21st century girl

reviews – my way.

Month: March, 2015

If I Stay (film)

‘Sacrifice. That’s what we do to people we love’ 

RJ Cutler directs this movie based on the novel by Gayle Forman. If I Stay is about a young celloist called Mia (Chloe Grace Moretz) who has to choose between living or dying in a half-living state after a car accident.

I have read the novel previously and reviewed it, and the film contains aspects of the book, staying rather faithful from book-screen, though some bits did not translate very well, if not at all. At first it is an average chick flick, stunning talented girl and rocker guy, yet even after the highlight of the whole movie, it still stays very clichéd until boom. Suddenly it makes you understand that you need to make life sacrifices, choices and decisions to make yourself, whether that is to live, sell your band and get into the music college that you want.

At times it felt as if they were copying classic films about ghosts, accidents and dead people such as Ghost (1990), I can see where the director got their influence from. Chloe Grace Moretz was very good as Mia from her striking screen presence and ability to carry a character and the fact that she also looks alot like one of my school friends. I had different perceptions of what the characters would look like, mostly her onsreen boyfriend Adam (Jamie Blackley) but he soon captivated me with his captivating onscreen charm.

I tend to go for movies that are aimed for people older than I am, so watching this movie was a step down for me as it was aimed towards the Twilight group, but it was worth it because I had read the book intending it to be research into my story, and enjoyed the book alot.

Great acting, soundtrack, incredibly sad but I might have to watch it again to reach any good judgement. Considering how good the novel was, it would be rather hard to translate it to screen. The book was more open to interpretation while the film was open ended, even though there is apparently a book sequel.

3/5

Freaky Friday (2003)

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‘Because it will go into your stomach and straight onto my thighs!’

Freaky Friday is a teen remake of the 1977 Jodie Foster movie of the same name,which explores the body-switching theme and follows the generation gap of an overworked mother Tess (Jamie Lee Curtis) and her daughter Anna (Lindsay Lohan) who switch bodies after a curse at a Chinese restaurant involving a fortune cookie.

Having seen this film countless time since I was younger, it is one of the ones which allow you to sit down and watch as many times as you want and it never seems old. Although the relationship between my mother and I is closer than the two main characters; under no circumstances would I want to switch with her, even if it involves a fortune cookie. My mum would be in front of the TV or computer watching the Lord of the Rings trilogy, while I would be watching soaps or cleaning up or actually going to work.

Anyway, slightly off topic. Jamie Lee Curtis was brilliant in this standard of movie as the mother, and she somewhat reminds me of my kind hearted old year six teacher. Lindsay Lohan was actually very good as the typical 15 year old rocker after the ‘hot’ guy, juggling band commitments, failing grades, an annoying younger brother called Harry (Ryan Malgarini) and realizing that she swapped places with the person that she despises the most-her mother, bearing in mind that this was slightly before Mean Girls and long before she went downhill as an actress.

I have not seen the original, and I have a feeling that it is not as good, but I cannot exactly judge.

Great cast, funny, one which you can watch over and over again. Some of the cliches are very worn out, though.

Also starring Mark Harmon.

4.5/5

The Book Thief

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‘No one lives forever’

The Book Thief is a movie about a young girl called Liesl taken in by foster parents Hans (Geoffrey Rush) and Rosa (Emily Watson) and soon learns how to read, giving them to other people, including a Jewish man called Max who is hiding in their basement away from the Nazis.

The actors, the soundtrack and the director determine and show how good the film is. Emily Watson was very good as Rosa, the uptight mother, and I had previously seen her in War Horse; whilst I was watching Geoffrey Rush almost the whole time- even Sophie Nelisse was exceptional in her role as Liesl and she is the type of actress who speaks more through facial expressions than words.

As for the novel that it is based on by Markus Zusak, I have not read it yet; even if I usually read the book before watching the film but I might read it at some point to see how it compares to a surprisingly outstanding movie.

At first I thought it would be a boring family film where war is a background thing, but considering that it is set in World War II Germany where Hitler was upon them and any books that are against him were immediately burnt in a huge fire. The soundtrack is brilliant, it fits in with the mood of the scene and out of the way of the film.

I must warn you- a box of tissues at the ready is absolutely necessary as it is one of those films that do not hit you until they need to be- at the very end. You are free to predict what might happen next but it is not at all predictable. It had some points, however, when I thought it had ended and it turned out to have 20 or 30 minutes left and the Apple reference on the computer in one of the scenes ruined the mood.

4.5/5

Annie (1982)

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‘Let’s go to the movies’

Annie is a movie based on the comic strip ‘Little Orphan Annie’ about a little orphan with the curly red hair called Annie (Aileen Quinn) who is taken in by a billionaire Daddy ‘Oliver’ Warbucks (Albert Finney) to escape from the evil and alcoholic Miss Hannigan (Carol Burnett) in the time of the Great Depression.

The movie, along with its musical numbers are cringey and cheesy, but it is a musical and a classic, so why can’t it be? There is also a ‘remake’ of it starring Jamie Foxx, which  I have no intention to go and watch whatsoever. This is also one of the movies that I distinctly remember having on a VHS and I confess to secretly liking It’s a hard knock life. 

Fun classic with good musical numbers including Tommorow and Let’s go to the movies. 

3/5

 

 

The Silence of the Lambs

‘Hello Clarice’

Based on the book by Thomas Harris, Jonathan Demme directs this thriller about an FBI cadet called Agent Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) who confides in a manipulative killer Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins) who skins his victims.

Considering what this film is about, where there is not a lamb to be seen; it is a primarily good film. Jodie Foster was brilliant as Agent Clarice Starling, following any detective film where they have a gun, but to get a good perspective of the charecter I would probably need to read the original book, even though I have watched the predecessor film Red Dragon.

Anthony Hopkins was beyond convincing as Dr.Hannibal Lecter, to the point where you would intentionally look into those murderer’s eyes and he would probably eat you.

This would not be one that I would watch again, not because it is so twisted, sick and weird, but it might be one of the ones which you can only watch a few times.

Suspenseful, gripping but very hit and miss. The other cast members which were not Foster or Hopkins were also very good.

3/5

The Matrix

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‘The future is our world. The future is our time’

The Wachowski Brothers direct The Matrix (and later went on to direct the next two of the trilogy), a sci-fi action film and the first out of the popular trilogy.

The Matrix is set in a parallel future and it is about a computer hacker called Neo (Keanu Reeves) who is in a world which is overrun and destroyed by the Matrix when humans are machines and it is up to Morpheus (Laurence Fishbourne)to tell him the meaning while a group of villainous agents led by Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving) are after them.

The movie can be looked at from many different ways, but you can’t exactly sit down and watch it for the sake of it. It is either a general sci-fi film which is about a computer programmer making the wrong choice or it reflects the relevance that despite being made over 16 years ago, we are practically all overun by computers and technology. Throw it some tinted green visuals, a brilliant cast to include Keanu Reeves, Hugo Weaving and his ever-captivating performance with his famous ‘Mr Andersonnnnnn’ line, a million pound budget, a couple of guns and convincing scene order, then you have The Matrix.

I have not seen the two sequels yet but this movie ended neatly enough to go onto another film with ease. I also liked this movie generally more than I like films aimed at my age and gender, but at times I was a bit lost in terms of where the plotline was going, yet it was careful to not go off on too much of a tangent. This definitely deserves a couple more re-watches as the cast were brilliant and this movie bears some distinctive resemblance to other sci fi movies such as Ender’s Game and Inception. The movie also leaves you with the decision; Red pill or Blue pill?

Also stars Carrie-Ann Moss among others.

4/5