Catch Me If You Can – Movie Review

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A true story about Frank Abagnale Jr., who, before his 19th birthday, successfully conned millions of dollars’ worth of checks as a Pan Am pilot, doctor, and legal prosecutor.

This is the sort of film that’s always on British TV on a Sunday afternoon; and I have to put it on. Then i’ll end up watching the full 2 hours plus and not regret a thing.

Steven Spielberg has crafted a stylish film here, that just breezes along. It’s so easy to watch, making it the most lovable of films. Its not particularly fast paced, but it moves from scene to scene with no struggle and such ease.

The story itself is really quite captivating. It has this caper quality, without really being a caper. Its just a plot line that is made by a like-able character. Frank Abagnale Jr is really charming and interesting to say the least.

There’s not much more I can say apart from that Di Caprio is fantastic. He is feeble at the start then turns more and more inside out as the film goes on. Tom Hanks is of course really good as well; being excellently useless. The rest of the cast is solid, Christopher Walken has some great lines, and Amy Adams is very very cute.

This film is really hard to review because honestly its just a gentle but brilliant watch. Its thrilling, funny, interesting and well acted. Its just as simple as that.

Spielberg has done well to make a breezy and sweet movie, with a great lead from Di Caprio. – 4.5/5

IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0264464/

Rotten Tomatoes: http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/catch_me_if_you_can/

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Aliens – Movie Review

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The planet from Alien (1979) has been colonized, but contact is lost. This time, the rescue team has impressive firepower, but will it be enough?

Alien is one of my favourite movies of all time, and I’ve always been skeptical about Aliens and on edge with it. It’s mostly due to me not being with the times; I’m afraid my judgement has been ruined by poor action films that this movie inspires. However, I can’t doubt the ferociousness and power that this film has.

This film essentially broke the boundaries of what anyone was expecting. In reality, it’s probably a far greater achievement than Alien ever was. Due to it going from generic Sci-Fi shoot em’ up sequel to a 7 time Oscar nominee. This is thanks to James Cameron, who is a master of his art with this area of film. He takes what is a quite boring idea into something much greater. His directing isn’t really the highlight, just more of how he’s presented the piece to the audience. Its big budget and exciting, but still very down to earth and gritty.

Its a typically strong performance from Sigourney Weaver, who is as vigorous as ever, except the character of Ripley is so much more now. Yet she handles it perfectly, and for the first half hour of the film, its a top notch character driven story. Which is the same for each of the characters, opening the shells of the corrupt from the original. We have comradely from the marines in a genius role from Bill Paxton; a hero figure from Michael Biehn; a heartfelt depiction in Lance Henriksen as the cyborg and a corrupt role from Paul Reiser to name just a few.

In essence, it’s an excellent action film; and the perfect follow up to a classic. It’s just that its so much more than that, it’s not only deep and somehow meaningful but it created the cheesiness and stupidity that we see 4 times a year. It is the Sci-Fi movie; if you’ve seen this, you’ve seem them all.

Aliens is a punch of vigor and power to back up the tense predecessor. – 5/5 

IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0090605/

Rotten Tomatoes: http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/1000617-aliens/

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Alien – Movie Review

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The commercial vessel Nostromo receives a distress call from an unexplored planet. After searching for survivors, the crew heads home only to realize that a deadly bioform has joined them.

It’s hard to think that melon of a man Ridley Scott has made good movies. This 1979 classic is probably his best.

Starting of slow and rather clunky, this 117 minute picture is nothing short of a masterpiece once it gets going. That does take its time, but thanks to a sturdy cast, it keeps you interested enough to keep watching. However, in this time, you can tell there’s something stirring; something waiting to jump out. Something waiting to grab you and drag you into the abyss of space.

It’s tense to say the least. The tension it built up by some handsome cinematography and slow directing. Everything feels like a step up, scene by scene as the camera moves. Scott makes you sit on the edge of the seat with a simple turn of the lens. Wonderful, wonderful stuff without even seeing the creature. Then it explodes, from nowhere it fires up, and get’s your heart pumping. It will scare you and disgust you in the most brilliant way.

Like I said, the cast is very very sturdy. Which for a late 70’s Sci-Fi movie or any Sci-Fi movie to be honest, is very very unusual. Sigourney Weaver does well as the lead, being the most brutal but relatable strong female character. Apart from her, no-one is really all that special, just fine for their roles. Except maybe John Hurt, who is now a legendary British actor, and rather eerie in this film.

I’m not saying this movie has issues; it has quite a lot. Such as a irrelevant convoluted plot-line about robots, which by the time it came around, you can’t really care about it. Also, there is a few classic overacted horror moments. It’s just you can’t understate the importance of this film, the inspiration it has led. Every other tense or scary or science-y movie has copied it in some way. It made the perfect path for any type of extra terrestrial film.

A bleakly brilliant direction style and tense from the very start; an absolute classic. – 5/5

IMDb:  http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0078748/

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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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