Tag Archives: Chris Pine

Wonder Woman

Wonder_Woman_(2017_film)

One of DC’s most iconic superhero finally gets her big screen début after 75 years. Here to rescue DC films from mediocrity (although I quite liked Man of Steel) Diana Prince and director Patty Jenkins have a lot of expectations on their shoulders. Can they rise to the challenge?

Raised amongst the Amazons on the island of Themyscira Diana (Gal Gadot) trains and fights whilst never leaving the island. When Captain Steve Tanner (Chris Pine) crashes onto the island Diana finds herself leaving the safety of her home for the horrors of the First World War.

Breathe a sigh of relief because the good news is that Wonder Woman first film is actually good! As one of the best things about Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice  Wonder Woman now gets a solo film that does her justice. Early scenes show Diana being trained by the Amazon’s on their island, a bright and peaceful paradise which nicely contrasts with the cold and less colourful scenes off island. We also gets to see a glorious sight of Amazon’s vs soldiers which is cool and its great to see actresses like Robin Wright and Connie Neilson kicking ass. As we follow Diana to London and beyond the film turns into part origin story/part fish out of water/part coming of age for Diana as she navigates the world of men. The setting feels fresh and for an origin story it doesn’t get too bogged down by having to explain everything.

Director Patty Jenkins manages to balance the different story elements well and the action scenes look great with Wonder Woman looking powerful and full of strength as she faces her foes. Gadot does a lovely mix of strength, vulnerability and charm. She also displays Diana’s journey from naïve optimist to more world-weary but still hopeful warrior that we saw in Dawn of Justice.

As her love interest Chris Pine is a likeable presence and interestingly in a reversal of the male gaze we get a whole lot of female gaze with a practically naked Pine featured in one scene.the scene is played for laughs and Pine gamely plays along. The fact that Tanner is portrayed as almost as heroic as Diana did make me worry that Wonder Woman was going to be overshadowed in her own movie. Was it just that they wanted to give Diana a worthy love interest or were studio bosses nervous about having a woman doing all the heroics? Ultimately though Wonder Woman is the main hero here and it’s her journey that we are invested in.

Perhaps all too aware of the criticisms of the previous DC movies Wonder Woman looks brighter and has more humour. Like the other movies the film is still too long in the last act and has underwhelming villains. However Wonder Woman is a serious step forward for the DC extended universe. Let’s just hope the upward trend continues and Wonder Woman is at the forefront of the Justice League movie.

Rating 4/5 – a wonderful (sorry!) solo effort for an iconic DC character

Leave a comment

Filed under Reviews

Star Trek Beyond

Star Trek Beyond

It’s been 7 years since Star Trek was rebooted with an alternate timeline, now with the third of the new Trek films around does the films still boldly go where no one else has gone before?

The crew of the Enterprise are three years into their five year mission where they are sent to rescue a ship is stranded on an abandoned planet. However when the Enterprise fall under attack, the splintered crew must find each other and battle against an enemy with a personal vengeance against StarFleet.

I really enjoyed Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness (although not so much on repeated viewings in the case of Into Darkness) so it was a relief that I completly enjoyed watching Star Trek Beyond. Some people had doubts when JJ Abrams left and was replaced by Fast & Furious director Justin Lin but Lin is also a big Star Trek fan so it turns out the film was in good hands.

Beyond has some fantastic action scenes, with the destruction of the Enterprise being a highlight. The script by Simon Pegg and Doug Jung also gives some humour and nice one liners (and surprisingly Pegg doesn’t give them all to himself) while also splits the crew to give us some different dynamics then the other films gave us. I was glad to see “Bones” McCoy (Keith Urban) given more to do this time around and it was nice to see a more mature version of Kirk (Chris Pine), pondering his future and wondering who is the man he wants to be. Newcomer Jaylah (Sofia Boutella)also makes a nice addition to the team.

I must have been living under a rock because I did not hear about Sulu (John Cho) being gay until I saw the film. While there has been lots of controversy and opinions flying about over this, I personally think it’s great that in it’s 50th year Star Trek finally has an LGBT character, and giving Sulu a family gives him more of an emotional depth.

Anton Yelchin

Watching the film at times was quite sad though whenever Chekov (Anton Yelchin) appeared on screen. The 27 year old actor died earlier this year and the film is dedicated to him and Leonard Nimoy who passed away pre-production. It’s been confirmed that Chekov will not be recasted in any further films so this is the last will see of sweet, lovely, Checkov.

So it may not be boldly giving us somehting extreamly new, but Star Trek Beyond is an exciting popcorn movie.

Rating 4/5 – exciting and action packed as well as a loving tribute to Yelchin and Nimoy

2 Comments

Filed under Reviews

Into The Woods

An all-star cast lead this adaptation of the Stephen Sondheim’s award-winning Broadway musical, but will I be singing its praises?

To lift an infertility curse a baker and his wife (James Corden and Emily Blunt) are set a challenge to bring four items to the  witch who put the curse on them (Meryl Streep). Their task intertwines with the tales of Cinderella (Anna Kendrick), Little Red Riding Hood (Lilla Crawford), Jack (Daniel Huttlestone) and Rapunzel (Mackenzie Mauzy), who are all wishing for their lives to change. But as the saying goes, they should be careful what they wish for.

I haven’t had a movie song stuck in my head this much since The Lego Movie’s Everything is Awesome, unfortunately while the title song Into The Woods starts off fun and entertaining it soon becomes a bit boring and irritating as it goes on far too long. Much like the film itself.

Maybe I’m being a bit harsh but at 124 minutes this movie is much too long. The first half of the movie is fine. Corden and Blunt are sweet as the Baker and his wife, and Blunt has a lovely singing voice. The film looks great and I love the costume, especially Johnny Depp’s wolf costume. Speaking of Depp, he is a lot of fun as The Wolf, but his role is basically a glorified cameo. I liked Cinderella’s story with Kendrick being as likeable as ever and Chris Pine is hilarious as her charming Prince. His duet with his brother (Billy Magnussen as Rapunzel’s Prince) is one of the highlights of the movie. And Meryl Streep is, well Meryl Streep-what else needs to be said she’s great.

Ok so Little Red Riding Hood and Jack are fairly annoying and Rapunzel disappears halfway through the movie making her character a bit redundant. But for the most part the first half is enjoyable enough.

However just as it seems the movie is reaching its natural conclusion when characters reach their happy ever after, the film then goes on for an extra half hour or so. I’m not against fairy tales having a darker side, in fact I enjoy that kind of thing (such as earlier in the movie when the Stepmother uses unusual techniques to get her daughters to fit into the glass slipper). But this ‘darker’ half of the movie just fell rather flat for me. The fun and humour from the first half disappears and the second half never feels as bold or subversive as the movie wishes it was. Perhaps its due to the changes from the original stage version, where some of the darker moments are cut from the film.

Rating 3/5 – a good first part gives way to a duller ‘darker’ second half that outstays it welcome

10 Comments

Filed under Reviews

Jack Ryan:Shadow Recruit

Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford and Ben Affleck have all had a turn playing CIA analyst Jack Ryan, with varying results. Now Captain Kirk himself Chris Pine steps up to be the hero of Tom Clancy popular book series. But will he be the definitive Jack Ryan?

Jack Ryan (Chris Pine) is recruited into the CIA with a cover working on Wall Street. when he notices some suspicious transactions by Viktor Cherevin (Kenneth Branagh) he must go to Moscow to prove his suspicions.

I really like Chris Pine. He has charisma, good looks and is a great Kirk in the Star Trek reboot. However he makes for a bland Ryan. In fact everything about this movie is bland from the script, acting and direction. It’s a shame because everyone here could do better.

Pine seems stifled in a generic action role that doesn’t showcase any of his personality. Keira Knightly is stuck in the nagging girlfriend/damsel in distress role that is really irritating. Presumably Kevin Costner had some bills to pay which is why he’s playing such a thankless mentor role. It was also a mistake for director Kenneth Branagh to put himself in the role of the main villain sporting a dodgy Russian accent. It’s disappointing seeing him here as everyone knows Branagh can act and direct so much better than this.

For a film that’s trying to update its hero to the modern time Jack Ryan:Shadow Recruit feels old fashioned-but not in a good way. Nothing feels particularly new or exciting is brought in to freshen up the movie. This feels like it could be any bog standard action/thriller rather than a Jack Ryan movie. It’s telling that this movie is not based on one of Tom Clancy’s novel but an original plot.

I watched this film with my mum and my twin sister Daisy, and after watching it my mum demanded that her thoughts be mentioned in my review. So here are my family’s thoughts on the film:

Mum “Absolute rubbish, I think it was terrible. Nothing like a Tom Clancy novel. I blame you two for making me watch it.”

Daisy “I just thought it was boring.”

I won’t even mention my mum’s view on Keira Knightly. Safe to say she was not a fan before this film so this only compounded this opinion more so.

So unless you really fancy Chris Pine and are prepared to sit through any rubbish to see him, I suggest you give this movie a wide berth.

Rating 1/5 – not even bad in a so-bad-it’s-good kind of way, just a terribly bad film all round

12 Comments

Filed under Reviews

Star Trek Into Darkness

After four long years away the crew of the Enterprise meet their most dangerous foe yet.  Benedict Cumberbatch (BBC’s Sherlock) plays the villain John Harrison who is being hunted by our heroes when he commits a terrible crime. But what is his motivations? And what will happen when they catch up with him?

I have been waiting for so long to see this film (it’s Sherlock vs Kirk!) and though it was annoying having to wait so long at least I can safely say it was worth the wait. Now that the origin story has been dealt with we can delve right into the story. What I enjoy about Star Trek is seeing the crew working together, they may argue and have differences but they are like a family. I also enjoy how Kirk is not just seen as the big hero of the piece, he is a leader of a team of hero and they aren’t afraid to question him when they think he’s going off track.

The cast is as good as they were in the first film. The bromance between Kirk (Chris Pine) and Spock (Zachary Quinto) is still a central part of the movie, and both actors seem really comfortable with their roles whether dealing with drama, comedy or romance. Cumberbatch plays a great villain, just on the right side of hammy without distracting from the action. Other newcomer Alice Eve is also a welcome addition as the ship’s new science officer.

If there are any disappointments in the film it’s that some characters don’t get enough screen time. Poor Chekov is barely in it. Sulu is also marginalised but at least he gets to spend a few minutes as captain while Kirk and Spock are off ship and gives a bad ass warning to John Harrison. I’m still not completely sold on the Spock/Uhura romance but the actors play it well- I just think it’s a personal thing. Also I would have preferred a bit less Scotty (as great as Simon Pegg is) and more McCoy. Just like the first film Karl Urban shines with his dry one liners and exasperated emotional outbursts. Can he get his own storyline next time?

However those minor points are not enough to derail the film. There is high actions and plenty of emotional moments for audiences to get swept away by and despite the film’s title the film doesn’t get too dark-The Dark Knight this ain’t. Instead Star Trek Into Darkness sticks to what it does best, action, drama and characters you care about.

Rating 4/5-Please don’t let it be another four years before we see Star Trek again

6 Comments

Filed under Reviews