Posted in film, Lists

Top 10 Films To Look Forward To This Summer (2017)

Summer movie season is upon us once again, and unlike last year I am actually looking forward to a lot of films that will be out in the coming months. I will admit I struggled to choose my top ten but I am also pleasantly surprised by the amount of original or first time adapted films that are being released this year considering last year’s box office was overran by sequels and reboots.

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10. The Hitman’s Bodyguard

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One of the first original movies on the list, the Hitman’s Bodyguard looks like a hilarious outing with Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson. At the same time it could be a massive miss like R.I.P.D. Finger’s crossed its will be the comedy of the summer.

9. The Dark Tower

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I will admit I am unfamiliar with the story, all I know is that its a Stephan King adaptation that a lot of people have been trying to bring to the big screen for decades. The trailer looks impressive and I do love a bit of Idris Elba so hopefully it will be very enjoyable.

8. Baby Driver

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I’m a massive Edgar Wright fan so when this film was announced I knew it would be great. The reviews have been incredible so as as it’s been doing the festival circuit, so I am hoping this film will do well with audiences.

7. The Mummy

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The first reboot of the list, it’s a bit of stretch considering how badly the last mummy movie was. But from the look of the trailers, I think they’re not following the same pattern as the original trilogy which can be a good thing. It also has Tom Cruise in it so I’m taking that as a good sign as Cruise’s movies the last 5/6 years have been pretty good.

6. Spider-Man: Homecoming 

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If I’m being honest I will probably enjoy this, it’s Marvel and they have not had a miss in a few years so it will probably use the same MCU formula. What I’m more excited about is Tom Holland as I think he is a stellar actor (watch him in The Impossible!) and he was the stand out in Civil War.

5. Wonder Woman

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Ok I know the DC universe has had a really rocky start but the trailers for Wonder Woman have been pretty good and I think it will be quite enjoyable. Even if it doesn’t live up to expectations you have to remember that a live-action Wonder Woman movie has never been attempted and the fact that DC have a female fronted super hero movie is more than what the MCU have done.

4. Valerian and The City of a Thousand Planets

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I will admit I hate Cara Delevigne as an actress, I’ve watched her in a few things now so nope. That said I do like Luc Besson movies, he’s great director, and I really enjoyed Lucy despite it being completely bonkers. The trailer looks pretty cool and I really like the concept. Although it is adapted from a comic book and not original content, I would rather go see something I haven’t seen before than pay money to see Pirates of the Caribbean 5 (like did really need another one?!?!?!).

3. The Beguiled

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Although this is a remake, the original came out 46 years ago so it’s nice to introduce a new audience to something they probably wouldn’t have seen (I just hate remakes for films that have some out in the 90s onwards). Sofia Coppola has written and directed this  film so that is a plus as I loved The Virgin Suicides and The Bling Ring. It also has an amazing cast attached to it (Nicole Kidman, Colin Farrell, Kirsten Dunst, Elle Fanning). This probably won’t have a massive box office but I am hoping the critics will love it.

2.  War of The Planet of The Apes

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I love the planet of the apes movies, I’ve been a fan since I saw the original when I was a child (hate the Tim Burton one though!). These Andy Serkis Apes films that have been incredible, I enjoyed the last one even more than the first so hopefully Fox will be able to achieve the same success.

1. Dunkirk 

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There was no competition really, the moment that trailer came out for Dunkirk I knew this would be my most anticipated. Christopher Nolan is pretty much King cinema so I am hoping this film film blow everything out the water. Interstellar was a bit of a miss for me (it was too weird and confusing) so I am hoping this is Nolan’s return to form.

Posted in christmas, film

Christmas Films to Watch This December

I have already done a list of Halloween and Easter movie to watch so I though I’d round it off with a list of pretty awesome Christmas movies. So get cosy with these beloved Chrissy movies.

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Favourite Classics

IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE (1946)

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MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET (1947)

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80’s Gems

GREMILNS (1984)

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NATIONAL LAMPOON’S CHRISTMAS VACATION (1989)

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A CHRISTMAS STORY (1983)

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Best of the 90’s 

HOME ALONE (1990)

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JINGLE ALL THE WAY (1996)

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THE MUPPETS CHRISTMAS CAROL (1992)

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THE SANTA CLAUSE (1994)

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21st Century Movies

ELF (2003)

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LOVE ACTUALLY (2003)

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DR SEUSS’ HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS (2000)

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THE HOLIDAY (2006)

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JOYEUX NOËL (2005)

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Posted in film, Lists

Top Ten Favourite Films of All Time

Like any other movie lover, I have a top ten list of all time favourite films. Most of the films on this list have been permanent fixtures for years, but there are a couple that I have changed recently. This list is based on my own opinions and no one elses. Let’s begin…

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10. HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE (2005)

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This may be seen as a controversial decision, as majority of people usually favour the third instalment of the Harry Potter series. That said, I love the forth film, mainly because it was the first film that went totally dark (third film was the start), it had a great story with the tri-wizard cup, and more importantly it was the “beginning of the end” when Voldemort regenerated fully.

9. SHAUN OF THE DEAD (2004)

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This is such a great British comedy, in fact its probably one of the best comedies ever released. It is the first of the ‘Three Flavours of Cornetto trilogy’, Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright have taken the zombie genre and put their own spin on it. Highlights of this film is the incredible one-liners, and comedic timings from the entire cast.

8. THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA (2006)

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Another great comedy favourite of mine. Meryl Streep is amazing in this movie she really went all the way with the character of Miranda Priestly and delivered the best lines in this movies. Emily Blunt was also brilliant in this movie, despite only having under 20 minutes of screen time, that was all she needed. Other highlights from this movie is soundtrack (lots of Madonna!), and the styling, I remember watching movie and I literally just wanted everything Andy wore.

7. VERTIGO (1958)

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I first watched this film when I was studying Film Studies in school. It has been described as the greatest film of all time, and it is quite spectacular. Hitchcock is the ultimate king of suspense, this film has a brilliant plot with many twists, and the visual effects are stunning.

6. KILL BILL VOL. 1 (2003)

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I am a massive fan of Tarantino, every film he makes has a fantastic premise with his own ‘auteur’ style injected into it. Kill Bill vol 1 is by far my favourite, the visuals, music, amazing characters, and the razor tongue dialogue was on point. A highlight of this film is the anime short in the middle of the film of O-Ren’s origins.

5. GONE GIRL (2014)

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For me, Gone Girl is the perfect thriller. Its filled with so much suspense, and it has an amazing twist to it. I read the book as well, and to be honest the film is definitely on par with it. David Fincher who has directed some incredible films (Zodiac, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo) directed this piece. Rosamund Pike and Ben Affleck were spectacular and had the perfect amount of chemistry.

4. THE SOUND OF MUSIC (1965)

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The Sound of Music is my ultimate musical movie, I was pretty much raised on this. I can’t even count how many times I’ve seen this film. It is such a fun movie, the songs are great to sing along too, it has breathtaking visuals, and Julie Andrews is an absolute babe in the film!

3. PRETTY IN PINK (1986)

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This is my favourite teen movie, and before anyone asks I’m team Blaine. Its a perfect teen romcom/drama that I think a lot of people can relate to. The overall narrative is very reminiscent of Romeo and Juliet but instead of two warring families its two groups of teenagers who have different backgrounds in terms of social class and privilege at high school and IRL. Duckie is such a highlight of the film as well as James Spader who was pretty much Chuck Bass before Chuck Bass existed.

2. BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’S (1961)

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I love Audrey Hepburn! She is the epitome of class and beauty. Her performance as Holly Golightly is perfect. I love the 60s nostalgia this film possesses, and George Peppard was such a dream boar. There is that blip of racism in the form of Mickey Rooney that can dampen the movie, but the overall story and performance from Hepburn is spectacular.

1. AMERICAN BEAUTY (1999)

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This is probably my perfect movie. Its has the right amount of drama and humour mixed together. It has a great cast featuring Kevin Spacey, Annette Bening, and Thora Birch. It has an incredible score which gives me goosebumps everytime I listen to it, and the cinematography is breathtaking.

Posted in film, Reviews

The Girl on The Train – Film Review

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Commuter Rachel Watson (Emily Blunt) catches daily glimpses of a seemingly perfect couple, Scott and Megan, from the window of her train. One day, Watson witnesses something shocking unfold in the backyard of the strangers’ home. Rachel tells the authorities what she thinks she saw after learning that Megan is now missing and feared dead. Unable to trust her own memory, the troubled woman begins her own investigation, while police suspect that Rachel may have crossed a dangerous line.

Dubbed as the new “Gone Girl”, The Girl on The Train is a suspenseful thriller that I’m sure will pack cinemas this Autumn. After watching the trailer several months ago, I knew this was my type of film. I went to see it on Saturday and overall I really enjoyed it; there were a few things that could have been improved but I think it will be an audience pleaser.

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PROS

Emily Blunt’s Performance – Despite the plot which some might not like, Blunt’s performance as the alcoholic Rachel is probably her best performance to date. She plays a drunk well, Phil Mitchell style drunk (British soap reference). She gives different dimensions to the character of Rachel, who drinks her sorrows away after finding out she can’t have children and her husband leaving her for his pregnant mistress. Some scenes are very uncomfortable to watch to the point where it comes off as disturbing.

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Overall Visuals – The cinematography is outstanding, from the visuals we see on the train as it depicts Rachel’s state of mind (whether she is blindingly drunk or stone cold sober), the city visuals, to the suburban setting with the tunnel and woods depicting a dark mystery surrounding a young woman’s disappearance.

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Haley Bennet’s Performance – Bennet’s performance as Megan, the young woman Rachel watches on her commute who dissapears one evening, is a breakout moment. She gives a vulnerable performance of a woman who seems to have the picturesque life but is deeply unhappy. Bennet seems miles away from her role as International pop star Cora Corman in “Music and Lyrics”.

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Danny Elfman’s Score – Like many of his previous scores for films and shows such as “Edward Scissorhands”, and “Desperate Housewives”, Elfman provides the perfect score to highlight suburban living with dark and sinister undertones that give the film more depth.

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CONS

Little character development for Anna (Rebecca Ferguson) – I Liked that they gave the three women (Rachel, Megan, and Anna) a backstory and highlight how they are ver much alike, but I was a little disappointed that they gave so much character development with Rachel and Megan yet there wasn’t much to tell with Anna. We see flashbacks and development with Rachel and Megan and we get to see what they are like and why “they are the way they are”, but very little with Anna apart from a flashback scene back to when Tom was having an affair with her. I would have liked to see more of her story, how she felt about the affair, and more of an in-depth look at Anna’s feelings towards Rachel before and after Tom’s divorce.

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SPOILER POINT (DON’T READ IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN THE FILM)

Lack of an in-depth look of Rachel and Tom’s marriage – Although they showed various flashbacks between Tom and Rachel, there wasn’t much depth to them. I would have liked to have seen the breakdown of their marriage, and gone more in depth with how Tom manipulated and abused Rachel while she was heavily intoxicated.

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Plot Twist – To be honest I guessed Tom was the guy Megan was having an affair with and eventually murdered about 40 minutes into the movie. I think the only thing I was surprised about was Tom manipulating Rachel’s memories while she was drunk to make him seem like he’s a good guy. I would have liked it if it had the viewers questioning themselves a bit more thinking it was Megan’s husband or even making it look more and more like Rachel (who may have thought it was Anna). I wanted the twist to get under the viewers skin and for me it failed a bit.

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Overall despite the disappointing ending and the writer, director, producers etc. not properly utilising the material the film was based on, it was really enjoyable. It is certainly no “Gone Girl” but it had very strong performances from the cast, outstanding visuals and a eerie yet hypnotic score.

Final Rating – 3.5/5

Posted in film, Reviews

Bridget Jones’s Baby – Film Review

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Breaking up with Mark Darcy (Colin Firth) leaves Bridget Jones (Renée Zellweger) over 40 and single again. Feeling that she has everything under control, Jones decides to focus on her career as a top news producer. Suddenly, her love life comes back from the dead when she meets a dashing and handsome American named Jack (Patrick Dempsey). Things couldn’t be better, until Bridget discovers that she is pregnant. Now, the befuddled mom-to-be must figure out if the proud papa is Mark or Jack.

I love Bridget Jones, the first film was fantastic, the second not so much but still had many charming and funny moments. When they announced the third film last year I was a bit skeptical and then the sequel to “Zoolander” and “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” came out and I was completely unsure if I wanted to see it at all. That said after the trailers and reviews came out for the film I thought why not. In the end I was really impressed with this delightful instalment.

Here are my Pros and Cons:

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PROS

Original jokes – Unlike other sequels to films (that have come out more than ten years ago) that have come out recently, Bridget Jones’s baby have done an awesome job of writing original jokes. I noticed a trend this year with sequels like Zoolander and My Big Fat Greek Wedding where they relied too heavily on old gags that they knew new worked the first time and over-used them in the sequel. If anything I found that quite insulting, the audience is not stupid and won’t pay money to see a film which is basically the same as the original only worse. Bridget Jones could of relied on the old jokes but chose not to, and in the end it payed off. New gags but the original charm that made us love the first film.

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Patrick Dempsey – It was sad when Hugh Grant announced we would not be returning for the third instalment but when Patrick Dempsey was announced as his replacement, I knew it would be a great fit. Dempsey has done his fair share of Rom Coms so he knows the drill. In the end his character was what gave the film a fresh look and made it so great. If Hugh Grant’s Daniel Cleaver took his place, I think audiences and critics would of been bored as him and Mr Darcy have already battled for Bridget’s affections….in two films.

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Great Storytelling – The overall story was a delight, it was consistent, humorous, and was not boring whatsoever. I think there were two important points that made the story so great. First was they stayed away from Helen Fielding’s third Bridget Jones novel “Mad About The Boy”. Fans were very disappointed with the third novel, therefore when the time came to make the third movie, Fielding opted to change the story and give the fans something to love. Secondly they brought Emma Thompson in to co-write the script with Fielding. Thompson has had success with script writing in the past (Sense and Sensibility) so it felt natural for her to be involved and she brought out a great story with Fielding.

CONS

Too Americanised – Don’t get me wrong I understand the need to appeal to international markets, But when theres a story that people love and know so well, its not necessary. I felt that some aspects didn’t reflect the style of the original film, not the acting or story but the way it was edited really. For example there was less narration from Bridget and the end scene with Ellie Goulding’s “Still Falling For You” playing, it felt like an American rom com fairytale ending.

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No Hugh Grant – Like I said previously I think Patrick Dempsey was a great fit to the film and gave the film series a fresh take, but apart of me wished Hugh Grant popped into the movie for a scene and put on the Daniel Cleaver charm with Bridget, insult Mark, then pop right out. Maybe there is hope if they do another film.

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Final Rating – 4/5

Posted in film, Lists

Halloween Films to Watch This October

Out of all the seasons, I always find Autumn the best time of the year. In addition to the leaves changing, cool weather and seasonal drinks, there is of course Halloween. Christmas is my favourite holiday of the year, but Halloween is an awesome time to bundle up and watch some amazing cinematics. This is a list of all the great movies to watch this September/October!

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FAMILY-FRIENDLY

HOCUS POCUS (1993)

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SPIRITED AWAY (2003)

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THE BLACK CAULDRON (1985)

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SABRINA THE TEENAGE WITCH (1996)

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(Couldn’t find a gif of the film so here is Salem being awesome!)

HALLOWEENTOWN (1998)

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SLIGHTLY CREEPY FILMS

THE CRAFT (1996)

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FRIGHT NIGHT (2011)

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THE AWAKENING (2011)

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SCREAM QAUDRILOGY (1996-2011)

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THE CROW (1994)

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SCARY SHIT

A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET (1985)

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HALLOWEEN (1978)

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THE CONJURING (2013)

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THE RING (2003)

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PSYCHO (1960)

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Posted in film, Music, This Day In...

This Day in Pop Culture – 26th September

1944 – The Weakest Link star Anne Robinson, was born in Crosby, Merseyside, UK.

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1969 – The Brady Bunch premiered.

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1969 – The Beatles released “Abbey Road” in the UK.

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1981 – Musician Christina Milian, was born in Jersey City, New Jersey, USA.

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1984 – Prince released the single “Purple Rain”.

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1986 – Bobby Ewing rose from the dead in ‘Dallas”.

2006 – Facebook was opened to everyone over the age of 13.

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2006 – The Departed premieres in New York City.

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2008 – American film legend Paul Newman, passes away.

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