Archive for January, 2012


SUPER (2010)

SUPER (2010)

Directed by James Gunn

Starring Rainn Wilson, Ellen Page, Liv Tyler and Kevin Bacon

 

 

A normal everyday man turns himself into a superhero to “shut up crime” and to get his wife back.

Rainn Wilson plays The Crimson Bolt and waits around town for crime to happen, and when it does he shuts it up, perhaps not in a conventional superhero way. His trusty weapon, a wrench, provides the ammunition as he goes around hitting people in the face with it. Like Kick-Ass (2010), which came out a few months before this, it shows the journey of someone becoming a superhero with no powers and trying to learn the ropes to become successful on the right side of the law.

The cast in the film is quite impressive with Ellen Page, Liv Tyler and Kevin Bacon all having main roles as well as some supporting roles from Michael Rooker and Nathan Fillion. Ellen Page easily delivers the best performance in the film with her strange and crazy performance that gets darker throughout the film.

The film as a whole is a mash of dark humour and violence – most of the time combined together. There is a lot of blood and horrific injuries in this film that I wasn’t quite expecting and perhaps wasn’t needed. However that is what sets this film apart from other superhero films.

I would put Kickass ahead of this purely for the action but this was worth a watch. Fans of Superhero films and Ellen Page will enjoy this but do expect some gore.

 

 

Film Fact

 

Nathan Fillion’s character of The Holy Avenger has a devil nemesis in the film called Demonswill and is played by the director James Gunn.

 

 

True Grit (2010)

True Grit (2010)

Directed by Ethan Coen and Joel Coen

Starring Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon and Hailee Steinfeld

 

 

True Grit is a remake of a 1969 John Wayne film with the same name. I don’t usually watch remakes before I have seen the original however not really being a fan of Westerns I gave this a go, mainly due to it being Coen brothers film. Most films they have directed and produced have bought something different yet at the same time have some of the same constants. The dark humour, the bold characters and the main focus on strong accents/ the way certain characters speak.

In True Grit there was an element of humour but not much. It was a more serious Coen brother’s film with the main focus being on the story. Jeff Bridges in the role of Rooster Cogburn had this strong and sometime unidentifiable accent which definitely goes with a typical Coen film. However the star of this film was Halee Steinfeld in the role of Mattie Ross. It was her story of wanting to avenge the murder of her father and hire someone to capture the killer so he can be put to justice, and that is exactly how it played out. She was the only character I cared about, the rest were just a bit weak.

I don’t think it helped that the film was very slow in places. Although it looked fantastic and had the typical Western setting there didn’t seem to be enough gun fights or bar fighting, the kind of things I would expect from a western. Maybe these types of films are just not for me but I wasn’t a fan. Any fans of westerns may like this but I’ll let you make that choice.

 

Film Fact

In order to get the most effective voice after biting his tongue, Matt Damon tied a hair tie around it to talk as if he had no tongue.

 

 

127 Hours (2010)

127 Hours (2010)

Directed by Danny Boyle

Starring James Franco

 

 

127 Hours shows the true life story of a man whose arm gets trapped by a boulder while exploring some canyons and is stuck and the only way out is to take some extreme measures. James Franco plays the real life Aron Ralston in the film and comes across quite well. I prefer him to be in some stupid comedy where he doesn’t need to try but in this he fairs well.

The thing with the film is that everyone is waiting for that scene when he gets free and when it arrives it is pretty gruesome. People who are not a fan of blood might want to stay away from this film.

There are a few things that really make this film for me though. The hallucinations that occur while Aron is stuck are fantastic. He starts going through all the main moments in his life that meant a lot to him from being with his girlfriend to remembering watching the sunset with his dad. The morning talk show routine that he does to his camera is brilliant and adds some light humour to a horrible situation. Also when he is running out of liquid and the thirst really kicks in the montage of all the soft drinks is a nice little sequence and makes you feel what he is feeling. The real Aron Ralston has said that he did record a video diary while trapped.

What also really makes this film is the stunning scenery, thanks to the camera work, of the Moab National Parks and the films soundtrack. The stunning colours and rock formations give you a differing sense of feelings. On the outside everything is fantastic looking with bright colours however on the inside it is a different story.

I really enjoyed this film and I would recommend anyone who is not worried about a bit of blood to see this. You really get brought into the situation due to the documentary feel behind it. Danny Boyle is one of those directors who make visually great looking films, like 28 Days Later and 127 Hours does not disappoint on that front. 

 

Film Fact

Aron Ralston filmed a daily video diary while he was stuck in the canyon; the footage has only been shown to close friends and family and is kept in a bank vault for safety. Before shooting began both James Franco and director Danny Boyle were allowed to view the footage in order to accurately portray the events in the movie.

 

The Adjustment Bureau (2011)

The Adjustment Bureau (2011)

Directed by George Nolfi

Starring Matt Damon and Emily Blunt

 

 

Set in current times Matt Damon plays a politician running for senate. After things from his past effect his chances of getting into office he randomly meets a lady, played by Emily Blunt, in a bathroom and they instantly hit it off. However it is not as simple as that and they are kept apart by some strange forces that control the universe.

I don’t what to give too much away but what you get here is a classic love story of boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl, boy loses girl and goes on and on. But this has a Sci-fi element that makes the film cool and exciting.

I am a big fan of Terrance Stamp has a supporting role in this film. He would definitely be in the top three people I would want to narrate my life if I had a choice.

It might not be a fast paced film but it will keep you interested until the end. Fans of TV series Fringe would find this interesting and i would recommend this film to anyone who doesn’t mind a little bit of Sci-fi thrown in to this classic boy meets girl romance.

 

Film Fact

One of the production companies for this film is Electric Shepherd Productions, so named for the novel “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep” by Philip K. Dick, who also wrote the short story, “The Adjustment Team” on which this film is based.

 

No Strings Attached (2011)

No Strings Attached (2011)

Directed by Ivan Reitman

Starring Natilie Portman and Ashton Kutcher

 

 

This is No Strings Attached not Friends with benefits which I’m guessing have more or less the same plot however I have not seen the latter yet. When I do I’m sure the review will end up being the same.

This is a film about a boy and a girl who first met 15 years ago at summer camp. Then as the years go by they keep bumping into each other. When we get to the present day they decide to, as the title suggests, hook up to be sex friends. Night and day they call each other and have sex everywhere and anywhere. Then the obvious happens and they start having feelings for each other and their relationship starts getting awkward.

(Possible spoilers although it’s pretty obvious)

This film does go the obvious way and through everything that happens they end up happily ever after.

Apart from knowing from the beginning what was going to happen there were some good comical moments. Jake Johnson (who can now be seen in TV show New Girl), as best friend Eli, gave a good supporting role and even had his only little romantic story to break up the main plot.

Ashton Kutcher is not the best actor in the world however Natalie Portman, as ever, is quirky and hot.

I would say give the film a watch if you have spare time and not much else to do.

Film Fact

The film was originally called Fuck Buddies but obviously had to change as it would not pass the censors. So it became Friends with Benefits. But that was taken by another film out around the same time with the same title. So third time lucky it was called No Strings Attached.