21st century girl

reviews – my way.

Month: August, 2014

Ghost (1990)


‘It’s amazing Molly. The love inside, take it with you’ 

Ghost is a Jerry Zucker film starring Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore and Whoopi Goldberg. 

Many of you might have seen this film previously, or if you are old enough, maybe originally. Ghost is about a banker called Sam Wheat (Swayze) who had come back to earth to look over his girlfriend Molly (Moore) as dangers lie ahead of her, and seeks a false spiritual guide (Goldberg) to help him. 

The movie itself, I found, was a sweet classic, made famous for its somewhat saucy pottery scene and the theme song Unchained Melody by the Righteous brothers, and parodied multiple times. The effects throughout the film, however, are rather dated and laughable in this day and age, you could almost see the computer doing the early CGI effects, the green screens obvious.I shouldn’t make fun of 90s films, I would agree that they made the best movies ever. Anyway, When re watching this film after a year or two, I noticed many things in the film which I hadn’t noticed despite my long term obsession with the movie and Patrick Swayze three years ago, shortly after he died. Themes which went over my head previously, like how they basically all wanted to kill each other over money, leading to the notoriously sad ending. 

I found that Swayze didn’t look too bad for his day, and Ghost is a warming love story which is influential as I got influences by Ghost for the story which I have only just finished. It has since been made into a musical.  Other cast members, some of whom are now dead, include Vincent Schiavelli (from One Flew Over the Cuckoos nest) as the Subway Ghost, Rick Aviles as Willie Lopez and Tony Goldwyn. 

The conclusion: The context was sweet, the cast was good, the soundtack suited the darkish film but it terms of the CGI the effects have certainly moved on and have looked less robotic, but Ghost will always remain a classic.



Marley & Me

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‘A dog doesn’t care if you’re rich or poor, educated or illiterate, smart or dull. Give him your heart and he’ll give you his’

It is a common saying that a dog is a man’s best friend,right? I tend to agree with that statement, mostly if you have a dog, or have had one. Marley and me proves just that.

The film is a known tearjerker about a couple called John and Jenny Grogan (Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston) who get a Labrador called Marley, an boistrous dog who, unknown to them, will provide them with the best memories of their entire life, from when they were married until they have an actual family.

Any of you who have or have had a dog, whether it is hyperactive or well behaved, would sometimes relate to the joys of having a canine in your house for up to about 15 years depending on the breed. In fact, on the subject of dogs, my dog Lottie, who was a black and tan Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, died last February (Feb 2013) and her mannerisms were maybe identical to Marley’s, such as chewing everything up or eating everything, and the only difference between her and Marley was that she was smaller and female.

Marley and Me is based on the memoir by John Grogan (who is an actual journalist), it has an all star cast, including Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston, the queen of chick flicks. Even all the dogs playing Marley did A-list style dog acting.

Although it is meant to be a family film, it is the type of movie which really digs into you and gives you so many emotions afterwords once they have been ripped to shreds. The dog was part of their family, and what really set me off was when he was beginning to get very old, and you were beginning to see Owen Wilson’s charecter’s emotions instead of him being a normal journalist guy who constantly talks about his dog.

He’s a dog, why do dogs always give us so many emotions? Is it because they are cute animals? Why does this film have the power to tear our emotional system apart, or is it because dogs like Marley, or our own canines, are part of our family, and losing them are like losing a brother, or sister or friend and they’ll never leave us no matter what.

Unlike other tearjerkers, this one does come with alot of warning as you could see it coming  miles away, but there is a difference between that and the film being predictable (which it isn’t)

All the actors in the film did a tremendous performance, and this film sort of teaches you that a dog doesn’t care who or what you are, but if you give it all your love they will do it in return. This movie makes other sad films like My Girl or The Fault in Our Stars look happy.




The Zero Theorem


‘Why would you want to prove that all is for nothing?’

Terry Gilliam directs this fantasy film about a reclusive, bald and grumpy computer programmer called Qohen Leth (Christoph Waltz), living in a burnt out chapel (where the only other guests are the rodents that scrounge around),  who is assigned by his employer, or Management to discover the meaning of life while trying to  solve the mysterious ‘zero theorem’, and waiting for a phone call to prove the meaning of exsistance, but gets distracted by a lusty ‘call girl’ called Bainsley (Melanie Thierry) and a teenager.

There have been many reviews about this movie, some trying to psychoanalyse and compare this to Gilliam’s other work i.e.. Brazil, 12 Monkeys, while others say that this is Terry Gilliam’s worst, he is washed out, and their hour and forty minutes was wasted etc. I don’t really know what to think about this film, apparently it had hidden themes of different sorts, but it was very under advertised, with dodgy release dates and on limited release, but I could see why, it doesn’t appeal to a wide enough audience to be hyped up. In some places I found that it was rather slow, forgettable, often the film was hard to get into, and generally I thought that it was the type of film where the length of the film was enough.

The choice of cast, however, was good enough to be passable. Christoph Waltz, who shaved his hair and eyebrows off for the role, and also co produces it, presents a character slightly different from his other ones, not in the way that he was hairless, but he does not go round killing anyone, (except for his computer), or is the bad guy. He speaks in a different way, in the plural form.As a fan of his films, I watched it when given to me on my birthday, and saw as he began to somewhat become insane in his chapel, working out the theorem, and it comes to the conclusion that it was mostly his inner thoughts,or several visions of virtual reality, and it (spoiler) wasn’t even real. Melanie Thierry was good as well, but I was particularly also amazed by Lucas Hedges, the boy who plays Bob, the 15 year old son of Mangement.

I did not find any deeper meaning in the film as a casual viewer, except for the reoccurring black hole symbolism. To a film student, it is art, to me, it is Gilliam’s mind coming into action with a couple of good actors to finish the masterpiece. Other less minor parts such as Ben Whinshaw, despite his small role as one of the doctors, his character added to the importance of Qohen’s existence and made me feel inspired to perhaps watch other Gilliam films.

The movie itself is not absolutely rubbish, (although the hour and forty minutes felt longer) but it wasn’t so amazing that I felt truly inspired and want to watch it every single day, because I have seen better.

Behind the screen is a colourful nightmare, and beyond the screen is Gilliam’s ideas which he has shared with his viewers. Maybe Gilliam allows us to question our own existence, or not.

Great cast, funny, weird and slightly explicit, with other cast members including Tilda Swinton as his virtual therapist .




Top 5 Robin Williams films

Although it has been a whole eight days since Robin Williams died aged 63, and it is still a shock that he committed suicide,  his films are timeless and have kept with most of my family, friends and practically everyone since they were little or younger. He has done nearly everything, from comedies to TV series to heartfelt dramas to stand up comedies, stretching his infinite ability to inspire and wow generations of children and adults.

1.) Mrs Doubtfire (1993)


‘It was a run by fruiting’

Williams’ stars as Daniel Hillard, a guy who cross dresses as a Scottish nanny to stay with his kids after his divorce. It is sweet, funny, and you could tell that he enjoyed dressing up as a woman, but when watching it shortly after his death, it brought tears to the eyes. Mrs Doubtfire was one of the films which I watched alot as a younger child, and everytime I watch it, it makes me smile, like Williams’ can do it fluently. Believe it or not, when I first watched it after his death, I pretended for the length of the film that he was still alive, then they said at the end ‘In memory of Robin Williams, who died this week’.


Aladdin (1992)


‘You never had a friend like me’

This use to be one of the videos which we had on video, and my favourite Disney masterpiece  aside from Sleeping Beauty. Anyway, Aladdin is about the urchin boy who is granted three wishes by Genie, and a magic carpet. I remember watching this more vividly when I was little, and thought that the magic carpet was so cool. It also has the energy that Robin Williams gives in all his films, but given to an animated character which in some ways looks like him in some shots (without giving any offense). This is one of his lifeless films, it never ages, and it is watch able at any age because it is so sweet. Apparently he fell out with Disney over this film, though, but his performance in this is unforgettable.

3.) Jumanji (1995)



I was, but I was in Jumanji

Williams’ plays Alan, a man trapped in a board game for 25 years, who can only be released if the players (Kirsten Dunst and Bradley Pearce) roll a 5 or an 8. Again, this was one which I distinctly remember watching in music and when I was younger, and it is one of his good but slightly weirder family films. I wish Monopoly was as cool as the Jumanji game though, and this movie is the sort which you would sit down and watch and do nothing much else. Williams’ performance is excellent, probably the best out of the whole film, although the movie leaves me and everyone rather sad because he has now died.

4.) Night at The Museum (2006)

Good Lord, Lawrence! Why are you slapping a monkey?


Here he plays Theodore Roosevelt, a doll of the former American president who comes alive at night, along with other exhibits at the museum. There have since been two sequels, but this one is the better one. When watching it, I was very much watching him, the moustached guy with the glasses in the cowboy hat, and thought his performance was outstanding. It’s sad thinking that he won’t be around to promote the newer NATM film.

5.) Flubber (1997)



‘You don’t have a stomach’

Williams’ plays a mad professor who invents a green jelly like substance called Flubber. I can’t remember most of the film because the last time I watched it was on a VHS, but I remember it being fairly good. It plays on the stereotype of a mad scientist, glasses, slightly weird, sometimes hair sticking up in all directions, and is definetly a 90s movie, kid friendly, fun.


What is your favourite Robin Williams film(s)?






RIP Robin Williams



‘You are only given one little spark of madness’ 

I only updated yesturday evening but I heard some really sad news that Robin Williams died from suicide aged 63. 

So , Rest In Peace Robin Williams. It is actually really sad that he seemed to come across as being an ordinary actor sometimes, then you realize that he battled plenty of issues himself, such as drugs and depression. I actually remember having Flubber on VHS, then watching Jumunji and Mrs Doubtfire all the time, which I still sometimes do now. He was also in the Night at the Museum films, Aladdin and August Rush .  

In a way he is a role model to everyone, not exactly, with the issues and stuff, but he presents is depression really about feeling sad? I think you’ll find that people with that problem probably cover it up by looking happy. Are drugs only a tablet? no, they kill people. Robin Williams was maybe one of the best actors which have entertained kids for generations, and although I don’t count him in the same section and Tom Hanks etc, it is just very sad. There is a part in Mrs Doubtfire between him and the white haired woman (can’t remember the name) and now in that scene neither of them are alive. 

So now, as you have gathered, he has killed himself. He was only in his early 60s as well. There are parts of this that nobody will know about. Nobody can pull off being a woman in drag as much as him. It must also be very sad for his family too, and my respect goes towards them. 

So, er, thank you Robin Williams. Thank you for entertaining several generations of viewers with your heart warming presence  in your films, and you’ll never be forgotten.



The Beach


‘there are infinite worlds out there’

Danny Boyle (the dude who directed Slumdog Millionaire) directs The Beach, a rather different film starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tilda Swinton, to name a few A-Listers and based on the book by Alex Garland.

When given a mysterious map by a guy who commits suicide soon afterwoulds, Richard (Leonardo DiCaprio) embarks on a journey to Thailand, thinking that the island from the map still exists; There they smoke weed and swim for their lives to survive.

I wasn’t attracted to watching the film because of the actual plot, but instead the All Saints hit ‘Pure Shores’ and I thought it was only Leonardo DiCaprio running around on an island shirtless. Clearly I was mistaken, he was very much running around the island, but in actual fact all I saw was lots of blood, marijuana, maps, yelling and the assumption that sometimes it seemed a bit like Jaws. What was very obvious from early on was that it was no adventure story, when thinking of beaches I think of sand, sea and ice cream, but this film was a whole lot different. 

However, although the whole mysterious idea was probably meant to be keeping viewers gripped, after a while all the blood and finding people dead got a bit monotonous, and in a hurry I sort of got bored and switched over to an interview about The Rover. 

The thought of ‘you can’t turn back’ was rather clever, or maybe Richard was stretching his abilities too much.Leo DiCaprio seemed to fit the part, although he looked like an ordinary lanky pretty-boy teenager, whilst Tilda Swinton was very distinguished with the way she acts and the accent. 

I don’t think this is DiCaprio’s best film, and I haven’t watched any of Danny Boyle’s other works all the way through, but the benefits of a young Leo DiCaprio branching out a bit into darker, less family friendly films in his post Titanic days is rewardable but confusing.  









‘What we do in life echoes an eternity’

 Russell Crowe and Joaquin Phoenix star in this historical drama about a Roman slave called Maximus (Crowe) who is a general who became a slave, a slave which became a gladiator and a gladiator who defied the empire when Rome was under conflict.

The film itself is gruesome, funny, serious and deep, with a fantastic cast and directed by Ridley Scott. Russell Crowe puts his singing voice aside and instead seeks vengence for those who killed his family, although it is hard to see him in anything else aside from playing Javert, without meaning to typecast him. Even if I study history, I am not too keen on Roman history stuff beyond GCSE level, but this movie provides plenty of blood and battles and fighting to the death to keep it realistic and gripping, but not exactly historically accurate.  

Joaquin Phoenix, on the other hand, plays his charecter of Commodus, (the twisted guy who is too close to his sister and has scheming plans), way too well to describe. I haven’t seen any of his other films so I can’t compare him based on his other performances, but he is the type of person who would manipulate someone into doing risky things, in this case, fight to the death, or watch someone do so, as there is a famous picture of him from the movie doing a thumb thing wearing a crown. 

However, it is the sort of film which you can’t exactly get into from the opening scene, but when you do, you know you have. Despite it being a blood splattering film full of coliseums and sword fights similar to a fandom fight in modern terms, but In case you wanted to know it was Oliver! star Oliver Reed’s last role and earned many Oscars nominations (not the fandom fight, the film).

I think, in my personal opinion, that Gladiator is thoughtful, and the sound track suits the film. Again, the actors were very good but maybe the plot holes or inaccuracy would be pointed out by history buffs, not casual viewers.    


About a Boy (2002)



If you put Hugh Grant and Nicholas Hoult (who, irrelevently, was about 12 when the film was done) in a film together, you will get About a Boy, a drama about two guys, Will (Grant), a thirty something man who has never worked a day in his life, or has had a long lasting relationship and who lives in the shadow that his father wrote a popular song. On the other hand, there is Marcus (Hoult), an awkward 12 year old boy who has the mannerisms to get himself bullied and teased constantly.

As this was one of Nicholas Hoult’s first roles outside the long list of TV series that he did previously, he as this charecter is a prime example of a nerdy boy, from the manner, the way he walks to the way he speaks and sings, but lets not forget the dodgy pudding bowl hair cut too.  Sometimes it sounded as if he was reading off a script, but it didn’t matter too much. As for Hugh Grant, he was Will, but he was only Hugh Grant, if you see what I am getting at.

As I have watched this film several times, mostly a couple of years ago, and back then some of the themes and jokes went over my head entirely, but now they are rather obvious.

There was a TV series of this done recently and I watched a bit of it but in my personal opinion, I was so use to the film that the series wasn’t too good.

The supposed father- son relationship, or the brothers one between Will and Marcus evolves as Will chases away the bullies, buys Marcus new shoes and comes across as being Marcus’ only actual friend. Plus, the chubby prepubescent Nicholas Hoult was very cute, but thank goodness that he has hit puberty because he is really hot now.

I flicked through the paperback but Nick Hornby when it was in stock at work experience, and from what I read, it was enjoyable. Good choice of cast, from Toni Collette who usually only plays the depressed mother to a cameo part from the boy who plays the son in My Parents are Aliens.