Cert: 15 Runtime: 104 mins Director: Daniel Espinosa Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Rebecca Ferguson, Ryan Reynolds, Hiroyuki Sanada, Ariyon Bakare and Olga Dihovichnaya
I miss my fucking dog. Goodnight.
We all enjoy a stand alone movie that isn’t a re-boot, prequel, sequel or re-imagining! Life although stinks of Alien (1979) it’s an individual film with no tie-ins. It has an interesting diverse cast with three great leading actors. We all know since Jake Gyllenhaal appears in Life I was going to watch it. So what is Life about? Six astronauts aboard the space station study a sample collected from Mars that could provide evidence for extraterrestrial life on the Red Planet. The crew determines that the sample contains a large, single-celled organism – the first example of life beyond Earth. But..things aren’t always what they seem. As the crew begins to conduct research, and their methods end up having unintended consequences, the life form proves more intelligent than anyone ever expected.
Life is a very fine film. Firstly, it’s quick to get about its business. One thing I do remember about the original ‘Alien’ is that it took a long time to get going. That is not an issue here. Secondly, the film’s creature is created in such a way that it feels particularly realistic. It is very menacing, yet also very grounded and believable in a way that is hard to explain exactly. Only by watching the film will you truly understand what I mean.It is a well paced film too. At no stage does the story stall. An impressive cast also does a good job of keeping the audience tuned in. One character played by Olga Dihovichnaya was quite hard to understand at times with a very heavy accent, however that would be the only acting fault I noticed. Then to top off an already fine film, there is a very fun and interesting ending that will be heavily discussed I suspect. ‘Life’ is a very well made, tense, interesting and thoughtful film that I see the majority of audience members thoroughly enjoying.
Cert: 12A Runtime: 141 mins Director: Ridley Scott Cast: Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Kristen Wiig, Michael Pena, Kate Mara, Sebastian Stan, Sean Bean and Jeff Daniels
I’m gonna have to science the shit out of this
Since Prometheus I haven’t enjoyed a Ridley Scott film very much. The Martian’s initial feedback have been positive and great praise for Ridley Scott. We have had a few strong space movies as of late that being Gravity and Interstellar. The Martian is the latest of the space disaster/survival movies. So what is The Martian about? When astronauts blast off from the planet Mars, they leave behind Mark Watney (Matt Damon), presumed dead after a fierce storm. With only a meager amount of supplies, the stranded visitor must utilize his wits and spirit to find a way to survive on the hostile planet. Meanwhile, back on Earth, members of NASA and a team of international scientists work tirelessly to bring him home, while his crew mates hatch their own plan for a daring rescue mission.The Martian is a good return to form for Ridley Scott. It’s a great looking film,very easy on the eye. Scott does sci-fi very well and The Martian is up there. First of all the 70s music is apparently faithful to references in the novel and is surprisingly enjoyable, and the sound design throughout is great. The picture is vibrant and pin sharp with some superb cinematography – a couple of shots of the earth seen from space easily rival the spectacular images in Gravity.Matt Damon is extremely likeable in the lead role but this is as much an ensemble piece in my book as much as it’s a spotlight for Damon.
The film is littered with sparkling performances from a very talented cast. Everyone else gives a good supporting role. Jessica Chastain and Chiwetel Ejiofor are two prime examples of a job well done.So I guess you’re waiting for the but? Just a few minor quibbles.The run time is far too long here it could have been easily cut buy twenty minutes. But Ridley Scott only makes long movies I guess The writing is great overall and the script is highly competent. But under close scrutiny, there are a couple of flat spots and at the other extreme, a couple of moments of jeopardy that feel forced. I don’t know how reading the book compares, but on screen these moments smack of someone arbitrarily throwing in some danger to keep the plot going and the tension high. The moments in question just didn’t feel organic enough for me, so as a result, I was jerked out of the film a bit and not fully invested in the scenes that immediately followed. I’m sure other people wouldn’t be quite so critical, but I personally wasn’t as lost in the story as I wanted to be. I’d probably rate Gravity a little higher in that respect and also in regard to its emotional punch.