Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

Review: The Dark Knight

July 22, 2008

THE DARK KNIGHT
Director: Christopher Nolan
Writers: Christopher Nolan and
Jonathan Nolan (story by David S. Goyer; Batman created by Bob Kane)
Starring: Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Heath Ledger, Gary Oldman, Aaron Eckhart, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and Morgan Freeman

My Rating: 10 out of 10

The Dark Knight is one of the most perfectly perfect films I have ever seen. Admittedly it’s only in the last few years that I’ve started expanding my film horizons and watching the kind of movies that fall into the category of “masterpiece” (it’s been about eight months since I watched The Godfather for the first time) but I’m confident that others will agree with me when I say that despite being both a sequel and a comic book movie, The Dark Knight really is a masterpiece of modern film.

The story picks up almost a year after the events of Batman Begins, with Gotham City fighting a war on crime. Bruce Wayne (Bale) is doing his best to wipe out the mob in the guise of Batman, helped by bulter/confidant Alfred (Caine), Detective Gordon (Oldman) and love interest Rachel Dawes. When the new DA, Harvey Dent (Eckhart), starts making some headway on the crime problem through legal channels, Bruce believes it might be time to hang up the cowl and let Dent become the city’s protector. But everything starts going to hell when the Joker (Ledger) launches a campaign of terror and chaos against Gotham.

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Review: “Journey’s End” (Doctor Who, series 4, episode 13)

July 14, 2008

“JOURNEY’S END” (DOCTOR WHO, SERIES 4, EPISODE 13)
Reviewed: July 14th, 2008
Director: Graeme Harper
Writer: Russell T Davies
Starring: David Tennant, Catherine Tate, Freema Agyeman, John Barrowman, Elizabeth Sladen, Billie Piper, Julian Bleach, and Nicholas Briggs

My Rating: 4 out of 10

“Journey’s End” is more of what we got with “The Stolen Earth”, no more and no less. The problem is that “The Stolen Earth” was more than a little bit rubbish, and the stench doesn’t get better with time. Russell T Davis doesn’t fix the problems that cropped up in the previous episode and because of this – and in spite of every other aspect of the episode being top-notch – the writing turns what should’ve been a great series finale into a steaming pile of dung.

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Review: Hancock

July 14, 2008

HANCOCK
Reviewed: 14th July, 2008 (i.e. late)
Director:
Peter Berg
Writers: Vincent Ngo and Vince Gilligan
Starring: Will Smith, Jason Bateman, Charlize Theron, Eddie Marsan

My Rating: 6 out of 10

Hancock is a hard film to review because it’s a hard film to get a handle on. There’s a lot of good elements to it, such as the performances and the special effects, but the film suffers from a kind of schizophrenia that makes it hard to define, hard to review, and ultimately hard to like.

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Review: Get Smart

July 5, 2008

GET SMART
Reviewed: 5th July, 2008
Director: Peter Segal
Writers: Tom J. Astle and Matt Ember (characters created by Mel Brooks and Buck Henry)
Starring: Steve Carell, Anne Hathaway, Dwayne Johnson, Alan Arkin, Terence Stamp

My Rating: 7 out of 10

I was surprised at how much I liked Get Smart. I had been expecting a slapstick comedy with guns involved, but the film proved to be something more akin to the Bond films of Pierce Brosnan’s era, only they’d been played for laughs as much as for excitement.

The film follows Maxwell Smart (Carrell), the top analyst for spy agency CONTROL, who wants to be a field agent. He gets his chance when the evil KAOS organisation kills most of CONTROL’s agents, forcing the Chief (Arkin) to promote Max and partner him with the mysterious Agent 99 (Hathaway). What follows is a spy romp across Russia and the US as Max and 99 take on the forces of KAOS and its nefarious leader Siegfried (Stamp).

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Review: “The Stolen Earth” (Doctor Who, series 4, episode 12)

June 27, 2008

“THE STOLEN EARTH” (DOCTOR WHO, SERIES 4, EPISODE 12)
Reviewed:
29th June, 2008
Director:
Graeme Harper
Writer: Russell T. Davies
Starring: David Tennant, Catherine Tate, Freema Agyeman, John Barrowman, Elizabeth Sladen, Billie Piper, Julian Bleach, and Nicholas Briggs

My Rating: 7 out of 10

WARNING: SOME SPOILERS AHEAD. I’LL TRY TO KEEP ‘EM TO A MINIMUM, BUT IF YOU DON’T WANNA KNOW WHO/WHAT THE VILLAIN IS, STOP READING NOW.

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Review: The Incredible Hulk

June 19, 2008

THE INCREDIBLE HULK
Reviewed: June 19th, 2008
Director:
Louis Leterrier
Writers: Zak Penn, Edward Norton (uncredited)
Starring:
Edward Norton, Liv Tyler, Tim Roth, and William Hurt

My Rating: 7 out of 10

I’ll preface my review with a confession: I liked the first Hulk movie. It wasn’t perfect by a long shot, with a far-too-convoluted plot and too much time with a whiney Eric Bana. But Ang Lee had a terrific visual style and brought out a lot of interesting ideas and character points. It has it merits, but it wasn’t a film meant for franchise. The Incredible Hulk most certainly is. Leterrier has stripped away some of the heaver elements of Ang Lee’s interpretation to create a lean, action-packed film that stays closer to the tone of the Hulk comics and TV series. If you’re looking for a deep dramatic film then look elsewhere, but if you want a blockbuster popcorn action flick that makes a decent attempt to be serious, The Incredible Hulk is right up your alley.

The film follows Bruce Banner (Norton), a mild-mannered scientist who, thanks to an overdose of gamma radiation, transforms into the giant monstrous Hulk whenever he’s angry or stressed. For five years Bruce has been a fugitive, on the run and pursued by General “Thunderbolt” Ross (Hurt), who wants to turn the Hulk into a military weapon. Close to a cure for his condition, Bruce returns to America to find ex-girlfriend Betty Ross (Tyler) – who happens to be General Ross’ daughter – and faces off against Emil Blonsky (Roth), an ageing commando whose obsession with the Hulk’s power slowly turns him into an Abomination.

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Review: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)

May 26, 2008

INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL
Reviewed: May 15th, 2008
Director: Steven Spielberg
Starring: Harrison Ford, Cate Blanchett, Karen Allen, Ray Winstone, John Hurt, and Shia LaBeouf

My Rating: 7 out of 10

This is a really tough movie to review, ‘cause it’s really a tough movie to get a handle on. If you like the Indiana Jones movies, then you’re gonna like this one. But there are a lot of things about the film to hate.

For the uninitiated, Crystal Skull follows the continuing misadventures of Indiana Jones, intrepid archaeologist and fedora-wearing adventure hero. This time around its 1957, a full twenty years since the last movie, and an ageing Indy is going up against the Soviets to find the titular crystal skull. Helping Indy is punk greaser Mutt Williams (Shia LaBeouf), old flame Marion Ravenwood (Karen Allen), duplicitous colleague Mac (Ray Winstone) and bat-shit crazy colleague Professor Oxley (John Hurt). Trying to do the heroes in is the Soviet scientist Colonol-Doctor Irina Spalko (Cate Blanchett) and her army of Ruskie redshirts.

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Review: Iron Man (2008)

May 1, 2008

IRON MAN
Reviewed: 1st May, 2008
Director: Jon Favreau
Starring: Robert Downey Jr, Terrence Howard, Jeff Bridges and Gwyneth Paltrow

My Rating: 8 out of 10

Iron Man is a blast. Jon Favreau has crafted one of the best superhero movies of recent years with this fun flick, and at the same time creating one of the coolest movie heroes we’ve seen in ages.

For the initiated, Iron Man is the story of Tony Stark, a brilliant weapons designer and billionaire playboy who parties hard, schmoozes women and doesn’t show up to anything on time. While showing off his new uber-deadly missile system, the Jericho, to the Air Force in Afghanistan, he’s kidnapped by the Ten Rings terrorist group and forced to build another missile for bad guys. Instead he builds a suit of power armour to escape the terrorists and make his way back to the US. After seeing the atrocities caused by his own weapons, Stark is determined to fix things by building a bigger, better set of armour and fighting bad guys as “Iron Man”.

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