The Shawshank Redemption : IMDb bucket list number 1

Simply put one of the greatest films I have ever seen. The Shawshank Redemption is a film adaption of the Steven King novella Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption. It drops the viewer into the harsh reality of the 1940s American prison system with intimidating guards who will beat a man within an inch of his life and inmates who will do the same to those who don’t fit in. It’s not quite as Arkham Asylum, but they do leave a similar shiver down your spine.

Enter Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins). This banker unfortunately finds himself in the Shawshank State Penitentiary for the murder of his wife, which, he actually had no part in. Showing the complete efficiency and accuracy of the 1940s judicial system, this innocent man is condemned for life and is thrown into prison in which there is seemingly no hope for this former banker.

After he experiences months of beatings and worse for being ‘the new kid on the block’ he quickly befriends the prison smuggler, Red (Morgan Freeman). The two create a lasting bond that is at the core of their attempts to make the prison a better place for all.

What really stands out to me about this film is how well it stands the test of time; the scenes are just as shocking and the story ever inspiring. The story broken down is one man’s quest to improve the lives of others and mentally escape the dark and often frightening setting.

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Robbins’ performance as the scheming banker is excellent in that he sustains the character of the clever and cunning Dufresne with a hugely convincing and heartfelt performance. What stands out is Andy’s desire not only to escape but to prove that he is the smartest man and often the most daring in the entire penitentiary.

Equally convincing, Bob Gunton’s interpretation of the callous sly Warden makes viewers want to lash out at the screen as he crushes the hope of all at the prison. But what really makes us angry is his emotionless response to all the bad he does. The heartless bastard.

The movie’s dark themes of violence and suicide are well contrasted with Andy’s knack for keeping going when things somehow manage to get even worse than they were before, which believe me, is very hard.

I am therefore giving this film a 9.0 star rating as it genuinely is one of the best movies of all time and I can definitely see why it is rated so highly on the IMDb top 250.

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Superbad – Film Review

2007’s Superbad is possibly the funniest American teen comedy I’ve ever seen. The ridiculously crude sexual references and cringe-worthy attempts at impressing girls reminds me of my time at school.

Writer’s Seth Rogan and Evan Goldberg have nailed the taunts and behaviours of school rejects (like me) to the point where you can remember having the same discussion with your friends and often using the supposedly witty comeback of “…at least you got to suck on your dad’s dick.”

The movie follows near graduates, Seth (Jonah Hill) and Evan (Michael Cera) who are the stereotypical high school social outcasts. Their chances of getting with a girl are very slim considering that Seth is some sort of dick-crazed maniac who draws rather artistic pictures of cocks and that Evan is Seth’s “faggot friend” who pursues Becca (Martha MacIsaac).

The boys think their luck has changed when they are invited to Jules’ (Emma Stone) graduation party and that their quite frankly disturbing friend, Fogell (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), has got his hands on an unconvincing and hysterical, Hawaiian driving licence under the alias “McLovin”, no second namesuperbad-di.

On their quest to obtain alcohol and get to the party Fogell finds himself in the midst of a store robbery and ends up basically being abducted by Police officers Slater (Bill Hader) and Michaels (Seth Rogan) who, still living in their adolescent past, want to show him that the can still party with the best of them by drink driving, shooting cars and setting things on fire.

Hill’s performance as Seth is so accurate of the sex-obsessed reject that he will have you in stitches from the very start of the movie. His on-screen chemistry with Cera precisely imitates the ‘losers’ we all know that will do literally anything for sex.

That’s not to say that Rogan and Hader’s performance is worth any less merit. The immature and possibly alcoholic police officers are very convincing as adults who refuse to let their partying past die. Hader’s remarkable impression of Yoda in the movie also earns him extra praise.

By far the funniest character in the film is Mintz-Plasse’s Fogell, who’s exceedingly paedophilic dress sense and feeble physique mimics that weedy friend we all have who thinks they’re much better with women than they really are.

But kids, if you ever want to learn anything from this movie, don’t get a Hawaiian driving licence with a name like an Irish R’n’b singer and with a picture looking like a future paedophile. The likelihood is that you won’t get served.