21st century girl

reviews – my way.

Month: November, 2015

The Knick Season 1 Episode 4

image

‘Goodnight, Nurse Elkins’

Four episodes in and The drama carries on as we are introduced to a game of darts and some rat stomping which eventually leads to the rat stomper getting a serious disease. John Thackery visits his Syphilis infected patient and some hint of romance between Nurse Elkins and Thackery emerges slightly more than it has in previous episodes.

I am personally very into that period of medical History after studying it last year at school (I think I mentioned this is a previous review). It tends to fall into traps of a typical hospital drama set 100 years ago or so. Not once did I notice that Thackery never actually injected himself with cocaine in this particular episode and the black doctor was a bit more involved in the surgical action. The key thing is for the patients to survive and none of them seemed to do so. Owen actually mentioned in a interview that he’s glad that surgery has progressed so that we don’t die on the operating table.

Interesting episode and the baby, who is now a regular character, is a sign of survival considering the unsuccessful attempts.

It’s always interesting what event of the episode will lead onto something else into the next or succeeding episodes of this series.

3/5

Advertisements

Fright Night (2011)

image

‘Welcome to Fright Night, for real,’

Fright Night is a 2011 remake vampire movie about a high school boy called Charley (Anton Yelchin)  who concludes that the creepy neighbor Jerry (Colin Farrell) is a vampire, and seeks the help of the illusionist Vincent (David Tennant) to destroy Jerry. It also stars Toni Collette (who always seems to play the mother of weird kids), Imogen Poots, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Dave Franco.

I went through a really long Twilight stage (don’t judge me, I was 12) and it is fair to say that all vampire films (recent ones mostly) have the same stereotype. American, some sort of ‘in’ crowd, some bad acting and way too many special effects. I’m honestly bored with the vampire genre because they all fall into the same cliches, and vampires were actually considered to be original and creepy in the Noseforatu and Dracula days. I wasn’t really scared by Fright Night at all because it made me laugh a bit too much. I can’t take any of the characters in the movie seriously either.

However, David Tennant seemed to light up the scenes that he was in and stopped the film from becoming a complete stink hole. He had incredible screen presence and my friend (who I was watching the film with) has a massive crush on him from seeing him in Doctor Who. I saw this movie with my friends and I had the  running commentaries and they also had to point out the errors. Apart from David Tennant, the watching it with friends part was the best bit of the viewing, not necessarily the film itself.

Predictable movie but David Tennant saved it.

2.5/5

 

 

The Knick Season 1 episode 3

the-knick-the-busy-flea-clive-owen

‘No one handles the unexpected like John Thackery’

The series continues as Dr. John Thackery performs an early attempt at reconstructive surgery on a former lover named Abigail Alford (Jennifer Ferrin) who has contracted an STI from another guy, while the African American surgeon Algernon Edwards (Andre Holland) makes a makeshift surgical clinic in his underground den.

Although the show dramatizes events a bit too much, I like how Clive Owen’s character is bitter, and unlike any of his other film or TV work, he isn’t even that hot when he’s angry. Instead, his insults to everyone cuts into our soul like he would cut into someone for an unsuccessful operation. The praise should also go to Andre Holland’s character, whos determination to keep people alive takes over from Owen’s drug induced character’s mission and they both take over the scenes that they are both in. The costume and makeup team should also get a mention because Alford’s barely-there nose looked scarily realistic.

Everything leads on the last episode as planned. The other doctor is still getting over his tooth being ripped out and engages in weird games with a, let’s just say- lady of the night.

All I can say other than that is that it is a good but slightly odd episode. Don’t watch it if you have just had dinner or have a light stomach.

3/5

 

 

 

The Knick Season 1 Episode 2

THE-KNICK

A man doesn’t come to me and beg

The Knick returns for a second episode of a fairly engaging series, but this time, they’re having electrification problems at the hospital and other problems arrive following that.

This series is heavily dramatized but it is well researched, although there have been many shows similar to The Knick. Clive Owen was very good at playing the arrogant doctor and as for the guy who plays the African American doctor, he was surprisingly watchable as well and did his job despite regular racial backlash from mostly all of the other characters. Most of the episode consists of an accident waiting to happen and the aftermath.

Anyway, considering that it was the second episode, all the characters had sunk in so we were just left with the different situations,yet it was a rather ok episode. As the second episode that succeeds its first, it has to prove to the audience that it is more than a silly one off drama.

Fairly good episode but sometimes I lost interest in some aspects of the plot only to come back to it again.

3/5

The Knick season 1 episode 1

theknick_s2s

I don’t want you in my circus’

The Knick is a TV series which basically follows a surgeon called Dr. John Thackery (Clive Owen) who makes all sorts of improvements in the development of surgery in the early 20th century, when surgery was still in its very early days but he has to overcome his demons as a result of his liquid cocaine addiction.

To be honest, the pilot episode was a good start. We are immediately pushed into a gruesome world of pre-infancy and early 1900s surgery and it is where my knowledge of transformation of surgery helps. It was fairly accurate as a TV series as far as I know, but there is definitely the cliched hospital drama moments and it was heavily dramatized.

As for the cast, I had obviously watched Clive Owen in some of his other stuff, such as Sin City, Closer and Children of Men. He was fantastic in this episode as he was with the rest of the series and he was actually the only reason why I bothered to watch The Knick and sit through all the grisly bits. His character was also based on a real person.

This is where my knowledge of the transformation of surgery comes in handy as a result of studying it for GCSE History last year. I also understood most of the references (something along the lines of a reference to Pasteur’s work and common sense of cleaning the hands before and after an operation or delivering a baby thanks to Semmmelweis’ observations)  and the racial prejudice against the African American doctor who probably did a lot less harm than Clive Owen’s short tempered and drug addicted character.

3/5

Spectre

WaltzSpectre

WARNING: Possible spoilers ahead.

‘It was me, James. The author of all your pain’

I had the pleasure of watching Spectre in the cinema, before it became just another film on a DVD shelf or another title on an online film site. Spectre is the 24th James Bond film and this time, James Bond (Daniel Craig) finds a cryptic message left by the father of the stunning Bond girl Madeleine Swann (Lea Seydoux) and a chilling connection with the enemy Franz Oberhouser, or as some assumed, Blofeld (Christoph Waltz).

The only other James Bond film that I remember watching is Skyfall, and that was a reasonably ok Bond movie. Spectre leads on very well from its predecessing film. What comes with another Bond film is of course the hype. A lot of hype for what turned out to be a two minute scene out of a two and a half hour film, so the remaining two hours were made to stand on its own and figure itself out. That is my only criticism of the movie. The intro scene was very mesmerizing.

I loved the action sequences, the adrenaline kicking fight scenes, some very cool and recognizable filming locations (two of my cousins were some of the many location people behind the scenes of the film) and hanging out of aero planes that comes with every James Bond film. Dr Swann was actually a rather badass female character who wasn’t afraid to carry around a gun, Ralph Fiennes and Ben Whinsaw were brilliant and skilled in their roles as their respective roles as M and Q  and Naomi Harris was very good as Moneypenny. Sam Smith’s ‘Writing on the Wall’ suited the film although some people didn’t like it because it wasn’t upbeat and it was not like the previous Bond theme tunes. It sounded like a very good orchestra led piece amongst an action filled movie.

The cinema had no free seats when I went to watch Spectre with my Mum. The actor that I would praise the most for his performance would be Christoph Waltz. He was cunning and manipulative, an incredible Bond villain and he was indestructible (aside from his eye). Words can never describe how brilliant he was as his character. I also watched nearly all his Spectre interviews before watching the film and I was surprised by the twist and how he was in the shadows but he was eventually revealed. I shouldn’t judge actors by the characters that they played but the one line between Christoph Waltz and Ralph Fiennes was pure acting gold, like a conversation between Lord Voldermort and Colonel Hans Landa.

Spectre is a typical Bond film with plenty of vodka Martinis, women, Daniel Craig looking hot as usual, bombs, aero planes, special effects, billions of extras in the opening scene of the next Oscar season, some really incredible costumes and an unforgettable Bond villain with the biggest plot twist.

I hope that Christoph Waltz comes back in some way into the next and Daniel Craig should still be Bond in the next movie (if there ever will be a next one, and if they agree to do another one). I loved the artwork in the beginning of the movie and millions of people would have been behind the scenes of the opening scene.

Overall, a little too hyped and at times, the plot was everywhere but it was generally an incredible film that I wouldn’t mind seeing again in the near future.

Also stars Monica Belleluci.

James-Bond-Spectre-860x442

4/5

The King’s Speech

Kings_speech_ver3

‘I have a right to be heard. I have a voice!’

The King’s speech is an award winning movie about the Queen’s father Bertie (eventually George VI, and played by Colin Firth) who had a stammer and gets help by a speech therapist called Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush). It also stars Helena Bonham Carter as the younger Queen Mother, Timothy Spall and Guy Pearce as the Duke of Windsor.

Mostly all the praise goes to Colin Firth because no other actor could tackle a part as much as he did without it looking romantic or overly trivial. He gives a superb performance and he worked really well on screen with Geoffrey Rush, an actor who is in nearly everything; Pirates of the Caribbean and The Book Thief to name a few. I think you could tell that they weren’t trying to knock each other down with their egos (they don’t have any). As for the rest of the cast, Guy Pearce was interesting to watch as he usually is, I also loved Helena Bonham Carter’s performance because she comes across as being a really cool actress.

This movie isn’t just a movie about a King. It is about being able to get your voice heard, whether you are a King, or a Queen or a normal person who has to battle a speech impediment with some clearly bored people watching. I also liked the set pieces and scenery because they looked so stunning and served as a background piece because the actors were good enough to not fade into the background. One of the sets were used in the music videos of a song of one of my favourite bands.

4.5/5

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

Harry-Potter-and-the-Sorcerer-s-Stone-the-sorcerers-stone-23841509-1280-5441

‘You’re a wizard, Harry’

Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone is the first film of the popular ten year long series and part of the phenomenon and it is based on the original series written by J.K Rowling. It follows the story of an eleven year old boy called Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) who learns that he’s a wizard and he soon attends Hogwarts.

Harry Potter has slipped into our popular culture. People wish that they were at Hogwarts, studying potions and making friends with Ron (played by Rupert Grint) and Hermoine (played by Emma Watson) while there is the Harry Potter studio in London. I have read the original series and seen the films many times over and it seems to be a rather imaginative story but I am nowhere near obsessed with Harry Potter as much as my sisters are, or indeed some of my friends. Even in the unlikely circumstance that I had never seen any of the Harry Potter films or read any of the books, I would know it by reputation.

I like how the series was long enough to go on for over the cast’s late childhood and teen life. Although most of the lines sound as if they’re being directly read off the script (the ‘you’re a wizard, Harry’ line was improvised), they were only 11 at the time and I suppose that we all have to start somewhere. I remember finding this movie really scary and I used to get scared of Voldermort (played brilliantly by Ralph Fiennes).

A brilliant start to a successful film series with further cast to include John Hurt, Maggie Smith and Alan Rickman.

3/5

 

 

Monsters vs Aliens (2009)

Monsters vs Aliens --4

‘He died of a heart attack twenty- five years ago’

Monsters vs Aliens is a children’s film about a young woman called Susan (Reese Witherspoon) who grows to about 50 feet tall then she saves the world from Aliens with her monster friends B.o.B (Seth Rogen) and Dr Cockroach (Hugh Laurie) and others.

I’ll admit that I had a huge obsession with this film back in primary school. I knew the film by heart, complete with the actions and facial expressions, I sometimes brought the DVD into school, loved the characters and wished that I was tall like the heroine in the story. While I don’t care for the film as much as I did five or six years ago, it is one that you can switch your brain off to and watch with anyone without being concerned with the content. It still makes me laugh sometimes although it serves as irritating background noise.

Interesting cast and animation for what is supposed to be a children’s film but I don’t really care for the movie anymore.

2.5/5

Moulin Rouge! (2001)

moulin_rouge_0

Come what may, I will love you until my dying day’

Moulin Rouge is a creatively colorful film directed by Baz Luhmann about a poet called Christian (Ewan McGregor) who falls in love with the star dancer Santine (Nicole Kidman) at a night club called Moulin Rouge and a tricky love triangle starts.

I only really like this film because of the color scheme e.g the bright red. Red has many connotations with blood, death, lust and love, all of which are relevant within the realms of this fairly touching but darkly bright and over the top film. The movie mostly takes place at night, and night usually means passion and red, a popular colourful in the movie, usually means love and death or blood. I have also seen some of Baz Luhmann’s other work, such as The Great Gatsby and the Leo Dicaprio version of Romeo and Juliet. I like how all his films are outrageously bright but provide more of a story and depth than just a pretty surface that would look good on screen and would win some cinematography related awards. Within the space of about an hour, Lurhmann has the artist talent to go from having his films outrageously bright to a dark toner.

I watched this movie with my sister ages ago and I have only recently watched it again. Some musicals are better than others, and this one uses popular songs and incorporates it into the movie e.g Elton John’s Your Song or even my personal favorites Lady Marmalade and especially Come What May, a song that was actually written for the 1996 Romeo and Juliet (source:imdb).

There always has to be something keeping star struck lovers apart in movies like these, and although I didn’t feel any immediate chemistry between Christian and Santine, the thing that kept them together was their love, the fact that it had to be played as an act and she was dying.

As for the cast, Ewan McGregor was alright in his role as Christian and I have seen him in other films. He is very much the young hot guy in this movie. Nicole Kidman is everywhere, in nearly every movie and I suppose that she was ok as her character in Moulin Rouge considering the amount of times that the men mess with her. The guy who played Harold came across as being very creepy as well and I don’t really like him as a character but I think the actor who played him is a brilliant actor.

Overall, a stunning movie with incredible cinematography, a fantastic soundtrack, remarkable costumes, great cast and a superb director. Honestly, Baz Lurhmann is probably my favorite director because he has a very over the top approach to everything. Although the storyline and chemistry between the two leads was often not there, the cinematography and the dancing or the singing made up for it. Also starring Jim Broadbent.

3/5