It’s time to play the music, it’s time to light the lights…
It certainly is, The Muppets are back!Read More
As I mentioned in my “releasing this week” article on Friday, I was really looking forward to seeing this film. Again I’ve been taught that I’m better off keeping my expectations low.
It’s not that Alice in Wonderland is a bad film. Hehe, that’s probably my favourite phrase, I don’t like saying films are bad… but… Alice just wasn’t as brilliant as I wanted it to be. Then again I don’t know what I expected. I mean it looked good… and the story definitely seemed to follow the Alice canon… it just wasn’t as magical as I thought it would be. It wasn’t as fairytale or as wonder-filled as I thought it would be.
I think we could (and should) have spent more time with the Wonderland characters. There was all this stuff at the beginning that I just didn’t care about. I know you need a certain amount of exposition but it didn’t even really seem to tell us where she was coming from and seemed to go on for ages and then when we got to Wonderland we got introduced to a whole load of other characters but we never spent a lot of time with any of them.
In particular I was disappointed by the lack of Mad Hatter or even the White Rabbit, at least there was a bit of the Red Queen… Mostly the film seems to sweep through the supporting characters without giving them much of a chance to leave an impression. I didn’t hate the Alice character but she wasn’t half as much fun as the others so I would have liked more time with them.
Visually, it was beautiful but it wasn’t incredible. I’m starting to wonder if Avatar has spoiled things a bit. Certainly I didn’t feel like the 3D in this was up to much. It was more than you’d see in say, the Toy Story 3D adaptations, but it still wasn’t great. Also the Avatar world was beautiful but also so it was so immersive; in a way that Wonderland here is not…
…But I could be giving Avatar too much credit here as well. It’s entirely possible that Tim Burton just didn’t do that good a job with this. Actually I’m more inclined to believe that… he failed to make me care that much and it wasn’t weird enough to blow me away.
I will say this and I’m not sure if it’s really in its favour – I do think it’s suitable for children. It’s not dark like Burton’s other films. Maybe not for very young children, like those under 6, but certainly for other kids I would think it should be fine. There’s nothing in it that’s worse than what’s in the books, so if you’re fine with your kids hearing those kinds of stories then this will be grand.
I just don’t really know what to think of Tim Burton any more. I think he needs to stay with the fantastical type of stuff but leave the kids stuff behind. An adult version of Alice in Wonderland would have been a better choice for Burton and, I think, for the rest of his cast. I like to think it would have been a lot more engaging and we wouldn’t have gotten all tied up with PG storytelling we didn’t really need.
So, I’m not going to say don’t see it. I know there’s plenty people out there who’ll love it, and certainly bring your kids along. Don’t expect some twisted dark version of Alice, this isn’t what the film is.
This is one of those situations where I can’t really review this film as an average person. Fantastic Mr. Fox is Wes Anderson’s new film. I love Wes Anderson’s films. I can’t help it, there’s something about his films that just work for me. So I can only really review the film as a Wes Anderson fan, but I’ll try my best to think of how other people might see it… I can’t promise anything though!
To start. Fantastic Mr. Fox is based on a Roald Dahl novel, he of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The Witches fame. Well, he’s more than that really he’s a true cult novelist and he really is one of those people whose stories have touched millions (he sold over 100 million books) and when he died in 1990 the world really lost a unique talent. That said, I don’t think I’ve read Fantastic Mr. Fox. I’m not sure because some parts of it did seems familiar, but I really don’t remember… Actually I haven’t read that many of his books at all but I appreciate the ones I have read and in particular the impact he’s had on our culture.
But this isn’t Roald Dahl appreciation hour… back to the film. Wes Anderson’s style is all over this, of course he wrote the screenplay (with Noah Baumbach, his collaborator on The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou) so it was always going to be in his voice, as it were. But they aren’t his characters or his story so it’s a bit different from his other films. It isn’t as quietly sad as some of them, but it is touching nonetheless. There are the charming, quirky characters that you’d expect and there are the beautiful set scenes that you could frame and put on your wall. Actually I wondering if I could get one framed… hmm… will have to look into that.
When I think about it, Wes Anderson was probably a great choice to direct this film. I had been sceptical as I wasn’t sure what he was going to do with a children’s story. Watching it, I remembered that Roald Dahl wasn’t really a children’s novelist in the traditional sense of the phrase. He didn’t write stories about sweetness and light, he wrote stories to scare, disguist but also delight children. They were funny but they were dark, just like Wes Anderson’s films…
So if you like Wes Anderson then you should definitely go to the film. If you don’t know his films but you like Roald Dahl then you should definitely go to, I think it’s a worthwhile adaptation.
If you’re not familiar with either then I can’t be sure… it’s an interesting story and it’s beautifully told but it’s not entirely a kids film. The palette is somewhat muted so I don’t know if it will necessarily be that engaging for younger children. It would probably be better for kids who would read Roald Dahl novels in the first place – so more for 9-14 year olds.
It’ll be interesting to hear what adults think of the film… rottentomatoes.com reviews have all been positive so far, however there have only been 5 of them so hard to draw conclusions there. One thing they have been saying is that it’s nostalgic and elegent. I find all Wes Anderson films like that but I suppose it’s worth mention if you’re not familiar with him.
Another thing worth mentioning is that it’s filmed in stop-motion animation. I’m very accepting I guess, I don’t mind if a film is full disney style animation, photorealistic animation, cel-shaded animation, live action, stop motion, combination… whatever, I just like films and the stories they tell. I have seen some comments though, from people who don’t like the animation in Fantastic Mr. Fox. I think that’s a bit sad in the sense that someone would dislike a film just because of that… but then again each to their own. I don’t like watching dubbed films, so I guess that’s a hang up I have. Fortunately I can just watch the subtitles… Personally though, I thought the animation looked great, the detail was incredible, that’s another thing you get with a Wes Anderson film
Anyway, I really liked it and I hope you will too. I’m particularly interested in hearing from anyone who’s not familiar with Wes Anderson or Roald Dahl. Let me know what you think of it.
It’s been said before but I’ll say it again, Harry Potter is a phenomenon, both literary and cinematic. In terms of Irish box office, all of the films so far have been in the top 5 of their year… and this is a country where The Hangover is currently #1 for the year.
I actually don’t know if I’ve seen all the films but I do know that I read 5.5 of the books. I only got about half way through this particular book. I had enjoyed them but after the behemoth that was Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix I just couldn’t face another one. I really just thought that HPATOOTP was crying out for a good editor and I couldn’t read another one thinking the same thing. That said, I did know what happens in the end of Half-Blood Prince, a wikipedia vandal spoiled that one for me!
Personally, while I do think it’s a brillant story, I haven’t been that pushed on going to the films. They have been so close to the books that you don’t really need to see them, they are pretty much exactly as you imagine them so what’s the point. I’ll probably go along and see the next two though, just because I never got around to reading the last book. So it was with a certain lack of anticipation that I went along to the Savoy to see it at the Irish première…
… and about 3 hours later (there was a delay) I walked out thinking ok, that was how I imagined it. Which is not to say that I didn’t enjoy it but it seem a bit like… ok.
I really did enjoy it though, I thought it looked brillant and I really like how it was that bit darker. It was well balanced but if I had to criticise I’d say that it almost swept over things too quick… I’m not sure how, since it was 2 and a half hours long… but it did.
My word of warning would be that it is not a stand alone film. Harry Potter is absolutely a series and if you haven’t read the books or seen all the other films, then there really is no point in going. It will not make sense. I think that’s fair enough but I do wonder now if film really was the way to go… given how rushed some part of this one felt, and how they are splitting the last book into two films, perhaps they should have just made it a TV series spanning a few seasons?
Anyway I don’t have that much to say by way of critque to be honest! It was exactly what it said on the tin, the actors were the same as they’ve always been (ok, not amazing), as were the effects (excellent), and the score (suitably dramatic) so as it was a good story well told, I gave it an 8/10 on twitter. On further reflection I’m going to downgrade that to a 7.5, I’m taking that half a point off as it felt a bit like a placeholder film really…
I saw Night At The Museum 2 at a Saturday morning preview. It was early. Well, early for me. Fortunately this meant that the theatre was not full, so I could sit in the middle of the theatre AND away from the families, but still not too close to the screen. Score.
It wasn’t really worth it though.
I honestly can’t remember when I saw the first Night At The Museum. I think it might have been on the plane but I really don’t know. Actually I remember so little about it that I think I might have liked it, at least a bit. I mean I don’t remember hating it and to do like Ben Stiller…
So, I thought I’d go see Night At The Museum 2 anyway. I thought it might jog my memory. It didn’t. But I do know what I thought of this one.
Ah no, it’s not that bad. It’s fine. It’s just not really that exciting. I can’t help but think that with the cast it has it really should have been excellent… and it wasn’t. Not by a long shot. Ok, Hank Azaria was great as usual, and Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson were both perfectly comfortable in their roles. Everybody else was pretty much in the background for me.
Plotwise and actionwise it just wasn’t up to much… I just kept thinking that it desperately needed to be in 3D. I mean ok, if Scar 3D taught me anything it’s that 3D can’t save a crappy film. But I do think it could help a middling movie, and that’s what this is. I don’t even think there was much in it for kids. Ok, I’m not a kid, but I’ve seen a lot of kids films and I always got the impression that they needed to be bright and funny and action filled, they need characters that kids can relate to. There’s not much of that here really.
The best thing about the film was the Smithsonian itself. Actually it was like watching a long ad for the Smithsonian… I’m definitely going to go to the Smithsonian if I ever get to the US. I really think 3D could have helped here too… the exhibits could have really come to life then!
All in all, it was a bit meh. On the other hand I did think the museum looked fantastic and I did laugh a couple of times. I wasn’t bored by it so I’m giving it a half decent rating…
I’m all about 3D… now, I can’t actually see it properly… or at least I haven’t sat in good seats for it in a while… but I really appreciate film-makers creating this new genre. I was off at the side of the theatre for this one so the 3D didn’t look that amazing but judging by the “Wow”‘s and the “Whoa”‘s from the kids in the middle, it looked fantastic there.
But is Monsters vs. Aliens a good film?
Yeah. I enjoyed it.
Then again, I enjoy all films. I can say this though, while I enjoyed it at the time, it didn’t stay with me at all. Two days later and I’m having trouble remember what the characters were like at all. That might have to do with the fact that I have a bit of a headache at the moment, but I doubt it. It has more to do with the fact that the characters weren’t particularly well defined. It didn’t bother me that much though, it’s a kid’s film so it was only about 94 mins long. Which is probably a bit long for a kid’s film to be honest.
If I were to criticise it I would say that it was a bit glossy. Not that you want gritty in a kid’s film. I guess I mean it was a bit teflon coated, it slides in through the eyes, slips through the brain and out the…. mouth I guess?… when you tell people about it later. OF kind of like B.O.B. and his ball – you’ll get it if you watch.
Anyway what’s good about it? Seth Rogen’s character B.O.B. is very funny. It’s a funny film, in a light way. Also I really appreciated the Dr. Strangelove references. I hope war rooms really do look like that.
All in all there isn’t that much to say about the film. It’s grand ol’ romp with a few odd looking creatures and a giant woman and if you have to go see a kid’s film you could see worse. I wouldn’t particularly recommend it if you don’t have to see a kid’s film though. I’m sure there are better films out there – Watchmen, Gran Torino and Marley & Me, to name three. I’m still gonna give a decent rating though for what it is, it was better than Bolt 3D anyway.
I know I gave it 7/10 on twitter but that was when I was walking out of the theatre, I’m downgrading it a little now on reflection.Read More
In a fit of honesty I’m going to admit it… I don’t really remember much of the old Indiana Jones films. I think Indiana Jones is cool but honestly, I really don’t remember what happens in any of the films and I never really watch them when they’re on TV. There, I said it, I’m not really a fan. With that out of the way, on to the review…
I was looking forward to Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, I was quite disappointed with Iron Man and it’s going to be a while till a new Transformers movie (yay!) so I was hoping Indiana Jones would do the business… It kind of does, I liked it anyway, it was a big bag of popcorn fun but it was no Transformers, no siree.
Anyway, to be honest, there isn’t that much I can say about Indiana Jones I think. I’m sure you all know the story by now, an intrepid professor who globe-trots around the world stumbles into trouble and then takes off to try and solve the great mystery. Unfortunately for him he keeps bumping into people who want him dead.
Reviews on the whole have been quite mixed I think, quite a few people don’t seem to like the end, not the very end… the other bit… and it’s really put them off the film. Personally, I’d read a good bit about crystal skulls a few years ago from a variety of sources so I was fairly familiar with where the legend goes so sure, no bother. Also I’m ready to forgive all kinds of outlandish stuff and even inconsistencies as long as it’s entertaining and Indiana Jones fits the bill there.
What did I like about it? I liked the relationship between Marion, Mutt and Indy, I thought that was done well. Shia LaBeouf was great… and I’m not just saying that because he was in Transformers. Not really sure what Indy’s buddy was doing there (the guy at the start, I forget his name) but sure whatever… I don’t really let surplus characters annoy me too much either. There were also a good few great action scenes, some people were saying it looked over CGI’d, personally I didn’t notice that much and apparently there was less than in the usual blockbuster so I’ve no complaints there.
Oh, I never commented on Harrison Ford! He totally still has it.
Anyway, I’m waffling again… final score – a solid 7/10.Read More