Saturday, 30 July 2011

Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)

Running Time: 124 mins
Directed By: Joe Johnston
Starring: Chris Evans, Hugo Weaving, Stanley Tucci, Dominic Cooper, Tommy Lee Jones, Hayley Atwell, Sebastian Stan
Screenplay: Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely
UK Release Date: 29th July

Quick Plot: It's the birth of the first Avenger in 1942 World War II America. Small and weedy Steve Rogers is declined as being unfit for the US army but when Rogers undergoes a transformation for a top secret project to become a new brand of super-soldiers he gains powers he'd only dreamed of. Evil Red Skull leads the HYDRA organisation, threatens to take over America with his scientific experiments and who better to stop him than Captain America?

Review: THE AVENGERS..two small words that mean a great deal to little fan girl me, every single Marvel fan and the majority of all film fans. If you haven't heard anything about it yet then you've got to keep up, especially if you're a film fan. For newbies, The Avengers film is due for release next year and involves a few superheroes from the Marvel universe, Captain America, Iron Man, Thor etc. This isn't a post about The Avengers you'll have to research the rest if you really don't know.
Thor was fantastic and one of the best films I have seen this year, it really came out of nowhere considering the reception it received! X-Men: First Class I enjoyed a lot too, but probably more because of my fangirling. Instead Thor was a whole lot more entertaining, powerful and got Marvel back onto top form for their films. Captain America The First Avenger is obviously a different film that Thor and shouldn't be compared but as it stands Captain America is awfully long, making some scenes drag and although the acting, cinematography, story is great the film isn't exactly awesomely epic.
I remember when the film was announced. I wasn't excited until Chris Evans was attached and I probably got more excited after being within 3 metres of him last year. Last August, when I went to the Scott Pilgrim vs. The World premiere I saw Edgar Wright mention online that Evans was to attend because I had my doubts he'd be able to make it as Captain America was in production. He showed up and everyone screamed, even better his friend (possibly publicist) had a top with the Captain America/America flag on it. Sadly Chris didn't sign anything near where I was or take pictures but I saw him in the flesh and that is enough for me. Oh boy, this is irrelevant. I'll post a picture at the end of this review. Back to the film. I remember seeing pictures from the set and thought it looked fair but it was the first trailer that got me interested in the film. Then of course The Avengers announcement at last year's Comic-con helped a little too. Either way I was adamant to see this film.
It starts off with a great and indulgent first scene which to all Marvel fans will know it links to the last scene. Then after the eye catcher, the film moves to 1942 with an irritatingly long introductory scene which can't be blamed on the acting, instead the script. It's not a horrible script at all, the dialogue is good and it helps makes the characters likable, relatable and developed though I found the first half of the film extremely dull compared to the last half. Although entertaining, somewhat to understand the film as a whole and some great scenes for us to get a look into the protagonist's life and his transformation, it's still a little spiritless. The war theme is absolutely fantastic and works so well, although extremely unconvincing (fighting a evil Red Skull obviously isn't accurate to the War, but a few other factors fault it). But Captain America is a superhero film so I definitely think Joe Johnston and the team ought to have focused more on the superhero side than the War although the action isn't bad at all, in fact entertaining and adequate.
Steve Rogers played by the ever so perfect Chris Evans is now one of my most liked Marvel film protagonists. His story, though not as mighty as Thor, is emotional and impassioned, completely believable and relatable. When he's declined to be in the army, you know he's heartbroken and you feel for him, Evans gets your attention and you feel sorry for him. After the transformation, a girl I probably enjoyed the transformation a little more than I should have but again it's emotional. He's got it, he can now help the world even more because that's what he wants. I'm a sentimental person and I found the message, especially between scientist Erskine and Rogers heartwarming and just right on the level of emotion for the film. Just after the transformation when Rogers makes his first heroic deed, you realise the action is about to begin for the film. I can think of no one more perfect to be Captain America at all. Though now of course Chris Evans has the responsibility of being both the Human Torch and Captain America for fans, I think he is the most perfect person to be them both. Evans is a great actor as it is, but he deserves a lot of recognition for his work as both small, weak Steve Rogers and bold, muscular Captain America. It's even as if he is playing Steve Rogers but then Chris Evans IS Captain America. It works that perfectly. A little after him being Captain America there is some really unnecessary scene that is meant to be funny but personally I could have done without it. It focuses on creating the 40s theme but I found it long winded. Later though is probably my favourite scene from the film, it's a quick shot snap of a scene- blink and you'll miss it- but when Steve Rogers gets into his gear, shield included, the theme of it is perfected and I'm going to be honest..I had shivers.
Peggy Carter by Hayley Atwell is sweet and likable, she's fierce and justified. Her and Rogers have their cute moments though their combine storyline is cliché, her character is developed enough that she's not typical or predictable. Dominic Cooper's Howard Stark has a small role but it's clear that Cooper has done his research into the character but also made Howard Stark his own. Stanley Tucci continues to prove he can play a wide range of characters, though his role is short it's great a meaningful similarly with Sebastian Stan and Roger's best friend. Hugo Weaving does what comes naturally to him and gives a great performance of Red Skull, purely evil and a top class villain.
The cast is utterly brilliant and I can't praise Chris Evan's as Captain America enough. But other than that, the film certainly isn't the best it could have been. Instead of the long beginning, the end could have maybe been longer with more screen time for Captain America showing off his agility and combat. But it's enjoyable nonetheless.
Like I previously said, nothing on Thor but Captain America: The First Avenger is a great Marvel film. There have definitely been worse but it's not one of the greats. All I hope for is Steve Rogers story is handled cautiously in The Avengers with a sensitive hold on the fact that the guy has been stuck in time for a while.
All great Marvel things as per, Stan Lee has a really great cameo which I think is probably up in his best ones and the film has it's funny parts, maybe not as humorous as most marvel films but it's witty enough.

3.5 / 5

Captain America: The First Avenger first trailer

Here are the pictures I got of the beautiful Chris Evans at last years Scott Pilgrim vs. The World european premiere.
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Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Horrible Bosses (2011)

Running Time: 98mins
Directed By: Seth Gordon
Starring: Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, Jason Sudeikis, Jennifer Aniston, Colin Farrell, Jamie Foxx, Kevin Spacey, Donald Sutherland
Screenplay: John Francis Daley, Jonathan M. Goldstein, Michael Markowitz
UK Release Date: 22nd July

Quick Plot: Nick, Dale and  Kurt are three regular guys with a regular work life style- they hate their bosses. Nick's boss is an unfeeling and sarcastic Dave Harke, Dale's boss Dr. Julia Harris is sexually aggressive towards him and a turn for the worst leaves Kurt at the hands of his original bosses sleazy and cocaine addict son Bobby. After a drunk evening the men decided their lives would be a whole lot easier if their bosses were dead and so hire a murder consultant to help them.

Review: A good, well thought out, extremely funny comedy is something everyone enjoys watching but we are often disappointed with comedies of today. But Horrible Bosses I thought was good, well thought out and extremely funny.
I first heard about the film through my researching of Jason Bateman. I'm a big Jason Bateman fan, I adore his type of humour in films/TV shows and in real life or at least what I see in interviews. He describes his humour as 'dry' but I just think it's very intelligent but also very silly. Arrested Development is one of my favourite TV shows and Michael Bluth I think is one of the best written characters in a TV show ever so it's no surprise I wanted to see this film for him. I thought his character, Nick, was a lot like Michael Bluth in fact but sadly didn't hold as much charm. Jason Sudeikis too had a good role but it was Charlie Day who was the standout of the film for me. This is the first film I have seen starring Charlie Day and I've got to say, he was perfect in it. He definitely had the majority of the one liners and held the comedy essence in it for me. Though saying all of this I've got to be honest and say the characters showed little development at all and Day's character Dale is probably the only one out of the three with the likability factor.
People think I hate Jennifer Aniston but I really don't in fact, quite the opposite. 'Friends' is another one of my favourite TV shows and I love each character, some a little more than others and Rachel was never one of the main favourites for me. It's not Anniston's fault really that's she's very type casted and seems to plays roles similar or identical to Rachel Green nevertheless I have enjoyed many of her films including The Switch (also starring Jason Bateman), The Good Girl, Bruce Almighty and now Horrible Bosses. She played the utter most perfect villain using her body and looks to her advantage in this role and I've got to say she was probably my favourite of the three bosses.
Kevin Spacey too played a marvellous evil boss and I can't think of anyone better to have had the role of Dave Harke because he played the psychotic, malicious character so smoothly I even found him a little scary.
When I first saw a trailer for Horrible Bosses I was in shock to see Colin Farrell's name near the end and had to watch again because he was unrecognizable to me. His part, though less objecting to his workers than Aniston and Spacey's, was utterly hilarious and I could not help but laugh out loud to his coldness and actions.
The three bosses were great but I loved, so much, Jamie Foxx's character of Mother***** Jones. Not only was his dialogue quick and witty joining with the three leads but he held some signature actions for his character, for example every time he took a sip of his drink I was in a fit. I feel as if the bosses and Mr Jones were a lot more developed than the three leads but all in all no depth for any of the characters which is a real shame but everything still worked well how it was.
Having watched all the different trailers I was adamant that I knew how the film was going to play out and end but I was mistaken and the film took a different lead than I had expected and I highly enjoyed it. It has it's obvious flaws you can probably see from the trailer but it's really quite good overall. The main reason I first wanted to see it was because of Jason Bateman, then I found the trailer hilarious and couldn't wait to see and was in a total wave of shock when watching because I found it even funnier than the trailer. I prefer it when films show a little humour in their promos then wack out something funnier in the film, an example in Horrible Bosses would be to say that Jennifer Aniston gets a whole lot dirtier than just eating a banana and a hot dog in her underwear or Colin Farrell doing a lot more than throwing orders out to fire the disabled and fat or even to say that Charlie Day has a lot more cracks than dropping..ermm..crack?

All round I really enjoyed it. It's a whole different humour to Bridesmaids but similarly I think it's the laughs everyone was expecting from The Hangover 2.


Horrible Bosses official trailer
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Sunday, 24 July 2011

Cars 2 (2011)

Running Time: 112 mins
Directed By: John Lasseter, Brad Lewis
Starring: (voices) Owen Wilson, Larry the Cable Guy, Michael Caine, Joe Mantegna, Cheech Marin, John Turturro, Emily Mortimer
Screenplay: Ben Queen, John Lasseter, Brad Lewis, Dan Fogelman
UK Release Date: 22nd July

Quick Plot: Every one's favourite race car, Lightening McQueen is back and this time competing in the World Grand Prix but while in Tokyo, McQueen's best friend Mater gets mistaken for a spy involved in a top secret investigation that might just affect the World Grand Prix.

Review: Everyone loves Pixar. Without a doubt they are at the top level of animation films, it's no surprise that the films are getting more vibrant, stunning and magical as they go along. Cars 2, I think, is so far the most beautiful and colourful Pixar film out of all 12 of their feature length films but that could be based on the evolution of the technology. My 4 year old cousins enjoyed the film a lot, they laughed, adored the new cars and thoroughly loved the action. Asking them what they thought after they gave it a thumbs up and one of them asked if they could go to the shop to buy it on DVD already! It's a must see for the kids this Summer and it does everything it tempts in the trailer, explosions, guns, new cars and laughs.
When I first heard of the plot to have Mater a more central character than Lightening McQueen for Cars 2 I was intrigued to see how Pixar would manage to keep the child audience fixated on Mater but they seemed to breeze past and the turnout was an incredible choice and made the sequel a different plot concept all together that worked perfectly. In the first film Mater was the additional character who added the humour but because he was the main character in Cars 2, I found the film a lot more funnier than the first and a lot more entertaining. Though I believe the English voice talents were part of my like for the film with Michael Caine and Emily Mortimer having such iconic voices, especially Caine's.
This visuals, like I've said, were completely stunning and the bright, vibrant colours got me completely enchanted by the beauty of Cars 2 but with that being said I feel as if it could have had a whole lot more in everything else. The story wasn't predictable which was great for people like me who try to guess everything, even in children films but I still felt something was missing.
But let's not dwell on my emotional disconnection with the film instead everything I loved about it.
I loved the energy and friendship bonds in Cars 2. It's nothing compared to Woody and Buzz or Karl and Russell but McQueen and Mater's friendship in this film has come a long way from the first film which I think gives off a good message for youngsters. Although the love story involving Mater is cute, but that's the extent of it and the ongoing romance between McQueen and Sally reaches the same level as the rest of the romance in the film.
I feel proud I noticed the A113 in Cars 2 (that is in every Pixar film if you didn't know) but I feel even more proud that I might have found the character who resembles a character in Pixar's next film Brave. In a few months time or when the DVD is released I will find confirmation of that character but at the moment I have a tiny hunch that one of the cars in the film had the, already, iconic Princess Merida's big, frizzy red hair- but I could have been imagining or creating things in my young Pixar fan head. Didn't spot much else because I was too fixated on the film but am sure a second viewing of the film in a few months time will give me the chance to spot more Pixar Easter Eggs!

It's a great film and I enjoyed it a lot more than the first in fact! The animation is absolutely beautiful and Pixar have made yet another great feature but with the success of  the magnificent Toy Story 3 last year, it was always going to be a steep mountain for Pixar to climb to try and create a good sequel. They've accomplished it but not greatly. I will no doubt watch Cars 2 again for my own delight and buy it as part of my Pixar collection. It's a hit for the kids this Summer and it's in my good books.


Cars 2 Trailer


Feature aside, the latest Pixar short 'Toy Story Hawaiian Vacation' is extremely enjoyable, entertaining and fun. The characters showing off their individual charm like always and it's delivers a funny storyline and works superlatively. It's a great add-on to one of the greatest film trilogy's and it definitely needed to be mentioned in my review.

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Saturday, 16 July 2011

I was going to review Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2..

But I don't want to make a full one because as much as it's obviously a film I've seen at the cinema and I said I was going to review every film I see, it's a little more to me than that. If I review it, look deep into it and compare it to stuff it will take the fun out of it for me. It's part my childhood, I'm a big Harry Potter fan and I'm just sad it's over. I'll probably get upset if I review it. It might sound melodramatic but hey that's me.
Instead I'll give it a rating of 5/5 and mention a few points..

It's my favourite Harry Potter film. I've read the book but the films are not the book, just adaptations so film wise, everything that takes place in the film I wanted to happen and I'm glad it did. Apart from the deaths of course but, that's what makes the Harry Potter series so meaningful, worthy and remarkable. To get to the ending, lives are lost because they'd rather fight for the good, against the dark Lord. Ok I should stop I don't want to ruin it for anyone.
The acting is phenomenal, especially Alan Rickman and Maggie Smith. The golden trio are fantastic and I love each character's development from the first film to the last- Neville Longbottom particularly..
Watching a Harry Potter film each day this week in the run up to the final hasn't helped my sensitiveness around the Harry Potter films ending at all. If anything, made it worse. But it's all so worth it. The film is fantastic and spectacular and I might be a biased Potterhead but I can assure you, even if you haven't read the books (I don't know why you wouldn't have) or don't follow the films that well, the last one will have your heart rate at 200 beats per minute, you will probably cry- happy tears and sad and at the end, you will realise the impact that J. K Rowling and Harry Potter have had on our lives.
Ok. This was more of a review than I planned.

Aside from my Harry Potter mini review, I thought I'd do a small update on a few film related things.

It's been a while since I've posted about films I've watched for the first time either on DVD or TV (not recent cinema releases). Here's a round up:
Catfish (2010)     3/5
Duets (2000)     2/5
About A Boy (2002)    4/5
Marks Attacks (1996)    3/5
Starter for 10 (2006)    3/5
Mary and Max (2009)    5/5
Three and Out (2008)    2/5
Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs (2009)    3/5
She's Out Of My League (210)    3.5/5
Orphan (2009)    4/5
Holiday (1938)    3/5
Fargo (1996)    4/5
Letters To Juliet (2010)    2/5
Insomnia (2002)    4/5
Gangs Of New York (2002)    4/5
Tron (1982)    3/5
Jackass 3 (2010)    4/5
Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998)    4/5
Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001)    3/5
Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life (2003)    2/5
Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004)     3/5

As you can see, a stunning and incredible teaser poster for The Dark Knight Rises was released this week as well as a teaser trailer appearing in front of most Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2 showings.
I'm a huge Christopher Nolan fan and many of his films are some of my favourite films ever, The Prestige, Batman Begins, The Dark Knight and Inception.
I can't say much, it's a brilliant poster and I'm so excited. That's it really about the poster.
Personally I loved the teaser trailer, I thought it was exciting and didn't give anything away because it's not meant to. We see that it's going to be dark, it's going to be fast and there is going to be some tough, bulky villain (Bane of course). I got even more excited when "The Fire Rises" audio clip (that first appeared on the official website a few months back) was played at the end of the teaser.
As the poster says it's got a Summer 2012 release date, another year but it'll be worth the wait I know.

It's a great week for handsome superhero films!
Entertainment Weekly blessed us this week with official stills and photographs from the upcoming The Amazing Spider-man that is released July of next year. To see the full set of pictures in HD click here but so I don't go on too much I've chosen my four favourite pictures to post on my blog.
If you want to see more pictures including pictures of Martin Sheen as Uncle Ben and Rhys Ifans as Dr. Curt Connors / The Lizard, then visit the site.
If you know me, you know why I chose these pictures as my favourite. Andrew Garfield is a handsome, yet nerdy and perfect choice for Peter Parker. One of the stills shows off his agility powers he will gain and also his bond with the beautiful Gwen Stacy. The costume looks fantastic and I'd say more attractive compared to Toby Maguire's Spider-man costume. and all round these are perfect snaps to get us excited for the film!

Not much to say here about the film though, we know the villain and the basic story. It's going to be in 3D which could work well with spider webs. Actor wise, I know Andrew Garfield is going to be the perfect Parker/Spider-man and have every bit of faith that Emma Stonefangirl.



If you have read this post (you lovely person you, I would give you a prize like a car or puppy but I don't have one to give away) then thank you.
A quick addition to this post to say if you've voted on my poll on the right hand side of my blog already (again, you really are lovely and I am forever thankful for your act of kindness) but if not, it would mean a great deal to me if you could!

Thanks for reading!
Nadine, out.
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Friday, 1 July 2011

NEW POLL - July 2011

Wow, it's July already!
It hasn't been a bad 6 months of film releases either! Though in actual fact, I haven't seen quite the amount of films I've wanted to due to exams and having more on my plate than I thought.
But, out of the films I have seen this year and ONLY at the cinema here are my top 5 favourites. Not necessarily EPIC films but ones that caught my eye and I could happily watch them again. This top 5 is totally my opinion and no one else's, it was hard enough to think of just 5 as it is being that this is a limited amount of films to choose from.
  1. X-Men: First Class (x)
  2. Source Code (x)
  3. Thor (x)
  4. Tangled (x)
  5. Bridesmaids (x)
    I'm interested in knowing what your favourite films of this year so far are! Maybe you don't live in the UK and you've had the delights of seeing Super 8, Cars 2 or others already and you enjoyed them? Or maybe you've seen a film on DVD or TV that wasn't released this year but it's made an impact on you? Whether it's a top 5 of films or just a few that you love please comment below or on the facebook comment!
    Below in the comment box you can comment with your blogger user or comment with your name or leave it Anonymous- either way I'm excited to hear your favourites!
    (Why not tell me some of the films you're most looking forward to this year?!)

    As you've probably noticed from the title of this post, I've got a new poll on the top right hand side of my blog. I've chosen 5 Avengers and 5 from the DC superhero world for a Superhero poll. Totally random choices.
    It's nothing important, neither are the results being used for anything- I'm simply curious. It doesn't take long at all, no more than 10 seconds I expect so if you could take my poll for me, it would mean a great deal to me.

    If you have taken my poll, commented with your favourite films of this year so far or just read this post- thank you.

    Let's hope the rest of the year for cinema goes as good!
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