The Life of Pi, is based on Yann Martel’s well known novel of the same name. The story revolves around Piscene Molitor Patel (Pi) a fifteen-year-old son of a zookeeper in India who survives a shipwreck for 227 days with nobody but a Bengal Tiger named Richard Parker to keep him company.
Since the story of Life of Pi is well known and the Ang Lees movie does great justice of keeping to the key themes in Martels novel, this will be more of an analysis of the ending rather than a review of the movie itself.
The movie itself is shot in a surrealist tone that must be seen purely for its visual palette alone, From the opening scenes in India, the audience is whisked away into a land of colour and fantasy, which sets the tone for the movie post shipwreck, where the visual effects used in the ocean alone warrant the purchase of a movie ticket.
To Begin i must give you a run down of the story itself; In keeping with the novel Ang Lee has filmed the movie in the same 3 stage subplot;
After giving all the relevant information, Pi asks the writer which story he prefers and it is at this point that the audience is left with so many questions. The purpose of the story, which could easily be forgotten, was that the writer was promised a story that would make him believe in God. What we are presented with however is a story of a young boy who struggles with his faith but acknowledges the differences between all religions whether they be right or wrong.
Ultimately it is the ‘truth’ behind Pi’s story that provides the audience with his final question, The question of which story do you prefer? signifies the ideolody of interpretation and ultimately leads the writer and the japanese officials to wonder whether they believe in things that must be physically seen to believed or whether that they prefer to believe in faith and the unimaginable.
As you delve into the second story it makes it quite easy to believe that Pi created the 1st story with the animals in order to protect himself psychologically.
Ultimately Pi survives, but in order to do so he had to adapt to his circumstances which meant he probably went against his faith and killed animals to survive and yes he may have even resorted to some cannibalism. In the Human version of the story Pi does not mention his other adventures at sea but it is easy to strip away the fantasy and start picturing the reality, ie The carnivourous island which was never seen again had pink flesh and a tooth inside of it, which can easily be taken by the audience to be a representation of the cannibalism that occurred on the boat. This scenario itself would act as a catalyst for Pi’s need to escape from reality, When you think about it rationally it’s highly improbable that any of the animals would have made it to the upper decks in time to escape, much less end up in a lifeboat.
It also explains why Richard Parker does not turn around to make a farewell gesture to Pi, this is because Richard Parker never really leaves him, Pi and Richard Parker are one and the fight that we are shown between the Tiger and Pi signifies Pi’s human self fighting with his animal side to stop from turning into a cannibal for survival. We are shown that as the two join together in peace, PI is fed and nourished from the carnivorous island (ie the act of cannibalism) The ending showing Richard Parker walking head first into the forest without turning around signifies the disappearance of Pi’s animalistic side, Here we see Pi head into the world with a mentality of leaving all that has happened behind him.
Pi is burdened with a heavy challenge in telling a story that will make a person believe in God, Whilst many will walk away unconvinced the answer is stirring in the ending all along, When queried as to which story he preferred the writer admits he prefers the story with the tiger, as did the Japanese men who remark in their report that Pi has achieved a record feat of surviving 227 days at sea, with a Bengal Tiger. There is no question of truth behind the two stories rather than a question of preference. Pi has only told 1 story, he has just told it in two different ways which has resulted in those who are skeptical of his story believing in the unbelievable, which in theological terms is the cornerstone and biggest hurdle of Faith.
I guess i should start with abit of a disclaimer, Im both a massive fan of Tolkien and the Lord of the Rings so i had very high hopes for this movie, so high in fact that the day i heard they were making it i went back and watched all three Lord of the Rings Movies in a row, but over the past year my excitement has dwindled, as more and more leaks came out of PJ’s camp it was clear that he was taking the Hobbit in his own direction and turning Tolkiens most light hearted story into something more twisted and dark to try and mimic the stage set by his epic LOTR masterpiece.
By now you will know that the Hobbit is being split into three movies, and yes i do find that really hard to comprehend, But this movie will focus on Part 1: An Unexpected Journey which i saw in 2d so i have no comments (at this time) as to the quality of the 3d or 48FPS.
I guess i should start with the positives; the stand-out characters include Martin Freeman (you may recognise him from Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy, and Sherlock) and his portrayal of a (surprisingly young) Bilbo Baggins and returning as brilliant as ever is Sir Ian McKellan as Gandalf the Grey. Freedmans Baggins is so much more fun to watch than Elijah Woods Frodo, Woods protrayed Frodo with this annoying disdain that never really sat well with me.
(But that could have been me being nitpicky because its pretty common knowledge that Tolkien intended Samwise to be the main protragonist of LOTR not Frodo which wasnt really protrayed well on screen.)
There are a lot of familiar faces from the LOTR franchise back and its good to see PJ maintaining his relationships with cast and crew to ensure consistency across movies, even if some of the characters have no place appearing in the Hobbit trilogy. (cough* Galadriel cough*)
It’s a shame, then, that pace of the movie brings An Unexpected Journey down, It seems like Peter Jackson took to heart the fans criticisms of LOTR missing key scenes so he has done what most filmakers would never dare do, film a 3 hr introduction movie. For those who dont understand what im talking about, go have a read of the Hobbit and you will realise that movie you just watched is actually the first 6 chapters of the book and nothing more,Its true in fact that you could read the chapters in less time than it takes to watch An Unexpected Journey. So it was no surprise to me at all that in my packed screening everyone was fidgeting and squirming around for the last hr.
The film lacked consistency and it was clear that Jackson was trying so hard to turn Tolkiens most light hearted piece of work into a darker story. There are a few key examples i can think of which demonstrate the sudden shifts in tone in the movie and the lack of flow;
1) The infamous dwarf dinner scene: We go from a light hearted piece of dinner banter and a whimsical song about washing dishes straight into a morbid ballad to the dwarves of old,
2) The Mountain Troll scene: What i dont understand is why Jackson spent so much time getting the dialogue between the Trolls perfect only to ruin it by adding in a token dwarf fight scene, its like he was thinking hey we havnt seen any action in a while lets just change the whole mood of the scene and get some fighting going (I understand abit of creative interpretation but theres no need for this)
To sum the movie up: not alot happens, which is a real shame because the source material is so fantastic, The movie adaption involves Gandalf inviting a team of dwarves to Bilbos house to invite him on an adventure, Bilbo says thanks, but no thanks. Then tags along for the anyway. and thats pretty much the first hour done and dusted. The second hour is hardly an improvement. There are a few poorly interpreted battles and a lot of quiet reflective scenes between battles. The last hour is clearly the most entertaining but that is purely thanks to motion capture king Andy Serkis’ interpretation of Gollum and a rather superb escape sequence set in an underground environment full of rickety bridges and gorges.
Jackson has changed the story alot whilst adapting it for his cinematic interpretation which im sure many fans will not be to happy about (ie the history of the ring and Gollum, Thorins purpose of defeating Smaug, Bilbos character itself) but thats another post in itself.
Only time will tell whether The Hobbit would have flowed better as a two-parter, heres hoping Part II will actual begin the Journey that was unexpected and amaze us all, But right now this cinema-goer has been left with a weird feeling that i haven’t felt since i walked out of “The Phantom Menace” almost 13 years ago, excited for a new adventure but disappointed that this is the way it has to begin. Heres hoping that unlike Lucas, Jackson can bring it home in the final 2 parts of the Trilogy
I give this movie 2 and a half Lego Dwarves out of 5
So by now you all should have seen Nolan’s ending to his Batrilogy!
I wanted to keep my review spoiler free so here goes my post review wrap up since alot of us still walked out of The Dark Knight Rises unclear on alot of what just happened.
So, before we get started, and it should go without saying– SPOILERS FOR THE DARK KNIGHT RISES ARE COMING UP.
Now let’s dig into my frustrations and the questions that many of us have been left with.
Let’s get this movie figured out!
Also speaking of Gothams infamous police force, so Gotham P.D. is trapped inside a closed off sewer with nothing but basic rations but when they return oh boy do they return. Banes thugs are loaded with weaponry and although the police emerging from their trap was a surprise, both sides were essentially on par with one another,seriously as if you would run towards them when their blaring guns in your face and firing warning shots at your feet. My only answer could be most of Banes thugs aren’t mercenaries their just simple gotham citizens who have taken to him to save their own necks when their homes come under siege, seeing the police force re instills their sense of hope and thats why they hold back.
3. When did Gotham City become New York.
The Gotham of Batman Begins (2005) was a Chicago-New York-soundstage mash-up, The Gotham of The Dark Knight (2008) was clearly Chicago and now The Dark Knight Rises (2012) treats us to a mash of New York, Pittsburgh, and Los Angeles. Characters and action move, in the space of a cut, between identifiable landmarks from all three cities, How big are we expected to believe Gotham really is and also why does the Dark Knight watch over it during the day.
4. Who is Bane, What is the Mask for and the inevitable downplay of the scene which should have made this movie
For those of you who dont know much backstory, Bane is one of my favourite comic book villains of all time.
Nolans Backstory isnt too far off the block but still takes away from one key point, He matches Batman tit for tat in brain, but far outweighs him in Brawn.
In Nolans Universe we see Bane as the saviour of a young girl who grew up in prison and that’s where he learns his trade. Whilst that was true to an extent what we dont learn is that the comic book universe Bane is smart and i mean incredibly smart.
Bane spent his time in prison reading as many books as he could get his hands on, and in between strengthening his mind spends his time building up his body in the prisons gym where he learns to fight. He even commits his first murder at the age of eight, stabbing a criminal who wanted to use him for information about the prison.
Bane ultimately establishes himself as the “king” of the prison which eventually forces the prison’s controllers to take note resulting in him becoming a test subject for a mysterious drug known as Venom. Bane gets his strength from a derivative of the drug Venom. At the maximum saturation point he can lift around 2000kgs. Without Venom he can still lift/ press around 700kgs, However, Bane only needed to apply 4kgs of pressure to break the bones in Batman’s back. Something that to me was seriously underplayed in the movie.
In the Batman comics there’s a story arc titled Knightfall, during which Bane broke Batman’s back to the point where recovery through conventional means was nearly impossible, Bruce spent millions on medical support and in the end was only able to cure himself through an encounter with super powers. However in Nolans universe Bruces back is fixed medieval style with a quick rope tug.
Now this brings me back to the mask, many of you have been asking whats with Banes mask, well basically in the comics and cartoons Bane’s mask is that of a Mexican Luchador (wrestler) with his strength serum being pumped into his body. In the Dark Knight Rises its a little different however, Besides making him sound ridiculous and making him look like Dr Zoidberg from futurama, Bane doesn’t really give much of an answer in the film as to why he wears the mask but we can deduce that its basically pumping him with morphine to cope with pain that stems from the beatings he took in the pit as a result of protecting Talia
5. The Twist: and how every Batman fan predicted it from the minute they saw her
So the fact that the kid in the prison was actually Talia; the daughter of Ra’s Al Ghul and not Bane himself was supposed to be some big kind of twist, but any batman fan knew from the minute we learned that Bruce teamed up with Miranda Tate on a clean energy project for Wayne Enterprises, things weren’t right. However the biggest disappointment was the way she came to her demise, for a character that played such a large role in developing Bane into the man we see siege Gotham city, her death is pretty underwhelming.
Lets examine a few things John Blake: manages to roll a car over and emerge completely fine and continues his journey. Bruce’s failed attempts at climbing out of the Pit end with him falling from a jump that could kill many however he also appears relatively uninjured from the experience. Then during a car chase for the fusion bomb, Batman forces Talia’s caravan off the road. It crashes and Talia dies moments after.
Seriously after everything we’ve just seen were left with that. Thanks for nothing Nolan. I honestly believed she deserved a more fitting death, she was only just revealed as the Villain for Christ Sake, she’s Talia, an Olympic-level athlete, trained since birth in many forms of martial arts and weaponry and the friggen leader of the League of Assassins from time to time. It would have been nice to of seen her face off against Batman in another setting, not just a car chase.
Let’s trace what we saw on screen. Batman takes the bomb over the water, it detonates, leaving the audience thinking nobody could ever survive.
Then we get the statue of Batman, people mourning his loss, and the graveyard scene. <—- That right there i watched this and went thanks Nolan cue the John Blake being revealed as Robin scene and id be a happy camper… but….
Then, we learn that Bruce Wayne applied the oft-talked about autopilot patch to The Bat, seeing Alfred’s dream realised, with Bruce alongside Selina in the cafe. A perfect, happy ending.
Or is it…
Nolan showed us a countdown of the bomb in its final seconds, with Batman still in the cockpit. At this stage were led to believe the autopilot doesn’t work, Bat shouldn’t be able to save himself now… hes living up to the symbolism of the film, Batman’s death brings Gotham back into line once more. He made the ultimate sacrifice to save the city,
Batman is not a man hes a symbol,
The bomb explodes… the blast radius is immense and theres no way bruce could have gotten away..
Until i stumbled across the toy section at KMART haha
Bam! i present to you the Bat! ejector seat, haha now i know this isnt exactly what happens but it still makes me laugh that they created this just to justify it to the little kiddies.
Ultimately, the ending comes down to how you interpret the scene with Alfred in the cafe. We’ve already been told that Bruce had the technology to wipe peoples past and give them a new start so no surprises there, however this brings me to my biggest hatred of the movie, They didnt need to show Bruce or Selina! a fitting ending would have been Alfred seeing the back of bruces head and nodding in acknowledgement, it would have been enough to leave the audience with question marks in true Nolanesque fashion.
In my opinion this ending with Bruce and Selina proves that hes alive, think back to to Alfred explaining how every year he went to Florence and imagined seeing Bruce, happy and in love. Alfred states the only reason he knew his fantasy of seeing him wasnt real was due to one reason, Bruce never acknlowledges him, yet the final scene we see is the fact bruce nods,waves, whatever he did… its the hint that this is the reality and bruce is alive… sigh.
P.S props to the extras for sneaking in a few Robin references in the film 😉 good work guys
Now the Post Credits Scene for The Amazing Spider-Man is abit open for interpretation.
There is no set definition as to whats actually happening in this scene but i will keep you guys updated as time progresses
In the scene, Dr. Curt Connors (aka The Lizard) sits alone in a cell. Lightning flashes and a cloaked man appears between two slivers of moonlight. “Did you tell him about his father?” the mysterious man asks Connors.
Connors says that he told young Peter nothing about his father, Richard Parker, and nobly pleads that Peter be left alone. The shrouded man quickly disappears with another strike of lightning.
The scene is brief, but there may be some clues.
First, it’s impossible to know who the second man is. We dont even know if the person is real or a manifestation of Conners mind being infected with the same poison that just turned him into a Giant Lizard not to long before.
However there are two viable theories
1.) Norman Osborn: the eventual Green Goblin is hinted thoroughly throughout the movie even his face is masked in shade in oscorp tower just like the visitor . He would be essential for sequals as the Goblin is ultimately (or questionably) responsible for Gwen Staceys demise
2.) Connors’ visitor could imply that The Sinister Six, a group of mad-scientists-turned-monsters, may make their way into “Amazing Spider-Man” sequels. Whilst i would love to say the Thunder is a throw back to Electro or even the quick in and out being representative of a Mysterio or Dr Strange, these sorts of claims cannot be substantiated and would be purely speculative.
So at this point its up to the fans to come up with whatever deductions they may make, they could be right and they could be wrong and to be honest i think thats what makes this post credits scene so loveable it can mean anything a fan wants it to.
To say THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN is an emotional roller coaster ride would be an understatement.
First we must start off with some history and really the question… is the world really ready for a Spidey reboot so soon???… if your Sony Pictures the answer most profitably is yes…
This movie isn’t really aimed at newbies its aimed at those who are familiar with, but want a better back story to our favourite web slinging hero.
The movie does two things right to begin with… Mechanical web slingers and the adorable Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy… sadly those were the only two things I loved about this movie…
Whilst I really dug the cinematography especially the first person shots of Spidey climbing through New York… It felt like the cast (who I must add were perfectly chosen) were thrust into this weird void of teenage angst and frustration.. which isn’t their fault… Andrew Garfield plays a fantastically cocky Peter Parker.
A great man once said “With Great Power, Comes Great Responsibility!” Its a real shame this movie reads director Marc Webb in all the wrong ways, now don’t get me wrong I love 500 days of summer as much as the next guy, but was he really ready to direct a “blockbuster” of this magnitude???… I think not! And that’s where my biggest concern arises… The Amazing Spiderman is not this years big superhero tent pole, we’ve got the Dark Knight Rises for that… This movie reads like an indie rom-com with a masked web slinger thrown in for good measure….
Its not all bad though… the scripting can be fantastically witty at times as you’ve probably seen in the trailers… but therein lies the other let down if you feel like you’ve already seen half the movie from the trailers … its because you have… even the after credits scene was in them. To make it worse there’s scenes in the trailer that didn’t even make it into the cinematic cut.
This movie is designed to take Spidey back to his roots but unfortunately that means that Uncle Ben no longer parts his words of wisdom on a young Peter.. if you’re into superhero films and don’t mind something a little light on the action… You will love The Amazing Spider-man … in fact its probably the one comic book film for this year that you’ll be able to bring a date who’s not normally into the genre.
So I flick this film 3 Dancing Spideys out of 5.
Update: Part of my review was features on GIZMODO YAYYYYYY
After considerations there are also a few other nitpicky areas i disliked even more:
-How quickly Peter and Gwen fell in love
– lack of spidey sense explanation
– How we see so much of oscorp and not see Norman
– How quickly Spidey gave away his identity
– The badly hidden plot device from the trailers about spidey being altered as a kid and the spider reawakening him
– The scenes that were in the trailers not in the movie
– Spidey ripping off oscorps webfluid and no-one noticing it
The Unrealism… NO TEENAGER WOULD USE BING!
By now youve all seen the Avengers: and youve all asked me….What the…?
After The Avengers have defeated the Chitauri army by sending a nuke into their mother ship, we see their leader talking to a mysterious figure. The Chitauri leader says that the humans are not to be underestimated, and to face them would be “to court Death itself.” And then the mysterious figure turns his head and we see.. No not the Red Skull as many of you have thought but Thanos, The Mad Titan, smiling. Cut to black and the rest of the end credits.
SO WHO IS HE?
So i get most of you dont have a clue who Thanos is and thats why im writing this so you can all stop asking about the Purple Smiling Guy? Thanos first appeared in Iron Man #55 (1973), and is a member of a cosmic race known as The Eternals, Thanos has one consuming passion that runs almost pretty much through his entire story not to mention his obsession with DEATH. referencing his line in the movie. To Basically sum it up he is the lover and adorer of DEATH.. his arrival was first hinted in Thor When we saw the Infinity Gauntlet in Odins Vault in Asgardia…
How Marvel Describes Thanos Role in their Universe:
Mistress Death believed that there was a cosmic imbalance in the universe – that there were more living than there were dead. As a result, Death resurrects her loyal servant Thanos, who is appointed the task of killing off half of the population of the universe. Not only is Thanos’ power augmented by Death, he is granted access to the Infinity Well, where he realizes the power of the Infinity Gems. After much plotting and scheming, Thanos wrestles the gems from their owners and gains mastery over Power, Mind, Space, Reality, Time, and the Soul.
Let me put it this way, After having now settled on the excitement since seeing the film a week ago I feel im able to give it a proper spoiler free review
The film follows a very simple formula which is why it works, The focus is on why these amazing people are brought together and how they react. It’s not another marvel character sequel or prequel (although it is the best Hulk Movie 😛 but we’ll talk about that more once it’s released),
The movies basically split into three Acts which focus on the team and their mission
Act 1 is all about SHIELD and them getting the Avengers together, it’s a bit rushed at times and really doesn’t give a lot of insight into some of the great characters that make up this division but it does throw back to some pretty funny moments between their interaction with this group of “mismatched freaks”
Act 2: The struggle, basically this whole act is about the conflict and egos of the Avengers and how they actually get along, or don’t get along with each other
Now that sums up the first half of the movie
Act 3: the Action, and lots of it, from here on your given a fast paced, in your face scene of total warfare, its what every Comic Book Fan has ever wanted to see, remember all those scenes you saw in your favourite arcs where you’ve got all your fav superheroes fighting side by side using each other’s skills to support their own. This is exactly what you get and there’s some sharp dialogue which leads to some hilarious moments.
And that’s about it, Whedon has managed to do what most people thought was unthinkable he’s given enough time to each character to show that their not just in it for the sake of it, even Black Widow and Hawkeye get some pretty good character development time. There aren’t any characters who feel forced into it and they provide a reason as to why each and every one of them belongs there. It’s one of those films where people are actually laughing and cheering and clapping all the way through, in fact the post credits scene even had my whole screening cheering with joy and excitement.
In fact the highlight for me was a guy in my screening wearing a Captain America T-shirt stated to his friend prior to the screening “ I’m gonna hate this, I just hope its not too painful, and literally when the lights came on at the end of the movie I turned around and saw him with a giant grin on his face clapping and proclaiming how wonderful Joss Whedon is, me and the gf had a real good laugh over that one.
4/5 Almighty Thor Hammers
Battleship, a $200 million film based on the board game, is only kept a float by the ridiculous way in which it teams a group of American and Japanese naval officers under a completely irrelevant art of war moniker.
Where do I begin, from the poster/trailer tag line that stated simply, ” FROM THE TOY COMPANY THAT BROUGHT YOU TRANSFORMERS!” I should have known what to expect. Hasbro has had a licence to print money with the Transformers franchise, so it was inevitable that it decided to jump the shark and leach off of one of its boardgame franchises.
So how was the movie ? Well it’s arguably one of the noisiest films ever made. There isn’t much plot apart from a small group of naval ships against an underwhelming first fleet of alien craft who “surprise surprise” use a grid to plan their attacks (Yes I repeat fire on Echo11) The acting was terrible not to mention when Rihanna got beat up their we’re jeers of OMG I didn’t realize Chris Brown was in this movie! Yes that’s right Battleship is one big expensive joke, if you enjoyed transformers then you’ll probably enjoy transformers on water minus lens flair aka Battleship…
But don’t be disappointed when you leave screaming n shouting that they didnt say the one freaking line you paid to see.
This reviewers final thoughts, “Hasbro! You really have sunk your own Battleship!”
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