Monday, April 25, 2016

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Movie Review … The Divergent Series: Allegiant

The young adult book industry has been popular with Hollywood.  Scouring bookshelves for potential franchises, many have been sent to screen.  ‘Twilight’, ‘The Hunger Games’, ‘Harry Potter’ among countless others have enthralled with varying success.  ‘The Divergent’ series has been one of the more mediocre entries.  Similar to other films, it hasn’t offered anything new.  Even its latest entry ‘Allegiant’ copies from the ‘Harry Potter’ finale by splitting its final book into two movies.  Duality doesn’t equate to quality with this chapter failing to linger in the memory.

Escaping the clutches of the ruined Chicago’s evil rulers, Tris (Shailene Woodley) and Four (Theo James) face a new challenge.  Leaving behind their friends and families, they discover what they think they know is wrong.  Battling forces determined to crush any rebellion, Tris and Four arm themselves against a mighty contingent.  Hoping to free their people, their actions lead to lives hanging in the balance.

Based on Veronica Roth’s ‘Divergent’ book trilogy, ‘Allegiant’ presents first half the first half of the final book. Directly following on from its predecessor, it explores Tris and Four grappling with the aftermath of supposedly defeating their enemies.  Dealing with squabbling rebel leaders and others determined to carry on the mantle of their enemies, the duo’s plight is reasonably engaging.  The action sequences are well staged with the CGI suitably eye-popping.

Despite some good points, Allegiant’ suffers from unoriginality.  There’s very much a familiar feel with director Robert Schwentke showing little flair.  It’s a by-the-numbers affair with scant imagination gone into producing something new.  Working out what’s happening is confusing with so many characters having zero personality.  Woodley and James do their best to inject some energy into their performances.  Their efforts go some way into making ‘Allegiant’ watchable even if everyone looks bored working against a mountain of CGI.

‘Allegiant’ is ok but nothing memorable.  Following many other similar productions, it is easy being confused as to which franchise this is.  Its terminal lack of identity harms a fairly diverting movie with its looming finale mercifully putting this factory made series out to pasture.



Movie Review Rating out of 10:  5

Movie Review by Patrick Moore

Agree with Patrick's Movie Review? Then please use the comment box.

Patrick Moore's Movie Review is an alternative look at movie releases in Australia.



 TRAILER




Movie Review … The Huntsman: Winter’s War

In 2012 ‘Snow White and the Huntsman’, based on the Brothers Grimm fairy tale, was released amidst a myriad of behind the scenes dramas.  That didn’t stop it from becoming a moderate success. Miniscule monetary returns never stops Hollywood from pumping out franchises as ‘The Huntsman: Winter’s War’ attests.  With a more involving story and better actors, the re-tread is justified. Although as disposable memory-wise as its predecessor, it at least makes an effort in crafting something new out of an oft-told story.

After her sister, the wicked Queen Ravenna (Charlize Theron), is killed, the equally despicable Ice Queen Freya (Emily Blunt) resurrects her from the great beyond.  Teaming to take revenge on those who have betrayed them, the sisters’ vileness knows no bounds.  Only rebel Huntsmen, including Eric (Chris Hemsworth) and his wife Sara (Jessica Chastain) can confront the sister’s power and finally rid their land of their unbound wickedness.

It’s ironic ‘The Huntsman: Winter’s War’ is named after the male lead as it is a very female driven film.  Through no fault of his own, Hemsworth becomes a second player to the antics of Theron and Blunt. Both have a grand time playing dastardly villains hell-bent on revenge.  Their performances add to the fun of an occasionally slow-moving film.  Hemsworth does his best against these ladies as does Chastain who provides plenty of tough energy.

The simple story allows the action and acting to surface.  You are able to follow the character’s mission and invest in their emotions. ‘The Huntsman: Winter’s War’ isn’t a heavy movie by any means and has a good mix of humour and drama perfectly blended.  It succeeds in having that elusive ‘magical quality’ such works have with a fairy tale-like enchantment easily achieved.  The CGI is spectacular without overshadowing events producing a high quality production.

‘The Huntsman: Winter’s War’ is an entertaining sequel bettering its predecessor.  That’s a rare but welcome occurrence with the fun factor upped a few notches.  Those wanting an enjoyable experience should look no further beyond this film’s fantastical kingdom.




Movie Review Rating out of 10:  7

Movie Review by Patrick Moore

Agree with Patrick's Movie Review? Then please use the comment box.

Patrick Moore's Movie Review is an alternative look at movie releases in Australia.




TRAILER





SOUNDTRACK


Thursday, March 31, 2016

Movie Review … Labyrinth Of Lies

Should one ignore past atrocities and move on or continue targeting those who perpetuated evil at a personal cost?  This is a question ‘Labyrinth of Lies’ effectively tackles.  By exploring a person’s mission in bringing former German Nazi officers to justice, it presents a myriad of intriguing themes for viewers to ponder.  ‘Labyrinth of Lies’ crafts a compelling narrative about the nature of national loyalty and those who carry out awful deeds under its name.

In 1958, Germany is still dealing with the scars of World War 2.  Grappling with the after-math is young public prosecutor Johann (Alexander Fehling).  Taking on the cases of dozens of survivors of the Auschwitz death camp, he targets his zeal towards the soldiers and doctors who worked there.  Finding his efforts continually frustrated by former Nazis still working in government, he is helped by journalist Simon (Johannes Krisch).  Johann’s actions ruffle feathers as his quest for justice forces him to question his place in post-war Germany.

‘Labyrinth of Lies’ lives up to its title in depicting a tangled story full of emotional dilemmas.  As Johann sifts through survivors’ evidence he pieces together a puzzle of vile complicity.  This reveals an interesting moral road-block in deciding if the Nazi soldiers were forced to do their deeds or were eager participants.  Life is ever black and white as ‘Labyrinth of Lies’ starkly shows.  The interference of government officials adds an element of danger to Johann’s mission as the tools of bureaucracy is used to further rattle fading Nazi power.

The direction and performances considerably aid in presenting facts in a non-hysterical manner.  No over-used orchestration or emotion is used as the damning evidence piles up.  ‘Labyrinth of Lies’ has an atmosphere of sadness but also a message of hope that justice eventually prevails.  There are many Johanns out there willing to right past wrongs just as the former Nazis he meets are all too willing to smother past atrocities.  The re-writing of history is also something the movie conveys with today’s modern world of mis-information disturbingly paralleled in the screenplay.

‘Labyrinth of Lies’ is consistently engaging and unafraid in forcing viewers to discover brutal facts.  The actions of Nazi officers were appalling but so is the ignorance of those wanting to hide the past.  Only when old wounds are healed can one truly move on which this film commendably tells. 



Movie Review Rating out of 10:  8

Movie Review by Patrick Moore

Agree with Patrick's Movie Review? Then please use the comment box.

Patrick Moore's Movie Review is an alternative look at movie releases in Australia.




TRAILER