Allied is directed by Robert Zemeckis and stars Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard, and takes place in 1942. The plot sees an intelligence officer and a French resistance fighter work to infiltrate German intelligence for a vital mission. Having fallen in love and back in England, Sam (Pitt) makes a terrible discovery and is faced with an impossible dilemma.
One of the most annoying things in cinema is being sold an image by trailers for a film, only to find it turns out to be something different from what you had been led to believe. In some cases, like Deepwater Horizon, the trailers screamed action blockbuster but turned out to be a well developed and hugely thought provoking drama. With Allied, whilst the climax may have become inevitable with 20 minutes to go, it just didn't flow a I expected it would
Whilst the film was an intentionally slow burner - the first half of the film, whilst slow, was stunning. Set in Casablanca with beautiful scenery and fantastic story development, it actually felt as if I was watching a completely different film from the London based second half. Having returned from Africa the beautiful storytelling went completely downhill an lost focus, important life moments for characters are glazed over as scenes jump between each other.
Robert Zemeckis never ceases to impress us as a director as he clearly spends so much time on making sure every scene in every one of his works is a visual glory. Every single shot in this film is absolutely gorgeous, the entire film is shot as if it were actually filmed in the time it's set, the way cameras follow characters and landscape shots of rural Casablanca melt into the next scene stunningly. Although at times Zemeckis unnecessarily over used CGI, for instance the opening scene, visual effects used to show dogfights above London during the blitz were phenomenal.
Brad Pitt felt horribly miscast as the leading role - extremely wooden as he struggled to show more than one side to his character. His awkward interactions with Cotillard made their relationship forced and un-conviving. He felt stupidly misplaced alongside the flawless Marion Cotillard who carried the film very successfully by herself.
In the end, Allied had the best parts of old school cinema and the worst parts of modern cinema today. Although it's leading lady was timeless and it's cinematography was stunning, the film had original ideas that could have been great but sadly lost focus towards the last act of the film.
I am going to give Allied:
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is directed by David Yates, Potter director since Order of the Phoenix, and stars Eddy Redmayne, Katherine Waterson, Alison Sudol and Dan Fogler. We are taken back to 1926 New York, 70 Years before Harry Potter, where we meet a young Newt Scamander on his travels to document his rare beasts. Things don't exactly go to plan, however, and Newt finds himself joining forces with members of the New York wizard community to catch the magical beasts that accidentally escape from his case.
Right from the word go, Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them was a magical journey that made us realise just how much we missed the dearly enchanting world of Harry Potter. Even the opening credits had me overridden with nostalgia, as we were introduced to a completely different spin on the wizarding world. Magnificent new characters made the film come to life, Redmayne perfectly portrayed the shy, geeky Newt Scamander - his enthusiasm for his work was admirable, whilst his character was socially awkward to say the least.
Other characters include Queenie the quick witted witch and her sister Tina, who both did all they could to help others close to them, and the stand out Jacob, a 'Nomaj' or 'Muggle' who happened to get caught up in all the magic. Joining the sisters alongside Newt to catch the beasts roaming the streets of New York, Jacob added most of the film's comic relief and almost reduced the audience to tears at the film's climax. The roaring 20's New York theme is played fantastically throughout and depicts the prohibition era perfectly. There was also a strong contrast from the grey dismal winter city streets to the glitzy, jazz infused speak easies.
Whilst the film does deliver, it certainly feels like it's trying to do too much in too little time however, It's as if two completely wonderful ideas have been fused slightly awkwardly together. The film did had some obvious mistakes, on several occasions there were continuity errors as the scenes jump between one and another, such as a character picking up a briefcase which in the previous scene was in a completely different place. Colin Farrell was incredibly dull and wooden as the 'villain' interest, seemingly adding little of note to the film
The most important aspect to Fantastic Beasts is it's ability to stand out as a Harry Potter film on it's own without to many references to the original films. This film enchanted and surprised me in a way that the later Harry Potter films struggled to do. After five years, one can't begin to describe how magical these films still are. Everything about Fantastic Beasts is different to the other Potter flicks, it's lighthearted spin on the wizarding world has me sold on this films series already.
In the end, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them returns us to the world of magic as if it's our first time. So different to Potter yet clearly related, this is something truly magical. For her first ever screenplay J.K Rowling delivers effortlessly in creating a completely new wizarding realm.
I am going to give Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them:
Arrival is directed by Denis Villeneuve and stars Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner and Forest Whitaker and tells the story of master linguist Dr Louise Adams who is called in by the US military to translate alien communications after twelve spaceships land in certain key pin points throughout the globe.
Don't be mislead by the appalling Sci-Fi films we have had this year (i'm looking at you Independence Day Resurgence), Arrival is an absolute blast and arguably the best film this year. One can not begin to describe how much of an impact this film had on me after I saw it. Rarely do I walk out of the cinema with nothing do say but Arrival quite literally blew me away. So many aspects to this film makes your realise that it's a proper film! Not just some throw away action Sci-Fi that is enjoyable on many occasions but an absolute revelation that has strong opportunities to be oscar wining. The cinematography was beautifully shown in almost every scene from stunning close ups of Adams to breath taking landscape shots this film certainly doesn't shy away from making every single shot a masterpiece. What's incredible about the film is it's ability to fully develop one character so much that it adds to most of the film. Amy Adams was indescribably stunning as this broken, incredibly gifted woman who's heart breaking performance had such an impact on the entire movie. Adams's character was executed flawlessly and she certainly deserves her first oscar for this role, as we were once again shown what a diverse actress she is. It is honestly impossible to imagine someone else take her place as Adams practically makes the film what it is. Renner too performed wonderfully and added a sense of comfort for Adams character, this is probably his best role since American Hustle.
The biggest problem with most films this year was their appalling plot lines and atrocious writing, It's safe to say Arrival has the best concept this year. Through trailers we are told to believe this is an alien film, the aliens are not actually the villain, granted the idea of their anonymity poses a threat throughout the film. What the film actually teaches us is that we are just as much of a threat to ourselves then unknown extra terrestrial. From the opening scene to an amazing end at the films climax we are all thrown a complete bomb shell in a fabulous plot twist that ties every thing together phenomenally. Villeneuve took inspiration from his other works like the critically acclaimed Sicario and condensed ideas from it into an even better developed work.
In the end Arrival demonstrated how oscar worthy films can be just as enjoyable as huge blockbuster action flicks. With breath taking cinematography, incredible acting and an amazing plot that doesn't over complicate nor alienate from the point, no pun intended.
I am going to give Arrival:
The Accountant is directed by Gavin O'Connor and stars Ben Affleck, Anna Kendrick and JK Simmons and tells the story of Christian Wolff, a severely autistic maths genius, who cooks the books for a new client whilst the treasury department close in on his activities.
The Accountant, plain and simple, is an engaging two hour masterpiece that over complicates itself yet still effortlessly delivers. We are never sure if it's about laundering money, or living with autism, or corporate corruption, however all of the subplots ultimately converge beautifully in the last act of the film
What the film did bring to the table was some phenomenal, quite possibly oscar winning acting. After long consideration personally I think this is Ben Affleck's best role to date, he really digs deep and challenges himself with this role, certain things with his body language and his habits like having one plate in his entire house was just incredible. His standard of acting was so good it made his character very believable and was very respectful full to a very sensitive topic. He delivered lines perfectly, the hand to hand combat sequences were stunning and whilst at first shy; Anna Kendrick (who played a different more interesting role) interacted with him wonderfully and really brought him out of his shell which lead to some fantastic all round character development.
There was also gripping acting from Simmons and Cynthia Addai-Robinson who gave a deep insight into the dangerous world of the treasury department. This film also had some of the best dialog I have heard for ages, most characters had very intelligent things to say and everyone felt they had a place in this story. Whilst at the climax of the film they took a comedic approach, which didn't necessarily work that well, Affleck's bluntness of his character really added to the films comedy in a lot of scenes.
The most striking aspect to the film was it's soundscape and cinematography. Every single shot in this entire film was absolutely beautiful, the crisp autumn leaves, the large landscape shots everything was filmed so professionally that it blew me away. The whole film is very grey and dismal and it's phenomenal how this can all be achieved by some brilliant directing and a magnificent score that really added to the dark tone of the film.
Whilst too confusing to understand with no main plot line. In the end The Accountant demonstrated a fascinating look into corrupted business, with amazing acting and cinematography and treating autism like a superpower instead of a disability.
I am going to give The Accountant:
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Hi I’m James - a huge welcome to my film blog! I started this site just after my 14th birthday and have been bringing you my own take on the hottest box office arrivals and many art house triumphs ever since.