Sunday, 28 February 2010

Sherlock Holmes


Guy Ritchie's new take on Sherlock Holmes is actually pretty good, far from being a masterpiece but thoroughly enjoyable. I am a fan of Ritchie's early work however in recent years his work has been sloppy and a bit too much like someone trying to do a Guy Ritchie film. However saying as he has not written this film maybe that is why it is so much better than anything he has done recently. Although in a completely different genre than 'snatch' and 'lock stock' I would say this is as good if not better. 

The story is very interesting. If anything it is a love story between Holmes and Watson, as Holmes can't come to terms with the fact Watson is moving out and getting married. This aspect of the film brings a large amount of humour. The rest of the story is about Lord Blackwood who at the beginning of the film seems to be involved with some satanic worship and sacrifice. Holmes is recruited to find out what, and if anything more, was going on.

Robert Downey Jr. Is fantastic in the film. His accent is perfect and after a few minutes of the film you forget he is American and completely believe he is the character. Jude Law is equally as good in the role of Watson. Downey and Law have a very good presence on screen and have good chemistry.

The only thing that was wrong with the film in my eyes was that it was pointing too hard at a sequel through out the film, not that I wont enjoy a sequel, just I thought it detracted from the story happening in this one. The story would have been perfectly fine with out introducing a infamous character from the Sherlock Holmes books. But I suppose that is the business of Hollywood, everything is set up to make money and become a franchise not just entertain any more.

Even with this in mind I would recommend you see this film very enjoyable and good fun.

Ninja Assasin

This film is about an "Europeol" agent who seems to become fascinated with the potential existence of ninjas, all with in the space of a few minutes, her superior seems to become convinced just because he fancies her, which I am sure is how international crime investigators really operate. The ninja who is the main character is more like a member of a boy band than an assassin, which the film mentions at one point, probably the only decent part of the script.

The story is unbelievably stupid and predictable. At one point the ninja seems to get information about the female officer as she is about to be assassinated by the other ninjas, and some litle girl runs up to the ninja with the information with no back up as to how the little girl knew this or who she was working for. The acting is almost as bad as the story, none of the characters convinced me at all.
The photography at times was shoddy, with huge sections being slowed down and then not a lot happening in them.

The only thing in the film that was an good, even though it was completely over the top and wouldn't have looked out of place in a comedy horror film was the amount of blood that seemed to come from even the most insignificant cuts. Some of the wounds were significant enough to have a reasonable amount of blood, but this film went over the top, if the film took itself a lot less serious then it could have been something that would have been bearable, however it didn't. This film made me angry, and in some parts made me laugh with disbelief as it was so terrible.

Do not see this film, unless just to laugh at.

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Boondock Saints 2 : All Saints Day

So almost ten years since the cult film Boondock Saints was released Troy Duffy has gathered the old cast back together to make a sequel. Set 8 years on from the original the son of yakavetta, the Mafia don from the last film who the saints executed in a busy court room, is out for revenge and frames the saints so that they come back from hiding and he can kill them.

After enjoying the first Boondock Saints I was quite excited for this film and I had hoped it would live up to its cult status. And I think to die hard fans it will, it has all the same elements as the last film, guns, violence, revenge, drinking and now with the added element of sex in the form of Julie Benz (and as I am a huge Dexter fan this was a even better bonus).

However I did not think this film was anywhere near as good as it should have been. The plot was very scattered and hard to follow, not in a good intriguing way in a annoying frustrating way. There was a scene that made no sense at all, involving one of the dead characters from the last film and a dream sequence. Through out the film there were strange uses of effects on the camera that I can only imagine were used because they were available and have no artistic merit at all.

The original was meant to be Duffy's view of society and had a little more meaning to it. It was about two men standing up against the corruption and failure of the system. About how good men should stand up against injustice and stop fearing the bad guys. This one is just a sequel.

If you didn't enjoy the first one do not watch this one. If you enjoyed the first one I recommend you watch the sequel but don't expect a masterpiece, expect a trilogy.


After several years off James Cameron has given us the huge blockbuster film Avatar, but was it worth the wait?
Well after seeing the film twice I can confirm that even though it is far from perfect, and there are aspects of the film that are no where near as good as they should be, it is a lot of fun.

The film follows one ex-marine on a distant planet called Pandora, where the humans are mining for Unobtanium and the largest reserve is buried underneath the native population's (called the Navi) village. The Ex-marine, Jake Scully, is using an avatar, a artificial body similar to the Navi's controlled through the mind of the marine in the humans base, to gain the trust of the Navi and convince them to move from their homes so the humans can mine there.

Some of the problems with the film are in the script, not that it is terrible just it has been done before. A good parity of the film is Pocahontas in space. The dialogue is a little clunky and the plot is very predictable, you know what is going to happen through out the two and a half hours of the film but that doesn't matter. There are far more redeeming features that make up for the predictable, yet enjoyable script.

One of the features that is spectacular in this huge film is the aesthetics of the film. Cameron uses the immersive 3D brilliantly. You really feel connected and submerged in Pandora. There are a few uses of the 3D that are fantastic. A scene at the beginning when the hero is awaking from animated suspension through the space travel and you see him focus on a drop of water that is floating in front of his face. The camera then focuses on the drop and you really feel as though it is right in front of you. There are other times when the 3D is noticeable like that but I feel the best use of the 3D is when you can't tell that it is there so obviously. This is, I feel, why you connect with Pandora so much and appreciate the beautiful look Cameron has been able to create.

The film is completely made by the villain.
Stephen Lang, who plays Col. Miles Quaritch the villain, is fantastic. He is such a stereotypical bad ass. On the planet where humans can't breathe without the use of a gas mask Quaritch seems to enjoy bursting out of the air locks and shooting at things without a gas mask. There is a great scene in which he is on fire but he is so set on shooting something he waits a good amount of time before he pats out the fire. For me he was one of the best parts of the film, and Stephen Lang does a great job.

So all considered even with the predictable storyline and clunky dialogue this film is very enjoyable. Each time I came out of this film I felt very happy. I would say that if you haven't seen it already you should definitely go and see it while it is in the cinema as I doubt it will have the same awe inspiring effect if you watch it on DVD. Even with the extra cost of the 3D it is worth every penny.