Thomasfilmblog

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Review

Posted on

Image

I actually read all three of The Hunger Games books before the first film came out and I am glad that I did. I did like the first two books a lot but Catching Fire is my favorite. I am not just saying that because I am reviewing the film. I felt the book was more interesting and I had a better vision of the world that this story is set in. I felt that this film would look great on screen. Firstly I felt that the visuals that we were going to get in this film would look far better than the first one. I always thought I would like this film and I am really glad to have seen it.

Jennifer Lawrence stars as Katniss Everdeen who has just survived The Hunger Games and is forced to support the president is controlling an uprising. Katniss feels she can not keep living a lie and despite attempts to convince people and mainly President Snow she is still causing an uprising unintentionally. Eventually Katniss is forced into the arena once again as President Snow sees no alternative in an attempt to kill her. The first part of the film follows Katniss trying to adapt to life after the games and the story of her and Peeta being forced to participate in the games once again. The second half of the film is the set piece which follows the characters fight for survival in a new arena. In the first film the arena is a forest but this time is is a tropical jungle and provides a more interesting threat as well and a more appealing sight for the audiences.

I do also think that the love triangle relationship between Katniss, Peeta and Gale is far more interesting a clear in this film. I also think that Lawrence gives a better performance as Katniss in this film. That may be because the story is more engaging but I also feel that The character has more pressure on her and therefore the performance would be more interesting as more skill is needed to portray Katniss in some intense and emotional scenes. Ill be honest the scene in the first one that featured Katniss crying over the death of Rue seems a bit put on. Where as in this film the emotion really comes out of Lawrence and the other cast members.

We do see the return of characters from the first film and introduction to some new ones. I did really like seeing Woody Harrelson has Haymitch again and I felt his role in this film was expanded from the first one and he had more depth and development to his character. I think that Donald Sutherland who plays President Snow was the perfect choice for the role and in this film he really gets to show off a darker evil side. We always know he is the bad guy but in the first film I felt his role was passive. He had a more active role in this film. A new character Johanna Mason a previous winner of The Hunger Games is forced to take place in the games again. In this she is played by Jenna Malone and even though her role was small compared to others I felt she had great presence on screen and was a really interesting character. I did think the casting of Finnick was quite poor. Sam Clafin plays the role and although I don’t think he ruined the role it was just very different from how I imagined him in the book. This is a minor issue and I am happy to let it slide.

I did feel that the length of the film was decent. Many people say it is too long and I could see it being cut by 5 or 10 minutes but it didn’t bother me. I think too long would mean it was boring and too short would have missed out a great many details that I would have wanted to see. I think the filmmakers got it right when making this film when it came to its length. A criticism of the first film was it took ages for the games to start. The games in this film started quite late on but I felt the first half of the story was interesting enough without throwing us into the action of the arena too soon. I think the first film waited too long till introducing the arena but I do think that film works fine.

I did also feel that along with a better story this film had better direction. Francis Lawrence took over from Gary Ross and Ross felt he needed more time to develop the film. I think Ross dropping out was a really good decision. Lawrence made the film more pleasing visually and something I hate in all films and something I really hated int the first film was the use of shaky cam. I don’t like the use of shaky cam and in a big budget film it seems silly to use. The Cinematography in this film was slick and clean and out did the first film. I think that Francis Lawrence is a better director than Ross. Visually the landscapes and the lighting throughout the film was a lot better. Both films had decent budgets and you can tell that this film was far better crafted than its predecessor.

Overall this is a fantastic film and although it will not be known as a cinematic great it really stands out to me as an interesting and engaging film as well as looking fantastic. Unfortunately the third book will be split into two films. I am personally not a fan of that but I can understand the reason for doing it. The main thing about this that annoys me is that there will be a large gap between part one and part two despite shooting back to back. I am glad that director Francis Lawrence is working on the other two films rather than Gary Ross as I felt this was a better film than the first one but that may just be down to the fact I liked to story of Catching Fire a lot more than the first book.

8/10

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

The Walking Dead: Indifference Review

Posted on Updated on

The-Walking-Dead-Season-4-Episode-4-Preview-Scenes

As of this week The Walking Dead has been renewed for Season 5 which is great news for fans. I don’t think that this is a big surprise though as it is clear that the show is popular and it has a large fan base who are loyal to the show. Things can change very quickly but Scott M. Gimple is the current show runner and will be the show runner for Season 5. IN the episodes we have already seen the tone of the show is better. Gimple was the show runner on the episode Clear which is a lot of peoples favorite episode from season 3. But anyway.

This weeks episode is also great. This season keeps on delivering and I am so glad this is the case. With the current show runner the audience feels like it is watching a different show entirely and that the show in question is fantastic. Not to say The Walking Dead has been bad but clearly some episodes are a lot better than others.  I am sure that is the case with most television shows. I do wonder how this can last and I am sure some episodes may slow down the pace to catch up on character development but as of yet characters are being killed off so until the time where things settle down we can keep on expecting episodes like the ones in season 4 so far. We are still getting character development from the episodes but to me it seems more focused on the characters facing the current obstacles. I do think that Carol did get a great deal of development in this episode. Also Bob a new character to season 4 got more story in this and we get to learn more about his past.

The episode opens with Rick and Carol preparing to go on a run to look for medicine. As the others have not returned back yet they are taking it upon themselves to go and look for medicine elsewhere. Before they go Carol tells Lizzie that she is going on a run as a precaution and tells her more about survival. Lizzie accidentally calls Carol mum and she is pissed that Lizzie says that. Rick investigates the area in which Karen and David are sick and we see flashbacks of Carol killing Karen and dragging out her body.

When we pick up with the others from last week they begin to search for a new vehicle as they were forced to abandon the car when they got stuck on a pile of walkers. Tyreese is washing his shirt in the river as it was covered in blood. Tyreese has lost hope because they have lost a day. He thinks that his sister and all the others will be dead from the illness. Daryl, Michonne, Tyreese and Bob continue to a small town to look for a new car.

As Carol and Rick drive to a settlement to look for supplies Carol tells him why she killed Karen and David. She says that they were suffering and she wanted to prevent them infecting the survivors with the illness.  Rick does not say anything it is clear he is conflicted. He knows Carol well and thinks that what she did is wrong but I do think he understands why she chose to do it. Carol And Rick arrive at the down looking for supplies. They enter one house and are confronted by a walker. The walker falls down the stairs and Carol quickly finishes it off. They here more noise coming from upstairs and two survivors come out offering Rick and Carol fruit.

Daryl, Michonne, Tyreese and Bob come across a cars in the bushes but they are attacked by walkers. Tyreese grabs one and does not let go. This shows that he still feels useless and wants to die. His character has been through a great deal now.

Rick and Carol meet a young couple who have been hiding in the bathroom upstairs for a few says. The guy has a dislocated shoulder and Carol is able to pop it back in place for him. The two ask where Rick and Carol are set up and Rick proceeds to ask them the three questions that they will decide if they can return with them or not. They pass the test and Rick tells them that the prison is unsafe because of the illness and he can not guarantee their safety their. They don’t mind and they offer to help Rick and Carol look for supplies before they head back to the prison. They all split up looking for the medicine.

Daryl Discovers that the battery is busted and they need to find a new one in order to get the car to start. Bob and Daryl go into a store and come across a battery. Daryl and Bob have a conversation about what happened in the supermarket. Bob says about how he wanted alcohol for when it becomes quiet. He blames himself for the death of Zack. Daryl says that he should not blame himself.

Rick and Carol search for supplies and Carol reveals to Rick that she learnt to fix a dislocated shoulder from the internet as it was easier than telling the nurse she fell down the stairs again. She talks a lot about Ed and Sofia and Rick knows she has changed completely from when they first met. Rick and Carol discover the young girls severed leg and see a few walkers eating someone who we assume is the girl. They go back to the house to meet the guy and he does not show up. They assume that he has also been killed or has just run off.

Daryl, Michonne, Tyreese and Bob arrive at the veterinary hospital and begin to look for medicine. Before going to the medicine cabinet Bob looks on the floor and is seen bent down. Later he identifies what medicines they need. Bob was a medic and knows the names of the pills that are needed. The four of them grab the medicine and leave. However they become surrounded by walkers and have to make a run for it. They escape by smashing a window and Bob nearly falls off the edge. He is trying desperately to save his back but wont let go. The others manage to pull him up and the back hits the roof and we hear a noise of a bottle. Daryl discovers that Bob has alcohol in his back and becomes furious that Bob endangered them all for a bottle of alcohol. Daryl then goes on to say he wishes that he had left Bob at the side of the road rather than bringing him to the prison.

Rick at the end reveals to Carol that he thinks her actions were wrong. He says that Karen and David may have survived but she took away that chance by killing the. Rick tells her that when he finds out and that the others also wont want her there if they find out. Carol justifies her actions saying would he do it to save Carl and Judith. Rick says he doesn’t know but he wants Carol gone. Carol says she stepped up and did something for the good of the others. She also says that no one else needs to know. Carol gives Rick her watch which she says was a gift from Ed and she should have got rid of it years ago. Carol takes another car and leaves. This is quite a shocking departure and I really did not see her leaving the show.

This episode revolves around the tension brewing up between Carol and Rick. Rick knows what she did was wrong and does not want her around Carl or Judith anymore but he appreciates he has known her for a long time. He knows Tyreese would kill Carol if he finds out so Rick suggests that she leaves. It is the best for everyone if she leaves in Rick’s eyes. She will be able to get a fresh start with a new group of people. Carol has become a stronger character and her character would be able to survive on her own. Despite her departure in this episode I do not think this will be the last we see of Carol. I find her character a lot more interesting than before and I want to see more of her now. It may be it for her but I would not be surprised if she makes an appearance in a later season or even appearing in the companion series that is in the works.

The shocking revelation of last weeks episode was that Carol killed Karen and David when she found out they were ill. As I said before I felt this was out of character but this weeks episode did explain why she did it and it made more sense for the viewer. I do think this was another solid episode with a great plot and although it was not action packed it was still very interesting to watch and I enjoyed every minute of it.

Please comment below and thanks for reading.

Here is the promo for next weeks episode ‘Internment’

X-Men: Days Of Future Past Trailer

Video Posted on

Back in July a trailer for X-Men Days Of Future Past was shown at comic con and was partially leaked. However the quality of the trailer was really poor. The trailer for this film was expected to be released on the web this month but I was expecting a different trailer to what we saw from the leaked comic con version. I am however not complaining as I am really happy to the trailer in high quality and I am able to make out all of the frames as well as new footage that was cut off from the end of the trailer that was released at comic con.

In the trailer it seems that the future X-men go to a temple somewhere. People are speculating that this will involve Apocalypse in some form which makes sense but I am not sure. It looks like the use of the temple is to send Wolverine back in time or at least his mind. Bryan Singer has said the future cast only take up 25-30% of the film so I do not think that will be enough time to introduce a major villain such as Apocalypse.

Despite what Singer said the trailer does not reflect the proportion. The footage from the trailer as well as the voice over is mainly from the future X-men. I however do not have a problem with that. This way Singer can show off footage without giving away primary plot points. Also I think by showing clips from both the future X-men and past ones, Singer is able to show the scale of the film. Singer claims this film to be a really ambitious project as the cast is so large. I for one was concerned about this when the cast went to comic con but I now have more faith in Singer to make a great film.

Wolverine is likely going to be the top billed actor for this film and despite people seem sick of Wolverine taking the lead in a film I am fine with it. I would rather see Magneto or Xavier lead but the nature of the plot does make sense for Wolverine to be the main character. Wolverine’s mind is going to be sent back in time and his character can act as a bridge between the two parallels. In the comics it was Kitty Pryde who time traveled but it makes more sense for Wolverine to go back in time as he has more experience and because of his slowed aging it would be an easier ask. From what Singer has said though I assume that Wolverine will be returned to the future rather than having to live 40 years to catch up.

Singer has described the use of time travel ‘It’s about figuring your rules and sticking to them. The principle I looked at is this theory that until an object is observed, it hasn’t really happened yet. The time-traveler whose consciousness travels through time I call The Observer, and until The Observer returns to where he traveled from, the result hasn’t occurred yet. So he can muck about in the past and it isn’t until he snaps back that the new future is set. As a result, we’re able to have parallel action, and there’s an underlying tension because there’s always that threat Wolverine’s consciousness could return and leave the world in an even darker place.’ This highlights that Wolverine will act as a bridge between the past and the future and explains a scene in the trailer.

In the trailer at the end we see young Xavier played by James MacAvoy and Older Xavier played by Patrick Stewart having a conversation with each other. I think that they will be able to communicate throughout the film. Apparently it only happens once but we will see. In the trailer we see young Xavier reading Wolverine’s mind and I assume he is still linked to his future self in some form. Because of this both young and older Xavier can speak to each other because they can read Wolverine’s mind in both the past and the future.

I am glad to see that both young and older Magneto feature in the trailer played by Michael Fassbender and Ian Mckellen. I think Magneto is one of the best characters of the series if not the best and I liked both portrayals by the two actors. It will be intresting to compare the two of them in the same film. They will not share screen time but it will be interesting to see the link between the character and see what has changed and what has stayed the same.

We also get to see the first footage of Bolivar Trask played by Peter Dinklage although there is only one shot of him in the trailer. We do see a lot of single shots of the future X-men as well. We see Iceman, Rogue, Storm, Colossus and as well as new characters. Beast and Mystique from the past X-men appear played by Nicholas Hoult and Jennifer Lawrence.

The trailer has got me excited despite I had already seen a great amount of the footage in the leaked comic con trailer but seeing it in high quality has made the difference. The film will be released in May of 2014 and I am think we may get another trailer by Christmas time or if not defiantly one early in the new year.

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

The Walking Dead: Isolation Review

Posted on

isolation7-710x400

We are only 3 episodes into Season 4 of The Walking Dead and this is looking like this could be the best season yet. I know that most shows will claim to get bigger and better each time but we all know that is not always the case. These first three episodes have really delivered. The plots of these episodes have great story, pace and character development along with plenty of action sequences which most people love.

I felt that this episode was a lot like a horror movie mixed with a whodunit. Basically we are looking for who killed Karen by burning her. This episode does contain some really gruesome moments not just from walkers but people. Many of the characters are ill and are seen coughing up blood.

The episode opens with Glenn digging graves for all the people who died from the outbreak in the cell block. We then cut to where last weeks episode left off with Tyreese discovering the bodies of David and his girlfriend Karen. They have been dragged off outside and been burnt to death. This is a really intense scene as we see how angry Tyreese gets and he even lashes out at both Rick and Daryl. Tyreese punches Rick twice in the face. Rick retaliated by beating up Tyreese and Daryl needs to pull him off of Tyreese. After this the credits role.

This was so intense and it was interesting to see Rick attack Tyreese, It is almost a shadow of the scene in Season 1 where Shane beats up Ed who is Carol’s husband. When he got out of control Shane needed to hurt him in order to protect others. Maybe Rick was simply doing this or gave Tyreese a beating in order to remind him and everyone in the prison who is the boss.

As a precaution to the illness, the sick survivors are separated into a new cell block. As the super flu continues to infect the majority of people Hershel asks that some people go to a veterinary college 50 miles away to find antibiotics. Hershel offers to go but Daryl says at some point they will need to run and they know that he wont be able to because of his leg. Glenn is seen with symptoms and is forced to go into quarantine.

Hershel takes on the role of the doctor as the real doctor is ill with the super flu. Hershel at one point goes out of the prison with Carl to find elder berries in order to make tea to relief the symptoms. Whilst out patrolling Carl is keen to kill a walker but Hershel stops him as he knows they will get away fine. Hershel then takes the responsibility to take the ill people the tea. Maggie asks him to stop but Hershel says he is happy to risk his life in order to try and save the others until antibiotics can be collected and administered. Maggie is clearly upset about the possibility of Glenn dying from the flu and does not want her father to also get infected.

Unfortunately when Hershel is giving the tea he is coughed on and blood goes on his face. Hershel was wearing a mask but takes it off when he realizes he is likely now infected with the super flu. This does mean that Hershel will likely be one of the causalities if the medicine is not administered in time. Many people think Hershel will be killed off this season but I feel that he wont be. As he has been given a fake leg in the story and this now allows the actor Scott Wilson to be more active rather than being on crutches. Also now Hershel is not on crutches he can now be more useful to the group so it is unlikely that he will be killed off but I could be wrong.

Tyreese discovers that Sasha is ill and decides to go on the medicine run with Daryl, Michonne and Bob in order to save everyone who is ill. Before he leaves with them he asks Carol to keep an eye on Sasha for him and Carol seems happy to do this but after Tyreese leaves she becomes uneasy.

Carol is seen trying to fix the water pump in order to help everyone and she is nearly killed by walkers. Rick gets angry with her and luckily saves her life in time. We also get to see Maggie in a vulnerable position and she confides in Beth her younger sister. Beth as we saw in the first episode simply expects people to die and seems less bothered by it now.

Whilst Daryl, Michonne, Bob and Tyreese are on the medicine run they get distracted by the radio as they think they hear something on it. Daryl who was driving loses control of the car as he swerves to avoid a walker. They run down a few walkers only to discover a massive heard in the road. Daryl reverses backwards and they get jammed on a pile of the walkers bodies. They decide to make a run for it although Tyreese does not exit the car immediately and becomes surrounded. Daryl, Michonne and Bob run away taking out walkers and see Tyreese surrounded by them. They continue to run.

Eventually the characters slow down and take up a defensive position and they are followed by Tyreese who survived the ordeal. I really thought that this was going to be the end for Tyreese. His character seemed to have lost the will to live and he was is a deadly situation and would not have got out alive realistically. This means that next week that Daryl, Michonne, Bob and Tyreese are going to have to make the journey to get the medicine on foot. That is going to cause some issues as they are more vulnerable and it is going to take them longer to get back so more of the ill people at the prison will die.

Rick is seen investigating the scene where Karen was burned to death and finds a hand print. Rick later approaches Carol and gives a speech about how caring she is about everyone and how she would do anything. Rick then asks her did she kill Karen. Carol simply answers yes. This was a really shocking ending.

I did feel it was unusual however I do think this action is not out of character for Carol. I don’t know what is going to happen next with this. I doubt Rick would tell Tyreese that she did it. Rick may be angry at her but he has known Carol from the beginning and in a way Rick may agree with her actions. I do think because of this shock that Tyreese will be killed off and never find out. I can’t see Tyreese killing Carol though. That is just my opinion but if Tyreese ever finds out he wont let it go.

As I have said this episode has continued to deliver and I am annoyed that we have to wait another week before more information is revealed. This episode has put some of the characters in a difficult position and we are getting to learn more and more about the new characters.

Here is the promo for next weeks episode ‘Indifference’

Justice League Movie. Will It Happen?

Posted on Updated on

Image

Studios always look to make money with big budget motion pictures which will usually make hundreds of millions if not cross the billion dollar mark. In recent years comic book movies have become popular and keep getting made. Marvel is currently in phase two of its film plan with the success  of phase one which included Iron Man, Captain America and now the highest grossing film ever Avengers Assemble. They have now moved on to Phase two which is including Iron Man 3, Guardians Of The Galaxy and Avengers 2.

DC comics and Warner Brothers also had success with Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Trilogy. With the success of its own films and the success of Avengers Warner Brothers is now developing a Justice League movie.The Justice League movie is being set up with Man Of Steel and initially Warner Brothers wanted Nolan’s Batman in the Justice League.

I am glad that Nolan’s Batman will not be in the Justice League as that version of Batman was grounded in reality and could not exist in a wider universe. I do personally think that Nolan’s version of Batman being in the Justice league would ruin the lore of the trilogy. I do think that Man of Steel was the perfect set up for the Justice League movie but now it has to be handled in the right way.

I do not think that they should make a Justice league movie for the sake of competing with the Avengers, I think that will be a big mistake and it will be far too rushed. Warner Brothers want the film out by 2015 however I reckon it wont get made until 2017 at the latest or maybe not at all. At first Zack Synder did not want his version of Superman in the Justice League and having now given in he has still said he would want a second Superman film before a Justice League movie to explore the character more.

And the way Marvel did it was to introduce all the characters in their own films first and then bring them all together. Rather than just copying this Warner Brothers and DC need to go at a slower pace before tackling the Justice League Movie. Others have said we should get a second Superman Film, a new Batman Film and then Superman and Batman should team up at first. People feel it will be too unbelievable that all these superheroes have appeared coincidentally at the same time.

Its obviously up to the studios who would fund the projects but I think rushing the film will mean less sucess at teh box office and less appeal to people who would watch the sequels. If they take it slower a Justice League movie can work but I really don’t think they will wait that long before making the movie.

What do you think? Should a Justice League Movie be released by 2015 or should the filmmakers have more time to create and explore characters? Please comment and thanks for reading.

The Hangover Part III Review

Posted on Updated on

Image

When The Hangover came out everybody loved it. Then the second one came out and people thought it was shit. I went to see Hangover Part III today and I was very surprised by it. I was simply expecting a comedy with ridiculous jokes and many repeated ones at that but I was wrong. I have to say the film was really good. Most people automatically hate sequels (The Dark Knight is an exception) and like I said I thought I would hate this to but the film really appealed to me. It was consistently funny and had a fresher more grounded story.

When I say grounded I mean we still have the crazy characters and hectic situations but the story felt far more digetic and less forced than the other two movies. I may be the only one that thinks this but the films plot could have worked as a crime thriller if the laughs were taken out. I did feel that this film had the best story in the trilogy. However despite the lasting good impression I give you readers of the film, it is far from perfect. Some moments include very cheap laughs and some cameos seem forced and add no real soul to the story. However Mike Tyson is not in this one so that is a good thing.

If you did enjoy the other Hangover films then you will love this and I hope like me this is your new favorite of the trilogy, and if you didn’t like the other films I would recommend checking this one out I don’t think you will be disappointed. To any haters of the franchise this will be the last one as it sums up the characters story arcs and the film has been pitched to us and the finale. (Never say never though)The film will not appeal to everyone who goes to see it but no film appears to the masses. Despite mixed reviews and opinion on its comedic value this is definitely a film worth checking out.

Star Wars Episode VII What to Expect

Posted on Updated on

Star Wars

So if you have been living in a cave on Tatooine for the past few months then this will be news to you. Disney has purchased Lucasfilm and they have announced sequels to the original trilogy. They will be Episode VII, VIII and IX. Disney has also announced spin off films in the works rumors of films following Boba Fett, a young Han Solo and a young Yoda. From 2015 Episode VII will be released and the following episodes will be released every two years with a spin off released in the year in between. There is a great deal of mixed opinion as to the Star Wars Sequels. Like it or not they are going to happen and they will make a lot of money.

I do have concerns with these films and so do many others but I guarantee anyone not happy about them will still see them when they hit the cinema. Many fans are still pissed off about the prequels but they have still seen them. The original trilogy was and always will be a piece of classic cinema and despite the technology and special effects being primitive at times it still holds a place in our hearts. The prequels may have had better special effects but there was no real heart or soul in the story. That and the poor acting from some cast members (Hayden Christensen) ruined the lore of the original trilogy. I don’t hate the prequels but I love the original trilogy a lot more. It had been 8 years since Episode III was released and technology has advanced even further. We just have to wait and see how the film looks in two years time and I’m sure it will look good. But do we want this though.

The primative effects of the first trilogy do hold a place in story telling. Remember special effects do not make a film. I fear that is all we will get in the next trilogy. Story telling is far more important the the effects and this may be ignored by the director JJ Abrams. Many people like JJ Abrams for rebooting Star Trek and for creating Lost. I have seen Star Trek and I will say that it is a heap of shit. JJ Abrams like Michael Bay only cares about visuals, explosions and big budgets. They have not heart or soul in the story telling side of the film. People said Star Trek was good but it was not. Sure it looks incredible but the story is basic and primative. I would rather have primative effects but a decent story than the other way round. We just have to wait and see though don’t we.

Also Disney is a billion dollar company which makes most of its profits from merchandise. If you think each film makes a lot of money that is nowhere near the same amount as the merchandise. Lucas made more money from selling Star Wars action figures than the gross of the movies. Imagine every child who sees the film once or twice, then imagine them asking their parents for the video games, the bed covers, the t-shirts, the lunch boxes, the action figures and so on. Each parent will hand over a few hundred dollars for the merchadise to buy their children whereas they may only pay up to 10 dollars to see the film. Disney is a great business and a ruthless one at that and they will keep making money. There is very little art in the business anymore and that is a real shame. I think the films need to be more story based and made because of a good script not because you can make money off the merchandise (remember the Ewoks).

Like I have said the idea of these new films upsets me but I am sure I will see them. I am not trying to get anyone to boycott the films or the merchandise I just want to share the fact that this is being made only for money and no other reason. Write a good script then make the film.