Movie

Mad Max: Fury Road-Review

It’s madness throughout. The movie is one single, never ending action sequence, from start to finish, one simply cannot take a break from this breath-taking spectacle. If you thought you were in for a ride, you were right, but it’s probably a bigger and more intense ride than you expected. There is not much in the way of story depth, character development or dialogue, after all there is no time for that nonsense, the images on the screen do all the talking by themselves.

Amazing and spectacular are the words best suited to describe the filming, editing and soundtrack of this two hour enthralling ride. One can only admire the work that was put into it. It’s so masterfully created, that the results are stunning.

George Miller is back at the helm of the Mad Max “revisit” as he calls it, (it can be thought as a reboot or sort of sequel, it all depends on opinion) directing Mad Max for the fourth time in as many movies in the franchise. A character who has to be his greatest creation, set in a dystopian Australia where civilization has collapsed, and all that is left is a desert ruled by crazy Wastelander gangs that are almost as mad as Max himself.

The story, (some might argue that it doesn’t exist) is linear with no real depth, there is no getting to know the characters, no acting masterclass nor is there an introduction to the scenery either. However that doesn’t matter at all since the brush strokes by Miller are supremely executed, the way he brings the most lifeless desert to life on the screen, is to die for. All you can do is try not blink because you will most likely miss something exploding or destructing. Just enjoy the ride through the ruins of civilization.

I can spend a lot of time singing the praises for the production of the movie, probably as long as you will be wondering how they managed to film all those brilliant action scenes, but I would rather go on to recommend it to anyone that enjoys a well-made action film, some might even call it an Action masterpiece, I will leave that for you to decide.

8.5/10

Mortdecai-Review

The story might be absurd, the situations that Mortdecai finds himself in might be a bit dumb but that doesn’t take away the jokes and the laughs from the film. After all it is a comedy and if it does one thing right, it’s providing laughs or at least chuckles throughout.

Some viewers will probably find it funnier than others, but it’s hard to believe that anyone could watch this movie and come out completely unentertained. Paul Bettany and Ewan McGregor are fantastic, they provide some authentic British vibe and their chemistry with Johnny Depp brings out the most out of the movie. The verbal back and forth between them never seizes to amuse as does the impeccable acting by Depp, who once again proves that he is the master in portraying peculiar personas.

The narrative however is always up in the air, it never manages to get a grip of reality, and very similarly to Mortdecai it always progresses without taking into consideration what will follow and how it will build on what preceded. The main focus of the film becomes apparent in its very early stages and that is to amuse the audience and it does exactly that.

A lighthearted and amusing movie.

6.5/10

Gone Girl-Review

Directed by the master of suspenseful thrillers, David Fincher once again pushes the story to the boundaries, while maintaining the highest possible level of character development in a movie he manages to keep the audience on the edge of their sit with his ability to shock and surprise.  Fincher didn’t make everything happen on his own of course, he was given a great story by Gillian Flynn who wrote both novel and screenplay, and he manages to use the emotion and atmosphere that is depicted in the story and paint clear pictures through filmmaking that mirror reality.  He expertly executes his vision of the narrative and comes out with a stunning result that leaves viewers with agape mouths.

Moreover in addition to Fincher’s masterclass, Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross provide the best possible music score, a disturbingly haunting composition which complements the film’s theme to the maximum and enhances the tension in every scene.

Rosamund Pike gives a fascinating performance that is part of the reason why by the end of the movie everyone is left in awe, along with Ben Affleck’s honest and underrated performance and a great effort by the whole cast bring this complex story to life.

The movie takes us on a thrilling ride, benefiting from Fincher’s genius and ability to take us into the deeper ends of the story challenging us to follow it as it unravels.  It allows the viewer to grasp the journey to its fullest, to understand the characters and their actions and maybe even relate, to some degree at least.

A must watch, David Fincher piece of art

8.5/10

The Pleasure of Cinema Popcorn and the Displeasure it causes

Everybody loves to eat something while watching a movie, whether that’s popcorn, sweets, nachos, nuts, anything at all that will keep your hands and jaw occupied to help calm the nerves and suspense that is transferred by the film on show.

However, even though the pleasure of that eating process while at the movie theatre is notable and part of a lot of people’s routine at the movies, it is rather irritating for others, who cannot ignore the sound of crashing popcorns and nachos, and end up focusing on the thing that’s annoying them the most rather than the movie itself. Not to mention how bad it is when someone is near the bottom of the popcorn bag and starts to scrape those last few bits.

The cinema, becomes a house of pain, for the better part of 15 minutes (the average time one takes to finish all the snacks they bought*) the anticipated enjoyment of the movie becomes a mixture of awesome sound effects and the sound of jaws smashing popcorn.

In the rare occasion that I choose to indulge in the popcorn sensation I end up baffled as to why I choose to tolerate the repercussions that come with it, popcorn being stuck in your teeth, taking hours of tongue work to get them out, and the mere fact that whilst chewing it makes it difficult to hear and make out the dialogue in the movie.

The prize for worst snack though, goes to nachos, due to their ability to augment their annoyance status by adding a smell to the sound which I am sure no-one other than the consumer enjoys.

*not by any means a result of research and statistical study

Kingsman: The Secret Service-Review

I’ve read and heard a lot of opinions where people praise the movie because as they say it tried to, and succeeded in deconstructing the spy film-genre. That is not true, it takes all the aspects that one would anticipate to see in a secret agent movie, action, twists, fancy gadgets, interesting heroes and villains, and mixes them up in an exaggerated way, which we’ve witnessed more and more in recent years, yet without breaking the mould.

Its strongest suit, is the ability to make the audience laugh continuously throughout the whole duration of the film. The exaggeration of every situation and the utilisation of aspects found in both British and American spy movies, allow for a plethora of amusing moments. The story is set in England, hence the British element is more distinct and that works in favour of getting the audience to embrace the narrative due to it resembling a very well-known secret agent; a certain James Bond.

Great cast that complement the story massively, yet the most important member of cast and crew is the director, Matthew Vaughn. His projects in the last few years have all been very entertaining, his writing and directing makes movies a thrilling ride and he always manages to the get the most out of the story, Kingsman is no different.

All and all, an action-comedy that has a very strong comical attributes that set it apart from a lot of other feel-good spy movies that have fallen short time and time again in recent years.

Hilarious and very enjoyable, just not as innovative and amazing as some people make out.

7/10

Whiplash-Review

Nobody was expecting it to be this good, even though there were signs that it could have been decent. I have watched it for a total of three times up to now, first time being back in 12th of December (credit to Odeon Screen Unseen, which brought it a month early and half price in the UK) and it gets me every time how it portrays the misinterpretation of people’s actions and how we, as human beings perceive others in the way that suits us better, that allows us to sleep better at night.

The narrative is very simple, yet fascinating, we engage in an exploration of reality-bound yet intriguing characters backdropped by a musical setting, it could have been any setting, yet the choice just amplifies the feeling of intensity in every scene. It’s a world, brought to life by mesmerizing acting. J.K. Simmons is sublime, I knew he was going to get at least an Oscar nod, the moment I left the cinema; majestic performance.

One of my favourite movies of 2014. A fascinating story of what a combination of hard work, belief in thyself and being pushed to the limit of your abilities can help achieve. Some people can handle it and manage to thrive while some others cannot, and they simply implode.

A truly captivating experience.

8.5/10

Why 3D cinema is to be disliked

There are a lot of people who do not like watching movies that come out at the cinema in 3D. I know there are some that don’t have a problem with it, or even like it, however I disliked it from the first one that I watched in 3D at the movie theater, that film being Avatar.

Maybe I didn’t realise it at the moment but after watching a lot more 3D movies, I’ve come to the conclusion that 9 out of 10 times it doesn’t work. I know that 1 time out of 10 it might produce incredible results and an amazingly immersive experience like Gravity, but that’s quite rare.

When it doesn’t work it ends up having a negative effect on the movie, with loss of brightness being the worst aspect. Not to mention that the position of your seat has an impact on the picture, with seats in certain areas you will experience loss of colour. This is very irritating especially in fast paced action sequences because it becomes very difficult to make out exactly what is happening. The picture becomes so dark it requires the complete focus of the eyes, sometimes resulting in straining them so much headaches occur.

I prefer to avoid all the antipathetic effects of 3D, thus, whenever given the choice I opt to watch films in the more enjoyable, conventional two dimensions instead.

Movie Review-Avengers: Age of Ultron

The movie is an example of how a good narrative and a good script can make a huge difference, instead of using the most stupid of excuses and weak story to build a movie on (See: The Avengers 2012).  It’s not just a big budget mess, it’s a well thought out film.

It is the first time that the incredible actors that portray these superheroes have been utilised.  They are given a handful of real, serious, meaningful and emotionally filled scenes that have allowed them to show what kind of performance they are capable of producing and also allow the Avengers to manifest some character, a personality that has been missing all this time.  After all that is what separates this movie from what has preceded it (the last Avengers movie and the standalone ones).

Furthermore the movie is funnier than most comedies.  I would go as far as to say that it is probably the funniest of all the marvel movies, with most if not all the funny witticisms that the characters attempt, to be successful.  The visual along with the sound effects were simply stunning, surely an Oscar nod is in order.  That CGI…so much better than the first instalment.

One thing that was quite annoying though, was the continuous use of the fake Russian/Dracula accent, which I know is common in many movies.  However it becomes very irritating, especially when these characters speak between them, but still choose to speak English instead of their mother language.  It would have been much better if they just did the latter and we were shown subtitles.  And don’t get me started on Andy Serkis doing a British-fake Russian combo accent.

In a nutshell, It’s up to par with the best marvel movie to date (X-men: Days of Future Past) and it’s by far the best set in the Avengers universe.

7.5/10

Most anticipated 2015

5. Hannibal-Season 3

The high point in which Season 2 ended.  It was Mads Mikkelsonthe most thrilling of finales and even though we thought we already knewwhat was going to happen, based on the flash-forward we were shown in the first episode of the season, it appeared that we didn’t know half of it.  It’s interesting to see what Hannibal does next as the ending last year made it feel like the end of a chapter.  The biggest unanswered question is who is chasing Hannibal this season? if you catch my drift.  Looking forward to some gory gore.  “Mmm…delicious”…and that.

4. True Detective-Season 2

This one doesn’t need much explaining.  Amazing first season true-detectivewith the best possible cast, something that seems to be continued, even though it will be hard to replicate McConaughey’s sensational performance. we can only hope for another equally good season, but if it’s even half as good as the first we are in for another suspenseful nail biter.

3. The Hateful Eight

A Quentin Tarantino project that was apparently not gonna see the hateful eightthe light of day; after the script got leaked it seemed that Tarantino had decided to put it back on the shelf.  However after the pleadings of fans Quentin will do as the favor.  No doubt this will be another one to add to the collection of amazing movies that we have become accustomed to from the genius writer/director. If it gets released this year.

2. Mr. Sherlock

I don’t know much about this movie, other mr holmesthan Holmes is old and not at his best intellectually nor physically, and I don’t want to nor do I need to know anything else.  The mere thought, that I will have the opportunity to see Sir Ian McKellen portray one of my favorite characters feels me with joy and excitement. Maybe he will manage to win that Academy Award that has evaded him for so long.

1. Star Wars-The Force Awakens

The most obvious of choices.  However I reckon this doesn’t require much explaining, does it? Lightsabers. Blasters. Space adventures. The Force. John Williams’ music. Everything we have come to adore.  —   Need I say more?                                    Indulge:                                                                  star wars the force awakens

Movie Review-A Most Violent Year

This is a smart, gripping and thought provoking film that slipped under the radar. Oscar Isaac gives a simplistic yet great performance as Abel Morales, one that brings memories of Al Pacino as Michael Corleone, and that is the biggest complement I can give him. Supported of course by the amazing Jessica Chastain.

Abel is the most intriguing of characters, even though driven by success, he maintains his integrity and never turns away from his moral compass. We follow him in a small part of his journey to success, waiting to see whether the tension will get to him, making him change his righteous ways. His personality is typified in what he says: “The result is never in question for me. Just what path do you take to get there?”.

Smart directing, strong reality-bound characters, compelling dialogues and a solid script, allow us to feel the fear and alarm that fill Abel and his wife, in his efforts for prosperity.

Be warned though, the movie is slow paced and not your regular action packed Hollywood movie. Still it remains riveting and intriguing throughout.

8/10