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Showing posts from 2017

Review: Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (2017)

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Fig.1 Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (2017) Movie Poster
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (2017) is Luc Besson's latest film, of which shares some similarities in tone and style to another film of his in The Fifth Element (1997). This is very much a passion project of Besson's due to his love for the Valerian and Laureline comics, which were published from 1967 to 2010. Although The Fifth Element certainly isn't a masterclass in story-telling, the World and it's design has made it somewhat of a cult classic - Will Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets gain the same level of recognition? 
Fig.2 City of Alpha
Without doubt, the film's biggest strength lies within it's level of ambition. These unimaginable cities and environments are simply breath-taking to behold. There are set pieces that are so mind-blowing, that you must appreciate the film's craft. We are taken to several different environments, each feeling as different as the …

Review: War for the Planet of the Apes (2017)

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Fig. 1 War for the Planet of the Apes (2017) Movie Poster
War for the Planet of the Apes (2017) is the third and final part of a trilogy that has gained a lot of fans due to how successful and surprising the previous two films were. Matt Reeves returns as Director, who was able to take this franchise into a different direction after taking over from Rupert Wyatt to direct the second film -  Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014). So, is War for the Planet of the Apes a worthy conclusion to this story, and does it do what so few third instalments have done and be the best of the three?
Fig.2 Caeser (Played Andy Serkis)
It is fair to say that the film's protagonist, Caeser, who is played by Andy Serkis, has gone through quite a journey and is at a point in his existence where he is in full control of the Apes, who is both respected and feared by members of both the Apes and the Humans. Andy Serkis once again provides an incredible and, at times, emotional performance. He demonstrates h…

University Project: A Beginner's Guide to Failure - Infographic & Art Of

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A Beginner's Guide to Failure - Info-Graphic
This is an Info-Graphic that I made while I was a student of Computer Animation Arts at University for the Creative Arts (Rochester). Out of everything that I did/created during my time on the course, this is the project that I am most proud of. I managed to create something that is exactly like how I imagined it to be and I was able to complete it fairly easily and quickly. A Beginner's Guide to Failure - Art Of

Review: Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

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Fig.1 Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) Movie Poster
Jon Watts' Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) is the next instalment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and is the third adaptation of the title character, in a standalone film, that we have seen in the past 15 years. The previous 5 films have all varied in quality, so it is fair to say that the Spider-Man character has had it's share of both the good and the bad. Which camp does this fall into?
Fig.2 Peter Parker/Spider-Man (Played by Tom Holland)
Although this is a Superhero film, the clear influences for the film are from teenage high-school films, particularly the films by John Hughes - the director of The Breakfast Club (1985), Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986) and Sixteen Candles (1984) to name a few. This means that even in the "quieter" scenes when it's just Peter at School, it is still fairly entertaining and does not falter with the tone and pacing of the film. They intersect with the big action set pieces, so t…

Review: Baby Driver (2017)

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Fig. 1 Baby Driver (2017) Movie Poster
Baby Driver is the fifth feature film by Edgar Wright, who has quickly become one of the most popular Directors working today, due to how well-adored his previous films are, by both critics and fans alike - Those films being Shaun of the Dead (2004), Hot Fuzz (2007), The World's End (2013) and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010). So, does Baby Driver prove to be another success for Wright?
Fig. 2 Baby (Played by Ansel Egort)
In many ways, Baby Driver is very similar to Nicolas Winding Refn's 2011 film, Drive. Both films include a mysterious, and often silent, protagonist, who is an extremely skilled driver. It is due to those skills that make him the right choice for when someone is needed to get others out of a certain situation. Unlike Drive, however, which was very serious and quite dark at times, Baby Driver is an incredibly fun film that features some of the best car chases in recent years. Like his previous films, Edgar Wright's st…

Review: Wonder Woman (2017)

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Fig.1 Wonder Woman (2017) Movie Poster
To many, the DC Extended Universe is yet to reach the levels of success that the Marvel Cinematic Universe has hit. Whereas the high majority of the films that are part of the Marvel Universe have been mega blockbuster hits and are adored by both critics and fans alike, the three DC Universe films that have been released thus far: Man of Steel (2013), Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) and Suicide Squad (2016), have been incredibly divisive, to say the least. So, can Patty Jenkins help DC by bringing us a Wonder Woman film that will fill us with optimism for this franchise and it's upcoming releases - in particular Justice League, which will release later this year?
Fig.2 Diana Prince (Played by Gal Gadot -left) and Hippolyta (Played by Connie Nielsen - right)
As we continue to push for equality in our society, we want to see more diversity within our films, as well, because of this there was a lot of excitement and anticipation for th…

Review: Alien: Covenant (2017)

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Fig.1 Alien: Covenant (2017) Movie Poster
Alien: Covenant (2017) was directed by Ridley Scott, and is both a sequel to Prometheus (2012) and a prequel to Alien (1979) - both of which were also directed by Ridley Scott. Prometheus was met with relatively mixed reactions, among both critics and fans alike. A lot of people, who were not too pleased with that film, believed that it left too many questions unanswered and, therefore, didn't live up to the promise of giving us more knowledge about the 1979 Sci-fi/Horror classic. So, how does it's sequel fair?
Fig.2 The Covenant crew exploring the Planet
Unlike it's 2012 predecessor, Alien: Covonant is based much more heavily in the Horror genre and because of this there are many occassions that will leave you overwhelmed by it's incredible use of gore and tension. The film does share some plot elements to the 1979 film, so the journey does seem a little similar, but Ridley Scott has still managed to make it feel fresh and new…

Review: Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2 (2017)

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Fig.1 Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2 (2017) Movie Poster
Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2 (2017) is the sequel to the 2014 original, which proved to be a massive hit among both fans and critics alike, and is once again directed by James Gunn. This film, therefore, has a lot of hype around it based on that first film, so does it exceed our expectations or does it disappoint?
Fig. 2 Star-Lord (Played by Chris Pratt) and Ego (Played by Kurt Russell)
Where the film succeeds most is through it's exploration of family relationships, not just between Star-Lord and his father, Ego (see fig.2), which is the main focus of the film, but it also looks at the broken bond between the sisters of Gamora (Played by Zoe Saldana) and Nebula (Played by Karen Gillian) and the connectivity of the Guardians overall. It does put into the question what it truly means to be a Father, and demonstrates a difference between what it means to be the biological father and the one who raises you. Unlike the first, …

Review: Beauty and the Beast (2017)

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Fig.1 Beauty and the Beast (2017) Movie Poster
Beauty and the Beast (2017) was directed by Bill Condon, stars Emma Watson as Belle, Dan Stevens as the Beast, and follows Disney's recent trend of re-making their animated classics. If you're already a fan of the Disney animation, then this will certainly provide you with a very good experience, along with all the nostalgia for the 1991 original. But is it a good film for a new audience?

Fig.2 Maurice (Played by Kavin Kline) and Belle (Played by Emma Watson)
The entire cast for this film provide strong performances throughout, and so it is easy to enjoy seeing the characters on screen. Some performances, like Luke Evans' portrayal of Gaston, seem a little "over the top" in that they almost seem like an animated character, but this takes nothing away from their character as it suits the tone of the film perfectly, and in the case of Gaston, it makes him much more memorable and makes him a better villain as a result.

Review: Paprika (2006)

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Fig. 1 Paprika (2006) Movie Poster/DVD Cover
Satoshi Kon's Paprika (2006) is a Japenese animation that is based on Yasutaka Tsutsui's novel of the same name. It's story revolves around one device - The DC Mini. This device allows the user to look at someone else's dreams. When such device is stolen from, it is up to the Title character to retrieve it. Through it's complex narrative structure, it forces you to pay attention to everything that is happening, although it will still require another viewing to fully comprehend it.

Fig. 2 Paprika
If you're familiar with Christopher Nolan's Inception (2010), then this film will be somewhat easier to understand. However, Paprika is so much more mind-bending and obscure than Inception could ever intend to be. Of course, the fact that it's an animation allows for the dream sequences to be so much more surreal, but even the meanings and structure of said sequences are a lot more unique. We are taken to many…

Review: Mary & Max (2009)

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Fig. 1 Mary & Max (2009) Movie Poster Adam Elliot's Mary & Max (2009), in many ways, acts as an oxymoron. Although, at it's heart, it's quite a cute tale between two completely different people who find comfort in their communications, and with the film having some fun moments in, it does demonstrate some dark messages with some equally disturbing moments to match. These opposing components make for a fascinating experience, which you shall not forget in a hurry.  Fig. 2 Mary As the title suggests, the film focuses on two characters - Mary and Max. We are introduced to Mary when she is still only a child - living in Mount Waverley, Australia. She is very lonely and has had/is having a troubling childhood, and with having no one to confide with, life is a very difficult for her. Max is a morbidly obese 44 year old Jewish man who lives in New York. There are certain parallels between his and Mary's life, as he too had a troubled childhood and finds l…

Review: Airplane! (1980)

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Fig. 1 Airplane ! (1980) Movie Poster
Airplane! (1980) is an American comedy that was written and directed by all three of Jim Abrahams, David Zucker and Jerry Zucker - The people behind "The Naked Gun" Franchise. Airplane! is regarded, by many, as one of the greatest film comedies of all time. Upon first viewing, it's humor lies in it's complete unpredictability. Often acting as a spoof of other film genres and disaster movies, Airplane! has turned into a true comedy classic.
Fig 2. Playing trumpets
Through the famous collaboration of the three Writers/Directors, we are also accompanied by Leslie Nelsen, who has starred in many of the Zucker, Zucker and Abrahams' films.Although he is by no means the main character, he offers some very memorable scenes and quotes to the film. Through it's extreme use of slapstick comedy, you simply don't know what's coming next. It uses visual comedy very regularly and so is quite easy to understand. If you…

Review: Carrie (2013)

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Fig. 1 Carrie (2013) Movie Poster
Kimberly Peirce's Carrie (2013) is the second film adaption of Stephen King's novel of the same name. This modern take on it's source material demonstrates Hollywood's lack of ideas and takes one it's most memorable and well regarded horror films, from 1976, into the 21st century cinema.
Fig. 2 Carrie (Played by Chloe Grace Moretz)
Chloe Grace Moretz plays Carrie in this film and so this is a much different choice of actress in comparison to the 1976 version, where Sissy Spacek played the lead role. She is an attractive actress and so her "weirdness" and obscurity is in her actions and how she speaks and dresses. Because of her appearance, though, it feels a little strange that she is segregated from everyone at her school and doesn't have anyone to protect her or talk to her. Despite this, it is clear that all is not as it seems with Carrie. It becomes clear in the film that her extremely religious Mot…

Opposing Characters: Kill Bill: Volume 2 (2004)

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Fig.1 Kill Bill: Volume 2 (2004) Movie Poster
 This "revie" is focusing on the opposing characters, as the title says, and so this isn't a film review, necessarily.
Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill: Volume 2 (2004) is a brilliant continuation of the story that we became so engaged with in the first film. Tarantino draws on influences from many kung fu movies, and in doing so creates a memorable conclusion to this tale. Roger Ebert said in his review that Kill Bill: Volume 2 is "an exuberant celebration of moviemaking, coasting with heedless joy from one audacious chapter to another, working as irony, working as satire, working as drama, working as pure action." - (Ebert,2004)
Fig.2 The Bride (Or Beatrix Kiddo [Played by Uma Thurman])
The film follows on directly from the last, but still allows new viewers to be aware of what is going on. It is clear that the Bride's mission is still intact as she continues to look for Bill and the remaining membe…