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All reviews - Movies (42)

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 review

Posted : 10 years, 5 months ago on 13 June 2012 11:41 (A review of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1)

As we come to the close of the worldwide phenomenon that is the 'Harry Potter' series, it's hard not to feel a mixture of excitement and sadness in waiting for the grand finale. Yet here is the much-anticipated Part 1 of the final film, and let me say that it's certainly a delicious appetiser for what should be a grand main course. 'Deathly Hallows: Part 1' is a fresh and dark addition to the series, with many slow scenes reflecting deep emotion, and other suspenseful and wonderfully thrilling action sequences. The film hits a good balance between the two, despite the middle section perhaps dragging slightly. Yet, for fans that have come to love the characters and care for them, some solid character development does not go astray. The acting in the series has never been better from the three leads (Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint), all of whom shine brightly in their colourful roles. It is true that the absence of Hogwarts, and therefore a lot of the fun and humour of the supporting cast, does take some of the joy and life out of the film, yet it is not meant to be joyful and happy. This missing substance is compensated for by the wonderful sets and landscapes that grace the screen, and scenes of stunning visual effects that look and sound spectacular. The plot is very faithful to the books, much more so than the previous three instalments, yet lacks the back-story that allowed previous instalments to work on their own. To understand 'Deathly Hallows', one must be familiar with the series; otherwise it will be near incomprehensible. For fans such as myself, the adaptation works well. Non-fans may beg to differ. For those not acquainted with the seventh book, 'Deathly Hallows' is essentially a road trip. The protagonists, Harry, Ron and Hermione are on the move trying to find Horcruxes (pieces of the arch-villain Voldemort's [Ralph Fiennes] soul that must be destroyed in order to kill him), and hence tensions rise within the group as progress does not seem to be in sight. The three friends no longer have the help and the safety of Hogwarts and its pupils, and witness a world that is being torn apart by Voldemort's supporters, the Death Eaters. A number of confrontations and complications follow as the trio go on their way, including a violent and explosive sky battle, a struggle within the Ministry of Magic involving the returned Dolores Jane Umbridge (Imelda Staunton), a terrifying encounter with Voldemort's snake Nagini and a climatic skirmish at Malfoy Manor. Of course, it is disappointing to see some major changes to the plot, with some key scenes left out, yet interestingly some new and impressive additional scenes which do not appear in the book (or have merely been mentioned), are present which is pleasing to see. There has been controversy as to whether the decision to split the film into two parts was a valid decision. From seeing this film, it seems folly to suggest that it should have been one great film. Either it would have been disastrously long, or it would have left out many important details that are pivotal to the plot. Part 1 sits at a good length, and the split can only be seen as a disappointment due to the fact that it is another eight months until we see the complete 'Deathly Hallows'. In comparison to other 'Potter' films, it definitely ranks among my top favourites, though I am fonder of the later, darker and more mature films in series.
This is not a movie for kids, it is a movie for the fans who have watched this series grow with maturity since it's beginning. With humour, tragedy and romance, 'Deathly Hallows Part 1' is also aesthetically filmed and well acted, and has all the essentials to make a great film, even if it doesn't quite feel complete yet.

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Thor review

Posted : 10 years, 5 months ago on 13 June 2012 11:41 (A review of Thor)

This wasn't a bad film, but it wasn't a great film. At times the sections on earth almost felt like a parody of itself, and the silliness sometimes overrode the comical effect of these scenes. I also couldn't help but feel a similarity between the 'god world' in this film and then 'god world' in the film 'Clash of the Titans', and this almost seemed to weaken these scenes for me. However, I found Chris Hemsworth to be an engaging hero and I loved Natalie Portman. Most of the act,ion sequences were exciting and the story was fairly compelling. It could have been improved on, but overall this is a solid comic book adaptation.

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Source Code review

Posted : 10 years, 5 months ago on 13 June 2012 11:40 (A review of Source Code)

A 100% engaging and suspenseful thriller with an emotional core, a pitch perfect cast and some exciting action sequences, but not too many. This sci-fi film doesn't rely on special effects for entertainment, but rather *shock horror*, on story! On that, it delivers, being highly intellectual even if it uses rediculous science. Yet, for its sci-fi concept, it never feels silly and by the end of it I felt highly satisfied, albeit slightly mind-blown.

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Sucker Punch review

Posted : 10 years, 5 months ago on 13 June 2012 11:40 (A review of Sucker Punch)

It's certainly way too over the top, and the story is extremely hard to follow and believe, but this film is undeniably a visual feast. True, at times it is too chaotic, and the exaggerated visual hues do seem tiresome, but I still had fun with this movie. Also, I found that behind all of the guns and tight suits, there is actually an intriguing story. The actors really gave it their best, with Abbie Cornish especially standing out, and leaving the cinema I was surprised to find that 'Sucker Punch' was better than I expected. Not great cinema, but fair entertainment.

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Arthur review

Posted : 10 years, 5 months ago on 13 June 2012 11:39 (A review of Arthur)

Unfortunately, this film didn't do it for me. I found Russell Brand's performance repetitive and irritating, and I couldn't help but think that he was trying too hard to play a 'Captain Jack Sparrow' character, but he's no Johnny Depp. Helen Mirren brought some life to the film, giving a funny and sweet performance, but overall the story was just too preposterous, with too many unlikeable characters and not enough constant laughs. There were some fun moments, but I would be hard pressed to recommend 'Arthur' to anybody else.

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Paul review

Posted : 10 years, 5 months ago on 13 June 2012 11:39 (A review of Paul)

I haven't seen 'Hot Fuzz', but I actually preferred this to 'Shaun of the Dead'. Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are definitely capable comedians, and the science-fiction/comedy combination actually worked really well. I also liked the character Paul, his mannerisms were certainly something new for an alien, and this was refreshing. However the whole time I was waiting for something a little bit more. 'Paul' was never laugh-out-loud funny, and despite some sweet moments, it just didn't pack enough punches and laughs to be called a 'solid' comedy film.

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True Grit review

Posted : 10 years, 5 months ago on 13 June 2012 11:39 (A review of True Grit)

Firstly, I have not seen the original film nor read the books, but this was a good enough film for me. I found the production design and cinematography to be first rate, and the direction from the Coen brothers was, as usual, spot on. However, it was surprisingly the story that let this film down slightly. There were excellent sections of dialogue, and the 'revenge-thriller' aspect of the film kept it suspenseful and engaging, yet I found the plot to move very slowly. Luckily, the Coen brothers had a back-up plan, and that came in the form of Hailee Steinfeld. Without Hailee, this film wouldn't be much, but she gives a stunning debut performance as the vengeful Mattie Ross, and is a reason in itself to see this film. Jeff Bridges is also excellent as the drunkard Rooster Cogburn, but the usually terrific Matt Damon was badly cast as LaBoeuf. This is a perfect example of a cast (or two specific actors) carrying a film, and in the end I found it to be very enjoyable.

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Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon review

Posted : 10 years, 5 months ago on 13 June 2012 11:38 (A review of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon)

This film really surprised me. It's very well made and stunning to watch. The scenery is spectacular, the film alone could be used as an advertisement for Tourism in China. The action sequences are unbelievable and the three main stars are very well cast. This is a visual feast.

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127 Hours review

Posted : 10 years, 5 months ago on 13 June 2012 11:38 (A review of 127 Hours)

Gripping, suspenseful and perfectly acted by James Franco, '127 Hours' is the best a film about a man who has to cut off his arm could be. It's emotional, and even funny at times, but even with its brilliant direction it can't help but feel slightly too over stayed by the end, after all we have been stuck between a rock and a hard place with James Franco for 90% of the film. But you have to admire the technicality of it, and it is a well made film.

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The Ghost Writer review

Posted : 10 years, 5 months ago on 13 June 2012 11:38 (A review of The Ghost Writer)

I really loved this film. The suspense was built up from start right up until the shocking ending, which is not surprising for a Roman Polanski film, but this shows the director at the top of his game. The cast, which includes Ewan McGregor, Pierce Brosnan and Olivia Williams, all give top performances and the script is very clever and keeps the pulse racing. I was completely taken away by the complexity and entertainment value of this film, and it certainly would place in my 'Top 5 films list' of 2010.

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