Rise of the Planet of the Apes – A Review by Film Nerd

Director: Rupert Wyatt

Cast: James Franco, Andy Serkis, Freida Pinto, John Lithgow, Brian Cox, Tom Felton

Synopsis: This film is a re-interpretation of the origin story for The Planet of the Apes (1968).Rather than creating a causality loop in Caesar being the child of two time-travelling apes from the future, this version of the story sees Caesar as being the result of a lab experiment, resulting in him having an elevated intelligence.   It does not take too long for this intelligence to perceive injustice against his own kind at the hands of humans.

Continue reading

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 – A Review by Film Nerd

Director: David Yates

Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Ralph Fiennes, Helena Bonham Carter, Robbie Coltrane, Alan Rickman, Warwick Davis, Tom Felton, John Hurt, Jason Isaacs, Matthew Lewis, Evanna Lynch, Helen McCrory, James Phelps, Oliver Phelps, David Thewlis, Julie Waters, Mark Williams, Bonnie Wright, Natalia Tena, Michael Gambon, Gary Oldman, Ciaràn Hinds, Maggie Smith, Jim Broadbent

Synopsis: The final chapter in the popular series of eight films that began ten years ago, based on the Harry Potter novels by J.K. Rowling.   This is the final battle for Hogwarts, and the time when Harry must face his final confrontation with the evil Lord Voldemort.

Given that this franchise has been with us since 2001, it is almost with a sense of disbelief that with this film, it draws to a close.   The film proves a thrilling conclusion, providing fantastic action sequences and special effects, some great character moments and, for those that have not read the books, a few unexpected surprises along the way.   If there is one complaint I can level against the film, it is that it is too short.   The 130 minutes pass very quickly, and not a minute of it seems wasted.

The films have certainly come away since the original Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.   The quality of the special effects are amazing, truly taking advantage of advances in technology in the intervening period.   More significant, however, is the improvement in the performance of the three leads.   Watson’s performances have been of high calibre for many films now, leaving the boys behind, however Grint and Radcliffe have both had substantial acting experiences themselves outside of the Potter franchise, and the benefit of these project shows.   Radcliffe gives a very commanding performance, leading no doubt that this young man is capable of the extreme responsibility on his shoulders.

Fans of the novels may be somewhat disappointed.   Always the price of an adaptation like this is that some of the finer details get left out.   Those fans, myself included, would argue extra time could have been added to this running time to highlight some of these elements more clearly.   This in the end is a minor criticism, given that the film does succeed in giving screen time to almost every single significant character from previous films, both living and dead.   The fact that most of these characters have been played by some of the most brilliant actors in the UK today is an added treat.   They each manage to shine despite many getting scant time on-screen.

In the end, this is the classic battle of good against evil, that addresses thematic concerns as the nature of evil, dealing with loss, and not being too quick to judge others.   Some may question some of the choices made in adapting the novel, but apart from this the film delivers everything one could demand for the final instalment of a beloved story.

4 stars out of 5.


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 on IMDB

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 on Rotten Tomatoes

Trailer [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5NYt1qirBWg]

 

Bride of Film Nerd’s summary of Supanova is now live!!

As indicated earlier, my lovely wife wishes to add her own thoughts of her Sydnova experience this year.   Please click the following link to read what she has to say!!

Bride of Film Nerd’s summary.

 

Film Nerd’s Sydnova review

I promised a post of my Sydnova review by today, and though there are only 40 minutes left to this day, I have delivered.   Bride of Film Nerd will be posting soon (she has been a little busy helping me improve this blog), but until then, please read and see pics of my Sydney Supanova experience!!

Film Nerd’s Summary

Supanova Brisbane 2011

To say my experience at Supernova Brisbane was disappointing would be a slight exaggeration – quite frankly, I wasn’t there long enough to experience anything other than pressing crowds, sweaty nerd-boys with no concept of personal space and moronic Americans.

We got to the venue about two hours after the doors were supposed to open and proceeded to stand in line for half an hour while we waited for our chance to get in. We thought we were being smart by pre-paying. If we had paid at the door, we would have got in much sooner, not that it would have made any difference.

Once in the door, the crowding of the venue was felt in full force. There was nowhere to stand out of the way just to check out the program and see what was on, or even the map to see what was where. So, I relied on my fellow geek, J., to try to direct me through the hordes of people. Considering he has about 8 inches over me in height, I didn’t that was too unreasonable, but apparently nerd boys have got taller when I wasn’t looking and we were both navigating blind.

I know there were booths around me, I could see their tops, but what they were selling remained a mystery. We would have had to commit ourselves to standing by each booth for ages just to see what wares were on display. So we attempted to just see what companies were on show and they were pretty much the same as there was at Armageddon. It was a shame I couldn’t spend more time at the alley for the local artists, but to stop was to feel like you would never move again.

There wasn’t a whole lot of air circulation with all those bodies and as a result, everyone got a bit sweaty and, in order to win some kind of pissing contest only they knew about, some chaps took it upon themselves to just push past anyone who stood in their way, completely heedless of the children that were in our midst (I’m talking toddlers here), the fact there was no where for anyone to go really, or that no one’s sweat is that amazing that we want it rubbed all over us. As I told one guy, seriously dude, not cool.

One kid had the best idea though – he sat atop his dad’s shoulders and fired a plastic gun at people’s heads. I told his dad that he had the right idea, but I think he thought I was talking about the shoulder thing and not the gun thing. I’ve never wanted a gun so much in my whole life.

Being the costuming guru I am (HA!), I’d love to be able to tell you how good or bad the costumes were. Sure, there were some truly bad ones I saw while we were in line (and confirmed my theory as to why they have to be ‘family friendly’) and the best one I saw on the convention floor was a Predator, but the rest passed by in a blur of humanity.

The press of people got so much that, after thinking about checking out the Madmen booth then giving up, we had to leave, but there was no going out the in door. So it was once more into the breech where we proceeded to stand for a good three or four minutes while many people tried to either come back in or leave via the side doors.

 

Picture taken at Supanova Brisbane 2009. Not unlike what we experienced, but the pedestrian flow went both up and down.

 

And this is where the American came in. She tried to go down the up stairs. Was told repeatedly by the volunteer at the door that she couldn’t go down those stairs, she would have to go down the other stairs. Still, she couldn’t grasp the idea that she couldn’t go down the up stairs. Her friends tapped her on the shoulder and tried to steer her away but she didn’t want to have to join the rest of us sorry sods waiting to go downstairs.

“They’re all stopped. Are all those people just standing there of their own volition?” I kid you not, those were her words.

I won’t repeat what my response was, but it was unfortunate that she was probably too far away by that point to actually hear what I said, more’s the pity.

We were finally free of the coral of humans and gleefully made our escape to an awaiting Mr. Whippy van where I proceeded to mostly wear severely watered down ice cream. It was then I looked at my watch and realised that we had been inside the venue for as long as we were in line to actually see it – about half an hour. We didn’t see any seminars, glimpse any stars or take any photos. I missed Tahmoh Penikett, Katie Sackhoff, Tom Felton and Clare Cramer, my main reasons for going. Strangely, I wasn’t sorry to be leaving.

I did strike up a conversation with a lass on the flight home who cosplayed as some anime character I’ll never remember the name of. She said she had a great time, that the whole thing was fantastic. And J read some forums where the crowd apparently thinned after 2pm, but there was no way either of us could have persevered for an extra hour. Too many humans in not enough space. I’m still convinced they broke fire safety laws by allowing so many people in, but other than to vow never to go there again, there’s not a whole lot I can do about it.

Supanova in Sydney last year was much better and Armageddon (again in Sydney) could be even better, once it gains popularity and pulls in bigger stars.