Month: January 2013

Iron Sky

This has been sat in my draft box for a while, so I’ll post it now.

I watched this film not too long ago via Lovefilm Instant and I’m not too sure why. I had seen the film on the shelves in HMV and I did not appeal to me at all as it seemed it was going to be a serious film. How I was mistaken, but not in a bad way at all. Literally, my first impression was that it was going to be a serious drama about the Nazi regime coming back from the moon to try and retake back what they lost in the war.

However! This film was funnier than I first expected. There are subtle nods and hints toward the Nazi regime, previous films and just general comedic areas in the film. For example, there is a hint towards the famous scene in Downfall where Hitler rants toward his leading officers. We see a similar scene take place in an office of an advertisement manager for the president. Ranting like Hitler does in the scene toward her operations leaders. I must point out though it is one of those “so bad, it’s funny” comedies. To explain, the protagonist James Washington walks up to some people from the Ghetto in a Nazi uniform and realising he has been turned white and begins to act like his usual self – This of course is a disaster and he gets shot at. So bad, it’s funny.

Generally speaking the film, is okay, it’s entertainment. The pattern of the film is that there is a discovery made on the moon, that being the secret Nazi base on the dark side of the moon and then James Washington survives, but has his mobile phone taken. Obviously being on the moon they do not know the advancements in technology meaning that the mobile phone can power, what they call ‘Gotterdammerung’. This leads to their scouting out of the Earth (Of course) which also leads to (you guessed it) the fourth Reich’s attack on the Earth.

I must mention, this can be considered a unique film because part of it’s release is actually due to some fan funding, the figure is believed to be in region of 10% of the budget. This shows a want for this film to be produced by fans of the Scandinavian director. However, regardless of this I would enjoy this film on occasion, as only the comedy really carries it as the attack on Earth becomes really quite bad. Honestly I can only class it as “So bad it’s funny”.

Gangster Squad

Before I begin, this may contain some spoilers so go see before you read.

I went to see Gangster Squad yesterday, and thought it was excellent. There were splendid positives when watching it, and only but a few negatives that I can think of. Ruben Fleischer, having most notably directed Zombieland and 30 Minutes or Less, it can be fair to say Gangster Squad is a break away from his usual directing habits.

Now, I have to mention I am a sucker for any kind of film involving gangsters from this era and this film is no exception and made me feel the happiness and delight I always feel when watching similar films such as Public Enemies and Miller’s Crossing. Couple this with the cast of Sean Penn, Josh Brolin and Ryan Gosling, i’m already going to be excited by the prospect of this film.

For me, the film delivered with necessity. Following the reign of Mickey Cohen and his underground control over Los Angeles, including the important political officials and officers. Sean Penn was playing Mickey Cohen and for me, his portrayal of Cohen was the best part of the film. Josh Brolin was also brilliant playing Sergeant John O’Mara, a man still stuck in a war phase of his life. Gosling’s character was a breath of fresh air, the two of the aforementioned actors in short played badasses. Gosling, was more of a witty, suave, smooth killer. If that is possible. However, I must say he kind of drifted into the background during the latter half of the film.

I believe Emma Stone’s character, although was good for her, did not prove to be significant until the conclusion of the film and that was when she played a key part more than anything. The conclusion was a fair one, one that is more than likely expected where the bad guy loses and the good guy triumphs and I cannot argue with this conclusion as it was a good one, whereas other films have obvious but awful endings.

The film was very spectacular in the picturesque sense. Due to the film being set in 1940 – 1950s the costume, props and setting were what would be expected of a gangster films set in this era. And of course, this was done superbly, it gave a very nostalgic feel for that era, most notably done by the strip of Los Angeles, where one of Mickey Cohen’s clubs/operations was based, decorated with the city lights, cars and spotlights indicating the places to be. This alongside some spectacular shots, my favourite being the slow-motion shootout between Cohen and O’Mara, this films becomes a big hitter for the 2013, and of course a great start of hopefully a good run of films.

Unfortunately, there were some grievances that were had with me. I could spot some of the happenings a mile off, such as the character of Giovanni Ribisi being killed and the mentor ‘passing on’ the reigns to a his ‘student’ if you will, before his death. However, these issues do not make it a considerably bad film, just a few minor details. My opinion is that this film is great due to the great acting abilities on show coupled with the spectacle on show and set in a time period excellently. This would be a strong recommendation from me, I wouldn’t go as far as start saying it won’t be easily beaten as film of 2013 for me, as it’s a long year, but it can be a serious contender for my top ten I believe.

Thank you reading, as per, any comments or feedback are highly appreciated!

My Top Films From 2012

I realise this should have been posted before the end of 2012, but oh well. I was going to go see Life of Pi on New Year’s Eve, but I ended up working and what not, so unfortunately it will not be included.

It was a good year for films, with the beginning of The Hobbit being unveiled, to the continuation of the James Bond saga and the capping off the Christopher Nolan trilogy. Of course, actually choosing my favourite film from the past year is difficult. For one, I cannot remember all the new films that I have seen, and also many great films did come out. There were many great films that came out, but I thought I could narrow it down to a top five.

Number 5: 21 Jump Street

For me, 21 Jump Street was good. I enjoyed it. Coming from knowing no knowledge about the original television series, so I cannot tell whether or not it was anything reminiscent of the old series, all I know is that Johnny Depp, who was in the original series, cameos in this film. The enjoyment came from the laughs provided, in particular the chicken lorry that blows up, after a series of gas trucks and other stuff not exploding. It was refreshing seeing Channing Tatum appear in a comedy role and not be a pretty boy that he appears to do, Magic Mike, need I say more? Either way, Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum make that classic role, the brains and the beauty. And they do it really well, becoming brothers, in more ways than one. If you like films that have those funny consequences, then this film is one for you, the two out of favour, rookie cops are sent undercover to a high school to break up a drug ring. You expect laughs and consequences and that’s precisely what you get. Can’t fault it, aside from the ending as it opens up on to a possible sequel, which I believe wouldn’t work, or would just be terrible.

Number 4: Moonrise Kingdom

I found it tough to place this film fourth, as I’m a huge Wes Anderson fan and have loved every single one of his films. For some reason, when I watch his films, I know what to expect, but I don’t know what to expect at the same time. Moonrise Kingdom includes an all star cast of Bruce Willis, Edward Norton and Bill Murray to name a few! It’s just an excellent film, that I thoroughly enjoyed, in which we experience two children who decide to run away after falling for each other. Of course it being a Wes Anderson film is has a very nostalgic feel generally, as well as being set in the 1960s of course, coupled with the acting abilities of this cast, it makes one excellent film for 2012, and would definitely be in my top 5. It could be one of my favourite Wes Anderson films.

Number 3: Prometheus

Prometheus, visually, was the superior film for me. Some of the shots that were included astounded me. It was simply immersing me in a whole new world. Michael Fassbender was fantastic in this film as David. However, the story progression left many frustrated as ‘answers’ so to speak are not given. But if it gives Ridley Scott the chance to leave us in awe at this whole new world, I would enjoy that. A lot. Set as a prequel to the Alien series, two doctors find a constellation in which a moon could be hospitable. They believe this could be our origin and go searching for it funded by Weyland Coorporation, they find something, but obviously I don’t want to ruin it. For the visual spectacle that has made the sci-fi genre stronger recently, this film is top dog. Unfortunately the only thing making this film a top five for me is the visual spectacle put on show. Only David (Fassbender) stand out massively in an acting role for me as he is brilliant. He perfects the role of being a robot that is meant to be a human, but obviously as you can tell there is something peculiar about David throughout the film.

Number 2: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Being a massive Lord of the Rings fan, this film was always going to be in here somewhere, but I decided not to have it top, even though this film is absolutely fantastic. Only due to reading the book before hand did I pick up a few errors, but then again I cannot be too critical as there this is the usual case. For one, I loved the ending of the The Hobbit and thought it fantastic. Freeman was also fantastic as Bilbo. I am certainly excited to see the next part, however I can only imagine a few areas will be left out due to the amount of the story they have to cover within the second film. Alas, I believe that Lord of the Rings fans will only be able to bear with The Hobbit, as it is long and in some parts slow and I can imagine if you didn’t like Lord of the Rings trilogy, you wouldn’t like The Hobbit. The sequence in which the dwarfs are singing about Erebor sent shivers down my spine as that was just a fantastic scene as well as the scene with The Pale Orc and the tree. The second part has been nicely set up and I cannot wait for it.

Number 1: The Dark Knight Rises

Someone asked me what my top film was, and it was between The Hobbit and The Dark Knight Rises. When they said I could only watch one, I have to choose The Dark Knight rises as I will never tire of the brilliant sequences and Bane’s terrifying character. It is the end of the trilogy by Christopher Nolan and it is a spectacular one. Admittedly, it’s not the greatest ending and neither is it to the trilogy as majority of people will say The Dark Knight is a better film. I am impartial as I really enjoy all three films for their different aspects. The opening scene in The Dark Knight Rises however is one of the greatest things I have seen. Of course, there are some annoyances but that is of course natural to the films. My big annoyance was Bane being killed off so simply and there was no reference to him afterwards. Granted it was Talia’s grand scheme of things, but still, he was really badass. The ending was not brilliant due to the open questions left in place, such as how did Bruce Wayne really survive, will Joesph Gordon Levitt take over as Batman, or become Nightwing? What will happen to Gotham now? It was quite frustrating to say the least, but the most well-rounded film I believe after the great visual displays, exciting action scenes, a shock – albeit not a great one, but a shock nonetheless – and great acting displays by Tom Hardy, Joseph Gordon Levitt, Gary Oldman and also Anne Hathaway.

Well, they are my top films. I’ve made a kind of pact with myself to see as many films as I can that come out this forthcoming year, although I’ve already got my heart set on few, such as Lincoln, Life of Pi (I know it came out last year, but I’ve got to see that), The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Gangster Squad, Only God Forgives and Man of Steel – This list is near endless. So I’m going to try and get a post out for every one of them. I can see a different take on Fairy Tales can be a theme for next year, as Jack The Giant Killer has popped up and Snow White and the Huntsman last year. We shall see on that one.

A mention for The Avengers, as many people enjoyed it and what not. I did not. I just found it a reason to make money as Superheroes were making money at the box office at the time. The last half hour of The Avengers and Dark of the Moon were very similar and it just annoyed me as they are two totally different films. For me, it just lacked on a whole massively and could have been improved in various degrees.

Thank you for reading, I would love to know what you think of my selections and whether you agree, or disagree with them. All feedback is welcomed!