Franchise Weekend – Thor: The Dark World (2013) Revisited

Director: Alan Taylor

Writer: Christopher L Yost, Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely, Don Payne, Robert Rodat (Screenplay) Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, Jack Kirby, Walter Simonson (Comics)

Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Anthony Hopkins, Christopher Eccleston, Jaimie Alexander, Zachary Levi

 

Plot: When Dr. Jane Foster gets cursed with a powerful entity known as the Aether, Thor is heralded of the cosmic event known as the Convergence and the genocidal Dark Elves.


Tagline – There was darkness.

Runtime: 1 Hour 52 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Sequel

 

Story: Thor: The Dark World starts as Thor (Hemsworth) must restore the power in Asgard after Loki’s (Hiddleston) actions, this has made him in the position he should be, waiting to take over his father Odin’s (Hopkins) role. Meanwhile on Earth Jane (Portman) is trying to move with her life, but in London she discovers an unusual series of events which ends up taking her to Elf world.

When Jane becomes cursed, Thor takes her to Asgard to find a cure, which gives Malekith (Eccleston) a chance to lead his army back into combat so he can return the universe back to darkness. Thor must turn to Loki t help him defeat Malekith and save the universe.

 

Thoughts on Thor: The Dark World

 

Characters – Thor is once again preparing to take his throne in Asgard, he has restored faith in the nine realms, but he still misses Jane. When she becomes cursed, he returns to Earth to save her, which only brings back an ancient enemy to the Asgardians in the Dark Elves, he must disobey his father once again to end the threat and save the woman he loves. Jane is trying to get on with her life now, her research has taken her to London where she is trying to get over Thor, her investigation sees her cursed and taken to Asgard to learn about Thor’s home world. Loki is locked up for his actions, after his mother is murdered, Thor turns to him for help to get vengeance. Malekith is the leader of the Dark Elves, he has waited for his chance to bring the universe into darkness once again, killing Frigga the mother of Thor.

PerformancesChris Hemsworth continues to make Thor one of the most entertaining character in the universe. Natalie Portman was known to not be interested in being in the film, it does show in her performance which does disappoint. Tom Hiddleston brings another dimension to his character here which is only going to make him a more loved character. Christopher Eccleston does give us a basic villain, one that is only after power and is mostly under make up, making his performance harder to judge.

StoryThe story here follows Thor on his latest adventure, one where he must face an ancient enemy who wants to put the universe into darkness, while finally returning to Jane who has become cursed by the Dark Elves magic. This is another sequel that does address the previous films in the franchise by showing the hints the Thor and Loki could still rebuild their bond even after what Loki has done, we address forbidden relationships between Thor and Jane, have a villain that is obsessed with power, though isn’t the most three-dimensional and see Thor needing to learn more about his responsibilities as a potential king. This is everything you would expect a sequel to be in this universe.

Action/FantasyThe action involved in this film is mostly big CGI chases sequences between spacecrafts, we do get Thor doing the hammer routine which works well enough for the film. the fantasy side of the film continues to build on the idea that the worlds above have been fighting longer than people could imagine with fresh enemies waiting in the shadows.

SettingsThe film uses Asgard, the home world of the Dark Elves and London as the main settings, each has its own action sequences which also shows what Thor is fighting for.

Special EffectsThe effects are not as strong as previous films, but we do get some very impressive scenes none the less, the certain moments of weakness do hold the marks up though,


Scene of the Movie –
London battle.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The villain isn’t as interesting as previous ones.

Final ThoughtsThis is still an entertaining sequel, it might not be as strong as some of the previous films, but it entertains throughout.

 

Overall: Fantasy Filled Sequel.

Rating

 

 

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Dead in a Week: Or Your Money Back (2019)

Dead in a Week: Or Your Money Back is available from the 6th May for Digital Download.

Director: Tom Edmunds

Writer: Tom Edmunds (Screenplay)

Starring: Aneurin Barnard, Tom Wilkinson, Christopher Eccleston, Freya Mavor, Marion Bailey

 

Plot: After his ninth unsuccessful attempt on his own life, a young man outsources his suicide to an ageing assassin. “If you’re serious about ending it, you need professional help”


Tagline – If you’re serious about ending it, you might need professional help.

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Dark Comedy Delight

 

Story: Dead in a Week: Or Your Money Back starts as William (Barnard) a young man struggling with depression in London is ready to commit suicide, he latest attempt sees his bad luck continue as he survives, William ends up losing his job because of his mindset, he has mounting bills and has failed in his suicide attempts nine times now.

William turns to an aging assassin Leslie (Wilkinson) to help him complete his suicide attempt as he goes around helping depressed people on the verge of suicide, in case they can’t go through with it, offering them a way out. With the contract out, Leslie has one week to kill William or he will refund the deal, only for William’s life to take an unexpected twist during this week.

 

Thoughts on Dead in a Week: Or Your Money Back

 

Characters – William is a depressed writer living in London, working as a lifeguard to make money, he has tried to kill himself nine times, which all have been unsuccessful, on his latest attempt he ends up meeting an assassin that offers to get the job done. William has been struggling with the idea of fitting in, finding his purpose in life, thinking his place in the world isn’t worth it, showing how loneliness can lead people down a dark path. This is a character that is relatable because people will be struggling with the difficulties of life. Leslie is an aging assassin that has turned to helping suicidal people as he isn’t the assassin he once was compared to the younger ones in his company. He is desperate to get the job done before retiring, but soon finds himself disappointing his boss and co-workers. Harvey runs the assassin’s group that wants to see Leslie out of the business, he is like a boss pushing retirement on a member of staff. Ellie brings new hope to William’s life, she reads his book and wants to make something out of it, which only draws on the situation that William is in to a new complicated level.

PerformancesAneurin Barnard is brilliant in the leading role, he needs to make his character look and feel depressed through the film. Tom Wilkinson is fantastic in his role that shows us just how difficult it will be to reach retirement age. Freya Mavor is great to watch too bring the positive side of the film. Christopher Eccleston does a strong job with his smaller role which does work letting him show off his skills.

StoryThe story follows a depressed young man that has been failing to commit suicide and decides to hire an assassin to get the job done for him, we follow the week as we get to see how an unexpected twist in the young man’s life will change the way he looks at the world. This story does step into the conversation of suicide and how people can be living with it and finding it hard to cope, it focuses more on the idea of not feeling like they are part of the world over, something bad happening to him to make them feel this mind set. The story does also deal with the retirement older people from a career they have spent their lives working in. the story does flow smoothly and builds up to show us that whichever difficult moment in life you might be facing, there can be a light at the end of the tunnel.

Action/ComedyThe action involved in this film in saved for the moments it is need, think ‘In Bruges’ levels of action being achieved. The comedy is very dark in this film, mostly coming from the type of material that jokes are being made through the film.

SettingsThe films uses the settings to show us the different lives the characters living in, without being anywhere iconic.


Scene of the Movie –
The showdown.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It might seem overly casual on the suicide jokes in places.

Final ThoughtsThis is a dark comedy that is filled with plenty of dark moments that does deal with the subject matter strongly for the most part.

 

Overall: Enjoyable Dark Comedy.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Sci-Fi – # – 28 Days Later (2002) Revisited

Director: Danny Boyle

Writer: Alex Garland (Screenplay)

Starring: Cillian Murphy, Naomie Harris, Christopher Eccleston, Brendan Gleeson, Megan Burns, Noah Huntley

 

Plot: Four weeks after a mysterious, incurable virus spreads throughout the UK, a handful of survivors try to find sanctuary.


Tagline – The Days Are Numbered

Runtime: 1 Hour 53 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Brilliant Modern Horror

 

Story: 28 Days Later starts in the aftermath of a virus being unleashed, Jim (Murphy) wakes from a coma in a hospital unaware of what has occurred, searching the empty streets of London, it doesn’t take him long to run into an infected member of society, where Selena (Harris) and Mark (Huntley) who explain what has happened to the country.

After an attack by the infected Jim and Selena are left alone searching the streets of London they discover Frank (Gleeson) and his daughter Hannah (Burns) hidden in an apartment building. Together the four of them target a radio transmission by the military where Major Henry West (Eccleston) answers their calls, but not everything is as it seems from the military outpost.

 

Thoughts on 28 Days Later

 

Characters – Jim is the man waking to the destroyed, infected ruled world, he like us learns the full extent of the damage and as the film rolls on he becomes tougher, prepared to fight back in this world. there isn’t too much more to Jim as a character other than this. Selena is one of the two people that rescue Jim, she is tough as nails, doesn’t blink when it comes to killing the infected be it the long-term infected or the ones that are about to turn. For the first half of the film she is a fantastically strong character being the one of the group you would fear the most, the more she opens up to others in her life and a future other than surviving, the weaker she becomes. Frank is a caring father, he has done everything to protect his daughter during the outbreak, he knows he needs help to get to the rescue point because going along would be too risky with just his daughter. Major West leads the military outpost, he has promised his men salvation, but it isn’t what you would expect it to be, strict leader, his men will follow all his orders.

PerformancesCillian Murphy got his big break after this film, his performances and transformation in his character are brilliant. Naomie Harris comes in here strong from the moment she hits the screen you see just how strong she is going to make her performance. Brendan Gleeson is great in the supporting role, while the same can be said about Eccleston too.

StoryThe story follows a small group of survivors in an infection riddled world as they look for safety. This is generally the purpose of all infected or zombie movies, it keeps things simple and makes the tension rise as we do get a chance to meet and support the group of survivors on their adventure. This is easily one of the more intense stories once everything goes on with the music adding to the final sequence of the movie. The story does have two endings with both being just as strong as the other too depending on how you believe the story should become.

Horror/Sci-FiThe infected bring us the villainous monsters in the film, they are runners, which means they won’t stop till they get you, only hiding or killing them will stop them, the infected are not the only monsters in this film though as we focus on the human affects of the outbreak. The sci-fi side of the film shows us just how quickly the world could change with an outbreak of a virus which turns people into the undead searching for food, in humans.

SettingsThe film is set in London to start with, getting the empty streets is an achievement in itself, the haunting idea of London being abandoned will be one you will remember, the travelling side, well we have seen before with the empty sequences being what makes this film stand out.

Special EffectsThe effects come from the practical world which we like to see because it makes everything feel real to us the audience.


Scene of the Movie –
The mansion final.

That Moment That Annoyed Me I do feel Selena should have stayed stronger through the film.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the best modern zombie movies, it is intense at times and the visually creation of the world is amazing.

 

Overall: Masterpiece of Modern horror.

Rating

 

 

Shallow Grave (1994)

shallowDirector: Danny Boyle

Writer: John Hodge (Screenplay)

Starring: Kerry Fox, Christopher Eccleston, Ewan McGregor, Ken Scott, Keith Allen, Colin McCredie, Victoria Mairn

 

Plot: Three friends discover their new flatmate dead but loaded with cash.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Forgotten Classic

 

Story: Shallow Grave starts when Juliet (Fox), David (Eccleston) and Alex (McGregor) are searching for a new flat mate in the centre of London, the friends have fun while interviewing potential candidates until Hugo (Allen) walks into their lives.

When the friends don’t see Hugo after he moves in they enter his room to find him dead but they also find a large suitcase of money. The friends decide to dispose of the body and keep the money for themselves but this only leads them to learn the true characters coming forward as they also find themselves being hunted down by the people the money actually belong too.

Shallow Grave is a character driven thriller that shows how all friendships could be pushed to the limits when it comes to money. This films shows us just how things can go even if it was just slightly too far to the extremes. I think the tension building through the film shows how the story continues to grow and you simple just don’t know where things will end up going. The negatives would be that we just don’t get enough time to learn where the money really came from or what happened to Hugo.

 

Actor Review

 

Kerry Fox: Juliet is the doctor of the friends who welcomes Hugo into the house and using her skills when it comes to how they can dispose of the body. She is a free spirit not involved with either of the two guys. Kerry is good in this leading role playing both sides of the situation well.

Christopher Eccleston: David comes off as the slightly stuck up while working in a tax office we get to see how his life is run by routine. When he wants to say no to the money he gets pulled around only to find himself having to do the dirty work which makes him more dangerous than the other two thought. Christopher shines as the guy you just don’t know about throughout the film.

Ewan McGregor: Alex seems to be the loud mouth flaky character of the three who always seem to just get by. He will also get the others in trouble but will stand with them to clean up the mess. Ewan is good and shows how he can play the both sides of the story well.

Support Cast: Shallow Grave has a supporting cast which all help with the final story but in the end we are only really follow the main three characters.

Director Review: Danny BoyleDanny shows us just how capable of a director in this is debut in a feature film where he balances the three characters throughout the film.

 

Crime: Shallow Grave gives us the cover up of a crime which only leads to more as the battle between the friends continues.

Thriller: Shallow Grave does keep us on edge through the whole film as we wonder just what will be happening next.

Settings: Shallow Grave has most of the pivotal scenes within the flat showing just how all the characters will be tested through the film.
Special Effects
: Shallow Grave has simple effects when needed but doesn’t turn to them for the sake of it.

Suggestion: Shallow Grave is one I do think people should be watching just to see where Boyle and the stars have come from. (Watch)

 

Best Part: The performances.

Worst Part: We don’t learn enough about where the money really came from.

 

Believability: The breakdown of the friendship could be real.

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $2.5 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 29 Minutes

Tagline: The award winning thriller that’ll bury you with laughs.

Trivia: Danny Boyle has stated that of the films he has directed, this is his father’s favorite, and that whenever a new film directed by Boyle junior is released (including Slumdog Millionaire (2008), which won the academy award both for best film and best director) and he asks Boyle senior’s opinion, his father’s review is always the same – “It was good, but not as good as ‘Shallow Grave’.”

 

Overall: A true classic with all the tension you could desire from Danny Boyle.

Ratingcard

 

 

Oscar Season Challenge – Legend (2015)

Movie Rob and I are continuing our journey through potential Oscar contenders with this one Legend.

 

legendDirector: Brian Helgeland

Writer: Brian Helgeland (Screenplay) John Pearson (Book)

Starring: Tom Hardy, Emily Browning, Paul Bettany, Taron Egerton, Christopher Eccleston, David Thewlis, Colin Morgan, Paul Anderson

 

Plot: The film tells the story of the identical twin gangsters Reggie and Ronnie Kray, two of the most notorious criminals in British history, and their organised crime empire in the East End of London during the 1960s.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Great Gangster Biographical Picture

 

Story: Legend starts as we meet Reggie Kray (Hardy) the calm polite of the twins as he goes about his everyday routine being followed by detective Nipper Read (Eccleston). We also meet Ronald Kray (Hardy) who upon his time in jail he ends up in mental home after being declared insane showing the difference between the two.

We get to see the Kray twins start off as just men running the East end to rise up to become the most notorious gangsters in London as well as being untouchable within the City, but what rises always falls all told from the love of Reggie, Frances (Browning).

Legend gives us a look at two of the most famous gangster that ruled London in the 1960-70s that show how the rise of power became too much for the twins. Their different styles really are what makes this interesting see how one being calm and the other on edge shows that the two complement each other nicely. When it comes to the gangster side of the story I do think this will come off slightly short for the fans because we learn more about the men than what they did. We have enough different versions of this story following these characters and this is the only one I saw so I can’t judge how well this stands up against others.

 

Actor Review

 

Tom Hardy: Ronald and Reginald Kray, Ronald is the psychopathic brother that wants to be a real gangster, Reggie is the calm business like side of the twins who wants to rule London but follows the calmer approach. They can both handle themselves in fights and have very different interests in life but they both are part of the most notorious gangsters London has ever seen. Tom is brilliant in this role playing both these brothers.kray

Emily Browning: Frances Shea is the love interest of Reggie Kray she is from a normal family and is the sister of his driver. She helps keep him from becoming like his brother but will not stay with him if he keeps returning to jail. Emily is good in this role playing the narrator to the story.fracis

David Thewlis: Leslie Payne is the public relations man for the Kray’s while Reggie picks him Ronny doesn’t get along with his ways of doing things. David is good in this supporting role.

Taron Egerton: Teddy Smith is one of Ronny’s boys that also is his love interest, he is happy to get his hands dirty when it comes to doing the dirty work for Ronny. Taron is great in this supporting role showing he can play two different roles after his performance in Kingsman.

Support CastLegend has a great supporting cast that all help show the storyline of the brothers.

Director Review: Brian Helgeland Brian gives us a good look at two iconic men in British history.

 

Biographical: Legend shows us two iconic men in British gangster history very well.

Crime: Legend brings us into the criminal underworld of the Kray Twins.

Settings: Legend recreates the settings to show us London for the same time period.  

Suggestion: Legend is one for all the gangster to enjoy without being too graphic. (Gangster Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: Hardy is brilliant.

Worst Part: We don’t see enough of what the two get up to in the crime world.

 

Believability:  Based on the real criminal brothers.

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: Not likely but could have an outside shot.

Runtime: 2 Hour 11 Minutes

Tagline: Power. Fear. Family.

Trivia: Tom Hardy actually brought his wife to the film premiere as his date. They both also brought their dog.

 

Overall: Gangster film that really ends up showing two men in a positive light rather than the true criminals they really were.

Ratingcard