Tag Archives: Judi Dench

Philomena Review

Hello again ladies and gents, time for another film review and this one is one Philomena. This was a film I missed last year and when I saw that Cineworld were showing it again I had to view it and it was my main reason for going to the cinema yesterday. By the way I feel the need to mention that I think I was the youngest person in the screening with everyone else pretty much being old. So anyway, was Philomena good? Read on and find out.

The story can be summarised in the following write-up:

“When former journalist Martin Sixsmith is dismissed from the Labour Party in disgrace, he is at a loss as to what do. That changes when a young Irish woman approaches him about a story of her mother, Philomena, who had her son taken away when she was a teenage inmate of a Catholic convent. Martin arranges a magazine assignment about her search for him that eventually leads to America. Along the way, Martin and Philomena discover as much about each other as about her son’s fate. Furthermore, both find their basic beliefs challenged.”

I loved the story in this film is incredible which has many twists and turns, but at its core it is a journey for truth and throughout the film gets more and more dramatic and tugs at your heartstrings so badly. While I don’t have children myself, I can only imagine the amount of pain and mystery that would come with having a child and then having them forcibly taken away from you at a huge age with you left to wonder what could have been. Two things that really get me in films is tragic love stories and tragic stories involving parents and their children. This film is so emotional, painful and beautiful aspects to Philomena’s story and the one involving her son, the story nearly brought me to tears and the film had my heart from very early on and that doesn’t happen very often.


In addition to the wonderful story, you have a cast of characters who are very good too, but the main performances from Judi Dench and Steve Coogan are the real stand outs. Dame Judi Dench is in top form in as  Philomena Lee and gives one of her finest performances that I’ve seen from her. Normally Dench is an authoritative role like M from the James Bond films, but here this very different territory for her. She’s Irish, she’s playful, she’s frail and yet firm and not afraid to speak her mind. She also carries so many painful memories from her past and Dench acts with such conviction and care that you feel for her on such a deep level because the acting feels so real. Steve Coogan also delivers a great performance as Martin Sixsmith, he’s blunt, unapologetic, a bit of a know-it-all, but also has a heart and wants to do the best for Philomena. Sixsmith has firm beliefs and wishes to get to the bottom of a news story and Coogan plays him so well, he’s like the rough side of the pair whereas Dench is the softer half. Both Dench and Coogan have great screen time together and you can see them start to grow and care for each other over their time together.

Sophie Kennedy Clark also does young a great job as the young Philomena, she is so good and acts well, she is charming and cute, but also does her emotional scenes well too, when she had painful scenes it was so powerful and convincing. The only other person I wanted to highlight was Michelle Fairley as Sally Mitchell. For the longest time I was trying to figure out where I’d seen her before, it was KILLING ME! And it is only now that after I’ve been online that she was obviously  Catelyn Stark in Game of Thrones. It was really bugging me haha. Anyway, I liked her role in this film, it was a little more aggressive and uncaring, but definitely enjoyable.


In conclusion Philomena is an incredible film which had me emotionally invested throughout. The story is something that will hook your heart from the beginning until the end. Judi Dench and Steve Coogan are amazing and I think this is one of the best films I’ve seen in a while. Highly recommended.

Rating: 8.5 (it is both beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time)

So what did you think of Philomena? Whatever your thoughts are I’d love to hear your opinions in the comments below. Thanks for reading and I’ll see ya on the next film review yo. 😀

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Posted by on January 24, 2014 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews


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Skyfall Review

I have waited a very long time for this film and not since The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises have I been this hyped for a film. I feel like the wait for Skyfall has been a very long and painful one, but now it’s here and I’ve finally seen it. So was it worth the effort? Well I can easily say that this is one of the best films this year.

The premise for the story in this film goes something like this:

“Bond’s loyalty to M is tested as her past comes back to haunt her. As MI6 comes under attack, 007 must track down and destroy the threat, no matter how personal the cost.”

The plot in Skyfall is very good, the script is well-written and there’s a surprising level focus on the characters that was very welcome for me. What I mean by that is that this film’s story really does center around the main characters of Bond, Raoul and M, as the plot thickens things get more complicated for each of them and there is a great deal of drama and revelations to discover. I also liked how much danger there was in this film, and as seen in the trailer the identities of undercover agents gets leaked online, MI6 HQ is attacked and then there’s the obvious fact that Bond gets taken out of action then has to get back into his groove when all of this chaos is going on around him. There are also some interesting secrets to discover in Skyfall and some great nods to the past for fans to enjoy.

But what’s a good story without a good cast? Luckily Skyfall has a brilliant cast in place. Let’s start with Daniel Craig as Bond. Now he’s been playing the character for 3 films over the space of 6 years and since Casino Royale he’s become one of my favourite actors. In Skyfall he continues to show me why I think he’s so badass, Craig is totally relaxed in the role and displays Bond in some of his coolest and most badass moments, but also at his most emotional too. Now let’s talk about Javier Bardem, he has always been known as this badass in most of the films he’s been in and his acting skills are pretty damn good. I still haven’t forgotten his awesomeness from No Country For Old Men and in Skyfall he is just the best guy ever as Raul Silva he was intimidating, had a great presence and a level of charisma that makes him stand out from many previous Bond villains. Bardem is just simply wonderful in this film, I loved how his character interacted with Bond and M, and I do believe he’s the best Bond villain for a while. And Judi Dench as M was wonderful, I’ve always liked Judi Dench as M, but this is the first time where her character has come to the forefront of the story and been very relevant to happens, all I can say Dench was wonderful in the film.

Then there’s Ralph Fiennes as Gareth Mallory, Fiennes is just badass in everything he’s in and that’s no exception here. While his role isn’t as big as say Lord Voldemort from Harry Potter, he was still cool in the film and had his moments to shine. Naomie Harris as Eve was pretty awesome, I thought she had good chemistry with Bond and it was great to see not only a female MI6 agent, but also a Bond girl who could handle herself in the field of battle. Bérénice Marlohe as Sévérine was totally classy and sexy, I liked her part in the film and I just wish her character had been in the film a lot longer. And lastly Ben Whishaw as Q was awesome, I don’t really recall about the old Q to draw up comparisons, but I thought that Whishaw brought a lovely well of intelligence and wit to his role and I liked his conversations with Bond, they were pretty humourous.

When it comes to the presentation, Skyfall has all bases covered. The action scenes and sequences are really great, with some great camera work and some really crazy and creative scenes for the good guys and bad guys to work with. But it’s really all about the cinematography in Skyfall. The cinematography is insane! I loved a lot of the scenery from the scenes in Istanbul to London, but I really loved the scenes in China, that’s when the cinematography comes alive. The use of lighting, colours and shadows is especially impressive! Also the soundtrack by Thomas Newman was great and very memorable which I was very surprised about. Now obviously David Arnold handled the previous two Bond soundtracks and while Casino Royale‘s soundtrack was awesome, Quantum of Solace‘s wasn’t very memorable at all. Newman’s soundtrack for Skyfall is very different in tone and feel from the previous Bond films, but it sounds undoubtedly sexy, cool, emotional and most importantly it sounds like a Bond soundtrack! And obviously I made my thoughts clear on the song “Skyfall” by Adele, if you haven’t read that post you can see it here. But in short I think it’s pretty good, though I feel like it could be better.

Its been said by some critics that Skyfall is the best Bond film since Daniel Craig starred as the character back in 2006 and in a way it really is. Sam Mendes was a great choice to direct this film because of his understanding of the Bond series and also because of his great film career too. There is many things to love about the film like how there is this central link between Bond, Raoul and M or the way Skyfall manages to fuse the newer Bond film elements with some of the older elements from the former films and just I loved the level of nostalgia in this film whether it be visual or audio-based. For me while this film is clearly better than Quantum of Solace, I still feel like Casino Royale was superior, why? I guess it’s because it first Bond film in a while to be really different, edgy and dark, plus I’ve watched it so many times already haha.

In conclusion Skyfall is a great return to form for this series, this film feels bolder, darker and connects with you on a much deeper emotional level. And with brilliant direction from Sam Mendes, awesome action sequences, fabulous lead performances from Daniel Craig, Javier Bardem and Judi Dench, and sexy presentation both from the visual and audio standpoints, Skyfall is a great Bond film to watch at the cinema and I highly recommend it!

Happy 50th anniversary to the James Bond film series, it kicks so much ass!

Rating: 8.5/10

Well there’s my review peeps, thanks for reading and let me know your thoughts on the film in the comments below! Until the next time, laters! 😀


Posted by on October 27, 2012 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews


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The First Trailer For Skyfall

Howdy ladies and gentlemen of the web, just thought I’d drop by and do a blog post on the first trailer for the new James Bond film, entitled, Skyfall. If you haven’t seen the trailer watch it below:

Now I don’t know about you guys but I’ve been waiting for a trailer for this film for ages! I have been following this film since the time it was still known as Bond 23, when MGM was having its financial issues back in 2010 and then when production finally got off of the ground last year and everything that followed. So then in October last year we got the name of the film and in recent times there’s been video blogs of the behind-the-scenes action going on in Skyfall and it all seems sooooooooooooo cool. and just the other day we got the first official poster…

Looking fabulous, very classic, very stylish.

But now we finally have a trailer and it’s frigging awesome! It is technically just a teaser trailer, but I think it’s totally great. What we get here is an interesting interrogation scene with Bond as he’s asked a series of questions, at first it’s just the audio from their voices over other footage on-screen, but then the scene is intercut with other footage. And afterwards what we get is some shots of beautiful scenery, action, explosions and some lady time with Bond. This trailer gives a lot of the codes and conventions that come with a Bond film; we get suspense, action, chase sequences, explosions, love scenes and most importantly mystery. What this trailer does best is leave you asking many questions about what will follow. I also like how the James Bond theme song was incorporated into the trailer ever so slightly with a more electronic sound to it. For me it was lovely. Also as I mentioned before there is some lovely scenery in this film, the cinematography looks incredible from the footage that this trailer provides especially the shots from China, they look insane! The overall look of this film has a very classic Bond feel to them, but it also has the look of the modern-styled Bond films too. I’ve watch the trailer like 3 times already and I’m stupidly hyped for this now. The Avengers started off the “Awesome films of 2012” train and Skyfall looks like it will follow-up that awesome train after the summer’s over. If this trailer is anything to go by, then the end result for this Bond film will be bloody awesome! 😀

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Posted by on May 21, 2012 in Films, Media, Reviews


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Films I’m Looking Forward to in 2012: Skyfall

Good day to you ladies and gents, welcome to another blog post about Films I’m Looking Forward to in 2012. And today’s film is a very interesting and exciting one, it is the next instalment in the James Bond film series; Skyfall.

Like many other people in the world I love the James Bond film series, I’ve been watching the Bond films since I was young and have loved the different interpretations that each actor has brought to the films. Though I’ve never read the books and have only really seen around half of the full 22 current films out I do appreciate the film series highly. My favourite Bond film is Goldfinger and in turn it should come as no surprise to find out my favourite portrayal of the Bond character is Sean Connery because he is just the best. It’s fact. Now of course in recent years the mantel of James Bond has been taken up by Daniel Craig who so far in my opinion has done a pretty damn good job.

Daniel Craig first came onto the scene as James Bond in Casino Royale back in 2006 with Martin Campbell as directors. This film rebooted the franchise to make way for new and exciting ideas and the film shook the world when it came out. Prior to the film’s release everyone thought Craig was the wrong choice and that the style of the film was far too removed from the original formula, however the film was a financial and critical success. The film was praised for its story, characters, edginess and action sequences. Many fans and critics viewed Casino Royale as a Bond film that had several of the conventions found in previous instalments, but also as a film that changed the formula by having a darker and grittier elements in place. Bond himself was less experienced, more rough around the edges and a little more emotional and it was unlike anything audiences had seen before. So with the success of that film in play the sequel followed in 2008 in the form of Quantum of Solace with new director Marc Foster in the director’s chair. QoS continued the story arc from Casino Royale which had Bond head off on a mission that was not only personal but was also very difficult too. Unfortunately QoS wasn’t the sequel most were hoping for, it couldn’t outdo its predecessor and though the film did make a lot of money, it got a mixed reception. Most reviewers continued to praise Daniel Craig’s performance and a many agreed it was the best aspect of the film along with the action sequences, however most agreed the film had a weak plot, bad characters and that the film wasn’t as good as Casino Royale. It was at this time that most people thought Bond was becoming too much like Jason Bourne and that action was becoming too much of the focus over the character-driven style of previous films.

The first official picture from Skyfall where we see Daniel Craig sporting his swimming trunks again like in Casino Royale.

And so here we are in 2012 on the dawn of a new Bond film, 4 years since Quantum of Solace and the signs for this new film is very interesting, mysterious and intriguing. Let’s start with the cast, returning again are Daniel Craig and Dame Judi Dench as James Bond and M respectively, oh and we also have Rory Kinnear as Bill Tanner (MI6 Chief of Staff) returning from Quantum of Solace. But its the new cast members that cause eyebrows to be raised in curiosity. Firstly we have Javier Bardem as the main villain, a very impressive and interesting choice, after seeing him in No Country For Old Men I’m really interested to see what he does here. And there’s appearance of Ralph Fiennes that has me super excited, he is a brilliant actor from his work in The English Patient and Schindler’s List to the Harry Potter film series as Lord Voldemort he’s just all-round brilliance and I have no doubt that whatever he does in Skyfall is going to be amazing. Another interesting actress in this cast is Naomie Harris. Man, since the time she was cast there was rumors circulating throughout the news tabloids and internet that she was going to be the new Miss Moneypenny which caused some people who believed the rumor to go into an uproar saying that she can’t be Moneypenny simply because she was black, reminds me of the hate that Idris Elba got when he became Heimdall in Thor. Though Harris was eventually cast a field agent named Eve and she dismissed the speculation about her attachment to the role as Moneypenny. Also speaking of veteran characters, in Skyfall we have the return of the character of Q who will be played by Ben Whishaw. And the rest of the cast look varied and cool so I’m definitely watching out for these guys in the film.

The plot of this film sounds pretty badass too as it seems to be much deeper and more interesting than the previous two films as it can be seen from this short premise:

“James Bond’s loyalty to M is challenged over secrets from her past. When MI6 is attacked, it falls to Bond to seek out and eliminate the threat regardless of the cost to himself.”

It has already been noted by Daniel Craig that the story in this film isn’t related to Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace and I think that is a good thing because I feel that story arc was concluded and to drag it out would be unnecessary. From reading this premise it also seems like the writers of this film are continuing the edgy style of story that has preceded this film, but it has a greater level of because M is involved and can see that there will definitely be some high stakes and character-driven storylines in Skyfall. I also want to talk about Sam Mendes as Skyfall‘s director. Now as many people may be aware he was the director of award-winning films American Beauty and Road To Perdition and he was also responsible for directing Jarhead, Revolutionary Road and Away We Go, so when it comes to directors I feel like Skyfall is in good hands and I think maybe Mendes may be the one to bring the human side to Bond films after Quantum of Solace‘s efforts.

With all of the set pictures, story information and cast members announced so far Skyfall is shaping up to be a great Bond film. There is a lot of mystery surrounding this film and a lot of answers still needing to be answered. In my opinion it has been too long since the last James Bond film, sure I understand that MGM had financial issues and there were other complications with this film being made, but now its in production and I’m getting excited and impatient as always haha. When this film comes out here in the UK on the 26th of October I’ll be one of the first to run into the cinema and watch this film, may even watch it in IMAX if I have the funds 😀 I guess we’ll have to wait until after the principal photography ends to gain more information on the film, as for now all I can say is I’m super excited for Skyfall and a trailer couldn’t come any sooner. Bring on the next James Bond film!


Posted by on March 16, 2012 in Films, Media


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