Doctor Strange (2016)

drDirector: Scott Derrickson

Writer: Stand Lee, Jon Spaihts, Scott Derrickson, C, Robert Cargill (Screenplay) Stand Lee, Steve Ditko (Comics)

Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, Benedict Wong, Mads Mikkelsen, Tilda Swinton, Michael Stuhlbarg

 

Plot: A former neurosurgeon embarks on a journey of healing only to be drawn into the world of the mystic arts.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Visually Stunning Origin Story

 

Story: Doctor Strange starts as we see Kaecilius (Mikkelsen) stealing artefacts to help him with his next plan only with The Ancient One (Swinton) tries to stop him in what is an early sign of the reality these characters will be fighting within. We move on to meet the brilliant Doctor Stephen Strange (Cumberbatch) who has his own style of performing surgery which always saves the lives of the people he is saving.

When Stephen is recklessly driving his fancy car, he is involved in a horrific car accident losing all the skills he has learned in his hands forcing him into drastic measure to regain his surgical skills. Stephen’s journey takes him in search of an impossible natural cure as he finds Mordo (Ejiofor) who guides him to what he searches for the Ancient One.

This is where his training begins as Dr Strange learns about the different realities we live in and how to make them work to his advantage as he learns nothing he once knew was what he thought it was. We the training continues Dr Strange has to join in the battle against former student Kaecilius who has turned to the dark side to prove his worth to the cause.

Doctor Strange gives us a visually stunning superhero origin story because we haven’t had one of these in about two weeks. The story plays into the bigger reality battle which is a big plus to make this slightly more unique only we have this already with the inclusion of the Thor and Guardians universe. I can see why people enjoyed this but in the end this is just going to have to be another addition to a universe which is already over saturated with characters.

Cumberbatch doesn’t seem to have charisma to play what I feel is meant to be sarcastic character, Mikkelsen is just another villain that we have seen before that never makes the impact on the story but is never meant to be that much for an origin film. Swinton does a good job in her role and Ejiofor is solid as the trainer figure.

 

Overall: Visually amazing but as for origin story we have seen this all before.

Ratingcard

 

 

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The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014)

logoDirector: Peter Jackson

Writer: Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Peter Jackson, Guillermo del Toro (Screenplay) J.R.R. Tolkien (Novel)

Starring: Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Ken Scott, Graham McTavish, William Kircher, James Nesbitt, Stephen Hunter Orlando Bloom, Evangeline Lilly, Lee Pace, Cate Blanchett, Hugo Weaving, Christopher Lee, Ian Holm, Benedict Cumberbatch, Luke Evans, Stephen Fry

 

Plot: Bilbo and Company are forced to engage in a war against an array of combatants and keep the Lonely Mountain from falling into the hands of a rising darkness.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: The Shortest of the Saga but Still Too Long

 

Story: The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies starts with the effects of the previous film with Smaug entering into the town destroying everything in its way. Bilbo (Freeman) and the rest of the dwarfs watch on helplessly while Bard (Evans) tries to be hero the town saving his family along the way. Bard manages to put the beast down saving what is left of the town but away from the destruction we see how Gandalf (McKellen) is still captured.

We see the aftermath of the attack with the towns people ready to turn on each other before the dwarfs going onto their next chapter with Thorin (Armitage) starting to become obsessed with the newly discovered gold. Bard taking control of the town’s people must lead them to safety while Legolas (Bloom) but find out who is going to be interested in the newly discovered gold. The mountain has become the target for all of the powers in middle earth and they all come together for one long battle for the gold.

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is based on five pages of a children’s book and turns out to be well over 2 hours long, let’s face it there isn’t much of a story here, nothing happens except a battle that goes on, and on and almost decides to go Fuck it lets put this animal in it see what happens. The opening of the film is confusing because if you forgot what happened last time it doesn’t make any sense and to make things worse the characters are so easily forgettable you don’t care what happens to them. This is simply put a terrible conclusion to a saga that over stayed its welcome. (2/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Ian McKellen: Gandalf is the wizard who seems to have a calming influence on every side but even he can’t stop the battle from going on. Ian is in it but I don’t really know what he does, swings his stick a little and chats to Bilbo, could have had anyone do this really. (3/10)

 

Martin Freeman: Bilbo Baggins is on his biggest adventure and always tries to do the right thing even if it makes enemies of friends. Martin becomes the supporting character in a film about his own adventure but he does a solid job. (5/10)

bilbo

Richard Armitage: Thorin is the dwarf king who is losing control because of his hold over the gold, this is making him isolated from his friends and leaving him making rash decision. Richard does a solid job but is he happy or sad oh wait I don’t know. (5/10)

 rich

Orlando Bloom: Legolas is our returning hero who completes his appearances in all of the sagas with an investigation mission to who is preparing for battle for the mountain. Orlando clearly needed an extra pay day so he can go back to the shit movies he has been making here. (3/10)

 

Luke Evans: Bard is the warrior fighting for his city and saving it from the dragon Smaug before holding everything together trying to find a peaceful conclusion to the gold in the mountain. I personally thought Luke played the most interesting character of the whole film but that was because he got to kick ass at the start. (6/10)

bard

Support Cast: The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies has so many supporting characters I just didn’t remember the names of it is unbelievable really, none of the made an impact enough to make you care about them.

 

Director Review: Peter Jackson – Peter has finally slipped off the top of the mountain after the success of his first trilogy we get a very complete lacklustre one. (4/10)

 

Adventure: The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies doesn’t really have much adventure because no one seems to do any travelling in this one. (0/10)

Fantasy: The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies puts us in a fantasy world where they seem to just put any creature they like on screen. (6/10)

Settings: The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies have a very CGI world to battle in with location that make for assistance in battle. (5/10)
Special Effects
: The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies has very poor special effects for the budget the film has. (3/10)

Suggestion: The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is one for only the fans to see and even then I think they will feel disappointed with the final product. (Fans Try)

 

Best Part: Opening Dragon attack.

Worst Part: The Rest

Action Scene Of The Film: The Battle looks epic but I don’t know who is who.

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: Nominated for 1 Oscar

Box Office: $955 Million

Budget: $250 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 24 Minutes

Tagline: Witness the defining chapter of the Middle-Earth saga

Trivia: In the book, the whole Battle Of The Five Armies takes place in just one chapter, and is described to the reader after the fact. While in the film, the battle takes up nearly half of the running time.

 

Overall: This has to go down as a bad, boring film that really doesn’t have any redeeming qualities.

Rating 30

The Imitation Game (2014)

logoDirector: Morten Tyldum

Writer: Graham Moore (Screenplay) Andrew Hodges (Book)

Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode, Rory Kinnear, Allen Leech, Matthew Beard, Charles Dance, Mark Strong

 

Plot: During World War II, mathematician Alan Turing tries to crack the enigma code with help from fellow mathematicians.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Brilliant Code Cracking Drama

 

Story: The Imitation Game starts with Alan Turing (Cumberbatch) explaining how he is in full control and if you don’t listen you will miss things. Alan has been robbed but won’t admit having anything taken from his house. In a second time frame we watch how World War II has broken out and watch how Alan travels Bletchley Radio Manufacturing for an interview with Commander Denniston (Dance). Alan wants the job so he can crack the enigma coding system. Alan gets bought in along with other experts including chess champion Hugh Alexander (Goode) and with the case headed up by MI6 member Stewart Menzies (Strong) we get to see how serious the case is.

Unhappy with the ideas the head of the department Alan goes above everyone’s head to gets himself put in charge of the code breaking team and sets out on making his machine that will help crack the enigma. Alan designs a crossword puzzle so he can recruit the best and brightest the country has to offer.

We get a flashback to see Alan through his education and how he first got into the love of code breaking with his one trusted friend at the school. We also see the candidates get a final test to prove their worth and Joan Clarke (Knightley) proves to be the best of all of them but she has to get Alan to push her parents into allowing her to join the team.

The team together working on the basic code breaking, while Alan tries to build his machine along with secret meetings with Joan as they try to learn the codes being used.  Joan teaches that Alan needs to become more open to his co-workers and by doing this it opens up the working levels to reach out and get help on the machine and achieve the same required goal.

We continue to go through the three time periods watching how Alan’s personally problems could put all his work at risk. We also see just how determined he is to prove break the enigma and help win the war for his country. Alan faces the next problem when after they crack the enigma they can’t just stop every attack because they will be discovered as it will become apparent to the Germans that the code is cracked.

The Imitation Game is a story that needed to be told, we have seen all the heroic stories on the battlefield but this story tells the tactical side to the war that is one of the most important twists in the war effort. Managing the three stories works really well even if the true highlight is the war effort one, it also gets the most time. The pacing is brilliant because we get to see the ups and downs during the creation of the machine and even what was meant by it after all was completed. This really is one of the most interesting stories of what was happening during the war. (9/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Benedict Cumberbatch: Alan Turing the brilliant mastermind who heads up the enigma cracker team that will help win the war, but his personal life will put his reputation at risk. Benedict gives a brilliant performance and you can see why he was nominated for an Oscar. (10/10)

 alan

Keira Knightley: Joan Clarke the brightest of all of the candidates who complete the crossword qualifying them for the team working on the code breaking. Keira gives a brilliant performance showing how a strong minded lady made an impact through the war. (9/10)

joan

Matthew Goode: Hugh Alexander chess champion who has all the flair to run the enigma but becomes a professional rival of Alan before later becoming good friends and co-workers on the project. Matthew gives a great performance in the supporting role. (8/10)

 

Mark Strong: Stewart Menzies MI6 agent who knows all what is going on and because of Alan’s involvement keeps everything together while others try to push them apart. Mark gives a great performance as the mysterious know it all. (8/10)

 

Support Cast: The Imitation Game has a supporting cast through all three time frames, they all help motivate Alan to reach the next level of his achievements while he keeps his secrets close to his chest.

 

Director Review: Morten Tyldum – Morten does a great job directing putting the three stories running next to each other perfectly and telling us the important story we needed to know. (9/10)

 

Biographical: The Imitation Game does a great job telling us the story of the rise, the achievement and the downfall of Alan Turing, even if the last part is completely wrong in the world we live in now. (10/10)

Thriller: The Imitation Game does keep you guessing on how they will crack the code before it is too late. (9/10)

War: The Imitation Game shows just how much was put into the war effort on the code breaking side of it. (9/10)

Settings: The Imitation Game uses authentic looking settings to put us in the time period nicely. (10/10)

Suggestion: The Imitation Game is a must watch, it is a very important part of our history and should be taught to everyone. (Must Watch)

 

Best Part: Cumberbatch is brilliant.

Worst Part: The treatment of Turing but the government.

 

Believability: Based on a real person and the people he worked with. (10/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: Won one Oscar

Box Office: $192 Million

Budget: $14 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 54 Minutes

Tagline: Behind every code is an enigma

Trivia: Alan Turing is shown running on various occasions and although never mentioned in the movie, he was a world class distance runner with a personal marathon time of 2:46:03, achieved in 1946.

 

Overall:  This really is a brilliant film that fills in an important part of history that can easily be looked over.

Rating 92

New Releases – 14th November

The Imitation Game – English mathematician and logician, Alan Turing, helps crack the Enigma code during World War II.game

My Guess for Rating – 80%
My Anticipation Rating – 60%
Will It Be Number One In UK? – No

Third Person – Three interlocking love stories involving three couples in three cities: Rome, Paris, and New York.person

My Guess for Rating – 50%
My Anticipation Rating – 20%
Will It Be Number One In UK? – No

The Drop – Bob Saginowski finds himself at the center of a robbery gone awry and entwined in an investigation that digs deep into the neighborhood’s past where friends, families, and foes all work together to make a living – no matter the cost.drop

My Guess for Rating – 80%
My Anticipation Rating – 70%
Will It Be Number One In UK? – No

Newguy’s Pick of the Week – The Drop

12 Years A Slave (2013)

logoDirector: Steve McQueen

Writer: John Ridley (Screenplay) Solomon Northup (Book – Twelve Years a Slave)

Starring: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Dwight Henry, Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt, Scoot McNairy, Lupita Nyong’o, Michael K. Williams, Paul Dano, Paul Giamatti, Sarah Paulson, Benedict Cumberbatch, Alfre Woodard

 

Plot: Based on an incredible true story of one man’s fight for survival and freedom. In the pre-Civil War United States, Solomon Northup (Ejiofor), a free black man from upstate New York, is abducted and sold into slavery. Facing cruelty (personified by a malevolent slave owner, portrayed by Michael Fassbender), as well as unexpected kindnesses, Solomon struggles not only to stay alive, but to retain his dignity. In the twelfth year of his unforgettable odyssey, Solomon’s chance meeting with a Canadian abolitionist (Pitt) will forever alter his life.

 

Verdict: Brilliant

 

Story: Watching how Solomon struggles to just survive let alone becoming free again. We see how different men who have slaves treat them, some well some badly. The story shows the tragic truth about how slaves were treated and even though this story get a happy ending of freedom, most never got that chance, with this still happening in the modern world it should make everyone be thankful for the fact they are free now. The story is an inspiration story of survival and not giving up hope. (10/10)

 

Actor Reviews

 

Chiwetel Ejiofor: Solomon kidnapped and sold into slavery, not resting on the fact he will never escape he tries over the 12 years to find a way to get his own freedom before finally finding someone to trust enough. Chiwetel is brilliant in the role and fully deserved his BAFTA for best actor. (10/10)

 solomon

Michael Fassbender: Edwin Epps the drunken plantation owner who abuses his slaves for his own pleasure, enforced strict rules and taking all the hope out of his slaves. Great performance from Fassbender playing a character that is driven to be hated. (9/10)

 fassbender

Lupita Nyong’o: Patsey one of the slaves on Epps’s plantation who is his favourite as she is the best picker and also he favourite for his sexual pleasures. Great performance, showing that the hope had been taken from some of the slaves. (10/10)

 lupita

Brad Pitt: Bass a free roaming labourer who doesn’t turn up to late in the film, becomes the last chance for Solomon. Only a small role but does a good job.(8/10)

 pitt

Paul Dano: Tibeats, Ford’s evil slaver runner who pushes all of them to limits they shouldn’t have to go, he thinks he is better than all of the slaves, but Solomon teaches him a thing or too. Good performance from Dano showing he can fit into any role with ease. (8/10)

 dano

Paul Giamatti: Freeman the slave sales man who put them all up for show so that the highest bidder will purchase them. Only a small role but affectively showing how the slavery sales were made to be glamorous for what they are doing. (7/10)

 paul

Benedict Cumberbatch: Ford a good man who looks after his slaves, Ford purchases Solomon and is willing to listen to Solomon’s ideas to improve his work. Forced to sell on Solomon, but always looked after them all fair. Good supporting performance and his character reflexes how evil Epps is.(8/10)

 benedict

Sarah Paulson: Mistress Epps the wife of Edwin, who has a dislike for Patsey but an almost sympatric side to the rest of the slaves. Good performance and the one scene with Patsey is really stand out. (9/10)

 mistress epps

Director Review: Steve McQueen – Brilliant direction to tell such an amazing story of one man’s journey. (10/10)

 

Biography: Amazing look at how Solomon survived his ordeal. (10/10)

Drama: Stunning look at something that could have been all guns, blood and gore, but focuses on the emotions involved with the people. (10/10)

History: Good look at how people were treated during the slave times. (10/10)

Settings: Beautiful settings used to create the story. (10/10)

Suggestion: This really should be watched by all, but I do feel the more casual film fan may find it hard to watch. (Watch)

 

Best Part: Chiwetel Performance.

Worst Part: Some of the punishment scenes are hard to watch.

Favourite Quote: Solomon ‘I will not fall into despair! I will keep myself hardy until freedom is opportune!’

Believability: Based on Solomon’s true story. (10/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: Won 3 Oscars.

Box Office: $178,413,838

Budget: $20 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 13 Minutes

Tagline: The extraordinary true story of Solomon Northup.

 

Overall: Stunning Story

Rating 98