Anna Karenina is a film based on the Leo Tolstoy book of the same name. Anna Karenina is directed by Joe Wright who is known for films such as Pride and Prejudice (2005) and Atonement (2007). The cast for the film consists of Keira Knightly as Anna Karenina, Jude Law as Karinin and Aaron Taylor Johnson as Count Vronsky.
The film has an interesting premise and style as presented in the trailers, but I think does not live up to or impress when viewed on screen. The plot of the movie is fairly easy to follow in that Anna Karenina (Keira Knightly) who is married to Karinin (Jude Law), finds herself bored of her marriage and seeks the affections of Count Vronsky (Aaron Taylor Johnson). From this point on, things get difficult for Anna Karenina especially once Karinin finds out about the affair. The films plot and character focus around Anna Karenina is sort of depressing to watch though; as the character struggles to find her place and is continuously unsure about her decisions.
Character wise the movie is rich in deep emotional characters but most of this is lost due to the stylistic choices of the film. It was difficult to follow the emotional or dramatic scenes in this movie because of the director’s choice to include a theatre style choice for backdrops. There were dance scenes, or even the beginning opening scene where the viewer can see walls move out of place just like if we were watching a play. This style type is unique for a movie, but it take away from the entire viewing experience. For me, while the sets did look realistic and of high budget, once I saw the sets moving and wall placement it lost all effect for me. I wasn’t able to feel part of the scene as I knew as a viewer everything was just fake. It’s not just the sets to, it’s also characters that just look staged. There is a part of the film where everyone is frozen in place, then they all move at once. I have no idea what the director Joe Wright was going for, but for such an emotional story I felt it was completely lost when mixed with this films style.
It’s not only the style of the film that felt wrong, many other things too, did not go well to entertain. While I’m sure the book is very good (which I have not read), in this film I simply could not get attached to any character at all. For me everything felt fake and out of place. For one thing, Anna Karinina is Russian! Does Anna Karinina or any of the characters have a Russian accent? No way! They have an English one of course! So what am I watching? An English play? Or Anna Karenina’s life? The movie in my mind went completely downhill at about the 1-2 minute mark as soon as the first character spoke.
Due to the director’s choice in film style, mixed with the fake feeling English accents for Russian characters diminished what the actor’s were saying on screen completely. While Jude Law and Kiera Knightly did do somewhat a convincing performance it is neither of their best films. Olivia Williams who played countess Vronsky I thought managed her role well even though the scene where she rejects Count Vronsky’s proposal was so awkward in terms of the background character movements that it lost all effect. It made the Count Vronsky character look like a complete fool and I cannot believe why Anna Karinina (Keira Knightly) would have an affair with Count Vronsky (Aaron Taylor Johnson) after this event, when she is married to Karinin (Jude Law).
The costume design for the film was interesting but like many parts of the movie it was not in the proper style of the time. While I do think the costumes are very well done for this period piece film and are well designed. It seems they took influence from both the 1950’s and the 1870’s for the costume design. While Anna Karenina is a countess she does not really dress like one and for the period looked fake, but likely not many would notice this as much. But as a style choice it’s not bad it just doesn’t really help.
The soundtrack for Anna Karenina is great in some parts and matches the tone of the movie quite well. I’m not sure if it’s something one would want to go out and buy though, as the soundtrack seems to be depressing to listen to as it was made to match Anna Karenina’s personal suffering as the movie went on. But as a movie soundtrack for this type of film tone it was one of the better parts of this movie.
Overall, Anna Karenina is not really a great film and one film I think that will leave the majority of casual movie viewers bored out their minds. It’s slow, unrealistic and visually unimpressive. Actor’s barely stand out and there isn’t any memorable scenes or moments while the characters seem hardly serious with their English accents in Russia.
What Men Want Blu-Ray Review
What Men Want is a film which comes directed by Adam Shankman who some may know as the director of Rock Of Ages (2011) or Bedtime Stories (2008). The film stars Taraji P. Henson, Josh Brener and Aldis Hodge.
What Men Want is a film about a female executive named Ali, who works in a sports agency. She’s quite good at her job, but often finds that the males around her keep beating her out for a promotion. But all of this changes when she gets bumped on the head one night after seeing a psychic and gains the power to read men’s minds. The film is a sort of remake of What Women Want (2000) although, it has genders reversed this time with a female main character hearing men’s thoughts rather than a male character hearing women’s thoughts.
I had seen this film release in the cinema not long ago and did not get the chance to see it. Actually it disappeared from cinemas around me so fast, I never got the chance to get out there and watch it. Although, at the time, I must admit it wasn’t my highest priority as it didn’t really look like something I’d want to see. But now that it’s out on Blu-Ray, I got the chance to take a look.
I must say, that this film did surprise me. I thought it was actually rather funny and much better directed and written than I was expecting. Each of the actors were rather pleasant and I enjoyed Taraji P. Henson’s performance in the film quite a bit. The tone of the film is rather light and nothing at all is really done with any seriousness. Somehow Adam Shankman did manage to make something pretty entertaining. Now watching this at the cinema probably isn’t worth it, but renting it or buying it on whim to see it at home just might be. Especially if you really just want a comedy to watch this weekend.
The Blu-Ray disc actually comes with quite a bit of special features. To be honest much more was there than I expected, with many of the special features containing quite a bit of content within them. The special features do take a while to get through, which is good as there’s a lot of content there.
Special Features include
- Commentary with director Adam Shankman
- Deleted and extended scenes with introduction by director Adam Shankman
- Gag reel with introduction by director Adam Shankman
- The Dream Team
- Flipping the narrative What do men want?
- Poker Night
- Ali + Athletes
- Sister spills the tea informercial
If you were a fan of this film, the special features on the disc would be rather good to have. But if you didn’t see it at the cinemas and you want to see a comedy film this week, What Men Want isn’t the worse choice you could make and it could be worth taking a look at.
Instant Family Blu-Ray Review
Instant Family was a film which I really enjoyed back when I saw it at the cinema during its initial release. Back then I said “Instant Family is a very good comedy/drama film about a young couple starting to become parents. The character development for the parents, but also for the kids, especially Lizzy is very good and I did feel for the characters by the end of the film. As both a comedy and a drama it works well and Sean Anders did a great job directing this one. The actors in this are excellent, with Mark Wahlberg and Rose Byrne delivering good performances, but Isabela Moner was very impressive in this film. Definitely go and see this one if you’re looking for a comedy this week or a family drama.” If you would like to read my full review for the film you can find it here.
Instant Family is a film which comes directed by Sean Anders who some may know as the director of Horrible Bosses 2 (2014) or Daddy’s Home (2015). The film stars Mark Wahlberg, Rose Byrne, Isabela Moner, Gustavo Quiroz, Julianna Gamiz and Octavia Spencer.
The Blu-Ray of the film actually does come with quite a few good extras to watch. More than actually I expected for a film of this genre. Mainly I was just expecting to see maybe a few deleted scenes or some funny moments, but we got a lot more than that.
What I like about the special features included on this Blu-Ray, was some of the extra care from the director. For example the deleted scenes all have an introduction from the director before them explaining the scene a little and why it was cut. This is so much better than some Blu-Ray’s I see, which simply included a bunch of deleted scenes as a viewer watching them you have no idea what the context or idea for them were.
The Instant Family Blu-Ray special features include:
- Commentary by Director/Writer Sean Anders and Writer John Morris
- Mr. And Mrs. Fix It
- Kid Power
- I Need Some Support
- Order In the Court
- The Families Behind The Fair
- Crew Inspiration
- The Anders Family
- Gag Reel
- Isabela Moner Ïll Stay” promotional music video
- On set proposal
- Deleted and Extended scenes
For me this was more than enough extras. Mr. And Mrs Fix It and Kid Power provided some nice insights into the film and I particularly liked all the insights into the casting process. I would have never known that Isabela Moner auditioned for this film via a Skype call. I thought this was all done in person! I also enjoyed watching the music video and the deleted and extended scenes were great to see.
Apart from the special features, I did like listening to the music on the Blu-Ray disc menu. It reminded me a lot of the music in The Sims.
Overall I enjoyed revisiting Instant Family at home this week and if you enjoyed the film as much as I did, then I’m happy to recommend taking a look at this Blu-Ray release.
Jurassic World: The Fallen Kingdom Blu-Ray Review
Jurassic World: The Fallen Kingdom Blu-Ray Review
Jurassic World: The Fallen Kingdom is now out on Blu-Ray and comes packed full of special features and extras for fans of the film to watch and enjoy. But should you add this Blu-ray to you current film collection?
Jurassic World: The Fallen Kingdom is a film which comes directed by J.A. Bayona who some may know as the director of A Monster Calls (2016). The film stars Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Rafe Spall, Justice Smith, Daniella Pineda, Isabella Sermon and Jeff Goldblum. Jurassic World: The Fallen Kingdom is the latest film to be released in the Jurassic Park franchise and the second in recent years.
You can read my review in full for the film right here.
Since getting Jurassic World on Blu-Ray last week, I’ve now watched the film around 6 times in total. I have come to really enjoy this movie. It’s got a lot of charm to it and it’s quite a nice experience. Although the cinema is probably the best place to enjoy this film. it still holds up pretty well on the home release. I also felt that the sound on this Blu-ray for this film was good as I didn’t find myself having to put the volume up and down constantly in between the loud and quiet scenes as much as I do in other films I’ve watched on Blu-ray.
Apart from the main feature film, it does come packed with quite a few extras. All of them I really enjoyed watching and they provide a good insight into the behind a scenes making of the film. There are good videos in there featuring both Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard where we see them take part in activities around the set and provide comments about different things in the film. There’s also some interesting pieces from Chris Pratt (Chis Pratt’s Jurassic Journals) where he goes around the set and chats to some non-famous people about the work they do on the film. It’s interesting to learn about all the different occupations one encounters on the film set and all the different things people do in the world.
Here’s a list of all of the special features on this Blu-ray:
- On set with Chris and Bryce
- The Kingdom evolves
- Return to Hawaii
- Island Action
- Aboard the Arcadia
- Birth of the Indoraptor
- Start the bidding
- Death by Dino
- Monsters in a mansion
- Rooftop showdown
- Malcolm’s return
- VFX evolved
- Fallen Kingdom: The conversation
- A song for the kingdom
- Chris Pratt’s Jurassic Journals
Individually all of these reveal some very interesting things about the film. My favourite special features were Rooftop Showdown which went through how the final rooftop scenes were filmed and mentioned about the almost western style to those scenes, secondly the Monsters in a mansion feature explained about the angle they were going for by having all the dinosaurs moved to a single home. The VFX feature is also a great one and it’s interesting to see how everything visually was made. Overall the special features here on the disc are pretty decent and don’t feel like they were just thrown in there like on some other Blu-ray releases. There seems to be at least some thinking behind what went into this disc.
Where I think possibly some people might be a little let down with is with the audio commentary. There is no audio commentary at all on this particular release which is a real shame as I would have liked to have a watch of the film with the director or either Chris Pratt or Bryce Dallas Howard. For fans of films, audio commentaries sometimes do provide quite a bit of insight into the different scenes or what the director thought of certain moments that special feature segments don’t really cover. So that’s the only thing holding back this Blu-Ray release at the moment.
Overall this is a decent film to add to your current Blu-ray collection. If you liked the film at the cinema or are a fan of the franchise, it’s worth picking this one up if you’re keen. It does come packed with a lot of special features and much more than I was expecting. In the list I’ve written above, each of those features were quite interesting to see and provided a lot of insights into the behind the scenes action of the film. They also heavily feature both Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard in quite a few of them and those two are both interesting people to watch, which made watching it all through rather enjoyable. It doesn’t have any audio commentary, but other than that, I’m happy to recommend Jurassic World: The Fallen Kingdom for you future collection.
You can find copies of Jurassic World: The Fallen Kingdom On Blu-Ray on Amazon AU right here.
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