Sunday, 10 June 2012

Kiwi Film Review: Prometheus

IMDB: 7.8/10
Rotten Tomatoes: 74%

Roger Ebert: 4/4
What The Flick: 7.2/10

Stars: Noomi Rapace, Logan Marshall-Green, Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron, Guy Pearce.
Written By: Jon  Spaihts, Damon Lindelof
Directed By: Ridley Scott

Release Date: June 8th 2012
Described by IMDB as "A team of explorers discover a clue to the origins of mankind on Earth, leading them on a journey to the darkest corners of the universe. There, they must fight a terrifying battle to save the future of the human race."

Holy mother of god. This movie was amazing. I'm really regretting not writing this review last night because I  know I'm going to forget some things I meant to write about it, but I'll do the best I can. I was going to try to write this without spoilers but I don't think thats possible. 

I want to start with talking about how this film fits in with Alien. For 99.9% of this movie I was trying to figure out how exactly this  fits in with Alien. Honestly, it still sort of doesn't in my mind, but for the most part it does. They were actually VERY smart with how much they showed in Alien and how much they didn't because of the lack of technology they had at that point. As far as I can remember you didn't really see any details of the planet itself, just the ship and the aliens. Now, that the technology is in the right place they were able to make an astonishingly beautiful planet. The parallels were pretty clear in the film, *SPOILER* first off the robots. Even the fact that they're both beheaded and talk. If I were him I'd want to redo that actually because it was so badly done in Alien, when we find out that Ian Holm is a robot because his head has been ripped off, but he can still talk. Obviously we know David(Fassbender) is a robot through the full film, but he's still beheaded none-the-lessAlso, clearly the ending of both movies are entirely the same. everyone else being killed and the lead, strong, female lead, Elizabeth Shaw(Rapace) being the only one left. This one is a little different because she's forced to rely on David (Fassbender) Even the part where she thinks she's safe in her ship and then PSYCH you actually have to beat the final alien. I'm very happy with the final scene when we see how the Alien alien is created. Very cool.

Now for the things I enjoyed about the film (besides the things above). First of all, Ridley Scott pretty much never disappoints. The cinematography was absolutely beautiful. All of the scenes while they're in space, travelling to the planet are beautiful, especially when you first see the planet. The moon they land on is also beautiful, but not quite as breathtaking as the planet you see when they arrive. The CGI was amazing and the special effects over all were great. The acting is also fantastic in this film. Michael Fassbender absolutely killed as David. The scene at the beginning when he's going around the ship alone and he's riding a bike and spinning a basketball on is finger and carelessly shoots the ball and it lands in the net, was absolutely perfect. It truly showed how un-human he is. It was a perfect scene to describe him without actually having to explain it. Brilliant idea. He looked super robotic the whole time, and his acting was just fantastic. Guy Pearce was also awesome, the only reason I even knew it was him under all of the prosthetics was because I knew he was in the film.Noomi Rapace was also fantastic, as was Charlize Theron. I thought the "engineers" were were super interesting looking, just human-like enough to "believe" that we could have come from them. I thought that was a really interesting, different idea of our origin.

There were a few things that I felt could have been better explained, but I felt that most of them can be passed as "that can be explained in the next film." Most of the problems I had were pretty much what Shaw was looking to ask the "engineers" when she went to find their home planet.

Overall I'll give it an 8.5/10. Seriously was such a good movie, a must-see for any sci-fi lover!

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Kiwi Film Review: Signs

IMDB: 6.8/10
Rotten Tomatoes: 74%
Roger Ebert: 4/4 Stars

Written & Directed by: M. Night Shyamalan
Stars: Mel Gibson, Joaquin Pheonix, Rory Culkin, Abigail Breslin

Release Date: 2 August 2002

Described by IMDB as "In Bucks County, Pennsylvania, a five-hundred-foot crop circle is found on the farm of Graham Hess, the town's reverend. The circles cause a media frenzy and test Hess's faith as he journeys to find out the truth behind the crop circles."

I actually heard horrible things about this movie, but it wasn't too bad. Definitely not as good as The Sixth Sense, but not M. Night Shyamalan's worst. I quite enjoyed it. It had surprisingly good visual effects for 2002, although they made a smart move by never really having the Aliens in full view, that definitely made it a bit easier for them. I think Abigail Breslin has to be the cutest child actress of all time, and she was a great actress. Its hard to tell if she did it on purpose, but she's sort of creepy which kind of added to the film's eeriness. Also, I had no idea that Culkin played the little boy in this movie until this time.  I liked that the film was actually about spiritual believe, and it being questioned, the whole "aliens attack" thing was just sort of another part of the story. I thought that even though he kept it pretty safe with his depiction of the aliens themselves, the water being their kryptonite was a pretty original and interesting.  I actually really liked that.

Now for the things I did not like. I really didn't like how quickly the aliens were defeated. There was basically no suspense at all, once they figured out that the aliens were, in fact, going to attack, it was like they were attacking for all of 5 minutes, and then they were defeated. I did like that they thought they'd won, were about to celebrate, and then PSYCH alien took the asthma kid, but even that problem only lasted  all of 2 minutes. And then they just won, and thats it? Oky doky then.

Over all I really did enjoy this movie. I wasn't really big on the whole "believe and faith" aspect, but once past that it was alright. I'll give it a 6.8/10, if its on tv on a sunday afternoon (which it always is) watch it. 

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Kiwi Film Review: Snow White and the Huntsman

IMDB: 6.8/10
Rotten Tomatoes: 48%
Roger Ebert: 3.5/4

Stars: Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth, Charlize Theron.
Written by: Evan Daugherty, John Lee Hancock, Hossein Amini
Directed By: Rupert Sanders

Release Date: June 1st 2012

Described by IMDB as "Snow White is the only person in the land fairer than the evil queen. Unable to tolerate the insult to her vanity, the evil queen decides that Snow White must die. The queen sends a huntsman to kill Snow White. However the huntsman finds himself unable to murder the innocent young woman, and instead ends up training her to become a warrior capable of threatening the queen's reign."

Well, I walk away from this movie with very mixed feelings. There were things a loved and things I absolutely hated. I'll start first with the things I loved. This film was visually beautiful, and the special effects were great. I thought it was super impressive that they managed to make full grown actors to look like dwarves. Although, I have to say that I don't really understand their reasoning for that one. Its hard enough for little people(is that the politically correct terminology?) to get good jobs, especially ones where they aren't wearing stupid costumes where you can't even see their faces; they can't even get jobs of the 7 dwarves? Its definitely possible to find 7 funny, good actors who are born for the part, so to speak. Besides all of that, I did think the effects were impressive and I enjoyed all of the actors. Also, Chris Hemsworth was cast PERFECTLY. He is so damn attractive! I could've watched him all day.

Now for the bad. As much as I love Charlize Theron and her acting abilities, she was crazy in this movie. Well, I guess that's a little harsh. She was good through most of it, and I thought her accent was good. She looked and sounded super strong, but every now and then she'd go completely over the top, like way too much. Her shrieking was unbearable, and she was just too intense over all. However, her bad acting was nothing compared to Kristen Stewart's. She was the exact same as she is in every role; dull. I'll give her credit that she did seem to be improving a bit, but she's just not believable as Snow White. They made her as beautiful as she could me, and she really was pretty, but "fairer" than Charlize? I don't think so. I think the casting on this one was very much off, and I don't understand the rationalization for her. The fact that she meets the physical description doesn't mean she should get the job. I'm not British so I can't make this statement knowing I'm 100% right, but from what I could tell, her accent was awful. Also, I just didn't find her strong enough as a character. In this re-telling she's supposed to be strong enough to rise up and take back the kingdom, but I found her only partially believable in the scenes where she was trying to be that person. Again, bad casting on that part.

Also, even though I enjoyed the story, there were SO many far fetched ideas. I know its a movie, but even if you accept the dark magic and the ability for the Queen to suck the souls out of young girls, or the fairies and the enchanted forest, the amount of luck that Snow White(Stewart) has is completely ridiculous. Really, you come out of a sewer and find a perfect, gentle, white horse? AND you know how to write it perfectly despite the fact that you've been locked in a tower for the last 10(ish) years? Thats super great for you. I can accept all of the rules and situations that are set up in the film but thats just one example of something thats a little far-fetched even in the world it takes place in.

Overall I feel like I generally enjoyed this film, but as I stated above it had some pretty core problems. I think the beauty of the film made up for the problems quite a bit. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't buy this film, or go see it again in theatres, but I didn't regret seeing it, so I'd recomend it to anyone who enjoys fantasy/adventure films. I think I'll give it a 6.5/10, that seems fair.