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Average User Score: 6.9Dec 18, 2015Sometimes the best way to decide if you like a film is how good you feel walking out of the cinema; and I had a big grin on my face. The newSometimes the best way to decide if you like a film is how good you feel walking out of the cinema; and I had a big grin on my face. The new characters were very engaging, the action sequences thrilling (I particularly enjoyed the sequence on Hans' ship) and many a laugh out loud moment (Chewie and BB8 having particular moments). Some marks taken off for a slightly rushed final sequence and perhaps an overly-similar plot to Episode IV but these were far outweighed by the positives.
The most Star Wars-y Star Wars film ever; including the originals.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.0Jan 20, 2015Short version: Funny, surprisingly insightful but slightly overstretched.
Long version: What struck me most while leaving the cinema wasShort version: Funny, surprisingly insightful but slightly overstretched.
What struck me most while leaving the cinema was the audience range. The kids in the audience who'd gone for a bathroom-filling bear had clearly had an absolute blast, the elderly members who'd gone for nostalgia purposes were left with big smiles on their faces, and those in between were chattering away about their favourite bit.
It's a really nice film with much slapstick humour (as seen in the trailer) but has the heart one would expect from a producer of the Harry Potter movies. There were moments when tears were shed (particularly on a windswept rooftop) and eruptions of laughter with Paddington's escapades and Julie Walters particularly stealing their scenes.
There are a handful of moments that don't quite fit: Nicole Kidman's villain is a bit one note (although she's clearly having a ball playing the part) and Peter Capaldi (side note: fantastic Twelfth Doctor in Doctor Who) as a slimy neighbour doesn't fit seamlessly into the plot, but otherwise it's a joyous film and well worth seeing.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.4May 23, 2014Probably one of the most high-concept superhero films of recent years, Days Of Future Past is an exhilarating ride from start to finish. TheProbably one of the most high-concept superhero films of recent years, Days Of Future Past is an exhilarating ride from start to finish. The innovative use of each mutant's powers make some of the action sequences utterly unique (the use of portals is particularly effective). There is a bit of an Inception feel to parts of the film flicking back between the past and the future. This is no criticism as far as I'm concerned. Even the 3D is pretty good, though not necessary.
Given the sheer number of characters involved it is inevitable that some get a bit short-shrift: It is no understatement to say that Storm has about twenty words in the entire movie, Havoc gets about a minute, even Bolivar Trusk - ostensibly a main villain - does not have enormous screen time. However that serves even more to make sure you don't take your eyes of the film; this one requires far more engagement than, say, Godzilla. Again, not a criticism.
The time travel element does raise a few contradictions - particularly for the ending. I won't spoil it as, despite its flaws, it is a brilliant end to a great film. One footnote: those waiting for the post-credit sequence will find it very confusing if not well-versed in the comics. It also really IS post credits, so you have to wait the best part of ten minutes for it.
All in all, a good film that carries on from the excellent First Class and makes far better use of Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen than Last Stand did. Thoroughly recommend.… Expand
Average User Score: 6.8May 20, 2014Here's a short review:
Pros - Fantastic depiction of Godzilla himself (THAT roar!); brilliant build up of tension before the big reveal;Here's a short review:
Pros - Fantastic depiction of Godzilla himself (THAT roar!); brilliant build up of tension before the big reveal; masterful musical score; generally well acted
Cons - not much character development; Man of Steel-esque destruction begins to blur towards the end; 3D probably not necessary.
Overall: A brilliant action film with some stand out moments beyond any blockbuster of 2014 so far. Well worth seeing - but in 2D if possible, and beware some clichés.… Expand
Average User Score: 7.9Aug 29, 2013This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The World's End is an excellent conclusion to the "Cornetto trilogy". Following in the wake of the superb Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, The World's End faced a daunting task. It does take a little while to get going, it occasionally is a bit self-referential and getting used to Simon Pegg playing such an anti-hero took me a little while. These flaws aside, it is a fantastic film.
Taking five long dispersed friends back to the epic pub crawl they failed at as teenagers the film starts by introducing each character during meetings with Pegg's Gary King a crude, lying man-child quite unlike Shaun or Nicholas Angel. A long way from Scotty (Star Trek) and Benji (Mission Impossibles 3 & 4), King has stubbornly refused to grow up, remaining as an idle slouch whose friends have left him behind. It took me sometime to see the character beyond Pegg's normal positions (barring his excellent turn in criminally underrated gem Big Nothing), but felt richly rewarded once I could eventually embrace King's values, justifications and the hints of redemption. He is, arguably, Pegg's most impressive creation to date.
We are introduced individually to Oliver (Martin "Bilbo" Freeman), Peter (Eddie "Inspector Lestrade" Marsan), Steven (Paddie Considine) and finally Andy (Nick Frost). Frost was a revelation in this film. Far away from his sidekick role in the two previous films (and, to a lesser extent, "Paul") Andy is as serious a character as the film presents, the man who has probably moved the furthest (emotionally) from the child that Gary King grew up with. A series of increasingly desperate acts by the latter firmly driving Frost's character away, Frost manages to gain real sympathy from the audience during the film, though he also perhaps has the greatest moments of comedy during the action sequences (more on them shortly). It could be argued that Marsan and Freeman especially are underused in this film but, as with the preceding films the main relationship is that between Pegg's character and Frost's.
The spectacular (and increasingly ridiculous) action sequences are superbly choreographed both for exhilaration and laughs. Director Edgar Wright knows when to cause carnage and when to reel back; when to allow a moment for something to sink in and when to throw the kitchen sink in. Given his skills on Scott Pilgrim, Hot Fuzz and Shaun this is not perhaps a surprise. The fight scenes billow with twists and turns, blue blood spilling asunder and delightful usage of setting throughout the film. Observers may note that each pub is named after something that happens there.
It is, simply, a joy. The villains of the piece are the residents of the town. Body possession/cloning is a staple of the science fiction genre (in which this film is as rooted as Shaun was in horror) and is used to marvellous effect, including excellent supporting turns from David "Argus Filch" Bradley, Rosamund Pike and a stunning cameo from Pierce Brosnan. I won't spoil the ending, suffice to say it caught me completely by surprise.
I'd heartily recommend this film it takes its time to get going, but its as rewarding a cinematic experience as has been had in a long time. 9/10… Expand
Average User Score: 8.2Oct 25, 2012"The Artist" is a comedy-drama set in 1920s Hollywood, following the fortunes of a successful actor moving from the age of silent films to"The Artist" is a comedy-drama set in 1920s Hollywood, following the fortunes of a successful actor moving from the age of silent films to movies with sound.
Upon first watch, this film is an undoubted triumph. Whilst a little difficult to adjust to at first - given our acclimatisation to special effects, colour, and, hell, dialogue - the black and white, mostly speech-lacking layout of "The Artist" is soon both a joy and a pleasure to watch. In terms of character arcs the story is a familiar one, that of a man refusing to adapt to a changing world and risking being left behind because of it. The performances had to be fantastic, and are. Jean Dujardin is immensely likeable as George Valentin, and exuberant performances from co-lead Berenice Bejo and support cast including John Goodman and the wonderful James Cromwell help the story zip along nicely. (The best performance is, of course, that of the dog, who provides the films funniest and, surprisingly, most touching moments.)
Stylistically the film is also superb. The essence of old cinema is captured expertly and the tinkling score is a perfect match. Even the speech cards work well. My personal favourite scene follows George Valentin's first encounter with "talkies" (films with sound): a nightmare where everything around him suddenly makes noise for the first time... except for himself. He tries yelling but ends up being laughed at by a growing group of dancers walking past. The scene ends with a feather touching down lightly on the floor with a sound like a bomb.
It was to my dismay that the film did not held up as well to repeat viewings. Maybe the novelty wore off, or maybe the foreknowledge of the plot was a problem, but "The Artist" lacks the punch it first provided when re-watching it later. Bizarrely, this exact problem is mirrored by another film of the past few years that couldn't be more different in terms of effects and budget: Avatar.
The Artist is a film well worth watching, and should please anyone willing to give it a go with an open mind, but one viewing is probably enough.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.2Jul 23, 2012This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I won't go into superlatives, simply pros and cons.
1) Performances all round are exceptional. Bale dials back the voice and portrays a broken Bruce/Batman very well, Oldman (Commissioner Gordon) and Caine (Alfred the Butler) are as strong and dependable as ever, and there are fantastic performances from newcomers Anne Hathaway (a revelation as Catwoman), Marion Cotillard (Miranda Tate), Tom Hardy (a physical beast as Bane) and Joseph Gordon-Levitt in particular as city-cop John Blake. Well done to those who guessed where he ends up.
2) Action sequences are thrilling throughout (from opening plane-hijacking to city-wide end chase/brawl via brutal fight between our hero and villain), both in terms of effects, pacing and execution.
3) For me, the ending(s) were very nice indeed.
1) As has been much publicised by others, I had real trouble hearing some of the dialogue - particularly when Bane was speaking quietly. There was one conversation in the middle of the film where he and Batman were almost murmuring to each other under an ill-advised loud moment in the otherwise excellent score by Hans Zimmer.
2) Morgan Freeman doesn't get much to do, although adding time for him might have stretched the film a bit too far.
3) Whilst I don't necessarily agree, I can understand the small complaints that it takes a bit of time to get going.
The film would be great as a stand-alone film, but as a trilogy ender it's an absolute belter. There aren't many action trilogies to match it - including the original Star Wars trilogy in my opinion - and we are unlikely to see another superhero story like it for many, many years.… Expand