Sunday, 24 January 2010

Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)

Format - BluRay
Date Watched - 9 January 2010
Director - Gore Verbinski

Pirates of the Caribbean is a sweeping action-adventure story set in an era when villainous pirates scavenged the Caribbean seas. This roller coaster tale teams a young man, Will Turner, with an unlikely ally in rogue pirate Jack Sparrow. Together, they must battle a band of the world's most treacherous pirates, led by the cursed Captain Barbossa, in order to save Elizabeth, the love of Will's life, as well as recover the lost treasure that Jack seeks. Against improbable odds, they race towards a climactic confrontation on the mysterious Isla de Muerta. Clashing their swords in fierce mortal combat, Will and Jack attempt to recapture The Black Pearl ship, save the British navy, and relinquish a fortune in forbidden treasure thereby lifting the curse of the Pirates of the Caribbean.

Thanks to IMDb for the plot summary.

An film from 2003 that is based upon a ride at Disneyland of the same name, now I have no idea if there is a plot to the ride so if there is any correlation between the film and the ride. However you basic story is Man loves woman, woman loves man, but they do not tell each other. Woman kidnapped by pirates, man goes to rescue woman with Pirates old captain, turns out kidnapping pirates are cursed, and hilarity ensues.

I like this film it is a solid family film with some excellent laughs some good effects and a fairly coherent story. It is a fairly straight forward film with some nice little sub plots and characters and it is a really good ride. The biggest drawback to the film is that it is nearly 2 and half hours long and they made 2 more, third sequel is apparentley in the making. The sequels are terrible in my opionion and at least Pirates was made in a time when sequels while common were not guaranteed therefore you get a nice finish to the story, it is open for a sequel but not needed.

So it is a huge film with a large cast your main players are Johnny Depp playing Captain Jack Sparrow and he has spawned a phenomenom as he is a much loved character with his quirkyness and the way he plays it. He apparantly based his performance it on Keith Richards from the Rolling Stones, a very good impression from what I have seen. Your loving couple from the film are Keira Knightley as Elizabeth Swann and Orlando Bloom as Will Turner, they are adequate, they are pretty enough to make a good couple but their acting skills while not great are good enough for the family fun that this film is. Geoffrey Rush plays Captain Barbossa and he is immense in my opinion he plays the bad guy with humour and campiness but when he threatens someone you actually believe that he is dark enough to be a feared Pirate Captain. The supporting cast are good enough with some good comedy between McKenzie Crook and Lee Arenberg as 2 bumbling pirates. The effects are impressive, no less than you would expect from a Disney film, the obvious CGI that is required to pull off what they required is very good, you know it is CGI but it is good enough that you can see past that fact.

If you have not seen this film, I would recommend it, it is family entertainment at the best Disney can produce live action and the music will run around in your head for days afterwards, the quality on the BluRay is impeccable and well worth viewing. However do not bother with the sequels, I may re-watch them at sometime but the twice I have seen the second it did nothing for me at all and the third is only memorable for the reasons I do not like it.

I give this 4/5 swashbuckling pirates.

Let me know if you have seen it and your thoughts on it.

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Bolt (2008)

Format - BluRay
Date - 21 January 2010

Bolt tells the story a dog who plays a heroic dog in a hit TV show and has some trouble recognizing that he doesn't even have superpowers. This becomes something of a hindrance when he is accidentally shipped from Hollywood to New York City. From there he has to make his way home with the help of a manky old cat and an overweight hamster in a plastic ball. Written by wolf_stoned

Thanks to IMDb for the plot summary.

This story is an animated story of a dog trying to go home to his person, Penny. Now this is a kids film and there are a lot of references I picked up in the story, you have "The Truman Show" elements, Bolt does not know his life is not real. "Homeward Bound" never seen this but it is an animal crossing the country story, unlikely allies. And the final reference I get is "Inspector Gadget" to me it really is paying homage to those cartoons with a slight difference, even in the name of Bolt's person.

I was aware of this film when it came to the cinema, however at the time was not inclined to go and see it. I knew the basic concept without the detail and i am unhappy I missed this, I think that the 3D while not needed is great when viewing animation in the cinema. The film is a riot of comedy with some great lines and some good gags, there is a lot of sentimentality and as a n adult you can predict how it will go, but still a great film.

The voice acting was actually quite subtle I was not aware who the main cast were so it did not draw me out of the film. Bolt is played by John Travolta, but he is simply in the position of saying the lines, at no time did I suspect that it was Travolta's voice. Mittens the cat is voiced by Susie Essman, Rhino is voiced by Mark Walton, Penny is voiced by Miley Cyrus, there are also a couple of other big actors including Malcolm McDowell and Greg Germann. The acting is great, the writing is superior and BluRay quality is sublime to view.

I have to recommend this film, especially if you like animation, it is not as good as say the Incredibles, Monsters Inc or UP, but still a masterclass for children.

I give this 4/5

The Road (2009)

Format - Cinema
Date - 15 January 2010
Director - John Hillcoat

A father and his son walk alone through burned America. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind and water. It is cold enough to crack stones, and, when the snow falls it is gray. The sky is dark. Their destination is the warmer south, although they don't know what, if anything, awaits them there. They have nothing: just a pistol to defend themselves against the lawless cannibalistic bands that stalk the road, the clothes they are wearing, a rusting shopping cart of scavenged food and each other. Written by Sean Pollock.

Thanks to IMDb for the plot summary.

Your basic plot for this film surrounds a father and son walking through ruined America, approximately 10 years after an undetermined apocalypse. You have them seeing the land and the survivors. For the bleak concept and outlook the visuals are really well produced, the characters are believable and the situations are desperate and realistic.

I went to this film with a friend and it was not a film I had considered going to see at all. The source material by Cormac McCarthy is not a book I had ever thought of reading and to be honest after seeing the film not one i will be looking up in the near future. I have no idea if the film is a fair adaption of the book or how well the material has been transferred to the big screen, I went in being told that it was the book you could not filmed. This film was not for me, there were some good points, the best being everything is from the point of view of the Man and Boy, if they did not see what happened either did you, it was very clever.

I have to say that acting was excellent and the visuals were stunning. Viggo Mortensen was powerful as Man, he was a man on the edge looking out for Boy who has known nothing but the world in which he now finds himself. Boy is played by Kodi Smit-McPhee he is very good in the role and I think you will see him again, from an interview with the director John Hillcoat he knew he was the one to play Boy. You have flashbacks through the eyes of Man to Charlize Theron, Woman, his wife and Boy's mother and you get an insight into where and why the Man is doing what he is. There are also cameo's by Guy Pearce and Robert Duvall which are played really well.

I have to say that i would not go and see this film again, I could not recommend it to you if you like the films that I do, I have to say that it is well made, well shot and great acting but it depressed me, this film was not for me.

I would give this 2/5

Let me know if you have seen it and your thoughts on it.

Daybreakers (2009)

Format - Cinema
Date - 15 January 2010

In the year 2019, a plague has transformed most every human into vampires. Faced with a dwindling blood supply, the fractured dominant race plots their survival; meanwhile, a researcher works with a covert band of vamps on a way to save humankind.

Thanks to IMDb for the plot outline.

So your basic plot is that 95% of the world's population are now vampires, the streets are empty during the day and at night it is a thriving metropolis. You get some interesting visuals from the credit scene, where you see a no parking sign 2am to 3am. You have 5% of the population that are still human and are being hunted for food. The opening scene is brilliant and an early nomination for best opening scene and gives one side of the vampire's story.

I went into this film having seen the trailer and due to my love of films and specifically horror thought I might enjoy it. The concept is fantastic, the execution is a bit weak, I enjoyed the film but there were some gaping plot holes, they did not spoil the film as entertainment but you will have questions when you have seen it. The acting is solid, the main idea is really good, but it still just fails to work for me on the whole.

The acting is good, you get creepy from Sam Neil as Charles Bromley the Vampire in charge of Blood distribution and the company trying to find a viable blood replacement. You have nervous and jittery from Ethan Hawke the main scientist trying to and find the blood replacement source. You have good looking human lady in Claudia Karvan playing Audrey and finally Willem Dafoe as the mad, car driving human as Lionel 'Elvis' Cormac.

I would recommend this film to anybody that likes vampire films and good ideas, but if you would not like to be disappointed then possibly just go for a rental.

I would give this 3/5

Let me know if you have seen it and your thoughts on it.