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500 Films In A Year Challenge - Example of Reviewing Post

500 Films In A Year Challenge: 2013 - Example Post

When reviewing my movies throughout this challenge, I want to keep it to a certain standard and style.

Title: Obviously, this would be the title of the movie, i.e. The Third Man, or The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug

Number: This will be whatever number in order I have seen it. So, for example, the movie 300 would be Number Three Hundred.

Director: An important detail for any movie. An example would be Jack Ryan, as directed by Kenneth Branagh.

Writer: Again, an important detail for any movie. An example would be, Moneyball, as written by Aaron Sorkin.

Genre: A simple detail, an example would be The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, would be Fantasy.

Released: The year the movie was released.

Seen Before, When, Who With: An example could be, for the movie Breaking Dawn, Part 1, I would put “Never seen before, watched on DVD, with my friend Sam Renshaw, on January 19th”.

Starring: Pretty simply, a list of the main actors of the movie.

Running Time: The running time of the movie.

Favorite Performance: If I was watching Prometheus, I would most likely put Michael Fassbender as David The Android.

Favorite Line: This could be any line, possibly one that made me laugh the most, or made me feel the most emotional. An example would be if I was reviewing Argo, I would put “Trust me, Sir, this is the best bad idea we have.”

Favorite Moment: Quite simply, the moment I enjoyed most. If I was reviewing The Avengers, it would most likely be the single tracking shot through New York, showing the Avengers working together as a team.

Thoughts: My Review.

500 Films In A Year Challenge - List of Films In Alphabetical Order

  1. 500 Films In A Year Challenge: 2013 - The Alphabet List

There is always a list of movies that I am interested in seeing, but forget about. So, here, will be a list of random movies that I am interested in seeing over the next year. If any movies get recommended to me, here is where they will be listed.

So far, there is 19 movies listed. This includes the Twilight series, and also the Jack Ryan series.

Here is the Alphabet list, with specific notes of where I may be able to see the movie:

  • Movies beginning with “A”
  1. A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)
  2. About Cherry (2012)
  3. The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across The Eighth Dimension (1984)
  4. Aladdin (1992)
  5. Amélie (2001)
  6. American History X (1998)
  7. American Me (1992)
  8. Amos & Andrew (1993)
  9. Annie Hall (1977)
  10. Arlington Road (1999)
  11. The Assassination Of Richard Nixon (2004)
  12. The Assault On Precinct 13 (1976)
  13. Attack Of The 50 Foot Cheerleader (2012)
  • Movies beginning with “B”
  1. Batman: Under The Red Hood (2010)
  2. Bereavement (2010)
  3. Beyond The Mat (1999)
  4. Blowup (1966)
  5. Blue Valentine (2010)
  6. The Blues Brothers (1980)
  7. Boy A (2007)
  8. Boyz n the Hood (1991)
  9. Brazil (1985)
  10. Breaking Dawn Part 1 (2011)
  11. Breaking Dawn Part 2 (2012)
  12. Brief Encounter (1945)
  13. The Brothers Grimm (2005)
  • Movies beginning with “C”
  1. The Captains (2011)
  2. Carlito’s Way (1993)
  3. Casablanca (1942)
  4. Celeste & Jesse Forever (2012)
  5. Cell 211 (2009)
  6. Chatroom (2010)
  7. Child’s Play (1972)
  8. Cinderella (1950)
  9. Citizen Kane (1941)
  10. City Of God (2002)
  11. Clear and Present Danger (1994)
  12. Contagion (2011)
  13. The Cooler (2003)
  14. The Crazies (1973)
  15. The Crazies (2010)
  16. Criminal Law (1989)
  17. Cube (1997)
  18. Cube 2: HyperCube (2002)
  19. Cube Zero (2004)
  • Movies beginning with “D”
  1. Dante’s Inferno: An Animated Epic (2010)
  2. Dark City (1998)
  3. Darkman (1990)
  4. The Descent (2005)
  5. Detour (1945)
  6. Dick Tracy (1990)
  7. Disney’s A Christmas Carol (2009)
  8. The Dreamers (2003)
  9. Dumbo (1941)
  • Movies beginning with “E”
  1. Eastern Promises (2007)
  2. Eclipse (2010)
  3. Election (1999)
  4. Elegy (2008)
  5. The Emperor’s New Groove (2000)
  6. End Of Watch (2012)
  7. Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind (2004)
  8. The Expendables (2010)
  9. The Expendables 2 (2012)
  • Movies beginning with “F”
  1. Fab Five: The Texas Cheerleader Scandal (2008)
  2. Face/Off (1997)
  3. The Fall (2006)
  4. Fatal Attraction (1987)
  5. Feds (1988)
  6. The Fly (1986)
  7. Four Brothers (2005)
  8. The Fox And The Hound (1981)
  9. Frailty (2001)
  • Movies beginning with “G”
  1. G.I. Joe: The Rise Of Cobra (2009)
  2. The Game (1997)
  3. Get Carter (1971)
  4. Ginger Snaps (2000)
  5. Ginger Snaps II: Unleashed (2004)
  6. Ginger Snaps Back (2004)
  7. Gladiator (2000)
  8. Gone Baby Gone (2007)
  9. Good Night, and Good Luck (2005)
  10. Gran Torino (2008)
  11. Green Zone (2010)
  12. The Grey (2011)
  13. The Guard (2011)
  • Movies beginning with “H”
  1. Half Nelson (2010)
  2. Hanna (2011)
  3. Hard Candy (2005)
  4. Hesher (2010)
  5. Highlander: The Search For Vengeance (2007)
  6. The History Boys (2006)
  7. The Hitcher (1986)
  8. Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey (1993)
  9. The Host (2006)
  10. Hugo (2011)
  11. The Hunchback Of Notre Dame (1996)
  12. The Hunt For Red October (1990)
  • Movies beginning with “I”
  1. I, Anna (2012)
  2. I Saw The Devil (2010)
  3. Igby Goes Down (2002)
  4. The Ides Of March (2011)
  5. In The Company Of Men (1997)
  6. In The Name Of The Father (1993)
  7. Infernal Affairs (2002)
  8. It Could Happen To You (1994)
  • Movies beginning with “J”
  1. Jackie Brown (1997)
  • Movies beginning with “K”
  1. Kalifornia (1993)
  2. The Killing Time (1987)
  3. Knowing (2009)
  4. The Krays (1990)
  • Movies beginning with “L”
  1. Last Night (1998)
  2. Life of Pi (2012)
  3. Lilo & Stitch (2002)
  4. Lincoln (2012)
  5. The Little Mermaid (1989)
  6. Little Otik (2000)
  7. Lolita (1962)
  8. Look (2007)
  9. Look, Up In The Sky: The Amazing Story Of Superman (2006)
  10. Love Crime (2010)
  11. LUV (2013)
  • Movies beginning with “M”
  1. M (1931)
  2. The Machinist (2004)
  3. The Maltese Falcon (1941)
  4. Man On The Moon (1999)
  5. Margin Call (2011)
  6. May (2002)
  7. Midnight In Paris (2011)
  8. Mimic (1997)
  9. Moneyball (2011)
  10. Mongol (2007)
  11. Mulan (1998)
  12. My Little Eye (2002)
  13. Mysterious Skin (2004)
  • Movies beginning with “N”
  1. New Moon (2009)
  2. New Year’s Eve (1924)
  • Movies beginning with “O”
  1. Once (2006)
  2. Orphan (2009)
  • Movies beginning with “P”
  1. P2 (2007)
  2. Patriot Games (1992)
  3. Perfect Blue (1997)
  4. Pinocchio (1940)
  5. Pocahontas (1995)
  6. Pontypool (2009)
  7. Primal Fear (1996)
  8. Pulp Fiction (1994)
  9. Puncture (2011)
  • Movies beginning with “Q”
  • Movies beginning with “R”
  1. Raising Arizona (1987)
  2. Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale (2010)
  3. Ratatouille (2007)
  4. Reacher (2012)
  5. Red (2008)
  6. Red Eye (2005)
  7. The Road (2009)
  8. Robin Hood (1922)
  9. Robin Hood: Men In Tights (1993)
  10. Romantics Anonymous (2010)
  11. Ronin (1998)
  12. The Room (2003)
  13. Rosemary’s Baby (1968)
  14. Ruby Sparks (2012)
  • Movies beginning with “S”
  1. Seven Samurai (1954)
  2. Shadow Of A Doubt (1943)
  3. Shocker (1989)
  4. Silver Linings Playbook (2012)
  5. Sleeping Beauty (1959)
  6. Slither (2006)
  7. Sliver (1993)
  8. Spirited Away (2001)
  9. The Station Agent (2003)
  10. The Sum Of All Fears (2002)
  • Movies beginning with “T”
  1. The Talented Mr Ripley (1999)
  2. Tangled (2010)
  3. They Live (1988)
  4. The Third Man (1949)
  5. Thirst (2009)
  6. Tony (2009)
  7. Touch Of Evil (1958)
  8. Trainspotting (1996)
  9. Tucker & Dale vs Evil (2010)
  10. Twelve Monkeys (1995)
  11. Twilight (2008)
  • Movies beginning with “U”
  1. Uncertainty (2008)
  2. Underworld (2003)
  3. Underworld: Evolution (2006)
  4. Underworld: Rise Of The Lycans (2009)
  5. Underworld: Awakening (2012)
  • Movies beginning with “V”
  1. V/H/S (2012)
  2. Venus (2006)
  3. Vera Drake (2004)
  4. Videodrome (1983)
  • Movies beginning with “W”
  1. The Wackness (2008)
  2. Weekend (2011)
  3. When Harry Met Sally (1989)
  4. The Wild One (1953)
  5. The Woman (2011)
  6. Women In Love (1969)
  7. The Woods (2006)
  8. The Woodsman (2004)
  • Movies beginning with “X”
  • Movies beginning with “Y”
  1. Young Sherlock Holmes (1985)
  • Movies beginning with “Z”
  • Movies beginning with “#”
  1. 1st To Die (2003 - TV Movie)
  2. 8MM (1999)
  3. 21 Jump Street (2012)
  4. 50/50 (2011)
  5. 101 Dalmations (1961)

500 Films In A Year Challenge - List of Films In Cinema

500 Films In A Year Challenge: 2013 - The Cinema List

Every year, there is a large collection of movies released in the cinema. There is never a guarantee that I will watch them all, but I have listed them here, out of hope that I shall get to see them all.

Here is the Cinema List for 2013:

  • January 11th - Gangster Squad, Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters.
  • January 18th - The Last Stand.
  • February 1st - Bullet To The Head.
  • February 14th - A Good Day To Die Hard.
  • March 1st - Elysium.
  • March 8th - Oz: The Great and Powerful.
  • March 15th - Carrie.
  • March 22nd - Jack The Giant Killer.
  • March 29th - GI Joe: Retaliation.
  • April 12th - Evil Dead.
  • May 3rd - Iron Man 3.
  • May 17th - Star Trek Into Darkness.
  • May 24th - Fast Six.
  • June 7th - After Earth.
  • May 14th - The End Of The World, Man Of Steel.
  • May 21st - Monsters University.
  • May 28th - Kick-Ass 2.
  • July 3rd - Despicable Me 2.
  • May 12th - Pacific Rim.
  • May 19th - R.I.P.D.
  • May 26th - The Wolverine.
  • August 2nd - 300: Rise Of An Empire.
  • August 9th - Robocop.
  • September 13th - The Little Mermaid.
  • September 27th - The Tomb.
  • October 4th - Sin City; A Dame To Kill For.
  • November 8th - Thor: The Dark World.
  • November 22nd - The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.
  • December 13th - The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug.
  • December 25th - Jack Ryan.

500 Films In A Year Challenge - List of Films For Certain Numbers

500 Films In A Year Challenge: 2013 - The Numbers List

As I am going through the 500 Films In A Year Challenge, obviously the movies will be numbered in order as I go along. In order to give certain numbers more importance, and also to inspire me to watch certain movies, I have related several movies to certain numbers. An obvious example would be that, I want to watch The Third Man by Orson Welles, so I have related that movie to number 3, so it should be the third movie I watch.

So far, there is 19 movies listed here.

Here is the Numbers list:

  • Number 3- The Third Man
  • Number 4 - Four Brothers
  • Number 7 - Seven UP! (1964)
  • Number 8 - 8 Mile
  • Number 10 - 10 Things I Hate About You
  • Number 12 - 12 Monkeys
  • Number 14 - 7 Plus Seven (1970)
  • Number 21 - 21 Up (1977)
  • Number 25 - The 25th Hour
  • Number 28 - 28 Days Later, 28 Weeks Later, 28 Up (1984)
  • Number 35 - 35 Up (1991)
  • Number 42 - 42 Up (1998)
  • Number 49 - 49 Up (2005)
  • Number 50 - 50/50
  • Number 56 - 56 Up (2012)
  • Number 101 - 101 Dalmations
  • Number 300 - 300

500 Films In A Year Challenge - List of Films On Certain Dates

500 Films In A Year Challenge: 2013 - The Date List

The point of this list, is that there are specific Birthdays of actors or directors that I like, who I want to dedicate a Birthday to. So, for example, I’ve always wanted to watch movies by Orson Welles, so I have decided to dedicate his birthday, May 6th, to watching films of his.

There are also sequels being released in 2013, and I prefer to watch the other movies in the series as well. So, for example, February 14th, Valentines Day, is releasing Die Hard 5, ala A Good Day To Die Hard, so I want to watch at least the classic trilogy on that day, if not also the fourth film.

There is a list of 76 movies here, in total.

Here is the Date list:

  • January 12th - John Lasseter’s Birthday: Toy Story, A Bug’s Life, Toy Story 2, Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Cars, Ratatouille, Up, Toy Story 3, Cars 2, Brave
  • January 28th - Frank Darabont’s Birthday: The Green Mile, The Mist.
  • February 14th - Die Hard, Die Hard 2, Die Hard With A Vengeance.
  • February 26th - Johnny Cash’s Birthday, Walk The Line
  • March 8th - The Wizard Of Oz.
  • March 15th - Carrie.
  • March 29th - G.I. Joe (Animated Film), G.I. Joe (live-action film).
  • April 12th - Evil Dead 1-3.
  • May 6th - Orson Welles’ Birthday, Citizen Kane, Touch Of Evil
  • June 14th - Shaun Of The Dead, Hot Fuzz, Superman, Superman II.
  • July 17th - James Cagney’s Birthday, The Public Enemy, Angels With Dirty Faces, White Heat,
  • June 20th - Robert Rodriquez’s Birthday: El Mariachi, Desperado, Once Upon A Time In Mexico
  • June 21st - Monsters Inc,
  • June 22nd - Meryl Streep’s Birthday: Kramer Vs Kramer, Sophie’s Choice, The Iron Lady
  • June 23rd - Joss Whedon’s Birthday: Serenity
  • July 6th - Sylvester Stallone’s Birthday: Rocky series
  • July 13th - Harrison Ford’s Birthday: Raiders Of The Lost Ark, Temple Of Doom, The Last Crusade
  • July 26th - Stanley Kubrick’s Birthday: Lolita, Dr Strangelove, A Clockwork Orange, Room 237
  • July 30th - Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Birthday: Conan The Barbarian, Commando, Predator.
  • August 9th - Robocop Trilogy.
  • August 13th - Alfred Hitchcock’s Birthday: Strangers On A Train, Vertigo, North By Northwest, Hitchcock
  • August 16th: James Cameron’s Birthday - True Lies
  • September 21st - Stephen King’s Birthday: Firestarter.
  • September 23rd - Ray Charles’ Birthday: Ray
  • October 4th: Sin City.
  • October 31st -  Peter Jackson’s Birthday: Heavenly Creatures, The Lovely Bones
  • December 18th - Steven Spielberg’s Birthday: E.T., Jaws.
  • December 25th - The Hunt For Red October, Patriot Games, Clear And Present Danger, The Sum Of All Fears.

500 Films In A Year Challenge - Attempt Two.

500 Films A Year Challenge: 2013 - The Info

For the next year, I shall be attempting to watch 500 Films, in one calender year.

The objective is to watch a movie, and then review it upon this website.

To make it easier, I am going to start this attempt on January 1st 2013.

I will not count any films I see more than once, so if for example, I watched The Shawshank Redemption twice, it would still only count for one. Another example, last year I watched The Avengers in the cinema four times, but I would only review it once.

I shall also keep a set style in the review, which I will do an example of in a follow-up post.

If anyone has any film recommendations, please, by all means, recommend to me.

I shall include several film ideas in a future post as well.

Title: Domestic Disturbance
Number: Two Hundred and Fifty-Seven
Director: Harold Becker
Writer: Lewis Colick, William S. Comanor & Gary Drucker
Genre: Thriller
Released: 2001
Seen On: Sky Movies
Seen Before: Never.
Starring: John Travolta, Vince Vaughn, Teri Polo, Matt O’Leary, Steve Buscemi
Running Time: 89 minutes
Favorite Line: "He doesn’t lie to me."
Thoughts: I remember when I was about 11 years old, my Mum had Sky on the TV. Sky Box Office, specifically channel 700, would have previews and interviews for every movie that joined the Box Office per week. I would go on that channel and watch previews, usually every couple of days, to see what new films were coming up. Because I did this for about a year, two years, I have it every now and again where I randomly remember movies that had been previewed. Domestic Disturbance was one of them. I remember the premise always interesting me, what would it be like, if a kid was forced to live with his Mum and Stepfather, knowing that his stepfather had just killed someone in cold blood. I didn’t know much about Vince Vaughn, or John Travolta, and certainly couldn’t name Teri Polo or Steve Buscemi, but I was still interested. And now, 11 years later, I finally got to watch that film I’d been so interested in!
Urgh, what a waste of 89 minutes. You sometimes have it in your life, where you watch a film, and you can tell where it is going, before it does. These are the sort of films where at the end, you have a slightly happy response because the hero prevails, but really, the film was completely forgettable and telegraphed. Unfortunately, that was one of those films.
John Travolta can make a good protagonist, at times, but here, he seems to be mainly sleepwalking through the role, not really stretching himself, instead keeping it simple and pedestrian. There was times I was hoping he would push himself a bit more, but he mainly stuck to grimacing with frustration. That was a slight let-down.
Also, Vince Vaughn was still in the midst of trying to show he can be a great dramatic actor, following his ‘performance’ in Psycho, he followed it up with a similar performance in this movie. The problem, is that he’s supposed to be a cold-blooded killer, but instead, he just comes across as a creepy child molester, which is probably worse. There was one scene late on in a garage where I actually was worried he was going to turn into a pedophile. Whilst this is unnerving to watch, it does mean his performance doesn’t gel, in scenes where he should be calm and collected, terrifying the audience, instead he projects an image of wanting to touch the child protagonist, which just leaves you creeped out, rather than terrified.
Steve Buscemi had a good small role, as well, he did okay with the minimum he was given, but even he seemed to be sleepwalking for several scenes. The actor I felt did best was actually Teri Polo, who could have had a very unthankful task as the mother, but was actually noticeable instead of just a caricature.
The film is very unmemorable, and will really only ever be the sort of film that you happen to catch by accident at 1am in the morning during a sleepless night. Don’t bother going out of your way to watch it, unless you’re a huge John Travolta fan, or you think Vince Vaughn is a fantastic actor in the role of a villain. For me, I wouldn’t have missed anything if I hadn’t recorded it.
Thumbs Down, 4 out of 10.

Title: Domestic Disturbance

Number: Two Hundred and Fifty-Seven

Director: Harold Becker

Writer: Lewis Colick, William S. Comanor & Gary Drucker

Genre: Thriller

Released: 2001

Seen On: Sky Movies

Seen Before: Never.

Starring: John Travolta, Vince Vaughn, Teri Polo, Matt O’Leary, Steve Buscemi

Running Time: 89 minutes

Favorite Line: "He doesn’t lie to me."

Thoughts: I remember when I was about 11 years old, my Mum had Sky on the TV. Sky Box Office, specifically channel 700, would have previews and interviews for every movie that joined the Box Office per week. I would go on that channel and watch previews, usually every couple of days, to see what new films were coming up. Because I did this for about a year, two years, I have it every now and again where I randomly remember movies that had been previewed. Domestic Disturbance was one of them. I remember the premise always interesting me, what would it be like, if a kid was forced to live with his Mum and Stepfather, knowing that his stepfather had just killed someone in cold blood. I didn’t know much about Vince Vaughn, or John Travolta, and certainly couldn’t name Teri Polo or Steve Buscemi, but I was still interested. And now, 11 years later, I finally got to watch that film I’d been so interested in!

Urgh, what a waste of 89 minutes. You sometimes have it in your life, where you watch a film, and you can tell where it is going, before it does. These are the sort of films where at the end, you have a slightly happy response because the hero prevails, but really, the film was completely forgettable and telegraphed. Unfortunately, that was one of those films.

John Travolta can make a good protagonist, at times, but here, he seems to be mainly sleepwalking through the role, not really stretching himself, instead keeping it simple and pedestrian. There was times I was hoping he would push himself a bit more, but he mainly stuck to grimacing with frustration. That was a slight let-down.

Also, Vince Vaughn was still in the midst of trying to show he can be a great dramatic actor, following his ‘performance’ in Psycho, he followed it up with a similar performance in this movie. The problem, is that he’s supposed to be a cold-blooded killer, but instead, he just comes across as a creepy child molester, which is probably worse. There was one scene late on in a garage where I actually was worried he was going to turn into a pedophile. Whilst this is unnerving to watch, it does mean his performance doesn’t gel, in scenes where he should be calm and collected, terrifying the audience, instead he projects an image of wanting to touch the child protagonist, which just leaves you creeped out, rather than terrified.

Steve Buscemi had a good small role, as well, he did okay with the minimum he was given, but even he seemed to be sleepwalking for several scenes. The actor I felt did best was actually Teri Polo, who could have had a very unthankful task as the mother, but was actually noticeable instead of just a caricature.

The film is very unmemorable, and will really only ever be the sort of film that you happen to catch by accident at 1am in the morning during a sleepless night. Don’t bother going out of your way to watch it, unless you’re a huge John Travolta fan, or you think Vince Vaughn is a fantastic actor in the role of a villain. For me, I wouldn’t have missed anything if I hadn’t recorded it.

Thumbs Down, 4 out of 10.

Title: Sinister
Number: Two Hundred and Forty-Eight
Director: Scott Derrickson
Writer: Scott Derrickson & C. Robert Cargill
Genre: Supernatural Horror.
Released: 2012
Seen On: Cinema
Seen Before: Never.
Running Time: 110 minutes
Starring: Ethan Hawke, Juliet Rylance, Clare Foley, Michael Hall D’Addario, Fred Thompson, James Ransone, Vincent D’Onofrio
Favorite Moment: The argument scene between Ellison and Tracy.
Thoughts: It may not surprise you to hear that I am not a fan of the current wave of horror films. I enjoyed Paranormal Activity and the first sequel, I also enjoyed the Saw movies for their plot, but didn’t find them scary. A lot of horror movies, I struggle to care for. I watched The Woman In Black, and felt it relied on too many jump scares at times. Jump scares, are when something jumps out at the screen, which is a brief scare for the audience, i.e. a cat jumps out of a cupboard. This is lazy and generic, an attitude that showcases a writer and director unable to create a true horror film. So, when I heard that Sinister was getting critically acclaimed reviews, my interest was piqued.
First of all, a refreshing change was the choice of leading actor. Ethan Hawke is an Award-nominated  actor who is renowned for his performances in Dead Poet’s Society, Before Sunrise, Before Sunset and Training Day. I myself had been blown away by his performances in Before Sunrise and Before Sunset. Here, he gives a weathered levity to his character, Ellison Oswalt, his actions hinting at the impact that his lifestyle takes on him. He presents a excited attitude, mixed with a minimal desperation, to the people around him, but, when by himself, his shoulders sag, his hands gripe for a whiskey glass, and his eyes droop with tiredness, eyes that seem to have seen too much already. His desperation to achieve success that he once had a taste of gives his character an understanding of, that allows the audience to believe in. When he makes a decision, whilst we may question the intelligence of it, we can understand why he would make THAT decision. Because we can understand Ellison’s mentality, as well as his gradual developing belief in what is occurring, the film works better. At times, we don’t need to see what happens, we can use his reactions as an indication of what is occurring.
The supporting cast is quite strong as well, Ellison’s relationship with Tracy, played by Juliet Rylance, is established early on, they love each other and Tracey supports him, but underneath the surface is a struggle to live, a weight of Ellison’s determination leaving their personal lives on a knife-edge. This leads to probably the best scene in the film, which isn’t a horror scene, but a scene purely between Ellison and Tracey where the emotion of what they have experienced has finally landed on them, and they argue with one another. It’s a rawer scene that relies on the human emotional that exists within them, and it impacts because we have seen elements of their characters in the build-up. The family side makes the audience care about them.
The horror side, now is two mixes. We have the build-up tension, where Ellison investigates the house he has moved into his family, a house that had several murders committed in years beforehand. He hears noises, looks outside, inside, and in the attic. As he investigates, the scene cranks up in tension, and the audience becomes on edge. Now and again, it turns out to be a jump scare, but other times, it turns out to be something real. Because the jump scares are infrequent, it feels better placed, allowing the audience a moment to breathe, as well as making the actual scares, that much more terrifying. On the other hand, we have the more violent scenes, the playing of several Super 8 footage, where Ellison discovers footage of people being killed. What helps these scenes is that, blood and gore is only hinted at, we rarely see the actual deaths, we see the build-up to the deaths, as well as the victims existing beforehand, in everyday circumstances. This allows the audience to equate these victims as true, everyday people, before seeing the shocking murders. This mix of horror allows each to have its own level of impact, as well attacking multi-facets of horror, not relying on one style. I enjoyed this style, as it gave the film a feel of a three-ring circus, i.e. if you don’t like the clowns, you can have the lion tamer. Here, we get the lion-tamer and the clowns, as opposed to just 90 minutes of a clown.
Whilst the tension builds up well, and the gore horrifies the audience, there is a negative: the villain. Oh, the methods it utilizes for its murders is fantastic, and when you briefly glimpse the villain, it’s creepy. When it’s in the background, it’s terrifying and uncomfortable. But when you see the villain properly…the design was questionable. There were some mild snickering at my cinema at the design of the killer, which definitely wasn’t the aim of the creators. It should have gone the way of Alien, where you never see the proper Xenomorph properly, just briefly in the shadows.  For the first 80% of the movie, you only get glimpses of it, which works brilliantly, but the 20% at the end, subverts the terror of the villain. Thankfully, the final 10 minutes of the film makes up for this, leaving the audience rigid in fear.
I would also like to give special mention to the soundtrack. Some of the best soundtracks instantly make a movie better. With Horror films, you have Halloween, Jaws, The Exorcist. My first thoughts when hearing the soundtrack was that it reminded me of the TV show American Horror Story, which would have sound effects in the background to accentuate the creep factor. At times, there could be nothing happening, and the music would have you on edge, waiting for something to happen! This is an example of a soundtrack giving weight to a movie, as instead of something forgettable in the background, it taps into your subconscious, so your mind is left waiting for something terrifying to occur. I was impressed by the soundtrack, and would recommend it to anyone who wants to scare someone else for Halloween.
Overall, as a horror film, whilst the story doesn’t contain anything new, it does create something different, putting a polished spin on a script that could have ended up with an unimaginative hack job. Here, Derrickson and Cargill reach for a better standard of horror, and instantly puts pressure on Paranormal Activity 4 to better it.
Rating (Horror genre): 8 out of 10.

TitleSinister

Number: Two Hundred and Forty-Eight

Director: Scott Derrickson

WriterScott Derrickson & C. Robert Cargill

GenreSupernatural Horror.

Released2012

Seen On: Cinema

Seen Before: Never.

Running Time110 minutes

StarringEthan Hawke, Juliet Rylance, Clare Foley, Michael Hall D’Addario, Fred Thompson, James Ransone, Vincent D’Onofrio

Favorite Moment: The argument scene between Ellison and Tracy.

Thoughts: It may not surprise you to hear that I am not a fan of the current wave of horror films. I enjoyed Paranormal Activity and the first sequel, I also enjoyed the Saw movies for their plot, but didn’t find them scary. A lot of horror movies, I struggle to care for. I watched The Woman In Black, and felt it relied on too many jump scares at times. Jump scares, are when something jumps out at the screen, which is a brief scare for the audience, i.e. a cat jumps out of a cupboard. This is lazy and generic, an attitude that showcases a writer and director unable to create a true horror film. So, when I heard that Sinister was getting critically acclaimed reviews, my interest was piqued.

First of all, a refreshing change was the choice of leading actor. Ethan Hawke is an Award-nominated  actor who is renowned for his performances in Dead Poet’s Society, Before Sunrise, Before Sunset and Training Day. I myself had been blown away by his performances in Before Sunrise and Before Sunset. Here, he gives a weathered levity to his character, Ellison Oswalt, his actions hinting at the impact that his lifestyle takes on him. He presents a excited attitude, mixed with a minimal desperation, to the people around him, but, when by himself, his shoulders sag, his hands gripe for a whiskey glass, and his eyes droop with tiredness, eyes that seem to have seen too much already. His desperation to achieve success that he once had a taste of gives his character an understanding of, that allows the audience to believe in. When he makes a decision, whilst we may question the intelligence of it, we can understand why he would make THAT decision. Because we can understand Ellison’s mentality, as well as his gradual developing belief in what is occurring, the film works better. At times, we don’t need to see what happens, we can use his reactions as an indication of what is occurring.

The supporting cast is quite strong as well, Ellison’s relationship with Tracy, played by Juliet Rylance, is established early on, they love each other and Tracey supports him, but underneath the surface is a struggle to live, a weight of Ellison’s determination leaving their personal lives on a knife-edge. This leads to probably the best scene in the film, which isn’t a horror scene, but a scene purely between Ellison and Tracey where the emotion of what they have experienced has finally landed on them, and they argue with one another. It’s a rawer scene that relies on the human emotional that exists within them, and it impacts because we have seen elements of their characters in the build-up. The family side makes the audience care about them.

The horror side, now is two mixes. We have the build-up tension, where Ellison investigates the house he has moved into his family, a house that had several murders committed in years beforehand. He hears noises, looks outside, inside, and in the attic. As he investigates, the scene cranks up in tension, and the audience becomes on edge. Now and again, it turns out to be a jump scare, but other times, it turns out to be something real. Because the jump scares are infrequent, it feels better placed, allowing the audience a moment to breathe, as well as making the actual scares, that much more terrifying. On the other hand, we have the more violent scenes, the playing of several Super 8 footage, where Ellison discovers footage of people being killed. What helps these scenes is that, blood and gore is only hinted at, we rarely see the actual deaths, we see the build-up to the deaths, as well as the victims existing beforehand, in everyday circumstances. This allows the audience to equate these victims as true, everyday people, before seeing the shocking murders. This mix of horror allows each to have its own level of impact, as well attacking multi-facets of horror, not relying on one style. I enjoyed this style, as it gave the film a feel of a three-ring circus, i.e. if you don’t like the clowns, you can have the lion tamer. Here, we get the lion-tamer and the clowns, as opposed to just 90 minutes of a clown.

Whilst the tension builds up well, and the gore horrifies the audience, there is a negative: the villain. Oh, the methods it utilizes for its murders is fantastic, and when you briefly glimpse the villain, it’s creepy. When it’s in the background, it’s terrifying and uncomfortable. But when you see the villain properly…the design was questionable. There were some mild snickering at my cinema at the design of the killer, which definitely wasn’t the aim of the creators. It should have gone the way of Alien, where you never see the proper Xenomorph properly, just briefly in the shadows.  For the first 80% of the movie, you only get glimpses of it, which works brilliantly, but the 20% at the end, subverts the terror of the villain. Thankfully, the final 10 minutes of the film makes up for this, leaving the audience rigid in fear.

I would also like to give special mention to the soundtrack. Some of the best soundtracks instantly make a movie better. With Horror films, you have HalloweenJawsThe ExorcistMy first thoughts when hearing the soundtrack was that it reminded me of the TV show American Horror Storywhich would have sound effects in the background to accentuate the creep factor. At times, there could be nothing happening, and the music would have you on edge, waiting for something to happen! This is an example of a soundtrack giving weight to a movie, as instead of something forgettable in the background, it taps into your subconscious, so your mind is left waiting for something terrifying to occur. I was impressed by the soundtrack, and would recommend it to anyone who wants to scare someone else for Halloween.

Overall, as a horror film, whilst the story doesn’t contain anything new, it does create something different, putting a polished spin on a script that could have ended up with an unimaginative hack job. Here, Derrickson and Cargill reach for a better standard of horror, and instantly puts pressure on Paranormal Activity 4 to better it.

Rating (Horror genre): 8 out of 10.

Title: Storage 24
Number: One Hundred And Ninety-Four 
Directer: Johannes Roberts
Writers: Noel Clarke, David Fairbanks, Marc Small
Genre: Science-fiction Horror.
Released: 2012.
Seen on: Cinema.
Seen Before: Never before.
Starring: Noel Clarke, Colin O’Donoghue, Antonia Campbell-Hughes, Laura Haddock, Jamie Thomas King, Alex Price, Ned Dennehy
Running Time: 87 minutes.
Favorite Line: "What’s he going to do, Nik, brush you to death?"
Thoughts: This was a random movie that I ended up going cinema with a friend of mine for Orange Wednesday. Because of this, technically, we paid half price from usual, which is a good thing. This is not a film I would usually be tempted to see in the cinema. However, I do have a soft spot for Noel Clarke. He’s a young, intelligent creative talent who can act, write, and direct, and I always keep an eye out for what he does. This seems to be his attempt at a Horror film.
Noel Clarke only co-wrote this script, so it may explain some of the problems. At times, it feels like entire scenes have been lifted out of the film, important scenes, ones that would show characters being abducted or such. This leads to the film feeling unfinished, taking you out of the proceedings. There are some good moments dedicated to building up tension, and whilst the characters don’t have a LOT of characterization, their initial interpretations of cliches are slightly turned on their heads, meaning they do become mildly more interesting than before. The only problem with this is that, unfortunately it also means they become slightly more dickish in their actions, meaning you like them less.
The alien creature that appears, is refreshingly, not CGI. Instead, the creators seemed to utilize stock-motion and make-up, to create the alien, which I really got into. It also spent the first half of the film hidden completely in the shadows, with the second half of the film showing minor glimpses, apart from several money shots, where its face appeared. I liked that, and found it a slightly redeeming factor for the movie.
I think the ending, was slightly ruinous for the movie, the creators seemed so determined to end the film on a money shot that it negates the rest of the movie. This film isn’t that memorable, but for a late night movie, it would be fine. The only interesting thing about the movie, is that it was by Noel Clarke, if not for that, it probably wouldn’t be that interesting for audiences. Watch it, online, or on TV, but don’t bother buying or renting it.
Thumbs Up, 4 out of 10

Title: Storage 24

Number: One Hundred And Ninety-Four 

Directer: Johannes Roberts

Writers: Noel Clarke, David Fairbanks, Marc Small

Genre: Science-fiction Horror.

Released: 2012.

Seen on: Cinema.

Seen Before: Never before.

Starring: Noel Clarke, Colin O’Donoghue, Antonia Campbell-Hughes, Laura Haddock, Jamie Thomas King, Alex Price, Ned Dennehy

Running Time: 87 minutes.

Favorite Line: "What’s he going to do, Nik, brush you to death?"

ThoughtsThis was a random movie that I ended up going cinema with a friend of mine for Orange Wednesday. Because of this, technically, we paid half price from usual, which is a good thing. This is not a film I would usually be tempted to see in the cinema. However, I do have a soft spot for Noel Clarke. He’s a young, intelligent creative talent who can act, write, and direct, and I always keep an eye out for what he does. This seems to be his attempt at a Horror film.

Noel Clarke only co-wrote this script, so it may explain some of the problems. At times, it feels like entire scenes have been lifted out of the film, important scenes, ones that would show characters being abducted or such. This leads to the film feeling unfinished, taking you out of the proceedings. There are some good moments dedicated to building up tension, and whilst the characters don’t have a LOT of characterization, their initial interpretations of cliches are slightly turned on their heads, meaning they do become mildly more interesting than before. The only problem with this is that, unfortunately it also means they become slightly more dickish in their actions, meaning you like them less.

The alien creature that appears, is refreshingly, not CGI. Instead, the creators seemed to utilize stock-motion and make-up, to create the alien, which I really got into. It also spent the first half of the film hidden completely in the shadows, with the second half of the film showing minor glimpses, apart from several money shots, where its face appeared. I liked that, and found it a slightly redeeming factor for the movie.

I think the ending, was slightly ruinous for the movie, the creators seemed so determined to end the film on a money shot that it negates the rest of the movie. This film isn’t that memorable, but for a late night movie, it would be fine. The only interesting thing about the movie, is that it was by Noel Clarke, if not for that, it probably wouldn’t be that interesting for audiences. Watch it, online, or on TV, but don’t bother buying or renting it.

Thumbs Up, 4 out of 10

Title: Taken 2
Number: Two Hundred and Fifty-One
Director: Olivier Megaton
Writer: Luc Besson & Robert Mark Kamen
Genre: French Action Thriller
Released: 2012
Seen On: Cinema
Seen Before: Never.
Starring: Liam Neeson, Famke Janssen, Maggie Grace, Rade Serbedzija
Running Time: 91 minutes
Favorite Moment: Bryan and Kim have to work together to help locate where Bryan & Lenore are.
Favorite Line: “What are you gonna do?” “What I do best.”
Thoughts: Taken, according to Liam Neeson and the creators, originally seemed to be an average B-Movie that would be released straight to DVD and may get a cult following. Instead, it was released in cinema, and to the surprise of many, catapulted Liam Nesson into a bonafide action star. Unsurprisingly, a sequel was quickly suggested, with Luc Besson interested, possibly hoping to create a new Transporter series.
Even before entering the cinema, my expectations were not that high. Luc Besson’s previous attempts at sequels, The Transporter 2 and The Transporter 3, had not been up to the standard created by the first film, itself a solid but average action film. One of the main strengths of Taken had been Liam Neeson, so no matter how bad the film could be, Liam Neeson was still likely to elevate the film above the lowest level. All I desired as I entered the cinema was something that would pass ninety minutes.
For the first forty minutes, I was surprised how quickly I got into the film. In a refreshing change, here was an action sequel that actually built upon the previous movie. Whereas the first film portrayed Bryan Mills’ family as caricatures, Famke Janssen was Lenore the bitchy ex-wife, Maggie Grace was the underappreciative daughter Kim and a teenage party girl, and Bryan Mills loved them both. The emotional connection from Brian to his family drove the first film, and here, the emotional connection is rewarded. Relations between Bryan, Kim and Lenore have improved from the first film; Lenore is no longer a one-dimensional bitch but now likes Bryan again, their relationship slowing improving to where the idea of reconnecting hangs in the air, if not mentioned. Kim has also improved, in that whilst relations between her and Bryan are not perfect, she has come to appreciate him more. The fact that the supporting cast had developed from one film to another both shocked and excited me, surely this film cannot be that bad.
I was also happy that the villains were inspired from the first film, instead of just being another random band of people who could be facelessly killed, here, the villains were the extended family of those killed in the first film. Instantly, the villains have more impact as they are emotionally involved, in a role reversal of the first film. In the first film, the protagonist was emotionally involved as his daughter was kidnapped, and in the second film, the antagonist is emotionally involved as his children were killed in the original film. This should lead to the antagonists being more dangerous, ones who have no limits. Instead, they gradually revert back to faceless antagonists, just waiting to be killed.
The emotional aspect and the build-up through the first forty minutes felt strong and was gaining good will from me, wondering where the film had let others down? Granted, it was not The Dark Knight or The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers, but it wasn’t Prometheus. Then, the ‘action’ began.
First, there was a driving scene, that felt so pedestrian and devoid of tension, that I could have gone to sleep. Due to the streets that the driving scene existed in, I expected a driving scene along the lines of Drive, where it wasn’t break-neck speed, but full of tension still, having to appear inconspicuous. Instead, the entire scenes was stop-start, with a lack of tension built up, instead relying on car smashes to create ‘tension’. However, I may have been able to forgive that, if not for the fight scenes. The decision to aim for a 12A certificate may have offered more audience for the creators, but it leads to a neutered interpretation of fight scenes. When I see Bryan Mills fighting, I expect to see damage, to hear clicks and cracks of bones being broken. Instead, the action scenes consists of Bryan pushing and pulling the villains, devoid of any damage or tension. It also did not help, that the director decided to incorperate a choppy, kinetic cutting style to the fight scenes. This seemingly was done to capitalize on the style of the Bourne Series, except it wasn’t done as well, and at least in the Bourne Series, you can still have an idea of what is occurring. Here, I couldn’t tell what was occurring, it seemed more a choice to hide the lack of fighting that is required in an action film. In fact, I couldn’t believe it, this was an action film that failed at the action scenes.
Now, I will admit, the final fight scene, was more along the level I wanted, there was actual stakes felt, damage was being done, and there was tension. Unfortunately, by that point, the film had lost a lot of the goodwill that I had felt build up in the first forty minutes. I do actually feel that if Taken 2 had utilized the fight scenes from the first film, but kept the same plot and development, it could have equalled the level of Taken. Unfortunately, the lack of good action set pieces within Taken 2 led it to being inadeqate in comparison. I will make mention of the performances by Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace, and Famke Janssen, who help give their characters a sense of warmth missing from the previous film. I also was impressed by how much more involved Grace as Kim was, she has to rise to the occasion, which I felt she did adequately. There in fact, is a scene based on the rooftops of Istanbul, that revolves around Grace, and I felt that was a fantastic scene, was really drawing me back into the movie. And then there was the driving scene.
I think the lack of good will to this movie is more due to the good build-up, which was then wasted on lacklustre action scenes. The plot of this movie is better than expected, but the action was worse than anticipated. I probably wouldn’t bother with this movie again, if only because I know it could have been so much better, and it annoys me watching a good start descend into a terrible middle and end. The performances are okay as well, which gives it an extra rating.
Thumbs Down, 5 out of 10

Title: Taken 2

Number: Two Hundred and Fifty-One

Director: Olivier Megaton

Writer: Luc Besson & Robert Mark Kamen

Genre: French Action Thriller

Released: 2012

Seen On: Cinema

Seen Before: Never.

Starring: Liam Neeson, Famke Janssen, Maggie Grace, Rade Serbedzija

Running Time: 91 minutes

Favorite Moment: Bryan and Kim have to work together to help locate where Bryan & Lenore are.

Favorite Line: “What are you gonna do?” “What I do best.”

Thoughts: Taken, according to Liam Neeson and the creators, originally seemed to be an average B-Movie that would be released straight to DVD and may get a cult following. Instead, it was released in cinema, and to the surprise of many, catapulted Liam Nesson into a bonafide action star. Unsurprisingly, a sequel was quickly suggested, with Luc Besson interested, possibly hoping to create a new Transporter series.

Even before entering the cinema, my expectations were not that high. Luc Besson’s previous attempts at sequels, The Transporter 2 and The Transporter 3, had not been up to the standard created by the first film, itself a solid but average action film. One of the main strengths of Taken had been Liam Neeson, so no matter how bad the film could be, Liam Neeson was still likely to elevate the film above the lowest level. All I desired as I entered the cinema was something that would pass ninety minutes.

For the first forty minutes, I was surprised how quickly I got into the film. In a refreshing change, here was an action sequel that actually built upon the previous movie. Whereas the first film portrayed Bryan Mills’ family as caricatures, Famke Janssen was Lenore the bitchy ex-wife, Maggie Grace was the underappreciative daughter Kim and a teenage party girl, and Bryan Mills loved them both. The emotional connection from Brian to his family drove the first film, and here, the emotional connection is rewarded. Relations between Bryan, Kim and Lenore have improved from the first film; Lenore is no longer a one-dimensional bitch but now likes Bryan again, their relationship slowing improving to where the idea of reconnecting hangs in the air, if not mentioned. Kim has also improved, in that whilst relations between her and Bryan are not perfect, she has come to appreciate him more. The fact that the supporting cast had developed from one film to another both shocked and excited me, surely this film cannot be that bad.

I was also happy that the villains were inspired from the first film, instead of just being another random band of people who could be facelessly killed, here, the villains were the extended family of those killed in the first film. Instantly, the villains have more impact as they are emotionally involved, in a role reversal of the first film. In the first film, the protagonist was emotionally involved as his daughter was kidnapped, and in the second film, the antagonist is emotionally involved as his children were killed in the original film. This should lead to the antagonists being more dangerous, ones who have no limits. Instead, they gradually revert back to faceless antagonists, just waiting to be killed.

The emotional aspect and the build-up through the first forty minutes felt strong and was gaining good will from me, wondering where the film had let others down? Granted, it was not The Dark Knight or The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers, but it wasn’t Prometheus. Then, the ‘action’ began.

First, there was a driving scene, that felt so pedestrian and devoid of tension, that I could have gone to sleep. Due to the streets that the driving scene existed in, I expected a driving scene along the lines of Drive, where it wasn’t break-neck speed, but full of tension still, having to appear inconspicuous. Instead, the entire scenes was stop-start, with a lack of tension built up, instead relying on car smashes to create ‘tension’. However, I may have been able to forgive that, if not for the fight scenes. The decision to aim for a 12A certificate may have offered more audience for the creators, but it leads to a neutered interpretation of fight scenes. When I see Bryan Mills fighting, I expect to see damage, to hear clicks and cracks of bones being broken. Instead, the action scenes consists of Bryan pushing and pulling the villains, devoid of any damage or tension. It also did not help, that the director decided to incorperate a choppy, kinetic cutting style to the fight scenes. This seemingly was done to capitalize on the style of the Bourne Series, except it wasn’t done as well, and at least in the Bourne Series, you can still have an idea of what is occurring. Here, I couldn’t tell what was occurring, it seemed more a choice to hide the lack of fighting that is required in an action film. In fact, I couldn’t believe it, this was an action film that failed at the action scenes.

Now, I will admit, the final fight scene, was more along the level I wanted, there was actual stakes felt, damage was being done, and there was tension. Unfortunately, by that point, the film had lost a lot of the goodwill that I had felt build up in the first forty minutes. I do actually feel that if Taken 2 had utilized the fight scenes from the first film, but kept the same plot and development, it could have equalled the level of Taken. Unfortunately, the lack of good action set pieces within Taken 2 led it to being inadeqate in comparison. I will make mention of the performances by Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace, and Famke Janssen, who help give their characters a sense of warmth missing from the previous film. I also was impressed by how much more involved Grace as Kim was, she has to rise to the occasion, which I felt she did adequately. There in fact, is a scene based on the rooftops of Istanbul, that revolves around Grace, and I felt that was a fantastic scene, was really drawing me back into the movie. And then there was the driving scene.

I think the lack of good will to this movie is more due to the good build-up, which was then wasted on lacklustre action scenes. The plot of this movie is better than expected, but the action was worse than anticipated. I probably wouldn’t bother with this movie again, if only because I know it could have been so much better, and it annoys me watching a good start descend into a terrible middle and end. The performances are okay as well, which gives it an extra rating.

Thumbs Down, 5 out of 10

Title: Battlestar Galactica: The Plan
Number: Two Hundred and Fifty-Two
Director: Edward James Olmos
Writer: Jane Espenson.
Genre: TV-Movie.
Released: 2009
Seen On: Sky SyFy
Seen Before: Never.
Starring: Edward James Olmos, Dean Stockwell, Michael Trucco, Grace Park, Michael Hogan, Aaaron Douglas, Callum Keith Rennie, Kate Vernon, Rick Worthy, Lymari Nadal, Matthew Bennett, Rekha Sharma, Tricia Helfer
Running Time: 90 minutes
Favorite Moment: The Final Five Reunion.
Favorite Line: Brother Cavil’s final rant about wanting to be a machine.
Thoughts: The Plan is a very difficult film to review fairly, as it is a unique TV Movie. Whereas most films can usually be viewed on their own merit, with maybe some movies based on a series or previous movies, at the most there will usually be maybe, 5 hours of material that you may have to watch beforehand to give better sense to what occurs on screen. However, it is rare that you watch a movie, or TV movie, in this case, that was supposed to be a mirrored view of the first two seasons of a series. Battlestar Galactica had 33 episodes over the period of two seasons. And this isn’t the usual series, where at the least, half of them are throwaway. There are probably at least 28 of those episodes that are integral to the series. So what this film is attempting, is to take the actions that occur in 33 episodes, create a story that runs concurrently to these episodes, and condense them into a 90 minute film. And unfortunately, this film fails at this.
I admit, I watched the first two seasons of Battlestar Galactica, and quite frankly, I still felt a little lost in places. It also didn’t help that a majority of the movie seemed to be reused footage from the series itself, coupled with several small scenes that at times, feel slightly shoe-horned in. On a personal level, I can appreciate these scenes, as they return to characters I had previously found interesting. But on a critical level, the film comes across as convoluted and difficult to follow for non-fans. Granted, you can pretty much hold your hands up and admit that this film is for fans and nobody else, but that doesn’t excuse the convoluted nature.
Now, the positives, of which, there are more than expected. Jane Espenson has a solid handling of the characters, which does lead to a strong authenticity to the movie, when compared to the series, and Olmos is a previous director of the series, which means the style of direction is consistent when cutting between previously-shot scenes and newer scenes. The performances are also of a good standard, Dean Stockwell in particular impresses, leading the movie as two differing Number One’s, aka Caprica Cavil and Brother Cavil. The range he displays between the two, one bitter and maniacal, the other philosophical and quaint, is impressive and makes him a joy to watch. He gives the movie that extra spark it is otherwise missing.
There are some fine new performances from Michael Trucco as Samuel Anders and Rick Worthy as Number Four, aka Simon, whose roles expand on their motivations and intent from the series. This movie highlights what they did before we were first introduced to them, which helps us understand their actions better. I enjoyed this aspect, and feel it may have been better suited to dedicate more time to these new scenes, as opposed to editing in previously shot scenes.
This feels like a bit of a missed opportunity, a possible stand-alone movie that could introduce audiences to a series they had yet to enjoy. Instead, it feels like a two-part edit of two seasons, dissecting out large sections and skimping over certain details. If you are a fan, it may be worth a watch, but for non-Battlestar Galactica fans, don’t even bother. I am a fan, and even I feel disappointed. However, the performances are good quality and both writer & director show their familiarity with the subject.
Thumbs Down, 5 out of 10.

TitleBattlestar Galactica: The Plan

Number: Two Hundred and Fifty-Two

DirectorEdward James Olmos

WriterJane Espenson.

GenreTV-Movie.

Released2009

Seen On: Sky SyFy

Seen Before: Never.

StarringEdward James Olmos, Dean Stockwell, Michael Trucco, Grace Park, Michael Hogan, Aaaron Douglas, Callum Keith Rennie, Kate Vernon, Rick Worthy, Lymari Nadal, Matthew Bennett, Rekha Sharma, Tricia Helfer

Running Time90 minutes

Favorite Moment: The Final Five Reunion.

Favorite Line: Brother Cavil’s final rant about wanting to be a machine.

Thoughts: The Plan is a very difficult film to review fairly, as it is a unique TV Movie. Whereas most films can usually be viewed on their own merit, with maybe some movies based on a series or previous movies, at the most there will usually be maybe, 5 hours of material that you may have to watch beforehand to give better sense to what occurs on screen. However, it is rare that you watch a movie, or TV movie, in this case, that was supposed to be a mirrored view of the first two seasons of a series. Battlestar Galactica had 33 episodes over the period of two seasons. And this isn’t the usual series, where at the least, half of them are throwaway. There are probably at least 28 of those episodes that are integral to the series. So what this film is attempting, is to take the actions that occur in 33 episodes, create a story that runs concurrently to these episodes, and condense them into a 90 minute film. And unfortunately, this film fails at this.

I admit, I watched the first two seasons of Battlestar Galactica, and quite frankly, I still felt a little lost in places. It also didn’t help that a majority of the movie seemed to be reused footage from the series itself, coupled with several small scenes that at times, feel slightly shoe-horned in. On a personal level, I can appreciate these scenes, as they return to characters I had previously found interesting. But on a critical level, the film comes across as convoluted and difficult to follow for non-fans. Granted, you can pretty much hold your hands up and admit that this film is for fans and nobody else, but that doesn’t excuse the convoluted nature.

Now, the positives, of which, there are more than expected. Jane Espenson has a solid handling of the characters, which does lead to a strong authenticity to the movie, when compared to the series, and Olmos is a previous director of the series, which means the style of direction is consistent when cutting between previously-shot scenes and newer scenes. The performances are also of a good standard, Dean Stockwell in particular impresses, leading the movie as two differing Number One’s, aka Caprica Cavil and Brother Cavil. The range he displays between the two, one bitter and maniacal, the other philosophical and quaint, is impressive and makes him a joy to watch. He gives the movie that extra spark it is otherwise missing.

There are some fine new performances from Michael Trucco as Samuel Anders and Rick Worthy as Number Four, aka Simon, whose roles expand on their motivations and intent from the series. This movie highlights what they did before we were first introduced to them, which helps us understand their actions better. I enjoyed this aspect, and feel it may have been better suited to dedicate more time to these new scenes, as opposed to editing in previously shot scenes.

This feels like a bit of a missed opportunity, a possible stand-alone movie that could introduce audiences to a series they had yet to enjoy. Instead, it feels like a two-part edit of two seasons, dissecting out large sections and skimping over certain details. If you are a fan, it may be worth a watch, but for non-Battlestar Galactica fans, don’t even bother. I am a fan, and even I feel disappointed. However, the performances are good quality and both writer & director show their familiarity with the subject.

Thumbs Down, 5 out of 10.

Title: Four
Number: Two Hundred and Forty-Six
Directer: John Langridge
Writer: Paul Chronnell
Genre: Thriller.
Released: 2011.
Seen on: Sky+.
Seen Before: Never before.
Starring:  Craig Conway, Sean Pertwee, Martin Compston, Kierston Wareing
Running Time: 85 minutes.
Favorite Moment: “I’ve been threatened all night. That’s the first threat, I actually believed.”
Thoughts: Four is a small, Independent movie that seems more akin to a play that has been transferred to the silver screen. Four is based in one location, and revolves around four differing characters and how they interact with one another. The plot revolves around ‘Husband’, played by Craig Conway, and ‘Detective’, played by Sean Pertwee, in an abandoned warehouse, having kidnapped ‘Lover’, played by Martin Compston, due to his relationship with ‘Wife’, played by Kierston Wareing. The three acts of the movie are broken down into three, easy to access acts: Unveiling of the lover, unveiling of the wife, the fall-out. It is due to this simplicity and the simplicity of the movie that makes me feel it was almost more suiting to being a play, as opposed to a film.
The direction is quite simple, focusing on the characters interactions, but there is suggestion of an understanding of the visual element. The location is introduced from long shot, emphasising the colossus size of the location, as well as showing how secluded the warehouse is. There is also a brief scene between Act 1 and Act 2, where ‘Husband’ and ‘Detective’ walk through the warehouse, demonstrating the size of the location as well. The visual depiction by John Landridge is more noticeable due to the minimialistic script, the plot can be written on the back of a matchstick, and instead the drama centres on the character interaction, which is where the film does not do too badly.
Pertwee does his usual solid style, his usual hard man style, as well as tapping back to his slightly comedic aspect that was established in Dog Soldiers. I was slightly disappointed by Conway, at times he came across as slightly over-the-top in his petulance, removing the seriousness from the scene. There was no question he was meant to be out of his depth, but Conway descended into a lack of subtlety too quickly to tap into. Compston spends most of the film as quite meek and broken, which he does quite well, he possesses a slightly desperate body language, which makes him come across as quite believable. However, the most overwhelming performance was Wareing, as ‘Wife’, who even when tied up, portrays a slightly maniacal and dangerous character, in a movie populated by mostly men, she is the one in power. She does quite well, with what she is given, but her lack of limits does come across as slightly ridiculous.
The film isn’t that great, at no point are you afraid or emotionally involved with most of the characters, this is more the sort of film that you’d see if you woke up at 1am in the morning and couldn’t get back to sleep. Most of the film retraces over movies you had already seen that were better done, but it would be interesting to see what the director could do with a more inventive script.
Thumbs Down, 4 out of 10.

Title: Four

Number: Two Hundred and Forty-Six

Directer: John Langridge

Writer: Paul Chronnell

Genre: Thriller.

Released: 2011.

Seen on: Sky+.

Seen Before: Never before.

Starring:  Craig Conway, Sean Pertwee, Martin Compston, Kierston Wareing

Running Time: 85 minutes.

Favorite Moment: “I’ve been threatened all night. That’s the first threat, I actually believed.”

Thoughts: Four is a small, Independent movie that seems more akin to a play that has been transferred to the silver screen. Four is based in one location, and revolves around four differing characters and how they interact with one another. The plot revolves around ‘Husband’, played by Craig Conway, and ‘Detective’, played by Sean Pertwee, in an abandoned warehouse, having kidnapped ‘Lover’, played by Martin Compston, due to his relationship with ‘Wife’, played by Kierston Wareing. The three acts of the movie are broken down into three, easy to access acts: Unveiling of the lover, unveiling of the wife, the fall-out. It is due to this simplicity and the simplicity of the movie that makes me feel it was almost more suiting to being a play, as opposed to a film.

The direction is quite simple, focusing on the characters interactions, but there is suggestion of an understanding of the visual element. The location is introduced from long shot, emphasising the colossus size of the location, as well as showing how secluded the warehouse is. There is also a brief scene between Act 1 and Act 2, where ‘Husband’ and ‘Detective’ walk through the warehouse, demonstrating the size of the location as well. The visual depiction by John Landridge is more noticeable due to the minimialistic script, the plot can be written on the back of a matchstick, and instead the drama centres on the character interaction, which is where the film does not do too badly.

Pertwee does his usual solid style, his usual hard man style, as well as tapping back to his slightly comedic aspect that was established in Dog Soldiers. I was slightly disappointed by Conway, at times he came across as slightly over-the-top in his petulance, removing the seriousness from the scene. There was no question he was meant to be out of his depth, but Conway descended into a lack of subtlety too quickly to tap into. Compston spends most of the film as quite meek and broken, which he does quite well, he possesses a slightly desperate body language, which makes him come across as quite believable. However, the most overwhelming performance was Wareing, as ‘Wife’, who even when tied up, portrays a slightly maniacal and dangerous character, in a movie populated by mostly men, she is the one in power. She does quite well, with what she is given, but her lack of limits does come across as slightly ridiculous.

The film isn’t that great, at no point are you afraid or emotionally involved with most of the characters, this is more the sort of film that you’d see if you woke up at 1am in the morning and couldn’t get back to sleep. Most of the film retraces over movies you had already seen that were better done, but it would be interesting to see what the director could do with a more inventive script.

Thumbs Down, 4 out of 10.

Title: Apollo 18
Number: Two Hundred And Thirty-Five
Directer: Gonzalo López-Gallego
Writers: Brian Miller
Genre: Science-fiction Horror.
Released: 2011.
Seen on: Sky Movies.
Seen Before: Never before.
Starring: Warren Christie, Lloyd Owen, Ryan Robbins, Andrew Airlie, Michael Kopsa
Running Time: 86 minutes.
Favorite Moment: The moon rocks begin to move.
Thoughts: When the trailers for the movie first came out, I couldn’t help but be interested. It seemed like a fascinating horror premise, a found-footage depiction of a space mission gone bad. The first part of the movie is interesting, introducing us to the era, as well as setting up the motivations of the three astronauts. With a mixture of stock footage and interviews, we get an interesting idea of the characters.
In the second and third acts, we are based on the Moon, with several claustrophobic camera angles utilized. The creepiness of the undertone was better than expected, and brought in a ‘Paranormal Activity’ feel to it. However, unfortunately, the film itself is mostly unforgettable and feels plodding. Whilst an interesting premise, the execution felt laboured and difficult. The special effects used in the last half hour was better than expected, but by that point, I was finding myself struggling to care. The found footage also makes it much more difficult to differentiate between the characters, so you couldn’t get into the film as much.
I don’t think this is a memorable film, pretty average, if that. The idea was good, but the basic nature of the film was so-so. I don’t think anyone need to rush out to view this film.
Thumbs Up, 4 out of 10

Title: Apollo 18

Number: Two Hundred And Thirty-Five

Directer: Gonzalo López-Gallego

Writers: Brian Miller

Genre: Science-fiction Horror.

Released: 2011.

Seen on: Sky Movies.

Seen Before: Never before.

Starring: Warren Christie, Lloyd Owen, Ryan Robbins, Andrew Airlie, Michael Kopsa

Running Time: 86 minutes.

Favorite Moment: The moon rocks begin to move.

ThoughtsWhen the trailers for the movie first came out, I couldn’t help but be interested. It seemed like a fascinating horror premise, a found-footage depiction of a space mission gone bad. The first part of the movie is interesting, introducing us to the era, as well as setting up the motivations of the three astronauts. With a mixture of stock footage and interviews, we get an interesting idea of the characters.

In the second and third acts, we are based on the Moon, with several claustrophobic camera angles utilized. The creepiness of the undertone was better than expected, and brought in a ‘Paranormal Activity’ feel to it. However, unfortunately, the film itself is mostly unforgettable and feels plodding. Whilst an interesting premise, the execution felt laboured and difficult. The special effects used in the last half hour was better than expected, but by that point, I was finding myself struggling to care. The found footage also makes it much more difficult to differentiate between the characters, so you couldn’t get into the film as much.

I don’t think this is a memorable film, pretty average, if that. The idea was good, but the basic nature of the film was so-so. I don’t think anyone need to rush out to view this film.

Thumbs Up, 4 out of 10

Title: Batman Begins
Number: Two Hundred And Three
Directer: Christopher Nolan
Writers: Christopher Nolan, David S. Goyer
Genre: Superhero.
Released: 2005.
Seen on: DVD.
Seen Before: Several times before.
Starring: Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman, Liam Neeson, Katie Holmes, Cillian Murphy, Tom Wilkinson, Rutger Hauer, Ken Watanabe
Running Time: 140 minutes.
Favorite Performance: Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne/Batman.
Favorite Moment: With Wayne Manor burning above them, Bruce questions what good he ever did. Alfred, using words that had resonated with Bruce from a young age, shows Bruce he believes in him. Bruce reacts like a young child, showing how much he still struggled every day.
Favorite Line: Why do we fall, Bruce?”
Thoughts: When I was a child, two of my favorite TV shows were the completely opposite, Adam West “Batman”, and the animated “Batman”. The first tapped into my childish aspects, the over-the-top humor, whereas the latter tapped into the darker aspects of creating a realistic superhero. Ever since, Batman was always my favorite superhero. Tim Burton’s movies have changed over the years for me, when I was younger, I loved the first one and the second one was okay. As I grew older, I began to like them both less and less. The problem for me was that the first one felt like it had the best Batman in Michael Keaton, but I didn’t enjoy the portrayal of the Joker, it didn’t feel true for me. The second Burton film, I actually hate. It isn’t a Batman movie by Tim Burton, it’s a Tim Burton film that happens to co-star Batman. Neither of them are the Batman I ever wanted.
Joel Schumacher, is an unfairly ostracized director. Granted, the two Batman films he directed are painfully garish and colourful, to the point you cannot take them seriously at all. The weird thing, is that the year after “Batman Forever”, which wasn’t so great, he released “A Time To Kill”, a fantastic law drama that starred Samuel L. Jackson, Matthew McConaughey, Sandra Bullock, Kiefer Sutherland, Donald Sutherland and Kevin Spacey. Years before Batman, he also directed the popular cult film “The Lost Boys”, which I personally enjoyed. But the Batman films were a major misstep, which his career has struggled to get over.
In fact, probably the best Batman film I’d seen, up to this point, had been “Batman: Mask Of The Phantasm”, a feature length movie based on the animated series, which was dark, intelligent, fun, and true to the characters. And then, in the lead up to “The Dark Knight” debuting in cinema, I decided I’d be tempted to watch it. To prepare, I sat down for the first time to watch “Batman Begins”.
Roger Ebert himself could not put it any better than what he said for his review: "the Batman movie I’ve been waiting for, more correctly, this is the movie I did not realize I was waiting for.” The difference between this and the other Batman films is that, I can believe in the character of Bruce Wayne. The idea of “Begins” was to show the true origin of Bruce Wayne, a subject yet to be looked at in film. The first half of the film shows not only the aftermath of the death of Bruce’s parents, but also the build-up to the death of his parents. Instead of faceless shadows in a flashback, they are human characters, mostly presented by the father, Thomas. Thomas is played by the underrated Linus Roache, who infuses a loving relationship between him and his son, which means the death of him and his wife, which occurs half an hour into the film, is as impactful upon the audience as it is on Bruce. The loss of a father figure begins Bruce’s journey for self-discovery, as well as a search for a new father figure. His search for a father leads to a flirtation with the League of Shadows & Ra’s Al Ghul, but it is the loving care of his carer, Alfred, that truly brings closure to Wayne.
And it is in the performances that sells the film, the emotional arc of Bruce Wayne. Christian Bale was a solid independent actor who cemented his place as a leading man when he took the role of Bruce Wayne, throwing himself into both the physical and emotional state of Wayne. He buffs himself to a size that taps into the comic dimensions, he can both look like the playboy Wayne, and the determined Dark Knight, desperate for both revenge, and then justice. This is probably the best Batman film about Bruce Wayne.
It is also the best Batman film about his supporting cast. Gary Oldman infuses a weariness to a weathered down Jim Gordon, whose ideals are challenged by the city he inhabits. The introduction of Batman infuses him with a new spirit, and Oldman demonstrates this very well. We also have Michael Caine, who depicts an Alfred who has the compassion & loyalty of previous depictions, but also has a strength of capability when battling villains, unafraid to stand up for what is right. His strength is what helps to inspire Wayne, and the relationship between Caine & Bale is beautifully understated. And finally, Morgan Freeman introduces a newer ally, Lucius Fox, a former friend of Thomas Wayne who helps build Bruce’s new ‘toys’. Freeman is a legend when it comes to roles of older mentor, and here, he just brings his usual A-Game, offering many of the lighter moments, as does Caine. Three outstanding actors helping lift the film from a normal comic book film to a great drama/crime.
However, one of the only disappointing roles comes in the love interest. Katie Holmes isn’t a truly terrible actress, she just isn’t up to the level of the other actors, who are some of the best in the business. She just comes across as very lightweight in comparison to the others, sightly blown away when acting opposite Bale or Caine, who she mostly interacts with.
However, in direct comparison, we have the villains, who are fantastic. Cillian Murphy has the ability to invoke a cold intensity despite his welcoming, soft looks, his eyes able to communicate a madness that leaves the audience terrified. His soft spoken demeanor and intellectual attire makes it that much more impactful when he uses his fear gas on his opponents. The smoke induced appearance of his character is full of nightmare fuel. There is also Tom Wilkinson as mob boss Falcone, who similar to Murphy as Dr Crane, uses fear to rule his roost. Wilkinson adds enough nuance to his character to make him feel as if he had potential for his own film, representing the crime-ridden depression that enslaves Gotham. And finally, we have Liam Neeson as the dark father figure that causes Bruce’s quest for revenge to reach a crossroads. Neeson mixes the loving embrace of a father figure and the maniacal edge of a megalomaniac, certain that his way is not only the right way, but the only way. Neeson brings an undercurrent or rage that motivates his character, making him fascinating to watch.
Nolan & Goyer write a great superhero comic story that taps into the human and everyday side of Batman. Whereas most comic book movies would be fascinated by the villains and the costumed superhero, Nolan is fascinated by the man behind the mask, and it is this refreshing outlook that helps elevate this film. By emphasising the emotional context, this film has less the feel of a superhero film and more the feel of a drama. The shaky fight scenes utilises the allegory of the fear and rushed view of the gangsters, helping to make Batman feel otherworldly and terrifying. His “Swear to me!!!” scene is probably the first live action film that makes you believe that Batman would leave Gotham criminals quaking in fear. Nolan also uses great globe trotting aspects to help normalise Bruce Wayne’s search, making you believe in his journey. 
Christopher Nolan has crafted a Batman movie that finally ticks the boxes for me. Before this film, I never loved any Batman films, I just enjoyed them. This was the first I loved, the first that made me care beyond the superficial, and the first where I could not wait for the sequel. So it was after my first watching of this movie, that I went to watch “The Dark Knight” in the cinema.
Thumbs Up, 9 out of 10

Title: Batman Begins

Number: Two Hundred And Three

Directer: Christopher Nolan

Writers: Christopher Nolan, David S. Goyer

Genre: Superhero.

Released: 2005.

Seen on: DVD.

Seen Before: Several times before.

Starring: Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman, Liam Neeson, Katie Holmes, Cillian Murphy, Tom Wilkinson, Rutger Hauer, Ken Watanabe

Running Time: 140 minutes.

Favorite Performance: Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne/Batman.

Favorite Moment: With Wayne Manor burning above them, Bruce questions what good he ever did. Alfred, using words that had resonated with Bruce from a young age, shows Bruce he believes in him. Bruce reacts like a young child, showing how much he still struggled every day.

Favorite Line: Why do we fall, Bruce?”

ThoughtsWhen I was a child, two of my favorite TV shows were the completely opposite, Adam West “Batman”, and the animated “Batman”. The first tapped into my childish aspects, the over-the-top humor, whereas the latter tapped into the darker aspects of creating a realistic superhero. Ever since, Batman was always my favorite superhero. Tim Burton’s movies have changed over the years for me, when I was younger, I loved the first one and the second one was okay. As I grew older, I began to like them both less and less. The problem for me was that the first one felt like it had the best Batman in Michael Keaton, but I didn’t enjoy the portrayal of the Joker, it didn’t feel true for me. The second Burton film, I actually hate. It isn’t a Batman movie by Tim Burton, it’s a Tim Burton film that happens to co-star Batman. Neither of them are the Batman I ever wanted.

Joel Schumacher, is an unfairly ostracized director. Granted, the two Batman films he directed are painfully garish and colourful, to the point you cannot take them seriously at all. The weird thing, is that the year after “Batman Forever”, which wasn’t so great, he released “A Time To Kill”, a fantastic law drama that starred Samuel L. Jackson, Matthew McConaughey, Sandra Bullock, Kiefer Sutherland, Donald Sutherland and Kevin Spacey. Years before Batman, he also directed the popular cult film “The Lost Boys”, which I personally enjoyed. But the Batman films were a major misstep, which his career has struggled to get over.

In fact, probably the best Batman film I’d seen, up to this point, had been “Batman: Mask Of The Phantasm”, a feature length movie based on the animated series, which was dark, intelligent, fun, and true to the characters. And then, in the lead up to “The Dark Knight” debuting in cinema, I decided I’d be tempted to watch it. To prepare, I sat down for the first time to watch “Batman Begins”.

Roger Ebert himself could not put it any better than what he said for his review: "the Batman movie I’ve been waiting for, more correctly, this is the movie I did not realize I was waiting for.” The difference between this and the other Batman films is that, I can believe in the character of Bruce Wayne. The idea of “Begins” was to show the true origin of Bruce Wayne, a subject yet to be looked at in film. The first half of the film shows not only the aftermath of the death of Bruce’s parents, but also the build-up to the death of his parents. Instead of faceless shadows in a flashback, they are human characters, mostly presented by the father, Thomas. Thomas is played by the underrated Linus Roache, who infuses a loving relationship between him and his son, which means the death of him and his wife, which occurs half an hour into the film, is as impactful upon the audience as it is on Bruce. The loss of a father figure begins Bruce’s journey for self-discovery, as well as a search for a new father figure. His search for a father leads to a flirtation with the League of Shadows & Ra’s Al Ghul, but it is the loving care of his carer, Alfred, that truly brings closure to Wayne.

And it is in the performances that sells the film, the emotional arc of Bruce Wayne. Christian Bale was a solid independent actor who cemented his place as a leading man when he took the role of Bruce Wayne, throwing himself into both the physical and emotional state of Wayne. He buffs himself to a size that taps into the comic dimensions, he can both look like the playboy Wayne, and the determined Dark Knight, desperate for both revenge, and then justice. This is probably the best Batman film about Bruce Wayne.

It is also the best Batman film about his supporting cast. Gary Oldman infuses a weariness to a weathered down Jim Gordon, whose ideals are challenged by the city he inhabits. The introduction of Batman infuses him with a new spirit, and Oldman demonstrates this very well. We also have Michael Caine, who depicts an Alfred who has the compassion & loyalty of previous depictions, but also has a strength of capability when battling villains, unafraid to stand up for what is right. His strength is what helps to inspire Wayne, and the relationship between Caine & Bale is beautifully understated. And finally, Morgan Freeman introduces a newer ally, Lucius Fox, a former friend of Thomas Wayne who helps build Bruce’s new ‘toys’. Freeman is a legend when it comes to roles of older mentor, and here, he just brings his usual A-Game, offering many of the lighter moments, as does Caine. Three outstanding actors helping lift the film from a normal comic book film to a great drama/crime.

However, one of the only disappointing roles comes in the love interest. Katie Holmes isn’t a truly terrible actress, she just isn’t up to the level of the other actors, who are some of the best in the business. She just comes across as very lightweight in comparison to the others, sightly blown away when acting opposite Bale or Caine, who she mostly interacts with.

However, in direct comparison, we have the villains, who are fantastic. Cillian Murphy has the ability to invoke a cold intensity despite his welcoming, soft looks, his eyes able to communicate a madness that leaves the audience terrified. His soft spoken demeanor and intellectual attire makes it that much more impactful when he uses his fear gas on his opponents. The smoke induced appearance of his character is full of nightmare fuel. There is also Tom Wilkinson as mob boss Falcone, who similar to Murphy as Dr Crane, uses fear to rule his roost. Wilkinson adds enough nuance to his character to make him feel as if he had potential for his own film, representing the crime-ridden depression that enslaves Gotham. And finally, we have Liam Neeson as the dark father figure that causes Bruce’s quest for revenge to reach a crossroads. Neeson mixes the loving embrace of a father figure and the maniacal edge of a megalomaniac, certain that his way is not only the right way, but the only way. Neeson brings an undercurrent or rage that motivates his character, making him fascinating to watch.

Nolan & Goyer write a great superhero comic story that taps into the human and everyday side of Batman. Whereas most comic book movies would be fascinated by the villains and the costumed superhero, Nolan is fascinated by the man behind the mask, and it is this refreshing outlook that helps elevate this film. By emphasising the emotional context, this film has less the feel of a superhero film and more the feel of a drama. The shaky fight scenes utilises the allegory of the fear and rushed view of the gangsters, helping to make Batman feel otherworldly and terrifying. His “Swear to me!!!” scene is probably the first live action film that makes you believe that Batman would leave Gotham criminals quaking in fear. Nolan also uses great globe trotting aspects to help normalise Bruce Wayne’s search, making you believe in his journey.

Christopher Nolan has crafted a Batman movie that finally ticks the boxes for me. Before this film, I never loved any Batman films, I just enjoyed them. This was the first I loved, the first that made me care beyond the superficial, and the first where I could not wait for the sequel. So it was after my first watching of this movie, that I went to watch “The Dark Knight” in the cinema.

Thumbs Up, 9 out of 10