Tag Archives: Sienna Miller

Stardust (2007) Review

Time: 127 Minutes
Age Rating: 120px-OFLCN_-_PG.svg[1] contains frightening fanstasy scenes & violence
Cast:
Claire Danes as Yvaine
Charlie Cox as Tristan Thorn
Michelle Pfeiffer as Lamia
Mark Strong as Prince Septimus
Robert De Niro as Captain Shakespeare of the Caspartine
Jason Flemyng as Prince Primus
Rupert Everett as Prince Secundus
Kate Magowan as Princess Una
Ricky Gervais as Ferdiland “Ferdy” the Fence
Sienna Miller as Victoria Forester
Peter O’Toole as the dying King of Stormhold
Director: Matthew Vaughn

To win the heart of his beloved (Sienna Miller), a young man named Tristan (Charlie Cox) ventures into the realm of fairies to retrieve a fallen star. What Tristan finds, however, is not a chunk of space rock, but a woman (Claire Danes) named Yvaine. Yvaine is in great danger, for the king’s sons need her powers to secure the throne, and an evil witch (Michelle Pfeiffer) wants to use her to achieve eternal youth and beauty.

full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] Black-Star-Photographic-Agency[1]

Stardust was the only Matthew Vaughn movie I hadn’t watched in it’s entirety yet, I’m pretty sure that I saw parts of this movie a while ago since moments of it look familiar. Going into it, I really didn’t know what to expect. A fantasy based movie is not something that I could see Vaughn of all directors do. However, this movie was quite surprising and much better than I thought it would be, I had a good time with it.

Stardust is based on the graphic novel of the same name by Neil Gaiman, throughout it’s a purely fantasy movie and really leans into that. Much of the movie is cheesy but in a good way, you can really have fun with the movie. You really can’t take this movie too seriously, and thankfully it doesn’t take itself seriously either. It has a bunch of fantasy adventure clichés and does very little to subvert them, so this isn’t necessarily something that you’ve never seen before. It’s also fairly predictable, you can generally see which direction the movie is moving towards. As a light, silly adventure fantasy movie however, I had a blast with it.

This movie has such a surprisingly large cast, young Henry Cavill and Ben Barnes appear in minor roles and even the legendary Peter O’Toole shows up for a brief appearance. On the whole the cast did very well. Claire Danes and Charlie Cox are the leads and they really worked. The interactions between the two characters were pretty typical of fantasy romances but Danes and Cox still had some good chemistry together. Michelle Pfeiffer is I guess the primary villain of the movie as one of a trio of witches looking to get Claire Danes. Pfeiffer really hams up her role at just the right level, and it really works for this movie. Mark Strong has played multiple villains and he also plays a villainous sort of character here, however there’s something about him here that’s just so entertaining to watch, he’s definitely having fun here. The MVP however was Robert De Niro who shows up in a supporting but memorable part here, definitely the standout from the whole cast. Other supporting players like Sienna Miller also play their roles well. Honestly the only one that didn’t really work was Ricky Gervais who appears briefly and even in that short time was really out of place.

This doesn’t actually feel like a Matthew Vaughn film and I don’t mean that in a bad way. He’s actually handled this movie very well. As I said with the writing and story, this movie really leans into the fantasy aspect and it’s done very well, the production design and costumes are on point. At times the visuals can look a little dated but you can look past it, because most of them are really nice to look at, even a decade later.

Matthew Vaughn’s take on a fantasy movie with Stardust was way better than I thought it would be. Even the cheese and the over the top elements were entertaining, it knew what it was, and the cast were really good here. There are for sure better fantasy movies and it’s by no means a classic, however I just really had a lot of fun with this movie. It’s worth a watch at least.

Layer Cake (2004) Review

Time: 105 Minutes
Age Rating: 860949[1] Violence, offensive language, drug use and sex scenes
Cast:
Daniel Craig as XXXX
Colm Meaney as Gene
Kenneth Cranham as Jimmy Price
George Harris as Morty
Jamie Foreman as the Duke
Michael Gambon as Eddie Temple
Marcel Iureş as Slavo
Tom Hardy as Clarkie
Tamer Hassan as Terry
Ben Whishaw as Sidney
Burn Gorman as Gazza
Sally Hawkins as Slasher
Sienna Miller as Tammy
Director: Matthew Vaughn

An unnamed mid-level cocaine dealer (Daniel Craig) in London makes plans to step away from the criminal life. Before he can cut ties, the dealer’s supplier Jimmy Price (Kenneth Cranham) draws him into a complicated pair of jobs involving kidnapping the teenage daughter of a rival gangster (Michael Gambon) and brokering the purchase of a large shipment of ecstasy pills from a dealer known as “the Duke” (Jamie Foreman), leading to a series of elaborate double-crosses from all corners.

full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] Black-Star-Photographic-Agency[1]

Layer Cake was Matthew Vaughn’s first movie, before then he produced some of Guy Ritchie’s movies. It was very well received and put him on the map as a director to watch, with him very nearly directing the third X-Men movie afterwards. Although I saw it already years ago, I wanted to check it out again, since I was already rewatching some of Matthew Vaughn’s movies recently. It’s even better than what I remembered it being from my first viewing.

Layer Cake is written by J.J. Connelly, adapting his book of the same name for the big screen. It’s a pretty standard British crime thriller, albeit a very good one with some twists and turns. One could compare this to Guy Ritchie’s crime movies (especially seeing as how Vaughn was involved with Ritchie’s early movies), although there are some similarities, there are plenty of distinct differences between them, especially when it comes to the tone. Vaughn’s other R rated movies generally has a lot of dark comedy to it, Layer Cake on the other hand is more serious, more like a crime thriller and doesn’t have as much comedy. It for sure has some brief dark comedy at points however. It’s actually pretty riveting over the hour and 45 minutes runtime. I think the main reason that this all works really well together though is because of the lead character, which I’ll get into in a bit.

As good as a bunch of all this is, Layer Cake wouldn’t have been as great without Daniel Craig, who honestly makes this movie. Craig is outstanding as the unnamed lead character (not exactly sure why his name is never revealed), who in this movie is more of a businessman than a gangster, in fact he hates gangsters and violence. He also shows a very wide range of emotions as he’s thrown into so many situations that he’s struggling to keep alive in, and through his performance you can really root for the lead character. You can definitely tell why Daniel Craig was picked for James Bond, there’s a lot of Bond that you can see in his performance here. One of Craig’s best, if not his best performance. The rest of the cast also played their parts really well. The rest of the cast including Colm Meaney, George Harris, Michael Gambon, Tom Hardy, Ben Whishaw and Sienna Miller all play their roles very well. Gambon in particular was great as a ruthless and villainous sort of character, quite different from other roles that he’s had.

For a debut, Matthew Vaughn did a great job, it doesn’t look like his first movie at all. It’s all filmed and edited very well, the music choices were also perfect, he’s got a real great handle over the whole movie.

Layer Cake is an outstanding directorial debut from Matthew Vaughn, a well written and directed crime thriller, with Daniel Craig’s great lead performance really making the movie. It’s an underrated little flick that definitely deserves a lot more praise and really worth a watch if you haven’t seen it already.

Unfinished Business (2015) Review

unfinished-business-01-gallery-image-gallery-image[1]

Unfinished Business

Time: 91 Minutes
Age Rating: 860949[1] Offensive Language, Sexual References, Nudity and Drug Use
Cast:
Vince Vaughn as Daniel “Dan” Trunkman
Tom Wilkinson as Timothy McWinters
Dave Franco as Mike Pancake
Sienna Miller as Charlene “Chuck” Portnoy
Nick Frost as Bill Whilmsley
James Marsden as Jim Spinch
Director: Ken Scott

Tired of playing second-fiddle to his obnoxious boss (Sienna Miller), businessman Dan Trunkman (Vince Vaughn) quits and forms his own competing mineral sales firm. He takes a retiring associate (Tom Wilkinson) and a dim-witted sales applicant (Dave Franco) with him. After a year and a half of struggle, a promising deal is in sight — then promptly folds, thanks to Dan’s ex-boss. Determined to save the deal, Dan and company fly to Germany, where a series of outrageous obstacles awaits.

full_star[1] full_star[1] Black-Star-Photographic-Agency[1] Black-Star-Photographic-Agency[1] Black-Star-Photographic-Agency[1] Black-Star-Photographic-Agency[1] Black-Star-Photographic-Agency[1] Black-Star-Photographic-Agency[1] Black-Star-Photographic-Agency[1] Black-Star-Photographic-Agency[1]

The two biggest sins that a comedy can commit is to be unfunny and boring. Unfinished Business is one of those films which unfortunately does both of them and this movie really was even worse than it should’ve been. Despite a talented cast and a good writer this movie fails on pretty much every level. It’s not funny, it’s not smart, so many jokes feel forced and almost every joke is so easy. There really isn’t any reason to watch this movie.

ocSiMZS[1]

As you could probably tell by now that the jokes didn’t work and weren’t funny at all. There were times where the jokes were so forced and at times cringe worthy. For example James Franco’s character’s last name is Pancake, that’s the level of comedy that this movie is at. It doesn’t help that some of the scenes and scenarios were created just to make a joke which as you can imagine, misses. Another bad aspect is that the whole film felt boring. The entire movie surrounded Vince Vaughn making some deal and that’s pretty much the whole movie, with countless scenes added and stretched out to pad the runtime so that it was at least 90 minutes. Also Unfinished Business felt like an unfinished film, there are scenes that don’t fit in with each other. For example this movie starts off with Vince Vaughn having an argument with his boss before leaving and it felt like there was supposed to be a scene beforehand, so from the get go the scenes in the movie starting feeling out of place. It’s hard to see how this movie had a script this bad from Steve Conrad, the writer of The Pursuit of Happiness.

UB-Footage-4[1]

Vince Vaughn is really just playing Vince Vaughn again. He’s fine in the role (even though he doesn’t produce any forms of laughs) and actually comes out the best out of the main cast, that’s not saying a lot though. It’s not just Vince Vaughn who isn’t funny though, because Tom Wilkinson doesn’t give a good performance either, which is a real shame seeing as he’s one of the best actors we have working in the business today. Dave Franco is a good actor and can be good and very funny in movies like 21 Jump Street and Bad Neighbours. With that said, Dave Franco’s character in this movie is honestly one of the dumbest characters I’ve seen in a movie. I know he’s supposed to be stupid but it really wasn’t done right and it was a chore to watch his character do dumb things, making it even harder to watch the movie. All of these people are talented but none of them come out looking good on any level.

Unfinished Business PRESS HANDOUT FILM STILL IMAGE FOX

The worst thing about this movie is that it’s really a time waster. This movie fails as a comedy, but it’s not like with Raising Arizona where I could just claim that it’s not my style for comedy. I don’t know what group of people would find this movie funny. Not one joke hit in the entire movie, for me it is one of the worst ‘comedies’ I’ve seen (though I haven’t seen Disaster Movie, nor do I ever want to). It wasted a good cast and there’s really no reason to watch it. Unfinished Business was one of the worst films of 2015.