Saturday, November 24, 2012

Movie review - Attack the Block

Tonight's movie was a bit of an interesting Sci-Fi adventure.  The movie is Attack the Block.

This film was a telling of aliens in a metropolitan setting.  I was really expecting a goofy cheesy movie with not much substance; although this film had many serious aspects.  The film had drug dealers, muggings, violent killings, and lots of bloody gore.

Attack the Block follows the lives of several people in a London city block.  We start the movie following Sam (Jodie Whittaker). Sam is walking down the street when she meets up with a gang of kids.  This gang is led by Moses, (John Boyega), they then mug Sam. Sam gets knocked to the ground and while she is down notices something streaking toward them in the sky, then it crashes into the car next to them.  Sam takes this opportunity to escape her muggers.  We quickly find out that the object is an alien and is jumps onto Moses and scratches his face.  Pissed, Moses leads the gang to hunt down and kill the alien. This is where the film starts to get really get moving.

The aliens in the film were very different from your standard movie aliens.  The gang actually makes reference to this in one scene.  They are in the park following hunting down a new alien when they spot it.  Someone says they see its eyes, we see though that this is really his teeth glowing in the dark.  The aliens were really well thought out and had a motive for their actions.

They primarily cast the movie with amateur actors and kids from the streets to adding a sense realism.  The director really wanted to portray what it was really like being on the streets today.  The acting is phenomenal, professional actors could not have played these parts any better.

Special effects were also really well done and helped to establish some drama in the scene; however the effects were never overdone.

In the end I really enjoyed this film.  Being that it was a low budget movie that did some really big things.  I would recommend it to anyone who likes Sci-Fi movies that have a few lighthearted elements.

I rate this film four smiley Mike heads, for its inventiveness and creativity.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Movie Review - Mirror Mirror

This was one very creative and inspired movie.  The film is Mirror Mirror.  A wonderful retelling of the classic.  A bit more realistic than Disney's version ever way.

Let me just start with the costumes, I am very close to someone who has done costumes for theatre and she would be very happy by this movie.  The costumes are extremely elaborate, very well designed and constructed, I can only imagine the bolts of fabric in each and every dress.  For anyone who loves period pieces simply for the costumes than stop reading this and go watch it now.

Here is a link to the video review.  My first ever post to

For those of you who wish to know a bit more about the movie I will continue.  The acting is superb and the story is fresh.  No more do we see the girl being rescued by the prince in shining armor.  One of my favorite parts of the movie is when Snow White finds the dwarves and they teach her to be a thief/bandit.  Snow gets tough and learns some really useful things.

As for the dwarves, they are very much what you would think of as dwarves in any tabletop role playing game.  They are not singing dancing folk like in the Disney tale, not these dwarves.  They are more like Robin Hood and his not so merry men.  They introduce them in a very dramatic way which allows for Snow to meet up with Prince Allcot.

Prince Allcot is played by Armie Hammer.  The prince actually has faults which makes him that much more endearing to Snow White when she first meets him.  Armie has the charisma in the role of Prince Allcot as one would expect however he also is a bit unsure of himself.  Armie brings a certain naiveté to this role as well.

 Snow White is played very aptly by Lily Collins.  Lily brings a certain strength as well as a naiveté to the role of Snow White.  You really get the feeling that Snow is growing up as you watch this film.  I think the fact that both characters are so untraveled of the world they make a perfect couple.

There are several other wonderful performances in this film as well.  One of my favorites of course Nathan Lane as Brighton the Queen's right hand man.  He is very much the bumbling idiot with a heart.  His role parallels that of Kronk in "The Emperor's New Groove."  He is asked to get rid of Snow White but instead he lets her go in the woods where she finds the dwarves.

The special effects are every bit what you would expect of a film of this magnitude.  There is a great scene when the Queen visits her special chamber and walks right through a mirror but comes out of a lake and onto a pier.  It is very much like the scene in "Labyrinth" where Davie Bowie walk up and around the edge of the platform that Sarah is standing on.  It was very well done and fun to watch.

For anyone who likes fantasy movies then you will very much enjoy this film.  It has sword fights, magic, beautiful costumes, great acting, there is nothing bad about this movie.

I rate this film five out of five smiley Mike heads for its fresh look at a much overdone classic.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Movie Review - Skyline

This is not the typical type of move that I would rent.  I remembered seeing the previews and I was a bit intrigued.  The movie is Skyline.

I can say that I was pleasantly surprised by this film.  From reading the back cover of the movie box it seemed very much like a horror film; however it really feels like much more of an action/sci-fi movie.

I tend to get really invested in films when I watch them, so I don't really like movies that have a ton of suspenseful scenes in a dark environment.  While this movie has a few of those scenes they are shot with a sense of curiosity as opposed to a sense of dread, like most horror movies.

The movie follows two main characters with a small set of supporting characters.  The two main characters are Jarrod, and Elaine who are on a vacation in Los Angeles.  They are staying with a close friend who has hit it big in the entertainment industry and lives in a penthouse apartment in the heart of the city.  This apartment serves as the setting for most of the film as we watch as the aliens start to attack.

The aliens in this film are particularly creepy.  They feed on human body parts, particularly our brains to get the energy they need to continue life and to heal themselves.  I suppose this makes them a touch like zombies since they both feed on our brains.  They give off a weird blue light that hypnotises us to come to them where they snatch us up and rip out our brains.

The special effects in this film were amazing.  They really nailed it with most of the action scenes; although there was one scene that irritated me with a fighter jet bounced over the two main characters on the roof.  Why is it we much have this scene in all of the action movies now.  I am no expert but I'm pretty sure that cars/jets do not bounce when they hit the ground.  Especially not high enough to skip over the main characters while they remain unscathed.

The acting was pretty good in this movie as well.  There were a few scenes when the main characters felt a bit wooden.  They delivered their lines well but it was unclear what emotion they were portraying.  Perhaps it was because of the alien situation of the predicament they found themselves in.

Overall if you are a fan of action/suspense films then this movie is for you.  I especially loved the ending, it left you with a bit of hope for the human species.  The whole film was written very well.  It felt very realistic for a film of its type.  The film kept me guessing all the way up to the end.  As my readers should be aware of by now that an ending makes or breaks a film for me.

I rate this film four out of five smiley Mike heads.  Being that this is not my typical type of film and the acting was a bit stiff at times I rated it a bit lower than I might have otherwise.