21st century girl

reviews – my way.

Month: January, 2016

Notice

Going to take a break from blogging until the end of the month/beginning of February so that I can finish some college work, schedule some blogposts and de cancel my mum’s party/movie night (not how it sounds).

Until then, have fun!

The Alien Years (1988)

The Alien Years is a virtually unknown three part movie starring Christoph Waltz as Stefan Muller, a German immigrant who meets a woman named Elizabeth (Elizabeth Longley) who is of the upper class. They marry and have two children but World War I breaks out and this lands Stefan in great danger because of his German name.

I wanted to see an early Christoph Waltz film which was in English (very rare if the movie has him in in and it happens to be made before 2009) and one that was around way before he was a Nazi, bounty hunter, ringmaster and a Bond Villian. I am a huge fan of his work so there is no surprise there. This, aside from The Gravy Train and the Gravy Train Goes East, is one of the only options to watch some of Waltz’s earlier stuff without having to watch foreign films.

Teenagers, like Elizabeth early on in the movie, and indeed other teenagers in movies have always been known to rebel from their parents. This is everything from choice in fashion to who they ¬†want to run away with, much to their parents dismay. I think it would take a lot of guts to turn away from your class at the time when class was a general social system and not a patronizing term exclusively from the Daily Mail. It also felt as if they had both become proper characters long after the sad ending, all because Stefan was a German immigrant. The scenery also looked lovely and if it was a bit more well known, it should have won some awards for set design. It would have been very heartbreaking to take down an enemy of your father’s nationality.

I’ll admit that this is not the greatest movie in the world and it is very time consuming but it is interesting to see Christoph Waltz way before he got the recognition that he deserved. Pretty much all the cast members except Christoph Waltz and maybe the men who played the sons have now died.

3/5

R.I.P Alan Rickman

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“When I’m 80 years old and sitting in my rocking chair, I’ll be reading Harry Potter. And my family would say ‘After all this time?’ And I will say ‘Always”

Alan Rickman died today at the age of 69, in the same week as Bowie. Rickman has been in many films that I have watched since I was little, to include the Harry Potter series, Robin Hood:Prince of Thieves and Love Actually, as well as some other well known films such as Sweeney Todd, Perfume: Story of a Murderer, Alice in Wonderland and Die Hard.

It came as a bit of a shock, but he was inspiration for me, my friends, family and many of you too. I like Harry Potter and his acting always stood out for me in anything that he did. My sister was always watching Robin Hood when I was younger and I cannot describe how much the acting world will be empty without him. He was the type of actor who was in more films than I imagined. I tried not to cry at college when someone saw on Facebook that he had died. Some thought that it was fake, until it was very much real and we were all discussing his best roles.

Anyway, he will be missed and I shall watch his movies again in his memory. Alice through the looking glass is his last film. At least he will be with the other greats such as Robin Williams, James Dean, Bowie, Freddie Mercury, the guy who played Dumbledore in the first Harry Potter, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Richard Attenbourgh, Christopher Lee, Micheal Clarke Duncan, Brittany Murphy and so many others. Imagine the heaven exclusive film that they would make and the tribute list at the Oscars this year…

Let’s raise our wands to this inspirational man.

RIP Alan Rickman

1946-2016

Billionaire Boy

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‘It doesn’t need a discussion’

The TV movie, based off the book by David Walliams, is about a boy called Joe who is a billionaire because his father made a living from inventing his own toilet roll. Joe has everything he wants, except friends.

The boy actor who played Joe showed some promise for success in future projects, but other than him and maybe Warwick Davis, everyone was trying a bit too hard, but I think it was for comical effect. Catherine Tate, who I saw in her Lauren Cooper sketches which were made back in the mid 00s, was overacting a bit, and James Fleet’s performance was ok but minimal, and I recognized some of the other cast members. The film had too many plots and subplots to deal with and it felt as if it didn’t really end when it ended as they were held at an immaturely written and loose end.

My younger brother loves David Walliams books and I’m sure that he loved the film but I think that it was too short for its own good. However, David Walliams did look good as a woman and he did it for a comedic effect and Warwick Davis was so brilliant. Most of the characters were a bit cartoony (especially the bullies, who acted as if they were reading off a script) but I shouldn’t be so horrible about a fun family film.

I suppose that there were moments of laughter but most of the subplots were unresolved. I think that it was good that Joe eventually got a friend and learnt a few lessons about his own worth and to not use it as a weapon.

Ok film but it ended without tying up some of the loose knots.

2.5/5

 

Beauty and the Beast (1991)

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‘Tale and old as time, song as old as rhyme, beauty and the beast’

Beauty and The Beast is an animated film about a girl called Belle (Paige O’Hara) who lives in a small French town and refuses to marry the arrogant Gaston (Richard White) but meets the Beast, who was originally a spoilt prince who has to learn from his wrong ways by becoming a Beast.

My sisters and I have been watching this film ever since we were both very young and aside from Sleeping Beauty, this is my favorite Disney film. I remember singing the theme song of this movie for my Year 7 music practical exam and to this day, I still really want those really cool teacups that they have in the film, and maybe that massive library.

Beauty and The Beast reverses what is expected. In most modern (made within the 21st century) Disney films, the female protagonist runs off with the hot guy and it is all a bit unoriginal. However, Belle has the obvious option to turn away from Gaston and does that anyway, and in doing so, she stands up for the Beast when they want to destroy him although he thought that she had gone.

As for the animation itself; it is beautifully detailed, everything from the scenery to Belle’s outfits to every bit of hair on the Beast and the candles and the windows etc. The only thing that I would critizize about this film is that the Beast looked better as the massive angry monster rather than the long haired prince guy who could do no wrong.

Excellent music composition and the theme song was my favorite song at one point, detailed animation, love able and often flawed characters.

Also stars Angela Lansbury.

4.5/5

 

 

The Knick Season 1episode 10

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‘John, the drug. It’s destroying you’

Thackery’s drug addiction makes him more obviously paranoid while his competitor Zinberg carries out blood transfusion research and Cornelia chooses to not keep Algernon’s baby but proceeds with her wedding.

It is a qood round off to a fairly so-so series. Out of this series, I liked the historical references e.g blood transfusions, 500 years to figure out the cause of germs, Pasteur, blood transfusions etc but what I don’t like is the fact that some episodes seem more like a soap opera than a proper series. There have been some rubbish episodes but there have been some good ones as well.

Thackery and Elkins’ romance carries on but Elkins is trying to cover up a lot of things and she becomes scared of Thackery’s sudden mood swings when he doesn’t get what he wants (drugs) and as a early 20th century surgeon, he is a no-nonsense professional in surgery. Until the drugs get the best of him and everything comes together. I liked how the end of the series was very open ended. I haven’t seen Season 2 as of yet but I would presume that the open ending allows many possibilities and plots and scenarios that can carry on successfully into series 2.

Season 1 has had its ups and downs but the last shot of Thackery going to sleep really sums up how he deserved some rest and somebody needed to take charge of his addiction before it was too late to save him like he couldn’t save some of his patients.

Moral message: don’t do drugs, kids and save lives.

3/5

Far from the Madding Crowd

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Far from the Madding Crowd is a movie about a fairly independent Victorian woman called Bathsheba (Carey Mullingan) who chooses between a sheep farmer Gabriel (Matthias Schoenaerts), a charming and good looking soldier Sgt Troy (Tom Sturridge) and a rich slightly older man called William Boldwood (Micheal Sheen). It is based off the book of the same name by Thomas Hardy. The movie also stars Juno Temple.

My Mum and older sister were both obsessed with this movie and they compared it to the original book. The movie is one of the most faithful Book-film adaptations although there there have been many other versions.

While I was a bit restless at times, the cinematography was incredible. It would come in handy to anyone interested in photography, cinematography or even art. The light behind them reflected onto them and at times, it looked like an oil painting.

The cinematography wasn’t there just to make it look good. Carey Mullingan is generally a very good actress and she played her character very well, incredibly badass despite slipping down that metaphorical independent ladder throughout the film as the hot soldier guy manipulates her as she and Juno Temple’s character become objects for men. Her costumes looked really beautiful and who couldn’t love Tom Sturridge in the fit red uniform? (not loving his character, though). The dog actor was very adorable and he carried the performance on his own.

Great cinematography, fantastic cast and brilliant costumes.

3.5/5

 

Happy 2016

2015 has been an eventful year. I’ve moved to college (post 16 education, not university) after I didn’t quite make it to sixth form (too many people and I don’t like that many people anyway) made three or four amazing friends (most of them are guys) and left the tight realms of secondary school.

I would have done a top 5 films of 2015 but the only film released this year that I’ve seen is Spectre and that would be number 1 with no explanation whatsoever. Opinions vary but I loved the movie.

Anyway, I hope that 2016 will be another good year. I would be at the legal age to drive in the UK as of August 2016. By the end of this year, I would hope to have passed first year at college, completed at least one of my stories and it is scary think that we are only 11 years away from the events of V For Vendetta and Children of Men (Quite a bit of the events in both films are going on in the world at the moment). I haven’t made any New Years resolutions yet and I might change throughout the course of the year so I can’t promise anything.

Have a good 2016.