Christopher J.'s Movie Ratings - Rotten Tomatoes

Movie Ratings and Reviews

The Dark Knight Rises
½

Rating : ★★★★★

"You only adopted the dark. I was born in it"

Well Nolan's Batman trilogy has come to a close and I must say, the last addition to the saga was in short, outstanding. Performances were delivered on a professionally even in supporting to minimal roles, Nolan had mastered his action sequences with very little shaky cam involved, plot twists and surprised hid around every corner and all at the same time Zimmer's score thundered on in the background to deliver a true blockbuster experience.

The performances in the TDKR were truly excellent with the introduction of new characters executed well and delivering enough depth to understand, interact, sympathise and even dislike their characters as well as you would with already established members of the series. Anne Hathaway's performance as the famous catburgler was particularly excellent with her delivering her best performance to date. Levitt's John Blake was one of the best new characters introduced and probably got more screen time than Christian Bale. Cotillard played the role of Tate excellently but my personal favourite performance was delivered by Tom Hardy and as the brutal and terrifying Bane. With most of his face covered up, he delivered a solid performance with just his eyes, a hard job and instantly one me over in one particular scene in the sewers that anyone who has seen the movie will know what I mean. All the other cast delivered their roles excellently with the only wasted role I found was the part given to Juno Temple, a role so minuscule it was almost pointless.

Zimmer's traditional pounding score was delivered excellently and in IMAX blew me off my seat (not literally) and combined with standout IMAX shots it was a true cinema experience. Personal standout moments include the sewer sequence, the stock market, bike chase, Bat/Cat team up and the entire final 45 minutes. Oh and the BAT is a gadget that I need in my arsenal as well as Catwoman in entirety.

To sum up TDKR, I would put it on its own platform. I don't want to compare and contrast with BB and TDK as all three films stand apart and deliver their own part of the story. Batman Begins brought us realism and a new view to the batman universe. The Dark Knight delivered us with one of the best on screen villains ever and a truly powerful blockbuster to watch. The Dark Knight Rises takes a different approach and delivers us the rise of batman fallen from grace, plenty of new characters to root for, incredible fight sequences and a wonderfully fitting ending that left me extremely happy and satisfied with the closure of the series and it leaves me with a sad feeling knowing this is the end.

Nolan, I do believe you delivered on of the best trilogy's of all time that stands strong next to the likes of the Lord of the Rings trilogy and I wish all the luck to the next person who takes the reins of the batman series, you will probably feel the pressure of trying to live up to a bar set so high due to brilliant casting, choreography, realism and terrific writing.

Bravo Nolan (brothers) and bravo David S. Goyer on your wonderful writing.

Vampires Suck

Twilight is certainly 100% better than this shit. Absolute failure of a movie.

Hot Fuzz
Hot Fuzz(2007)
½

Rating : ★★★★★

After the success of Shaun of the Dead it was interesting to see where Edgar Wright would go next with his Blood and Ice Cream trilogy. What we got was a brilliant PC movie that combined thriller, horror, comedy, action, drama and a classic over the top third act to excellent effect that lead us on a story of twists and turns that kept me hooked throughout.

The plot focus on PC Nicholas Angel, London's best policeman. He's so good that his superiors 'promote' him to a sleepy village where he can't make them look bad. But as the locals start getting bumped off, it seems the village is not so sleepy after all.

It is without a doubt one of the funniest movies I have ever watched, from the brain freeze scene to the fence scene (one moment that had me in tears). The action in the movie was excellent with the final act taking mockery of pretty much any cop movie to date, point break, and pretty much anything directed by Michael Bay. But the best aspect of it was the whole drama thriller side as the movie is essentially a murder mystery and the end results are extremely satisfying.

The performances are great all around and the movie comes with a stellar cast of british actors including Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Timothy Dalton, Jim Broadbent and with cameo appearances from faces such as Bill Nighy, Martin Freeman and Steve Coogan. All of them do good jobs in their role with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost being the notable stand outs as the lead characters.

I can't really think of my problems I had with this movie. If I had to name one then it would that I found it a little long for a comedy movie and it just didn't seem to want to end but really it didn't bother me that much. The last 30 minutes is just over the top gunfight that brought about some of the best laughs in the film. The end result left me totally satisfied and I cannot wait for Edgar Wright's final instalment in this great series.

Battleship
Battleship(2012)
½

★★★

The film is essentially the love child of Top Gun, Pearl Harbour, Transformers and Independence Day. Whilst a little slow for the first 30 minutes and a little preachy on the America are the greatest country in the world front, when the action kicks in, it does not disappoint.

Outstanding visual effects and some convincing performances work well and whilst it isn't the greatest film in the world it is a true hollywood popcorn blockbuster. With a solid score and good soundtrack mixed with base destroying sounds, it is truly an experience only worth watching on the big screen. At a huge cost of $200 million the budget was not squandered on crap, it is put to good use having visuals on par with that of the transformers franchise.

It script might not be great and if anything a bit too cheesy but this is an action film of huge proportion. Go in with an open mind not expecting to take any of it serious and you will leave happy. I sure did.

500 Days of Summer
½

★★★★★

Not your usual romantic comedy but quite the offbeat one. An outstanding film with believable characters with an honest background and a heavy sense of realism. Charming at times whilst at others touching. A recommendation for all.

Catfish
Catfish(2010)

Rating : ★★★★

This film was great and touched on a personal level which I imagine it would do to many people. This documentary I have yet to work out whether it was real or not. With most documentary or cam films you are able to work out that they are fake e.g. Cannibal Holocaust, Paranormal Activity. But this film made it so believable I think that is what makes it brilliant.

This goes to make the film hard to review on a character basis because either the people involved are genuine or acted brilliantly.

The documentary chronicles New York photographer Nev Schulman's online friendship with Abby, an eight-year-old Michigan artist, her mother, and the burgeoning relationship with Abby's older half-sister, Megan. As the relationship between Nev and Megan becomes more serious and intimate, Nev (with his director brother Ariel Schulman and director friend Henry Joost) begins to have doubts. As the trio starts doing investigation (all involving YouTube, Google, GoogleMap searches on MacBooks and iPhones), questions arise around Megan's true identity.

The overall result is a terrific film that is touching, and at certain points extremely tense. It is sad and sympathetic but at the same time unnerving. The fact that it touches on real world matters and a social network that over 500 million people are involved in, it's very easy to come to the conclusion that stories similar to the one in this film are very common and for that matter I recommend this film to all as it is brilliant and am sure most will think highly and positive of it.

The Social Network
½

Rating : ★★★★★

Who knew the history of facebook was so rich and thrilling.

In this adaption of the law suit against Mark Zuckerburg creator of Facebook, It sure well allows the viewer to connect with all characters embroiled in this battle of rights in different ways.

Whilst the film plays a part past, part present effect with it switching back and forth between various times, it is done well enough for the viewer to be able to understand what is happening on the screen.

The acting standard is excellent with all characters being portrayed very well and allowing you to believe each one as the person they are playing.

The storyline also allows anyone to sit down and enjoy the film rather than those who are just interested in the facts or those who believed that if you work for a large clever industry you have to be a nerd. Its just being smart but also shows us how harsh the real world is.

Facebook is one of the most popular things on the planet at the moment and anyone interested in the slightest of web development, history, law or Facebook in general should take their time to watch this movie, they will not be disappointed.

The final product of this film is brilliant and after viewing the film makes you want to go out in to the world and just have an idea. One day your idea might be one of the most used things in the world. The smallest things can make a big difference.

Personal drama of the year award 2010.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars
½

Rating : ★★

You occasionally get moments in which a film trailer is better than the actual film itself. This is one of those moments.

This film is no more a set of around four television episode stuck together in order to promote the film and making it essentially a pilot but charging the viewers to see it. Now nothing against the television series, it is excellent, but this film does not give the audience the credit the show deserves. They have basically took one good episode and three average ones.

The opening 10 minutes of the film are promising at first. The battle of Christophsis is excellent showing some excellent battle scenes. After this is where the film goes down a steep slope.

I had many problems with the film and will state them as followed. Firstly, the battle droids. What happened in the few months(in the star wars timeline) following Attack of the Clones that caused the droids to become total morons and have speech capability. It really does play down the film almost into embarrassing comedy levels. I know that they spoke a little in Phantom Menace but their IQ must have depleted pretty fast since then. Secondly the relationship between Anakin and Ahsoka. It is just too childish, both acting like young teenagers doing stupid mistakes but knowing that they are in no real danger as the film is annoyingly been aimed towards a child audience rather than giving balance to the veteran Star Wars fans. Finally need I say no more than Jabba the Hutt' uncle. Never have I encountered a character in a film that I loathed so much. His character was extremely embarrassing and made me cringe every time he was on screen.

Whilst the battle scenes in the film were enjoyable the storyline was very week and it felt as if all the characters had taken their feet off the gas as if all the events were a stroll in the park. There was lack of explanations also for viewers on the origins of certain characters such as Asajj Ventress. The film basically tells the audience to accept her presence which did not sit comfortably with myself. But the character we get, she is pretty cool.

The score was pretty solid and adds many new and enjoyable tracks to the already brilliant score from John Williams original. The animation style I found a little bizarre. Instead of going for just manga style or just plain animation, he decided to merge the both. The result is essentially every character who has a beard looking like they could stab someone to death with it.

The voice actors doing a terrific job in re creating the voices of the original actors and it is probably one of the few highlights of the film. But the dialogue they are delivered is just plain awful. I understand it is aimed at a new generation but did they have to turn Star Wars in to something totally shit. I bet I could get better dialogue for the characters from a four year old who has never seen a single episode of the saga.

My final verdict is that whilst the trailer made this film look a promising addition to the star wars franchise, the film was ultimately a let down where the Separatist forces were no more than comedy troop, Ziro the Hutt a horrible addition to the Star Wars universe, dreadful dialogue and the lack of strength in the films story.

Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi
½

Rating : ★★★★

After the brilliance of Empire Strikes Back I knew that it was impossible for George Lucas to make a sequel that was superior. I was right but that is not to say the movie wasn't any good. It is excellent. It might not be as good as the other two instalments but it is still a very enjoyable sci-fi that fits greatly in to the saga whilst maintaining the humour, action, great space battles and excitement over it's prequels.

The movie is set approximately one year after The Empire Strikes Back. The Galactic Empire, with the help of Darth Vader, is building a second Death Star in order to crush the Rebel Alliance. Since Emperor Palpatine plans to personally oversee the final stages of its construction, the Rebel Fleet launches a full-scale attack on the Death Star in order to prevent its completion and kill Palpatine, effectively bringing an end to the Empire. Meanwhile, Luke Skywalker, a Rebel leader and Jedi Knight, struggles to bring his father, Darth Vader, himself a fallen Jedi, back from the Dark Side of the Force.

Now the entire plot of the movie works well enough with it, just like Empire Strikes Back, kicking straight in to the film with no big introduction. My biggest complaint about this episode compared to the previous is the feeling of the lack of substance. In this movie everything seems to fit in to place far too neatly. But then again this is Star Wars and not a realism movie. It is the battle of good versus evil and it delivers excellently on that.

The visual effects of the movie are stunning and definitely one of the improvements on its predecessors. The audio delivered in THX is also a leap forward. The space battle between the Rebellion and the Empire looks as beautiful and detailed as ever and was one of the many highlights of the movie. The vast range of new species was wonderful to see in Jabba's palace as was the array of new creatures such as the Sarlak and the Rancor. Personally I liked the addition of the Ewoks. Please put down your spears and guns, it's just a personal opinion, they were lovable creatures who packed a punch and were not annoying at all unlike a certain character in a later film who I shall refrain from saying.

The lightsaber duel between Vader and Luke was brilliant. By far one of my favourite as there is so much anger within it and goes to show that Luke is falling in to the Emperors hands a little too easily through the Dark side method. This sequence is also accompanied by a brilliant score by John Williams. In fact his score for this film takes all the previous and adds many new brilliant themes. The final song on Endor was a particularly jolly yet beautiful piece. Many scenes were handled greatly in this film such as a certain characters death mid way in to the film that had great emotion and pretty much every scene involving the Emperor. On the other hand many moments I found to be rather annoying. The character of Boba Fett was handled totally wrong with a totally unjustified ending. Another moment that annoyed me was Luke's revelation to his Leia of a certain fact. In short the deliverance was total crap and could have been delivered far better.

The performances as usual were excellent with Mark Hamill actually delivering a brilliant performance as Luke in this one. Harrison Ford does a great job as Han Solo and the new additions of the characters Admiral Ackbar, Mon Mothma and Wicket were are great. Whilst the character of Darth Vader was great in this movie the stand out performance of this movie was Ian McDiarmid as Emperor Palpatine. It was perfect and I truly believed his character. His entire deliverance was excellent and he made it believable that he was the one person who was able to control Vader and the one person Vader looked up to.

Whilst this was not on par with the previous two movies it was none the less an enjoyable movie and a nice closure to the franchise. It had it's highs and lows but this is still a a sci-fi movie that stands taller than many others and completed a trilogy that is possibly one of the greatest of all time.

Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope
½

Rating : ★★★★★

The opening credits role introducing you to the basic plot outline of the movie you are about to view accompanied by a brilliant score. It is then followed by a brief shot of space. A spaceship zooms over firing lasers. It looks magnificent. But then you see it. A spaceship a hundred times it's size is in pursuit firing back. This is the moment you know you are in for something special.

Without a doubt the best science fiction saga ever created, Star Wars truly stands the test of time to be a magnificent space opera that is funny, action packed, original, touching, entertaining and creates the perfect package of what every movie should be.

The plot focuses on a galaxy far far away. Princess Leia is held hostage by the evil Imperial forces in their effort to take over the Galactic Empire. Venturesome Luke Skywalker, dashing Captain Han Solo and his sidekick Chewbacca team together with the lovable robotic duo, R2-D2 and C-3PO, to rescue the princess and restore justice in the Empire.

The story is your usual battle of good versus evil but not one as you know it. The film literally pushes the boundaries of special effects for its time. The film is visually stunning with the final act sequence in space looking particularly amazing. Everything looks unbelievably realistic. For its time as well the entire universe is just vast. From the countless numbers of alien species to the different space crafts, this film is littered with sci-fi detail and is essentially a geeks wet dream. The set pieces are wonderful with fully believable worlds from Yavin 4 to Tatooine. The costumes are brilliant with Chewbacca looking particularly amazing.

Lets discuss he characters. Luke Skywalker, whilst having a slightly shaky performance by Mark Hamill is an excellent main protagonist and a very likeable character. Harrison Ford is excellent as Han Solo, probably my favourite performance and is extremely funny and witty. The characters of Obi Wan, Princess Leia and Chewbacca are all great and R2-D2 and C-3P0 work great as the comedy duo 'married couple' roles if the movie. The best character of the film is by far Darth Vader, a solid villain with a magnificent appearance, brilliant voice yet at the same time shrouded in mystery.

The score by John Williams is simply brilliant with excellent themes and beautiful sounds to create timeless music. It is a grand symphonic score that has influenced many films since by using a variety of music styles some of which had not been used in a long time whilst giving obvious nods to such composers as Gustav Holst, Igor Stravinsky and William Walton. This movie without a doubt changed the world of sci-fi cinema and has paved way for hundreds of films since. George Lucas kicked started a franchise that is still alive and kicking today.

My final verdict is that it may not be perfect but this opera is on such a grand scale that it is almost impossible not to enjoy. Still to this very day it is one of the greatest science fiction movies of all time and a true classic that has unlimited replay value.

Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith

Rating : ★★★★★

So This is How Liberty Dies... With Thunderous Applause.

The final instalment in the prequel trilogy is what some might call a return to form. Whilst I liked the previous two instalments I have to say that I agree. This Star Wars movie is excellent and is definitely the best one since Empire Strikes Back. The action is exciting, the script is somewhat better, the acting has improved and it is an all round great movie. The nods to the originals come it buckets this time around which is expected as this is the episode that bridges the two trilogies. We got peaks at The Millenium Falcon, Tantive IV, Chewbacca, Death Star and many more. But best of all we get Darth Vader.

The movie takes place three years after the onset of the Clone Wars. The Jedi Knights are spread out across the galaxy leading a massive clone army in the war against the Separatists. The Jedi Council dispatches Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi to eliminate the evil General Grievous, leader of the Separatist Army. Meanwhile, Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker, separated from Kenobi, his former master, grows close to Palpatine, the Chancellor of the Galactic Republic and, unbeknownst to the public, a Sith Lord. Their deepening friendship proves dangerous for the Jedi Order, the galaxy, and Anakin himself, who inevitably succumbs to the Dark Side of the Force and transforms into Darth Vader.

Now I really liked the plot of this story. It worked very well but one major thing I noticed with this one over the others is that it's dark. Really dark. It is the darkest of the series which is expected as this is essentially the fall of the Jedi and the rise of Vader and the Empire. The plot is also extremely emotionally drive too and not in a bad way. I found myself for much of the movie being sad or upset from certain scenes on the screen and not many moments in Star Wars have actually done that to myself. One of the most powerful scenes I found to be was a scene that required no lines. The scene in which Anakin and Padme both look out the window from opposite ends on Coruscant and is accompanied by a chilling score from John Williams. It was brilliant. Naturally the Order 66 moment was an emotional high. Once again backed by a stunning score from John Williams we see all across the galaxy the clone troopers executing the Jedi catching them completely off guard.

Other highlights from the movie include the brilliant opening sequence. We are instantly thrown in to a huge space battle above Coruscant between the Seperatists and the Republic and the visuals looking outstanding. Others are the good but brief sequence on Kashyyyk in which Yoda goes to assist the Wookies, The Anakin and clone trooper march in to the Jedi temple and the majority of the scenes involving Palpatine and Anakin together (I personally enjoyed the opera house sequence).

But the ultimate moments in this movie are the lightsaber sequences. The early one between Dooku and the Anakin/Kenobi was enjoyable as was the brief Kenobi v Grevious. I enjoyed the Mace Windu v Palpatine duel but the best two of the film are the finale ones. The force battle between Yoda and Palpatine was excellent, both showing how powerful each is in the force and through their capabilities with a lightsaber. My favourite lightsaber battle was the duel between Anakin and Obi-Wan. It was truly amazing watching two close friends battling it out and there was so much emotional power in the combat. The lightsaber fight just blew my mind and some of the moves were just brilliant. At the same time we are treated to my favourite Star Wars track of all, Battle of the Heroes. John Williams manages to drive the scene with so much power that in causes goosebumps. All I can sum it up as is this. The music. The choreography. The visuals. The acting by McGregor. The effects. The power in the scenes. Just incredible.

The performances all round are good this time. Ewan McGregor does a terrific job as Obi-Wan and really puts himself out there, emotionally too. Natalie Portman does well this time around with slight improvement on Attack of the Clones. Hayden Christensen once again though has some questionable acting. He does well at points but other times instead of conveying emotion I just found him to be shouting at the camera. Ian McDiarmid does a wonderful job as Palpatine. Gaining a much larger role this time around I found his performance to be great as usual. The performances from the rest of the cast were all great. Christopher Lee does well in his brief appearance, Samuel Jackson does well in his role and Frank Oz does a great job voicing Yoda. This is pretty much the prequel were most of the actors got it right. But behind the scenes it was wrong. Once again George Lucas delivers average dialogue. The early Anakin insult to Grevious was a pretty crap comback and we are delivered such lines as "Hold me, Ani. Hold me, like you did by the lake on Naboo...where there was nothing but our love..." Sorry Mr Lucas but that line is just pure cheese and I personally didn't notice much chemistry in the last film. But never mind, at least the story was pretty solid.

The visuals of the movie were stunning, and the new planets look excellent, particularly Mustafar. The spacecrafts all look excellent and the new species look awesome. Two of the biggest disappoints for me though was all thanks to the media. The first being General Grevious. They built him up as if he was to be the main villain of the film, being the ultimate Jedi killer and all but he had screen time of no more than twenty minutes and was taken out of the picture pretty damn easy. Secondly is the way it was built up to be this massive battle on Kashyyyk. Well there was a massive battle, but we didn't really get to see it. But this isn't the movies fault, just the media hype surrounding it and once again misleading the audience.

Overall this was an excellent addition to the saga and a great ending to the prequel trilogy. The last few minutes of the movie were very powerful as we finally see the fates of all the members that have close association with Anakin. It is sad but is essentially a bridge to the originals in which we all know the final outcome. Well done George Lucas I enjoyed this very much and for all those who hated the last too instalments, I think Lucas gave you a treat and put out a solid last farwell to the franchise.

Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones

Rating : ★★★★

Whilst I enjoyed The Phantom Menace, it didn't go without it's flaws. As some might know from my review I credited the action sequences and much more but it was let down by some very poor performances. So we hit the second episode of the second trilogy. I must say once again I enjoyed, possibly more than the previous. It felt much more in continuity with the the originals and at the same time retains the continuity with Phantom Menace. Whilst Phantom Menace still felt like Star Wars there was very little carried over. Apart from Yoda, Obi-Wan, Tatooine, Lightsabers, The Emperor and a few terms (Jedi, Sith etc) there was very little to please the hardcore Star Wars fans who seem to loath Episode 1. This time around there is very little to complain about on that front. We are treated to many things from the original including Boba Fett, Slave 1, Luke's home, Uncle Owen, Death Star, Storm troopers and many more. So let's discuss the movie.

The movie is set 10 years after the events in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, when the galaxy is on the brink of civil war. Under the leadership of a renegade Jedi named Count Dooku, thousands of planetary systems threaten to secede from the Galactic Republic. When an assassination attempt is made on Senator Padmé Amidala, the former Queen of Naboo, 20-year-old Jedi apprentice Anakin Skywalker is assigned to protect her, while his mentor Obi-Wan Kenobi is assigned to investigate the assassination attempt. Soon, Anakin, Padmé, and Obi-Wan are drawn into the heart of the Separatist territories and the beginning of a new threat to the galaxy, the Clone Wars.

So I really liked the plot this time around. It feels very much like a middle movie much like Empire felt for the trilogy in which no introduction is needed and is left on a cliffhanger like ending waiting to be tied up in the final instalment. The fact that the movie begins with an assassination attempt gave me the feeling that this film was going to take a slight different path to Phantom that felt like it was on the bright end of the scale movies. There were many things about this film that I liked. Firstly I really enjoyed the high speed chase at the beginning. It felt good fun and reminded me a little of the one we see in Return of the Jedi. The fact that bounty hunters were re introduced was really cool as I liked the idea of them throughout the original trilogy. Boba Fett returns here but as a young boy and we get to see his father Jango wearing the suit but with this one looking brand new and Slave 1 looking less battle worn. I really liked the showing of the relationship between Palpatine and Anakin. It gave a feeling that Palpatine was already playing him as his pawn preparing him as apprentice in secret. It also played upon Palpatine's words at the end of E1 in which he mentions about keeping a close eye on him. The introduction of the origins of Storm Troopers was interesting but was interesting to see and gives a nice explanation to where they came from. The final act was great as well in which we got to experience an arena deathmatch, a huge seperatist vs Jedi battle, Republic v Seperatist battle, Anakin/Kenobi v Dooku lightsaber duel and Yoda v Dooku lightsaber duel. It was a totally action packed moment that allowed me to forget all that was crap about the movie and enjoy Star Wars on a grand scale. What was interesting to see in this movie was how early one Anakin gets seduced by the Dark Side. His moment on Tatooine with the Raiders was prime example as he takes anger and revenge in to account and slays them all. One minor moment that I personally loved was the Kenobi chase of the Fett's. It was pretty cool and the seismic charges were awesome weapons that put off an awesomely cool sound. The moment that Kenobi first sees the battle ready clones also was too a brilliant moment that sent shivers down my back (probably thanks to John Williams score).

But along with the good stuff there always comes the crap. The entire love plot was boring and just not believeable. I felt no chemistry between Anakin and Padme and if anything Anakin felt like a huge pervert who at much of the time creeped Padme out. The moments also were slotted in to areas which completely killed the tension of previous scenes. Seeing Jar Jar back was also a low blow. He was tolerable in the first but the moment I seen him the second I was just like 'OHHHH GO AWAY!'.

So the acting in this movie. Ewan McGregor puts on a similar performance as he did in E1 but this time around it felt a little too plain and at moments lifeless. Hayden Christensen was ok if a little too shaky as Anakin. Whilst at times he was good, other moments he was terrible and lifeless. Natalie Portman whilst not putting on a brilliant performance does a far better job this time around than she done in E1 which made me happier but still. Apart from that most of the performances in this movie were pretty good. Ian McDiarmid puts on a great performance as Palpatine and the introduction of Christopher Lee as Dooku was great. His performance was good but being honest, I think Lee would have done a brilliant job even if he had a small role as Yoda's paper boy. I enjoyed that the humour this time around was brought back to C-3PO and R2-D2. They were the comedy pair of the originals and I very much enjoyed their moments in this.

The visual effects were very good in this film with much of it looking brilliant. The new planets introduced were pretty good and a personal favourite being Kamino. The visuals in this are were brilliant especially the water. The new species and creatures were welcomed happily too. John Williams score as usual was brilliant and many of the new themes were great. I personally liked the moment when Anakin explains to Padme what he done to the Raiders and the Imperial March begins to play. It really brought about the idea of Darth Vader and I noticed in that scene that it was playing the theme for the Emperor in Return of the Jedi. The end scene of the clones boarding space crafts was also accompanied by a brilliant score moment that gave goosebumps.

So no the film weren't brilliant and came with it's flaws, many similar to Phantom Menace but it was enjoyable none the less. The fact we got to see pre Empire era Stormtroopers and Yoda battling it out with Dooku sold it for me. It stil has nothing on the originals but I'm not expecting in too. I found this a great entry in the franchise that had brilliant set pieces, brilliant action and much more but is ultimately let down by the poor acting. Hopefully Episode III got rid of these problems then ey?

Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace

Rating : ★★★★

Yes four stars. Please put down the rotten vegetables. This is merely my opinion of the episode of the saga. Now I have to say overall I enjoyed this movie. I know that it feels a world away from the previous episodes in the saga but at the basis this is still Star Wars. It is still set in a galaxy far far away and with the use of modern technology, Lucas is able to expand on his vision in order to bring new planets, species, vehicles and pretty much everything that was pushing the limits or was not possible thirty years ago. Some describe this as the most disappointing movie of all time. Well of course it is. What did you expect. No matter what Lucas would have come up with the audience would have instantly been 50/50 as some will completely shun it no matter how it had turned out. Also it had been sixteen years since the last Star Wars, the marketing was huge on this film and the hype caused by the media pushed it way beyond what it ever could have been. It was destined to disappoint because there was so much surrounding this movie that it couldn't possibly reach the mark and no movie would ever be able to beat Empire Strikes Back. But alas I enjoyed it. So let''s discuss the movie itself.

The movie follows the Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn and his apprentice Obi-Wan Kenobi, who escort and protect Queen Amidala in traveling from the planet Naboo to the planet Coruscant in the hope of finding a peaceful end to a large-scale interplanetary trade dispute. Along the way, their starship must stop for repairs, and it is landed on the planet Tatooine, where the Jedi encounter Anakin Skywalker, a young slave boy who seems to be unusually strong with nascent powers of The Force. Meanwhile, they must contend with the mysterious return of the Sith.

Now I personally enjoyed the story for this movie. Many elements of it I loved and to me the story was as close tied in with the previous instalments as it possibly could. Whilst many hated the idea of midichlorians but I personally found it interesting as it gave some form of scientific explination behind why some people can harness the force. Who cares if it is too complicated? should every movie cater for the brain dead? I also liked how the third act sequence was very similar to that of the third act in Return of the Jedi. Not so much in what happens but the comparison of events. Both films conclude with a underdog force battling a superior enemy (Ewoks, Gungan), huge lightsaber duel, space battle and a small strike force attempting to to infiltrate a base. Some would say this is Lucas re using ideas but personally I loved it.

So the characters and performances. Liam Neeson gives a great performance in this film as Qui-Gon Jinn. He has great qualities of strength that the character demands and is truly a master actor. Ewan McGregor puts in a good performance if a little shaky as Obi-Wan Kenobi but it is hard to live up to the performance of Alec Guiness. Ian McDiarmid also puts a great performance on as the Chancellor and a certain villainous character. I love the fact he returned to the role 16 years on despite looking older yet managing to look far younger. He is a tremendous actor who does his role excellently. Now I was not too happy with the performance of Jake Lloyd as Anakin Skywalker. I understand he is a child actor but is there really need for such a wooden and lifeless performance? It just felt like he was unaware of how to act and when, especially in the space battle sequence. You would swear he was at home playing a flying game on his PS3. But then we get to Natalie Portman as Padme Amidala. I found her performance to be pretty terrible. It was so plain and flat and there was no change to her character. It felt like she was actually just reading a script and putting no thought in to the character. It was lifeless and found many scenes with her frustrating because there was just nothing there. So we come to Jar Jar Binks. Everyone's favourite character right? Guess not. Well I must say I didn't hate him but did find him frustrating at times the comedy value was fine at certain moments but towards the end in the battle sequence I just wanted him to get shot to put an ending to his idiotic ways. I would have much preferred to see the comedy duo of C-3PO and R2-D2 get larger comic roles much like they did in the original movies. Final character discussion, Darth Maul. He is quite possible one of the coolest villains ever and one of the best Star Wars characters to date. The lightsaber sequence he is involved in at the end is possible the best duel in the entire franchise and I have to congratulate Ray Park on what might have been the most magnificent and downright brilliant stunt moves to create a lightsaber fight so memorable and extremely fast paced.

The visual effects for this movie were stunning and a massive leap forward in imagery and definitely took nods from films such as the original Star Wars, Blade Runner and Jurassic Park. Whilst it being a prequel and everything seeming more advance that the earlier movies it was easy to get my head around the fact that if the originals were made today they would look just as advanced and beautiful as these. The fact that the modern day was able to create great new planets, vast areas of space, stunning space crafts and thousands of new species to feast my eyes on was definitely a bonus. John Williams also doesn't fail at the score in this film. It uses much of the originals as well as packing a modern day punch and includes one of the greatest songs ever above a brilliant fight scene, Duel of the Fates.

Now I know this films audience is split but I personally enjoyed it. I liked it back in 1999 at the age of 8 and I still enjoy it now. Whilst the 12 minute podracer scene felt like a filler it was still excellent and had me just as gripped as a modern formula one track race. Whilst it has nothing on the original trilogy, notably New Hope and Empire Strikes Back, that doesn't bother me because it isn't trying to. This is the foundation of a new trilogy to tell the story of Anakin Skywalker. Yes it ties up in the end but it is better to look at this film not as a 'The originals were better because..' but what it actually is. It still maintains many of the things that made the originals brilliant. It might not be perfect but this is still a welcome addition to the saga and deserves it's place in my DVD collection.

Red Cliff (Chi Bi)
½

Rating : ★★★★★

This visually stunning 5 hour massively scaled epic is absolutely mind-blowing and stands as one of the greatest films of all time. With intense long battle sequences that stand tall next to those of the Lord of the Rings series and a score that is simply breathtaking this film is an amazing achievement.

The story of the film goes as followed. It is the autumn of 208AD and 100,000 peasants flee with their leader Liu Bei from Cao Cao's million man army. With aid of allied heroes they escape across the Great River to take refuge with the leader of the south, Suan Quan. As Cao Cao prepares his huge navy to innvade Southern China and destroy them all, the allies devise a grand strategy to destroy Cao Cao's thousand ships with fire upon the river.

This film incorporates, Happiness, Sadness, Death, Treachery, Military Strategy and other features and themes to produce what I would like to call a perfect war epic.

The acting standard in the film is excellent with stand out performances from Takeshi Kaneshiro as Zhuge Liang, military strategist who's clever tactics and mind are able to sway battles whilst being aggressively outnumbered and also Zhao Wei as Sun Shangxiang, Sun Quan's feisty and tomboy sister. Each character stands as their own hero with all characters getting their fare share of screen time in order for the viwer to connect with each and every single hero.

Taro Iashiro does a masterful score that greatly effects the emotions of the viewer to give a stunning cinematic feel to the film.

It is a real shame that the international release is a little 2 1/2 hours in length once this amazing version is a little short of 5 hours. Do not let the length turn you off this version as it is easily the definitive version with every scene as important and beautiful as the last.

The film contains three main battle sequences all with varying length but all a stunning achievement were the tension, special effects, acting and epicness are all cranked up to 11. A personal favourite is the battle towards the end of the first half in which the southern forces battle Cao Cao's troops using the tortoise formation.

A lot of thought has gone in to this film and everything comes together to craft a film of art and beauty. I really could not have hoped for a better film and it was one in which exceeded my expectations by a huge margin. I urge all to view this masterpiece and hope that directors of future war films take not of John Woo's creation in order to inspire and allow other tales and stories to be produced with great amounts of depth, emotion, character development and most important of all and extremely enjoyable viewing experience.

Planet of the Apes

Rating : ★★★★★

Still to this day, 43 years on Planet of the Apes is visually stunning and a brilliant piece of film making. As ROTPOTA is out in the UK this week I decided to review all the planet of the Apes films to date to get a re-cap of the Apes series and the first in the series is certainly not a disappointment and one of the best Science Fiction films of the Century.

The film tells the story of an astronaut crew who crash-land on a strange planet in the distant future. Although the planet appears desolate at first, the surviving crew members stumble upon a society in which apes have evolved into creatures with human-like intelligence and speech. The apes have assumed the role of the dominant species and humans are mute creatures wearing animal skins.

The performances are brilliant especially that from Charlton Heston. He portrays the character excellently and the scene in which he first speaks to the apes is chilling. But what is with that demonic laugh 10 minutes in during the American flag laughing scene. The performances of Zira, Cornelius and Dr Zaius are all great too with some great costumes and make-up for all the apes. There is also a great performance from Linda Harrison as the beautifully mute Nova.

The film is full of twists throughout which change how you think the film will pan out, the first one at around 7 minutes that shocked me and completely changed the perspective for myself. It was especially interesting to see Dr Zaius early on destroy evidence of possible intelligence in 'bright eyes' (Charlton Heston) and his determination to prove the impossibility of humans ever gaining or having intelligence on the same level as Apes.

The concept is great and mysterious in knowing something happened in the 2000 years between departing and arriving back to earth that caused the earth hierarchy to change (obviously we discover how in later films) and the fact that history has essentially been reset as most of the apes and humans for that matter have no understanding of the past #SPOILER# the human civilisation / dominance of man before the dominance ape #END OF SPOILER#.

An excellent watch with one of the best twists at the end of a film to date that completely changes what you have thought for the previous 100 minutes of film. Recommended to all who have a slight interest in sci-fi if you have yet to see it.

Planet of the Apes
½

Rating : ★★★

Well there is much to say about this film. First of all I must state that this Planet of the Apes is not a remake of the original so the differences in both did not matter much to me but I shall be discussing them. This is much more a re-imagining of the franchise. It brings together elements from the original as well as some of the sequels (Beneath, Battle) and then adds in a heck of a lot of new material much of which I enjoyed. This film did not go down well with majority of the critics but really there is not that much wrong with the film. Apart from the pacing being slightly strange this is simply Burton's vision of the franchise. Lets give a plot synopsis first.

An electro-magnetic storm strands space station pilot Davidson far in the future on a planet ruled by simians who enslave humans. Attempting to escape with the help of human rights activist Ari, a chimpanzee, he becomes the reluctant leader of an uprising.

Now the films plot works pretty well. The main points of the film feeling rushed happen the moment we land on the planet. within minutes our lead character has ran from Apes, been captured and taken to the city. it just seemed to be one of the those blink and you miss moments. But from there on the pace, whilst still feeling like it's being driven on calms down.

In this version of Apes the humans have speech and are not muted like in the original series. This in a way works out to be a good thing as it gives some of the human characters better roles. Another new addition I enjoyed was the idea of the humans being sold as slaves to the Apes. It gave a much better feeling of our own history during the colonization era.

There is much of the previous films that is missed though. First of all there isn't much insight to the Ape community. In total the film spends roughly 25% of screen time in ape city which is a shame as the visual effects are great there and I think more time exploring it would have given greater depth to the film. Due to this the entire council side is scrapped as well as the original films idea of testing on the humans (in this film they feel like pets). The idea of Ape shall not harm Ape is discarded too as well as the idea that Ape are superior to man. In this film they just seem like two opposing factions at war but the Apes are far more military trained that the humans.

The best addition to the film is without a doubt Thade. Performed brilliantly by Tim Roth, he is a chimpanzee who is head of the cities military as well as son of the highest regarded family in the city due to their heritage being descendants of the almighty. The character is absolutely terrifying for younger audience and he looks and acts a brilliant villain.

The rest of the cast all fair pretty well but most just seem plain and lacklustre. Mark Wahlberg is good as the main character but lacks much flare. This films much more Tim Roth's film that Wahlberg's.

Once again Planet of the Apes does not fail to give good endings. The ending whilst without a doubt mind boggling works fairly well and raises a lot of questions (which I imagine would have been answered in sequels). The final Battle is great, reminiscent of that in the old Ape films but sadly is over far too quickly.

In the end this Apes film is pretty well done but falls short of being great and simply leaves it feeling hollow in areas. Tim Burton's vision is nicely represented through dark elements (much darker than all the previous ape films) and creates Apes far more terrifying and real. The visual effects and make up are outstanding and Thade is an excellent villain. The score by Danny Elfman is great combining classic POTA scores with his own elements.

Whilst most people are willing to discard this film in the Apes franchise and rather stick with originals, this is still an interesting re-imagining of a classic. It might not be brilliant but I would recommend viewing it simply on the basis of seeing some excellent looking Apes as well as a great performance by Tim Roth as one of the meanest and coolest looking villains of modern cinema.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1
½

Rating : ★★★★

Comedy, Adventure, Horror, Romance, Mystery... all these genres come together in this penultimate chapter to the Harry Potter finale and boy do they all coincide well.

As far as harry potter films go this is definitely a masterpiece as far as this series is concerned. Brilliant split of the books and finishes exactly where I wished for the story to be cut off. I was also impressed on how much detail from the novel was included in the final film draft.
With excellent acting all around and brilliant special effects, this stands with Prisoner of Askaban for best adaption of the Harry Potter films. The acting standard of Helena Bonham-Carter playing Bellatrix Lestrange is amazing and you actually believe her to be her character and not for one second allow her to appear to be acting the part. Same goes for the roles Severus Snape, Voldemort and Harry Potter.
It is nice how they executed the parts of old favorites so well such as the return of Mad-eye Moody, Dobby, Kreacher, Umbridge and Ollivander.

The final film is very much darker than previous films where you feel the characters are actually in danger this time around due to the amount of near death sequences and deaths of key characters from the Harry Potter franchise.

Although you are felt at the end of the film that something is missing due to the book split in to two parts. It only allows you to want more and if the part 2 can be as well driven as the first part and also as gripping, the Harry Potter film series will be put to rest on a high as it should be.

The 10 year journey is coming to an end and boy does the penultimate part set us up for a bang we will surely not be disappointed with.

Escape from the Planet of the Apes

Rating : ★★★

Well what can I say about this sequel. Well first of all it feels like a spin off movie and no relation to the apes series. But then why did I find it so good?

The film begins over two years after Taylor and Brent had disappeared in space, with a spaceship floating in the ocean and military personnel scrambling to rescue those on board. Three astronauts emerge from the wreckage, but when they remove their helmets, military personnel respond with shock, for the three are really apes.

Now I found the premise pretty interesting and it is essentially a reverse of the original film in which Apes travel back to modern day whilst humans were still the dominant species. Its plot also revolves around many social issues of the day including race, social status, scientific experimentation on animals, nuclear war and government intrusion as well as women's rights.

Now I was quite gutted we didn't get much of the original type but after the events of the last film, how could have we? I am also happy that this film went as far as to explain pretty much how the Apes got them there to the best of their ability but still retaining the science side of the wonders of space.

The performances are all done well here and the new characters were interesting and welcomed. One again Planet of the Apes does not fail to leave a shocker of an ending and definitely left it open for a new series of films.

In a way I think the series should have ending with the last movie especially with that ending but to be fair this sequel, whilst unnecessary, works pretty well and in a way, whilst not comparable to Beneath the Planet of the Apes plot wise, it's still a superior sequel. I look forward to seeing were things go in Conquest of the Planet of the Apes.

Bridesmaids
Bridesmaids(2011)
½

Rating : ★★★★

Of all the comedies released in 2011 so far this is by far the freshest and also the funniest. I went to see Bridesmaids due to noticing it's heavy amount of good reviews. Walking in I did not expect to come out with a large smile on my face knowing that I had just watched a great comedy.

The story is about Annie, a maid of honor whose life unravels as she leads her best friend, Lillian, and a group of colorful bridesmaids on a wild ride down the road to matrimony.

I originally thought it would have been a comedy swayed more to a female audience but I was wrong. There is something in this film for everyone to enjoy. Chris O'Dowd's character is very much likeable and is included in many funny moments such as Kristen Wiig's antics trying to get the attention of him in the police car.

The performances are great, especially those from Kristen Wiig and Rose Byrne. Kristen Wiig is loveable in the best friend role with Rose Byrne performing the love to hate new best friend of the bride to me. Another great performance is from Melissa McCarthy who has many of the laugh out loud comedy moments including the plane flight sequence and the incident in the Wedding Shop. I fell to tears on her suggestion in the restaurant to have a Fight Club themed Hen night in which they should I quote "Beat the shit" out of the bride. Most of the comedy is fresh in this film with only one or two gags being hung on for too long such as the speech gag at the engagement party that went on for a little to long but that is just one scene.

This film is one for everyone to enjoy. Whilst not suitable for a younger audience due to scenes of sexual nature and some heavy cursing, for everyone else this is most likely one of the freshest comedies you can see this summer. At little over two hours it's a fairly long film for a comedy but it by no means drags. The entire two hours is just flies by due to the amount of enjoyment you will get with this film. I recommend this film to comedy fans all around or those simply looking for a film with a little romance. Was a great spontaneous watch.

Battle For The Planet Of The Apes
½

Rating : ★★

I really wanted to like this final edition to the series, but ultimately it's poorly done with a poor plot structure with a heavy B-Movie feel and it just seems to leave many plot holes and inconsistencies with the series which only makes it worse considering this is canon to the original apes series.

A decade after the Ape revolution and the war which has destroyed much of the planet and a Nuclear fallout, Caesar leads a small community of Apes and humans. While he tries to maintain a delicate peace between the two species, a threat builds from the still vengeful humans who inhabit the wrecked city's contaminated underground. At the same time the Gorilla's decide to begin an uprising within the Ape community itself.

While the plot sounds all good it just isn't executed well and the film just doesn't seem to have much going on in it. I can honestly say that the battle in previous film felt bigger than the one in this one too. The one in this film is merely a skirmish which is a shame considering the title makes it out to be the biggest one to date.

Some of the films plots have high potential but are just handled all wrong such as the revolution of the Gorilla's in Ape City. In the end the entire idea is shunned to the side in order for the battle to commence with the humans but is then drawn back in towards the end only to be shot down almost instantaneously.

There all also many plot holes. First of all in the history it is stated that Aldo was the Ape that said No but there is no indication in this film of him ever doing so, only getting angry when the human tells him no. Secondly when do the humans become mute? We are aware that Nuclear fall out has happened but they still have speech and when we flash forward to the year 2670 the year to be believed that the laws were set down the humans still have speech so when did it happen or did the script writers forget? Third when did the humans become inferior (ties in with the previous point) and finally the main point, HOW in such a short space of time did all the Apes gain superior intelligence and learn full English speech. This point is almost hardly explained and quite annoying for that fact.

On the other hand some things work nicely for continuity such as the explanation for the worshipping of the Omega bomb seen in Beneath (this is about the only film that Battle seems connected with).

This film was not terrible. The action scenes towards the end were pretty good and some of the conversations between the apes were interesting. But ultimately it is a let down due to poor script that gives a painfully incomplete closure to the Apes series. The performances are well done but the script makes it feels like an unjustified cash cow that if more time was spent on editing the script could have gave a solid closure to the series to build on the previous two instalments in the franchise. Well at least the mutants were not psychic in this film.

Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back

Rating : ★★★★★

Movie sequels. Some people love them, some hate them. I personally love them but lets face it they all fall in to a category. You tend to get either really bad sequels, average sequels or those movies that are superior to the original and whilst we get many of the third option, we also get many of the first two. But then you have Empire Strikes Back that goes one step further and literally blows New Hope out of the water. Everything in this film is cranked up a volume from the original and if New Hope was the perfect blockbuster sci-fi movie then Empire Strikes Back is what you would call a perfect sequel. Much like The Dark Knight has recently done for Batman Begins, Empire Strikes Back builds on it's predecessor. It doesn't discard anything from the original but merely expands to create an epic adrenaline rush of a movie that has more explosions, bigger battles, funnier dialogue, more loveable characters and even better twists.

The movie is set three years after Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. The Galactic Empire, under the leadership of Darth Vader, is in pursuit of Luke Skywalker and the rest of the Rebel Alliance. While Vader chases a small band of Luke's friends: Han Solo, Princess Leia Organa, and others across the galaxy, Luke studies the Force under Jedi Master Yoda. But when Vader captures Luke's friends, Luke must decide whether to complete his training and become a full Jedi Knight or to confront Vader and save his comrades.

Like most sequels this movie doesn't have a true beginning, neither does it have a true ending but is essentially the sandwich film in the trilogy. But that is no problem as it does not detract from the film in the slightest. If anything it is what George Lucas wanted it to be. Why have the need to explain things at the start that have already been established in the original and the ending cliffhangers are there in order to let the public want more.

This time we are treated to an opening act set on the ice planet Hoth that looks beautiful and is the set up for one brilliant battle with the Empire. The battle is one of my favourite sci-fi battles to date and instantly lets you know that this is going to be a big movie. We are treated to a few new planets that also look great such as Dagobah, the swamp planet and the stunning looking Cloud City on the planet Bespin. The new space crafts and aliens all look great with the main star destroyer looking particularly amazing. I thought the ones in the original looked big but the sequel decided to throw in one a hundred times the size of the other. It really gives you a sense of scale in the series to show that where there is something big, there is always something bigger. The introduction of bounty hunters was rather cool with Boba Fett looking a particularly cunning and cool looking bounty hunter. The main new character introduction in this sequel are Lando Calrissian and Yoda. Lando being almost a copy of Han Solo himself is a welcome new addition that plays a fairly large role in the second half of the film and essentially fits in to Solo's role for parts of it. The other character Yoda is a nice new addition, him being a Jedi himself and Luke's new trainer, he looks brilliant and despite his size is one of the most powerful creatures in the galaxy and one of the wisest. Whilst not having much screen time, really only one sequence, a new addition to the saga was the Emperor. It was hard to believe that there was someone higher up the order than Darth Vader himself and treats the audience to much thinking of if Darth Vader is as feared and powerful as he is then what would someone higher than him be.

The performances are all great in this sequel, much the same as the previous film with particular stand outs by Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher. Both play their roles excellently with the back and forth tension being interesting whilst the banter between the two being rather amusing and funny. Mark Hamill improves in the sequel as Luke Skywalker and the performance of Darth Vader, just like in the original is flawless.

As in the first, John Williams's score was flawless using much of the same music from the original but delivered on a more space opera large scale. A particular favourite track was the one played during the sequence of the millennium falcon chase through the asteroid field. It gave it a grand feel with strong, bold sounds that left me rather satisfied.

In the end this was a brilliant sequel. Like the title suggests, this movie really does give you the feeling that the Empire has the upper hand. In hardly any cases during this film to the Rebellion seem to have some form of win which is the complete opposite to the first film and it essentially gives it a darker tone but one that feels great. To actually improve on what I would call one of the best science fiction space operas is a massive task but with the addition of a new Director Irvin Kershner, George Lucas and his team took the task on and proudly created a masterpiece.

Green Lantern

Rating : ★★★

After seeing waves of negative reviews from the critics I could not understand how this film failed. It made me a little bit sad as I was very much looking forward to this. But after a few days I noticed reviews coming from members of the public and realised that most people enjoyed the film with them saying for the public to make their own judgement.

Taking this in mind I went to view the film and boy am I glad that I did. I personally found the film to be fun and thoroughly enjoyable. The special effects of the film were very good especially the scenes on Oa. Not once did I find myself arguing that it looked fake or unrealistic. I found the story to be fairly straightforward and not muddled as the critics made out with the mythology side being rather interesting. Finally I thought the acting was fairly good and I found myself enjoying Ryan Reynolds performance as Hal Jordan.

I especially liked the characters portrayed by Geoffrey Rush and Mark Strong. Sinestro was an interesting character and the post credits scene was just the icing on the cake. The only performance I could argue with is Peter Sarsgaard. Actually less his performance and more his character feeling completely pointless.

The only complaints I have for the film are that I felt the final battle between Hal and Parallax was very tight time wise as if they were made to condense it all in to a 10 minute closing act. It was a little disappointing as the film was building up to it but I found the effects good and the objects created by the ring to be very cool. Also the lack of Oa. Whilst it looked brilliant I would say that around 20% of the film was actually spent there which was kind of a let down considering this film is about the protects of the galaxy, not just earth.

Overall this was a superhero film were it did not want to be the broody, dark, gritty film that all the others are trying to be. Not every superhero film needs the Dark Knight effect. I am quite glad of this as well as it gave a better feel to the film with a bit of humour and a more easy watch to the film. This film was more comparable to Superman Returns/Iron Man than Dark Knight/X-Men. Personally I found the majority of the critics to be throwing the wrong tomatoes at this film. Taking the criticism they have received, I am sure that the sequel will be far superior and be able to appeal to the masses as this film has sadly not performed too brilliant at the box office. Best bet is to stay away from earth, explore the galaxy!

Thor
Thor(2011)

Rating : ★★★★

Thor fits wonderfully in to the marvel cinematic universe. Probably the hardest one to take to screen due to all the mythology and the fact he is a god after all, the adaptation was excellent leaving me wanting for more, loving the characters and probably one of the better Marvel movies. So far the MCU series has not failed to deliver a great movies with both Iron man movies, Cap America and Hulk.

So the plot. Thor, would-be king of a race of trans-dimensional beings worshipped as deities on Earth, is cast out of Asgard by his father Odin and banished to Earth. There he must discover himself and face the threat of his jealous brother, Loki.

Now the plot worked really good, the only problem I had with it, much like I did with Green Lantern and Oa is that more time is spent on earth than in Asgard. Asgard was looked great and to be fair we did get a fair bit of time there but no more than 40% of the movie but I am grateful that those scenes on Asgard were amazing.

Chris Hemsworth put in a great performance as Thor and I look forward to seeing him in future instalments as well as Avengers. Anthony Hopkins is great as Odin and there are also great performances from Clark Gregg as Agent Coulson, Stellen Skarsgard as Dr Selvig and Natalie Portman as Jane Foster. But my favourite performances was firstly Idris Elba as Heimdall. His character was excellent and surprisingly played a larger role than I first thought. Secondly Tom Hiddleston as Loki. His entire character was magnetic and I actually can't wait to see more of this character.

Thor's supporting cast on Asgard were great but I felt them to be a little cheesy at times apart from times of battle that leads my on to the battle with the frost giants. That fight was brilliant, probably one of my favourite moments of the movie but it saddened me that it was a little short lived. The third act fight scenes were also very much enjoyable.

There are also many good Easter eggs and links to the other movies in the cinematic universe one of the favourites being the quote 'Is that one of Stark's?'. The icing on the cake though was one uncredited character that I am sure Marvel fans picked up on and those who have yet to see the movie but are fans of the comics will recognize almost instantly.

All in all this was a very enjoyable film. It was not amazing but it was one brilliant adaptation of the character and I very much look forward to future sequels. Finally the post credit scene was great with a very surprising moment but very tasty.

Captain America: The First Avenger

Rating : ★★★★

When I first seen the trailer for Captain America I must say I didn't think much. It looked a little too, well boring. I thought it had the potential to be Marvel's first major flop but after the positive feedback and subsequently better trailers I decided it was a movie that I wanted to watch and due to the fact it has continuity with the Avengers series. I thoroughly enjoyed myself. It was a good world war 2 movie, good action movie, good superhero movie and has some rather funny moments.

So the plot. America has entered World War II but Steve Rogers is still 4F. However, after military scientist Erskine spies Rogers' inner strength he's inducted into a secret programme and injected with a serum that gives him uncanny speed and strength. When Nazi scientist Schmidt discovers a powerful artifact, Rogers must take the mantle of the nation's first super-soldier, an emblem called Captain America.

The plot worked great and was nice that it was essentially a side path of the second world war rather than taking major events and chucking Cap in the centre of them. It almost gives a more realism vibe to it. The set pieces are great, the costumes authentic and it has a great nostalgic feel to it. I also enjoyed the whole propaganda end to it a lot and I'm not even American!

The performances are strong from all fronts with Hugo Weaving doing an excellent job as Red skull as well as great performances from Toby Jones as Red Skull's partner, Tommy Lee Jones as the witty and comedic Colonel Phillips and Hayley Atwell as Peggy Carter. Dominic Cooper also gave a great performance as Howard Stark as well as Stanley Tucci's performance as Dr Erskine. But the top performance goes to the lead, Chris Evans as Steve Rogers. He was born to play the role of Captain America as he just seems to fit perfectly.

The score was great and patriotic and the visual effects were impressive. The Ties to the other films in the Marvel Universe were great with nice hints towards Iron Man (many of them), nods towards the Incredible Hulk and a probably most of all Thor were a lot of the plot revolves around points introduced in the THOR film.

All in all this is a very enjoyable Supehero movie. It is a great start for Captain America and stays close to source material. The post credits scene was interesting and it was nice to get a trailer for the upcoming Avenegers movie that I am sure will do a great job. Final thoughts? a great blockbuster movie and summer treat and probably one of Marvels best to date.

Edward Scissorhands

Rating : ★★★★★

Every person has a core set of films that they find are watch able over and over in which they do not grow tiresome. This for me is one of those films. Beautifully crafted with all the Tim Burton edge, this film is a stand out on many levels and without a doubt Tim Burton's most personal film to date.

An excellent tale of an artificial man named Edward, an unfinished creation, who has scissors for hands. Edward is taken in by a suburban family and falls in love with their teenage daughter Kim. Finally the film concludes with an ending of happiness and sadness, both in equal measures that only the soulless could not find touching.

With an great cast and brilliant performances especially those from Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder this film is a must view for people of all ages and allow the viewer to be pulled in by their characters believing the connection between Edward and Kim and the troubles that surround them..

This film continued to influence films in Burton's future film career, especially the mood and look of Batman Returns which is not a bad thing but brilliant as it became a trademark in which people were able to connect a film to the director. If there is one film of Burton's that people must watch I would recommend this as it is a pure masterpiece of a family film.

Not only Tim Burton's finest film but one of the finest films of all time. This films excels as drama and is one of the most touching films I have ever had the pleasure of watching. This film will never grow old and is still amazing now twenty years on.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes
½

Rating : ★★★★★

In one word : Amazing. That is how I would describe this film. I was overwhelmed by how good it was. Great acting, amazing motion capture, excellent CGI, great score, great set pieces. This was essentially the perfect summer blockbuster.

So what was it all about? Well the plot line is as followed. Will Rodman, researching a cure for Alzheimer's, takes home a baby chimpanzee after its mother is destroyed. Caesar, the chimp, exhibits near-human intelligence, and comes to question his kind's place on a human planet. Impounded after attacking a neighbour, Caesar meets other apes and foments rebellion.

The premise is very good and despite some people saying we have seen it before (Conquest of the apes), all I can say is you haven't. This is very much a re imagining and secondly for those saying it's pointless as we all know the outcome, why should that stop you? isn't that how prequels work?

Anyway, the performances are excellent. James Franco does a excellent job as Will and there are great performances from John Lithgow who plays Will's father who suffers Alzheimer's, Tom Felton the evil carer at the Ape shelter and Brian Cox as the owner of the Ape shelter. But the stand out performances are from those who acted the Apes. Karin Konoval is excellent as the circus Orang utan, Maurice as well as a great performance from Richard Ridings as Buck, the Gorilla. Jay Caputo and Chris Gordon both have excellent performances as Alpha and Koba, both chimpanzees but the performance of the Film goes to Andy Serkis as Caesar, the protagonist of the film. The performance is terrific and extremely believable. It's amazing to see how far motion capture has come as the expressions and movements of the apes are flawless.

The CGI is amazing in the film with the Apes looking amazing, so good that upon leaving the cinema and discussing the motion capture and CGI of the apes my mother came out with the words 'What? so the Apes were actors? I thought they were real'. The score was excellent and complimented the film beautifully and I was also pleased as to how many nods there were to the original films. It ties together the whole Ape series much better with nods toward the statue of liberty, Charlton Heston, the space craft Icarus and many more. If you are a fan of the originals or have seen them all then it just makes it that much better and leaves you with a nice feeling.

It's fair to say that Rise of the Apes was an amazing leap for motion capture and CGI and was definitely a brilliant addition to the Apes franchise and is sure to spawn sequels. The mid credits easter egg was brilliant and not only sets the second one up but basically explains to us a long standing question with the Apes series. I will not spoil it but you will sure know what I mean if you ever get around to watching it. Without a doubt the best film of the Summer and possibly my favourite this year. It stands toe to toe with the Original for best film in the series and I am happy to say that I thoroughly enjoyed it and I very much look forward to giving it a second viewing. See it now!

No Country for Old Men
½

Rating : ★★★★★

Prior to watching this film I had never seen anything by the Coen brothers. True Grit has always interested me but I have never got around to watching it. All I can say is that if the film making of True Grit is anything like that of No Country for Old Men then I can not wait to watch it. Old Men was a fantastic film with a great story, excellent performances and the films suspense was killing me throughout.

The plot is as followed. It's Texas, 1980. Hunting in the desert, Llewellyn Moss comes across the wreckage of a drug deal gone wrong and takes the cash - without counting on the man sent after him, an implacable killer intent on recovering the loot.

Right from the off the film keeps you on edge as you are introduced to Bardem's character. Now this performance by Bardem is magnificent. Without a doubt the best performance in the entire film but that is not to say the other performances were poor. Josh Brolin and Tommy Lee Jones give solid performances and the supporting cast were all outstanding.

The narrative of the film is also very interesting. The fact that it will change between any of these three central characters whenever someone takes centre stage is interesting because it gives a feeling of nobody is safe.

What was very interesting was the fact that the film kept my full attention and kept all the suspense without having any score in the film. I found this interesting as most films these days need a score to keep the flow going and for that, it instantly makes it a brilliant job of film making.

Whilst the ending of the film for me personally was a little underwhelming, I appreciate it in the sense that it leaves the fates of some to imagination and differs from the usual crescendo acts of most films.

All in all I would recommend this film to anyone wishing to see a brilliant drama/thriller as it's one of the best pieces of film making of modern day. I now see why it swooped the Oscars a few years back.

Conquest Of The Planet Of The Apes
½

Rating : ★★★★

What a great sequel for planet of the Apes. I really enjoyed this film as it is a very solid revolution story. Whilst Escape was a good character driven film, this film, whilst character driven too actually includes some solid action sequence that built on all that was good in Beneath.

Twenty years after the murder of Zira and Cornelius, their child Caesar who is portrayed brilliantly by Roddy McDowall, rejoins the world from hiding in a circus. He finds a society where apes are kept as pets performing menial tasks, and often mistreated. When his guardian Armando is killed, Caesar organises a revolution.

Now this chapter was essentially like a new series of Apes films as there are no characters that you can relate to from previous films except for Milo but in Escape he was just a child. Despite this fact, the new characters are well presented and Caesar is a solid character for the lead role.

This chapter touches on matters such as slavery in a very deepening factor. It is the main premise of the film on how the Apes have replaced cats and dogs as household pets but are treated in a far more brutal manner. It also gives the feeling of the Apes being in a concentration camp which is unsettling.

The action is very good in this film with the final half hour being one long action packed riot of the Apes rising up and fighting back against their captors. It gives a very good origin to the planet of the apes series and is interesting in knowing that despite the social order of the early apes films with the gorillas as the militant police like figures, orang-utans as the politicians and knowledgeable apes and then the chimps as the scientists and doctors, the very first uprising was actually lead with a chimp at the head of it (Caesar). I found this to be pretty interesting.

This was a pretty solid apes film overall and I am interesting in seeing the final film in the series now after the great cliffhanger and I can only guess what it will be from the title alone. Caesar's final speech of the film is brilliant and very inspirational in a dark sense. The speech is delivered phenomenally by McDowall and it's definitely his best performance in the series yet.

The film might not be for all but it was a good film for the series. Inferior to the original but much better than Beneath the Planet of the Apes and inches past Escape from the planet of the Apes as my second favourite in the franchise so far.

Beneath The Planet Of The Apes
½

Rating : ★★★

After the brilliance of the original I thought the sequel would either be excellent or terrible. I was wrong, this is just a mediocre sequel that has some great parts and also some bad. Lets begin with the plot.

Another spacecraft crashes on the planet ruled by apes, carrying astronaut Brent who searches for Taylor and discovers an underground city where mutated humans with psychic powers live. At the same time the Apes rise up to declare war against the humans and decide to expand in to the forbidden territory.

The first half of the film is essentially the same as the first half of the original but with a new male character. It works at this point and you get a better insight of the ape community through the outside meeting of the chimps, gorillas and orang-utans. It was also nice to see a post apocalyptic New York and nice to understand that after the first film most of this was caused my nuclear fall out.

But then you have the negative points. First of all why do the apes hate the humans so much? If they have no recollection of the history before 1200 years then they would have no idea of the relations with humans in the past. Whilst the mutated humans were fine and the idea, why did they have psychic powers? HOW did they have psychic powers? it is never explained and it just caused me to get annoyed. I did like how they just introduced magic and powers in to the equation without explanation. I also find it hilarious that the spacecraft lands in pretty much the same area of the planet as the one from the previous film.

The performances are good this time around with the usual performances from the previous film and a nice introduction of the character Brent despite him being exactly the same as Taylor.

Overall the film was ok but not a patch on the original. It had some good themes and some stuff that worked really well (the apes side of the film) but then some stuff was horrible (the mutant side) and was just like a really bad episode of 70's Doctor Who.

The ending of this film was just as shocking as the original with some stuff that I liked and other sceptical about but it was a very nihilistic ending. I am interested to watch the next film to find out where it goes because I literally have no idea after that ending, lets hope it expands on the good points and rids all the supernatural and magical stuff.

Avatar
Avatar(2009)

Rating : ★★★★★

Avatar is to put it in a word, brilliant. I recently watched the extended director's cut edition on blu-ray and I must say the additions were very enjoyable.

The special effects are visually stunning with the motion capture best to date (I have yet to see ROTPOTA), the colour is magnificent and it is just a joy to look at.

Yes we have come across the story many times before but yet again it is a brilliant story and most films these days tend to re use stories in some way or another. Whilst the story is pretty simply there is no problem with that, simple works. You can not argue with that either as it is fact the public like simple due to the ridiculously high box office gross (it is still 13th highest grossing adjusted for inflation so..)

The creation of the new world of Pandora is just awesome with the creatures looking brilliant and the entire wildlife of the planet pretty much excellent. The earth scenes were great (pretty much blade runner) and the few glimpses of space being brilliant (reminiscent of 2001 and Sunshine).

The characters are great in this film a personal favourite being Tsu' Tey as I find him a strong willed character but aggressive and has problems adapting to the fact the humans wish to "share" the planet. #SPOILER# His death was pretty saddening for myself and am so happy he had more screen time in the extended edition. #SPOILER END#

The performances were also great with stand out ones from Steven Lang, Zoe Saldana(I think that's how it is spelt) and Sam Worthington. The Minor characters are all great too and can't really find any poor performances but I did find the characters of most of the military grunts to be annoying and just couldn't wait to see them get killed on screen (rant over).

I found the film to be a mix of many films. Dances with Wolves, Pocahontas, The Lord of the Rings, The New World and Ferngully. The mix works great as at the time it came out I fell in love with the film and went to see it twice within a week.

James Horner's score is brilliant using themes from many of his previous films, Titanic, Braveheart and a The New World (similar film as well) whilst incorporating many new themes and tribal music. James Horner never fails to make a poor score and it completes the film to make a perfect package.

Now I know most people have seen this film but for those who haven't then I recommend you watch it as it is excellent and one of the best films of this generation. I know some people disgrace with my opinion but I really have a soft spot for films that go to new worlds like Alice in Wonderland etc. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and I respect tha but personally I found this to be one of the best films in 2009. I hope James Cameron will do an excellent job on the sequel and not a cash cow but I have faith because he has done some brilliant films (Aliens, Titanic, Terminator, Abyss).

I hope all enjoyed this review and I look forward to your comments.

Super 8
Super 8(2011)

Rating : ★★★★

So Super 8 came out in the UK yesterday and I decided to go and see it because I had been looking forward to it for quite some time and I am very glad that I did because it was simply brilliant.

I am a huge fan of J.J.Abrams work. Lost was a brilliant television show and I thought Star Trek was amazing and one of the best sci-fi films to date.

The entire film felt authentic from the cars in the drive way to the toys and models in the children's rooms. I just loved this film entirely for the nostalgic feel.

The cast was excellent with a great core set of children actors and actress which I am sure will lead them to other projects in the future.

I am happy with the pacing of the film as well especially the fact that the creature was pretty much shrouded in mystery until the last 20 minutes of the film.

The film is pretty much the child of previous Spielberg movies in which it includes themes from E.T. Goonies, War of the Worlds, Close Encounters and then has a splash of films such as Cloverfield and Stand By Me.

Michael Giacchino's score was simply breathtaking with themes cropping up from his previous works on Lost, Up and Star Trek. I must also add that whilst the imagery alone in the last few minutes of the film was an internal tear jerker (certainly was for myself)the score just makes the seen all the more powerful. It was just beautiful.

I also loved the credits sequence as it added that extra feel and a slight bit of humour to the overall film. In short this film was brilliant. I found the pairing of these two directors to be magical and very much hope they work together in the future. I recommend that anyone who is a fan of Spielberg's early work or a huge fan of 80's adventure films to go and view this because I am sure you will not be disappointed.

Transformers: Dark of the Moon
½

Rating : ★★★

Huge explosions, epic fight action scenes and mediocre acting, it wouldn't be transformers if one of these three factors was missing. I must say as a fan of Transformers I thoroughly enjoyed the latest instalment.

First off I must say I do not go to see a Transformers film for Oscar winning performances or a award winning script, I go to watch A) the Transformers B) brilliant action sequences and C) LOUD NOISES!!

The basis of the story revolves around when a mysterious event from Earth's past erupts into the present day it threatens to bring a war to Earth so big that the Transformers alone will not be able to save us.

The film opens on a very good note with a nice Cybertron battle scene followed by a historic setting of the 60s in which Apollo 11 discovers a crashed spacecraft. This is then followed by a lot of filler. By filler I mean the human side of this story. It was a shame really how for the first half of the film for every one minute the transformers had screen time the humans would have to have two minutes due to the military/Transformer heavy second half of the film. I understand that the actors need to get their screen time but lets be fair, nobody cares about the humans in this story, we all just want to watch robots fight.

To make up for these boring moments we were given some truly brilliant action scenes include the Chernobyl incident, the epic highway chase scene which uses bullet time to an impressive effect and obviously the final act showdown. The special effects team really outdone themselves in this film as they are some of the best effects I have ever seen.

I was surprised of how many characters were killed off in this film, some of which caused me to go in to a state of depression (not literally but I got very sad). But as it's Bay's last instalment why wouldn't he? Future Transformers films can always bring people back if the previous films are anything to go by.

As far as the acting goes it's pretty average all around. Shia LaBeouf is pretty much the same as he was in the previous two films but with a sort of Anakin Skywalker effect in which he becomes more serious and actually holding a gun! Rosie Huntington-Whiteley puts on a good performance as the new love interest and isn't nearly as cardboard as some are making out, she just had a little too much screen time, more than what was needed. The usual cast put on decent performances i.e. Josh Duhamel and John Turturro and the new cast members roles are executed well even though I believe Patrick Dempsey and John Malkovich should have had role swaps. Overall it was pretty average performances but all that really mattered to be was the Transformers and Leonard Nimoy is great as Sentinel Prime as well as Peter Cullen (Optimus Prime), Hugo Weaving (Megatron) and Jess Harnell (Ironhide).

At little over 2 1/2 hours it's a long film and fairly longer than the previous two. This is by no means a bad thing, the only problems I had were a few pacing moments in which some scenes dragged on and then suddenly a brilliant moment would fly by in minutes (Chernobyl). Overall this was an enjoyable film. It is on par with the first film and much better than Revenge of the Fallen. If some wonder why I give this a 7/10 and Transformers an 8/10 it's because the first one has a slight edge to it in that it was just all round great. If you love action films then I suggest you go and view this film. I'm sure if you let your mind relax then you are sure to have a great time.

The Dark Knight

Rating : ★★★★★

After the brilliance that was Batman Begins, Dark Knight was setting itself up to be an excellent film. The Cast that had already been grounded from the first instalment were excellent and the new names that were being added to the roster just made the build up better. In most cases with superhero films, the second instalment is far superior to the first (X2, Batman Returns, Spiderman 2) and in the case of Dark Knight, it does not ruin this trend. Not only can it be considered as one of the best superhero sequels ever but also one of the best sequels of all time and possible one of the best films of all time.

The film has a cast in which all give stellar performances. Christian Bale is an excellent Bruce Wayne and Heath Ledger gives a brilliant yet crazy and insane performance as the Joker. Aaron Eckhart portrays Harvey Dent brilliantly and his transition to Two Face just shows how excellent an actor this many is due to him essentially playing two different roles if you look at it from one view point. Maggie Gyllenhaal also gives a far better performance of Rachael Dawes than Katie Holmes. I found Holmes's performance to be rather boring and cardboard where as Gyllenhaal seems to have more life in her character and shows sympathy towards what Bruce is trying to be and has become. I particularly liked the performance of Gary Oldman as Commissioner Gordon in this instalment and like how he is built greater as a character than in previous Batman films prior to Batman Begins.

At around 2 1/2 hours the Dark Knight is a fairly long film but with all the plot development and twists I can't see how they would have ever made it shorter, but due to how brilliant the film actually is the length becomes irrelevant because you get complete immersed within the plot.

I found Nolan's approach to the Joker to be a rather good one, making the Joker a mad man who in the words of Alfred "Just want to watch the world burn". He has no concern for money but just wants to make Gotham collapse and loves the idea of battling with the Batman. It is sad that we will no longer see any more of this Joker due to Ledger's passing but for what it's worth, this portrayal and performance of the Joker shall stand as the greatest to date.

The action scenes of the film were outstanding, notably the underground scene in which we first witness the Bat cycle. In full HD this scene is simply breathtaking and other notably scenes are the only involving Batman having to battle with both the Gotham police and vigilantes towards the end of the film. The new additions to Batman's array of gadgets are wonderful including the sonar device controlled by Lucius Fox and the SAS tactic of getting out of areas in a hurry (that scene was so cool).

The score was brilliantly composed by Hans Zimmer especially the theme attached to Harvey Dent and added to the overall deliverance of the film beautifully but it was sad to see James Newton Howard#s departure from this film as is collaboration with Zimmer on Begins was just excellent.

The ending of the film literally left me on the edge of me seat screaming for the next instalment to be released now. The way the third part is building up I have high hopes for the film due to Nolan's brilliant directing skills and there has yet to be a Nolan film were the script is lacking.

As far as film making goes this is a total masterpiece and to the few people out there that have not seen this film, I urge you to view it as it is a brilliant superhero/crime/action film that has excellent plot, stellar performances and a beautiful score that combine to make one of the greatest films of all time. Hats off to you Christopher Nolan.