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Tag Archives: Drama

Review: Chronicle

Before I saw this DVD I had heard a lot of praise for this film but for one reason or another I didn’t get to see at the cinema but as soon as the DVD/Bluray has come out I got the chance to check it out and I found it is as good as the reviewers said it was. The unknown cast was very convincing and it had an interesting story and I really enjoyed it

Three high school boys find a hole created by some large crystal buried in the ground. The boys touch it and it reacts causing a cave-in that the boys manage to escape. Later they find out that they have telekinetic powers, the ability to manipulate objects with their minds. The boys are Steve (Michael B. Jordan) and Matt (Alex Russell), two popular boys at school and Andrew (Dane DeHaan) who is a quiet unpopular boy but he is Matt’s cousin who looks out for him a bit. Andrew is taping everything on his video camera which he started doing to record all the crap that happens to him such as being abused by his drunken father or bullied by people in his school. He easily shifts to recording the three of them testing out their new powers instead.

They realise that with practice they are getting better at using their powers and have fun trying out new things and playing tricks on people. They are all getting stronger but it seems that Andrew is getting stronger faster and has developed quite good fine control of his power. This might be because it means more to him because he is now powerful and now has companions and, while Matt and Steve still have their social lives, Andrew spends all his spare time practising using his powers. Andrew even starts to gain a bit of social status when he gives a small demonstration of his powers disguised as a conjuring act at a school talent show.

Things start coming apart when Andrew lashes out with his power and he nearly kills someone. Steve and Matt are horrified and it becomes clear that there is real danger to their powers, especially when possessed by someone who has spent years as a seething ball of anger and resentment, powerless to change his miserable home life. Things come to climax when even with his power things at home only get worse.

This is a really good film. It is a found-footage type film but there is very little of the nausea-inducing shaky cam and I thought it was quite well done. I know some people have mentioned it is like superhero origin story and there are definite elements of that but the characters do feel more real, thanks to the direction and performances, especially Dane DeHaan as Andrew.

Rating 8/10

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Posted by on June 18, 2012 in Entertainment, Film

 

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Review: Dream House

When I saw the trailer for this film I thought it looked interesting but when I heard the negative reviews I was a little cautious but at least it had a great cast so how could it go too badly wrong?  I can’t go too far into this film without revealing spoilers and even if those spoilers are in the trailer I should really try to avoid revealing too much.

Will Atenton (Daniel Craig) leaves his job as an editor of a magazine to spend more time with his wife Libby (Rachel Weisz) and two young daughters in their new house in the suburbs where he wants to begin work on writing a book. Will becomes aware of strange things happening around the house and he thinks someone is watching the house.  It turns out that the house has a tragic history – the previous owner Peter Ward went mad and killed his family, or so everyone believes. Will uncovers the shocking truth with the help of his neighbour Ann Patterson (Naomi Watts).

Even though I knew the main twist in the story from the trailer I was sure that the film had a few more surprises in store and even though it does they are fairly dull compared to main twist. I though t it did a good job of building up as a fairly typical psychological thriller for most of the film but the climax of the film is just a letdown for me. There was no doubting the quality of the acting from the leads and the supporting cast. The problem for me is that the story just doesn’t maintain the promise of the first half. I don’t if I would have preferred to have experienced the film in total ignorance of the story since I can’t communicate with that version of reality but even if I had I’m sure the ending would still have had the same affect. It isn’t a horrible film but it’s nothing to get excited about either.

Rating 5/10

 
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Posted by on April 24, 2012 in Entertainment, Film

 

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Review: We Need to Talk About Kevin

I had seen too many positive reviews of this film so that I was afraid going into it that it could only disappoint me. It is with great relief that after watching the film on Bluray it is every bit as good as the reviewers had said.

The story is not told linearly but as a series of short episodes gradually revealing more about a terrible crime committed by the Kevin (Ezra Miller) of the title, the teenage son of Eva Katchadourian (Tilda Swinton). This film focuses on Eva and her life coping in the aftermath of Kevin’s actions such as cleaning up the red paint splashed over her house and car by an angry neighbour or being assaulted by a grieving relative of one of Kevin’s victims for smiling for a moment.

Before Kevin was born Eva was a globe-trekking travel writer but after he’s born Eva is stuck at home with baby Kevin while her husband Franklin (John C Reilly) is out at work all day. Kevin cries constantly when Eva is alone with him but is all smiles when he’s with Franklin.

When he’s a toddler he is just nasty towards his mother but has learned to turn on the tears around Franklin so he doesn’t think there’s any need to talk what might be wrong with Kevin. The only time Kevin shows any sign of affection towards Eva is when she reads him stories about Robin Hood. When Kevin is eight they have daughter Celia who gives and receives plenty of love from Eva. When Celia loses an eye in an apparent accident Franklin doesn’t take Eva’s suspicions of teenage Kevin being responsible at all seriously.

The film looks at guilt and blame with a lot people in Eva’s town unable to talk to her because of what Kevin did.  They direct their anger at her because they can’t reach Kevin and traditionally it is always the parents to blame. Eva blames herself too because she could never show Kevin that she loved him and Kevin always sensed this. She accepts their stares and dirty looks without complaint

This is a brilliant film and I can now really appreciate the tragic irony of the title. Tilda Swinton is excellent as Eva and Ezra Miller is very convincingly nasty as teenage Kevin but so too are the boys playing the younger Kevin. This is no popcorn film at all but an intelligent serious drama.

Rating 10/10

 
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Posted by on March 5, 2012 in Entertainment, Film

 

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