Monthly Archives: July 2013

The World’s End

So it’s here the third film in the Cornetto Trilogy (this one is mint by the way). Edgar Wright has a big job on his hand following the massive success of Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. So will this film measure up?

The World’s End is about five friends who’ve grown apart since their teenage years. Gary (Simon Pegg) tries to reunite the gang (Nick Frost, Paddy Considine, Martin Freeman and Eddie Marsan) to complete their mammoth pub crawl from their youth which they failed to finish all twelve stops. Old tensions between the group and Gary start to resurface just as they realise the town from their childhood has something strange going on.

I made a big mistake before watching this film. I watched Hot Fuzz only a few hours earlier. Spurred on by the brilliance of that film I perhaps raised my expectations too high. The World’s End is not a bad film, but it’s not a classic like Hot Fuzz or Shaun of the Dead.

I admire the film for allowing it to be different. There are darker, grown up themes throughout the film as Gary tries to relive his teenage glory days as things have never gotten better since those days. Gary is not a likeable character-and he’s not meant to be either. He’s selfish, manipulative and doesn’t think about what he’s saying. His character is more outlandish than the rest of the gang. It’s good to see Pegg in this type of role and I like the way they have switched around Pegg and Frost’s characters. Frost’s Andrew playing the straight man to Pegg’s obnoxious Gary.

It does seem to take its time getting to the laughs. Whereas Shaun and Hot Fuzz delivers plenty of laughs and quotable lines, The World’s End takes its time setting up the characters and their backstories as the meet up again. Which is fine, but the start is mostly laughter free as you’re waiting for the jokes to begin. This becomes a bit of a drag until the action arrives. When Gary and co realise what they are up against, then the film begins to up the pace and the laughs come more freely.

It’s a talented cast they’ve got together, fans of the previous films will recognise many faces. As the main gang, Pegg and Frost are good as always, Paddy Considine, Martin Freeman and Eddie Marsan round out the group perfectly. the five do convince as old friends who haven’t seen each other for a while and are a bit suspicious as to why Gary has arranged this. Considine in particular is strong as Steven, fighting Gary for love interest Sam played by Rosamund Pike. Pike does well in her role and is more of a rounded character then Liz in Shaun of the Dead. She perhaps is more underused towards the end but then this is a film, in essence about the main five friends and their relationship with each other,

There is much to enjoy in this film. The fight scenes are well executed and funny. I enjoyed the darker moments the film occasionally touch upon. And I thought the ending was great, not a cop-out like most films. However if you do see this film, do yourself a favour and not watch the other two Cornetto films hours beforehand. Otherwise you draw comparisons which the film can’t help but come up short. Try and see the film with a fresh mind on its own terms.

Rating 3.5/5-fun and different, but not up to the standard of previous instalments

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The East

This is the third project from writer/producer/ actor Brit Marling and her second collaboration with director  Zal Batmanglij.

Former FBI agent Sarah (Brit Marling) now works as an agent for a private firm. She is sent undercover to spy on an eco-terrorist group called The East lead by Benji (Alexsander Skarsgard) and Izzy (Ellen Page). However she soon finds herself sympathising with the enemy and find her loyalties being tested.

One of the film’s failings is that although the characters are interesting we don’t get too deep into them and I’m not sure I cared about most of their reasons for committing the acts they do. The most sympathetic character is Toby Kebbell (from tv series Black Mirror best episode –The Entire History of You) as Doc, whose motives for joining The East  are heartbreaking.

I also found the character of Sarah a bit hard to figure out (which I suppose is good for a corporate spy). I guess I wanted to see what happened in her past to make her choose this career. Her attraction to leader Benji is also underwhelming. It’s odd becuase both actors are fine in their roles with Skarsgard a charismatic (and hot) leader but the chemistry between them is a bit flat. I wasn’t sure it was enough to contemplate Sarah switching sides. Once again Ellen Page shows she’s a great actress but she seems a bit wasted in her role of Izzy depsite a few good scenes. Although Marling is fine in the main role of Sarah at times I wondered if it would been better to switch Page and Marling’s roles? After all who would expect the youthful Page of being a corporate spy?

Then there’s the ending. I thought the film would end with more of a punch. Instead it feels like a compromise. Although its different then going for the usual Hollywood ending, I was disapointed when the ending wasn’t as explosive or angry as I hoped for.

The East doesn’t feel as inspiring as it should be or as clever as it hopes to be. Although it was engaging while it was on screen it doesn’t linger in the mind long after leaving the cinema, which considering the subjects the film hopes to inspire, is unfortunate.

However the message about our environment is admirable and trying to promote discussion is always good, and it is thrilling while you’re watching it. One to watch on dvd.

Rating 3/5-Triple Threat Brit Marling is one talent to watch out for in the future.

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Pacific Rim

Finally Guillermo del Toro new film has reached our screens.

Sometime in the near future Earth has been attacked by Kaijus- giant aliens who have come through a portal on the Pacific floor wrecking our cities. To fight back we have invented giant robots called Jaegers that are manned by two pilots who sync their brians together to help control the machines. Although initally doing well, the Kaijus are getting stronger so Commander Stacker Pentecost (Idris Elba), brings in washout pilot Raleigh Becket (Charlie Hunnam) to help turn things around in our favour. He then strikes a connection with fellow pilot wannabee Mako Mori (Rinko Kiluchi). Do they have what it take to take on the Kaijus and save Earth?

Who wouldn’t appreciate giant monsters and giant robots battling to the death, and they certainly don’t disapoint. Del Toro gives us some of the best action scenes of the year as cities are brutelly destroyed. The first half of the film is good as we’re introduced to the war and it’s damaged pilots, but it really steps up a gear when the attacks start again halfway through and kicks the film into proper action.

The Jaegers are impressive to look at and the main one Gipsy Danger certainly causes a lot of damage but I would have liked to have seen some more of the other Jaegers in action. I especially thought the three armed one powered by triplets sounded great but we don’t get to see enough of it.

There are some nice scenes between Becket and Mori as they bond and talk about their past experiences. Both characters are well drawn, and Mori proves she can hold her own in a fight against the boys. However I felt that half the time Mori  seemed to be there for the men to protect/become inspired by. She is also the only female character of any importance in this film, more female characters in general would have be great.

Idris Elba (aka Stringer Bell, aka Luther, aka one of the coolest men alive) brings power and sense of authority to his role as well as a sensative side. He also brings gravatas to lines such as “Today we are cancelling the apocolypse”. The supporting characters were good, I had soft spot for the Herc Hansen and Chuck Hansen, the Aussie father and son team who show more affection for their dog then to each other (though I can’t blame them, their dog is cute!). Fans may recognise the younger Hansen- Robert Kazinsky- from True Blood, or for British fans he’s Sean Slater from Eastenders. The comic relief duo of the scientists played by Burn Gorman and Charlie Day start off annoying but find their groove later in the film. There is also a great small part from long term del Toro collaborator Ron Perlman.

It’s great to see that this film has a lot of international characters in it, considering it is meant to be the whole of the Earth in peril not just America. It’s also fun to see how many British actors you can spot in the film.

Unfortunatly I felt the ending could have had more of an impact, I  thought at one point they might go for a more daring route but then chicken out at the last minuite to ensure any potential sequel could be made.

Compared to this year’s summer blockbusters it’s pretty good but not quite up to the standard of Man of Steel, Iron Man 3 or Star Trek Into Darkness.

Rating 3.5 /5-the best giant robot v.s giant monsters film this year -guaranteed!

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The Bling Ring

The fifth film directed by Sofia Coppola surrounds the true life story of 5 privedged, fame obsessed teenagers who burgled the homes of Hollywood stars, stealing clothes, jewellery and other personal items to emulate their idols. It’s a kind of black comedy/crime drama, where the victims include Lindsay Lohan and Orlando Bloom.

We follow the teens as they talk about celebrities, start their first attempts at breaking and entering and how a quick look on Google escalates into several break ins into Paris Hilton’s house. Fair play to Hilton for making a cameo and allowing Coppola and co to film in her actual house.

It can be hard to set a story around characters that you know aren’t going to be likeable-the closest we get is insecure, new kid Marc (Israel Broussard) who is desperate to belong. However the story itself is so interesting that this isn’t a problem. Coppola’s films tend to centre around lost girls (and boy in this case) and these teenagers are no exceptions. These characters base their own identities around celebrities, looking good and what can make them famous. Although I don’t have much sympathy for them it is sad that they think that this is all there is to life.

Coppola has assembled a great cast. Emma Watson plays Nikki, a self obsessed home schooled girl whose’s mother teaches lessons based on The Secret. Nikki is based on Alexis Neiers, and anyone who has seen Neiers in her reality show Pretty Wild on E! (no just me?) knows that Watson’s performance is spot on. Watson impresses with a role thats a world away from her Harry Potter days. With this kind of verssatility Watson is destined to go far.   I even think Watson could be in with a best supporting actress nod.

The lesser known actors are also great, especually Katie Chang as the ringleader Rebecca and Broussard as the insecure Marc. The other actresses fade into the background a bit more but in group scenes the cast play well off each other.

Coppola seems to be growing in confidence with each film. There are some great sequences in the film, such as the break in to Audrina Patridge’s house, done in one wide scale shot as we seem them go through the entire house. It’s as if we are outside the house watching this happen (like one of these celebrity obsessed teens). The film successfully opens up debate about todays obsession with celebrity without blugoning us over the head with any message. Coppola just allows the story to speak for itself.

Rating 4/5-Sofia Coppola’s most accomplished film yet.

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Happy Birthday To Me!

mykindofmovie is one year old today! Its hard to believe it’s been a year since I first started this blog but one year on I’ve published 56 posts, got over 50 followers and 4 award nominations.

I started this blog becuase I enjoy writing and I love watching films. I can also be in my own head too much sometimes so I like having this blog to get my thoughts in order and give me something to concentrate on.

So a big thank you to everyone who has followed, liked or commented on this blog. Sometimes you wonder if anyone is going to bother reading what you’ve written so it means a lot that people take the time to look at my posts. Thanks!

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Glee Star Cory Monteith Dies Age 31

I was woken up this morning by a text from a friend of mine-a fellow gleek-informing me of actor Cory Monteith’s death. Monteith played Finn Hudson in Glee since it’s first episode.  His body was discovered Saturday in a hotel in Canada. As yet the cause of death is unknown but it is not treated suspiciously. Moneith was only 31 years old.

Me and Glee have had a frustrating relationship, with me wanting to pull my hair out at time. But Moneith was excellent as jock Finn, a flawed young guy trying to find his way in the world. My heart goes out to his family, friends, castmates and his girlfriend Lea Michele.

R.I.P Cory Monteith.

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Now You See Me

I was hugely anticipating this film. Magicians using their skills to pull of crimes. It’s a great idea. But does it live up to my expectations?

Now You See Me is a crime caper following a group of magicians called The Four Horsemen who use their stage show to rob a bank. They come to the attention of FBI and Interpol who start investigating them and asking how four street performers could suddenly have the money and knowledge to commit these crimes. Is there a fifth Horseman pulling the stings?

The best part of this film is  The Four Horsemen themselves, street magician J. Daniel Atlas (Jesse Eisenberg), escape artist and Atlas’ former assistant Henley Reeves (Isla Fisher), new magician Jack Wilder (Dave Franco), and mentalist Merritt McKinney (Woody Harrelson). The film starts off great as we are introduced to these characters, seeing their respective skills and them being brought  together to eventually perform in Vegas.

However overall Now You See Me is a mixed bag of tricks. Director Louis Leterrier has collected a great cast but fails to really use them effectively. The Four Horsemen are an intriguing bunch, unfortunately they get sidetracked in the film so we can follow Mark Ruffalo’s grumpy FBI agent Dylan Rhodes and Interpol detective Alma Dray (Melanie Laurent).  In supporting roles Michael Caine (as the Horsemen’s Vegas investor Arthur Tressler), and Morgan Freeman (as Thaddeus Bradley an ex magician who now reveals the secrets behind the magic) are reliably good as always but they don’t seem to have much to sink their teeth into.

The film starts off strong and The Horsemen’s tricks are involving but they do seem to get bigger and ridiculous as the film goes along, which goes for the film in general. Also a lot of their magic acts are spoiled in the trailers.

The film’s main problem is with the ending.  When you watch a magic trick you want to be blown away  by the performance wondering how the hell they did that and then be amazed by how simple and clever the revelation is about how it was all done. Here the film’s revelations just seem a bit ridiculous and relying a lot on blind luck.

It would have been a much more interesting film if we had been following The Four Horsemen as they perform their tricks while they wonder who they are actually working for. Considering the trailers seem to show the Four Horsemen as the main protagonists it’s a shame they are missing for great chunks of the film. Harrelson, Fisher, Franco and Eisenberg work well together bouncing off each other and light up the screen when they are performing their acts. There are hints at back stories for some of them but not enough for my liking. There is also a great fight scene involving Franco’s Jack, whose uses weapons such as card tricks and sleight of hand to evade capture of two FBI officers.

Perhaps it will be improved on repeated viewings and things might make more sense when you can go through and see how everything was done. However it’s not as good as films such as Christopher Nolan’s The Prestige (which  also starring Michael Caine).

Ratting  3/5

There was potentially a great film about these Four Horsemen but unfortunately this is only an  entertaining but average  one.

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