Friday, 27 May 2011

The Hangover: Part II (2011)

Running Time: 101 mins
Directed By: Todd Phillips
Starring: Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis, Ed Helms, Justin Bartha, Ken Jeong, Mike Tyson, Jamie Chung
Screenplay: Craig Mazin, Scot Armstrong, Todd Phillips
UK Release Date: 27th May 2011

Quick Plot: Stu is getting married in Thailand and of course needs his best pals, Phil, Alan and Doug at his wedding, vowing not to have a stag night like the one two years ago. This time only a quiet, small, pre wedding brunch. Sounds good right? What happens when they wake up hungover with no sense of what had happen the night before and absent of Stu's future brother-in-law, 16 year old Teddy.

Review: Here's my anecdote of The Hangover. The Hangover was my first ever illegal viewing of a film. At the age of 14, not a lot of people my age had the experience of seeing The Hangover at the cinema and still to this day it's one of my favourite memories of a film. I was wetting myself (ok not literally but I might as well have been) I had never seen a film this funny at the cinema, ever. Everyone around me was in hysterics, laughing so much and even if it makes me out to be such a soppy, pathetic, loser I have to admit- it is one of my favourite cinema experiences (which goes to show how much the cinema means to me.) And to be even more honest, when I first heard about The Hangover getting a sequel I was over the moon and could not wait, especially as The Hangover was the newest and funniest comedy in a while. But then after a while and after re watching the first, I started to have my doubts. Will the sequel be as funny? There was lots of controversy over Todd Phillips' 2010 film, Due Date which also starred Zach Galifiankakis. Personally I thought it was hilarious and just as good as The Hangover but a lot of people said it was flawed. In the past week too, reviewers have said that The Hangover Part II isn't at all funny, instead lame and unneeded.
Last week I upset a few people with my review of Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Strangers Tides. When it wasn't even a bad rating! 3/5 is good, more than 50% and it's worth seeing just a bit of a let down to all the hype that's all. The question is, is The Hangover: Part II a let down? No, not at all. It brings the giggles but that's about it. It's a good film, a really funny film. I was really laughing at most parts and but it's just good. That's the limit to it. It's not the loud out loud, every single line is a joke, some new adventure Hangover everyone hoped it would be. Similarly with Pirates, it has to have some conjunction with the previous film but not every other gag has to be about the last 'hangover'. Sequels that are better than the original such as Back To The Future II, Temple Of Doom,, Terminator 2, Empire Strikes Back, The Dark Knight, The Godfather II, even though are obvious a second film in a series are different and individual from the previous. They don't need lots of back references to make a good film because they can stand alone. The Hangover: Part II couldn't stand alone because of all the back references, it became a drag. So that's one thing I will definitely say to anyone who wants to see this, even though I'm sure you've seen the first film, if you haven't don't bother, you don't need to. I know a lot of people are probably shocked at the 3 stars (even though 3 stars isn't bad! That means I think it was good and I enjoyed it durrrrrrrr) and you have your rights to be disappointed, I guess because this is only my opinion and everyone is entitled to their own opinion I believe. I've already seen a lot of people liking it,  many people have told me they think it's better than the first which is fair and fine. My view is that the first is the better one, 5 stars if I reviewed it now. The first film was different, funny, plot is great, characters all so perfectly hilarious, etc...ok I'm getting sidetracked. Maybe it's because I see a lot of different films, over the years so I have more of a film mind when it comes with "EPIC/MASTERPIECE/FUNNIEST FILM OF YEAR" films. Ok I'm being mean now, I'm stopping..
I'll stop with the bad criticisms now and get onto the stuff I enjoyed; Zach Galifianakis has done the exact thing he did last time round and made Alan the best character of the film. His stupidness, but also smartness, quirky lines and innocence had me in fits because he is so unique. There's the dumb friend in most comedy films, but Alan is different. Non-spoiler review here so I can't tell you the jokes Alan cracks..oh and the crack. Todd Phillips is a real funny guy and he's already made great films anyway but I'm sure his future films will be hilarious. Stu's new 'Doug' type song didn't quite please the audience as much as the original song did but everything else got the audience laughing. Speaking of Doug-I wanted to see more Doug. But my friends made a very good point that he isn't a main member of the wolf pack so I will accept this. Another thing I loved was the monkey, although I'm never really into the whole animals smoking thing.
I'm finding it really hard to talk about the good parts of the film without giving any of the jokes away!
Ok if you're reading this I take it you are planning on seeing the film and you're a fan of the previous one. You will enjoy it, you will laugh, you will cry and you will just love it I promise you. It's funny like it was made out to be. But the first is the better one let's be honest The Hangover was something different and the first will forever remain the best one. But hey, that's my opinion! Hope you like it :)

OH YEAH BEFORE I GO. What happened to the Liam Neeson cameo? I even read an interview with him where he said he was in it. The tattoo guy didn't look like him? OR it was all a joke that everyone didn't fall for apart from me. If anyone knows anything about this, please let me know.

The Hangover: Part II official trailer

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Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011)

Running Time: 136 mins
Directed By: Rob Marshall
Starring: Johnny Depp, Penélope Cruz, Ian McShane, Geoffrey Rush, Richard Griffiths, Keith Richards, Astrid Berges-Frisbey
Screenplay: Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio
UK Release Date: Official release date is 20th May 2011 worldwide. 18th May for the UK

Quick Plot: Captain Jack Sparrow is back in the 4th instalment of the Pirates Of The Caribbean, on a new quest to find the fountain of youth. Embarking on his adventure he bumps into old love Angelica, and takes voyage on her ship who's owner is none other than Captain Blackbeard.

Review: This Summer is sadly one filled with sequels, prequels 3rds, 4ths, 5ths and most probably 6ths. Not all unneeded but the majority are. On Strangers Tides I believe is one of these unneeded films and I already had that impression before I was able to witness it. Of course Jack Sparrow is one of the most iconic characters of the 21st century with his dashing looks, selfish ways, not exactly incredible pirate skills and funny individuality and Johnny Depp again aces Sparrow perfectly. Loosing out on Keira Knightley and Orlando Bloom as part of the team at first didn't bother me much as I thought they got a bit dated within At World's End (3rd), but after watching this I wished they were back and I wished the adventure still centred round the Black Pearl. Personally, my favourite of the franchise is The Curse Of The Black Pearl, after which I think they deteriorate chronologically but On Strangers Tides definitely, in my case anyway, starts to move back upwards to, maybe say, Dead Man's Chest.
Don't get me wrong at all, it's not a terrible film. It's certainly going to make the money over the Summer and will no doubt break records or something of the sort. Any fan of the previous films will enjoy it. There's the action sequences, Jack Sparrow's quirky lines and of course the great, conventional Pirates. I just found it a little too long and too..same old same old. Which you could argue is a good thing for the series, continuity is obviously needed or it wouldn't make sense. But can't Jack Sparrow do anything other than get into trouble yet somehow in the end resolving everything while making everyone laugh?
Now the comedy element of the Pirate films was funnier in this film than the previous 2. A line I saw/heard from the trailer about names and fingers tickled me, I found it joyful and entertaining.
Probably the thing that made me kind of dislike this was the ever too long beginning. Thor has a long introduction that works perfectly but being the 4th Pirates of the Caribbean film, we didn't need an long, predictable action sequence between Jack Sparrow and some high up people. It's been seen before. The film would have been a lot better with half an hour less and to get right into the plot line because that was quite enjoyable.
I haven't seen many Penélope Cruz films but know enough about her to know that she is drop dead gorgeous! She plays an untypical damsel Angelica, she can fight, use a sword and knows her way round a ship. Having only seen about 2 or 3 of her films I can confidently say she was great, maybe not fantastic but certainly one of the best roles of the film. Johnny Depp as I've already said is matchless to his previous portrayals of Jack Sparrow. Geoffry Rush who I have come to admire much more since his fantastic role as Linoel Logue in The King's Speech was fantastic as his iconic character Captain Barbossa. But it's the young actors who played Syrena and Phillip who I adored throughout the film. Astrid Berges-Frisbey and Sam Claflin I am positive will go onto more greater things in the near future (Claflin in actual fact having the role of the Prince in Snow White and the Huntsman due for release next year). Because of their plot line, characters and just themselves they were the biggest part of the reason why I enjoyed this film enough to rate it 3/5.
I'm not a fan of swimming, but I've always wanted to be mermaid because they seem so flawless and beautiful. As I've grown up I've realised not all mermaids are nice, even the ones in this film but the one mermaid you come to learn about is lovely, pretty and a good element to the film. Now with William Turner and Elizabeth Swann gone, I'm very happy that Rob Marshall and the rest of the POTC crew kept to a romantic storyline although it was only very minor. Syrena and Phillip have such a beautiful love and even if it was predictable (in a good way) it worked and made me like the film. Jack Sparrow's love interest with Angelica is kind of cute, very Jack Sparrowish and funny but nothing like Syrena and Phillip. I can't give away too much neither can I explain it without telling the whole plot, but if you have do happen to see the film you'll know exactly what I mean.

To put it simply; if you're a fan of the previous films, and by that I mean have watched them more than once and don't find either one of them too long, you will enjoy this new adventure.( I think it's better than At World's End) But be aware it is long and for me the story didn't get going until you meet the mermaids then the film picks up a little bit of pace and it becomes more exciting. But don't be disappointed if you don't feel satisfied after seeing this- Pirates 5 has already been rumoured and is probably in development as we speak! Yes that was sarcasm. I'm sure there will be plenty more disappointing, unneeded films coming our way this Summer so On Stranger Tides probably won't be the worst but it could have been so much more with a better developed storyline and something different.

'Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides' Trailer 2 HD

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Saturday, 14 May 2011

Attack The Block (2011)


Running Time: 88mins
Directed By: Joe Cornish
Starring: Nick Frost, Jodie Whittaker, Luke Treadaway, John Boyega, Alex Esmail, Simon Howard
Screenplay: Joe Cornish
UK Release Date: 11th May 2011

Quick Plot: A tower block in South London isn't the first place you'd think Aliens would want to land. It's down to a gang of hoodies, a young nurse and a drug dealer and one of his clients to protect their housing block in whatever way possible.

Review: A few months back I was watching Film 2011 with Claudia Winkleman and they showed a clip of a new film directed by first time film director Joe Cornish. Joe Cornish of course, from the Channel 4 show The Adam and Joe Show has directed and wrote a few TV shows but only ever appeared in films such as Shaun Of The Dead and Hot Fuzz.Yes you guessed it, he's a friend of Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost two of which had roles in the production of Attack The Block. Anyway, this is all beside the point, all I knew was that this director was new to filming a feature length film so when I first saw a clip from Attack The Block I didn't know what to think of it. The film had only finished filming a day before it was showed on Film 2011 so my first thoughts was that this wasn't going to be a huge success. Second of all, the film centres around a gang of youths in London which doesn't exactly yell 'watch me' in my case. I haven't seen Adulthood, Kidulthood neither Parenthood but that's totally away from this subject. Either way I wasn't at all interested at first glance. But as the weeks went on this film got more interesting, Nick Frost has a small role, Edgar Wright is an executive producer and one of the main producers is Nira Park (who if no one knows has produced many things such as Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, Shaun Of The Dead, Hot Fuzz, Paul and TV Shows like Friday Night Dinner, Spaced..all things that I adore a lot) and then it caught my eye I saw it got noticeably good reviews (a few bad ones but..) and all round I looked forward to watching it.
Watching the film I was either smiling, hiding behind my hands or laughing because Attack The Block is a lot of fun. But it's not the laugh out loud comedy you expect from the trailer. More of an action, gang, sci-fi, alien invasion film which sounds all too predictable. I felt the film has a more deeper storyline than it lets on because each character is so individual and has their own story to them you feel for all of them and I mean all of the characters. The film too I think is more showing and describing what life is like in South London, near council estates and for young people. Being 88 minutes long, Attack The Block dives right into the plot and you suddenly feel in London, on November 5th, scared because you don't know what's round the corner and that's before you hear about the aliens. The gang of violent youths mug a young woman of her phone and purse, something we all hear about on a daily basis. It's familiar to the audience and you feel sorry for Sam (Jodie Whittaker) and you automatically hate the young boys. But then, even before the ordeal has finished something flies down from space, annoys the yobs and bam you're into the storyline and your mind is open. Although if you don't like aliens, fantasy and Science Fiction you would have thought this film was a load of cow poop and I wouldn't recommend you to see it at all.
The screenplay and imagination of Joe Cornish is probably what made this film so enjoyable and entertaining to me. The speech between all of the boys you think is ridiculous but you realise that this is how some of the younger generation speak because they do not know any different. Calling each other 'fam' and saying 'brap' is everyday life and no alien invasion aint guna make 'em change the way they talk bruv. Ok- cringe on my part there I apologise. This also is half of the young actors part in the film, all of which have never starred in anything before. They fit their parts perfectly, especially John Boyega as the gang's lead Moses. Moses being the more serious one and others like Pest and Jerome who are funnier members of the gang. Nick Frost of course! Nick Frost doesn't have a big role in this, a drug dealer who is at the top of the block of flats on this night that aliens attack. He is the funnier character but has a meaningless role, still great as always and hilarious nonetheless. Luke Treadaway and Jodie Whittaker are not to be unnoticed, both are humorous, Treadaway maybe a little more, both nice, genuine characters who are just in the wrong place at the wrong time. They're innocently doing their everyday things (one buying drugs but that's beside the point) but get caught up in a fight against aliens. That's another thing that needs to be mentioned, the 'alien'- I don't know what else to call it. It's definitely an alien but I've never seen a fury one before
Everything occurs in the space of one night but a great deal takes place. Like I stated before, 88 minutes the film lasts, not very long at all but you learn about each character individually, find out why the aliens are attacking and find it more of a film with a meaningful message and you really do love each character, even if they are annoying, rude and horrible. Out of all the films I've seen so far this year, Attack The Block is one of the best filmed and has one of the best storylines and it is most definitely the one I've had most fun watching. Don't miss it, but if you don't like gang films, aliens, fantasy, blood, and tension obviously not.

Attack The Block- official trailer
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Saturday, 7 May 2011

Recent film reviews 2

Another round up review of new films I've recently seen that I think are worthy enough of being mentioned.
Here is my last round up review 

The Switch (2010)
Don't judge me I adored this film. Jennifer Anniston wasn't annoying like she has been for the last few years and I adore Jason Bateman. Everything about The Switch was adorable.

The Accidental Tourist

Sweet touching drama

Serendipity (2001) 
Adorable and one of my favourite Romantic films. Predictable yes but cute cute cute

Tamara Drewe

Was worth the wait, one of the best British comedy dramas in a long time.

Burke and Hare

Great cast, lots of giggles but nothing too incredible

Date Night (2010)
Funny but irritating. Again lovable cast.

William & Kate (TV Movie)

It's bad enough that I've watched this, I kinda found it cute. I like the Prince and love Kate. Actors are annoying but gorgeous but it's just down right rubbish.

The Other Guys

Great one liners.

Single White Female

Creepy but good. Would never ever watch again but it's definitely one of the best Thrillers I've ever seen.

The Soloist (2009)
Lovely true story, Jamie Foxx is the best I've ever seen possibly but drags a bit.

Batman Forever (1995)
Not the worse but certainly not the best. I'm always going to love Batman though.
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Sunday, 1 May 2011

(April Poll) Out of these well known film genres, what is your MOST favourite?

Action                                          (8%)
Animated                                     (2%)
Comedy                                      (30%)
Fantasy                                        (5%)
Horror                                         (13%)
Musical                                         (2%)
Romance/chick flick/rom com     (16%)
Sci- Fi                                           (8%)
Thriller                                        (11%)

I'm not going to analyse this too much because it's an obvious opinion from everyone that the majority of people always state that comedy is their favourite genre. People like to laugh- simple. I could go on about how the majority of that comedy isn't good comedy, but let's not state my opinion.
I took out the genres that got no votes at all and looking back on them results, everything looks fair.
Yeah this isn't a good analyse but I can't say anything else.

Not sure if they'll be a poll for this month, if there is it will be posted within the next few days so please check back!
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