I'm a freelance illustrator from Warrington, England and i'll watch just about anything bar slashers and musicals. Massive Simpsons Fan and a lover off all things animation in general
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(Agree with RT meter 78.5% of the time)
This film has probably been on the minds of more or less every movie goer since the trailer hit based one of if not the greatest book ever written, 'The Great Gatsby' has the potential to be one of the greatest films ever made. The story, the characters, the setting everything is beautifully placed and then when the cast was revealed most were sure this was going to be a real winner, 'Leonardo Di Caprio', 'Tobey MaGuire' and 'Carey Mulligan' as 'Gatsby', 'Nick' and
'Daisy' respectably, surely it was going to be great - right?
The book is as iv'e said one of the great classics and the story follows 'Nick Carroway' (Tobey Maguire') as he narrates his life during the period of time he spent with 'Jay Gatsby'
('Leonardo Di Caprio') as 'Gatsby' tries to get back an old girlfriend 'Daisy Buchanan'('Carey Mulligan') who married a big star 'Tom Buchanan' ('Joel Edgerton'). It's a story of hope, obsession and love. The story aspect can't really be messed up per se, that's how strongly written the book was but it can be loosely adapted or poorly directed and the film does a decent job at the story its not brilliant and for once i'd say the 2hr 23 minute running is too short. I think the atmosphere in some scenes and the choice of music does diminish a bit what is a simply brilliant story. I'm not a fan of 'Lurhmanns' direction and it seems that the project was to big for him and i'm convinced 'Martin Scorsese' is the man to pull this off fully, if he ever decided to give it a go. That's not to say this film is bad it does a really nice job at times, the lighting and the choice of crazy effects are really well thought out and fit in with the film but there are times where it felt flat.
The acting as expected is fantastic and i'm sure if this was a success with the critics, 'Leo' was looking to get an Oscar with this film - and given the basis for the film you can see why. There isn't a bad performance here and i sincerely hope that 'Toby Maguire' gets a boost from this since he seemed to disappear since 'Spider-Man 3'. Newcomer 'Elizabeth Debicki' is great and shows no signs of being new or out of place, 'Carey Mulligan' is her ever excellent self. The cast is one of two thing nailed i think the choices were spot on and it's a shame that the script and direction couldn't quite live up to the choice. The other thing nailed are the costumes and settings, everything fits into the time period and creates the perfect atmosphere. The music is an odd choice and even though i didn't want it to effect my opinion of the film it probably did, there are times were it fits surprisingly well but most of the time its just confusing and literally the wrong choice.
Although the main character is 'Nick Carroway', 'Jay Gatsby' is the most interesting character of the lot and i found it easy to see (thanks to 'Leo') how tortured and hopeful he was that things would work out how he wanted them to. And as he gradually loses control over what he hoped would happen, the cracks start to show and his hope combines with obsession. But despite the controlling need he has to get 'Daisy' it is evident he loves her. He tries to always appear be perfect
unfortunately he can't hide behind this forever and parts of his true nature show themselves.
'The Great Gatsby' isn't the instant classic it should have been but it's a decent effort at a literally classic. Some of the direction and scenes don't pop like they ought to but despite all that an excellently acted film with brilliant visuals, costume design and a clear message. The most irritating thing about this is the missed opportunity that 'Lurhmann' has with the source material. Another attempt that whilst relatively successful will be put down as a failure, this book needs a more less perfect adaption - maybe next time.
After the big surprise that was the 2009 'Star Trek' i had some expectations of 'Into Darkness' even before the trailer hit. But when it did finally hit i was a bit disappointed, it didn't look bad but i felt let down. But i then remembered this was the exact feeling i had when the first film hit with its trailer. And just like the first one i was surprised and overjoyed with how good it was - but not just good brilliant and an improvement on the first one.
After the crew of the enterprise return to earth an unseen and unexpected terror and threat comes from within and destroy a large portion of the governments ships. Its a classic case of revenge and usually gives an uninspired story but sometimes like this film when handled with care and the villain is given to a great actor can prove great. Thanks to the strength of the main antagonist and of cause the acting of 'Benedict Cumberbatch' the revenge plot doesn't feel hollow or transparent it's clear that the reaction is justified from both parties. There's the odd pacing blip and puzzlingly pointless scenes but there neither here or there and they aren't frequent enough to become irritating. The constant changing and questions that 'John' creates really keep the story flowing and for me was the main reason i liked it so much. There's an air of mystery about 'John' his motives and reasons are the core of the film and it certainly delivers - but i do suspect some fans will outraged about a certain aspect.
Iv'e already mentioned the stellar job 'Benedict Cumberbatch' does as 'John Harrison' but everyone does a great as well, expect 'Zachery Quinto' he's not terrible but there's something not quite right, it may be because 'Spock' would be difficult to pull off given his lack of emotions or it could be that 'Leonard Nimoy' is unreplaceable as 'Spock'. I'm sure but he doesn't quite match up with the rest of the cast. 'Chris Pine' does excellent again as 'James T. Kirk' and really ups his game from the first film. 'Karl Urban' as 'Bones McCoy' does great and even my general dislike of 'Simon Pegg' can't prevent me from saying he also does a really good job as 'Scotty'.
'Star Trek: Into Darkness' is a step up from the previous film the action is more frequent but still has the same 'Star Trek' feel (even if it is a little more subdued) as the previous film. 'Cumberbatch' is the stand out as the malevolent and mysterious 'John Harrison', the rest do a fine job as well. 'J.J Abrams' again proves what he can do with an aging franchise as he again reinvents it - lets hope he can do the same with 'Star Wars'.
They just can't let go can they? after the success with 'The Hangover' they keep trying and trying to emulate it and they couldn't have gotten lower than 'Project X' the painful pathetic excuse for a film and they still haven't '21 & Over' is a poor film but it doesn't make you want to pull your eyes out and jump in a wood chipper.
There not much to the plot, 'Miller' and 'Casey' ('Miles Teller', 'Skylar Astin') visit their friend 'Jeff Chang' and take him out on his 21st birthday. It's similar to the plot of 'The Hangover' replacing stag party with 21st birthday and 'Las Vegas' with some university campus. i don't think there's anything that could have been done to make this interesting, it really is JUST a retread of 'The Hangover'. It follows the path of 'Jeff' getting too drunk but they don't know where he lives so they go through different things to get him back home. It's a film that i can only see teens liking because i found it a dull boring typical story. With the whole "hey look there's a bunch of people drinking how cool are we" it just wreaked of trying way to hard.
The comedy is where it needed to shine but it didn't i don't even think there even many attempts at jokes never mind landing them. I chuckled a few times but i never really laughed. it seemed to try too hard, forcing situations rather than them feeling like natural progressions in the story. On a positive note there wasn't anything that made me cringe or roll my eyes but there are a lot that don't land. I sort of liked the chief and 'Randy's' ('Jonathan Keltz') friends constant reassuring and repeating of what he says. But other than that it was 1 hour 33 minutes of tired and nothing jokes.
It could have been worse but not much. It's competently acted and doesn't cause any rolling of the eyes but that's a sad thing when that's the only positive. The plot forces its way through different locations and provides barely any comedic moments. Better than 'Project X' but still very weak avoid unless you're a brain dead teen who loved 'Project X' for whatever reason.
Another week another action thriller. Up to now there's been something like 10 action thrillers this year and sheer volume that they come in each year means at least one will succeed when will it come though, there will be one that is great and achieves a fun, action packed-not-so serious plot that still delivers. This is not it but it is decent and probably the best of the lot so far.
From the director of the first 'Girl with the Dragon Tattoo' films i expected a degree of smart to it, i know he didn't write that but he made it interesting so despite the ok looking trailers i wanted to see it. The plot follows 'Victor' ('Colin Farrell') a member of a crime organization headed by 'Alphonse' ('Terrance Howard') 'Victor' eventually gets caught up with 'Beatrice' ('Noomi Rapace') and some things start to unveil themselves. It's a slow one, it doesn't speed along and to be honest even though i liked the twist it wasn't given much impact. When it came out there seemed to be a stunted reaction it was like the punchline to a joke that the actors didn't get. But there as some good moments whenever there's an action sequence - the roof the house at the end it shines sure it's nothing spectacular but it's shot really well. It is just a shame the story can't quite match the rest.
The acting is fine there's nothing wow but there's nothing terrible either. There is some chemistry between 'Rapace' and 'Farrell' but not a lot possibly with a better script it would have shone but i can't know that for sure. Sometimes there's a problem with being decent because it becomes forgetful - no matter how bad 'Batman & Robin' may be people remember it and unfortunately this won't be - it can be said it's a solid film but in 5 or 6 years time most will forget it existed. Its just missing a well developed script, had it had that then i have no doubt you're looking at a doubling of the 36% it currently holds. Sometimes one element can prevent a film form shining.
'Dead Man Down' is brilliant nor do i think it could have been but it is just shy of good, it could have been this years first good action thriller instead thanks to solid performances, ok chemistry between the two leads and some well directed action sequences it is serviceable and there certainly are worse films to spend your money on.