Monthly Archives: February 2013

2013 Film Rankings

So 2012 was a good year for cinema and my 2012 film rankings turned out pretty well with a good mix of films. I will do the same for 2013 and review my top ten at the end of the year!

  1. Zero Dark Thirty
  2. Django Unchained
  3. I Give It A Year
  4. Les Misérables
  5. Wreck It Ralph
  6. Flight
  7. Gangster Squad
  8. Lincoln
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Review: I Give It A Year

MV5BMTkyMTc5MjE2MF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNzQzOTY5OA@@._V1_SY317_CR3,0,214,317_I Give It A Year is a British romantic comedy that displays the trials and tribulations of a newlywed couple during their first year of marriage. The aim of the game is to see if Nat (Rose Byrne) and Josh (Rafe Spall) can even make it to a year of marriage after doubts from their family, friends and even themselves.
I Give It A Year has a mixed British cast which includes Rafe Spall as groom Josh, Minnie Driver as Nat’s sister and comedian Stephen Merchant as Josh’s best friend. American actors Simon Baker as Guy and Anna Faris as Chloe then join the British cast along with australian actress Rose Byrne as Bride Nat.

I was really unsure about how good this film would be before heading in to watch it. I thought that all of the best bits would be in the trailer and I am glad to say that I was proved wrong. The best thing about this film is that it is genuinely funny and there are great laughs throughout the whole of the film. The main cast are great at delivering the comedy proportions of the film and Stephen Merchant is certainly the stand out part of the film.
The length of the film is also perfect for this story. The film is only 97 minutes long and you get everything that you need to get from that length. It never feels to long or too short and it never drags in parts. The writers have don’t a great job at giving you a story that you want to see develop with characters that you care about.

I cant really think of anything that is bad about this film. The only small thing that I could point out would be the fact that you know where this whole thing is going after about ten minutes but the fact that you care about the people on screen stop you caring about that.

I Give It A Year is one of the best British comedy films I have seen in a long time and really does deliver to its audiences.

* * * *

2013 Film Rankings

So 2012 was a good year for cinema and my 2012 film rankings turned out pretty well with a good mix of films. I will do the same for 2013 and review my top ten at the end of the year!

  1. Zero Dark Thirty
  2. Django Unchained
  3. Les Misérables
  4. Wreck It Ralph
  5. Flight
  6. Gangster Squad
  7. Lincoln

Review: Wreck It Ralph

wreck-it-ralph-titleWreck it Ralph is Disney’s latest animation offering to be released in cinemas. Ralph (John C. Reilly), a video game villain decides during the 30th anniversary of his game that he wants to be a hero. He sets out on a journey to fulfil his dream but his quest for a new life send the arcade where he lives into chaos.
Voiced by an all-star cast including John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman (Vanellope) and Jane Lynch (Calhoun), Wreck it Ralph is presented in both 2D and 3D and has a run time of an hour and 48 minutes.

In terms of animation then there is no way to fault it. It is another great offering from Disney and is great for an audience of all ages. Kids will love it because it is a classic Disney animation with great characters and adults will love it from the nostalgia it brings and the comedy elements it provides.

It doesn’t get boring this film and that is something Disney is good at doing. They always manage to a great job with creating a story that enhances the audience and keeps the audience paying attention.
The voice cast is also great and each voice suites their character perfectly. Sarah Silverman does a great job of making you actually feel something for her character when you are supposed to find her annoying and Jane Lynch is the perfect casting for the voice of Calhoun, a powerful and strong woman.

The main thing I kept thinking when watching this film was that it reminded me a lot of Toy Story with the way the characters have their own world once the humans go away. I have wondered if this is an effort at trying to create a new Toy Story esque film but I don’t think audiences could ever replace Toy Story.
The other thing that I disliked was how quickly the focus moved from Ralph to Vanellope. It felt like the first forty minutes where spent trying to get Ralph to be a hero and then quickly turned into a film about Vanellope being accepted in her game and then all of a sudden writers remembered that this is called Wreck it Ralph so they brought the hero element back in.

It is hard to pick apart a Disney film because they are so well produced and so well written and I did enjoy this latest offering. The film is loving and fun and is great for an audience of all ages. The 3D is pointless and doesn’t really add anything to the film so if you can see it in 2D then I would opt for that choice.

* * * *

2013 Film Rankings

So 2012 was a good year for cinema and my 2012 film rankings turned out pretty well with a good mix of films. I will do the same for 2013 and review my top ten at the end of the year!

  1. Zero Dark Thirty
  2. Django Unchained
  3. Les Misérables
  4. Flight
  5. Gangster Squad
  6. Lincoln

Review: Flight

MV5BMTUxMjI1OTMxNl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNjc3NTY1OA@@._V1_SY317_CR0,0,214,317_Drama film Flight stars Denzel Washington, John Goodman, and Don Cheadle in a film about pilot Whip Whitaker who saves ninety-six lives as he successfully stops a plane from dramatically plummeting out of the air. But an investigation into the accident leads Whip to reveal something troubling about his own life and lifestyle choices.

The opening thirty minutes of Flight are great. The build up to the crash and the crash itself are great scenes and are tense and hard to watch because even though the crash isn’t real, you feel for these people in this hard situation. On the other side of things, the last thirty minutes of the film are also great.  Everything that happens in the middle obviously comes to a climax at the end but with everything that is revealed you as the audience member breathe a sigh of relief as all of these dramatic things come to a solid ending.

I am a fan of Denzel Washington and do like his performance in this film. He pulls off each aspect of the character really well and at times it is hard to like and feel sorry for his character. I can see why he is nominated for the Oscar but I don’t think he will win the award this time around.

I really wanted to like this film but I found it hard to enjoy the middle. There is a lot of stuff in the middle of the film that weighs it all down and makes it more complicated than it needs to be. There are also some unnecessary characters in the film and by having them and their extra stories things get too much. The character of Nicole (Kelly Reilly) is unnecessary to the whole plot of the film and seems to have been used to add another string to the films bow. John Goodman (Harling Mays) is also unnecessary because he is not needed. All together I think he is in the film for ten minutes and it could have easily been cut out.

Like I said, I really wanted to like this film but after forty-five minutes I was finding it hard to enjoy. The opening and the ending of the film are great but everything else just bogs down the film and makes it just too long.

* * *

Review: Zero Dark Thirty

ZeroDarkThirty2012PosterZero Dark Thirty is a tense American historical drama directed by Oscar winning director Kathryn Bigelow and written by Mark Boal. Focusing on the capture and death of Osama Bin Laden, Zero Dark Thirty follows the decade long hunt for the Al-Qaeda terrorist after the September 11th terror attacks. CIA Operative Maya (Jessica Chastain) heads up the hunt from the start until his death by a team of Navy Seals on May 6th 2011.

The film has received criticism for its use of torture but has also received critical acclaim by being nominated for five awards across a range of categories at the 2013 Oscars.

If I’m honest, I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this film. I wasn’t a huge fan of The Hurt Locker so went in thinking that I wouldn’t enjoy this film. I was surprised at how tense the last hour of the film is. You spend a great deal of time waiting for the climax of the film and it is a great final hour of cinema. You are on the edge of your seat and you do have your fists clenched just waiting.
Jessica Chastain is fantastic. Her role of Maya is the centre of the film and she goes from a scared and timid CIA operative to a number and fierce CIA operative over the space of two hours. I’m torn between whom I want to win the Oscar for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role but I really think she is a fantastic contender and would well and truly deserve it.

In regards to the controversy over the torture that is used in the film then I can see why people are concerned about it. I understand that Kathryn Bigelow wanted to create exactly how things happened without taking out any important details but at times the torture does seem too much. From watching the film, it felt like some bits of could have been taken out without whitewashing history.
The only other things that I didn’t like about the film was the casting of Chris Pratt as Justin – DEVGRU, one of the Navy Seals who goes on the mission to capture Osama Bin Laden. To me, his persona just didn’t fit in with the other actors playing similar roles. It felt like he was there to aid a hint of comedy but it wasn’t needed and he just didn’t fit the tone of the film.

Overall, Zero Dark Thirty is one of the best war based films I have seen in a while. The whole pace and tone of the film is great and the tension builds and builds to a great climax at the end.

* * * *