Archive for the ‘Reviews – Movies’ Category

REVIEW: Michael Keaton is BACK in ‘Birdman’


‘Birdman’ is the kind of movie you know you probably SHOULD see, but you don’t know if you really want to. I honestly didn’t think the previews were all that great, but it was getting such amazing reviews I knew I HAD to see it!

I pretty much always agree with Rotten Tomatoes and use their rating system quite regularly when trying to figure out if a movie is worth seeing. 50% or less and it’s a gamble. 50% or more and it’s a safe bet. ‘Birdman’ comes in at an almost perfect 94%, and so I was sold.

Here is the movie’s synopsis:

BIRDMAN or The Unexpected Virtue Of Ignorance is a black comedy that tells the story of an actor (Michael Keaton) – famous for portraying an iconic superhero – as he struggles to mount a Broadway play. In the days leading up to opening night, he battles his ego and attempts to recover his family, his career, and himself.

It’s a brief description, but I’m not sure how better I would have said it. I thought the movie was BRILLIANT. Michael Keaton was amazing. Edward Norton gives one of the best performances I’ve ever seen from him. Emma Stone was perfection. I saw it with my girlfriend, and at one point in the film I leaned over and said “every line in this movie is genius.” It is just written SO WELL, that you have to just sit back, and watch in awe.

I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED this movie. I think it’s pretty close to perfection. As we left the theater, my girlfriend said “yeah but who would we suggest this movie to?” It’s not the kind of blockbuster film that will make a ton of movie. If you’re the kind of person who sees movies once or twice a month – maybe less – this might not be the movie for you. This movie is much more for the connoisseur of dark comedies, artsy flicks. If you like the same kind of movies as I do, I think you’re going to love it like I did.

Genius. That’s all there is to it.


Posted Thursday, November 6th, 2014 at 3:15pm
Filed under Reviews, Reviews - Movies | No Comments

Fan Review: ‘A Good Day To Die Hard’

Despite gathering increasingly negative reviews from film critics and everyday film lovers alike, I was still drawn to see A Good Day to Die Hard like Bruce Willis to a machine gun. There’s something about the New York cop who just wants to get on with his day that I’ve always liked, and I wasn’t going to miss the latest instalment!

I’m not a fan of the chosen release date. Valentine’s Day? Really?! It seemed like a release date intended for lonely guys to get together and persuade themselves they don’t need a woman when they’ve got the fellas around. I expect plenty of male bonding went on in cinemas across the world that day. How sweet!

Based this time in Russia, John McClane is once more the all-American action hero that fans of the franchise are drawn to. Unfortunately, McClane is a little more Captain America than the Average Joe who fans had initially rooted for, and this loses some of the much-loved kind of realism people enjoyed with the first instalment.

The action is pretty intense, and starts from the get-go. A car chase that leaves you fearing for the entire Russian population sets us up for the fire-laden special effects event that the Die Hard franchise has become.

The main problem with this film is that it takes itself far too seriously. We loved the first few instalments because of the way they showcased how action can be awesome, whilst also having a sense of humour. Willis delivers his one-liners with a certain amount of knowing wit and a snide smile, but it’s just not the same.

Essentially, A Good Day to Die Hard is the story of John McClane with self-awareness. He’s still an insurer’s nightmare, he still doesn’t want to be in these situations, but now he knows he can handle them.

Posted Thursday, February 28th, 2013 at 7:07am
Filed under Bruce Willis, Reviews - Movies | No Comments

‘Les Miserables’ review by a ICYDK fan!

In my eyes Les Miserables was always going to be the biggest film of the year, having seen and loved the musical and boasting one of the most famous songs in musical theatre ‘I dreamed a dream’. The film had alot to live up to, being the winner of the Golden Globe for best film I knew I was in for a treat.

The basic perception of the film was that it is a tear jerker for the women and not one for the ‘manly’ amongst us, this is very wrong. There are many scenes which are yes, sad and tragic, Anne Hathaway (Fantine)’s rendition of ‘I dreamed a dream’ did force me to produce the tears. Well worth the Golden Globe, my only criticisms of her are that she isn’t in the film long enough. Obviously not her fault, just the way the musical was written. Also Tom Hooper is a big fan of close up camera angles, I think some of Anne’s close ups are a little unwarranted and I feel it takes away from the big picture when her whole face doesn’t fit into the screen.

Hugh Jackman whom I have been a big fan of since Van Helsing, all those years ago has rightly won the Golden Globe for best Actor for his performance as Jean Valijean. The basic story of Jean is that he is imprisoned for 19 years for stealing bread, (I know right). He decided to start a new life and so goes on the run with a young girl called Cosette (Isabelle Allen) who goes on to fall in love with a campaigner of the French Revolution. The character is very much as he is in the musical and Mr Jackman truly brings him to life.

Russell Crowe has definitely got his critics, we have all heard how great the film is but how bad poor Russell’s voice doesn’t fit in. In my opinion Javert is one of the strengths of the film. He plays the role well, has a few problems with the singing but his characterisation can allow this to be over looked.

My weak point of the movie would be Amanda Seyfried’s portrayal of Cosette, yes she has also had her critics, thinking the part is the downer of the film to which I do agree. Although the part is played very much the same as it is in the musical, the fact that it seems so bad on the big screen will show you with big difference between stage and screen. The character brings out the best in the ones around her and given the tragedies around her still manages to live happily ever after. I think the best part is Seyfried’s singing, which we got a good look at in ‘Mamma Mia’ but we really see how well she can sing and boy can she hit the high notes.

Sacha Baron Cohen brings the much needed comedy to the story, and teams up with Helena Bonham Carter. (First person who has managed this and not been Johnny Depp) He adds some much needed relief to a really sad story and seems to take the role in his stride.

The best news to come out of the movie was the fact that all the songs were being sung live on set, this adds a certain quality to the film that you can pick up on straight away. I will also say for all those men wondering whether or not to go and see this because it’s a musical, go and see it. There are boobs everywhere and with the added comedy relief every now and then I assure you, you will love it. Don’t let the running time of a little under 3 hours put you off, it’s well worth watching. Overall it’s a very well put together movie and has come across from stage a lot better than I expected.

TIP: Take some tissues for the women.

RATING: 5 stars

This article was written by Philippa Hopwood, who is currently a journalism student at Staffordshire university, she is an enthusiast of the performing arts. She tries to get as involved as possible when it comes to film-making with the BYFA.

Posted Saturday, February 9th, 2013 at 12:12pm
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REVIEW: ‘Ingenious’ starring Jeremy Renner and Dallas Roberts!

INGENIOUS, an independent movie filmed in 35mm in Tucson, has turned to Kickstarter to raise funds for its theatrical release.

Starring two-time Academy Award nominee Jeremy Renner (The Bourne Legacy) and Dallas Roberts (The Grey), INGENIOUS has been in limbo for two years, waiting for finishing funds, and to take advantage of Renner’s increasing popularity.


During that time, INGENIOUS, although shown essentially as a rough cut, became a festival hit. Featured in fifteen festivals, it was the Opening Night film at the Jerusalem and Cleveland Film Festivals and the Closing Night film at the Santa Barbara Film Festival. INGENIOUS also won Best Picture and Best Director awards.

Reviews from the festivals have been overwhelmingly positive:

“A terrific yarn, a uniquely American movie. Renner and Roberts are sublimely cast. Could become an indie success story.”
Lael Lowenstein – VARIETY


“Great Script and inspired performances.”

I totally enjoyed this movie. It was really nice to see Jeremy Renner in such a laid-back, funny guy! Usually he plays such serious characters! This movie was completely enjoyable, I just loved every minute of it. It was a very inspiring story about friendship and determination. I thought the acting was amazing, and the directing was beautiful. I really feel like most people would enjoy this movie if they gave it a shot!

“We have received a number of offers from major US distributors,” said Brian Neufang with Arriba Films, “but didn’t think they shared our enthusiasm for a wide release, which we feel this movie merits.”

INGENIOUS is based on a true story about a small-time inventor (Roberts) and a slick salesman (Renner) who hit rock bottom before coming up with a product that becomes a worldwide phenomenon.


“But the movie isn’t about the product,” Neufang said. “It’s about perseverance and overcoming hard times with humor. We’re determined to prove,” Neufang went on to say, “that good indie films can succeed outside the Hollywood system.”

Posted Tuesday, September 18th, 2012 at 8:20pm
Filed under Jeremy Renner, Reviews, Reviews - Movies | 1 Comment

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