Monthly Archives: December 2012

Review: Jack Reacher

MV5BMTM1NjUxMDI3OV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNjg1ODM3OA@@._V1._SY317_CR3,0,214,317_This is my last review of 2012!

Jack Reacher is another Hollywood film adaptation of a successful book series. This time Hollywood has taken on Lee Child’s 2005 novel One Shot, the ninth book from the Jack Reacher series.

Starring Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher, the former Military police officer and drifter is brought in after a murder suspect asks the police to find him. James Barr is arrested after randomly shooting five people and believes Jack Reacher can prove his innocence.

The one thing that I really liked about this film is that is does exactly what you expect it to do. It is an action crime thriller that does exactly that. The action is pretty much there from the get go and the opening scenes (even though they might be seen slightly controversial now) really draw your attention. Tom Cruise is on form with the action and you can see that these are the films he really enjoys to be a part of.

The story is also interesting. Having never read a book from this series, the film does explain the character really well and does explain all the basics of him so a not too clued up audience can easily follow. This film is based on the ninth book from the series so the writes have done a good job to get all the basic information audiences need in.

Even though I didn’t hate the film, I found the run time a slight problem. The film is over two hours long and in parts I found it to drag. Some action scenes, even though they are good, go on for a little too long and feel a little over done.

I mention before about the opening may being seen as controversial now and some people will find it hard to watch. The opening scenes are of a man with a gun randomly shooting innocent people. So in light of what recently happened in the USA some people may not want to watch.

The only other thing I want to comment on is the casting of Tom Cruise. Even though he is at home in an action film and can pull these action and fight scenes off well I sometimes found it hard to believe him as this man. I don’t know exactly what it was but every now and again something in my head was telling me someone else could have done this a little bit differently and maybe be a little bit more believable.

Overall Jack Reacher is a good action film for audiences of all ages. It is a film that does exactly what it says on the tin and you get what you expect from it. There is nothing incredibly wrong with the film but one or two little changes could have made it a little better.

* * *

2012 Film Rankings

ADDED: THIS MEANS WAR and JACK REACHER
Will possibly try and squeeze in Life of Pi before the end of the year!
  1. The Dark Knight Rises
  2. Avengers Assemble
  3. The Descendants
  4. The Amazing Spider-Man
  5. Looper
  6. Argo
  7. Silver Linings Playbook
  8. 21 Jump Street
  9. The Hunger Games
  10. The Cabin In The Woods
  11. The Hobbit
  12. The Watch
  13. Jack Reacher
  14. Skyfall
  15. American Reunion
  16. Premium Rush
  17. Lawless
  18. Rock of Ages
  19. Contraband
  20. The Woman In Black
  21. The Five Year Engagement
  22. Magic Mike
  23. Seeking a Friend for the End of the World
  24. Katy Perry: Part of Me
  25. Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2
  26. Shame
  27. The Muppets
  28. Red Lights
  29. Safe House
  30. This Means War
  31. Dark Shadows
  32. Prometheus
  33. Chernobyl Diaries
  34. The Grey
  35. Chronicle
  36. Killer Joe
  37. Ted
  38. Project X

Review: This Means War

MV5BMTYyOTQ4MDE2MV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwOTE0MTgwNw@@._V1._SY317_CR0,0,214,317_This Means War was released in UK cinemas in March this year and was released on DVD a few months later. Starring Tom Hardy, Chris Pine and Reese Witherspoon, This Means War tells the story of two CIA agents who both date the same woman. They then engage in a battle against one another to see who can get the girl for good.The film is described as an action romantic comedy and has a run time of 97 minutes.

I have to say that as a Tom Hardy fan and as a person who doesn’t mind a romantic comedy here and there I was looking forward to this film but to say I was disappointed would be an understatement.

The first thing I have to address is the action romantic comedy genre placement. The comedy aspect is severely lacking. The jokes (when they slowly appear) aren’t funny and there is hardly any laughable content. I think I laughed once throughout the whole run time of the film. In terms of the romance element, this again is lacking. The whole idea of these to men fighting for this woman takes away any aspect of any romance that there could be. There is also a long and unnecessary sex scene, which just seems to have been done to get Reese Witherspoon into her underwear.

Then there is the action. Throughout the film, the audience is given small bits of action here and there to remind them that this is suppose to be an action film but it is very wooden and at time is not what you want from this story.

It is not just the genre placement that I have a problem with but it is everything that I have a problem with. There are severe plot holes in the films that put holes in the entire storyline. The storyline decides to change direction whenever it wants to. The editing makes the final cut of the film look cheap. The acting in parts is hard to watch and whoever hired Chelsea Handler needs to be spoken to (she is the most unnecessary character in the whole film).

After watching this film I have found it very hard to find anything that I liked about it. It is hard to watch and hard to follow. It is not funny and it is frustrating to watch. As a fan of Tom Hardy I was very let down and I really think he should be ashamed of putting his name to this awful excuse for entertainment

* *

Review: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

The_Hobbit-_An_Unexpected_Journey_74The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is the latest fantasy fiction adaptation from Peter Jackson. This is the first part of a three part series of films based on the book ‘The Hobbit’ by J.R.R Tolkien.
Taking place sixty years before The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit tells the story of Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) as he is hired by wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen) to accompany thirteen dwarfs on a quest across Middle-Earth to reclaim the Lonely Mountain from Smaug the dragon.

There are some really great things to point out with this film. Firstly, the cast are great. Martin Freeman is brilliant as Bilbo and balances the comedic aspects of the character with the serious tones really well. The cast surrounding Freeman are also great and as usual Andy Serkis as Gollum gives an outstanding performance. Secondly, the visuals are again great and make the film beautiful. The scenery is great and middle earth is visually stunning and when you add the special effects and CGI everything creates a great fantasy world. Thirdly, it is an easy story to follow. If you haven’t read the book or you gave up half way through the book everything is pretty much laid out for you so you can easily follow and pick things up.

The one big problem with this film is that it is too long. With advertisements, the running length is over three hours.  Even though you are told everything (which in some senses is a good thing) sometimes it feels like you are being spoon fed so much information that it often feels like too much. The first hour of the film is very slow burning as well and it does take its time to pick up and really get going. This again happens with the end of the film. The final forty minutes feels like an hour and it just seems to go on and on. Before the film actually ends there comes at least four natural stopping points but it feels like they just want to keep going and going until they physically have to stop it.
From reading reviews and reading up on the film, it seems like this film has lead us to chapter six of the book and with another two films to go I feel like the running time for the next films needs addressing.

Overall, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is a good watch and is an epic fantasy film but its running time seriously lets it down. The film will undoubtedly make back its money and will draw in audiences but making three films may ultimately have been the wrong decision.

On a final note, I didn’t see the film in 48fps so cant comment on how that looks or feels but am going to try and have a look in at the weekend.

* * * *

2012 Film Rankings

ADDED: SEEKING A FRIEND FOR THE END OF THE WORLD and THE HOBBIT
  1. The Dark Knight Rises
  2. Avengers Assemble
  3. The Amazing Spider-Man
  4. The Descendants
  5. Looper
  6. Argo
  7. Silver Linings Playbook
  8. 21 Jump Street
  9. The Hunger Games
  10. The Cabin In The Woods
  11. The Hobbit
  12. The Watch
  13. Skyfall
  14. American Reunion
  15. Premium Rush
  16. Lawless
  17. Rock of Ages
  18. Contraband
  19. The Woman In Black
  20. Seeking a Friend for the End of the World
  21. The Five Year Engagement
  22. Magic Mike
  23. Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2
  24. Shame
  25. The Muppets
  26. Red Lights
  27. Safe House
  28. Dark Shadows
  29. Prometheus
  30. Chernobyl Diaries
  31. The Grey
  32. Chronicle
  33. Killer Joe
  34. Ted
  35. Project X

Why Do Award Ceremonies Dislike The Dark Knight?

NolanChristopher Nolan’s ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ was one of this summers biggest films. Not only did it receive positive reviews and gross over $1.081 billion dollars worldwide but the film is currently the second highest grossing film of 2012 and is the 7th highest grossing film of all time. So why is it that Christopher Nolan, his fantastic cast and his highly grossing and critically successful film have been snubbed by The Golden Globes yet again?

The 2012 Golden Globe nominees where announced this past week and again, Nolan was ignored. At last years ceremony his again, critically received ‘Inception’ was nominated but ignored when it came to wins.
Not only has the film and its director been ignored but its great cast has also been ignored. This part of the Batman franchise saw stand out performances from cast newcomers Joseph Gordon Levitt and Tom Hardy as well great performances from reoccurring cast members Michael Caine and Gary Oldman. Not only that but the music of ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ has been ignored. Christopher Nolan always works with a great team of people who give these films not only a great visual appearance but a great musical experience as well.

It could be argued that ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ should have received nominations for Best Director (Nolan), Best Film, Best Supporting Actor (Gordon-Levitt), Best Screenplay and Best Score but it seems as though The Golden Globes are reluctant to recognise these aspects of this great film.

Whether its something against Nolan himself or something that the Hollywood Foreign Press have against Batman, it seems as though we will have to wait and see if Nolan and his successful franchise will be triumphant elsewhere.