It is that time again to put up yet another short collection of reviews for all you guys to read. Have a peek as it ranges from the utterly fantastic to the utterly horrible!
With the recent trend of World War II dramas hitting the big screen, Tom Cruise and director Bryan Singer joined forces to bring the Nazi Thriller Valkyrie
. But should the audience hail this movie or consider it a war crime?
Valkyrie is a film set in Nazi Germany that loosely depicts the July 20, 1944 plot by German army officers to assassinate Adolf Hitler. Tom Cruise plays Colonel Stauffenberg, a soldier who got severely wounded by an ally attack in Tunisia, losing an eye and crippling both his hands. He returns home to Berlin, still bitter about the Nazi Regime’s ignorance and immoral approaches. Seeking revenge, he joins forces with the secret German Resistance to set up a plan to take over the S.S by calling on Operation Valkyrie, a plot that involves the deployment of the Reserve Army to maintain order in the event of a national emergency and redrafting it so that the plotters can dismantle the Nazi regime from within. The plot construction is very simple to follow, if not awkwardly paced. But it still has enough momentum to keep the audience entertained. The biggest problem this film has though is that it hasn’t got much tension, due to the fact that everyone is already aware of the outcome. The audience already knows that Hitler survives and that Stauffenberg and his band of men fail the mission, so the build-up leading towards the actual assassination seems almost pointless.
With that said though, the film has a very beautiful glossy visual style that lures the audience in, whether it is the bright tones of red and black or the strong camerawork. The performances are fantastic all round, especially from the likes of Bill Nighy and Eddie Izzard, truly showing off their talents even at its most intense. The biggest criticism however is that it seems underdeveloped, with each role never truly evolving from its original point. It is also a little surreal having an eclectic bunch of English and European accents all portraying themselves as solely German, but all this still doesn’t lose the impact of the performances. It may be an odd device but it isn’t distracting.
is a film that isn’t trying to provoke and enlighten audiences with authenticity or developed characters, but to show off an exciting true event in a simple entertaining way. Even with all its flaws, this was a fun, well structured thriller that becomes an interesting watch once engrossed.
Have you ever seen the pressures that arranging a wedding can cause? Well, all that is explored in the farcical comedy Bride Wars
. But is this comedy matrimonial bliss or is it one that needs to file for divorce?
This high concept film is running entirely on a simple premise. Emma and Liv, played by Anne Hathaway and Kate Hudson, are two best friends who planned every single detail of their dream weddings since childhood, both wanting particularly to have the ceremonies at the Plaza Hotel. Years later, they are both about to get married only to discover that, due to a clerical error, their weddings were booked on the same day. With both of them behaving stubbornly, Emma and Liv begin to sabotage each others weddings in a no-holds barred battle of wits and tricks, seeing who will crumble first and give up their precious day. On paper, this may have sounded like a hilarious set of slapstick sketches and awkward humour, but it clearly drops its mark and dropping rapidly from the moment it begins. The story is too thin to create anything truly meaningful and is so formulaic that it is horrifyingly obvious what the outcome of everything will be. Nothing much happens in this film that can be considered a turning point, never becoming more than a badly constructed farce with terribly written jokes.
The worse thing about Bride Wars
though is its bad representation of women. I may not be a feminist, but even I can tell that the pity attitude being displayed by the two characters isn’t one girls should aspire to. Emma and Liv are one-track minded robots that seem to promote the image that the only important factor in a woman’s life isn’t independence, career opportunities or living a healthy lifestyle but to selfishly get married off in a large materialistic, appearance obsessive manner. The role of the grooms within all this chaos is non-existent, literally behaving like cardboard cutouts and having no impact whatsoever in controlling their other halves who are clearly selfish, arrogant, childish and completely insane.
is one big sexist joke… and not even a good one at that. With unlikeable shallow characters, extremely unfunny set pieces and an overall tasteless moral message to its viewers, this is one of the most offensively bad films I have ever witnessed and I strongly recommend tearing up this wedding invitation.
With professional wrestling becoming popular than ever, director Darren Aronofsky decides to ring the bell and show us what he can do in this hard-hitting drama The Wrestler
. But is this a headlining main event or just a novelty match?
The story revolves around an aging professional wrestler called Randy ‘The Ram’ Robinson, played by Mickey Rourke, who has passed his prime and now is barely getting work in small wrestling shows while working as a part-time grocery store employee. As he faces health problems that may end his wrestling career for good, he attempts to come to terms with his life outside the ring by trying to reconcile with his estranged daughter and forming a closer bond with a stripper he has romantic feelings for, played by Marisa Tomei. He struggles with his new mundane life until he gets an offer of a high-profile rematch with his 1980s arch-nemesis, The Ayatollah, which may be his ticket back to stardom. This is a beautiful riches-to-rags story that not only plucks the heartstrings but also portrays the tough and fickle lifestyle that this profession can be. It is a depressing yet honest film filled with interesting story twists and powerful scenes that is almost awe-inspiring.
The performances in this film are astounding, truly working with the script to establish strong emotions and create seriously deep characters. Mickey Rourke, after having a long and complicated career, was made to play this role as it echoes his own path to success, struggling to fight off reality with his persona. It is an extremely memorable act that no doubt will give him Oscar praise.
The visual style of the film is a departure from that of Darren Aronofsky’s previous works, using more of a documentary style than his flashy close-ups. It compliments the performances well, showing off a fantastic sense of realism and grit. The wrestling scenes are shot very well and honestly, showing each individual bump and hit as they fall onto the mat and crash into tables. All this accompanied by a gorgeous soundtrack that truly makes everything wrap up so nicely.
is flawless. FACT!
This film isn’t just about wrestling but about a man trying to find happiness in a time where his fame and fortune has faded away and struggling to accept it. With brilliant acting, tough visual style and a moving story, this truly is a new heavyweight champion in the world of cinema.
My Bloody Valentine 3D
The 3D film experience has returned to our cinemas once again, this time taking on the form of a My Bloody Valentine 3D
, a 3D remake of the 1981 Slasher film. But does this movie really stick out or is it just a gimmick?
My Bloody Valentine
loosely follows the premise of the original. The story follows Tom Hanniger who is returning to his hometown on the tenth anniversary of the St Valentine’s Day Massacre, where an explosion of methane gas took the lives of 22 people working in the Mine near a small Nova Socia town. Instead of returning to a pleasant homecoming, Tom is suspected in committing a series of strange murders that have been occurring. With only a small handful of people believing his innocence, they go to the Mine where it all takes place to find out the truth, only to be confronted by a mad miner, gruesomely killing his victims with a pickax, seeking revenge on those who caused the accident all those years ago. If you have seen the original film, you will notice only a few connections to its predecessor. The story is that of classic slasher film structure that sadly is becoming rather predictable and stale, even with the interesting twist ending. With its cringe worthy dialogue and flat characters, it quickly falls into cheesy B-Movie territory with nothing truly memorable about it.
Even with its obvious horror storyline, that doesn’t say it is remotely entertaining. There are some good gory effects and even moment of gritty nudity, giving homage to the exploitation movies of the day. What truly makes the film though is its gimmick. The 3D Effects make something rather mediocre into something exciting to watch, overpowering the flaws at times to become a part of the moment, even if it does detach the viewer for the film itself. It goes create some exciting scares that enhance the whole experience.
My Bloody Valentine 3D
is a film that truly relies on its gimmick in order to make it stand out from the rest. Horror Films and 3D have had a cinematic history that proves it works well together, and this is just another example. Without the 3D though, it is a dull, uninteresting slasher that could be found at the bottom of a DVD Bargain Bin. So take out the glasses and become emerged in the 3D experience, it is the best way to find some enjoyment in it.