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Director: Dominic Sena
Writer: Bragi F. Schut
Producer: Alex Gartner
Starring: Nicholas Cage/Ron Perlman/Robert Sheenan/Christopher Lee/Stephen Graham
BBFC Certification: 15
Duration: 98 minutes
This is the first time I have sat through a terrible movie in 2011 and to think, I was just beginning to enjoy the streak of brilliant movies 2011 offered. Season of the Witch is definitely one of the worst movies of the year and we’re only in January. When Behman returns from the Crusades, he must transport a young girl, who is thought to be a witch and behind the plague and evil-doings, to a remote place where she will be burnt. There is hardly anything good to say about this movie at all as throughout the movie, it is dull and quite stupid in a few places and so I shall get the positives out of the way first. Season of the Witch had some nice scenery shots and the last fifteen minutes of the movie was entertaining, even if it did go on for far too long and was predictable with bad special effects. Now that the positives are out of the way, time for everything else. All through Season of the Witch, there were times you’d let out an exhausted sigh, there were times when you rolled your eyes when you saw the cliché and predictable moments and there were times when you just wanted to stop watching the movie halfway through and ask for your money back as there weren’t any good stand-out moments or anything you could take away. The characters were just shells, there’s literally nothing to them and there’s no personality or character development at all, you couldn’t care what happened to them and you weren’t bothered what they were doing or what they were going to do. Another really irritating thing about Season of the Witch is that everything the characters went through were ridiculously cliché and sometimes even random, it felt like the writers had written some of the characters in random scenes just so they could introduce them without explanation.
Nicholas Cage and Ron Perlman star as the main characters in Season of the Witch and, although they are both great actors, they were just terrible in this movie, which isn’t really their fault when they are told to perform as rubbish characters that are irritating to the core. For example, almost every time there was an action scene and Ron Perlman’s character Felson was involved, he would give out a ‘smart’ one-liner that succeeded only in making you roll your eyes through irritation. If you’re going to write one-liners in a movie, at least make them memorable and don’t make so many of them! Season of the Witch had a story that was just tiring, cliché and overall, very badly written. There were plot holes everywhere, there wasn’t much structure and there were some parts that went on longer than they should have, such as the bridge scene that goes on for five minutes or so (you’ll know which one I’m talking about if you decide to see this). The special effects was also quite bad as well as it just looked unrealistic and more like something you’d see from a video game and is something that could have been improved. Overall, Season of the Witch isn’t worth the price of a cinema ticket nor is it worth the price to rent it on DVD, this is definitely one to catch on television.
The movie is just way too silly and dumb to even bother thinking about. Every scene as well as every character was forgettable and written poorly and the story was just dull and tedious. If a little more time, love and effort went into making this, this could have been a decent movie but alas, instead, we get Season of the Witch, one of the worst 2011 has offered so far. Overall, the movie feels like someone had actually casted a curse on it to make it so bloody rubbish and so boring! Avoid like the movie was made by Seltzer and Friedburg!
Director: Matt Reeves
Writer: Matt Reeves
Based on the novel by: John Ajvide Lindqvist
Producer: Simon Oakes/Guy East/Nigel Sinclair/Donna Gigliotti/John Nordling/Carl Molinder
Starring: Kodi Smit-McPhee/Chloe Grace Moretz/Elias Koteas/Richard Jenkins
BBFC Certification: 18
Duration: 116 minutes
One of my favourite movies is Swedish love-horror story Let The Right One In and so when I heard that Hollywood were remaking the movie, I didn’t have high hopes at all. However, I was very pleasantly surprised to see that Let Me In stuck to the original story as well as adding parts of it’s own that worked. Let Me In is about a bullied young boy who befriends a young girl who holds a terrible and evil secret. Although the movie looks and seems like a horror movie, it’s firstly a romantic story telling how two completely different people fall in love and then it’s a horror bordering on a thriller. Many people may think that Let Me In is just a horror version of Twilight but they would be gravely mistaken if that thought had crossed their minds as Let Me In is much more superior overall. The main characters, Owen and Abby, were really intriguing and, just like in the original, you could really feel the emotions of the characters and you cared so much for them. You could see the love, frustration and loneliness in the characters. Kodi Smit-McPhee and Chloe Moretz were both fantastic as Owen and Abby and there is not a fault with their performance as their characters.
Let Me In was written and directed by Matt Reeves and he has done a terrific job in making this remake work. Everything that was loved about Let The Right One In is shown in Let Me In as well as adding little bits to the story and they worked. The script worked very well with the movie and the pacing was near enough perfect from Owen and Abby first meeting each other to them getting to know each other more as the days go by. Let Me In is one of those very rare remakes that actually sticks to the original and is done brilliantly but the only problem I have with the movie is that it’s pretty much pointless.
Was there really any need to remake this movie when everything is more or less exactly the same? The only thing that is different is the character’s names and a couple of parts in the story but even so, the original is superb and it baffles me why a remake was made. Why fix something that’s already perfect? However, if you liked the original then you will like this just as much. For those who have seen neither, I would suggest you watch Let The Right One In before watching Let Me In. I prefer Let The Right One In but Let Me In is just as great and just as chilling and haunting.
Director: Michel Gondry
Writer: Seth Rogen/Evan Goldberg
Producer: Neal H. Moritz
Starring: Seth Rogen/Jay Chou/Christoph Waltz/Cameron Diaz
BBFC Certification: 12
Duration: 119 minutes
If you have ever seen a Seth Rogen comedy, then you will know what you’re in store for when it comes to the humour; a harmless, funny movie. Mix this with a comic-book style story, martial arts action scenes, nice weapons and cool cars and you get The Green Hornet. Britt Reid is the son of the publisher of a successful newspaper, The Daily Sentinel and Britt is quite happy to spend his father’s money on parties and drinks. However, when his father dies, he decides to change and put the money he was left to do something helpful and worthwhile. He uses the money to buy a whole load of new technology and a smart sidekick all of which will help him clean the streets of crime. First of all, if you are thinking that The Green Hornet will be the equivalent to the likes of Defendor or Kick-Ass, then you may be disappointed because this movie does not have the same quality as far as the story and the acting is concerned. The Green Hornet has a decent story that manages to keep your attention for most of the movie but there were a couple of times where it failed to be interesting enough, such as Kato and Britt’s interest in Britt’s new secretary. Seth Rogen and Jay Chou were great as their characters. Even if you didn’t really care about what happened to their characters, the actors did prove that they were a decent comedy duo, reminding you very much of Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker in Rush Hour. Cameron Diaz plays Lenore, Britt’s secretary, who isn’t really used in the movie a lot, even though she’s supposed to be an important character. Christoph Waltz is great as Chudnofsky, the villain of the movie, and, just like Cameron Diaz’s character, is quite underused in the movie even though he’s supposed to be important as well. Another major flaw in the movie is the character development as it’s not easy to care for the heroes of the movie when the only reason they want to fight crime is to fight their boredom.
Michel Gondry directs The Green Hornet and stays true to the classic and modern superhero movies as well as adding elements of his own, despite there being a couple of flaws. The visuals were nice to the eye and quite original, including Kato’s action sequences, however there were times when the movie was impressive with its stunts but it also got a little silly at the same time, particularly towards the end. Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg are in charge of the writing and, although they doesn’t do a bad job of writing the story, the script could have been better and the characters could have had more personality to them as well. Although The Green Hornet has some nice visuals and some decent scenes, it’s something that isn’t really good enough to see in the cinema but is good enough to watch on DVD.
This movie shouldn’t be taken seriously as it is just a harmless, goofy, action-comedy movie. The Green Hornet works as a slapstick comedy but not as a superhero movie or even an action movie. Don’t get this wrong, the action scenes are great but, apart from clips here and there, most of the action happens in the last twenty minutes or so. The Green Hornet is something that you should wait to rent on DVD rather than taking a trip to the cinema. Overall, The Green Hornet isn’t too bad and it does the job in killing a couple of hours when you’re bored but I wouldn’t go out of my way to see this one again.
Director: Tom Hooper
Writer: David Seidler
Producer: Iain Canning/Emile Sherman/Gareth Unwin/Geoffrey Rush
Starring: Colin Firth/Geoffrey Rush/Helena Bonham Carter
BBFC Certification: 12
Duration: 118 minutes
At the start of 2011, we had a brilliant start with 127 Hours, a courageous story about an adventurer who was trapped in a canyon for five days by a boulder that crushed his arm. The movie was fantastic and emotional with James Franco delivering an unforgettable performance as the adventurer. After seeing the movie, I thought that if movies kept the same quality as 127 Hours, we could be looking at a brilliant year for movies. The King’s Speech carries on that said quality with it’s brilliant story, phenomenal performances and stunning direction. In the 1930s, Bertie, the real Queen’s father, has been landed with the job of King of England, despite the fact he’s ill-equipped to do it. But with a plucky wife, he finds a speech therapist who, with some very unorthodox methods, gives him back his voice, something he desperately needs to lead his country in time of war. The story is simply fantastic and very well-written along with an intriguing script. Even if the story is predictable, it wasn’t meant to surprise or keep the audience guessing, it was meant to draw them in with its storytelling and its performances and it succeeds so beautifully. The entire cast were just fantastic as their characters and a few really stood out from the crowd. Colin Firth was simply magnificent as King George IV as we see him try to defeat his stutters and stammers with frustration and Helena Bonham Carter and Geoffrey Rush were also exceedingly brilliant as Queen Elizabeth and Lionel Logue, the King’s speech therapist. All three of them were brilliant on screen and very believable as their characters. Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter deserve to win every award they are nominated for as their performances would be very hard for other actors to top.
Tom Hooper does a brilliant job in directing what is an instant classic and really shows that he is one of the better directors through The King’s Speech with some excellent cinematography and truly stunning direction. The best thing about The King’s Speech is the way it was written as the script, written by David Seidler, simply holds some great dialogue that could be memorable over the years as well as the captivating story. With the charming friendship between Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush and the chemistry between Helena Bonham Carter and Colin Firth, it’s easy to say that David Seidler should win an award for this movie. Overall, everything about The King’s Speech is brilliant and is something that everybody should see at least once for the story and the performances.
Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter have proven to everybody that they are some of the best actors and actresses in Hollywood through The King’s Speech. Armed with a magnificent script, mesmerising performances and fantastic storytelling, The King’s Speech could easily be the best film of 2011 already. This masterpiece truly deserves every award, praise and positive review it gets as there is nothing bad to say about this gem.
Director: Tom McGrath
Writer: David Lindsay-Abaire/Jeanine Tesori
Producer: Lara Breay/Denise Nolan Cascino/Ben Stiller/Stuart Cornfield
Starring: Will Ferrell/Tina Fey/Jonah Hill/David Cross/Brad Pitt/Ben Stiller
BBFC Certification: PG
Duration: 96 minutes
With many animated movies to compete with, Megamind’s main rival is Despicable Me, a movie that is quite similar to Megamind in many ways. Both have a loveable main character who is a villain, both have the same goal to be the best villain in the world, both learn they can love and both are the good guys of the movie even though they are villains. Despicable Me was simply a great animation with charming characters and a good story but Megamind manages to be a worthy rival and better it. The movie is about a villain called Megamind who, along with his friend Minion, has always been outsmarted by the much-loved hero called Metroman. However, when Megamind actually defeats Metroman, he wonders what to do next as he finds life without a superhero to fight pointless. Megamind may have scenes that are similar to a few of the other animated movies but it does it so well and with style, that it doesn’t bother you as it feels like it’s paying homage to all of the CGI animated movies. The story is quite original and in the story lies a brilliant message about making life worthwhile and living it with a purpose as well as knowing you can be anybody you want to be, which is something that should be valued by many in the audience. As usual with Dreamworks, the animation is brilliant and it beats the likes of Shrek and Madagascar with it’s bright colours and it’s design of the characters and Metro City (or Metrocity as Megamind likes to call it). One of the many memorable things about Megamind is its slapstick humour as it gives out quite a few funny scenes that children and adults can both laugh at.
Megamind also has brilliant and loveable characters, even the villains of the story. You could tell that time and care went into the characters and their different dimensions to their personalities and they fit the story very well. Megamind, although a villain, becomes loveable from the very beginning and you actually want him to defeat the hero and then, when he does, you feel sorry for him because he feels his life has no purpose anymore and tries to fix it. Another great character is Roxanne as she is the typical damsel-in-distress that always gets kidnapped but she’s so used to it, she doesn’t panic and instead, mocks Megamind about his threats. Another thing that makes Megamind memorable is the casts’ voices as the cast suit the characters perfectly. Will Ferrell is simply magnificent as Megamind and I doubt anybody else would have done a better job. Tina Fey and Brad Pitt also did a great job as Roxanne and Metroman but the ones that are most memorable are David Cross and Jonah Hill, who provide the voices for Minion and Hal.
Megamind works because of its story and the characters but the main reason why it works is mainly because of it’s thoughtful script. The comedy scenes work because they are genuinely funny and the serious moments work because they have thought and heart along with a strong message and it’s great to see a brilliant balance in the movie. Personally, Megamind is definitely one of the best animations in recent times and is something that, I would say, beats Shrek and Despicable Me but it’s not close to the quality of How To Train Your Dragon. The movie can be re-watched again as it has that certain quality about it. Everything about Megamind is simply fantastic and children and adults alike will enjoy this.
Director: Dennis Dugan
Writer: Adam Sandler/Fred Wolf
Producer: Adam Sandler/Jack Giarraputo
Starring: Adam Sandler/Kevin James/Chris Rock/David Spade/Rob Schneider
BBFC Certification: 12
Duration: 102 minutes
It seems that Adam Sandler movies are like Marmite; you either love them or you hate them. Personally, I like Adam Sandler movies as even though some of them have flaws, they still make for an enjoyable watch. The latest movie he has had to offer is Grown Ups, which isn’t really a particular favourite amongst quite a few people, but it’s not as bad as everybody is making it out to be. Sure it shouldn’t win any awards and it’s not the best comedy movie ever but it doesn’t deserve a very low score as there have been worse movies than this. The movie is about five friends who reunite for a holiday weekend after thirty years in memory of their former basketball coach. Grown Ups offers a great comedy cast which includes Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, Kevin James, David Spade and Rob Schneider and offers a few decent laughs but other than that, this movie is pretty much worthless. The story is close to non-existant and cliché and the plot is extremely thin with the movie solely relying on it’s characters and the humour. Unfortunately, this was a mistake for Grown Ups to make as the characters hardly have any personality to them. Sure you had them doing different things but their personalities are identical and they hardly stood out from each other. While the cast weren’t fantastic as their characters, they were good enough and they added some much needed comic value to some of the more mundane scenes in the movie.
Grown Ups had some light-hearted laughs that shouldn’t be taken seriously at all but there were quite a few scenes when the humour felt too forced and as a result, they failed to make you laugh or even smile. The direction isn’t good as the movie felt like it was just a bunch of scenes happening without reason that hardly tied in with the story or the plot. Grown Ups is basically what happens when five famous comedy actors get together for a weekend holiday. It’s not offensive in the slightest and it makes sure that, for over a hundred minutes, it doesn’t offend anybody whatever age they are. While it is a good thing that they have made a movie for all ages, Grown Ups would have been a much better movie if it took a leaf out of The Hangover’s book. If Grown Ups had slapstick humour for adults along with a funny storyline and great characters, it would have been a much better movie. However, the movie is nowhere near good but it’s good for a one-night rental if you like any of the stars in the movie.
Overall, I think that Grown Ups is a decent-enough light-hearted comedy that had thrown character development and story out of the window and tried too hard to make you laugh but it’s intentions was good. Adam Sandler leads in what is hardly the best comedy of 2010 but it’s not the worst movie of the year either. Alas, Grown Ups is a forgettable comedy that feels like it was being made up as the movie went on instead of planned properly. Still, it’s good to see the lead actors having a good time with the movie.