The Lost City of Z (2016)

Director: James Gray

Writer: James Gray (Screenplay) David Grann (Book)

Starring: Charlie Hunnam, Robert Pattinson, Sienna Miller, Tom Holland, Edward Ashley, Angus Macfadyen, Ian McDiarmid

 

Plot: A true-life drama, centering on British explorer Col. Percival Fawcett, who disappeared while searching for a mysterious city in the Amazon in the 1920s.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Slow but Interesting Historical Drama

 

Story: The Lost City of Z starts as Colonel Major Percy Fawcett (Hunnam) is assigned to leave his family, wife Nina (Miller) and young child Jack to go to Bolivia to help map the land. Joined on the mission by drunk expert Henry Costin (Pattinson) but the land isn’t what they thought as they learn the inhabitants are not interested in having the white man on their land.

Braving it through the jungle Percy returns to England a national hero. Telling his stories Percy gets pushed into returning with other explorers to discover what is in the depths of Amazonia. Not making it back to his lost city Percy returns only to find World War I has broken out halting any future missions to search until the war is over, Percy dreams of being able to return to the Lost City of Z but can he make it and keep the loved ones happy.

 

 

Thoughts on The Lost City of Z

 

Characters/PerformancePercy Fawcett is a respected soldier, one of the highest ranked, he is pushed into mapping Bolivia for England where he leaves his family for years on end only return before heading back to Bolivia. He becomes one of the great explorers of the time but his balance on discovery and family is truly tested. Henry Costin becomes Percy’s trusted second on all his expeditions, he might have a slight drinking problem but he will always fight by his side and discover by his side. Nina is the wife of Percy who must spend most of the time raising the children while her husband is away, she does wish to join him with the family but understands the risk it wold have on the children. Jack is the eldest son that grows up while his father is away, he is the first to stand up against everything his father does but also believing he deserves more than he gets from the government.

Performance wise, Charlie Hunnam gives what I think is the best performance of his career here with Pattinson continuing to show he is capable away from the Twilight disaster for him. Miller is good in the supporting role which is a slightly stronger female character than normal and Tom Holland does well in his supporting role.

StoryThe story follows Percy Fawcett’s expeditions to Bolivia, how not every mission went well, but most importantly how he just wanted to learn. We do see the struggle to balance personal life and his exploring life as well as getting the respect of the British Government when it comes to the missions. This is a very interesting look into this explorer and his life’s work.

Action/Adventure/Biography/History – The action side of this film is mostly the battle sequences we are not used often which is good, the adventure shows just what a new discovery could feel like for these explorers. The biography and history is looking at of the explorer between 1900 and 1930 with what they learnt along their travels.

SettingsEach setting used shows us the different adventure and the difficult time it would have to be to find that one location in a previously unmapped location, we have beauty spots, but also the conflict of war.

EffectsThe effects used are mostly in the conflict scenes and are few and far between, but the ones used are all good when used.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the underrated movies of the year, it does tell an interesting story and one that could be enjoyed by all that watch.

 

Overall: Enjoyable but underrated movie.

Rating

 

 

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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

 

 

Crimson Peak (2015)

peakDirector: Guillermo del Toro

Writer: Guillermo del Toro (Screenplay)

Starring: Mia Wasikowska, Jessica Chastain, Tom Hiddleston, Charlie Hunnam, Jim Beaver, Burn Gorman, Leslie Hope, Doug Jones, Jonathan Hyde

 

Plot: In the aftermath of a family tragedy, an aspiring author is torn between love for her childhood friend and the temptation of a mysterious outsider. Trying to escape the ghosts of her past, she is swept away to a house that breathes, bleeds – and remembers.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Gothic Romantic Horror

 

Story: Crimson Peak starts with Edith Cushing (Wasikowska) looking back on here young life when she first saw death, when her mother died at the age of ten. Edith gets haunted by her own mother who warns her about Crimson Peak. Edith now a young woman has her life turned upside when mysterious strange Sir Thomas Sharpe (Hiddleston) and his sister Lady Lucille Sharpe (Chastain) arrive in America. Thomas wins her heart but only after her father Carter (Beavers) dies and Edith returns to England with the Sharpe’s.

It becomes clear that the Sharpe siblings are up to something but the ghosts of the house seem to have ideas of their own in the form of warnings for Edith, but we are remained to wonder what are the secrets of Crimson Peak? Edith old friend Dr Alan McMichael (Hunnam) is investigating just what happened to Carter and once he uncovers the truth we will too.

Crimson Peak brings us a complete mix of genre unlike anything we have seen before, this could actually be the downfall of this film though. We do get good elements in this film with the horror having the ghosts warning haunt, a mystery about what the Sharpe’s are really up to and the romantic angle between Edith and Thomas. I do feel they are sometimes overcrowding the angles but I do like the idea the horror doesn’t end being over the top. I do think this is a different style of film to the standard horror we are used to seeing which is a big plus really for the genre.

 

Actor Review

 

Mia Wasikowska: Edith Cushing is the young aspiring author who gets seduced by the charming Mr Sharpe. When her father dies she returns to England where she gets haunted by the ghosts of the mansion as she learns the secrets of the Sharpe’s. Mia gives a good performance but never really reaches the level we know she is capable off.edith

Jessica Chastain: Lucille Sharpe is the sister of Thomas, she keeps herself to herself but is always calculating her next move, and having a control over Thomas. Jessica does a good job in the final act but really doesn’t have much to do in the opening half of the film.lucile

Tom Hiddleston: Thomas Sharpe is the charming English man who comes to America, charms Edith and brings her back to his home in England to make her his wife. He does have a secret behind his motives but will he let love takeover. Tom does well in a role you could see him playing all day long.thmas

Charlie Hunnam: Dr Alan McMichael is the family friend of Edith who clearly has eyes for her and even after she leaves he decides to figure out what the secret about the Sharpe’s really is. Charlie gives a god performance but sadly doesn’t get enough screen time.

 alan

Support Cast: Crimson Peak doesn’t have the biggest supporting cast and the ones we see do a good job when needed.

Director Review: Guillermo del ToroGuillermo brings his own style to this film that we all know is what makes his so popular and you can see it all in every scene.

 

Horror: Crimson Peak only really uses the horror for the warnings for Edith.

Mystery: Crimson Peak gives us plenty to think about as we have to work out what the Sharpe’s motives really are.

Romance: Crimson Peak brings in a romantic story line where an older man wins over the heart of the young woman.

Settings: Crimson Peak keeps most of the setting in the isolated mansion in the middle of the English countryside which adds to the horror elements.
Special Effects
: Crimson Peak creates very good effects for the ghosts that feel unique for the film.

Suggestion: Crimson Peak is one to try, I can see people not liking this but I think it is rewarding in the long run. (Try It)

 

Best Part: Ghosts look great.

Worst Part: Not enough time on each genre.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: Maybe on effects, make up and costume categories.

Budget: $55 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 59 Minutes

Tagline: Beware

 

Overall: A style of film we don’t see any more that will be remember for years to come.

Ratingcard

Clive Owen Weekend – Children Of Men (2006)

ogoDirector: Alfonso Cuaron

Writer: Alfonso Cuaron, Timothy J Sexton David Arata, Mark Fergus, Hawk Ostby (Screenplay) P. D. James (Novel)

Starring: Clive Owen, Michael Caine, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Julianne Moore, Charlie Hunnam, Danny Huston, Clare-Hope Ashitey

Plot: In 2027, in a chaotic world in which women have become somehow infertile, a former activist agrees to help transport a miraculously pregnant woman to a sanctuary at sea.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Brilliant Sci-Fi Thriller

Story: Children of Men starts be placing us in 2027 where the youngster person on the planet get killed at the age of 18, we see Theo (Owen) witness the new story break before going on his day narrowly escaping a bomb. We see the world morn his death as the human race seems to be unable to reproduce. Just watching Theo travel we end up seeing the future world where the immigrants get hunted down where he meets old friend Jasper (Caine).

When Theo gets kidnapped by Luke (Ejiofor) for his ex-wife Julian (Moore) he gets asked to help get papers for an immigrant which means going to his cousin Nigel (Huston). Theo gets the papers but can only enough for them both to go along where he meets Kee (Ashitey) the girl they have to transport, but the details of her true identity could be the answers to the human races problem.

Children of Men is one of the best stories that we have seen in the sci-fi in years, we have had many subjects covered but the natural end of the human race potentially happening is what makes this stand out. The film is filled with shocks but does also have plenty of foreshadowing, I would also like to point out them only negative in the film to me is not giving Theo enough information at the start because after every escape we hear the next part, but I am not going to say much more on this because I did enjoy it even with this being about my fifth viewing and it still feels fresh nearly ten years later. (9/10)

Actor Review

Clive Owen: Theo Faron is the reporter drunk who is just getting through the known existence in the end of the species. When his old flame comes back into his life he ends up on mission to take the first pregnant lady in 19 years to safety. Clive shows just how much of a big star he was becoming with this performance. (9/10)theo

Julianne Moore: Julian is the ex partner of Theo who turns back up in his life to use his connections to help transport an immigrant that could redefine the human races future. Julianne isn’t around very long because she is part of one of the most shocking death in film history. (7/10)

Michael Caine: Jasper is the drug dealing former reporter who lives a life of seclusion with her seriously ill wife, he is one of the only people Theo trusts and when Theo turns to him for help he is the one that sets up the plan. Michael gives a good performance in a role you wouldn’t expect to him in. (7/10)jasper

Chiwetel Ejiofor: Luke is the leader of radical group against the government who want to use the baby as a pawn in their game. He doesn’t care who he has to kill to get the answers he needs or the baby he wants to make his own. Chiwetel goes up against Owen again here after his performance in Inside Man. He shows here that he can play the villain even if it I slight genetic. (8/10)luke

Clare-Hope Ashitey: Kee is the first pregnant lady the world has seen in 19 years, she could be the saviour of mankind and is the package needed to be protected by Theo. Clare-Hope does give a very good early role next to the bigger stars. (7/10)kee

Support Cast: Children of Men has a supporting cast that mostly includes the people the Theo meets on the mission across the country, some help others hinder.

Director Review: Alfonso CuaronAlfonso shows all his talent in this film which could easily be the best of his career because it is shot to near perfect. (9/10)

Sci-Fi: Children of Men shows just how bleak the world has become once the idea of reproducing has gone. (10/10)

Thriller: Children of Men does keep you at the edge of your seat with the simple stunning final act. (9/10)

Settings: Children of Men creates the bleak dystopia of how the world might have changed. (9/10)

Suggestion: Children of Men is one that has to be watched by everyone just so you can see how lucky we are. (Watch)

Best Part: Continuous shot in the final battle is breath taking.

Worst Part: Slightly generic villains.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Oscar Chances: Nominated for 3 Oscars.

Box Office: $70 Million

Budget: $76 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 49 Minutes

Tagline: The last one to die please turn out the light.

Trivia: Almost every shot contains an animal, usually a dog.

Overall: This is a brilliant sci-fi film that captures the tone of the story perfectly.

Rating90

 

Trailer Alert – Crimson Peak

Plot – In the aftermath of a family tragedy, an aspiring author is torn between love for her childhood friend and the temptation of a mysterious outsider. Trying to escape the ghosts of her past, she is swept away to a house that breathes, bleeds…and remembers.

Release Date:  16th October 2015

Stars:

  • Charlie Hunnam (Sons of Anarchy)
  • Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thrity)
  • Tom Hiddleston (Avengers)
  • Mia Wasikowska (Alice in Wonderland)

Director: Guillermo del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth)

Highlight of the Trailer: The effects look great.

What Looks Good? Del Toro directing is enough to make anything look good.

What Looks Bad? I don’t think I saw anything that worried me.

Summary: You see the name Guillermo del Toro you know you will get a good horror film, you look at his previous work you need to just relax and wait for the scares to come, I have full faith that this will be one of the best horrors of 2015.

Questions:

Will I Be Watching? Yes

Will You Be Watching?

My Anticipation Rating – 90%

My Guess Rating – 85%

Will It Be Number One In UK? – Yes