The Island

It is extremely hard to explain the Island without giving away spoilers. So if you don’t want to know the twist, or you haven’t worked out what it is, please read on.

For a film that’s two and a half hours long I do not have much to say… either I was really tired when I watched it, or perhaps it didn’t take to it, whichever it was, I don’t remember much of the film.

Directed by Michael Bay- of which also directed Armageddon and The Rock –and starring Ewan McGregor (Lincoln), Scarlett Johansson (Jordon), Djimon Hounsou (Albert Laurent), Sean Bean (Merrick) and Steve Buscemi (McCord).

The film starts by showing Lincoln Six Echo’s dreams, much like Final Fantasy Spirits Within, and we can tell that there is something up with them. We are then presented with the large facility, where the survivors of the pollution that plagued the earth; killing almost everyone. Thousands of people live and work in this facility rather similar to THX1138. Close contact is forbidden, and the women are kept separate from the men. One of the best parts of the story in my opinion, is that every person in the facility has the mind of a small child. Through explaining the story I will have to give the twist away… so do not look it you do not want the film spoilt. Lincoln Six Echo and Jordon Two Delta escape the facility when they find that their facility is just a sham, and that it is just a ‘breeding ground’ for clones that are grown to aid their real life counterparts through organ harvesting.
Aided by McCord the two escape the grasp of Laurent who is sworn by Merrick (The owner of the facility) to retrieve them. Eventually they find the ‘real’ Lincoln -but the idea of the film is the amount of desperation that humans have to survive longer this is enforced as he tries to give Lincoln Six Echo back to Merrick. But during the capture the real Tom Lincoln is shot (I feel it would have succeeded a lot better if the clone was shot) He masquerades as the real Lincoln as he and Jordon venture back to the facility to aid all the others in a large scale escape. Everyone lives happily ever after.

I must say that I had figured the ‘twist’ from the word go, on a completely different note I must mention the obvious advertising by Microsoft. But then there was a LOT of product placement in The Island.

A few comments on the actors; Ewan McGregor gave an average performance, although the weird twinkle and his smile gave a re-enforcement for his role, he seemed to act pretty much like a child in the film, and I felt that he pulled it off rather well. I am not so sure if I can say the same for Scarlett Johansson, but then she wasn’t the main focus of the film, so I was unable to tell.
Sean Bean seemed a little out of place for me, I’m also starting to get the idea that he only really acts the same part in all of his films; regardless if he is good or bad character. Although I digress that I have not seen him in many films. Steve Buscemi played his usual strange character, who although played a ‘good guy’ still managed to come off quite seedy. Michael Clark Duncan’s scene rushing through the hospital was pretty memorable, as well as a few of the others at the facility, making the film all the more enjoyable.

Onto the screenplay, I think that the plot of the film was rather good. It’s a reality that apparently scientists have questioned as an alternative to extend our lives; I’ve got to say because of this, it’s the most realistic science fiction I have seen for a while, the only unrealistic parts fall into the category of completely unbelievable action. Otherwise it’s your average science fiction story, not much complicated dialogue or remarkable lines, but some funniness does ensue seeing as the main characters have the brains of adolescents.

I don’t really have much to say about the film. I expected to see a crappy science fiction film full of action; I was pleasantly surprised that it was not as crappy as I initially would have guessed.

As for bad points- The end was incredibly disappointing for me, it reminded me of that of THX1138, where it just ends with them out in the open desert, hoping to get a future, I was hoping for something not so cheesy.

Overall it was a pretty good science fiction film, perhaps if it had contained less action then it would have made a better science fiction film, but nonetheless I enjoyed the plot and the solid cast.

Cptalbertwesker Rating – 7/10
The fact that I do not remember much of the film is not very good. But The Island was a refreshing science fiction film comparable to THX1138.



Do I need to tell those of you that are sensitive that there may be spoilers…

Now, I’m not the foremost expert on romantic comedy; for me, they are just a bit of fun once in a while. So forgive me if the review may be a little below standards… This is the first time I have ever actually graced the cinema to watch a romantic comedy.
On that note, I must say that it is the one of the only films this year so far, wherein the cinema packed itself in about 5 minutes, rather than the usual five or six people who attend the normal films I go and see.

Directed by Nora Ephron who brought us Sleepless in Seattle, When Harry Met Sally and You’ve Got Mail, and starring Nicole Kidman (Isabel Bigelow/Samantha), Will Ferrell (Jack Wyatt/ Darrin), Shirley MacLaine (Iris Smythson/Endora) and Michael Caine (Nigel Bigelow) to name the biggest parts.

Being a big fan of Bewitched as a child I was hoping for a nostalgic revival to the great show. Unfortunately all I got was a nice little romantic comedy (although I must say my attitude of this did change). The film follows both Jack Wyatt (Ferrell) and Isabel Bigelow (Kidman). Wyatt, a failing actor feels his comeback can be had in the form of a remake of the once hit show Bewitched. Afraid that he could get shadowed by a big name female; he looks for an unknown, in doing this he accidentally finds a real witch (Isabel). Predictable antics ensue, and eventually they ‘find’ each other, living happily ever after, much like Darrin and Samantha.

It would seem that I am revisiting my old tendencies again, through watching another film that was neither serious nor magnificent. Which I am very much getting used to. I can only hope some more profound films are released soon.

Nicole Kidman was acting out of the usual performances I am used to seeing. Although I have only watched her in Batman Forever and Moulin Rouge, I have little to say on the matter. But she played Samantha pretty well, at times she almost seemed identical to her. As for Will Ferrell, I have only ever seen him from the Cowbell skit on SNL. But it was probably Ferrell that saved the film for me; simply do to a few humorous scenes involving him.
Michael Caine was in the same sort of role I felt he played in Miss Congeniality, definitely not up to the standards he gave in Batman Begins. The only other actor I feel I must mention was Steve Carell who appeared as Uncle Arthur; whom I never remember seeing in Bewitched. But suffice to say his character was so annoying and completely over the top!!

The screenplay; was written by Nora Ephron and her sister Delia Ephron; who as I mentioned wrote the screenplays for hosts of other romantic comedies, so they knew what they were doing. Unfortunately this also meant it was a rather clichéd romantic comedy. Everything was to be expected, both lines and events.

I’ll mention the music as well. But as usual I did not really notice much, except for the sudden insertion of R.E.M.’s Everybody Hurts. Which I felt did not really ‘go’ but like I always keep complaining, it’s in films like these where songs are just inserted over the top, rather than it all be composed music.

So what were the good parts of the film? As a whole, it was a good romantic comedy, until it hits a certain point. The best parts of the film were probably the more humorous sections. I seem to remember Wyatt licking a shoe or a handbag, I am unsure. The scene at the dinner table was rather funny along with Wyatt’s obsession. I did also like the occasional nod to Bewitched; changing the title animations, complaining because they changed Darrin and nobody noticed, and generally remembering episodes of the series while watching the film. But they should have kept it at just that.

So those were the good bits… what was bad? The film seemed to go downhill with the introduction of Aunt Clara, and everything began to feel a little disjointed, the film became Bewitched, which is not what I wanted to happen after all that had took place earlier in the film. This also included the use of Uncle Arthur, so that before these introductions the film felt better as a romantic comedy about the stars of a Bewitched series, rather than actually taking from Bewitched itself.
I also felt that the magic was a little over done… but I loved that they included the two neighbours at the end.

Overall I can say that it was an enjoyable film. Keeping some of the same sort of elements from Bewitched, references to characters and some hilarious sequences. Bewitched proved a better film than I would have presumed. I can only hope I Dream of Jeanie will be comparable with the standards.

Cptalbertwesker Rating – 6/10
We were supposed to be watching The Island, but we got the showing times, muddled, so we watched Bewitched instead, I wouldn’t have usually, but I grew up watching bewitched. It was ok I suppose, it was funny at times. Nice little Romantic Comedy.