Beauty and the Beast – Movie Review

Beauty and the Beast – Movie Review

Beauty and the Beast, the 2017 live action remake of the 1991 animated classic of the same name. Directed by Bill Condon and starring Emma Watson as Belle, Dan Stevens as the Beast, Luke Evans as the egotistical and quite funny Gaston, and Josh Gad as LeFou this is a very entertaining movie for all the family.

Set in 18th century France, the movie starts with Belle in the local village as we are introduced to the key characters in the village. The setting and production would remind you somewhat of other classic Disney movies from the 50s/60s while being modern and stunning to watch. This production of a live Beauty and the Beast rendering really wraps the film and music we know from the 90s and brings the whole thing to life.

Emma Watson is perfectly cast as Belle, the beauty of the village and the one girl who has the intellect to go far in life, much to the annoyance of the local learned and scholars (a bit like the know-it-all Hermoine from Happy Potter). Emma Watson also sings 3 songs in the movie, but I thought in the first number there was a slight amount of auto-tune going on (either that or the production on the audio was a bit off)

Beauty and the Beast would be nothing without the beast. We are indeed introduced to the Prince who is turned into the beast after dismissing and insulting an enchantress. He has until the last petal from a rose falls to find true love. We also see Belles father, played by Kevin Kline, and we find out how he ended up at the beasts castle. There are some changes to the original storyline in the film, one being that Belles father was a bit slow but in the live action version the father, Maurice, is quite skilled at making clocks and automated devices.

Gaston is forever after Belle, thinking of her as his future wife. He is accompanied by Le Fou who some people say is Disneys first openly gay character. Gaston hears that Belle is in trouble and goes to find her, thus encountering the Beast which is vows to kill.

I’m not going to spoil anything, there is a lot of story to go from here, but the films CGI is very entertaining and combined with the musical numbers its something to behold. Beauty and the Beast may not be everyones cup of tea (excuse the pun chip) but overall it is worth the admission fee – if you have kids, it’s a no brainer, they will love it.

If you enjoyed the original Beauty and the Beast, you will love this one too. If you have not seen it, then you will be enthralled by the story, the characters and a few twists in the story.

Hunt for the Wilderpeople – DVD/Download Review

Hunt for the Wilderpeople – DVD/Download Review

Hunt for the Wilderpeople was out in the cinemas earlier in 2016 but I never made it. I was delighted to see that it was on Netflix and recently Watched it. The title of the film, Hunt for the Wilderpeople, is quite unusual and comes from a section of the film where the boy is reading about Wildebeest.

From the outset it is a very easy to watch film about a boy, played by Julian Dennison, moved from foster-home to foster-home. He has a history of “kicking things, spitting, setting fire to things, loitering….” etc (trust me it’s a good line in the film.) He ends up on a farm and although he rebels once again he quickly feels that this is home.

Due to circumstances he hears that the authorities are coming back to remove him. He knows that he will go to Juvenile prison so he decides to venture into the bush and go on the run. His trek takes a turn after he gets lost and his uncle, played by Sam Neil, finds him. From this point the trek takes a further turn for the worse, and they become outlaws of a kind.

The film is done as chapters, e.g Chapter 9, WAR etc, so you get a feeling of what is to come. The characters are all really good, especially the sassy and sharp (sometimes not as sharp) boy in the movie.

Shot in New Zealand, I had an extra reason to see this movie. The scenery, dialogue and story are all really strong and this would be suitable for all the family (with the exception of a scene with a large wild boar and the 2 dogs). It is a very warm and enjoyable film with lots of great lines and well played roles. This is a real sit back and enjoy the popcorn move – Enjoy!

 

Hunt for the Wilderpeople – Official Trailer

Arrival – Movie Review

Arrival – Movie Review

Arrival – Synopsys

When 12 gigantic pod-like spacecraft land in 12 locations around the world, panic takes hold … ‘Arrival’. Linguistics professor Louise Banks (played by Amy Adams) is called in to lead a team of investigators. Everyone wants to find out what the aliens want and why they are here. The world is heading for global war, and Banks and her team race against time to decipher the language. They must find a way to communicate with the extraterrestrial visitors and ease tensions. Can she unravel the mystery of their reason for being here in time?

Review

The film starts with Amy Adams playing a lecturer, her life seems ordinary until she sees why her lecture hall is empty. All the students are watching as gigantic pods land on earth. She is quickly sought by the authorities who know that her skill in linguistics can help translate the alien language.

The visuals in Arrival are stunning, wide vistas with the pods centre stage. The visual effects are also quite surreal with everything from anti-gravity to amazing looking aliens. The storyline of Arrival will keep you transfixed to the screen. The story flips around quite a bit, so don’t go off for popcorn during the movie. It is actually adapted from a short story called ‘Story of your life’ by Ted Chiang. Arrival is a sci-fi film which does not fit the usual model of ‘aliens arrive, aliens attack, we win’. The plot is multifaceted and Amy Adams does a great job in the role, alongside Jeremy Renner. There are a few areas of the plot which have a few holes, especially around how security on the site could be lapse on a few occasions but overall Arrival is an outstanding film.

I don’t want to give away any spoilers but I would say that you will walk away from this film with an air of contentment. Content in the fact that you have witnessed a great film. I loved this film, much better than Nocturnal Animals which Amy Adams also stars in. I think this is a tip for Oscar nomination and also some success.

You will enjoy Arrival, and you should see it on as big a screen as you can !

  • Overall Score 96%
Young@Heart – Film Review

Young@Heart – Film Review

I originally saw Young@Heart in 2009 at Waterford Film for all and this great film is now available on DVD, stream and download. Young@Heart is the true story of the final weeks of rehearsal for the Young@Heart Chorus in Northampton, MA, USA. Their average age is about 80 and many of the chorus must overcome health adversities to participate. In some cases they have battled heart attacks and cancer, but they still go on. Their choice of music is not what you would expect – singing The Clash, Jimi Hendrix, James Brown, and even Sonic Youth.

The Young@Heart group has toured Europe and sang for the King of Norway and this film depicts their preparations for a concert in their home town or Northampton. At some points it is not certain that this concert will be possible with the chorus being ill etc.

The film is very well shot as a docudrama, however in parts the closeups are way too close. It very funny in parts but also tender and heartbreaking in others as you follow the real lives of those in the chorus. The highlights are one person struggling with the words of James Browns “I feel Good”. Another highlight is a song which has 71 Can Can Cans. The most poignant was the Coldplay song, “Fix You” sung by Fred Knittle who sadly died on 1st Jan 2009.

The music videos for the real Young@Heart chorus are available on YouTube so have a search online. The film was by More4 films so there is a chance it may also be shown at some point on UK / Cable TV. Look Out for it – well worth a watch

Official Website of the Young@Heart Chorus is http://www.youngatheartchorus.com/

  • My Verdict 83%

Official Trailer for Young@Heart

PS : If you liked Young@ Heart – check out the film Older Than Ireland !

Jason Bourne, 2016 – Film Review

Jason Bourne, 2016 – Film Review

I have always enjoyed the Bourne films and with the last film lacking Matt Damon, I was not sure if this film was being made for the right reasons. The story picks up from the last film which Matt Damon stars in. If you have not seen the other films you are not at too much of a disadvantage. Jason Bourne has dropped off the map and the authorities think he is dead.

Basically, Jason Bourne, played my Damon, has remembered more about his past. The whole espionage backstory is very reminiscent of Edward Snowden and is very technology driven. A hacker discovers more about Bourne’s past and passes the information on to him. The rest of the story documents Bourne’s discovery into how deep this project goes both internally and personally.

From about 10 minutes in there are some incredible chases, mainly on motorcycle, on the streets of Athens. They track his every move in an effort to neutralise the threat of exposure.

The film globetrotter from country to country including Iceland, Greece, Germany, UK and of course USA. (In one scene in the UK, the film is shot near Paddington in an area I walked through in April just gone – that scene is very good.)

Tommy Lee Jones plays his role very well, in his typical style, as the CIA director. For me one of the best cast was Vincent Cassel who plays ‘The Asset’. This guy is only out to get rid of Bourne due to past history between the two. Surprisingly enough Matt Damon only has a few lines during the film in comparison to some of the others, but the action surely keep you glued to the screen.

One of the most amazing scenes is the car chase through the streets of Las Vegas, in which the Aria hotel gets a lot of exposure. Many no-claims bonuses list during that chase.

Overall it is a riveting film with plenty of tense, chase and pursuit scenes. The only negativewas the constant flashbacks, which I feel there was no need for that many. Not perfect but a highly entertaining film and the end points to another Bourne film to follow.

Duration Time 2:15

  • Action 95%
  • Storyline 83%
  • Effects 90%
  • Overall 85%