Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London - The Making of Harry Potter


"The stories we love best do live in us forever. So, whether you come back by page or by the big screen, Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home." - JK Rowling

A few days ago Amateur Reviews were lucky enough to go to the Harry Potter Tour at Leavesden studios! I suppose in some respects this post could be seen as a review but it’s mainly to share the magic with all you readers in case you decide you want to go! There are some things I will endeavour to not give away as there are moments which should not to ruined, however if you want to attend the studios completely unawares, it’s probably best if you do not read any further. Consider that the spoiler alert disclaimer!
 
The outside of the studios on arrival

The Chosen One's handprints which were surprisingly small
There will be a link to the Warner Bros. website where tickets can be purchased at the end of this post. There are two types of individual tickets on offer: a single admission or the Complete Studio Tour Package! Amateur Reviews would strongly recommend the package because not only do you get an audio/visual guide (narrated by none other than Tom Felton), you also get a Souvenir Guide which is well worth it!
The official merchandise store feels like part of the tour in itself! Seeing Chocolate Frogs and Every Flavoured Beans to buy for real is extremely surreal. The range of House merch is extensive and of extremely good quality. Whether you want to buy a replica staff belonging to Mad Eye Moody, or a simple postcard, there’s something for everyone.
 
The confectionary goods area of the store

Honey Duke's sweets

Wouldn't much fancy getting an ear wax flavoured one...
For the most part the tour is self guided and photo opportunities are permitted pretty much everywhere! Throughout the tour there is no hurry at any of the stops and it’s lovely to be able to take your time looking at everything, because believe me, there is a lot to see! Here’s just a taste of what sets are on display in the first soundstage…
 
The infamous cupboard under the stairs!

The Great Hall

Two of Hogwarts' great headmasters

Dumbledore's office - but can anyone remember the password?

The Gryffindor Common Room

Potions!

The statue in the Minstry of Magic

Ministry of Magic atrium
From this point the tour proceeded outside to what’s known as ‘the backlot’. Here you could purchase a glass of butter beer from one of only two places in the world (the other being Orlando, FL)! Also here you can see some of the famous vehicles from the film including The Knight Bus. Ever wanted to knock on the door of Number 4 Privet Drive? Well now you can! And to make matters even more surreal, it’s right next door to Lily and James’ house at Godric’s Hollow!
You will never forget your first sip!

Hogwarts bridge

Privet Drive!

Harry's old house

All Destinations (nothing underwater)
 
Next up on the tour was a prop department which included loads of prosthetics and some of the Wizarding World’s most famous animals! Buckbeak and Aragog are notable highlights. From here visitors can have the magical experience of walking up and down Diagon Alley past Fred and George’s joke shop and Gringott’s to name but a few of the attractions. The attention to detail is utterly spectacular and you feel like Harry did on his first trip there: in awe. One of the final stops on the tour is a walk around a colossal scale model of the school complete with working lights and door hinges. To say this moment is breathtaking would be an understatement.
 
Diagon Alley

Need some Galleons?


 

So this concludes what has been a very heavy text and image blog post! Always better to have too much info than not enough, right!? Well anyway, the Warner Brother’s studio tour is utterly magical for adults and children alike. If you’ve been already or are planning to, we’d love to know in a comment below!
 
Here's the link to start planning your trip!

http://amateurreviews25.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/harry-potter-studio-tour.html
Earlier in the year Amateur Reviews did a post on the opening of the tour which is also link here for all those interested.

"No story lives unless someone wants to listen." - JK Rowling
 

Friday, 24 August 2012

Winter's Bone - Review


WINTER'S BONE

 
2010

15

Directed by Debra Granik

Starring Jennifer Lawrence, Dale Dickey and John Hawkes


When her dad has jumped bail after using the family home to secure his bond, Ree Dolly (Lawrence) is forced to hunt him down. Failure to track him will result in her glassy-eyed mother, and younger siblings having to support themselves amongst the bitter and hostile Alabama woods. Contending with her relatives code of silence, proclivity for lawlessness and threats of brutality Ree unearths the real reason behind her dad’s vanishing…

Winter’s Bone is a searing example of finding beauty in the desolate. The bleak and raw setting is ever evident throughout and it seems like the community is from a less evolved age. Everything is broken, the landscape is littered with trash and the trees are barren showing no sign of spring. The backdrop’s nuances are depicted as unflinchingly as if they were Ree’s features. She’s bedraggled and tired yet while our quiet heroine goes from home to home in her search for answers, we see her unwavering spirit of survival prevail at stark contrast to everything else. The movie is cold in every sense yet Lawrence manages to portray courage and hope in amidst an uninviting setting. She is the focal part of every scene and as well as carrying the story, she also carries all the anguish and troubles beset upon her family. Debra Granik is unhurried in her approach to retelling Daniel Woodrell’s novel and the film has a considered calm to it which is refreshing.

And the bizarre thing is, Winter's Bone is largely uneventful which could be construed as boring. The bulk of the movie is occupied with the mundane aspects of day to day living for this family and Ree's relationship with her younger brother and sister. Although skinning a squirrel is impressive, a lot of the film is a sequence of activity. But it’s a compelling and strangely gripping watch as there is something intriguing in the evasiveness and realism of Winter’s Bone.

 

Rating: 8
 
 
 



Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Inception - Modern Classics

INCEPTION

2010

12A

Directed by Christopher Nolan

Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy and Joseph Gordon-Levitt

The next review in our modern classics series is Christopher Nolan's 2010 release Inception. Now it's no surprise that Amateur Reviews are a huge fan of this director's work so it seemed like high time to justify some of this immense adoration with a modern classics review. Pretty certain alot of you will have already watched this film so if you fancy leaving your opinion, it's very much appreciated. Here we go...

True inspiration is impossible to fake”. But what if that was not the case? If we said “Don’t think about elephants” we’re fairly certain you just thought of elephants. How could you claim that was your own idea when you know you were given it? Well, imagine if, when you were fast asleep, someone could delve far enough into your subconscious and plant a thought so deep that the real origin of the idea is no longer detectable. Due to Nolan’s iron curtain of secrecy, you probably knew as much about this film as you did astrophysics before going into see it, but there lies the central feature of Christopher Nolan’s offering.

If there’s one thing ‘The Matrix’ did for us, apart from bringing back leather, is that it gave way to a whole new genre of sci-fi. The type that makes you question your very existence. And although Inception is similar in that sense – it’s refreshingly original and completely unique. Take note Michael Bay: this is how you make a Hollywood Blockbuster.

Ten years ago, the idea began to germinate in Nolan’s mind, not as the sci-fi heist you’ve grow to know, but as a horror film. A decade on, we have a knotty thriller that surpasses The Prestige and even, Nolan’s successful release, Memento. Following on from his supremely victorious second instalment in the Batman trilogy, The Dark Knight, Nolan is a director well and truly at the top of his game. Naturally, there was a certain amount of trepidation surrounding the film, but rest assured, Inception did not disappoint.
Make no mistake, this is a proper film. Nolan has rejected fashionable 3D (thank God) which often makes films feel dark, gimmicky and lacking in detail. He has shunted ostentatious tracking shots and constant reliance on green screen in order to make a film based on dreams feel surprisingly real. Together with cinematographer Wally Pfister, who used a variety of frames to capture breath-taking landscapes and claustrophobic close-ups, they have achieved the extraordinary. Shot in IMAX with superb editing, flawless visual effects and Hans Zimmer’s epically intense score makes for a ridiculously immersive viewing experience.
Aesthetically stunning, the plot flitters between four layers of a dream. From the grimy, industrial city level which Nolan gave his signature tough Gotham-look, to the corporate hotel layer with its warm colour palette and soft lighting – it is easy to differentiate between them. One minute you’re in Paris, the next Mombasa and the third act transpires in a snow fortress which strongly resembles the architecture of the Geisel Library at UCSD. The difference between this film and the Bourne Trilogy is that you don’t find yourself suspending disbelief as they trot across continents. Dreams mean no boundaries, no laws of physics and plenty of creative licence.
Beneath the films complex exterior, the occasional car chase and expertly placed explosion lies a love story laced with redemption, grief and the inability to let go of those who have left us. The core of the piece is anchored by our
protagonist Cobb (DiCaprio) as the serious and introverted “Extractor” burdened with the seemingly impossible task of planting an idea in someone’s mind. His sincere performance is the glue that holds the ensemble together. As one of his finest portrayals, it's hard to imagine anyone managing to encapsulate the depth and hidden turmoil faced by Cobb as impressively as DisCaprio.

Mimicking a classic heist movie, Cobb wastes no time in quickly assembling a skilled team with characters that complement each other with chemistry and spirit to rival any strong ensemble cast. Ariadne (Page) as the young, quirky student is given the role of replacement “Architect”, but not in the traditional sense. Niftily taken from Greek mythology, her namesake was responsible for leading Theseus out of the Minotaur’s maze and her character arc shares some uncanny parallelism to our plot. Dileep Rao plays “Chemist”, funny-man and designated driver Yusuf, named after the Prophet, gifted with the ability to interpret dreams. Good luck to all the sceptics who like to pick at loop holes and flaws, because, unlike The Prestige, you won’t find any. This movie is watertight.
Cobb’s “Pointman” and sidekick is played by the indie-film staple Joseph Gordon-Levitt who is a far cry from his usual hopeless romantic. He instead exhibits some mind-bending stunts and brings an element of Bond-style panache to the film. Cillian Murphy, one of Nolan’s go-to actors, is back as Robert Fischer, the sleek heir to energy giants Fischer Morrow and the subject of the nail-biting assignment. His vulnerable and helpless representation of Fischer shows an impressive amount of versatility and proves there’s more to him and his protuberant blue eyes than the crazed Scarecrow from Batman Begins. Oscar-winning Marion Cotillard takes on Cobb’s wife and tortured soul, Mal, and provides a remarkable amount of grace and elegance to a male dominated cast. Her name translated means ‘bad’ in both French and Spanish, but of course that’s a coincidence… A stand-out performance comes from future leading man material Tom Hardy. Virtually unrecognisable from the 2008 biopic ‘Bronson’, Hardy is the actor most starved of screen time, his roguish charm and sarcastic disposition of the clandestine “Forger” Eames lights up scenes with playful wit and effortless timing.

With the backing of an international, A-list cast and one of the best directors of recent years at the helm, Inception is a dream come true for any studio and good on Warner Brothers for not padding it out and diluting the smartness with incessant shooting. The complexity of Inception is not the flaw that some reviews are jumped on; it’s what makes it successful. For a film so intricate, it is not overambitious because it would be all too easy to feel lost and left out. Nolan’s tremendous narrative skill and trademark slight of hand keeps viewers on the inside and guides them along as a member of the team. So when you see Inception, which let’s be honest, you all probably have, be prepared to debate the ending for the rest of forever. What Christopher Nolan has succeeded in creating is an immensely intelligent film that challenges the audience but isn’t self indulgent and non-accessible. Inception is outstanding and quite frankly, bloody genius. Just don’t fall asleep in the middle of it – or else you could be waking up with some “radical notions”.



The Watch - Trailer


The next comedy due to hit UK cinemas next week is The Watch. Starring Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill and Richard Ayoade, these four suburban guys start up a neighbourhood watch and end up defending earth from an alien attack.

Only time will tell if the alien edge is warranted, it seems like the film would be just as good if it was about the four men, just like The Hangover - however stay tuned for the review next week!

One things's for certain, the trailers are hilarious.

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Ted - Review

TED

2012

15

Directed by Seth MacFarlane

Starring Seth MacFarlane, Mila Kunis and Mark Wahlberg


As the result of a childhood wish, John Bennett's teddy bear, Ted, came to life and has been by John's side ever since - a friendship that's tested when Lori, John's girlfriend of four years, wants more from their relationship.

As the most original love triangle in recent years, Ted is essentially an R-rated kid’s movie between a man, a woman and a teddy bear. The premise itself is not too dissimilar to any Disney classic, with children wishing upon stars and a soothing voice over (courtesy of the wise Patrick Stewart), but give it 10 minutes and you will soon appreciate how non kid friendly Ted is. But despite the fact Ted is always smoking pot, with hookers and foul mouthed, he’s surprisingly lovable because he is a teddy bear after all.

Mila Kunis soon throws this into oblivion as the nagging girlfriend Lori, who wants John all to herself. The casting in this movie is inspired. Mark Wahlberg showcases his natural comic timing and there’s a cracking scene where he rattles off a load of white-trash girls names at break neck speed. To an untrained ear, MacFarlane and Wahlberg’s Boston accents are excellent, although given the fact that the latter was born in Boston, this is not surprising. Another cast member who has to get a mention here is Giovanni Ribisi – that guy literally has snake hips and is side-splittingly hilarious in his role as one of Ted’s fan boys.

The pop culture references are also genius. From Susan Boyle to MacFarlane’s own Family Guy there are some quality gags which are cemented truly in 2012 which makes the film even more cool and relevant. There are some brilliant cameos also, notably Ryan Reynold’s as a colleagues boyfriend, he is scary good as this part despite not speaking once. And all you Flash Gordon fans are in for a real treat!

The main criticism is that Ted seems unsure what it wants to be in the sense that ‘serious’ scenes have no place in a movie as supremely silly and crass as this. So when Wahlberg and Kunis engage in these heartfelt exchanges, the pace of the film jars and it feels a little off-kilter. But this is balanced out by the incredible CGI. It’s hard not to admire how real Ted appears, and how Wahlberg interacts with him like he is actually there.

All in all this is probably the summer’s funniest comedy, there are laughs in abundance and it’s totally original which is refreshing in a summer of sequels and poor romantic comedies. It's also exciting to see MacFarlane's first directorial debut, and given he also wrote the screenplay and acted in the movie: he is one talented man. Ted is bonkers and completely mental but most definitely worth a watch.

Rating: 7


Friday, 10 August 2012

Guest Review - The Dark Knight Rises

Amateur Reviews are quite aware of the subjective nature of film, so when a friend of the blog came to us asking to review TDKR, it seemed like a great opportunity to showcase another opinion besides our own! Harriet's review analyses the villains in great detail, and although wasn't as blown away with the film as our official review, raises some interesting points of view. As ever, a quick spolier alert, other than that - enjoy this guest review and feel free to comment!


I recently went to see the new Batman film, ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ after devoting two evenings to watching its predecessors; ‘Batman Begins’ and ‘The Dark Knight’. Needless to say, judging from the quality of the previous two films, I was extremely looking forward to watching the final instalment of this highly entertaining, and beautifully written trilogy.
I sat in the cinema, and felt the rustle of excitement as the opening screens played forward and the lights dimmed, however by the time the end credits had rolled and the cinema was light again, I didn’t feel the rush of adrenaline and wonder that I had felt after the end credits had rolled for Nolan’s previous Batman films. I would like to point out now, that this film is by no means a flop, I found the acting by the cast was stellar and it was thoroughly entertaining, not to mention my pleasure at seeing so much British talent in one film. But, for me it lacked what I usually attribute to Nolan’s films; the ability to make the highly unlikely a worrying possibility.
What I liked about Nolan’s Batman was he was realistic; he wasn’t bit by a nonexistent spider, or genetically engineered in some post-war science experiment. He was trained by a secret organisation, which is a little farfetched but at least plausible in some respects. What’s more, Bruce Wayne has the ability to be Batman, and Nolan doesn’t shy away from the fact that, you can’t just wake up one day and be a superhero, you need resources. In short, you need to be a billionaire, which Bruce Wayne is. This time round however, we see the fall of our hero, he is crippled, he is bankrupt and he is lonely. Who wants to spend three hours, watching a lonely, poor crippled man, after watching the rich, powerful, fearless superhero of films past? I know it’s a message that ‘all good things come to an end’, but still, we want action, excitement and a bit of envy that he can live out his dream, whilst we sit here wasting our money on popcorn.
On another note, we are introduced to the new villain ‘Bane’, who is played extremely well by Tom Hardy. What I enjoyed about Bane was his eloquence, eloquence which was released to Gotham City through a mask which mirrored that of a dog’s mussel and helped to reinforce the idea of Bane as a wolf like creature. It was like seeing Scar, if he was human, a desperately evil person with no understanding of pain and a target of only destruction and death. I enjoyed Bane as a villain, but not as much as Heath Ledger’s ‘Joker’.  Although Bane was articulate, which served to make his speeches ever more terrifying, it was the Joker’s plausibility which made him so creepy; his dishevelled appearance and face paint, the scars, the idea that he festered and grew in Gotham, like mould in a forgotten fridge. Whilst Bane, controlled those around him through explosions, and the threat of a bomb, the Joker gained control through manipulation of those weakest in society, through clever schemes and infiltration of society’s highest orders. It was this indifference to humanity that augmented the Joker’s psychosis, the line “some men just want to watch the world burn”, summed up entirely what drove the Joker to murder and maim those around him, plus the idea that he placed himself outside of what society valued most-money- coupled with Ledger’s brilliant performance, made the character even more terrifying and chilling.
The villain in this film is less substantial. We never really see him without his mask, so you never see the injuries which have served to make him a legend, which also make him less relatable. What’s more we never know his back story, how he came to Gotham, how he was in prison and in the end, we see him cry, which, whilst perhaps giving his character depth, completely breaks the illusion of him being a  cold and callous master criminal with little care for anyone or anything.
You are probably wondering why I have devoted almost 3/4 of this review to the villain and not to the lead, and this is because we rarely see the lead. He pops up now and then to have a fight, be angry, and be ultimately destroyed and then placed in a prison by Bane from which there is ‘no escape’ , where he builds himself up to go back for his final fight for Gotham. It was all very predictable, with a predictable twist in the end and the film spends most of its time focusing on Bane, Wayne Enterprises and the Police officers.
Ultimately, I enjoyed the film, there was some brilliant performances from all of the cast, and some hugely emotional scenes. There was lots of heart-stopping action and brilliant dialogue. However, I felt as the final instalment to what has been largely, a brilliant trilogy it was lacking that emotional element which is supposed to drive home to the audience that this is the end. There was not enough of a relationship built up between the antagonist and the protagonist for the rise of the Dark Knight to be seen as the final showdown between good and evil. The loose ends were tied up, but in a half hearted way, and there was no big tragedy that befell any of the main roles, or that let you feel like it was done, over, finished caput. It was a well made movie, that was not awarded the huge confrontation or destruction that is awarded a final instalment, instead it was awarded mystery, with the film feeling as though it was setting itself up for new plot lines and new stories to appear.
All in all, I was blown away by the ultimate production level and the cast of the film, but not by the plotline itself, which I felt lacked depth, intricacy and realism.


Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Liebster Blog Awards!


This is the third time Amateur Reviews have been nominated for the Liebster award and given the fact this was the first nomination directly related to film, it would’ve been a crime not to take part! Amateur Reviews have been nominated by the lovely Joe and Rosanne from http://rojomovie.blogspot.co.uk/ so go check out their answers to the previous round of questions! The rules are as follows:

1. Tell us 11 things about yourself
2. Answer 11 questions the blogger who awarded you asked
3. Pass the award to 11 people
4. Give them 11 questions
5. Tell them about the award
6. Don't award people who are recipients already


Here we go!

11 things about Amaya from Amateur Reviews

1) Inception is the greatest film of recent years without a doubt.

2) So naturally Christopher Nolan is my favourite director currently working.

3) The last DVD I bought was Mulholland Drive by David Lynch and I thought it was fantastic, I like him as a director anyway, but I am ashamed it took me so long to give that movie a whirl.

4) My favourite cinema treat is sweet popcorn, definitely not salt popcorn. It's got to be a big bag or else I'll have none left by the time the film starts...

5) Amateur Reviews will review every film by Tom Hardy because, well, it’s Tom Hardy.

6) My favourite books are the Millennium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson (especially The Girl Who Played With Fire) because they are utterly compelling and every single character is multifaceted.

7) And I prefer the American Girl with the Dragon Tattoo to the Swedish one, controversial I know but the cinematography and opening credits sequence blew me away.

8) One film I love that everyone seems to hate is The Chameleon by Jean-Paul Salome – the acting in that movie is outstanding and the grimy photography shots are surprisingly classy.

9) I don’t have a favourite genre, but generally romantic comedies make me want to be sick. Namely ones like Valentines Day and He's Just Not That Into You.

10) The best superhero is Batman, because he’s not even super, he’s just a hero.

11) The film I hate that everyone seems to love is The Wrestler by Darren Aronofsky. Okay, hate's a bit strong but I would like it if someone enlightened me on what all the hype was about!


My answers

1) What's your favorite country outside of the USA to watch movies from?
Britain without a doubt, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and The Kings Speech anyone? I do like French cinema, but haven't watched enough of it to form a valid answer.

2) Name a cartoon character you had a crush on in your youth.
Fred Jones from Scooby-Doo, I knew that one way too quickly…

3) If forced to choose, do you prefer a badass chick, or a smart chick in a movie?
Preferably both like Lisbeth Salander, but if forced it would have to be badass like Hit Girl in Kick-Ass, on the grounds of it being more fun to watch.

4) Favorite exploitation film from the 70's?
This ones tough but I’ll say The Mack, it's brilliant, and I love the sound track by Willie Hutch.

5) Top 3 supporting characters of all time?
Mads Mikkelson in Casino Royale, Christophe Waltz in Inglourious Basterds and Tatum O’Neal in Paper Moon.

6) What was your favorite movie kill of all time?
As I have just mentioned Inglourious Basterds above, it has to be the moment in the basement tavern when Hugo Stiglitz kills Dieter Hellstrom, the definition of badass.

7) You and 1 movie character are in a western up against a gang of outlaws. Who you got?
Paul Newman or Robert Redford from Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid! But Butch at a push!

8) Name 3 movies you are embarrassed to own?
Only 3? Trespass, Jonah Hex and The Roommate… And it’s not necessarily the fact I am embarrassed to own them, it’s more the fact I'm embarrassed I spent money on them…

9) Which big time actor/actress, in your opinion, has the LEAST amount of talent?
Rachael McAdams would be the number one, she is the same and so one-note in everything. And are we calling Megan Fox big time? Either way, she’s pretty bad.

10) Describe your perfect stay-at-home movie night?

Pizza takeaway and a random independent film, just put one on and have a nice surprise if it stuns.

11) If you could co-direct a film with another director, who would it be and why?

This one will come as no surprise, Christopher Nolan. I love how he manages to get away with making challenging movies which don’t placate the audience, yet his films still get wide release and mass reception. Plus his films look marvellous and his casts are wonderful.
I nominate:






http://watch-a-lot.blogspot.co.uk/

(If anyone else wants a nomination, comment and I will tag you in the post!)

Here are my 11 questions I would like my 11 nominees to answer!

1.      Favourite James Bond and film?

2.      What film has the best sound track ever?

3.      If you could cast one leading lady and one leading man who would they be?

4.      Which is the film you secretly love, but feel you should hate?

5.      If you had the casting vote at the last Academy Awards, which film would you have win best picture?

6.      Who would you chose to play you in a biopic of your life?

7.      What is your favourite movie scene of all time?

8.      In your opinion, who is the most overrated director ever?

9.      Harry Potter or Lord of The Rings?

10.  If you could only ever watch comedies or action films for the rest of you life which would it be?

11.  What was the last movie that made you cry?


Sunday, 5 August 2012

Soul Surfer - Review


SOUL SURFER


2011


PG


Directed by Sean McNamara


Starring AnnaSophia Robb, Dennis Quaid, Helen Hunt


Soul Surfer retells the emotive story of how teen surfer Bethany Hamilton tragically lost her arm in a shark attack but continued to realise her dreams and come to terms with her new life. This has got to be one of the most kid friendly inspirational biopics of recent years. But that’s exactly it, it’s kid friendly. The film tows every single cliché imaginable (including the mandatory training montage) which comes across a little insincere and cheesy. Sadly, all this hamming up in the movie detracts from what could be a very powerful biopic. Bethany Hamilton’s story and spirit is more interesting than the actual movie of it.

As well as this, the CGI leaves a lot to be desired. In short, you can see which waves are real and which are computer generated etc, but that’s a minor quibble because Soul Surfer probably didn’t profess to be technically excellent. The acting is fine, there are some quite moving moments, and the soundtrack is absolutely spot on.

It’s moving at times, truly inspirational and is all round feel-good. As well as this, the stunning shots of Hawaii and its beaches are very beautiful too. This is not a bad film (and it would be great for children), but doesn’t quite hit the mark in the same way that something like 127 Hours does.

Rating: 4



Thursday, 2 August 2012

Attack The Block - Review

ATTACK THE BLOCK

2011

15

Directed by Joe Cornish



Getting straight to the point, Joe Cornish’s first foray into film directing is absolutely inspired. His movie chronicles a teen gang in South London who have to defend their block from an alien invasion. Now this plot doesn’t sound too enthralling actually, but this film needs to be seen! It’s young, cool and very funny. You can definitely tell the producers of Shaun Of The Dead and Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World have turned their hand to this: so if you like any of the above, you'll love this!

As you’ve probably guessed, Amateur Reviews don’t really entertain alien movies, but we do like films about people. And that’s pretty much what Attack The Block is first and foremost. The gang is comprised of half a dozen or so teens who are brimming with attitude and all have their own hilarious personalities. Notably, leading man Moses is played by John Boyega and he most definitely has a face for the movies, there's so much young talent in this film. Other highlights are Alex Esmail and Luke Treadaway who play Pest and Brewis, polar opposites who find they have one thing in common and are seriously funny together. Cornish has captured the South London teen sociolect and enhanced it to the max, also the soundtrack is very cool.

This film is less about the aliens and more about how a mixed bag of people pull together in a pretty hostile situation. It has it’s touching moments, is terribly entertaining and very fun. This film will make you want to be a kid all over again. In a weird way, Attack The Block is like a cooler version of Super 8 on a much, much tighter budget. At a modest 88 minute running time it's expertly paced and you are thrown into the madness and it doesn’t let up until the credits roll.

Attack The Block is probably in the realm of cult classic, it is immensely quotable, heart warming and ridiculously exciting. You may not like the sound of alien films, but honestly, give it a go, this one’s special.

Rating: 7.5








Skyfall - Trailer


Apologies for the delay in blogging about the first trailer for Daniel Craig’s third James Bond movie Skyfall, it seems Amateur Reviews were too preoccupied watching the Olympics and listening to Wiz Khalifa…

If the action packed trailer is anything to go by, this instalment looks utterly explosive. In the trailer we see 007 faking his own death, getting to grips with some insane gadgets and stunning bond girls. There have been a few mumblings criticising villain Javier Bardem’s blonde crop, it appears these people learned nothing from No Country For Old Men: even with a ridiculous haircut, he’s not a man you’d want to trifle with.

It’s highly probable that you have all seen the trailer in question by now, but in any case, here it is!


Skyfall will be hitting cinemas in November so until then, keep it Amateur Reviews for the news!

Have your say - Ultimate favourite Bond? Amateur Reviews has to say Pierce Brosnen, but a fellow film fan who is a staunch fan of Roger Moore said he would be the ultimate Bond "at a push"! They also provided a Fun Roger Fact for you all... He was scared of guns so when he shot them he flinched!