At The Movies This Week, 7th December 2012
At The Movies This Week
Rise of the Guardians ★★★★
Director: Peter Ramsey
Cast: Chris Pine, Alec Baldwin, Jude Law, Hugh Jackman, Isla Fisher
Based upon “The Guardians of Childhood” series by William Joyce, “Rise of the Guardians” introduces us to many characters we are already familiar with such as Santa Claus, Tooth Fairy, The Easter Bunny and Sandman.
When an evil spirit threatens to strike fear in the children of the world, the Guardians must do what they can to stop him. Their guide, the Man in the Moon, informs them that they need a new Guardian to join them and points them towards to Jack Frost. Jack Frost is a 300 year old spirit with no memory of his past and no direction in life. Invisible to all humans, Jack has amused himself by creating mischief, snow days for kids, and the occasional snowball fight. But now he must join them to help stop Pitch, the evil spirit.
If you like superhero movies and holiday folklores, then you’ll find “Rise of the Guardians” to be an enjoyable surprise. It’s a beautifully animated film and full of cutesy stuff that children will love. The plot is quite thick and there is quite a lot packed into it. A good script and brilliant casting make this the perfect family film and will strike the hearts of children, young and old.
Director: Ben Wheatley
Cast: Alice Lowe, Steve Oram, Eileen Davies
“Sighteseers” centres around a couple who decide to go on a tour of England in a caravan. Things, however, take an unfortunate turn and a rash of deaths soon follows.
We aren’t given much reason to care for the characters. We don’t learn much about their backstory but we pick up enough about their characters. Tina (Lowe) is keen to get away from her very overbearing and manipulative mother, who’s determined to prevent her from ever leaving home. Chris (Oram) has some unresolved anger issues and a huge chip on his shoulder when it comes to the state of British society. There’s lots of beautiful scenery, the dialogue is witty and it’s interesting to see the characters develop as their relationship deepens.
By the acclaimed director of “Kill List”, this is British black humour at its best. There is lots of subtle humour throughout “Sightseers”. However, this is not a film for the faint-hearted. Gore fans will without doubt delight in the bloody direction Wheatley’s black comedy takes, laughing with joy as each new murder is carried out until its untimely ending.
Great Expectations ★★★
Director: Mike Newell
Cast: Ralph Fiennes, Helena Bonham Carter, Jason Flemyng, Robbie Coltrane, Holliday Grainger, Jeremy Irvine, Sally Hawkins, David Walliams
An orphan attempts to become a gentleman with the help of a mysterious benefactor. Directed by Mike Newell who helmed “Harry Potter and a Goblet of Fire” and “Four Weddings and a Funeral, this adaptation of the much loved Charles Dickens novel, “Great Expectations” is a good attempt but fails to bring enough to the screen.
Written by David Nicholls, the author of “One Day”, the story tends to concentrate more on the main character, Pip (Irvine) and his wooing of Estella (Grainger). You get a real sense of the relationship between Magwitch (Fiennes) and Pip; however it deserved far more screen time than it got and gets pushed aside. The ending was very unsatisfying and it was hard to feel any sympathy for the characters.
It’s a slow burning love story but there’s enough suspense, tension throughout the film to keep you content. If you have never read the book or watched any of the previous adaptations then you’ll enjoy this film. Fans of the Harry Potters series will recognise a few faces as well.