Skip to content

Posts from the ‘Film’ Category

Everybody Wants Some!! Review

Everybody Wants Some!! is not a classic, but it is laugh-out-loud funny throughout, and succeeds in the impressive task of feeling both expertly crafted and immensely real.

Read more

Toy Story 3 – Brand New Trailer

Disney/Pixar have unveiled a brand new Toy Story 3 trailer to the world.

Toy Story 3 is released June 18th 2010.

Advertisements

Review: 9 – 2009 animated thrill ride adventure

Tim Burton produced 9 is one of the most visually stunning animated movies of 2009, sadly though the plot is less than inspired.

Director: Shane Acker

Released: October 28th

Running Time: 79 mins

Starring: Elijah Wood, Christopher Plummer, Jennifer Connelly and John C Reily, Crispin Glover, Martin Landau, Fred Tatasicore.

Rich in stunning imagery, and a dark overbearing message, 9, on the face of it should be a fantastic thrill ride of a movie. Sadly though, it falls into the realms of so many other animated movies, in failing to deliver a compelling plot, with depth and originality.

9film

The story is set in a post-apocalyptic world destroyed by machines, after a Government initiative to help the nation prosper in times of economic downturn, goes wrong, leaving all human life extinct. As 9, a hand sewn sack, in human form awakes; he soon discovers he is not alone, and that there is a whole group of others like him. Despite being the neophyte of the group he persuades them to come out of hiding and fight The Beast, a red eyed Terminator type creature who stalks the wasteland that has become earth.  As they fight for survival the soon discover that the future of preserving humanity’s legacy lies in their hands.

“We had such potential. Such promise. But we squandered our gifts. And so, 9, I am creating you. Our world is ending. Life must go on.” – The Scientist

The biggest problem with 9 is that in expanding it from an 11 minute wordless short that was awarded by the Academy in 2005, to a 79 minute talkie, Acker has created a film without much substance.

What could have been a masterpiece of cinema, instead just becomes a better than average CG movie. Artistically the film pushes the boundaries of computer animation to a new level. The films design is superb and it is easy to get lost in the wilderness of the human less world. The landscapes convey a real sense of terror, the machines would not look out of place in a Hollywood action blockbuster and the movies tone is dark and unrelenting.

The plot though is very predicable, moving from set piece to set piece without a strong narrative thread. The movies message, which only unfolds in the closing chapters is strong, and not like the overbearing message of Wall-E, but by the time it comes it fails to thrill.

If you can get passed the lack of story, 9 is a thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining affair, full of action and drama. It is also full of heart and good intention, as 9 and his pals fight to save what is left of the human soul, with the last remaining human scientist having implanted fragments of his own soul in their textile bodies.

The only puzzling thing about the film though is who Acker seems to be targeting. The film is too violent and sinister to delight young children, while adults will not connect with the stereotypical one dimensional characters who are instantly forgettable.

On the whole, 9 is a rather good movie. The cast list is strong, the action is thrilling, but there is something missing preventing 9 from reaching that perfect score. While it is unlikely to become a firm favourite, it is both fresh and different to the usual pack of poor animated movie we have seen in the past. If Acker can nail a strong story, and continue to deliver visually, three words spring to mind. Watch out Pixar!

3/5

Slumdog Millionaire – Review

Slumdog Millionaire stars Dev Patel Anil Kapoor

Slumdog Millionaire stars Dev Patel and Anil Kapoor

 I approached my viewing of Slumdog Millionaire, somewhat hesitantly. From my experience films with a lot of hype surrounding them rarely deliver and end being somewhat of a disappointment. However, Danny Boyle’s latest is one of those films which not only lives up to the hype but is the sort of the film anybody can relate to. It really is the feel good film of the year.

Through mixing a rags-to-riches story with an unconventional love story Danny Boyle takes us from the slums of India to the studios of “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire” as the films protagonist Jamal (Dev “Skins” Patel) attempts to win the coveted prize in order to reunite with lost love Latika (Freida Pinto).

However the film is far from being a simple fairy tale. It is a hugely entertaining piece of cinema, which pulls on all aspects of your emotions as we follow Jemal and friends through a series of horrific episodes, as they grow up parentless, homeless and without any real direction in life.  

Dev Patel shines through in his first role since Skins, convincingly portraying the role as the everyman Muslim hero, who rises above the brutal dynamics of modern-day Mumbai to achieve hero status for his battle against the corrupt world he finds himself in.

Slumdog’s true triumphant though, is through the heart and sentiment of its subject matter, as well as it’s vibrant and colourful setting. With Slumdog, Boyle has not just created a film with an engaging story and with a powerful message behind it, but opened the Western audiences eyes to a provocative and vibrant world. Mumbai may have its problems but it prides itself on its sense of community.

Hippie Hippie Shake – Review

I was lucky enough to attend a preview screening of the new Beeban Kidron film last Thursday, set to be released later this year called Hippie Hippie Shake.

The upcoming British film, from the Bridget Jones 2 director, follows the love story of Oz magazine editor Richard Neville and Louise Ferrier as Neville and his associates launch the London edition of satirical magazine Oz, the radical magazine that put them on trial for publishing sexually explicit content.

Set in 1960’s London, Hippie Hippie Shake, which has been in development since 1998, is a fascinating portrayal of the memoirs of Richard Neville.

siennarunngoff_468x344

Starring Cillian Murphy and Sienna Miller the film captures the time period effectively presenting both drama, sex and drugs against a setting of media scrutiny and restrictions. Oz sets out to do something different, to redefine the form and produce a radical magazine which will change the way people think. Appealing to the neglected youth and engaging them with the issues that matter to them. However as time progresses these intentions become blurred and the true agenda of the magazine questionable.

While the film is not going to appeal to the mass market, the story, which before seeing the film I was unaware of, is of particularly interest to those interested in journalism.

Not only does the film address issues of writing and publishing, as well as the hard graft of being a journalist, the later half of the film focuses heavily on censorship, morality and ethics. The court case scenes raise a number of issues which I have regularly come across as a trainee journalist.

Without spoiling the plot, Neville and co find themselves in court facing charges of indecency, particularly involving one case with Rupert the Bear. The trial of obscenity raised questions over government censorship and freedom of the press. The arguments presented from both sides equally stand but the conflict lies in a misunderstanding of the magazines intentions, the smut which is at face value has hidden meaning. However I won’t enter into details. See the movie.

Colourful, funny and dramatic this is not only a good film it is educational too. A good document of history that many journalists and non journalists will enjoy. Also look out for Germaine Greer.

How to Lose Friends and Alienate People – Review

Jeff Bridges (Clayton Harding) and Simon Pegg (Sidney Young)

Simon Pegg film shows journalism – is just a series of rooms 

It’s been a couple of years since we had a film centering around the ruthless world of journalism in America, The Devil Wears Prada being the last in 2006. Simon Pegg’s new movie ‘How To Lose Friends & Alienate People’ emphasised this clearly.

The film is based on the personal accounts of Toby Young, a celebrity journalist who struggled for five years to get to the top at Vanity Faire. Simon Pegg plays a very funny Young who continually shoots himself in the foot at every given opportunity, as he tries to adjust to the realities of life a as journalist.

The film depicts the world of journalism as a pressure cooker waiting to go off, with a career being a natural progression through seven different rooms. As an aspiring journalist I was interested in this portrayal but also somewhat scared at the prospect of its reality. Is journalism really as cold and corrupt as the film suggests.

My instant response would be, of course not, Pegg’s Young does make a plethora or mistakes which earn him the abuse he receives, but whilst he comes out smiling in the end, its the other characters who question their morals and break out of the superfitial world of celebrity which the film exposes through the Megan Fox’s Sophie Maes and those who persist in following her every move.

That said I was somewhat surprised at Young’s ability to stay employed for so long despite all his mistakes or even having a piece published. His rise to the seventh room then happened so quickly, if you blinked you’d have missed it.

Whilst this romantic comedy is not way up there with the big hitters it is still a pleasant enjoyable film. Billed as The Devil Wears Prada (TDWP) with balls the film certainly does focus on the brutal, nature of editors and the hard work journalists have to put in to get their big break. Jeff Bridges however, depsite putting in a good performance fails to live up to Meryl Streep’s Miranda Priestly in TDWP. Megan Fox was on form following her big debut in Transformers and Dunst and Pegg made an interesting pairing in the predictable ending.

However as a film centering around journalism it was a fascinating insight into what happends behind close doors in a newsroom and in order to get to the top you have to make decisions which ultimately affect all of those around you. However whilst you may succeed in your job, such actions don’t necessary bring you happiness and fulfillment.

This is ultimately the films message, do not sacrfice your life for your career, evaluate what is important and do not become embroiled in deceitful actions becuase ultimately you will live to regret it.

%d bloggers like this: