Category: Film

Film Review: Inside Out

Posted on by 5WC in Film

I am fascinated by the brain and why we perceive the world the way we do. How our emotions can be shaped by our environment and social interactions and how mental health has such a dramatic impact on all aspects of life. It’s a fascination that I have always had, always looking to answer the question “why?” rather than the question “how?” but it’s my own recent issues with mental health that has truly ignited my passion and which have lead me to be on the verge of starting a psychology degree at University.

So when Pixar returned from a “year off”, that I must admit I hadn’t noticed, with a trailer selling a film that personified of the emotions within our heads I instantly took noticed. The problem was I felt the trailer looked immature and childish, that rather than being emotional it would be comic and that put me off it slightly. Then reviews started appearing claiming this to be an absolute marvel and a cinematic risk of storytelling that Pixar get spot on. I even heard a review from a clinic psychologist explaining how moved she was by the film that she’d use it as a basis for working with children professionally! Read more

Film Review: The Man From U.N.C.L.E.

Posted on by 5WC in Film

I truly believe that I am the tipping point when it comes to The Man From U.N.C.L.E.. That my generation – the thirty-something’s – are the point where this movie loses its audience. I have never seen an episode of the original TV series, in fact, I can’t outline it’s plot, name any characters or even when it was set (I would have been a decade out, assuming it was in 1970’s) but I have heard of it. It’s a name that means something to me even if, as said, I know no details, but I’m not sure you can say that for those younger than me.

And I think that’s going to be a huge problem for Guy Ritchie’s latest film. I caught the trailer before Southpaw and while I thought it looked fairly interesting, didn’t really give it a second glance until it announced, at the end, its title and then the brand gave it provenance. Forgiving all previous thoughts and generating the interest needed to draw me in. But that created the problem, the trailer doesn’t give you enough, it doesn’t tell you what to expect. Read more

Film Review: Southpaw

Posted on by 5WC in Film

It’s been very nearly a month since I saw Amy, the last film I’ve watched. I think I’d literally reached a point where I felt saturated by the concentration they demand and the subsequent pressure to write these reviews. However, over the past week or so I’ve started to feel a natural draw back towards them. I’ve started to feel like I want to lose myself into their worlds, to debate their stories and feel their emotions once again.

I knew nothing about Southpaw until I saw the trailer before the screening of Mr Holmes and yet, that brief tease was enough to worm the film into my life and make me want to see it. The trailer did it job and I’ve been patiently waiting for it to arrive. It’s pull was strong enough to get me back into the cinema even though the general reviews I’ve heard, including an interview with lead actor Jake Gyllenhaal, did little to suggest the film was actually any good. Read more

Film Review: Amy

Posted on by 5WC in Film

I saw Amy Winehouse live twice. And while not technically accurate, I surmise it as: once when she was sober and once when she was drunk. To say there was a marked difference between the two would be an understatement. When Amy Winehouse wanted to sing, you stopped and you listened whether you liked Jazz music or not. Talent overrules all else.

I don’t mind Jazz from time to time and so was already drawn to her music, but with the media frenzy that hounded her very public battle with drink, drugs and mental illness you couldn’t help but be sucked along on the implosion that was her life. I can still clearly remember seeing her first ever appearance on Never Mind The Buzzcocks with her hair down and friendship in her eyes, a million miles away from the transformation to beehives, tattoos and eyes that held contempt that is now the image of her held in statue. And I will, for the rest of my life, remember working at my kitchen table when Radio 1 interrupted their schedule to announce she’d died. Read more

Film Review: Minions

Posted on by 5WC in Film

It’s currently 32ºC outside, so why moan that it’s “too hot” as a table fan stutters depressingly left and right almost audibly sighing as it stirs nothing but warm air, when you can be blast chilled in a cinema, avoiding both the mid day sun and popcorn munching, always talking children, while watching Minions?

Why? Because it’s not very good.

The minions were destined for their own spin off film from the minute they stepped foot in Gru’s lair 5 years ago. And that’s my problem. Minions feels rushed. It’s been 2 years since Despicable Me 2 and for an animation of the scale of Minions that really isn’t very long. As a result, it doesn’t feel like a film that has had time and passion spent creating it, making it as polished and perfect as they could, instead lacking that little spark needed to make it into a classic and give it longevity. Read more

Film Review: Mr Holmes

Posted on by 5WC in Film

Currently Hollywood loves the comic book and every character imaginable is being rolled out into a franchise. But to ensure we never lose sight of those who lead the way, and to keep them fresh, we’re being treated to their “origin story”. A simple idea of taking a well loved and popular character and instead of unleashing them again in another formulaic adventure that would get lost in the saturated genre they now inhabit, we are given their background, their beginnings. Telling us how they came to be, showing us the person behind the mask as it were.

Recent examples include: Batman, Spiderman, The X-Men and even James Bond and whilst origin stories are traditionally kept to the superhero genre, as Bond showed, the trend is starting to leak out into the surrounding subsets and the latest attempt to expand a well loved character out beyond their natural territory, is slightly surprisingly, Sherlock Holmes. With the post investigatory mumblings of Mr Holmes. Read more

Film Review: The Longest Ride

Posted on by 5WC in Film

I’ve never read a Nicholas Sparks novel, I don’t even think I’ve seen a film adaptation of his work and if I’m honest I slightly wish that I could still say that is the case. Unfortunately, his latest cinematic offering – The Longest Ride – while not looking overly impressive didn’t appear too bad either and with Meercats, cheap day ticket offers and my Mother meandering towards wanting to see it, a combined trip to the cinema of less than £10 seemed a reduced enough risk to take to finally take the plunge into the world of Nicholas Sparks.

Sparks writes romantic dramas, but according to a few critics, he actually writes the same drama over and over again. The romance of a girl, meeting a boy, from opposing lives; falling in love falling out of love, before the epiphany and realisation of the fundamentals of true love whilst, apparently, someone always dies. The End. You just have to look at the film posters for the novels brought to life to see the standard theme of a boy and girl kissing in front of a golden sunset to know exactly what I’m on about. And The Longest Ride continues that trend without error. Read more

Film Review: The Age Of Adaline

Posted on by 5WC in Film

The Age Of Adaline has skirted my life ever since its initial release. I have never felt really drawn to watch it, coming close once only for illness to dictate otherwise, but in my mind it’s always been a “take it or leave it” type of film. A rainy day affair which would fail to excite or disappoint in equal measure, leaving you nonplussed and the critics lukewarm in their simplistic praise.

My mother, however, felt differently, and while slightly shy, obviously wanted to see it. It’s fair to say she was drawn to it more than I, and almost seemed disappointed when I told her it had finished it’s big screen run. So when my local independent cinema put on a single showing, at the same time as my Father’s birthday, it seemed a good idea to have a celebratory family night out and allow my mother to be happily disappointed. Or so I thought. Read more

Film Review: Black Swan

Posted on by 5WC in Film

I’ve spoken before about how I find it fascinating how your reactions to movies can change over time, over mood and over life experiences. That a film that you once thought poor or emotionally removed can suddenly create sensations and responses far beyond from any memory you may hold and Black Swan has become exactly that type of film.

I first saw it not long after Natalie Portman picked up her Academy Award for her performance as Nina/The Swan Queen. People were raving about it as a work of exquisite film making and emotional story telling while lauding Portman for her the technical brilliance. And I sat there and watched it and just felt detached. I remember feeling cold and uninspired by this dark and warped tale that seemed too extreme and polar in the story it told, the characters it used and world it conveyed. I knew it was good but I didn’t understand why you’d enjoy it. Read more

Film Review: Young Adult

Posted on by 5WC in Film

There can be no question that when it comes to Mad Max: Fury Road, it is Charlize Theron who steals the show. So impressive and central is her performance that a lot of people are even arguing that it is in fact, her movie rather than Max’s! But this limelight seems odd, because she’s an actress that I have always felt has snuck somewhat under the radar. An A-List name who shies away during a film. Her filmography is impressive: The Cider House Rules, Men Of Honour, The Italian Job, Snow White & The Huntsman just a few example, and also the films I own, yet thinking about them, I struggle to remember her roles with any clarity.

I also own Young Adult, in which she takes the lead, and once again I remember nothing about it, or her. But having seen her stunning performance in Mad Max I was somehow drawn back to it. Wanting to remember, prepared to take the risk. But there was just something a little uneasy in the back of my mind, the box art, the title, all seemingly implying a cheap, throwaway comedy and that unease grew when the opening titles rolled and the name: Patton Oswalt appeared on screen. Read more