Assassin’s Creed

ar Released: 2017
Main Stars: Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard, Jeremy Irons
Review Date: January 2017
Last watched: January 2017
Number Watches: 1
Format Watched: 3D

“leap of faith!”

I like the games and had big reservations about a film-of-the-game. I went into this with low expectations.

Michael was good although I thought his part was more for muscle than acting. Marion was a little bit on the side (not meant to sound offensive but her character was less than necessary) and Jeremy was a cool cucumber as we expect, really stealing the show for the humans.

The other massive player was, as expected, the effects. Good and exciting though they were, I think the script was pushed aside and some of the entire-army-against-individuals bits were over the top, certainly letting it down. In the games (I’m trying not to make a comparison, honest!) there is an overview of locations, a setup for the in-the-past scenes where we have a layout of what the Assassins need to overcome. Here we did not and suddenly got confronted by overwhelming odds. I know it’s all condensed for this cinema outing but a couple of minutes of prepping the audience would have been enough to really make a difference.

The Animus – the long arm thingy – sounded unnervingly like ‘enemas’ and is going to be difficult to replicate in sequels, should there be any. Shame as the tech it represents is wonderful. I’d like to have seen a back-story to this.

Overall I went in with a low bar and it was about right which is disappointing. More script in the regression scenes and less concentration on the present, please. Give the idea time to breath.

Yes, go see it whether you are fans of the games or just like action. Just, you know, don’t expect anything deep.

3D effect: Yeah, a few out-of-the-screen moments and some noticeable people-in-front-of-other-people bits. An extra element but not substantial and in some rather frantic scenes I think it actually made them a little more confusing. I wore glasses for this one and although the 3D glasses fitted neatly over them there might have been some lack of clarity in these scenes.

Watchability (once, twice, etc.)
Twice.
Keep DVD?
No. Maybe at some point there will be a box set like the games and it might make sense then to have the lot.
Watch if on TV?
Yes.
Hug, Snog, Marry, Avoid?
Snog.

Posted in 2010s, Action, Fantasy, Film Review, Game Conversion, Hug, Snog, Marry, Avoid, SciFi, Snog, Super Hero, Twice, Watchability | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Superman Returns

Year Released: 2006
Main Stars: Brandon Routh, Kevin Spacey, Kate Bosworth, James Marsden        
Review Date: December 2016
Last watched: December 2016
Number Watches: 3
Format Watched: DVD

“Clark!”

Cards on the table – I liked the first movie from 1978. It was damn good and exactly what Superman should be – cheesy, comicy, man-can-fly-y.

This picks up from there. The comparison is clear – the world has to be cleaned up, there’s an evil baddie, Superman must overcome odds that should have killed him. All there with a big helping of flight and the central core of a love story between a dweeb and an eccentric reporter.

Soapbox: That relationship, the basic love story, is actually what these films are buoyed up by and has been sadly missed in the big-budget, modern superhero movies that go for smashing and crashing and roaring and explosions. Writers should take some time to care about their characters rather than pander to what execs thinks sells. Write some guts into it.

The connection between old and new is obvious but the effects are updated although not by much. Nothing looks bad or unbelievable however it’s let down by the lack of stirring music even though the original score is used at times. Also the depiction of his flying and the camera angles on the bad guys is not as bold as it could have been so the element of wonder isn’t as keen. Not sure of Kate as a choice either as she’s a little but TV for the silver screen.

A nerdy word about James who has managed a cross over between DC and Marvel showing that this can happen!

Good effort, good modern kick-start for the caped-one but I can see why critics wanted more as the man of steel doesn’t pose with his chest out or have the charm of a more confident alien. (Christopher Reeves is still the Man)

DVD Extras: None. Really a shame but none.

Watchability (once, twice, etc.)
Twice.
Keep DVD?
Yes.
Watch if on TV?
Yes.
Hug, Snog, Marry, Avoid?
Snog.

Posted in 2000s, Action, Comic / 'Graphic Novel', Film Review, Hug, Snog, Marry, Avoid, I currently have this as a keepsie, SciFi, Snog, Super Hero, Twice, Watchability | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 2

Year Released: 2011
Main Stars: Daniel Radcliffe,  Emma Watson,  Rupert GrintRalph FiennesAlan RickmanMichael Gambon
Review Date: December 2016
Last watched: December 2016
Number Watches: 2
Format Watched: DVD boxset

Relentlessly dark and obviously charging towards the end game. Good wand action and some heroic kids growing up in front of the camera, this is a fitting, if difficult conclusion but maybe not as nicey-nicey as you might have expected from the rest of the series. Fans love this stuff and will probably be jumping up and down for the action. Those who haven’t seen any, go to the start and see the box set.

When you get the box set, this is good but I wouldn’t try otherwise.

DVD Extras: none.

Watchability (once, twice, etc.)
Twice.
Keep DVD?
No unless as part of the box set.
Watch if on TV?
Yes but only if you know the series.
Hug, Snog, Marry, Avoid?
Snog.

Posted in 2010s, Action, Fantasy, Film Review, Hug, Snog, Marry, Avoid, Snog, Twice, Watchability | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 1

Year Released: 2010
Main Stars: Daniel Radcliffe,  Emma Watson,  Rupert GrintRalph FiennesAlan Rickman
Review Date: December 2016
Last watched: December 2016
Number Watches: 2
Format Watched: DVD boxset

I first saw this when it came out in the cinema and didn’t like it. Wasn’t a Harry Potter movie I could switch off and enjoy. This time I get it. This isn’t a kids movie or one with nice little fantasy touches, it’s part of the story that was already written and shows the age of the characters rather than another copy of the same-as-before. That’s why it’s so dark and a little bit grown up.

So good film or no? Yes, good film. Bit odd in places as it tries to create a set up for the end game of the next film and it’s also not one I can see being useful to those that don’t know at least one of the previous HP films.

Players are all good in their parts and as usual there are a number of older chaps who pull in a lot of quality character acting. There’s also a good couple of wand fights and it’s nice to see the zap! zap! rather than Put-on-the-lights-amus.

When you get the box set, this is good but I wouldn’t try otherwise.

DVD Extras: none.

Watchability (once, twice, etc.)
Twice.
Keep DVD?
No unless as part of the box set.
Watch if on TV?
Yes but only if you know the series.
Hug, Snog, Marry, Avoid?
Snog.

Posted in 2010s, Action, Fantasy, Film Review, Hug, Snog, Marry, Avoid, Snog, Twice, Watchability | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Children Of Men

Year Released: 2006
Main Stars: Julianne Moore,  Clive Owen,  Chiwetel EjioforMichael CainePeter MullanClare-Hope Ashitey
Review Date: December 2016
Last watched: November 2016
Number Watches: 2
Format Watched: DVD

Gritty and luxurious. Not two word that generally work together but I’m gonna use them here. Clive does a wonderful job of keeping the core together with his slightly naive, slightly intelligent, slightly confident character and the sheer size of the world with the long, single camera scenes is a real treat. If you can, check out the background as each scene contains something extra that helps capture more than the plot really needs but also brings the world behind it to life in a kind of subliminal way. Signs, graffitti, people, colours, buildings. It’s a great example of how putting in the effort pays off.

All the actors are very believable and each creates a 3D life for their part, even if they have only a few seconds on screen so that says volumes for the direction and script. The effects and scene sets are also superbly done with none of them noticeable. Indeed, until you see the ‘making of’ you might not think there was anything at all!

Lots of swearing and violence, none of which appears to me to be superfluous so be warned, this is not a small watch nor a ‘nice’ one but it’s really rewarding.

DVD Extras: cool making of with lots of stuff about how they filmed it. Really good to see although no gag reel as such.

Watchability (once, twice, etc.)
Thrice
Keep DVD?
Yes.
Watch if on TV?
Yes.
Hug, Snog, Marry, Avoid?
Marry.

Posted in 2000s, Action, Disaster, Drama, Fantasy, Film Review, Hug, Snog, Marry, Avoid, Marry, Thrice+, Thriller, Watchability | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hercules

Year Released: 2014
Main Stars: Dwayne Johnson John Hurt,  Ian McShaneRufus SewellIngrid Bolsø BerdalPeter Mullan
Review Date: December 2016
Last watched: December 2016
Number Watches: 1
Format Watched: TV

You’ll get what you’ll expect. There’s no surprises here and as such it’s a film that delivers. Dwayne actually comes across really well as an actor and the supporting cast are really good so all works well and seamless.

Plot/script – yeah, right! No, really, this isn’t that bad, it’s just, you know, what you expect. Actually a fun one when you leave your brain in standby mode so a bit of a hugger, not a snogger.


Watchability (once, twice, etc.)
Once.
Keep DVD?
No.
Watch if on TV?
Yes.
Hug, Snog, Marry, Avoid?
Hug.

Posted in 2010s, Action, Fantasy, Film Review, Hug, Hug, Snog, Marry, Avoid, Once, Watchability | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Chump At Oxford

Year Released: 1940
Main Stars: Stan Laurel,  Oliver Hardy,  Forrester Harvey, Peter Cushing
Review Date: December 2016
Last watched: December 2016
Number Watches: 1
Format Watched: DVD BoxSet

First time I’ve seen a laurel and hardy as an adult and they are what they are and do it well. In this one there’s a definite squashing of two films together that doesn’t really work. The first is a short about a dinner party and the second is the real film which starts as they sweep the streets. Guess that’s how the film industry did comedy in those days.

Anyway, it’s a good romp with some smart scenes and buffoonery. Also nice to see a double act that really work together. Look out for a young Peter Cushing as one of the students too.

I feel it’s not their best though and I’m waiting for the ones that made me roll about as a kid.

DVD Extras: I’m working my way through the box set of laurel and hardy so on this disc was also included two shorts that show where the ideas came from for Oxford chump. There’s also a piece at the end of one of the shows that  tells you a little about what was happening here.

Watchability (once, twice, etc.)
Once.
Keep DVD?
No.
Watch if on TV?
No.
Hug, Snog, Marry, Avoid?
Hug.

Posted in 1940s, Comedy, Film Review, Hug, Hug, Snog, Marry, Avoid, Once, Watchability | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment