The Smurfs

The-Smurfs-Poster-11 Director: Raja Gosnell
Writer: J. David Stem/David N. Weiss
Producers: Jordan Kerner
Starring: Neil Patrick Harris/Hank Azaria/Jayma Mays/Sofia Vergara/Katy Perry/Alan Cumming/George Lopez/Kenan Thompson
Year: 2011
Country: US
BBFC Certification: PG
Duration: 102 minutes

Joining the line along with Yogi Bear, Scooby Doo and Transformers as cartoons that have been turned into CGI movies is The Smurfs and quite surprisingly, it’s actually not a bad movie at all. The story isn’t the best of stories and is quite simple but let us not forget that this is a movie that is for children and would be a little bit like making a full-length review about Elmo in Grouchland. Although the story is quite simple and has been done a million times before, it was still pretty entertaining and children will love it, although adults may find it a little dull sometimes. Character-wise, the writer and the creator of the movie didn’t try to change the smurfs to make them cooler or even appeal to this generation and stuck to how they were originally designed and intended in the cartoons, which is a good thing.

 

The Smurfs themselves were surprisingly loveable and funny in a couple of situations but the funniest character out of the movie was Gargamel’s sidekick CGI cat, Azizel, who provided the audience with the most laughs, which didn’t exactly happen very often in the movie. The only bad thing about the characters in The Smurfs is how weirdly out of place Gargamel looked throughout the movie. He stuck out like a sore thumb! Of course, The Smurfs falls into that stereotypical place of ‘be yourself’ and ‘be kind to each other’ but this is a children’s movie so it’s nothing new. Although I have to admit, the best thing about The Smurfs is the fact that it’s better than expected and didn’t exactly try to be anything it wasn’t. It’s target audience is children aged 3-10 and it succeeded. Overall, if you are a parent, your children would love to see this movie as it would entertain them.

For me, watching The Smurfs was pretty cool because when I was a child, I used to watch the television show in the mornings before going to school. After seeing endless advertisements for the movie, I was a bit dubious as to how the movie would turn out and I was half-expecting it to be as torturous as sitting through one of those awful Seltzer and Friedburg parodies but to my surprise, it actually wasn’t bad. Okay, it’s not exactly the greatest children’s movie and there is better but considering the competition this faces a la Disney and Pixar, it’s good.

6/10

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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2

Deathly-hallows-p2-1 Director: David Yates
Writer: Steve Kloves
Producers: David Heyman/David Barron/J.K Rowling
Starring: Daniel Radcliffe/Emma Watson/Rupert Grint/Tom Felton/Alan Rickman/Julie Walters/Maggie Smith/Michael Gambon/Ralph Fiennes/Helena Bonham Carter/Jason Issacs
Year: 2011
Country: UK/US
BBFC Certification: 12
Duration: 130 minutes

It all ends here. After a very suitable and coincidental 9 and 3-quarter years, the journey of Harry Potter has finally come to an end. The story for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 is fantastic and the decision to split Deathly Hallows in half was the correct decision as both parts stay very faithful to the book, not changing or leaving a lot missed out. Not only is the story loyal to the books but it’s also gripping as well as there are quite a few scenes that will have you on the edge of your seats, especially some scenes involving Severus Snape, portrayed by Alan Rickman. The performances from the cast are fantastic and it’s very easy to say that in this movie, the acting is the best out of the lot. Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint were brilliant as their characters but the best performance has definitely got to go to Alan Rickman, who plays Severus Snape. There’s a specific scene in the movie which involves him that is guaranteed that there won’t be a dry eye in the house. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 weren’t short on special effects and believe it when you hear that the effects were very impressive from Hogwarts Castle to the creatures to the spectacular fights.

Although Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 wasn’t shot in 3D, the 3D worked very well and wasn’t underused or overused. The 3D was used in such a way that it wasn’t gimmicky where many things jumped out of the screen at you to make you remember you’re watching it in 3D but it was great to see scenes such as the Gringotts Bank scene and The Battle of Hogwarts. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 has some fantastic moments and the special effects were used brilliantly. The story has some solid moments and even some emotional scenes, which may bring a tear to your eye. The direction was fantastic as all of the scenes in the movie were very well done and you really cared about all of the characters in the movie. Overall, if you can, watch this in 3D. Many people will disagree with this and will say that it doesn’t add anything but The Battle of Hogwarts is very well done and considering Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 is post-production 3D, it’s great.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 brings the series to a fantastic end and not only that, this movie is the best out of all of them. It’s more magical, more dark and very gripping and emotional. However, be warned, this isn’t a movie to take anyone below the age of ten to see. It’s sad to see the series go after almost ten years but it’s ends on a brilliant high. Well done to all of the cast and crew, you’ve done a marvellous job on making fans happy and bringing the boy wizard to life on screen.

9/10

Anuvahood

anuvahood-poster-535x788 Director: Adam Deacon
Writer: Adam Deacon
Producers: Adam Deacon
Starring: Adam Deacon/Paul Kaye/Femi Oyeniran/Ollie Barberi/Ashley Walters/Wil Johnson
Year: 2011
Country: UK
BBFC Certification: 15
Duration: 90 minutes

Man is reviewing Anuvahood, blud, ya get me fam and trust me, it’s not good ting! (Sorry for that, that just didn’t work). So after watching Anuvahood, the first thing that runs through your mind is what you just watched because, even though it’s supposed to be a comedy, the amount of laughs it manages to get were probably two at least which, for a comedy, is not a good sign. This is Adam Deacon’s very first movie in which he writes, directs and stars in the movie and it’s something expected and way too predictable. Granted that he knows his way around urban street ‘yoof’ culture movies considering he’s been in movies such as Adulthood and Shank and he tries to create a comedy out of it but unfortunately, Sacha Baron Cohen beat him to the mark ten years ago with Ali G Indahouse. The story for Anuvahood has been done many times before and hardly offers anything new to the audience and the laughs are extremely limited. However, although the story has been done before, it’s quite a mess as one minute, it’s about one thing then the next, it’s about another. Although, in the end (the last sixty seconds of the movie), we see the message it tried to deliver clearly but through the mess of the story and the horrible characters and the unfunny scenes, it wasn’t clear. The characters were, as said above, quite horrible as there’s no personality or charm to any of them and they were all extremely shallow and very hard to like. 

The acting isn’t good at all, it’s just dire. We’ve seen him do some good performances in movies and television shows such as Kidulthood, Adulthood and Dead Set but all he ever did in this movie was shout, shout, shout and the rest of the cast did exactly the same thing. The script is a laugh but unfortunately not in the sense that Deacon intended. While it is true that this is an urban-street comedy, it will be difficult for some to understand a word that was being said. Not only that but a few of the characters talk way too fast in street slang and you wouldn’t have a clue what was being said even if you pressed the rewind button on your DVD remote and played the scene again.

All in all, the movie absolutely sucks. The trailer is a little misleading since that did actually have a couple of laughs but unfortunately, the movie is nothing like that. The trailer actually did a better job in being a comedy than the movie did! If you wanted to see the scenes that were funny in the movie, just watch the trailer considering all of the best bits are in there. If you like one-dimensional, stereotypical characters shouting at each other in street slang for 90 minutes, chances are that you’ll like this. If you do not, this isn’t the movie for you!

2/10

X-Men: First Class

xmen_first_class_ver7 Director: Matthew Vaughn
Writer: Ashley Edward Miller/Zack Stentz/Jane Goldman/Matthew Vaughn/Sheldon Turner/Bryan Singer
Producers: Gregory Goodman/Simon Kinberg/Lauren Shuler Donner/Bryan Singer
Starring: James McAvoy/Michael Fassbender/Rose Byrne/January Jones/Jennifer Lawrence/Oliver Platt/Kevin Bacon
Year: 2011
Country: US/UK
BBFC Certification: 12
Duration: 132 minutes

Mutant and proud! The X-Men live-action movies have been a huge success as comic books, as animations and as a movie series. Now, we see how the X-Men began in the prequel to the movie series, X-Men: First Class. The story is written very well as we see the characters seek acceptance from a world they think would banish them out of fear as well as the mutants coming to terms with their powers and learning how to control them. The movie is more dialogue and story and about the characters more than it is about action. The characters are fantastic as we see multiple sides to their personality from the feeling of loneliness and self-hatred to the feeling of love and acceptance of themselves and of others, which you’ll see a lot of in Beast and Mystique. When you see the action sequences in X-Men: First Class, they are brilliant as the special effects are magnificent and the action choreography is done very well.

The acting is superb from each character but mostly noticeable in James McAvoy, who plays Charles Xavier, Michael Fassbender, who plays Eric Lehnsherr, Jennifer Lawrence, who plays the lovely Mystique and Nicholas Hoult, who plays as Beast. X-Men: First Class is a fantastic superhero prequel that manages to fit in the timeline of the other X-Men movies and it manages to tell it’s story well and make it relatable to real life as well as make you care very much about the characters. Overall, this movie is actually first class and is the best I movie out of the entire series.

This might be one of the best superhero movies to have ever been made since The Dark Knight. X-Men: First Class caters for everybody and also has the kind of story that is emotionally relatable to real life. Everything, from the script to the characters, is written very well with love and care and it shows through this movie. James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence and Nicholas Hoult as well as the rest of the cast do a fantastic job in playing their characters and bringing them to life. X-Men fans will love this addition to the series and for those who want to get into X-Men and haven’t seen any of the movies can watch this first as this is a prequel to the movie series.

8/10

My Soul To Take

My_Soul_to_Take_movie_poster Director: Wes Craven
Writer: Wes Craven
Producers: Wes Craven/Iya Labunka/Anthony Katagas
Starring: Max Thieriot/Denzel Whitaker/Raul Esparza/Shareeka Epps
Year: 2010
Country: US
BBFC Certification: 15
Duration: 107 minutes

Wes Craven has written and directed some memorable horror movies in his time that include the infamous Scream and A Nightmare on Elm Street series as well as The Hills Have Eyes and The Last House on the Left so what is there to be said about My Soul To Take? Wes Craven has penned and directed this movie and it’s quite possibly the laziest horror movie of the year. The reason why this is is because Craven takes his own ideas from Scream and A Nightmare on Elm Street, mixes them and puts them into My Soul To Take with a change of story and characters. There were so many elements taken from both of them, it was difficult to keep up with them. The idea of the souls of the victims residing in one person was done in several A Nightmare on Elm Street movies but mostly in A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: Dream Master and the idea of some knife-wielding crazy person killing a bunch of friends one-by-one and trying to justify it with some crazy motive reminds you so much of Scream. Not only that but there are a few scenes that very strongly reminded you of some of the scenes in A Nightmare on Elm Street and Scream such as the dialogue or the places or even the characters. The story at the start was a little interesting as it started out like an urban legend of some kind but as soon as the story skipped sixteen years later, it went downhill from there and fast! The story started to become bland, repetitive, pointless and quite boring and once you get to the big reveal, you’ll laugh as it’s not believable in the slightest.

The story to My Soul To Take might have been bad but the characters were even worse as they ironically fit the movie title perfectly. Devoid of life or even a soul to take in the first place, the characters walk around with no personality whatsoever as all of them, yes all of them, fit into a stereotypical category. We have the strange, emo teenager as the main character, his sister who’s queen bitch and her two cronies who follow her about, a geeky best friend, a sex-mad jock who is also a bully and a very religious teenager who does nothing but preach and pray. Okay, maybe the last one isn’t commonly seen in movies but all of them have no personality or any good qualities about them and nobody cared what happened to them. What’s worse is that the movie has a killer that just runs around killing people for no good reason. Unbelievably, Wes Craven writes and directs this and it’s not his usual standard of work like Scream or A Nightmare On Elm Street as the script was messy, the characters were lifeless and the story made no sense. The movie had a good idea but unfortunately it was very poorly executed.

My Soul To Take is possibly the worst horror movie of the year and definitely amongst the worst of Craven’s work. From start to finish, there were a lot of plot holes and there was no character development to be seen anywhere, none of them were likeable. The story held some sort of promise in the first five to ten minutes but soon after, it started to become a joke, the dialogue was just bad and the timing was way off making the movie more boring, making you not care about anything to do with the movie towards the end. Overall, My Soul To Take isn’t scary and isn’t thrilling but it is unintentionally funny in some places. I imagine that if I paid to see this in 3D, I would be disappointed. Wes Craven does have some good points in his career but this movie isn’t one of them. While it might have been fun for the cast and crew to make My Soul To Take, it wasn’t fun to watch.

2/10