Film Review: Frozen

Posted on by 5WC in Film

There are just times when you need to escape, you need I need a break from the everyday trials and stresses of life. Those moments where you just need to switch your brain off, forget about life and essentially spend some time having a mind numbing, do nothing experience.

Today is one of those days and Frozen is one of those films.

There is no denying that as a 30 year old, I am not the target audience they had in mind when painstakingly creating Frozen. It is aimed primarily at young children and you can tell. Loosely based on Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale The Snow Queen, Frozen is a mash up of musical, meets cartoon, meets cynical “Christmas” money spinner, whether that be through its over use of 3D or obvious attempt at merchandise creation. Read more

The Adventures of PINOCCHIO At The Watermill Theatre

Posted on by 5WC in Stage

For once I get to bring you a review of something that isn’t a film! Each year my family traditionally head to our local independent theatre – the brilliant Watermill at Newbury – to catch up with the Christmas production. Whether it’s Treasure Island, Arabian Nights or Wind In The Willows, it is a cracking night out and the perfect way to get out of the house over the festive period.

This year saw the story of Pinocchio brought to the stage, a story that I believe everybody knows. To a point. It’s a tale that when asked we all go “yeah the puppet who’s nose grows as he lies” but dig a little deeper, question a little bit more, and nobody really knows much more about the story, the characters or whatever exactly happens – unless they have small children and have recently seen the Disney Cartoon.

Read more

Film Review: Die Hard

Posted on by 5WC in Film

Time for a confession. I haven’t seen any of the Die Hard films. I know, I know. Even with the guarantee of every single one being shown over Christmas, I have still managed in the 12 years I’ve been “legally” able to watch them never seen them – they’ve always just pasted me by.

So, I decided that this year I would change this. I would make amends and dip my toes into the world of John McClane, and watch Die Hard. After all, with them being shown on the TV, I didn’t really have an excuse not to record them and, as New Year was approaching, and my hatred of all things party and celebratory for what is, the most over-rated even of the year. Seeing in 2014 with Bruce, a hot mug of chocolate and a warm fire seemed more appealing that a bank robbing night out in the bars and clubs. Read more

Film Review: Mary Poppins

Posted on by 5WC in Film

As it’s post Christmas you can guarantee a few things:

  1. You probably don’t want to ever see a turkey again,
  2. You have probably played every board game you own at least once and,
  3. Dick Van Dyke will be on your TV at least once a day.

I can happily tick those 3 off pretty quickly, and for today’s offering of Van Dyke we have that festive staple, Mary Poppins. Now having not long ago watched Saving Mr Banks, it seemed slightly insensitive to PL Travers, not to watch the film that in one respect, she fought so strongly against allowing to be made. Read more

Film Review: UP

Posted on by 5WC in Film

A night with nothing on the TV and amazingly, for once, nothing recorded on the Sky+ box meant one thing. Search the EPG for something to watch. And I found it. Disney Pixar’s 2009 animated smash, Up.

Described simply, it’s the tale of an old man, who threatened with a court order placing him into a retirement home, decides to tie a load of toy balloons to his house and keep a promise to his departed wife and go on the adventure of a life time to paradise falls. Taking small mailman Russell along for the ride. Read more

Film Review: Before Midnight

Posted on by 5WC in Film

Forming, the third part of the “Before…” series of films, Before Midnight had a huge amount to live up to. Richard Linklater’s series of films portraying the evolving relationship of Jesse and Céline have largely gone under the radar of the mainstream, but for any film fan should sit firmly, and lovingly in the collection.

As a series of film that simply look at the development of a relationship, through nothing but speech and conversation, Before Sunrise and Before Sunset drew us into a world of beauty, naivety, passion and love. Whether you viewed the plot and its ageing development as “arty farty”, never would happen like that unrealism, or a touching story of soul mates, true love and endless emotions isn’t important. And the chances are anyway, when compared to how you perceive your life and how most people feel love “works” you’ll sit somewhere between those two views. Read more

Jesus Christ Superstar (Live Arena Tour) On DVD

Posted on by 5WC in Stage

As it’s the time of year when just about every film that even mentions Christmas in the script no matter what the overall plot may be gets an outing it seems only right that we remember the true meaning of Christmas (by the way, why is the ‘t’ silent considering it’s Christ’s celebration not Chris’?) and watch the latest incarnation of Lord Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s rock musical smash. And anyway, it was either that or Fred Claus on Channel 5!

I wasn’t really sure what to quite expect as I sat down and prepared myself for 100 minutes of religious heavy metal. The cast is very “celebrity” with the lead role picked by public vote (although he does have a “proper” stage background) all mixed happily together with a reimagining of the timeline to position BC firmly into AD. Read more

Film Review: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Posted on by 5WC in Film

Peter Jackson returns with the 2nd helping of The Hobbit. The Desolation of Smaug. I really enjoyed the first film, and dear I say it, I actually enjoy the plot and story of The Hobbit more than the Lord Of The Rings trilogy. However, Mr Jackson’s decision to use all source material – whether through a dedication and love to the world created by JRR Tolkien, or a cynical marketing ploy to stretch and pad the timeline to such an extent he can edit it into three films is for another debate.

However, Smaug the magic dragon puff’s his way brilliant back onto our big screen. As it’s the “middle movie” we don’t need character set up, karaoke night at the local all you can eat or a reintroduction to middle earth. We simply need and get “Action!”. Read more

Film Review: Nebraska

Posted on by 5WC in Film

Nebraska was one of those last minute movies – it had somehow totally slipped me by – and it was only when a friend on twitter said she wanted to see it that I even knew it existed. A quick watch of the trailer, listen to Mark Kermode’s review and a few clicks on Vue’s “What’s on?” page and I was off to see essentially the last performance of it as it’s run on the big screen was rather limited and short to say the least. Which is such a shame.

As I was going in with very much a limited knowledge of plot and quite what to expect, my preconceived ideas and the reality they met where together and yet distant (I must buy a thesaurus as I’m sure they must be a single posh word that means “together yet distant”!). Read more

Film Review: The Butler

Posted on by 5WC in Film

I honestly think there will be a lot of people who go to see the Butler expecting a heart warming tale of one man’s career. A career spent serving Mr President. And a plot that takes you on a journey through the political landscape of 21st Century America as viewed from within the White House, but by a set of eyes unable to comment, influence or affect anything that happens.

Instead you get met with a story essentially evolving around the civil rights movement in the United States and one man’s journey from picking white cotton on a farm as a boy to working in a white house as a man simply to provide for his family. Read more