Thursday 7 March 2013

60 Second Film Reviews #2

Quick movie reviews, without the waffle. 60 Second Film Reviews is a regular feature where I compile together brief reviews of recent films I've watched at home or at the movies - and generally couldn't be arsed didn't find time to write a proper review for. 

This month, we have Wreck-It Ralph, The Woman In Black, The Inbetweeners Movie and Cloud Atlas.

Wreck-It Ralph (2012)

Wreck-It Ralph was a great surprise; a unique blend of kiddy humour and gaming references that older audiences will appreciate. It's certainly a film that strives to do something different.

Imagination abound has clearly been poured into the each of the in-game world's in Wreck-It Ralph.  The delectable visuals literally bounce out of the screen (the battle-bruised and bug-infested world of Hero's Duty, the colourful, candy-coated colours of Sugar Rush) give the film its own distinctive look and feel.

With a protagonist that isn't a goody-two shoes ("I am bad and that is good. I will never be good and that's not bad"), Wreck-It Ralph carries an heart-warming message of acceptance that'll please the kiddywinks.

Whilst it doesn't stand head and shoulders above other recent animations (Pixar's Brave and Dreamworks' Rise of the Guardians have the edge there), Wreck-It Ralph is a solid effort from Disney and it shows that the studio isn't afraid to try something a little new.

I give Wreck-It Ralph: 7/10

The Woman In Black (2012)

Moving on from a certain-wizard-franchise-that-must-not-be-named, Daniel Radcliffe stars in this genuinely chilling horror, The Woman In Black. Although it may be a little formulaic for die-hard horror fans, The Woman In Black was a seriously terrifying thriller/horror that will provide genre amateurs like myself with some genuine jump scares and nightmares for days.

It was great to see Radcliffe in a role outside of Harry Potter and he I thought that he carried the film on his shoulders well; He was convincing as both a widow and a father, his last outing as his magical alter-ego already feeling like an age ago.

The Woman In Black is really Radcliffe's show however, with there being only a couple of other characters to propel the story forwards. Also, the ending was a bit of a downer and I felt it could have been handled better.

I give The Woman In Black: 6/10

The Inbetweeners Movie (2011)

A fitting send off for both the cast and the fans, The Inbetweeners Movie is good enough to disprove anyone who says TV shows can't spawn successful films. In fact, with talk of sequel still circulating, there could even be a franchise in the works. 

Anyway, set a year after the end of the show's third and final season, The Inbetweeners Movie picks up where the four lads, Will (Simon Bird), Simon (Joe Thomas), Neil (Blake Harrison) and Jay (James Buckley) are off to the Greek island of Malia for two weeks of alcohol, girls and sun. 

Where this film excels is in its ability to not feel like a dragged out episode of the TV show. The longer run time doesn't harm the casts ability to extract hilarity from the script or add the occasional dash of heart. Whilst there is evidence of character development here, this being The Inbetweeners, the film doesn't take itself too seriously and it also avoids using any predictable romantic/comedy plot clich├ęs near the end. 

I give The Inbetweeners Movie: 8/10

Cloud Atlas (2013)

An adaptation of David Mitchell's multi-stranded novel so ambitious it took three directors to film it all, The Wachowski's and Tom Tykwer's Cloud Atlas is an impressive piece of visually striking film-making that manages to fall a little short of classic status. 

Cloud Atlas tells the story of one soul that is spread across six past, present and future historical eras that are all interconnected with one another across time. Starring Tom Hanks, Hugh Grant, Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent, Ben Whishaw and many more, the film certainly boasts an impressive ensemble cast that all appear in various guises across the six plot strands (spotting each actor/actress in each story can be turned into a fun drinking game!), but the multiple plots and locales means that Cloud Atlas loses track of its original notion of everything being interconnected. Sometimes, the plot points that connect the dots can feel forced or too briefly touched upon to really make an impact.

The films biggest plus point is the acting; there really isn't any single weak link in its cast. Another plus point is the luscious visuals and settings, the depictions of the futuristic Neo-Seoul and Hawaii being the most eye-catching.

I give Cloud Atlas: 6/10


  1. I just watched Cloud Atlas as well, verrry long and it did get quite disconnected at times. Some paths were quite emotional at the end.

    1. Yeah, I can see why many people thought it was unfilmable. Maybe it would've benefitted from being split into two parts :)



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