice before he was a Hollywood star so perhaps he can really nail this role. Also starring: Olivia Munn. Are you a red blooded female?

Magic Mike trailer

2. Next up is a sequel to a well known cartoon franchise. The extinct animals are back and this time they are dealing with a shift in their continent that has cast them adrift on a block of ice. These animals are Manny, Diego and Sid and the film is ICE AGE 4 CONTINENTAL DRIFT. If you love the first 3 films I'm sure this will be your cup of tea. Starring: Ray Romano, Denis Leary, John Leguizamo & Aziz Ansari. Another adventure for the ice age?

Ice Age 4: Continental Drift trailer

3. A mix match acting set up is up next in SEEKING A FRIEND FOR THE END OF THE WORLD. The mix match is with the two leads who are Steve Carell and Keira Knightely, two actors you would never expect to see alongside each other. The film follows their journey across America as they search for family and old partners due to the giant meteorite heading for Earth. Also starring: Melanis Lynskey & Adam Brody. Do you have a friend for the end of the world?

Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World trailer

4. Finally is school drama DETACHMENT starring Adrien Brody as a substitute teacher who drifts from classroom to classroom around the school, but during his latest assignment he begins to make a fascinating connection with the students and the teachers. Also starring: Christina Hendricks, Marcia Gay Harden & Lucy Liu. Did you like you sub teacher?

Detachment trailer

There are your films for the week. I'm sure the choices will divide the men, the women and the children, so perhaps you should all go to the cinema and enter different screens. Anyway make this week count as next weekend we see the biggest release of the year enter cinemas and you may struggle to budge in your local multiplex. Basically go see these film this week as there may not be room for them next.