REVIEW: Godzilla

The world’s most famous monster is pitted against malevolent creatures who, bolstered by humanity’s scientific arrogance, threaten our very existence. However, at the same time Ford Brody (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) is trying to stop the monsters and get back to his wife (Elizabeth Olsen) in San Francisco. 

Firstly, this will contains SPOLIERs. Now what I like about this film is that Godzila is not the only creature in this film. From only seeing the trailers, I was surprised there was another huge monster-like creature in the mist. Although, my problem was that when the weird egg hatches at the beginning of the film, I was very confused as to why this creature looked nothing like Godzilla and had weird legs and could fly. Similar to the scientists (Dr Ishiro Serizawa – Ken Watanabe – and Vivenne Graham played by Sally Hawkins) in the film and at the same time as them, I realised this was not an evolved Godzilla or its offspring and was in fact another creature – Godzilla arrives later. It was slightly confusing – despite the fact that the film was done like that so you learn when the scientists do. However, I loved the whole reason and connection between Godzilla and these two weird Muto creatures. How Joe Brody (Ford’s dad played by Bryan Cranston) believes the sounds are talking to another sound and later instead of thinking the Muto is talking to Godzilla – as Godzilla is trying to find it and kill it – Dr Serizawa realises that the Muto is talking to another Muto they found in 1999. The whole connection and reason why there is this hunting scenario is pretty cool. 

Mentioned above, I said about Joe Brody who is played by Bryan Cranston. Before seeing the film, I thought Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Bryan Cranston were the main characters – heck, the trailers features a lot of Bryan’s character and voice – yet the guy is only in it at the beginning (I won’t spoil what happens) and only Taylor-Johnson’s character is the main focus, who by the way is pretty good in the film – as it Elizabeth Olsen, well in the few scenes she is in. Another factor, I like in the film apart from the casting and the aim of the story, is that the film doesn’t focus on New York (has nothing to do with it – which the 1998 did), it looks at various locations such as Japan, Hawaii and San Francisco. 

However, the annoying thing about this film is that Godzilla…well…when the army are wanting to blow-up the creatures, Dr Serizawa manages to persuade them (instead of killing lots of people) to let nature take its toll and let Godzilla kill the Mutos before they mate and reproduce lots of other mini Mutos – I like the concept of having Godzilla fight the other creatures. But what I didn’t like is that although they are both creatures that could destroy the human race, Godzilla is not really in much of all the film. I understand that the Mutos are a bigger threat (due to the fact there are two and will nearly reproduce) but Godzilla is not the focus even though it is the name of the film, which is a shame despite the reason why the creature isn’t. It is as if, in my opinion, the Mutos are the main focus and Godzilla just features in it, when really I want Godzilla to be in the film a lot more.

Moving away from that slight annoying point, I loved the visual aspect of the scenes – especially the scene when Ford Brody jumps outs of the plane and as he falls down to San Francisco with other army men, the red smoke appears above them – and the whole glimpses, from the side, of the city and the men getting nearer with the red smoke and the horrible stormy weather with city buildings burning is spectacular. 

Overall, there are some great moments – from action-packed to even some sad moments – and the film’s visual effects and plot are great. I liked it yet I just wish Godzilla was in the film more.

Godzilla: 7.0/10

 

 

REVIEW: X-Men: Days Of Future Past

The X-Men send Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) to the past in a desperate effort to change history and prevent an event that results in doom for both humans and mutants.

As an X-Men fan I was not disappointed with this film at all. As the current world is in a terrible state, Wolverine is sent back to the 70s he must get Charles Xavier (Professor X – James McAvoy) and Eric Lehnsherr (Magento – Michael Fassbender) to work together and stop Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) from shooting Dr. Bolivar Trask (Peter Linkage) otherwise the Sentinels – big robots who are meant to kill just mutants but eventually also kill humans too (with a good reason explained in the film) – will be given the green light by the president and the world will become a disaster. 

When I first heard that some of the mutants in the X-Men: First Class were not appearing in this film I wondered why and was slightly disappointed but luckily the film explains why certain characters did not make the sequel. The film has a lot of action – especially in the modern day as you see the regular likes of Magneto (Ian McKellen), Storm (Halle Berry), Iceman (Shawn Ashmore) battle the Sentinels alongside some new X-men such as Bishop (Omar Sy) and my new favourite Blink (Bingbing Fan – she can create wormholes – teleportation). The sequel is a lot darker, I think than First Class, due to the ending and results that occur in the first film. For example, Charles Xavier is a very sad man who, although he has help from Hank McCoy (Beast – Nicholas Hoult), really just wants to see Mystique.

Apart from the dark and emotional side of the film, there’s a lot of humour too. One of the most memorable scenes (apart from when the X-men battle the Sentinels in the modern day) is when Wolverine, Beast and Charles Xavier meet Quicksilver (Evan Peters) and get him to break Eric out of a prison – the scene where the police shoot at the X-men and Quicksilver so easily and wickedly runs around in slow motion and moves the bullets out of way whilst having some fun with the police is hilarious – the audience laugh a lot and some even clapped.

If I had two things to pick about the film is that 1) I didn’t like it when the film kept going from a normal camera to then looking like it was an American 70s news report – it didn’t work for me and brought the tension away slightly from the scene. And 2) I thought there would have been more scenes gong back and forth to the past and the future – though just to make it clear it was still very good.

A great, smart, fast and very clever film with a superb cast that overall is simply amazing.

X-Men: Days of Future Past: 8.9/10

REVIEW: Rio 2

Blu (Jesse Eisenberg) and Jewel (Anne Hathaway) have three kids and while Jewel tries to teach the children to live off the land, Blu lives like he did in America. Linda (Lesie Mann) and Tulio (Rodrigo Santoro) who are now married go to the Amazon to bring a bird they nursed back to health to its natural habitat but discover that there might be more birds like Blu and Jewel. When Jewel learns of this she wants to go there and see if there are any other birds like them. Although Blu is a city bird and doesn’t want to, he decides to go to make Jewel happy. However, a logger is also in the mist and tries to get rid of the birds.

It’s been out for a while but after loving the first film so much I knew had to go and see this. The film still has that awesome and beautiful carnival feel to it – despite the fact they are in Rio for only ten minutes at the beginning of the film and the rest is set in the Amazon. With family animation films there seems to be a connection with the sequels; Shrek 2 had Shrek unwillingly go to see Princess Fiona’s parents; Madagascar 2 sees Alex stumble upon his parents and tribe in Africa; Rio 2 follows the latter as when Blu and Jewel’s go to the Amazon to see if they are more like them (and to see Linda and Tulio) Jewel finds her father and tribe. And compared to the first film, there seems to be lots of sub-plots going on, which makes this film lose a little of what the franchise is about. Rio (2011) focuses on Blu and Jewel trying to get along whilst being attached by chains and get away from some crooks and an evil bird whilst Linda and Tulio try to find them. Along the way, Blu and Jewel make friends who try to help them. In Rio 2, you have plot 1) Blue and Jewel and their family find Jewel’s tribe and Blue tries to fit in. Plot 2) Linda and Tulio stumble upon some loggers who are cutting down the forest and the ‘Big Boss’ tries to remove Kinda and Tulio out of the equation. 3) Blu and Jewel’s friends, Nico (Jamie Foxx), Pedro (Will.I.Am) and Rafael (George Lopez) set auditions for one of the Amazon animals to go to Rio and be the main dancer for the carnival show. 4) Nigel (Jermaine Clement) who cannot fly, due to the end of the first film, follows Blu and tries to get his revenge with the help of a very talkative and poisonous frog called Gabi (Kristen Chenoweth) – who funnily enough is in love with Nigel. So there’s these four plots that are happening and although they eventually tie in together, the film goes from one to another and it sort of doesn’t flow very peacefully like the first film.

In the film, Jewel asks for Blu to think about her and the kids ‘for once’.  In my head I was just thinking ‘woah woah woah missy. In the first film Blu moved from Minnesota to Rio in order to keep his species alive and lives outside in a tree instead of in the house like he used. Plus in this film, Jewel and the kids wanted to go to the Amazong and even though he wasn’t keen on it, Blu agreed and they went. And what she done or changed about herself? Nothing!’ All my mind kept saying was Jewel is a bit of a harsh !#@£% if you ask me after that because she didn’t even consider how possibly living in the Amazon would affect him.

However, despite this, the film is good and has some funny moments, such as I like how Nigel disguises himself in the Amazon as Bob the bird and the auditions for the carnival are funny. The music – although there maybe one or two songs that seem as if they were just put in because the director could – is great and helps the film to progress into something other family animation films do not offer – some of the music features Janelle Monae. Gabi (who is a great addition to the franchise) even sings – and goes a bit crazy on the classical – about how much she loves Nigel and there’s even a blue bird called Roberto (Bruno Mars) who likes to sing to Jewel and welcome her back quite a few times. Oh, and there’s a sloth that is always asleep but will suddenly rap very fast. See, the film notices the significant aspects of each different animals and uses it to their advantage. For example, in the auditions, there are two tortoises who try to do some weird moves but bore the birds out because they are doing the moves very slowly. Just like the first film, the visuals are incredible and makes from the city of Rio to the Amazon trees, rivers and sunset look beautiful. 

Overall, you will like it. Although the sequel seems to slightly follow the trend for other animation sequels, the Rio films consist another aspect and element the others do not have. Though the plot could be a little bit better, the film is mesmerising – visually and musically – and funny and good for all ages.

Rio 2: 7.0/10

REVIEW: Bad Neighbours

A couple (Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne) with a newborn baby face unexpected difficulties after they are forced to live next to a fraternity house which is led by Teddy Sanders (Zac Efron) and Pete (Dave Franco).

What I do not like about comedy films is that they tend to always show the funniest bits in the trailers (I know why they do it but it makes the rest of the film not as good for example Ride Along). However, this hilarious film contains funny moments and lines throughout the film. Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne are a hilarious comedy duo that work really well on-screen whilst they are trying to take revenge on the new fraternity house next door.

Zac Efron is also great in this film and shows he has transformed since his Disney days. There’s a lot of moments that has funny, rude, dirty and also relatable for students – the partying and what happens after Uni. I wouldn’t say there were any moments were I was laughing so much my stomach hurts but the film is humorous and amazingly entertaining that will put a smile on your face.

Plus, I also got to hear the amazing new dance song:

Bad Neighbours: 7.0/10

 

 

REVIEW: Noah

A man called Noah (Russel Crowe) is chosen by his world’s creator to undertake a momentous mission to build an ark with his wife, Naameh (Jennifer Connelly), and their family before an apocalyptic flood cleanses the world. However, the king, Tubai-cain (Ray Winstone), and his followers try to attack and take over the ark in order to survive.

SPOILER ALERT

Now it’s been a film I’ve been wanting to see for a while. I’m not saying I am very religious man or believer but I wanted to see how someone – in this case the director, Darren Aronofsky – would interpret this story. Firstly, in this film there are these things called the watchers who are angels that have done wrong and been sent down to earth. However, when they crashed down on earth they turned into the watchers – a sort of stone-human creature (think of a transformer but made out of stone and rocks). At first, I was kind of like “this is from the bible, right?” because it seemed a little out of place and yet as the film went on the concept of it strangely worked. 

In Noah’s family there is Noah, Naameh and their three sons; Shem (Douglas Booth); Ham (Logan Lerman); and Japeth (Leo McHugh Caroll). Oh and they saved a girl years ago called Ila (Emma Watson) who sort of becomes their daughter although she and Shem sort of become an item. Anyway, after seeing a vison from the creator, Noah tells his family what he saw and that Earth will be flooded and everyone will die in order to remove the horror on this planet. If Noah kept his mouth quiet in this film when Tubai-cain arrived then nobody apart from Noah’s family would no about the reason for the ark and there wouldn’t have been a massive fight when the flood started. However, with them soon-to-be the only survivors, all Ham asks his father is that they bring two girls onto to the ark so that in the future they can be a wife for himself and Japeth and each son can start a family – it makes sense (Shem has Ila). However, Noah says no and after wondering to the camp, Ham finds a girl who becomes friends with. When the rain starts and the villains are going to attack the ark, Ham and this girl called Na’el (Madison Davenport) run to the ark. Nevertheless, something happens and the girl who Ham likes gets hurt and Noah arrives but instead of helping the girl too, he just takes Ham away and the girl is trampled on by the angry mob. Now (after explaining all that), my problem here is that at the beginning of the film we see Noah as a child and he is the last son of good will and everyone else is filled with evil. If Noah is the last good man and yet has a wife, then she must have be ‘evil’ and eventually became ‘good’. Why, we even see the family save Ila – a young stranger girl who technically would have been ‘evil’ – who they then look in and made her become a good person. My point is if they can allow these two females to become good and right their sins then why didn’t Noah do the same for the girl Ham liked? A bit of pffft moment in the film.

Plus after the flood starts, Tubai-cain manages to sneak onto the boat. However, with his injured leg and unable to walk he stays hidden for ages and eats some of the animals that are asleep (the family used some herbs to put them asleep for the journey and woke up when they found land) – and no they didn’t even arrive in two by two, yes there was two of each animal but they sort of arrived together and hurried on the ark. Anyway, Tubai-cain stayed in the same spot for months whilst they were in the ark. I tend to think of the reality of this sometimes and I know will think of it and not say it but I am going to say it: where the heck did he go to the toilet if he couldn’t move and how did he move it all? It doesn’t make sense really.

As the months on the ark go by, Ila is pregnant (Shem is the father) and all of a sudden Noah becomes Norman Bates and goes all pyscho as he believes the creator has told him they cannot carry the human species on and must all naturally die. Noah states if the baby is a boy that’s fine, but if the baby is a girl apparently they have to kill her. It’s not a feminism thing. Noah believes the girl will become pregnant and the human race will carry on when it shouldn’t. Uh, hello! If you and your family are the only survivors and you want to kill the girl because a man might have sex and create a human being, you are basically claiming that, providing we don’t think that her own father – Shem – would do it, either Ham or Japeth – her uncles – will have sex with her in the future. Slightly wrong and disturbing that this plot has occurred in the film.

Anyway, I hate to spoil it but Noah in the end does not kill the baby girl…or the other baby girl because Ila had twins! (CUE EASTENDERS TUNE). However, the end of the film sees Noah telling the baby girls to in the future have babies and replenish the human life with only good people. Once again, uh hello! As they are the only survivors, Noah is basically now giving his consent for his granddaughters to have sex within the family. Well, actually only Japeth as Ham gone to travel around Earth and leaves the family behind.

I want to make it clear I am only stating what the film is saying and do not like the idea of what I have noted above. I find it slightly disturbing and weird.

The concept of some parts of the film, such as the watchers and the way the family keeps all the animals together in one ark in peace, are quite good. I also like the cinematography of the reaction of life and the sunset view. However, there are parts that seem wrong and ruin parts of the film.

Oh and Anthony Hopkins stars as Methuselah – Noah’s grandfather – who sort is a less entertaining/funny human version of Rafiki from The Lion King.

Noah: 6.0/10

REVIEW: Tracks

A young woman, Robyn Davidson (Mia Wasikowska) goes on a 1,700 mile trek across the deserts of West Australia with her four camels and faithful dog yet against her will has to get photos taken by photographer Rick Smolan (Adam Driver) for the sponsor of the trip. I never released the noises camels make until I saw this film!

The film takes a while to get into. But not as in the sense where it takes ages for Robyn to actually plan and eventually start the trek (because the film see her arrive in Alice Springs where she – after working and getting a sponsor – starts the trek). What I actually mean is that because there is constantly a beautiful music score occurring in the beginning: the song does not seem to stop for a while, which made the film seem like it took a while until it felt like the story started. For example, at the beginning of a film (say a rom-com) there will be a song playing whilst you see the overview of New York, then the main streets and then when you see the main character walking down the street the opening song will fade or stop when they first speak or enter a building. With Tracks, the opening song needed to stop and breathe.

Look at the first paragraph again. There was something in this story, which is mentioned in the first paragraph, where I just kept thinking throughout the duration of the film “please tell me it’s going to be ok”, “please tell me it’s going to be ok”  – I won’t say what IT was but because I hated the idea this thought just kept throbbing in my head like a painkiller. Sadly my worries for correct – if you see the film you will know what I mean. There was also a moment where everyone jumped and breathed in the air in shock  whilst Robyn was asleep and something bad could have happened.

However, now for the positives. Mia Wasikoska is brilliant in the film despite that I wished the film show her character suffer more when she gets into a bit of trouble on her trip. And I like the moments between Robyn and photographer Smolan even if I agreed with Robyn that he seemed a little annoying. And yet there chemistry between Robyn and Eddie (Roly Mintuma), who escorts her through the spiritual parts of the track, is brilliant and very touching. Not to mention Eddie is a funny guy.

The film overall is about a woman who just wants to be alone yet gets more than what she hoped for. There is some amazing cinematography. The film’s good and thought-provoking and although I wish the film had more scenes when Robyn is lost and suffering on the trek, Tracks has some defined moments and emotional at points.

Tracks: 7.0/10

REVIEW: The Amazing Spiderman 2

Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) tries to balance his life of being a superhero and trying to have a normal life with his family and Gwen (Emma Stone) yet whilst trying to find out what happened to his parents things at the same time at Oscorp go bad when Max Dillon (Jamie Foxx) becomes Electro and Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan) gets some devastating news.

Now what I like about this film or in fact this franchise so far is that The Amazing Spiderman is bringing in other villains than the Spiderman films starring Tobey Maguire – yes the green goblin is in this but I like that this series is going for a different angle. I lot of the film is more about Peter Parker’s personal life and a bit of spiderman comes here and there. There’s some action and a lot of soppy romance, which I guess is bound to happen seeing as Peter Parker’s only friends seem to be his Aunt May (Sally Field), Gwen and his old friend Harry Osborn, who has returned to New York to see his dying father (Chris Cooper).

But I think there should have been more of spiderman and more scenes about the villains where they are doing more disastrous mayhem (this seems to be something I always say with every superhero film). Plus I lot of the reasons why the villains turn nasty is by people misunderstanding the situation (e.g. when Electro in Times Square) and somethin didn’t seem right with Electro – it may have been his voice and/or (more likely and) the weird dubstep that played whenever Electro did something bad – it seemed like the production and music score people went “what are the kids listening to nowadays?” “Oh, there’s something called Dubstep” “Yeah let’s have that” – no it didn’t work. But what I did like is that Max Dillon (Electro) just wanted people to notice him and I really like the scene and chemistry that happened when [SPOILERS - FROM NOW ON] Harry Osborn breaks into the building to free Electro and screams in anger and pain that he needs Electro. 

Then there was the whole Harry Osborn needs Spiderman’s blood to try and see if he can live from this curse illness the Osborn family have. I understand this and why Harry needs it (or at least try this idea) but what I didn’t understand is why Peter Parker (as Spiderman of course) wouldn’t just give Harry some bloomin’ blood. Be scared that Harry might want all of your blood sure but he only asked for some of it to see if his father’s idea works and he can survive. Harry Osborn in the film makes a good point about this to Spiderman and says something along the lines of ‘I’m dying anyway so at least let me try and see if this works’ – which to be honest is valid reason to let him try – it just frustrated me. That and how the poster and trailer psychs about Rhino (Paul Giamatti  – the villain on the left on the poster) and it’s only in the last flippin’ 30 seconds. I understand why it’s at the end but really it shouldn’t have been in the trailer otherwise people think it’s going to be another villain throughout the film – no the fliipin’ god damn end.

That and the end was a bit predictable  – I won’t say what but you will know what I mean when you see the film.

Despite the annoying and frustrating parts, the film was good and I did think the acting was good (apart from Electro’s and Green Goblin’s voice) and believe this is a better film series that the Spiderman trilogy a few years ago and I can’t wait for the next one.

The Amazing Spiderman 2: 7.4/10