Monday, 4 August 2014

July Movie Reviews - Maleficent, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes & Hercules

Chris and I go to the cinema nearly every week.  You might think that is excessive, but do you want to know a secret? We go for free! Every week we each get a free cinema ticket with our life insurance. Yep, I know that sounds crazy, but apparently this insurance company must think that the cinema is healthy for us! (They obviously don't know how much ice cream we eat!).

If you are interested we have our life insurance through PruHealth, and are part of Vitality Plus.

Anyway, I LOVE films, and I'm sure a lot of you do to, so I thought I'd start reviewing the films we go to see each month, to give you a heads up whether its worth going to see them or not.  Of course, these are just my opinions, you may feel very differently, so please take my reviews with a pinch of salt, and let me know what you think!


I have to say, I was a little disappointed with this film.  First off, I love Sharlto Copley, his performances in District 9 and Elysium were frikkin awesome and I thought he was super funny in the A-team too, but he just doesn't belong in a Disney film in my opinion. Sorry Disney, I want him to stay put in my weird, edgy, sci-fi, pre/post apocalyptic scenarios please.  

Secondly, there were several plot holes that just left me screaming 'WHY?'! It may just be that the film was trying to stick to the original story, but I'm sure they could have made some of the decisions of the characters a little more believable by explaining them! For example, when Maleficent curses the princess, King Stefan inexplicably entrusts his baby daughter to the three faries. In the film Sleeping Beauty, everyone knows these are good faries, so it makes sense. But in this version, everyone in the kingdom fears anything that lives in the enchanted forest, which is where the faries are from, and only moments before the curse is cast the faries are not really trusted by the king! Considering this, it seems a very strange thing for him to do! 

And spoiler alert!... I'm not sure that the moral of the story was a very good one.  Essentially it dispels the myth of the old 'love at first sight' as we used to see in Disney movies like The Little Mermaid. Disney seem to be trying to correct their past wrongs regarding this recently, as  I seem to remember we learn a similar lesson in Frozen. So basically, the kiss from the prince doesn't work to wake Aurora up like it does in Sleeping Beauty. Great! They only met for like 2 minutes, so that would have been ridiculous if it had. Buuuut, the lesson we learn instead is that apparently Maleficent's kiss IS true love, and DOES wakes the princess up.  Erm,  is it really a good lesson to teach a child, that the stranger you have been spending time with, without your 'aunts' knowledge, is the only person that truly loves you? I think not. Stranger danger people, stranger danger!  It seems that some things have gone awry as the makers have tried to combine the original story, with this new slant that Maleficent is essentially good. I think they really could have done better. 

Another thing I found incredibly distracting was Angelina's cheek bones. They were just so pointy! I found myself wondering if they were make-up, prosthetics or CGI, rather than concentrating on the story at hand.  Having said that the costumes were fantastic, and I can't really fault Angelina Jolie's performance. I'd happily watch this again on the TV in a few years time, but I probably wouldn't be very pleased had I spent money seeing it at the cinema. Definitely one for TV in my opinion.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

I really enjoyed this film, I love the whole premise behind the franchise, and I came away pretty satisfied after watching this. The only thing that I felt could have been better was the development of the human characters, who were a little lacklustre.  I know it's not necessarily the sign of a good film, but I do like to see famous actors make an appearance, and the only big name in this was Gary Oldman, whose character was a bit of a non event to be honest. I really liked James Franco's performance in 'Rise of the Planet of the Apes', and was hoping for a similarly likeable protagonist in this sequel. However, it was the Apes that were the real event of this film, and so I guess it makes sense that the humans weren't the main focus. 

The Apes certainly made up for anything that was missing with the human characters, and, as always, Andy Serkis does an AMAZING job of bringing Caesar to life! There are some really emotional and touching moments, which, had the graphics not been great, would have just fallen flat. But as it is, Caesar is such a likeable and believable character, you just want him to succeed. The film is wonderfully terrifying, depicting a post-apocalyptic world 

It really is unbelievable how far technology has come in recent years.  If you thought the CGI in the last film was good, you will be in awe with this one! Definitely see it at the cinema if you can.


I wasn't overly excited about seeing this one. I felt that the trailer was pretty dull so I didn't have high expectations for this film at all, but in actual fact, I was pleasantly surprised. The trailer didn't do it justice.  The Rock's performance was great, the story was pretty good, and there was a twist at the end, which made it more than the usual Greek Mythology film we have seen the likes of in the past. Remember Wrath of The Titans (Bleurgh!) I enjoyed Ian McShane's character, and including John Hurt never 'hurts'. (Sorry, that was terrible) It was good, and worth a watch, but probably be one that was almost as enjoyable watching it on DVD.

Did you see any of these films at the cinema? What did you think?



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