Category: Film

Film Review: A Quiet Place

Posted on by 5WC in Film

I don’t watch many horror films. It’s a genre that has never really appealed to me because I find it’s often too polarised in its construction to be really entertaining. Films seem to forget the need for a plot and become dominated by the single idea of trying to scare you. Boringly plodding along, hanging everything on either the monotony of “quiet, quiet, BANG” suspense or shockingly repulsive over the top gore. Both of which cause me to mentally withdraw.

What does work for me, however, is tension. I like horror when it doesn’t conform. When it builds and builds and builds, driving you to the edge of your seat because you can’t face the thought of what may happen next. Get rid of the gore, get rid of the clichéd scare tactics, and play with the unknown. Build emotional naivety into a twisting, real story and you can easily keep me awake at night. It’s just that too few films have the courage to stick with it and not shout “BANG” just as I’m beginning to panic. Read more

Film Review: Love, Simon

Posted on by 5WC in Film

There is a predictability to the film industry that is as regular and reassuring as clockwork. You can guarantee that each year will start off with hard-hitting stories that are baiting the upcoming awards season. This will be followed up by school holidays littered with CGI comic book adventures before Christmas arrives with a huge blockbuster release. All padded out and supported by a foundation of franchise follow-ups and happy-go-lucky tales of growing old (dis)gracefully staring the elder statesmen of Hollywood.

You can also be sure that the high school uniforms will out in force. Every year, the already flooded genre of “American Teenage Coming of Age Tales” will get reworked to reflect the changing world and attitudes we now inhabit. Whether it’s through the dark seriousness of Cruel Intentions, the introspective search of The Perks Of Being A Wallflower or just the warm plagiarism of She’s All That – to name just three – the genre has been providing comedic examination and explanation, to reassure and guide, ever since, this one time, at band camp… Read more

Film Review: Armageddon

Posted on by 5WC in Film

When I relaunched this blog, I wasn’t planning to restart writing film reviews. I haven’t put down my quill of opinion, but found previously, sharing my thoughts caused some of the love of film I hold to be lost. I reached a point where I was watching a film so I could write a review, rather than writing a review because I’d watched a film. It had become a job I felt obliged to do and taking a step back was the only way regaining the enjoyment.

Watching Armageddon, however, I felt I had to air my thoughts. It is a shockingly awful film, but at the same time, it is wonderfully brilliant. It sums up, exactly, the reason I started writing film reviews. I would joke that I was fed up of listening to critics, waxing lyrical about how a director had “invoked the imagery of a 4th century Rubicon painting, while combining the thinking and philosophy in a lexicon of hybrid ideas, with the left wing Neoplasmic tones of the 16th century French romanticist Dubois”. When, in fact, I’d really spent 2 hours watching animated cats! All I wanted to know was if I went to the cinema, and spent £10 on a ticket, would I enjoy it, or would I be wasting my money? Read more

Film Review: Ready Player One

Posted on by 5WC in Film

I can still vividly remember reading Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One. It’s by far the best book I’ve ever picked up. I couldn’t stop reading as the pop culture of the ‘80s and 90’s that I grew up with was brought joyously back to life, digitised into a world of virtual reality and mixed into an amazing futuristic Willy Wonka inspired treasure hunt. It was a book that just oozed a narrative quality I have yet to see matched.

After turning over the final few pages my mind, I instantly thought: “this’d make a cracking film” so when I discovered that it was already in production, with Hollywood heavyweight Steven Spielberg at the helm, it seemed like all my Christmas’s had come at once. Ready Player One was coming to the big screen and I couldn’t wait. Read more

My Top 5 Movies of 2015 – A review of the Year, Part 2

Posted on by 5WC in Film, Opinion
Top 5 Movies Of 2015

So, following on from my worst 5 movies of 2015 and concluding my movie review of 2015, here are my top 5 films.

I always believe that the only real way to pick the top movies you’ve seen in a year is to round them all up and go with your gut feeling, that instant recall when you see their title. I don’t try to over think it, read back over reviews, pondering my thoughts and minutely comparing details. It means that my list may be missing films of better technical quality, narrative, or performance, but that’s not what makes the best films of the year for me. I want those films that by simply mentioning there names have put me back there, feeling that tickle of excitement and passion that I did when I saw them. Read more

My 5 Worst Films Of 2015 – A review of the Year, Part 1

Posted on by 5WC in Film
My 5 Worst Films Of 2015 - Header

While I may not have watched anything like the number of films during 2015 that I did during 2014 (it’s still an impressive 134 so far), the year has produced a lot of memorable moments for both good and bad reasons. As I did last year it seems, as Christmas fades into memory and you start to hear people bemoaning “I can’t believe it’s 2016 already, that year flew by”, only right to look back over the best and worst films the year had to offer.

So, starting with the worst and, in no particular order: Read more

Film Review: Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Posted on by 5WC in Film

It is fair to say that, in a year which has given us a new James Bond movie, the reopening of Jurassic Park and the insane re-imagination of George Millers Mad Max franchise, one movie has stood head and shoulders above all else. Star Wars: The Force Awakens. I don’t think I can remember a movie being as anticipated and pedestaled in the way it has. To say the pressure of expectation upon its shoulders has been immense would be an understatement and a half.

I’m not a diehard fan of the franchise. I’ve seen both the original trilogy and the prequel trilogy. I hold both in equal measure, liking them but not really loving with them. I find them inoffensive and easy to watch. To me they are just fantasy escapism, I’ve never got caught up with the deeper political messages littered within. As a result, they will never be my first choice movie to watch, yet even so, I have felt the butterflies in my stomach as the franchise was above to scream back into life. It is the final film of my “10 films of 2015” I’ve been waiting to see and, as the marketing machine has saturated my life, for the first time ever, I’ve truly felt the pull of the franchise – the speciality and charm it has to offer. Read more

Film Review: Bridge of Spies

Posted on by 5WC in Film

I mentioned in my review of ‘Salem’s Lot by Stephen King how, in my mind, I liken King to Steven Spielberg. That they have reached the pinnacle of their industries and, as such, command respect and admiration through sheer reputation alone. To borrow a sporting term “they are a safe pair of hands”, however, this idealistic thinking forces their association to raise expectations. Whether justified or not.

The reason I say that is because the one Stephen King novel I’ve read I didn’t really enjoy, and Spielberg has produced an interesting reel of films over the last decade that seem to swing wildly in quality (Lincoln versus War of the Worlds and the 4th Indiana Jones film for example). So maybe the mental image I hold, that they can produce no wrong, is in fact, not entirely right? Read more

Film Review: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2

Posted on by 5WC in Film

The Hunger Games saga seems to have been around forever. Trying to think back to when I first saw Jennifer Lawrence arrive on the big screen as Katniss Everdean, fighting for her life, in the opening salvo of Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games trilogy, it seems like a life time ago. Apparently, it’s only been 4 years, but it’s reached such a saturation point that I would have sworn it was longer.

I remember that opening movie well because I had turned my nose up to it for a long time (it was teenage dystopian nonsense after all) but watching it, it provided so much more, and me so wrong. It sucked me in and, while it pre-dates the reviews on this blog, won me over with the deep emotive messages it so easily conveyed. It felt real and scary, had me panicked and on the edge of my seat. Yes, it’s teenage dystopian nonsense, but it is nonsense about characters I inexplicably came to care about. I wanted them to be safe. So when Catching Fire arrived I was expecting a lot, only to be left disappointed by a film that felt beyond the “difficult second album”  and instead appeared disjointed and unconnected to the level or depth and empathy the first film had created. Read more

Film Review: Carol

Posted on by 5WC in Film

It is fair to say that Carol, Todd Haynes first film since his strange Bob Dylan biopic ‘I’m Not There.’ in which 6 different actors all played the titular role (including Cate Blanchett), is never going to be a mainstream movie. Its appeal will never be broad and I fear it’s going to be forgotten long before it’s time. And that, in part, is a shame.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a cult classic waiting to be discovered, there is no rough diamond in need of a polished. What there is, however, hidden beneath a ponderous exterior, is a very thought provoking look at not only the power within a relationship, but also, the power within forbidden love and the psychology of desire, lust and passion that encompasses it. While they approaches these subjects from very polaristic starting points, I came away from Carol thinking it’d make a great companion piece of The Duke of Burgundy. Read more

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