Period-set war films with no war, all dialogue and a complicated… MorePeriod-set war films with no war, all dialogue and a complicated central character are never an easy sell. But The Imitation Game is an unreservedly compelling, absorbing study of a brilliant, enigmatic man, and how he, somewhat unintentionally, helped shaped the 20th century in a more ways than many ever even knew. Cumberbatch has unquestionably - and completely deservingly - earned himself long deserved award recognition with his sharply defined, exceptional performance as Turing in this consistently intelligent, quietly moving, unassumingly remarkable film.
Disney flit between their imaginative, ingenious creations to the more… MoreDisney flit between their imaginative, ingenious creations to the more pedestrian efforts quite frequently these days. So for every merchandise baiting Frozen there is inevitably a Big Hero 6; a loveable, emotional, action packed, wildly entertaining animated extravaganza that will appeal to all audiences.
Disney's acquisition of Marvel has clearly had an influence on Big Hero 6; the second half wouldn't feel out of place in The Avengers. But the first half builds on an emotional foundation that isn't melodrama, and gives us a team to root for in said second half that still feels grounded and real.
The story is likely a bit darker than the really young ones would be able to handle, but for the bigger kids its likely to go down a treat. With typically impressive animation and a raft of colourful, interesting characters filling this world, Big Hero 6 is yet another impressive entry in the Disney canon.
It's easy to understand the muted response to this impressively cast… MoreIt's easy to understand the muted response to this impressively cast ensemble dramedy. While the cast are certainly up to task, This Is Where I Leave never gives us anything more meaty to chew on in the quirky, dysfunctional adult family genre of storytelling. There is certainly an admirable attempt at emotional and character depth here, but it's mostly unsurprising and rehashed.
Despite that, the film is far from unlikeable. There are laughs to be had, and there Levy's directorial sheen makes the whole proceeding look poignant and dramatic. It doesn't outstay its welcome, and even though it offers nothing new, its still entertaining in its own right. So it may be nothing essential, for fans its a decent entry at best, if you're in the right mood.
The elephant in the room; The Five Armies is not even in the same… MoreThe elephant in the room; The Five Armies is not even in the same realm (so to speak) as The Return of the King. It tries far too hard to outdo its predecessor and fails to pack anywhere near the same kind of emotional wallop that The Lord of the Rings culminating chapter mustered with ease.
But to be fair, this whole run hasn't been a patch on The Lord of the Rings, so its a little unfair to compare directly. The Hobbit always felt like Bilbo was secondary to all the larger stories that were going on, and never moreso than in this instalment. Overwhelmed by a typically Lord of the Rings style epic battle, the plight of the characters here never feels quite as large as Frodo's. It makes the revelatory character moments here feel much less than they should be.
Peter Jackson is still the master of this world, and his direction continues to impress on the technical side of things. He too is let down only by a story that, through no fault of his own, just isn't as wow as the Lord of the Rings Trilogy.
But it was never meant to be that way. So, within the context of its own series, this final hurrah of The Hobbit films still manages to go out with a strong, entertaining chapter that matches the muster and calibre of what The Hobbit has delivered so far, which is rousing spectacle, engaging story and memorable characters. The saddest thing to take away from this is the lack of any new stories, to be able to go into this world again and enjoy this spectacle. But at least these adventures, like Frodo's also, are there to be watched again and again.
There are many, many reasons not to like this movie, but sometimes you… MoreThere are many, many reasons not to like this movie, but sometimes you can very easily judge a book (or in this case, a film) by its cover. None of the jokes, one-liners or pop culture riffs should surprise anyone who has any idea of the creative minds behind this film. Yes, there's a good chance if you are a North Korean loyalist, you won't enjoy The Interview. But you also won't if you aren't a fan of the kind of humor that Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg like to indulge in.
Because for all its controversy, The Interview is mostly the same old typical low-brow "Comedy 101" from the duo; there pretty much isn't anything remotely fresh or unique here besides what its all wrapped in. So beyond the North Korean baiting controversy, for better or worse this pretty much could easily be almost any other of Rogen's brainless comedies.
Which is both good and bad depending on what side of the humor scale you find yourself on. The ultra fascist North Korea is ripe for any kind of satire, and I'd question if any satire on the ruler of the hermit nation is well intentioned or culturally appropriate. If its good for Trey Stone and Matt Parker its fine for anyone else.
Said controversies don't make the shitty jokes any better, and Rogen and Goldberg scat-irising North Korea can't make their government any worse, so it all comes down to how you feel about the film itself. The fact is, you have the right to judge for yourself, so as soon as you have the opportunity, express that right and make your own call. Love it or hate it, the choice should be yours.
Another sequel to a movie that you didn't ask for. Surprisingly, there… MoreAnother sequel to a movie that you didn't ask for. Surprisingly, there are plenty of redeeming elements to this, thanks to a returning cast with great comedic chemistry. Yet, somehow, the brains trust here have managed to make a film that has almost nothing to do with its title.
To be fair, there is some minor fun to be had; but this is virtually a carbon copy of the film before it, without anywhere near anything worth paying the cost of cinema admission to see. As a completely brainless double header, this sequel will serve as a decent companion piece as a cheap rental or bargain bin purchase; but its certainly nothing imperative.