Movie Review: Rogue One

‘Star Wars: Rogue One’ is the first of Disney’s ‘standalone’ films with fans racing to the cinema to ensure a record opening weekend of $155 Million.

Complete with an entirely new set of feisty, diverse characters, great script writing and plenty of action, it takes place immediately before ‘Episode IV: A New Hope’ (i.e. the original) as the rebel spies plot to steal the Death Star’s engineering plans.

 

Disney purchased lucasfilm in 2012 for a whopping $4Billion, giving them all creative rights to the franchise. ‘Star Wars land ‘ is currently under construction at Disneyland and Disney’s Hollywood studios.

 

The film features a wonderful ensemble cast that respects the Star Wars tradition of combining little-known actors with veterans.

Newcomer Felicity Jones (as energetic and soldier-tough Fyn Erso), heads up a misfit gang that includes Diego Luna, Madds Mikelsen, Donnie Yen and Forest Whittaker. And also a notable mention must be made of super-evil, ambitious bad guy, Ben Mendelsohn.

 

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With established actors (and martial artists) from Mexico and China forming a significant part of the ensemble, this is the most diverse Star Wars cast ever.

 

Directed by Gareth Edwards (2014’s ‘Godzilla’), it’s no secret that ‘Rogue One’ underwent extensive reshoots to tighten up the story- and change the original ending.

 

Given that this included further character development and adding some ‘human touch’ to the action scenes, I’m certainly pleased they did.

 

Heavily reliant on CGI and digital artistry of all shapes and sizes, the movie certainly looks amazing – but lost some of the deeper emotive appeal of ‘The Force Awakens’.

An amazing film, but definitely one for the big screen – I highly recommend this movie for an action adventure film that will blow your socks off and scratch your Star Wars ‘itch’.

Still playing first-run theatres and you can check out the official trailer here:

 

Movie Review: The Machine

‘The Machine’ is a 2013 British Science Fiction / Thriller set in London in a dystopian future where England is in cold war with China.

Director, Caradog W.James has bitten off a hefty Directorial debut – with a movie that runs rich with deep philosophical undercurrents around human relationships with super intelligent robots.

Although it’s a low budget flick, the film echoes much of the look and feel of ‘Bladerunner’ –  and in particular, I found ‘The Machine’ (Caity Lotz) reminiscent of Rutger Hauer’s Roy in both mannerisms and self awareness.

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Performances were solid from a small British cast (Toby Stephens, Denis Lawson) and notable mention goes to Pooneh Hajimohammadi for a great performance in a role with entirely no dialogue.

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Despite the future possibility of becoming a cult film, I would save this B-Grade flick for a rainy day.

Available on Netflix and you can check out the trailer here:

 

Blade Runner: Movie Review

Today’s movie review is on ‘Blade Runner’; a movie I consider to be one of the top scifi classics of all time.

With it’s distinctive soundtrack, moody visuals and deep philosophical undertones – this is a must-see for any serious movie lover.

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THE LUNCHBOX: MOVIE REVIEW

‘The Lunchbox’ is a lovely independent film with a clever plot, great characters and excellent performances.

Set in Mumbai, this heartfelt film moves effortlessly between a blend of hindi and english and centres around the cities legendary lunchbox delivery service – and specifically around the relationship between two complete strangers who connect over a misdelivered lunchbox.

This film is a process geek’s dream come true, with detailed footage of a complex food delivery system that accurately delivers food daily from wife to husband in a city of 13 million.

 

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Lovingly shot by Director, Ritesh Batra, it this movie was a time of day it would be a sweet summer’s afternoon.

You can access it on Netflix, and here is the official trailer to give you a taste of the film.

 

Edge of Tomorrow: Movie review

It’s the start of the summer blockbuster season here in North America and what finer way to start it off than with Tom Cruise kicking butt in ‘Edge of Tomorrow’?

First of all, don’t believe the ‘disappointing’ reviews of this film. With worldwide box office sales so far at $150 Million, this man versus invincible alien film was satisfyingly intense and even had some unexpected depth to it.

The real surprise for me here was Tom Cruise as Major William Cage (Dick Cage, really..?). He put in a solid performance – his ‘usual’ – but he never pulled a Russell Crowe and ramped it up. Has our dear Tom plateaued?

Instead Emily Blunt proved to be the film’s real bad arse when she stole the thunder with her acerbic wit and hard line ambition to win the alien war – no matter what the cost.

If you like your sci fi militaristic and a tough female soldier in the lead then this film’s a must for you.

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Bad arse!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s the official trailer for you:

Noah: movie review

‘Noah’ is the latest blockbuster epic from Director, Darren Aronofsky ( ‘Black Swan’ and ‘The Fountain’ ).

Considering the subject matter, the film was was definitely less preachy than I was expecting – yet at the same time I found myself questioning some of Aronofsky’s softer choices such as the avoidance of the word ‘God’ in favour of the more palatable ‘Creator’. It’s not like we don’t know who the story is about.

Russell Crowe easily carries the film with a driven and focused performance –  though he actually overshadows some of the scenes with his intensity –  especially those with his sappy brooding kids.

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Ray Winstone held his own against Noah as the ‘all men are kings’ bad guy and Anthony Hopkins was notable as laid back old Methuselah. The female performances were generally strong there was generally a bit too much wailing and teeth gnashing for my tastes.

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By halfway through the film I found myself repulsed by the arrogance of both of the male protagonists – but it was exactly this complexity of character that I ultimately appreciated and left me with food for thought.

I recommend seeing this if you’re a fan of epic disaster films, Aronofsky’s work or Russell Crowe’s impossibly pumped biceps.

Here’s the official trailer for you:

 

Movie review: Twelve Years a Slave

When I recently read a New York Times rave review for movie ‘Twelve Years a Slave’, it hit my ‘must see’ list.

Reviewers are hard people to impress, and I knew that if it was hitting 95% on Rotten Tomatoes, something was going on.

Truthfully I knew nothing of Solomon Northup’s story; a free black man who was kidnapped in 1841 and sold into slavery.

But given the title, I knew there was going to be some disturbing imagery. I came prepared with tissues and strength of heart!

The film combined beautiful cinematography with an unflinching directorial eye, which served to heighten the horrible cruelty and sense of entitlement of the southern lifestyle.

Although the entire cast gave an outstanding performance, special note must be made of leading actor, Chiwetel Ejiofor. There is an Oscar in his future.

(http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0252230/)

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Don’t be put off by the subject matter – this is an incredible piece of film making. Here’s the trailer for you: