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Majid Al-Haddad wins Augusts Find-DVD review competition with review of Hanna - Triple Play (Biu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy)

20 September 2011

Hanna, directed by Joe Wright (Atonement) is a 2011 action thriller telling the story of a girl who has been trained all her life by her father to become a perfect assassin. The film stars Saoirse Ronan, Cate Blanchett and Eric Bana. Majid Al-Haddad wrote a review of this film in August and submitted it to Find-DVDs review competition. As it was considered to be the best review sent in during August, Majid Al-Haddad has been declared the winner and has received the very generous prize which was a £100 Amazon voucher. Congratulations!

As so often happens we had quite a few reviews that were in the running for the prize last month. Here are some of them:
Overlord – reviewed by Kashif Ahmed - "a sobering antidote to World War II flag wavers"
Crank 2 – High Voltage - also reviewed by Majid Al-Haddad - "demented, deranged, gross, revolting, vile, twisted, bizarre, creepy, insane and outrageous"
Planet of the Apes Collection – reviewed by Jon Meakin - "a classic science fiction gem, born of the same dystopian paranoia that drove the best of the genre throughout the preceding two decades"
Badlands – reviewed by Calvin Mackinnon - "Badlands is very much a fairy tale with the violence left intact"
Source Code – reviewed by Kenji Lloyd - "Every flame in every explosion, every ripple in the river passing by the train, every tiny detail that the filmmakers have paid attention to capturing, all are utterly stunning in High Definition"
Sucker Punch - reviewed by David Bedwell - "for all intents and purposes, the lovechild of a video game and music video"
Curb your Enthusiasm Season 1-7 Complete – reviewed by Alan Mackay –"one of the greatest TV shows of the last decade. Cleverly improvised, often offensive and always hilarious, this show deserves your attention"
Hobo with a Shotgun – reviewed by Kevin Stanley – "Hobo with a Shotgun could have been lighter and more fun. It lacked the humour of Machete and just seemed pretty grim throughout"
September's review competition is already taking entries so if you, like Majid, feel you have what it takes to write the prizewinning review then please do send one in. The best reviewer will win a £100 Amazon voucher as usual so what are you waiting for – get writing!
Although the best reviewers are in line to win a prize, we would still like to hear from everybody else. The review option is there to enable you all to share your thoughts on DVDs you have watched. You may just like to make a quick one lined comment about a film or a series you have seen rather than sending in a comprehensive review. If so then that is absolutely fine by us. The review facility is there so you can let everyone know what you thought of your DVD – it may be that you absolutely loved it and would like everyone else to have the opportunity to see it, or you may have consigned it to the bin and be hoping to warn others not to buy it! Whatever your thoughts – we would like to put them on the site so they can be shared (subject to our moderator's check for duplicate content or bad language etc.).
Here is Majid Al-Haddad's review of Hanna - August's prize winning competition entry 
When it comes to movies, I often wondered, do female characters make better leads than male characters?

Since the beginning, motion pictures were and still are mainly dominated by male characters while female characters were always there to provide moral/physical support to our main hero or be the damsels in distress for our hero to rescue. Yet once in a while, Hollywood churns out films that celebrate girls and their power. I remember back in the 90's it was Spice Girls who coined the term "Girl Power" and "Clueless" (film) was a game changer in the 90's of such movement.

Unlike chick flicks, a good Girl-Power movie focuses on a female character that starts off as someone who has no acceptance (social, physical, political, romantic, intellectual...etc.) and spends the entire duration of the movie trying gaining it and eventually finds herself in the process. There are many examples of these movies that truly were memorable for their strong female protagonists such as Alien/Aliens, Amelie, Erin Brockovich, Kill Bill, Thelma & Louise and Run Lola Run.etc. These movies feature abundance of character development and the struggle is more realistic and hence more believable. As a viewer, I really root for these characters to come victorious in the end. Today I would like to add another movie to this ever-growing list and that would be "Hanna".

When I first heard of Hanna, I immediately dismissed it as a rip-off of last year's sleeper hit Kick-ass as both of them share few similarities. Both feature a young female character trained by her father to become the perfect assassin to avenge her mother's death. Fortunately, that's exactly where the similarities end. "Hanna" is an altogether different beast.

Hanna is a topnotch thriller and the most "kick-ass" action event of the year. In a year flooded with prequels, sequels, remakes, re-imaginings and spin-offs, Hanna comes off extremely special and highly recommended even though it is not original.

When I first watched it, I truly fell in love with "Hanna" both the movie and the character. Hanna has something to say while offering a great deal of wit and fast paced storyline with visually impressive action set-pieces. I like how this movie balances contradictions. It is disturbing yet poetic, it is energetic yet calm, it is ruthless yet endearing, artistic yet highly entertaining and it is drawn like a fairy tale with shades of realism. Plus, it has one very satisfying ending but never answers any questions. I often hate open ending but here I felt it was very appropriate.

I will not indulge in the plot or the proceedings as I don't want to spoil the fun of watching this amazing movie. But I'll tell you this though; Hanna is about the journey of a young girl into something bewildering, a world she has no experience in despite having the knowledge of it. It is about a girl's discovery of her own self & identity. As a viewer this is one journey you certainly don't want to miss.

Directed with such precision by Joe Wright (Atonement) whose visual mastery is so evident throughout the movie, take for instance the opening sequences in the snow which are extremely breathtaking or the parking fist fight or the dockyard fight, not once you feel the action is staged, it is so gritty and well-choreographed with no shaky camera movements which results in more realistic and violent fantasy.

Hanna is blessed with some first-class performances. Saoirse Ronan is such a talented actress and brilliant as the titular character. Her portrayal of a cold-blooded assassin is mostly fitting as she is very cold, icy and devoid of emotions but there are occasions where she comes like a real human with varying feelings. Overall it is a very serious, raw and ferocious performance by Ronan.

The supporting cast couldn't be any less impressive. I truly believe Hanna will resurrect the career of Eric Bana (Hanna's father) who gives his most polished act yet. Casting Kate Blanchett as the ruthless antagonist was a risky move but pays off very well as she pulls it off with panache. Jason Flemyng and Olivia Williams do very well with their limited roles.
It is also worth noting that the soundtrack by the Chemical Brothers compliments the movie very well and adds extra layers to the action sequences.

Overall Hanna is a very cool action thriller that is flourished with visually stunning locales & landscapes and a grade A cast that excel in both the emotional and physical fronts. Highly Recommended.
A selection of DVDs reviewed in August

Released: 30/09/2013
From: £2.6

Released: 03/03/2008
From: £11.97
Crank 2 - High Voltage [Blu-ray]
Crank 2 - High Voltage [Blu-ray]

Released: 14/09/2009
From: £5.97
Planet Of The Apes Collection [Blu-ray]
Planet Of The Apes Collection [Blu-ray]

Released: 01/12/2008
From: £12.99

Released: 26/05/2003
From: £5.49
Avatar Extended Collector's Edition
Avatar Extended Collector's Edition

Released: 15/11/2010
From: £10
Super (DVD)
Super (DVD)

Released: 01/08/2011
From: £5.39
Source Code - Double Play (Blu-ray + DVD)
Source Code - Double Play (Blu-ray + DVD) ...

Released: 15/08/2011
From: £7.62
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

Released: 27/12/2010
From: £2.48
Daydream Nation
Daydream Nation

Released: 01/08/2011
From: £2.62
Sucker Punch - Triple Play (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy) [2011][Region Free]
Sucker Punch - Triple Play (Blu-ray + DVD ...

Released: 08/08/2011
From: £22.13
Remember The Titans
Remember The Titans

Released: 26/11/2001
From: £4.19
Curb Your Enthusiasm Season 1-7 Complete (HBO)
Curb Your Enthusiasm Season 1-7 Complete ...

Released: 07/06/2010
From: £48.71
Hobo with a Shotgun
Hobo with a Shotgun

Released: 01/08/2011
From: £2.21

Released: 18/07/2011
From: £3.49
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