21st century girl

reviews – my way.

Month: December, 2015

Schindler’s List

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Oskar Schindler, they say. Everyone remembers him’

Schindler’s List is a powerful Spielberg film and true story about a doctor called Oskar Shindler (Liam Neeson) who saves over one thousand Jews from being gassed and killed at the infamous Auchwitz concentration camp in Poland in World War II. On the other side, there is the evil Nazi Goeth (Ralph Fiennes) who lacks sympathy for anyone.

I watched this a long time ago and I only started watching it all the way through recently with my older sister as we discussed the camera angles. Ralph Fiennes stood out as an actor and a character as he reminded me of Colonel Hans Landa in Inglorious Basterds and vice versa. Fiennes’ prescense, that evil look and knowing that he did not care if he shot down a whole crowd of innocent Jewish people, no matter what age or gender they were. He was also very aware of his authority and acted on that as well. However, he deserved his consequences in the end and I’ll have to save the Hans Landa/Goeth comparison for another time.

Anyway, this movie is one of those movies where you would need your full attention span, patience and your analytical brain on. It is also one of the ones that can change your life forever. I cannot watch a film anymore without pointing out the effective closeups, over the shoulder shots, POV shots etc, all of which I learnt at college but you would notice that Shindler’s appearances are shown through closeups, mostly of his face and hands.

There’s a great deal of contrasts between Shindler and Goeth. Shindler gave up his life and sanity to save all the Jews, while Goeth killed them all and didn’t care. Shindler often showed off his masculine side but there was something very feminine about Goeth despite being one of the toughest movie villians in history. Although Shindler did go off with a fair few women, he had never beaten them, unlike Goeth, but he did abandon them. It was also nice that Oskar was remembered and known long after his death, and the confrontation scenes between Goeth and Oskar are shot in the over the shoulder camera angle. Anyone can do a film about a man who has a list of names, but the fact that it was directed by Speilberg, heavy on the propaganda and approachable on so many levels makes it a fantastic movie.

Another actor to praise for this movie is Ben Kingsley, who was so brilliant as his character in this movie, as he is with all the other films that I’ve seen him in. Watching this movie has inspired me to read the original book and find out the backstory that they had no time for in the film.

Overall; fantastic cinematography, an epic soundtrack, amazing cast, to also include Embeth Davidtz, great symbolism and brilliant performances from Ralph Fiennes (who was either nominated or won an Oscar for his role as Goeth), Liam Neeson and Ben Kingsley.

4.5/5

 

 

The Knick season 1 episode 9

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‘I have bedbugs’

Thackery’s cocaine addiction gets way out of hand and results in a lot of trouble that affects the people around him, including his fellow doctors and Nurse Elkins while Cornelia’s lover¬†Algernon refuses to help her due to the fact that she is expecting ¬†his colored child.

After two serial tedious and average episodes, the series seems to be back on its feet. Although we get a break from the gruesome operations for the time being, the Thackery/Elkins love story carries on to the point when Elkins is Thackery’s temporary drug supplier. I can’t bring myself to imagine how Elkins is being used to supply drugs, especially after Thackery is arrested for breaking and entering.

Slightly better than its previous two episodes but does have a tendency to dwell into soap opera elements which is disappointing after we were promised and given fantastic earlier episodes.

2.5/5

Arthur Christmas

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Arthur Christmas is a feel good Christmas movie about Santa’s youngest son Arthur (James McAvoy) who saves Christmas by delivering a misplaced present to a young girl called Gwen (Ramona Marquez) before Christmas Day arrives.

I like this film James McAvoy actually looked like his animated character and the movie contains a mostly all star cast and I like the choice of voice talent , to include Hugh Laurie, Jim Broadbent and Bill Nighy, plus a cover theme song from Justin Bieber.

Good movie to watch repeatedly throughout the Christmas season.

3.5/5

Hairspray (2007)

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‘If we can’t dance, then maybe we should just march’

Hairspray is a musical about a chubby girl called Tracy Turnblad (Nikki Blonsky) who lands a spot in her favorite TV show ‘The Corny Collins Show’, much to the dismay of the ego filled dance director Velma (Michelle Pfeiffer) and her daughter Amber (Brittany Snow), and teaches them all something about breaking the barriers of racial prejudice on TV. It stars John Travolta as her mother Edna, James Mardsen, Zac Efron, Christopher Walken as her father Wilbur and Amanda Bynes as her best friend. Basically an all star cast.

I’ve seen this movie way too many times to remember ever since I was younger. Although I not that obsessed with these sorts of films, I like how this film has a moral message about the racial divide of that time despite being an overwhelmingly cheesy film. Michelle Pfeiffer is generally a very flawless actress, and as her character, she would simply need to raise an eyebrow and she could be the equivalent of a female villain in this movie. Christopher Walken was weirdly love able and you could tell that John Travolta loved dressing up as a woman.

The film basically shows that you can be whoever you want to be no matter if you’re tall or short, rich or poor, fat or thin, black or white. This was also shortly after the teenage revolution so teenagers could have a way to express themselves as the world and television culture was rapidly changing. Teenagers have been known to rebel against rules and their parents and Amanda Bynes’ character proves that. Zac Efron was ok but he was really only some random hot guy with too much gel in his hair and he had little to no depth in his character.

A fun filled guilty pleasure musical with some really good songs to include ‘You can’t stop the beat’. Now that I’m a bit older, I understand this film more than I did when I last watched it.

2.5/5

 

The Knick season 1 episode 8

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‘We are at the forefront of discovery and technique’

Thackey’s relationship with Nurse Elkins continues and I would presume that it would be a subplot to every remaining episode of the series and into the second one too. Meanwhile, a shortage of cocaine means that Thackery goes into withdrawal, and he worries that Dr Zinberg will steal the spotlight at the hospital.

I feel really perverted for actually liking this episode amongst about 5 other decent ones. To be honest, I’m getting the vibe that the earlier Season 1 Knick episodes are a lot better than later S1 episodes. However, I am keen to see the rest of the series and this episode gets slightly better as it goes along but it just falls flat at times.

Ok episode but I’ve seen better episodes in the series and at least they included some form of real life historical references (500 years to discover germs) so it wasn’t all a game of doctors and nurses.

2.5/5

 

The Knick Season 1 episode 7

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‘I can make it painless and perfect’

A racial attack breaks out after the policeman is killed when he makes an offer/pass at the girlfriend of an African American man. This directs back to Edwards’ status and skin color. Meanwhile, Thackery gets together with Nurse Elkins (I could see it coming since episode 1) as does Algernon with Cornelia.

This episode is probably one of the less interesting episodes that I have seen out of the series so far. It was good that Thackery and Nuse Elkins got together at last and racial attacks should not be taken lightly because it cost Algernon his life but this episode slips all too obviously into a typical hospital drama. There also seems to be a competition into how many sexually explicit scenes should be featured into one 40 minute episode. It just gets annoying because we’ve seen TV series scenarios like that before.

2/5

The Knick Season 1 Episode 6

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‘Dr Edwards, I officially welcome you to The Knick’

The baby-who was originally proof to successful infant survival, declines in health and unfourtunetly dies, much to the disbelief of her mother, while Thackery discovers Algernon’s underground den.

Nothing much changes. They are still amazed by the newly X-Rays and Thackery’s treatments for the patients begin to work. This vastly contrasts to the beginning of the series when they were lucky to save a soul from their operation even in their wildest dreams. The confrontation between Thackery and Algernon was gripping to watch as Thackery uses his arrogance and manipulation to immensively dislike and underestimate Dr Edwards because of his skin color but he could also give Algernon several royalties.

Good episode and it was sad to see the baby (who is called Lillian as far as I know) go because she was the centre plot points for mostly all of the plot lines within the first half of the first series. The stage in the development at surgery at the moment in the series is still in its early stages but they are beginning to see the extent of the newly invented equipment.

3.5/5

Oranges and Sunshine

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What have you to be frightened of?’

Orange and Sunshine is about a social worker from Nottingham named Margaret Humphries (Emily Watson) who reunites the children involved in the migration schemes from Australia to Britain. One of these ‘children’ is a man named Jack (Hugo Weaving) who was reunited with his sister.

Clearly, Emily Watson’s character is a very strong woman who will stop at nothing to ensure that the deported children (who were now adults) were loved and safe. Like the Railway Man proves about the truth of the Burma Railways in World War II, Oranges and Sunshine does not sugarcoat the fact that the children were taken away from their mothers since before they could recall the event and had to live with the burden that their mothers no longer recall them, or they might be dead or living on the other side of the world. Each little detail unfolds and you are practically sucker punched with the horrific facts while you have a roof under your head and most likely sharing that roof with your mother.

Hugo Weaving was as per usual, brilliant as the reserved and most likely depressed Jack. His lines are short and often mumbled but Weaving uses his facial expressions e.g looking sad or unhappy as a way to effectively convey his character. He isn’t villainous like his bigger blockbuster roles but he isn’t exactly heroic either. He has plenty of depth.

Whilst this isn’t my favorite film, it does make you think and back down from your problems when there are probably adults or young adults who don’t know their parents somewhere in this world. It is also shocking to think that it was based on a true story and it was set only thirty years ago. This movie was probably made to grab you by the throat and throttle your emotional spots to put yourself in the shoes of others.

3.5/5

 

 

The Knick Series 1 Episode 5

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Whoever the hell this is, go to hell’

The baby gets meningitis, the doctors see the wonders of the then-newly found X-Ray machine and those are only two of the wonders that we have to face in this episode of the Knick.

Again, this is one of the episodes where I understand all the references due to my History GCSE topic from last year (or earlier this year). Indeed, without turning it into a history lesson, X-Rays were the best attempt at seeing the bone structure of someone without physically cutting into their body. Will this reduce the number of scenes that focus on bloody and often disastrous operations? Definetly not.

The series is really starting to pick itself up and it makes me want to watch the rest of the series and indeed the next series too. I continue to ship Thackery and the female doctor to be together and I think they get together eventually. Although we had no sign of Thackery’s cocaine addiction in the last two or so episodes, it is up and running again. Herman is still hanging out with ladies of the night and to add more drama, Algernon Edwards’ mother is ill.

I also wonder what thread from this episode would carry on into episode 6.

Good episode and I hope that the baby survives.

3/5