Dorian Gray (2009)

Director: Oliver Parker

Writer: Toby Finlay (Screenplay) Oscar Wilde (Novel)

Starring: Ben Barnes, Colin Firth, Rebecca Hall, Ben Chaplin, Fiona Shaw, Emilia Fox


Plot: A corrupt young man somehow keeps his youthful beauty eternally, but a special painting gradually reveals his inner ugliness to all.

Tagline – Forever Young. Forever Cursed.

Runtime: 1 Hour 52 Minutes


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Lacklustre


Story: Dorian Gray starts as Dorian Gray (Barnes) himself arrives in CGI London, I mean London around the 1800s to return to his childhood home. Dorian gets to mingle with the high society members including Lord Henry Wotton (Firth) as he learns his place in London.

Henry takes Dorian under his wing and with a portrayed showing his youthful looks offering him the desire to remain that way we see the world Dorian has been guided into by Henry. Dorian becoming his own man uses the painting to keep his aging while he remains young and becomes the womanising machine around town, but there is always a consequence to this.


Thoughts on Dorian Gray


Characters – Dorian Gray is the young man bought back into London, he starts full of innocence but after being guided down certain paths he changes becoming a man that has his youth preserved in a painting that has swapped with his physical body. Lord Henry Wotton is the high society man that takes Dorian down the darker paths, first for his own entertainment but soon fuelling his own jealously.

PerformancesBen Barnes is good as Dorian Gray the forever youthful looking and enjoying life forever. Colin Firth is the gentleman figure here being the mentor and easily being the highlight of the film.

StoryThe Dorian Gray story is a well-known story of the man that never ages while his painting showed the age and harm his body has taken as it slowly starts to consume him. The origin of this does lack the fantasy you would imagine it having and does just feel like a simple look at how high society believed they controlled London. While the story may well follow the original material well it does need some evolution to make the story compelling to the modern audience.

Fantasy/ThrillerThis should be a fantasy filled moment film but we lack anything past the concept of what is happening to Dorian.

SettingsThe settings are old London which look completely fake through the whole sucking us out of the location for the most part.

Special EffectsThe effects are a let-down in the most part disappointing on nearly every occasion through the film.

Scene of the Movie –
The Deal.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Lacks the final punch.

Final ThoughtsThis should be one of the greatest gothic stories you will ever see, but it lacks all the effects, twists and storytelling to make it.


Overall: Disappointing all around.




Anthony Hopkins Weekend – Fracture (2007)

ractureDirector: Gregory Hoblit

Writer: Daniel Pyne, Glenn Gers (Screenplay) Daniel Pyne (Story)

Starring: Anthony Hopkins, Ryan Gosling, David Strathairn, Rosamund Pike, Embeth Davidtz, Billy Burke, Cliff Curtis, Fiona Shaw, Bob Gunton


Plot: An attorney, intent on climbing the career ladder toward success, finds an unlikely opponent in a manipulative criminal he is trying to prosecute.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Solid Courtroom Thriller


Story: Fracture starts when Ted Crawford (Hopkins) finally challenges his cheating wife Jennifer (Davidtz) about her affair before shooting her, Ted is a genius so he has been planning this for a while now and has come up with the perfect cover as the man who she was having the affair with is a negotiator for the LA police department Rob Nunally (Burke).

We got onto meet Willy Beachum (Gosling) who is a high rising lawyer working in the District Attorney Office under Joe Lobruto (Strathairn) who doesn’t think Willy should take his new job offer.

When one of his final cases see, Willy having to go against Ted the two find themselves having to go face to face in the courtroom as Ted decides to represent himself. What looks like an easy case soon becomes Willy’s biggest test of his career against one of the smartest men on the planet but who will come out on top?

Fracture is a crime mystery thriller turned cat and mouse style courtroom drama which follows the genius trying to show off against a young hot shot lawyer, sure we have seen this before but the fact we 100% know how guilty Ted is really tips the scales here. The case does take a few twists and turns along the way but it is the lengths that Willy will go to win this case against his own career.

The cast shine with Hopkins versus Gosling is delightful to watch whenever they go against each other on the screen. The supporting cast really don’t get the chance to shine like the lead two which does disappoint in places.


Overall: Courtroom thriller that does it’s best to keep us guessing without that final punch needed.




Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007)

logoDirector: David Yates

Writer: Michael Goldenberg (Screenplay) J.K. Rowling (Novel)

Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Harry Melling, Fiona Shaw, Richard Griffiths, Ralph Fiennes, Brendan Gleeson, Gary Oldman, Maggie Smith, David Thewlis, Michael Gambon, Tom Felton, Jason Isaacs, Alan Rickman, Emma Thompson, Helena Bonham Carter, Robbie Coltrane, Imelda Staunton


Plot: With their warning about Lord Voldemort’s return scoffed at, Harry and Dumbledore are targeted by the Wizard authorities as an authoritarian bureaucrat slowly seizes power at Hogwarts.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: The Battle Is Coming


Story: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix starts by Harry (Radcliffe) getting bullied by his cousin before getting attack by two getting attacked by two dementors. Fighting them off leads Harry to get expelled from Hogwarts while he is still dealing with the nightmares of what happened with Cedric. Harry does get rescued from his human home by Moody (Gleeson) and taken to meet up with his friends, where he learns of the Order of the Phoenix who come together to protect against Voldemort. Harry has to go to a hearing to decide whether he can return to Hogwarts. Harry does get its expulsion over turned he returns to Hogwarts with a war approaching.

Harry has to deal with the other students who question what really happened with Cedric but his friends Ron (Grint) and Hermione (Watson) stay loyal to him. The teachers who have joined (yes more teacher changes) are selected by the Witches Council who are out to show Harry as a liar and expose Dumbledore (Gambon). The new dark arts professor Dolores Umbridge (Staunton) is out to change the school and stopping the wizards from learning to fight back against any evil that comes their way. Harry ends up trying to teach his classmates to defend themselves much against the new rules put in place at the school. With the school divided Harry learns who he can trust and who he will have to battle against.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, continues on from the last one with the consequences having an effect on the world we have got to know. We show the sides starting to be drawn up in the battle along with the personal battle between good and evil going on inside Harry. This once again returns to the building up to the bigger battle showing each side preparing and even though we have a battle in the end it is just a test to see how each side is doing with the battles. It is a solid builder to the next chapter but it would be nice to see the bad guys get the final word for once much like Star Wars did. (9/10)


Actor Review


Daniel Radcliffe: Harry Potter after surviving his first encounter with Voldemort he has to help the students get ready for a battle against the dark lord but he has to do this in secret while learning about the dangers that may lie ahead. Daniel continues to improve in the role that is showing a higher level of maturity in his performance. (9/10)


Emma Watson: Hermione while she helps Harry find the motivation to stand up for what he believes in she also learns more about her own powers. Emma gives a good supporting performance that seems to be getting small as each film unfolds. (7/10)


Rupert Grint: Ron as the trusty friend of Harry he helps Harry stand up to the other students who doubt him. Much like Emma, Ron’s performance was good for a supporting role which is getting smaller. (7/10)


Imelda Staunton: Dolores Umbridge part of the Wizard’s Council who becomes the head teacher at Hogwarts and tries to change everything that the students learn. Imelda gives a good performance as the very unlikable teacher. (9/10)


Support Cast: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix introduces yet more character that all end up helping the next chapter of the story unfold, this does have side effects because the regular characters seem to be getting less screen time.


Director Review: David Yates – David does a good job directing what is the build-up to what will be a bigger battle in the future. (8/10)


Adventure: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix continues the adventure side to the story that we have all got to know. (9/10)

Family: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is starting to sway towards the older family and losing the appeal to the younger children. (8/10)

Fantasy: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix keeps us in the world on fantasy throughout. (9/10)

Mystery: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix offers up a solid level of mystery as we are not sure who is on what side. (8/10)

Settings: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix uses the best settings it can making everything feel very authentic throughout. (10/10)
Special Effects
: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix uses good special effects but sadly you can see how much CGI has gone into them. (7/10)

Suggestion: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix should be watched by the fans of the series but by now it will be too late to pick up in the middle. (Watch After The Rest)


Best Part: Magic training.

Worst Part: CGI lets it down again.


Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: 5 – 8 of the series

Post Credits Scene: No


Awards: Nominated for 2 BAFTAs

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $940 Million

Budget: $150 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 19 Minutes

Tagline:  The Rebellion Begins


Overall: Battles Lines Drawn

Rating 90

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)

logoDirector: Chris Columbus

Writer: Steve Kloves (Screenplay) J.K. Rowling (Novel)

Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Richard Griffiths, Fiona Shaw, Harry Melling, Toby Jones, Jim Norton, Jason Isaacs, Robbie Coltrane, Tom Felton, Kenneth Branagh, Alan Rickman, Maggie Smith


Plot: Harry ignores warnings not to return to Hogwarts, only to find the school plagued by a series of mysterious attacks and a strange voice haunting him.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Good Mystery Left Open


Story: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets starts by showing Harry (Radcliffe) back with his Uncle and Auntie who have given him an actual room but still resent having him around. While Harry gets a warning from Dobby not to go back to Hogwarts because of a plan against him. Ron (Grint) and his brothers come to Harry rescue and help him get back to Hogwarts. While Harry continually gets block be it not make the train because of it getting blocked. While the three friends have to go through the same problems as the year before, it is a mysterious voice that Harry keeps hearing that starts to make the main story.

When a visible warning appears that is trying to frame Harry including the death of the janitors cat. The Chamber of Secrets is a myth that was created by one of the founder of Hogwarts that will only be opened when his heir starts the school which will lead to all the muggle-born (human blood) wizards being killed. With more bodies turning up petrified the fingers continue to point at Harry and with more people believing it is him he finds himself trying to uncover the truth along with Ron.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets while the first one focused on the introduction, this time we learn more about the history of Hogwarts. We learn more about the mystery of the world that Harry has only just started to learn about as much as we do. We do get the continuation of the character development as well as only hearing parts about the greater evil that awaits the wizards in the future. We see the bound between the three friends grow as well as the battle against the rivals grows too. This is an improvement on the first as it shows how easily things can change for our hero. (9/10)


Actor Review


Daniel Radcliffe: Harry Potter our young wizard who ignores the warning about returning to Hogwarts and finds himself trying to defend himself from all the clues that point in his direction when strange things start happening at Hogwarts. Daniel gives a great performance as the young wizard who has to fight against an enemy who underestimates him. (9/10)


Rupert Grint: Ron Weasley rescuer of Harry as well as loyal friend who wants to make sure Harry gets back to Hogwarts. Ron continues along his clumsy side but always is in the right place when Harry needs back up. Rupert gives a good performance who like previous film he gets the extra laughs. (8/10)


Emma Watson: Hermione Granger smartest of the three she learns about the potion that could unlock the truth for them, but also spends time in this film out of the picture due to the goings on. Emma gives a good performance but doesn’t get much screen time. (7/10)


Support Cast: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets has a massive supporting cast and as the story telling tries to keep you guessing you have to work out who are the good, the bad and the planning ones. They all help with the story and are all portrayed very well.


Director Review: Chris Columbus – Chris does a great job directing, moving our characters into the next chapter of their story very well. (9/10)


Family: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is a great family film and this one will be much more interesting for the whole family. (9/10)

Fantasy: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets put you in the fantasy world from the opening moments to the final moments. (10/10)

Mystery: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets does create an interesting mystery to be solved and with plenty of different suspects it will keep you guessing. (10/10)

Settings: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets creates authentic looking sets that have created a world that we can look at and see as natural looking. (10/10)
Special Effects
: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets has solid effects in the most part but the Quidditch effects again come off poor. (6/10)

Suggestion: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets should be watched to continue the story and even if you haven’t seen the first one you won’t have missed much in the way of story. (Watch)


Best Part:  The mystery created.

Worst Part: Quidditch effects


Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: 2 – 8 in the series

Post Credits Scene: Yes, but not important one.


Awards: Nominated for 3 BAFTAs

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $879 Million

Budget: $100 Million

Runtime: 2 Hour 41 Minutes

Tagline: The Chamber of Secrets has opened.

Trivia: Daniel Radcliffe was initially only offered £125,000 (approximately US $181,500) for this film. The actors’ union, Equity, stepped in and negotiated new terms which increased his salary to roughly £2,000,000 (US $3,000,000).


Overall: The first mystery of the saga

Rating 89