‘The Avengers’ – Movie Review

First thing I need to say isn’t really related to The Avengers but thought I would express my views on the matter. I am utterly pissed off that there was no new Dark Knight Rises trailer shown before the movie, the only reason I can think of is because they must be releasing it with the American release not the UK one because we get a week early but there was an amazing Prometheus trailer I hadn’t yet seen. Anyway onto the movie.

The plot of The Avengers is simple, bad guy – Loki – tries to take over earth, that’s about it. This isn’t really a bad thing though, this movie is already two hours twenty minutes so with the inclusion of a deep plot the film would have been even long. But to be honest you aren’t really looking for an intense plot filled with metaphors and hidden meanings, all you really want is to go and have a great time and thats exactly what you get.

As I said there isn’t really much plot going on here but what there is plenty of is character depth, Joss Whedon does a fantastic job of giving these characters so many levels that we never knew they had. This added depth to the characters really causes us too feel for them in their moment of hardships. The character I ended up empathising for the most was actually Black Widow which actually surprised me a great deal. But that’s thing that Whedon does really well, he is used to developing characters and yet again his fantastic writing does it again here.

Now if you had your doubts about Joss Whedon’s directing ability then let me reassure you that you can put those fears to bed. Some of the shots he creates are absolutely stunning making for what will be some very iconic scenes from the movie. Not only did Joss Whedon direct this action filled roller coaster he also put pen to paper and wrote it, as I said the plot isn’t exceptional but the dialogue is utter brilliance. Every word out of Tony Stark’s mouth is absolutely hilarious making this funnier than a lot of comedies I have seen.

Everyone knows the standard of the acting that is typically found in these Marvel movies, it’s pretty good but nothing really amazing. You don’t expect much from the actors  but if this is your first Marvel movie, I don’t know why it would be, but then you will be surprised by the above average quality.

Robert Downey Jr. obviously returns as the obnoxious and downright funny billionaire, Tony Stark. Everyone has seen this role before so you don’t really see anything new here but you know what, that doesn’t mean it hasn’t gotten old. As usual Robert Downey Jr. performs brilliantly, displaying one of the best performances of the movie adding some comedy to an otherwise action filed adventure.

Downey Jr. isn’t the only one that shines here, Mark Ruffalo – who I am a huge fan of – plays Bruce Banner/ the Hulk brilliantly making for my personal favourite Hulk’s we have seen to date and there is nothing I wish more than for him to get his own movie after this, but we all know that isn’t going to happen. Ruffalo also supplies us with many laughs throughout the movie and he also gives us a collection of the best action sequences in the whole movie with his “Hulk smash!”

We see the return of Tom Hiddleston as the menacing Loki and he plays the role absolutely beautifully. The first shot we get of Loki is harrowing which is mastered by the combination of Hiddleston’s devilish performance and Whedon’s gorgeous directing. Loki not only makes for a horrifying villain but his chemistry between Downey Jr. as Iron Man is priceless. If you weren’t fond of Loki in Thor – like I wasn’t – your mind will be changed here he truly is an evil person making for an iconic villain.

Chris Evans and Hemsworth show us the performance you expect from seeing them in their individual Marvel movies, they aren’t show stopping but are good enough for this movie. I feel as though the best moments of acting are when all of the Avengers are together, the chemistry between them is perfect, they all have their own different relationship between each other that can swap from hatred to best friends in a matter of minutes.

Now the one thing that you don’t have to worry about in this movie is any of the main characters being pushed aside. When I first saw the trailer I thought that this will end up being Iron Man & Co. but trust me it isn’t, all of the characters you want to get all the screen time they deserve. Maria Hill played by the brilliant Cobie Smulders is one of the very few characters that gets pushed to the side, but she was never really regarded as one of the main characters although I would have liked it if she had a bit more ass kicking to do. Pepper Potts played by Gwyneth Paltrow makes a brief appearance which literally lasts a minute but you don’t really care about that as this movie really isn’t about her.

The Avengers isn’t exactly perfect, there was one thing I wasn’t too fond of and that is that these movies are starting to feel far too familiar. Apart from the stature of this movie in comparison with others it doesn’t really vary it’s self from the other Marvel movies – Paramount Pictures – the direction has the same old comic book action style which you can spot in all the other movies. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing but I can see many people starting to tire of it.

If you are a loyal reader of mine then you know that I am not the biggest fan of 3D, I feel as though it is usually useless and extremely overpriced, the same can be said here. I didn’t feel as though the 3D was necessary, if it was it would have been filmed in 3D and not post converted like most films are these day. The 3D wasn’t used like Avatar to fully engross me in the world, it just felt like it was there and there was nothing really too it, I know I would have enjoyed the film just as much in 2D.

The thing The Avengers does best is what it set out to do. It isn’t trying to be a dark superhero movie with a serious tone – like The Dark Knight – and that’s good because trying to compete with that is a ridiculous thing to do. The Avengers tries to be a comic book action-filled, Hollywood blockbuster and you know what it does that perfectly. I don’t think you will be able to compare this and the later released comic book movies this year – Amazing Spider-Man and Dark Knight Rises – because it is so different.

I am just worried about how the sequels/spinoffs from this are going to be able to live up to it, this is the greatest threat the earth has faced and I don’t see how a single film focusing on Iron Man can live up to that. I will hate to be the first film made after this because it will be compared A LOT saying how it just didn’t live up to The Avengers and that’s sad. I also wonder how long they going to be able to keep going for, I mean someones going to want to leave soon, what are they going to do? Just trade actors hoping we won’t notice.

Trust me, if you are a fan of superhero movies then you will fall in love with this movie, it is the movie we all wanted and expected, Joss Whedon has done us all proud and for that I would like to you thank you very much. Now I can’t wait for the directors cut with all that footage that Whedon was made to chop out. I feel as though this is the perfect start to a Summer filled with brilliant movies.

10/10

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Foo Fighters: Back And Forth – Movie Review

Let me start off by saying you probably won’t be interested in this movie or review if you aren’t really a Foo Fighters fan, but if you are an openminded person this movie will change your whole opinion of Dave Grohl and the band that he created. Back And Forth centres on the greatest rock band around today, Foo Fighters, it travels back to Grohl’s experiences withNirvana from the creation to the fame to the heartbreak. The film then moves on to take us on the journey of the creation of the phenomenal rock band, Foo Fighters. As you can probably tell already I am a Foo Fighters fan, before watching this movie I liked them a lot but after viewing this documentary I fell in love with them and now a massive fan. Hopefully this film can convert you too.

The documentary doesn’t follow the typical formula, instead of having a single person narrating a collection of clips the story is told through a series of interviews with current and former band members. I felt as though this adds a very personal feel to the film as you hear the stories first hand from the people who actually experienced it.

The last act of the movie is centred on the creation of their new album, Wasting Light, which in my opinion their best album and it is throughly interesting to see the complete process that they went through to make it. I feel as though this is the best part of the whole movie is as it moves away from the interviews and it becomes more driven by footage from Grohl’s personal studio which gives you a glimpse into the bands personal lives.

While watching there were a few parts that really stood out for me, the first being when William Goldsmith found out that Grohl had rerecorded all the drums on one album. This moment made me finally see that even the nicest man in rock – Grohl – can do horrible things. The second was of course when Foo Fighters reached their prime, when they played their biggest gig at Wembley, this was the moment were you think “woah, they really are the best band in the world!” The final moment was the production of the song I Should Have Known, this is personally my favourite song on their new album because through the song and in this documentary you can see that this song is so thoughtful and has come from so deep inside Grohl. I have so much respect for him for what he has been through and all that hardship comes through in this section of the movie.

If you aren’t a Foo Fighters fan I would still highly recommend this to you, if you are at all a fan of music and it’s creation I can guarantee you will love this movie as much as I did and afterwards you will realise how many astonishing songs they really have and you will want to go back and visit their whole discography.

10/10

Why I Hate 3D!

These days everything seems to be released in 3D and I just don’t understand why. As you can tell from the title of this post I am in the camp of people who are against having the third dimension taking over cinema. Let me start off by saying I am someone who can perfectly watch 3D so that isn’t a reason why I personally hate it.

This isn’t the first time that 3D in movies has taken off, the first time 3D became a success was in 1952, yes it was that long ago, this craze for 3D began to wither away by September 1953 due to many reasons, mainly due to the complex task of having to project two images at once. As soon as December 1953 3D was back in our cinemas with all new projectors making it easier for the film to be projected, in this wave of 3D even the great Alfred Hitchcock released a 3D picture but that didn’t stop 3D from wilting out by early 1955. But 3D wasn’t done there a handful of films were released in 3D between 1960 and 2003, where 3D made its long awaited comeback. We now have extremely advanced technology making the production and viewing of 3D easier than ever so why not bring it back.

In the past I have enjoyed the occasional 3D but it has now got to the stage where everything is being thrown out with many of them being post converted making them look even worse than if they were shot with three dimensional cameras. Avatar was actually the first feature length movie I ever saw in the third dimension and I absolutely loved it, the 3D was extremely subtle and was just there to deeply engross you into the film and you know what it really worked. I thought to myself after seeing it, that if all 3D movies are going to be like this then I can really see it taking off, but I knew that wouldn’t happen though, I knew Hollywood would do their best to shove 3D down our throats until we got sick of.

The biggest downside to 3D has to be the expense, the cost of my cinema ticket goes up by a whopping £1.95 just for some glasses that make everyone look stupid and fall off the bridge of my nose. The other day I went to the cinema to see The Pirates! In An Adventure With Scientists and there wasn’t an option to see it in 2D so I had to pay extra to go and see it in a dimension that I didn’t want to. I thought to myself what the hell it might be great 3D, it wasn’t, it added absolutely nothing to the movie so I left the movie pissed off having spent £1.95 on something I didn’t want to. I don’t have a huge problem with 3D in the cinema because it can actually benefit some films, admittedly very few.

In 1896 they didn’t even dream about 3D, when audiences were shown the first ever motion picture – The Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat Station – they all moved back, with some screaming and fainting because they believed the train was actually coming towards them. Nowadays we get every 3D film trying to mimic that by throwing things out us, but you know what? Surprisingly (sarcasm) the novelty has worn off and we don’t want arrows firing through the screen at us every five seconds.

The one thing that I am pissed off about is the amount of 3D rereleases that are coming out, I can actually see the movie industry coming to an end very soon as they clearly have no original ideas and are just rereleasing, rebooting and remaking every movie they can. I really don’t see the point of films being rereleased in 3D, I have never thought to myself damn I wish Star Wars was in 3D. No-one has thought that because no-one wants it, they are phenomenal films (the originals) in 2D so we don’t need a third dimension. I never really thought we needed 3D, IMAX is the most engrossing experience I have ever witnessed and has trumped every 3D movie I have seen so I reckon we should all just root for IMAX instead of 3D.

3D in the cinema is nowhere near as bad as the attempts at 3D in the home. I don’t own a 3D TV at home, I have refused to spend over a grand just so I can watch the occasional movie in 3D. All the reasonably priced 3D TVs I have tried out all experience something called ghosting which is where you begin to see double in some scenes, now to me this is a fault and is proof that the technology isn’t perfect yet they still sell these TVs. I don’t want to spend however much on a TV that has a major fault every time I watch a film in third dimension. I know that all modern TVs that are being bought out now come with 3D equipped as standard and I know the next TV I buy will have it but that doesn’t mean I will use it.

I have decided that when Christopher Nolan finally makes his first 3D movie I will join the bandwagon and accept that 3D is the future but until that happens I hate it. What are your thoughts on the third dimensions? Do you think its really going to take off this time? Or can you see it withering away like another fad? Please tell me your thoughts in the comments below, I am really interested to hear what other people think. Thank you very much for reading, if you enjoyed this most please feel free to hit that like and follow button.

‘The Hunger Games’ – Movie Review

When I first heard about The Hunger Games I was extremely uninterested, that lack of interest didn’t change after we saw all the trailers and clips. I had no plan on ever seeing this movie in the cinema, but I managed to get hold of a free pair of tickets so I thought why not. I went into The Hunger Games not expecting much at all boy was I wrong, I went in already hating the franchise and came out loving it.

The Hunger Games is an adaptation from the extremely popular book written by Suzanne Collins, I had the feeling that this would be another franchise like Twilight, filled with diabolical acting and a twisted and unnatural story but again I was wrong. Yes the story of The Hunger Games is a little twisted, set in the distant future where we all live in separate districts, the capitol runs a yearly show called The Hunger Games, they obtain a boy and girl aged between twelve and eighteen to fight to the death in The Hunger Games, there can only be one victor.

I can’t be one to comment on how good of a job they did adapting this from it’s source material as I never read the books, from what I have heard they have done a pretty great job seeing as though they have left out very little from the book which makes the two hour twenty minute run time understandable. That was one problem that I had with the film, the length. I thought it was just ten minutes or so too long, I didn’t get bored one bit in the film but I did think while sat there watching it that it did feel to long.

The length of this film wouldn’t have been bearable without the surprisingly great acting from Jennifer Lawrence. She really did surprise me, I know she has delivered great performances in the past in films such as Winter’s Bone, but you just expect this franchise to be filled with unbearable acting but you know what it wasn’t. Another actor that I thought deserves a worthy mention is Stanley Tucci he outperforms most other people on screen just like usual. The one actor that I was not keen on was Josh Hutcherson, with him in it I felt as though he was their ticket into the young adult audience. His performance was the weakest throughout the movie and I couldn’t help but think that his performance felt incredibly forced. A big disappointment is the chemistry between Lawrence and Hutcherson, or should I say the lack of chemistry between them.

After watching The Hunger Games it left me feeling as though I wished they had rated 15 (UK) with a bit more violence, I did feel as though it was very toned down just so that it would appeal to the same audience as Twilight. 

Probably the biggest failing in The Hunger Games is the characters, I’m not sure if this was a failing in the book or just the film but some characters relationships feel extremely rushed and when their relationships come to an end you don’t feel as emotional as you should do just because the relationships were so rushed so you didn’t have enough time to fully engage with them.

It may seem to many of you that I am bashing The Hunger Games but I’m really not, I liked it a lot but that doesn’t mean it’s perfect. But one thing The Hunger Games does right is it’s beauty, it’s amazing how the style of the film goes from a dark and depressed scene in the first act and then into the second which is filled with extravagant colours. The capitol has been astonishingly created out of CGI and on the big screen it really looks breathtaking with many shots that show off its true beauty.

I did really like The Hunger Games even if it was a little long and didn’t have some relationship development I would have liked to have seen. I just hope that the other two films don’t become poor sequels to this very good film. If you are an avid reader of the books I can imagine that you will love this movie and will probably be one of your best of 2012. Jennifer Lawrence really does carry this film acting wise, she shines just as bright as fire. This film may feel a little young adult for many of you but I still highly recommend this to anyone, please go and see it this weekend.

8/10

Changes To My Blog!

Recently many of you may have noticed that my posts have become less regular, this isn’t because I am losing interest, I love doing this and if I could I would do it all the time but unfortunately I have other commitments in my life. Therefore I have decided to stop posting news updates on this blog and just do reviews on TV shows and films with the occasional rant and list popping up. I will still be covering HUGE news, for example if there was a new trailer for The Dark Knight Rises I would post it because that is too amazing to miss but if it is just a TV spot for American Reunion then I won’t be posting it. I’m sorry if this has caused any of you inconvenience but when my life starts to become less hectic then I will go back to including news but at the moment I have too much on my plate. I’m really sorry if this upsets any of you but I hope that you will stay just as loyal as you have been and continue to read my posts. You can look out for my Hunger Games and Walking Dead Season 2 reviews in the coming days. Thank you very much for being so loyal and supportive, I couldn’t do it without any of you.

Game Of Thrones Season 1 – Review

I have been waiting to watch this series for ages and I have finally got round to it and I really don’t know why I didn’t watch it before. This series is absolutely phenomenal; I have now become a huge fan and cannot wait for season two to start up in April. Game Of Thrones is a HBO adaptation of the amazing books written by George R.R. Martin. It is set in fantasy medieval world where seven different families are fighting for control over the land Westeros.

Let’s start off by talking about the absolutely astonishing acting, the stand out performance obviously comes from the biggest name in this series, Sean Bean, he delivers an astounding performance as Ned Stark. Another one of the standout performances in this show is Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister, the evil imp, his performance supplies some humour to an otherwise dark and serious show. I felt like the series overall was phenomenally casted and I really couldn’t think of anyone better to play these characters. This great casting mixed with the brilliant acting really made me feel for these characters as if I had known them for years.

Now I haven’t read any of the books that were written by George R.R. Martin so I don’t know if this has been a good adaptation from it’s source materials. From what I have heard I an conclude that is one of the best book to television adaptations that we have seen for a while. It has been said that this show follows the book to perfection, some scenes have been directly converted word for word from it’s source material.

Game Of Thrones really isn’t a series for the feint hearted, it is filled with extreme violence, blood and sex. This isn’t a bad thing as it doesn’t feel forced and is perfectly fitting with the style of the show. But the excess violence and sex may off put a few people from watching the series, but you really shouldn’t let it.

There are a few problems I have with Game Of Thrones, one of them being something quite personal. While watching the first episode it took me a while to get into it and ending up taking me till around episode three before I started to really get into it and engage with the characters. The time it takes to get into it shouldn’t be anything that puts you off as when you do get into you will love yourself for sticking with it.

Another problem that I had with the series was how they missed out all of the intense battles, one of my friends has actually read the books and they said that the battles are actually quite long and played out but in the series they have been cut out, one example is just before there is a battle Tyrion Lannister gets knocked out so you and him miss the whole battle and then when he wakes you and him see the aftermath, missing all the action.

The final thing I wasn’t really fond of was the soundtrack, I know great soundtracks are hard to make but I just thought that this one was lacking and didn’t have the depth and fullness that I had hoped for. Don’t get me wrong it’s a good soundtrack compared to others but it’s no Lord Of The Rings. 

Now let’s go back to the things I loved, I absolutely loved the dialogue that was superbly written by David Benioff, D.B. Weiss. I think that the dialogue is in perfect fitting with the dark series. I have heard that some of the conversations in the series are directly transferred to the screen without any alteration in the source material.

One thing I really l did love is the direction of this beautiful series, there are some astonishing landscape shots that pan across the medieval countryside. Game Of Thrones really does have a breathtaking style giving the overall show an amazing look.

Game Of Thrones does have a few faults but they are only really nitpicks and those small niggles shouldn’t stop anyone from sitting down and watching this groundbreaking series in a ten hour sitting, by god it is totally worth it. Please don’t let any of the violence or sex put you off because this show really is one of the best I have seen in a while. I know that there isn’t many battles but HBO make dramas not actions so I’m not that fussed but it would be nice to see a little more. I guarantee you will love this series as much as I did and once you had watched the first series you with be begging to see the second which returns to our screens on April 1st 2012 and you should really tune in, I know I will.
9/10

Buy A Blu-Ray A Week – USA

Blu-Rays To BUY 

The Muppets – I absolutely loved this movie, it was hugely entertaining and is guaranteed to be enjoyed by anyone. When I first heard about this movie I thought it would be awful, and all of the spoof trailers really weren’t convincing me. Because I love Jason Segel and The Muppets I thought I would give it a chance and I’m glad I did. This film is beyond joyful and I highly recommend this to everyone, especially fans of The Muppets.

Carnage – Now don’t get me wrong I id enjoy Carnage but I was extremely let down as I thought it could shave been so much better. This film is short clocking it at one hour and twenty minutes but the film feels like it is around two hours and that isn’t really a good thing. I chose to put this in the section you should buy because I know a lot of people that loved it but I was just a little let down, you might not be though.

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo – Now to another movie that I absolutely loved, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo was a great remake thats is dark, twisted and extremely fast paced. This movie isn’t for the feint hearted, it does contain some extremely brutal scenes that are not to be viewed by children. It is filled with great performances and it is definitely worth your time. Don’t be daunted by it’s two hour and forty minute run time, it goes extremely quickly all due to it’s astonishing fast paced editing. If you loved the books and the original then you will love this one and if you just generally love movies then you will love it.

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy –  This is a fantastic film with phenomenal performances throughout from the brilliant Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Tom Hardy and so many more. The storyline of this film is a little complex and you could find your self getting a bit lost but its still not a complex as inception the first time round. The film is also quite slow, I think that you need to be quite interested in British spies to really appreciate the pure quality of this movie. But it really is a great shame that is one of many films that has been completely snubbed by the Academy Awards. 

Blu-Rays To AVOID

The Sitter – Please don’t go anywhere near this movie, this is a perfect example as to why people think that Jonah Hill can’t act. This film is supposed to be a comedy but I did not laugh once, it is extremely unfunny and incredibly boring. I really wouldn’t recommend this to anyone, so please save yourself and never watch this pile of garbage.

All of the above Blu-rays are released on Tuesday 20th March 2012. So which ones will you be picking up this week? Feel free to tell me your thoughts in the comments below. Thank you very much for reading.