16 October 2015

Final Post

This is the final post that I am doing on this site. From now on, all of my posts will be on coogsreviews.wordpress.com. I've had a good run on Blogger but the design of my site leaves a lot to be desired and I feel I can do a lot more on Wordpress than I can do on here. Don't worry about content, everything from here will be moving over to Wordpress and I look forward to you reading my stuff on Wordpress. Thanks for the run Blogger.

6 October 2015

Macbeth Review

Out of all the adaptations of the works of Shakespeare in film, Macbeth is probably the play where my familiarity comes through radically different interpretations of the text. I haven’t seen a true adaptation of Macbeth set in the time period originally described, the adaptations I’m most familiar with being Akira Kurosawa’s Throne of Blood, which adapted the text to Japanese myths, and the BBC Shakespeare Retold version with James McAvoy set in a restaurant. This new version of Macbeth is the one I’ve seen that’s truest to the text, using most of Shakespeare’s original dialogue and it’s probably my favourite of the adaptations of Macbeth I’ve seen.

5 October 2015

The Martian Review

Over the past few years, Ridley Scott has had a pretty bad track record as a director. The last truly excellent film he directed was the Directors Cut of Kingdom of Heaven and since then we’ve had disasters like Prometheus, The Counsellor and Robin Hood. However, with those films, the stories were the problem, not the direction. All it would take for Scott to get back on form would be a story to suit his directorial style and Andy Weir and Drew Goddard provided that story with The Martian, Scott’s best film in a decade.

18 September 2015

Bill Review

Ever since it was announced, one of the films I've been looking forward to the most has been Bill, mainly due to the cast and creative team behind it, that being the people responsible for the Horrible Histories TV series and Yonderland. Whilst I didn't really get into Yonderland, Horrible Histories is one of the best comedy TV shows made in recent years, a great combination of history, music, terrible puns, toilet humour and slapstick and the brilliance of this show has led me to call the team this generations Monty Python on numerous occasions, and if this team is the modern day Monty Python, then Bill is their Holy Grail. Whilst I had some worries due to the numerous delays in its release, the film is finally out and it fully lives up to the skill of this team.

16 September 2015

Legend Review

Out of the big dramas coming out in the later half of this year, Legend is one of the ones I've been looking forward to. The Kray twins are two of the most important figures in British criminal history due to the way they controlled the criminal elements of London in the 1960s and they have been figures in British popular culture since then. Monty Python did a parody of them with the Piranha Brothers, shows like Whitechapel have made use of the stories of the Krays in episodes and there have been biopics about them, the most prominent one previously being the 1990 film with Gary and Martin Kemp of Spandau Ballet playing the Krays. This one though has peaked a lot of interest due to the decision to have Tom Hardy play both of the Krays using twinning effects like those in The Social Network and The Double and this was the best decision made for this film. However, the rest of the film doesn't full match up to Hardy's excellent performance.

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl Review

It's not often that I go into a film with no expectations. I always end up seeing a trailer and reading reviews that can cloud my judgement on a film. Sometimes my expectations are too high and I end up really disappointed, other times I'm surprised when a film I had low expectations for turns out to be amazing. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is one where I had no preconceptions. I didn't see any of the trailers and I read an equal amount of positive and negative reviews, giving me a neutral image of the film and no expectations for the quality, and I think it's best that I went in like that. Having no expectations opened me up to be incredibly surprised by the film and moved by it's story.

4 September 2015

The Man From U.N.C.L.E Review

Another day another spy movie to review. Just a few weeks after the last spy movie, Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, we get another one with The Man From U.N.C.L.E, which is one of the ones I've been looking forward to the most. Whilst I was looking forward to it more with Steven Soderberg in the directors chair, Guy Ritchie was a decent choice to replace him. He's had a good track record recently and his style of directing can work for spy films. The trailers showed off a really slick, throwback to 60s spy films and that is seen throughout the film, which is what I got with the film, making it a ton of fun to watch.

19 August 2015

Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation Review

Once again, I’m reviewing a spy film. This has been a good year for those films, with the prior success of Kingsman: The Secret Service and Spy, and the certain future success of Spectre. In this line up we get the next Mission Impossible film. My experience with the series is definitely incomplete. I only started with the series with Mission Impossible 3 and I still haven’t seen the first 2 films, although I hear I’m not missing much by skipping Mission Impossible 2.  Still, as 3 and Ghost Protocol proved to me, these films are always a lot of fun to watch and I’m happy to say that Rogue Nation follows that trend well.

30 July 2015

Inside Out Review (Contains Spoilers)

In the past few years, Pixar haven't been as on form as they usually are. They went from producing classic after classic with films like WALL-E, Up, The Incredibles, Finding Nemo, Monsters Inc and the Toy Story Trilogy to deeply flawed films like Brave and the disaster that was Cars 2. When I heard about Inside Out though, I and most other people, believed it would signal a return to form for Pixar, especially with it being the first Pixar film for Pete Doctor since Up, and I'm pleased to say that this is the case. Even amongst the high standards of Pixar, Inside Out is one of their best.

21 July 2015

Ant-Man Review

Out of all of the Marvel films, the one I've been the most cautious about has been Ant-Man. Originally, it was one of the ones I was most excited for due to Edgar Wright directing the film and writing it with Attack the Block writer/director Joe Cornish but when they left, I became really worried, especially since it was so close to when filming was due to start. I thought that the creative difficulties so close would mean that replacement director Peyton Reed and new co-writers Adam McKay and Paul Rudd had no chance in creating a good film. However, I have been proven wrong. Even though I would have loved to have seen Edgar Wright's vision for the film, the finished product is still an entertaining film and a worthy addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

19 July 2015

Slow West Review

One film genre that hasn't really seen that much love in the past few years has been the Western. Sure there have been some but none of them have really been attention grabbing and none of them have seen much acclaim (although I could be wrong). The last Western that I saw with high levels of acclaim was the Coen Brother's True Grit and it's here that Slow West comes in. This is easily the best Western I've seen since True Grit, and is a film which clearly owes a debt to the Coen Brothers.

14 July 2015

Minions Review

The Despicable Me series is one that I've had mixed feelings on. I didn't watch the first film because it wasn't really my cup of tea and I found Despicable Me 2 to be just an average family film, no more, no less. The only thing that really stood out to me were the Minions, who were the best thing in Despicable Me 2. The success of the Minions in permeating pop culture meant that a spin-off focused on them was inevitable, but with this there was the risk of over-exposure which could make the film irritating after a while. Thankfully, that isn't the case. I don't think there's been a film this year that I've laughed at more so far than Minions.

2 July 2015

Mr Holmes Review

Over the past few years, there has been an influx of Sherlock Holmes related media. From the Robert Downey Jr films to Elementary to the obvious best example of them, Sherlock. Hell, even The Asylum did their own version (which is hilarious). One thing all of them have done though is look at Holmes in his prime, when he was in his 20s/30s. This is what makes Mr Holmes stand out, the focus here is on a Holmes way past his prime and losing his memory. This focus, along with a brilliant performance by Ian McKellen, makes this one of the better versions of Holmes to come out in recent years.

13 June 2015

Spy Review

This year is seeing a big resurgence in the spy genre. We've already had Kingsman: The Secret Service and soon we're going to get The Man from UNCLE and Spectre. Out of this set of spy films though, the one I was the most cautious with was Spy. I have to say that I'm not really a fan of Melissa McCarthy or Paul Fieg and I count Bridesmaids as one of the worst comedies I've ever seen. However, Spy seemed right up my ally and I was hopeful to see a good female led comedy after the travesty that was Pitch Perfect 2 and I have to say that Spy delivered that.

12 June 2015

Jurassic World Review

Before I begin, I have to say that I didn't have the same childhood experience with the Jurassic Park series as a lot of people. The first time I watched Jurassic Park was when it was re-released in the cinemas a few years ago and I haven't watched the sequels, so I don't have the same nostalgic connection to the franchise. That said, I do think Jurassic Park is one of the best blockbusters ever made and when this film was announced, I was looking forward to it, especially when I heard about the involvement of Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver considering the great work they did rebooting the Planet of the Apes series. After watching the film, I have to say that this series has become a B-Movie series, and a fun one at that.

10 June 2015

Tomorrowland: A World Beyond Review (Spoiler Warning)

Since it was announced, Tomorrowland has been one of those films that I've not known what to think of. Whilst the whole idea was interesting and I really like Brad Bird as a director, the vagueness of everything and the worrying presence of Damon Lindelof made it so my anticipation was limited. Then the reviews came in, a lot of them being incredibly negative, which further limited my anticipation. After watching the film, I have to say that I enjoyed myself, but I can't deny that there are some flaws with the overall plotting of the film that prevent it from being great. Since a lot of the film is based on big reveals there are spoilers in this review, if you do not want to know the spoilers, then go and watch the film first.

4 June 2015

Girlhood Review

Out of the foreign language films being released at the moment, one of the ones that has been getting a lot of attention has been Girlhood. With a title done to capitalise on the success of Boyhood, you'd be forgiven for thinking you would be getting something similar, this film couldn't be further from Boyhood and is more along the lines of La Haine and Kes than Boyhood.

3 June 2015

Pitch Perfect 2 Review

Before I start I want to make it clear that I am a fan of the original Pitch Perfect. I feel that it is one of the best comedies released in the past few years and does everything right that films like Bridesmaids did wrong (yes, I'm not a fan of Bridesmaids, I think it is a terrible film). When the sequel was announced, I was worried. I thought that it would fall victim to the same form of sequelitis that hit other comedy sequels like Ghostbusters 2, and I was a bit sceptical of Elizabeth Banks in the directors chair since her previous directorial experience was with one of the segments in Movie 43. However, I did get some hopes again due to 22 Jump Street, which showed how good comedy sequels can be, and Guardians of the Galaxy, since its director, James Gunn, also did a segment in Movie 43, so I thought a good film could come out of it. After watching the film though, I was wrong with my initial assumption. This film is so much worse than I thought it would be. This is one of the most disappointing films I've seen recently and the worst film I've seen this year so far.

17 May 2015

Mad Max: Fury Road Review

Unlike quite a lot of other people who have reviewed this film, I didn't grow up with the Mad Max films as a film cornerstone. I'd seen things that the films had influenced but the actual films just passed me by and I didn't really have much interest in watching them. Then I watched the trailers for Fury Road, which made me interested in the series and I watched the first two films, both of which are great (although The Road Warrior is better). However, after now seeing Fury Road, not only is it the best of the Mad Max series, it is one of the best action films ever made.

15 May 2015

12 Angry Men Review

This post is part of the My Favorite Classic Movie Blogathon in celebration of National Classic Movie Day (May 16th). Click here to view the schedule listing all the great posts in this blogathon.

With the Classic Film Day Blogathon underway I got to thinking about which classic film is my favourite. Every time I thought about it my mind always went back to one film, 12 Angry Men. Everything I love in film is present here and the film has just been given new relevance from the Amy Schumer episode parodying it so there is no better time for me to review it.

29 April 2015

John Wick Review

Over the past few years, there have been a fair few throwbacks to the action films of the 80s. Films like The Guest and Cold in July have used the style of the 80s to create some incredibly engaging films and now comes, after way too long a wait for the UK, John Wick, which I think is the best of these types of films.

23 April 2015

Avengers: Age of Ultron Review

Ever since the first film ended, this has been one of the films I've been looking forward to seeing the most. The prospect of seeing all these characters interact with each other again and how the whole MCU will continue was incredibly exciting, even more so since the release of Guardians of the Galaxy which started the path to Infinity War and Thanos as the main villain. Each new trailer that was released only stoked my excitement and yesterday, I went to an Avengers marathon of Avengers Assemble, Captain America: The Winter Solider and this. The big question out of the way first: is this better than Avengers Assemble? I would say so.

12 March 2015

Kill The Messenger Review

Sometimes, there are occasions when you go to the cinema, not knowing what's on, and just choose the film that starts next. This happened to me a few days ago. I was going to see Chappie but the negative reviews led me to looking at a different film to watch, and I ended up choosing Kill The Messenger and I'm glad I did. I'm a sucker for these kinds of films and this is one of the best examples to come recently.

22 February 2015

Shaun the Sheep Movie Review

One of the only film studios that operates today that I felt has never made a bad film is Aardman. Chicken Run and Wallace and Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit are classics in stop motion and their other films, Flushed Away; Arthur Christmas and The Pirates in an Adventure with Scientists, are all a lot of fun. But in terms of profitability, nothing has been bigger for Aardman than Shaun the Sheep. Spinning off from Wallace and Gromit: A Close Shave, Shaun the Sheep started out as a TV show on CBBC, eventually getting a few video games, a spin-off series (Timmy Time on Cbeebies) and an artistic movement with statues of Shaun the Sheep placed across London and Bristol. Inevitably a film adaptation would be made, but there was a risk that the film would lose the charm that made the Shaun the Sheep TV series so good. Thankfully, that is not the case, Shaun the Sheep Movie (really needs a 'the' in there) continues Aardman's streak of incredibly entertaining films.

21 February 2015

My Thoughts on the 2015 Oscar Nominations

A tradition that I have concerning the Oscars is to provide my thoughts on the list of nominees before the show. This year, I've cut it a bit closer than usual due to being busy with university work but they're here now. As usual, my thoughts will be for each category and split up into Will Win, Should Win and Missing with some overall thoughts at the end. With that said, let's get started:

20 February 2015

Selma Review

After all the troubles across America over the past year regarding how the black population is treated by the police, there couldn't have been a more perfect time for a film about Martin Luther King to be released. Moreover, by focusing more on the Selma protests, a clear parallel can be drawn about how the police treat black protestors in the past and today and this focus gives the film a clear narrative structure that works better than a straight forward biopic of King would have been.

9 February 2015

Big Hero 6 Review

Over the past few years, Disney has been on fire with their animated films. The Princess and the Frog and Tangled showed that Disney could still do fairytales effectively; Winnie the Pooh was a nice little throwback; I'm a massive fan of Wreck It Ralph and Frankenweenie and, whilst my opinion of it has gone down since I first saw it, there hasn't been any film to become as much of a cultural phenomenon as Frozen has in years. Now, Disney are continuing that streak with Big Hero 6, which I think is the best film to come out of what will be known as the second Disney Renaissance.

4 February 2015

Kingsman: The Secret Service Review

Since it was first announced, I've been highly anticipating Kingsman. Matthew Vaughn is one of my favourite directors working today and the last time he and writer Jane Goldman worked with a Mark Millar comic we got Kick-Ass, which is one of my favourite films. So does the magic strike twice, honestly I don't think so, but that's not to say this film isn't a lot of fun, it certainly is that.

24 January 2015

Ex Machina Review

Over the past few years, some of the best British sci-fi films have been written by Alex Garland. Between 28 Days Later, Sunshine and Dredd, I've always been impressed by Garland's output and when I found out that he would be making his directorial debut, I was excited. This excitement grew after I saw the trailer and found out the film would be starring Domhnall Gleeson (one of my favourite rising stars), Oscar Isaac (who's made a lot of really interesting films) and Alicia Vikander (who I'm happy to see in more stuff after her brilliant performance in A Royal Affair).  The film itself is one of the best British sci-fi films made recently.

23 January 2015

Whiplash Review

Since I first heard about it after last years Sundance, I've been interested in watching Whiplash. Whilst I'm not really a fan of Miles Teller, I am a fan of JK Simmons and seeing so much acclaim for his performance, with an Oscar win likely, made me really excited to see this film. After watching the film, my anticipation was justified. Out of all the films nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars this year that I've seen, this is my favourite.

16 January 2015

Foxcatcher Review

Ever since it was announced, I have been intrigued by Foxcatcher. Having not heard the story of John DuPont and the Schultz brothers before watching, I was intrigued as to what parts of the story merited it being turned into a film. Along with this, the casting of Steve Carell in a non-comedic role was really intriguing to me. After watching the film, I can say that my intrigue was well placed, this is a really captivating film.

7 January 2015

Birdman Review

Out of all the films getting major attention for the current awards season, Birdman has been the one I've been looking forward to most. Whilst I'm not familiar with the filmography of Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, the idea of the film looked really interesting and I'm a fan of Michael Keaton, with him putting in entertaining work even in terrible films. After watching the film, my anticipation was justified. We're a few days into 2015 and this is already one of the films to beat.

4 January 2015

Top 10 Films of 2014

So here it is, my top 10 films of 2014. On a whole, despite there being some really bad films this year, on a whole this has been one of the best years in film for a long time. Whilst the bad films were really bad, the good films were really good, I've probably given more films 5 stars this year than I have any other year. Narrowing down my top 10 was a lot harder this year than it has been any other year (a brilliant top 10 could have been made from my 11-20 ranked films) but I have come to a decision I'm happy with. Once again, any film released in the UK in 2014 can be included. Whilst this means that films like Birdman (which I've just seen and will be in my top 10 films for this year), Whiplash, Snowpiercer and Selma cannot be included, some of the major awards fare released in the US in 2013 will make appearances in this list. With that said, here are my top 10 favourite films of 2014:

3 January 2015

Top 10 Male Performances of 2014

Following on from yesterdays list of my 10 favourite female performances of 2014, today's list comprises my top 10 favourite male performances of 2014. The same rules as yesterday apply (any film released in 2014 in the UK can be included and I will only put one performance per film on here). This has been a brilliant year for performances, with many performances that would have topped lists in previous years only being honourable mentions here, it was really hard deciding on the final 10, but I feel like I've chosen the correct ones considering the films I saw this year. With that out of the way, let's dive in:

2 January 2015

Top 10 Female Performances of 2014

For this year, I've decided to do something long overdue for my best performances list and have split it in two, one for male performances and one for female performances. As stated yesterday, the rules of this list are that only one performance per film can be included and any film released in 2014 is eligible. With that out of the way, lets get started with my top 10 favourite performances by women in 2014.

1 January 2015

Top 10 Film Scenes of 2014

So it's that time of the year again for the end of year lists. Once again, my rule for these lists is that any film released in the UK in 2014 can be counted. This means that films released in 2013 in America like 12 Years a Slave, Fruitvale Station and The Wolf of Wall Street will be included. It also means that you won't see films like Birdman, Whiplash and Selma, all of which come out in the UK in 2015, along with Snowpiercer which probably would make a few appearances in my lists if the Weinstein's ever bother to release it in the UK. For the next four days there will be a different list starting my favourite film scenes of 2014. As usual for these lists, I will only be including one scene per film. With that said, lets get started: