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Mini-Reviews: Films I’ve Watched Recently, Part 3

By Amazon, Reviews, TV, Online Streaming & FilmsNo Comments

Welcome to the final part of my Mini-Reviews of Films I’ve watched recently. The second part is here: Part 2 and the first part is here: Part 1. I know I’ve got a bit delayed in writing this post (it’s been sat in my Drafts for a while) and that I haven’t wrote any other film reviews recently, but that’s because I’ve read so many fantastic books I’ve wanted to share with you. Anyway onto the films…

The Vow (2012)
In The Vow (2012) Paige and Leo are a married couple who are still very much in love. They leave a theatre walking to the car in the freshly falling snow. Once they get into the car Paige rubs her bitterly cold hands together; Leo takes her hands into his, puts them near his mouth and gently blows warming them up with his breath. On the drive home Leo stops at a red light. Paige unbuckles her seatbelt to kiss him and a truck hits the back of them. Paige is knocked through the windscreen.

Afterwards at the hospital Leo recovers well, remembering back to how they met and how their relationship developed with the audience being shown a montage of these events. Paige is in a coma and when awakens she has permanent amnesia, remembering nothing about her life with Leo.

Paige goes back to the last people she remembers loved her, her family. Paige goes back to her apartment with Leo and starts to try to piece together the bits of her life she can’t remember. Paige discovers that she doesn’t have many photos of her family and asks Leo about it. Leo tells Paige that she wasn’t that close to her family. Paige and Leo drift apart with Leo heartbroken.

Paige rediscovers why she wasn’t close to her family, rediscovers her forgotten passions and in the final scenes in the film rediscovers Leo. Leo goes to get something to eat at what used to be their favourite place before the car accident; but it’s closed because of a Snow Day, as he turns to leave he sees Paige. Paige suggests they try an alternative place they used to go to when this place was closed, but they agree to try somewhere new. The ending implies a happily ever after as they walk off to experience a mexican place round the corner both going for this new experience together.

This film is inspired by a true story and without doubt is one of the best love story films I’ve seen in a long time. It has happy ending that leaves you feeling good. The actress playing Paige was brillant, but the actor playing Leo wasn’t. I have watched this film again and again and still enjoy it. If you’re into love stories with a happy ending you’ll love it.

The Wicker Tree (2010)
The Wicker Tree (2010) starts in Texas, America with the Cowboys for Christ evangelical group. They are dispatching Beth (a Pop Star turned evangelical Christian) and Steve (her boyfriend) to Scotland to spread the word of God. Beth & Steve have purity rings meaning they wont have sex before marriage.

The story is somewhat forgettable, but from what I can remember Beth & Steve are negatively received when they arrive in Scotland. A Lord and his wife invite Beth & Steve to stay with them in a small village to convert some of the locals. Beth & Steve accept, but what they don’t know is that the whole village is pagan led by the Lord and his wife.

Once there Beth struggles with an internal conflict between what she wants to do and what the church says is right. Steve is quickly corrupted by a beautiful blonde. The film ends with Beth & Steve becoming part of the local pagans sinister May Day celebrations.

Up! (2009)
Up! (2009) is an animated film by Pixar and is one of the best animated films I’ve ever seen. Carl is a young child obsessed with Charles Munts an adventurer who brings back a giant bird skeleton from Paradise Falls (South America). He meets Ellie whom also loves adventure and wants to go to Paradise Falls.

Carl & Ellie become good friends and then an emotionally touching montage starts showing them falling in love, getting married, losing a baby & being told they’ll never have children, starting to save for a trip to Paradise Falls but then the jar being broken as their car needs fixing, the jar being put on a shelf & being forgotten about and them working enjoying their life together to their old age. The montage ends showing Carl see the jar in his old age, buying the tickets to Paradise Falls, taking Ellie to the park to surprise her, but then Ellie falling ill & ending up in hospital never to return home. This montage alone made me cry which is testament to the storyboarding.

Then in present day Carl is a grumpy OAP still living in his town house, his only connection to Ellie. The once quiet neighbourhood has been changed into an urban development with high rises all around his house. When a builders truck hits his mailbox Carl loses his temper and hits the construction worker. This leads to a Judge saying he must sell his home and move into care. But Carl has other ideas and ties a gazillion multi-coloured helium ballons to his house and takes off, destination: Paradise Falls. But Carl gets a disturbing surprise when in mid-air he hears a knock at the door; it’s Russell a young boy whose a Wilderness Explorer.

The film is essentially an adventure film that’s about rediscovering life for Carl and discovering a father figure for Russell. There’s undertones of sadness and hope throughout the film as the characters bond and a relationship develops with a mutual threat that they discover in Paradise Falls.

There’s another lovely montage at the end of Carl & Russell both living their lives as we come to hope for them; unsurprisingly I cried with happiness at this ending.

Zombieland (2012)
I love a good zombie film and Zombieland (2010) is one the best. It’s more of a comedy than a horror; Columbus is an uber-geek and former College Student whose survived a zombie apocalypse with his list of rules. He has a number of rules on his list including: Rule 1 – Cardio, Rule 4 – Seat belts and Rule 48 – Hygiene. Columbus is making his way across America back to of his hometown of Columbus, Ohio in the hopes of finding his family among the survivors.

This unlikely survivor meets Tallahassee a bad ass zombie killer obsessed with finding a Twinkie and they agree to travel together. Along the way they meet Wichita & Little Rock two sisters who cheat them out of their car and weapons. Columbus & Tallahassee find a Yellow Hummer and decide to go after the trickster sisters.

Columbus & Tallahassee catch up with the sisters, there’s a stand off between them which ends when Columbus loses his temper telling them that they’ve all got bigger problems to worry about. They decide to journey to their own destinations together with the sisters saying that they are heading to an amusement park called Pacific Playland in Los Angeles. Columbus, Wichita & Little Rock have heard that their destinations are zombie-free. But Wichita lets slip that Columbus, Ohio has been completely destroyed and with this revelation he decides to accompany the others to California.

Their journey has some funny scenes; and along the way we find out why Tallahassee isn’t searching for a place of safety and what he’s lost. We see a relationship start to unfold between Columbus & Wichita.

As the film reaches it’s conclusion Wichita & Little Rock arrive at Pacific Playland in the dead of night. They turn on all the lights and rides and attract the local zombie population. They end up stuck on a ride up in the air with zombie’s climbing up to get them. But just when they think it’s all over, Columbus & Tallahassee turn up and save them. The final scene shows the whole group leaving together as a makeshift family.

The film is what I’d call an easy watcher, meaning that if you don’t analyse it too much you can really let yourself go and have a good laugh. Definitively more a comedy with zombies thrown in, than a zombie film with comedy. Some critics have compared it to Shaun of the Dead (2004), probably because they are the only two mainstream zombie comedy’s around; I’d hate to compare the two but if I had to I’d say Shaun of the Dead (2004) is slightly funnier. Still well worth a watch though.

Zookeeper (2011)
Zookeeper (2011) is a film about Griffin, a Zookeeper at Franklin Park Zoo. Five years ago his marriage proposal was turned down by his girlfriend of the time because of his job.

Then he see’s her again and she still seems interested. He decides to win her back, even if it means working with his brother at the Car Dealership. The animals (who can and do talk to one another) hear about this so decide speak to Griffin to help him win his former girlfriend back whilst staying at the Zoo. From the animals point of view he’s the best Zookeeper they’ve ever had and they want to keep him.

It’s suppose to be a comedy but I failed to find any of it funny, despite really trying too. I think the problem was that it’s very dumbed down humour. The storyline was glaringly obvious from the start: Griffin and his ex-girlfriend get back together and he realises she’s not the one for him. Instead Griffin ends up with Kate the Vet who works at the Zoo.

Review soon,


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Mini-Reviews: Films I’ve Watched Recently, Part 2

By Amazon, Reviews, TV, Online Streaming & FilmsNo Comments

Welcome to Part 2 of my Mini-Reviews of Films I’ve watched recently. The First part of this post can be found here: Mini-Reviews: Films I’ve Watched Recently, Part 1.

Immortals (2011)
Immortals (2011) is a brilliant film with a good mix of action and storyline. It’s about Hyperian a King who wants the bow of epirus to release the Titans. The Gods (Zeus etc.) and the Titans thought a war, with the Gods winning and the Titans being imprisoned. The death of Hyperian’s wife and daughter through disease has made him turn away from the Gods and become determined to release the Titans to kill the Gods as they wouldn’t intervene in his time of need.

Theseus is the main character and will only fight for what he cares about which at the beginning of the film is his mother. When Hyperian’s army arrive Theseus fights but he’s unable to save his mother who they kill. The soldiers catch Theseus and decide that he’s to work as a slave with some others in salt mines. On route Theseus meets the Virgin Oracle and they escape Hyperian’s soliders. The Gods are watching and Ares wants to intervene but Zeus won’t allow it stating they must have faith in mankind. They travel back to Theseus’ village (with a little help from Poseidon) so that he can bury his mother in the religious chamber, which is where he discovers the bow of epirus. Theseus and the Virgin Oracle are intimate removing the Oracle’s ability to see the future which she sees as a curse.

Theseus is ambushed and Hyperian gets the bow of epirus. Ares saves Theseus and Athena provides them with horses to get to Mount Tartarus. Zeus appears and is angry at Ares and Athena for disobeying him. Zeus kills Ares for saving Theseus and tells him he’s on his own. Then Zeus and Athena return to Mount Olympus.

Theseus and the others arrive at Mount Tartarus and tries to warn his King about Hyperian’s intentions but he doesn’t listen. The war begins with Hyperian using the bow of epirus to destroy the wall surrounding the city. Hyperian needs to get in to Mount Tartarus as that’s where the Titan’s are imprisoned. Hyperian releases the Titans and Zeus, Poseidon, Athena, Heracles and Apollo appear to fight them.

Theseus eventually kills Hyperian while Zeus destroys the bow of epirus. The battle between the Gods and the Titan’s goes well, the Gods are more than a match for the Titans but are overwhelmed by the sheer number of them. Theseus has been injured during the battle with Hyperian and is close to death. Only Zeus and Poseidon make it out alive before. Zeus takes Theseus and gives him a place in Mount Olympus as a reward before collapsing the mountain. The film ending is set several years later with the Virgin Oracle having Theseus’ child who is told he will one day have to fight evil.

It was a fantastic film which had brilliantly choreographed action scenes; good use of CGI and an epic story that is well paced and keeps you captivated throughout. It was one of those films that I really wished I’d seen at the cinemas, well worth watching.

Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol (2011)
I’ve previously watched Mission Impossible and Mission Impossible 2, but by the time the third film was released I was a bit like mission possible? Action films really aren’t my bag, but I thought I’d give the fourth in the series Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol (2011) a chance.

It was the same sort of storyline as the other films, Ethan and his team must stop the Russian’s from declaring war on the US. The US administration denying all knowledge of Ethan and his team are caught. The two aspects that made me finish the film were the cool technology and the humour from Simon Pegg who played a minor member of Ethan’s team.

If you really enjoyed the previous films, then you’ll really like this film. I found it too simliar to the other films in the series.

Skyline (2010)
Skyline (2010) is about a couple Jarrod and Elaine who go the visit Jarrod’s best friend Terry in L.A. when aliens attack. Terry’s made it big in L.A. with a swanky apartment and loads of money. Terry offers his oldest friend Jarrod a job in L.A, meaning Jarrod and Elaine would have to move. Terry hosts a party, Jarrod and Elaine get into a heated discussion about the move (Jarrod wanting to move and Elaine not). In the heat of the moment Elaine reveals that she’s pregnant. Later that night blue lights start to appear in the sky memorising anyone who looks at them and giving them the impulse to get as close to them as they can. Think moths to a flame.

Soon enough alien ships appear with the blue lights sucking up human beings all over L.A. Terry, Jarrod, Elaine and a few others are informed by the T.V that alien ships have appeared all over the world and are sucking up human beings with the blue lights. In L.A. alien ships are scanning buildings for humans they may have missed. The group realise they can’t stay indoors and wait it out. Jarrod notices that there are no alien ships over the seas. The group decide to head for open waters, but upon leaving the apartment block are attacked by aliens and end up back inside. The following day the remaining survivors of the group see the US Air Force fire a nuclear missile. At first they think they’ve won as the alien ship falls to the ground following the detonation. But it repairs in a matter of seconds and is back in the air.

After this the story got a bit far fetched. Jarrod and Elaine are sucked up by a blue light into an alien ship. Inside Jarrod’s brain is removed and put in an alien body, meanwhile Elaine is taken into another chamber where pregnant humans are kept. But Jarrod’s feelings for Elaine and his unborn child mean he fights other aliens and then carries Elaine to safety.

The CGI was incredible but the storyline could have been massively improved. Firstly, I had little care for the main characters. This could have been improved by seeing more of the relationship between Jarrod and Elaine prior to the alien attack. Secondly, it would have been good to give humans some advantage over the aliens. This would have enabled humans to have a fighting chance and mean’t the writers could have tapped into the emotional responses of the audience. Emotions such as hope, loss and love.

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
I was going to do a mini-review of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011) in this post, but I enjoyed the film so much that I felt it deserved a full review on it’s own. So a review of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011) is coming soon.

Write soon,


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Film Nights

By Reviews, TV, Online Streaming & FilmsNo Comments

Monies been tight, so what better way to enjoy a cheap night in than a Film Night?

I’ve had a few film nights recently, picking up a DVD or two for a fiver and then settling down with some popcorn. So what have I watched and what have I thought? Well…here goes…

Simon Pegg and Nick Frost have created some brilliant films such as Shaun of The Dead and Hot Fuzz. Paul is their latest film about two sci-fi geeks who travel to America for a road trip of UFO hot spots. Then by chance they meet Paul.

Paul is an alien who’s been hanging out in a military base but has decided to catch the first ride home. In pursuit of Graeme (Pegg), Clive (Frost) and Paul are federal agents. Along the way they meet Ruth a Christian Fundamentalist who comes along for the ride and Graeme finds he likes. What follows is an hilarious sci-fi comedy which ends with Paul getting home, Graeme and Clive writing a book that everyone at Comic Con assumes is fiction.

The film starts 6 years after NASA discovered the possibility of alien life within our solar system. A probe was sent to collect samples and on it’s return it crashed over Central America. It created an Infected Zone taking up half of Mexico.

The film starts in Mexico were the two central characters are introduced. Kaulder is a US Journalist trying to get photos of the aliens for a paper he works for and Sam the daughter of the owner of the paper. Her father instructs Kaulder to get her home safely. They are forced to go through the Infected Zone to get back to the US.

What follows is a story about the development of a relationship between the two main characters. The acting is weak at best and although there are the occasional action scenes, the film is somewhat forgettable. If I’d seen the film on the TV, I certainly wouldn’t have bought it.

The Last Airbender
Aang is the last Airbender and appears in the Southern Water nation. The Fire nation soon discover him and chase after him. The Fire nation want dominance over all and they’ve already killed off the Air nation, mostly dominate the earth nation and are starting to dominate the Water nation. Each nation has the ability to manipulate their element.

Traditionally one member of the Air Nation becomes the Avatar: the one that keeps balance and peace between all nations. Aang was the chosen one but ran away as he didn’t want to be the Avatar. The Avatar has mastery over all the elements which is how they must keep balance. Aang sees the suffering of the people and decides to become the Avatar. But he needs to learn how to manipulate Water, Earth and Fire.

In this film he learns to manipulate Water and Earth but the Fire nation are closing in on him. As the film comes to an end I realise that the story is to continue in another film. I tried to Google the next film but it turns out that Nickelodeon haven’t decided if they are making the next film or not yet.

The Mist
This film is based on the book by Stephen King. It’s a horror-type-film based in a small town in New England. After a storm, a mist develops and envelops town while a father and his young son are in a supermarket. People try to leave the supermarket but there are things in the mist, creatures from another dimension. It turns out that an Army Base close by had been working on a way to make a window to other dimensions but accidentally created a door – allowing the mist and the creatures through too their world.

What follows is a brilliant film with suspense, action and characters that all deal with the stress of life threatening situation in different ways. Eventually the father and son and a few other characters escape to a car and drive. They drive and drive until they run out of petrol. The father has a gun with four bullets but there are five people in the car.

They all feel hopeless, so he shoots the others and then in emotional state gets out of the car shouting the creatures in the mist to come for him. But at that point the army turns up to clear up their mess and eradicate the creatures. That’s how the film ends and I couldn’t help being disappointed that they’d given up hope.

Season Of The Witch
This film is set in the time of the crusades with two particular crusaders. After slaughtering women and children in the name of god they decide to leave the crusades. Known as deserters a Cardinal catches them. He agrees to let them go home if they first transport a girl suspected of being a dangerous witch to a remote monastery so that Monks can perform a ritual to rid the land of her curse. But is she an innocent girl or a witch?

There’s a lot of suspense in this film but the end of it is good. At the end the witch becomes a powerful demon trying to distory all copies of a book full of rituals to banish him and other demons. Needless to say the crusaders are successful but die in the process and the girl is free of the demon. The end of the film is good, but it does drag through the middle.

Blog soon,


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