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Hello, it’s that guest post time of the month again! This time I’m bringing you a review of Knight and Day, a comedy action film first released in 2010. When I think about it, it’s quite strange of me to watch this film. I’m not a big fan of Tom Cruise (although he does occasionally do some really great movies) and usually when I see Cameron Diaz I run in the other direction, expecting a whiny female portrayal somewhat similar to Jennifer Aniston. However, I’m really glad I decided to give it a go.

The Plot
June Havens (Cameron Diaz) is walking through the airport intending to head to Boston for her sisters wedding when Roy Miller (Tom Cruise) bumps into her. They exchange pleasantries and go their own way. However as ‘fate’ would have it, they end up on the same plane, which is suspiciously empty. They flirt with each other, and June departs for the rest room to freshen up. Meanwhile Miller is attacked by everyone on board. He skillfully dispatches them and when June returns he calmly tells her he has killed them. She thinks he is joking until he informs her that he must now pop into the cockpit, to work out how to land the plane (having killed the pilot). As the plane swerves dangerously the bodies fall into the isle making June realize he’s serious. Chaos ensues and they make a crash landing. She discovers that Miller is a spy on the run – although she does not know why. As she searches for answers Miller informs her that he has drugged her. She passes out, and he sends her back to her normal life.
However soon after waking up, she finds herself being pursued by persistent officials in suits. Miller comes to her rescue and they go on the run.

The Verdict
To make it clear, this is not a Bourne Identity type of film. I see it as more of a subtle parody of spy films (I’m not sure if this was the aim, or if it’s simply my interpretation of it) but I personally think it worked very well. I know that the film has received mixed reviews from critics and move-goers alike but I suspect that’s because comedy is subjective. I felt that this film was just right. It was funny without going overboard. It was compelling enough to keep you watching, and it was character based enough for you to become invested. I was actually surprised as the film went on that the plot did have a reasonable amount of depth, something I wasn’t expecting for such a lightweight watch.

There was nothing particularly memorable about the cinematography, as there rarely is in this kind of film, but there was certainly nothing bad about it either. The shots are perfectly framed and the scenes are set up well for maximum comedic effect. CGI is also sprinkled throughout to cater to those that love their car chases and big explosions.

The acting was spot on. Tom Cruise’s well timed facial expressions and seriousness juxtaposed with how absolutely insane he looked makes for some funny scenes. Marc Blucas who plays June’s firefighting ex boyfriend does this equally well, rewarding us with some great chuckles. Cameron Diaz also holds her own. Although she is not as comedically gifted, she manages to straddle the fragile line of being a heroine in distress without coming across as utterly pathetic.

To summarize I think this is an entertaining, lightweight film, as long as you recognize it for what it is. I think a lot of people might have gone to the theatre expecting a more Bourne or Salt-esk spy film, but Knight and Day is much more about the comedy than the complex. It’s lightweight, it’s clichéd, but at the end of the day, that’s why it works.

I give this film 4/5

You can check out the trailer below:

– Becky (Blogs-Of-A-Bookaholic)

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Hello all 🙂 Guest blogger Becky here. I hope you’ve all been good. This month I am pleased to be presenting to you a review of the film Hanna, directed by Joe Wright, rated 12 (although I have to say, a chilling 12).

Plot
At the beginning of the film we are introduced to Hanna, (Saoirse Ronan) a young girl living in the wilderness with her father (Eric Bana). Since a young age she has been trained and conditioned to be an assassin; with one target it mind (Cate Blanchett). Because of this, she has no contact with the outside world, and therefore cannot comprehend simple everyday things that we take for granted such as music. Her only source of media is the book of Grimm Fairytales. Her father continues to test her until one day she insists she is ready. So the plan is set in motion, and Hanna is released into the outside world with nothing but her training and a few memorized back stories to guide her. While being pursued and trying to carry out her mission, Hanna begins to discover the wonders of the outside world, tagging along with a holidaying British family. It is not long before she begins to question all that she has been taught, and whether her mission is really worth it.

The Verdict
When the film first started I wasn’t too sure what to make of it. The whole premise seemed quite strange; a 16 year old assassin. Not something you come across everyday. The pace started off very slowly with Hanna being trained in the woods by her father, however, this is one of those stories that the longer you watch it the more the plot is unraveled, and it slowly gains in both pace and intensity. Before you know it you’ll be grabbing the edge of your seat, desperate to see what happens next.
The cinematography in this film is fantastic! It ranges from extremely long and complex tracking shots in which the character weaves in and out of other actions going on in the scene, to extreme close-ups that help create both an intimate and unsettling feel. It also makes use of one of my personal favorites, lens flare. There are some stunning scenes using this when Hanna and the British family are travelling in the caravan. Hanna also uses the perfect combination of awkward, and unusual angles to make the audience aware something is not quite right, but not to excess so that it becomes annoying.


The acting is also to a very high standard, but with a cast this great, I wouldn’t expect anything less. Saoirse Ronan (also known for her roles in Pride & Prejudice, The Lovely Bones, and the upcoming release The Host) gives a beautiful and realistic performance as always. In the film she was required to take on reasonably thick accent, and it looks effortless and totally natural. Her portrayal of Hanna’s innocence and confusion is also very believable. Her co-star Cate Blanchett (known for roles in The Lord of the Rings, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Elizabeth) is equally excellent, and pulls off the creepy and disconcerting role of Marissa really well.
The character development however, I feel is the strongest element in this film. On the one hand you have this vicious, lethal, girl trained to kill, but on the other hand you have this childish innocence and naivety that makes for a really intriguing and compelling character. I especially loved the element of ‘girl power’. It was so refreshing to see a female taking the upper hand, and in a way that was actually believable. The fact that the ‘villain’ of the film is also female, reinforces the fact that this is a very ‘girl power’ oriented film.

Overall I would say this is a very solid, and well rounded movie and I would recommend it to anyone that enjoys thrillers and conspiracy theories that is a mature 12 or upwards.

My Rating: 4/5

Please feel free to leave a comment below if you wish to discuss the film, want to know more about it, or even just want to stop by and say hi 🙂

You can watch the trailer for Hanna below:

So, see ya next month! 🙂

– Becky (Blogs-Of-A-Bookaholic)

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