Just a good ol’ uplifting film – The Internship

The Internship - Official Poster - from IMDB.com

The Internship – Official Poster – from IMDB.com

The Internship (2013)

Director: Shawn Levy
Writers: Vince Vaughn (screenplay and story), Jared Stern (screenplay)
Stars: Vince Vaughn, Owen Wilson, Rose Byrne

I’ve seen a lot of bad films in my time. I’ve seen a lot of good ones too. It’s always seemed to be a subjective matter of what is good and what is not. What one person finds funny may not be funny to someone else. And this is what I find interesting about a film like The Internship. I was in a great mood when I sat down in the cinema. I had been laughing with a friend beforehand and I didn’t have high expectations for the film. I was just there to have a bit of a laugh and to see Dylan O’Brien (Stiles from Teen Wolf) in a film. But The Internship surprised me. I mean, yes it is a big walking and talking advertisement for Google, and Google really doesn’t need advertising, it’s a verb. I’m not a huge fan of either Vince Vaughan or Owen Wilson, and together they have no appeal for me. But they do both have that charm of being funny american men. And as much as I would like to say that this film was as bad as I expected, it really was a delight.

The story unfolds as two older gents, Billy (Vince Vaughan) and Nick (Owen Wilson) in a crisis a lot of people are facing – no jobs, no savings, no prospects, and no skills in a technological age. It’s your usual triumph of the little guy over the bully kind of comedy. It is funny, light-hearted, and entertaining. The misfit interns that we get to know and love along the way are thrown together in a group that has to compete for the opportunity of getting a job at the end of the summer intern. They are a weird bunch but they charm their way into the audiences hearts through quirks and humour.

It always fascinates me how the way you view a movie can be determined by the attitude you enter the film with. I’m not sure that The Internship is a good film or whether I was just in the right mood. But I can definitely say that it wasn’t a bad film. It was a good laugh and a great time.

3.5/5

Director: Shawn LevyWriters: Vince Vaughn (screenplay), Jared Stern (screenplay), 1 more credit »Stars: Vince Vaughn, Owen Wilson, Rose Byrne | See full cast and crew

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Into the darkness with beaming luminescence – Star Trek Into Darkness

Star Trek Into Darkness - Official Poster - from IMDB.com

Star Trek Into Darkness – Official Poster – from IMDB.com

Director: J.J. Abrams
Writers: Roberto Orci (written by) & Alex Kurtzman (written by) & Damon Lindelof (written by) and Gene Roddenberry (television series “Star Trek”)
Stars: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Benedict Cumberbatch, Simon Pegg, Karl Urban.

I have been putting off writing this review. Simply because I have no idea even where to begin or what to focus on. I try to have a general direction with these reviews. Star Trek Into Darkness has made all the rationale words of a writer and reviewer disappear from my head. All I can think of to say is: “IT WAS AMAZING! YOU NEED TO SEE IT NOW!”.

But that would not be helpful. So here I go. Trying to describe this epic film in a few hundred words.

Visually this film is stunning. The graphics are simply breathtaking. From the very first moments of the film you know that the film is going to be a visual onslaught of beauty. The techniques Abrams adopted to shoot the first Star Trek film in 2009 are evident with lens flares galore. And sometimes you notice the visual cues that are cleverly adopted to salute to the old series, including a red shirt gag. Abrams has succeeded once again in using the screen, the set, the camera, and the lighting to tell a whole narrative alongside what is said and done on screen.

What is said and done though is just as great as the visuals. Benedict Cumberbatch has made it known that he is a formidable actor in a lot of different films and TV series, and as the tormented villain of this instalment his presence seals this film with a fifth star.

Narratively this film is quite similar to the first. Captain Kirk is faced with tough choices and with his comrade of Spock by his side they battle together with their differences clashing and complimenting each other. The emotional journey of these characters is always quite interesting as the ideas of what it means to be human are explored. Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto are fantastic lead actors but it is really the secondary actors of Zoe Saldana, Simon Pegg, Anton Yelchin, and Karl Urban that make this film that little bit better than other action sci-fi films. The comic relief, the emotional support, the friendship and the conflict that these characters bring to the film makes it fun, fast-paced, and thoroughly entertaining.

I loved this film, as you can probably tell, and will see it many more times to come. It is one of those films that will make me giddy with excitement and make my heart race every time. Perfectly paced, this film doesn’t drag you along for the ride but welcomes you on to the bridge and gives you a seat just behind the captain’s chair.

5/5

I will have nightmares – Trance

Trance - Official Poster - from IMDB.com

Trance – Official Poster – from IMDB.com

Trance (2013)

Director: Danny Boyle
Writers: Joe Ahearne, John Hodge
Stars: James McAvoy, Rosario Dawson, Vincent Cassel

You know how there are films, actors, directors, etc, that people keep telling you are extraordinary and you definitely need to see their films? Yea, me too. I’m usually the one telling people that they MUST watch this or that for reasons I can never verbalise in person without deteriorating into complete nerd state (yes high-pitched squealing included). Danny Boyle is one of those directors who I’ve heard the name of in different scenarios and people have raved about. And so when Trance was realised I was excited because, you know, Danny Boyle directed it; and James McAvoy is in it; and it’s sci-fi thriller; it’s right up my twisted alley. But five minutes into the film I remembered what Boyle was famous for: Trainspotting and Slumdog Millionaire and the London Olympics. Two films that, although are cinematically and narratively brilliant, I never wanted to watch a second time.  And Trance is another one of those films. I shall put it into my box of “Films I’ll never watch again” along with 2001: A Space Odyssey, Vanilla Sky, A Clockwork Orange, and a whole array of others.

Trance is about Simon (McAvoy) who is an art auctioneer at a reputable auction house in London. He teams up with criminal Frank (Vincent Cassel) to steal a painting to repay his gambling debts. But he gets knocked out, forgets where he put the painting and so Frank is a bit cranky at Simon. Who wouldn’t be if you’d just lost $25mil? Their solution to recovering Simon’s memory is to send him to a hypnotherapist. Coz that is always the answer. The hypnotherapist (Rosario Dawson) they choose at random ends up being a little more than expected. And so begins the trippy adventure. Trance is comparable to Inception in that you never really know whether the scene you are witnessing is real or part of the hypnotherapy. But it does grab you and yanks you along through the confusion and delusion of Simon to recover the events of what happened to the lost painting.

James McAvoy has this wonderful but eery ability to make you like Simon even when you find out what kind of person he is. He  captures the character so flawlessly that when the twisted world unravels it’s hard to believe. McAvoy is perfection in this role as you want him to get away with it even at the end. Rosario Dawson is also the perfect fit for her role as the hypnotherapist as she portrays a smartness and power that is hard to do, especially when using sexual power to manipulate. The slow reveal of the truth with Danny Boyle’s shifty, unfocused cinematic craft gives this film a very dark feel and doesn’t leave you with a happy ending. The film unveils the narrative in a clever form, using the cuts and glimpses, the voice-over and soundtrack, to produce a thriller that keeps you guessing until the end.

I probably won’t rave about this film because there were parts of it that were visually disturbing – I think Boyle has issues with bodily functions and probably needs therapy – but it was a thrilling ride.

3/5