Monday, 6 February 2012

Film Roundup January - Part 2

Part 2 of January’s Film Roundup!

Firstly we have the third in the series of Michael Bay Transformers films, Transformers: Dark of The Moon. Despite Bay’s insistence that each film will be a better than the last, alas we are treated to more of the same – all sound and fury with little substance.

Sure, the special effects are impressive - but the film lacks a cohesive story and character development, and is full of misjudged comedy – although the fate of the world is at stake we find ourselves just not caring if anyone lives or dies.

Many have criticised Rosie Huntington-Whiteley’s performance but to be fair she isn’t given all that much to work with and really her lack of acting experience is the least of this mess of a film’s problems.

There is talk of making more Transformers films in the future – after all they are profitable at the box office. How about another animated Transformers film instead? With no silly humans getting in the way - switch it up a little.

On the opposite end of the spectrum we have super low budget film The Devil’s Rock. This tale of Nazis dabbling with the occult during WW2 is largely confined to a single location with only four actors and yet manages to be entertaining through its mystery, tension and ‘battle of the wits’ interplay between the characters.

With good acting and make up effects this film was a pleasant surprise and although the budget constraints occasionally do show through, I would gladly watch films like this over the overblown Transformers films any day.

Matthew Sunderland’s performance as Colonel Klaus Meyer is a particular standout. If you like horror films then this one comes recommended.

Lastly we have I Am Number Four, based on the first entry in a series of best-selling teen books a la Twilight and The Hunger Games, and despite going in with low expectations, I was pleasantly surprised. As far as a teen movie goes, this film delivers – striking an odd balance of fitting all the familiar tropes of a the ‘teen’ film genre whilst at the same time being constantly surprising by bucking convention.

For example the film opens with a chase sequence, which despite the expected setup, ends in a brutally sudden fashion. When the main character is introduced having fun in a teen dream ‘paradise’ beach resort, this is promptly ditched for one of a very different kind – a rainy dull backwater town.

In a similar way, the lead actor (Brit Alex Pettyfer - grown up since Alex Rider: Stormbreaker), despite his handsome ruggedness displays a remarkable level of vulnerability.

The film also boasts strong action sequences and good support in the form of Timothy Olyphant (seemingly great in everything he is in - bar Hitman of course) and Teresa Palmer playing the badass chick to full effect as Number Six. Although the baddies may be slightly too pantomime for some, Kevin Durand is awesome as always and having a hoot (again!) under all that make-up.

Chances are that you probably wont enjoy I Am Number Four too much unless you are a fan of teen films – but if by chance you are then this one comes recommended.

6 Feb 2012

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