Archive for January, 2014

Mongol 3.5/5

Posted: January 31, 2014 in Film Review
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this is a pretty decent film. It suddenly dawned on me while watching it that I had actually seen it before. Its based on the story of Genghis Kahn and features some really nice direction and photography. It shows the young Khan growing up and facing many harsh times. He sees his father poisoned by another tribe and as his father lies dying, he tells his son that he will now be Khan. However the young boy is soon betrayed by one of his fathers warriors and his camp is to be looted. He is help captive but manages to escape. Here he meets a new friend Jamukha and they soon declare themselves blood brothers.

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We see Temujin grow up into manhood and he soon enters into brief happiness with his bride whom he selected while young. the film then focuses on a few things and shows how Temujin and Jamukha eventually become friends again, until rivalries force them to become enemies.

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Although I enjoyed this film, it does get quite repetitive and I must say the story is pretty simple really. I have no idea how accurate it is but it seems unlikely that Temujin kept escaping his enemies as it is portrayed in this movie. It feels a little silly at times and far-fetched. The characters are quite 1 dimensional to be honest and it lets the film down a little. However what the film has got going for it is some really lovely photography and nice camera work. The action sequences are pretty good too. However I have to say that this film is quite forgettable, because I forgot I had even seen it. Also when I came to catch up on my weekly reviews, I had forgotten that I watched it. That says a lot really doesn’t it?

 

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13 Assassins 4.5/5

Posted: January 31, 2014 in Film Review
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This is a re watch for me and a truly magnificent film. Its action sequences are just simply breathtaking, with an awesome epic 45 minute battle sequence at the movies climax. The plot revolves around a rather nasty lord who has been raping and slaughtering innocent people. He is a pretty nasty villain and very torturous. The shogunate’s justice minister realises that he must do something before the evil Lord Naritsugu gains more power when he ascends to a higher political position.

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Soon we are introduced to Shinzaemon, who served under the former shogun and after he is shown the brutality of the lords crimes, he agrees to assassinate him. We move from here to meeting those who are summoned to help him and also an old rival of his called Hanbei who is actually the evil lords samurai. This is a great rivalry and Hanbei is bound to the lord by his own loyalty to his samurai code, even if he doesn’t agree with his lords actions. This is an interesting situation and gives us much drama.

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This really is a great film, the action sequences are directed brilliantly. Takashi Miike shows great style with this movie. In fact this movie is really close to being a 5 star film, and the only reason it doesn’t quite do it for me is that I feel that you often get a little overwhelmed by having 13 main characters. They aren’t all given the full attention that they need to be fleshed out. Seven Samurai got it perfect, I must add! This is still a must see for any samurai fans out there. Hugely entertaining in every way!

Yet another great entry into the series here. We are definitely in dark territory now as we see Voldemort getting more powerful as he entrusts a secret mission to Draco Malfoy. The characters are all changing in every film as we go along. Relationships are starting and some are under pressure. This is my favourite so far, I love the darker tone and style it encompasses.

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Characters do all sorts of shocking things in this installment, which makes it perhaps the most unpredictable of the series so far. I like it for this reason, it really explores darker themes and darker character traits. Dumbledore and Harry work closely together in this one as well and they are really good together, as revelations are unfolding for Harry about Tom Riddle.

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The ending is really good, and my favourite climax so far. It’s really grim and bleak and really leaves us in despair but craving the next installment. I am really looking forward to see how this series will end as we approach the final 2 films. Great stuff!

 

Well David Yates has taken over directing duties from here and I have to say that he is the perfect man for the job. He injects loads of style in this one. Theres some great camera movements and style. I cant help but think “if only he had done the first 2.” The story moves on and this time has a conspiracy subplot, involving the ministry of magic initiating a smear campaign against Harry. There is a new master if the dark arts teacher, who is in secret working for the ministry. She goes about banning the use of magic and seems to be doing everything in her power to stop Harry from becoming a formidable foe against evil.

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However the students soon get fed up and in secret appoint Harry as their new defence teacher. There is also some interesting developments when Harry feels the dark lord entering his thoughts. Professor Snape tries to teach Harry occlumency, which will enable him to protect his thoughts from Voldemort. These encounters, however lead Harry to discover some things about Snapes past that are quite shocking to Harry.

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Well all in all this is the best film so far, with lots of style and a really nice action packed end sequence. The characters are all growing all the time and it really is getting more and more interesting. I am starting to be looking forward to each next part in the series and really wanna know what is going to happen next.

Well I must admit that after the third film I did start to enjoy this series and become more interested in them. This one is as good as the last and gets into some pretty good storytelling. It follows Harry and his friends as they approach the triwizard tournament. The tournament is a competition between 3 schools to see who is the best wizard. They are all told that it will involve very dangerous trials and therefore no one under 17 years of age can enter. Those who wish to however must place their name into the goblet of fire. The goblet will then select the competitors itself.

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A strange twist happens when, after choosing the three competitors, the goblet then throws out Harry’s name. He swears that he didn’t put it in and couldn’t anyway due to a magical spell, set around the goblet, that forbids anyone underage from approaching it. Ron and Harry have quite a big fall out in this film which is nice to see that things aren’t as predictable as you think.

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In fact all of the characters are changing and growing up. They are starting to become young adults and the story seems to also be growing up as we go along. This is the darkest film in the series so far and has the return of the dark lord. The ending is great and leaves much despair in the air. I love the darker style in this it makes it much more interesting. This is another stylish movie and it seems the series has definitly found its feet.

I have been waiting to see this movie for such a long time. I am so glad I have now seen it because it was even more awesome than people have said. It is now one of my favourite spaghetti westerns of all time. The acting, direction and script are all simply astounding here. Lee Van Cleef is my very favourite spaghetti western star and he is perfect in this role. Starring alongside him is Tomas Milian and he also gives a superb performance as Cuchillo.

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The film is shot beautifully with some real breathtaking scenery to behold. This is a stylish director at work here. The plot revolves around Jonathon Corbett who is a bounty hunter and is feared by many a criminal because he is so fast off the draw. He is invited to a party of a wealthy industrialist by the name of Brokston. While at the party he learns that a 12-year-old girl has been raped and murdered by a mexican called Cuchillo. Corbett agrees to go and get Cuchillo and quickly sets off.

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However Cuchillo proves to be quite a tricky customer and wont be as easy to catch as Corbett thinks. The two meet on several occasions and have some really interesting scenarios as they each try to outwit each other.The acting is fantastic, it really is. Both these actors are absolutely perfect in their roles and they shine on the screen. All the characters are really multidimensional. The action and set pieces are really crafted with expert care. The music is so beautiful with an amazing theme song in the opening credits. There isn’t one bad thing I can say about this film, it really is a spaghetti western masterpiece for every reason. I am so glad I own the grindhouse realease of this. I will treasure this movie forever. Awesome stuff!

Here we go, its starting to get better.This is the third installment in the series and the best so far by a long way in my books. It’s a different director and you can tell. Its directed with more style and flair and it really works well. There’s a lot more going on in the story again. This time it revolves around an escaped prisoner called Sirius Black. Harry again is constantly discovering things about himself and his past. There’s more conflict between the three heroes and Draco Malfoy and his goons. Draco also gets Hagrid in trouble when he provokes Buckbeak, the Hippogriff. There are some dark entities called dementors who are looking for Sirius. They are really interesting and give the film a darker edge.

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As I said before theres a lot more style and flair with the cameras this time. There are some really nice plot twists as well which i cant talk about for fear of giving anything away to anyone who hasn’t seen it.

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This series is now starting to take its grip on me, I have to admit. There’s loads of stuff going on and lots more to uncover. There’s even time travel! I’m really looking forward to part 4 now!