Films for Review – March 2016

I had a really good month for films in March, seeing three newly-released films, crossing two more off my film bucket list and re-watching a couple of my favourites, too. So, all in all, a pretty successful month!

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New Releases:

Hail,_Caesar!_Teaser_posterTitle: Hail Ceaser
Genre: Mystery/Drama
Length: 106 minutes
Studios: Working Title Films/Mike Zoss Productions
Rating: 7.2/10

Synopsis from IMDb:
“A Hollywood fixer in the 1950s works to keep the studio’s stars in line.”

My Thoughts:
I found myself really enjoying this film. Essentially, it came across as a love letter to the golden-age of film. Although there is a main plot to follow in the film, it’s more of a character driven story (and we all know how I love those!)

The costumes and the set and design were dazzlingly gorgeous. And the humour was very on point – it was a subtle kind of humour that left you thinking, ‘oh, that’s awfully clever.’

For me, Channing Tatum by far gave the best performance. During the musical scene, I couldn’t stop myself from snickering throughout.

I would say, however, that this film is definitely not for everyone (my Dad couldn’t help ripping it to shreds after seeing it). But I would still say it was worth a watch and I’d probably say it was a film for true film-lovers.

Batman_v_Superman_posterTitle: Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice
Genre: Fantasy/Science-Fiction
Length: 151 minutes
Studios: DC Entertainment/RatPac Entertainment/Atlas Entertainment/Cruel and Unusual Films
Rating: 5.8/10

Synopsis from IMDb:
“Fearing that the actions of Superman are left unchecked, Batman takes on the Man of Steel, while the world wrestles with what kind of a hero it really needs.”

My Thoughts:

Ah, this film. To be fair, my expectations weren’t all that high in the first place, so I couldn’t be too disappointed. And yet, I still was.

First of all, the film was unnecessarily long and drawn out and I felt as though it never really got going. Everything was building up to the big fight between the two ‘heroes’ and too quickly/simply was their feud resolved (in a wholly unrealistic way, might I add).

The character development was a little off for me, too. Superman was bland and boring. Batman was the epitome of an angry boy with his toys trope. I liked Gadot’s interpretation of Wonder Woman but we definitely didn’t see enough of her throughout the film. She was pretty awesome in the end fight though and I can’t wait to see what they do with her character in her origin film, coming out late next year.

But Eisenberg’s performance, for me, was hilarious. Hilariously bad, that is. I think he tried to give a performance somewhat reminiscent of that of Heath Ledger’s Joker. But for that to work he would have needed to be somewhat intimidating. And the way he delivered his lines was just plain cringy and awkward at best.

There were a few good lines in the film though, such as the following:

Lois Lane: You’re psychotic.
Lex Luther: That’s a three-syllable word for any thought too big for little minds.

And I adored the score. I mean, it was Hans Zimmer, so obviously I was going to love that.

I’m still going to watch other DC films coming out soon (Suicide Squad) but, honestly, this film was just plain bad.

ZootopiaTitle: Zootropolis
Genre: Action/Adventure
Length: 108 minutes
Studios: Walt Disney Pictures
Rating: 9.2/10

Synopsis from IMDb:
“In a city of anthropomorphic animals, a rookie bunny cop and a cynical con artist fox must work together to uncover a conspiracy.”

My Thoughts:
I absolutely adored this film. And I was quite surprised by how much I like this actually. I can’t say I had terribly high expectations going into it for some reason and I was completely blown away by it.

I never cease to be amazed at the level of imagination that always goes into making a Disney story-world. And the world of Zootropolis was in no way an exception to this. The world was unbelievably clever. As was the dialogue and the interactions between the characters. Not to mention, it was incredibly funny, too. The characters themselves felt real and complex and very relatable and I found myself rooting for them all the way through.

The overall message of the film was great, too. That you needn’t be defined by your appearances or by what society expects of you and the boxes it places you in. You can be whoever/whatever you want.

By far, Zootropolis was my favourite film of the month. I came out of the cinema and, straightaway, I wanted to watch it again. I see a lot of potential for sequels or perhaps even a television series in the future.

Film Bucket List:

220px-Snow_White_and_the_Huntsman_PosterTitle: Snow White and the Huntsman
Genre: Fairy-tale retelling/Fantasy
Length: 127 minutes
Studios: Roth Films, Universal Pictures in 2012
Rating: 6.8/10

Synopsis from IMDb:
“In a twist to the fairy tale, the Huntsman ordered to take Snow White into the woods to be killed winds up becoming her protector and mentor in a quest to vanquish the Evil Queen.”

My Thoughts:
After having recently seen the trailer for the upcoming sequel in the franchise and being quite excited by it, I decided I should probably catch up with the series and watch the first instalment. And I have to say, it wasn’t too great. Definitely wasn’t terrible. But, really not that great.

Undoubtedly, the one thing that kept my eyes glued to the screen in some scenes had to be Charlize Theron’s portrayal of Queen Ravenna. To put it simply: she was magnificent. I could really feel her evil – her callousness, her unpredictability, her anger – in every expression, in every single word. Her performance gave me the shivers. But I couldn’t look away; she was incredibly mesmerising. And her backstory created the perfect amount of sympathy for her character. It made me feel quite conflicted. So, as you can imagine, I am definitely looking forward to the sequel to see Theron reprise her role.

But, the rest of the elements of the film were just… okay. Nothing too special going on at all. Yes, I did enjoy the dark and gritty spin on the Snow White fairy-tale and the feel of the film was certainly aesthetically pleasing. But, I found the plot to be quite repetitive, predictable and, at times, even a little cringy.

Having said all this though, I am still very much anticipating the sequel.

The_Princess_and_the_Frog_posterTitle: The Princess and the Frog
Genre: Fantasy/Romance
Length: 97 minutes
Studios: Walt Disney Productions
Rating: 6.2/10

Synopsis from IMDb:
“A waitress, desperate to fulfill her dreams as a restaurant owner, is set on a journey to turn a frog prince back into a human being, but she has to face the same problem after she kisses him.”

My Thoughts:
After realising this was one of the few classic Disney films I hadn’t seen, I sought quickly to remedy that. And, although I’m glad that I did, this film didn’t really do much for me.

What I did love, however, was the backdrop of the film. The era and the New Orleans setting, combined with the jazz-style music kept me very intrigued.

I also greatly appreciated the representation in this film. Disney has a bad habit of white-washing a lot of its characters so it was so wonderful to see POC taking the lead for this film. And Tiana is a really important role model for young girls – she has a lot of ambition and she never lets herself be side-stepped from her dreams. Tiana advocates for hard work even when others laugh in her face or tell her it would never be possible. I enjoyed the message of the film in general.

I didn’t really dislike anything in particular about the film, it just didn’t stand out for me at all. The songs were nice (albeit quite forgettable). Whilst I didn’t dislike any of the characters, I didn’t find myself emotionally connected to any of them either. Basically, this film was just… nice. Definitely wouldn’t watch it again though.

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