Its been 12 years since the last Kong movie (which is like 1000 years in Hollywood’s remake/reboot happy world) so now the world is given Kong: Skull Island. And as Kong is due to battle Godzilla in 2019 Godzilla vs Kong, this Kong is bigger than we have ever seen him before. But does bigger ultimately equal better?
As the Vietnam war is coming to an end a group of scientists, soldiers and (somehow) a photojournalist are sent on a secret journey to a mysterious island. When they get there they are quickly met by a gigantic ape (guess who!) and he is not pleased to see them. However Kong is the least of the problems as the island is full of many dangerous creatures that may prevent them from ever leaving Skull island.
Considering I was not particularly bothered by another King Kong movie Kong:Skull Island is way more fun then it has any right to be. Unlike 2012’s Godzilla, Kong: Skull Island has a lighter tone allowing some laughs to come in and makes sure we see plenty of Kong from the off. This newer, bigger Kong looks great thanks to the special effects with much attention made to small details such as the palm of his hands that really works. The various creatures are also respectively cool and/or creepy. Those who have arachnophobia like me should watch out for the giant spider scene!
The human characters are perhaps not as engaging as they should be considering the talent involved but neither are they such a drag that you’re hoping the islands inhabitants would east them already. Maybe cutting a few characters out would have helped give the film more focused. Also a little more depth should have gone into Tom Hiddlestone and Brie Larson’s characters to really make them stand out, but I’m mostly relieved that Larson has broken the best actress Oscar winners curse of following a win with a dreadful genre movie (Halle Berry and Charlize Theron, I’m looking at you). The most memorable character is John C. Reilly’s former soldier whose been stuck on the island since the 40’s and may have lost some of his marbles but provides a lot of the movie’s humour.
The move away from the 30s setting to the 70s setting is a risk that pays off as we’re viewing Kong in a new way and through the eyes of characters who’ve seen the horror of the second world war and the Vietnam war. The movie tries to draw more parallel and references between these experiences which is not always successful but at least it tries something different. Its more successful as an entertaining action/monster movie than when it takes itself too seriously.
Rating 3.5/5 – not a classic but a fun monster mash adventure for a night at the cinema
Another week, another Oscar contender. Directed by Lenny Abrahamson and written by Emma Donoghue (adapted from her own best selling book) Room has four Academy Award nominations including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Actress. But is it really an award worthy film?
Jack (Jacob Tremlay) has lived in Room all his life. He spends his days with his beloved Ma (Brie Larson) and the only other person that ever comes to Room is Old Nick (Sean Bridges). Jack is content with his life in Room, but just after his fifth birthday Ma reveals that there’s a world outside Room, one they need to get back to.
I read the book Room a couple of years ago and I’m pleased to say that the film has done the book justice. Donoughue has successfully managed to recreate the world of her novel and the characters of Jack and Ma feel as real on the screen as they did on the page. Having a dark subject matter seen through the eyes of a small child is difficult to pull off, so praise must go to director Abrahamson for getting the best performance from his young actor.
As for Tremlay himself, he has the perfect mixture of childlike wonder, niavity and his relationship with Larson’s Ma breaks your heart. Considering he’s in practically every scene it’s a lot of pressure on such young shoulders but he gives an authentic performance as a child who has grown up in such extream and difficult circumstances. As for Larson, there isn’t much to say that hasn’t been said by everyone else, she’s brilliant and fully deserving of the many awards she has won already. Surely if she doesn’t win an Oscar it will be a travesty? Her Ma is full of strength, bravery but also a vunerable and slightly damaged person.
Considering I was either in tears or on the verge of tears during the entire film, room is can be difficult to watch, probably even more difficult for those who have kids, young or older. So the subject matters of abduction, rape and imprssionment will be difficult for some to watch. But if you do watch it Room is a rewarding movie that will stay with you long after you leave the cinema.
Rating 4.5/5 -an emotional and ultimately uplifting movie about human bravery and strength
It seems everyone is talking about Amy Schumer, whether its upstaging Kimye by ‘falling’ on the red carpet or her controversial sketches on Inside Amy Schumer. Then last year she even wrote, produced and starred in her own movie. But can she make the successful leap from TV to movies?
Amy (Amy Schumer) is a magazine writer who enjoys sleeps around and drinks too much. And she’s happy with her life, until she meets Aaron (Bill Harder) a handsome sports doctor. But while she wants a one night stand he wants more and deep down does Amy want more too?
Trainwreck is a fun, rude comedy. Schumer enjoys playing on gender stereotypes with Amy being the commitment-phobe while Aaron wants a relationship. The script is full of witty, often raunchy jokes, and the cast are all game for a laugh. John Cena is hilarious a gym addict man Amy is seeing while Tilda Swinton is almost unrecognisable as Amy’s obnoxious boss. Brie Larson also shines as Amy’s straight laced sister.
However being a Judd Apatow directed film the movie is way too long. There was also too many sport references and jokes for my liking. Sometimes the jokes were less laugh out loud and more of a wry smile. But Schumer shows why she’s becoming so popular although perhaps you shouldn’t watch this with your mum.
Rating 3/5 – witty and surprisingly full of heart