Saturday, 13 March 2010

Review: The Silence Of The Lambs/Hannibal/Red Dragon

The Silence Of The Lambs: So to kick off the Hannibal Trilogy review there's Silence Of The Lambs. FBI Agent Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) is given the task to hunt down murderer Buffalo Bill (Ted Levine) but first she needs to know where to find him. Enter the manical mastermind Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins). Lecter gives Starling Bill's whereabouts but as he does he slowly manipulates her into getting what he wants. Freedom.
The Silence Of The Lambs is quite simply a masterpiece of modern cinema. It has some of cinemas greatest ever characters and is guaranteed to keep you watching beginning to end without hesitation and without blinking an eye. To say Hopkins and Foster shine is an understatement they absolutely blow everything else out of the water and give the performances of a lifetime. Ted Levine is shockingly underrated for his performance. After his I was begging for more Hannibal Lecter.
Hannibal: I wanted more Lecter, but I didn't want this. Jodie Foster has stepped out of Clarice Starling's boots and Julianne Moore has stepped in.
The only thing that salvaged this film for me was the ending and Hopkins' performance yet again. I hated Julianne Moore as Starling, I hated the silly characters they introduced and I hated feeling cheated by it. The ball was dropped.
Red Dragon: This is set before the events of Silence Of The Lambs and links very pleasantly to it.
This time around Edward Norton is the guy looking for a killer and is seeking the help of Hannibal Lecter to find him. This killer leaves a very clear and very prominent pattern in each of his killings.
Every character has a good turn out in this film. Ralph Fiennes is great as is Norton, Kietel and obviously Hopkins. Just like Lambs this left me wanting to see a lot more of Hannibal but I don't think I'll be checking out Hannibal Rising.

Review: Shutter Island

Shutter Island is the latest film from Director/Actor pairing Martin Scorsese & Leonardo DiCaprio based on the novel of the same name by Dennis Lehane.

Ok first of I really enjoyed Shutter Island. It thought that the film was executed very well and the location/acting gave off a real genuine and authentic feeling. Now to the technical jumbo. In the first scene with DiCaprio and Mark Ruffalo the editing seems extremely choppy. Now I'm not sure if it was supposed to be like that (Symbolism of the sea etc.) but I'm glad that the rest of the film didn't follow suit.

The mystery element of the film is played well as Leonardo DiCaprio is running amok round the island looking to find "Who is 67?" and also to search for missing inmate Rachel Solando. Ben Kingsley has a good turn as the Island's head psycharitrist and so does Ted Levine as the Warden depsite his limited screen time.

The film comes full circle with a major twist that if you did or didn't see coming will still get you saying "Ahhh" or "Ohhh" when you think about the film as a whole. For me Shutter Island would have been a 5 star film if it not for the sometimes clunky editing and the odd cheesy line but I recommend it to fans of Scorsese's work and also anyone who likes a good mystery. I'm looking forward to reading the book now.


Review: Angel Heart

Angel Heart sees Private Investigator Harry Angel (Mickey Rourke) hired by Louis Cyphere (Robert De Niro) to track down Johnny Favourite, A man who is believed to be dead.

This might be a short review.
Angel Heart lost me in places and confused me in others. The plot sometimes strayed off by introducing several nonsecial minor characters. Mickey Rourke had a decent turn as Harry Angel and Robert De Niro was basically on cruise control all the way through. The ending comes with a twist which isn't all that clear and takes some thinking but other than that Angel Heart is a very confusing and sometimes nonsecial film that unless your keeping up with the hectic pace and many characters, you get lost.


Review: The Hours

The Hours is a drama of sorts set in three different time periods. Nicole Kidman (& Her fake nose) is in the past as Virginia Woolf, Julianne Moore is in the 50's and Meryl Streep is in the present day.

To split in the film in 3 parts I'll start with Kidman. She plays Author Virginia Woolf, who I'm sure many know was a bit insane. She is under constant watch by her Husband and the orders given to him by her doctors. Woolf is usually locked away attempting to write her next novel (Which becomes Mrs. Deloway). Kidman is good in the role and gives the character/person a bit of depth.

Next we have Julianne Moore plays typical 50's housewife Laura Brown who is married to John C. Reilly's Dan. Moore comes across as very uncomfortable being left alone with her own child as Dan heads off to work. Personally, Moore creeped me out. The looks she was giving the kid were unnerving and I was waiting for her to do something. This, for me, was the least favourite story.

Now in my opinion the story revolving around Streep's Clarissa Vaughn was the best and very well delivered. Clarissa is planning a party to celebrate her ex hisband Richard's (Ed Harris) recent accolade. The story is played out well with good roles coming from Ed Harris, Jeff Daniels, Alison Janney and Claire Danes.

For me The Hours was a good film. I don't really understand why it was split into 3 parts as only 2 of those parts actually connect physically. At some points the film is quite dark so be warned by that.


Review: The Crazies

The Crazies is a remake of the 1973 original of the same name. It stars Hitman's Timothy Olyphant and Surrogates Radha Mitchell. A small town comes under threat as a mystery toxin gets into the town's water and turns the people "crazy".

To be honest I was expecting a lot more from The Crazies. Timothy Olyphant played the town's sheriff well but the plot wasn't well driven. From the first instance of someone being infected the story becomes even more surreal as it plays out. Obviously there is a reason how and why the toxin got into the water supply and as it goes; It was a military booboo.

There are some scenes that look positive and a genuine bit of Horror but other than that there is little to be excited about. Again I think Timothy Olyphant was good and the rest of the cast were fairly watchable but I think it was missing something. It's one of those films you'll see the 14 year olds watching whilst making alot of noise and over reacting at each scare.


Review: From Paris With Love

From Paris With Love sees James Reece (Johnathan Rhys-Meyers) paired up with Charlie Wax (John Travolta) as American CIA Agents working in Paris to take down a planned terroist attack in the city. From Taken's Pierre Morel, From Paris With Love is a fast paced and all out action flick.

Travolta shines as Wax (bad pun, I know) and plays the humourous good guy very well. He sorta comes across as the good side to his bad guy in The Taking Of Pelham 123. Rhys-Meyers is good in the supporting role and for those who are unfamiliar with The Tudors, Yes it's him from Bend It Like Beckham.

As the action is very over the top, I'd recommend this as a guy's film and one of those that's good to watch if you want a bit of mindless fun. Yes the film has it's flaws some namely being Rhys-Meyers' sometimes over reacting but as I said it's a good fun action flick.


Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Review: Moon

Moon is the story of astronaut Sam Bell (Sam Rockwell) who is close to the end of a 3 year stint digging into the Moon in order to transfer energy to Earth. Sam's main contact on the Moon is GERTY, a computer voiced by Kevin Spacey.

Personally I think Moon is a major milestone in terms of taking a chance on a first time director. Duncan Jones has created not only a solid sci-fi film for his first effort but also a film that is now recognised as "one the Oscars snubbed"

Duncan Jones made Moon for $5 million, Which for a Sci-Fi film especially is a miniscule budget. He worked extremely well with what he was given and had a leading actor that was willing to give the film everything he had.

Sam Rockwell's performance is fantastic, He spends all of the film practically acting with himseld and shows major potiental for upcoming films. I can't really go into much detail about the film as less than an hour in something happens that flips it straight onto its head. The twist like move does make the rest of the film kind of trippy but you can follow it.

I urge you to watch Moon. Even if you don't consider yourself a Sci-Fi fan simply watch Sam Rockwell's performance. I know I'm not the only one to say this but it's a travesty that Moon and Sam Rockwell aren't up for Oscars this year.