Category: Film

Film Review: Man Up

Posted on by 5WC in Film

It’s amazing how with some films you can spend months anticipating, waiting impatiently for them to arrive (my 10 Films Of 2015 I Can’t Wait To See list for instance) and yet others appear without warning, almost sneaking into your life and taking you by surprise. Man Up is one of those films because I knew nothing about it until I saw the trailer 3 weeks ago as I waited to watch Pitch Perfect 2. It looked light hearted and funny and a typically inoffensive “Rom Com”. The trailer just oozing a warmth and charm that felt incredibly friendly and inviting, and instantly made me want to see it.

So I did! And sadly the initial warmth and passion I had cooled quickly. It’s just not as good as I’d hoped. I think my first initial problem is that the film manages to very quickly create a tone that puts you on edge. It creates characters and situations that are just one step removed from normal. It’s done in an attempted comic turn, but it just felt awkward and slightly off putting. It sets the scene, essentially, by showing us these hyper real people that feel more like stereotyped clichés, and then pads everything out around them to make it’s plot in a way that just felt scripted and over micromanaged. It somehow lacks a sense of naturalism. You can almost see the writers creating the lines and the jokes and the imagery, sitting there going “and now the audience laughs…”. Read more

Film Review: Breathe In

Posted on by 5WC in Film

I truly don’t know how I came to watch Breathe In; a little known movie starring Felicity Jones and Guy Pearce about a foreign exchange student (Jones) who arrives with her American host family, altering their dynamic and thus their relationship forever. I had actually wanted to watch Wild Tales only to discover that it has just been removed from my usual On-Demand streaming service and so, was left scratching my head, pondering the digital listings, trying to find something else. And Breathe In just stuck out.

Why it stuck out I really don’t know? My guess would be the cast – although the “offer” price of 99p will have helped – because I didn’t bother to watch the trailer, do any background reading or even look up it’s IMDb page. I simply breathed out, went “that’ll do…” and hit play. I really didn’t have any idea what to expect, or even how long it would last! Read more

Film Review: Rampart

Posted on by 5WC in Film

I have a strange relationship with Woody Harrelson, in my mind I keep believing that he is going through a reinvention, that like his True Detective co-star Matthew McConaughey, he is maturing with age into a actor of note, forcing people to sit up and take notice. No longer the journey man playing anything and everything, producing quantity not quality.

But I’m not sure I’m right, because when you actually look at his recent films: The Hunger Games, True Dectective, Now You See Me, it appears that all he is doing is repeating the same tweaked character over and over again. The older, angrier, brawn before brains primate. Sometime’s he’s fuelled by depression, sometimes it alcohol and sometimes, it’s just simply being one step behind everyone else, but whatever the individual factor driving the performance, the underlying foundation never changes. Read more

Film Review: Testament Of Youth

Posted on by 5WC in Film

The Great War has always sat slightly uneasy with me. I’m almost ashamed to admit to the imagery and emotions that my mind conjures up whenever I think about it. I don’t exactly know why but there seems to be something almost peaceful, enjoyable, longing about it all. There is just something about the time period, about the removal of pace, the simpler life, the lack of modern luxuries that makes that era feel warm and inviting.

I think it’s also a case that when I see, hear or experience the material objects of that time they also don’t seem threatening. There is something non violent about the clothes, the attitudes and the romantics of the time that masks the actual pain, suffering and death that stains its history. It tears at me because there is part of me that would like to live during those years, but also another part that knows the eyes deceive the true horrors of reality. Read more

Film Review: (500) Days Of Summer

Posted on by 5WC in Film

If I’m honest I had no real desire to watch (500) Days Of Summer. In fact I had almost completely forgotten it existed or that I owned it until I was writing my review for Almost Famous, and when looking up Zooey Deschanel’s IMDb page saw it referenced in her filmography. But even then it wasn’t enough to draw it back into my life. It simply planted a seed.

And that seed germinated purely by chance because I was essentially, running late. I needed something fairly short to watch before heading to bed. That or accept a late night, and I like my sleep too much these days. So, while scanning back and forth across my DVD collection, it jumped out like a sore thumb, it’s name slightly framed thanks to my recent musings, and on inspection at only 91 minutes long, fitted my running time restriction perfectly. Read more

Film Review: The Pursuit Of Happyness

Posted on by 5WC in Film

I still remember seeing the trailer for The Pursuit Of Happyness on the big screen and being completely sucked in to this uplifting sale of hope, dreams and following what’s in your heart. I will forever associate Soar by Christina Aguilera to the movie and I will always remember Will Smith as Chris Gardener ending his pivotal speech “…if you want something go get it. Period.” Overcome, believing, that at that moment, every dream in my head, every desire for my future, was possible, whatever anyone says.

But sadly for every minute of rousing passion and can do self belief that the trailer implies, the end product, the actual movie, just doesn’t live up to the hype its set. The movie is just a let down, too focused on one man’s impossible dream rather than the relationship with his son, and even worse, when you really start to look at its story everything feels a bit too shallow and a bit too vain. It just lacks any real sense of distress or depth. It’s a story that sold you it’s heart only to realise it’s a fake. Read more

Film Review: Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind

Posted on by 5WC in Film

As a movie fan I have always been slightly torn by my feelings towards Jim Carrey. While I adore his performance in The Grinch, and grew up on his role in Me, Myself & Irene, whenever I hear his name I naturally withdraw from whatever it is being associated with because I just find his brand of comedy too immature and forced and slapstick. I just don’t enjoy his silliness. His idea of what is funny.

And I think that reservation towards the tone Carrey could potentially create is why I’ve never felt a longing to watch Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind. Why I’ve always taken a conscious step away from it. I watch the trailer and I see a strange plot, lead by an actor that leaves me anxious, in a film directed by Michel Gondry, who I’ve never heard of and seemingly has never gone on to anything of real note. It’s judging a book by its cover I know, but it sets alarm bells ringing before it’s even begun. Read more

Film Review: Blue Valentine

Posted on by 5WC in Film

There are those times where for reasons you cannot really pin down something as simple as a name can seemingly unlock a hidden box, a fleeting memory locked away, very deeply, long forgotten and instill ideas carried with complete conviction even though they are seemingly based upon no external proof.

Blue Valentine is exactly one of those cases. The name, in my mind, instantly remember as being a good if maligned film. I don’t know why I hold that view, or whether it’s actually based upon something, but the name restored a snippet of memory and that was enough to draw me to it and it’s cast of Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling enough to make me watch it. Read more

Film Review: Tomorrowland

Posted on by 5WC in Film

They are called trailers because they used to be played after the film, trailing it’s ends credits. But of course, nobody stayed that long to see them and so, in a moment of inspiration, they reordered the runnings, previewing the trailers before the feature, making you sit through them before the film you’d gone to see. And this forced viewing meant I got to see the trailer for Tomorrowland and why, I decided it didn’t look quite as bad as I expected it to.

Having been awake since 4 am for one reason and another, breakfast becoming an apple due to a delivery man failing to keep a “before 9am” appointment, it is far to say that right now I am very tired and just as hungry, and so, to pass time on a miserable Friday afternoon, Tomorrowland was given it’s chance. It appeared to be that perfect blend of action, adventure, sci-fi, aimed squarely at a younger generation. It appeared to be just about entertaining enough while ultimately not overly taxing, perfect for a mind in need of recharging and refuelling. Read more

Film Review: Mad Max: Fury Road

Posted on by 5WC in Film

So it’s time for the 5th film of 2015 I was desperate to see – Mad Max: Fury Road. Director George Miller returning to his post apocalyptic roots with the fourth instalment in what has become something of a cult series, the mind bending nuttiness of a world gone feral is released again, 30 years since we last walked it’s dunes and 14 years since the film was developed.

When musing about why I wanted to see this film so badly I said that I didn’t actually buy into the original trilogy. That I found it confusing, far-fetched and hard to pin down in the timeline of human evolution. And I was worried that Mad Max: Fury Road would simply ignite all those problems again, and that however grand and visceral the trailer may appear I would be left wondering why there was all this fuss about Max Rockatansky. A man I just found a little bit too mad for me. Read more