Paul Review

Two British comic-book geeks traveling across the U.S. encounter an alien outside Area 51.

Paul certainly isn’t going to be winning any awards but it is a lot of fun. The story of a road trip across the U.S. with an alien passenger is ripe for the referential style of humour that Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are famous for, and the movie generally doesn’t disappoint. This movie was made for a very specific type of audience member and if you’re not sure that you’re one of them, you should stay away because you’re probably not going to get the joke.

The story is fairly simple: Graeme (Simon Pegg) and Clive (Nick Frost) are following their visit to Comic-Con Continue reading

The King’s Speech Review

The story of King George VI of Britain, his impromptu ascension to the throne and the speech therapist who helped the unsure monarch become worthy of it.

I think this movie was a victim of its own hype. I had heard so many rave reviews about it that I finished the film feeling slightly let down. I still enjoyed the movie, but it wasn’t the amazing piece of cinema that everyone had been raving about. I’m glad that I watched it, but I don’t think I’ll be rushing to see it again anytime soon.

The opening to the movie was brilliant, I really felt for Prince Albert (Colin Firth) as he was standing in front Continue reading

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Review

A couple undergo a procedure to erase each other from their memories when their relationship turns sour, but it is only through the process of loss that they discover what they had to begin with.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind has been on my must watch list for a number of years, and now that I’ve finally seen it I find myself both happy that it exceeded all my expectations and sad that I won’t get to watch it for the first time again. I think this is a rather appropriate reaction to a movie that deals so well with the nature of memory as both a gift and a curse.

What are we without our memories? Wouldn’t life be so much simpler if we could erase all the painful moments from our lives, those embarrassing Continue reading

The French Connection Review

A pair of NYC cops in the Narcotics Bureau stumble onto a drug smuggling job with a French connection.

The French Connection is a perfect example of how tension can make a movie. From the very beginning this movie is one big chase, with detectives Popeye Doyle (Gene Hackman) and Buddy Russo (Roy Scheider) hounding heroin smuggler Alain Charnier (Fernando Rey) at every turn until they can bring him down. The movie never delves too deeply into its characters, it’s all about the chase.

The various chase scenes that make up the majority of the movie are masterfully crafted. Whether it’s Popeye trailing Continue reading

Super 8 Review

After witnessing a mysterious train crash, a group of friends in the summer of 1979 begin noticing strange happenings going around in their small town, and begin to investigate into the creepy phenomenon.

After being let down by the lack of any real tension watching X-Men – First Class the night before, Super 8 was a welcome relief. This movie uses classic jump moments very well, but it doesn’t rely on them. It is a movie that knows how to take its time in building the characters and tension so that when everything goes to hell, we really care about what’s happening.

The movie opens with a brilliant sequence set several months before the main story. While using almost Continue reading

X-Men – First Class Review

In 1962, Charles Xavier starts up a school and later a team, for humans with superhuman abilities. Among them is Erik Lensherr, his best friend… and future archenemy.

After the disastrous last two X-Men movies (X3 & Origins: Wolverine) I went into this movie with very low expectations. Thankfully, the movie was much better than I expected – but it doesn’t really compare to the first two X-Men movies. And the fact that this movie is a prequel is a large part of the problem. We all know where these characters are going to end up, and many of the movie’s finer moments lack tension because they seem to be ticking the necessary boxes to fit into the established timeline.

Actually, the movie seemed to be missing any real tension throughout. The characters tell us that Continue reading

Highlander Endgame Review

‘Immortals Connor and Duncan Macleod must join forces against Kell, an evil immortal who has become too strong for anyone to face alone.’

Being the fourth movie in a franchise, you would think that Highlander Endgame would have a lot to live up to. But given the disasters of the previous two movies, one could only hope that it came close to the fun of the original.

When it was released in 1986, the original Highlander Continue reading

Pirates of the Carribean – On Stranger Tides Review

“Jack Sparrow and Barbossa embark on a quest to find the elusive fountain of youth, only to discover that Blackbeard and his daughter are after it too.”

It was really odd walking out of this movie. When the friends that I’d seen the movie with asked me for my opinion, I wasn’t quite sure what to say.

‘It was missing something,’ was all that I could come up with at the time.

But that really sums up the whole movie. The elements were all there to make a fun adventure story like the first movie, but they didn’t end up coming together. After thinking about it for a while, I realised that one of the major problems was having Continue reading