Reviews

Page 1 of 2028  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 »

The Homesman

Reviewed by Randy

  • Currently 4/5 Stars.

An interesting foray into the Wild Wild West that's equally disturbing as well as poignant, funny and still relevant. Great performances from across the board, it's a beautifully shot effort by Lee Jones who reveals his comic side. If you're looking for something different, this is the one to go for. Curiously, this one has been produced by Luc Besson.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part One

Reviewed by Randy

  • Currently 2/5 Stars.

Jennifer Lawrance makes the best out of 0 character development and plot that really tries to spell everything out for the viewers. There are some memorable sequences and Julianne Moore is rather interesting, but this one feels nothing like a revolution should.

Interstellar

Reviewed by mindaugas

  • Currently 5/5 Stars.

Some parts were slow and a little heavy-handed on the preaching. But once the plot got going, it was rapturous and I saw planets and worlds that I have never dreamed of anywhere else, Borges-like in their fantastic imagination.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part One

Reviewed by emer

  • Currently 3/5 Stars.

The Hunger Games aren’t over yet! Director Frances Lawrences returns to see the franchise out with this two part adaptation of the bestselling YA science fiction series which sees Jennifer Lawrence’s Katniss Everdeen continue her quest to lead the people of Panem to freedom. The middle instalment, Catching Fire, turned out to be the highest grossing film of 2013 and an unexpected critical darling. This film also marks the final screen appearance of Philip Seymour Hoffman, who passed away shortly after filming his scenes. No doubt it was a commercially driven decision to split the final novel into two films, which has proved lucrative for other franchises (The Hobbit, Breaking Dawn). Mockingjay – Part 1 goes deeper and darker than its predecessors but yet it still manages to thrill. There is a noticeable darkening shift in mood, tone, emphasis and even colour as we exit the arena, leaving behind the reality-tv bloodsports of the first two movies. Instead we are taken underground where we counter a grimly escalating vision of all-out-war, with Katniss as the face of the revolution. The movie begins with Katniss rescued from the ‘Quarter Quell’ Hunger Games and brought to the ultra-secret District 13. She is in hiding in a large, grey-walled subterranean bunker together with an angry rebel faction who want to take their fight to the decadent Capitol. They have been biding time, waiting to unite the districts and overthrow the totalitarian President Snow (Donald Sutherland) and the entire Capitol, which exploits the resources of the districts. District 13’s poised, formidable leader, Alma Coin (Julianne Moore) urges the reluctant Katniss to officially embrace her new role as the Mockingjay - the beacon of hope for the oppressed populous of the outer districts, where rioting has broken out. She believes that Katniss and the symbol of the Mockingjay are the only hope of keeping the spirit of rebellion alive. She is to be the face of the revolution and this time it will be advertised so her hair, her uniform, her politics – all have to be carefully sculpted to appeal to the masses. Katniss’s PR man, Plutarch Heavensbee (Philip Seymour Hoffman, to whom the film was dedicated), coaches her in the art of “Propos” – propaganda designed to sway the hearts and minds of the people. By her side again are the ever-ardent Gale (Liam Hemsworth); Haymitch (Woody Harrelson), and Effie Trinket (Elizabeth Banks), who still maintains her insatiable need for high style and glamour. They want to demonstrate to Panem’s increasingly restless masses that Katniss lives and is ready to fight. Over in the Capitol, President Snow is having Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) tortured. He is regularly trotted out on live TV to be interviewed by the smarmy and emotionally manipulative Caesar Flickerman (Stanley Tucci). He appears drugged and brainwashed as he reluctantly urges the rebels to end the civil war and agree to a cease-fire. Snow and his regime are trying to take down the Mockingjay by having their own mascot paraded in front of the camera. Meanwhile, to the understandable chagrin of her longtime companion, Gale (Liam Hemsworth), who has bravely joined the fight against the Capitol, Katniss seems more interested in Peeta’s safety than anything else, including the success of their cause. The real strength of this film hinges is still the ever-engaging and reliable Jennifer Lawrence’s Katniss Everdeen. She has always been rather cold and standoffish, almost entirely devoid of humour or any real interest in romance but that is what makes her an exceptionally strong heroine with all the requisite qualities – she is strong, smart, stubborn, angry but determined. She is a reluctant hero, not a superhero, but a credible and effective leader that we can engage with. In comparison to the first two “Hunger Games” movies, “Mockingjay, Part 1” more explicitly examines the power of propaganda, mass uprising and media manipulation as the action moves away from the killing fields of the Games and into a full-on revolution. The plot rests less on action and more on debates about how to start the action. This shift in focus does threaten to distance some viewers who may have been hoping for the bright hued battle spectacle of the previous films. Yet I like that this film goes deeper and darker and I think the drama and tone are powerful and effective. The story is consistently gripping, engaging and well paced. Cynical audiences will feel like the story is being padded to justify the split into 2 movies. However, avid fans of the franchise, like me, will be delighted with the opportunity to spend more time with these characters and with the unfolding of the suspenseful, powerful revolution. This movie isn’t just a 2 hour build up, it stands perfectly well on its own. Having said that, it is a pity that we are left on the edge of a cliff for another year, until Part 2 of Mockingjay will be released. This film just left me wanting more – that can only be a good thing.

The Homesman

Reviewed by laume

  • Currently 5/5 Stars.

At a certain point, The Homesman will take you by surprise. By the end ... it will take your heart

Horns

Reviewed by Patrick Rock

  • Currently 4/5 Stars.

I was expecting very little from this film, but I was pleasantly surprised at how dark, but how funny it got. Not for everyone but If Daniel Radcliffe keeps making films like this his career will be brilliant. Bring on Victor frankenstein.

Interstellar

Reviewed by Patrick Rock

  • Currently 4/5 Stars.

Before i write further I'll flag Interstellar's serious flaw. Its bloody long. Nolan has not made a film under two Hours since the Prestige in'06 and I think his running times are becoming an issue. Other than that this is a fantastic movie. Well written, acted (The Comedic robot TARS, played by Bill Irwin, lightens the whole scenario to surprising effect.) I can't say more about this without spoilers but If you can have an open mind about Wormholes, Black Holes and where our species could be headed then I thoroughly recommend this film.

What We Do in the Shadows

Reviewed by Patrick Rock

  • Currently 5/5 Stars.

From the Trailers spreading across the internet over the last few weeks I got the feeling this would be a good comedy. Its better than I expected. Very smart, the special effects are top notch. The gags are genius. I couldn't recommend this more, its the funniest film of the year.

The Homesman

Reviewed by emer

  • Currently 3/5 Stars.

Tommy Lee Jones stars, directs and has co-written the screenplay for “The Homesman”, a movie adapted from the 1988 novel by Glendon Swarthout. Set in the 1850s, it tells the story of a gold prospector who teams up with Hilary Swank’s forthright and independent frontierswoman to escort three mentally ill women across the Great Plains, to find help and rest in more civilised surroundings. Hilary Swank is Mary Bee Cuddy, an educated 31 year old woman with a modest but thriving farm in Nebraska but who’s deemed to be too plain and too bossy to find herself a husband. In contrast to her charges, she is a survivor. She is strong and resourceful and hardworking. She ploughs her fields, tends to her livestock and tries to woo the eligible bachelors with her home cooking and business sense but to no avail. Yet, despite her successful farm and strong work ethic, she is lonely and maladroit. The local preacher Dowd (John Lithgow) confides in her the awful news that three frontier women have gone insane through the rigors and deprivation of life on the plains. He decides the only thing to be done is to pack them up and drive them back to Iowa, where a Methodist minister’s wife (Meryl Streep) has offered them hospice. They draw lots and Mary Bee ends up with the unenviable job. She agrees because it’s the right thing to do and also because no-one else will do it in her place. She needs somebody to accompany her and as luck would have it, she comes across George Briggs (Tommy Lee Jones), who has been left hanging from a tree by a vigilante gang. She agrees to rescue him and cut him down on condition he helps her in the terrible journey, and she is careful to extract the promise before telling him the details. He’s not in much of a position to negotiate so he accepts and they set out on the long and dangerous trail, facing bandits, Native American tribes and worse. The three women are certainly tough company - one (Grace Gummer) has lost three children to diphtheria in quick succession; another (Miranda Otto) was driven to despair by the failure of the family farm and hysterically threw her newborn baby down an outhouse hole, while the third (Sonja Richter) lost her mother in the snow and spends her days writhing and screaming. What follows is her journey across a dangerous, barren world to the Missouri River, with only her self-involved driver George Briggs and the three deranged women to keep her company. From the outset, the unlikely pair get on one another's nerves and they are under no illusions as to the enormity of the task which will take over five weeks through the most hostile territory with risks of attacks from bandits and Indians. The journey will take over five weeks, through the winter and through hostile territory with possible attacks from bandits and Indians. However, things soften after a while and along they way there are some unexpected twists and turns. Swank and Jones are a superb pairing – this is Swank’s meatiest role since Million Dollar Baby and she effectively handles it with dignity and charm. She is a commanding and fiercely individualistic woman who can meet men at every level. However, once the bewhiskered rascal Jones enters the picture, he quickly turns into the star of the show. His cantankerous Briggs as a boozy scallywag and troublemaker provides the ideal counterpoint to duty-bound Cuddy's more restrained demeanor. In what is both an amusing but yet heartfelt performance, his Briggs is amoral, has not a shred of trustworthiness or responsibility and is on the run from everything he has done in his life. This is in stark contrast to the self-sufficient and reliable Mary Bee. The rest of the characters are fine but the performances are understated. Cameos include Tim Blake Nelson as a knife-waving lunatic, James Spader as a cruel-hearted hotel owner, and Meryl Streep in a gentle, motherly role in the final act. With “The Homesman”, Jones shows true storytelling grit and proves he remains a confident and accomplished director. He has produced an original and offbeat western which becomes increasingly engaging as the plot progresses. He deftly handles the shift in tone from comedy to sentiment to solemn to shock. “The Homesman” recalls the movie -“True Grit” - which also showcased a relationship between an ageing frontiersman and a younger woman and is an equally find portrait of such a relationship. While it won’t stay with you for weeks, it’s an enjoyable and very watchable movie.

Nightcrawler

Reviewed by tetsujin1979

  • Currently 5/5 Stars.

Gyllenhaal delivers a career-best performance as Bloom, a fast thinking man looking to take advantage of any situation to make a quick buck, even death. After encountering an accident on the street at night, and seeing a camera crew recording the footage for broadcast news, he enters the world of nightcrawling - monitoring police broadcasts for reports of incidents, then driving recklessly to record it. As he descends further into the violence in his city, he moves from recording the incidents to creating them.

Interstellar

Reviewed by tetsujin1979

  • Currently 3/5 Stars.

Nolan tries to teach advanced physics with a meandering tale of an astronaut father caught between saving the entire human race and wanting to return to Earth to see his now daughter who has aged while he was away due to light speed, gravity, relativity and science. It never reaches the accessibility of Nolan's previous works, and suffers with its length and overriding score.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part One

Reviewed by Starbuckie

  • Currently 4/5 Stars.

I loved the books so I was quite wary of splitting the final book in two parts but it actually enhances the story tremendously.

Page 1 of 2028  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 »