Monthly archives "July 2014"

Guardians of the Galaxy: *****

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Run Time: 122mins           Cert: 12A

Synopsis: In space, an American rogue Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) becomes the object of a manhunt after stealing an orb wanted by the evil Ronan (Lee Pace).

 

Marvel takes their biggest gamble with this comedic Sci-Fi blockbuster that features a mutant Racoon and a talking tree.

 

The company has given the task of realising this story to James Gunn. He initially started working for cult studio Troma, then ventured onto writing scripts for the Scooby Doo movies and directing Super and Slither.

 

The material and choice of director are a perfect match. Gunn is use to dealing with weird, but relatable characters. He has managed to match the tone and humour of the comics, blending brightly coloured cosmic vistas and clever wisecracks.

 

Marvel have assembled a variety of performers to bring the characters to life. Pratt shows that he is leading man material with his Han Solo inspired turn. Saldana is reliable as ever with her femme fatale alien. Gillan and Del Toro bring genuine creepiness to their roles. Diesel and Cooper make an excellent double act, even if it is only in voice. WWE superstar in Dave Bautista is the biggest surprise in the cast, who would have thought that a wrestler could bring such emotional range to a comic character.

 

The script is full of hilarious and action packed moments. The momentum never stops and there is never a dull moment. The actual Guardians are fully fleshed out characters, with layers of backstory. Unfortunately the same cannot be said of the main villain Ronan (Pace) appears underwritten and used.

 

Marvel have exceeded themselves. Not only is this the best blockbuster of the summer, but also their crowning achievement. Funny, exciting, visually stunning with a great 70/80’s infused soundtrack. Truly unmissable. Watch out for a cameo appearance by certain bird called Howard.

 

Reviewed by Paul Logan

Begin Again ****

Begin-Again-5

 

Run Time: 104 mins                   Cert: 15

 

Synopsis: An alcoholic music producer teams up with a heartbroken musician to record an album after a chance meeting. 

 

At the beginning of the film, disgraced music producer Dan (Mark Ruffalo) visits a bar in which he hears musician Gretta (Keira Knightley) play a song she has written. Hearing potential in her music, Dan approaches Gretta to try and get her to record an album with him. At first she resists, insisting she’s going home as her life in New York hasn’t worked out. However the next day she shows up and they begin working together.

 

The movie is entertaining and fun to watch. While the story could have been predictable, “Begin Again” has a number of twists the viewer is unlikely to see coming and the ending is both pleasant and unexpected.

 

Keira Knightley gives a great performance both as an actress and a singer. Her character goes from being defeated and heartbroken to being both successful and more confident about what she really wants. Mark Ruffalo is also great in the role of Dan, a music producer with a disastrous personal life that is not all it seems. In terms of the supporting cast, James Corden and Catherine Keener are both enjoyable to watch in their respective roles as Gretta’s flatmate and Dan’s ex wife.

 

The soundtrack contains some gems that could easily be future hits.  This combined with the story and performances make “Begin Again” a very pleasant and surprisingly non-cliched film.

 

Reviewed by Lesley Logan