Blunt Reviews Presents: X-Men: First Class (2011)

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This is the only X-Men without Bryan Singer as director that wasn’t a complete disaster. Because I care about the X-Men franchise I would rather see it handed to a director like Matthew Vaughn who has proven he is a talented filmmaker with respect for the source material, than to see it handed to someone like Gavin Hood who couldn’t direct traffic. This film wasn’t anything showstopping, but it was a half decent action flick that introduced us to a new side to characters we’ve loved for years. It’s quite cheesy in places but it could have been much worse.

Blunt Reviews Presents: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001)

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It was a real nostalgia trip for me to re-watch this film, and I was ready to emerge disappointed, but to my surprise this film actually holds up pretty well. At the center we have some pretty diabolical child acting, but if you look past that you’ll find a genuinely well executed family film that is a solid introduction to the world of Harry Potter before it turns dark. It is by no means perfect and there are some pretty big blunders, but the production design alone is commendable, and although Alan Rickman is severely underused he is still perfect.

Blunt Reviews Presents: Chasing Amy (1997)

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What I admire most about Kevin Smith’s Chasing Amy, aside from the fact it feels as though he was branching into maturity with his writing, it’s that this is not a straight forward film. There are times when I’m smiling and laughing at the happiness the characters are experiencing, which are counterbalanced by moments where I’m having my heart ripped out and handed to me in a fucking paper bag because of the crushing honesty found in the dialogue. This is genuinely a fantastically written, funny film that is utterly heartbreaking, but you love every minute and want more.

Blunt Reviews Presents: Drive (2011)

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I love this film. I’ve watched it countless times now, and every time I find myself remembering all the reasons why I love it. Nic Winding Refn is an extraordinary director, and with Drive he delivers a stylish but gritty masterpiece with an outstanding ensemble cast. I know a lot of people didn’t have the patience for it, but frankly that’s their loss, because this film is exceptional. From the incredible cinematography and stylish directing, to Ryan Gosling’s intimidating screen presence and the epic soundtrack, this film ticks every box and still stands as one of my favourite films.

Blunt Reviews Presents: The Place Beyond the Pines (2013)

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This is a clear example of a film that I admire, but I don’t necessarily like. I understand the levels within the split narrative and the different themes that are explored, it’s just the delivery is weak. It’s about 140 minutes long, which is a problem given the rather simple ideas the film attempts to communicate. It seems as though the film gets wrapped up in its own sense of importance, which results in it becoming very ill disciplined and baggy. Considering I guessed the ending halfway through the first act, the rest of the film becomes quite a tedious experience.

Blunt Reviews Presents: Seven Pounds (2009)

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 This is one of the most infuriating films I’ve ever had the misfortune of watching. It’s just tedious, self-important drivel that needs to pull its head out of its own arse. While there are numerous fundamental flaws I’d argue most are concerning the writing. The screenplay is beyond dull and the narrative completely lacks substance. If a film is based upon a secret twist, at least ensure the secret can’t be guessed ten minutes into the film. Gabriele Muccino is such a childish director, practically shouting “Look! Will Smith is in the rain! Look! It’s emotional!!” I don’t think so.

Blunt Reviews Presents: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)

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This film is an absolute mess. Performances from Gal Gadot and Ben Affleck are the best elements, otherwise it’s business as usual, just the same washed out, grey-scale bullshit that Zack Snyder specialises in. Snyder is a visual director yet he’s failed at his own trade, delivering a tedious and immature action flop that completely lacks any form of substance. Crucially, the fundamental flaws of the film are in the structure and diabolical writing. The narrative is composed of several different films, which have been badly stitched together by a hoofed animal on a broken sewing machine. Fucking disappointment.

Blunt Reviews Presents: X-Men: Days of Future Past – Rogue Cut (2014)

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This was interesting, because I liked the original theatrical cut of the film very much, so there wasn’t an awful lot I would change. That being said, I rather enjoyed this extended edition. It wasn’t groundbreaking, and it certainly didn’t change my experience of the film like many fans would have lead me to believe, but it did add several minutes of previously unseen footage that was intriguing. I wouldn’t say any of the new footage was essential, and I still prefer the original cut, but I’m glad I took the time to see what all the fuss was about.

Blunt Reviews Presents: The Darjeeling Limited (2007)

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As much as I love Wes Anderson as a filmmaker, this wasn’t quite as good as I had hoped. It starts as a pastiche of American philosophical tourism, which is subversive and genuinely quite funny, but the second half of the film seems to slip into the very thing it originally set out to mock, which is a shame. It still has a certain level of charm and there is much to like about it, but personally I got more from the short film that precedes the main picture, entitled Hotel Chevalier, which held a lot more substance.

Blunt Reviews Presents: Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

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It is complete and utter insanity. It’s like Wacky Races on Acid, but I would be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy it. On a technical level this film is really impressive; the production design is phenomenal, and despite the post-apocalyptic vibe it’s a strangely beautiful film full of colour. I admire directors like George Miller, still mastering the action genre and proving it doesn’t have to be stupid. In regards to acting Tom Hardy consistently grunts like a neanderthal, but more importantly there’s a knockout performance from Charlize Theron – yet another female character kicking arse in modern cinema!