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

Review: The Hangover Part III

the-hangover-3-poster3-388x600The Hangover Part 3 is the third and final instalment of the hangover franchise. With the original cast back together again, this instalment heads in a slightly different direction to part one and two.
When one of their own is kidnapped by an angry gangster, the wolf pack (Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms and Zach Galifianakis) have to track down Mr Chow (Ken Jeong) who has escaped from prison and is on the run.

Firstly, this is a good way to end the franchise. I think after doing a second film it made sense to make a third to end the franchise in a good way. The cast, as with the other two films are the stand out and are what makes these films. The chemistry between Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms and Zach Galifianakis is something that comes out on screen really well and really makes you believe their friendship.
Secondly having a different twist on the story makes you watch the film differently. With the second film you are expecting the same as the first as they went down the same storyline route but with this one you have a new story. This brings a different dynamic to the franchise and I think you watch it as a new film rather than the end of a franchise.
Finally, the laughs and the comedy is still there which is ultimately what you go into a Hangover film expecting. Is it as funny as the first one? No. But you do get the laughs and the cringe worthy moments that you want.

There isn’t really anything that I didn’t like because I went in knowing what to expect. The Hangover franchise has never tried to be anything that it isn’t so you go in expecting a comedy film that will keep you laughing every time you watch it and that is what you get. There is a scene in the credits that kind of alludes to a possible fourth film but I doubt they will go there because I do think it has a run its course now.

* * *

Review: The Great Gatsby

the_great_gatsby_movie-wide-1024x640Directed by Baz Luhrmann and starring Leonardo Dicaprio (Gatsby), Tobey Maguire (Nick Carraway) and Joel Edgerton (Tom Buchanan), The Great Gatsby is a 2013 version of the tale of a midwestern war veteran who finds himself drawn to the past and lifestyle of his millionaire neighbour, Gatsby.
Also starring Carey Mulligan (Daisy Buchanan) and Isla Fisher (Myrtle Wilson), The Great Gatsby has a running time of 2 hours and twenty-two minutes and was released in UK cinemas on 16th May.

I’m just going to get straight to the point and say that I really, really did not like this film. There are so many major flaws in the production and execution of the film product that it is so hard to watch and enjoy. During the first half of the film, not a lot happens and it really drags and feels slow and badly paced. Then there is a whole scene in the film where Leonardo Dicaprio is talking but his mouth isn’t moving and the whole scene is out of sync.

You can spot where the reshoots have taken place because of the bad execution of the CGI green screen and at times, the images on the screen went blurry and out of focus. I have a problem with Tobey Maguire also because I find his acting style really stiff and hard to watch and I didn’t like him alongside Leonardo Dicaprio because it was like watching light and shade.
It is also too long! The story starts to repeat itself a number of times and it becomes annoying because you feel like you have already sat and watched what you are being told numerous times before. 

The only thing I did like about the film was the soundtrack. I think it was a really good idea to use modern songs again the backdrop of the past. It made the film feel modern and really did show this was a new take on an old story. This was literally the only thing I liked about the whole film.

I could continue to go on about how much I disliked this film but it wouldn’t be fair. Leondardo Dicaprio and Joel Edgerton are probably the only half decent things about this production and for them to be let down by the whole execution is a shame. Baz Luhrmann has produced something that is completely style over substance and the final film is nothing to shout home about.

* *

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. Django Unchained
  5. Star Trek: Into Darkness
  6. I Give It A Year
  7. Les Misérables
  8. The Place Beyond The Pines
  9. Side Effects
  10. Wreck It Ralph
  11. Flight
  12. Gangster Squad
  13. Lincoln

Review: Stark Trek: Into Darkness

star-trek-into-darkness-poster‘Stark Trek: Into Darkness’ is the follow up film to 2009’s Stark Trek. Starring Chris Pine (Kirk), Zachary Quinto (Spock), Simon Pegg (Scotty) and Benedict Cumberbatch as John Harrison this sequel is an action packed sci-fi adventure.
After the crew of the Enterprise encounter an unstoppable force of terror from within their organisation, Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) leads a group of men and women into battle to capture a one man war machine.

Now just to let people know, I have never seen the 2009 Star Trek film and have never seen the television show. I wasn’t originally going to go and see the film but the trailer really sold me. I really liked the dramatisation of the trailer and the whole 3-minute trailer was great to watch. Without the great trailer, I probably wouldn’t have bothered to see this one.

The stand out in the film is definitely Benedict Cumberbatch. He is without a doubt fantastic and really does give the film the spine-chilling element of drama that it has.  His character (without spoiling things and giving anything away) is what makes this film. Without his presence, drama and edge I don’t think the film would be what it is. Another stand out for me was Simon Pegg who clearly brings the comedy factor and even though he is the complete opposite to Cumberbatch, he balances the film out perfectly.
The storyline is really good as well and is straight to the point. There is no smoke and mirrors and you get what you expect to get from this film. Even I, who hasn’t seen anything Star Trek related before could easily follow the story line and follow what was going on without getting lost or confused.

The main downside for me is the length. It is over two hours long and after about the first hour when really good and important things happen, it does start to feel very dragged out. The ending in particular just seemed to go on and on until it eventually ended with some very predictable outcomes. I also think that by having such a great cast with this film, a bar has been set rather high for anyone who comes on board if another film is done, which can be a hard thing to achieve.

The main thing that really stood out for me was the cast. Everyone brought something great to the film and each character was believable and great to watch. Overall, as a first time viewer of Star Trek I wasn’t entirely disappointed and did like the film but I wasn’t in love with it and don’t know if I have convinced myself enough to see another film, if one is to be made.

* * *

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. Django Unchained
  4. Olympus Has Fallen
  5. I Give It A Year
  6. Les Misérables
  7. The Place Beyond The Pines
  8. Side Effects
  9. Wreck It Ralph
  10. Flight
  11. Gangster Squad
  12. Lincoln

Review: The Place Beyond The Pines

the-place-beyond-the-pines-free-preview-screenings-131046-a-1364298520-470-75Starring Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper and Eva Mendes, The Place Beyond The Pines tells the story of a motorcycle stunt rider who turns bank robber to help support his lover and newborn son. This decision puts his life on a collision course with a new ambitions young police officer that is navigating a police department run by a corrupt detective.
With limited release The Place Beyond The Pines has a running time of 2 hours and 20 minutes and is split into three sections, ultimately giving the film three different stories to tell.

As I said, The Place Beyond The Pines is split into three sections. The first section surrounds the story of the motorcycle stunt rider Luke Glanton (Ryan Gosling) and is a very emotional driven first half. Gosling plays the character well but you cant help think back to his character in Drive. This half of the film is very well paced and keeps you on edge by building on the character of Luke more and more. Just as you are starting to understand this character and are just getting to adapt to his story, in comes Bradley Cooper as police officer Avery Cross.

For a brief second you do forget that Bradley Cooper is in the film because he only turns up after about an hour and when he does turn up you kind of go “oh yeah, I forgot he was in this”. The introduction of Bradley Coopers character ultimately leads us into the second story of the film and this is where the film chances completely. For the second half, the film becomes rather slow and boring. Not a lot happens and you don’t particularly care about what is going on.

Finally the film jumps forward fifteen years where we see Luke’s son Jason (Dane DeHann) and Avery’s son AJ (Emory Cohen) meet and head on a path that can only end in upset. For this final part of the film, things mainly pick up towards the later end. It builds up slowly and has a bit of an eruption before the end and then slows down again. It is hard to believe the friendship between the two boys because they are complete opposites and the actor playing AJ doesn’t look anywhere near seventeen, he looks more like thirty and he characteristics aren’t believable at all.

Overall, The Place Beyond The Pines is a very two-sided film. The first half was really good and kicked things off really well but ultimately the film is let down by its following half. It is a very long film and could be shortened but it does need its length to tell you everything that it wants to. It is bold in what it talks about and the issues it discusses but it isnt something to rush out and see.

* * *