Tag Archives: Ansel Elgort

Baby Driver (2017) Review

Time: 112 Minutes
Age Rating: 2773-o[1] Strong violence and offensive language
Cast:
Ansel Elgort as Baby
Kevin Spacey as Doc
Lily James as Debora
Jon Hamm as Buddy
Eiza González as Darling
Jamie Foxx as Bats
Jon Bernthal as Griff
Director: Edgar Wright

Talented getaway driver Baby (Ansel Elgort) relies on the beat of his personal soundtrack to be the best in the game. After meeting the woman (Lily James) of his dreams, he sees a chance to ditch his shady lifestyle and make a clean break. Coerced into working for a crime boss (Kevin Spacey), Baby must face the music as a doomed heist threatens his life, love and freedom.

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Baby Driver was a movie that I’ve been keeping an eye on for a while. I’ve loved every movie from director Edgar Wright, and with the cast with actors such as Kevin Spacey, Jon Hamm and Jamie Foxx involved, it had a lot of potential. Baby Driver blew me away. Entertaining from start to finish, directed and written perfectly, Baby Driver is one of the best films of 2017. Edgar Wright has made yet another fantastic film.

Now the movie doesn’t have the most original story, they’ve been plenty of crime, heist and car chase movies. However, Baby Driver is a love letter to those movies (and to music as well), and this movie has a lot of fun with it. Edgar Wright’s writing is top notch as always, from the dialogue, to the foreshadowing, humour and the plot overall, everything is written to perfection. Like Wright’s other movies, there are bits that most people won’t necessarily notice on a first viewing, so I can see people loving this movie even more on repeat viewings. I was entertained from start to finish. It is quite a fun movie overall but its also serious enough that you care about what’s going on. If there’s any flaw I can find with the movie its that the romance just sort of comes out of nowhere and starts abruptly. That’s it really, and even then the romance does work overall because of the leads’ chemistry (more on that in a bit). Honestly aside from that aspect, there wasn’t really a low point of the movie.

This movie has a very talented cast, the one actor in the cast that I was unsure about was Ansel Elgort, he’s a decent actor but I hadn’t seen him great in anything … until now. He really impressed me in Baby Driver, he’s likable and he fully embraces his role. Baby Driver really is his movie and he shines in it. I did mention that the romance is rather sudden and its unbelievable how quickly it starts, but what makes it work is the chemistry between Ansel Elgort and Lily James, they work perfectly together, without them the romance (which is one of the main points of the movie) wouldn’t work at all. This movie has a lot of talented supporting actors with Kevin Spacey, Jon Hamm, Eiza Gonzalez, Jamie Foxx and Jon Bernthal and others and they are great. The stand outs to me were Kevin Spacey and Jon Hamm, they really left an impression on me the most.

Edgar Wright’s direction is perfect once again, you can definitely feel his attention to detail and is so incredible to watch. The car chase scenes feel real and not fake at all, the stunts are so great. I’m not sure if any CGI was used, but if it they did I certainly didn’t notice it. The most stand out parts of the movie is how it uses music in the film. This movie has a large and fun soundtrack but what’s even better is how it uses it in the film itself, for example a lot of the time, the film times the sound effects of the scenes with the music perfectly and it is glorious to watch. The first scene of Baby Driver gives you a good idea about how music is used.

Baby Driver is a really entertaining movie with great acting from its talented cast, as well as Edgar Wright’s smart and funny writing and direction. I’m not sure where this ranks among Wright’s other movies but I can say that it’s at the very least fantastic on its own. Baby Driver is one of the best films of the year, and I would absolutely recommend checking it out.

Allegiant (2016) Review

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Allegiant

Time: 120 Minutes
Age Rating: 860940[1] Violence
Cast:
Shailene Woodley as Beatrice “Tris” Prior
Theo James as Tobias “Four” Eaton
Ansel Elgort as Caleb Prior
Zoë Kravitz as Christina
Miles Teller as Peter Hayes
Jeff Daniels as David
Naomi Watts as Evelyn Johnson-Eaton
Octavia Spencer as Johanna Reyes
Maggie Q as Tori Wu
Bill Skarsgård as Matthew
Ray Stevenson as Marcus Eaton
Director: Robert Schwentke

Tris (Shailene Woodley) escapes with Four (Theo James) to journey beyond the wall that encloses Chicago. For the first time, they leave the only city and family they have ever known to find a peaceful solution. Once outside, they learn shocking new truths that render old discoveries meaningless. As the ruthless battle threatens humanity, Tris and Four quickly decide who to trust to survive. Tris must ultimately make difficult choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice and love.

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I’m not a huge fan of the Divergent series. It’s not bad, it’s harmless but I’m not excited to see every instalment that’s coming. So naturally, I wasn’t looking forward to Allegiant, it didn’t help that this is another young adult third book series split into two parts (they obviously tried to cover that up with the title), and I expected Mockingjay Part 1 all over again. After seeing it, I can say that Allegiant isn’t bad, it’s above average but I can’t in good conscience call it a good movie. The acting is fine, the action is fine and the story is full of plot holes and problems, it’s a Divergent movie, it’s exactly what you expect.

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Although I read the two previous books, I haven’t read the final book, so I can’t comment on the accuracy and/or what was left in, I can only comment on Allegiant as a movie. I have to say, this movie does have some pretty boring moments at times. Like with the previous movies there are still plenty of plot holes, inconsistencies and some of the characters aren’t very well written, which would make it hard for the actors do perform well (which I’ll get into later). The way the movie ends feels like it’s the end of a series, but of course that’s not the case, this is only part 1.

'The Divergent Series: Allegiant'

Acting effort is stronger here than in Insurgent. However a lot of the characters are badly written so they don’t really have much to work with. Tris not well written and isn’t as smart as in the previous movies, Shailene Woodley really doesn’t have much to work with. The film constantly tries putting her and Four (Theo James) together for romantic scenes and it seems completely forced. The other supporting actors are fine. Jeff Daniels is a great actor, but his character is so uninteresting and as a result, the movie just doesn’t give him a chance to shine. The one actor who I think did quite well was Miles Teller, his character was written finely enough and Teller did put quite a bit of effort into it.

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The action like in the previous movies is fine and mildly entertaining. Some of the CGI is fine, other times it is so obvious and quite fake. Also a lot of the designs are so generically futuristic and uninteresting, so it doesn’t really help matters. There are many times when it’s quite clear when characters are in front of a green screen, it was almost like I was watching the Star Wars prequels in that aspect.

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If you are a Divergent fan, you might like this movie. However if you don’t really like the previous movies and are hoping for an improved movie in the series, you won’t get that. It’s quite similar to the previous two movies in terms of the level of quality, when it came to the story, acting and direction. However due to the fact that I felt bored during certain sections of the movie, I’d say it’s slightly more flawed than the others. Now with the final instalment titled Ascendant coming out next year, I’m not looking forward to it. But if all the previous instalments have proven anything, it’s that these movies will always end up as being ‘okay’, so I don’t expect this last movie to be bad.

Insurgent (2015) Review

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Insurgent

Time: 119 Minutes
Age Rating: 860940[1] Violence
Cast:
Shailene Woodley as Beatrice “Tris” Prior
Theo James as Tobias “Four” Eaton
Octavia Spencer as Johanna Reyes
Jai Courtney as Eric Coulter
Ray Stevenson as Marcus Eaton
Zoë Kravitz as Christina
Miles Teller as Peter Hayes
Ansel Elgort as Caleb Prior
Maggie Q as Tori Wu
Naomi Watts as Evelyn Johnson-Eaton
Kate Winslet as Jeanine Matthews
Director: Robert Schwentke

Tris (Shailene Woodley), Four (Theo James), and her remaining allies are on the run from ruthless Jean Matthews (Kate Winslet), and her Erudite faction, where they take refuge at the Amity stronghold. While there, Tris learns that the Erudite are gaining power and decides that she must fight with her inner fears and decide what to do to protect her home.

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Divergent for me was a decent enough movie, it wasn’t great and I haven’t watched it again since the first time I watched it in cinemas, however I found it better than most young adult book adaptations. Overall I found its sequel, like the first film, to be good but not great. Although the action scenes are good and Shailene Woodley continues to be great in this series, the acting by most people isn’t up to par with even the previous movie and the plot can at time be needlessly convoluted. Nonetheless it is still an enjoyable movie and will probably be liked by fans of the book.

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Whereas the first movie was much easier to follow, the story here is quite convoluted. I was able to just go along with it and I had a general idea of what direction it was going in but a lot of times while watching it I was wondering about what was going on. Now I myself have read this book and I do have to say that the film has made some changes from the book. I’m personally fine with the changes but if you have read the books you should know before going in that this movie does change some things from the original source material. I do wonder however how they are going to make the next movies because they do change some significant plot points.

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The acting is good by its main lead, Shailene Woodley and her character is the most complex and developed character in the entire series. Despite this, a lot of the other cast honestly didn’t seem that bothered or interested in this movie or their performances. It’s been a year since I watched Divergent but I remember these actors giving more emotions in that film. It honestly feels like some of these people are just phoning it in and don’t really care much. For example, Kate Winslet was okay in the previous film (however she was quite a weak villain), however this film really highlights how non-threatening her character is. She really doesn’t do anything in this film, she just runs some tests on people and Winslet gives a less interested performance. The only other actors who seem to give some emotions is Naomi Watts and Jai Courtney, even though Courtney’s character isn’t developed he still manages to emote more than most of the actors in this movie.

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The action scenes are well filmed like in the previous film and are entertaining, which is the most consistently good aspect in Insurgent. The special effects are also quite effective whenever they are used and are on a bigger scale than Divergent. The soundtrack was also really well done and added much more to the scenes.

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Honestly if you like the books and liked the way they did Divergent, go see Insurgent, you probably won’t be disappointed. Just know going in that there are some pretty big changes from the book that have been made. As for the rest of us, it all depends whether you liked the first film to begin with. Its lead performance and the action scenes are great and entertaining but the uninteresting performances from most of the cast and the complicated plot does hold it back from being greater. Hopefully the sequels will be better (and also hopefully the next film won’t be as drawn out as Mockingjay Part 1)