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Tag Archives: Jason Flemyng

Review: Hanna (2011)

As I stood by a Redbox machine, attempting to tell someone what Hanna was about, I realized that doing so requires some expertise in explaining. The best I could come up with was Kick-Ass meets Taken. But make no mistake, Hanna is its own movie and shows us a side of Saoirse Ronan (Atonement, The Way Back, Lovely Bones) that we haven’t seen before.

Hanna is raised by her father, Erik (Eric Bana). Well, the better way to describe would probably be ‘trained’ instead of ‘raised’. Along with some serious fighting and combat training, she also knows several languages and studies the encyclopedia intensely. For as much as we know, they’ve been at this for ever. Finally, her father allows her to push a button allowing the CIA to find their whereabouts, capturing Hanna, and letting Erik escape. At the opposite end of things is mysterious CIA agent Marissa (Cate Blanchett), who needs both Erik and Hanna for some unknown reason. Cue some kick butt action scenes and enough of an air of mystery to make you scratch your head.

While the characters are pretty much bland, minus Blanchett’s wolf-like hunting aspect, Hanna excels at alot of other moments. For one, the soundtrack is amazing and fits in perfectly. The electronic Chemical Brothers show that the Daft Punk + Tron connection wasn’t a fluke. The pulsing beat made the chases ten times more exciting, and even had me contemplating buying the soundtrack. Secondly, Hanna doesn’t shy away from leaving things from the viewer. Some might hate the being in the dark and having things slowly revealed, but I find it as a breath of fresh air. While Hanna is far from perfect, there are glimpses of a great movie far different than most movies on the shelf right now.

My Rating: B-

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Review: X-Men First Class (2011)

I was late to the game when it came to the X-Men films, and although they were arguable the ones that made superhero movies box-office guarantees, the effects are a tad lacking nowadays. Add to the fact that the last one I saw, X-Men Origins: Wolverine was subpar at best, and X-Men: First Class wasn’t the most drool worthy thing when I heard about it. What sets First Class apart is the fact it really isn’t like any of the other 4. A new cast and a more character driven plot shows us how good an expected “popcorn flick” can be.

Set in the 1960’s, First Class is really the Origins for the rest of the crew, specifically Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and Erik Lehnsherr (Michael Fassbender). Although I love McAvoy, Fassbender really stands out due to the arguably better role as the concentration camp survivor who needs to control his rage. The two of them, along with familiar faces like Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) and Beast (Nicholas Hoult) go after another mutant (Kevin Bacon) who, like all good villains, is attempting to start World War III.

Casting? Great. Bacon plays the villain quite well, while Fassbender and McAvoy bring their steady acting chops to the table. We also find out that Jennifer Lawrence of Winter’s Bone fame, can also work on a blockbuster like the X-Men franchise. Story wise, the plot is great, showing us a side of Mystique and Magneto that we never knew. They actually make their choice seem somewhat logical. Technically speaking, First Class stays well above the average with some fantastic effects, including a certain final battle scene involving a coin, that is beauty on film.

My Rating: A-