Director: David Ayer
Starring: Brad Pitt, Shia Labeouf, Logan Lerman
Plot: As the Allies make their final push in the European Theatre, a battle-hardened army sergeant named Wardaddy commands a Sherman tank and five-man crew on a deadly mission behind enemy lines. Out-numbered, out-gunned, and with a rookie soldier thrust into their platoon, Wardaddy and his men face overwhelming odds in their heroic attempts to strike at the heart of Nazi Germany.
Review: It’s April 1945 and inside the last surviving tank in a graveyard full of metal carnage is Don ‘WarDaddy’ Collier (Brad Pitt), the commander of an American Sherman tank with his crew Boyd Swan (Shia Labeouf) and Grady Travis (Jon Bernthal). The tank crew head to a checkpoint where they will receive the next mission, as well as a new tank member Norman Ellison (Logan Lerman) after the loss of their previous front gunner. Norman is originally from the messenger services and has no battle experience, but that doesn’t stop him from being quickly forced into a situation he really isn’t ready for. From mission to mission, Norman struggles with the realities of war; all the while WarDaddy is just trying to get every member of his tank home. The crew of the Fury along with a couple of other tanks are sent to guard a crossroads, which could prove a turning point for the allies because if the German squad heading that way make it to the supply train, the forces could be seriously hindered. With so much on the line, can the crew of the Fury do what is needed or will it all be for nothing? The film is brilliantly presented very much in the same vain as films such as Saving Private Ryan before it — from it’s gritty display of field battle and general living to it’s dark and grey visual tones. Brad Pitt is brilliant again and easily carries the film through, but with a good supporting cast, it really is easy to watch. Due to its subject matter, it’s not a film for everyone; I really enjoyed it but I do like war films. **** 4 Stars
Director: Alexandre Aja
Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Juno Temple, Heather Graham
Plot: In the aftermath of his girlfriend’s mysterious death, a young man awakens to find strange horns sprouting from his temples.
Review: A beautiful relationship blossoms from childhood to adulthood for Ig Perrish (Daniel Radcliffe) and Merrin Williams (Juno Temple) but after one fateful night, their lives and everyone around them changes inexplicably. Ig struggles with daily life — hounded by the media and hated by pretty much everyone he knows, as well as strangers. As a distraction, he drinks heavily and takes drugs to dull his feelings. After one drunken night, he awakes to find that he is growing horns and that they have a certain control over others. With this newfound ability, as well as a need to recall what happened that night, Ig sets about finding the truth and uncovering what has been hidden all along. This has a brilliantly refreshing storyline, even though you would have come across certain aspects in other films; it is a culmination of different ideas and portrayed and filmed fantastically. It’s not a massive blockbuster film that will make millions but it is easily one of the best films of this year. Daniel Radcliffe is on great form again showing just how diverse he can be and I think easily leaving behind the mask of previous characters. With a good supporting cast from his love played by Juno Temple to David Morse as Merrin’s father Dale Williams, there really is no shortage in quality.
For anyone who wants a good Halloween movie without the unnecessary gore or blatant jump moments, this is perfect, and to everyone else that just wants a great movie with an intelligent story and great acting you can’t really go wrong with this. As I said, it’s no blockbuster, but easily one of my favourites of the year.
**** 4 Stars
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Director: Jonathan Liebsman
Starring: Megan Fox, William Fichtner, Will Arnett
Plot: When a kingpin ‘Shredder’ threatens New York City, a news reporter finds a group of mutants that allay as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to unravel Shredder’s plan.
Review: The heroes in a half shell are back and with a massive bang, as they wipe out an entire crew of foot clan. But who are these mysterious vigilantes hitting back at a crime syndicate run by the fearsome crime boss who goes by the name of the Shredder, and what are their end goals. Only one person is up to finding out and that is intrepid reporter April O’Neil (Megan Fox); after getting herself into a troublesome situation, she is rescued by the foursome, which leads to as many problems, as it solves. The film has a pretty standard storyline of good vs bad and heroism or greed, depending on which side you are on, so it’s nothing you wouldn’t have seen before. The CGI — which, being a film about giant ninja turtles you can expect a lot of — is great; there seems to be no imperfections or badly created CGI. It has a good cast in general — from William Fichtner as Eric Sacks to Will Arnett as comic relief Vernon Fenwick — albeit, I’m sure his character was modelled on Jonah Hill’s character from Megamind. Even with all that, it really is not a great film. It pains me to say that because I love the Turtles and have done since I was a child brought up with the 80’s cartoon and films, but maybe that’s the problem! It does have the standard story that’s easy to comprehend and very good CGI throughout and it has its funny moments, as well as its heartfelt moments. So, for older fans of the series I don’t think the opinion will be too far off of mine, but for the younger generation, I can’t see any reason why this isn’t a movie to be enjoyed. I hate to use the term, but I do think this is a typical Marmite film — you’ll either love it or hate it, but regardless, you need to watch it at least once. ** 2 Stars
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