Passengers – Movie Review / Film Review

Passengers – Movie Review / Film Review

Jim Preston is one of 5,000 passengers on board the spaceship, Starship Avalon. The ship is on a 120-year voyage to a distant colony planet “Homestead 2”. After a malfunction in Jim Preston’s hibernation pod, Jim (played by Chris Pratt) is the only one awake. Now he is stranded on the spaceship, still 90 years from his destination.

Passengers – Movie Review

If you watch the trailer of Passengers you may get a sense of what is happening. My initial interpretation of the Passengers trailer was different. I thought both were all awoken by mistake. I also thought perhaps there was a conspiracy to sabotage the starships journey. I even tought that perhaps these were all AI lifeforms which were being banished from earth. All of my personal assumptions about the movie were incorrect.

The movie starts with Jim being prematurely woken from his hypersleep. He doesn’t know what is happening and tries everything to gain control of the situation. Jim tried everything from trying to gain access to the bridge, to trying to get back into the hypersleep chamber. You get to see how one man lives for over a year without anyone else to talk to. He has an android barman, named Arthur, but he longs for human companionship. Jim tries all the amenities on the ship but nothing makes him feel any better about his predicament. You see him disintegrate into a man who feels that all is lost.

It is at this point he meets Aurora (no spoilers here, so apologies for a key section skipped). Although Aurora is alarmed to have been woken but Jim does his best to reassure her. Aurora and himself get on very well and eventually for a romantic relationship. However after Arthur, the barman (played by Michael Sheen), tells Aurora some background information she breaksdown. All seems lost, but a bigger problem is looming. The ship systems are failing and the ship is on the brink of destruction. The ship will have to be repaired, but how can it be done in time? Can they go back to hypersleep? Are they doomed to live out their lives on a sleeping starship? ….

Overview

Overall Passengers is a really enjoyable movie and is certainly worth seeing on the big screen. There are points in the movie where I felt a small bit bored, as it was a bit like Groundhog Day. However, it is obvious that these scenes are required to convey the monotony of life on your own in such a confined space. I saw this in 2D but I feel you might get more from this in 3D. There are stunning sweepinh scenes of nebluae, space walks and transit through space. There are a few small-plot twists in this which add to the drama. The conclusion of the film was very well done and I feel the ending was well written. There are often films which have poor endings but this is not one of them.

Passengers – Official Trailer

Passengers – Overall Review Score

  • Overall Score 87%
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – Movie Review

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – Movie Review

Rogue One – Synopsis

Rogue One sets the scene for Star Wars, and these events take place just before ‘Star Wars’. This group of rebels come together regardless of their differences. Their aim …  to steal the plans to the Death Star, the Empire’s and Darth Vader ultimate weapon of mass destruction. This is not a spin off, this sets the scene on the Star Wars timeline.

Rogue One – Movie Review

In fairness, I was not sure what to expect with Rogue One. I had seen all the original Star Wars movies and the later releases. What could compare to R2D2, C3PO and Luke Skywalker? I was skeptical that this movie would create the thrill of an actual Star Wars movie. Why? Firstly, the classic Star Wars theme did not happen at the start of the movie. Secondly, the characters were all new, I had no familiarity with them. Plus, I was thinking how can you do a prequel to such a classic film.

But give it 10 / 15 minutes and you are suddenly drawn in. As you get to know the characters you can see where the Star Wars story is building.

Basically, Jyn Erso played by Felicity Jones saw how the Empire killed her mother and corrupted her scientist father, Galen (played by Mads Mikkelsen). The Empire forced him to help build the Death Star. After a defector gives some information, Jyn finds out something which gives her hope. Jyn and the band of rebels attempt to infiltrate an Empire base and steal the plans.

The movie is fast paced, with lots of humour. Most of this humour is from the 7 foot robot K-2S0 or Kaytoo. He comes out with lines like ‘Congratulations, you are being rescued’… Amongst other classics. All the ships, aliens and scenes you see are recognisable Star Wars classics. As the movie progresses, you feel like you know these characters.

In Conclusion

This is probably one of the toughest movies to review. The reason why is because it is very hard to review this movie without giving away spoiler alerts. However, I try to will sum up the review of Rogue One with a few points;

  1. See this on as big a screen as you can
  2. See it in 3D if you can
  3. There are characters making appearances here from Star Wars, even though they are no longer with us
  4. This film closes certain plot-holes in ‘A New Hope’ as to how they knew about the Death Star’s flaw
  5. You may be sceptical entering this film … you will love it after you leave!

It is a very well made film with sections where my jaw dropped. Thoroughly enjoyable!

 

Rogue One – Official Trailer

  • Rogue One – A Star Wars Story : Overall Rating 92%
Sully – Movie Review (2016)

Sully – Movie Review (2016)

Sully – Movie Review

Synopsis

Sully is based on the real life events of a fateful day, Jan. 15, 2009 and US Airways Flight 1549.  Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger (portrayed by Tom Hanks) takes off from LaGuardia and within moments his Airbus has a multiple bird strike. Both engines are disabled as a result of the birdstrike and speed and altitude are dropping. The Captain assesses the options and attempts an emergency landing in New York’s Hudson River. As we all know, miraculously, all of the 155 passengers and crew survive. Overnight, Sullenberger becomes a national hero in the eyes of the public and the media. However as the NTSB step in, Captain Sullenberger faces an investigation that threatens to destroy his career and reputation.

The Review

Ever since January 14th 2009, I have been following the story of US Airways Flight 1549. I remember seeing the security camera feeds of the airbus landing on the Hudson. This movie is the story of that flight which only lasted 208 seconds.

The start of movie is spectacular. I am not going to ruin it but do not be late for this movie.

There are a lot of Flashbacks and dream sequences used. They work very well and show how harrowing this was for the flight crew. The successful forced water landing and saving of all 155 on board soon turns to doubt. The NTSB investigate the incident, questioning the flight crew over and over. At one point you are not sure if they made the right choices.

The investigation includes some technical references, for example QRH is mentioned but not explained. (Quick Reference Handbook which is a step by step guide to solving aircraft issues). There are a few other references, but overall there is not too much technical information so don’t be put off.

Other reviews of this movie say the movie drags. I did not find this at all. I was thoroughly entertained throughout. Clint Eastwood directs this movie and his style of direction is obvious. Not one scene is wasted nor are any present just to pad the movie. I think Clint could have even played Sully if this was shot 30 years ago.

Tom Hanks playing this role is spot on. He is so like the real life captain in manner and looks. Apparently the real captain chose Tom Hanks for the part.

Overall this is a wonderful film, really enjoyable, tense, dramatic and certainly worth seeing on the big screen. I think it could also be an Oscar Contender.

  • Overall Score 94%

Official Trailer

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%