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The Wolf Of Wall Street Review

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Leonardo DiCaprio despite being very famous and rich often gets so much stick. People often overlook the fact that he is a great actor. He has given loads of great performances over the years and  now he has reunited with director Martin Scorsese to make The Wolf of Wall Street. It may shock many people after watching the movie that this is based on a true story and if you Google Jordan Belfort you can find interesting and shocking interviews about the time he was on wall street.

First of all I will say that this is an odd film for Scorsese to make. Recently he made Hugo which was a children’s film and The Wolf of Wall Street is far more adult but it seems to have a very different tone from his other films. I did question if Scorsese was the best choice of director for this project but he does a great job regardless of what I think. Scorsese is a great director and he has the influence and the fame to do what he wants. A criticism of the film is that it is long running at 179 minutes and Scorsese allegedly had editing issues to cut it down to that. The length is an issue with this film in my opinion, some claim that it flies by but despite the film being entertaining I do think people are very aware of the time passing as they watch it. I do think the film is really well made and I would go as far to say this is an iconic piece of cinema. However the opening of the film which includes Photoshopped images and the visual effects seem very sloppy and unfinished. Some people may think it looks great but during the boat scene I could tell that all of it was visual effects.

DiCaprio really throws himself into the role of Jordan Belfort and the fact that he was able to use Belfort’s book as well as the person himself for research the role is really genuine. Despite some really crude and extreme scenes this may be one if not the best performance DiCaprio has ever given. I know DiCaprio is a really good actor but I am suprised at how much of this role he embodied. Belfort does break the fourth wall in the film and narrates a great deal of it which I don’t think was the best thing to do. It works out at the end as it appears

The supporting cast is also great, Jonah Hill has really changed as an actor and really delivers in this film. Hill started off in comedies and despite this being a dark comedy it is a more serious film than people think. Like the Golden Globes class this film as a comedy. Jon Bernthal also gives a great performance but I felt he was underused a great deal. Jean Dujardin also has a small role in the film and it is good to see him in bigger films after having done nothing that noteworthy after winning an oscar for The Artist. Rob Reiner also has a small role as Belfort’s father. Margot Robbie who plays Belfort’s wife in this in my opinion is a weak point. I did not think she ruined the film but I felt she was nothing special. That may be jsut because she is not really the focus of the movie but as I said Jon Bernthal and Jean Dujardin have small roles but they are more rememberable than her.  I am sure that this film will allow Robbie to have a greater career and well done to her.

Overall this is a solid film with a great director, a great story, a great ensemble and a great leading man. DiCaprio also picked up a Golden Globe for this role and may even go on to get an Oscar nomination and maybe even a win. However it seems that the academy awards hate him for some reason but we just need to wait and see. I do think that the length of the film will put people off and cause many people to wait for it to be released on DVD and Blu Ray. If you don’t mind sitting in the cinema for over 3 hours as there will be adverts check out this film.

8/10

What did you think of the film? Please comment below and thanks for reading.

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Golden Globe Winners 2014

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So another year to wait for the golden globes 2014 but the awards season from this year is far from over. The Oscars is the big award show the one that people deem that matters but the nominations are not even out yet. The oscar nominations will be announced in a few days and the award show will take place on March 2nd which is very late this year. Anyway last nights awards have caused a stir in my opinion but I am glad that it has. People seem to be upset about the winners and the nominees so far and this makes me look forward to he oscars as I don’t think the people who won at the golden globes will necessarily win at the oscars. I was surprised to see that Chiwetel Ejiofor and Michael Fassbender lose out to Matthew McConaughy and Jared Leto. I do think awards shows are strange as 12 Years a Slave won best Drama but the actors did not win. If it was voted best film surely it should triumph  in all categories. It missed out on everything except best drama. I still predict that 12 Years a Slave will do well at the Baftas and I reckon at the oscars it may clean up as well.

I was also surprised to see Jennifer Lawrence win as I felt her role in American Hustle was very underwhelming. I do like her a lot but if she goes on to win an oscar this year she will just become the next Meryl Streep who gets nominated for the sake of a nomination rather than actually being one of the best roles. DiCaprio won for best actor in a comedy and took a jab at the Hollywood foregin press by joking about his fellow comedians who were nominated. Unfortunately I think DiCaprio may miss out on an oscar nomination and I feel that even if he picks up a nomination he will not win. So far in the film awards it is interesting and this may be one of the best awards seasons in years as it doesn’t seem to be predictable.

Bryan Cranston rightly won for his role of Walter White in Breaking Bad and the show itself won for best drama. This was a really fitting send out for the show. So many people were impressed by Breaking Bad and having Cranston win was predictable but it was what everyone including myself wanted. It was also good to see Robin Wright win for House of Cards which is due to return on Netflix in February.

Here is the full list of winners.

DRAMA

Winner: 12 Years a Slave

MUSICAL OR COMEDY

Winner: American Hustle

ACTOR IN A DRAMA

Winner: Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club as Ron Woodroof)

ACTRESS IN A DRAMA

Winner: Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine as Jasmine Francis)

ACTOR IN A MUSICAL OR COMEDY

Winner: Leonardo DiCaprio (The Wolf of Wall Street as Jordan Belfort)

ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL OR COMEDY

Winner: Amy Adams (American Hustle as Sydney Prosser)

SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA, MUSICAL OR COMEDY

Winner: Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club as Rayon)

SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA, MUSICAL OR COMEDY

Winner: Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle as Rosalyn Rosenfeld)

DIRECTOR

Winner: Alfonso Cuarón (Gravity)

SCREENPLAY

Winner: Spike Jonze (Her)

ORIGINAL SCORE

Winner: Alex Ebert (All Is Lost)

ORIGINAL SONG

Winner: Ordinary Love by U2 and Danger Mouse (Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom)

ANIMATED FILM

Winner: Frozen

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

Winner: The Great Beauty

TELEVISION

DRAMA SERIES

Winner: Breaking Bad

MUSICAL OR COMEDY SERIES

Winner: Brooklyn Nine-Nine

ACTOR, DRAMA SERIES

Winner: Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad as Walter White)

ACTRESS, DRAMA SERIES

Winner: Robin Wright (House of Cards as Claire Underwood)

ACTOR, MUSICAL OR COMEDY SERIES

Winner: Andy Samberg (Brooklyn Nine-Nine as Jake Peralta)

ACTRESS, MUSICAL OR COMEDY SERIES

Winner: Amy Poehler (Parks and Recreation as Leslie Knope)

ACTOR, MINISERIES OR TV FILM

Winner: Michael Douglas (Behind the Candelabra as Liberace)

ACTRESS, MINISERIES OR TV FILM

Winner: Elisabeth Moss (Top of the Lake as Robin Griffin)

SUPPORTING ACTOR

Winner: Jon Voight (Ray Donovan as Mickey Donovan)

SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Winner: Jacqueline Bisset (Dancing on the Edge as Lady Livinia Cremone)

MINISERIES OR TV FILM

Winner: Behind the Candelabra

Tarantino Next Film ‘The Hateful Eight’

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People are excited to hear that Tarantino will be writing and directing a new western called The Hateful Eight. With the critical and financial success of Django Unchained it is not a surprise that his next film would be another western. Django Uncahined is Tarantino’s highest grossing film to date. It may be premature to talk about this as it may fall through but I hope it doesn’t. Django Unchained was a really great film and I think that Tarantino will be able to deliver another great film. I do also think that this could allow Tarantino to make improvements. Django Unchained did have Taratino’s style stamped all over it but I would like to see him go a bit easier on his style and make a western that is more conventional. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens though.

Nothing in this project is a fact yet but the early rumors state that Christoph Waltz and Bruce Dern will star in the film having roles written specifically for them. The rumors also speculate that the film will shoot this summer. People are disappointed that Tarantino will not be working on Kill Bill Volume 3, however I would rather see an original film rather than a sequel to a film series that I felt had a definitive ending. The title of the film also suggests that it is a reference to the 60s film The Magnificent Seven.

I assume the film will come out in 2015 but we may have to wait a bit longer  as the film currently has no studio or distributor backing it. I also hope that this film will see Tarantino reunite with Tim Roth who he has collaborated with before but not in recent years.

Are you excited about this announcement? Let me know what you think by commenting below.

Thanks for reading.

 

American Hustle Review

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American Hustle has already received a great deal of attention from the big awards and I predict that it will pick up a fair amount of awards. The film rightly receives attention for being a great film. This does have the elements of an art house film but at times it is highly entertaining at parts. The film follows Irving Rosefeld (Christian Bale) a con artist and his partner in crime Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams) who are swooped up by the FBI agent Richie DiMasso (Bradley Cooper) and asked to aid the government in bringing down corrupt politicians. The story starts with an attempt to catch Mayor Carmine Polito (Jeremy Renner) to capture him taking a bribe. When the opportunity presents itself DiMasso wants to go after higher up officials.

This film does have a great cast and they all work really well together. Bale and Adams had previously worked together on The Fighter and Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence previously worked together on Silver Linings Playbook which were both directed by David O.Russell. It seems that O. Russell has a good relationship with his actors that he can collaborate with them on many different movies. O.Russell is known for having a temper on set but it seems that in his recent films the actors and crew he works with work with him well and he has no need to lose his temper. From a directing point of view O.Russell seems very skilled in his craft and his other films have really brought him into a new light as a filmmaker. I do very much look forward to what he will do next.

The film also features a cameo from Robert De Niro who plays a mob boss named Victor Tellegio and Louis C.K gives a decent performance as Richie DiMasso’s supervisor. Despite these two having small roles in the film their performances are really great and they did really stick out to me. I do think that Bale, Cooper, Adams and Renner really deliver in this film and I am glad to see that they all except Renner have received nominations. Lawrence have received nominations for awards for her role as Rosalyn Rosenfeld, however I did not think her role in this was anything special. I know she is loved by many people and I do like her other work as well but I felt her performance really lacked when compared to the other actors in the film.

One criticism I do have with the film is that it is not consistently entertaining. For me entertainment is really important when watching a film. Art can be fun despite what some people say. The film is interesting when it is not entertaining though but I would rather it consistently delivered. The first part of the film is a lot less entertaining than the second half of the film but that does not mean any of the film is bad. With the mix of great performances, great story and great film making this film is well crafted and is a must see film.

Overall this film is a solid piece of cinema and may even be considered a modern classic. The film has so many good moments and with a great cast and crew there is no surprise that this film was successful. I am sure this will pick up a few awards when the time comes and with such an excellent cast this will continue to have financial success. Although some moments are duller and less interesting than others the film is defiantly worth checking out. As always I fear that the film will be lost on the larger audience but with a cast of A list actors I am sure people will check this out and will struggle to hate this.

8/10

What did you think of the film? Please comment below and thanks for reading.

House Of Cards Season 2 Trailer

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2014 is going to be a good year I hope. One thing to look forward to is season 2 of House of Cards. For those of you who don’t know House of Cards is an exclusive Netflix show which has started the original content production for Netflix. Netflix is going to continue to produce original content as long as it has the money. I do think that original content for a streaming website is great as it makes the shows it produces special. I really look forward to seeing season 2 of House of Cards which will have every episode ready to stream on February 14th.

Releasing all episodes at once is good as it allows people to watch episodes back to back as if they already had the DVD box set but it may upset others as we have to wait another year after February 14th before season 3. At this time I don’t know if there will be a season 3 but I have no reason to think there wont be.

The trailer itself picks up with Frank Underwood played by Kevin Spacey assuming the office of Vice-president of the United States. However his actions do have consequences and it seems that some of his questionable choices of how he rose to power will come forward. Watch the trailer for yourself and see what you think. I certainly recommend anyone to watch season one of House of Cards before taking season 2 on as it will make more sense. You still have plenty of time to watch all the episodes before season 2 airs.

What do you think of the trailer? Please comment below and thanks for reading.

Iron Man 3 Review

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The Marvel Cinematic Universe started with Iron Man back in 2008 and led the The Avengers which is the highest grossing film of all time. Robert Downey Jr has brought Tony Stark to life and there is no doubt that people love this character so much. Robert Downey Jr has portrayed Tony Stark 5 times including a brief cameo in The Incredible Hulk and will reprise the role in Avengers: Age Of Ultron. Something has surprised me about the standalone Iron Man films. People love the character of Tony Stark but find the films a bit rubbish. I did think Iron Man was good and I think the series is decent but they are not without its flaws. Iron Man 3 for me has a great many flaws which  I will discuss.

First of all Tony Stark is an eccentric billionaire, playboy. philanthropist and is a narcissist and overly arrogant. Iron Man 3 went for a much darker tone similar to what Christopher Nolan did with his Batman trilogy. I do think this was a mistake to make Tony Stark a darker and weary character. I think Marvel have lighter tones to their films and have a great deal of comic relief. Seeing someone we love suddenly become weary may be interesting for some but not for all. I think Tony is this film was too depressing and even though the film had its lighter moments it was aiming for a darker tone.

The plot for me is nothing special and seems to be not much more than a simple revenge movie. The plot does deviate quite a lot and the film is full of plot holes. I do not like discussing plot holes as frankly we are not watching real life and nothing is perfect so I can let most plot holes go. Part of the film sees Tony Stark turn up in Tennessee and the world presumes that he is dead. I feel that these scenes had no relevance whatsoever and were forced upon the audience.

One of the major issues with the film is the Mandarin plot twist. Now this is a SPOILER so if you have not seen the film or are aware of the twist then I suggest you stop reading. However I assume most people have seen this by now or at least heard about the outrage of the plot twist. Anyway, the trailers showed us that Ben Kingsley is portraying The Mandarin but after Tony and Rhodes raid his compound they discover that he is a fake and is a British actor who is working for the real villain Alrdich Killian played by Guy Pearce. I guess it was an interesting plot choice but I was really upset that they changed the Mandarin. Killian also later claims to be the real Mandarin and sports a dragon tattoo. However there is a rumor going around that Ben Kingley is working on a short marvel film in which he plays the real Mandarin. That would be cool if it turns out to be true.

The action sequences in the film are cool and I was surprised to see them done so well with Shane Black directing as he has not directed a film of this scale before. However because of what Iron Man is some of the fight sequences seem a bit too faced paced and I feel that audiences will not get to savor how good the fights are. However I am sure fans were happy to see fight scenes in such a large scale.

I do give some credit to the film as although the other Avengers are not in the film we do not miss them. I feel that Tony Stark is interesting on his own to carry a movie and to be honest he is the main character of The Avengers films. I do think that this film gives Rhodes a lot more to do and I feel that his character was underused in both the previous Iron Man films. Don Cheadle does not steal the show but he plays an interesting contrast to Tony which I think audiences did enjoy.

Overall I do think that this film did a decent job and is no doubt entertaining. I know that die hard fans do not like it as they feel that it betrayed the original content of the comic. This is more like a sequel to The Avengers than Iron Man 2 and I suspect the  action taken by Tony at the end of the movie will lead to the events of Age Of Ultron. Until I see that I cannot really say much but I do think this film has a great deal of relevance to the next Avengers film.

6.5/10

What did you think of the film? Please comment below and thanks for reading.

Les Miserables Review

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Director Tom Hooper gave us The King’s Speech as well as the miniseries John Adams which were both fantastic. You would think that as he has directed on a large scale with historical context you would think he would be able to make a great film with Les Miserables. This is a musical film and I knew that going in but the cast and the director gave me hope watching it. I don’t think all musicals are bad but it is something that I don’t really watch because it just doesn’t appeal to me.

This is the first time a musical did live recordings of the performances. Usually they would record the soundtrack in the studio and then lip syncing on the set of the film. I did think live seeing added something but that hardly saves the film. I am glad that Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter feature and provide the much needed comic relief to the film. I think it would be too dull without something to break up the drama. I don’t think any of the cast are bad singers at all but I feel that they deliver forgettable performances. I expected a lot more from a cast of such talented actors.

I don’t like long films and if they are long they need to be interesting. I am sure this film is interesting to some but it wasn’t for me. After and hour I was checking the time. I remember joking to my friend about 20 minutes before the film was due to end that there was another hour and a half to go. He said’ You’re f**king kidding me?’ I think that proves how boring the film is. My friend had lost his sense of time and was annoyed when he thought it was no where near the end.

The film did manage to pick up some Oscar nominations and Anne Hathaway took away best supporting actress Oscar. This really was not deserved at all in my opinion. A lot of people liked her performance and think it was deserved but I felt it was too over the top at times and too subtle at other points. Also the fact that she is hardly in it makes me wonder why she got the Oscar. Even a supporting actress Oscar is too much praise in my opinion.

Hugh Jackman picked up an Oscar nomination for his role of Jean Valjean although he missed out on the win. I felt that this films only good bits had Jackman in them. It is good to see that Jackman can play an intense character other than Wolverine and he demonstrates his performance skills as well and a great deal of emotion. I don’t really know how this film could be improved at all. I know it is easy to criticize the film without giving solutions but I really have no interest in giving solutions for this film. I do appreciate that any motion picture has so much effort put into it and that is something to be proud of. But the film failed to keep me entertained but I don’t want to take away its success. Me not liking it is just my opinion.

Overall, this film does have some impressive sets and a decent cast but that cannot save the film from how dull the plot is. I don’t think fans of musicals would like this film that much either as it is so different. The film may have deeper meaning but it was lost on me because I felt the film was so boring and it was a painful experience to watch. Regretfully I have to give this a low rating. I think I am being generous but I did like Jackman’s performance but a lot more than one decent performance to save this miserable film.

4/10

What did you think of the film? Please comment below and thanks for reading.