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All bets are off when the Kremlin is bombed and the IMF are implicated (Never liked those Guys). To avert nuclear war, Cruise and his newly assembled team have little choice but to accept the rogue mission in an attempt to clear their names and save the world. No biggie.
MI Ghost Protocol opens with Agent Ethan Hunt in a Russian prison, we have no notion how or why he's there but there isn't time to explain. Cue Benji (Pegg) and a slick, at times comic, prison break. By the by if Russian prison gives you the phenomenal grúaig that Tom is sporting I want in.
The movie picks up pace quickly as the mission is explained. Action sequences are almost dream like and some utterly breathtaking. Once more Cruise has performed all of his own stunts and like him or no caps must be doffed.
While the script is not razor sharp it is very funny, well as funny as foiling a super villain intent on worlds end can be. There are some real gems from Pegg and surprisingly from eye candy extraordinaire and Agent with a secret, Renner. The chemistry from the entire cast only helps to bolster this explosive action thriller.
There are high tech- gadgets aplenty as we've come to love with Mission Impossibe, some that had my Road Safety hat twitching on my head, has to be said, GPS on your windscreen in a high speed pursuit = bad idea, buckling up before an intentional 100ft drop into concrete = good.
Brad Bird as the director here and Abrahms as producer have created a rip roaring action thriller that still flows beautifully. Cruise is back to his best, of not better and you'd be hard pressed to catch a better explosive spy thriller this year. (Tinker Tailor? Yawnsies)
Having shot over 25 minutes of the sequences in IMAX, MI Ghost Protocol could teach the 3D crowd a thing or two. Scenes are epic, bright and at times nerve shredding.
Get yourselves to see this one. It's one of my top five of the year.
The Help is based on a best selling novel (5 million sold) by Kathryn Stockett. Telling the story of an aspirational author back in the civil rights movement of Jackson Mississippi in the 1960's. Skeeter (Stone) collated the stories of the Help, their tales, good and bad of how they were treated. Showing the sad realisation that even though these black women loved and raised the rich white children of the south those children still turned into their parents, still turned into their masters.
Having read and loved this book two years ago I was nervous going in. It doesn’t always go so well but I need not have worried.
Emma Stone plays the part of Skeeter perfectly and Bryce Dallas Howard, the sour faced, elitist racist Hilly. But the real stars of the movie are the eponymous Help. Both Abeline and Minnie and their army of friends and sisters if not by blood than by circumstance steal the show. They are funny, engaging and completely believable in their roles.
You’re literally swept up in a story of racist hatred and ignorance fought valiantly with true friendship and unbelievable courage. Each relationship is shown so impressively that you truly feel a part of tale.
This is an epic depiction, beautifully and engagingly told and is the first time I can, hand on heart; say that they've done the book justice. Critics have claimed that it hasn’t done the women of the time justice, however, that it is a 'Barbie and aid on the wounds of the past'. Folks, this is a movie, not a Government announcement. There is nothing or no one that could ever make up for the atrocities of the Deep South or the pain and heartache that has overshadowed generations and that’s coming from an average Irish white girl in 2011. A world away. This movie can, however, lift your spirits; it can show you that in the darkest of times courage and friendship can prevail. And who doesn’t need to hear that?
It’s a long one at 136 minutes but that has meant that almost nothing has been left out. Thankfully.
If you’re in the market for heart rendering sadness, uncontrollable laughter and a story that will resonate with you long after the lights have come up; you've got to see The Help.
My real bugbear with 3D offerings of late is the colour and unfortunately those issues are present here. The vibrant colours are almost washed completely by wearing the glasses. Even with their addition for effect the backgrounds were blurred and unfocused, which made some shots a little distracting. I did notice several audience members forgo the glasses altogether. The character animation, however, is a triumph. The comic is brought to life with an engaging cast and constantly changing scenery. Captain Haddock is a stand out here and surprisingly witty, his mannerisms and personality adding to the comedy each time he’s on screen.
Snowy the dog is given his due and developed as a character in his own right, I have to mention the Rottweiler scene too as the penman behind this obviously has one of those soppy brutes at home. (As do I). What could have been a scary scene was turned on its head and the delighted reaction of the audience showed they appreciated it. Tin Tin himself is likeable but is somewhat overshadowed by Captain Haddock.
Although historically Tin Tin is more of an adult comic strip there was an abundance of under 10s in the audience. I did think the plot a little difficult for them to follow but the gales of laughter from the, often slapstick, humour proved me wrong. My own lads are 14 & 15 and didn’t take their eyes from the screen once, evidence that this production has mass appeal.
Spielberg and Jackson have taken Tin Tin and made him accessible; the visual chances they’ve taken here have paid off, for the most part, though I’m not convinced that the 3D was a necessary addition. The running time at 107 minutes feels a little long for an animation but again the audience didn’t seem to grow restless at any time. For me this won’t match the blockbusters of the year, nor will it stand up as an option for solely adult audiences unless they are Tin Tin fans to begin with. But is certainly an enjoyable way to spend a couple of hours with family.
Paranormal Activity 3 is the third (obviously) in the franchise and a prequel to the others. From the makers of the 'Seriously?' documentary Catfish. The film is set in 1988 and attempts to explain the previous two.
Normally when I watch horror movies I watch them on x2 so the music doesn't freak me out but this film, like Cloverfield, took the brave step with silence. No music, no background sound but ominous shuffling and silence. It worked. I was on edge for the duration. The most original concept here though was for them to mount the camera on a makeshift oscillating fan in an attempt to catch the phúca. As the camera panned excruciatingly slowly back and forth you never knew what was awaiting you on its arduous return. Genius.
The story focuses on Kristi, the youngest child, and her connection to Toby, the resident poltergeist in his cloak of invisibility. Both she and her sister Katie bear the brunt of the heebie jeebies here. Great little actresses.
My big, no huge, bugbear with this film is that little or none of the genuine scares and fright scenes from the trailers were in the film! Yes there are some genuine jumps but they're few and far between. There is subtle tension right the way through and the final scenes are fairly ominous but they're no Kill List.
If you like the Paranormal Activity shizz chances are you'll like this, I was genuinely on edge for its entirety but that's mostly because I believed the trailers and virals and was waiting for those scenes. I feel duped.
Granted this is a Disney film but Holy Moly the acting was so animated I expected hand drawn blue birds to come a chirping. I normally love Hugh Jackman (who doesn't?) but his over acted smiley, winkey character here was off putting. For a while.
His son, played by Dakota Goyo was more Billy Barry than Bieber himself but the audience seemed to like him, laughing in the right places as encouragement. Personally, that level of precociousness makes my cuffing hand itch. (I don't cuff my boys, I swears)
Then comes Atom, the piece of junk, early model robot that they rescue from the scrapheap, literally. There is a constant hint that Atom is more than just a robot but its never developed. My youngest Gorgebag being my date for the night took exceptional pleasure in the crowds cheering for the bot as in the american accent, it sounds like they're cheering 'Adam, Adam, Adam'. He beamed broadly for the duration.
This is a likeable story of the underdog and despite the overwhelming whiff of cheese from the characters the actual boxing was quite spectacular. 3 out of 4 on the audience leaned forward on their seats as the fights progressed, I found my own heart beating as I rooted for Atom along with the rest. His shadow function allowing Jackman to showcase the hints and tips Sugar Ray Leonard showed him in training.
With a pumping score from the likes of Eminem & Fiddy Cent there's something here for everyone. Its a tale with heart that surprisingly manages to outshine its hammy actors. A daycent Sunday afternoon pic.
What's it about?
Seriously? Its the 3 Musketeers..
The Three Musketeers opened liked the genius that is Assassin's Creed, almost identically, it was then I knew this was going to be good. I haven't been the biggest fan of 3D offerings but standing off the turret of the Tower of London? Ezio would be proud.
The film has a story book quality with cut scenes almost comic like and engrossing. Don't get me wrong, the cheese is lathered on thick with this one but I think that's part of its charm. I can't help but feel old when the 'lead' actors are more my lads ages than mine but Milla Jovovich kicking ass & taking names was more than enough to keep me watching. (I'm so younger than her).
There's sweeping views of olden cities, impossible fight scenes that you just have to embrace and enjoy and more tongue in cheek humour than should be allowed but I think we might just have a hit.
Matthew MacFadden needs to do voice overs on trailers if he doesn't already or maybe read bedtime stories, I'd listen. The wardrobe is sumptuous and enviable and that's just the men!
I'll show my age once more here & say that every time the line 'All for one' was muttered my brain would hare off again with the song that anyone born before 1985 will know. One for all & all for one Muskahounds are always ready...
All in all this is a flock wallpaper wearing, rip rollicking good ride that really hits the spot. There's no need for the frivolity of premise or screenplay analysis, who cares? Buy the popcorn, sit yo' ass down & enjoy!
This film is witty, engaging and refreshingly down to earth. Coming from the makers of Bad Santa and in a year of gross out, foul mouth comedy it achieves laugh out loud, snorty hilarity without resorting to filth or bad language. Original, eh?
I'm a big fan of Steve Carell, he plays the hapless moper effortlessly but with an endearing charm that makes you root for him every single time. Even as his conquests start to mount up you still feel for him and his broken heart.
Ryan Rideface as Jacob is suave, handsome and cool, his on screen presence much like a young Clooney or what a young Clooney aspired to be. Cal reminds him of someone close and during a hilarious makeover montage we see him work his magic on not only Cal but every female that crosses his radar. Until Hannah, 'She's a game changer'. There is a cheesy nod to Dirty Dancing that had every female in the audience swooning, I swooned enough for the males & I don't even like feckin' Dirty Dancing!
The entire film is well paced and charming enough to have you genuinely feel for every character and their miss placed, sometimes cringe inducing, always hilarious affections. The creators manage to throw in one or two surprises that lead to the most farcical and possibly funniest 10 minutes of movie time I've seen. The entire cinema LoL'd continuously. (I snorted, uncontrollably, it wasn't attractive).
This is right up there with Drive for me for surprisingly good movies this year, yes they have a common denominator but it wasn't just the Gosling factor. I swear.
Get yourself to see this one folks, well worth the trip.
Although aimed at the teenage girlie audience, I really enjoyed this. Had I not realised it was a true story, though, I might have felt different. The acting was pretty wooden and the context a little Jesussy but it worked.
The first 20 minutes were taken up by flinching every time she went into the water, knowing Jaws was going to chow down any minute - it seemed like unintentional tension. The actual scene though was brilliantly done. Although we only got a glimpse of the shark, the actors portrayal of the immediate aftermath was honestly frightening.
The film goes on to show Bethany's recovery and eagerness to get back in the water doing what she loves best, championship surfing. Carrie Underwood's character, although based on Bethenny's actual Christian Minister Sarah Hill was trite and completely miscast, though necessary for the religious underpinning.
While my youngest could, without doubt, make a better CGI shark, the camera work used to remove AnnaSophia's arm was excellent & very believable. Bethany herself provided the stunts for the movie and the footage is nothing short of stunning.
Shot on location on Kauai this film has reminded me once more, after 50 First Dates & Series 1 finale of Modern Family just how breath taking Hawaii truly is.
With a surprisingly good soundtrack and an inherently uplifting and inspirational message Soul Surfer is worth a look. Stick around for the actual footage as the credits roll too.
A Lonely Place to Die opens with sweeping views of the Scottish Highlands and 3 mountain climbers scaling the sheer side of a cliff my immediate thought was ‘Why?’ but then again I’m not a mountain climby person. (I still get flashbacks from being duped into climbing Croagh Patrick under the pretence of ‘Hill walking’ Croagh feckin’ Patrick!) Cue more sweeping shots of mountains, up and down, around and around. The nausea set in fast with this one.
There was an am dram feel about the characters before they even reached summit. George's pouting is truly the stuff of movie poster and screen shot dreams. The script by Director Julian Wilby and his brother William seemed like an afterthought. Though a heart stopping fright at this point was to signal the first in several shocks and frights to follow. Heart rate up and knowing that these folks were about to make a discovery I couldn't help but want to fast forward, if only to quell the queasiness . The ‘characters’, unfortunately, lacked any kind of chemistry or depth and, because of that, likeability.
In true 'No good deed goes unpunished' fashion, the kidnappers rear their ugly heads as the climbers attempt to get to safety with their reluctant rescued child. These men are menacing, murdering and ruthless. The chase is on. More sweeping shots and shaky camera work, ups the vom level once more.
Having only seen Kill List last week the tension, suspense and shocks are on a par but the humour that endeared you to the Kill List characters is completely void here. There’s jump after jump as the plot twists with several leaps made in the storyline that just don’t gel. There could have been so much more done with what is essentially a great premise.
As the credits rolled I couldn't help but feel disappointed. I’m sure better casting would have helped. Maybe some climbing rope to span the gaping plot holes too.The budget deficiencies are more than evident but it’s not all bad, if you’re looking for a fast paced survival thriller with not a whole lot of substance this is the one for you.
(That’s not what my Mother said; I can’t repeat what my Mother said.)
From the outset my stomach was gripped, never truly understanding why but I’m blaming the cinematography & score. Time lapse, overlaying scenes and music that seemed to jar with what was on screen at all times each served to jangle the nerves. Part of its brilliance was, genuinely, not knowing what was going to happen next. You’re brought from terror to laughter within seconds. Disconcertion at its best.
The relationship between the two hit men was brilliantly scripted and beautifully played out. The dialogue so sharp and at times jaw achingly funny married with constant pace changes meant that it almost seemed voyeuristic watching their story play out. As if we were privy to conversations that have actually happened, that the camera had caught snippets of their reality.
It was an enormous feat for Ben Wheatley to make you feel for these men having seen the outrageously graphic violence that they perpetrate. I caught one glimpse & covered my eyes but there was no cutaway – my Bro watched every scene and all I could hear from behind my hand was a whispered expletive with many, many vowels.
As the film thunders toward its conclusion there is no let up either visually or audibly. Anybody that tells you they knew the ending from the outset is a filthy liar. Anybody that reveals anything of the plot or conclusion is no friend of yours & should be ignored henceforth.
Kill List is the most original film I have ever seen there are no comparisons and no influences evident and that, to me, is praise enough to get you to see this film.
Having seen the extended trailer at Movie Fest I was intrigued, once the final credits rolled even more so. This one will stay with me for quite some time.
If you've seen any of the previous 4 instalments you'll know how this goes, an attractive group of peeps escape disaster and death based on the hunch of one but 'death doesn't like to be cheated' and the following hour and a half sees them picked off in increasingly more horrific and gorified ways.
From the outset this was tongue in cheek horror and the viral released before the movie shows you that that was very much intentional. I have to admit this was some of the best 3D I've seen so far, literally In. Your. Face gore. Chocked full of big fat red herrings so that you never see the manner of horrific death coming.
The entire movie is tense, edge of your seat stuff. FD5 was a huge hit with the audience, laughing right the way through with sudden shouts of 'Nooo' or hands up to faces just in time. I wouldn't have brought the lads to see this by choice but they adored it. Men. My attention was drawn to one character though Miles Fisher, I was convinced he was a Franco, no wait Tom Cruise, hang on, Christian Bale? He's big online for his impression of Tom Cruise for the Superhero Movie and was the brain behind the viral above. My advice?
If Final Destination is your bag? Get to the cinema for this one, it's the best instalment of the 5 and has 3D that has to be seen to be believed, just go easy on the nachos beforehand.
Like the Lovely Bones adaptation before it my thumbs are still hovering mid air about this one. Having read the book and loved it last year, the film was never going to live up to it. Though I usually feel that way.
In fairness Jim Sturgess plays a blinder as Dex, quiffy/obnoxious Dex, whom I had very little time for while reading. Sturgess has helped me empathise with the character, definitely the sign of a great actor. I can almost forgive him for the weirdest film I've yet to see, Heartless. You find yourself rooting for Dex, wanting the best for him even if he doesn't.
Anne Hathaway as Emma had huge potential, she was actually believable, until she spoke. Honestly how much does a dialect coach cost in the grand scheme of things? I wanted to like her, I really did but not knowing whether the next line would be Harry Enfield's Scouser 'Calm down Dex, eh la?' or a Wool Pack extras 'Eh up chuck, fancy a bitter?' just put me off, right off. Her London accent was believable, if only she stuck with it. While her lines were funny, on paper, they were delivered in a mish mash of accents that just lost it for me. Shame.
I have to give a nod to Ken Stott as Dex's father though, one of the greatest actors of our time brought the character to life. Truly believable as a Dad that just wants the best for his boy, in-spite of his boy.
The scenes that were taken directly from the book are well executed and instantly recognisable but there's so much missing that would have woven the story together, that happens in adaptations. I suppose.
As I've said I knew I'd be biased having truly enjoyed the novel so asked my date for the evening, who hadn't, my Mamito. Her take? 'There was the makings of a great film there'.
One Day is a wonderful story, beautifully written and while the film as a standalone works, if you love your books, as I do, you're really doing yourself & David Nicholls a disservice if you watch this before reading. It's a good movie but its a Great book.
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