23 Sep

Avengers Assemble is so far the biggest box office ranking film of the year raking in over a billion dollars world –wide and had the highest ranking opening weekend ever. For the fans this film is somewhat of a wet dream, It has the sexiness of Black widow(Scarlett Johansson) the charisma of Iron Man(Robert Downey Jr) the precision of Hawkeye(Jeremy Renner)  a raging Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) a Demi-god Thor(Chris Hemsworth) and last but not least the stars and stripes himself Captain  America(Chris Evans).

The story starts where Captain America and Thor left off. With the Tesseratc a small cube that could potentially hold enough reusable energy to fuel the world forever and is the most desired power source in the universe. Falls into the hands of Thor villain Loki (Tom Hiddleston) he makes a bargain with the Chitari (A powerful alien race) that grants him power over a powerful army to take-over earth in exchange for the Tesseratc.  When Loki steals the Tesseratc from S.H.E.I.L.D (Strategic Hazard Intervention Espionage Logistics Directorate) they declare war and S.H.E.I.L.D start to bring together an army of their own The Avengers.

All actors are superbly cast and have made the characters their own. Imagining other actors who could do a better job is near impossible. Avengers have certainly set the bar very high for the other superhero films out this year. The Amazing Spiderman and The Dark Knight rises have a tough task ahead to wow the audiences this summer.

Side-characters Agent Phil Coulson(Clark Gregg) and Agent Maria Hill How I Met Your Mother Star (Colbie Smoulders) get  many shining moments throughout and play crucial parts in the films un-packing.

The Avengers is perfectly crafted with slamming action, spectacular special effects during sequences with Hulk and Iron man and the Chitari. Director Joss Whedon makes good use of the 3d aspect spiced with just the right hint of continuing humour from the vivacious Iron man who bounces off the other characters. Whedon did have to cut around forty-five minutes to create the final cinematic edition. Fans will no doubt be hoping for a director’s cut to appear on DVD, unfortunately Whedon has flushed those hopes into a pan of despair as he was quoted on Collider.com for saying “I believe very strongly in putting the director’s cut into the theatres.” Definitively saying there won’t be a director’s cut. But maybe along the line he’ll pull a Lucas and fans will get their three hour long version.

American Pie- Reunion

23 Sep

The American Pie gang are back and ready for another outing. Directed by Harold and Kumar get the Munchies duo Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossburg this latest instalment joins the gang at their high school reunion. Jim Levingstien (Jason Biggs) and wife Michelle (Alyson Hannigan) now have a young son and are struggling to find time to spend together, Oz is now a sports show host with a nympho young girlfriend, Kevin is married and questioning his commitment and Stifler is still trying to live it up like its 1999. The gang meet up at East great falls, the town where they all grew up and the boys wanting to prove that they can still party hard. Plan to set out for a weekend of mayhem before the reunion. Which undoubtedly leads them into all sorts of debauchery, sexual innuendos and there are many cringe worthy moments.

The fact that the entire original cast have returned for this film is a big selling point; it is also the chance to relive some old jokes and revisit some of the characters. The plot is quite relatable to the audience who watched the film the first time round as teenagers. As by now they might have their own children, or have friends who have settled and are not quite ready themselves. The film caters for the fans and newer passengers to the American Pie booze cruise, the ending is left open which hints to another sequel. The only question is what could the story be, the gang in wheel chairs? It is more likely to follow onto Jims own son’s teenage shenanigans. Such as one of the many spin-offs American pie: band camp which follows Stiflers younger brother mat and his adventures at the infamous band camp.

In keeping with true American Pie fashion the soundtrack is stellar with tracks appearing from Good Charlotte, 3OH3!, Boyz II Men, Spice Girls and Cobra Starship and all along with hilarious consequences.

In trying to keep up with the other comedies I think this film  maybe has gone a step to far in the wrong direction as seen in one scene involving a girl who Jim use to babysit who’s now a beautiful young lady. Saying this though it’s what American Pie has always been about, they’ve always pushed our standards and stomachs. This film is a pleasant trip down memory lane but it wouldn’t be as exciting the next time as all the jokes and characters have hit their peak, and getting anymore from them would be ruining the memory.

Men in Black III

23 Sep

This summer prepare for something out of this world! ‘Men in Black III’ is finally here, it has been ten years since the last sequel ‘Men in Black II’ was released. Many things have changed since then, Tommy Lee Jones has gained more wrinkles and Will Smiths ears have grown bigger but one thing stays the same, there are too many Alien invasions.

The Galaxy defenders are back and this time they’re going to get their boogie on as Agent J(Will Smith) travels back in time to the swinging sixties, to the early days at MIB headquarters to prevent the assassination of his partner Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones/ Josh Brolin).

Directed by Barry Sonnenfeld who directed the previous ‘Men in Black’ films also continued to work with Smith on ’Wild Wild West’ in 1999. ‘Men in Black III’ is the first in the ‘Men in Black’ series to be filmed in 3D. A jump that brings ‘Men in Black’ up to date but also creates many opportunities to make some exciting scenes, who wouldn’t like aliens in 3D or just Will Smith for that matter.

One thing that may have disappointed fans this time round is that the rumours that Smith would record the new ‘Men in Black’ song were in fact false. It turned out to be ‘Pitbull’ a bitter disappointment when compared to the classic songs Smith produced. This may have been an attempt to appeal to a younger generation.

The story starts when Boris an alien with a mean attitude and a serious need for a dental check-up escapes from a high security prison on the moon. Agent K arrested Boris in the 1960’s and Boris has been sore about it for nearly forty years. When Boris escapes he intends to make sure K pays for arresting him and plans to Time jump to before his arrest and assassinate K. Meanwhile agent J finds out his plan and we follow his journey back in time to save his partner. Whilst the story doesn’t sound immediately exciting , this works in its favour.

Ethan Cohen who wrote the story didn’t try to create a complex, over the top storyline. He has kept it simple with some subtle references to the story line that has continued through-out the films, the story of agent J and Ks relationship. The soundtrack was mastered by the musical genius Danny Elfman. His quirky, undeniable style is prominent and this helps bring the viewer back to the feeling and memories of the first two films. ‘Men in Black III’ should have been ‘Men in black II’ it undisputedly would have been a better sequel than the actual sequel.

This third instalment works well to wrap up the ‘Men in Black’ story whilst still leaving room for more adventures in the future.    (article was written on release)

The Civil Wars review

17 Sep

‘The Civil Wars’ are a country duo consisting of Joy Williams and John Paul White. Not heard of them? Well they already have two Grammy awards and a hit début album ‘Barton Hollow’. The pair appeared on the BBC’s Jools Holland Show in late 2011. This sparked their success in the UK and for such a new band they have already achieved so much.

They started up in 2008 after they both met in Nashville at a song-writing session. They have gone from strength to strength and are now touring a few dates across the globe; a number of those are in the UK and Europe. They have recently featured on the box office hit ‘The Hunger Games’ soundtrack singing alongside country sweetheart Taylor Swift in the song ‘Safe and Sound’.

The album ‘Barton Hollow’ was the top downloaded album on itunes the week it was released and has to date sold 419,000 copies in the USA. The album has a haunting, harmonic sound with a vintage feel about it. This is perhaps a wink to their roots, as they hail from bluesy southern Tennessee.

‘Barton Hollow’ includes twelve tracks whereas the deluxe version has a total of eighteen tracks including demos and acoustics. Their interlacing vocals carefully dance around each other and their emotion is striking. It’s no surprise most people on first impression believe they are a married couple. They are in fact married to other people, and their songs reflect their experiences with married life and love. Poetic songs like ‘To Whom It May Concern’ and ‘Poison and Wine’ show they’re softer, deep, lyrical side.

The album as a whole is very easy to have on in the background while relaxing with a glass of wine or two. Whilst the ‘Barton Hollow’ CD is beautiful it really is worth spending the extra money for the deluxe version. This version holds some really special extra tracks with acoustics and covers such as ‘I Want You Back’. ‘The Jackson 5’ might seem quite a leap for the country pair but John Paul White has expressed how during his child hood  ‘The Jackson 5’ were a big inspiration.

If country, folk and blues weren’t genres you’d ever think about listening to then give ‘Barton Hollow’ a chance you might just surprise yourself. ‘The Civil Wars’ are unique in their ability to bend genres and introduce them to a more mainstream market.

La Dispute ‘Wildlife’ album review

5 Oct

La Dispute are a tremendously unique band, with a sound really unlike any other. Due to not only the annoyingly charming voice of singer Jordan Dreyer but the poetic lyrics, stormy music and haunting melodies.  La Dispute are far from wall flowers in the music industry, they stand out as their unique sound ignites whenever you hear their music. There has been a lot of movement surrounding their name and this new album. This five piece band from Michigan,USA have gathered speed and are finally gaining the recognition they deserve.

The one thing that La Dispute are great at is momentum, the sense of something bubbling underneath, that’s going to explode violently in your ears.

Fortunately for the fans La Dispute have been streaming the album ‘Wildlife’ for free on-line, something which is quite controversial. As they have seemed to reveal their secrets all too soon, but there are rumours of a few extras when it is released on October 4th. La Dispute are a band truly about the music, they just want people to stop and listen which in this day and age is a rare thing.

La Dispute always seem to be deeply personal with their lyrics.  When listening to their songs you feel a connection like there’s an understanding and the lyrics used flow like a trail of thought. Which strike deep because the emotion shared is intense and makes for band, an album which is always there, when you need somewhere to go.

There isn’t one song that is lacking energy or a decent tune, the one thing that La Dispute are great at is momentum, the sense of something bubbling underneath, that’s going to explode violently in your ears.

It’s been three years since their last release and ‘Wildlife’ has been worth the wait, no less than excellence.

X-men: First Class a review by Tess Ingleheart

22 Jul

Finally the long awaited follow up to the popular X-men series, has hit the screens ready to make a last stand to save the credibility of the franchise. 2011 seems to be the year for marvel with three major films out this summer to treat us all. From the box office storming Thor to X-men then soon enough Captain America will be the next thing we’re queuing up for.

Directed by Matthew Vaughn (Kick-ass, Stardust and Layer cake) who has only four films under his directorial belt and it has to be said he’s not had a bad start. First class has been highly anticipated because it takes on a very different story from x-men films we have seen before. Starting before the timeline of the previous films, before Charles was Professor X and Erik was Magneto, back when mutants didn’t exist in the human world.

The story starts with the introduction of young Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and Erik Lehnsherr (Michael Fassbender) discovering they have super natural powers. Charles discovering that there are many more mutants than he ever predicted, aims to help them and start a school for mutants. But Erik is angry at the world and they way he/mutants are treated by humans and believe they will never be equals. Villain of the film Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon) is a very powerful mutant who has plans of world domination and only Charles and his new found group of x-men can stop him.

The casting is brilliant and the actors seem perfect for their characters once the film starts. The abundance of young talent in the film is great, young stars such as Nicholas Hoult, Jennifer Lawrence and Zoe Kravitz make for an exciting, fun and attractive viewing experience.

This time though the film really focuses on the story behind the x-men and mutants. Rather than before in the previous films when it was more of a showcase for special effects. First class really rounds off the x-men series. This film is a great example of 2011 line-up of fantastic summer blockbusters.s and is finally a film the fans can be proud of.


24 Apr

Rio is an endearing animated film about a macaw named Blu(Jesse Eisenberg) who has never learnt how to fly. Blu is the last male of his kind and is sent off to Rio de Janeiro to be paired with Jewel(Anne Hathaway) the last female.  But before they get a real chance to get acquainted, the two are kid-napped by a thief hoping to sell them for a fortune. Their on-coming adventure is a colourful and bright imagining, one that dazzles and humbles – the perfect Easter holiday treat for the family.

With other voice talents including the likes of Leslie Mann, Jamie Foxx, Will i am, George Lopez and Jemaine Clement Rio has a lot to offer in terms of great voice acting.

Rio is a global hit already raking in around  $200 million worldwide.

Rio is out in cinemas now, also showing in 3D.