Posts Tagged ‘film’

This was one of the biggest films of last year and I have been looking forward to watching it for ages. Well I was certainly not disappointed. This is a fantastic movie that really grips tight. The story is quite simple really, it’s a disaster movie that follows two astronauts after they are left stranded on the edge of space after a freak accident.

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The beauty of this film is not in its storytelling but its overall white knuckle ride experience. It has wonderful special effects that are simply breathtaking and literally out of this world (no pun intended.) It is also an extremely beautiful experience as the shots of the earth are magnificent and it makes you feel as if you are there with them. This is also thanks to the way some of it is shot. It’s extremely well crafted, with some magnificent camerawork that at times literally takes you into the visor of Sandra Bullocks character.

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Another thing I have to mention is the music. It is absolutely stunning and really helps create huge moments of tension. Especially when the debris is coming to hit them! It is also at times rather epic and beautiful. This is a film all about experience, it takes you into the situation and grips you with tension and thrills at every turn. Alfonso Cuaron got the oscar for best director and I think he deserved it. The scope and technicality of the shots in this film are wonderful, he is on top of his game. Look out for the sublime opening long shot which goes on for around 13 minutes without a cut! Brilliant movie that I will enjoy again and again.

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This is quite an enjoyable Spaghetti Western that is actually really well made. Its action scenes are really impressive. It follows two friends who are bounty hunters. Theres actually quite a lot of story going on in this one and its done well. It starts with a flashback sequence where a wife has plotted to have her husband killed. We later find out that this is because she is in love with another man called Steve Rodgers. He is the head of a local gang and is on the quest to help a railroad get built, at the cost of anyone that wont sell up who is in the way.

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Things get complicated when his woman believes one of the bounty hunters is her long lost son from her murdered husband who she had given up. Also whats more is that he has now got involved with a local family as he is interested in the daughter romantically. When the family are killed though it leaves him and his buddy on a quest for revenge against the gang and the corrupt sheriff.

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This is a good fun film with some really well filmed action scenes, I have to say they were fantastic! It is a little baggy in places though, but I feel this one will grow on me with a re watch. I enjoyed the story and the performances a lot. Mark Damon is really good beside Anthony Steffen as convincing friends. I will give it a re watch one day as it does have a lot going for it.

Well I have been really enjoying some older films lately and I thought it would be a good idea to watch some of the classics. This film is regarded as one of the best films ever made and in every sense of the word, a true classic. I have to say that I really did enjoy it and got swept up in the magic of it. So much so that I had to give it full marks, because there is nothing really to complain about in it. The story is set in 1941 and follows our main character Rick who is an expatriate now running a nightclub and gambling den. He seems quite a stern kind of guy who says he is neutral in all matters.

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One night a petty crook shows up and tells Rick that he has killed two German couriers and has obtained two letters of transit. These papers will allow whoever carries them the right to leave Casablanca and get to neutral Poland. So they are quite important documents with the war going on, and any refugee in Casablanca would pay dearly for them. Before the crook can sell them however he is pursued by the local law enforcement. He is killed soon after but before it he had time to pass them on to Rick.

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Ricks life is turned upside down when not long after an ex lover walks into his bar with her husband Victor Laszlo. She and Rick were deeply in love and spent some time in Paris together until we see in flashback how she just up and left him without explanation. This is quite a mysterious plot point and for that reason I am not going to talk anymore about the plot.

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This is a fantastic movie! It has a really nice style, which it uses with foggy atmosphere and in another scene heavy rain. The acting is top-notch Bogart and Bergman are great as the lovers. I really did get swept right up in it. There is definitely a magic feel to this movie and this is why it has stood the test of time. The characters are not always what they seem and all have a lot of depth to them. You actually feel like you are there with them in the bar scenes. Great film, timeless masterpiece!

Well many people would have heard the name Akira Kurosawa, especially if you are into film. There is a good reason why, I mean this guy influenced cinema as we know it. He was a true visionary director who inspired so many other directors who came after him. This film here is an absolute masterpiece, and to me has everything in it that makes it so. You have deep and interesting characters, a fantastic story, great action sequences and even some humour. It is all balanced beautifully and for the whole 3 hours plus you just cant get bored. There so much going on! This is in my top 10 for a reason and since re watching it a couple of times it just seems to get stronger and stronger with every watch.

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The story appears quite simple, yet woven into it is all sorts of history and depth of a 16th century life in Japan. Bandits meet on horseback outside a poor farming village and speak of how they will attack when the crop is ready. A villager overhears and brings news to the village. They are very poor and know that this attack could end up killing them all if their food is stolen. They debate about what to do and eventually decide that they will employ samurai to defend their village. They have nothing to offer the samurai apart from food. The film shows the sign of the times with the farmers being harshly treated because of their role within the country. We are soon introduced to the first samurai Kambei. He is seen cutting off his topknot to pose as a priest and save a kidnapped baby. He becomes the leader and master tactician as he and his new samurai apprentice employ the others.

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To be honest I could write pages and pages on each samurai as they are recruited, but that would make a huge post. I will just echo what I said before in that each one is really deep and interesting. They soon find themselves harshly greeted in the village as the villagers are hiding from them. One villager wants to protect his daughter so much that he forces her to cut off her hair and pose as a boy. The film is divided into three sections really, first its the meeting of the samurai, then its life in the village as the samurai and farmers must overcome their differences as Kambei prepares them for the battle. Thirdly is the battle itself which is still epic even by today’s standards.

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There’s even a sub-plot of a love story. Kurosawa gets so much done in this movie its incredible. You can tell you have watched a masterpiece when you can keep revisiting it and finding more things in it that you may have missed. I love this movie so much that even writing about it makes me want to watch it again. Its undoubtedly one of the best films I have ever watched and I am proud to have it in my top 10. I will actually be looking into doing a review of all of Kurosawa’s works, maybe even after I finish with David Cronenberg. Astounding cinema, a true timeless masterpiece!!

 

 

I have always been a big fan of revenge movies, so I was really interested in this film. The film stars Michael Caine in the lead role of Harry Brown. He is an ex royal marine and lives a quiet life in his London flat. Early on in the film we find out that his wife is seriously ill in hospital. Harry also has a best friend called Len and the two often meet up at the local pub to play chess together. Pretty soon into the film Harry’s wife passes away leaving him a widow. His only comfort it now seems is his best friend Len. However things go wrong for them both when Len reveals to Harry that he is being harassed by a local youth gang. He wants to sort it out himself and shows Harry a bayonet he is now carrying to defend himself. Harry warns against this and asks Len to inform the police, which Len says he has already done but they did nothing.

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Pretty soon after this Len is murdered by the gang in an underpass. This leaves Harry really upset especially when he learns that the suspects are released due to lack of evidence. This sends Harry into a vigilante mission of revenge. Michael Caine is simply brilliant in this role. He is completely convincing and you really do side with him when you see some of the disgusting things the gang have done. In fact this is a very disturbing movie and I was actually shocked and appalled by some of it. It hits hard and is very realistic and brilliantly performed by all the actors in it.

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The films realism is amazing and the direction is also very well done. This is a movie that will stay with you long after and is quite upsetting. You definitely side with Caines character and want him to win. I was so damn close to giving this a full 5 star, it is that good. I think I probably would on a second visit. If you are a fan of revenge movies like the Death Wish series or Vigilante then you will love this.

 

So I feel like I must have missed the point here. Its one of Mark Kermodes top 10 and up until now I have loved all of his selections, but I really struggled with this one. It’s a really nice idea, well acted and nicely presented, but I couldn’t help feeling that it was just pretty average. Which is astounding, because if you look it up many people adore this movie and lots say it’s the best movie ever made. Well it certainly isn’t even close to that in my opinion. Now don’t get me wrong, I didn’t hate it, I just thought it wasn’t as good as the hype surrounding it. The story follows a pilot who jumps out of his damaged plane without a parachute, just before doing so he talks with June, a radio operator. The next morning he is washed up on the beach nearby and soon actually meets face to face with June. The two soon fall in love and things seem to be fine apart from the face that he was actually meant to die that night. The afterlife is presented in black and white and we learn that they have made a great mistake in the fact that Peter should have died. They send conductor 71 down to retrieve him and clear up their mistake. However when he turns up and literally stops time to talk with Peter, Peter argues his case and wants to live as he has fallen in love.

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Meanwhile on earth a local doctor thinks that Peter is having delusions and wants to help him by performing brain surgery. This makes us question what is actually happening to Peter and is somewhat of an interesting point. The movie just didn’t really work for me, I found it actually way too over the top and rather too whimsical. I couldn’t take it serious at all and found some of the characters quite shallow and annoying. Its a nice idea but in the end just didn’t work for me and felt actually quite boring in parts.

Well being a long time Ghibli fan I am always looking forward to their next project. This is quite a simple little tale following the lives of a young school girl who is living in a boarding house near Yokohama port. She has a lot of responsibility looking after her family while her mother is away studying in America. Each day she raises a set of signal flags with the message “I pray for safe voyages.” This is in memory of her father who was killed in the Korean war. She soon meets a young boy who posts a poem about her flags in the school newspaper. The two first become friends, but soon develop feelings for each other, however things get complicated one day when they learn that they are linked more than they know and might be brother and sister.

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They realise that they cant feel the same about each other but continue to be friends. They are also on a quest to restore and save their kind of club house where the newspaper is written, which is due to be demolished. This is an important building to all students so they have to pull together to try and convince people not to pull it down.

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This is a really nice little movie and encompasses everything we have come to expect from Ghibli. It has that feeling of innocence and love that they are so good at showing in their movies. It has great animation as always and really has that special charm that only Ghibli can do. Ghibli movies always have this kind of magic to them that really makes me actually feel part of the world in which you are visiting while watching. The attention to the small everyday details of life is always captured beautifully, which helps it feel so real. I really did like this movie, it wasn’t amazing and it certainly wasn’t one of Ghibli’s best attempts, but it still carried that Ghibli magic that made me want to revisit and stay in that world.