Thursday, 28 March 2013

Paranormal Activity 4 - Phil's Five Words for Films

Paranormal Activity 4  The Law of  Diminishing Sequels is very much in evidence with the P.A franchise and the fourth film in the series does nothing to halt their slide in to the pit of sequel oblivion.  Directed once again by Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman ( Catfish & PA3 ) there are some new, interesting characters but very little in the way of scares or horror.  Following on from the events of PA2 , the 'action' centres around Hunter, a missing child from the second film, who is forced to stay with the family across the road after his mother is taken in to hospital.  Once in the house, strange things start to happen and the new family find themselves being stalked by supernatural forces.  Most of the footage

Friday, 8 March 2013

Hanna - Phil's Five Words for Films

Hanna  For me, Hanna is such a wasted opportunity.  With some strong characters, a good opening and a nice central idea, it could have placed itself alongside films like the Bourne trilogy but was slowly pulled in too many directions and eventually felt messy and insubstantial.  It almost talked itself out of a sequel.  Trained to kill by her ex-CIA father ( Eric Banner ) whilst in hiding, Hanna ( Saoirse Ronan ) is a deadly 16 year old, ready to take on the world and the people that hunt her family ( Cate Blanchett ).  It is a violent fairytale that should have exploded on to the screen but unfortunately, everything about the film seemed a little misjudged. Without really knowing why or thinking about it for a second, Hanna has to press a button to alert her enemies to her location, starting an unnecessary game of cat and mouse.  Surely she was better off being below the radar?  The levels of violence were not really suitable for a 12 certificate audience but stopped short of giving the film any real edge or bite. The involvement of a family in a camper van was supposed to give structure and comic relief but just felt awkward and stilted. Even the locations used in the film felt like a tick-list of required settings. Don't get me wrong, the fight scenes were very well done and the characters were well portrayed but I thought that it missed or misjudged every bullseye. It could have been so much more stylish, dark and slick but instead it was a mixed bag of nice ideas with no real cohesion.  It is a shame because I really felt that the opening scenes were well handled and that there was enough interest in the main characters to carry a good series of films.  Hanna has been compared to the 1994 film 'Leon' ( 10/10 for me ) but lumbered with its 12 certificate and the lack of any real development, it is not in the same league. Shame.

5 out of 10.
Cert 12A ( uk )