Blunt Reviews Presents: Spider-Man 2 (2004)

spider man 2

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.

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Blunt Reviews Presents: Absolutely Anything (2015)

absolutely anything

Considering the cast list and the fact this was written and directed by Terry Jones, a living legend of comedy, this film should have been a lot better. It’s disappointing because I like the concept, I just wanted more from it. The majority of this film is based upon a sense of humour that consists of nitpicking and being incredibly pedantic about specific word choices, which as a student studying linguistics I admit I found funny. For about ten minutes. After that the film becomes incredibly annoying and repetitive and becomes a film to endure rather than enjoy.

Blunt Reviews Presents: Aliens (1986)

aliens

I can’t lie, Aliens is great and I will forever respect and enjoy it. On a technical level this film is brilliant, and visually it holds up even thirty years later. However, what I dislike is that it removes the original vision Ridley Scott created in 1979. Instead of Scott’s delicate and chilling approach, this sequel feels like James Cameron charging into the room shouting “BANG! BANG! MARINES! CHIN-UPS! EXCITEMENT!” which for me makes the film less interesting. Don’t get me wrong, this is a masterclass in action film making, but it lacks the substance of good sci fi horror.

Blunt Reviews Presents: Special Correspondents (2016)

Special Correspondents

This isn’t the best work from solo writer and director Ricky Gervais, and it’s proof that he’s at his best when collaborating with Stephen Merchant. Ultimately it doesn’t amount to an awful lot, and it is absolutely suited to a limited release through Netflix. If this were a cinematic release it wouldn’t have been received well, and would have ended up on the scrapheap with Ghost Town and The Invention of Lying. It clearly doesn’t pack an emotional punch as much as other Gervais pieces, which combined with the absence of well written jokes makes for a rather hollow film.

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

first class

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)

chasing amy

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)

drive

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)

seven pounds

 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.