Archive for the ‘Period’ Category

Film: Your Highness

Year: 2011

Cast: Danny McBride, James Franco, Rasmus Hardiker, Natalie Portman, Toby Jones, Justin Theroux, Zooey Deschanel, Charles Dance, Damian Lewis, Simon Farnaby, Deobia Oparei, B.J. Hogg, Matyelok Gibbs, Angela Pleasence, Anna Barry

Plot: Throughout history, tales of chivalry have burnished the legends of brave, handsome knights who rescue fair damsels, slay dragons and conquer evil. But behind many a hero is a good-for-nothing younger brother trying just to stay out of the way of those dragons, evil and trouble in general. As two princes on a daring mission to save their land, they must rescue the heir apparent’s fiancée before their kingdom is destroyed. Thadeous (McBride) has spent his life watching his perfect older brother Fabious (Franco) embark upon valiant journeys and win the hearts of his people. Tired of being passed over for adventure, adoration and the throne, he’s settled for a life of wizard’s weed, hard booze and easy maidens. But when Fabious’ bride-to-be, Belladonna (Zooey Deschanel), gets kidnapped by the evil wizard Leezar (Justin Theroux), the king gives his deadbeat son an ultimatum: Man up and help rescue her or get cut off…

Review: I saw the trailers for this film and wasn’t really that interested so I let it go without much interest, I was looking through my films the other day and noticed that I had actually downloaded it, I thought well I could do with a laugh and my choices were limited to this, rubber or Troll Hunter!

It started of with promise the part where he falls through the trap door of the dwarf kings gallows to find himself stood up with a slack rope round his neck! Genius. In fact the whole film turned out to be a work of genius Charles Dance as the king as professional as ever in his acting and delivery, the lovely if not dippy Zooey Deschanel was well, lovely in every aspect of the word. The comedy genius award has to be awarded to McBride and Hardiker as Thadeous and his man servant Courtney, the laughs roll in from the opening credits where Thadeous is waiting to be executed on a dwarf gallows as Courtney is being Tarred and feathered. There is very little let up in the comedy all the way through, the Minotaur’s cock as a trophy was genius also, if not a little off-putting.

This film is definitely more blazing saddles than Holy Grail, it’s not PC at all which means that, for that alone in today’s society if you like this film be prepared to be slated.

If you can put aside your morals for an hour this film is hysterical from start to finish, I bet even those that have slated it publicly have enjoyed it in private!

9/10 hilarious and a good PC antidote, you know you want to.

Trailer: http://youtu.be/aGLCQfsiSIs

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Film: The Tree Musketeers

Year: 2011

Cast:  Orlando Bloom, Mathew Macfadyen, Milla Jovovich, Luke Evans, Helen George, Chriustian Oliver, Ray Stevenson, Til Schweiger, Markus Brand, Logan Lerman, Dexter Fletcher, Jane Perry, Mads Mikkelsen, Andy Gathergood, Christopher Waltz, Freddie Fox, Carsten Norgaard, Gabriella Wilde, James Cordon, Juno Temple, Nina Eichinger.

Plot: After failing in a scheme to steal Leonardo Da Vinci’s airship blueprints, the Musketeers are disbanded by Cardinal Richelieu leaving Athos, Porthos and Aramis on the streets ofParis. In the meantime, the young, reckless and ambitious D’Artagnan has set off fromGascony with dreams of becoming a musketeer himself, not realizing that they have been disbanded. In no time, D’Artagnan manages to offend Athos, Porthos and Aramis on different occasions and challenges them all to duels. However before the duels can take place they are attacked by guards, trying to arrest them for illegal duelling. The ex-musketeers and D’Artagnan fight off the soldiers, leading to the four men becoming a band with the motto of “All for one, and one for all”. Count Richelieu is not only determined to be rid of the musketeers, but also schemes with Athos’ former lover Milady to undermine the reign of King Louis and his wife…

Review: Since Alexandre Dumas wrote the Three Muskateers in 1844 there have been too many films to count [ the first being made in 1903] each one brings it’s own character and its own flair this is no exception, the story is the same the characters are the same its just told in a slightly different way.

The one for me was the 1973 version with Spike Milligan and Roy Kinnear absolute classic, but this is a different film for a different age, in this one they have flying ships and a mission impossibly type spy version of Milady de Winter played by the very athletic Milla Jovovich who I remember best as Leeloo the very scantily clad woman from the 1997 film the fifth Element with Bruce Willis, but I digress so back to the film in hand. The Three Musketeers isn’t a bad film, it’s not fantastic but it’s not bad. The acting and the action are as you would expect from such a high class lineup. But it is all very predictable and nothing really surprises you. Even the flying ship didn’t leave me agog. As much as I like these film’s they are tired now and should just be left to one side for say 20 or 30 years so most of us have forgotten about them and then maybe try again to wow us with the story. However with that in mind would I recommend you watch it? Well yes of course I would even if it’s just for the really bad acting by smithy oops sorry by James Cordon [he really isn’t Roy Kannear is he?] You’ll see a few familiar faces and you can laugh or cringe and James Cordon getting shat on by Pigeons!!!

07/10 Rainy Sunday with nothing better to do

Trailer: http://youtu.be/38an1IAG1TA

Film: Kelly’s Heroes

Year: 1970

Cast:  Clint Eastwood, Telly Savalas, Don Rickles,, Donald Sutherland Carroll O’Conner, Gavon McLeod, Hal Buckley, Stuart Margolin, Jeff Morris, Richard Davalos, Perry Lopez, Tom Troupe, Harry Dean Stanton, Dick Baldduzzi, Gene Collins

Plot: During World War II a German Colonel is captured by the Americans but before he can be interrogated an artillery barrage hits the camp. However, Ex-Lieutenant Kelly manages to reach the Colonel, get him drunk and learn that he is on a secret mission to ship $16,000,000 of gold to a base inFrance. Kelly is determined to get the gold and plans for himself and a few of his fellow soldiers to slip into enemy territory and steal the bullion.

Review: This has to be the best war film and top name heavy; I watched this film in Manchester on Deansgate with my Gran in 1970 when it came out, I was only a little kid and didn’t really get who all these people were but was in awe at this all action fast paced film.

I watched it a good few years later when it was on the TV again watching it with my Gran and it hadn’t lost any of its appeal Eastwood is what he is straight faced and determined holds the whole thing together with a sterling performance from the late great telly Savalas as big Joe bad tempered and always on someone’s case. My favourite has to be the great Mr Sutherland as Oddball, his troop of misfits and vagabonds has me in stitches from start to finish, especially with his paint missiles and the music playing full blast as they drive out of the rail tunnel blasting everything in sight. Don Rickels plays a cracking part as the money grabbing quartermaster crapgame, who nearly has a coronary when he’s shown the gold bar by Kelly.

A cross between a war film and a black comedy this film has never lost its appeal for me and never looks old. This is defiantly not a film that could ever be improved as a remake; I don’t think you could ever recreate the chemistry that the stars have in this film and if it’s on I always switch over to watch it.

10/10 Awesome for any age and a great sound track.

Trailer: http://youtu.be/beAQVm1j56w

 

Film: The Woman in Black

Year: 2012

Cast: Emma Shorey, Molly Harmon, Sophie Stuckey, Daniel Radcliffe, Misha Handley, Jessica Rain, Roger Allam, Lucy May Barker, Indira Ainger, Andy Robb, Ciaran Hinds, Shaun Dooley, Mary Stockley, Alexia Osborne, Alfie Field.

Plot: A young lawyer travels to a remote village where he discovers the vengeful ghost of a scorned woman is terrorizing the locals.

Review: This is the second film of the same name based on the novel by Susan Hill, the first from 1989, there is apparently a stage show as well which is supposed to be really scary. I have to confess I haven’t seen the stage show and only watched the 1989 version after this new Hammer Horror version.

The film was classic Hammer the brooding sets the suspense and to a certain degree the tackiness of it all.

Harry sorry Daniel Radcliffe now an angle jawed veteran of stage and screen will unfortunately always be Harry Potter which is a shame as I caught myself muttering “watch out Harry” and “oh Harry you’re all dirty” amongst others which is real shame he played the part well, the scenes were set well the village and the house were perfect for this film, the creepy toys and the mist, spine tingling stuff.

Is the film scary? Erm no not really, it’s jumpy but in a you know its coming way. It has a sense of déjà vu about it, the locked room, and the guy who doesn’t take hints not to go to the house, scared locals, all which kind of add to the Hammer way of doing things.

On the whole if you can get over the Harry Potter thing it’s not actually a bad film, great costumes and scenery and the acting is well up to standard, not blood thirsty just jumpy in places.

7/10 well worth a look, try and get Harry out of your head though!

Trailer: http://youtu.be/7lReemWmO5o

Film: Sherlock Holmes – A Game of Shadows.

Year: 2011

Cast: Robert Downey Jr, Jude Law, Noomi Rapace, Rachel McAdams, Jared Harris, Stephen Fry, Paul Anderson, Kelly Reilly, Gerladine James, Eddie Marsan, William Houston, Wolf Kahler, Iain Mitchell, Jack Laskey, Patricia Slater,

Plot: Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey, Jr.) and his longtime trusted associate, Doctor Watson (Jude Law), take on their arch-nemesis, Professor Moriarty (Jared Harris), with the help of Holmes’s older brother Mycroft Holmes (Stephen Fry) and a gypsy named Sim (Noomi Rapace). In this cat and mouse pre war epic.

Review: This is the Third Episode in the latest series of films in the Franchise that is Sherlock Holmes. As with the first two Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law keep the flow of action and investigation flowing superbly.

This action packed film is fantastic from start to finish the acting the direction and the camera work, outstanding Jared Harris was an excellent choice for the villainous Moriarty, there was also a little more than I was comfortable with on show with Stephen Fry! But it did make for a really amusing scene if not cringe worthy!

This film was over way too soon, the classic confrontation between Holmes and Moriarty was dealt with in a fantastic way, don’t want to give too much away but if you only see one film this January this has got to be it.

10/10 Fantastic!!!!

Trailer: http://youtu.be/lNxhpNpnAkk

Film: Ironclad

Year: 2011

Cast: James Purefoy, Brian Cox, Kate Mara, Derek Jacobi, Paul Giamatti, Charles Dance, Jason Flemyng, Jamie Foreman, Mackenzie Crook, Rhys Parry Jones, Aneurin Barnard, Vladimir Kulich, David Melville, Annabelle Apsion, Steffan Rhodri.

Plot: It is the year 1215 and the rebel barons ofEngland have forced their despised King John to put his royal seal to the Magna Carta, a noble, seminal document that upheld the rights of free-men. Yet within months of pledging himself to the great charter, the King reneged on his word and assembled a mercenary army on the south coast ofEngland with the intention of bringing the barons and the country back under his tyrannical rule. Barring his way stood the mightyRochester castle, a place that would become the symbol of the rebel’s momentous struggle for justice and freedom.

Review: Good mix of fact and fiction in this film, if you like your History and Geography like I do you have to dispel all notion that this film is going to be accurate in any way, with that aside how did the magnificent 7 fair against the kings Army? Well with  excellent fight scenes [plenty of limbs being cut off, plenty of Gore] and a story that flowed really well, great acting from start to finish, and so it should be with all the names it has in it, it was good.

Paul Giamatti was a good Prince John even if he didn’t attempt an English accent at all; the dashing James Purefoy was just the ticket when it came to casting a Templar, big, strong and moody. To go along with the Sultry Kate Mara.

The veteran Actors Cox, Jacobi and Dance were just as they always are, outstanding.

And along with the Younger actors, Mackenzie Crook amongst them they carried this film along fantastically.

Whist watching this film I never once thought about the fact that Rochester Castle has never stood on its own and that the Magna Carta wasn’t drawn up to give the common man more say, no this film could have told me that big Ben was actually the mouse that lived in the tower not the Bell, and I would have believed them. This is down to everyone from the Writers, the director and the actors; they all made this film believable.

9/10 fantastic film, don’t watch it with the kids though!!!!

Film Trailer:http://youtu.be/KnoTSlCzAuM

Film: Pirates of the Caribbean- On Stranger Tides

Year: 2011

Cast: Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz, Geoffrey Rush, Ian McShane, Kevin McNally, Astrid Berges-Frisbey, Stephen Graham, Keith Richards, Richard Griffiths, Greg Ellis, Damian O’Hare, Oscar Jaenada, Anton Lesser, Roger Allam, Robbie Kay, Brea Berrett, Daphne Joy, Antoinette Nikprelaj, Sanya Hughes.

Plot: Jack Sparrow and Barbossa embark on a quest to find the elusive fountain of youth, only to discover that Blackbeard and his daughter are after it too.

Review: The Highly anticipated fourth film in the Pirates Franchise, Johnny Depp is back as the Camp Mincing Pirate we have all grown to love, in this instalment we go back to the uncomplicated plot line of the first Film, a race to find something with a bit of swashbuckling along the way.

No Miss Swan or Mr Turner in this one but you do get Barbossa the fantastic Geoffrey Rush even in his dodgy wig and wooden leg he makes the ideal stooge to Depps Sparrow.

It was good to see Ian McShane out of his Chaps and ten gallon hat and sporting a fiery beard and a deathly stare, he plays an excellent part of Blackbeard and the Father of Sparrows love interest Angelica [Cruz]

I have only seen Penelope Cruz in a couple of films and she seems to play the same part in every film… Penelope Cruz! Unfortunately this one is no different but saying that she does slip into the Pirates Film with Ease.

The CGI is awesome in this film with the mermaids and fantasy type tree’s etc… and the scenery on the islands of Hawaii is totally out of this world. Full marks to the locations manager on this one.

So what about the film itself? Well its Pirates and its swashbuckling, its funny in places and a really good story and it is left open for the fifth Movie. Will the franchise run out of steam? Yes eventually but if they keep churning this high class type of film studded with stars they could get a couple more films out of it.. possibly.

9/10 Good film, well worth a watch

Film: Season of the Witch

Year: 2011

Cast: Nicolas Cage, Ron Perlman, Stephen Campbell Moore, Stephen Graham, Ulrich Thomsen, Claire Foy, Robert Sheehan, Christopher Lee, Rebekah Kennedy, Andrew Hefler, Fernanda Dorogi, Kevin Rees, Matt Devere,

Plot: 14th-century knights transport a suspected witch to a monastery, where monks deduce her powers could be the source of the Black Plague.

Review: There are a couple of Period type films around Black Death being one and this serving By Mr Cage and the Fantastic Ron Perlman.

So what did I think of this one? Well, I actually enjoyed it there were the predictable bits like he’s going to die, now him etc…

But the relationship between the characters played by cage and Perlman actually works and it carry’s the film along at a good pace, I did see that Christopher Lee was in it but blink and you’ll miss him, which was a bit of a let down as I do like a bit of Christopher Lee.

A few nice bits of CGI with the Wolves and demons and such, Daddy Demon not so convincing but it is a film after all and not real life.

There are a few edge of the seat moments during the later parts of the film, but nothing jumpy. And the fight scenes are good throughout the film.

Not really much to say but can be summed up as:

8/10  A watchable film, well worth losing an hour or so to watch.

Actor Profiles on IMDB:

Ron Perlman – http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000579/

Nicolas Cage – http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000115/

Claire Foy – http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2946516/

Film: True Grit

Year: 2011

Cast: Jeff Bridges, Hailee Steinfeld, Matt Damon, Josh Brolin, Barry Pepper, Dakin Mathews, Jarlath Conroy, Paul Rae, Domhnall Gleeson, Elizabeth Marvel, Roy Lee Jones, Ed Corbin, Leon Russim, Bruce Green, Candyce Hinkle,

Plot: A tough U.S. Marshal helps a stubborn young woman track down her father’s murderer.

Review: This is one of those times when you want to say that John Wayne’s original portrayal of Rooster Cogburn was better than Jeff Bridges. However, unfortunately the 1969 “classic” is not a patch on the re-make.

Jeff Bridges doesn’t play a character like Wayne; he plays the man he puts his heart and sole into being the drunken hard nosed cowboy. Who your never quite sure if he is going to after his man.

Casting for Mattie Ross was just pure casting gold with Hailee Steinfeld steeling the show with her portrayal as the confident youngster on the trail of her father’s killer. This girl is going to go far.

This film just keeps you captivated and on the edge of your seat like the original probably did back in 69. The Coen brothers worked total genius on this film nothing more to say.

10/10

Pure cinema Gold. A Genuine must see film [General UK release 11/02/11]

Film: Burke and Hare

Year: 2010

Cast: Simon Pegg, Tim Curry, Isla Fisher, Christopher Lee, Andy Serkis, Jessica Hynes, Tom Wilkinson, Hugh Bonneville, Jenny Agutter, Bill Bailey, Stephen Merchant, Georgia King, David Schofield, Allan Corduner, Pollyanna McIntosh, Ronnie Corbett. Paul Whitehouse.

Plot: A black comedy about two 19th century grave robbers who find a lucrative business providing cadavers for an Edinburgh medical school.

Review: I had waited for what seemed like forever to see this film finally this week I did and wasn’t disappointed,

How do you make two mass murderers from the 1800’s funny? Easy, with the fantastic comedy pairing of Pegg and Serkis. They kept the comedy ball rolling through this film  from trying to pass cheese mould off as Donegal moss! To folding the lodger up to get him in a barrel. Even  Ronnie Corbet made me chuckle as the hapless Captain McLintock, of  the Edinburgh Militia, all 3 of them! There was a Plethora of stars their only tiny Cameo’s Christopher Lee was the first victim to go and Paul Whitehouse made a falling appearance as one of the Survivors.

This made a laughing stock of a very serious time in Edinburgh’s history and they did it fantastically loved it from Bill Baily opening it and Setting the scene to him closing it selling on the dead Mr Burke to be dissected by Dr Monroe the brilliant Tim Curry.

10/10 A must watch for history and Comedy fans alike,