Month: November 2013

The Kings Of Summer (2013)

I found this film to be very under the radar in terms of promotion in the UK. Only due to tweets I found out about Kings Of Summer, and when I found it to appear on LoveFilm, I was very pleased. 95 minutes later, I was still feeling very pleased about being able to watch this.

The film opens up on a trio of boys banging sticks on a pipe with one of them dancing on the pipe at the same time, we then see Joe (Nick Robinson) a month earlier being yelled at by his father for being in the shower for 55 minutes. This is whilst he is day dreaming about an unknown girl. The hatred between the two is immediately clear. This is at the time when the young adult is on the verge of breaking up for his summer vacation, when he bumps into this unknown girl from before, that goes by the name of Kelly (Erin Moriarty) and she subsequently invites him to a party that night.

As the film continues the formalities, next introduced is Patrick (Gabriel Basso) who is currently stuck in his house due to a broken ankle or similar injury. It is clear Patrick holds the same disdain for his parents as Joe holds for his father, which is further shown when game night is happening and Patrick is having dinner with his parents. Joe eventually does go to the party with Patrick (regardless of his foot condition) whereby an old man breaks up the party firing a gun. This is also when we meet Biaggio (Moises Arias), a rather odd boy who you grow accustomed to.

They enter a clearing where Joe feels a connection with the land. Due to a conversation that goes sour Joe takes Patrick into the clearing and suggests the idea of building a house. Patrick, at first hates the idea but then grows accustomed to it after his parents continue to annoy him. From this point onwards, the bulk of the film takes place as the trio begin construction of this house in the forest.As the rest of the film unfolds, we see happier forms of Joe and Patrick without the rule of their parents. Biaggio, of course being there to provide the comedy within the film with his actions and comments, but largely is a brilliant character.

“You’re right, it’s a classic kidnapping. They took our children and the canned goods and pasta.”

After the trio disappear, their parents become worried about the fact they have ran away and they continually show their efforts to track them, such as finding their cellphones and Frank having an argument with a takeaway man. Joe after missing a woman’s touch invites Kelly to the site of the house. This proves fatal as the boys argue and Kelly takes a liking to Patrick this comes between the boys and eventually causes Joe to cast everyone out. Ironically, this occurs during a game of monopoly, which pretty much shadows the family game night earlier in the film.

The-Kings-of-Summer

Ultimately, this is a brilliant coming-of-age film perfect for nostalgic boys. as I personally found the personal elements in there. But constructed with some beautiful shots of the summer months and the comedic value of Frank’s relationships with his family members and his sarcasm toward other people. It’s all nicely fitted into the 95 minute run time and doesn’t seem too extravagant which makes it a very enjoyable, easy watch.

This film largely is enjoyable due to the nostalgia factor, as it’s always crept into conversation of living off the land and building a house in the middle of the woods. But not only this, the long hot summer days of idling about with friends smashing sticks around trees and all the things that have happened to them too. In terms of the coming-of-age film, it’s great, but not the best. The initial story does wear thin with the parents, especially Frank. But the ending, the ending I liked, it’s true to what would happen amongst friends as young as they are.

3.5/5

Thor: The Dark World (2013)

As most Marvel films open with a little bit of opening sequence relevant to the film, for Thor: The Dark World, it opens with a battle between the Asgardians and the Dark Elves that happened eons ago. The Dark Elves, led by Malekith (Christopher Eccleston) plan to cast the universe into darkness using a weapon called Aether, but met with Odin’s father and an army of Asgardians, they are stopped. However, Malekith, his right-hand man Algrim and a handful of Dark Elves escape and survive, lying in wait for the Aether to reappear, as the Asgardians took it from the dark elves.

Back in the present, Loki (Tom Hiddleston), after the havoc caused on Earth during Avengers Assemble, is being summoned to answer for his war crimes, where he is placed in the dungeons below the throne room in Asgard. Thor (Chris Hemsworth) armed with his henchman (and woman) are currently bringing order to the nine realms after the reconstruction to the bi-frost.

Meanwhile, Jane Forster (Natalie Portman) is in London on a scientific expedition with her assistant Darcy Lewis, are taken to an abandoned factory where means of gravity have been altered and kids are managing to flip over cement-trucks. This is down to an event called The Convergence being imminent, where the nine realms align, forcing the parameters between the realms become blurred. Investigating this anomaly, Jane is transported to where the Aether is being kept, and of course, she is infected with the Aether. This also causes Malekith to awaken from his suspended animation along with the other Dark Elves, to track the Aether.

Jane, now infected with the Aether, when nearly apprehended by the police explodes with the Aether. Thor thinks best to take her back to Asgard, with Odin’s disregard. Malekith, tracking the Aether, learns of it’s presence in Asgard, starts to prep for a battle on Asgard. With his last gem of Kursed, Malekith selects Algrim as his last Kursed to infiltrate Asgard and return the Aether to Malekith in time for The Convergence so they can cast darkness over the nine realms.

“I only ask for one thing in return; a good seat from which to watch Asgard burn!”

Thor realising this plan of Malekith, manages to escape Asgard with the help of Loki (the highly anticipated watching point of this film) to use a secret transportation to go to Dark Elves homeland after they escape Asgard. Much of this sequence is the trust issues between Loki and Thor and whether he is able to trust him, and of course Thor’s henchman keep saying ‘betray him and I’ll kill you myself’. Of course the Aether is taken back by Malekith to set up the final battle that is ever present in superhero flicks. Of course, anything that happens from this point onwards is crucial to the plot, so I won’t spoil it for you. But the ending is one of the better ones from a marvel film. As I’ve found recent ones to being very illogical, or frustratingly similar to other films.

As much as I enjoyed this film, don’t get me wrong, it is possibly one of my favourite recent marvel films, I can’t help but thinking that Malekith’s character was just there for Thor to fight and be a recognised villain. Regardless, I enjoyed the character and thought his right hand man Algrim, or the final Kursed was absolutely badass. Acting like a Minotaur and causing havoc in his path.

As for the storyline, I realised when recounting it, there isn’t much to it. But it works. At just under 2 hours long, the film doesn’t feel long, where I’m stirring in my seat, coupled with the brilliant battles, the intertwining storylines, it all works and being very enjoyable at the same time. Not forgetting about what has now become a regular feature in superhero films, comedy. There are the one-liners, the quips by Loki, which tie the film altogether, making it complete.

It’s been said by a lot of people recently, but I agree with the comments that at the moment directors of these superhero movies are striking the right chord with these movies and making them very enjoyable. Superhero movies although have come in their droves recently are becoming more and more enjoyable and Thor: The Dark World is one of those securing this idea. If you plan to see this movie, stay for the stings after the credits, and of course I am looking forward to the next Thor movie.

4/5

The Villains I Hate To Love.

In recent times, I’ve grown to like some villains, but I assume that’s natural with some of the likeable villains to appear in films, such as Heath Ledger’s Joker in The Dark Knight Rises and Javier Bardem’s Silva in Skyfall. However, some villains, baddies, the antagonist in certain films left me wanting to be them. It’s odd, but hopefully you’ll understand in the sort ¬†of explanations given.

So, in no particular order:

Woo-jin Lee (Oldboy).

My God. This man oozes style. Woo-jin Lee played by Ji-Tae Yu, is such a fantastic villain, he is definitely one of my favourites, if not my actual favourite. His masterplan, the way he acts around Dae-Su and ultimately his composure throughout the film is outstanding and just is the essence of style. His explaining and the torturing mind tricks when he is facing off with Dae-Su is where his style is at it’s ultimate high, as he coolly walks around his awesome apartment getting ready and even when Dae-Su flings himself at him, he still stays composed. The essence of cool, and style in my opinion.

Chigurh (No County For Old Men).

If you’ve seen this film then you must know what I’m talking about here. The crazed look in his eyes, the odd, but really effective way of killing people, all in the name of some money and him barely speaking at all? What’s not to love. Javier Bardem plays this character to perfection, but not only this, being of Spanish origin, he has next to no experience of speaking English, which adds to this terrifying persona that is being put in place by Chigurh with his speech during this film.

White Goodman (Dodgeball).

Admittedly, this may be a cop out, but in the film he can be considered the villain as he is ultimately the bad guy in the film. He wants to buy Average Joe’s gym and turn it into a car park for his customers as Globo Gym. “Cause here at Globo Gym we’re better than you, and we know it”. White Goodman, played by Ben Stiller, is just that stupid, meat headed buffoon, but is brilliant at the same time. This may be because of Ben Stiller’s delivery of White, but it’s excellent all the same and White is probably my favourite Ben Stiller persona. (Maybe tied with Derek Zoolander) With his one liners and thought mechanism of being better than you is just brilliant, making a very likeable villain.

Le Chiffre (Casino Royale).

Again, this might be more a style one, but again in execution Le Chiffre, played by Mad Mikkelsen, is one of those awesome villains. I really did enjoy his character in Casino Royale and his style and composure at the poker table is incredible, however, he does lose his cool, but that’s key to the plot. He has a very odd style of interrogation, but is awesome in practice and sticks out in my mind. And what’s not cooler than bleeding from your eye whilst looking rather dapper in a kick ass suit? Nothing I tell you, nothing.

Honourable mentions: Unfortunately, these guys missed out, but I still admire these villains:

The trio of the villains from the Batman Trilogy, Joker, Bane and Scarecrow. And of course, the ever lovable Loki.

If there anyone you think I’ve left out then comment below and let me know!