21st century girl

reviews – my way.

Month: October, 2014

Hugo (2011)


”That’s how you know it’s an adventure’

Despite being known to direct more complex, mature themes, Martin Scorcese directs this family friendly film based on the children’s novel The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick.

Hugo is winner of 5 Oscars, which mostly went to Scorcese, and is about a twelve year old orphan called Hugo Cabaret (Asa Butterfield) who lives behind the walls of the clocks in a 1930s Paris train station, working the clocks and trying to fix the automaton left by his father, unknown to Hugo that the automoton contains secrets from the grumpy, delusive toy store owner and former director Georges Melies (Sir Ben Kingsley), whos films were beginning to be forgotten but starts to rediscover secrets of the silent film cinema.

The choice of cast is brilliant. Asa Butterfield, who was maybe about 12 or 13 when the movie was filmed, already had a short career with meaty roles such as The Boy In the Striped Pyjamas or other family films like Nanny McPhee and The Big Bang, so his signature bright blue eyes and lonely facial features were put to the test. Sir Ben Kingsley  was very convincing as Melies, the film director who wanted to forget all the work and things that he had done. The movie also starts Chloe Grace Moretz from the Kick Ass films playing Hugo’s book loving friend Isabelle and Sacha Baron Cohen as the terrifying Station Inspector.

I enjoyed the movie, it reminds me of the time I was ill at home, but most of the film recognition is from Scorcese taking a step away from his usual mature audience target market. I flicked through the novel and was interested by the carefully drawn illustrations that they have successfully translated from book to film.



The movie poem

I haven’t written for nearly three weeks as I have been busy with school, tests and homework and have not had the energy to do anything further than scheduling posts. Anyway, I have felt like writing a poem so here it is.

My fingers tap the keys on my computer,

Earphones in, a world away from the rest.

My friends are out partying, while I’m reviewing

some film about a treasure chest.


A mysterious party man, worth over a billion

bright lights, parties and glorious dresses

Jay Gatsby and Daisy, lost lovers, lost souls

The adaptation that F. Scott Fitzgerald told.


A lost troubled boy, sweet, psychic and 8.

Can’t help what he sees, can’t help what he says

Can see dead people, every moment of the day.

Bruce Willis, the surprise ending, nobody knows he’s dead.


Misunderstood teenager, the quiff, the fashion

There is no question that I love some older films with a passion.

Movies end, but their presence never do

and we turn back to reality, like we always have to.

If I stay by Gayle Forman



If I stay is a young adults novel about a girl called Mia (who loves classical- and even plays the violin) is involved in a car accident with her family (Mum, Dad and younger brother) and wonders how her loved ones will feel if she chose to die in the coma, only having to make the final choice.

I decided to read it as research for a story that I am writing at the moment about a car crash, and the ones which I read about are usually rather dull. This book, however, really opened my eyes to the fact that a car crash is not the ending of a vulnerable persons’ life, if fact it is probably the start, and I could see all the references and influences from the movies of a similar plot line such as Charlie St Cloud and Ghost, two movies that I have enjoyed. I also wanted to read it because the film was coming out- and starred one of my favourite actresses Chloe Grace Moretz. It is not just aimed at preteens like people say, I could give it to my 22 year old sister and she would probably love it.

Gayle Forman has a way with words. There are the books that lead you down one long road, no diversions, not even a three point turn in the driveway, they are just long, boring, predictable, tediously samey. However, there are other ones, like this one, where the author takes its readers with them. It isn’t a long boring path, you crash, you hold your breath for what they might do next, where it might come crumbling down, debate whether she should leave her family and boyfriend behind. There is a sequel called ‘Where she went’, of which I have not read yet, but is from the perspective of the boyfriend Adam when she chooses to live and they split, and it sounds like something on my imaginary ‘things to read’ list.

I love the charecters, the father is very much a changed man from his wilder early days. The mum was well written, and the younger brother Teddy seemed to be very sweet within the pages, and it was heart wrenching when she concluded that he might have died, the way that she described how, as he is only about eight or ten, that his life was not over yet, so she was alone in the world, with the thought of her love of the cello and watching over the people who loved her like Sam loved Molly.

The film of If I stay is out, but like other books to film releases, they have alot to live up to. I wonder how they will portray the car crash scene, and everything that the novel delivered, or if they will go down the path of Charlie St.Cloud. Some bits made me think and brought tears to my eyes.

Brilliant novel, rather short though but interesting, sad, and captivating reading it as one of those ‘2.45’ narrated stories.



Top 5 films of all time

There are movies which are worth watching for a prolonged time, just staring at the portable DVD player past its charge time which a couple of actors act out what was originally in a directors, scriptwriter or author’s mind. Others, however, are not worth it, even if it is down to personal opinion. Here are my top 5 films of all time.

1.) Saving Mr Banks


‘That wouldn’t be appropriate!’ 

I have previously written about this movie, I think I have previously written all of them on this list, but Saving Mr Banks easily comes in at Number 1. The movie is about the writer of the Mary Poppins series, P.L Travers, who looks back on her childhood as Walt Disney adapts her books to the silver screen. Emma Thompson is absolutely brilliant, her performance so sharp and realistic, Tom Hanks was excellent as Disney, probably the closest to Disney that you would get. Fun for all ages.

2.) Les Miserables


Who am I?/ Jean Valjean’

Musicals are very hit and miss. I have to say that I am not too sure about musicals, however I loved Les Miserables. My favourite youtuber Carrie Fletcher is in the stage version, and the 2012 musical version is excellent, poignant and slightly uplifting. We have the soundtrack on in the car, the cast such as Anne Hathaway, Russell Crowe etc give the performance to beyond their best.

3.) Any of the Toy Story movies

‘To infinity and beyond!’

I do love a kids movie at any time. The carefree nature of it, the way you can sit down and watch it and not have to care about anything. I am also not guilty of having two Tom Hanks movies within about ten lines of each other. The Toy Story movies are about a group of toys, most notably Woody, Buzz, Mr Potato Head all owned by a young boy called Andy, and the toys secretly talk, owned by Andy up until he goes to college in the third movie. It is these sort of animated films which get the higher rating and are enjoyed by mostly everyone no matter what age you are.


4.) Mean Girls



‘That’s so fetch!’

The second one is rubbish, however the first one will always be a classic chick flick. I did not choose this film because of the slightly now- dry October 3rd joke, but because it is probably one of the most socially acceptable- to quote movies of all time. At the point when Mean Girls was released, Lohan did fairly good movies and her drug use was not highly publicized. I think anyone can relate to this movie too.

5.) 13 going on 30

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30 and flirty and thriving’

13 going on 30 is maybe one of the more slightly outdated ones, but it never fails to impress. The movie is about an unpopular teenager who wakes up after a failed  birthday party- and she is 30, with an athletic boyfriend and a dream job working at her favourite magazine. Although I am no longer 13 it would be quite cool to wake up on day with a dream job- in my case as a best selling writer after a rubbish party with everything that you ever wished; it is good to dream big. Jennifer Garrner was very good as Jenna, Mark Ruffalo was outstanding as her childhood sweetheart Mattie, and the boss Richard reminds me of my charismatic maths teacher.

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