Tag Archives: Cillian Murphy

A Quiet Place Part II (2021) Review

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A Quiet Place Part II

Time: 97 Minutes
Age Rating: 860940[1] Contains violence and horror
Cast:
Emily Blunt as Evelyn Abbott
Cillian Murphy as Emmett
Millicent Simmonds as Regan Abbott
Noah Jupe as Marcus Abbott
Djimon Hounsou as Man On Island
John Krasinski as Lee Abbott
Director: John Krasinski

Following the deadly events at home, the Abbott family must now face the terrors of the outside world as they continue their fight for survival in silence. Forced to venture into the unknown, they quickly realize that the creatures that hunt by sound are not the only threats that lurk beyond the sand path.

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A Quiet Place Part II was one of the many 2020 movies that was pushed back another year because of COVID and now it’s finally here. The first movie was quite a surprising movie, a horror movie with quite a simple concept that was executed incredibly well, and it was quite a hit when it came out. A sequel was greenlit after its success, and it really didn’t seem like the type of movie that need a sequel and it seemed great enough on its own. So I was just expecting a decent but nothing special sequel, and it turned out to be a lot better than I thought it would be.

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A Quiet Place Part II picks up immediately after the first movie, so don’t read the rest of the review or really even bother to look into the movie unless you have seen the first movie. In short, many of the strengths from the first movie could pretty much just repeated here. At its core it is about a family trying to survive, you are invested with the characters and what they are up against, and the tension is there throughout but doesn’t overly rely on a huge amount of. The main question is what it actually does as a sequel to that first movie, what it adds and what is different. For one it expands the world wider beyond the main setting of the last movie, as the Abbott family goes into unexpected territory, and we get to learn more about the rest of the world and what happened. The film even opens on the day that the apocalypse started, and it really added some context and more to these movies. Part II does go for more of a patient survival drama more than the rather contained horror movie that Part I was, but it works very well. While generally the first movie was about the whole family with a focus on the parents, this one is really about the kids, and that approach was quite refreshing. At a point much of the movie splits into two storylines and while I liked both, without getting too into it here, the one focusing in Millicient Simmonds’s character of Regan was the one I was most interested in the most. The movie ends in a very satisfying way, and the sequel leaves open the potential for a Part III.

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The cast like in the last movie is rather small, but strong in their parts. Emily Blunt, Millicient Simmonds and Noah Jupe reprise their roles as the surviving Abbott family and once again they are great. They are able to convey so much without saying much or anything, especially when they have to communicate non-verbally so to not attract any of the monsters. Much of these movies rely on the performances being great and they absolutely deliver. Out of the three, Millicient Simmonds particularly shines here, in fact I’d say that she carries much of the movie. There’s also the addition of Cillian Murphy in a major role, and he’s also a fantastic addition to these movies, he also gives a great performance here. Djimon Hounsou also appears in the movie in a couple of scenes and he’s good in his screentime.

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John Krasinski once again directs this movie, and his work here is just as good as Part I if not better. Part II definitely feels like an even more confident film on a directing level overall. First of all, it is shot incredibly well, the environments and settings help this world feel believable. The attention to detail is immaculate especially during moments of tension, often times focusing on things that could potentially go wrong. Then there’s of course the effective use of silence and the sound editing, mixing and design with sound being such an important part of the movie. The booming score from Marco Beltrami works well too, especially during moments of tension. There are scares but it feels earned when they are present and they never feel cheap. The creatures as usual are creepy and intimidating from their presence, design and sounds, although don’t feel quite as dangerous compared to in the first movie (mostly to do with the story however). It really is quite an experience to watch it in the theatre, especially with the sound.

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A Quiet Place Part II is a worthy follow up to the first movie and is just as good. Great performances from the cast, story and characters that you’re invested in, and some effective tension and directed incredibly well. If you liked Part I, definitely check Part II out as soon as you can because you’ll probably like it as well. If you didn’t like Part I at all, Part II is unlikely to win you over any better. While I was sceptical of a sequel to the first A Quiet Place, it actually worked quite well and I’m now on board with the possibility of a Part III.

Transcendence (2014) Review

Time: 119 Minutes
Age Rating: 860940[1] Violence
Cast:
Johnny Depp as Will Caster
Rebecca Hall as Evelyn Caster
Paul Bettany as Max Waters
Kate Mara as Bree
Cillian Murphy as Donald Buchanan
Cole Hauser as Stevens
Morgan Freeman as Joseph Tagger
Director: Wally Pfister

Dr. Will Caster (Johnny Depp), the world’s foremost authority on artificial intelligence, is conducting highly controversial experiments to create a sentient machine. When extremists try to kill the doctor, they inadvertently become the catalyst for him to succeed. Will’s wife, Evelyn (Rebecca Hall), and best friend, Max (Paul Bettany), can only watch as his thirst for knowledge evolves to an omnipresent quest for power, and his loved ones soon realize that it may be impossible to stop him.

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I remember looking forward to seeing Transcendence after seeing all the trailers. It had an interesting concept, a very talented cast and was directed by Christopher Nolan’s frequent cinematographer Wally Pfister. It’s just such a shame that all the talent involved never ended up amounting to anything. Transcendence isn’t an awful movie, it has some okay parts to it, it looks good and some of the acting is okay, that’s it. On the whole, it movie is just disappointing and mediocre.

There’s a huge amount of potential with this concept. Unfortunately, it doesn’t really do anything too much with it. It actually takes quite a while to get to the actual transcendence. It doesn’t help that once things get going, there’s a 2 year jump for no reason at all, after that point the movie really took a significant drop in quality. It is worth noting that despite the marketing, Transcendence isn’t a huge sci-fi thriller. That way if you end up watching the movie, you won’t be as disappointed with it. I heard this mentioned before going into it, so I wasn’t expecting the movie that was advertised, I was just going in expecting a movie and even then I was let down. It seems that it was more focused around the lead two characters played by Johnny Depp and Rebecca Hall and their relationship. That’s not a problem, it’s just the relationship and characters aren’t as interesting as it should be, you’re not that invested. There isn’t much character development except for maybe Paul Bettany’s character. The movie really wasn’t as interesting as it should’ve been either. Some aspects of the movie are interesting like the actual transcendence, other aspects just feel like typical sci-fi aspects that were just thrown in. It might have its moments but Transcendence on the whole doesn’t do enough special things to warrant grinding through the whole 2 hour long movie (which feels a lot longer actually watching it).

This cast is pretty large and talented but most of them don’t really get to do anything that great. Johnny Depp is the lead character who goes through the transcendence and he wasn’t really that great, though this time I don’t think it’s on Depp. It’s not that Johnny Depp going full Jack Sparrow or anything like that. It’s that his character really doesn’t do much, even after the transcendence. He should be really interesting, compelling or something like that, but he’s just boring. Rebecca Hall has even less to do here. As I said, a lot of the movie surrounds Depp’s and Hall’s relationship but the chemistry between them wasn’t great and the relationship isn’t that compelling or interesting, so I felt ultimately nothing in their numerous scenes together. Morgan Freeman, Cillian Murphy are fine enough but their characters aren’t really anything, so they are pretty much just playing themselves. Kate Mara is decent enough but the only actor in this movie who actually leaves a real strong impression was Paul Bettany, he was legitimately good in his role and his performance does actually add to the movie and make it a little better.

One of the highlights of Transcendence is that it is a good looking movie, this movie is shot very well. However, it’s nothing really that different from any other sci-fi movies that we’ve seen. The problem isn’t the direction. If I saw any scene out of context by itself, I would probably find it decent, but the fact that the movie looks good isn’t enough to carry it with it’s rather flawed story, characters and script.

I will say this about Transcendence, it is one of those movies that should be remade, this concept sounds like it could be something great. I’m completely lost as to why this movie didn’t work at all. I didn’t find it to be a terrible movie but it’s also not really good either. It looks good, it has some story aspects which had potential and the acting is fine enough (though only a couple actors are used to their potential), however the end product really didn’t live up to its potential. I guess there’s not harm in checking it out if you’re curious, but don’t expect anything too great.

Dunkirk (2017) Review

Time: 106 Minutes
Age Rating: 860940[1] Violence
Cast:
Fionn Whitehead as Tommy
Tom Glynn-Carney as Peter
Jack Lowden as Collins
Harry Styles as Alex
Aneurin Barnard as Gibson
James D’Arcy as Colonel Winnant
Barry Keoghan as George
Kenneth Branagh as Commander Bolton
Cillian Murphy as Shivering Soldier
Mark Rylance as Mr Dawson
Tom Hardy as Farrier
Director: Christopher Nolan

In May 1940, Germany advanced into France, trapping Allied troops on the beaches of Dunkirk. Under air and ground cover from British and French forces, troops were slowly and methodically evacuated from the beach using every serviceable naval and civilian vessel that could be found. At the end of this heroic mission, 330,000 French, British, Belgian and Dutch soldiers were safely evacuated.

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Dunkirk is directed by Christopher Nolan, that was enough to get me on board for this movie. I’ve loved nearly every film from him, he always brings his A game to the table to deliver great movies. The concept of him take on a war movie was intriguing, and on top of that he had a great cast with actors like Tom Hardy and Cillian Murphy involved. So I was definitely excited to see Dunkirk and unsurprisingly, Nolan did not disappoint. Dunkirk is a very different war movie from most, very intense and captivating and is also one of the best examples of excellent visual storytelling. One of the best films of the year for sure.

This movie is unique compared to other war movies, it is really something special. Dunkirk feels incredibly realistic, more so than most ‘realistic war movies’. Whereas most war movies focus on both the characters and the war, Dunkirk solely focusses on the war. The movie doesn’t ever have a moment when someone gives their life story like most war movies (because in war, that wouldn’t happen). One of the best parts of the movie was the visual storytelling. Nolan uses exposition sparingly, only when necessary. The rest is just pure visual storytelling at its best. If there is one criticism I might have is that there isn’t really a whole lot of character depth or development, it really wasn’t that big of a problem for me. However, I do think it could’ve been possible to give the characters a little more depth then they ended up displaying in the movie. It’s just a minor flaw though. Dunkirk has three perspectives, one on land with Fionn Whitehead over a week, one on boat with Mark Rylance over a day, and one in the air with Tom Hardy over an hour. The transitions are a little jarring sometimes like, when its night-time in the land segment and then it suddenly cuts to daytime in the plane section. This movie is short for a Nolan movie at 1 hour 46 minutes and I think it was a good running time, its not too short and it doesn’t overstay its welcome.

This movie has a large and talented cast with Tom Hardy, Mark Rylance, Kenneth Branagh and others and they were great in their roles. As I said earlier, this movie doesn’t have a lot of character development or exposition, the actors just needed to act well in their roles and they really did that. An example is Tom Hardy, most of the time his face is covered by a mask and he’s just acting with his eyes and he is one of the stand out performances in the film. And yes, even Harry Styles is pretty good in his role.

Christopher Nolan directed this movie, and as usual he brings his A-game, it is what makes this movie work so incredibly well. The cinematography by Hoyte van Hotyema is top notch, you completely feel like you’re with these people during these events. This film feels very realistic, the war sequences never feels overblown or over the top, there’s no self indulgent bloody violence for the sake of violence. Hans Zimmer’s score raises the tension, definitely plays a big part in making the film work. Honestly all things considered, this one of Christopher Nolan’s best directed films yet.

Dunkirk is yet another excellent film from Christopher Nolan. Along with the acting and story, the direction and visual storytelling is absolutely fantastic. It’s also an important movie, and watching these events of Dunkirk occur is really compelling. I can’t say how this movie would rank against Nolan’s other movies, but it is probably one of his best, which is saying a lot. Dunkirk is truly one of the best films of the year.

Inception (2010)

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Inception

Time: 148 Minutes
Age Rating: 860940[1] Violence
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio as Cobb
Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Arthur
Ellen Page as Ariadne
Marion Cotillard as Mal
Tom Hardy as Eames
Ken Watanabe as Saito
Cillian Murphy as Robert Fischer
Tom Berenger as Browning
Michael Caine as Miles
Director: Christopher Nolan

Dominic Cobb (Leonardo Dicaprio) is a skilled thief who for a living steals information and secrets from inside someone’s subconscious through their dreams. A businessman, Mr Saito (Ken Watanabe), hires him to do the impossible, plant an idea inside the head of Robert Fischer (Cillian Murphy) who is about to inherent his father’s empire. In return, Cobb will be able to return home to his children. He assembles a team to do this. Cobb has to deal with his own emotions which may jeopardize the job.

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Inception is a film which combines an action blockbuster with a psychological thriller. The best person to take the idea of this movie and made it as best as they possibly could was Christopher Nolan, as shown by this movie. This movie is expertly put together and it an enthralling experience.

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Be careful of what you expect from this movie; some people hate this movie despite high reviews. Just know before watching that Inception demands your full attention; if you aren’t paying attention you may miss details on how the dreams work, Cobb’s past or very significant plot points. The film is quite complex and nearly 2 hours and 30 minutes long so you should really pay attention on your first viewing. The pacing also is slower than you might think; it isn’t just action scene after action scene. It’s also another one of those movies that does require multiple viewings. The only flaw I found in this movie is the lack of character development. Apart from Cobb, you don’t really learn that much of any of the other characters. The last hour or so for me is the best part of the movie. There is also an ambiguous ending that will either fascinate or anger you, there are many interpretations on what is may mean but overall, it was the perfect way to end this movie off.

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The film has a huge cast and Christopher Nolan makes use of every actor. Leonardo Dicaprio is really good in this movie. He plays a complex character with many secrets and you slowly see them as the film progresses and DiCaprio really conveyed them. Also great, is the fact that he and the other actors seem to act that they really know about how the dreams work – adding an authenticity to the film. Other actors like Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page, Tom Hardy, Ken Watanabe and Cillian Murphy also were really good. Despite most of them not having much character development, they really do work well with what they got.

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The dream sequences were incredibly filmed. Christopher Nolan is exceptional at filming action scenes because in most cases he doesn’t use CGI; he actually manages to make the action happen (Like the truck flip in The Dark Knight). One of the stand-out scenes is one where during a dream, a hallway is turning and the characters are in zero gravity; this scene didn’t used CGI and it looked so real. Hans Zimmer’s score in any movie instantly elevates it to a new level. This is no exception here and his haunting score worked best during the dream sequences and the action scenes.

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Inception is a masterpiece that was successfully crafted by Christopher Nolan. It took 10 years for him to write the story and I can really see that – the plot is so well written. This is a story that is very ambitious. Though I have really hyped it up, if you haven’t seen it, try not going in with high expectations as I heard that some people were expecting some things but didn’t get them. However I do recommend that everyone should go see this movie. It’s a fantastic representation of dreams and one of my favourite movies of all time.

Batman Begins (2005)

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Batman Begins

Time: 140 Minutes
Age Rating: 860940[1] Violence
Cast:
Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne/Batman
Michael Caine as Alfred
Liam Neeson as Ducard
Katie Holmes as Rachel Dawes
Cillian Murphy as Dr. Jonathan Crane/Scarecrow
Gary Oldman as Jim Gordon
Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox
Director: Christopher Nolan

As a child, a young Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) witnesses the death of his parents at the hands of a criminal. As an adult, Bruce travels the world seeking the means to fight injustice. He lives among the boroughs of criminals and thieves in central Asia. Eventually, he meets and is trained by Henri Ducard (Liam Neeson) and Ra’s Al Ghul (Ken Watanabe) who are part of a group called the League of Shadows. When he returns, Bruce finds that Gotham City has become overrun with crime and corruption. Discovering a cave under Wayne Manor, Bruce assumes the identity of Batman to take on the criminals and organized crime underworld of Gotham.

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After Batman and Robin, the Batman franchise desperately needed a reboot. This is the first superhero movie that tried to take the movie into a more realistic direction and changed the way superhero movies are being made today. This movie does take its time to set up its plot and characters’ backstories which will put some people off as usual superhero movies set up their backstories fairly quick. Unlike other adaptations of Batman, this shows how Bruce Wayne became Batman. One thing that I found better in this movie compared to Tim Burton’s version is you get to learn more about Bruce Wayne. In the 1989 film it immediately starts and Batman has existed for some time. There are lots of superhero movies which show the main characters’ backstories such as Spiderman and Superman but this was the first superhero that really spends a lot of time delving deep into the psychology of the character. The movie isn’t predictable at all; it takes many twists and turns. With Batman Begins, everything is played as realistic as possible; the characters mostly feel like real people and it somehow manages to make the idea of a millionaire dressing up as a bat and fighting crime somewhat plausible. As much as I like Tim Burton’s Batman, this is the first adaptation of Batman that for me got the character right. It is also the second representation of a superhero that I felt was perfect after the original Superman.

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When it comes to playing Batman, the actor actually needs to play two characters: Bruce Wayne and Batman. Michael Keaton in Batman nailed that role, Val Kilmer did an okay job in Batman Forever and the less I say about George Clooney in Batman and Robin the better. Christian Bale managed to pull off both parts off well as Batman, even as well as Keaton. He managed to personify Bruce as a millionaire playboy and Batman as an intimidating presence (with a raspy voice as well). Also great in the supporting roles are Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman, Liam Neeson and Cillian Murphy. The characters felt and were acted like real people.

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Hans Zimmer’s and James Newton Howard’s music in this movie is very effective and atmospheric. The action is filmed very well: one thing about the Dark Knight Trilogy is that most of the things that go on look like they could happen in real life, this includes the action scenes. This Batman Begins’s cinematography always seems to give this atmospheric realistic feel to me. When the action scenes are paired with the score, it is a masterclass of filmmaking. The best example of this is a scene with the tumbler, Batman’s
car.

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This movie changed the ways comic book movies were made, no longer did they just focus on just action (which still was fine) but also focused on character development and plot. The Dark Knight Trilogy goes beyond just being superhero movies. This film is both a fun action movie and a thrilling drama that takes many twists that will keep the audience of the edge of their seats.