Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Apollo 18 (2011) Review By Michael Heath

Director: Gonzalo L√≥pez-Gallego
Writer: Brian Miller (Screen Play)
Stars: Warren Christie, Llyod Owen and Ryan Robbins
Genre: Horror, Sci-fi, Thriller

I forgot the United States Government gives out highly classified video documentation to be screened world wide in cinemas. Yeah, you heard right another found footage film but don't count your eggs just yet. This film has a lot more to offer than just jumps and scares.

Even before you've started watching the film the posters have got you wanting some answers "There's a reason we've never gone back to the moon." And straight away we want to know what that is. Found footage films are know for having a low production budget ranging from £1,000 - £100,000 excluding 'Cloverfield'. Apollo 18 production costed an estimated £5,000,000 , So I think we'd be expecting more bang for our buck. Apollo 18 tells the story of 3 American astronauts who were sent on a secret mission to the moon revealing the reason why we've never gone back to the moon.   Believing they're setting up surveillance to protect the United States against the Soviet Union they come across some strange occurrences which lead them to believe they've sent there for something else. This found footage film has more direction and plot to it, in comparison to Paranormal Activity which was more jumpy were they try to get the best of you when you least expect it. Apollo 18 brings the more subtle twists and turns in the storyline with a little anti-climax. The best thing about this film for me is piecing it all together as the story goes along figuring out what this unknown attacker is, and then finding out whether you're right or not, it's not one of those films where you have to remember every detail then it's all revealed at the end behind some cryptic message or event, more like a mystery which you're itching to solve as it goes on.

Actors what actors this is found footage from years ago there weren't any actors, we're there? As nice as it is to hear someone's interpretation of a film when they genuinely think it's all real, It always really fun throw a spanner into the works and tell them it was all make believe, personally I think that found footage films have brought the lines between fact and fiction really close together almost a believable fantasy but as we all, collectively as an audience watch more and more found footage films we will become desensitised to them. Warren Christie plays Benjamin Anderson along side Llyod Owen who plays Nathan Walker these are the Men of Apollo 18 who actually set foot on the moon. There are parts of this film where these actors have to 'play' up to the camera as if they're just mucking around at home with some home video and others where they're just acting normally in their roles as Astronauts being watched. Both these actors find a good balance of acting and playing up to the camera in the roles they play, one of the Astronauts is attacked by this unknown enemy and becomes ill getting very paranoid, Llyod Owen plays this role and he played his characters paranoia very differently through out the film giving the audience this unpredictable variable making what happens in the next scene all that more surprising building that tension. Warren Christie's character who's got this hero complex constantly trying to help his fellow astronaut and save him really takes a turn when he's running for his life. To sum up Apollo 18 is a good film with a great found footage film idea behind it's worth a watch, personally I don't think this film hits it's genre it's been listed under but that just my opinion.

Rating 7/10

The next review will be The Departed (2006)

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Updates - The Archive Index Page

Next to the Popular Posts This Week you'll find The Film Critical Archive from our feed back it's quite hard to navigate. So we're creating The Archive Index Page which has all the films and dates which the review was released on the website. Giving you the films you're looking for in Alphabetical order. This may seem pointless now but once we hit over 100 films it'll be a lot easier for you to find the films you want.

Updates - The Re-Launch!!!

My last review was the 2nd June. Since the Start of my website back in May I've had nearly 600 hits, 500 of them in only the first 2 months. Now with a lot of help from you guys at home reading my reviews and a little help from Google, Google has given me £50 worth of advertising free of charge. So on Wednesday 14th September The Film Critical will relaunch. Doing a film review once a week. Every Wednesday! Starting with Apollo 18 which will launch in cinemas on the 2nd September.

What's Up Next - September 2011

This Months film reviews which you can find in the New Release Film Reviews. On the last day of this month all these reviews will only be found by clicking the link Film Reviews.

14/09/2011 - Apollo 18 (2011)
21/09/2011 - Departed, The (2006)
28/09/2011 - ?

Every Wednesday a review is posted you'll find out the next review so to find out get reading I might just convince you to watch a film you didn't think you had any interest in.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Updates - Website in General

Sadly I'm finding I have less free time with work and such so I wont be posting every tuesday and thursday anymore but when i find free time I will post reviews up, and the dates you'll see next to the Films in the Whats up next page will be the dates they were posted rather than they will be posted.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

The Hangover Part II (2011) Review By Michael Heath

Director: Todd Phillips
Writer: Craig Mazin, Scot Armstrong
Stars: Zach Galifianakis, Ed Helms, Bradley Cooper
Genre: Comedy

From the makers of The Hangover comes The Hangover Part II believe it or not, after the hell of a night in Vegas we find our self at the beginning of another wedding, Stu's wedding in Thailand. A quiet drink on beach couldn't do any harm, could it?

The Hangover Part II follows the same story line which we see in the previous one, not wanting to ruin the first film for anyone who hasn't seen it I wont expand on that point however, don't feel like you have to see the first one to enjoy this one. The film has been well written the comical aspect is not linked to the previous film although there are the minor one liners that are. To sum up, the film has been designed so that you can enjoy it even if you've not seen the first film. The humor just gets better and better through out, with Alan even funnier second time around. The wolfpack is truly back in this sequel. Now I know there's not a lot I can tell you without ruining the film but lets shed some light on the trailer for the film, I myself wont go looking for trailers for films since most trailers will just show you the best bits this is not the case in this film so don't judge a film by it's trailer the best is yet to come. I was in stitches through out the film but the only negative I think I should point out that there was a lot of unnecessary foul language for a film rated 15, there was to much for my liking.

Without talking in code as it were, I've been wanting to refer to the previous film a lot and to put it bluntly it's the same story with minor differences and changes. The best thing about that story however was the pure unknown, "What was going to happen?" "Where had they been?" "Where were they going to end up next.?" and to top it off "Were they going to find there lost friend?". Now I don't think it matters if you see the first one first or this one first simply because you will get that sense of mystery to it both with laugh out loud comedy. With all that said however if you don't want to miss out on any laughs in Part II I recommend you watch the first before hand.

Ed Helms plays the role of Stu, he's done quite well to expand this character, in The Hangover he worried a lot and i think it would be safe to say this time around he's allowed to completely freak out and lose it, Ed has done well to not over do this character. Bradley Cooper's character was lacking a little in his role as Phil I think it's quite a hard thing to judge the actor on their performance in this type of film with no strong narrative to the story. Zach Galifianakis performance was defiantly the best by far he plays the role of Alan easily my favourite character, and is hysterically funny through out the film it's worth it just to see him. To sum it up great film insanely funny, and to put it in perspective book a ticket or go really early to buy one cos the film has been out for a week and my local cinema was sold out.

Rating 8/10

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Blood Diamond (2006) Review By Michael Heath

Blood Diamond PosterDirector: Edward Zwick
Writer: Charles Leavitt
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Djimon Hounsou and Jennifer Connelly
Genre: Adventure, Drama, Thriller

A smuggler, a fisherman and a journalist. No I'm not starting with a three men walk into a bar joke. This is the 5 Academy award nominated film Blood Diamond. Which tells us a story around the time of the civil war in Sierra Leone 1999, of which diamonds are the main source of funds for these terrorist groups.

This film gives you a realistic view on what Sierra Leona was like during the civil war. The action and violence portrayed in this film is believable in accordance to what may have happened there, although the violence is believable it still entertaining none the less, from the attacks on the cities to the killings of the tribes. The shock value of the film is astonishing and I quote; "Here we say that the freedom is in your hands, so if you go against us, so go your hands.".

Djimon Hounsou plays the increasing more emotional role of a Mende fisherman called Soloman Vandy after losing his family then finding out that his son has been taken and forced to be an R.U.F. child soldier, You truly believe and feel for his loss, only by his impressive display of emotion. Jennifer Connelly play the role of Maddy Bowen a journalist who's drive is to uncover the story behind conflict diamonds, although this is not a particularly impressive performance and could have been for filled be any budding actress this characters involvement with Danny Archer pushes him into showing his humanity even though it's through greed, this is not to say Jennifer's performance was a downer on the film in any way. Leonardo DiCaprio's performance in this film is amazing at the time of it's release I would easily have said it was his best performance to date. Playing the role of Danny Archer the ex-mercenary, for his own personal gains as merciless yet charming diamond smuggler. Who shows some decent values towards people other than himself, you get a real sense that he is a white African who grew up in the country. A great film by any ones standards it's most defiantly a must see.

Rating 9/10

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Attack the Block (2011) Review By Michael Heath

Director: Joe Cornish
Writer: Joe Cornish
Stars: John Boyega, Nick Frost and Jodie Whittaker
Genre: Action, Sci-Fi

From the makers of Shaun of the Dead comes Channel 4's Attack the Block. This another one of those films where you'll leave the cinemas feeling satisfied, as long as you approach this movie not expecting anything, but one thing to expect is a lot of British humour especially from the makers of Shaun of the Dead.

From the word go, with it's iconic 1980's Sci-Fi stylised film title graphics you know what expect a lot of comic value entertainment. Straight in with the action meeting all the characters, Moses (John Boyega) is the 'leader' of a hoodlum gang who street rob people and are the first to encounter this alien invasion killing the alien on sight. Ultimately you will think it's just going to be bunch of thugs killing aliens through out the whole film and yes there is a lot of alien smashing but the characters have been well thought out in the film and they play really well of each other.

This best bit about the film is definitely the humor, it wasn't about laugh after laugh after laugh, it was these perfect little sparks to lift the films narrative along it's way here and there. Small Criticism although some might say a film from the makers of Shaun of the Dead needs to have Nick Frost and/or Simon Pegg in it, Nick frost wasn't really needed in this film he's didn't add anything to the film. And a lot of people would have said you can't have one without the other but even if Simon Pegg was there maybe playing the role of Brewis again this is a small role and wouldn't have added anything to the film. Nick Frost was purely cast to have a well known actor in the film. For good entertainment value I'd say this is one to watch, it's always nice to come out of the cinema feeling satisfied.

Rating 7/10

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Zombieland (2009) Review By Michael Heath

Director: Ruben Fleischer
Writer: Rhett Reese & Paul Wernick
Stars: Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, Woody Harrelson and Abigial Breslin.
Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy

The first time I watched this film it was the most satisfying thing, money well spent. Zombieland has one of the most action packed entertaining openings I've seen, it's then only bested by the film it's self.

Not dragging out any reasons for this zombie out break with any cinematics, just a simple voice over and then straight in with the action. Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg) is our terrified awkward teenager on the road back to Ohio, and he teams up with Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson) is our bad ass twinkie loving red neck. These two character plays so well off each other. A great thing about each of these characters is that they have there own little unique thing Tallahassee's is that he'll do anything for a twinkie. Columbus has his rules for survival which once revealed and a hilariously funny scene or flash back to pair with the rules. There is no doubt that these two characters  are on opposite ends of the scale but with the same goal to survive. But wheres the fun in just surviving in a comedy zombie film.

Now no film would be complete without "a marriageable young woman to bring home to the folks". Wichita (Emma Stone) and her quite mature for her age little sister Little rock (Abigail Breslin) are our amazingly crafty two sisters who get the better of Columbus and Tallahassee on more than one occasion. Running at around an hour and a half the film doesn't drag on to that much needed predictable but hysterical big finale. I didn't want to compare it to Shaun of the Dead however, it has to be said that the zombie gore is quite similar in this film which is oh so satisfying with a little bit of attitude sprinkled on top. In my opinion this film is at it's best when on the big screen this doesn't stop me watching it on the small screen at home though.

Rating 8/10

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Hellboy (2004) Review By Michael Heath

Director: Guillermo del Toro
Writer: Guillermo del Toro (Screenplay) Mike Mignola (Comic Books)
Stars: Ron Perlman, Doug Jones, Selma Blair, John Hurt and Rupert Evans
Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy

He's Big, He's Red, He's Hellboy (Ron Perlman). This film tells us the story of Hellboy's origin and his purpose. He's a demon raised from a baby, to ultimately become the defender against the forces of evil.

Now with every comic book movie they usually start at the beginning. This takes us back to 1944 where we see the sights of Hellboy's birth. We also meet our main antagonist Rasputin. We're then taken 60 years back to the present where there have been sightings of Hellboy all over the news and rumours that he's a monster hunter for the FBI.

Contradicting them selves for comic value. Staying within the boundaries and rules of the Hellboy Comics isn't always that easy when you've got to prick that funny bone a few times. Now as we all know Hellboy is fireproof and if you didn't know i've just told you. There is a monster in this film called Sammael as expected Hellboy will do battle with Sammael and during this battle Hellboy becomes trapped under a train and his horns are smacked repeatedly by the underside of the train, as the train passes Hellboy emerges with the tips of his horns red hot and as he touches them he gets burned doesn't seem too fireproof. The best thing about the Hellboy movie is that any creatures that could be done in costume, were done completely in costume with minimal to zero CGI assistance it's amazing when i was first told this i had to go back and watch the film a few times over. This is definitely one to see, Hellboy has a great balance between story telling and action.

Rating 7/10

Updates - What's Up Next

As we all know websites perform maintenance, and blogger happened to perform their maintenance around my first review post which messed up the dates of the post a little now it was on time. But the point of the dates is not only to inform you of the dates the post will go up but also that in the future the viewers will be able to go to the archive go to that date and find the review.

So in the event of anything like this happens the dates in the What's Up Next will be changed accordingly for example

Something Borrowed (2011) - 12/05/2011 - 14/05/2011

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Something Borrowed (2011) Review By Michael Heath

Director: Luke Greenfield
Writer: Jennie Snyder (Screenplay) Emily Giffin (Novel)
Stars: Ginnifer Goodwin, Kate Hudson and Colin Egglesfield
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance

This the tale of one girls choice between her best friend and her true love. Not an Oscar winning film but as far a chick flicks go this one was pretty good.

Rachel (Ginnifer Goodwin) the main character of are story, she went to college with Dex (Colin Egglesfield) they both studied the same course, after graduating college, Darcy (Kate Hudson) Rachel's best friend is introduced to Dex. Our story begins however 6 years later on the night of Rachel's 30th birthday surprise party where the audience is filled in on how these three know each other and that Dex and Darcy are engaged to be married. As the night comes to an end Rachel and Dex are alone and after talking with her old college friend Rachel reveals to Dex that she had a crush on him in college where shortly after Dex kisses Rachel, and this is only the beginning.

This is not just your run of the mill chick flick they focus on the past as well as the present filling in the grey area's such as how Darcy meets Dex. After watching the film I must say it did start to become like watching a game of tennis with some back and forth within the story but overall it's definitely worth a watch.

Rating: 5/10

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Updates - What's Up Next and Postings

What's Up Next will be in monthly packages showing you what reviews will be coming up during the course of the current month.

As you may have already noticed reviews will be posted every Tuesdsay and Thursday, after this sites been running for a while and depending on how successful the site this may change to be more frequent.

Happy Reading.

Monday, 9 May 2011

What The Reader Wants

Welcome to What The Reader Wants here you can comment and suggest films for me to review. So maybe you would like me to review a film you're thinking about watching or just what to hear my opinion about your favourite film. Any film you want go for it. There's not much else I can say on the matter in hand all you need to do now is comment and ask.

Now these film reviews will be posted on a page called You Asked For It which you can find in the side bar. These reviews will be posted every other Friday.

About us

The Film Critical is a website created to review films

If you go to the Latest Reviews page you'll find this months film reviews which are released every Wednesday.

Upcoming reviews, well you'll be able to find that in the What's Up Next page. The What's Up Next page give you which film reviews will be released each week.

So you've been in and around my site a few times and you like my un-bias approach to reviewing films, Maybe you'd like me to review a film which you're thinking about watching but aren't quite sure yet well just click on the What The Readers Want page and ask simply comment saying the film you'd like me to review. The review will then go on my You Asked For It page giving you reviews which the readers asked for you also get a special mention at the end of the review.