Tuesday, 22 December 2015

The Peanuts Movie

Snoopy and Charlie Brown: The Peanuts Movie

BBFC Certificate: U

'The Peanuts Movie' is CG animated film based on the classic Charles M. Schulz comic strip 'Peanuts'. The film is directed by Steve Martino.

Using a mix of 2D and 3D animation 'The Peanuts Movie' is film targeted for fans of who grew up with the comic strips and television specials and is also geared towards the new generation of children. This film truly feels original to the source material, but also has the variety of the new technology not only to keep the younger viewers invested, but to also further emphasis the cinematic value of this type of animation. The film uses a very basic story, and for the most part it is well executed. The comedic timing was golden, the film successfully shifts from each tone without becoming too forced and over bearing. The film has a few flaws, the smplicaty of the story can at times feel repetitive for older audiences, and the film does often shy away from being striking. However, the peanuts movie is a charming and entertaining family film, that does feature a single fart joke, and that's good enough for me.

Rating: 7/10

Friday, 18 December 2015

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

BBFC Certificate: 12A

'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' is the latest entry into the sci-fi saga 'Star Wars'. The film features a large assemble cast and is directed by JJ Abrams.

The latest film in the 'Star Wars' franchise is likely to please most audiences. With references to the original trilogy without being nostalgic and having too much fan service to drown the narrative. Seasoned director JJ Abrams gives us a marvelous looking movie, his direction perfectly fits the materiel. The special effects in this film are incredible, a perfect blend of visual and practical effects, which is refreshing for a major blockbuster film. John Williams awe-inspiring score is absolutely beautiful, hearing the score brings the whole audience back to childhood.

 I myself have never been a huge Star Wars fan, I haven't been invested enough in the characters in previous installments to be in love with the franchise, however after watching The Force Awakens things started to click for me why people love this franchise, and after this film I for one like this franchise a whole lot more. The villain in this film is one of the better ones in the franchise, not quite Darth Vader, but certainly interesting enough to keep you invested into the story.  The two main protagonists are likable however it's Harrison Ford who steals the show. The film has some flaws though, for example; the film is quite tongue and cheek with it's humor, which does work for the majority, but can sometimes lead to a fault. There is also a romance in the film which feels a bit forced and rushed together.

Overall 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' is a return to form for the long living franchise, The film may not be a masterpiece, or a fan-boy's ultimate dream, but it is sure to entertain young and old alike and does more than enough to serve it's purpose. Good job Mr Abrams.

Rating: 8/10

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Carol

Carol

BBFC: Certificate: 15

'Carol' is a period romantic drama film starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara. The film is directed by Todd Haynes.

'Carol' might not the first film you would think to watch during this festive season, but Edward Lachman's cinematography gives the most warm and nostalgic feeling for the audience, which does a great job of grabbing the audience into the curious romance of the two leads. Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara have a wonderful chemistry; you could believe every moment of their relationship. Both of the leads play their roles down, which is a relief because the trailers for the film have an unquestionable "Oscar touch" to them. Todd Hanyes prominent direction lifts the story from some genre pitfalls.

However, the surface is not the hole layer. 'carol' is for the most part a two act film, the first act is the romance, the second act is the split up. While 'Carol' is not as cliche to leave it there, the film doesn't do enough to fully separate itself from other films, the second act of the film felt quite cluttered and anti-climatic.

Rating: 6/10 

Saturday, 28 November 2015

Black Mass

Black Mass

BBFC Certificate: 15

'Black Mass' is a crime drama film which is based of the FBI and the south Boston Irish mafia's alliance. The film stars Johnny Depp, Joel Edgerton and Benedict Cumberbatch and is directed by Scott Cooper.

'Black Mass' may not be the first or most original gangster film, but it is entertaining and insightful enough to be recommendable to fans of the gangster genre. Johnny Depp brings a return to form with a intense and terrific performance as James "whitey" Bulger. The supporting cast give good performances, however the story tries to balance plates too hard between the characters and the story and eventually both of the story and the characters sometimes seem to overshadow each other. Scott Cooper's direction is a breath of fresh air. Instead of over stylish shots and flashy editing, he directs his film like a play which gives a further opening for the drama to unfold, which helps separate the film from the genre uniform.

Overall 'Black Mass' is an entertaining and well acted gangster film. The film may seem a bit too familiar at times, but thanks to Johnny Depp's performance and Scott Cooper's directing it doesn't become a bland, run-of-the-mill movie.

Rating: 8/10


Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Bridge of Spies

Bridge of Spies

BBFC Certificate: 12A

'Bridge Of Spies' is a historical drama film starring Tom Hanks and directed by Steven Spielberg.

Everybody's favorite actor and director are back with this engaging drama. It's very pleasing when you watch a film that you have high expectations for and it hits the mark. Tom Hanks and Mark Rylance both give brilliant performances; the chemistry between the two is very charming to watch. Steven Spielberg shows us all how it's done with a magnificent direction. Without any doubt he will be nominated for best director at the award ceremonies and deservedly so. Matt chairman and the Coen brothers have written an excellent script filled with wit and character. Thomas Newman's exceptional score gives plenty of warmth to the story.

The only very minor problem I have with the film is that I think the film's ending slightly outstays it's welcome and a minor nitpick I have is that the film is not very re-watchable,

Rating: 9/10

Sunday, 22 November 2015

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2

BBFC Certificate: 12A

'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2' is the final installment to the popular Hunger Games franchise. The film stars Jennifer Lawrence and is directed by Francis Lawrence.

Sombre is the word I would use to describe 'The Hunger Games' and this final film is as dark and sombre as ever. Francis Lawrance is back for a third time to direct, and his visuals do often fit and go beyond the source material without being too flashy. Jennifer Lawrence naturally shines as the lead, but no surprise there. The supporting cast are serviceable despite a constant battle for screen time. The films pacing is a mixed bag. The action and thriller elements of the film felt genuinely tense and fairly woeful. However the scenes in-between felt sluggish, especially the first hour of the film. Unfortunately you do feel the length of the film, this maybe due to the film being split into two parts. Overall the conclusion to this franchise will not "wow", but will entertain it's many fans and will be likely satisfy the critics and the general audiences alike.

Rating: 6/10

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs

BBFC Certificate: 15

'Steve Jobs' is a biographical drama film based on the life of apple founder Steve Jobs. The film stars Michael Fassbender in the lead role. The film is directed by Danny Boyle.

After the somewhat laughable 'Jobs' staring Ashton Kutcher It it's with a sigh of relief that someone in Hollywood got it right with the latest adaptation of the businessman's life. This time Danny Boyle takes the directors chair, with a subtle yet suitable direction and Arron Sorkin has been wisely chosen as screenwriter, most likely because of his work on 2010's 'The Social Network', Sorkin has a high reputation and his latest screenplay doesn't disappoint, with it's quick whips and complex drama, although the screenplay may not be as razer sharp as the social network, it's still praiseworthy. Micheal Fassbender, of course is great in the lead role, which will be another performance to his already impressive cannon of work. The supporting cast all turn in impressive performances which help stimulate the story further.

Despite the strong qualities of Steve Jobs I found the film to be a little flawed here and there. The second act of the film was feeling a little sluggish because of the repetitive nature of the story and the ending of the film felt too emotionally manipulative and quite far fetched.

Rating; 7/10