Rentals are back in with LOVEFiLM gift wrapping your movies and posting them through your door!
Ever wanted to try LOVEFiLM or Netflix primarily just to see what they have? Do you think it might be an easier way to stay current when it comes to new movie releases? Netflix costs £5.99 a month and gives you your first month free whereas LOVEFiLM offers several different packages including streaming from £5.99 a month.
I, as a reviewer, didn’t want to feel confined and restricted to only watching/reviewing new films and LOVEFiLM/Netflix have allowed me to check off my own “movie bucket list”.
Here is my pick of the best:
Safe Haven (2013)
Although primarily a romantic drama, as would be expected of producer and novelist Nicholas Sparks (The Notebook, A Walk To Remember), this film at times felt reminiscent of both Sleeping With The Enemy (1991), Overboard (1987) and I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997).
It was engaging and charming in its own way and you can appreciate it for that, if you’re in that kind of mood. The story is decent and the main character stands out slightly because of her guarded nature. Yes, there are cheesy romantic moments and there are also moments where it gets somewhat tense and tries to push forward the notion of it maybe being a thriller also. This is with mixed success but overall it felt like a good film.
A worthwhile climax at the end, parts of which were clichéd slightly or maybe too closely familiar to Sleeping With The Enemy but then one moment at the end, a reveal of sorts, made it all worth it.
Worth a watch; I would give it 6/10.
Magic Mike (2012)
I honestly think the biggest compliment I can give to this film is that the cast is very easy on the eyes (to say the least); Channing Tatum, Alex Pettyfer and Matthew McConaughey all star in this comedy drama. It is not a bad movie by any standards. Deep in the heart of it, there’s an almost charming story of the developing relationship between Mike (Tatum) and Adam’s sister (Cody Horn).
Sadly though, the stories surrounding the other characters seem to just blend into the background and aren’t prominent enough. Alex Pettyfer’s character Adam just seems to be on a downward spiral, becoming less and less likeable as the plot progresses.
I would say I felt captivated by Tatum’s character though because we, as an audience, get to see through the façade he puts on as a stripper and performer. We see him as a real person and see that he doesn’t want this life, he wants more and that is what makes him charming. As a writer, not just a spectator I would say the writers needed to make more of an effort to get us on board with Adam and get us to want to care.
I would say watch once and see how you feel, at least watch for the stripping… don’t write it off straight away. 5/10
After Earth (2013)
I went into this unsure what to think. I had watched the trailer only after receiving this disc as a rental. My thinking was: “It’s new, intriguing and potentially a big blockbuster, it might be worth checking out”.
I did not know that M. Night Shyamalan (Devil, The Village, Signs, The Happening & The Sixth Sense) wrote and directed this. I am a fan of his work for the weird and creepy factor his creations tend to possess.
After Earth actually proved a very good watch. It is set 1000 years in the future where Earth has become uninhabitable and is overrun by creatures that have adapted over this time, to kill humans. Will and Jaden Smith play a somewhat distant father and son duo who end up having to depend on each other for their survival when a routine mission they are on ends before it has even began. The pair find themselves crash landing on Earth, the sole two survivors on board their ship. Cypher (Will) is too severely injured to leave the ship and has to rely on his son Kitai (Jaden) to travel 100 kilometres to find the distress beacon that is with the tail part of the ship.
The story is great, the characters are engaging and the visuals including the creatures are just fantastic. I don’t think I expected it to be as good as it was.
Worth a watch, 8/10!
And here’s what you should avoid:
I went into this horror/thriller with high expectations, having wanted to see it for quite some time. It was only recently I found out it was based on a Stephen King novel, which made it all the more intriguing for me since I loved Misery (1990). It looked like a film that had the potential to be weirdly amazing and slightly creepy like Dark Skies (2013) and Signs (2002).
I have to say though that it was, unfortunately, a major disappointment, the film has amazing special effects but sadly was lacking when it came to a decent storyline.
I had no clue what the hell was going on through half the film. The characters were not really credible, especially when the death and gore started and all some protagonists can say having seen their best friend get killed is either “f*** me Freddie” or “Oh Sh**”, with barely no reaction other than this. The acting was poor (except Morgan Freeman naturally).
Normally I would find that funny, if I was watching a spoof or parody of sorts, but this? A film that has Morgan Freeman in and one that is an adaptation of Stephen King novel. I expected much better.
The whole film reeked of in-jokes that you don’t feel privy to, nor do you really care to be. A waste of two hours frankly, I wouldn’t recommend it. There’s almost this morbid fascination now to read the book just to see if it was meant to be this bad but I won’t go down that path.
See it for yourself or if you are wise, don’t… 3/10