21st century girl

reviews – my way.

Category: Classic movies

John Hurt


I woke up to the news that John Hurt had sadly died at the age of 77. He was the sort of actor who was so diverse in his acting range that you probably wouldn’t guess that he played so many different kind of roles in his life time. He portrayed John Merrick in The Elephant Man, he was in Doctor Who, he was Mr. Ollivander in Harry Potter, he was in Alien as the guy who had the alien bursting out of his stomach, V For Vendetta, 1984 and Perfume amongst many other roles. I also distinctly remember him being on the TV show Who do you think you are? He came across as being a distinguished looking old man who has played more characters than you have ever cared to imagine.

I do not know which film of his is my favourite, but it is most likely to be The Elephant Man because of the screen prescence and emotion that he put into his role. He was one of those actors who delivered raw intensity to every role of his, which probably explained why his career was so long, and he never really played the same person again and again. He was actually an incredibly good actor and he was one of my favourite actors as well. I would have loved to have met him just to say thank you. Luckily he got and actually deserved a knighthood. He was one of those actors who was in every film that you could imagine but he was never once an annoying character in any way. I am yet to see one of his most recent films, a Natalie Portman film called Jackie but I’m sure that it would be a sweet tribute to watch it. It was also quite ironic that he played Winston Smith in 1984, and switched round so that he led a very Orwellian society in V For Vendetta. Pancreatic cancer has also killed Patrick Swayze, Steve Jobs and Rex Harrison.

Rest in Peace, John Hurt.





Carrie Fisher


‘Why you half witted, stuck up, scruffy looking nerfherder!’

It is with great sadness that Carrie Fisher has sadly died at the age of 60. As most of you know, she was Princess Leia in the original Star Wars series, and she was also in The Force Awakens amongst many other things.

2016 has been a sad year for actors and singers etc. We’ve lost Prince, George Micheal, Alan Rickman, Bowie, the old lady from Vicar of Dibley and many others. The memorial part of the Oscars will be incredibly long.

Anyway, I admire Carrie Fisher, and I am not saying that because she died. She was incredibly badass in Star Wars, a series of films that I got into because my guy friends are obsessed with it. She turned away from all the assumptions of a woman’s portrayal in film. She has made an impact on both men and women in the geek and film culture. Some men like her and women would want to be her. She was one of my ultimate role models.  She has also written a fair share of autobiographies, and her legacy will be left for years to come. I will rewatch the original Star Wars trilogy and her other films and cameo in The Big Bang Theory with great sadness, along with refusing to unfollow her on Twitter despite the fact that she will never update it because of her death. Apart from fairytale Disney princesses, she was honestly one of my favourite princesses in film, and she appeared to work so well with all her co stars.

R.I.P Carrie Fisher, you will be missed. May the Force be with you always.




Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back


‘I am your father’

The second film of the original trilogy continues on from the first film as Luke travels to Dagobah to search for Master Yoda (Frank Oz). With Master Yoda’s help, the dark side brings him to the ultimate duel with Darth Vader. Meanwhile, Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) start to fall in love and they have to escape the millennium Falcon along with Chewbacca when they face attack.

My friend and many other people say that this movie is the best one because it has so many iconic scenes in it and they introduce many main characters, such as Yoda. One of my friends also said that they made most of it up on the spot. Although I found it somewhat sudden that Han and Leia’s relationship escalated from ignoring and insulting each other to being all over each other, it turned out to be rather heart warming and the film was left on a cliffhanger with alot of things to clear up, which will hopefully be cleared up in Episode VI.

This one was good because it was the source to most of the famous Star Wars scenes e.g ‘No, I am your father’ scene, the Darth Vader and the Luke Skywalker light saber duel but Leia became less and less independent in this one to the point where she was screaming and being soppy to everyone but she was still very kick ass. For instance, there was a bit where she was positioned at a higher level than one of the other male characters, meaning more authority and power.  Likewise, you begin to love Han Solo because of his heroic nature despite his previous arrogant behaviour.

Cool film but it takes longer to get into then you get stuck in the action then it ends on a cliffhanger. I hope my star wars phase stays around for a long time.



The Movies tag

1.) Favourite movie of all time?

Probably Children of Men and V For Vendetta. I’m also quite fond of the original Star Wars trilogy at the moment.

2.) Favourite scene from that movie?

There’s a scene in V For Vendetta about ‘You Wear a mask for so long that you forget who you were beneath it’, suggesting self identity and anonymity.

3.) Favourite actor/actresses?

I have so many, but I would say Robert Donat (an actor from the 30s-50s), Clive Owen, Hugo Weaving, Christoph Waltz, Tom Hanks, James Dean, Meryl Streep and Natalie Portman.

4.) Most annoying actor/actress?

Adam Sandler, James Franco, Ashton Kutcher and Cameron Diaz. They all annoy the hell out of me. Don’t know why though.

5.) Best Director?

Baz Luhmann because he’s a bit over the top with colour and costumes and stuff but there’s also the dark bits in his films as well. Quentin Tarantino is also fantastic because he’s a bit eccentric as well.

6.) Favourite guilty pleasure movie?

Rom coms such as Wild Child and 13 Going on 30 are guilty pleasures because they’re cheesy and mostly unrealistic but you can’t help but to like them.

7.) Favourite tear jerker?

Goodbye Mr Chips, the original 1930s version. The bit where the little boy turns around and says ‘Goodbye Mr Chips, goodbye’ sets me, my mum and my sister off all the time. The end of Return of the Jedi is also very sad.

8.) Character from a movie that scared you the most?

I used to be scared of V from V for Vendetta until it turns out that it’s only Hugo Weaving wearing a mask. Other than that, the classic vampires from original vampire movies creep me out.

9.) Movie you love that everyone hates?

I haven’t met that many people who like Sin City but I love it.

10.) Movie you hate that everyone loves?

Not sure. I don’t get the hype about Fast and Furious but I haven’t watched any of them.

11.) Favourite movie duo?

Probably Django and Dr King Shultz from Django Unchained.

12.) Favourite animated movie?

I personally love Beauty and The Beast, Sleeping Beauty and Shrek because I grew up watching it. I also like the detail in the former two movies.

13.) Actor/Actress crush?

Clive Owen is really hot and so is the young Christoph Waltz. As for the actresses, the Youtuber/West End stage actress Carrie Fletcher, Kate Winslet and Natalie Portman.

14.) Favourite movie villain?

Agent Smith from The Matrix, Colonel Hans Landa from Inglorious Basterds and Darth Vader from Star Wars.

15.) What movie surprised you the most?

Alot of movies surprised me.

16.) If you could only keep one movie what would it be?

Probably Children of Men because it warns about the end of the human race and it’s also a fantastic film.

17.) Movie recommendation and for whom?

Children of Men for all my friends who haven’t seen it because it is so brilliant and Clive Owen was excellent in it.

18.) If you could go back in time and marry actor/actress (now old) who would it be?

The young Christoph Waltz looked fit so I would probably marry him if I went back in time, and other than that, probably the main original male Star Wars cast members.

19.) One remake that you wish had never been made?

The 2011 Three Musketeers was a remake of the other six thousand three musketeers adaptations so I suppose that thee Three Musketeers 2011 should have never been made.

20.) About to die but could only watch one more movie what would it be?- Probably a comedy one, not sure which one. A convenient one would be Ghost (1990).

21.) Favourite movie genre/favourite movie from that genre? My favourite movie genre is the sci fi, fantasy and thriller genre, and I love so many films from that genre that we’ll be here until next year if I describe them all.

22.) What was the first movie that you remember watching in theatres?

I remember watching Shrek 2 at the cinema when my 11 year old brother was a baby.

I nominate anyone who wants to the tag.


Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope

‘The Force will be with you’

George Lucas directs Episode IV, the first film out of the original trilogy in Star Wars. The movie is basically about a young man called Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), a slightly arrogant captain of the Millennium Falcon Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and two droids called R2-D2 and C3-PO who work together to rescue the kick ass and only woman in the entire film so far, the stunning Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher), who is the leader of the rebel alliance.

I watched this movie with my eleven year old brother and he said that he liked it and he loved how badass Princess Leia was, considering that she was fighting in a man’s world. Most of my college friends seem to love Star Wars, and I got jealous of my two best friends red light sabers because the toys look really cool. This led to a long discussion between me and my best guy friend. Apparently, there are several different versions of the original films.

My favourite character is probably Darth Vader because the mask and long black cloak reminds me of V from V For Vendetta for some reason, or Chewbecca because he’s weirdly cute. I’m sure that the character of Han Solo would grow with me as  I watch more of the films but he comes across as being very over confident and a ‘me-me-me’ type of character, despite the fact that Harrison Ford is a good actor and the young Mark Hamill was really adorable. Most of the scenes were quite obvious CGI but Star Wars is the only film where vast amounts of CGI, some battles in the millenium falcon/outer space (excuse me if I get some of the facts wrong) makes me feel like I’m battling with a light saber in space with them.

I can see why people love star wars almost obsessively. Apparently The Empire Strikes Back (the next one) is the best one out of the entire series. Other films have tried to rip off or copy Star Wars but they have failed drastically.

Great movie, cool cast, and it has made a good contribution to marketing culture with all the merchandise and movies, especially with the upcoming DVD release of the Force Awakens.


Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971)


‘Come with me, and you’ll see, a world of pure imagination’ 

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is a musical film about a boy called Charlie Bucket (Peter Ostrum) whos family has no money but wins the opportunity of a lifetime when he wins a golden ticket to Willy Wonka (Gene Wilder)’s chocolate factory (guarded by oompa loompas) along with four other children.

I have seen both this version and the 2005 Tim Burton adaptation,and I also read Roald Dahl’s original book when I was younger. I personally prefer this version, because it isn’t fake and they don’t tend to try too hard to make it all bright and happy when there is that underlying dark tone. Without trying to look too deeply into it, but as I have watched it recently, why would you have a factory where nobody goes in or comes out?

As far as I know, most of the actors are either dead or no longer acting but I suppose that this would be a good film to have been known for. It’s slightly creepy but seems to take you up paths that the 2005 adaptation can never compete with. All the child actors (mostly Peter Ostrum) seem to be adorable and angelic and it really feels as if you are being taken into a creepy but exciting chocolate wonderland.  Of course, it has been redone, parodied, made into internet memes using several stills and some of the songs are popular in our culture (the paradise song is often used in adverts) as well as the golden ticket being referenced nearly all the time in various competitions, so much so that it has crept into our language and has become a normal term.

Of course, a story like this can never happen in the modern day, however it is not real so it does not matter very much, and as it was done while Roald Dahl was still alive, it brings out that old fashioned touch that it needs, not the Johnny Depp Show in the recent one. I have probably spent the whole article comparing the two but it is a good movie with the ability to make you hungry for chocolate.

Classic children’s movie with a good cast, musical numbers (personal favourite is either The Candy Man or Pure Imagination) and fairly advanced special effects for its day.

‘If you want to view paradise, simply look around and view it’


Chitty Chitty Bang Bang


‘Lollipops, ice cream, and they’re all free today!’

Based on the novel by Ian Fleming, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is about a car made by Caractacus Potts (Dick Van Dyke) which can fly, so Potts takes his children Jeremy (Adrian Hall) and Jemimah (Heather Ripley) and his companion Truly Scrumptious (Sally Ann Howes) on many adventures.

There could be many questions and interpretations raised about this movie. Is it all a dream? Is it someone’s imagination, a story within the film and the grandfather’s personal fantasy involving a flying car, or they could predict the future with the car.

Although I admit that this film is a bit cheesy and I spent most of the time laughing at both the songs and the dialogue because it might appear to be queer and old fashioned to modern audiences, but it is a classic childhood movie for both children and adults alike, and probably one of the best children’s movies that I have ever seen, without overdoing it. Who doesn’t like the idea of a simple story involving a flying car?

I have never really liked the Child Catcher and some bits of the movie are too corny and fake to watch but it is a classic children’s film so it really doesn’t matter. Also stars Lionel Jeffries  and Barbara Windsor.


Lady and the Tramp


‘There’s a great big hunk of world down there without a fence around it’

Lady and the Tramp is a classic Disney film loved by all ages and generations about the relationship between a cute Cocker Spaniel called Lady and a ‘mutt’ called Tramp. It’s a lovable story between two dogs without the cliches of human relationships.

Without wishing to give away a whole life story, this was one of my favourite films when I was little, and indeed watching it again has brought back the attachment to a simple but timeless story which can never be recreated effectively, and leads on the fact that dogs are adorable little animals.

Considering how old it is, I like the cinematography and detail of the movie which is impossible to get with a modern animated film and the soundtrack is good as well, not forgetting the parodied and famous spaghetti scene. I find that Lady is a lovable dog right from the start and this movie continues to inspire generations, however I have never really liked the rat.


RIP to two incredible actors

ro lee_getty

This hasn’t been my day at all, and it is not even your fault. Ron Moody, who played the legendary Fagin in the 1968 Oliver!, has unfortunately died at the age of 91. Oliver! is a film that I can watch time and time again, and he was maybe the most watchable out of the whole of the cast aside from Oliver Reed; his grubby face and his domineering presence. I was aware that he was an old man and still one of the few remaining actors of that film, yet I was not aware that he would go so soon.

However, what came as more of a shock to me is Sir Christopher Lee’s sudden death. Apparently he worked in film right up to the very end, and he is a prime example of someone who was still able to release heavy metal albums when older people are stereotyped to like opera, and someone who would work long after others would retire.

He was 93 and so far the oldest cast member of the Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit trilogy and apparently J.R.R Tolkien personally recommended him the part of Saruman. I am near obsessed with Lord of The Rings and I don’t think I would be able to watch the trilogy in the same way without thinking about his legendary presence, and an actor like him will never again walk the earth. Of course, he has been in nearly every film since the 1940s, including Dracula, the 2005 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and the 2011 family film Hugo. Perhaps I will watch at least one of the films in the Lord of the Rings trilogy and Oliver! in tribute of these legendary actors who will no longer be with us. At some point, and if there is for any reason, a God up there, I hope that he will take good care of these wonderfully legendary but rather elderly actors, but we have once again lost two legends, but at least Heaven gained two more angels.

Rest In Peace Ron Moody and Sir Christopher Lee.

Thank you for giving us years of amazing films and I will watch some of  your films in your memory. Sir Christopher, welcome to the undying lands.

“To be a legend, you’ve either got to be dead or excessively old,” Christopher Lee 1922-2015

Goodbye Mr Chips (1939)

Hollywood's Greatest Year: The Best Picture Nominees of 1939

‘How can you ever get old in a world that is always young?’

Goodnight Mr Chips is a poignant classic film about a man called Mr Chips (Robert Donat) who begins teaching at a prestigious boys school, unaware of how he will affect the lives of many generations of young boys in his years of teaching.

I haven’t seen any other Robert Donat films; but just by watching an old movie like this one reminds you that it can be touching without overdoing it, yet it can be simple with the generations of children who are taught by him and you are immediately put back on track if it is ever lost so that it does not go off on a tangent.

There is absolutely nothing that I can criticize about this film; although at times it is a bit stagey, mostly between the younger boy actors. I like the way that the characters come back, and because Chips is such a three dimensional character; when we as an audience lose him, it is as if we have lost a bit of ourselves. Donat cluckily has an ageless face and his eyes give enough expression and emotion to carry the scenes; allowing him to age drastically throughout the course of the film. I can’t remember a film that has inspired me so much as watching generations of boys grow up on screen while still watching it in a 21st century living room.

I laughed, I cried, the music helped the pace and the flow of the film, and I somewhat fell in love with Donat’s acting. I think I would need to rewatch this film again and fall in love with it more, because it is a classic. The set looks amazing, and it only takes an old fashioned film like this one to sweep you back to olden days of classic cinema, as if it is a pre- World war I time warp.You could analyze it as much as possible and it would probably make the film better, not worse.

Sorry for the gushing. If you haven’t seen Goodbye Mr Chips, I would suggest that you watch it (preferably with a box of tissues) because it really makes you think yet it changes your view of old movies;which have come to be my favorite because of their basis to show a story, not a boring back story and random unnecessary characters .For example; there can be a romantic love story between Chips and his wife (Greer Garson) without modern necessities for a love story like sex and stuff.  Garson was also a very glamorous actress of her day who kept the story together in the scenes that she was in.

Directed by Sam Wood.