Sunday, 27 November 2016

Moana (2016) review

Running Time: 113 mins
Directed by: Ron Clements and John Musker
Starring: (the voices of) Auli'i Cravalho, Dwayne Johnson, Jemaine Clement, Rachel House, Temuera Morrison, Nicole Scherzinger and Alan Tudyk
UK release date: 2nd December 2016

John Musker and Ron Clements, the distinguished Disney directing duo who brought us Aladdin, The Little Mermaid, Hercules and The Princess and the Frog to name a few, are back with their first CGI animated feature Moana. The tale follows the titled Disney heroine, Moana Waialiki, as she sails beyond the reef of her village to find the demigod Maui and order him to return the stolen heart of the sea to bring back the nature to her homeland. As Musker and Clements are professionals at creating beautifully loveable Disney films, Moana both echoes the Disney Renaissance of the 90s and feels completely modern.

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Saturday, 24 September 2016

The Girl With All the Gifts (2016) mini review

Due to time restrictions and wanting to get this out before the film is released in the UK on 23rd September. Here is a mini review of 4 reasons why The Girl With All The Gifts is a game changer for the zombie genre.


1. It's a British film. Now I don't want to say that it is only the UK that make pretty good zombie films, but we do have some great ones (Shaun of the Dead and 28 Days Later come to mind). I think The Girl With All The Gifts fits in this list quite nicely, because it's not the typical blood, gore, humans-running-away-from-zombies setup. It makes you think about what it means to be human and about evolution, along with point 3 which is quite terrifying.

2. The score. To set the scene, this is the basic premise. The film opens with a young girl, Melanie, underground in a bunker with other children. It is unclear what the children and the few adults are being protected from, but it soon becomes apparent that they are living survivors from an infection that takes away a human's mental capacity and changes their diet to human flesh. Melanie and the other children are the next generation of 'hungries': they retain their minds allowing them to communicate and even have the capacity to love. Once the bunker gets raided by hungries, Melanie and a few other human survivors have to make their way to London on a limited about of supplies which is when the whole situation becomes increasingly tense as a hungry could be around the corner. Oh, and they are fast zombies.

The tension is thrilling enough, but the loud score adds a completely different edgy atmosphere to the film, making sure that you are prepared for any sudden shock or movement.

3. This COULD actually happen! I would like to take this time to thank my cousin's partner for informing me that The Girl with all the Gifts is based on fact. This fungal disease that turns humans into 'hungries' exists, making this film haunting. The cinematography, added with the soundtrack, make the film appear bleak enough as it is, but with the thought that this dystopian England could possibly be our future it because a little more scary. I'm now going to be very cautious when I interact with people who have the common cold this winter, in case they are hunrgies.


4. The final concept

Without spoiling the film, the ending of The Girl With All The Gifts is quite refreshing (as far as zombie go) and unpredictable. Although the last half hour or so seems to steer away from the exhilarating opening, and the ending is wrapped up quite quickly, the film's final concept is great. It luckily saves the film, leaving you thinking while the credits roll.


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Friday, 19 August 2016

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates…the female equality rom-com we’ve been waiting for?!

I’m going to try keep this as short and interesting as possible. The other day I went to see Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates with my friend because the main cast are some of our absolute favourites for a cheesy, silly, stereotypical comedy. However I walked out having had a really good laugh while realising that I had probably just watched a modern day romantic comedy where the female characters are just as bad, just as sexual, just as openly represented as their male counterparts. So with a little bit of free time, I thought of writing about it. It’s not very coherent, but I wanted to write some things.


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Thursday, 28 July 2016

Films to watch:

You'd have thought that doing a Film and English degree at university meant that I shouldn't have a list of 'great' films to watch anymore. I did watch a lot of good things at university, most of which were for the first time but sadly I couldn't have spent the whole time watching the IMDB/Empire/Metatcritic best film lists. Now I have finished, I can watch films for me and I love nothing more than Watch Lists. By keeping it as a blog, I can update and strike things off easily, while it also acts as an incentive to get watching it because I imagine a lot of people (my uncle especially) will be shocked at the majority of these.

I pride myself in my film knowledge and the amount of films I've seen. I've seen all of Wes Anderson's films for example, watch the Before trilogy monthly and I have seen a lot of Hitchcock, but I still like to watch anything and everything, regardless of critical or box office success. However there are always more films to watch, so I best get cracking.

If you have any recommendations, please do comment with them!
  • Interstellar
  • Whiplash
  • Selma
  • LA Confidental
  • Taxi Driver
  • The Pianist
  • Being John Malkovich
  • Boogie Nights
  • The Double
  • Apocalypse Now
  • The Godfather
  • Creed
  • Grave of the Fireflies
  • This Is Spinal Tap
  • Cool Hand Luke
  • Liberal Arts
  • Midnight Special
  • Mud
  • Brooklyn

  • Twin Peaks
  • Buffy The Vampire Slayer
  • Veep
  • True Detective
  • Finish Community
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Tuesday, 26 July 2016

How Hamilton helped me through the last stage of uni and my favourite things about it.

If you have me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter, I think you'll know that I love Hamilton. I wanted to write and they say to write about what you love, so here is a kinda long (but picture-filled), kinda rambling, but very excited post about my love for Hamilton. It's also a great place to start if you have heard about it (or seen me go on about it) and want to find out more.

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Friday, 27 May 2016

The Nice Guys (2016) Review

Running Time: 116 mins.
Directed by: Shane Black.
Starring: Russell Crowe, Ryan Gosling, Angourie Rice, Matt Bomer, Beau Knapp, Yaya DaCosta, Ty Simpkins.
UK release date: 3rd June 2016.

After tackling the Marvel Cinematic Universe with Iron Man 3 in 2013, Shane Black is back directing a neo-noir mystery set amidst the late 70s. Enforcer Jackson Healey (Crowe) and private detective Holland March (Gosling) team up to solve a case that involves deceased porn star Misty Mountains and missing girl Amelia. Along with the help of March’s young daughter, Holly, the pair find that there is more to this missing person’s case than they first believed.

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Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Sing Street (2016) review

Running Time: 106 mins
Directed by: John Carney
Starring: Ferdia Walsh-Peelo, Lucy Boynton, Jack Reynor, Aidan Gillen, Maria Doyle Kennedy.
UK release date: 20th May 2016

John Carney (Once, Begin Again) has a knack for making touching dramas where you feel physically within the space of the characters. Though not as intimate as the beautiful Once, Sing Street similarly captures your heart through the sweet protagonist Conor Lalor and its original songs that sound like they are straight from the 1980s.


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Monday, 21 March 2016

Zootopia: the film I wish I had when I was a child

With my dissertation looming, I do no have the time to pour my heart out and write a review for Zootopia (Zootropolis here in Europe). But I do want to write down a quick ramble of a few things I really loved about it.


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Monday, 8 February 2016

Pride + Prejudice + Zombies (2016) mini review

I haven't blogged in almost a year, and even then the last film review I posted was a few years ago. But, having just been to an early screening of Pride + Prejudice + Zombies, I felt the urge to write again. So for the first time in a while, here is my review (note how university has improved my writing slightly):

Running Time: 108 mins
Directed by: Burr Steers
Starring: Lily James, Sam Riley, Bella Heathcote, Douglas Booth, Matt Smith, Lena Heady, Sally Phillips, Charles Dance
UK release date: 11th February 2016. 

Watching Eliza Bennent completely own Mr Darcy at a duel with swords and knives is something I never knew I wanted but, as it turns out, I needed it.

Pride + Prejudice + Zombies will mostly entertain those who are familiar with Pride and Prejudice, with not enough eating-of-brains it might not quench the thirst of zombie movie fans. There are plenty of intense zombie-revealing scenes and the odd scare to gently infuse the genres together, but it feels rushed and forced at the same time. 

The one thing the film does achieve is great casting; Smith in particular as the socially awkward but innocent Mr/Parson Collins, who is not as skilled with defeating zombies as the women, is the highlight. Mr Darcy on the other hand feels too much like a parody it sticks out, but thankfully Lily James is a likeable Elizabeth Bennet which keeps at least a little interest to what feels like a two hour long film.

Elizabeth and her sisters have been encouraged and trained as warriors, a needed role as the population of zombies continues to grow in England. It's refreshing to see female characters fight as good, or better in Elizabeth's case, than the men. The most entertaining parts of the film are the Bennet sisters fighting zombies, but sadly we only get to see this a couple of times. Even the renowned, zombie killer Lady Catherine de Bourgh's (Heady) is a disappointment as her infamous defeats are only alluded to and we never see her in action.

Colonel Darcy is a zombie killer with the belief that people should be killed after being bitten, even before they turn, similar to the regular, arrogant Darcy. The greatest scene of the film is the new interpretation of Darcy's proposal, where Elizabeth rightfully and finally gives Darcy a little of what he deserves in a duel. The film is funny and intense, but not as enticing as it wants to be.

Even with the girl-power and often amusing, intertextual depictions of Austen's classic, Pride + Prejudice + Zombies is not as exciting or original as the concept entailed.


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