Spooks – The Greater Good

Not doing too bad this week, we are getting two for the price of one with a second movie review this week. To those who are unlikely to go see ” Far From The Madding Crowd “. Here is my full¬†testosterone review of ” Spooks – The Greater Good “. Though the two movies are very different we do have a similar situation when it comes to reviewing this movie.

Do you have to have seen or read what came before ? Well thankfully for the first time viewer who has not seen the BBC series on which it based, no is the answer. With only Harry Pearce ( Peter Firth ) surviving from the TV series, such is the life of a modern spy.

The movie starts with a hand over by the C.I.A to M.I.5 of Qasim ( Elyes Gabels ) – standard Middle Eastern inspired baddie and in essence the M.I.5 fumble the ball and have to hand over their prize to his minions. This puts Harry in a bit of a sticky situation and Harry goes rogue. Didn’t that happen to James Bond once, anyway back to the review in hand.

Enter Will Holloway- ” Game Of Thrones ” ( Kit Harrington ) – did they just include him in the movie so that the boy / man could encourage his girlfriend / fiance / wife to come along to the movie. Admit it , you know you know have done it. I have been brought to many movies by the ladies in my life for very tenuous reasons. I really will have to stop this drifting off in my reviews. Visual me slapping my wrist.

Now I really must get back to this review. Well I am not really giving away any major plot points but you can guess how it goes. Will is sent on a mission to bring Harry Pearce back into the M.I.5 family and dispatch the baddie into the bargain. Insert action scene here and aerial shots of London and Moscow for good measure.

This is the type of movie that has a slow moving storyline, that is interspersed with action scenes.

Does it work – you ask ? It is interesting that I brought up James Bond earlier as this does feel like a James Bond movie with a smaller budget. If you happened to be a fan of the Spooks TV series you will probably go along for curiosity sake. It is a good movie but at the same time it won’t linger long in the mind and your brain will probably have moved onto something else by the time the bus reaches home.

Now where did I put my house keys, where is a spy when you need one !!

Don’t worry ladies in the audience, I will be reviewing ” Pitch Perfect 2 ” next week. The balance has been restored. Mmm !! On second thoughts maybe I might review the ” Mad Max ” remake next week – you will just have to wait and see. A little nervous are you ?

Far From The Madding Crowd

Just a quick apology to those that were expecting this review last week but just in case you have yet to see this movie, still thought it was worthy of review.

Let me say before I start into the review that if the movie happens to be based on a book. I will be reviewing the movie, rather than when it happens to be better than the book or not. Filmmakers due to an average movie’s running time have to make compromises with the storyline, so I feel that sometimes the comparison is unfair. P.s the book is written by Thomas Hardy.

But I digress, onto the review.

The movie starts with an introduction to the main character Bathsheba Everdene ( Carey Mulligan ), yes she did partially inspire Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games. Sorry getting off track again.

Bathsheba meets Farmer Oak ( Matthias Schoenaerts ) he takes a shine to her but being the independent woman that she is and that is quite something in 1870’s Dorset , she turns down his advances.

Good fortune smiles on her and she inherits her uncle’s farm. The next character to take a shine to her is William Boldwood ( Michael Sheen ) a quiet reserved man and throughout the movie we get to understand why this is the case. Bathsheba does something which she does in haste and she finds that she has to explain that his liking of her can’t be reciprocated straight away but promises that he will receive an answer back very soon.

Bathsheba despite herself finds her head turned by dashing soldier Francis Troy ( Tom Sturridge ) who found himself left at the alter by his potential bride ( Juno Temple ) through an unfortunate mix-up. Bathsheba and Troy marry but fairly quickly it is very obvious that this is not a great match. In essence Francis Troy still has a place in his heart for his previous love and goes off the rails.

To say anymore would spoil the ending – but it does end well for Bathsheba and you come out satisfied.

This movie style always has the danger of turning into a chocolate box / Jane Austen light adaptation.

Does this happen well sort of, but it does pull back from going down that Primrose path / soft focus route so to speak.

This movie will not appeal to everyone, I do not think that I will see a 15 year old boy going to see this movie. There are other movies at your local multiplex for them. So if you like this movie style, yes go see it. Maybe even bring along your Mammy, she will love it !!

Avengers – Age Of Ultron

If you are a fan of superhero/ graphic novel based movies you probably have already seen this movie and are very happy with the result, but what if you are just a member of the occasional general cinema going public.

At this stage I have lost count of how many Marvel superheroes movies I have gone to see over the last few years, it has been quite a few.

There is always a danger when bringing out so many superhero movies that it becomes the law of diminishing returns and we can become a big jaded with just another one.

If we just take the Avengers movies in isolation, how does this one measure up against the previous movie “Avengers Assemble “.

Well  even if we knew the name of each individual superhero and the movies that came before,the last one was a kind of introduction to the Marvel superhero universe to those arrived a little late to the party.

This one has to stand on it’s own merits and has to have strong story to boot.

This one concerns a creation of Tony Stark ( Robert Downey Jr ) and Bruce Banner ( Mark Ruffalo ) in their lab – enter stage left the A. I baddie Ultron (James Spader )

In their rush to tweak artificial intelligence their creation Ultron wakes up not very happy and seeks vengance on his creators and the greater world population. As with most movie baddies he think he knows best and the Avengers team go on a globe-trotting damage limitation exercise.

We get introduced to a new character Scarlet Witch ( Elizabeth Olson ) who uses her telekinetic powers to shine a mirror into the future to various members of the team. This results in Hulk ” No, Happy ” and he goes on the rampage in a South African city and Tony Stark and team rush to the rescue.

At one point we see the home life of Hawkeye ( Jeremy Renner ),does this work mmm !! Not quite sure about this.

I feel this is where the movie dips a little before kicking back into second gear for finale in a mythical Eastern European country.

There are lots of action stroke comedy quip set pieces to satisy the Marvel fandom and they will be on the countdown to the obligitory third act movie, but for the casual movie how does this one play out. Is it the best of all the Marvel superhero movies of late, you ask ?

I think this one sits somewhere in the middle – I feel that it actually suffers from the smaller supporting characters from the other individual movies not being included at all or just getting a small amount of screen time. It would have been nice to have seen a little more of them included into the storyline of this movie, as it feels that they are just tacked on to satisfy their individual fans.

Is it the best of the bunch of the recent Marvel releases, no. A good satisfying action comic book based movie, yes.

I think it will take time to see where it stands in the recent Marvel superheroes universe of movie releases and the ones yet to come.