Saturday, 14 December 2013

(film review) - Black Nativity

So, I only saw this film because my friend told me about it. I might have seen the poster for it or something somewhere about it but had I not arranged to meet up with my friend who I haven't seen for a long time who suggested to see it, I would have not known about this film. It just didn't flag up on my radar nor was I really interested in it. But myself being myself, I thought I'd give this film a gander.

The film is about a young single mother Naima (Jennifer Hudson) who is dealing with difficult times and trying to raise her child at the same time. With news  that she will only have a matter of days left before she is evicted, she decides to send her teenage son, Langston (Jacob Latimore) to his estranged grandparents while she tries to deal with her problems.
Reverend Cornell Cobb (Forest Whittaker) and his wife Aretha Cobbs (Angela Bassett) take this young man in and try to steer his life in a positive way while he is with them, but whilst being away from his mother, Langston then discovers the dark secrets which were kept from him and why his grandparents are estranged.

I've probably made out like this film is much more interesting than it really is, but the long and short of it is, the film kinda sucks. I've seen some bad films in my day and this film is by far not terrible, but they could have done soo much better.

Firstly, before watching this film, you will need to comprehend and understand that this film is more of a musical than just a drama. Kind of like 'For Coloured Women', just not as deep. My friend said that the film was trash and a waste of time. Now, I wouldn't necessarily say the film was garbage, although it wasn't that great. The film did what it had to do and display the complexities in life, single parenting struggles and internal family politics, however, although we had great actors, the storyline and pacing struggles to keep you engauged. The script was decent, the singing was very good, but this film comes off more as a 93min music video than a drama. This film could have done a lot better in portraying more of what was already there. More dialogue, more acting, more of everything, but the film was lacking.

I haven't seen Les Miserables and do not plan to, but I can assure you that the film was also a musical and not even half or quarter as disappointing as this film was. I just feel that they could have done soo much better with this film, the directions and even with a talented cast, not even they could help the narative and make a promising film like this interesting and/or great. Wasted talent on a film with a good idea on paper.

Ok film and gets the point across, but is very poorly delivered and although the cast is great, watch if you are feeling festive or you have to see a film with your favourite stars in or just wait for it to come on TV.

(film review) - The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

So, it has been a year since I last did a review on The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and it has come around again in which the sequel has just come out and I have seen it and it is absolutely great.

Just so you know from the get go, I liked the first hobbit film a great deal. One thing I didn't mention in my review was, although the film was beautiful and was at a steady pace, I did feel at a certain point that this film was dragging a little or possibly I was expecting a little bit more than just a steady pace. It might have been when my mind clock/stopwatch alerted me to the fact that this film has gone past the 2 hour mark, in which I'm sure this happens with a lot of people. But for the sequel in the Hobbit Trilogy, my clock/stopwatch may have done a single beep rather than alarm bells ringing for 5mins.

The film starts with Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) in a Bar and gets approached by Gandelf the Grey (Ian McKellen). They have a conversation which then takes us to where we last left off in the first Hobbit film. The Dwarfs and Bilbo (Martin Freeman) are still trying to make their way to the Mountain because they need to obtain the Arkenstone and potentially slay a dragon. However, as the adventure would go, they come across Spiders that want to eat them, Elves that want to kill them, a Bowman who is trying to hide them and a Dragon who is trying to burn them...oh, and everything else in sight.

There isn't any real point in going on about the film to be honest as I'd only be repeating what I had said before about the previous Hobbit film and the sequel trilogies. Peter Jackson is an epic storyteller and his direction is great. Yes, he is milking the book for all it's worth, but when you tell a story like this, to me, it only makes sense. A lot of people might feel disappointed with this film and/or pleased that this film has elements added to the very thin book which is the Hobbit or some "key" elements taken away from the book. Some might argue that some parts of the film is relevant to the story and are not needed, but sometimes in story telling, the very detail which is unheard of or not mentioned can also play a key role in some cases.

The cinematography, the acting, the flow of the film, in which I might add was much faster paced and laced with more action and tension than the first film. The action, like I said, the fight scenes, MORE majestic. As I mentioned earlier, I did think during the film, "this is a long film", but I knew it was and I stayed engaged, where in the first film, although I loved it, there was more of a sigh when I remembered how long the film was during watching it. And although I care not much for the Dwalfs, I absolutely love their dynamics and co-ordination. They flow like 1 constant conscience although they are all very different individuals. The comedy was there as well and not to mention Legolas. Legolas for me was the reason why I was more hyped about this film over the first film. Legolas drew me to this film as I absolutely love his character. Such a bad ass.

If you love the sequel trilogies and the first Hobbit Movie, you will love this sequel in the prequel Trilogy. When you get to the Smaug (Benedict Cumberbatch) part as well, you will be fuming at the very end. Yes, 365 or so days until the next film, There and Back Again. Enjoy!

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

(film review) - Carrie

This might be one of my shortest reviews. Not because the film was wack, but more to do with seeing this film for the first time without no previous film to go from. Even taking this film on it's own merit, there is not a lot to talk about.

As mentioned in wiki, the definition of a Reboot is as follows "In serial fiction, to reboot means to discard all continuity in an established series in order to recreate its characters, timeline and backstory from the beginning". With that said, in film and in hollywood, reboots are done because THEY are running out of ideas (well this is what I think). However, for the most part, reboots were done to revitalise a franchise and as we advance into the future with technologies changing daily, we can retell a story much better than how it was previously done before (sometimes). Nowadays, it is all about money, it would seem. Contracts and competition. An example of this would be, the new Spider-Man franchise.
To be honest, a lot of people won't understand the ins and outs and for the majority, most people simply won't and don't care. I mean all we want to do is watch a good film, right? When it comes to reboots, I don't have any real issues with them. I've see Scarface with Al Pacino which is a reboot. Man of Steel with Henry Cavil, which is a reboot and so is Star Wars with Chris Pine. However, whilst some reboots do well and even make the series much more relevant to the current era we live in, some just don't do well at all.

Carrie on the other hand was just a reboot for the sake of advancing a story to a modern era. Where the first film came out in 1976, a 2013 version was needed. Or not of course. Some things are best left as classics.

Carrie (Chloe Grace Moretz) is a young shy, unassertive girl approaching pubity living with her religious but disturbed mother, Margaret White (Julianne Moore) in the small town in Maine. Upon having her first menstrual period in school in the showers, Carrie is teased by her class and the event is recorded on a mobile phone by a bully. After being ridiculed by her class and sent home, her mother takes it out on her as she believes that the Menstrual cycle is a sin. Later Carrie discovers that she may have telekinesis and researches and practises it. Tommy, asks Carrie to go with him to the prom and on the night, when pig blood gets dumbed onto her, Carrie looses it and tears everything down using her manifested new powers.

For me, I can barely remember the original film and although there are elements I remember such as the pigs blood being dumbed on her and some scenes of the house, that is really about it. Although this film is a rehash of the previous film, I don't think the film offered much suspense or thriller. Yes it is a Horror and there were some parts where I was horrified by what I was seeing, but all in all, the film didn't offer much rather than bring a past film from the 70's to a new audience.
Chloe is a great actor and so is Julianne Moore, so although everything was acted out well, there was not much to the story. Maybe they should have changed it a little Total Recall.
An ok film, but nothing special and somewhat unnecessary.