Analysis of the Cinematography in Dunkirk (2017)

Examining director Christopher Nolan’s previous work such as The Dark Knight Trilogy (2005, 2008, 2012), Inception (2010) and Interstellar (2014), it is clear that the dialogue and exposition based stories are intertwined with amazing visuals. Dunkirk (2017), however, is a complete switch on this norm as this film tells an intense visual story through its cinematography.

The use of shooting Dunkirk (2017) in large format with IMAX cameras allows Nolan to show the large-scale shots and small-scale shots coherently and effectively providing a unique style and feel. This provides the audience with the feeling of being

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claustrophobic in the cockpit of a Spitfire during a dogfight to feeling unsafe in the wide-open beaches of Dunkirk. Nolan emphasises the use of natural lighting in the shots from the dimly lit interior shots of a warship to the naturally lit exterior beach shots. Not needing the practice of fill lighting, Nolan uses natural lighting in Dunkirk (2017); this allows each scene to be lit by the mise-en-scène. Because of the locations used in Dunkirk (2017), the cinematography within this film is used to maximum effect.

Shooting a film in such a grand scale as Dunkirk (2017), it is essential from a cinematography perspective that all locations allow the director to convey the true aspect of each shot. For example, the beach and town of Dunkirk enables Nolan to take full advantage of using a helicopter mounted with an IMAX camera for the extreme wide shots, to the personal medium hand-held close-up shots of a soldier hiding in the bullet-ridden hull of a boat. Because Dunkirk takes place across the English Channel, from the perspective of the narrative, Nolan uses colour to signify which location is safe or unsafe.

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Whenever Nolan shows the audience the beach in Dunkirk, the colour is cold adopting an analogue palette to tell the audience that the location is unsafe and fearful. However, when Nolan shows the audience England, ‘Home’, the colour palette within the shots is a vibrant goldish warm tint, signifying that this location is safe, inviting and tranquil. Nolan puts effort into making the white cliffs of Dover shimmer compared to the shots from war-torn France across the channel, the dimmer and darker side of the English Channel. Another element to the cinematography of Dunkirk (2017) is the sound mixing. The use of actual WW2 aircraft sounds provides an experience of terror when enemy fighter planes begin a bombing run, showing the audience what it would feel like from the soldiers’ perspective on the ground, in a tight space with nowhere to go.

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Dunkirk (2017) tells a very visual story taking full advantage of the sound mixing, colour palette, equipment, and location-based elements of cinematography. This gives an audience the realistic sense of being in a wartime crisis from the tightly shot beginning of a Dunkirk street, to the wide-open beaches and the warmth and safety of home.

References

Pictures, W. B., 2016. Dunkirk – Trailer 1 [HD]. [Online]
Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-eMt3SrfFU
[Accessed 14 October 2017].

Pictures, W. B., 2017. DUNKIRK – OFFICIAL MAIN TRAILER [HD]. [Online]
Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T7O7BtBnsG4
[Accessed 14 October 2017].

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Analysis of the Editing in Baby Driver (Edgar Wright, 2017)

The editing in Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver (2017) is closer to the editing made in modern music videos than a film, because of the movie because heavily influenced by the soundtrack every piece of action is built around the chosen song. The editor Paul Machliss edited the movie whilst on set which is different from the common practice of editing a movie in a studio with a full editing deck. Furthermore, Edgar Wright had the vision to make Baby Driver (2017) seem like a music video, yet not feel like one. Machliss is quoted saying “…not make it feel like a musical where everything is heavily choreographed. We didn’t want you to notice that someone puts a bottle down on a chair. It may happen to be on the beat, but we don’t want you to think we are waiting for that moment.” (MAHER, 2017).

Throughout Baby Driver (2017) Wright and Machliss delight in cutting from one scene to the next on the beat of the music. In the example below, it cuts from a gun deal planning meeting to the group driving in a car on the beat of the music. The music used in this quick-cut creates a feeling of anticipation and adventure, telling the audience that they are going on a journey of discovery and the cut is used to quickly jump to the next action in the story.

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Edgar Wright has unique editing style and technique where he does close-up quick-cuts of action moments, and he’s been doing this technique since Shaun of the Dead (2004). Wright enjoys cutting in action moments to get through a sequence and then cut to the next scene. Furthermore, Wright is prolific in quick-cut montages of characters tooling up for an action scene or to super stylise mundane events, when talking about the editing in Hot Fuzz (2007) Wright talks about his style of editing “…taking the most boring parts of police work, like paperwork, and making it super stylised.” (Chen, 2014). This type of editing style keeps the audience’s attention throughout the scenes and sequences, keeping them entertained.

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Wrights prolific quick-cut close-up style and technique is not to say that’s all he does, in the sequence after the first bank heist in Baby Driver (2017) where his main character ‘Baby’ walks from a building to a coffee shop and back to the building. That sequence is done is one 2-minutes and 44-second-long un-cut tracking shot. This type of long un-cut sequence creates a connection with a character, making an audience see and feel every move the character is making.

Overall, the editing in Baby Driver (2017) adds to the story, creating excitement and anticipation for the audience when Wright cuts from one scene or sequence to the next sequence or action scene, almost like a music video.

References

Baby Driver. 2017. [Film] Directed by Edgar Wright. United States/United Kingdom: TriStar Pictures/Sony Pictures Releasing.

Chen, D., 2014. Edgar Wright and the Art of Close-Ups. [Online]
Available at: https://vimeo.com/85311313
[Accessed 5 November 2017].

MAHER, M., 2017. How Editor Paul Machliss Cut Baby Driver in Real Time on Location. [Online]
Available at: https://www.premiumbeat.com/blog/editing-and-sound-baby-driver/
[Accessed 5 November 2017].

 

 

Analysis of the Mise-en-Scène in Chaplin’s City Lights (1931)

The French term mise-en-scène is directly translated as ‘putting on stage’, however, the term is more commonly used to describe the set design within a certain scene within a film, the elements of mise-en-scène are broken down to the set design, costume design, lighting set-up, cinematography and direction. The mise-en-scène is used to great effect in Charlie Chaplin’s 1931 City Lights (1931) and is used to accentuate story elements and character traits.

The scene below of a character’s kitchen-diner is an example of mise-en-scène describing a character’s utilitarianism as each object within the scene is there for its use and only its use. The music player is there because it describes the characters need for escapism. The cups, pans and utensils are on shown because this tells the viewer that the character likes to have this ready for their use. The costume design of the ‘grandmother’ is communicating to the viewer that she is elderly and requires layers of clothing to keep warm, in the scene, there are only two chairs which tell the viewer that the characters who live in this place are lonely as they only have each other.

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The lighting in the scene below of a dimly lit walkway alongside a river, is an example of how lighting effects the mise-en-scène, by creating this eerily quiet scene underneath a bridge. The lighting set-up within this scene creates a feeling of loneliness and dark-tranquillity because of the long casting shadows from underneath a bridge, communicating to the viewer that all is not well and something negative will happen. The setting of being underneath a bridge adds an element to the character who appears on the stairs, it communicates how alone the character is feeling. However, the costume design does not tell the viewer any detail about the character’s personality.

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The cinematography within the scene below of a character’s living room showcases how grandiose the house is, connecting to the character’s personality which is eccentric. The piano and the tall windows give the sense the person who lives here can be defined as an upper-class wealthy citizen. Despite the room being full of objects and furniture placed throughout the set, the scene itself reveals how lonely the character living in the house is; because there are no family photographs apart from one solitary picture of a female. Thus, telling the viewer the character is a lonely, empty one as they come home to no one but a single picture of a female.

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Therefore, City Lights (1931) showcases the great use of the elements within mise-en-scène; set design, lighting, costume design, cinematography and direction. Each of the figures above creates an image and adds extra definition to the characters who appear in the scenes themselves, therefore creating a great use of mise-en-scène.

References

City Lights. 1931. [Film] Directed by Charlie Chaplin. United States: United Artists.

Analysis of the Sound in Hideo Nakata’s Ringu (1998)

The use of sound within films has now become an essential part of the film-going experience, as the use of sound can create a deeper emotional connection to the narrative story of a film. The sound is immensely important in horror films as they can create tension without the use of dialogue and unsettle the viewer’s emotion, Ringu (1998) is a prime example of how sound can influence the viewer. Ringu (1998) uses rough and raw sound to create an atmosphere of fear mixed with normality, such as the normality of a person’s footsteps in a day-lit park to a dimly lit hallway with only the light from the light of a hallway mixed with elemental sounds of violins playing.

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The way Hideo Nakata amplifies the sound of mundane objects such as a telephone ringing tone, a Polaroid camera and general ambient noses, can make a viewer emotionally unstable as Hideo intends to create fear in everything around the characters. The telephone ringing sound breaks the viewers’ attention as Hideo begins to build the tension. The Polaroid camera is used to for the sound of the flash so the viewer is stunned for a second while Hideo begins to build the tension within the scene once again.

Hideo’s use of white noise in the beginning of the movie creates a tone of being unsettled, this also creates an atmosphere of fear and anticipation in the viewer. The use of static when viewing the ‘ring-video’ creates a jump scare within the viewer, allowing the tension to build within the viewer’s emotions, until the climax of the ‘ring-video’ where it is a low-resolution shot of a field with a water- well in the middle of the field. This type of sound can be described as being elemental as the sounds themselves are recognisable, yet the way Hideo uses the sounds still creating an element of fear within the viewer.

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In the final scene of the film, Hideo reaches a climax in his sound design, as he plays with the viewer’s emotions playing music that is meant to create a feeling of cheerfulness and calmness then shattering the viewer’s emotions as the TV begins to play the ‘ring-video’ once again. The sound of a screeching piano wire begins to get louder and louder, faster and faster. Creating more and more fear within the viewer with each screech of the piano wire. This use of sound increases the feeling of tension and fear within a scene without having any dialogue.

Hideo uses sound to set the tone for each day as they pass by, giving the viewer a sense of something negative will happen on a certain day and on another day, something positive will happen. This overall makes Ringu (1998) use of sound effective in creating fear and tension in scenes with little or no dialogue.

References

Ring. 1998. [Film] Directed by Hideo Nakata. Japan: Asmik Ace Entertainment.

My Top 5 Liveries of 2017.

1. Mercedes-AMG F1 W08 EQ Power+

Why? …

Because I have a soft spot for the Petronas turquoise, basically. It could be improved by having a better diverse colour range making it more dynamic, but they are called the Silver Arrows for a reason, not the Turquoise Arrows.

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2. Scuderia Torro Rosso STR12

Why? …

Despite having a pretty decent one in the years previous. They changed the livery to be similar to the livery you can find on the Red Bull branded Colas. And I have to say I dig it, stands out, especially when under lights. Makes the cars shine more in the bright sunlight, they look stunning when racing around a circuit.

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3. Force India VJM10

Why? …

At the launch event early 2017, they revealed a very dull and boring livery compared to their gorgeously unique livery in 2016. But when they announced a new sponsor, which triggered a livery change. I was excited. And then they gave us this Pink Panther livery. Which stands out anywhere they go. I’m glad they did this because the Formula 1 grid has become very bland in liveries since 2009, so I’m grateful to have Force India, have gone for a big change, again unique, similar to those ‘good’ Eddie Jordan-ideas.

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4. Red Bull Racing RB13

Why? …

They stuck with the matte finish and it still looks amazing. Not much change in the combination of colours from last year. As they will have a bigger partnership with Aston Martin in 2018, I am looking forward to seeing if they add any British Racing Green in there.

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5. McLaren Honda MCL32

Why? …

Ever since Ron Dennis left, there has been a change in how McLaren goes about their racing, and the best way it is showcased is the 2017 livery. Papaya Orange, mixed with white and black. Creates a very diverse looking car, glad see there is still life and excitement within McLaren from the boring, practically all black 2016 livery.

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Sing Street Review

Sing Street

“1980’s, Boy Meets Girl, Girl unimpressed, Boy starts band”… Is the tagline for Sing Street and boy oh boy does it deliver. A magnificent debut performance by Ferdia Walsh-Peelo who is a musician turned actor playing Connor, who is a teenage boy living in Dublin, stuck in between a family breaking apart, changing to an inner-city catholic public school called Synge Street, yes that is not a coincidence. He turns to music as a voice of self-expression and absolute freedom. Connor is fish-out-of-water when he waltzes up the gates of his new catholic public school, bombarded by cigarette smoking, obscure haircut having teenagers staring at the new kid on the block. Connor tiptoes his way into the school yard as he meets the school’s biggest-badest and baldest bully, Barry, portrayed by Ian Kenny. During his first stressful day, he meets his new heavily Irish-accented friend Darren who hands him a cutout piece of a cereal box with his ‘management services’ details scribbled on one side. After school, they meet outside the gates, across from them is a daringly glamorous, leather jacket wearing, stunningly beautiful, 80’s hair styled girl standing triumphantly. She instantly grabs Connor’s full attention. Can you guess where it’s going now….

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Sing Street gets straight into the action there is no messing around with useless side stories, there are no cheap fluffy bits. Every scene holds meaning to every other scene, it all aids the main brilliantly written story.  You learn immediately each character’s motivation, relation to main characters and meaning to the main story arc of this boy and girl wanting to do something more than just have a 2-up-2-down. They want a life of mystery, exploration and joyful fulfilment. Connor is directly influenced by his brother, Brendan, who he goes to, to seek out knowledge of how to write meaningful songs and create diverse music which is directly influenced by bands such as Duran Duran, The Police, The Cure, and Genesis, pure 1980’s gold. Connor is a self-proclaimed Futurist, music that pushes boundaries of the norm, new genres of music which was a gigantic wave in the 1980’s. Especially when Dublin was not as prosperous as it is nowadays when everyone wanted to go to London to create a new life for themselves full of opportunities.

Raphina, intriguingly portrayed by Lucy Boynton, is the girl of your dreams, dreams. From a humble background, living in a girl’s orphanage dreaming of becoming a model. So, of course, the first song Connor will ever write is going to be called “Riddle of the Model”, can guess what’s it about? Sing Street is a masterclass in combining the creative process of writing songs that can be directly connected to the story and its characters, this is such a trademark of director John Carney, and Sing Street is another amazing showing of Carney’s great talents. The marrying of music and storytelling happens throughout the movie, you cannot have one without the other. A personal favourite of music and storytelling is when Connor writes the song “Brown Shoes” it is directly linked to a story beat of defiance against authority. The song is based on a scene between Connor’s heavily catholic and authoritative headmaster, Brother Baxter, who is making Connor take off his shoes as they are the wrong colour. This type of relation between story and music makes Sing Street have so much soul and lightheartedness because you feel every high and every single low, it is a wild rocky ride of emotions, toying with you all the way until the credits.

However, if you are expecting for Sing Street just to be a love story, then you would be half right. Carney works his magic to create a story that not only holds a beautifully crafted coming of age story arc, it also holds a story of a family breaking apart and the tensions that come with the breakup of a family. For Connor’s brother, Brendan, the break up brings his own reality to the forefront as he realises that he’s wasted most of his life doing nothing but smoke weed and sit around having been a good guitarist. A gorgeous piece of writing done by Carney giving you something as amazing as the main story of a teenager exploring his own creativity but still giving you deep and meaningful side story which makes the movie a bag full of diverse story beats and experiences.

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Ultimately, Sing Street will leave you with a massive ear-to-ear smile plastered on your grinning face, for its amazing storytelling and music created by Connor and his many experiences. Sing Street is 100% pure excitement and fun, and like Raphina says to Connor: “You can never do anything by half…”, and John Carney follows that rule until the final song is played. Simply a masterpiece of a movie…

 

Review of Doctor Strange.

Doctor Strange

This is the 14th instalment of the, now, gigantic Cinematic Universe known as the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Doctor Strange being the title and title character’s name, played by Benedict Cumberbatch, is certainly the wackiest and far-fetched character within the diverse Marvel Comics pool of characters, Doctor Strange was first seen in Strange Tales #110 in 1963 and is known for outlandish comic book spreads (a single panel spread across two pages) containing violently vibrant colours and characters from literally out of this world.

Nowadays Computer Generated Images (CGI) has become so advanced that they can now bring absolutely anything and everything to life, the only limitation is your imagination cannot be any more truthful. Doctor Strange is a fantastic exhibition in the technology used in films today simply because the Director Scott Derrickson was able to use everything he could to make this film an experience for your visual senses. Scott Derrickson and the producers could create these mind-bending visuals of worlds turning inside of themselves and doubling in numbers and creating very vibrant scenes where the main character, Doctor Strange, drifted through different dimensions full of weird shapes and funky colours.    

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The target audience for this film is generally aimed at comic book readers past and present as the character of Doctor Strange is completely engulfed in comic book law and complexities only the hardened comic book readers will fully grasp and understand. However, the writers were able to create a story which enabled just the lightest comic book fans and general moviegoers to understand and cling to the story arc the whole way through the movie. This is massive feat as there was a lot of exposition to get through to explain certain story points and the weight of what was going on throughout the movie, and usually this can get quiet taxing on audiences as this is where you can lose them and never get them back into a full cohesive story, but the writers succeeded in keeping the movie flowing from point to point never losing you.  

Being the 14th instalment of the MCU does not bring any downside. Doctor Strange is based within the MCU but is still a completely separate story to the entire cinematic universe that is happening just outside the movie. It contains characters full of heart and meaning to the viewer and the characters are vastly different to each other, each one has their own individual personality and story arc within the overarching story of the movie. You want to see how each individual character ends their story and how they relate to the main story arc and the main character himself, Doctor Strange.

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One issue I do have with Doctor Strange and Marvel movies, in general, is the fight scenes in some of their movies like to add a flair of comedy and in some movies, it works and in others, it doesn’t. In Doctor Strange sadly it doesn’t work for me, during a first fight scene between Doctor Strange and the big bad baddie Kaecilius, played by Mads Mikkelsen, there is comedy intertwined within the scene and when you show something comical in a supposedly serious fight scene between two big name characters, it takes out the stakes and meaning of what’s happening. You believe that; this isn’t going to affect either character and won’t really change anything within the story, therefore, is irrelevant. This is why I think some of the comedy in this movie is misplaced and unwanted, taking away the seriousness of the characters and scenes.

The second issue I have with some of the MCU movies and this issue is mainly to do with the MCU as a whole, not this movie specifically. The issue is of announcing characters and movies before a movie is even out and has yet to be seen by the viewing public. Instead of going into a movie not knowing what’s going to happen, you go into a movie with predetermined knowledge of what is going to happen because you already know what other movie this character is going to be in. Which is slowly taking possible story beats and stakes out of each movie making it less and less of an experience. Each time the MCU continues to do this, it could turn into a movie that advertises the next with no real meaning in the original movie itself, which is not what movies are for! Movies are for telling a whole encompassing story with rich characters not as a feature-length advertisement for the next instalment, the original movie should tell a story that was fantastically diverse and exciting, and because you enjoyed that movie, you would want to go and see the sequel.

Overall the movie is most certainly a must-watch as the visuals are a cinematic experience you wouldn’t want to miss, simply stunning. The story is another solid enjoyable experience which leaves you full of satisfaction and joy with its story beats and diverse theme of characters.

Dear Bernie.

Dear Bernie Ecclestone, Liberty Media, FIA, and all interested parties.

Over the past few years, F1’s viewership and attendance have been declining since 2005. With the empty seats clearly viewable in Friday practice, especially.

Fan engagement has been a top talking point as of late, due to the recent takeover of F1 by Liberty Media and their comments of F1’s lack of Social Media involvement.

F1’s current foray into fan engagement is the “Driver of the Day” vote they have during the Sunday Race, however personally this doesn’t seem to be actually working, the way it was intended to. It seems like the driver with the biggest fan base is getting the vote more often than not, instead of the deserving driver. For instance, Malaysia; Max Verstappen has won the, highly esteemed award, ‘Driver of the Day’ when from an objective point of view it was clearly Fernando Alonso in Malaysia respectfully, coming from the absolute back of the grid to finish 7th. Because of this, and the general tone of Social Media content I follow, all of whom are passionate F1 followers, has suggested that many of the votes from fans have just become a joke towards the disregard they have for the ‘Driver of the Day’ award, which doesn’t really hold any meaning for anyone.

I must add that I respect all drivers for their talents in the car, but the deserving driver should be awarded it over someone who has a more current if you like, fan base.

I also realise that a race weekend is already very busy and intense for everyone involved, however, to increase fan engagement and excitement within the sports something like this needs to be done.

My idea for Formula 1 is to improve the excitement and engagement of fans on Friday Practices. I believe this to be an all-around benefit for everyone involved with the sport itself.

Friday Practice – Driver Vs Driver.

During the Friday practice, fans can vote for 2 drivers to either go head-to-head in a lap time event or in a 5 lap race.

In the head-to-head, drivers are put into either GT cars or current road cars, sponsored by competing manufacturers or outside manufacturers.

Fans can choose from a set list of available cars from the multiple types of cars and manufacturers. Each car having a decal or number to identify which driver is driving; drivers personal racing number.

Winning driver could be awarded prize money that goes to a charity and/or a special decal on their Formula 1 racing car for that specific weekend.

Rules:

– Drivers cannot be voted into the event once they have done it, until 5 race weekends later. For all drivers to be able to participate throughout the season.

Possible add-ons:

  • Could include GP2 drivers (Old Vs New).
  • Special events where drivers at their home race compete.
  • Be able to host the event during all types of weather.
  • To have better engagement with drivers as well, they could have current/past drivers commentating on the head-to-heads.

Benefits for all parties include:

For Teams: a good advertisement for their road cars as they advertise F1 technology in their current road car models.

For Drivers: pure racing excitement and engagement with fans. A chance to show off who they are and what they’ve got.

For FIA/F1 Brand/FOM/Liberty Media: Fan engagement, higher interest in Friday practice & income from more attendance on Fridays. Brand awareness, engagement & loyalty.

For TV distributors: More excitement involved with the entire weekend, more viewers across the weekend rather than having most on Saturday & Sunday.

My Guardians of the Galaxy Review.

Guardians of the Galaxy – Directed by James Gunn, Distributed by Walt Disney Studios.

Guardians of the Galaxy is Marvels hit or miss movie, it has a rag-tag group
of characters such as a talking tree, a talking Racoon, a green alien hitman-type, another alien and a human from Earth. But however ridiculous that may seem this movie is definitely a hit, a massive hit! $773.3 worth of a hit! Guardians are yet another movie which showcases Marvels ability to make movies fun and entertaining even when it has crazy plot points & characters, and we will probably see this ability again in Marvels Doctor Strange coming to cinemas in November 2016. James Gunn handles the origins so well, he gives each character so much heart and warmth that you find yourself falling in love with the characters instantly and that love just grows and grows through the second act and then the third act. The idea of making a talking tree and racoon a relatable and loveable bunch of characters was laughed at when people heard what James Gunn was directing & writing but dumbfounded when they came out of the movie liking those characters the most.

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It is a movie that shows a real-world observation of what the crazy road of life is about, making the best of what you have available to you if it doesn’t work at first you find a way to make it work. Which is exactly what Peter, Gamora, Groot, Drax, Rocket do in this movie they all have different styles, methods, emotions and mentality and yet they all find a way to defeat the common enemy and become friends along the way, but I do have to add it did help that one of them had A* dancing skills. Guardians showcases the rising talents of Chris Pratt, Zoey Saldana & Dave Bautista, with Chris Pratt (Peter Quil) being able to be himself by Director James Gunn was a genius move because Christ Pratt really does knock it out of the park with his performance of a comedic and troubled character, Zoey Saldana (Gamora) brings in another solid action role but keeps it 3 dimensional and her performance really added to every scene she was in. Dave Bautista puts in an out-of-the-blue performance for his character of Drax who is a vengeful, very literal alien, and his performance gives the viewer another comedy angle which you weren’t expecting.

Not only was this movie fun and entertaining on its own, it had one of the best soundtrack list accompanying it, which is still stuck in my head. Set designs are also another big strong point in Guardians, some of my highlights are the Kyln Prison which was fully hand-built set and then melted back down to sell back to the supplier, it made everything feel so much more real and therefore adds to the story, Peter Quills personal ship; The Milano, the dead Gods head; Knowhere and finally the Collectors Museum with all the Easter eggs planted around the set.

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My Review of Legend.

Legend – Directed by Brian Helgeland, Distributed by Universal Pictures.

Legend is the telling of the notorious London twin gangsters Reggie and Ronnie Kray. Going from their start in the London criminal underground scene to their height of power and influence to their individual demise. However, the movie does lack in a continuous coherent story development it goes from little things which happen in the begging of the Krays empire to the very big story developments such as getting out of a jail sentence which would’ve put a stop to them all together, and that is just glossed over like it was part of montage when it could have been so much more. They could have gone into the nitty gritty of how they got to that much power and influence but instead, they showed us more on how Reggie went to prison for 6 months and having a brawl with a guard as well as the story arc of Reggie and Frances Shea his wife to be. I get why they did this, to make you feel for the characters more, but if I wanted to see a love story with a few dark twists here and there, there are other movies like that. I wanted to see how notorious the Kray twins were, what made them tick and what made them so feared and revered.

It is an entertaining movie nevertheless; it has one of the best dual performances I have seen by Tom Hardy, drawing you in on each individual character beats. Playing the slightly calmer mannered and 60’s socially normal Reggie Kray to the schizophrenic and certified insane: Ronnie Kray. Hardy plays each brothers spectrums going from being able to pull off the hard but sort of likable Reggie Kray, to taking you on a characterful ride of conflicted Ronnie Kray to certified insane and to an endearing character which showed off his nicer side in very small doses. Story arcs from the Kray Twins were good enough to make you understand them as individuals and how they worked as a team that took over London in the 1950’s & 1960’s. Although, the character of Detective Superintendent Leonard ‘Nipper’ Read was very underdeveloped and you never ever felt for him when he got told to drop the case about the Kray twins to when he finally gets the Krays imprisoned, his story arc does not give justice to what Read actually went through to finally get the Krays. Reads character isn’t on screen enough to make you feel invested in his character, you see him here and there but never enough. The sound mixing is one of the worst features of the movie in some scenes where it’s meant to be intimidating and scary they play a happier toned score where it throws you completely off tonal wise, you have to bring yourself back down to where the actual scene is going tonally.

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Despite all this, it is a movie you really should see as it shows off the talents of Tom Hardy and his performance of both Reggie and Ronnie Kray makes the movie what it is, without him this movie wouldn’t be watchable. It is just a shame that the story doesn’t hold any importance or stature when it comes to telling a coherent story when it just jumps from one thing to the next without much polish.