King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (2017)

Director: Guy Ritchie

Writer: Joby Harold, Guy Ritchie, Lionel Wigram (Screenplay) David Dobkin, Joby Harold (Story)

Starring: Charlie Hunnam, Astrid Berges-Frisbey, Jude Law, Djimon Hounsou, Eric Bana, Aidan Gillen, Freddie Fox

 

Plot: Robbed of his birthright, Arthur comes up the hard way in the back alleys of the city. But once he pulls the sword from the stone, he is forced to acknowledge his true legacy – whether he likes it or not.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Gangster Fantasy Film

 

Story: King Arthur: Legend of the Sword starts with backstory, yay, in this we get to see how King Uther (Bana) has waged war against Mages showing he is keeping him people safe at Camelot. After the latest victory, Uther finds his kingdom under attack from within racing to save his son Arthur from his corrupted brother Vortigern (Law). With Arthur safe we get a flash into how Arthur and Vortigern spend the next years before we start our main story.

Arthur (Hunnam) now a gangster like figure in Londium crosses paths with King Vortigern and learns his own destiny within the world as he is the only man to be able to remove the sword from the stone. With King Vortigern needing to hunt down and kill Arthur who begins his own resistance movement against the new evil ruler with a mix of loyal men to his father and his own friends.

 

Thoughts on King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

 

Characters/PerformanceArthur is the boy raised in the gutter that was destine to become king, we follow his journey from small time street hustler to warrior and then king, this isn’t too much in the field of original in the character design. The Mage is the guide into the fantasy world for Arthur mostly in riddles. Vortigern is the evil king looking to gain the power of magic through the sacrifices he is willing to make, he hasn’t plenty of chances to kill Arthur but wants to do it in display style. The rest of the characters all help with the characters through the film without being that memorable.

Performance wise, Charlie Hunnam does struggle in the leading role which does leave you wondering how he keeps getting potential franchise lead roles, Jude Law does give us a very mixed performance, one minute you feel like it is good then it comes off cheesy. Astrid Berges-Frisbey does seem to struggle throughout, it seems part is the language barrier because it feels like she is just reading the script with no idea how to add any impact to her lines. The rest of the stars are better and handle their supporting role well.

StoryKing Arthur is a story that has been told plenty of times and building the idea of a fantasy world should work, but you do have plenty of things going wrong here, first it uses the explaining the action scene while it is unfolding way too often, I think it was about 5 times through the film. we also have dialogue which feels like we are watching a gangster film. the story does end feeling very long and misses the chances for the best action sequences for extra talking scenes.

Action/Adventure/FantasyAction sequences are all cut chopped and edited down losing the scale we would like to have seen, the adventure side of the story is forgettable but it is difficult to make this original. The fantasy world is what is interesting but we do get large scale scenes which just feel like a film trying to be bigger than it is.

SettingsThe settings are all fine but none of them can become iconic enough.

Special EffectsThe special effects look good throughout but in the end, are used in places just to be big.

Final ThoughtsThis is an awkward mix of gangster and fantasy film that doesn’t quite click with the film missing too many chances to give us a truly memorable action sequence.

 

Overall: This is a forgettable fantasy gangster film.

Rating

 

 

Your Name (2017)

Director: Makoto Shinkai

Writer: Makoto Shinkai (Screenplay)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Ryunosuke Kamiki, Mone Kamishiraishi, Ryo Narita, Aoi Yuki, Nobunage Shimazaki, Kaito Ishikawa

 

Plot: Two strangers find themselves linked in a bizarre way. When a connection forms, will distance be the only thing to keep them apart?

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Just Wow

 

Story: Your Name starts as we meet small town girl Mitsuha who dreams of getting out of the town and moving to the busy Tokyo, we also meet Tokyo school student Taki who has found himself looking after himself searching for his next stage in life.

With an incoming comet passing over the strange event starts to happen for the two strangers who find themselves swapping bodies and lives, the two start communicating through messages to inform the other what they have been doing, some good other bad, but when the communication is lost, the truth about their connection comes out.

 

Thoughts on Your Name

 

Characters Taki and Mitsuha are both fantastic characters, they both come off like normal high school students in the lives they are living, both dreaming off things outside what they see as their reach, both confused but adapting to the body swapping lives they believe to be dreams. The rest of the characters who are part of both lives which does work for our main characters story arc.

StoryThe story brings a fresh approach the body swapping sub-genre, we become invested in the lives of both of the students and the bigger story going on which I don’t want to get too detailed but this story will make you go through a full range of emotions and you will be left shocked with the final outcome of the story.

Fantasy/RomanceThe fantasy side of the film comes from the body swapping elements which does get increased when you learn the twist within the film’s story. the romance comes from how these two people from different worlds can fall in love being part of the others life.

SettingsThe settings for the film show the different worlds the two come from, we get to see the busy streets of Tokyo and small town where families work to support the next generation filled with tradition.

AnimationThe animation is as you would expect almost flawless for telling the story.

Final ThoughtsThis is a film I have heard only wonderful things about, those things were not wrong, this is a wonderful story with great leading characters, that will pull on the all the emotions you have through the whole film.

 

Overall: Truly special animated film.

Rating

 

 

Studio Ghibli Weekend – Tales From Earthsea (2006)

talesDirector: Goro Miyazaki

Writer: Goro Miyazaki, Keiko Niwa (Screenplay) Ursula K Le Guin (Novel)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Jun’ich Okada, Aoi Teshima, Bunta Sugawara, Yuko Tananka, Teruyuki Kagawa, Jun Fubuki

 

Plot: In a mythical land, a man and a young boy investigate a series of unusual occurrences.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Not their Best

 

Story: Tales from Earthsea starts as we see a mysterious fever sweeping through the kingdom of Earthsea with the King being attacked by a young boy who steals his sword, Arren escapes to the wastelands with his prize. Arren saved from wolves by Sparrowhawk who set out on their own adventure.

Captured by salvers Arren finds himself being sold into slavery only for Sparrowhawk to return to rescue him and continue guiding him. As Arren’s powers grow he becomes a wanted boy in the kingdom with Cob leading the chase for both him and Sparrowhawk.

 

Thoughts on Tales from Earthsea

 

StoryWhen you look at this story I can’t help but find that this one doesn’t ever reach the levels of what you have come to know and love from Ghibli’s work. I can’t quite figure out what it is that makes this happen but I think it falls into the dull characters for what you expect in a world that feels too outside the box of what fantasy world’s we have entered before. I could not find myself drawn into this story at all.

Adventure/FantasyIn what is meant to be an adventure film we only find our heroes on one adventure that just doesn’t feel as peril filled as it should be. The fantasy side of the story enters us into a world of wizards and witches but again like most of this film feels slightly short by the end.

Characters The characters all end up feeling very bland which is something Ghibli usually always gets correct none of these characters will be remembered once you have finished this film.

SettingsThe film does take us to a fantasy world that you can fully believe these characters being part of and can be one of the few highlights of this film.

AnimationThe visual look of this animation is brilliant and when it comes to the darker side of the story you can fully believe just how scary it aims to be.

Final ThoughtsI personally see this as one of the weakest stories from the great studio but I can see how people could enjoy parts of this film.

 

Overall: Not my favourite and I think it could struggle to get near my top 10 from Ghibli.

Rating45

 

 

Survivor (2014)

survirovDirector: John Lyde

Writer: John Lyde (Screenplay)

Starring: Danielle Chuchran, Kevin Sorbo, Rocky Myers, Ruby Jones, Melanie Stone, Blake Webb, Abigail Mason, Andrew Dee Jones

 

Plot: During their search for a habitable planet the last living humans crash-land on a barren world, inhabited by bloodthirsty aliens and mysterious post-apocalyptic warriors.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable

 

Story: Survivor starts in 2067 where the Earth has been destroyed and the only trace of humanity is on 7 ships that have all been searching for a new planet, we follow Kate Mitra (Chuchran) born on the ship, trained on the ship and now at 21 years old is ready for the next mission.

When the ship gets a transmission from within a wormhole Captain Hunter (Sorbo) leads a team including Kate, Weston (Webb), Anne (Mason) and Hayley (Stone) to investigate the answers. During the mission the ship takes damage where it crash lands but that is only the beginning of the nightmare as Kate finds herself in the middle of a battle between blood-thirsty aliens and post-apocalyptic warriors as she searches for a way home.

Survivor is a sci-fi adventure film that puts us on a new planet that is filled with an enemy our human characters haven’t met before, yeah you know Planet of the Apes style. Where this films stands away from this is we have one hero in Kate who has to find her crew and rescue before learning the truth about the planet. I will say this is easy to watch and follow but when it comes to something original it falls slightly short. We also fail to develop any characters after Kate with most just being disposable.

 

Actor Review

 

Danielle Chuchran: Kate is one of the team that finds herself crash landed on the alien world, she must use all of her training to stay alive and find a way how. This is a very physical role where we get to see Kate as a warrior. Danielle is the star of this going through all of the physical side of the story.

Kevin Sorbo: Captain Hunter leads the mission as he has been training his crew for years. During the mission he finds himself injured and waiting for Kate to find a way to rescue him and his team. Kevin is solid but most of this film is him sitting around waiting for rescue.

Rocky Myers: Rogan is one of the warriors on the planet who goes against others wishes to help Kate find safety while he tracks down his missing daughter from the aliens. Rocky is good in his role but I don’t think we meet his character until too late in the film.

Ruby Jones: Nidal is the daughter of Rogan who has been kidnapped by the blood thirsty aliens. She becomes the innocent in the danger our characters find themselves in. Ruby is only in the final act and doesn’t get any real time to show off any skills.

Support Cast: Survivor has a supporting cast which are mainly used as disposable characters as we spend most of the film following Kate.

Director Review: John LydeJohn gives us a fun sci-fi that entertains throughout.

 

Action: Survivor has good mix of action with fights, chases and high risk climbing.

Adventure: Survivor puts our characters on the adventure to survive which works for the style the film is shot in.

Sci-Fi: Survivor goes all Planet of the Apes with the sci-fi side of the story being in the future we get to see another looks at the future where Earth has been destroyed.

Settings: Survivor keeps most of the film in a setting which fills like it has been away from technology throughout the whole film.
Special Effects
: Survivor has very basic special effects which you would expect to see in low budget films.

Suggestion: Survivor is one I do think you can sit and watch late night on television. (Late Night TV)

 

Best Part: Danielle Chuchran shines in this role.

Worst Part: Not the most original story.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 33 Minutes

Tagline: Alone. Stranded. Deadly

 

Overall: Fun filled action adventure sci-fi film.

Ratingcard

 

 

Kong: Skull Island (2017)

Director: Jordan Vogt-Roberts

Writer: Dan Gilroy, Max Borenstein, Derek Connolly (Screenplay) John Gatins (Story)

Starring: Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L Jackson, Brie Larson, John C Reilly, John Goodman, Corey Hawkins, John Ortiz, Tian Jing, Toby Kebbell, Jason Mitchell

 

Plot: A team of scientists explore an uncharted island in the Pacific, venturing into the domain of the mighty Kong, and must fight to escape a primal Eden.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Mindless Monster Mayhem

 

Story: Kong: Skull Island starts as we see an instant introduction to Kong during World War II, move forward to 1973 Bill Randa (Goodman) want to lead an expedition to the mysterious island in the Pacific Ocean, one that has only just been discovered by satellite images. Joined by his assistant Brooks (Hawkins) and a mapping team Randa puts together a unit to cover him if the stories are true.

The team includes tracker James Conrad (Hiddleston), photographer Mason Weaver (Larson), San (Jing) and army unit led by Preston Packard (Jackson). Upon arrive on the island Kong destroys all the helicopter killing half the unit, with the scientists looking for a way off the island and Packard out for revenge the two battle within as they face enemies they had never imagined including the monstrous Kong.

 

Thoughts on Kong: Skull Island

 

Characters/PerformanceConrad is a British tracker who we rarely see track, Weaver is a photographer who clashes with Packard a lot on the morale side of her job post-Vietnam, she isn’t just the damsel in distress though. Packard is a war-hero who I believe wasn’t a hero in war, he wants one more chance to go into a battle before returning home, as the film unfolds he does feel very similar to Pete Postlethwaite character in Jurassic Park 2. Bill knows more than he lets on but could be considered a businessman villain. Hank steals most of the scenes here, he is the former WWII pilot who has been stuck on the island for 28 years. Kong is a character all to his own, destroying anything that gets in his way while also showing the most emotion of any character in the film. we also have scientists who are forgettable, and soldiers who are giving basic banter to work with.

Performance wise, Hiddleston does struggling to make much of the poorly written character, Larson starts well but again her character is written weakly, Jackson does what Jackson does well without being his best, Goodman also doesn’t reach his potential while Reilly knows how to steal a movie with limited scenes. Most of the stars all struggle with the same problem, their characters are written very weakly.

StoryThe story here is fine, I liked that is wasn’t the same as the 30’s era trying to bring Kong back to New York, this is just a surveillance job turned race against time to survive. So, this is The Lost World with King Kong in the end. There isn’t too much to say good about the story because I found myself confused a lot, we had ONE ship with about SIX helicopters on it and sudden when they reach Skull Island there is about TWENTY helicopters, the same goes for the number of soldiers, one minute we have the FOUR we know and then when we need people to die there suddenly seems to be another group of disposable ones. These inconsistent annoyed me most.

Action/Adventure/FantasyThe action is very big and sure you can switch off and enjoy it all, the adventure is in the new world unseen and comes off fine throughout, the fantasy comes from battle what should be the impossible.

SettingsI did like that we kept all the action upon Skull Island, I feel this is important to creating the bigger universe they want to.

Special EffectsI also think the special effects are brilliant through the whole film and could barely tell the different between what is real or not.

Final ThoughtsThis is big bad and fun but I feel the character development comes off pointless in places because all we get is a sudden death to a character that doesn’t make sense or it is an unknown character killed to save ones we have got to know.

 

Overall: This will go down in the fun but not great action set piece.

Rating