Month: July 2013

Now You See Me – Review

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Now You See Me sees four magicians with individual skill sets brought together by a mysterious superior who sets them up for three elaborate crimes which involve stealing mass amounts of money from various sources.

The group are labelled as the Four Horsemen and consist of Jesse Eisenburg’s cocky illusionist and his former assistant stuntwoman Isla Fisher, Woody Harrelson’s mind reader and Dave Franco’s slide of the hand trickster.

Whilst the magicians are busy tricking their way into bank vaults and accounts, tough guy cop Mark Ruffalo, alongside Melanie Laurent, struggle to bring them to justice despite additional help from a professional magic trick exploiter (Morgan Freeman).

For much of the feature, Now You See Me offers mass entertainment from the tricks being played out in front of your eyes to the thrilling cat and mouse chases. In addition, the highly impressive cast offer a strong comical and engaging dialogue. However, where the film disappoints is the lack of a strong finish, leaving you with a promising twist but also a complicated, flat finale. What’s more is the over elaborate special effects where the film tries too hard to impress on a visual scale. As a result, a promising story line with an impressive cast is somewhat ruined by a very weak ending. Now You See Me certainly has its moments of wonder and entertainment, but lacks a spell binding edge to make it anything more than a good watch.

7/10 #WebbersRatings

Batman/Superman – Bad move for Warner Bros?

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As announced at Comic-Con last week, in rather elaborate fashion, 2015
will see the coming together of Superman and Batman. So what does this mean for both franchises and everyone involved? Well I certainly have a number of concerns.

The release of Man of Steel was met with mixed acclaim. Box office figures would suggest it was a success, yet not quite as rewarding as Warner Bros were perhaps intending. In addition, critically the film earned mixed reviews. I for one believed it just failed to meet my expectations. All this leaves Man of Steel with a question mark regarding whether it really was a true success or not. Compare this to Christopher Nolan’s Batman however and the success is unparalleled. This therefore begs the question; are Warner Bros using the already successful Dark Knight as a ‘get out of jail’ for the Superman “failure”?

The second question that has to be raised is how Batman will be portrayed. Will the character be completely rebooted? We know that Christian Bale’s time as the masked crusader has come to an end and will therefore need replacing. And although nothing was fully confirmed at the time, rumours did suggest that Nolan himself was finished with the Batman saga, yet Warner Bros have confirmed the man behind the Dark Knight as the executive producer for the Superman/Batman feature.

Finally, we’ve seen previously how combining the worlds of various super heroes can work in Avengers Assemble which had rave success. However, conflicting Batman with any other superhero raises questions. Nolan made Batman a hero separate from all others and fundamentally more realistic too. Adding the Superman element will ultimately introduce a whole new supernatural touch to the Batman world, which of course is how it is in the DC universe – but this could ruin Nolan’s adaptation so soon after the Dark Knight series. Equally, Superman has his own world. He is the only hero and should remain separate from any other. Therefore the move to intertwine both characters suggests to me that Man of Steel just wasn’t quite as rewarding as Zack Snyder and Warner Bros had intended.

The Superman/Batman mash-up seems to have dissolved any potential plans for a Justice League feature for the time being. It seems Wonder Woman is next on the DC to do list and it may also take some rebooting to other characters before we see the Justice League altogether. What we already know is that Superman and Batman will be going head to head in 2015 and I for one would love the film to be a success. Yet my concerns heavily overlook my excitement and time will tell whether Warner Bros, Snyder and co can prove me wrong.

Despicable Me 2 – Review

Gru returns in the second edition of Despicable Me, recruited by the Anti-Villain League (AVL) in order to catch the latest super criminal. This time however, there is a love interest for our main protagonist, which plays a huge underlying theme throughout the feature.

Since leaving his evil post, Gru has moved onto making jams and jellies in his laboratory whilst also continuing to look after his three adopted daughters Edith, Agnes and Margo. Whilst hosting a birthday party for Margo, we see just how sensitive Steve Carell’s character has become, with local mum’s typically looking to set Gru up on a date. The love interest however comes from Kristen Wiig’s Lucy, Gru’s partner after being recruited by the AVL. Russell Brand returns as Dr Nefario with a twist to his character, whilst Steve Coogan and Ken Jeong are also given cameos.

As always however, the Minions steal the show and provide constant laughs. Brilliantly voiced by directors Pierre Coffin and Chis Renaud who clearly realised that following the first Despicable Me, more Minion involvement was needed. The comedy throughout, like in the first feature, ranges from witty to wacky – satisfying both the older generation and the younger audience.

With the additional love interest along with some touching moments involving Gru’s three daughters, there are a number of engaging themes running throughout the second edition of Despicable Me. Just as artistically brilliant as the first feature, but even better than the first simply by adding to the laughs and making the characters even more enchanting to follow.  

8/10 #WebbersRatings