Film Review: Sherlock Gnomes

Posted on by 5WC in Film

I want to say that I was dragged, kicking and screaming to see Sherlock Gnomes. But that wouldn’t be true. I want to claim how the involvement of Emily Blunt was enough to draw more than just a passing interest, but again, that would be a lie. I’m sure, however, that Blunt’s involvement was enough to get me intrigued but ultimately, and truthfully, I went to see it because I’d seen everything else and fancied a trip to the cinema!

Sherlock Gnomes is the follow up to Gnomeo & Juliet, a film I haven’t seen., and so, while the trailer seemed honest and amusing enough what the final film would be like, the tone and maturity of its humour and tale, was a complete unknown. Without any prior reference point, what I was letting myself in for could be absolutely anything. Read more

Film Review: Avengers Infinity War

Posted on by 5WC in Film

I sit in this strange middle ground when it comes to “comic book” movies. I never grew up reading comics and I’ve never really been mad on the films. I watched the bric-a-brac stories – Michael Keaton as Batman, Andrew Garfield as Spiderman, Patrick Stewart as Charles Xavier in X-Men – but when Marvel reinvented itself, unleashing the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), I just let things drift me by. I just couldn’t get excited by it all.

This means that as the behemoth of the MCU gathered momentum I was always one step behind. I didn’t bother with their early films, and I feel I should admit I’ve never seen Ironman. As time has progressed I’ve remained almost blasé about them, and the MCU. I really wouldn’t call myself a fan. I don’t really know much about the characters or their stories, but for some reason, that doesn’t stop me from going to see them on the big screen, I’m always swayed by the marketing machine. Read more

Film Review: Rampage

Posted on by 5WC in Film

I really don’t know why I wanted to see Rampage. Every time I’d seen the trailer for it, I had come away thinking it was just a throwaway popcorn fodder film. After all, when you combine Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson with a big CGI monkey and huge petrol-fuelled explosions, you’re never going to set the bar at awards season levels of expectation. And yet, there was a huge advertising poster for the film in the lobby of my local multiplex – a static image that did nothing but reinforce the tone of the trailer – but it appealed to me somehow, it made something click inside my mind. It screamed “silly explosive fun” and left me longing to see the film.

As expected, Rampage is a bad film. I’d even go as far as to say that for large parts of it I just sat there thinking it’s a shame that we live in a world where people will throw vast sums of money – an estimated $120million – to create a film so implausible silly and stupid, when there are hundreds of projects and stories that could be have been funded instead, and provided a far better 107minutes of entertainment I’m sure. Read more

Film Review: A Quiet Place

Posted on by 5WC in Film

I don’t watch many horror films. It’s a genre that has never really appealed to me because I find it’s often too polarised in its construction to be really entertaining. Films seem to forget the need for a plot and become dominated by the single idea of trying to scare you. Boringly plodding along, hanging everything on either the monotony of “quiet, quiet, BANG” suspense or shockingly repulsive over the top gore. Both of which cause me to mentally withdraw.

What does work for me, however, is tension. I like horror when it doesn’t conform. When it builds and builds and builds, driving you to the edge of your seat because you can’t face the thought of what may happen next. Get rid of the gore, get rid of the clichéd scare tactics, and play with the unknown. Build emotional naivety into a twisting, real story and you can easily keep me awake at night. It’s just that too few films have the courage to stick with it and not shout “BANG” just as I’m beginning to panic. Read more

Film Review: Love, Simon

Posted on by 5WC in Film

There is a predictability to the film industry that is as regular and reassuring as clockwork. You can guarantee that each year will start off with hard-hitting stories that are baiting the upcoming awards season. This will be followed up by school holidays littered with CGI comic book adventures before Christmas arrives with a huge blockbuster release. All padded out and supported by a foundation of franchise follow-ups and happy-go-lucky tales of growing old (dis)gracefully staring the elder statesmen of Hollywood.

You can also be sure that the high school uniforms will out in force. Every year, the already flooded genre of “American Teenage Coming of Age Tales” will get reworked to reflect the changing world and attitudes we now inhabit. Whether it’s through the dark seriousness of Cruel Intentions, the introspective search of The Perks Of Being A Wallflower or just the warm plagiarism of She’s All That – to name just three – the genre has been providing comedic examination and explanation, to reassure and guide, ever since, this one time, at band camp… Read more

Film Review: Ready Player One

Posted on by 5WC in Film

I can still vividly remember reading Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One. It’s by far the best book I’ve ever picked up. I couldn’t stop reading as the pop culture of the ‘80s and 90’s that I grew up with was brought joyously back to life, digitised into a world of virtual reality and mixed into an amazing futuristic Willy Wonka inspired treasure hunt. It was a book that just oozed a narrative quality I have yet to see matched.

After turning over the final few pages my mind, I instantly thought: “this’d make a cracking film” so when I discovered that it was already in production, with Hollywood heavyweight Steven Spielberg at the helm, it seemed like all my Christmas’s had come at once. Ready Player One was coming to the big screen and I couldn’t wait. Read more

My Top 5 Movies of 2015 – A review of the Year, Part 2

Posted on by 5WC in Film, Opinion
Top 5 Movies Of 2015

So, following on from my worst 5 movies of 2015 and concluding my movie review of 2015, here are my top 5 films.

I always believe that the only real way to pick the top movies you’ve seen in a year is to round them all up and go with your gut feeling, that instant recall when you see their title. I don’t try to over think it, read back over reviews, pondering my thoughts and minutely comparing details. It means that my list may be missing films of better technical quality, narrative, or performance, but that’s not what makes the best films of the year for me. I want those films that by simply mentioning there names have put me back there, feeling that tickle of excitement and passion that I did when I saw them. Read more

Film Review: Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Posted on by 5WC in Film

It is fair to say that, in a year which has given us a new James Bond movie, the reopening of Jurassic Park and the insane re-imagination of George Millers Mad Max franchise, one movie has stood head and shoulders above all else. Star Wars: The Force Awakens. I don’t think I can remember a movie being as anticipated and pedestaled in the way it has. To say the pressure of expectation upon its shoulders has been immense would be an understatement and a half.

I’m not a diehard fan of the franchise. I’ve seen both the original trilogy and the prequel trilogy. I hold both in equal measure, liking them but not really loving with them. I find them inoffensive and easy to watch. To me they are just fantasy escapism, I’ve never got caught up with the deeper political messages littered within. As a result, they will never be my first choice movie to watch, yet even so, I have felt the butterflies in my stomach as the franchise was above to scream back into life. It is the final film of my “10 films of 2015” I’ve been waiting to see and, as the marketing machine has saturated my life, for the first time ever, I’ve truly felt the pull of the franchise – the speciality and charm it has to offer. Read more

Film Review: Bridge of Spies

Posted on by 5WC in Film

I mentioned in my review of ‘Salem’s Lot by Stephen King how, in my mind, I liken King to Steven Spielberg. That they have reached the pinnacle of their industries and, as such, command respect and admiration through sheer reputation alone. To borrow a sporting term “they are a safe pair of hands”, however, this idealistic thinking forces their association to raise expectations. Whether justified or not.

The reason I say that is because the one Stephen King novel I’ve read I didn’t really enjoy, and Spielberg has produced an interesting reel of films over the last decade that seem to swing wildly in quality (Lincoln versus War of the Worlds and the 4th Indiana Jones film for example). So maybe the mental image I hold, that they can produce no wrong, is in fact, not entirely right? Read more

Film Review: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2

Posted on by 5WC in Film

The Hunger Games saga seems to have been around forever. Trying to think back to when I first saw Jennifer Lawrence arrive on the big screen as Katniss Everdean, fighting for her life, in the opening salvo of Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games trilogy, it seems like a life time ago. Apparently, it’s only been 4 years, but it’s reached such a saturation point that I would have sworn it was longer.

I remember that opening movie well because I had turned my nose up to it for a long time (it was teenage dystopian nonsense after all) but watching it, it provided so much more, and me so wrong. It sucked me in and, while it pre-dates the reviews on this blog, won me over with the deep emotive messages it so easily conveyed. It felt real and scary, had me panicked and on the edge of my seat. Yes, it’s teenage dystopian nonsense, but it is nonsense about characters I inexplicably came to care about. I wanted them to be safe. So when Catching Fire arrived I was expecting a lot, only to be left disappointed by a film that felt beyond the “difficult second album”  and instead appeared disjointed and unconnected to the level or depth and empathy the first film had created. Read more

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