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ONE PARAGRAPH REVIEW: Collateral Beauty

Now this was a film I was super excited about way back when the first set pictures were released with Will Smith and Helen Mirren, I was just giddy and intrigued to see another dramatic film with Smith and the incredible cast… However, I saw the trailer, and I wasn’t impressed, in fact I was underwhelmed. And then, when I found out the actual premise of the film online and how it was different from what the trailers was selling you, I was quite annoyed. So I felt like I was going to skip the film after the mixed reception I saw from the US release, but I thought “Screw it, let’s give it a shot.”

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The plot can be summed up as the following: “Retreating from life after a tragedy, a man questions the universe by writing to Love, Time and Death. Receiving unexpected answers, he begins to see how these things interlock and how even loss can reveal moments of meaning and beauty.” Now I heard this film was either underwhelming or just downright bad (especially from what I’ve recently read online), so I expected the worst, but I walked out of the film liking it more than I expected. I feel like this film had some interesting elements with the story and characters, but the execution was messy and questionable. Mourning the death of a loved one is something we all deal with in different ways, some harder than others, and I felt for Howard played by Will Smith, and could understand the difficult situation that he put his co-workers/friends in. However what Whit (Edward Norton), Claire (Kate Winslet) and Simon (Michael Peña) do in this film to their supposed friend is some of the most crafty and terrible things you could do to someone who is grieving. I would have liked more a focus on Howard and less on his coworkers lives because I feel like they took the focus away from Howard which was the most interesting part of the film. At several points I questioned the moral and ethical integrity of the people in this film, and while the film tries to present both sides of the argument for why certain plot elements transpire in the way that they do, and some people do present some logic as to how and why what these people are doing to Howard is wrong, its like the characters just give in and you as the audience still don’t buy into it because at the end of the day what Howard and his coworkers did was still wrong. I feel like the performances from the cast ranged from good to questionable, I liked Kate Winslet as Claire and Michael Peña as Simon I tought was good with the dramatic material, Edward Norton had some bad material to work with as Whit, while Keira Knightley as Aimee/”Love”, Jacob Latimore as Raffi/”Time” and Helen Mirren as Brigitte/”Death” did fare better in their roles though Knightley had some questionable scenes too. The best material comes from Will Smith as Howard, Smith delivers a performance that mainly relies on his physicality, facial expressions and little dialogue, but he was really good and his dramatic chops were put to good use in my opinion. And finally Naomie Harris as Madeleine was also quite good, I predicted how she would factor in the film early on, but she was one of the better actors in this film and her scenes were quite engaging. In conclusion Collateral Beauty was not the train wreck I expected and there were small moments of drama and emotional material that worked for me, but is a film that was predictable, had too many convenient moments and feels morally and ethically wrong with a conclusion that doesn’t feel entirely earned, but I didn’t hate the film so it wasn’t a complete waste of time.

So have you seen Collateral Beauty and if so what do you think of it? Be sure to leave your thoughts on the comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on January 7, 2017 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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ONE PARAGRAPH REVIEW: Triple 9

Howdy people, today I’m back to give you another single paragraph review and it will be on the Triple 9. If you’ve read this blog for at least just over a month or since January last year, then you would be aware of how much I was looked forward to this film and even after the reviews I saw were average, I wanted to see for myself. So without further ado here we go:

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If I were to describe Triple 9 in one word it would be disappointed. Dear god, it hurts me that this film turned out the way that it did because it had the potential to be so much more, when I heard about this film I got so hyped; the genre and premise intrigued me, the cast was insane and the trailers got me SO hyped up, but this was definitely a case of the anticipation outweighing the viewing experience. So what’s wrong with Triple 9? Well there’s a lot of things, but the key elements came down to the story, length and characters, none of it was nearly as compelling or engaging as a thriller film should be. There was all of the regular codes and conventions with of a crime film with questionable moral and ethical choices, betrayal, tension and danger, but it was handled in the least interesting manner. I found that the film had moments of fun, action and good tension, but it was hidden within a story that felt so lacking in charisma and style, around halfway through I stopped caring what was happening, and when the key aspect of this film eventually went down, I felt like it was a little too late. As for the cast, the performances were solid for the most part but none of them were overly impressive. It did hurt that several cast members were wasted especially when it came to Aaron Paul and Norman Reedus, Gal Gadot and Teresa Palmer felt completely insignificant and while I enjoyed seeing Kate Winslet as Irina Vlaslov, I felt like more could have been done to flesh her out and give her more personality. Casey Affleck was alright as Chris Allen, but he felt so dull in this role, Anthony Mackie did his best as Marcus Atwood but I didn’t like his character and Michael K. Williams’ appearance in this film was unexpected, and yet quite interesting to watch. The most interesting characters were Michael Belmont and Jorge Rodriguez played by Chiwetel Ejiofor and Clifton Collins, Jr., these two felt the most fleshed out and interesting, but it was mainly down to their acting than anything else. In the end Triple 9, damn, besides some cool action sequences and moments of interest with certain character moments, but the dull story, bad pacing and uninteresting characters made for a dull and sleep-filled experience.

So that was my review, have you seen Triple 9 and if so what did you think of it? Please leave your comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on February 28, 2016 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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QUICK REVIEW: The Dressmaker

Good day to you ladies and gents, today I have a review for you and it will be on The Dressmaker. This was a film I was curious about from the trailer I saw in the cinema a few weeks back, but now that I’ve experienced it just a few hours ago I’m doing my review on it now before Bridge of Spies because I have much to say about the film.

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“In 1951, Myrtle “Tilly” Dunnage returns to her hometown of Dungatar, to take care of her ill mother, Molly. Tilly was sent out of town at the age of ten because of false accusations of murder. Tilly, an expert dressmaker, transforms the locals with her couture creations and in the process, exacts revenge on the people who wrongly accused her of murder all those years ago.”

The story in this film is a bit of mess. This is a tale of revenge but it is executed in the strangest way, from the first 10-20 minutes, I felt like I was watching a Wes Anderson film in terms of the blend of comedy and drama, odd setting and really strange, larger-than-life characters. But this film didn’t have Anderson’s sense of style, comedic timing or bizarre, yet whimsical charm. The first problem was with the tone, it didn’t know how to find the middle ground between the humour and emotion, it switched between both and sometimes its done at the worst possible moment ruining certain scenes altogether. There are moments in between the tonal shifts where the story was funny, mysterious, suspenseful and emotional, but they were few and far between unfortunately. Oh and the film went on for far too long, whether it was finding out the main mystery behind the main character or tieing up loose ends in the film’s final moments, I just got bored. I was sure the film was going to end around 30-40 minutes beforehand, but it just kept going, got more ridiculous and less engaging and by the film’s finale I was less than satisfied and that annoyed me because I was really getting into it around the first half.

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At least the performances were solid. Kate Winslet was great as Myrtle “Tilly” Dunnage, this character was tough and cool, but also vulnerable and Winslet was very engaging and charismatic in this role… And it has to be said that she looked incredible in this film, Winslet has never caught my eyes the way she did in this film, she was incredibly sexy in those dresses, sorry but it had to be said. Judy Davis was also great as Molly Dunnage, this lady was very blunt, rude, annoying and strange, but she was also quite humourous and interesting, but that was more down to Davis’ performance more than anything else. Liam Hemsworth as Teddy McSwiney was nice, there wasn’t much to his character early on, but once he starts to get involved with Tilly he became a little more interesting. Hemsworth was a beautiful man in this film (yeah I said it), I just wish his character had been handled differently. Oh and Hugo Weaving as Sergeant Horatio Farrat, wow, this must be the most different kind of role I’ve seen from him yet. This was the most unconventional police officer I’ve ever seen, but that was what made him so much fun to watch and Weaving was certainly memorable in the role. Besides Gyton Grantley as Barney McSwiney (anto some degree Sarah Snook as Gertrude “Trudy” Pratt), everyone else was pretty forgettable or unlikable from the beginning. These other eccentric characters had moments of interest, but most of them were mean-spirited and untrustworthy. I also have to give quick mention about the costume design by Marion Boyce, the use of colour and style of the multiple dresses worn was absolutely incredible.

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In conclusion The Dressmaker was one of the most random films I’ve seen in the cinema in quite some time, the lead performances were great and the costume design was incredible and there were moments when I was enjoying the wacky nature of the film. However, the story was too bloated with irrelevant material involving other characters, and if this had been a simple revenge story with a consistent tone, streamlined plot and cut down runtime it would have been SO much better.

So have you seen The Dressmaker and if so what did you think of it? Please leave your comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on November 30, 2015 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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QUICK REVIEW: Steve Jobs

Good day to you ladies and gents, time for another film review and today I’ll be talking about Steve Jobs. This film has had quite the interesting tale when it comes to the development stages of production with the changes in actors and directors, so after everything got confirmed and ironed out I just had to see how this film would turn out.

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The story can be described as the following:

“Steve Jobs takes us behind the scenes of the digital revolution, to paint a portrait of the man at its epicenter. The story unfolds backstage at three iconic product launches, ending in 1998 with the unveiling of the iMac.”

The story was this film was pretty fascinating tale. The film chronicles three major points in the life of Steve Jobs; 1984, 88 and 98 giving us a look at the man behind the magic, showing his vision for Apple and his other business ventures, but also showing his complicated family life and the problematic relationships he had with his coworkers too. I really enjoyed the amount of drama, emotion and tension this film was able to produce from mainly just characters talking. Whether they were arguments or casual conversations, there were some really wonderfully written scenes and bits of dialogue, oh and I was not expecting the film to be as humourous as it was as well. Now with this being a biopic there is only so much of this that can be taken as truth and at several points I could see certain elements that were played up for the dramatization of film, but it wasn’t too bad that it bothered me. If I had any issues with the film it would be related to the fact this film only highlights the early days of Jobs’ career and didn’t highlight some of the significant contributions he brought to Apple later down the line or how some plot/character elements are never fully explored or concluded. That being said the film did have to focus on specific periods of time or this film would have gone on forever.

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When it comes to the performances all of the cast do such excellent jobs in their roles. Let’s start with Michael Fassbender who was just magnetic and intense as Steve Jobs. This film definitely paints Jobs in a specific light, he’s this visionary, dedicated and hard-working individual who strives for perfection, but he’s also a douchebag to anyone who does things to impede his progress. Jobs for the most part is strategic, mean, manipulative, selfish, overconfident and is the worst person to be on the wrong side of as he’s verbally abusive to everyone when shit hits he fan. But behind it all there is a man with a heart and long-term issues which few people know about and Fassbender did such a fantastic job at bringing the man to life. Just as impressive was Kate Winslet as Joanna Hoffman, this woman was Jobs’ number two, she did everything for him and had to deal with so much negativity from the man, and yet was the only one who could stand up to him and give him a reality check. Winslet was so good in this role and I thought she handled her accent well too.

Seth Rogen continues to surprise me as he did well as Steve Wozniak, this character had an interesting history with Jobs and it was great to see how that played out, and Rogen while I don’t care for him in his comedies seems to be far more engaging here. Jeff Daniels was also great as John Sculley, Michael Stuhlbarg was almost unrecognizable to me as Andy Hertzfeld and I loved his performance as he was so vulnerable and yet likeable as one of the core members of Apple who had quite the adventure with Jobs from the early days up until the end of this film. I also liked Katherine Waterston as Chrisann Brennan, the three actresses that played Lisa Brennen-Jobs (Perla Haney-Jardine, Ripley Sobo, and Makenzie Moss) and Sarah Snook as Andrea “Andy” Cunningham.

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So in conclusion Steve Jobs was an entertaining and dramatic film with terrific performances and really good dialogue. I enjoyed the film far more than I thought I would, but I am glad that I saw it and it was one of the better biopics I’ve seen in recent times. While there were a few things I would have changed or would like to have seen more of, in the end it was engaging where it needed to be.

Rating: 8/10

So have you seen Steve Jobs and if so what did you think of it? Please be sure to comment below and I’ll see you on the next film review, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on November 17, 2015 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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