Thursday, 24 December 2009

Avatar ****

Stunningly beautiful, groundbreaking and a real sci-fi movie. It can only be one thing... Avatar! This is the movie to see this year, no doubt about it. It's a real treat for the eyes, and absolutely exciting to watch. The visionary experience you go through when watching this is so compelling it makes you really appreciate the wonders of cinema again.

Obviously the most impressive aspect of this film is the CGI. You can't tell what's reality and what's computer generated, and that's hard to come by with our critical eyes nowadays. The scenery is immense. Based in a forest of wonder, colour and creatures that seem prehistoric but are actually from the 2150s, this film really opens up your eyes to the possibilities of special effects, and of course 3D cinema.

If you haven't been impressed with 3D cinema so far, and found it all together a bit gimmicky, then this will certainly change your opinion. The film did have a $300 million budget, so you'd expect something out of this world. James Cameron (director of Titanic) has most definitely brought us something which will change cinema history. It takes the possibilities of 3D cinema to a whole new dimension. It does give you a headache at first because the amount of depth in the film is a little too much to take on, but as you carry on and become immersed in the story, you forget about everything else other than the world being given to you.

The characters are just as enchanting as the set of the film itself. You see Sigourney Weaver become an Avatar character, along with Sam Worthington who plays the protagonist of the film. You can see the likeness of their features within the CGI characters, but are given a whole new creature to relate to during the film. Zoe Saldana plays the lead Avatar and looks beautiful even as a blue monster... How? We'll never know.

Even the tiniest detail has been catered for in this film. You're really taken through a colour explosion, and are captivated throughout the storyline. There are a couple of disappointing aspects such as the length of the film - It's just over 2 and a half hours long. Plus some of the names they give the trees are a little unoriginal. But I guess its all fantasy, so anything goes, right?!

I think you should see this in 3D if you haven't seen a film in 3D or if you haven't been impressed. If you're a little neutral to the whole thing, then seeing this in 2D wouldn't ruin it at all, you just may not get the same refreshing feeling that others receive from watching this. It's a masterpiece and well worth a watch at the cinema. It may not be Christmas themed, but it's definitely magical.

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Paranormal Activity ****

Before you start reading, if you haven't seen the film and are planning to DO NOT READ THIS REVIEW! You need to know as little as possible to really enjoy the impact it creates.

If you haven't heard of this yet... Where have you been?! Advertisements in America started off the marketing campaign for the film, getting audiences demanding their cinemas to show it. And now it's moved on over to England. Is this a good thing? I'd say so.

You've probably read all over that this is the scariest film you'll ever see, and to an extent it's true. But when you're watching it you really wonder why every one's created such a fuss about it. Yes, it's quite original in a sense of a handheld camera and pretty realistic special effects, but the scare factors aren't particularly compelling. The scares don't make you jump constantly; it's more the tension the film builds up throughout the hour and a half it's on to a pretty dramatic climax which leaves audiences feeling scared and vulnerable.

The film shows a couple who's life has been tormented by some sort of spirit trying to make contact. Yes, it all sounds a bit ridiculous to understand, but its the fact that their acting, the way they go about their life and the little conversations they have all seem so real that makes this film all the more scary. You see doors move while they're sleeping, footprints, shadows and whispers. Some nights nothing happens, and others are just truly terrifying. The variation of the activities makes it seem even more realistic because it's not all getting worse, it's just showing something that's a little strange.

It's the ending that really gets to you. All of a sudden, within the space of about 5 minutes, the events become so dramatic that you really don't know where to look. You leave the room looking over your shoulder, and when it's time to go to bed you just can't bring yourself to turn off that bedroom light.

The director, Oren Peli, has made a film not intended for the big screen, but created a great effect. After seeing the original which has an alternate ending, Steven Spilberg even saw the greatness of this film and created the more Hollywood ending the latest version has. He stated he couldn't watch this alone, and thinking back to it now, I don't think I could. With plans for a second movie, the demon in this film just isn't going to leave us. You'll never want to hear the name Katie again.

So, make sure your light bulbs are fresh because they'll be getting a lot of use once you see this film.