Posts Tagged ‘Film’

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‘Manamana’ I just got back from seeing the latest Muppet movie: Muppets Most Wanted. Here’s my review:

Muppets Most Wanted sees the loveable and engaging Muppets go a world tour, hosted by their new manager Dominic Badguy (Ricky Gervais). During which, they unwillingly get involved in an international crime caper after the evil Constantine (The most dangerous frog in the world)  escapes prison, and secretly replaces Kermit The Frog so he can hatch an evil plan to steal the crown jewels of London.

First off, I would like to mention that I am a HUGE Muppets fan. I love the TV show, I love the characters, I love their songs, I love their comedy, I just love them. This is the eight movie from The Muppets and I have watched and enjoyed all of then (Except Muppets In Space). I was also a massive fan of the recent 2011 film ‘The Muppets’ which saw the characters make a triumphant return to the big screen after a few years of being gone. It was charming and heartfelt. Muppets Most Wanted starts off literally where ‘The Muppets’ ended and while it’s not as heartfelt as ‘The Muppets’, it’s still a heck of a lot of fun.

First off, like any Muppet movie, the jokes are spot on! They’re all really funny and guaranteed to make you chuckle. It seems that this film knew exactly what it wanted to be from the very first scene: A fun sequel. The first of the many songs in this film even poke fun of sequels with the line: ‘Everyone knows that the sequel usually isn’t quite as good‘. If a movie can poke fun of itself and still leave you smiling, then it’s doing something right.

It was great seeing these great characters on screen again, and it was also wonderful to see Kermit and Miss Piggy perform more witty banter and arguments. There’s an especially funny scene which involves the pair arguing about getting married and when Kermit will be able to propose. In fact, it was probably the funniest scene in the film for me.

Of course, it wouldn’t be The Muppets without catchy songs and celebrity cameos, and this film has both. We see Christoph waltz performing the Waltz, Celine Dion singing a duet with Miss Piggy and even Lady Gaga makes an appearance in the opening number. The songs are for the most part really catchy and fun to listen to. But I did however find that there were one too many songs in the film and for me, only two of them were memorable: “We’re doing a sequel‘ and ‘I can give you what you want‘. Both of these songs were great and memorable. The others weren’t bad, they just weren’t as catchy, and some were, well, completely unnecessary.

The human cast were for the most part, a lot of fun too, especially Ty Burrell. He plays a a French inspector, who is forced to join forces with Sam The Eagle as they work together to find the evil Constantine. Ricky Gervais was delightfully quirky as the evil manager, however, Tina Fey (While her accent was amazing) actually did seem a bit out of place in this film and while she occasionally provided few good jokes, she didn’t really need to be in the film at all.

For me though, the star of this film was Constantine. Good God, this frog was hilarious! Seeing him trying to pretend to be Kermit led to a lot of funny jokes and situations. He was a great singer, and was just a joy to watch. His character takes up a majority of the film, and for good reason. I would dearly love to see him return for another Muppet movie.

Sadly, I did feel that this film had a few pacing issues. The scenes with Kermit in the russian prison, while at times entertaining , did seem to go on for a long time, and did eventually become a bit boring. Also, I mentioned earlier that this film was not as heartfelt as ‘The Muppets’, and this is a problem. Part of the charm of ‘The Muppets’ (2011) came from how it was basically a sweet tribute to these characters and a reminder of how the world will always treasure The Muppets. This film (while it had some sweet moments) never really felt that heartfelt.

This film also has a very similar story to the second movie in the franchise ‘The Great Muppet Caper’. Maybe it was intentional, but if not, I’m sure the writers could have come up with a different situation for The Muppets to find themselves in.

Overall, while this film does have its flaws, I can’t deny that it was very fun. I was smiling a lot throughout this film and I was very pleased to see these amazing characters return to the big screen. Any Muppet fan is sure to enjoy this, as will many families, as it has a lot of humour for both Children and adults.

While it may not be the most sensational, inspirational, celebrational, muppetational muppet movie of all time, it’s still a fun one, and you’re almost guarneteed to have a great time at the cinema while viewing this film.

Overall rating: 4/5

Reviewed and written by Nick Zabierek

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Hi Everyone. I recently got back from seeing the sequel to Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit An Unexpected Jourmey: The Desolation Of Smaug. Here’s my take on it.

The storyline of ‘Desolation’ continues the events of An Unexpected Journey, in which the hobbit Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) travels with the wizard Gandalf The Grey (Sir Ian Mackellen) and the company of dwarfs  led by Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) through the Elven woods of Mirkwoord, Laketown, all the way to The Lonely Mountain to reclaim the dwarfs’ homeland and to steal the Arkenstone gem from the deadly dragon Smaug (Benedict Cumberbatch).

First of, I’d like to say that I throughly enjoyed An unexpected Journey, sure it had some problems, it was far too long and some scenes really dragged on, but I still had a good time watching it and it was great to return to the wonderful world of Middle Earth created by the master himself, J.R.R. Tolkien. Now this film, I can honestly say was a truly FANTASTIC sequel. It improved on the first movie in almost every way. For some people, this may be the film they were hoping to see when the first Hobbit film came out.

Firstly, even though this is a long film (2 hours and 50 minutes) every moment is exciting. I didn’t feel bored once, not once scene dragged and each one felt like it had a purpose in the film. This film is also a lot darker than its predecessor, with some gruesome fight scenes and a lot of general peril (The spider scene I felt was actually generally creepy).

As always the acting was spot on, Jackson is great when it comes to casting his movies, everyone in the film looks and acts the part. Martin Freeman is still awesome as Bilbo, watching him you get the thought that no other actor could play the role. It was great to see him begin to fall victim to the one ring that he stole in the first movie. He actually comes of as threatening when a spider tries to take the ring back. Sir Ian Mackellen is still on top as Gandalf the Grey (Though he sadly doesn’t appear that often in this film and his presence is missed) All the dwarves are great and so are the elves, in short, every performance in this film is great.

I also really enjoyed the new characters introduced in this film. Bard, the resident of Laketown is great, you can really sense his passion and fear of the dwarves mission of awakening Smaug. And of course there is Tauriel, the she-elf who was invented only for the film.  Some fans have been wary and critical of this new character, but I honestly thought she was great, not only was she was a total badass (Seriously, she kicks a lot of butt in this film) but she was a free spirt who did what she felt to be right. I also like how in a way, she represents a bridge between two worlds and she develops a romantic connection with one of the dwarf brothers, Kili. The romance is short and sweet, never dragging and never out of place.

We also see the return of fan favourite Elven warrior, Legolas (Orlando Bloom). Again, this character was not mentioned once in the original book and while I didn’t really see the point of having the character return, it was still great to see him. But for me, the best part of his return was that we actually see him bleed! That’s right he gets injured in this film. He never got a scratch on him in The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy, so this was a welcome change. Even still it was great to see the character back in action. Speaking of which, the action in this film is also spectacular, my personal favourite action piece was the Barrel escape from the Elven prison. It was full of so much energy, style and some brilliant cinematography.

But for me, that absolute best thing about this film was the title character himself, Smaug. Good god was this character amazing. Everything about him was astonishing, his look, his design, his voice, I cannot thing of a single thing wrong with him. He was elegant, he was threatening, he was devious and menacing, definitely one of the best onscreen villains I’ve seen in a long time. He appears in the last half of the film and every second is ‘precious’. The scene between him and Bilbo and was perfect, it was very tense and beautifully acted. It leads to what I think is a great ending, sure it’s basically the filmmakers saying ‘haha, we’re making another one, you have to wait till next year to see it‘ but it’s still a great ending that leaves you totally pumped and ready for the third and final instalment of the trilogy.

But of course like any movie, this film does have its flaws. Firstly, the soundtrack (Composed by the amazing Howard Shore) was fairly underwhelming, it was nice to listen to, but I don’t think I’ll be buying the soundtrack as it wasn’t very memorable. I also didn’t like how the thirteen dwarfs constantly gave up whenever they were faced with a problem that they couldn’t understand. I know that they’re meant to be stubborn creatures, but it got quite tiring having to watch Bilbo step in and solve the problem while the dwarves sat in a corner and sulked. Also, there were a lot of changes from the book that for me didn’t make much sense, sadly I can’t reveal them to you as it is quite a big spoiler, so for now I’ll just say it involves the return of an old face. For me I didn’t see why this element was added into the film and it needed a lot more explanation, hopefully the third film will put my concerns to rest and explain this sudden change.

Overall though, The Desolation Of Smaug is a fantastic sequel. It was almost everything I could have hoped for, even though it had some flaws, none of them ruined the film for me. If anyone was left disappointed by An Unexpected Journey, I urge you to see this film as you will not be disappointed. Any fan of The Lord Of The Rings and The Hobbit should also see this film. It’s fun, exciting, dark, tense, suspenseful, poignant and a great adventure. Bravo Peter Jackson, I eagerly await the release of ‘There And Back Again’.

Overall rating: 4.5/5

Reviewed by Nick Zabierek.