Wednesday, 29 June 2016

'Mr Right' Review

The 2016 Edinburgh Film Festival has now drawn to an annoying end after just under 2 weeks. Unfortunately for me, the majority of this was before my pay day meaning I missed out on a whole load of great film. However, I was able to catch one film that I had seeked out on the last day of the festival. 'Mr Right' was the lucky film that had the task of entertaining me but would it be able to deliver?

Martha (Anna Kendrick) has just came out of a relationship and is down on her luck. Fate leads her to a new partner in the form of Sam Rockwell's character Francis. Francis however is hiding the fact that he is sort of a reverse hitman which leads Martha to make a choice to whether they split or if she stays with her Mr Right.

I had heard of 'Mr Right' well before it being shown in the Edinburgh Film Festival due to it being from one of my favourite online personalities and screenwriter Max Landis. This really pushed me towards seeing the movie as I wanted to support him in particular. Also I enjoy anything with Anna Kendrick anyway as she is just great. With this combination, I was sure that I would get some enjoyment and to my luck, I was correct.

'Mr Right' most definitely is a very fun movie and is mainly due to the two lead performances within the film. Sam Rockwell is very good as this professional assassin who kills those who have hired him rather than the intended targets. His eccentric ways and killer instinct prove to be a cool mix that creates a very enjoyable viewing. Anna Kendrick plays quite an unhinged woman in Martha, who clearly isn't all right in the head. Again, Kendrick is highly entertaining and amusing as the film goes on.

The comedy in the film does work really well in the film as well and is genuinely funny. The jokes are very clever and work well with the characters as the conversations flow with the jokes being ever present. The writing for the comedy elements work tremendously well and will bring you some laughs for sure. The characters of Francis and Martha are written very well which creates likeable and enjoyable characters to watch.

Unfortunately, I feel that the praise for the film really ends at that. The film really is silly with the routes it takes and with some of the other characters. The film is pretty self aware of this but I don't feel that it should be excused due to this as it does seem like quite a cop out in the way it handles some of its scenarios. Sometimes characters are able to do incredible things and then are a shadow of themselves in the next scene. There are times when people seem to have changed sides in the fight against Francis which happens a number of times throughout a short period of time. A lot of the time, actions were happening only to further the film and didn't make sense to why it actually happened.

I feel that the action in this movie is really quite inconsistent in quality as well. There are some scenes where some truly great action pieces take place and work fantastically well. The choreography works well throughout these scenes which makes it odd at points where it doesn't work nearly as well. At points the action seems way too slow as if you can see the actors really trying to be careful and it doesn't flow that well. The standards aren't kept up throughout the whole film which does also make the film suffer at times.

Final Verdict =

'Mr Right' is a fun movie that is enjoyable to watch for sure. There is no doubt that this is on of the films that you would stick on just for fun and if you don't want to think too much about. It's far from a masterpiece but most definitely has its moments with good comedy and performances from Rockwell and Kendrick.

So have you seen 'Mr Right'? If so what did you think of the movie? I hope this review was useful for if you were planning on checking the movie out. It seems to have been released much earlier elsewhere in the world so may appear on the likes of Netflix where I would recommend you checking it out. Once again, thank you for reading my review, it is much appreciated!

By Angus McGregor

Monday, 27 June 2016

'Independence Day: Resurgence' Review

"Hello boys, I'm back!" shouted the heroic Russell Casse as he destroyed the aliens ship hovering over the USA in 1996's 'Independence Day'. A sequel was often rumoured to happen a lot after the release which excited fans of the film. 20 years later they got their wish but would it be the successful sequel that they wanted?

As celebrations on yet another 4th of July draw near, another extraterrestrial mothership this time much bigger attacks earth. The humans futuristic technology developed from the aliens ships 20 years ago wasn't enough to protect the world from the disaster caused by this new attack. David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum) will need to team up with old allies, the new president and a young, fresh team of fighter pilots to try and save the world. 

Last year, the world was introduced to another instalment in a franchise in 'Terminator: Genisys'. A movie that really disappointed and hurt the franchise. I didn't particularly enjoy seeing such a beloved franchise and character have something quite as bad be associated with it. In many ways, 'Genisys' is quite like 'Resurgence' as neither were necessary. Both had returning actors that gave us that small bit of hope for the film. Unfortunately, it is just as bad.

'Resurgence' misses the presence of Will Smith and Randy Quaid oh so much in this film. Smith isn't their as the charismatic badass to carry the film and bring the fight to the aliens which also gives us an interesting and entertaining characters. He's not back due to being in 'Suicide Squad'- which looks to be a good decision on his part- and they really failed to replace him. In comes a young team of pilots with Smith's characters son Dylan Dubrow-Hiller (Jessie Usher) leading them alongside Liam Hemsworth's character Jake Morrison. The pair don't carry the film like Smith did as they simply don't have the charisma or presence that Smith carries. Both Hemsworth and Usher's characters are bland and you don't really ever care for them that much which is a huge problem for two lead characters.

We also know how well Smith can work with comedy and the way he incorporated that into the first one was great. He also had help from Randy Quaid to help out with the comedy throughout the film and in the different scenes. 'Resurgence' tries to replicate this by having their characters constantly trying one liners. Unfortunately, these do not work either. The jokes don't work well and the delivery isn't good enough either. Nicolas Wright plays Floyd Rosenberg who is a carbon copy of Adam Sandler's character from the awful 'Pixels'. Not only is he unfunny but he is also an ametuer who turns out to be world class with equipment he's never used before. If they looked at 'Pixels' and saw Sandler's character as inspiration, I quite frankly don't know what good can be said about that. 

Now in a movie like this, especially being directed by Roland Emmerich you expect it to be a whole load of mindless fun action. However I really don't feel that the film delivers on that aspect either. The action really isn't that great and I don't feel there really was enough to create an enjoyable, ridiculous viewing. Instead, we get action that kind of stops for no reason, waits for a convenient build up from the humans and then a restart of action. In a film like this, the action should be flowing especially if it is ridiculous. Due to that not happening, you spend a lot of time waiting for it to restart and also thinking about what has just happened which for the movies sake isn't a good thing. The film does end up going all out crazy in the finale which would've helped if it were present the whole way through.

I can say that the highlights of the film for me are the returning characters. Jeff Goldblum returns and as usual, he is enjoyable to watch. He isn't nearly as good as he was in he first film but he is still an enjoyable character to watch in the series. Returning characters also include former President Whitmore (Bill Pullman), Dr Okun (Brent Spiner) and Julius Levinson (Judd Hirsch). Their performances are enjoyable at times but also have some moments that are questionable and really aren't so great. However I do admit that they did have some good moments which made the film more pleasant. 

In the first film, there is surprisingly a lot of emotion within the film. You care for Smith's  Hiller and feel good for him with his success as we see his family and grow to care for them too. We care for the Levinson's as the father and son grow closer to each other which is a joy to watch. Russell Casse brings emotion as he sacrifices himself as his son listens to his final words. These all help the film a lot as you are connected and feel for the characters. In 'Resurgence' this is not existent. This isn't for the lack of trying though as there are moments that could've provided these moments. Unfortunately the execution isn't there and the moments fall flat. Part of the problem may be due to not seeing great interactions beforehand which would lead to you being affected by what has happened. 

Final Verdict = 

A completely unnecessary sequel that unfortunately isn't any good. 'Resurgence' joins the list of bad sequels and really isn't worth seeing.

So have you seen 'Independence Day: Resurgence'? If so what did you think of it? I hope you enjoyed reading this review and if you choose to see the film, I hope you enjoy it more than I did. Once again thank you for reading my review, it is much appreciated!

By Angus McGregor

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Movie Sports Team!

2016 is one of the years lucky enough to be filled completely with sport. As well as the usual yearly competitions, this summer will have tournaments such as the Olympics and the ongoing Copa America and European Championships to name a few. As a huge football (soccer) fan- and after getting caught up in the fever of the Euros despite Scotland not qualifying- I thought that it would be good fun to combine two of my favourite things, football and movies. So this post will consist of me choosing 11 movie characters to fill the 11 positions in a football (soccer) team for just a bit of fun. So here's the lucky bunch that made the cut to my team!

Now for those who aren't too familiar with football, a football team is made up of 11 players. There are many different formations in the sport so I'm just going to stick with the basic 4-4-2 which includes a goalkeeper, four defenders, four midfielders and two forwards. I will go over each position briefly when talking about the decisions to make sure it is clear why these characters are selected. In no way is this meant to be entirely realistic as obviously characters from sports like hockey wouldn't be adequate. I will also be looking to have only one from a certain movie because otherwise, I would just pick all of those who've appeared in the few actual football movies. It's all just a bit of fun really.


Possibly the hardest position on the pitch, the goalkeeper cannot afford to make any mistakes or they will suffer conceding a goal. The position transcends into a number of team sports which involve a goal and is very integral to football and hockey teams. Due to this, it only makes sense to look at movies that have these two sports. A couple of names stand out to me and one of them is Jason Statham's character 'Monk' in 2001's 'Mean Machine'. For one, he actually plays the position that I'm looking for. Unfortunately, the Monk was psychotic. In the Prisoners v Guards match, he couldn't resist causing injury and taking the ball out himself making him unreliable, so I had to look elsewhere. One of my favourite movies growing up as a kid was the Ice Hockey kids movie 'The Mighty Ducks'. One of the most memorable characters in the film was in fact 'Goldberg' played by Shaun Weiss. After a shaky start, Goldberg flourished into a great goalkeeper in the series. When I first thought of this, I thought this would be the certainty for my team. But then I remembered. In the next two 'Mighty Ducks' movies, Goldberg took a seat on the bench for most of it. Julie 'The Cat' Gaffney soon became 'The Ducks' new keeper and proved to be a better player than Goldberg. I can't ignore that which pips 'The Cat' in front of Goldberg to become the first member of my team.

#1. Julie 'The Cat' Gaffney (Goalkeeper)

Full Backs

Next up is possibly the least glamorous position in football, the full back. Deemed as failed wingers or failed centre halves, full backs most definitely do not get the credit they deserve. So maybe this allows picking players for this position makes it easier as we can look to those who are fairly underrated in their roles. One of my favourite sports comedies is 'Dodgeball' which features many great characters. Vince Vaughns 'Peter La Fleur' is the lead but the underrated member of the 'Average Joes' team is the rage machine Gordon.  Gordon does a great job for his team, even saving their skin at times which is vital for a defender. He's reliable and not afraid to get stuck in which makes him a perfect fit for the team.

#2 Gordon Pibb (Full Back)

Now with one full back decided, that leaves us to decide on a second player on the other side. Sometimes in defence you just need to get the ball as far away from your goal to avoid possibly conceding. Also just to be able to do the basics with nothing entirely flashy can help as you don't want to be caught out in this position. A lot of candidates for this include many kickers in sports movies such as Nigel Gruff from 'The Replacements'. A native Brit who even was a footballer can kick the ball the entire length of the pitch with a great ping on him. However, Gruff has a gambling addiction that even led him to try to throw a game. Now in a team sport you cannot have a selfish player in that way who may intentionally cost the team a game. Gruff looked to be perfect but his drug and gambling problems makes him unreliable. Fortunately though, he is not the only kicker with experience of playing the game. Lucy Draper played by Kathy Ireland in 'Necessary Roughness' was a football player in the woman's soccer which helps a lot. She also was an instant success in the film as a kicker showing she can stand up in the vital moments. Due to this, Draper makes the team.

#3 Lucy Draper (Full Back)

Centre Backs

Centre Backs or Central Defenders are the heart of your defence. They are the last line before the goalkeeper and also have the task of dealing with the oppositions top striker. Now no opposition is ever the same and you may face different types of players. For this, to cover most bases, a big, tall, strong and quick. This allows them to deal with all sorts of players and in reality, are the perfect requirements for a player in this position. Now in movies, and in particular this is quite a common theme for characters in American Football movies. One who comes straight to my mind comes from 2005's 'The Longest Yard'. Described as a 'Coke machine with legs' is Switowski and giving his stature and standing over 6 ft 5 inches, he fits the description. Fast and powerful, it only makes sense for him to slot in at the centre of defence.

#5 Switowski (Centre Back)

Now at times, it may better to have a more technical player at the back. A calm head who can play the game very well and could potentially play further forward. However, they still possess great defensive prowess which of course is vital. One name springs to mind when thinking about those two particular traits and he doesn't necessarily come from a complete sports movie. Johnny Utah is an FBI agent who was also starting quarterback for the Ohio State Buckeyes from the movie 'Point Break'. A leader as well as being talented, Utah shows in one scene his capabilities both going forward and defending with a great tackle on Patrick Swayze's 'Bodhi' into the sea. Utah is also good working in a team and a likeable character which is shown throughout the action movie. Not only does this make Utah a perfect fit for the team, but also the captain.

#6 Johnny Utah (Centre Back) (Captain)


Possibly the toughest position in football is in the centre of midfield. They are the core of the team, providing help for both the defence and the attack. The box-to-box midfielder is less apparent in football today but some characters in film may be able to fill this void. To play this position, stamina is quite important so that may be a good place to start. For this you may look at films that are based on runners and in particular those in marathons. One who stands out for me is Simon Pegg's character in 'Run Fatboy Run' Dennis Doyle certainly turned himself around from being completely lazy to a driven, determined and fit father. An injury doesn't stand in his way which shows how willing he is. However, his injury prone status as well as not being a stranger to being late, Doyle isn't one who you can rely on to play at full potential for the whole 90 minutes. A very bizarre option who carry high stamina is possibly the most unreliable. If you have seen movies such as 'World War Z' or '28 Weeks Later', you will know that the zombies possess superhuman lungs and are capable of running full pelt for long periods of time. However we all know the downside to being close to the walking dead. There is one player that does hold the abilities previously described very well. He can run all day, he can go forward and he sure as hell can tackle. From 'The Waterboy' Bobby Boucher proved to be a reliable player who eventually was vital going forward as well as naturally defending. He was vital in the Mud Dogs first ever championship win and although he has some severe anger issues, this is sometimes needed in the middle of the park. He can also do double duty as being the official waterboy for the team!

#4 Bobby Boucher (Central Midfield)

In football, it is normal to have a player alongside the workhorse who is the more skillful and creative player. One who can play the ball into dangerous positions and cause havoc to the opposition team. A player who is sort of the play maker and that translates almost perfectly into American Football in the position of the quarterback. There are in fact two actors already on the list who could potentially fill this role. Keanu Reeves' character Shane Falco from 'The Replacements' and Adam Sandler's Paul 'Wrecking' Crewe from 'The Longest Yard' could both easily slot in as the main man in the middle. But for the sake of giving others a chance, I will leave them to the side. In this position, you want a player to play with confidence and as players play more and more, that confidence grows. This was also the case for Willie Beamen in 'Any Given Sunday' as he went from the bench to championship winning quarterback. Although his ego may get in the way, you need a player with that bit of flair who excites the crowd. For those reasons, Beamen joins Boucher in the midfield.

#8 Willie Beamen (Central Midfield)


Wingers as simple as it sounds play on the wings or if you don't know about football, they play wide in the pitch, close to the touchline. Typical traits that you look for in a winger are those who will run at the opposing team with great pace. Rapper Nelly plays Megget in 'The Longest Yard' who does so incredibly well throughout the guards game. Another player who is most certainly a speed merchant is Luis Mendonza from 'The Mighty Ducks 2 &3'. Unfortunately for these two, characters have already been chosen from their movies and this selection has to have some sort of control within it. A character that may not be a bad shout is the one and only, Forrest Gump. Tom Hanks' character with the tagline 'Run Forrest Run' is one of the most memorable quotes in film history would potentially be a good fit. His speed would cause all sorts of problems along with his determination. Gump is a welcome addition to the team.

#11 Forrest Gump (Winger)

Wingers are also known to be quite flashy at times and also very skillful. With sheer pace on one wing, having a tricky player on the other side would be another great outlet out wide. In sports movies, there have been many players who like to tease the opponent with their skill and entertain the fans. One of them comes from Will Ferrell basketball movie 'Semi Pro' in the form of the character Clarence. A player who likes to show off with his entrance to the court and style of play. Another who could be considered flashy is the legendary Apollo Creed from the 'Rocky' franchise who again, like Clarence is an entertainer. However, the pair of them are more flashy in there antics away from the game or in the build up and not nearly as much in their actual game. My choice comes from the Ice Hockey movie 'Goon' and is the highly skillful Xavier Laflamme. Laflamme has a very slow start at the beginning of the film due to many problems but in the finale and after regaining his confidence, he soon became a prolific player leading and carrying his team to glory. He is proven to show up when needed and is worth a place in the team.

#7 Xavier Laflamme (Winger)


The forwards are the men furthest up the pitch at all times. These are the players you want closest to the goal as they are most likely to score. These players get most of the credit and the glory and are the players who are most looked up to as heroes. For these positions, it wasn't exactly that hard for me to choose. The first player comes from the most successful football (soccer) franchise 'Goal!' and is of course the main character Santiago Munez. The Mexican is extremely talented with an eye for goal which in the end landed him a (fictional) move to Spanish giants Real Madrid. Achievements like that can't go unnoticed when creating this team as he slots in perfectly. 

#10 Santiago Munez (Forward)

If you go to some of the most remote places in the world and were to ask about the beautiful game, there are very few players that the world as a whole would know. Luckily for me, one of them appeared in film back in 1981. 'Escape to Victory' features the one and only legendary Brazilian Pele or Corporal Luis Fernandez as he is known in the movie. He scores a phenomenal overhead kick in the movie and was capable of much more in real life. It's the most obvious decision in the entire team and he would make any team a lot better.

#9 Corporal Luis Fernandez (Forward)


No team is complete without a great manager. Now there are many that I could go with. I could take Al Pacino's Tony D'Amato from 'Any Given Sunday' or Samuel L Jackson's Ken Carter in 'Coach Carter'. I'm spoiled for choice for a manager but there is one who stands out. In the film 'Remember The Titans' Denzel Washington as Coach Herman Boone brings two teams with many differences together and gets the best out of them. He was able to take people who didn't remotely like each other and did a fantastic job with them. The players I have picked may not necessarily see eye to eye but Coach Boone would be more than capable of getting them to work together.

Coach Herman Boone (Manager)

Full Lineup: 
GK: Julie 'The Cat' Gaffney
DF: Gordon Pibb, Johnny Utah (C), Switowski, Lucy Draper
MF: Forrest Gump, Willie Beamen, Bobby Boucher, Xavier Laflamme
FW: Santiago Munez, Corporal Luis Fernandez

So that concludes my team, what do you think of it? Apart from reviews, this was one of the most fun blog posts I have wrote and gave me a chance to dive into another topic I'm interested in. I hope that this was fun and enjoyable for you to read and would like to know which movie characters would make your sports teams. Once again thank you for reading my blog, it is much appreciated!

By Angus McGregor

Monday, 20 June 2016

'Gods of Egypt' Review

Last week when I saw 'The Boss', I thought I was certain to not see a movie just as bad or even worse. But along came 'Gods of Egypt' to do it best to give it a run for its money and to try and claim the title for itself.

Horus (Nikolaj Coster-Waladau) is set to become the new ruler of Egypt as his father Osiris (Bryan Brown) steps down. Osiris' brother, Set (Gerard Butler) who was cast out to rule the desert comes back in what seems to be to see the coronation but kills Osiris and blinds Horus to take the throne for himself. A mere mortal Bek (Brenton Thwaites) loses his lover Zaya (Courtney Eaton) when trying to escape slavery from Set and looks to help Horus in return for him bringing back Zaya. 

'Gods of Egypt' takes us to Egypt where absolutely no one looks or sounds Egyptian, at least none of the main characters do. The cast consists of Australians, Europeans and Americans with not many even liking slightly Egyptian at all and it does cause quite a problem. This automatically takes you out of the film as all these characters don't fit the setting at all. On top of that, most of them speaking in what are more British accents than anything other than Gerard Butler who goes all out in his Scottish voice. The film has came under fire a lot for it's terrible casting and it does affect the film a lot. How do they expect us to believe these characters and settings if they haven't even bothered to get even one actor from Egypt or Egyptian descent to appear in it? 

One of the biggest problems with the film is just how bad the writing is within this film. The story for one, is not interesting. The characters also are not interesting and thy don't get you even remotely emotionally invested in any of them. The combination of they two alone is a crime for a movie because if you fail on that, what else do you really have to stand on? Oh yeah, it's the CGI that they want you to only care about. To make things even worse the dialogue is insufferable. I have no idea to why they tried to make this huge film and have everyone try to be funny. It doesn't work at all and it is so cringey seeing these awful characters come out with one liners. The character Bek becomes the worst in the film for this as he cannot help but make some sort of remark regardless of what is happening, even if he is staring in the face of death. The other part of that character's dialogue is him constantly asking questions and is one of the worst written characters of the year.

As previously mentioned, the film is a complete CGI fest. There are literally no scenes that are organic or believable at all. The CGI at times is fairly impressive as it creates some huge settings that do like quite nice. However there are so many things that look awful especially for a feature length film that had a budget of $140 million. They obviously were trying to create something epic but it is just shockingly bad with the gods being twice the size as normal humans, yet have the same features. The fight scenes become unbearable as the gods turn into bulls or eagle like creatures that are eyesores. Unfortunately for the film, none of the creatures look good at all. None of them make you go wow or even impress slightly. The worst of all comes in the form of the sphinx that will let you past if you can solve a riddle. Great stuff. 

There are so many things that happen in the film that are just convenient. Again we go back to the character Bek, who gets away with everyone at the very last second. No matter what happens, he's always safe for no other reason. There is a scene where Bek and Horus are being pursued by two large -and awful looking- fire breathing snakes n which the pair go into one of the gaps in the ground. Whilst sitting in this square in the ground the snake approaches them and starts to breathe it's fire towards them. Only a few seconds ago, the huge creature was sending flames for thousands of metres. However when it came to actually causing destruction, it could only power out enough for 3/4s of the small area and conveniently, that's where our 'heroes' were. Along with constantly being oh so lucky, the characters get a whole lot of help from characters who also possess magic skills. They only do so when danger is near and to allow the story to progress. You then start to question why all these "powerful" gods didn't just team up to take down Set, rather than letting him run amok with a reign of terror. 

The run time of this movie is 2 hours and 8 minutes. Now with no good story, no good writing, no good characters, how on earth do they expect you to be entertained for more than 2 hours? This film undoubtedly should have been a lot shorter as it didn't have nearly enough quality to last that long. In saying that though, the film doesn't have enough quality for one hour.

Final Verdict =

An utter shambles of a movie, 'Gods of Egypt' is up there with the worst of the year. 

So have you seen 'Gods of Egypt'- and for your sake I hope you haven't- what did you think of it? If you do choose to see it albeit I highly recommend you don't, I hope you enjoy it more than I did. Once again, thank you for reading my review, it is much appreciated!

By Angus McGregor

Sunday, 19 June 2016

'The Secret Life of Pets' Review

There isn't a whole bunch of animated films coming out this summer as Pixar are set to dominate the market with 'Finding Dory'. Dreamworks won't be sitting still though and bringing competition in the form of 'The Secret Life of Pets'. Coming from the minds of 'Despicable Me' and 'Minions', it would be sure to entertain, even if that were just so for kids.

Spoiled dog Max (Louis C.K) and his owner Katie (Ellie Kemper) seem to have a perfect relationship together until Katie brings in a new dog. Duke (Eric Stonestreet), a large and clumsy dog is now sharing Katie's love with Max which causes a lot of conflict. The rivalry overflows and sees the duo wind up encountering dangerous felines and also the dreaded dog pound. They come across a psychotic bunny (Kevin Hart) who agrees to help them but only if the pair join him and his gang to bring the humans down.

I made this point not too long ago when reviewing 'The Angry Birds Movie' but I feel that the situation is similar in this movie. 'The Secret Life of Pets' is most definitely made just to entertain children. I would say in that aspect it is a bit more mature than 'Angry Birds' in it both it's themes and also with it's humour. This also does make the film a lot better and more enjoyable for the members of the audience who have brought their young ones to see the film.

The film takes a look at just what our pets do when we are we not home and thy are left to their own devices. The start of the film showcases a wide range of animals and what they get up to which is entertaining for both parties. From the slightly realistic to the bizarre, this does take an interesting and fun look at what our pets may get up to. Of course, this is also creates a great viewing for kids as the humour is perfect for them.

The film actually surprised me in the route that it went. It leaves the setting of the pets being at home and now becomes an animals lost in the city movie. Now this has happened quite a lot with animated movies but I don't recall any taking the same steps as this film did. Duke and Max come across a bunny, who looks soft and cuddly yet is a menace and the leader of a vicious gang of animals who look to get revenge on humans. The film essentially them becomes quite vicious which certainly surprised me considering it looked to be just a harmless and cute film. Of course it's not blood and guts but there is a whole load of threats throughout many of the scenes. It's harmless to the audience and won't be frightening and the film does do well to try and incorporate its humour into these scenes.

Kevin Hart lends his voice to the bunny in this film and he is fantastic. His voice is perfect for this character and he pulls it off phenomenally well. Hart's delivery is phenomenal and his voice is usually entertaining enough on its own and it shows in this film. He is the standout in this film and that may be down to his character being given more to work with, Louis C.K and Eric Stonestreet are fine in this film too and do provide some good moments in the film.

The film is entertaining at times and does succeed at its job for entertaining children. However I cannot say that this is an animated movie that adults will get enjoyment out of for the full run time. This is clearly due to the film not being targeted to this audience and it really shows. The film had opportunities to go a bit deeper, including a scene which could've created a moment that could've devastated the mature audience but they didn't handle it nearly as well as it could. This really showed that the intentions was just to create a child friendly, fun movie and to be fair they succeeded in doing so.

Final Verdict = 

The film is entertaining at times and should do the job to entertain younger audiences. However adults won't get as much enjoyment from this one so I cannot recommend seeing it unless you are taking children to see it. 

So have you seen 'The Secret Life of Pets'? If so what did you think of the film? I hope this review was useful for if you were planning on seeing the film or not. Once again, thank you for reading my review, it is much appreciated!

By Angus McGregor

Friday, 17 June 2016

The Movie Year So Far: Surprises

Since we've had a slightly negative look at the year so far, it is only fair to look at some of the highlights. I've decided to leave my list for the best/my favourite films until the end of the year so had to come up with something different but still interesting. So I thought it would be good to look at the films that really surprised me this year with just how good they were. There have been some shocks this year that I would've laughed at if you said that these would be some of my favourite movies of the year. Thankfully these films have been just a few of the highlights of the year and are ones that I didn't expect to have as big an impact on myself. 

5. Room

I actually saw 'Room' the morning after Brie Larson won her Oscar for her magnificent performance in this film. Due to that I expected the film to be at a very high standard and to deliver a satisfying viewing. I didn't expect this film to have nearly as much of the impact it had on me. I didn't think this would end up being one of my favourite movies of the year but the emotion in this film really struck me. The story based off of Emma Donoghue's novel with incredible performances from Brie Larson and child actor Jacob Tremblay. I've never ever been so affected by the emotion in a film before and 'Room' is incredibly heart-breaking at times yet heart-warming at others. One of the most powerful movies of the year which surprised me in just how much I enjoyed it.

4. Zootropolis (Zootopia)

Again, like Room, I did expect 'Zootropolis' to be of a good standard. Coming from animation giants Disney, you always have a high hope that they will produce something fantastic. Despite this, I would say Zootropolis is more like a Pixar film not only in the style of animation but also with what the film is like. By taking creatures that cannot talk in reality and having it from their perspective- a la Finding Nemo- like Pixar usually do, they were able to create a fantastic story to how this was able to be possible with all of the different kinds coming together in harmony. 'Zootropolis' also managed to create a much deeper meaning by tackling issues like discrimination and racism. What's even more impressive is that they were able to do so whilst creating a thoroughly enjoyable and hilarious movie that is Disney's best film in over 20 years. I didn't expect 'Zootropolis' to be nearly as good as it was and I will be very surprised if this doesn't end up in my best of the year list.

3. 10 Cloverfield Lane

A film that was a surprise to people just in the fact that it was being made. When it came out, audiences were mainly thrilled, including myself. I enjoyed the original 'Cloverfield' but didn't have a great love towards it. '10 Cloverfield Lane' outclasses the original in every way as it takes a look at the disaster in a very different way. Gone is the found footage style and the outside world. Trapped inside the confines of a bomb shelter we are for the majority of the run time as 10CL brings one of the most tense thrillers of the year. Great performances from the cast especially from John Goodman made this film a lot better than I expected it to be. A great thriller that had you continuously guessing what was really happening, '10 Cloverfield Lane' really surprised me on just how great it was.

2. The Conjuring 2

The newest film on this list came from the great mind of James Wan. I'm not the biggest fan of the horror genre but that didn't stop me from thoroughly enjoying 'Th Conjuring 2'. James Wan's genius shows in this film as it is incredibly well crafted and really delivers. The performances within the film are also fantastic with Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga combining fantastically well with some child actors. I never thought for one second that this film would have been one of my favourites of the year but I cannot stop raving about this film and am eagerly anticipating seeing it for a second time. Frightening, well acted and crafted, 'The Conjuring 2' is one of my favourites so far this year which I didn't expect at all.

1. Sing Street

I seen the trailer for 'Sing Street' a number of times in my visits to the cinema and I thought that it looked alright. In fact the part that excited me most was that it was featuring music from so many great bands. When I went to see it, I didn't expect that this film would be one of the most entertaining movies of the year. The film shocked me in just how good it was with great comedy and music as well as some more deeper moments. The music is incredibly catchy and it is great fun to watch this group of Irish misfits jam together and then bring their art to life in form of their music videos. I went and saw this for a second time and loved it just as much. This seems to be a certainty for even the top 5 of the year for me as I had such an amazing time watching this film and cannot wait for the Blu-Ray release to watch it again and again.

So that concludes my list of the movies that have surprised me positively so far this year. I'd like to know what films have surprised you so far and what your thoughts are on the films that I have listed. Once again thank you for reading my blog, it is much appreciated! 

By Angus McGregor

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

'The Boss' Review

Melissa McCarthy must have one of the most hit or miss careers in recent years. She's starred in hit comedies like 'Bridesmaids', 'The Heat' as well as last years hit 'Spy'. On the other hand though we have some that really aren't so good. The likes of 'Identity Thief' and 'Tammy' have really left quite a negative impact on her status. It seems as if most of the movies are either great or terrible with no in between. And 'The Boss' is exactly the same.

Michelle Darnell (Melissa McCarthy) is the 47th wealthiest woman in America until she's busted for insider trading leading to a jail sentence. Broke and hated, Darnell looks to old worker Claire (Kristen Bell) who reluctantly helps her out. After being given the task to take Claire's daughter to her scouts meeting, she comes up with a plan to build a brownie empire. Many rivals, old and new stand in her way as she looks to get back to the top.

Unfortunately for audiences, McCarthy's latest film is an abomination. This is supposed to be a comedy yet I have seen thrillers with more laughs in them. If you have seen McCarthy's previous films then you know exactly what you are going to get. However this time it seems like it's one too many as it fails miserably this time. The jokes in this are absolutely terrible. I don't think I've sat through a more painful start of a film this year where McCarthy and Cedric Yarbrough have one of the most unfunny and terribly acted scenes.

In saying that though McCarthy isn't completely terrible. She does what she does in every film and I think that you can see that the quality in the writing just wasn't there at all to allow her to shine. Co-star Kristen Bell also doesn't do terribly as a single mum who just looks to provide for her daughter. The two don't do a good job in the film but compared to some other performances, they were like Daniel Day Lewis.

'The Boss' features the single worst performance I have seen in a movie this year and unfortunately to you 'Game of Thrones' fans out there, it came from Peter Dinklage. I have absolutely no idea to who thought that this character would've been entertaining or funny. For this to have came from such a talented actor as well, it makes it hurt even more. I guess the director and the writers have to take a lot of blame for this due to creating this monstrosity.

The previously mentioned Cedric Yarbrough was also terrible in this film but thankfully he didn't appear after the first ten minutes. Claire's boss played by Cecily Strong also puts in a terrible performance which isn't helped by the awkward pauses in her scenes that don't do anything but make the film worse. I really could go on with the list of performances that really helped the demise of this film but there is just far too many of them.

I'm really struggling to think of anything good about this film. When I realised that the film still had over half an hour left, it saddened me. The movie is horrible to watch and really isn't worth your time. A comedy is supposed to make you laugh and 'The Boss' fails miserably at this.

Final Verdict = 

The worst film I have seen this year. 

So have you seen 'The Boss'? If so what did you think of it? If you choose to go and see it, 1. I hope you reconsider and urge you not to waste your time. And 2. I certainly hope that you enjoy it more than I did which isn't hard. Once again, thank you for reading my review, it is much appreciated!

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

'The Conjuring 2' Review

Recently over the last few years, I've had quite a change in thought when it comes to horror movies. I've never been a big fan of the genre and rarely looked forward to any scary movies coming out in the cinema. However this has soon changed with the likes of 'The Babadook', 'It Follows' and this years 'The Witch' to thank for doing so. Another film that impressed me was James Wan's 'The Conjuring'. 3 years later, it is now time for a sequel and we all know how hit or miss they can be.

Despite looking to potentially end their journey as paranormal investigators, Ed (Patrick Wilson) and Lorraine Warren (Vera Farmiga) are brought to Enfield, a borough in London where a family are being terrorised by an evil presence. There they meet the Hodgson family with mother Peggy and her four children including daughter Janet who shows signs that she is being possessed. As they try and banish the evil spirits, the demons start to set their sights on hurting the Warren's themselves.

James Wan returns to the sequel of his successful horror film 'The Conjuring' and it clearly shows that this man knows exactly what he is doing when it comes to the genre. With the previous film in the franchise as well as helming the Insidious and the original Saw movie, Wan shows his experience and uses it incredibly well. The man truly knows how to frighten people and doesn't need to just have loud noises and jump scares to do so. He creates an atmosphere that is chilling and creates tension that leaves you anticipating the scare, which almost always delivers. His timing is fantastic within his scenes and he knows the right moments to strike to get the best effect. Wan also does a great job of not giving too much away so you don't ever know exactly what is going on and it frightens you in ways that you don't expect. Wan also uses a wide range of shots showing his talents as a filmmaker and also in many ways on how to set things up. The use of beautiful continuous shots as well as aerial shots are great and shows his capabilities. 
James Wan in between his two leads Patrick Wilson (left) and Vera Farmiga (right)

The film definitely succeeds as a great horror film by creating so many scenes that really hit the mark. This thoroughly helped by the atmospheres that alone are creepy enough. Everyone as a child had moments where they were scared within the comforts of their bedroom. This gives the audience something that they relate to as they remember how their mind used to play tricks on them in the dark after hearing a noise that had spooked them. The jump scares are actually done incredibly well in this and actually are frightening. I jumped pretty high in the scene where Ed and Peggy go into the depths of the home in what was pulled off very well and to great effect. And due to this film, I'll be a lot more wary of scary artwork in what was one of the more terrifying parts within the film.

In this instalment of the Warren's lives, the film features and focuses quite a lot on the children in this. Out of the 4 children, Janet is the one who finds herself unlucky enough to play host to the demonic spirit. Young actress Madison Wolfe puts in a very good performance as the 11 year old who's helpless in this situation. I was impressed by her in this role and she deserves a lot of praise for her work. The other children do well throughout the film and genuinely seem terrified by everything that is going on which is vital to make it seem as believable as possible. Sometimes with child actors it can damage the film but thankfully here, not only did they deliver but overall made the film even better.
The unfortunate Janet

You can't speak about this film without talking about our heroes the Warrens portrayed once again by Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson. The pair are fantastic once again and really enjoyable to watch. They are believable as these paranormal experience and really deliver in these roles. Wilson is fantastic and shows the bravery and courage as well as the light hearted, family man that Ed is. Farmiga has a bit more of an emotional role in this film as she is starting to want to get away from the supernatural occupation and seems to be starting to crack. She is also shown to be avery caring woman and really works well in the scenes where she has heart to heart talks with Janet and then one when pleading with Ed that is heartbreaking. I really enjoyed watching these characters and due to them, I am fully up for a third film involving the pairing.

One of the biggest problems I have sometimes with horror films is the poor and low quality production. However that most certainly isn't a problem with this film as everything is created incredibly well from the settings, the effects and even the acting. Everything seems real which helps oh so much in these types of films because if you don't make it seem realistic, the films just gonna fail miserably. 

I only have one gripe with this film and it does have something to do with the story telling and in particular the scenes where it involves having to prove the activity of the spirits. There seems to be a lot happening that would suggest what's happening but they don't seem to take action to capture concrete evidence. Also they try and rubbish it off at one point claiming Janet is faking the whole thing which makes you question, why didn't they take into consideration of her being possessed to do things like each other time? This did bother me at the time but really is the only gripe I have with the film.

Final Verdict = 

A thoroughly enjoyable and fright filled film, I would highly recommend this film. I'm not the biggest horror fan but this film really amazed and surprised me. Great work by those involved from the director to the whole cast.

So have you seen 'The Conjuring 2'? If so what did you think of it? I hope this review was helpful for if you were planning on seeing the film and if you do choose to see it, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! Once again, thank you so much for reading my review, it is much appreciated!

By Angus McGregor