Friday, 30 May 2014

(film review) - Godzilla

So, when I think of Godzilla, I think of two things; the first Godzilla film I saw which came out in 1998 directed by Roland Emmerich starring Matthew Broderick and Jean Reno; the second being Rush Hour. There is a scene where Chris Tucker mentions Godzilla to Jackie Chan. An honourable thought is, Hip-Hop group Gods'illa. The name says it all. Anyway, let's progress as I digress.

A bit of a surprising film as I didn't expect a reboot. However, if I gave it some real thought, it would have came up at some point as Hollywood seem to be running out of ideas.

So, this film is somewhat a reboot of the Godzilla film franchise and plays out as Godzilla being a terrifying force of nature. A myth of sorts.
Ford Brody (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) a U.S Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal Officer and his nurse of a wife, Elle Brody (Elizabeth Olsen) find themselves caught in the middle of a grand monster fight when Ford's father makes a discovery of the reported seismic activities which have been occurring of recent. Trying to gather info from their previous home to prove his findings, a monster wakes up and makes its way out of it's resting place underneath his home, on a mission somewhere destroying the facility and everything else around it leaving nothing but rubble in it's wake. As this monster now threatens to annihilate humanity and it seems like the humans are powerless against it, only one other monster can save the day, Godzilla.

This is a decent film to watch. If anything and going from memory, this film is better than the film which came out in 1998. Godzilla looks like Godzilla. Rather than the Tyrannosaurus looking Godzilla we had back then. Also, the special effects are great and the film comes across as very grounded as it is set in present day. The intro to the film is very clever and makes getting into the film smooth as well as the world we are now being taken to as it eases us in. However, other than the few bits of action we see and the special effects, this film is fairly poor. Well, not poor, but when you see the trailer, you expect much more. It is fairly hard to explain as it is fairly hard to understand, how they barely made this film work. The story was marginally decent with excellent acting coming from Joe Brody (Bryan Cranstan) and Dr. Ishiro Serizawa (Ken Watanabe) but other than that, everyone else's acting was weak in comparison. Not enough time was given to like or feel for the characters. Even the scenes between Ford and his father Joe were a little lacking. It's like the entire film could have been a lot better if they just pushed for a little more. A little more to the internal story between the human characters. A little more with the fighting scenes. A little more of Godzilla and a little more of basically...well, EVERYTHING. Don't get me wrong, this is a very good film to watch and chomp on some popcorn to and the ending scenes with Godzilla are beyond excellent, but I just generally feel that the film was posting it in and the director, Gareth Edwards was simply wetting the audiences appetite. If that last scenes with Godzilla didn't pan out the way it did, then the film would have been purely garbage fused with garbage.

Beautiful Visuals and Godzilla looks like and IS a BEAST!!! But other than only showing us a little action here and there and not really giving us a full Godzilla treatment and/or experience until the very end of the film, this film mails it in. I guess, this is the outcome when you add storyline to human characters who needn't be in a monster movie about monsters fighting monsters. A perfect example of where a monster film about monsters fighting monsters and where it worked would be, Pacific Rim.

Thursday, 22 May 2014

(film review) - X-Men: Days Of Future Past

For me, Bryan Singer destroyed X-Men from the very beginning. From when Wolverine was made center of attention, for me, the X-Men film/franchise was just nonsense. I mean EVERYBODY knows Cyclops IS the leader of the X-Men and although this didn't change in the film, having everything center around Wolverine just didn't sit well with me. This is not to say I didn't enjoy the X-Men films, X-Men and X2, but I made do with what Bryan Singer did with the franchise. With that said, X-Men: The Last Stand could not have been any more of a useless mass of mess and Brett Ratner needs to redeem himself with the new Hercules film with Dwayne Johnson. With X-Men: First Class directed by Matthew Vaughn sliding into the X-Men franchise and somewhat saving it, Bryan Singer had a lot to clear up from the mess he started with (although we dealt with it and accepted it), the diabolical nonsense Brett Ratner did and also tidy up a little of First Class. And just before I start the review, I would like to conclude and reassure you with great news. Bryan Singer DID THE JOB.

Although the characters are all over the place, lets just roll with it.

We are currently in a dystopian future where Sentinel's are targeting and killing Mutants (what they are designed to do) but are also targeting humans. With both humans and mutants being imprisoned if not killed, there are only a few mutants in the world left who are trying to build up a resistance. Professor Xavier (Sir Patrick Stewart) & Magneto (Sir Ian Mckellen) have finally joined forces and work together to try and bring an end to the onslaught of sentinels to try and save mankind.
Accompanied with Storm (Halle Berry) & Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) they come across a bunch of X-Men, Bobby Drake aka Iceman (Shawn Ashmore), Peter Rasputin aka Colossus (Daniel Cudmore), Warparth, Sunspot, Bishop, Blink & Kitty Pryde who then devise a plan to send Wolverine back to the past to try and stop the creator of the Sentinels, Bolivar Trask (Peter Dinklage), from ever creating to Sentinels in the first place so they can rewrite history and save their future.

As for storylines, nothing out of the ordinary. As for the direction and execution of the film, brilliant. With something being as flawed but acceptable as it was, then to have other people dabble in the franchise and basically mess it up, Bryan Singer did a very good job with trying to tie ALL the loose ends within the franchise and his best at bringing together a story that made actual sense.

When the film was announced with all these Mutants, people along with myself were thinking, "There are too many characters, they won't have enough screen time. Bryan Singer is going to mess this one up too" And rightfully so, we should feel like this, but to add that their were 4 villains in this film and yet, the charcaters served the story well and these characters were used effectively, you'd complete miss the fact that not only Bolivar Trask and the Sentinels are the bad guys here, you'd miss the other two bad guys.

As seen in the trailer, there are some totally great moments. If you had seen the opening battle, with Blink, Colossus, Iceman and 'em, this plays out MUCH better when you watch the film. Brilliantly crafted and excellently executed. Teamwork in tandem. If you have seen the Quicksilver picture of him running on the wall, an excellent if not the actual best scene within the movie. It's like watching the beginning of X2. Bryan Singer DID THE JOB.

If you are used to the sentinels in the comics and cartoons and was put off with the sentinels in this film, trust me, it all makes sense when you watch the film.

Funny in places, serious at times and tension building up as the film climaxes and during certain moments of the film, I can only say, this film is brilliant. If you stay to after the credits at the very end, there is an EXCELLENT clue to the following film's story plot, but with such a neatly crafted and interweaving storyline and very well acted scenes from McAvoy and Fassbender, this film is a definate MUST SEE.

If you ever felt like an X-Men film just didn't cut it or the last couple of X-Men films weren't great and the Wolverine films were also a little sub-parr, than you will definitely enjoy this film. Try not to scrutinise this film too much as there are still a bunch of holes in the script and with a few of the characters, but to still arrive out on top with a very good viewing, you can only congratulate Bryan on his work and hopefully, in the next film X-Men: Apolocypse (so it has been called), hopefully he will do things right this time around...or at least try to and clear up some of the other nonsense plot holes. Maybe, just maybe he could bring in cloning into the storyline. But if that is the case, he would need to bring in Mr. Sinister. How great would that be?

Monday, 5 May 2014

(film review) - 300: Rise of an Empire

Hindsight is a b*tch and sometimes it is really difficult to have a great idea, work off of it and try and construct a story which will gain praise through all different views or incarnations of said story.

So you understand what I mean, I will just dive straight into this.

300: Rise of an Empire is a standalone film which does not need to be seen with the previous 300 movie. It revolves around the story of the Rise of Greece and the parts these characters play which lead into a story interwoven around this film and the previous film.

The story is being told from Queen Gorgo of Sparta who tells her Spartan Troops before they join the battle of Salamis, the story thus far of General Themistocles of Athens (Sullivan Stapleton), who in the middle of the Battle of Marathon, kills King Darius in front of his son Xerxes. Darius’ Naval commander, Artemisia tells Xerxes of his dying words who then goes off to walk Barron lands and returns as Xerxes the God-King. As Themistocles meets with the council and convinces them to provide a bigger fleet to engage the Persians at see, Themistocles also tries to rally troops from Sparta to no avail. Engaging in many fights, this captures the attention of Artemisia who invites Themistocles to join her and her Persian army to be her second in command.

After watching this film, having watched the original 300 movie, you will generally feel that this film isn’t as great as the first one. This is because we as people like to compare. However, there is a lot of truth into your thoughts on this film because there are a lot of things that do not marry up with your expectations. So where you would think that this film is bound to be bigger and better than the last film, in fact, this film is the prequel and entwining film that weaves in between the sequel and in retrospect should have actually come out first for you to appreciate it more. Had this film come out in 2007, we would have loved this film for it’s story, pacing, special effects, cinematography and sound. If not, then they should have recorded all 3 movies at the same time and release one a year after each other like what they have done with the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit Trilogy. However this film comes across as a money grab with a weak or borrowed storyline which uses “borrowed” plots and special effects whilst they try to milk a 7 year old film for all it’s worth by adding a few sparkles.

Don’t get me wrong, this is a really good film to watch, but seems like a Rehash and I really do feel that if you had watched this 7 years ago and then 300 after, then you would appreciate this film more and the storyline. If they do a 3rd film and I hope they do, they should re-release these films and promote it more as a Trilogy or a film consisting of 3 movies as one total movie spanning over 3 stories from different perspectives.