FILTH review…..as filthy as it sounds

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Detective Bruce Robertson (James McAvoy), an Alcoholic, drug fuelled, corrupt Edinburgh cop chases a promotion for detective inspector, and isn’t afraid to use dirty tactics to get it. But after a mysteriously messy marriage breakdown, what’s really going on? Or is it all in his head?

Filth is the fourth film to be adapted by one of Irvine Welsh’s ambitious novels, but the only one anyone really remembers is Trainspotting, which arguably set the benchmark for British cinema. It was in your face, satirical and its humour made you both laugh and grimace, which 20 years back was a massive development from the period films that use to be synonymous to Britain. Since Danny Boyle’s revolutionary adaptation no other Welsh novel has seemed to quite match up to Trainspotting…until now.

Jon S.Baird’s directorial take on Welsh’s third novel, proposes that Welsh’s novels can still make the transition from novel to great cinema. Welsh’s fierce independence comes across great in Filth, even though it was written in 1998. Though its aggressive satirical view of the police can come across as slightly more of a reflection of its publication time, it’s cleverness and dark wit of Welsh is superbly relevant and it’s employed by an unrecognisable James McAvoy.

The lead protagonist, Detective Sergeant Bruce Robertson, is fantastically portrayed by McAvoy, whose fulfilled a character role that’s so different from anything we’ve seen him in so far. In his latest films such as Trance and Welcome to the punch, there was a sense of McAvoy pushing boundaries to play a darker character, but it was never quite achieved possibly due to those character limits. However, Bruce Robertson is every shade of dark, unlikeable and grotesque. The audience is constantly shocked at his actions and it’s that drive that keeps the film at a constant pace and McAvoys ambitious and effective acting that is the driving force.

At the beginning of the film and for most of it, no sense of confliction or conscience is felt from Bruce and it’s his fine manipulation of the other members of the police team, to ensure him of the promotion that the most laughs. However, after a while, it can be easy to start detesting the protagonist, and that’s when the film really starts to hit its potential, when the audience sees that not everything is as it seems.

On the surface, Bruce is quintessentially a misogynistic, racist, sexist bully whose manipulative ways fool almost everyone even his dim witted best friend, brilliantly played by Eddie Marsan. Deep down however, his marriage is in meltdown, he’s hallucinating due to his bi polar and he sees the promotion as a sure way to win his wife back.

A stellar cast really bring another element to the film, even Jim Broadbent’s demonic councillor captures the madness of the film even though he plays a small part. It’s that bizarreness of the film, Bruce’s hallucinations, the hard-core drug use, the risky sex scenes that keep the audience on its toes but in criticism can maybe alienate a certain type of audience, asking them to take the obscure as they go, with the gritty realism of the film.

It can be at times too ambiguous, not knowing whether part of the story is real or part of an inexplicable hallucination. Also, because of its ambiguous nature, even when all becomes clear about the twists of the film, Bruce’s backstory still leaves a lot of questions for the audience to ask, and can therefore can cause a bit of lacklustre towards the end. However, part of its ambiguousness is what makes the film refreshing, and the twists and turns through the plot keep the audience engaged and keeps the film unpredictable.

Filth isn’t for the faint hearted. Yes, it’s filthy all the way through in every moral aspect possible, but it’s full of black humour and sometimes some touching moments that add an extra dimension. The fact that the film doesn’t stick to a boring hero-villain is stimulating, because the protagonist is both the hero and villain. Jon S. Baird directs the film so well, that we see possibly redeeming qualities to McAvoy’s character and an explanation to why he is the way he is, but at the core he’s still rotten, he’s just more rotten because of other factors and it’s so fresh to have a lead that an audience aren’t coaxed into liking.

Although Filth is the epitome of its name on the surface, under its skin it is in way a very pure honest story, and it’s that ingenious juxtaposition that’s used throughout the film that brings so much more depth, and also in turn captures the nature of Bruce’s bi polar. Definitely has the potential to become every bit of a cult classic as Trainspotting and more.

Skyfall Review

Firstly apologies for my lack of film blogging it wont happen again.

Anyway on with the review!!

Skyfall has had a lot of trouble getting off the ground as a project, funding has been a real issue with this film but to be honest i don’t think the film lacked anything because of the limited budget you can see Sony wanted to make a more character based film and it worked.

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The person who really stole this film though was Javier Bardem the new villain. Definitely a creepy performance but he was the right amount of crazy to unnerve the audience something i don’t think other bond villains have been.

He becomes a big part of the film and he drives it from the moment he comes on screen but then he’s missing again for a large part of it and he falls way to easily into Bond’s plan, i was a bit disappointed.

Besides the villain though, this film hasn’t really got anything stand out about it. It’s supposed to revolve around Judy Dench’s character ‘M’ yet i don’t think anyone can really sympathise with her at all even though they try to make you, if anything you kind of resent her more as the film goes on, but i like how her character ended, it seemed fitting and i think it was the right thing to do.

Another thing that annoyed me a little is how they portrayed James Bond. It starts off well, Alcoholic and drug reliant and basically a bit unfit which suits his troubled character yet halfway through theres nothing wrong with him all of a sudden?! i did like his wit and interaction with other characters i mean it’s James Bond how can you not like him but the ‘M’ plot ruined his character development.

One thing i was impressed with that i wasn’t expecting was the Bond girls..

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I loved Naomie Harris‘s character ‘Eve’, she had real chemistry with Daniel Craig and everyone loves a bit of banter fuelled by sexual tension. But i was really impressed with Bérénice Marlohe acting, to say this is her first film on the big screen she has bags full of talent which made up with her lack of chemistry with Craig, so i wish they used her character for longer seemed a bit random to hype her up so much and create someone with such a rich background to use her for as long as they did, i wish she was in it more. I also really liked ‘Q’ he brought a much needed humour to it.

The story is pretty decent though you don’t expect the twists and turns and it definitely is well action packed i especially liked how they took a leaf out of Home Alone’s book (you’ll get it if you see it). It’s a hundred times better than the last Bond film but it’s not as good as Casino Royal personally i think it’s because they’ve tried to make ‘M’ up as a better character than what she is. Sam Mendes did a good job with the directing, expected from a man with a good resume as him.

3.7/5 <<< (.7 because of Bardem’s performance)

Dark Knight Rises Review (spoiler free)

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Okay so this is THE most anticipated film of 2012 and it seems like it took forever to get to out big screens, theres been speculation, criticism but mostly excitement. I have to say this film goes beyond peoples expectations, it didnt let us down and it is probably the best film of 2012 so far.

Firstly, i am so happy that Anne Hathaway stole the show as Cat-woman, she was so criticised when she was announced for the role but Hathaway made the character the most believable yet. Although we may not steal as much as she does everyone who isn’t rich understands where she’s coming from and in this day and age most people agree with her views, but her wit is brilliant and it’s a pleasure to watch a female character that is just as good as the males in this film.

The second thing that jumped out at me was the brutality of the film. The battles between Bane and Batman are very physical it reminds u of brutality to the extent of bare knuckle boxing. It was nice to see a villain in Nolan’s film that could challenge Batman physically but don’t let it fool you the guy is a mastermind. I thought the mask was a really good touch it makes him have this anamalistic edge and his accent didn’t suffer for it, you could understand him all the way through the film. But it was Hardy’s acting that bought a very 3 dimensional character to the screen, the way he could act just through his eyes amazed me and when u learn his back story it doesn’t make him any less of a monster but just someone you understand as to why he’s a monster, he definitely deserved a more fitting end.

Even though this film is a sequel to the dark knight it’s more of a stand alone film and Bale and Caine bring the emotion to the screen and I’m not ashamed to say i cried a couple of times and I’m sure so did i few guys too. Anyway before i say anymore and spoil the film i have to say don’t be comparing it to the dark knight, its a very different film with very different villains but non the less just as good although there are a few niggling bits about it. Regardless, Bane is a very scary villain and the Bat Cat banter is more than enough reason to give a watch.

4.9/5

The Amazing Spider-man Review

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When Sony announced they were going to reboot the whole spider franchise rather than carry on with Raimi’s Spider-man everyone kinda of did and inner sigh as did I worrying that it was way too soon to be remaking these films, 5 years is way too soon.

Well, it is a far cry from anything people thought it was going to be. It had something that Raimi’s spider-man lacked in the form of Andrew Garfield. Toby Maguire was great as spider-man and they were great films but Garfield IS spider-man, the wise cracking spider-man that was missed in the first trilogy. He seemed perfect physically as well to be Peter Parker and he played the part well, the geeky kid in school and the nervous teenager.

The Re-boot was more to the origin story from the comic books and delved into his back story alot more focusing on his time in high school. The story is driven by Parker’s search into why his parents left him and especially into what his dad was researching before he left. It was good to see how effected he was by the loss of his parents it wasn’t really touched upon in the original but it needed to be explored and they did it well.

However, it did feel like it was lacking something. The villain which in this case would be Kurt Conner’s, Peters dads old research partner aka the lizard. He takes a formula thinking it will regrow his arm and turns into a huge lizard but he’s never really that crazy. He should scare us when he’s human, the whole evil genius should be what pushes him into embracing the lizard but here he’s always conflicted one minute he’s nice then he’s saying its better to be lizard than human?!?!

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and his character being good in the end?????????

 

What is all that about? he’s never a serious threat although the lizard is well done i liked how he was part human not just a senseless animal because it would of got boring otherwise. The other lame part was when the citizens raised together to help him? a tad forced in my opinion yes its touching and people shouldn’t call him a rascal as much but it just seems to stereotypical in the end like you expected it.

HOWEVER! the characters a much better in this film, whoever said Mary Jane should be in this film hasn’t seen Emma Stone’s ‘Gwen Stacy. She brings alot to the character, which is shown in an awkward scene with her dad about periods, that you completely forget about the bad attempt at this character in the 3rd installment. And the relationship between her and Peter is so well done you the chemistry is great and the awkward conversations are done so well because of the humour the actors bring to the role.

What this spider-man does really well though is the relationship between the characters. When Uncle Ben died in the first one you wern’t that bothered it was skipped over really but in this one Martin Sheen’s death is really sad and Sally Field is alot less annoying as Aunt May.

Overall, it is a great film and the relationships especially the core one with Garfield and Stone is really palpable, the Lizard is a half decent villain and its great to get back to the original story of the comic books, definetly recommend but its just missing something for it to be perfect.

4/5

PS DONT BE A SHEEP AND LEAVE EARLY STAY THERES A BIT AT THE END!!!!!!!!

Chuck for Thor 2????

Okay so it seems that since Josh Dallas can’t make it back to play Thor’s bessie mate Fandral, rumour mill has it that Chuck’s very own Zachary Levi could be taking the role over.

 

Josh Dallas is unable to reprise his role due to his commitment with succesful series Once Upon A Time being scheduled to film at the same time. Word has it Zachary Levi is very close to signing the deal to take over the role which would be apt as he was the one to origianly play the asgardian hero until commitments to his reinstated show Chuck got in the way giving the part to Dallas.

 

Levi has a strong following and could definetly do the part justice if he practices his sword waving. He’ll be joined with hero Chris Hemsworth, Anthony Hopkins, Idras Elba and Natalie Portman for the sequel. In addition the wonderful Tom Hiddleston will reprise his role as adopted yet crazy brother Loki and will be joined by another unannounced villain.

Snow White and the Huntsman Review

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Snow White and the Huntsman was at battle this summer with the other fairy tale reboot Mirror Mirror and its easy to why the Huntsman felt no pressure from another interpretation of the classic story as it’s the winner by far.

It seems the trend of rebooting classic fairy tales for a more adult audience is on trend what with Jack and the Giant Killer and Hansel and Gretel out next year but it’s this year that Snow White and the huntsman kick off the new genre.

I had my hesitation about Kristen Stewart as snow white or in any acting role beyond twilight to be honest. Whether she can escape her twilight brand is one thing but her acting leaves a little to be desired in them films however i was pleasently surprised how well she did in this film. She had way more acting range in this film and her British accent isn’t too bad at all, it was nice to see her act as a strong female lead for once. However with other actors performances it’s easy to forget about the main heroine as she doesn’t command the audiences attention.

This could be down to an excellent and scary villainous in the form of the beautiful Charlize Theron. She is one of those actresses especially in this film that demands attention on screen and her character Ravenna is equally stunning. It’s a very delicate balance, you don’t want her to win because you know she’s evil but you learn her back story and her vulnerabilities and it definitely makes the character more three dimensional and a worthy villain.

Chris Hemsworth’s Scottish accent was impressive i always expect accents to be terrible from Hollywood A-Lister’s such as Russel Crowe in Robin Hood. But he brings an element of fun and he’s a kind of an anti hero that people like to root for and Hemsworth plays it nicely with a bit of fun drunkenness and yet he has a bit of darkness about him that makes him the most relatable character.

Another thing that stood out was the lovely scenery be it in the mostly CGI forest or the stunning backdrops of the mountains that they cross during the film that has a very Lord of The Rings vibe about it. It’s clear the films and director Sanders has taken a bit of inspiration from Burtons Alice in Wonderland but with grit and a bit more realness to it.

Overall the acting was good especially Theron’s performance that threatens to overpower Stewart for most of the film which gives you a feeling that maybe Snow Whites not the hero worthy of the Queen. However, the film had a right balance of plot, character, scenery and didn’t fall into the pit holes of turning it into a romance. Well worth a watch.

 The new TDKR Trailer Breakdown

The new TDKR trailer was released last week and it’s given fans plenty of food for thought!

New Trailer here!

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1. Bruce Waynes gotten old! – We know that TDKR kicks off straight from the 2nd installment and then zips foward to 8 years later and the 8 years have not been kind to Mr Wayne. He’s looking old and he’s got a cane which may mean that Batman gets his spine broken at the beginning of the film by Bane and he’s never quite got over it???Image

2. Selena is looking shifty! – it seems Catwomans alter ego is feeling a bit vulnerable without her costume around cops. What is she carrying and why may they be looking for Ms Kyle thats got her wearing that rather large face covering hat??

 

 3. PIKA BOO IT’S BANE!!!! – We see a bit of what the first six minute premier was about, Showing some of Banes miltary background so we can understand the villain a little better and his background, so it’s not just the beefy look that gets him Terrorist No 1 but his brains too.

4. Bane is Gothams Reckoning! – We get to see Bane being scary at last as he threatens someone. He has kind of a scary look in his eye like he’s a tad crazy, but its great to hear his voice sound so clear 🙂

5. theres a ton of action – so we get a few clips of some serious action and the explosion of Gothams bridges which is safe to assume this is Bane twisted plan to sort Gotham out by turning it into a town full of broken out inmates and cut off from society because that always works

6. Is Selena Kyle emotionally invested in Mr Wayne? – When asked “did they kill him?” which we can guess means Batman her reply of ” I dont know” sounds a little regretful and it looks like she’s pretty upset by whatevers gone on

7. Batmans Demise! – ok so he doesnt die but it seems Bane has something worse in mind, possibly that broken spine if it’s anything to do with the comic series Knightfall. That could explain what takes him so long to mentally and physically get his Bat back on and he has no grey in his hair at this point which means this is before the 8year fast foward.

8. Is that the BatCave?! – so this is the scene where Bane must beat down Batman therefore the broken mask but this looks awfully like how i would imagine the Batcave to look no? Maybe im just wishing it is but we know Bane has sussed out who Batman is and Where he lives so and we also know that we will be seeing the new Wayne Manor equipped with a Batcave.

9. Who the heck is this John Blake? – so far in the Trailer with Joseph reassuring some kid Batman will be back we can only guess he’s a good cop or is that what Nolan wants us to believe! it would be spectacular if he was someone no one expected and i would be dissapointed if he’s just a cop. But the trailer still doesnt give us enough to go on which could be Nolans trick…

10. Catwomans a prisoner? – this prisoner looks awfully alot like Selena and thats a trademark catwoman move right?! so how did she get arrested and is she part of Banes prison breakout?!?!?!?!

11. Bruce got a new girlfriend!!!! – so this Miranda Tate is more than just a buisness associate, and Marion Cotillard insists thats all her character is but us Batman fans know better and as much as she and Nolan deny it we all know she’s Talia Al Ghul, she was pretty much outed by the girl who plays her younger self!!!

12. The Cat and the Bat team up! – so this might mean Catwoman is for the good side and she hasnt just stolen his motorcycle for the fun of it. I have to admit this duo look ace fighting together and it’s good to see good old fisty cuffs! By far the most exciting part of this trailer.

13. Batman’s got a new toy! – It seems Batman can’t hack the idea that someones stolen his unique car design so gone and up the ante!! well at least we know Batmans not going down without a fight!!!