The Railway Man is the true story of Eric Lomax, a World War II veteran who helped build the Burma Railway (also known as the death railway). The film intertwines between his older self out of the war and his younger self in the war. In the war he was brutally tortured and interrogated for weeks so the Japanese could find out information, but as an adult he finds the man responsible for this torture and sets out to do justice.
The Railway Man gets very hard to watch on numerous occasions. The film is hard to watch not because it was a bad film, but because the film is very brutal, realistic and very emotional. Every scene of torture just… ergh… I really can't describe it and I really don't want to. It's just intense and realistic. I felt so bad for this poor guy and I feel even worse for him because he was a real person and he was put through all these horrific things. He took all the blame which is a courageous act as he knows that's not true.
The film is led by a sensational performance by both Colin Firth and Jeremy Irvine. Firth plays the adult Eric who is going after his torturer and he gives an astonishing performance that really got me emotional. This is helped by Jeremy Irvine for whom I've seen in a couple of other films and he has been excellent in all of them. Irvine is the younger Eric and his performance is on par with the one that Colin Firth gives. If the performances were sloppy by these two then the film would have been a disaster and we wouldn't have cared about this character. We'd care about the real person, but not the one being portrayed on screen.
The film is really emotional and upsetting. The Railway Man heads straight for your heart and hits you on an extreme emotional level that will leave more then a few people with tears in their eyes. This is helped, of course, by the sensation performances that I have previously talked about. The film is so well made that even if it wasn't based on a true story then I would have still been upset and emotional. That's how phenomenal this film really way.
To sum up The Railway Man is an extremely hard to watch true story that went straight for the heart. It was upsetting, intense, realistic, incredibly well made and led by sensation performances.
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty follows the story of 42 year old Walter Mitty who is constantly daydreaming. He works at life magazine and they are getting ready to publish their final ever issue. For this issue he is in charge of all the photographs. The cover photo is lost and so Walter Mitty decides to do something with his life and travel to Greenland so he can come in contact with the photographer and retrieve a copy of the photo.
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is surprisingly dull at plenty of times. The trailer of the film made it look absolutely spectacular and like nothing we've ever seen before and this gave me fairly high expectations for the film. The film actually was pretty dull in more then one occasion, especially in the first half if the film. Soon after Walter decides to travel to Greenland things began to get back on their feet and the film begun to get interesting and exciting.
The film is too long, especially for a film that's not even two hours in length. The film's runtime isn't massive or anything - it's not even two hours - but it feels much longer then that. There were a few points in the film that dragged on too long or didn't have much excitement in them at all. Most of this occurs in the first half. I would happily watch two hours of the second half of this movie instead of what the film actually was.
The dream sequences in the film felt really out of place. I have to admit before I starting ranting again that I did enjoy the dream sequences in the film. They were some of the most exciting parts of the film, but they didn't felt a little off. It was incredibly obvious that it was a dream and that may have been intentional, but it distracted me from the actual film at hand. These scenes just didn't feel like they belonged to be in the moment we're currently watching.
A lot of the reality sequences were much more exciting then the dream sequences. I just touched on the fact that there were plenty of enjoyable dream sequences, but I actually found the reality sequences to be much more exciting and they felt in place. Like I've mentioned a few times so far I preferred the second half of the film. In this half there were a lot more of the reality sequences that were funny, action packed and exciting.
To sum The Secret Life of Walter Mitty got surprisingly dull at times, is too long in runtime and some dream sequences felt out of place. Luckily the film was funny, action packed and had plenty of exciting reality scenes.
2 1/2 Stars
G.I. Joe: Retaliation follows the story of an advanced war unit, the G.I. Joes as they are continuing their battle against their mortal enemy, Cobra. After a surprise attack on their secret base only four Joes remain alive. Now the four are after vengeance as well as trying to save the world from being blown to smithereens by an impostor using advanced technology to disguise himself as the US president.
The dialogue in the film was absolutely cheesy. Hardly any of the dialogue in the film actually seemed natural. There were actually very few scenes with mildly decent dialogue. The film also tried to add in a few one liners here and there, but even these felt out of place. Cheesy one liners being out of place in an action film? That's unheard of! Well until you see this movie at least.
The film requires no thought process what so ever. There's two characters in the film that are in some kind of induced coma that shuts down every part in their body except their eyes and heart and even they could watch this film and understand everything that's happening. The film requires no thought whatsoever. It spells everything out to you. There's a line that says "We're getting rid of the Joes. And by that I mean we're going to kill them." I don't think that's 100% correctly quoted, but it's close enough. The line is just so off and unnecessary. We get what the guy meant in the first sentence, but he then continued to explain what me meant as if we were incredibly dumb. No thought process needed.
G.I. Joe: Retaliation was very predictable. There wasn't a single moment in the film where I began to doubt if the good guys would succeed. You can tell from watching the trailer that they would succeed. I'd say it's a spoiler that I'm talking about this, but did you seriously doubt that they wouldn't succeed. They never fail at anything once in the film. They always get out in the nick of time or come up with a genius idea on the spot that saves them from dying. It's inevitable.
The film is full of pointless loud noises and explosions. A couple of the action sequences were enjoyable, as I will point out in the next paragraph, but then there were others that were just loud and pointless. There are multiple scenes with loud noises and explosions and gun fights that are there literally just to stop you from being bored. Does it succeed with this? On the very odd occasion as I will mention now.
There were actually a few cool action sequences. I've really been hammering the film in my review so far, but there were a fair few action sequences that were awesome to watch. Yet again they didn't require you to use your brain and they didn't get your heart racing, but they were enjoyable to watch. There's one highlight of the film that takes place on a mountain where the Cobras and the Joes are swinging from ropes and attacking each other with swords and it's pretty damn awesome. The outcome was obvious, but it's fun to watch.
To sum up G.I. Joe: Retaliation isn't the worst film this year, but it's far from decent. The dialogue was cheesy, there's plenty of pointless action although there's the odd fun one and the film requires no thought what so ever.
Much Ado About Nothing is a modern adaptation of the Shakespearian play while keeping the same dialogue. It's the story of two lovers, one person from each of the pairs is believed to be cheating and so the characters in the film begin to make a whole lot of fuss and drama and threats in an hour and forty minutes of yelling and arguing. I'm sorry for the terrible synopsis I gave you, but that's essentially what it is.
Much Ado About Nothing failed to impress me. This is one of the few films that is praised by both critics and the audience yet I thought it was dull and boring. The film adds nothing new or special to the classic tale besides an update on the setting of the film. I'm not really that big a fan of the original storyline either. Much Ado About Nothing was a slow, dull, uncomfortable and boring adaptation that was essentially unnecessary.
The film, as I just stated, was slow and dull. I wasn't sure what the whole plot of the film was until just over a third of the film had passed by and even then I wasn't sure what this new film was about. There's not an awful lot that happens in this film which just added to how dull the film really was. I believe it was filmed in Joss Whedon's house over a short period of time and I don't believe that that is a reasonable excuse for a film to have nothing occur. There are much better films that only happen in one location.
The dialogue in the film just felt awkward and uncomfortable. I really enjoyed Romeo + Juliet which is similar to this in a lot of ways as it was a modern adaptation that kept the original dialogue, but here it just feels awkward. All the actors just looked uncomfortable speaking like Shakespeare and that, of course, makes the audience feel uncomfortable too. The dialogue just doesn't suit the modern day in this situation.
There were a lot of cheesy scenarios in the film. A fair amount of scenes in the film featured a large amount of cheesiness. There was one scene that was the most unbelievably dumb part of the whole film. A group of men are talking about another man in a negative way and this man they are talking about is literally laying on the barren grass outside with a branch covering his head. If the film was trying to be funny then they succeeded… in the wrong way. This wasn't the only scene like this either, there were dozens of others to go along with it.
To sum up Much Ado About Nothing was an uncomfortable and awkward modern adaptation of a classic Shakespeare story. The film was essentially unnecessary, slow, dull and very very cheesy.
The Spectacular Now follows the story of a party loving year 12 student named Sutter who has recently been dumped by his girlfriend whom he was in love with. After waking up in the yard of shy, nerd girl Aimee's yard he soon begins to see her on a regular basis. He tells his friends it's just to show her what's it's like to have a boyfriend, as she has never had one before, but he begins to fall in love with her and much as she is with him.
The Spectacular Now truly was a spectacular film. I absolutely adored this film so much, it's definitely in my top ten for the year so far (I will be announcing my top 15 in just over a week) and maybe even my top five. I love almost everything about this film; the acting, the directing and the fact that I was instantly in love with these fictitious characters and that I cared about what would happen to them. Some of things that did in fact happen to them were completely shocking and unexpected too.
The performances in the film were amazing. Miles Teller gives the best performances I've seen him give and I've seen nearly all the films he's in as I love him as an actor. He is a great young actor and this goes the same for Shailene Woodley. She gives what I believe to be one of the best performances from a female this year. Two absolutely incredible performances.
The directing in the film was sensational. I have not seen any of James Ponsoldt's works before, although he has not made an awful lot, but I absolutely adored what he did with The Spectacular Now. It was a wonderful adaptation of a book that I will probably read after seeing the film. He is literally flooding with talent that I wish to see more of in the near future. Hollywood let's get this guy some more films shall me!
I instantly fell in love with the characters in the film. Right when we first meet the party loving Sutter, who is far from being like me in reality, I instantly begun to care from him and hoped that his life would turn out better then it was currently situated. Just because he was a party goes doesn't mean his life isn't miserable on the inside. This is the same for 'good girl' Aimee. She was another character I cared for and also wished for her to succeed in life and be happy.This was unlike my feelings for a lot of the supporting cast who I didn't dislike, but wasn't overly fussed what their outcome was.
To sum up The Spectacular Now follows through with it's title as it truly was a spectacular film with sensational performances and directing as well as loveable characters that I thoroughly cared about. A must see movie.
American Hustle is the true story, as they make fun of before the film begins, of con artists Irving Rosenfeld and Sydney Prosser who are caught by FBI agent, Richie DiMaso. DiMaso somewhat blackmails the con artists out of being arrested if they help make a few arrests of positions accepting bribes although this is if Rosenfeld's idiotic wife Rosalyn doesn't accidentally make their whole world crash down.
American Huslte is one of the funniest films I've seen all year. The film is much more of a black comedy then I originally thought it would be. The film opens with a title card stating 'Some of the events in this film actually happened' which jokes around with the idea that most true stories have been 'hollywooded' and are only similar to the actual story. The film's opening scene then commences with a rather large Christian Bale gluing a comb over onto his bald head which is soon hilariously messed up by the curly haired Bradley Cooper. From then on I knew this film would be much more unexpected then I originally thought it would be.
The screenplay for the film was absolutely superb. I was astonished by how great the dialogue presented in the film actually was. Some much thought and planning was put into the screenplay. There was not a single bit of dialogue that I believed to be forced or unnecessary, it was all great. This was only helped, however, by the sensational performances given by every one of the main and supporting cast. I believe that it's possible that Jennifer Lawrence could receive another Oscar next year, only this time for supporting actress. In fact any of the main cast are in the running for oscars.
David O. Russel does sensational at directing. I am a big fan of Silver Linings Playbook, if you read my five star review, and loved The Fighter and so I was very much looking forward to seeing what O. Russell would produce here and I was hardly disappointed. His style of filmmaking impresses me. His films are so big and glamorous with their elaborate cinematography and his signature humour, here the humour is more present then a few of his other films. Australia has had two of his films to be released this year and I have not been disappointed with either.
To sum up American Hustle was another sensational film from director, David O.Russell. The film was absolutely hilarious, features a superb screenplay that presented by a variety of strong performances and an outstanding director.
4 1/2 Stars
Carrie is a remake of the 70s horror classic, which was based on the book by Stephen King. It follows the story of a shy teenager named Carrie who has a highly religious mother and ever since the government forced her to go to school she has been bullied. When the bullying is taken too far in the girl's locker room a young woman named Sue begins to feel sorry for her and asks her boyfriend to take Carrie to the prom. What none of them realise is that Carrie has telekinatic powers that will make the night unforgettable.
I enjoy how Hollywood are approaching remakes now. I'm really annoyed about how remakes are inevitable now a days, but at least Hollywood are trying harder with them. They know they will never be as great as the original and are trying to make the films slightly different to the original, they're making them fresh. With Carrie they've kept it similar, but also updated it and faced more issues such as cyber bullying which is now a big problem. They've also created a much more intense, gory and violent prom scene that arguably was as good as the original's scene.
The film boasts with talented actresses. Carrie is a very woman filled movie, by that I mean most of the main characters are female, and all of them were superb. Chloë Grace Moretz is a sensational young actress and she does outstanding as the shy, bullied outcast that is Carrie. As well as this Julian Moore does a horrifying and intense job as Margaret White, Carrie's mother. Neither of them can compare to the sensation performances in the original film, but they were more then satisfying performances.
The prom scene is arguably as great as the one from the original. I absolutely love the original Carrie, it's one of my all time favourite horror films, but I actually liked this prom scene as much as I did in the original. This film is far from being on par with the original, but it's still enjoyable. The prom in the original was kind of slightly underwhelming as in the book there was a much larger rampage and with the new Carrie more of the rampage and the gore was shown. Carrie blows up and murders a lot more people in this new film then she did in the original and so I was very pleased with it.
The film was much more of a remake then a re-imagining. It was publicly announced multiple times that this film was written based on the book and not on the original film, yet after watching it I completely disagree with that statement. This film is much more of a remake then a re-imagining. There are some scenes that were word for word the original film, but there were a few scenes that were new or based on the book that weren't in the original and I enjoyed them. It did have a few aspects of a re-imagining, but mostly it was a remake through and through.
To sum up Carrie was a superb remake, not re-imagining as it was publicly announced. It boasts with talent from the cast, had a horrifying prom scene that was arguably as good as the original and was updated for modern society.
3 1/2 Stars