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127 Hours

January 10, 2011

127_hours_poster_01-535x792 Director: Danny Boyle
Writer: Simon Beaufoy/Danny Boyle 
Producer: Christian Colson/John Smithson/Danny Boyle
Starring: James Franco 
Year: 2011
Country: US/UK
BBFC Certification: 15
Duration: 94 minutes

Danny Boyle has directed some great movies such as the realistic zombie horror 28 Days Later and the entertaining, powerful love story Slumdog Millionaire but Boyle manages to raise the bar to new heights with this brilliantly-made movie, 127 Hours. The movie tells the frighteningly true story of Aron Ralston, an adrenaline-junkie living life to the fullest, and how he fought for survival after a horrible accident where he slipped and had his arm trapped by a boulder for five days. This is the story of how he survived and how he had to use strength, courage, intelligence and determination to deny and escape a slow death. From start to finish, 127 Hours is completely gripping from it’s beautiful locations to it’s phenomenal performance from James Franco, who plays the courageous adventurer. 127 Hours was fantastically directed with some brilliant shots of the canyon and some memorable scenes where we enter Aron’s thoughts and premonitions of his future as well as his worries. The story is very emotional, which is to be expected, and very gripping considering it mostly only stars one actor and his memories involving his regrets. 127 Hours has a brilliant set-up of how one man prepares for death over the course of five days and remembers what’s important to him in life as well as wondering about his  future and his fight to never give up, even if the odds were against him.

The film already has some inspirational messages within it’s captivating story but the biggest thing that makes 127 Hours so memorable and so gripping was it’s lead actor, James Franco. His performance as Aron Ralston is unforgettable as he played the courageous man fantastically. His performance really captured the situation and made it so much more realistic and really brought the amazing true story to life. From the start of the movie, when we see him when he is playing tour guide, to the end where we see him carrying on his life no different than before the gruesome experience, you were taken in by this brave, courageous and inspirational movie.

I would recommend absolutely everybody to see 127 Hours, even if you are squeamish. The gruesome part admittedly looks very realistic and it had even knocked me back and made me cringe in my seat even though I’m not squeamish about blood but I implore you to get through it. The reason I say this is because, even though the arm-cutting scene is very gruesome and horrifying, this is one movie everybody must see before they die because of what it offers. Not only is it truly one of the greatest movies I have ever had the pleasure to watch, but it is also an inspirational movie that shows hope and courage and it also shows you that when you think you’ve got it bad, it could always be worse. Well done to the cast and crew who were involved in making 127 Hours, especially James Franco, who delivered the best performance I have seen in years. If you liked Buried, you will sure enough love this.

9/10

Failure to Launch

January 9, 2011

failuretolaunchposter

Director: Tom Dey
Writer: Tom J. Astle/Matt Ember 
Producer: Scott Rudin 
Starring: Matthew McConaughey/Sarah Jessica Parker/Zooey Deschanel/Kathy Bates/Justin Bartha/Bradley Cooper 
Year: 2006
Country: US
BBFC Certification: 12
Duration: 97 minutes

We’ve all seen at least one of those predictable, mushy, romantic comedy movies that are cliché, cheesy and ultimately have nothing to offer but a waste of your time. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Failure to Launch a movie title that fits the movie perfectly. So it doesn’t star the queen of romantic comedies herself Renee Zellweger but it does star Matthew McConaughey and Sarah Jessica Parker and their performances both leave you speechless but not in a way you want it to. Failure to Launch is about Tripp, a thirty-something man who still lives with his parents. His parents decide to set him up with his dream girl Paula to try and get him to move out and get on with his life. The standards of romantic comedies have slipped majorly and Failure to Launch proves just that. The story is unbelievably dull and very predictable as well as quite pathetic at times. It’s not the fault of the actors or the actresses (although they don’t help matters either) but it’s the way the story was portrayed and how the ‘comedy’ scenes were executed. The script and the dialogue are both extremely poor with a bad mix of rubbish humour that goes beyond silliness and dramatic scenes that try too hard to become emotional and serious that you don’t care about any of the characters or their problems at all.


Failure to Launch
has many things wrong with it and unfortunately, the list is full of problems with hardly anything positive. Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew McConaughey are both decent actors and have been good in a few movies so you know that they are capable of putting on good performances but in Failure to Launch, they were both just horrible to watch and the chemistry between the two was non-existent. The only positive in this movie was Zooey Deschanel who, unfortunately, didn’t get a lot of screen time. Failure to Launch’s characters were just horrible and you didn’t really care if they got together or not and you didn’t care about their problems. Overall, the movie is nothing but a horrible, unfunny and predictable failure that brings nothing but boredom to the table.

Hollywood, what were you thinking of when you green-lighted this poor excuse of a movie? Everything about this movie is bad and is actually unforgiveable. I would love to see an actual funny romantic comedy like The Ugly Truth, which is something both men and women would love. Failure to Launch is just horrible from start to finish with unfunny scenes, a rubbish story and bad performances. The only good thing about this movie is Zooey Deschanel but the bad thing about that is that she wasn’t the main character. If her character was the main character then maybe the movie might have been saved.

2/10

TRON Legacy

January 3, 2011

tron-legacy-400 Director: Joseph Kosinski
Writer: Adam Horowitz/Edward Kitsis/Brian Klugman/Lee Sternthal 
Producer: Sean Bailey/Jeffrey Silver/Steven Lisberger 
Starring: Jeff Bridges/Garrett Hedlund/Olivia Wilde/Michael Sheen/James Frain 
Year: 2010
Country: US
BBFC Certification: PG
Duration: 127 minutes

A few weeks ago, I had reviewed TRON, the first movie which was made in the eighties, and I had given it a good score of seven out of ten for it’s brilliant use of special effects and CGI and a decent story. TRON Legacy isn’t any different from TRON at all except for the plot. Kevin Flynn disappeared 25 years ago into a virtual world of computer games. Skilled in the world of technology and picking up a signal from his father, Sam enters the world his father created to see if he can use his skills to help him escape. However, he meets Kevin’s creation who has turned evil and he doesn’t want to let Kevin leave the virtual world. Just like TRON, the first thing people will notice about TRON Legacy is the dazzling and beautiful special effects that are used. There’s no denying that a lot of effort has been put into the marvellous CGI and stunts to make the movie look spectacular, however the same can not be said about the story. Although the story is entertaining at times, it was predictable and quite slow. The first half of the movie was good and entertaining but the second half felt like it was dragging sometimes but, just like TRON, it picked up in the last fifteen to twenty minutes.

TRON Legacy’s characters weren’t exactly memorable either as there was hardly any character development or likeability about them and you didn’t care what happened to them. It was only until the last half an hour that you started to care for the trio as they try their best to escape the virtual world and, admittedly, the last scene in the virtual world is mind-blowing and well done. The acting in TRON Legacy is okay but there’s no award-winning performances here. Garrett Hedlund played the rebellious son of Kevin, Sam Flynn, quite well but there were a couple of times when his acting was a little off. Olivia Wilde was good as Quorra and her character was believable and was possibly the best out of the whole cast along with Jeff Bridges, who gave out a very charismatic performance as both good guy Kevin Flynn and bad guy Clu. The writing isn’t something that’s memorable and the script isn’t so great either but it does the job in entertaining the audience.

The movie might disappoint people with its average story but it makes up for it with some fantastic special effects and some brilliantly-made scenes involving light-cycle matches and fights. The virtual world itself is simply amazing and very detailed along with a younger, CGI version of Jeff Bridges as the evil Clu, who looked very realistic. The soundtrack for the movie was simply brilliant as Daft Punk creates the music and really adds more depth to the scenes in the movie.It’s just a shame that TRON Legacy felt like the creators paid more attention to the special effects rather than the story and the characters. Having said that, TRON Legacy is something that is not to be taken seriously and is more or less based on looks rather than story. The look of TRON Legacy is superb and so, the movie succeeds in style. There’s no doubt that this is a worthy sequel and is something that is a feast for the eyes. If you’re looking for a great story then look elsewhere but if you want to see a fun movie that will entertain you with stunts and special effects, then I suggest you watch this.

7/10

Little Fockers

January 1, 2011

little-fockers-poster-2 Director: Paul Weitz
Writer: John Hamburg/Larry Stuckley 
Producer: Jane Rosenthal/Robert De Niro/Jay Roach/John Hamburg 
Starring: Robert De Niro/Ben Stiller/Owen Wilson/Blythe Danner/Teri Polo/Jessica Alba/Dustin Hoffman/Barbra Streisand 
Year: 2010
Country: US
BBFC Certification: 12
Duration: 98 minutes

Meet the Parents was a brilliant comedy, which was original in its own right and something that every couple can relate to. Meet the Fockers, the sequel, wasn’t exactly as fantastic as the first but it was still watchable and it had it’s moments. Little Fockers, however, has no moments in the movie at all as it just wasn’t funny. Greg and Pam are now happily married with two ten-year-old children. Also, Greg and Jack, Pam’s father, are getting along better than ever. However, after Greg takes a job moonlighting for a drug company, Jack’s suspicions about Greg arise again. When Greg and Pam’s family, including Pam’s ex Kevin, come together for the twin’s birthday, Greg must prove to Jack that he can be the man of the house (or ‘The Godfocker’ as Jack says). However, with a lot of misunderstandings and awkward situations, it’s not going to be easy for Greg. This is nothing like the last two movies as this doesn’t even have anything memorable or hardly any moments which made you grin, it was more or less an embarrassment from start to finish with a couple of moments which made you want to laugh but, at best, managed a two-second chuckle. There were a few scenes that were embarrassing but not because it was meant to make you feel like that for the characters, but because you were embarrassed for the director and writers for coming up with such tripe.

The acting in the movie was good as the old cast were the same as they were in the previous movies and, although Owen Wilson wasn’t too bad as his character Kevin, he became extremely boring and tedious after five minutes. Jessica Alba played the airhead pharmaceutical rep Andi well but, just like Owen Wilson’s character, she became boring and annoying within minutes. All of the characters in the movie were really uninteresting and not funny in the slightest. The worst thing about Little Fockers is it’s humour as there’s nothing funny about it. It’s more or less unfunny all the way through with the exception of a couple of scenes. It reminded you of sitting through a 90-minute torturous comedy movie that’s extremely predictable with horrible characters constantly doing unfunny things with an ending you saw coming from a mile away, making you question why you sat through an hour and a half of total garbage in the first place.

So I admit that I was a little bit intrigued to see how this would work out but I still kept my expectations very low, as I predicted that this wouldn’t be as good as Meet The Parents and I was right. If you compared Meet the Parents to Little Fockers, you can tell that Meet the Parents had much more love, time and thought than any part of Little Fockers. Little Fockers felt like it was made purely for the money and half of the time, it felt like Ben Stiller, Robert De Niro and the rest of the cast did it for the money as well and nothing else. There was nothing in the movie that hadn’t already been done in it’s previous two movies or any other cliché comedy movie and goes over old ground with it’s characters. Overall, Little Fockers shouldn’t exist and remains to be a horrible and an unwelcome addition to the Focker movies. What can be possibly worse than Little Fockers? The answer to that question is a hint of another Focker movie being made! It’s time for the writers to leave the Fockers alone and let them move on. Another question that will most likely never be answered is why on earth is the movie called Little Fockers when Greg’s children are hardly in the movie?

2/10

Happy New 2011!

January 1, 2011

Happy New Year to everybody and I hope you achieve all of your goals this year. Last year, I had made a resolution to review every single movie I have seen in 2010 and I am very happy to tell you all that I have not failed. After reviewing every single movie, I had ended up with a total of two hundred and twenty-five movies watched and reviewed, which is something that I am both happy and astonished by. My resolution for this year is exactly the same as last year’s and I am sure, for as long as I am running this site, the resolutions will always stay the same. My resolution for 2011 is to review every movie I see and I hope that I succeed in possibly beating last year’s number of reviews.

Last year, we have had some great movies such as Inception, Aftershock, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World and Buried. We have also said goodbye to one of the most amazing movie series adored by both children and adults, Toy Story. Toy Story 3 was the last movie of the series in which we said goodbye to the toys and, for quite a few of us, said goodbye to our childhoods too. Speaking of goodbyes, we were also getting ready to wave goodbye to a long-running epic movie series as the first of two parts of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was released.

Amidst of all the great movies, there have also been some downsides too with pointless sequels, dull scripts and stereotypes thrown everywhere and that’s just Sex and the City 2. Aaron Seltzer and Jason Friedburg return with yet another unfunny and unoriginal parody in which this time, they had made fun of vampire movies such as the successful movie series Twilight and True Blood. However, the worst movie of 2010, for me, was The Last Airbender,  which was a meaningless story with badly-written characters supported by fantastic special effects.

There have been fantastic movies that have changed the history of movies forever and there have been absolute stinkers that are just unforgivable but in the end, it hasn’t really been a bad year. Next year, we look forward to the long-awaited entry to the Scream series, Scre4m. Also, the hit comedy television series The Inbetweeners will be on the big screen and we all say goodbye to Harry Potter and friends as the last-ever movie in the series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 is released this July. We also get ready to wave goodbye to moody lovebirds Edward and Bella as The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn- Part One is also released, with Part Two out later in 2012.

Overall, 2011 may not be a bad year for movies but let’s not get our hopes up. Thank you for your time to read this 2011 introduction and thank you for reading my reviews. Let us hope that 2011 will be a good year for movies and for you too.

Dazz!

Elf

December 26, 2010

600full-elf-poster Director: Jon Favreau
Writer: David Berenbaum
Producer: Jon Berg/Todd Komarnicki/Shauna Robertson 
Starring: Will Ferrell/Bob Newhart/Ed Asner/James Caan/Zooey Deschanel 
Year: 2003
Country: US/Germany
BBFC Certification: U
Duration: 97 minutes

Over the years, Will Ferrell has been in some good movies, such as The Other Guys and Stepbrothers and he’s also been in some bad movies like Land of the Lost, however it’s unsure where Elf should go. Elf is about a human called Buddy, who was brought up in the North Pole by an elf. However when he learns that his real father lives in New York, Buddy goes on an adventure to find his real dad. First of all, the one thing that you notice about Elf is that you just couldn’t care for the story at all, it’s not well-written and it is, overall, silly. However, while it is silly and, at some times, uninteresting, this doesn’t mean that Elf is a bad movie. Although the story is silly and, while it’s true that I think the story is the main support of a movie, Elf actually manages to work fine without a good story. It gets by through the comedy of the movie and Will Ferrell, who practically carries the movie single-handed with his performance as Buddy. The comedy is admittedly quite silly but not silly in a way that’s unfunny. It has more of a childish humour to it that adults can laugh at as well.  

Elf has a good cast of actors but the most noticeable and most memorable performance from all of them is Will Ferrell, I doubt anybody will forget him in an elf costume so fast. The direction of Elf is all good with the magical touch of Christmas sprinkled everywhere and something that you could connect with when you were a child, however the writing isn’t done very well. None of the characters, except for Buddy, were interesting enough for you to care for them and they didn’t stand out very well next to Will Ferrell either. Overall, Elf is a good enough comedy for Christmas and will make a nice addition to your DVD collection.

For me, this isn’t one of Will Ferrell’s best movies but it’s definitely not his worse, he was just good. He was also just right for the part of Buddy and he really made this movie with his charming and loveable performance. Don’t expect anything groundbreaking and don’t expect anything serious but this will do to entertain both adults and children alike if you like harmless children comedy. If you see Elf, leave your brain at the door, you’ll have more fun that way.

6/10

The Polar Express

December 25, 2010

polar_express Director: Robert Zemeckis
Writer: Robert Zemeckis/William Broyles Jr.
Based on a story by: Chris Van Allsburg
Producer: Robert Zemeckis/Gary Goetzman/Steve Starkey/William Teitler
Starring: Tom Hanks/Daryl Sabara/Nona Gaye/Jimmy Bennett
Year: 2004
Country: US
BBFC Certification: U
Duration: 100 minutes

The Polar Express is about a boy who doubts Christmas. However, on Christmas Eve, he boards a magical train that’s heading to the North Pole to Santa’s home. Everything visually about The Polar Express is absolutely beautiful, from it’s magical story to it’s colourful and detailed animation and it’s definitely one to watch out for. There are much better Christmas stories out there than The Polar Express but that’s not to say that this is rubbish. It’s a great little story that may be a little materialistic at times but it still holds that magical belief of Christmas. Even though the story is quite simple, it’s packed with loads of brilliant and adventurous scenes that will keep adults and children alike entertained.  The Polar Express also boasts a good cast of which includes Tom Hanks, who provides the voices for a few characters in the movie. Although there were a couple of times when the voices sounded a little off or a character was too hesitant, the cast did a great job. Another great thing about The Polar Express is it’s soundtrack of some great Christmassy songs. As I have said previously, the animation is glorious with quite a few wonderful scenes and it’s nice to see how technology has changed and shaped CGI movies over the years. Even though the character’s faces looked unreal at times, this is still a great example of the leap animation has taken over the years.

The direction and the writing are okay but there were a couple of times when the story became rather tedious and boring and the characters started to lose their charm and sparkle as the movie went on. However, all of that was made up for the gorgeous animation with detailed and colourful backgrounds that make the movie feel that much more Christmassy and magical. Even though almost everything about the movie was all right, the message was all wrong and it let it down a little. While the message is clearly about believing in Christmas and believing in the magic, the message could also be seen as being materialistic and basically saying that if children are good, they get very nice gifts. Overall though, The Polar Express is a visual delight but I wouldn’t say it’s the greatest Christmas story ever told.

Even though the message isn’t really clear, The Polar Express wins through it’s charming visuals and nothing more. The story is good and is quite entertaining but it’s not exactly the best story, there’s much better Christmas movies out there but it’s worth it to see the animation alone. It’s not exactly the best Christmas movie but it’ll do the job of entertaining the family.

7/10

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