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Akira

Akira was a revolutionary film which was made in 1988 directed by Katsuhiro Otomo based on the original manga. Akira was the first anime film to be properly recognized in the western society opening the road for future Japanese animation.

The film is based in 2019 after the third world war which happened in 1988 within this film. The opening scene involves a biker gang fight which introduces the main characters quickly and effectively. This quickly leads on to an event where one of the main characters is injured in an accident after coming in to contact with an unknown supernatural entity. This concludes with his friends discovering him in this state. While the characters are panicking they are surprised by an army helicopter blinding them. While this happens the injured character is abducted by the government. Once being abducted the character is found to have potential psychic abilities, thus being forced in to a secret program by the government.

This leads to a psychological thrill ride with a complex accompanying story. Some of the main points of this that makes the film great is the films ability to make you think. This film created questions in the mind of the viewer of how they would react if they were in the same situation. The main character is given such an immense power within the film he struggles to control this emotionally and physically. This allows the viewer to show empathy towards the main character allowing them to put themselves in the protagonist’s shoes asking the question ‘would I be able to control this power?’

Another major positive of this film is it does not force you to see the scenario this film presents from one characters view. It allows you to see parts of the film through the protagonist’s eyes as well as the main hero’s. This allows you to take a more analytical view upon the film sparking off an unbiased debate of your morality. This does have a negative aspect to itself as well. It stops the viewer forming a good emotional connection with one specific character but in the end allows a general overview of every character.

The film’s scenes are greatly complimented with its unique music. The music varies scene to scene appropriately sparking off emotion within the viewer allowing a greater connection to the plot, characters and the scenes. The film even in present age has dated very well being visual stunning still in this day and age.

To conclude this film it is a very enjoyable film allowing you to spark of debate within yourself about your own morality as well as pleasing visuals and music. The only main negative I can express is due to its presentation of characters it prevents the viewer from forming any emotional bond with an individual character. Well worth a watch if you get the chance.

Written by

Richard Broadhead (with input from Anthony Ball and Ben Leonard)

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Paranormal Activity 3 Trailer

Paranormal Activity (2007)

Paranormal activity was one of my favourite scare films back in its release in 2007. Due to its brilliant scare tactics and good use of home footage cameras, making the experience seem even more real, I was inclined to see the 2nd film on its release date last year. News has now hit me that the trilogy will be completed this October with a prequal of the first film being released. Paranormal Activity 3 will involve Katie, played by Katie Featherston in the first movie, and Kristi, played by Sprague Grayden in number 2, as children seeing the scary, demonic goings on in their house one more time. A change of director has been installed for the 3rd movie however the two writers in Michael R. Perry and Oren Peli (writer and director of the first film) remain.

I have got my hands on the trailer for you all to see. Take a quick look here:

What do you think? Personally I am a bit sceptical about this 3rd release. I thoroughly enjoyed the original, however the second film really was a huge flop. I didn’t find it scary at all and it took way too long to build up the suspense. Hopefully this film will be as good, if not better, than the first therefore saving the brilliance of the first film.

Paranormal Activity 3 is due to release October 2011.

By Ashley Seward-Morris


2000: Memento

Cover of "Memento"

Cover of Memento

Memento, is another brilliant movie from a brilliant director, Christopher Nolan (Inception, The Dark Knight), along with help from his brother, Jonathan Nolan. Memento, focuses on the character, Leonard Shelby (Guy Pearce), who has short-term memory loss due to an incident in his life, therefore failing to produce new memories (anterograde amnesia). Through the use of notes written down and tattooed on his body,  he goes through his day-to-day life, in search of the person who raped and murdered his wife.

Another well-thought and cleverly directed piece of film from Nolan, this movie occurs in different segments, with the first scene of the movie being the last scene of the story; and from here, it works its way backwards to the beginning of the story, piecing together the events that lead up to its preceding part of the story. And all the while through this, there are numerous scenes shown in black and white, which are in fact in chronological order, showing events soon after Leonard’s injury, as opposed to the rest of the movie. As you keep watching, you soon realise that the coloured scenes and the black & white scenes alternate, and soon enough clash half-way through the movie, bringing both storylines together as one. An incredibly clever way of depicting a story, which I imagine must have been quite difficult to correctly put together.

The first scene of the movie (the last scene of the story) shows Leonard having killed Teddy Gammell (Joe Pantoliano). As the story goes on, it shows Leonard acquainting with a woman, Natalie (Carrie-Anne Moss). All the time, Leonard uses the application of taking photographs of the people whom he meets, leaving little notes with these photos, within the 2-3 minute timeframe that he has before the new memory disappears from his knowledge of existence.

As the movie goes on, the events continue to unfold, and as we get closer and closer to the first scene of the story (the final scene of the movie) we learn what is actually going on. For those of you who have scene the movie, you will know that at the end, it turns out that Leonard had in fact found the killer of his wife, whom he had killed over a year ago; and all the mean while, it was in fact he who killed his wife, with an insulin overdose (which he confused with the story of a made up patient with whom he believed he was involved with, who suffered from a unique and severe case of anterograde amnesia, Sammy Jankis). Leonard had somewhat created another reality to ignore this fact, and due to his amnesia, forgets the true events and everyday, beginning the same cycle, looking for the ‘killer of his wife’. Although, there are numerous suggestions for the ending as to why he leads the life he does every day of his life. It would seem that he realises this at the end, but as a result of his condition, fails to remember it.

Memento is perhaps one of the most complexly made movies I have ever seen; and for that, I love it. It requires you to stay alert throughout, having to think about what is going on. As one scene finishes, you see its preceding scene, which overlaps with the scene you have just watched, allowing you to realise the scenes are linked, concurrently, somewhat resembling the memory of an amnesiac, being confusing and having memories missing, thus making little sense. This is another movie that really makes you think once you’ve watched it, with it questioning reality and what you believe to be real.

It allows us to live the life of someone experiencing anterograde amnesia, but with an amazing twist to their life, which in effect, really makes you think about the weirdly wonderful, yet sometimes unfortunate, way in which the human mind works, whilst at the same time leaving the audience thinking about what is real and what isn’t. The story also leaves a lot of areas open for debate. This movie very much concerns the idea of creating another life, to deny the facts of a true life that was lived to be able to cope with living. And although similar to other movies, this movie manages to do this in a very unique and intriguing manner, which I loved. With great performances and a brilliantly designed storyline, it’s just another classic from Christopher Nolan.

By Manpreet Singh


The Hangover 2 Preview

The Hangover (film)

Image via Wikipedia

As the Pirates of the Caribbean has run its course here is a film that I’m hoping doesn’t. The Hangover 2 which will have alot of living up to it’s predecessor is released on the 26th May. Although I’ve become tired of the hype surrounding it (We’ve all seen film comedy trailers saying ‘Just as good as the Hangover!) it’s about time a decent feature length comedy comes out. I wasn’t full of praise for the Hangover 1 because I don’t think it was funny as any other comedy film however it does seem to please mass audiences. The preview trailer is below:

It’s safe to say I won’t be watching the new Pirates of the Caribbean.


Monumental Movies..An iHartMovies Exclusive…

Ok, so as promised, with our previous exclusive on the Top Ten of 2010 proving to be a success, we at iHartMovies have decided to present you movie lovers with another exclusive…Monumental Movies. Every week, we will hand-pick a classic film from each year, paying homage to their awesomeness. Starting from the year 1980, an outstanding movie will be picked, which we will pay our respects to, sharing our views and experiences on the movie, highlighting their remarkable moments, and generally reviewing these classic masterpieces. Although an iHartMovies exclusive, I, Manpreet Singh, will be presenting the Monumental Movies for this exclusive.

So, basically, we will choose a movie for each week, from each year, starting from 1980; and the week after, another movie will be selected from the following year, i.e. 1981, and the week after, 1982, all the way up until the present year (2011, for those of you who have forgotten). And remember, although all chosen films will be memorable, don’t be startled if a chosen movie seems unexpected or somewhat unworthy in your eyes – remember this is an iHartMovies Exclusive, not an official list of the best films, so there may be many movies that you weren’t expecting. What I can promise however, is that all chosen movies will be awesome.

So keep an eye out, as the iHartMovies Exclusive has now begun, with the movie for each year being presented every Saturday, starting from the 26th February, starting with a chosen movie from the year 1980. What will it be? Stay tuned to find out…

By Manpreet Singh


At Number 9… The Book of Eli

The Book of Eli

Image via Wikipedia

In 2010, Denzel Washington returned in this post-apocalyptic set movie, about a precious item which he guards with his life, a book. Eli (Denzel Washington), travels across a desolate, empty America, ruined by war. Travelling with only himself and his backpack, he carries but one treasured possession with him, his book. Oh yeah, and his iPod.

Eli is a man who is determined to accomplish his goal, no matter what harm it may cause him. He is a man with morals, and ethics, a lone wolf. He travels the dry landscapes, before reaching a small town, where he encounters a man named Carnegie (Gary Oldman), who appears to be living as some sort of king amongst everyone else who, although seems somewhat friendly at first, to sum up, is a cold, heartless bastard, who has been searching for the book which Eli possesses; and as the movie progresses, you soon realise that he will stop at nothing to get what he wants. The movie continues with the journey Eli has been making, and is determined to continue, until he reaches his destination, and the measures Carnegie takes to possess this book, and the believed power it contains within it, along with explanations of other aspects of the movie as it progresses.

Denzel once again displays a stellar performance right from the start, creating a very well acted and convincing character; and once again, kicks some ass, giving you the satisfying goosebumps you’d expect from a Denzel Washington movie. Oldman, as usual, shows his tremendous acting abilities, once again, creating a character different to any character he’s played in any other movie. Two fantastic actors in one film, a great positive aspect of the film.

Although it is a good movie, some may agree that it is quite a slowly progressing one; and although I agree with this to some extent, I still found it enjoyable all the way through. I didn’t think it had the best ending, but I think it was a suitable and sufficiently satisfying one, and I don’t think it would have been possible to successfully end it any other way. One thing I particularly enjoyed throughout the whole of the movie, was the way the settings and locations had been portrayed, in such a grey, and somewhat dream-like manner, giving an isolated and somewhat dark, dreary and despondent feel to the film; and I feel this is majorly thanks to comic book artist, Chris Weston, who has done a great job of designing the settings and locations of the movie, giving a weird feel to the whole film, which greatly adds to its style and general feel. I felt at parts that it somewhat had a Kill Bill-esque vibe about the film, which I liked, and thought suited the movie.

Overall, I thought The Book of Eli was an interesting and enjoyable film, and unlike many other films, is one which makes you think over certain aspects and beliefs in life. Great feel to the film, and great performances. It is definitely worth a watch, and is one of the more memorable movies of 2o10.

4/5

Be sure to keep an eye out for number 8 in the list, which will be revealed tomorrow.

By Manpreet Singh


And at Number 10 For The Top 10 Films Of 2010 on iHartMovies is…

Kick-Ass (comics)

Image via Wikipedia

Kick-ass, which quietly sneaked into the film world with little  hype about it, and from the adverts, it seemed like a film you would take your children to the cinemas to see.. only for it to traumatize the little ones with hardcore bloody violence. Maybe poor advertising didn’t help the film, because when I picked this up, I expected a childish, immature film about a teenage boy humorously trying to be a super-hero. And I was happily surprised to see the opposite. It is violent, quite serious, and even deep in parts; you couldn’t imagine a little girl super hero slashing the neck of some villain causing instant death, could you?  And then to further add to the cause, shoot a further three villains in the head without much effort? (Well, I’m sure a few of you wack-jobs out there could..). And that is what becomes the beauty of the film, what seems to be children trying to become  super heroes is painted deep, because of the violence and profanity which caused initial controversy at the time.
The film is based on a character called Dave(Aaron Johnson), a normal, teenage boy who is tired of society letting themselves down to criminals,  seeing people getting bullied about with no help, and desires a vigilante to come forth and help such a helpless town..so much so, he in fact makes his own costume, and fails miserably at first, but ironically becomes better over time. Until a real vigilante, Big Daddy(Nicholas Cage) along with his young daughter (which is where the controversy comes in), Hit-Girl(Chloe Grace Moretz) tries to bring down drug lord, Frank D’Amico (Mark Strong). This is when the film becomes deep, but what this surprisingly good film manages to do is to keep the comedy aspect underlying in the plot. The characters know that they can’t be true superheroes because they don’t have any super powers, but they try everything in there power to have the same effect using technology and common sense..but hey, Batman managed to pull it off amazingly.

Aaron Johnson’s acting in this is the usual – he manages to bring great vulnerability in any role he does, and he doesn’t over do his character, but still manages to convince the audience of the character’s personality. Nicholas Cage’s acting is also the usual – the same, weird tone of voice, but still combined with good acting. I just wonder why he keeps the same voice in every film; I can’t distinguish how he plays different characters when he does that. But his usual technique is good.

I didn’t know the film was based on a comic before watching it, and after some research I learnt the comic and the film was a collaborative effort. The controversy surrounds the role Chloe plays as Hit-Girl, who uses excessive profanity and violence more than anyone else, and she must have been about 12 years of age at the time. Some critics lashed out, and stated it was wrong for the acting industry, however her own mother gave her permission for the script.

This film is a definite must-see. Stay tuned for number 9 tomorrow.

iHartMovies rating: 4.0/5

By Daniel Hart