Friday, September 28, 2012

Ghostbusters (Ivan Reitman, 1984) Review

100th Review!
Here it is. The Big 100! I have already reviewed my favourite film (The Truman Show) and several other in my top ten but there is a film that actually used to be my favourite before I saw The Truman was this. Ghostbusters is one of the definitive films from the eighties and is a pioneer of mixing sci-fi and comedy together. Does it still hold up though? Let's find out!

Dr. Peter Vankman (Bill Murray), Dr. Ray Stantz (Dan Aykroyd) and Dr. Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis) are three unemployed parapsychologist who begin to encounter paranormal activity in their city. When Peter is approached Dana Barrett (Sigourney Weaver) after she finds a demon claiming to be called 'Zuul' in her fridge. The three of them decide to set up a ghost hunting company known as 'Ghostbusters'. After hiring Winston Zeddmore (Ernie Hudson), the four Ghostbusters learn the truth behind Zuul and must stop the evil spirit known as Gozer (Slavitza Jovan) from destroying the world.

This film is funny...yes, even now, the comedy holds up. Bill Murray is the king here. He's the reason you love this film, admit it. Peter Vankman is a great character and one of the main reasons that this film is so great and memorable. All the characters are well designed and the writers of the film (who are Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis) and have become iconic (such as Zuul). The most popular was probably the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man and Slimer (or at least that's what all the merchandise is based on).

I'm actually surprised that the special effects used in the film has aged well. Actually, they haven't aged. Sure, Slimer looks a bit off but the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man and the top half of the skyscraper (seriously, it's fake!) look fantastic. This is truly a timeless film that I have almost nothing but praise for! Do I have any criticisms? I doubt it. All the characters are great and the cast is fantastic.

Ghostbusters is the very definition of classic. The film hasn't aged a day and is still watchable even to this day. This is still one of my favourite films of all time! The cast is great, the acting is fantastic, the humour is still funny (it's not dated or anything!) and even the special effects are pretty good. If you haven't seen this film, you're missing out. Yes, there as a'll see you on Monday for Ghostbusters 2!

A hilarious sci-fi romp. The acting is great and the writing is witty. A true classic.

Also, did I mention that this was my 100th review? Because it is!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Jumanji (Joe Johnston, 1995) Review

Well, I reviewed Zathura on Monday so I thought I might as well review the film that is usually bundled with it. My DVD of Jumanji came in a pack with Zathura and they are both from the same concept so I consider these films in their own mini-series. Why did I review Zathura first if this one came first? I have no idea...IMDb said so. Well, without further ado (adieu...someone has to tell me which is right), let's take a look.

Many years ago, a young boy named Alan (Adam Hann-Byrd) discovered a board game known as Jumanji. He manages to convince his friend Sarah (Laura Bell Bundy) to play but he is sucked inside the board much to her horror. Cut to the present day (or the nineties to be exact) where Judy (Kirsten Dunst) and her brother Peter (Bradley Pierce) move into a new house. While there, they discover the Jumanji board and accidentally unleash Alan, who is know a grown man (Robin Williams). He now needs to finish the game with the help of Sarah, Peter and his old friend Sarah (Bonnie Hunt) so he can return to his own time and make amends with his father (Jonathan Hyde).

Robin Williams is seen with a beard in this film so you know that he isn't going to be his usual insane self (that's a good indicter) and it strangely works in this film. The other cast members are great which is definitely something that Zathura lacks since I didn't really care about that characters in that but they're more developed in this one. The things that come out of the board are also better than the ones in Zathura since they actually serve purpose.

This film has problems though so don't think it was so great. I think my biggest gripe is quite an unfair one and that is that some of the effects haven't aged very well. The spiders are the worst offenders. They just I would say I would like to see a remake but I'm not sure if I could accept anyone else replace Robin Williams. There are also some pretty stupid moments. They sour the film.

Is this a good film? Yes but it's in no way a great film. Sure, it's nostalgic but it isn't a classic. Watch it now and you may remember it being much better than it is. For that, I am sorry. That happens all the time to me. Watch this instead of Zathura though...anyway, if I'm not mistaken, my next review will be my one hundredth review! What shall I do? I have no idea. Come back on Friday and find out.

The better of the whole 'board game genre'. Robin Williams is great but some things haven't aged very well.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Zathura (Jon Favreau, 2005) Review

You know, right before I sat down and wrote this review, I had to look up who the director was so I could put it in the title. I had no idea that Jon Favreau directed this film! For those who don't know who that is, he is the director of the Iron Man films and features in them as Happy Hogan. Well, in that case, this should be a good film! Does Favreau deliver his typical goodness or is it an exception, let's find out.

Walter (Josh Hutcherson) and Danny (Jonah Bobo) are two brothers who have a bad case of sibling rivalry. After a fall out, Danny discovers a board game downstairs that he's never seen before called Zathura. He begins the game and Danny and Walter discover that they are no in outer space. Their sister Lisa (Kristen Stewart) isn't falling for any of it but is affected by the game's rules. Now Walter and Danny have to beat the game in order to get home and survive against whatever the game throws at them.

Basically, this is Jumanji in space. It sounds like a good concept, and it is. The visuals are great and gives off a good atmosphere. Do I have any problems? Yes...yes I do. What? You think I'm going to complain about Kristen Stewart? No. It's nice to see her doing something before she did...another film...another film series...based on a book. My biggest problem is that the kids (especially Danny) are extremely annoying. I know this is inevitable with having child actors but here it's especially annoying. The kids in Jumanji fared better.

The premise of the film gives opportunity for some great visual effects and it certainly delivers. There are some great moments that come as a result of the board such as a giant robot (voiced by Frank Oz) and meteor showers. There are also some great twists which I must say, did surprise me. Whoever wrote this, you did good. The alien designs are pretty good and the way things are introduced one at a time make for a sequenced film. It's organised.

Is Zathura a good film? Yeah. Is it the best film ever? Hardly. It is a good film but that's about it. The visual effects are nice and some actors are good (such as Kristen Stewart and Dax Sherperd as the Astronaut) but it falls just too short. The story is quite basic, I couldn't give a damn about the kids and all in all, Jumanji is the better film choice. What's that? You want to hear about Jumanji? If you insist!

A good sci-fi film that offers things similar to Jumanji but really, just watch that instead.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Alice In Wonderland (Tim Burton, 2009) Review

Tim Burton...what is wrong with you? You seriously have mental issues if THIS is what you think of when you think 'Alice in Wonderland'. I, personally, think of the animated Disney adaptation but apparently that wasn't creepy enough for Burton's liking. He had to go and add his personal touch to it so expect some messed up things but which version of the story is the better one? Let's take a look.

Alice (Mia Wasikowska) is a nineteen-year-old girl who ends up discovering a whole new world in her back garden. This world is known as Wonderland...but not as you know it. Apparently, this isn't Alice's first time in Wonderland. After her absense, the Red Queen (Helena Bonham-Carter) has taken over and left the land it dissaray. There is a rebellion against her reign including the Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp), the Cheshire Cat (Stephen Fry) and the White Queen (Anne Hathaway). Alice now has to fight against the Red Queen's army and bring Wonderland back to the way it was.

The publicity really annoyed me with this film. The main character is Alice NOT THE MAD HATTER! All the adverts and posters focuses on Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter. It wasn't even his best role! The other members of the cast were interesting but were ultimately well cast, the bests being Stephen Fry as the Cheshire Cat and Crispin Glover as the Knave of Hearts. It's one of those films where I know every actor except the lead but it's not really a problem considering that Mia Wasikowska did a good job as Alice.

This film doesn't have Tim Burton's usual dark filter that most of his films have. There is actually colour featured and it looks great. Hell, the whole film looks great! The landscape is really nice looking and the sets amplify. The costume are also well done. Clearly, a lot of effort went into designing this film. You may be wondering what Tim Burton has done in order to make it more morbid...a lot! Considering that one scene shows that the Red Queen's moat is filled with decapitated heads of previous being she had beheaded...lovely. It strangely works and I'm glad he made it a sequel to the story rather than try to change too much.

Alice in Wonderland is an interesting take on the classic story. Sure, it isn't the best film ever but the darker take actually works well with the weird world of Wonderland. The acting is great and characters were very well cast (even though I think Johnny Depp was in it just for star appeal). I do personally prefer the animated Disney version but that's a story for another time. That being said, this one has the Jabberwocky...voiced by Christopher Lee...Mind blown!

A good take on the classic story featuring great acting. The morbid style of Tim Burton strangely works well in this film.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Up (Pete Docter and Bob Peterson, 2009) Review

Yes, we all know this film (or at should). It is one of Pixar's biggest films (other than Toy Story) and I can see why. A lot clearly went into this film and it certainly paid off. It's a great looking film but the real question is...does it live up to the...hype? Did this have hype? Not really since no one knew what this was about until they saw it. Anyway, let's take a look at one of Pixar's biggest films!

As a kid, Carl Fredricks was a big fan of exploring and wanted to be just like his idol Charles Muntz (Christopher Plummer). On his way home from the theatre, he runs into another explorer enthusiasts, Ellie (Elie Docter). Next up we have one of the saddest scenes in film history as it shows Carl and Ellie living their lives together including getting married, working and planning on having a baby. It ends with Ellie passing away, leaving Carl on his own. Now an old man (Ed Asner), he accidently assaults a construction worker and has to move to a retirement home after going to court. Having none of that, Carl attaches a large amount of balloons to his house and proposes to fly the house to South America and live there, just like Ellie always wanted. The only problem is...a young boy scout called Russell (Jordan Nagai) stowaways on the house. Now Carl is stuck with him and now must survive in the vicious South America!

I'll be honest, this film WAS good. The first time I watched it, I thought it was great...but after re-watching it many times, I'm starting to not enjoy it as much. The beginning is fine and is actually the best part of the film but once the dogs are introduced, it sort of loses something. It's not as good. Don't get me wrong, I like characters like Dug (Bob Peterson) and Kevin but it is terrible in comparison to the set up a the beginning. Sure, it deserved all those Oscar nominations but after watching it too many just isn't as good the next time around.

The cast is great! Ed Asner is fantastic as Carl and is easily one of Pixar's best protagonists. He makes Carl the ultimate grumpy old man and it really makes for some great moments. Some people may find Russell annoying but you learn to love him. He's the typical 'I wanna be a hero' kid and goes though some good development. Charles Muntz is a fantastic Pixar villain and is one of Christopher Plummer's best recent roles (he was pretty good in 9 as well). It may have Pixar's smallest cast but that doesn't mean it's the worst fact, it may be one of the best!

Up is a great film when you watch it for the first time. Afterwards...not so much. The characters are great, the settings look wonderful (have I used that adjective yet?) and the story is well written. It's one of the only films where I think the start is better than the rest of it but even then...the start is VERY hard to top considering how amazing it was. If you haven't seen this film, you should...just don't watch it over and over again...

A great film with a great cast and actors. It's better the first time through but it's still good.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Birdemic: Shock and Terror (James Nguyen, 2010) Review

Curse you JonTron! WHY DID YOU HAVE TO INTRODUCE ME TO THIS FILM?!! For those who don't know, JonTron is a video game reviewer on YouTube and his website A while ago, he released a review for a was this film. It was a warning, I can assure you as I wish I hadn't known of this film...but let's save that for the review, shall we? *sigh* alright...let's take a look...

To start with, we have Rod (Alan Bagh), you're typical guy. We get to see his whole day...seriously...his WHOLE day (traffic and petrol stop included). When visiting a restaurant, he runs into Nathalie (Whitney Moore) who he is instantly smitten to. Sounds like a typical love story, right? Shortly after, a flock of birds invades and goes about killing everyone. They discover they cause of the birdemic...GLOBAL WARMING! (Dun dun duuun). Now Rod and his friends must find a way to survive the outbreak.

Okay, it sounds like it isn't that bad and could be considered a good idea (kind of like a homage to Hitchcock's The Birds) is anything but good. I can estimate the budget was probably around £40 and therefore looks atrocious. I have made my own short films with quite basic equipment but I don't go around and put them DVD unless I thought they were exceptionally good...and even then I wouldn't distribute it across the world! The camera was clearly cheap, the actors can't act and the special effects...JUST LOOK AT THAT PICTURE (where they are fighting off bad CGI birds with clothes hangers...).

The problem is: I'm not sure if they're being serious when they made this film. They're is a moral surrounding global warming but the execution of it is questionable. This was clearly a film that a bunch of people made one day to try and promote their own opinions on climate didn't work. I don't care how accurate this is (since they clearly know their stuff about preventing it) but it doesn't work. If you want to promote an idea to try and change people's opinion...make a good film.

Birdemic is...a film. An absolutely terrible one but's a film. I can't even imagine the kind of person who would want to watch this...I feel as though I should read a book or something. It would be a better use of my time! Do you want to know something worse than this film? They're making a sequel. Same people and I can only imagine it would therefore be worse...I'm scared...

A terrible film that I'm not sure if it's to be taken seriously or not...they get that one point since they did do a bit a research...I assume.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (Edger Wright, 2010) Review

What's this? A Edger Wright film without Simon Pegg and Nick Frost...and isn't set in England. Well...let's see what Mr. Wright can do without them...and also using a licensed material (this film is based on a popular comic series). I have never read the comic series but after watching this film...I may consider it. Does Edger Wright deliver the usual standard of films he has previously or does it fall short, let's find out.

Set in Toronto, Canada, Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera) is a twenty two year old jobless slacker who plays bass in a garage band known as Sex Bob-omb with lead guitarist/singer Stephen Stills (Mark Webber), drummer Kim Pine (Alison Pill) and roadie Young Neil (Johnny Simmons). About a year ago, Scott was dumped by his girlfriend, Envy Adams (Brie Larson) and on the rebound, started hanging out with a seventeen year old girl called Knives Chau (Ellen Wong). One night, Scott has a dream which, naturally, involves the girl of his dreams. When a party to try a get a gig contract, he runs into his dream girl Romana Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead). Scott manages to hit it off...sort of...but in order to stay with Romana, he has to defeat her seven evil exes.

It's official, after seeing this film, I can consider myself a massive geek. There are so many video game references which shows that the writers really did their research. Throughout the first half of the film, all I was saying was "I'M GEEKING OUT HERE!" especially the 8-Bit Universal ident and the use of the Fairy's Fountain music from The Legend of Zelda. Hell, they're band is called Sex Bob-omb! They're rival band is called Clash at Demonhead (look it up)! How can I not bring up these references. It almost feels like this film was made for me since I can relate to Scott and the humour is my kind of humour. It's bizzare but you would be wasting you time trying to explain it. I was in hysterics at some points. One of the funniest films I've ever seen.

The characters a great in this film. Scott and his group of friends are well written and developed (there's even character development in this film), Romana is the only character where I think "could have been better" but everyone else is great. The seven exes are fantastic. They are hilarious and the fight scenes are so random and all realism is thrown out of the window...but I don't mind since I'm a silly person. I may be a bit bias in this review since this film is based on personal taste's my review and this film resonated well with me.

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World is a very good film as it blends action, humour and romance (something Edger Wright has done well before) but the use of geeky references and the hilarious moments and characters really add to the greatness (or as the film puts it: epicness) of the film. This is based on personal taste but I really enjoyed this film. I could watch it again and again and still find new things to enjoy. I'm with Empire on this and have to give it the score below simply because it feels like it was made for me...and that was a very personal review from Opinionated Movie-Goer...I apologise...

A fantastic, geeky film filled with video game references, great characters and is one of the funniest films I've ever seen. Three for three, Mr. Wright.

I realise I haven't done a bad film in a while...I'll find one for next week...probably.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Tim Burton, 2005) Review

Hey, the got the title right this time! That means it's better, right?....right? Anyway, apparently someone thought it was a good idea to let the madman that is Tim Burton take over the newest adaptation of the beloved Roald Dahl. I for one would not want to see the inside of his mind but would his...interesting style work well with such as strange story. Let's find out.

I don't think I can really say the plot since it's just the same as the last review I did. It's a remake of that film and therefore has the same plot just with different actors. Johnny Depp is good as Willy Wonka mainly due to the fact he is more creepy than charismatic but he doesn't come close to being a better Wonka than Gene Wilder. Charlie is worse in this one. Freddie Highmore is just too innocent in this. Charlie was really believable in the original but isn't here. I think the kids and their parents are all great in this one, especially the parents. They are much more memorable. Yes, this is very much as Tim Burton film as not only is Johnny Depp in it but Helena Bonham Carter and Christopher Lee are too. Christopher Lee is quite good as Willy Wonka's father but Helena Bonham Carter is forgettable as Charlie's mother.

All the classic songs are gone which would be fine if they hadn't gone and replaced them with worse ones. Only the Oompas Loompas sing (which are now only one person multiplied by computer...not as good) and they're pretty bland songs. The one that will stick with you though is the one the robots sing at the opening of the factory...they even play it during the credits just to make your you remember it...ehhhh.

I find it ironic that the film called Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is more about Charlie while the film called Charlie and the Chocolate Factory focuses on Willy Wonka. In this version, Wonka has a backstory as to why he is the way he is now...but did we really need an origin to the Oompa Loompas? Wilbur Wonka (Christopher Lee) was a nice addition as Wonka's father and a hater of chocolate. These parts were easily the best parts of the movie. Forget Charlie, I watched this just for Willy Wonka. So really, the sub plot is actually better than the main plot...interesting.

Overall, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is an enjoyable film but is really not as good as the original. Johnny Depp is good as Willy Wonka and the character is given a good backstory. The supporting cast is actually better than the original but everything else isn't. The sets look too Burtonish and therefore too dark (not dark coloured but...dark). I would recommend it but only after you've seen the original. This one is more accurate but in this case, it doesn't mean that it's better.

A decent adaptation with some good things but is overshadowed by the original.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (Mel Stuart, 1971) Review

It's back to school (or college in my case) and I'm so disappointed that I can't think of a good introduction. I'll try harder next time, I promise. Anyway, did you like this film as a kid? So did I? Has it aged well enough to be a solid film? Let's find out.

After years of hiding in his factory, Willy Wonka (Gene Wilder) decides to send out five golden tickets in five random chocolate bars and will give a tour of his world famous chocolate factory to those five people. Meanwhile, a poor boy named Charlie Bucket (Peter Ostrum) really wants to win a ticket so he can see the inside of the fabled chocolate factory and the tickets slowly being to be found by other children from all around the world (who conveniently can speak fluent English...) until they're all gone...except the last one was a fake and Charlie manages to find the last real ticket and takes his Grandpa Joe into the factory...and this just get plain weird...

What? You want me to do a analysis of both versions? You'll have to wait for tomorrow but in the mean time, let's talk about this one on it's own. First things first, Gene Wilder is great as Willy Wonka. He can create this charming, kind gentlemen character that can be interpreted as insane and has somewhat psychotic tendencies. The boat scene is the indication that he might be insane. I guess it depends on interpretation but that's my two cents...what did I just say? Anyway, the kid that plays Charlie is fantastic mainly due to the fact that he is a believable kid. He's kind but can also get a bit greedy at times. I also have to praise that the Oompa Loompas are all individual actors unlike a certain remake that I said I wouldn't mention but just did...oh.

I heard that the author of the original book, Roald Dahl, didn't like this film which I can understand as there are certain things changed such as squirrels being replaced by geese but I don't think a few changes could really soil a film. I, for one, thought that it lived up to the book and is often considered the definitive adaptation and has probably gone on to be the most recognisable look for the characters and sets. This film has lots of memorable moments including one of my favourite moments in film history ("YOU GET NOTHING!"). You watch this once and you will remember it forever.

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is a fun film that will leave an impression. It's a film that everyone should watch, like the Wizard of Oz. The cast is great, especially Gene Wilder, and, for the time, had some incredible sets. The film has gone on to be the definitive Roald Dahl adaptation that most people I talk to remember fondly. There are some things that haven't aged as well as the could have but is still a solid film.

A fun film with some fantastic acting. Although it doesn't stay true to the source material, there is still a lot to take from it.

Friday, September 7, 2012

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (Peter Jackson, 2003) Review

What's that? You're wondering how Peter Jackson can possibly top the epicness of The Two Towers? It was fantastic and had one of the greatest action scenes in film can it be topped? You want that answer to that question? Well then, let's take a look at the film to find out if it did manage to top the incredible film that came before it.

Unlike the last film that began right where the first film left off, this one begins with a flashback before the events of the trilogy, Smeagol (Andy Serkis) fishing with his friend Deagol (Thomas Robins) until Deagol is pulled into the river and ends up finding the one ring. Smeagol is instantly corrupted and kills Deagol for it. This begins Smeagol's slow descent into madness and becoming the creature known as Gollum. Cut back to the end of The Two Towers and Frodo (Elijah Wood), Sam (Sean Astin) and Gollum continue their journey where they finally reach Mordor but they must know find a way in. Sam is less then happy that Frodo is so easily trusting of Gollum, believing that Gollum is planning on killing them for the ring. Meanwhile, Aragorn (VIgo Mortensen), Legolas (Orlando Bloom), Gimli (John Rhys-Davies) and Gandalf (Ian McKellen) are rejoined by Merry (Dominic Monaghan) and Pippin (Billy Boyd) after the take over of Isengard by the tree folk. Now they must engage in the final battle with Sauron's impending forces.

Did this film manage to top the last one? To put it bluntly...yes. The battle of Helm's Deep was amazing in The Two Towers but the battle of Mordor was even better partially due to the scenes inside Mt. Doom with Frodo and Sam. This film had more memorable moments such as the aforementioned Mt. Doom. One scene that sticks in my mind was the scene with Shelob, the giant spider. It was reported that Peter Jackson was an arachnophobe and, being one myself, I can safely say he managed to make it creepy. Gollum was one of the best things in the trilogy and seeing him be given an origin really paid off as you feel even more sympathy for the character.

This is one long film but it actually feels necessary because of how much they had to fit in. While it seemed like very character had a story but it's now basically two stories: Frodo and Sam destroying the ring and the other members of the Fellowship having to stop Sauron's forces. It's gripping and a great narrative. You done good, Jackson, you done good...although there are a bit too many things left untold but those are fixed in the extended edition such as what happened to Saruman (Christopher Lee) after Treebeard (John Rhys-Davies) took over Isengard.

The Return of the King is a great way to finish off the tremendous Lord of the Rings trilogy. Everything was cleared up (especially in the extended version) and it leaves one hell of an impression on you. Remember when I was going on about how immersive the first two films were. It still is, don't worry. It has one of the most satisfying climaxes I've ever but the real question is: Is this the best trilogy of all time? Well, either this or The Dark Knight trilogy but this is more consistent. I guess it's just a matter of preference.

A tremendous conclusion that leaves a great impression of you. The best trilogy I've seen in a long time.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (Peter Jackson, 2002) Review

Right then, let's continue this fantastic fantasy story. What did we cover last time? That The Fellowship of the Ring is an immersive film with some fantastic characters and settings that blew my mind. I've only watched these films once...and that was last week. I didn't think that Peter Jackson could top his incredible film. Did he? Let's find out.

Where we left off, Boromir (Sean Bean) and Gandalf (Ian McKellen) were killed, Merry (Dominic Monaghan) and Pippin (Billy Boyd) were kidnapped, Frodo (Elijah Wood) and Sam (Sean Astin) went on to Mordor by themselves and Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen), Legolas (Orlando Bloom) and Gimli (John Rhys-Davies) have gone on to warn people of Sauron and Saruman's (Christopher Lee) oncoming forces. This film takes place a second later as Pippin and Merry find themselves being taken away by an Orc army. Just as they manage to escape, they are saved by a living tree known as Treebeard (John Rhys-Davies) who isn't sure whether he can trust the Hobbits due to them being with the Orcs. Meanwhile, as Aragorn, Legolas and  Gimli are met with a familiar face: Gandalf has returned having defeated the Balrog. The four join up once more and ride to Rohan where the must warn of Sauron's army...but Saruman has extra tricks up his sleeve. Lastly, Frodo and Sam begin to lose track of their path and are met with the presence of Gollum (Andy Serkis) who claims he knows the way to Mordor. Frodo and a reluctant Sam agree to follow Gollum and begin the last stretch to Mordor.

As you can tell, alot happens in this film. I barley scratched the surface of what is included in this film but I can say but I can confirm that this film has one of the best battle scenes in film history. The characters in this film are even more developed this time such as Legolas and Gimli having a friendly rivalry and Aragorn having a love interest (which I believe was briefly mentioned in the first film). The best introduction has to be Gollum who only briefly appeared in the first film but makes a proper debut in this one. Serkis did a fantastic job of not only making Gollum menacing but also sympathetic and you felt kind of bad when bad things happened to him. The film does a good job of conveying Gollum's two sides constantly fighting each other. I can see why he's one of the most remembered characters in the series.

The only problem I had with the first film was that it took a bit too long to really get going but not this time. There's great pacing which is helped by a balanced amount of tense, quiet moments and grand, epic action scenes. You are rooting for your heroes for the entirety of the film (which is even longer than the first so get comfortable) because they may come up against some great obstacles yet you know they'll prevail. It's as immersive as the first and really is a fantastic fantasy film. You can't call your self a fantasy fan until you've seen these films.

The Two Towers is a better film than the first because it fixes the problems I had with the first and introduces some great characters and locations. Personally it's my favourite of the trilogy (which doesn't mean I think it's the best) and is a perfect set up for the finale of the trilogy. Well, I guess it's about time for the return of a certain monarch...a King if you will.

An improved sequel that will keep you satisfied until the grand finale.

Monday, September 3, 2012

The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Peter Jackson, 2001) Reivew

Believe it or not, I only watched this trilogy the other day...I haven't even watch the last one yet. I may be a fan of nerd fandom such as Star Wars but Lord of the Rings is something I have never got round to watching...until now. The Hobbit is coming out at the end of this year and I thought it was finally time to enter Middle Earth...took me long enough. Without further adieu, here is my review for the first film in the epic Lord of the Rings trilogy: Fellowship of the Ring.

Many years ago, golden rings were carved and shared between the races on Middle Earth. When an evil lord named Sauron (Sala Baker) forged his own ring, the ring of power, he was killed and the ring was believed to be lost.  This ring is basically the master ring...and is found by a creature named Gollum (Andy Serkis) until it was lost again and picked up by a Hobbit named Bilbo Baggins (Ian Holm). Jump sixty years later and Bilbo is now one hundred and eleven years old. His realtive Frodo Baggins (Elijah Wood) and Bilbo's old friend Gandalf (Ian McKellen) arrive to celebrate his birthday but reveals that the ring is giving off evil power. Frodo, Gandalf and other Hobbits Samwise (Sean Astin), Merry (Dominic Monaghan) and Pippin (Billy Boyd) set off to destory the ring in the fires from within Mt. Doom in the land of Mordor with the assistence of Aragron (Viggo Mortensen), Boromir (Sean Bean), Legolas (Orlando Bloom) and Gimli (John Rhys-Davies).

I was hooked when watching this and didn't want it to end. That may be due to either that it was such a grand adventure or it was just so long that I didn't think it would have an ending. I'm not sure if the fact it's too long is a problem or worked out for the Dark Knight trilogy. Sorry to start wit a nit pick but from now on it's nothing but praise. This film was one hell of an adventure. I was sucked in right away and grew to love the characters. I've never had such an immersive feeling with a film before. It's incredible. You begin to understand the world that this world is in and accept it for what it is. The ultimate fantasy film.

The characters are the best bit about it. All of them are well developed and incredibly well written. You fear for them as they face all kinds of danger and you generally want to see them succeed in their quest. If I had to pick I would say that both Aragorn and Sam are my favourite characters. Aragorn is the films typical badass character while Sam is the suprising character that I didn't think I would like but ended up really enjoying him. This film looks absolutly incredible. One of the best looking live action films I've ever seen. The landscapes are beautiful and the characters look perfect. I never read the book but I can only imagine they live up...I seems to have complained...right?

The Fellowship of the Ring is an incredible beginning to one of the most beloved trilogies of all time. The characters are great and memorable with some amazing acting to accompany it (Viggo Mortensen got so into the role that Peter Jackson called him Aragorn and he didn't even notice!). The visuals are mind blowing and really help enhance the atmosphere of Middle Earth. What for can I say? It's an incredible film that builds immersion in a way I've never felt before. A cinematic treat if you are patient.

An incredible way to start of an incredible've won be over, Mr. Jackson.