21st century girl

reviews – my way.

Month: January, 2015

1984 by George Orwell

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‘BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU’

Nineteen Eighty- Four (1984) is a novel (which has since been made into 2 respective films, one of which stars John Hurt) set in the dystopian future where Big Brother rules as an alternative to a suitable government, and it is Winston Smith’s job to edit and rewrite history, rebelling against corrupt rules of the party to go against them and have an affair.

It has been an inspiration for alot of dystopian fiction and films and have done so succesfully because 1984 can be the base to other ideas. For example, it could be compared to Terry Gilliam’s The Zero Theorem as the concept of some sort of Big Brother watching you.  In some ways you could also apply aspects in the novel to how we live, we are watched and are entertained by others being hurt, or watching you all the time.

In terms of whether I like the novel or not; it is very good for comparison matters, but is not one to sit down and read.

I like the whole idea of the novel but unless you are studying it for school etc, I don’t think I would avidly read it or get into Orwell’s frustrations.

3/5

 

Good Will Hunting

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‘Don’t you move, chief’

Gus Van Sant directs this drama film about a genius called Will Hunting (Matt Damon) who finds his true potential, beyond his cleaner job and jail sentances, in his therapist Sean (Robin Williams).

This wouldn’t ever enter- or did enter my ‘Top 5 Robin Williams’ films after his death in August last year, not only because I hadn’t watched it at that point but because I have no place for films like Good Will Hunting unless I am in the desperate mood to sit down and watch it; so it is definitely not my favourite film.

Matt Damon is a generally good actor and it is touching to see that such a genius character like his Will Hunting could be so troubled and running into the law all the time, and despite the fact that he has the brain for complex maths and equations, then he can only confide in his therapist to sort him out. Robin Williams was brilliant as well, and I often wonder if my opinion would be different if I watched the film before he died instead of watching it and thinking that his extra touch that he brings to films would never be the same again.

Ok film but I did not care much for Minnie Driver’s charecter of Will’s girlfriend Skylar- or the casting of her, especially next to such screen capturing actors like Williams or Damon. Worth a watch (if you have the time or energy) anyway.

2.5/5

 

Brief Encounter

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‘Whatever that dream was, it wasn’t a very happy one’

There are certain movies which can never be made again. Sure, they can beat the death out of it with musicals, sequels and animated versions, but it can never be made in the same way ever again, maybe from the way that the director makes it or the time that it was made in. Brief Encounter happens to be one of them, similar to a vintage collective item.

The movie, which is in black and white and released in 1945, is about a happily married woman of two named Laura (Celia Johnson) who gets into a whirlwind of a romance with a handsome doctor Dr Alec Harvey (Trevor Howard) at a train station and speaks in a first person over voice as she begins to be tempted to run away with him, an issue which was seen as very scandalous in those days.

This movie still remains to be one of the most romantic films that I have ever watched, poignant, not very sloppy at all and still remains as a timeless classic. It is also my Mum’s favourite movie so there is no doubt that it has been watched all the time with my mother gushing how much Celia Johnson looks like her grandmother and fangirling over Trevor Howard; so I have become immune to any faults in an original love story that will never age, (although the meeting at the train station with a no stop train is very romantic, in the 21st Century Laura and Alec will be on the train texting each other ‘YOLO go for your faraway job babe xxxx). Brief Encounter has been parodied in multiple TV series episodes, such as an episode in the BBC sitcom My Family and is still the basis of some romantic films nowadays.

Good old classic movie, exceptional cast and the music used is not interruptive with the movie (bearing in mind that they didn’t have very many interruptive loud songs at the time).

5/5

The Theory Of Everything

‘Where there is life, there is hope’

The Theory Of Everything is about Professor Stephen Hawking (Eddie Redmayne) and the relationship between him and his wife Jane (Felicity Jones) when he is diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease and beyond.

I went in with high expectations of the movie; when I saw the TV specials, the movie looked worth a watch, and it lived up to its expectations. It is hardly a physics lesson/lecture, or a complete biography of his life, because although there have been other films about Stephen Hawking, a biography of someone tends to stay on the biography channel.

Eddie Redmayne shone as Hawking, and we saw on screen how his condition got worse, how he conveys one of the cleverest people that has probably ever lived; and still manages to make us laugh despite the seriousness of MND. As for Felicity Jones; I did not care much for the relationship between her character and Jonathan, but she was very good as Jane and also very stunning. Of course, there also has to be the actor who you would see in most films, such as David Thewlis, who plays Hawkin’s professor. If there were Oscar nominations running for this film, I would hope that both Redmayne and Jones get at least one each.

Sad, spectacular and funny at times, but it make you realize to not judge people because they have a certain disease that gradually makes them unable to speak, walk and use most of the muscles that we take for granted.

Directed by James Marsh.

5/5

 

 

 

The Woman In Black

‘Hello, who’s there?’

This is the first film that I have reviewed, where I have not actually finished watching it. It might seem that I would not have a general opinion about the whole film, but I saw enough of it to write about it and vaguely know what might or might not happen next.

The Woman in Black is based on the novel of the same name by Susan Hill. The film sees Daniel Radcliffe’s many miles away from the boy wizard in the 8 Harry Potter films that made him famous. Here he plays Arthur Kipps, a young lawyer who goes to investigate a late client’s house, only to find that he got more than he bargained for, including a terrible secret and the haunting of the woman who previously lived there.

I liked the colour scheme, obviously very dark and gothic; whilst we react to the accompanying backing music and the pace and timing of the jump scares more than Daniel Radcliffe tearing down wallpaper, opening doors and holding candles as he walks down a suspiciously haunted hallway. Radcliffe was brilliant as Kipps, and the director certainly knows how to scare his audience.

Like I have mentioned, I did not manage to watch all of it, and plan to not do so in the near future, but I should count myself lucky because I know someone who watched it in a friend’s house right next to a graveyard.

The jump scares build and show tension in a similar way to other horror films such as the Sixth Sense.

Cleverly filmed, but I don’t think I would be able to look at an old house, a graveyard, a rocking chair or an old house’s window in the same way again, but I think that is the intention of the movie.

Except for the Sixth Sense and Shutter Island, I tend to give these sorts of films a miss, even though I like the way that Woman in Black etc are filmed and keep viewers at the edge of the seat.

I don’t think this film is rubbish, but it is not one to watch when it is dark outside.

Jumpy, creepy but a generally ok movie.

2.5/5