Tuesday, 29 September 2015

The Martian

The Martian

BBFC Certificate: 12A

'The Martian' is a science fiction film which is directed by Ridley Scott and stars Matt Damon.

Ridley scott's last few films have been less than great, his latest work feels like a game of cinematic Russian roulette. Which is why I am glad to say that 'The Martian' is a return to form for the director. To much surprise 'The Martian' has a strong comedic presence, which is a change of pace for the typical survival story movie. All of the performances are exceptional which translate well with Scott's excellent visionary direction. The song choices used in the film make it very fun and even more entertaining to watch ( my favorite scene features an ABBA song) My only flaw is that the humor can, in some instances, can very slightly interfere with the films narrative. Overall the film is a fun and very entertaining popcorn flick with bags full of intelligence and enthusiasm.

Rating: 8/10

Saturday, 26 September 2015

99 Homes

99 Homes

BBFC Certificate: 15

'99 Homes' is an independent drama film which is directed by Ramin Bahrani and stars Andrew Garfield and Micheal Shannon.

Many reviewers have labeled this film as a thriller, however I disagree. Because of the talent involved and the way the screenplay is written it plays out much more as a thought provoking drama. '99 Homes' keeps you tightly locked in due to excellent performances from Garfield and Shannon and the reflective dialogue about how the economy only saves the elite. Setting the film in Orlando, Florida is the perfect location for the story because of the extreme differences between the poor and the rich. The film really makes you care about the lead character by reason of Bahrani's direction. The use of shots create intimacy between the character and the audience, without the writing becoming too sentimental.
The film may have a little too much exposition, but the films overall quality makes up for it.

Rating: 9/10

Monday, 21 September 2015

Everest

Everest:

BBFC Certificate: 12A

'Everest' is a bio-topic disaster drama which is based on the 1996 ,Mount Everest disaster and is directed by Baltaser Kormakur.

'Everest' creates the scope and spectacle of the worlds largest mountain, thanks to it's use of IMAX cameras and good performances from it's large assemble cast. However the film falls short on character development and an even story. The problem with 'Everest' is it's source trappings, where some narrative films can fall because of too tidy endings, this film instead leaves you with some loose ends.

"Exposition-Everest" is worth watching for it's visual impact, impressive cast and cinematography, but because of it's slow moving and uneven narrative it is only really worth renting.

Rating: 5/10

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

The Visit

The Visit

BBFC Certificate: 15

'The Visit' is a comedy horror film which is written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan.

M. Night Shyamalan has eventually returned to form with this small and claustrophobic film. The people of the general public who viewed the "Paranormal Activity" like advertising may be disappointed to find that this is not a 'in the dark jump-fest' instead the film is more of a fun adventure coming-of-age film with some horror and thriller elements thrown in. Shyamalan parodies the over serious loud horror movies while being satirical about his previous movies. The film plays with it's found footage settings with success because it revolves of the film's story and characters. The film has great performances from it's small cast and an atmosphere that many low budget horror films fail to provide.

The film does have it's flaws though, such as some of the flat out comedy dialogue which fails to deliver. And the films cinematic visuals can sometimes seem too grand for a found footage film.

Rating: 7/10

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Legend

Legend

BBFC Certificate: 18

'Legend' is a crime bio-topic drama based on the life of the Kray twins. The film stars Tom Hardy along with an assemble of British actors. The film is directed by Brian Helgeland.

Outstanding Performance from Tom Hardy, even in my opinion; Oscar worthy (doubtful that he will be nominated though) Entertaining throughout and sometimes even thought provoking. Stylish direction and gorgeous cinematography from Dick Pope, a sparkling 60s soundtrack and a great cast.

However, the character of Francis feels very underwritten in the first half of the film. The first act of the film felt like a Scorsese imitation, but the second and third act won me over as the film came into it's own.

Rating: 8/10

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Dope

Dope

BBFC Certificate: 15

Dope is a comedy crime film which is written and directed by Rick Famugiwa.

Dope successfully changes typical genre plot lines for an off beat and stylish tale about a teenagers perception and behavior. I believe the story line is best kept a secret so I will not divulge into the plot in this review, however I can tell you that Famugiwa's writing and direction flawlessly manages to execute the dynamic shifts in the film's theme and genre. The performances are all great, but the standout was the newcomer lead, Shameik Moore.

The only minor complaint I have is that one of the characters only appear as a convenience to the plot. Despite this Dope is one of the funniest and most entertaining films of 2015. And is one of my favorites of the year thus far.

Rating: 8/10

Straight Outta Compton

Straight Outta Compton

BBFC Certificate: 15

'Straight Outta Compton' is a biographical drama film which is based on the raise and fall of the pioneering gangster rap group N.W.A. The film is directed by F. Gary Gray.

'Straight Outta Compton' manages to raise up against many other mediocre bio-topic movies, thanks to it's great performances and winning chemistry between the cast; all the actors felt natural and realistic when delivering their lines. F. Gary Grey respects the social history and source materiel and treats it like his own: with precision and care, despite not featuring a dark and dramatic well known aspect of a group members past.

The film does eventually fall into it's bio-topic drama trappings though, the films dramatic beats feel over sentimental and forced at times and the 147 minute run time does put off future viewings, however N.W.A's new film is very likely to entertain the fans and first timers alike.

Rating: 7/10

Trainwreck

Trainwreck

BBFC Certificate: 15

'Trainwreck' is a comedy film which is directed by Judd Apatow and stars Amy Schumer.

Schumer is a comedic force to be reckoned with, which is further proven in this raunchy comedy flick. While crass humor usually becomes predicable and unequivocally bland, 'Trainwreck' kept surprising me in the direction the jokes took. The most memorable and praise-worthy feature of this film is that the female lead does not need to be in a long term committed relationship to please the audience over, it parodies the common public projection that women are more emotional about feelings than men.

Unfortunately the film's final act dismisses the quality that made this film stand out to other mainstream romantic comedies and instead goes for a more static and conformist ending.

Rating: 6/10

The Gift

The Gift

BBFC Certificate: 15

'The Gift' is a psychological thriller film which is Joel Edgerton's directorial debut.

Due to the cliche horror trailer (consistent uses of unnecessary loud sound effects) I did not expect much from 'The Gift', however the film was a great surprise. The film features stellar performances from it's three main actors and a brilliant script to match it's "Fincher-like" direction. Not only is this feature enjoyable on an entertainment factor, but it is also relevant to today's culture and society; should we let the past become irreverent? Even my own views on the film's subject were given a new perspective.

They're some very minor problems that appear, such as the third act becoming a tad repetitive, but this film is certainly a successful debut from Edgerton and I look forward to see what he has is store for his next picture.

Rating: 9/10

In This Corner of the World - Review (E.I.F.F)

 'In This Corner of the World' is a anime period drama film which is directed by Sunao Katabuchi. Based on the manga of the same n...