Hey. You There

Just a quick reminder that you can find me on the link below now.

I miss you guys.

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Come Over To The New Blog.

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I Have Moved

Hi Guys,
In order to make my blog easier to handle now I am coming back full time and to change it's look a little bit I have decided to move.

You can now find me at thisgirlonfilmblog.wordpress.com

Hope to see you there xx
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DVD Review - Hick (2011)

Hick (2011) Poster

Seeing that Hick starred both Chloe Grace Moretz (Kick Ass) and Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything), and knowing that these two were new favourites of mine, was enough to make me watch. What I didn't realise is that Hick was going to turn out to be one of those films that made me really really mad. I guess I better explain...

Moretz plays Lulli McCullen, a girl who is trapped in a home with alcoholic parents. A girl who dreams of something better, and a girl who one day decides to chase that dream by running away to Las Vegas.The film's start is basically this premise stretched out beyond believe and despite meeting the characters of the two named stars within fifteen minutes, it's edges along at a dreary pace.

Redmayne's character, Eddie Keezer picks Lulli up while she is trying to hitchhike her way to the bright lights and then subsequently leaves her two minutes later. This brief appearance isn't enough to have much of an impact but boy does Redmayne change that later. More on that in a bit though because we need to talk about the person who dominates much of the first act and that is Blake Lively, from TV's Gossip Girl.

Was I expecting anything at all from Lively's characterisation of Glenda, the girl who eventually finds Lulli and takes her along for the ride? Probably not if I am honest but in fairness I warmed to her straight away. I liked her sass and the fact that she was more hardened to the world than Lulli.Don't get me wrong here, Moretz wasn't bad as such. I got that Lulli was ultimately a nice girl from a tough place in life but if there was outshining to be done, Lively did it. I kinda wanted Glenda to be my big sister, if my big sister encouraged me to try cocaine that is.

Anyway, this was point one of my contention with Hick as a film. Although Lively did something to make it watchable, the entire first act (and most of the second) ambled along like a typical road trip movie. At times it felt excruciatingly slow with pockets of movement that were never explained or developed. It felt like I watching the clock and waiting for something to either happen or for the film to end. When I say this film was slow, that really is an understatement.

It isn't until the end of the third act when the film takes a complete different route and pace. It's also when Redmayne becomes the absolute saviour of the whole thing and is bloody marvellous! Okay, maybe that's going a little too far but he outshines both Moretz and Lively with his twisted characterisation of Eddie. He has this air of 'something not quite right', which of course manifests itself in the lead up to the film's conclusion, and he made me feel uneasy. Also, have you ever noticed just how contorted Redmayne's face can get? I did while watching this and it's quite special. In all seriousness though, the acting isn't the problem with this film and although Redmayne's character was definitely the most developed there was believability coming from all three stars.

 What gave me a major headache was after all that waiting around for the bulk of the film to go somewhere, the change of pace was so fast it felt scrambled. EVERYTHING flung itself together over the last twenty minutes making it disjoint itself from the ambling road trip to feel like two separate films. I just wish there would of been a little bit more cohesion and the action was dripped in slowly because by the conclusion I was missing the steadiness of the first two acts. I know right?!

Hick could of been a film full of drama had it been tweaked a little. The bits that were undeveloped at the beginning could of been drawn out a little more to break up the monotony. The action at the end could of been introduced earlier allowing the viewer more time to make sense of it all... I realise that I am completely rewriting the film here of course but this is why I got so mad. What could of been a fab film instead fell mediocre.

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Cinema Review - Containment (2015)

I don't know how to start this review without sounding like I'm bashing British thriller films but risking sounding unpatriotic, I do struggle with them if I am honest. The last film that even remotely fitted into the genre that I enjoyed was back in 2011 with The Innkeepers but I'm always on the look out for something to change my mind and that is why Containment entered the ring. The writer David Lemon and director Neil Mcenery-West were both completely new to me so I went in with no expectations. Having seen the trailer, all I really knew was that it was a British thriller with a sci-fi vibe.

The story starts with Mark, Lee Ross (Dawn of the planet of the Apes), waking up in his apartment and finding himself sealed off from the rest of the world. His windows don't open, his door has been glued shut and he has no power inside his home. After the expected confusion he realises that everyone else in the block are experiencing the same thing and wonders why and of course, how to get out.

This initial build up is promising. The direction is slow and lofty with brooding shots that I actually enjoy.The whole situation is played as bewildered rather than frantic and really helps with understanding Mark as a character. Ross does him well and he becomes one of the few people to care about as the film progresses, this is definite testament to the opening scenes.

As other characters are introduced and the plot tries to thicken the film becomes messy. It's worth pointing out that although Andrew Leung (Lilting) is believable as passionate Sergei, the good cop/bad cop routine between him and Mark comes across as boring and predictable. Another performance worthy of mention is Sheila Reid as Mark's next door neighbour Enid. I only know Reid from playing mad cap Madge in UK series Benidorm and in this more serious role she was heart warming while still adding a comedic touch.

It's fair to say then that on a whole the acting wasn't terrible but somewhere this film truly lacked. For almost 45 mins it tries suspense but never really gets there, instead the scenes become drawn out and tedious. By the time any real action starts it's easy to have lost interest and although there is a couple of touching scenes within the third act, they get lost.

The third act and conclusion is a strange one because the film doesn't seem to have a secure point to end on. What happens is a return to the lull viewed before the ten minutes of drama and action. It's a lull that just drips by until the credits roll and we realise it's all over. Containment was saved slightly for me by good British actors but I didn't really care enough about where the plot was taking them and breathed a sigh of relief when I could up and leave. It's a shame.

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Looking Forward - The Jungle Book (2016)

A teaser trailer hit this week for the live action adaptation of Walt Disney's The Jungle Book and boy oh boy it looks like it's going to be a blinder. 

The project has been pretty hush hush up until now but the trailer gives us more clues as to what to expect from the new film directed by Jon Favreau. For a start, the film isn't going to be a straight forward live action extravaganza. In fact, there's heavy elements of CG involved too in both the animals and environment of the much loved classic, and you know what... it looks flawless.

There are loads of big names involved too including Ben Kingsley (Ghandhi) and Bill Murray (Ghostbusters) but it's Scarlett Johansson (Lucy), who voices Kaa the snake who features heavily in the less than two minute clip. Of course, I am excited about Mowgli because I love the little blighter and he is played by newcomer Neel Sethi who looks absolutely adorable!

Don't believe me, see for yourself.

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Netflix Exclusive - Creep (2014)

Creep (2014) Poster

In a previous post I exclaimed my excitement for this to hit Netflix and today I finally found the time to be able to sit down and give it the attention, I feel, it richly deserves. What I was hoping for was a dark, taut thrill ride full of suspense and uncomfortable weirdness. Did I get it? Read on and find out...

Released exclusively for Netflix on July 14th Creep is billed as a found footage horror film and is the brain child of Patrick Brice and Mark Duplass who between them wrote, directed and starred in it. It seems to follow a simple plot and tags quite nicely onto the queue of films within the found footage genre but (and here's the good part) it has one massive thing going for it that I feel helps it stand alone.

Brice plays videographer Aaron who answers an advert on craigslist to do a days work for Duplass's character Josef. He drives out to a remote location without much information about the job at hand, meets up with his new 'boss' and the story follows from there.

That really is it, it's all very simple, and for me this is where the film's pros start coming. There is no mass set up or drawn out introduction process in order to give either character a back story; instead the film jumps straight in and continues to tick along at a solid pace. I loved this because it kept my interest and started the run on that massive thing this film has (that I talked about earlier).. piles and piles of tension. The tension gets to build right off the bat because like Aaron the viewer is stepping into complete unknown territory. The found footage element allows us to see the plot through his eyes and the characters develop right in front of ours.

Both Duplass's acting and the characterisation of Josef is brilliant. Through the first act of the film I felt real sympathy for him. Don't get me wrong there was always that wisp of weird hanging in the air but if I hadn't read the synopsis first, I would've thought this film was going in a whole different direction. There are elements of dark comedy in Creep too and most of that comes from Duplass. It wasn't laugh out loud funny but then I don't believe it's meant to be. Instead it left me feeling uncomfortable and quite heavily so. There were moments when I caught myself trying to get my head around this paradoxical character Duplass was playing. He really confused me in a bad way that became good as I felt a lump in my throat more than once. I thought back to another of Duplass's writing credits Cyrus and realised that I was becoming wrapped in the same shroud of odd I was the first time I saw that and as Cyrus still makes me shudder that has to be testament to Duplass.

Brice is great too. Alex is played more straight than Josef but if you think that this film is a simple case of good vs bad you'll be mistaken. There's something definitely not quite right about this character either and Brice plays it with such conviction that it's almost too late before you realise. I love little things like this films, the bits that make your head swim and question what you have just been watching. The second act is quite twisty but as that tension is always an under current none of it is in your face, instead it's subtle mirroring Brice's depiction of Alex. Fab!

The plot itself burns slow making parts of it almost unwatchable. Not because it's bad mind you, it's the intensity of it all. That tension I keep mentioning is there right to the very end and is in absolutely everything. It's in the acting, the direction and the plot and at times it's completely overbearing. It's been a while since a film has been able to do that to me and I absolutely loved it. More please!  
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Looking Forward - Zoolander 2 (2016)

If I had to write a definitive list of films I could watch over and over again then Zoolander would so be on it. As a film that doesn't take itself too seriously I loved the childish elements of it as a whole and Ben Stiller in the title role is both goofy and fun. When the news broke that Stiller was returning play that role in a second film however I was apprehensive. I am one of those people who is against sequels being made for the sake of it. When something is new, pure and pretty magical the first time, I just don't see the point in ruining it with a second rate version in order to cash in or whatever.

That said I am always prepared to be proved wrong and since the first film was released in 2001 maybe enough time has passed for the new film to stand by itself and be as brilliant as the first. There's a new writer for this script in the form of Justin Theroux to give it a fresh perspective and Stiller is firmly in the directing chair again so I'm sure he will take care of his baby.

I don't know much about the plot and the new teaser trailer doesn't give very much away but that goofiness I love so much seems to be still there. The film is said to set ten years after the first in Europe and follows Derek Zoolander and Hansel Owen Wilson (Wedding Crashers) who are modelling again. Will Ferrell is reprising his role as evil Mugatu so I'm sure they'll be some delicious high jinx afoot and Christine Taylor (Dodgeball) is also back as Matilda who was married to Zoolander (and Stiller in real life) at the end of the first film.

Also signed up and starring are Penelope Cruz (Blow), Kristen Wiig (Bridesmaids) and Fred Armisan (Anchorman) which are quite an interesting bunch. I look on with interpretation to how they will all fit in but more so the weird choices of Kanye West, Kim Kardashian and Bieber (who I presume are doing cameos) that I see in all the write ups.

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DVD Review - We Own The Night (2007)

We Own the Night

I found this DVD in a local shop's bargain bin for the ridiculous price of 75p. For that price, my thinking was that I had nothing to lose so I bought it blind as it were. I didn't even bother reading the synopsis, I just saw that it starred Joaquin Phoenix (Walk The Line) and reasoned with myself that that was enough to give it a bash.

I am not a fan of the gangster genre but although We Own The Night fits that at first glance I wouldn't describe it as such. It isn't as 'in your face' violent as the past gangster films I have witnessed although it definitely has all the ingredients within it's premise to be one.

The story centres around a nightclub with drugs, cops and gangland mentality all thrown in for good measure. Phoenix plays Bobby Green, a night club manager, who comes from a family of highly reputable police officers. Bobby keeps his business and family separate but the two intertwine over the course of the film leaving him to face dilemmas and ultimately decide which is more important.

It sounds like a 'paint by numbers' crime film doesn't it? And I suppose it is really but what emerges is a neat story line that doesn't flounder in anyway by sticking to a tried and tested route within it's genre. The pace is steady and didn't feel slow at any point. There was enough action to compliment the building up of each character but, for me at least, never too much to take over. Directed by James Gray whole scenes in slow motion sat alongside those that were staggered and quick in action. It's probably nothing new in all fairness but if something isn't broke then why fix it? The overall feel of the film is one done very well.

What actually made this film for me was the acting talent of both Phoenix and Robert Duvall (Godfather), who plays Bobby's father. Again, one could argue that Duvall is comfortable in this form of film and that well may be true. However the chemistry between the two actors is unmissable and incredibly emotional to watch.

Phoenix is stand out, his character is well developed and the moral and emotional roller coaster Bobby Green rides is gripping (and sometimes heartbreaking). I don't think I'm spoiling too much by saying that they are side changes within the gangland/cop dynamic which put morals into question and pull at the heartstrings. Phoenix's acting is testament to the way some of these scenes made me feel and he was able to project real torment through the screen. There is a funeral scene that is particulary tragic as well as some tense (and touching moments) with his on screen girlfriend Amada, played by Eva Mendes (Hitch).

The third act and comes with a twist in the tail, and we all know how much I love one of those. This one however I didn't figure out because for once I was engrossed in a story that I was simply enjoying. With a plot of revenge the film makes you wait for it's conclusion but pleasantly (and probably why it isn't overtly gangster in my opinion) there is no huge shoot out or torture gore. Instead the focus remains on Phoenix's character and made justice an intimate affair.. much better for me.

All in all, I would go far as to say I loved this film and sometimes a bargain really is just that. The 75p DVD now sits proudly on my shelves ready to be watched again and again.

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I Saw It On TV - We Were The Mulvaneys (2002)

We Were the Mulvaneys (2002) Poster

I don't know how it works for everyone else, since I live in the U.K, but we have certain TV channels that show 'made for television' films on loop. Sometimes, usually late at night when I can't sleep, I find myself watching such channels so I thought I would add some of those film into my usual loop of reviews.

I watched We Were The Mulvaneys the other night and until then had never heard of either it or the novel it is based on. The Mulvaneys (in the title) are a wholesome American family who live on a farm and are grateful for what life has bestowed on them and each other. Comprising of parents, three sons and an only daughter they live together quite content until the daughter is attacked at her school dance. The aftermath pulls everything apart and the plot follows this turmoil.

The film starts (as is pushed along throughout) with a voice over narrative from the youngest son Judd played by Tom Guiry (The Sandlot Kids). It's something done time and time again with book to film adaptations and although nothing new it does work.

The first act of the film is an introduction to the family and if I am totally honest, comes across a little twee and very 'Little House on the Prairie'. As the film progressed I understood why the family were portrayed this way but as for believability, I'm not so sure. That said,  Blythe Danner (Meet The Parents) and Beau Bridges (The Descendants) star as the God fearing parents and are both wonderful in their roles. In the early stages Danner's Corinne is soft, gentle and devoted to her husband; something that demands a whole load of emotion later on. There is one particular scene between her and her and Tammy Blanchard (Moneyball), who plays daughter Marianne which is simply heart breaking and made me cry.

It is easily Bridges and Blanchard that steal the show particularly after Marianne's attack. Its here, towards the middle of the film when the earlier righteousness of the family makes sense. Some bad choices are made, some horrible things happen and the whole unit falls apart with consequence. Blanchard becomes frail and caught up by her earlier faith and I have never wanted to reach into a TV screen and hug a character more. When this film flips it's switch, so to speak, and comes into it's own it emerges as a solid piece of drama with more than a handful of tragedy thrown in for good measure.

This is apparent in Marianne's character and Blanchard's acting but I would say it was even more so there because of Bridges. It's crazy but I didn't even feel like he was acting half the time, instead I just watched a man break apart in front of my eyes with raw emotion and almost chilling precision. I went from hate to sympathetic over the space of about a hour and by the time the credits rolled I was wrecked. This film is worth a look just for Bridges talent alone.

There is an absolute seriousness with the film of course and the subject matter is dealt with in a thought provoking way. I found parts of it intense and sometimes wished for a break in the despair, if only to catch my breathe, but in reality the pace of the film is good. There was a couple of times when I raised an eyebrow and thought 'that wouldn't happen' but it wasn't enough to ruin it for me and even the ending (which was surprisingly optimistic seemed to fit. I'm now on the hunt for the novel, I hope that doesn't disappoint.

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Looking Forward - Pan (2015)

Last week brought with it a look at this movie poster for the upcoming movie Pan and boy it looks good. It features for main characters but let's be honest here and state from the off that all the focus is really on Hugh Jackman. There again, why wouldn't it be? He is stood in the foreground and menacingly great. I didn't want to forget what the film was all about though so I thought I would dig a little and the the opportunity to talk about the low down so far.
Pan is due for UK release in October and is a live action telling of the story of the boy who never grew up, Peter Pan. What makes it a little different is this film is set to lift the lid on the origin of the story that everyone loves and to provide a back story to not only Peter but Captain Hook as well.
With Warner Brothers at the helm I foretell a Harry Potteresque epic sweeping into cinemas and although I am usually an indie girl at heart, I am excited to see what is in store. Even more exciting to me is the directorial talents of Joe Wright who has huge period dramas Pride and Prejudice and Atonement under his belt. For me, origin films should take on elements of a historical film so of course I am hoping for big sweeping scenes to offset the action. I am not worried about the dramatic aspects either because Wright also directed The Soloist which I wrote about at University (if you haven't seen it and like a gritty biopic, put it on your list).

So, that's the feel, look and flow of the film in good hands. What about the actors? Who is playing who?
Levi Miller
Levi Miller is stepping into the magical role of Peter Pan. I'm afraid I can't tell you very much about him because he is relatively unknown. I love it when major films do this with casting young actors as it keeps the role fresh and new. Remember when Freddie Highmore was announced as the new Charlie Bucket? I hope Levi can inject that same untainted feel into Peter Pan.

Rooney Mara (2012) 5 (cropped).jpg
When Rooney Mara was cast as Tiger Lily people were not happy deeming her 'too white' and demanding the role go to a Native American. I say shush up and let the casting directors do their job eh. Most people will know her from The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo but I absolutely loved her in Side Effects. Although little is known about what role Tiger Lily is going to play in this particular adaptation, I always saw her as a comforter to Peter and implacable in his journey. I have no doubt that Mara is right for this and look forward to seeing her (her costumes alone are marvellous).

Garrett Hedlund Picture

Most exciting for me is Captain Hook. I never found him scary as a youngster and this film offers to tell us a lot more about him. I love a good back story and for me Hook has always been a bit elusive, like the Joker in Batman. I look forward to finding out more about Captain James and bringing him to life is Garrett Hedlund. I'm thrilled at this choice. With only a handful of films behind him he is fresh enough to BE Hook and as an actor he isn't shy to action.. I expect some mega cool swashbuckling!

So there we are some faces to remember and some characters to love dearly. Pan looks immense and I will be queueing for a ticket. Don't believe me? Look at the trailer...

Rooney Mara (2012) 5 (cropped).jpg
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Screen Kisses I Crave - A List 10-6

Everybody wants to feel loved and I am no different in that respect. Believable love scenes and tender kisses are some of my favourite things to watch on screen for various reasons. Below are my first five favourite kisses. I wonder what yours are..

10. E.T: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

I have included this one purely because of the cutesy factor. Drew Barrymore was absolutely adorable in her role as Gertie and well, you'd have to have a heart of stone if you didn't fall in love with E.T itself. This kiss is a 'goodbye' kiss (and the first of a few in my list) between the child and alien and it's more than touching enough to belong here.... awwwwww! ps: it ALWAYS reduces me to tears.

Gertie gives E.T. a goodbye kiss.

9. Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World's End (2007) 

What isn't there to love about a kiss during a wedding that is in the midst of a crazy sword fight? This kiss between Will and Elizabeth in the third Pirates film is a culmination of of their love affair played out over the three films and has all the passion that you would expect. Add some stormy weather, a rushed together wedding (so romantic) and a battle of all battles and this kiss truly left me breathless. Knowing that Will dies moments later makes my stony heart melt and makes this, for me, the most poignant of kisses across the Pirate's franchise!

8.Spider-man (2002)

Of course I was going to include the infamous upside down kiss between Mary Jane and Spidey in the 2002 film! I remember seeing this particular kiss for the first time and thinking how utterly romantic and yet unpractical it was. Nevertheless it is such a beautiful moment that it deserves it's place in my list. It takes place in the rain (again) and is meant as a thank you from MJ as Spider-man has just saved her from possible rape. It's one of my favourites because it's female lead and the intensity of the kiss mirrors the fact that Spidey's identity may be fully revealed at any moment.


7. Ghost (1990)

No, I am not talking about the kiss at the potter's wheel as unchained melody is blaring. Instead I have chosen Molly and Sam's final goodbye as he makes his way up to, I presume, heaven. This one is personal to me because I recently lost my mam and would of given anything for a final goodbye. The kiss happens as Molly finally believes that Sam has still been around to protect her and even though she is kissing an apparition, it's totally beautiful. 

 ghost kiss

6. Don't Look Now (1973)

Oh my, this kiss starts as licking toothpaste from a face and ends in one of the strangest sex scenes I have ever witnessed on screen. The reason it's made my list however is the sentiment behind it, it's all about reconnection after loss and guilt, and for that reason alone it's so loving. For me, there's something really special about absolute love and for me it's never been more believable than between Laura and John Baxter in Don't Look Now. The film itself is so tragic that this kiss means even more.

So there it is, the first five on screen kisses I crave in a list of ten. Can you guess what made my top five?
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Be Our Guest (Or Let Me Be Yours) - Guest Bloggers Required


What Do You Need To Know - I am looking for the opportunity to guest blog on someone elses little bit of web space. Not only that but I am looking for people to come and have a little bit of mine!

What Can I Offer? - I can offer a guest post on your blog either on something I have covered her in more detail or something completely fresh, within the realms of movies of course. I am willing to discuss topics and genres with yourself so I fit in with your blog style.

Who Can Help Me? - Anyone who has a film or media based blog who has the space to allow me to guest post as a one off (at least to start with). Also anyone who has a more generalised or lifestyle blog and would like maybe a DVD or cinema review from myself to add to their mix.

What Can You Offer Me? - I am interested in allowing some guest posts to take place here. Maybe you have a fave film that you want to talk about or you've comprised a list of your favourite fight scenes? Anything with a film angle goes really, I would love to hear your ideas.

How Do You Get In Touch? - You can leave a comment below or contact me any of these other ways.

I look forward to hearing from you

L x
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3 Of A kind? - Adam Sandler

A couple of weeks ago I asked for comedy suggestions and I was told to check out Adam Sandler. Obviously I did I was told and throughout the week I've been fitting in his films when I can. As they are so many I thought I would save one in particular for a full review (to come soon) and bang some of the others in today's 3 of a kind..

I'm still looking for comedy films to watch by the way so if you can beat Adam Sandler GET IN TOUCH

Little Nicky (2000)
written by Adam Sandler. directed by Steve Brill

Little Nicky (2000) Poster

Who Does Sandler Play?: As the title suggests he plays Little Nicky who happens to be the devil's youngest son.

Who Else Does It Star?: Among others Harvey Keitel (Reservoir Dogs) plays the devil himself while Rhys Ifans (Mr. Nice) and Tommy 'Tiny' Lister play his other two sons.

What Is It About?: The two older sons escape from Hell and decided to create some mischief down on Earth. With no other choice, the devil sends mild mannered Nicky to bring them back.

Good Bits?: Oh my, is so sweet! Sandler's character is quirky and adorable and although the film doesn't break any boundaries you will be rooting for Little Nicky in more ways that one.

Bad Bits?: There's some juvenile jokery in there that verge on a little vulgar but that could just be me and my humour.

Overall, Is It Funny?: Aside from what I have mentioned, yes it was. There was some giggly moments but it wasn't packed with them. What really shone through was a good little story and because of that I loved this film.

You Don't Mess With The Zohan (2008)
written by Adam Sandler. directed by Dennis Dugan

You Don't Mess with the Zohan (2008) Poster

Who Does Sandler Play?: Zohan, an Israeli special forces soldier.
Who Else Does It Star?:  John Turturro (Transformers), Emmanuelle Chriqui (Wrong Turn) and Nick Swardson (Just Go With It).

What Is It About?: Zohan who is an Israeli special forces soldier fakes his own death to escape to New York and pursue his dream of becoming a hairdresser.

Good Bits?: Look out for the taxi driver and a disagreement over the loss of a goat. It really is hilarious.

Bad Bits?: Again, there's some verging on vulgar moments but I am beginning to realise that perhaps I just don't have THAT sense of humour.

Overall, Is It Funny?: Oh my gosh YES! I laughed nearly all the way through this one :)

Hotel Transylvania (2012)
various writers. directed by Genndy Tartakovsky

Hotel Transylvania (2012) Poster

Who Does Sandler Play?: He voices (because this is an animation) Dracula!

Who Else Does It Star?: The voice of Dracula's daughter Mavis is provided by Selena Gomez (A Cinderella Story) and the human of the film is voiced by Andy Samberg (Hot Rod).

What Is It About?: Dracula is the manager of a hotel that is a haven away from the human world, that is until a human finds the place!

Good Bits?: Seriously, EVERYTHING! From beginning to end this film is so endearing that I forgot I was essentially watching a cartoon. The characters are rounded and the story is great!

Bad Bits?: Does it's not long enough count?

Overall, Is It Funny?: It is but it is also more than that and that's why I included it here. Also, a second film is in the making so hurrah for that!!  
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DVD Review - Detour (2013)


This review started off a little differently than normal so I thought I had better explain before I jumped into it. Writer/Director/Micro-budget extraordinaire William Dickerson and I started following each other on twitter and I became interested in his work. He offered to send me over his films for me to have a look at and Detour is the first of two that I have watched and reviewed. Even though I was sent the film directly, it is available on amazon and as with everything I write, my opinions are my own and true to myself.

Okay so with that out of the way, what is Detour all about?

Put simply, the film is an account of one man's survival when he becomes trapped inside his car due to a mudslide. Billed as a claustrophobic thriller it is reminiscent of films like Buried and Wrecked but it is no way a carbon copy, not even slightly. What unfolds is a definite story of parts of the human Psyche that intertwine to create the complexity of wanting to survive.

The man in question is L.A quick talker and business man Jackson Alder who is (quite terrifically I must say) played by Neil Hopkins. I knew little about Hopkins apart from trying to watch the TV series Lost years ago until I became well... lost but trust me when I tell you that in Detour, he is more than watchable!! Hopkins manages to convey all the emotion of a man facing death while playing up to that almost cocky business like persona that dwells within Alder's personality. At one point I became unsure whether on not Alder was a complete genius or slowly going mad but came to the conclusion that it was probably a bit of both, I'm not sure I would of acted the same in such a high pressure situation but Hopkins made me believe.

As with many of these survival films the start is frantic with very little build up. The subject soon becomes the focus (and vice versa) but as I am a mystery loving girl I didn't need explanation. Alders was trapped underground and I wanted to know if he was going to get out! For me it was that simple, but as I touched on above it wasn't within the plot. What followed the start was about forty minutes of gripping stuff as Alders creates and existence around him within the confines of his tomb.

I loved this act of the film because as I said I wasn't quite sure if the character was an utter genius or slowly verging on a mental breakdown. Dickerson as writer and director offers us no real concept of time lapse which only adds to the confusion and it was brilliant. Unlike other survival films Alder's main focus wasn't about getting out, instead it was about making sure he could survive where he was.. great twist and it worked well.

The second act of the film and the next glimpse at human Psyche is one of connecting with the outside world. This is done through some flashback snippets but even more emotionally, through playbacks of home videos on Alder's mobile phone. Together, they both answer questions about the type of man Alder's is while adding other elements of mystery. Even the poignant parts don't seem very bleak though because by now hope was instilled in me through this mans sheer strength. Again, clever because act three was an absolute emotional roller coaster.

I am going to leave it there and urge you to go watch and while watching, bear in mind that this film was made on a minuscule budget and is testament to Dickerson's craft. It definitely is claustrophobic, that elusive third act more so and it is a tale of surviving BUT it is cleverer than that, it played at parts of my mind I didn't even know existed.

Spot on!
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Bare With Me!


I hinted the other day about my mental health issues and unfortunately I have hit a bit of a slump. I am okay and still working on blog posts etc but everything is just happening a little slower than normal. I wanted to write a quick post to say thank you for sticking with me and also to say that I will be back with frequency very soon.

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News From The Web - Tom Holland Confirmed as Spider-man

I wrote a post at the beginning of this month about the excitement of on who would be playing Spider-man in the next movie. My money was actually firmly on Asa Butterfield but it emerged this morning that Sony and Marvel have in fact chosen Tom Holland for the role.

As I said in the last post Holland has proven with The Impossible that he can take on both emotion and action. I am hoping he can inject some much needed oopfh into Peter Parker and do for spider-man what I feel Ruffalo did for the Hulk.

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Something A Little Different - My Mad fat Diary

Today I want to veer away from film just for one post and talk instead about a TV series. Since 2013 when it first began My Mad Fat Diary has touched me in a way that is so rare and pure that I simply had to share some of my thoughts on it. Last night saw the programme embark on it's third series so I thought the time was definitely right for it to make it's appearance here. I shall explain..

MMFD is a UK comedy drama series made for E4 based on a book of the same name by Rae Earl. It is set in a mid 90's Lincolnshire and centres around Rae Earl, a young girl recently released from psychiatric hospital. 

Before I go any further it is worth noting that this was the reason I first started watching. I myself have suffered from various strains of mental illness for most of my life so anything that tries to tackle the subject I look at with interest. Mental illness is very close to my heart, something I deal with every day and the very reason I started this blog (as distraction therapy) so of course I watch things associated with it. Unfortunately, I feel many films and TV shows miss the mark and was expecting the same from MMFD... boy was I wrong.

Never before have I come across anything so delicate to the subject matter whilst still allowing humour and I think that's the magic ingredient here. Rae is played by Sharon Rooney who is a cracking stand up comedian and along with the rest of the cast injects a lot of fun into something that really could become bleak.

I don't want to say too much about the plot because there is quite a lot to cover and I don't want to spoil it for anyone who hasn't seen it. However I will say that over two series I have both laughed and sobbed along through dramatic story lines that are acted brilliantly. I have, on more than one occasion, looks at my screen and thought to myself 'she could be me' and I have held Rae's hand throughout both taking strength and urging her on.

If you haven't heard of it or seen it please do seek it. Start at the beginning and allow your life to be infected by the characters of My Mad Fat Diary.. Honestly, It's marvellous.
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Wednesday Wonders - The Sorry I Missed Last Week Edition

Last week saw the acting world lose Christopher Lee who died aged 93. Known fondly for many a role including Dracula and Saruman in the Lord of the Rings the whole world seemed to mourn him through tributes and social media. This particular article is quite in depth and was enjoyable but bitter sweet to read. I also liked this one which is a tribute from the mouth of Tim Burton.. beautiful stuff.

I haven't seen many gangster flicks because I really don't like to see 'real life' brutality on screen. I have however seen The Long Good Friday which was released the year I was born as I went through a stage of actively seeking out films from that year. I read THIS today which not only talks about the film in classic status but poses the question of predicting the future through cinema.

I am OBSESSED with Ru Paul's Drag Race on Netflix at the moment that it is quickly taking over my night time routine. I am dying to see Drag Becomes Him which is the story of season five winner (and my personal favourite) Jinkx Monsoon. Until then I have been perusing this list of 5 great drag queen films to wet my appetite.

Another list I have loved this week (and boy do I love lists) is one that connected with the romantic in me. Coffee Cups & Camisoles chose the best 3 movie kisses and I think they're pretty good choices to be fair. My personal favourite is the swimming pool seen in Whip It! but whatever!

And finally, because I asked for comedy films to see recently, I have been watching a lot of Adam Sandler. (In fact I am working on a couple of blog posts now which I will link here when they're finished). Anyhoo, when I was looking for films to watch and generally getting the low down on Sandler I came across this TRAILER for upcomimg film Pixels and I must of been living under a rock because it looks GREAT!! I SQUEALED!!!!
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Cinema Review - 1971 (2014)

1971 (2014) Poster

I have to be straight before even start this and say that documentary films are not within my comfort zone. It isn't that I don't like them or anything because let's be honest I will watch anything that holds my attention for long enough. Instead I think, at least for me, one has to have a little bit of knowledge tucked away about the films subject in order to really understand. In the case of 1971, apart from a quick research google, I had none.

The film is the directional debut of Johanna Hamilton who I'm afraid again I knew nothing about. What I do know something about though is the pull of indie cinema with it's films that pop up and pop off again so fast that you simply have to see them. I found an article over at Indie Wire which gave me the gist about Hamilton and where she named Deer Hunter as a cinematic influence. I've seen that I thought, and I liked it. That was good enough for me!

1971 focuses on events in that year, on March 8th to be precise, when a group of seemingly ordinary people broke into an FBI office in Media, Pennsylvania. They then proceeded to steal all the files and then over time out them through various newsrooms. Although the subjects of the files differed one the most significant involved illegal practises of J. Edgar Hoover's agency.

Hamilton sets 1971 up to tell the story of that group of people and in fact uses interviews with five of them along with a lot of archival footage as the meat of the film. The story is put into context as the audience is asked to contemplate just what impact unfolded on public. You can't help but compare to today's opinion government corruption and this changes what could of been seen as a family documentary into a hard hitting scoop or secret. I must say too that there was more than once, as I heard the personalised accounts, that I literally gasped for air. I found it riveting, more so because it actually happened. I felt like I was watching a bloody great thriller movie that was well constructed and brilliantly shot.

The only let down for me was the reenactment scenes that I guess were put there as a visual aid. They didn't really add anything if I am honest and the acting wasn't great. Luckily they didn't distract too much from the retelling of a piece of history that by the end I cared about.

Great job!

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Looking Forward - Suffragette (2015)

Suffragette (2015) Poster

I have always identified myself as a feminist from being as young as I can remember. Of course back then I had little understanding of what it meant. I had been taught about Emmeline Pankhurst at school and even without knowing the impact she would have on my adult beliefs just knew that she had acted the way she did for me. It wasn't until I started University that I actively studied feminism and it really started to strike a chord with me. I care about equality but what women did in order to get a little piece of it for further generations is mind blowing.

I feel then like I have been waiting forever for this film to be made. The plight of Pankhurst and the other women involved deserves to be shouted about and if that can be done by putting it on the big screen, I say marvellous! With many a historical and political film banded about over the years surely this movement should of been flung forward sooner? If a biop can be made about Margaret fucking Thatcher, who personally stole part of my womanhood, then surely this is a no brainer.

In a time of non peaceful protest Suffragette promises to be a no holds barred look at the foot soldiers of the early feminist movement. Women fighting back in a dangerous game of cat and mouse against government and society. It stars three huge female actresses, Carey Mulligan (Never Let Me Go) Helena Bonham Carter (Sweeney Todd) Meryl Streep (Doubt), in roles that according to the first look trailer see them fighting for their rights with gusto.

If you haven't already you can see the trailer HERE which shows the feminist plight as one all guns blazing. It shows that the chase for equality knows no class and it shows the women as true (if somewhat radical) heroines of history.

I can't wait for it's release in October.
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DVD Review - Brokedown Palace (1999)

Brokedown Palace (1999) Poster 

I was unsure about this one as I settled down to watch it. I read the synopsis and already discounted it if I'm honest. I mean surely a movie that follows a plot I have seen so many times before starring two young actresses will end up being just mediocre at best right? Wrong actually.. Don't misunderstand me,  this is not the best movie I have ever seen but as a piece of drama it was definitely better than average.

The two young actresses I mentioned are a 20 year old Claire Danes (Romeo and Juliet) and a 26 year old Kate Beckinsale (Underworld) both more or less at the beginning of their careers. They play friends Alice (Danes) and Darlene (Kate) who are arrested (and convicted) for drug smuggling whilst on holiday in Thailand.

I need to start by saying that the chemistry between the two girls is terrific. They have been friends for a lifetime and as a viewer it's easy to buy into both their similarities and differences that ultimately make the friendship work. I loved the fact that each personality was different with Alice being the bolder of the two and although both actresses held their own throughout the film, for me Danes was absolute stand out.

What makes it interesting for me is that  under the different back drops of each point in story it's the constant test of their friendship that drives the movie forward. It was refreshing that even though most of the movie was set in a Thai prison there was little reliance on shock tactics from the situation and instead the focus was always on the people involved.

Also starring is Bill Pullman (The Equalizer) as the girl's American lawyer Hank Greene. I felt uneasy with Hank at first as he teeters on a tightrope between being phony and the real deal which Pullman plays this brilliantly, kick starting the thrill aspects within the drama. Unfortunately though Greene always feels like a bit part against the strength of the two main characters and I would have loved a little more development. It's worth stating here that the movie seems a little short and a bit more time added could of allowed extra depth in characterisation.

The movie has a pace that sometimes lacks subtlety but there's enough twists to keep it more than interesting. Sure, there's a couple of head scratching moments but there is also enough questions (both deliberate and not) to keep us both guessing and thinking. Overall Brokedown Palace is a good piece of drama, written well and acted even better. It has enough balls not to water down the conclusion and the story skips along nicely enough to get us there.

Good stuff!

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