Average User Score: 7.5Jun 29, 2013This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Man of Steel is by no means a bad film but it clearly is too loaded, especially for a film which is bound to have the benefit of one or more sequels. Imagine the batman trilogy but with all the plot points established in a week. Clark Kent (well played in all fairness by Henry Cavill) goes from saving kids on a bus as a teen, to saving workers on an oil rig to... destroying towns and cities while battling a small army of similar strengthed supermen. Entertaining, yes, but its all too much. The film suffers from some silliness in trying to get its emotional beats particularly during the final scene where Zod is about to kill four innocent people despite both he and Superman levelling much of metropolis without a care in the world during a (has to be said) visual stunning fist fight.
All that said, Man of Steel is an enjoyable re-spin of Superman and sets up the main characters well. Maybe I would have warmed more to it if the threat of Zod (Michael Shannon is quite good in the few scenes we get with him) was merely introduced, and left for the sequel. But its overlong and I cant help but feel that maybe DC or Warners wanted something to rival Avengers a bit too much. I look forward to a sequel but part of me wonders how they can up the stakes on what happens in this first movie.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.6Jun 11, 2013It's lovely to go see a film where I know nothing about it. Such was the case with the Ice Man a wonderful, brooding film which never pandersIt's lovely to go see a film where I know nothing about it. Such was the case with the Ice Man a wonderful, brooding film which never panders to the audience. You get to judge whether Kuklinski really loved his family and did all the killings so he could support them or if he was simple always going to be a killer.
Michael Shannon is fantastic in the lead role incredibly intense when required, his final scene showing the more vunerable side to a man who seemed to reveal in his image as an ice cold killer. He's backed up with some good, under-stated performances from a solid supporting cast. Chris Evans in particular makes good work of his role as a fellow hitman.
Feeling very much similar to some of the more nihilistic crime movies of the 70's, The Iceman was a great surprise. Not to everyones taste, but engaging to the end.… Expand
Average User Score: 7.3Jun 11, 2013Far too much style over too little substance, The Great Gatsby is a muddled mess of a film. Characters dont engage and the tone of the filmFar too much style over too little substance, The Great Gatsby is a muddled mess of a film. Characters dont engage and the tone of the film never settles. Despite being set in 1920s, it never tries to be a period piece which surely defeats the purpose? Some people may like it but you could have easily set the film in the modern age (which would play well against the current financal backdrop) but with the style of the 20s.
I'll put the above down to my personal preference, but that doesnt excuse some of the other problems with the film. The acting is flat as hell with Dicaprio being the only one to emerge with any kind of display. Tobey McGuire is simply terrible, never getting across he's characters own descent. He is simply there to narrate. Mullegan has her moments but I dont find her a good fit for the role. As for the rest, I get the feeling they've been instructed to over act. Or at least I hope they have.
For a film which is so much in love with its own cleverness and style, its amazing how dull this really is. Over long and over produced, its certainly not a film I could recommend.… Expand
Average User Score: 7.8Jun 11, 2013Star Trek films are a mixed bag for me, mostly not living up to the quality of the tv shows (well, not counting Voyager) JJ Abrams first movieStar Trek films are a mixed bag for me, mostly not living up to the quality of the tv shows (well, not counting Voyager) JJ Abrams first movie was a solid, if slightly flat at times movie. Here, it feels he has nailed most things. Indeed, apart from some silly plotting I would have marked this higher.
The cast from the first movie return and I have to say, I really like them as a group. A third film (or even a fourth) wouldnt be a bad idea. In addition they get the addition of Benedict Cumberbatch as one of the main antagonists. He's great in his role but the twist in his character falls flat granted, I know the back story but if you havent watched previous trek (and I dont mean the last film) the revelation isnt really explained.
Its not the only time the writing works against the film. Certain moments don't add up, and there's always a slight feeling that things are happening to create a set-piece. No real harm in that for a summer blockbuster but here its feel more artificial than most.
Thankfully, the set pieces are mostly very entertaining and while even if things dont link up as well as they should, you wont be bored. I'm giving this an 8 as a closet Trek fan. Take that done by 1 if you arent familiar with previous versions of Star Trek.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.6Jun 11, 2013Unsurprisingly for a film made up of three very distinct eras, Beyond the pines is a mixed bag. Covering 2 father and son combinations over aUnsurprisingly for a film made up of three very distinct eras, Beyond the pines is a mixed bag. Covering 2 father and son combinations over a 15 year period, its an enjoyable drama that really only suffers from each part not being as good as the previous.
The first part features a turbo-charged Ryan Gosling and is the most intriguing. Following that is the middle part focusing on Bradley Coopers conflicted cop. It also has a small but fantastic performance from Ray Liotta which gives new meaning to the phrase "if looks could kill". Cooper isnt too bad either but I felt he shined more in the final part which focuses on the sons of Gosling and Coopers characters.
Sadly its here that the film dragged. Its not down to bad performances as both the sons are good in their roles. Its just that the last act lacks the intensity of the two earlier parts and suffers in comparison.
Still, its a beautiful film to watch and its always engrossing.… Expand
Average User Score: 6.5Jun 11, 2013Iron Man was a charismatic surprise that mingled a feel good origin story with a great central performance from Robert Downey. The second IronIron Man was a charismatic surprise that mingled a feel good origin story with a great central performance from Robert Downey. The second Iron Man, while a bit of a mess, still had Downey coupled with an underused but solid Mickey Rourke. Iron Man 3 falls somewhere between.
Meandering between some fantastic (but mostly already seen thanks to an overly showey trailer campaign) set pieces and some nice character moments, Iron Man 3 is always watchable. But the pace of the movie seems every so slightly off. Big scenes feel rushed through, while other, less pivotal scenes get too much screen time.
The twists are also far too obvious and not just because of the generous trailers. Even without knowing much about the Iron Man comics, the various plot turns are sign posted miles ahead. And a few are pointless, adding no drama or intrigue.
One of the bigger (and more controversial it would seem) is the mandarin character. I enjoyed Ben Kingslys performance but I get why some fans may have felt let down this is likely the last Iron Man movie with Downey and a more straight approach could have yielded some great face to face moments between Tony Starke and the Mandarin. Guy Pearces bad guy isnt bad, but lacks the colour and presence to match the Mandarin.
Still, Iron Man 3 is still one of the better comic book movies. Maybe not as joyfully silly as Avengers or as deep as Dark Knight, its a good conclusion to the Iron Man series (if that remains the case)… Expand
Average User Score: 5.9Mar 13, 2013Good old Jason Statham. He's made quite a few movies as the though but moral hardman who lives by a strict guideline. And yet when I think ofGood old Jason Statham. He's made quite a few movies as the though but moral hardman who lives by a strict guideline. And yet when I think of his best roles I think of Snatch, Lock Stock & Mean Machine all films where he shows more comic timing than you might expect. And its something that Parker could have done with.
This is an action thriller that really should have been made in the 80's. It needs its tongue to stick a little more out of its check. The action scenes are done very well (one scene with a knife and a balcony is great) but thats to be expected from JS. He has a likeable charisma and just about carries the character of parker. They also have Michael Chiklis as chief villain he's a good fit for the role but doesn't get used enough for me. Instead of getting some fun, silly grandstanding from both guys, we get a more serious take on things which takes away from the mood rather than adds. The problem is the overall plot is rather silly. Thats not a bad thing as such but the film seems to want to play things very straight where a lighter touch would have helped things along much better in my mind.
I haven't mentioned J-lo yet and there's a reason. She adds nothing. At all. She lacks the charm for the role and (no offence obviously) but she seems too pretty and confident for a character who is, essential down on their look and desperate for a break from life. Really not sure what her character is meant to bring to the film she's not a love interest, she's doesn't bring fun or laughs and she fails at bringing sympathy. She's not even really a damsel in distress. The film would work pretty much ok without her.
Parker could have been better but as it is, it's not really worth bothering with. It's also quite long for a film of it's type and I reckon you may just be too bored by the end.… Expand
Average User Score: 7.7Mar 8, 2013A wonderful film with lovely attention to detail. From the old school Warner logo to the side-by-side comparison shots at the end, Argo hasA wonderful film with lovely attention to detail. From the old school Warner logo to the side-by-side comparison shots at the end, Argo has clearly had a lot of work put into, what is, a fairly simple plot. It is engrossing throughout as the situation worsens and the bizarre rescue plot looks doomed to failure. A somewhat sedate pace is amped up towards the last half hour. Details are probably fudged for dramatic tension but the nice thing is that no one member of the cast goes for the obvious grandstanding. Even Affleck resists at points where a more overblown performance would have taken away from the film.
The film looks great, with a great late 70's cinema feel. The soundtrack has some nice tunes in there as well to carry the mode. Pity John Goodman doesnt get to shine as much as I'd like but thats a minor quibble. Is it worth the oscar? How should I know, but it is worth the two hours of your time.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.4Feb 28, 2013Wreck-it Ralph is classic Disney. Take away the video game background and it could be any standard Disney movie. But its the video gameWreck-it Ralph is classic Disney. Take away the video game background and it could be any standard Disney movie. But its the video game background that helps make it work. There's lovely in-jokes for older video game fans while still playing with arcade videogame convention in such an obvious way that any age-group can enjoy it. The film is also helped by great vocal talent. Everyone fits their role and help elevate the movie above the likes of rise of the guardians. However the film suffers on two fronts a bare bones plot device and a villain who only really gets revealed near the end. A bit more world building would have helped both. But still, this is a quality animated movie and great fun for video game nerds like myself. The end credits in particular are lovely. Just below a 7 here. If Metacritic allowed decimals, this would be a 6.5.
Special mention for the Disney short at the start Paperman. It's absolutely beautiful and strikes a different tone to the usual Pixxar cute short. Mixing lovely black and white colouring with classic Disney-style aniumation, A movie in this style would be very interesting.… Expand
Average User Score: 6.9Feb 28, 2013Warm Bodies is a charming take on the romantic comedy formula with a nice soundtrack and two likeable leads and, sadly, not much else. It'sWarm Bodies is a charming take on the romantic comedy formula with a nice soundtrack and two likeable leads and, sadly, not much else. It's mostly entertaining but there's a real lack of pace to the first half of the film. It shifts unevenly between trying to be (somewhat) deep and being absolutely candyfloss. Some characters are played seriously and others are super wacky. Considering the zombie threat the world is suffering, its amazing how quickly the girls come round to R being safe.
There's worse films around and I enjoyed more in Warm Bodies than I disliked, it's just not interesting enough overall. I felt like it was a good first draft that needed more flesh on the bones (see what I did there?) If you catch it on tv you might enjoy it but as a trip to cinema there's far better fare out there. Or just save your money until next week.… Expand