Hans Zimmer

Chappie Review

Robots are used in a real world application?  Some guy has thought of a new AI that is smarter than humans? Hardly an original concept.

That’s not really criticism of the film, however having a very common premise means that the movie should have something up its sleeve in order to make up for it.  We’ve seen this sort of movies before and as we get closer (probably) to the realization of human like AI, we will seemingly have to go through a lot more.  Although that doesn’t necessarily mean too much, or limit/hurt the possibilities, in this imagining of smart robots the movie doesn’t do anything new for the genre and probably doesn’t even do it any favors.

The plot is at the heart of any movie and when there is a problem with it, subsequently there is a problem with the whole film. Everything is sadly compromised by not having a good story, especially when there isn’t much in regard to action sequences, things that can get the levels of adrenaline high, or captivating performances but that is definitely not the case with Chappie.

The simple fact of the matter is that you can’t have a story with weak main characters that never establish themselves.  Not even Chappie, the robot itself hits the heights it should have as the sole focus of the movie.  I suppose it’s a case of putting all the eggs in the same basket, by choosing not to share the focus between Chappie and some other interesting characters that held important roles.   Furthermore the choice of villains and the rare appearances they make in order to suit the flow of the film are at the very least questionable, they are an aspect that should have been replaced with more sensible storytelling, even if that meant not having conventional bad guys.

Kudos to Hans Zimmer for once again providing a great music score, other than that just mediocrity all around.


Contemporary Sherlock Holmes part 2

If you haven’t read part 1, go ahead and do that, before you got through this one.

This time, we look at the theme of each of the three interpretations and how each of them was executed.

Firstly in Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes, the English director leaves his mark on both movies, making it look modern as far as tone and texture are concerned, despite of it set a long time ago.  The idea of Sherlock predicting the fight scenes and telling to us what will happen and then acting upon that, is one of the most unique features of the film, and it’s the one of the most entertaining for the viewer, differentiating it from what we are used to.  The fact that they changed it up in the second movie, enhances its effect, especially in the final fight sequence in “A Game of Shadows”.  Moreover the score is composed by the stupendous Hans Zimmer, who again encapsulates the essence of the story with his music.

In BBC’s Sherlock, the story is set in present London, instead of the late 18th century that it originally takes place in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s books.   However that doesn’t stop the creators, to base a lot of the episodes on books by altering them in order to suit the modern backdrop.  On the other hand some episodes are completely made up and still carry the same weight and quality.  Moreover one of the best aspects of the show is looking through the eyes and mind of Sherlock as he deducts through crime scenes or even when showing off.  We follow him closely whilst he reads people, situations and even in his mind palace, getting as close as we’ve ever been to the brilliant consulting detective.

Finally in Elementary, they take a more common route to put Holmes in the mix, it’s set in New York where Sherlock is a recovering drug addict and currently consulting for the NYPD.  Watson is a female character and the show assume that the audience will take a leap of faith and accept that she has the talent to become a detective overnight with Sherlock’s guidance.  The procedural cop theme and the 24 episodes a season, of which most are filler episodes with simple murder cases, don’t help.  Nevertheless some great story arcs, a very emotional and unstable Sherlock Holmes make it worthwhile.  Changing up what we’ve come to know about the characters that surround Sherlock is brave and a very common occurrence in the show, with a plethora of examples like: Watson, Lestrade, Mycroft and especially Irene Adler and Moriarty; something that manages to distinguish the show from its counterparts.

All and all, these are three great interpretations of the famous Sherlock Holmes and all more than rewarding for the fans, but Elementary has to settle for third place, as the other two fight for the throne.