I'm mark. A 20 year old history student from Manchester, England and a film geek.

This film review blog has little summaries, with plus and minus points near the end and possibly a score out of ten.

I'm a big fan of the works of Clint Eastwood, Quentin Tarantino, Guy Ritchie, Danny Boyle and Christopher Nolan.



 

Killer Elite

Was full to the brim of bad British accents and over dramatisation

#149: Desperado, 1995.

Yet another Mexico-central film made by Robert Rodriguez.  Desperado is the story of a gun-slinger with a guitar case (Antonio Banderas) who is out for revenge on a drug lord that killed his wife.  With a couple of big names in there, including Steve Buscemi, as well as a cameo from Quentin Tarantino, the film is quite tongue in cheek and has exaggerated scenes of violence, but this is part of its charm.  

+

  • Good cast
  • Excellent opening sequences
  • Good for fans of Rodriguez

_

  • The eccentricity may be too much for some
  • Pretty generic plot

Overall: 7.5/10

Yet again

This blog is going to get some deserved attention from me.  Expect new reviews and a bit of a makeover.

#148:  How to Train Your Dragon, 2010.
I put off watching this film for a while, just out of it not being at the top of my ‘to watch’ list.  But I had a bit of an animated film phase lately and found that I loved this film.  The voice acting was brilliant, as was the animation.  The fact that I watched the film in blu-ray made it even better to watch.  
7Gerard Butler was a surprising star of this film, as were a couple of comedic actors, Jonah Hill being amongst them.  I would highly recommend this film though, whether you were a fan of animated films or not.  It’s hard not to be blown away by how far animation has come.  
9/10.

#148:  How to Train Your Dragon, 2010.

I put off watching this film for a while, just out of it not being at the top of my ‘to watch’ list.  But I had a bit of an animated film phase lately and found that I loved this film.  The voice acting was brilliant, as was the animation.  The fact that I watched the film in blu-ray made it even better to watch.  

7Gerard Butler was a surprising star of this film, as were a couple of comedic actors, Jonah Hill being amongst them.  I would highly recommend this film though, whether you were a fan of animated films or not.  It’s hard not to be blown away by how far animation has come.  

9/10.

#147: Bad Teacher, 2011. 
I didn’t fancy watching Bad Teacher at the cinema when it originally came out.  I was primarily sceptical because the film had Justin Timberlake in it.  But in fairness, he was actually quite decent.  As was Cameron Diaz, the star of the film.  Now, being a fan of Jason Segel, I was a bit disappointed by how he wasn’t really involved much in the comedy side of the film, more the end plot.  

Generally though, the film did have some pretty funny parts.  I thought it was a bit underrated but at the same time it wasn’t comedy gold.  Given that such films are down to personal taste, it’s worth noting that you might not share my opinion.  But overall I thought that Bad Teacher was a decent film with good acting and a pretty decent performance from Diaz.
7/10.

#147: Bad Teacher, 2011. 

I didn’t fancy watching Bad Teacher at the cinema when it originally came out.  I was primarily sceptical because the film had Justin Timberlake in it.  But in fairness, he was actually quite decent.  As was Cameron Diaz, the star of the film.  Now, being a fan of Jason Segel, I was a bit disappointed by how he wasn’t really involved much in the comedy side of the film, more the end plot.  

Generally though, the film did have some pretty funny parts.  I thought it was a bit underrated but at the same time it wasn’t comedy gold.  Given that such films are down to personal taste, it’s worth noting that you might not share my opinion.  But overall I thought that Bad Teacher was a decent film with good acting and a pretty decent performance from Diaz.

7/10.

#146: Kill Bill: Vol. 1, 2003.
I’m a Quentin Tarantino fan, so naturally I like Kill Bill; but in honesty I prefer some of his other work.  Kill Bill is full to the brim of links to Japanese culture, through the enemies the protagonist faces, the setting of varying scenes and of course the frequent use of the Katana, or samurai sword.  

And whilst the film does have a story and strong action sequences, it’s always felt like a prequel to me.  It’s only ever felt like the first half of a film, or a film intended to be there just to provide anticipation for it’s sequel.  In short, volume 1 has only ever felt (to me) like it’s designed to lead up to volume 2.  Regardless, I’m still a big fan of both of the Kill Bill films.

In typical Tarantino fashion, there are feet, the upward facing camera angle and attractive women in skimpy outfits.  But needless to say, his films have masses of style and aren’t predictable.  
7.5/10.

#146: Kill Bill: Vol. 1, 2003.

I’m a Quentin Tarantino fan, so naturally I like Kill Bill; but in honesty I prefer some of his other work.  Kill Bill is full to the brim of links to Japanese culture, through the enemies the protagonist faces, the setting of varying scenes and of course the frequent use of the Katana, or samurai sword.  

And whilst the film does have a story and strong action sequences, it’s always felt like a prequel to me.  It’s only ever felt like the first half of a film, or a film intended to be there just to provide anticipation for it’s sequel.  In short, volume 1 has only ever felt (to me) like it’s designed to lead up to volume 2.  Regardless, I’m still a big fan of both of the Kill Bill films.

In typical Tarantino fashion, there are feet, the upward facing camera angle and attractive women in skimpy outfits.  But needless to say, his films have masses of style and aren’t predictable.  

7.5/10.

#145:  Insidious, 2010.
Insidious sounded a bit ludicrous to me; the trailer that was advertised had the line “it’s not the house that’s haunted, it’s your son.”  That on it’s own was enough to put me off at the time.  But I thought I’d at least give it a try and I actually ended up quite enjoying it.  I do have two issues with it though.  First of all, the first half of the film was intense and built up well, but the second half just didn’t match it.  It was like another film entirely.  On top of that the story took a turn for the absurd then too.

My second problem was that the main demon looked liked darth maul.  He had the red face paint looking head, almost exactly the same.  This of course is just a minor thing but I thought it was worth pointing out.  So I did enjoy the film, and any of you fans of supernatural horrors will enjoy it.  I was just disappointed with the change of pace the film took in the second half.

7/10.

#145:  Insidious, 2010.

Insidious sounded a bit ludicrous to me; the trailer that was advertised had the line “it’s not the house that’s haunted, it’s your son.”  That on it’s own was enough to put me off at the time.  But I thought I’d at least give it a try and I actually ended up quite enjoying it.  I do have two issues with it though.  First of all, the first half of the film was intense and built up well, but the second half just didn’t match it.  It was like another film entirely.  On top of that the story took a turn for the absurd then too.

My second problem was that the main demon looked liked darth maul.  He had the red face paint looking head, almost exactly the same.  This of course is just a minor thing but I thought it was worth pointing out.  So I did enjoy the film, and any of you fans of supernatural horrors will enjoy it.  I was just disappointed with the change of pace the film took in the second half.

7/10.

#144:  X-Men: First Class, 2011.
I really regret not watching this at the cinema now; I thought it was amazing.  The film was far more enjoyable than the previous X-Men films, with much better acting talent on a broad scale, with more humour and a solid story line.  On top of that, it was great to see the way in which the origins of the X-Men were portrayed.  Not only that, but the film introduced characters that are generally less well known, such as Darwin.  

In terms of acting, I thought James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender were absolutely phenomenal.  They had the chemistry needed for the relationship between the characters, suited their characters perfectly and generally just made the film excellent.  I also really enjoyed the performance Kevin Bacon gave; usually I’m not a big fan but he pulled out all the stops in this one.  As for the plot, the storyline was much stronger and well thought out than the previous films.  I really do hope that this marks the start of a new series of X-Men films, with the same team working on them.

To summarise, X-Men: First Class provides a pretty high bench mark that all comic book character films should aim to surpass.  Even people who aren’t fans of such things, my girlfriend for example, can find something they enjoy about this film.  On top of that, there are top performances from British actors, and the talent of James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender needs to be duly noted.
9/10.

#144:  X-Men: First Class, 2011.

I really regret not watching this at the cinema now; I thought it was amazing.  The film was far more enjoyable than the previous X-Men films, with much better acting talent on a broad scale, with more humour and a solid story line.  On top of that, it was great to see the way in which the origins of the X-Men were portrayed.  Not only that, but the film introduced characters that are generally less well known, such as Darwin.  

In terms of acting, I thought James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender were absolutely phenomenal.  They had the chemistry needed for the relationship between the characters, suited their characters perfectly and generally just made the film excellent.  I also really enjoyed the performance Kevin Bacon gave; usually I’m not a big fan but he pulled out all the stops in this one.  As for the plot, the storyline was much stronger and well thought out than the previous films.  I really do hope that this marks the start of a new series of X-Men films, with the same team working on them.

To summarise, X-Men: First Class provides a pretty high bench mark that all comic book character films should aim to surpass.  Even people who aren’t fans of such things, my girlfriend for example, can find something they enjoy about this film.  On top of that, there are top performances from British actors, and the talent of James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender needs to be duly noted.

9/10.