“Simply Stunning” Godzilla Review

GODZILLA   (UK CERT: 12A)

Director: Gareth Edwards  

Music: Alexandre Desplat

Starring: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Bryan Cranston, Juliette Binoche


The king of the Kaiju, Godzilla, has had a very chequered cinematic history. From the classic original Japanese films to Roland Emmerich’s 1998 disaster, the famous beast hasn’t always been given the respect deserved of such an iconic monster.

Now, 16 years after Emmerich’s critical flop, Monsters director Gareth Edwards resurrects the gargantuan reptile in this year’s reboot, simply titled Godzilla, but is it a return to form?

Continue reading

Pompeii 3D – Review

POMPEII 3D (UK CERT: 12A)

Director: Paul W.S. Anderson   

Music: Clinton Shorter

Stars: Kit Harington, Emily Browning, Kiefer Sutherland


The disaster movie has always been a genre guaranteed to create incredible box-office returns. If you look at Roland Emmerich’s impressive blockbuster hit 2012, which grossed over $750million, it is clear that destroying well-known landmarks = bums on seats.

However since 2012‘s 2009 release the genre has fallen into a dormant state. Nevertheless, four years later Paul W.S. Anderson attempts to reawaken this box-office behemoth with his take on the tragic true events at Pompeii, but does the film succeed in its task? Continue reading

“A film that never needed to exist” The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Review

THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 (UK CERT: 12A)

Director: Marc Webb   

Music: Hans Zimmer

Stars: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Dane DeHaan, Jamie Foxx, Sally Field


Marc Webb’s first attempt at being behind the lens of a Marvel film was 2012’s The Amazing Spider-Man. Just five years after Sam Raimi concluded his trilogy with Tobey Maguire in the tight fitting suit, Andrew Garfield donned the iconic costume in a film that was good if a little unnecessary. Here, Webb returns just two years later with The Amazing Spider-Man 2, but can it prove its worth? Continue reading

Noah – Review

NOAH (UK CERT: 12A)

Director: Darren Aronofsky   

Music: Clint Mansell

Stars: Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Anthony Hopkins, Ray Winstone


Biblical epics never seem to translate well from paper to the big screen. Mel Gibson’s 2004 misfire, The Passion of the Christ, showed just how difficult it was to turn promising source material into silver screen gold.

Now, 10 years on from that, Black Swan director Darren Aronofsky breathes new life into the biblical genre with his take on the classic ‘Noah’ tale. But can his sixth attempt behind the camera reverse the ailing genre’s fortunes? Continue reading

Labor Day – Review

LABOR DAY (UK CERT: 12A)

Director: Jason Reitman    

Music: Rolfe Kent

Stars: Kate Winslet, Josh Brolin, Gattlin Griffith and Tobey Maguire


Director Jason Reitman is no stranger to obtaining a few awards from his varied career, with films like Juno and Up in the Air under his belt, you would be forgiven for thinking that he could put himself on autopilot – however his latest offering Labor Day stays well clear of such drama.

Starring Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin, the film stays on the right side of touching without feeling overly sentimental and cheesy. But is it worth a watch?

Following the story of Adele (Winslet) and her son Henry (Gattlin Griffith) as they comes to terms with repairing their lives after an unsuccessful marriage, Labor Day leaves the story and plot of Joyce Maynard’s hugely popular novel to the audience, who piece things together themselves, culminating in a pleasing if slightly clumsy final act.

Josh Brolin stars as Frank Chambers, an escaped murderer looking for somewhere tolabor-day-poster1 lay low whilst the police continue searching for him. Brolin is a master of playing the bad guy gone good and his performance here is no exception to that rule. His convict-like scowls are brilliantly juxtaposed with scenes involving him cooking and baking, leaving the viewer slightly perplexed by his real intentions – at the start that is anyway.

As the story takes place over a weekend, the film does feel a little drawn out in places but this adds to its simplistic charm, with the characters and their sublime acting doing most of the work.

Gattlin+Griffith+Arrivals+Teen+Vogue+Young+VSzZ7JYENCTlWinslet is excellent as Adele, a woman so heartbroken and terrified by the painful effects of love she no longer leaves the house. Her fragility is exceptionally intense; her hands and facial expressions talk more than words ever could and this is a theme throughout the film. I wouldn’t be surprised if Winslet is nominated for an Oscar at next year’s awards.

However, by far the standout is Gattlin Griffith’s performance as young Henry. Here is a boy who would do anything for his mother. His transition from moody teenager to vulnerable young adult is beautiful to watch and again, his facial expressions speak volumes.

As the police close in on Frank’s location and Adele and Henry’s behaviour becomes ever more suspicious, Labor Day becomes increasingly intense in a ‘will they won’t they’ kind of way. As much as the film drives home the simplicity of its intentions, you can’t helped but get sucked into their predicament and this, along with the acting, is where it stuns most.

Unfortunately, the simple nature of the directing and cinematography leaves a lot of room for other areas to fill, and this doesn’t quite happen.

The score is mind-numbingly dull which is a true shame. Rolfe Kent has created some stunning pieces of music for films across the decades including his Golden Globe nominated work on Sideways, not forgetting the excellent score in The Wedding Crashers. Despite some lift in the latter half of the picture, it remains a relatively music-free affair.

Tobey Maguire’s narration is also a little dull. Those of you familiar with the Spider-Man trilogy will know how irritating Maguire’s voice can be, and unfortunately it’s the case here too.

Overall though, Labor Day fills the void in between the magic of the Christmas blockbuster and the frantic summer season which is approaching thick and fast. Filled with some fine performances from the three lead actors and a story which really makes you believe in second chances, it’s an utterly compelling and emotional spring flick. Only the poor score and uninspiring cinematography lets it down.

Category

Scoring /10

Story/Plot

8

Acting

9

Special Effects/Cinematography

5

Soundtrack

5

Costume Design

5

Script/Dialogue

9

TOTAL /60

41

Overall: The only film with a step-by-step guide to pie baking!