Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Pitch Perfect 2 & The Last Five Years

Below are reviews for two films that I couldn't quite flesh out a whole review on but thought I'd put them together for anyone who was interested in reading them. 

Pitch Perfect 2 

Pitch Perfect 2 is exactly the right blend of pop and fizz that you'd want it to be. It moves fast perfectly paced with musical numbers picking things up when it slows down. The jokes keep coming thick and fast. The characters are all entertaining and likeable so you never feel bored. I don't remember much about the first Pitch Perfect but I remember it having a bit more heart. When you come out of Pitch Perfect 2 you feel like you've been intoxicated and drugged by a load of perfectly calibrated E-Numbers and whilst there's nothing wrong with that in the cinema because it's so damn watchable afterwards it all feels a bit flat. 

The Last Five Years 

The Last Five Years in an good yet flawed adaption of what seems like a strong musical the songs are absolutely terrific and the narrative technique is interesting yet ultimately the film feels very light and a bit lacking. Anna Kendrick is great and Jeremy Jordan is good but you never get over the sense that your watching a very quick run through of the songs it never pauses in order to allow us into the drama of the piece. In fact the trailer seems to sell the tension in the piece better than the film does. This isn't to say the film isn't watchable it's very enjoyable and a perfectly decent way to spend and hour and a half but afterwards you feel like maybe it would have stuck with you more if it had paced itself better and sold its big moments more.

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Tomorrowland Review

What’s the vision we’d like to hold for the future? That’s a key question Tomorrowland asks. It explicitly puts forward the idea that if we think of the future as a dystopian wasteland then that is a self fore filling prophecy. Tomorrowland  longs for a past vision of the future a vision of clean white and glass buildings and people in strange colourful outfits, the films wants us to look to the future with a wide eyed sense of optimism.

Tomorrowland opens very strong. We meet Casey (Britt Robertson). It’s clear that Casey see’s the world differently to everyone else she asks how we can stop the impending doom people talk about. Casey is frustrated about the space program being shut down so she tries to do something about it. After she get’s arrested she is started on her path to Tomorrowland. This first act is really good fun. The film roars along at an entertaining pace. It set’s up these interesting ideas about the future whilst being filled with nostalgia. There’s mystery in the form of the mysterious girl Athena and the films very engaging. The problem is the film sets up lots of thing up which we would usually expect to be resolved later on but the whole thing struggles to move forward it drags along and the majority of the film feels like a first act it then races towards a conclusion which feels like an oddly apt metaphor for the film. The characters reach Tomorrowland which all along has been set up to be some utopian wonder yet it looks more like an empty shopping center much like how the film has been asking question yet it never really answers them. In the end the conclusion is about 10 minutes of speeches with a tiny bit of cgi action. This isn’t to say it’s a bad time at the pictures because it’s an engaging piece of entertainment. The cast are great. Britt Robertson is terrific as Casey she’s highly likeable and captures the sense of enthusiasm the character needs. George Clooney plays Frank the embittered former child genius and Clooney is great in the role but you don’t get the feeling to role especially fits him it doesn’t utilize the sort of charm you might expect from Clooney. Brad Birds direction is solid as well its never the quality of The Incredibles and Ratatouille but he keeps the film moving along and manages to capture an interesting sense of time and place.

Tomorrowland is ultimately a highly enjoyable innocent action film but outside of the cinema it leaves you more confused than interested but it’s worth seeing and it’s intentions are in the right place.