The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002) Review

Having read Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers” I knew that the Hobbits would be separate from the slightly taller members of the Fellowship for the whole film. Also, knowing a lot less of this film would be spent travelling I was confident that the Hobbits would get some of their own screen time as the unlikely heroes in a world filled with treachery. Sadly I was wrong — The Hobbits are almost nowhere to be seen for a majority of the adventure. I can’t pretend I’m not upset that they have been pushed aside like the little folk they are, but in what has been provided to replace them is certainly interesting and better in almost every way than “The Fellowship of the Ring”.

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The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (2006) Review

The difference between Western animation and Japanese animation, or “anime”, is very stark and instantly recognisable. Both parties tend to exaggerate their characters physically and often emotionally. Anime itself tends to delve heavily into melodrama for which it frequently draws criticism for, and “The Girl Who Leapt Through Time” does sometimes dip into this melodramatic tone. Admittedly I haven’t seen very much anime at all — this is actually my third anime film — and I’m happy to say that my recent branch from Western animation has been pleasant and unique. “The Girl Who Leapt Through Time” is a gorgeous and visually rich film, that deserves your attention.

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Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011) Review

“Rise of the Planet of the Apes” might be marketed as a prequel, and it certainly feels like one, but it definitely isn’t something you should watch before the original series or the Tim Burton remake. It takes the established concepts of “The Planet of the Apes” franchise and rewrites the beginnings of the rise of the apes and the decline of humanity. “Rise” certainly begs for a sequel and I eagerly await to see it, but “Rise” doesn’t cheaply give you a cliffhanger ending just to entice you for it. It does what all blockbusters, or any film in fact, should do. It makes you want more by proving to you that what it has to give is grand ideas and even grander execution. “Rise” is amazing, dare I say it, it’s even better than the original and certainly better than any of it’s sequels.

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Pi (1998) Review

Darren Aronofsky has managed to very successfully melt my brain. “Pi” is his debut feature and I’m still sat here thinking about it even as I write. I feel very close to fully understanding it but I’m not quire there and it is driving me insane. Fitting I feel, as this is the exact feeling Max Cohen (Sean Gullette) has as he approaches the number that will show him the numerical system that the universe must abide by. A number that may or may not exist, but Max is driven mad by the desire to find it. This is the premise of “Pi”, one of the most cerebral movies I have ever seen.

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The Descent (2005) Review

I considered not mentioning it, you know. Maybe, I thought, maybe it would be noble of me to completely ignore it and not mention its significance. After all, if I ignored it I would heavily imply that it’s not an issue and that’s where I would like it to be ideally. The main cast of “The Descent” is entirely female and at no point did it ever feel unnatural. Of course, the truth of the matter is that it is unnatural for horror movies to have such an emphasis on an all-female cast that  keeps its “personal belongings” personal, but at no point did it ever feel weird or forced and the characters that are weak are not weak because they are female. They are weak because they are weak, it really is brilliant to see. I’m not going to say that I believe all movies should have a solely female cast just to be feminist, but that “The Descent” has proved that it is perfectly believable seeing women survive in tough situations and fight for their lives as any man could and would.

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Once Upon a Time in the West (1968) Review

Sergio Leone is synonymous with “Spaghetti Westerns”, after all he was the mastermind behind  what is widely considered to be one of the very best films ever made: “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” which is of course also a western. “Once Upon a Time in the West” was Leone’s next attempt at making big with the theme but it isn’t just his “Dollars Trilogy” with different characters and a different story. Leone creates a movie that feels familiar yet completely different to his previous work and he’s all the better for it. “Once Upon a Time in the West” is only held back slightly from radiating pure brilliance, only slightly.

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