Film Reviews

Johnny Dangerously – Michael Keaton With An Adverb!

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Oscar season is upon us and it is a fantastic time to be a film fan. The other day I was sat with some friends discussing the nominated actors/pictures etc. when I brought up a little known gem tied to Michael Keaton. People sat, confused faces twisting when I mentioned it. Johnny Dangerously, the 1984 gangster parody film that almost kick started Michael Keaton’s career as a film actor. When I found out that no one I knew had seemed to even hear of this film my heart sank, It’s sad that when people think of Keaton they only think of Beatlejuice and Batman (And now Birdman) but never bring up this little beauty. So here I am giving it a little bit of attention and affection.

Johnny Dangerously Is a tale about a young immigrant trying to make money for his family and ends up joining a local gang. However this film is so much more than just a simple tale of rags to riches, the comedy in this film is not only incredibly funny but timed and executed perfectly by the like of Michael Keaton. It’s use of breaking the fourth wall is reminiscent of films like Blazing Saddles or Airplane. The characters are memorable and there are some rather good performances from the likes of Danny Devito, who makes a small appearance. With jokes ranging from sight gags, to slap stick to satire this film epitomises what parodying really is, and shows us just how dead it has become.

Filled with quotes and one liners, especially from Johnny’s rival Danny Vermin, this film will have you beside yourself laughing. Even over 30 years since its release the comedy and jokes are still easily accessible and funny due to the nature of the film. Honestly I can’t really say enough about this film without spoiling it but all I would say is that you haven’t seen it then go out and grab yourself a copy. It’s sad that such a funny and well put together film doesn’t ever seem to get the credit it deserves and with Keaton getting nominated for an Oscar it couldn’t be a better time to see where he started his career.

 

-Grand Pickle

88. Magnum, "It shoots through schools."

88. Magnum, “It shoots through schools.”

 

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The Theory of Everything- Review

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Directed by: James Marsh

“A wonderfully put together film, coupled with a phenomenal performance by Eddie Redmayne.”

I have never been a dab hand at science, or anything for that matter. The only really good impression I can do is of a man with no talent. So when buying a ticket to see James Marsh’s the Theory of Everything, I was a trifle concerned. I assumed that even the most layman explanation of one of Stephen Hawkins’s ideas, would’ve left me scratching my head wondering when the staff were going to hand me a Winnie the Pooh colouring book. I braced myself for the moment I would be handed some crayons, and ask politely to wait in the corner, until the biopic of one of the world’s greatest minds had finish. I’m pleased to say that this film is neither baffling, confusing, or boring. It is in fact brilliant.

Based on the life of the great physicist Stephen Hawking, this is a wonderfully put together film, coupled with a phenomenal performance by Eddie Redmayne. It’s a performance that may just seal the deal of an Oscar. Starting in Hawkins’s early school years where he meets his sweetheart Jane, (Felicity Jones) the couple seek to battle Stephens debilitating disease-motor neuron syndrome (MS). Both Redmayne and Jones give a wonderfully evocative and convincing performance that, on numerous occasions, draws heartbreaking light on living with MS. Redmayne acts the role of an MS sufferer so convincingly, that you completely forget he’s an able-bodied actor.

As Stephen Hawkins’s story is told over the years, the film does a sterling job of both outlining his life and his work in a comprehensible and coherent way. There are no moments in the film where the pacing seems to drag. It’s also eager to show the achievements Hawking has made, despite his crippling battle with MS.

Verdict

Whether you already possess a wealth knowledge on Stephen Hawking or not is irrelevant, and wont mar the enjoyment if you (like me) don’t. The filmmaking is solid as are the acting performances, and provides an interesting insight into one of the world’s greatest physicists.

4.8/5

Luke H

Blackfish – a review

blackfish1Many of you may be familiar with the movie ‘Blackfish’, an eye-opening documentary film released in 2013 that depicts the shocking events that have occurred at SeaWorld, which have resulted in the deaths of multiple people including several of the animal trainers. The film synopsis really stood out to me when I stumbled across it on a website last year, and so I was anticipating something hard-hitting and honest when I arrived at the cinema in London where it was being shown. My anticipation did not prepare me for what I was about to see.

The movie, which begins by showing the procedure used to kidnap whales from the wild to bring them into captivity, focuses on the whale that is infamous for his aggressive and sometimes fatal run-ins with people – Tilikum, a six-ton, 22-foot orca who was caught in 1983 off the coast of Iceland. The first few scenes document the arrival of Tilikum into his first captive environment – a scene showing him being taken from his mother is included, and this scene is not pleasant at all. Through a gritty camera lens, we see the baby Tilikum being hoisted out of the water in a harness, while his mother floats beside it, her cries plain for all to hear. A man who was involved in the capture of Tilikum, or ‘Tili’, speaks about the ordeal, saying that he was just following orders, and the regret in his voice is clear as he explains how they snatched the whale calf away from his mother and his home to bring him into his new life of floating lifelessly in a tank that is much too small for an animal of his size, that is until he is needed to perform for miniscule buckets of fish and monetary gain for his captors.

The movie then moves on to show Tili in his various homes before SeaWorld – after being kept in a tiny concrete holding tank for a year, the orca was moved to Sealand of the Pacific, a small aquarium in Canada. There, Tilikum suffered severe physical abuse from the bigger female whales he was housed with, and this stress is thought to have contributed to the violent actions we see him commit later on in the film when he is transferred to SeaWorld in Orlando, Florida. 

Tilikum in the performance pool at SeaWorld, Orlando

Tilikum in the performance pool at SeaWorld, Orlando

‘Blackfish’ is essentially a look into the life of captive killer whales, and serves as an expose into the treatment of these animals and whether a life in captivity leads to emotional trauma and eventually violent outbursts from these animals, who have been known to very very rarely attack any humans in the wild, and these attacks were deemed to most likely be accidental and a mistake made by the whale in thinking a human was another animal like a seal. The film is a mixture of interviews with previous SeaWorld employees and people involved in the attacks, blended with footage from the whale shows and even some original tapes which contain harrowing footage of some of the attacks.

However, this film isn’t an attempt at picket-fencing orca whales – on the contrary, it delves into the idea of whales suffering from psychosis due to being kept in cramped conditions with little to no stimulation, and looks into how SeaWorld’s treatment of these animals is not up to par. Evidence from lawsuits involving animal rights agencies is also included, and this makes for a fascinating look-in to how the attacks were handled and, in some cases, justified, albeit poorly and wrongly.

I personally think this film is crucial in terms of educating people on the dangers and immorality of keeping animals like killer whales in captivity for our own entertainment, and I urge any animal lovers out there to give this movie a watch – not only is the story important, but the whales themselves are beautiful, majestic creatures, and some of the footage of these wonderful animals is just too good to miss.

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5/5 – (This is a random titbit that may not even be prudent to this review, but the original ending to the upcoming animated film ‘Finding Dory’ involved the depiction of a marine park, but it was revised after Pixar’s employees saw the film and spoke with the director – I just thought this was a very cool thing for them to do as it’s not perpetuating this form of ‘entertainment’ as a thing that should happen and it’s therefore not going to be teaching kids that this kind of treatment of animals is acceptable.)

~Steph.

Locke Review- Directed by Steven Knight

 

 

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“An interesting, well written film even if bearing a somewhat muted ending.”

 

Tom Hardy is an actor now associated with big Hollywood blockbusters. Ask anyone about Hardy, and some will point at Eames from the loud crash and bang thriller Inception, most will point to Bane from the Batman Trilogy. This is an entirely different film altogether. This film is put together on a much smaller budget, and is staged in an even smaller set. However just because Tom Hardy has traded his usual place of standing amidst the chaos of an anti gravity hotel or a network of eerier subterranean tunnels for the comfort of a BMW 5- Series, this isn’t a film to be disregarded.

 

Locke is the story of one man’s life unraveling over the course of a single car journey. Ivan Locke (played brilliantly by Tom Hardy) is first introduced to us as a pragmatic man who has it all. He has a successful job, a loving family, and tomorrow is set to be the crowning moment of his career. But after a series of phone calls, he is forced to put all that he has built in his life on he line.

 

For those who have seen any trailers or commentaries of the film, would’ve probably seen that this film has been sold as a nail-biting thriller. However after watching all 90 minutes of the film, I would summarise that this is more of a drama than a thriller. Those seeking heart-pounding action will therefore have to look elsewhere. Set entirely in the inside a car with the lone Tom Hardy, the film’s plot is carried by faceless callers on a hands free phone. They’re predominantly comprised of Locke’s wife (Ruth Wilson) a co-worker named Donal (Andrew Scott) and a woman named Bethany (Olivia Colman) whom is having Locke’s baby.

 

As each of the phone calls unravel the mystery behind Locke’s reason for taking an unscheduled detour, the dramatic tension continues to build as bit by bit we watch Ivan Locke’s life begins to crack and crumble. Tom Hardy delivers a stellar and engaging performance which (in a film this understated) is essential. This film bears no attempt to detract from the acting with fancy CGI, car chases, gunfights and people being shot in the face. Instead, it takes the innovative approach to simply focus on one man and his mistakes. Bearing this challenging role in mind Hardy does incredibly well to give his character depth, and the accompanied voice acting helps sustain your interest right from start to finish.

 

It is a big strength that the film is also incredibly well written, for if it wasn’t this film could’ve quite easily been a dull, uninspiring mess. Everything from Ivan’s background, to the mistakes he has made has be fastidiously considered and carefully crafted. This makes for some quite touching, amusing and memorable moments throughout.

 

However this film isn’t without its weaknesses. It’s an interesting, well-written film that for me possessed a somewhat muted ending. As his journey comes to a close and we finally come to terms with the changes of Locke’s life, the film makes an attempt at a resolve on some aspects of Locke’s life. This hinders the closure of the film leaving you with an uncomfortable ambiguity as to how Ivan Locke is going to confront the situation he has found himself in.

 

Verdict

 

4/5

 

Even with a muted ending, the acting and well written tale that has been woven into this original piece of film making definitely deserves a watch.

Luke H

Rise Of The Guardians – a review

guardians_payoff_poster2284_mb_final_v2wip9-online-trimWhile I vaguely remember seeing the trailer for this movie when it was released back in 2012, I didn’t pay much attention to it, for some reason unbeknownst to me. At the time, I was preoccupied with movies that had received more attention and were thus more anticipated and well-known; but, after watching Rise of the Guardians a couple of weeks ago, I am astonished as to how this movie has stayed under the radar for so long.

Released by Dreamworks, the film opens by introducing us to a young man with crystal white hair – his name is Jack Frost. This immediately grabbed my attention during the first few minutes, because it was an entirely different take on any other Jack Frost story that I had seen or heard of during my childhood. We soon learn that Jack has no memory of who he is and where he came from – only that he has powers conducive with winter time. We see Jack cavorting with the children in the village where he resides, producing flurries of snow and starting raucous snowball fights – but then, we make a sad discovery; the children do not believe in Jack like they believe in other fantastical beings, and so they cannot see him or realise that he is creating all of the wintery fun around them. He is all alone in the world and he doesn’t even know why he has been put there.

But then, three hundred years later, something happens – there is an emergency at the North Pole, and it is here that we meet… The Guardians. Santa Claus, more commonly known as ‘North’, has summoned the help of his fellow Guardians (Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, and Sandman) because a terrible evil is threatening the children of the world – Pitch Black, the Boogeyman, has made a catastrophic return, and has vowed to rid the world of all hope and joy so that he can once again rule with his reign of terror and nightmares. But the Guardians are hell-bent on stopping him, and so they assemble at the North Pole to devise a plan. However, their meeting is interrupted when North learns that there is to be a new Guardian in their midst – and this new recruit turns out to be none other than Jack Frost.

So, with Jack following (somewhat reluctantly), the Guardians set off to find Pitch and stop him before it’s too late. After a number of near-successes, the Guardians almost lose all hope when Pitch seems too powerful to defeat – but, with the help of some of Jack’s young friends from the village, they finally defeat Pitch, bringing sweet dreams and happiness to the children of the world once more.

Now, before you dismiss this movie for seeming childish, let me assure you – sometimes there is nothing better than losing ourselves to the memory of being young and immersing ourselves in that glorious feeling of unwavering belief and wonder. Watching this movie definitely brought out my inner child, and it was just wonderful to feel that lost sense of awe while marvelling at the sheer joy that this movie brings. Not only is the movie fantastic, but I just need to take a moment to talk about the animation – being a Dreamworks movie, I expected it to be great, but wow. The cinematography is without a doubt some of the most beautiful work I have ever seen; with vivid colours and such vibrant and visually dynamic characters, this film impresses in every area. The music, too, is fantastic – with a score that sent chills down my spine and brought tears to my eyes, it is definitely a soundtrack to be revered.

All I’m saying is, if you haven’t seen this movie yet, I really really really think you should sit down and watch it. And if all of this gushing hasn’t convinced you, then consider this – Hugh Jackman is the voice of the very sarcastic, very grumpy, and very Australian Easter Bunny, and if that isn’t enough to persuade you to give this movie a try, then I don’t know what is.

5/5 – I haven’t cried that much watching a movie since the final Harry Potter film. And I cried a LOT for that one.

~Steph.

The Hand That Rocks The Cradle – a review

the_hand_that_rocks_the_cradleReleased in 1992, this is not a movie which many of my peers may have heard of before now, much like my sister and I hadn’t. My dad, however, has been raving about it for years now, so my sister and I sat down to watch it with him a few nights ago, and let me say, this film is not for the faint-hearted.

Set in your typical suburban neighbourhood, the film opens like many others – we meet Mr and Mrs Bartel, a middle-class family with an adorable six-year-old daughter, Emma, with another baby on the way. But it soon becomes apparent that this is not going to be your run-of-the-mill happy-go-lucky romcom; during a routine check-up with her gynaecologist, Claire Bartel (the mother) suspects the doctor, Mr Mott, of being a little too hands-on during her session. We, as the audience, actually see him molest her (although I got the creeps as soon as he appeared on screen, and his awful act only reinforced my earlier suspicions about him), and this scene fuels the first of many emotions that I’m sure will sparks within the viewers of this film as it goes on.

As soon as her check-up is over, Claire races home in tears to tell her husband what happened. Going on a slight tangent, I find that it is utterly refreshing to see him believe her without a moment’s hesitation – too many people these days are sceptical when they hear something like this, but he accepts her story without question and immediately informs the police. Soon after, the story breaks on local news, announcing that since Mrs Bartel’s confession, a further four ladies have come forward and have also admitted to being sexually abused by Dr Mott. All of this then seems to become too much for the doctor, who is being harassed by the press and faces a major punishment for his crimes, for he then takes his own life.

In a shocking turn of events, we then discover that he was in fact part of a family – composed of his wife, who we meet shortly after, and their unborn baby. Sadly, Mrs Mott has an accident very soon after her husband’s death, and she loses her baby. Left with no one, she seeks out the person that she blames for her life falling apart – Mrs Bartel, who she sees as the cause of her husband’s suicide, and, in turn, the loss of her baby.

And this is where the film gets really intense.

Six months after the death of Mr Mott, a woman turns up at the Bartel residence, enquiring about their nanny position. She introduces herself as Peyton Flanders – but we immediately recognise her as none other than Mrs Mott. Armed with a vengeance and a yearning for the family that she believes was taken from her by Claire Bartel, she soon sets a plan in motion, with disastrous consequences for all who stand in her way.

Now, don’t worry, I’m not going to spoil anything else for you – trust me, I want you all to watch this movie with fresh eyes so you can experience the same feelings of devastation and frustration and upset that comes with watching it.

But, I will take a moment to talk about this film in its entirety, not just the story it tells. The film itself is brilliantly executed – it encompasses the importance of vital shots that may be a clue to an upcoming event, but it implements these in a way that is subtle and sometimes barely even noticeable, if you’re not paying attention. Also, the entire feel of the movie is utterly gripping – it is enthralling and terrifying all at the same time, and it fully embraces that time-old dilemma of “I can’t look, and yet I can’t look away.” With tense moments that grow into scenes of utter panic and anger, this film is definitely one for the books, and the musical score just adds to its brilliance.

The cast, too, is an excellent facet – in particular, Solomon, a mentally handicapped man who starts work in the garden for the Bartel’s and soon befriends their young daughter, is a wonderful character and it is impossible not to fall in love with him and his gentle nature.

All in all, this film is just spectacular, although I don’t think I’ll be able to watch it again for a little while, for it’ll take me some time to recover from the tidal wave of emotions it evoked in me. I will say, however, that the film does ultimately end on a happy note, so don’t let my rambling dissuade you from giving it a watch.

5/5 – You should definitely have a Disney film ready to lighten the mood once you’re done with this rollercoaster of a production.

~Steph.

Guardians Of The Galaxy: Review- Not A Disney Castle In Sight!

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Hey everyone! doing my review a little early this week as for once I am prepared. I know right! bet you’re glad you were sitting down for that bombshell. Anyhoo If you haven’t guessed by the title (Then I’m seriously worried about you. Get some help.) this is a review about the latest Marvel film Guardians Of The Galaxy.

Now I’m a big comic fan boy and even I was surprised when Marvel announced that this film was going to be made especially when there are many other, much more popular, characters just waiting in the wings, *cough* Deadpool *cough*, but the more that emerged about this film the more I started to get really excited. The film looked like it was taking the Marvel universe to new plains and was going to open the gates to all the Sci-Fi story lines and characters Marvel has in its locker. The cast choices, while at first left me confused, were fantastic and after seeing trailer footage I was ready to see what was in store. Then I remembered Disney owned Marvel and I cried a little inside. Yes Avengers was epic and set the standard for the genre but since that first outing I have to be honest Marvel films have been a little hit and miss for me. Cap’ America 2 was decent, nothing to shout from the roof tops but stood its ground well, Thor 2 was a little meh but then again so was the first and Iron Man 3 was like watching a child fail at sport while their overly aggressive parent shouts at them to keep going. I was apprehensive.

Now this movie puts all those others to shame. After the little BSA ticket it’s just like BAM! right into the film. No logos or nothing. After a short set up the Marvel logo flashes and the film carries on and introduces the main character, his name’s Peter Quill(Chris Pratt) by the way, all the while doing the obligatory opening credits of who worked on the film. Luckily they don’t stop what’s going on and shove it in your face who made this movie, instead they put the names in corners and at the bottom of the screen to leave you to enjoy what you’ve paid to see. Now this may seem small but I feel like it sets the tone for a film. It says “Hey! We ain’t fucking around with your fancy pantsy ego boosting shit! We’re here to entertain you so you’re gunna need to pay attention from the get go! Capiche?” and I love it.

Now this is a spoiler free review so I won’t tell you any story specifics but this movie actually has a rather good one. The story is neat and tight and constructed rather well. You’re given enough information that it’s easy to follow but not so much that it becomes overly predictable (granted there are a few clichés dotted here and there but they’re forgivable). The ending to a lot of comic films I feel are where they get let down the most with the majority not having the satisfying feeling that films should have, in particular with final/boss battles. This film, and this is just my opinion, doesn’t suffer from this at all. The finale is just as epic as it should be and the ending is incredibly satisfying! Oh and for all of you that are reading this wanting to know the after credit sequence all I will say is that Guardians takes to the comic book trope like a duck to water.

The acting is some of the best I have seen in a comic book movie and every character feels real and really brought to life. I was most apprehensive about the WWE wrestler Dave Bautista being cast as Drax as wrestlers haven’t exactly made the best actors but He does incredibly well in the role and, other than the fact his arms are the size of my head, you wouldn’t have guessed that acting (don’t start with that wrestling is basically acting crap) wasn’t his first profession. Vin Diesel does incredibly well in the role of Groot with, and this isn’t sarcastic, some well delivered subtle voice acting. Same goes for Bradley Cooper as Rocket(Racoon). Zoe Saldana shows us again that she’s a fantastic actress in her role as Gamora . And not forgetting Chris Pratt who brings it all together in with a performance of the highest calibre.

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A lot of the time during this film I couldn’t help but feel that I was watching this generations Star Wars. God I’m going to get slaughtered for that comparison but its honestly true. The epic scale of everything and the level of detail in the different races and species that feature was very reminiscent of episode 4-6. It has the same strange charm about it as well. The film did something that most films of this genre can and that’s fill the viewer with that sense of wide eyed wonder. Sure super hero films do that for kids but kids get that same sense when they discover that the light in the fridge turns off when the door shuts. I’m talking about that feeling in Adults. Honestly try and think back to the last film that left you with the feeling of amazement. I have to go pretty far back. That makes me sad. The visuals were just brilliant especially(and I can’t believe Im saying this) in 3D. Yeah, really. It genuinely does add a depth to a lot of the action and sequences and there were a few moments where I was just like “3d was made for this kind of shit!”. The CGI was some of the better ones that I’ve seen and the mixture of practical props and CGI really work well.

Guardians Of The Galaxy Is quite possibly my favourite Marvel film to date and is definitely worth the price of a ticket to go and watch. I would give it a solid 8.5/10. It really does entertain but it still can’t shake the knowledge that you’re watching a good comic book movie not just a good movie and for that reason I can’t score it a 9. So very close though.

Oh and the soundtrack is fucking awesome!

 

Thanks for reading!

-Joe

Deconstructing Harry-Review

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“A surreal comedy that is both innovative and witty.”

 

Deconstructing harry is a comedy film written and directed by Woody Allen. The film tells the story of a successful writer named Harry Block (Allen), who draws inspiration from his own personal experiences and writes them into stories. Inevitably, given his numerous affairs and disastrous marriages, drawing from these experiences alienates more than a few individuals that have been involved in his life. The film in fact opens with one of his former lovers furiously confronting him, clutching his latest book in her hands. Inside the book is a detailed re-imagining of their nefarious relationship, with little other than the characters names being changed. The enraged former Mrs Block then proceeds to chase Harry onto the roof firing a revolver at him along the way.

 

Whilst there are many clever cut-aways and deviations, the central plot features Harry driving to a university that once expelled him, to receive an honorary degree. Along the way he is accompanied by an old friend, a prostitute and his young son (whom he has just kidnapped from his ex-wife.) During the journey there are numerous flashbacks and cutaways, some of which include segments of Harry’s writing. The film gets particularly interesting when Harry interacts with his own fictional characters. Here, the more surreal elements of the films come into play including segments in which a man (quite literally) goes out of focus and Harry visits Hell.

 

These cutaways and continuous time lapses could’ve quite easily run the film into the ground and made the plot a mess, but it hasn’t. The film’s structure is superb. The writing is also sound, and contains many witty remarks and great one-liners about sex and religion (two of my favourite subjects to ridicule and joke about.) It is also enjoyable to see some big names in films just doing small and modest roles before they became Hollywood big shots. Surprise cameos by Toby Maguire, Robin Williams and Mark Strong all play small but interesting fictional characters in Block’s writing.

 

One issue with the film that some may have however, is the time lapsed jarring that occurs through out the dialogue in the film. Every now and then the dialogue between two characters suddenly skips to a later point in the conversation. On occasion this can throw you off. Quite why Allen has chosen to do this likely remains up for debate, but personally I feel it is to show the deviating attention in Harry Block’s own mind.

 

Verdict

 

Whether you are a writer or not, this is a surreal comedy that is both innovative and witty, making it a sure fire hit for all.

 

4.5/5

Adult World – a review

Adult-World-Poster-438x650 After devouring every current season of the brilliant American Horror Story, I took a very strong liking to two of the stars of the show, Emma Roberts and Evan Peters; so, I decided to do some digging and unearth some other productions they had starred in so I could feed my growing adoration of them. Somewhere along my search for new movies, I stumbled across the curiosity-spiking ‘Adult World’, and after reading a synopsis, I knew I just had to watch it.

Focused on the plight of young Amy Anderson, an aspiring young poet who has just graduated from college, the film looks into her desire to become a published writer and to receive the praise she believes she deserves. However, her road to fame is rocky, to say the least, and after numerous rejections from a plethora of literary platforms, she is forced to find a job in order to pay off her mountains of student debt. After much fruitless searching, she reluctantly applies for a job at Adult World, a dingy adult bookstore/sex shop in downtown New York. There she meets Alex, a budding artist with a kind heart and a great sense of humour, and who adds a touch of joy to her life [which is currently void of much happiness at this point in the movie] because Amy’s character encompasses a lot of the melancholy and narcissism that is often associated with writers; but instead of it being clichéd or irksome, it is done in such a way that it comes across as humorous and entertaining, and is a part of what makes the movie so good.

The film then picks up the pace when two other major characters are introduced – the first being Rat Billings, a poet who had his time in the limelight quite a few year ago, but is now a recluse who enjoys nothing more than his own company. Amy, being a passionate fan of his, pursues him relentlessly until he agrees to be somewhat of a mentor to her in helping her with her poetry, and their journey from awkward strangers to kind-of friends is utterly brilliant to watch. The other character we meet is Rubia, a transgender woman with a sharp tongue loaded with hilarious quips and surprisingly heart-warming words of advice, and who takes Amy under her wing and offers her a friend at a time when she needs it most.

The introduction of these new people and experiences into Amy’s life truly opens her eyes, and she then begins to find inspiration in the most unlikely of places.

Led by a great cast [Emma Roberts, Evan Peters, John Cusack, Armando Riesco], ‘Adult World’is a fantastic movie about pursuing your dreams and how life doesn’t always happen the way you expect it to; sprinkled with comedic moments guaranteed to make you laugh, this film is definitely high up on my list of recommendations.

4/5 – Any writer will relate to Amy’s desperate [and countless] attempts to be recognised for her work, and this alone gives the movie a real and authentic feel.

~Steph.

Only God Forgives Review

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“Whilst I think it was better than most of the critics said it was. I can see why a lot of people had a problem with this film.”

 

Only God Forgives is a Danish- French art house crime written and directed by Nicolas Winding Refn, starring Ryan Gosling, Kristin Scott Thomas, and Vithaya Pansringarm. The film itself is set in Bankok and tells the story of Julian (Ryan Gosling) who is an American expatriate running a Thai boxing club that also acts as a front for a drug smuggling operation. After his older brother Billy is killed, Julian’s mother (Kristen Scott Thomas) demands that vengeance be dealt and that the man responsible is killed. One of the key figureheads responsible happens to be a local police lieutenant called Chang (Vithaya Pansringarm.) Matters are further complicated as Julian refuses to avenge Billy’s death when he discovered that he raped and killed an underage prostitute.

 

With a storyline like this, it comes as no surprise that this is a gritty film mostly shot in the dark alleyways of Bankok’s red light district. Here, is where the film is at its best. Each scene is very melancholic and eerie, rarely detracting from the events happening on screen. However whilst I think it was better than most of the critics said it was, I can see why a lot of people had a problem with this film. Some movies attempt, and have done successfully, to convey a narrative through actions and setting rather than through dialogue. Only God Forgives is another such film where you may have landed an easy gig, if you find yourself being put in charge of the script. Very little is said through out this movie, only ever really speaking to disclose some vital plot points or outline how a character is responding to a given situation. Given this fact, it is actually quite a challenge to comment on individual performances and, by asking fellow movie watchers, the actors and actresses will either do it for you or they wont. It’s all down to your own personal tastes.

 

This style of filming is strange in this film as first it plays to its strength but ultimately becomes its biggest downfall. In the first half hour of this film, this monotone, grumpy layout is interesting and really solidifies the ruthless attitude of the film. However once you start to hit that post 45-minute mark, the whole style becomes something of an exhausted approach. This relentless soliloquy of silence gradually looses artistic impact, and becomes nothing more than a series of people walking slowly into a room, glaring at another person for a bit, then slowly walking out. You soon find yourself becoming tired of this, and eventually beg for someone to just do anything; shout, shoot someone… anything to engage you in the plot.

 

Sadly I felt that the film never really recovered from this downfall, thus loosing impact, pacing, and inevitably my interest.

 

Verdict

 

Whilst credit must be given to the film for trying to do something different, the overly self-indulgent silence throughout is likely to put you off engaging with the film.

 

2.5/5