Category Archives: Movies

Alice Through the Looking Glass (movie)

I have discovered a joy for going to the cinema alone.  I have friends who will go with me but sometimes they don’t want to see the same movies as me and I end up missing out.  The first time I did it I felt a bit awkward but nobody seemed to care less, least of all me.  It was quite enjoyable too because I was able to give the film my undivided time and digest it afterwards.

Anyway, there is a point and I’m coming to that…yesterday I found myself with a free day so I decided to go and see Alice Through the Looking Glass.  I’d ummed and ahhhed about it since it came out and it seemed to be getting very mixed reviews (though I’m not sure if some of that was to do with the Johnny Depp wife beating accusations that surfaced around the same time as the movie came out).  I thought I’d missed out but one of our local cinemas still had a couple of showings so I took myself off to the first showing.

It wasn’t on the board so I thought maybe it wasn’t showing.  It was but for some reason it wasn’t listed on the board.  I paid for my ticket and off I went.  Settled into my seat in the deserted cinema and waited.  It transpired that I had the whole cinema to myself which was bliss!  £8 for a private cinema experience seemed like an absolute bargain!  I’ve often wondered if cinemas run a movie if nobody has bought tickets for it…

I’m one of the few that loves the trailers.  I’m a bit of a movie buff and I love to see what’s coming up.  As I had the cinema to myself I used my phone to note down any upcoming movies that I wanted to see whilst cheerfully munching on breakfast!

The movie itself was magical.  I think it benefited from being seen on the big screen (I saw the movie in 2D) because the landscapes were huge and very colourful.  You got a real sense of scale on the bigger screen.

I’ve often remarked in the past that movies are like a bad trip.  This was deliciously eccentric and if there was any trip involved it was a very good one.  It had a fabulous cast but for me, Sacha Baron Cohen stole the show as Time.  He was hilarious in places, eccentric but fierce when he needed to be.  I loved him.

Johnny Depp was fabulous as always (he played Hatter) and Mia Wasikowska played a fantastic Alice who had the potential to be annoying and whiny but managed to pull off ballsy and determined.

Essentially it’s a story of the unbreakable bonds of family and friendship.  Very well thought out and for me,  the right measure of laugh out loud, eccentric and pantomime villains to keep me happy.

I loved it and would definitely recommend it.  I might even consider going to see it again!!

 

Spotlight

Spotlight is based on a true story about the Catholic church covering up the abuse of children by it’s priests.

The subject matter is distasteful but isn’t overdone and the film doesn’t focus too heavily on specifics.  It is a movie that makes you think and covers the abuse tastefully (well as tastefully as you can in these situations).   It stays with you long after the credits have rolled.  This would be the case if it were fiction but it is based on a true story which gives it more impact.

Casting is excellent with Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams and Mark Ruffalo all playing excellent lead roles.  There were a few familiar faces from shows such as Law and Order and Blue Bloods.  All played their roles very well indeed.

Worth watching.  Heavy subject material but dealt with tastefully and sympathetically (in the case of the victims).  This is a movie that I’d definitely recommend.

The Revenant (movie)

This is probably going to be quite a controversial review but I didn’t enjoy this movie. I suppose it would be harsh to describe it as ‘pants’ but I’m sorely tempted to.

I was looking forward to seeing it after all the good reviews I’d read but I was left feeling sorely disappointed and wondering if I’d seen a different movie to everybody else.

It was overly gorey there didn’t need to be the amount of gore to get the point across in my opinion, the CGI on the bear wasn’t that great and it bored me. It reminded me of the second Lord of the Rings film where they spent the entire movie running, only this time it was on snow instead grass! (for the record I love the second Lord of the Rings movie). It failed to engage on every level.

I felt I was missing something so I read the book. I’m glad I did because it is spectacular. It explains a lot more and sets the scene more fully. There are marked differences to the film and I felt that if the film was more true to the book it may have engaged me more.

If this wins Oscars over ‘The Danish Girl’ then, in my opinion, it will be a travesty.

Would I recommend it? Probably not but okay if you like that kind of thing.

The Great Gatsby

*SPOILERS*

I was a bit skeptical about seeing The Great Gatsby movie.  I got bored with the book and ended up putting it down.  It failed to grab my attention.  The main difference with the movie is the sense of drama that is portrayed on screen.  I didn’t get that from the book.  The director, Baz Luhrmann, had done an excellent job of capturing the atmosphere and translating it to the big screen.  I didn’t know a lot about Baz Lurhmann but when I read up about him I wasn’t surprised to find that he had directed Moulin Rouge.  It has a similar sense of style about it.

The cast are excellent.  My sole experience of Tobey Maguire is in Spiderman and I didn’t love him in that.  I was pleasantly suprised by how well he plays Nick Carraway.  I love how Dicaprio portrays Gatsby too.  Just enough panache with a dash of vulnerability.  It was enough to make me like Gatsby and even feel for him by the end of the movie.

I felt that the story was secondary to the staging of the movie, the set, the designs, costumes, characters.  It portrays the over-indulgent, hedonistic 20s but as well as glamourising it, it also shows the darker side and the consequences of the careless pursuit of pleasure above all else.

In some respects I felt Gatsby was a victim of this, Daisy’s plaything and in the end he paid for this with his life.  Daisy was an unlikely villainess.  Maybe she didn’t intend to treat Gatsby so badly, maybe she was just thoughtless but even so, all she seemed to care about was her pursuit of pleasure.  Her actions after Gatsby’s death were pretty appalling too.

All in all, a great film.  One I’d thoroughly recommend.

50 Films for 2015

A friend of mine recently recommended this Facebook group to me, 50 Films for 2015.  It is a group of film lovers sharing views on films that they have seen and enjoyed. I joined the group and it has inspired me to keep a list.  This seemed like the ideal place to do it!  This post will be updated every time I see a new movie and I may write a separate post if the movie particularly moves me.

My 50 Films for 2015

1. The Theory  of Everything (January 2015)

2. Taken 3 (January 2015)

3. Before I go to Sleep (January 2015)

4. The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (February 2015)

5.  Exodus Gods and Kings (March 2015)

6. The Lucky One (March 2015)

7. Run All Night (March 2015)

8. Turbo (March 2015)

9. The Croods (March 2015)

10.  A View From the Bridge (March 2015)

11. Mockingjay: Part 1 (March 2015)

12. The Last Stand (March 2015)

13. Interstellar (April 2015)

14. American Beauty (April 2015)

15. Paddington (April 2015)

16. Penguins of Madagascar (April 2015)

17.  The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 (April 2015)

18. The Godfather (April 2015)

19. Big Hero 6 (April 2015)

20. The Last Knights (April 2015)

21. Chaos (May 2015)

22. 2001: A Space Odyssey (June 2015)

23: Jupiter Ascending (June 2015)

24.  The Equilizer (June 2015)

25. Mad Max Fury Road (July 2015) – Abandoned

26. Django Unchained (July 2015)

27. The Great Gatsby (July 2015)

28. The Road (July 2015)

29. Ant Man (July 2015)

30.  Ex-Machina (August 2015)

31.  The Outlaw Josey Wales (August 2015)

32.  Terminator Genysis (August 2015)

33. Avengers 2 (August 2015)

34.  Minions (August 2015)

35. American Sniper (September 2015)

36. RED 2 (September 2015)

37. Pompeii (September 2015)

38. Spy (September 2015)

39. Suffragette (October 2015)

40. Mr Holmes (November 2015)

41. Spectre (November 2015)

42. The Man from Uncle (November 2015)

43.  Mission Impossible Rogue Nation (November 2015)

44.  Hitman 47 (November 2015)

45. Lady in a Van (November 2015)

46. Inside out (November 2015)

47. Pixels (December 2015)

48. The Water Diviner (December 2015)

49. Star Wars: The Force Awakens

50. Jurrasic World (December 2015)

 

 

X-Men: Days of Future Past (SPOILERS)

I usually try to avoid spoilers in my reviews but I don’t think I will be able to do the movie justice if there aren’t any spoilers….so be warned:

SPOILER ALERT!!

Okay, you’ve got the idea that this review contains spoilers? Great!  Then read on…

Days of Future Past is essentially a clever reboot of the X-men movies because everybody died in the last one (and subsequent previous movies).

The premise is that Wolverine is sent back in time to prevent the future from happening, a future in which sentinels are destroying mutants.  This all stems from Mystique killing Dr Trask in 1973 to prevent his manufacture of these sentinels.  She succeeds but is caught and her DNA is used to create sentinels that can adapt and are virtually indestructible.

In 2023 mutants and the humans who help them are doomed.

Xavier decides to go back in time to change the future.  The pivotal moment was the point where Mystique kills Trask and is caught.  If Xavier can change this, then the future will be a whole lot different.  He seeks the help of Kitty Pryde who can send back a person’s consciousness into their past.  The problem with this is that she can send them back a few weeks at most, not decades.  Sending them back that far could harm them, or even kill them.  It is decided that Wolverine should be the one to go back because he can heal.

The movie focuses on Wolverine trying to persuade a young Xavier (Charles) and Magneto (Erik) to work together to fix the future.

Que 1973:

The cinema let out a sigh of delight when Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) stepped out of bed in 1973 and we got a delightful full naked back shot including his perfect posterior!  Worth going for that alone ladies?

Michael Fassbender plays a young Erik very well.  He convey’s Erik’s want to save the mutant species fantastically well and  is as passion and driven in his beliefs as he is in later life.  Does that make him a bad guy?  I suppose technically yes but I can understand his motivations and the want to protect his people.

That said, it is odd seeing Charles so broken and vulnerable.  I’m used to the calm, controlled character played so well by Patrick Stewart but everybody has a past, right?

Jennifer Lawerence as Mystique is gorgeous as ever but my favorite scene by far was one with Peter (Quicksilver).  Obviously in 1973, Peter is a teenager and that really comes across in his attitude!  I’m not going to give too much away but the scene where he breaks out Erik is fabulous, really well done and well thought out. I loved it and it even topped Hugh Jackman’s butt!

All in all, a pretty good movie. I am a bit of a Magneto/Xavier (Patrick Stewart/Ian McKellan) fan girl though so I was disappointed that we didn’t see more of them.

A lot of people were raving about Peter Dinklage as Dr Trask but I wasn’t bowled over.  Dinklage is fabulous as Tyrion in Game of Thrones but I found Trask quite a boring character, probably more to do with the character itself than Dinklage’s acting ability.

Also, the whole reboot ‘look we’ve gone back and changed the past’ thing felt a bit contrived.  It was a bit like that scene in Dallas where Pam wakes up and the whole previous series has been a dream.  I felt a bit hard done by, especially as Jean Grey is back.  Wolverine killed her!  I felt the pain of his loss!! but you know what, it’s all okay now because the future is different!!

Okay then….

That said, I did enjoy the movie and would definitely recommend that you go and see it.