Noah (2014) Film Review


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(Spoilers, Sorry) This is a classic case of the trailer making the film look better than it actually is. I had been waiting for Noah to come out for a while as I came across it a while ago and I saw that Russell Crowe was playing Noah and I was excited to watch this movie. Unfortunately, I just did not get it, I’m sure that everyone knows the basic story of Noah’s Ark, and i’m pretty sure it was nothing like the film? I mean the basic concept was the same as in there is a man called Noah that is told by God, or in the film known as The Creator, to build an ark to save the innocent (animals) from the floods. I watched the first fifteen/twenty minutes and I genuinely felt a bit confused, not that the film is confusing, just to me personally it was not what I was expecting. The film is not all bad, I think some of it was filmed in Iceland and it is just beautiful, some of the scenes were unbelievable. I also liked some of the filming, there were these shots which I guess would be called mini jump cuts that were following this stream and as it goes along the stream the surroundings are changing, it was just really cool.

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One huge positive for this film is some of the cast, Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly who plays Noah’s wife Naameh, Anthony Hopkins plays Noah’s grandfather Methuselah, Ray Winstone plays Tubal-Cain and Emma Watson plays Ila. I thought that Crowe’s performance, as usual, was phenomenal and was most likely the most believable performance in the film. There were times throughout the film that were meant to be emotional, touching and serious but sometimes were just a bit awkward and not in a good way. I liked the fact that Darren Aronofsky included some of his own ideas and changed it slightly, I am not saying I liked those ideas, but I liked the fact he had the guts to do that. Noah had three sons, Shem his oldest played by Douglas Booth, Ham played by Logan Lerman, and Japheth his youngest son played by Leo McHugh Carroll, out of the three Ham seems to get the most screen time and is also the son you learn most about, he’s a little rebellious against Noah and for good reason. There are these ‘Fallen Angles’ that are known as ‘Watchers’ which are in the Bible however in this film turn into giant stone Golem things when they disappoint The Creator, which I found a bit strange and they turned into giant stone warrior Golems things…yeah. As much as I liked Russell Crowe as Noah, i’m not really sure on how I felt about the film as a whole, there were times throughout the film where it was meant to be very sad but I was almost going the other way and finding it a bit funny due to the acting of Emma Watson, at times it felt forced rather than natural.

The film felt rather long, the film is around 2 hours and 20 minutes which is a long time for anyone. In the film they are on the ark for at least 9 months, and the man that is against saving all the animals and feels that people should be on the ark, Ray Winstone’s character Tubal-Cain, is hiding on the ark. I found this hard to believe in a film that was meant to be realistic and believable, because Noah, or his family had to go around the ark and put the animals to sleep with this scent that they created, how did they not spot him for over 9 months? Although, I thought that Ray Winstone’s performance was brilliant, he was a truly selfish man that was going to do anything for what he believed in, similar to Noah just on the opposite end of the spectrum.

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As much as I think Anthony Hopkins is a great actor and he did a great job with Methuselah, the character in a realistic and believable world would just be seen as crazy. I won’t go into to much detail on what role he has to play or what he does in the film, but he is funny and just a tiny bit mad. Talking of crazy and mad, Noah was certainly that towards the end. It was slightly disturbing thinking about some of the things that Noah said he would do, all because of a dream. At one point of the film Noah allows a young woman to be crushed to death due to The Creator telling him that Humanity needs to end, he really was borderline psycho. However thinking about it, it is a really clever move from Aronofsky because at first you think it is just the simple Good vs Evil, Noah vs Tubal-Cain, but you start to question whether does Tubal-Cain have a point? Was Noah a little bit crazy and was taking things to far?

Overall I felt that this film was a bit of a let down, not that it was bad but after seeing the trailer and all the hype for it, sadly it just did not live up to expectations. Some strong performances from Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly and Ray Winstone kept the film entertaining at times. The film had some potentially good sub plots, unfortunately they were hard to connect to due to the way that the characterisation of Noah’s two sons was limited and we were almost more familiar with Emma Watson’s character, Ila. Some of the scenes and the special effects in the film are phenomenal, without them the film would have struggled to keep some people interested. The film makes you ask a lot of questions but it is also strange and could leave you wondering “what did I just watch?”

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Rating: 6.5/10

 

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) Film Review


Warning! Spoilers will be in this review, sorry!

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Wow, would be a good word to describe this film because it’s crazy good. Many people I know are not too keen on Captain America, they think he’s boring and isn’t really a superhero, he’s just a man with a shield. Steve Rodgers’ Captain America (Chris Evans), for me, is what a superhero should be, he is a super-human, a normal man with enhanced human abilities. This is the second installment of Captain America and also the ninth installment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), it is set about 2 years after The Avengers film. Steve Rodger’s is now working for S.H.I.E.L.D. and is on a mission, along with S.T.R.I.K.E. team and Natasha Romanoff/ Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), to rescue hostages from a S.H.I.E.L.D. ship which has been taken over by Georges Batroc and his fellow pirates. I found this beginning part of the film to be very distracting as the filming, in my opinion, was poor, the camera seemed to be shaking a lot and I am not sure if this was to add effect but it was annoying. During this operation, Cap learns that Natasha was actually on the mission for a different reason, to retrieve data from the computer systems on the ship. This was something that Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) had sent Natasha to do, which lead to Cap feeling disappointed and annoyed he was not informed of the full operation, it comes across that Cap does not trust Fury as much as he should considering he practically works for him.

This heated discussion between Cap and Fury leads to Fury informing Cap of the plans that S.H.I.E.L.D. have for an operation called Insight, which consists of three huge helicarriers (like seen in The Avengers) that create a triangle and within that triangle can prevent future threats. Cap does not agree with the plans and again seems to show a lack of trust in S.H.I.E.L.D. and Nick Fury. Fury then tries to access the files that Natasha had taken from the boat through the USB she downloaded them onto however it was not allowing him to access to the films, with the super smart technology stating that Nick Fury was the person to block him from opening it, strange. Uneasy and suspicious of S.H.I.E.L.D. Fury calls his close ally, Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) as he is on his way to meet with her due to the recent uncertainty of S.H.I.E.L.D’s new operation, Insight. On the way to meeting Hill, Fury’s car is attacked by Policemen in Police cars, however when Nick uses his intelligent computer built into his vehicle to locate the nearest Police they are not near, showing that the ‘Police cars’ that are chasing him are not the Police at all and are in fact working with the legendary Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan). Fury only just escapes with his life and heads towards Cap’s home.

This really sets the tone for the film, and it just seems to get better and better from there, I would say that this is probably my favourite out of the nine MCU films so far. For those who are familiar with the comics you will really appreciate some of the scene’s and characters in this film as they are brilliant, the relationship between Cap and The Winter Soldier is great, as much as Cap wants to do the right thing, he won’t hurt his old friend in the process and will try to find a way to do something without hurting him. The fighting scene between Cap and The Winter Soldier earlier in the film in the street was amazing, I was literally sitting on the edge of my seat. I have heard some criticism towards Sam Wilson better known as Falcon (Anthony Mackie) but I really enjoyed the way that he was introduced, I felt that it was a good way to do so without taking up the majority of the film to give him a back story. I also thought the introduction to Sharon Carter/ Agent 13 was really clever and sharp, again like Falcon did not use loads of time giving a back story, just presented the character; I expect that she will at some point in the films be Cap’s girlfriend as they are sometimes in the comics.

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Make sure if you go to see this movie that you stay for BOTH of the post credit scene’s at the end, many people that have gone to see it have watched the first extra scene half way through the credits, however there is another after all the credits which shows The Winter Soldier looking at the facts in the Museum about himself, Bucky Barnes. Although, the big news comes from the mid-credit extra scene which shows a Hydra base and inside Baron Strucker bragging about how S.H.I.E.L.D. did not discover them and goes on to question whether it is time to release or activate the ‘twins’? Who are the twins, well I assume they are Pietro (Quicksilver) and the Wanda (Scarlet Witch) from what we see, although Scarlet Witch’s powers are vague in the comics. It is hard to predict what will happen with them both due to them originally being Mutant’s, as in X-Men Mutants but because of all the right’s and legal stuff they won’t be known as Mutant’s in any of the Marvel films for now. They are Magneto’s children, I think that this could become very complicated if they were to ever cross over as Quicksilver is meant to be in the new X-men movie played by another actor, but it’s exciting anyway! The Film also makes reference to Stephen Strange (Dr Strange) which would be incredible if they could introduce him into the MCU, I know many people have been hoping for a film, but I would settle for him being in any film, as long as it is good!

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I did watch this film a while ago now so I may have forgot a few things, but this film was amazing and if you’re in to this kind of stuff do go and watch it if you already haven’t. Let me know what you thought of the film?

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Rating:9.5/10