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Benin
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The Lion King 3DThe easiest 10 out of 10 I will ever give to a film. Most pictures have to prove their worth over a long running time. Instead, Lion King hits the ground running with the most awesome opening sequence of any animated film. Every voice artist gives it their all and makes their characters memorable and well rounded. The music is sublime fitting the African setting beautifully, each song is wonderfully sung and easy to sing along to. The story is engaging and full of funny, sad, happy, angry moments. The 3D just adds fantastic clarity to each scene.I'll admit quite feely that Lion King never fails to make me cry, when Mufassa appears in the sky to a Simba who has forgotten who he is, well.. I nearly break down because of its cinematic brilliance. It tugs at the heart strings and refuses to let go.Just awesome. 10/10, 100%, 100/100. 5 stars. Just perfection.
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Couple of reviews from me...InsidiousSo, I watched this film last night for the first time. I wanted to see it when it came out in cinemas, but didn't really have the time, money or effort to be honest. Which is a shame really, as I would have really enjoyed it in that environment. Nonetheless, I've finally got round to watching it. The film is acted superbly well, and has a strong story line to go with it. In case anyone doesn't have a clue what the film is; family move into a new home, child falls ill, scary house things happen, they move, more scary things happen, paranormal expert comes in, and then even stuff goes down. The last part of the film goes a bit overboard with the paranormal stuff, and the ending is perhaps a little too open ending for my liking, however, it is still blooming brilliant.8.5/10Paranormal Activity 3I watched this this afternoon, with only 3 of us in the cinema - the benefit of watching a horror in broad daylight I guess. Now, I know many people aren't a fan of the franchise for one reason or another, but I have a soft spot for it. I didn't find PA1 or PA2 particularly scary, bar the odd jumpy bit, but I liked the plot and the portrayal they both showed. I also was keen on how well the second film tied in with the first, with seemingly no plot holes created by it. From here, BIG SPOILERS lie ahead, since this is basically my review on each the whole thing, not just a broad one like above..Now, when I heard that this was yet another prequel, going back to 1988 when they were kids, I was slightly concerned. 1988 camcorders were hardly the best first off, and with them both being kids, we know that no serious harm will come to them, as they start off fine in the later films. But I kept an open mind. The film starts off in a more present day, with the Katie we know dropping off tapes labelled 1988, about a year before the first 2 films were set. Then, the film flashes to the beginning of the second film, showing that the tapes were stolen; something not previously mentioned. Then, somehow, we're viewing the tapes. It does not work like the other two; it's not being treated as 'found footage' that we are viewing, we're just watching some shots from 1988 for no reason, yet it feels exactly like the first (ie 'Night 1', location, etc.). Also, the quality of the cameras - my god, they were amazing! Seriously, they were just as good as the ones used in 201-oh... One thing I was looking forward to with the date was how the camera quality would have the chance to enhance the viewing experience, and perhaps even create some scares. This did not happen. The only thing that showed us the age was some fuzzy bits when cameras were shaken violently / turned off. Now, much like most of these films, there's a believer, non-believer and the one with extra-ordinary gifts. Kristi has an 'imaginary' friend called Toby, which seemingly has a dark side. Her mum is a total no believer, and her mum's boyfriend (Dennis) is the guy filming all this stuff, and Katie is just sorta there. Even after seeing dust land on an invisible human, and then shook off, it is near-on impossible to convince people something is up. Cameras are set up (including one on a fan which pans side-to-side, which works very well!) and stuff starts to happen.. There's a couple of fake scares, but also some tension-building moments (one involves a floating blanket for example). One of (the plot's) most stupid moments is when one of Dennis' friends plays a game of Bloody Mary with Katie (despite seeing some of the weird stuff that's gone on), which has bad consequences... Yet, after all this, the girls' mum doesn't seem to feel the place is haunted, and blames the cameras (sounds familiar, no?) Around this time, there's a very woolly tie-in with the second film, about how the girls' ancestors could be part of a coven which brainwashes girls to have sons (with the second film discovering the demon wants the first born male, following a promise from the family).After a loud, jumpy and slightly predictable scare, the family moves to the girls' grandma's house, after feeling the house is haunted. That night, a car pulls up to the house and the girls' mum investigates. After a couple minutes of waiting, Dennis goes searching for her. She's disappeared, the girls have disappeared and he goes on the hunt (with his camera, of course). He sees shadows and such, and is led outside to find the girls' grandma and other old women (the coven, presumably) to which he runs away. Loud noises and stuff moving occurs, including the girls' mum's corpse chucked at Dennis from the top of a flight of stairs, then he finds Kristi, and hides in a closet. After a couple of minutes, it is safe to come out. Katie is near her mum, seemingly crying, so Dennis approaches her to comfort her. The demon possesses her, and then throws Dennis' body, then runs away. The grandma then comes, and watches an invisible entity attack and mangle him, before the girls (and 'Toby') accompany grandma upstairs, unphased... The screen blacks and the film ends...What the actual god is my response. It is such a stupid ending, which creates more questions than it answers, creates some confusion as to why other things in the other films happen and even creates some plot holes. The plot in general was woollier than an unsheered sheep. As said, I liked this franchise, and was interested to see how well they'd handle the plot a third time round. By creating another prequel, they've successfully milked the cow and ruined the franchise's decent story, and evaded the trickier questions, like what happens to Katie now, why has the demon chosen her as the full-time host and so much more. All I can say is, if, I repeat, IF, they go for PA4, they should push the boat out with it, stop with the silly prequels, explain what has happened in the present day and bury the series with a bang and some dignity. 4/10

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  • 3 weeks later...

Haven't posted in a while... Not posted any film reviews recently tbh, time to fix that with....Johnny English RebornYes I really had nothing better to do yesterday than go and see this as none of my mates were going to 5-a-side... So me and Nicky meandered over to the local Odeon and this was the only thing that interested me (The extra 150 loyalty cards points sparked interest)...I hadn't really wanted to see this film as (like Cats and Dogs) this was a rather weird sequel to have for a film that was mildly successful 10 years ago and can now be picked up for £3 in HMV, hardly the definite seller already towards me, however I went in with a relatively open mind to see how many Bond piss-takes I can handle in 110 minutes...The answer is, a lot... Whilst there were a few giggles here and there, it was a rather mish-mash of people, places and scenes... The rest was a rather turgid and bland affair which has been seen in many a movie before, I will give credit to Dominic West for his absolutely delicious scenery chewing turn as the bad guy, brilliant casting from the team on that perspective... And a great scene involving a trip to the hospital and the finale sequence were also pretty well done...Overall, it's turd really, and rather atypical of all sequels now being bigger, vaster, but by no means better (Especially with a lack of Ben Miller)...5/10But what else I have seen, well aside from the 10/10 beasts of Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead, another trip to cinema a few weeks back led to the brand spanking new...The Adventures of Tintin - The Secret of the UnicornNow I'll be honest, when I saw the first trailer for this, I was rather unsure as to the look of the film as it does look very weird when viewed on the internet... However, on the big screen it looks FANTASTIC (and that's just in 2D) and I think Speilberg and Jackson really captured a good essence of the original comics, with some good casting and voiceover work from the actors, it made it all rather believable...The film itself has a lovely script, and considering it was written by the 3 best British writers (Edgar Wright, Steven Moffat and Joe Cornish would you believe?) that isn't unsurprising, and it lends itself nicely to the typical Spielberg esque film, with some great set-pieces and character development interlinking nicely to generate a fast-flowing story that keeps the interest of the viewer both young and old alike...Plus I want a Snowy!9/10

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It's not in the cinema but I still watched it so there.PinocchioIt's genius. I do love looking back at the oldest Disney films and see the innocence that runs through the centre of the film. Pinocchio questions everything like a young boy would, his innocence and the way he responds to things is so beautiful. The animation is just so good and the morals that run through the film are so subtle that as a kid you see a big whale trying to eat our leads but as an adult you see Pinocchio in bravery, selflessness and truth. And that scene with the donkeys. :ninja: I think I enjoy it more that, having not seen the film since before going to a Disney park, it makes me happy that the main song "when you wish upon a star" still echoes in the parks to this day.Pinocchio - 10/10 I cried. :wub:

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I always kinda wished they had done a film adaptation of Artemis Fowl tbh, had enough scope (especially with the sequels) to become something.Then again, it would have been up against Potter. So would never had made big bucks. Now Potter is over, I sense we'll see a few more of these kind of films as the studios might feel more 'unthreatened' by the global cashcow that was the Potter franchise.Especially as well, that Twilight is nearing the end (THANK GOD).

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Avatar? Dunno why that would affect family films like Percy Jackson tbh.Percy Jackson was a good attempt, especially from the point of view of someone who hadn't read the books, but I'm not sure how it did in the cinema overall. Guessing by the names and effects it had in it, it may not have made anywhere near as enough money as hoped. Could be wrong though. But judging by the lack of sequel or franchising, can't be far wrong :ninja:

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There's been so many attempts to launch a new children/family franchise from a series of books: just look at the spectacular failure of the actually rather good Alex Rider series. The first film, Stormbreaker, changed the novel in so many ways that it just ended up relying on gimmickry and a stale sense of humour.I say Avatar because that's also going to be a continuous franchise, with one more film already commissioned for 2013 and a third in talks. :ninja: I don't see how that's going to do in the grand scheme of things really; Avatar was an awful film. Great special effects, sure, but the story-line was just a rehash of the Americans hunting Native American tribes for gold, only it used "unobtainium" and was based on a planet called Pandora (Lord know why they chose to borrow from Greek mythology, there). What a load of bull it was.Besides, the main characters aren't actually human (not anymore, at least). Trivial thing, I know, but surely it's fundamental in terms of capturing the imagination of smaller children. Harry Potter worked because we all believe in magic at one point, and because Potter was set on Earth and the main characters were human, it's much easier to relate and empathise with them. Avatar was merely something to be impressed by.

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  • 3 weeks later...

So, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II came out on DVD last week.I've watched it a couple of times since getting it, and my views on it have gone down. The film is the end of one of the biggest and most popular series around, yet it fails to bring the story to a strong enough close. Yes, it finishes it to a good enough standard, but it doesn't explain enough - like the book did - to finish the story. It's the shortest Potter film there is, so I don't see why they haven't added in more of the story. Things they really should've included:-Stating that Harry's invisible cloak (which is part of the Deathly Hallows) was given to him by Dumbledore, and that he could have united the 3 hallows together.-That Harry is Lupin's child's godfather.-More showing of the deaths of major characters (Lupin and Fred for example).-Longer Aberforth scene.-Just a bit more in the end.Why these weren't added in just bemuses me. The film is good and works well, but as a series ender, it is not the best. The end is an improvement on the book in my eyes, but makes no sense in a way. Why is Harry's son asking 'But what if I'm put in Slytherin?'; why isn't the banter between him and his brother shown. All I'd have liked is names, just to end it off. So yeah, bit of a rant, but I feel the Harry Potter series ended with a bit less of a band than it should have...

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Following on from Josh's post, I also think the last film was not a good enough standard to end the series. I was largely disappointed with Voldemort's death scene, and with the film as a whole. Part 1 was, in my opinion, amazing, whereas Part 2 did absolutely nothing for me, in fact, I deemed it as a waste of my time.On another note, I am unbelievably and ridiculously excited for the release of Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. I found the first film enthralling and utterly entertaining, the humour was impeccable, definitely my kind of film. I'm really hoping the next film lives up to the first, which I am almost certain it will. Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law make the perfect team, a well deserved 10/10 from me. :(

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*sigh*There's something very saddening about watching Sherlock Holmes... I genuinely think it's a brilliant film but it's so hard to watch because of it's more... subliminal themes. The ones that are less explored and leave many a question mark over the possibility and plausibility of them. When reflected in my own life it's just a little saddening, tis all. Makes me wonder if I'll ever have affinity like Holmes and Watson's...Edit: I meant to post this yesterday, but had difficulties posting. What a co-incidence Sarah! Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows has an awful lot to live up to; the first film was flawless and so well done.

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