20 May 2011

The Green Hornet

The Green Hornet gives a twist to that age old idea of Vigilateism. There are so many superhero movies out there.. Batman, Spiderman, X-Men, Superman, Daredevil, you name it. And we are always fed the idea that to be a hero you need lots of money or special powers. The same can be said here, as the main character does have a lot of money, but we don't actually see him using it.

This film reminds me so much of the recent hit movie Kickass, because the main characters just want to help the world however they can, with or without super powers. It also reminds me of Watchmen due to the serious antihero ideas that have been thrown in. The way that the Green Hornet tries to help people is through pretending to be a bad guy.

This film is not just about heroes though. The Green Hornet is more of a comedy than a hero movie. Yes, it has action, but it also has Seth Rogen, Cameron Diaz and Jay Chou (a virtually unknown actor who really surprised me by being hilarious and cool at the same time). In all, this is actually a ridicule of other superhero films that take themselves too seriously.

The weapons and effects in this film are exactly the type of thing you would come to expect from modern day. There are many explosions, car races, guns, and even some Grease style wheel spikes.

A downfall of the movie was that you never truly get into it. I felt that something big was always about to happen, but really the biggest part happened at the end. This confused me a bit, and although I was never bored, I found the end to not be so much of a climax because of it.

I give this film a 7/10 for effort and the ability to amuse, even if some of the plot was not always so good.

17 May 2011

Born This Way

How much can you say about a song?

Well, the truth is, not that much. You can say that the tempo is strong, that it has a good beat, that the harmony is nice. You can say that it would be good to dance to in a club, that it should be loved by everyone because it's so catchy.

Really though, it's the words that people listen to. The words an the way it is sung draw emotion from the listener like none of the music can. Yes, there may be a simply beautiful piece of music, but when you put words to it, it suddenly has a beautiful meaning too.

Some songs get stuck in your head for hours, days even. My song today has been 'Born This Way' by Lady Gaga. It's been stuck on repeat ever since I go up, but I'm not bored of it.


It's the words.

They are inspirational, just like the woman herself. She is telling us to be ourselves, that all of us are beautiful in our own way, and I really admire that message that she is giving to the millions that will hear it around the world.

I salute you Gaga

15 May 2011

More To Come...

Recently I've been very busy with deadlines looming dangerously close. On Wednesday, I officially finish for the year, so I shall be back then with some rather wonderful blogs.

Coming Soon:
The Green Hornet
Scott Pilgrim Vs The World
Lord of the Rings
Fast and Furious 5

I hope you'll forgive me for my busy-ness by reading those beauties.

10 May 2011

The Phantom of the Opera

The story of the Phantom has been with us for a century, and yet really, none of us would know it but for the inspired tune from Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical. It is the story of a genius and a murderer, of love and hate, of an Opera house and the people within. This is truly a brilliant story, and I feel that the music is astounding and beautiful, much like the story itself.

The story is very slightly different to the stage version, but it still manages to capture the essence of it. This is probably because Andrew Lloyd Webber produces the film.  Christine Daae is only a chorus-girl when she is asked to sing in the place of La Carlotta, the Opera's primadonna. But she has a secret; ever since she came to live at the Opera, a strange angel of music has been teaching her to sing. Little does she know that her angel is really the terrifying Opera Ghost, who is best known for causing accidents with his magical lassoo. The Opera has just changed hands, and the new patron, Raoul de Chagny, could not be more thrilled when he sees Christine singing - they had been childhood sweethearts. Later Raoul goes to Christine, but she is spirited away by the Phantom. Although this seems to be a love story of sorts, beware, the Phantom isn't a lovesick puppy.

This 2004 film version stars the likes of Gerard Butler, Miranda Richardson and Minnie Driver. But it is the beautiful and enchantingly naive performance of the virtually unknown Emmy Rossum (who you may also have seen in The Day After Tomorrow and Poseidon) that makes this film something wonderful. All the actors sing the parts in this film, and Emmy is exceptional, having been singing and acting from an early age. Her voice is fantastic, and the acting is exactly what you would expect of a leading lady and she was only 16 at the time. However, the actor who really brings the Phantom to life is of course Gerard Butler, whose portrayal of emotion - from anger to utter heartbreak - leaves your emotions as contorted as the Phantom's face.

What I really like about this movie is the plot. It doesn't twist, and it doesn't have to. It is obvious and yet the emotion of the story and the truth behind what is happening to the characters is what drives you to keep watching. All the viewer really wants is an answer to their questions. You even start to care for this shady Phantom, even after you know he has killed people. I shed a tear at the thought of his heart breaking, I was so involved. And Gerard Butler does play it with some poise and a lot of emotion. Enough to make me tear up a second time at the thought of his possible demise, I have to admit.

The scenery is spectacular. At the beginning, when the black and white film turns to the past and you see the pure opulence of the theatre, it is really something to behold. The golden statues, the stairs to stage area; the grandeur of the place is wonderful. The other scenes of the dressing rooms and the secret passageways are equally as amazing. I especially liked the Phantom's lair, with it's luxurious flowers and furniture, as well as the snowy scenes in the graveyard and the rooftop, where the main character was cleverly wearing red as a dramatic contrast as well as a symbolic reference to danger and love.

One drawback to the film is a technical one; an error for the people editing the film, rather than the actors or the costume designers (nice work, by the way, the costumes were amazing too). It went from almost unheard whispers to beltingly loud music quite suddenly, which meant that I had to keep turning it up and down in turn to keep from having my eardrums blasted by that ominous organ.

All in all I would like to give this film a 9.5 out of 10, because even when I couldn't hear the words, I knew the story. This is a romance enthusiasts dream, right from beginning to end.


My knowledge of the Norse Gods is quite small compared to any other type of mythology. All I know is that Odin is the King of the Gods, Thor is the God of Thunder (and he has a mighty big hammer), Loki is the God of Mischief and that they all live in Asgard. And, thankfully, that is all I really needed to know for this film.

Marvel are famous for, well, comic books and films made out of their comics. Other previous films include The Green Lantern, Iron Man, X-Men and Spiderman. All of these films have actually been pretty successful, and I have to say, I really can't wait for my beloved X-Men prequel (X-Men: First Class) to come out in cinemas. Thor dangles precariously on the line between comic books and legend. He is in there with the likes of Beowulf, Robin Hood and Hercules and yet Marvel have made him a Superhero of sorts. Personally, I think that the film may be better than other comic book films because of this. It is no longer an everyday person who has powers, it is a God.

And boy does he act like one. Chris Hemsworth (who you may have seen at the very beginning of Star Trek, playing Captain Kirk's dad, as well as in the TV series, Home and Away) is absolutely brilliant, not to mention good looking with rather nice muscles. He not only managed to get me to dislike Thor at the beginning with his utter arrogance and pride, but he got me to really like him at the end. He was funny, with lines such as 'How dare you threaten the son of Odin with such a puny weapon' perfectly executed. I have to say, that one made me giggle, especially when he got tasered afterwards.

The rest of the cast were good, with notable appearances from the likes of Anthony Hopkins, Natalie Portman and Stellan Starsgard (known for his performances as Bootstrap Bill in Pirates of the Caribbean and Good Will Hunting). But who really wowed me was Tom Hiddleston, playing Loki. His character was complex and endearing. We like him and understand his actions, even though we know he is mischievous and underhand. Loki is often the 'bad' Norse God, and yet in this film we can see how he can be both good and bad.

Another thing that impressed me was the beautiful scenery of the other worlds. Asgard completely blew me away with its elegance and magical atmosphere, whilst the world of the Frost Giants was phenomenal in its icy glory, despite it almost falling apart. The characters themselves. especially in the magical realms, were well thought out. The Frost Giants looked ominous and frightening whilst the Gods of Asgard were clad in well designed costumes that were Viking-like and yet God-like at the same time.

I really enjoyed this film, and I thought the plot was well thought out, with the characters being multi-faceted and interesting. The scenes were well executed by a cast of good actors. One of the few downfalls was that this film has only came out in cinema in 3D. Being an avid film fan, I much prefer to watch the film than to be amazed at the 3Dness of it. In some action scenes, I missed parts because it made my eyes hurt to watch it. I do not like 3D at the best of times because I am a fairly jumpy viewer, but I saw no point in the film being 3D anyway.

To end, I give this film an 8 out of 10. Film Industry, your 3D has failed you this time. But apart from that glitch, Marvel has done a great job of making this comic a watchable film that fits into both the comic category and the mythology category, making it a film for fans of both.