Cinema reviews: Fighting, bewitching and bit of quirky camping

It has been a while since I got to the cinema and so I’m back with a bumper review post covering The Raid, Dark Shadows and Moonrise Kingdom.


The Raid

The hype surrounding this Indonesian action film was unbelievable. Almost as unbelievable as it being directed by a Welshman called Gareth Evans.

The basic premise is there is a tower block owned by a crime lord where he houses other naughty people so they can live bad lives without fear. Where our story comes in is when a unit of cops storm the building to capture him. Things don’t go to plan though.

Very shortly most of the cops are dead and those that are alive are hiding for their lives. All except one cop who has a pregnant wife to get home to and is capable of kicking ass with anything and everything that comes to hand.

The action is very well done and the directing shows enough talent to watch Mr Evans for years to come. Sadly, the fighting gets a little repetitive nearer the end and it can’t end as pulse pounding as it started.

Verdict

For fans of fighting films this is a must see but don’t expect it to live up to the expectations that may have been set. Good but not that good.

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Dark Shadows

SexDark Shadows is a modern retelling of a classic American TV show which nobody has either seen or remembers, especially not in the UK.

Depp is Barnabas Collins, a man cursed to be a vampire and buried until he is excavated in 1972 and returns to live with his remaining family members. From here he attempts to return success to his family. Standing in his way is Eva Green’s witch who turned him into a vampire and 200 years later is the biggest name in town.

The problem with this film is you can see the TV show in it. There are so many storylines and characters to give screen time to that it falls apart. It has moments of fun and interest but all too soon is trying to fit in another character and another plot strand.

Most of the characters are fun to watch but the highlights go to Eva Green’s witch and Michelle Pfeiffer’s mother who really light up the screen when they are around. And of course Depp who is always fab!

Verdict

Clearly would have worked in the past as a TV series with weeks to give the different characters their storylines. As a 2 hour film though there is too much going on with not enough focus. It’s a shame.

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Moonrise Kingdom

Wes Anderson has a track record of creating beautifully bizarre films that involve hip characters in wacky situations. With his latest he tells the tale of two dysfunctional 12 year olds in the 1960s who decide to run away from their homes on a small New England island and camp out together.

With this being Wes Anderson though they are being pursued by a band of crazy characters including the girl’s parents; the schlubby Bill Murray and cheating Frances McDormand, slightly simple cop Bruce Willis, scout master Edward Norton and his troupe of scouts and the brilliant “Social Services” played by Tilda Swinton.

There are tender moments, funny moments and lots of trademark beautiful moments that Wes Anderson is infamous for.

Definitely a movie for Anderson fans but unless you are aware of his off-kilter style you may be in for a shock. This could explain why the screening I was in was empty. It’s a shame though as this is one director that deserves more attention.

Verdict

Not Anderson’s best but still a worthy addition to his filmography. Funny, charming and heart-warming. A must see for Anderson fans.

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