PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: SALAZAR’S REVENGE – REVIEW

CaptureStarring: Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, Javier Bardem
Director: Joachim Rønning & Espen Sandberg
Running Time: 129mins
Rating: 12A

We are back with the fifth (and hopefully final) installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise and as long as they leave it here; it will be solidified in the adventure hall of fame! Its not that i didnt love it, but there’s just no reason to keep going back!

P5 as I am going to dub this, takes us on an adventure with Henry Turner (Brenton Thwaites); son of Elizabeth Swan and William Turner who needs to find good ol’ Captain Jack in order to save his father from the curse of the Flying Dutchman. Along the way, we encounter the formidable Armando Salazar who has a score to settle with Jack Sparrow who cursed him oh so many years ago and so sends the boy to warn him that death is looking for him.

From this point on, the film is pretty much made of the same magical stuff that made us fall in love with the first film. Favourites are back in the shape of Gibbs and Barbossa and the cameos from Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley give a bit of nostalgia that goes a long way.

Never a film to be taken too seriously, we all know what to expect and in this outing, they deliver. Its not too long, its got some good action scenes and great special effects and of course; it has Jack being…well, Jack! As mentioned, the SFX are great with Captain Salazar’s undead crew which takes us back to the cursed crew of the Black Pearl.

The only downside was probably a few holes in the story regarding newest addition Caryna Smith (Kaya Scodalario) but this doesnt take anything away from the film too much.

Make sure to stick around for the end credits scene!

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KING ARTHUR: LEGEND OF THE SWORD – REVIEW

Starring: Charlie Hunnam, Jude Law, Djimon Honsou
Director: Guy Ritchie
Running Time: 126mins
Cert: 12A

Aaaand, we’re back!

This time with the legendary/fantasy epic-cum-East End Gangster film; that is Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur: Legend of the Sword!

As the title suggests, this take on the King Arthur legend; focuses on the legendary sword Excalibur and the power which it possesses. In this rendering; the powers of Excalibur have been linked to the blood line of Uther Pendragon (Eric Bana); father to Arthur (Charlie Hunnam) and brother to the jealous and vengeful Vortigern (Jude Law).

Now, think of the movie baby of Troy, Green Street and The Lion King and you can get an idea of the feel of this film as well as see the initial story; jealous uncle takes out the noble King and sets his sights on the rightful heir to the throne. However, that my friend; is where the cliches end and where the real fun begins.

Ritchie has managed to take the Arthurian legend and adapt it in a way that it is both modern ridiculously entertaining. Arthur for example, lives in Londinium a few days ride from Camelot which gives the whole thing a time frame that was never really established before. Magic is explained as a contained entity that is manifested through powerful individuals called Mages and while the infamous Merlin is mentioned; he plays no major part. Instead, Ritchie has focused on the sword’s power as well as the devil-may-care but good natured soul of Arthur, which Hunnam executes perfectly.

While Arthur, in the beginning has no understanding of who and what he is; by the time he comes into his own and accepts the power of the sword (this scene is probably the best part!); he does so in a way that is believable and current. The character that was built up prior to his ascension; is maintained throughout the film and you are able to sympathise with his reluctance as well as rejoice in his acceptance of his birthright.

The only let down of the film is probably the heavy use of SFX in a few of the fight scenes. While I realise that these were used to highlight the magnitude of the sword’s powers; the final battle for example goes very quickly and is hard to follow. While SFX are used well in some parts; at one point it looked weird like when Neo had to fight all the Agent Smiths in The Matrix Reloaded and his body went all funny looking! Other than that, everything else works amazingly well.

While I’m not a huge fan of Jude Law, he plays a decent villain in this film. Quiet and refined though innately petty and cruel; he does very well. There is a scene in which there are some cleverly placed props and gestures that remind you of a certain German dictator. While creepy; so so good! The supporting cast of British talent including Aiden Gillen aka Peter Baelish from Game of Thrones; encompass the Kray era/Merry Men attitude to the film and make it an incredibly hilarious and entertaining watch. Arthur’s advisor and link to his royal lineage in Sir Bedevere (Djimon Honsou) provides copius amounts of banter that will have anyone giggling. The soundtrack is spectacular and the use of alternative camera angles and SFX takes you on an a exciting journey that has you hooked from the very beginning.

Lastly, if all the reasons above havent made you want to see it then the fact that David Beckham is in it should do the trick!

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword is out May 8th.

PERCY JACKSON: SEA OF MONSTERS – REVIEW

Starring: Logan Lerman, Brandon T. Jackson, Stanley Tucci
Director: Thor Freudenthal
Running Time: 106 minutes

Before I go into this one I want to point out that I have never read the Percy Jackson books and from what I hear, there are a lot of things missing from the first film Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief, as well as its sequel. That being said, I won’t focus too hard on what is missing and discuss what I actually saw!

Now, one of my hang ups about the first film that was reiterated in the sequel was the lack of skill from the demigods. Percy and his friends, although living at Camp Half-Blood and supposedly spending all their time training for some impending epic battle, when it comes down to it, don’t seem to do anything particularly special. This isn’t a criticism more than just a disappointment that considering these children are spawn of legendary deities, their perks from this are limited. Once again, I haven’t read the books so if they have “powers” of which I am unaware, feel free to let me know. I just feel that Percy’s powers other than obvious healing from water, being able to breathe under it and, what was impressive, ride it, seem a bit limited.

The story itself is fine. Demigod sent on a quest to get the Golden Fleece to save his home from imminent destruction. Cool, I can dig that. What I can’t dig is why the children have to do these epic trials and not the adults who are supposedly there to protect them. Okay, so he has to fulfil a prophecy, so what? Take some responsibility man. Demigods are for life, not just for Christmas.

Funny one liners, two Cyclops, a few satyrs, a centaur and a golden fleece are always going to be a fun night out at the cinema. I didn’t expect too much and that’s exactly what I got, not too much but for once, im not particularly complaining about it. Percy’s personal battles as to whether he is good enough is a good central theme and is further explored but only at the end of the film, ultimately making you want to see the next film. When we will receive this is as yet unknown but as it is a book, you can always find out if you don’t know already. The special effects of the film are good, the script’s a bit bland when they’re not making a joke but as it isn’t too long a film, you don’t get bored of it too quickly.

A little guilty pleasure from this one, so take some kids and grab some popcorn. Its really just a bit of fun, nothing heavy 🙂

WHAT TO WATCH?! – 25/7

A quick selection of what’s on tonight

FILM 4 @ 9pm

  • SALT – My girl Angelina is at it again as a CIA agent accused of being a sleeper assassin. The action is good and as always we know that Angie is bad ass but she really needs to learn to leave the blonde wigs alone! Action thriller also starring Liev Schrieber

ITV4 @ 10pm

  • SILENCE OF THE LAMBS – Arguably one of the best horrors/thrillers ever made! Anthony Hopkins is amazing as Dr Hannibal Lector. Many sequels, prequels and tv shows have stemmed from the amazing books by Thomas Harris but this is the absolute best. Watch it again! You know you want to! lol

SKY PREMIER @ 10pm

  • DREDD – Karl Urban dons the helmet (and doesn’t take it off) to play the uber-righteous member of a police force empowered with the right to be judge, jury and indeed, executioner, in the dark and dirty metropolis Mega City One. A bit more intense than the Stallone version, definitely one for the comic book enthusiasts.