X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)

logoDirector: Bryan Singer

Writer: Simon Kinberg (Screenplay) Jane Goldman, Simon Kinberg, Matthew Vaughn (Story)

Starring: Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Halle Berry, Nicholas Hoult, Anna Paquin, Ellen Page, Peter Dinklage, Shawn Ashmore, Omar Sy, Evan Peters, Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, Daniel Cudmore

 

Plot: Sentinels, robots that were created for the purpose of hunting down mutants were released in 1973. 50 Years later the Sentinels would also hunt humans who aid mutants. Charles Xavier (Stewart) and his X-Men try their best to deal with the Sentinels but they are able to adapt and deal with all mutant abilities. Charles decides to go back in time and change things. He asks Kitty Pryde (Page) who can send a person’s consciousness into the person’s past to send him but she can only send someone back a few weeks because if she sends someone back further it could harm them. Logan (Jackman) decides to go back himself because he might be able to withstand it. Charles tells him that it’s Mystique (Lawrence) who’s responsible because when she learned about eh Sentinels she sought out Bollivar Trask (Dinklage) the man who created them and killed him. She would be caught and studied and her ability to change was somehow added to the Sentinels which is why they can adapt. Logan must go to the younger Charles (McAvoy) and ask him to help; problem is that he was despondent at that time and without his powers because he took a drug which allows him to walk but takes away his powers. Logan is also told to find Magneto (Fassbender).

 

Verdict: X-Men Meets Terminator

 

Story: First off let’s look at how the balance between two different time zones works, the 1970s world is created well and using plenty of references from the previous films, while the modern world is very dark, full of death. These two meet well and without confusing bounce between very easily. The whole let’s stop the government from creating something to stop mutants for seemingly no reason feels done before but how it is executed works well. What plays out like just another X-Men film ups the stakes again from previous instalments and builds on the smarter story telling of ‘X-Men: First Class’ using the characters from the original trilogy, in what must be the first reboot reunion cast film. The story is very enjoyable and easy to follow and using time travel can sometimes get confusing this doesn’t let that happen as we learn more about the origins of other mutants including Mystique, Quicksilver and Beast. (8/10)

 

Actor Reviews

 

Hugh Jackman: Wolverine with his healing ability he goes back in time, well his mind at least, he knows about certain mutant abilities the others in the past are unaware of and gets to enjoy the fun that involved him mocking the people that helped him in the future. Good performance from Hugh but wouldn’t expect anything less from him. (9/10)

 wolverine

James McAvoy: Charles Xavier struggling to deal with the pain from the finale of the previous film, he has sacrificed his powers to walk, but lost his fight to save other mutants struggling. Logan helps restore his faith and fight for what is right. Good performance from James showing the struggle a man has between his own personally wellbeing and the wellbeing of others. (8/10)

mcavoy

Michael Fassbender: Erik Lehnsher locked up for assignation of JFK we are left to wonder if he has changed his ways since the last encounter in Cuba, he soon shows his true colours and will do anything to get the upper hand in the war with humans. Good performance from Michael who gets to let loose after all his serious roles. (8/10)

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Jennifer Lawrence: Mystique the shape shifting mutant who can become anyone and has caused the effects that have created the dark future. She is still torn between Charles and Erik fights and we are left to guess what side she will pick. Good performance from Jennifer showing she really is the golden girl of Hollywood right now. (8/10)

 mystique

Nicolas Hoult: Beast the only mutant who has stayed loyal to Charles who spends his time looking after his estate while treating him for his pain. Beast shows his colours when he is tested and puts everything into fighting for what is right. Good performance from Nicolas showing he is a rising force in Hollywood. (8/10)

 beast

Ellen Page: Kitty Pryde uses her ability to send Logan mind back in time. Only a small role that is a big part, as she spends the whole film holding Logan’s mind in time. (7/10)

 

Peter Dinklage: Doctor Bolivar Trask the creator of the Sentinels who wants to unleash them to stop mutants, but his true motive is never really explained. Good performance from Peter who is always great in everything. (8/10)

 dinklage

Evan Peters: Quicksilver a young mutant with super speed, he has been using his powers for his own personal gain but when a chance to break Erik out comes up he jumps at the chance to help. Good performance who basically steals the scenes he is in even though he is only in a few. (9/10)

 quciksilver

Patrick Stewart: Profession Xavier the older version of the man who has come up with the plan to send someone back in time to stop what has been happening. Good supporting role as most of the story looks at his older self. (7/10)

 

Ian McKellen: Magneto like Patrick Stewart this is the older version of the character who has joined forces with his old enemy to stop their demise by the Sentinels. Good supporting role where we finally sees his good side. (7/10)

magneto

Director Review: Bryan Singer – Good direction to balance both time eras into one story without confusing and keeping the same level of seriousness and light humour bought into the series by Matthew Vaughn. (8/10)

 

Action: Great action be it in either time eras that also keep up the dark tone being shown by comic book films. (9/10)

Sci-Fi: The mixing of time eras is well executed and helps the story unfold to the next level. (9/10)

Superhero: Brilliant superhero film that uses many of people’s favourites throughout the film even if it is just a small cameo, blink and you may miss one or two. (10/10)

Settings: Each setting builds the story up, the modern dark destructed cities from the war and the past settings are recreated with good authenticity. (9/10)
Special Effects
: Great effects used throughout but there are a couple of clear blue screen back drops involving Mystique. (8/10)

Suggestion: This is one to be watching it is full of action, both dark and easy to watch along with some very good humour moments and nods to previous films. (Watch)

 

Best Part: Quicksilver during the prison escape.

Worst Part: The obvious time travel issues.

Action Scene Of The Film: The modern time final attack

Funniest Scene: Logan’s first meeting with young Charles.

Kill Of The Film: Most of the modern ones.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Yes one is planned.

Post Credits Scene: Yes

Similar Too: Terminator

 

Oscar Chances: Unlikely

Box Office: $351,386,660 (So Far)

Budget: $200 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 11 Minutes.

Tagline: His Past, Our Future

 

Overall: Logan the New Terminator Sent Back to Stop a Future Apocalypse

Rating 91

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Flags of Our Fathers (2006)

logoDirector: Clint Eastwood

Writer: William Broyles Jr., Paul Haggis (Screenplay) James Bradley, Ron Powers (Book)

Starring: Ryan Philippe, Jesse Bradford, Adam Beach, John Benjamin Hickey, John Slattery, Barry Pepper, Jamie Bell, Paul Walker, Robert Patrick, Neal McDonough, Melanie Lynskey, Thomas McCarthy

 

Plot: In 1945, the Marines attack twelve thousand Japanese protecting the twenty square kilometres of the sacred Iwo Jima Island in a very violent battle. When they reach the Mount Suribachi and six soldiers raise their flag on top, the picture becomes a symbol in a post Great Depression America. The government brings the three survivors to America to raise funds for war, bring hope to desolate people, and making the three men heroes of the war. However, the traumatized trio have difficulty dealing with the image built by their superiors, sharing the heroism with their mates.

 

Verdict: Touching drama

 

Story: With this based on accounts of the men involved we have to give this credit for it not needing to be made up, but I feel it is hard to keep up with both the war scenes and what is happening post war as well as who is telling what story. It feels like each part of the story is told well but not given the full credit it really deserves. Much like most of Eastwood’s films it never tests you rather just lets the story unfold on front of you at a steady pace making sure you take everything in. (8/10)

 

Actor Reviews

 

Ryan Philippe: John ‘Doc’ Bradley the younger version of the guy telling the story, he is famed for being involved in the flag raising but only part of the second one, he has to travel around with the other two survivors and help raise money for the war effort. Good performance from Ryan who shows he can lead a film that isn’t just commercial. (8/10)

 ryan

Jesse Bradford: Rene the most camera media friendly of the three survivors but relies on his fame to carry his life, but unfortunately doesn’t once the war is over. Good performance from the Jesse putting himself on the map in Hollywood. (7/10)

 jesse

Adam Beach: Ira the troubled reluctant hero of the event, who suffers greatly with alcohol problems while on tour, just trying to cope with the horrors of what he has gone through. Great performance from Adam who really steps up and steals the show. (9/10)

 beach

Barry Pepper: Mike the squadron leader who  takes his men into battle, even though he has been promised a safer promotion, he is involved in the flag raising but failed to make it home. Good from Pepper who continues to make a brilliant support cast member. (8/10)

 pepper

Jamie Bell: Iggy the youngest and most innocent of the unit who becomes Doc’s buddy in war, involved in the original flag rising, but suffers a horrific death. Good performance from Bell taking some early steps in Hollywood with a top director. (7/10)

bell

Paul Walker: Hank is one of the original flag raisers who dies during an ambush. Good supporting performance from Walker. (7/10)

 

Director Review: Clint Eastwood – Confident gentle paced film, the trademark from the director who always gives us quality. (8/10)

 

Drama: Showing the aftermath of the war on the characters really shows how different people did react to everything that happened. (9/10)

History: Good look at the historical event that created one of the most iconic moments in American history. (8/10)

War: The war scenes are well constructed, but a lot of the horrors are off camera. (7/10)

Settings: Good use of settings for the war scenes, but the post war scenes are very genetic. (8/10)
Special Effects
: Great special effects used for the war scenes. (9/10)

Suggestion: I would suggest trying this, if you want to see a bit of history then you will enjoy but the more casual Saving Private Ryan fans may find this very slow. (Try it)

 

Best Part: Ira meets a parent of a lost soldier and just hugs her and cries at a big event.

Worst Part: Very slow

Action Scene Of The Film: The scene where we see what happens to the other soldiers.

Believability: Based on real events. (9/10)

Chances of Tears: Maybe a couple but not sure. (2/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: Real photos used from the war to go with the credits.

Similar Too: Stop Loss

 

Oscar Chances: Nominated for 2 Oscars

Box Office: $65,900,249

Budget: $53 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 12 Minutes

Tagline: All it takes to win is the right picture.

 

Overall:  Great look at an iconic moment in history

Rating 80

Trailer Alert – The Book Of Life

From producer Guillermo del Toro and director Jorge Gutierrez comes an animated comedy with a unique visual style. THE BOOK OF LIFE is the journey of Manolo, a young man who is torn between fulfilling the expectations of his family and following his heart. Before choosing which path to follow, he embarks on an incredible adventure that spans three fantastical worlds where he must face his greatest fears. Rich with a fresh take on pop music favourites, THE BOOK OF LIFE encourages us to celebrate the past while looking forward to the future.

Release Date: 24th October 2014

Questions:

Is this a Halloween version of A Nightmare Before Christmas?

It looks like it could be targeted for all, but will it be?

With an all-star cast this could turn into the animated film of the year, do you think it will get an Oscar nod?

Will I Be Watching? Yes

Will You Be Watching?

My Anticipation Rating –80%
Will It Be Number One In UK? – Yes

New Releases – 30th May

Maleficent – The untold story of the villain from ‘Sleeping Beauty’ reveals the events that hardened Maleficent’s heart and drove her to curse the baby, Aurora only later realize that the child may hold the key to peace in the land.

maleficentMy Guess for Rating – 70%
My Anticipation Rating – 50%
Will It Be Number One In UK? – No

Edge of Tomorrow – A soldier fighting in a war with aliens finds himself caught in a time loop of his last day in battle, though he becomes better skilled along the way.

edge of tomorrowMy Guess for Rating – 85%
My Anticipation Rating – 90%
Will It Be Number One In UK? – No

A Million Ways to Die in the West – As a cowardly farmer begins to fall for the mysterious new woman in town, he must pit his new-found courage to the test when her husband, a notorious gun slinger, announces  his arrival.

a million ways to die in the westMy Guess for Rating – 90%
My Anticipation Rating – 90%
Will It Be Number One In UK? – No

Pele – The life story if Brazilian football legend Pele.

My Guess for Rating – 60%
My Anticipation Rating – 50%
Will It Be Number One In UK? – No

Jimmy’s Hall – Political activist Jimmy Gralton is deported from Ireland during the country’s Red Scare of the 1930s.

jimmy hallMy Guess for Rating – 70%
My Anticipation Rating – 30%
Will It Be Number One In UK? – No

Downhill – Four old school friends reunite to attempt the epic coast to coast walk, across the United Kingdom. As their journey unfolds, this comically incompatible foursome walk full tilt into their mid-life crises.

downhillMy Guess for Rating – 75%
My Anticipation Rating – 50%
Will It Be Number One In UK? – No

 

Newguy’s Pick of the Week – A Million Ways to Die in the West

Lesley’s Pick of the Week – A Million Ways to Die in the West

Top 5 Ted Levine Roles

Ted Levine has 69 credits to his name according to the IMDB; he usually plays a supporting role in film and is often able to perform at high levels without collecting all the praise that the stars of the film receive. Today is his birthday and I am going to look at my favourite five roles of his career.

5. General Woodman – Evolution

5

A rival General who wants to do everything by the military book, going against Ira and everything he stands for. Good authority villain role showing he can perform law characters either side of the fence.

4. Warden – Shutter Island

4

The warden of the mental hospital being investigated by Teddy Daniels, in this Martin Scorsese thriller.

3. Thomas Blackburn – Banshee Chapter

ted

Thomas is writer who has written about the Banshee Chapter who ends up uses the drugs from the experiments to his leisure before the truth finally starts to come out, he has to join forces with a reporter to uncover the truth. A small budget horror that really comes off for him.

2. Captain Leland Stottlemeyer – Monk

2

As Adrian Monk’s former partner and friend, Leland has help from Mr Monk to solve cases all over San Francisco as well as dealing with all the quirks that comes with. Leland has a great patience for Monk’s antics as well as running a police squad. Ted is great in this role with his serious side working well with Monk’s alternative side.

1. Buffalo Bill – Silence Of The Lambs

ted

In one of the greatest horror thrillers of all time Hopkins and Foster get nearly all the praise and awards. But it is Ted’s work as the deranged killer Buffalo Bill that is a brilliant performance that really does stand equal to them both.