Blog: Grosse Point Geek – Rapid Fire Reviews Jan 2015

Blog: Grosse Point Geek – Rapid Fire Reviews Jan 2015

A Blog Grosse Point Geek Uncategorized

Happy New Year fellow film fans! Welcome to Grosse Pointe Geeks Jan 2015 Rapid Fire Review!

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Exodus: Gods and Kings

Director: Ridley Scott

Actors: Christian Bale, Joel Edgerton, Ben Kingsley, Aaron Paul, John Turturro, Sigourney Weaver.

Scott has another stab at the historical epic with this so-so retelling of the story of Moses. On the plus side its beautifully photographed, very well directed and the set designs are amazing. However, its too long, fairly dull in places and there isn’t nearly enough action. Also Weaver and Aaron Paul barely get a look in -making one wonder why they were cast in the first place, not only that but to be honest the whole thing had a distinct whiff of Ridley Scott tapping Gladiator all over again.

At Cinemas now

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The Expendables 3

Director: Patrick Hughes

Actors: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Mel Gibson, Harrison Ford, Dolph Lundgren, Wesley Snipes, Jet Li, etc etc.

Recently released on Blu Ray, which includes an extended more violent version than the one released in cinemas. Now i know i did a quick review of it last year, but if I’ve said it once I’ll say it again – for the love of God and Mammon – if you haven’t done it already  -please please watch this film!

Yes its silly, no it isn’t Shakespeare but if you love an action movie that doesn’t take itself too seriously, is well made and extremely entertaining – then this is definitely for you.

(On Blu Ray and DVD now  – however i would recommend getting it on Blu Ray)

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The Heat

Director: Paul Fieg

Actors: Sandra Bullock, Mellissa McCarthy

The mismatched cop genre is mined once more in this fairly good action comedy. Bullock is the straight laced FBI agent who reluctantly teams up with McCarthy’s slobbish Boston detective. Skips along at a rare old pace, very profane and actually quite funny in parts – especially McCarthy who gets all the quality one liners.

However we have seen this kind of film many times before in the 1980’s and one hopes that its success wont necessarily inspire Hollywood to go down that route all over again.

Available on DVD/Blu Ray and Netflix

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The Hobbit: The Battle of The Five Armies

Director: Peter Jackson

Actors: Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Luke Evans, Ian McKellan, Lee Pace, Orlando Bloom.

The Middle Earth saga comes to a close with this epic final chapter that sees all and sundry close in on the Lonely Mountain to try and claim the gold from Thorin and Dwarves.. Freeman, Evans, Armitage and McKellan give faultless performances once again, plus Jackson effortlessly crafts a film that not only looks fantastic but is incredibly enjoyable as well. I will say this though – as good as it is, it cant touch the Return Of The King and one did get the feeling that a lot of footage was held back for the yet to be released 2015 extended edition DVD.

At Cinemas now

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The Imitation Game

Director: Morten Tyldum

Actors: Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightly, Mark Strong, Charle Dance, Matthew Goode.

Based on the true story of Alan Turing – a brilliant mathematician who single handedly built a machine that could decipher the Nazi Enigma Code and as a result turned the tide of World War 2, saving millions of lives in the process. A totally outstanding film, with a mesmerising performance from Cumberbatch that, if there is any justice, will bag him a much deserved Oscar nomination. One of the best films of 2014 – highly recommended.

At cinemas now

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The Pyramid

Director: Gregory Levasseur

Actors: James Buckley, Ashley Hinshaw

Found footage film featuring a team of archaeologists who unearth a lost pyramid then get trapped inside, whilst being pursued by evil supernatural forces and all manner of flesh eating beasties. Descends into CGI madness at the end but to be fair the story is quite interesting, there are some pretty scary bits and its certainly worth a look for anyone who enjoyed last years As Above So Below.

Possibly still at cinemas now

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Sin City 2: A Dame To Kill For

Director: Robert Rodriguez, Frank Miller

Actors: Mickey Rourke, Bruce Willis, Jessica Alba, Eva Green, Josh Brolin, Joseph Gordon levitt, Powers Booth.

Not bad sequel to the 2005 original. Well made, fairly enjoyable with some good performances  – especially Brolin, Levitt, Booth and Green, however the narrative and story aren’t as well structured as the first film and overall it all feels like a case of been there done that with no need to do it again  – which seems to be all Robert Rodriguez does these days anyway.

Available on DVD/Blu ray

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The Wicker Tree

Director: Robin Hardy

Actors: Graham McTavish, Christopher Lee

Adaptation of the novel ‘Cowboys for Christ’ and a sort of sequel/companion piece to Hardy’s original film – The Wicker Man.

Suffice to say that once in a while there comes a film that is so bad that it automatically gets into my top ten worst of all time list………and this is that film. Awful in just about every way you can imagine – cheap looking, amateurish direction, terrible acting, appalling script,  and overall a complete and utter insult to anyone who enjoyed the first film.

Avoid

Available on Netflix (if you can be bothered)

 

 

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That’s it for now.  I’ll be back soon…

Author: Will Strong 

 

Gravity: A Quick Capsule Review

Gravity: A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Gravity is not a bad film.  The 5 stars reviews tell you that.  But at the same point it’s not the best film ever made.  It’s not even the best film of 2013.  Technically this film is brilliant.  Unlike anything I’ve ever seen, but strip the Imax 3D and technical tricks away, you are left with a pretty average drama film with stock characters and repetitive action.  It’s not a popular opinion for sure, but mark my words months on when this arrive son DVD this will be the most reviewed down film of the year.

Best Bit: The opening shot.  Breath taking.

Rent, Borrow, Buy, Stream: Imax 3D ONLY

IMDB Rating: 

If you liked this try: 2001 (8/10); Avatar (6/10); Prometheus (4/10)

Review: Gravity (Cinema)

Review: Gravity (Cinema)

Uncategorized

The Review:  In what seems like a very short space of time, the 3D experience has become a huge part of both the cinema and home viewing experience.

However, very few films have used the technique to its full potential and studios have seen it as merely a cash cow by churning out last minute conversions on films that have left the public jaded and cheated by this lazy attempt to justify a more expensive ticket.

So now we have the latest in 3D wizardry in the shape of Gravity. A much hyped sci-fi tale of stranded astronauts in space.

Alfonso Cuarón directs after a 7 year gap since his masterpiece Children of Men, resulting in a great deal of attention from the industry as to what he would produce next.

The story revolves around two astronauts, Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) and Matt Kowalski (George Clooney) who are carrying out routine repairs above the earth’s atmosphere.

A freak accident suddenly causes a vast amount of satellite debris to be knocked into their path resulting in Stone being detached from the crew and fighting for her life.

To say any more about the plot would spoil the experience, but what is important is to focus on the breathtaking visuals in the film.

This is a film that is all about the audience experiencing a thrilling 3 dimensional ride.

As soon as the film begins we are presented with a silent beautiful view of earth from above. We then begin to see the shuttle and Clooney drifting into shot where we continue in one take and witness the crew go about their repairs.

The fluid one take shots are outstanding, the camera never staying still and drifting with the crew as they communicate with each other and with NASA. I’ve no doubt this is as close as you will get to experiencing what these brave individuals go through from the comfort of a chair.

Sound design and score have been carefully crafted with moments of deathly silence only to be jolted from your seat with the booming sound and sights of space debris.

The film does however have some issues with pacing and also character development.

The focus is very much on Sandra Bullocks’ character, a novice astronaut with a tragic past. However it is Clooneys’ character that needed more development. His wisecracks and charisma work early on in the film but later on when the situation turns even darker, his reaction to the situation simply didn’t ring true for me.

The film is saved however by the final act, a truly nerve shredding and emotional finale that sees Bullocks’ character fighting for her life.

Visually the film has certainly done something that I have never seen before and to an extent has restored some faith in 3D filmmaking. However, the hype machine is simply not justified and that comes down to the script which needed to go through a few more drafts to develop the characters more.

Alfonso Cuarón is a masterful director no question, but I do hope he doesn’t focus too much energy on pushing the technology in his future work and lose the human touch that he has displayed in his previous films.

 

Reviewed By: Daryn Castle

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