Iron Man 3 – Movie Review

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When Tony Stark’s world is torn apart by a formidable terrorist called the Mandarin, he starts an odyssey of rebuilding and retribution.

Iron Man was an excellent superhero movie, Iron Man 2 ruined any love I had for it. I was hoping Iron Man 3 would regain my faith.

The plot for this film is sketchy to say the least. It takes a while to really get anywhere and I think the overall narrative is pretty rubbish. Though, as the plot thickens, it gets quite interesting at times, and it has its moments. It just doesn’t work as a cohesive plot. This isn’t helped by the huge twist, which I actually really liked; but it didn’t help the story.

Thank god we have a great character in Tony Stark, played brilliantly by Robert Downey Jr. He is so charismatic and laid-back and just perfect in any of his Tony Stark roles. He is the centre of everything here, and that’s where Iron Man 3 succeeds. It realizes that it doesn’t need a gripping story or an interesting villian, because it has a really good character; who is played by a really good actor.

As far as the other cast goes, I think Guy Pearce is dealt a bad hand, because he’s a great actor, but he just plays a dull and unoriginal character. He’s not bad, there’s just nothing to him. Gwyneth Paltrow is fine and Don Cheadle is as witty as he always is; being a highlight for me in the film.

The shame is, it sort of forgets what it is. The best part of Iron Man was the first half an hour in the cave, and they use parts like that in this film! But then they go and ruin it all by falling down a dodgy plot-line about regenerating faces or whatever. This is fine, as long as it’s fun; which I’m afraid it isn’t for a lot of the time.

Plagued by a lackluster story, Iron Man 3 is filled with good moments, lead wonderfully by its lead character. – 3.5/5

IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1300854/

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Don Jon – Movie Review

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A New Jersey guy dedicated to his family, friends, and church, develops unrealistic expectations from watching porn and works to find happiness and intimacy with his potential true love.

Who doesn’t like Joseph Gordon-Levitt? Like seriously, he’s awesome…

And also awesome in this movie, which is very much JGL. It’s mostly egotistical nonsense, but fun egotistical nonsense. It’s very obvious that JGL is the master of this film, through his direction, writing and acting.

It’s a fine directorial debut, and this film has a unique style. It’s very fast and sharply edited, and some scenes will just leave you in awe of him. The writing is also a solid effort, and there’s some great dialogue between JGL’s character and his characters father. Also, JGL’s acting is very charismatic and fresh; which matches the rest of the film.

His supporting cast is also very good. Scarlett Johansson is unbelievably sexy here, and gives a vivacious performance; and I think she nailed the accent. Julianne Moore is fine, but probably has the most dull and unoriginal character in the film. Somebody that I loved was Tony Danza as the father who was absolutely hilarious.

For the most part, this movie mostly falls short to what it’s trying to put across. You can see it, it’s just really far away. In the end, it just boils down to a well made romantic comedy. And that would be fine, if the final ‘love interest’ wan’t so painfully irritating (Julianne Moore). It’s also hard to buy whats going on, because in these ‘moments’, it just feels really outdated and poorly put across.

Either way, this is a very funny film and a brilliantly made one. It has a rhythm that is just being beat out by a strong showing on all areas from Joseph Gordon-Levitt. <— See what I did there? Probably not.

Top notch directing and acting, but it just loses itself. – 3.5/5

IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2229499/

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The Hunger Games: Catching Fire – Movie Review

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Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark become targets of the Capitol after their victory in the 74th Hunger Games sparks a rebellion in the Districts of Panem.

I love the Hunger Games books, and I’ve read each of them several times, and Catching Fire is by far my favourite. So safe to say expectations were high…

Let me start of by saying that this is a huge step up from the first one. Which makes sense, because the whole story has just far more to it. The original concept was cool, but it wasn’t fleshed out enough. In Catching Fire, they bring it out of its shell so much more than before and a lot of times, it’s hard to tell its a sequel. The back story of the districts and difference to the capital is just far better.

You can feel the rebellion as the movie goes on, the slight tremors here and there. Which is down to director Francis Lawrence, who has made the film very smooth. Also, it’s very smart and slickly edited, like the first, but like I said earlier, just a step up.

Similarly to the first one, the actual games isn’t the main stage of the film. Which is good, because it almost comes out of nowhere and fills you with excitement thank to the catchy action segments. However, most of it is pretty generic and boring; and the highlight is everything before the games. Not to say it isn’t exhilarating for a while.

The screenplay for me was very hit and miss. For the most part, it was solid and built with enough meaning that it made sense. However there’s writing that just falls flat and comes across very out of place. Also, I think that the writers don’t like Josh Hutcherson and deal him with the worst lines known to man, and make him so un-like-able.

As far as acting goes; Jennifer Lawrence is excellent of course and has so much strength in the lead role. Like I said, I don’t like Josh Hutcherson in this movie, he’s just so empty and un-like-able. Who I did love was Philip Seymour Hoffman, as a great character Plutarch Heavensbee, as he’s the most interesting and coolest guy on earth. Everyone else from the original cast is also very solid and Stanley Tucci is his small role is just good fun to watch. Oh, and Finnick is my favourite character in a book from like anything, so Sam Claflin could do no wrong in the role.

If you put away the inconsistent writing, this movie is very entertaining. And will drive fans crazy (in a good way) which I think is the whole point. Be entertaining for the majority and bring the source material to light for the fans. That happens in the final act, as if you haven’t read the books, you’ll be like ‘What the flying cats is going on?!’.

Despite the odd writing error and games boredom, this is more interesting and expansive than the first, whilst still staying entertaining. – 4/5

IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1951264/?ref_=nv_sr_1

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Man of Steel – Movie Review

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A young itinerant worker is forced to confront his secret extra stellar origin when Earth is invaded by members of his own race.

I don’t like Superman, he sucks.

I’m afraid this movie falls into the generic blockbuster category, which is a real shame. I was sorta hoping with Christopher Nolan involved to get a Batman reboot feel. It’s not like that at all. And whenever it tries to be like that, it falls extremely short. They have this ridiculous action followed by a blunt serious monologue. Wtf?! It feels like a stop then start then stop then start, and the in between bits are just dull as hell.

They’ve managed to make Superman even more boring then he was before, and that isn’t helped by Henry Cavill. He is trying so hard to be an all out american, that for a lot of this movie, he is just so blank. He is outplayed by his ‘younger self’, in scenes which turn out to be some of the best in the movie. His enemy isn’t interesting either, its a tired villain that is incredibly outdated, and as much as I love Michael Shannon; he is also very blank.

Don’t get me wrong, the action scenes are entertaining and the visual effects are next level stuff. It’s just the spongy writing which takes you away from that. It then ruins the actors chance of being good, like Amy Adams who had so much potential to play a good Lois Lane.

Overall, everything is very unoriginal and simple. The only credit you can give it, is that you can probably switch your brain off and enjoy it on a visual level. And it does tell a slightly interesting story. However, I could spend hours discussing things that annoyed me, and I’m not even a Superman fan.

Exciting and visually outstanding at times, Man of Steel has a serious case of dodgy writing and blank acting disease. – 2/5

IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0770828/

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Her – Film Review

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A lonely writer develops an unlikely relationship with his newly purchased operating system that’s designed to meet his every need.

Let’s all remember Spike Jonze made ‘Being John Malkovich’; which was mental. And so is Her.

An interesting and original plot-line to say the least. A man who falls in love with his computer? Lovely. This is really good though, because it’s a nice change of pace from what we usually see, and it actually is really really interesting. The whole idea of the wide scope of modern relationships is really cool and delivered well.

It’s just, for a long time, it’s kinda dull. For a lot of the film, I found my mind wandering to other places, which defies the whole point of the film. I don’t really like the pacing, its awfully slow at times and just seems to repeat itself. This is all purposeful of course, but I can’t let Spike of on this one, as much as I love him.

However, this was the most beautiful film of 2014. It really is wonderfully shot, and the colours and lighting are excellent. Spike Jonze has managed to create a superb and subtle future world, that is every bit realistic. Jonze has also managed to craft together a solid screenplay that is at times quite thought provoking.

The director is the star here, but I think Joaquin Phoenix does a sterling job, and is very sweet and like-able; but he’s good in everything. I think Amy Adams was underused here; though still very good. And Scarlett Johansson’s voice is also very good and she does well in the key role of the film.

Even though dull at times; Spike Jonze does an excellent job of making this both interesting and beautiful. – 4/5

IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1798709/

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Dallas Buyers Club – Movie Review

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In 1985 Dallas, electrician and hustler Ron Woodroof works around the system to help AIDS patients get the medication they need after he is himself diagnosed with the disease.

Like I said in my review of ‘Mud’, the resurgence of Matthew McConaughey has been the best part of 2013 cinema, and he’s probably best part of this movie.

McConaughey made a huge transformation for this movie. And it’s not just ‘he’s lost a lot of weight so he must be good’, he really is awesome in this film. Without being too pretentious, he has a deep compassion and fearlessness that we rarely see from Hollywood actors. He also has this wonderful chemistry with Jared Leto, who is scary good in this movie. Honestly, Leto must be the most talented guy on the planet.

The plot is solid, here, and the background noise is the most important. It’s not really about a man dying of aids, but more of the discovery that in the 80’s stuff wasn’t really right. That’s whats most interesting, but it’s also what harms this film. There isn’t close to enough power moments, or things that make you excited about this movie. Yes, it’s heartwarming and heartbreaking, but there needs to be more Ron Woodroof speeches and quick witted writing.

It’s a film backed by the performances and layered story rather than its ‘oomph’. And it really does have great performances, even Jennifer Garner is good, and has one of the best moments in the film. The story is also filled up with empathy and thought, which is a nice change.

Lacking that power factor, this film has wonderful performances and a deep narrative. – 4.5/5

IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0790636/

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12 Years a Slave – Movie Review

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In the antebellum United States, Solomon Northup, a free black man from upstate New York, is abducted and sold into slavery.

Oh, yay, another slavery movie. If your making a film on this topic, then you have to do it right, and go all out, something 12 Years a Slave certainly does.

This isn’t a pleasant viewing, not at all; but it’s a brilliant one. The fairly simple and formulaic tale is so inspirational and moving; and thrilling from start to finish. To be honest, for a while, you don’t really care for Northup, its what surrounds him and where he goes. It’s a vast story with many powerful moments; and it’s also about far much more than 19th century slavery. It’s about friendship, treachery, bravery and triumph to name a few.

It’s also incredibly brutal. There will be several moments that you will find hard to watch, and one that actually might make you chuckle (thanks to Paul Giamatti), even if it is horrid. This is credit to director Steve McQueen, who manages to make these moments not just there, he makes  point of them. The music, editing and the way its slowly shot is wonderfully done by McQueen. When those powerful moments arise, he makes you feel every bit of them.

Chiwetel Ejiofor leads from the front with a magnificent performance, that you can feel throughout the movie. He is then backed up as he goes along by a rich and interesting role played by Benedict Cumberbatch. Then, of course a greatly sickly evil note from Paul Dano. Only to be out-done, by what I think is an underrated performance from Michael Fassbender, who plays a deep and scary villain here. The film also has a very good underlining empathetic role played by Lupita Nyong’o; who lets just say faces the brunt of the uncomfortable scenes. Not to mention Brad Pitt of course, who undoubtedly will be your favourite character within two minutes.

The only problem that I can think of for this film is that towards the middle it does repeat itself slightly, and this subtle change of pace for the film, does knock it for me slightly. However, the movie is still excellent. Your gonna like this film, but your not gonna be happy about it.

A brilliantly powerful yet brutal movie, with an excellent direction and an awesome driving force of a cast. – 5/5

IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2024544/

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