Wednesday, 28 October 2015

2015 Mini Reviews

Recently there has been a trend where writers modernise old fairy tales but screenwriter Chris Weitz stuck rather rigidly to the source material and it's rather refreshing that he did. You all know the basics of the Cinderella story, after both her parents die, Ella(Lilly James) is raised by her evil stepmother Lady Tremaine (Cate Blanchett) however a chance encounter with the Prince (Richard Madden) has the potential to change Ella's life forever. 

Director Kenneth Branagh has already had plenty of experience directing bid budget movies (having directed Thor four years ago) and his handling of the film's extravagant visuals is flawless. The film is certainly a beautifully made one, the ballroom scene in particular is excellent filmmaking, as cinematographer Haris Zambarloukos' work really does make the film's vibrant colours standout magnificently. Lily James is engaging in the central role, but it's Cate Blanchett's, hateful performance as Lady Tremaine that really steals the show, Blanchett performance creates a villain that deserves all the boos and hisses she gets.


After trying to a fix a broken pipeline four men find themselves trapped in a small pod on the sea floor. Separated from their ship, the four men struggle to survive amid ever dwindling oxygen levels. Films like The Abyss and the recent film Black Sea utilised their location (well below sea level) to great effect, Ron Scalpello's film also brilliantly uses its setting to great effect creating a generally tense and claustrophobic environment as the four crew members find their volatile tempers tested to the max in these difficult and testing conditions. The underwater photography is excellent and the murky sea water gives it an other worldy feeling, but the shaky camera work aboard the vassal is frustrating. The performances of the cast, consisting of Danny Huston (who've I met, sort of) and Matthew Goode are fine, but their characters just aren't that interesting, and the flashback sequences release the tension from the situation.


After the rousing and likeable success of Pitch Perfect, which undoubtedly hit all the right notes, production of a sequel was always a guarantee. After Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson) displayed more than was needed during a dance number for the president of the United States' birthday, the Barden Bellas are disgraced and banned from performing unless they win the World Championships. With new recruit, Emily (Haliee Steinfeld), they battle against the legendary Das Sound Machine who are uber alles.

Star Elizabeth Banks takes directing reigns for the first time (she had a small directing role in Movie 43) and helps ensure that the sequel has much the same stuff that made the first film so enjoyable. Be it well choreographed and well shot dance numbers, well timed comic scenes and good performances from the cast involved. While overall she does a good job Banks struggles to devote anything resembling  equal screen time to all of the bellas so much so that some are simply left by the way side. Individual character relationships are not built upon, such as Beca (Anna Kendrick) and her boyfriend instead the film favours the waste of time that is Rebel Wilson's Fat Amy and Bumper (Adam DeVine) relationship. That said, however, the musical numbers are fun enough to ensure Pitch Perfect 2 is just as much fun as the first if a somewhat slightly lesser film.


After speaking to fellow human beings at Frightfest I gathered that Turbo Kid was one of the most popular films of Frightfest 2015. After every person I spoke to pretty much raved about the film I've been waiting to watch it and it did not disappointment. Basically Turbo Kid is set in a post apocalyptic 1997 where a superhero wannabe (Munro Chambers) attempts to rescues his female robotic friend  (Laurence Leboeuf) from the clutches of the evil warlord, Zeus (Michael Ironside).

Turbo Kid is very much like the film Deathgasm (which also was screened at Frightfest) in a sense the film is pretty much gorey, fantastic, fun which by the film's conclusion literally has bodies piling on top of each. It's very much an ode to kids movies and action movies of the 1980s (the film even has cheesy special effects that wouldn't look out of place in the 80s) and the synth-led soundtrack couldn't be more 80s.

The film's post apocalyptic has a very strong Mad Max vibe and it also even makes references to Science Fiction classics such as Solent Green and Waterworld as the film's villain (played brilliantly by a scene stealing Michael Ironside) was greatly similar to Dennis Hopper's villain in Waterworld. Munro Chambers central performance isn't the strongest but his effective chemistry with Laurence Leboeuf gives a film heart amongst all the blood, carnage  and dismembered body parts.



  1. I've only seen PP2 and yeah, it's pretty much the same film as the first. I will admit to liking Fat Amy & Bumper's relationship more than you.

    Torn on whether or not I'm going to see Cinderella since I have heard it's the same exact story I've always heard/read/seen. Probably depends on how hard my daughter pushes for it.

  2. I prefered the focus on FAT AMY & BUMPER because they made me laugh. Still, I agree with PITCH PERFECT 2 being just decent. Same with CINDERELLA.

  3. I've only seen Cinderella here, and I unabashedly loved it.