Doctor Strange – Movie Review

Doctor Strange – Movie Review

Doctor Strange – Synopsis

Dr. Stephen Strange’s (Benedict Cumberbatch) life changes after a car accident robs him of the use of his hands. When traditional medicine fails him, he looks for healing, and hope, in a mysterious enclave. He quickly learns that the enclave is at the front line of a battle against unseen dark forces bent on destroying reality. Before long, Strange is forced to choose between his life of fortune and status or leave it all behind to defend the world as the most powerful sorcerer in existence.

Doctor Strange – Review

For me, I had never heard of Doctor Strange. I don’t know much about the DC Comics world, and movies such as Batman Vs Superman don’t interest me at all. However, I loved films like Iron Man and the original Spiderman films of the early 2000s but I never knew Doctor Strange was a Marvel superhero.

From the offset, Doctor Strange is all action. Dr. Stephen Strange has it all, cool apartment and an even cooler car. Stephen Strange, played by Benedict Cumberbatch, loses everything and seeks restoration of what his life was. He tries to find the Ancient One, portrayed by the excellent Tilda Swinton, who lives in Kathmandu. Being very skeptical from the start and a tad egocentric, Doctor Stephen Strange seems an unlikely superhero. He doesn’t believe anything but is soon convinced.

You will see early on , that the special effects are amazing. You should see this on as big a screen as you can find for the best effect.The movie includes everything from astral projections to architecture and mirrors which defy understanding. This movie will get your brain reevaluating the reality you see on screen and is reminiscent of the movie Inception.

The storyline is based on the fight between good and evil, between the Ancient one and a rogue disciple called Kaecilius, played by Mads Mikkelsen. Kaecilius steals a page from a sacred book and attempts to unleash the dark forces on the earth. At this point Doctor Strange comes to save the day – along with his very humorous cloak (which at one point uses a mans head like the whomping willow from Harry Potter for a but of comic relief).

Can Doctor Strange defeat Kaecilius? Will the Dark Forces engulf the earth? All will be revealed if you watch the movie, and I’m glad I did! It’s a highly entertaining movie and I thought the casting of Benedict Cumberbatch was a good one. Tilda Swinton is the perfect Guru, as she looks and sounds the part. It is highly entertaining and the special effects are astounding, adding to a decent story not trying to compensate for the lack of one.

There are certain to be more from Doctor Strange and I’ll be awaiting the return.

Overall Rating

  • Overall Score 88%

Official Trailer

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – Movie Review

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – Movie Review

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is set in 1926, location New York city. Newt Scamander played by Eddie Redmayne, has just completed a worldwide expedition in order to find and document Fantastic Beasts. As he arrives in New York he runs into a No-Maj (the American for Muggle) called Jacob. This spells disaster as the magical case full of Fantastic Beasts is opened and some escape. The fact that these creatures wanter the No-Maj world could spell trouble for both the wizarding and No-Maj worlds.

Fantastic Beasts – Review

The first think to be impressed with is the recreation of New York in 1926. If you thought the recreation in the movie Brooklyn was good then you have to see this.

The film starts with how New Scamander loses the case full of Fantastic Beasts and magical creatures. Its a bit slapstick but a good watch. There is a lot of setting up in this film, as there are 4 or 5 more movies in the franchise to follow. A lot of what you see is educating you so you can follow the future films. Basically, as we know from Harry Potter there are wizards and non-wizards… Wizards and Muggles (or No Maj in the USA). The 2 worlds don’t know of each other and thats the way it should be. However, when the magical creatures escape from the case these worlds collide.

The chase is now on to retrieve the beasts and get everything back in order. However there is a dark undercurrent as a spectral type of dark energy is ripping up the streets and killing. What can be done? Can they recover the beasts in time and revert things to normal?

Overall it is a really good watch. There are very few low points in the film, you are entertained throughout. However, that being said, for a lot of the film I couldn’t understand Eddie Redmaynes words. It looked as if he had a speech impediment or something. I can’t understand why this was, or what direction was given when portraying the character. The No_maj, Jacob, is very likeable and I hope he returns in future films.

The creatures are amazing and there are some great visual effects as you would expect from a Harry Potter sub-franchise. Well worth going to, keep the ears pinned for what Newt is saying and you will be ok.

Overall Review Score

  • Overall Review Score 85%
Arrival – Movie Review

Arrival – Movie Review

Arrival – Synopsys

When 12 gigantic pod-like spacecraft land in 12 locations around the world, panic takes hold … ‘Arrival’. Linguistics professor Louise Banks (played by Amy Adams) is called in to lead a team of investigators. Everyone wants to find out what the aliens want and why they are here. The world is heading for global war, and Banks and her team race against time to decipher the language. They must find a way to communicate with the extraterrestrial visitors and ease tensions. Can she unravel the mystery of their reason for being here in time?

Review

The film starts with Amy Adams playing a lecturer, her life seems ordinary until she sees why her lecture hall is empty. All the students are watching as gigantic pods land on earth. She is quickly sought by the authorities who know that her skill in linguistics can help translate the alien language.

The visuals in Arrival are stunning, wide vistas with the pods centre stage. The visual effects are also quite surreal with everything from anti-gravity to amazing looking aliens. The storyline of Arrival will keep you transfixed to the screen. The story flips around quite a bit, so don’t go off for popcorn during the movie. It is actually adapted from a short story called ‘Story of your life’ by Ted Chiang. Arrival is a sci-fi film which does not fit the usual model of ‘aliens arrive, aliens attack, we win’. The plot is multifaceted and Amy Adams does a great job in the role, alongside Jeremy Renner. There are a few areas of the plot which have a few holes, especially around how security on the site could be lapse on a few occasions but overall Arrival is an outstanding film.

I don’t want to give away any spoilers but I would say that you will walk away from this film with an air of contentment. Content in the fact that you have witnessed a great film. I loved this film, much better than Nocturnal Animals which Amy Adams also stars in. I think this is a tip for Oscar nomination and also some success.

You will enjoy Arrival, and you should see it on as big a screen as you can !

  • Overall Score 96%
Nocturnal Animals – Movie Review

Nocturnal Animals – Movie Review

Nocturnal Animals Synopsis

Nocturnal Animals opens with Susan (played by Amy Adams), a successful Los Angeles art-gallery owner opening an exhibit. Her life, which looks to be very affluent and successful, is anything but. Her second husband is constantly travelling and she sees him less and less. While he is away (on business), she is shaken by the arrival of a pre-release manuscript of a book which was written by her first husband Edward, who she has not seen in almost 20 years. The book tells the frightening story of a teacher who finds a trip with his family turning into a nightmare. As Susan reads this mysterious book, it forces her to examine her past and confront some dark truths about herself and how she treated her first husband.

Review

I was not all too interested in seeing Nocturnal Animals, but having arrived at the cinema too late to see Arrival, which also stars Amy Adams, Nocturnal Animals was on in 15 mins, so went to see this instead. I had seen on BBC and a few Irish sites that Nocturnal Animals was a 5 Star film, so my hopes were high. I also noticed Michael Sheen was in the credits and I always like his work.

Brace yourself for a popcorn wrenching opening sequence of a … I won’t tell you, you will just have to enjoy that for yourself. After the opening sequence we find Susan at an art launch, but her husband does not arrive as he is too late from the office. Shortly thereafter the manuscript as mentioned in the synopsis arrives. Susan starts reading the text and the story shows Susan in the present and her imagining the book. The storyline is tense, dark and reminiscent of another film starting Kurt Russell called ‘Breakdown’. There are scenes of some violence in the film so don’t go if you are looking for something up beat as I didn’t find much in this film which I liked.

I didn’t find the story in the manuscript which Susan read very compelling. The story was basic, didn’t have any twists and didn’t go anywhere interesting. Every so often Susan would be startled by a spark from the fire or a bird at the window – this just didn’t add anything to the film.

In conclusion, Nocturnal Animals seemed to me like a rambling stream of consciousness which thought it was going somewhere. My hopes for seeing Michael Sheen were dashed as he in only in 1 scene for about 2 minutes. The plot didn’t form a cohesive intertwining of storyline as was promised by other reviews. The end of the manuscript just left me thinking, is this it?
Overall, I was not impressed and I think there are better films out there.
Maybe Nocturnal Animals is your sort of film – but not mine!

Next up – Arrival !!

Ratings

  • Overall 56%
  • Storyline 45%
  • Cinematography 68%
  • Chances of Winning an Oscar 25%
Young@Heart – Film Review

Young@Heart – Film Review

I originally saw Young@Heart in 2009 at Waterford Film for all and this great film is now available on DVD, stream and download. Young@Heart is the true story of the final weeks of rehearsal for the Young@Heart Chorus in Northampton, MA, USA. Their average age is about 80 and many of the chorus must overcome health adversities to participate. In some cases they have battled heart attacks and cancer, but they still go on. Their choice of music is not what you would expect – singing The Clash, Jimi Hendrix, James Brown, and even Sonic Youth.

The Young@Heart group has toured Europe and sang for the King of Norway and this film depicts their preparations for a concert in their home town or Northampton. At some points it is not certain that this concert will be possible with the chorus being ill etc.

The film is very well shot as a docudrama, however in parts the closeups are way too close. It very funny in parts but also tender and heartbreaking in others as you follow the real lives of those in the chorus. The highlights are one person struggling with the words of James Browns “I feel Good”. Another highlight is a song which has 71 Can Can Cans. The most poignant was the Coldplay song, “Fix You” sung by Fred Knittle who sadly died on 1st Jan 2009.

The music videos for the real Young@Heart chorus are available on YouTube so have a search online. The film was by More4 films so there is a chance it may also be shown at some point on UK / Cable TV. Look Out for it – well worth a watch

Official Website of the Young@Heart Chorus is http://www.youngatheartchorus.com/

  • My Verdict 83%

Official Trailer for Young@Heart

PS : If you liked Young@ Heart – check out the film Older Than Ireland !

Jason Bourne, 2016 – Film Review

Jason Bourne, 2016 – Film Review

I have always enjoyed the Bourne films and with the last film lacking Matt Damon, I was not sure if this film was being made for the right reasons. The story picks up from the last film which Matt Damon stars in. If you have not seen the other films you are not at too much of a disadvantage. Jason Bourne has dropped off the map and the authorities think he is dead.

Basically, Jason Bourne, played my Damon, has remembered more about his past. The whole espionage backstory is very reminiscent of Edward Snowden and is very technology driven. A hacker discovers more about Bourne’s past and passes the information on to him. The rest of the story documents Bourne’s discovery into how deep this project goes both internally and personally.

From about 10 minutes in there are some incredible chases, mainly on motorcycle, on the streets of Athens. They track his every move in an effort to neutralise the threat of exposure.

The film globetrotter from country to country including Iceland, Greece, Germany, UK and of course USA. (In one scene in the UK, the film is shot near Paddington in an area I walked through in April just gone – that scene is very good.)

Tommy Lee Jones plays his role very well, in his typical style, as the CIA director. For me one of the best cast was Vincent Cassel who plays ‘The Asset’. This guy is only out to get rid of Bourne due to past history between the two. Surprisingly enough Matt Damon only has a few lines during the film in comparison to some of the others, but the action surely keep you glued to the screen.

One of the most amazing scenes is the car chase through the streets of Las Vegas, in which the Aria hotel gets a lot of exposure. Many no-claims bonuses list during that chase.

Overall it is a riveting film with plenty of tense, chase and pursuit scenes. The only negativewas the constant flashbacks, which I feel there was no need for that many. Not perfect but a highly entertaining film and the end points to another Bourne film to follow.

Duration Time 2:15

  • Action 95%
  • Storyline 83%
  • Effects 90%
  • Overall 85%
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