Epic Review

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Epic is an animated by film from Blue Sky Studios, the makers of Ice Age and Rio. It tells the story of a teenage girl whose dad is eccentric and doesn’t have time for her. he’s obsessed with finding miniature people in the forest. After the girl named MK is magically shrunk, she finds herself surrounded by the dwellers of the forest.

Epic is a typical animated family film with colourful characters and humour for kids. The plot is relatively cliché as are the characters. Its the usual “we’ve got to do this thing before midnight or everythung we know will be taken over by the force of evil” story, it had similarities to the likes of Arthur and the Invisibles or A Bug’s Life. Epic on the whole is visually driven with a lot of impressive shots and creative character designs. The film was well animated and was a joy to watch from that perspective.

Humour in the film varied, some jokes were not funny at all or just a little outdated, other jokes made me laugh out loud. It is definitely a movie more directed towards younger children but it lacked that something for the adults which we often get from Pixar.

One of the things that put me off was the voice acting. Most of the main cast were big names with some picked on their name rather than their suitability for the role in my opinion. The queen of the forest is played by Beyoncé but every time she spoke I just pictured Beyoncé rather than a character, I didn’t really get a sense of acting from her.

In conclusion Epic isn’t all that Epic, just decent enough to spend some time watching for an hour and a half. The story has been done many times before but the visuals makes it stand out from the crowd. A good film for families to enjoy together.

Man of Steel Review

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Man of Steel is the latest reboot of the Superman franchise and the hopeful first movie in the run up to the Justice League. Man of Steel is directed by Zack Snyder and stars Henry Cavill as Clark Kent and Amy Adams as Lois Lane.

Man of Steel retells the origin of Superman in a more darker and serious tone than the previous films. After the success of The Dark Knight trilogy, Christopher Nolan was on hand as producer to hopefully bring his advice to the movie.

Superman is hard to compare to Batman though, Nolan’s trilogy could be made more serious as a character like batman could exist in the real world. Superman and his abilities of flight and super strength is much harder to be given a serious tone. The spandex suit doesn’t really fit in with the direction the movie was going for. That being said, this direction made the film interesting, it was something different than the others.
What made The Avengers successful was the comedic undertone and the fact that realism was blended with fantasy very well. Man of Steel tries to replicate the success of The Avengers franchise blending in elements from the success of The Dark Knight trilogy, but doesn’t quite get the mix perfectly.

The movie starts off with an impressive scene on Krypton, the visual effects in the movie were really good on the whole, something to compare to The Avengers. From there the first part of the movie is the typical superhero origin story and its an interesting take. As we get to the second half of the movie, the conflict between General Zod and Superman begins. The villain is evil, but he’s no Loki.

There is so much action in this movie, when you think you’re at the end of an action scene, it just keeps going. As Superman is basically invincible and so is his enemy, the fighting between them is getting them nowhere. So the audience is subjected to two guys smashing each other about for half an hour with absolutely no consequence to their actions. When you take away the vulnerability, then the fighting becomes meaningless. I’ll compare this to The Dark Knight here but what made Batman interesting was the fact he was vulnerable, he was human. I feel that this caused be to actually get bored of the action, even if the special effects were amazing.

The plot itself is the usual, similar to The Avengers in the size of the drama. After entire cities were levelled, I have no idea how DC plan to continue this franchise. There were moments when I felt certain characters were used for convenience. At one point Lois Lane was requested to go on-board General Zod’s ship, but she is never needed and is only there for a convenient plot explanation, the same can be said about Russell Crow’s character: Jor-El.

While I’ve mostly picked out what’s wrong with the film, I still enjoyed it. It’s an interesting film to watch and I seem to find any superhero movie automatically appealing. I’m already wanting to see it again. It’s been recently announced that the sequel to Man of Steel will include Batman in it. I’m very curious to how they’re going to pull it off but good luck to them.

Olympus Has Fallen Review

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Olympus Has Fallen is an action/thriller from director Antoine Fuqua. In the wake of a terrorist attack on the White House (code name: Olympus), disgraced former Presidential guard Mike Banning becomes the last hope in order to rescue the President.

The movie stars Gerard Butler as Mike Banning and Aaron Eckhart as the U.S. President. A terrorist attack on the White House gives us our plot as Branning uses his previous knowledge to outsmart the terrorists and rescue the hostages. Morgan Freeman plays Speaker Trumbull who ends up as acting President (so basically the highest figure of authority as usual).

It sounds very patriotic, and it kinda is. The character of Mike Branning and the plot can be compared to the likes of John McClane and Die Hard although I can’t see this one turning into a franchise. The cast were good in the film, Branning is a likeable character as are the others. The premise is very unbelievable but putting that aside the plot was decent. The action was overall good but sometimes a little unnecessary. The actual attack on the white house itself was really cool, it was clearly a well thought out attack and it plays out very well.

The movie did make me question it at times. As you could probably guess the terrorists were after America’s nuclear weapons, they plotted to detonate them and only the president and two other hostages have the “codes” to activate the weapons. You’d guess people were a little nervous on the outside. What confuses me though is that the emergency council’s top priority was to ensure the president’s safety, not the U.S. population. Little spoiler here: at one point we are to believe the president is just about to be transported by helicopter by the terrorists, he knows the last code to the nuclear weapons, at that point, it crossed nobody’s mind that perhaps sacrificing the president would save its 320 million population, just saying.

Little rant aside, Olympus Has Fallen was entertaining, a little cliché at times but a good action movie all round. It’s also interesting to note that a movie with a similar title and plot is out already in the states and soon in the UK called White House Down.

Oblivion Review

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Oblivion is the latest “Tom Cruise film”, a sci-fi action adventure which takes place in the future. Earth has been attacked by aliens and after a nuclear retaliation the war was won, but the planet was in ruins. What was left of humanity flew into space to live on Titan and now only the “clean-up crews” are left.

Tom Cruise plays (another) Jack who together with his wife Victoria, played by Andrea Riseborough, protect giant hydra rigs which convert water to power for the human colony on Titan. The husband and wife team service the drones which protect the hydra rigs from scavengers, the last survivors who attempt to disrupt the operations.

The movie is visually stunning, everything from the futuristic technology from the wastelands now on Earth just look the part. The visual effects are believable and the sounds are a delight to listen to. The characters all fit their roles and while Tom Cruise plays himself, it works. The giant space station named the Tet which orbits Earth looks really cool, especially when seen from the ground. You can tell inspiration was taken from a lot of classic movies for the designs.

The plot is interesting, it has similarities to Wall·E in the way that the characters appreciate the little things left behind. The story does have some twists and cool action scenes. I’d say its one of the better sci-fi films I’ve seen in a long time. Morgan Freeman is also in it, can it get any better than that?

So if you’re a fan of sci-fi movies, then you’ll probably like this movie. Well worth getting on blu-ray.

The World’s End Review

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The World’s End is the third movie in the so called “Cornetto Trilogy” directed by Edgar Wright and starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. Back in 2004, the three friends made Shaun of the Dead and then in 2007 made Hot Fuzz. Now this year they have teamed up again for The World’s End, a science-fiction about five friends who reunite after 20 years to attempt an epic pub crawl in their home town. Only, things are not as they remembered.

I went to the cinema to see Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and the finally the midnight premier of The World’s End. It was a great night filled with lots of laughs and in the end, everyone had their favourite of the three. The World’s End still has the same comedy and wit you expect from Pegg, Frost and Wright, and there’s no exception about the level of comedy in the movie. I still think I’ll prefer Hot Fuzz as the favourite of the three.

The World’s End has Simon Pegg play Gary King, a 40-year old man still nostalgic about his days as a teenager. He somehow manages to convince his old friends including Andrew Knightley, played by Nick Frost, to return to finish a pub crawl they attempted back in high school. All the friends apart from Gary are living pretty well off which really contrasts with Gary who at heart, is still his teenage self. A lot of the comedy comes from this contrast but this also creates some conflicts between the characters which they must work out in order to work out the mystery.

As shown in the trailers, their hometown of Newton Haven has been taken over by some robot alien race. It definitely has some of the more surreal moments in the Cornetto Trilogy but the premise has been done before in other movies so lacks in originality compared to Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead.

I feel that Nick Frost does play his character too seriously for the most part, we love him for being that ridiculous, idiotic but loveable guy. He certainly has his moments with a little alcohol in him but I think the audience was craving more of that.

In conclusion, The World’s End is a great comedy from the Summer blockbusters this year, its well worth seeing and you’ll hopefully have a good time.