Tag Archives: Ian McKellen

The Hobbit : The Desolation of Smaug (2013) Film Review

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I was pleasantly surprised by The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and so I looked forward to getting this out of the DVD shop. I enjoyed it. The group continue on their journey, there is a dragon, there is lots of running and fighting and it’s good. I liked it a lot. I kind of want the journey to be over now, though. I know that there are financial reasons for releasing them one per year, but I don’t like waiting. It builds anticipation but it also builds apathy.

The Hobbit : The Desolation of Smaug was nominated for Oscars for Best Achievement in Sound Mixing, Best Achievement in Visual Effects and Best Achievement in Sound Editing.

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X-Men: The Last Stand (2006) Film Review

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The mutants are out, the whole world knows about them. Then someone comes up with a cure (source from a mutant whose power is that he strips people of their powers) and there is outrage. Some mutants want the cure and to be normal, but there is also the sinister side of things – the government will force the cure on the mutants. Plus, it will be weaponised. Oh, and the good chick who died at the end of the last film? She’s not dead. But she’s evil. Awesome.

I quite liked this film, although I didn’t like Wolverine’s attempts to be cheeky. He is brooding and, for once, I like that brooding. Don’t make him have snappy one-liners and the like. Just don’t. Oh, and there was a guy with amazing wings. Oh, and finally, how is this the last stand when there are more films to come? Stupid title for a film.

 

 

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X2 (2003) Film Review

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Magneto (Ian McKellen) is in prison, a plastic prison that he can’t control the metal bits and pieces. Stryker (Brian Cox) has turned up, a military guy who, as it happens, wants to destroy all of the mutants. He goes after Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) and his school and it is all on.

Heaps of explosions, fighting, supernatural stuff, and yet I was a bit bored. There were certainly part that were most impressive, but whatever. But everything was made better by the presence of Alan Cumming. Let’s face it, he can make anything better.

 

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X-Men (2000) Film Review

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There’s a girl, Rogue (Anna Paquin) who drains people of life, and mutants of their power. And a guy, Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) who has a skeleton made of a weird metal called Adamantium and has claws and can’t get hurt. They go to a school run by Professor Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) with tutors including Storm (Halle Berry), Jean Grey (Famke Janssen) and Cyclops (James Marsden). But, because it is a superhero film, there are the bad guys: leader Magneto (Ian McKellen), Sabretooth (Tyler Mane), Toad (Ray Park) and Mystique (Rebecca Romijn). And politics. And taking over the world. And some running and explosions.

Yup, I liked it, although perhaps it was just knowing that it is part of a series of films that made it feel like an extended television episode. Even though things were full on and exciting and life threatening and all of that, I didn’t really fire up on it. I quite liked Wolverine, loved Xavier and Magneto, Mystique was pretty awesome. Wasn’t much of a fan of the other characters, and found Cyclops just really annoying… I can’t tell if it was just because his character was treated as a main character yet portrayed in a very two-dimensional manner or if it was just because I couldn’t see his eyes. I wanted to like it more than I did. But, as always, I will keep watching. I’ve heard the more recent films are pretty darned fabulous.

 

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The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) Film Review

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Having watched the first two hobbit films, I wanted to revisit The Lord of the Rings. All I really remember is that the last film had about seven endings and drove me nuts (especially as, being such a long film, I was desperate for the loo) and that it was all pretty epic.

So this, the first one. Wow. It’s everything I remembered. Big, loud, strong, violent, funny at times, full of heart and with both Viggo Mortensen and Orlando Bloom looking more attractive than in anything before or since.

So, Frodo (Elijah Wood) has to take the evil ring to the fires of Mordor to destroy it. In this film, he joins with a bunch of humans, elves, hobbits and a troll, and (of course) Gandalf (Ian McKellen). I couldn’t recall the whole story, and so it was as exciting as the first time. I’m making this a movie marathon. Wonderful.

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring won Oscars for Best Cinemaography, Best Makeup, Best Music, Original Score and Best Effects, Visual Effects and was nominated for Best Picture, Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Ian McKellen), Best Director (Peter Jackson), Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published, Best Art Direction – Set Direction, Best Costume Design, Best Film Editing, Best Music, Original Song (May it Be) and Best Sound.

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The Golden Compass vs The Golden Compass

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The Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman

This, the first of the His Dark Materials trilogy, tells the adventurous story of Lyra, a young girl who has grown up an orphan being raised at Oxford College in a previous era. Only, it’s not – it’s a different world, a world with polar bears who wear armour and fight, with witches and where every human has a daemon – an animal representation of their soul that is spiritually joined to them and has various roles in their lives. Until one hits puberty, their daemon changes depending on the situation, but after puberty it is fixed. In Lyra’s world, children are disappearing and there are all kind of rumours. When Lyra starts investigating, she finds out more about her world and the outside world than she could imagine – including about her uncle Lord Asriel and the mysterious Mrs Coulter.

I quite liked Lyra and the depictions of the characters, but I found that as soon as problems were raised, they seemed to be solved; things just seemed to be quite convenient. I also struggled with the way he wrote the dialogue, representing Lyra’s accent – it really annoyed me. I think possibly because I didn’t feel this was how Lyra spoke, so it felt wrong. Still, despite the things I disliked about the book, I am keen on reading more, and I intend to read the next two books.

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The Golden Compass (2007) Film Review

I’m glad I’d read the book before I saw the film, because I suspect that I would not have had such an easy time following it otherwise. There is just so any elements to the story, and the book gives it time to tell the story, but the film rushes through it all. Like the book, I found the dialogue for Lyra and some of the others quite jilting.

It was a beautiful film, although some of the effects already look quite dated. Nicole Kidman was perfect for Mrs Coulter – she conveys coldness very well. It seems at this stage that there is not going to be further film adaptations made.

The Golden Compass won an Oscar for Best Achievement in Visual Effects and was nominated for Best Achievement in Art Direction.

 

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