Reviews of this monthâ€™s film....
On DVD this month...
A list of DVD releases for this May
In cinema next month...
A list of films to be released in June
Journalist and Editor: Charlie Derry: http://www.charliederry.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Darryl Griffiths @LegallyBOD Editor of Movie Marker http://moviemarker.co.uk/
Designer and Art Director: Mikie Daniel: http://www.mikiedaniel.com email@example.com
Ben Harris @benh4rris http://mrreviewblog.blogspot.co.uk/
Reviews of this monthâ€™s film...
Moonrise Kingdom 4
Director Wes Anderson has always had a trained eye, when it comes to perfecting a sense of quirkiness in his films. Recently proving such a dab hand at bringing his vibrant style to help recreate a kid’s classic in the form of The Fantastic Mr Fox back in 2009, it’s only natural his latest project Moonrise Kingdom contains dysfunctional teens at the forefront of the premise. Set in colourful 1965 New England, we encounter the ‘emotionally disturbed’ Sam Shakusky (Jared Gilman). Currently dealing with the reluctance of being a part of a group of Khaki scouts at Camp Ivanhoe (headed up by American History X’s Edward Norton) and feeling disconnected from his ‘family’, he soon seeks comfort in the form of an equally troubled other called Suzy (Kara Hayward). Initially mesmerised by her unique appearance, they secretly make a pact to run away together and escape
the stifling air of their day to day lives. Horrified by such an occurrence, a search party is formed to attempt to ‘rescue’ the teens which consists of Suzy’s parents (Bill Murray and Frances McDormand respectively), Norton’s character Scout Master Ward and a local sheriff played by Bruce Willis.
“Moonrise Kingdom first and foremost, is gorgeous to look at with Anderson’s direction immaculate.” Moonrise Kingdom first and foremost, is gorgeous to look at with Anderson’s direction immaculate. You could argue his picturesque style and flair is intended to evoke memories of various childhood favourites here. The use of a delicately paced
tracking shot as he shifts seamlessly from room to room a mere example, has the feeling of a storybook. In addition, the ‘run away together forever’ plot-line intertwined with the visuals helps to create a fairytale quality to proceedings. As far as performances go, debutants Gilman and Hayward ‘opposites attract’ double act is utterly endearing who collectively embody the awkwardness that comes with adolescence brilliantly. The adult contingent don’t let the side down either with Willis playing ‘understated’ to a tee and the naive nature of Norton’s scout leader providing moments of offbeat hilarity. The emotional glue comes courtesy of Murray and McDormand. Ploughing on with hope, despite their relationship issues helps to emphasise their
longing of a more innocent and less complicated world which the younglings of the film are so desperate to discover on their own terms. The only fault in such a department is that the talents of Tilda Swinton and Anderson regular Jason Schwartzman are reduced to mere cameos. The uninitiated will still struggle to warm to his brand of cinema, but for the rest of us, Moonrise Kingdom is a light but delightful feast for the senses! One of the year’s best.
Written by Darryl Griffiths @LegallyBOD
Release Date: 25th May 2012
Director: Wes Anderson
Famous Faces: Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton, Jared Gilman, and Bruce Willis
Editor of Movie Marker http://moviemarker.co.uk/
The Raid Under normal circumstances, the festival circuit doesn’t scream the appropriate launchpad for a film that is very self aware in its absurd thirst for thrills. You try explaining this notion to Welsh director Gareth Evans. Thanks to his Indonesian collective landing a few expertly executed flying fists and kicks to various critic’s abdomens during its debut at Sundance and Toronto, The Raid has arrived on a steadily building wave of hype. As with many martial arts extravaganzas, the premise is minimal in terms of depth. Set in Jakarta, the driving force of the film is prominently provided by SWAT team rookie Rama, played by Iko Uwais. His dear wife heavily pregnant and a distinct lack of experience in the field, you can understand his reluctance when he is
Release Date: 18th May 2012
Director: Gareth Evans
Iko Uwais, Ananda George and Ray Sahetapy
immediately thrown into action. With an elite squad in tow, the objective is fairly basic. Bulldoze their way through a decadent and grim tower block that is now the home of a devious drug lord ‘Tama’ (Ray Sehetapy) and his capable henchmen (Yahan Ruhian’s Mad Dog being a particularly fierce figure) and take them out. A handful of character’s back stories revealed and a initially horrendous first attempt to take hold of the situation later.. mayhem ensues! What sets The Raid apart from its genre rivals.. is the tight direction of Gareth Evans. With such carnage on screen, it’s almost force of habit (especially for Hollywood standards) for the camera work to waver in frenetic fashion leaving audiences in a daze. Not here.. first and foremost Evans’ emphasis in portraying the sense of entrapment and being confined by your surroundings as the squad scale the block adds an unflinching intensity to the film, accentuated further by Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda’s heart pounding score. Of course The Raid is all about the no holds barred fight sequences and it’s safe to suggest, they are outstanding. Whether it’s
the stunningly captured and intricate choreography of the hand to hand face offs or being wildly inventive when the bullets fly, the film thankfully never feels too bogged down or tedious as a result. To Evans’ credit again, he lets the sequences breathe and opens up the opportunity for you to appreciate their bloodsoaked beauty, instead of stifling such a key element with flimsy and contrived visual tricks. The faults are blindingly obvious. It may occasionally over-egg its enthusiasm for the gore and the plot itself wouldn’t look out of place in a bog standard ‘Playstation’ or ‘XBox 360′ computer game, so it’s certainly not for the cinematic purists. In addition only Uwais’ charismatic exploits and Ruhian’s vicious persona remotely stand out in the performance stakes, with the rest of the cast being cardboard cannon fodder. But such gripes pale in the presence of the fact.. that The Raid is an invigorating experience that makes Jason Statham’s back catalogue look ‘family-friendly’. Brutal brilliance!
Written by Darryl Griffiths @LegallyBOD Editor of Movie Marker http://moviemarker.co.uk/
The Lucky One Whilst fighting in Iraq, ExMarine Sergeant Logan Thibault (Zac Efron) finds a photograph a woman, Beth Clayton (Taylor Schilling), whom he credits for keeping him alive. Wanting to thank the woman he believes was his good luck charm, Logan travels to Louisiana where he finds single-mother Beth, and ends up taking a job at her family-run kennels with her grandmother (Blythe Danner). As Logan gets to know Beth, however, the secret of why he turned up at her door in the first place becomes deeper and deeper buried. Whilst Beth’s exhusband Keith (Jay R. Ferguson) becomes determined to find out for himself, a romance begins to blossom between Logan and Beth, but has the secret already been kept for too long? Directed by Scott Hicks with screenplay by Will Fetters, The Lucky One is an adaptation of the 2008 novel of the same name written by Nicholas Sparks. Spark’s fourteenth novel altogether, The Lucky One is the seventh of his works to be adapted onto the big screen. Producer Denise Di Novi has already brought three of Sparks’ novels to the cinema with Nights in Rodanthe, A Walk to Remember and Message in a Bottle, so it’s likely that we’ve all read or watched an adaptation of one of Spark’s novels before. At the very least we’ve all heard of – or avoided – The Notebook, so it’s easy to presume how the story of The
Lucky One will pan out. And you would be correct. The story of The Lucky One has Sparks written all over it, and for the best part of the film it does go the way that Sparks’ seven other adaptations have all done so far. Whilst the film may not have any real surprises in terms of plot, as we know that a romance will eventually blossom and that something will inevitably get in the way, we are still left to guess what form these obstacles will take. Focusing here on themes of fate and destiny, the film doesn’t follow the typical clichés of other romantic comedies. When writing the novel Sparks commented that, “I wanted to explore the subject of fate or destiny, but in a way that reflected the reality of the world.” And this is one of the great things about the novel as, published during the continued American invasion in Iraq, it is a situation that many of us can relate to or at least take something away from. But whilst this emotional story line is all in place, unfortunately it just doesn’t live up to The Notebook or A Walk To Remember. That’s not to say it’s a throw away film either. It may not break your heart or reduce you to a blubbering mess, but it does give you a lump in your throat at times. The romance is mature and there are a couple of deep story lines that run in the background - the focus on war, especially, makes the story more moving - but it is the character of
Beth’s husband that brings in a darker side to the film, and it is this that will make it stand out for an older audience. Although it’s a great plus to have these themes in place, they constantly need to be taken further, however, as these scenes are not pushed to the same level that we have seen in other of Sparks’ adaptations. As for the casting, Zac Efron is brilliant for the role and this is the main reason that people will be watching it at all. Just like his role in Burr Steers‘ adaptation of Ben Sherwood‘s novel The Death And Life Of Charlie St. Cloud, but with a little more stubble, Efron is great at saying very little but still getting an emotional response through his impressionable gaze. It is all about his appearance though, as it’s only when he gets those biceps out that your heart begins to race, but he does give a strong performance at the same time and his casting really does the film justice. Whilst Efron’s character on his own stands out though, his on-screen chemistry with Taylor Schilling doesn’t quite hit the spot. For a largely unknown actress Schilling does extremely well, but as other adaptations of Sparks’ novels have had two popular actors leading the film it wasn’t as easy to connect to Schilling’s character as, say, with Rachel McAdams‘ role in The Notebook. Still, Schilling’s role does emit quite a lot of emotion, but it was
Release Date: 2nd May 2012
Director: more about her family situation rather than her romance with Efron’s character that gets any reaction. One reasons for this is because whilst at times their relationship hinted at romantic, the sex scenes were then far too PG for their relationship to endorse any real appreciation. There was a great backing cast too though; Beth’s young son Ben’s (Riley Thomas Stewart) role was really well acted for a child role, but it the grandmother’s role, played by Blythe Danner, that I enjoyed the most. As one of my favourite older actors, I had hoped for more of an emotional relationship between her and Schilling’s character to be expressed, as from The Last Kiss we know that Danner can get a great and deeply motivated audience reaction, but nonetheless her inclusion was still a really pleasant addition. There were a few holes in the plot but these have to be put down to the source material, as it was obvious that the constant diversions in conversation were used to make the story lengthier. Other than that there was very little to complain about as the story ran smoothly and, despite having a somewhat predictable story line, does not become boring. Whatever the case, The Lucky One is definitely one to buy for the shelf, ready for one of those rainy days when a good romantic film is needed, because at least it does that well enough.
Famous Faces: Zac Efron, Taylor Schilling and Blythe Danner
t c e p x E o T t a h e W r ’ u o Y n e h W g n i t c e Exp
Another film with multiple screen hubby Ben Falcone story lines interlinking serves as the best narrative together, whilst throwing in drive. Wannabe adoptee a star studded cast. This time Jennifer Lopez delivers a it’s not revolving around a decent performance, as does celebratory day (Valentines or Brooklyn Decker, surprisingly. New Years Eve); it’s all about The guys also do well, Chris pregnancy and the troubles Rock, Amir Talai, Thomas that come with it. Lennon and Rob Huebel bring Every pregnancy cliché a possible likeability for male seeps through the script – the audiences, but yet again the difficulties and easiness of supposable comedy from having bun in the oven, a them doesn’t strike gold. miscarriage, adoption and of Each story relates to each course tested other in some “The film is relationships. way but these smothered Yes, they are connections with relatable, due to come of the film being predictable lazy, and it’s based on the obvious the film humour pregnancy book would benefit and under of the same from some developed name, but What characters being characters, to Expect When abandoned You’re Expecting all together, however it is smothered does have odd prompting the with predictable story to flow moments of humour better and amusement.” and undergive adequate developed characters arcs. characters, however it As a full-blown comedy does have odd moments of it doesn’t succeed but as a amusement mainly thanks to general light hearted film it the varied and beautiful cast. works. What to Expect When Considering what she You’re Expecting will charm had to work with Elizabeth it’s demographic but outside Banks relishes in the material. of that it may come across Her struggling ways and dull and unfunny. the comical banter with on
Release Date: 25th May 2012
Director: Kirk Jones
Famous Faces: Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lopez, Elizabeth Banks ,Matthew Morrison, Dennis Quaid, Chris Rock, Anna Kendrick, Rodrigo Santoro, Thomas Lennon, Chace Crawford, and Rob Huebel
Written by Ben Harris @benh4rris http://mrreviewblog.blogspot.co.uk/
On DVD this month...
May DVD Releases: Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows Date: 14th May Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law reprise their roles as Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson to bring down their fiercest adversary, Professor Moriarty (Jared Harris).
The Artist Date: 28th May
War Horse Date: 7th May
Silent movie star George Valentin bemoans the coming era of talking pictures and fades into oblivion and self-destruction, but finds sparks with Peppy Miller, a young dancer lighting up talkies like no one else.
Steven Spielbergâ€™s war time drama that follows the story of a young boy, Albert, played by Jeremy Irvine, and his horse, Joey. Also stars om Hiddleston, Benedict Cumberbatch, David Thewlis and Emily Watson.
The Descendants Date: 21st May Directed by Alexander Payne, The Descendants is an adaptation of Kaui Hart Hemmingsâ€˜ novel of the same name, which follows Matt King (George Clooney) and his two daughters, Alexandra (Shailene Woodley) and Scottie (Amara Miller).
Chronicle Date: 28th May
Underworld: Awakening Date: 14th May
A found footage style science
When human forces discover the existence of the Vampire and Lycan clans, a war to eradicate both species commences. The vampire warrioress Selene (Kate Beckinsale) leads the battle against humankind.
fiction film that sees three high school friends, Andrew Detmer (Dane DeHaan), Steve Montgomery (Michael B. Jordan), and Matt Garetty (Alex Russell), gain superpowers after making an incredible discovery.
In cinemas next month...
June’s Cinema: Prometheus Date: 1st June Directed by Ridley Scott, this Alien prequel follows a team of explorers discover a clue to the origins of mankind on Earth, leading them on a journey to the darkest corners of the universe.
The Five-Year Engagement Date: 22nd June
Snow White And The Huntsman Date: 1st June
Staring Jason Segel and Emily Blunt, one year after meeting Tom proposes to his girlfriend, Violet, but unexpected events keep tripping them up as they look to walk down the aisle together.
A Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) is ordered to take Snow White (Kristen Stewart) into the woods to kill her, but he winds up becoming her protector in a quest to defeat the Evil Queen (Charlize Theron).
A Fantastic Fear of Everything Date: 8th June Jack (Simon Pegg) is a children’s author turned crime novelist whose detailed research into the lives of Victorian serial killers has turned him into a paranoid wreck.
Rock of Ages Date: 15th June
Your Sister’s Sister Date: 29th June
A small town girl Sherrie (Julianne Hough) and city boy Drew (Diego Boneta) go to Hollywood and meet on the Sunset Strip whilst trying to pursue heir dreams in the big city.
Iris invites her friend Jack to stay at her family’s island getaway after the death of his brother. At their remote cabin, Jack’s drunken encounter with Hannah, Iris’ sister, kicks off a revealing stretch of days.
Published on May 30, 2012
A film guide for May 2012 including reviews for Moonrise Kingdom, The Raid: Redemption, The Lucky One and What To Expect When You're Expecti...