Friday, 21 March 2014

Delivery Man Movie Review

Movie review of Delivery Man starring Vince Vaughan directed by Ken Scott

Director: Ken Scott

UK Release Date:10th January 2014

Running Time: 105 minutes 

Starring: Vince Vaughan, Cobie Smulders, Chris Pratt

"Delivery Man" is a movie billed as a comedy that doesn't turn out to be that funny. However, it is far from a bad film. Based on a Canadian French film called "Starbuck" (2011), Delivery Man stars Vince Vaughan in the title role, backed up by Chris Pratt and Cobie Smulders. 

David also known as "Starbuck" (2011) is a delivery man for his family run meat business. He is lazy, untrustworthy and a liability.  While trying to sort his life out he finds out that he is the father to over 500 children through a mistake that was made at the fertility clinic he provided for in his early twenties. He faces the task of remaining anonymous while his biological children hunt to find out who their real father is. 

The storyline for the film already sounds quite 'out-there' and maybe that's why the film abandons some of the usual 'in your face' comedy. The lack of comedy is by no means a complaint. It enables the film to move forward on another more emotional front. By allowing this the movie feels more realistic and more raw emotions can be seen which are generally lost in a usual comedy. 

Delivery Man movie review, trailer, rating and photos

Vaughan plays a slightly different character than what we see normally. This again is linked in with the lack of comedy provided in "Delivery Man". He is more serious and provides an easy to watch pleasant performance. Pratt and Smulders are unable to add much to the film which is unfortunate especially due to the latters performance in television hit "How I Met Your Mother (2005 - Current).  The problem faced for both is lack of quality screen time. The film is based around Vaughan's character and with 500+ children, screen time is limited. 

"Delivery Man" does lack a certain quality to push it to the next level.  With a lack of comedy it does not push through the serious aspect enough and the emotional connection with the audience is then limited.  This is unfortunate - the film remains at the same pace throughout and does not take advantage of the opportunity it has.  It is a good film but does not push areas of the film enough so it feels flat. 

"Delivery Man" is a surprising film.  It is not what you come to expect from a Vince Vaughan film and typically is better.  It is easy to follow and is a film that will make you feel good by the end. However, you will feel a bit disappointed as the movie does not excel really in anyway.  The storyline is different to other films however if you have seen "Starbuck" then apparently you will be in for a film that you have seen before. Other critics have displayed concerns over the movie following the exact same storyline scene for scene. Despite this, you will enjoy the film for what it is even though it will never be a huge blockbuster.

M+F Rating: 6/10

Reviewed by M+F Reviews.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier Movie Review

Movie review, trailer, rating and photos of Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Directors: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

UK Release Date: 26th March 2014

Running Time: 136 minutes 

Starring: Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Samuel L. Jackson, Anthony Mackie, Cobie Smulders, Sebastian Stan, Robert Redford

It has been one of the biggest billed movies of the year and "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" certainly does not disappoint.  Marvel once again demonstrates that its Cinematic Universe is a big hitter and that they can make films that are action packed, contain light humour and are centered around a storyline that is both honest and serious.  Chris Evans returns as Captain America as again Marvel do not let the fans down by producing a film with a super stellar cast. 

Two years after the events of "The Avengers" (2012) Steve Rogers aka Captain America (Evans) is coming to terms with his modern day life. Working with S.H.I.E.L.D. and teaming up with Natasha Romanov aka Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), Captain America finds out that all does not seem right with the world.  World agencies seem to have a more watchful eye on the public than ever before and The Captain is  not comfortable with this.  Can he make a difference or will he struggle against an old soviet soldier known as The Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan)?

S.H.I.E.L.D. and Captain America movie review

With a film of this proportions it is often difficult on where to start. The storyline for "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" is very good.  In typical Marvel style it has everything you come to expect and much more.  The central plot is fresh, modern and unexpected which is great for any viewer.  One area where the film does disappoint is in terms of the emotional effect it does not have with the audience.  It is unable to connect as well as other Marvel films to the audience and is one let down from the film.

The movie is action packed with the wide array of characters which keep it fresh and exciting.  Fighting scenes are excellent and the imagination that has gone into these scenes is second to none. The movie also looks good.  It is clear and the graphics look great on the big screen.  There are no exceptional shots like that of Asgard in "Thor: The Dark World" (2013) but other aspects of the film make up for this. 

"Captain America: The Winter Soldier" embraces the use of other characters to full effect unlike other recent Marvel films, specifically "The Wolverine" (2013).  It is pleasing to see The Captain team up with Black Widow and Falcon (Anthony Mackie).  It gives the film the width it needed to cover all angles of the storyline.  What's even more pleasing is the more predominant role given to Nick Fury - rarely is he involved in the action as much as he is in "Captain America: The Winter Soldier". 

Movie review, rating, trailer and photos of Captain America: The Winter Soldier

The soundtrack is typical but only adds to the effect of the film and the viewers experience. It helps build up scenes and increases the tensions that occur in the plot.  As is common with films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe there is a mid-credits scene and an end-credits scene.  Both of these are very intriguing and viewers should wait till the end to watch both of these. 

"Captain America: The Winter Soldier" is an excellent movie all around with only one area where it does disappoint.  Immediately after watching the film you will be asking when the next Marvel film is out.  Good acting performances from all of those involved and a great storyline, "Captain America: The Winter Solider" is certainly going to be one of the bigger blockbuster movies of the year.  It questions peoples morals and is very relateable to the world we live in today.  It is more than just a comic book movie.  It is enjoyable, exciting and has something that every viewer will be able to enjoy.

M+F Rating: 9/10

Reviewed by M+F Reviews.

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Gravity Movie Review

Gravity Movie Review starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney

Director: Alfonso Cuarón

UK Release Date: 7th November 2013

Running Time: 91 minutes

Staring: Sandra Bullock, George Clooney, Ed Harris

Winning seven Academy Awards and six BAFTAs, it is almost impossible to not know of "Gravity".  Directed by Alfonso Cuarón and starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, the film has certainly impressed the majority of critics who have watched it. It definitely is one of the most aesthetically pleasing films you will see, with breathtaking shots from space and it portrays the sense of loneliness that lies just outside of our atmosphere which seeps into the room as you watch.

Gravity, stars George Clooney and Sandra Bullock - movie review, trailer, rating and photos

Dr. Ryan Stone (Bullock) is on her first space mission with Matt Kowalski (Clooney) and they are on a space walk to do maintenance work on the Hubble Telescope.  While doing so, an incoming message from Houston warns the team that an unused Russian Satellite has been destroyed by the Russians.  This has caused a chain reaction of debris to smash around Earths atmosphere colliding into other satellites and is aiming right towards Stone and Kowalski. 

The film is incredible in being able to portray what space is like.  Vast scenes of silence swallow the audience into the depths of space.  "Gravity" is filmed in a way that is really aesthetic.  It looks great.  Each shot has been choreographed properly to give an excellent feel of gravity.  The soundtrack compliments the film perfectly and helps engage the audience.  It really is a film that effects those watching. You feel as if you are in space yourself and can feel nerve wracking effects as the film progresses.  Cuarón has directed this movie to reach the heights of space (pun intended) but there are aspects where the film disappoints. 

Movie review, trailer, rating and stills from Gravity

The length of the film is very short at only 90 minutes long.  It seems to be over very quickly.  This combined with a quite plain storyline is disappointing.  It is predictable and it would have been good to see other characters to be more prominent throughout.  Bullock's performance is solid enough throughout and she is able to hold the movie and the part being the solo main character. If she had not been able to do this the film could have failed completely.  

Apart from these small issues, "Gravity" is an excellent looking film to watch. It is exciting, exhilarating and will certainly take your breath away.  Apart from a slightly disappointing storyline which lacked depth, the films feel and look certainly make up for this.  However, in comparison to films like "12 Years a Slave" (2013), "The Wolf of Wall Street" (2013) and even "Captain Phillips" (2013), after you have viewed "Gravity" you will not feel as impressed.  It is definitely worth watching, with great shots and an overall feel that has been cleverly put together.  

M+F Rating: 7/10

Reviewed by M+F Reviews.

Monday, 17 March 2014

How to Survive a Plague Movie Review

Movie review of How to Survive a Plague directed by David France

Director: David France

UK Release Date: 8th November 2013

Running Time: 110 minutes 

Starring: Peter Staley, Larry Kramer, Iris Long, Mark Harrington, Jim Eigo

"How to Survive a Plague" is not initially what you expect from the title but as this documentary by David France advances you soon see why the chosen title is appropriate.  Prior to watching you could easily expect an apocalyptic film filled with zombies or something similar, however, what you find is the real life battle two AIDS activists groups faced from the onset of the disease and go on to challenge the FDA to get other AIDS drugs approved for use - AIDS is the plague. 

The documentary uses a collaboration of archival footage that has not yet been seen before to show the actions taken by Act Up and TAG (Treatment Action Group).  "How to Survive a Plague" gives the audience unparallelled access to heated meetings, actions, failures, mistakes and not forgetting the fundamental breakthroughs these two activist groups made during the 1980's and 1990's.

"How to Survive a Plague" is an excellent example of documentary making at its finest.  It is interesting and uses real archival footage, some of which has been captured by the activists themselves, and puts it together in an manner that explains, informs and impassions the audience. Emotional clips are authentic and offer the opportunity for the audience to connect to the story and documentary on another level. 

Documentary film review of How to Survive a Plague

Other aspects away from the actual story of "How to Survive a Plague" also make it an enjoyable experience while watching.  It feels simple.  It has not been over complicated in anyway.  The accompanying soundtrack is perfect - it fits in and does not feel obtrusive to the story being told and is a great match, helping to shape the feel of the documentary.  Praise has to go to director, David France, for being able to bring together each detail which each have their own specific asset of being included in the film. 

This documentary is an excellent watch. It can be likened to "Fire in the Blood" (2013) a documentary also on the AIDS virus.  "How to Survive a Plague" is a powerful documentary that is good to watch.  The inspiring story is not let down at all from the way it is portrayed and all involved should be credited and praised for their efforts in getting this story onto the big screen.  

M+F Rating: 8/10

Reviewed by M+F Reviews.

Sunday, 16 March 2014

The Machine Movie Review

Film review of The Machine movie starring Caity Lotz and Toby Stephens

Director: Caradog W. James

UK Release Date: 21st March 2014

Running Time: 91 minutes 

Starring: Caity Lotz, Toby Stephens, Sam Hazeldine, Dennis Lawson

From director Caradog W. James comes "The Machine", a science-fiction movie that is filled with drama and action which also connects with the audience mentally.  This British film stars Caity Lotz and Toby Stephens in the main roles and is very dark and secretive, portraying a mood that is very eerie throughout. 

"The Machine" is set in a future world that is in the midst of a cold war that causes Britains Ministry of Defence to try and develop a war changing weapon.  The man they rely on for this is Vincent (Stephens) however his early attempts fail.  He acquires the help of another scientist, Ava (Lotz), as he tries to create 'The Machine' - an android that has processing skills that have not yet been seen before.  Vincent's ultimate aim is to harness this and implant it into his sick daughter however, his creation is more than what he could imagine.  

The Machine movie review, trailer, photos and rating.

This film is really one for the sci-fi lovers.  Robots, artificial intelligence, secret laboratories, human experiments - what more could you want?  The whole film has a dark and creepy feel about it which helps build tension and the mood of the film.  However, this also becomes one criticism of the film - the actual lighting is too dark.  It is difficult to make sense of everything that is going on and some details feel hazy as you cannot see everything. 

The storyline is decent. It is very relateable in this day and age where technology has come so far in that the events portrayed in the film are not a mile away from reality.  This is one factor that keeps the audience gripped throughout.  The film is good in keeping the audience involved and the constant thought of 'this could be true' will run through your mind many times.  However, the film does lack a certain quality that ultimately prevents it from becoming an excellent film. 

Trailer, review, rating, photos of The Machine.

The acting in the film is okay, with some parts feeling forced and not natural. This was slightly disappointing but overall for a relatively unknown cast compared to the big names of Hollywood, the acting in "The Machine" was quite good.  The science-fiction themed backing soundtrack was perfect yet is spoilt by the excessive overuse of it.  It really becomes frustrating and adds a jerkiness to the film that was at times, unbearable. 

"The Machine" is a good science-fiction film. It has a few drawbacks but all in all is a film that is better than average and connects with the audience.  It creates a dark atmosphere which sets the movie in motion.  The characters within the movie could have been developed further to give an extra layer to the film as it does feel like it only scratches the surface. If you like sci-fi then you will no doubt enjoy watching "The Machine".

M+F Rating: 6/10

Reviewd by M+F Reviews.