Mini Reviews (February 2016)

A quick overview of the new cinema releases seen in the month of February

Capture the Flag (2016)

Film Review

Living within a family of astronauts, young Mike Goldwing, an undaunted 12 year old surfer, becomes intent of breaking the family ‘curse’ and ultimately make it to the moon; a task of which both his father and grandfather failed at previously. Insistent on bringing his family closer together once again, along with his two best friends he sets off on the mission of a lifetime. Against the odds of a power-crazy billionaire, wanting to obtain moons resources for himself and ultimately destroy the flag previously situated on the moon by former explorers.

With beautifully charming graphics and visuals, this feature is a simple and other-worldly creation, appealing to younger generations. With vivid animation and brave, plucky protagonists, it’s a straightforward narrative with strong themes of family and achieving true desires, regardless of conflicting circumstances.

Overall, a pleasant film, although not outstanding or distinctive in comparison of other young appealing animations. Characters are very commonly demonstrated and portrayed, with a storyline that appears farfetched and whimsical, and not something that would be accepted in real life situations.

Capture the Flag (2016) – source: Paramount Pictures

Triple 9 (2016)

Film Review

An action triller revolving around a group of corrupt criminals ultimately blackmailed by Russian gangsters.

Asserting a formula speculating that there is no good, and there is no bad, all of which fundamentally magnifies the complications and unclear narrative that seems to present itself during the feature. Never quite sure how each character is linked or connected to the plot, each scene displays seemingly unconnected visuals, confusing the audience further.

The cast, although, is strong and undeniably appealing in their own rights. With familiar faces such as Kate Winslet bearing a thick Russian dialect, Woody Harrelson, Aaron Paul, Norman Reedus, Anthony Mackie, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Casey Afflect portraying a unexpected protagonist role. These stars grace the screen brilliantly, despite some of their unfortunate brief appearances. It’s a brilliant cast on paper, yet on screen the feature falls flat immensely.

Triple 9 (2016) – source: Open Road Films

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2016)

Film Review

Accustomed to their distressed surroundings, the Bennet sisters have grown up exposed to the horrors of the walking dead roaming their environments. Armed with weapons and an eye for putting up a fight, the girls also have the ever present pressures of having to marry and continue their accommodation in the family home. Elizabeth Bennet, opposed to the notion, refuses to comply with the perception of love and marriage. Emotions turn after meeting mysterious, outwardly pessimistic Mr Darcy, an introverted enigma manifesting as a hostile adversary for Elizabeth. As the zombie numbers increase, drastic measure and decisions must be made in the hope for survival.

An unorthodox spin to the classic romance story of Pride and Prejudice that works brilliantly well. The 19th century appearance to the film wonderfully graces the screen in a credible and pleasing manner. The costumes, set design and overall aesthetics of the characters, including the zombies is all well portrayed.

With somewhat gory action, fierce zombie slaying accompanied with unfortunate romance, this feature demonstrates an entertaining hybrid of the contemporary craze circling zombies in mediums with the historical beauty of high societies. It may not be the most ingenious or pragmatic, yet this this still succeeds in providing light-hearted contrary to the world renowned story.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2016) – source: Lionsgate

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)

Film Review

The long awaited continuation of the Sci-fi phenomenon picks up thirty years succeeding the defeat of the Galactic Empire. Rey, a resilient scavenger from the planet Jakku, stumbles upon a droid said to enclose part of a crucial, top-secret map. She then soon meets Finn, a rogue ranger that crashed landed in the desert. Together, accompanied with some familiar faces, they are encouraged into battle alongside the Resistance, fighting for peace and the subsequent knowledge to the whereabouts of Luke Skywalker.

Firstly taking into account the fact that I’m still yet to have seen the full extent of the Star Wars franchise prior to this continuation, this proved to be a enjoyable and overall captivating fantasy epic. Coupling together the nostalgic appearance of familiar characters  with the thrilling adventure through space demonstrates that even audiences that aren’t as familiar with the previous instalments can benefit from the stunning visuals, and overall exciting atmosphere.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) – source: Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture

How to be Single (2016)

Film Review

A light-hearted comedy demonstrating the joys, perils and overall livelihood of single individuals living in the wilderness of New York. Alice is newly single, deciding that her long term relationship needs to have a break. Along with new work bestie Robin, they face the ups and downs of singlehood, friendship and following your dreams.

Perhaps not the most exciting plot for a typical rom-com, yet this delivers solid entertainment and a brief laughable moments. The cast is charming, and although some of the side narratives may seem unnecessary, they still benefit towards the overall feature. Rebel Wilson continues to provide her uncensored comedic personality, Leslie Mann maintains a mature female role craving love and babies and even Dakota Johnson displays a strong protagonist character that audience members can still relate to.

How to be Single (2016) – source: Warner Bros. Pictures

Zoolander 2 (2016)

Film Review

In succession of disastrous events regarding the Derek Zoolander center for kids who can’t read good, Derek himself resides himself to solitary environments  with only the trauma concerning the death of his wife, injury of his best friend and loss of his son as company. Years following the tragic event, investigators are exploring the recent deaths of some of the world’s loved celebrities. Each bearing distinct similarities, they result to contacting Derek in hope for some assistance. Subsequently, both Derek and his former model best friend Hansel are lured back into the modelling spotlight in Rome. Together, they must once again prove themselves more than just really, really, incredibly good looking guys and conquer the sinister side of fashion and regain the love of Derek’s son.

With incredibly eccentric characters along with notoriously ridiculous scripted dialogue, this comedic sequel doesn’t fail to entertain and also provide cringe-worthy content that turns out to be so incredibly bad, it makes the overall feature to appear good. The cast is brilliant, the duo combination of Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson continues to please and the additions of Penélope Cruz and Kristen Wiig is a welcoming relish. Overall, an outlandish comedy with so many cameos, it’s almost painful. Yet despite this, it’s undeniable to accept it as an entertaining addition to the franchise.

Zoolander 2 (2016) – source: Paramount Pictures

Dad’s Army (2016)

Film Review

Paying homage to the classic TV sitcom, audiences are brought back to 1944, with the second world war in full swing. The home guard platoon, fronted by Captain Mainwaring, holds host to a mixed bunch of misfits who fumble through their roles in honour of Queen and Country. Their intentions are shifted when charming reporter Rose Winters requests to shadow the group for an article. Seemingly dubious, the platoon then detect a Nazi spy within the ranks. Dispute follows as the war exploits deepen, its then up to these eccentric individuals to step up and prevent failure.

With seemingly lack-lustre character developments and plot twists, although the design and aesthetics provide a feasible representation of the vintage period of Britain. Yet still, this seemed to lack the excitement and drive desired for a classic comedy re-boot. The characters themselves, seemingly likeable at times, still came across as particularly oblivious and especially foolish when in the presence of a flirtatious and captivating woman, characteristics that are just too obtuse to perceive as believable.

Dad’s Army (2016) – source: Universal Pictures

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