Blunt Reviews Presents: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)

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If you can look past some pretty awful child acting, there are still a number of significant flaws. Considering the time period and the quality of the first film the visuals are particularly disappointing, which is a fundamental flaw for a fantasy film. Aside from this the main problems are in the structure and tone; it seems to flirt the line between family friendly and dark and brooding without properly committing to either, which makes the 161 minute run time immensely painful. Poorly structured and incredibly ill-disciplined, not even Toby Jones and Alan Rickman can make me like this film more.

Blunt Reviews Presents: Spider-Man 2 (2004)

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This is still one of the greatest superhero films of all time. Sam Raimi’s passion for the source material is evident in his work, as we see this film focus so heavily upon the characters. Of course there’s action and excitement as we would expect from a superhero movie, however for me the best element was the writing. In between the action sequences there’s a beating heart and intelligent brain that explore complex issues that really aid the characterisation of Peter Parker. This was three dimensional, well executed filmmaking whose heart and brain are placed firmly in the right place.

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: 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: 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: Inland Empire (2007)

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As much as I like David Lynch, this is not his finest work. Some hailed it as his masterpiece, others tore it shreds, but personally I’m somewhere in the middle. There are elements that I like; I can’t fault the central performance by Laura Dern, but it’s not enough to fix the film. Most annoyingly it takes things I previously liked about Lynch, the ambiguity, the strange imagery, the confusing non-linear narrative, and it made me dislike them. I didn’t feel as angry other people, but I was certainly disappointed because I know Lynch is capable of so much more.

Blunt Reviews Presents: A Christmas Carol (2009)

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Robert Zemeckis returns to motion capture territory to deliver one of the most redundant adaptations of the Dickens classic, that makes you wish you were watching the far superior Muppet Christmas Carol. Jim Carrey is at the very height of overacting as we see him play numerous roles within the film, turning each character up to eleven and subsequently making them beyond annoying. Even the ambitious attempt at visual style is not commendable, as the whole film feels like a series of cut away scenes from an early 2000s Playstation 2 game. Loud and uninspired rubbish that simply is not funny.

Blunt Reviews Presents: Fred Claus (2007)

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It’s annoying to see so many talented people, such as Paul Giamatti, Kevin Spacey and Kathy Bates being sucked into the Hollywood tradition of making god awful comedies around Christmas time. Having Vince Vaughn as the titular character is enough to ruin the film, but why push some genuinely talented people on to the sinking ship? (no Kathy Bates Titanic related pun intended) It’s over the top and over sentimental drivel that’s designed to give parents a break for an hour and a half while their kids finally sit still. It’s not a Christmas classic, it’s a waste of time.

Blunt Reviews Presents: Elf (2003)

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I know a lot of people will assume I don’t like this film, and they’ll be expecting a rant from me, but I can honestly say this film doesn’t bother me. It’s a bit like a text message from someone you don’t particularly like: you see it, you acknowledge its existence, then you simply ignore it and go about the rest of your day. I admit it’s funny to an extent, but the funniest element has to be the fact the filmmakers saw no irony in casting Will Ferrell to play a man refusing to grow up.

Blunt Reviews Presents: The Holiday (2006)

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Many people will try to convince you that this film is “cute” or “romantic” but I would argue that it’s actually rather frustrating. The UK has Kate Winslet, a national treasure, and in this film we see her sent to the US and replaced by Cameron Diaz, much like in a science fiction horror when a human is abducted and replaced by a soul harvesting alien clone. It’s more stress than I need over the Christmas period quite frankly. Don’t get me wrong, I love romance films, but I much prefer them when they’re well written and less self indulgent.