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All reviews - Movies (42)

Mary and Max review

Posted : 10 years, 5 months ago on 13 June 2012 12:00 (A review of Mary and Max)

A heart warming and beautifully made film. The animation is stunning, the voice-overs believable and the story strikes a perfect balance between being funny and emotional. Everybody should see this film.

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The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring review

Posted : 10 years, 5 months ago on 13 June 2012 12:00 (A review of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring)

At the time of 'Fellowship of the Rings' release, the 'Lord of the Rings' trilogy was the highest selling book worldwide besides the Bible. It was one of the most influential and loved works of the 20th Century. The big question was, is it possible for a film to be made, matching the high standard of the novel? Reading a book and watching a movie are two completely different things. One is left for your own interpretation and visualisation, the other is given to you. In my opinion, 'Fellowship of the Ring' succeeded in almost every way in bringing the book to life. Of course not everything can be included. Many things, but only the most irrelevant things, were cut out from the book, including the character Tom Bombadil.

Peter Jackson masterfully exceeded all expectations in making the first book of the trilogy. The time and work obviously put into the film is astounding, the production being so detailed that it seems to mimic Tolkien's perfectionism and, like Tolkien's work, the time spent on the production of the film has guaranteed an exceptionally high standard adaptation.

Firstly, there are the special effects. This film was such a benchmark because everything looked so real. The creatures, landscapes, and even the almost unnoticed genius in making the Hobbits to scale is so realistic that you begin to believe that it could all be real. Watching the film is such an incredible experience, and you know that you're watching something special when the film has the ability to completely draw you into a fictitious world.

The settings and Art Direction are also a major factor in bringing Middle-Earth to life. New Zealand was the perfect location for filming, as it is so natural and untouched. The landscape is a major part in the film because Tolkien was so incredibly descriptive and the designers, and the locations in New Zealand have definitely given the book justice by making Middle-Earth a beautiful, inviting and magical place.

But did Peter Jackson capture the magic of the book in his film? I believe he did. There are plenty of things to like about the film. The thrilling battle sequences, the engaging plot, the state of the art special effects, and of course the characters. The cast includes such accomplished actors as Ian McKellen, Cate Blanchett, Hugo Weaving, Christopher Lee, Liv Tyler and John Rhys-Davies. Despite Elijah Wood (Frodo) only really using one facial expression for almost the entire film, he was nevertheless innocent and very well cast, as were the rest of the ensemble cast who gave fantastic performances. The musical score is memorable and symbolic and now the tunes are attached with 'The Lord of the Rings', so much so that it would seem as though they were written as Tolkien was writing the book.

So Peter Jackson, a relatively unknown director at the time of the film's release, created what may be one of the greatest Fantasy film adventures of all time from a classic novel. He took filmmaking to a new level and set a benchmark for films in the future.

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Kung Fu Panda review

Posted : 10 years, 5 months ago on 13 June 2012 11:59 (A review of Kung Fu Panda)

This film was a stunning move by Dreamworks, rating among the top animated films of all time alongside Pixar in my opinion. The animation is breathtaking, the action superb (it is a rare feat for animated films to provide adrenaline-rushing action sequences) and the story, although carrying a familiar moral message, is simple but sweet. If Dreamworks can continue to brighten the film industry with fun, awesome films such as this, then Pixar had better watch out!

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Shrek review

Posted : 10 years, 5 months ago on 13 June 2012 11:58 (A review of Shrek)

Shrek is one of those amazing films which has enough wit and depth to please both a younger and older audience. It was Dreamwork's first big hit, and still remains their best. The animation is stunning, the humour consistent and hilarious and the story highly original. The whole concept of fairytale creatures as one body no longer being accepted in society is very creative. If you add a dragon, a tough ogre, a mad donkey, a karate princess and a very 'short' King to this, you've got the ultimate animated film. 'Shrek' is the ultimate family movie, and is sure to please kids and their parents.

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The Incredibles review

Posted : 10 years, 5 months ago on 13 June 2012 11:58 (A review of The Incredibles)

Perhaps second only to 'Finding Nemo' on Pixar's finest achievements list, 'The Incredibes' is one of the most exciting and action packed animated films ever made. The story is simple but perfect for a bucket load of special effects, the characters, especially Edna Mode, are memorable, the music is terrific and the animation is typically stunning for Pixar. A wondeful achievement.

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Pan's Labyrinth review

Posted : 10 years, 5 months ago on 13 June 2012 11:57 (A review of Pan's Labyrinth)

'Pan's Labyrinth' truly is a fairytale for adults. Do not be fooled by the fairytale like appearance of its trailers or posters, there is a sinister side to this movie. The production is fabulous, as is the acting and the story. What disappointed me a bit was the fantasy subplot. There really wasn't much in the way of magical worlds and creatures, which I what I was expecting. The heroine of the movie, Ofelia, is given three tasks to perform by a faun for her to return to her kingdom where she is a Princess. The first task is very short, the second is the most impressive, both fabulously filmed and wonderfully suspenseful, and the third isn't really a task at all, but rather an emotional scene. Apart from a few bits and pieces here and there, they are the only parts of the film that feature a fantastic fantasy world. The rest, although enjoyable, is the story of Ofelia fitting in to her new house, and her step father, the sinister Captain Vidal, tracking down the last rebels in post-Civil war Spain, with other real time subplots going on as well.
The film is gory, thrilling and wonderfully well made, but was also very dark and I found the transitions of fantasy into the story sometimes hard to follow. Nevertheless, it was an excellent film and one which I recommend to people who like dark war films and twisted fantasy.

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King Kong (2005) review

Posted : 10 years, 5 months ago on 13 June 2012 11:56 (A review of King Kong (2005))

Peter Jackson does it again. 'King Kong' is a very full-on, but also heartfelt drama that succeeds in many ways. In the hands of Jackson, the visuals are, not surprisingly, superlative, both on the brutal and beautiful 'Skull Island' and in 1933 New York City. The heart of the film is the relationship between King Kong and Ann, played by Naomi Watts. There is wonderful chemistry between the beast and the beauty that continues to develop until the last fateful scene. The effects that bring Kong to life are astounding, each facial expression captured perfectly to give the creature emotion and personality. This is what makes the film so impressive.

The film does not go without its faults, though. Much of the middle part of the film involves Ann and other characters screaming and running away from large monsters, or large monsters battling eachother. However, Naomi Watts is very appealing, even when in situations that look dire, and the creatures are unbelievably realistic to make the battle sequences every bit worth it. There are also repetitive moments consisting of people being saved from an ill fate at the last minute by some dangerous force. This happens more than four times and, although occasionally exciting, starts to feel tired after the fourth time.

Nevertheless, the slow start and lengthy action sequences are made up for by a spectacular climax at the end, that is both tragic and beautiful. All actors give fine performances, and the film is well scripted, but it is the production team and director Peter Jackson who have made a truly special film. It is very, but it is also highly entertaining, visually magnificent and emotionally resolute.

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The Bourne Ultimatum review

Posted : 10 years, 5 months ago on 13 June 2012 11:56 (A review of The Bourne Ultimatum)

It is rarely the case that the third film in trilogies turns out to be the stand out film in the series, but this is the case for the 'Bourne Ultimatum'. There are constant thrills and fantastic action sequences. The acting is top class and the storyline is very cleverly written. This is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat and thoroughly deserves its 3 Oscars.

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The Dark Knight review

Posted : 10 years, 5 months ago on 13 June 2012 11:54 (A review of The Dark Knight)

I have never been a fan of the superhero genre, possibly because of the pre-'Batman Begins' drought of good superhero films, only broken by the 'Spiderman' trilogy.
'Batman Begins' was already a good film, but its sequel burst into the box office to critical and commercial success, and its not hard to see why. It is a superior film in many ways to its predecessor in that it is more thrilling, clever, suspenseful and action packed than 'Batman Begins'. The strength of this film, not surprisingly, comes from the villain, played by Heath Ledger in his Oscar winning role. Ledger was sinsiter and completely unrestrained as the psychotic 'Joker', and is terrifying, but oh so enjoyable to watch. It is true that he steals the show from Christian Bale as 'Batman' himself, but this really isn't a negative.
The film has a fantastic script and a wonderful musical score, and many other positives, including an excellent technical production as well. It has restored my faith in the superhero genre, along with the other 2008 hit, 'Iron Man', and is not just a great superhero film, but one of 2008's best films overall.

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Casino Royale review

Posted : 10 years, 5 months ago on 13 June 2012 11:53 (A review of Casino Royale)

I loved the Sean Connery movies and since then the Bond films have seemed to have deteriorate. This film is definite proof that the Bond series is not lost. A different type of Bond, played by Daniel Craig, was what the franchise needed and the storyline was intriguing throughout the film. Even the one-liners and old Bond jokes which made the original films to entertaining and memorable are present in this film, much to my delight. You can't miss this film if you're a James Bond fan, and even if you're not, you'll still love it anyway.

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