Monthly Archives: June 2013

MA Dissertation Research

I am currently doing research for my MA dissertation. My dissertation is based on film reviews and how peple read and access them. If anyone who looks at or reads my blog and would like to help my research then please take the survey below (by following the link). It should only take 5 minutes and would be a really big help.

Thanks!

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/BG238W2

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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. Iron Man 3
  2. The Iceman
  3. Zero Dark Thirty
  4. Man of Steel
  5. Olympus Has Fallen
  6. Star Trek: Into Darkness
  7. Hangover Part III
  8. I Give It A Year
  9. The Place Beyond The Pines
  10. The Purge
  11. Django Unchained
  12. Les Misérables
  13. Side Effects
  14. Wreck It Ralph
  15. Flight
  16. Gangster Squad
  17. The Great Gatsby
  18. Lincoln

Review: Man of Steel

man_of_steelStarring Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Russell Crowe and Michael Shannon, Man of Steel is the latest reworking of the Superman franchise. Directed by Zach Snyder and produced by Christopher Nolan Man of Steel has already set a record opening for June with an estimated $125 million.

A young boy discovers that he has extraordinary powers and believes that he is not from earth. As a young man, he journeys to discover where he came from and what he was sent to earth to do. But to save the world the hero inside of him must emerge and he is set to become the symbol of hope that the world needs.

I can’t say that I have seen any of the other Superman franchise films but I did watch the television working that starred Terri Hatcher. I have never really been interested in Superman either so this was a new experience for me.

At the minute, I am in two minds about the film. The first hour is fine and builds up the story well and explains everything about Superman that you need to know. Henry Cavill is good as Superman. He has the charming good looks along with the muscular body so everyone who looks at him will either want to be him or be with him. Russell Crowe is good as Jor-El as is Michael Shannon as General Zod. All I can really say about the cast is that they where good because no one really stood out or made a huge impact.

The second hour then got a bit boring for me and dragged on too much for me to care. After you have been given this good story build up and story telling you are thrown a number of fight scenes that do the same stunts every five minutes, things blowing up and people shouting and screaming. For me, that is where I lost interest and started to get disappointed. One fight scene was ok but then when the second one came, it played out exactly like the first and this happened for the last hour of the film so you start think “what is the point?”
I also didn’t really like Amy Adams as Lois Lane. I don’t know what it was about her but I just couldn’t watch her and believe she was Lois Lane. She was very soft spoken and very timid and girly and I didn’t expect that of that character.

I didn’t dislike Man of Steel but then again I didn’t love it. You can tell from the minute you sit down that this has really been given the Nolan treatment and everything from the music to the font used for the title tell you that but by judging from the last hour, he really did ground the film and keep is real. The second film is probably going to be the stand out as I think more will happen and things like the action scenes will fit in better and things will flow and move a lot more smoothly. In terms of Superhero films released this year, Superman isn’t a stand out for the best but he isn’t letting the side down just yet.

* * * *

Review: The Iceman

iceman_ver2_xlgThe Iceman is a crime thriller that was released in UK cinemas in June 2013. Starring Michael Shannon and Winona Ryder, The Iceman tells the true story of notorious mafia hitman Richard Kulklinski. Depicting the true tales of Kulklinski’s life as a hitman, the film shows the life of a killer and a family man. At the time of his arrest in 1986, neither his nor daughters knew about his profession.

I have to say that I didn’t know what to expect from this film as it wasn’t heavily advertised, the trailer wasn’t played much and there wasn’t much (if any) press coverage on the film. But, I thoroughly enjoyed the film. To start with the story is utterly fascinating and to know that it is based on true events makes it even more fascinating. By watching the film you get a chance to try and understand this man but I don’t think you can and that made me more interested.

The cast are brilliant. Michael Shannon plays Richard Kulklinski and it is a great performance. He really does capture the coldness that this man possessed and menacing yet intriguing to watch. I have seen Michael Shannon in a few things but this role certainly stands out as one of his best. Chris Evans also appears as killer Mr Freezy and even though he is unrecognisable, it is again, another good performance by an actor in this film.
The other thing I really enjoyed about how the film was made was the way that they moved through time. The film moves over a timescale of 10-15 years and it does it very subtly and very graceful. I don’t know why it stood out for me but it seemed to have been done better than any other film I have seen.

I cant say much about what I didn’t like about the film because I was really gripped and interested but if you read up about this man and read up about his life there is a lot there that could have given the film a little more. The one actor I didn’t particularly like in the film was David Schwimmer. He played Josh Rosenthal and I don’t know what it was about him but I just didn’t like him in the role and didn’t like how he was playing the character. That was the biggest let down of the film for me.

Overall if these kinds of real stories fascinate you then you should definitely watch this. Everything about it was gripping and interesting and Michael Shannon is definitely the star of the whole thing. His performance stands out amongst all of the others and he really does make the whole thing a great watch.

* * * *

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. Iron Man 3
  2. Zero Dark Thirty
  3. Olympus Has Fallen
  4. Star Trek: Into Darkness
  5. Hangover Part III
  6. I Give It A Year
  7. Django Unchained
  8. Les Misérables
  9. The Place Beyond The Pines
  10. The Purge
  11. Side Effects
  12. Wreck It Ralph
  13. Flight
  14. Gangster Squad
  15. The Great Gatsby
  16. Lincoln

Review: The Purge

purge_ver2_xlg__spanThe Purge is a 2013 horror, sci-fi, thriller starring Ethan Hawke. The Purge tells the story of a family who are held hostage after harbouring a target of a murderous gang during the annual purge, a twelve-hour period in which any crime, including murder is legalised.

When I saw the trailer, I was really intrigued because I liked the concept that was being offered. When I went in to see the film I didn’t expect a lot but had a few expectations.  I wasn’t disappointed with what was offered to me. I thought the story was a really good idea and was a good take on horror. I thought it was straight to the point and gave you exactly what you wanted. It isn’t too complicated and doesn’t bog you down with too much back-story and complicated twists and turns and it is only 1 hour and 25 minutes long, which for this film was a good length.

The cast where ok. Ethan Hawke plays head of the family James Sandin and is accompanied by Lena Headey as his wife Mary Sandin and Max Burkholder and Adelaide Kane as their children Max and Zoey. The gang leader, Henry, who terrorises the family is played by Tony Oller and certainly gives the best performance in the whole film.

In all honesty the film isn’t amazing. It manages to do what it needs to do in the time frame that it has but it could have been a bit more suspenseful, bit more dramatic and could have used a bit more of a horror element. I was also often reminded of The Hunger Games in terms of things that where said and ways in which the Purge was described so was often referring to that in the back of my mind.

Overall, The Purge isn’t scary what so ever but does give you what you want it to in a good time frame. It is a good concept and is generally an ok film but is perhaps let down by one or two missed elements.

* * *

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. Iron Man 3
  2. Zero Dark Thirty
  3. Olympus Has Fallen
  4. Star Trek: Into Darkness
  5. Hangover Part III
  6. I Give It A Year
  7. Django Unchained
  8. Les Misérables
  9. The Place Beyond The Pines
  10. Side Effects
  11. Wreck It Ralph
  12. Flight
  13. Gangster Squad
  14. The Great Gatsby
  15. Lincoln