27 November 2010

Girls on film

Sex and the City 2 – Michael Patrick King

Fully expecting this pile of shit to be, well, a steaming pile of shit, i wasn’t wrong as it delivered on all fronts in every department. Horrible acting, a laughable script, and a message that is totally wrong to give out, a pace that’s unsettling, editing and camerawork that makes me shudder in hatred, and throw in some more things that are important which they just seem not to care about. It’s a film aimed at women, obviously, taking “real” stories of a woman and putting them onto the big screen whilst making it Aspirational. Aspirational is the key word here because girls actually watch this and wish they were one of the four ladies who make the “gang” up. If i ever have a girl, i will never ever buy them this, i will never ever make them watch it, i will actually tell them they can never watch this pile of shit because it’s damaging to a girl. In my opinion, it’s degrading, it’s pointless and it’s just brings up the bad qualities of a woman’s life. Now i’m not knocking the fact they are open with their sexuality or the fact they have three best friends who will always stand by them, but the morals, the life lessons, they are just over-the-top and fucking shameful.

Starring four really old and disgusting looking women who seem to be labelled “beautiful” because of the clothes they wear and the amount of money they have, they go on an adventure to a new country to change it? Well the whole point of the film is throwing four American women into a new place and making fun of their ways. Ha bloody ha, it’s just weak writing and it shows. If people are lapping this up, it amazes me they can even stand up. All of them have relationship problems which are boring as shit and really don’t lend well to a film version. It’s just more money thrown at it along with better cameras. There is no difference and it just reeks of a cash cow freshly laid poo on a field full of great films which could easily have been made instead of wasting the money on this. I just can’t believe that people enjoy this fucking disgraceful shit that i will never ever watch again or even talk about; it’s a waste of time and breath

I actually couldn’t wait to sit down to watch this terrible movie because then i could fuel the fire that I’ve had about the television series and the previous film, I’ve dipped and watched a couple of find out what it’s like. It’s a disgrace that loads of people like it, it really is, i could name at least 10 different television shows better than this and i will right now: The Simpsons, Friends, The Wire, Friday Night Lights, Community, 30 Rock, The Office, Extras, Spaced, Lost, Flight of the Conchords, The Mighty Boosh, Entourage, The League, Eastbound and Down and South Park. I did even better than 10, i did 16, and i could probably list about 50. Don’t watch this.


Simon Childs

Jim is Carol, a Christmas themed one...

A Christmas Carol – Robert Zemeckis

Adapted from the famous Charles Dickens ‘ 1843 story of the same, A Christmas Carol, written and directed by Robert Zemeckis, made by Disney and told in the fashion in the vein of Zemeckis field of expertise, performance capture but this time in 3D. Finally released on DVD and 3D-VD (a name i just come up with!), where the film can be viewed in 3D if you have the right technology, it has taken over a year to come out in this format considering it was out in the cinemas for Christmas 2009, which is a ridiculously long time, but they could be said about pretty much all of Disney releases. Featuring Jim Carrey as everyone in the film (near enough), this modern retelling of the tale sees the use of the proper language from that story not adapted to sound normal, so it’s a little difficult to get into it at the beginning but it does warm over you over the course of the film. The technique of performance capture is new to Disney and to be used this well by someone familiar with the technology is astounding, i would love to see it in 3D to see the full effect but even watching it normally i got goose bumps at how realistic and beautiful it was.

You properly already know the tale of Ebenezer Scrooge, a bitter old miserable man who doesn’t like Christmas anymore and sends his distasteful hatred to everyone he comes across, even his friends and work colleagues. Set during the 1800’s, London is relived in amazing detail with some breath taking sequences. On Christmas Eve, three spirits visit him to show him his wrongful ways in the form of the Ghost of Christmas Past, Christmas Present and Christmas Future, showing Scrooge what he is doing wrong and what he will become. Scaring him into realising what he is doing wrong. The three ghosts in question are all very dark, as the film is overall very dark and serious, for a children’s film, it’s not the light hearted, not on the fluffy side like The Muppet Christmas. I would be surprised if children didn’t have nightmares over the film and some of the horrible images like people’s old and crooked faces and the Ghost of Christmas Future is pretty much Death.

There are some fantastic sequences showing the true power of the technology along with all the facial features and tiniest movements you wouldn’t normally see but are given extraordinary significance. Just watch Scrooge’s facial expressions change ever so slightly but the detail for an animation film is mind blowing. It should be interesting to see Tintin when it arrives next year considering it’s made with the same technology but directed by Steven Spielberg.


Simon Childs

How to Train Your Disney and Pixar Dragon to Roar Dreamworks!

How To Train Your Dragon – Chris Sanders & Dean DeBlois

Having just been placed on the Oscar list for the Best Animated Feature, it looks as though the proof is in the pudding with How to Train Your Dragon, DreamWorks Animation latest offering which seems to have pulled that all important gap in-between them and Pixar. I’m sorry for DreamWorks Animation, but the field they are in, they will also be compared to Pixar and they will continually lose, especially in this year with the mega release of Toy Story 3. It should be interesting to see what happens next year with some of the releases of both camps: DreamWorks recently release the popular Megamind, with next year seeing the sequel to Kung Fu Panda and a spin off from Shrek featuring the Puss in Boots character. Whilst Pixar, sticking to their successful formula will be releasing just one film, that being the sequel to Cars, and it seems that Cars wasn’t their best feature to begin with, but you never question their judgement! NEVER! So with How to Train Your Dragon they don’t try to be realistic and human the way that Pixar does, but they try to be over-the-top and exciting, throwing lots of action your way and involving characters who may be strange looking but certainly bring something funny to the table.

Featuring the voice talents of such actors as: Jay Baruchel as Hiccup, the lead of the film, Gerald Butler as the disappointed father of Hiccup and king of his tribe, Stoick the Vast, and the group that Hiccup becomes friends with whilst in Dragon taming training: America Ferrera (Ugly Betty), Christopher Mintz-Plasse (Superbad), Jonah Hill, T.J. Miller and Kristen Wiig (Saturday Night Live).A great rounded cast bringing some really funny characters to live, especially the lead with Hiccup being the main emotional pull here. Hiccup, a weak, small and frail Viking doesn’t follow in the tradition of hunting and killing dragons, instead he saves one and they form an unlikely friendship but when Hiccup is soon revealed to be a master tamer of dragons, he is trained in front of the whole village, making him to be next in the line of the King, which his father desperately wants but there seems to be bigger problems at the moment involving the dragons. It’s a great little story and will have you griped from start to finish and you defiantly pick a side!

A thoroughly enjoyable animated film that brings action and comedy in bundles, it may not be on the same level as Toy Story 3 but it’s not trying, it’s trying to be different and you have to applaud it for that.


Simon Childs

The Silent Killer...

The American – Anton Corbijn

Anton Corbijn returns with his first American film, well it’s been called his first American film because it has an American lead and is based on an American book and its production crew is mostly American, but its set in European, mostly in Italy and the rest of the cast are European, and most importantly the director is too. The verdict is that Anton Corbijn has down well by his past movies and now moves forward into the right direction, really owning into his distinctive style which you’ll notice within the first 5 minutes of the film. Slow and beautiful long shots of the scenery, the film has a bare bones script that relies on Anton’s style and flair, a director who isn’t this man would of made a boring, worthless film. The different locations being showcased in a romantic and fluid way is both calming and interesting to watch whilst the story revolves around it. Having the lead character as a photographer, it references itself in how beautiful the film is, and the lead is played by George Clooney, a man who oozes beauty in an annoying way, but at the same time you have to admire.

Clooney plays Jack, a man on the run after being found out to be an assassin and most find a new place to lay low. Soon after he is contacted in about a mission whom he accepts and must build a gun for a fellow assassin. Along the way he falls in love with a prostitute and becomes friends with a local priest. It’s a low moving film but it should be that way having the action come as a natural progression with the tension and the grace the piece emits. A few double crosses at the end, and it has a build up to the moment when it finally hits and the ending is perfect, it’s an ending to be proud of and fits really well with the whole piece.

Its graceful, it’s beautiful, its pace is just right, it has a great amount of tension and suspense, but you may find yourself bored at points and find that the minimal script may annoy you. You may also find Clooney’s performance not his best, not on the same level as Up in the Air, but you’ll appreciate his subtleness. Also, booby alert, there are two scenes featuring boobs and sex, so you have been warned!


Simon Childs

21 November 2010


WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2011 – PS3, XBOX 360, and Wii

THQ returns with the latest instalment of one of the biggest sports franchises ever, and it sees a new direction which has come to the point where it was defiantly needed. Packed with new features and modes, WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2011 comes to all the consoles in the usual October/November slot of sports games like Fifa and Madden. I’ve always been a massive fan of the series since some of the very first games like In Your House and the original Smackdown games, but with the new vs. Series of the last few years they have stepped up the enjoyment value to another level. No other wrestling game out there is as much fun and as exciting as the SVR franchise with so many different wrestlers, match types and customisation, it seems as though they couldn’t be a new step for them to take. But looking for finely into the game, it seems some points don’t work whilst others revolutionise the genre, from the new WWE Universe mode to the typical Road to Wrestlemania to the improvement of online matches and containing more wrestlers than ever before. Let’s get into some of the features that have a welcome return or are entirely new to the series.

Beginning with the obvious change in the way of weapons and the physics systems that before felt wooden or felt unrealistic, now with the changes, in the famous Tables, Ladders and Chairs match, you can finally place the table upon table upon table, Hardy Boyz style and throw someone off the ladder into them. The feeling of putting someone through a table feels much better now, you get the impact, you get the feeling of joy when you body slam or suplex someone in a waiting table instead of having to set them up and wait for them to move in front of it or luckily find themselves lying on it. Even the use of throwing a chair an opponent has a greater impact on the player than ever before, you really feel the connection with the weapons, and it makes for a much better experience, especially with one of the series best aspects, TLC.

One of the biggest features of the game is the introduction of WWE Universe, taking what the WWE is now and producing it in a game where it’s not necessarily a mode like Road to Wrestlemania or a normal match against an opponent, it sees you take control of WWE. Creating different matches on the live events and playing them out, you can take your favourite wrestlers from the bottom to the top and the results that happen constantly evolve your universe in who is champion, who is the number one contender to the belts, who is feuding and so forth. It’s a great feature for those who like to take control of the universe through every little detail including making new factions and having certain wrestlers be the champs. It’s a very thorough process which is highly enjoyable over time and you can jump in and play any match you want or you could simulate them until the very end. It covers all of the major events including the PPV’s, so you could easily make CM Punk the Heavyweight champion at Royal Rumble with a great Hell in a Cell victory over Randy Orton.

Finally with the Road to Wrestlemania mode now being a stable for the game series, it sees a new feature in how you can now free-roam backstage, talk to other wrestlers, visit the gym, go see the General Manager or even just run around for ages, it’s your choice. Normally you see yourself just beating up other wrestlers you don’t like but there are some hidden items and stuff so keep your eye out for it. The different paths in this mode is great too with Christian, Rey Mysterio, John Cena, Chris Jericho and a path where you choose one of 4 wrestlers to defeat Undertaker’s Wrestlemania streak. Very challenging and rewarding and a lot of fun, all of the wrestlers have different strengths and weaknesses in their story, i found the Christian story really cool with the inclusion of tagging up with Edge again. YES!

A great game for all the consoles, sure if you’re not a big fan of wrestling you might not enjoy it, but it’s still enjoyable, it’s easily pick up and play, and the amount of hours you’ve got on your hand with the WWE Universe is massive compared to past instalments. I just hope they will step it up again next time, it feels the right time for an overhaul of everything including graphics and style. Move in the best direction like Fifa did.

VISUALS: Some of the wrestlers look spot on whilst others look like the Hunchback of Notre Dame 14%

SOUND: With the inclusion of the entrance themes of many of the wrestlers it’s great, including some of the old school ones. The sounds of when you fight, very authentic. 18%

GAMEPLAY: Still a bit clunky in places but the smoothness is getting better. Great pick up and play feel. 14%

LASTING APPEAL: WWE Universe will ruin your life 20%

SPECIAL FEATURES: Creation modes have endless fun, if your into that kinda thing! 15%


Simon Childs


Iron Man 2 – Jon Favreau

Big Favs returns with the second instalment of the Iron Man franchise, taking the ups and downs from the first film and producing the same great action sequences, great chemistry between the characters and the awesome acting from Robert Downey Jr. I’m a massive fan of Iron Man the film, not necessarily the cartoon or comic, but a big fan of the movie, taking a character who wasn’t the best considered third or fourth rated behind Superman, Batman, Spider-Man and possibly Captain America. Following the success of the first instalment in the Marvel franchise, Iron Man saw the coming together of the comic book character and the cultural awareness of the team behind it, knowing that the audience for superhero films could be exploited in the same way Spider-Man was but for a more adult audience, bringing together children and their parents. Having the jokes and humour aimed at the adults and the action and fun aimed at the younger audiences, it saw a great summer blockbuster with fun action scenes, great humour and a sensibility to know what the audience wanted, it didn’t want it to be dark like Batman but light and fluffy.

The Iron Man returns with Tony Stark after countless attempts at trying to gain technology that can help with his heart problem, that being that a machine is keeping this heart working, he’s running out of the material that produces it. He soon begins to ponder some of his decisions and begins to live life recklessly with going on different adventures including a trip to a grand prix which doesn’t work out when a Russian named Whiplash comes by and ruins Stark’s plans. The world sees a man harness the same power Iron Man has, but unfortunately his technology is not the same. A rival weapons manufacturer uses this opportunity to strike down Stark by using the Russian for his advantage. It shows the slow downfall of Stark and his Iron Man persona with some really funny drunk scenes and when he has “meetings” with Nick Fury, the head of S.H.I.E.L.D. Some great fast paced action scenes with some really great acting from the whole cast with Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Scarlett Johansson, Samuel L. Jackson, Mickey Rourke and Sam Rockwell all performing perfectly, bringing to life the characters they are.

I’m looking forward to the future of the series with the release of Captain America, Thor and the massively epic The Avengers movie involving all of these characters working together with the line up being Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Nick Fury, Black Widow, Hulk, Hawkeye and many more. It should be a fantastic film being helmed by none other than Joss Whedon, and with a lot on his shoulders, he has a massive task to do!


Simon Childs

Freddie’s back with a vengeance!

A Nightmare on Elm Street – Samuel Bayer

Before we start with this review, i thought i would flag up something I’ve found out about while researching more about this film: did you know that there seems to be one film company who has continuously financed and made sequels and remakes? And that the company is owned by none other than Michael fucking Bay? Yep. Platinum Dunes. They have pretty much, since 2003 with The Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake, have been making remakes of famous horror films for the modern audiences and it seems, that every single of them are rubbish, but not rubbish in a boring way but rubbish in a way which doesn’t capture the original in the right way but it’s still entertaining to watch them try. The Amityville Horror, The Unborn, Friday the 13th and now A Nightmare on Elm Street, and with upcoming film on their slate, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which following the trend of their past work will include them killing people who are at the same time naked, big boobed and female. (That’s quite a funny image, a ninja turtle with big boobs!)

Back to the plot, you know the story of Freddie Kruger, if you don’t, you must have lived in a cave or something but I’ll retell it for you if this is the first time you’ll be welcomed to the Kruger tale. A man who worked at a children’s nursery with a stripy red jumper and hat is convicted of sexually abusing the children from the class and is soon tracked down by the parents of these children. It ends messy where Kruger is burned alive in a disused oil mill and many years later with the children now growing into horny teenagers, the children seem to be dying one by one. With suspicions rising in the town, the children begin to realise what’s going on. Kruger is killing them in their sleep, inflicting damage in their dream where if they get cut, they get cut in real life. It’s pretty harrowing concept if you think about it, but that’s how sick Kruger is. Here in the remake, they throw new actors doing this with relationships stemming from the whole thing. Also a bit of a fight between Kruger and a couple of them.

The main thing here though is the imaginative deaths, some are gory, some are tame, wait until the very end and you’ll see something fucking horrible but also awesome. So it’s a good film, it has scary parts and the dreams themselves look cool too, so i would seek it out on a night in, in the dark, would be shit scary.


Simon Childs

Thank Fuck it’s the end...

Ong Bak 3: The Final Battle – Tony Jaa & Panna Rittikrai

Why couldn’t they have just left it at the first Ong Bak, was there any need for two and three, where Jaa just basically takes loads of LSD and drugs and goes on a rampage with a camera and some money, thinking that using elephants all the time is cool, fuck the fact that it’s cruel to animals, it’s fine, they can’t feel it. It’s just sad to see a film franchise crumble as much as this one, truly one of the worst things to happen in cinema since Han shooting first. I really wanted this to succeed but it just couldn’t, after the promise of something bigger and better, we just got crazier and less realistic. We were taken thousands of years into the past about the origins of someone or something and it just didn’t work. The second Ong Bak was okay in parts but overall lacked the heart and soul from the first and most importantly, lacked the directorial skill that was there in bundles before. You can see in this one Jaa was taken full reins of what to do; if i was a studio rep and i was given this, i would literally shit my pants.

Following directly on from the second Ong Bak film, we see Tien, the protagonist who sees himself coming back from death at the end of the last film and seeing him get his revenge on the double twist he received. From here on out, after dying and seemingly coming back to life, Tien goes on a revenge mission meeting random people who want to kill him and leading him to the man who started this all. I’m not going to go into much more detail than that because i can’t be bothered and it’s really not worth your time in knowing about worthless and pointless shit. It’s a fucked up Tony Jaa picture that should really showcase how good he is, but instead it fails in so many levels. I want to see Jaa now take himself to someone with talent and use his skills in the right way, just let him chat to Jackie Chan for a little while and understand that using ELEPHANTS IS STILL FUCKING WRONG!

So the lesson here is, don’t use elephants in your film as a form of padding for the actors and stuntmen to do fights off on to. Seriously, i can’t believe i’m the only one seeing this!


Simon Childs

The Beginning of the Wizarding End...

Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows – David Yates

The boy who lived returns! Could this be one of the biggest, most anticipated films of the year, maybe of the century? Ever since the series began, this is the point we would be getting to, the end. And sure, this is the first part so it’s not technically the end, but its close. Next year in the summer we’ll finally know what happens between the biggest rivalries since David vs. Goliath, Alien vs. Predator, Freddie vs. Jason, hell even bigger than Biggie and Tupac. That’s how big this is. It’s the massive movie fight we’ve been waiting for. Unfortunately it isn’t like that, the fight hasn’t started yet. It’s more similar to having the shark in Jaws where it only appears in the last 20 minutes where he is constantly there but you don’t see it. And in Resident Evil: Nemesis the game, where you know the villain is stalking you throughout the game and he is closely behind you but never comes out of the darkness. Voldemort is in the shadows, waiting for Potter to show himself and for the whole saga to finish. It has the feel of urgency more than the rest of the entries into the series, where it really matters the littlest actions that Potter and his friends do.

The long awaited first part to the two part Deathly Hallows story sees Potter and the rest of the group consisting of The Weasley’s, Hagrid, Tonks, Mad Eye Moody, Lupin, Hermione and a few others must make sure Harry is safe from the upcoming battle against death eaters. The death eaters are Voldemort’s minions on the hunt for him and at the beginning, with a few dead, including mad eye and Hedwig, Harry’s owl, he safely gets away but only to find himself, Ron and Hermione begin to wonder what to do and they go in search of horcrux, objects that Voldemort split his soul into as a way of preserving himself, meaning he could never die. After finding three of the horcrux in the way of the Tom Riddle diary of the Chamber of Secrets, a locket in a lake, found by the help of Ron, and a stone in the form of a ring which Dumbledore nearly died from capturing, it seems as though 4 remain after this film. I love the whole idea of the horcruxes being the only way to defeat him and then another plot thread becomes entangled with this. The story of The Deathly Hallows, told in the way of an animation, three objects created by death himself is handed down with each one granting different powers but together could be deadly. The Elder Wand, the Resurrection stone and the Invisibility Cloak all form the Hallows, and knowing these objects are real, Harry soon begins to wonder about finding them, unfortunately, the wand is in the possession of Voldemort.

The action scenes are great and something I’ve always missed from the films, just wand duelling, which is rarely seen, but quite enjoyable to watch. A scene in a cafe is great, and i would love to see more of this, wizards acting in a much more realistic way having duels to the death. They are weapons themselves with the amount of power they hold within their wands and it’s great to have that thought in your head. Especially as they are the age you, just imagine the amount of power you have from it. Overall a good part of the franchise but does feel like filler, but this is the dip to the end, it’s a rollercoaster ride planned for the audience to get low, ready for the massive high, coming next year in July.


Simon Childs

The Harry Potter Retrospective: Part VI

The Half-Blood Prince – David Yates

How can someone just have half of their blood? That doesn’t make sense! Oh wait, you mean it in the Wizard sense of the term in how someone is born from muggles but still can perform magic or has a parent who is a wizard. I see. Well now i just feel silly. So Potter returns in this darker than dark tale of when shit is really about to hit the fan, and when i mean shit i mean Dumbledore’s body. OHHHH YEAHHH, i gave away the ending, boo hoo, i was told about the ending of the book when it was released by fucking idiots in my class, i was not happy. Of course reading that dear old Albus had died was sad but to be told by fucking losers on the day it came out after buying it made me just angry. My emotions were all over the shop. And now finally seeing what they would do with one of the biggest and most loved characters of the whole franchise: i was a little disappointed as i’m sure you were too. The Zack Snyder editing technique of showing the graceful and influential Dumbledore slowly fall out of the window after being killed by Snape, it just didn’t fit. I wanted people crying, i wanted heartache. I wanted what happened when Sirius Black was killed, that same emotion and considering Dumbledore is more pivotal to the whole piece, it just wasn’t right. I probably gave away a lot of the film from those two last sentences, which i apologise, but by now you should know what Potter is about, i shouldn’t be the first person to give you information about it because, you know, i’m not exactly laying out all the facts.

Year 6 and Potter and co are now experiencing the seemingly fun side of Hogwarts, and where i mean fun, i mean people learning to kill others, people getting seriously injured and sometimes dying, cheating on their work and exams, it’s all fun! Starting off lightly with a book that Harry finds which seems to give him answers that no one else has, especially in potions, where he is met by the new Potions teacher Horace Slughorn, who may or may not have the secret answer to the rest of the film. After getting this book, it leads to a series of events where Ron becomes a Quidditch keeper and is now well liked, Hermione and Harry become part of Slughorn’s inner circle of perfect students and where the memory containing secret information about Tom Riddle AKA Lord Voldemort is hidden in his mind, which Harry must extract. This memory reveals the whole point of Voldemort’s plan, the horcrux, which you’ll find out more about in the next film! Malfoy meanwhile, after his family being abandoned by the dark lord and seen as weak, he must save his family’s name by helping the dark lord’s army infiltrate Hogwarts and kill Dumbledore, which ultimately ends up being the task for Snape, who after many years seems to be batting for the bad guys.

I liked many things about this film; it had the same vein and same styles as my two favourite Potter’s, Prisoner of Azkaban and the Goblet of Fire. It was dark, but it wasn’t pitch black in its bleakness towards the teenagers in how there impossible mission is really impossible. The inclusion of the secret and fun horcrux, opens it up to new dimensions which i found enjoyable and should be fun to see what happens in the next film in how they handle them. The change of scenery and pace for the next films is obvious, it’s not set in Hogwarts anymore, and it’s more a journey picture from what I can remember from the books. So i look forward to seeing the very latest instalment of Harry Potter, the Boy Who Lived.

Simon Childs

The Harry Potter Retrospective: Part V

The Order of the Phoenix – David Yates

Imagine if a phoenix actually held the meetings, like he was a talking phoenix and was really clever and had glasses and everything. See if i was J.K. Rowling, i would of fucked up this whole franchise by now and would of included really weird and pointless characters who don’t mean anything and just pop up here and there to say stupid things and then just run off into the night. Yes, i know, i apologise, i’m tangeting right now, but that’s because we’ve come to another instalment of Potter Retrospective and we’ve come to one of my least favourites, The Order of the Phoenix. Featuring one of the most hated characters ever invented in a book and a film, Dolores Umbridge, played by Imelda Staunton, who really has grated me every time i sit down to watch this film. Sure she is meant to be this horrible and she’s meant to be hated, but she annoys every part of me for every second she’s on screen. I can sit and watch Radcliffe’s horrible acting and i can sit through Emma Watson whinging and crying her way through the film, but as soon as her face just appears i want to throw myself at her, not to punch or to kick, just my body, it’s like an uncontrollable urge.

Number five in the series, The Order of the Phoenix directed by David Yates, his first directorial feature within the Potter universe and not his last! He almost seems to take complete control of the series after this film considering it’s not even the best film. The storyline is much weaker compared to others which have multiple things going on and they do really well to balance it out over two hours worth of film. Year five sees the familiar faces to return to Hogwarts even after the revelation that Voldemort is back, but people don’t believe it, especially the Minister of Magic who employs Dolores Umbridge to act as the new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher at the school. Her methods and thinking is not well liked and it soon finds the school being completely run by her, the way the ministry believes it should be run. The film builds up until Harry brings together an army underground which learn to defend themselves in a more aggressive way leading to the formation of Dumbledore’s Army. They soon find their first fight through visions Potter has of Sirius being in danger whilst in the Ministry of Magic and they travel to help him and find this prophecy which reveals why Harry survived Voldemort’s attack. Dumbledore’s Army fights against some death eaters and a massive shock ending where a major character dies and finally, Dumbledore and Voldemort fight it out and it’s great. The last 20 minutes make up for the rest of the film, considering it’s roughly 2 hours and 20 minutes; it’s just not good enough.

The end is great and it really excels the story into the next film especially one someone massive dies, it fuels the fire into why you side with Potter as he takes down evil but in a long way. It’s a story of overcoming the things that hurt the ones around you, but it takes time to do that. It doesn’t take one day to do it all, there are ups and downs. And i like that about this tale. It’s gonna take 7/8 films just to tell the tale of revenge over a man trying to kill a boy and the boy coming back to kill him. It’s simple but effective. It continues to get darker with the themes, especially the whole use of violence, it really does get a bit chilling, like the pen where you write it and it carves it into your hand or arm, pretty weird shit. But overall, not the best Potter film, i’m looking forward to seeing the latest Half Blood Prince, which will be the second time I’ll be seeing the film since seeing it at the cinema. A lot of people had different views of the film, but i stay strong by mine, which you’ll get to see next time in the Retrospective!

Simon Childs