‘Thor: The Dark World’ (2013) Review

The Accountant (2016) Review: Miscalculated Let's face it, sequels by and large are a gamble. More often than not they struggle to find the balance between continuing the development of the characters from the original while constructing a story worthy of a minimum 90 minutes. Characters usually are left stagnant re-hashing the same old dance that made audiences love them the last go round (Ian Malcolm in 'The Lost World') or the story itself seems to be a beat for beat remake of the original except this time instead of a baby in the closet it's a monkey on the shower curtain.This is not to say that the sequel is a gamble to the studio, in fact, nothing could be further from the truth. A sequel to an established property is almost always guaranteed to make more money than it's predecessor. The risk is considerably less when producing a sequel because by virtue of being a profitable established property it can be assumed that the audience is not only familiar with the premise and characters of a universe but also yearns to experience more. Admittedly, the sequel doesn't have to work as hard as the original, which is tasked with the burden of familiarizing the audience. Lifting this burden, however, can lead to some sloppy storytelling and leaves you wishing you could get your money backThor: The Dark World, however, miraculously avoids the sophomore slump and instead uses its second endeavour to…

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‘Elysium’ (2013) Review

Elysium (2013) Review One of the most important rules of story telling is "show, don't tell". Essentially, what it means is that, instead of explaining the importance of something to the viewer, the story teller needs to simply show it as it is and trust that the viewer is invested enough in the story to pick up on the pertinence of that story element. The technique can either be used to further the story or bring across a particular metaphor within the story. With film being a visual medium it is perhaps the easiest and most important medium to apply this technique, and of all the genres of film, Science Fiction is perhaps the hardest and most difficult. Science Fiction is a genre which applies this technique through allegory. Taking real world ideologies and masking them in a quasi realistic universe. It's the perfect genre to be done in as the whole basis for science fiction is taking familiar science fact and proposing it's exaggeration into science fiction. It's because of that initial familiar basis that we are able to connect to our favourite science fiction stories, and a continuation of that connection rests in the allegory proposed by the films elements.Star Trek is an allegory for the U.N, Godzilla is an allegory for the effects of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and more recently, District 9, directed by Neill Blomkamp, is an allegory for the Apartheid system. The key in what made those films…

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‘Pacific Rim’ (2013) Review

Pacific Rim (2013) Review Every time I decide to write a review, it's done the night of me seeing the film. This is why my posts usually go up during the weekend at around midnight. I find it best to write my thoughts about a film after the thoughts are still fresh and they can pour into the review. Otherwise, they rot, become moldy and more slosh than pour into the review. But sometimes a movie can be either so good or so bad that your brain has to let it sit for a few days. I could not sit down and accurately get my opinions across on the page. I was too excited or too furious to focus my literary efforts to a clear and coherent 8 to 10 paragraphs with a fitting conclusion, although some people would say that's the case for all my reviews, consistently feeling as if they were written by a monkey. Of course 'Pacific Rim' would naturally be the film to cause this, and for good reason. On the one hand it seems to be the latest CG monster destructorgy from explosion veteran Michael Bay, swapping out Megatron and the gang for some Godzilla wannabees. On the other hand sitting in the directors chair is not Mr. Bay but instead Mr. Guillermo del Toro, director of thought provoking horror and fantasy pictures devoid of the doom and gloom that comes with the genre and instead swapping it out for relatability and humour. Being a fan of del Toro's previous works, I…

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‘World War Z’ (2013) Review

World War Z (2013) Review Zombies.Zombies are a staple of horror cinema. They’re one of the only movie monsters to stand the test of time and still hold a profit. Sure Twilight technically has vampires in it as well as werewolves but the quality of those films aside, the monsters aren't presented as monsters and instead take the role of the protagonist and ask the audience to root for them. Zombies achieve the most commercial success out of any of the established demons of entertainment, being used in film, video games and one of the most successful television shows on air. Some claim that zombies are on their way out and currently are experiencing over-saturation that will eventually decrease their entertainment value as a story device. Unfortunately those people have been claiming for almost a decade.Although zombies have maintained commercial success in the film industry, the quality of these films can be said to have depreciated with the better zombie stories being either a deviation from the horror genre delving slightly into parody or are simply told in a different medium such as television or video games. Notable examples of this are 'Zombieland' and 'Warm Bodies'. The last film I can remember with a bare bones, no fluff, pure zombie fueled story was 'The Crazies' but that film came out 3 years ago, almost no one saw it and was itself a remake. That is of course until I saw this movie.'World…

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‘Man of Steel’ (2013) Review

Man of Steel (2013) Review Recently it was announced that Walt Disney acquired the rights to produce and distribute ‘Star Wars’ films from Lucasfilm and had planned to begin production of said films for a 2015 release date. I remember thinking at the time that I could not think of another property that would put such pressure on a film maker than ‘Star Wars’. A property that in the last decade had delineated it’s fanbase through the production of mediocre iterations in the franchise and left them to cling their hope to their slowly fading nostalgia. It truly did represent to me a bold and frightening film making endeavour and for the life of me I could not find its equivalent.And then I remembered a movie called ‘Man of Steel’.Man of Steel is faced with a similar, albeit less intense, problem. To date, many people will tell you that of the 5 major release Superman films that preceded ‘Man of Steel’ only two were worth the price of admission. And yet audiences still hold the character to a high standard. People expect quality from a Superman film, regardless of the depreciating quality of his films (see Superman III with Richard Pryor(?) or his inability to connect with modern audiences (see Superman Returns with Superman’s bastard child (?). When it comes to Superman movie audiences suffer from battered housewife syndrome. He used to be so good to us and deep down we know…

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