100 movies: The Three Musketeers

100 movies of 2012

Every year I set myself a target, usually of about 100, of films to watch. These are new films. Not new, new films. But films that are new to me. Any time I’ve seen a new one, I post a bit of a brain dump of my thoughts on the film here. Enjoy!

The Three MusketeersThe Three Musketeers (06/03/12)

The hot-headed young D’Artagnan along with three former legendary but now down on their luck Musketeers must unite and defeat a beautiful double agent and her villainous employer from seizing the French throne and engulfing Europe in war.

I remember reading The Three Musketeers by Alexandra Dumas when I was a teenager. I also remembering being mildly obsessed with the 1993 version of the film. Oh and remember Dogtanian and the Three Muskehounds? Yep, loved that too. It’s safe to say that The Three Musketeers have been littered throughout my TV and film related history.

I did however miss this one when it was released in the cinema. I blame the complete lack of 2D screenings. I’ve been taking a firmer stand against 3D films.

Watching the beginning of the film, I knew this film was going to take the source material a little… lightly. Suited me fine. I’m open to different interpretations. Including those that involves dogs. Though there were definite similarities with the 1993 version and this version when D’Artagnan first bumps into the Three Musketeers. I liked it.

Swashbuckling is what you’ll call this film. With a bit of steam punk. I enjoyed it. The villains were twirling their moustaches while the good guys were off being heroic and saving damsels in distress. It was a lot of fun. Great action set pieces. That do go way over the top. But why not? Where I wished they’d drawn the line was with the slo-mo. There was no need. It didn’t add anything to the action scenes. No drama, no suspense. Nothing. They could have saved at least 10 minutes by not having the slo-mo in there!

I did spend a lot of the time comparing Christopher Waltz’s Cardinal to Tim Curry’s. (Tim was far more unmistakably evil.) Thought Logan was great as the young D’Artagnan. I was expecting a little more life out of Matthew Mcfadyen’s Athos. He felt a bit subdued.

I knocked a point off this film’s score because of the score. It was just completely underwhelming. I was expecting a huge big orchestral score with a solid theme. What I got instead was hints of Hans Zimmers’ Sherlock Holmes and Pirates of the Caribbean scores. It had no identity of its own. Which I thought was a huge shame.

Overall, a great action/adventure film. Not to be taking seriously. Well, the airships make sure of that. But just to watch and enjoy and have a few laughs. Good work.
Rating: 3/5

Read on to see all the films watched this year…

120+ Movies: Summer Blockbuster season is here!

120+ Movies of 2011

The InternationalThe International (23/04/11)

An Interpol agent attempts to expose a high-profile financial institution’s role in an international arms dealing ring.

What have I learnt from watching this film? The world’s banks are lethal corporate machines and rule the world with an iron fist. Or something like that. What else have I learnt? The subject of banks don’t necessarily make for an interesting thriller. I got lost in a lot of the details.

Plotting was pretty slow. I admit I did get very bored and woke up somewhat just as the excellent scene at the Guggenheim museum played out. Loved that scene and the use of the structure of the museum was brilliant.

Can’t remember the outcome of the film, but by the end I didn’t care too much. None too thrilling characters and heavy dialog meant I got lost along the way!
Rating: 2/5

ThorThor (25/04/11)

The powerful but arrogant warrior Thor is cast out of the fantastic realm of Asgard and sent to live amongst humans on Earth, where he soon becomes one of their finest defenders.

The first time I saw the trailer for the film I was a little scared. It looked like it could be a major car crash of a comic book film and not at all paving the way for The Avengers film. The look of Asgard looked so absolutely over the top. I couldn’t imagine that playing alongside the very normal Earthbound scenes.

The film was anything but a car crash. It was brilliant! Loved it. Chris Hemsworth made a fantastic Thor. Going from an arrogant, cock-sure god to a much more human god. Asgard looked absolutely stunning as did all the very elaborate Asgard-ian outfits. Great storyline – simple but there was no need for it to be any more complicated for the sake of it. Loved the cameo from a certain Avenger and the post-credits scene just made me excited about The Avengers movie.

Natalie Portman didn’t have a whole lot to do. Shame, but that’s what the role called for. All of the attention was firmly on Thor and his journey. As an origin film for a comic book character, that’s what the film needed to be.

Having the film in 3D is utterly pointless. Some of the action sequences were so frenetic that it all looked like a blur in 3D. Though that’s more the studio and marketing people’s insistence on making films 3D when there’s absolutely no need for it.

I think the bar has been raised very high for the rest of the comic book movies that are due to be released this year. It also has bonus points from me for using Foo Fighters.
Rating: 5/5

Fast & Furious 5: Rio HeistFast & Furious 5: Rio Heist (28/04/11)

Dominic and his crew find themselves on the wrong side of the law once again as they try to switch lanes between a ruthless drug lord and a relentless federal agent.

This film doesn’t claim to be anything other than what it is – a balls out ridiculously large action film with some of the most beautiful cars seen onscreen since Gone in 60 Seconds. And for that I absolutely loved it.

The plot’s simple, even with a couple of hiccups along the way, the film goes from A to B with few deviations from the course. You’ve got some fantastic action sequences set in the favelas of Rio. Those really were fantastic to watch. I think I caught a little bit of CG when Brian and Mia went crashing through a rusted roof – they suddenly looked very plastic-y! Other than that, the action sequences looked refreshingly real – something a lot of action films lack these days.

Same with the car chase sequences. All were done with real cars and some skilled stunt drivers. That’s another reason to applause the film. I still think my favourite car chase sequence of all time is shared between Ronin, The Bourne Identity and Supremacy. However the final car chase with the bank vault was so ridiculously audacious and just plain massive, it’s got a special place on my favourite car chase list.

The car themselves? Can I just say wow? The 2002 Porsche GT3, 1966 Ford GT40, Koenigsegg CCX, 1972 Nissan Skyline, I could go on! Too many pretty cars for me to list them all, but those are my favourites. I think. The list is sure to change the next time I see the film, when I buy it on blu-ray!

Brian Tyler’s back with the scoring duties and he’s pulled it off again. Fantastic action movie score to add that little bit more to the film. It’s hard not to love it.

Fast & Furious wasn’t a movie franchise I thought I’d be a fan of. I just ignore films 2 and 3 in the franchise. 1 and 4 were fantastic films and Rio Heist is a great addition to the franchise.
Rating: 5/5

Read on to see the entire list of movies seen this year so far:

120+ movies: The weekend’s fill

120+ Movies of 2011

This time last year I had seen a heck of a lot more films. Trying to ramp things up but a backlog of TV seems to always get in the way! Here’s what I saw on the weekend:

DaybreakersDaybreakers (12/02/11)

In the year 2019, a plague has transformed almost every human into vampires. Faced with a dwindling blood supply, the fractured dominant race plots their survival; meanwhile, a researcher works with a covert band of vamps on a way to save humankind.

One day there’s going to be a vampire film that doesn’t look like either the Blade films or the Twilight films. Daybreakers falls firmly in the Blade category. Muted colours, everything’s got a little tinge of blue to it. Vampires are all wearing super fashionable clothes. Well, guess if you’ve got eternity, you may as well dress well.

Though there is some attempt to go in a slightly different direction with the traditional vampire story. This time the vamps aren’t doing so well with being the ruling species on Earth.

I enjoyed the film. It didn’t take much in the brain department. Ethan Hawke played a brooding and conflicted character very well. You’d think he’s had practice at it! The film wouldn’t have worked if you didn’t have any sympathy for his character, so thankfully I had plenty and got a sucked into the film.
Rating: 3/5

The Book of EliThe Book of Eli (13/02/11)

A post-apocalyptic tale, in which a lone man fights his way across America in order to protect a sacred book that holds the secrets to saving humankind.

Is it wrong that I actually had some hopes for this film. Denzel Washington – great! Gary Oldman – fantastic! Put them in a film together and surely there should be something in it to write home about. Sadly not.

The pacing was incredibly slow. As slow as Eli’s walking at times. Gary Oldman didn’t really get to play the bad guy that he plays best. He just looked a bit pathetic on-screen. I even started getting bored with the post-apocalyptic landscape.

The message behind the film of having such blind faith and knowing it will get you to where you need to be was understood loud and clear to me, but it left me feeling a little bit ‘eh’. I just didn’t care by the end.

I really wanted to like the film and feel very let down that I didn’t really.
Rating: 2/5

Read on to see the entire list of movies seen this year so far:

100 movies of 2010: Outpost & Push

100 movies of 2010

A couple more movies down this weekend. They couldn’t be more different from each other.

Outpost (20/02/10)
Outpost is a movie about a bunch of merceneries sent to support ‘some guy’ find something in amongst some Nazi bunkers in Eastern Europe. You know, the thought of a horror movie combined with Nazis actually sounded intriguing and potentially interesting! I was quite wrong. The main plot and reason for merceneries to be there seemed to have been glossed over. Then there was the MacGuffin of the movie which was meant to be driving it, failed. Just avoid this movie.
Rating: 1/5

Push (21/02/10)
I wanted to see this movie when it was released in the cinema, but with such a limited release I completely missed it. Really looking forward to seeing it and it didn’t let me down. With so many movies and TV shows dealing with people with ‘powers’ I felt this had a different enough take on it for it to draw me into the plot and characters. I loved that there was very little use of CG. As limited as they could get. The cast were brilliant – Chris Evans was really very good, as was Dakota Fanning. They made a good combination. Loved how this was shot too. Very good movie. A good alternative to the usual comic book movie adaptations.
Rating: 4/5

Read more to see the full list of movies I’ve seen so far this year.