Tuesday, 28 April 2015

(film review) - A Royal Night Out

Not something I would have planned to see as I was completely unaware of this films existence. A friend of mine had asked me if I wanted to join them to watch this film and I said, "Yeah, sure" as I wasn't doing anything and well, why not? I do reviews, right?
So, as I understand, this film isn't even out yet and I am watching this film based on a special screening, but I won't spoil the film other than give you a general synopsis, what I thought of the film along with the acting and what I got from it.

Heir to the British Throne, Princess Elizabeth (Sarah Gadon) seems restless with being Royal. Everything she says and does is open to scrutiny which may reflect badly on the Royal Family so there isn't much she can do outside of the royal home. She feels she has no sense of adventure and she cannot be normal. Her sister Margaret (Bel Powley) is the more adventurous, mischievous and care-free out of the two of them and she devises a plan to go out to celebrate VE Day with her sister. After the initial "No's" from the Queen Mother (Elizabeth I)(Emily Watson), King George (Rupert Everett) allows them to go out, just this once, but with a chaperone to keep an eye on them so that they do not come to any harm. Once out, the two princesses find themselves, incognito, apart, lost and in places they would never have dreamt of ending up.

A story which revolves around the future Queen of England, our current Queen. This film was fun to watch. A comedy drama with a positive and uplifting feel to it. At first I wasn't sure what genre this film was categorised under before entering to watch it, but there was humour littered all over this film along with crazy antics which made it enjoyable to watch. Some of the acting was a bit stiff, but the story wasn't too bad and based on a single night out, I never felt like the night was too long or that the scenes were forced. The only things I didn't really like about it, was the character named Jack. I found his acting annoying and a bit off. Also, some plot details were also a bit off but, I guess for the film to work, certain things were glossed over/ignored. But the main star of the film for me was Bel Powley as Margaret. Although the dialogue/script was great, her character was excellent and she did a brilliant job in playing Princess Margaret.

If you want something fun to watch, comedy with none of that over the top violence and explosion (although there is nothing wrong with that), the go out and watch this film. Charming and fun.

Thursday, 23 April 2015

(film review) - Avengers: Age of Ultron

The bar has been raised. Joss did such a great job with the first Avengers (Avengers Assemble) movie, that he had to find a way to top himself. Or at least, match bar for bar, his first Avengers film. Did he do it? Well, in Whedon we trust, right? Let's get down to it without any further delay.

The Avengers pick up where Captain America: The Winter Soldier left off. If you do not know the Winter Soldier story, shame on you. Basically, the events which occur in that film have a ripple effect which spills out onto the Marvel Cinematic Universe and directly into this film. Just like how the events which occur in the first Avengers film have a ripple effect which spills out onto Ironman 3.
Ironman (Robert Downey. Jr), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Black Widow (Scarlett Johanson), Captain America (Chris Evans), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) & Hulk (Mark Ruffulo) are looking for Loki's Scepter which are in the hands of Hydra leader Baron Wolfgang von Strucker (this was seen in the end credits of Captain America: The Winter Soldier). He has been using it to conduct experiments to create some form of enhanced beings/super soldiers and used them on the Maximoff twins, Scarlett Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and Quick Silver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson). Once they get a hold of the scepter and obviously being exhausted from all the globetrotting, Tony Stark jump-starts and creates a peace keeping programme named Ultron (James Spader) to help assist with the work they are doing all over the world so that the Avengers are not stretched so thinly. However, Ultron learns how humans treat each other and decides that humans are a danger to themselves, so he conjures up a plan to amend this problem. With both the Avengers and Ultron seeing each other as the threat to humanity, they battle it out. The End.

This is the general semi-detailed synopsis of the film in which you can pick up from watching the trailers and having watched The Winter Soldier, Avengers & Ironman 3, you should have a rough idea of where everyone's mind is at and where each character is at this point in their lives. However, there is a lot more going on in this film. Not only do we have guest appearances from War Machine (Don Cheadle), Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), Falcon (Anthony Mackie), Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) & Heimdall (Idris Elba), this film seems to have edited out a lot of scenes/plots, but managed to sow enough seeds for future Marvel films. There were many rumours flying around about other characters in this film in which I either missed or ultimately, they were edited out. I mean, where was Captain Marvel?

If you do not know the slate of films to be released by Marvel for the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as it stands, Ant-Man (Finishes Phase 2), Captain America: Civil War (Starts Phase 3), Doctor Strange, Guardians of the Galaxy 2, Spider-Man (Untitled Spider-Man Reboot [Yes Reboot]), Thor: Ragnarok, Avengers: Infinity War Part 1, Black Panther, Captain Marvel, Avengers Infinity War Part 2 & Inhumans (Finishes Phase 3). As it stands, this is the line up.
This film, Age of Ultron manages to somehow promote, hint or grant us viewers, Easter Eggs for almost every single film in their Phase 3 Slate. Although these were woven into the storyline quite neatly, I felt that by the end of the film, the film ended with an Anticlimax. Well, at least for me and a few of my friends. I just felt like something was missing and I needed more. A lot of details were left out which were either glossed over or never explained at all (will probably be explained in a movie tie-in comic [But I don't read comics] in which you would need to read to have a few questions answered) and I also felt that some elements of the film were rushed. I thought Ironman was not going to be Ironman after Ironman 3!? However, with that said, the pacing of the film was soo relentless, the 141 minutes (2hrs and 21mins) did not feel like it at all. To be fair, if they just made it a 3hr movie, I don't think anyone would have cared. I surely wouldn't have.

But the biggest question of them all is, 'Is this film better than the first one?' As I stated once in my review for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, it is human nature to compare. We do it all the time. Sometimes we do not even realise we do it. And people will compare a Marvel film with a Marvel film whether or not it is in the same universe or not or they will compare comic book movie to comic book movie. I gurantee you, people will compare Ant-Man to Age of Ultron and Fantastic 4 to Ant-Man and Age of Ultron. To answer this question, I will say this. Had you watched this film first, there is an absolute guarantee that this film is the BEST marvel movie you have ever seen in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (dependant on how you feel about The Winter Soldier). Had you watched the first Avengers film afterwards, you'd feel like, "Meh, it was really good, but I've kinda seen it all before!". Now, I'm not sure if this is the feeling of fatigue from the onslaught of comic book movies, almost 3 a year, but I did not leave the cinema thinking, "DAMN, THAT FILM WAS EXCELLENT, I NEED TO SEE IT AGAIN!!!". But with Captain America: the Winter Soldier, I did. This could well be down to expectations, I had already set from before the film started, but we will see what people think once they have seen it and if this film will top the Box Office numbers the first Avengers made. $1.518 BILLION!!! I mean, everything about the movie is great. I was only being nit-picky earlier. If anything, this movie is most definitely on parr with the first film. The fight scenes and teamwork were phenomenal. But what would we have expected from Joss? I mean, in Whedon We Trust, Right? RIGHT!!

Go watch it!

P.S. There is nothing after the credits finish rolling!

Friday, 3 April 2015

(film review) - Fast & Furious 7

Fast and Furious 7. Yes, 7! There has been 7 films in vein of speedy cars, daring heists and street fights under the banner, 'Fast', 'Furious' or an amalgam of them both. And to think, who would have even thought this franchise would amount to 7 movies. I'm pretty sure Vincent didn't see this one coming. And having done all these films over a number of years, the stars who brought this together have grown a bond with one another, so with the passing of Paul Walker, mid - shoot, you can only imagine how special this film is to them and the many many fans who adore the franchise.
Where the director and studio were in two minds about cancelling the film altogether, they decided to go ahead and complete the movie after their short break and what we got, was a very entertaining and decent film.

Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and his family are attacked very close to home forcing him to retaliate against the previous movies antagonist's older brother Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) after their last family outing. He is a Ghost. You don't find him, he finds you. As the attack leaves a family member dead, Dom and the gang rally up to pull off a daring heist to capture the ghost and eliminate him with the help of Frank Petty (Kurt Russell) and Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson). Pretty straight forward, right? Yup, nothing more to it.

You couldn't have expected anything more or anything too intricate about FF7 as these films have never been story driven (No pun intended), as such. But, with that said, over the years, it hasn't always been about cars and car racing like how it was back in the day. With the seemingly seem less call back and inclusion of Tokyo Drift (a film everyone tries to forget) James Wan effortlessly makes the insertion of this bad egg film, seem somewhat noteworthy and gives it (partially - I might add) new life and credibility.

You get the same gimmicks from the previous two films (and why not, they have been killing it in the box office, right?), humour, insane and practically impossible feats and stunts, eye candy for men (if cars weren't enough, right?) and brawls like none other. Yes, there will be bits where you think, "Come off it", "Yep, that is some bullsh*t" and "No f*cking way is that possible", but it is all aprt of the F&F fun. Nothing too over the top (haha), as far as F&F goes and nothing too underwhelming. Fast Cars, Explosions, Comedy & Family.
However to some this film up. You get ultimately what you got in the previous outings but with the death of Paul Walker, they amicably weave his departure from the series nicely which doesn't capitalise or force the issue. A tribute, if you will, to a great character in a great series. Time for Fast And Furious...In space!