The Shallows Review

Wanting to get back into reviews after a particularly hard day at the office shall we say I picked up my phone and decided to randomly stop on a movie that was on the many on demand services that I use. Recently added to NOW TV is The Shallows.

While probably not the best genre at the time for both my physical and mental state. Anyone that knows me knows I jump at everything and this was a movie that was guaranteed to make me jump. I put it on anyway NOW TV had it at 3 stars so I wasn’t expecting much from it.

I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by this movie, the way in which they used the threat of shark and the performance of Blake Lively was brilliant. The synopsis of the movie is a medical student has gone soul-searching after the death of her mother, and has found it in surfing but she gets attacked by a Shark and on a remote beach and has to fight for survival.

Now most movies like this, concentrate on the Shark and show off all its teeth, but this one was different. Yes you do see the teeth and it is an imposing figure of fear when you do see the animal leave the water but I felt that they didn’t over use it, they relied on the threat more than its physical presence. The major thing that came from this, was half way through it left me wondering whether this was a true story or not?

After the movie however I did a quick Google and found that it wasn’t based on any true story, and a long list of reasons’ why people weren’t happy about the movie from a Science perspective. As some of the movie and the way shark was acting has not scientific evidence. However that said if they movie has you wondering whether it’s based on a true story or not then it must be doing something right?

In conclusion if your stuck for something to watch over this festive period and have a NOW TV/Sky Cinema in the UK I would recommend checking this movie out. It’s a suspense jump scare type horror, but has the right balance and left me question whether it was a true story or not?

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Movie Review

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is as Lex Luther said “Two Gladiators going to war” or words to that effect. The concerns of seeing everything in trailers with just the sheer volume of them that had come out was a concern however the movie did not disappoint.

Batman and Superman staring off

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice with all the hype had a lot to live up to and the bar had been set quite high with some good superhero movies and shows on the small screen as well in the last couple of years. The problem is these are two highly iconic characters and working out how and when they come together and face off against each other is difficult. The major problem with the movie is the feeling of being disjointed, early on into the movie it swaps back forth from Superman (Henry Cavil) and Batman (Ben Affleck) but it does not seem to follow any coherency. Batman flashbacks go back to his parents dying and Superman’s seems to be the current rather than the past. The way that the two characters struggle with what is right and wrong though well thought out. The question though is do we really need to see Bruce Wayne’s parent story again?

The action scenes, however, are out of this world, the combination of well placed and stirring music to go along with the amazing CGI really pulled this movie together. The soundtrack has to be one of the best that has been put together in a long time as it captured every moment amplify the intensity of the action or the sadness that are felt by people at hard times. Henry Cavil has really grown into the Superman role but Ben Affleck as Batman took it to another level, getting the balance of Bruce Wayne and Batman just right. Lex Luther played by Jesse Eisenberg was another standout performance, he seems to excel in eccentric characters that have a chip on their shoulder like his depiction of Mark Zuckerberg in the social network.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice should be to see these two heroes fight each other but there was something of interest coming out of the supporting characters in the fact that the other villains that come out are Superman’s. This was interesting because although the movie did not need it, with Batman’s enemies being even more iconic is some respects would have been a good just to even up the negatives for each character.

The Verdict

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was a good movie but having had some of the shock moments spoiled by trailers such as the introduction of Wonder Woman and the reference to other DC comic heroes detracted away from the shock factor. The problem DC has is this movie is a step towards the justice league to mimic what Marvel has done with The Avengers but the franchise just isn’t there yet. The cinematic was the standout point with the acting being just on par, but at the same time this movie just didn’t seem to live up to what people expected of it, possibly down to the amount of the movie that was released in trailers, nevertheless this is still a must watch.

Hail, Caesar! Movie Review

Hail, Caesar! Is a movie that is set in the 1950s concentrated on Eddie Mannix (Josh Brolin).  Eddie is known as a “fixer” and his job is to keep all the big egos in check at a movie studio.

Eddie is surrounded by a wide variety of people that adds to the dynamic of just how difficult it is to manage these people.  The problem really becomes an issue when in the big release his main star Baird Whitlock (George Clooney) goes missing.  Baird going missing, however, doesn’t seem to be a concern for Eddie until he gets a phone call that he has actually been kidnap Eddie takes this problem seriously.  Eddie goes around trying to put the fires out, because of the press has gone wind of the fact that Baird is missing and wants to know about it.  While the interesting thing about this is both reporters are twins and one has the facts right and the other doesn’t.

Baird Whitlock as he recovers from being kidnapped

The kidnap though has an interesting undertone though with current political climate because of the kidnappers were writers but they were after a communist belief and it felt a little weird because Baird started to take some interest in their cause.  It was depicted in such a way that it was seen that Baird was being brainwashed while being invited to talk to his captives and could essentially be a tool for this group to go up against the establishment and capitalism in this case the studio.  Baird wasn’t the only focus, however, wasn’t the only movie in the making as you’d expect.  Which lead to some interesting sketches from a star-studded affair.

The acting in Hail Caesar was as good as you’d expect from a cast with Scarlett Johansson, George Clooney, Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum in just to name the household name but they story felt a little disjointed and struggled to be entertaining at times.  The few sketches that were felt like it wasn’t really relevant to the story in most respects.

Eddie neogatiating with one of his starts

The Verdict

Hail, Caesar! Is a star-studded affair with a relatively interesting storyline however the sketches just didn’t feel linked or have much relevance to the story.  The problem is although in each sketch Eddie does fix a problem and it is possible to see that he’s important and needed in the studio, that said though the stars do seem to find their own solution.  The major decision of the story Eddie finds himself trying to decide never really seems to have any other outcome.  It is a star-studded affair and enjoyable but lacks some continuity and ultimately feels like a bit of let down.

The Forest Movie Review

The Forest is based on a Forest in Japan called Aokigahara that is used in order for people to go out and commit suicide. So when Sarah Price (Natalie Dormer) finds out that her twin sister has gone missing and can tell her identical twin is in trouble she can’t help but jump on a plan to go and find her.

The build up to the entry of the forest was a little confusing with constant flashbacks to when Sarah was in the US and back to while she was traveling to Japan. So as a viewer it is difficult to follow just where in the timeline the character was. The background to the forest was well described as the build up to the entry to the forest. The Y?rei was well documented explaining that they feed of the sadness within the person in order to show them visions which tend to lead to them killing themselves and that Sarah needs to remember that what she see’s in The Forest is never what is actually there.

Sarah and Aiden with the Guide as they find there first victim

Determined to find her sister in the knowledge of these facts Sarah goes into the forest with a reporter and a guide. Where they do find her sister’s tent and the decision is then made to stay overnight and the reporter agreed to stay but the guide was dead against it. The problem that Sarah had was that there was some underlying sadness in her, that she might not have realised was there. As the forest start’s to take its grip on her she starts to turn against people helping her and the question becomes is she even going to get out of the forest alive?

The Verdict

The Forest had a story with potential with some really good acting with the material that was supplied but came up short. It was using the jump scare mentality with things jumping out at the screen but the suspense wasn’t there, they didn’t let it have long enough to build up the anticipation. This movie is worth a watch but whether it is worth a cinema trip that is questionable.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 Review


The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 2 throws the viewer straight back into the action from where Part 1 had finished Katniss is struggling to come to terms and struggle with Peeta’s actions.  Conflicted with what has just happened and the way in which she feels about him she stays away from him but doesn’t want anything to happen to him.  This is a stance that she is forced to reconsider for the war and for Peeta’s recovery.

Part 1 was the build up to the big battle and suspense was built up and built up, but Part 2 other than a few moments of suspense in the tunnels just seem to plod along with no unexpected turns.  Whether or not it’s because of the knowledge of the books but this movie was just missing something it felt a little distant and methodical in the way it reached its conclusion.

The acting was really quite good, Jennifer Lawrence seeming very subdued in this role but that seemed to be was needed.  The viewer saw her question everything she was doing and the impact that the Hunger Games had on her and the amount of people that had died because of her actions in empowering the rebellion.

Coin was the standout character, though, throughout the series she had been the leader of the rebellion and was a necessary evil in order to beat Snow and the Capital but the problem becomes that although she was an evil that was needed, as Katniss and others didn’t have he leadership qualities completely needed is she the one that should rule over Panem?

The Verdict

Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 2 was enjoyable movie and a good end to the series, however, it was questionable whether they needed to split it up because the second part just seemed to lose momentum.  It took a while to get back into the story and there wasn’t as much action in this part as was expected.  Overall it was an enjoyable series and well worth watching however the decision to split the last installment of the books might have been a bad call because it disturbed the flow the series.  Part 2 just seem to brush over main of the subplots and not actually build the connection back, for example, the love triangle that was mentioned once or twice but with no real depth or impression. Still an enjoyable movie with all that said.

Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse Review

Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse is a movie about three guys that are in high school that are Scouts and every year they have a drive for new members and it just doesn’t pay off. The disappointment of the unsuccessful drive to masked by the fact that one of them Augie on their final camp is going to get the highest reward in Scouting, but the night turns into something more important.  Can Augie, Carter and Ben save their town from a Zombie Apocalypse?

Ben, Carter and Denise trying to stay safe from Zombies

The plot isn’t all that original because it’s of three teenage boys all having issues and all living up to stereotypes Augie is the complete geek, Carter is the I want popularity and be on of the lads and Ben is in the middle.  They meet someone that works in a strip club called Denise and she wants to be known as a Cocktail Waitress, not someone that does lap dancing.  She takes a shine for Ben as he helps her with her bag and when Ben and Carter leave Augie to go back into town for a party.  She quickly teams up with them in order to survive the Zombies that are now in town.  While trying to find out where the party actually is and everything Denise helps them with their issues and the guys although they have betrayed Augie finally realise that what’s most important is their friendship.

The plot being straight forward and not very original don’t write Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse off just yet because although it’s been done before in many movies, there are many good comedy moments albeit it some of them being cringeworthy.  The action scenes were also very well put together and suspense to some of the Zombie attacks were very well done.

The whole team together trying to escape the Horde

The one really negative however was the Zombie’s themselves.  The problem with them were they weren’t very consistent.  In the beginning, they were quite fast moving which is abnormal for Zombies, and at one point one Zombie was even pole dancing but at the end there were slow moving Zombies.  Now everyone is different and has different skill sets but that isn’t the norm for Zombies and with a movie that hasn’t really got an original story line it should have stuck to the norms.

The Verdict

Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse had some huge pitfalls living up to quite a few stereotypes but, all in all, it was a solid movie with some really good laugh out loud moments.  Not a must see, but definitely a movie to consider if you want a laugh.

Spectre Movie Review

Spectre is the twenty-fourth James Bond Movie and Daniel Craig’s fourth in which they do something different.  Spectre actually brings together all the previous movies that Daniel Craig has been in Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace and Skyfall and illustrating that even James Bond can go up and find organise crime with some interesting twist and turns along the way.

Spectre starts with James being in Mexico after two men, off the books because it has been instructed by the previous M (Judi Dench).  However for the current M (Ralph Fiennes) it causes problems because not a sanction mission and MI6 being under attack by Max Denbigh (C) that is the head of the Joint Intelligence Service that insist the 00 section is old fashioned and needs to change. For this reason, M forces Q to put some tracking blood mechanism in Bond so they can track him no matter where he is.  Though Bond intends to carry on with the wishes of the previous M’s which puts Q and Moneypenny in a very awkward position.

As the Joint Intelligence agenda is pushed and looking like it’s going to win the current M realises the fate of the old ways and MI6 actually lands on the shoulders of Bond because he is the only one that can bring down the force behind the new initiative.  While this is the main plot there are some very unexpected developments throughout the movie and adds even more depth to the James Bond character.  The action scenes were really well done and the importance of James’s mission slowly built up as the story moved on.  James in the beginning just felt like he was going rogue as only James does but as the story developed it really captured how important that mission actually was.

James and Madaline Swann waiting for a lift

The Verdict

Spectre is a really enjoyable action movie.  It had slightly less action in it than other Bond movies but made up for it with twists and turns along the way.  The acting was as you would expect from such a big franchise really well done but there was no stand out performance, other than the leading roles as you would expect.  It would be a very good ending to Daniel Craig’s stint as Bond or even an end to Bond if it was needed.  Well worth a look.

The Last Witch Hunter Movie Review

The Last Witch Hunter is the latest movie done by Vin Diesel and just in time for Halloween.  The movie is centered around Kaulder (Vin Diesel) where he was part of a group of men that went Witch Hunting 800 years ago where he became immortal and from then on he has been the only thing that stood in between the humans and the witches and stopping the war between the two groups.

The Last Witch Hunter, plays on the medieval belief that Witches can bring on huge diseases mainly The Black Plague.  This was referenced early on in the movie and it was a reoccurring threat in the movie, but not the only driving force for Kaulder.  Kaulder was someone that didn’t seem to get attached to someone however what really pushes him into war for want of a better word is the death of his handler Dolan 36 (Michael Caine).  He then goes on a one-man crusade to try and find out who did the deed and to get revenge with some very interesting twist and turns as you go through the story.  The story is very well put together because Kaulder has the ability to see the world in a very black and white view, but he doesn’t and even though he has a hard time trusting people he finds help and trust in one of the most unlikely of places.  Which adds more to the character and the story.

Kaulder ready to take on the Queen

The story and plot were ok but what really made this movie is the action scenes, they were really well done and well placed. The balance between drama and action was really well done because the viewer was never really left to stop and think because of the pace of the movie, it just had the balance right.

Vin Diesel as always was really good but the stand out performance by far Rose Leslie.  The leading lady did really well even if she didn’t say “You know nothing Jon Snow”.  Not taking anything away from Elijah Wood or Michael Caine either but she was the stand out performance and made the role her own.

The Verdict

The Last Witch Hunter, is a well-paced action movie with a very strong storyline.  The performance by the cast is also really well done but even though it was a positive experience and enjoyed, it felt like something was missing.  It didn’t have that you must see movie feeling even if it was enjoyable and had no really negative points that stood out.  If you’re at a loose end and want to see something this is that movie but it’s not a must see.

The Martian Movie Review

The Martian, for me Gravity but done even better.  That is quite a bold statement because of the success that Gravity saw but for me this movie just seemed to take that sort of story and then added so much more to it.

The movie starts with a team of Astronauts that have made it to Mars and then had to evacuate because of a storm and one man gets left behind.  The reality of the whole situation hits Mark that he might not get back to civilization because of the lack of resources to sustain himself until the next scheduled mission to mars.  The team that had left him behind and are not aware that he is alive and are feeling guilty for what has happened, and NSSA are holding back that they have found that he is alive.

After some back and throwing, they finally hatch a plan to send Mark supplies and allow him more time to live on Mars behind they can get another rocket up there to bring him back.  However, Mark has already worked out that he needed to be more self-sufficient because communication was nonexistent for a bit, and he has already started to grow his own potatoes.  As you can gather though there were some more complications and not everything is smooth sailing.

I hear you ask what makes this movie better than Gravity because the balance of comedy and drama was really well done.  Every adversity that Mark met it was met with a joke, and the cinema was laughing out loud, but the drama was really well put together as well because there was also tears in the screening.  I felt that acting was top notch as well not one person let the cast down.

I would give this movie a 9/10 because the humor was matched with great drama.  I really enjoyed the movie and everyone walking away from the cinema couldn’t find a bad word to say against the movie.  I would highly recommend you go to see this movie.


Legend Movie Review

Legend the latest movie that tries to document the activities of Britains most notorious gangster The Krays and if I am honest this was a movie that I was really looking forward to.  There are multiple reasons for this one is I have some sort of fascination with the story itself and two because Tom Hardy was going to play both Ronnie and Reggie Kray and I wanted to see how they would manage the scenes where they were stood next to each other.

The story was going to be intriguing for me because everything that I have seen or read was about them when they were still alive and anyone would some common sense would accept that people like that even though behind bars could influence what was said about them.  Not only that the movies and documentaries would have had to go to them for the rights to the story and there in lies the problem.  What I found quite interesting though the story was told by the view of Frances Shea (Reggie’s wife that committed suicide) and with the new evidence to how the relationship might have been it added more intrigue.  The story although centered around Reggie specifically and the relationship between him and Frances with the way in Ron would cause problems for them, I thought the facts of the story as far as I knew it was pretty well done.  The were a few things that were left out, but it was interesting because of the fresh view on them.

As a non-Kray fan though it would seem the story was lacking in some respects because the guys that I go to the cinema with commented on how the interesting parts of the story for them was the feud with the Richardsons but it seemed over before it began and they didn’t go into enough detail about it.  However this for me was easily understandable because it was close to real life in the fact the gang got caught by the police before anything really happened.

Now onto the movie itself, I did enjoy it but couldn’t help but feel that it was a bit of mix of trying to be true to real life and making it a comedy where they made Ronnie out to be a real dumbass.  Which did annoy me a little because although he had his mental health issues and some of the attitudes were right from what I’ve read and seen so far but couldn’t help but feel they went over the top with how dull they made him out to be.  The performances, however, was really well done especially Tom Hardy, he did a really good job in this movie to play both characters.

Overall I would give Legend myself 7/8 because really enjoyed it and although the way Ronnie was portrayed was a little annoying, it wasn’t too far from what I was expecting and I would recommend it to any Kray Fan. As a non-Kray Fan, my friend gave the movie a 5/10 mainly because it didn’t have the gang warfare he was hoping I don’t think.